Feb 27, 2009

Being Mormon without Being Mormon

I am Mormon.

I was raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was raised on a no coffee, no tea, no cola, to alcohol, no tobacco diet--we drank herbal "tea," Postum, and Tang. We ate Jell-o with shredded carrots (I liked orange best). I participated in Family Home Evening every Monday. I participated in family prayer every morning and evening. I attended Early-Morning Seminary during my high school years. I didn't curse, or use the Lord's name in vain.

I read the King James Bible, and can correctly use the pronoun “thee.”

I can sing the names of all the Presidents of the Church, and the Books in the Book of Mormon. I have memorized all 13 Articles of Faith. I was taught about my Heavenly Mother. I know what the word “telestial” means. I wore a CTR ring.

I was baptized by immersion when I was 8, and confirmed the next day. I was ordained a Deacon when I was 12, a Teacher when I was 14, a Priest when I was 16, and an Elder when I was 18. I have been to the Temple to be baptized for the dead. I have blessed the Sacrament (that is, the Lord’s Supper) for my congregation. I helped to ordain one of my best friends. I have received my Patriarchal Blessing.

I brought refreshments to youth activities.

I did not know what catechism is. My first communion wasn’t a big deal.

I am not Mormon.

I am an “inactive member” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have not experienced all of the Mormon Temple ceremonies. I do not wear anointed underwear. I never served a Mission.

I embrace my homosexual tendencies, and seek out a homosexual partner. I drink coffee and tea. Occasionally I drink alcohol. Occasionally I smoke tobacco dipped in clove oil. Cola tastes good. I've been known to use foul langauge.

I do not believe in One True Church. I do not believe in secret worship. I do not believe in a Chosen People.

I do not believe in hiding your own history. I have read multiple revisions of the Doctrine & Covenants. I know what the Book of Commandments is. I know what the symbols in the facsimiles in the Pearl of Great Price actually mean. I know about the Mountain Meadows Massacre. I know how many "Witnesses" fell away after Joseph Smith died.

I am dubious that Thomas S. Monson is the Chosen Prophet of God. I don’t even know how his name fits into the song.

I find “A Proclamation to the Family” to be sexist, hetero-sexist and degrading.

I own a copy of the original Mormon marriage ceremony—before Mormon Temples existed.

I am Mormon.

“The Spirit of God” remains one of my favorite hymns. Oliver Cowdery and Nephi son of Lehi are two of my heroes. I still own a CTR ring.

My parents, and several of my siblings, are acting participants in the church. I have watched a nephew be ordained, and nieces work through the Personal Progress Program.

I do not believe in Hell. I do believe in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

I claim the privilege of worshipping "Almighty God" according to the dictates of my on conscience, and I allow all others the same privilege--let the worship HOW, WHERE, or WHAT they may. I still pay homage to an Eternal Father AND an Eternal Mother. I try not to swear by any god--mine or anyone else's.

I can still argue the text of the Book of Mormon backward and forward.

I believe in an open canon.

I embrace ideas of alternative marriage, including polygamy.

I believe that what you wear under your clothes has an effect on your mood—you can dress to be comfortable, you can dress to be sexy.

I think young men in suits and ties with black name tags, riding bicycles are cute.

I am a peculiar person.