A Marvelous Work and a Trauma: An Examination of Narratives Among Latter-Day Saint Sister Missionaries
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Lynne S. McNeill (Committee Chair)
Lynne S. McNeill
In LDS folk culture narratives are often required to be uplifting or faith affirming in some dimension. This focus marginalizes traumatic or painful experiences. Further pushed into the sidelines are Sister missionary narratives, with Sister’s trauma narratives being doubly stigmatized. This thesis takes a two pronged approach in exploring Sister missionaries’ trauma narratives: first it examines the beliefs Sisters’ stories embody, with special consideration to the intersection of genre and worldview. I propose that trauma narratives expose four units of worldview, namely: 1) The righteous are blessed and the wicked are punished. 2) If you are suffering it is because you have sinned. 3) If someone who is righteous is suffering, it must be an experience that will make them a better person. 4) Suffering should increase testimony of the organizational church. With genre and worldviews established, I then provide an analysis of the ways trauma narratives subvert these folk beliefs and complicate notions of Mormon identity.
To accomplish this, I draw on four interviews I conducted with former Sister missionaries about their traumatic experiences. Because I served a full time LDS mission and returned with trauma, I have occasionally included my own narratives in the analysis.
Barker, Maygan, "A Marvelous Work and a Trauma: An Examination of Narratives Among Latter-Day Saint Sister Missionaries" (2021). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 1557.
Available for download on Tuesday, May 05, 2026
Copyright for this work is retained by the student. If you have any questions regarding the inclusion of this work in the Digital Commons, please email us at .