"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Beyond Grace

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Beyond Grace

When you have a quiet hour to yourself, watch this beautiful little movie about two Conservative Laestadian sisters in Finland and their struggle with identity, faith, and family. It is in Finnish with English subtitles.

Produced by Mari P. Tervo, and shot in 2012 with volunteers, the film focuses on Elina, who has seven children and feels like she is losing her mind, and her sister Alina, who does not want to follow in her sister's and mother's steps, would like to become a minister, to have her own thoughts, and meet God on her own.

While the movie drags in spots, and the soundtrack is occasionally syrupy, I found myself moved. And hopeful.

Check out this blog for discussion of the movie.

This Finnish website has information about "spiritual violence," which is mentioned in the movie. The blogger Aila Ruoho is a consultant on spiritual welfare.
"In an unhealthy community, the more sensitive are vulnerable to a variety of mental health problems: anxiety, depression, fears, insomnia, nightmares, psychosomatic disorders, delusions, psychosis, and in the worst case, suicidal ideation." (rough translation of the original Finnish)
It's time for an American version of "Beyond Grace." I'm inspired. How about you?


  1. Heck yeah! It's time for an American documentary or 2.

    This one resonated with me because I also had allowed the church to dictate how many children that "I could handle". That was until I almost went insane and finally said enough.
    It's crazy to let some preacher to tell me if I should or shouldn't have another baby. And it's crazy to think that God would want me to use birth control for a physical ailment but not a mental one. That's a double standard.
    I went off topic, but yes, I think it would be awesome to have a documentary or 2 depicting different views.
    -my view

  2. Flora says: I have said before here, and I say again, the issues of female equality in the church and liberty in reproduction are a couple of the biggest elephants in the church room for Laestadians. I don't think too many of today's young women are going to stick around to be told they should listen silently to the men and have as many kids as possible. I can't believe there are even any left in the pews actually. It shows how powerful indoctrination from an early age can be...