A new quiz recently began circulating on Facebook “What kind of Mormon are you, really?” And call me a no fun downer if you must (it’s probably an accurate description), but I find the entire quiz a little troublesome. Perhaps I shouldn’t even take seriously a quiz that asks if you are team Jacob or team Edward to determine if you are a jack Mormon or not, except that smart college educated individuals are circulating the results of this quiz as though the answer has some significance. The bigger problem with the quiz is the implication that there are some hidden divisions among Mormons that need to be identified and separated out.
Diverse Unity among Mormons
I do not mean to imply that all Mormons are the same. In fact, just the opposite. There is an important difference between individuality and schismaticism (a word I discovered I made up to mean identifying with a long list of increasingly specific groups). All Mormons have unique circumstances, understanding, and cultural traditions. The key to becoming Zion rests in our ability to use those differences to bind us, rather than allowing those differences to divide us.
The Lord explains he called the city of Enoch Zion because, “they were of one heart and one mind.” This does not preclude differences, but requires us to conceptualize the idea of “Mormon” to include every possible variety of “Mormon.”
I think one of the important purposes of the recent “And I’m a Mormon” campaign is not only to show the diversity of the Church to others, but to show the diversity of the Church to the members of the Church. When we divide those members into sub-groups, with an implied quality judgment—the subtitle of the quiz reads “Some of us are cut out for Utah, some of us aren’t—we undermine the greater unity of the Church.
Cultural Components of a Global Church
During the October 2003 General Conference, Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke about the cultural differences among the Church. Elder Oaks explains that there are many cultures across the world, and people from every culture can become part of the culture of the gospel, by learning the plan of salvation and obeying the commandments. Both Filipino and Utah Mormons are important cultural components to the larger culture of the gospel.
So if you’re bored, and see the “What kind of Mormon are you really” quiz floating along your Facebook newsfeed, go ahead and take it. Find out if you’re an Idaho Mormon because you’re not hip to the newest trends or an East Coast Mormon because you’re educated and progressive, but remember that’s what important is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that unites us.