When I was young in the 60s the "mormon life" seemed so different. Neighbors helping each other, the widows taken care of, people actually voted against some bishops or other folks the church wanted in power.
Was this simply a community taking care of itself who happened to be at least nominally mormon or was it a mormon community?
donbagley Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > A TBM is either lying to someone else or himself. > My opinion is that there is no authentic Mormon > life.
I think parts are authentic and not orhers. Do members enjoy munch and mingles, or love their children? I think most do. But do they feel the same about endowment sessions after several viewings in a day and tithing?
I have friends who have been active for years, but they really don't seem particularly "spiritual". It's all about being members of a club that they've always been members of. They keep their cognitive dissonance under control by simply not thinking deeply about the doctrines, the history or any of those pesky "intellectual" things.
Instead, they "rely on the arm of God" which really just means that they go with the flow--the flow being the flow that is determined by the General Authorities and the general consensus among the other active members as to "what is good" at any particular time. They've been bishops and stake presidents and have gone through all of the motions. They go to the temple and never seem to be bothered by the obvious silliness of it. The important thing is to maintain respectability within the club and among their TBM family members.
Trying to have a deep conversation with them about the specifics of Mormon history and doctrine is like trying to have a deep conversation about original sin, transubstantiation and indulgences with a 3-year old. You try something like that with a 3-year old and they're likely to say something like: "stop talking about 'orange ale sing' and 'train sub-station'. It makes my head hurt." I used to get pretty much the same response from my TBM-larping friends. I don't even bother anymore. I know they really don't want to know the truth or even think about it. The only truth that matters to them is that this (the Mormon church) is the community they grew up in. This is their "home base" culture. This is social sphere in which all of their close friends and relatives reside and...so...it makes no sense to them to look at "negative" things that put their community/home base/core social sphere in a bad light.
I provided a bit of a clue in "fake it til you make it". Did you ever do drama as a child? Did they make you pretend to be a tree or a soldier? In fact very small children larp all the time - they inhabit a character.
It's an acronym for "live action role playing". You could see it as being like one of those pretentious actors who not only plays a character onscreen but stays in that character when the camera stops rolling for a while.
In an extended sense, you see people "larping" all over the place. I've seen rich kids pretending to be poor, or even part of some oppressed group, as if they're inhabiting someone else's character. So larping is actually quite common. My question is whether most church members do this. I think many young missionaries "larp" - they are forced into it, and have to live it, and look like they do.
If you LARP too much, reality and fantasy will blur and you can end up almost merging into your role play character. In one or two places you can go right over.
Jordan Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > If you LARP too much, reality and fantasy will > blur and you can end up almost merging into your > role play character. In one or two places you can > go right over.
Most people are on a spectrum of "fake it till you make it" in my opinion.
We are creatures who routinely raise our sight higher than we can see to judge things. In my opinion acting like there is a grand conspiracy in anything that you entangle with your own personal reality is just another form of LARPing.
If so, there is a serious deficit of costumes and imagination. Moron churches and church services have nothing....no stained glass, no beautiful choir nor energetic band, no robes for the head guy...things other services I've been to, had. No pagentry, no processions holding the cross. No embroidered seat covers, no artifacts up front to look at. Nothing.
I assume that is all saved for the temple (for those who can get there) but other religions, you get all that whenever you want to walk in. I've never seen anything so grim and joyless as the Christmas morning sacrament meeting.
It would liven things up were there some costumes...but I'm deviating from your point, Jordan. I don't know if they were faking it as in RPG's, but if so, I wonder what they get out of it if they don't truly believe that made-up, imaginary 'religion' consisting of JS's fraud...
engage in some degree of LARPing based on the central narrative(s) of their organization.
Unfortunately for Mormons, their LARPing experience is the equivalent of getting Halloween costumes from the Dollar Store. But they're paying premium prices.
They need to shop and compare, instead of sticking with the Mormon LARP just because their parents did it.
I think the best LARPing bang for your buck these days is the Russian Orthodox or Greek Orthodox religion. Roman Catholicism isn't bad. Big cathedrals, holy water, crucifixes, leaders who wear silk nightgowns and beanies and cool slippers. Crossing yourself in times of distress. Lots of cool LARP elements.
LARPing in Mormonism is like sticking a broom between your legs and pretending that you're riding a horse. Other organizations get real horses and don't charge you any more money than Mormonism.
They try hard with the temples, but there's nothing cool about using "special underwear" as a major LARP prop.
blueskyutah2 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Your question may be better asked as: > > In the society we live in, is it possible to not > LARP? If so, how would you describe such a life?
It's practically impossible not to do it to some degree, right? We all have personas, but take it as read that I mean way above the average level here (whatever that is).
My mother was a convert, and before that she was a method actress.
She truly "believed," but I think she was so successful at being a method actress she lived the roles she played and her art imitated her life & vice versa.
She lived the lie. Even after my parents divorce and she went inactive for the latter part of her life. She went back to tobacco smoking and that caused her further inactivity because she didn't feel worthy enough to set foot back inside a Mormon church house. But she still didn't give up her Mormon beliefs.
Mom was raised a Methodist in Utah. She was youth president of Methodists as a teenager for the state of Utah when she was in high school. She was religious minded and grew up in a very strict home with a very strict dad who was really strict with his three daughters. Not so much with his son, who got away with more than the girls did. But when my mom converted to Mormonism after her marriage to my dad, her father stopped speaking to her for fourteen long years until he was on his deathbed. And she still didn't renege on her "beliefs." My dad and her were like oil and vinegar. They divorced after 21 years of marriage. And 3/4 of that was a temple marriage. But she still didn't renege on her Mormon beliefs. Her second husband was a Jack Mormon. He dragged Mom down with him, but she held her own sort of.
She defended her faith, but she couldn't live the walk. So she fell away ... she wasn't "perfect" enough to stay a latter day saint. I was sort of relieved in a way because it humanized my mother to me. It also made me feel sorry to see her fall apart and her life deteriorate more after my parents divorce. Her prime years were while she was married to my dad.
She was an eclectic sort of person. Too bad I didn't really get to know her as well as I'd have liked to. She was a complex person, and none of us were really very close to her. She was sort of estranged from all her children. She didn't know how to be a mother. But she was a really good actress. The show must go on, and it did. She was our stake drama director for several years where I grew up. And very good at it. She put on some really good road shows during those years.
Her parents were both orphans. I think because her dad had been so strict and passive aggressive with his daughters, that they didn't get a lot of nurturing as children. Which may be why my mother wasn't very good at nurturing her children. My dad was more a nurturer than my mother was. He was the one who paced me as a baby. She wouldn't get up when I cried, but he would. And I was the only girl, so that was maybe why I became a "daddy's girl," I think. If I wanted something I could go to him. It frustrated mom, because if she said no dad would say yes.
Really hard to say. I have been at church and looked at someone and wondered "do they believe all this?"
In some cases, I think they DO believe it's all real. In others, I'm not so sure and I think there is some LARPing. The younger missionaries don't all convince me. Some of them appear to be doing it since they've been told to, or because of family pressure. I remember one guy - a Romanian no less (Romanian LDS must be thin on the ground) - who used to sigh a little every time he got asked to do anything, like doing a blessing or a prayer. Yet he completed his mission and went home undisgraced. As far as his family and ward/branch were concerned, they must have thought he had done his duty, and that he believed in what he was doing. When he got back, he may have even convinced himself that it was better than it was.
Don't get me wrong. The Romanian missionary was not an unpleasant guy, but it is clear that his heart was not in it. In order to get through his mission, he must have had to lie frequently and tried to act the part (which he was not good at). His one free pass was that he was not a native English speaker, so his language was a bit monotone sometimes. However, I did feel a bit sorry for him, and used to make him and his companion some nice meals, and drove them round in my car - occasionally I would take them on a detour around some local sights, on the way to wherever, because I know many missionaries serve in places while barely seeing them. I hope I made his mission a little less unpleasant or dreary.
I'm just glad I never served a mission. Even at my most active, it was not my thing. I don't know if I could have role played 24/7.
Same here. Going on a mission was not my schtick. Neither was going to church college. I didn't date Mormon men. As a college undergrad I did attend institute classes at college in my Idaho secular colleges, off but near the campus. And a singles ward. But I didn't date the Mormon men.
There was no attraction for me or them. I was too analytical and independent for them even while I was active TBM, long before my shelf had broken for good.
The Mormons seemed like they lived in a bubble to me. I had seen more of the world by the time I was their age, and my emotional IQ was lightyears ahead of theirs. I was an old soul in my 20's. Maybe even when I was a child. It just took me a long time to realize that and grow into my skin.