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009: Dr. Julie de Azevedo-Hanks on What TO Say and Not to Say

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How do you start a discussion with someone who is on their journey of leaving the church without offending them? Dr. Julie de Azevedo-Hanks and Dr. Kristy Money answer Laura’s questions about how to best approach and draw boundaries when compassionately reaching out to those on a faith journey.

Links from episode:
Circles of Intimacy
100 phrases to say and to NOT say to your loved ones who think/believe differently from you

If you find this content useful a one-time or recurring donation will go a long way to help us help others. Visit mormonjourneys.org and click on the blue “Donate” button. Thank you.

008: Baptisms and Honesty about a Faith Journey

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We take two questions from today’s caller, a husband and father whose family means  the world to him and his daughter will soon turn 8.  1) How do I deal w/ wanting to be honest about my faith journey with my wife/family 2) how do I empower my daughter in her decision to pursue a career or become a stay-at-home-mom.

If you find this content useful a one-time or recurring donation will go a long way to help us help others. Visit mormonjourneys.org and click on the blue “Donate” button. Thank you.

007: Part 2 of 2 with Chelsea Shields

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Kristy and Chelsea answer another question on how to stop thinking about the church when you live in an area (like the Jello Belt) with constant reminders, like living in the same town as your ex-boyfriend and seeing him everywhere, the listener asked. You won’t want to miss Chelsea’s insights on cultural iconography and subculture growth.

006: Part 1 with Chelsea Shields on Disownment

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Chelsea Shields–anthropologist and TED Fellow–and Dr. Money answer an anonymous listener’s question about managing anxiety that he would be disowned. Chelsea has unique insight while answering this question given her own family history coming from a very orthodox family and speaks to how she maintains a healthy relationship with her parents.

One final suggestion that we didn’t get to on the podcast: Last year an LDS Charities video had a father suggesting that if his adult children left the church he would disinherit them. I’m willing to give the church the benefit of the doubt they didn’t catch it when they finalized the video, since the video was about teaching children altruism through example. However, when the clip about disowning was brought to the church’s attention, they immediately took down the entire video. You can keep this fact in your back pocket to help manage anxiety: in a worst case scenario if your loved ones do threaten to disown you can show them through timestamped internet history how the church itself doesn’t support this because they took down a video of a father saying as much–they didn’t want to endorse that man’s views.

In Part 2 Chelsea answers a second anonymous question about how to stop thinking about the church so often when you live in LDS-heavy areas and you see reminders everywhere. Chelsea has spent most of the last 15 years in Utah County and SLC and answers from her cultural anthropological expertise too.

005: How Much Church History Should I Bring Up?

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It’s normal to worry that when your family finds out where you’re at in your faith journey, they might think it happened because you were lazy or didn’t study enough when really the opposite is true: you studied church history *in depth*. Understandably, you don’t want them to think you are lazy, or didn’t study enough, or are being led by Satan.

How much, then, do you tell them about what you learned? How much do you risk straining the relationship? Do you try to tell them everything? Join Paul and I as we discuss how to handle this dilemma while preserving relationships, because, as you’ll hear in Paul’s voice, his family means so much to him and he doesn’t want to lose them.

For those that are interesting, as a therapeutic process when he was in the throes of his faith crisis/awakening, Paul chose to write out his thoughts, and you can read them here: www.mormonapologies.com

004: How do I tell my parents living nearby?

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How do you tell your parents about your change of beliefs in a way that’s respectful and constructive, especially since they live nearby? They’ll know people in your ward, have questions, ask your kids about going to church, so putting them off isn’t a long-term solution. Julie asked that question tonight and you won’t want to miss what we go over together: her backstory, the nuts-and-bolts of when and how to do it, addressing concerns like wanting them not to worry about you and hoping not to hurt them, as well as not putting the kids in the middle of anything.  Thank you Julie for bravely coming on!

003: Coping with Holiday Family Trauma

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Rachel Brown is an insightful therapist and has undergone family holiday trauma surrounding faith issues herself, so she speaks from personal experience as she gives advice about what you can do if you find yourself this holiday season in a high-stress argument or situation over religion. Rachel is one of 11 children–she understands first-hand how many family members gathered together in one place runs a risk that prosteletyzing or declaring one’s beliefs to influence someone else’s point of view can happen. Radical Acceptance and Mindfulness are two practical approaches she digs into and punctuates with examples of what happened to her to share a message that can help heal relationships.

002: Do I want to engage with spirituality again?

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How can I respect others’ spiritual experiences when I am skeptical of anything spiritual? What are some ways to cope with a conflict or disbelief in the Spirit without lashing out and damaging relationships? What are some ways to learn to trust your own conscience or Spiritual promptings again, even when everyone around you is telling you that your Spirit gauge is wrong, and that you may even have a mental illness?

Active church member, scientist, and writer Lauren Ard and I try to answer these questions with her faith journey story as backdrop, a fascinating tale many I’m sure will relate to. She also explains how she’s able to make it work in the church not just for family reasons, but because she can do a lot of good in her community. I agree! Check out the resources she’s developed for members navigating the middle way:

Resources on Heavenly Mother

Quotess from female General Authorities

Ideas for Activity Days leaders

001: Thinking about a Vow Renewal?

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Welcome to the inaugural episode of the new Healthy Mormon Journeys podcast! As part of the mission of the Healthy Mormon Journeys Foundation, the purpose of this podcast is to provide advice for those who are working to preserve relationships as they or their loved ones go through their own personal faith journeys.

In this first episode, host Dr. Kristy Money talks to Shairna about her and her husband’s faith journeys, and the effects these changes had on their marriage. After working through some hard times (including infidelity) and considering divorce, Shairna talks about how they found healing in part through participation in a vow renewal ceremony, which they were able to individualize in a way they hadn’t their LDS temple marriage.