Anger, Fury, Outrage—Gifts from God

Lion RunningThe past 3 days have been really hard.

Last night, I reached out to my friend Sandy, one of the victims of an egregiously evil bishop’s interview.  Thank you Sandy.  It helped.  I’ve linked her story below.

Two more things happened today that have helped lift me. I’m not out of the woods yet, but, I’m starting to see the way out.
1.  I had lost hope that my cause had any chance of success.  Today, I talked about it with other friends and mulled it over on my own.  I have come to realize a major reason that hope was fading.  A few months ago, a former member of my ward reached out and let me know that she and her husband have basically left the church.  That was a shocker.  She had watched my journey and felt this quote was appropriate: “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” 

That sentiment resonated big time. 

Here’s what has happened over the past couple of weeks and in earnest over the past few days:  I have tamped…down…my…anger.  Of course, we should exert control over our emotions.  But here’s the problem.  Hope and anger are intertwined, according to St. Augustine.  As I have pushed anger out of the my mind, hope has started to flicker and wane.  Then followed by a descent into despair.  Today, I have embraced my anger again.  As I have, hope has come rushing back to burn brightly in my heart. 

After All….

  • How can I not be angry at a system that allowed and fostered 6 years of my sweet daughter being taken behind closed doors and grilled about masturbation?!!!!
  • How can I not be cut to the quick and outraged at what was done to 7 year old Sandy on the bishop’s desktop?!!!!!!
  • How can I not be brought to tears and incensed by what was done to 12 year old Amy in the bishop’s office?!!!!
  • How can I not be devastated and enraged at the tragedy of Samuel’s death?!!!!

Nope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My anger is God-given.  I will embrace this gift from God.  Christ is my exemplar.  Hear the tone in his fiery roar:  “Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

2.  This afternoon, the company’s top sales person came into my office.  He’s not Mormon, yet feels strongly about protecting LDS children.  We discussed all that’s going on, including the lack of support from my long-time active friends, the threat of excommunication, the total lack of concern and non-response I’ve received from the Church.   In conclusion he said this:  Sam, I feel it’s a privilege to witness what you are doing.  I hope you know that God is directing you.

 Occasionally, people express concern for me.  Here’s when you should worry….when I am no longer emotional about the hideous things we are doing to our kids.  Until my faith transition, hope was not much of an operative virtue in my religious practice.  It is now.  For me, the HOPE to protect our children inspires ANGER and COURAGE.  When I have both in my heart, I find myself standing tall with my 14,000 friends.  When I push either away, my heart starts to say, “Run away, Sam. Run away.”  I’m not running the hell away.  I’m embracing my outrage and running to meet Goliath.

If you see a spark of fury or observe a glimmer of courage……know that once again, I am full of hope.

Sandy’s Story

 

Amy’s Story

Samuel’s Story

March-For-The-Children

On March 30, 2018, one thousand concerned human beings will March-For-The-Children in support of changes to prevent the hideous damage we are inflicting on our kids.  This will be an historic occasion in Mormon history.

Make plans to join us now.  Arrange the day off, book your flight, put together your car pools.   Bring your family, bring your kids, bring your friends.  For most of us, this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  One that we will treasure with fondness for the rest of our lives.

You can register to March-For-The-Children on Eventbrite or on Facebook.

***Please Share the March-For-The-Children FAR and WIDE***

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Damn Mad…At Myself and The Church

AngerMy anger was triggered tonight.  I want to swear my head off….which I have.  But, I’m also going to vent in writing, while I still have fire in the belly.

The Trigger

John Dehlin is doing a series of new podcasts.  It features people who experienced sexually intrusive questions during youth interviews.  Tonight,  a woman recounted an extremely graphic interrogation by her bishop.  The questions asked didn’t just verge on pornography.  They were pornographic.  Highly troubling, yet the interview itself was not the trigger.  But, the girl’s experience does beg the question, “What the hell is the church doing???!!!

John read various comments that were made on Facebook during the live broadcast.  One person brought up ‘the licked cupcake,’ ‘the nail in the board’ and the ‘chewed gum’ analogies.  And there it was.  Anger welled up.  Chewed gum.  Dammit!  Dammit to hell!

For 62 years, I had never heard of this holy trinity of shaming phrases.  I served as a bishop for 5 years.  Two stints on the high council totaling 6 years.  Many years in the Young Men’s program.  And…4 decades as a dad.  Yet, I’d never heard of cupcakes, gum, or nailed boards, until……after my faith transition.

Being a Bad Dad

On various social media, I read complaints of this triad of awful teachings.  At the time, 3 years ago, one adult daughter was living with us.  I asked her about her YW years.  Was she ever taught this?

Her answer:  “Yes dad.  The ‘chewed gum’ lesson, was devastating.  Eventually, I realized how wrong it was.  That’s why I started looking for other Christian churches after I left home.”

Where the hell was I???  My daughter being shamed and humiliated in the church I trusted.  Being subjected to hurtful and unloving condemnation within the walls of the Mormon chapel.  My youngest child being made to suffer right under my nose.  S_ _ _!!!  Where the hell was I???

In many ways, I was a good dad.  But I was a bad dad for paying so little attention to what my child was being taught by the Only True Church.

Dammit to hell, I’m paying attention now.  Lesson learned.  I’m standing up and speaking out.  This is what I should have done when my kids were young.

Protect…Our…Kids.

SIGN…THE…PETITION—HERE