Doris Hanson, whose story was briefly recounted in last Wednesday’s Clipper, is among those involved in “A Shield and Refuge Ministry.” She also hosts a weekly TV program on KMTV Channel 20, “Polygamy: What Love is This?”
Although she escaped from a Kaysville farm, and polygamy, many years ago, it took Hanson a long time to arrive at the point where she could get involved in such a ministry – and come to grips as far as her relationship with God.
“It took a long time,” she said. “My issue, when I did leave the polygamy group was that I had been told all my life, God hated me. My value was in my performance. I failed all the time.”
Not “doing everything she should,” Hanson believed “God was going to get me.”
“God, in my opinion, was awful, was horrible. When I left (polygamy), I knew he was going to probably blast me dead. I ran from even the concept of God.
“I never believed that there was no God, but I ignored, rejected, ran away from Him, was very glad I was not committed to him like I had been,” she recalled.
Hanson said that growing up, “consecration” demanded that all money had to be turned over to the leaders.
“We could never have any money,” she said. “Even if we found a penny on the ground,” it had to be turned in. “We had to ask for spending money.
“I didn’t know the real God, the Biblical God who was totally different,” Hanson said.
“They lied about who Jesus was. I didn’t want to find the truth. I was so afraid of what I would find. I knew there was a longing in my heart for acceptance by a God that hated me.
“It wasn’t until 25 years later that I found life wasn’t fruitless, that I had accomplished quite a bit, but my life was empty,” Hanson emphasized.
“I came across a book that I was reading casually. It said God loved me. I had never heard that before,” she said. “It never had impacted me before. I always thought there was an absolute hatred.”
That led to her finding the “Biblical God,” and the “Biblical story of salvation, what Jesus actually did with us. It was nothing to do with polygamy.”
She was led to do a full search of the Bible to determine if polygamy was a part of God’s teachings.
“I found God was good, loved me, offered an awesome salvation plan for all of us. It was just mind-boggling that he loved us so much that he would die on the cross for our sins,” she said.
“My heart went out to all of those in the Kingston clan (where she came out of), and other polygamy groups,” Hanson said. “They are doing all of this because they believe it’s the right thing. They’re very sincere, but they’re sincerely wrong,” with the Bible as proof it isn’t necessary.
The ministry offers a variety of helps for those trying to leave polygamy.
Some of those methods of assistance include temporary, secure short-term housing and other assistance is available; long-term help to establish a stable situation, legal help if necessary; a monthly support group meets in the Salt Lake area.
There is a toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-877-425-9993; and an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ministry’s address is: A Shield and Refuge Ministry, P.O. Box 651292, Salt Lake City, UT 84165.