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  1. I’ve been waiting for this episode to come out and am currently listening to it. But I’m wondering what “shadow work” is.

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      Ha ha, you and Mitch both! 🙂

      Jung talks about all of us having shadow aspects of our souls and personalities that are largely unconscious to us, but with which we must eventually deal and integrate if we want to be whole as persons. Some people in Mormonism have talked of polygamy as one of these shadows that still looms large in Mormonism and, because it’s so painful to acknowledge (with all its tentacles and ways it has been so harmful, especially) its huge presence in our collective psyche, we tamp it down and suppress it. My question for Carol Lynn was if the move to be SO pro-HETEROsexual marriage and to just ONE spouse is perhaps seated deep in this shadow aspect of the Mormon psyche. I loved her response. Shadows WILL be dealt with. We can’t suppress them forever.

      Anyway, it was just a quick query. It might be true to some degree, but I’m sure there are other more compelling factors as well.

  2. I think I was expecting this podcast to try to spin and justify. Nope. There was no trying to make sense of the senseless. There was only sitting with the pain, confusion and disappointment with the hope that on the other side of this mess, there will be something meaningful and beautiful. And for that I am so grateful.

  3. Dan, can you explain what you meant when you said you made an offer to help ecclesiastical leaders to express concerns up the chain? Is there a link to where you made that offer?

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      On Friday, I wrote the following post to a large but private FB group:

      I am writing to offer my services to any bishops or stake presidents who are now or may soon feel a lot of pressure to enforce the new Handbook policies regarding same-sex couples and their children. In addition to hosting the Mormon Matters podcast, I am a writer and editor by profession, and also a relatively seasoned voice in LDS circles consisting of members and others who have a strong sense of personal revelation that, at times, feels contrary to or beyond current church teachings or practices. If any of you feel a need to speak up to your file leaders and may want to do it in writing, or want to do some writing to help you clarify your thoughts and ways of expressing your concerns over the new policies ahead of a personal meeting you might ask for with your leaders, I’d be happy to be an editor and advisor or in any way a collaborator with you. I want all leaders for whom this shift feels wrong to remain in their callings if your consciences allow you to, so my hope would be to assist in having your wording be thoughtful and personal but to also avoid unnecessary or trigger words or phrasings that might send a message beyond how much you are struggling right now and don’t know that you can ever as part of your ecclesiastical duties enforce the new policies. I hope many of you will speak up in some way, but I, of course, know that you know your own hearts best and must trust your instincts and own revelation on this.

      Please call on me if you’d like. And I will hold any of our correspondence or communications in strictest confidence. If we are not already FB friends, or if you are a friend of a bishop or stake president who isn’t here but who you know is struggling and may want to know about my offer of assistance, perhaps the best way to reach me is through the Mormon Matters email (my only public email) that comes directly to me: mormonmatters@gmail.com.

      Much love and my most earnest prayers for you and all of us who are heartsick and reeling right now.


      I extend the offer still if you know anyone who may feel like taking me up on this offer.

  4. I have been wrestling with this all weekend and still haven’t found my footing. However, this podcast has been inspiring. I love the idea of embracing my personal authority. We all need to do that. We are all worthy of love and belonging. My heart goes out to everyone reeling with this news. You are loved. This podcast has brought calm to me and left me feeling empowered. Thank you!

  5. It sounds like it’s time for droves to leave the church. The majority will survive. I’m not ready to express my compassion of which I own some. Mitch’s comment that it is not a ‘cotangent’ has never been further from the truth. 95% of all parents want their children to grow up heterosexual (yes and I know first off they want them to grow up happy). The young mind is very impressionable. That gay parade down my street no matter how innocent people would claim it to be (and visually it is anything but Innocent) can have negative devastating effects on the minds of maturing youth. You were after all talking about suicide. I would also venture to guess that the overwhelming majority of LGBT folks would not wish their LGBT life on anyone know the physiological emotional baggage it comes with. Look right now you are interjecting your opinion that I am expressing hate, but this is your known modus operandi, but back to the facts. So why do you choose to parade down the street? Don’t tell me awareness, when it is more detrimental than anything, and don’t tell me I am denying LGBT the right to self esteem. Let me make an observation Evolutionary biology express the fact that homosexuality is an abnormality, evolutionary biology expresses the fact that self is not paramount, but preservation of the species is paramount. So why is the LGBT so upset with religion when it really mirrors real life. Now I know you can’t read this with any thing but a bias. That reads hate between the lines but you are wrong. There is no gay gene. But there is a lot of physiological and emotional disorders in the human population which you will never give any creed to because once again your bias won’t allow it. But as a minority your hope is to thrust a minority consequence down everyone else throat. Have you ever given consideration to walking away from the church because it will never be everything you want it to be? Sorry but just tired of hearing people who demand that everyone should think and feel every way the way they do.

    1. One question: Putting your self-congratulatory and diversionary persecution complex aside,

      What does anything you’ve said here have to do with the CHILDREN of a same sex cohabiting/married parent, and their ability to receive ordinances that they personally believe in and desire in order to “work out their own salvation…” which were available until 5 days ago and are now being denied? (Because, we are reassured, their parental/guardian/home situation is NOW — not before, just now — considered to be as dangerous and threatening as living in a godless communist dictatorship, murderous theocratic tyranny, or apostate polygamist compound.)

      Irregardless of what you believe about gays and their sexuality, what about their kids…???

      Stay on topic, please.

    2. Joe, it was so interesting to read your…articulate comment, only to be wrapped up with the phrase, “im tired of hearing people who demand that everyone should think and feel the way they do.”

      Truly profound.

  6. I finished the podcast. Since hearing about this, I have been wondering, where is Jesus in all this? Where is God? I have wrestled to find some way to get confirmation of the voice that spoke to these 15 united members who authorized this. Your discussion at least gave me this: I can feel the Spirit when I mourn with those who mourn. I really want to identify with the institution. I so do, but I can’t find any way to do so. I just mourn. I ache for me. I ache for them. I haven’t spoken with anybody who said, “yes, this feels so right.” We have no common consent on this issue. The only thing common is our dis-ease, confusion and bewilderment.
    I wish there were more. When I read the story of Abraham’s test, i write it off as apocryphal or Abraham was just a crazy old man living a nightmare that was mercifully stopped at the last minute. But in our reality, 15 men seemed to hear a voice calling for the sacrifice of Isaac. How could all 15 agree to this? They couldn’t unite on leaving BSA but they could on this? Really? I keep hoping and praying for a ram in the thicket.

  7. So what I am becoming more aware of, is that this is due to political social pressures and the legal ramification of, and this is the church’s needs to qualify positions to prevent hate from destroying the church in the name of Kumbaya.

  8. Pingback: So, You've Heard Mormons Don't Like Gay Couples and Their Kids? (or, The New Policy Sucks) - Nearing Kolob Nearing Kolob

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      I can ask Carol Lynn, but right now I don’t know what book it might be in. Here is the text, though:

      I read a map once
      Saying the kingdom of God
      Was within me
      But I never trusted
      Such unlikely ground.

      I went out.
      I scoured schools
      And libraries
      And chapels and temples
      And other people’s eyes
      And the skies and the rocks,
      And I found treasures
      From the kingdom’s treasury
      But not the kingdom.

      Finally I came in quiet
      For a rest
      And turned on the light.
      And there
      Just like a surprise party
      Was all the smiling royalty,
      King, Queen, court.

      People have been
      Locked up for less, I know.
      But I tell you
      Something marvelous
      Is bordered by this skin:
      I am a castle
      And the kingdom of God
      Is within.

      –Carol Lynn Pearson

  9. I was at once comforted and troubled while listening to this podcast. I’ll admit that this is typical for me while listening to Mormon Matters, and it’s the very reason I love it so much. I’ll start by saying that I really appreciate the thoughts and feelings that were shared by the panelists and by Dan in this episode. I love the idea Mitch conveyed that, to put it in metaphorical terms, even if the institutional Church burns a bridge, it just draws out more individuals and communities that are ready to build newer, bigger, and stronger bridges in its place. I was also touched by Carol Lynn’s invitation to all who are deeply suffering to reach out to anyone they can trust and just be heard and appreciated. It motivates me to make sure everyone feels safe with me no matter what. And maybe give some foot-rubs while I’m at it 🙂

    The troubling piece, for me, was this: I believe, or at least I want to believe, that real love can motivate terrible decisions. The application here is obvious, but I’ll state it anyway. The leaders of the Church claim that love is the motivation for these recent handbook changes; in particular, love for children who run the risk of being torn between family and religion. There are ample reasons to believe that these measures will be thoroughly counterproductive. I hope that word is not too unfeeling; it just perfectly captures the idea that someone’s done the exact opposite of what they sincerely intended. That they damaged most the very people they were trying to help. That being said, the general feeling I sensed in this discussion, mostly implicitly but sometimes explicitly, was that this can’t possibly be the reality. That love can’t possibly motivate these decisions. That the only explanation is fear of “the other.” Maybe that’s true. I’d like to believe that maybe it’s not. I also may be putting words into the panelists mouths because of some projection of my own personal fears, and if so I apologize.

    In any case, I’d love some feedback from any who’d care to share. Is there room for the worst of decisions to have arisen from the best of intentions? And if so, does that change anything?

  10. What an incredible conversation!
    I admire your efforts to make sense of a policy that seems very uncharitable. You are three incredible people.

    I am amazed at your tenacity to work from within the church rather than just move on to more charitable organizations.
    Kudos to you.

  11. Pingback: Owning it… | What Good Have You Done Today?

  12. I have listened three times. I’ve never heard a more beautiful conversation. Each time, my heart has broken and opened and broken again, and that feels like a necessary experience, so I want to thank you.

    To quote John Greene, “It hurts because it matters.”

  13. First, I would like to say that if the only thing on this podcast were the song sung by Carol Pearson, then this alone makes it a podcast worth having.

    Second, I would like to thank every Mormon who stood for Prop. 22 and Prop. 8 in California despite all of the hatred and pain you faced. The vandalism, the online stalking, the posting of your personal information on the Internet. Thank you for supporting and honoring motherhood and fatherhood and for demonstrating a love of children that wishes them to be raised in the most diverse household possible…a home with a married mother and father.

    Third, could someone please add a link to this LDS handbook? If this standard toward children concerning baptism is the same standard for children who are raised by adults in polygamous relationships, i.e. non-marriages, why would any Mormon be troubled by the announcement of a policy being applied to same-sex marriages, especially when this policy has been the standard in their church for decades?

    In any case, I do agree that children should not have to suffer for the narcissistic decision of their same-sex caregivers to deny these youth the love of a mother and the love of a father, so I hope the Mormon church will keep its doors open to these children and provide them with the guidance and counseling they will need.

  14. Will a transcript be available for this, or could one be (oh please!) My cousin, who has been with me in the depths this week, is deaf and would really love to be able to read this conversation as well as the second part.

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  15. Probably the most important MM podcast I’ve ever heard. It’ll be replayed and requoted long after some of the “sexier” topics have been forgotten.

  16. Thank you, Dan, for loving those of us in the LGBT population. It means a lot and surely helps us, me, a lot. Thank you from the bottom of my sad heart, sad because of this policy.

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