Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blog Retrospective: Mormonism!

It's been more than twenty years since I last believed in Mormonism, but it's still a favorite topic of mine!! How could it not be?

Mormonism influenced my girlhood dreams and showed up in my childhood journal entries. (Actually, I still have yet to write the story of when I played Emily in a 1979 production of Saturday's Warrior at age 7 -- one of my fondest memories of Mormonism...)

And my teen years? Well, you can have a look at the jewelry we earned in "Personal Progress" (and what I thought of it). And who could forget what we learned in early morning seminary? Good times! But Mormonism was a big part of my identity back then, and thinking hard about my faith was a big part of growing up.

Then came BYU! To get the real story, you can read about the subversive gals in my dorm and about my "born in a resort" BYU boyfriend. Or read the article I wrote for the Student Review (on Why I Hate Church). You can also read about how I became an atheist right there in the hallowed halls of BYU, and my (imaginary) excommunication. And if the real story isn't sufficient, you can read the truer-than-life fictionalization.

And the connection runs deeper than my own youthful memories -- the Mormons are my tribe (following the Jewish model). Mormonism is a part of my family heritage from the moonshine-running hillbillies who found leadership opportunities through Mormonism, to the Utah-Mormon side of the family, with a personal connection with Joseph Smith. (For definitions, see my fabulous sister.)

Unsurprisingly, I've spent a lot of time figuring out my relationship with/to Mormonism. It wasn't long after I left BYU that I realized that I sympathize with the Mormons and I don't want to pretend I have no connection with Mormonism. Living in a foreign country, it became especially clear that I'm a cultural Mormon in the same way that my husband is a cultural Catholic. (See also my handy guide to different types of Mormons.)

And since then, I've done my own personal research on Mormon culture as an adult! I had fun chatting with mishies in France, I spoke at the Sunstone Symposium, and attended a polygamist church service.

And, with all that, I've naturally got plenty of material to write about Mormonism! You can see some of the results here. :D

3 comments:

Xuxana said...

How do you stay happy about the Mormon religion? I bleeping hate it! My sister just emailed me yesterday asking me to do a temple ritual or something. It's causing major altercations between myself and my family members. I used to take it all lightly, but the brainwashing is tearing my family apart. I wish the Mormon church would go away!

C. L. Hanson said...

Hey Xuxana!!!

I know how that goes. In my case, Mormonism hasn't caused any (major) family feuds in well over a decade, and that changes things quite a bit. It makes it easier to look at the whole thing from a comfortable distance, allowing the memories to become fuzzy and fond...

Xuxana said...

That's nice! Hope that happens for me and mine some day :)

I still can't see myself ever being interested in Mormon crap though. lol