Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Are you LDS?

I was on Studio 5 this morning (I will link to the video when it becomes available) but was fascinated not only by the conversation that took place but by the comments afterward on Studio 5's Facebook page.  I was shocked to see how strongly people reacted for or against even talking about this, people saying "get over it", things like that.  

I wonder, if we don't care, why say anything at all?  The only topics I've ever commented on have been ones that I've actually had an opinion about.  The fact that there are comments means that it's something people feel differently about and have differing opinions on.  

My article for this segment was as follows:

Don't Assume:
Just because people live in Utah (or even in a city that is overwhelmingly LDS, don't assume the people you are speaking to are as well.
Don't be afraid:
Ask. Don't make it the first question that you ask after their name or an application they have to fill out to be a part of your life, but at some point in a conversation with someone new, ask them either if they are LDS or if they belong to an organized religion. If it doesn't come up in conversation, go back to rule #1.
Be careful with your words:
Most people have no idea what Mutual is, what a Ward is, or who a Stake President is, let alone all the other terms that may be unique to our religion. Be careful when speaking to people who are not of your faith that you don't use these words without explanation. I do believe this is a part of culture, not just a one day religion, so these words may naturally come up, but don't assume that the other person will know what you mean- so take the time to briefly explain- you might even have them respond with, "I know, I'm LDS" or " I know, I have Mormon friends" thus breaking the ice.
Be respectful and kind:
If the point of manners is to help those around us feel comfortable, then we must do all we can to make that happen. We should never pre-judge a person because they are or are not LDS. My children have friends who are LDS and friends who are not. They have good friends- period. Their friends have good families. Be careful not to exclude on the basis that someone believes different things than you do, whahetever side of the fence you may be on.

I don't think this applies to "Mormons" in Utah only.  This always applies.  I have found myself in as many situations traveling and outside of Utah using this advice as I have in this state (maybe more, in fact).  I find it so interesting that for a dull subject, or one that doesn't need to be spoken about, people have such strong words to share.  
I have never backed down from a conversation where my faith is questioned (in a hostile or a friendly manner), but misconceptions are the biggest enemy and if people don't think they are rampant...they need to open their eyes.  
I'm an open book.  Always have been, always will be.  But I don't believe in shoving my religion or beliefs down others throats.  I also don't believe in tip toeing around things.  I say things pretty much how they are (I say "pretty much" because I may choose a time that is appropriate or gage the temperature of my surroundings, but I think that's good manners no matter who you are or what you're talking about).  
Thank you Brooke, Darin, and Jane (and Chrissy) for allowing me the opportunity to speak my mind.  I have an opinion just like everyone else.  I am entitled to that.  The only thing that makes mine unique is that I come from the perspective of trying to help others feel comfortable in my presence as a presiding factor in how I behave; but anyone who knows me knows that this does not mean I will not stand up for my beliefs at all times, in all things, and in all places.
My two cents

No comments: