Utah is the most depressed state! (Or perhaps it’s the happiest state.) Utah has the highest bankruptcy rate of any state! Utah uses the most porn per capita of any state! Why are we interested in these rankings? This is probably obvious, but I think it’s because we read them as revealing what the effects of being Mormon are.
It’s been nearly a decade since my husband and I left Utah. We visit regularly, since our families are both still centered there. I’ve made the drive across the plains of South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming in both the dead of winter and the scorching heat of summer. And I’ve flown into Utah many, many times now, staring out the plane window, circling over the bare or snowy mountains–or the city lights at night–before touching down at the Salt Lake International Airport. Of all the landscapes I’ve loved, it is the landscape of the desert and the mountainous West that lives most deeply in me. Continue reading
Hello! My name is Eve. I am a Utah Mormon.
I am part of a group that is increasingly, and rightly, overshadowed in the Church at large. I’m a seventh-generation descendant of pioneers and polygamists (through Benjamin Franklin Johnson alone I’m probably cousin to every fourth person reading this post), and I was raised in the heart of Utah County and the backyard of BYU. I sincerely hope that the minority of which I am a part continues to shrink. I absolutely want to see the Church become more and more linguistically and culturally diverse.
That said, let’s get a few stereotypes out of the way and review some basic good manners. Continue reading
Okay, I was actually born in California, but my family moved to Utah the summer I was five years old, and I don’t remember much before that time. (I do recall wondering how we would attend church after the move, as I’d gleaned from Primary that we were the “one true church,” which I took to refer to the physical building we attended. Little did I know that there would be “true churches” on every block.) I lived in Utah County for the next eighteen years, from the time I started kindergarten to the time I completed my undergraduate education at BYU. Continue reading