This post might be difficult for many here to understand.
Unlike so many in this Church, I came from an abusive, alcoholic and dysfunctional family. I recently discovered a 12 step programme that fit me perfectly called Adult Children of Alcoholics & Dysfunctional Families (ACA). We share common negative traits and one of them is black and white thinking, so I have to be very careful with General Conference.
Every talk that begins with a speaker talking about his/her wonderful family is difficult for me. Having the choir sing "I am a Child of God" (...and he has sent me here. has given me an earthly home, with PARENTS KIND AND DEAR) is an automatic shut down, such as this conference. And I know this is difficult for others to understand, but this GC speaker theme of constantly mentioning the death of some family member will only get a response of "well, try dealing with that as a 6 years old" from me. I do try to not put this through a mental filter but it is so hard when it is so ingrained.
The Red Flag for me was Pres Nelson's Sunday morning talk:
I have struggled with my faith in the last few years because of intense harassment that happened when I was in the army that just triggered so much childhood pain in me. I hit bottom as far as faith is concerned. I do believe that my higher power sent me this 12 step programme and all the wonderful people I have met and helped me. But it is very painful to be in recovery (when you are following a 12 step programme you are "in recovery"), and having your highest leader, who everyone calls kind, tell you that you are a lazy learner and lax disciple because of the survival skills you developed as a traumatized child. Those words shot through me like a knife. Recovery is HARD work.Your mountains will vary. And yet the answer to each of your challenges is to increase your faith. That takes work .
Lazy learners and lax disciples will always struggle to muster even a particle of faith.
To do anything well requires effort.
I am really hoping someone can help me interpret this in a better way. I get it, he is a very elderly man, comes from a very different generation and experience from me, he is using language that resonates with him. This is language that seems to motivate people raised in healthy environments, but certainly never in unhealthy homes. But why use negative language like this when talking to millions of people of various backgrounds? My psychologist is very quick to point out that "tough love" and critical parenting DOES NOT WORK and leaves deep scars.
I can tell you that there are a LOT of people who come to ACA from LDS homes and it sickens me every single time their trauma and anguish. But that's not what this is about.
Please, can anyone help me with this quote? I wrote it word for word and rechecked it because I thought I may have misinterpreted it. I feel so let down and I don't even want to listen to any more talks.