I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often inadvertently called the Mormon Church, when I was sixteen. I had been experiencing a huge emptiness inside and was church-hopping, looking to fill it. Although I enjoyed all the churches I visited, I had an undeniable spiritual experience the second I stepped into a Mormon meetinghouse, witnessing to me that this was the place.
Finding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
I was attending a great high school, lived in a nice area, and wanted for nothing, except that my family was very unhappy—wretchedly so, actually. There was no religion in our house, so I didn’t know how to turn to God for help, until I found the Mormons.
Now that I’ve been a part of The Church of Jesus Christ for many years, and have raised a happy family of my own, I sometimes wonder why I couldn’t be born into Mormonism. Mormons believe we lived in a heavenly spirit realm with our Father in Heaven before we were born with mortal bodies. He knew what kind of family I would be born into, and knowing what I now know, I realize He may have placed me there on purpose. I watch children born to Mormon parents and see how they are nurtured spiritually. They grow up learning the gospel, yes, but they also grow up knowing they have infinite worth and eternal potential.
Sure, I did not grow up orphaned and malnourished in the wilds of Africa. I was born after World War II, the first of the Baby Boomers. We moved to L.A. when I was eight, and that was the center of the universe, with great schools, fine weather (OK, the smog devoured my lungs), the beach, the Beach Boys, Hollywood. They say that if you were a white child in America during the 50’s, you got the best start of any child through all of history and in any location. That’s what I got.
But I had a Jewish mother (although she hid her Jewishness, I should have known), and she had Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I couldn’t do or say anything right. Anyone close to my mother felt battered. She was a dutiful, smart, talented person, but confiding in her was impossible. I used to envy kids with compassionate mothers. A Mormon mother would have been amazing. The Mormon girls I knew loved being with their moms; they told their moms everything.
Learning to Forgive and Being Healed
My husband and I moved our family abroad after about 15 years of marriage, and we enjoyed being far away from our families. I know that sounds strange. We were abroad for about 14 years and didn’t visit home often. The first time my mother met my two youngest girls, the youngest was seven, and her sister, nine. That was OK with me.
I did my best over time to forgive and to understand. A name for her disorder, and the descriptions that came with it, were helpful. When I was sixty, I was healed from the effects of her mothering through the power of the priesthood of The Church of Jesus Christ. Several spiritual experiences enabled my mother to reach me from the afterlife and convey her love.
Now that I’m OK, do I wish I had had a Mormon mom? Yes and no.
The Blessings From Not Having Mormon Parents
Had I had Mormon parents, I would have been in the Church from the beginning, learned the gospel and the children’s songs. (There are eight year old Mormon children with a remarkable grasp on the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.) I would have known how to pray and enjoyed the comfort of the tender mercies of God. I would have been viewed as something even greater than what cumulative education could make of me. I could have made spiritual decisions as well as logical ones. I would have had an example I could rely on in my own mothering. Perhaps I might have been praised, too.
But I have a great heritage and amazing ancestors. My father was a rocket scientist, and I have his love for learning how the earth works, and the cosmos. I have my mother’s artistic eye and way with words. I have learned from my mother’s mistakes and value my marriage so highly, that I have been a “mother bear” towards protecting it. I also have a point of view of the gospel one can only get as a convert. I know what life without it is like. How grateful I am for it. These things are so valuable to me, that I now see the wisdom in placing me in the family I got. It was the only way for me to be what I am now.
Gale is a former fibro and CMP sufferer. She hopes this information will help other sufferers on their journey to good health.