Jeff Otero

Jeff Otero was born in 1982 in Holland. Raised Baptist by his parents, he later settled down in Northern California where, as he puts it, he was "led to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" and was baptized in the fall of 2006. He currently resides in Lancaster, California where he is a care-giver, writer, and budding apiculturist. Having experienced SSA from an early age, Jeff has found comfort and solace in the Church, its teachings, and the friends he had made since his baptism.

Scott Webb
20 Jun, 2013

You are amazing Jeff!

Brett Wood
20 Jun, 2013

Jeff, Knowing you personally leaves me in a unique situation, because I know how kind and wonderful you really are. It makes me sad to think that you struggle so much, and so many of your years were spent unhappy. The peace that you have found is a comfort to me. We all struggle with things, and we all have the one demon that just seems to never be far behind us. Knowing how far you have come gives me hope in my life to overcome hardships. I know that if you can learn to move past and prosper as you do that we all can. My trials pale in comparison, and I am truly blessed to know you. I wish you all the best and sincerely hope that you may forever carry a spirit of peace with you. You are always learning and growing, but believe me when I say you already are a splendid human being that is very Christ like.

20 Jun, 2013

i am so proud of you Jeff. Dave and i are happy that you are happy. I know that the road is long and bumpy and that you and I both have had many of the same experiences throughout life. I am always here for you. ALWAYS and FOREVER. you make me happy, when skies are grey!

Daniel Frisby
20 Jun, 2013

Jeff, you're the man. It was a great blessing getting to know you in Fremont back in 2008. That was right when I returned from my mission in Thailand. Thank you for your testimony, and you're beginning to "lose yourself in the Gospel." THANK YOU for reminding me what that means. When you said that you've begun to think of other things besides SSA, that phrase of "losing oneself" popped into my head. You're doing it! You are a great man, and I know you will help countless others to find peace and happiness. Again, thank you.

Jeanette Jueschke
21 Jun, 2013

Jeffy, I love you. I'm proud of you for all you've had to overcome. You're really an example :)

Bill Seger
22 Jun, 2013

Jeff, what a courageous young man. I loved your story and especially you testimony of "The Vision" I, too, had the exact same feeling, I knew without question that the vision was true. It was like I was there, I could feel it, I could see it. Thanks for you willingness to share. May the Lord bless you abundantly throughout the remainder of your life.

Levi Son
23 Jun, 2013

Jeff, God bless you as you turn forever away from the dark feelings of the past. I very much relate to feelings of self loathing. Your focus on hope, learning to see the good in ourselves and to see ourselves as Heavenly Father does is the best strategy to do battle with the very real enemies of darkness and despair. By sharing your experiences, you have contributed a wonderful instrument of compassion and solace that will surely benefit others, as it also has me. Thank you.

John Hill
23 Jun, 2013

Jeff is a very good friend. I first met Jeff when I was called into the YSA Ward Bishopric. He is truly a friend to everyone. Always a kind word to others. A great example to me and everyone he meets. Where ever he goes, he makes it a better place.

The Thompson Family
26 Jun, 2013

Jeff spent only a couple hours in our home and we fell in love with him! He is just so full of love and kindness. Jeff, please know that you are never alone and that there are people everywhere who love and support you. Continue fighting the good fight of faith and visit us again soon! We love you!!

Amy G
27 Jun, 2013

I just want to put my arms around you and hug you! As I listen to these voices of hope, I am so strenghtened by the strenghth of your testimonies. I think, you surely must be some of God's strongest and most valient spirits to have been given such a test and then to stay true to your testimony. I don't deal with SSA, but I relate to the self loathing and suicidal thoughts and struggles to over come. I find myself to be much more understanding and compassionate because you shared your thoughts and feelings. Thank you and God bless you to grow stronger and stronger.

Lissa Holmes
1 Jul, 2013

Jeff! You are a beaming example of the testimony in your heart. The friendship & experiences we've had together you were always sharing that & helping me to strengthen my own testimony. This video is a big step in sharing it with the world, and I always felt that about you. That you have something very important to share with the world in helping build the kingdom of God on the earth. Thank you.

Jimmy Hales
1 Jul, 2013

Hey Jeff!!! I think it's safe to say that you have a unique story to tell. Thanks for sharing it! You're definitely a bit of a pioneer, and I know that your story will help many others who experience SSA join the church as well. Thanks for being so upbeat while also mentioning some of your hardships at the same time. I'm glad you went into that Chinese store. I'm actually in China as I type this, so the fact that you went into a Chinese store is extra cool. I've only met one other person who's a covert and gay, so I was excited to hear your story. I know that we'll see more people join the church in the future who are similar to you, so thanks again for sharing your experience. You deserve to pat yourself on the back, and indulge in a molten chocolate cake next time you go to Chili's :)

2 Jul, 2013

Thanks Jeff, your story is powerful and very uplifting.

3 Jul, 2013

Jeff, I just finished watching the interview with you on and I have been so inspired by hearing it that I wanted to personally thank you. I know that Heavenly Father has worked through you to reach many, many people. Thank you for your courage, honesty, trust in God, and faith in Christ's Atonement. My prayer is that God will hear and answer your prayers, encircle you in His love always, and continue to guide you as a disciple of Christ -- doing His work. One day I hope to meet you if only to give a big hug and thank you. Maybe not until the final days, but until then -- I hope this expression of gratitude will do. Thank you.

10 Jul, 2013

Jeff, your testimony touched me deeply! Thank you for your real and genuine testimony. You beam!

Michael Packham
5 Aug, 2013

Jeff,my tears were gushing when you shared, "I started to realize that deep down I wanted righteous things. . . and I thought to myself, 'This is like Jesus Christ. All the attributes I yearn for, all the things Iím hoping to do. That is like the Savior.'" You'll be an tool in God's hands to work a mighty miracle in building up his kingdom. Stay valiant.

Frank W. Hays
11 Sep, 2013

Jeff: Thanks for your message of Hope. I can say I love you. I have lived in "Quiet Desperation" all my life. Left home at seventeen, Tried to take my life. Spent six years in Marine Corps took an Unauthorized Absence for over 100 plus days, tried to take my life. Found the church again at 21 in Japan after my roommate took his life, went on a mission at 28, returned home and went back out and completed a two year mission. Still battling my SSA at 59. I have had so many angels in my life like North Star, Elder Oaks, Ty whom I never met and brothers like you.

Maria in California
1 Oct, 2013

Thank you, Jeff. You have given me hope.

Brett Starks
26 Oct, 2013

I love you, buddy... Thank you for letting me watch this. We need to talk on Monday!!! You're the best, my friend =)

Julienna Viegas-Haws
16 Nov, 2013

You are amazing. Your story is so touching. Your testimony is so powerful. I wish you the best on your journey to achieve these worthy goals of yours.

David Carlson
29 Mar, 2014

Hi Jeff, I really enjoyed your testimony of conversion and could really relate to so much of what you said. I also was converted to the Church at the age of 19, 37 years ago and struggled in quiet desperation until I figured it out and found hope and help. I now have 6 children, almost 15 grandchildren, and life couldn't be better. I'm so glad you found NorthStar and a community of friends and support. Thank you for your example and for your wonderful spirit, and strength. I look forward to meeting you one day in person and know that you have a lot to offer and that there are great things ahead of you. God Bless!

13 Apr, 2014

Jeff, I was really touched by your conversion story and can really relate to a lot of the self loathing you have experienced. Heavenly Father loves us as we are. Thank you for reminding me.

Mindy Podwys
13 Jun, 2014

Jeff Jeff Jeff. You are an incredible person and I am lucky to know you. Knowing what you go through gives me hope that anyone can overcome their struggles with the help of The Lord. The atonement is real. Thank you for your being a light and example to all who know you from close up and far away.

Brady Coulston
13 Jun, 2014

Jeff, you are the greatest conversion I have ever known and a blessing to everyone you meet. I love you and so does all of the CSJM!

Whitney Davies
13 Jun, 2014

Jeff - I hope you know how much I love you. I am truly touched by your testimony and message of hope. You are such an amazing person. It has been such an honor and a pleasure getting to know you. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Carla Romero
16 Jun, 2014

We may not really know each other but your video is really good and inspiring that no matter what challenges we go through in life our Heavenly Father loves us and he does this to see if we can face them and succeeded or let it take us down and you took the challenge and became a good and better person for yourself.

Will Robbins
2 Jul, 2014

I loved this and your example. You touched on things that I have been asking myself too. I wondered what makes someone self loath and what would help it and you mentioned realizing real personal intent to be like Jesus and other attributes that makes a person good. And the more someone doesn't try to suppress feelings, the more manageable they become, and that's what God does to build faith and strengthen.

Christine Baird
17 Aug, 2014

Thank you for being yourself and sharing your story. It's amazing.

Aimee ibarra
19 Oct, 2014

I have loved all the videos I've watched so far but yours has touched me so deeply. Your honesty and faith are moving. It's a daily struggle. All the best to you!

Muhammad Al Dhshan
11 Sep, 2015

I couldn't help it but to smile the entire length of the video, thank you Jeff for telling me that hope does exist.

Jeremiah Andrews
28 Oct, 2016

Hello Jeff, After listening to over a dozen testimonies here, I come to you. And you, young man, told my story, loud and clear. I will be 50 next summer. And several weeks ago, two Mormon Elders approached me on the Montreal Metro System, one afternoon. I wanted to talk, and I wanted to listen to them. On our last "Discussion" we talked about my Baptism. I so want to be part of the LDS community. I've been HIV+ for more than twenty two years now. And right now, I am on the other side of gay. I had to walk a road, because when I came out, there was no voice of reason or of better choices, so I really had no choice, but to go and do what I did, which ended up, in me getting sick and almost dying several times over. Heavenly Father saved me, and I am not sure why. But when I began to listen to my Elders, I began to think that THIS was why I was still alive, and that Heavenly Father was calling me to my better self. You spoke the words I needed to hear today. Thank You.


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