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Are LDS prejudiced towards people of other faiths?


Mudcat

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Pa Pa's thread on racism and LDS got me thinking about a recent event in regards towards potential prejudice and LDS.

This past Thanksgiving I was at the LDS in-laws for the big family meal. In the group were 13 LDS adults and yours truly, Mudcat the EV.

As about half the group is unmarried, the topic of finding a mate naturally came up... Apparently in the rural Southern US, finding a mate for an LDS can be difficult if they are looking to marry within their faith, due to a very thinly spread LDS population.

A cousin who had moved from North MS to Southern Louisianna, brought up the topic that her particular area was mostly Catholic and she was only being asked out by Catholics. Others pointed out that in our particular area that Protestants were in abundance.

The cousin made the statement that she might have to entertain dating a Catholic. At this point my MIL and the mother of my cousin made some broad statements about Catholics and alcohol problems, gambling and so forth :P. Others talked about the problems of being "surrounded" by Protestants in our own area made it difficult, as well.

A suggestion was made, that finding a Protestant or Catholic and converting them would be a better solution. Everyone seemed to be in agreement that finding someone who was willing to convert was the best viable solution if no LDS mate seemed forthcoming.

IMO, my LDS family at times seems forgetful of the fact I am not LDS, or perhaps at times they are not cognizant of how such statements might be interpreted by a non-LDS family member. Consequently I have developed a bit of thicker skin in regards to such.

However, my wife was a bit aggravated with the situation and interjected a bit, for my/our sake... As the conversation seemed to be headed in a direction that was making me feel rather "second rate"... or something like that. She said something to the effect of finding someone who sincerely loves you and is a good spouse and parent and so forth.

I think it was at this point that the rest of the family sort of "picked up" on what they had been saying and the subject shifted fairly quickly. Regardless, the air got a bit thin around the dinner table after that. I thought it a good time to excuse myself. I retired the living room and played guitar for the kids, everyone eventually wound up in there singing songs with us and we all left in good spirits.

The whole thing was reminiscent of a Stake Conference I attended where Elder Christopherson and Elder Gay (a GA) spoke. Elder Gay, spoke at much length and painfully so about the marriage of his daughter to a member of another faith. Though the daughter's spouse did convert at some point.

Anyways. I think it is natural to have a predisposed bias towards someone who believes similarly.

However, if converting a mate to your beliefs seems to be a "viable" path, does this predilection towards LDS become a prejudice against those who are not LDS?

In other words, it seems to me that this notion of converting someone to marry... or perhaps marrying someone to convert, seems to be a very "conditional" sort of love.

What do you think about it?

Respectfully,

Mudcat

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What do you think about it?

Respectfully,

Mudcat

Hi Mudcat,

I think you and your MIL should come to Ceeboo's house for Thanksgiving next year.

We eat lots of Turkey, have a high stakes game of poker and all get completly hammered on Jack Daniels. :P;)

Peace,

Ceeboo

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Hi Mudcat,

I think you and your MIL should come to Ceeboo's house for Thanksgiving next year.

We eat lots of Turkey, have a high stakes game of poker and all get completly hammered on Jack Daniels. :P;)

Peace,

Ceeboo

:crazy: Maybe I could set you up with my cousin, if your single.

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The cousin made the statement that she might have to entertain dating a Catholic. At this point my MIL and the mother of my cousin made some broad statements about Catholics and alcohol problems, gambling and so forth :P. Others talked about the problems of being "surrounded" by Protestants in our own area made it difficult, as well.

Respectfully,

Mudcat

I think this is more ethnic. Many equate Catholics with the Irish, i.e. (Irish Catholic), and then it becomes a natural extension of drinking and gambling. I resent this being of Irish descent.

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Anyways. I think it is natural to have a predisposed bias towards someone who believes similarly.

However, if converting a mate to your beliefs seems to be a "viable" path, does this predilection towards LDS become a prejudice against those who are not LDS?

In other words, it seems to me that this notion of converting someone to marry... or perhaps marrying someone to convert, seems to be a very "conditional" sort of love.

What do you think about it?

Respectfully,

Mudcat

Mudcat, I believe we both have stories that others view as inspirational that individuals can differ about their faiths and still manage to make a marriage work.

That said........

I'm quite confident that neither my LDS kids or Catholic kids will ever attempt to marry someone who doesn't share their personal beliefs. The kids admire our relationsip but have no desire to try this one themselves and REALLY appreciate the importance of marrying someone with common beliefs.

My 2 cents

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However, if converting a mate to your beliefs seems to be a "viable" path, does this predilection towards LDS become a prejudice against those who are not LDS?

In other words, it seems to me that this notion of converting someone to marry... or perhaps marrying someone to convert, seems to be a very "conditional" sort of love.

What do you think about it?

Hi Mudcat-

I think that devout members of any faith realize marrying outside that faith can be a source of difficulty, hence the dialogue to the effect,"well if I can't marry a mormon, I'll just marry a catholic and convert them."

And obviously 'devout' members of any faith likely view marrying someone outside their faith as less desirable, so yes converting them is a "viable" option. Remember Tevye's daughters in Fiddler on the Roof?

I do not think this makes LDS any more prejudice than any other religion.

And for the record, if the LDS church teaches (I don't know that they do) that a member should remain single rather than marry a nonmember, then I strongly disagree with that.

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It's a tough call, Mudcat. How do you balance a desire to not offend with a conviction that "your way is the right way"?

I don't think LDS are "prejudiced" in the sense that we won't hire someone of a different faith, or we won't be friends with someone of a different faith. But LDS teachings about marriage definitely give dire consequences to being married "out of the covenant".

For some reason, this article by Joseph McConkie comes to mind. It addresses "institutional" relationships, but may also have some application to interpersonal relationships as well.

The First Vision and Religious Tolerance

I appreciate the observation of Elder Maxwell, who said,
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Hiya Muddie ol' buddy, ol' pal,

Speaking strictly as father (and leaving religion out of it entirely): you're not good enough for my little girl. Get over it, deal with it, and move on.

That having been said, I doubt Mormons are any more prejudiced in this regard than any other believers (and in some cases, less so).

If anything, I think "biased" is a better word than "prejudiced", as while it is obvious we would prefer one of our own, we don't (by and large) reject people simply because they aren't of our faith.

Marrying someone only to convert them- or only on condition that they convert- is a HUGE red flag- indicating that someone needs their priorities checked.

Most of the LDS I know would prefer that their children marry within the faith- but they also feel that similar values, goals, and ethics are more important than where you were baptized (or not).

Inasmuch as I'm unlikely to avoid that particular evil, I'd rather my daughter marry a God-fearing, honest, and decent man of whatever faith, than a backslider, brute, and lout who was born in covenant.

Most of the LDS of my acquaintance are in agreement-more worried about the character of the prospective husband than his denomination.

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Hey Mudcat what I see is a family concerned about finding mates whose beliefs are compatable and who were totally clueless about their different in-law. Not good but not so much different than some Catholic, Southern Baptist, Church of the Nazarine etc. that I know. We are all prejudiced, to some extent, to others who are different until we get to know them.

You see I wonder about everybody else but my friends Mudcat, Ceeboo and me and quite often I'm not sure about you two. :P

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Most of the LDS of my acquaintance are in agreement-more worried about the character of the prospective husband than his denomination.

I may tend to agree with this POV...

When my wife told fellow LDS members she was marrying outside the faith, they asked if she was crazy?......then shared the above opinion.

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Anyways. I think it is natural to have a predisposed bias towards someone who believes similarly.

However, if converting a mate to your beliefs seems to be a "viable" path, does this predilection towards LDS become a prejudice against those who are not LDS?

In other words, it seems to me that this notion of converting someone to marry... or perhaps marrying someone to convert, seems to be a very "conditional" sort of love.

What do you think about it?

Respectfully,

Mudcat

Hi Mudcat,

Good to see you on the boards again. The point you bring up is a particularly sensitive one for Mormons, inasmuch as marriage is a vital part of our salvation/exaltation. The following quote should be sufficient:

(D&C 131:1-4) "IN the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase."
This in conjunction with D&C 132 places a considerable burden upon many single members of the Church to marry a faithful member of the faith, because this order of marriage can only be done in the Temple after the baptismal covenants have been made. This is akin to ancient Israel's admonition to marry in their faith as well. This obviously produces an immediate bias on the part of single members to find a spouse who can be sealed to them in the Temple. So in essence your assumption is correct, it does produce a natural bias. This much I agree with, of course this is obviously the case. Now as for the second point, converting someone to marry or marrying someone to convert is not a good idea, in fact it does produce a "conditional" sort of love to a point. That is why I never married outside the Church. I am from the South, so my prospects of ever finding a faithful LDS did seem daunting and I was beginning to think that I had "lost my chance" of ever marrying when I turned 40. I did only date LDS, and I dated a good bit, mostly LDS, with only two exceptions. One was a "blind date" that I basically told my intent was to marry someone forever, and she did not desire that so I did not date her again. The other was a person I ended up baptizing, (I only very casually dated her) and we did not end up getting together. Now perhaps my timidity was the result of my sisters, my oldest sister married a good Baptist, who turned Methodist and sent his son on an LDS mission and all his kids married in the Temple, and he is yet to join the Church. My other sister made the dreadful mistake of falling in love with a non-member and then insisting on only marrying in the Temple. So he got baptized, waited the year and married my sister in the Temple and the day he walked out of the Temple declared it was a mistake, and they were divorced within two years. So you can imagine how gun-shy this made me. I had a rule that I only broke twice, DATE ONLY FAITHFUL LDS! This seemed like an exercise in futility and it was about 20 years after my Mission when I finally found my eternal companion. I will not go into the details but needless to say we had spiritual confirmation that our union was the correct one and we were married in the Orlando Temple and have been very happy ever since.

My advice to LDS, do not date outside of the Church, and even them only active members... this can be tough I know from personal experience. But my religious beliefs are very important to me and I am so grateful to the Lord for finally bringing her to me, so that I could be married in the way I have always wanted. In addition, if a person choses to marry outside the faith, do not do so with the deceitful idea (I can convert them later) it will not work. First you do not want people to join the Church for the wrong reasons, and getting baptized just so you can marry in the Temple is not right. It is tantamount to taking someone's agency away if you say: "If you loved me you would join the Church!" That is very manipulative and can only end badly. In saying this I am not saying that those who married non-members are without hope, but it must never be by compulsion. If in the providences of God they join (and it has occurred for some) then that is great, but I would not knowingly go into a relationship with that intent. That is why I waited 20 years! I could not marry outside the faith, therefore until I could marry someone who was already prepared (not compelled by me or my family) I chose to remain single.

Having said all this, I think it is also fair to say that some other religions also discourage marrying outside of their faiths. The Catholic Church in particular comes to mind, also Protestants as well, I mean would you marry a non-Christian? Would a Jew? Would a Muslim? I think all religious denominations are prejudiced to some extent, with LDS it seems more vital because we associate salvation as a family affair so that makes us seem more prejudice than others. It is wisdom to marry those of like values and like goals, with common interests and it is extremely foolish to assume you can convert them after the fact and it would probably add an unnecessary burden to the marriage.

Respectfully,

Lightbearer

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I'm quite confident that neither my LDS kids or Catholic kids will ever attempt to marry someone who doesn't share their personal beliefs. The kids admire our relationsip but have no desire to try this one themselves and REALLY appreciate the importance of marrying someone with common beliefs.

I would have to agree with Blueadept's kids (even though I don't know them). I admire your inter-faith relationship, but it isn't something I am all that willing to do. I think marriage is hard enough without throwing that in the mix. My understandings about your marriage is that you already had a strong foundation with the relationship when you both went back to your roots (religiously speaking). I believe for blueadept, he wasn't strong in his faith until he also had that deep love for his wife and she for him (though they might not have been married yet).

For myself, I am strong in my faith and I wouldn't want to marry someone of another faith, even more so if they were strong in that faith. If they were 'weak' in their faith it would bother me as well since religion and God are so important to me. So basically it is a no win unless they are strong in their faith and it is the same as mine.

However if I were married and my husband changed with time, I hope I would learn to change to accept our situation.....but to start out in that place....that is rough.

I know I don't have a biased in respect to people who are of other Christian denominations. I hopefully don't have one to most religions in general. My family is all across the board when it comes to faith. But I guess for marriage material for myself, I do have a bias.

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I agree that many LDS have stereotyped opinions, often negative of other religious believers. Sometimes this is simply a lack of experience with the other groups, other times it's inherited prejudice, etc. Hopefully your extended family has learned something and they will seriously reconsider their perceptions and not make group judgments.

OTOH, if they are educated in the stats, they will know that two faith marriages are much more likely to end up in divorce than when the couple is of the same faith. For that reason alone, I would want my child to marry someone who believed as s/he did (whatever that ends up being). Since most active LDS believe their faith is the right one, it makes sense that if there are not eligible LDS out there, that the next best option is to convert someone and then marry them but I would not suggest allowing the relationship to develop at all beyond friendship until after a sincere conversion occurred so that it wasn't the appeal of marriage that drove the conversion, absolutely no talk of marriage prior to that point. I would never advise someone to marry with the expectation of conversion. If they aren't in love enough with their spouse exactly as they are, I would tell them not to marry though I also tell my kids to expect their spouses to change in the future as they grow and hopefully mature....just that they cannot predict which way that growth is going to go so they have to be adaptable and open to growing in those areas as well.

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My family is all across the board when it comes to faith. But I guess for marriage material for myself, I do have a bias.

Since you're not a 20-something, has this particular viewpoint changed with time for you? IMO, as we get older AND grow in our faith, we do not necessarily grow more tolerant but more set in our ways. Just curious.

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All religions are pretty much prejudice against other faiths. They all claim they are the "one and only" and are eager to point out how the Bible or their scriptures prove them right.

Sure people of other faiths are tolerant of their coworkers and neighbors of differing faiths... to their faces. Go into any church on any given Sunday including LDS, and they will be trashing talking the errors of other faiths and holding their chins up high because they have the "real" knowledge on the things of God.

The Eastern Religions don't seem to do this as much as Judeo-Christians since their teachings focus more on the inner self and philosophy rather than outside forces such as God and Satan.

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Hiya Muddie ol' buddy, ol' pal,

Speaking strictly as father (and leaving religion out of it entirely): you're not good enough for my little girl. Get over it, deal with it, and move on.

Hey Selek!

Always good to hear from you. Hope things are good in your neck of the woods.

That having been said, I doubt Mormons are any more prejudiced in this regard than any other believers (and in some cases, less so).

I do agree here. This conversation could have occurred in any number of settings/religions. I would likely have disagreed with the conversation in any setting though.

If anything, I think "biased" is a better word than "prejudiced", as while it is obvious we would prefer one of our own, we don't (by and large) reject people simply because they aren't of our faith.

I agree here too.

Marrying someone only to convert them- or only on condition that they convert- is a HUGE red flag- indicating that someone needs their priorities checked.

Seems we both agree here and to me this is the real issue of that particular situation. IMO, this is the point in which bias goes beyond a "rational" sort of sense.

Kind Regards,

Mudcat

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jozov:

I don't know of any religion that says. "Sure we're wrong, but join us anyway", "After all God doesn't care what you believe". Well maybe the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. :P

We are specifically instructed not to trash talk about other religions.

Article of Faith 11# We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

Of course we are all human and make plenty of mistakes. But I've always found that the minute I start try to take the mote out of someone elses eye. The beam in my own gets in the way.

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