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

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

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

Freedom to Worship

In many of the LDS Church classes I’ve attended, the size of Church membership has been compared to the population of the planet. This comparison is often used in conjunction with the term “salt of the earth” to convey the idea that members need to be as pure as possible in order to accomplish the great work of spreading the gospel. Terms such as “Babylon”, “the world”, and “Gentiles” are used to describe those who are not LDS. In Mormon temples, work is done for the dead. This too is seen as part of the saving work of the Church. Read More

Casting Stones

All growing up, I dreamed of serving an LDS mission. I don’t know why I wanted it so much. Perhaps because it was expected of me. Maybe it was the idea of going on an adventure in a foreign country, learning a foreign language or getting away from Mom and Dad for a couple years that was most appealing. I had a testimony and wanted to share it, but when the time came there was a tough choice to make between a prophet’s commandment and a pretty girl. I chose the girl. This choice branded me in LDS culture. I Read More

Sex, Lies and LDS Youth

Some LDS parents miss the mark when it comes to talking about sexual topics because in their great desire to experience the ideal of a child waiting until marriage for sexual activity, they may fail to recognize the influences of a sex-crazed culture on young people. Parental hypersensitivity to sexual sin may prevent teens from talking to them about important issues that could affect their emotional, spiritual and physical development. Sexuality is a taboo topic in many homes. This is not unique to LDS families, but religious teachings about moral purity add another dimension to an already difficult cultural challenge. Read More

Created Equal

By Gerry Baird On May 17, 2018, a new web site appeared that was shared prolifically. It was designed to look just like the LDS Church’s newsroom web site (even a media source was fooled) and contained an apology from the First Presidency for the racist practices that prevented black men from receiving the priesthood and all blacks from receiving living temple ordinances until 1978. To his credit, the author of the  web site containing the false apology from the Church has since issued his own apology for the trauma it caused. The timing of the false press release was coordinated with 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

Lost Sheep

By Gerry Baird Christ’s parable about leaving the ninety and nine to search for the lost sheep is a beautiful story of love, and a model for the missionary work done by LDS Church members. Absent from this story, however, is the reaction of the other sheep when one of their members chooses to wander. Agency When the prodigal son decided he wanted to collect his inheritance and strike out on his own, his father allowed him to make that choice. This is because all have their agency. The sheep are not kept in the fold by force. Unfortunately, when Read More