‘Mormon Land’: LDS scholar discusses her ‘sacred struggle’ — in life, in the church, in the world

Author Melissa Inouye finds holiness not in some sterile, flawless, uniform faith but rather in the Latter-day Saint community’s diversity, difficulties and imperfections.

(Deseret Book) Latter-day Saint scholar Melissa Inouye's new book. "Sacred Struggle: Seeking Christ on the Path of Most Resistance."

No one likes pain or poverty, bigotry or war, frustration or failure, disease or doubt, joblessness or homelessness or loneliness.

That includes this week’s “Mormon Land” guest, Melissa Inouye.

The Latter-day Saint scholar has endured more than her share of heartache. She inexplicably lost her hair at a young age and then, at 37, the marathon-running mother of four, was diagnosed with colon cancer, an affliction she has been suffering from and through ever since.

But as Inouye reminds herself and Latter-day Saints in her new book, “Sacred Struggle: Seeking Christ on the Path of Most Resistance,” a carefree, trouble-free world is not what humanity signed up for.

(Courtesy) Melissa Inouye, author of "Sacred Struggle: Seeking Christ on the Path of Most Resistance."

An easy earthly existence, under Mormon theology, was Satan’s plan, not God’s. Divine design, Inouye writes, calls instead for agency, personal growth, compassion and caring for others, and “living a life full of life” — the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the hopes and the hopelessness — as God’s children learn to be more like their Heavenly Parents by following and finding Jesus.

On this week’s show, Inouye discusses this “sacred struggle” — including how she approaches the sometimes-problematic past found in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, her hopes for women in the faith’s still-present patriarchy, and how she and other members find joy in imperfect lives, imperfect bodies, imperfect families, imperfect communities, an imperfect church and an imperfect world.

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