I’ve been a member for three years now. There have been many adjustments in my life because of my conversion to Mormonism. Learning a new faith is never easy. On top of that I had to simultaneously learn and begin a career quickly in order for my family to survive financially. Going from stay at home mom to working mom, while continuing to homeschool and build my life from scratch was NOT easy. However, the hardest part for me was learning new ways to think about God, about women’s rights/roles, about how the Spirit speaks to us, and about agency. I’m still learning. Though I have much to learn, I have come quite a distance.
I also learned that not everyone who is a member can be trusted simply because they are a member and everyone thinks they’re wonderful. The upside of that is, the Spirit warned me, but I didn’t recognize it at the time. Or rather, I thought I must be wrong, because people with much more experience with the Spirit were telling me differently. I now know better. Through the grace of God, I won’t make that mistake again. I’ve learned to recognize the Spirit’s voice better. I’ve learned to trust it over my “counselors”. I’m excited that He warned me, because now I know I’m not dependent on my own judgment when it comes to trusting people.
There are things I miss about my old life very much, like orchestra. Most of them, however, I can live without and are just preferences. Others are more significant. Some of my old friends I miss tremendously, but I’ve also learned that our Savior means it when He calls us friend (D&C 84:63). I am not alone. In addition to making new friends, I’ve grown to love solitude. I also have learned how to draw companionship from my relationship with my Savior.
One of the things I miss the most is in-depth inductive scripture study. I came from an academic church background. Plus, I’ve always had an almost insatiable appetite to learn. I’ve searched for inductive studies that incorporate LDS scriptures and haven’t been able to find any. I had wondered if maybe I just haven’t located them (after all, I am a newbie), but after speaking with a friend who is very familiar with the LDS publishing industry (Gary Lawrence) I realized they don’t exist. That means if I am going to get to study the latter-day Scriptures the way I have the ancient ones, I’m going to have to write it myself.
This is where you come in. I’ll need a test group. I don’t want this to be useful only to me. If you would be willing to dig into your scriptures with me and give me feedback on what I write, I would be very grateful to you. I’m sure many of you will be able to add information to it, as you’ve all been Mormon many years more than I have.
If you’re interested, here is what it would require:
1. As I write sections of the study, you will do all of the assignments and reading.
2. When you’re done, you’ll write out what was helpful and what you wish were different.
3. If you think I left something significant out, tell me.
4. Don’t pass the studies on to anyone else until I feel they are ready.
5. It will also require patience. I have four children to raise, a home to run, as well as two jobs, and book revisions to do. I may not have every installment as quickly as everyone will want.
Still interested? Just leave a comment below with your email address so I know where to send it. If you are uncomfortable leaving your email address, just comment and then email me privately. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org . The first study I will do is on the book of Mosiah.
Please note that you do NOT have to be a Latter-day to participate in this test group. Also, this group will have a limited size. There will only be so many suggestions I will be able to usefully process, so I cannot let the group get too large.