#1 Why Do Mormons Ride Bikes?
Mormons often utilize bicycles as their means of transportation while on a mission trip. This is because bikes are the most efficient and affordable means of transportation while living in the remote areas of countries like Peru, Nigeria, St. Lucia, Tanzania, and more.
Traveling long distances is rarely necessary and upon assignment to their mission location, they are appointed to a narrow geographical region. Intended to stay in the village, missionaries are taught to focus their efforts closely by making intimate connections with a smaller portion of people, rather than attempting to scratch the surface with a larger population.
- I will both search my sheep and seek them out.”- Ezek. 34:11.
- If you labor all your days and bring one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy.” – D&C 18:15.
- The Parable of The Bicycle – Posted by ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
#2 Why Do Mormons Live in Utah?
After the found of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, was brutally murdered due to discrimination against his religion, the Mormons knew they had to leave Illinois and settle somewhere safer.
In ill-healthy, Brigham Young led fellow members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on a thousand-mile journey to safety. Young was the elected President of the Mormon religion following Joseph Smith’s death, and he would serve until the end of his life.
With 16,000 Mormons traveling from Illinois, they arrived after great in the mountains of Utah’s Great Salt Lake Valley on July 24th, 1847, subsequently recognized as Pioneer Day.
Seeing their promise-land as a safe haven from intolerant outsiders, Utah became the official headquarters for the LDS church.
- “And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it.” – 2 Nephi 12.
- To the Saints of The Utah Salt Lake Area – Posted by: ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
#3 Why Do Mormons Go Door to Door?
There are certain areas in which soliciting door-to-door is illegal, but in the areas where it is legal – Mormons will spread the word of God. As part of their missionary work, this is a task prescribed to them at birth (if born within an established Mormon family).
Children are taught early-on about how to enthusiastically communicate with someone and share a spiritual message. Using an optimistic presence and energy of levity, Mormons are taught to use the ‘joy of God’ to persuade others to be apart of what they consider to be intrinsic joy.
As LDS Daily states in their piece, ‘Why are Mormons So Happy?:’
“When you have someone like God to depend on, you may as well be optimistic and hope for the best.Things do not always go the way we plan them, but God knows what He’s doing.”
Whether going door-to-door or traveling around the world – Mormons are instilled from childhood to make God’s word known to others.
- “They … called upon all men, everywhere, to repent; and faith was taught unto the children of men.” – Moses 6:23.
- Frequently Asked Questions About Mormon Missionaries – Posted by Third Hour; Posted on May 23rd, 2016.
#4 Why Do Mormons Go on Missions?
Missions are a voluntary practice in which Mormons reach out to their local community by going door-to-door, as well as traveling globally to expand the message of the Lord.
Seen as a service of teaching and helping others – There are specific scriptures that call upon Christians to spread the word of God. Outreach is seen as a requirement of being a devoted member.
“Let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. … For God is love.” – 1 John 4:7-8
Missionaries are trained with a pitch upon meeting a potential convert. Trained in Missionary School, there is a blueprint for how to effectively connect with others and open a dialog about religion.
Attempting to open the prospect up with an engaging dialog about faith, Missionaries will eventually ask the prospective convert if he/she is ready to:
- Repent for his sins
- Declare Jesus Christ as their sole savior
- Be officially baptized in a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The main goal of missionary trips is step #3 – To obtain the commitment of a full-fledged baptism.
- “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” – 1 Nephi 3.
- ’The Value of a Full-time Mormon Mission’ – Posted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Posted on July 3rd, 2012.
#5 Why Do Mormons Store Food?
With the deeply engrained message of what LDS members refer to as preparedness – Mormons are taught to prepare for the final days of the earth by storing food. Food stocking is provisional planning in case of worldwide catastrophes falling under the categories of:
- Environmental – Such as toxic air pollution
- Human-induced – Such as an atomic bomb
- God-Induced – Such as an apocalypse or second coming
Regardless of the cause, Mormons seek to prepare for circumstances in which they might be stuck indoors for prolonged periods of time. Mormons are told by leaders of the LDS church to:
- Collect cans
- Store dried goods
- Grow gardens if possible
- Prepare a food supply that can support the family for a couple of months to years, if not longer.
Another argument for this ‘preparedness’ as they coined it, could be linked to the history of Mormonhood in which they were expelled from their original home of Illinois. There is a certain foundation in this group of believers that displays a strength of resilience and ability to prepare for the worst, having been through great challenges to even solidify their religion. This history has translated to their modern viewpoint on the world, wanting to be able to support the household in case of an emergency.
Mormons have a tribulation-filled background, as do most religions, but these hardships have instilled a mentality of:
- The ability to plan ahead with ample provisions
- And vigilant readiness for prospective doom
“How much food storage do I need? Take the amount of food you would need to purchase to feed your family for a day and multiply that by 7. That is how much food you would need for a one-week supply. Once you have a week’s supply, you can gradually expand it to a month, and eventually three months.”
- “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendith it up.” – Proverbs 21:20
- Welfare Facilities – Home Storage Center of The Church of Latter-Day Saints – Posted by ChurchofJesusChrist.org – Description Snippet: ‘Centers created by the LDS church to help others with their longer-term home storage needs through dried food goods such as “wheat, dry beans, rice, and other products that have been prepackaged for longer-term storage.”
#6 Why Do Mormons Have a Lot of Kids?
A new study finds that Mormon Families are America’s Largest. This is not a coincidence, and actually quite intentional because Mormons view children as the holiest and most sacred gifts of God.
Mormons have on average double the number of children as the stanadard American. Comparatively:
- Mormon adults have an average of 3-4 children
- The national average for children in a family is 1.93 children
Certainly contributing to a higher national average, Mormons have a lot of children because they children as:
- Inherently Sacred
- Necessary for God to reach the earth
- The source of everlasting joy
As further evidence of how holy Mormon’s view children – If a child dies before the age of eight, he is automatically taken to what the LDS church views as the highest level of heaven, The Celestial Kingdom. This is a highly-exclusive degree of religious refuge that most Mormons do not believe they will ever reach; however, the sacredness of a lost child will automatically warrant their acceptance into this incomparable haven.
- “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord. … As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them..” Psalm 127:3-5.
- “Having Children Enriches Your Life” – Posted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Posted on March 26th, 2013.
#7 Why Do Mormons Wear Special Underwear?
Known as ‘Temple Garments,’ the Mormon under-garments were developed nearly two centuries ago as a tangible connection between that patron and the spirit of God.
Seeking to de-sexualize the human body and cloak one in a protective layer, these garments are commonly worn under clothing and sometimes referred to as ‘the garment of the priesthood.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints writes of temple garments:
“Unlike other ceremonial clothing used during the endowment, the garment is worn underneath members’ normal clothing for the rest of their lives, serving as a daily physical reminder of their covenant relationship with God.”
Mormons view these undergarments as:
- Highly sacred
- Private and secretive
- Only for those that are able to enter the Temple (only Mormons)
- A sign of respect to the groundwork of the religion in the 1800s, with the garments being prescribed by the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith.
- An homage to their history
- A way for men and women to be equal in appearance
- A physical, tangible, and visceral way to connect to God while at work, at church, and home.
Do note – Although they are ‘special underwear’ to an outsider, this phrasing could be seen as disrespectful or even insulting to an LDS member. If addressing or asking a Mormon about these or asking respectful questions, use the more polite and accurate term of ‘temple garments.’
- “Thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron, thy brother for glory and for beauty … that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.” Exodus 28:2-3.
- ’Sacred Temple Clothing’ – Posted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to their official website.
#8 Why Do Mormons Not Drink Coffee?
From their health code stemming from The Word of Wisdom (Section 89 of the Doctrine of Covenants) – Mormons do not drink caffeinated products due to their ability to become:
- Manipulative to one’s emotions
- Cognitively disruptive
- Overly stimulating
- Harmful to the body
Seen as an impairment of natural judgment, stimulants are forbidden for these reasons within the LDS church. These stimulants include:
In recent years, only soft drinks have become a more lenient stimulant by the LDS church; however, soda is still strongly discouraged by church leaders. Coffee is considered far more potent than soda; therefore, consuming it is generally out of the question.
If a Mormon does drink coffee and caffeine, they could be considered a more modern and/or less fundamental Mormon.
- “(7) And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.
(8) And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.
(9) And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.” – Doctrine and Covenants 89:7-9.
- Why Can’t Mormons Drink Coffee, Tea, or Alcohol? – Posted by Answering Mormon Questions; Posted on August 6th, 2016. Direct Quote: “Do a lot of members of the church partake in these things? Absolutely, but they can’t hold a calling if they’re doing so.”
#9 Why Do Mormons Believe in Polygamy?
Polygamy has been officially prohibited by the Church of Jesus Christ for more than a century. Originally, Polygamy was embraced by Mormons due to a population deficit of men.
In the 1830’s upon Mormonism’s inception, there were more women than men on the Mormon settlements. Plural marriages and non-monogamous unions were formerly seen as beneficial for many reasons, including but not limited to:
- Each Woman Gets a Husband – Seen as necessary in the 1800s, this is not the case in modern days where the population of each gender is more balanced. There were not enough men to go around at that time, and children were the most important achievement of the sacred connection to God. Therefore, marriage at all costs was endorsed.
- Shared Childcare – Seen as a community task and larger-family operation, three or more wives might raise ten or twenty kids together. This is seen as a bonding connection that has puzzled non-Mormons for decades. The external curiosity of Mormon-based Polygamy even led to hit television shows, such as ‘Sister Wives,’ featuring 18 children raised by four wives.
- Pathway to The Celestial Kingdom – Although it is excommunicated by the church, Polygamy still exists in Mormonism through a fundamentalist believer. Some continue to believe that plural marriage is an essential requirement to be eligible to enter the highest level of heaven.
- Reverence to History – Another reason is to pay respect to the religion’s origins, feeling that Joseph Smith’s teachings are the epitome of truth, not aging or evolving with the social merits of acceptability. There has been backlash against the church from 21st-century stigmas against Polygamy, leading to a divisive split on either side of this debate.
Although Polygamy was accepted for many decades, the LDS church has now reordered its principles concerning plural marriages, even known to excommunicate or refuse to baptize children of those that embrace open unions.
- “It is not good that man should be alone.” –Genesis 2:18
- ChurchofJesusChrist.org writes, “The marriage of a husband to two or more living wives. It is lawful for a man to have only one wife, unless the Lord commands otherwise by revelation (Jacob 2:27-30):”
“(27) Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;
(28) For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.
(29) Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.
(30) For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.” – Jacob 2:27-30.
- ‘Joseph Smith and The Beginnings of Polygamy’ – Posted on the Official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
#10 Why Are Mormon Missionaries Not Allowed to Swim?
Instructed to avoid swimming during their missionary tenure, Mormons are often asked to display these forms of ‘tests’ to prove ones:
- Forfeit of pleasure
- Ability to test self-control
- Allegiance and obedience to church leaders
Even when sent to a mission in a beach-town, elders will assign a very strong-willed candidate to that location, hoping that they will not fall prey to the recreational revelry or ‘distraction’ which could ‘tarnish’ the word of God, (sourced from the LDS website).
Although there is no scripture specifically forbidding swimming, The LDS Church writes:
“The missionary can obtain good, healthful, wholesome physical exercise in any number of ways (tennis, volleyball, jogging, etc.) that are far more conducive to the spirit of his mission and calling.”
- Mormon ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ – Posted by IRR.Org – The Institute for Religious Research. Posted on March 19th, 2012.
#11 Why Are Mormon Missionaries Called ‘Elder?’
In Genesis 50:7, along with many other scriptures, the Bible refers to senior members of the tribe as ‘an elder.’ Although the biblical context does not directly suggest a priesthood, Mormons in the modern era use this term as a sign of respect to mature, male members of the church.
An ‘elder’ is the lowest level of the five offices of the Mormon church’s seniority, addressed as ‘The Melchizedek priesthood.’ Although it is seen as a title of respect, even young missionaries out of high school can be called ‘an elder;’ Therefore, it is one of the most common titles given to young male church members.
The title system for missionaries goes as follows:
- ‘Elder’ for mature Mormon men
- ‘Sister’ for mature Mormon women
These titles will be followed by one’s surname. The highest level within the church is the President.
Established on a highly patriarchal foundation, Mormonism does not allow a female to hold this sacred role. The ‘elder’ is a title of a Mormon who encompasses all of the following characteristics and requirements:
- A male
- Twenty years of age or older
- A devoted LDS member
- A member with potential to grow into an ordained leadership position within the church
- A member that wants to potentially be a part of ‘The Seventy,’ the next level of hierarchy within the LDS structure.
- “And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.” – 4 Joshua 20.
- Meet the Missionaries – Posted by ComeUntoChrist.org.
#12 Why Are Mormon Weddings Private?
Separate from the traditional civil union, Mormons have wedding ceremonies called temple ceremonies or sealing ceremonies, which are weddings explicitly for Mormons.
These LDS rituals are very private because only LDS members of the church are allowed to enter Temple. The sealing ceremony is a highly spiritual tradition that is only shared by the closest members of the adjoining families, such as the parents of the bride and groom. This is viewed as a private experience reserved for the sacredness of tying their bloodlines.
To attend the sealing ceremony, you may be asked to show your Temple Recommend at the door, which is similar to a driver’s license for devout Mormons. The Temple recommend is a physical card given to LDS members that have successfully met all criteria of:
- Proving a lifestyle that abstains from pre-marital sex and substance
- Must have been an adult/active LDS member for a year or more
- Proof of paying their tithing to the church
- Passing a rigorous interview with a priesthood leader
If you pass all of the aforementioned criteria, you will receive your Temple recommend card, which means you can then attend sealing ceremonies. If you are not wearing the proper temple garments upon the time that you show your Temple recommend card, you may still be turned away for improper dress code.
- “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees. And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.” – Doctrine and Covenants 131:1-3.
- ’What is a Temple Wedding Like?’ – Posted by ComeUntoChrist.org. Posted December 12th, 2018.
#13 Why Are Mormon Temples So Extravagant?
With the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City costing $3.5-million-dollars, it is commonly pointed out that Christians spend a great deal of money on temples and churches. Although cheap compared to The Vatican in Rome, Peter’s Basilica of the Catholic Church, (which is projected to have cost more than $600-million-dollars), The LDS temples are still considered quite extravagant.
The reasons that Christians in general spend so much on their temples and churches, is due to the following reasons:
- It is the holy house of the Lord
- It is dedicated to those that may not have a home
- Rich, poor, or homeless are welcome in the House of God
- The Lord’s spirit lives here, so it must be pristine
- Believers find evidence in the Bible that God wants a church this extravagant, specifically requesting it of his disciples (quoting D&C 97, cited below).
- Rejecting God’s specific requests would be disrespectful or even sinful
When one argues, ‘why is that money not donated to the poor?’ –
The LSD church’s official response regarding this question is that the 10% contribution of salary from every LDS member, known as tithing, supplements the charitable funds given to support the needy and poor.
- “(10) Verily I say unto you, thatit is my will that a house should be built unto me in the land of Zion, like unto the pattern which I have given you.
(11) Yea, let it be built speedily, by the tithing of my people.
(12) Behold, this is the tithing and the sacrifice which I, the Lord, require at their hands, that there may be a house built unto me for the salvation of Zion.” – Doctrine and Covenants 97:10-12.
- The Process of Building a Mormon Temple – Posted by: The Newsroom of ChurchofJesusChrist.org; Posted on April 30th, 2014.
- Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah – Posted by: ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
#14 Why Are Mormon Underwear Magic?
Worn day and night, these underwear are not so much seen as magic; more-so seen as a revered possession of God’s light. While most of religion is built on the premises of ‘faith,’ and ‘the unseen,’ Mormons see their undergarments and temple clothing as a sort of uniform, offering a physical connection to God that is rooted in the physical plane.
These are not many tangible items in the spiritual universe that humans have access to with most symbols of religion being man-made (crosses, prayer beads, and temple garments). These earth-bound possessions serve as a visible symbol of one’s commitment to God.
Many LDS members also feel that the undergarments serve as a cloak of protection against evil, keeping a layer between their naked bodies and the outside world of temptation. They are white to represent purity and ‘spotless before God,’ – Alma 13:12.
- “(11) Therefore, they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.
(12) Now they, after being sanctified by the holy ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.
(13) And now, my brethren, I would that ye should humble yourselves before God, and bring forth fruit meet for repentance, that ye may also enter into that rest.” Alma 13:11-13.
- ’Magic Mormon Underwear’ – Posted by The LDSLife; Posted May 18th, 2015.
#15 Why Are Mormon Names Weird?
Although the nature of this question is subjective (what is weird to one person, may not be weird to another), the theorized reasons behind the unique names of Mormon parents include the assumptions of:
- Unique names are a way to set themselves apart from one another. Being that most LDS members:
- Come from similar ethnic backgrounds
- Make comparable salaries
- More often than not live in middle-class homes
- Focus their attention on the church/family
- Have many children
- And have generally similar lives –
It is a way to feel special in a sea of sameness.
It is ultimately one of their only ways to express individuality.
- The church is highly limiting, (no substance, swimming on mission trips, or sex before marriage). With so many rules and regulations, names are a realm in which a Mormon can have creativity and free-reign.
- Religious-inspired names, coming directly from the Bible.
- Normal names that are spelled differently, another way to distinguish oneself from the masses.
- Special names due to the reverence of children, being that Mormons idolize children, they want them to be labeled as special as they are viewed.
- Some argue that Mormons are ‘just strange people,’ since they believe that humans were formerly Gods and will be God’s again in the afterlife. Forums and online discussions pose the question of ‘What kind of name do you expect from a group with such superiority-centric beliefs of themselves? Of course their names would be outlandish.’ That is a harsh interpretation but rooted in the same viewpoint as this question was posed – portraying them as ‘weird.’
As a subjective query, there will be extremes on either side.
- “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” – Psalm 82-6.
- ‘Utah Names,’ – Posted by Mormon Girls Say; Posted November 12th, 2012.
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