This past October I was able to attend General Conference at the Conference Center for the first time in my life. Even while living in Utah I never attended at the Tabernacle. But that was mostly because I didn’t make any attempt to do so. That visit in October was sort of a pilgrimage for me and I was overwhelmed by the experience. It might be difficult to find an experience in our culture that matches the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca but as to our feelings about where we live, I think we all must find our “home” and then make the most of it. Carina, you have obviously done that.]]>
I have met people from all over the world while living here. I love that in my neighborhood we have families from Korea, Japan, Uganda, Brazil, Ecuador, Scotland, and half a dozen other countries.
I love that you don’t have to be scared to send your kid to public school. That my child’s principal will probably not be shot to death or his teachers regularly stabbed (as my husband’s were.)
I’ve never lived any place with a better selection of radio stations. I can choose any cuisine I want for dinner. I can pick up fresh tortillas from Tenoch market, dulce de leche at the Argentinian store, rice noodles and fish sauce from the Asian grocery, or grab a burger from Brand X. I can get fry sauce in a restaurant.
I’ve never been to a monster truck rally or hunted animals. I can’t remember the last time we ate jell-o salad. We don’t own guns but we do own lots of modern art–and we vote blue.
Some of the most amazing people I know have proudly called Provo home. They are educated, involved in community and the world around them. I know as many people who married in their 30s as their teens or 20s. I was married six years without kids and never had a single busybody ask me when we were going to have them. I’ve never had people comment on the fact that we only have one child and are in our 30s. I work outside of the house and so do other moms I know.
I have noticed that people who move to Utah either come with a set of poorly conceived notions of what Utahns are or aren’t, or, come with a set of unrealistic ‘holy’ expectations about the people and culture.
Every place on earth has their judgemental idiots; every location has its bad sides. I’m just so happy that I can recognize the beauty of living here. Utah is what you make of it.
As for Mecca, I might call a general conference or a trip to Temple Square as close to a locational Hajj as we get. I think I will agree with other comments that as a true pilgrimage, a trip to the temple fulfills a pillar of our faith and is closet to a spiritual Hajj.]]>
Modern revelation indicates the center place to be Independence, MO. While we can’t be certain of all things, I for one believe. And I believe it will be quite different than Utah (in general). Specifically, however, I think it will be quite similar to Temple Square, in many regards, in that it will be a *new* place, a place where the arts will flourish (Zion must increase in beauty), where people will be good to each other (Zion must increase in holiness), etc. I can even imagine it becoming a center for everything quintessentially American, as radical a concept as that may seem.
It is difficult to predict, but I do not consider Utah to be Mecca in the long haul. Still, there is the whole Conference thing and Church headquarters. What kind of world event would cause us to uproot and move to Jackson County? I can’t possibly imagine.]]>
What is it about Utah that repels so many of us?
Maybe because both my mom and my sister left the church because of how members treated them while they lived in Utah, while I was away on my mission. Yeah, Utah is not my Mecca. Never will be.]]>
“Imagine,” she said, “finding part of OUR culture, out HERE!!!”
I still laugh when I remember it!]]>