Speaking of Cons, I was just reading on LDSPublisher about the recent LDS Booksellers Convention. Disregarding my depression that less than 20% of the companies involved have anything to do with books and that fewer and fewer publishers even bother to attend each year (o say nothing of the companies that are going under), I want to talk about a disturbing trend that's well summed up on one product: Mormon-themed wrapping paper.
What bothers me about this? Well, it's not the attempt to enforce a Mormon culture. I'm fine with Mormonism having it's own culture. I'm all for it.
What bothers me is that items like this are emblematic of an utter unwillingness to engage the world in any way. We are not separated from the world, we should not be afraid of the world. We should be venturing forth into the world with healthful regularity.
As I wrote for AMV, it's my opinion that this is a time in Church history wherein we are called to be very much in the world --- engaging it and working with it and bringing it close. Building walls between ourselves and the world around us is, in fact, a sin if you want me to be blunt about it. If we are called to engage the world (and we are), then failing to do so is such immoral naughtiness.
Here's my feeling:
Mormon culture is good as long as it is inclusive. But when we start wrapping ourselves up in it in order to hide the rest of our planet's population from view, then we are falling short of our calling.
Mormons are called to engage. To be friends with our neighbors. To be involved in our communities. To love as He loved.
So let's open up and listen. Let's be part of this daily convention we call the world, and try to listen as well as preach. No more la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you.