What You May Not Know About Mormons

In Parenting by Jen45 Comments

I have mentioned here on JENerally Informed a few times that I am a Mormon, but today I would like to share more with all of you about this very special part of who I really am.

The first thing you may not know about Mormons is that our official church title is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.

Or for short, we refer to ourselves as LDS. The nickname of Mormon, refers to one of the authors from the Book Of Mormon. We still understand when we are referred to as Mormons and take no offense at someone using this moniker. Indeed, we use it ourselves as it helps reduce confusion for others.

The second thing many people want to know is, are we Christians?

Indeed we are. As I stated above, the official title for our church has his name in it, The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. We believe that the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ in a humble stable and his mission over a millennia ago here on earth was a fulfillment of scriptural prophecy. He is central to our church and all of it’s teachings.

Here is a picture of my 2 littlest girls at a recent Temple Open House.

Another question Mormons get asked repeatedly is, If you are Christian then why do you not celebrate Lent?

For Mormons, we feel it is a crucial part of our faith to personally and continually review where we are at spiritually. This review may happen on a daily basis, monthly or whenever we feel like we need to change something in order to align ourselves more closely with God and ultimately be the kind of person he wants us to be.

In addition, Mormons adhere to several guidelines for living our life. We do not drink alcohol, coffee or tea. We do not smoke and are encouraged to partake of and eat all of the good things of the earth within reason and it’s season.

I know at this point some of you may be aghast, no coffee? I have never had one cup in my life, but I do feel pretty strongly about my QT slushie drinks!

In addition, those who are old enough and feel able to, try and fast one Sunday per month as way of bringing our physical being more inline with our spiritual selves.

The next thing you may not know is that right now there are over 144 LDS Temples worldwide, with many more under construction.

Picture of Hong Kong, China Temple courtesy lds.org

If you live next to a Temple I would encourage you to visit the Visitor’s Center or tour one of them before they are opened to the members of the LDS Faith. Anyone can do this and you do not need to be a member of the church to visit before a temple is dedicated. You can visit a Visitor’s Center any time.

In my home town of Tucson, Arizona we eagerly received news that a Temple will be built soon and I plan on inviting many of my friends and family members to tour it beforehand.

Why Do LDS members keep their work within the Temple “secret”?

There is a big difference between secret and sacred.

I attend the Temple as regularly as I can. To me, it is a place of peace and one where I go to find comfort when the world around me seems crazy and insane. Within the temple walls these sacred experiences that myself and other members of the LDS faith have are not kept secret, but are rather held very near and dear to our hearts, helping us to continue on with the daily grind of living. I can tell you that by attending the temple regularly I have become a better person and that there is no experience I have had there of a lewd, vulgar or lasciviousness nature.

Photo of Washington, D.C. Temple courtesy lds.org

Why do Mormons send their children on missions?

Young men are encouraged to serve a 2 year mission when they turn 18 years old. Young women can serve at age 19 if they so choose. Even older retired senior couples and single members serve missions. Right now there are over 84,000 missionaries serving throughout the world. Sometimes these are service only missions where they are not allowed to teach in some areas of the world, but serve the people in that region in whatever capacity they can. Others, if welcomed into your home will share the full message of what we believe as Mormons.

I saw this meme last week and it made me laugh:

My husband, Jen’s Guy as he is known around here served a mission in Oklahoma. I can tell you that he went out on a mission as a boy, but returned as a man ready to start and tackle life. The majority of LDS missionaries are young people who leave home and family in order to share a message that burns deeply in their hearts and it changes them. My oldest daughter feels very strongly that she would like to serve a mission and in about 6 years chances are high that I will have both my son and oldest daughter out in tandem on a mission. So, perhaps the next time one of these young people knock on your door in the near future, they might be my children.

Photo courtesy lds.org

Mormons Believe Families Are Forever

This is one of the most basic tenets of Mormonism and is intertwined with our work within our Temples.  My husband and I were married in the Mesa Arizona Temple and we were not married until “death do you part”, but for time and all eternity. This is a special blessing to myself and other members of my faith to understand that the family is eternal and that our children and marriages surpass the here and now. It is also a reminder that we should treat those relationships with the utmost respect because they are forever.

A Legacy To Live Up To

I am the youngest child of older parents. My father was born during the depression years, my mother right at the brink of WW II. Both had ancestors who were scorned, mocked and even had to flee, leaving behind everything they owned in order to practice their chosen religion of Mormonism. My father used to sit at the knee of grandparents who would tell him these stories in order to remind him of the great shoulders upon which stood his ability to practice his religion.

Photo courtesy lds.org

As a descendent of such pioneers, I am inspired by their courage to leave everything, even traveling thousands of miles by sea, handcart and wagon in order to worship God in the way their heart found most true. This is something I hope never to forget and I will continually express gratitude for the sacrifices of those who went before me so that I could be what I am today.

A Community Of Faith

I would be remiss if I did not point out that I have also been deeply blessed by my association with other Christians and also through friendships with those of other faiths. I believe that what unites us is the desire to do good and be better people than we were the day before.

Thank you for stopping by!

Stay Happy! Stay Informed!

Love,

Jen

Comments

  1. I’m lucky because friends have ‘schooled’ me on LDS and although I’ve never seen the inside of a Temple, I hope to one day. I attended a service (outside only) at the Portland temple and it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited.

    One of the most profound respects I have for LDS is the deep respect and pride in one’s family – something to which we can all aspire.

    I love getting to know more about my blogging friends and want to say thank you for sharing this enormous part of your life with us!
    Sarah Nenni Daher recently posted…Easter Bath BombsMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thanks Sarah! It sounds like you had good friends. Sometimes it can be a bit hard for us to share this part of ourselves, because we think we have a friend and then we show up at their house for a “party” only to find out that instead we are the central character for an intervention with their pastor aimed at our saving our soul (true story).

      I have never been to the Portland Temple, but the pictures of it are beautiful! Thank you for your kind words. I really hope someday that our blogging paths cross in real life, because you are on the top of my list for people I want to meet someday!
      Jen recently posted…What You May Not Know About MormonsMy Profile

  2. I worked for a man years ago that was a Mormon. He was a great boss. Kind, helpful and encouraged me to reach for the stars. I will never forget him.

    Thanks for sharing something so precious to you. I had no idea as I’m a relative new reader of yours. I think far more of you now than I did before I read this post.

    Have a blessed day. ☺
    Comedy Plus recently posted…Awww MondaysMy Profile

  3. I admit I don’t know enough about your faith as I am Roman Catholic and as much as I learned about other religions in school was never really taught all that much about Mormon’s beliefs. So, I honestly appreciate you explaining and breaking it down here, Jen.
    Janine Huldie recently posted…The Social Butterfly Found Her WingsMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thanks Janine! In terms of world religions we are kind of young, even though we have been around since 1830.I once had a professor tell me that when we had reached a millennia old then he would learn about it! Thank you for reading and thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot :)
      Jen recently posted…What You May Not Know About MormonsMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thanks Rabia! I imagine there were a ton of kids! I remember you have said before that you had a lot of Mormon friends growing up with your family through activities like cub scouts. I am glad your experience with us was a positive one!
      Jen recently posted…What You May Not Know About MormonsMy Profile

  4. I absolutely love that you shared this, Jen! I’m so interested in learning about other people’s faith. You answered so many questions for me about Mormons. I love that you said the Temple is sacred, not secret. There really is a huge difference there. I may have to check out if we have one local and take my son for a visit. Thanks for this look into such an important aspect of your life.
    Candace recently posted…Turning to Food: March UpdateMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thank you Candace! I am so glad you enjoyed this. Just like you have said before, opening yourself up can be hard, but it can also be very good. I hope someday you and your son do get tour a Temple or the grounds of one. One of our favorite things to do is to visit the Temple at Christmas time. The Mesa Temple has a huge display with strolling carolers and thousands of lights! It is so much fun!
      Jen recently posted…What You May Not Know About MormonsMy Profile

  5. I have been fascinated by many religions since I was a young child, and was lucky enough to befriend a young man in college who had just returned from an LDS mission in Brazil. He and I had many long talks about faith, and even though we may have disagreed on many aspects, they were some of the most respectful and cherished conversations I can recall. Thanks so much for opening yourself up to share more about yourself, your family and your faith.
    Leslie recently posted…Toddler Friendly Easter Egg Decorating TechniquesMy Profile

    1. Author

      What a fabulous experience to have had and thank you for sharing it. I am glad your experience with an LDS person was positive! I too have had so many wonderful talks with friends of other faiths. Last week we even went to a Bat Mitzvah for a friend’s daughter and what a fabulous experience that was!
      Jen recently posted…What You May Not Know About MormonsMy Profile

  6. Thanks for sharing information about your religion. I knew most of this but it’s always nice to hear from people who have lived these experiences first-hand or were taught about the history from family.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Touring Local: March 2015My Profile

    1. Author

      I figured as much. several of my local besties are people matching your same qualities! I couldn’t live without them. The love of family and it’s importance in our lives is definitely something you and I share!
      Jen recently posted…What You May Not Know About MormonsMy Profile

  7. I appreciate learning more about this because…
    ….wait for it…
    …my kids are part Mormon! Or part LDS? I want to say it right…
    Cassidy’s mom is Jewish and his dad is Mormon. They are non-practicing for a few generations now, but it’s still in the bloodline, right??
    Right.
    Tamara recently posted…This Is My Constant.My Profile

  8. Goodmorning Jen, I don’t know anyone who is a LDS or maybe I just don’t know they are! I have a lot from your post (no alcohol I can totally live with, but no tea or coffee? I’d go insane!). It is important that even though people may not follow a faith that, we don’t dismiss it and learn about it. With education comes educated conclusions.

    It’s nice that the younger generation are encouraged (and want to) become missionaries and spread good. And good on you for being proud that being a LSD is part of who you are.
    Debbie recently posted…Still Broken…My Profile

    1. Author

      Thanks Debbie! You are a wonderful inspiration to me of someone willing to listen and learn from it all! That is why I count you as a great blogging friend! I have to admit I love the smell of coffee, but whenever I have accidentally ate a coffee flavored candy or something with coffee in it, it tastes like dirt to me! Same thing with anything with strong spirits in it. It ruins the taste for me, too strong! Do you think it’s an acquired taste?
      Jen recently posted…What You May Not Know About MormonsMy Profile

      1. Hi Jen, sorry it’s been a while, I seem to spend my time chasing my tail!

        Thank you for your kind words, I’ve feel I’ve made some great blogging friends too and you are up there with them!

        As for coffee being an acquired taste, I would say that’s a yes. I was bought up a tea drinker (proper English!) and honestly only started drinking coffee once I had children (tea doesn’t have the caffeine kick of coffee). I am fussy though. I don’t like posh muck, all I want is a cup/bucket of Nescafe instant coffee (black, one sugar) first thing in the morning and maybe a second one if my brains not working and I’m set up for the day…..I wouldn’t dream of eating anything coffee flavoured as it never taste s good!

        xx
        Debbie recently posted…HeadacheMy Profile

  9. This was so incredibly informative and I had no idea you were this religion. For some reason I always (stereo typically and ignorantly) assumed Mormons had large families. And 4 children is larger…but you know what I mean! It’s very interesting to read about other practices and beliefs, and I respect how in touch you are with your spirituality. I have been seeking a place for our family to worship, baby steps!
    Kristen recently posted…Things Kids Say: The Science EditionMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thank you Kristen! I have LDS friends with all different sizes of families, some with 11+ kids, some with one and all the sizes in between. I have great respect for the 11+ kid families, but I KNOW I would be a crazy woman with that many to manage! I am glad you enjoyed reading this. It definitely takes baby steps, but I have read many of your posts and know that you are a woman who already listens to your heart and to messages and inspiration from God. He will lead you down the path you need to go! Hugs!
      Jen recently posted…What You May Not Know About MormonsMy Profile

  10. Jen, what a beautiful post. I also love that the comments were so positive about Mormons. I think that this was so well-done and happy to declare that I am a Mormon too! Thanks for being my online buddy! If it is o.k., I would like to link this to my Sunday post!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Beef with BroccoliMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thank you Elizabeth! It was scary for me to do this, but good. I am so glad we have met in the blogging world. Your blog is a constant source of uplifting material. You are most welcome to share this post in any way you find useful. Have a lovely day!
      Jen recently posted…What You May Not Know About MormonsMy Profile

  11. Very interesting! Have you been to the temple in San Diego? It’s beautiful. We were stumbling all over ourselves in the car, trying to teach the boys about Latter Day Saints. We are Baptist. We have had many great friends over the years that are also LDS, always oustanding people. Thank you for explaining a few things about it!
    April recently posted…Day #4: San Diego Zoo and a Throwback to the CapstoneMy Profile

  12. I’m thankful every week for the LDS members that commit themselves to mission to others around the world. Even though I’m not a member of the LDS church, for years the rotating teams of young sister missionaries on Ebeye (in the Marshall Islands) have been helping me learn the language and I’ve recently connected with an older couple on a longer-term mission there who have been so amazingly kind to me through the loss of my uncle and the addition of another child to our family.
    I would absolutely agree that a mission is a wonderful experience for young people and I will encourage my own children to serve others in a similar way when they finish high school.
    Thanks for sharing all this!
    Amber at OurCharmedLife.net

    1. Wow Amber that is wonderful! I am so happy to hear that you have had such great experiences with some of our LDS missionaries! What a great goal to have for your children as well, helping others is such a great quality to learn. Thank you for sharing your special experiences! Give the sister missionaries a hug for me next time you see them :)
      Jen recently posted…Mommy Reality #33: Bedside Table Treasure HuntMy Profile

  13. “I believe that what unites us is the desire to do good and be better people than we were the day before.” Very nice way to wrap that up, Jen. I love hearing about what others’ faiths mean to them while accepting that others may choose another spiritual path that works for them. I really enjoyed reading about your faith. Thanks for writing!
    Celeste @Leapfrog and Lipgloss recently posted…Mommy Reality Challenge 33 & Link UpMy Profile

  14. Hi Jen,

    Growing up here in the Phoenix Metro Area I have several friends who are Mormon and have been friends with many of them since we were kids. I think it is great that you shared all of this for those who are not familiar with the religion or have skewed images about what the LDS Church is all about. I really enjoyed reading this post.

    I can sort of relate to the stories from your father and grandparents as we have Jewish ancestry in Germany and have heard about the horrific things that happened to them during WW II. However, I was raised Roman Catholic how weird right?

    I also wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award and you can read more about it here:

    http://www.welcometomycircus.com/2015/03/sisterhood-award-lysa

    I hope you are having a wonderful day!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Lysa recently posted…Party Under the Big Top Act NineMy Profile

Leave a Comment