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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

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 tinsel, cranberries and candy canes. For many of us this is a joyous time of year where we gather with loved ones around tables, trees, pianos and fireplaces to feast, unwrap, sing and celebrate. For others of us, gathering with loved ones is highly stressful and emotionally and mentally draining. For those in the second category, I thought I'd put together a little holiday gift – an Emotional First Aid Kit to help better navigate the season that sends far too many of us flying over the cuckoo's nest.

Continue reading “Holiday Emotional First Aid Kit” »

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.

Support

 

What is Abuse?

“The open and explicit abuse of another person. Threatening, coercing, beating, lying, berating, demeaning, chastising, insulting, humiliating, exploiting, ignoring (“silent treatment”), devaluing, unceremoniously discarding, verbal abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse are all forms of overt abuse.”

Many of us that were raised in the Church believe that only spousal physical abuse or sexual infidelity are just causes for a separation or divorce.  This is not correct, if you are experiencing any of the above difficulties you are being abused and should seek help without reservation or delay.

If you are witnessing a child, teen, parent, friend or any other individual experiencing any difficulties mentioned in the abuse definition, then please encourage them to get help. If it is a minor, call the police or your county family services agency. Don’t ever assume someone else will get them the help they may desperately need, or that the local Bishop or Church leaders are managing it. Most likely if you have noticed it, no one else has had the courage to take the required action and it is your responsibility to be the one person that cares enough to request help.

It’s important that if you or loved one are experiencing serious issues related to any abuse, non-acceptance of sexual orientation, depression or confusion that you have appropriate resources to help you. If you have any recommendations please send them to me at ldsapology @ gmail.com

We are in the process of building a trusted network of professionals to add additional resources to you. We plan on updating this page regularly as we learn of therapists and others that have been helpful to our readers and community at LDSApology.org

RESOURCES

 

Child Abuse

National Hotline Crisis Counselors Available 24/7 The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) See their great website at http://www.childhelp.org

Family Acceptance Project LDS Brochure   The Family Acceptance Project™ is the only community research, intervention, education and policy initiative that works to decrease major health and related risks for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, such as suicide, substance abuse, HIV and homelessness – in the context of their families. We use a research-based, culturally grounded approach to help ethnically, socially and religiously diverse families decrease rejection and increase support for their LGBT children.

 

Adult Relationship or Spousal Abuse

The National Abuse Hotline Number is: 1-800-799-7233.

Here is one great website for domestic violence no matter where you live in the United States: The National Domestic Violence Hotline website. It has great resources and suggestions. There is a help in your area section, as well as asafety planning section.

Article MORMON WOMEN, PROZAC® and THERAPY

 

Crisis in faith and need resources and a support communities

 

Communities welcome Mormons from across the orthodoxy spectrum, but they are especially meaningful to those who have undergone or are undergoing a crisis or transition in their faith. Many members of Mormon Stories regional communities have experienced significant pain and distress after discovering information about LDS Church history on the internet, and many suffer feelings of isolation because they believe that speaking candidly about what they have discovered or experienced might lead to church discipline, expulsion from their ward communities, or exclusion from their families. The Mormon Stories regional communities, then, seek to alleviate pain, distress and isolation by providing safe, real-world spaces where Mormons can support and strengthen one another in communities of mutual respect, acceptance, and love as they continue to reflect on the Mormon tradition and its value in their lives. http://mormonstories.org/regional-support-community/or  http://mormonstories.org/local-communities/

 

For those that identify with the LGBT community or what the Church calls “same sex attraction”

We recommend an organization called Affirmation, here is a statement of their beliefs:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals from every background and situation, united in the shared experience of a spiritual and/or cultural heritage in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/Mormon).

  • We affirm that sexual orientation, identity, and expression are special gifts from God and that we are all children of loving Heavenly Parents
  • We believe that our lives and relationships can be compatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation, and that LGBT individuals are a special part of God’s Creation
  • We reject the concept that orientation and identity can be changed and believe that same sex relationships are entitled to the same recognition and blessings as heterosexual relationships

We are a family that consists of active members of the LDS faith, former members and non-members.

Our membership consists of individuals at different places in the coming-out process, as well as families, friends and allies. Our mission is to provide a safe space where LGBT individuals, as well as those questioning their orientation, can associate with like individuals, ask questions, and know that they are not alone. We help LGBTQ people reconcile with their spirituality within the context of a common Mormon background.

 

 

 

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 [...]