Friday, October 22, 2010

Live and let Live

A good friend of mine was visiting recently. We were discussing various topics, and somehow the topic of mormonism came up. She is not mormon. I mentioned that if she (or other close friends) were considering joining mormonism, I would have to speak up.

Now I need to give some caveats here. Ultimately, whatever decision my friends made would be their own. I would understand and respect whatever they decided. I do try to live by the "Live and let Live" philosophy. Yet with that said, mormonism and mormon theology is something I know quite a bit about. And being raised mormon, there was quite a bit I was not exposed to.

So just as if I were single, I would not date someone who was an active mormon, I would discuss mormonism with close friends who were considering converting to mormonism. I am not talking about a co-worker acquaintance who was thinking about it (which did happen, btw, long before I had searched out any former mormons on the internet). I'm talking about a close friend whom I respect.

This position is not a comfortable one for me, because I know and care about quite a few active mormons. I would simply share some pieces of information that I have learned, and allow my friends the privilege of following their own consciences. I would probably discuss various doctrines about race, gender and sexuality. I would also probably discuss various truth claims. Everyone (even now) is invited to also examine mormonism from a faithful perspective as well, starting at and examining the Book of Mormon and other publications.

And I would hope that any of my close friends who were considering converting to mormonism would talk with me first. I know that might not always be the case, and may be asking quite a lot. But I support open and honest information sharing. Mormonism does encourage a "milk before the meat" principle, which I personally do not think is fair to intelligent adult investigators.


Stella said...

I agree. It's funny because I recently came to that conclusion too. Someone was investigating in all sweetness and I had to say something to them.

At work, a student I teach was just kicked out of his home for joining the LDS church. Those LDS members who helped him with the discussions have now taken him in. It's weird. I know he feels that the hardships he is going through are even MORE evidence that the church is "true".

I remember a lady I taught on my mission. We had so many brilliant discussions. After several months she was baptized. She was amazing. She was black. Shortly after her baptism she made it to 2nd Nephi where it talks about the curse of the black skin. She came to me, so hurt, so sad that I didn't explain that to her. I knew it, but the church, my family, and all my white friends had ALWAYS just ignored it. She left the church. Had her name removed.

I wish, somehow, that I could find her today and tell her that I understand and that I applaude--instead of the disapproval she probably felt from everyone.

Carla Schmidt Holloway said...

I would think that sharing helpful information that you wouldn't expect the missionaries to tell them, sharing in a friendly, objective, and honest way, would be just a courteous thing to do. It's hard to get a grasp of what you're getting into when it comes to Mormonism - they usually want you baptized as soon as possible, and that leaves little room for real preparation. I think it's just something you'd expect a close friend to do. If your friend was buying a car that had some problems/tricks that only a driver of the car would know, wouldn't you share that information with your friend? It's just the right thing to do.