3 Shocking Secrets of the Mormon Church

I’m sure from the outside, I don’t seem very standard when it comes to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m a writer (a horror writer at the current moment), I have one child, and my house is a constant disaster. When people find out that I’m Mormon, they don’t say, “Oh, I thought so. You seemed like a Mormon.” They usually just give me a wide-eyed fish face and say, “Do they let people like you in the church?”

That’s just it: They do let people like me in the church.

Now, I’m not here to convert your soul or tell you a bunch of sugar-coated nonsense. I’m here to tell you the truth (as I see it). Perhaps if you know the secrets of the church, it will give you some better perspective on why we do what we do.

1. Mormons Brainwash Their Kids

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http://the143s.blogspot.com/2013/12/book-of-mormon-scripture-reading-with.html

From a very young age, children are taught tenets of the church that completely alter how they view reality. Don’t believe me? Ask a kid any question about God or church doctrine and you’ll get the same stock answers every time.

Ex.

Q: “What can we do if we are feeling confused about what is the right thing to do?”

A: “Study it in our minds, read the scriptures, pray, go to church, listen to the Spirit.”

Q: “How can we know Jesus Christ better?

A: “Study it in our minds, read the scriptures, pray, go to church, listen to the Spirit.”

Granted, there’s an argument to be made here about the validity of these stock Mormon responses.

What are the ways that we can grow closer to God? What are the ways that we can find answers? What are the ways that we can foster positive relationships with other people? If you asked any religious person in any part of the world, even people who are not Mormon, they would tell you that these answers are ones that most often bring peace and understanding.

So, sure. We brainwash our kids, and ourselves for that matter. Just like we brainwash kids to know their ABCs and count to 20. But, when it comes to the big trials of life, those times when it’s easy to lose your way and forget to hope, these answers are the ones that become anchors and lead to knowledge rather than despair.

 

2. Mormon Women Are Not Treated the Same As Men

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Hey, guys! Just in case you didn’t know, this isn’t a picture of me. This is Al Fox, and you can click it to read some of her incredible blog posts.

In the LDS church, women and men are not treated the same. Men are given ecclesiastical leadership, especially over building maintenance, financial recording, and official discipline. Women are given responsibility over the women, the children, and making sure the men are getting their jobs done.

There is some outside perception that the church demeans women by not allowing them to hold the roles of patriarchs, bishops, and priests. These people state that women should be given the exact same roles as men in order to make them equal.

Unfortunately, these individuals are operating under a false assumption or two.

A) Fair is the same as equal.

B) Perfect equality is the only way to maintain the human right of freedom.

In the LDS church, women are not treated the same as men. Much like in a marriage, each gender has a different role and responsibility. And each household has their own version of that gender responsibility. In my house, my husband takes out the trash and I put in the new trash bag. It’s not because he’s better than me, or I’m more responsible than him. It’s just the way our house works.

In the Lord’s house, women care for children, care for other women, provide music, teach classes, and preach from the pulpit. Men perform baptisms, blessings, and become prophets, bishops, or patriarchs. This is not because one gender is better or more qualified. It’s just separation of roles in order to maintain an organized household.

This is not to say that women aren’t given leadership roles in the LDS church. They are leaders over the Relief Society, the largest and oldest worldwide women’s organization. They are leaders over the Primary, the childrens’ organization. They are leaders over the Young Women’s organization. Each of these areas relies on women leading, guiding, and teaching. Their voices are heard and they are valuable role models for people in the Mormon church around the world.

 

3. Mormons Don’t Believe in Moral Relativism

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In physics, there are laws. Immutable laws that don’t break. Gravity bends and reacts to things, but it never ceases to function. Actions require energy and lead to proportional reactions. That is the same truth no matter where you go in our universe.

As Latter-day Saints, we believe that God’s laws are just as immutable. We believe that the universe is based on the concepts of faith, love, and action. We believe light and dark are diametrically opposed and yet present in each person. We believe that the ability to choose between these opposing forces (“free will”) is the most valuable gift on this planet, and that God will not interfere with our ability to prove the measure of our souls with our daily choices.

There are two kinds of choices: God-centered (or Love-centered) and self-centered. Self-centered choices (the “eat, drink, and be merry plan”) don’t fulfill our deeper need for meaning. They focus only on our own pleasure, and eventually lead to misery. I’m not talking about a pit of fire with a pitchforked devil. I’m talking about regret. About bitterness. About selfishness that consumes. These are miseries unto themselves, and the true fruits of choosing our own desires over God’s law.

God-centered choices help us grow in our capacity to truly love others. These choices lead to increasing amounts of light, goodness, and an ability to help others. These choices lead to true freedom. Not the ability to do whatever the crap we want to do all the time. That’s the world’s definition of freedom, and this kind of “free” people are often very unhappy.  No, choosing the right allows you to do as many things that bring love and goodness into the world as you want. It brings never-ending peace and joy.

And so, we can’t stand with the world that says it’s okay to do whatever you want. The fact is, you don’t know who your decisions are harming and you often want things that will not bring you long-term joy. Although you don’t feel that your self-interested choices are hurting anyone, you don’t know how they will affect your future, your marriage, your children, or your grandchildren.

But God does. And that’s why he has given you tools (scriptures, conscience, good advice, that-thing-in-your-chest-that-tells-you-not-to-steal-babies) to help you make love-centered choices.

 

In Summary: Cookies

Mormons aren’t here to make you feel bad. We’re not self-righteously applauding our amazingness and pitying your stupidity for not being as good as we are. We don’t knock on doors to increase our membership numbers so that we can win some invisible Race of Righteousness.

Instead, we tell people what we know because we believe that it will bring them long-term happiness. We believe that the laws of God are given as guides so that we can find joy in this world and in the next. All we want to do is share them with people. All we want to do is tell our secrets and give others a chance to test the secrets for themselves.

And, of course, we also make amazing cookies.
Mormons

 

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