I had a typical Mormon upbringing in Provo Utah, filled with songs of pioneer children singing as they walked and the knowledge that I was a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loved me. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20’s that I started to question my place in Mormonism. It was overwhelming and as the faith of my childhood crumbled, I had no idea where my little family and I would go.

Our family started attending Community of Christ in Salt Lake in June 2014. The struggles I faced as a Mormon woman were finally acknowledged and my wounds began to heal. The historical discrepancies we were once told to ignore were now things we could discuss and work through. My LGBTQ+ sisters and brothers were accepted completely and fully and I could see a bright, affirming future for my daughters.

It wasn’t an easy transition. Leaving the LDS church comes with a lot of shame and baggage. Knowing we were now deemed apostates, the worst of the worst, was a hard label to carry. However, we weren’t the first to be given the label. There was another woman who the Mormons called an apostate; Emma. You see, Emma wasn’t passive in her decision to stay in Nauvoo. She openly disagreed with the direction the church had taken and would not stand for her children to be raised with doctrines she did not believe were from God. Emma had courage and I knew if I could tap into that, even a little, we would be alright.

Within the year, we joined Community of Christ and both my husband and I were soon presented with priesthood calls. In Salt Lake, we sometimes call Community of Christ “The Other Side of Nauvoo”. A hidden gem within the Restoration where equality reigns. A place where the focus is on Jesus’ teachings and they are seriously examined and taught. It’s a place where the imprints of Emma’s brave heart are all over the place. It is a place where the Worth of All Persons and Unity in Diversity are principles woven into the fabric of our identity. It is a place where I am enough.

I went to a place where the people and leadership continually discern God’s call to us. My family was able to be part of the canonization process for our newest section, section 165, of the Doctrine and Covenants. From there we read,

6 a. Beloved Community of Christ, do not just speak and sing of Zion. Live, love, and share as Zion: those who strive to be visibly one in Christ, among whom there are no poor or oppressed.
b. As Christ’s body, loving and patiently bear the weight of criticism from those who hesitate to respond to the divine vision of human worth and equality in Christ. The burden and blessing is yours for divine purposes.

To whom shall I go? To Emma’s church and I’ve never been happier.

Brittany in UT

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