For today’s Mormon Stories Podcast interview we will speak with Sian Wall Coombs. Sian is a mother of 5 who lives in Wales (U.K.). We will be discussing:

  • Her life as the 7th of 9 children in a Welsh Mormon family,
  • Her parents’ very public divorce,
  • Dealing with the difficulties of teenage pregnancy and church discipline,
  • Her marriage to a church convert and life as an orthodox Mormon,
  • Her faith crisis, and
  • Her process of navigating life after Mormonism.

Part 1 – Sian shares her Mormon background, up until her unplanned pregnancy and marriage to a convert:

Part 2 – Sian reflects on how cracks developed in her faith:

Part 3 – John begins asking Sian THRIVE questions:

Part 4 – John continues asking Sian THRIVE questions:

 

Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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Part 4

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11 Comments

  1. asc February 3, 2020 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Thank you for mentioning Denmark :) and thank you for your page here

  2. Vickie Duncan February 3, 2020 at 11:10 am - Reply

    I may make a comment later also…but just had to say…the way disciplinary councils are held for women…are the worst. Uncalled for and barbaric in every way.

  3. Faith February 6, 2020 at 7:18 pm - Reply

    John did you remodel your basement furniture between episodes ?

  4. Neal Harper February 9, 2020 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    What a pleasant surprise listening to Sian and her story, I thoroughly enjoyed your perspective on growing up in an LDS community in one of the smaller areas of the world.
    I grew up in SA, Johannesburg and experienced a very similar way of life within the church there, so can totally relate to how important it was to be shining examples, global ambassadors for Salt Lake and “The Brethren”…massive pressure!
    What made this episode so cool for me is that I served a mission in North Wales, Anglesey for 6 months, second half of 1985…Sian probably just an infant at that time.
    I have fond memories of the Welsh people and was lucky enough to serve there for a big chunk of my mission, living in Llangefni. As missionaries it was always cool and a competition to pronounce the longest name of the village referenced at the end of part 4.
    All the best with your new found journey with Paul and family. Listening to you has brought back so many amazing memories. I really need to visit North Wales again soon.
    Sincerely, Neal ( I now live in California, post TBM 😉 )

    • Sian Coombs February 10, 2020 at 8:45 am - Reply

      I’m from Anglesey, so you likely served in my ward (there’s only one ward in Anglesey- Gaerwen) but my family lived elsewhere in 1985, returning to Anglesey in 1988 so we would have missed each other. I was born in 1984 so would have been a baby then. We likely know some of the same people though. Glad you enjoyed listening.

  5. Marsha Fish February 9, 2020 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    What an amazing lady! Her experiences were similar to mine and she reacted with such grace and optimism. Thankyou so much for this interview. I could relate to her on so many levels. I especially appreciated how her goal was to , “ FIRST DO NO HARM”.
    Reacting in anger never works.

  6. Marsha Fish February 9, 2020 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    What an amazing lady! Her experiences were similar to mine and she reacted with such grace and optimism. Thankyou so much for this interview. I could relate to her on so many levels. I especially appreciated how her goal was to , “ FIRST DO NO HARM”.
    Reacting in anger never works.
    Well done

  7. Shannon Fish February 9, 2020 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    What an amazing lady! Her experiences were similar to mine and she reacted with such grace and optimism. Thankyou so much for this interview. I could relate to her on so many levels. I especially appreciated how her goal was to , “ FIRST DO NO HARM”.
    Reacting in anger never works.
    Well done

  8. Mark Lee February 10, 2020 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    I sent this one to my mom, she’s from the UK and also left the church. One of my favorite episodes thus far…

  9. David Egan Evans February 13, 2020 at 8:50 am - Reply

    I served my mission in England and Northern Wales (where my ancestors are from, Eglwyseirw/Denbigh) in 1993-1995, and remember coming through the wall in Chester and fell in love with Wales. (Most of my time was in Colwyn Bay and Denbigh.) After visiting the CofE and Church in Wales while there, and realizing that’s what my family was before one of the brother’s converted and moved to Utah (over a century ago), after some searching (Unitarian, RC, Greek Orthodox) I joined the Episcopal Church. The comments around Christmas remind me of part of what I missed leaving Mormonism and found again in the Anglican Communion, which has allowed questions and growth without judgement.

  10. UTcountyMOM February 13, 2020 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    I started having issues with what I thought was a strong testimony when I saw how my teen was being treated by leaders and members when she was just going through normal teen things-like pushing boundaries (doing her own multiple ear piercings, wearing mini skirts, having boyfriends). She was completely marked by the girls she grew up with as a “bad girl” and began internalizing their treatment and coping by getting into drugs-which was a shock to find out about.
    Our family had never been a ‘normal’ faithful family since my husband and I had never been sealed (he grew up in a non religious home in UT)-I spent SO many of of years together ruminating about the decision I made to marry outside of the temple. I’d been mostly active for the good part of a 20 year marriage when I began seeing how I was treating my beautiful daughter too, because I was desperate to be the ideal LDS family. Once I could see that I was hurting my child I began to look why and how I came to be doing that. I came to mormonstories to try and find help to my questions.

    What I’ve come to believe:
    I believe the church sets our families up to become emotionally abusive towards one another because we are taught to look and act in certain ways because righteousness is suppose to produce a perfect product, we are taught that God wants us to be “this way” and if you’re not something is wrong and you are shamed. I KNOW that because of the harm done through the generations of my mothers family being in the church, families ripped apart through polygamy and abandonment because of that era and families too large to give enough time for proper child rearing, that my mom suffers from borderline personality disorder. This was not helped out by a truly rotten bishop blaming child abuse onto her children instead of the abuser.
    There are too many Narcissistic personalities because of what is being taught at church and I do not feel there is much left of Christianity at my local church house.
    I’m SO grateful for the support I find through Mormonstories. I’m still trying to navigate this journey and I am so glad I have a good husband who never put blinders on!

    I’m hoping that my children who are teens will understand why I left activity and that they each can find companionship as they grow up, and find someone who looks beyond what a church tells them is a good person. I’m really hoping (birthday candle wish) we will move out of the mighty bubble of LDS elites in Utah.

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