You know, all I had to do was mention that I am a former Mormon. Thus the Mormon bashing began. Oh, not so much in the comments of the post I linked, but in emails I received (all three of them) congratulating me on leaving the LDS church. Huh? Why congratulate me? I don’t get it. It’s not like I’ve just arrived in Miami after suffering in Cuba. It’s not like I left something bad.
I love Mormons. Don’t laugh. I do, really. Most of my family is active in the LDS church. I respect the teachings of the church. And I think that Mormons try to lead honest, good lives in keeping with the dictates of their religious beliefs. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Why do people assume that because I don’t agree with the teachings of the Mormon church and have subsequently left it, that I bear it some ill will? I don’t. I don’t view my leaving the LDS church as a good thing. Oh, it’s not a bad thing. It’s just a change brought about by some serious, prolonged navel gazing. Not good, not bad, just is.
Many people do hate the LDS church after leaving, I know. I don’t understand it, but I know that Mormon hatred is common among former members. Many former Mormons form groups that “help” current Mormons understand why they too should leave the LDS church. Often, these people, many of whom claim to once have held “high positions” within the church, publish lies against the church on the internet or in books. [Well, I’m assuming that most lie (I’m sure some do lie deliberately); more likely, it’s simply that they don’t know better. LDS doctrine is large, very large, and confusing to explain – because it uses much of the same language as other Christian churches (with different definitions), the doctrine is often misunderstood by both new members and lifers. I think this indicates a problem within the LDS church Sunday format itself; Gospel Doctrine class isn’t getting the job done and the church leaders need to figure out why and fix it. Also, I think that missionary training should be addressed and revised to help out with the more common misunderstandings.]
Anyway. Mormon bashing on this blog will not be allowed to go unanswered. Oh, I tease and poke fun and tell a Jello joke with the best of them (LDS culture is funny! I’ve always thought that, even when I was a Mormon) and I’ll make fun of the high birth rate and the made-up curses and the polygamy thing (I know, don’t write emails), but it is not meant with the malice or glee that I see coming from some other former members. Like I said, I heart Mormons. And I wasn’t being sarcastic or ironic. Like I told my mother, I don’t believe in the church’s doctrine, but I am the result of five or six generations of LDS teachings. You can’t get rid of that easily. I’m more of a cultural Mormon – I don’t have the religious beliefs, but I do have many of the idiosyncrasies that usually go along with the beliefs.
So, how many Mormons does it take to screw in a light bulb? Seven: one husband standing on a chair with a new bulb in his hand – and six of his wives standing around telling him nine different ways to screw it in. [Hey! I said I knew Mormon jokes. I didn’t say they were good.]