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Old 07-08-2013, 07:20 PM
 
9,764 posts, read 9,441,944 times
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FACTS:

1---Mormons are only 60% of the population in Utah.

2---Active church going Mormons attending regularly, are considerably below 50% of the population.

3---Mormons are much less radical in their actions towards other religions than several of the other religions. Mormons don't go around preaching hate towards other churches, as some do against the Mormons.

4---If you go around with a chip on your shoulder preaching against Mormons it will be knocked off. If you go around preaching hate towards Mormons as a number do as you have seen from these threads, you will not fit in.

5---On the other hand if you are a friendly accepting person, you will find Mormons are easy to live around. Most of us have many good friends that are not Mormons and we get along very well. Often you will not know if someone is a Mormon or not, but just another person.

6---Some seem to think that it is difficulty for non Mormons to find work in Utah. The ones that find it difficult, are those that go around with a chip on their shoulder as #4 above. On the other hand no one wants to hire them, not just the Mormons.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:46 PM
 
11,127 posts, read 10,684,454 times
Reputation: 35666
Quote:
FACTS:

1---Mormons are only 60% of the population in Utah.

2---Active church going Mormons attending regularly, are considerably below
50% of the population.

3---Mormons are much less radical in their actions towards other religions
than several of the other religions. Mormons don't go around preaching hate
towards other churches, as some do against the Mormons.

4---If you go around with a chip on your shoulder preaching against Mormons
it will be knocked off. If you go around preaching hate towards Mormons as a
number do as you have seen from these threads, you will not fit in.

5---On the other hand if you are a friendly accepting person, you will find
Mormons are easy to live around. Most of us have many good friends that are
not Mormons and we get along very well. Often you will not know if someone is
a Mormon or not, but just another person.

6---Some seem to think that it is difficulty for non Mormons to find work in
Utah. The ones that find it difficult, are those that go around with a chip on
their shoulder as #4 above. On the other hand no one wants to hire them, not
just the Mormons.
I don't disagree with much of what you say here. I think the attitude of a newcomer to an area is critical. I have met people who came to Utah and found fault with everything from the drivers to the liquor laws. Surprise, surprise when they didn't like the state and concluded that everyone here was unfriendly, huh?

I do think though that there are some simplifications contained here. Its #5 that makes me raise my eyebrows the most. Many people who move into an area are looking for friends and are particularly looking for neighborhoods will it be relatively easy for their children to have friends and acquaintances. Whether we Mormons want to admit it or not, the LDS in Utah does get in the way. Which is not to say that you couldn't find similar problems in other regions of the country. I have discussed these issues in posts months/years ago. The primary problem that I perceive is that in a neighborhood that is heavily LDS, many of the members will have little time for socializing with people outside their religion (and often this includes their children). Church meetings not only take up Sundays, there is Family Home Evening on Monday, and church activities for youth one day a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday). Being LDS is unlike some religions in that it is more of a lifestyle than simply belonging to a church. What I am describing, though, is the reason that many non-LDS people take a negative view of Mormons and perceive us as unfriendly.

I cannot begin to number the non-Mormon acquaintances I have who after spending time in Utah have left the state. Very few return in my observation. There observations about why they left are pretty similar to what I have determined on my own.

Its very possible for non-LDS people to stay in Utah and enjoy living here. I believe there are several keys to it being a successful experience though. They are:

1. Picking a diverse area that has a population of both Mormons and non-Mormons. Salt Lake County is a good pick for this. Summit County (Park City) is a good pick if you can afford it. Weber and Davis counties are decent picks. Utah County and the areas in the South are often 70% to 80% LDS and fitting in maybe harder.

2. The right attitude. The person moving in--like you say--has to do so without a "chip on their shoulder" and many people have one whether they admit it or not.

3. Understanding it may take more time here to make friends than in some other places.

4. Understanding Utah is what it is. It was settled by Mormons and we aren't going anywhere. The same issues are likely be here (hopefully to a lesser degree) in 25 years.

5. Understanding Utah isn't California or New York and many people who live here don't want it to be either.

Its really a fairly complicated issue. My only objection is when people try to simplify it or put all the blame on those moving in. There is more to it than that.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:14 PM
 
224 posts, read 570,357 times
Reputation: 232
Just heard from a family who moved into our neighborhood from Texas (I think,, somewhere south). They are active LDS, but even they are having a hard time adjusting to the culture. Come to think of it there was another family from Texas who moved in not too long ago, active LDS who couldn't handle it and left. Just wanted to make the point that life IS different here and whether you are a member or not it might take some getting used to.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:22 PM
 
Location: The other side of the mountain
2,465 posts, read 6,303,579 times
Reputation: 1218
It IS different here. I am not LDS, but living here...you have to understand it is the culture, the way of life. It is unlike living in *most* any other state. This is only a bad thing if you let it be, or you just can't really adapt to it. I have lived here for 19 years and don't plan on ever leaving.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
24,160 posts, read 24,615,719 times
Reputation: 11712
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaytidid View Post
It IS different here. I am not LDS, but living here...you have to understand it is the culture, the way of life. It is unlike living in *most* any other state. This is only a bad thing if you let it be, or you just can't really adapt to it. I have lived here for 19 years and don't plan on ever leaving.
Hey, Kaytidid. I want to specifically ask you my question, since I know I'll get a straight, honest answer from you. You say living here is "unlike living in most any other state." Since I've never lived in any other state, I am sincerely interested in what you mean by that. You've obviously adapted to the culture in a way some people simply haven't been able to do.

Is it just that there are so many Mormons that non-Mormons feel overwhelmed by them?
Are they genuinely friendly or do you always kind of sense an ulterior motive (i.e. conversion )?
How can Mormons make non-Mormons coming into the state feel welcome, not overwhelmed, not threatened, not judged, etc. etc. etc.? In other words, what are we doing right and what can be do better?
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,864 posts, read 60,119,906 times
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Hey Katz, I'll answer from my perspective after living in SLC a little over 11 yrs and now being gone almost 1 yr. The religion is so "in your face" in SLC, much more so than in other states with other religions. The only comparable example I can think of is the intense Catholicism of less educated people in southern LA. They cross themselves frequently, wear crosses/crucifixes, talk about saints' days, etc. This is not a bad thing nor a deliberate thing, just a fact.

Outsiders can pretty much tell who is LDS after 5 min of conversation by the speech patterns and tone of voice. LDS folk are more soft-spoken and less expressive than outsiders in general. There are always exceptions to any rule, of course. Maybe b/c of not wanting to offend a brother/sister of God? Maybe I am not explaining it well. And of course there is the much more modest style of dress.

Most of the LDS people I met were genuinely kind and helpful. They were interested in differences and open to discussions wherein we learned from each other. A few of the ones who had less exposure to traveling or different ideas looked at me like I was an interesting exhibit in the museum or zoo - a curiosity but not of much real interest to them or their lives.

I truly do not mean to insult the LDS and hope I haven't.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
24,160 posts, read 24,615,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
Hey Katz, I'll answer from my perspective after living in SLC a little over 11 yrs and now being gone almost 1 yr. The religion is so "in your face" in SLC, much more so than in other states with other religions. The only comparable example I can think of is the intense Catholicism of less educated people in southern LA. They cross themselves frequently, wear crosses/crucifixes, talk about saints' days, etc. This is not a bad thing nor a deliberate thing, just a fact.

Outsiders can pretty much tell who is LDS after 5 min of conversation by the speech patterns and tone of voice. LDS folk are more soft-spoken and less expressive than outsiders in general. There are always exceptions to any rule, of course. Maybe b/c of not wanting to offend a brother/sister of God? Maybe I am not explaining it well. And of course there is the much more modest style of dress.

Most of the LDS people I met were genuinely kind and helpful. They were interested in differences and open to discussions wherein we learned from each other. A few of the ones who had less exposure to traveling or different ideas looked at me like I was an interesting exhibit in the museum or zoo - a curiosity but not of much real interest to them or their lives.

I truly do not mean to insult the LDS and hope I haven't.
Let me begin by saying that you absolutely didn't say anything insulting. I really appreciate the input. I found it very interesting that you "can pretty much tell who is LDS after 5 min of conversation by the speech patterns and tone of voice." Now I would have guessed that you could pick up on certain vocabulary very early in the conversation, but "speech patterns and tone of voice"? Wow! This whole thing is really intriguing to me because I've always made it a point to leave people who just met me wondering whether I'm LDS or not, and I figure that if they are able to guess, I have somehow screwed up. Since I always make an attempt to leave folks wondering, I avoid give-away terminology like the plague. For example, I always say, "There's a lady in my neighborhood..." instead of "There's a lady in my ward..." (even if the lady I'm talking about is in my ward). I steer clear of topics that would immediately tell people I'm LDS, and sometimes I even intentionally say something that may cause them to have second thoughts in case they think they have me figured out.

I'm always really pleased when someone has known me for quite a while and then suddenly realizes I'm a Mormon. My former boss and really good friend invited me to join a book club that was formed this past February. There are nine of us in the club and as far as I know, I'm the only Mormon. My friend knows I'm LDS, but I don't think the rest of them have figured it out yet, and we've gotten together five times now. Whoever is hosting always serves wine when we meet, so when we met at my place, I served wine, too, though I didn't drink any. I actually asked my friend if she would mind bringing a bottle that would go with what I was serving, since I didn't know what to choose. At the last book club, the subject of Blacks and the priesthood came up, and one woman gave some inaccurate information. I could have spoken up at that time, but chose not to. It will be interesting to see how long it takes them to figure me out. Maybe it's the fact that I'm not exactly "soft spoken" that's throwing them.

By the way, I am not hiding my religion because I'm ashamed to be LDS. I just don't want it to impact people's impression of me. I want their opinions of me to be based on who I really am, deep down, and not on some label. I don't want my religion to be either a positive or a negative factor in how people feel about me.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,864 posts, read 60,119,906 times
Reputation: 19257
I have to say Katz that you are more animated than the ones I was talking about. And you never made me feel like a specimen!
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
24,160 posts, read 24,615,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
I have to say Katz that you are more animated than the ones I was talking about.
I don't doubt that!

Quote:
And you never made me feel like a specimen!
OMG, I sure hope not!

But tell me, by the phrase "speech patterns" are you referring to LDS jargon or something else?
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,864 posts, read 60,119,906 times
Reputation: 19257
Something else, a cadence, a rhythm, a way of letting the words fall gently,.... very hard to describe.

And I don't know how many are attuned to language enough to identify it but simply know "something" is different.
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