s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: Loner Mormons

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Loner Mormons

So, I had an epiphany the other day, which was this: Some Mormons just don't like living around a bunch of other Mormons.

Now, I've heard enough whining from non-Utahns "forced" to come to BYU that this shouldn't have been a huge realization. And actually, the fact of it wasn't, it was more the reasons behind it that finally clicked into place.

The interesting thing about "Loner Mormons" (as they shall henceforth be known) is that they seem to come from all over the Mormon spectrum.

There are conservative Loner Mormons who like being able to share the gospel with a lot of people and there are liberal Loner Mormons who like living pluralistic communities or in blue states. (Of course, this poses the question of whether such Mormons would be happy living around a bunch of democratic Mormons.)

There are shallow Loner Mormons who like feeling superior to their neighbors and to all of those spoiled Utah Mormons and there are Christlike Loner Mormons who like being a representative of Christ and of the Church, even in very hostile circumstances.

There are Loner Mormons who like the tightknit Church community that springs up in areas where Mormons are in the minority and there are Loner Mormons who really can't stand all of the extra cultural frippery and are happy to avoid it as much as possible.

There are Loner Mormons who like being "the light of the world" and talking about the Church as much as possible and there are Loner Mormons who are very private about their faith and like the freedom to chose to worship as they see fit, without feeling judged by the general community.

Having realized that I am a Loner Mormon of several of the above varieties, I'm left to wonder why anyone isn't one. (Granted, there are also reasons that I'd like to live in Utah, but that's mostly having to do with proximity to family and jobs, and not anything directly correlating to the overabundance of Latter-day Saints.)

So, are you a Loner Mormon or not? And why?


At February 11, 2009 8:41 PM, Blogger Betty Edit said...

I'm a loner Mormon because I'm a) from California, where I was part of a tight-knit group; and b) love Utah, despite the frippery (and that is a lovely use of that lovely word, by the way).

At February 12, 2009 12:31 AM, Blogger Whistler said...

I'm not sure if I'm a loner Mormon or not. There are things I like about living at BYU - walking to church, having friends who can joke about religion, etc. But sometimes it feels like the only way I can stand out is by acting up! Um, the end.

At February 12, 2009 1:53 AM, Blogger Th. said...


I think so, but I've never lived in Maine.

At February 12, 2009 12:51 PM, Blogger Tianna said...

I am not a loner Mormon. Perhaps because I'm a big, fat chicken. Or because that's what I'm used to. Or something. But I would be quite satisfied living in Utah my whole life.

At February 12, 2009 1:22 PM, Blogger Peter said...

Um, is there anything in the middle? Apathetic Mormons, perhaps? I don't really care where I live or the religious concentration where I live. I guess I am more of the do-my-own-thing mindset.

At February 12, 2009 5:32 PM, Blogger Petra said...

On the one hand, if I lived around all Mormons, they'd get my "hiss and a byword" jokes. On the other hand, I'd have to live around all Mormons.

I'd say I'm a Loner Mormon, for lots of those reasons, but that I could survive in Utah...but only by making myself a Loner Mormon in my head. ("I'm so different from all these other Mormons...")

At February 12, 2009 7:16 PM, Blogger Katya said...

Betty, Tianna - I guess I didn't really factor in "you like what you're used to." There's nothing wrong with that (although I am interested in what makes people like something they didn't grow up with).

Whistler - So, your motivation is to "stand out," regardless? ;)

Peter - Of course you can be in the middle! And I'd wager that there are Mormons who prefer various degrees of loner-ness.

Petra - Oh, but that brings me to a completely different theory, which is that all Mormons think they're somehow "different from all these other Mormons."

At February 13, 2009 12:17 PM, Blogger Redoubt said...

I'm a Loner Mormon. I tend to make friends more often with non-Mormons and post-Mormons, and I dislike church and church activities because of the Mormon culture.

At February 13, 2009 3:32 PM, Blogger Zillah said...

i'm a loner mormon, i think mostly because i like the wards outside of utah and because while i can absolutely understand why many people like to live around many mormons for various reasons, it's never been a big deal for me. (i had terrible experiences w/ utah mormons when i moved to utah as a kid, but i'm trying not to let that influence me.)

i'd certainly move back to utah for the scenery and the economy, but not really for the religious aspect. i don't mind living around mormons most of the time, but it's not tremendously important to me.

At February 13, 2009 9:43 PM, Blogger Ginsberg said...

". . .that all Mormons think they're somehow "different from all these other Mormons."

That's what I thought. . . until I met all of you people. And, ironically enough, I had to move to Utah for that to happen.

At February 14, 2009 1:03 PM, Blogger Saule Cogneur said...

I'd say I'm a loner Mormon, but then I realize that I don't like anyone, Mormon and non-Mormon alike.

I think that just makes me a hermit.


Post a Comment

<< Home