Friday, April 15, 2011

Superwoman VS Dullness

I recently read an article criticizing the the new "I'm a Mormon" videos as being unrealistic. The article explained that most Mormons are not that interesting.
"Sadly, as a whole we are far less interesting than what the ads have masterfully conveyed. Generally speaking, we are collectively a boring people. We might try to mix it up — sometimes serving ethnic fare at our ward dinners or altering the tempo of a hymn, but for the most part, as a group, we are steadfast, obedient, charitable, fertile and a bit dull." (
My response: Speak for yourself! Maybe Mormons in Utah have a kind of  cookie-cutter quality. There might be a bit of the can't-see-the-forest-for-the-trees effect. But there are just under 2 million members in Utah, less than 1/7 of the world's LDS population.

I have lived in 3 countries and know Latter-Day Saints from many others. I have lived in several states and have probably known at least one person from every state...except possibly Rhode Island. I have even lived in Utah, in the community among the normal, non-BYU student population. I have to say that I have yet to meet a dull Mormon.

Maybe that is just my personality. Maybe I just see interesting because I am looking for it. Maybe I have a simpler way of deciding what is interesting and what isn't. Maybe I am easily entertained.

I don't think so. When I first read the aforementioned article, I started thinking of the interesting people I have met. It was like an instant slide show as faces and memories flashed through my mind. I thought "What an idiot. Doesn't his person have anything better to gripe about?"

I thought of the many members I have known who could be described as "characters"; the man with the eyeball tattoo on the back of his head, the woman who wore a Dolly Parton style wig and earrings that brushed her shoulders, the musicians, the artists, the recovering alcoholics, the veterans, the monotone speakers, the tone-deaf singers, the criers, the laughers, the bikers, the snobs and the nerds, the jocks and the scholars. The diversity among the LDS people is vast. We are not dull! Not by any stretch of the imagination!

To me, the point of the "I'm a Mormon" videos is to show our diversity. They show that Mormons come from all walks of life. We experience every challenge and joy in life. Converts need not be ashamed of their quirks. The sacrifices of discipleship need not include our interests and talents.

I challenge anyone who agrees with the sentiments of that article to try making their own "I'm a Mormon" video, just for fun. What would you tell people about yourself? What makes you interesting?

If you can't think of anything then maybe you have some work to do; not on becoming more interesting but on seeing yourself differently. I can tell you right now you ARE interesting. There is no one in the world like you!

1 comment:

Diann R. said...

Absolutely true! It seems that this person has a strange understanding of interesting people. How about Mitt Romney or Gladys Knight? Are they not interesting? Just the average every day mom, we are becoming more and more "peculiar" to the world, shouldn't the fact that we choose to live our lives differently than so many others in this world say something about how interesting we are? Not sure what there ruler is for measuring "interesting" people, but I'd have to say that as many return missionaries who have traveled to other countries and met people from all over the world that has to account for small piece of "interesting" pie. As far as I'm concerned, we've got all kinds of interesting going on as members of the LDS faith. This person must just need to get to know us better.