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.
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.