A Lovely Road

READER POST: For seven years next September, this American has lived in a tiny European village.

Where I live now is home to 550 inhabitants and is named after the brook it nestles. This village is quiet, surrounded by fields of corn, hay, and the bright yellow flowers used to produce canola oil. The noisiest sounds are the traffic on the main road.

We live in an old farmhouse on the left, just after you cross the bridge into the village, coming from the nearest city. Our house is directly under the flight path of storks passing from the river to their high treetop nests.

Although our village is small, it does not feel isolated. Very typical of many European countries, it’s one in a network, one village accessible to the next by a short walk. So although the closest thing we have to a grocery is the corner bar-restaurant, which is mostly a bar, it’s still only a two or three minute drive to arrive there. 

With a large family that requires plenty of shopping, I visit my favorite grocery store several times a week, sometimes several times in one day. I can reach it by travelling either way on the main road. Continue reading “A Lovely Road”

What Comes Between My Husband and Me

READER POST: I sat in the Bride’s Room, listening to the temple matron, feeling very aware of my first pair of silky garments  beneath my temple gown. The bottoms felt baggy, but the top fit well, except for a seam that cut right across my breasts.  It felt a strange, having a bra on over the garment top, especially with that misplaced seam. I focused harder, trying to feel the spirit of what was happening. The temple matron quickly taught how to launder garments and told us when and when not to wear them. “Of course,” she said, “you’ll remove them for intercourse, but replace them right afterwards and always wear them overnight.” 

I did a double take. What did she just say? Continue reading “What Comes Between My Husband and Me”

How Local Leaders Responded to Marital Abuse: An Interview with Pilar, Part II

In Part II of this interview, SQ’s Pilar explains how local church leaders addressed the sexual and physical abuse within her marriage. Read Part I, which focuses on how historic polygamy affected the domestic violence.

SQ: Pilar, before we get any deeper, please tell us your present standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

PILAR: I’m an active member, attend my meetings, and hold a calling.  My first sealing was cancelled and I’m now sealed to my present husband. I decided to talk about these things because I love the Church and want it to do better.

SQ: Out of curiosity, how did you feel about the response to the first part of this interview?

PILAR: I appreciated the support. But some people expressed more concern over the mental state of my ex than they did for me, the abuse victim. That was disappointing. Demoralizing. Continue reading “How Local Leaders Responded to Marital Abuse: An Interview with Pilar, Part II”

You Are as He Meant You to Be

READER POST: I stand at the bathroom counter brushing my teeth. Three of my four children are in bed and the oldest, a 15-year-old girl, is on her way home. Our house is locked, the windows drawn. I feel at peace, knowing that this day, I have successfully checked off all the religious to-dos; prayers have been said, scriptures read. My temple recommend is valid, my faith strong. While we are not perfect as a family, I feel God is cognizant of our efforts and pleased with our work.

I hear the front door unlock, footsteps on the stairs, and the bathroom door opens. My eldest daughter, the one we prayed to have, the one we were blessed with after a miscarriage and years of trying, stands, not looking at me, defiant and, I see now, scared.

“I’m bisexual and I don’t want to talk about it.”

Continue reading “You Are as He Meant You to Be”

Presiding Parents

MARTHA: As LDS parents, we are entrusted with maintaining the integrity and purity of our children. Jesus told us, “And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.”

We know that God dwells with our children, and it is our mantle, as parents, to ensure that the sacred and intimate event of worthiness interviews is only performed by people who are prepared and worthy to be in the presence of our children’s most sacred thoughts and feelings. Since we know our duty to protect, nourish, and defend, it is the task of presiding parents to conduct worthiness interviews with priesthood leaders who wish to enter the holy space of our children’s confidence. Continue reading “Presiding Parents”

The Wounded Women of Polygamy Culture

DEBORAH: Sisters Quorum has been publicly quiet in the wake of the Joseph L. Bishop scandal, but behind the scenes, our writers have been in an emotional and spiritual tumult. If you’ve followed the blog, you’re aware that some SQ writers have deep, prolonged history with sexual and spiritual abuse. The reality is, as it turns out, many of our writers have been victimized sexually and abandoned, or not believed, by church authorities and often by family members. I’ve watched these amazing survivors grapple with the hard reality that the formal Church, through its authorities, looked the other way, expressing a level of forgiveness or compassion for a sexual predator that resulted in enabling his continued abuse. The level at which this is striking the souls of abuse survivors is deep and primal. The pain it renews, the rage and confusion it reignites, aren’t going away. Continue reading “The Wounded Women of Polygamy Culture”

Lamb

READER POST: 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

Two thousand years ago, our Savior made his victorious entry into Jerusalem. His people looked to him as a living prophet and Son of God, the messiah who would save them in victory and power. I try to imagine shouting “Hosanna!” and laying palm fronds before Him. What would it have been like to be so near my Savior, to give Him marks of His kingship?

But Christ’s kingdom was not of this world; it would not be founded in the powerful structures of men. His lack of military or financial power disappointed many followers. His social and spiritual might was taken as a threat to the powerful institutions of his day, especially the high priests and scribes, who laid plans for his painful and humiliating death. Continue reading “Lamb”

Moving Forward

READER POST: This week, video was released of a woman confronting an LDS man, Joseph Bishop, whom she alleges sexually assaulted her while he was a mission president and she was a missionary at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo. Although both the Church Newsroom and the Bishop family have tried to paint this woman as an unreliable witness due to her church standing, mental health issues, and questionable past, the fact remains that Bishop admits on the tape to molesting another women. He also admits to police in a recent investigation that he asked another female missionary to show him her breasts, which she did. Remember, he was in a position of power over her at the time.

Bishop is the witness, not the woman on the tape, so HER credibility is moot. Continue reading “Moving Forward”

Need

HILDEGARD: We all have days when one. more. demand. could be the straw that breaks us. Being needed is good, even necessary to our well-being and community; but being needed can easily cross the line into too much of a good thing.

Demands come from our families, friends, schools, communities, and places of employment; and if you’re LDS, infusing all of these is a constant, compounding need from the church.  Continue reading “Need”