“I’m The One That Writes My Own Story”

Last Updated on September 6, 2023 by Jason Harris


So far the bulk of my blog has been sharing portions of my journey with the deconstruction and reconstruction of my childhood beliefs. This post and many future posts will be discussing some of the cherished values, lessons and beliefs that I learned in Mormonism as a child, and that I still carry with me, though in many cases now in a more nuanced fashion. I will always be grateful for my Mormon upbringing. Mormonism has much that is good.

Here is a beautiful song from the Mormon culture of my childhood that I still cherish. I would encourage you to listen to it. It has a beautiful message about personal accountability, self-determinism, personal empowerment and repentance: the ability to change, evolve and grow.

“My Story” by Carol Lynn Pearson and Lex De Azevedo

I’m the one that writes my own story, I decide the person I’ll be.

I’m the one that writes my own story, I decide the person I’ll be.

What goes in the plot, and what will not, is pretty much up to me.

And just in case, I need to erase, it was figured out before:

A thing called repentance, can wipe out a sentence, a page or a chapter or more.

I’m the one that writes my own story, I decide the person I’ll be.

Everyone who writes his own story, now and then will make some mistakes.

But given some care, they needn’t stay there, and this is all that it takes.

You must know, you’ve done one and so, you feel very bad and then…

You don’t try to hide it; Do try to right it, and vow you won’t do it again.

I’m the one that writes my own story, I decide the person I’ll be.

This book of mine is very important and so someone is waiting right there…

To help with my story, he’s been there before me, and always as close as a prayer.

We will write, each day and night, and do it well and faithfully.

A wonderful story, of sadness and glory, it’s written by Jesus and me.

A wonderful story, of sadness and glory, it’s written by Jesus and me.

I’m the one that writes my own story, I decide who I’ll be.

My Story, by Carol Lynn Pearson and Lex De Azevedo

The concept that “I’m the one that writes my own story” I view in a more nuanced way now than when I was a child. I believe there is a good amount of our story already written (or mostly written) at least to some degree in the socioeconomic circumstances, family and culture we are born into, the genes we inherit, etc. Can some of this be re-written or modified to some degree? Yes, but certainly not all of it and certainly not during this life (regardless of what one’s religious beliefs are about the purpose of this life, etc.). And I believe there are often tremendous hurdles and headwinds against modifications and re-writing. Additionally, I believe in many cases, it can be very unhealthy to not accept what one is… constantly trying to “re-write” (sexual orientation in many cases comes to mind… there is extensive data about this).

But I also believe forces of determinism are not absolute. I believe woven into the laws of the universe are probabilities, chaos and randomness, and I believe within this milieu can and does reside free will. I believe having the belief that we have free will and that we are accountable for our own actions and that we can repent (change evolve and grow) over time, can also be VERY empowering. And in many cases a very good thing to hold on to.

“I’m the one that writes my own story, I decide who I’ll be.”


Carol Lynn Pearson wrote the lyrics to “My Story” as shared above in the mid 1970’s for an LDS themed musical, “My Turn on Earth.” She wrote this while in the midst of struggling with the fact that her husband, Gerald, was gay. In a memoir written years later, “Goodbye, I Love You”, she describes being angry and hurt at the time and couldn’t understand why Gerald couldn’t choose to love her and desire her the way she longed to be desired. After working through the pain of this, she describes later coming to a point of radical acceptance and embraced that Gerald was not able to change who he fundamentally was.

In addition to being gay, Ms. Pearson describes Gerald as being radiant and full of love, kindness and life. They maintained their friendship despite and through their divorce. A few years after, she cared for Gerald after he contracted and later died of AIDS. “Goodbye, I Love You” is one of the most poignant love stories I have ever read.

A closing excerpt from her book:

Gerald and I will have our picnic… Gerald and I will walk together and laugh and embrace, sealed as friends forever though the years of tears and hopes and joys and devastation…

And Whoever is in charge of all this will walk with us, and will help us to sort out the mysteries and help us to complete the healing. Walls will fall and we will see each other more clearly- all of us, the Mormons and the Catholics and the Jews and the Muslims and the straights and the gays and the women and the men. Confusions will lift like fog lifts from the Golden Gate Bridge on a good summer day, and we will each see our next step and will take it.

“Goodbye, I Love You,” by Carol Lynn Pearson

Jason Harris lived as an orthodox Mormon for forty years. He writes about his experiences leaving the Mormon Church and reconstructing a new World-View. He believes all religions and scripture are man-made, potentially helpful and harmful. He believes there is Divinity in all of them and everywhere.