A Lifeline During a Crisis of Faith
My first exposure to The Exponent II magazine was in 2003, when I was one of the Summer Sisters (as we called ourselves), a group of LDS women who worked under Claudia Bushman studying 20th Century Mormon women’s history. At the conclusion of our summer fellowship, Claudia gave each of us a bundle of original Exponent II magazines. Claudia’s gift inadvertently encouraged me to find the Exponent blog a few years later and spend the next several years lurking around it.
Shortly after my summer fellowship, I had a major crisis of faith that lasted for several years. One of the resources that helped me during this time was The Exponent. During a time of deep uncertainty in my belief system, I was able to read the stories of other women who were grappling with questions of faith and working through their own doubts. It was reassuring that I wasn’t alone. Even as a voyeur, I felt a sense of community simply by reading the narratives of these exceptional women.
Last summer, while on a research trip in Africa, I became closely acquainted with several women who have been involved with the Exponent for many years. I felt an instant connection with these women; I knew I wanted an active role in this amazing community. I am honored to blog for the Exponent and to publicly deal with issues that have vexed me privately for years. It’s not easy “blogging it out” and being vulnerable, but I remember that when I was struggling to understand my role in the LDS faith, I relied on the honesty and vulnerability of women who were willing to narrate their pain and triumph within this beautiful and complex religion. I don’t have everything figured out, of course, but I deeply appreciate being part of a community that can hold space for those that are willing to ask questions, grapple with doubt and work through their own issues of faith and feminism.
When I needed it most, The Exponent community reminded me that it was acceptable to ask questions and that God could handle my doubts and fears. The Exponent also reminded me that my commitment to elevating the status of women and my commitment to Jesus Christ are not binary; they are complementary.
Please consider donating to the Exponent today. It is a lifeline for many, it certainly is for me.
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