Recently, I have had the honor to be a contributor to an amazing cause. My blog series on "Speaking Up For Those That Suffer In Silence" was noticed by a woman with a heart of gold and a mission that could save our culture.
Danna Hartline - founder of Mormon Trauma Mama, a site that serves as a refuge and resource for people like myself who have experienced some pretty in-depth trauma from church members and/or leaders - asked me to contribute my own story and be a part of the change that is needed to center us back in Christ and reduce the shaming, judgment, and guilt that has begun to drown out the Gospel. I gladly accepted, because if I can help ONE person or family see their worth and know that Christ sees their worth, then I have done something important with my life.
Danna's site was recently shared on the One Million Mormons page on Facebook and what happened next is probably the straw that broke the camel's back for me. She was attacked, her mission was attacked, she was accused of being an anti or a former member (even though she is a very active member and has a testimony), but even beyond that, they attacked those that have experienced church trauma. Danna knows that people are suffering when they don't measure up, when they don't feel Mormon enough, or they don't have that picturesque "forever family" and she offered them a voice and a place to feel WORTH.
And our members who are so fake in their posts about the Gospel and the love of Christ ATTACKED Danna and those that she is trying to help, those that feel there is no place for them. And by the comments I read today, they aren't currently safe even in the House of the Lord.
My heart is broken and my stomach is turning at the realization that there really is no love, support, care, or regard for the members like myself who might not fit the "Mormon mold." The snake hissing, snarling, poisonous comments that came at Danna and those she defends were as far removed from JESUS CHRIST as they could be.
SHAME ON YOU, members of a church that carries the Savior's name and claims to do all things through Him. Such a beautiful religion has been overtaken and overshadowed by the members who have forgotten to practice what they preach - to be Christlike in all their actions and words and to always ask "If the Savior stood beside me." Those posts and comments belittling others are disgusting and foul and anything but filled with the love of the Savior. It is absolutely baffling that speaking up about an existing problem is met with anger and accusations of being "anti" rather than with love and concern for the very real problem at hand.
Have we learned nothing from the scriptures that we brag about reading daily? The cycle has been the same since the beginning of time: The righteous grow more righteous, then become boastful of their righteousness, then Satan sees the cracks and plays on the pride of the righteous, and lo and behold the righteous FALL and are no longer righteous.
My heart is broken. But my fight just grew stronger. Danna isn't giving up and neither am I. Now I KNOW there are people that need a voice, a place to feel safe, and to know their worth in the Lord's eyes. "Church should be a hospital for all sinners and the members should be the ministering nurses to one another." I'm more dedicated than ever and we will save our religion, take it back and make it a refuge and safe place for ALL once again.
And your self-righteous judgment, your incessant shaming, and your use of guilt to control will no longer be allowed in the House of the Lord.
I refuse to lose my religion...so, I'm taking it back.