I was a Laurel when I first heard Vickie Gunther’s poem, “Girl in a Whirl,” which describes the super-human efforts of one Latter-day Saint mother to be perfect. Some of her self-proclaimed feats include keeping her house spotless and home-making “gourmet” meals every day, all the way down to running a home business and getting all her Christmas shopping done by July! As the list of her accomplishments grows, she continually reiterates how easy it is.
I won’t spoil the ending of the poem for you, but there’s a lot to be said about the “Girl in a Whirl.” A lot of us call her Molly Mormon (or Molly Latter-day Saint). She’s this perfect, intangible person we swear we see everywhere and all look up to. Her children are well-behaved, she home cans goods straight from her garden, she attends the temple weekly, and she prepares amazing Sunday School lessons. Oh, and did I forget? She does it all with a smile.
We probably all know a few Mollies—or think we do.
The truth is, in the search for Molly Mormon, she’s impossible to find. All those put together people, it turns out, are human. They have bad days. They make mistakes. They can’t “do it all,” even if, from your limited perspective on their life, it seems that way. There are only 24hours in a day, and that simply will never be enough to keep a clean house, raise children, work a job, and also squeeze in a calling, visit or home teaching, scripture study, genealogy, temple worship, and all the other demands on our time. The list goes on and on.
Trying to keep up with Molly, with a perfect ideal we have been persuaded to believe exists, is unrealistic, as character Gracie Moore finds out in this witty video about two PTA members who try to outdo one another in an effort to be the most Molly:
Moral of the story? Don’t take yourself too seriously; there is no Molly Mormon. Life is messy. It’s busy. There aren’t enough hours in a day. And that’s okay. We’re here to do what we can. So next time you think you’ve spotted the elusive Molly, play it cool. She’s just a figment of your imagination.