Fether

Another "Church Culture Stinks" Article

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Guest MormonGator
2 minutes ago, Vort said:

Church has to change some cultural elements to meet the needs of the people of the day.

 I think the church adapts to change better than some of the members do. 

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22 minutes ago, Vort said:

...But times change, for better or for worse, and the Church has to change some cultural elements to meet the needs of the people of the day....

Don't tell @Midwest LDS that. 😉

M.

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33 minutes ago, Vort said:

By the mid-20th century, we find the Saints in Utah having evolved such that their social lives pretty much center on the Church.

I know it's popular to throw mud at "church culture," but that seems like it would be an ideal life to me. 

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1 hour ago, Moonbeast32 said:

I know it's popular to throw mud at "church culture," but that seems like it would be an ideal life to me. 

I didn't mean any mud-throwing. On the contrary, I think it's a charming idea, though not one that could survive the late 20th century's brand of sophistication.

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1 minute ago, Vort said:

I didn't mean any mud-throwing

Didn't say you were. But it happens. Several of my non-USA friends appear to have been indoctrinated all their lives into thinking that Utah is the worst place on planet Earth in terms of member quality and culture.

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1 minute ago, Moonbeast32 said:

Didn't say you were. But it happens. Several of my non-USA friends appear to have been indoctrinated all their lives into thinking that Utah is the worst place on planet Earth in terms of member quality and culture.

I'm not from Utah, but my parents and many of my relatives and friends are. I lived in Utah for several years in my early adulthood, met and married my wife there, and had one of my children there. On the balance, I think Utahns are charming and Utah is a unique and very special place, with no snarky pun intended. Utah rocks.

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10 hours ago, Moonbeast32 said:

Didn't say you were. But it happens. Several of my non-USA friends appear to have been indoctrinated all their lives into thinking that Utah is the worst place on planet Earth in terms of member quality and culture.

 

10 hours ago, Moonbeast32 said:

Has anyone else ever had a mission companion say, "Hey, you're pretty good for a Utahn member"

These judgements are quite common among members, and I often hear them from members who reside in California (obviously not always, just my experience). I once worked with a member who moved to California and then back to Utah and said, "Every Utah member needs to move to California and know what real life is like."  The odd thing is that often these comments come from people who say, "Don't judge"!

Some members really like Babylon and want Babylon to be in Zion. :P

I will admit though, there are aspects of Utah living that are Utah seeded and are based in culture. No place is perfect.

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33 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

I once worked with a member who moved to California and then back to Utah and said, "Every Utah member needs to move to California and know what real life is like."

Every parent needs to watch his six-year-old child die painfully of cancer to know what real life is like. Every person needs to go to war and watch his buddy's head get blown off to know what real life is like. Everyone needs to go to a state prison for three years to know what real life is like.

I don't believe most people are really this stupid. They just don't think before they speak.

I had an uncle in Provo, now deceased for many years, who as a young man lived for a time in California. He would speak in glowing terms of the magical land of California, where the land was cheap and the weather always fine, and how people there were "real", unlike the rubes in Provo he rubbed shoulders with. One golden day, sometime in or around 1989, at over 60 years of age, he succeeded in his dream, sold his house on east Center street, and moved himself and his family of six back to California. How exciting! How transformative! How awesome!

He moved back within six months, desperately happy to be back safe in Provo, and with nothing but bitter criticism about the Godless miscreants in that cursed hellhole of California. He couldn't get his old house back, of course, but he was happy just to have a home up in the hills in west Provo, near Orem. Never complained again about Provo for the rest of his life, as far as I ever heard.

Edited by Vort

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2 hours ago, Anddenex said:

The odd thing is that often these comments come from people who say, "Don't judge"!

Someone ought to write an article about all the cultural issues perpetuated by the people that complain about culture

Edited by Fether

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Guest MormonGator

I think some of those "complaints" are based in humor. When I first joined the church I mentioned to someone that I had never been to Utah. She said "Don't go there, they'll sneer at you for taking the sacrament with the wrong hand." I said, "Where are you from?" Without missing a beat, she said "Utah." And oh yeah, she was hardly a "liberal" or an "anti". In fact, she was an extremely conservative member but had this amazing thing called "a sense of humor." 
 

Edited by MormonGator

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My story out of Utah involves heart wrenching tales of childhood baggage and parole hearings and dangerous in-laws and funerals.  We beat cheeks out of Utah and never looked back.  Visiting Utah sometimes feels like descending down into the belly of the beast.  We've shared thoughts of arming ourselves for battle against unfriendly forces before a trip.

Not really anything specifically unique to Utah in my story, anyone can get out of a horrible situation and never want to go back.  Hard feelings about places in general can come, not from the places being bad or all the people there being bad, but certain traumatic experiences tied into a cultural and place setting.  In our case, some good faithful LDS folks also have committed some incredibly scarring horrible acts of evil that have left deep wounds across generations of children and adults, often while expressing sentiments heard in any sacrament meeting or conference talk.

So I totally get the 'church culture stinks' jokes, and I've had to work hard to keep them light-hearted, and keep from falling into bitterness and resentment.  I think I do ok at it.  Sometimes I get too sarcastic.  It's easier to avoid as the years go by.

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Guest MormonGator
10 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

I've had to work hard to keep them light-hearted, and keep from falling into bitterness and resentment.  I think I do ok at it.  Sometimes I get too sarcastic.

In fairness to you NT, everyone likes making jokes about "Florida Man", "Alabama Rednecks" and "California Hippies" but then they turn into sniveling babies when someone says the slightest joke about their own state, or a state where their friends and family live. So don't be too hasty to condemn yourself for being too sarcastic. 

Edited by MormonGator

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I've learned "redneck" is an honorific title.  Rednecks are good ol' God-fearin' folk, their necks are red because they're out doing honest labor in the sun every day.   "Hillbilly", on the other hand, is an insult. Calling someone a hillbilly is saying they're backwards, uneducated, toothless, illiterate, and probably their parents were related before the wedding.  

 

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Guest MormonGator
4 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

probably their parents were related before the wedding.  

Like those idiots from South Carolina? Haw haw haw. 

Hey, leave Florida alone. It's the greatest state in the world man. 

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11 hours ago, Moonbeast32 said:

Has anyone else ever had a mission companion say, "Hey, you're pretty good for a Utahn member"

Not a mission companion, but I recall some at BYU-P saying something like this to me.

As a lifelong Utah Mormon (er... member of the Church of ...), I must admit that, in my time at BYU, I really got tired of the way non-Utahns sometimes spoke about Utahns. I'm not saying that Utah members had everything figured out (though we sometimes did act like we did) or that we did not experience a certain amount of cultural blindness because we are somewhat "insulated" from "the world". We are far from perfect. I think what really got to me was that so many of these "bash on Utahns" discussions devolved into discussion of inconsequentials -- like how we pronounce words -- swallowing t's in words like "mountain" and pronouncing words like "root" to rhyme with "foot" instead of "boot". I knew way too many people who used those kinds of pronunciations who were good, honest, God-fearing, trying-their-best kind of people, and I really got tired of the way such people got demonized for inconsequentials. Perhaps if these discussions had stayed focused on the important things that we as Utahns could do better, I would not have gotten so tired of them.

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2 minutes ago, Vort said:

I'm not from Utah, but my parents and many of my relatives and friends are. I lived in Utah for several years in my early adulthood, met and married my wife there, and had one of my children there. On the balance, I think Utahns are charming and Utah is a unique and very special place, with no snarky pun intended. Utah rocks.

I grew up in Utah at a time that I believe to be unique and wonderful.  Every stake conference had at least one general authority - usually two apostles.  It was not all that uncommon to have a general authority visit a sacrament meeting.   There were a couple of times in high school that I went to pick up a girl for a date and there I met a general authority (a family relative) that was visiting.  I had many personal visits with Elder Hugh B. Brown and spent hours asking him gospel questions.  When I served as a missionary I was set apart by an Apostle.  Some of my friends received their Patriarchal Blessing from the Church patriarch - a direct descendant of Hiram Smith.

There was a lot of entertainment talent.   Besides the road shows there were several places every weekend the sponsored impromptu concerts.  All dances had live bands that had grandparents playing with their grand kids.  The most popular group was "The Letterman".  I was with an obscure group called "The Four Brothers and Three Others".  We broke up because it we were getting somewhat popular and most of us did not want to do that for a living.  Two of the three others continued and ended up on the Larry Welk show (Sandy & Sally).  Another semi popular group were the 3 D's - Two of which ended up as Seminary teachers.  In my stake in Provo there was a lady (Janie Thompson) that every year created a stake road show that always won the Church wide competitions.  She was the founder of the Young Ambassadors at BYU.  Every year for a 4th of July celebration - Provo put on what was called "The Panorama" celebration.  (so many stories I could tell)  That ended with a grand talent showcase at the BYU football stadium - Sponsored by the Stakes of Provo.

I cannot imagine a better way to grow up.  Every day of the week involved something in the church.  All our activities revolved around the church and there were lots of activities.  In scouts we would fix the cars of widows in the ward (a scout leader owned a repair shop).  Our sports were church sports - which we worked out at summer and winter and advancing in the church tournaments were more prestigious than playing for a high school team and winning state (there was great rivalry between Utah and California teams).  Even youth that never came to Sunday meetings were greatly involved in the activities.  The schools would plan their activities around what was going on with church activities. - Now days half of the active kids from active families do not come to church activities because they are involved in school activities.   The popular music of the 50's and 60's has become classic - and as youth we had easy and often access into the personal lives of general authorities.  It was sad that anyone that was not involved with the church activities were defiantly completely left out socially.   But - WHAT COULD BE BETTER????

 

The Traveler

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17 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

I think the article has little to do with "church" culture and a lot to do with Utah Valley culture.

A large majority of the people I have had the "Utah Mormon" conversations with are really talking about one of two things.  Utah valley culture and BYU culture.  The last person I had this conversation with was on a serious anti-Utah Mormon rant.  I got him talking about it in greater detail and he was telling me how awful it was living in Utah.  Turns out his entire living in Utah experience was his four years living on the BYU campus.  I pointed out to him that about 70% of the student population he was having issues with were not Utahns.  His expression was priceless.

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Guest MormonGator

Jokes about Utah being overly conservative, prudish and religious are sort of dated. SLC has an out lesbian as a mayor and because so many people are moving into Utah from out of state, eventually their culture will overtake the Church culture, just based on numbers. 

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On 1/8/2020 at 12:44 PM, MormonGator said:

Jokes about Utah being overly conservative, prudish and religious are sort of dated. SLC has an out lesbian as a mayor and because so many people are moving into Utah from out of state, eventually their culture will overtake the Church culture, just based on numbers. 

Or baptisms will increase dramatically.

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