"Are You Mormon?"

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
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Linked
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"Are You Mormon?"

Post by Linked » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:06 pm

I had a NBA Dunk Contest party at my house Saturday night and my brother and his family came over. We were eating the spread of taquitos, Cafe Rio sweet pork nachos, basketball cookies, and rice krispy treats when I heard my sis-in-law say to my 8 year old niece, "Why don't you ask him?" So she timidly asked me if I am mormon.

I was not prepared to answer that question to my niece, especially in that situation. I blurted out that of course I am mormon, and asked her why she asked. She said that she heard that one of the uncles had made her brother not mormon anymore and thought it might be me. I had nothing to do with my nephew's religious views, he was open about his disaffection before I was. So I told her that I did not do anything to affect her brother's beliefs.

That interaction has led to a number of emotions. I'm frustrated that I am blamed for someone's disaffection that I had nothing to do with. Then I wish I could be there more for my nephew as his life is not easy, and that I actually did have a hand in it as an example if nothing else.

More deeply, the question of whether or not I am mormon has been rolling around in my brain. I'm like a blade of Fine Fescue in a lawn of Kentucky Bluegrass. I'm part of the lawn, but I'm not the same breed. My roots are heavily intertwined with the rest of the lawn, and leaving would be tricky. I am definitely not Kentucky Bluegrass though.

But that isn't really a good analogy because I'm not grass and the question isn't about a lawn. My beliefs are completely not mormon. I don't kind of believe the things the church teaches, nor do I selectively believe church teachings. I am tied to mormons by birth family, marriage, and friendship. They tied/tie me to mormonism by raising me to believe it, by talking about it all the time, by it being their most important in/out group, [ETA] by threatening divorce if I cross an undefined line of behavior[/ETA]. My lifestyle is still within the scope of believing mormon lifestyles, though more liberal than it used to be. If I didn't have the social pressure from my DW my lifestyle would be out of scope, but I think I would still be a generally good guy.

So, am I mormon?
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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No Tof
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by No Tof » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:05 pm

Good question.

I was an all in TBM Mormon for 53 years.

Went through a phase where I told others I was a recovering mormon then to saying I was raised in the faith but no longer an connected to ghe church.

Now I just ask what difference it makes if asked.

I still feel Mormon in so many ways, but without the baggage of guilt or expectation.

So to answer your post I’d say, you’ll always be a Mormon of some kind.

Exmo jackmo less active mo. Some type.

With time I believe it becomes more comfortable to be where you are and accept your past as you move towards a healthy future life.

Good luck.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.
Rumi

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Ghost
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by Ghost » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:27 pm

I was just thinking today about how this never really comes up for me because I've lived and worked in the same community for years, and most people I associate with (at least locally) seem to know that I'm the token Mormon (or possibly one of a handful that they know). If I were to decide one day that I wanted to distance myself in some way from that identity, I have no idea how I would even go about it. Maybe by trying coffee?

But it's fine because I still think of myself as Mormon, even if the unspoken asterisk may be heavier than the word itself at this point.

Not really related, but I attended a few meetings held by a "free-thinkers" group a few years ago, and later ran into a member of that group in another context. She happened to say something about "we atheists," talking to someone else but referring to me. That bothered me, as I don't identify with that label at all regardless of the state of my beliefs. I didn't bother correcting her, though.

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2bizE
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by 2bizE » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:43 pm

someone asked me that and i replied that i was Mormonish.
~2bizE

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wtfluff
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by wtfluff » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:08 pm

"I'm a proud, non-believing mormon. Just like the vast majority of mormons."

I actually used that first sentence as a reply the last time I was asked the dreaded "Are you mormon?" question.

It would be fun to use the second sentence with believing mormons. If they know anything at all about attendance numbers, they know the second sentence is True™.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Sometimes Darkness Can Show You The Light...

Thoughtful
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by Thoughtful » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:24 pm

For me, I think Mormon by ethnicity, but relating to LDS less and less.

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redjay
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by redjay » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:42 am

I'm a

Liberal mormon
Lapsed mormon
Hopeful mormon
Embarrassed mormon
Transitioning mormon
Apathetic mormon

So I guess at some level I'm mormon and always will be.
At the halfway home. I'm a full-grown man. But I'm not afraid to cry.

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nibbler
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by nibbler » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:28 am

Emancipated Mormon.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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Corsair
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by Corsair » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:48 am

I tell people that I was "raised Mormon." It's enough of a hint that they realize that I will drink coffee but still understand the workings of the LDS church.

Jewish culture has not evolved to the point where someone can be a Liberal or Reform and still be considered Jewish enough to attend a synogogue and enjoy a Seder meal at Passover. An Orthodox or Conservative Jew might roll their eyes at their Reform brethren, but still acknowledge their common heritage. Mormon culture is a long way from that, partly because they still have a strong central authority in the largest branch of Joseph's Restoration movement.

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slavereeno
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by slavereeno » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:59 am

I've started billing myself as a "progressive", "unorthodox" or "non-literal" Mormon. Baby steps with my family. If I get questioned about what "non-literal" means my go-to is the story of Noah and the Ark. Its an easy win because its only an indirect attack on literal Mormonism because its in the OT and lots of Mormons can dismiss it. I haven't gotten any follow-ups yet, most just kind of nod and accept that.

I have introduced these terms with my siblings, some of my kids, Mom and Dad. At times it seems to me that to come right out and denounce everything openly would sterilize my ability to influence my family. Maybe to be seen as a Mormon by all of them and be able to make arguments that are liberal and controversial and at least give some members of my fam a few minutes of thought about it is worthy of consideration.

I made some pretty heavy handed remarks about homosexuality in a mixed family group that I know would have been shut down or the conversation changed if they didn't at least feel like I was still affiliated. So I have been weighing the cost of a complete public disaffection. There really are times when I want to completely denounce the church and hope that would give others enough courage to do likewise. Then other times I think I would like to just stay, on my own terms, and still be able to maintain, for the most part, my relationships with the true-blues in my family that will never, never, leave the church.

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Red Ryder
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:01 am

I tell people I was raised Methodist.

It saves a lot of time and energy.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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didyoumythme
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by didyoumythme » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:13 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:01 am
I tell people I was raised Methodist.

It saves a lot of time and energy.
I can’t do this yet because I still want credit for doing the whole Mormon thing. Not sure why. I want people to know that I was all in, but consciously decided to leave it behind. Of course I also feel like I have to justify being Mormon still when people learn that I am.

Most people just won’t get the whole faith transition thing.
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease being honest, or cease being mistaken. - Anonymous

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alas
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by alas » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:40 am

I think in this case, the important thing is that your niece needs to know that you are not to blame for making her brother leave the church. So, you gave her that assurance, which is great.

But obviously you have other relatives gossiping about you and thinking you led your nephew astray. I am wondering if there is a way that you can let the relatives know that nephew made his own decision before he came and talked to you.

But about the question, I still consider myself culturally Mormon. So, depending on the situation, I say I was raised Mormon, that I am culturally Mormon, liberal Mormon, or I say that the church no longer wants me. Or I have told people that I repented of Mormonism long ago.

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græy
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by græy » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:58 am

Linked wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:06 pm
I'm like a blade of Fine Fescue in a lawn of Kentucky Bluegrass. I'm part of the lawn, but I'm not the same breed. My roots are heavily intertwined with the rest of the lawn, and leaving would be tricky. I am definitely not Kentucky Bluegrass though.

But that isn't really a good analogy because I'm not grass and the question isn't about a lawn...
I feel like I really relate to this analogy. It highlights the way the question "Are you Mormon?" changes meaning dramatically depending on who is asking the question. They might just want to know if you're some shade of green and anywhere in the vicinity of the rest of the lawn. Or, they might be wondering if they need to get the weed killer. They're either asking for general interest and the answer has no real consequences, or they're questioning whether or not they should file for divorce.

I go through the actions, but I don't really believe any of the truth claims or miracle stories. Most of the doctrines I once cherished just seem ridiculous. I feel like I'm in the church but not of the church, but my actions show that I am fully in and of.

No one asks the question because no one doubts. Which is good, I still don't know the answer.
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Grace2Daisy
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by Grace2Daisy » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:36 pm

When we tell people we have six kids we always get the same reaction, "You're either Mormon or Catholic!" We laugh with them and never respond. There was a time when I would have proudly stated I was a fifth generation Mormon, but I frankly do not want to get into why we've moved on. My DW made the mistake saying we use to be Mormon, which always launched into a 45 minute discussion as to what happened. She eventually just said, "It's kind of whacky, so we stepped away." Funny thing is, everyone agreed with the whacky part and it never came up again.
"What is truth?" retorted Pilate. John 18:38

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:11 pm

I've used the title "non-literal" mormon with nevermos before. I also like the term HAM for half assed mormon which was mentioned before in some other thread.

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MoPag
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by MoPag » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:31 am

I like to say, I was raised Mormon and I'm still a part of that community as an activist for feminism and LGBT rights. I think it's a nice way of saying I'm not really Mormon, but not hard core anti, and I'm also trying to counter-act the crap the Mormon church is putting out there.
...walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies...--Ezra Pound

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achilles
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by achilles » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:01 am

So I did some allergy blood testing two weeks ago and found out that I am allergic to Kentucky Bluegrass...

Anyway, I consider myself a Mormon. I kind of consider it to be my ethnicity (and I think there is plenty of support for that idea from a sociological perspective). I don't go to church, but I don't make it an issue with my friends who are still believing, practicing Mormons. I don't drink, but I am seriously considering coffee just to survive life (I have less energy because of fibromyalgia, and caffeine definitely works). I am either agnostic or deist--I definitely don't believe most of the stuff that devout Brighamite Mormons believe. I am gay, and that alone complicates the answer of whether I am a Mormon.

If people ask me that question, they definitely don't know anything about my background, and I am happy to say "I was raised Mormon." I think that gives enough data...

Linked, I don't know a whole lot about your situation. It strikes me as odd that they would send their child to ask you, unless the question was hers in the first place. (send the child is weird boundaries/passive aggressive stuff, if so). I think the family situation (where they might be blaming you) is tough. There is a strong belief/fear that being a Mormon is so fragile a thing that the mere whiff of heresy or apostasy will blow it away into the wind. (I think it's kind of related to the belief/fear that there is a Satan and that he actually has that kind of control in anyone's life, to which I roll my eyes). So I don't even know how you could bring up the subject to assert you had no hand in it, or whether they would even believe you that people are responsible for their own beliefs and actions.
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

― Carl Sagan

"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."

-Joseph Campbell

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wtfluff
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by wtfluff » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:29 am

achilles wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:01 am
(send the child is weird boundaries/passive aggressive stuff, if so)
That sounds like a very good definition of "mormon culture".
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Sometimes Darkness Can Show You The Light...

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RubinHighlander
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Re: "Are You Mormon?"

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:54 pm

Linked wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:06 pm
I'm frustrated that I am blamed for someone's disaffection that I had nothing to do with.
The blame game is a common theme when TBMs have to grapple with friends and family turning NOM and leaving the herd/flock. I remember my DW, before she saw the light, blaming my NOM bro or one of my NOM friends for getting me mixed up in the antiMo info. I'd be interested to see what some of my former ward members have to say about us and why we got out or don't go anymore, other than Satan picking us up and shaking us like a dog.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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