Episode 47

Breaking Down Patriarchy and Excommunication - with Natasha Helfer

Published on: 29th November, 2022

On today’s episode we’re going to be discussing loss — loss of family, loss of loved ones, loss of faith — and specifically we’ll be discussing loss in the context of excommunication from the Church of Latter-Day Saints.

For listeners who may not be familiar, excommunication from the LDS Church is the single most severe form of discipline which Church leaders can enact. It’s a severance, total and often sudden, from a person’s community and from their faith tradition, and its fallout can be devastating. While this form of punishment may have its proper uses, its clear that far too often it’s instead wielded as a form of censorship against proponents of progress and accountability. So, on today’s episode we’re going to be digging in deeper to understand excommunication and its impact, as well as other relevant forms of loss, as I’m joined by Natasha Helfer who sat down with me for a deeply honest interview about death, divorce, and her own experience of being removed from the Mormon Church.

Natasha Helfer (she/her) is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and a Certified Sex Therapist, speaker, writer, podcaster, and supervisor with 20 years of experience treating individuals, couples, and family systems.

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About the Podcast

Breaking Down Patriarchy
An Essential Texts Book Club
Breaking Down Patriarchy is a podcast for everyone! Learn about the creation of patriarchy and those who have challenged it as you listen to bookclub-style discussions of essential historical texts. Gain life-changing epiphanies and practical takeaways through these smart, relatable conversations.

About your host

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Amy Allebest

I grew up in Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, reading, writing, drawing, singing, and practicing the piano and violin. I attended Brigham Young University, where I met Erik Allebest during my first week of freshman year, studied abroad in Israel, lived in Chile for a year and a half as a missionary, and married Erik all before graduating with a degree in English. Erik and I moved around - to Colorado, Southern California, Utah, Spain, and Northern California - while Erik started and ran chess businesses for a living (primarily chess.com) and I stayed home to raise our four children. Those four kids have become brilliant, hilarious people and are our very best friends. I am a long-time trail runner, a recent CrossFitter, a lifelong reader and writer, and an almost-graduate of Stanford University's Master's of Liberal Arts program.