Thich Nhat Hanh is one of my new favorite spiritual voices. In one of his Q & A youtube videos, he’s asked by a young person if he needs to keep forgiving his father who emotionally abuses him. Thay tells him that he may think that by cutting off his father, he can remove all influence on him. Not so. His father is already deeply embedded him. And always will be. The important thing to do is not to cut off his father, but to heal the father which is deep inside him. I see a strong corollary to Mormonism. If you’ve grown up Mormon, and you’ve been hurt by it, either through historical/testimony issues or through cultural/practical issues, the first step is to heal the Mormon Church inside you. I think that might look different for everyone, but I don’t think it’s done most effectively by immediately leaving the Church and disengaging from it. I think once you’ve done that work, you can decide whether you want to stay or not long term, but that work is done most effectively while engaging it as positively as possible.

 

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