Mormon Culture

Mormon Culture

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on April 6, 1830, with just six original members. In 2015 there were over 15 million Latter-day Saints, as it had become a global church. Guided by revelation from the beginning, its first prophet, Joseph Smith, learned from God that all things have spiritual import, even the temporal (temporary), earthly concerns of men.

organization of lds church

The Mormon Church was organized in 1830 and grew rapidly in spite of constant persecution.

Because of this, the early new converts were encouraged to be industrious, and industriousness has been a quality of Latter-day Saints ever since. Mormons are always doing. Part of this is the fact that the Church has no real paid clergy, so every member serves in “callings” or roles within the congregation (“ward”), group of congregations (“stake”), mission, temple, ….well, the list goes on. Mormons are always serving.

From the outside, then, Mormonism can look like a works-based gospel, but Mormons believe in grace. Not only for our every day or even dire needs, but in order to be saved. However, Mormons also believe in repentance, and really, this is our daily work.

The LDS Church is Administered by Lay Members

Mormonism is very efficient, and everything the Church does is coordinated and correlated. Church manuals are available to guide every congregation and every class. That means I can attend Sunday School in Orlando on one Sunday and review lesson 6 in the New Testament manual, and attend Sunday School in Paris the following Sunday and expect to review Lesson 7 from the same manual, only this time, in French. Lessons for children correlate with those for adults; lessons for men correlate with lessons for women, etc.

Mormons in meeting

Local Mormon congregations are administered by the lay members, who serve in positions as they are called.

Members do not choose their congregations because a minister is charismatic and gives good sermons. Rather, members are assigned to congregations according to their geographic location. Even if you are not a Mormon (“LDS”) you can find out what congregation you would attend. Go to http://maps.lds.org and feed in your address. The name, location, and bishop (congregational leader) of your assigned ward or branch will show up, along with meeting times.

The Church is organized so that concerns, plus new information and great ideas can move upward from the individual member to the prophet, and down from the prophet to each member. Visiting teachers are women who go by pairs to visit other women in the ward monthly to determine their needs. It is through them that compassionate service is administered when needed. Home teachers are men who go monthly to their assigned families to deliver a spiritual message and assess need. In times of general emergency, every member (and their neighbors) can be accounted for through this line of care and service.

LDS visiting teachers

Women in Mormon congregations visit each other monthly to assess need and offer service and support.

Helping the Poor and Needy is Central to Mormon Belief

The Church has its own welfare program, more efficient than practically any on earth. It is shaped around self-reliance and designed to help families and individuals through temporary setbacks until they can get on their feet again. The welfare system also kicks in to help the Humanitarian Aid department in times of emergencies. The Red Cross is one organization that has been greatly impressed with how fast the Church can provide aid and how organized it is on the ground. Members just follow the organization set up in their wards and stakes, and they can do it instantly.

LDS Welfare Services

The LDS Church owns canneries where members volunteer to package food for distribution through “Bishops’ Storehouses.”

 

Mormons Strive to “Live after the Manner of Happiness”

Mormons are noticeable by their “Mormon glow,” which both members and non-members are able to detect. The glow is caused by the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, which gift worthy members receive after baptism, and secondarily, the result of clean living. Mormons have a health code, given by revelation, called the Word of Wisdom, which forbids the use of alcohol, coffee, tea, tobacco, and recreational drugs (or abuse of any drug). Studies show that Mormons are healthier than the general population wherever they live. Utah, which is about 62% Mormon, has the lowest cancer rate in the United States.

Mormons also tend to be happy. They know how to have good, clean fun, are family-oriented, and tend to be married, which is also an indicator of happiness. Mormons are approachable, no matter what their earthly station, and this comes from a focus upon the things of God over the things of man. Mormons live by sexual standards, too. The standard of the gospel is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage, which is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman.

Asian Mormon family

Mormons believe that the family unit is meant to be eternal. Family relationships can continue in heaven.

 

Mormons Believe in the Great Commission to Share the Gospel

Mormons tend to want to share their beliefs, not only to correct false ideas about them, but also because being a member of the Church is so amazing. We want to share our joy. Like other Christians, we also see missionary work as God’s Great Commission. Not everyone in the world needs to be a Mormon. It takes great commitment and sacrifice. But all need to have the opportunity to decide, and that means they need to hear the gospel. The Church has over 80,000 missionaries serving worldwide, most of them young people between the ages of 18 and 21.

Mormon missionaries

Most Mormon Missionaries are Young Single Adults.

 

Of course, an entire vocabulary has evolved so Mormons can communicate with each other about all that goes on within the Church. It’s a jargon that is unique, just like Catholic or Protestant vocabulary is unique. So we’ve provided a glossary of Mormon terms on this website.

What are Mormons Like?

Mormons don't live in closed communities, and they dress modestly, but according to the fashions of the cultures in which they live. Therefore, you might walk right past a Mormon and not realize it. Mormons tend to have a clean, wholesome, and bright look, because of the standards they live by and the health code...

Read more ...

What do People Say about Mormons?

This is a very good question.  People say all sorts of things about Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), many of which are untrue, and many of which are re-circulated rumors from long ago.  That's why there are several videos on this site that try to correct misperceptions about Mormons. ...

Read more ...

Where Did the Word “Mormon” Come From?

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are often called Mormons.  This has been bothersome to many members of the Church, because they want to be known as Christians, and that's what the full name of the Church implies.  Why are church members called Mormons?  The following will answer this question. Around...

Read more ...

Are Mormons All Alike?

Sometimes people have an image of Mormons that makes them all seem identical. After all, with so many rules, how can there be any diversity? Mormon is a nickname sometimes given to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormon rules do create some similarities among those who try to live...

Read more ...

Are Mormons Unhappy?

A personal answer from Gale. Some people have the impression that Mormons, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are unhappy.  There are two main reasons for this misperception: Mormons don’t drink, smoke, or engage in sexual activity outside traditional marriage, and therefore they couldn’t possibly be having any fun. Anti-depressant use...

Read more ...

How do Mormons Worship?

 Many people know little about what a Mormon worship service looks like. And unfortunately, many think they are not invited or welcome to attend church with the Latter-day Saints, where they could see for themselves how Mormon worship is focused on Jesus Christ. This is often the basis of misunderstanding and leads many to interpret the close-knit...

Read more ...

Blessing the World through Service

The Mormon Church has an extensive humanitarian aid program. Between 1985 and 2008, 167 countries had received humanitarian aid from the Church, totaling $282 million in cash donations and $833 million in material donations. One must add to this the millions of volunteer hours invested by members of the Church to provide assistance on the...

Read more ...

Do Mormons Celebrate Easter, Christmas, Birthdays?

Christmas lights at The answer is yes.  Mormons are devout Christians and celebrate Christmas and Easter with the rest of the Christian world.  It should be noted that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an international church, and that there are currently more members outside the United States than in it.  Both...

Read more ...

Mormonism in the Home

As any Christian knows, just dropping your children off at church once a week is not enough to give them a faith that will sustain the challenges of modern life. Mormons believe that church teachers are meant to support parents, not to replace them. Mormon home life is Christ-centered and provides many opportunities to learn...

Read more ...

About Education

The Church Educational System is an integral part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are sometimes informally known as Mormons. It reflects the Church’s commitment to education for all its members. “This Church came about as a result of intellectual curiosity. We believe in education, and we spend a substantial...

Read more ...

Why does the Mormon Church Meddle in Politics?

A personal answer from Gerald. The LDS Church has a long standing policy on politics. It has three components to it: Political neutrality, Involvement in issues of moral or community, Individual involvement. Political neutrality The LDS Church is neutral in party politics. It does not endorse nor oppose any political party or candidate. Prior to...

Read more ...

About the “Mormon Moment”

In 2011, two things happened to create what some journalists call the "Mormon moment."  First, a musical comedy came to Broadway that mocked and derided the beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often called the "Mormon Church."  Second, Mitt Romney, a practicing Mormon, began to move ahead in his...

Read more ...

About Mormon Entertainment

Latter-day Saints believe that wholesome entertainment is an important part of human and spiritual development.  In early LDS communities, the saints enjoyed plays, musical performances, dances and lectures. As early as July 1830, the Lord instructed Emma Smith, Joseph's wife, to compile a "selection of sacred hymns" that was published in 1835 (Doctrine and Covenants...

Read more ...

Do Mormons Practice Polygamy?

A personal answer from Gale. Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) do not practice polygamy.  However, during a fifty-year period of Mormon history, the practice of polygamy was commanded by the Lord through His prophets.  The practice of polygamy was a crucible of testing for the Latter-day Saints.  No one...

Read more ...

What is a Mormon Wedding Like?

We assume that you mean a Mormon temple wedding.  There are over 140 Mormon temples worldwide, and in them marriages are performed.  Marriages performed in Mormon temples are called celestial marriages, or eternal marriages, because the covenant is meant to last beyond the grave and into the eternities.  These marriages are also called “sealings.”  Because...

Read more ...

Why don’t Mormons Wear Crosses?

A personal answer from Terrie. Latter-day Saint military chaplains in uniform are required to wear the cross, as a representation of their faith category. Other Latter-day Saints do not, because we focus on the Living Christ. Had the Savior merely died, and not been resurrected, He would not have been our Savior. He lives today,...

Read more ...

Submit a Comment

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

Copyright © 2018 Mormon FAQ. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit LDS.org or Mormon.org.