モルモン

とは?

What of the

Mormons?

 

 

           ご存知ですか

 
戻る

 

BYU Studies Article of the Week The Color of Love 01 Dec 2014 by Mari E. Jorgensen (Picture: Albino Hummingbird, a real oddball from David Ikegami)

This daily feature is the introduction to a full article published in issue 42:3-4 by Mari E. Jorgensen To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

I'm sitting on an antique chair in my bathroom giving my four-year-old daughter one of her usual marathon baths, several of her McDonald's figurines lined up like miniature divers along the tub's faux marble edge and Suave's Go-go Grape bubbles piled high, when she cries, "Look, Mommy!" Glee lighting her face, she holds up both hands, palms out, so that I can see their pale, puckered skin. "I'm getting whiter!" she cries. "Pretty soon, when I grow up, I'll be white all over—like you!"

I gaze into the sweet, eager face of my child. I stare at her, stunned. All parents, I tell myself, have known moments like these. Moments when we feel infinitely ill-equipped to answer a question, respond to a comment made by a person who is purportedly less experienced, less intellectually developed than ourselves—a person over whom we have been given stewardship but who nonetheless holds it so easily within his or her power to throw us for a loop.

To buy time, I dip water into the blue mixing bowl I use to douse Hannah's dark ringlets. I glance out the window, barely registering the riot of fall color on the mountainside, a view that would normally evoke from me at the very least a sharp intake of breath. I swirl my finger in the cloudy water. Finally, I go back to my daughter's expectantly upturned face. "Why?" I say. "Why do you want to be white?"

"I want to be white," Hannah reiterates, in case I missed it the first time, "because I want to be like you."…

It comes to me with a startling, bell-like clarity what I should say. At other times when Hannah raises difficult issues, I often find myself humoring her, following the path of least resistance, telling myself that going the battle-of-the- wills route with her over a point she's gotten into her head is futile. "Uh-huh," I often say, "that's right."

But this, I know, cannot be one of those times. This subject is too important. "No, sweetie," I say, "you won't. You will never be white, not when you grow up—not ever."

"Why not?"

"Because Heavenly Father made you brown and he made me white."

Hannah pauses, seemingly contemplating the pile of bubbles in front of her. "You mean," she says, "I chose?"

I do a mental blink. Hannah's conclusion is at best a logical leap. But it is also, I realize, as sound as they come. "Yes," I say, "you chose."

When I think of Hannah and her connection to me—a connection that goes beyond genetics, beyond the umbilical cord that never bound us together—I think of an evening drive up Provo Canyon with a heavy-lidded Hannah buckled into her car eat in back, music trilling softly from the radio. It was a cloudless night, with a new moon rising over the snowtopped mountains and casting an eerie, bluish glow over the cliffs around us. It was, I felt, a gift of unadulterated beauty. I was struck speechless. But not Hannah. From the backseat piped a small voice: "Look, Mommy! The mountains—they're glowing!"

My thoughts exactly.

I think also of a phase that Hannah went through in which she was attempting to define the world around her. Often during this phase, at odd and unforeseen times—in the car on the way to the bank or to her ballet class—she would say contemplatively, "I don't belong to Miss Katie (or Uncle David, or Sister Herway, or any one of the other people who populated her world), do I? I belong to you."

"Yes," I would answer. "You belong to me."