Reason Number 16

There are several reasons why I left the Mormon Church, all of which I’ve only ever articulated to my husband and, on occasion, my dog. Many of these reasons are not only related to why I left Utah in the first place, but they are also inextricable from Utah culture as a whole. And I thought that after four years of distance and intermittent therapy I might be capable of coming back here without feeling the bitterness that sent me fleeing in the first place.

Just a side note here: I already know that many of you are going to complain that I’m talking about the Mormons again and that you like it when my posts talk about funny things, couldn’t I just stop being so serious because this is really getting boring. And don’t think that I haven’t considered turning off my comments when people make remarks like that, as if the sole purpose of maintaining my website it to entertain some 13-yr old in Wisconsin who likes to talk about farts.

When I moved to California I never listened to the radio, except for NPR, and I never watched the local news, except for Good Day LA and then only because I couldn’t wait to see what Jillian Barberie had sticking out of her water bra. I never felt a need in California to keep up with social or political currency because it surrounded me, almost suffocated me. It was like, everyone knew that a bill was being considered to outlaw gay marriage, not by watching the local NBC affiliate, but by osmosis.

But here in Utah I can’t stop listening to the radio, regardless of the endless stream of mind-numbing bubba dink music from Linkin Park or Creed or, for the love of God, Puddle of Fucking Mud. I watch the local news every night, if only to perform my duty as a Democrat living in Utah, sometimes to figure out how they get all that blonde hair to encircle that woman’s face like a gold laminate life saver every time.

And I know it’s only been four years, and that people need some time to change, but the same issues and the same reactions are happening right now, this morning, just as they were a decade, two decades, four generations of Polygamist colonization ago.

And the main issue that gets me every time, that rips free the hardening scab to expose a bubbling, bitter hole in my soul is the idea that if I can’t just be quiet and accept the way things are here, I should just move elsewhere. I was told this at BYU, that if I couldn’t accept the leadership of the Prophet of God, who sat on the board of directors of the school, that I should just leave, that hundreds of thousands of other willing disciples would love to take my place and that they wouldn’t complain.

Now I hear it when I make the slightest peep to disagree with the fact that the Mormon Church and the Utah State Government are almost one complete unit. I’m supposed to just accept that Utah is predominantly Mormon, and that subsequently a government by the people and for the people of Utah is going to cater to Mormon people. But what I’m not allowed to point out is that I am one of those people now, one of those people who pays taxes and purchases local goods, a person who regularly contributes to the local economy.

And so, I guess to be honest and maybe as an attempt to continue healing, I’ll tell you that this issue is one of the reasons why I left the Mormon Church. And although it may seem like an issue specific to just Utah culture, you have to understand that for a Mormon it’s very hard to disagree with any Mormon doctrine or practice and still maintain good standing in the church. And I don’t know if you can tell or not, but I have a hard time agreeing with anything.