Social life

(also see “Community” and “Social pressure / superficiality”)

 

Pros of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
The church provides an instant community that is easy to plug into, no matter where you are in the world. This community provides a valuable network and support group. Friendships that share the common interest and bond of a deep-rooted faith in God and the restoration of the gospel flourish with a special bond that isn’t felt with other relationships.
The church provides an instant community that is easy to plug into, no matter where you are in the world. This community provides a valuable network and support group. Some nonbelievers who leave Mormonism find it difficult to make friends and miss the community that Mormonism provided.
 
Cons of Mormonism from the perspective of the
Believer
Nonbeliever
Although activity in the church leads to many pleasant social interactions, it also inevitably leads to unpleasant associations with imperfect and annoying people. For many believers, however, this is ultimately a pro, as it leads to patience and long suffering and becoming like Christ.
Although activity in the church leads to many pleasant social interactions, it also inevitably leads to unpleasant associations with imperfect and annoying people.
 
The church forces associations and friendships that often would otherwise not occur. It is true that these otherwise unexpected friendships can be enjoyable and beneficial. However, it is also true that many of these friendships are shallow and only share the bond of faith and church attendance. Many nonbelievers notice that these friendships are strained or disappear entirely when one member of the friendship loses faith or stops attending church. Many individuals who lose their faith suddenly discover that they have no friends and limited ability to make friends. In some instances, this is because the church influenced them to make very different life choices than the rest of the world. For instance, I am a 29 year old doctor with 3 kids, which means I have less in common with my colleagues than I probably otherwise would have had. I don’t know a single professional my age with 3 or more kids who is not Mormon.
 
The opportunity cost of time in the church and many of the shallow friendships it provides includes less time and opportunity to develop better friends with more common interests elsewhere. The church also makes many Mormons more socially awkward and less likely to have the ability to make good friends outside of Mormonism. The ability to be at ease with others swearing, drinking coffee and alcohol, wearing revealing clothing, and talking about sex allows for improved social interactions. 

 

Comments relating to your lived experience with Mormonism are welcome. Although it can be difficult to distinguish at times, please focus on how the church helps and harms rather than it being true vs untrue.

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