So awhile back I did a post on 13 things I like about Protestants in what is meant to be an ongoing series. On a multi-faith site I think it’s important to talk about what we really respect and admire about each other, even just on superficial level. So here I take on the Mormons, and I think as we head into fall I may write about Catholics next.
Each faith has it’s own contributions to culture as well as deep spiritual insights. Protestantism is part of my past, but other faiths are somewhat exotic to me. For this post, and those to come, I have to do some research and learning is a good thing!
I don’t get the relationship between Mormons and Jello. The joke is completely out of my context. It’s absurd and I like the absurd. Better to be associated with Jello than Spam or Marmite, right? Or is it?
12. Mormons Are Uniquely American
Their revelations and history all take place on American soil. Most of their holy places are here, not in some land far, far away. That’s really incredible. I could hop in my car and take a road trip to all the places of spiritual and historical importance to the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. Wow. Kinda jealous.
11. Mormons Are Friendly
At least all the Mormons I’ve met are friendly, but then in my area there aren’t all that many of them. I quilted with Mormons once. Nice ladies. Never once commented on what a horrible quilter I am. Very diplomatic of them.
Not only is this a section of the Book of Mormon, but it’s also my great-grandmother’s name. It means nourishing. It’s a small thing, but I like this.
9. Evolving Scripture
Over 3,000 changes have supposedly been made to the Book of Mormon since it was first printed. Most of them have been very small changes to grammar, to update archaic language or remove redundant phrases. I like that although their scripture is holy, it’s also not stagnant. Well done.
8. Mission Work
99.9% of Pagans do not participate in prosetylizing, but leaving your family for two years to live in poverty in service of your faith is an incredible thing. While I can’t applaud their goals, I do admire the dedication of those participating in mission work. Especially because they do it all without any coffee.
Pagans generally don’t have lay people. We are each priests and priestesses in our own right. What varies is the type of priest or priestess we are, and in what way we serve a tradition. I love that each man is a holder of priesthood in LDS. Just seems odd that each woman isn’t a holder of priestesshood as well. Especially as you are all working towards the same goals and inherit equally in the Celestial Kingdom.
I like that you have your own university. Religious education is important. I hope that soon we will have a Pagan university.
Bet you didn’t expect this on the list, did you? Paganism has always been welcoming and accepting of the polyamory community. Currently Pagans are helping in the fight to decriminalize polygamy in Canada. Love is important and so is family. The union between consenting adults should not be a crime.
4. Occult Roots
Both the LDS and modern Paganism have drawn on Masonic influences. The levels of initiation, the rituals, the names, the symbols, the secrecy and the emphasis on personal spiritual growth are things we very much have in common. Though Pagans and Mormons may seem to be at opposite ends of the religious spectrum, I think we’d actually find ourselves very much at home in each other’s rituals.
3. Big Love
Yes, I know the entire state of Utah is groaning with exasperation over this being on the list of things I like about Mormons. The truth is though, that although the drama and sex reeled me in, it’s the religion and emphasis on family that keeps me hooked. After each episode I find myself Googling LDS terms because I know the show is fictional and I want the truth. Bill Henrickson and his family has spurred more curiosity in me about Mormonism than years of seeing those Book of Mormon commercials on tv.
2. Importance of Family
Modern Pagans are often seen as a bunch of non-committal hippies, but in truth we are very concerned about family. Pagan homeschooling is on the rise, second and third generation Pagans are being raised in our faiths. We are very concerned with caring for our elderly. We are grasping for a new paradigm of family that is inclusive, loving and supportive. While I don’t agree with Mormons on many issues, such as sexuality and coffee, I do respect their commitment to family. As we move into the future we need to give careful consideration to what family means, by looking at the ancients and by observing the faiths around us. We can learn a lot from Mormons about family, even though we don’t always agree.
1. Modern Prophecy
As someone whose spiritual path includes divination, prophecy and revelation I find it comforting that there are other traditions who engage the idea of modern prophecy and revelation. Trusting that your God does speak directly to you and practicing careful discernment to ensure your messages are truly Divine are things we have in common. The modern world is not comfortable with the idea that the Divine speak to us. It’s nice to know that there are other contemporary revelatory traditions out there.