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Simple, simple question......

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Sorry I haven't posted anything lately. FIFA 2005 career mode, Topspin, and Half-Life have kept me plenty busy. Here's the question: how nice are the people in your ward? Do you like them? If you don't like them, why? If you do, why?

I rip on my ward all the live long day, but to be honest, they're all basically good people. The only two that I really don't like are the two that I'm making legitimate and semilegitimate efforts to fellowship, so I can't complain too much about the people there. I basically don't hang out with people because I don't much care for huge social groups and Mormons tend to put those together. Any reason that I wouldn't like a member likely applies at least double to myself.

I'll post something else tomorrow, but I'd be interested to hear what people think of their peers in Zion. Pris, how do Mormons stack up with nonmembers in similar social situations?

8 Responses to “Simple, simple question......”

  1. Blogger Arwyn 

    Hmm. Depends, really, on which ward. I don't relish attending either my homeward (which is out in the sticks) or the singles ward (which is full of single people).

    Overall, however, they're all rather nice. In fact, I'm sure they're wonderful people, and that I'd appreciate them if I took the time to really get to know them.

    But I have a hard time -- and this is a personal issue that I work on -- getting past feeling like I have a whole ward full of judging eyes following me whenever I walk into the building. Any building. And that, I think, is a purely Mormon phenomenon.

  2. Anonymous Susan M 

    I can't think of any ward I've ever been in that wasn't full of wonderful people. And I've lived in lots. I counted last time we moved, I think it was something like 14 wards.

  3. Blogger Rusty 

    Amazing people. I truly wish I could get to know each one of them better. D-Train, Arwyn, you should definitely make an effort to get to know them, I'm sure you will discover some incredible people. Boy, I sound just a tinge too chipper, but I guess that's just the way that I feel.

  4. Blogger Pris 

    I actually had a post in mind addressing the question you ask of me, D-Train, so I'll refrain from answering that for now.

    When I go to church or hang out with the Mormons, I usually get along fine--but it depends on how they view me. Generally, there are four ways:

    1) They know my stance and understand where I'm coming from. They may not like it, but they accept it. (Best people are here, imho.)
    2) They know my stance but don't accept it (and actively try to convert me). I don't hang out with these people.
    3) They think I am a true investigator. While partly true, mostly not. Usually, once I talk more with them, they move to (1) or (2).

    Fortunately for me (unlike everyone else, it seems) I have very little at stake if the other ward members like me or if I like them. Since I'm not tied to the Church, I can just stop going.

  5. Blogger D-Train 

    I'm familiar with the judging eyes. I do think that's largely Mormon-specific, although I size up my academic colleagues in a similar way.

    Perhaps the biggest difference that makes the judging seem a little more overt is that "worthiness" has more concrete implications for members than for other Christians or folks of other faiths. There are things that you get to do or not do because you are worthy/unworthy. (By the by, I know that other faiths do have these things as well, but it's a lot more visible in Mormon culture.) It's hard to not notice who is and is not there at the ward temple trips. And boy howdy, if you had a date on temple night and prefer to wear a blue shirt to church on Sunday, the eyes will be following.

    I actually think that Mormons are probably only slightly more judgmental than most people and not any more judgmental than people with a strong moral orientation, but the visibility factor compounds what is there.

  6. Blogger Arwyn 


    I think you're right on the worthiness point. I know a lot of people of other religions who are judgemental as well (shucks, aren't we all, to some extent or another?) -- but I think it weighs more heavily on me at church because worthiness and conformity -- er, obedience -- are such big issues for us.


    Chipper, indeed! I've been in wards where I've known some wonderful people. I just moved home two weeks ago, and haven't had a chance to get to know anyone in the singles ward or my home ward (my family moved while I was at college), and I'm sure they'll be great when I get a chance to know them.

    Still, in that time when I feel like the outsider -- the visitor -- there's a hint of trepidaton and concern (justified or not) over whether the people will be wonderful, or whether I'll be outcast. Maybe it's silly, but I've not always made friends easily at church, and it's a very real feeling for me.

  7. Blogger annegb 

    Good and nice are two different things, not mutually exclusive, but sometimes so.

    The people in my ward are basically nice and basically good. We do, however, have more than our share of weird, of which I probably would be considered one.

  8. Blogger Pris 

    annegb: If I was in your ward, I'd probably attend church more than I do. All things being equal, I'd rather be good than nice.

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