Sunday in Outer Blogness: Mormon Community Edition!

Spencer Bagley wrote an interesting piece on his feelings of connection with Mormonism:

I reached under the bench in front of me for a Book of Mormon, so I could think about a scripture that had recently been on my mind. I held the spine in my hand and was about to open the book when I suddenly noticed the yellowing of the edges of the pages, where thousands of thumbs had touched. I ran my thumb across the spot, and I was suddenly struck with a great sense of community, of continuity, of multiplicity. Look at how all these people before me have turned these pages, just like I am doing right now and I was suddenly sure that they had found the comfort, the light, and the knowledge that they had sought, just like I had on so many occasions before. Those people are my people, their ways are my ways, and their book is my book.

It reminded me of Seth’s remark about preferring Mormon history because Mormons are family. I’m sure a lot of others here feel a connectedness with Mormonism, despite being at different places with respect to belief and practice:

The peacewriter is at peace in the middle way whereas postmormon girl has been having a less positive experience with the believing Mormons in her life. Dan’s ideas about homosexuals have evolved. AintNoMoNoMo is looking forward to sex — whereas her husband can’t get over church-related anxiety, and Dave is wondering what to live for. Alone and Unobserved has stopped having Mormon nightmares though.

Speaking of Mormon community, City Weekly ran a positive article about Troy Williams and Mormons Building Bridges:

His religion left an indelible mark on him: The most beautiful thing about Mormonism is that it cultivates a deep sense of belonging and community, he says. I was lost for years without that.

And J G-W also has some reports from the gay Mormon community, and Dad’s Primal Scream recommends resources for Latter-day Saint families with LGBT children.

It kind of makes one wonder how Ayn Rand became the philosophical leader of conservative Christians. (And how about that well regulated militia?)

We also got a little taste this week of what Mormons are like! Ziff did some current research on the “Why are Mormons so…?” question that Chino tackled a few years ago. Also, we learn that Mormonism remains decidedly American and wealthy adherents like Mitt Romney are its dominant revenue stream. (Turns out it’s not the Polynesian Culture Center.) And check out the offerings at BYU Campus Education week!

Tracy M. shared her experiences with divorce, and Monica and Serge told the tale of how they almost got divorced. And, speaking of Mormon families, My SiL posted her take on our big family reunion (where you can see our rainbow of T-shirts!)

Be sure to congratulate Mel for her short story getting named as a finalist for the 2012 Salamander Fiction Prize!

There were some interesting philosophical discussions, on the problems with avoiding the appearance of evil and with the atonement narrative. Plus don’t miss Bible study!

Hope you’re having a great Summer!


C. L. Hanson is the friendly Swiss-French-American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! Follow me on mastadon at or see "letters from a broad" for further adventures!!

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2 Responses

  1. Ren says:

    Love, LOVE, the reunion tshirts! Being from a verysmallfamily big ol’ reunions are fascinating.

    Spencer Bagley’s story… totally relatable for me. Joining the church was in part me looking for the comfort and safety that was elusive in my family.

  2. chanson says:

    Thanks, I’m glad you like the t-shirts!!

    It’s true that big family reunions are interesting. We basically have to have the equivalent of a convention every ten years in order to stay in touch — and so that the new people (kids and S.O.s) can meet their relatives.

    The t-shirt concept was to help everyone feel connected with the family — to help everyone see how they fit in and how they’re connected to everyone else. Each color (except purple) represents one of Grandma’s ten kids. You can see that only five of her ten kids made it to the reunion (though the black-shirt team sent one representative).

    I also gave everyone a little star sticker to stick on their dot on the family-tree diagram on their t-shirt. The kids loved that!

    I liked Spencer Bagley’s story too. It’s natural to feel this sort of connection — even if you have various objections to the way the institutional church is run. That’s why I think it’s unfortunate that the CoJCoL-dS encourages such an attitude of “you’re with us 100% or you’re against us.”

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