Hello all, it’s Sunday, I’m at church. I’ve decided to make Sundays in November days to bring light to this painfully misunderstood religion of mine. And really, who better to learn about the church from than someone who originally joined for all the wrong reasons?

(Oh, and to explain the two weddings, I had to be actively attending church for a year before I could go into the Temple. Our civil ceremony ended with the words “til death do you part” but when we went into the Temple to be sealed the ceremony ended with the words “for time and all eternity.” Meaning that we were sealed for our time here on Earth as husband and wife and we are sealed as husband and wife even after we die and go on to heaven. Trust me, some days eternity is a very long time to deal with the same mans crap. Hope that makes it a little clearer, it’s a difficult concept to explain briefly.)

Since this is Sunday, and everyone chooses to go or not go to church on Sunday, you too can choose to read this post or not. It is about religion, mine specifically. I’m not looking for trolls, I’m not looking to make everyone a Mormon. I’m also not looking for you to believe what I believe in or agree with what I believe in. If you are curious, I just want to have some facts available from someone who knows their stuff rather than the outside media. (Because face it, the “Mormon” doctor on House? ALL SORTS OF MISINFORMATION. Shocking, I know.)

Actually all my facts come from a distinguished Church leader, M. Russell Ballard. He gave a talk a few Sundays ago in our Worldwide General Conference that is going to make this post a cakewalk for me. (Thanks Elder Ballard!)

He said:

“…we need to remember that there is a difference between interest and mere curiosity. Sometimes people just want to know what the Church is. Those who are curious in this general way deserve clear and accurate information that comes directly from those of us who are members so that they do not have to rely on the incomplete answers, half-truths, or false statements that may come from the media or other outside voices. The many misunderstandings and false information about the Church are somewhat our own fault for not clearly explaining who we are and what we believe.”

and

“I would hope they would get to know our members rather than judging us by the misinformation given by those who do not know and in some cases by those who would deliberately mislead or defame.”

See? All we want is a little open mindedness and understanding! Not to take over the world! (yet, at least. Heh.)
He breaks his talk down into bulleted points, which as any blogger knows is the lazy easy way to get your point across. So without further adieu I give you my church in lists and bullets (by Elder M. Russell Ballard. clicky clicky the linky linky for the whole talk.)

  • First, “Mormon” is a nickname for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members are often referred to as “Mormons,” “Latter-day Saints,” or “LDS.” The term “Saint” means “member.”
  • Second, the Church was restored in 1830 in upstate New York with Joseph Smith as its first prophet and president. Today it is headquartered in Salt Lake City, with President Gordon B. Hinckley as the present prophet.
  • Third, there are now over 13 million members in 176 countries and territories. About 6 million of these are in the United States, making us the fourth largest Christian denomination in America. As one of the fastest growing Christian faiths in the world, we complete a new chapel every working day. Members pay a tithe, which is 10 percent of their income, making this and other programs possible.
  • Fourth, local congregations are led by volunteer, unpaid members. Both men and women serve in assigned leadership positions.
  • And fifth, Mormons are well represented in politics and government. (In the United States, for example, there are 16 members in Congress, from both political parties.) Members also serve in high and trusted positions throughout the world in business (hi Father in Law!), medicine (hi Dr. Swensen!), law (hi Cody!), education (hi Mrs. Cannon!), media (hi Mitt Romney!), sports (hi Steve Young!), and entertainment (hi Gladys Knight!).
  • We believe in the eternity of the soul, that God is the Father of our spirits, and that we can return to Him after death.
  • We believe that Jesus Christ is our personal Savior, and we try to model our lives after Him and His teachings. We commemorate Christ’s atoning sacrifice in our Sunday worship services, similar to taking communion in other churches. We accept as fellow Christians all who believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and the Savior of all mankind. Many Christians do not understand that we have much common ground with them. Joseph Smith taught that Jesus Christ is the core of our belief, and everything else is an appendage to it (see Elders’ Journal, July 1838, 44). The name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • We believe the original church that Jesus established was lost and has been restored again in our day. The priesthood, the authority given to man to act in the name of God, with apostles and a prophet to lead us, has been restored as have all necessary ordinances of salvation.
  • We believe in and we use the Holy Bible, both the Old and New Testaments.
  • And we believe in the Book of Mormon and other books of scripture which support and authenticate the Bible and testify of the ministry and divinity of Christ and of God’s ongoing revelation to man. Indeed, the Book of Mormon is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”

So there you go! Did you make it? Thanks for reading it if you did. Means bunches to me and others of my kind. (Hi Brillig! Hi DYM! Hola Isabel!)

Next Sunday will cover the other half of Elder Ballards talk.

Now go forth and watch football.

Comments

  1. Are you going to talk about the special undies? Because everyone always want to know!

  2. But can you be friends with a heathen? This heathen wants to know.

    In all seriousness, though, I enjoyed this post. I always like learning about what people believe, even though I’m not religious myself. Good for you for trying to demystify your religion – I know this is really, really important to you – and doing it in such an even-handed way. :)

  3. Seems to me like it’s similar to Lutherans (martin luther posting his decree that everyone is mucking it up and this is what needs to change) in a lot of ways.

    Now, the big OH NOES rumor I have heard is that in some temples, the couple being married “completes” the ceremony by having sex and this is why the vows do not allow family or friends. I took it with a grain of salt since lots of rumors float around about LDS. I grew up in Las Vegas where there are a lot of mormons and the kids in school were just like me except having to get up EVEN EARLIER to go to their pre-school classes. Our school started at 7am so I couldn’t imagine. haha.

  4. Nice comments so far! Thanks for putting yourself out there and stating the facts. I think it’s brave because let’s face it, there are a lot of haters out there!

  5. Are we going to hang this week? I need cookie lessons!

  6. Great way to dispel myths!

  7. It can be SO difficult explaining things in a general way, and you have really done a great job here. You don’t want to scare anyone off, but you want anyone who wants to know to have the right information. You nailed it. If I decide to blog about being LDS one day, I may have to link to this great dazzlement!

    I hope that this doesn’t get kicked back as spam, but I had to put this link from youtube that I found a few weeks ago about our “magical Mormon underpants”. I was pretty shocked that he actually put them on, but I was really glad to see the good tone (joking, but not really negative) about it all.

    There is a slightly disturbing interview with a man who is, well, unique. Everything he says is untrue except that we do believe they protect us. That the guy says “show me your underwear” freaks me out- who WOULD show him their underwear?!

    ****Sorry girl, I took the link out because I watched it and it is too full of misinformation.******

  8. undies? sex at the temple? Huh? Did I miss something? I don’t know nothin’ bout no mormoms, well except for the Osmonds and I think they’ve just freaky! Thanks for the info although I think I read that yesterday as I went to soyouwanna.com and read up on mormoms cuz I was curious…

  9. Good post, Casey, very interesting since I really didn’t know anything about the LDS church.

  10. I love that you posted this, Casey. I don’t have any LDS friends in real life, I don’t even know any (except for our ex-governor – Mitt Romney, of whom I am not a fan), but I have met SO many wonderful LDS people online that it really helps to get a better understanding of what this religion of yours is all about. For such a large religion, it really is disproportionately misunderstood.

    I have a question for you though, were you Christian before becoming Mormon? Like were you raised Christian? I’m just curious, this transformation that you’ve been telling us all about is fascinating to me.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Your line: ‘We accept as fellow Christians all who believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and the Savior of all mankind’, is really encouraging, and one I think that many other ‘Christians’ would do well to live by!

  12. I was so happy to read this. So much of yourself gets put on the table when posting but people barely touch on religon. It makes up so much of who a person is no matter what they believe in or how!

  13. Thanks Casey – for the 2 wedding explanation and the religion explanation. I am Catholic and also suffer from some crazy misconceptions too (probably not to the same level as you…..). I only recently learned that Mormons are Christian!!

    And as I didn’t go to church today I feel a little better at least learning something about religion today!

  14. My husband’s dental school had over a dozen Mormom students and they generally kept to themselves. Many thanks for the mini lesson – it is always nice to be schooled. I really never new that Mormons were Christians.

    BTW – We missed church this morning because I was in the ER … nursemaid’s elbow with my youngest. LOL!!!

  15. I meant “KNEW.”

    Geez – hate those typos. Sorry!

  16. What? You mean the Mormon on House isn’t an accurate representation? TV isn’t perfect? (kidding, kidding!) I’m still pulling for the Mormon guy to end up on House’s team – I like him a lot better than Cutthroat Bitch.

    In all seriousness, thank you for telling us a little more about your religion. I’ve never really known much about LDS, so this was enlightening.

  17. I have a copy of the Book of Mormon in my house, although I have not read it. My mom befriended some young (19 and 20-year-old) missionaries a few years ago who were from Arizona and were sent to the cold icy north of Alberta in the middle of winter. They came to her house on Dec 27th to do some of their door-to-door stuff, and she invited them in for Christmas leftovers and cookies. After that, they returned to visit, helped shovel their driveway, and talk. My mom is a practicing Roman Catholic, so she wasn’t really going to convert, but she felt that those boys needed some good meals once in a while and some mothering.
    I thought they were HAWT!
    Hence, she passed on her copy of the Book to me, a religious studies teacher.
    And now, anything you want to share with me is all good!
    If you ever want to know about us Catholics, just let me know!

  18. Liam Craig says:

    That was an amazing post, i think i will get my family to read it, They are not members and it helps put it in a nut shell. Oh and for everyones info….no sex in the temple, trust me I got married in the temple. The church tries to stay out of the bedroom!

  19. Love this post. As i love all your posts! And it was an extra plus as i didn’t get to Church today as i’m sicker than a freakin dog. So thanks Elder Ballard! That was my Sacrament meeting via Casey! Nice job!!!!

  20. It’s interesting how many similarities there are fundamentally to Seventh-Day Adventism, which is what I grew up in. With. Whatever.

  21. Well said…

  22. You said it all very well. It’s just a shame that most people looking for information about Mormons get it from non-Mormons who think they know everything there is to know about us… So… thanks for clearing up a lot of misconceptions!

  23. I’m always grateful for informational posts like these. I speak out of my hiney more often than I should admit and it’s always good for me to learn more and clear up misinformation I may be spreading.

  24. Thanks for sharing!

  25. I hope everyone reads this post. Thanks for clearing things up a bit for some. It’s good to hear again even as a life-long member like myself. Sex in the temple? Wow, now that’s a new one I haven’t heard. Sounds a bit sacriligeous (sp?), don’t you think? What religion would do such a thing? We’re really not that weird are we??!

  26. Sometimes I think it’s funny that we have so many religions when we are all so similar. I guess that’s how I ended up in the melting pot that is UCC. Working for a common goal, that’s all I care about. I can’t imagine anyone judging someone based on the little differences in their religions.

    Thanks so much for sharing this. To be really honest, until I started meeting the MASS AMOUNT of bloggers who are LDS, I was very misinformed about what it meant.

  27. Just wrote a long comment…kid deleted it. :( I’ll get to the point. THANK YOU for sharing this, I am always inspired by you and feel so blessed to have you as my friend.

    I love your words today, and might I add my testimony of the temple. You said it once a while back, about working so hard for something (marriage) that it BETTER be forever. I feel that way too. I am so thankful to have the blessing of the temple in my life. The temple is one of the only places on earth you can feel close to Heavenly Father. If you are not a member, liken it to the feeling in the room when a child is born, or perhaps the moment you married the love of your life. I bet you know what feeling I am talking about…that is how the temple makes me feel.

    As for Mormon Guy…although House is FULL of misleading information…I still want him to win over Cutthroat Bitch…isn’t she gone yet? Ho, #13 and Mormon Guy…Holla. Gonna have me some saweet Huge Laurie love tonight…thank you!

  28. Hey, before I was mormon I grouped them with “weirdos” now that I am mormon I know that only some of us are. It always amazes me the rumors people hear. I think most people are interested so way to go Casey for giving out some good info.

  29. Casey, this is a great post. Being a Muslim, I deal with a lot of questions and misinformation about my religion. I think it’s great when you can educate people in such an accessible and friendly way – and with your great sense of humour which makes anything a pleasure to read.

  30. Yeah. I’m a little bummed that you don’t have a full testimony of House and all its writers. That’s sort of a disappointment to me personally. Great post and I want to talk cooking sometime. I’m been meaning to email you since your blue ribbon post.

  31. Well, all I can say is that if all ( or most) Mormons are anything like the superkind young woman who stopped what she was doing at BlogHer in order to be solicitous and kind to this weeping Baptist sitting weary and heart-sore outside the ladies’ room at the Children’s museum…well, then, I love Mormons.

  32. Great post. Thanks for sharing and for being brave enough to be so open!

  33. to be honest, i’ve never known much about Mormoms…i mean, beyond the whole Osmond family and Big Love thing…but i’m fascinated by religions in general. and i’m so happy that you shared this with us. thanks!

  34. Hi Casey! This is a great post. I don’t know a whole lot about LDS, even though I’m a descendant of Joseph Smith & Brigham Young. I’d need to ask my mom the specifics but my great-grandmother, who I clearly remember, was Phoebe Young…and ties to them both are through her somehow.
    Interesting! I hope you continue to post about it on Sundays!

  35. I am much more enlightened now, and I think, more curious but I don’t know where to start with the questions. Thank you for sharing.

  36. Oh, thanks, Casey! All the questions I wanted to ask but am too much of a chicken **** to actually broach. I have many friends who are mormon, but for some reason it’s never really seemed appropriate to just start drilling them.

  37. i was glad to read this, cause i went to salt lake city a few years ago and the people bout scared the living daylights out of me. however, i think all religions have “that group” of over-the-top-freak-everyone-out folks…i’m Church of Christ, so believe me, i know all about those over-the-top-freak-everyone-out folks

    but you don’t freak me out…well, not much ;-)

  38. Well said Casey :) Thanks for sharing. It’s always nice when other Christians are secure enough in their faith to share it with others.

  39. P.S. I know ‘real’ Mormons to, not just internet ones and I can verify that they are perfectly normal folks :)

  40. Here from Kerflop, loved the post!

  41. Still don’t understand where the difference lay between Mormons and say, Lutherans. Or Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Edjumacate me darling.

  42. I was brought up Lutheran, was almost converted to RLDS (went through most classes .. long story), decided to try Baptists out… I was a lost soul.

    I appreciate how you put this info out there. I really enjoy your site… you are honest, educated, and yes, funny. Thank you.

  43. That was brilliant. Thank you for putting that out there. There’s so much room for misunderstanding, isn’t there?

  44. Hi, Casey! Awesome post. Very well done. And thanks for linking me, too! I’m proud to be listed here as someone who believes the way you do. :-D

  45. Greetings and nice job, from a fellow ‘crazy.’

  46. what an amazing glimpse into your religion. i love learning about other religions…i find it fascinating. i have a family friend who is Mormon. she doesn’t talk a lot about the specifics, but is so totally involved in her Mormon community…she’s really a great woman.

    i am from a Unitarian church background, so i am Christian. i have to admit, i did not know the commonalities between our religions!

  47. Um, so, did Jess and I have sex in the temple when we got sealed? I can’t remember. ;) You were there Casey, so you would know! LOL!

    Seriuosly, I’m ETERNALLY grateful that you were there for me! I will never forget it! You made it SO much easier on me!

    Wow cuz! I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s even nice for us Mormons to get a brush-up on the basics. Love ya!

  48. when I heard you reading your post today at BlogHer I knew you were L.D.S
    It’s so nice to hear a member reading and writing such powerful words without trying to make their life seem like a christmas news letter day in and day out. Hopefully I’ll see you tomorrow at the conference.

    Damariss last blog post..Baked Sweet Pork Ribs

  49. I hear people bitch about Mormons all the time, and I still have no idea what’s so bad about being Mormon. People are people, no matter what they believe.

    I’m not religious, but the Mormon faith sounds just like a lot of other Christian religions. Maybe someone can explain to me why Mormons are teh evil? :P

    Elizabeth Kaylenes last blog post..I’ve got this blogging thing down

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