But for you I will

September 18, 2007

by Ann

Whenever I hear the word “magic” I think of lyrics to a Bruce Springsteen song, “Counting on a Miracle”:

It’s a fairytale so tragic
There’s no prince to break the spell
I don’t believe in magic
But for you I will

Fifteen years after I joined the church I heard a new version of the story of the translation of the Book of Mormon. I only knew one story until then: Joseph translating from the golden plates by the gift and power of God with the help of the Urim and Thummim. Thanks to Primary visual aids, I even knew what it looked like: Joseph sitting at a table reading from the plates while Oliver wrote what Joseph read aloud. I did not understand the verb “translate” to mean “Joseph with his face in a hat reading the words that appeared in his seer stone.” Version #2 was magic. And while I was able to believe in miracles, I didn’t believe in magic. In time, I stopped believing in miracles, too.

But for you I will. I only kept going to church at all because of my husband. I don’t know that he wanted me to be there for him, but I think he wanted me to be there. So I kept going. It wasn’t so great for me, and I don’t think it was so great for my husband, either. I stayed plugged in to Mormonish web sites, some more angry than others. The Bloggernacle appeared on my desktop around three years ago. I met John Dehlin (sorta). I listened to Richard Bushman. I reframed what the word “miracle” meant.

There ain’t no storybook story
There’s no never-ending song
Our happily ever after Darlin’
Forever come and gone

No ending yet. I’m pretty happy. I have a calling or three again. I went back to the temple once and maybe I’ll go again. I don’t believe in fairy tale endings any more. I still don’t believe in magic. But I’m hoping for the miracle that kept me going back then; the miracle that still keeps me going sometimes. Eternal marriage. If it’s real, it’s a miracle. If it’s real, and I get to keep mine, that’ll REALLY be a miracle. I’m counting on it.


  1. Ann, I can so relate. More than you know.

    I’ve followed your story via the internet for a long time. Boy, that sounds creepy, but I don’t mean it to. I first ran into you on NOM and other sites. I got tired of the anger, although I understand it a bit, and found the Bloggernacle, then realized you were around there as well. Our paths have been very parallel, and we stayed in, I think, for a lot of the same reasons – including a deep love for our other halfs. Wherever I’ve seen you, you’ve been very measured, thoughtful, and kind, and I for one, appreciate your presence in the nacle. And I second your wish – I hope it’s all true too. More than anything, I want it to be true. Thanks for this post. You expressed it so well.

  2. halves, not halfs. sheesh

  3. Ann, thank you for sharing honest thoughts. That’s what keeps me doing this.

  4. I’ve been a member of the church my entire life and find great comfort in many of its teachings. But I am also deeply troubled by much of it as well. For me, temple garments were the physical embodyment of everything I disliked about the church. Two years ago, I found a new freedom and hope when I removed my temple garments for the last time. I have never felt as close to my savior as I do now.

    ….But I am deeply afraid of what will happen in the future. I am engaged to marry the most woderful lds woman in the world in three months, and I wish I could say that I would do anything in the world for her…. But what if she asks me to start wearing garments again? We’ve discussed it many times and she says she never will…. but what if she does? What if on a larger scale she wants me to believe aspects of the gospel I have abandoned years ago? Will I pretend, just to maker her happy?

    For her, I hope I will….

  5. Thanks for your kind words, y’all. Sue, I’m always delighted to see you pop up now and again. You seem to have been lurking, mostly, but when I see your name (because you’re the only Sue! even with all these lawyers on the ‘nacle!) I smile to see again my fellow traveler.

    CA, when I started doing this, I should have paid more attention to the schedule, because you are one tough act to follow. We have added Naked Financial Summits to our budget process, and it’s WAY more fun that way.

    RC, it’s a delicate balance between honoring the one you love and caving. All you can do is take her at her word.

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