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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Letter to My Non-Mormon Friends

by A-Dub:

Dear MMM Readers - I was too chicken to post this on Facebook.


Dear Non-Mormon Friend,

You probably know that I'm a Mormon. What you may not know is that I want to share my religion with you really badly. Not because we want your tithing money. Not because people will think I'm cool. And not because we have a quota we're trying to fill. Being a Mormon and a follower of Christ helps me be happy and I think it would increase your happiness as well. It's really something that I want to share with other people, but it's genuinely difficult sometimes.

You see, to me, sharing my religious beliefs is like a guy who is eating a really, really great piece of pie at a party. I mean, amazing, knee-buckling, you-have-try this kind of pie. And he goes around to people at the party, fork in hand, offering it to them: "Holy crap! This pie is amazing! Take a bite!"  And then he tries to feed it too you. Yes, it could be that you love the pie too and that one bite begins a life-long love affair with the best thing you've ever eaten. But it's weird that I'm trying to feed it to you. So I try and think of lots of ways that I can get you to try the pie, without it being weird. But I'm still a little socially awkward.

So often, because of the pie thing, I don't share my religion with you ... mainly because I am a chicken. Here are some examples:
  • I'd like to give you a copy of The Book of Mormon, but I'm afraid you'll feel like I just gave you homework. And afterwards you'll avoid me because you don't want to have to admit that you didn't read it when I invariably ask you about it.
  • I'd like to post Mormon stuff on Facebook, but I think you won't read it or will be annoyed by the fact that I'm shoving my religion down your throat. Plus, I'm afraid someone will make a misinformed comment about some Mormon belief and then I'll get sucked into a comment war.
  • I'd like to invite you to church, but I'm afraid that the three hour commitment will be ridiculously too long for you. And that if you come, someone will say something really strange that makes us all cringe, but you'll think we all think it was normal, thus making you think that we're all like that one weird guy. And that we'll sing a hymn called "In Our Lovely Deseret" and you'll think "Why do they despise tea and coffee?"
  • I'd like to invite you to a church activity, but I'm afraid that if I do, you'll either say 'no' and then avoid me so I won't do it in the future, or go to the activity out of guilt and then avoid me so I won't do it in the future. And that the food will suck and you'll think Mormons can't cook.
  • I'd like to invite you over for Family Night, but I'm afraid that you'll be too bored and that you'll think we're strange because we sing "Nephi's Courage" as the opening song every week. And that we sing an opening song at all.
  • I'd like to invite you over for dinner when the missionaries are at our house, but I'm afraid you'll feel like I'm ambushing you and that the missionaries will be too gung-ho and invite you to be baptized during dessert. But that if I tell you they're coming in advance, you'll say 'no.'
Those are my chicken excuses. So when I do finally work up the courage to do one of the above, just remember that I'm doing it because I want to share something with you that's important and special to me. And I think it's something worth trying – you might like it. And it's very much okay for you to say 'no' to me without any repercussions on our friendship. I'm sorry if I tried to feed you the pie – that wasn't my intent.

If my fears come true and one of the things above actually does happen, don't think poorly of me. Know that I had the best of intentions. Also, I may try again at some point ... if that's not cool, just tell me you're not interested, but thank me for thinking so highly of you. Because I do – that's why I shared my beliefs with you at all.

Your Chicken Mormon Friend

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A-Dub currently lives in Portland, Oregon, but grew up in the Midwest. After a mission to Argentina and a degree from BYU, Aaron received an MBA from the University of Washington. Consequently, he is a data-driven corporate sellout who thinks the government should generally mind its own business. A lifelong Mormon and former counselor in a bishopric, Aaron feels that the eccentricities of Mormon culture should be made fun of as much as possible, that the main point of the gospel is to be like Christ and help others, and suspects that – whether openly or covertly – everyone likes Neil Diamond. He and his amazing wife have two boys.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gifImage credit: Thodoris N (used with permission).

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