Well, since then I've changed my mind and come to realise that there are huge advantages to being a Mormon in the UK.
|Leaving the chapel after our wedding.|
Under the medieval coat-dress was
the dress I wore for the Temple sealing.
So whereas US brides and grooms agonise over how to avoid offending their non-LDS family members if they want a Temple wedding, we get to do both. Roderic and I got married in our chapel. My non-LDS Dad walked me down the aisle and we were followed by my bridesmaids, two of whom were Sikh. Our non-LDS families were all in attendance and we had a traditional marriage service including the exchanging of rings. Then we all gathered in the Cultural Hall afterwards for the Reception (wedding breakfast) and early that same evening we and a few ward members travelled to the London Temple for our sealing.
Despite the Church shouting until it's blue in the face that it is politically neutral, most US Mormons seem to be Republican. I think this is a pity because Democrats may turn away the missionaries thinking the gospel doesn't fit in with their leanings, and I would prefer the Church not to be associated with any one party in people's minds.
Well, over here we don't have Republicans or Democrats, and the church really is nothing whatsoever to do with politics which means there is no danger of anyone thinking they need to vote in any way other than according to their conscience.
I have read a couple of blogs recently complaining about the perceived inequality in the youth programmes of the church in the USA. The boys, it seems, have Scouting, with uniforms to wear, fun activity programmes filled with adventure and challenge, all culminating in a well-attended Court of Honour when they earn their Eagle Scout award. Meanwhile the girls have Young Women and Personal Progress, learn to knit baby hats and arrange flowers, and might get to collect a medallion from the Bishop when they complete it.
Well, not so here. The church is not involved in Scouting in the UK (it pulled out of the programme a couple of decades ago in protest at girls being allowed to join) and so the boys have Young Men and Duty to God, which seems almost identical to the programme for their sisters except with more playing of football in the Cultural Hall.
A good friend of mine lived for many years in a small town in central Utah where 95% of the population were active Mormons. Missionary work was a huge challenge for her. She just didn't know anyone who wasn't an active member of the church.
My youngest daughter is the only member of the church in her Junior school, my middle daughter is one of only two members in her Senior school and my eldest daughter is the only member in her college. Less than 10% of the UK population ever goes to any church. Missionary opportunities abound.
So we may have only two LDS bookstores in the entire country, and have to travel extremely long distances to go to Stake Conference, but there are advantages to belonging to what most of my neighbours seem to view as "some weird American sect" outside America.