It’s all your fault. I blame you, Mitt. I was totally innocent in all of this! You see, Mitt just had to run for president, sparking “the Mormon moment.” And that’s where my story begins.
At the time I was a good Mormon girl. I went to church every week, held callings, held a temple recommend, and even occasionally read my scriptures. I wasn’t a spiritual giant, but I was going through the motions with full belief in it all. No doubts. I knew the church was true.
The election of 2012 was the first time I had really decided to get politically involved–thanks to Mitt. I didn’t want to be that Mormon who unquestioningly voted for a guy just because we knew the same secret handshakes. I wanted to be sure I voted for the person that had the same political beliefs as I did. I didn’t have anything against the guy, I just wanted to be objective. See, I was just trying to be a responsible citizen here. Who could blame me?
At the time, I lived in a state where the Republican candidates campaigned heavily for the primaries. This afforded me a unique opportunity to attend quite a few rallies and town hall meetings. I even got a picture with the man whose campaign caused my spiritual dominos to fall.
It turns out that questioning your political beliefs is a great way to practice critical thinking skills. It’s also a great way to open your mind to different perspectives. Before this I was lazy about controversial things, mostly because the Mormon church (or at the very least, Mormon culture) tells you exactly how you are supposed to believe when it comes to controversial topics. But now my brain welcomed the exercise. I enjoyed the high that came from forming my own opinions and owning them. Even if (or possibly because) they were a little scandalous by Mormon standards! I said I was a good Mormon girl, which is true, but I liked to think I was on the fringe. I laugh now when I look back at the little things that I thought were so edgy…I had no clue!
At this same time, the husband and I started to talk about our hopes for our children. Our oldest daughter was only three, but her personality was really starting to show. She was so curious and creative and the thought of putting her in school to sit at a desk and be forced to conform the rest of her life made us sad so we started to research homeschooling and non-traditional schools. Another step in the direction of thinking for ourselves. Little did I know I was caught in the perfect storm for a faith transition. All the ingredients were coming together and I was ripe for the journey that lay unseen ahead.