Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Jack Mormon Coffee Company

I spent last weekend visiting my son in Salt Lake City and we spent Saturday morning at the Mormon Temple. It was my first time in SLC, and I had not realized a trip to the temple carries almost the same significance to Mormons as a pilgrimmage to Mecca for Muslims. Groups of converts from all over the world were walking around the compound and there were numerous wedding parties. It makes sense to a believer; what could be better than getting married on the temple grounds? I found myself gawking like any other tourist at the groups of clean-cut people, men all wearing white shirts and black trousers and many of the women modestly dressed also in black and white. I wanted to take photos (which I didn't because I've never been a camera person), and realized how the Amish must feel in my homeland of Pennsylvania when tourists flock to take pictures of them.

We then walked to a nearby farmers market where along with the fresh produce were dozens of booths of jewelery makers and other crafts. We wanted a cup of coffee, and then noticed the booth with the title The Jack Mormon Coffee Company. As we ordered our coffee I told the hostess that I imagined a lot of out of state visitors did not understand the significance of the name. She said that was correct, and I asked my son if he had ever heard the expression. He had not, and I explained that a Jack Mormon was a non-practicing or ex-Mormon. Mormons are not allowed to drink coffee (unless the reigning Prophet has had a recent revelation of which I am unaware); thus the name The Jack Mormon Coffee Company.

Sunday morning some friends I had known overseas invited us to attend a special church service commemorating 9/11. Their non-Mormon church began only four years ago and now has hundreds of weekly attendees. Many of these are ex-Mormons and they even have special seminars on "Confronting Mormonism with Courage and Compassion".

I find the reasons people leave religions even more interesting than the reasons people convert to them. The reasons people join a religious group are often predictable; they are lonely, going through a difficult period in their lives,  or meet someone from that religion who impresses them. I would guess that ninety percent of the women who convert to Islam did so because of the influence of a Muslim man in their lives. But the reasons people leave religions are fascinating. They all seem to share the commonality of realizing that things they once believed or are commanded to do no longer make sense. As I've noted before, I think that is a good thing.


aemish said...

This might be ironic, but I find myself wondering why I bothered straying from your poignant point of view when I only know I'd be drawn right back to it. Maybe I'll settle in for a nice little nightcap while I catch up on the posts I realize now I missed so much.. I like this Jack Mormon Coffee Company one.

Susanne said...

Interesting! I didn't know the significance of the "Jack Mormon" name before now! I wonder how many Mormons are "born Mormon" thus when they get old enough to choose something else, they leave. I am also fascinated by those who leave faiths. Thanks for sharing this.

Eve said...

Interesting article, thanks for sharing. I know next to nothing about Mormons, I always confuse them with Jehovah's Witnesses and definitely didn't know what Jack Mormon meant. Jack Mormon definitely sounds better than apostate.

Anonymous said...

but is this not something that should be supported across the spectrum of all religions?
the freedom and choice to choose what you believe irrespective of another person's belief or coercion?
in my opinion what you believe should not be restricted unless it endangers others...

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