PILAR: I now live in a very different space from the lonely corner I once occupied. My life isn’t perfect, but there are times when I wince looking back at the domestic abuse I suffered, the hell I went through in counseling with my ecclesiastical leaders, and the constant feeling that I was staggering, limping, or dragging myself to some imaginary finish line. I was determined to find a way to endure to the end because I’d been promised celestial glory for eternity, and I felt that somehow that would make it all worth it in the end. I try not to dwell on this at all, and usually I don’t. But last week’s BYU devotional by President Russel M. Nelson, with its “five truths,” really struck a sour chord. His messages of worthlessness and shame covered in declarations of love and conditional acceptance were eerily reminiscent of the things I heard on a regular basis from my abuser many years ago. I tried to push it away, but the throbbing and familiar ache returned like trapped, frantic birds tapping against a window, longing to be gathered up and flung into freedom that awaits them in the open air. Continue reading “Out of Love: A Response to RMN’s BYU Devotional”
PILAR: Although Juliet opined that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” Anne of Green Gables disagreed and memorably said, “I don’t think a rose would be as nice if it were called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.” I’m not sure which character I agree with more, because they both make valid points.
This week, Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church, announced that the Lord “has impressed upon my mind” that God doesn’t like the use of the word “Mormon” for this, that, and the other thing. No more Mormon or LDS Church. Strictly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, unless you use the so-called shorthand “restored gospel of Jesus Christ.” Continue reading “Mormon No Mo Yo”
PILAR: I’m on a mission to bring truth and light to the masses. So I started a new side gig I’m labeling ShadowLeaks™. And people, I have some really important news leaks for you about the new LDS hymn and song books. The absolute truth (and nothing but the truth) is that I have “acquired” certain secret sacred memos from Church Headquarters describing exactly what’s in and what’s out, plus every scandelicious detail about the new hymn book.
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”
In Part I of this two-part interview, SQ’s Pilar gives us a glimpse into how the church’s investment in its history of polygamy negatively impacted her first marriage. Continue reading “Polygamy Culture’s Impact on my Failing Marriage: An Interview with Pilar, Part I”
Trigger Warning: This post contains descriptions of self-harm and suicidal ideation.
PILAR: Over a decade ago, in early December, my husband shattered my world. He confessed he was seeing someone else. Continue reading “Three Parallel Cuts”
PILAR: When I said it was PR approved, I was referring to myself since those are my initials. Over the recent holiday I had a friend ask me about my Mormon beliefs, so I took a few moments and wrote down some thoughts about the things that are currently being taught at church. I didn’t want to sugar-coat anything, since she’s a good friend and trusts me, so I thought it best to lay it all out there for her. Continue reading “The Unauthorized PR Approved Articles of Faith”
PILAR: We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us and we love him. We will stand as unseen witnesses of God but not in any official capacity, ever, as we strive to live the Young Women values which are:
PILAR: I just stumbled onto an email on an old computer. Opening it feels like someone hit me with a sock full of quarters. I feel sick and dizzy. The email is from Janet, someone once close to me. Then I asked a favor, and she sent me this one last email. We haven’t spoken since. Continue reading “Believe Me”