Quotes: This Makes Me Feel Mormon, Part 1

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Before I get to the quote, a little background: I attended a conference this past summer called the Sunstone Symposium, which is an event focused on presenting scholarly and creative work related to Mormonism. In one of the sessions I sat in on, a presenter said something along the lines of, "I consider myself a Mormon, but I have to say, I feel a lot more Mormon when I'm reading a Janice Allred essay than I do when I'm reading The Book of Mormon." That sentiment has stuck with me. I can't say I'm on exactly the same page as that presenter was; I've read The Book of Mormon as well as essays by Janice Allred, and I've had moments of feeling very Mormon while reading both of these. That said, I definitely know what this young woman was driving at. Every so often, I'll read or hear something related to Mormonism -- something online, something in an old textbook, something in the scriptures, something said by a friend -- and I'll think to myself, "Yes. Yes! That makes me feel Mormon!" My heart swells with religious pride and my spirit responds favorably.

I want to do a better job of documenting these things. Ergo, I'm working on an irregular series for the blog, called "This Makes Me Feel Mormon." Here's installment #1.


This quote comes from the comment section of a recent blog post at Mormon Mommy Blogs, asking for questions to be directed to President Julie B. Beck of the General Relief Society Presidency. The comments this post received are very interesting to me, and this one was particularly touching and poignant. I'll add in some bracketed amendments for clarity's sake.

"Sister Beck,

When you visited our stake this fall you stated that every [Relief Society] meeting should be a place where sisters should be able to ask the hard and uncomfortable questions. As is evidenced in this thread, many of us have hard and uncomfortable questions. Most of us do not ask these questions in our wards [and] stakes because we have learned that they are met with fear and/or chastisement before being dismissed as bitter and unfaithful. There have been some in this thread who have expressed shock and disappointment that LDS women would have the concerns expressed here. That reaction is the very reason many of us do not feel safe trying to seek answers to our concerns. My question is, how do [we] promote an environment wherein members can feel safe sharing their struggles and concerns without the fear of being labeled heretical? How can we shift from seeing those engaged in working out their concerns as looking for a way out and instead understand that most often those who ask these questions are looking for a way in? What is it in our culture that begets fear of questions in a church that was established by a boy who asked a hard and uncomfortable question? I don’t think God fears our questions. Why should we fear them from one another?"

--from commenter Sunny

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