Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What it Means to Be Mormon

Growing up as a Mormon kid in an overwhelmingly non-Mormon part of the country, I got a lot of questions whenever I brought up my religion...or anything related to my religion.

Age 8:  "You have to go to church for three hours? Every week?"
Age 9:  "What do you mean, 'What's communion?'"
Age 10:  "Your mom says you can't play soccer this year because the games are on Sundays?"
Age 11:  "You mean you've never had Coke?  Ever?"
Age 12:  "Aren't Mormons the ones with like ten wives?"
Age 13:  "Wait...did you just say your sister lives in Spain?"
Age 14:  "How can you call yourself Christian if you don't even believe in the Bible?"
Age 15:  "How many wives does your dad have?"
Age 16:  "You're a priest?  Seriously?"
Age 17:  "So what's the deal with the magic underwear?"
Age 18:  "Utah?  What a random place to apply for college."
Age 19:  "You can get expelled for drinking?  It's a college, right?"
Age 20:  "So does your family practice polygamy?"
Age 21:  "You're still a virgin?"

What did it mean to be Mormon?  It meant fielding a lot of questions from friends and acquaintances...and desperately trying to downplay how weird the answers were.


  1. Another spot-on blog post...

    The best part would be some of the to "You mean you've never had Coke?" for me, the answer would be, "Whaaa? No, Coke is fine."

    But nevertheless, the next time someone would see me with a caffeinated soda, they would say, "Oh man, wouldn't your parents really be disappointed in you!"

  2. I never had Coke until I was maybe sixteen. Not because we thought it was against the Word of Wisdom or anything, just because my mom wasn't big into soda or caffeine. On the rare occasion we got to have soda, it was root beer or Sprite. I used to have long discussions with friends about this. It would take them a while before they gave up and decided I wasn't joking after all.

    I guess the best answer for me would be to the question about being a priest: "Yeah, but it's not what you think. Mormon priests aren't the same as other priests." It was impossible to explain.

  3. I grew up Mormon in Maryland, and I can soooo relate to this!

  4. Note that this post has been nominated for a Brodie Award for insightful discussion of Mormon culture. You can vote for it here.