I spent the next year or so reading Sunstone, Dialogue, and the occasional book on Mormonism. Hadn’t touched the Internet—that stuff was just anti- in my mind. You don’t know what you could stumble on. (Like this blog.)
Through this, I was really open about my new-found knowledge. I discussed articles about Mormon history with a faithful Mormon friend, an article about a gay Mormon with family, even brought up an issue or two in Sunday School. I didn’t consider any of this stuff at odds with being a faithful, believing member. I wanted this stuff talked about more in church. Why not? I thought. Openness about the truth could only serve the church for the better, right? If it’s the
But I also realized that some of the articles were profoundly changing my testimony. Anything I read about Joseph Smith brought him down a notch in prophethood. Anything I read about the Book of Mormon made me question it a little more. So I avoided those topics like the plague. I stuck with contemporary issues—women and priesthood, Mormonism and homosexuality, personal stories of belief—some history—polygamy, Emma Smith, 19th century
I read only sporadically, because I realized, though I couldn’t admit it out loud, that my beliefs were changing. I could only handle so much at a time. I would read a few articles, then not touch Sunstone for a couple months. Then it would draw me in again. My husband was also reading throughout this time, but we rarely talked to each other about it. Talking about it would make it real.
Once I asked him, “Doesn’t reading that stuff change your view of Joseph Smith?” I asked it like it was a bad thing, because to me it was.
He answered simply, “Yes.” The implication was, “and I’m going to keep reading it, too.”