NeverMo in CA
Date: December 28, 2019 08:01PM
The only times I heard anything about Mormons growing up here in he SF Bay Area, the comments were positive or neutral. For example, there was a guy in my class at Catholic school who was being raised Catholic; his dad was Catholic, but his mom was a Mormon (and a practicing one, as far as I know). Occasionally you might hear, "Jacob's mom is Mormon" from some parent, but it was simply a mildly interested observation--no judgement about it. My mom in particular had a lot of nice things to say about Mormons, in part because a woman who was her teacher's aide for many years was a practicing Mormon. My mom would always make a point of saying that "Mormons are such nice people. They have good values," etc. That seemed always to be the general view I heard of Mormons, on the rare occasions I heard anything: their religion might be a little odd or mysterious, but at least they had "good values."
However, about three years ago a younger cousin of mine converted to Mormonism in her mid-20s and married an RM (after knowing him about five months). Her parents and siblings, and her aunt, were absolutely devastated at not being able to attend the wedding at the Oakland Temple (and apparently were treated rudely at the reception, to boot). I would not have expected an invitation even if my cousin were not Mormon; we are second cousins, and my extended family is very large, so not everyone is invited to every wedding anyway, However, I was sad and angry for her poor parents and siblings. My impression is that they knew little or nothing about Mormonism prior to my cousin's conversion, and they were stunned and heartbroken not to be able to see her marry.
Anyway, my point is that since seeing how heartbroken some of our family members were at being excluded from their own daughter/niece/sister's nuptials, my mom and other relatives who previously were neutral about--or, like my mom, even positive about--Mormonism, now have a very different opinion. I've heard things like "cult-like," "I thought they cared about families," etc. I wonder if Mormons would even see the irony in that it was not "anti-Mormon" literature or websites, or a musical like The Book of Mormon, etc. that turned people off their faith, but rather, their own teachings.