Comments about ‘Ask Angela: I'm an everyday Mormon in Utah do I matter?’

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Published: Saturday, April 20 2013 5:45 a.m. MDT

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george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I like the response to the letter. Credibility is all we have, how competent is something you protect. Sure lairs cheaters and thieves won't be respected or trusted. That is earned. To be taken for granite is a complement.


Right on Angela! Sounds like your reader is having a little humility issue. We definitely ALL sinners but hopefully we are not all trying to repent of the worst kinds of sins. The church's 12-step program for people with an addiction is an awesome resource for every member of the church. After all, we all sin and we all might even have 'addictions' that we are not aware of until we dig deeply and honestly into our personal lives. Do we have an addiction to gossip? Overeating? Under eating? Electronics? Shopping? the list goes on. "Cast the beam out of our own eye first".

G L W8

One of the wonderful things about the parable of the Prodigal Son is that we can fill in the "rest of the story". I like to suppose that after the father's counsel to his older son, the "good guy" repented and welcomed his brother. That's what he would have done if he followed the example of the Savior, the true "Elder Brother". Could it be that Christ deliberately left this story a bit open-ended, master teacher that he was, so we could ponder an acceptable conclusion?

Montesano, WA

It does not matter were one lives at. It can be in Utah or it can be at the farthest reaches of the planet. We are all Gods Children. I just Have to say the only thing that matters is we work out our own salvation. Something that really rubs me the wrong way is how everything is wrapped around the inactive and then the active is Oh their ok they never miss church. I have never missed church drive 30 miles one way to go. Yet have never in the past 15 years ever had my home teacher over or even my wife have a visiting teacher over. Yes my neighbor who wants zero to do with the church gets home teachers visiting teachers. even though they never enter the door. One thing I want to know is when do the active matter? when do we stop rewarding bad behavior? seems that to get attention from the church i need to go inactive fall way and then maybe I will matter.

Far East USA, SC

"I’ve noticed that members put a large emphasis on diversity and being different."


Could it be that those that are diverse or different get the attention because they don't fit the mold?

Get a tattoo. That will get you noticed.

Portland, Oregon

In the poem "Desiderata" there is a line which reads: "If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself."

You may not think you matter, You live in an area where you and others live the gospel on a daily basis. But what if the example of your strength and righteous living was the very thing helping someone else to make the choices for living righteously as well?

You may not realize it but everything you do that reflects your desire to do Heavenly Father's will causes ripples which may be small when they spread from you, but as they travel they build in magnitude and power and become a great source of light and strength to others around you.

So never think you do not matter. Every one of us matters. We are Children of God.

Las Vegas, NV

I'm a recently returned prodigal son, born, raised and living in sin city. Despite being born "in the covenant" of "goodly parents", I forsook The Lord for 2+ decades. I'd give ANYTHING to start over, and remain true to the faith throughout my entire life. I'd give ANYTHING to have been a "Good Guy". One can always choose to sin, but one cannot choose the effects of sin. Life, even as a "Good Guy" is hard enough, no? I promise you, you don't want the added heartache of serious sin. Repentance has blessed me profoundly, and like Alma, I am "harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more." But my family thinks I'm nuts, and doesn't share my faith, in large part, because of my poor example. Nevertheless, like the prodigal son, I know that my faithful brother (Good Guy) will receive all that our father has. As the other, unfaithful son, I look to another parable to find comfort, as an 11th hour worker in the vineyard. Regardless, I know His ways are just. I trust in Him. I'm thankful for the Good Guys that show me the way.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

To a degree, even the best of us are Prodigal Sons who need the atonement.

San Marcos, CA

With all the inspirational stories in the church, I always felt the need to be or do something amazing. I realized that I could be amazing in small ways: be a good husband, father, brother, son, neighbor, home teacher, etc. There's greater fulfillment when you don't make it about yourself.

Frozen Chosen
Savage, MN

In the words of President Utchdorf, "Lift where you stand" brothers and sisters. It took me many years to learn this lesson. Your personal relationship with God is much more important than your calling.


'The Good Guy' makes an excellent observation about our culture, and the response turned into a "Prodigal Son" commentary instead of addressing the point he is making. I feel his observations valid for discussion, and that we shouldn't minimize it by quoting scripture and moralizing.

Growing up in Utah as an adolescent, it seemed that those who promoted themselves well, were popular, or were highly connected received the most attention in our Mormon culture. I've learned that this also extends into adulthood, and have observed it to be a strong element in the media messages the church sends out. My favorite messages are from those who are humble and sincere, not self-promoting.

I consider myself a "boots on the ground" member of the church. I'm on the front lines. I had a long period of inactivity in the church. I'm a single, middle-aged female with no children. Most of the time I feel that I don't fit into the culture. However, I would prefer to be known not for my period of rebellion and struggle, but for my ability to take the lessons learned from that period to minister and serve.


In all ways we are the prodigal son. We have all fallen away from our Father's House. The "faithful son" in that parable is a reflection on those of us who feel we are not prodigals. None of us have earned our way home yet, none of us have been faithful all along.

The only truly faithful son is our Savior, and He does not begrudge our Father's love for us as prodigals. We have to remember that, as we were told in general conference just this month, our Heavenly Father WANTS to forgive us.

I'm with Hagothsen in remembering that no matter when we repent and decide to strive to return Home, we will be welcomed and loved, not just by our Heavenly Father, but also by His Only Faithful Son. The sooner we do it, though, and the sooner we stop thinking of ourselves as the "faithful" ones, the greater our blessings will be in this life, and the greater and sooner will be our joy - in part because we will also, as we become more like our Savior, join in the celebrations of others who have been able to return.


My second thought I'd like to share has to do with comparing ourselves to the prodigal son. Those of us who have gone through a period of inactivity or who are converts to the church sometimes label ourselves as the prodigal son or daughter.

We need to remember the context in which Jesus gave the parable. He was answering questions and speaking to lawyers and politicians about the law. While we can take many meanings from parables, I sometimes think we categorize ourselves incorrectly or assume that we cannot be restored to receive eternal blessings through incorrectly interpreting this parable. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can restore ALL things. We know this from scripture and the words of living prophets.

I feel that we should look past the prodigal son label and remember: Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah were members of the church that had strayed and were persecuting the church whose course was corrrected. King Limhi and his household were converted from great wickedness unto light. Paul persecuted the church and was called to repentence. Even the Brother of Jared was reminded by the Lord that he had slacked off in his devotions and worship.

Phoenix, AZ

Perhaps more important is not does one matter, but does one make a difference.

layton, UT

RE: Twin Lights, the best of us are Prodigal Sons who need the atonement. True,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and Only Son, that “whoever believes in him” shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 NIV).

Sinners are attractive because they are loved; they are not loved because they are attractive. God’s love does not dependent upon our achievements, nor can we ever earn our salvation. Martin Luther.
We’re not sinners because we sin. We sin because we’re sinners. In (Psalm 51:5) Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

(Psalm 51:17). a” broken and contrite heart.” The word for "contrite" means To be bowed down with the awareness of our spiritual bankruptcy.

Eph 2:3b: "We were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."

Mount Pleasant, UT

To: Hagothsen: I truly sympathize with you and your struggle to feel good about yourself and the decisions you make. We must be in command of our own choices and not our families. It is between us and God. I, too made terrible choices and my family had a difficult time with that. I was excommunicated(of which I deserved) but through "The Miracle of Forgivesness" by Spencer W. Kimball, fervant prayer I was found worthy of rebaptism. Elder Marvin J. Ashton told me that we don't make "dumb" mistakes, they are careless mistakes. There are still times when I beat myself up for being less than perfect but as I continue to fervantly work on overcoming my weaknesses I find that I feel less angry at myself and my testimony has grown remarkably. It is between us and the Lord and He is always there for us whether good or bad. We can't live our lives by others opinions....only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ will peace come to our soul.

Sandy, UT

I think LDS culture needs to get over the "Utah Mormon/Non-Utah Mormon" thing. It serves no purpose but to split us up. I'm from Los Angeles, CA and went on a mission to Mississippi. My trainer there was from a small town in Utah and he made me feel like such a worthless person for being from LA. He'd tell me things like "LA Mormons aren't really Mormons" or "The church is only it's truest in Utah."

I started to grow a dislike for all things Utah as a result. What I've come to realize however is that these feelings, both mine and his and feelings like these others in and out of the state of Utah in the church may hold, only hurt us as a people. The church is ment to be a united front. Each one of us matter to God the same. Yet many of these mean spirited feelings seem to stay alive on both sides. It is time we as a people put these feelings to bed.

Far East USA, SC

"My trainer there was from a small town in Utah and he made me feel like such a worthless person for being from LA. He'd tell me things like "LA Mormons aren't really Mormons" or "The church is only it's truest in Utah."

How do you think he felt about or treated Non-Mormon in Utah.


Something tells me that Good Guy is having a little fun at the expense of Miss Angela Trusty and all of those commenting on this. It is obvious satire.

william e. kettley

I heard a prayer offered by a humble brother in stake conference once in which he asked the Lord to "bless him with patience with those who sin differently than he." We are all prodigal at some level, and knowing we live in a telestial place here in mortality, and cannot achieve absolute perfection, need to be tolerant of those in this condition, as we all sin and come short of the Glory of God. We are more alike than we are different, and should act as such with each other.
William Kettley

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