Sunday, February 23, 2014

Myths of Mormonism: Part 1

This is a compilation of things that (1) people who've never met a Mormon believe as well as (2) some points of doctrine/policy that have been twisted and spread over time.

Some are funny while others are more serious.

This is to provide correct information as to what the church actually upholds. While there are members who believe some of these things, there is no basis for them in official church...anything.

FYI: I welcome civil and respectful comments/discussion. If your sole purpose in being here is to troll, bash, etc., feel free to leave now, as such disrespectful actions are not welcome on my blog.

1. If you're not Mormon, you're going to Hell.

Not true. See my post called "Post-Earth Life" for information on this.

2. Mormons make blood sacrifices in their temples.

I worked in a temple for 2.5 years. Everything in all of the temples is done in the same way. There is never any shedding of any blood of any kind in our temples...unless you trip and fall on the stairs.

3. Mormons have horns.

4. Mormons don't use technology. They're kinda like the Amish.

We LOVE technology! In fact, the church encourages members to utilize technology for good as much as possible. Many members don't carry scriptures or study materials with them anymore because they have it all on their electronic devices.

5. If you've committed a big sin (outside of murder), there's no chance of repentance; you're just going to Hell.

Not true. We believe in repentance through Jesus Christ's Atonement. We also believe that HE is the final judge; even if you have committed unpardonable sins, he knows the intent of your heart, the level of your repentance, and what type of judgment needs to be made.

6. Mormons baptize dead people.

Yes and no. We do not dig up graves and baptize corpses. That's just weird. We act as proxies (someone who represents someone else) in our temples to be baptized for the dead, not baptize the dead. We base this practice from 1 Corinthians 15:29 in the New Testament:
Else what shall they do, which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?
We do not believe that our ancestors for whom we are baptized have to change just because we acted as a proxies for them. We believe that they always have the right to either accept or reject their proxy baptisms.

Our scriptures. Notice the Bible at the top.

7. Mormons have a different Bible than other churches.

As indicated by the above point, we use the Bible. It is a valued part of our scripture system. In fact, our Sunday School study rotation spans 4 years, 2 of which focus on the Bible. We talk to people more about the Book of Mormon because it's the book that most are unfamiliar with.

Also note-worthy: It was because Joseph Smith was reading the Bible that he thought to pray and ask God which church he should join.

8. Mormons worship Joseph Smith.

Absolutely not! He is a prophet and we respect him as one, just as we revere and respect Isaiah, Abraham, Issac, and Jacob (Israel). The name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We worship God, the Father, and our Savior, Jesus Christ.

9. Mormons are not Christians because they don't believe in the same Jesus as other Christian churches. 

Yes we are. What confuses people many times is that we do not use either the cross or the crucifix in any of our buildings, nor do we have a practice of wearing them. This is because we focus our thoughts not just on the truth that he died for us, but that overcame death and lives for us as well.

10. The Mormon church is a North-American rich person church.

Actually, there are more members outside of the USA than in it. Our chapels and temples are just as beautiful in third-world countries as they are in the USA. The scriptures and study materials are the same. The organization of each congregation is the same wherever you go.

Is the headquarters of the church in the USA? Yep. But the headquarters of the Catholic Church is in Vatican City and no one calls it an Italian church, do they?

11. The church forces you to give up your money if you want to go inside their temples.

The church never forces anyone to do anything, but as with all rules, there are consequences for not following them. We believe that Christ was serious when he spoke in Malachi 3:8-10 of robbing God by not paying tithing. We believe that paying a full tithe (10% of your income) is a commandment. To enter the temple, one must be striving to live the commandments to the best of his/her ability. Therefore, yes. tithing is a requirement if you wish to enter.
12. Non-Mormons are shunned and unwelcome.

Underneath the church name on every one of our chapels says "visitors welcome." Visitors can be both members and non-members alike. If a member doesn't act like you're welcome for some reason, that's the individual member's fault, not the church's.

13. They claim to be the perfect people of the earth; after all, their church is the one of  Latter-day Saints.

We believe that a saint is one who is striving for perfection, not someone who's already there. Yes, there are quite a few cocky people in the church, but there are cocky people everywhere. We believe that church is a sick-house for sinners trying to do better. Don't be surprised if a member says something bad or offends you. Just like you, that member isn't perfect. Just like you, that member is (hopefully) working on his/her weaknesses. Be patient with the member just as you would want someone to be patient with you.

14. Women are suppressed in the church.

To respond to that, I post a link to this video by Sheri Dew, a very prominent single woman in the Church.

15. They still practice polygamy in Utah.

"Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon teach that monogamy is God's standard for marriage unless He declares otherwise" (Source). There are polygamists in Utah, but they are not members of the church. Yes, polygamy was a practice of the church, but was discontinued on October 6th, 1890. Any member currently found practicing and unwilling to change is excommunicated.

16. The Bishops and Stake Presidents in the church have a secret manual that only they are allowed to see.

There are two policy books in the church: Handbook 1 and Handbook 2. Handbook 2 is online for anyone who wants to read it. Handbook 1 is only in the hands of bishoprics and stake presidencies. It is not only for their eyes: I have read many things in that book and have heard bishops/stake presidents read much out of it to clarify things. The main reason it is not accessible to the general membership is that it contains the church instructions regarding the repentance process for serious sins. There are many members that, if knowledgeable of said processes, would not go to confess their sins to an authorized person (a required step for repentance in serious issues). Instead, they would say "well, I already know what he's going to say, so I'll just skip the confession part and do it myself."
17. The church changes all the time, as if it just rolls with whatever.

Yes, church policies change all the time. How would church members feel if the policy regarding modesty remained unchanged since the 1800s?

Policies need to change.

The gospel and doctrine, however, has not and will not change. Baptism is necessary, as is continuing repentance. Faith on the Lord Jesus Christ is essential, as are temple ordinances. Things of that nature do not roll with whatever.

18. The "higher-up" people in the church (like the prophet and twelve apostles) get paid for what they do, even though the church claims that no one is paid for their work.

No member of the church gets paid for what he/she does. It's all volunteer work. This is even true for the 83,000 missionaries that you see on the streets every day. The "higher-up" people in the church have devoted their lives to church service. They do not work outside jobs. They need something to pay for their groceries, pay their bills, and fill their cars with gas. Thus, they receive an allowance to pay for said things. An allowance is not a paycheck.

19. Mormons wear magic underwear.

This has come about because members say that the garment (said underwear) protects them. This has been misunderstood to mean that it is "magic."
Endowed members of the church [those that have participated in the ceremony necessary to wear the garment] wear [it] as a reminder of the sacred covenants they have made with the Lord and also as a protection against temptation and evil. . . . [it] is an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the savior. Source 
Like Job, this does not mean that we are exempt from life's events and the trials that come. We simply believe that as we strive to do our best at keeping the promises made in the temple, we will receive protection from falling into Satan's snares and losing the blessings that come from following the Lord.

For more information on the garment, read the article linked to the above quote.
20. Mormons are brainwashed.

Yes we are. So are Catholics, Protestants, Atheists, Democrats, Republicans, Animal Rights activists, and everyone else who believes in something with conviction.

We're all brainwashed in somebody's perspective. Can we please move on now?

For comment and discussion:
What else have you heard about the church that you're not sure about? Let me know, and if it's true, I'll tell you right then. If it's a myth, I'll let you know that that's what it is and then clarify it in Part 2 of this segment.


  1. What is your opinion on the blacks and priesthood issue? I have read that there were black members in Joseph Smith's time, and that they had even gone through the temple.

    What is your opinion on the allegation that Joseph Smith had many "spirit wives" that were married here on earth to other men?

    What are your beliefs on polygamy practice in the celestial kingdom?

    These are all honest questions that I have and wonder about. When I try to ask them to church leaders I am written off as a trouble maker.

    1. Hi Leah!

      This is going to be a 2-parter because the system won't let me say everything in one comment :)

      Yes! There is no evidence whatsoever that blacks could not receive the priesthood in Joseph Smith's time. Elijah Abel (one of these men) had indeed participated in temple ordinances. It was during Brigham Young's ministry that the Black and the Priesthood ban started. However, no black person was ever denied baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, or receiving any other priesthood blessing (healing, comfort, etc.). Ever. There's an official statement regarding it on As you read, you'll see that the document does not state that the ban was not revelation. My opinion on this matter is that there have been times that certain things were held back for a time because of one reason or another (the Law of Consecration issue in pioneer times, for example) and there are numerous examples of this throughout the standard works. It is possible that the Blacks and Priesthood issue was one of those things, but again, I wasn't there, so the only thing I can do when it comes to the "why" is speculate.

      Something that helps me with my lack of understanding on the matter is this: The black members of the church at that time had amazing testimonies, even though there were things that they could not do. They could happily say that they knew there was a reason for the ban and that, if they continued firm in the Faith, the blessings would come. They were the ones who had to live with it, and they didn't even complain. I feel that they had received a spiritual witness of something that we have not, maybe because we haven't asked (at least, I haven't).

      The "spirit wives" thing is not an allegation; Joseph Smith was sealed to women who were already married to other men. I have heard much discussion on this from many people much more educated than I. Their opinions (emphasis on "opinions") on the matter usually center around the idea that it's possible that the members did not fully understand how the sealing power worked. Everything was new to them and they didn't quite know how to do it all yet. Many may have thought that you have to be sealed to the prophet to get into the Celestial Kingdom. My opinion is that, in the end, those women will enter the Celestial Kingdom with their earthly husbands and the Lord will take care of figuring that one out.

    2. The official information on is that "Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon teach that monogamy is the Lord standard unless he declares otherwise". If that is the Lord standard here, then it's His standard there as well. His standard regarding eternal things doesn't change depending on where he is or where we are. If you are sealed to only one spouse in the temple here, then that's how it will be there. If you are sealed to more than one person in the temple here, then that's how it will be there. What's sealed on Earth is sealed in Heaven. That's what the Lord has declared.

      Quick fun fact: As per handbook #1, If a woman was married to more than one man on earth, she may be sealed to all of her husbands once she passes away. ...I feel that there's a lot about how the sealing works that we don't quite comprehend as of yet.

      I definitely understand the "Hey, Church Leader, I have a question" problem. What I've learned over time is that many of said leaders feel that, because they're leaders, they should have the answers. When someone asks a question that they don't know the answer to, they feel backed into a corner, afraid that their imperfection of knowledge will show. They forget that it's okay to not know all the answers. So, they just end up saying things like "Well, some things as just can't know in this life" or "Sometimes, blind faith is necessary". President Uchtdorf said that we are supposed to be a question-asking people: "That's how the church got its start, from a boy who asked questions."

      Seek and ye shall find. Don't seek, and you won't find anything. You can't be saved in ignorance and you can't help people understand the church if you don't even know. Keep asking, Leah!


I welcome fun, civil, and respectful discussion. See "The Blog and House Rules" for what that means to me.