Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are cautioned against becoming disheartened or jaded toward the Church over the bad behavior, hypocrisy, or outright judgmentalism of other members. Even non-members are urged not to form opinions about Mormonism as a whole by basing them on the poor examples of the few.
Take Wendy Grant, for instance, who claims to be the “great X5 grand-daughter of the 7th President of the LDS Church, Heber J. Grant” and who wrote to tell me, among other things, exactly that.
Indeed, Wendy was grafted onto the Grant family tree via adoption. In the words she chose in her card to me (In case you can’t read her scrawl, she writes, “Get ready to die, you lying, evil, murderous slut.”), the amusing irony lies not only in her identifying with the LDS Church then summarily passing harsh judgment, but in the spirit of self-righteousness and condemnation that she assumes while citing her pseudo-lineage to a man who himself professed, “I have given much advice to the Latter-day Saints in my time, and one of the principal items was never to criticize anyone but ourselves (my emphasis). President Grant also noted that “there is nothing that will bring more condemnation to us than to harden our hearts and to be bitter and vindictive in our feelings. . . .” He also humbly proclaimed at the wise age of 81, “I have no animosity against any living soul.” And his biological daughter Lucy once noted of her dad, “He never seems to bear malice. He is bitter in his denouncement of sin, but to the sinner he is most merciful” (my emphasis).
So it shouldn’t matter then to President Grant that his great, great, great, great, great granddaughter has taken the opposite tack. Based on the legacy he left his progeny, Wendy can rest assured that he would love her just the same.
Wendy, great-grandpa X5 would be proud.
Clearly, Wendy holds herself in a position far holier than I. I don’t blame her. But I will close with a verse from what President Heber J. Grant described as “a very splendid and wonderful song,” titled—appropriately—“Should You Feel Inclined to Censure”:
And in self-judgment if you find
Your deeds to others’ are superior
To you has Providence been kind
And you should be to those inferior.
– Jodi Arias