C. Jane and NieNie
July 1, 2012
2:50 am
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argublak
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mich21214 said
What if we started a thread for these Mormon discussions? This thread and the RD thread have both devolved into nothing but Mormon bashing and FAQ sessions… so who wants to start it!

amen.

July 1, 2012
4:21 am
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fatmadsad
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argublak said

mich21214 said
What if we started a thread for these Mormon discussions? This thread and the RD thread have both devolved into nothing but Mormon bashing and FAQ sessions… so who wants to start it!

amen.

 

I think their religiousness is completely intwined with their blogging, impossible to separate the two.  It leaves them open to criticism (critique/discussion) regarding the discord between their mormonism and the blog advertising their worldliness and superficial lifestyles and I'm all for that.

July 1, 2012
4:57 am
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I am new here and wanted to speak as far as donations go, well, I feel that they are a gift. A little girl in my DD's class has cancer. I slipped her mother $20 at a fundraiser, hoping it could help in some small way. Did I demand that she buy platelets with it or pay off the hematologist's bill ? No way. If buying Starbucks coffee or another treat helped that single mom of a sick child to stay sane, then God bless and have on! That is the true spirit of giving.

July 1, 2012
9:13 am
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You said what exactly?
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Nope said

Mini Pearl said
Sorry to have touched a soft spot with you.  (Who knew the principle of tithing would inspire such vitriol among non-Mormons?) 

I'm not a temple-goer, just a regular Sunday church goer.  I was simply responding to the comment that someone comes to collect it, which is patently untrue.  While yes, I can't get a temple recommend unless I'm a tithe payer, it doesn't affect my basic membership status and I've never been pressured to pay in any way.  Perhaps my Southern California ward is more progressive–clearly, it's my mistake to have assumed that my experience is typical. 

Now…can we get back to Nienie and Cjane? 

You must be new to the Mormon church.

You can't be a fully practicing Mormon with no interest in attending the temple, despite what the 19 year-old Mormon experts might have told you.

 

Howard W. Hunter, former prophet of the church (1994-1995) said, "Let us truly be a temple-attending and a temple-loving people…Let us make the temple, with temple worship and temple covenants and temple marriage, our ultimate earthly goal and the supreme mortal experience."

 

Sure, no one comes to collect your tithing. But someone does come to collect your fast offerings! And you usually required to meet with your Bishop once a year to discuss your tithe. There IS a ton of pressure to tithe and maybe you don't feel it in your progressive ward, but I'm willing to bet that the LARGE majority of practicing members do. And I'm sure many ex-Mormons would agree.

 

The reason why we're discussing this is because Courtney and Stephanie are LDS who grew up in the sheltered land of Provo, Utah with rich, white parents. It is hard not to discuss the faith of these two bloggers when so much of their content relates back to it. Stephanie is especially intolerant of people who aren't white and Mormon (based on her previous posts! May not be true in real life but I'm only going off of what she has written.) She is a true blue "Utah Mormon." I made a comment earlier briefly explaining how I have trouble taking bloggers seriously because of the history of their faith and that the church is a much watered down, mainstream appropriate version of what it was in its early days. It's just annoying when Mormons try to be all, "But – it's not really like that!" to nonmembers when there is plenty of evidence that it is.

This. Thank you.

July 1, 2012
10:42 am
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I Feel Like Margaret Mead
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It's just annoying when Mormons try to be all, "But – it's not really like that!" to nonmembers when there is plenty of evidence that it is.

Thank you so much for saying this. It is so, so, so true. I hate it when Mormons in particular respond to criticisms with a breezy "I've never seen that" or "my ward isn't like that!". The Prop 8 debacle was a perfect example. If a person donates money to directly support a measure that strips gay people of their right to marry, it's fair to call that person anti-gay. Yes, many liberal Mormons opposed it, either actively or passively, and many other Mormons say the Church encourages free agency. Well, considering that the vast majority of Californian Mormons donated and the entire Church administration organized and heavily promoted the efforts, statistically it is therefore fair to say the Church is anti-gay. You can cry free agency all you want, but when you're advocating that strongly as a religion that teaches that its leaders the embodiment of God's word on earth, it's pretty clear how much pressure was put on members to take part.

Contrary to what they may believe, not all of us are super Mormon haters dying to take down the LDS church. Some of us, myself included, are interested in the interplay between society and religion and have both formal and informal learning on the subject. I've read the Book of Mormon and lots of books on the religion and some things about the Mormon church are just factually true, some good and some bad. The Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal was way worse than the Mormons' refusal to allow blacks to be full members until 30 years ago. But both churches, instead of opening a fair dialogue and doing all they can to help the victims, have tried to sweep the issue under the carpet, and that makes what they've done doubly dirty. And the LDS church's explicit instructions to members to ignore criticism of the church, however valid, and focus on the positives, just prevents the church from modernizing or improving in any significant way. And the whole "na na Jesus told us you're not even worthy of listening to" mentality is largely what causes the "cult" accusations, which good Mormons ignore, therefore starting the whole vicious cycle all over again.

There are a lot of bad things about Mormons and their culture. Just because we aren't a member doesn't mean that our criticisms or the things we say are groundless attacks. Lots of the criticisms we have are of things that are blatant and provable (the fake black guy at BYU video, anyone?). Sure, Mormons don't have to ignore their faults when outside society points them out. But, well, if my culture had exponentially higher antidepressant usage than the population at large, then I'd sure as hell be trying to fix what was causing that.

July 1, 2012
3:35 pm
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Gimlet
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APPLAUSE. Excellent explanation, Margaret Mead!

July 2, 2012
1:12 am
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chengdoo
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I Feel Like Margaret Mead said 

Thank you Margaret Mead! 

 

As a practicing Mormon I want to shed a bit of light on the topic being discussed.

1. You are absolutely correct in assuming the church is anti-gay. It is. Period. However, that doesn't mean that the majority of members are anti-gay. Some of my best friends are gay and Mormon! It's a very fine line and the church is still trying to figure it out. There was a gay pride parade in SLC a few weeks ago and the local news station did a news piece about it. They interviewed people who had come from an LDS church meeting to support the people there. The church is anti-gay but the people are pro love and seriously loving other people. I don't think you'll find as much of an extreme culture as the LDS faith. Either people love unconditionally like Jesus or they think because you aren't Jesus you're the most horrible person on earth. I, personally, would like to think it's the crazies that are the loudest, not the majority. 

2. No church is perfect, the LDS faith included. Anyone who thinks it's perfect has been culturally brainwashed to think so. I completely understand why some organizations believe the LDS church is a cult. There are seriously some aspects to it that are cult-ish. People convert to Mormonism because the message is of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is literally to us "another testament of Jesus Christ". Some people may be drawn to what the LDS church offers, others may not. It's a spiritual decision. The church should not tell members to ignore criticisms but they themselves do not tell us the full history of the beginnings of the church. It's weird, it's creepy and I've had to do my own research about the religion. Some of it is completely wacko, some of it completely true. The church needs to change what they tell their members. You're right, it is starting the cycle again. 

3. I could dish out criticisms on the LDS church for ages! I've lived in the culture and religion my entire life! There are many things wrong with the culture and aspects of the religion. You bring up the anti-depressant usage and that is exactly what I'm talking about. I find that disturbing. It's because the cultural expectations are so high and they shouldn't be! Everyone is trying to be fake and gross and it's just not okay. The culture is wrong, it gets in the way of the whole purpose of the church. I don't care if you pay tithing or attend the temple. I go to church to learn about Jesus. That's it. The LDS church is where I worship. I do not go for the people. If it was for the people I'd be going to a gospel singing, hands in the air church. I like that culture much better than my own. 

July 2, 2012
1:42 am
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thlack-jawed tooth ferry
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Mormon or not – I think it's obvious that cjane blogs so much about herself because she didn't get enough attention from "Cindy and the Prez" as a child; not enough attention for the unique "human miracle of nature" she apparently thinks she is.

I wish somebody would tell her how embarrasing her blog is for a grown up woman.

July 2, 2012
2:01 am
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American Marsupial
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chengdoo said

I Feel Like Margaret Mead said 

Thank you Margaret Mead! 

 

As a practicing Mormon I want to shed a bit of light on the topic being discussed.

1. You are absolutely correct in assuming the church is anti-gay. It is. Period. However, that doesn't mean that the majority of members are anti-gay. Some of my best friends are gay and Mormon! It's a very fine line and the church is still trying to figure it out. There was a gay pride parade in SLC a few weeks ago and the local news station did a news piece about it. They interviewed people who had come from an LDS church meeting to support the people there. The church is anti-gay but the people are pro love and seriously loving other people. I don't think you'll find as much of an extreme culture as the LDS faith. Either people love unconditionally like Jesus or they think because you aren't Jesus you're the most horrible person on earth. I, personally, would like to think it's the crazies that are the loudest, not the majority. 

2. No church is perfect, the LDS faith included. Anyone who thinks it's perfect has been culturally brainwashed to think so. I completely understand why some organizations believe the LDS church is a cult. There are seriously some aspects to it that are cult-ish. People convert to Mormonism because the message is of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is literally to us "another testament of Jesus Christ". Some people may be drawn to what the LDS church offers, others may not. It's a spiritual decision. The church should not tell members to ignore criticisms but they themselves do not tell us the full history of the beginnings of the church. It's weird, it's creepy and I've had to do my own research about the religion. Some of it is completely wacko, some of it completely true. The church needs to change what they tell their members. You're right, it is starting the cycle again. 

3. I could dish out criticisms on the LDS church for ages! I've lived in the culture and religion my entire life! There are many things wrong with the culture and aspects of the religion. You bring up the anti-depressant usage and that is exactly what I'm talking about. I find that disturbing. It's because the cultural expectations are so high and they shouldn't be! Everyone is trying to be fake and gross and it's just not okay. The culture is wrong, it gets in the way of the whole purpose of the church. I don't care if you pay tithing or attend the temple. I go to church to learn about Jesus. That's it. The LDS church is where I worship. I do not go for the people. If it was for the people I'd be going to a gospel singing, hands in the air church. I like that culture much better than my own. 

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

However, if you don't go for the people, than you can worship at home just as readily. There is faith, and there is religion. The fact of the matter is is that by continuing to be a member of the church in good standing, you are supporting the policies that you claim to object to. The church is still trying to figure out the gay issue? No, it is not. I live in CA and I assure you that your church is putting its money where its mouth and its heart is, and that is firmly on the side of believing that homosexuality is an abomination.

"People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are"

–Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1998, 71

Your church historically has not made significant changes unless pushed to the wall, and its very survival is at issue (see officially disavowing polygamy only when forced to by the Federal Government, deciding to allow black people full membership to take advantage of the African continent). The closed and xenophobic nature of LDS culture seems to prevent change from within instigated by its members; the people in charge are by definition those who have been toeing the party line for the very longest. This does not seem to be a church than can be changed from within, not with its current power structure.  I think the power of the Church is in its insularity- I have friends who have left the LDS church, and it was very difficult. The church, especially it seems if you were born into it, permeates every nook and cranny of your life- to leave it means that you have to largely start over from ground zero.

 

Anyway, thank you very much for weighing in. It's refreshing to hear from Mormon's that aren't ignorant airheads like Nie Nie. :)

July 2, 2012
3:23 am
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chengdoo
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I said I don't go to church for the people, which is true, I go for the thoughtful lessons and insight. I do get a lot from home study when I choose not to go go church but there is an aspect of getting in your Sunday best and listening to what others have to say. That's why I said I would enjoy a different church culturally.

What I meant by the church is still trying to figure it out is more that gay members are still trying to figure out their relationship with the church. It's basically you leave or you change. At least to me, it feels like things have been shifting culturally, people are trying to "figure out" what to do if they have a gay son or daughter, friend or neighbor, spouse, etc. There is a shift in the understanding and expressing love and support for people. It's not the blanket of "we don't support anyone who is gay" which is basically the official church stance. I don't live in Utah County so I'm not sure what the atmosphere there is like. 

As a member of the church I don't feel I have to support every issue the church decides on. I have my own thoughts and feelings that are different from the official church organization. I mentioned earlier that I do have gay Mormon friends. I support and love them. I have in no way supported the LDS church on their gay marriage stance, I may be a member but If someone were to ask me my thoughts on gay marriage or Prop 8 I would give them my two cents on the matter. That's like saying if you're Catholic you've supported the sexual abuse. False, false, false. 

Some people do, say and think exactly what the church says. That's why people think it's a cult! However, as soon as members can take the Mormonism with a grain of salt and do research on the religion it's eye opening and refreshing. I said above that the church is not perfect and no church is. I'm well aware of the extreme faults within the church and my own culture. Like I said previously, I am a Mormon because it's what I'm most comfortable with. My parents left the church when I was a teenager and I was given the choice to continue going by myself or not go at all. (If that isn't starting from ground zero, I don't know what is. It's a two way street, families have to figure out what to do when leaving the church and when individual members leave. A different dynamic unfolds.) I stuck with my parents because they are my parents. I did that for a few months and was genuinely depressed and sad. When I started going to church again I realized I had missed it, the joy and happiness I felt. The reason I like going to church is to learn about Christ. The majority of LDS teachings bring a happiness and peace into my life I can find no where else. Some people find that peace from Buddhism, Judaism, nature, meditation etc. The church has a rough history, I understand that. What I'm trying to say is that, for me, my Mormonism is a simple thing. The center of the church is Christ, that's what I think about. All the controversial issues are completely valid for you and others to criticize.  No organized religion is perfect. I'm a laid back person to begin with, so to me as long as I'm happy that's all that really matters. 

TLDR: For some people Mormonism isn't a good fit and that's just okay. For me it is and that's just okay too. Being a Mormon makes me happy. The end. 

July 2, 2012
10:19 am
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A Rational Being
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I Feel Like Margaret Mead said

It's just annoying when Mormons try to be all, "But – it's not really like that!" to nonmembers when there is plenty of evidence that it is.

Thank you so much for saying this. It is so, so, so true. I hate it when Mormons in particular respond to criticisms with a breezy "I've never seen that" or "my ward isn't like that!". The Prop 8 debacle was a perfect example. If a person donates money to directly support a measure that strips gay people of their right to marry, it's fair to call that person anti-gay. Yes, many liberal Mormons opposed it, either actively or passively, and many other Mormons say the Church encourages free agency. Well, considering that the vast majority of Californian Mormons donated and the entire Church administration organized and heavily promoted the efforts, statistically it is therefore fair to say the Church is anti-gay. You can cry free agency all you want, but when you're advocating that strongly as a religion that teaches that its leaders the embodiment of God's word on earth, it's pretty clear how much pressure was put on members to take part.

Contrary to what they may believe, not all of us are super Mormon haters dying to take down the LDS church. Some of us, myself included, are interested in the interplay between society and religion and have both formal and informal learning on the subject. I've read the Book of Mormon and lots of books on the religion and some things about the Mormon church are just factually true, some good and some bad. The Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal was way worse than the Mormons' refusal to allow blacks to be full members until 30 years ago. But both churches, instead of opening a fair dialogue and doing all they can to help the victims, have tried to sweep the issue under the carpet, and that makes what they've done doubly dirty. And the LDS church's explicit instructions to members to ignore criticism of the church, however valid, and focus on the positives, just prevents the church from modernizing or improving in any significant way. And the whole "na na Jesus told us you're not even worthy of listening to" mentality is largely what causes the "cult" accusations, which good Mormons ignore, therefore starting the whole vicious cycle all over again.

There are a lot of bad things about Mormons and their culture. Just because we aren't a member doesn't mean that our criticisms or the things we say are groundless attacks. Lots of the criticisms we have are of things that are blatant and provable (the fake black guy at BYU video, anyone?). Sure, Mormons don't have to ignore their faults when outside society points them out. But, well, if my culture had exponentially higher antidepressant usage than the population at large, then I'd sure as hell be trying to fix what was causing that.

On the topic of that Dave Ackerman video you mentioned… I wouldn't use that as evidence of anything other than that Dave Ackerman is a self-righteous idiot. The whole thing smacks of a set-up. It shows BYU students imitating what they think black people talk like, but it edits out the part where Ackerman asks them to do that imitation. Then Ackerman can act appalled at their ignorance. I am not making excuses for these students: they do indeed have an unenlightened view and they're perpetuating black stereotypes. But I just don't think it makes much sense to point to that video and say See? Mormons are this way, because honestly, I'll bet if you threw a dart at a U.S. map, and visited the college in whatever town you randomly landed on, the student responses would be pretty similar to those at BYU. And as far as most of them not knowing when Black History Month is? Well, I imagine that's pretty typical, too. 

Your first two paragraphs, however, are dead on. When Mormons are accused of blindly following their leaders, they will say, "Not true! We believe in free agency and we are taught to pray to God ourselves and get our own revelations!" But if you do pray, and God tells you something different from what he supposedly told the church's leaders, well then these same Mormons touting agency will tell you that you did not pray hard enough, or that the "answers" you got were actually from Satan, who was misleading you. I am not kidding. So when they say you should pray to find out for yourself what God would have you do or believe (as on gay marriage, for example), what they really mean is that you should pray for affirmation that what the leaders say is true. If you don't get that affirmation, ur doin it rong. 

That said, free-thinking yet believing Mormons do exist. Some of them think they can change the church from within. And some of them just endure the bad and hang on tight to the good.

On another topic entirely, both Cjane and Nie have done posts recently about Provo's Freedom Festival. What they haven't revealed yet is that Stephanie and her family have been asked to be Grand Marshals for the 4th of July parade. I know this because a 72-page advertisement/brochure for the festival was mailed to my house a few weeks ago (I don't live in Provo, but I do live in Utah County). I skimmed several pages of the publication before I realized that this festival is hosted by, but not "put on" by Provo City. Rather, it is put on by a right-wing political organization (so, on second thought, I guess that could be Provo CIty council, har har). 

The keynote speaker at last night's dinner (where Nie won an award for courage) was a former FOX talking head. And this year's theme for the entire multi-day festival? "Family, Freedom, God, and Country" aka, "Stuff We Like". Next year the theme will be "God, Family, Country, Freedom". And the year after that it will be "Country, God, Freedom, Family."

The "festival" has an "advisory board" that consists of Provo's favorite Mormons (Donny Osmond, Orrin Hatch and the like) who don't actually have anything to do with the festival's planning at all. The festival also includes a baby beauty contest and a "princess festival" for little girls.

The whole thing is yucky yuck. 

FKA The Arts, Niles, Not the Crafts! FKA A Box of Broken Crayons
July 2, 2012
11:48 am
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SmallTownGurl

I'm not going to write a novel, sorry. I'm just going to ask: who else thinks NieNie is probably SUPER annoyed she paraded her entire family on Anderson Cooper's show, now that's he's publicly announced he's *whispers* gay???

 

dance

July 2, 2012
12:59 pm
avatar
mediocre mommy

OT from C. Jane and NieNie, but I follow a popular Mormon design blogger on Instagram.  I almost barfed when I read the title about cousin crushes.  Uhhhh….

http://web.stagram.com/p/223521010492534397_3228994


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