Sunday in Outer Blogness: Mental health edition!

Andrew S contrasted the attitudes of John Dehlin and Dan Wotherspoon using a quote that illustrates this week’s LDS topic:

It’s not just these isolated positive emotional experiences that I had, that you have had, that others have had…it’s the fact that those are tied to an institution that brings vulnerable people — and I will say vulnerable, whether it’s investigators that are ignorant to many of these things, or young children that are brought up in it and then…get…you know…the young kid who masturbates and then is shamed or the gay person or whatever…they then get confronted with really difficult, sometimes toxic, and even life-ending situations because the book and the spiritual experiences are tied so tightly — before you’re able to become Dan Wotherspoon when you’re 40 with a Ph.D. and throw nuance at everything, you may have tried reparative therapy and committed suicide; you may have entered into a marriage where you then don’t believe anymore and the wife is taking the kids away; you may have, instead of pursuing a Ph.D. as a female, you may have married some guy and had five kids and now the future that you really would have chosen wasn’t really made available to you. And for me, the connection with the institution make full disclosure and the stakes of difficulty much more significant.

And don’t forget about missionary trauma (including the stigma of coming home early) and creating disorders in order to offer a cure — not to mention the stuff they’re teaching the girls and women about their worth as individuals.

Kiwi Mormon explained 50 Shades of Grey as an allegory of Mormonism:

HE is a menacing, powerful male protagonist with an impenetrable heart, immune to the advances of floozies and flirts. He finds himself aroused by the deferent and inexperienced girl who, eyes downcast, works wordlessly and sacrificially for the greater good.

SHE is not a shrew and neither does she make demands – she’s a virgin girl; naïve and pure – and her innocence stirs him into a frenzy of feeling. He must claim her and possess her because she is the silk to his linen, she is the curve to his angles, the softness to his hardness.

At least Chelsey Sidler-Lartey shared an affirming tattoo.

People can come up with some of the most amazing, convoluted theories to make theology work, and apologists can invent hilarious metaphors! Also, prophets say the darndest things!

Oh, and the world was supposed to end, wasn’t it? I’m sure you’re all really surprised that it didn’t. And another apostle died, which changes the odds of who will be prophet next!

In other church news, a treasure-digging cave dug by Joseph Smith was recently found, and we have the tale from the pen of the explorer!

The folks of the exmo reddit did a bit of informal research on “soaking”, and it turns out that, yeah, it’s not real. It’s like the whole gerbil thing. It got traction as a legend because, hey, wouldn’t it be pruriently awesome to imagine that people are doing something so messed-up…?! Sadly, not real.

In church watch, Mormonism 101 explained a bit about how the CoJCoL-dS calculates its numbers and David T exposed the secret leadership information system.

In commentary, Mithryn continued his “40 talks in 40 days” series with The Lord is my Light and Dallin H. Oaks’ talk Look for the Possibility of Bias (a talk which has others suggest he look in the mirror). Mormons have some reasons to have pope envy.

As a follow-up to his Stewart Udall series, Thinker of Thoughts posted an inspiring series of people from various religious backgrounds who stood up civil rights.

If you’re in Seattle, you’ll want to attend the premiere of upstairs Inferno — a film that examines the same tragedy Johnny Townsend described in his book Let the Faggots Burn. In other book news, It’s Not about the Sex, my Ass continues to get good reviews. Knotty reviewed a book about a kinky exmo. And Alex Hansen’s book (which I reviewed earlier) reached #1 in Amazon’s LDS-interest free downloads!!

In life journeys, Zelph on the Shelf compiled a list of reasons for leaving, Monica offered a snapshot of shared custody, Aerin is learning new tricks, and Novus Homo’s daughter wrote about her step-dad’s cancer.

In fun, Diane Tingen posted some new hymn parodies: Come See All the Lies and A Stack of Lies.

It’s been a fairly relaxed week here in Switzerland. Good thing the world didn’t end, I guess. See you next week, if the blood moon doesn’t finish us all off! 😉

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chanson

C. L. Hanson is the friendly American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! See "letters from a broad" and the novel ExMormon for further adventures!!

2 thoughts on “Sunday in Outer Blogness: Mental health edition!

  1. From another of Andrew’s posts on John and Dan, quoting Dan:

    Whatever peace I’ve achieved here is because I have that connection and I feel it. So, how do I encourage those who haven’t had it to have it? I don’t know…I hate to say, “You have to hit rock bottom”… but I do know that works for a lot of people when you say, “I can’t run my own life…I’ve tried it and I’ve botched it.”

    …so I guess my plea is, “Don’t give up on the spiritual life…you’re not betraying your intellect if you go into meditative spaces or ritual spaces and just say, ‘I’m turning off and seeing what bubbles up.’ and I’ll just let you know that those images will ultimately settle the question for you that you’re something more than just your body as is presently constituted…there’s a depth to you that’s more than what you’re imagining in your head.”

    First of all, it’s pretty striking that guys like this can’t give up proselytizing. It’s not just that they’ve done all this exploration and found what they think works best for them. It’s not just that they want to explain their decisions and the rationale behind them. It’s that they want to convince everyone else to make the same decisions they made about what is ultimately an unsharable, indescribable personal experience. and value it as they value it.

    I mean, it’s not like Dan’s trying to persuade everyone to believe that global warming is really and we better do something about it ASAP because otherwise, the consequences for the whole planet will be devastating. No, this is like someone trying to convince everyone to use a particular sexual position because that’s the one that affords them the greatest sexual pleasure. They might argue that if everyone is as thoroughly pleasured as they are, well, the world will be a better place. But it still doesn’t allow for any number of personal differences. And Dan simply can’t actually guarantee, as he presumes to do, that “[going] into meditative spaces or ritual spaces and just [saying], ‘I’m turning off and seeing what bubbles up'” will irrevocably settle others’ fundamental ontological questions.

    The arrogance would be astonishing if we were talking about anything other than straight white priesthood holders.

    Secondly (and I do realize that this is an extremely personal comment, but Dan has made his personal peace and spiritual development issues here), it’s not like Dan exudes peace or manages a life that many others are interested in emulating. He seems like a really frustrated mess as much as anything. He might do a better job of encouraging others to pursue the experiences he says has given him peace if he actually seemed like a peaceful person.

  2. First of all, it’s pretty striking that guys like this can’t give up proselytizing. It’s not just that they’ve done all this exploration and found what they think works best for them. It’s not just that they want to explain their decisions and the rationale behind them. It’s that they want to convince everyone else to make the same decisions they made about what is ultimately an unsharable, indescribable personal experience. and value it as they value it.

    That is a really excellent point. There’s a big difference between explaining your choices in order to take back your own narrative (from people who want to project narratives onto you), and explaining that your choices are really the only right choices (for anyone and everyone).

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