In a 2-part episode recorded on March 19, 2019, Dr. John Dehlin, Margi Weber Dehlin, and Natasha Helfer Parker discuss the topic of “Communicating with the Church Leadership, Ward Members, and Neighbors During and After a Mormon Faith Crisis.” We integrated comments from the community, along with your questions and comments. Some of the subtopics in Part 1 and 2 will include:
- The “private” approach.
- The direct approach.
- How to handle callings.
- How to set appropriate and firm boundaries.
- How to communicate with ward and stake members when you run into them after you no longer attend.
- What to do when you’ve been made a “project” at ward council.
On April 2, 2019, we continued our discussion around “Communicating with Church Leadership, Ward Members, Neighbors After a Mormon Faith Crisis.” Topics for Parts 3 and 4 include:
- How to handle Home/Visiting teachers and the new “Ministering” program.
- How to handle being discussed/gossiped about in ward council
- How to set boundaries with church leaders and ward members
- How to speak with church leaders and ward members once you’ve stopped attending
- And much, much more!
I really liked this episode and it came to me at the exact time I needed it. I have gone through the 7 stages of grief and was especially relieved when I felt I had gotten to the Acceptance stage. Unfortunately, though, I was triggered by both the 2015 policy reversal and by the last Conference talk given by Russell M Nelson, regarding those who have left the church and how they wouldn’t be able to be with their loved ones in Heaven. Margi’s analogy of taking a flashlight and going into the basement to examine my feelings of depression and anger helped me more than I can express. Initially, I felt like something was lacking in me and myself that I could be so easily triggered by these things, but when I took some time to evaluate the reasons behind my depression and anger, I realized it was happening to me because of something that I actually value within myself. And that is my ability to empathize. I came to the realization that it’s okay that I’ve slipped back into the depression and angry stage and that I needed/need to grieve more. Grieve for the lives that have been lost, for the people who have lost them. Moreover, it is completely appropriate to be angry at these men who say that they speak for God when in reality many of the things they are saying are far removed from what I believe a loving God would say. It is not only okay that I’ve slipped back into this stage, it is good! It reminds me of who I really am. I will stand up for those who have been hurt or disparaged. I will use my voice to do so and find a way to bring awareness of these issues to the forefront. Thank you, John, Margi, and Natasha for your great insights and thoughts. I’m already feeling stronger.