What's So Different about Mormons? Thoughts on Mormonism...

In the Sacred Grove...

where the question to a young boys prayer, was answered.
where the question to a young boys prayer, was answered.

Shouldn't You Ask a Mormon?

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although, most people are most familiar with the term, Mormon. The name Mormon means, 'more good'. That's not a bad nickname to have, except, for the fact that there is a lot of skepticism about the Mormons and the LDS Church currently. This seems to have many people confused about Mormonism and what we believe.

Unfortunately, when someone searches for information about the LDS Church, and they type in the word "Mormon" most of the sites that come up on the first page, are not advocates for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What easily is found online, at websites and blogs, etc... are those teaching only half truths about our doctrines and practices. The way in which the Mormon faith has been distorted online is just simply unacceptable. As a member of the LDS Church, I can tell you that the LDS Church is much different than what some would have you believe.

For this reason, I am compelled to blog. I really enjoy writing, particularly when I am able to teach and clarify the beliefs of the LDS Church. I don't consider myself an expert -- but I do feel that I have been a member long enough to be able to speak intelligently regarding my church and those things which we, as members believe and live our lives by.

There is a purpose to all of God's Creations...

and man, is His most magnificent Work.
and man, is His most magnificent Work.

Life Gives Us Experiences

Learning Through Living

The one thing that I have done in the Church and in my home, more than anything else over the past thirty years, is teach the doctrines and principles of the gospel. You may be interested to know, that I have five children. All are grown now and not living in the home. All three of my daughters are married and have crowned me with jewels, which now gives me the honor of being referred to as Nana.

The reason that I thoroughly enjoy teaching, is that when doing so, and teaching truth, I have found that no matter what the age of a person is -- if they have desires to learn what is true -- when truth is taught, it has a profound ability to change their lives. Everything changes when we have truth in our lives.

Different About Mormons

Are Mormons different? Well, the first thing I would tell you about Mormonism, is that we are all about family! Our families mean everything to us, and our lives are focused on how we can build lasting relationships with each other, and why these relationships are so important to our happiness. Now, don't get the idea that I am here to tell you about my perfect family -- because that will never happen. Not in this life anyway!

If you have a perception from watching the Osmonds growing up, or have seen those perfect Mormon commercials on t.v, the Hallmark type ones -- and that is what you think about Mormon families, then I am going to burst your bubble. Lets just put it out there now, because mine does not even come close to such an illusion. And between you and I, I have seen few that do.

Mormons believe in Eternal Families.

I took this picture on a Church History trip this last Summer.
I took this picture on a Church History trip this last Summer.

Families CAN be together forever.

Raising a Mormon Family

Raising a family for me, has been extremely challenging. Don't get me wrong -- I do love them all, but they have nearly cause me to go crazy at times. Although they would say it is just the opposite. They have all told me at one time or another that they are sure I am crazy!

If I did not have the understanding that I have received through the truths taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- I know for certain, that more than once, I would have let my depression over circumstances at the time, take me down into the deepest abyss.

We believe that families are eternal, and that we will continue to have these relationships long after this mortal life, and this belief changes those temporary glitches in life, into more manageable moments. Not that they pass as quick as I would like them too, but with proper perspective of the 'bigger picture' in the purpose of this life, I am able to eventually pick myself up and refocus on what is most important.

As I look back to when my three girls were in high school, there were so many times that all I was able to do, was pray and have faith in God's Plan. I learned how to trust in the principle of agency. I knew that my children needed to grow from their own experiences. Now as I see what beautiful women, wives and mothers each one of them are, I am confident that it is because of what they were taught in our home. They each, have focused their home and family life on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now, we shall see how my two sons will progress in their lives?

If we could only see the future...

My three beautiful daughters.  Jennette, Brittney and Laura.
My three beautiful daughters. Jennette, Brittney and Laura.

Confessions of LDSNana-AskMormon

Now that I have shared with you just a little about my family, I imagine that you clicked on my article to find out what is so different about Mormons. Not to necessarily listen to my inner thoughts and confessions.

But first, I would ask you, my readers, to tell me what I should compare someone like myself, who is a Mormon, too? Let me explain why I think this would be important for me to know, before answering the question.

First of all, when I find out just how skeptical people are about the LDS Church and its members, I am thinking to myself, "What is so different about us, or ME?" Of course I realize that some of my core beliefs about life, are different than many others, but if we were to put ten strangers in a room, I suspect that their differences would be just as wide in that sample group of people, as they are between you and I, regardless of whether any one of them, were a Mormon.

So, how is it that the media, etc... has had such a powerful influence in causing the general public to believe that the Mormons are vastly different, even more so than everyone else on this planet? I mean, what is the motivation for such a movement?

Could it be that a perception caused by this "powerful influence" which is accomplished by confusing our doctrines and practices, then be that which surrounds The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and thus creates a fear of the unknown that seems to prevail around the Mormon faith, and ultimately its members. I honestly believe that this influence on the public, which is based in fear of the unknown, is due to the overwhelming inaccurate information available, which either confuses or distorts our beliefs.

I think it is human nature to then just take a step back and observe with skepticism, those things in our lives that we don't feel confident we know enough about to then trust, which allows then a place of comfort in our lives.

Religion in the world today, can be seen from many different perspectives, according to the intent. So, I would submit to those of you, who are curious to know the truth about Mormons, to consider just what you feel the intentions of the members of the LDS Church are, in their practice of Mormonism?

Truth Must Be Sought After...

 

Personal Introspection

It almost seems surreal to think, that this could possibly be IT? Is THIS actually what makes us, as members of the Mormon faith, appear that much different from any other denomination and its faithful membership? As I ponder this likely truth, I am led to ask a fairly bold question.

What other group of people in the sub-culture of our society, has gathered so much interest, curiosity and skepticism, as a group of people, than the Mormons? I am not speaking about race, etc., but of a group of individuals, who have chosen to conduct their lives according to their chosen belief system. And we need to remember, that we are living in the United States of America. This has been going on since the founding of this Church by the prophet Joseph Smith. It has been a relentless effort, with the sad consequence of taking the truths of a sincere people which are held sacred, and causing still today such opposition to it, that many still have an aversion to even try to understand what Mormons believe; and the how and why they do believe in such different doctrines than so many others that are in the mainstream of 'acceptable' Christianity.

Is There to Be A Verdict?

I believe that the verdict is exactly that which I have stated. I am cautious to - determine, that this reaction, would most likely be heard and felt, as a by-product of a very "powerful and negative influence" and which does most certainly, come from the outside looking AT, and unfortunately... becoming critical of something they either do not agree with, or they will not take the time to understand, thus creating fear in themselves and causing these similar reactions, through their influences upon many others. And I would pose the obvious question and ASK for your responses, as to WHY?

We could even consider a cycle such as this, to be as incomprehensible as is perpetual ignorance -- if we were living in another place, time and lacked correct information. I approach these thoughts -- Do we not find, that there are many misunderstandings surrounding the Mormon people, which have been continually perpetuated over a long period of time? In this lengthy and ongoing mis-informed condition, there is simply NO evidence to support such reasons of mistrust in the Mormon people as a whole, nor their faith. One would think, that with the internet, and the information explosion, that this would not be possible any longer?

Mormons & Myths - Steve Young, a former NFL quarterback, and Sharlene Hawkes, a former Miss America, address some of the common misconceptions people have

The Way Things Seem to Be

But I am convinced, that there will forever be those individuals, that find satisfaction, in rallying for a cause that is based in fear -- acquiring a sense of security for themselves and others of the like. Interesting to know, is that many of these opponents were previously members of The LDS Church. For various reasons, they have been removed from the membership records of the Church. Anger, hurt and lack of understanding can often cause much hate to develop.

It is for this reason, that I will write that which I know to be true, about being a Mormon. I love the LDS Church, and for more reasons that I am able to express in this one article. My commitment to this desire, is to strive to communicate as honestly and clearly, those things which I have come to know about the Mormon faith, through my membership in the Church. As well as share with you, the many blessings that I personally have experienced, knowing that these come from finding the Lord, Jesus Christ, whom I accept and acknowledge as the Giver of all that is good.

As I mentioned previously, life is challenging, regardless of 'religion' or personal beliefs to support us on this journey. Yet, I am here to share with others, perhaps WHY, we as a Church do receive so much attention. Maybe it is because we are so very different than any other church. You see, I am aware of this reality. But not so different, because we do have much truth to contribute, that is worthwhile to be heard.

And yes, we have some very unique practices, and firm doctrines -- that are stated with boldness, of which I will teach and testify concerning. This can take some back, who believe differently, thus causing them to want to defend their truths, by attacking the Mormon doctrines. It is not the intention of LDS members to cause others to feel that we are some elite group, because of our firm beliefs. It is our testimonies of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which bears witness to us by the Power of the Holy Ghost, that we cannot deny.

The word of God is at the center of our lives

Daily scripture study and prayer are a part of life for Mormons.
Daily scripture study and prayer are a part of life for Mormons.

To Do More Good

I am here... to not only help others to understand my faith, but to develop a greater understanding and love, for those of you, who believe differently than I. In this way, I am confident that we will be able to build bridges of trust, regardless of our different beliefs, knowing that we all are children of God, and desire to follow His Son.

Of course, yours is the final decision regarding what you think -- is so different about the Mormon Church, and ultimately how you feel about the LDS people... but I am hoping that we can spend some time together, discussing our lives and true core beliefs, so that there may be better understanding.

I am not here to convert the world to Mormonism, but I am here to work together with others, who do sincerely want to know about Mormons and our beliefs, in a non-contentious or competitive manner.

If I wanted to know what an orange tasted like, why would I then go to the store and buy an apple and eat IT? And then believe that I knew everything about oranges? For some mysterious reason, people seem to be satisfied eating apples, and thinking they now know -- about oranges. This is a puzzle to me... because I think oranges are delicious and believe that you might too.

This LDS Nana, would simply ask you to stop picking from the apple tree... as you are never going to know what oranges taste like if you continue picking from the tree that grows apples and not oranges!

I am here, to offer anyone who would like -- to taste oranges, which I will have freshly squeezed for you on a regular basis. I will serve it up in as a tall glass of orange juice, and on the rocks of course. You may have as much as you like, until your thirst is quenched and you are completely satisfied.

I think you might just find, that you actually prefer oranges, instead of apples...

tDMg

LDSNana-AskMormon

I would really appreciate your comments, as well as knowing what you would like to hear about in future Hubs. So WHAT do you want to Ask LdsNana about Mormons?

More by this Author


What questions, do you have about Mormons? 29 comments

Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai

If there's a lot of wrong info about Mormons that get thrown up by google searches, then you do a good job by stating the truth.

Keep going, I'll read them all. Shall also check out the proper links you have given.


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

i had a wonderful mormon lady care for my 2 youngest while I had to work when i was just 21 and 22 years old. I am very gratefull to her for her tenderness and kindness,, I truelly believe it doesn't matter what religion you are as long as you believe and live the life you are meant to live. Kind, loving, caring, peaceful and truethfull to all. Good Hub.. G-Ma :O)


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks Kenny,

I appreciate the opportunity to share that which I love with such an open-minded person and one who enjoys learning. Let me know if I can ever answer any questions that you might have.

tDMg


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California Author

G-Ma,

Thank you for sharing that. It really touches my heart to hear that you hold such a fond memory as a young mother, of one who cared for your little ones. And that you would remember that this indivual was a Mormon, is a tribute to you -- who would possibly connect her kindness with what her religious beliefs were.

I can only hope that those who get to know me, would credit all that is good about me, to my Savior. As a Mormon, I follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, and believe that I am a much better person than I would ever be on my own.

It is His example that I try to emmulate. Although I fall short constantly, nonetheless, my desires are to do as Jesus would do. When I choose to conduct my life according to His teachings, I always feel good about what course of action I have taken.

I honestly cannot think of a time, when following His teachings has brought anything less than peace in my life. Not to imply my life has been easy, but peace is always involved, when I am confident that I have done the right thing. Of course there are a mulitude of times that I have attempted to do things my way. The contrast is so apparent. I can be a slow learner. LOL

I look forward to getting to know you, as I read your hubs:-)

Thanks for coming by and sharing.

tDMg


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Glad to know you my dear, you have enlightened me this day with the sorrows of my heart at this time. i too have fallen short many times and still do..but know I am in good hands Always with Jesus..Bless you G-Ma :O)


Pretty Princess 8 years ago

I would always ask a Mormon what they believed just like I would always ask a Catholic what they believed and so on. I certainly wouldn't ask a Catholic what a Mormon believed, would you?


MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 8 years ago from Sydney

I think you are an extra nice lady.

you have to brave out you critics and ignore them.

Knock them over with a thank you.

Show that, that they can not hurt you.

Thank you


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California Author

MrM,

Be careful... or you may have me singing "you are the wind beneath my wings"!

I love you.

tDMg

LdsNana-AskMormon


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 8 years ago from Manila

Now I know that most of the preachers who spread lies about the Mormon Church are unreliable. It is good you joined HUBPAGES to clarify things, the truth about the Mormon Church for so much lies are spread about the Mormon Church by lying preachers.


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California Author

cristina327 -

You have no idea, how much, what you have said here, means to me. Words have no possible way to convey what that has just done for me...

Contrary to many, I am not here to convert the world. LOL But simply to educate about the Mormon Church, because of exactly what you have just said.

I believe that education, means communication; and communication relates to friendship.

That is what I am all about here... communicating the truth about what I love. I know that my personal testimony comes through quite passionately.

I hope that whatever it is, that is yours or anyone Else's 'passion', would come across just as passionately!

tDMg

LdsNana-AskMormon

*just get me going about my grandchildren! LOL


NatalievanStraten profile image

NatalievanStraten 8 years ago from the Netherlands

Dear LdsNana-AskMormon,

Most important in the world is your family. I have five great children and a great husband but we don't have a religion. We believe that taking care of each other and everybody who needs you is so fullfilling. We live in a great country (the Netherlands) and we need to stop judging other people about believe or religion. Love people as they are and you will be loved.

Kind regards, Natalie


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California Author

Natalie -

Wonderful counsel:-) I sooo agree with your philosophy of life, but I also believe in truth that can be known to those who seek to know..

which can greatly enhance our seemingly wonderful lives!

Hard to beleive that this is possible, but it is.

tDMg

LdsNana-AskMormon


sandra rinck 8 years ago

It's always about doing more good. It's the way we win. It's the way we can beat the Devil. No one is perfect, but doing good is always right. Nana, I love your hubs. I am tempted to call myself a mormon, but you know I am againts labeling myself. Now, who could call you crazy? I think those people are crazy. I want to give you a crown of jewels too.


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California Author

Sandra...

How did I miss this comment that you made here? Crazy me!

As always, you are kind and humorous. I am always found smiling after reading your posts.

tDMG

LdsNana-AskMormon


Leslie 8 years ago

I just want to say that every Mormon person I have met has been so kind and gracious. I don't have one bad thing to say!


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California Author

Leslie,

Thank you for such a positive comment. I am really glad that his has been your experience with Mormons. I have been active in the Mormon Church for over thirty years now, and one thing in particular that I have been amazed by, is just how true members of the LDS Church who are active - really do try and live what they believe.

Mormons believe in basically being nice:-) I know that may sound a bit strange to say, but Mormons really believe that to be a true Christian, we must do our best to emulate the kind of person we believe Jesus was trying to teach us to be.

Although we also recognize how short we fall in doing this, which brings us to our great recognition of our need for Him as our Savior and Redeemer.

The name "Mormon" for members of the LDS Church is a nickname meaning "more good". So Mormons have a general philosophy in life which causes them to try and do more good to those around them. This is in the tradition of true discipleship.

Thank you for such a lovely comment.

tDMg

LdsNana-AskMormon


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

I'm not a member of the LDS Church, and only a few of my friends are. Carmen, my dear friend from my Air Force days and my wife still maintain contact.

I am a Christian, as I believe LDS people are, and I long ago rejected the foolish words that tried to convince people it is an evil cult. If it is any kind of cult at all, then all Christianity is a cult, and I mean that in the old sense of the word, before it became a bad thing.

A cult is a group of people who believe and follow ideas they agree upon. Thus there is a Catholic-oriented Cult of Mary, and others as well.

I, too, have yet to meet anyone who is a member of the LDS Church who is mean spirited, or a bad person. Maybe they exist, but they must be few and far between. I applaud the family-oriented aspect of the LDS Church, as well.

Thanks for explaining more about the LDS Church and LDS members.


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California Author

Chef Jeff,

Consider yourself to have just been given a huge hug and a big smooch on the cheek! LOL I love your reasonable ability to see life with such fairness. I am a huge fan of yours because of this...

You have a good tendency to make that which is questionable to others, sound much easier and reasonable to understand. I am not just speaking about this issue.

Thank you for taking the time to comment here. It is very appreciated. Again not because it supports my position necessarily, but that you bring reason and not necessarily tolerance - which are two different things.

This is the art of communication at it's finest:-)

tMDg

LdsNana-AskMormon


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

As you said - This is the art of communication at it's finest:-)

If we can't communicate, we are lost.


dlarson profile image

dlarson 8 years ago from Priest River, ID

When I lived in southeast Idaho, we did extensive Bible studies with the Mormon Missionaries. We really got along well with those fellas and on a personal level had an extensive friendship with them. They would stop by to visit even when they weren't there to study with us - just stopping by to chat or eat or whatever! I think my brother still is in touch with the big kid from Iowa (I'm horrible with remembering names).

BUT, what it came down to for us were a few key doctrines that we simply could not reconcile with the Bible. The idea of accepting something because I "felt" it was right (burning in the bosom?) is not acceptable to me. If Scripture can't prove it, I won't accept it. I don't need Joseph Smith, Ellen White, Mary Baker Eddie, or Ron Hubbard to interpret scripture or write something a that "clarifies" it. If it's truth, the Bible will make it known and I don't need anyone else's writings (NOTE: the above mentioned are not all LDS prophets).

Other than that, I have many LDS friends to this day and believe they are as sincere in their walk as am I. I look forward to a shared eternity, even though our understandings of it are different....


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California Author

Jeff -

Thank you:-)

tDMg

LdsNana-AskMormon

Kathryn


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California Author

diarson,

It is always good to hear of those and their positive experiences with our missionaries. They are sweet young people doing good in the world.

If I might make a suggestion... If the Bible is your only authoritative source for truth, then perhaps a deep study of the "restoration" of the Gospel would be helpful. This should include the Old and New Testaments thouroughly.

When studying these two covenants together, I believe that the objective mind will easily not only see, but know that this would be absolutely necessary in the last days. It would become imperative even.

Check out this link that I am posting. Perhaps this will help?

Also, the "burning in the bosom" that you refer to, is not just a feeling. Here is my favorite scripture on that topic. I demand this instruction to qualify a truth, as come from the Spirit.

This is taken from the Doctrine & Covenants which I know you are familiar with..

2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.

3 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.

I love how this scripture uses the Old Testament to give an amazing example of how Moses was directed and knew what he had to do, to save the Israelite people.

So here is a link on this scripture reference with some great commentary.

http://w2.byuh.edu/academics/religion/Kongaika/The...

Here is the link to help you learn more about a need for a restoration of The Gospel of Jesus Christ:

http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_Restoration.s...

Thank you for commenting.

tDMg

LdsNana-AskMormon


taytay 8 years ago

thank you so much for this blog!

it really helped me out on my xanga blog. it seems that a lot of people assume what they don?t know. i really liked your metaphor of the apple/orange.

great blog!


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California Author

taytay -

My pleasure. Thank you for taking the time to comment:-)

tDMg

LdsNana-AskMormon


Hanh 7 years ago

Hi. Thanks for writing this blog. It is very much appreciated. My name is Hanh.I'm a student in college doing a research on Mormonism. I was wondering if there is anything that makes a Mormon different physically from the wider population?


Parker Brother profile image

Parker Brother 6 years ago

Great Hub. Keep it up.


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 5 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

i had a mormon friend once. He asked me to be his best man at his wedding because his church was disciplining him and his family was shunning him - because he had "touched" his fiance' inappropriately and felt guilty and told his bishop. I don't take issue with that, just explaining the picture here.

His brothers, his dad - all refused to be his best man at his wedding or even be part of the wedding party. Thus - he asked me - a shirt-tail friend at best.

I say yes and I go.

His family, his friends and other relatives - not one person speaks to me, or acknowledges me the entire time I am there. I try to be a friend and support this guy by sticking it out. I was never so non-existant in a room full of merry-makers in my life. They all knew I wasn't mormon.

This was and is the most negative testimony for Mormonism or any faith I have ever experienced in my life.

- my 2 cents

- Harlan


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Harian,

I'm sorry to hear that your experience with one family and their friend's poor behavior is what you judge an entire religion upon. Personally, I find your story disturbing. Again, I'm sorry for your unpleasant experience.


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 5 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

Dear Nana,

Thank you for your sentiments. I am happy you understand.

I am sorry too, because today, I do judge an entire religion upon not only this - but because someone should have stood up and said... I don't think so. AND it should have been the father of the bride, if not him , then her husbasnd.

That said, I do try to keep in mind too, that if I were perfect, I would have been Jesus himself.

God bless you,

- Harlan

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