It’s bittersweet to share that this will be my last Rational Faiths blog post. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Rational Faiths team the last two and half years. It has been a very enlightening journey. I also want to express my gratitude to Leah Marie for inviting me to blog, and to the Barker brothers for taking a chance on me.

While it’s sad to say good-bye, I’m very excited for the other projects I will be working on. As many of you know, I serve on the boards of the Mormon Transhumanist Association and the Sunstone Education Foundation. I will also be one of the hosts of the new Sunstone Firesides Podcast. While I will not be blogging at Rational Faiths anymore, rest assured, I will keep writing. I’m in the process of finishing my first book on queer Mormon theology. Look for it later this year!

I’d like to take this opportunity to briefly share a thing or two I’ve learned from being an active participant of the Mormon Bloggernacle.

First, it’s okay to change. I have changed significantly over the years. My views have even evolved from when I first started blogging at Rational Faiths. I am grateful for the people who have let me change without shaming me for my mistakes. When I look back on some of the things I’ve written, I think to myself, “How embarrassing!? You know better than that, Blaire.” Though it may be embarrassing, I think it’s also normal and even good to feel that way about our past selves. It means we’re growing and developing. I hope in 20 years I can look back on some of the things I’ve written and say to myself, “How embarrassing!? You know better than that, Blaire.” This will mean even in the future I’m still growing and developing. When someone changes for the better, let them change. Love the prodigal children when they finally decide to change their ways. We are all prodigal children. When you show compassion for them, you are also showing compassion for yourself.

That being said, I have also learned it is better to be kind. Of course, I am not perfect at this and will continue to make mistakes. However, kindness is the goal. I have been influenced quite a bit from all of you and I’d like to think you all have been influenced by me too. In all my interactions, I have been most influenced by those who persuaded me with kindness, patience, and charity. 

Calling-out might be an effective way to shame people into changing their behavior with short-term gains, but those who were willing to take the time to call-me-in with patience and kindness didn’t simply change my behavior, but also changed my heart. I have been both called-out and called-in. I have also called-out and called-in. In my experience, calling-in takes more work than calling-out, but it is significantly better at building alliances with compassion and kindness.

As a kid, I used to watch The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston. It was a cherished Sunday afternoon ritual. As I watched, I felt concerned for Moses when he was banished from Egypt—forced to wander through the wilderness alone, searching for life and meaning beyond the world of falsehoods he thought to be true. Everything he thought he knew about his life was turned upside down and inside out, and to make matters worse he was then cut off from his community.

We are all on a faith journey, and sometimes that journey can feel more like the road Moses trod in the desert than a casual stroll through the park. Like Moses, many of us in the Bloggernacle are walking through the desert searching for life and meaning beyond our disillusioned narratives.

Yet, unlike Moses, we aren’t alone. We have each other. In or out of the Church, Mormons tend to have instilled in us a resilient drive to build communities. It’s what Mormons do, and I am grateful for the many communities, Rational Faiths being one of them, that have helped me in my journey in the desert.

Until we meet again, farewell, Rational Faiths.

Blaire Ostler is a leading voice at the intersection of Mormonism, feminism, and transhumanism. She is a Board Member and former CEO of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, the world's largest advocacy network for the ethical use of technology and religion to expand human abilities. She is currently pursuing a second degree in philosophy with an emphasis in gender studies. Blaire and husband Drew reside in Utah with their three children.

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