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  1. Thank you so much for your vulnerability and for your willingness to share feelings and experiences that are deeply personal. Thank you for helping other people feel like they are not alone.

    My only critical comment was the discussion about psychiatric medicine. I do believe that circumstances, stressors or toxic environments can contribute to mental illness, but I think it is dangerously simplistic to imply that removing oneself from those circumstances can eliminate the need for medication. Medication is neither a crutch nor a maniacal scheme by the pharmaceutical companies. I agree that big pharma is selfish and has done things to inhibit many cheap, natural or lifesaving/improving drugs to be available. But the psychiatric medication we do have, can be life saving and sometimes the only option. I worry that the message that came across was that depression can always be cured without medication. I worry that some people will either feel shame about using the antidepressants they are already on, or someone whose life could be saved or significantly improved with medication will never try it.

    Also, while it may be true that Utahans have a high rate of Prozac use, the cause cannot be simply pegged on religion. Correlation is not causation. There could be multiple factors such as a smaller gene pool where genes linked to depression could be more likely to be passed on, altitude or a myriad of other factors or a combination of factors. I agree that the shame, fakeness, religiosity and other toxic factors could be and likely are contributing, but I alarms always go off for me when complicated issues are painted with such a broad brush.

    1. Interesting perspective, Vhari. Maybe I missed something, but I didn’t hear anyone in this interview suggest that medication is always and necessarily a crutch. I thought their point was that what might feel like clinical depression is not always but often nothing more than a “dark night of the soul” caused by the religious pressure, shame, etc. Yes, dark nights of the soul sometimes spiral into clinical depression, and yes, antidepressants might be needed in this case, and they sometimes save lives. No shame should be attached to their use, but at the same time, they are shamefully over-prescribed. Many an LDS woman has told me she was “completely messed up” by one or more of these medications, and my husband, who’s worked in mental hospitals, has seen this time and again.

      Loved this interview; thank you for your vulnerability and courage, Allison and Andrew. I wish you all the best moving forward.

    2. I think that she did a great job showing that her depression really was situational. She didn’t imply anywhere that clinical depression shouldn’t be medicated. We don’t need to pretend that situational depression doesn’t exist to prove that clinical depression does.

  2. Another amazing Mormon Story and an important one for couples to hear. Andrew and Allison, thank you for your courage and openness to share your journey. It was painful to listen to at times, but necessary for others to know how our efforts to double down in Mormon orthodoxy can be depressing and can lead to the breakup of an otherwise potential filled marriage.

    I’m on that journey myself with a loving spouse that is following the church guidance not to look behind the curtain. One day I am hopeful she will do the work to learn about the full story of the church she clings to.

    Thanks John as always for your work in this important space.

  3. Wow! Thank you, Andrew and Allison, for your honesty, sincerity, and courage to tell your story. It resonated with me at so many different levels and was so very healing. John, thank you for all you do!

  4. This is an interview that shows how deep you have to dig for a marriage not to just survive, but to open up to let in the beauty and vulnerability that you can have in real intimacy between two people. I feel privileged to have been able to listen to this story. Thank you so much!

  5. Her story reflects so much of my own story. Especially the depression. It can be so deep and damaging and that realization that you have your own power, your own divinity within you, and your own authority over yourself can be the most freeing uplifting realization in the world. I wish I had discovered it sooner, but am so glad I discovered it. I relate to Andrew’s anger, and Allison’s depression. I’m still learning how to move on from here but and seeing more and more glimmers of light, freedom and hope. Thank you both for sharing your story!

  6. Great podcast. So glad you you were willing to share.
    A couple of months ago my Stake President called my husband and I in. The part that made the most mad was him saying that our kids would not know God and have strong morals if we did not let the church teach them. The worst part was he used letter from our oldest son to fuel the fear message. Serious use of a “Positive Freedom” tactic.Allison, I loved “I used to buy into these lies.” in your Mormon Story it rocked. I am still in a very strong feeling stage and I hate that junk the most, I can not even try going to church because I go nuts on people wanting to figuratively hit them upside the head with a big old Mormon history fact check tome.

  7. My take away:
    1. Porn, infidelity, and embarrassing shame leads to disbelief.
    2. Allison can distinguish the difference between her “inner voice” and the holy ghost.
    3. The damage done to this couples’ family, especially parents, must be devastating.

    1. Gian,
      From the real life experiences I have had and have seen others go through, porn, infidelity, and shame do not lead to disbelief. Shaming can and will lead to a myriad of things, including making someone actually stay in the church when they don’t want to, but it’s not what leads someone into disbelief. Loving a church with all your heart and trusting in those who went before you with all your being, then finding out the narrative and many other “truths” are not and never were what the church always taught us they were…is what leads to disbelief. I was taught my entire life that staying in the church was what the real challenge is in life and that leaving it is the easy way out. That’s the farthest thing from the truth; challenging the church and asking the hard questions is the hard thing. You become an outcast in your own family and home if you do challenge it inside our culture. These are the things that lead people into disbelief…not porn and infidelity. Believe it or not, there is a whole subculture of “good upstanding mormons” in Utah who serve in bishopric callings and the like, who go around cheating on their spouses over and over with multiple partners, all the while hiding it and going to the temple and yet they still believe and never lose their faith or leave the church. It’s disgusting. I am so much more faithful and honest and loyal to my wife now as a questioning mormon than I ever was as a true believing mormon…that’s truth.

      If someone chooses another belief system, it’s okay. That’s their choice. If it’s something they truly believe and find peace with, then it’s a good thing. If other people feel like those who choose to believe otherwise leave a path of devastating damage in their wake, then they need healthy boundaries. No one else gets to feel bad for someone else’s faith choice. If you feel badly because your child chooses to believe in something else, then you have poor boundaries as a human being. My parents felt this way too about my brother who left the church. They felt personally responsible for his salvation. If someone is left devastated because a family member leaves the church, they need a reality check; no one is responsible for anyone but themselves. The only things you get to control in life are your own thoughts, feelings, and actions…no one else’s. Once you teach your own children the best you can, they leave the house and they become responsible for themselves. The church even has the age of accountability being set at 8 years of age, yet they don’t really believe that because they continue to guilt priesthood holders into believing that they are personally responsible for their entire family’s eternal salvation.

      Those in similar situations as the Jolley’s have been shamed BY the church, not by their own sins, and have been left hurt and damaged. Sins are easy to overcome and get past, but feeling betrayed by a church you loved for decades is a whole other story. Living and believing inside the church, we have been told many twisted truths that we readily accepted for a long time and rarely do any of us realize the damage they are causing until we have an opportunity to step out and open our eyes a little. I am grateful for anyone willing to step up to the plate and be vulnerable and true to themselves, in or out of the church. I love my fellow Mormons who believe fully; I wish I was one of them. I also love my friends and family who don’t believe. We all have so much to give each other through this life.

  8. I just listened to the entire podcast. I really loved your story. Allison, as you explained your perspective as you broke through your belief and started seeing things in color- that just rang so true to me. Wonderful way of explaining things. We were part of an earlier podcast, and my sister in law and her husband had a similar story to yours. Absolutely loved your perspective. Thank you for being vulnerable and letting us all in!

  9. I remember seeing things this way. I might have put it just like you did at one time. But then I went through what this couple went through and I can tell you the change in belief does not come from porn or any other “sin.” True believers sin all the time. It causes guilt and ultimately leads them back into the fold. Even Jack Mormons are typically still believers. This is about a change in belief that comes from an ernest desire to know the truth. They just told you their story- why not believe them? I believe my family when they tell me they “know” the church is true. I believe them. I don’t doubt their sencerity. I used to believe the same thing. The least you can do is believe a person when they open up and are this vulnerable.

  10. I would suggest skipping the psychological BS John and Andrew spew and only listen to Allison’s story. I found her level headed, thoughtful and authentic. I wish John would have allowed her to speak more often.

    One day I hope John will unpack the psychology theories he either knowingly or unknowingly promotes. If he does, he will find those theories to be very hurtful and damaging to the individuals he “counsels”.

    Lastly, I’m not Mormon. I found this podcast very degrogitory and disrespectful to the Mormon Church. It’s ironic that the open song uses the words “ why do so many throw stone at those who are different”. I’m sure there a many who find happiness in the Mormon Church; however, listening to this podcast you get the impression the Mormon Church is the devils tool for psychological repression.

    Emotional connection is a feeling/belief many married couples struggle to obtain, most of whom are not Mormon.

  11. This is one of the most powerful and heart felt interviews I have ever heard. Both of the Jolley’s were very well spoken, level headed, and real. Their willingness to be vulnerable and share their experience saved others from more guilt and shame. Not only can you raise a happy family outside of mormonism but you can raise a HAPPIER FAMILY outside of mormonism! A huge thank you for putting this together and taking the time to improve the lives of others that you don’t know.

  12. Thank you for sharing. This is powerful and I hope my spouse will listen and our marriage can heal in similar ways. I carry guilt as I have transitioned out of Mormonism after being fully active and a true believer 47 years, and my spouse feels betrayed. Thank you John as well.

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