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Apr. 19th, 2012 at 12:35 pm
I don’t think we realize how different our faith is between generations until we’re staring straight at it, and even then we’re searching for the familiarities of our own.
As a gift from a dear stranger, I’ve been reading The Book of Mormon Girl and find myself realizing why all the craziness I learned at church growing up was taught as the word of God despite the contradictory terms frequently used. I pick up on things here and there that are the same—white bread and water for sacrament—which remind me of what I’m reading, but the vast majority of it is different—obsession with doomsday, face cards are evil, something about a planet named Kolob. Luckily by chapter 3 I finally realized I wasn’t reading about my church, I was reading about my mother’s.
She lived in the generation of Marie Osmond; I live in the generation that she’s an afterthought. My daughter Eleanor will probably never hear of her except in announcement of death. I know of no one my age who is obsessed with the end of times or really understands this thing called Kolob, but for my mother and grandmother they seem abundant and Kolob is common knowledge.
My husband, who is a convert, will never know the church my parents know; just like how my daughter will never know the church they know either thanks to the dying-off that usually occurs. They may all know of the myths that survive generations—caffeine, chosen for these last days—but they won’t know going to church multiple times in the week to learn what we do in a day. I don’t even know that.
At the same time, my parents will never know the church I was raised in—as they’re busy looking for familiarity in the sea of difference. I of course will follow suit if life leads me in the same direction of faith.
I’m certain for a generation everything listed in the Book of Mormon Musical song called “I Believe” was true and preached as the word of God. For my generation, almost everything listed in the same song is foreign and brushed off as a silly folklore our grandparents shared.
What things have changed between your generation and your children’s? What has gone for worse and others for better? Will we recognize our own theology 10 generations from now?