Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mormons: An educated discussion



Lately I've taken a little interest in Jef Holm.

Not that kind of interest.  Come on people, this girl is happily married to the finest redhead on the block.

But still.  This Jef dude is a fascinating guy to me.  Why is he so nice?  How did he and that crazy hairdo make it all the way to the finale with Miss Proper Emily?  What is a nice boy from a nice state (MY STATE, BOOYAH!) doing on a show like The Bachelorette?

I am also fascinated with Jef because he is/was Mormon.  I'm Mormon and if you know anything about Mormons it's that Mormons are obsessed with other Mormons.  (Still following here?)  We're especially obsessed with Mormons that are somewhat famous.  Mitt Romney.  Jimmer Ferdette.  Steve Young.  We love these people.  I'm not exactly sure why Mormons love other Mormons so much, but I think it has to do with that we feel the rest of the world doesn't like us.  Therefore when a likeable Mormon hits it big, we cheer him on.  Good job!  You are proving to the rest of the world that us Mormons ain't so bad!

Also,  Mormons tend to feel misunderstood.  You know, like the world doesn't care to understand our beliefs and instead thinks we're a bunch of weirdos procreating like bunnies out here in Utah.  Therefore, when someone super normal is famously Mormon, we feel good about it.  Good job Jimmer, send some understanding out into the world!

Yesterday I was reading up on the internet on Jef Holm.  A lot of curious little Bachelorette fans were wondering why Jef's parents weren't at the hometown dates.  (ANSWER:  Jef's parents are mission presidents in South Carolina.  This means they are overseering anywhere from 80-180 young missionaries in their missionary efforts.  Jef himself served a mission to Minneapolis, Minnesota.  If this has still got you all kinds of confused, go ahead and read up on Mormon missions  or click here to get the full coverage on Mormon beliefs.  ALSO, yours truly served her own little mishky in Argentina; for posts about it go here.)  One person, after hearing that Jef's parents were mission presidents had asked for more information on Mormons.  This was the response I saw on a little Yahoo! Answers forum:

Both of Jef's parents are Mormon which is a religion close to Christianity except some practice "plural marriage" (more than one spouse) and believe in dedicating long amounts of time to church. Going around from different locations to try and persuade others into believing in Jesus Christ, and what they practice. Also, Mormons don't use anything addictive such as coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, etc. And they strongly believe in abstinence.

Now what Jef's parents are doing is what's called a "mission" which is dedicating their time traveling to persuade others into believing in their religion and finding God.


I guess you could say stuff like this gets a good old fashioned Mormon like me a bit riled up.  The information is inaccurate, but I think what bothers me the most is the authority with which it is said.  As if this person is the world's greatest source for information on Mormons.  Excuse me, brother, for being rude, but you don't know diddly squat about us Mormons! I believe in education in all forms, and that includes educating yourselves on other people and other religions.  So here we go.  Clear up time.

Both of Jef's parents are Mormon which is a religion close to Christianity. Wrong. Mormons ARE Christian. This is like saying "French are a people similar to Europeans." Nope. French ARE Europeans. Mormons ARE Christian. The full name of the Mormon church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Now, I have no problem being referred to as Mormons because it's a heck of a lot easier to say, but you should know there is a much longer "official" name.

some practice "plural marriage" (more than one spouse) Wrong. No Mormons practice plural marriage. If they do, they are not of the main Mormon religion. For example, the people on Sister Wives are not Mormons. They are people who broke away from the Mormon church primarily because Mormons were NOT practicing polygamy. There was a period of time where Mormons practiced polygamy but that ended 122 years ago. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY TWO YEARS AGO! And really, if we can't keep up with something that happened 122 years ago, we ain't got much of a fighting chance, do we?

and believe in dedicating long amounts of time to church. Our church service is three hours long once a week on Sunday. I understand that three hours might be longer than most church services, but I wouldn't exactly say it qualifies as "dedicating long amounts of time to church." Mormons work full time, hold regular jobs during the week, and spend time with family and friends just like everybody else. Church is in no way the main filler of our time. That being said, Mormons DO serve full time missions (Like Jef's parents), DO accept work in the church for which they are not paid (I teach a lesson once a month on Sundays for free as can be) and DO participate in church activities like camps and youth conferences. Joseph Smith, who restored the church, said this: A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.  So yah, our religion might require a little more than some, but since when was religion a matter of convenience?  

Also, Mormons don't use anything addictive such as coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, etc. You got that one right, my friend. We stay away from these bad boys and instead most of us dedicate our lives to Diet Coke. Oops.

And they strongly believe in abstinence. This one was the real kicker for me. We believe in abstinence? So wouldn't that mean all Mormons would eventually die off if no Mormons were procreating? Hmmmm.... doesn't sound like the smartest plan for us sexless Mormons. Please unknown person on the internet, you've got to get your Mormon facts straight, I'm begging you! We totally believe in sex! We believe that sex is intimate and special and emotional and that it is so intimate and special and emotional that it should be done only within marriage. No sleeping around before marriage and no sleeping around after marriage. Got it?

There's a lot more I could say about the church; I could get passionate and go on for hours if you let me, but I think this is a good stopping point. The absolute basics of the Mormon church are this: We believe the church that Christ established when he lived on the Earth was lost. We believe Christ restored it through a prophet, Joseph Smith, and that is the (Mormon) church that we have today. We also believe in kindness, understanding, education, hard work, tolerance, love, etc. For the most part, we are good people trying to live good lives. We respect other people and their beliefs. We ask the same.

Oh, and also, we eat raw dog liver covered in poisonous mushrooms on the third Friday of every month that ends in the letter y.

Did I get ya?

34 comments:

  1. You go girl! So proud to be Mormon. <3 ya!

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  2. FINALLY. This is one of the first explanation posts that not only is fully accurate but fun to read too! This makes me extremely happy, thanks for taking the time and effort to write this :)

    Bri

    And I'm also one of those good 'ole Mormon girls who gets all riled up when the read/hear something totally wrong. I'm always like..where in the world are people getting their info?? Just type in mormon.org and VOILA, information. Gosh, people are dumb.
    Ok, now I'm actually done with my comment. haha

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  3. great post!! make us Mormons proud :)

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  4. I'm not a Mormon but I am loving this post! Good job, girl!

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  5. Thanks for sharing and educating! This did take away some of the misunderstanding I had about the Mormon Church.

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  6. I grew up around a lot of Mormons and I believe that Mormons tend to marry other Mormona, right? I'm only asking because watching The Bachelorette, I'm confused why Jef is on the show when I don't think Emily is a Mormon??

    Also, I thought Mormons didn't drink any type of caffeine, is that correct?

    Oh and I'm not a dummy and I know that Mormons don't practice polygamy but there is something so intriguing about the Sister Wives show haha! Boggles my mind how 4 ladies could be ok with being married to the same guy!

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  7. Wow Bon, awesome post yet again! I feel so ignorant I really didn't know much about your religion. You forgot to include one very important stereotype though- Mormons are great bloggers. Seriously though y'all have this mastered, what's up with that?

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  8. I'm not Mormon, and I feel better about myself that I knew the things you were talking about. Whew.

    But the part that I laughed so hard about is: "if you know anything about Mormons it's that Mormons are obsessed with other Mormons."

    I recently started working with a girl who is Mormon. And she literally freaks out ANYTIME she sees someone she knows is Mormon. I could never figure out what the big deal was! At least now I know it's normal. ;)

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  9. I love that you took the time to educate people about what it is you believe. I have spent a lot of time seeking the beliefs of different religions, including LDS, so that I could decide for myself what I believe to be true. It makes me sad that people see Mormons as being so much "different" from the rest of society, because their beliefs really aren't that different from anyone else's.

    I think the reason why many people find Mormons to be "different", or even dislike them can come from the way some of the missionaries behave while on their missions. For example, I have had missionaries come to my door, and when I ask them politely to go, they stuck their foot in the door so that I could not close it. Had I not had several Mormon friends over the years, and allowed this to be my only interaction with Mormons, I'm sure that I would dislike them too. But, regardless of religion, we are all people who are trying to make the world a better place.

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  10. This was very informative! My question is, though.. Are Mormons discouraged from marrying non-Mormons? So, if Emily picks Jef.. there won't be any issues there? His family did seem to welcome her with open arms.

    I'm way too into that show, haha :)

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  11. I'm not Mormon, so this was such an informative post. I'm Catholic, so I can totally understand getting defensive when people put out misunderstandings about your faith.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  12. couldn't have said it better myself! great explanation!

    xo, b.

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  13. Such a great post- thank you!

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  14. Its awesome that you are sticking up for what you believe in! I am Apostolic Pentecostal and we have a hard time with myths and sterotypes too. We do not handle snakes and we arent all backwoods hillbillies living in the mountains. When I first joined the church on of the main things i was told was not to believe ANYTHING written on the internet. We have different beliefs but i am so proud that you are standing up to the world about what you believe! So many people have no idea or are too ashamed or embarrased to do so. Jesus rocks!! :)

    <3 Brittany.

    thebryantbliss.blogspot.com

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  15. Way to educate about our awesome church!

    Also, I live in SC and Brother Holm came and spoke a couple months ago (before The Bachelorette started) and now I'm all hoping to run into him again so I can totally just ask him straight up if Jef is his son!

    Yeah.. hey Bishop, get on that scheduling the Mission President to come back and talk already, we got fans.. er um, people who would love to interrogate, I mean hear him speak!

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  16. This was an awesome post! Love your passion about the church!!! Makes me so happy to be a member :)

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  17. Haha, right after I started reading I was thinking about the Sister Wives people. I don't understand them one bit. And while I'm not Mormon, I get tired of everybody basing their views on the religion from reality tv.

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  18. This post was super informative and interesting, loved reading it even if I'm not Mormon myself! Thanks for breaking it down! xo

    http://dreamingenfrancais.blogspot.com/

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  19. Sweet post Bonnie!! :) Great job explaining everything!!

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  20. I tend to shy away from religion in general because of my experience being raised in a sort of evangelical cult. That being said, I do appreciate people who are actually down to earth and "real" about their religion, and I loved your post! And to be honest, the few Mormons I know are all super nice and just generally great people :-)

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  21. Wow! Very well put. I'm christian...I'm somewhere between Catholic, Methodist and Lutheran... My hubs and I were both raised Catholic...but attend various churches in our area. Strange, I know. We just haven't found our fit yet. But you gave a very informational and humorous tongue lashing(or is it finger typing lashing)to that moron.

    I really dislike when people lead others with misinformation...especially about religion. Thank you for setting us straight!! :)

    I can't wait to read more of your blog!

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  22. Anonymous3:35 PM

    Great post, but you committed my biggest Mormon pet peeves. The proper name is Latter-day Saints not Latter Day Saints. I know that sounds really silly, but if you're going to write a post clearing up misunderstandings, you have to be careful to spell the name properly as not to be confused with the FLDS religion.

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  23. I am not Mormon but I do have family & friends that are. I absolutely despise when people believe stereotypes and don't find out the information for themselves. Bonnie, this was a great and informative post!

    Ignore the 'Anonymous' Grammar Police above me, not worth your time. Grr!

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  24. I love your post, Bonnie. As for the anonymous comment, Latter Day Saint implies the RLDS religion, Latter-day Saint means Mormon. :) Besides that, keep setting the record straight, girl. :)

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  25. Nice post, I too am a Mormon and I like what you said :)

    MrsB
    www.prettylivingpdx.blogspot.com

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  26. Love this!! Do you read Emily Henderson's blog (the design star winner on HGTV)? She just did a really funny post about Mormon's. With Jef on the bachelorette and Mitt Romney running for office, Mormons are so hot right now.

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  27. Anonymous6:36 PM

    Thanks for clearing up some misinformation. I love how Jef has carried himself with such dignity. His family seems really nice too.
    My mom lived in Utah before I was born. She was pretty adamant about her feelings against religion. Not a fan at all. Her biggest complaint was all the hypocrisy. But she said that the people in Utah (Mormons) were just the nicest people. Very genuine and sincere.

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  28. well said! i love this post! great job clearing things up. it seems like the LDS church is getting a lot of press lately, especially with romney in the running, so posts like this one are much needed. thanks for posting it!

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  29. this is a great post. that post is so ignorant, i don't know much about the LDS church, but i obviously knew he was way off.

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  30. That's my daughter! Might I say I am proud of you, Bonnie? You've always had the gift of expression, and you've used it well to share
    your faith.

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  31. This is one fantastic post! Thanks for speaking up. :)

    www.dandygiveaway.com

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  32. Wait...so did Jef serve a mission?

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  33. Soooooo, not to brag but I work in the town Jimmer is from. His dad comes into the office occasionally and I (shamelessly) beg him to bring his son by next time.

    It's incredible how cool I am. Really.

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