Now, I'm the first to admit that when it comes to Mormon culture or membership, we haven't worked out all the kinks quite yet. Sure, none of us are perfect and I don't expect a mass translation anytime soon. But you know what? That's part of what I love about this Church.
Because—put bluntly—if everyone and everything in this Church were perfect, there's no way I would ever belong, no matter how hard I try.
Even then, there's a lot that Latter-day Saints get right. So, in order to celebrate the best parts about our Church and its members, here are a few reasons it just plain rocks to be a Mormon.
1. We can all sing and tap dance.
Image from Broadway Company retrieved via Deseret News.
Okay, maybe that's not true. But you've got to admit, Mormonism is a breeding ground for ridiculously talented people who can do things like this:
2. We're pretty decent at service.
This year,Elder Dallin H. Oaks said that each year The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spends about $40 million on welfare, humanitarian aid, and other service projects. Plus, LDS volunteers devoted over 25 million hours of labor—not to mention full-time missionaries, Church callings, visiting teaching, home teaching, etc. In the last 30 years, the Church has spent $1.2 billion on welfare and humanitarian efforts!
3. We know how to produce world-class leaders.
And I'm not the only one to say it. I'm just quoting from others. No joke:
Washington Post: If Harvard Business School Were a Religion, It Could Be Mormonism
Business Week: Why Mormon Missions Produce Leaders
4. Not to mention writers.
Yep, all of these books that became movies wouldn't have been possible without some pretty creative Latter-day Saints. Not to mention this epic list of bestsellers written by Mormons.
5. We're trendsetters
6. We're all about families.
The Osmond family on Oprah. Image by George Burns/AP retrieved from www.dailymail.co.
Even though families are forever, they are pretty fun here and now too!
7. We have stellar resumes long before we start job hunting.
Public service: check. Leadership experience: check. Foreign language skills: check. Crazy work ethic: check. Oh, and did I mention I am an Eagle Scout and have run my own business since I was 12?
8. We know how to cook
With linger longers, parties, barbecues, break the fasts, desserts, and even Church treats, there's no doubt food plays an important role in Mormon culture.
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9. But more importantly, we know how to eat.
Yes, we enjoy our treats and sweets, but Latter-day Saints also have an awesome thing called the Word of Wisdom that helps us stay active and healthy, minus the occasional freak falling-off-your-chair eating accident.
10. We have Church leaders who do this:
11. We have the largest women's organization in the world.
12. And we had the first women voter in any U.S. territory.
That's right, Sarah Young, grand-niece of Brigham Young. Mormons: supporting feminism before it was cool.
13. We are one of the fastest growing religions in the U.S.
Thank you missionaries and member missionaries around the world!
14. We can turn any fantasy/sci-fi book into a Sunday School lesson.
Still don't believe me? Well check these out:
15. Or any Disney movie for that matter.
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16. Plus, we are mostly responsible for keeping Disneyland in business.
Image from LDS S.M.I.L.E.
Yeah, we're never afraid to geek out!
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17. We've got America's Choir.
Amazing Grace | The Tabernacle Choir
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Did you know President Reagan dubbed the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as "America's Choir"? Learn more about what presidents and famous people have said about Mormons.
18. And we have great senses of humor.
► You'll also like:6 of the Funniest Moments in General Conference
19. We make excellent CIA, FBI, and all other kinds of secret agents
Did you know a Mormon FBI agent helped take down the notorious gangster Baby Face Nelson? No joke!
No wonder Mormons are disproportionately represented in the CIA andAtlas Obscura wrote an article about why Mormons make great FBI recruits.
20. Maybe in part because we own our own Fort Knox.
Image from Mormon Newsroom.
Seriously, check these out:
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21. We get the best google searches
To whoever googled that third search, in Mormon lingo, we prefer the word "peculiar."
► You'll also like: 10 Things People Ask Google About "The Mormons" (And the Answers)
Image from LDS S.M.I.L.E.
22. We have the restored gospel.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.
Okay, so we might not have everything 100 percent perfect yet. But you have to admit, Mormons are pretty stinking cool. And the best part about being Mormon is we learn beautiful, eternal truths that help us attain the divinity within us.