November 20th, 2013 by admin

33 Comments

Rescued From Exploitation

Rescued From Exploitation

Stephanie M. Larsen

At A Glance

Stephanie comes from four generations of women who were trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Her own mother was sent into the trade at age twelve and had her first child when she was sixteen. But Stephanie’s mother broke the pattern by refusing to exploit her own children, allowing Stephanie to grow up outside the sex trafficking industry and join the Church in high school. Stephanie is now a wife and mother and the founder of two non-profits, Child Rescue and Backyard Broadcast, and she is an activist fighting against human trafficking.

Tell me about your family’s background of sex trafficking.

This story goes back four generations. It starts with my great-great-grandmother Lorraine, who lived in Kentucky. When she was just eleven years old, her cousin’s husband, Joseph Radcliff, who was seventeen years older than she was, raped her and she got pregnant and gave birth to my great-grandma Ann. Joseph then took control of Lorraine and exploited her and forced her to have sex for money with adult men. When their child, Ann, was young, he began exploiting her as well. When my great-grandma Ann was twelve, she told her mom that they needed to leave and run away from Joseph. Lorraine was really reluctant to go, but Ann was able to convince her and they escaped and ended up in Chicago.

But in Chicago they ended up being exploited again, in the red light district. When Ann was fourteen years old she gave birth to my grandma Joyce. And because Ann had been raised in such a dysfunctional environment, with so many men coming and going in her life and abusing her, she continued the pattern with Joyce. So, like my great-grandma Ann, Joyce was sexually abused by different men while she was growing up, and when Joyce was a teenager she was forced by her mother to have sex for money. Joyce got pregnant and had my mom at the age of eighteen and they moved to California. Starting at age three, my mom was physically and sexually abused as well — by three different husbands of my grandma’s.

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Stephanie with her grandmother and great-grandmother

What was life like for your mom?

By the time my mom was twelve, her mom had left her third husband. My mom and her mother and my mom’s brother, who was three years younger than my mom, lived in and out of hotels by the beach in California. One night, my grandma came home pretty drunk and all beat up and bloody and bruised, which I don’t think was uncommon. My mom helped clean her up and took care of her. This particular time my grandma had been gone for a week and they had no food and my grandma came home empty handed. So she said to my mom, “You have to go out and work, because I have nothing. I can’t buy food for you and your brother, and that’s the way it is. You’ve seen me do it and you know what to do.” She was forcing my mom to make money for the family by having sex with adult men. And my mom just obeyed because that’s what children do. Not too long after that, her mother left for good and my mom lived on the streets and was left to care for her brother. A few years later, at age sixteen, she got pregnant.

You are the first woman in your family in 100 years who wasn’t forced into sex trafficking. How was the cycle broken? What was different about your mom and her children?

I look at my grandma and great-grandma and have a hard time understanding why they exploited their own children. I know them really well because we’re all so close in age, and they are lovely women; they were so nurturing and loving to me, just like my mom is. But that wasn’t how they treated their own children. So I think about it and wonder, why the difference? And I’m not sure, but I think my mom’s spirit just came that way; she came ready to protect children at all costs. It is literally part of her. My mom just put her foot down and said, “I’ll never do that to children”–and she didn’t. I asked her once why she was different–I mean the stories I’ve heard are just incredibly nuts. The abuse! Her little brother was terribly abused, left for dead when he was seven. My mom cleaned him up and tried to take care of him. She’s just an incredible woman; she’s a nurturer. That’s what it is, that’s what she’s told me. She said, “I just knew how to have a mother’s love because my little brother was like my child. I loved him and tried to protect him.” So, before she had kids she just already had that maternal instinct–it’s fascinating. And she’s raised really successful kids, too! One of my brothers is a dentist, the other one owns a mechanics business, and I have a charity and am an activist, my little sister is a newlywed and just had my mom’s 11th grandbaby earlier this year. Her stats are just incredible–all this from a little street kid!

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Stephanie with her mother in 1981

What were the conditions of your childhood?

When I look back at my childhood there are fabulous, good memories, and my mom was the best part of it. But it was chaotic, for sure. We were poor growing up and my mom struggled with drugs. Like many children who grow up abused, she ended up in one abusive relationship after another when I was little and sometimes even in the hospital. As a little girl there were times that she was being beaten or choked and I would run to the neighbors calling for help. When I was eight, my mom’s brother, who she loved and adored, was murdered. That was probably one of the most traumatic events in my mom’s life. It was really devastating for her–like losing a child. After my uncle’s death, she struggled with drugs again and ended up putting herself in rehab. While in rehab she met a wonderful man who would later become my dad. Everything started to get better after that. He passed away last year from liver cancer, and just last month I was sealed to him and my mom. It was the sweetest thing.

How were you converted to the gospel?

When I was sixteen, I met some Mormon kids. The Mormon families were so different from the way I was raised. I was raised in these homes and neighborhoods where there was lots of abuse. To meet all these LDS families where you walk in their home and there’s a piano, and above it is a picture of the Savior with little kids–it’s the most heart-warming thing. And there’s a mom and a dad, and they like each other, and they make jokes and tickle each other and kiss! I was like, whoa, is this for real? One day, one of my close friends invited me to take the missionary discussions because I had asked her lots of questions about her family and had attended some youth dances. I ended up taking the missionary discussions and going to church with her. But all along I figured there wasn’t one right church. I just prayed that I would find the church that was right for me. I started going to a lot of different churches and doing research about their beliefs. I didn’t know a lot about religion, but I knew a lot about Heavenly Father because I prayed a lot as a kid. I just knew He was loving.

I didn’t know a lot about religion, but I knew a lot about Heavenly Father because I prayed a lot as a kid. I just knew He was loving.

I spent a lot of my time that summer doing research on many different religions. I set up meetings with pastors and priests to ask the hard questions. As the school year approached, I prayed and said to the Lord, “I’m an involved student and I need an answer before school starts, because when school starts I will be too busy to do all this research. So I really need an answer, so let me know.” And I received my answer! The night before school started I wasn’t even thinking about church stuff and I couldn’t fall asleep. I decided I’d try to read to help me fall asleep. So I went to lie down, and I saw the Book of Mormon, and I was like, “Oh! The Book of Mormon! That’s a boring book!” So I picked it up and started reading, thinking I’d go right to sleep. But as I was reading I just knew that it was true. And then, of course, I really couldn’t sleep because I was so excited! It was the best thing!

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I went and told my mom what had happened and said that I really wanted to get baptized and it was so important to me. She’s my best friend and knows me through and through and was like, “No way, absolutely not! You’re so impressionable with that religion; you always have been. You can’t make a decision like this until you’re at least eighteen.” I was really sad and disheartened; I didn’t expect that response. I’m so close to her that I thought she would see this great desire of my heart and for sure give me approval. So I prayed about it and went back to her–and this wasn’t even meant to be a secret conniving plan or anything to get her baptized–and I just said to her, ”This is so important to me. If I can’t get baptized, would you be willing to take the missionary discussions? And then you can make an educated decision about whether or not I should join.” So she said that was valid and she and my dad would do that. So she and my dad (he’s my stepdad but I’ve always just called him “Dad” because he was a real dad to me) took the discussions, and before I knew it she came to me one day and said, “Stephanie, this is either the Lord’s true church or this is Satan’s church and now before we move forward I’ve got to know.” Luckily, they got their own personal witness and answer and they said I could get baptized. They had to get married first before they could get baptized, so their baptisms took a little bit longer.

How did the gospel change you?

I was a pretty serious little kid. I remember growing up wondering why life was so hard for so many people. Why are some families happy and why are some families not? I could see good hearts in these men who abused my mother. They were little kids once, too, who had also been abused. And then I learned about the gospel and it just answered so many of my questions. Having the gospel in my life and building my relationship with the Lord answered a lot of my questions. I realized that people can make really bad choices but it doesn’t mean that they are bad people. I learned that anybody can change. We were really good people in Heaven and Satan is really clever here on earth and he really messes a lot of things up from the get go. From the time some are babies they’re not playing with a full deck of cards: their lives have already been shaped from the moment they were born by the evils that preceded them. So that influences a lot of the choices that they make here on earth.

You have co-founded two charities, Child Rescue and Backyard Broadcast, and are an activist fighting against human trafficking. Tell me how this came to be?

It started with my husband, actually. Everyone thinks it started with me because that would make the most sense. But what happened is one day I walked upstairs to our bedroom–the kids were already in bed–and my husband, Jess, is watching a movie and he’s sobbing. He’s just bawling. I’m like, “What’s wrong?!” He had been watching a documentary about human trafficking, about children who are being sold into the sex trade. And it just broke his heart. And the next morning he came downstairs as I was making breakfast and he said, “We just have to do something about this. We can’t just live our lives anymore now that I know this exists.” That was before he knew all the details about my family.

How did your husband not know about your family’s history with human trafficking?

I didn’t even know! He knew that I had been raised in a lot of turmoil–for heaven’s sake, when he married me it was crazy! We thought we were going to raise my ten-year-old sister. But neither of us knew about the exploitation, about children in my family being forced into sex slavery. My husband has such a sweet spirit and has been a really safe place for my mom that she ended up telling him more and more about her abuse.

At that point we owned an oil and gas company and we had three kids under the age of four. Our life was spinning out of control. He wasn’t home a lot and I was so stressed out. And then he says, “We’ve got to start this charity and it can’t wait until we have more money or more time or when our kids are bigger. We’ve got to do this right now.”

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So we did it. It took a large chunk out of our family life. At one point we had used our house money for an event and we thought we wouldn’t get the money back. It was a bummer that all our savings were gone, but it was okay. We just knew it was right. We said, “If that’s what it takes, then so be it. The Lord has called us to do this.” There have been times when I’ve been crying and I’ve been like, “We can’t do this! We just can’t raise this ticket, we need to catch our breath!” But the Lord has always strengthened us, and it has been incredible. The things that have happened have been miraculous! We don’t work for our charity, we’re strictly volunteers. We’ve been really blessed–we just received a million and a half dollars, among other donations of money, time, and talents. The reach has really surprised me. It’s incredible that sex trafficking happened in my own family for four generations. Along with our history came this internal drive to combat it, to end it. It’s a passion that just doesn’t stop, to protect these kids. I feel like that comes from the Lord.

What do your charities, Child Rescue and Backyard Broadcast, do?

Child Rescue is our parent charity. Its function is to raise awareness about human trafficking through large campaigns that will create enough public outrage to affect political will. We also provide financial support to victim services that help victims recover from abuse. The Backyard Broadcast is a breakoff charity and is a completely youth-run organization. The kids are in high school or college and the organization has chapters. These kids raise awareness and they raise money for law enforcement and after-care facilities. They teach one another–that’s the best part. Teenagers listen to teenagers, so it works out really well.

You have done many prominent interviews lately, such as the Katie Couric Show, and Glamour magazine. Why do you tell your family’s story?

I share my family’s story because sexual abuse and exploitation continue today. Last year was hard for me because I did so many interviews and publications. The reason I tell the story is because there are all these kids out there who are still becoming victims to this abuse. Here in Utah–and I’ve only lived here just over a year–I’ve been amazed at how many cases of trafficking there are and how often it is instigated by the parents. A lot of these people are members of the Church. This happens everywhere. Satan can get to the hearts of anyone. It’s been important for me to steer people away from the term “prostitute.” The word “prostitute” gets used a lot and there’s real danger in that, because people hear that word and they think it has something to do with free choice–but these kids aren’t choosing this. Children are being sexually abused for money. That’s why these kids aren’t being protected and they’re not even on the radar.

A lot of cops don’t even know this happens here in Utah. When they find these kinds of kids they think the kids are choosing that lifestyle. So often the cops show up and think, “Oh, you’re doing this on purpose. You know the law, you’re breaking the law, so we’re putting you in a hall, and now you have a record.“ It makes sense to the cops. They think these children broke the law on purpose, but of course that’s not the case at all. These girls start to feel this stigma of shame, and so by the time they’re no longer being physically forced, they just think, “Well, this is who I am,” and they’re incredibly destroyed. It’s really sad, and our society just keeps telling these girls that this is their chosen identity. My own mother didn’t tell me about her sexual abuse until she was in her 50s. If the world had been more educated about children that are being abused, and sexually abused for money, and if it had been explained in those terms, then I’m sure she would have said something a long time ago instead of carrying this burden of shame. All because the world calls them prostitutes or whores. She felt dirty and bad, and she was just a little girl.

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Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I have to share the coolest story! My dad passed away last year and so my mom moved to Utah and moved in with us. She has been working with our charity and speaks publicly about the struggles that she had as a child. Just last month my mom came downstairs one Sunday morning and announced that she had to go to the temple to receive her endowment. And I was like, “Okay, well I’ve got to be at church now and so do you, so get in the car and we can talk about it.” And she said, “No, Stephanie. I’ve got to get to the temple, like tomorrow.” I told her that going to the temple for the first time takes a lot of preparation. This was very unlike her. She said, “I just feel it. All this time I’ve been feeling like I‘m not ready, I’ve got to learn more. And all of a sudden I just feel like, ‘I’ve got to get the temple!’ So, what do I need to do?”

I told her she needed to see the bishop. So we drove to church and she went and saw the bishop, and he thought it was a great idea. She came home after meeting with him and said, “Stephanie, he said I could go on Wednesday and that’s the anniversary of your dad’s death!” She was so excited that she could go to the temple on that day and thought it was meant to be. Then I realized that it had been a year since my dad’s death, which meant that our family could do his temple work and they could be sealed! All of a sudden it all made sense, the urgency. I’m pretty skeptical by nature, but it was a really neat moment–like, “Wow, this is for real; they really want their work done!” At their sealing, we had probably fifteen people and 75% of them were people who lived in Southern California when we joined the Church. And they all came with two days’ notice! It was the most incredible feeling. It was beautiful.

 

At A Glance

Stephanie M. Larsen


StephanieLarsenCOLORLocation:
Layton, UT

Age:
33

Marital status:
Married to Jess Larsen for 11 years

Children:
Four kids: two girls, ages 9 and 5; two boys, ages 7 and 3

Occupation:
Co­founder/Board member of the Backyard Broadcast (Anti­trafficking Youth Organization) and Child Rescue (Non­profit organization combating the exploitation and sex trafficking of children in the United States and Canada)

Conversion:
1997

Schools Attended:
Brigham Young University

Favorite Hymn:
“Lord, I Would Follow Thee” and the new Primary song, “Holding Hands Around the World”

On The Web:
www.childrescue.org and www.backyardbroadcast.org

Interview by Linda Jane Yamamoto. Photos used with permission.

33 Comments

  1. Chrysula
    12:03 pm on November 20th, 2013

    All I can say is THANK YOU as I wipe away my tears and reflect on all you’ve done so far and no doubt all you and your family will yet do. Blessings to you all.

  2. Sheila
    12:21 pm on November 20th, 2013

    I know what you mean by the following: It’s a passion that just doesn’t stop, to protect these kids. I feel like that comes from the Lord.

    Thank you for your passion, your sacrifice, and your example to all of us to stand up and speak out for those that cannot.

  3. Janille Stearmer
    12:42 pm on November 20th, 2013

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story and mamking a difference.

  4. Kristin
    1:34 pm on November 20th, 2013

    What a moving story. I am so inspired by the courage that you and your mother have. What an important work.

  5. Jen E
    1:41 pm on November 20th, 2013

    What an amazing story of your conversion and your family’s rescue from this evil side of the world. I am so impressed by your desire to make this world better. If we are interested in getting involved, what should we do?

  6. Maria Babin
    1:50 pm on November 20th, 2013

    What an incredible story of hope and courage! Just so beautiful and I’m deeply touched by your family’s strength, sacrifice, example and love. You are doing so much good in this world. God bless you!

  7. Leigh Ann Smith
    2:47 pm on November 20th, 2013

    Thank you for sharing this story of your family and all that you do to help other children

  8. Jenny
    2:49 pm on November 20th, 2013

    It’s like reading my own story of breaking the generational cycle of abuse and addiction. I’m so glad you made the sacrifices to tell your story and help others!The miracle of Christ’s atonement can truly heal a broken heart and gives as much hope to the victims as it does for those who repent.

  9. Carol
    4:29 pm on November 20th, 2013

    Thank you for your work and dedication. You have touched my heart deeply.

  10. Lydia
    8:22 pm on November 20th, 2013

    Thank you so much for your dedication to this cause! It is so beautiful to read your story and hear how you have become such a beacon of light! And what a beautiful story about your mom’s endowment!

  11. Louise Taylor
    8:57 pm on November 20th, 2013

    What a wonderful tetimony of how the Lord works in our lives and how He loves all His children no matter what! Thank-you!

  12. Sally
    2:30 am on November 21st, 2013

    Reading this story really brought me to tears. I was sexually abused as a child between the ages of 3-9. I always thought it was my fault, because I didn’t fight back (how does a child know how to fight back?) Although most of my family are members nothing was done (my mother even denies I told her). When I was 16, my 17 year old brother died. I was totally screwed up. I went into prostitution because I felt worthless. It wasn’t for the money. It wasn’t because I liked sex (I hated it). It was a way that I could make myself feel even worse (why did I live and my brother die? I would have traded places with him if I could).And it meant that all those people who had abused me though out my childhood were right; I was worthless. About a year later I told my Bishop and he made me feel even worse. He told me I had to marry the first man that asked me, so I did (4 weeks and six days after meeting an RM at church). I was honest with him from the start. He was abusive and unfaithful. It took the diagnosis of a brain tumour for me to be able to walk away (we had 4 children). I have since married a non member and we have 3 more children. He is my soul mate. I am trying to be fully active again, but find the judgement made about me are horrible (they don’t even know I was a prostitute; they judge me because I divorced a RM, have so many children and because I find it hard to attend every week for longer than Sacrament because I don’t fit into the “click”). But, most importantly I judge myself. Thank you for your honesty, I don’t feel like a total outcast right now.

  13. Dotty
    9:31 am on November 21st, 2013

    Sally, sounds like you have come to the right story. Reread the story and see how Stephanie’s mom and Stephanie made decisions on how to have a happy life going forward instead of dwelling on how bad it had been in the past. It breaks my heart that you were abused as a little girl, I wish I could rip someone apart to stop that from happening to anyone. However, we both know you can’t go back in time. I wonder if others heard the conversation with your bishop, if we would have heard what you heard because that doesn’t make any sense. But bishops are human and make mistakes and you have to realize that if that is the advise he gave– you still accepted and implemented advice that didn’t make any sense with gospel teachings. I can understand that your background could have made you WANT to see that as a solution. If you haven’t gotten counseling, please do, if you can. Also, if there’s a way to still press charges against the perpatrator, or at least warn people about him, that will make you feel more powerful and less a victim.

    But going forward make choices that make you and your kids happy, don’t dwell on the past. When you talk about the judgement that happens at church, that is an assumption (actually judgement) on your part. When I was in HS I was very very shy and I later had people tell me I was conceited. Truth is that no one knew the struggles I had to even talk to people. You don’t know what is in someone’s head or the struggles your ward members have, so give them the benefit of the doubt and as you get more active you will enjoy the closeness of working together on callings and see your children have the benefit of learning Christ’s teachings. Good luck! As you move forward to make your life better I hope your horrible childhood memories can become less present in your life.

  14. Lovely
    3:00 pm on November 21st, 2013

    Oh my goodness thank you so so much for sharing your story. You, and your mother are so incredible! I want to connect with you! Please visit my blog!

  15. Sally
    3:04 pm on November 21st, 2013

    Thank-you Dotty. I am having counselling and that is helping a lot. As, for my former Bishop (I have moved) he was a man that made mistakes. He did tell me specifically to marry the first priesthood holder that asked after I confessed to him about my life, because I did query that with him at the time to see if I had misinterpreted what he said. I have also heard from friends that he said similar things to members that had come to them about being homosexual. He is only human.
    My point in sharing my story is that sometimes our past does eat us up inside, and we blame ourselves for mistakes we make. I have held many calling throughout the years since, taught many classes; but still that has never made me feel like I was part of “us”. This story made me feel that it wasn’t just back in Christ’s time that his kingdom was open prostitutes and sinners. That I am not alone.

  16. Sidreis
    3:55 pm on November 21st, 2013

    This was fantastic. I read it at work and fought tears the entire time. I look at the picture of your ancestors and see innocence in their aged faces, still children, we all are. I love what you are doing. Amazing. Bravo!

  17. Mila
    10:27 pm on November 21st, 2013

    Thank you, Stephanie! You touched my heart too. You are helping so many wonderful people feel loved and worthy for the first time ever. May Heavenly Father continue to bless you in your inspired work. Love your faith, courage, and love!

    Sally, your story made me cry too. So happy you are here! You too are a woman of faith, courage, and love. Love you, Sister!

  18. Michelle
    11:43 pm on November 21st, 2013

    Wow. Thank you for sharing your story and for all you and your family are doing to help others.

  19. Angie
    4:20 am on November 22nd, 2013

    SO awesome! Thanks for helping these kids… you are an angel.

  20. Emily Clawson
    8:14 am on November 22nd, 2013

    What an inspiring and poignant story. Thank you so much for sharing something so personal and profound!

  21. Lori
    10:05 am on November 22nd, 2013

    Thank you, Stephanie, and all your family, for sharing the pain of the past, the hope of the future and the healing that has come in between. I know the Lord will continue to bless each of you as you continue to do His Work to help other children and families. I learned much about how to look at myself and my own life with its horrors and nightmares from reading your story. I’m grateful to my Heavenly Father for all the ways He reaches out to His sons and daughters today. I know He Loves us and does not look at our lives and choices in the same damning way we tend to. Thank you so very much.

  22. Danika
    11:05 am on November 22nd, 2013

    My husband is a cop in SLC and most definitely knows that most of these kids are not choosing the lifestyle, but are forced into it. We have had many discussions on how it’s passed down in families or how runaways are “captured” in effect by people in the business. The laws don’t offer much help though. Thank heaven for great people like you who can offer help to these people. I would suggest that you set up some educational time for law enforcement agencies. If they have help to look toward they will be able to refer. Of course, laws have to be followed first and most often DCFS takes over when they get a call, but please let the word be known so they will have somewhere to turn. You can offer to provide a class to the agencies and it will help law enforcement and DCFS know how to better help these kids. Thanks!!! Please contact me if you need help arranging a class.

  23. Ruth Watson
    2:53 am on November 23rd, 2013

    Sally!! Please don’t take what Dotty said to heart. It sounds to me, like Dotty is speaking from a perspective that is either in denial or has very little experience with this. Struggling to go to church is normal considering what you have gone through and how you have been betrayed by those who were supposed to protect you.

    I believe you.

    I believe you understood your mistaken bishop correctly and in good faith did as you were instructed. I believe how hard it is for you to heal from your trauma!! I think it is awesome that you found a good partner to share your journey with. Bravo for getting out of your abusive relationship!! And BRAVO for sticking it out and being so brave.

    You are a hero too!!

  24. Becky Edwards
    11:33 pm on November 26th, 2013

    Stephanie, I love your beautiful story of hope and the Savior’s atonement. Your mom is so incredible! And I loved hearing the temple sealing story… wonderful. Thank you for all the good you are doing to protect and rescue others. God bless you my friend!

  25. Jennifer
    6:12 pm on November 27th, 2013

    You are beautiful & have a wonderful family. Thank you for sharing your story.

  26. Susan Nicole Hurley
    7:07 pm on November 27th, 2013

    Stephanie, Wonnderful story.. You are making a huge difference in the world!
    God less you and your beautiful mom. I hope someday we could talk.

  27. Diane Llewelyn-Jones
    9:11 am on November 29th, 2013

    Stephanie – thank you sooo much. I was sexually abused as a child by a teenager we had taken in for the Indian Placement Program in the 70′s. She would also have sex with her boyfirend on the bottom bunk and I would lay in bed and listen. This most often happened when she was babysitting us kids while my parents attended the temple (90 minutes away)!! Needless to say it has altered so many things about my sexual understanding and whether or not I was a bad person. But that was all unconscious. One day when I was 25 I was teaching a lesson in Relief Society about sexual purity and children who are abused was touched upon, and in one fell swoop I stood there frozen and realized I was one of those children. Isn’t that weird? And then for the first time I was able to see it outside of myself. I always thought it was something “I” did. It had taken many years to see that how she was raised affected how she treated me and on and on it goes. This cycle is sooo successful by Satan. The Savior’s atonement is real and I now do not have this terrifying fear (from day one) that when I present my recommend at the front desk of the temple that the men there are going to give it back to me and tell me I am not worthy to enter. There is too too much of sexual secrets and too too much of denial that it can happen in “our” families.

  28. Janet Bailleul
    3:51 pm on November 29th, 2013

    Stephanie and Sally and all who have been in your shoes, male and female…

    Blessings to you for your courage and desires to break those cycles and to live a good life. Please know in your hearts that our Savior loves you deeply and knows the struggles you face. You are of great worth to him and the atrocities done to you will eventually be accounted for. He is the only one really qualified to judge all of us and in spite of our good intentions to serve Him as we try to become more like Him, we may in our humanness say or do something that is contrary to that goal. Please forgive those who do not show the Christlike love to you that you so deserve, they most likely are unaware that you are feeling this way and what they are doing or not doing is probably unintentional. Reach out to them in their ignorance with love and your perspective will change and bring you the love, joy and acceptance you seek as the love of the Savior shines from you. I wish I could hug you in person and tell you that one day it will be all ok, the accounts will all be balanced but please know in your hearts that this is true. I don’t know how it works but I know it will because that is what we have been promised by Him. Come follow Him, lay your burdens at his feet and He will help you through all of it until we all kneel before Him. Xxxxxx

  29. Salem
    2:25 am on December 3rd, 2013

    I just want to thank you, dear lady, for sharing your beautiful story with everyone. How wonderful & glorious that these tragic & heartbreaking patterns have been broken! I just get goosebumps thinking about how this must just be so healing for the entire family, past & present & future. And then for you to run the charities that you do- who knows how many other families have been, are & will be blessed! I just want to hug your mom & you! This is the glory of the Atonement! I’m so grateful to our blessed Lord for the privilege of hearing your story.

  30. Olga
    5:49 am on December 7th, 2013

    Amazing story…thank you!

  31. Servanne
    9:43 am on December 7th, 2013

    I love your website. It is nice to hear that you managed to revert the cycle of the horrible abuse and stituation your family went through and are now in a safe place where you, your husband and children can live a happy and safe life and i hope things stay that way.

    I went through a lot too and i had always hoped that one day i would meet a good man that would turn my life in the good loving life i always had hoped for.

    It did not quite happen but if this happens to other people, i am only the happier for it and for them.

    As i told someone, the greatest bleassin a woman can have is to have a good, faithful, caring and kind man to stand by her side so that she will be safe to marry and have children with and raise all of them in love, stability and safety. If a woman finds such a man, she has all she can ask for in her life.

  32. » I Heard the Bells. They Ring Out Hope! Pulling Dandelions
    9:40 am on December 23rd, 2013

    [...] Stephanie Larsen, Nick’s sister in law and also a co-founder of Child Rescue, spoke next.  She told about the history of girls being sexually abused for money in her family and right here in the United States. For four generations; not only were the girls abused by the men around them, but the girls also knew no other way to survive than to sell sex. They taught their daughters to do the same and as young as 10 and 11 years old. Then along came Lorrie, Stephanie’s mother. After surviving the abuse and trafficking, she decided that this would never happen to her children. She had many struggles, but she kept her promise and protected her kids from the abuse that generations of children in their family had lived through.  I am amazed at Lorrie’s strength. In my family, the only chain I’ve broken is the choke inducing use of Aqua Net hairspray. Lorrie is my hero and she inspires me to be more courageous! [...]

  33. BlueEyesFr
    6:15 am on May 4th, 2014

    I am just disgusted by what men can do. Forcing their own wives to prostitute themselves. I don t have much trust in men (to say the least) but reading what your ggg mothers, gg mother and their daughters were put through because of their evil husbands make me sick to the stomach

    I think that the safest of all women are nuns at least they don t put their life at risk in trusting a man for fidelity and what love should be.

    I am very sorry for all these women went through … and i am glad you got out of it…

    Unfortunately, the mormon church has a polygamous past that makes it impossible for me to be part of …

    I think that men are the greatest threat to women and all i see around sadly confirms that view in more than one way….

    When i think of girls, i am just afraid for them and what men can do to them

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