This is the second post in my series: “Understanding John Dehlin’s Uncorrelated Mormon Movement” Again, this is not in any way endorsed by John Dehlin and is my own opinion.
*There is a relationship between accepting and incorporating the correlated Mormon system and personal stress. The stress of having to be innately superior (and humble) at all times is difficult. Those persons who buy into the system the most and work the hardest to become shining examples of what it means tend to become stressed out, overwhelmed and feel that their efforts are never good enough. This can lead to illness, depression and other health problems. This seems to be true for men and women.
This does not need to be so, however. One big problem with the correlated Mormon system is that stress is assumed to be an integral part of the system. If one tries to live up to the myths of the system, then one naturally undergoes a great amount of strain.
One can choose not to live up to these myths. One can choose to remove the causes of stress rather than merely learning to cope with them (pray harder!). The only really effective way to go about doing this is to challenge the myths of the correlated Mormon system and eventually change the system itself. It can be done; in some cases, it is already being done.
By stepping back from the status quo, or the correlated Mormon system we can say, “The correlated Mormon system is only a system. It is not reality. It is not the way the world is.” Unnecessary suffering and a super busy, overwhelming schedule of “requirements” is not necessarily needed.
Uncorrelated Mormons have a new system to communicate. One in which all are free to choose their own service and activity according to their own conscience and without guilt or condemnation and do not require (the overwhelming “to do” list) laid upon correlated Mormons. However, it is difficult to teach a new concept to someone who already “knows it all” (one of the myths of correlated Mormonism).
Some closeted uncorrelated Mormons have not bothered trying to tell others about themselves or their ideas/beliefs. They have just focused on incorporating themselves into the correlated Mormon system because they know they must in order to be accepted and to be acceptable.
There is another myth in correlated Mormonism. It is almost always unspoken but nevertheless present and real. This is that it is possible for one to become “God-like”. If the correlated Mormon system is the only true system, if correlated Mormons (especially males) are innately superior, if they know and understand everything (within the system), and if they can be totally logical, rational and objective, then they can be God – at least, the way the correlated Mormon system defines God. Being a deity is not easy though. In fact, it can be difficult for superior-feeling correlated Mormons to deny their own humanity and fallibility. The desire to control others (even if out of “love”) and to be perfect yourself (overworked) can cause stress and strain. Correlated Mormons who finally achieve such high stature in their own minds can suffer from health issues. In the end, “godhood” can cause unnecessary suffering.
References will be given at the end of the series.