Thursday, August 16, 2007

TT#3 - Growing up Mormish

The members of the Mormon faith are on the whole, very kind and generous people. My Mom and Dad both come from Mormon families, and they raised me and my 3 brothers in the only Faith they knew. Please do not assume that because i decided to leave the Church that they are crazy or cultish or what have you. These thirteen tidbits are only MY perception of Church. What i remember from my own experiences and i did not write them with the intention of hurting anyone in anyway.

If you're still with me, read on:

Thirteen Things About Growing Up Mormon

1. - Mormon girls are trained to be mothers from the time they're born. It's like they take our biological clock and turn it back 5 years so we start getting the urge to get hitched and have babies around the age of 17 rather than in our twenties. They are taught 'home making' skills and even have meetings during the week...called "Home Making" where they expound upon those skills. By the age of 12, the girls and boys are seperated for an hour of the three and there they learn how to be worthy wives for returned missionaries so they can all get married in the Temple and be sealed for time and all eternity.

2. - I had to attend 3 hours of church for every sunday of my life. Dad said: "Until you turn 18, you're still a child in my house and i am responsible for your spiritual welfare. After that, you're an adult and you can do whatever you want." i stopped going to church the sunday after my 18th birthday. That means, that by my 18th birthday i had attended roughly 2808 hours of church .

3. - My Dad has never had more than one wife ever. Mormons don't do that anymore, they stopped doing it officially in 1890. The ones that still do it, are not Mormon. All through grade school people have asked me if i have more than one mom.

4. - I have never, nor has anyone i have ever known, been in one of the LDS commercials.

5. - LDS stands for Latter Day Saints. I once wore a shirt to school that said "Especially for Youth LDS Conference" and a friend of mine thought it said LSD conference... I told him no, but it probably would have made the conference more interesting if they were passing out tabs of acid.

6. - Mormons don't drink coffee or tea and by extension Coke and Iced Tea are also no-nos. They also don't drink alcohol or use tobacco, or do drugs. They are some clean living peoples... my mom will drink a coke every now and then when she's driving and needs to stay awake - that's how much caffiene it takes for her to stay up. Me, i'd probably have to have an hourly injection of espresso into my veins to stay awake.

7. - 8 is the standard age for baptism, although they say that it's the youngest that you can do it meaning you can wait if you want to, but nobody waits. I wanted to... i mean, if it means that you can be wiped clean of all your sins - why not wait until you're like 25 and then go and have some fun, it'll all be wiped away anyway. I was baptised by immersion when i was eight years old and confirmed a member of the Church.

8. - i have not gone to church in 9 years. my records are still in the Head Records Office in Salt Lake City. To have them removed is a big long process involving interviews with my Bishop etc etc etc. I haven't done this yet. Mostly because i think it would kill my mom and dad. Let them hang on to some hope that i'll come back if it makes them feel better. i won't though.

9. - Mormons are big on family. BIG. it's not unusual to find a Mormon family in Utah, or in Southern Alberta with 6 or more kids. When God said "Replenish the Earth" i think they took it to mean them personally. I have 3 brothers, which wasn't a big family then, but it sure is now. But the Church's emphasis on family paired with our seclusion on the farm made us learn to like each other. I love my family, and i really love spending time with them. In high school my brothers were my friends and every time one of my girl friends would say: "I hate my Brother!" i would be shocked! i coudn't even fathom hating a sibling. i still can't.

10. - Mormons are not supposed to date until they are 16. And even then, it should be group dates - leaving the "Serious" dating until you're preparing for marriage. I had my first boyfriend in grade four. I could never tell my parents about my boyfriends, and as a direct result of that - i couldn't tell them when my grade 8 boyfriend did an awful terrible thing to me, because then they would know i was dating. Years later, when i actually was 16, i still kept my boyfriends from my family out of habit. I couldn't ask my mother about birth control, or any type of "female" questioning because i felt it would lead to questions about who i was dating. B-rad was the very first boy i ever introduced to my mom and dad as my boyfriend when i was 18.

11. - When B-rad and i started dating, his mother was none to happy that her little Mennonite boy was dating a Mormon. It was tense. One time, in the first couple of months of our courtship, i went over to his house and in their living room on the coffee table was a Christian Book on Cults that was coincidentally left open to the Mormon page. Fear of the unknown makes people a little crazy i think. Luckily, over seven years that B-rad and i dated, she got to know my mom and dad and eventually eased up on the craziness. i think both sets of parents have come to the realization that B-rad and i are not religious. We are both extremely spiritual in our own way - but have no use for organized religion. (i'm sure this will become an issue again once we decide to have kids....)

12. - Mormons believe that mankind has the potential to become like God and have your own Universe. Only the extremely worthy get that. The details on that are a little sketchy to me, cuz you don't get that info until you go and do sessions in the Temple, which i've never done.

13. - Mormons believe in 3 stages of Heaven. Terrestrial, Telestial, and Celestial - Celestial being the highest Glory and where God, and Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit reside. They also believe that the members of the Godhead are three distinctly different people, not an all-in-one diety.

So, there it is.

I have my feelings about The Church, some good, some bad, some very annoyed, some extremely angry - but as much as i don't agree with them or their beliefs, i respect their right to believe it. And i will come to their defense whenever i can.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
1. Kendra
10. Denise - sorry Denise, i couldn't get your link :(
11. Pat J
14. Samara
18. your name here

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things.


Kendra said...

great TT list. i'd have to say that #7 is my fav!!! ;)

also, don't mormons believe in baptizing the dead too??

i've got a TT up this week too!

i am the diva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
i am the diva said...

Thanks Kendra, i'll check it out!

Yeah, they do believe in Baptising for the dead. I should emphasize the "FOR" part though... they're not going out and diggin up your Great Aunt Millie and dunking her underwater, they use proxys that are alive and usually relatives of the deceased. i could go on, but i won't. ;) i'd be here forever.

Robin said...

I didn't realize that Mormons don't drink caffeine. This was a really informative list. Thanks for sharing it.

Karina said...

Wow, what a great educational list! Thanks for sharing, now I can say I've learned something new today (I've learned about 13 something news in fact)!

Happy TT!!

scooper said...

That is a great list. It humbles me to learn so much, as I like to consider myself as semi-knowledgeable.

i am the diva said...

karina and scooper,
i'm glad i could educate you in some small way. This could have easily been a Thursday Three Hundred and Thirteen. Thanks for stopping by!

FRIGGA said...

Yes informative. They definitely live by some qualities that I agree with - that whole #1 and beng all about family I think it's a good thing. And I also agree with parents having their kids go to church regularly, it teaches spirituality and respect even if as an adult they don't buy into that particular religion. Phew that was long - but very good list!

Happy TT13!

Nancy J. Bond said...

I confess to knowing very little about the Mormon faith, but I do admire many of their traditions. Thanks for the enlightenment!

What Works For Us said...

i shamelessly admit i knew nothing of the mormon faith. until now! thanks for the insight!

i am the diva said...

you're welcome...

Susan B. said...

This was a really interesting list! The Mormons I have known have been wonderful people, but seem to me to be fairly closed-mouthed on details such that I've felt it was impolite to ask stuff. Thanks for writing this.

JennieBoo said...

I LOVE YOU! (via your message up there)

I never knew this about Mormons.

Thanks for clearing up some misconceptions I had.

Now, pass me some LSD! :)

Happy TT!

Denise Patrick said...

Family is the main reason I love living in Utah - even though I'm NOT Mormon. My next door neighbors have 13 children! I think family is very important, but the families here are so big that people are always crying about tax breaks, etc. It's, sometimes, frustrating.

It also seems that Coke is just fine among many Mormons. Many of my co-workers will have a Diet Coke instead of coffee first thing in the morning. I don't know how they do it.

This was a great TT! Thanks for sharing.

Pat J said...

#6: no Coke? Well, I'm out.

So Lost said...

Yeah, I'd suck at being a Morman. For just about every reason you have there.

Damozel said...

When one of my friends was leaving the church, I used to read that ginormous website for Ex Mormons (I forget what it's called) so I could be supportive.

All the Mormons I know are lovely people, but I am uneasy with any religion/denomination etc. that tells children what their choices should be instead of presenting them with their options. It's a dangerous approach in these times, partly because the kids are always going to have way more (eventual) access to information than their parents dream, and a percentage are going to be mightily annoyed that they weren't told all the options or allowed to decide for themselves (?) It tends to backfire (or that site wouldn't be so enormous...)

It's my impression that hot drinks are forbidden...nothing really to do with caffeine, so unless you heat up your coke it should be okay (?) Though I'm going by what I was told and not what I know.

B.E. Earl said...

I used to love the LDS commercials. They used to run during "Davey and Goliath".

My favorite was the one with a boy fishing with his grandfather. He asks him what prejudice means. His grandpa asks why and he says that his friend Jimmy called him that. The grandpa ask who Jimmy is and the kid replies that Jimmy is his Jewish friend.

The grandfather states "Well then you are prejudiced, because you consider Jimmy your Jewish friend, and not just your friend".

My friend Peter and I bring that one up all the time.

Oh, Peter is my Jewish friend. ;)

i am the diva said...

well, b.e.earl, that means you're prejudiced.


i find that really funny, as Mormons wouldn't let African Americans join the "boys club" of the Priesthood until 1978. Before that they taught that they were 'cursed'...y'know, the whole Cain and Abel thing.

Samara Leigh said...

Thanks for sharing that list. There was so much I didn't know. I am a fellow "Brown" (August 15th post) who was also raised in a strict religion that is often misunderstood and that I don't want to be a part of anymore. However, I realize its many benefits. So, I can relate on that.

I love your blog and I've added you to my TT list here:

Destined for Greatness said...

This was a cute peice... made me laugh, you are very witful.

Joy Renee said...

i did my TT last week (#45) about the sect I was raised in and left in my thirties. i can totally relate to every thing you said in your disclaimer. i still love my family and most of the people still part of the sect. the break was very traumatic for me.

thanx for visiting my TT on my umbrage with Professor Umbridge.

Nicholas said...

Fascinating list! I can see why you have no time for organized religion anymore. I can't help thinking there is something very wrong in imposing beliefs on children before they have developed the critical faculties that come with adulthood.

Melsie14 said...

#8 shocked me. I never knew that they kept records like that!! I also didn't think that you'd be able to get them removed!! Insane!!

Buttercup said...

"i grew up mormon, and the idea of 'plural marriages' to gain celestial glory never really sat well with me. My Whole life! i remember telling my dad, at the age of 6 or 7, that i thought the whole thing was just a way for guys to have sex with a lot of women and not get in trouble."

Thanks for your comment on mu blog! I totally believe that's what it's about and "Under the Banner of Heaven" (which I thought was a fascinating book) supports that theory.

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