A mid-life Mormon Mom, Elizabeth, thought life would turn out a certain way if she did the right things: marry, stay home with her children. Her husband is struggling with a porn problem and now, she facing the possibility of divorce. She asks me for help in knowing how to find herself and prepare for her next steps.
There is nothing wrong with teaching ideals and one could argue that that is the primary job of religious institutions. However, in real life, holding up ideals often leaves members never feeling “good enough” because they have not achieved the ideal righteous Mormon life. Chronic feelings of “never good enough” because your life doesn’t look like an Ensign magazine cover, your child has left the Church, your spouse isn’t committed to church callings, you’re struggling with the word of wisdom, you’re having difficulty forgiving someone, you’re not a good provider, or you’re not an attentive mother or father, can erode our whole sense of self.
I had a delightful chat with the passionate and brilliant Gina Colvin, host of A Thoughtful Faith podcast a few days ago about Mormon women, particularly those from Utah, and the challenge of developing and using our own voices.
One aspect of any good relationship is a sense of concern for the other person’s well-being. Parenting is no exception. It’s common to want to shield your child from pain, mistakes, and heartache and to foster happiness and success. However, as your child grows, the stakes get higher, and your control over their safety and their choices diminishes drastically. To deal with this lack of control, parents may turn to worrying (unease or anxiety over real or potential problems) as a consolation.
In this episode, Adam Miller and I join Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon for a fresh look at sin. We discuss the true nature of sin, and share interpretations of common scriptures about sin. Listen to the podcast here…
Finding out that a loved one has stepped away from Church activity or no longer believes in the Gospel can bring up a broad spectrum of emotions. Intense and often painful emotions can make it difficult to know what to say to your loved one about their choice to leave the Church.
A Crisis of Perceptions: New Paradigms to Address the Complexities of Modern Mormonism
Presenter: JULIE DE AZEVEDO HANKS, PhD, LCSW, is a seasoned psychotherapist, owner of Wasatch
Family Therapy, and author of The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide for Women.
ABSTRACT: Mormonism has inherited ways of thinking that are no longer sufficient to understand or address the complexities facing the 21st-century Church. Concepts from cybernetics, systems theory, and
complex thought will be presented as alternative lenses with which to view and wrestle with the Church’s increased historical transparency, gender concerns, racial diversity, LGBTQIA issues, and member disaffection. Read more
By Common Consent published my guest blog today about what not to say to a loved one leaving the Church. I’ve had a handful of requests for PDF printables of the lists in the article…so here you go!
Dr. Julie Hanks When I read Meridian Magazine’s article 8 Things that Can Pull You Away from the Church yesterday morning my heart sank. Not because I disagree with the author’s suggestions of ways strengthen one’s faith, but because it oversimplifies the complex process individuals go through when they decide to distance from or to leave the LDS Church.
There have been a handful of moments in my life when I’ve realized that common words and phrases in LDS culture have become so familiar that they have lost their original meaning. For example, stake center, FHE, and “without a shadow of a doubt” are such common jargon that Latter-day Saints don’t even think twice about them, let alone consider their original context (ie: “Relief Society” isn’t just the hour of the church block where women meet–it’s a society or community that provides relief!).