I'm A Mormon... and Normal. / by Kristen Walker

This past week I went on vacation with my family to the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland. It was seriously a dream. I love my cousin so much, and I spent most of the trip (by trip I mean waiting in lines for rides) with her. Because of this, we talked… a lot.

We talked about her time at Florida State and my time at Brigham Young University. We talked about dating, family, and other young adult drama. Naturally, with all of this discussion, the fact that I was a Mormon kept coming up. It’s a big part of my life, so it makes sense that we talked about it.

We started to talk about all of the “crazy” rules I follow, but it really just turned into a conversation about how it’s actually not so crazy that I do the things that I do. In fact, we realized that, even though we were different religions, we weren’t so radically different after all.

It was in this past week that I realized how many misconceptions there are about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Just my normal Mormon friends and my normal Mormon self acting normal.

Just my normal Mormon friends and my normal Mormon self acting normal.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 things I hear from friends, colleagues, and random kids on the internet (aka all of the high school kids that troll on Facebook, you know who you are.)

1. Mormons aren’t Christian. 

Christian, noun,  Chris·tian \ˈkris-chən : one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. 

Thank you Merriam Webster's Dictionary. The name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Not only do we believe, we depend on the teachings  of Jesus Christ. He is our brother, our friend, and our Savior. We are indeed a Christian church. For a little bit more information regarding this topic, please click here to read the full “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles.”

2. Mormons can’t drink soda

I can’t help but actually laugh out loud. Not only are we allowed to drink soda, I’m pretty sure that Mormon women alone keep Diet Coke on the market. In fact, Utah has been the only place that I have lived where there is competition between soda shops. My favorite, Sodalicious, has an entire menu of specialty sodas ranging in sizes. (This is not an advertisement by any means, but if you’re near a Sodalicious, try out the “Your Mom,” it has Dr.Pepper, coconut, and blackberry. Yup. I know.) The point of this is… not only *can* we drink soda, we take it pretty seriously.

I think this common misconception is taken from a little confusion. We follow a law of health given to us by the Lord called, “The Word of Wisdom.” This law states that we should refrain from hot drinks. Hot drinks have been defined as Hot Teas and coffee. Sometimes the conclusion is drawn that this law states that we cannot partake of caffeine, which is where the confusion with the soda law begins. So, just to reiterate it one last time, we are able to drink soda.

3. Mormons have 6 moms.   

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this… I would have at least a dollar. I really don’t want to jump into this one too much, but I would like to state that the family is at the center of the Gospel.

The Family: A Proclamation to the World states that, “Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.” Notice how it doesn’t say “marriage between one man and six women” in that section? We believe that the family involves one man and one woman. So, no, I don’t have 6 moms. 

4. Mormons wear special underwear. 

This is something that my friends have asked me about since I was in middle school. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have come out with a video that best explains this sacred topic. Here it is:

5. Mormons aren’t allowed to dance. 

I can see how members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints can be confused with residents of the town in Footloose… but no. We love to dance. In fact, Brigham Young University’s dance group, the Cougarettes are 15-time National College Dance team champions. Check it out.

I think it’s also important to touch on some things that you might not know (or at least provide some more information) about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Here are a couple of things that I hold dear to my heart.

  1. We believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected, as written in the New Testament.  We also believe that after he was resurrected, he visited His brothers and sisters in North America. The accounts of prophets and people of North America and their stories can be found in The Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. If interested (and I know you’ve at least wondered about it), you can have a free copy delivered to your home.

  2. We are normal people. The “I’m a Mormon” campaign was started to give members of our church an opportunity to share a little bit about themselves and their normal-day-to-day lives.

If you have any questions regarding what we believe or what it means to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, please check out mormon.org. You can also ask your questions in a comment below (please keep them respectful), or you can directly message myself or James. I love this gospel, and I would love to answer any questions you might have.

I know that this little post isn’t going to change your mind about the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I mean, if you thought Mormons were weird, then you'll probably think that Mormons are weird regardless of what I might say.

But, let there be no confusion in this, I know that I have a Heavenly Father and Savior that love me in an unconditional way. They know who I am, and they know my trials. Most importantly, I know that He has a plan for me.

I love this Gospel, my Savior and my Heavenly Father so very much. I also have so much love for each and every one of you.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the wrld to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:16-17

By Kristen Waker

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