‘cultural mormonism’ adjusts lifestyle, but maintains labels.
On a night in Manhattan’s upper east side, a group of women gathered to chat. They were sitting in the living room of a comfortable one-bedroom apartment.
“I think of myself as a cultural Mormon,” said Chris clegg, who grew up in the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints. “I do not attend regular church services on Sundays, but I do agree with my mormonism.”
The group is called the feminist family night. This is a speech game. We encourage Mormon families to spend one night at home once a week.
Like Mr Clegg, these women represent a range of beliefs, but they unite in their Mormon background.
“What’s interesting is that I can see the other people who grew up in the Mormon church, no longer participate in or whatever their relationship is, and they have automatic connections,” Mr. Clegg said.
The group started about two years ago in response to some high-profile dismissals-notably Kate Kelly, a feminist in the LDS church.
“I think we had to talk and deal with it,” said ASHLEY grossbeck, who coordinated many of the group meetings. “It’s a safe place to connect to your mormonism.”
The meeting is held monthly, with the number of women ranging from 10 to today, about 20. Occasionally there is a guest speaker, but most of the time, the team members will start the meeting with a brief welcome, and I will jump into the discussion.
Conversations can be very serious sometimes. Like the recent changes in church policy, this policy prevents children from being baptized by gay parents. As a therapist, the change did affect Groesbeck.
“I was still working for the church in November, when the gay members of the church came out with a policy of inclusion or exclusion,” Groesbeck said. “I know I can’t stay. I can’t stand it. I give up.”
Other topics are not so heavy, and may even seem trivial.
“Coffee is a complex relationship,” says Heather McGee Teadoro, 25, who grew up in Utah. She admits she likes coffee and keeps it.
As a teenager, McGee Teadoro left the LDS church and her coffee habits were not a problem, but she recently decided to return. Now, that desire is more problematic.
Traditionally known as “mormonism”, it means you live by these standards. Not doing so will raise questions about your beliefs.
On November 16, 2015, more than 1,000 mormons resigned from the LDS church.
“I felt very conscious when I was holding a cup of iced coffee in my Mormon hands,” said Kate corley, 34, who lives in Manhattan with her husband and three children. “I would feel, you know, I would feel uncomfortable.”
Cowley and her family still pray together, often reading scripture and attending church.
“I feel as we walked the streets in New York City, I have three children are sitting in a baby cart, I look very mormons in the community, there are three children, I may be one million,” she said.
But cowley disagreed with what the church taught. For example, she was deeply disturbed by the fact that women were not appointed to the clergy. Over the past few months, she has become more honest and honest, and has been reluctant to leave her faith.
“I’m determined,” said cowley. “I’m very good at keeping and loving, yes, against me.”
The rest of the feminist family party was liberated by the decision to leave.
Stacy Woodward remembered her pivotal moment. It was Sunday morning. She woke up in time to go to church.
“When I was ready, I had this really clear idea, and the voice in my head said, ‘what is the purpose behind you? Why did you do that? “She said.
Woodward was uncomfortable with her answer.
“I don’t want god to hide my blessings,” she said. “I don’t want to humiliate my esteemed family.”
Woodward allowed her to go away, but she admitted it was not easy.
“I’ve never mastered this course, and I’ve never seen anyone driving this course, it’s a very painful, lonely place,” she said.
It makes sense for Jana Riess, a veteran columnist for religious news services. Rhys is also a Mormon; She converted to church in her twenties, and she was confident in the way the church members expected to live.
“The church certainly has an expected culture,” she said. “when you don’t meet these norms, it can be painful.”
She says religious minorities, such as mormons, believe that it is common for a member to represent the entire church. This creates stress.
“The more orthodox members of this minority faith would say we need boundaries,” says rees. The orthodox members might say, “we need to be more firm about who we are and what we stand for.”
For the past six years, rhys has written about her struggle with mormons in an online column called “Flunking Sainthood”. At first she got a lot from the Mormon readers. Recently, she noticed a shift.
“We’re a little bit more accepting than we were six years ago,” she said. “What we are seeing now may be a larger umbrella, a larger definition of the meaning of mormons.”
For these women, the mormons were unbelieving. It is a family, it is a culture, sometimes it can even look like its own language. Ultimately, it’s about where you come from.