Extracts from Christopher Kimball Bigelow's Kindred Spirits (2007)

"Tell me more about your name," [Eric] said. "That lady you're named after."

"Eliza R. Snow. She was born right here in Massachusetts. She was the polygamous wife of Joseph Smith, and after he got murdered she married Brigham Young. But she never had any kids." Eliza paused. "She's famous for writing a hymn that mentions Heavenly Mother."

"Heavenly Mother?"

"We believe God's married."

"Wow." Eric pressed lips together in a way that made his mouth disappear, his goatee becoming a seamless mound of hair. When his lips reemerged, he moved them toward her, and this time she let him kiss her.

* * * * * * * *

Turning toward the woman [Kindra], Eliza took a closer look at her necklace, a silver circle with an outward-pointing crescent connected on each side, hanging on a leather cord. "What's that necklace you have on?"

"It's a symbol for the goddess."

"Is there one for God?"

"I'm not as big on the male deities."

Eliza looked out the window and then looked back. "I believe in Heavenly Mother, but we never talk about her. The excuses why not are totally lame, like she's too pure and precious for mortals to discuss." She paused. "I wish we had more of the goddess."

"Take what you like best from any religion you want."

"It's not that simple." Eliza gave a sad smile.

"Sure it is," Kindra said, scowling. "Do whatever you want, as long as you're not hurting anyone else."

Eliza looked down at her hands. "What about what God wants us to do?"

"That's the mindset of people taking advantage of other people. You have to figure out your own spiritual journey. Don't play into someone else's power trip -- those old dudes in Salt Lake or whatever. There are as many pathways to the divine as there are people."

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