This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
This classic Robert Kirby column originally was published in the collection "Sunday of the Living Dead" in 1995.
While Mormons tend to view gentiles as homogeneous, there are actually five different kinds of non-Mormons. Basically.
The first kind of non-Mormon is the Ignorant Non. Ig-nons know utterly zip about Mormons and aren't interested in knowing more, thank you very much.
Ig-nons, despite lofty LDS General Conference claims to the contrary, make up about 39-40ths of the earth's entire bipedal population. Or, say, 8.6 billion Ig-nons per each of the five kinds of Mormons. The vast majority of Ig-nons won't ever be home taught and will no doubt spend the rest of eternity caring not a whit less.
Tolerant Nons make up the next largest group of non-Mormons. From a purely Mormon point of view, Tol-nons are about the best kind of non that Mormons can hope for. Tol-nons think Mormons are quaint but nice, and relatively harmless except during general conference, when conversion sentiments are whipped into a banzai frenzy.
Most Tol-nons plan their out-of-state vacations around April and October. Live and let live is the credo of Tol-nons. Tol-nons don't particularly care what Mormons do with them after they're dead so long as they get left alone while they're alive.
Irked non-Mormons come in next, both in terms of number and the amount of anti-Mormon noise they make. Like Ig-nons, Irk-nons know relatively zip about Mormons. The difference being that Irk-nons think they know everything.
In reality, Irk-nons know only that they can't get a drink, place a bet, see a porn flick or have a drive-up abortion in Utah. Irk-nons sport a perturbed and stupid quandary over this fact. Why does a state founded by Mormons, populated largely by Mormons, and generally run by Mormons, reflect mostly Mormon values as opposed to Buddhist or Rastafarian values?
Because of this marked inability to grasp simple social cause-and-effect factors, Mormons consider Irk-nons to be the dumbest rather than the most dangerous of all non-Mormons.
Furious non-Mormons come next. Fur-nons are not interested in "live and let live" with Mormons. Mostly because Mormons are wrong, and if you've got 60 seconds or even if you don't Fur-nons will tell you all about Adam/God, polygamy, Danites, and tithing diverted to the Republican party.
When it comes to Mormonism, Fur-nons are characterized by the same enormous intolerance they routinely accuse Mormonism of. This intolerance makes Fur-nons truth-selective. For example, Fur-nons will glibly quote Mountain Meadows Massacre stats while completely ignoring corresponding Nauvoo and Missouri stats. Fur-nons see this as being insightful and objective.
Rabid non-Mormons are the next and last. Rab-nons are a distinct minority among non-Mormon types. However, because Mormons as a whole are hypersensitive about persecution, they routinely confuse the other four types of nons with Rab-nons, making Rab-nons seem more prolific.
Rab-nons cry that anything even remotely connected with Mormonism is bad, stupid or out-and-out evil. Rab-nons can be tolerant of gays, abortionists, atheists, cannibals and even door-to-door salesmen but never a Mormon. God knows that having three wives is lots worse than vacuum-suctioning the unborn.
This non study showed one additional characteristic about nons, namely that ex-Mormons are only rarely found in the Ig-non, Tol-non and even Irk-non categories. Most ex-Mormons were found predominantly in the Fur and Rab-non categories.
However, because of diligent missionary efforts, Ex-nons are almost evenly scattered through the five kinds of Mormons.