Several months ago, a family member recounted a small but powerful scenario that happened in her Sacrament Meeting. While conducting the meeting, the bishop acknowledged that one of his counselors was not present on the stand; his counselor’s wife was ill and he was sitting in the pews with his children. Interestingly, not once was the man’s spouse acknowledged for sitting alone with her children week after week while her husband sat on the stand. Why? Because women are expected to perform the bulk of the invisible labor required for maintaining relationships.
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.
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…
In this Mormon Transitions episode recorded January 31, 2017 Margi and John Dehlin interview me, Kerstin Koldewyn, and former LDS Quorum of the 70 member Hans Mattsson (Sweden) about how to speak to children during a Mormon faith transition. Questions and comments are also discussed from our live listening audience. Enjoy!
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.
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!).