Nicholas and Jordan Applegate, a Mormon couple both 23 years old, married each other in November of 2020. Their marriage came only months after Nicholas revealed he is a gay man.
Both Nicholas and Jordan shared their story from each others' perspectives on Facebook.
Nicholas shared when he realized he was gay.
"I have known from a young age that I was attracted to men."
"It was an emotional roller-coaster, something I mentioned to almost no one before I became an adult, and which still was told to very few individuals after."
"It made me feel different, gross, and mostly embarrassed, and it was hard for me to talk about. It took years for me to process this and accept myself for who I was."
"However, unlike many that I have heard about in my situation, I had little doubt about my future standing in the Church."
Nicholas claimed he is not "a gay man" but a "child of God."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe sexual attraction is not a choice, but people's actions are. In other words, LGBTQ+ people are acceptable if they suppress and deny their own identity.
Nicholas could still be part of the LDS Church as along as he did not act on his sexual attraction to men.
Though many members of the LGBTQ+ community believe the LDS Church is forcing them to live a life repressive of their true selves, Nicholas disagrees.
"I am not denying my true self by living the tenets of the Church."
"I would be denying my true self by not living the gospel and leaving the Church to live a gay lifestyle."
Jordan explained her feelings on same-sex marriage as well in a post that included a photo of a White, Eurocentric depiction of Jesus.
"I don't know why it doesn't work this way for everyone."
"I wish things in this life were simpler because my heart aches for my friends and family who cannot find peace in the Church and choose to lead a different life."
"I want you all to know that I care deeply for those friends and family members who are not members of this Church or who have chosen to leave for different paths."
"But I do know that God's law is true, and same-sex marriage is not ordained of Him."
"Although I do believe that all people should be given the right to marry who they choose to marry and live how they choose to live, I stand by BYU's decision to keep the current honor code, which lies in harmony with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
The Applegate's choice to marry each other was, "based on love (like charity, the pure love of Christ), trust, and a desire to strengthen one another in a family environment," as Jordan put it.
"He supports me in my hopes and dreams, and I support him in his aspirations as well."
"We make each other laugh, we enjoy spending time together, and we are both incredibly happy to have an eternal marriage ordained by God."
Some of the comments were supportive of the couple.
Charlotte Clerico Peterson/Facebook
But many were not supportive of the LDS church's stance on LGBTQ+ people.
J Lee Collins/Facebook
Both Nicholas and Jordan attended the Mormon college Brigham Young University (BYU). They or their church decided to make their story public because people questioned the school's strict rules against same-sex relationships and practice of outing and excommunicating LGBTQ+ people.
Nicholas said he believes in the Bringham Young Universities tenets, specifically the rule of sex being between a lawfully married man and woman, even if it could be "improved upon."
On the subject of chastity, he said:
"I wouldn't have it any other way."
Former BYU president Jeffrey R. Holland gave a speech last week that prompted a lot of questions around the same-sex relationships rule.
"We have to be careful that love and empathy do not get interpreted as condoning and advocacy, or that orthodoxy and loyalty to principle not be interpreted as unkindness or disloyalty to people."
"Christ never once withheld His love from anyone, but He also never once said to anyone, 'Because I love you, you are exempt from keeping my commandments.'"
To this end, Jordan and Nicholas both believe in the commandments of their church.