The point is, I feel totally fine poking gentle loving fun/critiquing Crazy Mormon Thoughts because I had/have a lot of Crazy Mormon Thoughts. It isn't me making fun of everyone else (at least not all of the time.) There is a whole lot of self-mockery going on too. So without further ado, things I used to believe:
1. That the most rebellious thing I could do as a youth is listen to non-LDS music on a Sunday.
2. That if a priesthood holder said it, in church (or similar setting,) it had to be true.
3. That when I died and went to the Celestial Kingdom (duh, obviously,) and people asked me what time period I lived in, they would audibly gasp and bask in my righteous glow when they found out I was a youth in the year 2000, since my generation was the greatest ever. Sorry, pioneers who buried babies in the cold frozen tundra/Abinidai/Helaman's Stripling Warriors/Emma Smith/Holocaust victims.
4. Speaking of Emma, I used to believe that it was just so sad that her testimony wasn't strong enough, since she obviously was going to hell for not sustaining Brigham Young as prophet. Good thing Joseph had a bunch of other wives to keep him company up in Heaven.
5. Speaking of polygamy, I used to believe that really righteous people would be chosen to practice polygamy in heaven. I would secretly pray to marry a nice but spiritually average man so we would not be chosen.
6. I believed that because I used to believe that women were inherently more righteous than men (hence why they needed the Priesthood to quell their wildebeest-like dispositions.) More righteous women=pairing up to share the few men effeminate (femininity=righteousness)enough to make it to heaven. I'm embarrassed to admit how long it took me to realize the obvious logical fallacies there.
7. I used to believe that if I said something in a prayer similar to a previous prayer, that I was engaging in vain repetitions, and would be sent to hell. Where bad prayers would be happy to be.
8. That Mormons don't talk about Heavenly Mother because she isn't important.
9. That I was personally responsible for keeping the thoughts of any male I encountered pure by dressing modestly and not tempting them with my awkwardly pale skin and non-existent boobs. (Boys=wildebeests.) If they looked at me and had lustful thoughts, and then got addicted to porn, and they turned gay, it was all my fault.
10. People unhappy in the church were weak people who probably just relied on their parent's testimonies, or had never read the Book of Mormon. Or something.
Any of these sound familiar?
What did you used to believe?
PS I'm going to tell you right now that my parents didn't teach me any of this. When you grow up Mormon, there are lots of people who try and teach you things, including aged slightly-racist relatives, weird Seminary teachers, EFY counselors (whoa....whole other post....), and some of it I just made up in my own warped brain.
Basically, when a village raises a Mormon, hilarity is bound to ensue.
You can rebound with Heaps next year when he pulverizes us.
Uh, well, my Mormon rage, dumb stuff my students say, dumb stuff my peers say, and crap I make because I am genetically and culturally bred to sew and hot glue.
Oh. Um. How interesting.
Yes, and once every few months I post a photo of something I make.
Oh cool! I only read blogs if there is a picture! Especially if it is essentially the same photo, just from a slightly different angle, or in a different outfit.
That said, here is a wreath I made when I was really ticked off about something. When I get really mad, I engage in really elaborate craft projects.* This time it involved hand-sewing dozens of tiny felt flowers. The end result matches the shag carpet my grandparents used to have, but oh well. I think it was very festive for fall.
Yeah. That is a crapload of felt flowers.
Also, please appreciate that I moved the wreath into my orange bathroom in an attempt to color coordinate. A slight improvement over photographing it on one of the numerous gray walls throughout my house. I'm boring.
*I've said it once, and I've said it again: Crafting is cheaper than therapy.
Now it is your job to tell me how talented and creative I am, and beg me to open an etsy shop instead of using my degree at a real job.
We were told we could be anything.
But sometimes, I wonder, with all the options available, why many of my peers chose to be nothing.
No jobs. No school. No kids. Just expensive taste in clothing and cameras and unlimited time to take photos of themselves.*
Yes, I intend to teach my children that with a combination of hard work and luck, they can be anything. But I damn well intend to include an addendum: they have to be something.
Mom. Dad. Stay-At-Home. Work. Work-from-Home. Start a business, write a novel that never gets published, readers, thinkers, learners, yes, even photographers (hopefully they might consider taking a class.)
Something besides shopping and taking pictures of their food.
Am I missing the point?
*Do it. Call me on how mean and nasty I sound. Tell me there is nothing wrong with a near pathological obsession with Anthro, J. Crew, and Nikons. I don't mean to call out individuals, and I like shopping and pictures of myself too, but I want to be sure that when I die I can say more about myself than "Wow. I sure did stare at my vintage shoes a lot."
For a group of people that believes we belong to the only true church, (that takes confidence,) insulting Mormons is surprisingly easy.
Here's a How-To list based on my own experiences. (AKA things people have said to me.)
1. You need to be less prideful/gain some humility.* Someone once brilliantly proposed I engage in a humility fest.**
2. Non-Mormons who read your blog won't join the church, because you are revealing all our Crazy Mormon thoughts. You are a terrible member missionary.
Sheesh. Hope those same Non-Mormons also don't shop at Costco, where you can buy a whole bunch of books on how we used to practice polygamy and kill Indians. All for the low, low price of $8.95.
(Internet, the jig is up.)
3. Once you discover your divine role as a female in church, you won't be so discontent. (Fancy way of saying "Get pregnant.")
4. If you don't agree with me on ______________(insert political opinion here,) you obviously don't sustain the prophet.
5. If you feel that way, then this isn't the church for you.
6. You used to be such a nice Mormon girl. (Optional: replace "nice" for "classy.")
7. I promise you that if you pray about it, you will have a spiritual confirmation that my opinion on this matter is right.
8. You are misusing personal revelation to justify sin.
9. Some people will just be happier in the Telestial Kingdom.
10. You must be such a burden to your righteous parents.
Did I miss anything?
*A Mormon telling another Mormon to be less prideful is the religious equivalent of a scantily-clad sorority girl calling another scantily clad sorority girl a skank.
** Um. No. That would interrupt the flag football Righteous Fest I'm playing in. You didn't know this, but I'm on an Intramural Team called "LDS Liberals who judge LDS Conservatives for not supporting Welfare Programs that Benefit Children." We are playing the "LDS Conservatives who believe LDS Liberals don't believe in being Self-Sufficient" team.
Obviously, I'm very busy.
More specifically, why do I not love Hellcats?
(It is a mystery why I do not like Hellcats. It has cheerleaders. Slutty cheerleaders. Fake lawyers. Southern accents. Bad hair. Bad acting. WHY DO I NOT LOVE THIS SHOW MORE?)
I'm procrastinating some major teacher work here, and thought that the most noble way to procrastinate in my job would be to talk about my job. So here we go.
1. I'm Reaganing.* And it feels so good. Seriously, the last couple days have been excellent teaching days. I feel like I'm teaching awesome material (To Kill a Mockingbird and Rhetoric in the Roman Republic.) I feel like my students are learning and growing and enjoying most of the process, and I feel like I'm finally making progress as an educator. Woot Woot Child Bride!
I kvetch about this job a lot, and I usually only respond with sarcasm when asked how my job is going, but damn, I love this crazy behemoth of a high school. I'm still not perfect, I had a rough start with some class discussion topics today, but overall, I'm improving. My students are improving.
2. My co-workers are talking to me. Last year, when I was just a temporary replacement teacher, I felt sort of shut out of the day to day co-worker interactions. I understand their perspective. Time and energy are precious commodities in teaching, and it's hard to reach out to someone who may not be there in four months. But now that I'm here, it's been great to branch out and talk to other teachers. I live for those moments when we all reaffirm that what we do is important. Regardless of the crappy paychecks, the bad stereotypes, and the lack of societal respect, we do good work.
I also live for the times when a teacher confesses that she often misspeaks when talking about Huck Finn. During teacher evaluations. And yes, she said what you think she said.
So there you go. I like my job. Even though I'm breaking out in ways worse then when I was actually a teen. Even though my weight is fluctuating like a beauty queen between competitions. Even though I keep waking up earlier to get here hours before school starts, and I stay hours after it ends, this is a good job, and I like it here.
Can we also agree that reminding someone how long they have been married, in an attempt to force them to have a baby is just pointless?
3.5 years. I know. I was there.
2. Real Christmas Trees
3. Modern Family. Put. Your. Pitchforks. Down. *
4. The UEA
6. Your kid.**
*Look. I get it. It is funny. I'm just too busy watching every Community episode 3 times in a row. I don't have time for Modern Family. No matter how adorable the gay couple or Asian baby.
** No, no, not your kid. I LOVE your kid. Of course.
What don't you like? (Even though you're supposed to...)