Good News For A Change

I’ve been frustrated by the fact that I’ve not had a lot of happy things to talk about lately.  (Although when I have a chance, I’m thinking of reviewing a board game – is it still a board game if it’s just dice? – because it’s awesome.)

Anyway, over the weekend, good things happened.  There are a few women in my neighborhood who have befriended me and we play games when there’s time.  It’s sometimes a little weird, because I really don’t fit in ethically or philosophically with them in in general (I’ve written about it before) and it bothers me that it’s exclusively women.  I don’t know whether I’m uncomfortable because I’ve historically had groups of friends that are more male than female or simply because of the unspoken exclusion of husbands because of an internalized “different spheres” thing.  In any event, the first woman to reach out to me lives just across the street and I’ve always felt she was much better at being inclusive to non-Mormons than some of the other women I’ve hung out with.

Now I know why.  While we were playing pinochle on Saturday, she told me two pieces of very good news for her and her husband.  The first is that after two years of trying to get pregnant, they are now expecting a baby.  I’m so happy for both of them.  The second piece of news is that she and her husband have finally left the LDS church and are much happier.

It makes a lot of sense now that I felt more comfortable and normal socially with her if she was unhappy with some coercive elements in the church coming from her community and family.  She and her husband are much happier now, and have thankfully been mostly supported by their friends and family in their decision.

I’m happy not only that they’re in a better place personally, but that they specifically decided they want to be able to question and figure out wha they believe for themselves.  The Mormon church actively discourages people from exploring other faiths, texts and ideas that don’t come with church review and approval.  That’s no way to develop a worldview and identity.

I was particularly struck by something my friend said that evening.  She said that she felt a little lost and overwhelmed now that they’ve formally left the church.  She told me that when you’ve spent your entire life believing what you were told to, it’s hard to know where to start once you throw that off.  I think they’re off to a good start, and I’m proud of her.

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