After years of living in Utah and growing to love the people, Ross decided to write “To Mormons with Love: A little something from the new girl in Utah,” which Ross describes as a love letter to her community.
Ross wanted to enlighten those who are and are not LDS about what it’s like not to be a member of the LDS Church in a predominately Mormon culture, and to do so in a loving way.
A lot of people assume Ross is LDS when they find out she’s from Utah.
A few years ago when her family was vacationing in Maui, Ross got into a conversation with an elderly lady about their lives. When the woman found out she was living in Utah but was not a Mormon, she asked several questions about what it was like to live among people of the Mormon faith.
“People seem so fascinated about my experiences,” Ross said. “I figured I could answer questions in this book in an insightful way without offending anyone. I feel like I’m one of the only people who can do that because I’m one of the few people I know who hasn’t run out of Utah County screaming.”
Ross’ book was published in 2011, and she decided she wanted all the proceeds from the book to benefit the Timpanogos Arts Foundation, specifically the American Fork Arts Council.
Ross has also written some articles for LDS Living, including one about why the Relief Society should run for president.
Religion can be a sensitive topic, and Ross recognizes that people with different belief systems may not always know how to talk to each other about their faith without the discussion quickly going south.
“Sincere honesty works,” Ross said. “If you are a member and someone asks you a question, just put their minds at ease. Tell them if they have questions just to ask.”
Ross also believes those who are not Latter-day Saints can go to ward activities without having to be converted.
“You can go to the picnic at the church,” Ross said. “It’s just a way to socialize with your neighbors and be part of the community.”
Megan Marsden is an intern for the Deseret News writing for the Faith and Family section. She is currently a junior at BYU-Idaho studying communication.
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