Posted by: longtimegone ( )
Date: March 25, 2011 06:33PM
Welcome to the board. I hope you stick around. You can learn a lot about
what these kids are being taught at home and at church and that can help
you educate your kids. Some of it will blow your mind. Mormonism is really
a mindful*k and it can turn decent people into arrogant, judgmental,
boundary-less jerks. If I were you, I wouldn’t keep my mouth shut,
especially in discussing it with your kids. I can think of two good
reasons, and both have been mentioned or alluded to by other posters.
One, your kids eventually will be targets of conversion attempts, even if
you ask the Mormon leaders in your area to leave your kids alone. Mormons
KNOW deep down that you really want to be a Mormon and have your kids be
Mormons IF you just soften your heart. They think “lovebombing” will
soften your heart. Unfortunately, lovebombing can be effective with kids
because they don’t see it as the manipulative tool of conversion that it
is. They see it as the Mormons being friendly and really good people who
LOVE them and include them. Your kids will get lots of attention because
of it. They don’t realize that once they join, the lovebombing stops and
they will be considered less-than because they are converts. It’s another
mindfu*k because of how much effort Mormons put into converting
non-Mormons but being BIC (Born in the Church or Born in the Covenant) is
a sign of righteousness. That’s another whole discussion in itself.
Two, it’s a great opportunity for you to teach your kids to use facts and
logic to handle people, Mormon or not-Mormon, who are trying to shame them
or put them down. You can teach them to stand up for themselves without
losing their cool or being defensive. They will probably get lots of
practice with Mormons, unfortunately. Other posters have given great
suggestions on the coffee incident such as discussing with your kids the
research about the benefits of coffee.
I really wish my mom had taught me those skills, but she didn’t know them.
Instead, she just got upset that kids (or adults) were being jerks or had
said something rude. I stopped telling her things that happened because I
didn’t want to upset her. I had to learn those skills on my own, and I use
them a lot, not just with Mormons. I think empowering kids with those
kinds of skills can prevent hits to their self-esteem, but I might be
projecting my own experience.
I’m going to digress for a short explanation of some Mormon beliefs so
you’ll have context for the part following it. My apologies if you already
know about these parts of Mormonism and don’t need the background.
Some Mormon jargon:
Bishop=leader of a congregation within a particular geographical area
known as a ward.
Primary=the program for Mormon youth up to age 12.
Young Men (YM) or Young Women (YW)/Mutual/MIA=the program (that has had
many name changes) for youth from ages 12-18.
Some Mormon background:
Mormons have “13 Articles of Faith” that are basic tenets of the Mormon
faith. Back in the day (and maybe still today), memorizing the “13
Articles of Faith” and then reciting them to the bishop was a requirement
for Mormon kids to graduate from Primary to YM orYW/Mutual/MIA, or
whatever they’re calling it now. It might not be emphasized as much these
days, but it’s still a basic part of Mormon religious beliefs.
Missionaries and members used to have the "13 Articles of Faith" printed
on the backs of business-type cards and would hand them out as a way of
introducing Mormon beliefs. Not sure if that’s still something they do.
Sorry for torturing you with that, but it’s useful information for you and
your kids to use on the meddling Mormons. A good, short comeback refers to
the 11th Article of Faith. It states:
“We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the
dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let
them worship how, where, or what they may.”
As an example you could factually state to the coffee-is-bad kid: “So you
don’t believe in your own 11th Article of Faith? I thought Mormons were
supposed to follow their 13 Articles of Faith. Why don’t you follow it? If
you followed it, you wouldn’t be telling us how we should practice our
family’s beliefs. Our beliefs don’t teach that coffee is bad.”
If you have a religion, you can have the kids preface it with “My religion
teaches…” If you aren’t religious, you can have them substitute, “My
family believes…” “My family thinks…” will not have the impact, imo, that
using “believes” will because Mormonism doesn’t teach people to think. In
fact, thinking is bad, especially if it leads them to question their
leaders. Belief is their bailiwick even when facts prove their belief(s)
wrong. Sadly, many Mormons aren’t taught a lot about their religious
beliefs, so you might have to explain the 11th Article of Faith and how
he/she is violating a Mormon belief. The majority of church time is spent
teaching them a whitewashed history of Mormonism and drilling obedience to
the Mormon rules-de-jour.
One final note, I think it’s important not to teach your kids that this
behavior is a Utah thing because once you move to another state, you still
want your kids to be wary of Mormon-think when they encounter Mormons. If
they mention they’ve lived in Utah, the Mormons will come out of the
On the board, you occasionally will see references to “Utah Mormons” or
“California Mormons.” Some California Mormons like to believe that they
are superior to Utah Mormons usually as a way of combatting Utah Mormons
who believe they are superior to California Mormons.
Some Utah Mormons think California Mormons are lax in their beliefs and
too worldly. Some California Mormons think Utah Mormons are boundary-less
and rude and have never traveled outside of Utah. IMO, these sweeping
generalizations are ignorant. It’s a very Mormon mindset to believe they
are superior to other people, whether it’s superior to non-Mormons,
ex-Mormons, or Mormons who live in another state.
Rather than it being about geography, I think it’s about concentration.
I’ve lived in different places and traveled to all the states and many
countries, and I’ve found wherever there is a concentration of Mormons,
the judgmental, superior behavior is pronounced. If there’s not a
geographical concentration of Mormons, you’ll still see that behavior when
they gather for church on Sunday. They’ve just learned how to hide it
better when they are amongst the gentiles (anyone who’s not Mormon).
In many parts of Utah, obviously, there are concentrations of Mormons, so
the superior, boundary-less behaviors are on blast a lot of the time. Most
Mormons, regardless of state-of-residence, are boundary-less, intrusive,
and think they know better for you than you know for yourself. Their “one
true church” belief dictates superiority. They’ve got the truth, you
don’t. So there!
By the way, not that it matters, but when I was Mormon, I lived in
California (at least for the majority of my Mormon years) and would have
been characterized as a “California Mormon.” I love me some California!
The times I’ve visited Utah, the Mormon-speak I hear everywhere makes me
kuh-ray-zee. Standing in line at a grocery store wearing a tank top and
shorts with an iced tea in my hand listening to the people in front of me
discussing their “callings” and the people behind me discuss the Word of
Wisdom makes me want to “Long Island” my iced tea. Too bad I hate the way
Good luck with your stint in Mormonsville. You sound like a great mom.