What I Still Love In Mormonism
I feel like I write this same essay again and again every few years and it changes A LOT. Nonetheless, I think it’s still useful. So here I go again.
1. Personal Revelation
The idea that God Himself came to a young boy in rural New York simply because the boy had read scriptures and had a question to ask — I love this. I love the promise this gives that all of us have the capacity to see God, to ask and be answered, to be given visions.
2. The Eternal Feminine
We don’t do nearly enough with this, but it’s there at the core of Mormonism, the idea that the feminine is divine, as well. As I’ve delved more into this, it has saved my soul. I spent so much time hating my feminine parts and wanting to be more masculine. I reject any Mormon who rejects the feminine divine.
3. The Body is Divine
I don’t necessarily see God as an embodied man, but I love the idea that our bodies are not something that we will be rid of when we are with God, but that our bodies are glorious and divine.
4. Universal Salvation
One of the tenets of Mormonism is that we all have the light of Christ sufficient to tell good from evil. Connected to that is the idea that God will resurrect us all, that we will all end up in a degree of glory (except for a handful in a hell that is simply being removed from the presence of God). I love this part of the D&C. I love the expansiveness of the Mormon vision of salvation.
5. Sealing the Human Family
The Book of Mormon opens with a glorious story about a man who receives a vision from God about all of us being on a journey to receive the love of God, and about God wanting us all to be there with Him/Them. I love this story.
6. Zion Is Now
I love in The Book of Mormon when Christ comes and there are generations that pass with all things in common. This is Zion. This is what we’re aiming at. We always fall short, but surely when Mormonism is at its best, this is what it looks like.
7. Christ Came to All People
The Book of Mormon is built on the premise that Christ visited the native peoples of the Americas. And that he would have visited all His other “sheep,” as well. We don’t always hear this talked about a lot in church, but I think it used to be more common for people to talk about other scriptures coming from other cultures in time, just like The Book of Mormon.
8. God Comes to the Margins
Samuel the Lamanite and the story of the Book of Mormon is surely all about how God comes to the unexpected, to those on the margins, the ones everyone thinks are cursed and beneath Him. We are respecter of persons, but God is not. God looks on the heart. God reverses our expectations. God rejects power and wealth as measures of worthiness.
9. Scripture is Continual
I love the idea that scripture didn’t end. That it will never end, that it continues to come every day. Now, I think this is Mormon, but I admit, we tend to worship the God experiences of the leaders way too much and forget that all of our journals are scripture.
10. Power Corrupts
The Doctrine and Covenants (and The Book of Mormon) teaches us clearly that power corrupts and that the Spirit of God in us will always call us to speak kindly, to be persuasive, to show compassion and long-suffering.
11. God is Change
This is a theme in a famous series of science fiction books by Octavia Butler, but I think there is significant truth in it, and you see it all through Mormonism and our ideas of God adapting doctrines to the current times.
12. Study it Out in Your Mind
I feel like the wonderful scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants about studying it out in your mind reminds us that the mind is part of the soul and that God speaks to us in many ways. And that we are not entirely separate from God when it comes to our imaginations and desires.