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Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Carol Lynn Pearson, author of The Ghost of Polygamy: Haunting the Hearts and Heaven of Mormon Women and Men, about the unfortunate and damaging legacy the Mormon doctrine of polygamy continues to have on mainstream LDS members and their relationships with self, spouse and God. Carol Lynn explains her project and how it came to be, starting with her own story as to how polygamy affected her sense of self as a female since adolescence and also destroyed the marriage of her great-grandparents. She talks of how as a devoted LDS woman, she came to the conclusion that polygamy was not an inspired teaching. “I was forever finished with the insane attempt to love a God who hurts me.” She treats this issue as a civil rights case and takes the courageous stand that disavowing polygamy is the most urgent thing we need to do for the mental and sexual health of Mormon women today. Getting to hear Carol Lynn read some excerpts out of her book is a treat in of itself. And the interweaving of myth, folklore and doctrinal teachings of Mormon history makes this podcast a must-listen.
Carol Lynn Pearson is a poet, playwright, screenwriter, performer, speaker, and general free-lance philosopher. She was born in Salt Lake City and has an M.A. in Theatre from Brigham Young University. Her work within Mormonism has affected much of its current culture and she is seen by many as an activist, ally and prophetic matriarch.
Thank you to Jeff Meyers for the intro and Peter & Mary Danzig of Otter Creek Duo for the concluding bumper music.
Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST can be reached at natashaparker.org and runs an online practice, Symmetry Solutions, which focuses on helping families and individuals with faith concerns, sexuality and mental health. She hosts the Mormon Mental Health and Mormon Sex Info Podcasts, is the current past president of the Mormon Mental Health Association and runs a sex education program, Sex Talk with Natasha. She has over 20 years of experience working with primarily an LDS/Mormon clientele.