As a life-long Mormon, I’m asked with somewhat frequency what things I “can and can’t do.” That’s always been a little funny to me because I, just like you, can do whatever I want.
The reason that I choose to live a certain way as a devout Mormon is not because I’m afraid of punishment or looking bad or anything else. I choose to follow God’s commandments because I want to be a good person, and I believe the commandments are the right foundation for helping me to be a good man.
But you googled for a list of the rules of conduct that Mormons live by, and you’ll get it. So here goes…
- No sex before marriage and complete fidelity after marriage. Mormons believe the family is essential to God’s plan, so we don’t do anything that could jeopardize that. The 10 commandments in the Bible says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
- No alcohol or drugs. Why? We don’t want the affects of alcohol or drugs to influence us to make poor decisions.
- No dishonesty. Mormons believe it is important to keep Christ’s commandment in the Bible to be honest with other people. We aren’t perfect at it, but we strive to do our best. The 10 commandments say not to “…bear false witness.”
- Donate 10% or more of your income to charity and the building up of the kingdom of God. We believe that God is the Creator of the world. We obey the law of the tithe to show our trust in God. Because of the church’s almost complete lay ministry, the tithes are only spent for good instead of lining the pockets of a professional pastor.
- Do not view pornography. We believe it’s incredibly belittling to women to treat them as objects, and tempts the viewer to commit sin. The 10 commandments say “thou shalt not covet.”
- Dedicate Sundays to the Lord. The 10 commandments from the Bible includes the commandment “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” We attend church on Sundays where we study the words of Christ and worship God.
- No foul language. We keep our language clean and respectful. As it says in the 10 commandments, “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain.”
- No cigarettes, coffee, tea, coffee or tobacco. We believe life is a gift from God and we do our best to keep our bodies healthy and clean.
- No abortion. Members of the church strongly oppose abortion and do not participate in abortion in any way. The 10 commandments say, “Thou shalt not kill.”
There are lots of other things. For example, we believe in following the laws of the land, not murdering (obviously), etc. But those are the interesting bits. Basically, our religion isn’t about a bizarre list of do and do nots, but a foundation of belief in Christ and how we can be the best people we can become.
We aren’t perfect and we don’t look down on others who have a different value set, but we are willing to sacrifice to be our best.
Common Myths About What Mormons Can’t Do
The list of what people THINK Mormons do is probably longer than the list of things we actually avoid. So here are a few common myths so that you can be a bit better informed.
- MYTH – Mormons can’t drink anything with caffeine. No, this isn’t true. I don’t happen to like Coke, but I don’t think I’m going to hell if I drink it.
- MYTH – Mormons can’t use technology. Well, I’m typing this from a laptop, so… I think some extremely uninformed people think we’re Amish.
- MYTH – Mormon women can’t speak in church or hold leadership positions. Nope. Not at all. I was just in a church leadership meeting this morning with multiple women leaders in attendance.
- MYTH – Mormons can’t use birth control. Not true.
- MYTH – Mormons marry multiple wives. No, any member of the church who did this would be excommunicated.
- MYTH – Mormons don’t dance. I think a more accurate description is “Mormons CAN’T dance” (meaning I’m a horrible dancer), but dancing is actually encouraged 🙂 We often hold dances at the church.
- MYTH – Mormons can’t celebrate Christmas, Halloween, Easter, or birthdays. Nope. I enjoy all of these holidays very much.
- MYTH – Mormons don’t read the Bible and don’t believe in Jesus. This is absolutely crazy, but unfortunately the church has enemies who spread ridiculous rumors about us. The official name of the church is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints, so obviously we believe in Jesus as the Savior of the world. Jesus Christ and God are the center of everything we do and study in the church. Also, we read the Bible all the time and believe it to be the word of God.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about my religion. Just the fact that you were searching for this shows to me that you care about respecting the religion of others. Thank you.
If you’d like to learn a bit more about why I believe in Christ and am a Mormon, read this page.