Make no mistake, Dan Reynolds is still a Mormon.
The lead singer for the mega-hit band Imagine Dragons is on a mission to help LGBTQ youth, especially within the Church. However, his bold and raw message has not always endeared him to his faith community. Now, Reynolds is preparing to speak out in a new documentary released tonight on HBO.
According to the official website, Believer “documents a year of Reynolds’ life during the process of organizing the first-ever LoveLoud Festival concert in Orem, Utah, to benefit such gay rights organizations as GLAAD and the Trevor Project, among others. While Believer takes a broader look at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ treatment of LGBTQ members, it also focuses on the suicide rate in the community, which has skyrocketed in the last decade.”
As part of the media launch, Reynolds also wrote a piece for Rolling Stone where he discusses his feelings about needing to create a community of faith where LGBTQ people can feel safe.
“We as Mormons, or people of faith, cannot stand by for one more day and support these harmful teachings that are literally killing our youth. That is not Godly. That is not love,” he wrote. Based on his comments, the teachings Reynolds refers to include the idea that if you are gay you are flawed and the intense stigmatization and ostracization LGBTQ members have faced in their wards and branches.
Though Reynolds has stated in interviews he has not come to a place to renounce his Mormon faith, the documentary and press releases highlight his personal struggle with some church policies and doctrines.
Make no mistake about the doctrine. The Church states clearly on the website: “Central to God’s plan, the doctrine of marriage between a man and woman is an integral teaching of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and will not change.”