Long-time reader? Welcome back. New to Ask Mormon Girl? Welcome!
Big news today: I am thrilled to announce that Ask Catholic Girl is live, thanks to Mary, Nadia, and Carmen–offering love and guidance to their fellow Catholics in the trenches. Nadia is a long-time Ask Mormon Girl reader who made a stunning debut here last week. She’s joined by two sharp-witted, irreverent and reverent Catholic women named Mary and Carmen. Long time friends of Ask Mormon Girl. Send them a question or a friendly hello at firstname.lastname@example.org. We may not have ordination, but we do have wisdom . . . and the internet.
Second bit of news: ever since this story ran at CNN.com a few weeks ago, the mailbag has runneth over with many kind messages and curious questions. I wanted to share with you one letter that really touched me. With the permission of the author, here goes:
Although I know many people who are Mormon and had many Mormon friends growing up, I never truly understood your faith. I also read the beginning of [Jon Krakauer's book] Under the Banner of Heaven but was so upset over it I had to stop reading it. Truthfully, and I’m sure you’ve heard this quite often, the Joseph Smith story and magic spectacles seemed like a complete joke to me and I couldn’t understand how on earth anyone would believe such an outlandish story. The “One True Church” belief bothered me too as my thought was Mormons believe their religion and faith is better than others and only Mormons would go to heaven (Can you see my ignorance?). I will also admit I have been one to connect the Mormon religion to an occult. (I should note – my husband said I needed to read the entire book as what I read was not a good representation of the the book or the religion – okay, I get that I was wrong).
The reason for my email, I’ve been experiencing a bit of anxiety over the presidential race, particularly when it came to possible presidential candidate Mitt Romney. I was so worried about him becoming our next president because of his Mormon faith. Honestly, it would almost make me sick to my stomach. (I also know a lot of people had their doubts about JFK and his Catholic faith–which I am as well). In fact, I had even admitted this fear to my best friend, saying it out loud for the first time. I think subconsciously I knew how bad this sounded and how ignorant and judgmental it was –two things that are totally not how I view myself. On the contrary, I consider myself to be very accepting and open but isn’t that what they all say?
Then the VERY next day I was reading CNN.com and came across the article about you, read it, and loved it! This is going to sound crazy, but I truly believe it was a sign from God. My anxiety, worry, and bigoted beliefs went away instantly. I knew right there regardless of the presidential outcome it was going to be okay and I became accepting of the Mormon faith. I definitely believe it was God’s grace working inside of me. I have let go of those feelings and have found myself at peace. I have also taken to reading your blog regularly now as well, as I feel we have a lot in common…doubts on faith, going back to our faith, motherhood, liberal beliefs, Obama supporter, etc. I have let go of my ignorance and irrational thoughts about the Mormon religion and have replaced them with a search for a deeper understanding of your faith.
Thank you for doing what you do. I look forward to reading your blog and now feel, I am closer to living a life in Jesus’s image…loving and caring for one another, regardless of religion, as we are all brothers and sisters in faith.
All I have to say is thank you–to the author of this letter, to the readers of this blog, and to the bigger forces that make grace, change, and understanding possible.