No I’m a Faulconer
Now when people ask me if I am Mormon I say I am, but I haven’t always. If you think about it this isn’t an easy question to answer. I was baptized when I was eight and have been raised Mormon, this makes me Mormon. I don’t practice the religion or believe, so what does this make me? A non-practicing Mormon? Or not Mormon? I don’t want to deny being Mormon because I don’t have a problem with the church, or people knowing that I have grown up Mormon. Deep down I feel that denying I am Mormon is somehow denying the love I feel towards my parents, siblings, family and all of the wonderful Mormon people through out my life that have taught me and raised me to be a good person. I don’t want to deny their contribution to my successes in life and by claiming to be a Mormon I am able to incorporate all of them in who I am.
When I was 21, maybe 22, I was dating a guy who worked as a bartender for a restaurant in Orem, Utah. At one point my mom heard, through a series of people, “so and so told so and so that so and so heard that your daughter’s boyfriend tells people he isn’t Mormon.” This upset my mom, hurt her feelings, and so she asked me about it. “Why would your boyfriend claim he isn’t Mormon?” Well, after the trail of people that provided the information who even knows if he truly said this or not? But quite possible he did. At first I couldn’t answer her, one, I am not him so how should I know and two, I understood the difficulty of a question like this especially when you are surrounded by good practicing Mormons. If I am eating dinner and having a glass of wine and someone asks me if I am Mormon and I say yes, this looks bad. Does drinking a glass of wine make me a bad person? No it doesn’t, but it does make me a bad Mormon. I don’t enjoy starting conversations off with, “Hi my name is Rebecca I am Mormon, but I am a bad Mormon, but a good person…” It is quite a mouthful of a hello. Yet, this is the hello I provide every time I meet someone new. They ask me where I am from, I say Utah, they say Salt Lake, I say Provo, and they say Mormon?
When I was first struggling with my lack of belief in the Mormon Church I always answered that I wasn’t Mormon. It was easy because I didn’t have to explain why I was Mormon and wasn’t practicing, something I really hadn’t figured out for myself yet. But it always bothered me that the answer would hurt my parent’s feelings. That if so and so told so and so that so and so heard so and so ask me if I was Mormon and I answered no the so and so’s would let my parents know and they would think I was denying who I was, like saying I wasn’t a Faulconer. It is funny, though, because once I figured out how I felt about the Mormon Church, about god, about religion I began saying that I was Mormon again even though I was the furthest away from being a Mormon then I had ever been.
In the end, what is the answer? What is the right thing to do? What does a good Mormon think about me saying I am Mormon and then behaving like I am not? Is this fair? Would you prefer that I said I was not Mormon? I’d honestly like to know.