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Theocracy in Utah
Posted: 06 December 2008 07:00 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I moved from California to Utah 4 yrs ago.  I’m amazed at how much influence the LDS Church has on state laws.  For instance, it’s a sin to drink alcohol in any form in the LDS religion.  You can’t buy anything but beer in grocery stores here, and the alcohol that is sold, including in bars and clubs, can only be 3.2 percent alcohol.  If you want to buy wine or any other ‘real’ liquor, there are special state run stores in Utah, of which there are only a handful. 

I just moved to Utah County from Salt Lake County, and out here you cannot buy beer on Sundays, even at a nationwide supermarket chain such as Albertson’s! 

But strangely, you can smoke in bars and clubs…

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Posted: 06 December 2008 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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selinakyle - 07 December 2008 12:00 AM

I moved from California to Utah 4 yrs ago.  I’m amazed at how much influence the LDS Church has on state laws.  For instance, it’s a sin to drink alcohol in any form in the LDS religion.  You can’t buy anything but beer in grocery stores here, and the alcohol that is sold, including in bars and clubs, can only be 3.2 percent alcohol.  If you want to buy wine or any other ‘real’ liquor, there are special state run stores in Utah, of which there are only a handful. 

I just moved to Utah County from Salt Lake County, and out here you cannot buy beer on Sundays, even at a nationwide supermarket chain such as Albertson’s! 

But strangely, you can smoke in bars and clubs…

I grew up in Provo Utah. I was Mormon then and did not think it was weird because it was all I had ever known. I cannot imagine living there, especially Utah County, and not being Mormon. It would be like living on Mars. Do you have any children? If so, be prepared because most Mormons do not like their children associating with infidels in case their kids learn to think for themselves and are led astray.

Good luck? Are you there for a short while or for a long time?

Cindy

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Posted: 06 December 2008 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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CindyJayne - 07 December 2008 12:19 AM
selinakyle - 07 December 2008 12:00 AM

I moved from California to Utah 4 yrs ago.  I’m amazed at how much influence the LDS Church has on state laws.  For instance, it’s a sin to drink alcohol in any form in the LDS religion.  You can’t buy anything but beer in grocery stores here, and the alcohol that is sold, including in bars and clubs, can only be 3.2 percent alcohol.  If you want to buy wine or any other ‘real’ liquor, there are special state run stores in Utah, of which there are only a handful. 

I just moved to Utah County from Salt Lake County, and out here you cannot buy beer on Sundays, even at a nationwide supermarket chain such as Albertson’s! 

But strangely, you can smoke in bars and clubs…

I grew up in Provo Utah. I was Mormon then and did not think it was weird because it was all I had ever known. I cannot imagine living there, especially Utah County, and not being Mormon. It would be like living on Mars. Do you have any children? If so, be prepared because most Mormons do not like their children associating with infidels in case their kids learn to think for themselves and are led astray.

Good luck? Are you there for a short while or for a long time?

Cindy

Hi Cindy,
It’s until I can afford to move back to CA, which I don’t think will be happening for a while. 

My older brother lives here and (he converted to the Mormon Church when he was about 17) and he convinced me and my parents to move out here because the cost of living is so much better than California.  I don’t have kids…everywhere you look here there are women who are pushing strollers while pregnant with about two or three other young children in tow.  My brother has three kids and he and his wife were trying for another but she miscarried.  They decided to not try for more.  I don’t know what the quota is, I know women are looked down on for not having over a certain amount.  I hope three is enough to keep my sister-in-law from feeling like a failure.

Downtown Salt Lake is my only refuge, I go there as often as I can.  I had to drive downtown to see the movie Milk yesterday because the owner of Cinemark Theaters refuses to show it out here (he financially contributed to the anti-gay marriage initiative in CA).

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Posted: 07 December 2008 01:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Great green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts, minced up monkey meat, iddy bitty birdie feet… damn I forgot my spoon! And that about wraps up Utah County aye, salina?

How old are you?

I too grew up in Utah… SLC to be specific (and in a mormon household). Very beautiful place and the cost of living is more reasonable, but it’s not worth the price imo. And yes, you are correct oh great one, the church has much say in the political arena… but there are places where you can meet sane, rational people… watch out for the “jack mormons” they always overdo it on the drinking.

I would recommend going to the University of Utah and getting a place in the downtown area as soon as possible.

Your brother and his wife will do anything they can to keep you there and to convert you—so you too will be one of the stroller pushers—even if they seem nice as apple pie and pretend to have total control of their lives and the cornerstone on truth, they don’t. They merely want you to share in their delusion. 

Welcome to the forum and PM me if you want ideas on places to go for fun.
ii

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Posted: 07 December 2008 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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selinakyle - 07 December 2008 12:42 AM
CindyJayne - 07 December 2008 12:19 AM
selinakyle - 07 December 2008 12:00 AM

Hi Cindy,
It’s until I can afford to move back to CA, which I don’t think will be happening for a while. 

My older brother lives here and (he converted to the Mormon Church when he was about 17) and he convinced me and my parents to move out here because the cost of living is so much better than California.  I don’t have kids…everywhere you look here there are women who are pushing strollers while pregnant with about two or three other young children in tow.  My brother has three kids and he and his wife were trying for another but she miscarried.  They decided to not try for more.  I don’t know what the quota is, I know women are looked down on for not having over a certain amount.  I hope three is enough to keep my sister-in-law from feeling like a failure.

Downtown Salt Lake is my only refuge, I go there as often as I can.  I had to drive downtown to see the movie Milk yesterday because the owner of Cinemark Theaters refuses to show it out here (he financially contributed to the anti-gay marriage initiative in CA).


My mom had 4 of us but felt she had let down dad and the church for not having more (she was forced to have a hysterectomy) so they adopted my younger brother and sister. My dad came from a Mormon community in Wyoming and a family of 14 kids. All of my uncles have large families.

One of my aunts told my mom once that “having babies was the only way she felt worthy and the only way she would make it to the Celestial Kingdom (Mormon for top tier of Heaven) She kept having babise even though the doctors told her she was damaging her health…..she finally had to stop at 15 kids.

Same goes for me too. Send me a private message if you want to know some great places to visit there and fun things to do. Just think of yourself as living in another country or on another planet and you will do fine.

Cindy

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Posted: 07 December 2008 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Interesting stories. My only connection to Utah is that my brother lived there for four years. It was because of a job. The firm was having lay-offs so he and his wife transferred to Arizona. They like it a lot better. They are Christian, but not Mormon. My sister-in-law told me some stories about her neighbors. She said her women friends were on some kind of drug—anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications. She mentioned the stress the society there puts on women to be the dutiful perfect wives and mothers.

One good things she said was that when one family is in crisis or having some kind of hardship, they all pitch in and help. But she said they tend to be a closed society when it comes to the non-Mormons, as you all have indicated.

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Posted: 07 December 2008 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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rab - 07 December 2008 07:20 PM

Interesting stories. My only connection to Utah is that my brother lived there for four years. It was because of a job. The firm was having lay-offs so he and his wife transferred to Arizona. They like it a lot better. They are Christian, but not Mormon. My sister-in-law told me some stories about her neighbors. She said her women friends were on some kind of drug—anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications. She mentioned the stress the society there puts on women to be the dutiful perfect wives and mothers.

One good things she said was that when one family is in crisis or having some kind of hardship, they all pitch in and help. But she said they tend to be a closed society when it comes to the non-Mormons, as you all have indicated.

I have an ex-brother-in-law who is a doctor and practised in Utah for 4 years. He said it was amazing to him how many Mormon women are on these types of drugs. Not that needing help is wrong but the stree of too many kids, too many meetings, 1/10 of your income going to the church, clothing and food restrictions, preparing family home evening lessons, Sundy School lessons, youth lessons, temple trips, forced geneology and then having to make sure you have food storage and actually learn to cook with it…...whew…..I need something just thinking about how busy being Molly Mormon can be.

I was chronically tired for years and never felt perfect enough. My daughter who is married is Mormon and lives outside SLC in an upscale LDS neighborhood. She says a good portion of the women there get breast implants after they are done having kids so that they can maintain the perfect image they feel they need to have.

Also, one stress on the women is polygamy. It is not practised not but according to Mormon doctrine, in the last days and the Celestial Kingdom (heaven) everyone Mormon will be living in polygamy. This is a HUGE issue with Mormon women who fret about it a lot. It is discussed very emotionally amongst them and I am sure added to their already stressful and busy lives.

Cindy

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Posted: 07 December 2008 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Amazing! I wonder if any of them have said to themselves, Maybe this is all bullshit.

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Posted: 07 December 2008 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Just reading these posts brings back so many memories.  My wife and I lived in Salt Lake City for about 13 years, right around SugarHouse Park, for those of you familiar with the layout of the town.  Having moved back to Texas (which has its own share of theocracy) I can at least go to a grocery store without seeing at least 10-20 pregnant ladies with three to four kids in tow.  I still have to wait until after 12pm on Sunday to buy wine (Texas “Blue Law”) but at least I can get drunk faster than on the alcohol in Utah-allowed proportions.

Yes it was much more tolerable in “cosmopolitan” Salt Lake proper.  We lived a brief time in St. George, which “is not in Kansas anymore…” and got some firsthand look at the polygamy issues and THAT lifestyle.  Wow.  Utah is its own, wild universe.

Good luck.  It’s an amazingly beautiful place and if you can find the right crowd you’ll do well.  And I have to admit with all the quirks, the neighbors were pretty awesome as far as friendly goes.  I mean, they knew I was going to hell, or at least some lower level in the celestial kingdom, but they were nice about it.  Maybe that was just a reflection of the Prozac powder in the air??

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Posted: 07 December 2008 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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JeffP - 07 December 2008 10:13 PM

Just reading these posts brings back so many memories.  My wife and I lived in Salt Lake City for about 13 years, right around SugarHouse Park, for those of you familiar with the layout of the town.  Having moved back to Texas (which has its own share of theocracy) I can at least go to a grocery store without seeing at least 10-20 pregnant ladies with three to four kids in tow.  I still have to wait until after 12pm on Sunday to buy wine (Texas “Blue Law”) but at least I can get drunk faster than on the alcohol in Utah-allowed proportions.

Yes it was much more tolerable in “cosmopolitan” Salt Lake proper.  We lived a brief time in St. George, which “is not in Kansas anymore…” and got some firsthand look at the polygamy issues and THAT lifestyle.  Wow.  Utah is its own, wild universe.

Good luck.  It’s an amazingly beautiful place and if you can find the right crowd you’ll do well.  And I have to admit with all the quirks, the neighbors were pretty awesome as far as friendly goes.  I mean, they knew I was going to hell, or at least some lower level in the celestial kingdom, but they were nice about it.  Maybe that was just a reflection of the Prozac powder in the air??

 

My neighbors are very nice, but I’m not sure they know they have a non-believer in their midst.  My sister-in-law is very nice, I sometimes notice her and her sisters looking rather distant and sad at family gatherings…I don’t know if I’m projecting but it’s something that struck me when I first moved here, before I heard of the studies of women and depression in Utah.  According to a study from CBS News:

Utah leads the nation in prescriptions for anti-depressants, according to a recent study. “The fact that we’re twice the national average with something like anti-depressants begs some explanation,” said Dr. Curt Canning, head of the Psychiatric Association of Utah.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/06/03/eveningnews/main510918.shtml

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Posted: 07 December 2008 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Yes I know (and remember) what you mean about distant stares. 

I am a physician and practiced pediatrics there at Primary Children’s Hospital and with Intermountain Health Care.  Not only anti-depressants, but huge numbers of ADHD stimulants were prescribed at a fairly-high per-capita rate, I thought.  I always wondered if it was a reflection of the general “inattention” that might be inherent in a large, generally distracted family who were doing the best that they could with the church-mandated large family “family forever” organization.

Although the ADHD stimulant solution (as well as childhood antidepressant usage) is a phenomenon going on pretty strongly here in Texas as well.  And I have to confess that with the proper diagnostic tools and correct diagnosis, it works for many of those kids and families amoung other options.

Both of my neurology attendings trained at the “U,” and told me prior to my fellowship training there that depression among women was pretty steep.  I have to confess that working primarily around women, I thought the Utah Mormon women were pretty take-it-on-the-chin people as far as that goes.  If they weren’t pregnant, they were trying, or they were slavishly taking care of the brood that the husband so graciously provided.

Forgive me for my sarcasm, because I developed a whole new level of respect for Utah women after having lived there for awhile.  I don’t at all envy their life choices or their lifestyles.  It’s amazing to me that members of that church would come up with the funding to defeat proposition 8 in California, when their own lifestyles are chaotic and so often defeating.

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Posted: 07 December 2008 07:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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rab - 07 December 2008 08:01 PM

Amazing! I wonder if any of them have said to themselves, Maybe this is all bullshit.

I am sure many of them do, I did. I have a married daughter who lives in SLC who thinks most of it is weird. She has never read the Book of Mormon or the Bible and does not even really know anything about church history. It doesn’t matter because all of her husbands family and even all of his bosses at work are LDS. Her entire neighborhood is LDS and all of her kids friends are LDS.

When you live is Utah being Mormon or even leaving the church if you wanted is entirely different than me deciding to leave the church while I was living here in Oregon.

In Utah it is NOT just a few people you know going to church on Sunday, it is EVERYTHING. It is your neighbors, friends, relatives, family, work, culture, and lifestyle. It would be one thing to move there as a non-member and live amoung them. Ward members would try and be nice to you and fellowship you because they want you to join. BUT, it is an entirely different matter to be LDS and leave the church. If you live in Utah and become an apostate…..you and your kids might as well become lepers.

I remember many woman stressed out to the max and having questions but, if you question too much….the bishop will call you in for a chat and depending on your answers, you could lose your church calling (teaching job) or your temple recommend or even told you could not take the sacrement…..and then, even if no one knew the exact reasons why you were being punished…..they would KNOW you had f—-ed up and not worthy…..then they would stop inviting you to do activities with them and stop letting theyr kids play with your kids…...it is scary.

So, if you are ready for a battle and ready to change everything you have ever known, you need to really prepare yourself for what happens, if not and you are not ready to stand alone, you cave in, take valium, put on a happy face, and pretend you are not getting ready to scream.

Cindy
(sorry for the lengthy disertations, this has touched a nerve because I have been there and have people I know there now)

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Posted: 07 December 2008 08:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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I’d be screwed. My personality doesn’t really give me an option in a situation like that. I’d pretty much have to openly rebel against the bullshit.

I expect that can even get dangerous, though I doubt I’d pose any threat or warrant any real effort along those lines.

Are there modern equivalents of the Danites?

Byron

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Posted: 07 December 2008 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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JeffP - 07 December 2008 11:03 PM

Yes I know (and remember)

Forgive me for my sarcasm, because I developed a whole new level of respect for Utah women after having lived there for awhile.  I don’t at all envy their life choices or their lifestyles.  It’s amazing to me that members of that church would come up with the funding to defeat proposition 8 in California, when their own lifestyles are chaotic and so often defeating.

My parents and I got into an email debate last week about the Mormon opposition to prop 8. It’s interesting becdause Mormons were forced to stop practicing polygamy (which they were not too happy that I pointed out) and in the late 70’s really went all out in making sure the ERA was defeated. They want to pick and choose who gets rights and who doesn’t and then want everyone to stop picking on them.

Cindy

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Posted: 07 December 2008 08:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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SkepticX - 08 December 2008 01:07 AM

I’d be screwed. My personality doesn’t really give me an option in a situation like that. I’d pretty much have to openly rebel against the bullshit.

I expect that can even get dangerous, though I doubt I’d pose any threat or warrant any real effort along those lines.

Are there modern equivalents of the Danites?

Byron

I am not sure about Danites, that would be an interesting study.There are some tales which I believe are true about a Mormon CIA of sorts that spies on members and reports on them. During the years around the whole ERA brouhaha there were many BYU professors who lost their careers over things that were reported that they said or believed.

I could never live there again. After leaving for years and finally getting away, my big mouth would get me in trouble. The dangerous part I think would be losing your family, or kids, or job for speaking out.

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Posted: 07 December 2008 10:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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CindyJayne - 08 December 2008 12:57 AM
rab - 07 December 2008 08:01 PM

Amazing! I wonder if any of them have said to themselves, Maybe this is all bullshit.

I am sure many of them do, I did. I have a married daughter who lives in SLC who thinks most of it is weird. She has never read the Book of Mormon or the Bible and does not even really know anything about church history. It doesn’t matter because all of her husbands family and even all of his bosses at work are LDS. Her entire neighborhood is LDS and all of her kids friends are LDS.

When you live is Utah being Mormon or even leaving the church if you wanted is entirely different than me deciding to leave the church while I was living here in Oregon.

In Utah it is NOT just a few people you know going to church on Sunday, it is EVERYTHING. It is your neighbors, friends, relatives, family, work, culture, and lifestyle. It would be one thing to move there as a non-member and live amoung them. Ward members would try and be nice to you and fellowship you because they want you to join. BUT, it is an entirely different matter to be LDS and leave the church. If you live in Utah and become an apostate…..you and your kids might as well become lepers.

I remember many woman stressed out to the max and having questions but, if you question too much….the bishop will call you in for a chat and depending on your answers, you could lose your church calling (teaching job) or your temple recommend or even told you could not take the sacrement…..and then, even if no one knew the exact reasons why you were being punished…..they would KNOW you had f—-ed up and not worthy…..then they would stop inviting you to do activities with them and stop letting theyr kids play with your kids…...it is scary.

So, if you are ready for a battle and ready to change everything you have ever known, you need to really prepare yourself for what happens, if not and you are not ready to stand alone, you cave in, take valium, put on a happy face, and pretend you are not getting ready to scream.

Cindy
(sorry for the lengthy disertations, this has touched a nerve because I have been there and have people I know there now)

Cindy, I really admire you for being able to be true to yourself, knowing it meant ostracism from family and friends and your community.  That takes a lot of bravery.  I know from my brother and his family how the Church is a part of every aspect of your life in the LDS faith.  We were brought up Greek Orthodox Christian, but Church participation wasn’t mandatory and you could keep up appearances while living your own life quite easily.

My own family was torn apart when my brother converted to the LDS faith.  My mom and dad are/were devout Greek Orthodox Christians and it was devastating to them that their son left the ‘one true church’.  They felt they lost their son forever, and my dad believed that when anything went wrong in his life, God was punishing him for not protecting his son from being led astray.  I even asked our family priest to talk to my dad and convince him that my brother had a mind of his own and that God wouldn’t hold my dad accountable for his desicions, let alone ‘punish’ him, but even the priest couldn’t convince my dad.

He passed away this past June.  It breaks my heart that my dad suffered so much unnecessary guilt, he was a very moral and compassionate man and didn’t deserve to live with that kind of guilt and self-reproach.

It also made my parents much more strict than they had been before my brother’s conversion.  I wasn’t allowed to go to my friend’s parties or stay over at slumber parties, all the normal girl stuff, because my parents were afraid of these non-Greek families would also try to lead me ‘astray’.

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