David Archuleta discusses his decision to leave the Mormon Church
by Ana Walia | Wed, 02 Nov 2022 12:58:16 GMT
David Archuleta speaks about stepping back from the Mormon Church. Image Source: CNN

David Archuleta speaks about stepping back from the Mormon Church.

American Idol alum David Archuleta recently spoke to People magazine about his decision to step back from the Mormon Church and about his queer identity.

David Archuleta said that he froze at the table during a dinner with his then-fiancée in May of last year, resulting in a crippling anxiety attack. He explained that he had not even moved in 30 minutes and was thinking of making her and her then-partner intimate. The singer asserted that when his then-partner inquired about what was going on, all he could say was that he couldn't be near her and required three weeks to recover.

David Archuleta stated that he informed her that he was driving too fast and that he needed to pray. The singer clarified that he was born and raised in Utah as a deeply religious Mormon Church member, that denounces same-sex relationships, and that he had to suppress his emotions about same-sex relationships or interests, which ultimately led to his near-breakup with his fiancée.

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The singer shared that he was having anxiety attacks when he was around her because he felt like he was trying to force intimacy with someone he was not able to experience with from within and he did not want to accept that he was attracted to guys. David called off his engagement in June 2021 and revealed that he is a part of the LGBTQ community and explained that ever since he came out, he has struggled with faith crises, which, he said, pretty much rocked his world. 

David chose to leave the spotlight in 2012 to serve a two-year Mormon mission, and when he returned to recording music after his mission, he stated that it was all associated with the foundations of Mormonism. The singer clarified that the Mormon Church's and his music's foundations are all about producing music that welcomes the enthusiasm into the hearts of people, so they understand and feel God's existence. David Archuleta, who had been well known by then, said that he felt like he was the poster child for the church, adding that everything had started to revolve around that, including the fact that he was going to marry a woman, follow these commandments, and live the Word of Wisdom.

He went on to say that it also encompassed things like no liquor, no nicotine, no cigarettes, no sex prior to marriage, and no gay relationships, and that he was warned that God is their everything, that they should go to church every Sunday, that they should make sure they are deserving to hold the temple suggestion so that they can go to the temple and make sure they believe in Jesus Christ, that people believe that the Book of Mormon is true and that the Bible is true, and that David explained that was his life, and that it was his bubble.

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The American Idol alum said that his decision to suppress his sexuality did take a toll on him, and at his lowest, he contemplated suicide because of the church’s doctrine and stated that he thought ending his life would be a better choice. The singer, after coming out, now states that he is still healing and learning how to love himself.

David also added that when he was contemplating ending his life, he thought that God would probably forgive him if he ended his life because it would be better than being who he was going to be, which was if he accepted that he was gay or LGBT of any sort. The singer believed that if he came out or accepted his sexual identity, he would be in big trouble spiritually, as he grew up among people who compared being gay to murdering someone, and he thought that he did not want to be that evil person. Speaking about his relationship with the church, David Archuleta said that it's very complicated, and after embracing his sexual identity with his spiritual practice, he began to speak with church leaders about Mormonism's opinions on the LGBTQ community, claiming that the discussions were pointless and left him disappointed and emotionally drained.

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David Archuleta added that he cannot put himself in a situation where it is so contradictory, as they say, that they love you but also assert that individuals must transform who they are, and if they cannot, they overlook the issue. The singer went on to say that he needed to distance himself from religion for his sanity and because he didn't want to consider whether it would be best for him to live and exist or not. Finally, he stated that it did hurt him because religious ideology was everything to him, but he realized that some things are not right and that he should just live his life.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988, text "STRENGTH" to 741741, or visit 988lifeline.org.