This summer marked my ten year anniversary as an Exponent blogger. As with any anniversary it feels remarkable both that it’s been that long and that it also feels like it was yesterday. When I started blogging I had one child and was pregnant with my second, at the time I was a director of a domestic violence program in Arizona and I was in throes of my feminist passion. Since then I moved to a different state, was a stay-at-home mom for 5 years, survived a major depressive episode, added two more children to my brood, finished a Master’s degree and went back to work. And through it all the Exponent blog has been there. This community has been one of the most meaningful and supportive of my life and I feel blessed every day to be a part of it.
As I’ve been reflecting on this anniversary it struck me how much I’ve changed during this decade. This is, of course, to be expected but there’s one change in particular that has surprised me–my activist zeal for change in the Mormon church has almost completely disappeared. In 2010, I was one of the co-founders of LDSWAVE along with some of my fellow Exponent bloggers and other MoFems. And while the organization is mostly defunct now it was at the forefront of the Mormon feminist activism wave that began eight years ago, culminating with Ordain Women. I remember attending a retreat and talking excitedly about the possibility for change in the church when an older feminist who had been through the fights of the 90’s remarked on my fervor and said that experience had taken hers away. Besides feeling a little patronized I also felt pity for this woman who couldn’t see that things were changing and that all the church needed was a good push. But my activism came to halt with the excommunication of Kate Kelly and then the November 2015 Exclusion Policy stomped on any remaining hopeful embers that things could be different. It turns out that the wise matriarch was right and I was wrong.
My activism has turned outside of the church and I now work towards making my state, and society more broadly, a more equitable and just place. I still go to church every week and find quiet joy in belonging to the little community of Saints in my downtown ward. But my expectations for change in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is low–and maybe it’s healthier that way. I don’t know what the next decade will bring but I look forward to finding out.
When you look back at your life and things you cared passionately about, does anything surprise you about how it turned out? What do you think the next decade will bring for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?