Hey! Guess what? I'm a Mormon! What is a Mormon?
Well, for starters, not this:
Big Love [HBO television series...umm, have you ever watched this? I haven't.]
The Witness [Harrison Ford lives with Amish people and ends up falling in love with one. We're not Amish. We have electricity and phones.]
or this: Children of the Corn. [Really? Children of the Corn? We like to keep canned corn in our food storage, but really?]
[Thanks for asking though.]
Here is a little clarification for the questions that are out there on who and what "Mormons" are:
1. Mormons belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We call ourselves "members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." "Mormon" has become somewhat of a nickname or catch phrase to identify members of the Church.
2. We do not practice polygamy - men are married to only one woman. There is confusion with the reports you hear of the Texas polygamists, which is understandable. The Texas polygamists (and any other polygamists) are their own faith - they have no connection to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1998, President Gordon B. Hinckley, former prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made the following statement about the Church's position on plural marriage: "This Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy."
3. Not sure where this got started, but members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not have horns. (Unless you look at my little sister when she gets mad... ha ha ha...jk.)
4. We are not any type of clan. We are a religion. We are Christians.
5. So, what do we believe?
Our beliefs are centered on Jesus Christ and his teachings. Our understanding of him and his teachings, leads us to try to live more closely to the way Jesus Christ taught.
Because members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in Jesus Christ, they have strong families. Because they believe in Jesus Christ, members are hard working and successful because they believe in an honest and hard days work. Because they believe in Jesus Christ, they help people through humanitarian efforts.
Word of Wisdom
We do not drink alcohol or coffee. I have no problem being around people who drink alcohol or coffee, as long as they drink responsibly (out of safety and courtesy for everyone around them). I am not forced to not drink alcohol - I have chosen not to drink alcohol or coffee. We do eat meat and sugar. We try our best to eat healthily as to take care of our bodies and not get sick - just like anyone else would.
You may wonder if we believe in the Bible. Absolutely. We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. It is another testament of Jesus Christ (see below). We read them both; we study them and live by the principles taught by Christ and his apostles in both books. I know that both of these books are true - they testify that Jesus Christ was and is.
The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It is also a record of God's dealings with the people who lived in the ancient Americas. Prophets of the Lord engraved the original records on gold plates. On September 22, 1827, an angel named Moroni—the last Book of Mormon prophet (also the gold statue seen atop almost all LDS temples) -delivered these records to the Prophet Joseph Smith. By the power of God, the Prophet Joseph translated the record into English.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been in the media a lot lately because of its stance on gay and lesbian marriages. This is a tender subject for many, and it deserves respect when being spoken of. If you have questions about the Church's stance on gay and lesbian marriages, and why the Church has taken such an active role in this subject, I would refer you to the Church's web site.
The Huffington Post put out a great little quiz to see how much people know about Mormons. Take it here if you're up to the challenge! If you have more questions about Mormon's and their beliefs, shoot me a comment and I would love to talk more about it. Or, visit this web site for more information.