There is a definite trend within Mormon culture to sort of offer your Mormon-CV every time you meet a new Mormon. This of course becomes even more necessary for some reason when defending one’s self against accusations of apostasy or outright devilry. There is so much Bishop-on-Bishop word crime in these situations one would think we weren’t practicing the same religion…which is probably the point that either side is trying to make.
Before I go any further (and this will be a very short post because I am out of town) I want to make it absolutely clear that I am 100% guilty of this same activity. I’m not necessarily writing about it here to condemn it; more to bring it to light in a shared moment for us all.
When challenged, I have seen even the most staunch anti-Mormons bust out their Mormon street-cred. It is quite a sight to behold while we all grapple and scrape at each other throwing out names of ancestors and arguing over who was here first; these rendezvous’ turn into the very definition of a hipster party. We jockey for position as if it has any bearing on anything whatsoever.
Whether introducing ourselves in a friendly manner or in a battle of 6s and 7s we do like to be first. We like to have been here the longest because then and only then will we prove that we alone may go unchallenged. There is a good place here for a joke about The Three Nephites, but I’m just a lowly convert—I’m sure some glorious BIC soul can be a proper standard bearer.
In online Mormon groups, specifically the more unorthodox ones, I used to find myself stating that I hold a temple recommend, like it gives me some kind of street cred. I quit that. I would never say “I’m an active member and I take the sacrament every Sunday!” which is essentially the same thing.
I know exactly what you mean. I don’t have a TR but I found myself mentioning how often I attend Church, how I feel about the Gospel, etc.. All in some misguided effort to, I don’t know, distance myself from the edge? I have no clue.
Dude. This post is awesome. Things get really bad around pioneer day. I ain’t got no street cred.
My daughters (7 and 11) looked the pict. I had to explain what a record is/was.
Another thought. I think people BIC have “convert jealousy”. That is, they don’t have an awesome narrative to explain why they are Mormon, but they wish they did.
Of course we are jealous. Not only do we not have a cool story, but we also didn’t get to live in sinful debauchery for years before being brought into the fold (don’t tell me that 8 year old can’t get into debauchery, we all know otherwise)!
It goes both ways sometimes. We definitely like to point out how many of our ancestors knew Joseph personally or which of the current apostles we share a great great grandfather with. And if someone has a point you don’t agree with, you start looking at them and how often they attend and what their family situation is.
However, the other side is that sometimes the BIC can be jealous of the converts. We wonder, would I have joined the church if my great great grandfather hadn’t? Where would I have met the missionaries? How long after the first discussion would I have been baptized? I wish I had a miraculous conversion story. Do I really have a testimony or just believe in the traditions of my fathers?
I will say that the exmos who tout how long their pedigree is or where they went on a mission or how long their temple marriage lasted before going anti as a way of showing that they really know what they are talking about when they bash the church are just sad.
I’m sure you’re right that there is a definite “grass is greener” aspect to this as well. I think we all do it though, converts and non-converts alike.
Why is it sad? Mormons like to dismiss those who have left the Church as having not been faithful enough, having not understood what it’s really about, etc. it’s just a little street cred, just as Mormons use it.
What can be funner than saying that 2 of my grandmothers were raised in Polygamist families or that I am the gay second cousin of Mitt Romney and that we are descended from different sister wives of our Polygamist great-grandfather Helaman PRATT. Don’t take this away from me! Where will my next 15 minutes of fame come from if Mitt sinks into obscurity!
Oh wait, I didn’t include my middle name…I am Daniel YOUNG Parkinson!
A properly Mormon name! You’re right that there is definite value in being the gay cousin of Mitt Romney. Mitt may not ascribe that _same_ value, but I digress.
If you’re a Pratt there is definite glory in that as well. Across the great wide expanse of the Bloggernacle I am a well-known Pratt-o-phile, or Pratt-ite (whichever you prefer) so if nothing else you have a small part of my jealousy.
First off- there are no words for the awe and wonder I feel when looking at that photo/graphic/whatever brilliant work of art you included. . . Jesus would be proud of you. Something should be added to the Young Women’s theme (see how I don’t use YW? note below) about the virtue of meme design skills. If it’s a spiritual gift, you have it.
Second- sometimes it takes me a long time to figure out what all these internet/bloggernacle abbreviations stand for. But I’m getting better at that.
Third- my great, great, great grandmother, Sarah Pippen Jolley, brought eleven children across the plains by herself because her husband died shortly before they were scheduled to leave. BY HERSELF!
You're The Bomb-Diggitty