Thursday, January 1, 1970

This I believe

Originally Posted: August 2008
Updated: 17 February 2015

Mormon Pioneers, circa 1847
As a twice-excommunicated Mormon and before reflecting more on my paternal Russian Orthodox journey and heritage, I need to say something about my maternal Mormon Pioneer heritage.

I believe I chose to be born into a challenged family, where my Ukraine-born father (this time around) was an illegal alien refugee from the Russian Revolution-civil war of 1917-1920, and my Arizona-born mother (this time around) was a descendant of heroic Mormon pioneers. This unlikely union was further complicated by the circumstances that my chosen father was himself a fatherless boy soldier, having thus missed a loving, structured upbringing. At a very early age he had to learn to fend for himself to survive. My chosen mother also became fatherless before her teens when her father was murdered over illegal polygamous complications.

My challenge in this life has been to find truth and meaning within the context of such a traumatic, contradictory and confusing parental background, which was never discussed. I grew up in what appeared to be a typical Mormon family in a typical Mormon community in which the Mormon Church structure became the behavioral guide for this troubled family. Finding the God of Love and Forgiveness within a family and community ruled by the gods of judgment and condemnation has been my primary, personal challenge.

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