Singer David Archuleta is opening up about his decision to “walk away” from the Mormon Church after coming out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community last year.
“I had a crisis of faith this year,” Archuleta, 31, told ABC News’ Steve Osunsami in an interview that aired Friday on “Good Morning America.” “So now I had to deconstruct everything.”
Archuleta said the church, also known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “invested a lot” in him after he rose to fame on “American Idol” in 2008. He placed second during Season 7.
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He said that changed when, in June 2021, he announced that he was “maybe on the bisexual spectrum” after coming out to his family as gay in 2014. He said that’s when he shared the news about those “struggling with each other as LGBTQIA+ and a person of faith.”
Archuleta said church leaders, known as “apostles,” did not listen to him when he discussed his sexuality and tried to change him.
“I think three times in that conversation he said, ‘Well, maybe we should just find you a good girl. “Maybe you can find a good girl,” he recalls. “And I say, ‘That’s not the solution.’
The “Crush” singer, who said he now identifies more with the term queer, said that while church leaders did not understand his sexuality, members of the faith did not.
“I would say it’s the structure of the church more than the people,” he said. “Because the people were amazing.”
Archuleta said he received messages from fans both inside and outside the church, some of whom told him his openness and journey had helped them. While this made him “happy”, he said it also made him feel “a lot of pressure”.
Before coming out, Archuleta said it was considered a “safe haven” for Mormons who are taught to “be in the world, but not of the world” and be “careful” about the music they listen to and the artists they follow. After he got out, he said his attitude at church became “shaky.”
Since coming out, Archuleta has had a boyfriend and, after that relationship ended, she is now dating again. He said he sees himself marrying a man one day — a far cry from how he nearly married women on three separate occasions and once considered suicide.
“You’re trying to decide what’s worse,” he said. “Is it worse for this feeling of wanting men to finally explode where I can no longer control it and you see Satan trying to get hold of my soul? Or is it better for me to end my life and this way, am I free from this temptation?’
MORE: David Archuleta opens up about his struggle to get out
Archuleta said what helped him overcome those thoughts was realizing that “there is value to me in still being alive.”
“…It was really hard for me to accept, because my church has not been completely aggressive toward homosexuals, but it’s a very passive-aggressive, strict attitude that they have about it,” he said. “A rejection.”
These days, Archuleta is focusing on his music after taking “a bit of a hiatus,” during which it “reshaped my life and my purpose, my identity, because it was so deeply rooted in my religion.”
He released his latest single, “Faith In Me,” in August, calling it a song about “what it’s like to be in a relationship that I’m really excited about.” She said it feels “so refreshing” and “more effortless”.
“I don’t have to force anything. It’s just what it is. And it’s beautiful. It’s exciting. And it feels like kids,” she continued. “Like, all the things people talked about in high school, like loving someone.”
Archuleta said his advice for America is for people of faith not to be afraid of something just because it’s different from you, explaining, “Don’t think that just because someone is different from you they’re rebelling against what you hold dear meaning in your life.”
“You may have a lot more in common with what’s important to you is just being loved, contributing to this world in a positive way, loving and taking care of your family and respecting other people,” he added. “LGBT people may do this in a slightly different way.”
Archuleta said just because someone is in a same-sex relationship doesn’t mean their values, desires and goals are different from someone in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex.
“It just looks a little different,” he said. “On the outside.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. Trans Lifeline can be reached at 877- 565-8860 (US) or 877-330-6366 (Canada) and The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.
David Archuleta details ‘crisis of faith’ after coming out to Mormon Church originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com