Last week an interesting thing happened at my daughters’ junior high. On Thursday, all the REALLY ACTIVE MORMONS in the 9th Grade came to school in their Sunday-go-to-meetin’ garb. Now, why did they do this, you might ask? See, this past weekend was the Mormon General Conference. And apparently, in honor of General Conference, they all dressed up. Now, this might sound innocent, and perhaps it even was, on the face of it.
But when we dissect it closer, if you have even ONE OUNCE of a crack in your mind that isn’t completely steeped in all things Mormon, and through which a little light shines, you might see there are some issues here.
First of all, living in this Mormon state, asking kids to do something like this proved one purpose. It showed WHO was Mormon and WHO was not. And nothing else. It also showed that the MAJORITY of the ninth grade is Mormon, and attends Seminary. And it also served to point out just WHO WAS NOT MORMON, so the rest of the masses could avoid them like the plague.
Now, Mormons, I can hear your arguments, because I’ve already heard them from my dad. So let me get this out right now. I do not think that the seminary teachers thought, “Hey, here’s a good way to ostracize everyone at our school who isn’t Mormon. Let’s tell all the kids to dress up in honor of General Conference, and then they will know just who is chosen, and who is not.”
No, I don’t think that’s how it went down. I sincerely hope that’s not how it went down. But in reality, none of that matters. What DOES matter is that it was wrong. Whatever the reason, it backfired, because it only spotlighted that Mormons think they are special, and there is a HUGE gap between Mormons and non-Mormons, and that divide will NEVER be bridged. Whatever you do on Sunday is your business. And how you live your life is also your business. But SPOTLIGHTING just who ISN’T what you are is stupid, rude, and downright nasty.
And that is the only outcome that could come from this. Because this IS a Mormon state. And this IS a Mormon city. And we even have politicians in this Mormon city that have deemed it almost illegal to have city-sanctioned events on MONDAYS because that is the Mormon Family Home Evening night.
The majority of the population is Mormon, and so it was not brave, or honorable for these kids to wear their Sunday clothes to school. The majority of the ninth grade was doing the same damn thing. It was the same old, “I”m a Mormon and you aren’t, so neener, neener, neener.” Or “Boys and girls, take a good look, because the kids NOT in dress clothes? Not temple material. Don’t date them.”
My father argued that the intent of the seminary teacher/teachers was pure, and perhaps it was. He also argued that the Mormon Church does NOT teach they are better than everyone else. They do not encourage division and separation. Wrongo. Only Mormons will go to the Celestial Kingdom. Ring a bell with ya? The Mormon Church has been one of division and separation for years. Things have started to change, but as long as events like this happen, it’s just three steps forward and forty-two steps back.
Because, after all, these kids were NOT dressing up to GO TO CONFERENCE. Oh no. Conference was on the weekend. This happened on a Thursday. DURING REGULAR SCHOOL HOURS. Public school hours, no less. They were not attending a program, or putting on a special program. No, the only reason to wear the clothing was to show that they WERE MORMON. And spotlight who was NOT Mormon.
So much for separation of church and state.