Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Blog Tour: MORMON DIARIES
Today I'm taking part in a blog tour which features the release of the paperback and e-book editions of an autobiographical essay collection, MORMON DIARIES. This book is written anonymously under the pen name of Sophia Stone, and is a personal and honest account that asks some hard questions about Mormonism.
Brought up in a religious home, Sophia believes the only way to have a forever family is by following church leaders and obediently choosing the right. She goes to the right school, marries the right man in the right place, and does the right thing by staying home to raise her children. But when she starts asking questions about grace, love, and the nature of God, she realizes her spiritual struggles could rip her family apart.
See the book trailer HERE!
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS WITH THE AUTHOR
1. How has your change in beliefs affected your marriage and children?
I think it has benefited my children in a number of ways. First, by showing them that goodness isn’t based on legalistic rules, they are more accepting of themselves and others. Second, by helping them see that there isn’t one right way to be a decent human being, they are able to think the best of people. Third, by opening up to other ideas and spiritual philosophies, they are more open as well.
As for my marriage, my change in beliefs has brought to light problems I’d been ignoring for years. Things having to do with power dynamics, issues with inflexibility, and some fundamental disagreements in parenting styles between my husband and I. My marriage has suffered and I worry about it often. But I also know that without the insights I have now, the relationship would continue to grow more unbalanced and necessary change would never occur.
I’m crossing my fingers and holding out hope in the marriage department.
2. What are the best ways to support someone going through a faith crisis?
The most important thing is to listen. Don’t distance yourself. Don’t shy away. Don’t give advice, and definitely don’t judge. Just be a friend. Period. Sometimes it really is that simple.
3. What kinds of reactions have you had from your Mormon author friends?
This has been similar to my family response—lots of condemnation, lots of avoidance, lots of judgment, and lots of gratitude. Yes, I know, it seems odd that I’d hear gratitude from LDS author friends who are faithful in the church. But apparently there are people who struggle in silence, unable to tell a soul how they feel without losing those most dear to them. That’s the reason the Disaffected Mormon Underground (DAMU) exists. It fills a palpable need.
4. Who should read your book?
Anyone who wants to better understand how religions indoctrinate children, how they can unite and separate families, how they can bring peace and turmoil at the same time. Anyone who wants a more personal understanding of how it feels to grow up in a legalistic religion that values trust and obedience more highly than free thought, or anyone who wants to understand Mormonism.
Please don’t misread that to mean my book is factually perfect. It’s not. It is based on my experience, and everyone’s reality is different. But I stand by my claim that people who leave Mormonism are often in an isolating place. It’s hard for an orthodox believer to understand why anyone would leave. It’s hard for those who’ve never been in a fundamentalist religion to understand why leaving one is such a big deal. To both these groups, I’d say, “please read this!” Understanding is vital.
For more information or to purchase:
Barnes & Noble link: HERE.
ONLY 99 CENTS! Amazon Kindle Edition: HERE.
Amazon Paperback Edition HERE.
Tweet with Sophia Stone on Twitter! @ask_a_mormon
--Include the underscores since there's another address without the underscore marks.
--Sophia will take any questions about Mormonism and answer them minus the usual spin under the hashtag #mormonquestions
Have you had a personal faith crisis in your life before, or known someone who has?
Do you read nonfiction (such as autobiographies like this), or do you stick to fiction?
Whatever your religious affiliations or beliefs, are you comfortable with sharing religious issues in a blog post like this--or do you avoid talking about religion publicly?