Coming Out of the Closet

My husband and I were engaged in an interesting conversation yesterday. We were talking about our weekend plans, and noticed that we have no "Mormon" friends. All the people we hang out with (see previous post) tend to really be the polar opposite of what we need to be around. I say "need" because hubby and I seem to take on the role of whoever we hang around for awhile. Like our neighbor, the 19 year old high school dropout with a 3 year old child, no job, no money, who does lines of crack on the hood of her car in the middle of the night with strange hoodlums, has sex with random people she later tells us about, and uses our washing machine almost daily...(inhale) I'm not that bitter, though. We like helping people and sometimes she's fun to be around. All this "helping" however, has her at our house 24/7 practically and her potty mouth rubs off on us. We were already pretty potty-mouthed to begin with, but lately as we have been trying to be "good" we've wanted to change all that. It's also rare to find a couple our age to hang out with who don't already have kids. Our other neighbors are in our ward and they don't have kids yet. Their weekend activities include...World of Warcraft. That's it. Sorry, I can't handle WoW talk anymore than I have endured already when hubby went through that phase.

So what's this "Coming Out of the Closet" I speak of? Well, during our talk about our lack of friends, husband made a good point.

"Do you think that when Mormons get together, they try to be all 'good' and not swear, or get angry, or talk about sex - then when they get home alone with their wife they act just like us? Or do you think everyone but us is 'good'?"

I don't know... Maybe a little bit of both! Is that nice dentist and his perfect wife from church really the way they seem? Or does he say "DAMNIT!" when he spills pop on the carpet? Does she leave the dishes in the sink for whole week? Do they talk dirty while doing the hibbidy dibbity?

All the questions are valid, and I would really like to know the answer from any Mormons who have some insight on this topic.

8 comments:

Jia said...

I'm similar to you guys. I call it being a "personality sponge". I used to never be bothered by it, but lately the more I've really daily dedicated my life to God and Church related things, the more I find myself almost uncomfortable in those situations.

I've seen "good" Mormons curse, and I've seen "bad" Mormons do good things.

I know what you're going through though, being the couple with no kids is hard. We're still there. But you've got to reach out, even individually if you have to. And helping people is nice, but by doing so we want to show them that we are good Christians, good Mormons, and that through service, they are loved by both people and by God. If we become like them, I think a part of it defeats the purpose.

I've had many occassions in the past where I've acted a certain way around some people, and then when I try to be my "good" Mormon self, they think I'm being fake.

Jia

Moody said...

I love the new header btw! I have wondered these things too! Are we all trying to keep up a good front when around others? There are some Mo's that I feel really uncomfortable around because I act a little more main stream. I always only use my Mormon swear words though like cripes, flippin' and my favorite, dammy-sammy, but that's partly because I have little kids.

Anonymous said...

It's just a cycle....now that we're near our golden years, we're too tired to put up any fronts. We are, what we are...damn it.

I had a stake President who is a dear man. Would do anything to help people, very humble, honest, hard working...he always said, there's church language and then there's farm language. The animals don't understand church language and the church goers don't like farm language.

It's okay to use the right language for the right audience; just as long as you don't get them mixed up.

mormon heretic said...

April,

I love to hear your experiences. You've probably never heard of J. Golden Kimball. He was a general authority of the church. (I hope this is clean, and answers your questions.) Let me quote from wikipedia:

In 1892, while still serving as mission president, Kimball was called to be an LDS General Authority as a member of the First Council of Seventy. He modestly and humorously attributed his new position to his father's influence:

Some people say a person receives a position in this church through revelation, and others say they get it through inspiration, but I say they get it through relation. If I hadn't been related to Heber C. Kimball I wouldn't have been a damn thing in this church."

Kimball served as an LDS general authority for forty-six years. During the time, it was customary for church leaders to frequently travel to Mormon communities in the western territories and states. Kimball gave hundreds of sermons, sparkling with humor and wit. A tall lean man, his voice was described as high and rasping. He was well known for swearing good naturedly from the pulpit, sprinkling "damns" and "hells" into his speeches. Although the habit was of concern to other church leaders, and subjected him to counsel from his close friend LDS President Heber J. Grant on many occasions, this common touch made Kimball one of the most beloved leaders in the history of the Church. Asked how he could get away with the way he spoke, Elder Kimball is said to have replied: Hell, they can't excommunicate me. I repent too damned fast.

This "folksy" style was backed by intelligence and deep spirituality, and Latter-day Saints would travel long distances to hear him speak at conferences.

"J. Golden" stories have become a type of folklore for members of the LDS Church. One of the best known has Church President Grant writing a "clean" radio speech for Kimball and ordering him to read it. However, once on the air, Kimball struggled with Grant's handwriting and finally exclaimed, Hell, Heber, I can't read this damn thing. Most of these stories are apocryphal -- he didn't live long enough to have done and said all of the things attributed to him—but some of the most amusing were actually true, and others were probably true.

Western author Wallace Stegner recorded in "Mormon Country":

J. Golden was the one high dignitary who could keep any audience from sleep. They called him the Will Rogers of the Church. That was a mistake. He should never have been compared with anyone, because J. Golden was an original. Throughout the Mormon Country he is already a legend. Anecdotes and stories float through every Mormon hamlet, and there is even a kind of fraternity of storytellers specializing in J. Golden stories. But like all originals, he defies transcription. He was himself, no less, no more, and nobody knew it better than he.

Kimball was acting as the senior President of the Seventy when he was killed in 1938, at the age of eighty-five, in a single-vehicle automobile accident in the Nevada desert fifty miles east of Reno.

djinn said...

Coo! Let's hang out!

Susy said...

Okay Herre I go and this is not a rant however I am married to a non member and I have had some crazy experiences. I have never spoken at sacrament, but once during my 34 years as a member. I have never been in a presidency I have however been asked at a T.R interview after the 2nd counselor found out I worked in a casino as a dealer if I gambled. It was my first time as a member in 34 years I actually had to go to the Bishop and say that I was offended by this man. So may I say we are who we are and thank goodness the Lord loves us for all are earthly experiences. What I am trying to say is even the "best" Mormons can do things wrong. So be who you are. Right or wrong we grow and that is the lesson here on earth. Oh by the way I do swear here and there, and at 50 the hubby and I like to still talk dirty..hehe

Anonymous said...

i'm not married, but i'm also a convert. i think i watch myself a little bit more around other members, but i also watch myself more around non-family, non-members. my family and really close friends get their share of damnits and hells, but the general public doesn't hear that :)

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, nobody does "lines of crack".

Crack is smoked. Cocaine powder (cocaine Hydrochloride) is done in "lines". You can't snort crack. It would be like snorting a macadamia nut.

Note: I have never used either.

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