1st Place: “Mother-Hunger,” by Dayna Patterson.
As an LDS missionary, Patterson feels the pull of the Divine Feminine when she enters a Catholic basilica. “Why would I want to rob these people of a Mother to pray to, when I had no Mother to pray to? The guilt was laced with envy—how delicious would it be to pray to God the Mother, to speak to, thank, petition, beg, bless, question her …”
Honorable Mention: “Why I Hate White Jesus,” by James Goldberg.
As an inheritor of his “grandfathers’ Semitic and Sikh features,” Goldberg often finds himself suspect in everyday situations in his suburban Utah community. So he takes up jobs modeling in Biblical paintings hoping “that by getting my Semitic-Sikh face into religious art, I might subtly move the needle of white Latter-day Saints’ subconscious associations.” But his hopes prove more elusive than he had anticipated.
Look for these personal essays in a future issue of Sunstone and in the Sunstone Magazine Podcast.