I guess I could give an explanation for the abundance of religious material on the sites. No I am not a mormon myself but someone very close to me is. In an effort to understand them better I wanted to read the scriptural text for Mormons, which is primarily (other than the Bible) the Book of Mormon or the BoM (not to mention Doctrines and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, Journal of Discourses, Book of Moses, Book of Abraham, kinda sorta…etc). The BoM opens with testimonies and an account of the Prophet Joseph Smith (translator of the BoM) and his trials in receiving the message of the Angel Moroni. The story is a good one actually. At any rate, Mormon is one of the prophets who ascended to Heaven and became an angel. Moroni is his son who was also a leader of the righteous tribe in America. (Take into effect that this is grossly generalized for the sake of making this brief)
I think one of the biggest misconceptions with Mormons is thinking that they don’t believe in Christianity. Quite the contrary. They believe themselves, by definition, to be the true Christians. I say by definition because you have to have an understanding of the faith in order to appreciate why they feel that way.
At first I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. I wanted to cry. I was confused. Not spiritually but mentality. I could not understand how my friend could be so taken by what I thought was so fabricated. I was torn between calling out what to me seemed like such a falsehood and respecting the belief system of someone I cared for. I am known for my objectivity, I can give anything the benefit of the doubt but this was going too far. Too understand you would have to have a better understanding of me and my friend. I will say I accomplished one goal, I definitely was able to understand my friend better.
We were chatting one day after she had read a post I had written on Blogcritics and she asked, excitedly I might add, how far along I had gotten in the BoM and what I thought. First of all I dont like discussing books until I have completely finished them. And I mean completely. Usually I look up additional sources and then read reviews. But this time I had stopped in the middle of reading the BoM to do this. I had looked up accounts of ex communicated Mormons and their stories. I read several biographies on Joseph Smith to get an idea of what kind of young man he was(he was only 14 at the time of his vision). I read any text referenced or mentioned about or around the BoM. Of course Ifelt no need to tell her this. My friend feels better when she’s confident. I didn’t want to just throw all that I had learned at her and seem like I was judging so I just asked that we discuss it later.
We ended up meeting at the local Barnes and Noble one night just to chat as we sometimes did. And she ended up asking me about the BoM again. So we discussed it or rather I asked general questions and let her give detailed answers. I was alright until she said ‘I’m sure you don’t know anything about this but…’ Why include that? Then when I said something else she said ‘Oh you’re reading stuff from the internet’ And? She doesn’t see how thats judging. Then to top it off when I as casually as possible said I didn’t see what she saw, she scoffed at me. She said ‘If my family didn’t like of course I’m ok with my friend not.” Valid point but unnecessary.I mean I understand it was a major sacrifice for her to let go of her family, but I’m sitting here fighting against myself to remain objective and you basically shrugging me off (<—yes I really am that selfish…lol) As much as I was bothered it wasn’t new, thats her defence system, shruggin any type of vulnerability off, and yes she’s good at it.
I had always known she was Mormon or more correctly a member of the LDS church but I had not known what being Mormon entailed until I read the book, doctrines and scriptures. At first I was hurt. I really had to pray. I was disgusted with myself for judging someone else’s belief system but I felt like someone needed to point out the holes. Who appointed me that person? Noone so I kept my opinion to myself.
The notes you see that pertain to Mormonism come from me. Normally if I am reading and I come across a scripture or think of a question I have to put it down immediately or I will forget. It is only because I have had this blog a week or so that the majority of the notes are about Mormonism. That and I was in the middle of reading the BoM when I started this blog. Give me a few months and you will see a vast range of temporary obsessions. Yes, obsessions. I have a big issues with proving my point. Most of the time, its me proving them to myself and not others. I deal with criticism better as long as I know or feel as though I have the answers. (yes I am that narcissistic)
I think, no I know,thats why when she said ‘I’m sure you don’t know anything about this but…’ I got really heated. I know she tries not to judge people but she does it subconsciously. I asked her what did she consider judging and she could only answer ‘I judge myself’. That wasn’t answering the question. For instance we were discussing politics one night and I asked what party did she belong to (I’ve known her over 2 years and never knew)? She is a republican and I am democrat and when Bush was brought up she asked: ‘And why didn’t you vote for Bush, cause he’s Republican’ Do you see the judgement or do I need to point it out. Playing dumb has its benefits, being perceived as dumb is not one of them.
At any rate. I am still very much into the Mormon debate and even though I told her I wasn’t interested I think I may just set up an appointment with the missionaries to hear their pov. As for my friend she is die hard in her beliefs. Which I can appreciate because we all should be. But sometimes I have to ask if it isn’t just for believing sake. Even though she says we wont have that conversation again, I know we will, its inevitable, if for no other reason than she reads my blogs (she knows even if I dont say it, I have to write it.) My concern is the context of the conversation. You cant effectively discuss a belief systems without discussing the influencing factors. (See the circle?) I know how much she hates feeling like she’s being judged and I can not see us discussing religion (hers or mine) explicitly without throwing in some judgments.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you are discussing one central thing but you never name that thing? Those are interesting conversations to have especially since you can always come back and say ‘I didn’t say that’ There is no accountability in a conversation like that. And you know what I’m on one of my tangents this would have been better on a note but its 4 in the morning and I really dont care about notes right now:-)
I think religion (or any moral belief system) is a very important Blog topic it is the basis by which we make our choices(i.e critiques). But I think in order to really reflect we have to pull away and even question our belief system, regardless of the religion creed or color.