Sunday, September 9, 2012
"Sarah I used to think you were a good girl. And then I saw who you hung out with."
Used to be? Just becuase of who I hung out with.
This comment was from a young man. Very spiritual. Very . . . Mormany. Not even a word but he was deep into the church. You stand next to him and you feel that spirit.
But at the moment that spirit I usually felt when I talked with him was gone. Zip out the door. I just felt this twisting in my stomach.
I pride myself in being friends with everyone. Those who swear. Those who do drugs. Those who drink. Those who smoke. Those who walk down the hallways and people clear paths for them because of their very scary-looking appearaces.
And yes I am Mormon.
Shocking . . . not really.
Some would call it lowering your standards. But I am proud to say I've never sworn, purposely, nor have I ever, EVER done drugs, smoked, or drank.
Those friends of mine that many would never go near they know that if they invited me somewhere I would turn them down. I'm not stupid I know what goes on. But they know that they've got a friend in me. They can come to me with their problems. Those friends that swear up a storm in the hallways. Those are rumors to me. They probably do but around me their mouths are as clean as a freshly cleaned bathroom.
I have friends of other faiths. They talk to me about it and in turn I talk to them about my faith.
This young man scoffed at me for even letting them explain their faith to me. To him if I truly believed in the church then I would never listen to other religions.
I say to him: Bullcrap.
My good friend who is Catholic asked me this: "Why can't other Mormons like us? I Belive in Jesus, they belive in Jesus. Same concept, different religion."
I say ditto.
I have a friend who is gay. He goes to the temple still. He passes sacrament. People find that so wrong. But what did he do? He is worthy to hold the priestood and go to the temple. His ACTIONS prove it. He never sinned. Being gay isn't a sin. It's the ACTIONS that make it a sin.
This young man, who called me out on being a bad-kitty falls prey to what people call "Utah Mormons". These creatures are very judgemental and put themselves on the pedestal just becuase they know they belong to the one true church.
I used to be victim to that.
"Oh those Utah Mormons." Just casually throw it out there. I cam from Seattle so in my eyes I "could" see the difference between the "different" Mormons.
I am a Utah Mormon. I mean I've lived here for almost 8 years now.
This subject is touchy. But I have something to say to both sides of this topic.
First those who judge "Utah Mormons" and second those who judge other people.
In the words of President Utchdorf: STOP IT!
Utah Mormons don't have it easier just because we live in a state of 90% Mormons. We face the same stuff other Mormons in other states face. Utah Mormons aren't the only judgemental ones who put themselves on a pedestal because of the true church they belong in.
Every person faces temptation. Every person faces trial. Being in the church we go go because we believe. Or if we aren't at that stage yet we feel this strange fluttering called hope that's telling us that we aren't as alone as we think. We all go to church because we want better ourselves. Every person is at different points of their lives. Every person has their OWN battle to face.
So what if a person hasn't gotten trough the entire Book of Mormon. I see those worn pages and know that she cherishs those words and reads it as much as she can. So what if a person didn't take the sacrament. I commend them on their bravery to face their consequences and seek true forgiveness from our Savior. So what if their are baptized into the church with a tattoo.
The point is: We all believe. We all believe and we go to church with people who believe.
As humans we hope to fill the void of want of love, attention, and nuturing.
At church we find it.
It's up to us as individuals to help these people come to the church.
It's also up to us if we are going to take offense that they are judging us because we aren't the cookie-cutter Mormon they are looking for.
We go to church for ourselves. We don't go for other people.
Worry about your own salvation and not others. You can help them but in the end it's their decisions.
So "Utah Mormon" or "Other Mormon" or not. We need to stop judging each other. Stop saying some have it harder then others.
We all believe the same things. And we all feel the same things that make us strive for that Celestial goal.