All it boils down to – Smug Superiority

Through one thing and another, I’ve found myself stuck in LDS meetings for over four hours in the past week or so.  One thing struck me.

It’s all about a sense of smug superiority.

It’s not about the history of the Lamanites, because we can’t even find them anymore according to FAIR, and most members don’t care about them anyway.

It’s not about Joseph Smith Jr.’s actual life, or plate translation techniques, members are willing to say without hesitation that the method of translation doesn’t matter anyway.

It’s not about consent or sexual relationships, as polygamy breaking up families can be shrugged away in an instant.

It isn’t about actual health benefits as coffee has been shown to be beneficial and that hasn’t changed any position by anyone.

It isn’t about doctrine, as many points of doctrine have shifted over the years.

There is one thing that remains:  And that is the feeling that they are right, special and more chosen than people around them.  In fact, sitting in meetings, individuals will tell story after story about how they are more blessed, or self-depricating stories about how they are inferior to all the members around them.

Stories about family members too lazy or dull witted, or misled to be as special as the people sitting there.  Stories about preachers or people with PHD’s too foolish to realize how “True” the religion is.

All of which contribute to this feeling of smug superiority.  A comment that pulls away from that feeling of smug superiority is treated as hostile regardless of its truth, its validity or its relevance.  Keep everyone feeling a little better than their neighbors and the meeting continues fine.  Point out that other humans are decent people too and that members can be shitty and another comment immediately following will return the smug superiority… “We are all flawed, but at least members of this church are trying”, as if the rest of humanity wasn’t trying as hard.

So there, that’s my current evaluation of what the LDS religion is.  After doing my 40 Talks in 40 days and sitting in a meeting, I am convinced the whole thing would fall apart, and that a ward would struggle where the air of smug superiority wasn’t maintained.  Listen to General Conference and see if you can find one talk that doesn’t play to feelings of Smug Superiority.

What’s worse, is that I think that most members refer to that feeling of being slightly better than those around them as “The Spirit” or “The Holy Ghost”.  Anything that detracts from that feeling that they are slightly superior is seen as wickedness, or anti-mormon.

And when your religion is all about being a little better than everyone around you to the point that finding out you have flaws is threatening to a level that one must label it “anti-mormon” and spend hours singing praises to your own beliefs being a bit better than everyone else’s, your religion doesn’t deserve respect.  It doesn’t deserve to be treated on par with other beliefs.  It deserves to be aggressively stamped out.

Because the belief that one is slightly better than everyone else isn’t a virtue that improves the world, but something that drags individuals down and shields them from improvement.

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Last edited by Mithryn on September 28, 2015 at 4:50 pm

6 Responses to All it boils down to – Smug Superiority

  1. Goldarn says:

    “The doctor said he MIGHT never walk again” becomes “the doctor said he WOULD never walk again but we gave him a blessing and now he walks (after several years of therapy).”

    The stories aren’t about “the goodness of God.” The stories are about “God is good to ME.”

    I’m not like the idiots who drifted away into mists of darkness or into the great and spacious building. I’m the guy who is eating the fruit of the tree of righteousness. I’m the guy who made the right decisions. I’m better than you, and if you try to stop my religion from doing anything I want, you’re oppressing me and going against God’s will.

  2. Jewelfox says:

    I think this sounds like a good explanation.

    I’m not sure it’s the “superiority” part that’s as bad as the “smug” part, though. Most people seem to believe themselves to be above average in some way; Mormonism and other conservative ideologies require people to learn defences against empathy, which would otherwise help them see that we’re in this together and no one is better than anyone else.

    It doesn’t help that they’re all so insecure in their beliefs, which makes them get vicious when you challenge them.

  3. Heather says:

    Applause on your church marathon this week. 4 hours in church meetings-ghastly!

    When I was an active Mormon, looking back I was ‘smug’ or had a better-than-everyone attitude. I hate to admit I was like that, but the church breeds this kind of behavior. When you’re taught from nursery to 90 years old that YOU are the chosen people, that God loves THIS church more than any other one- how can you not feel smug?

    One of the most humbling times in my life was when I realized the church wasn’t what it claimed. That ‘ah-ha’ moment turned to “oh shit. I’ve been wrong my enter life.” I admit I was an asshole, but hopefully I’m doing better.

    • Mithryn says:

      “One of the most humbling times in my life was when I realized the church wasn’t what it claimed. That ‘ah-ha’ moment turned to “oh shit. I’ve been wrong my enter life.” I admit I was an asshole, but hopefully I’m doing better.”

      Same here.

  4. ALR says:

    I stumbled onto this site when looking for additional information and background re LDS church members who wear an attitude of superiority. I don’t see this superiority as a universal trait of members in general and I don’t see its predominance in any certain segment of the church. I’ve encountered self righteous controlling bishops and stake presidents and I’ve encountered extremely humble church leaders at all levels to include youth leaders, teachers etc. And, I see this same attitudinal variance in people and organizations outside the church as well. Could it be because we are all imperfect humans? I don’t blame the church for the attitudes of some members. I do wish that certain church members could see the follie in their actions and make an adjustment that would better represent the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m human, I judge fellow members who are in public eye. Example: I see Jeff Flake as a person who puts on an aire of moral superiority as he navigates the political landscape. I would prefer that he be more understanding of people to include president Trump. I have learned to see the good in Trump…and not to put him down because he lacks the religious training and knowledge that makes a person like Jeff Flake view himself as superior.

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