This is the sixth post in my series: Understanding John Dehlin’s Uncorrelated Mormon Movement. This post is not endorsed by John Dehlin and is my own opinion. Uncorrelated Mormons are those who do not believe or who only believe partially in LDS doctrine, or believe in the need for major reform inside the LDS church.
When we (uncorrelated Mormons) do not feel as if the correlated Mormons in our lives understand us, we blame ourselves for not communicating properly, but it is not a communication problem. Correlated Mormons do not understand uncorrelated Mormons because they can not.
This is because “superior” system people are often slow learners and are not very motivated to learn about other systems of belief. Why should they? They’re already in charge (and “right!”).
Since correlated Mormons have been brainwashed by their own system into thinking that they are superior and that they know and understand everything, they assume that they can tell uncorrelated Mormons who they are and what they should do and think. Not only do they assume that they have the right to tell uncorrelated Mormons what to do and think and feel and believe, but also that they are correct in their perceptions of them and expect uncorrelated Mormons to accept whatever they say. (This often includes either a terse reaction with a lot of preaching or an arm around the shoulders with feigned sympathy and understanding- both are patronizing and used to control).
The truth is that correlated Mormons do not know and understand everything.
The message that uncorrelated Mormons receive from correlated Mormons is that they are weak sinners and need assistance. There is no chance for mutual support or mutual respect to grow and flourish in a relationship like this. Both parties suffer. The correlated Mormon doesn’t grow and learn, the uncorrelated Mormon becomes either weak and dependent or angry and alone.
Since many of us uncorrelated Mormons live in a culture where our perceptions are rarely validated – especially not by those who “count” – it is difficult if not impossible to trust ourselves. If our perceptions cannot be validated, then we must be crazy. There must be something wrong with us if we do not accept the common reality of correlated Mormonism.
Only as uncorrelated Mormons have started talking to each other – really talking – have our conclusions about the LDS church received validation. We realize that we have all reached similar conclusions independent of each other. We realize that we are not crazy.
Over time, uncorrelated Mormons become more confident and continue in their journey of self-discovery and definition. They eventually become more joyful beings.
However, too much joy is a threat to the correlated Mormon system, which does it’s best to quell our joy and make us feel guilty about feeling joyful.
There are often times that uncorrelated Mormons get into conflicts with correlated Mormons who try to tell them what to do, or that what they have done is inappropriate. They shush them, excommunicated them, humiliate them, etc.
I believe that it is never inappropriate to get angry about being labeled “inferior” or “wrong”. It is important to be able to express the rage related to the situation.
Many correlated Mormons will say that our anger is wrong or bad (they are only trying to help you, you have no reason to feel that way, why do you let yourself get so upset?)
Uncorrelated Mormons need to have a place where they can express their anger in a safe place, because if they express it in a place where it could be labeled “inappropriate” (such as in church or with an LDS leader or with other correlated Mormon(s)) they could be subjected to an excessive amount of backlash.
This is why there are many LDS online forums and boards (such as New Order Mormons, Post-Mormon and Ex-Mormon) with angry people. They need a safe outlet, so they can continue on with their happy lives.
Meditation and breathing therapy can also help relieve tension and help to forgive.
Correlated Mormons should give uncorrelated Mormons the experience of being accepted as they are.
Once uncorrelated Mormons realize that their own perceptions are not bad, crazy, and so on, their self-esteem increases and they become more willing and able to critique their own perceptions.
Many uncorrelated Mormons who are angry begin to blame. They blame ancestors, parents, the church, culture, friends, spouses, etc. This is just a phase that will pass. They eventually get tired of blaming.
As uncorrelated Mormons confront their anger – especially in a supportive environment with lots of validation, they move on and they start to learn to let go and love again. They usually get the most support from other uncorrelated Mormons, but it would be so great if correlated Mormons would also listen. Uncorrelated Mormons eventually learn to be strong enough not to be defensive. The uncorrelated Mormon will eventually start to see the good in correlated Mormonism and uncorrelated Mormonism.