Serious Minds

One of my friends commented he loved a post because of the “loving spirit” with it.

Maybe I’d better put out a notice now for this one. Just know, I don’t write unless I’m told the content. That is why sometimes there are weeks between posts. Actually, that is something I quite like. And while the content is true, it doesn’t make it any easier.

My wife and I went to see the movie called, “The Fighting Preacher” when it came out a while back. We really enjoyed and learned from it.

A month later I had to chance to help my friend drive and we found ourselves in Palmyra, New York. I’d never been there, so he allowed me to take the tours. I was able to only do a few because I recognized “marketing” when thrown in my face.

While in the reconstructed home where Joseph Smith lived when he received the first vision, the missionary had a young teenager in our tour group imagine he had just got up. The host swung the back door open and said something like, “Just imagine you are Joseph Smith and you open the door on that beautiful spring morning and head out to the sacred grove.” We all looked out the door towards the soon to be sacred grove. I believe most were quite moved and impressed.

My only thought was, if I had just got up, I wouldn’t head to the forest, I’d head to the cranny. I don’t know about you, but nature and I like to get together every morning, first thing. Nevertheless, I kept my thoughts to myself so as not to destroy the moment.

There was a bunch of other things the host told us, then he had that same teenager put his forearm up on the fireplace mantel in that contemplative pose we’ve all seen in the painting and pretend to be exhausted after coming in from the first vision. “Hey, mom, come over here and take a picture of your son. I’m sure Joseph stood there and talked to his mother.”

I’d had enough and exited stage right. I’d much preferred, “Here is a replica of the Smith family cabin. The Sacred Grove is out there. Go out there and pray to your Father in Heaven as Joseph did. See you in two hours.”

We also went by the location where the actual fighting preacher had lived for some twenty plus years as a missionary. If you saw the movie or know of the history, the town’s people would not sell to him. He’d have to go to the next town over to get parts for his wagons or farm. They portrayed this on multiple occasions in the movie. Was that meant to help us feel sorry for them because those mean non-Mormons wouldn’t play nice? It also showed how awful they were to his wife and children. This all changed over the several decades and they became beloved members of the community.

I don’t know if that last part was the truth or just script writing, designed to bring up your emotions.

Well, at least we don’t do such things to our neighbors in this day of enlightenment, do we? We wouldn’t do the awful things done to us, would we?

Let’s take a look. Over a decade ago, here in our small town made up of mostly Mormons, I mean Latter-day Saints, I had a woman I know ask if I’d help her bring a LDS woman down from the Logan area that did Preparation Seminars. She had done many dozens all over Utah, mainly for Relief Society meetings. I agreed to help. After all, I had set up many meetings the past two decades before moving here.

I went to a place on State Street that had a large meeting room and chairs and asked to rent it out. I’d previously called his secretary and asked if there were any open dates for the room. She had told me there were no scheduled dates at all, the calendar was completely wide open.

Upon meeting the owner I asked about several dates to hold this meeting for the friend. I informed him what it was and who it was for. I was not involved except to set it up. He told me the dates were taken. I offered several other dates and he said they were also taken.

Being a “bottom line” person I asked him if there were any open dates. He informed me that if I was asking, there were no open dates.

We had a long discussion, all of which I recorded. Here was his bottom line, as I recorded it:

“If I rent to you and the local Mormon community finds out, they will black list me. They will not do business with me if I do business with you.”

Wow, there you go. Just the facts Ma’am. Do I know what the fighting preacher/LDS missionary felt like?

Absolutely. Would my wife and family get to experience similar negativity like what his wife and family experienced? Absolutely.

Only this came from the Mormons.

This isn’t the only time. Local LDS leaders told the missionaries and others to not eat at a restaurant we owned. How do we know? They told us. We actually hired a returned missionary that came up to me after working for three shifts. He told me, “You’re not such a bad guy.” I asked him what he meant. “Well, the local missionaries told me not to work here because you were so evil,” he responded.

These are two of dozens of instances where I felt what the fighting preacher, his wife, and children were shown to feel in the movie.

Times do indeed change. Sometimes not for the better, especially when the persecuted become the persecutors.

Now for the love that people want. I hold no animosity towards these people. That’s it.

Will I do business with them? Not if I can help it. I prefer the ex or Jack Mormons. They seem to be a bit nicer and are not hypocritical, in other words, they seem to be more like true Christians.

Ouch. Does truth sting? People don’t believe this stuff. That is why I recorded so much of it.

A young teenage reader of this blog asked for a clearing. I told him that since he was not considered an adult, he’d need his parents’ permission. They told him “no.” Seems I have been negative towards a certain church we both belong to, so they won’t allow it.

So my question is this: Is telling the truth negative?

Serious minds want to know. I’ve asked my active LDS wife if she has enjoyed how she and the children have been treated. She kind of tears up and doesn’t say much. She is kind, loving and beautiful. Of course there are nice Mormons, I mean Latter-day Saints. They were extremely nice to her while she served as Primary President for nearly five years.

So I will ask you to explain this to me and tell me if truth is being negative?