#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

It was Tradition vs. Truth
when it came to the Mormons
discussing the Catholics,
who seemed to be their biggest competition
when it came to procreation
& pomp & circumstance
& the rigid dogma that went far beyond
asking Jesus into your heart,
which I found strange,
as the mind was the control-center
of our actions–
intentional & autonomic;
our heart,
we simply followed.

Was it considered child sacrifice
to give up potential children
for the sake of love?
If so, David had done so–
he’d let his line die
so that with Mother,
he would truly live.

Just as God had no history,
for He had no beginning & no end,
so David had always seemed…
until I learned his past,
& the secrets thereof,
so that his flesh became more real
& beautiful
than it had ever been,
for, as the Mormons believed,
what was a spirit without a body?

The Mormons didn’t necessarily rewrite history
but rather,
they ignored it,
employing apologists for those who could not ignore
the Church’s past.
It had taken years of refining
to produce a religion
that exemplified Fifties-type family values.

I had told that the good feelings I was feeling
were the Holy Spirit.
It was almost New-Agey–
all this talk of feelings–
with no respect to logic or reason.
I began not to question things
but question me.

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#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

Because Jesus had paid for my sins,
I could not short the Lord–
I had to pay Him back through tithing,
through prayer & scripture study,
through keeping His commandments,
& through good works that surpassed any good
that had ever been done to me.
There was no question that I would pay;
the only question was: Gross or net?

If my answer was different than theirs,
I wasn’t praying in the right spirit,
so I let them believe my conversion was to their Church
& not to their version of the God they claimed to serve.

God’s favor wavered–
the God who wasn’t always fair
but just,
as many Christians claimed.
It would take me many years to realize
that I was glad God that wasn’t fair,
for if He was,
then I would’ve had no place with Him
in the afterlife
for all the misdeeds I’d done.
It wasn’t fair that Jesus had to die,
but God had let Him know that it was the only way
so that Jesus had no choice,
for what was autonomy when you could only escape
the sting of death
by letting everyone else burn in hell forever?

The Word of Wisdom
was not the word of the wise.
It was an admonition to abstain from strong drink–
hot drinks & alcohol–
but fried food & all the chocolate cake you could eat
was just dandy.

I lived the law of chastity,
& that seemed the greatest law of all,
but it was through default
& not being devout
that I was still a virgin,
for just being with David
in a non-Biblical way
had always been enough;
he had kept me pure.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

In the world,
one’s relationship with their children
was paramount
but in Christianity,
the marital relationship was prized & protected
above all others,
for no one made covenants with their children
as they did with their spouses,
but perhaps that was because
bonds between parents & children
were thickened with blood,
so no covenant was needed.

When children died from illness,
it was the result of a fallen world,
of biology,
of pollution,
& a multitude of other things.
If they died from injury,
it was Fate,
Destiny,
or because another person’s free will
had infringed on theirs.
For both,
when it came to the devout,
it was that God needed another angel
when He had how many already?
God wasn’t always directly blamed
but rather,
He was blamed for not stopping it.

In the Old Testament,
when God Himself seemed to play a role in the world,
& all the Israelite children were murdered,
I knew I would never be able to defend His decisions,
& so I could never defend His book.
I could only say that the evil spoken of in it
had brought about good
that might otherwise have never existed.

The Church was the lie that led me to the truth.
It was the lie that had exposed another lie:
the death of my father.
I wondered what next big truth would turn out
to be a lie also,
& what lie it would expose.

The line between fantasy & reality
had become a canvas
that had been left out in the sun too long.
My life had been a dream up till now,
& Mormonism,
like a dream within a dream.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

Mother spoke differently, saying things like “Bless you,” rather than “Thank you,” but Mormons never went around saying, “Jesus loves you.”

Out of love for me, my family had been brought together, & out of love for my mother, the Church had come for me.

When I heard David thank God, I saw it not only as an act of gratitude, but an act of humility. My mother had brought God into the house, made Him comfortable there.

David brought his spirit with him, & I luxuriated in the essence that was his. He was like a wise man, bearing gifts of comfort & joy, but those were the mere gifts—the true gift was the man himself.

Though I’d always been awed at the beauty of the ceremony & tradition, I was looking forward to the sweet simplicity of a LDS Christmas program that I was to be a part of.

I’d never had an extended family, but in its place, I’d been given a Church family. My mother had chosen them, & by default, they had chosen me.

I accepted that Elder Roberts & I weren’t meant to be, simply because the Church said so. I found it was easier to live without questioning everything, even though I felt a little part of me die each time I did not.

I wanted to believe so much that in a way I almost did, yet at the time, I had thought that good feeling was the Spirit telling me that what I was seeing, hearing & feeling was true.

For one night, my mother & I were more alike than me & David. We wanted to be a forever family, not because we loved one another but because we both loved David.

Those days leading up to Christmas in the year of 1999 were the happiest of my life. Though I hadn’t been “born in the covenant,” I felt I had found the Church that I had been made for.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

Ethics came from man,
morals from God.
One set of rules changed as humans progressed,
but the other had been written in stone by the finger of the Lord.

The only 2 lovers I would ever have
would become my husbands;
the other 2 men in my life
would be lifelong friends–
the former, my brother,
the latter,
my confessor.

The Mormons liked to lay claim
to any celebrity as being one of them–
as if they were a piece of uranium.
They wore the cloak of victimhood,
of perceived persecution,
like the robe of royalty.
They saw themselves as “The Other”.
They wanted the world to liken them to the Jews,
the Irish,
the Africans,
but they were no more persecuted than any other Christian;
they may have been told to “Go to hell,”
but no one in the Deep South had ever threatened to send them there.
It wasn’t persecution to have been driven out of a territory
when you were breaking the laws of the land
by marrying numerous women.
That’s what affairs were for.

My virginity would make me worthy
of a returned missionary,
my motherhood, of eternal life.
Sainthood would be mine.

David loved the natural world,
just as Mother & Caitlin loved the spiritual,
except that Caitlin’s was through the prism of Catholicism
& Mother’s, Mormonism.
I was caught somewhere between the 2,
for I could not imagine a world more beautiful than the one we lived in.
The only reason our world wasn’t so was because of man,
who’d been given dominion over all earthly creations,
unlike God,
who had dominion over the heavenly ones.

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

With her Snow-White features,
every man wanted Leann,
& there was a part of me who wished that I could be
a Rapunzel with Samson-powered hair,
the one who would usurp her power
by being the fairest of them all,
for I had been served a poisoned apple–
the apple of false prophecy.
I had not consumed it,
but my mother had,
& it was as if I had been in her womb
when it had broken through the placental barrier.
The poison from the pome
had been good for Mother
but not for me.

At St. Mary’s,
a sculpture depicting a broken, bloodied Christ
was suspended at the front of the abbey,
while at Green Haven Ward,
a painting of a perfected Christ
hung in the foyer off to the side.
Both religions,
too dogmatic to be mere denominations,
had their men in charge:
the Pope & the Prophet—
old, white men—
who could speak in His Name.

Though we were surrounded by people,
we were the only 2 people in our world.
I sensed a change in my & David’s relationship,
but I could not define it.
It had matured somehow.
I was no longer his stepdaughter—
I was his equal.

Diamonds paired with white,
pearls, with black,
but David looked equally good,
whether he was with Mother
or with me.
I didn’t wear jeans & tennis shoes
but dressed as Princess Kate,
the Duchess of Cambridge would,
many years hence.
I had seen myself as royalty then,
or maybe it was because David
had always treated me as such.

David’s scent was incense to my soul,
his food,
like manna,
his image,
an icon of hope
that there was still good in this world
that the Mormons saw as merely a blip in time–
not to enjoyed for its own sake
but to be preparing for the next life,
for their motto was not “enjoying till the end”
but “enduring to the end.”

#Fiction Friday: #Micropoetry from the Book

mormoni

David had sacrificed marriage
& children of his own
to be with the woman he loved as a wife
& the girl he loved as a daughter.
But what he’d given up
would matter not,
for what he’d gotten
would change forms,
becoming that which he’d given up.

He hadn’t stayed for my mother,
he’d stayed for me,
&, I wondered—
did he,
like Rhett Butler,
see in Bonnie Blue,
the best part of Scarlett—
the true love of his life?

Mother had wanted to ship me off to B.Y.U.
to pursue my Mrs. degree
(except in Mormonism,
it was a Doctorate,
with concentrations in cooking,
cleaning,
& being attractive for your eternal companion).
She wanted to send me on a mission,
spreading the gospel–
anything to get rid of me–
which she believed would get me closer to the Church
& farther away from David,
but he had already prepared a room for me in his mansion.

For him, I’d been willing to give up my family,
but he hadn’t been willing to give up his Church.
For him, I’d have given up everything,
but he’d been willing to give up nothing.

The rib God had taken from Adam
to make Eve,
had made woman submissive to man,
for it was because of man,
that woman existed.
It was why men could have a career & family,
but women had to choose.