Trust is by far one of the biggest aspects of religion. It doesn't matter what religion it is either. You have to trust that there is someone or something out there and the life you are living has a purpose.
When I first heard about "Abducted In Plain Sight," the only reason I watched it was because none of it seemed real. It seemed so far fetched that I had to watch it because I thought surely no parent, in their right mind would just let a man walk free after that."
There are crazy people in this world but no parent is that crazy, right?
Let me say—this documentary shook me to my core. It horrified me.
Being raised in a Christian home I was taught to love people fully and be accepting of people, even in their sin. But, I was also raised by two very loving parents who definitely sheltered me in every way that they could. I knew better than to go off with random people if my mom or dad hadn't told me that person would be picking me up from school or church. It didn't really matter who it was: grandparent, neighbor, a family friend— wouldn't go anywhere with anyone unless my parents told me to.
I consider myself an accepting and trusting person, but I also know that the world isn't filled with only good people.
If you haven't seen the documentary, it details the childhood of Jan Broberg, who was kidnapped, abused, and sexually assaulted by a family friend, Robert "B" Berchtold, under, quite literally, plain sight by her parents. "B" manipulated the Broberg family into letting him spend months of sleeping in the same bed as their daughter, kidnapping her and marrying her in Mexico, and keeping her away from her parents, Mary Anne and Bob Broberg, by convincing her aliens (yes, really) depended on their sexual relationship to save their planet. To top things off, Berchtold also manipulated both Mary Anne and Bob Broberg into sexual encounters with him as well.
I know that they Broberg parents loved their daughter, and they were a part of a religion that is filled with good people. No matter what you know or don't know about Mormonism, overall it is a religion based on morals and understanding. When you really think about this whole story you have to realize that it wasn't just Jan's parents who trusted Berchtold but also Jan and all of the members of their church.
None of these people had a reason to trust him, but they also had no reason not to trust him. He was accepted by the church, so surely he was a good enough guy to be accepted by the Broberg family. Berchtold had everyone fooled, not just this family. There was another neighbor who had written a letter of recommendation for Berchtold to adopt a child, despite that neighbor feeling even a little uneasy about Berchtold. Even with all the red flags people still wanted to see the best in this man. They wanted good things for him and wanted him to succeed because that's what religious people do.
We want people to be loved, accepted, and most of all we want people to feel wanted.
These parents failed their daughter.
The church failed one of its members, but even with all of that, I think this family's faith is what made it so easy for Berchtold to convince them that he was a person they could trust.
A lot of people still don't understand how these parents welcomed this man into their home and allowed him to even be in the same room as their daughter, and honestly, I still can't wrap my head around it. This family was and still is fully committed to their religion.
If you were raised with a religious background, then I am sure you are having the same thought process as me—"how could a family that claims they serve a god allow any of this?"
But then, the more you think about it, the more research you do—"how could they not allow any of this?"
We want to love people, we want to accept people, we want people to feel wanted but how can we do any of that in the world we live in?
"Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you." Proverbs 2:11