Monday, July 11, 2011

Answers to Questions

To the anon questions in the comments:

First, about what is the official Mormon or LDS Church position on the death penalty or in other words capital punishment? I found this statement put out by the leaders of our church on that subject to the media.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regards the question of whether and in what circumstances the state should impose capital punishment as a matter to be decided solely by the prescribed processes of civil law. We neither promote nor oppose capital punishment."

As to the second question about why being LDS makes me feel different especially in light of the "Mormons are just like you and me" aspect of the current "I am a Mormon" campaign:

Yes, Mormons come in all shapes and sizes and from a wide variety of backgrounds. We have members from every race and culture I can think of. And in most ways we are just like everyone else. But we are also a peculiar people in that we do have some common doctrinal and cultural standards that somewhat define us as a people. BYU has long been voted the number one "Stone Cold Sober" university for a reason. :)

I don't drink alcoholic beverages, tea or coffee or smoke or do drugs. I don't even drink sodas with caffeine. I don't have tattoos or body piercings (other than a single earring pierce in each ear.) I don't cuss or watch R rated movies (or even many PG 13). I go to church every Sunday for 3 hours. I have almost always have some church job or other that I spend a good amount of time and energy fulfilling. I believe that Jesus Christ appeared in the Americas to the natives here after his resurrection and that He and His Father personally appeared to a 14 year old boy in a grove of trees to answer his prayer to find out which church to join. I spend one night a week with just my family. I don't go to birthday parties or sporting events or shop or go to dinner on Sunday. I live in Las Vegas and have never pulled a slot machine or played any gambling game. I don't even know how to play any of them. And I love green jello ;). 

All these things are part of me because of my religion either by way of doctrine or just culture. This is not to say there aren't great Mormons who drink Coke have tattoos. There are. And there are lots of Mormons who are not perfect in keeping the commandment not to smoke or drink or do drugs. We all have things we are working on. 

But the reason I don't do those things is because of my Mormon beliefs AND the Mormon culture in which I was raised. And it is fairly common to find most if not all of the same list above from another Mormon who goes to church. On the other hand, I think it is pretty rare to find someone who is not Mormon who can even say they don't drink, smoke, drink coffee or cuss. Not to say it is impossible, I am thrilled to meet such people when I do. But I find it to be rare from my experience in this world. 

So these cultural and doctrinal norms for me make me feel different from the rest of the world. Does that make sense? I hope so.