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gopher

What makes you a "unique Mormon"?

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On 6/23/2019 at 3:21 PM, bluebell said:

I think that most things that we think make us unique are probably shared by thousands of other members and aren’t unique at all.  

That's why I was having a hard time thinking of something. 

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I understand the need to feel there is something unique and different about yourself.  Living in an area with a small church presence, just being a member was always a way to stand out at school and work.  Of course, there were always quirky and interesting people at church.  But I imagine it must be different for those in Utah where apparently everyone is the same.

In the article I quoted, Reynolds states, "I hate that people have to be pigeon­holed" and then explains that sometimes NOT believing in God is what makes him a "unique Mormon".  I can't quite put my finger on it, but that seems an odd thing to say.

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1 hour ago, gopher said:

In the article I quoted, Reynolds states, "I hate that people have to be pigeon­holed" and then explains that sometimes NOT believing in God is what makes him a "unique Mormon".  I can't quite put my finger on it, but that seems an odd thing to say.

Kind of like how eating chicken makes someone a unique vegetarian.  

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1 hour ago, gopher said:

I understand the need to feel there is something unique and different about yourself.  Living in an area with a small church presence, just being a member was always a way to stand out at school and work.  Of course, there were always quirky and interesting people at church.  But I imagine it must be different for those in Utah where apparently everyone is the same.

In the article I quoted, Reynolds states, "I hate that people have to be pigeon­holed" and then explains that sometimes NOT believing in God is what makes him a "unique Mormon".  I can't quite put my finger on it, but that seems an odd thing to say.

Mormonism can be considered a culture. So there's that. Or a tribe. 

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Posted (edited)

Mormonism indeed has culture.  Interesting how observing it on this site is typically met with resistance but then again it’s human nature to resist being judged or pigeonholed.  So I get it.

i remember someone once being shocked to discover I was lds , because I wear heels a lot.  Lol- then again I live in a very granola earthy area (pigeon holing again, culture reigns even geographically) so that makes me doubly unique, apparently. 

Edited to say yes, I know, many lds women wear heels.  I’ve attended church in Henderson NV and all those rich beautiful blonde women defy all sorts of toe balance restriction. ;) 

Edited by MustardSeed

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On 6/23/2019 at 6:45 PM, gopher said:

But don't members want to believe they have unique gifts that are needed to build up the church, assist in the gathering, etc?  Some missionaries believe they are sent to a certain country because they are the only one who can find and baptize certain people.  Is it wrong to feel you are unique if you don't then compare yourself to others?

Why would one need to believe his or her spiritual gifts are “unique”? Isn’t it good enough just to have the gifts, regardless of whether and how many other people have similar gifts?

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Posted (edited)
On 6/23/2019 at 2:11 PM, gopher said:

Recently Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons was quoted in an article discussing what makes him a unique Mormon.  It's understandable that many feel they possess traits and qualities that make them different from other members.  However, it can be a challenge to distinguish yourself today especially with all the competition from social media.  

Reynolds explains:  "Some days I don’t believe in anything — some days I’m probably more atheist than your atheist friend".  What is it that makes you unique as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?

Boasting of or reveling in one’s “uniqueness” in his own non-conformity or rejection of mainstream norms strikes me as being just as prideful as reveling in one’s own piety or conformity. 

Furthermore, some who criticize perceived self-righteousness in others often unwittingly exhibit their own kind of self-righteousness thereby. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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3 hours ago, bluebell said:

Kind of like how eating chicken makes someone a unique vegetarian.  

Heh. I guess by that definition I’m a “unique vegetarian.”  That is, I hold to a plant-based diet — except on those numerous and frequent occasions when I don’t. 

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Our neighbors often assume we're not members, so something about us doesn't scream typical LDS....of course that could just be that we go to a spanish ward, so they're not seeing us in their usual 7 blocks of ward attendance :P . Still its entertaining and my husband especially likes "playing investigator" when he gets the chance. 

As for unique...my general background and perspective. I don't think that I'm the only member who may have similar traits as I do. But I'm aware that among LDS members in the US it's still not a common experience. uniqueness in and of itself isn't important to me. Rather that who i am and my experiences can be used to help is. 

 

With luv,

BD 

 

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Heh. I guess by that definition I’m a “unique vegetarian.”  That is, I hold to a plant-based diet — except on those numerous and frequent occasions when I don’t. 

My favorite vegetable is New York Steak!

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Nothing. I don't think I am unique as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Uniqueness as individuals is a relatively new concept in society. For thousands of years, a population was unique, and the individual members of the population were a part of their unique group, but didn't consider themselves unique within in the group. So I feel I am just an every day "Mormon", just like the majority of "Mormons" who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ. Honestly, there is no need for me to be unique.

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38 minutes ago, filovirus said:

Nothing. I don't think I am unique as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Uniqueness as individuals is a relatively new concept in society. For thousands of years, a population was unique, and the individual members of the population were a part of their unique group, but didn't consider themselves unique within in the group. So I feel I am just an every day "Mormon", just like the majority of "Mormons" who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ. Honestly, there is no need for me to be unique.

When I saw this thread, my first thought was, why do I need to position myself as a “unique Mormon”? Too much navel-gazing for my taste. 

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On 6/23/2019 at 2:24 PM, Tacenda said:

I'm a fence sitting LDS. I wear garments but don't attend. I can't let go of certain thought processes that I find very comforting in my old life in Mormonism. I feel out of place with the ex LDS meet and greets or meetings, and I feel out of place in my LDS ward now. I'm just stuck in the middle. Some days I wish I was never born into the LDS church just so I don't go through the pain of not fitting in anywhere now. I still believe in a God of some kind, but not necessarily the God in Mormonism. So I'm continually lost, I can never go back to where I was and I don't want to go to any other faith organization, nor do I want to go to where I believe this earth started out with two organisims producing something, if that makes sense. I am envious of those that can be all in or never in, if that makes sense.

The God in Mormonism, meaning the three separate individuals comprising one Godhead, is the only one I believe in. It is the only one that makes rational sense to me, and the only one that can actually exist.

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1 hour ago, filovirus said:

Nothing. I don't think I am unique as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Uniqueness as individuals is a relatively new concept in society. For thousands of years, a population was unique, and the individual members of the population were a part of their unique group, but didn't consider themselves unique within in the group. So I feel I am just an every day "Mormon", just like the majority of "Mormons" who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ. Honestly, there is no need for me to be unique.

I am unique in the whole combination of attributes, but individually there are probably tons of people that share that attribute with me.  About the most unique thing about me is my FairMormon membership, there are only a couple a hundred at most members and possibility less than a hundred more active than observer in answering questions...but I haven't tracked participation for a decade or more, and there are committees that may include others, so have no real clue on our 'activity rate'.

I think this board is probably the second most 'unique' thing.

Add in dog named Revan...only person in the world with that combo.

Edited by Calm
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Well, I drink a cola about once per week -- just to prevent my being translated, you understand...

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13 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

When I saw this thread, my first thought was, why do I need to position myself as a “unique Mormon”? Too much navel-gazing for my taste. 

The title for the thread came from the article I posted: "Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds Explains Why He's a 'Unique Mormon'"

I found his response very bizarre so I was curious what everyone here finds unique about themselves as members of the church.  Or if anyone even feels the need to explain why they are unique.

 

 

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I have a very very strong testimony, but I definitely don't fit the mold of a "peter priesthood" type.  While remaining temple worthy, I do not (and in some senses cannot) conform to the ideals of "Mormon culture", a lot of which simply don't work in my own life.  In some ways, I do my own thing within the bounds of temple worthiness, which is why living in a small and isolated Texas ward suits me well.

I find that I am often very vexing to both Mormons who are very conservative and religious as well as Mormons who are very liberal and secular.  

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15 hours ago, filovirus said:

Nothing. I don't think I am unique as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Uniqueness as individuals is a relatively new concept in society. For thousands of years, a population was unique, and the individual members of the population were a part of their unique group, but didn't consider themselves unique within in the group. So I feel I am just an every day "Mormon", just like the majority of "Mormons" who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ. Honestly, there is no need for me to be unique.

I find this very unlikely. Human social dynamics do not change that much.

20 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Boasting of or reveling in one’s “uniqueness” in his own non-conformity or rejection of mainstream norms strikes me as being just as prideful as reveling in one’s own piety or conformity. 

Furthermore, some who criticize perceived self-righteousness in others often unwittingly exhibit their own kind of self-righteousness thereby. 

There are a few LDS who seem to try to set up Procrustean beds for all members. Many of our critics wrongly believe they are in the majority because for many of them their ideas of being a “unique” member is disbelief in some or all doctrines or disobedience to the commandments. Their imagination of our differentiation is so limited.

It has been my experience that those who try to be unique are generally just looking to copy other things people do to be oddball, usually something on social media. Those who just genuinely seek happiness and joy through following their passions often become interesting and unique without trying. That kind of joy is infectious and people want to be around them. It bleeds off and spreads joy. I have a cousin who is a passionate photographer, a friend who loves birding, a brother who is a Ham radio nut. I do not have strong feelings about those but being around their enthusiasm is fantastic and I always want updates on what they have been doing and where they have been because they are so thrilled to discuss it. I get the same thing with my weird hobby of taking care of sugar gliders and training them to ride around on me and under my shirt while I am home and some of my other hobbies.

I would rather be happy then unique and if you are happy you probably will end up unique. The greatest saints I have ever know are all gloriously different. The worst sinners are usually samey and dull.

 

Edited by The Nehor

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53 minutes ago, Waylon said:

I have a very very strong testimony, but I definitely don't fit the mold of a "peter priesthood" type.  While remaining temple worthy, I do not (and in some senses cannot) conform to the ideals of "Mormon culture", a lot of which simply don't work in my own life.  In some ways, I do my own thing within the bounds of temple worthiness, which is why living in a small and isolated Texas ward suits me well.

I find that I am often very vexing to both Mormons who are very conservative and religious as well as Mormons who are very liberal and secular.  

Same, but I have made myself so useful in my ward they have to put up with me. Some even like me. ;) 

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1 hour ago, gopher said:

The title for the thread came from the article I posted: "Imagine Dragons' Dan Reynolds Explains Why He's a 'Unique Mormon'"

I found his response very bizarre so I was curious what everyone here finds unique about themselves as members of the church.  Or if anyone even feels the need to explain why they are unique.

 

 

Many people in the past who reject or disbelieve aspects of the faith but don’t wish to fully disassociate themselves from the group have characterized themselves as “cultural Mormons.” It seems to me Dan Reynolds falls into this category. He is entitled to do so, of course, but I don’t believe it makes him as “unique” as he would have others believe. 

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3 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Many people in the past who reject or disbelieve aspects of the faith but don’t wish to fully disassociate themselves from the group have characterized themselves as “cultural Mormons.” It seems to me Dan Reynolds falls into this category. He is entitled to do so, of course, but I don’t believe it makes him as “unique” as he would have others believe. 

And what is interesting about being “kinda sort of something”? Where is the passion and the enthusiasm? Where is the fire and the fun and joy?

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