has written 1 SperlingViews. Currently, Art is living in Bisbee, AZ and has a little something to say:
|Email:||Contact Art via email |
A "Gentile's" view on living with Mormons Posted On: 6/6/2010 11:03:10 AM
After reading a lot of comments on this subject, I wanted to add my own experience.
I moved from my hometown of NYC to go to college, first in Logan, then in SLC. So I was surrounded by Mormons--and they certainly knew I wasn't one.
Well, to my surprise, not one of them tried to convert me. Instead, they just invited me into their homes for socializing, and on family outings. Maybe their idea was to convert me by modeling what a happy, healthy Mormon life looked like. But they never pushed their religion on me in any way.
My first Thanksgiving in Utah, I had so many invitations for dinner, I had to whittle them down to the three which were spread across different times of the day. (What an oinker I was!)
When I began dating a Mormon girl, her family in Provo invited me for Sunday dinner. They knew I wasn't a Mormon--and I knew the relationship couldn't go far unless I converted. But here too, they never mentioned a word about it. They just made me feel more welcome than I'd ever felt before.
One final memory. Two missionaries came to my apartment in SLC one evening. I listened politely as they discussed Mormonism, then I told them that I was happy being a Jew. I also mentioned that the following evening was the start of our Jewish New Year, and I was looking forward to celebrating it. They nodded politely and left.
The next evening when I got home from synagogue, there was a Jewish New Year's card under my door. Needless to say, it was from the missionaries. And they never contacted me again to pursue their conversion efforts.
I'd like my fellow "gentiles" to keep in mind two things about Utah Mormons: (1) Brigham Young invited other religions to set up in Utah, and even donated money for that. I believe the church did that recently with a Hindu temple. (2) The Mormons went through hell to get to a place no one else would want (SLC was barren when they first reached it). Then, working industriously, they turned it into one of the loveliest places in America. So when non-Mormons come to live there because of its loveliness (ok, we're talking pre-pollution) and then have the chutzpah to whine that "the Mormons control everything"--well, it's THEIR place. They EARNED it. So consider yourselves guests in their home. I did, and I never felt a warmer welcome in anyone's home.