17 Things People Get Wrong About Latter-day Saints


15. “Isn’t that the religion that has five wives?”

I should say not. But as an LDS Living reader pointed out, “Most of the comments I get as a recent convert are 'Isn't that the religion that has fives wives?' Very frustrating how uneducated most people are.”

It seems like there’s been a resurgence of this misunderstanding with the popularity of reality TV shows like My Five Wives and Sister Wives. Admittedly, Latter-day Saints have a history with plural marriage, but that practice officially ended in 1890. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not associated with the splinter groups that are the focus of these shows, and today we do not practice or promote plural marriage.

► You'll also like: LDS.org Topic Pages Focus on Beginning and End of Plural Marriage   

16. “Why are you wearing make-up?”

Because I want to—it makes me feel more confident and beautiful. (But to each their own.) My decision to wear mascara is an entirely personal one that has nothing to do with my religion, even if that's what some people mistakenly think:

“In high school, I was told that if I was a Latter-day Saint I was not allowed to wear makeup and that I was supposed to wear a long, black dress. When I told this girl she was mistaken, she insisted that she was right and told me, 'Go home and ask your mom.'”
“I've also gotten: we aren’t allowed to color our hair, paint our nails, or wear makeup, [and] we make our own clothes.”

This sort of misunderstanding doubtless stems, once again, from confusing Latter-day Saints with the Amish. 

17.“Why do you put holes in your underwear?”

Maybe I’ve taken to heart the adage, “Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without.” But I definitely consider underwear with holes in it “worn out!”

Here’s what one LDS Living reader had to say about this misconception: 

“I work in healthcare, and when I was a student, one of my mentors at a fieldwork site kindly and respectfully asked me if she could ask me a question about being a Latter-day Saint. I said okay. Her question was that she had heard Latter-day Saints put holes in their underclothes and she was curious why! I corrected her misunderstanding, explained where I thought that misconception evolved from, and used that to teach her and educate in case she ever had a Latter-day Saint patient in the future.”

But what could be the reasoning behind this myth? Another reader shared their experience:

“A few months ago my chiropractor asked me if it was true that our 'underwear' had holes in it in the same place Joseph Smith was shot.”

Myths about the temple garment are plentiful—and luckily, the Church has released a video to clear up misunderstandings like this one:

There are lots of rumors about Latter-day Saints floating around on the internet and in peoples’ heads. When in doubt, ask a Latter-day Saint—or ask the missionaries. They can help you!

Lead image from Getty Images
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