I received this comment from Scott Goold. (Not sure if that’s a typo, but that is how he put his name into the comments field.)
I grew up in Pocatello, Idaho, and know a great deal about the Mormon culture. Although I am not Mormon, I would like to respond to Wayne regarding ten things Mormons do well. I co-direct a basketball camp for Special Needs athletes each summer with a Mormon family in Oregon, see http://www.HoopCamp.net. I admire the volunteer service provided by ALL the member of this family (#1). I admire the volunteer service from members of the Church who also assist (#2). We are never short of help, food or supplies. Mormons, in general, are very giving people (#3).
I respect greatly how they raise their children (#4). Sure, there is a lot of religious doctrine I do not accept or understand, but they are tolerant people (#5). Their home is full of love, joy and happiness (#6). They are highly focused on creating a positive and rewarding family environment (#7). The husband is emotionally strong and a good provider for the family (#8). The wife is emotionally stable and a good teacher for the family (#9). They work hard to build “community” in their community (#10). There’s no need to lock doors, close their garage or worry about their property… their neighbors, Morman and non, look after each other (#11).
My wife and I don’t have children, but if we did, I would love to be near or in a Mormon community. I would feel safe having my kids hang out with their children (#12).
Last summer I was discussing life with one of the young adult males. He was considering a career with the DEA. I was puzzled. Why do that, I asked? These officials are so frustrated. He wanted to help end drug abuse in America. I pointed out that the Church community does not have a drug problem (#13). Sure, there are people in any group who have drinking, drug, gambling, etc. problems, but Mormons in general have a significantly lower rate than the rest of America. There is less divorce (#14).
Now, Wayne, I wish you would ease up on Natalie. Your ranting only pushes people to the extremes. I grew up close to Mormons, nearly married a cheerleader from BYU, but the doctrine didn’t work for me. I understand her position and feelings. I respect her — without knowing her — greatly.
Whenever any group feels they have the ABSOLUTE truth, I am concerned. If god wanted us to know the truth, there wouldn’t be so much confusion in our world. The Christians, Jews, Muslims — ALL — believe they have the “word.” How can this be? But the saddest part is all the killing and bloodshed over god and religion. It makes me sick and cynical.
Mormons are good people with great hearts. I ask you, Wayne, to open your heart to Natalie and people like me. Respect our frustration with god, religion, spirituality. Mr. Pacham is just as correct in his beliefs about atheism as you are about Mormonism. These are issues of faith — not science. There is no “factual” proof, only our beliefs.
I truly believe that if Jesus walked among us today, he would never rant or rave. He would listen. He would make room for all to talk and ask questions. He would give us an example to live by, not simply talk, talk, talk… Show us, by example, of your faith — which should be to extend love and courtesy to Natalie.
If she wants to exit the Church, why do leaders make this difficult? Where is the compassion? Be the strong, wholesome people that I see so often (#15). Be there for questions and help those in need, but do not persecute. I believe the Church and its members have experienced enough of this.
Thanks, Scott. I can definitely add on to your list.
#16: I was thrilled to see the LDS community rally around the family of Destiny Norton when she disappeared. If only her story had played out differently. But the local church served as the homebase, and thousands of Mormons volunteered to search for her. So sad she was found murdered.
#17: When my neighbor Linda was diagnosed with cancer, the ward rallied around her, bringing in meals and mowing her lawn, etc. They need to stop sending those teenage boys over to work alone, though. Without a supervisor, they don’t get much done except to shove each other and oogle passing girls. They’re teenagers. Mutants, remember?
#18: I really admire how creative Mormons are. How many people do YOU know who can make crafts out of old Clorox bottles? Huh? I dare you to answer that.
#19: Mormons put a REALLY big emphasis on dance. As long as it’s morally uplifting and all that….
#20: Funeral potatoes and Mormon potato salad are TO DIE FOR. Uh… Well, not literally, because if you DIE, you don’t get to eat the funeral potatoes. That would be a shame….