This is a guest post by Amy Howell Oglesby
(caption: Oglesby family, photo used with permission)
Wednesday November 9, 2016, was the morning I woke up and found out that Hillary Clinton did not win the presidential election. I was so sure she would win that I had taken my children to the DNC headquarters in downtown SLC around 8:30pm so they would always remember that night. It wasn’t looking great at that point and they were getting tired, so we went home and went to bed. The rest is history.
As a young child, I could not reconcile in my mind how Adolf Hitler rose to power. Now I completely understand - Fear tactics and promises that everything can and will be fixed.
This election has been a game changer for me. It’s sent me over the edge. I have trouble defining myself. I have a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree. I’m a wife and a mother of 10. I was raised as a Mormon, married in the temple, and active all my life. I’ve been the Relief Society President, the Young Women’s President, and in the Primary Presidency. Here’s what I love: My ward. My bishop. My friends. Here’s what makes me sad: All the people who have allowed Trump to rise to power. Life is short. I’m nearly half way through my journey, and I don’t have time to waste with misogyny, homophobia, bigotry, racism, sexism, or fear based leadership. I don’t want this from my government and I certainly don’t want this from my church. The gospel that I embrace and love, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our beloved past prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, was once asked why we don’t wear the cross. His answer was that our people’s actions are the symbol of our religion.
61% of my fellow Mormons voted for a man whose beliefs are so anti-Christian that it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. This is real. It’s not a joke. People’s lives are at stake, and families will be torn apart. All this will be done in the name of “making America great again”.
I don’t have any soul searching to do. I know where I stand. I know what I will do, and I know my family will be there too. We will remain politically active. We will fight for the causes we believe in, and we will love, support, and stand up for those who need us.
As for my role within a predominantly republican church, I’m a truth seeker and I love the challenge of the search. When my heart is open, I cross paths with the most interesting people who teach me about myself and help me see things from a different perspective. I have made some great friends who happen to be Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic, Mormon, and x-Mormon, just to name a few. What I love most are the universal truths that I’ve found through heart to heart conversations and through personal study. I know that loving Heavenly parents would never just impart truth to a select few. We are all beloved children and truth is found everywhere.
Going forward, I’ll put all of my efforts into being my best self. I’ll be defining how that looks. I won’t let anyone else define it for me. I will love, serve, and offer what works for me. I’ll do it my way, guilt free.
--Amy Howell Oglesby