460-462: Lindsay Hansen Park on Bulimia, Body Image, and Faith

March 18, 2014
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1658430_10202434847063865_396335696_oToday we interview Lindsay Hansen Park, wherein she discusses her battles with Bulimia, body image, and faith.

 

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51 Responses to 460-462: Lindsay Hansen Park on Bulimia, Body Image, and Faith

  1. March 19, 2014 at 7:38 am

    This was such a sad, powerful story. I’m only through the first episode, but hearing her talk about the desire to just not exist… yes. I remember feeling that. Not over eating compulsion, but depression/suicide in general. For a faithful mormon, suicide isn’t an option not only for fear of it being a sin, but because it doesn’t solve a thing- You know you have an eternity of feeling the exact way you do. There is no escape. And if you can’t control yourself, then you can’t imagine the atonement applying, because you can’t stop your “sins”. It is SOUL-CRUSHING. I suppose that is what kept me alive, but oh, I wouldn’t wish that hopelessness on anyone.
    Lindsay, thank you for bravely telling your story.

  2. Brian
    March 19, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Lindsay,
    I so much loved listening to your story and insights. It sounds like it was the most terrible ordeal to go through. I loved the discussion in the second and third parts. I you had the best discussion on pornography and articulated how poorly teach about it.
    Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  3. anon
    March 19, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Wow. I am a BIC mormon that suffered from bulimia for 5 years (end of high school through college) and EVERYTHING Lindsay talked about concerning the disorder hit home. I felt like I was listening to my own story–so many of her anecdotes are my anecdotes. It was weirdly soothing to hear her talk about it. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Tunflog
    March 19, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I’m grateful for the opportunity to hear Lindsay’s story, and would like to thank John as well for hosting this episode. I don’t have any experience dealing with these kinds of disorders/issues but feel like I now have a better understanding of them and what can be done to help. I enjoyed the discussions about modesty in the second and third episode. It’s definitely something that has been taught incorrectly within the church and the consequences can be extremely severe. Thanks again for everything and good luck.

  5. loveisall
    March 19, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I just wanted to thank Lindsay for telling her story – very brave of her/you! I couldn’t help but relate when you mentioned you wanted to just disappear. I have totally been there, in a fog, depressed -listening to “how to disappear completely” on repeat. Better days are truly ahead

    cheers

  6. Kevin
    March 19, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Lindsey, I’d be proud to claim humanity with you wherever your heart takes you. God has an unusual work for you. May you succeed. May church leadership not be long in embracing all of the human family, starting with the borderlands.

    Did you and your girlhood friend reconcile–the one that you outed to her mom as a hedonistic young concert-goer? And your husband–surely such an open heart is evidence of God’s love for you and all those that you will bless with your love.

    John–it’s so good to have you back with us. Do continue as long as it makes sense to do so.

  7. Anonymous
    March 20, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Thank you Lindsay for sharing your story and to John for the podcast. I was anorexic at basically the same age as Lindsay and it really surprised me how quickly all of those feelings and thoughts came back to me. I have been healthy for years now, thankfully, but I identified with everything Lindsay said. From her thought processes, to motivations, to wanting to please, to striving for perfection and compulsive behavior. That was my life as an LDS teenager and young adult. God continue to be with you Lindsay in all you do, wherever that may be. I would like to know how your husband feels about your current place with the church. Is he no longer attending as well? He seams very supportive from what you said about him in the podcast.

  8. Ben
    March 20, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Wish she wouldn’t say that she applied scriptures to herself and followed the brethren to the tee. Clearly she didn’t. Obviously her warped interpretations are not what the church teaches.

    • March 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      If that were so obvious, then why are SO many young women in the church interpreting the same way? Clearly you interpret things different, that doesn’t mean yours is the obvious or “right” way. To some, YOUR way may seem obviously “wrong” or incomplete.

      • Ben
        March 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm

        Pretty sure there’s an objective standard to which we can make statements of reasons versus desperate blaming for personal issues. Is it the church creating a young woman’s flawed version of her role/value or is it more likely that many young women both in and especially out of the church are suffering from failed families, distorted media culture, obsession with acceptance and all that?

        • Ben
          March 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm

          So simple litmus test. Are young women better off with adults promoting the young women virtues found in the church or do those values create suffering. This is an obvious answer.

          • March 20, 2014 at 12:57 pm

            Whereas if I’ve learned anything listening to mormon stories and through my own experience, it’s that not everyone experiences the gospel the same, and not everyone is SUPPOSED to experience the gospel the same. There is no such thing as an “objective standard” when applying such a broad set of guidelines, cultures, rules, doctrines, folk doctrine, parenting…
            The simple litmus test you propose is not so simple. What if both options are true? The values CAN help women. But also, the way they are taught CAN cause suffering. We shouldn’t be applying a test to see if the current method is good enough, we should see that suffering exists and know we can do better. Period.

            Mormons are obsessed with looks. The podcast painted a pretty clear argument for that. We’re also obsessed with perfection. A young woman’s only reason for existence is made pretty clear: your job is to attract the right kind of man, then keep him pure until your married and then make babies. Ages 12-18, you are just in limbo, with no current ways to eternally progress yourself other than prepare yourself even MORE for marriage. How could a woman in that situation NOT become obsessed with how she looks and how men perceive her? It’s all we talk about in YW- if not directly, then indirectly, by talking about motherhood (must win a man for that), celestial kingdom (must win a man for that), priesthood (must win a man to have access to that), education (where we go to win men, so we can then teach our babies), modesty (all based on how men perceive you)… it’s no wonder we have so many women who are depressed, anxious, or have eating disorders. And then when they DO get married, and DO have babies, and look down from the pedestal the church puts young mothers on and realize it isn’t as fulfilling as they had thought, that marriage doesn’t inherently fix self-worth issues, and stay-at-home-mommihood brings in a whole new set of problems the church doesn’t prepare them for or have support for…. yes, to me it is a perfect storm for psychological problems.
            Am I saying we’d all be better without it? NO! It’s not black-and-white/either-or. Lindsay doesn’t propose REJECTING it, she proposes working to FIX it. It doesn’t have to be this way.

            For me, it wasn’t an eating disorder, but I can very easily trace my depression back to what I was taught about my value and role in YW. I’d say the VAST majority of mormon young women experience depression at some point between entering young women, and becoming married mothers. In my experience, a woman age 12-30 who doesn’t have personal experience with depression and anxiety is more the exception than the rule.
            Don’t blame the victims, they are fighting their own battles and don’t need your judgment- yes, there is personal responsibility, but there is also a chance for the organization to look at the culture, look at the presentation of doctrine, see where it is having unintended consequences, and make changes for good.

          • Jerilyn
            March 20, 2014 at 2:40 pm

            If the adults promoted only the YW values, then the YW program would be golden. Instead, we get adults who interpret the values through their own experiences and that is what creates suffering.

          • J
            March 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm

            Amen Jen. Well said. Ben is still living in his one dimensional world.

    • Dorothy
      March 20, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Ben, do you realize you are being very unkind?

      Also, if you have to say the words “obviously” and “clearly,” the things you state probably the opposite of obvious and clear.

      • Ben
        March 20, 2014 at 3:12 pm

        Um, blaming the victim. I’m the one that listened to the podcast. Should I be blamed or called unkind because I had a response to it? I just see areas for improvement.

        • Rune
          March 20, 2014 at 3:16 pm

          Do you honestly think you’re being kind here?

          • Ben
            March 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm

            Do you by pointing out your perception of my unkindness? I think it’s unkind to point out my lack of kindness, however you haven’t back it up in any way. So I’m unkind simply because you say so? Do you see a problem with that?

            And yes, I realize the potential for a lack of kindness. I have probably deleted 20X what’s actually posted before hitting ‘post comment’ as a personal check, because many things that have gone unposted were unkind.

            So to answer your question. I don’t think I’m being unkind. I think I’m being kind by not posting unkind things and limiting them to a valid discussion. And I think you’re unkind because you’re attempting to have me believe I’m unkind simply because you say so.

          • Rune
            March 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

            Great, you didn’t say as many hurtful things as you could have. You omitted some egregiously unkind things. Yay?

            But are you really being kind? Are you listening? Are you mourning with the one who is mourning here? Are you offering comfort to the pain being shared?

          • Ben
            March 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm

            I don’t think this comment is in order, since there wasn’t a reply option to the Yay! response below.

            Is Lindsay mourning? I thought she was sharing her story, and expressing all these great new ways of living that serve her better and provide better outlets than her previous unhealthy ones.

            Yes, I believe I’m being kind to the pain shared. If I saw someone on the soccer field with a twisted ankle, I would help them get to the urgent care to get it fixed. I think my logic and reason would help get Lindsay’s head right. Perhaps you think it would be kind to listen to the little kid with a twisted ankle scream in anguish and help them find their own voice and solutions. I think that would be unkind.

            Why do you care whether I’m being kind, unkind, mourn with others, or provide comfort?

          • Rune
            March 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm

            What you did was not so much offer help as it was to tell the “kid” (demeaning much?) how to fix their hurt ankle so much as to tell them it was a hurt ankle when they were telling you they hurt their elbow.

            Lindsay knows what her younger self went through and why a lot better than you do. You need to listen to her (and everyone else who has shared similar experiences here,) say what was wrong, not to tell them how it is.

            I care about her feelings, and those of the other women here. So, yeah, I care when someone treats her so judgmentally and condescendingly. I care when other women who have come here for support and actual help processing their similar circumstances run into comments that instead invalidate, dismiss, and redefine their lived realities.

            You’re not helping.

          • Rune
            March 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm

            Apologies for the typos, I’ve got distracting kids around.

            That was, “What you did was not to tell the “kid” (demeaning much?) how to fix their hurt ankle so much as to tell them it was a hurt ankle when they were telling you they hurt their elbow.”

          • Ben
            March 20, 2014 at 4:41 pm

            So you solution to having a space for people to share their stories and find their voices and do so without condescending, demeaning responses is to quiet those voices for which you disagree? Interesting.

            I have explained why I think I’ve been kind. Perhaps I should just go away or change because you deem it as something different to suit your protective purposes? Who do you blame your unkindness on?

          • Rune
            March 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm

            My solution to having a space for people to share their stories and find their voices and do so without condescending, demeaning responses is to call out the condescending and demeaning responses for what they are, so those who are in a delicate place know that they are supported against them, and can have a model for identifying and rejecting, rather than internalizing, those condescending and demeaning voices.

    • March 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      Ben – Divergent views are very welcome here, but rudeness is not.

    • Liz
      March 23, 2014 at 2:49 am

      Totally agree with Lindsay, rings true to what I was taught in church.

    • CanuckAussie
      April 3, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      Ben – Thank you for such a clear example of the kind of judgemental male attitudes that lead of problems such as this. Excellent job of teaching by example the principle of “mistakes were made but not by me”

  9. Ben
    March 20, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    The objective standard was whether Lindsay is engaged in desperate blaming for her personal issues or whether it’s reasonable feedback for the church is which she developed. It’s really simple. She says that she followed the brethren to a tee. That meant booting her roommate out because of a smashing pumpkins concert and a shared hotel room. Um, did the brethren mention at women’s conference that this would be appropriate, because I missed it in general conference and priesthood sessions. She said she applied the scriptures to herself. How so? “I will go and throw up as the Lord commands”? “The Lord gives no body that isn’t to be objectified by her priesthood holding husband”? I believe the scriptures speak about the worth of a soul. Yep, she interpreted poorly. Many people do. And I’m not one to defend the scriptures. I engage in many Sunday School discussions where my doubt of the literal or conventional interpretation is warmly and kindly discussed. However, it seems we reach the same conclusion – all things can be refined and made better and need to adapt to the current experiences of individuals. I’m just sure we’d disagree on what needs to be fixed, because it isn’t young women’s values, church teachings, or the courage it takes to take a stand and set a standard.

    You’ve clearly highlighted my concern. “Mormons are obsessed with looks. The podcast painted a pretty clear argument for that.” I guess your broad brush and generalizations doesn’t apply reciprocally? Do you even ask yourself, is this a Mormon issue? Or a human issue that Mormons also face? And what is the Mormon response to this concern? What does Mormon theology teach about look obsession? Objectively, it is unwise to take a position that follows this line of thinking – “I am suffering. I went to church. The church is to blame for my suffering.” Are you suggesting depression doesn’t exist outside the church? What does the church teach about depression? Clearly it isn’t in the Lord’s best interest to have depressed people, since we’re taught the Plan of Happiness.

    I don’t think my girls need to be taught how the young women values are hurting them before they learn what the young women’s values are. Once they understand virtue, individual worth, choice and accountability, etc, then I guess we can talk to them about the downsides of being a daughter of God.

    • March 20, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      I guess I didn’t hear blaming. I heard a personal experience from the viewpoint of the person who experienced it. At the time she THOUGHT she was following the leaders to a T. Maturity and experience have shown she probably wasn’t.
      The scriptures DO say “be ye therefore perfect”, and I can definitely see how people could interpret that in a way that feeds their self-harming inclinations. I’ve cried and cried over that scripture. I’ve seen the harm the “perfection” mindset has done.
      Does that mean the scripture is bad, and I’m not responsible for changing my perception of it? No! I’m not saying that by any means. The problem wasn’t that scripture, it was my perception of it based on the experiences and teachings I was exposed to in my youth. And while I can personally change my own perspective of it, if I want to save future people from the same heartache, then yes, I may stand up and say “here is a way that people are misinterpreting this, perhaps some guidance/clarification could help?”

      However, keep in mind the scriptures don’t say much about young women at all. If they want to find guidance for how to be a 15-year-old woman, they won’t find much there in the practical day-to-day. That’s where conference talks and church magazines and YW manuals come in. And yes, if a girl is told she can “become walking pornography” and/or be responsible for the thoughts of men by a priesthood leader, THAT is a problem, and not just a problem of her perception. THAT language/culture/perception within the church and society as a whole needs to change.

      I certainly never claimed depression or eating disorders don’t exist outside of the church.You seem to be seeing Lindsay’s personal experience and my comments as an indictment specifically on mormonism. No, mormonism, like everything else, has a lot of a good, and some areas of improvement. Pointing out it has room for improvement is NOT saying “it is inferior to everything else”, or “mormonism’s issues are unique to it”. I speak about mormonism, and depression in a mormon context, because I was a depressed mormon, and mormonism helped form my depression (and to its credit, helped get me out of it). IF speaking about what pitfalls I encountered helps other avoid them, then I will speak. It’s hard to do so when people think it black-and-whites and can’t see the nuances and complexity of both the problems and the solutions.

    • Rune
      March 20, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      This is some pretty callous victim blaming right here.

      Do the bretheren -intend- to teach things the way that Lindsey heard them? Do they intend the effect it had on her? No, I don’t think they did.

      That doesn’t change the fact that it had that effect on her, that the words they spoke said the things to her that they did. Just because they were unaware of the effect the kinds of statements and language they used affected her–and many, many other young women!–who desired nothing more than to please and do as they were told.

      It is NOT Lindsey’s fault or lack. Those words and lessons from leadership were ill-considered, and came short of acknowledging and addressing the realities of many young women’s lives, as well as the ways the intersect with each other, and with other aggravating pressures. That is a failure of an adult leadership that is accepted as being wise, not a young woman who is just trying to learn.

      Throwing a young woman (even if she is grown now) under the bus in order to protect the intentions of men in leadership positions is cruel to her, and does nothing to solve the problem that still affects so many others.

    • Jerilyn
      March 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      The message our girls hear is “In order for you to be happy, you need to be married in the temple to a returned missionary” and those messages are reinforced with things like modesty fashion shows and hair and makeup tutorials as activities. Our worth as women is tied up in our ability to bear children. We infer that our happiness is dependent on the choices of other people and our own biology, but that if we’re as righteous as we can possibly be, that we’ll be blessed to have those things work out in our favor.

      When we set up a “be as righteous as you can be” paradigm, it becomes crucial to look for a million other areas where we need to be righteous.

      The cycle is vicious and it is real.

    • Kalani
      March 20, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      “Yep, she interpreted poorly. Many people do.”

      I think you are absolutely right. God doesn’t want us to cast out others because of their sins, nor does he want us to judge one another based on our outward appearance. However, like you said, many people interpret the words in the scriptures and the words of our apostles in such a way as to support this. Which begs the question, “why do many members interpret the scriptures/the words of the brethren poorly?” And the answer, in my own experience, is because of church culture and lay clergy who poorly interpret these things and then pass them along as “doctrine.”

      The culture of the church in many places is absolutely at least partially at fault in many girls’ misunderstanding of church doctrine. If you’ll notice, Lindsay never says that the church is solely to blame for her struggles. Instead, she acknowledges that in her earnest attempt to be a valiant and upstanding member, she took some of the teachings to extremes. Frankly, I think many times the church culture encourages extreme orthodoxy. I can’t tell you how many lessons I’ve sat through where the teacher talked about how if we are true followers of Christ, we should want to pay full tithes on the gross amount of our income vs. net, even though this is not doctrine. So, by the same logic, it’s easy to understand how Lindsay took to heart the teachings that she learned and then pushed those teachings to the extreme.

      I don’t think it was ever her intention to suggest that the young women values themselves are hurting young women. She is instead suggesting that the way we teach young women these values, the way we frown upon any sort of “human-ness” and are completely intolerant of error and missteps, and the way we emphasize that young women should want to strive for these values in order to please/protect/help others is faulty and needs to be reassessed. I couldn’t agree more. Values? Good. Methods for teaching values and focus on external consequences/rewards for striving to attain values? Less good.

      I will teach my daughter about virtue, individual worth, choice and accountability, etc., but it will be done with the intention of helping her to be the best person she can be…not the best mother, or the best wife, or the cutest girlfriend. If she is striving to be her best self, and is confident in who she is as an individual daughter of God, I think she will be able to become a great wife/mother/whatever else she chooses to be.

      Lindsay’s podcast spoke to me because I, too, was taught that being virtuous or having individual worth was a means to an ends — the ends being having an eternal family via temple marriage. This happens SO often in the church, and because it happens so frequently, it IS a church problem, not just an individual misinterpretation. So, while I agree with you that young women should be taught what the yw values are, I think that unless we teach these values in a responsible way, we are doing at least as much damage as good in the long run, as evinced by Lindsay’s podcast.

      • J
        March 21, 2014 at 4:19 pm

        Is it possible that church leaders interpret poorly just as every one ells?

  10. March 21, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Thanks so much for the interview John. It was fun!

    I wanted to clarify a few things and answer some questions! If you have more, I have no problem answering them!!

    First, I have a great article that might explain better how to talk to young girls. Everyone should read this and follow up on other similar articles: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-bloom/how-to-talk-to-little-gir_b_882510.html

    Also, I don’t know why I said I was a Stake Mission leader. :) I was a Stake Missionary, not a Mission Leader because as a woman Mission Leaders aren’t in our purview in the LDS church.

    Also, my best friend that I kicked out of college? We’ve reconciled and as part of my repentance process, I’ve tried to make up for my mistakes by speaking out in these sorts of ways. Malia is my best friend and I’m lucky to have her.

    I also talked about not talking about changing behaviors in psychotherapy. T misspoke, of course we worked on changing behaviors and journaling etc. I can’t recommend therapy enough. For everyone. Therapy for all! Therapy all the time!

    Thanks again John! Thanks for all you do!

    • Brett Jensen
      April 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      I’ve always been a big fan Lindsay, but after listening to this courageous podcast, I am a worshipper!

  11. JenY
    March 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Lindsay, I just listened to the podcast this morning, and once again come away with nothing but respect and admiration for you. I so related to so many things you said in the interview, that I found myself wanting to stop it and write down some quotes. In fact, I probably will do that at some later time. I was not raised in the church, but if I had been, I suspect I might have interpreted things in a very similar way to you. I am old enough to be your mother, and I so wish that I had had someone like you saying these kinds of things to me when I was your age. I have come, on my own, to many of the same conclusions about life as you have described; I wish I could have done it 30 years ago.

    I had just listened to your podcast with John Larsen a few days ago, so was happy to continue your story here on Mormon Stories. I loved your ideas about the way the church teaches about pornography and modesty; I’d recommend your comments to all parents raising children in the church now. So many do not question or even consider looking at things from another point of view, and in those two instances I think it could be invaluable to do so.

    The last thing that so resonated with me was near the end, when you talked about the pain of realizing that the church does not care about you as an individual. That was the pain I experienced, and it was almost embarrassing to me, and felt egotistical and wrong. But it was definitely real. I guess I’d heard, in my 34-plus adult years of active, committed church membership, the story of the 99 and the one many times, and I’d actually believed it. When you diverge from the appointed path, you find out that you are only wanted back IF you can declare your belief to be in line with what it is supposed to be. You are NOT welcome, really, to think for yourself, or question, or learn anything but the correlated curriculum.

    It has been six years now, for me, since the beginning of my “falling away,” and I think I had forgotten how that pain felt. But then, this morning, when I heard you talking about it, I actually said, out loud, “YES!” And it felt quite emotional.

    So, thank you VERY much for all that you are doing. Know how much it is appreciated. I hope that people who are still in the church can hear and absorb some of the lessons you have to share, and that they will incorporate them into their religious and parental practices. It would only be for good.

  12. ssj
    March 22, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Wow Lindsay, how incredibly brave of you to tell your story. I’ve heard you talk a lot about your story on the fmh podcast, but this is so touching. I’ve been listening to a lot of Brenee Brown’s work on vulnerability lately, and it takes so much courage to open yourself up like this. Thank you for sharing your story.

  13. Brenda
    March 22, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I love the part where you talked about here in Utah, LDS breeds a culture of shame. It rings so true with my experiences. Everyone wants to be seen as a “perfect mormon” and they are afraid to be authentic and real. I think that’s a huge issue and it’s something that caused depression for me as a young mom. I felt like I couldn’t live up to how “perfect” all the other Mormon mommies appeared.

  14. Anonymous
    March 23, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    This was a jaw-droppingly powerful podcast. I just finished listening to all three parts of it and I was riveted. You have such insight for a person so young. Your outlook may start at Mormonism but your life lessons and truths are universal. You are brave. I do not put many people into that category but you belong in it. Brave people speak up in spite of attempts to silence them and are willing to deal with the consequences. And don’t stop. This may sound trivial, but I truly mean it: Good for you. Go forth, you will do much and much good. Oh, and regarding the very last thing you said as the closing music began to play… honestly, I wasn’t even thinking that until you said it!

  15. ssj
    March 23, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    One more thought as I finished the podcast…
    I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of Brene Brown’s work on shame and vulnerability. She talks a lot about how high amounts of shame will lead to depression, addiction, numbing, etc. Our shaming rhetoric has to change, it just has to.

  16. Rachel
    March 24, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Wow, Lindsay, my respect for you has grown even more with this incredibly honest and brave podcast. Everything you shared about the experience of having an eating disorder rang true with my past experiences as well, and I am so grateful that you model authenticity so well. I especially appreciated the insightful perspective your therapist had, to frame the disorder as your coping mechanism, and he wasn’t going to try and take that away from you before you were ready. The challenge of truly accepting myself and other people, coping mechanisms and all, without shame and judgment, is one I am constantly working on right now (count me in as another Brene Brown fan). I also was very moved by your experience feeling Gods presence under the stars, and your refusal to accept other people’s narratives as your own. Your example does open space for others to also be their authentic selves. Thank you!

  17. Anna
    March 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I just want to say thank you for these podcasts. I listened to all of them and you share your story and views in very authentic, articulate, and compelling ways. This was my first exposure to the Mormon Stories podcast and thanks to you I will definitely be a repeat offender! And also a closer follower of yours on FMH. Thank you for sharing your story. It was brave and I’ve been thinking about a lot of what you said ever since.

  18. Tracie
    March 25, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Great podcast! I’m so grateful to get to know Lindsay’s story since I only became acquainted with her recently through the FMH polygamy podcast. As one who always wants to make my friendships and church experience welcoming to everyone wherever they are in the gospel (or not), this was very helpful! Thanks!!!

  19. Lindsey
    March 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I really appreciated her story with her eating disorder. I found it very helpful and eye opening. I think she spent waaay too much time exercising her opinion against the lds church The church culture does have pros and cons but, I think she should of stuck to the subject at hand. She was very negative towards a foundation that offers hope and faith through Christ when healing from painful addictions and disorders. She was very contradictory at times. I am glad she was able to be open and thought provoking about anorexia.

  20. March 26, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Hi Lindsay and John,

    I just finished listening to this podcast and have to say thank you for both for asking and answering the difficult questions. The honesty and sincerity is so refreshing and cleansing.

    Take care!

  21. a
    March 29, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Lindsay,

    Thank you for sharing your eating disorder story. It is definitely a serious problem in the American culture. I am so happy that you were able to overcome it.

    I am not a typical Mormon and have lots of opinions that are definitely not mainstream Mormonism. I enjoy Dialogue and Sunstone as places to experience diverse opinions and experiences. However, it sounds as though you are turning Sunstone into a promoter of gay rights and gay marriage. I have no problem with you having those views, but not all “progressive” Mormons share them. I personally do not believe in gay marriage. I have no problem reading views that I do not agree with in Sunstone; I enjoy the diversity of opinion. However, celebrating gay marriage so overtly in the name of Sunstone is completely different. It makes me feel that Sunstone is no longer an open forum for different opinions, but rather is becoming a promoter for another set of specific beliefs.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    • March 29, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      Hi a,

      Thanks for your kind words. I hope I can answer your concerns about Suntone. I don’t look at myself as turning Sunstone into anything, just following after the purpose of its mission, “Faith Seeking Understanding.” Part of an open forum means allowing things we disagree with, so Sunstone would welcome an opposing panel on the issue of Gay marriage and has actually explored that subject in depth.

      My goal with the Gay Wedding Receptions is to not push or promote a political agenda. Instead, I see it as Mormon people rallying around other Mormon people who have been cast out or felt pushed out. Isn’t that what the gospel is all about?

      The Community of Christ traditionally holds Communion (sacrament) once a month. They now provide a service of sacrament weekly to gay members of the LDS tradition who have been excommunicated or otherwise haven’t been able to take the sacrament in years. I think it is the most beautiful, Christlike thing I can think of.

      But it also saddens me. Why can’t we do the same?

      Why must the ministering, mourning with those that mourn, comforting those who need comfort be done outside of our faith? I think it is a sickness in our church to let rules get in the way of people and this issue has so divided folks and families that there is a lot of ministering and tending to wounds that needs to happen.

      So I see this as Mormons with open hearts showing community support to a group of Mormons who have lost that and nothing more. Politics can be kept in the papers and in the courthouses but this is about honoring our people in our Mormon medium. All our people, not just the ones we agree with.

  22. Wes
    March 30, 2014 at 10:21 am

    That was powerful.

  23. April 5, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    I was blown away by this podcast. I have pretty much no experience with eating disorders and the honest portrayal of her experience was appreciated, eye opening, and actually jaw dropping. I have three daughters, all really young, and I feel extremely inadequate now on issues that may be ahead of them (though I hope not).

    Just an important discussion.

    I would like to say, though, she did spend a lot of time at the end critical of the church and I think, to some extent (I’m not sure how much of an extent) unfairly so. I don’t begrudge her point of view. It’s obviously where she’s at currently and she’s just being honest.

    I just wish I could recommend this podcast to my church friends, but she was pretty harsh toward the church and I’m wondering some who would really appreciate the first part of this discussion, might be put off by the last part. Which is too bad because the topic just seems incredibly important.

  24. Adam
    April 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Wonderful work in this presentation Lindsay and John.

    The third portion, in particular, asks some very important and powerful questions about why the Church is following mainstream Christianity’s “Red Shift” toward fundamentalist/Prudish thinking.

    John: You might find this interesting, but in the book “Woman and the Priesthood” Rodney Turner, 1972 (please excuse the paraphrasing, cannot put my hand on the book at the moment) there is discussion about nudity and the desire to move mankind into a less self-conscience/less overtly sexual direction (i.e. the hippy/naturalist movement) and the author and a quote from a G.A. in the book expresses alarm at this trend because of the Plan of Salvation’s mandate to be fruitful and multiply. The author and the quote speak about how modesty is designed to INCREASE sexual appetite, to insure the church’s reproductive proclivities! Not very feminist friendly (or friendly to men for that matter) to see God and your faith as deliberately working to weaken your self-control for the purposes of reproductive control, but that was the message in the book.

    Also, a mission president when I was at the M.T.C. told me that he believed that the Gospel’s real focus was to make man MORE animal like so that we would do what as in a divinely-preordained plan more readily than what our will’s would direct (i.e. Conformity is King).

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