Continuing our series entitled “Losing the Lamanites,” wherein we interview Mormons from Central and South America, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders — with the intent of exploring their faith transitions, and focusing (where relevant) on their thoughts and feelings around having been handed the now questionable “Lamanite” identity.
In this episode we interview Hyrum Joe, and cover the following:
- His 3rd-generation upbringing in the LDS Church as a Navajo.
- The culture shock he experienced when he moved off the Reservation while in grade school.
- His feelings of being an outsider both in and out of the Church while growing up in his new community.
- His inactivity in his younger years and how he subsequently went back into activity after meeting his ex-wife and becoming sealed in the temple.
- How he realized he never truly had a “testimony” of the truth claims of the LDS Church, even while being active and being heavily involved in ward missionary activities.
- His impending faith transition.
- His thoughts and feelings of the “Lamanite” identity
- The joy he has experienced reconnecting with his Navajo heritage, identity, and customs.
Hyrum is also a professional artist. Check out his art here: https://www.facebook.com/artofhyrumjoe/