LILY ROH'S PERSONAL STORY
The Lily Roh Story
March 12th, 2010
Pleasant childhood memories resulting from as loving a parental care as was given me could well be the reason I generally enjoy a consistent personal security, internal hope and peace never permanently disrupted by life’s vicissitudes.
Raised in a Texan Hispanic family with longstanding LDS affiliation, credit goes in part to that Mormon upbringing which provided valuable learning experiences of political, racial and religious tension, discrimination and inequality. Youthful years of witnessing LDS leaders, from young priesthood holders to elders with ranking positions, argue, name call and at times actually fight at church basketball games were not forgettable in teaching me that neither church / members were or are as perfect as often portrayed.
Anyone who knows me well wouldn’t describe me as “Molly Mormon.” Those closest would likely say I was (and still am) somewhat of a rebellious teenager. After high school I attended community college and diligently held various callings, including a year as early morning seminary teacher of the New Testament curriculum, to a small group in the branch dad was president. At 21, the stake president asked me to consider a mission and after careful thought I declined. After marrying the person of my choice (I proposed he accepted) in Los Angeles ‘82, as no temple existed in Texas , together we raised four children (3 daughters’ one son) and have enjoyed living in different regions of the country.
Relocating to Heber City , UT (96) and informed about a native reluctance to accept outsiders, on arrival, the Center Creek Ward Relief Society president (native herself) offered the same warning. Unfazed, our family attended sacrament meeting and sat in a random pew. Unbeknownst to us, a young daughter of the family which customarily sat in the particular pew decided to make life difficult for one of our daughters. In time, our daughter came to us stating she could no longer attend church only to be harassed. We agreed, simply encouraging she phone her young women’s president relate her experiences and reason she would no longer attend.
A move to Ohio ’s Kirtland Stake (98) ironically, offered further opportunities, experiences and understanding of the church’s basic flaws. A noteworthy experience was sitting in a missionary conference, 200+ young missionaries attentively listening to a church authority stating in address that God the Father had sexual intercourse with the handmaid Mary and that this was the only way Christ was conceived. I sat astonished that a church authority would seemingly advocate incest (after all wasn’t Mary God’s daughter!?) to all those impressionable young men! After almost two decades I was again called to teach two school terms of early morning Seminary; BOM and NT a second time in our Solon Ward. My particular anticipation of new material, information and understanding of the NT was dismally dashed as CES (Church Education System) curriculum, materials and sources remained unchanged (only the books cover art had). Clearly even after decades, church authorities, educators and publishers had neither gained pertinent new knowledge nor increased their understanding.
Experience taught me to think and ponder things especially when they make little sense and not simply accept something merely because it’s spoken from a pulpit or leader. When Johnny found The Sealed Portion (2004) I wasn’t quick to agreement and my rebelliousness manifested itself again. After tiring of self-induced stress however, I read TSP and considered its content carefully, realizing I would ultimately leave my membership as John had. I’d hoped our family could quietly exit unnoticed however, stake leaders didn’t allow this. After dispatching the RS president under guise of friendship to uncover and report findings back to Bishop Michael Haymond, we were informed of our forthcoming court and excommunicated as apostates. The Sunday following Bishop Haymond, under instruction of Stake President Walter Seldon, read a letter (in such false pulpit pattern) informing the congregations in Sacrament, Priesthood and RS directly contradicting Stake Presidency 1st Counselor Stanley Everett’s former assurances that all such events were always “handled in absolute discretion and confidence.” Leaders lied to the congregation by stating the our family had requested we not be disturbed or contacted by member friends.
Ultimately, TSP made more sense than everything else before and with the one loved more than all others, I agreed with and supported the work of the Marvelous Work And A Wonder®--the greatest being, the Worldwide United Foundation!
WHAT IS THE VOICE OF THE 'ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS' TELLING US? Ask Him Yourself!
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