As a life-long member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 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 member of the church of Jesus Christ is not because I’m afraid of punishment or to 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 we live by, and you’ll get it.  So here goes…

  • No sex before marriage and complete fidelity after marriage.  Latter-day saints 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. We 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% 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.  We also 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.
  • 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.  Members of the church 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.


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.


  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. absolute LIE, every moron i have ever met was miserable and hateful. Hmmmmmmmmm why is that i wonder? Perhaps because you deny yourself true happiness believing in your false book you spun off of the True first and only book Christian Bible of our Lord The New Testament. Please stop calling yourselves Christians, you are NOT. You are what you are and made yourselves to be MORMON, period end of story.

        1. Hi Deb. For someone professing that every member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is hateful, it seems that your comment is, ironically hateful. And mine have been quite respectful. Mote and beam situation?

          1. Well said. I am not any religion myself, however am interested in other people’s beliefs. Your religion is kind, respectful and giving. I can’t understand why people are so ignorant. I have met amazing people from all religions. I’m in the UK so have not met many Mormons. The ones I have were polite, friendly and kind

        2. Deb, on behalf of other feisty Christians, you’re making us look bad. Christ said judge not lest we be judged in a similar fashion. Well, you’re demonizing folks whom I am in position to judge on a sustained basis and they truly emulate the finest and most wholesome qualities which we cherish of Our Lord. A house divided among itself will fall and the body of Christ subject to hostile sectarianism is a cancer in His Holy Kingdom.
          As to my position of judgement.. I am owner of American School of Martial Arts in Belfair Washington and fully half of my student body are Latter Day Saints. I have so much respect for the quality and character of them that I sought invitation to LDS church two weeks ago and I love them all the more. Too many hostile forces within the body of Christ are demonizing this beautiful and honorable group; guess what, they are now under my protection.
          Thank you to the beautiful souls of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints for refreshing my spirit and views of wholesomeness in Christ’s kingdom.

          1. Thank you for sharing that. I believe, as well, that Christ would have us come together and show love and tolerance for one another. We shouldn’t be bickering. We should be searching for the good and for absolute truth. I believe that truth is revealed to us bit by bit through the Holy Spirit. As we all study the Word of God and have an open heart and Christlike love for others, we show Jesus Christ that we are truly his disciples.

          2. Hello Brother David hope your doing well 🙏 I’m newly joining on to the church of Latter Day Saints her local where I live in Kentucky this church is one amazing place 🙏 I could not be any happier for where God has guided me to the brothers and sisters there was so caring and loving so welcoming in every way I have been not going to this church ever in my life but I always had faith and would go to church all the as a child leaving and coming back to God in the years of course God would always take me back he is a amazing God I can’t wait to keep getting closer to him every one and the church of Latter Day Saints has been a blessing to me and a new path for my way to having my comfort of happiness and the man God wants me to be for my family and fellow ppl in this world this is a huge step in my faith and I’m so blessed to be able build my foundation for God to always be welcome in my home and for me not to ever turn away from him like I did as a teen I did not know what I was missing in my life then 🙏❤️😇 God #1 always in my life I want this new day to be a day I can praise God and show others how awesome he is to each and every day I wake up I’m so excited to learn of help others give love to others when there in darkness I’m so blessed for what God has did for me and where I’m at in church and the word of Jesus and places and things he did I want to learn it all 🙏🙏❤️❤️❤️ I know I will always be learning none are perfect only God your stories of the good that come out the latter day Sanits church and ppl there willing to teach us ( aka) me Willie joe Ferguson im so greatful for them to and the time they give me and the faith we as beleavers share is amazing I want to tell the world what God has did for me and let anyone know they can have it to thank u David for your heart touching reply 🙏🙏❤️😇 I’m so happy to be in the church and what the lord has waiting for me I watch him move mountains for me every day to keep me on the right path I can not be any happier with the way I live and my Goals I have excepted that God wants me to do to better my self and always forgive others I just wanted to share some of my story hope you have a blessed day and safe travels to all God #1

        3. Deb,
          I guess misery and hate enjoy each other’s company. There’s always going to be those that are miserable in any organization you find. To me it looks like you seek to find company in those who are miserable if that’s all you’re finding.
          I have found quite the opposite over and over again. I’ll always be willing to help those who are miserable and try to be cheerful to them.

          As for the rest, don’t tell the LDS people what they believe. We say what we believe.

          As for the Book of Mormon, have you ever read it cover to cover? If not, then just stop this behavior.

          As for the Bible… do you even know what it is? How about we begin with which version of the Bible? How about why do some bibles have more books than others? It’s a compilation of various scrolls written by prophets of old. The Book of Mormon is just that more writings of other prophets, all professing the same things- to believe in Jesus Christ as our savior. If you say that is false and wrong, you’re only condemning yourself.

        4. Mormons are some of the best people in the world. You might want to educate yourself. I come up Southern Baptist. Never met a Mormon I didn’t like. You give respect you get respect in return no matter what religion.

        5. I am not a Mormon but came here to see how come all of the Mormons I know are happy, peaceful and non confrontational people. Perhaps, you should get out and meet more Mormons and avoid generalising. It feels you just want to cause offence and angst. I doubt you will get it here. Sorry you feel that way. Peace and love ..

        6. Deb
          I am not a member of any church but I do understand tolerance to others. Let people be whatever they want to be. All you have to do is worry about your soul.
          One love sister.

        7. Deb, I, like you, am hesitant to blindly accept a writing that is not a part of the original canon of books included in the Bible. That being said, I don’t understand the vitriol contained in your comments. This man wasn’t attempting to convert you or anyone else with his article. He was simply providing information about doctrine for those of us not familiar with the LDS. I found it very informative and cannot argue with ANY of his dos/don’ts. They all seem like Christian values to me. I was not familiar with the LDS faith at all, but recently I was introduced to a large family of followers. I have to say they are the most genuine, loving, caring, and hardest working people I’ve ever met. Their lives are spent serving their fellow man at whatever cost. The Bible says they will know we are Christians by our love. I’m just glad it’s not up to you or me to pick and choose who gets into Heaven. I’m thankful for the LDS family I met and all the other Christians out there who spend their lives giving to others. That, to me, is as Christlike as it gets.

          1. Teresa,
            Your answer to Deb is so mature. It was well said. I also knew about LDS just yesterday ( it’s not common in Kenya) I met a lady, a sister to my friend who taught me a lot about LDS.
            Her name is Jane.She knows alot about the BIBLE and was not trying to convert me but help me learn about their faith.
            I came here because I felt as much as I am a Christian, I still felt empty, yet just met Jane and she was at peace with life and so optimistic. She has made me question my Christianity. I will take a step a time. When all is said and done. I would like to go to heaven.

        8. Deb,
          I was completely shocked to read such a strong tone response to Jim’s article.
          I am Catholic and really appreciated to read about another religion.
          I may not agree with some of the restrictions they observe.
          I would never criticize anyone who is doing good.
          I’m going to put you in my prayers tonight. I wish you well.
          Thanks Jim for sharing your life with us.
          I feel more informed about the Latter Day Saints!

        9. I am a Christian, I like to learn and respect other religions, I don’t judge but try to set a good example.. I loved reading about the LDS but honestly I drink gallons of tea.

          1. I have struggled with this. The answer came to me in, Nov. 2021. The countries that grow/produce coffee and tea, HATE us. There irrigation water is BLACK with sewer water and heavy metals. 2 weeks after this came to me, I found writtings from Hyrum saying, what better way for our enemies to poison us

        10. Dear Deb, I’m sorry that some people here chose to respond to your obvious hurt by pointing to you as the problem. That is not what we are taught as LDS people. I’m sorry for those who have treated you with hate within this faith. Sometimes people not sure of their own beliefs, or hurting also take that out on others. I grew up LDS and I have found both kindness and hatred within our walls. To deny that would be to lie. Sadly some LDS family I have today are very hateful. They have lost themselves in their own fear and ideals, forgetting that not all believe what they believe, and that the very idea of making others conform to their belief is wrong. These are not excuses. They are wrong. The LDS belief is built on the very idea that Satan wanted to subvert freedom and choice, while God wants us to know good AND evil. (I would advise my brothers and sisters here to note that in some very important places it says that.) We are suppose to choose what our heart tell us is correct. Not even all LDS can agree what is correct sometimes. Once again, my most humble apologies for the hurt you’ve felt from those of this faith. My own personal belief is that all people have a story, and all of us have broken edges. It’s our choice to cut others on them. I’m sorry someone cut you on theirs. My love my yet unknown friend.

        11. I think I may have spotted your problem… do you think it’s because they were ‘moron’ to begin with, hence they’re always miserable and hateful?

          Alright, all jokes aside, I can’t say I have met enough Mormons to be in a position to say much. But in general, they’re very dedicated people, to say the least. Spreading the Gospel day in, day out, around the world.

          The same goes for Islam, their unyielding daily prayer routine and discipline in fasting seasons, etc. Of course, some people will only associate Islam with terrorism but oh boy, let\’s not even deplete our intelligence by going there.

          The point I’m trying to make is this, Reb, saying someone\’s religion is a \’spun off\’ of the true Christian Bible, you need to first understand the history of Christianity. And as far as I know, Christianity and Islam are closer than we think (and closer than a bigot would admit).

          Ok, ok, I get it, we’ve all got a busy lifestyle, and who’s got time for history lessons? But if you\’re into it… I\’ve got all day.

          So, let\’s look internally, in short, during the Old Testament times we\’re governed by Laws, and in New Testament times, we\’re governed by Love through Jesus.

          What I don\’t understand about (certain) people from the different factions of Christianity is, that they go around \’throwing stones\’ at other factions (or anyone who\’s not aligned with their beliefs), and claim that only theirs is the true way.


          What happened to Love, Acceptance, Understanding, Tolerance, etc.? Did your Jesus teach you to criticize others and be crude in your words and actions? My Jesus certainly did not.

          For anyone who\’s reading this with an open mind, I hope you can at least consider one thing…

          The Bible dates back millenniums, a very very long time. And in between, there were countless translations and modifications, omissions of books, and lost books, but most important of all, these were handled by man.

          And with man, comes err. Agendas even. With something as big as religion, do you not suspect that some things could have been altered for personal gains?

          It may not even have to be agendas. It could very well be a poor monk having a toothache and messed up the script. We Don\’t Know!

          Hence, how much of it can we really trust, and how much of the trusted content do we actually understand (in accordance with its initial purpose and meaning). This isn\’t a conspiracy theory. This is human psychology.

          Personally, I do not doubt the Word of God, but I\’m very wary of what man can, and will do with it to serve their own goals and agendas.

          On the contrary, we as Christians are taught to love and care, accept and forgive, which makes sense in our conscience to do so. But yet somehow people just conveniently chose to ignore this part, and follow blindly on words that may very well have been manipulated. To me, this is weird.

          Is it so difficult to unite as one, or at least have the decency to respect someone else\’s standpoint? Especially when you can\’t even be sure if yours is correct.

          On this note, I probably have to talk about faith. At the end of the day, we believe what we believe out of faith, I know.

          But God also gave us, logic, a brain, and the ability to analyze and think.

          So please, whoever\’s reading, we may never, ever, have the answer to whether who\’s right, who\’s wrong, or who\’s orthodox and who\’s not. The answer is as unimportant as how we got here.

          Instead, focus on how you can live and what you can leave behind. Put others first, and if we can manage that, many problems in modern human civilization will miraculously be solved.

          Now that\’s my faith.

        12. Christian: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ
          Yep thats mormons. By the way we don’t call ourselves mormons. Also, no offense, but is posting a closminded comment bursting with misconceptions, anger, hate, maybe being a little “hateful”? and a “Miserable” understanding of our church? Please don’t “Deny yourself” some education on the subject.

        13. I think you might be saying this because you can’t understand other people’s religion.
          It sounds like you are an unhappy person with an axe to grind.
          You would be best served to find and fill your life with happiness instead of being hurtfuly critical of others.
          Wishing you well and God bless.🙂

    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. I think I might have missed something, regarding to you being a sophomore is that in college or high School? I was only 14 when I was a sophomore in high school and should never plan on getting married that young.

      2. I don’t know about anyone else, but I was not encouraged to get married soon after my mission. I was told to do it when the time and person were right.

    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?

      1. Alma 11:23
        And Amulek said, oh though child of hell, why tempt he me? Knowest though not that the righteous falling to no such temptation?

      2. I don’t know much but I think if you talk to him about Sampson and tell him he’s still young and finding out what makes him special and if she really cared about him she would understand and be willing to wait. There are many stories that could help with communicating how you feel, and I suggest praying that God helps guide you heart as you talk to him. I will keep you in my prayers. God bless.

    4. Hi I am a lds 13year old and I have lots of friends boys and girls but I’m not allowed to do anything with my friends that are girls but can do any thing with my friends that are boys. I feel like this is unfair. Thanks

      1. Hi caleb. I am also 13. I am sorry your mom dosn’t let you hang out with the opposite sex, (i honestly can barely talk to guys, but i would balk at not being allowed to) but just want to clarify that that is not a rule of our church. Been flipping through different websites about the rules of our church (all i’ve found besides this one written by very badly informed people with sooo many misconceptions, many quite hilarious) and just didn’t want someone getting the wrong idea. Thanks!

    5. Hi, Jim. I have a very important question that I’ve wanted to ask for a while now. I’ve wanted to convert to your way of living for a while. The problem is that the religion I currently practice strongly discourages me from converting to another religion. Am I committing a sin if I convert?
      Sorry to trouble you. I’m a mess right now.

      1. Thank you for your question. I appreciate your desire to do the right thing. I think you first need to decide what you church you believe is God’s way, and then follow. If that involves converting to another religion, then so be it. It’s always right to follow truth.

        1. I was always ĺed to believe Mormons did not celebrate Christmas birthdays etc. Back in 1988 I worked with 3 latter day saints ( I am in the uk)who all said that they and their fellow saints didn’t celebrate. Has this since changed.

          1. Thanks for your comment. Latter-day saints have always celebrated birthdays and holidays. Perhaps these friends of yours were Jehovah’s Witnesses?

      2. Follow where God leads you, no matter what earthly people say. Who are they compared to God? Pray about this and listen to what God wants you to do and follow Him.

    6. Hi Jim this helpful after converting to be a lds member I believe that this can help everyone if this religion is right for them but if it’s not let it be but i have a question for you after converting my dad and brother disowned me how do I deal with it is there any verses or something that can help me

    7. How come a lot of people from the LDS live in Utah I am Australian and everything related to Utah is just that religion and church of Jesus Christ ladder day saints

      1. Good question. A hundred years ago, many pioneers of the church settled in Utah, and so population wise, it became a high density of members of the church. But there are FAR more members of the church outside the United States than inside the United States now.

    8. Hi Jim, i just stumbled upon this website and i gotta say i’m really interested in the Mormon church and i just wanted to say thank you for opening my eyes to your belief and you also made me giggle a few times, i think i’m interested in joining the church myself, just wondering if there is a certain age limit as to what age you can join.

      1. Hello Tara! For children raised by lds parents, they are given the choice to be baptized at 8. Based on your comment, i am positive you are older than that. Other than that, the only things that need to happen before you can join the church is learn about it, maybe contact some Lds missionaries in your area. You can ask them or they might ask you when you can be baptized i think they normally teach six?? discussions before baptism.

    9. I actually enjoyed reading your article btw as it opened my eyes up to things people have said snd as I was going down the list of dos and fonts I thought 🤷🏻‍♀️It’s just common decency to do these things in order to be a decent respectful person and if ye don’t want to be then it’s their choice🤷🏻‍♀️I think each should not judge? Or mock others religions and at the end of the day aren’t we all praying to that one creator and if yer stupid enough to think that there was no creator of this then 😳😳😳 who created the universe and worlds? But I did enjoy this I’m not religious I am a nature living geek who enjoys learning others ways and I see a pattern in these ways all same story’s in a way? And different times? But still same one that’s up there I don’t believe it to be man or woman 🤷🏻‍♀️Just my opinion unless they have learnt to make mini worlds agh well anything is possible! But thanks I sincerely enjoyed this thank u for sharing I haven’t even seen when you wrote ut prob years ago😂I was just doing a little research 👍🏻

    10. Jim, you are all wrong, the lord teaches not to judge, That is all you do is judge other people.
      My son married a mormon, they rejected his and her non mormon family to the point of hate. the last thing he said to us is f you. also the commandment says in so many words honor your parents that went out the door. the only thing that god lets us judge is false doctrine, you are teaching false doctrine.

      1. Marvin, you’ve never met me, but you said “all I do is judge other people.” Isn’t that a pretty insane accusation against someone you don’t even know?

        You’re literally judging ALL 16 million members of my church based of the one experience you had with one family whose actions you judged as wrongful.

    11. Thank you for explaining your faith in a way I can understand. I have found your writing most interesting and not “pushy” in anyway. I hope now that if anyone says anything derogatory about your faith or other faiths to me that I will have the courage to suggest they look into the faith they are talking about, and not pass on the myths all faiths seem to gather around them.
      I do feel you are blessed to have such conviction and I appreciate your sharing it. I am a Catholic ( very lapsed) and realise how little I know of my own faith, I certainly could not explain it as you have yours. My best wishes to you.

    12. Thank you for taking the time to write this. I have grown up as a Christian my whole life, but I am always so confused about what to believe. I have been to a Baptist Church, a Lutheran Church, a 7th day Adventist, and who knows how many other churches. I have never been to a Mormon church, can you tell me what if anything you believe is different between Christianity and Mormon?

      1. There are many things that differentiate our church from many other Christian beliefs. I’ll highlight two: (1) We believe that we are saved through Christ’s grace, and because of that, we believe that we must learn to live the laws that God does so that we may enjoy the type of happiness that he does. We know that Christ has saved us, but that doesn’t mean we can be lazy and disobedient. It means we must live our best lives so that we can live with him again.

        (2) We believe in the authority of God being restored on earth. Just as there were prophets like Abraham, Moses, Peter, and others in the Bible, we believe there is a living prophet and 12 apostles today. They speak to us regularly in addresses to the world and we can be guided as to the complicated issues of life today.

        1. Enjoyed your article. It helped to clear up some misconceptions (ie: not Christians) but I am confused about the apostles and prophets you speak of in today’s society. Who are they? Do you know of them personally? Are they LDS?

    13. This is coming from a person outside of the Mormon Church, but to the few who have had bad interactions with Mormons and have expressed that here, I can tell you that, while yes, there are a few who say they are Mormon, but often break the commandments and the Word of Wisdom, there is a great deal of those who are very nice. I feel that while there are the bad, there are the good. This is also a great time to remember to pray to those who you feel have done wrong-doings (Matt. 5:44)

  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.

        1. Hi Jim. I have read your article with great interest as I like educating myself about different religions and beliefs and how the world is viewed.
          I have a question about same-sex relationships.
          From what I read and understood is that MARRIAGE in the eyes of God is reserved for man and woman and the creation of a family. Would a long-term, loving, devoted same-sex relationship be permissible in the eyes of God and the Church?

    2. You haven’t met some of the ppl in my church. We are not perfect just because we are a Christian. We fall short just like everyone else. Do not put expectations and high standards on ppl or you will be let down by disappointment.

  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.

        2. Have you ever heard that Mormons don’’t believe in candles, like at a vigil after postman was shot

    2. Keep on fighting the (sometimes hilarious) misconceptions planted all over the internet about the church!

  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:

      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. Hello, I come from Germany and I am very interested in religion. Beeing a lutheran myself with catholic family members, I am absolutely amazed at the mormon people. I watch the vlogs from the Griffith family in Utah and I do realize now, that these people are really happy, healthy, clever and by no means backward. I wish I had so much discipline in my life. Maybe then I would be happier. Thanks for sharing your way of life.

    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.

      1. In order to believe that all the wonderful things in life, such as nature, the sun, the beauty, the life, etc are proof that for existing, you must also believe that all the horrendous things in life are due to go’s as well. Children being raped and murdered and elderly forgetting who they are and living their final years in a state of confusion, young moms dying of cancer, children suffering through cancer, etc. You can not say god is responsible for the good without also saying he is responsible for the bad. If the good didn’t just happen by chance, then neither did the bad. If god can create and control anything to give us good in the world, then anything that isn’t good has to be a lack of his interference. Do you guys not understand how you can’t have one without the other?

        1. Misty, I appreciate your comment. I almost agree with you, but there’s one slight detail that I believe differently, which yields a drastically different result. Yes, I believe God gave us all the good things in this world. And yes, I believe that the bad things are intended to exist as well so that we may grow stronger as we pass through trials. The difference is that I believe God does not create evil, but He allows it to exist in the world so that we may know good and evil, and choose to become good. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, I believe all wrongs will be righted, and we may live with God in peace forever.

    3. I’m a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and one of my best friends is a gay and I love him to death he’s literally the funniest person I know. Even though you aren’t religious, I just want you to know that if there is a God out there he loves you and who you are no matter what and in his eyes you are perfect and beautiful in every way. No matter what anyone makes you feel, don’t believe you are going to hell for loving someone. I can’t tell you my church is true, but I know I have a strong rooted testimony in it and I encourage you to believe in what makes you happy.

  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.

    2. Hello. My name is sister bruhn as iI am told by my sisters lol I was raised southern baptist studied read the Bible meditated and was a devoted Christian servant I followed on my own with Gods grace to be a child of God witnessed to many I know all religions are created. From man each one chooses things to put in the list Catholics have their ways I’ve seen their masses in person. Congregated with them I was never a drinker or well wild kid or teen I dated some but you know was primarily God focused family focused ______in my thirties I began to go with neighbors to a Mormon church ——I have a real love for all my fellow Christians —-I was not on board though with silly. Rules from any of the congregations God speaks to me and I do as he says so This drug thing never but oh medically 81 Asprin yes and vitamins yes. And hot coffee cold coffee or tea yes Diet Coke no bad for kidneys all diet. Drinks and reg coke I am cutting back from the obtuse of the product back in my 30s I don’t drink never really have much drank over all my years weed never smoking no now with that said I am working on my walk to serve again after I was mistreated by husband friends family. Etc forgiveness is tough. But I am their trying each day one by one I was saved babtized in Mormon church but. Can’t see some things being told for me to do that I deem silly God says serve be kind give love grow in Christian faith and tithe so this tithe I always did and will start again when I have a church home these things are first to conquer my thoughts my attitude my language after such a horrific abuses I’ve situation is hard to overcome and know with that conquered ty Jesus Christ for your complete armor to protect me …. I can’t say as I grow my thoughts won’t change but it will be from Gods work on me not a person who thinks they know what’s best for me,

  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.

          1. I don’t care for that answer.
            She’s saying the husbands were abusers.
            The church says in the proclamation to the family that God will hold those who abuse accountable.
            They have been excommunicated?!?
            I’m sorry but I’m a member and have seen a pattern of masogany.
            I think the church is working on being better at recognizing abuse. Leaders are taking courses to better understand . But we are a lay church and the leaders are Not trained clergy and make mistakes.
            This cannot be allowed to continue.

          2. Please let me know of your response.
            Defending councils and ignoring her concerns is not the best way to address her concern about abuse. I was abused a lot by those who still went to the temple. I don’t blame the church, but I do blame the idea, that gave men too much power.
            I know of one case where a young girl was forced into church court in front of a bunch of men and had to tell them why she was pregnant. It was wrong and humiliating. And creepy middle aged men wanting to know personal sexual lives of young women?
            Where was the young man?
            Needless to say she never returned.
            I hope these experiences are a thing of the past women need to be part of these councils.
            They know the heart of their sisters ….who are often misjudged.
            I’ve known of a lot of cases in the past where women were treated as evil and men got away with the same sin.
            Also I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard about husbands setting up their wives.
            And the bishop believing the man.
            I believe in the gospel.
            Just not the way it’s been practiced.
            I’m sure you don’t share what I’ve said as it would make the church look bad but the truth is before you.

          3. I’m sorry you don’t care for the answer. I received a three sentence comment from someone on my blog. It seems from that comment you’re ready to cast judgment on the church leaders and say they are wrong.

            I simply said I can’t accurately comment on a situation I really know nothing about.

            A woman, nor a man, would NEVER be excommunicated simply for divorcing a spouse–especially an abusive spouse. So the three sentence version I got here really doesn’t add up. That’s why I didn’t defend or support the outcome. I simply said it’s impossible to second-guess without having the full information.

  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: 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,

    1. Hi Christney,

      Thank you for your comment. Some of your questions are pretty in-depth so I’d encourage you to go to 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:

      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

  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 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!

    1. We believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly, but we also believe the Book of Mormon to be another Testament of Jesus Christ. It isn’t replacing the Bible, but reinforcing the words of the Bible

  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 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. i was wondering if all Mormons follow those rules? If people can still be Mormon and break those rules

  36. 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!

  37. 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?

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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. 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.”

  49. 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.

  50. 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!

  51. 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.

  52. Do People of The Church of Jesus Christ have to marry other people of the Church of Jesus Christ?

  53. You say that Mormons are accepting of LGBT people in the church. What would happen to an LGBT person if they married someone of the same sex?

  54. I was once a Mormon. Had a husband and 4 kids. Temple marriage. Had some awful things happen in our life, and not 1 person from our ward reached out. Then became divorced, and I thought it was bad before !
    It has been so long now, that I have lost my testimony. I needed support so badly, just a sister to talk to would have helped, but nothing. I became inactive due to all the stress in my life, and when my son became of age to be baptized, the bishop wouldn’t even interview him because I was not active. But, allowed others to be baptized. Perhaps if just one person would have asked, if everything was alright, things would be different today. Then , after many years of NO communication with the church, a so called home teacher would show up at my door ! Then have the nerve to ask is there anything we can help you with ? This has caused me and my family so much heartache.

    1. I’m so sorry you had that experience Helen. I am amazed by how much care and love members of the church have for one another. Just this week I saw a family with a sick mother be absolutely swarmed with people bringing dinners, taking her to doctor appointments, helping the kids get to events, etc. However, we fail sometimes too and miss out on helping some people who would have liked the support.

  55. When you said there’s no foul language allowed in the church, you use the commandment to explain the rule, but most swear words don’t use the name of the Lord in vain, so why is that a rule?

  56. Hey.. I have been very prejudice towards mormons, after living in Utah for 9 months with potheads and other non-mormons and having heard all the rumors. Lately I realized that I didn’t actually know anything about the church of Jesus Christ latterday saints and started researching a lot about it. I generally have an issue with organized religion, because of all the do’s and don’ts and personally like to find my own truths and not commit to one certain path. When I read your explanation of why you do what, I realized we actually have a lot of values in common! So thank you for that! <3 kind regards from Jingles, Denmark..

  57. So, I am honestly a Christian (Baptist). I’ve recently gotten a visit from 2 Missionaries from the Church of Later Day Saints (in the last week). I will say this much. They are very friendly and I respect their beliefs. I’m happy they believe the bible is true, but in reading the book that they provided me recently, I’m not sure if I fully accept everything that is in there. I do however want to be unlike a lot of my brethren that rebukes and threatens them, but instead to show GODs love and offer shelter, food, drink if the need arose. I want to show my GODs love to people and serve.

    Because I do try my best to respect all people regardless of thoughts, my question would be this. What does your religion think of people like myself that believe in all aspects of the Holy Bible but not in your extended scriptures? Does this mean your people think I’m going to hell (or whatever you guys call it)? I’ve been asked if I’d get baptized again, but I’ve already been baptized for the right reasons under my beliefs (and by that yours?). I don’t feel I should need to do so again since Jesus died on the cross for my sins.

    Finally thank you for your time, I’m still studying different parts of the scriptures that were provided to me. I will ultimately make my own deductions. I find that there is conflicts between the New Testament and your extended scriptures. I’m going off of what I’ve read thus far and also a good amount of stuff I’ve googled trying to get a grasp of what you guys believe.


    1. Thank you for your kind comment. To me, you sound like a good person who God loves. I certainly hope you won’t be going to hell! Why would God send a good person to hell? We believe that we must all accept Jesus Christ’s full gospel in order to progress, but that many may not understand that truth in life and will not be sent to hell just because they didn’t immediately accept it here on earth.

        1. We believe that this life is the time for people to prepare to meet God. We also believe that no one will be perfect at the time of death. We don’t know the exact mechanics of what it will look like to progress after this life, but progression will certainly occur.

  58. My grandsons mother is Mormon. She has kept me from seeing my grandson for plain and simple fact that she is spiteful and vindictive. Ive never done anything to her. She has prevented my son from seeing him as well, again out of spite and vindictiveness. Since 2 months old. He is 8 now. back in october i messaged her asking again saying its time and she agreed saying I just want to be a better mormon. She would only allow me to visit him if she, her husband and her other kids came along for the visit. She lives a mile from me. After christmas the visits stopped. its been 4 months. i still talk to her daily but when i ask to video chat with blaze i get crickets. she will tell me i can and then when i ask she doesnt answer my message or will wait until he is in bed and say he is sleeping, or hes in trouble, hes grounded, hes at his other grandmas house, hes doing his homework. She is on speaking terms with my son and told them she doesnt want to bring him here because we smoke. I told her we would smoke outside when he is here and she said thats fine. still i get crickets and excuses why he cant talk to me or her bring him to visit on his own or even with them. Just last night the excuse was homework and when i asked to please let him have a break so he can talk with me i got no answer. finally i asked if i could please talk to him today because it was so late i figured he was in bed and she said sure. now today ive asked and she isnt answering me and now its almost ten oclock at night and still nothing from her. what does your faith have to say about her behavior?

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that Lisa. Like people of every faith, not every follower does so perfectly. In fact, some make horrible mistakes and sins. But are you perhaps thinking that if any member of a church sins, that the church must be wrong? We think of church like a hospital. If everyone were perfect, there’d be no purpose in going. We go to church to heal and improve just like you’d go to a hospital. Members of the church make terrible mistakes just like in all religions.

  59. Just curious , what is the Church’s position on members of the Masonic lodge ?
    More specific ,is their a conflict with members joining the Masonic Lodge?

    1. Many members of the church are also masons. The church does not agree with any group or practice that conflicts with the church’s teachings, and being a mason does not necessarily do that.

  60. How do you reconcile the fact that Joseph Smith drank, had 27 wives (the youngest being 14 at the time of marriage), and promoted sexist and racists ideas. Brigham Young had 55 wives (the youngest being 15 at the time of marriage) and helped instigate the callous loss of life in the 1850s including the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

    1. Good question. There’s a lot to explain here as you brought up many different things, but I’ll do my best to accomplish that in a short comment.

      Either you believe that God can accept polygamy, or you don’t. If you think it’s not possible for God to accept that, in certain cultures and times, polygamy can be allowed to exist, then it doesn’t take much to understand how Joseph Smith also did so. If you do not think God could accept polygamy under any circumstances, though, then you simply cannot believe the prophets in the Bible either. Abraham, Moses, Noah, and many of the other great prophets also practiced polygamy when God allowed it in certain times and cultures of the world.

      The age of those brides also shocks the conscience of a modern person in 2020. However, it wasn’t at all uncommon in the early 1800s when people commonly got married consensually at young ages.

      Regarding drinking, the Word of Wisdom was not immediately followed as strictly as we follow it today. As was revealed in the Doctrine and Covenants, it was adapted to the weak and weakest of saints who needed time to change many things in their lives to follow God’s commandments.

      Regarding the Mountain Meadows Massacre, sin exists everywhere–including in the church. Just as Jonah disobeyed God and was punished, Samson disobeyed God, and even the great David sinned horribly, God also can work with weak people who make terrible, mortal mistakes.

  61. Qualifying that Mormons or correctly,
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe the commandment Thou shall not kill. But the perquisite to serve in the army is to kill. This is in direct violation of your teachings & beliefs. Please explain

    1. A prophet in the Book of Mormon faced the same question. God commanded him to kill a wicked man who was causing great harm. The Lord commanded him “It is better that one man should perish than an entire nation fall into disbelief.”

    1. You bet! My brother is a judge and I have friends who are members of the church and work in prisons or are police officers.

  62. Thank you for this insight into the church of LDS. Growing up I always heard the rumors and false stories that I didn’t know were false til now.
    I’d like to ask about the church’s stance on gay marriage. How do gay couples of the church get married or how do they support the church if gay marriage isn’t supported, or is it?

  63. I’m an inactive member of the church. My husband however is still active. I liked reading your do’s and don’t and myths about the church. I still pay my tithes, still practice the Word of Wisdom and so on. I just don’t attend church. I feel unwanted and isolated. Most of the members of our church is family related or highly educated people. I guess I don’t feel worthy of their companionship. My husband and I are both blue collar workers. I’m not making excuses but this is how I feel. I really don’t know why I’m telling you all of this. I’m going to stop here. Thanks, member from Kentucky

    1. I can understand not feeling like you fit in with the people in a particular ward. I’ve felt that sometimes too. But it’s important to remember that you’re there for the Lord, not for people.

  64. Thank you for this! My employers are members of your church and I was curious about customs, important holidays, etc.

  65. Your article was most interesting… and while I echo most of your views… I feel that as a smoker, who would find it difficult to give up smoking… I would be excluded from your church because of this. Yet, I don’t partake in any form of drugs and try and avoid fast food as I feel that it is not healthy for my or my childrens’ bodies, I find it odd that certain things are frowned upon where others aren’t. I would not be welcome for one vice… yet another seems to be ok.. that being all the rubbish which is in fast food? Am I incorrect. Your family values are right up there in what I believe…. kids are what is caught… not what is taught, they follow your example so you lead with how you wish them to follow etc etc… but the fact that only specific things such as smoking and caffeine are singled out perterb me.

    1. Hey Nicky! I understand how you feel. One thing I noticed in your comment is you said “I would be excluded from your church” and “I would not be welcome.” Actually, neither of those are true. We welcome EVERYONE to church! The church is a place for the sick, not the whole, to come unto Christ. Everyone is welcome–especially those with vices.

      But I do want to address your comment because I completely understand your perspective. Frankly, I don’t know why God has chosen some specific commandments where others are not specifically commanded. Certainly it would not be good to balloon up to 500 pounds and destroy our bodies that way, but there is no commandment against eating over 4,000 calories in a day 🙂 Yet, smoking is specifically listed.

      Perhaps it is that the Lord provides some specific guard rails, but does not compel us in every single decision so that we can learn for ourselves.

  66. My granddaughter in NY is suddenly getting baptized LDS today. i was raised on the KJV of the Bible. i don’t think she truly knows. I live in Illinois and am not happy about it.

    1. Hi Rebecca. We also read the KJV Bible, and believe it is the word of God. Could it be that perhaps you’re judging a belief that you don’t really know much about?

      1. Could it be that you part of a religion you don’t really know about? The KJV contradicts your main biblical source the Book Of Mormon. So which one is even true because they say two different things.

        1. I’m sure I’ll spend a lifetime studying my religion, so yes I have more to learn. However, after 36 years of studying it, spending two years as a full-time missionary, and many callings in the church, I do feel that I have enough understanding to share my belief.

  67. I have a friend who is a Mormon…and all of a sudden, I’m getting bombarded with religious questions, life questions, what I believe, how I believe and have I thought about the afterlife.

    We are both in our 70’s now…longtime friends…she became a Mormon 30+ years ago, which took me by complete surprise, especially since she claimed no specific religious affiliations back in the day. As a general rule, we do not discuss religion…we both kinda know it’s probably best that we don’t. It’s never been a problem…until now.

    However, now, I’m getting the feeling that I’ve become a project of some kind. Is there anything in the Mormon religion that asks or requires a person to “save” another person by converting them in order to enter the Gates of Heaven?

    I don’t want to insult her, I don’t want to lose or destroy our friendship, but it’s becoming more and more uncomfortable when we communicate. We live in two different parts of the country so our connection now is by e-mail conversations.

    Any advice or suggestions? Any internet site you might recommend that I visit?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Jim. It sounds like this person cares about you and is trying to share something that means a lot to her. If you aren’t interested, you can simply say so politely. Something as simple as “I really appreciate you sharing your beliefs with me. I think a lot about spiritual things, but I’ve decided that I’m not interested in learning more about your faith. I want to remain close friends, but perhaps we could accept that we just believe differently?”

      1. Jim Harmer…
        She cares…I know she cares, and I’ve told her that while I appreciate her concern, it’s highly unlikely that I am going to change.

        Since you didn’t respond to my question regarding “a duty to convert in order to enter the Gates of Heaven”, I shall assume that this is not any kind of requirement of the Mormon religion.

        Again…she knows how I feel…she’s always known how I feel, and I’ve been very kind and considerate in trying to explain that it’s probably still best that we don’t talk about our differences, that we respect each other’s belief system, but I still feel like I’m a project…and I’ve never had this feeling before. Oh well…it’s probably me that has to get over that peculiar new feeling, so I’ll deal with it.

        I appreciate your response…thank you.

  68. If you are all welcoming, why do you excommunicate people from the church. If i remember correctly, you guys are taught to forgive with open arms. Fellow member asking for advice.

    1. When someone has been baptized and perhaps made other sacred promises to god and breaks them, they are under condemnation. Excommunication is God’s way of nullifying that baptism so the person can start anew. It’s a very merciful thing God does to allow excommunication.

      When someone is excommunicated, they are still welcomed to attend church. They just are in a waiting period until they can make the necessary life changes to be ready to be baptized again.

  69. It is not about what we can’t do, it’s about what we shouldn’t do. We the gift of Agency (choice).

  70. Great article! I just went into business with a gentleman and his son. He is moral, ethical, respectful, and courteous – and I love his view on life! When he told me he was a Latter Day Saint I wanted to know more so I don’t do anything to offend him or his son. I was raised in the South Pacific and have a different religion, but he and his son have many of the the same ethics, morals, and ideals as I was taught. Thank you so much for laying out some of the easy things I can do when their family comes to visit my husband and I next week. I’ll make sure I offer fresh homemade lemonade instead of coffee 😉

    And thank you for sharing and being brave enough to deal with all of those terrible hateful comments – you keep rockin’ it!

  71. Hi Jim,
    I am a college student recently studying religion. It was interesting reading your article and replies.
    May I ask your opinion on why Mormonism hasn’t spread out over the United States?
    You don’t need to answer if I am being rude, but it would be great to know your perspective on my question.

    1. Hi Jay. Thanks for your comment.

      There definitely is a large concentration of members of the church in the mountain west (Utah, Idaho, Arizona). However, there are also thousands of chapels outside that area and around the world. I think the mountain west will always have a high concentration really just for historical reasons since that’s where the pioneers set up long ago and families tend to stay in the same areas.

      1. How many wives did Joseph Smith have?
        I read on Wikipedia that he had many wives and some very young along with B. Young. Seems obvious that this was an abuse of power for sex with multiple women. Care to explain? Golden tablets that were translated with some strange looking stone? B. Young was also very racist unless the the historical facts are lies. Black men were not allowed to be priest until later in the 20th century. So was God a racist then changed his mind or was the church corrupt from the beginning? My mother has just recently become LDS after a lifetime of being a devout christian. My father died and now she has met someone who is LDS and he has convinced my grieving mother in her 70s. I have concerns.

        1. Hey Jason! Lots to unpack here so I’ll point you to some external resources that can answer these questions if you’re seriously looking for answers.

          This is a great essay on plural marriage 150 years ago in the church.

          About “Golden tablets that were translated with a strange stone” Yes, the Book of Mormon was translated from golden-colored tablets. Yes, a stone was used in translation. Prophets in the Bible also used seer stones.

          Yes, it is true that black men could not hold the priesthood for a time. In Christ’s day, he also restricted the gospel from certain races (the gentiles) at certain times for reasons that I simply don’t understand. Read more about that here

          I can understand why you’d have concerns about the church if you approach learning about us in this way. Hundreds of years of history can be difficult to understand by today’s standards.

          First, I’d start by seeing what we’re actually about. Go meet a member of the church and see what kind of life they are taught to live. Go read about our belief in Jesus Christ. Read the Book of Mormon. Come to church and see what a service is like.

  72. Mormons also claim to be Christian this is a huge misconception! If you are a Mormon and you tell a Christian that your the same thing they will most likely be offended. P.S Christians believe that the father, son, and holy spirt are all the same. Along with other differences from the Mormons:)

    1. The word Christian means someone who follows Christ. We follow Christ–just like you do. All religions have doctrinal differences otherwise they wouldn’t be different religions. We can see things differently and still come together in our belief in Christ. That’s what makes us Christians.

  73. Hi deb,
    I understand but as Christians we need to be kind and respectful of all people know matter what religion they are. We need to represent Christ in these situations and ask questions instead of Yes, you being hateful, I don’t know about you but I have met a mean Christian here and there too.

  74. I am not mormon, and am lesbian. I was curious about the Church’s approach to people in same-sex relationships. Is it only ok to be same-sex orientated until you actually engage in a relationship with someone of the same-sex? Great informative article btw.

    1. Hi Isabelle. You are correct. We believe what the Bible says, that engaging in sexual acts between people of the same gender is a sin. We also know that many people today are attracted to the same gender. That is not a sin.

      Our church is not a place for perfect people. All of us have sins and we go to become better. So whether or not someone is engaging in a same-sex relationship or not, you belong with us. Because everyone else has their sins too! I know people who drink and smoke and come to church. Yes, we think that’s a sin, but we certainly want them at church and love them and want to be around them and support them. The same is true with LGBT friends.

  75. I have a question, I am a Presbyterian man who’s best friend during a pivotal point in high school (I moved from MI to AZ for my Jr year only) and my best friend there was a Mormon female. We kept in touch for a number of years after I moved back to MI, and I was trying to keep our friendship going but she suddenly ‘disappeared’ and I never heard from her again.
    Many years later, after I was married and had a son, I found her on Facebook and attempted to ‘Friend’ her, as she still hold a very special place in my heart. However I got no response. She is active friends with other friends on mine on Facebook so it’s not a matter of just being inactive.

    Long story short, is it against Mormon beliefs to have platonic friendships with people of the opposite sex after marriage?

    I have struggled with the loss of this friend for about 20 years now and still don’t understand what caused her to ‘disappear’. And the only thing I can think of is it is due to religious beliefs.

    I would appreciate any insight you can provide

  76. Thank you for taking the time to be transparent, I was originally Southern Baptist, then have been to several other churches. In my humble opinion, and it’s only an opinion, “religion” is the part that man adds to the Word of God. It’s my belief that God is the Father, Jesus is the Son, and the Holy Spirit is, well.. the Holy Spirit, that works within us to teach us truth and help us to grow. I believe they are all 3 God. I really like to always mention when I share my thoughts that they are just that, my thoughts, or “the way I interpret it”, so as not to end up with a whirlwind chastising me for misrepresenting Him. I believe that Jesus and his sacrifice is the only way to heaven, as it sounds like you do too. I attended a Catholic ceremony one time, and when speaking to the Priest, I was fairly open about my beliefs, and he told me how the Catholic Church is seeing a rise in the Holy Spirit working in people’s lives, seeing the gifts of the Spirit coming forth. I think and hope that those of us who do believe in Jesus and Him being the only way to heaven are on the right track with the condition of our hearts. I think we all mess up sometimes, but He see’s our hearts. As far as food and drink (please understand none of this is disagreeing with you, or belittling the LSD Church), but I think of Acts 10:13 where God told Peter to kill and eat, Peter said “I have never eaten anything unclean”, and God answered, “Do not call that which I have made clean unclean”. I also think of how in the old Testament, eating Pork was prohibited, but not so much now. I always wonder if he was just trying to keep everyone from getting food poisoning since they did not have refrigerators. That is just my thoughts, and they are not Biblical at all. I think that a lot of us so easily get tied up in things like that, instead of focusing on Jesus’ sacrifice and Grace, and the Holy Spirit’s work of transforming our minds. The Golden Rule, Love the Lord thy God with all your mind, heart, and body, and love one another as He has loved us, covers pretty much everything, Jesus said “In this, all the laws and prophets are fulfilled”. While reading your article, I felt love, not condemnation, judgement, I feel like you spoke like Jesus would. I have heard it said that “He loves us right where we are, but loves us too much to leave us there”, and I think everyone should be able to lean on that. We are all always a work in progress, remembering that He loves us makes things a lot easier. Thank you again, I hope to meet you sometime, if not in this world, then the one to come, for I believe from your writing, you will be there my brother.

  77. Just loved this complete list. Ive been looking all over the place for this. Im currently president here in my country, can I translate this article and post it in our Facebook group account? Im sure our community will love this list.

  78. I found this website because it was referred to as an example site in the Income School platform. I\’ve been a Southern Baptist minister for over 35 years. In terms of theology, I do have quite substantial disagreements with Mormon teachings. However, I\’ve had a lot of online teaching by Jim and also Rick Kesler for my business. I admire them and believe they\’re honest businessmen who actually want to help people. We can have our disagreements about scripture and still show integrity and kindness to each other.

  79. Thank you for making this article. This really made my day! That finally some people explained myths and stuff

  80. Just a P24 student stopping by to get to know a bit more about you and Ricky. I read this article and found it a good read! Learned a few things. Never would have guessed about the tea! Reading the comments were… interesting… Every creature walks around with preconceptions, we need that for survival, I get it. I think what matters is whether or not you’re open to things outside of those preconceptions. Thanks for sharing your faith to those are who open to learning about it. Happy days to you and yours! 🙂
    PS: Please delete the duplicate comment I left haha.

  81. I love this article, it is crystal clear, and as a member of the LDS church, I think that this really describes to the line. And shows respect towards us.

  82. In regards to abortion. The church does not forbid abortion under any circumstances. The health and welfare of the mother is paramount and if an abortion is a medically recommended procedure to protect the health of the mother than that is okay. Also a 10 year old child who is raped and impregnated would under no circumstances be held in violation of church teachings.

  83. Dear Jim,
    Thank you for this. I believe in God but not religion, simply because of the acts of the religous in the name of God.
    I spent two months in SLC in my youth, and was truly impressed by the goodness I saw in the followers of your faith. I recently went to Hawaii and was impressed by the young people I saw at the PCC . So much so that I am here online researching your faith. I am sure that LDS has bad apples, but I have yet to meet one.
    And as it is written somewhere, the tree is measured by the quality of its fruit.
    Thank you for giving me hope in humanity.

  84. There would be no money or condemning legal system had Jesus be in the minds of people. Jesus is pure undefiled religon doing his good pleasure through this vile fallen body.

  85. Good well balanced article. But you forgot to share the main two beliefs/commandments that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints endeavor to follow; Love God and love our neighbors (everyone). Love is it 🙂

  86. Hello, this article was such an interesting read! I came to this website for a high school project about world religions, and I’m honestly so surprised at how much this article helped me in my learning! Since I go to a Catholic school, the Mormon religion isn’t really touched upon- and when it is it usually comes with a negative connotation. Throughout my life I’ve heard many rumors and myths about the Mormon religion and its people, and since so many people around me dislike it I found that I also began disliking a religion that I barely even knew! I am thinking about applying to a college in Utah, and decided to research the percentage of people that would be of my religion or the Mormon religion. While I was researching I was chatting with my friends about the colleges I wanted to apply to, and I was shocked that so many of them expressed how they would “never want to live in Utah in a million years!” These types of statements hurt me a little because Utah holds a special place in my heart since my family always visits during the winter. When I finally asked them why they thought that way, they told me that it is because there are so many Mormons. Some of my religion teachers have also taught that Mormon is a ‘cult’ which I thought might be very disrespectful (although I’m not sure). When I started my world religions project and came to the section about the Mormon religion, I realized that I really did have no knowledge of the actual beliefs that weren’t just myths. After reading this article and finding that the beliefs of this religion are not so far off from my own (I am Catholic). I feel very sad about the amount of people just that are influenced into disliking the religion like I was, or even to hating the religion like some of my classmates and teachers.

    I would like to ask what your thoughts are about why so many people have come to dislike the Mormon religion, even when its beliefs are somewhat similar to other more popular religions. Also I hope it isn’t disrespectful to say “Mormon religion”? because I know I have been saying a lot and I’ve noticed that most other comments refer to it as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I hope that my new knowledge will help me be more respectful towards people that I might meet or become friends with in Utah. Thank you if you take the time to read this because I know my comment is kind of long, and also for publishing this article so more people can learn about your faith just like me!

    1. Cassie, you sound like a very intelligent and thoughtful young lady. THANK YOU for your respect and research into understanding a different religion. The world would be a better place if we had more Cassies in it.

      In response to your question, I’m not entirely certain why so many religions brand us with titles like “cult” or make completely false statements about our beliefs. I think sometimes people are afraid of what they don’t know.

      Hope you enjoy college in Utah. You’ll love it and find lots of friendly people here.

      1. My husband claims to be mormon but drinks , cusses, hates most people, doesn’t work and a long list of sins. How can he claim to be a mormon still? So odd to me and wants me to go to church with him. I’ll pass. Most other latter days saints are not that way. Actually all others I met are not. He claims all the things you say but it’s the other things he says that throws me off. Like I can’t take all the wrong doings he does because your not getting into heaven by following the ten commandments. It only by our faith in Jesus. I myself still do my best to live by them. He says the devil is Jesus brother, there is only 9 commandments you need to follow and worse thing he says is its too late for him and me to get in to heaven we have done too much wrong. I have broken all the yes all the commandment do I really have no hope?

        1. Girl you’re fine, truly repent. God doesn’t hold anything against you. He wants the best for you.god judges our hearts, mine was very cold for a while. So much hurt. But don’t let yourself be tricked into a it’s too late mentally. Take a deep breath feel that? You’re alive <3

  87. “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.”

    I’m from Argentina and i used to believe that. That mormons couldn’t use technology.
    A few weeks ago, while i was doing my daily jogging, two young girls waved at me.
    Two mormon sisters that were doing a mission, from Oregon and California.
    Talk to them for a minutes, even i went to the church to talk a bit. Even they gave me a book mormon.

    While i don’t think i’m cut to be a mormon, i was quite impressed and their faith and their will to serve at their age. It gives a little hope, that not everything is lost in this world that’s going downhill.

  88. I know I’m like years late lol but I’m 31 and am going to look at a. Mormon church here in my city! I’m a bit older but I think that’s okay? I’m not sure, I don’t have a family yet but honestly I just want to devote my life to Christ fully and make him proud and just lead other people to know his love. I’m so strongly drawn to Mormonism. Is it bad joining later in life? Lol

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