Chapter 7: Research Findings on Healing from Trauma

Chapters One through Five included in depth discussions on the research of church trauma and how it is affecting the worth, the faith, the truth, and the ambition of so many within the Mormon Church.  Chapter Six contained an analysis and discussion on how a path of healing might be sought and achieved.  Chapter Seven will include how the research was obtained and organized.  The hypothesis presented in Chapter One will be examined, along with the research findings.  Conclusions will be drawn as to where the Church is now and where it seems to be heading.  Ideas for future research Read More

Chapter 5: Four More Consequences of Church Trauma

Chapter 4 discussed four common effects of Church Trauma: cognitive dissonance, church exodus, dissociation, and abuser loyalty. This chapter addresses four more consequences of Church Trauma: loss of identity, mental disorder, family dysfunction, and shame. Loss of Identity  Trauma messes with concept of self.  After one is traumatized by the Church, victims often have no idea who they are anymore.  The Mormon Church is not just a religion; it’s a lifestyle.  Hence traumatization can cause a complete upheaval to a person’s construction of reality, including the self, other people, life, and the future.  Few can appreciate the sheer terror religious Read More

Chapter 4: Four Consequences of Church Trauma

Consequences of Church Trauma Now that we have discussed many of the causal factors of church trauma (see chapters two and three) within the Mormon Church, it is important to also look at the consequences of traumatic situations found there.  Although the focus will be on consequences of trauma in the Mormon faith, it is important to note that these consequences can be found within most sufferers of church trauma, regardless of the religion. Indeed, because of church trauma, we see many serious side effects, including the following: cognitive dissonance, church exodus, dissociation, abuser loyalty, loss of identity, mental disorders, Read More

Chapter 3: Five More Causes of Trauma in the Mormon Church

Chapter 2 addressed three causal factors of trauma in the Mormon Church: Unsustainable History, Church Doctrine, and Unsafe Policies. This chapter addresses five more: Patriarchal Structure, Organizational Behavior, Cultural Behavior, Unrighteous Dominion, and Discrimination. Like Chapter 2, the discussion is just an overview and is not comprehensive. Further, not all causal factors of trauma are addressed in my thesis, as there are potentially several but I tried to hit on some of the main factors. If you have not yet read Chapter 2 or Chapter 1, it might be beneficial before or after reading this chapter. Pictured below is the Read More

Chapter 2: Three Causal Factors of Trauma in the Mormon Church

Here is Chapter 1 in case you missed it. This chapter (chapter 2) does not entail all that is promised in the Review of Related Literature below because I am breaking the publication up into smaller sections. (Remember my thesis is 112 pages.) But I am keeping it true to how it is found in the original thesis. After the overview and a brief explanation of each root, there will be a discussion of the first three causal factors of church trauma within the Mormon Church: Unsustainable Church History, Church Doctrine, and Unsafe Policies. Next week I will address the Read More

Chapter 1: Understanding and Managing Church Trauma—Finding Help and Healing for Mormons

Following is my master’s thesis on church trauma. I will post it in sections. This article will include all of my thesis’s chapter one but because chapter two is so long and comprehensive, it will be published in smaller parts (the whole thesis is 112 pages). For easier reading and clarity, I will label each section a new chapter. Because it is a thesis, it is quite formal in nature, which I hope will be appreciated. I will plan on posting a new section weekly. May you enjoy and find value in this series. Chapter One Introduction Church trauma is Read More

My 2020 Birthday Mantra

For my birthday, it’s become a tradition to write three statements of “I am…” as a way of noting growth and progress over the year.  I’ve been doing this instead of New Year’s resolutions.  The first year I did this (two years ago), my mantra was “I am worthy; I am good enough; I am unshamed” and by so doing, I noted more growth within a year’s time than ever before in my life.  I was able to step out of a harmful environment which challenged me to seriously look at myself and by so doing, I really started to Read More

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