Blog

To the Women I’ve Hurt

An open letter to the women I’ve hurt because of the wrong religious ideas I adopted as a male in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I’m sorry for not realizing how hard it can be for women in the Church. I’m sorry for supporting the system of your repression. I’m sorry for believing everything the Church did to you was right. I’m sorry I didn’t think for myself. I’m sorry for feeling superior over every LDS woman because I hold the Priesthood. I’m sorry I didn’t always hear you. I consider myself a good person. At least, 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

Church Trauma Is More Common than You Might Realize

Last month the Mormon Trauma Mama team hosted an invitation-only summit called When Church Hurts to talk about the problems we are seeing with church trauma and how we can promote awareness, healing, and change.  We are still working on solutions to this problem—and will be for many years to come!  But at the summit, I introduced a man who had a similar dilemma.  Maybe you have heard about him.  His name is Ignaz Semmelweis. Semmelweis was a fascinating man.  He was a European doctor, an obstetrician, in the mid-1800s.  He worked at Vienna’s General Hospital, an important research hospital, Read More

Saints in Training

Throughout history there have been countless ideas postulated. Most never took off, but some grew into cultures, traditions, legends and religions. Some of these ideas have yielded good fruit, like the invention of the light bulb and toilet paper. Other ideas have been tragically destructive, costing the lives of millions. Sometimes seemingly good ideas can go terribly wrong and vice versa. Suffice it to say, everything we experience in our lives depends on ideas. The chair you are sitting on began as an idea in someone’s head. The car you drive began as an idea, as did the clothes you Read More

Survivors Speak: Psychological Trauma Can Be a Great Destroyer of Dreams

Hello! I created this video for an event called Survivors Speak: A Story Telling Event, which will be taking place in Salt Lake City shortly.  It is an opportunity that will provide many survivors of abuse to come out of the shadows of hiding and speak up.  Sadly, I am unable to attend, but all the same, I want to show my support to my friends there by addressing the very real issue of psychological trauma. Psychological trauma is a very real issue that needs attention. I will give you a formal definition of psychological trauma but before I do so, I would like Read More

Broken Heart and Empty Womb

  In Genesis 1:28, we read, “God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”  Like many religious traditions that use the Bible in their worship, this scripture is interpreted by LDS faithful to mean that they should place a high importance on having a large family. In 2015, the Deseret News reported on a Pew Research Study that indicated that Mormons have the largest family size (3.4 children) of the American religious groups that were studied. The next closest religious groups were black Protestant (2.5 children) and then Catholics and evangelicals (2.3 children). As a lifetime Read More

Survivors Are Trail Blazers

I wonder how real I dare be with people. I wonder who will be the next friend to drop off my list. I struggle with knowing how to hold and live my truth while still honoring another’s sacred. These sentiments are not uncommon for church trauma sufferers because there are a variety of unique struggles in dealing with church trauma that are not found in normal post-traumatic circumstances.  One of the more prevalent is the powerful unspoken rule in church systems requiring or expecting members to only speak positively of their leaders and church.  K.D. Bilsky describes it as the Read More

The Struggle to be Seen

Hi. I’m your neighbor. Your friend. Your grandma, your uncle. I’m everyone you’ve ever known who has found it difficult to attend church, to believe, to measure up. I’m the one who doesn’t fit in, who feels different and alone. I’m the one who left, the empty chair, the apostate who wishes that label didn’t exist. Because in truth, I am always me. I laugh. I cry. I have adventures. I don’t believe exactly how or what you believe, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have value and values. It doesn’t mean I don’t want love. I’m the one who Read More

The Church-Trauma Tree

Let me introduce myself. Maybe you know me. I’m Danna Hartline.   I am the founder and creator of the Mormon Trauma Mama—this website right here—which focuses on church trauma and healing. If you are a follower, I hope you’ve found it helpful.  I have an incredibly talented team that works with me—maybe you’ve noticed! My team and I also run a Facebook group called LDS Church Trauma and Healing.  As a team, we are also organizing an invitation-only summit this fall called When Church Hurts.  We are bringing together some of the top minds in this movement to collaborate and support Read More

Boundless Love

Recently a family member went to the temple for an important life event and I was unable to attend due to some personal struggles. Of course, I’d heard of people experiencing this “being left out” associated with Mormon temple ceremonies such as endowment and marriage, but I never thought I’d be the one sitting in the waiting room. It hurt even more when I was blamed for it. “This was one of the most important days of my life, and you weren’t even there with me.” “I would have been, dear, if you’d been a little more patient.” I regret Read More