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John Dehlin, MormonStories.org and Faith Reconstruction

I've been a friend and supporter of John Dehlin for many years, and have the greatest respect for his personal integrity and work. I've watched John travel through a long path of challenging experiences, and grow intellectually, professionally and as a very kind and compassionate man into one that is even more so. I've watched him build an amazing body of work and help hundreds of people and build strong communities of people sharing the same challenges and beliefs, and also watch him struggle personally through his own journey in losing his faith in the Mormon Church and watch his efforts to try to rebuild that faith again. I hope that John keeps his interviews and large body of work on Mormonstories.org and finds great joy as he plans to return to full activity in the Mormon Church at this time.

I've just listened to John's “Faith Reconstruction” 3 part interview Listen Here . I can't recommend it more highly for anyone whether you are in the church or out. John is so sincere, and forthright telling his deeply personal experience in leaving and coming back into the Church and many of his reasoning and challenges in doing so, you feel as if you are walking with him on certain points of the trail of his journey. Of all the many "Mormon Stories" there, John's own story is one of the very most interesting!

To honor John's work we would like to share with you his study that he mentions in part one of his Faith Reconstruction interview here:

Survey Results: Understanding Mormon Disbelief: Why do some Mormons lose their testimony and what happens to them when they do.

Posted by Cheryl Lee Nunn

Supporting LGBT Family & Friends

Sally Field received the 2012 Human Rights Campaign Ally For Equality Award, and delivered a very touching and emotional speech about her gay son Sam below. 


This is no performance, and Sally is not reading a script. This is her real life and her true feelings and thoughts. She had not addressed her son’s sexuality before in public stating that she felt it was his business and not hers to do so.  Through this speech Sally provides an example and understanding in supporting members of the LGBT community that we wish every parent and friend had.

Sam said of his mom “Being gay was just one more thing she loved about me.”

We hope that these words will long be remembered and shared and that our society will grow to understand, love and accept all the differences that make up our great, diverse and wonderful world.

 ”There are so many children who struggle to understand and embrace their sexuality in families who do not welcome them, with parents that somehow find it acceptable to shut them out their hearts and their homes, and that I find unacceptable.”—Sally Field
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Facing East, The Movie

"I'll tell you why your son died. He believed in your church more than he believed in himself!"

Utah has the country's highest suicide rate for males between the ages of 14 and 25. That grim statistic is given a name and a troubled family in Carol Lynn Pearson's impassioned play "Facing East."

We are all so close to this issue. We’ve all been tormented as we’ve watched good people struggle and families torn apart. We’ve all seen how religious families with gay children (or husbands, wives, fathers, or mothers) struggle along a trail that has few reliable markers. The unique thing about the story of Facing East, is that it provides those markers, without condemning or degrading. Though about religious people, it is not a religious film, and has found support from both the LDS as well as LGBT community. Facing East has the potential to be a bridge between two very different communities. Continue reading “Facing East, The Movie” »

LDSApology Broadening its Focus

Originally founded in 2009 to support the LGBT community, is broadening its focus to include other forms of abuse that exist within the Mormon Church – primarily sexual abuse. Sexual abuse in the LDS Church is more often than not covered up, with primary concern being about protecting the perpetrators and the Church's image, resulting in the continued abuse of the victims and their families.

For years, members of our committee have watched the drama surrounding the cover ups of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and wondered when the Mormon Church would be held accountable for similar practices. When news hit of the covered up molestations in Penn State's College Football Program, and President Obama issued the following statement, we decided that the time was now.

“Well, obviously the whole situation is heartbreaking. We think first and foremost of the victims of the alleged crimes. But I think it is a good time for us to do some soul-searching – every institution, not just Penn State – about what our priorities are and making sure we understand that our first priority is protecting our kids.  We all have a responsibility. We can't leave it to a system. We can't leave it to somebody else.”   (President Obama)

Our support committee and community of survivors at http://www.ldsapolgy.org have taken seriously President Obama’s call to action and have made the decision to no longer “stand quietly on the sidelines.” Instead we have expanded our mission this week to now include the offering of support to, and the documentation of the stories and experiences of, LDS church members, and others, who have experienced abuse – not only sexual, but abuse in all its forms, from members and leaders of the Mormon Church.

On November 12, 2012 actress, writer, producer Emily Pearson, accepted the position of Communications director and spokesperson for ldsapology.org. As a former Mormon, an advocate for support and healing from abuse – in all its forms, and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse in the LDS community herself, we feel Emily will have a huge impact as our official spokesperson in reaching out to those we most wish to help.

In regards to her decision to join LDSApology.org, Pearson, whose own story of abuse and survival is written about in her new book Dancing with Crazy stated, "Every time a child is abused, it is a devastating tragedy. And every time that abuse is ignored or covered up, it is an inexcusable crime – one that, as a society, we must start holding one another accountable for."

For many years members of our committee have been deeply affected by stories in the media about child abuse being covered up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We agree with Bill Mahar who said on Good Morning America, regarding the recent events at Penn State, that any male dominant organization "…where there are no women; Football, the Church, the Middle East, Fraternities; it always goes bad. Women provide a moderating influence. ”

In the Mormon Church, all active and "worthy" men and boys over the age of 12 are ordained to the "Priesthood" which is the power to administer the spiritual and organizational functions of the church. According to Mormon doctrine, this Priesthood comes directly from God and entitles men to preside over women and children. Many of the women and children in the Mormon community feel they have no voice or power in this solid patriarchal society. When a woman or child experiences abuse, it can be very difficult for them to find someone to confide in and to trust in the all-male Mormon heretical leadership structure.

In this specific all male leadership, women have historically had no voice in making choices, changes or even in affecting policy and decision making. Organizations of this type have a high incidence of abuse and cover ups that often span decades – as we have watched unfold over the last few years in the Catholic Church.   It is the goal of LDS Apology to dedicate ourselves to shedding light, giving support, bringing love and healing, and to providing a safe place for all those that have experienced abuse as well as our continued efforts to serve the LGBT community. LDSApology.org is one of the first organizations to not only officially and actively reach out and serve those that have suffered, or are currently suffering, from mental, emotional, verbal, ecclesiastical, physical and sexual and abuse from Mormon members and leaders; but to call for an end to the perpetration and cover ups of these abuses.

Holiday Emotional First Aid Kit

Holiday Emotional First Aid Kit

It’s that time of year again. Pack up your patio furniture and pool toys and make room for turkeys and [...]

Abuse Defined

Abuse Defined

  For those of us raised in Mormon homes, many of us women maybe even some men believed that unless [...]

LDSApology Broadening its Focus

Originally founded in 2009 to support the LGBT community, is broadening its focus to include other forms of abuse that [...]

Reporting Child Abuse

 ”Every adult in this story failed the child because they didn’t go to police. Rather, they went to their church.”—Marci Hamilton “As [...]