Showing posts with label interfaith relationships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label interfaith relationships. Show all posts

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Review: Mormon Diaries

The Mormon Diaries traces the journey of the author Sophia L. Stone through her life as a Mormon woman to her eventual abandonment of Mormonism for a broader interpretation of Christianity.  Written as a challenge to write daily about the author’s life experiences and expanded into 28 chronological essays, this book explores the reality of being a woman within the confines of Mormonism.  As with all good memoirs, this story is about a journey, a period of time where the author challenges her thoughts and arrives at a new understanding. 
Stone details her life growing up in a Mormon family; the challenges and comforts of growing up in a religion that provides a complete road map to life.  As she writes “Everything important was drawn out for me through living prophets.  All I had to do was use the thick, black marker of my choices to trace the lightly penciled sentences that were written by those with authority, who’d lived longer and knew better about my life’s purpose.” 
Stone details the realities of life as a Mormon woman in a way that is very intimate and real.  She relates her anxiety surrounding her baptism and testimony, the challenges of finding the right husband, as well as the manner in which her identity became wrapped up in being the nurturer, at the cost of her own needs and desires.  There is a list of Mormon “Thou shalts” – starting with “Thou shalt keep the Sabbath day holy” and ending with “Thou shalt not doubt, ever” – that spans a full four pages and serves as a brilliant reminder of what the realities of living a Mormon life is like. 
The author also tackle the thorny issue of leaving the Mormon Church – the dismay and confusion of loved ones, the strain that her journey left on her marriage, the delicate navigation of religion with her children.  There is a deep thoughtfulness in this book, along with a lot of love for family and friends.  Towards the end, the author bears her new and expanded testimony:
“I believe God loves me and that he can save everyone.  I believe there’s light and goodness in all religions, in all traditions, and in all people.”  

Mormon Diaries is available on both Kindleand Nook for $0.99, as well as in paperback form for $8.99

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lost Wallet

          My husband lost his wallet today.  This was a heart-racing, sweat-inducing  event, as we are in upstate New York visiting my parents.  No wallet means no license, which means no ID, which means no plane ride home, especially in light of the fact that my husband is a foreign national.  We had been at the playground playing with my seven-year old niece, when the wallet must have fallen out of his pocket.  When we got home again, my husband noticed the wallet was gone.  
          My husband and I both panicked, searching the playground for the wallet.  Another family - the mother a friendly brunette with a sympathetic smile, her children firmly in the awkward phase of adolescence - helped us search, wandering the playground and nearby fields looking for the lost wallet.  After a while we admitted defeat and headed home again.  When we got home, my brother told me about the time his briefcase was stolen and later found in the dumpster.  He offered to go back with us to search again.  Still no wallet.  Once again, we gave up, going home for my mother’s lasagna.  
          Before the meal, my father prayed, asking to find Badri’s wallet again.  At one point in time, my back would have stiffened at this prayer.  But I am trying to reconcile my lack of beliefs with my family’s belief in Mormonism, so I reminded myself that my father’s intentions were good.    
          In the evening, we called the sheriff’s office to ask if a wallet had been found.  A wallet that matched the description had been found; the operator gave us the name and the number of the woman who had called to report the lost wallet.  
          We went to the woman’s house, who turned out to be a friendly person spending her retirement operating the local food pantry.  She was a warm person and happy to be of help.  She gave my husband his wallet and the three of us talked, standing out on the porch as the day eased its way into night.  We talked about our families, about our personal histories, about the town.  She had worked as an engineer before retiring; my husband is also an engineer.  As we turned to leave, we noticed her car-lights were still on.  She thanked us, grateful that she wouldn’t have a dead battery in the morning.  
          As a Mormon, my father’s prayers for the lost wallet were answered.  As an agnostic humanist, my belief in the goodness of humanity was re-affirmed.  And so, in its own way, this lost wallet has served as affirmations for both us.