Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mormon temple myth

[From the Mensa/LDS discussion list, a thread about people's reactions when they realize that you're Mormon]

I haven't been in Mensa for very long--about four weeks, actually, and so far I've only been to two activities plus this mailing list--but here in the Seattle area, I haven't gotten any particular heat for my religion. There was one time, I was discussing with a guy the absurdity of having a Mensa admission test at the Regional Gathering since, from what we understood at the time, only Mensa members were allowed at the gathering in the first place. He laughed and said something about the Mormons. I cocked my head and asked, what do you mean? Oh, he said, "they have some kind of a point system to get to go to a Mormon wedding. You get a certain number of points for going on a mission, or not smoking, or giving money to the church, and you have to get so many points in order to get in. I had this friend, and they wouldn't let her in to her own sister's wedding. She was, like, a hard-core Mormon, too."

"That's messed up!" said a girl.

I hesitated, unsure whether to bring this up, but said, "Actually, I am Mormon, and it doesn't work like that." It turns out his friend was only 22, so I told him it was, approximately, a matter of being old enough. There's no point system, and going on a mission doesn't affect temple eligibility. (I later corrected this: going on a mission makes you "old enough," approximately speaking, to attend a wedding.) His attitude was, "That's cool, that makes a lot more sense." A reasonable guy. It made me wonder how many of the myths floating around about the church are the fault of well-meaning church members trying to explain things with [wince!] poor analogies.


"The presentation or 'gift' of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment." --Joseph F. Smith (manual, p. 69)

Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.

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