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what would you do?


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#1 Gwen

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:11 AM

Ok so I took my daughter to the library today to get some books and saw a poster..... They are starting a book club to meet once a month. I thought "cool, might be something to consider to get out and meet some ppl".... Then I read the book list.

November's book "Out of Mormonism: A Woman's True Story by Judy Robertson"so I came home and searched the book. Took me to a site to find that the book is written by one of the founders of "Concerned Christians: bringing the biblical Jesus to the Latter-Day Saints"

January's book is "19th Wife by David Ebershoff " Which

combines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a brilliant novel of literary suspense.
It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife.


So what would you do?

Things to keep in mind.....

This is a very small town.

I know many of the ladies at the library (some do know I'm LDS).

I've never attended this book club before so I don't know how many ppl come, what they usually discuss, or how the books are picked.

i don't have problems, i have issues
problems can be fixed, issues you just deal with



"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it.
The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."
-Robert Fulghum


#2 Maureen

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:31 AM

I'd be curious just for curiousity sake. A combination of non-LDS and LDS perspective might make for an interesting book club. M.
I'd rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who - is reaching for a star. I'd rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are. - Milton Berle

Sound, balanced teaching is a must. Our default should be to partake. Our default should be to live in joy, not condemnation. Our default should be to love, not to correct, to encourage, not to criticize. (Quote from prisonchaplain)

#3 Daybreak79

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:53 AM

Have the missionaries attend with you to answer any questions the other ladies will have.

#4 Gwen

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:54 AM

we don't have missionaries....

i don't have problems, i have issues
problems can be fixed, issues you just deal with



"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it.
The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."
-Robert Fulghum


#5 NeuroTypical

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 10:10 AM

Sounds like you need to know if they'd be receptive to hearing the other side of the issue. Most bookclubs don't pick two antimormon books in three months - I'd discover why that is before deciding to join. If you decide to interact with these folks, prepare a bunch of lighthearted and nonoffensive things to say during all the awkward silences. Consider a bunch of conservatives getting together and reading a book about why liberals are all stupid. One liberal is looking at joining the group. It's hard to denegrate people and engage in groupthink bigotry if a representative of the target group is standing there with a polite smile on her face. Good luck! For what it's worth - I pulled it off once. I went to the "Are Mormons Christan" class at our local Mega-church. They were nice people, and we got along fine until I opened my mouth. Then I was politely dis-invited.

Edited by Loudmouth_Mormon, 31 August 2011 - 10:13 AM.

If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack, to sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.

Ohhh....
If I were a rich man...

#6 Gwen

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:32 PM

I figure my options are..... leave it alone and don't think anything else about it. start going now, read the first 2 books, build a repore and then when the anti books come up I might be able to be a voice of the other view of things. Go to the head of the library, who I know fairly well, and ask for more info. Who picks the books, why those two, etc. Leave a polite complaint, possibly getting the list changed. Outcomes of those options.... they sit around and believe the lies and feed eachother in thinking such talk is ok. might actually get them to see things differently. or they get angry and it turns ugly and I end up leaving anyway. They complain that some mormon got the list changed without even joining the group. feeds their fodder and they decide they must be right because there is "something there I don't want them to know". I'm sure there are other options but those come to my mind first. lol I guess what bothers me most is this is my public library, the one I take my kids to story time at, we did the summer reading program, etc. If their church wants to hold anti classes then that is their right, have fun. If they were doing a religious study and one month was about the baptist church written by a baptist and another was about muslim written by a muslim and another lds by an lds. sounds fun. I know they would not be ok with a book by someone from the kkk explaining why dark skin is really inferior. Or something that attacked any other christian religion. Or a book that used the bible to prove why women are subserviant to men. It's just fun to see ppl pick and choose their bigotry.

i don't have problems, i have issues
problems can be fixed, issues you just deal with



"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it.
The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."
-Robert Fulghum


#7 JudoMinja

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 01:03 PM

You could leave it alone and ignore it, or go ahead and go get involved in the discussion. I think those are your best options. Making a complaint and asking to have the books removed doesn't really get much accomplished. Besides, who knows what the thoughts are of the people attending the book club? They're not the ones who pick the books... That does make me think of another option though- you could find out who picks the books and try to have a nice conversation with them to find out why those books were included. Then share your testimony and ask if they want to come to church with you! :)
Bhagavad Gita - “Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he becomes.”

William Shakespeare - “This above all: to thine ownself be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

#8 Guest_gopecon_*

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 01:42 PM

I think the first question to find out is how the books are chosen. If it's the club members, then I'd take the hint that Mormons are not welcome and let it go. If there was a more official person choosing books (someone from the library), then I'd say a complaint of some sort is in order. As Gwen said, they wouldn't sponsor avowed racists who wanted to read Mein Kampf or other racist writings. Heck, the library management may not be that aware of the books that are being discussed there, so a call or letter to them might be in order in either case. I would be very surprised if these books came up innocently. That's not to say that all people who read them are rabid anti-Mormons, but for 2 books to come up in 3 months that are anti...Well lets just say Congress will unanimously agree on a budget before that were to just randomly happen.

#9 rameumptom

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 05:45 AM

Since the book club is being held at the library, on public property, you should discuss with the book club AND the library about what seems to be a discriminatory list of books being read. For example: Why no books that are suspicious of Southern Baptists, Catholics, or Church of Christ? Offer them alternatives to the books they are reading, or ask if you can discuss the issues in the books from an LDS perspective, so they get a balanced approach. If no one is receptive, approach the town council and share with them your concerns that the public library is possibly being used by those seeking religious discrimination. Ask them if there can be a group to monitor which books are read, so that a wide variety are considered. I have no problem with a book club reading such a book. But it should also consider positive writings regarding the LDS Church, as well. Otherwise, they are not getting the full concept behind a book club, which is to read and critique the book. One book is not a problem, but when a couple books show up in succession like this, then it suggests that there is a hidden agenda. In their own homes or at their local church, they can read what they will. But in a public arena, there needs to be a sensitivity towards others in the selections being made.
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#10 Backroads

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 03:03 PM

It would be exceedingly strange for a book club held at a public library to defend apparently bigoted writings without allowing another perspective--and if that's the case, then yes, a complaint is in order. I like Rammy's idea of approaching the town council in such a situation. I am surprised that two such books are showing up on the list so close to each other. That is not very likely to be chance. I do think a little attention should be given to this just because it's so odd. Chances are, it's a group of people who do not think of themselves as being hateful but rather being socially conscious, loving, and standing up against what they believe to be societal evils. In that situation with the benefit of the doubt, they would appreciate another perspective. (Though now I'm also toying with the notion that it could be an actual Mormon suggesting these books and trying to gage reactions. The notion amuses me.)

Edited by Backroads, 01 September 2011 - 03:08 PM.

Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?


#11 Gwen

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 01:39 AM

We are a very small town. Not something an LDS here would do.... and if they did I would know who did it because I know them all. lol I know several of the church's here do anti classes once a year. I'm guessing who ever made the list has read them before as part of that and thought they were good books. The difference is one is a church that has the right to endorse particulars of faith or to not endorse them. I'd never go into their church and complain. But this is the public library, different ball game. They have only announced 6 months of books. 2 are anti, 1 is the boy who went to heaven (which might be fun to read), 1 is fictional about a woman that is kidnapped and has a baby by her captor, and the other 2 are fictional murder mysteries.

i don't have problems, i have issues
problems can be fixed, issues you just deal with



"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it.
The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."
-Robert Fulghum


#12 Spartan117

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 04:06 AM

Contact the Mormon Defense League

Mormon Defense League | Correcting inaccuracies about Mormons and Mormonism

And see if they respond with advice or options for you.

And if it were me personally, I would contact the ACLU. I know there are competing opinions for the organization, but a book club run by a government organization is held to standards no matter how small or how close knit the town is. This sounds like something the ACLU would take interest in, even if it only involved sending some letters. My friend was suspended from a Louisiana public elementary school for 2 weeks during the 90's for refusing to take a free Bible from the Gideons people when they went to her school and handed them out during class. She said "No thanks" and they suspended her. Her Dad contacted the ACLU and filed a lawsuit against the school.

Whoever put that list together should lose their job in a very public manner and it should be well known why. How in the great blue hell someone can go to a public library and organize an anti-Mormon book club (I know I'm reaching with this claim, but whatever. It holds and I'm mad about it) like this baffles and infuriates me.

There is no other group, religious, social or otherwise, that is more publicly acceptable to bash and flat out discriminate against than Latter-day Saints and the church. Persecution is part of the deal, and is a quality of the true church. I get that. I accept that. Mostly. Not so much at this exact moment, but I do get it. Still, I wouldn't lay down for this, and I wouldn't show "tolerance" for it either. And anyone who does is more worthy to be on some "blacklist" or fired from their job than anyone who made a donation to a federally sanctioned voting campaign.

Fun story about me and how I overreact in situations like this, please feel free to ignore ...

I'm a disabled Iraqi war vet and I've played that card and written my state senators before when I've felt I'd been wronged by a company or by a govt organization. Like when Bank of America thought they were entitled to $171.00 of my money in bogus late charges. I sent all my paperwork to the comptroller of currency for the United States of America along with a note letting them know that Bank of America steals money from disabled veterans. I made sure I wrote that on their complaint form so it would be official. It's a long story, but I had several bank employees who backed up my claim that BoA took money out of my account that they were not entitled to and called it "fees" and no one was able to give it back. Within a week I received a call from the office of the CEO, some public relations weasel, who said he was contacted by the department of treasury about my complaint and as a courtesy was refunding my money. I argued with him for about 20 minutes. He never claimed that BoA was wrong and in fact told me I should be grateful that BoA is as generous as they are in refunding my money. My final answer on the subject to him was that BoA had a proven track record of behaving exactly the opposite of how they were now and that if they were as generous as he was claiming, they wouldn't be in business anymore. I also told him the only reason I was getting my money was because the department of treasury reviewed my case and told BoA to pay me, because I was right. This was before I converted to the church and I used much more colorful language than I'm recounting here. I told him he and his company were vampires. Vampires who had made their fortunes by raping poor people out of money they don't have and no matter what he called it or how he dressed it up, Bank of America was giving me my money back because I was right and there was nothing he could do about it.

It's 5am I've yet to go to bed yet and this is why posting while exhausted is never a good choice.

#13 Gwen

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:38 AM

I asked my stake pres and branch pres about it. My stake pres said "Sounds like someone has a pretty strong bias. I've found the best way to alter opinions is through friendship. Good luck" Bp was about the same. lol Called the library, there was a panel of 3 ppl that choose the books. One of those ppl being the director of the library. I first asked if ppl could suggest books and she said yes. After I expressed concern for 2 books being against a particular group she changed her tune, just a little, still polite. Then she said the books were chosen because those are books the patrons of the library are reading, suggested or other book clubs were reading. And without my asking made it clear the list would not be changed over one complaint. I said "I'm not asking you to change it. I just want to understand how these books are chosen and why it's ok to show such bias against any group. It bothers me when I see that as a focus. I would feel the same if it were books against Muslim, blacks, anyone. Is that the image we want for our library?" Her response was that it's an informal group, if you don't want to read a book don't come. The library isn't endorsing anything. "But it's the library's book club isn't it?" "Yes but like I said it's an informal group and you don't have to come. If it's the books I think you are talking about they are true stories" true stories doesn't make them bigoted? Sigh. Only one is true and the other is someone's experience not a representation of an entire group. What bothers me about it is the fact that this one woman didn't just tell her story as her experience, she is also co founder of an anti group (insinuating it's everyone's story). I guess I'm going to book club. Is it bad to show up and observe (only actively participate if needed) the discussion if you didn't read the book? lol

i don't have problems, i have issues
problems can be fixed, issues you just deal with



"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it.
The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."
-Robert Fulghum


#14 beefche

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 11:02 AM

Good luck, Gwen. May I make a suggestion? As you read the book club books, make an effort to read even more from the scriptures and pray more often. In my experience, reading anti books can be very insidious and confusing. There are so many half truths and slightly wrong things that it can be very easy to begin to allow doubts and fears to surface. What helped me was to focus even more on my personal scripture study and prayers.
I say that we need to teach our people to find their answers in the scriptures...But the unfortunate thing is that so many of us are not reading the scriptures. We do not know what is in them, and therefore we speculate about things that we ought to have found in the scriptures themselves. I think that therein is one of our biggest dangers of today."
--President Harold B. Lee, December, 1972

#15 Gwen

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 11:23 AM

That's why I didn't actually want to read them, just show up for the discussion. Not be antagonistic or defensive. Not even overly participate. Be a "shy participant" so to speak and then if the conversation goes in way off directions then I can give my thoughts on what is being said. As I've said, this woman has a right to share her story. What is offensive is that she is sharing her story as though it's also my story and I need saving. I have been honest in my struggles and doubts in the past, some recent past. I think I've come a long way and am much stronger now. I was called last Sunday as the temple prep teacher. I don't need to be playing with garbage (A test from God vs temptation from satan? lol). Just thinking being there as a first hand person that has experienced Mormonism and can give additional perspective they didn't get in the book might be helpful. I think I may go in and personally talk to the director of the library before the first book is read. I spoke with my neighbors about it. They are very strong and faithful ppl but not lds. We have a lot of the same perspective on god though. Always have fun conversations. He said he would "take it as sign from god that he doesn't need to socialize with those ppl. Make a formal complaint and let it go." So I asked him something like "what about denying god's name? Isn't that condemned? Should I be standing up for my testimony with this kind of thing?" He paused a moment and then gave me an interesting perspective. He said (not an exact quote lol), "If you were already part of the group. These were ppl you already knew and then these books came up. If they didn't already know your faith then it's time to stand up and speak. Don't deny your god. But that's not the case. This is a group you were thinking about joining. You are looking to become part of something that clearly doesn't want you. Not sure you will gain much by infiltrating."

i don't have problems, i have issues
problems can be fixed, issues you just deal with



"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it.
The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."
-Robert Fulghum


#16 beefche

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 12:01 PM

Very wise neighbor you have, Gwen.
I say that we need to teach our people to find their answers in the scriptures...But the unfortunate thing is that so many of us are not reading the scriptures. We do not know what is in them, and therefore we speculate about things that we ought to have found in the scriptures themselves. I think that therein is one of our biggest dangers of today."
--President Harold B. Lee, December, 1972

#17 Backroads

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 12:12 PM

Extremely wise neighbor. I get the impression the library director was somewhat uncomfortable about the conversation. It wasn't a cop-out reply, exactly; but I think you may have made her think more than she wanted.

Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?


#18 Maureen

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 01:34 PM

Gwen, even if you want to be an observer, I would still read the books. Know what's being discussed and then if you wish to participate you can with knowledge of what's being discussed. You can have your say. And to test where some of these book readers are coming from you can suggest a book like Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion - just to see how open minded they are. Depending on how they react to your suggestion will give you an idea if you wish to keep participating or not. M.
I'd rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who - is reaching for a star. I'd rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has was once an are. - Milton Berle

Sound, balanced teaching is a must. Our default should be to partake. Our default should be to live in joy, not condemnation. Our default should be to love, not to correct, to encourage, not to criticize. (Quote from prisonchaplain)

#19 Spartan117

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 03:50 PM

Gwen, I will gladly go with you to this library and cause a huge scene if you'd like.

#20 Gwen

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 06:09 PM

Gwen, I will gladly go with you to this library and cause a huge scene if you'd like.

lol not sure if I should laugh or thank that post.

i don't have problems, i have issues
problems can be fixed, issues you just deal with



"The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it.
The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be."
-Robert Fulghum





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