Comments about ‘Author shares how it feels to live among Mormons in Utah’

Return to article »

Published: Monday, Feb. 25 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Blackshear, GA

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 the hereafter.

Ghost Writer

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.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

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.

Walnut Creek, CA

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 always on.


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.

Orem, UT

Thanks for a very interesting and encouraging article...and for entertaining comments!

sandy, ut

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.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

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 them.


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.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

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.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

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.

Allen, TX

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 your shoulder.

sandy, ut

Bill - You can't quote Dallin H. Oaks, because it is just his opinion.

Layton, UT

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...

West Jordan, UT

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.

Eagle Mountain, UT

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?

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments