relocating to Salt Lake?

Old Oct 29th, 2005, 07:59 AM
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relocating to Salt Lake?

My family and I are considering relocating to Salt Lake with my husband's company sometime next year. I would love some input regarding a few issues. We are not Mormon, and have heard different things about non-Mormons being accepted in Utah, with particular emphasis on children in school, or sports, or after school activities. I've also heard that the schools are overcrowded, and underfunded. We've also heard about non-Morons being discreetly discriminated against in the work place. My husband will have a job, but I will be looking for employment, and am wondering if my non-Mormonism will be a detriment. Are these valid concerns? We feel that Utah has some wonderful things to offer our family- we love the outdoors, and Utah is an outdoor haven. We've also heard that the Mormon affect can be positive in some ways- i.e. low drug and alcohol incidence in schoools. True?
Considering all of this, where in SLC would you suggest that a liberal, non-Mormon family look for an accepting neighborhood? Any input will be welcome. Thanks
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Old Oct 29th, 2005, 08:44 AM
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IMHO, your concerns are valid. I have seen this discrimination in action many times and would not recommend this location. Yes, the Mormons are very conscientious and hardworking, they are super-reliable etc. But they are a cohesive bunch with strong bonds, and strong skepticism about newcomers; you and your kids will always be outsiders.
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Old Oct 29th, 2005, 11:28 AM
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I have had just the opposite experience. I have never lived in Salt Lake City but I have lived in Logan which is smaller and more Mormon than SLC and in Hatch which is even smaller and more Mormon.

I never recognized even the slightest discrimination because I am not Mormon. In friendships, employment, and in any other way, I never found my non-membership in their church to be an impediment.

I cannot comment on how your kids would be treated in school since I did not have school age kids at the time. I do believe that, on average, Mormon kids are more respectful, polite, and well behaved than any comparable group of kids I have seen (please don;t flame me about how good your kid is and how bad some Mormon kid you know is. I'm speaking of my own expereince and in generlities (and, as George Bernard Shaw once said: "No generality is worth a damn, including this one").

As far as the quality of education is concerned, you should do the research but it is my impression that Utah produces a higher percentage of college admission among its high school seniors than any other state in the Union.
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Old Oct 29th, 2005, 12:42 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I know someone who has lived and raised a family in Logan, and she says her Mormon boss has quietly and consistently driven most Non-mormons out from under her, and brought in Mormons. Despite this, she has loved living in Utah, and learned to work around such issues. My main concern is that my children would be excluded based on religion.
Could anyone recommend SLC neighborhoods? Thanks
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Old Oct 29th, 2005, 03:31 PM
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I am LDS and live in the Salt Lake Valley. I have several non-LDS friends, some are bitter against the Mormons and some seem to love the LDS people. To me it seems the deciding factor is not necessarily how they are treated, but their attitude. There are many areas that have a large non-LDS population, Salt Lake City is only 50% LDS. In my experience if your family is accepting of the Mormons the Mormons will welcome you into the community.

I would be happy to recommend neighborhoods. What type of area would you like to live in? What price range? Etc.

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Old Oct 29th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Hi Jorda,

I live in Park City, just east of the SLC valley. My parents were born and raised in Logan, but I was born and raised in southern CA. Lived the Mormon lifestyle growing up, but don't now. I think I can offer a good perspective, although I don't have kids.

I don't think you will experience religious discrimination in the workplace. If you are concerned about this, interview with national or international companies.

Salt Lake County is now 60% non-LDS and 40% LDS. Things have changed over the 40 years I've been visiting/living in UT.

Some of the neighborhoods I would recommend would be more towards downtown SLC, the Avenues, Sugarhouse, or in the mountains, Park City. These neighborhoods are much more diverse than some others.

I love living in Utah for the outdoor reasons.

Yes, the schools are crowded and seriously underfunded. However, the kids still get good grades because most of their parents care and take an interest in their schools.

As things have changed in UT, now there are gangs, graffiti, and drug problems, but probably not as much as most cities this size. SLC is really very clean and safe comparatively speaking.

There should be plenty of non-LDS kids for your children to socialize with. I think you will find your children will have friends of both.

Good luck, hope this helps!
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Old Oct 29th, 2005, 05:45 PM
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I've spent a total of a mere few weeks in Salt Lake City. I did fine visiting. But for the long run I honestly wouldn't want to live in the "Prozac Capital of the Nation."

Look it up on the internet.
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Old Oct 30th, 2005, 02:08 PM
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Yikes! I've been spending a considerable amount of time on the internet looking into the whole issue of non-Mormons living in Utah- it really is fascinating. I've noted several times where people have stated that the LDS community will 'be nice' to you if you are not LDS, but will not welcome you, nor will they encourage their children to play with non-LDS kids. We are not a religious family, and have always promoted the value of diversity, and acceptance of others- that in fact, this is what makes life interesting. I wonder how my kids would react to living in an area where a very large segment of the community appears not to practice these values. If I am understanding the Mormon faith correctly, they want nothing more than for everyone to be as they are? Although isn't that true of most religions? I do not mean for this to become a forum on religion, I am simply trying to get an accurate feal for what life would be like living in SLC for a liberal, open-minded, non-religious family. I do find it fairly incredible that this is even an issue in 2005 USA! The more input I can get on this issue- the better. Thanks to those who have answered- I appreciate your opinions.
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Old Oct 30th, 2005, 02:31 PM
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Do you know of any other faith that sends it youth afield for two-year proselytizing missions?
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Old Oct 30th, 2005, 03:54 PM
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As important and helpful as internet research can be, nothing can replace spending some quality time in the actual places/neighborhoods you are interested in. Spend some time in SLC and allow your own opinions to form, you may be pleasantly surprised.
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Old Oct 30th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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Jorda

I'm not at all familiar with the Mormon religion, nor they're acceptance/non-acceptance of non-Mormons in SLC. But, 2 posters have replied stating SLC is 50-60% non-Mormon, so I think you'd have a whole lot of company out there if you decide to move. I'm sure that, just as with any community or religion, there are some people that will welcome you with open arms, and some to whom you'll always be an outsider. It's not a trait that's exclusive to any city or religion. I'd base your decision on other factors, such as quality of schools (can you go private if need be), job prospects, climate (if it's important), and if you decide to move, choose a neighborhood that fits your demographics (i.e. majority of people are non-Mormon families with liberal tendencies).
 
Old Oct 30th, 2005, 07:37 PM
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Hi again Jorda,

If you stop to think about it, wouldn't you say that many people who are making blanket statements about Utah and LDS attitudes towards non-LDS people are guilty of stereotyping too? I really don't think you can get an accurate sense of a place through the internet. I think you need to visit for a good length of time and form your own opinions.

Good luck!
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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 08:43 AM
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jorda - nearly all of the LDS people I know are kind, good people who are just struggling to make a living and raise a family like everyone else in the country. They would never consider not letting their children play with children that are not LDS.
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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 09:42 AM
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My cousin and his family moved there several years ago. I have visited several times. They have told me that LDS dominates politics and everyday rules and life. One example. To get into a night club which serves alcohol you have to have a "sponsor" who is a member or pay a membership. LDS is also aggressive in recruiting people as my cousin states. LDS people are nice people but I am not sure I personally would like the pressure.
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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 02:07 PM
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Well Jorda,

It sounds like you have made your decision.
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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 04:45 PM
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Dayle,
I think you confused me with the author Jorr!!
We haven't made a decision yet, and we don't need to for awhile. We move with my husband's company, and we do have options as to where to move to. I like to do all of the research I can, and then we go and visit, and check out neighborhoods. I have found that even after visiting, you really do need to try to find a neighborhood that meets your needs, and that is not a simple thing to do!! Sometimes it is just luck of the draw. Utah is interesting, because it really brings out strong opinions in people- both positive and negative. The only other place I've found where people have such strong opinions is Pittsburgh! Just reading all of the different opinions and suggestions really helps to add to the information needed to make an educated, informed decision about a move, so I really appreciate the people who take the time to reply. If we do move, and it doesn't fit our lifestyle, we can always move. We like trying new places and meeting new people, and luckily my husband's job provides that option. Most of our friends think we're crazy, but life is short, and there are lots of people and places to see along the way, so we'll see if Utah is next. Thaks!
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Old Nov 1st, 2005, 07:36 PM
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Oops, sorry Jorda, you're right. Must have been tired the other night. Anyway, SLC and Park City have lots and lots of people who have moved here from other states and countries. Park City especially has lots of highly educated and well traveled people. Most of them far wealthier than me!

It's a friendly, relaxed place, mostly due to the fact that it's a ski resort town where the vast majority of people live a very active outdoor lifestyle. The kids even get out of school 1/2 day on Fridays so they can go skiing. They go to school a week or so longer than other school districts to make up for it.

Good luck with your move!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2005, 04:34 PM
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Hi.

I live and work in Utah. I have lived in Santa Cruz, San Jose and Boulder Creek, CA, West Harford, CT, DE, Philadelphia, FL, MI, MO, IL, and western PA. I have a list of needs that, if filled, will keep me happy in any location.

I am not LDS, and I don't ever intend to be. I was transferred to Provo, where I felt like a pariah - it was quite overt. There were either LDS people or people who hated LDS people. That is where I suffered from professional discrimination, but, working for a publicly held company, I was free with my communication of what was accepted and not accepted behavior. And everyone complied. I also escalated an issue to the president of the company, that helped.

I have met people who I call Saints, and those I call mormons - angels are the people who practice the spirit of the religion and they are exceptional people. mormons (in my eyes) are those i find are not walking the talk, so to speak - (did you notice your typo in your 1st mail? you said 'morons!')

I live in Salt Lake County now and I am comfortable, safe and happy.

I find that your comfort level in Utah is directly related to how judgemental (judgmental?) you are.

If you check out websites for housing, don't be lured into the thought that you can purchase a house for $125k.

My advice:

Live on the eastside of town where property values and neighborhoods are more stable - neighborhoods "harvard/yale", "sugarhouse", cottonwood heights, holiday (sp?) are close to downtown and close to the mountains.

A realtor can't legally tell you what areas are less or more populated by a certain demographic, but they will hint at it.

I live in Sandy now and work in Draper.

My quality of life is greatly impacted by my corporate culture at work. I have been lucky, working at a few co's where international headquarters are outside of utah.

There is a wonderful culture of outdoor enthusiasts, the cities are clean - I recall walking in dntn SLC at 3am my 1st wk in UT and thinking I was in Canada! The streets were empty and spotless.

The politics are definitely red and induce a fair amount of head shaking from those of us who are moderate to liberal.

As a pendulum swings from right to left, there are some VERY left swung people around here! Like the guy who will mummify your pets.

Oh - check out the activities here:
http://www.geocities.com/saltlakenewcomers/ - a group of newcomers to the area - mostly filled w/ people who aren't newcomers but who are non LDS and want to feel a sense of community.

There is also a wonderful group of folks involved with the Jewish Community near the University of Utah campus. (Jewish and nonJewish alike) Great daycare, I hear.

I haven't locked my backdoor here in 11 years. Sunday is a great day to go to the movies. People are nice. Service is generally slow/less than great. The drinks aren't strong. There are a noticable amount of babies in any restaurant you go to. Kids interested in skiing, skateboarding, mountainbiking, hiking, snowshoing, snowboarding will have a blast. SLC has a wonderful library and a great independent film center.

The sundance film festival sustains me every year.

Hope this helps!
rhodie
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Old Nov 3rd, 2005, 04:47 PM
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Nothing like a discoussion of religion to stir up emotions. Consider the advice you get from this site about as valuable as what you paid for it.
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Old Nov 4th, 2005, 01:14 PM
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Rhodie, et al.,

Thanks for the advice and information. Certainly sounds as though, at the very least, it will be an interesting place to live!
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