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.