United Brethren has retired.

Woe to be an American

I have at times made comments in the bloggernacle that have bemoaned the Church's American-bias. I still hold to those, but I would like to point out that in some ways being an American Mormon is a curse as well as a blessing. Two examples:

1. Marriage. There is often much hand-wringing in the Church over the fact that non-member family cannot attend a Mormon couple's wedding. This is indeed a painful issue, but for Americans only! In England, for example, marriages by law have to be conducted in public, so LDS couples have to be married civilly first before they are sealed in the Temple. This is a wonderful compromise. When Becky and I married we were able to have a nice traditional wedding with family and friends before driving to the Preston Temple to be sealed. As I understand it, American members, even if worthy, have to wait a year to be sealed if they have a civil wedding first. Alas.

2. Culture. (This is probably more a Utah-issue than strictly an American one.) Outside of Utah, and certainly outside of the USA, there is little or no cultural pressure to be Mormon. In fact, it's the opposite: it would be easier for me not to be a Mormon. Which is why I look with sad bemusement upon the Grant Palmer case. If I were him there would be no need to excommunicate me because I would have long since left the Church anyway. If I came to the conclusion that the foundational beliefs of the Church were of dubious credibility I would just quit (perhaps easily said, I admit). But for Palmer et.al. being Mormon is as much a cultural thing as it is religious, and to leave or to be kicked-out is to sever or weaken ties to family and community. Again, alas.

So, there are advantages to being a non-American Latter-day Saint. Now, if only we could do something about that pesky Stars and Stripes at Temple Square....

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Anonymous Anonymous said ... (December 08, 2004 5:49 PM) 

Boy, I don;t have much to add to that one... I think you hit the nail right on the head.  

Posted by Jake


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (December 08, 2004 6:07 PM) 

For me, as a non-American mormon, I loved having a traditional wedding to plan as well as my temple sealing. Yes there definately advantages of being a mormon outside the US 

Posted by Rebecca


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (December 08, 2004 6:59 PM) 

Speaking as a guy... I have to say, the simple quick ceremony in the Temple was alot nicer.

It was quick, and if I had it my way, the reception would have been a big party where we all sit in comfortable chairs watching a sports channel and just let folks drive by the house and drop off some gifts.

All that formal garbage just costs money and wastes time.

Don't tell my wife that though... 

Posted by Jake


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (December 08, 2004 7:11 PM) 

I accept it just us girls who enjoy planning a wedding. We dream about it for years and love planning those little details! I'm sure Ronan feels the same way about our wedding too! 

Posted by Rebecca


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