The Mormon Thing

This is primarily for my Facebook friends, particularly those who have not hidden everything I post there (I post quite a lot of stuff, and can understand if it gets a little overwhelming sometimes). I post quite a few things having to do with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormonism and Mormon life, and I want to add this to make clear why I do this, and, at least importantly, what I don’t expect anybody to do about it.

I am Mormon. I was born in Mesa, Arizona, which was founded by Mormons, and was strongly Mormon when I lived there (and still is, although there has been quite a migration of Mormons to Gilbert and then further east in the Valley). I call Mesa the southern end of the Jello Belt, which extends north through Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, and up to Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. It is made up of the many communities colonized by Mormons under the direction of Brigham Young, and was once known as the territory of Deseret, before it was brutally gerymandered to form the smallest possible area that would be politically controlled by Mormons in the form of the modern state of Utah. Unlike many Mesa Mormons I grew up with, I was a second-generation member, since both my parents joined the Church as adults (Dad wasn’t baptized until after I was married), and I was the first in my family to be blessed as an infant and baptized at age 8 (the usual Mormon childhood ordinances). When we moved from Mesa when I was 13, I left the Jello Belt, and haven’t lived there since.

It was several years after this that I actually read the Book of Mormon and, in the process, was converted to the gospel taught by the Church. Although my life has had ups and downs in pretty much every way possible since then, I have never lost the certitude of the truth in that gospel. I have not been a terribly mainstream Mormon for quite some time, and gave up some time ago the notion that I have a responsibility to persuade anybody to believe anything in particular that I believe. I will discuss things Mormon with anybody who is willing to have a respectful conversation free of attempts to persuade anyone of anything within the constraints of reality. I am quite certain that nothing anybody can say will make me want the Church to not be true any more than I already have wanted it to be, and that wanting has not been able to change my certitude that it is true, so I can’t imagine that’s going to change under any circumstances.

I post things from a Mormon perspective here primarily for my friends who are Mormon or interested in Mormonism to any degree. Facebook does not give me the power to limit my postings to any of the groups of friends I’ve created, and I would be happy to restrict my posting of Mormon things to one if they did. However, I don’t know which of my non-Mormon friends are interested in Mormon things to any degree, so I just post things, and leave it to you to decide if you want to look at it. Some of the things I post are likely to make some of my Mormon friends less than comfortable — as I said, I left the mainstream of the Church a long time ago — but I don’t post things that I don’t find interesting or important. I do not intend to convert anybody through these things, whether it be converting them to join the Church, or to join me outside the mainstream, or, for some, to join me in my place which might be closer to the mainstream than they are. I do not believe I have the power to change anyone’s mind, and I make no effort to do so. As with most of the things in my life, I share what I find interesting and important for the benefit of those who find benefit in it.

So, I apologize to those who might find these things uninteresting or unimportant, and absent any benefit for them. I am not trying to annoy people (it’s a talent I was born with — I don’t even have to try). I appreciate the patience of those who have chosen not to complain at me for having annoyed them with any of this. I remain willing to talk to anybody about any part of this on a respectful and non-persuasive basis, and I return you to your life, already in progress.

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