I am a 36 year old mother of two. I was born into the Church and was raised in a faithful, orthodox family.

As my own children got closer to eight, I thought about the children who are denied baptism because of their parent’s gender identity or marriage. And I thought about the questions my children might ask me someday. Why didn’t the Church allow people like me to hold the Priesthood? You see, my children are black.

And I broke.

And all the things that never made sense to me started whirling into focus. The sick feeling I had as prayer after prayer went unanswered was validated. My unhappiness while inside the chapel doors was real. It’s okay to not enjoy conference, or to question the prophet, or to ask for equality within religion.

I teach my children the right things for their health and their happiness. We attend Church with my parents sometimes, but I keep it to a minimum because of the way this Church has treated people like my children. And the way they treat women. And the way they treat our LGBTQI brothers and sisters.

It has been everything but easy. My faith is still in transition and it is painful and it is heartbreaking and it asks me hard questions. And it is freeing and it is beautiful and it is happiness.

So to whom have I gone? My husband and I hold Family Home Evening. We teach the children about an amazing person from their heritage each week. We pray as a family at meals and before bed. We teach the children to question and think for themselves.

I have gone to friends who are open minded and think about things. I have gone shopping on Sundays, and to lunch as a family after church. I have found Mormon feminists. I listen to music, or go outside in a rainstorm, or on a bright sunny day, or talk a walk alone while we are camping.

And I feel God in the sun on my shoulders, and the rain on my face, and the wind in my hair.

Anonymous in CA

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