Murbanism (Mormon Urbanism)

5 thoughts on “Murbanism (Mormon Urbanism)”

  1. We lived in Cedar City UT for two years recently. We would never be part of those who run the city, however were always made to feel welcome. About half of Cedar is non-LDS now, mostly from southern California and Vegas.

    LDS has their own welfare system. It pays for medical operations, saves homes from foreclosures. Heard of a guy, middle-aged, not observant LDS at all, needed a heart operation soon or would probably die. Had no insurance. Finally, a non-LDS friend said why don’t you go to your bishop. He did, and the bishop said, we will pay for it.

    I can’t think of any other religion that takes care of their own like that.

  2. I agree tha Mormons are heretics, but as Francis Schaeffer said, “orthodoxy of community ” is as important as orthodoxy of doctrine. And, today, it may have more appeal.

  3. I was thinking about this when reading your prior posts about Sikhs and Hasidic Jews. As a Mormon myself, and one who grew up in the heart of the Jell-O Belt in suburban Utah County, it’s a little disheartening to think that we put up with fragile infrastructure. And we’ll probably get away with it, too, for the reasons you showed above. Our social organizations, especially in these very dense LDS communities, conceal a lot of problems with our car-first insulated neighborhoods.

    It’s funny to me, after returning to Utah after a few years away, to watch my neighbors drive to church. Most neighborhoods along the Wasatch Front have so many church buildings that you’re probably only 1/8 mile from your meeting place. But so many of us drive anyway. To me, it’s really nice to be able to walk to church with my kids after living places where the nearest LDS church was 30 minutes away by car. People are funny, and I guess when you’re trained to drive everywhere, that’s the default.

    There’s an additional downside worth mentioning. If you’re not LDS, and you live in a town like Payson or South Jordan or Lehi, there’s a good chance you’ll get overlooked. This isn’t necessarily through any bad intent; you’re just not in the “system”, so you get forgotten. You’re not on a list of members, we don’t see you every Sunday and say hi, etc. So the neighborhood is great for the in-group, but members of the out-group don’t always benefit. Nobody’s trying to exclude anyone, but that’s often how it shakes out.

    1. Outsiders may be left behind during personal and quotidian difficulties. But the towns as a whole will be stronger and better even for non-Mormons.

      The strength of Mormon communities is that they’re cohesive and very well organized. The weakness is that they tend to be rigidly conformist. I’ll do a post on a single experience I had in Salt Lake that made it clear I could never live there no matter how great the city or people were. Stay tuned.

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