Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mormons are Not Weird...They are Famous.

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There's been a lot of talk lately about famous Mormons.  Whether they be teeny bopper rock star singers (see This post) or presidential candidates, athletes, talk show hosts, or do-wop era diva's; there are a lot of famous Mormons out there amongst the living non-peculiar world.  The thing is, these folks have been there all along, it just so happens most people didn't realize their faith or religious convictions were of the Peculiar variety.

I, for one, actually love that there are celebrities in our midst who are quietly living their lives and not out living them and shouting from the roof tops that they are Mormon.  I like that the way they carry themselves, speak, preform service, dress, and act tells the world that there is something different and special about them before it is even mentioned that they might, just MIGHT be Mormon.  There are several among the non-peculiar world that are quite peculiar and most might never even know it. One of the most peculiar things about this people is that we, for the most part, tend to live by a peculiar standard all of the time - not just when the timing fits. It's one of the things that makes us stand out from others, and is also one of the things that most other non-peculiar folks tend to admire about the Mormon people.

However.

imageI also love those who have taken a very public stance on their religion and their career.  Governor Mitt Romney, for one, who during the Salt Lake Olympic games gathered the worlds leaders together for a brunch at the SLOC headquarters.  The brunch was a widely televised event and news outlets from every single nation were there.  There was coffee, tea and champagne being served at said brunch, and the eyes of the world were on Mitt.  One news outlet reported, "He never once turned his coffee cup over, it sat on the table upside down untouched the entire meal."  And his Champagne flute? "Filled to the brim with orange juice during the obligatory toast."  Mr. Romney has never hidden his peculiarity from the world and on this particular occasion, all eyes were all on him to see if he really lived the way he professed to.

I love to see famous Mormons living their peculiar life Loud. And. Proud.

I will never be a person who has to defend my peculiarity on a public or a world stage, nor will I ever be someone that the world is watching to see if I've done anything against the way by which I've decided to live my life. I can't possibly imagine what it would be like to choose to give up my famous rock-star career to serve a mission for two years in a far away land. 

I do know I admire those who despite their fame, are still able to remain peculiar and respond without question "I'm a Mormon" when asked.  I've heard of peculiar people turning down roles on  (or being fired from!) Broadway because the role required of them to pretend to drink or smoke (avoid the appearance of evil...), or singing groups making their entire wardrobe be redesigned so it could fit within the modest guidelines by which they've decided to dress.  I've heard of political leaders turning down drinks with higher political officials.  And yet, all these famous Peculiar people are still living their faith as if nothing has ever happened.

We are all challenged from time to time.  Our peculiarity makes us stand out in a crowd.  For famous peculiar people, it makes them stand out that much more.  Good for you peculiar politicians, teeny bopper rock stars (heh, and aging teeny bopper rock stars - I'm looking at you, Mr. Osmond...), talk show hosts, athletes and 60's era do-wop singers for showing the world that it's okay to be peculiar.  Peculiar is okay.  Peculiar is not weird.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Examples of Faith. Elder David Archuleta.

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I wrote this post for my personal blog, but I felt it appropriate to publish here as well...
I am not a big teeny bopper music fan.  Bieber throws me into involuntary convulsions and any of the Disney babies - don't get me started.  But,  to every rule, there is always an exception, and gradually David Archuleta has become that exception for me.
My teenage daughter has always liked his music, in fact for her 12th birthday she asked for his album 'The Other Side of Down'.  I listened to it with her, and even (secretly) ripped a copy of it to my own mp3 player to listen to - in the car - when nobody was listening with me.  But the more I learned about this amazing young man, the more I liked him.
He has always stuck to his values.
He believes strongly in his faith.
He holds very high standards.
And most recently - he's been willing to give up his entire music career for two years to serve a mission for his church in a foreign country, likely void of the luxury comforts that he's come accustomed to with his success.
He's cut his hair.  He's traded in the schedule of the road for a 6 AM to 10 PM proselytizing schedule (which might actually be easier...).  He's traded in fame and adoring fans for door to door possible humiliation and being openly mocked by those who do not believe nor understand his faith (side note, I've had missionaries over to our home for dinner who have shared experiences such as having beverages hurled at them from passing cars while riding their bikes down the street.)  And, he's using his own money to do so.
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This is Elder David Archuleta, who entered the Missionary Training Center this week just in time to sing in the choir during conference.  Elder David Archuleta, the world famous teeny bopper rock star who is just one among many missionaries sharing the same gospel message, and is happily doing so.
If there was going to be someone that my daughter is going to crank up his music, dance around and be crazy, and swoon every time he comes on the radio or television etc...well, then I'm okay with it being this young man.  (for the record, there is no swooning, not yet - none that I know of...or that she'd admit to, come to think of it - her friends read this blog, I'm not sure I should be posting that about her...oh well, too late now.  I don't have any white-out, after all.)
Anyway, my point is, he's a great young man and I admire his faith and ability to follow and live it.  I only hope that I too am able to live my faith as boldly as he has, and not be ashamed to do so.  He's made this very personal decision in a very public way, as his career dictates.  I will never have to make such a personal choice so publicly, but I do hope that I can follow his example of living my faith in such a way that nobody doubts my beliefs.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mormons are not weird. But I am. *grin*

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I promise I've not gone away and left this blog to wither away as a dry reed.  I've not given up on my already embraced weirdness, nor the weirdness of the people around me. 

Truth is, I've just been busy.

While that is not about to change (not by a long shot, considering I've recently decided to go back to school and finish my degree), I do hope to get back to posting here regularly.

I realize there are a lot of blogs out there like this one that are written by Mormons like me with a love of the Gospel and the desire to share it with others - even if it is in their own weird little way.  I started writing this blog for my daughter who was trying to overcome the stigma of being a "weird" Mormon, but I think it's actually started helping me to define more thoroughly who I am, and helped me to become more comfortable in sharing the basic foundations of what I believe - not only behind the anonymous walls of cyberspace, but in person - face to face - when others ask or question, or simply want to know what it is that makes me - well, me.

So, I'm a mom, a daughter, a wife, a science fiction geek, have an almost incontrollable sweet tooth at times, I like fried foods, dancing to music with the kids ( and without) I believe in being honest with my fellow man, I rather enjoy attending three hours worth of church each Sunday, I believe my family is forever - and that makes me happy rather than terrifies me (although, I have to admit at times it is  the latter...) I like to stay busy with mindless television from time to time, I'm a student (both literally and figuratively), I'm a little strange, a lot weird...

and I'm a Mormon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mormons are Not Weird. We are Funny. There's a difference...really.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

I am a Mormon.

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The church has recently unveiled their new marketing plan "I am a Mormon" through Bonneville communications and Mormon.org.  It's a place where anyone can go and look through profiles of regular, every day - (not weird) people who happen to be Mormon.

I happen to have a profile (are you surprised?  yea, I didn't think so) and it can be found here:

http://mormon.org/me/1FT0/

But, there are also a lot of other amazing people out there who have submitted their story.  Those can be found here:

http://www.mormon.org

I think over the next couple of posts, I'm going to highlight one or two, just so you can see how different, and yet just how the same every member of the church is.

Mormons are not weird.  They are:

mothers, fathers, artists, dancers, athletes, bloggers, children, adults, CEO's, actors, musicians, electricians, politicians, students, and much more.

Our first Mormon.org profile:
Jeff Decker, Biker, Sculptor and Mormon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mormons are not weird. We love our Dads.

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I was perusing facebook this morning, and there were so many wonderful Father's Day wishes out there - It was very touching. There were of course the many "Happy Father's Day to my Dad/Husband/Brother" you are an amazing/wonderful/thoughtful person and I can't imagine my life without you." sentiments. There were a few photos of families, photos of fathers who have long since passed from this earth, photos of fathers with new born babies in their arms, photos of soldiers stationed far away. And then there were the songs posted - Dad's favorite song, songs that remind us of dad...songs about dad. So many loving tributes to our fathers and how much they mean to us.

However, those are not the things I want to share with you today. Rather, I would like to share with you this prayer, by President Gordon B Hinckley:

"God bless you, dear fathers. May He bless you with wisdom and judgment, with understanding, with self-discipline and self-control, with faith and kindness and love. And may He bless the sons and daughters who have come into your homes, that yours may be a fortifying, strengthening, guiding hand as they walk the treacherous path of life. As the years pass—and they will pass ever so quickly—may you know that "peace... which passeth all understanding" (Philip. 4:7) as you look upon your sons and daughters, who likewise have known that sacred and wonderful peace. Such is my humble prayer, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen" ("'Great Shall Be the Peace of Thy Children'," Ensign, Nov 2000, 50.)

Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mormons are not weird. They are people.

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I came across this article today written by an Elder Witt, currently serving as a Missionary in the state of Alaska.  Elder Witt had a desire to write an old fashioned letter.  He wanted to use a typewriter - the kind that runs on no electricity, and produces letters on plain white paper with the assistance of a hammer stroke and a black ribbon.  It may sound like ancient technology to many of you - but typewriters are what most people used to use before there were computers.  I even used one to write a few things back in my school days.

Elder Witt wanted to write, and he wanted to do it the old fashioned way - so he contacted a newspaper office and asked if they had an old typewriter...which they did, and happily gave to him.  You see, Elder Witt has a desire to one day be a journalist, and they wanted to help his ambition (or at least, that's the reason I believe that they offered the typewriter.)  Anyway, Elder Witt wrote a few letters, but he also wrote a column for the newspaper - and they published it.  What is the column all about?  Missionary work, of course - and the true nature of a missionary.  My favorite line from the column?

"we are just as nervous standing at your door as you are having us there. We are not trying to sell anything, so why do we do it? We do it to try to bring happiness into people’s lives."

Then he goes on to explain, a Missionaries' job is to uplift and inspire.  Help and to listen.  Be a friend.  Be a neighbor.  Be a servant of the Lord, in whatever he may be called to do.  Being a missionary isn't all about proselytizing.  It's about Service, friendship, humility, and doing good for all men.

"We missionaries are here to help and serve; when we are at the front door feel free to ask us to help with anything that is needed. We enjoy helping and serving, and we love doing it often. Don’t think of us as merely missionaries, think of us as people who want to uplift, inspire and comfort. We care and want to be friends with as many as we can. We truly want every person we meet to be happy. We believe that is what Christ’s work was, to bring true happiness into people’s lives."

I honestly wish Elder Witt luck.  I know he will not read this post.  I know he does not have access to the internet on his mission.  I also know that he did not expect the notoriety that this article is certainly going to bring him.  I do hope that someone in the great city of Homer, Alaska will find him or his counterparts and wish him happiness on his journey.  He's an amazing young man, and his strength in his testimony of Christ, of Service and of Love to all men has thus far helped him to grow into an amazing young man.  Well said Elder Witt.  I hope you keep writing and look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

Mormons are not weird.  They are people.

to read Elder Witt's full article, please go here:

http://homertribune.com/2011/06/lds-missionary-workers-want-to-serve/