An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Nothing in Common

At lunch yesterday, my friend Susa said, “I asked my sister why she has no non-LDS friends. Do you know what she said? ‘I have nothing in common with them.’”

Susa’s sister made the same statement about non-Mormons that I make about women in my ward, “I have nothing in common with them.” And it’s true. Most Mormon women who don’t work outside the home have nothing to talk about except the Church—and their families—which always ties back to the Church.

That’s not limited to my ward. Whenever I meet a Mormon I haven’t seen in several years, the questions is always asked, “What have they got you doing in the Church now?”

Even at some places of work in Utah, Mormons make the Church a main topic of conversation. When I taught elementary school in southeast Salt Lake County, the faculty room conversation was often about the latest Church news. If a non-LDS teacher walked in, the conversation abruptly halted—as if we were talking about her.

I’m not criticizing religious devotion, but should that be a person’s only topic of conversation? Mormons often say they should be, “in the world, but not of the world.” That slogan doesn’t fit those with interests too narrow to include those outside their circle.

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