Carol Lynn Pearson

Carol Lynn Pearson was born in Salt Lake City on September 27, 1939. She received an M.A. in theatre arts at Brigham Young University, where twice she won the “Best Actress” award, once for her performance of Joan of Arc in Anouilh’s “The Lark.”

After traveling the world for a year, she began writing scripts for BYU’s Motion Picture Studio. One that continues to receive attention and won numerous international awards was a short educational film, “Cipher in the Snow.”

In 1966 she married Gerald Pearson, who started her literary career by insisting that they publish a volume of her poetry. After being rejected by publishers in Salt Lake City, Gerald determined to become a publisher himself and the couple borrowed $2000 to print 2000 copies of a slim volume named Beginnings. To everyone’s surprise, the book was instantly a local best-seller and ultimately sold over 125,000 copies. That book was followed by over forty other books and stage plays.

Carol Lynn received national attention with her memoir Goodbye, I Love You, the story of her twelve-year Mormon temple marriage to man who was gay despite every effort not to be, their four children, their divorce and ongoing friendship, and his death from AIDS in her home where she was caring for him. This story, published by Random House, put her on “Oprah,” “Good Morning America” and in “People” magazine.

Many of her subsequent works have been geared toward developing understanding of LGBTQ people, particularly within religious communities. In 2019 she was given the “Impact” award by Equality Utah. Her work toward transforming patriarchy into partnership is particularly evident in a one-woman play she wrote and performed over 300 times, Mother Wove the Morning, in which she plays sixteen women throughout history in search of the female face of God, and which was given an award by Booklist as one of the top 25 videos of the year. A similar theme is addressed in a book of poetry published in 2020, Finding Mother God: Poems to Heal the World.

Many of her works have had impact within the church that she still attends, such as the disturbing and ground-breaking The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy: Haunting the Hearts and Heaven of Mormon Women and Men. In 2019 she received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Association for Mormon Letters.

She lives in Walnut Creek, California. 

Work

Bibliography

Beginnings, Trilogy Arts, 1968

The Search, Trilogy Arts, 1970

The Order is Love (musical play with Lex de Azevedo), Trilogy Arts, 1971

Daughters of Light, Trilogy Arts, 1973

The Flight and the Nest, Bookcraft, 1975

The Growing Season, Bookcraft, 1976

My Turn on Earth (musical play with Lex de Azevedo), Embryo Music, 1977

Will I Ever Forget This Day (with Elouise Bell), Bookcraft, 1980

Overheard at the Dance, Bookcraft, 1981

A Widening View, Bookcraft, 1983

A Lasting Peace, Randall Press, 1983

Today, Tomorrow and Four Weeks from Tuesday, Bookcraft, 1983

I Can’t Stop Smiling, Bookcraft, 1984

A Stranger for Christmas, Bookcraft, 1984

Blow Out the Wishbone, Bookcraft, 1985

Goodbye, I Love You, Random House, 1986

One on the Seesaw, Random House, 1988

Women I Have Known and Been, Gold Leaf Press, 1991

Mother Wove the Morning (one-woman stage play), Carol Lynn Pearson, 1991

The Modern Magi, Gold Leaf Press, 1998

A Christmas Thief, Gold Leaf Press, 1995

Picture Window (anthology of poems), Gold Leaf Press, 1996

Morning Glory Mother, St. Martin’s Press, 1997

The Lesson, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1998

What Love Is, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1999

Will You Still be My Daughter? Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2000

Girlfriend, You Are the Best!, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2000

Fuzzy Red Bathrobe (with Emily Pearson), Gibbs Smith Publisher 2000

A Strong Man, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2001

The Gift, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2001

Consider the Butterfly: Transforming Your Life Through Meaningful Coincidence, Gibbs Smith

Publisher, 2002

A Sister, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2002

The Christmas Play, Loyola Press, 2004

The Christmas Moment, Cedar Fort Press, 2005

Beginnings and Beyond (anthology of poems), Cedar Fort Press, 2005

The Runaway Mother, Cedar Fort Press, 2006

No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons around our Gay Loved Ones, Pivot Point Books, 2007

Facing East (stage play), Pivot Point Books, 2007

The Lord Is My Shepherd: Inspiration for Couples, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2009

The Sweet, Still Waters of Home, Cedar Fort Press, 2011

The Ghost of Eternal Polygamy: Haunting the Hearts and Heaven of Mormon Women and Men, Pivot Point Books, 2016

Finding Mother God: Poems to Heal the World, Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2020

Links

Tribute at Equality Utah Celebration, “Impact Award,” Oct. 5, 2019

Mormon Stories Podcast

“Latter-day Faith” Podcast 

RadioWest

“The Hero’s Journey of the Gay and Lesbian Mormon,” Affirmation Conference

Interview with Bob Evans, Fox 13, October 2019