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.

Can you imagine what they would have said, our sternly bearded Mormon forebears, had someone told them that a few decades hence bold-hearted but crooked-pathed female seekers would be reaching out to each other via the internet and asking, “Is there a place in Mormonism for me?”

Then again, maybe they would have been totally okay with it.  They were, after all, bold-hearted but crooked-pathed seekers themselves.  They didn’t have the internet, but some of them did have seerstones.  More importantly, the ones who were really dialed in had a sense that truth would always exceed comprehension, encompassing “things as they are, as they were, and as they are to come” (D&C 93: 24).

If you’re a liberal woman attracted to Mormonism, perhaps you are a part of things that are “to come.”  Perhaps you are a visitor from the future.  Perhaps you (and a whole lot of people in the Global South) are the ones the Spirit is sending to help take the Mormon movement where it needs to go next.  Still, after reading these letters from both of you, I have to say I found myself totally puzzled.  But then I remembered the story of spiritual seekers in Ghana and Nigeria in the 1950s and 1960s who came across copies of the Book of Mormon, taught themselves Mormon doctrine, and organized themselves into Mormon churches—long before missionaries ever arrived, and decades before Black men and women were eligible for priesthood and temple ordinances.

Was there a place in Mormonism for them? And if there was, can there be a place in Mormonism for you?  Of course, only you can answer that question—and the answer won’t come in the short term.  It will come when and if you claim and cultivate that place for yourself, as you invest in the faith on your own terms.  I won’t underestimate the challenges this may entail. You both already know what some of those challenges are. But as someone who tries to dial into the big-hearted truth that exceeds comprehension, I won’t tell you it’s impossible either.

Here’s what I know: History is long.  The world is wide. God is big.  We Mormons can be mean and small sometimes.  Then again, we can be utterly grand and lovely.  Take your time making important decisions. To get a grip on what it means to be baptized, read Mosiah 18.  And don’t lie in your baptismal interview.  But do know that in and through it all you are in the hands of a merciful God, and there will always be a place for you next to me in the pew.

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

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43 Comments

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

  1. Dolly

    So happy to read your loving, faith filled, and exceptionally inclusive responses just before I write to my missionary son in South Africa. Your writing is my muse. I imagine channeling into a Joanna Brooks frequency and it legitimately alters my inherently preachy rhetoric (imprinted on to me by my convert Daddy who was first a baptist from Texas for 45 years before he became a dyed in the wool Mormon).

    I can see the spiritual strength of the missionary program in the way that my teenage kid has gained so much in such a short time since he’s been out for only 6 weeks. It’s truly a miraculous program. Servants of God, run that program. Even still, as his mom, I always feel inspired to add testimony to my letters that involve some kind of historical flaw or man made platform that doubles for religion and is still widely present amidst our lovely fellow saints. I want him to never feel like he was kept from the whole story or that he was brainwashed when he intensely served a mission for two years. When he feels by the Spirit, learns from the Spirit and teaches with the Spirit present.. it is my hope that it is with a knowledge that every rose has it’s thorns and that the Gospel is still the good news. He can relate to his own flaws and realize that all messengers before him and around him are and were also flawed. But the core message is pure. The distracting messages can do more damage than prick your finger and draw blood. But the message saves the messengers. Dang it– I still sound so preachy when I write about faith. There must be a lot of radio interference on the frequency tonight. ;)

  2. well, sunday would be much more fun if I could be in your ward and sit next to you in your pew. :) Thanks for the post, Joanna. As a convert and a mormon, I often find myself wondering the exact same thing. I realized a long time ago that I have very few quarrels with core doctrines in the church than I do with the people I have met in church. Once I realized that, I used my unease with mormon culture to be a force for good change, rather than allowing myself to spend any energy worrying about whether there is a spot for me or not anymore. I understand how others still struggle and cannot do the same, but for me, this is how I was finally able to find peace after joining the church six years ago.

    • also, I would argue that there is even more of a need for liberal mormon converts. We tend to shake things up, challenge the way of thinking, and cause change for good.

  3. Hear, hear! You’re very welcome to sit next to this liberal female convert, too!

  4. Katherine

    Alma 1:30. And thus, [...] they did not send away any [who were in need]; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need.

    I too think our forebears would be ok with it, and eagerly welcome sisters earnestly striving to follow their hearts. New converts are not alone and are in good company with other like-minded sisters of the faith that would also save spots for them on the pews. I certainly will. :)

    And a wonderful answer as always Joanna :)

  5. Thank you for sharing this, Joanna. I love your response.

    To the women who wrote to AMG: I think it takes a lot of courage to be part of the LDS church as a progressive, feminist, liberal, divorced (choose your adjective) woman when you’re born and raised in it. It may require even more courage to join the ranks as an adult. If such a person feels compelled to follow God’s will for her into the Mormon faith, then it’s a great blessing to do so with one’s eyes open to both the beauty and ugliness of it all.

    This really grabbed me: “I am proud of half of what I am seeing and mortified by half of it.”

    As an active Latter-day Saint, half of me wants to say, “You’re in good company, honey. Come on in!” [The other half wants to say, "It's too hard to live like this. Find your peace elsewhere."]

    Having said that, dear questioning friends, I can tell you I’m in it for the long haul. I believe the doctrine of Christ as I understand it via Mormonism. I love this faith, warts and moles and all. And I’m with Joanna on this — God is good. Jesus loves us. And if we love each other and help each other in the best ways we can, well, I sincerely believe it will all work out in the end. . . not sure if we’re at the beginning or the middle, but it will all work out in the end.

    So, welcome, sisters. We’re glad you’re here.

    • Agree!!! Especially half wanting to say “You’re in good company,” and half wanting to say, “it’s too hard to live like this.” I have found such comfort and peace in this gospel but it has also been the source of much heartache and anxiety. Does one outweigh the other? I *think* so, but it is hard sometimes and often lonely. So, selfishly, I say “Yes! Please join us! Strengthen our movement! Help carry the burden!” But this is such a personal, private decision. We can all only do our best to follow what we believe to be God’s will. In the church or out of it.

      Thank you for these conversations, Joanna!

  6. Very briefly:
    Is there a place in the Church for a liberal female convert? YES!
    You are a child of God, so of course there is a place. Anyone who says otherwise based on your political or social views are the ones in apostasy, not you.

  7. christer1979

    It might be helpful for these women to have the missionaries go over the baptismal interview questions. They’re actually pretty brief and to the point, and they never mention gay marriage explicitly. =) You are asked if you sustain Thomas S. Monson as a prophet, but perhaps they should review the recent conference address on what constitutes doctrine so they aren’t fooled into thinking sustaining means you approve every word that has ever come from a prophet’s mouth.

  8. I have (nearly) always viewed the LDS Church as necessarily being involved in two great activities:
    1. Bring new (and glorious) eternal truths, ordinances, and opportunities to humankind; and,
    2. Pruning away the misleading and bad cultural, historical, and simply biased attitudes which exist in the Church, its people, and the societies where it (the Church) is planted and grows.
    Unfortunately the Church (and the members) is (are) also involved in a third activity which is creating new problems and issues as fallible men and women promote and adopt ideas, beliefs, and expectations which are incompatible with eternal truth.
    Sadly, it is very difficult on occasion to identify and root out these incompatible ideas. It is my hope that as the Church continues to grow in many “new” areas of the world and it begins to appeal to many new “types” of converts that we, as a people, will be able to clearly identify the essential pieces of the Gospel and as a result we will be able to let go of many of our “small and mean” behaviors and beliefs.
    I rejoice that people such as the two women writers mentioned in your post are considering (and joining) the Church. I think they (and others like them) will be part of a great transformation of the Church over time. I hope they will be baptized and spend the rest of their lives working to better not only the world in general but the Church (culture) in particular.

  9. Rawkcuf

    I think the answer so often depends on how much acceptance one requires to be comfortable…

  10. xenawarriorscientist

    There’s a guy in our ward who recently called the missionaries and asked to be taught– a self-referral, you would say. Nobody ever knocked into him, he didn’t know any Mormons. Since he was a humanities graduate student with a beard, the missionaries suggested my husband get to know him (being the presiding bearded-humanities-student-with-a-beard for the congregation as he is, I suppose).

    The guy’s story is really something. He grew up atheist, secular humanism was working out great. Over the summer he had some moments where he “felt the presence of God,” and that it had something to do with Jesus. He said “Well that’s interesting. Guess I’ll find a church then.” His main criterion was one that believed in continuing revelation because *he’d* just had a revelation, so he wasn’t about to get with a church that didn’t believe in that. Somewhat to his surprise, he found that meant he was going to be Mormon.

    A few days after his baptism DH took him to lunch and said,
    “So… got any questions?”
    He said “Gay issues. Feminism.”
    DH said “Good man!”
    And they talked for a long time.

    For these questions one of the things we keep coming back to is the priesthood ban– and how every prominent Mormon now says “I prayed for change!” Including current church leaders. Well then– clearly, perceiving a problem and praying and working toward change isn’t a bad thing.

    And I find it so aggravating that there are all these prominent people saying “I prayed for the priesthood ban to end”– and yet at the time they said nothing. They only speak up now that it’s expedient. Imagine all the time that we may have lost because people were afraid to say out loud, “This policy gives me the creeps,” creating an illusion of consensus. So as for me and my house, we will say something *now.*

    • Loved this a lot. Thanks for sharing.

    • Great story.. . and I just thought of one of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain: “A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”

      Voicing one’s opinion or desire – when so-doing risks one’s standing in a community of saints – requires a special kind of faith. And courage. Joanna’s got it. Looks like you do too. Thank you for posting.

    • Dani

      That was just lovely. Inspiring, really!

    • “This policy gives me the creeps” – that’s my inside voice talking again. Perhaps my outside voice could ask something like, “Can someone please explain how this policy demonstrates love for God or fellowman?”

      • Erin

        I might have lost the thread in this conversation, but if you’re asking how the priesthood ban demonstrates love for God or fellowman, then I will stand up and say that it does not. The Church is not perfect. It never has been. Will it ever be? Prophets are not infallible. The principle of continuing revelations is crucial. Change comes slowly, but it does come.

    • Don’t you find it takes so much courage to stand up on Sunday? It can be isolating. I’m planning on standing up to my bishop on Sunday. At ward council he mentioned that a less active sister, married to a muslim is in a physically abusive relationship. He said this in front of everyone! Who wants the bishop to air their dirty laundry like that? I think ward council is awful sometimes, People just talk about other people’s problems with no hesitation. There’s no respect. Oh, and as a ward, we’re not going to do anything to help her leave except take care of her ‘spiritual welfare’ and then pass her along to some NGOs to help her sort our her problems as we don’t have the ‘resources’ he said. This is not the first time I’ve seen a needy woman ignored. The church needs more women in leadership who make decisions in the church, particularly when it comes to budget.

  11. Curtis Penfold

    As a missionary in Chile, I always loved connecting with liberals, either as investigators or as less active members. I always felt they were the future of the Church, that they made some of the best members.

    “Oh, you believe all religions are true?” I’d say. “I do, too! Here’s some scriptures and quotes you can use to defend yourself.”

    “Oh, you support gay marriage. I do, too! Here, take a look at Affirmation.”

    I always tried to emphasize the spiritual things the Church had to offer. The spiritual experiences, the Book of Mormon, prayer, the sacrament–you know, the simple things

  12. Kate

    I love this post! I’ve grown up in the Church and went through a period of time (post-mission) when I wondered if I could remain for many of these reasons. After a very dark 2 years, I had a moment of revelation when reading a book about women’s sacred experiences and the Divine Feminine; and I’m still here, a devout, liberal, feminist, pro-gay marriage, pro-other religions Mormon. I believe the church is true, but there is a whole lot more truth out there to be known, and I can personally access that independent of any other person because of the ultimate doctrine of the Mormon church: revelation. So I say, YES, there is a place for women (and men) like me in this Church. It is not necessarily a comfortable place all the time, but who said the important things in life should be comfortable?

  13. I tell my children, and myself, often that it is more important now than ever for us to stay active. Certainly for our own souls, but for the future of the church to be sure. I love your thoughts on “things that are to come” and tell myself that I am a part of that, no matter how far off it sometimes seems.

  14. I am a former Member of the Church who converted from Catholicism. some of the same things that I liked and enjoyed about Mormonism in the beginning are some of the same things that annoy the crap out of me now. For instance, in the beginning when I was both young(23) and naive(didn’t understand the inner workings of the church) I really liked the idea of having a church where everyone participated and contributed. But, as I got older and actually got into the nitty gritty of church and church history my eyes were wide opened. Now, I understand that while women participate, it is not on the same level playing field as the men do. Men, do (and always will ) have more autonomy with in the church and its hierarchy, and it makes a big difference, especially, in the lives of single sisters,whether, by choice, or widow hood. So with all that I just stated, you ask whether or not a liberal single female should join the church and the answer is this, it depends, It depends because while there are many things that are wrong with the church, there are some pretty awesome aspects of the church as well. Maybe, if your the type of person that can ignore the bull from some very, very small minded people(I lived in a branch, so that was impossible to do) you may be able to concentrate on finding the good that you enjoy, otherwise, I say, it can and will be brutal,

  15. I think the decision of whether to join the church or stay active in the church should ultimately have nothing to do with the members of your ward, or the example of mormonism that you see in the people around you. I can see how these things become important to us, but in the end, conversion to the gospel is about the gospel its self. If you believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ and its restoration in these latter days, then you will want to join despite possible bad examples within the church. Conflict and differing opinions will always abound in the church. Let our united faith in the gospel be the tie that binds us.

  16. Anna

    As a Mormon who was baptized at 18 and has a liberal heart, here’s what I do: I strive to follow the Spirit. Sounds like a Sunday School answer, but it has been the only one that doesn’t lead to a conflict between my heart and my head. It gives me both guidance and comfort. The Holy Ghost as a spiritual coach (helper in the scriptures) is the best because God knows what I am really thinking and what my motivations are so He knows how far to push me and how fast.

    Some things are hard to wrap your head around doctrine-wise but that’s okay. It’s allowed to be that way and it is better to be patient with yourself and others than to push either them or yourself into a corner. I think there is wisdom in not discussing all points of doctrine with all members. Honesty in interviews is a given but I strive to follow the Spirit there too and sometimes it has been right to share my doubts and concerns, and sometimes not.
    I think, we tend to get a little black and white and God sees the whole picture and doesn’t throw the bad stuff out if it risks taking good stuff with it.

    The Spirit is the best coach because he doesn’t force his truth on us or get exasperated with our slow progress. I believe what Bruce R. McConkie once said, we all believe a lot of falsehoods on our path to the truth and by that he did not mean that truth is found once we feel the spiritual desire to be baptized. Truth encompasses so much that it is not graspable with our mortal minds in its entirety easily. We all have to grow into it. His point was that was okay. The important thing was to stay teachable. What I also took from it was that maybe I am the one who has to change, but maybe it is sometimes someone else, and maybe perhaps sometimes it is that the full doctrine has yet to be revealed so that we don’t understand things fully yet. What is absolutely true is that God loves all His children and no blessing will ultimately be denied anyone who wants it enough to want to be teachable before God.

  17. AJH

    Joanna hit the nail on the head with her comments.

    I have found that what the prophet and Apostles discuss are usually in alignment with my own personal beliefs and thoughts. It’s not always the case, but 9 times out of 10–I feel they are echoing my own spiritual thoughts. I have found and taken great comfort as I often feel I’m the one who is wrong because I have a vastly different opinions at times.

    It should be remember to0 that it is important to take care of your soul and spiritual self. If you feel the church is correct, you should not let allow humans to interfer with your spiritual journey into mormonism. After all, humans are fallible–and while the church is the Church of Jesus Christ and is based on gospel principles–it is still run by fallible individuals who bring in their own knowledge, backgrounds, and opinions to the table.

    Also, it is key to remember to listen to what others are saying (or trying to say)–even when you disagree. Then ponder what they say. You may not agree with them, but you will learn to have an appreciation for their thoughts and value them as they provide you an opportunity to grow your own testimony. They should also be willing to listen to your thoughts and opinions and should contemplate what you have said.

    It is hard to be different thinker in a culture that has issues with not conforming. I believe it was the conforming to human ideals that led the Isrealites and Nephites away from valuable truths. The only way this can be prevented from happening again is to question, learn, grow, and challenge our thinking and our beliefs. As I have personally done so, my testimony in the Church and its teachings has grown stronger.

  18. Melly Buttermilk

    Is there a place in the church in general? I’d say yes.

    Culturally though, I’d say it would depend on whatever ward you’re in.

  19. Love hearing all these thoughts. I also love what Elder Jeffrey Holland said in April conference: “Mortals will always struggle to measure up to the immortal hopes placed before them.”
    Recognizing that ongoing struggle helps me put up with some of the more frustrating goings-on within my religion.

  20. Brenda

    Oh my….I feel the same way. I am technically an ex member (not excommunicated) but I feel drawn back to the church a lot yet am a progressive liberal person and things in church history really burn me up. I are many people just following like sheep and I often wonder if they have internal turmoil like I do. I certainly don’t have the answers but I do know God moves in mysterious ways and there’s always a reason other Mormons cross my path:)

  21. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me or my husband. Thank you to all of the people who responded to Joanna’s thoughtful, loving response to these seeking sisters. My husband and I have been lifelong members, but we are struggling; our understanding and knowledge of the gospel and the church have been expanding beyond the conservative culture we were both raised in. The last year has been particularly difficult, given the presidential election and all the unexpectedly vile, vituperative behavior members of the church have exhibited towards other members who happen to disagree. Attending church and extended family activities has been difficult, at best. We have no desire to leave the church–the gospel is true!–but it’s sometimes difficult to see past the Utah-centric leadership biases that fail to represent what is supposed to be a world-embracing religion.

    Many of the responses here have been encouraging to me. I wish I knew you personally. Utah Valley can be pretty lonely for liberal thinkers….I guess we’ll just have to “keep calm and carry on.”

  22. We all have a reason. All of us, with our difference, have a place in the gospel of Christ. We all, liberal, conservative, whatever, all of us have something to contribute. God made us all different for a reason.
    The letter sent echo my own feelings, and I have been a member all of my life, as were my parents, and their parents. My ancestors were married in the first Nauvoo temple and helped settle the Salt Lake Valley, and still I feel the same as you do. Is there a place for my liberal heart in this church that has been all I know, this church that I have such deep ties in? How can I contribute when “I am proud of half of what I am seeing and mortified by half of it?” I feel this exact same way every day. Letters like this, posts like this, blogs like this help me see that when I start to feel like I don’t belong, I do. There is a place for me.
    Thank you, wonderful women who wrote these letter to AMG. You remind me where I belong, and it’s right beside you.
    I don’t know what I would do without the internet and the chance to connect with all of these wonderful people who I don’t know, but who make me feel like I’m not alone.

    When I was getting my temple recommend to get endowed and sealed to my husband, I told my bishop that I supported Planned Parenthood. He agreed with me. Months later, my very conservative brother scolded me for announcing on my facebook page that I was supporting marriage equality. He told me that I can’t support marriage equality as a temple-recommend holder. When I asked my bishop about that, my bishop replied “that’s why he’s not YOUR bishop.” God hears us. God knows us. God wants us to be close to him. That’s why he’s given us prayer. That’s why he’s given us each other.

  23. slsdm

    Thank you AMG, thank you women who wrote in, and especially, thank you commenters. Sincerely, I needed to hear all your words. My own struggles with similar issues and feelings(my own “faith crisis” I guess) have been a real burden to me as of late. Your similar feelings that remind me I’m not alone (and therefore not wrong to feel such things), your support, and especially your insights to how you have found reconciliation in ways that have kept you who you are AND kept your testimony of this religion was a tender mercy to me. I gleaned from your perspectives, experiences and insights a great deal, and it’s helped me feel lighter today.

    • Andrea

      I absolutely love this blog! I recently came across it while googling anything Mormon in my search for the truth. I am investigating the church and want so much for it to be the right one for me. I have been studying with the missionaries for several weeks now. They are sweet young men but just that, young men. I feel like I need the advice and counsel of persons with a few more years under their belt. This blog has been a blessing on so many levels. I wish that I could connect with some of you in person as I feel you share my plight! Thank you to everyone who is bold enough to poor their hearts out among us. I enjoy reading all of these posts. I am genuinely amazed at how well spoken and eloquent some of you write.

  24. madame joy

    Wow, thank you everyone.

    I am one of the women Joanna included above, and my heart overflows with the welcomes you offer. I will feel your presence with me as I am baptized in three weeks, after, a lot of soul seeking, prayer and yes, an honest baptismal interview. I will feel you on the pew next to me every Sunday and each day as I study scripture and invite this new wonderful practice of faith into my life. I am reminded often, that remaining drawn to the church amidst the disagreements I have with some of the things I have seen the church do, only serves to strengthen my testimony. If I can get in the water, knowing all those things, then no one can shake my faith.

    I also believe, that in my life I have seen god encourage me to do unwise things because in the long-run they better my life (although I can’t see that at the time). I believe deeply that some of the church’s less-than-loving actions are god’s way of progressing it. Even the church has to make mistakes, isn’t that one of the blessings of our human form? It may take time for this to come to light, but I have faith that it will.

    I also had a lovely chat with our Bishop and he assured me that it was good to be different. It seems that if i let my true light shine, it will guide me to the right people. I have to believe that god has a plan, and when i reflect on the story of how I got to this church, and the missionary god tailored and delivered to teach me, i have no doubt that my joining the church is part of it.

    Thanks all. Massive love and light to you.

  25. I am noticing that the big three—feminists, intellectuals, and gays—are now performing valuable missionary functions for the church. As the gap between the church and the rest of society grows, we can serve as bridges to the gospel.

    My friend John Gustav-Wrathall, who is gay and excommunicated but attends church regularly, wrote this: “This past Sunday, my bishop asked me to work with the missionaries and meet with an investigator who feels she has a testimony of the Church, but who is hesitant to join the Church because of its position on homosexuality. I plan to share with her what I have shared with others in her situation. If you have a testimony of the Church, trust that the Lord will work this out for your gay and lesbian brothers and sisters if we are all of us — gay and straight! — faithful. Do not deny yourself the blessings of Church membership on my account.” http://youngstranger.blogspot.com/2012/11/gay-mormon-hopeful-faithful.html

    And I cannot help but plug my own blog post on the same subject: http://gailymormon.com/2012/11/23/called-to-serve/

    It’s such a wonderful time to be a gay/feminist/intellectual Mormon!

  26. Cara

    I have been struggling with the exact same issues lately. I feel like God is calling me to Mormonism, but I am quite scared of what that means. I am a liberal woman living in a pretty conservative area. I am still unsure, but I am trying to slowly learn more. I haven’t yet had the courage to reach out to the local Mormon ward.

  27. Alison

    I love reading on this site and realizing I’m not the only one struggling with questions and doubts and trying to sort through it all. It doesn’t feel like that when I’m in church and many of the talks, comments and lessons are much more orthodox and I feel isolated and out of place. I recognize that my opinions don’t match the “standard” church way of looking at things and this makes for a very lonely experience at a place that use to bring me happiness and inclusion. I’m trying to understand how many of you sort through the “great community” that the church provides with the teachings that don’t feel right. Is belonging to a community enough reason to participate in something weekly that makes you feel isolated, alone and doesn’t allow you to express yourself freely? I think it’s wonderful these women feel a connection to the church and are drawn to it but also recognize that if they already realize they don’t agree with many things they are in for a real challenge. Being a member for 45 years this isn’t getting easier but instead harder as I get older and am more honest with myself about my questions and doubts.

  28. Erin

    One thing that I would like to bring up that I don’t think anyone else has mentioned yet is that every once and awhile (maybe a long while), the FIrst Presidency backs the liberals. I’m thinking specifically of a recent press release in which the First Presidency expressed an opinion in opposition to conservative state policies regarding immigrants. As the liberal minority, we should be celebrating, and repeating those statements every chance we get.

  29. slsdm

    I know it’s been awhile since this post came out, and I don’t know if the two original ladies that sparked it will read this weeks later now, but I came across this amazing Feminist’s testimony here: http://mormonscholarstestify.org/1718/valerie-hudson-cassler. She explains how she converted to the LDS faith BECAUSE she is a feminist and this Restored Gospel falls in line with female equality more than any other “Abrahamic faith” (as she puts it). It is excellent and I hope will reach the 2 investigators somehow.

  30. Cameron Benedict

    I am not a “liberal female” but a moderate, Republican, male. Some of the best advice I have ever heard is “The Curch is true, but the people aren’t.” I have some disagreements with other members in my ward, mainly political, to the point of keeping my mouth shut sometimes. You have to be able to seperate the doctrine from the culture. If you have problems with the doctrine, don’t join but if disagree with the culture and can live with some disagreements at times, you need to seriously consider it. I have seen Sen. Harry Reid’s on his web page state that he is a liberal because he’s a Mormon.

    Hope this helps

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