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Jennifer Roach earned a Masters of Divinity from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and a Masters of Counseling from Argosy University. She was an ordained Anglican Pastor prior to her baptism 18 months ago in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
4:20 Introduction to Jennifer. Spoke about bishops interviews at FairMormon conference. Recent interview on Latter-Day Lives.
5:43 How she was introduced to the Book of Mormon through a reporter who was covering a lawsuit she was involved in. She was happy in her church, and not “looking” for anything. Introduced to the Pearl of Great Price, particularly the Book of Moses. She thought it was fan-fiction.
8:24 Speaks of giving up ordination and position in her church. Family supported, leaders supported, community questioned.
10:24 She was a survivor of abuse in her church growing up, starting about age 14.
12:50 Discussion regarding bishop interviews and her interest and research into it. Teenagers need a safe place to talk about issues; it is vital in an “incredibly confusing world”. What do teenagers need, what do abuse victims need?
14:53 Kids with best outcomes are those with three adults in their lives, besides their parents, that they can relate to. Mom and dad should still be safety net, but others are needed (James Furrows research). The importance of the “person who is at the top of the organization” knows and cares about the youth.
20:45 4 reasons why bishops should be meeting with youth
- It is developmentally important to them to have these discussions. This is a high expectation religion. If they are going to stay, they need to know that they are accountable to bishop.
- The peers of LDS teens are getting this support and these interviews in other churches (Catholic/Protestant)
- Even though bishops are not specifically asking about abuse, discussions about chastity can sometimes bring out hints of abuse. 75% of abuse disclosure is accidental. Average age people disclose past abuse is 54 years old. Bishop interviews are NOT grooming. Grooming requires intent.
- Teenagers need a place for self-determination, to know they are accountable, so they can grow into their own faith and not relying on parents.
45:15 Further discussion about the importance of 3 adults, besides parents, in each youth life. Help them to understand and discuss “here is what you are going through, and how does that apply”. James Furrows research shows that for best outcome, one of the adults should be the “top person” in the organization.
47:20 Advice for a leader that wants to develop better relationships with youth: be aware in group, small group setting and listen to them, help them contextualize what is going on with their world around them.
50:17 Any caution for leaders? We have to do the gymnastics of the rules (not alone with youth, etc.), but that is not the same thing as being the kind of adult in a kid’s life they can open up too. You are protecting them, but also need to be available to them. The interest is, “what does the youth need?”, not curiosity of the adults needs. Follow the youth. Create a culture that abuse can be talked about, and be safe to discuss
56:20 Final encouragement: Be brave enough to ask youth the hard questions. Do not abandon those kids who are struggling in a world that is far more sexualized than in the past. Be willing to talk to them.
Latter-day Lives Podcast with Jennifer Roach
From Anglican Minister to Relief Society Sister – Interview with Jennifer Roach
Kurt! Since you posted about this on IG I have been waiting for it!!! LOVE IT!!! I hope this becomes the new most downloaded episode!!! It is so important!!!
I know from personal experience with myself and my oldest son! My oldest son is 14 and has ADHD and Aspergers and I have asked the bishop since he was 12 to help me with him and be a father figure to him. I know how much he looks up to leaders, teachers and coaches and listens to them! I know and you know my marriage is crap and who knows if my husband will ever get into true recovery. So I know my son needs the bishop as a father figure.
I didn’t have trouble with passing school and Aspergers and ADHD, but I did have parents who didn’t talk to me. Who didn’t seem to care if I stayed out to 3am and so on. Who didn’t care that I had boyfriends at age 13 and went to high school football games and movies with them and some other friends. I grew up my teenage years feeling like my parents did not care one ounce about me. Nor did my siblings! My church family was all I had and where I felt the most cared for.
I know from experience in every aspect of my life how important it is to feel cared for and about by the most high up person in your church!
As a female I can now see how important a father figure is to a growing girl and how a community of leaders who care is important!
And also like she said, except I was in my 30’s, it took me months until I finally felt safe enough and like I could truly trust him, to tell my stake president everything! Everything as in my husbands addiction and emotional and sexual abuse for 14 years and about the abuse and trauma in my youth. And his father like role in my life and how he truly cared and I could feel he cared, meant and means the absolute world to me! He is like the dad I never felt like I had!
And I can name the women in my youth years who I looked up to and who seemed to care about me.
I used to cut my wrists as a teen, the wrong way, across your wrist, not up and down. I had forgotten I did that until I read this article that teens did it for attention, begging for help. I wanna say I learned about doing that at school. Plus the article said the pain of doing it, helped with the emotional pain you were dealing with but you didn’t know how to explain all the pain that was inside of you. And I can see that is why I did it so many years ago.
I know from personal experience that what this lady says is 100% true!! I knew it before listening! And I have seen the need for it in my oldest son for years!