TW: Child sex abuse
SISTERS QUORUM: On behalf of everyone at Sisters Quorum, let me begin by saying how much we appreciate you sharing what is a difficult, intensely personal story. SQ believes it’s vital that the experiences of LDS victims of sexual abuse be heard in an effort to improve the pastoral care within the LDS system and culture, as well as encourage accountability for perpetrators of crimes. Please know that we only want you to share what you feel safe sharing.
So let’s get started. In your own words, what is your story of sexual abuse?
Continue reading “Interview with an LDS Survivor of Child Sex Abuse”
Anonymous: My stepfather sexually abused my older sister and me for five years. My older sister ran away at age 13 and didn’t tell anyone about the abuse. She ended up going to live with my dad, and that’s when our stepfather started abusing me. I was six years old. My sister thought I was too young and he wouldn’t come after me, but he did.
READER POST: The first religious value I remember being taught was obedience. Obedience to authority, to the priesthood, to adults, to parents, and to God. I learned about a God who tested His children. A God who gave and took at His mysterious will, according to a metric that made no sense from my mortal perspective.
He gave Abraham and Sarah a son, and then asked them to give up their child’s life in sacrifice…a test that only ended when He was confident Abraham would obey. I learned about Mary consenting to be the handmaid of the Lord and that it was an honor to be chosen to do so. I learned about a God that gave multiple wives to powerful men, who in turn gave children to their husbands. I learned about a God who commanded Emma to support her husband as he took more wives, and that she would face condemnation if she didn’t comply. I learned that (for at least one woman) the promised blessing of giving herself to the Prophet in marriage was exaltation, but the punishment for her refusal, a fiery sword.
Continue reading “To Bind Up The Broken Hearts: An Open Letter to the Brethren on Heavenly Mother”
SISTERS QUORUM: Every six months, as General Conference approaches, members of the LDS Church discuss their hopes about what will come from the pulpit. This go-round, however, LDS women are talking about their fears rather than their hopes. Leaks are coming from stake training meetings and other sources, suggesting this General Conference will be used to quash independent, spiritual pursuit of Heavenly Mother. When SQ asked LDS women to share their personal experiences with Heavenly Mother and their reactions to the possibility SLC will attempt to silence Her–and them–once again, twelve women gave us glimpses into their intimate, spiritual experiences. We were moved and think you will be, too.
Continue reading “LDS Women Testify of Heavenly Mother”
READER POST: Every year when she comes back from Arizona for the summer, my neighbor puts out an American flag. She grew up in Germany at the end of World War II, and her family had nothing when she was little.
“We tried to eat the grass, but Russian soldiers pointed their guns and told us to leave,” she said once, her blue eyes moving away from mine. I sat there, my neighbor’s hand in mine, while she cried. What does one say, when told that a little girl with one dress, a dead father, and no food, had guns pointed at her so she wouldn’t eat grass? I have a lot of words in my head, but I have no words for that. Still. I had a hand, and that hand held hers for as long as it was needed.
Continue reading “A Psalm of Women in Times of Sorrow”
READER POST: Just imagine:
“When we omit Her name from His Church, we are inadvertently removing Her as the central focus of our lives.
“Taking our Heavenly Mother’s name upon us includes declaring and witnessing to others—through our actions and our words—that She is our Mother. Have we been so afraid to offend someone who doesn’t believe in Her that we have failed to defend the Mother Herself, to stand up for Her even in the name by which we call Her? Continue reading “The Correct Name of Our Mother in Heaven”
MIRIAM: Before dawn at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, my first child was born after a very quick labor. The nurse had told me to signal when I felt pressure so that she’d know when I was ready to push. The pressure came, and I did not push, yet my body pushed out my new daughter with no voluntary effort on my part. She was born so quickly that our doctor missed it; the room where my body gave her precipitous entrance filled with half a dozen excited nurses.
Within the hour, my baby had been whisked out for a bath, Daddy following her according to our plan. The doctor—a fellow Mormon—had arrived and was examining me to ensure the delivery of the placenta when he began cussing under his breath. The nurses hadn’t noticed that I was bleeding out. Continue reading “A Cry for Our Mother”