LDS Living Blog
Find out what people get wrong about Mormons and learn more about life after death in this week's top LDS stories!
9 Things People Get Wrong about Mormons
“Aren't you Mormon? You can’t use calculators.”
And that’s when I realized: my classmate thought being Mormon was the same as being Amish.
After assuring him that I had arrived at school that morning in a car and that I had plans to use a computer later, I got back to my assignment, calculator in hand.
But that wasn’t the last time I’d hear something strange one of my classmates, coworkers, or even close friends who had an odd idea about what it meant to be Mormon.
Life After Death: 6 Insights into the Spirit World
The restored gospel reveals many truths about life after death. Here are a few more insights about the afterlife that you may not have come across before.
In 1990, I attended the annual conference of the International Association of Near-Death Studies, held that year in Washington, DC with Robert Millet. We didn’t quite know what to expect. Was the conference going to be comprised of “UFO chasers,” people with aluminum foil hats, and the like?
But it wasn’t like that at all. There were scientists, medical doctors, scholars from many academic disciplines, theologians and clerics from diverse faiths, and many good women and men who had experienced some sort of encounter with the spirit world and sought to make sense of it all. As impressive as this gathering was, what had a greater impact on me was that most of these people were generally unfamiliar with Latter-day Saint beliefs about the afterlife. It made me realize that we possess unique, profound doctrines concerning the role of the spirit that perhaps we take for granted.
Recently I read a statement in a book published by Yale University that confirms the distinct nature of our beliefs. Said authors Colleen McDannell and Bernhard Lang:
“While most contemporary Christian groups neglect afterlife beliefs, what happens to people after they die is crucial to LDS teachings and rituals. Heavenly theology is the result not of mere speculation, but of revelation given to past and present church leaders. . . .
Check out this week's top LDS stories to learn everything from how the missionary brother of Imagine Dragons' lead singer unexpectedly discovered the band was going to the Grammys to new LDS art that can change how you view the gospel.
Over the past year, the Church has been publishing in-depth essays on lds.org about popular gospel topics that are often difficult to answer or misunderstood. Among these was a discussion on plural marriage that the Church completed three weeks ago--an essay that generated significant media coverage and public interest.
The Church has responded to this new attention and clarified many misconceptions regarding Joseph Smith and the history of polygamy in the LDS church.
What you thought was just a silly or sweet compliment could in fact have damaging consequences you never expected. Check out this list of common harmful compliments to learn what to avoid.
One of the first things my best friend heard from her mother as she hugged her in the Salt Lake City airport, missionary pack still in hand and nametag still pinned to her sweater, was, “Honey, I am so proud of you. A year and a half surrounded by French dishes and all those crepes, and you stayed so thin!”
While the intention behind this compliment was sweet, the overall message it sent was horribly wrong. What about her year and a half of devoted service to the Lord? What about her new spiritual confidence? What about her practical fluency in a second language? Of all the qualities this mother could choose to praise after her daughter honorably served a mission, she chose dress size.
This behavior isn't uncommon. Take a look at the comments on any selfie. Superficial compliments flood Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. And many of these comments encourage behaviors that are ridiculous, if not outright dangerous. It’s tempting to think that any compliment to a woman is a good compliment. But that’s not the case. Many compliments carry undertones or emotional baggage that we may not even be aware of. These compliments, though intended to be uplifting, can actually be harmful to a woman’s sense of self-worth. (While I focus on examples geared towards woman, it's important to realize these types of compliments are harmful to anyone--both men and women.)
Myths about the Book of Mormon continue to circulate throughout the internet and pop culture. Here are five of the most common of these myths and the truth behind them.
The coming forth of The Book of Mormon and the stories contained within it are incredible—incredible and complex. As a result, many members of other faiths have generated misconceptions about The Book of Mormon and LDS beliefs regarding it. Here are some common myths and truths surrounding this sacred record that you can share with your non-member neighbors and friends.
Myth #1—Mormons don’t believe in the Bible; they have their own book.
Yes, Mormons have our own set of unique scriptures. In fact, we not only have The Book of Mormon, we have the Doctrine and Covenants (a book of revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith and succeeding prophets), words from modern day prophets, and the Pearl of Great Price (selections of both ancient and modern materials that touch on significant doctrines, many unique to our faith).
But, believing in these other sacred records does not take away from our belief and reverence for the Bible. Additional LDS scriptures support, add upon, and—in many instances—clarify ambiguous doctrines found in the Bible.
But, don’t Mormons have their own translation of the Bible?
While we fully believe that the Bible contains divine revelation from God, we also understand that it was recorded and later translated by men who make mistakes. As a result, the Prophet Joseph Smith provided more accurate translations of key verses and chapters in the Bible. So, though Mormons use the King James Version of the Bible, we have footnotes and appendixes that provide Joseph Smith’s translations.