For a moment, I focused on the negative. The one "you're a bad Mormon" comment left on my last post. The comment is still there if you are a glutton for punishment. I promised myself I would publish every comment on that post, and I did.

But then I realized my error in focusing on the negative, so I am editing my post. Instead I would like to say Thank You for all the kind and supportive words everyone else left. Even those who disagreed did so in a kind and civil way. Thank you.

For those who shared similar sentiments, it was good to know I am not alone. I do feel very alone sometimes, in my journey through Mormonism, and it was nice to have people walking with me for a few miles of that journey.

We are all enlisted 'til the conflict is o'er.


Alisha said...

as soon as I read your last line I burst out into song...Happy are we! Happy are we!

I wish you luck in your questioning. My questions led me to leave the church forever. I'm the only 'defect' in my family and I've never been happier :)

Lorena said...

Stephanie, I just wanted to say thank you so very much for your opinion. I'll tell you about how I used this post in my life, and hopefully it will be living proof that your words can make a big difference.

I'm an exmormon. When I left the church, I also left behind a lot of my credibility. As a rule, Mormons aren't receptive to the opinions of the apostate. My thoughts get dismissed as "satan's whisperings" because I removed my name from the records.

HOWEVER. I have a younger sister who is much like I was: young, full of conscience, and stuck between what her gut reaction is and what the prophets tell her.

I posted your post to my facebook wall with this disclaimer: "A beautiful opinion from a Mormon I deeply respect. When something goes against your own instincts of basic humanity, challenge it. You get extra credit points at Judgement Day for relying on personal revelation over blind obedience. Leaders have been wrong before. Don't be afraid to ask if this is really the message your God is trying to send."

My sister and I just finished a two hour conversation about this. She told me she really loved your point about prophets being human, and as such, imperfect people with bias and prejudice and opinions that might be less than divine. She feels a bit more encouraged now to have beliefs of her own, even if they're different from the ones she heard at General Conference.

Thank you, Stephanie. I type this with tears in my eyes because you did what I could not. You delivered an empowering message to a bright young girl with a beautiful future. You told her that it's okay for her to disagree, and that she can still love her church and her God and not feel the same as everyone else all the time.

The words she heard from you would not have been as well received coming from me. I am incredibly appreciative for your blog, because I can point to it so often and say, "Look. You refuse to hear it from me, but hear it from one of your own. It's okay to think differently."

My religious upbringing demands that I use a phrase about gratitude and blessings now. I don't use those words anymore, but I'll go ahead and say it anyway: I'm very grateful. That post was a blessing. Thank you.

Me said...

I can't pretend to understand the whole scope of the Mormon religion. However, I am Catholic, and judging from your posts, I have similar issues/struggles with my church. It's hard being a liberal in my parish, it's hard being a democrat in my parish and it is nearly impossible to express my support of the LGBT community in my parish b/c of what the church believes in. However, I have reconciled the issues I have with some of the teachings by reminding myself that "man" is different from God. That mankind is open to faults, even if that means possibly misunderstanding or misinterpreting what they (the elders/priests/pastors/etc.) think the scriptures to mean. I think the true sin is for ANY human to confidently say "I know what God meant". No matter what their title.

Stephanie said...


I'm very honored.

Me said...

Lorena said :
"When something goes against your own instincts of basic humanity, challenge it. You get extra credit points at Judgement Day for relying on personal revelation over blind obedience. Leaders have been wrong before. Don't be afraid to ask if this is really the message your God is trying to send."

Wow, that is powerful and so well said. Thank you Lorena!!

NIKOL said...

I got a few "you're a bad Mormon" comments on my blog back when I talked about Prop 8. They're hard to take.

Really can't give you any praise that wouldn't pale in comparison to what Lorena said above. But: I like you, and I enjoy reading your blog. It's nice to find like-minded people out there.

Happy are we.

MJ said...

You're a bad Mormon? WHATEVER. I'M not a bad Mormon, and I agree with you. People who judge like that, well, they've got their own issues.

Shum Girl said...

This response is perfect and your last post was great. I have learned that validation is very important for some people in the Mormon religion. That's why when anyone famous converts other Mormons say,"See, our religion is the true one because so-in-so believes!".
So when you get mean comments it I see it as someone who actually might not be truly converted because you are threatening to them and invalidating their beliefs. Does that make sense at all? If you truly believe something you don't need others to validate it. I.E.: My daughter is the best person on earth. Whatever anyone else says is not going to make me think otherwise.
Same should go for peoples religions.
I don't know if I am articulating my thought process well but good job.

Stephanie said...

Shum Girl

I think that explanation is perfect, and I had never thought of it that way.

It also helps me understand why that person felt "prompted" to tell me how unfaithful I am. People confuse strong emotions (feeling threatened) with "promptings" all the time.

Plain Jame said...

This is probably going to sound dumb, but I was all "gosh this puts a damper on my life" when another child in my daughters first grade class who had a peanut allergy asked us to not send peanut ANYTHING into the classroom. I was like Geez, why doesn't her mother home school her if she is so allergic.... and I was in a hissy about it for a few days. Gosh, what an inconvenience and how scary for the girl - what if people dont accommodate her? What if...?
I starting thinking about how that little girl didn't decide at 3 years old to get diagnosed with an allergy... it was something that happened, and they cope. They ask others to be more understanding of it. They ask others to be part of a team to work with this issue that is out of their control. Giving their daughter the most normal life possible given her allergy. If it was my child - MY daughter, how would I feel if people felt this way towards me? How much more would I appreciate peoples willingness to try to make this girls life as normal as possible. Tolerance goes a long way in situations like this.
Just because I was brought up in a home of two amazing imperfect people that passed on their intolerance and impatience on to me, it makes me have to work a little harder to let the compassion in me work.

I guess that just goes to say that when we work on our ability to see why people might have an opinion or see things another way, it doesn't mean that they're any less of a person because they don't conform.

I hope that makes sense. Although the comments that come from a "holier than thou" perspective SUCK, we cannot possibly all feel the same way. I'm glad we all don't.

Stephanie said...

Plain Jame

No, it doesn't sound dumb, it is a good point, and I guess what I was trying to say. The "I need to bear my testimony of your wrongness" comments hurt, but if I focus on it, then I deny myself the good conversations.

Also, I don't want to villify people who have different opinions, who like people with allergies might make my life inconvienient. I like opinions. I just like the safety net that we can "agree to disagree." That safety net vanishes as soon as somebody starts accusing somebody else of "faithlessness."

Blurgh. I'm not articulate today.

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