In high school, one of my favorite teachers—a dynamic woman and a wonderful mentor—told me something that has stuck with me for years. After all the students she had worked with over her years in public education, she had noticed a pattern. Knowing that I was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one day she said to me, “If I had a child, I would raise them Mormon.” She elaborated that the Mormon kids consistently stuck out in her classes. They were morally upstanding, kind, good students, and good citizens. So much so that she thought the Mormon method, so to speak, was the best recipe for success in parenting.
Certainly, there are exceptions to every rule, but her comment meant a lot to me and I believe that she had the advantage of a unique perspective on the community, being a public school teacher by profession. (For those that are curious, I went to high school in Southern California. My school was ethnically diverse. I would estimate the student body was 35% Buddhist, 30% Christian, 20% Hindu or Muslim, 10% Atheist and 5% Catholic. In a school of about 2,500 students, there were roughly 15 Mormon kids.)
So, why did I share this? Well, in my Why I’m a Mormon section I state my experience that being Mormon is a beautiful way to live. I wanted to establish that I am not the only one who feels that way. (smile) Being Mormon has filled my life with purpose and conviction. I know what I want to do with my life. I feel that I belong. I know who I am. And, I knew it in high school.
The “Mormon method” is to follow the example of Jesus Christ, giving service, kindness, and love unfeigned. It is a wonderful way to live.
Does anyone else out there feel that way? We’d love to hear about it.