I thought a post on the good points of this religion and culture might be interesting to many of you.
Clean living: Certainly not smoking is a good thing, and although I don’t think it’s necessary for the average non-alcoholic individual to avoid alcohol, overall it would lead to the whole "clean living" type of life.
Moral standards: Though a more difficult concept to sell to consenting adults in the general populace, a rule about pre-marital sex is certainly a good thing when it comes to young people..avoiding teen pregnancy, disease and other calamities associated with this is a positive.
Importance of Marriage & Family: I fully believe in marriage and family and think it makes for a better world when you get people together to form a strong relationship and family life.
Helping others: Helping out those around you, whether it be offering to bring a meal to someone who had a baby or is ill or helping someone move, etc. are certainly positive things.
Desire to be a “good person” overall: Trying to do good in general is a good thing, no argument here.
No panty-lines: When you wear the Mormon special underwear, (garments) there are no unsightly panty-lines! Ok, I was mainly just checking to see if you were paying attention.
But here’s the thing folks, you don’t have to join any religion or organization to do and be these things! This is something that I failed to realize when I signed up for this nonsense at the tender age of 20. I jumped on board largely for the “good things” listed above—I just thought it fast-tracked me to being around people with those values, and for the most part it did. But, those good things come at a price—a high price. All the negative that comes along with those good things was simply not worth having to live with. (Combined with the fact that the entire religion is based on untruths, but we’ll get to that in another post.) Ironically, I also think it shows a much stronger moral character to make your choices based on how you want to live your life, what you feel is right or wrong, versus what some organization decides are the rules that they require you to live by. In other words, I have more respect for those folks who can choose to do and not do something based on their own conscience and not the made-up rules of an extreme religion. But I think some people need someone else to tell them what to do and to list the rules and regulations to follow to make it easier overall. This concept seems to appeal to many people and it’s been my observation that those who are having a hard time in life and making really poor choices are those who are likely to fall prey to the idea of joining an organization that will clear them of their sins and give them a template for how to live the rest of their life.
The irony in the good things:
When you are Mormon, being a good person isn’t just a worthy goal, it’s a requirement. Striving for perfection is expected and nothing short of it will do. A Mormon is constantly reminded about what they should be doing, how much they should be doing and how terrible it is that they are not. The guilt is overwhelming, as are the demands put upon the Mormon member.
For a church that talks about how important marriage and family is, they do much to keep the family apart. First you have the endless church meetings and church jobs that constantly keep couples apart. Then you have the exclusionary nature of a wedding itself which prevents non-Mormons (and even “unworthy” Mormons) from being present at their Mormon family member’s wedding.
Helping others is a great thing to do, but it’s much better when a person chooses to do it. When you are Mormon you are required to do it.
I’ve already addressed how I feel about the extreme nature of the “clean living” aspect of Mormonism, but to re-cap, prohibiting alcohol and coffee and tea is going ridiculously overboard.
As a Mormon, I was conditioned to think of everyone else who wasn’t Mormon as just being “not as good”. It took me a long to time recognize that there are “good” people and “bad” people everywhere and that belonging to a certain group or religion does not automatically make a person “good” or “bad”. I realize this may seem obvious and over simplistic, but when you are a Mormon you look at people very differently and the bottom line is: Mormon=good, Everyone else= not good. When I recovered from Mormonism and was able to branch out and discover people all around me I discovered a whole new world that was not colored by Mormonism’s narrow view. It was refreshing to realize that I did not have to only date Mormons, that I did not have to only have Mormons as friends and that there are all kinds of people out there with their own unique personalities, views and beliefs and that’s a good thing.