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Friday, February 04, 2005 

A Mormon Boy, a Mormon Boy, I am a Mormon boy

I did not comment yesterday, I just read along, and listened to the comments. I decided to save all my thoughts for today.

Question: Is it hard to say that you are Mormon? Absolutely not!
Question: What baggage comes along with it? None!

Why is it not hard to say that I am Mormon? Because of the faith and knowledge I have in Jesus Christ. I came to a point in my life where I had to make some decisions and I had to do something about my life. I had allowed work and play to creep into my life to a point that my participation in the church was being neglected. Was it a fun time in my life? That’s hard to answer. The temptations to let church slip by for work got easier and easier, and since I was already at work, I might as well go skiing. As I let myself fall into patterns that are not in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ, I thought more and more that I was happy. I had all the coolest friends, I had all the coolest toys. I had a great truck, threw great parties, some how (don’t ask me how since I am not too attractive) I was dating very attractive girls, that all the guys wanted to date. I had money falling from the sky into my lap. I had friends that were taking life more “seriously” tell me how much they envied me. I was skipping school to go canyoneering, and backpacking, and camping.
The further away I got from the teachings of the church, the more I wanted the stuff they warned against. Well it all came crashing in on me. Everything that I had sort of imploded in on me. I found myself unemployed, I started selling of my toys, (even my snowmobile), I had credit card debt, and I found out something interesting, my new friends all abandoned me as I started working my life back into harmony with the gospel. It pretty much sucked, and it was hard. Most the people I attended church with annoyed me. Too much judegment, or so I thought. Too many goody goody smiles.
It took many months to get things straightened out. The more I brought my life back into the teachings of the church, the more I realized it was where I wanted to be.
So its not hard to say I am Mormon. I like telling people I am because of the barrage of questions that always follow. I drove shuttles for many years from Sundance to the airport, (great tips). I drove literally thousands of people to and from the resort, and minus a few people who thought that my shuttle van was some sort of limo and they did not need to talk to me, everyone always asked the prodding questions.
So you are Mormon, yep, you don’t drink? Nope, You don’t have sex? Nope You go to church every Sunday? Yep.
Most people were very respectful. Sometimes they got rude and wanted to argue, (funny but 90% of those that wanted to argue were from the South). If they got rude with me I usually made some comment about being able to send the missionaries over to their house if they were interested. This usually shut them up.
I miss those days of talking with people about my beliefs and my faith. I had so many wonderful conversations with some awesome people. I remember an older Jewish couple that was intrigued with our dietary laws. We were both amazed at how similar their overall beliefs were to my own, minus the Christ part. There was the time that I picked up 3 very attractive girls coming in for the film festival. The question about sexual relations came up. We spoke the whole time about it, and they listened so intently about the pros of living my life style. In the end they all said “Oh I don’t think I could go 24 hours without getting some, we all laughed. There were many more conversations that helped me realize that being a Mormon is one of the greatest things to be. And that answers the second question. Is there baggage that goes along with saying you are Mormon. No after nearly four years of driving shuttles I can say that there is a lot more baggage in not being Mormon then there is in being Mormon. It’s nice having my standards written out for me, its nice having the line drawn in the sand. I can honestly say that my life is far better now then it was when I was living the “good life”. And I can also say that though I love them to death and will always cheer for them, the Utah Jazz suck.
And as always, I love you guys to death!!! Make yourselves a great day.

Cameron, as I was reading your post a flood gate of fun times in Sacrament meetings in our BYU ward are rushing back. I don’t remember Rachel and Brent being there, but that had to have been… I just remember me and you, nudging each other during testimony meetings, passing notes, etc. Oh the days, how you even can handle going to church with out me there to make it that much entertaining is beyond me. Glad to hear that you are able to. And beautiful post…

 

Posted by Rebecca

I love the post, Cameron. I love honest and open you are about the "not perfect" times and that you can still stay true when you went back.

I love how you were going to "sic" the Missionaries on someone...that's kinda funny. 

Posted by JP

That was awesome. Thanks for a great post to start the day. And it's true that the Jazz suck. Royally. 

Posted by Star

From a Mormon girl from the South: I'm not surprised. It wasn't easy to be a Mormon in the Bible Belt.

Great post. I agree, I enjoy telling people I'm Mormon and the conversation that always follows. When something is such a part of who you are, it is a joy to share.  

Posted by Marcy

It's about time someone in this group has no reservations about claiming their Mormondom.

Is it bad that I want more "Bad Cameron" stories? 

Posted by Kaycee

When I first joined the church, I told no one. It was easier in case I wanted to stray from my commitments.

As is known, you cannot serve 2 masters. You can straddle the fence for just so long before you fall to one side or the other. I've fallen both ways. Like you, I was (and am) much happier on the church side.
 

Posted by Renee

I totally agree that living an ethical moral life brings happiness to ones life. This is not unique to mormons. It happens in other religions. It is also in other life styles like an atheists.

One can find similar stories in other faiths.

My whole family was mormon and I was one that did not except the mormon doctrine (I was like the black sheep not full embracing LDS claims), but I know that the life style of living a moral and ethical life brings stability and happiness.

It was hard for me to say that I and my family were mormons, not because of the lifestyle but because on the doctrine claims it had. To me the doctrine claims was like crazy talk.

The baggage is that there is good solid reason not to buy the doctrine claims of mormons. Not the lifestyle a mormon lives. Most people on this world know that living an ethical life brings happiness.

There are experts that label mormonism as a crazy cult not based on the lifestyle of mormons, but based on the doctrines of mormons.

This was an excellent post, good solid questions. 

Posted by Rodrigo V

Thank you, Cameron. Well written.
I will only post this comment one time only at your previous request.
Did all those non-members that you conversed with understand that sex is okay after marriage? 

Posted by Jess

LOL. Mormons...the sex-less religion. The 10 kids just APPEAR...by divine intervention, or whatever.

Oh, Jess...that's funny. (Although, I'm not quite sure you were TRYING to be funny. BTW, aren't you on your way to California YET??????!!!! Can't wait to see you!) 

Posted by JP

Becca: Not sure what you are talking about, I ALWAYS pay attention during church, notes? Nudging?
Well OK church is more fun when you are around.
JP: Most people hate the thought of the missionaries, so yeah its a great way to shut them up.
Star" Take that back, I did not say Royally, I just said Really Sucks!
Marcy, Marcy Marcy, I have to say that my friends the were missionaries in the south loved it, "Royally"
Rodrigo: From a Mormon point of view Its hard to
understand the lifestyle if you do not understand the "doctrine claims". Sure there are people who live similar lifesystles who are not Mormon, but The doctrines of the church are very much connected to the lifestyles we choose to live.

Jess: WHAT? Mormons can have sex after marriage? Well that changes my ideas as to why I am a 32 year old single Mormon. 

Posted by Cameron

PS Kaycee: I have a great story about me, a goat, a bucket of horsey sauce from Arby's and a 150 Hours of communinity service.
Sarah: Wait there is no comment from Sarah, cause she hates me because I aint smart enough to use a web cam!! 

Posted by Cameron

Rodrigo- It's nice to have some other former-Mormons on the block. I think that even though it's hard for some to read things like:

To me the doctrine claims was like crazy talk.I think that you are framing your opinions in a way that is respectful of others. Thanks for being a commenter here! 

Posted by Kaycee

Cam... You know I don't hate you. SHeesh

The reason I haven't commented is because the one thing I REALLY wanted to comment on seemed kind of lame when I wrote it. Nonetheless... to appease you I will share with you the thought I had.

WHAT IS ALL THIS TALK ABOUT YOU NOT BEING GOOD LOOKING???????? Honestly (and this is after having seen pictures of you) when I opened Aubrey's front door and saw you the words that went through my head were, "Holy crap! He is ALARMINGLY GOOD LOOKING!" I'm not kidding. And it was what I told all the Cali bloggers when I got home too... ask em... they'll tell you. So, while I agree that you have dated your share of fine ladies (and your current lady is no exception), you are much hotter than you give yourself credit for. So shut it.

And now, as for the rest of your post. Your sincerity and enthusiasm for life are just contagious! I love that you love being Mormon. I love that it is everything to you. I love that you are so good and still manage a sense of humor that makes all that goodness bareable (because I refuse to be friends with a goodie-tw-shoes bore!)

I'm done now. 

Posted by Sarah Marinara

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

I loved your post! Straight forward, beautifully written, unapologetic...makes me wish I'd paid more attention in English class...or that I had even attended English class. And I second (or third or fourth) the idea that the Utah Jazz really stink!  

Posted by Amy

A great honest blog. Growing up, not to many guys had your great attitude. Good for you!!!  

Posted by herevilsister

Just a general comment to all of you that I love this site. I visit here often and will post more in the future. It's thought provoking. Love it. The premise for this is such a good one. I have linked to most all of your personal blogs and love those, too. Just started my own today. I feel so official.
 

Posted by Richelle

I guess I have to weigh in on this one: Yes, Cameron IS good looking. I have always thought so. 

Posted by kacy

Saying that I'm Mormon isn't hard. But I am hard when I'm saying I'm Mormon! 

Posted by daytondamn

Cameron, I adore you. I look forward to your no-nonsense style, it's full of love!

I have really enjoyed this week, and I am LOVING the variety of commentors!

All ya'll: You MUST believe me when I tell you that NUMEROUS times as a missionary (and a "civilian), I would be telling the Joseph Smith story (for instance) to someone and my physical brain would be screaming: "this is the craziet story EVER! I can't believe people let me into their houses to tell it!" And even recently, when I saw the new "First Vision" video that was put out, I had the same thought, "this is nuts." And yet, my internal feelings defy logic. I CANNOT deny or reason away how I personally feel about these things. I believe in extraordinary things. I believe that God can intervene in extraordinary ways, and that His ways are not our ways, and thay he chooses imperfect vessels to do His will. (Look at Moses for crying out loud, even the BIG GUNS had issues...)

But my own experieces have taught me to totally respect the fellings of others on these matters.. because I'm not suprised in the least to know that others might think our doctrines are strange! It's a personal decision for everyone who hears "the story" to make, to decide to accept it as truth or as fabrication. Agency, you gotta love it... 

Posted by Carrie Ann

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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