Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spirituality and boys

I’ve gone back and forth on posting (well, reposting, sort of) this, but i want to get people’s reactions on it.

A couple months ago, Heather the Mama Duk related this story in a comment to a post on this blog:

Not really on your point, but it reminded me of something I found totally weird.

My former visiting teaching companion in my old ward once said she felt people who were given several boys were the more spiritual people in the church. She said that she knew I must be a wonderful person because I have 3 boys. She wasn’t so much because she only had one boy.

Um, yeah. I seriously had no response. Totally speechless. It was the strangest conversation I’ve ever had with another Mormon. I mean, I’d had almost the exact same conversation a few days before with my next door neighbor, but she was Muslim so culturally her point made a lot more sense.

For the record, I do not believe at all that Mormons with lots of boys are any better than those who have lots of girls…or no kids at all.

I’m (re)posting this to find out if anyone out there has had similar experiences, or has heard similar things from other Mormons. Is this widespread and people just don’t say it to my face ’cause i have all daughters (and so therefore must be unspiritual)?* Or is this the sort of thing that comes about ’cause we’re gathering our converts from all the wrong neighborhoods?** Or is this actually an integral part of Mormon doctrine, and i’ve just managed to miss it in my readings of canon over the years?

* I mean, unspiritual for that reason, not for things like that i run a vaguely snarky blog.

** Not that i’d blame relatively-recently-appeared-in-Mormonism social attitudes that are clearly borrowed wholesale from evangelicalism on such things. No, of course not. Never.


Heather the Mama Duk said...

Vaguely snarky?

FWIW, I have only encountered that outright from that one person (who, btw, is a lifer... and someone you know and you kind of grew up with her her son and maybe some daughters... her son was, according to Mommie, one of your tormentors in Scouts... her ex-husband is still in our ward). However, there is a vague "boys are wonderful, how wonderful you have three boys, boys get to hold the priesthood so they are special, blah, blah, blah" thing in general from many people. Most of them are lifers. It actually seems the converts and children of converts tend to be a little more "Girls are awesome, too!"

(On a personal note, a really funny thing is I didn't WANT boys. I wanted all girls. You got that and I got the boys. I love my boys and wouldn't trade them for anything, but if I had been able to pick, I'd've gone all girls.)

David B said...

From your description i can think of three people you might be talking about, but only ’cause i haven’t kept track of who’s gotten divorced or stayed married (or, in many cases, who’s stayed or moved).

Don’t worry, i don’t want to know. (Seriously, i don’t—i’d rather remain blithely unaware next time i visit.)