So my husband and I (non-LDS) recently moved into a new neighborhood in Utah
County. I have lived all over the country and it is very different here. We
want to be friendly with all people, but our next door neighbors for some reason
won't even look at us. The lady next door will often have the lady two
doors down over and they'll stand on their porch and look at me as I work
on getting our yard set up. Then when I see them and try to wave they both look
away. I know they are LDS, which is fine. We live next door to them and would
like to be at least friendly, but every time we go in for a wave they turn away.
I just don't understand the animosity as we are neighbors and why create
an uncomfortable situation? Who knows how long we will live near each other,
possibly a long time. Why do they do this? What kind of behavior does it teach
their kids? Mostly, what can we do to improve this situation?
I love the aunt lucy comment...and I LOVE tender brisket.I'm a life
long Mormon and I have friends that are not LDS. we get along great! And I love
them just like I love my LDS friends. Just treat people like you would want to
be treated and if a missionary opportunity comes along, just go with it.
Growing up in utah, I remember once having a crush on a cute asian girl in my
high school class. I asked her to go with me to a dance. She said her parents
wouldn't let her go, because I was LDS. It stung a little, because my
intentions were entirely pure and motivated by friendship and a desire to
include her in my circle of friendship.All cultures struggle to
preserve their identities and thrive. Sometimes living side by side, we struggle
to know what's a safe distance, because we all have different expectations.
I admire the author of this article's willingness to learn about the one in
which she lived and make peace. I wish there were more tolerant, self-assured
folks like her in this world. Sometimes I get the feeling that most
folks try to prove the superiority of their way by tearing down or criticizing
others and casting themselves as victims, when with a little understanding and
patient listening, we discover at the root we're all decent, if a little
awkward, kids just trying to go to a dance and be better friends...
Bill - You can't quote Dallin H. Oaks, because it is just his opinion.
A Scientist wrote:Friendships that are one-way, where the Mormon is
inviting the non-Mormon to Mormon activities, but the Mormon never goes golfing
with the non-Mormon (on Sunday), or goes with the non-Mormon on a weekend
get-away (because the Mormon has a "calling" and won't miss a
Sunday for fear of being labeled "less active") -- all these are a few
of the many manifestations of how the LDS Church so dominates the lives of its
members as to thwart meaningful relationships with non-members.So
general as to be laughable. Sure, stereotypes are there for a reason. But
explain to me if this is the way with all Mormons why my active Mormon family in
Texas:Participated in Katrina relief on Sundays.Attends
friends' First Communions.Sponsors a Girl Scout troop, which at times
requires Sunday camping.Oh, yes, Scientist, our social lives and
friendships with our non-LDS neighbors have been "thwarted" by our
overbearing LDS Religion.Here's some salsa for that chip on
Brahmabull: By the way I never said that anyone who doesn't believe in the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a pawn of satan. In fact it is
for those who are deceivers and misleaders like several posters who have become
such. I also didn't coin the phrase. The first time I know it was used
was in a talk by Elder Dahlin H Oakes in 2004 during General Conference. So no
my friends never tried to be deceivers or misleaders. They passed on their
beliefs and I gave them mine when asked. I never pushed my thoughts on them.A Scientist/The Scientist/Vanka: It is not nearly as bad as you make it
out to be in your area of Utah. There are several from your area and probably
even your neighborhood who would say just the opposite that are not LDS. You
make it out like the whole world is out to get you and only you. When in
reality you are probably a individual that has created it for themselves.
Please, don't give us the sob story of how your spouse is a faithful member
and how much tithing you pay.
I'm LDS, born and raised here in Utah.I'vve lived all over the
world, and in at least 12 different States over my mnay years -- All
I can say is this -- It's easier to be a non-Mormon Republican
in Utah, than it is to be a non-Republican Mormon in Utah.Enough said.
After reading most of these comments, my conclusion is that what we think of our
neighbors (whoever and wherever) says a lot about us and very little about the
neighbors.I exercise most of my judging on the guy in the mirror.
I've often wondered if I'd be happier judging my neighbors. I just
haven't figured out how to make the switch. There is always the "judge
not..." option, but I don't think I have much hope of making it much of
the way to that goal.
I suppose the anecdotal evidence from Louisville Kentucky and Maryville, MO may
be exceptions, but here in the heart of Mormondom, things are as I described
Bill - I wonder if your friends who were not members would have still responded
positively to you if they knew you referred to those who don't believe in
mormonism "pawns of satan"? My guess would be no.
Thanks for a very interesting and encouraging article...and for entertaining
Being immersed in Mormon culture may actually cause a person to develop a worse,
not better, understanding of Mormonism because there are so many things in the
culture that are contrary to the religion itself. However, they seem to be doing
s pretty good job so far of fellowshipping her and respecting her free agency. I
suspect she will probably join the Church eventually. If not her then most
likely her children.
Umm...there is most definitely a "scoreboard". It's just not at the
chapel, it's on the wall at the mission home of whatever mission boundaries
you live in. The numbers are prayerfully and diligently tracked day by day and
every single Book of Mormon handed out, lesson taught, baptism committed and
membership confirmed is eagerly being reported, recorded and added up. Every LDS
member who has served a mission like me knows it. The jumbotron in the sky is
Scientist is wrong. In the neighborhood where I lived for a while we had seven
LDS families and the rest were members of different sects or just didn't
attend any church. When a friend of mine moved in across the street we invited
everyone within a block and half to breakfast on Memorial Day. We did this for
three years until I moved. Everyone knew we were LDS. Everyone knew if they
asked that the missionaries would be there also but only to eat. If someone
wanted to know more they could ask the missionaries themselves, otherwise it was
just to get to know them. Neighbors on both sides of me came to the breakfast
every year. My son played sports with them. They accepted who I was and I
accepted who they were. They came to some church activities and even funerals
of individuals each of us knew. I didn't preach to them but if they asked
certain questions I answered them as best I could. I invited them to the Winter
Quarters Temple Open House and some came and some didn't. We remain
friends today and miss the times we spent together.
Awesome article by a mother of an awesome family. As a Latter-day Saint in a
neighborhood with a lot of members of the church, it does seem to be a struggle
at times to balance between being inclusive and not pushy at the same time.
Nothing makes me feel like withdrawing into my little cultural cacoon faster
than a neighbor who becomes put out because I invite them to a church function.
This story makes me realize that we should all be able to be ourselves in front
of our neighbors, and then let the chips fall where they may regarding which
church or philosophy we will all individually choose.
Down where I live in South Georgia, I think we may have a different reason for
talking to non-members about The Church of Jesus Christ. I think we do it
because we realize we have the greatest gift God has to offer and want to freely
share it with others: that of Eternal Life and Exaltation, a step way beyond
Salvation alone, which is all other Christians and non-Christians know about.
We know that the authority to perform the ordinances necessary for
families to be sealed for time and eternity resides in this restored Church, and
want all to share in it. It isn't about quotas, it's about our love
for others and our desire for them to have all that we hope to have and enjoy in
I ask people about their religion so that I CAN get to know them.
It(religiosity) speaks volumes about someone regardless of membership or
interest. In fact, and in principle, being religious and displaying comfort in
discussing it says something different than being religious and displaying
discomfort; it is also different than being non-religious/comfortable or
@A Scientist"all these are a few of the many manifestations of how the
LDS Church so dominates the lives of its members as to thwart meaningful
relationships with non-members."I am not LDS and get along just
fine with Mormons (because I am not constantly looking for rationalizations NOT
to) - so please dont lump me in with YOUR problems and bitterness (You would
think a scientist would be a little more open)But thanks for proving
my previous point anyhow
A Scientist,We never join the “heathen” in their
activities? First, I hardly consider my friends and neighbors heathens.
Second, what about my turns at coaching, supervising a community sports program,
volunteering for the PTA/PTO, and the TAG programs? Do none of those
qualify?As to golf. I don’t but I have LDS friends who do and
they certainly golf with non-member (but no, not on Sunday).Most
folks I know miss church now and then for a variety of reasons and do not get
labeled less active (like folks in my bishopric - one of whom was gone for 5
weeks straight). It depends on the what and why.Two of my best
friends are non-members (and I don’t live close to either one anymore).
Here in Kentucky I have good friends who are active in other churches (they even
threw us an anniversary party using another church’s activity room).Yes, many of our activities are family oriented. And it is certainly
true that the church holds an important place in our lives. But we have wider
lives in the community and we are encouraged to do so.
JoeBlow wrote:"To invite someone to a church BBQ is one thing.
Eying (sic) them as potential converts changes everything. And it's pretty
easy to spot."You must beware of counterfeit intelligence passed
off as good ideas.Inviting non-members to Church activities seems
"nice", but it is not. The problem is that the Church dominates the
lives and time of members to such an extent that they don't have any time
or interest left over to join the "heathen" in THEIR activities!Friendships that are one-way, where the Mormon is inviting the
non-Mormon to Mormon activities, but the Mormon never goes golfing with the
non-Mormon (on Sunday), or goes with the non-Mormon on a weekend get-away
(because the Mormon has a "calling" and won't miss a Sunday for
fear of being labeled "less active") -- all these are a few of the many
manifestations of how the LDS Church so dominates the lives of its members as to
thwart meaningful relationships with non-members.We don't want
to be proselytized, but we also don't want your Church setting the agenda
of our friendship or the larger community of activities.
@JoeBlowYou responded to my comment: "When being nice ends with
accusations of trying to convert and leaving others alone results in accusations
of being snobbish ", with "Huge area in the middle of those two
options."Yes; logic would say so.However, if you
have been in the majority all your life and all of a sudden you are not -
paranoia can see darkness in that gray, when in reality they may be behaving
absolutely no different than you did when you were in the majority. Also if one
already has a judgment, such as condescension towards people who proselytize, it
is easy to ascertain even the smallest gaff as an excuse to rationalize that
predisposition.People can easily be "genuinely nice" and
still be misunderstood through the lens of other peoples experience: The fact
that everyone is human inherently makes the water muddy, aka gray, which is a
problem when most humans tend to categorize in starker shades.Not saying
you are absolutely wrong; just that a view from another angle gives a different
picture. AKA two blind men describing an elephant.Point remains: It
takes two to get along; one side cannot do it alone.
I've always been one who believed that you get out of something what you
put into it. And reading this article you have someone who made an effort to
understand and not criticize everything so she got the positive, many go the
other way. You get back in life what you put into it, you reap what you sew in
other words.I'm a member of the church and I'm sometimes
frustrated with how we act and approach others, and some teachers or leaders
have good intentions in mind but get a different result. They may set a goal of
5 baptisms in the ward for the year, but I think a better goal would be to help
5 people really understand what we believe, that way it's more towards
helping and it stops members from being pushy and offending others. It's
all how you go about it. Personally I don't ask the religion question, only
if the a conversation brings it up, but I'd rather make a friend and help
that way. More people come into the church because of examples and watching then
from someone pushing an agenda.
Enjoyed the article, will get the book.There are no better people to
live around! There are sometimes better LDS examples, but that goes for all
imperfect humans. There will always be the upside and the downside to every
situation on planet earth. Just love people, care about them and share your
testimony/witness when asked.I've lived in Utah, Idaho and
California. Attended Ricks, BYU, CSUN, and several community colleges. I was
active LDS for 35 years, and have been a sold-out born-again follower of Jesus
for the past 26. I attend Jewish synagogues with my Christain Hebrew class
(I'm the teacher), and many other Protestant and Catholic special programs.
My home church happens to be Southern Baptist, but it is the same doctrinally
to any historical, Biblical church.I enjoy teaching religion and
Bible classes in my community and I can tell you that while Mormons are socially
friendly and charitable, they are the only group who lose their smile if it
comes out that I am former-LDS. If we can get past that, the friendships are
To me America may not be perfect but it's better than any other country,
Living in Utah may not be perfect but it's better than any other state
around. Living in my town may not me perfect but it's better than any
place around. I don't get out much.
@Brave: I believe J D was referring to religions outside of Utah. Note where J
D lives. He was comparing the churches where he lives (no one bashes any of
them) to the LDS conference center in Utah, where representatives from other
religions bash the Mormons as they arrive to attend general conference.
It goes both ways. I live outside of Utah as a Mormon and have people in my
neighborhood who've made fun of my faith to me, to others about me who then
shared it with me.. and then ones who yelled at my children for having stickers
on their cars for Mitt during the election. I find it interesting that the ones
moving to Utah Valley are afraid of pressure to convert...while I am afraid of
offensive behavior or worse. Which do you prefer?
And remember, there is a significant contingent of Mormons who simply don't
care about converting you or anyone else. They, like you, just want to be left
JoeBlow,Thank you.I see both as an invite. As to the
church’s mission focus, I think that you would find most of the missionary
effort ends up being to the unchurched rather than those who are strong and
active in their own church.Yes, there is the "our church is
better than your church" issue. That is inherent in the concept of the
primitive church restored. However, the concept of truthfulness is held by
other religions as well. I think the issue is how it is presented – as
you say, an invitation rather than a push.I am sorry if that has
been a problem to you or yours.JD Tractor,Brave Sir
Robin is right. When the temple here was being built there were protesters.
When I took my family to the Hill Cumorah Pageant they had to pass through a
gauntlet of folks yelling and saying all kinds of things.All,Rlsintx is right. When dealing with others, mutual respect goes the
distance”. It is the only way to go.
I live in Texas. Religion comes up all the time in conversation with neighbors
and others who are not LDS. This was suprising after coming from Utah where it
seemed people were offended to hear the mere mention of religion.
Having lived in Oklahoma for many years I can tell you that one of the first
questions asked of us was where we go to Church. In this town you were either
Baptist or Methodist. After telling them that we were LDS, we were shunned and
talked about by all the neighbors. I guess it just depends on where you live.
After 15 years we moved, having made many friends, but they still thought we
were of the devil. Nice people, salt of the earth type, but so closed minded
that we just had to get out of there.
Lived all over the world. In Virginia we didn't have to worry about what it
was like to live next to Baptists because as soon as they discovered we were
LDS, they just talk to us, let alone invite us to their social church functions
-- we would have been happy to attend.Living in Iver, Bucks.
England, we had a BBQ the first month we were there and invited all of the
neighbors. They were startled someone was having such a fete and came... and we
introduced them to their other neighbors. When we moved to Orem we
had one family next to us and another two doors down that were not LDS. We
invited everyone to everything. One family had their bristles up and refused to
be tainted and was the typical grumpy non-LDS oversensitive person just waiting
to be offended. The other neighbor couldn't wait to come to everything and
anything (including Relief Society luncheons). They loved the neighborhood and
we loved them. When they moved back to Ohio (job transfer) we had a going away
party and it was a tearful goodbye. The other family wouldn't attend. Life is what you make it.
"When being nice ends with accusations of trying to convert and leaving
others alone results in accusations of being snobbish "Huge area
in the middle of those two options.If "being nice" is
genuine and has absolutely nothing to do with their religion situation, then I
see no issue, even for LDS.To invite someone to a church BBQ is one
thing. Eying them as potential converts changes everything. And it's
pretty easy to spot.Religion and politics is not something to be
discussed with new neighbors. Once a relationship has been established, it is
easy to determine if those are appropriate topics of discussion.I
would never discuss religion with a stranger, even if they lived next door.And I would never knock on someones door to discuss religion. Never.
Obviously, I would not make a good Latter Day Saint.
I'll always be on the wrong side of the tracks but I'm good with that.
I grew up outside of the LDS environment and I can tell you that non-lds ask
what religion you belong to just as much. I was invited many times to attend the
predominate religion's services and activities. Sometimes I went, sometimes
I didn't and I was never offended.Asking questions is all about
getting to know someone. Their religion or non-religion is part of who they are,
just like what they do for work or where they went to school. Asking questions
and getting to know them is how you make friends and develop relationships.
@JoeBlow"I believe that in Utah it is just so easy to surround one
self with no one but other LDS who validate and embolden beliefs and
stereotypes." You have a point, but consider the opposite: When being nice
ends with accusations of trying to convert and leaving others alone results in
accusations of being snobbish - it is pretty easy to throw in the towel (not
healthy - but easy), and simply retreat to the familiar; particularly when you
can have a completely full and busy life in your own bubble. The fact that it
may be easier for Mormons to retreat into the group in Utah does not mean that
such a character trait is exclusively or even predominantly Mormon. I know many
non-LDS people in Utah who retreat to their own cliques. Everywhere I have lived
there has always been a predominant something (who was usually oblivious to the
quirks of their dominance).Being non-LDS in Provo is less difficult than
being a conservative religious person in SFO. Critics seldom consider that it
works both ways because it is always more obvious when you are on the receiving,
rather than giving, end of things.
Doesn't matter if you're LDS or not-LDS - when you're dealing
with others, mutual respect goes the distance, not just a long ways. You have
to choose to take offense at the actions of others. That includes those
ridiculing your beliefs, proselytizing you or rejecting you in any social way.
Love one another, and learn how to accept enough about their cultural mores to
associate gracefully. I'm LDS and lived in a Jewish neighborhood in
Dayton, OH and my neighbors made a point to invite me to their many events and
explain traditions etc. It was wonderful, and many of them asked me about LDS
and "christian" topics all the time, knowing I'd accepted knowing
what they were about. I am for the first time in my adult life living in UT
after 30 years in OH, AL and TX. How I approached it worked for me, them and I
have many friends and colleagues who seek me out to know about LDS stances and
beliefs in return because they know I care about their own too. Do unto others
as you'd have them do unto you. It works. Shalom !
When someone new moves in next to me, I usually just ask if they have a decent
smoker and know how to cook a tender brisket? If the answer is yes, then I know
I am going to heaven regardless of where they go to church.
"It really is silly to be put off by LDS culture if you move to an LDS area.
It would be like me being offended by Judaism in Jerusalem."I
don't think it is any secret that there are many people in Jerusalem who
are very offended by Judaism.
It seems like us Mormons just can't win. If you invite the new neighbors to
ward functions then you're being pushy and trying to convert them. If you
don't invite the new neighbors then you're being a snob and exclusive.
Being LDS and having lived in the South, I can report that Southerners are also
very open about religion, inviting folks to come to their church etc. etc. In
general, the Southern folks appeared equally interested in "conversions"
and like Mormons are certainly interested in bringing souls to Christ. As
described in the article, people should take an active interest in their
neighbors and build on common belief.
“Anywhere else in the country it’s rude to ask what religion you
are, but when we moved to Alpine 10 years ago, it seemed like religion was
brought up within the first few minutes of meeting someone,”Interesting: I am not LDS but it seems like whenever I go anywhere else
(particuraly California for some reson)and I say I live in Salt Lake, I am
always asked if I am Mormon within the first few minutes of the conversation. I
find it tedious - but I remind myself that they are probably only curious (or
misinformed). So I take a deep breath and explain the same thing for the
umpteenth time. It works the same way in reverse. I have been around Mormons
(including family)long enough to understand their predicament of being judged
for behaving like other humans. Considering that my 10 closest
friends consist of a former LDS Bishop, two active Catholics, four active
evangelicals, two active Mormons and an inactive one, and an agnostic stoner; My
observation is that those who want to get along do so: and when you dont get
along it is probably the other persons fault (sarcasm).
Having lived all over the country most of our lives, we moved to Utah the first
time about 25 years ago, for about 3 years, then elected to move back here
permanently about 15 years ago. We are not LDS.Both times we moved
to Utah in the SLC area, we have been warmly welcomed by our LDS (and non-LDS)
neighbors, and find this to be one of the most pleasant, safe, hospitable places
we have ever lived. Sure, the missionary kids come around every so
often, but they did that in other places we lived, too. We feel no pressure to
join the LDS church, nor any distancing by others because we are not LDS.The LDS people have the values which made this country great; self
reliance, tolerance, patriotism, charity, and a strong work ethic and family
focus. As for the detailed aspects of the faith, I will let theologians debate
those, but the results shown in the lives of the LDS as they live life are most
admirable, and there can be no debate on that.A LDS community is a
great place to live!
Good for her. She could have been offended and put off, but realizing that she
had moved into an LDS area, rather than kick against the pricks, she educated
herself, and got to know her neighbors for who they are. It really is silly to
be put off by LDS culture if you move to an LDS area. It would be like me being
offended by Judaism in Jerusalem.That being said, many LDS are
actually put off by other LDS in highly concentrated LDS areas. It seems that
the "critical mass" has been reached, and sometimes we LDS develop a
pack mentality. We really need to learn from this great lady, and love people
for who they are, and not expect everyone to be in the investigator pool. They
can just be really good people, who can be our friends. I've found that I
really can't have too many friends.
re:Brave Sir Robin, Notice where I live. I'm saying their is a
lot of bigotry in Utah, a lot. I think this authors efforts to get to know
Mormons is a great example for non-mormons. I'm getting tired of articles
that can point out every flaw of the Mormon way, but never focus or mention the
flaws of those outside the LDS scene.
Twin, Let me first say that I appreciate your presence on this board.You write "do you have a church home"? They were inviting us
in with them if we did not have a religious preference of our own.I
would agree. This would be a kind gesture in the right spirit. (no pun
intended)I understand when Christians try to bring others into the
"fold". And by that, I mean inviting non church goers to their
church.But, I never understood the LDS desire to convert other
church going Christians to the LDS religionIt sends the message that
"our church" is better than "your church" or yours is missing
something that ours can provide. I have to believe that fuels some
of the contempt for the LDS by some.
@JD Tractor"And I have yet to see one protestor standing outside
a religious center calling people names and holding signs protesting their
beliefs."Clearly you've never stood outside the Conference
Center during general conference or at the Manti temple during the pageant.
When we moved to Kentucky, folks could tell we were not from here. Very shortly
after meeting us (often in line at the grocery store or some other very casual
venue) folks would ask "do you have a church home"?It
wasn't exclusive but inclusive. They were inviting us in with them if we
did not have a religious preference of our own. I did not feel insulted. They
were just reaching out to us.
I don't get why the mormon culture promotes pestering those who aren't
members. It is quite annoying to have somebody ask you your religion before they
get to know you. Common sense would be to get to know somebody before spouting
that question. If mormons lead by example they might get more people interested.
Pestering people that aren't members is quite counter productive. If
somebody is interested, they will ask you. If not, leave them alone.
I grew up in a neighborhood in Texas and went thru 12 years of school with a
bunch of neighborhood kids. With the exception of those that I saw in church, I
had no idea what religion, if any, the rest of them were.Didn't
know, and didn't care. I found that in conversations with LDS
relatives, it is difficult to go 5 minutes without some aspect of religion
entering the conversation. I do understand why that is. In Utah, the LDS
religion is an all-encompassing way of life. It basically permeates everything,
so it is understandable. Not a knock, just my observation.
Casey See,Exactly.Danny Chipman,Except for
Casey See's comment, I agree completely.
I only have one minor point of disagreement with the above article. Here in the
deep south, as soon as one moves into a neighborhood, the 3rd question asked,
after what is your name, how many kids do you have, is "Do you have a
church?" If you answer in negative, then you will be invited to that
person's church. If you answer in the positive, they will ask where is it
located and what is the name of the church. It isn't really a
"nosey" thing, it is just the way they are here. I agree
with the rest of the article and most of the comments. LDS, I am one, need to
be friends with all of their neighbors. Try and push the church, and you will
get push back most of the time. However, simple invites to church activities
and especially family activities were you really want the individual or family
to come and not to join the church, will go a long way to establishing a firm
friendship and possibly interest in the church.If they have similar
morals, don't worry about interactions. It can only lead to better
understanding are worst.
Next week there needs to be an article about being a Mormon outside of Utah and
what happens when your neighbors find out your religion. One thing I've
discovered is the non-religous neighbors are much more accepting than the
"Christian" neighbors. It is somewhat ironic.I also am
amazed how many churches advertise their socials, special weeks of lent, etc.
and nobody cares. And I have yet to see one protestor standing outside a
religious center calling people names and holding signs protesting their
beliefs. Utah has a lot to work and it may not all be just the
I can understand the frustration being non-LDS in a predominantly LDS
neighborhood. I sometimes think we Latter-Day Saints let our goals and
assignments overtake our common sense. A few years ago in my ward, we had
over-zealous ward mission goals such as a goal of 12 baptisms in the ward for
the year. This lead to ward members talking to neighbors and knocking on doors
only to meet short-term goals or assignments, and not to get to know the people
better. Those non-LDS can sense this easily and it is easy to be turned off by
the over-zealous ward leader who is more concerned about how to explain the the
Stake President when ward mission goals are not met and less concerned about the
actual people in the ward boundaries, whether LDS or not. Ironically, I think missionary opportunities in Utah go best when you are not
looking for them. People are more relaxed and trusting of a Latter-Day Saint
when there is genuine neighborly concern and not some agenda, thus leading to
more interest overall in the Church.
Frequently, the "Are you LDS?" question is asked to provide information,
not to assess or judge the new move in. If the new family is LDS, the question
is followed with comments like the following:"Your house is in the
South Jordan 384th Ward.""The ward boundaries are this block and
the two blocks west of here.""The bishop lives in the green house.
The Relief Society President lives in the red house."This was our
experience when we moved to South Jordan three years ago, and we welcomed the
I live in an older neighborhood in Sandy where the LDS/other ratio is about
50/50. I've also spent a couple of years living outside of the inbred
Utah-Mormon culture where I was definitely in the religious minority. That being
said, I would never be so blunt asking someone's religion in the first
conversation, or even the first few. To me that would be like asking someone
what their income is.I try to be a good neighbor regardless of the
beliefs of those around me. After all, opportunities to share the gospel,
especial in areas that have been run ragged by missionaries over the years,
often only come after proving to your neighbors you genuinely care about THEM,
not their religious status.I'm a leader in our Primary's
"Activity Days" program. Over half of our regularly attending girls are
not even LDS. Great! I'm glad they have the opportunity to get to know us
and do wholesome, fun activities with us, and I hope they'll carry those
feelings of safety and acceptance with them throughout their lives, regardless
of whether or not they ever join the church.
I lived in the Salt Lake Area for 10 years. The LDS are certainly very good and
nice people.That said, I was certainly a conversion target. Which I
understand. However, once it was determined that conversion was not in my
future, the "neighborly" attitude dried up. I am not saying that anyone
was unfriendly. I became someone to wave at from a distance.I did
have one neighbor express their displeasure to me about mowing my lawn on a
Sunday.The LDS I have known or worked with outside of Utah were much
more accepting. I believe that in Utah it is just so easy to surround one self
with no one but other LDS who validate and embolden beliefs and stereotypes.I lived in the SLC area. I cannot imagine moving a non LDS family with
kids to a Provo/Orem type area.