I enjoyed this well-rounded article by a Mormon and a professor of religious history. Have any of you read it and do you have any comments on it? I'll try putting the link here and hope it works.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/04/opini … .html?_r=2
Yes it certainly was an interesting read. I have to say I learn more about American culture from the posts on HP forumland than I ever do from watching TV. Though I am still baffled about why the political right think they are the only true believers in God, and why they want to mix God and politics so overtly.
In the UK parliament there are Christians of all flavours on both sides of the House and they do not push God as a supporter of their policies.
How Mr Romney gets on come election time will be interesting. I guess Democrats will vote as normal but the right wing floaters will be torn between voting for Obama who they consider to be under the influence of the anti-Christ and a Mormon who at best is considered not a proper Christian.
when we were growing up, my grandparents ran a gas station, and right next door was a mormon church, and a little cottage sat behind it where the 2 resident mormon elders lived. my grandfather was not religious, but he was great friends with the elders, (not always the same elders, when a new pair would come the leaving pair made a point of introducing the new ones to grandpa). it was a common even to have them over for dinner, and they respected grandpas views and did not talk religion while in his home. the elders would go to different homes in the area and if someone was putting up fence, they would pitch right in and help, if they were doing any type of hard labor, they never hesitated to jump right in and work beside whomever was working. to some they shared their beliefs, but to others they respected that they already had their own beliefs. they believed that they would convert far more people by their actions than by their words. and that really is the only way it can be. i have always had a fondness for mormon elders because of those guys and because of my grandpa. i am more than willing to sit down and share my beliefs with them and even listen to theirs. i do not agree with their religion, but it doesnt mean i dont like or respect them. everyone has a right to believe or not, and to believe what they feel is the truth. it doesnt mean it IS the truth, it just means i have no right to diss someone because i dont agree with their version of the truth.
I enjoyed reading your story about your grandpa and the Elders. It reminds me of something here on Maui in the upcountry. Heading towards Kula -- past Makawao -- there is a tiny area named Puhelu where the first LDS church still stands. It's open to the public as a historical building. It is wooden. It is very little and it sits on beautiful grounds with huge Jacaranda trees. The acoustics in it are really odd. If you take children in there, you can't hear yourself think. I don't know how meetings were ever held in there with such bad acoustics. There is a cottage on the back of the property where the Elders lived for years -- different sets of Elders at different times. My family and I go to the property and have picnics. No one else is ever there, but the Elders used to come and go and always be so polite.
This New York Times article is long but I really enjoyed the perspective given.
It's not just Mormons that have suffered from people making fun of them. Paganism has crept into most religions. People make fun of Saturday Adventists because they worship on Saturday. People make fun of Catholics because they kiss the Pope's ring and don't believe in divorce. Where does it all stop? The point is, as Americans, we should be free to worship who we want, how we want, and where we want. Anyone old enough to remember when Kennedy ran for President? He was the first Catholic in office. What it comes down to is a choice between two men. Their religion at this point is irrelevant. It saddens me to say that, too because my faith is very important to me, and it should be important to everyone else. But when it comes down to the two men who are left - what can we do?
Vote for the one best prepared to guide and lead this country of America through what will continue to be turbulent times. I think what some fear about Mormons stems from not really knowing anything about them. For those who do know about them, the fear might be a fear that they are right and we should all be listening to the wise counsel of prophets.
Pamela, have you read the book "Moramona"? I ordered it through BYU Hawaii. It tells all about the Mormons who came to Hawaii. It's a very interesting read. I love Maui, and have been to the Island many times since my first trip in 1974. I did not know about the little church still representing the Mormon arrival there. I'll have to visit when next I come (just moved to Georgia from the west coast so don't know when that will be).
As it so happens, I grew up in the Mormon Church, and I came from
an historical Mormon family (meaning, my ancestors were pioneers of the faith along with Joseph Smith and B.Y.) Brigham Young officiated the marriage of my polygamist ancestors. Interesting note: *Mormons were not allowed to officiate marriages on the Hawaiian Islands for many years due to their practice of polygamy (that's in the book I mentioned, published by the Mormon Church). Anyway, I am no longer a Mormon, but I am not a person who goes around bashing Mormons either. As far as Romney, the Mormon, for President? What I tell people on my fb site is that Mormons are all about God, Country, and family. That is who they are, and they are (at this time in our society) a binding force for the fabric of our country. While others are tearing down that fabric, the Mormons (and others) are keeping it bound up in their traditions and beliefs. So, though I am not a Mormon, I am also not afraid of Romney serving as President of our country. I would be afraid of the alternative!
As far as the article; Hummmmmm. . . . I think the author was writing from an emotional viewpoint rather than an academic one.
The Mormon church (and the scholars within it) does understand that ridicule and fear are not synonymous. Correct? I don't think most people fear the Mormon church. It is simply that accepting beliefs built on an ancient book are one thing. Not the same as accepting beliefs built on the ramblings of a man within modern history. You can argue against the veracity of statements made by Joseph Smith, but how do you argue with statements attributed to men from ancient history? You can't prove the Old Testament wrong, anymore than someone can prove it right.
Joseph Smith is another conversation entirely. Mormon's are welcome to believe anything they choose, however we have documented evidence that proves them wrong. No belief required in accepting facts.
I read a similar article where a non-Mormon college professor wondered why it was considered socially appropriate to diss Mormons in academia and social conversations.
My response is basically, Yeah, we're strange. So what, big deal. As a Mormon, I get frustrated when people try to pigeonhole me or mock me or harass me for my beliefs (and trust me, I've been seriously harassed by some people) or for stereotypes that they ignorantly think are true. My beliefs are my own business, and no one has any right to treat me as less than human or assume that a particular stereotype is true for me. I'm so sick of people telling me I'm brainwashed or stupid or repressed for being a Mormon woman, and I'm sick of people who try to tell me what I believe as if they know better than I do. Give me a break. Just because I don't think the way they do, I'm automatically brainwashed? Whatever. People just need to leave each other alone.
I'm in a bad mood right now, so I can see this post just delving into a long-winded rant if I don't stop now.
Shanna, Your not brain washed, its just that the lds faith is all you know.
When I was growing up, the church always put fear in me.
Every time i question the church, my faith was always challenged. They always said that i will not be with my family in the next life.
I remember when an old friend left the church. I was told by my parents by the bishop by everyone not to talk to them. Everyone even his family turned their backs on him. FEAR FEAR FEAR.
I have left church now and my family has also turned their backs on me.
I will never go back.
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