Life is a journey. Nobody lives “life” without trial and everybody has a story. I am no different. The past three years have been a tumultuous part of my journey, but I guess at least it wasn’t boring.
Part of that journey is a realization, and I have to be careful with that word. When I first starting writing books, on a read through I discovered my characters had realizations every other second or so! But still, it’s a good word, and one I need right now, so I’m going to use it. Forgive me.
Below is a part of an email I sent a friend, one who is walking the line between Mormon belief and disbelief, mostly non-believing, but wanting to bask in the comfort of the tried and true. He asked me a question, and it really got me thinking. How DOES one sit on that fence? I really don’t think it’s possible, at least not in the Mormon religion, and yet I know a LOT of people are doing it. Everybody who gets up and goes to a Mormon church on Sunday does NOT believe they are the ONLY TRUE THING IN THE WORLD. It just doesn’t work that way.
But why can some people walk the line, and sit on the fence, and others, like me, not do it? What is that distinction?
I’m really curious here, so let’s have some dialogue. I promise to post more regularly, Trapees, if you go with me on this one.
Here is what I wrote in my email:
I never set out to convince anyone they were wrong, and that is what so many people don’t understand about me. This has always been about life from my viewpoint. My writing. Everything. I will never march on Temple Square, or wave someone’s garments on a stick, or hand out pamphlets outside those gates. The people that come to my site, or read my books, have fair warning. “I am not on YOUR territory, you are on mine.”
As much right as the LDS Church has to send out missionaries to convince the world they have the only true thing, so do I have the right to say I don’t believe it’s the only true thing.
I don’t do it on their sites and in their territory, but they continually come onto MY territory and attack me. But I don’t intend to change my stance or my tactics. In the end, they look bad to the outside world. A Mormon friend of mine told me I “knew how to pick” my battles. He’s right. I don’t argue what I won’t win. The things I argue, I can prove. And I don’t have an issue saying, “I don’t know.” Because a lot of the time, I don’t know.
This is my culture, too, but I don’t and can’t walk the line. I’m honest, upfront, and live what I believe. I see a lot of damage come out of Mormonism, and it’s not the way I choose to live my life. Would I ever go back to The Church, and consider going to the Temple? No.
I guess if that’s what you want me to say, I’m saying it. I certainly wouldn’t tell you not to do that, but I’m not sure those two viewpoints can go together. More because of the viewpoint YOU would be embracing, than the viewpoint I would be embracing.
Mormonism only works with other Mormons. It is not a culture or religion made to intermingle with the rest of the world. In fact, it works solely on the belief that Mormons are “special” and that all the things they are doing are going to get them to the highest of God’s kingdoms. And only other Mormons will be there.
That world is one I don’t want to live in.