I was thinking to myself yesterday. I thought "Surely there must have been some unique positive benefit to my membership of the Mormon church?
"So… what was it?" I thought. I could almost hear the sound of the breeze rustling through the trees of my imagination, as I waited for the answer.
Of course, no answer came. Why not? Because there was no unique, positive benefit that I, or anyone else, derived from membership of the Mormon Church.
As a youth in the church, there were no dances, no functions. Sometimes we took part on a road show. But eventually these were stopped. They had an annual stake New Year dance. Which they decided at one point had to finish at 10 pm, which rather did put a dampener on the whole thing, as you could imagine.
Before my parents made me become a Mormon I was a member of the Sea Scouts. When we became Mormons, somehow, I wasn’t a Sea Scout anymore. I was never allowed to go to school discos. It was felt that these weren’t appropriate for a young Mormon. We were supposed to attend nice safe Mormon events instead. Unfortunately there were no Mormon events for local young people, so that was a rather moot point, in reality.
There was a local youth club that was more of an outward bound style club, with trips to mountains, etc., etc. That was deemed "un-Mormon" too. So I never took part in that.
To rub salt in the wounds we had church books and magazines that told us about "cool" things like Mormon Church promoted scouting, etc., but we didn’t get anything like that in the UK, when I was growing up as a Mormon. We went on Father and son camping expeditions. But, in truth, there were only ever two or three of those organised.
What about church dances in our ward? There were only ever two. And I organised both of those, as I was so angry that nobody had organised dances when I was younger, that I decided to organise one. I used part of a redundancy compensation to hire equipment for the disco.
The disco was a great success. The second one was a failure as the Stake president’s first counsellor decided that young people should not waste their time going to dances. His words were: "Those young members who had not gone on a mission should be staying at home studying their scriptures, whilst those who had been on a mission should already be married and at home with their wife!" Weird, or what?
But that was his view. Someone complained to Stake President about him. (not me) And got excommunicated for failing to sustain the brethren, for their pains. His wife left the Mormon Church, too, taking their children with them, so I guess it worked out well for them, in the long run.
So, what about the fact that I do not smoke and me a decent person? Strangely enough, most of my non-Mormon relatives do not smoke and they are all exceedingly nice, decent, honest people. And all this despite the fact that they were never members of the Mormon Church.
Claims by Mormons that they would not be good, decent people had they not been Mormons are the result of cult indoctrination.