(Note: This post is cross-posted at Into the Hills)
As the election season has hit fever pitch these last couple weeks I find myself singing “This Magic Moment” but swapping it out the words so it goes “This Mormon Moment, so different and so new. . ” and it’s making me a little nostalgic.
Having a Mormon run for president has made this last year a “Mormon Moment”, especially the last two months. With writers from Time magazine to CJane to, well, everyone writing about how Mormons and their relationship with America at large will be forever changed.
To be honest, I don’t know that is true for me. Perhaps on a large scale it has contributed to my mostly non-Mormon neighbors having more working knowledge about Mormons, but it certainly hasn’t changed the relationship between us. Nobody has to come to me with burning questions or looked at me less oddly when I mention the Book of Mormon.
Maybe what it has changed is my view of myself. Regardless of whether or not I tend to lean more Mitt Romney or more Harry Reid with my politics, having prominent Mormons in both parties and having countless articles written about what I believe has caused a shift in my thinking. I’m freer now. I can stop worrying that everyone who hears me say, “I’m a Mormon” is going to think that I’m a member of a cult or repressed or whatever. As this article on CNN illustrates people still have a lot of questions but exactly NONE of them are about whether or not I have horns or if my husband has more than one wife. That’s nice.
I think I have two most memorable moments. One thing I will remember, those Doonesbury strips that mashed-up Mormon missionary pitches with conservative political pitches. Mitt Romney as a missionary in France = politician in the making? It was weird and uncomfortable and startling, but also a nod that maybe we’ve finally arrived.
My best moment to remember, would be the Sunday a few months ago when I was teaching a Sharing Time on the priesthood to our Primary. For some reason the kids were confused about what priesthood power was and a leader (it wasn’t me; I know better!) said something along the lines of “There are different kinds of power. The president of the United States has the power to order around armies and navies, but he can’t bless the sacrament. My own son has more power than him when it comes to spiritual things.” Of course, it only took about two seconds for the oldest kids in the room to bug out their eyes and start yelling, “But HE could!” It was only about 2 more seconds until one part of the room started chanting, “Mitt Romney! Mitt Romney!” and another part, “Obama! Obama!” and even one kid to shout out, “Wait! Mitt Romney’s a MORMON??”
We did eventually get them to calm down and laid out a strict policy of no politics in Primary with the kids, but I will never forget the energy in that room of little kids and how quick they were to jump in with their opinions because it was all, suddenly, so very real for them.
But what about you? How has this Mormon moment changed your relationships, both with your neighbors and the greater culture? What will you remember most?