“writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. we are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. it's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. you can't stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”
- anne lamott

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Book of Mormon Girl

I felt this tug of orthodoxy, when
I told my father an idea I had, and he responded, "be careful with thoughts. That's how Satan tricks you."
I told my MTC teacher that sometimes I don't think everything is as black and white as we make it sound, and he made a disgusted face.
I dated a nonmember in high school and my best friend said, I thought you knew better than that.

I felt empowered to be me when
my mother always told stories of feminism and women empowerment, and the wideness of God's mercy
my grandfather claimed he was Buddhist, but still prepares himself for priesthood blessings by praying and listening.
neither my gay aunt nor my gay cousin AND their partners were turned away from family gatherings.

I felt the strength and power of community when
my parents always stayed after to help clean up, even at a different church's wedding
my mother said, "this is a church you can be proud of"
I went to early morning seminary, attended Young Women's and Sunday School, and spoke up about my opinions and was praised for it.

I learned the power of unorthodoxy when
I talked to my Jewish, atheist, Lutheran, non-denominational, Baptist, Catholic, agnostic friends
and felt the Spirit testify to me.
I read books, every book, and came away richer and more understanding.

I learned tolerance and compassion when
I saw wars and contentions; read of the Holocaust; saw where war and contention take us.
I was mistreated, reproved, and judged by my orthodox Christian friends

I felt empowered when I came to BYU, met professors who loved the church while speaking freely and openly of secrets.
When I said unorthodox ideas at Institute and I was thanked heartily for it afterwards.
When I looked at people, looked at them deeply, and stopped
to impose
a single story
onto my life
or any other.

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