I'm an Anglican Mormon
I used to think that I was Mormon the core. After all, I was born and bred a Mormon and I've done all the good Mormon things. Recently, however, I'm having doubts about my Mormon-ness. I have come to realise that much of my world view comes from other sources. For example, I consider myself a political liberal and I can tell you the day of my conversion to things Left. It was the summer of 2000; I went to my local shop to buy a newspaper and all they had was the Guardian. I had never even picked up the Guardian before having grown up in a Tory home that read only the Telegraph or the Daily Mail. Anyway, that day I read an article about the terrible effects of UN sanctions in Iraq. It was a shock--after all, were not the Iraqis the Bad Guys? Realising that dastardly deeds were being perpetrated by Good Guys (us), my path to questioning the establishment began. Of course, in 2000 the Establishment was the Labour Party, theoretically Left themselves, but if you know anything about British politics you will know that such an idea is laughable.
So, my political philosophy has had little to do with the Church. Indeed, as most Mormons tend to be conservative, I seem to have run counter to my brethren and sisters. That said, I do (like Mormons for Equality and Social Justice), find comfort for my views in the Gospel.
Some of my religious ideas also seem to come from Another Place. (Read my thoughts on the Cross). I consider myself fairly undogmatic and a believer in the inclusive nature of God's love and mercy. Where does this nonsense come from?
In my family, only I and my parents are members of the church. Our family has a Quaker, Anglican, and Methodist heritage, and these other religious streams have been part of my life--no pure Pioneer blood here. Also, I was schooled in Church of England schools. We had a religious assembly every morning and Bible stories every week. Before I learnt the Sacrament Prayer, I knew the Lord's Prayer. Our football coach was the local priest and every Christmas we did a Nativity complete with bewinged angels. Now, in the midst of this I always knew I was a Mormon, and I even got into trouble when smugly telling my teachers that, "angels don't have wings." But I have come to realise that much of this has left an influence on me. At Oxford I remember jokingly saying that we should all come to church in academic robes and say prayers in Latin. I'm only half-joking. I happen to love the Old School Church--when Rebecca and I are on holiday we like to visit the local (non-Mormon) churches. My favourite church service in years was at the magnificent St. David's Cathedral in Wales. So, I'm an Anglican-Mormon. What's to be done?