Monday, December 07, 2009

growing up morman

I was born and raised in Utah, the heartland of Mormonism. And, you can guess that I was raised a Mormon. I think being raised in any religious community pressures a young person to accept the views and values of that community. These views are not bad or wrong. It is just that they may not be the views one would choose if given the opportunity to learn of other views and opinions. So, one grows up accepting those values and not raising any questions.

After all everyone else thought the same way. Way make waves? It is the case of the old "Roman Theory" without having any knowledge that is what you are actually doing
"What the Romans do".

I believe we all face that when growing up. After all we could not expect our parents to raise us with opinions that go against how they were raised and what they believe. I have never heard of a person of one religion raising their children to be another religion. The best we can hope for is tolerance by our parents and peers as we grope for an identity in our growing years.

I had the best from my parents.  They did not shove the religion down my throat.  I had the worst from my community.  They crammed it down my throat.  They gagged me with it.  They had no tolerance for any other beliefs.  The only way to God was through them.

I was confused. I had questions. Why were black men not allowed to hold the "priesthood"? Becoming a priest or an Elder in the Mormon religion is one of the basic tenets of that religion.

I, being white, could become an Elder.

A "Black" man could not.

Why is that? I asked.

They are decedents of "Cane" I was told. God made them black because they are being punished for his sins. But doesn't the Bible say something about not being punished for the sins of your father? Well, yes it does, but they are different. They are being punished for sins they committed in a previous life.

No, I thought. They are being punished for being black. ( I never had the courage to say so.) If they cannot hold the priesthood they cannot achieve the highest degree of glory in the next life.

Black people would not be part of a good Mormon’s "After Life". Prejudice I thought. No, God's plan, they said.

Years later, after I stopped going to church, the President of the Mormon Church had a "Revelation" from God. The "Blacks" had been punished enough and they could "hold the priesthood", become "Elders" and be with white people in the afterlife.

I do not think Mormons are any more prejudice than any other group of people. I think that during a certain period of time a group of "bigots" got control of the church and wrote rules to please themselves. Also, do not forget, the church righted the wrong by changing and that took some courage. None of us like to admit when we are wrong.

However my belief that "Mormonism" is the path to God had been shaken. If that particular belief was only based on racism, what about the rest of their "road to Heaven"

To be continued.....

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