I just quickly sat down in between classes and a column in your paper caught my eye [“Free Agent,” Nov. 21, City Weekly]. I loved it; I can relate in a totally different way.
I remember being an athlete, but an average athlete. As an eighth-grade girl, I clearly remember, I was just average at most things. It was after giving a talk one day in church that I realized I was good at something: I could speak in public, and I was good at it.
Thanks to a lot of moving, I had the chance to speak in each new ward, and I was called as Mia Maid class
president—another thing I was good at. For the next 26 years, I equated having the gift to speak and the gift to lead as being a good Mormon.
Because I was a good speaker, I wanted to be as knowledgeable as possible so I could articulate my message well. I have read the Book of Mormon 30 times, cover to cover. By the age of 38, my church résumé included: Mia Maid class president, Laurel class president, two-time Stake Camp director (the first at age 21), returned missionary, Especially For Youth counselor and speaker, Relief Society teacher, three-time Young Women president, two-time Relief Society president, wife of a bishop, and speaker for years at various camps, youth conferences and even at Snow College for a devotional.
Had I been good at dance, music or sports, my life may have been different. But I was good at being a good Mormon; if I was going to speak on it, I was going to live it—and live it I did!
A light bulb went on three years ago, and I realized the doctrine was crap. I wasn’t summoned by inspiration to these callings; I was called because I was (very) willing and damned good at running an organization, and I could motivate anyone to live it. I married a man with the same skills; hence, he was a heck of a bishop because he ran a good “business,” and he is a people person and could motivate anyone to do anything (Joseph Smith similarities, not even kidding).
So glad that together we saw the light and had our family’s records removed.