Tag Archives: Tolerance

A Harmful Address from General Conference

I like to explore the blogosphere after General Conference ends. I’m interested in the reactions that others have to the words of the Church leaders, men who I consider to be prophets, seers, and revelators. This helps me to think more critically about what I’ve heard, which in turn builds my testimony in what they’ve said.

One particular post caught my eye. A marriage and family therapist, and member of the LDS Church, wrote a post on the Saturday morning session of General Conference, dividing each speaker’s comments into (potentially) three sections:

  • Messages I Found to be Healthy and Uplifting
  • Messages I Found to be Needing of Further Nuance/Discussion
  • Messages I Found to be Harmful

The first two sections aren’t anything special – this blog, for example, is a place where I often add my own nuance and discussion (from my perspective, of course) to the words of prophets. That third section, though, piqued my interest, perhaps because it’s an idea that is so foreign to me – it’s a short walk from “harmful” to “dismissible,” and that concerns me ever so slightly.

In the interest of adding to the dialogue, I’d like to look at the “harmful” portions identified by this blogger in Jeffrey R. Holland’s address. Continue reading A Harmful Address from General Conference


Crazy Mormons!

Crazy Mormons

This Sunday morning started out normal enough.

It was a bright, sunny day. My wife and I got up early so that we could get ourselves (and our month old son) ready before our 9am service. We drove the short way to our Everett, WA chapel. We got out of our car and walked towards the building, scriptures and car seat in hand.

Then, out of nowhere, “Crazy Mormons!”

Some enterprising citizen had taken it upon himself to chide the worshipers entering the LDS chapel from the comfort of his car, then quickly sped away. How disappointing.

(As a side note, the chapel we meet at is almost brand new – the original was deliberately burnt down recently by arsonists.)

All in the Delivery

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m fine with people calling Latter-day Saints crazy. We’ve been called much worse, even in mainstream circles where better behavior should be expected (cough, cough, Lawrence O’Donnell, cough). And if I’m being honest with myself, there are many things we Mormons do that look strange to outsiders.

If it wasn’t the opinion that disappointed me, then what?

It wasn’t the opinion, but the way it was delivered, that was inappropriate. To shout insults at church goers, families, on their way to worship, and then cowardly speed away as quickly as feet (or tires) will carry, is certainly not very Christian. If our fan was not religious, it only highlights the glaring double standard applied when the Church is faulted for speaking on social issues, but then left to its own when others fling meritless insults (relating to this double standard, think of the appeals for tolerance and love).

Life isn’t fair, though, is it?

“In the World Day”

In the end, I’m still happy to be here. There are difficulties that come with being surrounded by others that don’t necessarily appreciate your beliefs, but there are also fantastic opportunities. The other side of this coin – the opportunities – is, for me, the incredible chance to act as salt and light in a way that I simply could not while I lived in the Utah bubble.

9 April 2012 was the day we flew from Utah to Seattle. I’ve decided that each April 9th from here on out will be celebrated in our home as “In the World Day” (from the commonly known commandment to be “in the world but not of the world”), because even with the idiots shouting “Crazy Mormons!” at Latter-day Saint families going to church, the “world” is a great place to be.

In the last Annual Report (found in the magazine issue here) published by my alma mater, the Marriott School of Management, I saw that 43% of graduates reside in Utah.

(From there the statistics seem intentionally skewed. I expect that Idaho and Nevada have more graduates than Wyoming and Montana, and yet all of these states are grouped together. I expect that Arizona has more graduates than Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, and yet all of these states are grouped together. If we must group, it makes much more sense to group the states of the Mormon Corridor, excluding Utah, together. Keeping AZ, ID, NV, and perhaps WY together makes much more sense and presents a more accurate picture.)

This makes me sad. Let’s go out into the world! Let’s face the Mormon haters that scream insults from speeding cars, because only where they are can we truly be the leaven that leaveneth the whole loaf.