My Relief Society does something remarkable, that makes me rejoice about what Relief Society can be. We call it our Women of Faith Lecture Series. Every month or so, a different sister tells us her story of faith–which is just as often her story of doubt, and trials, and questions–and then the floor is opened for a very rich and intimate Q&A. I have experienced nothing else like it in Mormonism.
The first one I attended was by “East River Lady.” She spoke about some of the things she wrote about here. It was powerful. The second I attended was my own. I spoke about researching Heavenly Mother full-time, and some of the joy and sorrow that came. The third I attended was recently: it was by beloved Claudia Bushman. She shared her story of collecting stories, and of keeping her own.
One of the very first things that Claudia said is that while she fought keeping records for half of her life, she now thinks that it is the very most important thing we can do. She went on to explain that “if dates and names for your family are in the archives, you can access them, but there are other things that you know, that if not recorded will be lost forever.” I forget the specific examples she used here, but essentially they were experiences; they were stories.Read More