How Can the LDS Church Become a Hospital to the Traumatized?

By Danna Hartline “It’s not that I’m inactive or don’t believe, I just have a hard time going to a ward that treats my family and I like we don’t belong.” “Before my divorce, I felt like I belonged and felt very content with my church experience. But after divorcing, it was very hard to find my place.” “I always felt shamed and flawed. I felt like others were happy with church but I couldn’t be me there.  I tried so hard to be perfect to achieve the same experiences of others.”  These comments are not unusual for people suffering from Read More

Followers are Leaders!

By Dr. John Krupa For too many of us, the word follower means take directions from those with formal authority and obey. We assume they are knowledgeable, moral, and have the power to reward or punish. This is a great recipe for instilling fear and codependency. Followers in religious and other organizations have some ideas regarding what constitutes ‘good leaders’ and ‘bad leaders’. Academic and commercial research is abundant in regards to leadership behaviors, styles, accomplishments, decision processes, organizational goals, and factors that influence decisions. One of the newer streams of research in organizational studies is ‘followership’. Let’s look at Read More

Are Happiness and Dissonance in Opposition?

Recently, I saw a meme on Facebook that said in essence, “The longer I live, the more I want to stay away from drama, conflict, or stress and just live a happy life, surrounded by friends, eating good food in my cozy house.” Doesn’t that sound appealing and even right?  It received lots of likes and affirmative comments. But I couldn’t help but ask myself, “What about those who do not feel that kind of life is available to them? What about those who feel thrown into a life that is filled with conflict and drama, a life they didn’t Read More

The Deep and Unspoken Church Ache

I often sit in church meetings that teach about church growth and fellowship.  In general, they are uplifting, pat-yourself-on-the-back lessons—very encouraging and good.  But for some reason I cannot ever fully buy into what I am hearing.  I want to—and I do to a point because I do see so much good that is happening in the Church. But in the same breath, it seems a little off to think that all is well in Zion and that everyone is as happy and thriving as well as seems to be claimed.  I know there are success stories of conversion going on and I am so grateful that Read More

Am I on the Right Path?

Don’t we all ask that question at least once in our lives?  (Hopefully it’s a fairly regular self-reflection.) We want to know where we stand with the Lord.  We want an honest inventory. Today was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.  Perhaps consequently, perhaps not, I recalled a story of him during a quiet moment today.  It was during a moment when I was struggling with wondering where I stood with the Lord.  I had received some intense pushback in this vision I have.  I was hurting pretty badly because, due to the experiences I have faced, rejection is something that is particularly triggering and can be hard for me Read More

Labels Hurt

I once taught an amazing girl in fifth grade named Brittany Finch.  Sadly, she had received a bad reputation. Her last two teachers made a point to warn me about her; her school counselor warned me as well.  I was told that she was uncontrollable, had a history of suspensions, had no respect for authority, and would make this year of teaching pure hell.  I was astonished by what the teachers told me.  I’m kind of a stubborn person so maybe that’s why I wouldn’t buy into what I heard.   But as I listened to their reports, I couldn’t help Read More