Laura Roper Andreasen is the granddaughter of LDS Apostle M. Russell Ballard. Recently Laura resigned her membership in the LDS Church after struggling unsuccessfully for decades to find happiness and health as an active, believing Latter-day Saint (e.g., serving an LDS mission, marrying in the temple, having children). In this vulnerable, thoughtful, respectful, and heartfelt two-part interview, Laura discusses the following:
- The deep love and respect she has for her parents, grandparents, and Mormon heritage.
- Her struggles as a child, teenager, and adult with:
- What she experienced to be a culture of perfectionism and shame in the LDS church.
- A family and church culture of avoiding emotional vulnerability and the open discussion of difficult topics.
- The added difficulty/burden/pressure of being a direct descendant of Hyrum Smith and the grandchild of an LDS Apostle (within LDS culture).
- Her struggle with low self worth, depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation for multiple decades.
- Her complex relationship with Grandpa Ballard, who (from her perspective) struggled to balance his role as an apostle with his role as grandfather.
- Her perspective on what it is like to be an LDS Apostle, answering many questions from Mormon Stories listeners.
- Her reasons for leaving the LDS Church after being unable to find joy within it.
To read from Laura’s blog, click here.
Part 1 (Laura’s Story):
Part 2 (Q&A):