Go kiss your children.

So I’m sure I’ve mentioned how intrigued by the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) church I’ve become over this past summer. I read “Under the Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer at the beginning of summer and then heard about other books that were written by women with first hand experiences in the FLDS church.

So to my pleasure, last time I was home and visited Cindy she allowed me to borrow a book called “Escape” by Carolyn Jessop. This book is a woman’s autobiography about her escape from the FLDS church with her eight children. It tells her story cronilogically- beginning with her childhood.

I’ve heard and read my fair share of the terrible things and beliefs the FLDS church holds dear, but I never realized the amount of abuse that the children in this religion endured. Here is a quote from the book,

“When my mother beat me, she would always say she was doing it because she loved me. So I used to wish that she didn’t love me. I was afraid of her, but I would also get angry at her when she hit me. After she beat me she insisted on giving me a hug. I hated that. The hug didn’t make the spanking stop hurting. It didn’t fix anything.”

I think aside from the content my favorite part of this autobiography is the way she makes her tone and voice sound like a child when she’s speaking of childhood memories. This memory broke my heart. She goes on to tell of the abuse children would endure from their school teachers and bus drivers who were never punished for kicking children across classrooms because it was thought of as guiding children into a “God-like” path. After one of her stories about her school principle beating an entire classroom she says,

“My mother was outraged by the principal’s behavior and told us that if anyone ever tried to hurt us in school, we were to come home at once. She didn’t make the connection between her abusive behavior toward us and the beatings that happened at school. Mother managed the think that she was beating us only because she loved us and was trying to make us live godly lives. She didn’t know that our small bodies were unable to distinguish between the two.”

So please, if you have children- hug them, love them, and tell them daily just how wonderful you think they are!

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