As a young child, I grew up LDS in a predominantly LDS community. With that I saw and heard a lot of stereotypes that I have found can be typical for Southern Idaho and Utah including:
- If you are not Mormon, you are not that good
- God blesses active Mormons more than others
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) is the only true church
- God only sends His Holy Spirit to those seeking truth in the Mormon Church
- It is best not to associate with people who are not Mormons because their ways may rub off on you
- God will bless and prosper you if you are an active Mormon more than if you’re not
Although these stereotypes are not good, I found that many Mormons felt this way. As a result, there was a tension between all the other Christian faiths in the region and the LDS church.
When my parents divorced and my mother joined another Christian denomination, the stereotypes I had internalized gradually broke down. We would attend various congregations from a variety of faiths including: Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, and non-denominational. I found that each faith had very good and honest people who believed basically the same things that I had been taught doctrinally in relation to core Christianity.
Later in life, I felt that God led me back to Mormonism, which is where I continue to go today. However, I have some very close family members who continue to attend other faiths and I see God blessing them just as much as me as we both strive to show our love for the Lord in our lives and witness His hand. I feel it a blessing that I have been able to sit in both aisles of Mormonism and mainstream Christianity and as readers of this blog know, I strive to break stereotypes on both sides and build relationships between them.
It is for this reason that I highly recommend the new book called “Tongue of Fire” recently released and written by David McKnight (see image below)
This breaks down stereotypes on both sides of the aisle in a very creative and fun way.
The main character, John, is a Mormon Elder who is asked to preach for a mega-church at the new town he has moved into. The only problem is that he doesn’t tell them he is Mormon and uses the Book of Mormon as his guide to teach his sermons. People start flocking to the new congregation, but as he gains more popularity his relationships with his family deteriorate.
Soon word gets out that he is a Mormon and the Christians who had supported him and loved his sermons stop coming. The stereotypes Christians have against Mormons are addressed in a dramatic way as John’s family is nearly driven out of town.
I won’t spoil the book too much for you, but just believe me when I say that if you were interested in books such as “How Wide the Divide” that addressed the gap between Christians and Mormons in a scholarly way, you will like this book as well. It is fun to read and also very informative on how both Mormons and Christians can work together to reach a common goal.
Click on the image of the book (see above) to order a Kindle or paperback version of the book. It’s well worth the $5-10.