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”

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”

When Black Eyes and Police Reports Don’t Matter

READER POST: When my friend, *Rachel, visited me and showed me a black eye inflicted by her husband, I was concerned for her safety. She told me about the horrific abuse she had suffered for years and said the psychological abuse was worse than the physical abuse. As a Stake Relief Society President at the time, I had recently attended a regional training session where we were taught that the Church did not condone domestic abuse.  I encouraged Rachel to meet with her bishop and felt confident he would help her.

I was wrong. Continue reading “When Black Eyes and Police Reports Don’t Matter”

Are Not We All Prisoners?

READER POST: A friend came to visit me today. I haven’t seen her in a while, but I do know that she is there. She is one of a very few people in my community who has shown me love, support, and empathy after a series of painful life struggles led to my divorce. She brought the kids and me a little Christmas gift and wrote me a sweet card. She also listened. She listened to my fears. My hopes. My frustrations. My vulnerabilities. My anger. My sadness.

She listened. Continue reading “Are Not We All Prisoners?”

Held Hostage by a Bishop’s Hold

READER POST: I moved into a new  apartment and a new singles ward to save some money before going to grad school. At the time, I was a 25-year-old returned missionary who was financially and emotionally stable. As is customary, when I moved into the ward, I had a meet the bishop interview. I grew up in a pretty chaotic home environment and it makes me pretty guarded. During the interview, I admittedly avoided questions about my family situation. This bishop was very nosy and, when I refused to give him specific information about my history, he had the executive secretary call me up for a second appointment. Continue reading “Held Hostage by a Bishop’s Hold”

Patriarchy Happens

DEBORAH: During Sunday services, I looked around the chapel, noting the brave women who had posted Me Too stories this week and realizing most (probably all) of the other women could tell their own stories if they’d felt inclined to. Then, as a speaker referred to the men in the ward as “the priesthood,” my mind slid back through the ways men at church have used their position to diminish and/or dismiss me, intentionally or not. I felt the urge to tell my stories, though today I will offer only one. Continue reading “Patriarchy Happens”