December 29, 2017

Mormonism

Mormonism, explained by Mormons (also known as Latter-day Saints, or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints):



**Click here to take the survey about being LDS/Mormon**


Mormon Lifestyle

How is life as a Mormon different?

  • Culture, and tight relationships with other Mormons. (Shawn, Maryland)
  • Lots of work and lots of blessings. (Gaby, Mexico)
  • It’s harder to find jobs that will let you have Sundays and Wednesday nights off. I’ve been invited to parties that are on Saturday night’s to Sunday mornings, and it’s awkward sometimes explaining why I leave on Saturday instead of staying. My formal clothing is all modest, which some of my friends don’t understand. (Nikki, 17 years old)
  • People view you differently, and we hold ourselves to different standards than the world. (Prestin, 18 years old)
  • I would say in lifestyle (I know, very broad) – it comes down to things such as not drinking, smoking, staying away from entertainment that’s explicit or inappropriate. It’s kind of like a club with its own lingo and habits. (Michelle, 22 years old)
  • It was a minority and people would always ask questions. There were so many missionary opportunities as long as you were a friend to everyone and listened to their religious beliefs too. (But they always ended up asking more questions about us). (Ashley, 23 years old)
  • As a Mormon I served full-time as a missionary for two years in Argentina. During high school I attended a church class called seminary where we’d study the scriptures for about an hour before school started (at like 6am). I also have never tried drugs, and don’t watch videos that are immoral or excessively violent. I also pay 10% of my income in tithing. (Alex B., 28 years old, Utah)
  • It’s better in every way. I feel more at peace knowing I am striving to keep the commandments. Having actual peace is a difference I like. (Jeff, 34 years old)
  • I’m a convert, so my experience has taught me that keeping the commandments, keeping my covenants, and trying to live the Gospel as best I can gives me the direction I need to make decisions and face trials. Outside of the church, the world pulls you in every direction, and it’s really hard to know what to do. (Rose, 38 years old)
  • We just see things differently. More looking at the ‘big’ picture and not just the right now. (Sophie, 38 years old)
  • Family is the biggest priority. (DawnDee, 39 years old)
  • It’s hard and better at the same time. Peaceful in a world of chaos. (Harry, 41 years old)

Mormon Opposition

What opposition have you experienced as a Mormon?

  • People assuming my beliefs. (Shawn, Maryland)
  • Friends and family misunderstandings about church history and doctrine. (Gaby, Mexico)
  • I’ve had a couple friends disagree with my religion before, and step out of my life. I had opposition to my modesty standards when I did cheerleading, so during that time our uniforms were modest, until I left. (Nikki, 17 years old)
  • Many people don’t like Mormons, and they try to prove me wrong a lot with Bible bashing. (Prestin, 18 years old)
  • In Utah, not much. Many people around me are respectful and kind. In Peru I found some that would treat me a bit more abruptly and unkindly, but only a handful. (Michelle, 22 years old)
  • The lack of numbers. But I think that ended up being a good thing because then what numbers we did have we all looked out for each other and we were closely knit. (Ashley, 23 years old)
  • In high school I had some teachers who wouldn’t respect my standards (for example, I’m opposed to watching rated R movies, and my English teacher was not very sympathetic). My coach in track and field told me to take off my undershirt for pictures, which I didn’t want to do, to be more modest. On my mission in Argentina I experienced a good deal of opposition, especially from pastors and members of other churches who propagated false rumors about us. The source of a lot of persecution of members of our church stems from what we often refer to as anti-Mormon materials- for example, websites that propagate false ideas about the church, in an attempt to discourage other from joining the church. (Alex B., 28 years old, Utah)
  • Misunderstanding what the LDS church is actually about. (Jeff, 34 years old)
  • I’ve been made fun of and been misunderstood. (Sophie, 38 years old)
  • People truly think we don’t believe in Christ. (DawnDee, 39 years old)
  • Personal attacks that I’m brainwashed. Scriptural attacks that are taken out of context. (Jeremy, 39 years old)
  • Mostly born again friends and evangelicals. (Harry, 41 years old)

Mormon Misconceptions

What are some misconceptions about Mormons?

  • That Mormons are Polygamists, worship Joseph Smith, have weird temple rituals and that Mormons don’t like non-Mormons. (Shawn, Maryland)
  • Polygamy and non-Christian issues. (Gaby, Mexico)
  • I’ve been asked if we prepare for a zombie apocalypse and the end of the world. (Nikki, 17 years old)
  • We don’t have horns, we don’t have multiple wives, women are not inferior. (Prestin, 18 years old)
  • Many think we’re not Christians, or based on appearances believe that we’re Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Michelle, 22 years old)
  • Polygamy, garments. (Ashley, 23 years old)
  • I’ve heard some sad and some hilarious misconceptions about Latter-day Saints. In Argentina some people said we worked for the CIA or Obama. Some said we took brides and threw them from the Salt Lake Temple into the Great Salt Lake. Some said we had horns. Some said we worshiped Joseph Smith. Some said we believed in a different Jesus or a different Bible. All of which are not true. (Alex B., 28 years old, Utah)
  • Not believing in Christ, having our own God, worshiping Joseph Smith. (Sophie, 38 years old)
  • That we believe in polygamy. (DawnDee, 39 years old)
  • We are believers in Jesus Christ. The one born of the virgin Mary, baptized by John, preached in Galilee, suffered in Gethsemane, died on the cross, and was resurrected three days later. We do not have our own Jesus. There is only one. (Jeremy, 39 years old)
  • Name it. (Harry, 41 years old)

Mormon Hardships

What’s the hardest part of being Mormon?

  • Commitment to everything. (Shawn, Maryland)
  • Helping others understand why we do or not do some things. (Gaby, Mexico)
  • Staying faithful to the standards when no other member is around. I’m the only member at my school. (Nikki, 17 years old)
  • The idea of being perfect. (Prestin, 18 years old)
  • I don’t think there’s anything hard about being Mormon. (Michelle, 22 years old)
  • Not having all your family and friends understand or believe and knowing what great things you have and they don’t have them (yet). (Ashley, 23 years old)
  • Probably maintaining high standards, while the standards of popular culture keep going down. (Alex B., 28 years old, Utah)
  • None. (Jeff, 34 years old)
  • Keeping my standards when I’m surrounded or pressured by people who don’t share them. (Rose, 38 years old)
  • Not fitting into the ‘norms’. (Sophie, 38 years old)
  • Trying to live by the word of wisdom. (DawnDee, 39 years old)
  • Choosing to be obedient to the standards and commandments of God when the world doesn’t. Also the easiest. (Jeremy, 39 years old)
  • The push back. (Harry, 41 years old)

Mormon Blessings

What’s the most rewarding part of being Mormon?

  • Constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. (Shawn, Maryland)
  • Covenants. (Gaby, Mexico)
  • Always having the spirit to direct me. (Nikki, 17 years old)
  • All the blessings and closeness to God and Christ. (Prestin, 18 years old)
  • Choosing to live the lifestyle that the prophets and apostles teach gives me a lot of peace in life; I know that through them I’ve avoided a lot of problems and trials, as well as pushing myself to be better and have greater life goals. (Michelle, 22 years old)
  • Being sealed in the temple for all time and eternity to your awesome spouse :). (Ashley, 23 years old)
  • Probably the exhilaration of receiving personal inspiration to know what God would have me do with my life, and feeling God’s influence in my life. And the incredible happiness following the Gospel gives me in my family relationships. (Alex B., 28 years old, Utah)
  • Everything! (Jeff, 34 years old)
  • My testimony. (Rose, 38 years old)
  • Everything! Knowing we have eternal families. (Sophie, 38 years old)
  • Knowing families can be together forever. (DawnDee, 39 years old)
  • The peace and happiness I find as I put off the things of the world. (Jeremy, 39 years old)
  • Knowing Jesus. (Harry, 41 years old)

Mormon Beliefs

What are some Mormon beliefs?

  • Godhead, Plan of Salvation, Restoration, Faith, Repentance, Baptism by immersion, Gift of the Holy Ghost by those in authority, Priesthood power/authority, Modern day Apostles and Prophets, Personal and Prophetic Revelation, Temple Worship, Eternal Families. (Shawn, Maryland)
  • Families ARE forever, I am a child of God, the essential role of Jesus Christ in our lives. (Gaby, Mexico)
  • We believe in God the eternal father, and in His son Jesus Christ and in the holy ghost. We believe men must be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression. (Insert Articles of Faith 3-13 here because I don’t feel like typing them). (Nikki, 17 years old)
  • The Trinity are three separate beings, we don’t drink coffee, tea, or alcohol, we need grace to be saved, there are three levels of heaven. (Prestin, 18 years old)
  • That Jesus Christ’s Church has been restored just as it was when He was on the earth, and that He guides it through living prophets and apostles, seers and revelators today. (Michelle, 22 years old)
  • Living prophets, temple work, continual revelation, refer to the 13 articles of faith, there’s too much to really put here…it’s simple enough a child can understand, but so complex and in depth that it takes a lifetime to learn and understand fully. (Ashley, 23 years old)
  • We believe in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. We believe that we should follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. (Alex B., 28 years old, Utah)
  • Jesus Christ is our savior, prophets have been the spokespeople for Christ, we need the atonement more than anyone can imagine. (Jeff, 34 years old)
  • We have a living prophet. (DawnDee, 39 years old)
  • I refer you to the 13 articles of faith. (Jeremy, 39 years old)
  • Eternal families, love, peace. (Harry, 41 years old)

Mormon Facts

What are some interesting facts about Mormons?

  • Serve a two year mission anywhere in the world. No paid clergy. (Shawn, Maryland)
  • We attend church for three hours, there are temples all over the world. (Gaby, Mexico)
  • People usually say Mormons are the nicest people. People who are 18-26 go on 18-24 month missions most anywhere in the world. (Prestin, 18 years old)
  • Mormons are just normal people, really. Everyone is different and unique, as others. (Michelle, 22 years old)
  • We are just like everyone else. We just have a lot of heavenly inspiration to guide us along the way :). (Ashley, 23 years old)
  • We have more than 100 temples throughout the world, which are magnificent buildings that practicing Latter-day Saints use to receive instruction from the Lord. I really love the vision of the three degrees of glory as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants Section 76. There’s an amazing promise towards the end of the section. I suggest you check it out! (Alex B., 28 years old, Utah)
  • We aren’t perfect but we are striving towards perfection. (Jeff, 34 years old)
  • Baptisms for the dead. (DawnDee, 39 years old)
  • We are a worldwide church with more members outside the USA than inside. We are the only church with the fullness of the gospel. (Jeremy, 39 years old)
  • The American history. (Harry, 41 years old)

Mormon Stories

What’s an interesting experience you’ve had related to life as a Mormon (funny, spiritual, challenging, etc.)?

  • Mission in Utah. (Shawn, Maryland)
  • After girl’s camp one year, a leader took three of us to the Kirtland Temple and the surrounding buildings. It was amazing to feel the spirit there. (Nikki, 17 years old)
  • A mission was the best experience I’ve ever had, related completely with being a Mormon. (Michelle, 22 years old)
  • Being able to go tracting with the sister missionaries. I never served a mission (I wasn’t supposed to) but I wanted to. So serving with the sisters quenched that fire and I made so many friends! I remember going when it was 10 degrees and we were so cold. We were trying to think of clothing inventions that would keep us warm during these cold treks. Some of them have been invented in the recent years (not by us though.) (Ashley, 23 years old)
  • After a youth trip to the Boston Temple, while walking on the Freedom Trail, a teenage girl fell backwards into the harbor and went into shock. I saw my bishop pull off his shirt and jump into the harbor with his counselor. They were able to rescue the girl from drowning and treat her for shock until the ambulance came. Bishop Anderson is a great man.  (Alex B., 28 years old, Utah)
  • Revelations. (Harry, 41 years old)

Mormon Testimonies

Share your testimony.

  • Slow and steady conversion of a lifelong member who believed it the entire time. Finally knew it was true beyond a doubt as a 16 year old at EFY. (Shawn, Maryland)
  • I grew up as a member of the Church, and I’m so grateful my parents were so consistent in bringing us to church each week and in doing daily family scripture study and family prayer. I’m so glad my father joined the church when he was 26 years old. I’m confident my life would be so much less rewarding and happy had my father not joined the church. I know God lives. Living the Gospel has brought me and my family so much happiness, peace and direction. If it weren’t for the gift of the Holy Ghost, I wouldn’t have the wife I have, my son would likely have died as a baby, I wouldn’t have studied the major I studied in college, I wouldn’t have the fulfilling career I have, and I likely would have died already. Being worthy to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost is probably one of the most important things in life, in my opinion. (Alex B., 28 years old, Utah)

Mormon Resources

What are your favorite Mormon resources? (blogs, apps, movies, etc.)

  • LDS Gospel Library. (Shawn, Maryland)
  • Gospel Library, lds.org, Mormon Channel. (Gaby, Mexico)
  • I love the Liken movies (They might be Liken Unto the Scriptures, but I think it’s just Liken). I love Jenny Phillips books and music. (Nikki, 17 years old)
  • LDS library. (Prestin, 18 years old)
  • The Best Two Years is a hilarious movie! There’s a ton more, such as the Singles Ward, Mobsters and Mormons. (Michelle, 22 years old)
  • I really love the Gospel Library app, the Bible Videos, the scriptures (obviously) and the church-produced movies like The Testaments and Finding Faith in Christ. Etc, etc. I feel like we as church members are pretty spoiled when it comes to resources we have. (Alex B., 28 years old, Utah)
  • Gospel Library and LDS.org. (Rose, 38 years old)
  • Time Out For Women. (DawnDee, 39 years old)
  • The scriptures and lds.org. (Jeremy, 39 years old)

*”Mormon” is a nickname used to refer to members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.