In Response & Post Edit
We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.--9th Article of Faith
It was in the afternoon, when the sun illuminates the front room and the gray carpet takes on a lighter hue. Because of my sudden need to redecorate, the room was empty-no lamp or rug or chair in sight. I was sitting on the floor cross-legged with the baby on my lap--breastfeeding--my face towards the light. It was January, 2009.
He was nine months old, the baby. Old enough to kick his legs as he ate, his fleece camo pants flapping against my jeans, making feed time also circus time. But also relief time. We both needed this time.
The house was silent.My eyes were closed. I slipped into a heat-induced meditation. I tried to catch up on me, tried to hear the Holy Ghost speaking in my soul, tried to breathe. He was my first baby and I was overwhelmed with the curiosities of motherhood, specifically: when did my mind become so incapable of focusing on anything other than baby?
Then my mom entered, like my thoughts had willed her in. My eyes opened to see her gazing at me from the other end of the room.
"This is what I looked like when I found out about the change in who could hold the priesthood."
"What?" I asked hazily.
"I was in Danville, California breastfeeding my baby boy. We had just moved into our home and my room was empty for awhile so I would nurse on the floor. One day I was sitting there, like you, on the floor nursing in a quiet house with my eyes closed when my friend came in and told me that the church was going to start giving all worthy men the priesthood."
"And what was that like for you?"
"I was so happy. And surprised, I had hoped for the change, and there it was."
The baby rotated his head to look in the direction of voices. Here we sat, three generations in an empty room. It occurred to me that I was focusing too much on the probability of permanence. Of course everything changes, it was one of my core beliefs. I will change, the baby will change, my mother will change and revelation will continue to be received. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
I am a Mormon because I believe in revelation, both revelation from a prophet of God and personal revelation, the kind that feels right in my heart. I believe in what has been revealed, what is now revealed and what will be revealed. Because of revelation, the gospel of Jesus Christ is empowering to me, it calls me up and pushes me beyond. I am a Mormon because it brings light to my life.
I am Mormon not because it provides me all the answers. I don't know why I was infertile for five years and one day I wasn't. I don't know why good things happen to bad people. I don't know why some of us are attracted to the same gender. I don't know why some of us are attracted to both genders. I don't know why we once practiced polygamy and now we do not. I don't know a lot of things, but that is not why I am a Mormon.
I am a Mormon because I believe all that God has revealed to me about me, all that He does now reveal to me about me, and I believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to me about me. Like how I can be a better mother, or friend or example of Christ. Like how to love others in a way that they need to be loved. I can never be settled about what any of those things mean, they constantly evolve. And just when I have decided on one certainty it will change. So I have given up on saying anything is definite. Especially my momentary opinions, because they change the most.
And that is why I am Mormon, I believe in the nearness of God and the improbability of the permanent.
I have a new baby now. A girl. She came out of me layered in softness. I breastfed her religiously until one day I had a revelation that I was supposed to move her to the bottle. Not a bottle with breast milk, my breast milk, but a bottle of formula. I fought with this revelation for weeks. I prayed, I debated, I went to the temple. I ignored the whole idea until one day I was at Costco deciding which container of powdered formula to buy. That was the day I decided that God loves formula. I watched as the expectations I had known about me as a mother shatter and fall to the floor on the baby aisle at Costco.
My mind is still focused on baby. But not long ago I sat at table with my dear friend who had recently been told that her brother was gay. She was in shock. Over the last two years I've watched her seek out answers and beg for understanding. And I watched it come into her life like the light in my front room. I saw in her a powerful sense of enlightenment--a change in tone.
So I opine here and there, but one day, in the midst of pure calmness, someone or something will come into my world and change everything I know. And I need to be humble enough to receive it.
I will teach my babies that there is a Heavenly Father and we are his children. He loves it when we love each other. He loves it when we honor his commandments. And in turn, He love us so much that He will do pretty incredible things to help us return to live with him. I will teach them to never be surprised.
Post edit: sometime during lunchtime this afternoon I went to change the date in the first paragraph from January 2008 to January 2009. At that time one of the previous drafts of this post was accidentally published instead of the final one. Yikes. That draft included some paragraphs I meant to cut and some paragraphs I wanted included, it also didn't include the link to Elder Holland's talk which I think is important. So I am sorry about that. We've tried to fix it as it looked originally--the way that felt best.
I am romantically involved . . .
I am c jane and if you want more try this.
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