Being a general optimist and having a high opinion of humanity in general, I sometimes forget that people hate me. People who hate Americans. People who hate whitie. People who hate Mormons. People who hate those who never get enough sleep.
These people necessarily hate me.
But I forget.
I just looked up "Mormon" on Google News; most of the articles were about that Romney fellow and many of those were about how some people just hate Mormons. What really gets me is good Christians who start frothing at the mention of Mormonism, but I'm not looking to pick a fight. Let 'em hate. Whatever.
The reason I was googling though was to find this article which recently ran in a local paper. The article's about how Mormon's are trying to be perceived differently--as less secretive for example.
It's a funny thing, being perceived as secretive, because we're really anything but. Those 60000 missionaries aren't out there making sure secrets get kept, after all.
Lady Steed recently told our neighbor what my forthcoming book is about (August! Start saving pennies now!), viz, Mormon kids at BYU. She said that she would be very interested in such a book because Mormons are so mysterious and secrety.
Well I guess we do need to be less secretive then.
I'm not about to make any huge pronouncements or groundbreaking suggestions, but I do wonder what sort of line is between Seeming Secretive and Overwhelmingly Proselytory. It is one-dimensional? An inch wide? Six miles?
Don't know. But apparently I'm still to one side of it.
last week's svithe
I'd never thought of that particular irony before, but you're right - it is astounding that people perceive Mormons as secretive.ReplyDelete
I take comfort in the fact that Jesus had the same problem back when he was preaching: Mark 4:9.
Maybe if there were any visible entrances to Mormon churches..... ;)ReplyDelete
I'm going to have to come check that building out, Tusk.
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Sorry, that last comment was a bit much. . . I was raised kinda Mormon and kinda not Mormon, so I think I have a bit of a skewed view of Mormonism. However, I think it's more than a little mysterious. Sure, they want to tell you all about Jesus and Joseph Smith, but they don't want to tell you about Joseph Smith's extra wives (some of whom may have been married to other people before he married them). They also don't want to tell you about their temple ceremonies and I don't think the rest of the general population has the same kind of respect for the sacred or even as many sacred things as the Mormon religion. And the rituals make it seem more strange/mysterious, too.ReplyDelete
Having read some of the journals of the time, I would like to edit a statement in JB's comment: Some of Joseph's wives were married to other men when he married them.ReplyDelete
For my own comment, I don't think you can make a comparitive between proselytizing and secretiveness; proselytizing is all about telling people what you want them to know about you, not necessarily telling them all about you. There's a difference.
Fair enough, but who introduces themselves with a litany of dirty laundry or easily misunderstood factoids?
And to me, the best analogue to temple ceremonies is marital sex. I'm willing to talk about just about anything with my friends, but I always stop short of me and the Lady's sexual habits no matter how interesting or relevant because it's none of your business.
That doesn't make me secretive.
I will never break that rule without discussing it with Lady Steed first.
Also: God and I haven't had that conversation about the temple yet either.
And speaking of sex, here's a metaphor for you:
Setting: the Casual Sex Gin Joint. Everyone knows why everyone else is there, although it would never do to walk up and say Hi, I'm Jerry; I'm horny. It's a turnoff. You have to play the getting-to-know-you game. Everything in life is this way.
The milk-before-meat analogy that missionaries are taught is just a) common sense and b) the way everything is done in human relationships. (See my first point.)
In the end, there's a difference between Secrecy and Having Secrets. And it's the same difference between Propriety and Too Much Information.
While it may be true that you don't talk about your sex life to your friends, there are some folks who do and as far as I can tell (though I'm a bit of a prude myself) it's not so strange to talk sex with friends.ReplyDelete
However, whether or not it's acceptable to talk about sex, you don't want to tell people about it and they probably don't want to know. It's different. If I didn't know anything about Mormonism, I would want to have a clue what I was getting into.
Not unlike the temple ceremonies themselves. You can say "no, I don't want to go forward." But you can't find out what it is you're agreeing to, and then make an informed decision, it's all about faith, which I personally don't see the value in, though I realize some folks do and I do respect that view.
(Not that I don't appreciate faith by itself--though I mostly don't--but that I don't value "faith" in an organization to be truthful, fair, or honest, however so the LDS church may actually be.)ReplyDelete