Monthly Archives: October 2011

After seven years away, I’m hungry to come back to Mormonism. But how?

Before I dive into this week’s query, I want to offer a big thank you to the American Public Media show On Being hosted by the marvelous Krista Tippet who invited me on last week to share my Mormon story. If you don’t know this wonderful program, please check it out. And, now, onto our question:

Dear AMG,

I lost my faith when I was 20 years old, home on summer vacation from BYU. I quit going to church, broke my parents’ hearts, traveled a bit, transferred to another university, married a non-member, and tried to fill the Mormonism-shaped hole in my life, which wasn’t particularly large until recently.

In the past year or so, I’ve developed a desire to return to church, to don a dress every Sunday and maybe even have a calling. I miss my community. I miss my people. This is sort of baffling to me, seeing as how I was “less active” (at BYU, no less!) for a long time before losing my faith, mostly because I found church depressing and boring. It sounds funny, but I have a much greater love and appreciation for the Mormon tradition now that I’m something of an outsider than I ever did while I was in it.

I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to be an adult Mormon. I don’t know how to start in a new ward, especially since I have no inclination to apologize for or be ashamed of the past seven years of my life. I’m married to a non-member and childless– not exactly a great way to fit in. I don’t know if going back is possible. I don’t even really have any religious beliefs, beyond a vague belief in “something more” and an appreciation for the Christ-story. All I know is that I’d really like to come home.

Am I crazy? Is going back possible? How?

Sincerely,

Outside Looking In

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Filed under coming back, faith transition

My daughter is bringing her girlfriend home. What’s a Mormon mom to do?

Thanks for stopping by Ask Mormon Girl. We’ve been up and running for almost two years. It’s a place where people who find themselves alone and in a religiously sticky spot can find a little company–from me, and more importantly from the kind souls who frequent the comments sections.

For those of you who haven’t visited before, I thought I’d repost a query from a few weeks back that captures some of the good things that happen here. To see the original post with comments, click here.

Our 20 yr. old daughter told us 2 1/2 yrs. ago that she was gay. Considering she had just broken things off with a not so great relationship with boy and she has always dated boys, this was a shock. This was during a very rebellious time in our daughter’s life and she left home twice. We are LDS and have lived our faith and been very involved and active in the church her whole life. No one can believe she’s gay. We continue to support our daughter in those positive endeavors; college, sorority, she comes to dinner every Sunday and I send her little cards with positive, uplifting things written and we go to lunch, shopping etc…but for me this lifestyle is wrong and so I don’t want it in my face or around me…which means I prefer she not talk about it, partners are not allowed to come over, etc. We let her know that she gets to choose the lifestyle she wants to live – it’s her life. But we also get to decide what we will or won’t allow around us – it would be hurtful to her father and I to see her with another girl and out of respect to us we feel she should not bring them around. The church doesn’t have any clear-cut guidelines for How Parents Can Best Handle Dealing with this type of situation…and I wish they did. We really feel like we’re trying our best to keep our family together and strong in love but I see that not being enough on down the road. I fear that as each year passes and we continue to stand firm that no partners are to be brought around – our relationship will begin to deteriorate and we don’t want that. We extend our love to our daughter always – but will not allow her to bring her partner to things – will this further alienate us from her? Are we not being fair? What about respecting our feelings and beliefs?

DT
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What’s fair in an egalitarian marriage?

This week’s query comes from the domain of twenty-first century family life—a Mormon family, in this case, but it could be a family of any faith, really. This thoughtful AMG reader has a lot on his mind. Let’s give him a listen.

Dear AMG,

I consider my relationship with my wife as a marriage of equals; we both work together to meet the challenges of life as a unified partnership. We share–and have always shared–financial, employment, social, religious, and family management decisions together, and have for the most part agreed in our family’s path. In terms of household management, we both cook, clean, do laundry, pay bills and manage the family budget, shop for food and household essentials, doing yard work, gardening, etc. We share our finances completely (no separate accounts and personal discretionary spending allowances). We both take active roles in the nurture and education of our children, helping with homework, piano lessons, reading together, projects, fun, etc.

I work full-time in a career that provides around 90% of the family income; my wife works around 18 hours a week in a public education-related job that doesn’t pay well and is far below her skills and training, but which allows her to be home whenever the kids are at home and requires no off-the-clock workload. My wife is very good at what she does, and makes important, positive impact in the lives of others through her work. My income allows us to pay for all our bills without going into debt, but it doesn’t allow for much savings for the future; her income helps cover incidental expenses, home improvements, and accelerated student loan repayment.
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Filed under marriage