Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I have watched the PBS documentary "The Mormons" with great interest, curious at how the rest of the world perceives my religion. I have read blogs debating the validity of this work. I have listened to arguments on the radio about whether or not there is an accurate portrayal in the media of the things that are dear and sacred to me.

I hope that this will open dialogue between those who are curious and their LDS friends. While there were things said in a positive light there were other things that most active LDS members would raise an eyebrow at. As one person posted, "So this is what my nonmember friends and family think of my religion? No wonder they think we are peculiar." I welcome all conversation, but I take offense at an assumption that has been made. One that appears to be widely believed:

I have not, nor have I ever, been treated like a second class citizen as a wife and mother who belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I am an equal partner with my husband. He treats me with respect. Our decisions are made together.

I am a stay-at-home mom because I choose to be. This choice was made by understanding what is best for my family. This does not mean that I know what is best for your family. I have the most difficult and rewarding job on this earth. I do not need to find my identity outside of my title as "Mom". As a mother, my dreams and goals will affect everyone around me. Other dreams and goals pre-motherhood have not been squashed. They have been set aside for more important work and will resume at a later date.

Thanks for tuning in. I'm getting off the soapbox now.


Soozcat said...

I saw only most of the second half of this, not the first. From what I did see, I'd have to say that the producer tried to be as fair and even-handed as possible. She is looking at the faith from the outside, so there were bound to be some distortions, but she made a real effort to be thoughtful and respectful in creating a portrait of Mormonism.

There were a few things I sighed at because they were not touched on--for instance, the segment regarding baptism for the dead would, I think, have made much more sense if someone had bothered to explain our belief that proxy baptisms--or any other proxy work--must be accepted by the person for whom they were done in order to be valid. We don't believe anyone is going to be "forced into being a Mormon," here or in the world to come. That would be horribly unfair. We do this work as an offering, and like any offering it has the potential to be accepted or rejected, as the recipient sees fit.

Missing information such as that was of some concern to me, but I suppose that's fodder for discussion if my friends ask me about the show and how accurate I thought it was.

Scarehaircare said...

I agree with you on what was or was not included in the docuemntary. I do not find fault with it as it does promote dialogue. What I do find fault with is the blogs from highly intelligent professional women (see Newsweek's On Faith, specifically Susan Jacoby's "Mormons: Time Sanctifies Everything") that assume that because I am a Mormon SAHM I am surely a second class citizen.

I must say that some of the responses have been wonderful. Check out "Sulayman Hyang's "Role Models for Religous Minorities".