I’m a Mormon woman a wife, mom, and grandmother now enjoying a career after setting aside a number of years to be a stay-at-home mom. I suppose that most feminists would look at my life and say it didn’t measure up to their standards for truly liberated women, but in light of a certain scripture, “The truth shall make you free” (John 8:32), I feel like I can make the claim that I am, and always have been, truly liberated.
Blessed from the Beginning
I have to admit that I had a good start, having been born in post-World War II America to educated parents. They provided me with the ability to get an education and develop my talents. We had lots of books in the house, had access to dental and medical care, and all the perks associated with the middle class. But I was wanting spiritually. I can see now that God led me in a direction from my youth so that I would find The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently called the Mormon Church). Finding the Church at age 15 saved me from the vicissitudes and craziness of the ‘60’s and helped me to navigate a safe path through my college years.
Protection and Guidance
Although I was the only member of The Church of Jesus Christ in my family, I found support in my friends, church associates, and college roommates. I strove to live according to the commandments of Jesus Christ as they came down through Mormon prophets, and living those commandments saved me from some pretty dangerous stuff.
I never did smoke or use drugs. I never drank. And I worked to follow the Lord’s standard of sexual abstinence outside of marriage. My freshman year of college, I attended my parents’ choice of schools for me, and it was a party school. My friends there struggled every day with their decisions, especially in the area of sexual morality. Their desires and the peer pressure they faced placed them in the position of trying to make their way with a situational morality. They never could find a standard that didn’t shift with the occasion. They struggled with guilt and the wonderment that comes with trying to formulate a new life philosophy on a daily basis. They seemed agitated and confused. If they drank too much, all their decisions blew away with the wind, and they had to deal with the aftermath.
The hardest part about my freshman year of college was having these students, many of them older and more accomplished than I, come to me crying about their rootlessness. By the end of the year, I was drained. I was too young to carry their burdens, especially if they weren’t interested in making the sacrifices necessary to join me on the path Christ has laid out for us.
I transferred to a college owned by The Church of Jesus Christ, and there, I had an easier time. I married a returned Mormon missionary, and we established a home and started a family. Having been raised by intellectual parents in an adult-oriented home, I had to feel my way into Mormon motherhood with help from the Church provided by the loving sisters there who taught me many skills.
How the Truth Has Made Me Free
Because of the revelatory commandments of The Church of Jesus Christ, my husband and I have been free from many of the things that trouble our peers in the world at large. We have never had to worry about the possible ravages or damage caused by sexual promiscuity. In our eternally committed Mormon temple marriage, we have enjoyed decades of intimacy without any lonely periods. We have been able to work through any low spots in our marriage with an eternal perspective in mind. We’ve had no addictions to interrupt our good relationship. We’ve raised six amazing children and now have thirteen super grandchildren a large and loving family with enough members that there is always someone to call upon in times of need.
We have enjoyed personal revelation and the power of healing through the Mormon Priesthood to carry us through times of illness and financial difficulty, and by following the Holy Spirit, have enjoyed experiences that might not have otherwise come our way. We’ve lived in five countries and traveled in many, many more than that, meeting wonderful people all over the world.
We have avoided the spiritual confusion caused by not having access to the Real Answers. The more we study our faith, the firmer we become in our assurance that God lives, and that Jesus Christ is the Savior of us all. We have had real help from the other side of the veil. It has actually saved my life on several occasions. I feel truly free liberated, if the adjective fits.
As far as worldly pursuits are concerned, I never did write the Great American Novel… but there is still time…over the years, the value of truly excelling in a career has faded. I’ve watched those who reached these worldly pinnacles burn out, fall down, their health or personal connections crumble, and it’s been easy to see what is really important, and how free I really am.