1354: Informed Consent and Ableism in the LDS Church – Katie Harmon
October 18, 2020
Katie Harmon was raised Catholic in Laramie, Wyoming. After falling in love with a Mormon boy at age 15, Katie became socially/emotionally converted to the LDS Church in spite of…
High ambitions for herself (Katie was a 4.0 student, got a 33 on her ACT, was in AP classes, got a full ride scholarship to the University of Wyoming, and wanted to become a doctor) and
Strongly valuing social justice (e.g., anti-homophobia, anti-sexism, anti-racism).
As Katie became fully committed to the Mormon church, she saw her original aspirations slowly slip away, as she began to follow “the Mormon way for women.” Katie ended up:
Experiencing severe Scrupulosity as a Mormon woman.
Enduring an invasive and inappropriate “sexual repentance” process.
Marrying 3 months after graduating high school to a man she had only known 7 months.
Getting sealed to her husband while her non-LDS family sat outside the Mormon temple.
Having three children within a short period of time before she felt ready to do so, based on LDS teachings.
Feeling frustrated when, after her 2nd child was diagnosed with major health issues at 20 weeks, priesthood blessings failed to heal her ailing child. She basically discovered after conversion that the “Priesthood power” was not real, and did not work.
Confronting the stifling ableism of Mormon doctrine, theology, and culture.
As Katie’s hopes and dreams began to fall apart, she began studying Mormonism more closely, and discovered that she was not taught as an investigator important truths about Mormon history and the LDS church that would likely have prevented her from joining.
Katie’s motivation for doing this interview is to call on the LDS Church to be fully honest in its missionary efforts, and in its education of children and youth, so that people like her can not be misled into joining and/or committing their lives to the Mormon church without being fully informed about its history, doctrine, and theology.