Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: Are Mormons spared from reality? Hardly’

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Published: Thursday, Feb. 16 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

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m.g. scott

If any people live in a bubble, it is college campus liberal professors and the northeast liberal types who, for instance, populate the upper east and west side of Manhatten. After Reagan became President, people were heard to say they didn't know how he was elected, they had not met one person who voted for him.

Phoenix, AZ

There are none so blind as he who will not see. Again Mr. Peterson fails to see the big picture of Mormon reality because he is an intrical part of distorting reality to the Mormon perceptive of what Mormons what to see. It matters not to Mr. Peterson that most of the world and god see things differently than the Mormon manufactored reality. It is politics over religion; and conditioning over truth.

Westbank, BC

If you're a Utah Mormon, and never left Utah, then you live in a bubble.

m.g. scott

Re: lihona

However, with the vast numbers of LDS men and women who have left the state to go on missions worldwide, live in other cultures, speak new languages ect. I'd say the Mormons might be a lot more cosmopolitan than most people think. Even if they live in Utah.

Arm of Orion
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Skeptic I would like to congratulate you on your use of conclusory statements. It was really quite stunning. However where is your proof to support your position?

Mesa, Az

In reality...Mormons are the only ones that have a handle on reality. They know where they come from why they are here and where they are going....if they don't repent!!!!! The irony is others have to guess, rationalize and hope that they are right. Are there Mormons that live in fantasy land...yep, but then again alot of other people also live in fantasy land.

Salt Lake City, UT

Great article Mr. Petersen. Of course, the Mormon view of eternity does provide a different
context from which members perceive events that take place in their lives and the world. As with any lifestyle or philosophy it provides more or less an interpretation, which explains life events, and provides comfort when life events are tragic. To some extent every living human has some such basis on which they base daily actions and activities. Reality is after all not so much a fact as is an interpretation of facts. I suppose the bubble they reference is that those living as Mormons during this "Mormon Moment" see things through the prism of their faith, which though different for each individual is influence by core teachings about God, Man and Man's purpose in life.

Provo, Ut

The problem I have always had with the "bubble" argument, is that it tries to lump the worlds experiences into geographical binary dichotomy. You are either in the "bubble" or you have experienced the "world". The whole notion is patently absurd. Yes, Utah (particularly Utah County) is somewhat of an insular place. Right next to all of the other insular places all around the world. If your only social experiences come from living in Utah County, then you probably lack a broader social perspective. Similarly however, if you have only lived Santa Fe, or Little Rock, you still probably lack a broad perspective. New York City may offer a broader diversity, but if that is all that you have experienced, you are probably lacking a full perspective. So, is Utah or Provo a bubble? Yes! But, so is every other place.


I think Mr Peterson doesn't understand the criticism of the bubble. Mormons especially here in Utah tend to be very inclusive. This can be awkward when they have to leave their bubble of Mormonism, can be minor or major. But only dealing with people of your own group can put you at a disadvantage.
Here is a example. The word of wisdom. Mormons not being around (or refusing to be around) anyone who drinks. They don't know how to react to alcohol situations and can be very uncomfortable.
Offer a Mormon coffee (a common courtesy in most places) you won't get a "no thank you" you get a "I don't drink coffee" begging the question: "Why." This then puts them immediately in a situation where they can look a little zealous or overly religious, making you feel awkward to drink your normal coffee in front of them.
Judging people based on the word of wisdom is a prime example. But other examples include the way people act or dress, Mormons come off being judgmental with their "higher" standards.
We dont' do our children any favors when a zion wall blocks real life.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

Missionary experience and even home teaching forces one out of the bubble. It is conceivable that a person living on the east bench in Provo or Salt Lake may live in a ward that is affluent and experiences few if any financial difficulty (reality speaks otherwise). A Latter-Day Saint in the east (last time I checked, Boston is east) usually lives in a ward that covers hundreds of square miles. When I live in Pennsylvania I had to drive over 50 miles each way to home teach one family. It is unlikely that Mitt Romney would live in a bubble that would insulate him from the effects of poverty. On the contrary, I have frequently seen that wealthy members get assigned to those less fortunate. Hearts and wallets open, jobs magically appear.

If living in the "Mormon Bubble" is so wonderful perhaps those who decry said bubble should attempt to break in.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA


Love your incite.
Please elaborate, provide evidence or something else that will convince my poor feeble mind.

Layton, UT

I think everyone chooses to live in a bubble. Mormons have a lot of pressure to get out of it. That doesn't mean we always do... just look at the hometeaching numbers to prove that. ;)

Aaron S

Mr. Peterson is correct: living in a bubble is just not possible, not for LDS people, not for anybody--save perhaps a hermit who lives far from society without any human contact whatever. For ANY human contact must ensure the familiarity with immorality, violence, weakness, crime, arrogance, greed and all the other charming human traits we all know and love. So few people today have any adherence to the laws of God that meeting ANYbody, chances are, exposes you to the sad condition of humanity these days. The number of good, decent people I meet in the course of a day--and I live in a small community--I can count of the fingers of one hand: and that's a good day. Mostly I encounter selfish, slobby, inconsiderate, materialistic people and meeting a fine soul is a delight to my day, it happens so seldom. If this is the case in a small community, can it be any better in large ones, when population is in direct proportion to moral blight? It just doesn't matter what your religion is, you are going to find the wretched traits of the world "in your face".

Mesa, AZ

Perhaps living in the gospel bubble is what protects one's family from temptation and errant behavior. Is this not a good thing?


To all skeptics: if living in a bubble means being stuck on a bridge in the middle of a standoff with soldiers carrying bazookas on their shoulders and policemen firing their AK-47s, all while grenades are being thrown around you to try and prevent a kidnapping/ransom, then yeah we Mormons live in a "bubble".

Salt Lake City, UT

'Perhaps living in the gospel bubble is what protects one's family from temptation and errant behavior.' - SpanishImmersed | 1:22 p.m. Feb. 16, 2012

I want to clarify this is ONLY directed at internet subscriptions, however...

** 'Utah now No. 1 in use of Internet' - By Lee Davidson - Salt Lake Tribune - 11/09/11

** 'Utah No. 1 in online porn subscriptions, report says By Elaine Jarvik 03/03/09 DSNews

That's the conclusion of a Harvard economics professor who tracked subscriptions to online porn sites. Utah ranks No. 1 in subscriptions, according to Benjamin Edelman, who reported his findings in the article "Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?," published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. - article

EVERYONE, has temptation.

Even in the state of Utah, regardless of religious background.

deep in thought
Salt Lake, UT

@ skeptic


How you....keep reading the Deseret News. Even though you have a deep dislike of Mormons, and conservative policies. The Deseret News: THE Mormon friendly conservative paper.

You continue to post words...drenched in sarcasm and anger, towards a group of family loving, kind, God fearing people. Who left the East and traveled hundreds of miles on foot, just to be left in peace from other angry people. You are not alone, many other angry anti-Mormon people troll these boards, and I wonder.... why?

Why not just stay away ... and read one of the hundreds of liberal newspapers with articles that will not flame your deep dislikes towards the "Mormon manufactured reality."

As a nurse I would have to say, it could be good for your blood pressure, your karma, and your mental health to not subject yourself to such "offensive material". Best wishes to you, and your health and happiness.


Yea my mission protected me from the real world and those experiences also just like Mitt. I mean, I grew up in a 99.8% white mormon town and got sent to a place that was "darker" skin than mine and 0.0025% CHRISTIAN!!!! I got groped by a guy for the first (and ONLY) time. Oh by the way, HE looked looked and dressed like a girl. Saw a drug and prostitution culture that made me sad for all the people involved; the women, the men, the wives, and the children. I learned to pray hard for drug abusers, wife abusers, people with a different sexual orientation, and all sorts of people who were nothing like me (a red-neck, white, rural utah Mormon). I just wanted them to be happy. I cried when I bought some kids some food cuz' he was begging and looked pretty desperate. I cried harder when he took the food over to a piece of ply-wood leaned against a building and shared it with his Dad, Mom, and two siblings. Who, by the way, all lived under the wood. I worked with the crack babies at an orphanage and was dumbfounded when I found out these 6-9 month old babies were 2 years old.

Yea......I thank my creator everyday for my "bubble" and ask Him to PLEASE bless those who don't have one.

Salt Lake City, UT

'As a nurse I would have to say, it could be good for your blood pressure, your karma, and your mental health to not subject yourself to such "offensive material".' - deep in thought | 1:52 p.m. Feb. 16, 2012

Ok. I want to address this line of thought.

It is evident that I take issue with religion. Of which, the LDS church is a christian faith & religion.

Now, with that out of the way, how would I AVOID it?

How can I avoid 'subjecting myself' to this belief.


** 'LDS Church's in-kind donations to Prop. 8 total $190K' - By Lynn Arave - By Dsnews - 02/03/09

"Proposition 8 was a ballot measure in California last November that changed the state constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples and eliminated same-sex couples' right to marry." article

** Mormon church apologizes for Jewish baptisms for the dead By Joseph Walker Deseret News 02/15/12

I can provide not one, but TWO examples of a particular faith...

TARGETING, people outside, of that faith?


As all of our kids know since they have visited us in Lima Peru, where we are serving as senior missionaries, we do live in a bubble. We have seen the "real" Peru as our friends have shown us and taken us to see. It makes you cry. Utah and Mormons are largely insulated from and do live in a bubble, as do the majority of Americans.

Peru has the second fastest growing economy in the world, but it is still gripped in grinding poverty and suffering. The rich get richer here and the poor continue to struggle. 60% at least live below the poverty line. I have never seen so many hundred dollar bills in any place I have ever been than an Apple store in Lima. Literally stacks of Ipads fly out the doors. I have also never seen such poverty where the poor compete with the feral dogs looking for something redeemable, edible, or useful from the piles of garbage that line the streets of so many poor neighborhoods around Lima.

From Ibn Khaldun's cyclical view of world history, we are in the downward spiral of civilization caring more for the manufacture of luxury items than we do for each other. Not all of course and I acknowledge the difficulties of generalizing here. I like just about everything you have written or said Dr. Peterson, but this time I take some exception to your article. Allahuahkbar!

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