.. and stereotyping is dangerous. Two of my most favorite people I have met in my lifetime are devout Utah Mormons. The most humble, understanding, accepting, not holier-than-thou, don't take themselves too seriously, don't spend much time pitying me .. but entirely serious about their faith. I respect them at the highest level.
I don't want to be accused of stereotyping, though I am generalizing.
When I was younger I used to hold the perception of the idea of Utah Mormons. After living outside Utah (outside of The Book of Mormon Belt) both as a missionary and as a regular I came to see a number of things that I began to shed that notion admitting that, for me at least, this notion was fueled by pride and was really just a tool of divisiveness. Utah most certainly is different in that they are majority, which brings with it both unique challenges as well as positives. In Utah you don't just go to church with Mormons. You work with them. You go to school with them. You live by them. You interact with them all day, unless you live in a bubble. In this case, you get first-hand exposure to them in their day-to-day activities and see how they do or do not measure up to their Sunday image. Outside of Utah (and the west) you by-and-large don't have day-to-day interaction with them. If you work or go to school or live by them, they are likely few in number. It's a lot easier to chalk up someone as not being representative when there is such a small sample size. But in Utah the sample size is huge and it's easier to stand by those judgements because there's more frequent confirmation. If you look carefully, you'll see the same things play out in wards across the US that you see in Utah. There are fantastic people within the church regardless of where you go. These people also have the same challenges, struggles and weaknesses whether Utahn or not. I'm not a huge fan of how it pits people against each other based on culture. I think just as big of a challenge is the judgements cast upon the judgmental.
I just see it different infection. i think non utah mormons have their own challenges, but i stand by my generalization.
There's a joke here somewhere.Originally Posted by STOKED
Get your anectdotal broad-brushing on!!!
Having said that, I think you can say anyone that is a minority (religion, race, whatever) will grow up a little bit differently and probably act a little different than if they are the majority. Generally speaking of course.
BYU 1984 National Champs.
By the way, the people I have a hard time with (regardless of religion, or no religion at all), aren't those that are uptight (my word used earlier) or analytical..
it's those you can tell are pitying those around them for not being on the same level they are on .. the same that become exhaustingly self-righteous.
This can be caused by religion, by being an intellectual elitist, from wealth .. any number of causes.
I know only a couple of LDS members that fit this description .. I also know a couple of intellectual snobs that fit the same .. as well as financial elitists..
They all suck, regardless of cause.
Heck, just moving from Utah County up to SLC was a big change.
BYU 1984 National Champs.
I have a couple of different perspectives.
I grew up in S. Jordan. Back then it was a very rural, farming community... and 99.9% LDS. As a kid I had exactly zero exposure to any influence that wasn't LDS. In my ward there was maybe 3 families that weren't active. They were Mormon, just not active. Guess what? My friends and I had little to do with them but conversely, they had little to do with us. They avoided us just as much as we avoided them. There wasn't any bad blood between us, it's just the way it was.
Fast forward to when I get married. My wife and I move to California. What an eye opener. My first job there I worked with the most eclectic group of people you could ever assemble. There was Zach from Lebanon (Lebanese food is wonderful by the way). David and Sal from Iran. Lena from Israel. Tina, the Catholic from Arkansas. Ruth, a prototypical Hollywood Jewish princess. A woman from Singapore (I forget her name). And me, the very white Utah Mormon boy. There was lot's of good natured ribbing, lot's of discussions about political and religious differences, but I learned more in that one year than I had in the 23 years prior to that.
In California I also learned that Utah Mormons ARE very different. Being Mormon in SoCal was much more laid back. In Utah there was/is much more pressure to be a "good Mormon"
Fast forward, my wife and I have three kids while in SoCal and decide to move back to Utah so the kids can be around family growing up. We're trying to raise them to be open and receptive to all races and religions. My oldest daughter was 7. She finds very quickly that she's the outsider even though she's Mormon and active. During Sunday School she mentions having gone to a Methodist service when she lived in SoCal and gets a 10 minute scolding from her teacher about wandering from the path of righteousness. She also finds that when she's at church or church activities she's treated well but the next day at school she's the outcast. Of course she makes friends at school with kids that are not of the faith. This only hastens her expulsion. By the time she's 12 she's done with Mormon kids. When called into the Bishop's office to find out why she's not attending church she flat out tells him that she feels unwelcome and that the other kids in the ward treat her poorly, including the bishop's daughter. Well, that gets me a call into the Bishop's office about my daughter's poor attitude. This was the beginning of the end of my being active. The Bishop couldn't see that his kid as well as others in the ward were being exclusive and highly judgmental, just that my daughter was the problem and that I wasn't doing a good job of raising her.
I'm still receptive to the doctrine and teachings of the LDS faith, it's just many of the people that I can't stand. If more people were like Bronco and Zulu it would serve the church tremendously.
For the record, I get along fine with pretty much everyone in my ward. There are many with whom I would have no interest in extended social interaction. But I respect that everyone has their own approach to living their beliefs. For the most part, others do this, to one extent or another. There is, however, too much worry about what others will think. The flip side is, if people could be less judgmental, perhaps everyone would loosen up. But it seems to be a vicious cycle.
When visiting wards outside of Utah, we are almost uniformly greeted and welcomed immediately by a large percentage of the ward. Since being married, my wife and I have lived in five different wards. The first one was very friendly, right off the bat, but the others - not so much. One ward we attended for 3 weeks before we were even acknowledged. My neighbor, who has lived in our current ward for about 8 years, and is an active and participating member, confided in me that he still feels much like an outsider.