So it’s Friday night. I was supposed to be going out to a dance night at a local hotel with a friend but he got confused over my plans and has now made other arrangements. No problem, I’ve lived alone for a long time so I’m perfectly capable of entertaining myself. I might even go myself and see if I can have a good time with a bunch of strangers.
It’s different now of course, now that I’m a Mormon.
Not so much from the aspect of not drinking; I’ve been T-total before and it never bothered me – well, I kinda missed that part of the night where everyone else starts talking gibberish and I couldn’t join in 🙂 – But not drinking doesn’t bother me.
I’ll digress slightly to say that when I used to drink I could easily consume 3 bottles of strong wine, 6 bottles of beer (ale) and half a bottle of whisky in one sitting. When I tell you I used to drink like that 5 nights of the week every week I think you’ll agree that I know what I’m talking about when I talk about alcohol.
But it’s not the lack of alcohol that’s so different when one’s a Mormon, it’s actually the whole social aspect of mingling with non-Christians who will all be playing the usual, normal games of:
Does he/she fancy me?
Is it ok if I flirt?
Is touching ok?
I know a rude joke about that!
I’ve never been out socially like this as a Mormon and now that I’ve made a covenant (promise) with God to be obedient to His commandments and teachings, I’m not sure how this experience would go.
I’m used to drinking and flirting and letting circumstances take control but now I’ll be on guard to not flirt which as a single guy at a disco may be impossible. I can’t flirt you see because what happens if a woman there likes me and wants to take things further?
Yes, I know it’s ok not to sleep with someone you’ve just met but this goes deeper. First I’d have to decide whether I think she could handle learning about my religious beliefs, in this day and age there is such a stigma attached to being Christian that people usually just don’t want to know let alone accept it as part of their life and in this case I wouldn’t be able to proceed with any kind of relationship until my prospective girlfriend understood what my beliefs mean in that context. I’d have to further explain that I don’t believe any relationship would work unless both parties were committed to the church because my beliefs are not just some little thing I do on Sundays, they’re an integrated part of my and fill most of my thoughts.
In making my covenant with my Almighty Father I’ve promised only to be sexual within a marriage and that marriage would have to have His blessing. Further to this, in LDS (short name for the church), we practice the ancient ordinance (ceremony) of sealing people in the temple for eternity so my marriage would only to be to the one lass I fully believed would be with me for eternity and it would have to be sealed in the Mormon temple, therefore she would need temple approval and thus she too would have to be a Mormon.
So going out to this dance tonight is not quite so simple as it normally would be, especially as temptation would be everywhere.
The thing about is, I love the fact that marriage and sealing for eternity are taken so seriously by LDS. Firstly it is one of our Father’s commandments and further teachings but secondly it brings a really magical and romantic quality to any prospective relationship. The whole idea of falling fully in love with someone because you get to know the real person without that being clouded by how good or bad they are in bed; the idea that eventually your sex life will be blessed but that more importantly, you don’t need it in order to be with your partner in devoted love forever.
But, do you know what? I like to dance and I don’t feel like just sitting in the flat all night by myself. So I think I’ll spruce myself up and go out for a boogie and find out for myself what it’s like to socialise as a Mormon.
Hopefully I’ll be alive tomorrow (not struck down by lightening) and be able to tell you all about it.