I just read a small Facebook conversation with two people talking about Mormons. They didn’t like Mormons. Both talked badly about them and made rude comments about the people and religion.
It wasn’t a big deal. On most days I could simply regard it and keep going with my Facebooking. But for some reason, their words really sank into me today. My stomach began to hurt and tears flooded my eyes. I tried to control it, but the tears kept coming. I grabbed my pillow, buried my face, and wept.
Sometimes it’s hard to be a Mormon.
It can be hard because I can’t drink with friends, I can’t have sex before I’m married, or I can’t wear all of the clothes I think are cute. Not drinking was difficult in Germany. It is culture to drink, and by not drinking, I knew was missing out on something special. It’s hard to go out with friends to Starbucks. They’re all talking about coffee and sharing their cups and you’re the only one not drinking. It’s part of our own American culture to drink coffee, but I’m not a part of it. It’s hard not to have sex, especially when you love someone and want to show how much you love them. These things are hard in certain situations. Everyone has to encounter them. You can’t stay away from it.
But when I say it’s hard to be a Mormon, it’s not the Word of Wisdom, modesty, and staying chaste that is hard. I know that God asks me not to do these things because he wants me to have a beautiful and happy life—a life with little complications. I know that when I do the things the God has asked me to avoid, I feel better about myself.
The hardest thing (for me personally) is knowing that people think badly of me. That when I say, “I am from Utah. Yes, I am Mormon,” they wince. It’s hard to be in conversations where people don’t ask, but interrogate me. And I know they think I’m stupid. It’s hard to believe in something that others think is weird. There are some people that literally hate Mormons. It’s not being Mormon that’s hard; it’s holding this burden on my back that people around me don’t like me because of my belief.
Sometimes it doesn’t bother me. Sometimes I just have to ignore it. But there are days like this where it really, really hurts.