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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Roach

It's Complicated

Updated: Dec 20, 2019

I've said it before - and this is my space so I'll say it again - being a convert is complicated. I'm okay with complexity. I actually prefer it. I don't think I could have made this transition if that weren't true. But I have been a member of the church for 10 months, and have far more questions now than I did 10 months ago.

My questions are different now. When I first started investigating I decided - a decision I would recommend to anyone considering joining any church - to read the scriptures without outside commentary. I'm a good researcher and knew that if I chased down every bit of internet-information I could, I would end up being influenced by other people's questions about the text. I really wanted, at least my first time through, to consider my own questions of which I had plenty. But most of those questions, like most of life, were figure-out-able.

The questions I have now revolve around 2 categories. 1) The development of the current theological hermeneutic 2) Will I forever be an outsider in this church?

The questions in category 1 are easy, or at least figure-out-able:

1. Some of today's beliefs are very different than the early Mormon beliefs. How and why did they change and develop?

2. This prophet says one thing, another prophet says another - how to trace that development and understand why they make movement?

3. How do the societal concerns of any era interface with what the prophet of that era is teaching?

4. What would Joseph think of the church today?

The questions in category 2 are much harder, and no Google search will answer them:

1. Should I stop telling people I meet that I am a convert - it seems to color their opinion of me, and I'm not sure its always for the best.

2. Will I be able to catch up? The average woman who sits in Relief Society with me may not have multiple Masters degrees, but she has probably grown up in this church and knows things by intuition that I will forever stumble over.

3. When I hear, "Families are Forever" or "Family is Everything" all I can hear is, "Non-Family is only Temporary" and "Non-Family is Nothing." As the only member in my family, and as a woman sealed to no one, will this ever stop hurting?

4. I approach the historic polygamy issue from a sort of interested-but-distanced perch, I don't react to it emotionally like women with 7 generations in the church do. Is that always going to make conversation so hard?

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