I visited the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (A Mormon church) with my friend Nick who isn’t a Mormon, but had an interest in the religion and decided to come along. The visit was more of a proposition of our stay intentions to explore the religion and the gentlemen whom I spoke to was so understanding and welcoming, my friend Nick even found it strange. The brief conversation was intended to be informational as far as their religious service or meetings go, so that we can attend them in the near future, but the gentlemen seemed to drift away from that and talk about what Mormonism is and the origins of the religion, which I already had a basic understanding of.
He went on to explain the founding of Mormonism which took place in New York in the early 19th century. The religion was founded by a prophet name Joseph Smith who apparently restored the church doctrines. Based on my understanding of what the man told us, the original church of Christ has been modernized based on the retold story of Christ gathered by Joseph Smith himself during a direct interaction with Jesus himself who apparently had a second coming during this time (1820’s). For myself, the story of the origins of Mormonism, like the origins of most religions, is strange and difficult to earnestly believe because of its lack of credibility; however, the sincerity and kind heartedness of the Mormon gentlemen we spoke to struck an interest in me. Apparently Mormons are known, or at least stereotyped, as kind hearted people. He was so genuinely kind that I even felt a bit uncomfortable.I felt like he was proposing a missionary statement. I made it a point that my intention is to explore the religious site and observe. I do appreciate his positive attitude because it makes me feel welcomed, as long as I don’t feel pressured.
The first visit was interesting but not extraordinarily interesting. I didn’t actually go inside the establishment I just spoke outside the doorstep with the gentlemen. I have questions about Mormonism as far as their everyday practices go, and I do want to find answers to those questions on my next visit. My first visit was brief and informational, but didn’t satisfy my curiosity. I will be attending a 70 minute service next Sunday, which apparently is very similar to the Catholic church service. I am excited to take part in service, especially because I expect to be genuinely welcomed and won’t experience the insecurity of feeling judged. My only encounter with the religion was when I watched the satirical Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon” which was absolutely hilarious, and the satirical South Park episode about a Mormon family, written and directed by the same two people that wrote and directed the musical. I hope I can maintain an open mind when exploring the religious site and refrain from having any confirmation biased views on their beliefs and practices, regardless of whether or not I believe in them.