“Things have changed in the Mormon Church since you grew up, haven’t they?” The voice of the woman in the audience seemed to ask for reassurance that I couldn’t provide. I knew without her telling me that she must have extended family who were members, or perhaps the children of friends. They couldn’t possibly be subject to the religious rules that had governed my childhood, could they???
The question came up during the Q&A of my first presentation and reading of In Polygamy’s Shadow at the Gallery in Artisan Square on Bowen Island. With so many years between me and attendance at church, all I could tell her was that I knew black men were now allowed to hold the priesthood and that it was still a patriarchal structure.
Only later would I recall the emails I’d received when I began promoting In Polygamy’s Shadow. Emails that described the fear that exists among current-day members who question church doctrine, and the secret Facebook discussion groups set up to hide under the church’s radar.
I grew up in a climate of fear surrounded by Mormon secrets – one thing that hasn’t changed among members in the church today.