I am so sick of hearing words from non-members or former members like "brain washed" "cult" "close minded" and so on. I would like to clarify what I think to be a misinterpretation of Mormon people in general.
If you obey a regimen of rigorous exercise and a healthy diet, your body will become fit and strong. You may not end up looking like Brad Pitt, Heidi Klum or Bo Derek but you will look like yourself. A healthy, fit version of yourself.
If you obey a regimen of obedience to the principles of the gospel and faith your spirit will become fit. You may not end up acting like President Monson, your local Bishop or the Stake Relief Society President but you will act like your true self. A happy, righteous version of yourself.
Mormon's are happy because when we live the Gospel it makes us happy. We are alike because we are happy. We are alike because we are bound together in the truth.
Are there black sheep? Yes.
Are there Mormons who are poor or racist or unemployed or democratic or in jail or depressed or selfish or homosexual? Yes.
Just because you are Mormon doesn't mean you aren't something else, whether that something else be good or bad. And just because we are HAPPY and MORMON doesn't mean we are brain washed or ignorant. Tolerance is a two way street. Just because some of our values, which we hold dear and true and right and just, don't appeal to all doesn't mean they are worth forgetting or that they are specifically, negatively discriminatory. There is room in the Gospel for ALL. Everyone. Anyone. That is because it is the TRUE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. The Creator, The Savior, the one who atoned for us ALL.
I have a mind. I have a choice. I've made up my mind and I've made my choice. I believe what I know. I know it is true and I will not dismiss my values for anyone. Being convicted of a truth is an honorable quality in all areas of life. Especially religion. I am a good person. I am an even better person when I obey the principles of the gospel. There are good people who are not members of the LDS church. If they were members, they could be even better.
This may seem scrambled but I feel like I've made my point.