Something meaningful

Margaretha Geertruida "Grietje" Zelle, known as Mata Hari (1876-1917), famous spy and exotic dancer Sometimes I wish I lived under a rock. If I did then I might not know anything about the Pantspocalypse, Prayermageddon, or No-Need-to-Lobby-palooza.

I am painfully conflict averse so I very rarely bring up any of my feminist beliefs in a church setting. I also try not to make waves so that I can have credibility and continue to enjoy the free rein that I have in leading the Activity Day Girls and my other callings. So for the most part I’ve created a happy little feminist bubble for myself, this bubble has allowed me to be more or less content attending church every week and raising my kids in the church as well.

All of the uproar surrounding the events I mentioned have brought into stark relief just how hostile members of the church can be towards people who think and feel the way I do. It has led people I know, people that would normally never even broach the subject, to pontificate on feminism in person and on their facebook pages.

My son is almost baptism age and we’ve been talking about baptism with him. In doing so I found myself practically trying to talk him out of getting baptized. In trying to figure out why I was saying the things I said I realized it’s because I don’t want to go to church any more. For the first time in my life, not going to church anymore seemed like a really good idea. If church is so draining and hostile to me what benefit is there in continuing to go?

Last Sunday I was finally set apart for a calling I received almost a month ago. At that point I had been privately toying with the idea of quitting, but had reached no decision either way. As the blessing started I prayed silently for something meaningful to come out of it.

You are making a difference.

The man who gave the blessing isn’t the most attentive, or thoughtful person I know. I’m fairly certain that those weren’t his words. He went on to say a few other things about struggles and burdens that also were not his words. That sentence, “You are making a difference,” has been rattling around in my mind ever since.

As far as I’m concerned there is only one way to interpret that. Dragging myself to church every week may not be doing much good for me, but it’s doing something. So I will keep going to church even though it sometimes feels like sneaking into enemy territory.


Starfoxy is a fulltime caretaker for her two children.

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14 Responses

  1. Nickel says:

    Thank you for this! I recently starting blogging my way through the Book of Mormon. I’m approaching it through feminism and personal response. I feel the same tension with Pants-Prayer-Protest and it has been getting me down. I was praying about it this week, asking God to make all of this a little easier for me, when I got an immediate and startling response. “It is not supposed to be easy”. While hard to hear, it rang true for me. I’m glad that you are making a difference. Please keep making a difference. Please keep blogging about it. Those of us in the faithful-yet-frustrated camp need to keep hearing messages of encouragement.

  2. Corrina says:

    I so needed to read this. Thank you! I feel the same tension and frustration, and I’m having a hard time feeling like there is any hope for the future as far as positive change goes. I appreciate your words, because it makes me not feel like I’m so crazy or alone in my thoughts and feelings. I don’t want to give up either, and I’m trying to focus on the good that the Gospel brings. I try to remember those past women who battled and fought for change…I’m sure they wanted to give up, too.

  3. Deborah says:

    Thank you. Bless you. Amen.

  4. Em says:

    Thanks. I woke up this morning from a nightmare (as I have every night this week) and my first thought was “I need a blessing. I need comfort. I need help. I can’t make this stop.” Then a few minutes later I second guessed that. I’m glad you wrote what you did.

  5. Deja says:

    Thank you. I needed this, too.

  6. Rachel says:

    You are a brave lady. I love that prayer and that blessing that came in response. You ARE making a difference. To those girls who get to have activities with you. To your children. To us. Etc. Etc.

    I genuinely believe the scripture about small and simple things bringing great things to pass, and have been thinking quite a bit lately about the very good changes that will come (albeit mostly down the road) from the lowered age for women and the new youth Sunday curriculum. There is still a long, long way to go, but those things are going to make a difference too.

  7. Jessawhy says:

    Wow, this is amazing. I’m so glad that you had that experience and shared it here.

    Thanks for this post, Starfoxy.

  8. C. says:

    I needed to hear this as well, thanks for sharing.

  9. I just want you to know I was glad to be able to read this, so thank you for writing it.

  10. MDearest says:

    “Conflict averse.” Now I know what to call it instead of “wimpy.” (goofy grin emoticon here)

    I have the same lethargy about attending church. I have no problems with my testimony of the Savior, and I’ve resolved for the time being any restoration/Joseph Smith testimony issues. But I am So. Tired. of being the odd-woman-out at church. It takes a lot of energy to process it all. I have activities and communities outside of church that I participate in, and they actually like me! It’s so easy to just be myself and be accepted and be ok and not worry about who’s getting the wrong idea.

    The biggest thing that keeps me going is that I still find meaning in serving in the Lord’s household.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Kirsten says:

    I echo the comments above. I go to church each week hoping for sustenance, but most weeks I starve. I have come to realize that I will find my needs met in other ways. I now go to church simply to feed the next generation of women. I am intent on teaching my YW those things that will make them strong and confident in the knowledge that God loves them. I want them to make good choices– not our of fear, but out of conviction. They can do hard things. They matter. They can and will change the world for the better…

  12. Alex says:

    I needed this and I needed some of these comments. I’m the youngest member of an auxiliary presidency in my ward by about two decades. I am the only unmarried member of the presidency and the only one without children. These and/or other factors have lead me to be often left out of the loop by the women with whom I serve. (Last week they held en entire program for some of our youth and their parents without even telling me in advance!) The anguish makes me dread teaching and even going to church. But I know Heavenly Father has put me here for a reason. Despite everything, I have an incredibly strong testimony that I really am called of God to be in this position. And I know that entitles me to help from on high. And with that I can make it work. Somehow.
    Thanks so much for the nudge in the right direction.

  13. Anon Perma says:

    I love stories like this. Lately, I have felt like the perceived enemy in my stake. It’s disconcerting, and I can’t tell if I’m overly concerned about the fallout from the Pantspocalypse.

    But, I know those feelings dissipate when I get to sit by an Exponent II sister in stake conference.

  14. Ziff says:

    What an encouraging experience, Starfoxy!

    I generally feel pretty accepted in my ward, but I wonder to what degree that is because I don’t air any of my more unorthodox ideas at church. I’m sorry that going to church feels like going into enemy territory for you, but I totally get why it would feel that way.

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