Monthly Archives: November 2012

Ask Mormon Girl: Is there a place in the Church for liberal female converts?

Dear AMG readers:

Just tiptoeing back after a nice post-election break, and what do I find in my in-box but multiple queries from women who find themselves at the door of Mormonism.

First here:

I am a divorced Catholic woman who has a child with an excommunicated Mormon man.  Through a long process of searching, I feel deeply moved to consider joining the Church, even though my fiancé refuses to discuss it with me. I do not know what the vows of baptism and temple ceremonies encompass, but I don’t think I could stand in a holy place and swear that I believe that gays are second-rate humans to be cured. I believe in equal marriage rights. And I do not believe any of the world’s religions have a lock on infallible truths. I have to wonder: Is there a place for a liberal, feminist LDS convert?

And then here:

I am a forty year-old single woman of deep faith. For the last thirteen years god has been sending members (and ex-members) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to cross my path, not only as missionaries, but as door-to-door salesmen, as Buddhists, and as yoga mentors. I often joke that when God wants to get my attention, She sends me a Mormon. I recently moved to a small town and my heart was moved to go to LDS services. Since then, I have been taking lessons with the missionaries every week.  We set a date for my baptism for a month from today. But the organization, the people, the politics, and the statements of the Church—past policies on race and recent stances on homosexuality, for example–make me want to run dripping from the font to a place far, far away.  I am proud of half of what I am seeing and mortified by half of it. I feel so alone in all of this. I am afraid to even ask if there are liberals in my Church here. I don’t know if I should go to my baptismal interview and speak my truth, or say what they want me to say and keep the honesty between me and God. Being baptized and then “going inactive” right away would piss everyone off and alienate myself in a small town. And I don’t want to be a member of the Church in the world (and in this small town) and be assumed to be all the same awful things I dislike about it. I can’t defend the things I find indefensible.

God moves in mysterious ways, people.

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Mormon Girl Asks: Post-election, how are we doing?

Dear readers:

There’s an image that keeps coming to mind–like a memory from the playground–of a kid running hard, then tripping and hitting the dirt, then picking themselves up and dusting off and checking for broken bones.

Now that the election is all over, is everyone doing okay out there?

Because that was a lot of stress on the world of Mormonism.  As much as we’d like to think we’re public people totally comfortable being in public about our faith, truth is, I think we prefer a bit of privacy:  lots of us prefer hanging out with other Mormons, people to whom we don’t have to explain all the tender and complicated bits.  And for the last 18 months, there has been a good deal of searching attention directed our way from the friendly and curious to hard-hitting and even some downright mean.

And then there are the stresses a campaign can unleash inside a community–win or lose–people are people, and people take sides, sides they often feel very strongly about.  Many Mormons invested a lot of heart and soul (not to mention time and cash) in one or the other side.  And while some of us are pleased with the outcomes–it’s no secret I am an Obama supporter–others are quite disappointed.  Including people I care about very much.

So let’s take a moment, beloved ones, and catch some breath and take stock.

How are we doing, in the post-Romney moment?

How did we come through as Mormons?

And how are we handling the aftermath?

I’m not looking for gnashing of teeth–though I know plenty of it is happening out there.  Or judginess.  Or meanness.  Or mean victory dances.  I’m looking for smart and compassionate descriptions and assessments of this moment in Mormon history.

What’s the good that has come of it?  And where (and why) are we hurting?

Send your query to askmormongirl@gmail.com, or follow @askmormongirl on Twitter.

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