Saturday, September 25, 2010


Looking back on my life, I realize that the person who has most influenced me is my mother.  Sadly, she passed away in 1977 when she was only 64 years old (and I was 25).  Because of her untimely death, I have always felt robbed of an adult relationship with her, and I have always wondered how different my life might have been if she had lived longer and been around for me to "garner wisdom" from her.

But even though I consider her to be very influential in my life, she has always also always been somewhat of an enigma to me, especially now that I left the Mormon Church.  The woman who I knew as my mother was a very strong, independent woman who always seemed to have it all together.  I have always admired those traits in her, and I have always felt that I inherted many of those types of mindsets from her.  But the fact that she was also a devout Mormon is a very big puzzlement for me.

There are so many questions I would like to ask my mother, especially about the Mormon Church and her conversion at age 40, just a few months after I was born.  My father lived to be 92 years old, and he passed away in 2006.  About a year before his death, my father and I were talking and he told me that when he and my mother were investigating the Mormon Church, my mother had a hard time accepting that Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God, but that she finally was able to reconcile her feelings and decided to be baptized.  I wish I could ask her what settled that issue in her mind, although to a certain extent, it still remains questionable to me that she actually ever did.  Perhaps she joined the Mormon Church to please my father or because she thought it would be good for her children for her to have a unified religion with her husband (since he accepted it all from the "get-go").  I wish I knew her motivation for joining the Mormon Church. 

I do remember my mother telling me once (shortly after I was married for the first time) that my father and her had discussed divorce a few years after they were married.  Of course, I was surprised - but the more I thought about it, the more I could see how their differences could have easily driven them in that direction.  The backdrop for her telling me this was my telling her about a Fireside for young couples that my then-husband and I had attended, and a speech was given by the Stake President who said that couples should never even let the word "divorce" cross their lips - that the concept of divorce should never even enter your mind, despite whatever the problems might be.  The SP then said that he and his wife had been married for 40 years or more, and that in that entire time, they had never even discussed "divorce."  While telling my mother about this Fireside, my father entered the room and stopped to listen to what I was saying.  After I finished talking about this Fireside, my mother turned to my father said said, "Well, we can't say that, can we?"  I'll never forget the look on my father's face as he looked at my mother said said, "Why did you have to bring that up?"

Perhaps one day, I'll be able to have further conversations with my mother.  After all, I still believe in God and an Afterlife - to me, those are spiritual beliefs, and the Mormons don't have an exclusive claim on God-related doctrine or the belief in an afterlife.

More than anything, I would like to discuss my exit from the Mormon Church with my mother.  Naturally, I wonder what her reaction would be to what I have discovered that has negated my beliefs in its doctrines.  Perhaps I am being naive and engaging in wishful thinking, but in my heart, I think she would understand and would celebrate my growth and independent thinking.  At least, I hope so...


Latayne C Scott said...

This sounds like an authentic and innovative way to process and share with others what you have undergone, Diane. I wish you the best!

Latayne C. Scott
www dot latayne dot com

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