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Being Non-Mormon in a Mormon World. AKA My SNAP Conference Recap.

You may have seen this post pop up in your feed reader last night and then disappear. It was only published a few minutes when I had second thoughts about making it public. I started questioning my own motive – wondering what exactly I was hoping to accomplish with saying these things. I slept on it, and today, I realize that I simply want to help anyone else who sometimes feels like an outsider in this little community of ours (and maybe connect with them so I don’t feel so alone?). I am not looking for apologies or fist bumps…just an open mind and a listening ear. So certainly feel free to comment (I would LOVE your thoughts!), but please do so in good cheer. This post was not at all meant to offend anyone or make them feel bad – it is simply a description of my own insecurities and feelings. 

Let me start this story with a story.

It was last September, and I was attending my first sewing/blogging conference – Sewing Summit. The conference was held at the Little America in Salt Lake City, and although I was on my “home turf,” I didn’t really know a soul. I felt awkward and nervous, and having my 10-week-old latched to my chest made me feel somewhat stuck in the corner.

So one night, I took the baby home and returned to the hotel for open sew (when everyone gets to try out the sponsor’s sewing machines and just hang out and have fun). I made a space for myself in the hallway and started laying out pieces of a quilt I was working on.

A few minutes later, a lovely woman whom I didn’t know but recognized as one of the teachers, struck up a conversation with me. It started innocently enough, but it quickly turned into a discussion of the role of women in the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Ahem, okay, so I am not Mormon. This conversation was a bit awkward but not unheard of for me since, well, I do live in the LDS Capital of the World. Right? So I kind of went with it even it it was mildly annoying and uninteresting to me. And since I was pretty up on the whole Mormon feminist thing (thanks to my nightly Facebook feed and all my Feminist Mormon Housewives friends), I was able to speak somewhat knowledgeably about the subject (albeit as an outsider).

At some point, however, I felt it dishonest to let this woman go on thinking I was a member of the church. So, I casually said, “I’m not Mormon, but I get what you’re saying.” And what this woman (who I have since come to know, respect and admire) said to me left me speechless:

“Oh, oh, oh, you should meet so-and-so. She’s not Mormon.” And she pointed out a single woman in another corner of the hallway working on her own sewing project.

In that moment, I knew I was an outsider. First of all, the woman with which I was chatting was able to point out ONE PERSON at the conference (although I know there were more – I drank wine with them. WINE!) who “wasn’t Mormon.” And of course, there was the assumption that I was a Mormon to begin with…and THEN the assumption that I would be just like this one non-Mormon, and we should most definitely start a conversation and be BFFs.

Let me again state that the woman that said this to me is someone I now know and consider to be a role model. But I’m using this example to share how I felt in that moment. 

Fast forward a few months to SNAP Conference which was held last weekend at the same hotel, the Little America here in Salt Lake City. I didn’t really know what to expect since SNAP is more blogging-oriented than sewing-oriented, and I imagined that since blogging is more general than sewing there would be a larger variety of people from different geographic locations, faiths and walks of life.

My imagination was just that: imaginary.

Now let me say that NO ONE made me feel this way except myself. NO. ONE. I found everyone I met at SNAP to be lovely, kind and outgoing. The speakers were incredibly inspiring and engaging, and the sponsors and teachers were open and willing to share and help everyone in attendance. But almost all of them were Mormon. Except for, you know, Erica Domesek from P.S. – I Made This who said things like shit and bitch in her presentation. And much to 98% of the room’s dismay, I loved her for that. (Erica, sorry for the crickets! I was laughing on the inside, promise!)

Now I’m not saying we all have to be just alike to be friends. Oh no, not at all! But I do feel somewhat isolated when my entire. instagram. feed. FILLS up with quotes from General Conference every April and October. And the quotes are all written in glittery, curly letters with awesome typography and analog-look photos of the temple behind them. (After all, these are fashion and style bloggers, can I get an amen?!)

But I do wish I didn’t always feel like an outsider during discussions of Family Home Evening activity ideas and disapproval of what’s being taught in Maturation Class (is this a Utah thing?) or what mind-blowing thing the 40th Quorum of the 18th Presidency Counselor (remember: outsider) said last year at Conference.

Because really you guys? I love my Mormon friends. I DO. I have lived within minutes of the Salt Lake City Temple for 7 years now. I own a home here. I am raising my two children here. At least half of my good friends are LDS. I get it. (Sort of.) But I do wish I didn’t feel alone in this little blogosphere sometimes.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this phenomenon – Mormon or non-Mormon.

And in the meantime, I’ll be enjoying my pinot in the hotel bar with my…ahem…two non-Mormon, sewing-blogger

Main post photo: Me with Jenn of AJennuineLife/JennuineDesigns at SNAP Conference 2014

Photo below: Hayley of WelcometotheMouseHouse and Me at SNAP Conference 2014

snap conference 2014

  • jen lat

    Lauren, as another Non-Mormon who attended the first two Sewing Summits, I know exactly how you felt! Luckily I attended both SSs with a fellow friend from Chicago. I met a very nice fellow SSer on the plane, who was the first of many Mormom people I would meet that weekend. I enjoy (love) drinking wine too, especially when I’m out at night and on a small vacay from the demands of motherhood, and was so disappointed when I noticed not many others partaking in drinking. Not that you can’t have fun without a drink or two, but you know…
    Anyway, I so wish we were at the same Sewing Summits so we could have bonded over a glass of wine and our similar experiences! :)

    • Lorie

      You can bond with me over drinks- I love Diet Coke and am up for it anytime! There are TONS of non-Mormon women/bloggers who choose not to drink alcohol but are just as chatty over soda or water. Just sayin’!

      • Lauren Dahl

        Lorie – That sounds awesome! xoxo

    • Lauren Dahl

      Ah yes, the demands of motherhood. Wine is really good for that, right?! ;)

  • Laura

    I completely understand how you feel. I, too, often feel like an outsider in the crafty/DIY blogger world. I am not Mormon, and I am not even religious – so it is like a double whammy for me. I have never felt like anyone has treated me any differently because of it, but I do feel like there are times I just don’t fit in here. I love my Mormon blogging friends, and always feel welcomed by them. I don’t feel like I have been discriminated by any blogger because I am not Mormon. But, I guess I sort of feel left out. So much of what we blog about becomes personal because it is about our families and our homes – and what could be more personal than that? But when your personal/home life looks so different, it can be hard. And on a side note – I was honestly completely surprised alcohol was served at the prom party. Isn’t that so silly that I was so surprised?

    • Lauren Dahl

      You know, I didn’t go to the prom party…just wasn’t my thing…but I heard about that and was also shocked! Maybe I SHOULD have gone??! ;) You are totally right though – it’s my own insecurity. No one has ever really made me feel that way on purpose.

  • Randi

    Totally not mormon here either but I did feel like you did a bit while I was a SNAP, almost like there is an exclusive club I was not apart of. Everyone was AMAZING at SNAP and I didn’t feel excluded, but I know exactly what you mean! Next year, lets be sure to meet up! I can’t drink anymore, but I’ll sit at the bar with you!

    • Lauren Dahl

      It can be a little cliquey for sure…I would LOVE to meet up and have a fun beverage!! xoxo

  • kim Today’s Creative Blog

    Great post…… I’m a non-Mormon with a Mormon sister. I’ve never felt like an outsider really…..but I’m not living there either. I love love love my Mormon friends and as much as I adore them, I don’t think many get how SNAP may feel a bit like “Church Camp” to us non Mormon’s. I’ve been very lucky to not feel like an outsider, but it may be because I’m oblivious. :)

    • Lauren Dahl

      Ha! It DOES feel very much like church camp to us outsiders! Very good way to put it! I dunno…I come from a corporate background…so the 80s parties and dance competitions just feel very…odd…to me. I mean, we would have never done that at, say, a banking conference. And that’s kind of what I was used to in my career. ;)

      • Lori Allred

        I thought the 80s party and prom seemed off. I’ve seen that at scrapbook conferences years ago…but they were paying for the experience of hanging with their friends/roommates and getting a little crazy. It would have stressed me out to not only worry about what to wear to classes but to the dance/prom would have put me over the edge.

    • Lori Allred

      Love you Kim….you would be ONE of the reasons I would go to Snap. But like others have said, I don’t go to bloggers conference for religion. And some of the best times I’ve had at trade shows were hanging at the bar with my drinking friends (me drinking soda of course). But I do know many LDS peeps that wouldn’t every walk into the bar with a friend…which is sad. I loved Lauren’s post and appreciate her sharing it!!

  • Elisha PneumaticAddict

    I’m sorry you felt like such an outsider. I attended SNAP as well, but had a much different experience. I happen to be Mormon, and yes there were several there, but I didn’t feel like it made a difference. I had 4 roommates and none of them were Mormon. We just hung out like friends do and the topic of religion never came up. In fact, there was a pretty long line at the bar Friday night, so I’m pretty sure there were a lot more “non-members” than you thought. You have to keep in mind the where and what. You were at a craft/sewing/blogging conference in Utah. Of course there were a lot of Mormons there! I would be like attending a conference in Vatican city and feeling left out for not being Catholic. Our faith is a life-style, not just something we do on Sundays, so it tends to influence everything about us. All of that being said, you still felt isolated, and that breaks my heart. SNAP was about becoming a better blogger, not to celebrate our “Mormon-ness”. Regardless of your religion, we should all feel like sisters. If I happen to run into you at another conference, we can sit in the cafe while you have wine and we can talk about whatever you want.

    • Lauren Dahl

      Elisha – Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m sure a lot of my isolation was my own fault! I just need to come out of my shell and talk to people more. I just get very introverted in crowds like that, and I worry that people are judging ME moreso than I am judging them. It’s my own hangup. ;)

  • Mae

    Maybe I haven’t noticed this because I’m SO far away from where you live and there are very few mormon’s here – but I had no idea so many bloggers/seamstresses were mormon? I mean, I know a couple but hadn’t really thought about it. In fact, I usually feel a little out of place because I’m not any religion, I’m atheist. So, I can certainly understand how you feel because when you’re in the majority group you usually don’t notice that it’s a big deal- but when you’re not, it seems like it’s really obvious. Glad to hear that everyone was so kind and that you had a wonderful time. I’ve always had good interactions with the LDS ladies I know. :)

    • Lauren Dahl

      Mae – exactly! It’s so obvious to me, but most Mormons don’t notice it. I’m glad you read and commented. Thank you. :)

  • ashley

    I can relate. A little bit of that feeling of being on the outside became more pronounced at SNAP. I think for me it was because I am a little rough around the edges (I didn’t even notice Erica swearing) and I am constantly worried about offending someone unintentionally. Sometimes the successful creative blogging world looks a bit like a sorority full of Mormon sisters from the outside. No worries though we all have our place! Maybe next year we can all get drinks at the hotel bar together!

    • Lauren Dahl

      Yes, I would love that!!! Look me up!! xoxo

  • Charity

    I’m not Mormon either, and I agree! Sometimes it seems like every blogger I meet* is one! They are always nice, but I do feel like an outsider sometimes. *Online… I haven’t met any of my blogging friends in person yet. =)

    • Lauren Dahl

      Charity – agreed! Thank you for reading and commenting. :)

  • Becca of Blue Cricket Design

    Loved reading this post! Thanks for your honesty! I’m a Mormon, don’t blog any more and I went to SNAP! HA!! I spent all weekend in the sewing room and LOVED it non the less! I can totally see how a conference like SNAP oozed LDS-ness but only because of the large concentration of a lot of us in one spot. The creative blogging community seem to be a collection of talented, outgoing individuals who are comfortable being who they are. In this case it just happened to be a lot of LDS in one place. I’m so sorry that made you feel left out. Some of my closest blogging friends aren’t LDS and I was so glad to have SNAP to catch up with them. I try really hard to never make it an “us” and “them” issue! We as a creative community have more in common and that’s what draws us together! I too would sit in the bar with you if we hit it off and had a great connection ( ok, that was weird! But you know what I mean!) And I’m with you… as an LDS member I HATE conference weekend on social media! It’s like everyone is listening to conference with baited breath and on the edge of their seat as they wait for the perfect quote to slap a rhonna design on! Who can get it out there the fastest! SOOOOOOO ANNOYING! High five for this refreshing post! It’s a beautiful and well said reminder!- Becca of Blue Cricket Design

    • Myra

      Oh my word! Your comment about conference weekend, quotes and Rhonna made me LOL….because I’ve had a thought or two along the same lines. I’m not Mormon, but I always find social media interesting on conference weekends. :)

      • Lauren Dahl


    • Lauren Dahl

      I LOL’d about the Rhonna designs thing!!! Hahaha!

    • Kim- TodaysCreativeBlog

      I love you Becca…..but you know that already. I’ve always enjoyed the Conference Weekend Meme’s but always wonder about the social media involvment…..I would think it would be a nice time to unplug and focus on the conference and each other instead of participating in social media.

  • Jen Gallacher

    I think feeling not included is something we all feel at some time. I went alone to SNAP and am a Mormon from Utah, and yet I worried terribly that I wouldn’t fit in. Thankfully I discovered a few friends at the conference, and we certainly don’t all share the same backgrounds or beliefs. I’m glad that they care about me no matter what I believe, or bring to the table. I would hope that I make them feel the same way. We all have something special and beautiful and unique about us. What a waste it would be to miss out on getting to know someone new that could eventually become a great friend no matter our backgrounds. I’m glad you came to my neck of the woods, and I hope that future visits will leave you feeling happy that you came!

    • Lauren Dahl

      Hi there, Jen! Thanks for reading and commenting. I am actually from SLC and love it here – Mormons and all. ;) I just wanted to get some feelings out there.

  • Jennifer Menteer

    I ADORE this post. I’ve thought about writing something similar SO many times and never been able to. I love SNAP and didn’t feel isolated (also LOVED Erica’s “shit-show” Coachella comment), but most of my blogging friends are from out of State, so the isolation sort of tends to happen when they all leave and I’m still here in Salt Lake. I have to admit, I think that I sort of isolate myself sometimes because of my own experiences having grown up Mormon and now being Catholic, I’ve had a lot of times when I feel like sort of the novelty of the group–the token, non-Mormon friend. And I always feel like I have to explain all of my back story. I won’t even get started on how many people tell me they’re “surprised I’m not LDS because I’m so crafty.” I could go on…. Anyway, I TOTALLY get this. I drink, I swear, and sometimes it’s hard to feel like you can be yourself or you belong and I never want to offend anyone. It’s not anything negative towards LDS friends who have never been anything but kind to me, but I think you just don’t really understand unless you’re on the outside. Come sit in the bar with me next year ;) or anytime really! I’m in SLC too!!

    • Lauren Dahl

      You’re TOTALLY right about people not understanding unless they’re on the outside. People that say “it’s not that Mormon” are…um…Mormon. ;) Hehe.

  • Ashlee Prisbrey

    I happen to be LDS and I also happen to live in SLC currently, BUT I grew up outside of UT and I fell completely out of place here in UT most of the time (maybe it’s the purple fauxhawk, or the tattoo, or my more liberal viewpoint). It seems like the mormon expectation is different in UT that it is in other places. I would say most of the people I love to spend time at conferences with aren’t LDS and honestly I doubt many of them know I’m LDS. Why would it come up? Blogging and religion don’t really have anything to do with each other (I also don’t blog or post about being LDS very often). I loved hanging out with the hotel room with my girlfriends who were drinking. It doesn’t bother me that they drink, why would it, so hopefully it doesn’t bother them that i don’t drink!

    • Lauren Dahl

      I think I am just super sensitive to it…and I wanted to let others know who might be feeling the same why I was that they’re not alone!

  • Annika

    This was very interesting to read. I’m German, but have a very good Mormon friend (my former high school exchange partner) who lives close to SLC. I really respect her deep religious belief and that she gets out there and talks about what she beliefs. Nonetheless it sometimes is just too much for me. I especially understand your feelings regarding Mormon pictures. These paintings are so not what i think is beautiful… Regarding blogosphere: Maybe you should try to outreach a little bit, to find blogs in other countries and similar. There are so many non-mormon sewing blogs, you just have to discover them…

    • Lauren Dahl

      Annika, thank you! That is exactly why I wrote this post. It wasn’t to make anyone feel bad; it was simply to find others with whom I can connect. :)

  • Linda Lehn

    Lauren, I too know where you are coming from, at least to a certain extent. However, I am an outsider in a Catholic area instead of a Mormon area. I moved here when my husband and I decided to marry nearly 17 years ago. I have ALWAYS felt like an outsider in our small town. Everyone here knows everyone, they grew up together, they have big families and are usually related to someone that someone else knows… you get the picture. Also, Minnesotans in general are just people who keep to themselves. They are not overly friendly or welcoming. I grew up in Illinois with parents who were southern transplants to the “north”. I grew up in a Baptist church with people who were warm and outgoing and were a bunch of huggers. Most of them were southern transplants, too. Being submerged into a culture which was completely foreign to me has been a struggle. I feel it most during Lent. Fish fries on Fridays are a big thing. Never been to one. LOL. I sometimes feel weird eating a turkey sandwich on Friday during Lent. LOL. So, yeah, I get what you are saying. So, know that you aren’t really alone in how you feel.

    • Lauren Dahl

      Thank you, Linda, for sharing. ;)

  • Renee Hartley

    Wait, you blog and live in Utah, and am not Mormon?!? rare bird :) I also at times feel like the sewing blogging world is dominated by Mormons (or other very religious people), which doesn’t bother me but I did find surprising at first. I do think twice before blogging or instagramming some things for fear of upsetting some Mormon friends or losing them. I’ve tried to let that go, and think – well they might not think my pic about a new brew we made is cool, but I’m not that into their inspirational quote either, so we’re even. I try not to judge and cross my fingers that others are not and that they’re okay with me being real. I definitely think that sewing bloggers are the nicest and most encouraging people and have at times wondered if that is because many are Mormon, but in the end I think it’s just the attitude of sewing bloggers. We all love doing it, sharing about it, and interacting with others interested in it!!!!!

    • Lauren Dahl

      Yes, and I probably should have clarified…I am not religious at all. So you’re right, I really am the odd ball out at these sorts of functions!

  • Shelly Morgan

    Fascinating! Not being a Mormon, nor growing up/living near a large population of Mormon’s I really don’t know anything about the culture. Thanks for the share and your experiences.

    • Lauren Dahl

      Thanks for reading, Shelly. :)

  • Feisty Harriet



    • Lauren Dahl

      Thank you xoxo

  • Girllikethesea

    Wow, pretty brave post! Not that you were offensive at all, but I could imagine that you felt like feathers may be ruffled when you pressed “publish”. It took me probably too long to realize that a lot of the sewing blog world is run by Mormons. I didn’t think much about it till I also saw my Instagram feed fill up with general conference (didn’t even know about it till IG educated me!) or I started realizing that everyone was referring to Heavenly Father etc. I did start to look at myself and wonder if I might be a bit outside the cultural norm of the sewing blogger (not that I’m a Blogger. Just person with blog with friends who Blog). It’s kind of a phenomenon! But hey, the sewing world is dominated by a really nice group of people. Not really a bad thing! I’ll just bring my own wine and coffee if I ever get invited to a blog gathering. Hahaha.

    • Lauren Dahl

      Perfect! I would like to go to this gathering! ;)

  • Melissa

    I am 46 and live in CA. I am LDS. I am surprised you’d do a post about this and border religious discrimination. Your feelings are real and understood by me. But it’s only about religion if you make it about religion. We all want the same things in life.

  • Melissa

    Yes, I’m 46 and old, but is this a bit of religious discrimination? I kinda feel like you’re turning it around. You are not the outsider. It’s only about religion if you make it about religion. You should dwell on what kind of people they are, not if they’ll sit at a bar with you or not. I know plenty of Mormons that will take a drink with you, but if you’ve found the ones that won’t, well, you’re the lucky one.

  • Anneliese

    I showed up at SNAP! by myself with no plan to meet up with anyone and many of the anxieties I remember from highschool! It was the first blogging conference I’ve attended and I wondered if I’d feel at home. I wondered what to wear, if I’d find an open seat next to someone friendly, etc.. Most of the conversations I initiated included some sort of apology that they wouldn’t have heard of my blog and I realized the conversations I overheard were much the same way! I guess what I mean is that there seemed to be an abundance of natural insecurity. I wish they would just assign all the seats at meals and break apart the groups that seem to naturally form. I thought everyone was friendly but many times I felt the person I ended up next to didn’t seem that interested in getting to know someone new. Might have been their own insecurity, or maybe i need to work on my social approach! :-) Anyway, I think we all tend to look for the safety of someone or something familiar. Religion in general, and Mormonism especially due to it’s lifestyle and cultural extensions, provides an endless number of ways to connect and compare. Seat assignments. Seriously. And maybe some smaller breakout/discussion groups to facilitate broader connections. Unfortunately, I think “social coagulation” is one of those things that we don’t seem to grow out of.

    • Anneliese

      Oh, and I didn’t think your post was at all offensive, and I like the one-column layout and name you are playing with!

      • Lauren Dahl

        Thanks, Anneliese! I really respect your opinion, so that means a lot to me. :) On both fronts.

    • Lauren Dahl

      Completely agree. In fact, to me, it seemed very black and white – people were either SUPER eager to meet and greet, or they were very standoffish. Probably what you said – some just were not in their comfort zone (myself included!).

  • courtney killpack

    Being Mormon and living in Utah all of my life I’ve sadly have assumed people are LDS. Yes, I’m guilty and wouldn’t ever introduce non-mormon people to other non-mormon people, that’s lame and tacky. I’m sure the girl who did this felt embarrassed and expressed it in a way dumb way. I’ve learned a hard lesson that you cannot ever assume anything and that even if we don’t share the same religion we can still have so much to talk about and connect with as women. I’m so glad you posted this because it’s a good reminder for all of us that we shouldn’t judge, assume, and that we just need to love and accept everyone.

    • Lori Allred

      I agree with you Courtney, it is a grood reminder. I loved what was written and always remember that blogging, sewing and crafting is why we all really get together in these situations!

  • Abby S

    Yes! I was telling my husband just the other night how curious it is that ALL the blogs I follow are written by Mormons! With the exception of yours apparently. I was totally thrown for a loop the other day when one of my favorites posted #iamamormon on IG. Who knew! Then again, who cares, right?! Still gonna read the blogs, still gonna love the ideas. ;) Thanks for sharing!

  • Teri Olson

    This is an excellent post, and although the topic may be religion, I can see how it could apply to any number of situations. It’s always tough to be different from everyone around you. It seems like there is some invisible line you can’t quite cross no matter how hard you try. And although nobody may actually judge you (and intellectually you are aware of this) you sometimes still can’t help but feel like people are. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so honestly! I am not Mormon, and until just recently, I had no idea how many sewing (and other homemaking) bloggers were Mormon. And I can’t help but wonder if people reading my blog assume I’m Mormon since I have six kids, (very) occasionally reference religion and sew :)

  • Raphaelle (deuxsouriceaux)

    I applaud your courage to post. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I almost didn’t have the courage to comment! I know that feeling of being an outsider so well. I’m a french canadian living in the US so I’m almost literally an outsider! I never realized how different Montreal and New York were until I moved. Sure, I wasn’t expecting everything to be the same but I didn’t expect differences to be this extensive. I’ve met plenty of absolutely lovely people and even managed to make some real friends (everyone knows how hard that can be as an adult!). Still, I feel like there’s a part of me that they can’t understand and a part of them that I can’t understand and that will always make me feel like an outsider. (Oh, and you can add me to the non religious sewing bloggers!)

  • Stephanie – Swoodson Says

    Well, I identify as agnostic so I’m really left field of the general sewing blogosphere, ha! As a middle-class, white mom living in the Midwest, feeling like the “other” isn’t something I experience very often – but I’m surprised that people are commenting in a way that implies it was imagined by you, or constructed by you. It’s undeniable that lots of bloggers are Mormon – but on the flip side it’s probably not as obvious for those who aren’t because they aren’t regularly sharing about their faith (or in my case, lack thereof) on social media, etc. I don’t think I have anything else intelligent to say, but I’m glad you posted this!

  • Guest

    I loved your post! I feel the same way at SNAP, and I’m bummed I didn’t meet you at the hotel bar :). I hope to meet you next year! I’ll be sipping Pinot in the evenings as well :). ~Kelsey (Christian, Mom to 1, Wine Lover, Coffee Drinker, People Lover!)

  • SeamstressErin

    At Sewing Summit (my first and only sewing/blogging conference) last year, I was also struck by the number of mormons. But, as a flaming liberal atheist who lives in San Francisco, I knew I was going to be the odd one out any time I ventured away from San Francisco (and Seattle and Portland) and I made an effort to tone down my swearing for the weekend. I figured the number of LDS was because a conference in Utah was going to be heavily attended by people from Utah who are heavily LDS so it didn’t surprise me too much to find that many of the friends I made at SS are LDS. It doesn’t seem to me that the online sewing community in general is heavily LDS although that could certainly be because 1) I follow mostly garment sewists not quilters 2) I tend to unfollow anyone that talks regularly about religion (whatever it is) since it’s not a topic I’m interested in. So, since I’m not following people that talk about religion a lot, I don’t know (or care) about the religion of anyone I follow.

    And FYI, I’m always down for a drink if we end up at a conference together again.

  • Kathy

    Now that I am taking blogging more seriously, writing my own blog almost daily, and reading many blogs every day, I started to realize the LDS/crafting connection. There are a lot of mormon crafty mommy bloggers. You are right. I can only imagine what it would be like to be at a conference where most of the people in the room share the same religion, and it is not yours. So, reading your post is fascinating. I appreciate your honesty.

    And I hang out on IG a lot, so if you want another non mormon crafty friend, follow me! I already follow you.

    I actually googled this topic a few different ways and found out that the LDS church encourages women not to work outside the home, if they can, and to keep busy with homemaking and also to journal. So, running a home-based sewing or crafting or blogging (or all of the above) business fits right in with LDS protocols. (That is my non-LDS, short summary of what I read online LOL) It is fascinating to me.

    Maybe someone should sponsor a crafting convention where I live, in the Pacific Northwest. That would be fun! What would happen if the crafting convention was not in Utah? Hm…..

  • Toni Barsi

    Good on ya Lauren! Living on the east coast and never having attended a conference, I haven’t had much personal interaction with the Mormon blogging crowd as a whole. It definitely threw me off the first time my twitter feed became swamped with Conference posts, but most of the time I feel like an outsider simply because EVERY event seems to be held in Utah. I get it, there’s a huge concentration of bloggers out there – But what would it be like if the SLC folks had to travel across the country and out of their “comfort zone”? As far as religion goes, I get enough of that from my uber catholic in-laws (I’m non-religious), so I promise I won’t automatically assume you’re mormon just because you blog/sew if you’ll show me the same courtesy! ;-)

  • mary

    I am not Mormon but a number of years ago travelled there once a month for work. All religions, including my own (!) have some views which many people question…. with good reason. There can be things which come out of that which benefit us all tho. In my observation, the emphasis on motherhood (and all things traditional) has enabled quilting and sewing to thrive in this community and be passed down from generation to generation where it’s fizzled out in others. When I read the replies, like Elishas’, it warms my heart. Kudos to you Lauren …good conversation brings people closer.

    • Lauren Dahl

      Yes, I totally agree! I didn’t say this in the post, but Mormonism does bring some very positive and unique things to SLC. :)

  • mary

    ooops…by traveling ‘there’ I meant Salt Lake City. :)


    Indeed! A very brave post; I am impressed at your lady balls for being so open! I too am not religious (I’m a realist with a thirst for knowledge, what are you gonna do?) but I only ever really elude to it because I don’t want to be off-putting to too many people. It’s so tricky to say that without people looking at you like you have 9 Medusa heads erupting from a giant lizard body. I know that a vast majority of creative bloggers are Mormon or Christian and they are just the most inspiring people ever with what they do and their gorgeous homes and families. My kids are loud and crazy (the good kind ;-) and my home is a perpetual mess >_<. I feel like if I were in your shoes at that conference I would have felt the same way (except I have no poker face so people could probably read "non-believer" from a mile away). I just think this is so bold to be forth-right and honest about yourself and I admire that so much. It's my insistence on honesty that makes me who I am. I just believe my children and husband are everything to me. And I create to show not only what weird crap is floating around in my head, but to pay homage TO them, my family. If you are ever up my way you should totally visit me so we can kick back a few epic brews and hang :-)

    • Lauren Dahl

      I almost want to come there JUST to visit. I am so glad we’ve connected on these ole’ interwebz!! I love what you called yourself – I guess I’m a realist with a distaste for mediocrity? Hahaha.

  • Dollofmalice

    Somehow I missed this discussion, and I think it is important. Blogging really does seem to have a large group that are religiously focused. Now, there is nothing wrong with it. That is their life, their love, their driving force. However, when one is not a religious person,*ahem ME* it does kind of make you stick out. Religion was a HUGE part of my upbringing, and also made me bond with LDS growing up due to my rather strict upbringing due to being raised a JW. We bonded over things even though our religious beliefs were different, our foundations made us feel like we could understand one another.

    Now as a mom of 5, I find the women I can sort of relate to, tend to be LDS. However, we only tend to bond over busy mom life, but we never really go beyond how is your day going because I need my daily coffee and I do enjoy an adult beverage. Or maybe it is just me! It amazed me at first how many of the bloggers were Mormon, who are absolutely amazing. I think it is something important to be discussed, because while we don’t segregate, it is just naturally easy to bond with someone when you share things like religion, culture, pop culture reference. It takes some big balls to be able to say F it and talk to anyone who strikes our fancy, which is something I am slowly trying to do. I am always afraid I will say the wrong thing, or be too sarcastic, crass, weird. Ha. But thank you for reminding me that when I finally do get to go to something blog related, to hold my head up high and introduce myself to those looking at me in amazement (fear) and I definitely do not fit the mold.