This conversation with blogger Mette Ivie Harrison appeared on Huffington Post Dec. 1, 2015. At the time, the LDS (Mormon) Church had made a policy change that the children of cohabiting (conjugal) gay parents–now considered “apostate”–would not be allowed to be blessed, or baptized into the Church or otherwise be officially considered a church member.
As some Mormons decided to resign their membership in protest over this announcement, the question of what’s left after leaving the institution again came up. Thus, this conversation about “ethnic Mormonism,” which is something I have long advocated for.
Mette is a regular contributor to HuffPost, and she invited me to share my ideas with her in a conversational format. Mette is LDS and a best-selling author, most recently of The Bishop’s Wife and the sequel His Right Hand, two mysteries set in Draper, Utah. She was also kind enough to blurb my book Dream House on Golan Drive, which is how we met.
“Today, a conversation with author David Pace about the growing numbers of ‘ethnic Mormons,’ those who grow up Mormon, but for various reasons leave the church, and how Mormons may need to make a bigger tent to include them.
“Q: When I first started to articulate some of my doubts about Mormonism with non-Mormon friends, they asked me why I didn’t create my own church. Take what I loved about Mormonism and move on. Or find a splinter group that matched my own ideas better. It’s a very Protestant view of religion, and I struggled to explain to them that the choices in terms of splinter groups were slim and grim pickings. As for creating my own church, growing up as Mormon meant that I had an abhorrence of “priestcraft,” quite apart from my introverism and general disinterest in organizing large groups in any form.
“David, what are your thoughts on this?” More