today i read the new york regional mormon singles halloween dance -- a memoir by elna baker. there were a lot of things in this book that struck me -- things that i agreed with and that i didn't, that i related to and didn't relate to, and what counts most, that made me re-ask myself some important questions.
i just want to share this paragraph from the last page of the book:
"I'm deathly afraid of making the wrong choice. For good reason. Either way I choose, my life will become so much smaller. If I stop being Mormon, I won't be allowed to attend my brother's and sisters' weddings in any Mormon temple. I'll break my mother's heart and I won't be with my family for eternity. But if I stay in the church, I can't wear the sleeveless dress I wore last night, I'll have to say fetch instead of f***, and I won't get to live the rest of my life with any of the men I love most. I've spent a decade saying yes to both sides, stalling and questioning, not ready to choose and watch my life become simpler and more ordinary. Only without definite or definable values I'm a genuine indeterminate. I am what I might be, not what I am."
i am not afraid the way she is. i do not believe my life will become smaller by choosing my faith. i do not regret or resent my lack of sleeveless dresses or having to say fetch, or any other things my religion dictates. i DO believe in my definite and definable values. I DO believe that everything I want in life is available to me within my church. for me, my church IS true. And as long as i have had faith and acted on it... God has been with me. And that feeling -- nothing else has ever been able to replace it.
it was good to remember that.
(and this book will very likely become a christmas gift for many of my friends)