Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rock Center: Mormon in America

I was going to go to bed on time tonight. But, Rock Center has a one hour special on "Mormon in America" at 10pm. It's a plot, I tell you.
Time for the Mormon show. Aren't you excited that I am going to share rough notes with you?

Starting off with "The Mormon Way of Doing Business". Jet Blue, Marriott, missions, moms,"Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel, Push Along" There's a Book of Mormon in every room of the Marriott hotel chain. There is a brotherhood of returned missionaries. You know these people & you know who you can trust. When you need someone, naturally you turn to them.

About 6 million Mormons in America, about 2% of Americans. Not a lot of knowledge & understanding. Partly because the church has been secretive. (?)

"Before people judge or mock Joseph Smith's vision and visits from angels, remember every religion has its amazing story."

Some old school rules still govern Mormon life. NonMormon parents cannot come their children's weddings. Some people think we should be more accepting and move with the times.

They are interviewing a girl from a prominent Mormon family, Abbey Huntsman,raised Mormon but has married out and left the church. She is explaining the temple and garments. ? That's disappointing. Why is she the spokesperson for Mormon beliefs? Fortunately, not the only one. There is a faithful male member, that gets quoted (I keep missing his name) But she seems to be a featured individual.

Fortunately they also keep going back to the black man, white wife, faithful Mormon couple.  I really like them. When they met, he was not Mormon and had a beer in each hand (0ne was a friend's) Now he seems to be a rock.  And has a quiet sense of humor.  They said what did your mom say when you told her you were dating a Mormon girl? Well, after the dial tone.....

77% of Mormons say they go to church every week - more than any other church. (But not enough)

Now Mormon families and sexist inequality. Tradition, ritual, family scripture, 3 hours a week in church. The mixed race married couple. A black man who says being the only black in church (in his congregation for a while)  has not been an issue for him. He has not felt discrimination in church. : ) Al seems to have a real testimony. His wife confessing to having drunk one Coke in her life. Al admits he has a Dr Pepper once in a while. Such sinners!

"Magic underwear "- a reminder of who I am and what I stand for.

Interviewer: You are too tied down to church uniformity. Answer: I want to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am not doing anything I don't want to do.

A Mormon feminist. She is critical of church policy, but an active practicing Mormon. An openly gay Mormon. Shunned by family and church. He left the church for a time, but returned. As long as he is celibate, he can serve as a leader in his ward.A teenager testifying that she has accepted for herself the standards her parents and the church set which some of her friends consider limiting.

What if your child came to you and said I slipped up? That's the beauty of the Atonement.

Abbey Huntsman left the church because her Bishop told her that if she married her non-Mormon boyfriend her family would not have all the blessings. She married him, loves him and is very happy with him.

Faith without works is dead. Fast offering. 1/4 US Mormons make $30,000 a year or less. Sometimes they need help. Awesome tour of church storehouse in SLC (I think) "This could make the people from Costco jealous" "The Mormon industrial complex was made to (missed the word) self-reliance." After prayer and song, truckers take food to where it is needed. Mormon milk being made into Mormon cheese by Mormon volunteers. The Bishop's Storehouse and order form. All volunteers. You cannot pay, but you can volunteer and are encouraged to. Unpaid Bishops. If you are going to be a Mormon, this is not a bad fringe benefit. Even non-Mormons can get help. Employment centers, thrift stores, and more. Mormons believe in being their brother's keeper.

Of all the Mormons you talked with, would you say they would be comfortable with Romney talking more or less about his Mormonism? More. (YES)

Now "The Book of Mormon" musical. Very funny & very dirty. A "Mormon" is in the cast. Raised Mormon, rather. "A life I once fully embraced." He nearly cries (in a good way) talking about his mission. But he is an ex-Mormon. He is gay. (Not that one necessarily follows the other.  There are faithful gay Mormons) This musical would be rated R. "I am still a missionary. I am still sharing a message with the world." (?) (I wonder what message he means.)

That was their concluding story?! & their concluding sentence. (??) Some of this hour was very good, but some of it does not seem a fair representation of the Church.  What they saw, I guess.  It may well get people talking & maybe asking questions.

If any of my non-Mormon friends have questions, feel free to ask a Mormon friend (even me : ) ) (even though we may not have all the answers), or flag down a couple of guys in white shirts and name tags, or check out  Believe me, I, for one, don't want to see you get dunked until you have a personal testimony.  It is ok and "safe" to ask questions.  Except for the "slight" danger of us getting really excited and wanting to talk too much, but you can yell "Stop! OK,OK! Time-out!"  That's ok too.  We get excited about talking about the most precious thing in our lives, but you can tell us, "Enough, already!"

Enough for me already.  If I am going to get to bed "today" I had better get.

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