971-972: Collette Larsen – Rising Strong as a Middle-Aged Woman after the Mormon Dream Implodes
August 29, 2018
Collette’s incredible journey covers betrayal in her first marriage, genetic illness in two of her children, financial ruin leading to a multi-million dollar business, and advancement through and eventual separation from Mormonism.
Born and raised in Rexburg, Idaho in a devout LDS family, the oldest of 10 children, Collette and her first husband had five children, two of whom were born with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease. At 14 years old, Collette’s daughter passed away after a rejected double lung transplant and medically-induced coma. Collette describes rushing into her first marriage at a young age because of guilt induced from clergy interviews when she confessed to youthful indiscretions. Her second marriage also ended in divorce.
After three months of intensive care for her daughter and her second daughter who was also living with CF, Collette had accrued over $1,000,000 in medical bills. Collette describes her first time seeking help from the State Welfare Office. That year, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation provided Christmas gifts for Collette’s children.
Collette found great success working with Usana, a new career opportunity that allowed Collette the chance to earn an income from home while taking care of her children. When the company expanded to Australia, Collette moved there for a year with her children. From there, they spent time expanding the market in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Korea.
Collette’s third marriage unfolds like a fascinating movie script. Listen to the interview to hear how Collette and her husband, the love of her life, found each other.
Participation in LDS-led Prop 8 advocacy in California gave Collette the opportunity to exercise her faith and obedience, but standing on California street corners holding pro-Prop 8 banners forced her to question her actions and faith. The “Exclusion Policy” of November 2015 was a final straw for Collette.
Links to other topics referenced in this interview:
Protect LDS Children, a movement started by Sam Young with the goal of eliminating LDS policies that allow priesthood leaders to conduct one-on-one interviews with children behind closed doors that often contain sexually-explicit questions