Mormons bashing on Mormons
This is a topic that has been quite sensitive to me for quite some time. Maybe it’s because I’m naïve to think that it’s just a temporary phenomenon or something that is just applicable to a particular article or post, but I’ve seen it happen to so many people that I know now and in so many different situations that I have now come to realize that it is not a one-time issue.
When critics against the church start trolling or try to hijack a thread, it really doesn’t bother me that much. Mainly because I can understand to some degree their perspective and their motivations and ultimately, the fact that others don’t usually listen to what they are saying anyways. However, it does pain me when I see members attacking other members in such destructive ways and spending so much time and energy criticizing the good intentions and content that other members are producing.
I’ve seen this Mormon on Mormon bashing with messages that had nothing but good intentions such as the Mormon Message video that was released a few months ago. I have seen it on other sites like LDS Living and even with amazing individuals such as Al Carraway who has received some of the nastiest e-mails from members attacking her personal worthiness and example to others. I’ve seen it personally on our own page when people attack us and tell us that we should probably just leave the church because there is nothing wholesome about our site. It happens on our newsfeed, in the various LDS FB groups that we’re a part of and I have seen it in church meetings that we attend.
Most of the time I think to myself, as the meme above so perfectly describes “why are we arguing over this?” Critics will say that Mormons by nature are just this way or that this is a byproduct of Mormon culture. However, taking a look at the bigger picture it’s not a “Mormon” thing, but rather a “Human” thing. This tear-down mentality exists in every aspect of our communities, in entertainment, and our lives. We see it all the time in politics, in interviews and in the comments section of articles. Especially with individuals that we don’t know personally, we have a tendency to be harsher on them then we would of those who we know personally. Even though it’s not simply a “Mormon” thing, I would hope that as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we would hold ourselves to a higher standard. I would hope that we will raise the level of our discourse and improve the way we communicate our ideas or disagreements to others.
You don’t have to agree with the message 100% to see the value of the message. You may not agree fully with the way the message was presented but you can still see the overall point that they are trying to make. As opposed to being so nitpicky as to minor details of a great message, why don’t we try to see the good that we can internalize from it and use it to help improve our own life and those around us? There is so much good that is lost when people just focus on one particular issue within a post/article/video that they may disagree with.
I see much more leniency towards the good messages of other religions than our own sometimes. If we can find the good from a message of another’s religion even though we disagree with them on many other issues, why can’t we find the good from like-minded individuals within our own religion? Even if you don’t agree at all with a message that is produced, why don’t you create and share your own inspirational message to others? As opposed to just focusing on criticizing, why don’t you take the energy that you would have used to argue and make negative statements and turn it into something positive?
It’s hard for me to see individuals who constantly bring down the tremendous efforts of others to do good in this world but yet do nothing of their own accord to do likewise. It’s absolutely ok to disagree or not like the way a particular message is portrayed. We all have different experiences and perspectives that the way we view these messages will not always be the same.
However, instead of trying to tear down the good work of others, why not try to produce our own great content to be shared with the world? If you feel like your viewpoint isn’t being captured, instead of trolling a website, create your own great content that does capture the viewpoint that you feel may be missing.
There’s so much good work that needs to be done and opportunities to help in the world than for us to trivially spend our time and energy on bringing each other down or filling a comment thread with negative comments. We’ve all fallen into this trap at times (myself included) but that doesn’t mean we can’t change to make a much more positive impact on the world around us.