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Do you tell your coworkers that you are Mormon?

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I am wondering if you tell your co-workers that you are Mormon.

I have in the past, but I have kind of kept my mouth shut in my current job (at a very small law firm) because I perceive an anti-religious bias and have heard anti-Mormon discussion between co-workers.  However, I have read quotations saying that one of the hallmarks of Celestial Mormons is a willingness to do missionary work among non-members, and I am thinking that perhaps my current attitude is not the most valiant.

So, what do you think?  Is telling co-workers a must, a should, a maybe, or bad taste in the workplace environment?  Is DoctorLemon smart or a total wimp?  And, how do you let co-workers know you are a member?

 

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I'm in Utah, so it's practically assumed.  It could well be that some / many of your co-workers know or suspect.  There may also be other Christian co-workers who would like to speak about their faith but feel intimidated and they just need someone to be the first (and idea from the book mentioned below).  As an introvert, I stink at this sort of thing, but our ward council has been reading a book, and it's opening my eyes to new possibilities.

The Power of Everyday Missionaries, IMO, really widens our vision of how to do missionary work - including at work (chapter 4).  I highly recommend it.  Note the ebook price: $0.00 - you can't get a better deal than that.

ETA: It's an easy read, you can read it slowly if you don't have time, and it makes missionary work seem easier rather than making you feel like you're not doing enough.

Edited by zil

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My current work environment is very open about ANYthing, so yes my co-workers know that I'm Mormon and I know their religious affiliations as well.  Like the new underlings know that there is no work on Sundays because "Jane has church and Joe has worship of the NFL".  (Joe being my work partner).  I'm also happy to answer Mormon questions, in the same conversation Joe answers football questions and Sally tells about her roommate drama.  Even if I didn't tell, my status as a nondrinker strongly suggests it (work's socialization/meetings frequently happens at a bar) and I always order the OJ.

I have been in some work environments though, when such openness was not the case.  One particular example comes to mind is a co-worker who as an extreme anti-Mormon (the type that's irrational and doesn't believe evidence straight in her face).  In that case, I just let the issue go.  That was the most civil thing. 

Edited by Jane_Doe

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2 hours ago, DoctorLemon said:

I am wondering if you tell your co-workers that you are Mormon.

I have in the past, but I have kind of kept my mouth shut in my current job (at a very small law firm) because I perceive an anti-religious bias and have heard anti-Mormon discussion between co-workers.  However, I have read quotations saying that one of the hallmarks of Celestial Mormons is a willingness to do missionary work among non-members, and I am thinking that perhaps my current attitude is not the most valiant.

So, what do you think?  Is telling co-workers a must, a should, a maybe, or bad taste in the workplace environment?  Is DoctorLemon smart or a total wimp?  And, how do you let co-workers know you are a member?

 

Have you been there long?

My experience is sometimes the Spirit restrains us from doing things. Maybe in this case it's better for them to get to know who you are, and to trust your character as a person, and then when they do find out you are LDS it could shift their conceptions of who we are.

If you feel that you've fought off promptings to share, that's a horse of a different color. 

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4 minutes ago, Eowyn said:

Have you been there long?

My experience is sometimes the Spirit restrains us from doing things. Maybe in this case it's better for them to get to know who you are, and to trust your character as a person, and then when they do find out you are LDS it could shift their conceptions of who we are.

If you feel that you've fought off promptings to share, that's a horse of a different color. 

Three years.  Which means that it may be really extra awkward bringing it up at this point, no matter what... 

As far as ignoring promptings, I had been closed to the idea of sharing my beliefs at work for the first couple of years... I can think of at least two instances where it would have been natural to have said something, but I did not.  

I prayed tonight and asked God to help me if he wants me to open my mouth, to give me an opportunity to do this,  and to help me recognize said opportunity.  So, we will see what happens...

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33 minutes ago, DoctorLemon said:

Which means that it may be really extra awkward bringing it up at this point, no matter what... 

Does no one ever ask what you did over the weekend?  Could your answer not be: "I got to give a sermon (or teach a lesson) in church." ?  or something along those lines?

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Like mirkwood, I don't hide it, and my coworkers may see me in BYU clothing and such (on the rare occasions they see me). BYU is on my resume, so it's no secret. If people ask what I've done for the weekend or over the holiday, I will tell them, and if (as is often the case) there are Mormon fingerprints all over it, so much the better. Just a few days ago, I was talking with a very sweet lady in HR and mentioned I had gone to Provo over Thanksgiving. She asked if I were Mormon, then told me that she was raised Mormon. So we had a nice conversation.

I do not hold myself up as any sort of example, so I'm not saying you should do as I do. Rather, I'm just pointing out that it's possible, even easy, to let your LDS membership be known when it comes up without wearing a CTR badge on your sleeve, so to speak.

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DocLemon, I think you should pray about it.  Sometimes what seems like the "right, and obvious" answer, isn't.  I can't imagine why the Lord would want you to withhold that information, but I've learned not to put any restraints on the Lord.  His ways are not our ways, and sometimes He is quite mysterious.  

I figure if you pray about it, you will either be promoted to keep quiet for now, and perhaps share later.  Or you will be given courage and insight in how to share.  

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I find that when I mention how many children I have, it comes up in conversation.

And when people ask what my plans are for the weekend...

In my profession, everyone always asks where I went to school.  BYU... sooo...

Edited by Guest

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Being Mormon is just another facet of who I am.  So, my coworkers know (or not that) I'm Mormon just like they know (or not that) I'm Filipino just like they know (or not that) I love karaoke... etc. etc.  It's not something I purposely hide to avoid conflict or purposely display to do missionary work.  I'm at work to do a specific job.  I don't see "Who I Am" as a hindrance to doing that job.

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6 hours ago, Carborendum said:

I find that when I mention how many children I have, it comes up in conversation.

And when people ask what my plans are for the weekend...

In my profession, everyone always asks where I went to school.  BYU... sooo...

I see you edited this post. I'm just going to assume that you originally typed

Quote

I find that when I mention how many children I have, it comes up in conversation.

In my profession, everyone always asks where I went to school.  BYU... sooo...

And when people ask what my plans are for the weekend...

And thought, "Let's mess with @mordorbund. Let's swap those last two lines and add a wink after that bit about the weekend.... On second thought, we'll just leave the wink implied."

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2 minutes ago, mordorbund said:

I see you edited this post. I'm just going to assume that you originally typed

And thought, "Let's mess with @mordorbund. Let's swap those last two lines and add a wink after that bit about the weekend.... On second thought, we'll just leave the wink implied."

Sorry to burst your bubble.  Actually, I'm not.. :P

No, the edit was the addition of the third line.  I realized that it happens quite often.

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23 hours ago, DoctorLemon said:

I am wondering if you tell your co-workers that you are Mormon.

I have in the past, but I have kind of kept my mouth shut in my current job (at a very small law firm) because I perceive an anti-religious bias and have heard anti-Mormon discussion between co-workers.  However, I have read quotations saying that one of the hallmarks of Celestial Mormons is a willingness to do missionary work among non-members, and I am thinking that perhaps my current attitude is not the most valiant.

So, what do you think?  Is telling co-workers a must, a should, a maybe, or bad taste in the workplace environment?  Is DoctorLemon smart or a total wimp?  And, how do you let co-workers know you are a member?

 

You would think that lawyers (et al) would understand the concept of "hostile work environment"...

No, seriously. You're a member of the church. They're talking smack *about* the church. That's a set-up for a hostile work environment lawsuit. 

Under the circumstances, speaking to them might be a good idea, if for no other reason than "you can then write down the time and date in which you did so in case something goes down". 

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I would not voluntarily bring it up   

 

Im a CPA. I was taught that with all the controversies at work with co-workers, clients, etc., never discuss politics or religion. People can be unreasonable about these subjects. 

 

As a Mormon who doesn't drink, smoke or use coffee or tea, people figure it out soon enough. 

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26 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

I would not voluntarily bring it up   

 

Im a CPA. I was taught that with all the controversies at work with co-workers, clients, etc., never discuss politics or religion. People can be unreasonable about these subjects. 

 

As a Mormon who doesn't drink, smoke or use coffee or tea, people figure it out soon enough. 

That has sort of been my thinking.  For awhile at my workplace, we had one person who openly hated all religions and bashed mormons as a "mind controlling cult" at least once, one person who kept making fun of the garment, and at least three people who openly applauded the gay marriage ruling, out of an office of eight people.  So that is why i kept my mouth shut about it... i depend on this job to feed my family.  But, given that I am an attorney and mysteriously do not drink or party...

Edited by DoctorLemon

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Please download the free e-book and read chapter 4, the Screwtape Letters -like conversation - it's not long or hard - it really is a completely different perspective than what most adults are used to, I think, and addresses this dilemma quite compellingly, including ways to solve it without worrying about offense.

 

Edited by zil

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16 minutes ago, zil said:

Please download the free e-book and read chapter 4, the Screwtape Letters -like conversation - it's not long or hard - it really is a completely different perspective that what most adults are used to, I think, and addresses this dilemma quite compellingly, including ways to solve it without worrying about offense.

 

I haven't read that book for ages.  Thanks for the reminder that I really should read it again.  

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13 hours ago, DoctorLemon said:

That has sort of been my thinking.  For awhile at my workplace, we had one person who openly hated all religions and bashed mormons as a "mind controlling cult" at least once, one person who kept making fun of the garment, and at least three people who openly applauded the gay marriage ruling, out of an office of eight people.  So that is why i kept my mouth shut about it... i depend on this job to feed my family.  But, given that I am an attorney and mysteriously do not drink or party...

They can't have it both ways.  If one person is allowed to talk about a religion negatively, another should be allowed to talk about it positively.

At the very least, you should be allowed to stand up for your religion by saying,"I happen to be a Mormon.  I don't know where you got your ideas from.  But such bias and intolerance is completely unacceptable in this professional environment.  And I'd appreciate it if you would refrain from such commentary in the workplace, or you will be hearing about it from me."

Report the offense to HR first so you are on record as having reported it before you opened your mouth in public.

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16 hours ago, DoctorLemon said:

So that is why i kept my mouth shut about it... i depend on this job to feed my family.  But, given that I am an attorney and mysteriously do not drink or party...

This is the touchy part, isn't it?  We have to be bold.  But doing so will undoubtedly mean sacrificing our livelihood in some instances.  I may not be able to say I know what that's like because I've never been in a situation where I might lose my job over my religion.  So, I'm not the one to be able to judge such things.  But I can say what my FIL's experience was (the one that no longer posts here).

You know how he's always willing to give his opinion.  And he only has one mode -- BOLD.  That has been the case since he was very young.  And it doesn't seem he's slowing down.  Well, he gave his opinion one time too many.  He got fired for some minor offense.  And he was blackballed -- every call that went to his old office found negative reviews.  So, he found it difficult to find employment for many years.  His family suffered quite a bit financially.  But they always found a way to make ends meet.

I don't know if this is supposed to say we should or shouldn't in any given situation.  Even after pondering this from an outsider's perspective for 20 years, I still can't really judge whether he should have kept his mouth shut or if he was right in doing what he did.  What I can say is that I believe his motives were sound and righteous.  The monetary results are negative.  But the spiritual blessings aren't entirely clear.  One thing I can say about his entire family is that while they go through more than their share of trials -- and continue to go through them, there is something special about the spirit I feel when I'm around that family.

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27 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

You know how he's always willing to give his opinion.  And he only has one mode -- BOLD.  That has been the case since he was very young.  And it doesn't seem he's slowing down.  Well, he gave his opinion one time too many.  He got fired for some minor offense.  And he was blackballed -- every call that went to his old office found negative reviews.  So, he found it difficult to find employment for many years.  His family suffered quite a bit financially.  But they always found a way to make ends meet.

I don't know if this is supposed to say we should or shouldn't in any given situation.  Even after pondering this from an outsider's perspective for 20 years, I still can't really judge whether he should have kept his mouth shut or if he was right in doing what he did.  What I can say is that I believe his motives were sound and righteous.  The monetary results are negative.  But the spiritual blessings aren't entirely clear.  One thing I can say about his entire family is that while they go through more than their share of trials -- and continue to go through them, there is something special about the spirit I feel when I'm around that family.

D&C 98:25-26

Matt 5:10-12

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Again - what these people are doing is "hostile work environment" under US law. 

Talk to HR, and see what they say about it. 

Otherwise, you may have to talk with these people directly. 

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Being LDS is like being gay. I don't deny it, I'm not ashamed of it, and everyone basically knows anyway so why bother telling people? 

I strongly advise against preaching at work. It'll get you fired. Being a martyr is one thing, but your spouse and children need to eat and you have to pay rent/mortgage, etc. 

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1 hour ago, MormonGator said:

Being LDS is like being gay. I don't deny it, I'm not ashamed of it, and everyone basically knows anyway so why bother telling people? 

I strongly advise against preaching at work. It'll get you fired. Being a martyr is one thing, but your spouse and children need to eat and you have to pay rent/mortgage, etc. 

Don't ask don't tell!

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