“Shame needs three things to grow exponentially in our lives: secrecy, silence, and judgment.”
- Brené Brown
That’s the phrase everyone used to refer to the villain, Voldemort in the popular Harry Potter book series.
They used the title “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” instead of saying his actual name because they were afraid of him. You might even argue that they were trying to avoid any association with him… or as we’d say in our community, they were “avoiding the appearance of evil.”
But in the first book of the series, Professor Dumbledore teaches Harry something powerfully important.
“Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
Just like in the wizarding world, there are things in the Latter-Day Saint community that many of us avoid talking about. They are words and topics that make us feel uncomfortable and awkward.
If you’re like most people raised in a conservative home, your family had “Voldemorts” that you simply did not talk about. Doing so would result in shame, guilt, and judgement. These topics were just too difficult, too nuanced, or too emotionally charged to address directly. It was much easier to just avoid them all together and pretend they didn’t exist.
The problem is, when you refuse to talk about something, you just give that thing power over you. You never develop the skills to talk about it, to wrestle with it, and to truly understand it.
Part of the reason we started the Mormon Marriages podcast is to provide a platform - and more importantly, a model for these tough topics to be addressed.
Today we invited Daniel Burgess onto the show. He’s a marriage and family therapist who specializes in sex. He’s an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And we’ve invited him to talk to us about the topic of masturbation, and how it fits (or does not fit) into the lives and marriages of members.
If you have judgements, or strong opinions or feelings about masturbation, I invite you to listen to the podcast in its entirety before making a judgement about the conversation. Daniel has committed his career to helping couples create wholehearted marriages that include vibrant and fulfilling sex lives. This episode clearly reflects that mission.
We hope you enjoy it!
About Our Guest
Daniel Burgess, MA, LMFT
Daniel A. Burgess, MA, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in sexuality and relationships. He has also worked as a consultant in Silicon Valley, as well as volunteered within the community in various roles.
Daniel is a blogger, speaker, and author of “Reconciling our Divine Sexual Identity”, scheduled for release in early 2019. He also runs an engaging and informative Facebook group discussing marriage and sexuality in the faith, “Improving Intimacy in Mormon Marriages”. For additional resources or questions, connect with him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also schedule a video appointment with him here.