Today we're going to confront some of the really hard things about being a woman in the LDS faith tradition and we're also going to highlight some of the beauty and the goodness and the moral rightness that is found there in the Church. To demonstrate one aspect of the many complicated factors of what it felt like to be a Mormon, here's a scene for my house when I was little:
In the 1980s, my family drove a huge blue Suburban. My younger siblings and I would listen to cassette tapes in the Suburban on road trips and we would listen to the same things over and over and over again. One of the classics was a musical that was called My Turn on Earth. It came out in 1986 and it was about a girl who live with God and with the whole human family before being born in a human body on earth. What I got from that is that my soul could have come down to earth anywhere. I could have been born into a body of a rich aristocratic family and friends. I could have been born in a slum in Brazil. I could have been born into a Muslim family in Egypt or a Buddhist family in Thailand, and so my whole life, anyone I see anywhere, I have an awareness that that person could just as easily have been me.
Every single person that I meet was at that big family meeting before humans came to earth, so we are all siblings even if we don't remember each other. This way of viewing other people is at the core of who I am and today I am so honored and so excited that on today's episode I'm joined by the author of My Turn on Earth, Carol Lynn Pearson.
Carol Lynn Pearson (she/her) has been a professional writer, speaker and performer for many years. Several of her poems have been widely reprinted in such places as the Ann Landers column and Chicken Soup for the Soul as well as college literary textbooks. Her autobiography, Goodbye, I Love You, tells the story of her marriage to a homosexual man, their divorce, ongoing friendship, and her caring for him as he died of AIDS. This story made her a guest on such programs as "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Good Morning, America," and she has been featured in People magazine. Pearson has written numerous plays, books, and educational motion pictures. Pearson holds a master's degree in theatre, is the mother of four grown children, and lives in Walnut Creek, Calif.