The Mormon Machine: It just doesn't work without guilt
But the machine is only as good as the wheels, cogs and gears that keep it in perpetual motion. This is both to the advantage and disadvantage of the church. This is why I think that there is some validity in the claim that Mormons are "brainwashed."
Of course, don't think that the Mormon folk are literally hypnotized and forced to to anything. That's crazy. But the reason why the church works like it does is because Mormons are guilted and "holier than thou'd" into it.
Here are some examples from my motivation in my own experience with service in the church:
Calling: Ward Employment Specialist
I accepted this calling, even though I had no idea how to do it. I was actually unemployed at the time, had no idea how to get myself a job, or one for anyone else. I sent around sign up sheets for people who needed jobs or knew of jobs, out of obligation (i.e. guilt) , but I didn't actually help anyone find a job.
Calling: Visiting Teacher
I hated visiting teaching. I hated everything about it, but I did it faithfully and consistently, out of guilt. I hated visiting other people who I didn't really know or ever get to know. I hated being visited by people who came to my house out of obligation.
Calling: Education Counselor in Relief Society
I was called to this position because--wait for it--I was majoring in Education! So, I thought that I was hot stuff. I gave the other teachers feedback on their lessons and relished planning out the schedule of lessons. I worked so hard at this calling because I felt I'd finally been recognized as someone who was important by being called to the Relief Society presidency.
Calling: Stake Young Single Adult Activities Director
I received this calling because when I came back from BYU, I told my stake president I was worried about all of my friends who became inactive. Ironically, I went inactive while holding this calling. I did work my tail off for a year and a half, though, but it was more about me than about the people I was trying to serve. I wanted to do a better job than the person before me.
Besides proving that I am completely shallow, a sincere examination of my motivation for working at my callings shows that the work we do in the Mormon Machine isn't necessarily done for the "right" reason. It still gets done, though, so does it matter?
I think it does. And I think that if you look closer at your motivations for working at your callings that it will matter to you, too.
Posted by Kaycee.