What is this book about and who can it help?
Restoring Virtue is about how I was able to access the Atonement as a way to recover from the effects of childhood sexual abuse. How I changed a traumatic experience into a life full of blessings, happiness, and service. Essentially, this book is my testimony of God’s love, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and every other good and correct principle.
This book is not about standard treatments such as counseling, medication, or other common resources. It could be for someone who has explored standard treatments, but still feels like something is missing. Really, my book is for anyone who contemplates their relationship with God and is open to hearing how someone else experiences His presence.
What prompted you to tell your personal story?
In 2013, a combination of events aligned perfectly causing me to see my life with more honesty and clarity. My book describes these events in detail and how writing my story influenced the final step in my healing process.
The still small voice, just a whisper, planted the desire to write my testimony. The more I wrote the stronger this prompting became until it consumed my thoughts. I had to write. I had to get it out. I felt like Parley P. Pratt when he described reading the Book of Mormon for the first time. “I [wrote] all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred [writing] to sleep. As I [wrote], the spirit of the Lord was upon me ... My joy was now full, as it were, and I rejoiced sufficiently to more than pay me for all the sorrows, sacrifices and toils of my life.”
Ultimately, I wrote my story so God may speak to another one of His children through my words. So other victims of abuse may experience hope.
Why an orchid on the cover? Tell us about its significance.
The orchid on the cover is a symbol of my healing process coming to a close. I experienced a tender mercy when a spike emerged from the orchid sitting on my kitchen windowsill the same week I began writing my story. It grew as my story grew, as if being fed by my testimony. After a period of blooming, it then died the week my story was complete. Like the orchid stores up its energy to bloom from beneath the ground, my testimony grew from the darkest trials to become something beautiful, something new, and bright.
Traditionally the orchid symbolizes love, beauty, strength, wealth, and protection. The spots are sometimes used to symbolize the blood of Christ and a new beginning.
Can you share a favorite quote/scripture/excerpt from your book?
My favorite quote is from Elder Richard G. Scott. He sums up the process in a few short words. “Love is a potent healer.” When you understand the meaning of true love, you hold the key to the mysteries of God.
“Each time I was blessed with God’s love, whether in small or significant ways, a little piece of my heart was healed. It could have just been a comforting feeling, a blessing, a prompting from the Spirit, a scripture I read, or one of the more significant moments when God’s grace pulled me out of the darkness. With each piece my heart was restored not to its original form, but to a new form God had created. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you” (Ezekiel 36:26). I did not become the person I always yearned for, a flawed version of perfection, but the person God wanted me to be, the daughter He had thoughtfully gifted with eternal qualities.”
“In each healing moment I learned something new and took another step towards God and towards becoming united with Him.”
Do you plan to write more in the future?
I won’t be writing any more books. However, I will continue writing on my blog as inspiration strikes. For spiritual insights and growth taking place beyond the pages of my book.