Today we are talking with Rev. Hannah Thomsen along with her husband Ed Thomsen, co-authors of Hannah Reborn, available on Amazon and other fine retailers. Reverend and Mr. Thomsen, thank you for joining us.
ET & HT: Thank You for having us.
PBR: This book is obviously a very personal and revealing story for the both of you. Did you find writing this book to be of a therapeutic process for you?
HT: Yes, I actually started writing all my experiences down mostly as therapy in 1994. I had a lot of pain, frustration, and questioning going on at that time. I was also desperately trying to explain myself to the people I grew up with who were all still members of the LDS church. It was like justifying the choices I had made. It wasn’t till a friend wanted to read what I wrote and then told me I had to publish it that I contemplated publishing my writings.
ET: I wrote these things first for my children to understand me. And secondly for my parents and close friends to also understand me. The therapeutic value for me was somewhat less than for Hannah.
HT: And I have to add that the last couple of years when we were refining and editing the book, it became therapeutic for our marriage as we reconstructed the events that had happened and were able to see how it had shaped our marriage. It was good for me to actually hear Ed’s side of the story.
PBR: Everyone that reads your book takes away different understandings. What is the main message you want the readers to gain from your book?
ET: I firmly believe that the Kingdom of Heaven is always found inside the person. This is the main theme that I am always pointing to.
HT: For me it is about telling others of the power of love and faith that can heal. The healing I experienced through love and faith has been so powerful I wanted to share that. I also wanted to tell people that no matter what you experience, even if it is your husband telling you crazy things, you can still heal through love and faith in self.
PBR: Now that you have broken away from organized religion of the Mormon Church, how have your families taken to your spiritual development? Are they more supportive of you?
HT: My dad passed away at a time when my breakdown was still very fresh and I had just discovered he had actually been unfaithful to my mother, which I don’t share in the book because it didn’t seem to really fit within the story line, but I was very mad at him for accusing me of being unfaithful to the church and then I find out that he was unfaithful to my mother. So unfortunately when he passed I still had a lot of conflicting feelings towards him that I don’t think we got resolved. My mother on the other hand is still very active in the LDS faith and we have mended our relationship. I have gone to church with her and she has opened up to me about her feelings and I feel we are as close as we have ever been. And I think the relationship with my parents was the one that suffered the most from my break with the Mormon Church.
ET: My relationship with my parents is a healthy one because they respect me for my beliefs and I respect them for their beliefs. At fifty-seven years of age I still discuss religious concepts with my parents and find them to be very engaging and interesting people.
HT: I think our children have greater respect for us for having stood up for ourselves and done what we believed in rather than just following dogma that no longer held the truth for us.
PBR: What kind of advice would you give someone who is questioning their own faith and how would you guide them?
HT: This actually ties in with one of my other purposes with the book. I wanted to be able to tell people who question their faith that it is ok – that we were given a brain to think with. That we were created with feelings and given freedom to choose based both on our brain and our feelings. As much as we talk of freedom, we experience a lot of restrictions through our religion. Through my conversations with my guides, the Aesir, I learned that there is no judging God that will punish us for feeling what we do and acting according to our hearts. We are free to question the path that we are on and this was the greatest freedom I was given as I left the Mormon Church, to question what I had been taught for so many years. It is really about finding our heart, our true purpose, be true to ourselves, and follow what we find inside. As Ed mentioned above, The Kingdom of God is truly within the person and so the only way to find that is to go within and not be afraid of what we might find there. I do believe there are many teachers who point us in the direction of going within, but I also feel that so much fear has been heaped upon us that many people are afraid to question because what if…? God may be there when we die and judge us after all. Since there is no proof whether God exist or not, it can be scary to contemplate the consequences. This was a fear I had to overcome myself. Through my studies and through my conversations with the Aesir I gained confidence that we are going to be our own judges when this life passes and we will have to face ourselves in deciding whether what we did was good or not. So the best we can do is to find our true selves within and live according to what we find.
ET: I agree.
PBR: You indicated on page 235, that Zipporah was with you for a whole month, instead of just the usual week. How do you know when your spirit guide or guardian angel is with you?
HT: Good question. It is hard to describe as it is a feeling inside. Maybe I can liken it to being with one’s loved ones. Think of your mother or your child, there is a certain feeling you have when you are around them. Because of the dreams I had had I was given a certain feeling that I could relate to when they were around. So when I feel that feeling I know who it is. It is almost as if they were able to give me a spirit “signature” within the vision they gave me when I first saw them. When I feel this “signature” I know who it is.
PBR: Have you ever felt threatened or had a negative experience with a spirit guide?
HT: Yes, I have had it with negative beings. Not my own spirit guides, but other “guides” who pretend to be what they are not or who threaten me in some way, but knowing about spirits and how that works the only thing that really is a threat has been my own anxiety or my own fear. Controlling my anxiety has been the biggest lesson that I have learned and when it works then they are no longer a threat.
ET: I have had threatening and confusing experiences with negative beings who were pretending to be my spirit guides. Ultimately in order to discern who is genuine and who is not I must ask many questions of these beings before I can determine their true identities.
PBR: You have written some very expressive poems in your book, do you plan to write a book on poetry?
HT: I haven’t thought about it, but I have written even more than what I put in the book, so maybe that is an idea to consider.
PBR: As people can learn more by reading your book and by visiting your website, there is much to be learned by your experiences. We do thank you for both of your time today, and wish you much success.
HT & ET: Thank you, we appreciate this time to answer these questions. We are always happy to expand on the topics that have been raised in the book.