What kind of Mormon are you-Internet or Chapel? – James Leverich

Stephen WellingtonMormon 20 Comments

Internet MormonsI have to admit sadly if it came to push or shove Mormon Matter opinions and the Internet in the main override what information I would receive from a member of my congregation. Primarily because it’s a collective think tank that has looked at it from different angles and in more depth.

Since Mormon Stories, Mormon Matters, For those who wonder.com and a plethora of others that have come into my view it has significantly changed my insights of what I thought was black and white dramatically.

Cognitive Dissonance: A condition of conflict or anxiety resulting from inconsistency between one’s beliefs and one’s actions, such as opposing the slaughter of animals and eating meat. I personally love cognitive dissonance! It is in fact how real life is and I think the Internet Chapel provides the real life church where thoughts are free and open and you don’t have to hold your opinions back.
Virtual Church: “Don’t act like you haven’t thought about it already.” I have never met any of you personally except for Stephen Wellington and John Dehlin. But I do have daydreams of a Cognitive Dissonance virtual chapel with you guys.

1. I can imagine a well-balanced Bishopric with Stephen Marsh as Bishop
2. Jamie Twyth as first Councillor and no second councillor because were in the church’s small units program.
3. Andrew Ainsworth would screen our talks as the correlation committee and protect us from liable.
4. Bruce Nielson would be the church’s first male primary president.
5. Chris W lobbying the brethren for feminine rights for Mormon women.
6. Christopher Bigelow editor of ward newspaper” Double talk.”
7. Clay Whipkey and Lisa Ray Turner would introduce us to Indie Punk Mormon Hymns.
8. Shawn Larsen Ward employment for disaffected Mormons.
9. John Hamer of course would be ward historian,
10. Hawk Girl Unisex priesthood instructor,
11. Adam F ward psychologist using Buddhist modus operandi.
12. Heather B ward lobbyist Mormons / A New Earth.
13. Jeff Spector Jewish relations / Mormons and co writer with Shawn Larsen famous Mormons with beards.
14. Nick Literski magazine and Clean Flicks rep.
15. Peter Brown boy scout troop leader – but we don’t have any scouts yet.
16. Wade Nelson sabbatical writing Mormon Doctrine 2.
17. Terry Foraker Road show director based on the novel “Leaving the Saints”.
18. KC Kearn ward internet specialist “specializing in monitoring for Strengthen the Church Committee”.
19. John Nilson crisis of faith councillor helping guys like James and Ray when they crash and burn.
20. Stephen Wellington High priest group leader emphasizing service.
21. John Dehlin Gospel Doctrine.

If I left anyone out don’t feel bad you simply weren’t in my daydream!

• Is this an accurate view of us?
• What could have been added?
• Is there a growing trend in our community of Internet Mormons?
• Is your ward or branch as stimulating as the Internet Chapel?

Comments 20

  1. Not sure all the particulars, but I have been thinking it would be fun to have a unisex MP/RS lesson each Sunday in which we discuss that week’s JS lesson with this brain trust. The questions could be the usual questions that are in the lesson plus the “what’s not being said or asked” of each lesson. Frankly, it’s more or less what I’m teaching in RS anyway right now.

    Do I think the discussion here is higher calibre than what I’m getting in church? It depends. I’m getting more intellectual discussion here, although I get some there also. There I’m getting more application-based discussion vs. the “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” rants that our MM discussion sometimes degenerates into. I feel the spirit more there and have more people to my house for dinner. But I consider this group to be like an internet family. I feel like I’ve grown to know people here, and there’s acceptance, too. It’s like MM is a bug zapper, and we are just the sorts of things drawn to it :).

  2. “John Nilson crisis of faith councillor helping guys like James and Ray when they crash and burn.”

    That’s funny – and it means I wouldn’t have a calling. I would sit with my wife, but I’m not sure she would be in the same branch.

    Actually, I’d probably end up where I often have – at the piano/organ.

  3. Honestly, I’m in a wonderful ward right now. I love this forum, but my ward is incredible – and my calling is tremendously fulfilling. I sit each week in different quorums and groups; I get to speak in Sacrament Meetings regularly (even though I’m such a shy person); I get to associate with men and women who are truly inspirational; etc. Again, I love this forum, but my soul needs more than just the steady intellectual stimulation and periodic spiritual insight I get here.

  4. I like the internet. But while I enjoy the stimulation, I don’t find it all that nourishing, spiritually. (With the occasional really notable exception, like the Dark Night post of a couple days back.)

    This will probably sound smarmy – but I’m definitely not an internet Mormon, probably not a chapel Mormon – I’m probably a Temple Mormon.
    That’s the only place in the church I feel totally at home.


  5. “Shawn Larsen Ward employment for disaffected Mormons”

    Sorry, there’s not much of a market out there for disaffected Mormons right now. In a time of recession, they’re always the first feel the pinch 🙂

    Like others, I find the ‘Nacle intellectually satisfying, but I still need the face-to-face closeness that comes with Sunday worship. That said, I very often wish some of my internet brethren and sisters were either teaching the classes I attend, or sitting next to me to hear my witty, oh-so-enlightened commentary (my wife, too, would aprpeciate someone else taking over this job).

  6. The bloggernacle has broadened my gospel horizeons, answered questions I did’t know I had, raised yet other questions I’m still working on, and been stimulating intellectually and spiritually. For all that, it has not replaced my need for fellowship, service, and the sacrament. It is another tool available to grow closer to God. Yet, it also can nourish the seeds of disaffection. As the old knight said near the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, “Choose wisely,” (or words to that effect).

  7. James,

    No offense, but you’re thinking too small. With the daily traffic on this site at 2,500, I’d have Stephen Marsh as our Mormon Matters stake president. Andrew will be my bishop, and John Dehlin is my home teacher and my son’s Primary teacher. Shawn Larsen and Clay Whipkey alternate teaching Gospel Doctrine. Every other position you guys can fill.

  8. 14. Nick Literski magazine and Clean Flicks rep.

    Wow—I get the one calling (magazine rep) that persists despite being made almost completely obsolete by the Internet! LOL!

    As for “Clean Flicks rep,” I wouldn’t be able to handle the more recently-publicized aspects of that calling, such as…ahem….”special” independent film-making (cough).

    On a side note, I’ll bet I’m the only ex-Mo who’s represented in the book you pictured (Mormons on the Internet) as one of the “top-ten Mormon websites.” Ah, the embarassments that printed matter can bring up, years down the road! 😉

  9. For me, this has totally replaced any desire to attend church. I tried to explain to my wife what finding this group of people has meant to me. I explained it like this.

    I’m a republican. For many years, I really didn’t know how to express my feelings, in verbal form about what I thought goverment should run like. When I got into political discussion with people, I got lost and ended up getting pushy in views that were not thought out. I started listening to Limbaugh several years ago and (most of the time) he was able to verbalize my thoughts. I now can state my feelings about what I think goverment should be like. I havn’t listened to him in several years, so I have no idea what the wack-job talks about these days. He’s just some right-wing wacko, right????

    What this space has done has been able to collect thoughts, and obtain verbal explanations for many of the areas in my life that have been in conflict over the past 5-10 years. I’m still making the journey, but this is a great place for me to learn.

    I get NOTHING at church on Sundays. I could be gone for 2 months and I don’t think anyone would know that I was missing. My kids could be gone and no one would check on them. My Bishop is a jerk, (and yes, I have proof, in e-mail as typed letters from him).

    Thanks for being part of such a neat place to hang-out.

  10. GeorgeGT – I’m sorry to hear that about your ward. I have seldom, but unfortunately not never, experienced that. But there is nothing worse than being in a ward where you feel like an outcast with nothing in common with others and no one who understands or values your perspective or cares whether you are there or not. But then again, that’s why there’s constant change in local ward leadership, right? Even if you can’t move, you can always wait them out.

    It makes me giggle that MM was just compared to Rush Limbaugh. C’mon, that’s high comedy!

  11. Irony was my ethics lecture today where someone discovered that “ends justify the means” situational ethics was founded by a Priest whose guiding light was “all you need is love” and whose ethical constructs are being used to justify torture.

  12. Let me shake up those callings a bit:

    Steve Wellington – ward employment specialist
    Steven Marsh – ward mission leader
    Ray – high council
    Jaime & Shawn Larsen – EQ or MP Teachers/rotating
    KC Kern – financial clerk (knows everyone’s business – not sure why I imagine that, but he just seems like that guy)
    Heather B – YW leader (those girls would kick some serious tail!)
    Lisa – YM leader (why not? she’s got cred. they will respect her.)
    Nick – high council (would make it easy to stay awake)
    Bruce N. & Jeff Spector – gospel doctrine (rotating schedule)
    Andrew – bishop with a heart of gold who looks out at us and just chuckles good-naturedly

    I could do the rest, but outta time!

  13. hawkgrrrl, I’m not sure Bro. Wellington could place people into the capitalist grindmill in good conscience. I’d call him to be the Ward’s Voice Crying in the Wilderness.

    Nick would be my Relief Society President.

  14. Hey Hawkgirl
    Thanks for the kind thoughts headed my way. I agree about the seldom ward thing. This is the 1st time I’ve really run across it myself. I think it has caused all the people that I called my friends to move out of the ward. Our family is one of the last remaining from the “olden times”. There really isn’t anyone left that we do anything with. Times will get better. Afterall, the 5 year anniversary for the current Bishop was last month. We can only hope.

    I think you need to have some ward assignments for those that sit out in the hallway during Gospel Doctrine.
    You need to have the person who always seems to bring in the coke cup to Sacrament Meeting.
    Also, based on the other discussion that was had in the last day or so. I think you need someone to play “Friend”.


  15. Ray – that is precisely why I put Steve Wellington in that role! However, did you ever notice that all the jobs they have totally suck? Seriously. So much for nepotism and Amway-like benefits.

    SteveS – Yeah, I just ran out of time. Plus, MM seems a little light on RS types IMHO. We could visit a few other blogs to fill those roles. However, I think we could pull together an awesome activities committee if we tried!

    GeorgeGT – you could make a paper chain to count down to the 5 yr mark! IME, bishoprics and mission presidents rotate between the sweet and sour.

  16. Strengthen the Church Committee? Financial Clerk? “That guy”? ROFLOL!! This is funny!
    Though I somehow see John Dehlin as the Stake President… “presiding” on the stand while snoozing away!
    Anyway, I, along with Steve Wellington, am done with my exams for now, so I’ll kick back into better activity from here on out; sorry I’ve been slacking in my virtual-ward responsibilities. hehe

  17. I’ve been unable to attend church for three years now so the bloggernacle has become my ward and I am so grateful for that.Your insights ,perceptions and experiences are about all I can know in a personal sense of how the church as a culture is growing and my only access to the spiritual experiences of others.That’s how important you are.A ward at my fingertips.

  18. Pingback: Zelophehad’s Daughters | My Nacle Notebook 2008: Funny comments

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