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.

6 Comments


  1. It’s especially hard to be Mormon when you recognize the weirdness. We’re not hip. Joseph Smith is not hip. God hasn’t been hip for years.

    And yet, we believe and can’t stop, and I think we’re better for it.

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  2. Yes, you’re right, Anne. And then there are the people who think Mormons are weird until they meet a cool Mormon–like you. And they have to reconsider all their mistaken ideas.

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  3. Sometimes I think that people “hate” mormons because they clearly don’t understand what it is all about. It is weird that we don’t drink or have a cup of coffee. It is weird that we don’t have sex. But at some point they will have to ask themselves if they are truly happy. God didn’t put things in place to make it hard. He set us free by giving us these guidelines. Just ask someone how they really feel when they wake up in the morning with a hangover! You are strong and a wonderful person! Don’t let others bring you down, because what you are doing is right for you.

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  4. I think that is why it is easier now that I say “I’m from NJ”. Then they can get to know me before they know I’m Mormon. Helps to not go into the relationship with any preconceptions.
    Hang tough girl! Nothing wrong with still going to Starbucks (they have great hot chocolate) or to not drink at the parties.

    BTW…my word verification is HOPING. Perfect.

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  5. Wow. I wish I had wise words for you. Instead, and unfortunately, I think it won’t get easier. It’s just that the things that are hard will evolve. The fact that you have had such faith at this age will certainly help you later.

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  6. I can handle people thinking I’m weird. I hate it when people think I’m stupid — that I have been brainwashed into my beliefs.

    Being Mormon isn’t just a cultural habit. I thoughtfully choose this life everyday.

    Reply

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