Sometimes I think about all the ways life would be easier if I weren’t a Mormon.

Mormon with a beer at 10 am. I like my chicken drunk.
Not in a serious way, but in a “Is this really the way I live my life?” kind of way. Which sound serious, but I promise it’s not. (Also easier does not equal better. At all.)

Depending on your experience, being Mormon may look hard. There’s an awful lot of church things I do on a regular basis, there’s about a thousand church related things I *could* be doing, a lot more I probably *should* be doing and a whole lot of stereotypical things you will never find me doing. (I swear it’s not in the handbook that Mormons have to be crafty because hi, me.)

Chances are you fall into one of the following categories:

A) Mormon. If so, hi!

B) Mormons don’t drink coffee or alcohol which NO THANK YOU, LEAVE NOW, AMEN.

C) I’m very happy with my own religion, thank you very much.

D) I’m very happy without any religion, thank you very much.

Mormons are big on missionary work, hence the nicely dressed young men and women that have probably come knocking at your door during naptime (sorry about that.) You see, you never know who’s going to be looking for religion or where they might be, so those missionaries have to knock on a lot of doors to find the people who need or want what they have to offer. They’re always going to be painfully optimistic if you open your door because YOU MAY BE THE ONE (even if you’re not) and since talking about church is basically their job for two years they’re terribly enthusiastic about it.

It’s a very green eggs and ham type situation, but hopefully no Mormons in your life are as pushy as Sam I Am. The missionaries and other Mormons will keep on offering it up, and occasionally someone will give it a try and likes it.

Growing up in Utah, Mormonism was offered to me on an almost weekly basis in various ways. It wasn’t until I met Cody that I decided to give it a try, and what do you know, I liked it.

I also know a lot of people who have tried it, hated it, and have wanted noting to do with it ever again Sam I Am.

Missionary work in the traditional sense makes me terribly uncomfortable. For the longest time I had this idea that missionary work was like saying “I know better than you, I live better than you and I’m going to give you the opportunity to live as well as I do.”

Icky right?

Some people I know are amazing at walking up to someone and starting a conversation about religion, I am not one of them.

On the other hand I am more than happy to sit behind my computer screen and show several thousand strangers what being a Mormon is like for me. It’s sometimes very hard, it’s sometimes very frustrating, it’s usually very rewarding, it’s generally very easy, it’s very rarely crafty and it is so much a part of who I am that I can easily give credit to God for every good thing in my life.

Even my agnostic best friend who claims foreveralone. Yep, God gave you to me. Not sure who gave me to you, but you know my end of the story so go with it.

At times I’ve thought that I should leave church to the people who really know what they’re doing. The people who do everything they’re supposed to be doing and live their lives according to all the handbooks (yes, there are handbooks.)

In my younger years I was a dancer. To this day every part of me wants to dance and even more parts of me miss dancing more than I miss certain parts of my youth.

the tutu moosh
I was never the right body type for what I really wanted to do, which was classical ballet — but I did it anyway.

I watched as the tall thin girls who were all legs and no boobs went off to college with dance scholarships then on to promising contracts with various ballet companies.

Does the fact that I don’t perform to audiences every night lessen my love of dance? Absolutely not.

I am not on the front lines of Mormonism. I couldn’t throw down in a heated gospel debate nor could I teach you everything there is to know about scriptures, church history or doctrine. There are still parts of it that confuse me, confound me and sometimes make me a little angry.

But I love it. It is very much a part of who I am and I could never just walk away from it, just like I can’t step-ball-change away from my love of dance or walk away from the man who confuses me, confounds me and sometimes makes me a little angry.

From a worldly perspective it would certainly be easier to quit this whole church thing. Sundays free, less guilt, beer with pizza, sundresses, 10% more money each week and fancy coffee drinks.

But I would lose who I am. Because I am so much more than my love of beer and pizza, cute sundresses and sleeping in on Sunday.

Consider my missionary work this: finding so much joy in something you are a part of that it becomes you and you could never walk away from it.

That’s what my religion is for me.

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Of course, if you want to know more there’s some eager youngn’s that would love to speak with you.)

Comments

  1. My dad is a Baptist minister, and has been my whole life. This pretty much has shaped my entire life. I tried for YEARS to run away from it, hide from it, and block it out because there was some pretty crummy things that happened to me because of it, which, of course, I blamed on the Lord.

    But now that I’m older, I realized that I can’t run from my past. I can’t change my upbringing or the things that happened to me because of it. Because it’s part of who I am. It’s part of my beginning and it will be a part of my ending now that I’ve chosen to embrace it. It is and was and always will be, just like God!

    Love you.

  2. Bethany says:

    I love this. I grew up lutheran ( and still am) I love it most of the time and sometimes it makes me mad. I have some lovely gay friends that my church wouldn’t include (but that doesn’t mean I can’t like them). And my church thinks I should probably be trying to convert you Casey. Oh well, I like you too.

  3. I love when you blog about being a Mormon. It’s fascinating and lovely to me.

  4. I grew up A and am now firmly D. I still believe in God and pray pretty regularly…kind of like an constant dialogue going on in my head, when something frustrates me or pleases me, He’s kind of the first person to hear about it in my head.

    But I had a very bad experience with some very bad leaders, and it totally eradicated any trust I had in the priesthood…and then later, everything else I believed to be true about the church just fell apart.

    I still have tremendous respect for Mormons, really any religion. I think it’s more important for people to be true to what they believe.

    p.s. oh, the irony. All my life, church was never nearby. Usually 30-45 mins drive. Now that I’m not Mormon, the church building is literally walking distance from my house.

  5. When the weather’s nice I love to write outside on my porch. A few summers ago, two Mormons on their mission Elder Stevens and Elder (I can’t remember) stopped by. Well, we had a nice chat and every time they saw me they would stop. Unless I was freaking out over a deadline and I told them no Mormon chatting for me today. It’s funny. I see young folks out on their missions today and I miss Elder Stevens. Wonder where he is. So for what it’s worth, I really have positive thoughts about the whole thing.

  6. Cool, cool.
    xoxo

  7. Go you, and I don’t think I could live without coffee lol.

  8. I like when you blog about being Mormon. It feels very natural and not forced and perhaps that is your mission field as it were. Just being you, having your life, being honest – and letting your life speak for your God.

  9. This was beautiiful and lovely. Much like yourself.

  10. What a GREAT post! SO glad I found you on Twitter today :)

  11. I love this. I am a convert, and I think the biggest mistake *everyone* in my life makes – members and nonmembers alike – is assuming that being a Mormon means I am lock-stock-and-barrel certain of every little iota of gospel doctrine or general cultural consensus in the church. I am not. But I am certain it’s where I belong. And I am certain it has made my life better and whole. Thanks so much for sharing this, Casey!

  12. nicholas says:

    so, praytell, what did you do with the guinness?

    i’m an active latter-day saint too – but before i converted, i LOVED guinness.

    i’m just wondering…

  13. Hi there,
    I found your post about the MoTab concert tix giveaway you held a little while ago. (Very cool. How did you like the concert btw? Did you take photos?). I love your blog and your perspective! Way to go.

    Thanks to Tour I finally got the chance to visit your neck of the woods for the first time (and eat at Le Peeps, and Steak ‘n Shake, and run the White River). I got to see your temple site in Carmel, too, and waded through the mud to get a pic with the first wall going up. Way cool. I actually loved everything about Indy. My best friend is from there. So, I hope to come back.

    It seems pretty clear to me from the comments and the outpouring of love from your followers you are doing just dandy in the missionary. category. Go, you!

    Cheers,
    MoSop in Utah