One Way Or Another

On the flipside. . . 

Two happy guys, aren't they?  I once lived surrounded by Mormonism in a Canadian city not too many hours from the infamous Bountiful commune.  Bountiful does not represent mainstream Mormonism, but it's existence only adds to the issues surrounding acceptance of Mormonism as a legitimate form of Christianity. Television shows like Big Love and Wikileaks exposing confidential Mormon church documents only add fuel to the fire that makes Mitt Romney's faith an elephant in the room as he campaigns for the presidential nomination.   

A close friend of mine who studied philosophy with me often spoke about being an ex-Mormon.  As I'm an an agnostic, I am always interested in exploring faith practices and I told him I'd like to just rock up to a Mormon service one day and sit in for a listen.  He laughed heartily, "You can't! They'll know you're not one of them right away! You need to know which "ward" to go to, and you need to wear a skirt!".   I had attended church services with friends of faith before and even snuck in alone on a couple for curiosity.  I was surprised as he explained how the true nature of the Mormon faith is a relatively closed community to outsiders unless they properly convert.  To go beyond the basic church to the Temple, you must be a member in good standing, tithe, and of course, be baptized into Mormonism.  Another university mate who proudly exclaimed she was a "Jack Mormon" while embracing all things hedonistic during her post-secondary education has since gone back into the fold.  When times became difficult for her, the church stepped up and in, providing her with monetary assistance and a place to stay.  She has since become a model family woman, and appears as happy as Mr. Flowers with her choices.  

Strangely enough, I am still trying to work out the best way to introduce the subject so I can call her up to quiz her on what flipped the switch from the fervent atheist I remember. I suppose what interests me most about Mormonsim and Scientology is that leaving seems to carry a greater weight than I've seen from the majority of Christian sects.  Christian friends from United or even Catholic faiths come and go as they please, lose faith, but don't seem to feel as though it was a great an escape, or have a need for catharsis and speaking out about their journey.  

I've attended Buddhist meditation sessions and Catholic, Evangelical and United Church services without ever feeling as though there were parameters and pressures involved in whether or not I would participate in the dogma or simply never be seen on the premisis again (Buddhism being the most relaxed and enjoyable of my experiments).  I now have a Mormon church over my back fence.  I also own a lot more dresses since my university days, and I think I may just pop over for visit sometime.  You cannot judge what you don't understand, and you can't understand without an open dialogue.  When I make that trip over the fence, I'll let you know what I find.

More from the site: I Am An Ex-Mormon

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