Sunday in Outer Blogness: Life on the Fringes Edition!
This past week, Andrew S. tackled the question of why he sticks around Internet discussion groups on the fringes of Mormonism — a familiar topic for many of us in this space, and his answer is very similar to my own. It seems that for groups discussing Mormonism, it’s nearly impossible to maintain a balance between believers and non-believers. For example, see the Young Mormon Feminists:
Through my participation with Feminist Mormon Housewives, Iâ€™ve noticed that group and blog to be filled with women with reasons to stay. They were raised in the church or joined it of their own volition, many of them attended church schools and many of them attended seminary and dedicated many hours to church attendance and service; they married in the temple, they have raised or are raising beautiful children, and they now look back on their life as being inseparable from their connection to Mormonism. But they start to discover things, study them, and have been disturbed by reasons to leave that appear before them. They find themselves hurting and struggling, and despite all the reasons to stay- childhood, family, faith, others- they find themselves on the lookout for the one reason big enough to leave.
But I see the opposite situation happening in the Young Mormon Feminists community. YMF is filled with younger people who have not yet dedicated many years or decades to church attendance and service; most have not yet made covenants in the temple or married an eternal companion, and most have not had any children. They are thus relatively unencumbered by these other considerations, and at a time in their life when they are making other major decisions (â€œWhat do I want to do with my life?â€ â€œWhere in the world do I want to live?â€ â€œWho do I want to marry?â€), the decision of what they believe in is just another major aspect of self-discovery with which they are already grappling.
It’s true: that point of your life when you’re making the transition from kid-at-home to grown-up is good point to leave Mormonism behind, since you’re in the middle of making all sorts of decisions about what your adult life will be like. It’s a part of the sensible life script that Daniel advocates over the Mormon script he chose — with its oaths that you are pressured to enter into when you’re not ready.
Sarah’s heaven would be a university. It sounds great to me, and — though reading and study can lead to the demise of your faith — smallaxe suggested that maybe it would be different if people were studying together.
Sometimes you stop believing in God but you just like being part of a church. Now, there’s a solution for you. Or, if you’d like to stick with God (and maybe the Book of Mormon despite its flaws) while dumping the bad parts of the CoJCoL-dS — have you tried the Community of Christ?
Jen misses the hope (and guarantees) that Mormon belief offers, and Kay Lay Ale told an interesting story of what happens when your patriarchal blessing predicts that you’ll live to see the second coming of Christ in your lifetime.
Roger argued that the Word of Wisdom must be practiced on faith (if at all) because the evidence is pretty mixed on whether it is beneficial as a health code. But giving the Word of Wisdom a modern interpretation, as NotMolly suggested, could bring the Mormon lifestyle more in line with wholesome, sustainable Earth stewardship. George H of LDS Earth Stewardship explained (in a piece largely aimed at US conservatives) why they should accept the reality of anthropogenic, or human-caused, global warming — and that keeping a modest Mormon lifestyle is a good way to start dealing with it.
Have a great week!!