Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Surprising Definition

So, I'm having trouble sleeping tonight, so I thought I'd finally add to my pathetic blog, as I promised Kristin I would. Here's an experience I had at a conference in Portland a couple of weeks ago:

On the first day of the conference, I saw a girl, a graduate student, from BYU also attending the conference. I went to up to talk to her and we had been chatting for a while when one of the meeting rooms let out and a few of my friends from Rice exited. They saw me, and so came over to chat with us. I introduced the student to my friends. Somehow, we started talking about BYU, and the student said to the group, "I always tell people that even though I go to BYU, I'm not a 'Utah Mormon.'" My Rice friends, of course, had no idea what she meant by that and said so. "They don't know what that means." And so when she was asked what she meant, she stammered out something about drinking caffeine. She had no qualms about drinking caffeine, even though it's not sold on campus, and therefore not a Utah Mormon.

Later I thought about it, and I decided that, unfortunately, just by the way she spoke in that conversation, she most definitely was a "Utah Mormon" (if you will, though I don't really like that term). To me, being a "Utah Mormon" has nothing to do with drinking caffeine or watching R rated movies, or even jogging on Sunday. It means that you have absolutely no idea what it is like to live outside of Utah. Don't you know that outside of Utah, those who are not members of our church, don't really know what a Mormon is? They don't know what we believe, they only have some vague idea that we might have multiple wives or don't smoke. Many people have never met a Mormon. And certainly, they have no idea what it means to be a "Utah Mormon." I think that some one who believes that everyone is familiar with the term "Utah Mormon" is one, by the very definition, no matter what he or she will or will not drink.

For the record, I later asked this student where she was from. Kayesville. That did not surprise me at all.

1 comment:

gretchen said...

Very insightful and true!!!! Some people are sooooo clueless.

Glad you're back in the blogging world, and I'm even more glad that you're coming to Baja. Yea!! :)