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

Church Trauma Is BAD–But It’s Not ALL BAD!

I was sitting in Relief Society (a women’s meeting in the Mormon Church) almost a year ago listening to a discussion on fellowship.  It was all very encouraging and good.  And yet, I could not fully buy into what I was hearing as they spoke of their overwhelming success.  I wanted to—and I did to a point because I am aware of good that is happening in the Church.  But in the same breath, I knew it was a little off to think that all is well in Zion and that everyone was as happy and thriving as well as seemed Read More

Church Trauma Is More Common than You Might Realize

Last month the Mormon Trauma Mama team hosted an invitation-only summit called When Church Hurts to talk about the problems we are seeing with church trauma and how we can promote awareness, healing, and change.  We are still working on solutions to this problem—and will be for many years to come!  But at the summit, I introduced a man who had a similar dilemma.  Maybe you have heard about him.  His name is Ignaz Semmelweis. Semmelweis was a fascinating man.  He was a European doctor, an obstetrician, in the mid-1800s.  He worked at Vienna’s General Hospital, an important research hospital, Read More

Wounded in the House of Our Friends

By Tom Irvine   And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.  (Zechariah 13:6)   Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands…  (Isaiah 49:16) * * * There have been several times in my life when I needed to make major changes, such as moving to a new neighborhood, starting a new job, etc. On several occasions, the Lord even forewarned me about upcoming changes in my life using some of the following Biblical principles, 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

Loving God’s Family

By Danna Hartline A pig and a chicken were walking down the street one day when they passed a billboard advertising “America needs a good breakfast.”  The picture showed two over-easy eggs and several beautiful strips of bacon. The chicken said, “Doesn’t that make you proud to see that we contribute daily to better America?” The pig thought for a moment then said, “That’s easy for you to say.  For you it’s just a contribution, but for me it requires my life—a total commitment.” And so it was with the life and ministry of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  His mission Read More

Asperger’s-Related Trauma in the LDS Church

By contributor Tom Irvine Introduction LDS members with Asperger’s, or high functioning autism, may face difficult challenges particularly with respect to neurotypical, authoritarian priesthood leaders. In some cases, these challenges may be deeply traumatic for the Aspie. People with Down syndrome are easy to recognize from their neck and facial characteristics. Their behavior then confirms this. Autistic people are less recognizable by their appearance, but their condition is manifested by their behavior. Almost all church leaders will make allowances for Down syndrome people. Some leaders may misunderstand autistic people, but most make allowances for them, as well. On the other Read More

Mormonism Can Be Good; Mormonism Can Be Bad

Travis and Devin are both active in the LDS Church. They both perform their church duties, pay their tithing, read their scriptures, and pray daily.  However, their motivations for doing so are totally different.  Travis’s reasons for church attendance and personal commitments are due to intrinsic motivations—because of deep devotion to God; while Devin’s purposes are extrinsic motivations—because of the need to appear “good” and for social status. It sounds pretty simple to say that Travis is on a higher plain than Devin and that Travis will fare better than Devin in the long run.  We often hear this. (“I Read More

Successful Navigation Might Require Us to Break the Rules Sometimes

I read a book once about how to drive through life successfully.  It had a lot of great points but I thought it was too simple-minded and rigid.  Sometimes we are presented with situations that require hard, less popular answers and solutions.  I want to address four principles that can help us get past these complex forks in the road so that we can continue successfully and faithfully navigating on the road of life: 1. Sometimes We Have to Go Out of the Lines Often we get the idea that while navigating through life, we must always stay in the lines. On the surface, this seems like a very good idea and 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