This Thursday, August 23, I’ll be visiting Salt Lake City to do a 7 p.m. reading at Weller’s Books in Trolley Square. Come say hello and share your own Mormon girl (and boy) stories. Whoever recounts the most memorable object lesson ever will win his or her own copy of . . . . The Marie Osmond Guide to Beauty Health & Style. That’s right! Your own vintage edition of the book I studied the heck out of when I was twelve years old and trying to get a grip on Mormon womanhood. Thanks to the good people at Weller’s for having me. Can’t wait to see you there.
And I wanted to share snippets of lovely letters from readers of The Book of Mormon Girl. I’ve gotten quite a few of them in the last two weeks, from non-Mormon readers who tell me they’ve worked with Mormons all their lives but have never “gotten” us until they read the book. And from Mormon readers who say that my story has helped them feel “less alone” or “like I didn’t have to be ashamed” of their unorthodox Mormon path. I’ve also gotten great mail from more traditional believing Mormon folks who say “I may disagree with some of your actions but you gave me a great deal to think about the young women of this church.” Which is awesome. Because this is a story that welcomes everyone at the table: Mormon or non-Mormon, believer or not, in or out, good or bad. This is a story about holding onto what you love and being brave. (I’ll stop before I start sounding like my own video. Which you should check out.)
The letter that stands out the most to me this week is from a woman we’ll call “B.” B read the book last week. And then this happened:
“Saturday morning, on my way to my sister’s house to can plums, I was forcibly struck that I needed to sponsor a woman missionary. The prompting was so strong that I called my friend and asked her to ask her Bishop who needed help. And of course, there was a young woman in the ward who lacked just the amount I could contribute. But this is not a typical Holy Ghost story. . . .”
Because “B” is not even active in the Church. She has stepped away, over concern with women’s issues. But she’s not giving up. Read on: