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”
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”
READER POST: I grew up with a story in my culture about faith and faithfulness and about what it meant to follow God. More specifically, I grew up with a story about people who left my faith community. Continue reading “More than One Story”
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?”
READER POST: When I was 19, I made the conscious decision to be baptized against my parents’ wishes. In response, they refused to accept the invitation. I remember looking at how beautiful the sky was that day. I had never see such a bluer sky with a more perfect ratio of clouds.
Continue reading “The Lonely Road”
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”
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”