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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

Victim Takes Down Legend, Becomes Hero to Many

Victim Takes Down Legend, Becomes Hero

 

The story of a boy, being raised by a single mother barely above poverty, befriended by a Penn State Football legend and then destroyed by him. I learned about his story in a 20/20 episode aired 10/10/2012 by ABC News. While I was deeply affected by the horror this young man endured, and repulsed by the actions not only of this powerful man who inserted himself into this boys life, but also by the non actions of the people that surrounded him who were supposed to protect him and did not. This is a story all should know about and keep utmost in mind especially those entrusted with the care of children. There were signs, red flags that parents, school teachers and administrators should of seen and should of acted upon, but did not. In the end by not protecting the boy when all kinds of suspicious behavior occurred to warn them, they aided the molester in perpetrating his unspeakable acts upon the boy.

Victim 1, he was called at the trial, and at fourteen years of age, spoke up against Jerry Sandusky in the Penn State scandal, and now for the first time tells his story.Aaron Fisher was a eager and spirited eleven-year-old when legendary Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky recruited him into his Second Mile children's charity. Offering support at a critical time in Aaron's life, Sandusky gave him gifts and attention, winning the boy's trust even as he isolated him from his family and peers. Before long, Sandusky's attention escalated into sexual assault. When Aaron summoned the courage to speak up, he found himself ostracized and harassed by the very people who were supposed to protect him. The investigation set off by his coming forward would drag on for three years—and would launch the biggest scandal in the history of sports.In Silent No More, Aaron Fisher recounts his harrowing quest to bring Sandusky's crimes to light—from the intense feelings of guilt that kept him from speaking up earlier and the fear he felt at accusing a man who was a pillar of the community and a hero to the largest alumni network in the world, to the infuriating delays in the arrest and conviction of his abuser. He catalogs the devastating personal toll the case took on him: the shattered relationships, panic attacks, and betrayal of trust that continued to haunt him even after the charges went public in the fall of 2011. But he also speaks of his mother's desperate efforts to get him out of harm's way, the invaluable help of psychologist Michael Gillum, and the vindication he felt at inspiring numerous other victims to step forward . . . and at knowing that, thanks to him, there would be no future victims of Jerry Sandusky.In the end, Aaron Fisher won his fight to expose the truth, achieving some measure of closure. Told in the honest and unforgettable voices of Aaron; his mother, Dawn; and his psychologist, Mike, this inspiring book completes Aaron's transformation from a nameless casualty into a resounding voice for change.

Abuse Defined

 

For those of us raised in Mormon homes, many of us women maybe even some men believed that unless there was severe physical abuse or infidelity, we were in the wrong to ever seek a separation or divorce. Temple marriage vows are made for “Time & Eternity” and “temple divorces” were given only in rare occasions by General Authorities of the Church when these extreme circumstances were proved, while a “temporal or legal divorce” is common and easy to obtain”. Many of us that have long been divorced 20 30 years or more are still married or “sealed” in the eyes and records of the Church. We have also been led to believe we have failed if we have divorced.

This wheel clearly indicates that there are all types of destructive abuse far beyond what was taught us growing up in the Church, and that if you or anyone you know is experiencing them, then there is great cause for concern, therapy, and change.

If conditions cannot be improved, and lasting changes made, then often many relationships should be ended rather than endured.

It takes great courage for anyone to face the loss of an important relationship, sometimes even more courage than tolerating bad treatment. Only a woman or man can know for themselves if the degree that they experience is beyond correction and does not contribute to a satisfying relationship and healthy home life. We hope that those struggling with such abuse will not feel trapped or obligated by religious beliefs or advice of leaders to stay in any unhealthy relationship that involves the types of abuses mentioned in this diagram.

Holiday Emotional First Aid Kit

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Abuse Defined

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