Liz Lambson is a Korean/African American artist, musician, and writer, and – along with her spouse Sam – is a parent to five boys residing in Salt Lake City. Liz performs as a string bassist with the Ballet West Orchestra as well as the children’s singer-songwriter Lizzy Luna, the creator of the music-and-movement program Yoga Storytime & Songs. Liz performed for and toured with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for several years. She released her first album of original children’s yoga music, Reach to the Sky, in 2018. Her writing has been featured in publications including the New Era and the New York Times.
We begin Liz’s story with her family and growing up years as a biracial Korean/African American struggling to assimilate into white culture. Her mother converted to Christianity and became a religious fanatic, leading to her eventual abandonment of her husband & children. Liz is introduced to Mormonism shortly after and finds Joseph Smith’s early religious confusion relatable. With continued exposure to LDS peers, including a boy who particularly holds her interest, Liz gains a testimony of the Book of Mormon and falls in love with Mormon culture.
Liz also shares her struggles with academic, artistic and spiritual perfectionism in high school. We learn ways Liz gives up pieces of herself as she tries harder to assimilate into Mormon culture and eventually makes the decision to attend BYU.
1724: Baptized into the Church at BYU – Liz Lambson Pt. 2
Download MP3 We continue Liz’s journey as she goes to BYU and gets baptized. Liz explains her interactions with church and BYU culture, and the effect of “worthiness” interviews w/LDS leadership once she is an official member.
At BYU Liz struggles to fit in with white culture and begins struggling with symptoms of mental illness along with outbursts of creativity. Things get heavy with a friend’s suicide as she battles her own depressive thoughts.
1725: Working Mormon Mother Speaks Out – Liz Lambson Pt. 3
Download MP3 After Liz decides to stay at BYU, she meets her future husband, Sam. Liz takes us through her courtship with Sam, their reasons for marrying each other, and the various complications they faced early on in their marriage. Like many LDS women trying to properly fulfill their purpose, Liz finds motherhood alone cannot make her feel happy & fulfilled with the exclusion of the things that make Liz who she is and bring her joy.
Cracks start to form in the testimony and identities of both Liz and her husband Sam. Sam begins to question the narratives he was raised with after a trip to Palmyra and as his degree opens his eyes to the cold, corporate nature of the Church, while Liz struggles to keep her faith despite the growing number of things that feel so wrong and cause so much harm not just to Liz, but her marriage, children, extended family, community, and even the nation at large. Liz recognizes how much of herself she continually denied and gave up trying to belong and finally realizes that she no longer WANTS to belong to an organization at such odds with her nature and values.