The smell of hate mail in the morning…OH WAIT, it's a burning book!!

Sunday morning is a great time to grab a cup of coffee, sit back and go through email that has mostly been ignored during the week. First up today was this little missive.

Our custodian buys books and then passes them around to our staff at school. She passed me your book, Wives and Sisters and told me it was about the Mormons. I told her I was one. I thought it would be about the reorganized church, but no, you’ve made our church out to be some weird cult where all the men are wife beaters, the bishops hide crimes from the authorities, all the wives are baby machines, and we’re all a bunch of idiots following a prophet who’s telling us not to think. I got about 60 pages into your book trying to keep an open mind, trying to find the suspense, but what came through loud and clear is you hate Mormons. The problem is you need to get your facts straight if you’re going to talk about the religion you grew up in. Talk about narrow minded. You also need to get outside of Utah where there are real people and believe me, Mormons are so totally different than Utah Mormoms. I’ve lived outside of Utah for most of my life, though 10 yrs. were spent in Utah. Utah Mormons are not the same. We, me being one from a part member family, grew up to respect other people’s religions. I don’t go around bashing their religions and sure would appreciate it if you wouldn’t bash mine. I have a brain. I have studied and gone to other churches. I believe in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints and even if I got to heaven and found out I was fooled, it was the best decision I ever made. I have a loving husband who was raised Lutheran and converted, but not because of me. We are partners and I have four wonderful sons. We don’t beat our kids. My husband adores me and I adore him. Two of my sons have served missions and I don’t care if they ever baptize a person. I was more interested in them helping people see that they could have a better life following the teachings of Christ. I’ve received letters from people who have become better people because of my sons. And these were letters from people who didn’t join the church.
You have so many facts wrong in your book, that I told the custodian I’m going to have to write a paper so she knows the facts if she is to pass the book around. I live in a community where we are the only members.
I have had women on my visiting teaching route (that means I write to them because they are so far away), that have asked to not be contacted. I have respected their wishes, told them to write a letter to the bishop, and I’ve also passed the info on to the Relief Society Pres. and ward clerk that they don’t want contact and that’s the end of that. I am not here to force my beliefs on anyone.
Like I said before, you need to do a little living outside of Utah. In all my years of being a member – 42 to be exact and having lived in 9 different states, I’ve only had one bishop that I had issues with. You need to remember that we are all human, we are not perfect and will never be perfect. If you knew the Articles of Faith, you would know that as members we are to obey the laws of the land.
Your story made me laugh. I’m sorry, Bishops don’t cover up for crimes.
While living in Salt Lake City, 1/2 block from the police station, a member on church welfare broke into our apartment and robbed us while we were at church. The bishop didn’t hide it. The man was arrested, taken off church welfare, evicted from his apartment, etc., etc.
It’s too bad you couldn’t keep your anger out of your story line. I’ve read many wonderful books. I’m sorry to say your’s wasn’t one of them because all I felt was your anger coming out and anything you could think to bash about the church you did. Tell your folks to get a life and you need to get on with living. Why don’t you try to write something worthwhile. I love a good suspense novel and murder mystery, but your’s wasn’t a book of suspense. It was a book of you venting and then venting some more. IT came across loud and clear. Why is it that people like you just have to just keep spreading lies and hate? I told the custodian to burn this book, but if not, please include my paper with the correct facts to make sure people know what is truth and what is fiction.

Well. I’ve become a “people like you.” I always wanted to be a “People like you.” Really. Oh, and by the way, Molly, (I’m not using her real name to protect her, as I always do. I’m very protective of these Mormons) this book IS fiction. However, none of the base facts I used are incorrect. I can back them ALL up.

Most interesting to me through this rant was the fact she told the custodian to BURN my book. Goodness. A book burning. Call me J.D. Salinger. That has to be good for business….

You might notice I’m not really commenting on this email. I could have made a few comments like, “So glad you have a brain. Are you currently using it for a doorstop?” or “How would you know what the book was about, since you CLAIM To have stopped reading at page 60?” but I won’t.

I think her email speaks for itself. Someone alert the media!


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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5 Responses to The smell of hate mail in the morning…OH WAIT, it's a burning book!!

  1. Laura says:

    You made it babe – people who advocate burning books are people who are afraid of what those books say.


  2. Jody says:

    Forget the burning of the book. Forget that Molly is a sane Mormon because she doesn’t reside in Utah.

    Isn’t it sad that Molly, who claims to have a brain and the other teachers don’t have the ambition to actually buy a book themselves? They rely on the custodian, who is probably the lowest paid employee in the school system, to provide them with reading material.


  3. Wow, Natalie. You’re being book-burned! I’m impressed. I guess you can now say, “I HAVE ARRIVED!”


  4. I was a Mormon who lived in New York State. The Salt Lake Mormons told me that the New York Mormons were way too religious, that in Utah many Mormons drank beer and coffee, etc. and they didn’t take things as seriously at the New York converts did. I left the church when my mother died, but my father remained a true member, though he would talk about blacks and Jews like he was Hitler. When he got too old to drive, I again took him to church, forcing myself to sit through Relief Society meetings while he went to Priesthood meetings. At one such meeting, a woman stood up and told us not to pay attention to the neighbors around us, to stand by our men and be proud to bear their children. That was it. I couldn’t stand it anymore. Not to mention the fact that because there are so few Mormons, the children are treated like freaks by their school children, and it isn’t fair to these children (or the Jehova’s Witness children) to be forced to be different in a venue where peer pressure can make or break you. Of course she’d recommend burning the book – it scares her to read the truth. Sure, not all Mormons are as horrific as Natalie’s characters, but in my own life I saw one of the heads of the church kill a cat with a baseball bat because his wife gave it heavy cream from one of the cows. This wife, 9 months pregnant, was forced to climb trees and pick apples and churn butter no matter how pregnant she was. And their children? All but one of the 12 moved away the minute they could. The one who stayed had 10 children and 3 went to jail. The others all moved away the minute they could.


  5. Anonymous says:

    That wasn’t hate mail. . . that was just honesty. It is sad that someone can be honest with you in the nicest way possible and still you treat them like dirt on your website. Reveling in being mean and sarcastic. It’s called constructive criticism, babe, doing your ‘research’. You as a writer should know about those things but all your words do is show that you can’t take it.

    I can’t wait to see what you say about me.


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