And it Came to Pass
Updated: 5 days ago
After a lifetime fighting with my demons, pressing forward within the bounds the LDS priesthood leaders set, my mother (my one true champion, the one that called me her light her northern star), passed away, and I was left to face the box I'd set on my shelf filled with questions.
"Where is she? What is lifelike for her as a woman? Will I really see her again?
My childhood faith implied implicitly women were the strength the moral fiber of our faith, but in every documentation, practice, and test of worthiness, men were the strong arm, the last word, and the law. The polygamy question that plagued women from day one, the ugly secret our leaders kept from us, they were now bringing to light
gnawed at my soul, and would not shut up. Desperate for answers, I did as any worthy faith-wielding Latter-day Saint would do. I turned to the Church-sanctioned information to shut my doubts up.
"Where would I find an answer to this? The Church's website of course. Oh, look, Gospel topic essays. PERFECT!"
I scrolled through the topics listed:
Are Mormons Christian?
"Duh! We believe in Christ, and his name is in the Church's title. I don't need that one."
Book of Mormon and DNA Studies
"No... I’ll read that one later."
Book of Mormon Translation
"Everybody knows Joseph translated the Book of Mormon using the breastplate Moroni gave him, the Urim and Thumim and those spectacle things...that seer stone, right? I'll check that out later."
First Vision Accounts
"I know the first vision like the back of my hand, WAIT! Accounts? Why is it plural? What the what? But I taught people in Thailand there was only one. The church always implied it was the one and only most important moment in history. Wait! It was called the First Vision, but I thought that meant other visions like in Doctrine and Covenants, not other accounts of his first vision. It's been here all the time? F----!"
"What does it say about polygamy then?"
Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
"Are the rumors true? I thought only Brigham Young practiced this. Who the heck is Fanny Alger? Son of a B----!"
CRACK! My phone bounced off the floor and smashed into the piano across the room. I stared out the window frozen. The weight of the world pressed on my chest. Silence filled the room, but questions screamed inside my head.
With my legs outstretched on the steel-blue tufted upholstery, my eyes fixated through the glass at the miles of rolling golden Colorado hills that surrounded my house.
"Why would they say the rumors aren't true? Why would they show us pictures of plates and spectacles? Why did they ask for perfect obedience? Why did I sacrifice my health in Thailand for a faith and leaders who can't even tell me the truth?"
Every breath for the next (who knows how long I sat there) hours was labored and exhausting.
I curled up on the couch, the place I had turned to the previous three months for solace after my mother passed, the place I turned after returning from the hospital where my two middle children had bars placed in their chests, lungs collapsed, and courage mustered to manage, this couch the place where my entire world-view just crumbled to dust in a matter of minutes.
For an entire year, I woke up soaked with sweat and heavy with guilt. PTSD SHOCK! "What have I done?"
For a solid hour, I would rehash the truths I had learned, the gut-wrenching, heavy pain would settle on my chest, and for 365 plus days, I painstakingly relived the shock and acceptance that my entire worldview, the thing I sacrificed my health for, lived for, clung to with mental anguish, and my last hope, wasn't what I thought it was, wasn't what they told me it was.
You would think that would have been the worst of my pain, but it wasn't. The very community I called friends, sisters and brothers, and family turned on me, on my husband, and my children.
After I stood up in Sacrament meeting and poured my aching heart out.
"I don't think Joseph Smith is who we thought he was. I know for months I have testified even though he was flawed and made mistakes he was still a man of God. I don't think that's true anymore. I don't think I can do this and keep my integrity intact. I love you all, and you will always be dear to me. you will always be my friends and family, but this isn't true."
I was standing on the edge of a cliff I never thought I would be facing. I never thought I would leave the Church.
I believe like my ancestors, and I must follow the truth no matter the price, so I jumped.