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“This weekend I sat in my room at my husband’s family lake-house while conference went on downstairs. I thought about not coming but I had papers and such to write, and the view was sublime. I figured it would be innocent enough. But the voices wafting through the cracks of the doors were disturbing to my soul. The sickeningly sweet dulcet tones of the females. The self-assured yet monotone and mild voices of the males. All rehearsed. All sterilized. All spiritual counterfeits. I thought of the definition of spirituality modeled in Mormonism. Self-mastery. Emotional suppression. A constant projection of calm. As a woman, I was taught that female spirituality was a cross between self-flagellation for posterity and turning oneself into a type of spiritual sergeant for the sake of indoctrinating children and raising them up to be leaders in Zion. My eternal worth depended on my ability to present my fully endowed and sealed children to my Heavenly Father, come hell or high water. The layers of false beliefs and untruths in this version of spirituality are now deeply ingrained in my soul. It was as though, like the ritual of feet binding, my soul was wrapped in protective layers—layers that would make my soul more attractive to my eternal companion, and to my Heavenly Father. Now that I am unwrapping these layers, my soul is awakening—not only to the pain of the suppressed wounds, but also to the sight of a soul so restrained—so incredibly confined. When my unbound soul heard these voices this weekend, my stomach turned—much like it would if faced with watching a former abuser attempt to lure others into their trap. These voices, while speaking of heavenly things, are not, in the least bit, piercing anything. They are not real. They are not true. They are not whole. They are not holy. If they understood what humility was, they would not speak with these sibilant voices. Humility is feeling fully all the emotions inside of us. People who do so are frank, honest, vulnerable, unfeigned, and unafraid to be who they are—warts and all. Instead, with their flowered pulpits, dark suits and rehearsed speeches, they continue to co-opt words like: God, sin, repentance, humility, love, compassion, and grace. Their tainted definitions inoculate listeners to the invitation to stand up as sovereign beings, stretch-out those bare, beautiful feet, and walk into the world with a greater awareness and a desire to love. The voices of conference are voices coming from souls bound up in un-whole and unholy doctrines—ones that will never result in a fullness of anything. With these façade-filled voices, they continue the process of binding feet, while selling small, deformed shoes for the price of our souls.”

C.C.B., 4 April 2016 – FB Post