Date: September 13, 2018 08:41PM
Four Ways The Shame Culture Is Corrupting Mormon Culture.
1st. The Caste System Within Mormon Culture.
One of the first things the shame culture does is feed one’s pride. It does this by categorizing everyone and creating a caste system so to speak. (A caste system is a class system). A few examples of The Mormon Caste System are, Pioneer stock vs Converts, Rich vs Poor, Early RM’s vs RM’s, Baptizing Missionaries vs Non-Baptizing Missionaries, Singles vs Married, Those who have served missions vs those who have not, Large Families vs Small Families. I could go on and on about the growing caste system within Mormonism.
We even do this with the leadership of the Church, we want to idolize them as more than men. One time I was doing an endowment at the Salt Lake Temple and Elder Christofferson sat right in front of me! And then Steve Young sat right next to me. I made a comment about how cool it was to do an endowment with Elder Christofferson, Steve Young turned to me and said, “He is just a man, as normal as me or you.”
It was humbling to see that to Steve Young, an Apostle, an NFL Super Star, and a single 24-year-old Mormon were all the same. His words reminded me that in the Kingdom of God, there are no caste systems! Each of us is a child of God with the potential to become like Him.
“it is essential that our preeminent identity is as a child of God.”
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom
"it is essential that our preeminent identity is as a child of God." Elder Donald L. Hallstrom #ByGogoGoff
2nd. Treating Culture As If It Was A Commandment.
One of the biggest contributors to the shame culture within Mormonism is when we blend culture and commandments. Growing up a few young men in my ward had long hair, members would incessantly tease them and tell them to cut his hair. Last I checked there is not a commandment that tells us certain haircuts are sinful. Beards do not violate temple covenants.
The fact of the matter is this, too many Mormons, like the Pharisees of old, love inventing new commandments. They theorize and then teach these commandments of men mingled with scripture as doctrine. But the worst part is they then judge others on how diligently they keep their faux commandments. And even if it is a real commandment they are struggling with, the best place for them to be is in church working on it!
Take, for example, my boss. Who I had been trying to share the gospel with for years. I invited him to the Provo City Center Temple Open House and he agreed! He told admitted that one of his ‘bucket list’ items as to go inside a temple, as his sister had joined the church and was married in one.
We had an amazing car ride talking about the gospel, the video at the beginning of the tour was amazing, he told me he had so many questions and as we were walking into the temple he asked me “Why do Mormons believe in baptisms for the dead?” As I started to reply an elderly couple turned around looking appalled and told us in a loud voice “BE QUIET IN THE TEMPLE!” They gave us nasty looks and we walked the rest of the way in silence.
After the tour was over as we drove home, I asked what his favorite part was and if he had any questions? He replied, “Why was that couple so rude to us?” It was such a negative experience that it was the only thing he remembered. I tried to explain that to some members they equate absolute silence with reverence, but it was too late. As I dropped him off at his house he said: “Well, I can check that off my bucket list now.”
“When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: Stop it!”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: Stop it!" President Dieter F. Uchtdorf #ByGogoGoff
3rd. Allowing Politics To Divide Us.
Politics is the most divisive thing I’ve witnessed separating people within the church. Want to know the big secret? God is neither conservative nor liberal. God is not a Republican, Democrat, or a Libertarian and we need to stop acting like He is. Each of the political ideologies has aspects of the Gospel incorporated in them. To quote a 2016 letter from the First presidency. “Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties, and members should seek candidates who best embody those principles.”
I have seen too many members who take it upon themselves to declare the church supports their political ideology. And not only that, they go so far as to treat all members who disagree with them as apostates. Yes, we must be engaged in the political arena, but we must always act as disciples of Christ. At political rallies/marches/protests/town hall meetings, we should always act in accordance with the principles of the gospel.
The great danger is when our politics becomes our God. Ask yourself, do people know me as Latter-day Saint or as Democrat/Republican/Libertarian? Do I put as much effort into building the Kingdom of God as I do a political kingdom? Never let politics draw you away from building the Kingdom of God.
“A threat to our unity derives from unseemly personal antagonisms developed in partisan political controversy.”
The First Presidency. October conference, 1951.
“A threat to our unity derives from unseemly personal antagonisms developed in partisan political controversy." The First Presidency. October conference, 1951. #ByGogoGoff
4th. Persecuting Others. Are Vistors Really Welcome?
A Message From Costco
In front of every LDS Church is a sign declaring “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Visitors Welcome.” But sometimes I wonder if members have another sign that they place in the lobby, chapel, and classrooms. A sign placed by the attitude, lack of friendliness, and judgemental looks. A sign that reads:”Visitors not welcome, unless you think like us, look like us, and are straight.” We must always remember that this is NOT our church but His church. Jesus Christ sets the rules.
One of the saddest examples of this happened in Nevada. A stake was doing a “Why I believe” series with famous members of the stake sharing their testimony of the restored gospel. The stake president asked Harry Reid, a convert to Church and the United States Senate Majority Leader to share his conversion story. Harry Reid agreed, but threats from members of the church who disagreed with his politics became so bad that his security detail told him it was too dangerous, he was forced to cancel the fireside. Think about that. It was too dangerous for a Mormon to share his testimony in a Mormon chapel because his political ideology was different!
I can’t help but close my eyes and see Christ crying over how members of His church treat others. Christ has declared that in His church visitors will be welcome. Welcome to the active and less active alike, welcome to the person who is a temple worker and the person who struggles with the word of wisdom. Welcome to the LGBTQ youth who need to be told they are a child of God and that someone loves them! His arms are open and welcoming everyone. Do our actions echo or disagree with His?