Saturday, November 30, 2013


I bet you're wondering what a Latter-day Mutant does on Saturdays. Do we spend the day agonizing over the contradiction of our existence? Do we spend it on our knees trying to pray the mutant away? Do we run around using our powers to rape and pillage? Actually, I'm hanging out with my niece and nephews while my sister and brother-in-law do some Christmas shopping. We built a fort out of couch cushions and blankets, watched Phineas and Ferb, and I'm about to cook quesadillas for lunch. Pretty intense stuff. This afternoon and evening I plan to write a ten-page paper explaining why Wuthering Heights is a hundred times better than Jane Eyre. Maybe if I finish the paper before midnight, I'll reward myself with a bowl of BYU Creamery ice cream.

And that, my friends, is the mutant agenda.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Date

Tonight I had my date with Lucy. Neither of us had anything going on this afternoon and we were both still full from Thanksgiving, so we did an early showing of Catching Fire, then grabbed dinner at Five Guys afterward. The movie was awesome--or at least the parts I saw were. I spent a lot of the movie focusing on Lucy's hand, which spent the first hour inching closer and closer to mine. I would have just reached out and grabbed it sooner, but I was worried about leading her on when there can never be anything real between us. Maybe that's okay with her--maybe she's not looking for an eternal companion right now, just someone to hang out with--but she should know what she's getting into up front. But I couldn't very well ask the theater to put the movie on pause while I explain to Lucy that I'm a mutant so handholding is as far as she can go with me. And her fingers were brushing up against mine, begging me to hold them, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to. Every touch of her pinky sent a wave of electricity through my entire body. So finally I gave in. I took her hand in mine and squeezed tight. I didn't dare look, but out of the corner of my eye I saw her smile. I didn't let go for the rest of the movie--not even when my arm fell asleep because of the stupid uncomfortable armrest. By the way, Catching Fire is a long movie.

I held onto her hand through the credits, as we waited to see if there was a post-credits scene (FYI there wasn't) and to see if they played Lorde's remake of "Everybody Wants To Rule The World", which Lucy loves and is on the movie soundtrack (FYI they didn't). I held onto her hand as we walked out of the theater and across the parking lot to Five Guys. I held onto her hand while we both ordered our burgers--she got hers with bacon. I finally let go of her hand when it was time to pay, and she got her wallet out. I let her pay because I'd paid for the movie, and I don't want to be one of those guys who can't handle it when a girl pays.

While we ate she told me about her major--accounting. I've always found math boring, but she was actually getting excited talking about the classes she's in, and you've got to respect someone who's so passionate about her major. She told me about how her family converted to the church when she was in junior high, and about her brother who's on a mission now. She has a really strong testimony of the church, which I also respect. And she's got these really pretty green eyes. We were done with our food but still sitting there, talking, and I was totally falling for her. Then she started asking about me. And I was feeling guilty about not telling her about myself before holding her hand, so I did it. I told her that I have a mutant power.

I didn't speak loudly enough for anyone but Lucy to hear me, but I swear the entire restaurant went silent in that moment. Lucy's face turned pale. She even scooted back in her seat, away from me.

I quickly explained that I still believe in the church and I'm not going to act on my mutant powers, but I just wanted to share with her this challenge I have. She nodded a few times and made a few polite comments, but then suddenly she had a stomach ache and asked me to take her home.

Argh. What was I thinking? Just because two people responded well to me coming out this week, it doesn't mean that's how everyone will take it. Being a mutant is not normal. It's not something normal people talk about--certainly not on a first date. Really, I barely know Lucy. I've been home teaching her for three months. I say hi to her when I see her at church. And then all of a sudden, I'm dumping all my baggage on her? Well, at least this way I don't have to worry about girls wanting to marry me.


I am exhausted after spending the day at my sister Marsha's house in Saratoga Springs. I helped cook, we ate, I played with the kids, we napped, we ate some more, we played some more, I helped put the kids to bed, we hung out late into the night. And ate some more. It was after my niece and nephews were in bed upstairs, my brother-in-law was downstairs watching ESPN, and Marsha and I were each enjoying our fifth slice of pie for the day while playing Rummikub, that out of the blue I said, "I'm a mutant." I don't know what I was thinking. I guess I was feeling bold after chatting with Greg several times this week. And I'm tired of hiding such a big part of myself from the people I love most.

Marsha picked up a tile. "I know," she said nonchalantly.

I did a double-take. "You know? How do you know? Did Mom tell you?"

"No." She laughed. "I tried to talk to Mom about it once and she vehemently denied it. But it's totally obvious. You walk like a mutant, you talk like a mutant, you might as well be wearing a black jacket with a big yellow X on it."

I tried to get her to explain what walking and talking like a mutant meant exactly, but she said it's like porn--she can't describe it, but she knows it when she sees it. But the important thing is that it really didn't matter to her. We talked about my anxiety and my fears, and she reassured me several times that she still loves me, that I'm still her brother.

I'm starting to think that maybe some of my fears are unfounded. People are more open-minded than I give them credit for--even Mormons. Maybe I don't need to hide anymore. I don't know. But I do know that talking with Greg earlier this week, and then talking with Marsha tonight, has lifted a huge burden off my shoulders. It's such a relief to be able to share this stuff that I've been carrying alone for so long.

All in all, a great Thanksgiving. I've got plenty to be thankful for this year.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Well, that didn't take long. I haven't posted for a couple of days because I kind of freaked out after something happened on Sunday. I'm still getting used to having a "secret identity," and I was bound to screw up sooner or later. Turns out it was sooner.

When I'm on my Mormon X page on Facebook, there's a message on the top that says "You are posting, commenting, and liking as Mormon X — Change to [my real name]." On Saturday I was messing around with things and apparently I changed the setting so that I was posting as myself. I didn't post anything on Saturday after that, so it didn't make a difference, but when I went back on Sunday to put up a link to my new blog post, I didn't realize I was doing it under my real name until after posting. I caught the mistake pretty quickly, deleted it, and then re-posted as Mormon X. I wiped the sweat from my brow, took a deep breath to calm my nerves, and said a silent prayer of thanks that I'd noticed the error right away.

When there was a knock on my bedroom door two seconds later, I literally jumped out of my seat. I closed my browser and opened the door. It was Greg, the roommate who is also my home teaching companion. "What's up?" he said. 

"N-n-nothing," I stammered. My hands were shaking and I was drenched in sweat despite the fact that it's November. I probably looked like I was high on something. 

"Did I just see what I think I saw?" he asked. He went on to explain that he had been on Facebook in the other room when the stalker bar on the right showed "[My Real Name] posted a link to Mormon X." It was only there for a second, but it caught his eye because he'd been following Mormon X since a friend of his from California had posted a link on Wednesday. He'd found my story about Lucy's priesthood blessing on Thursday night strangely familiar, but he figured we weren't the only guys at BYU who had given priesthood blessings to sick girls that night, so he chalked it up to coincidence. Until now. 

He probably saw my face turning green (metaphorically--that's not a mutant power of mine), because he put a hand on my shoulder and said with a goofy grin, "No worries, man. My sister's a mutant. I'm totally on your side."

This was all too much for me--the panic of realizing I'd screwed up, the shock of being found out, the relief of unexpected acceptance. My knees gave out and I dropped to the floor. Greg sat next to me and I just stared at the shaggy orange carpet for a few minutes. Once I calmed down, we talked. He asked about my power, about how it felt to be a mutant at BYU, about how I planned to deal with it for the rest of my life. I didn't feel judged or freakish or anything. I just felt like a guy with a problem. And a friend I could talk to about that problem. 

Thank you for being that friend, Greg.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Argh. This morning at church Lucy asked me out. I can't afford to fly home for Thanksgiving and she's from Orem, so she suggested we "hang out" on Friday night. And I, stupidly, said yes. Why did I say yes? Because I'm a masochist, apparently. And apparently I don't care about the fact that in the long run leading her on will just hurt her.

If you're not Mormon, you might be wondering why I'm so stressed about this. No, I'm not gay. And I really like Lucy. She's pretty, smart, and spiritual. And I really dig the fact that she's bold enough to ask me out, even though she's the girl and I'm the guy. I like strong women. But the thing is, in the LDS Church we believe that God intends marriage for humans. Not mutants. And interspecies marriage is especially forbidden. Which is why I was so surprised to see that mutant married Mormon blogger I mentioned yesterday, and likely why he's such a big deal. I mean, I respect the agency he and his wife exercised in getting married despite his mutant powers, but for me, personally, I know that's not right. That's not what God wants.

You might be wondering now why the Church is opposed to mutant marriage. There are a lot of different theories I've read about from different Mormon scholars. Some say it's because it would be cruel of us to risk passing on the mutant gene to any children we might have. Others say it's that we were less righteous in the pre-existence, so we are destined to be angels in the eternities, not married gods and goddesses like our human brothers and sisters. Honestly, I don't know why. Like Nephi said, I do not know the meaning of all things, but I know God loves his children.

I know God loves me. I'm grateful that he has given me a chance to have a mortal existence, and that he trusts me with the power of his priesthood--despite my sins and imperfections. And I trust that the path he has laid out for me is the right one, wherever it leads me.

But still, it kind of sucks to be alone. And it sucks to have a really awesome girl who's kind of in to me, and to know eventually I'll have to break her heart.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Just a quick update: I'm on Facebook! Please like my page at I'm hoping this will help me get my message out there to more people.

Robots vs. Mutants

If you're reading this, chances are you clicked over here from one of the comments I've left around the Bloggernacle in the past few days. (Or possibly Facebook; Blogger tells me I have some people coming from Facebook, which suggests that someone has linked to me there, which is awesome, but I have no idea who linked to me. If you came here from Facebook, please tell the person who linked me "thank you" on my behalf. Also, I need to get on Facebook. I mean, as Mormon X. I'm already on Facebook under my real name, of course--I'm not living under a rock.) At any rate, I've been whoring myself out around the Bloggernacle, trying to let people know I'm here. Basically, I'm like one of those bots that goes around leaving spam comments, except for three differences: 1. I actually read the posts I'm commenting on. 2. I only comment if I actually have something to say about the post. 3. I don't explicitly tell people to come to my site--I just hope they'll be curious enough to find out who this Mormon X guy is. I suppose a fourth difference between me and spambots might be that I'm human, but that's debatable. I like to think of myself as human, but I think science is now saying mutants are a completely different species. Yuck. Anyway, I keep going on tangents today. I was telling you about how I'm shamelessly promoting myself, but I like to think it's for a good cause. I'm here talking because I believe God wants me to be heard, so there's no point if no one's listening. I mean, if I write about a tree falling on a blog that no one reads, does it make a sound?

Honestly, I didn't even know the Bloggernacle existed until three days ago. It's easy when you eat, sleep, and breathe BYU to believe in this monolithic version of Mormonism, that we're all good little Mormonbots who have exactly the same thoughts and feelings. Which kind of sucks when you're different. But it turns out there are all kinds of Mormons out there, with all kinds of ideas about different things. And hey, guess what? I'm not the only Mormon mutant out there. On Thursday I read about a Mormon woman who just recently came out as a mutant. I get the impression she's still in the process of figuring out whether to stay in the church or live a mutant lifestyle, or something between those two options. I also happened upon a website that's all about believing Latter-day Saints who have mutant abilities. There's a even a Mormon guy who has come out as mutant (but doesn't act on his mutant tendencies) and blogs about it using his real name and face--and his non-mutant wife is totally cool with it. (Okay, maybe I am living under a rock. Apparently this guy is super-famous and I had no idea because until recently I was doing my best to avoid all things mutant.)

So, moral of the story? I'm not alone. I'm not quite so sure what the point of this blog is, then, but I know it's what God wants me to be doing right now. I guess I'm just adding my voice to others, testifying that it's okay to be mutant and that you can still live according to God's plan. I'm more sure than ever now that God loves me just the way I am, so if I can share that message with even one person who needs to hear it, then I'll consider this venture a success.

Friday, November 22, 2013


Just a quick check-in: I stopped by Lucy's apartment this afternoon to see how she's doing. She says she's feeling healthier than ever, and she aced that test this morning.

Life is good. God is good.

Real Power

Sometimes God gives you exactly what you need. I spent all day thinking about that stupid flight dream, feeling bad for myself because I can't have what I want, and feeling guilty because what I want is sinful. It's just so hard, once I've had a taste of what it's like, to not want more. Like they say, power is addictive.

Then tonight, as I was trying to read Wuthering Heights for my British novel class but unable to focus because of the stupid dream, someone knocked on my bedroom door. It was one of my roommates. He's also my home teaching companion. One of the girls we home teach had called him asking for a blessing. "She's puking blood," he said with a look of disgust mixed with fascination. I hesitated, considering whether I should make up an excuse and ask him to take one of our other roommates. Was I even worthy to give a priesthood blessing, after spending the day lusting after counterfeit power? But I felt like a jerk asking someone else to do my job, so I said yes, changed into a shirt and tie, and said a quick prayer asking the Lord to forgive my imperfection.

Lucy (not her real name) really looked bad. When we got to her apartment, she was curled up on the couch and moaning, her hands held tightly to her stomach. One roommate sat next to her, holding a cold washcloth to her head. Another roommate explained that Lucy had been miserable all day, getting worse in the past few hours, but she didn't want to go to urgent care because her dad just changed jobs and the new insurance doesn't start until December 1st. She's also stressed because she has a test in the morning she "can't miss" (I think the professor would understand, but Lucy was in no state to be argued with).

After the normal back-and-forth about who's going to do what, Greg (also not his real name) anointed Lucy's head, and then I laid my hands on her to give her a blessing. The blessing started out slow--I never know what to say--but then something switched and it wasn't me speaking anymore. It was God, speaking through me. He assured her that he loved her (and I felt in that moment that the message was for me as much as her), told her not to worry about the test because everything would work out according to his will, and finally commanded her to be healed. As I spoke those words, I felt God's power flow through me, out my fingertips, and into her. It was like an electric shock.

When I opened my eyes, Lucy was a completely different person than the one I'd laid hands on. She'd stopped trembling, her face was no longer pale, and her breathing had calmed. She smiled at me and squeezed my hands. "Thank you," she said softly. I heard in her voice the same surety I felt, that she had in fact been healed by the power of the priesthood.

Suddenly, flight has lost its appeal. Who needs mutant powers when you've got REAL power?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Flight of Fancy

WARNING: This post includes explicit discussion of mutant powers. If you are offended by that kind of thing, please don't read.


Last night I dreamed I was flying. At first, it was wonderful. I soared through clouds, the wind in my hair, not a care in the world. Then suddenly I realized I was flying over campus, and before I knew it I was inside the Wilk, floating over the food court. At first people were pointing at me and laughing, but then they got scared and ran. The masses rushed away in a frenzied panic, as if I were some gunman trying to shoot them down. I tried to call out to them, to explain that I'm really not a bad person, that I'm a Mormon just like them, but I had no voice. No matter how hard I tried, no words came out. I woke up with a muffled yell (hopefully the roommates didn't hear), drenched in sweat. Also: I was levitating a foot above the bed.

I wasn't going to get into detail about my powers on this blog. I know talking about mutant powers makes people uncomfortable, and I'm really not out to offend anyone. But I don't think I can go on forever referring vaguely to my "powers"--actually, just a single power, as far as I know--and ultimately, isn't that what this blog is about? Being absolutely honest? So if it offends you, I'm sorry, I really am, and you're welcome to stop reading. But I don't know how else I can be authentic.

I have a vivid memory of the first time I flew. It was the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school. I grew half a foot that summer, my voice got deeper, and hair started showing up in places where it hadn't been before (I was a late bloomer). I was helping my mom put away groceries, reaching up to the high shelves because by that point I was taller than her. I was stretching to get a box of ramen packages onto the very top shelf. Even with me on tiptoes, it was just barely out of reach. And then, suddenly, it wasn't. My mom screamed my name. Before I could even turn around, she had closed the distance between us, wrapped her arms around my waist, and pulled me back to the linoleum floor. She held me tight and did not let go for a good ten minutes. She just sobbed into my shoulder, saying over and over, "Please, not my son. Not my baby." I didn't even fully understand what had happened at the time--not only was I a late bloomer, but I was also naive. I didn't know anything about mutants. But I knew that whatever had happened, it was wrong. I was wrong. I had done something to hurt my mom, the person I loved most in the world. I felt a deep and overwhelming sense of shame.

I felt that same shame this morning when I woke up above my bed. But this wasn't my first rodeo--I knew what to do. I immediately willed myself back down onto the bed and took several deep breaths. "It's not your fault," I reminded myself. "You aren't responsible for what your subconscious makes you do while you sleep." This is why all through college I have paid the extra rent to have a single room. The other guys in my apartment have no idea that once or twice a month I wake up in the air. I'll have to post here sometime about the close calls (and beyond-close calls) I had on my mission.

So this morning I calmed myself down, got back under the covers, and did my best to go back to sleep. But as I lay there in the dark reliving the dream over and over in my head, I couldn't help but remember that first part of the dream--how good it felt to fly free, unfettered by the chains of gravity. Subconscious or not, in that moment I wanted to fly, more than anything else I've ever wanted. Maybe I really should feel ashamed.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What's In A Name?

In my last post, I talked about being brave. The truth is, it's not tremendously brave of me to talk about being a mutant (wow, did I just say that like it's no big deal, like saying I'm blue-eyed or that I like pizza?) when I'm doing it anonymously on a blog no one is likely to read. I considered using my real name, but the stakes are too high. I'm set to graduate from BYU in April and I can't afford to get kicked out now. Even though I don't believe I'm doing anything wrong, I'm not sure the Honor Code Office would agree, so I need to play it safe.

Which meant I needed to come up with a pseudonym. There are a lot of pieces that make up my identity--BYU student, son, brother, English major, aspiring writer--but the two aspects I knew I'd be focusing on here are the fact that I'm a Mormon and the fact that I'm a mutant. I considered Mormon Mutant, but I'm not crazy about the way it sounds. Also, it's just a little too "in your face" for me. And I got to thinking about the X-Men and Professor X, who are pretty much synonymous with the mutant rights movement. At first I wasn't sure I wanted to associate myself with them because that's not really what I'm about, but the more I thought about it the more I realized I am. Maybe I don't believe in using my powers the way they do, but I do believe that mutants should be treated fairly, that we shouldn't be ridiculed simply because of the way we were born. I stand for my right to be a mutant the way I want to be, and I figure I have as much claim to the "X" as anyone.

So I very briefly considered X-Mormon, but that sounds too much like "ex-Mormon," which is what too many people are going to assume anyway--that if I'm an "out" mutant then I must not be an active member of the church anymore. And really, even though both the Mormon and the mutant are parts of me, they aren't equally important. Like I said last night, the Mormon part comes first. Hence, Mormon X.

Welcome to my complicated life.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I’m trying to be brave, but honestly I’m terrified. Okay, here goes: I am—

No, I’m not going to start with that. That’s not what comes first. This is what comes first: I am a Mormon. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that my Redeemer lives and that by his grace we are made whole. I believe that Christ restored his true church to the earth nearly two hundred years ago, through the prophet Joseph Smith. I believe that through him the keys of the priesthood were returned to humankind, and that priesthood power is God’s power. Anything else is counterfeit. I sustain Thomas S. Monson, the living prophet, and I know that “The Priesthood: A Proclamation to the World” is God’s word. I have a testimony that “priesthood power is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”

And I wish that were all. I wish with all my heart I could stop there. But there’s more. The other part is incredibly hard for me to say, and in fact I’ve never said it before—not publicly, not like this—but just as I know that the Lord lives, I know this is what he wants me to do. I’ve been toying with the idea for a few months now, but the confirmation came today while I was walking across BYU campus, listening to my iPod (okay, I admit, I’m a little antisocial). The Sara Bareilles song “Brave” came on, and when she sang these words, it was as the voice of God speaking directly to me:

And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

I stopped walking, right there between the library and the JFSB. I think a girl bumped into me because I’d stopped so suddenly. But I wasn’t paying attention to anyone around me. All I could do was listen to Sara Bareilles telling me to say what I wanna say, to let the words fall out, to be brave. I need to talk about this because, as much as it feels like I’m the only person in the world who feels this way, I know I can’t be. And if others feel as alone as I do, then maybe Heavenly Father can speak to them through me, to let them know he loves them, just as he’s let me know that. 

Okay, now I’m ready to say it. This is the other part, the part I couldn’t say before: I’m a mutant. Yes, you read that right. I’m a mutant, and I’m also a Mormon. Now, I know that’s not the terminology I’m supposed to use. Believe me, I know. I’ve been seeing counselors at LDS Family Services for the past seven years (apart from the two I was on a mission) in order to overcome my “unnatural power proclivity” or “UPP.” But I hate those terms. That’s not who I am. I am a mutant. For whatever reason, I have powers that humans are not meant to have. I didn’t do anything to get these powers; I just have them. Does that mean I’m going to run out and join the X-Men? No, of course not. To do so would be to betray the other part of me, the first part. First, I am a Mormon. Like Nephi, I was born of goodly parents, and I know that any power that does not come from God, that is not priesthood power, comes from the Adversary. It’s hard sometimes, knowing I have this power at my fingertips and choosing not to use it, but I know that as I continue to put my faith in God, he will give me the strength I need to resist temptation. With God, all things are possible. 

I know this isn’t a popular position. I’m as afraid of backlash from my fellow mutants as I am from my fellow Mormons. To my brothers and sisters in the mutant community, let me assure you that I support your right to exercise your mutant powers according to your beliefs, so long as you aren’t hurting anyone. But as for me, I will follow the Lord’s path. The only power I need is priesthood power.