Tag Archives: LDS Church

Ready for Revelation – 1 PoV by 1 PoC

I originally wrote this post for Ordain Women. It explains one of the reasons I support women’s ordination. This was originally posted on OrdainWomen.org on February 1, 2016. 

The story of black women within the Mormon church has often been ignored. Instead, we focus on those whose oppressions are easily categorized without intersections. The racial oppression of black men through their exclusion of the Priesthood and the pious suffering of white women as they endured the sacrifices and the sexism of polygamy take center stage. At best, black women are a distant afterthought.

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A Little Less Self-Congratulations — A Little More Work

2016-02-01 18 09 10Earlier today the LDS Church’s Newsroom issued a news release entitled, “Effectiveness of Church Approach to Preventing Child Abuse,” which contained these statements:

The Church has long had a highly effective approach for preventing and responding to abuse. In fact, no religious organization has done more. Although no one system is perfect and no single program will work with every organization, the Church’s approach is the gold standard.

I take issue with those statements.

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Finding Mis Abuelitas

Sixteen years ago, prompted by a line in my patriarchal blessing, I signed up to take a family history class at BYU. The first day of class, the professor asked us each to introduce ourselves and our goals for the semester. One by one my classmates shared their ambitions to learn more about pioneer ancestors who settled towns in Utah or Idaho. With a healthy sense of humor and self-acceptance, I stood and semi-joked, “I’d really just like to trace my father’s family back to legitimate births.”

There are pockets of pioneer ancestry tucked into my lineage.  There’s a street in historic Nauvoo that shares my mother’s maiden name. But the family stories that dominate my sense of identity are conspicuously lacking in quilts and covered wagons. And, my father’s side especially—the Mexican side of the family—has always been the stumpy side of the family tree. Continue reading

I support Bigotry and Discrimination

Golden Angel Moroni blowing a trumpet. This is usually seen on top of a Mormon Temple
I am currently an active member of the Mormon Church. However, in light of the new policy change by our church that declares marriage between same-sex couples apostasy and bars their children from participating in saving ordinances as well as receiving a name and a blessing, I can no longer deny that I am part of and support a bigoted and discriminatory church that systematically participates in the subjugation of others. Continue reading

Public Anouncement

I, Natasha Smith, publicly and unabashedly support the rights of LGBTQIA people and marriage equality.

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That is all.

Be Supportive or Be Quiet!

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I fell asleep last night in front of the television (a common occurrence with me and even more so since my recent carpal tunnel surgery).  I woke up to the sound of my cell phone vibrating and beeping and pinging with notifications from Twitter, Facebook, etc.  Hesitantly and (a little) fearfully, I began to read the notifications.

As I read, my eyes filled with tears.  The physical pain in my hand was swept away by the intense emotional pain I felt as I read how the Church I love has decided that the children of our LGBTQIA sisters and brothers cannot “receive a name and a blessing” and cannot be “baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service” unless they renounce and disavow their parents and receive permission from the First Presidency.

I cannot imagine having to explain to my child why he or she cannot be baptized.  I cannot imagine as a teenager being told that I would have to disown my parents or disavow our family in order to be accepted in my church.  I cannot imagine the pain or the anguish that so many of our sisters and brothers who want to continue to be part of the LDS Church are feeling.

All I can do is open my arms and my heart and let my sisters and brothers know that they are loved and that they are wanted.  I can acknowledge that this new policy is a vile and violent act and that no part of it is worthy of being adopted by a church that includes the name of Jesus Christ in its name.  I can mourn with my brothers and sisters and I can bear their burdens.  I can let them cry, talk, scream, or all three.

What I do not need to do is to detract from their pain by drawing any sort of comparisons with any pain I am feeling or I have felt or with situations that I or others have experienced.  Their pain is not a game.  It is not a competition.  I will not make them feel better by making someone else feel worse.

I simply need to step up and be there for them and with them.

I invite each of you to do the same.  If you cannot, I invite you to be quiet.

My Heavenly Mother

If there’s one thing that stands out for me in the newly released essay on Heavenly Mother – is how little we know of Her. Officially. Doctrinally. And as I reflect on my lifetime in this church, I see how that not knowing has often translated into us just ‘not talking about Her’ and even, not thinking about Her. I’ve heard the reasons offered as to why of course. The conjecture. Including, ‘God wants to keep His wife protected from us…so Her name is not defiled…’ I remember hearing that in a Sunday School class once and being indignant enough about it that I spoke up – I disagree. My Heavenly Mother doesn’t need protecting or sheltering. She’s a GODDESS with powers equal to those of her husband. She could wipe us all out with a mere flick of her fingers. I’m not sure the class appreciated my contribution!

Today’s essay got me thinking about Heavenly Mother. Who and what she is to me.  She’s different things to me at different times.

'Nafanua' - as imagined by photographer Jordan Kwan, model Faimasenu'u Zita Martel.

‘Nafanua’ – as imagined by photographer Jordan Kwan, model Faimasenu’u Zita Martel.

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