Jul 12, 2009

activism and zeal

Looking back over the post I wrote a few days ago, I'm surprised at the bluntness level. Generally I don't say half of what I think or believe, because I know that they are things that *I* know and a lot of the understandings that I have reached aren't even applicable to the next person. For instance, in the example of vegetarianism, I guess there are some mental illnesses that get worse when you don't eat meat. So those people shouldn't try to live a life of vegetarianism. My truth doesn't apply to them.

However, I go back and read it and feel kind of glad I said it. I feel strongly about this not because I think about it a whole heck of a lot (it is a part of my lifestyle, just a piece of what I do every day, like doing laundry) but because it really bothers me that LDS people where I live will turn and tell me that vegetarianism is like unto apostasy.

There are many things that people choose and do that will tick other people off. I love it when I meet someone with strong beliefs and a commitment to those beliefs, even if they are diametrically opposite to mine. I love people who have causes and live according to their consciences and their own understandings that they have reached, and their own inspiration.

If someone believes strongly in non-vegetarianism, and has a lot of passion about the good that the FDA does and the need for the government to suppliment funding for agribusiness to make dairy and meat more affordable to the population, then I applaud that and feel proud to know them. I have friends who believe in gun ownership, for instance, and have been very active in doing it in a responsible way.

What I don't understand or enjoy are those people who feel like anything out of the "norm" or "mainstream" Mormon Culture must be Like Unto Apostasy. I think there is a fine balance that needs to be achieved; I'm not going to stand up and give my testimony on vegetarianism. But I feel like a lot of the people where I live have decided that in order to be righteous they must live according to the axiom "moderation in all things" which to them means don't have strong opinions, or if they are strong, make sure they're mainstream. Don't choose a lifestyle that involves something too different from the norm. Don't get involved too heavily in causes, don't discuss politics.

I have a hard time with that. See, even the phrase, "moderation in all things"... well, it's not in the scriptures. Sorry guys, I've looked long and hard for it. What is in the scriptures? Plenty about Zeal. Plenty about salt losing its savor. Plenty about how we ought not be "lukewarm".

Like I said, there must be a fine balance and I know personally the folly that gospel hobbies can bring. But there ya go, folks... I'm zealous and proud of it. And I'm going to laugh at the next person who says I'm being immoderate because I don't eat very much meat, I have Barack Obama bumper stickers, and I choose to teach my kids at home.

Stress makes me blunter, I think. Countdown on our trip is 5 days. I'll see if I can make it through without irrevocably offending anyone. :)


David L said...



NoSurfGirl said...


A girl called dallan said...

I love what you said about "moderation in all things" not being scriptural. What the scriptures do teach is that it is dangerous to say "all is well in Zion; Zion prospereth and all is well" (see 2 Nephi 28:21). It seems to me that until all is well in Zion, there will be a need for new ideas. Good for you for being an explorer.

Jayne said...

You go, Girl! I'm with you all the way on this one. I must admit, however, that although I have strong feelings about things (http://marlajayne.wordpress.com), it's not that often that I voice them. Even though you're a much younger woman, you've given me a bit of courage today. Who knows? Maybe I'll write something about how I really feel about the numbers of single women having babies.

Putz said...

yes you zare a much YOUNGER WOMAN

Anonymous said...

My dad always told me that the quiet, moderate people are the backbone of civilization: they get up in the morning, go to work, come home, watch a little tv, spend some time with the family, and then get up and do it all over again. They are unsung heroes.

But it's the people who feel zeal and outrage and passion and commitment who make change and progress.

I guess we need both types.


NoSurfGirl said...


that's another great one. thank you so much!