those dern mormons

I get sad when people talk about "those damn mormons".

You know what I mean, all of those blog posts out there authored by inactive, ex or current mormons thinking of leaving.

I'm not quite sure why it makes me sad, I'm all for people living how they want, and I'd never want someone going to church who doesn't want to be there.

I guess it makes me sad because I'm a Mormon. I was brought up in the Mormon church, and it's teachings live in a special place in my heart protected by 8 foot walls and even a stray little arrow breaks that heart a little bit.

I've never felt, not even once, not ever, that I was less than a man in the Church. I've never had a bishop I thought was "priesthood power hungry", or dismiss my idea/concern because I'm a woman (or even that I had a 'less important' calling than he).

And I hate when I hear about people with same-sex attraction, or LGBT members treated harshly by church officials or their Mormon parents. I've never seen anything happen like that. Ever. Not ever!

For those who have had those experiences, I'm sorry. Truly, it hurts me to hear of these things.

My experiences with the mormon church have been extremely positive.

As a young girl I was taught that I have divine nature, and that my Heavenly Father loves me and wants to have a personal relationship with me. I was taught lessons of self-sufficiency, and that I had potential. We had lessons in etiquette, outdoor recreation, sports, homemaking, financial management, camping, etc, etc. I had leaders who loved me.

When I moved away from home I had leaders in my wards who looked out for me, who gave me loving counsel. I had a ward family. We planned enriching (although admittedly cheesy) activities - game nights, prayer nights. In trying times, I relied heavily on the strong arm of my ward leaders and family and my Heavenly Father.

And now, in my ward, I get to serve in the primary. I get to teach them songs about their divine worth. I get to teach them about their Savior, and help them learn the right way to respect people and themselves (and occasionally sing songs about snowmen and popcorn).

Mormons aren't paid for church service, and ward members teach the lessons and sermons. Two high-school-aged girls in our ward teach a primary class while a senior citizen couple teaches a family history class. Young men ages 12 and up are expected to teach their peers, and youth leaders range in age from early twenties to late sixties. And we're all working together to become better.

Last week, my bishop (the ward leader) sent this email to the members of our ward:

Dear ward members,

As we approach the coming weekend and the first Sunday of March I would like to ask that as  a ward make this fast Sunday special and ask for strength for our fellow ward members and neighbors. Many of our neighbors and ward members are experiencing difficult times. Some are having health challenges, some are having personal and family struggles, and others are struggling with employment and financial issues. You likely are aware of many ward members who need our faith and prayers at this time. As we unite in faith, prayer, and fasting this weekend I know that individually many will find strength and peace and that collectively our ward will be strengthened and that miracles will occur. Please accept my invitation to join our ward in a special fast for our brothers and sisters who are in need.


People are people and people have weaknesses. Anytime three to five hundred people living in the same proximity are grouped together for activities and worship twice a week (at least!), there are bound to be confrontations and hurt feelings. But I have loved my experiences in my ward families. With God as our example, we are unified in becoming better.

I guess I'm just sad that we've reached this point in our over-communicated lives where some feel the need to belittle anything that has ever cause an ounce of pain or misunderstanding. Publicly. And sometimes very harshly, without thinking. And that's fine.

I just wanted to add my voice to the mix, is all.

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