Does the Latter-day Saint Church have a problem with Toxic Church Culture?

Cedar Fort author, Al Fox Carraway recently wrote a powerful statement on Facebook that many people either were either for, or against. In her own words, she said:

Hearing the phrase “church culture,” makes me CRINGE.

I was 21 years outside of the LDS faith. I am from & currently live in the east. I have also lived 9 years on the west. My records have been in 11 branches/wards, have spoken in 6 diff. countries & *almost* every state in the US. Definitely & obviously not all, but a lot of what is categorize into ‘church’ culture, really isn’t.

It is LOCATION culture.

What is a hot issue where you are now, is not where I am. And vise versa.

And you know, (obviously not all, duh,yes), but a lot of those things that we tend to blame “on the church,” can’t even be accurately addressed as such either.

Judging is *NOT* an LDS thing.
High expectations are NOT an LDS thing.
Broken standards are NOT an LDS thing.
It is not exclusive to my, or ANY, religion.

And you experience it wherever you are.

If we think family getting disappointed for not living up to their expectations doesn’t happen anywhere else; if we think experiencing body shaming by dressing differently doesn’t happen in any other religion; if we think broken expectations within families, or the work- place, or from mentors, doesn’t happen anywhere else; if we think broken hearts & broken families from choosing a different path doesn’t happen anywhere else; if we think people saying they will do one thing then living another doesn’t happen anywhere else—then perhaps we have bigger problems.

Has someone done or said something really hurtful to you? Same. I know too well how hurtful it can be because we expect more from members of our congregation because we are supposed to be in this together.

But it’s a hurtful human reality no matter who we are, where we are, or what, if any, religion we may belong to. And really, no matter age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or location, we *really are* ALL in this together! The profound fact that we ALL really are brothers & sisters has no bounds🤍

SO. Set boundaries.

Keep doing what you feel called to do. Keep doing what you think God wants you to do. We find what we look for. Good is always there because God is always there. And whoever, wherever, His love for YOU is always there.


What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!

To read more from Al Carraway, check out her many books about her journey as a convert of the Church, to her thoughts on the Gospel and how to get through life and be wildly optimistic! CLICK HERE!