Rookie Mormon

What's the creepiest thing about the Mormon church?

I previously wrote about my favorite parts of being a member of the LDS faith. So what's not to like? Is there anything that creeps me out?

[Note: I'm biased. I've been a Mormon for a long time! So, "caveat brainwash-tor" because I can only write what I know.]

I've found that most of the Mormon things that some people think are creepy are either not actually official Mormon beliefs, or they balance on so many subjective interpretations that they wouldn't survive a Religion 101 course.

The stuff that is creepy to me is mostly based in my daily life as a Mormon. These are creepy things that, far from being ruminations or mental scenarios that I fear will come true, have actually come true and probably will again.

Number 1: You will be mine, valentine

The number one creepy thing to me is when somebody joins the Mormon church with ulterior motives. For example, this could be someone who thinks they have a non-spiritual benefit to gain by being a member, like finding a cute Mormon girlfriend. Admittedly, this doesn't happen very often. But to me, it's manipulative AND creepy! I'm all for those with hungry hearts finding a way to forge great relationships, but sometimes people are less than truthful in their pursuit of what they want. Please, don't get baptized because you have a crush on somebody.

Number 2: Election time

The second creepiest thing to me is when somebody in the church convinces themselves that all church members are supposed to be part of some non-Church effort. For example: "Mormons should support the Republican party!" (I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat, either. And nope, not a Libertarian!). But what can you say about people like that? Every organization has its share of people who need to educate themselves a bit more. And there are always going to be people who kind of lose their focus from time to time. Maybe they don't spend much time at church compared to the hours they spend in front of TV news watching politics play out. I don't think it's a huge deal, and it doesn't exactly make my skin crawl, but it moves my creepy meter a bit. I seem to stumble into "deep sigh" situations like this every couple of years.

Number 3: Behold my beautiful speaking voice

The third creepiest thing to me is when someone gets really preachy. I personally cannot stand preachy stuff, and it raises my creep-o-meter. In my opinion, an effective speaker or teacher avoids that kind of lecturing, sticks to the topic, and generally establishes an environment where people are basically doing self-study as they listen and think about what they are hearing. Thankfully, we have quite a few really effective public speakers in the church.

So those are my creepy things. The hollywood-style creepy stuff like perfect-looking Mormon Bishops secretly practicing satan-worship or running a drug ring is fortunately not something that's common enough to make my creepy list. I've heard of some pretty bad stuff happening, and I thought I would share a current example, but I just went over to Google News and went through four pages of search results for "Mormon bishop" without finding a single negative article about a Mormon bishop. Holy smokes!!!

But seriously, nobody, and I do mean nobody, is perfect. If you're not a Mormon and are thinking of becoming one, definitely don't assume that we're all perfect, OK? We just try to live as well as we can. I keep going to church because I believe in Christ, not because of the people I worship with, as swell a group as they are.