Today I met Lynette and a few of her other friends (one mutual) to form a Mormon panel for the class she teaches at GTU on Mormonism. I went in to this experience without any very set expectations, but whatever my expectations might have been, the experience was even better. It was, shall we say, sensational to share my faith with a group of eight adults who have openness and curiosity and respect toward my religion. No one was trying to convert anyone else, no one was playing gotcha!, no one was trying to be the smartest in the room. Truly a great way to spend the afternoon.
I highly recommend sitting on a Mormon panel before a class of theological grad students to all of you Mormons out there. Very fun. I would do it again with very little prodding.
I want more details, from either you or her!ReplyDelete
Or Petra! But I want details, regardless.ReplyDelete
I meant to record this so I would remember what all we talked about, but I did not. I have to run now, but I will try to remember to appease you.
If you're not going to appease me now, then you'd better run, boy!ReplyDelete
Well, we talked about watching Conference, current callings, most desired callings, Sabbath observance, Utah v nonUtah Mormons, Prop 8, um, more stuff I'm sure. Anything specific you'ld like to know?
What did they want to know about those topics? What were they most curious about? Did any of your answers surprise them?ReplyDelete
How funny that you went to this. Lynette emailed Elisa D-P for some suggestions and Elisa asked me and I suggested Lady Steed.ReplyDelete
Hey--it was very cool to have you there.ReplyDelete
Katya, I'll see what I can remember. I asked the questions about callings, and about whether they watched Conference, just to get things going. But my students pretty much jumped in from there. They asked how much time people spent in their callings, and what was involved in church instruction (do you have to follow the manual?) They asked if everyone had been to BYU, and also asked about issues of academic freedom there. And if there was pressure to go to BYU. They asked if the church was different inside and outside of Utah. They brought up the issue of the relation of Mormonism to Christianity, and asked what the panelists would want to say about their church to the Christian world (and maybe the world more generally). They also asked about the potential tension between personal revelation and following the prophet (that led to discussion of multiple ear piercings, and Prop 8). Those last two in particular, I thought, led to some really good discussion.
berzerkcarrottop, next time I should get both you and Lady Steed. :)
What did you guys say about the Church inside and outside of Utah?
LS wanted to come, but we didn't think to get a babysitter and she insisted I represent since I know Lynette better. Next time though (if there is a next time) we'll both be there. And Lady Steed's perspective will vary much from the panel as constituted this time.
Katya, to answer both your questions, they seemed surprised when I told them that I didn't think Utah was a good place to raise good Mormon kids (you, of course, being an obvious exception). But the Episcopalian from Logan didn't think that odd---she likes raising her kids in Utah for my reasons.
But then Petra made a good followup point regarding which kinds of people prefer to be part of the majority and which prefer to be part of a minority. Which was a point well taken.
Th. - You didn't grow up in Utah, did you? And you haven't raised kids in Utah, either, right?ReplyDelete
No, Mormon Idaho.
Ah, interesting. I didn't know you had Idaho ties (or had forgotten, if I did).ReplyDelete
I guess my larger issue is wondering how much of what you think would be bad about raising kids in Utah is actually a matter of self-selection. I.e, does being raised in Utah automatically turn out kids who display feature X (which is a negative feature, in your mind), or do parents who actively want to raise kids with feature X also actively choose to live in Utah?
You mention me as an "obvious exception" do the "bad kids from Utah" rule, but I don't think that my parents did anything particularly remarkable with regard to my upbringing, other than instill their own personal values in me. I certainly don't think I was raised with any extra dose of some sort of anti-Utah antivenom.
(This is all aside from Petra's point about wanting to be in the majority / minority.)
Living in Utah as an adult was very good for me. Based on my childhood experiences I couldn't imagine anyone coming out of that experience a good person. But living in Utah showed me that my experience was unfairly skewed.
That said, I think my personality makes it easier for me --- especially young me --- to be a good Saint in Utah. Ergo, I won't raise my kids there. Because it would have been bad for me.
Leaving Idaho was one of the best things my parents ever did for me. (Even if it wasn't for me.)
Th. - Can you revisit your second paragraph in that last post? I think you're missing a "not" or another negation in there, somewhere.ReplyDelete
That said, I think my personality makes it easier for me --- especially young me --- to be a good Saint outside of Utah. Ergo, I won't raise my kids there. Because it would have been bad for me.
Ah, that makes more sense. And I have no bone to pick with anyone who personally feels that they will be happier living outside of Utah. I'm just annoyed at the generalizations made by people who don't control for their own biases.ReplyDelete
I hope I'm selfaware to do that much.
Incidentally to any observers, Katya's written good things on this topic.