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

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

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