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

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

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

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

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

If I Were a Bishop

Recently I was contacted by a former stake and mission president, David Ostler.  This wonderful man is dedicated to helping leaders learn how to help members through faith crisis.  He has an impressive website dedicated to just this cause called Stake and Ward Resources.  It is definitely worth checking out. Dave emailed me because he knew of my work and interest in helping trauma victims.  He wanted to ask some urgent questions he had in regards to leadership.  He asked, “If you were a Bishop what would you do differently in your ward? What would you do differently in sacrament meeting, Sunday Read More

Oh No! I’m Having a Major Crisis!

Have you ever had a big dilemma?  I mean a big dilemma—a major-crisis type of dilemma that seems completely impossible and unsolvable?  A concern so big that you are sure it just might sink you?  I have.  I have had moments of extreme uncertainty, moments when the unknowns far outweigh any reasonable outcome.  In fact, wouldn’t it be funny to know that is the very reason I’m even composing an article on dilemmas?  Now, don’t lose faith in me while I admit that because I see this moment with beauty, actually.  I see hope in this dilemma even as I’m freaking Read More

Speaking Up for Those Who Suffer in Silence: Calling Out the Culture that is Destroying a Beautiful Religion

Chapter One:  We Have A Christ Problem – A Lack Thereof I am a Mormon. I was born into this beautiful religion.  And at no time will I debate my religion with anyone who is simply trying to bash it, disprove it, or make fun of it in any way.  My religion saved my life, literally, so I am very protective of it.  Respect that, please, as I respect your beliefs. However, religion is completely different from culture when it comes to religious communities.  Most religions have a culture that was formed from the rules and guidelines you’re asked to Read More

The Trouble with Trauma

By Gerry Baird When we think of those who have been injured in accidents, we do not generally come to the conclusion that they need lectures, social pressure or ostracization in order to heal. They may be challenged by a skilled physical therapist at the right time and in the right way, but otherwise their prescription is going to include a lot of rest under a doctor’s supervision. When we are dealing with spiritual wounds, however, the love and care we need can sometimes be neglected. Human Motivation Human motivation is a complex topic that has been debated by philosophers, Read More