When your father is a perpetrator it is a given that you have issues with religion. There are many reasons for this. The less known reason is the manipulation the perpetrator father plays. What society does not know is that a perpetrator needs a religion in order to enable his perpetration. The perpetrator enmeshes himself in the organization, always seeking for ways to advance socially in the organization. The Perpetrator uses the church as a way to gain trust from others. He uses it as a way to gain respect from others. These two tools trust and respect are the perpetrators most important tools. Add to this the fact that a father in many ways becomes the symbol of God in is daughter mind and you have plenty of reason to have issues with the church. But there are still more reasons.
Then the perpetrator father teaches his daughter a twisted form of religion, a religion that takes the principals of the church and changes them and twists them. The father uses this twisted religion to indoctrinate his daughter into the role of being his perpetual victim. But more then this, his twisted religion is presented as standard church doctrine. The daughter grows up where all the key words of church doctrine mean something very different to her, because of the way her father twisted everything. But because her father is using the same key words as the rest of the church all the talks the daughter hears only reinforce her fathers twister reality, because she simply puts his definition of words into the slot each time the word is used. That there is another huge reason to have issues with the church. But there is still more.
At some point the daughter will try to break out of the abusive pattern. When this is done the father then pretends to repent. Because the only person in the room with the bishop is the father the father has allot of room to embellish his own story about what happened. The father will supposedly go talk to the bishop, Then he will come back to the family and tell them some lie about how he is fully repentant and about how his actions should all be kept secret.. He can further complicate this by leaving the child with the impression that while it is a secret what he did, it is somehow illogically not a secret that the child wanted these inappropriate affections from her father. Thus the child believes that everyone thinks the child caused the problem. No one blames the perpetrator, not the church, the Bishop or even God. All the way up tot he top official himself, God, the perpetrator is forgiven for his minor infraction, but the greater infraction of the child seeking that attention is not forgiven in fact is is known abroad and unforgivable. What official is the child left to turn to? If the child’s mother bought that show, because she was in such an emotional mess she could not see straight, then the child can not turn to her. The child can no longer turn to the church, the child can not even turn to God himself. But still, still that is not the end of the reason the child has issues with the church.
Next comes the issues of why did God not save the child from the father’s sexual abuse? Why when the child prayed and prayed for protection and help did no one come to help? Who is God really if he can not save the child from the father?
Then that is compounded by the stupid LDS philosophy that all experiences are good ones that make us grow stronger. Who ever believes that does not understand the true nature of abuse. Am I really suppose to thank god for my abuse? Does the abuse come from God to help me grow? How am I suppose to believe that line of thinking and not be angry at God?
Then there is the LDS belief that we chose where we came to earth. Why wold I chose to come to an abusive family, is the obvious question. For the greater trial and the greater blessing? Really? That does not answer the question. There are plenty of abused people that never break free from the abuse, never grow past it and never gain a better life or understanding because of it. It can not be argued that inevitable end result is that we all grow from abuse, that just is not the case. Most abused victims spend a life wallowing in misery and worthlessness that never lets up or improves. Being compelled to a life of worthlessness has no inherent value. Nothing is gained in the strengthening of the spirit, in fact quite the opposite, the spirit is most often broken and falls into patterns of sin and rebellion.
Then there is the question of the nature of God. It is a cruel God that knowingly sends a child into an abusive home.
The perpetrator imposes a reality on the victim of one of lack of confidence and self doubt. This is necessary or the victim would stop the abuse and report it. The victim is taught to that their judgment betrays them, that it is the opposite of good, that it is the cause of their problems. The LDS church has a strong belief of personal revelation. But the victim feels that it has been proven to them that their judgement is faulty, then the victim is someone suppose to turn to God in times of stress and look for guidance? That would require the victim to trust their ability to receive communication accurately. Also turning to God for help in times of stress would require the victim to believe that God will for some reason help them now, that they need something little, like say finding their keys, when God offered no noticeable help while the abuse was happening.
Lets say the victim somehow magically fights through all of those issues the victim still has church based triggers to deal with. Everytime the all time favorite words of repentance, atonement, forgiveness are mentioned the victim has to fight back anger, disappointment, and frustration to say the least, of the memory of her father using the repentance process as an abusive club to keep her down. Various words spoken, various actions will trigger the victom. Like the sacrament, watching her pious father take it the day after he abuses her. etc. These weekly things at church all trigger abuse memories and cause the daughter to relive her trauma.
Not to mention that the church has a very favorable policies towards perpetrators. The daughter has to go to church with other perpetrators and see how they are treated with trust and respect, the two things the perpetrator needs to keep abusing. So while the daughter may find ways to heal all the other spiritual inconsistencies, nothing will change the fact that just going to church triggers her repeatedly.
In spite of all this some of us still do chose to fight to stay LDS.