Exhumator Esoterics

Encyclopedia of Spiritual — Contemporary Mormonism : Latter-day Saints in modern America

The Church At One Hundred And Seventy-Five
Exhumator Esoterics
Exhumator Esoterics





Further difficulty among women lies along the single/married line as the many devoted single women work out their destinies in this married church. They have to make professional decisions while still looking for priesthood holders to marry, hoping to be mothers. More accept the new model of the Mormon single woman who builds a productive life in the professional world rather than languishing in sorrow. This model holds that a woman can thrive and contribute although unmarried, mothering part time. The acceptance of alternative models of the good woman seems obvious to the world at large; within Mormonism it is a breakthrough. As a final stage of assimilation into American life, Mormons are entering the American power structure. Centered and disciplined, devoted to education and self-improvement, Mormons do well in finance, business, and law. Matured by their mission experience, they rise in the nation's institutions. The deepening pool of talent in the professions, the corporations, and the governments sparks occasional concern about a "Mormon Mafia," successful Mormons who offer their fellow believers a leg up.

So far Mormons have shown less interest in philanthropy and community involvement. Mormons have devoted their off-hours and spare money to Church programs, but this pattern may change as they grow in professional influence. More Mormons are moving into performance, scholarship, and the arts. The high level of cultural accomplishment has been virtually eliminated in individual congregations, but drama, dance, and music continue to be valued. In a vital, artistic world, members busily scribble novels, shoot films, and compose and record music in classical and popular genres. Significantly, many do well with the growing Mormonsonly market. Although the Church has not turned out any Shakespeares or Mozarts, there are Scarlattis and Charles Brockden Browns. The arts flourish in Salt Lake City, and Mormons find places in other areas. Concerts, dramas, and art exhibitions by Mormon artists and performers are increasingly common, as are film festivals and pools of artistic patronage. The combination of an encompassing theology and tightly woven community life give Mormons a fundamental confidence that holds up well in emergencies. They come together naturally when disaster strikes. Their belief in the goodness of God enables them to cope with losses. They are a long way, however, from developing the tolerance and sensitivity that Church leaders have been preaching; blunders arise out of the energy the Church generates.

The Church offers its members the opportunity to participate, to organize, to carry out programs, to work together, and to serve and be served in a vital community, all of which brings satisfaction and personal development. The theology provides meaning and direction for life. Lay leadership means that everyone has a place and can be a leader. The prophetic tradition of living leaders who interpret God's will for His children gives confidence about the future. Clear direction comes from the Book of Mormon and other Latter-day scriptures, purporting to be the word of God. The Church's plan of salvation, which spans a premortal world to life beyond the grave, promises eternal relationships and happiness. In times of suffering, Mormons can retreat to their holy places in the temple, leaving their troubles behind. Altogether, the Church produces goodhearted, cheerful people who can be rallied to a good cause. The question is whether these strengths will enable Mormondom to surmount the obstacles it faces in a pluralistic and often hostile world.