Guest Post by Alma Pellet. Alma Pellett is living the dream as a stay-at-home mother of 5, while also somehow continuing to do software development work from home in American Fork, Utah. She is relatively new to the world of womanhood, being transgender, and treasures each new aspect discovered.
Socially transitioning to present as female was a deliberate step for me to take after receiving direction, through prayer, to do so. It involved changing jobs (as I had been working for the Church History Library for 10 years), helping others work out what to call me, and the biggest difficulty, giving up my Temple Recommend. At the time I also informed my Bishop that I would refrain from joining the Relief Society until I was invited to come to the meetings.
Since then, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying wearing dresses to Church, blessedly welcomed by a number of people in my ward. Thus far, there have been no prejudicial actions or comments by anyone that I know of. But it’s difficult for others to read your mind, so it took several weeks before a wonderful sister invited me into the meeting with her.
It was a wonderful experience. The lesson was on the 2022 General Conference talk, “But We Heeded Them Not” by Elder David A. Bednar. I certainly did not have a good reaction when the talk was given as, being transgender, I tend to be included in “the world” whose ideas on gender should not be heeded, or listened to, and certainly not even be given a glimmer of the possibility of approval. There were even a couple of sisters who brought up how much “the world” is trying to make us change.
Sitting in that room with my sisters for the first time, I got a somewhat different perspective on the lesson. -I- needed to “heed not” those voices that kept saying how I was straying from the “covenant path”. I know that this transition, this fundamental change in my life is the right path for me. I know, through much prayer that I am not giving up on eternity by taking this path I’ve been directed to, finding joys that I never knew were possible.
Added to this, I was able to speak up when the class was asked about experiences doing something that scared us. I was able to point out the welcome I got when first coming to Church in a dress.
Truly, it was a wonderful meeting, even if the lesson wasn’t quite meant to be read that way. Afterward, I even had a sister stop me to tell me about her transgender granddaughter.
I know continuing attending Church is where I need to be. I hope I can help shift opinions about transgender people, not to mention be a resource for anyone else in the Ward who may need someone to talk to or lean on. I look forward to when we meet again.
Thank you for sharing your story. I wish all Relief Society meetings could be so inclusive and inspired.
Thanks for sharing and for your bravery. I hope you continue to be embraced.
I am moved, impressed, and inspired by your decision to continue attending church despite the social difficulties that involved. Not only can you help shift opinions towards transgender people, perhaps you can shift opinions of transgender people about the value of attending church meetings. Bless you.
Alma, I’ve followed snippets of your story over the years through blog comments. I really appreciate your bravery and grace. I love how you have given your ward members the chance to love you for who you are and not just exclude or other you.
You can come sit by me anytime! I am continually distressed to have RS lessons only discussing conference talks. They can be truly awful, and our valiant sisters have to do all kinds of discussion-leading-gymnastics to make the lesson have any value for us.
Thank you for sharing this, Alma. It was great to meet you in person last month. I’m so glad a sister invited you to join her in Relief Society.
Alma, I’m so glad you are there and visible and showing up to places where others can get to know you and love you as your authentic self. I’m so grateful too for all of the trans and non-binary kids in your ward who will see you and feel less alone. ❤ I know it must be scary and stressful and hard, but you are paving the way for many generations yet to come and making the world a softer, safer place for so many in the future. Bless you for being you. Many future queer people will be grateful to you.
You can come sit with me in Relief Society. <3