According to the elders, men weren’t as innately spiritual as women, so they had been given the priesthood to help them become more holy.
David had often said it wasn’t any surprise that more women would go to Heaven than men, because it was the men who started all the wars.
The separation of powers in the Church: men had the priesthood & could give blessings, even as the women had the power to procreate, to receive the blessings thereof.
A woman couldn’t love more than one man, but could love more than one child. Perhaps because she was flesh of his flesh, even as the children were the flesh of hers.
Mother’s eyes were aglow, & I realized the elders had given her back something I hadn’t known she’d lost: hope.
Mother’s amber-colored irises had become luminous with religious ecstasy. She’d become as St. Teresa, leaving David to compete with God for her.
Mother had been a chrysalis—self-contained—but through the hope this “Plan of Happiness” gave her, she became as light as if she had lift.
My mother’s hands—hands that had once played music—now sought to become those of a common hausfrau.
Mother had been a feminist until she met the Mormons, but rather than softening her heart, her new identity would harden it. She would become as ruthless as a man.
We faded out, like narrators of a stage play, the lights on Mother & the elders, the audience helpless to prevent her tragic conversion.
Logline for Because of Mindy Wiley: An Irish-Catholic girl coming of age in the Deep South during the New Millennium finds her family splintered when two Mormon missionaries come to her door, their presence and promise unearthing long-buried family secrets, which lead to her excommunication and exile.