In case you haven’t noticed by now, I’ve been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon is not the official name of the church, but it’s the one most people are familiar with) since 2007. Yep, I’m a Mormon! Woohoo!
In honor of the release of the awesome new movie Meet the Mormons this weekend, I’m teaming up with some other fabulous bloggers to tell our unique stories about what the church means to us. While I always love telling the story of my conversion, I thought today I would do something a little bit different and talk about some of the weird things people have heard about us and why they should no longer prevent you from thinking we’re cool. =)
1. We Don’t Think You’re Going to Hell
It’s true, we do believe that our church is the only one that has the whole truth. Most churches do. Otherwise what’s the point of organizing a church at all, am I right? But unlike many other churches, we don’t think that means that everyone who doesn’t believe the things we do is going to Hell.
This is one of my very favorite elements of the LDS church, actually. Our view of heaven is one of the most inclusive, merciful concepts of the afterlife I’ve ever come across. To learn why, read this. It’s the most complete breakdown of our views on heaven that I was able to find.
2. We Don’t Practice Polygamy
The following is taken from Mormon.org and says it better than I could:
President Gordon B. Hinckley, prior president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made the following statement in 1998 about the Church’s position on plural marriage:
“This Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church…. If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church.”
At various times, the Lord has commanded His people to practice plural marriage. For example, He gave this command to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon (Doctrine and Covenants 132:1). At other times the Lord has given other instructions. In the Book of Mormon, the Lord told the prophet Jacob “for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife: and concubines he shall have none… for if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things (Jacob 2:27-30).
In this dispensation, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. The Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but they obeyed it. In 1890, President Wilford Woodruff received a revelation that the leaders of the Church should cease teaching the practice of plural marriage (Official Declaration 1).
The Lord’s law of marriage is monogamy unless he commands otherwise to help establish the House of Israel (see Encyclopedia of Mormonism Vol. 3, pp. 1091-1095).
Want to learn more about this subject? Read what other church members are saying about it.
3. We Don’t Hate Gay People
I won’t lie to you, our church is firm about gender as it relates to marriage. Most bible-based churches are. But no church I would ever go to could ever condone cruel or hateful behavior toward any individual or group!
I have nothing but love for the LGBT individuals I know and have known, and I know for a fact that the vast majority of my peers in the church feel the same way.
The following was taken from a recent talk given by one of our church leaders about standing firm in our convictions while simultaneously showing love to those who do not share them. It was directed at the youth of the church, but can easily be extended to all of us.
Read the rest of the other points on Brittany’s Blog here