Date: November 29, 2017 12:30AM
Ever been to a Mormon New Year's Eve dance? No poppers or noise-makers allowed. Red punch and cookies only. No food, and you get pretty hungry at midnight. At midnight, no one kisses anyone. I went to those for years, with one Mormon boyfriend or another (I was supposed to date only Mormons), and the dances made me sad, wishing I were somewhere else, with someone else.
Still, they were better than that awful New Year's Eve fireside that the Mormons televised from the conference center. They had to literally coerce and round-up bodies to fill that place. It ended up being mostly parents in there.
I don't know about the men, but Mormon women can't let up for a second. When they are sitting down, they have to be working on a craft project, or sewing, or reading the Ensign or the scriptures. They brag about how "productive" they are. They multitask. Anything their children are doing, must be turned to a "teaching opportunity" or an "object lesson."
Mormon philosophy is so opposed to the Eastern philosophies, that believe one should live "in the moment." There is great joy and satisfaction in focusing only on one thing (even if it is your own navel), and being fully in the present. Most problems and worries come from the past or the future.
Even in sacrament meetings, I remember Mormons using their planners and blackberries, before the days of the i-phone. They were making to-do lists, and planning their busy make-work meetings, and carpools for the kids to all the Mormon activities. Yes--none of the activities were ever fun--not for the planners or for the participants.
I love the example of the group cleaning the field. They weren't supposed to have fun--and to do so was being disobedient. When my brother was at BYU, they banned all the fraternity and sorority social clubs, because all they did was have fun, and that was against Mormon standards. Dreary ward "MIA", run by the priesthood, was supposed to take the place of the social clubs. Or else, students could organize "service groups", if they did work for the school or community during the meetings and activities.
Growing up in a Mormon GA family, we were not allowed to laugh at the dinner table. If we did, we were sent up to our room, to go to bed, without any dinner. My brothers would deliberately make me laugh, and not eating dinner gave me stomach aches during the night, causing distress and lack of sleep. I was a very skinny child. Just for laughing!
It's a joyless cult--it comes across in their hymns.