Would you like to tell your story? Great!
We want stories from anyone and everyone who has a connection to Mormonism. We welcome all the stories - any age (over 18), any level of participation in the church, any ethnic group or language spoken. We aim to have as many stories as possible to show the full spectrum of experience in the church.
It's important to find an interviewer with whom you share a basic trust - it's not necessary that you know each other well, although that can be helpful. Just be sure to be comfortable with the person (or people) in the room as you share your story - we want you to be able to speak freely, without having to edit your experiences or opinion out of fear or judgment. We want you to be able to speak as authentically as possible. If you can't find a suitable interviewer, feel free to contact us and we'll try to find an interviewer in your area.
Before you sit down to be interviewed, look over the list of questions. Don't feel obligated to answer every question on the page - these are just a general guideline of what we're looking for, and prompts for the interviewer to ask if needed. Once the interview begins, speak freely! This is your story! You can edit things when the transcription is returned to you, so don't feel like you need to be polished or refined. We especially love to hear stories - anecdotes, attitudes, and experiences. An opinion on a topic is interesting, but an illustration of how you came to have that opinion is even more interesting. The interviewer may prompt you to clarify or ask for more detail, but this is your story to tell, not a conversation. The oral interview usually lasts between 1 and 2 hours - some are longer, but they are rarely shorter.
After the interviewer is complete, your spoken interview will be transcribed - all questions and interviewer comments are edited out, and repetitions, grammatical errors, false starts, and other distractions are smoothed over. The transcription will then be returned to you to edit and rearrange as you see fit. You have the final say as to what is submitted to the project - you own your story. Be sure to check spelling of people and places, as well as important dates. You can add or remove details as you see fit, but try to maintain the conversational, personal nature of the history - this is meant to be a recorded history, not a polished piece of prose. Once you are satisfied with your history, email the document (along with a signed waiver and summary form) to MormonWomenOHP@gmail.com.
We strongly prefer that women are interviewed and recorded for the collection - the spoken interview tends to be more open and free-flowing. However, if you'd like to write your own history and submit it in written form, we accept those as well! If you'd prefer to write your own story, look over the list of questions, set apart a few chunks of time (usually 3-4 hours at a time) without distractions or interruptions, and then write! Be sure to touch on the three main topics - Personal History, Attitudes on LDS Women's Issues, and Experience in the LDS Church. Most written histories (including transcribed oral histories) range from 15 to 35 single-spaced pages. We encourage you to write freely - don't worry about poetic language or impeccable grammar! Just write from the heart, and tell your story as it comes to you. When you've finished the written history, please submit that (as well as a signed waiver and summary form) to MormonWomenOHP@gmail.com.