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  1. I have only listened to part 1 thus far. I applaud Natasha for being so open with her own story. It is hard, I am sure, to walk that fine line about which she talked, being both a therapist and being the one telling her story. I have been touched with her honesty and vulnerability. On many levels, I have experienced what she has with bishops, etc. It is so hard to go to a Bishop, needing spiritual healing and compassion but to be met with judgement and harshness instead. I have also been there and I am sad she had to experience that.

    Part 1 ended with both John and Natasha taking about how one’s worth is different than one’s behavior. I thought my heart would explode when Natasha was sharing about being a teenager and hearing the nail in the wood analogy. That literally took my breath away that young people, anyone, are told that even with the atonement, they are less than whole because of what they’ve done. Why have an atonement if that is the case??

    Elizabeth Smart talked about feeling like no one would want her after being raped by her kidnapper because she, too, had grown up with the “chewed piece of gum” analogy. She is working so hard now to make sure that THAT narrative gets changed, that because of what happens to us does NOT diminish our worth. Natasha is saying the same thing.

    Thanking you for all you have shared!! Loves.

    1. Ms. Parker: I contacted your online service, did not leave a phone message, instead I filled out the form for contact. I have not heard from anyone yet. I did leave my online moniker, Duck, as my contact name instead of my real name, but the email and phone number were both real, what I wrote in my comment there was real, my reason for needing the therapy.
      Thank you, Duck. I hope to hear from someone from your office regarding my request. Happy morning.

    2. I ultimately decided that Mormonism takes you further from Christianity by encouraging perfectionism (no need for Christ) and shaming (atonement is irrelevant). I heard many analogies as a teen about chewed gum, fly in a milkshake, etc. When I would make moral slips as a teen, I would berate myself in the mirror for being a filthy piece of trash. As an adult I was taught in a class that if you make a mistake, you stall on the progression path and will never be as far ahead as the people who didn’t make mistakes and kept going. I refuse to raise my children in this toxic environment where you’re never good enough.

      Speaking of Elizabeth Smart, there were a lot of Joseph Smith parallels in the case that seriously rattled my shelf (aside from the general awfulness of it all), but that’s another topic.

  2. I don’t have Facebook, but I follow Mormon Stories and have learned so much since finding you in 2015.

    I want to thank you Natasha from the bottom of my heart for this beautiful, open hearted interview.

    I knew I’d be able to openly thank God for my clitoris without any shame some day! And your laugh made my laugh come back.

  3. I didn’t think I could be more of a fan of Natasha that I already was, but I am! What a wonderful gift of an interview this is! Incredible vulnerability, honesty, insight, wisdom, … (I could go on and on.) This is exactly why I am a committed monthly contributor to the Open Stories Foundation. Love this!

  4. I can really relate to the husband discomfort with marrying someone with extensive sexual experience prior to marriage. My ex0wife had had a baby given up for adoption as well. I was not just a Mormon dick, I was a dick in every sense of the word over this issue and it was a marital problem for a long time. There is nothing I regret more from my marriage than how I treated here over this. While this issue was not related to our divorce after 13 years of marriage there is nothing I want to go back and change more than that.

  5. Finally finished. I can see the attraction and desire to go back into activity. Natasha seems to have similar attachment to Mormonism as I do. I’m a devout atheist that resigned in 2012 and yet feel inspired to be re baptized

  6. I rarely post anywhere but I wanted to say I enjoyed your recent interview with Mr. Dehlin. I didn’t know who you were but I listened to all three podcasts.

    It seems that on many podcasts that deal with Mormonism, you must first relate your Mormon ancestry (4th generation LDS, relatives came over the plains, etc.) to show your credibility. I don’t think this is intentional by anyone and of course introductions are always helpful but there always seems to be a Utah ancestry-kind of pedigree that must be explored to insure credibility.

    In no way am I being critical of MS because it helped me in my transition out of the church, however, non-Utah LDS members have a Mormon story as well. I enjoyed the Lamanite series recently. There seems to be an interesting story that perhaps has not been fully explored by John between Mormon transitions of Mormons deeply rooted in Utah Mormonism versus transitions of non-Utah Mormons. Many would say that there is a big difference between Utah Mormons and non-Utah Mormons. Consequently, their transitions out and perspectives are different also.

    Some things that resonated with me.
    I was born in Argentina also (Avellaneda). My father was the 500th member of the LDS church in Argentina. We migrated from Argentina to the US. My father worked in the translation department on the BOM Spanish translation for a time at BYU.

    I related to the feeling of never “fitting in” with the LDS culture. This was very true in my life where I always got the impression that Utah Mormons seemed to be of a royal line. I saw this in my life living in Utah and attending BYU. My wife’s family are all pioneer stock Mormons and I would see this dynamic often in family interactions.

    The LDS church can have an appealing message, especially for Latinos. Family, the BOM angle and having answers to questions that Catholic Priests could never answer. Ironically, the cracks began for me on my LDS mission.

    Thanks for your story.

    1. The pedigree intro always makes me wonder if it’s intended to show a level of prior devotion to legitimize the exit, or maybe it’s meant to imply that their family is ingrained in the church, which makes leaving more complicated and difficult. Not a criticism, as I think it’s reflexive in the Mormon culture, either in or out, to give some type of pedigree.

    This document is a compilation of quotes from Public Documents which include Legal Complaints; Appellate Court Rulings; Rulings on Legal Motions; Newspaper accounts; and the Boy Scouts of America Ineligible file documents. All links are provided. Transparency is the only way children will be protected.
    Although this document is very disturbing, there is nothing more upsetting and tragic than coping with the aftermath of abuse in someone you love. My hope is that this document will raise awareness so that your children will be better protected. (This is the first Church I have researched and I intend to continue this type of research with other churches and organizations). The document is a living document and to add an instance of sexual abuse by leaders or members of the Mormon Church to this document, please email me at: LDSLivingDocument@gmail.com .

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