This post follows an earlier one, the spirit. Check that one out first so you can get a segue into where I’m coming from.
During my long process of questioning and exiting, I’ve re-evaluated just about everything in my life. I had a especially hard time explaining, defying, and reinterpreting the Spirit. One issue that held me up was that my mom spoke to the Spirit on a daily basis. Spoke. Daily. Even to the point that other Mormons thought she might be a little cuckoo. I think she eventually learned to stop announcing her personal revelations. Not because she questioned them when others did, but because she decided those other people just didn’t get it. They could have those revelations, too, if they just listened, you see. Continue reading “part 2: exorcising the Holy Ghost”
I remember the first time I felt one of my prayers was answered. How old was I? After baptism, but still a pre-teen. I had just learned to really love reading novels, and I picked one up from my parents’ library. It was a Tony Hillerman book, a murder mystery. The first scene–a description of the mangled victim of a murder–scared the shit out of me. Continue reading “part 1: the Holy Ghost”
We have various neighbors who are devoutly Muslim, Jewish, and Catholic. There are also Hindus, atheists, and every variety of Protestant. And, of course, most of our extended family is Mormon. So our son is not unaccustomed to hearing “Because they’re Muslim” or “Because they think that’s what God wants them to do” when he asks, “Why do they do that?” I also try to explain a little about the different religions when he asks, and I hope he will understand diversity. Continue reading ““I want to be something””
Since moving away from the LDS church, I’ve explored how I feel about my new identity. Am I still Mormon? Do I want to identify as Mormon? Even if I deny that I am Mormon, am just lying to myself? Will I always be Mormon, somehow? It is, afterall, not just my upbringing, but my heritage. I grew up in Utah county, daughter and granddaughter to many generations of Mormons.
People who are from other faith backgrounds still think of me as Mormon, just non-practicing. Some faithful Mormons still think of me as Mormon, just not active. Still others would say, “She’s most definitely not Mormon” because I believe and act so differently from the “ideal Mormon.”
There are many ways to describe me and people like me. Ex-Mormon, cultural Mormon, secular Mormon, non-believing Mormon, ethnic Mormon, former Mormon, post-Mormon. Notice I can’t get away from saying “Mormon”?
As much as I’d like to erase that part of me some days, I realize, too, that I am Mormon. Part of the spirit of this blog is, I think, to stake a claim in Mormon-dom for those of us on the fringes. We are Mormon, too.
As my spouse said cheekily, “Hey, there are 8 million of us. Only 4 million of them.” We count for something.