Bathsheba & David Part 2 feat. Amber Richardson (2 Samuel)

Thursday, June 23, 2022



Channing: [00:00:00] Hi! I'm Channing.

Elise: And I'm Elise. 

Channing: And this is The Faithful Feminists Podcast. 

Elise: [00:00:12] We focus on feminist interpretations of scriptures and follow the LDS Come Follow Me manual as a guide for study. We understand scriptures can be a tricky endeavor for readers, but we also believe sacred texts contain compelling examples of loving and liberating relationships with The Divine, others and ourselves. We hope you'll join us in exploring the problems and promises of sacred texts with imagination, critique and celebration to reveal what we feel is the loving and liberating heart of scripture.

Channing: [00:00:41] While Mormonism, with its iconic floral foyer couches, is our background, we follow our faith and our God on the winding path of spirituality over institution, and connection over condemnation.

[00:00:56] We are fellow wanderers, weavers, and doubters. If you’ve found yourself feeling a little too faithful for some and not enough for others: Welcome. We've saved you a seat on the soft chairs. This podcast is funded by our listeners’ generous donations. If you'd like to support our work, connect with us on Patreon or on our website at

Elise: [00:01:23] Hi friends. Welcome back to the podcast. You're listening to part two of our episodes on 2nd Samuel, as we are joined by our lovely friend and expert Amber Richardson. We'll go ahead and reintroduce her on this podcast, but then we will just jump right into our conversation. If you haven't listened to part one, please go ahead and do that. And we hope that you enjoy part two. Throughout the book of 2nd Samuel, we encounter some awful stories of rape, sexual assault, incest, and murder. So we'd, of course, like to issue a content warning moving forward.

Channing: [00:01:56] We are so super glad you're here and we're like extra, super glad you're here because we have a very special guest on our episode today, and her name is Amber Richardson. Amber Richardson is one of my friends and I'm so excited to have her on. You might remember from a couple of years ago, reading an article that she published titled “Bathsheba Was Not On The Roof And Here's Why That's Important.” We'll be sure to link it in our show notes so that you can check it out if you haven't already, but just a little background about Amber: she's a writer and storyteller, and is currently buried deep in her cave of solitude.

[00:02:34] She pokes her head out every once in a while, like today, to talk about Bathsheba and many of the other women who appear in the biblical narrative covered in this week's Come Follow Me lesson. Amber is also the host of the On Sovereign Wings podcast and is very slowly unfolding, but it's about a topic that we're incredibly passionate about.

[00:02:55] On Sovereign Wings features Mormon survivors of sexual trauma. And it's a fantastic resource for anyone who is looking for connection and healing from sexual trauma. Amber's Instagram page for the project is still up and you can find it @OnSovereignWings. And we'll also be sure to link that in the show notes, you can find the links to the podcast there, or you can look her up on Apple podcast under On Sovereign Wings. Amber, hello, thank you for coming.

Amber Richardson: [00:03:22] Hi, thank you for having me. One of the points of this conversation that's been especially fraught for me is this piece about atonement, this piece about healing. I went back and I reviewed the article that I had written four years ago and I was pleasantly surprised I still I've really like it actually

Channing: [00:03:48] That's rare. 

Amber Richardson: [00:03:49] I know. It is. But I looked at it and I was like, “dang. Wow.” I mean, there was a certain amount of naivete around it for me. I didn't really understand the hive that I was poking. And I know now because like, oh, bless, that set off a chain of events that, I am recovering from right now, as I think you mentioned in my introduction, but the naivete also allowed me to write from the heart a part of me that is harder to access now because I'm so invested in protecting myself.

[00:04:36] But if you look at the article, one of the main motivations of it was, kind of, illuminating the way of healing and not just for victims, but for perpetrators as well. This is a hard thing. It's been a hard thing for me to make my peace with, but I mean, the truth is, if redemption is not possible, then humankind is damned.

[00:05:07]  And that redemption has to extend to perpetrators and to abusers, again, because if it doesn't, humankind is damned. And in order for us to change as a people and move forward, victims have to resolve their wounding. They have to reclaim their power. They have to find it within them to love again.

[00:05:35] And perpetrators have to basically do the same thing. And I believe that the process through which both of these demographics heal and change is as I've described it. It's about the dissent. It's about feeling what you've been told is taboo, what cannot be felt, and it's about bringing love to parts of yourselves that you've been told were unlovable.

[00:06:04] Even those parts of yourselves that perhaps are evil or that feel evil. You have to love yourself so radically and so fully that you're able to get down to the heart of why you have done the things that you have done. And this is true for victims as well. I think there's a great sense of freedom that comes near the final stages of healing, where you feel that you belong to yourself again.

[00:06:34] And you're so firmly anchored in yourself that you have enough left over to extend to your perpetrator. I'm not referring to this happening necessarily in real time. I just mean internally that you can make contact somehow in your own mind with whatever it is in your perpetrator that is lovable, that is divine, when the rest of it falls away. I don't know. For me that's been something that's happened very recently. And I feel that I am more capable to step forward than I have been before as a result of undergoing that process. So yeah, that's been a real pain point for me as it applies to this conversation, because even though I wrote that article, coming from this place, a very generous place, a very inclusive place, a compassionate place as it applies to David, LDS Living and the powers that be behind that organization, couldn't see that. They were so steeped in their own shame, subconsciously, they couldn't see what I was trying to do, which I think is really interesting.

[00:07:51] And something I've encountered a lot with patriarchy, but there is also this part of me that I've been feeding, who would like to see all peoples reunited with the best that is in them. And that part of me recognizes that I have to be pretty radically generous, and it's sad to me that the church can't seem to hold that space when my personal faith in The Divine and in The Christ, that's what it comes down to for me.

[00:08:31] That's what it's all about.

So that's maybe one of the shadows that affects our telling of this story. The other one, I think has to do with safety, interestingly enough. So I pulled up this verse from, I think it's the first official declaration in the Doctrine and Covenants. This is Willie Woodruff. So he writes: “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of this church to lead you astray. It's not in the program. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place. And so he will any other man who attempts to lead the children of man astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.” So, I mean, this is doctrine. Something my mother, who's an intergenerational Mormon pioneer descendant, something she has been very fixated on for a long time.

[00:09:28] And given the trauma that our Mormon pioneer ancestors went through, it's hardly any wonder that they would really cling to an utterance like this and that they would want it to be true. You know, that the leaders that make it to the very top of the church will be murdered or hit by lightning or whatever, you know, if they're gonna lead people astray. That's not true. That's not a truism. It's actually not. Real life is way more complicated. And this has been such a hard thing for me to wrap my mind around that it's actually possible for people to present truth to you, for them to present something redemptive, even on a personal level, like, for them to present something that really has value in your life. And it's also possible for them to do it at an inappropriate time, in an inappropriate way. For them to have intentions that are hurtful, for them not to know about their own intentions that are hurtful. It's also possible for people to wield truth, in, how would you say this? Like, it's possible for people to wield truth in their quest for domination, in their quest for power over others, to manipulate truth, so that they can entertain their ego fantasies. All of these things are true, and within the history of Mormon leadership, all of these things have been true.

[00:11:07] And so it's taken me a long time to kind of find the voice and the strength to be able to say that men that we've sustained as prophets, seers and revelators oftentimes can't look past the end of their own nose when they're engaging with a scriptural text. And I know that probably sounds pretty condemning and I have to admit, obviously I am the same to an extent. My own biases and my own experience are very much informing the way I'm interacting with this text.

[00:11:44] But sadly, you know, when we talk about how we've cut ourselves off from the human experience, this is another way in which we've done it. We've set up these men to be perfect. And when they are imperfect, we cannot stomach it. We cannot even digest it, because I would assert we are so terrified of being hurt and being traumatized.

[00:12:10] And I don't know to what degree that stems from, you know, early Mormon persecution, but I assume it must at least in part. So I think that this particular complex also is very much responsible for the reasons why D&C 132 is still canonized and why it's for some unfathomable reason, taboo to say that D&C 132 is spiritual abuse. It's textbook spiritual abuse. It's absolute malarkey. It's just ridiculous garbage, not inspired of God. And yet here we are in the year 2022 and it's still in there. Yeah.

Channing: [00:13:05] Yeah. 

Elise: Yeah. 

Amber Richardson: Not to mention when we're talking about David and Bathsheba, here's a fun, little, like uniquely Mormon addition to that story. D&C 132 verse, let's see here, 39 reads, it's the Lord speaking, supposedly: “In none of these things did [David] sin against me except in the case of Uriah and his wife, and therefore [David] has fallen from his exaltation and received his portion and he shall not inherit them out of this world, for I gave them onto another.”

[00:13:42] So the writer of D&C 132 is taking some pains to cancel out what the book of Mormon said about polygamy, which was, as I recall: “don't do it. It's an abomination.” But we've changed our minds, and so we've gotta bend the text a little bit. And, yeah, actually, yeah, you're just confused. When you read Jacob 2, you were confused and you thought I was condemning David for polygamy, but I wasn't.

[00:14:12] I was condemning David for taking a woman that I've said he couldn't have because she belonged to another man. And then, also, in case you had any wonders about how early Mormon church leaders defined exaltation, there it is: David lost his exaltation, AKA, I'm giving all of his wives to another man. 

Channing: [00:14:35] I cannot believe. I cannot believe I did not see this connection before. My jaw is just like on the floor. Oh my gosh. This is wild. This is wild.

Amber Richardson: [00:14:47] It's totally, totally wild. And this is something, so when I wrote that article and it went Mormon-viral, I fielded so many emails from people. But then there were a lot of people who remember this little Davidism about David losing his exaltation. And it's funny because it's like, it's the one caveat in Mormonism. It's one very, I think substantial evidence that the God of Mormonism is not a God of unconditional love. and it's also interesting because you'll remember David is heralded as the author of Psalms. He's the Psalmist. And he makes it pretty clear in the Psalms that he's forgiven for what he did. Or at least that's how he feels. He feels that he was forgiven. And this comes up in that final scene, where Bathsheba approaches him, trying to get him to keep his promise to pass his kingdom onto Solomon. He says that the Lord has forgiven me. That's his final moment before he breathes his last breath.

[00:15:55] It's this scene of release, the scene of redemption and Mormonism has undercut that, in the need to institutionalize polygamy, which I think is so fascinating and just feeds back into this loop we've been describing, that we're much more interested in maintaining an incestual bond with our sexual shame, and our impulse to dominate than we are with actually experiencing liberation and redemption.

Channing: [00:16:29] What's so fascinating is… So, the note that I wrote is: to achieve exaltation, you can own a woman, but you can't love her. And I think that that's something that's also coming out for me in this, even in 2022, the text that we're reading objectifies women as property and also as objects with which to obtain salvation and exaltation through. Which makes sense then, right, if we're piecing together a giant puzzle in the context of Mormonism, which makes sense then that like women can't be autonomous in marriage relationships when we're talking about eternal salvation, which is why spiritual polygamy still exists today, which is why women don't actually have any power in church leadership positions or in the general constructs of the church because they are the vessels through which men obtain salvation.

[00:17:35] They're just there as a stepping stone to something else. I'm not surprised by this. And at this point I'm not even disappointed because I'm not really bought into it, but it is continually fascinating to me to see how these pieces link together and again, it's this strange relationship between, like, “be in a relationship with a woman, but don't actually have any feelings for her” because then you would be tapped in to your body and your natural-man side.

[00:18:07] And it's just a lose/lose situation for everybody. Ugh. It's horrifying.

Amber Richardson: [00:18:12]  It's so interesting. It was interesting listening to you recount all of that because there are so many places where the thought process abuts something that's true. You know, there is great redemption to be found in unity and there's great healing to be found in togetherness and in men and women being joined and loving each other and yet like the whole way that it was practiced in Mormonism. I will admit that I am still sitting with the Nauvoo period and I like to be pretty thorough, so I haven't come to strong conclusions there, but I do feel pretty confident about the conclusions I've come to about the Utah period. So, yeah, I'm sure you guys have probably felt this way as well.

[00:19:12] If it's true that like the Old Testament is like a poison and a medicine. I think you could say the same thing about Mormonism. I feel that it is a legitimate spiritual path. I feel that I legitimately learned things and came to know God and have felt love and transcendence within Mormonism. But it also, you know, wow, the poison that's there is remarkable. It's very strong. And again, so much seems to come back to the individual heart and the individual intent. What is it that you want? Because that will guide you through the experience and the outcomes can be so different. So Bathsheba, I think the proper pronunciation is “Bat Sheva”, it means daughter of the promise, which is really interesting. In many stories in the Old Testament names appear to be used as literary devices. So the given writer will use names and their meanings to help reinforce the themes of a story. I would say that this is true in the case of Bathsheba.

[00:20:31] I mentioned earlier how Solomon means peace. Nathan gives Solomon a name. I believe it's Jedediah, which means chosen of the Lord and this sort of reflects and reinforces Nathan's predilection towards Solomon. His prophetic feeling that Solomon is the next, you know, is the king who can lead this community closer to God.

[00:20:53] Bathsheba means daughter of the promise. So I mentioned earlier on, in the episode, how in the rabbinical tradition, early rabbis were much more interested in her role as queen mother than they were in her role as victim or seductress. And this is actually reflected in the text itself, the name that this character is given is daughter of the promise.

[00:21:18] And so her arc is embedded there right at the beginning. This is who she is. She's the receiver of the promises, in the feminine, she's a feminine inheritor of the promises and she inherits the promise in the end of the story. We talked a little bit about how the Old Testament doesn't shy away from vilifying women who do bad things.

[00:21:45] Jezebel, the Phoenician queen. Her name is a Hebrew word for wicked woman. Yeah. So interesting. The men who, you know, wrote the Midrash, they have lots of cool stories about Bathsheba. Some are less cool. One that always makes me laugh is they have this story about her taking her slipper off and slapping Solomon across the face with it.

Channing: [00:22:12] Yes.

Amber Richardson: [00:22:13] Yeah. When he's like a grown man and he's like starting to make bad choices. So, interestingly, yeah, in the extratextual material about Bathsheba, she's presented as this, I'm gonna say Sophianic character. You'll remember that Solomon, as he grows he desires wisdom. Well, if you've listened to this podcast, you've probably encountered the idea that wisdom may have been a name for the Shekina, the feminine aspect of God, the Goddess.

[00:22:49] There's a story about David losing the presence of the Shekina after raping Bathsheba that I quite love. And, in the wisdom of Solomon, which is an apocryphal text, written by Solomon, supposedly, he talks about wisdom sitting on the right hand of God and he compares wisdom to his mother, Bathsheba, in the text.

[00:23:16] Incidentally Bathsheba has a seat erected on the right hand side of Solomon's throne, where she sits as his primary counselor. The Song of Solomon talks about Bathsheba  being the one to crown her son, whereas the text of Samuel says that he's anointed by Zadok the priest. There are all of these really interesting little hints that start to round out a picture of this woman.

[00:23:48] Not only is she characterized as being innocent when we're first introduced to her with this analogy between Bathsheba and a little ewe lamb but the picture that emerges about her as an older woman is also pretty thrilling. It's not only that she ascends to power, but it's about what she's doing with that power. In the Old Testament when we kind of encounter this scene and we see that she has a chair, sitting there at the right hand of Solomon's throne. She has a moment where she's advocating for a concubine, and Adonijah the brother that Solomon’s beat to the throne, Adonijah wants to marry this concubine whose name is Abishag and Bathsheba advocates for the two of them. Solomon shuts her down, and is basically like, “what's wrong with you? Don't you know that Adonijah is like trying to take the throne?” And then I think if I remember correctly, he has Adonijah executed. So it's an interesting moment.

[00:25:09] I don't know how much I buy into it, because so many of the other sources seem to point to a lot of trust being established between the two characters. Maybe this is a moment where that starts to evolve because obviously at some point he stopped listening to his mother. But, to close out our really broad exploration today, I wanted to share a personal story and then read a couple of verses from Proverbs 31.

[00:25:44] So, I have been very interested in the stories of women in the scriptures for probably going on nine years or 10 now. Long ago when I was first getting into feminism and my mother-wounds, I thought to myself, “I'm looking for answers from God. Maybe if I study women in the scriptures, I can find some insight and I can find some direction.”

[00:26:18] So I started a process that the two of you are very familiar with where I retrained myself to see what I hadn't been taught to see. And I researched and sat with the stories and that became a very important process for me personally and creatively. But what happened with Bathsheba was a bit of a standout.

[00:26:42] It was a little bit different than some of the other experiences I had with this text. So I mentioned that Bathsheba came really clearly into focus for me just a few months after my repressed memory came back and at that stage in my healing, I was very much lost at sea. As far as I understand it, there's been quite a lot of childhood sexual abuse in my family, but it's still wrapped under a lot of layers of denial. So I was very much alone in what I was experiencing and I didn't have a destination point in mind. I was just sitting there facing centuries of the worst kind of grief. It just, it's debilitating. It's so painful and heavy and agonizing.

[00:27:41] And I had noticed that I had been very triggered by a conversation I'd had about Bathsheba and I had started researching her and I found something in my research that I hadn't seen before. What I learned was that the Book of Proverbs is attributed to Solomon. So David wrote Psalms, Solomon wrote Proverbs, but the last chapter in the Book of Proverbs is Proverbs 31.

[00:28:13] If you're like me, this is a chapter that you dislike. I have very clear memories of sitting in seminary and listening to a well-intentioned, but not, like, tuned-into-reality seminary teacher, my senior year who, you know: “who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies and she does all of the housework and she doesn't have sex and she's a very good girl and the Lord hath decreed it. And look, ladies, did you ever wonder if God loved his daughters? Well, now, you know that he did because there's one chapter in which he tells you to do all of the housework and not have sex. And now you're good.”

Channing: [00:29:03] That's a great summary of Proverbs 31.

Amber Richardson: [00:29:04] Thanks. Yeah, I hated it. Well, little did I know that according to the rabbinic tradition, the author of Proverbs 31 is Bathsheba. 

Channing: [00:29:24] Oh, interesting. 

Amber Richardson: [00:29:26] Yes. So Proverbs 31 begins with a verse that introduces the text that's about to follow. It reads: these are the words of King Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.

[00:29:40] So I mentioned that Solomon cycles through quite a few names in the text. Solomon, meaning peace, Jedediah, meaning beloved of the Lord. Lemuel means one with God, I think. And, yeah, so the rabbis just understand this is yet another one of his monikers and the mother of Lemuel is of course the famed Gebirah, Bathsheba.

[00:30:09] So I found this piece of information and then opened up Proverbs 31 in a state of utter mindblown-ness. Like, firstly, I could not believe that in all of the Young Women's lessons I sat through about Proverbs 31, nobody ever mentioned that it was written by a woman. Just firstly, that was so earth shattering to me.

[00:30:37] Because when you read this text as though it was written by a woman and it's not a man trying to stake out the territory and draw the walls around what a woman can be or how she can act or what it means to be a good woman. If it's a missive written by a woman, if it's a declaration of one’s self, penned by a queen, that's a completely different thing, completely different. And that's what this first verse says. It says, “these are the words of the king, the prophecy that his mother taught him.” So prophecy is a big word. This isn't just like the admonition of his mother or the good advice of his mother. This is telling us that there's something divine happening in this transmission.

[00:31:23] So beginning here in verse 10, the question is posed: “who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies”. Maybe you've heard before that the Hebrew word that's translated as virtue here is “chayil.” And it's also used in the Bible to describe men of valor who fight wars. It's a word that's used to describe warriors.

[00:31:46] It doesn't have anything to do with sexual purity. So I translate it, this question, “Who can find a powerful woman? For her price is far above rubies.” And then this woman, she talks about what a powerful woman looks like. The heart of her husband trusts her. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

[00:32:10] She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands. She's like the merchant's ships. She bringeth her food from afar. She rises also while it is yet night and giveth meat to her house and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field and she buyeth it with the fruit of her hands. She planteth a vineyard.

[00:32:29] She girdeth her loins with strength and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth us that her merchandise is good. Her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor. Yeah she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She's not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

[00:32:54] She maketh herself coverings of tapestry. Her clothing is silk and purple. And then this verse, my very favorite, 25 and 26: “Strength and honor are her clothing. And she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” So yeah, if you can picture this, I'm sitting in my bedroom and it was a moment of divine contact for me, in which suddenly I could see the image of what it looked like to pass through this grief and this trauma.

[00:33:42] And I could hear in these words what it sounded like to lay claim to yourself. This was an “I am” declaration for me. Especially that verse: “strength and honor are her clothing and she shall rejoice in time to come.” Like, if this is what we taught our daughters? You know, what we teach women about their clothing is “she was asking for it,” you know, or like, “you better make sure you're covered or you're sending the wrong message.” And here's the voice of Bathsheba declaring, “Strength and honor are her clothing and she shall rejoice in time to come.” And so for me, this was a very, very sacred, transformative moment, hearing this woman's words echo from the dust, and then comparing them against the Psalms in which David is wracked with his own guilt and shame.

[00:34:42] And here's this woman who just very clearly knows who she is and knows that what she does is virtuous, that it's good. There are echoes in this text of other chapters earlier on in Proverbs that describe wisdom. There's a statement that says that wisdom is to be prized above rubies and we're seeing that same image echo here.

[00:35:08] So the Bathsheba that came forward for me at that time was a queen, a redemptive figure. Somebody who had figured something out that I'm still working on, which is: how do you rise from the ashes of victimization into maturity, into motherhood? Where she appears in the Bible, she appears as an advocate.

[00:35:37] You see advocacy here in these passages as well. She's no longer a daughter of the promise. She's no longer merely inheriting or receiving the promises. She's an actor of the promises. She's embodying the promises and distributing them to other people. And so, yeah, I just, this character, maybe above most, is so close to my heart because in her story I found the icon that I needed to orient myself towards, I found the lighthouse that I've been swimming towards in this pretty stormy sea I'm in. And I'm grateful to be able to offer that to your listeners. 

Channing: [00:36:35] Well I think it's such a beautiful way to kind of follow Bathsheba’s story through this arc of being able to watch Bathsheba grow through her story and get, you know, just like you said, some of that closure and some of that healing and the hope that the ending of her story offers us. And it's also reminding me too, that the story doesn't end when the book ends, right? Like, Bathsheba’s story isn't only what we find in 2 Samuel. It goes from text to text to text and in the same way that we understand that one person's story isn't contained to just one chapter or isn't contained to just one book, but that we can expect and hope for continued growth, continued healing.

[00:37:30] And that Bathsheba  kind of offers a roadmap or a framework to be able to operate within. I think is just a beautiful gift to be able to offer our listeners and anyone who really can dive into this story and offer it space to work within them. I think it's just so beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to walk us through the text with all… I honestly felt like I was on like a tour of a museum and you were like, “And look here and look here and look here!” And I'm just walking away feeling so, so filled and so astonished and in awe of all that this story has to offer us and so grateful that you are willing to share that with us and with our listeners. I know that- I hope that it will be an equally awesome museum trip for them too.

Elise: [00:38:26] Yeah, I just want to say thanks for really showing us how to take these stories personally. I think that one of the things that we hear in the church is: oh, the scriptures are, they're living documents, they're stories for our day. And I think with your vulnerability and your trust and your healing work, you've really showed us how we can make these things come to life for us, not only in the pain that they reflect in our own lives, but also in the healing that they promise and the strength and the honor that they promise throughout our journey. So thank you for being willing to come on and share all of these pieces of yourself and pieces of your research with us.  

Amber Richardson: [00:39:08] Oh, absolutely. Thank you for providing me the space. As I've kind of stepped away from social media, I've realized to a more full extent how difficult the last several years have been for me and how many wounds I was accruing through the process of speaking and writing and I appreciate you both creating a space in which I can try this on again and where I feel safe to do that.

[00:39:43] So the last thing, maybe a seed that I wanted to plant, for the listeners who have made it this far into our episode. We've talked a lot about shadows today and we've talked a lot about how in our faith community shadows are more often repressed than they are looked at and loved and brought back into wholeness.

[00:40:10] And something that's been happening in this day and age in the church and outside of the church is that there are many shadows that are being brought to the surface. We're being invited as a people to look at behaviors of organizations and individuals that have maybe been going on unchecked or unnoticed.

[00:40:36] I'd like to share that I think there is more for us to see as it applies to shadows that exist inside of the church. Historically, the shadows that were pulling the strings in the lives of our ancestors and even things that are still at play now. Because the truth of the matter is, and you can see this with pornography, the more force with which you push a shadow down into the abyss, the more it will rear its head and fight with you. And there are so many shadows, like the shadows of polygamy, within our faith tradition that we have just continually resigned to the dungeons. And I think that there's going to be an opportunity coming up soon in the next few years, perhaps, for us to confront some of these shadows and decide if we want to carry them forward into our future or if we want to resolve them.

[00:41:45] And so, you know, if, at some future time, something like this is happening, I hope that you'll, I don't know, be able to recall some of the conversation that we've had here or be led to other resources. Because so much of what happens in this world of ours feels like the only reality sometimes, like this is just how it is and it's always how it's going to be. But I, you know, even with the burnout and I've got some pretty healthy cynicism operating right now trying to protect me from getting hurt again. Even with those things being in effect, it's also true that in my heart of hearts, I believe that it's possible to heal. And I believe that, you know, what has come through this story for me in regards to Bathsheba, also in regards to the possibilities for David, I believe that that is also a reality and that it is something that can be chosen and something that we can fight for.

[00:42:56] Yeah, and so I just suppose I'd like to say, probably well in advance of any apocalypse, meaning “unveiling”, in this particular sense, that should you run into shadows in your own story, in your family's story or even in the church, I hope that you can find some stillness in those swells and I hope that you can touch base with this other reality, which is a place where love abounds and where healing is possible and where we can choose as a people, to step into a different kind of future than the past that we've had. So I think that about sums it up.

Elise: [00:43:54] Friends, thank you so much for joining us today for another episode of The Faithful Feminist podcast. We know your time in space is sacred and we are so grateful to have spent ours with you. If you enjoyed this episode, we'd be so happy if you left us a loving rating on iTunes and Spotify so other seekers can find us.

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