Waves of Grief

A few months ago, I shared a story of a tragic suicide.  Sadly, as preoccupied and short-sighted humans, we often momentarily mourn over the loss of a passing associate but then maybe forget about those who are left behind and the long-lasting effect the death–and the causes of it–has on them.  Below is a follow-up on the dear mother of the deceased: Christine Burton. She offers some important insights of one who has been left to suffer mostly alone:  “It has now been six months since my son Michael’s tragic and untimely death. What has transpired during this time frame, has Read More

Mormonism Is Good; Mormonism Is Bad

I was talking to a friend from South Sudan a few days ago about the Church. She was baptized in 2014 but stopped attending in 2017. She said something interesting to me: “I see why you left the Church and I see the problems you present. They are real and valid. You have outgrown it and you are wise to have moved on. You have healed since you’ve left. But Danna, the Church is also good. It helps people like me in a way most religions don’t. If I need help, they come; they want to come. They want to Read More

The Pendulum Swing of Trauma–And How It Pertains to Religion

I have a very dear friend that I’ve known since college who is in an extremely hard situation. After being married to her husband for over two decades, she finally gained the courage to leave him. Over the course of many years, he locked her in closets, drugged her, convinced her she was masturbating in her sleep and tied her wrists to the bed, beat her, choked her until she passed out, dragged her by the hair out of the shower and across rooms, manipulated all of the people around him—including their children—to believe his every word, etc. He even had his church leaders Read More

My 2019 Mantra

Last year instead of writing New Year resolutions (which I have never been a fan of), I made three statements of “I am” on my birthday: I am worthy; I am enough; I am unashamed. They became my mantra for the year.  I didn’t fully comprehend what I was doing last year by identifying these three truths. Yet consequently, as I internalized them, I experienced more growth and change within a year’s time than I have probably ever had.  The impact they have had on me has been overwhelmingly powerful.  Imagine my surpirse when I came across the words above by Joel Read More

Stuck in Trauma?

Once upon a time there was a five-year-old girl named Stephanie.  One day her mom took her to her Kindergarten registration. Stephanie’s new teacher was sitting just outside a room with a box of crayons and several sheets of blank paper. Stephanie’s mother smiled confidently when Stephanie was asked to choose her favorite color and write her name. The mother, who was sitting across the hall, thought proudly, “She can write all the names in our family!” But to her mother’s surprise, Stephanie just stood there. The teacher repeated the instructions, and again the child stood still, staring blankly at Read More

Church Trauma and Suicide

The alarming influx of suicides in Utah has caught some attention.  Some of these recent deaths have been attributed to Dallin H. Oaks’s hardline toward the LGBTQ community in his last General Conference address, causing many to feel ousted with no purpose or value in the eyes of the Church.  Regardless of the whys, the increase of suicides cries for attention for those of us left behind–especially when the hit comes close to home. As human experience will teach, an intentional death is perhaps the hardest of deaths to accept.  No one would ever fathom calling such an incidence a Read More

It’s All About the Roots

In the spring, my kids call me the tree lady.  This is probably because every spring, I am outside planting trees!  I have joyfully planted over 100 saplings in the last several years. I have a friend who digs them out of her yard and brings them to me.  I get so excited when I begin planting, in hopes of new growth and long life.  But I have learned a few things over the years so I am a bit picky in my placement of them—the healthier the roots, the better the spot they land on my property.  So to try Read More

Church Trauma Is BAD–But It’s Not ALL BAD!

I was sitting in Relief Society (a women’s meeting in the Mormon Church) almost a year ago listening to a discussion on fellowship.  It was all very encouraging and good.  And yet, I could not fully buy into what I was hearing as they spoke of their overwhelming success.  I wanted to—and I did to a point because I am aware of good that is happening in the Church.  But in the same breath, I knew it was a little off to think that all is well in Zion and that everyone was as happy and thriving as well as seemed Read More

Mormons (and Post-Mormons) Have a Bullying Problem

Hold tight.  This is raw and this is real. I am going to call it like I see it: Mormons have a bullying problem.  Maybe it is just a war among us and not outside of us but having been on both sides of Mormonism, I am appalled and deeply saddened by what I see. Here’s how it goes: If you are a member, you are bullied by other members if you don’t fit the mold. If you don’t act right, dress right, believe right, look right, think right, worship right, talk right, parent right, gender right, associate right, say Read More

Is the LDS Church Increasing Its Appeal for Sexual Predators?

I have to say it: I really wonder about the direction the Mormon Church is moving.  It just feels the Church is regressing.   Two red flags have been raised recently: One is the disheartening excommunication of Sam Young in his effort to change policy about one-on-one interviews and the sexually explicit questioning of our youth.   That alone is enough but I see another connection to Sam Young’s movement to protect LDS Children, which brings me to concern number two: the Church’s withdrawal in the Scouting program (which had interesting timing—two weeks after the BSA announced they would no longer discriminate against women, the Read More