Guide Experiences in Mormonism and Mormon Culture: Questions Answered

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BU-trained scholar says uninformed prejudice abounds

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Some say their experiences here have been largely positive while others are made to feel like outsiders among the Mormon majority. Veronica McMullen spent her early childhood in Springdale. That changed when she was 12 and her family moved to Cedar City. She and her brother became friends with some LDS kids who lived across the street from them. These neighbors often invited them to church and to church-related activities, but the McMullens always declined. Overall, McMullen estimates that 60 percent of her interactions with LDS people were negative during her teenage years.

She was probably the sweetest person I ever met. Interfaith socializing improved for McMullen, now 22 and no longer religious, when she began studying at Southern Utah University in Cedar City. They were more open and less judgmental. Four of them — St. Crum, a Catholic, says she learned how to adapt to various cultures because her family often moved.

Both were involved in sports, so Crum got to know the parents of their peers.

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She believes this personal association helped her family integrate better into the Southern Utah culture. Correa just moved here from Southern California in December. A retiree, he worships at Calvary Chapel in St. Everyone has just been nice and welcoming to me.

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I have no complaints at all. He immediately got involved in the community and says differences of religion have been a non-issue for him. In fact, Smith has found himself standing up for his LDS neighbors. But like McMullen, others have had a harder time with the religious division. She moved to St.

When Mormons Aspired to Be a ‘White and Delightsome’ People

George 11 years ago after spending a few years in Missouri and Connecticut. And because the LDS Church keeps its members so busy on Sundays and with various activities throughout the week, it leaves little time for cultivating networks outside of these religious groups. Needles says other aspects of LDS culture further exaggerate religious differences.

Among them is the belief in LDS doctrine that it is the only true religion. Vinney says he has observed some Latter-day Saints who are unable to tolerate anything that goes against their belief structure, making negative remarks about people who are gay or have tattoos. Yet Vinney saw some changes in the religious dynamic of Cedar City began. For a time it was positively evolving, he says. People seemed to be kinder to one another. But when construction began on the new LDS temple, Vinney says judgmental attitudes, arrogance and self-righteousness returned among some local Latter-day Saints.

He moved to Cedar City in Moreno says he personally tries to reach out in a spirit of fellowship and understanding to those who do not belong to his faith. He moved to St.

What It's Like to Be a Mormon Woman

He says their actions are often well-intended but they end up offending people because it takes a certain skill set to properly share ideals of faith. One exception was his best friend. Hunt noticed that some of his fellow Latter-day Saints treated his friend differently. That experience made him more aware of how he treats others. He says he strives to show everyone dignity, respect and kindness, whether they share his beliefs or not. It frustrates Hunt when he hears stories about his fellow Latter-day Saints acting negatively toward those outside of their faith.

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But a small, tight-knit community like Enterprise can be the type of place where even Latter-day Saints who move there find it difficult to fit into the established social ties. She later joined the church before moving to Southern Utah in As someone who experienced life in Utah from a non-LDS perspective, Griffin says she can empathize with those who have had negative experiences with Latter-day Saints. Griffin says most Latter-day Saints are just trying to live by standards that are important to them. When her family first moved to Cedar City, McMullen says she felt as if the only reason her neighbors interacted with them was to introduce the LDS Church.

However, she wonders why those same neighbors quit talking to her family after they declined invitations to attend church. You should go to church on Sundays, while also making an effort to be spiritual and serve others throughout the week.

Episode Highlights

The first step is usually to meet with missionaries. They can also answer any of your questions about the Church and let you know what is expected from members. You should also start attending worship services.

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How do I become a Mormon? Stories of faith. But then he met someone who changed his perspective—and they started a marriage that can last forever.