Sunday, December 04, 2005

A letter to Oprah- June 2005

I am so disappointed in Oprah's choice to select such a prejudiced, untrue account on Mormonism as is portrayed in Martha Beck's new book, "Leaving the Saints."I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for many years. I have attended the Temple. The things that Beck claims are a part of our sacred temple ceremony are obviously the memories of a hurt woman who has forgotten the calm, peace and simple beauty of the Temple.

I have been an avid reader of Oprah's Book Club selections for many years. However, I am so saddened by the choice to endorse such a hateful, false account of the religion that I believe in.

It seems so obvious to me: If you want to learn about an organization, the last person you should ask is someone who so obviously hates it. How could she possibly have anything accurate to say when she has such hateful feelings?

I have heard the stories of supposed "suppression" of women. As a church, men are taught that women are naturally the more spiritual of the sexes. That a women's role of motherhood, of being able to create life in her body, is the most Holy of all attributes. If there are situations where a man feels he is above a woman, it has nothing to do with what his religion teaches, but is a weakness of which he has full accountability.

LDS people fully acknowledge that it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is true, but that doesn't make the people perfect. We have weaknesses, and we commit sin. We also believe in repentance and forgiveness.

We believe in work, in charity, in family, in upholding laws, in bettering ourselves throughout our entire lives, ceaselessly trying to be more like Jesus Christ.

We believe in education. We have many universities and programs designed to encourage lifelong learning and enrichment. We have a program called the Perpetual Education Fund that you can learn about by going to LDS.org.

We have a huge Humanitarian/Welfare Program that supplies food, medical supplies, clothing, money and other needed resources to countries in need. This is run through volunteer service of members of the church. As a local representative of this program, I am the Humanitarian Service Coordinator. I organize people in my area to make clothing, assemble school and hygiene kits, sew leper bandages, collect books, make donations, sew quilts, and volunteer time to needy causes.

All leaders of our church, at every level, from the Stake President, to the nursery teachers, are unpaid for their time. We dedicate hours and hours of our own time.

I have personal journals from my ancestors, back to the days of Joseph Smith. If anyone ever says that LDS women are weak and suppressed, they should read about these strong, amazing, courageous females who crossed the country to avoid persecution. They pulled handcarts full with all their families possessions, suffered through freezing winters, and saw their husbands and children die in the wilderness. Yet they persevered, came out west, and built the foundation for a city that today is the headquarters of a growing, strong and TRUE religion.

If you want to perpetuate cruelty and hatred, than promoting Martha Beck's book will surely do it. Please, Oprah, don't make the mistake of furthering the prejudice of my religion. Learn the truth for yourself.

With sincerity,
AJ

2 comments:

Steph said...

Great letter! I don't know how I missed this. Your feelings are very well said. :D

Jaimers said...

Amen Sista'! I wish I had your talent for writing. Will you write everything I have to say?