Unplugging from the Mormon culture

Growing up in Massachusetts, I used to see the BYU Bookstore as the epicenter of Mormon culture — and in a lot of ways, I guess I was right. Whenever I was in Utah, for EFY or a family vacation, I would make it a point to stop by the bookstore and stroll down the aisles, filled with titles I couldn't believe existed: "Mormon Mythellaneous," "How to Stay Chaste While Being Chased" and "Book of Mormon Sleuth."

I overheard college students casually inserting words like "calling" and "RM" into their conversations. I watched them buy LDS-theme neckties and personalized CTR rings and scriptures with their names emblazoned on the front — done in less than an hour — and I did so with wonderment and the slightest bit of envy.

Don't get me wrong; I loved my trilingual ward in Massachusetts, and I had good friends in early-morning seminary and surrounding wards. But I often wondered what it was like to be so plugged in to Mormon culture.

Then I went to BYU.

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