On a positive note….

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.)

Dear Natalie,
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….


About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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10 Responses to On a positive note….

  1. Cele says:

    Scott very good notes about the kind people you have met and know. Most of the Mormon people I have met are very kind (most – but then every group of people has their creeps and meanies.) And Natalie is right, Funeral Potatoes (known at Debbie’s Potatoes in Oregon) are to die for.


  2. David says:

    Create controversy to hawk books…pathetic


  3. Tracy says:

    David, unless you know what you’re talking about, please refrain from typing anything more on this blog.

    Trolling is a big no, no.


  4. David says:

    I don’t know what trolling is, enlighten me, and maybe it is you who does not understand that the almighty $ is what this site is all about


  5. Really, David? Glad you are so enlightened. Did God share this message with you? You don’t know me from Adam… pun intended. Perhaps you should do a little RESEARCH before indicting me… Alas, no. That would require you to pull your head out of your, uh, nether regions and actually THINK rather than just judge.

    Welcome to a typical Mormon mindset. See, Wayne? THIS is why I don’t stop. Because Mormons will NOT leave me alone. And yes, David, we are ALL aware that you are Mormon.


  6. Wayne says:

    I have often stated how difficult it is to communicate via the unspoken word and get the exact message and feelings of compassion that one would like to. It is hard to overcome a reputation that someone might “earn” in their “strong” words, statements or long articles, as they make an effort to get others to see “the point”. For an example: I am sure that even now, when the name “WAYNE” shows up on a blog, immediately the red flag goes up in everyone’s mind that says, oh no, “Wayne the troublemaker is back.” Even when I address you Natalie with your name at the beginning of the statement, I am sure the red flag syndrome goes into effect. I am sorry this happens and I am not sure how to resolve the situation. All I can say is I am sorry for the hard feelings that have come. I made a comment in the beginning that I was not trying to be contentious in my statements, and I meant that. Although I guess the line between ‘contention’ and being ‘firm’ or ‘strong’ can be a fine line. Again I say I am sorry. I just know Natalie, that we (you and me and all of your friends on your site) could be VERY good friends if we were meet and to get to know each other personally. And that includes Richard Pacham.

    I was very pleased with the comments that Scott Goold (and you) made in regard to me and other members of the church. Thanks to you both.

    I have other comments that I would like to make but do not have the time, as I have committed myself next week to be one of the adult leaders at a Young Women’s Camp up by Heber City, Utah, and have to get my camping gear ready today. I already have my guitar and harmonica ready to go.

    Sincerely, Wayne


  7. Wayne, I do not take offense when I see your name, nor do my hackles go up. I see an open dialogue that doesn’t happen too often. I encourage it. I totally agree with your comment that I’m sure we could be friends. I think this is a good way to BREACH the gap between Mormon and former Mormon (at least I tried to be a former Mormon). There is really no other way to do it.

    Oh, and have fun in Heber! Girls Camp… ay yi yi. The stories I could tell….


  8. Cele says:

    I have to say I get no red flags when I read your name. I read the whole post and then go from their. That is the same in the past, I read the post and then called you names. Which is pretty childish on my part, but it was the way you struck me in the past.

    But I read each post first (sometimes not always accurate – because I can be a bit dense) and then I reply / comment / insert head of ass as the mood fits me that specific day.

    Sith (means peace)


  9. Moon says:

    Re: 18, in Oregon, we call that recycling. 😉


  10. Umm.. I still remember how to make potato salad, but not the funeral potatoes.


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