Being a Spiritual Nomad

We had a fantastic speaker in sacrament meeting who was asked to speak on unity. She shared her experiences with her gay brother, to reinforce that unity in the Church is only possible when we show everyone compassion and respect. She challenged our congregation to have empathy for others, especially for those whose lives we don't understand. That's what love looks like, not what our "good intentions" produce that is still objectively harmful.

Is there a slang word for when you're getting way too emotional on the Zoom and you want reassurance that no one can hear or see you? Because that's where I was today watching Church in my garments.

It got me thinking though.

You know that whole spiel where we talk about the Church being a spiritual home and the members are our Church family? I think that analogy gave me some really unhealthy expectations for other people that I want to deconstruct. 

I don't really see the Church as my spiritual home anymore. 


Because that implies the Church was my ultimate destination. Home is with my Heavenly Parents in their presence. That's what I've been searching for. That's my destination. That is home.

The church's role in that journey is more of a rest stop. You can refuel and get supplies. Find maps and directions. Take a shower if you need one. Get fed and watered before going on your way again. It was never supposed to be the destination.

The Church is only useful to me inasmuch as it shows me how to get to my actual home.

The journey I'm on to go home again is the focus of my life, not the experiences I have in the rest stops along the way.

How I Feel About My Mission

Somebody asked me how I feel about my mission. It gave me a moment to reflect on what I carry with me from that experience.

Everything I loved about being on my mission was because Brazil and Brazilians are beautiful. I love them with my whole heart. I would go back without question.

Everything I hated about it had everything to do with mission bro culture, sexism, and indifference to female pain.

There is a subset of men within the Church who hurt and disrespect women because they want to, and nothing in our culture prevents them from doing so. I served with men like that. They destroyed my faith in priesthood leadership being called of God. I've been picking up the pieces ever since.

There is no amount of failure and indiscretion that will undermine a man's trajectory in the Church once he has a certain pedigree and grooming for leadership. Nothing a woman can say or do against him will ever matter.

Women being under the exclusive control of men while also being isolated from their family and support systems is not okay. That's how abuse happens. It happened to me. It was real. And nothing any man in the Church will ever say or do will erase that.

That's what I learned from my mission.

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