So apparently I’m going to be highlighted on Freshl–just kidding! Lol. No, seriously though, I’m getting highlighted on this Mormon blog called the “WordPress Ward” tomorrow. (Just in case you want to check it out, here’s the link to the home page.) I’m fairly pleased, I guess. But it brings up a lot of angst I have about the Mormon culture, and whether or not we are the loving, welcoming Christians we claim to be.
As far as I’ve ever seen, every Mormon (LDS) church building has a big sign on the front that says the church name, and then “Visitors Welcome.” And I feel like, for the most part, that is how we feel. We want people to be converted because they’ll have an awesome change in their life and be one step closer to… oh, I’ll skip the lecture. Here’s a link. However, I feel like some Mormons treat the gospel like a museum for saints, not a hospital for sinners.
Over the last month or so I’ve had some conversations that make me wonder if I’m coming across as a serious member of this church. It all started back with a meeting my family went to one Sunday evening. We were driving home and I said the “cult” word, referring to how some of the church’s practices appear. My parents were not pleased. But that’s just how I am: I say words and let them hang in the air, and depending on which frequency they vibrate at, I figure out if they’re true. Anyway, I’m not saying that my church is a cult, but sometimes it feels like one. And it bugs me when my very real feelings and opinions are considered bad. Incorrect? Sure, maybe. But bad?
Then recently one of my nonmember (AKA, not Mormon) friends told me that of all their Mormon friends, I am the one they think is most-likely to leave the church. What? I was totally taken aback. Not offended, though, because it was almost a compliment from them, haha. I super love this gospel–why do I suddenly feel guilty for things I have said and thought (and think!) about Mormon culture? Am I allowed to dislike some (several) aspects of this culture/church and still have a testimony? And if I’m not allowed to, then… is that okay?
Even now, you’re probably reading this and thinking it’s some big denouncing-my-faith piece. It’s not.
Then the other day my counselor said she’d spoken with my previous counselor and found out that the previous one thought I had struggled with my faith at one point. I just shrugged it off, saying, “I don’t remember that, but I’m emotionally okay if she thinks that happened to me.” It’s weird, but what does it matter? The level of my faith should be between me and God. And anyway, any such real or imaginary occurrence hasn’t been long-lasting or harmful to my life… right?
What kind of aura am I exerting here, people? It’s freaking me out at this point. I feel like I’m just a kid, and I’m doing my best, and I really love Jesus Christ. I identify as a democrat (no, really, I just took a 15-question quiz online), a feminist, an introvert, an environmentalist, and an artist. And I want to keep participating in this gospel while maintaining my own opinions, not dissing on how Jesus Christ intends His church to function. It’s mostly the human issues that bug me.
- I feel like we Mormons are not always as kind and including as we think we are.
- I don’t think we Mormons are as open to questions within the church as we claim.
- It seems to me that we Mormons are a little too obsessive about our culture and not our religion.
- I think that we Mormons need to chill when our kids call the church a cult, especially when these same kids write blogs with their testimonies of God and the gospel.