A Complete List of Things Mormons Can’t Do

As a life-long Mormon, I’m asked with frequency what things I “can and can’t do.”  That’s always been a little funny of a question to me because I, just like you, can do whatever I want.

The reason that I CHOOSE to live a certain way as a devout Mormon is not because I’m afraid of punishment or to try and make myself look better than anyone else.  I choose to follow God’s commandments because I want to be happy, and I believe the commandments are the right foundation for helping me to be a good man.

A quick side-note.  The official name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  We like to use the official name of the church because it emphasizes our faith in Jesus Christ.  This article was written originally with the word “Mormon” repeated throughout, which isn’t the proper way to refer to the church.  Members of the church are properly referred to as “Latter-Day Saints.”

But, you googled for a list of the rules of conduct that Mormons live by, and you’ll get it.  So here goes…

  • No sex before marriage and complete fidelity after marriage.  Mormons believe the family is essential to God’s plan, so we don’t do anything that could jeopardize that.  The 10 commandments in the Bible says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
  • No alcohol or drugs.  Why?  We don’t want the affects of alcohol or drugs to influence us to make poor decisions.
  • No dishonesty. Mormons believe it is important to keep Christ’s commandment in the Bible to be honest with other people.  We aren’t perfect at it, but we strive to do our best.  The 10 commandments say not to “…bear false witness.”
  • Donate 10% or more of your income to charity and the building up of the kingdom of God.  We believe that God is the Creator of the world.  We obey the law of the tithe to show our trust in God.  Because of the church’s almost complete lay ministry, the tithes are only spent for good instead of lining the pockets of a professional pastor.
  • Do not view pornography.  We believe it’s incredibly belittling to women to treat them as objects, and pornography tempts the viewer to commit sin.  The 10 commandments say “thou shalt not covet.”
  • Do not engage in same-sex relationships.  We are taught that marriage is ordained between a man and a woman.  We have great love and respect for ALL people–including gays and lesbians.  There are many gay members of the church who are very faithful people and are in full fellowship.  They are welcome to come to church and participate in the church, and we love them just as we would anyone else.  However, we do believe the Bible’s teachings that romantic relationships are ordained by God to be between man and woman.
  • Dedicate Sundays to the Lord.  The 10 commandments from the Bible includes the commandment “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.”  We attend church on Sundays where we study the words of Christ and worship God.
  • No foul language.  We keep our language clean and respectful.  As it says in the 10 commandments, “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain.”
  • No cigarettes, coffee, tea, coffee or tobacco.  We believe life is a gift from God and we do our best to keep our bodies healthy and clean.  I wrote more on why we don’t drink coffee here.
  • Teenagers shouldn’t date until 16 years-old.  We believe that teens should be careful to develop wholesome relationships in high school and should wait to develop serious boyfriend/girlfriend type relationships until they are of age to start courting and marrying.  This helps them to prevent temptation to sexual sin.
  • No abortion.  Members of the church strongly oppose abortion and do not participate in abortion in any way.  The 10 commandments say, “Thou shalt not kill.”  Church leaders have opened the possibility for abortion in extreme instances of danger to the mother’s life, incest, and rape.
  • Gambling.  Mormons don’t bet money on games of chance, or play the lottery.

There are lots of other things.  For example, we believe in following the laws of the land, etc.  But those are the interesting bits.

Our religion isn’t a bizarre list of “do and do nots”, but a foundation of belief in Christ and how we can be the best people we can become.  We do not believe that God has a “gotcha list” of obscure commandments that must be followed or the individual will be sent to hell.  On the contrary, our focus is simply on becoming the best people we can in accordance with God’s commandments.

We believe that God judges our hearts.  Our willingness to obey His commandments is simply a manifestation of that heart.  We believe we will be judged by our adherence to the principle of truth that each individual receives.

We aren’t perfect and we don’t look down on others who have a different value set, but we are willing to sacrifice to be our best.

Common Myths About What Mormons Can’t Do

The list of what people THINK Mormons do is probably longer than the list of things we actually avoid.  So here are a few common myths so that you can be a bit better informed.

  • MYTH – Mormons can’t drink anything with caffeine.  No, this isn’t true.  I don’t happen to like Coke, but I don’t think I’m going to hell if I drink it.
  • MYTH – Mormons can’t use technology.  Well, I’m typing this from a laptop, so…  I think some extremely uninformed people think we’re Amish.
  • MYTH – Mormon women can’t speak in church or hold leadership positions.  Nope.  Not at all.  I was just in a church leadership meeting this morning with multiple women leaders in attendance.  We do, however, believe that God’s priesthood authority to hold some callings are currently reserved for male priesthood holders.  We believe both women and men have important yet distinct roles in life.
  • MYTH – Mormons can’t use birth control.  Not true.
  • MYTH – Mormons marry multiple wives.  No, any member of the church who did this would be excommunicated.
  • MYTH – Mormons don’t dance.  I think a more accurate description is “Mormons CAN’T dance” (meaning I’m a horrible dancer), but dancing is actually encouraged 🙂  We often hold dances at the church.
  • MYTH – Mormons can’t celebrate Christmas, Halloween, Easter, or birthdays.  Nope.  I enjoy all of these holidays very much.  We celebrate Christmas and Easter because we believe in Jesus Christ as the savior of the world; we celebrate birthdays because it’s fun; and we celebrate Halloween because… well, I guess just because it’s fun.
  • MYTH – Mormon women can’t use makeup.  My wife would freak out if this were true 🙂
  • MYTH – Mormons don’t read the Bible and don’t believe in Jesus.  This is absolutely crazy, but unfortunately, the church has enemies who spread ridiculous rumors about us.  The official name of the church is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints, so obviously we believe in Jesus as the Savior of the world.  Jesus Christ and God are the center of everything we do and study in the church.  Also, we read the Bible all the time and believe it to be the word of God.
  • MYTH – Members of the church can’t serve in the military.  This isn’t true.  My dad served in the Army for 26 years, and both of my grandparents did.  Many members of the church serve in the military and the church is supportive of that desire.

What Are the Things Mormons Are Taught To Do?

So far, we’ve only talked about the “Do nots” and none of the “do’s.”  So let’s talk about some of the things that we are taught to do in the church.  I’ll skip some of the obvious ones like “Be kind to others” and focus on those which may be different.

  • Put most of our time and attention to our family.  We are a very family-centric church.  We believe that raising children to be good people, and being a good spouse is the most important thing we can do in life.
  • Read the scriptures daily.  Each day, members of the church read the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  I find this really helps me to put things in perspective.  Sometimes I get so focused on work or other worldly pursuits, that the time I spend reading the scriptures helps me to stay grounded.
  • Get a good education.  We’ve been encouraged to exercise our minds and become the best that we can.
  • Be honest.  We are taught to be honest with our fellow men and to deal fairly with other people.
  • Serve a mission.  When 18 or 19-year-olds in the church graduate high school, the church encourages them to serve a 2 year full-time mission.  I did this when I was 19 and it was the best experience of my entire life.  I saved up money beforehand and was assigned to Brazil for my mission.  I learned Portuguese and spent two years in Brazil teaching people about Jesus Christ, providing service, and learning to become a man.  Retired couples can also choose to serve a mission if they choose.
  • Pray daily.  We pray a lot as members of the church.  Each morning, I roll out of bed onto my knees and pray to God to ask for his help in being my best that day.  I ask for strength to do what is right, and for help for those around me who I know are in need.  At night I pray for my enemies, to know what I should do the next day to learn to be better, etc.
  • Fast at least monthly.  Once a month, we fast (don’t eat) for 24 hours.  We do this to show our devotion to God and that we rely on Him for our life.  We take the money we would have spent on food (or more), and donate it to those who are in need.
  • Volunteer in the church.  We are taught that serving others makes us happy.  Members of the church volunteer to teach classes in church, to take care of the babies in the nursery, to clean the church building, to run activities for the teenagers, etc.  All local church leadership is unpaid, and we gladly serve.
  • Etc.

Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to learn about my religion.  Just the fact that you were searching for this shows to me that you care about respecting the religion of others.  Thank you.

If you’d like to learn a bit more about why I believe in Christ and am a Mormon, read this page.

Jim Harmer

I own an online company where I create websites which are read by millions of people. I'm a non-practicing lawyer, husband and a father of three little kiddos. My faith in Christ is the most important aspect of my life, and this blog is where I get to share my beliefs. The rest of the time, I'm riding dirt bikes or traveling the world taking pictures. I live in Star, Idaho where I attend my local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Each month, over 30,000 people come to this site to learn about the basic beliefs of my religion, and it's my privilege to share about it. The opinions expressed on this website are not necessarily those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as this blog is not an official source of church information. However, every effort is put into providing accurate information in support of the church.

118 thoughts on “A Complete List of Things Mormons Can’t Do

  1. @Jim Rukker – That’s not true. Nowhere in the article did I say or even intimate that Mormons are in any way better than others. I do everything I can to be friendly and open on this site. I’m not picking fights with anyone or arguing anything. I’m simply sharing what I believe and hope that people will find it helpful who are interested.

    You also mentioned Mormon pioneers. I fail to see how the fact that their religious liberties were taken somehow proves that our church is wrong.

    1. Thank you for your post….I love it! Being Mormon when everyone else in your family before you was not, make sit somewhat challenging, but I’ve always loved a challenge! ? One of the things that I absolutely love about Mormons is, I’ve NEVER met another Mormon that wasn’t so incredibly accepting and loving! Amazing people….truely!

      1. This was great way to learn about Mormoms. I am a Catholic with lots of Mormón friends. My sister’s husband is Mormón. It has always been a religión that has fascinated me, I have read The Book of the Mormon, and living in Spain I always invite Mormón missionaries to my house for Thanksgiving and Christmas, as they are so far from home

    2. Encourage education! Almost all Mormon young women that I know are married usually with children by the end of sophomore year! Have read that boys returning from mission are encouraged to marry when home. Assuming they are than they would be 21 and a sophomore girl would be 19. Wonder what average marrying age is in the real world? Does a female actually have a choice of their future? What century are you in?

      1. Hi Peter. I was married when I was 22 and my wife was 20. I don’t regret it in the slightest. We’ve now been married for 11 happy years. Statistically, Latter-Day Saints have a MUCH higher success rate in marriage than the rest of the world https://purposeinchrist.com/young-marriage/ So I’m not sure why you’re so adamantly opposed to it?

    3. Wow, this post has brought so much comfort to me in a time of need. My brother and mother just disowned me because my husband and I do not agree with my brother who is an Aaronic priesthood holder to sleep in the same bed with his girlfriend in my mom’s home with a promise that they are not doing anything and now he wants to move her in. He just recently dropped out of high school and will play video games for 12 hours each day. My brother has been called to a very influential calling in our stake for youth and I don’t view these actions as something other youth should be exposed to and think is the way. I just can’t fathom him doing this and my mom accepting it. This is his first girlfriend ever he is 17 and she is 20. My husband and I have decided that we can not allow our children to be witnesses of this type of behavior and let my mom and brother know that our children can no longer spend the night there. My brother is 13 years younger than I am and I raised him when he was a young boy (2-6) due to my mom’s alcoholism at the time. My heart is breaking for my little brother and my mom and the youth in my stake. I know that everyone has free agency and is accountable for their decisions and I KNOW THAT HEAVENLY FATHER’S WILL BE DONE. I just feel so hurt by this because I want better for him. Are there any scriptures that I can talk to him about?

  2. Thank you for this article. It answered a lot of questions for us. Every person that I have met of the Mormon Religion has been friendly and nonjudgmental.

    1. Thank you for posting this as I was truly interested in the different guidelines. I’m hoping to ask a question and in no way hope that it offends. You stated that mormans are not to engage in same sex relationships but then stated you have members that are.. how does that work.. are they accepted by the church and it’s congregassion?

      1. Anyone is welcome to worship with us. All of us have weaknesses, struggles, trials, and none of us are perfect. Gay people are welcomed with open arms into the church, just as blacks, whites, widows, kids, seniors, everyone. We believe that God has commanded us not to engage in same-sex relationships because we believe that marriage is to be between man and woman for the creation of family. However, we also recognize that there are many people who are attracted to the same gender. While God’s commandment remains in force, they have done nothing wrong by being gay and are loved and welcomed just as any other. I know many members of the church who are gay.

  3. Thank you so much for the information. I just recently join the church and I had some questions on their beliefs. I enjoyed reading the article. Most had my questions answered by reading this piece of information.

  4. Thanks I’m just a 16 year old boy my parents and sister do not believe in God because they feel like it’s his fault for everything. My sister has accepted that I’m a Mormon but I am afraid that my parents will not like it. I try to go to church as much as I can I just walk to it on Sundays. But this really help me my sister has argued with me about this saying that I’m not allowed to drink soda and how I can’t celebrate Christmas because she only knows what she had heard about Mormons. Thank you for this article it cleared a lot up for me.

    1. Wyatt – Man! What a great 16-year-old. I wish I could jump through the internet and just talk with you for a few minutes. I have never personally gone through the experience of living the gospel and having family members disagree with me and try to discourage me. I grew up in the church with an active family. Because of that, I have tremendous respect for you sticking to your beliefs.

      Just remember that while it is important to keep God’s commandments, it’s vital to understand that we don’t do those things because has some sort of “gotcha list” of bizarre things we have to do if we want to get into heaven. That’s just not what it’s about. We follow the commandments because we believe in Jesus Christ and are willing to follow his commandments because–ultimately–we believe they will lead us closer to Christ and to becoming the best men we can be.

      You’re awesome, Wyatt. Keep your head up.

      1. You dear jim
        I have just met with 2 elders, THE nicest of guys you could ever meet. A friend of mine an atheist was so dead against this but she has Google questions and answers and now feels happier for me, I am worried though about telling my family and not being prepared for them and questions they may ask.

        1. Hi Julie. I’m so happy to hear that you’re meeting with the missionaries. When I was a missionary I frequently heard people express concern over what others would think about them joining the church–and concerned that they wouldn’t have all the answers. The good thing is that you don’t have to have all the answers. I still don’t. If you simply explain what you believe and what made you to come to believe it, that’s enough. Everything else can simply be answered with “I don’t know yet, but I’m going to find out.”

          I’m excited for you. Things will turn out just fine, I’m sure.

  5. I am not religious nor do I wish to become religious. I’m just very confused on it’s purpose. I do not beleive in God or Jesus Christ and I do not understand the glorification of a book written so long ago. I do not understand why people let a book that they don’t even know if true depict what they do in their everyday lives. I am part of the LGBT community and I often get tired of people being so rude to me about it when i’ve done nothing to them with their excuse being, ” it’s wrong because it’s in the bible.” Straight white cis religious men actually repulse me sometimes when they try to belittle my happiness when it “threatens” their beleifs so much. It just makes me sick that brainwash is so common among religion and no one even sees that. It’s naive in a way. But I guess we’re all entilted to our opinions. But if you’re so open minded then try reading other religions books. I’ve read the satanic bible before and books about hinduism and they’re actually very interesting. It’s also interesting to know that mormonism does some pretty radical shit to become closer to God. I’d personally like to see some proof of this “God”. Once i see some proof, I’ll take everything i’ve ever said back.

    1. Hi Meghan,

      Thank you for your sincere comment in trying to understand my beliefs. I think I can explain something that may help.

      You mentioned that you don’t understand why people base much of their lives on an ancient book that they don’t even know whether it’s true. If that were actually the case that I did not have any idea if the book were true, I would totally agree with you.

      However, I have had too many experiences to count that have confirmed to me the knowledge of God and that the Bible contains God’s teachings. I do feel a connection to God when I pray, and many times I have received knowledge from God through prayer that has been a great benefit to me and my family. There is a connection between Heaven and Earth.

      If you’d like to read more about why I believe in the God and in the Bible, please take a moment to read this: https://purposeinchrist.com/why-i-believe/

      You also mentioned that “If you’re so open minded, then try reading other religions books.” I have done so. In fact, I studied world religions in college in addition to my own research outside of the classroom.

      Thanks again for your message.

      1. Thank you for putting your religion into perspective. I grew up without a religion and based my belief of god in nature. But recently I have begun my journey into Mormon religion and want to understsndcto be a better person. I’m looking forward to this.

    2. The proof of God is all around you. Take the time from whatever you do and look at the miracle of every living thing and tell me that something is in charge. As a little girl,I was alone much of my time. I began to notice that each leaf on the tree was different than another. I noticed the beauty of the center of each piece of a rose, not to mention the smell and the beauty of it as a whole. The sun does come every morning ..there is a miracle about you ever day. This did not just happen. Take time and check out all of nature and it’s magnificence. If you do not see it feel sorry for you.

  6. Hi have to ask on your thoughts of the musical “The Book Of Mormon” and the depictions of your religion in shows such as South Park. Just curious.

    1. Like anyone, we want to be treated respectfully. I personally feel that those depictions of my sincerely held religious belief are anything but respectful and kind.

      However, we are in a society where it is unrealistic to expect everyone to treat others well. So I’m not going to get all bent out of shape about it. I just do what I can to show what my religion is REALLY about.

  7. I am glad I got to learn more about this religion. This article cleared a lot of things up for me. I had heard about the religion a lot, I had just never taken the time to learn more about it until just now.

  8. I am a 69 year old non-Mormon woman. I have spent at least one week a year in Utah every year for 41 years. I have always tried to observe Mormon cultural rules, though it has not always been clear to me how best I can show my respect to Mormons. I cover my shoulders and knees, use no alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or hot drinks. I behave in a conservative manner and smile and am friendly to everyone.
    Last summer a retired Mormon psychology professor in Logan told me that it does not matter what I do. She said that as long as I am not Mormon I am considered to be a non-person. I am hurt and confused. What else should I be doing?

    1. Hi Linlee. I’m so sorry to hear that happened! He said you were a non-person!?!? That’s crazy.

      It’s very thoughtful of you to consider how to be in Utah without offending others. Thank you for that.

      As a Mormon, I am not offended at all by others who drink alcohol, wear clothing that shows the shoulders, etc. While those aren’t things I personally chose, it most definitely doesn’t hurt my feelings when others do. So my advice would be to simply be yourself.

      Again, thank you for being so thoughtful.

      1. My sister who is a non Mormón married to a Mormon, Living in Augden, has a hard time Meeting people there. She says that she feels like an outcast and is Petty much treated like one. Buf On the contrary, I live in Spain and we have a huge Mormón Community here, all of the Mormoms I have met are fantastic people. And extremely polite and well mannered… with hoy a single exceptión.

  9. I read this article for my husband’s sake. My husband and I have had a rough couple of years. We both agreed that finding the lord was the answer to bringing our family closer together. Recently I welcomed Elders of my ward into my home and I can’t believe how deep our heavenly father has touched me in a very short time. The best way I can describe it is I didn’t know that worship in the LDS church is something I already knew in my heart. As it is written, our family believes the man is the head of the household. Now, my husband is reluctant to let God into his heart for fear of what he’d have to change in his lifestyle. He’s especially hesitant of the LDS church because, well, I don’t need to explain the reasons to you. I have tried different discussions from different perspectives with him and he still keeps his walls up. If he won’t share my beliefs I’m afraid it will put a division between us and/or the way we raise our three children. He wants a church that he can go to and call it good. As long as you sit in a pew (on Sunday’s when you feel like it) and don’t think about sins as actual sins, it’s ok. And a prayer is adequate repent. His concerns and arguments are superficial and I am dissapointed in him for that. How can I get through to him? How can I help him understand faith is the path to righteous we both seek?

    1. Hi Sara,

      Thank you for your comment. Most people have, at some point or another, felt as your husband. When rules feel restrictive, it can be easy to justify the removal of the rule from one’s moral code.

      What helps me is to learn to trust God. If I truly believe that God has created His plan so that I might have joy, then the rule is no longer restrictive. Just as a string seems to hold a kite back, cutting that string shows that it was actually what kept the kite in the air.

      I don’t pretend to know what you should do to help your husband come to this realization, but I do know that there is one who does know. Have faith, pray, fast, and be the best example you can. Then, don’t allow this to stress you, because you can have 100% confidence that the Lord’s desire will be done.

  10. Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for writing this fantastic article. I am 16 and new to the church so I wanted to do some more research on different beliefs around God and what are the can and cannot do’s. This article was extremely insightful on what being a Mormon is all about. I learn’t quite a lot, and it disproved some of my false beliefs surrounding Mormons (wearing makeup, drinking caffeine) and although I have no intention (currently) of pursing a Mormon lifestyle, I have definitely learned a lot.

    My family isn’t perfect when it comes to religious beliefs. My dad is Catholic while my mom and 3 other siblings have no beliefs in God (as far as I know) Lately I have felt very interested in learning about The Bible, The 10 Commandments and everything in between. I enjoyed reading and learning more about being Mormon. Thank you once again!

  11. Could I become a Mormon even if my family is Christian and strongly dislikes Mormons? (Of course Mormons aren’t bad or anything. They just said something my mother didn’t like and she got mad.)

    1. Hi Daphne, I’m really glad you are interested about learning more about the church. As a 14-year-old minor, we would certainly want to respect your parents’ wishes. We believe in honoring father and mother. What I would do is to simply tell your parents what you’re feeling and that you’d simply like their support for you in trying to learn more. Invite them to come to church with you and just tell them you are interested in learning more. When it comes time to decide whether you want to be baptized and become a member of the church, you’ll be able to show your parents (AND YOURSELF!) that you have made an eyes-open decision. Pray for Heavenly Father to help your parents to understand you, and for you to understand them. Good luck!

    1. LDS women wear a variety of clothing day-to-day just like any other women. They dress modestly, but wear a wide variety of clothing. At church, men usually wear a tie and women usually wear a dress or a skirt.

  12. ha im not mormon but the girl i love is, so far the only thing that may affect that is that i smoke marijuana. and when i meet her parents i want to tell them because I don’t see why i should lie but I dont want them to ban be from her and i dont want to hurt her. need some help on what to do, what is you advice. plz help

    1. Honestly, It’s amazing that you’re wanting to be honest with others. Chances are, they won’t hate you, and in fact, they will respect you for being honest. If it doesn’t turn out like that, talk to the girl you love, and see what she has to say. I know it can be really hard when coming clean about something you do, but as long as you’re honest and straightforward, no one should hate you or be mad at you. They might be skeptical and ask questions, but they will certainly be grateful that you let them know.

  13. I am so glad I came across this site. Thank you for providing such a comprehensive source of information. As someone who’s looking to learn more about this beautiful religion, it’s extremely helpful and I’m very appreciative.

  14. I\’ve met a few Mormons in my life time who were as sweet as a button. I am part of the LGBTQ+ community (I\’m a bisexual man who\’s happily married, with two adopted daughters), and the Mormons I\’ve talked to were completely accepting and understanding. It didn\’t change their opinion on me, and if it did, they didn\’t show it. And they certainly weren\’t disgusted. I find Mormonism a little far out, but seriously! These people are nice! They also won\’t hate you if you refuse to go to their church (most of the time, I\’ve encountered a few bad egg Mormons. But not many! Their beliefs aren\’t what make them bitter, it\’s their attitude.) This religion and its followers honestly have a bad reputation, and I don\’t see why! Thanks for helping me understand your religion a little bit better. 😉
    – Happy winter, from Jamie and the family!

  15. Hi Jim,

    Thank you so much for the lovely explanation on what Mormans believe and generally how they try to live! I grew up in a religious household but am not familiar with the cultural norms of Mormans, so I searched and stumbled upon your page. I just learned that my boss and his family are Mormons and I want to understand and be supportive of him. I have a great level of respect for him as a leader (which can be hard to come by these days) and after reading this, I understand a little bit more about his personality (a mix of lightheartedness, practicality and non-judgment with a very strong moral compass that drives all he does and is). Thank you for writing this post! 🙂

  16. Thank you for your information. I have recently made friends with a mormon family. Now I.know why, when I have offered her a cup of tea, she politely declines.
    It’s interesting to understand and I would like to know more. One thing that I read in a previous comment is that men are seen as the head of the family….I am a single parent who dissolved the marriage due to abuse & the safety of the children…how is that seen within the mormon community?

    1. @Kate – First of all, thank you for taking the time to learn about your friends’ beliefs. I’m sorry to hear about the abusive relationship you were in. I have a friend who is in a similar situation and the whole congregation is rallying behind her and trying to help her get to a good place. There are MANY single moms in the church and you’ll be warmly welcomed–I can assure you.

      1. I’m not trying to be difficult, but I have spoken with women who were excommunicated after leaving abusive marriages. The church elders wanted them to remain with their abusers. Are these churches going against what Mormons believe? If so, why does it happen so often?

        1. It is impossible to second-guess what happened in a particular situation without having the FULL information that those in a disciplinary council had.

          I can say, after participating in disciplinary councils, that an extreme effort goes into caring for each individual and helping them on their way.

  17. I’ve heard that non-Mormon persons aren’t allowed into the church of the mormons would you be able to elaborate on this? 🙂

    1. Hi Beth. All Mormon churches are open to the public. I wrote an article about how to attend a Mormon worship service for the first time here: https://purposeinchrist.com/mormon-churches-public/ There are thousands of church buildings around the world and I’m sure there’s one near you.

      Our temples also welcome all people to prepare to attend. There are 150 Mormon temples around the world. However, because the temple ceremony is for those who have already been baptized and keep the commandments, new visitors to the Mormon church should go to a regular church building and not a temple for your first visit.

  18. I hope this question doesn’t come off as rude because I don’t mean it as rude only for pure informational reasons but do you praise Joseph Smith the same as you do Jesus Christ?

    1. Good question, Brandi. The answer is most certainly NO. We worship only God the Father and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was simply a prophet like Abraham or Moses. We do not worship Joseph Smith.

  19. Thank you so much for this post. It has been really helpful, for I have some friends, and I don’t want to offend them or anything of the sort. I hope I can remember all of this. THANK YOU!! ?

  20. I’m doing a research project in school, I was wondering what the standpoint on medical cannabis usage was in a Mormon church? Like can mormons consume cannabis?

  21. My family has never been the religious type and I’ve always thought for a while we didn’t believe in god (that isn’t rue we just do t go to church) but when my boyfriend told me he was Mormon I had no idea what he was talking about. So I just searched this up and it cleared a lot of fog for me religiously. Thank you so much for taking the time and actually making this feel comfortable reading, trust me other sites aren’t very welcoming. . .

    1. And just a question, who all do you worship? I don’t know if I saw t in the article or not but I was just wanting to know, didn’t want to offend my boyfriend or other followers you know?

  22. Hey! Thank you for being this open on your faith, I do have a couple questions, I am AG (Assembly of God/ Pentacostal) & I was just curious on somethings, so heres my few questions:
    I’ve heard that Mormons believe that Jospeh Smith and that he had a vision from God about creating the Mormon faith and that he should write a book/Bible of the things that Mr.Smith got told by God, and it’s now developed into a very large religion, I was wondering if you could provide some more info on that?
    Are missions manditory or a actually call/passion from God?
    Do y’all really get baptized for people who have passed on? ..if the person wasn’t baptized before they died?
    Thank you, and best reguards,
    -Christney.

    1. Hi Christney,

      Thank you for your comment. Some of your questions are pretty in-depth so I’d encourage you to go to Mormon.org and request a visit from missionaries who could spend much more time than we can have in the comment section of this blog 🙂

      Yes, I believe Joseph Smith was visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ and given direction to create this church. A great place to learn more about that is here: https://www.mormon.org/nld/joseph-smith

      No LDS youth are ever forced to serve a mission. A mission takes months and years of preparation by the individual. Young men are expected to serve a mission if they do the work to prepare, and young women are also invited to serve missions if they so choose. My LDS mission was a wonderful and life-changing experience.

      Baptism for the dead may seem different at first, but we believe what Christ said in the Bible (John 3:5) that a man cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven without baptism. By performing vicarious baptism, we provide the deceased with the opportunity to CHOOSE to accept the baptism done for them on earth.

  23. Hi! I am a Christian (Baptist). I wouldn’t say that I am particularly wanting to become a Mormon, but I would like to learn more about your beliefs (in a respectful way).

    Revelations 22:18-19 says, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.”
    What would your response to this Biblical passage be?

    1. Great question, Alexandra. A careful reading of the verse you cited gives us the answer, “the words of the prophecy of THIS scroll…THIS scroll of prophecy…” John specifically mentions repeatedly his warning to those who changed HIS words in that book.

      If it were the case that this was meant to say there could be no more scripture after this point, then the Bible would end in Deuteronomy 4:2 where a very similar warning is made.

      Also, even though Revelation is the last book in the Bible it wasn’t necessarily the last chronologically. Many of Paul’s writings would have to be cut out of the Bible if we were to understand this writing to mean the end of God speaking to his children on earth, and thus the end of scripture.

  24. Hi Mr. Harmer,

    I love that you are comfortable enough to speak about your religion and beliefs, I find it inspiring. I was born into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and loved it. However, my family and I left about 7 years ago when I was very young. Since then I sort of lost contact with it, but I\’ve recently come back into contact and I\’ve learned some things. I would just like you to tell me if what I have learned is true or not:
    1. Women and girls need to dress modestly and unattractively so that the boys and men do not develop any sexual thoughts.
    2. People of any colour are cursed.
    3. People of the church are encouraged to marry as young as possible.
    4. The only role of a women is to care for a house and have children.
    5. Any other religion is deemed wrong.

    I understand this may seem rude or sarcastic, but I assure you its not. These are things that I honestly want to know the truth about and I don\’t know who to ask. I hope I have not offended you, as that is not my intention at all, I am considering going back to the church, I was only 10 when we left. I am now 17. Thank you for posting this website, it was very helpful, if you could get back to me when you can I would really appreciate it. Thank you 🙂

    1. I’m glad you asked these questions. I too would be concerned if these were true.

      1. No, women do not need to dress unattractively. My wife would be horrified if she had to do that! 🙂 Both men and women, however, should dress in a respectful and modest way.

      2. No, we do not believe that black people are cursed.

      3. There is no age that is the right age for marriage for all people. Our prophets have encouraged us to not delay marriage unnecessarily so that we can start a family and progress in life.

      4. We do not believe that the only role of women is to take care of the house and children. Marriage is a partnership. Many LDS women work full-time.

      5. We believe that all religions which teach of God have some truth in them and we believe that they do good things. However, we believe that the Priesthood authority from God is only in our church.

  25. I am a member I’m trying to understand the book of Mormon. I’m trying to learn more about church. Every one is nice there. I would like your feed back on this please

  26. Hi,
    Thank you for this article. I heard about LDS about a week ago and have been completely fascinated by your religion since then and have been doing a lot of research. I have some questions regarding LGBTQ+ members of the church. Are lesbian/gay people expected to never enter a relationship? So they’re allowed to feel attraction but they’re never allowed to act on it and can’t start their own families? What would happen if someone did marry someone of the same sex? Would they be forced out of the church? And is it true that families disown their children if they come out as LGBTQ+?
    I don’t mean any of these questions to come across as rude. I’m genuinely curious and looking for real answers.
    Thank you. 🙂

    1. Hi Dani. Thank you for asking. We believe the same gospel principles Christ taught in the Bible regarding same-sex attraction. We love ALL people and ALL people are welcome to worship with us. We also believe that God’s commandments must be followed. The church has an entire website dedicated to the questions you asked. I’d encourage you to visit https://mormonandgay.lds.org/

  27. Last night I watched ” The Greatest Story Ever Told” and this morning I watched Investigate ID on Travis Alexander who was a Mormon. Not comparing the two but that’s what got me to do a search on Mormons. I’ve never really inquired or was interested in different religions until recently due to the political climate in our country. I am 62 and a Catholic. I was raised to be tolerant and acceptant of all but it wasn’t until now that I started really understanding what that meant. What you have written here has given me a better understanding of being a Mormon. I had many misconceptions and you’ve cleared them up. I wish more people would take the time to look up different religions and get a better understanding of them before they condemn them. Thank you so much.

  28. Hi. I’m 16 and I’ve been really interested in this religion. I’ve been looking into other religions but haven’t found any religions that interested me(until this one) my boyfriend is Catholic and one of his friends are Mormon so thats kinda what pushed me into checking it out. The problem is I don’t think I would make a good mormon. I swear and I’ve had sex and I’m honestly not the best person. But if I could learn more of this religion and connect with God I’m sure I could turn myself around. DO you have any guides on how to become a good mormon? Would I be accepted into the church since I’m not a virgin?

    1. Hi Jessica, you would absolutely be welcomed into the church with open arms. The purpose of our church is not to be a gathering place for perfect people, but a place for anyone who wants to be better to come and learn how we can follow Christ. At church you’ll find people who struggle with addictions, vices, and sins of every kind. The fact that you are not a virgin will not AT ALL be a barrier to fellowship at church.

      The best way to learn about the church is to go to Mormon.org and request the visit of missionaries. If you aren’t comfortable with that, just approach your friend and ask if you can go to church with him this Sunday. He’ll be THRILLED!

  29. Hey! My family are Baptists and my older brother is Mormon. I don’t want to seem offensive in any sort of way but, why do Mormons use the Book of Mormons rather than just the bible? Also, do you consider yourself as a Christian because, my church sees Mormons separate from Christians. Thanks so much for your time!

  30. My friends at school constantly tell me I am crazy for following the bible and the ways of the Lord but I don’t understand how… I am constantly being told my faith is worthless and fake but this article really helped me to realise my faith is important and worthy

  31. Hi there!! I love learning about different religions and I appreciate this post. I was just curious about what seems a little odd to me; you mention those in the Mormon faith do not consume coffee/tea because they\’re \”unhealthy\” and potentially addictive but that Coke is perfectly fine to consume. Sugar is also addictive and unhealthy and changes brain chemicals–why would that not be mentioned? 🙂 Is there a reason for this exception somewhere in scripture? I\’d love to know the answer! Thanks so much.

    1. Good point, Catherine. Some sodas do have caffeine but a tiny bit compared to coffee; however, I should make the point again that we do NOT know that caffeine is the reason we are not to drink coffee. In fact, that’s probably unlikely for this very reason. All we know is that is what the prophet has revealed to us from the Lord and we follow the prophet.

  32. What about herbal tea does it matter what we drink. I lose to drink coffee and sweet tea not anymore my like has change so much now. That’s another topic for another day.

  33. Hi Jim,
    I am currently without any religion, but I have found that Mormonism seems to fit me very well. I have some questions though, I am a bisexual man, leaning closer to men in terms of my attraction, and if I was to meet a man I wanted to spend my life with, I would spend my life with him. I am also pro abortion. This leads me to my question: would I be permitted to be Mormon if I believed in these things?

    1. Hi Jason. Thank you for your comment. As a bisexual man, you will be welcomed with open arms at church. All people of all gender orientations are welcome to worship with us. The church does believe God’s words in the Bible concerning homosexual relations, but at the same time welcomes anyone to worship with us no matter where you currently are today, what circumstances you are in, what choices you have made, or how you were born. Please visit http://mormonandgaylds.org for LOTS more information.

  34. Hiya. A nice post.One of my sons is 19 and he soon goes to stay with a Mormon family so this was really useful and there will be no problems on anything mentioned.Any fiurther advice would be appreciated.He is very interested in a girl of that family and she him we believe.

    kind regards,Keith.

  35. Thanks for this, it’s kinda annoying how people will judge others on religion, we are all the same! Alot of these things are very similar to my religion Islam.We can’t drink alcohol or gamble and lying is frowned upon, some times I wish people wouldn’t judge others based on religion. Well thanks for this I was really curious!

  36. Interesting post. I have done extensive research on the lds church, history, archeologicicle evidence, DNA testing and have yet to find one single piece of evidence that conclusively supports the people, places and events claimed in the book of Mormon.
    Passing off such obvious fraud as the word of God is tragically blasphemous.
    Also interesting that only positive comments are posted here.

    1. Hi Burton. Thank you for visiting, though I’m not sure your comment was very fair to my religion. You said that you haven’t found “one single piece of evidence that conclusively supports the…Book of Mormon.” I agree. Although there is a WEALTH of evidence supporting the Book of Mormon, there is no CONCLUSIVE evidence.

      There is also no CONCLUSIVE physical evidence supporting the belief that there is a God. While I do find it helpful to learn as much about the history, science, and archeology of ancient religions, I do not base my belief on that research. On earth, we are to walk by faith and not by sight.

      In your comment, you seem to suggest that because there is no CONCLUSIVE evidence supporting the claims of the Book of Mormon, so it must not be true. But I would respond to you that there is ALSO no conclusive evidence that it is false.

      In the end, religion can only be settled upon one’s individual relationship with God through prayer, faith, and experimentation on the word of God. Would you please read the Book of Mormon and pray to God, asking if it is true–rather than simply studying ABOUT the book?

  37. Why is it harm for Mormon stay in he church I haven’t been for sometime now I’m having problems with my back and I can’t walk either because I have fall so much. Why is the to so many room I couldn’t walk that

  38. Hi Jim,
    I’m going to Springville, UT in september. And learned recently it’s a very important Mormon community. Some old acquaintances are going to pick me up from the airport and I’m staying in an Airbnb with a small family. I’m half mexican/japanese and don’t follow any church. But I’m worried I was quite rude to another friend I visited some years ago in Phoenix, and was looking for advice… I learned the hard way you aren’t allowed to drink, and here in your article that no tea or coffee either. I have a very very loose tongue and I’ll make my best to behave when I’m over there. Anyway I was looking for tips on what would be a nice thing to give to the people that are helping me on this trip and small details of things to do and not to do, that’s how I came to your site. Guess all I’m trying to say is thank you for the information.

  39. Hi!

    Very useful information. I myself feel a calling to the Mormon life. I feel that is where God wants me to be. I have been in limbo spiritually for some time.

    No other religion feels ‘right’.

    I do have a question?

    What it you can’t physically have children nor desire the urge to have children?

    Is that a problem for joining the church and dating?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Lisa, Thanks for your message. Are you currently meeting with missionaries? You will definitely be warmly welcomed despite the fact that you can’t have children.

  40. We are thinking of moving to Utah and possibly attending the Mormon Church as the majority of your believes are what we already practice. The one question I do have is does the church consider done by coffee. I notice that you are allowed to drink coke which has been proven to cause cancer. I am very confused as to why coffee would be more harmful.

  41. Hi Jim thank you for writing this articlal it helped me with my decision to enter the mormon church, I’m 18 years old and I previously gone to church with friends when I lived in Utah I now live in Las Vegas and both my parents aren’t that religious and my mother has a slight distane for mormons so I’m going to be walking to the church near me, but this arrival has cemented that I would like to go to LDS chruch and eventually become a mormon.

    1. Good for you, Hailey. Walk right into church and just tell someone you’re a new member of the church and are nervous coming for the first time. I guarantee you’ll find good people who are just like you who will welcome you warmly.

  42. Hi everyone

    I kind if have an issue….My mom is a Catholic but my dad is a Christian however we haven’t been in a church for a couple of years now. I am honestly interested in becoming a Mormon but I have a feeling that my parents and family would see me differently.

    1. Only Baptists seem to think that Catholics are not Christians from what I have read so it is interesting that you said “my mum is a Catholic but my Dad is a Christian”.
      I have found some Baptists to be extremely intolerant of anyone who is not Baptist and speak of Catholics as Satanic.
      If you look at the history of Christianity, you will find that all other western Christian religions have evolved from Catholicism so I find their stance hypocritical.
      I do not think it is good to judge others, lest you be judged.

  43. Thank you so much for explaining some of the do’s and don’ts ~
    My husband was raised in an LDS home and I am trying to learn and understand the lifestyle.
    I’m very intrigued.
    LP

  44. Hi, two elders came knocking on my door today, I am full of flu so it wasn’t convenient for me to chat, but I have invited them back next week, I hope to be back to rights by then, however I am aware tea and coffee aren’t a suitable, what could I offer them instead please?

    1. Thank you for your message. It’s very thoughtful of you to think of their comfort. A simple glass of water, juice, cookie, or even nothing at all would be fine 🙂 Please listen to their message and consider how it could change your life for the better. It will be the best decision you ever make.

  45. A couple who are friends of mine used to be Mormon. They told me that they left because they could no longer participate in what they called “Lying for God”. They said that the LDS church, though honesty is considered to be one of the most important values, encourages its members to lie to outsiders if the lie will help the church.

    They also researched Joseph Smith independently (their educations include anthropology and archaeology) and discovered that everything that Joseph Smith “discovered” was fraudulent. Apparently Joseph Smith himself was a known con artist and had a long history of stealing and defrauding his community. Not only were they excommunicated for simply asking their bishop questions about Joseph Smith, but they were demonized by members of their church afterwards for simply the degrees that they had obtained in their education.

    Why does the LDS Church dislike empirical research? I have only found this trait to be common with fraudulent claims, as even the Christian Church welcomes empirical research into the history of Jesus of Nazareth.

    1. I have been a member of this church my entire life. I have been a full-time missionary, have been involved in church leadership, and have studied it extensively. I have attended THOUSANDS of meetings across many different countries. I have never ONCE heard anything like what you are describing at our church–EVER. In fact, the first time I’ve ever heard the phrase “Lying for God” is from your comment.

      I have also participated in church disciplinary councils and am intimately familiar with the policies and procedures for doing so. It is ABSOLUTELY contrary to church policy for anyone to be excommunicated simply for asking questions about something they don’t understand. That simply would never happen. Someone could be excommunicated for apostasy, which means actively seeking to destroy the faith of others, but that could not be done by simply asking questions. I don’t think you’re being told the entire story.

      Also, the statement that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints “dislikes empirical research” is odd to me. There is literally an entire department of the church which is dedicated to history and research of the church. There are multiple conferences held each year by the church and by independent third-party organizations that are just about studying the history of the church and I frequently listen to all of the presentations.

      I don’t think there is an argument about Joseph Smith or the history of the church I haven’t heard. I’m an attorney so I’m not easily swayed by evidence until I can research it out on my own. In the end, I am a firm believer that Joseph Smith was God’s prophet.

      I don’t know these friends of yours or what they are telling you, but frankly, I don’t think you’re being given a fair and unbiased presentation of the facts. I would encourage you to find out for YOURSELF rather than believe the rumors that ONE person has told you about a church that you really don’t know about yet for yourself.

      If you want to know for YOURSELF, then read The Book of Mormon. Meet with the missionaries. Attend church. Pray and ask God. Find out for YOURSELF instead of believing the rumors you’re being told.

  46. Hi, Jim Harmer I really enjoyed this Article I myself am a first generation Roman Catholic, but my father is Mormon. this article is especially beneficial to me as I am a theology/Philosophy major at Sacred Heart University, which makes me um… like… one of twelve others 😂🤣🤣. but seriously this article really helped me to lay to rest many rumors I’ve heard and embarrassingly enough believed for most my life. in conclusion this article has helped me to grow in respect for The Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints of which you and my father are apart of and really see how similar our two churches are as far as teachings and theology.

  47. Hi Jim
    I really enjoyed your article, thank you.. As a thoroughly messed up Adult of a strict Catholic upbringing I’m afraid I had to turn my back on ‘Religion’ when I finally found the courage some 10 years ago & have been Godless ever since 😢 I’m a loving and kind person though, I do much work voluntarily for my community and hope that He knows thru my way of life that I am worthy. I have an emptiness inside that I’m not sure will ever be filled, childhood trauma finds me at 48 not married and childless so I’m unsure what my purpose here is.. I’m not seeking to find a new church as such but I felt compelled to say hi & tears have sprung, which they haven’t for a very long time when talking about my experience of religion, so thank you again for provoking emotion in me.
    Haters of this article please be respectful and just move on, if its not for you it’s not for you.. To each his own.. love & light x

    1. Thank you for your touching comment, Sarah. I’m so sorry you had that negative experience.

      My brother fell away from his faith a few years ago and similarly felt the emptiness you describe. He posted on Facebook multiple times about not being able to find his purpose, yet he wasn’t open to religion. The one solution to his problem that he wouldn’t allow was the ONLY solution there really was.

      Could I humbly suggest that the only way to fill this void is to allow faith in Jesus Christ to grow within yourself again? You frankly will never find another purpose to life. Your purpose isn’t to be a great employee, or a great friend or a great possessor of things. Your purpose is to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.

      You can grow your faith by taking small actions and allowing God’s light to fill you with each one, which will make you feel strong enough to take another action. Just pray one time. Kneel down and pour out your feelings to God.

      Request a completely free missionary visit. https://www.comeuntochrist.org/site/free-book-of-mormon Simply type your address in and two missionaries will come to your house and read the scriptures with you and can walk you through this process of slowly allowing your faith to grow.

      I can understand a thousand reasons why you may be hesitant to take a step forward, but I can also tell you that I feel certain of my purpose on earth, I feel motivated to grow stronger in my faith, and I do feel a strength from my relationship with God.

      I once heard a quote that I have now found to be true: “There is a connection between Heaven and Earth. Finding that connection makes everything in life meaningful.”

  48. I had three directors and a VP who were Mormons. Unfortunately, they did not behave the way you describe your religion. They were hypocrites. They manipulated people saying the contrary of what they were telling us. They lied about everything. They did not respect the different values of the company. They have a high esteem of themselves. They did not listen, and they did not hesitate to get rid of people who were smarter than themselves. They did not hesitate to fire them knowing that the husband and the wife would be both jobless. They did not have any Christian value. They reorganized the company and removed good people to bring more Mormons on board. They did not hesitate to suppress position hold by foreigners who were doing a great job because my director and VP overspent their allocated budget. I learned they behaved the same way in another company.

    1. I’m so sorry you had that negative experience with these people, Jean. There’s no excuse for bad behavior.

      I used to sometimes feel negatively toward the church when I saw people not doing what they professed. That experience can easily hurt someone’s faith. But then I realized that the ENTIRE PURPOSE of the church is to help people to grow closer to God. Church wasn’t a place for perfect people to come together and do perfect things. Church is a place for sinners to come together and learn.

      So I would invite you to remember that while there will ALWAYS be hypocrites and bad behavior and failures to live up to one’s ideals, it does not mean there is something wrong with the ideals themselves.

  49. Thank you for this post. I am just starting to begin a relationship with a girl who is Mormon. I am a Methodist and live in a region where rumors run rampant. I searched this looking for answers as to whether there will be anything jeopardizing us creating a healthy relationship and from what I have gathered, there is nothing. Thank you for enlightening me on the subject and God Bless!

  50. I worked in an office where the vast majority practiced mormanism and I definitely didn’t didn’t follow the guidelines that the your church expects. Not one member of the staff there judged me for not having the same beliefs as them and my employer had a very important position in the church. I may not believe in everything you practice with your religion and your religion may not believe with my lifestyle but I did will never argue that your family values, self respect physical and mental, compassion and empathy are among some of the best I have personally ever witnessed. I think that alone speaks a lot for the positive in your religion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Content