Does Anyone Have Any Thoughts on This?

Updated on August 18, 2014
A.E. asks from Hampden, ME
16 answers

I have a friend who is a Mormon, something else I have noticed is that where I live, people seem to be quite anti-mormon.

I don't know much about it myself, just that they are usually fairly conservative and have other scriptures as well as the bible, from what I know the ones I've met are quite nice.

Still though a lot of people really dislike them, one woman I know started crying after she found out her twenty something year old son was thinking of joining and the friend I referred to who is a Mormon, when her friend found out that she was a mormon she refused to be friends with her.

So yeah, what do you know about Mormons and do you have any idea why they so many people have a massive downer on them.

The reason I ask is my son expressed some vague interest in learning a bit more about them.

What can I do next?

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answers from Seattle on

The mormon people I have met have been quite nice.
I have absolutely nothing against them nor do I want to speculate why people would be "against" them.
It is not a religion I would want to be part of, but that does not mean that I have anything against the people. Shoot, I don't want to be a part of ANY religion.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia!!

This is a great first question! You'll most likely get a lot of responses.

If my children expressed an interest to learn about another religion - I would support them. Why? Because it helps them make better decisions - knowledge is power. I'd rather my kids know a little about everything than a lot about nothing or one thing!! LOL!

Mormons are typically Conservative. They also plan ahead and are prepared...they also do Missions to help convert and "enlighten" for lack of better words, those who are not saved. I remember learning about different religions in High School - it was cool - we learned how Joseph Smith had a "vision" of two beings - and he believed that he was meant to fix religion...there is more...typically Mormons do not drink alcohol, smoke or do drugs.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

I know a few Mormons, do not know enough of their religion to speak of it.

I'll just say this: I find outright prejudice a "massive downer" far more than anyone's religion. You might want to directly as the people who are making comments or upset "What do you see as the problem about this?" and see what *they* have to say.

Without saying anything disparaging about anyone's beliefs: a religion is *not* a person. There are good and hard-to-deal-with people from all walks of life. Most of the Mormons that I have met have been very nice, responsible folks. I went to visit a Mormon church (not Temple) as a teen with a Mormon friend and didn't feel like anyone was giving me the hard sell or trying to convert me. I've had that happen visiting other churches of other faiths, but not that one.

Learning about ALL religions is a great idea for your son. Comparative religion only gives us better perspective of the beliefs we do mostly have in common.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

This is way too big a topic to go into here! But in general I would say you can't discourage someone from finding out more about a religion, and you shouldn't. They should look into some unbiased books about it, and attend some programs if they are welcome to do so.

I think there are a lot of misunderstandings about Mormonism, as about many other religions. People believe what they hear (whether it's sensational or not), and they often base their opinions on misperceptions. For a long time, Mormons were looked down upon because of the history of polygamy. While it's been discarded by mainstream Mormons, there are still people who practice (and get their own reality TV shows), and of course it's been a factor in some oppressive cults. But you can't blame a major religion for the actions of extremists - we see that with Islamic fundamentalists, with the Westboro Baptist church, with radical Catholics shooting doctors who provide abortions.

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign highlight Mormonism for many people (some good, some bad), and the Osmond family is generally regarded positively.

The Mormons got some very bad press and a great deal of public outcry for posthumously converting Jews - many Jews were justifiably offended and outraged that their dead relatives were not considered "complete" or whatever without being converted.

Genealogists have long used the phenomenal records in the Mormon archives for their research - that's a positive.

There is a lot of criticism about the role of women in the church. There is also criticism about weddings and other services/events that cannot be attended by family members or others who are not Mormons. So the exclusionary aspect upsets a lot of people.

So it's hard to know what exactly someone is objecting to unless you really talk to her/him.

I converted from one religion to another, so I support people's right and responsibility to investigate, learn, and see the positives and negatives of any faith. I am happy with my own choice and I don't disparage others who make this decision, but is has to be based on full knowledge and not on PR or the evangelical actions of a few members. I'm very suspicious of any religion that proselytizes and actively recruits new members, and I'm suspicious of secrecy.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntington on

I was raised Mormon and live in Utah, which has a very large percentage of people of the LDS (Mormon) faith.

There are a lot of anti-Mormon people here as well, and I think it generally stems from the difficulty of living in a predominantly LDS area. While there are many, many wonderful LDS people, there are also a lot of judgmental jerks that treat those who are not LDS like they are horrible people. (But really, it is the same anywhere. There are judgmental jerks anywhere, ya know?) It is difficult, in Utah, to not be LDS. Non-LDS people can often feel ostrasized.

I also think that many people just do not understand the LDS faith and that leads to an anti-Mormon attitude. Many Non-LDS people can get upset about the fact that LDS people often marry in a temple and only LDS people with a current temple recommend can attend. The woman you knew possibly could have been upset because she thought that she would not be able to attend his wedding.

Lack of understanding leads to fear and feelings of dislike and hate. I think that is what much of anti-Mormon feelings are about. Others may have had personal experience with the church that left a bad taste in their mouth.

Like I said, I was raised Mormon, my whole extended family is Mormon and I live in a very heavily Mormon area. I can attest that those of the Mormon faith are just regular people. Most are doing the best they can. Many are wonderful, caring people. There are a few rotten apples, just like with people anywhere.

There are lots of great things about the Mormon church. I know that many people love the sense of community it gives. It is very focused on family, good works and service, hard work and independence. There are some things I don't personally agree with, but none of it is super crazy like some people believe (I have heard all sorts of crazy rumors that are really out-there and absolutely untrue). It is not a cult. When I decided to leave the church, I was not shunned or harassed or anything. They don't have horns on their heads (seriously, many people actually believe that!).

I think it's a great idea for both you and your son to learn more (about any religion) and just take your time before making any real commitment like baptism. He can attend church as long as he wants without actually getting baptized, so he has plenty of time to investigate and see if it or any religion is what he really believes.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My husband was raised Mormon and my dad's family were Mormon pioneers in California and Nauvoo, which is a really big deal as Mormons are really interested in genealogy. My dad's ancestors were very close to Joseph Smith. Several children died on the trip to Salt Lake when they were forced out of Nauvoo. So, I grew up hearing all these great stories about their courage and fortitude. However, by the time I was growing up, all the people in my family were Catholic or atheist. I do not have personal experience with the Mormon church. My husband's family is also from pioneer Mormon stock. His father was a sociology professor and a civil rights worker who was eventually kicked out of the church (which at that time for fairly anti-black--look up the Curse of Ham if you want to know more). Very large portions of my husband's family are still devout Mormons and they are lovely folks, hard-working and very kind.

As with all religions, there are the individuals and then there is the doctrine. Then of course there are the extremists who tend to get a lot of press coverage. I have know folks with really messed up lives who convert to the Mormon church and really turn their lives around. I also know folks who convert and then are alienated from their families because they want their families to convert but they won't. It is complicated, isn't it.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Well, I'm a total non-believer, so you can take my answer with a grain of salt. But my parents live in Salt Lake City, so I have a fair amount of experience with Mormons. Yeah, it's a weird religion, but really, it's no weirder than Catholicism, Evangelist Christianity, Buddhism, etc. The entire religion was made up by a guy who was a con artist (and had been arrested as such), but really, all religions are made-up, so like I said, it's no different in that respect than any other religion. My parents are the only non-Mormons on their entire block, and their neighbors have been nothing but friendly and nice. Apparently when one Mormon loses their job, the rest of the people in their church help them out with food and whatever else they need to stay afloat. Mormons volunteer a lot in their community. My personal opinion is that if you're going to go lock, stock, and barrel into a weird religion, LDS is as good as any, and better than most.

That being said, they have invested a LOT of money into defeating marriage equality, which isn't good.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

My ex BIL was a Mormon for a long time and when I lived with them on occasion, I had to attend their church. It wasn't so bad and the people were always very kind to me. It's been of late and the Mormon's church stance against gay marriage that some people may feel negativity towards them. however, like any religious group, not everyone agrees on everything , which means NOT all Mormons are against gay marriage..... When I went to Utah, gotta say......... the people there for whom I spoke to and who were Mormons were so kind and generous with their time. I really don't think religious groups and others should be lumped together.. I don't care what anyone else says.. my experience with Mormons has been a really good one... I would also add that from what I can tell, many are hardworking individuals and have a great work ethic... family also comes first...

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Find the book The God Makers. It was written by two ex-Mormons and has a lot of information. I grew up in an area with a lot of Mormon families. Some of my best friends were Mormon and I still keep in touch with many of them. However, we never talk religion. I personally do not believe the same things that they believe. Not enough that I would not be friends with them, but enough that I would probably be upset if one of my kids wanted to become Mormon. (I kind of feel the same way about some ultra conservative mainline Christian denominations as well.) Read the book I suggested and come to your own conclusion. In the case of religion, I try not to tell others what they should think.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

One thing that bothers me is that they don't allow non-members in the temple. So if your son, for instance, converted and got married in the temple, you would not be allowed to attend his wedding.

They also baptize dead people. That is weird to me, and I know they got in a lot of trouble for trying to baptize Jewish victims of the concentration camps awhile back.

There is so much about their religion that is secretive. Secret underwear, temple ceremonies non members aren't allowed in, etc. Say what you want about us Catholics, but anyone can visit our church and attend mass.

That being said, I have no problem allowing my children to learn about any religion they want. I would probably be a little upset if they wanted to convert, but I love learning about religions myself, so I would enjoy learning about them with them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

About 20 years ago, I had a very good friend that was LDS. Her daughter and my oldest daughter were best friends.

Also, while I was in college, my major professor (and advisor) was also LDS.

We both respected each other's religious beliefs and didn't try to convince the other person that they were wrong. My daughter and her friend (the LDS friend) often discussed religion, and the differences and similarities between them. They also went to each other's church activities.

That said, I don't know that much about the LDS church, but a lot of them are very moral people, and are very family and faith oriented.

Would it bother me if one of my family members married/converted? I'm not really sure... that hasn't happened to me. I would hope that they were making the decision after a true soul-searching..... and, since they were raised in a mainline Protestant church, I hope that would also come with a lot of prayer, rather than going on their feelings for that other person.

I think a lot of the discomfort comes from the aspect of their missionaries, and how much time they really try to convert people......

Just be aware... if your son starts asking questions of the missionaries, they will come to his house and start teaching him about their religion, with the BIG purpose of converting him. I remember a friend who, after finding out that her parents had converted, decided she wanted to "learn" more about the church... so the local missionaries came over and started presenting their lessons..... at one point, they basically said, "well, after 10 (?) more lessons, you can be baptized and join our church" .... that wasn't what she wanted, so she quit the "lessons".

I agree that lack of understanding breeds discomfort, and often dislike. Unfortunately, many people's view of the LDS faith comes from what they see in either the news, or on reality shows (the polygamists, or FDLS... which is totally different.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I think that what the mom was probably crying about is that if her son becomes a Mormon or marries a Mormon girl and converts for her, that she and his entire non-Mormon family won't be allowed in the actual wedding because they'll have the wedding in the sanctuary that is only for Mormons. That causes real friction in weddings. This is even more exclusionary than Catholic masses which only allow Catholics to take communion. At least anyone can attend a mass...

I will tell you that so many people I hear talk about the Mormon faith do not believe that they are Christians. Whether that's true or not, I do not know, and I don't particularly care. I like my friends no matter what their religion is. But I know for family members, it can cause great consternation.


answers from Phoenix on

Although they are considered "Christian" they have VERY different beliefs. I live in one of the biggest areas for Mormons. I don't think you can generalize by saying people dislike them. No matter what your race or religion, there are both good and bad people. Maybe do some research on their beliefs. My good friend became a Mormon a couple years ago. I was shocked at what she told me they believe in. Their missionaries that come to the door are VERY well trained and have an answer for everything. If you are looking for more "religion" in your life, find a good non-denominational church in your area and visit a few until you find one you like. Good luck.



answers from Baton Rouge on

They're just another denomination of Christianity. They have some odd rules concerning food, but maybe I just think they're odd because I can't imagine that a loving deity would prohibit alcohol or caffeine to his/her/its followers.

There is an extreme fundie sect that practices polygamy and marries tweens to middle-aged men, but mainstream Mormons do not claim them.

At 20-something, your friend's son is old enough to research any religion he finds interesting and make his own decision as to whether or not he wants to join. I don't know how old your son is, but if he's old enough to want to explore a religion, he's old enough to know if it's for him once he's done his research.



answers from Anchorage on

The Mormon religion is just another religion, no better, no worse, just slightly different then its Christian cousins. They do have a second book of scriptures they follow in addition to the bible. I think the main reason some people have issues with them is that the church believes very strongly in the part of the bible that encourages converting others and spreading the word, so you see a lot of door knockers out trying to spread their message. Does it annoy me with they show up at my door? Yes. But they are always polite and usually tend not to push once I tell them I am not interested.

I often tell people that if you want people to respect your religious choices then you have to show respect for theirs, even if they are different then your own.



answers from Boise on

I was baptized Mormon when I was 19 and had two boyfriends when I was a teen who were Mormon - One went on a mission and one did not. My husband was raised by his Mormon mom. Though he was raised and baptized at 8, he no long practices and neither do I.

It's amazing how many people dislike Mormons. I think a large part of that is misinformation. Latter Day Saints to NOT practice polygamy. There are off-shoots that do. That's the main reason, I think.

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