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  • But I’m a good Mormon wife – Salon.com A touching story of a mormon wife discovering life as she begins to lose her faith

    …. “Did you know that Joseph Smith married a 14-year-old girl against her will? Did you know that he’d send men on missions and marry their wives in secret when they were gone?” I sat there silent as he kept talking, a horror growing in my gut. I knew that if Sean was right, then Joseph Smith was a fraud. I saw no difference between his acts and the modern-day acts of Warren Jeffs, whom I abhorred. And if Joseph Smith was a fraud — then what did that make the Church?I left the bath early and went straight to bed, feeling a magmic pressure building inside me. The scholar in me couldn’t let it go. I had to know.

    I already did know.

    When I finally broke down a few weeks later, Sean was the one to hold me as I wept into my pillow and traipsed down the familiar road to despair, wondering what my life even meant if the Church wasn’t true.

    “It’s OK, Maren. It’s OK. I’m here,” he said as he stroked my hair, whispering into the darkness. What felt like an end, though, slowly opened up into something else.

    Over the next few days our usual mile walk turned to four as my brain tornadoed through discovery, my conversations stopping mid-sentence with “Whoa, then that means …” Whoa, we suddenly have 10 percent more income. Whoa, our weekend free time just doubled. Whoa, we can try alcohol, coffee and tea — the trifecta of forbidden drinks.

    The sad whoas came, too. Whoa, will my father ever talk to me again? Whoa, what will my friends say? Whoa, we are going to die.

    My transformation consumed me for the next month, and we stayed up late talking every night. When I shed my garments for slippery Victoria Secret panties, my self-esteem skyrocketed, and our late nights shifted to other things. We were finally adults, taking our firsts together, learning about each other without barriers.

    Ironically, the Mormon Church teaches that marriage can only thrive if God is an equal part of it. But when we left God out of it, we were free to love each other completely, to share the burden of our grief as two individuals with no one else.

    It’s been seven months now, and I don’t know what the future holds. I have never been more uncertain in my entire life. But one thing is clear to me. Whatever happens, wherever we go, Sean will be at my side, holding my hand as we face it together — and alone — for the first time.

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