I’m reading Jonathan Edwards. Not his “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” but some other shorter pieces for class. The one we studied about conversions sent me spinning for a few days. There’s a causal chain that the congregation has to prove. In order to show one went through a conversion, there had to be a physical manifestation to it. I thought of the time my sister wanted to go swimming on the sabbath – God’s day – Sunday. My parents had a pat answer for us when we were about to break the law of the Mormon Church: “We don’t have a good feeling about it.”
This phrase lingers over me, a doom-cloud, the angry God’s hand at junctures in my life. What did my sister end up doing? She swam on the sabbath. What happened to her? Sure – she hit her head on the side of the pool and needed stitches.
Did my parents think that this teaching moment would scar my future, autonomous, god-decentered, life? Did they ponder over it affecting me while reading Protestant narratives in my PhD program? Did they feel like God’s disciples?
I am reading how Protestants settled in the United States but I am not of them. Even though I am so very familiar with their teachings as handed down, washed up and revised for a Mormon population, I come from immigrants.
Perhaps having this blood inside of me keeps me from despair?
Latvian, English, Scottish and Italian. These are the immigrants who brought me to the United States. I am not connected to a Mather by blood — only by ideology, and that, I shed daily.