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The Best Things About Mormon Life

Posted by nebula0 on September 30, 2008


One of the things that I hope to do with this site is provide insight for outsiders as to why rational, intelligent, well adjusted people might become, or stay Mormons.  There really are many benefits to Mormon life.  Here are some:

– tight, instant community.  If you move, you know that wherever you go, there will be people waiting for you, to befriend you, and help you out.

– real, meaningful identity.  All of those rules that Mormons have to follow has the end effect of giving you a specific identity as a part of a peculiar people, and you remember that everytime you turn down a drink or a coffee or you put on garments in the morning.

– specific goals.  One difficult thing about modern life in America is the number of choices we face.  College kids and do and be so many things, it can sometimes stop them in their tracks, it’s overwhelming.  Mormonism provides a specific life path for both genders, with concrete daily, weekly and monthly goals.

– interesting theology.  There really isn’t anything quite like Mormon theology.  It is truly unique and provides a rich opportunity for those with an interest in philosophy and theology to develop it and debate it.

– an instant pool of potential mates.  Singles wards provide single Mormons with an easy dating pool to test out potential mates who share similar values and goals.

– stability of values.  In a society where daily values can change rapidly, over decades, Mormonism provides a sense of solidity and direction and justification for a specific moral code.

Can you think of other elements to add to this list?

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13 Responses to “The Best Things About Mormon Life”

  1. Todd Wood said

    I hate to bring up money . . .

    but there is excellent business networking.

    Perhaps that is involved in your first element.

    Secondly, there is the hope for eternal reconnection of family members lost to death. The shattered grief over lost family love is met with a plan.

  2. nebula0 said

    Todd,

    Great points.

    No, I wasn’t thinking specifically about money in my first point, but it’s worth bringing up. Nothing wrong with wanting to do a little networking.

    Yeah, Mormonism does a great job of making the idea of resurrection and families (as long as everyone is an active Mormon) lasting beyond the grave in a particularly concrete manner. I might extend your original point to argue that Mormonism is the best religion I’ve seen at making life beyond death the most concrete and real– temple rituals are all about enacting what to do after death, there’s plenty of talk about the work in the spirit world, doing work for the dead, etc.

  3. Seth R. said

    I’d add my own excitement at being “in on the ground level” of a new world religion, with a great opportunity for influencing how it develops. But that’s probably not the most widely shared perceived benefit.

  4. nebula0 said

    Probably not Seth, but you’re a unique individual that way ;). For intellectual types, this is a great benefit.

  5. A restored priesthood authority.

    A belief in modern day prophets.

    A very practical religion – home teaching, food storage, word of wisdom, etc.

    Additional scripture.

    Good youth programs.

  6. nebula0 said

    Eric,

    In terms of very concrete, direct benefits how does a belief in priesthood authority or prophets fit into the list? I’m sure you can think of a way.

    WHy does home teaching or food storage fit into the list of benefits? I hated home teaching and didn’t care for the emphasis on food storage at all. What percentage of people do you think draw on their food storage? I also didn’t care for the WoW either and the health benefits are VERY debatable ;).

    Why is additional scripture a benefit? You could argue it’s just more stuff you have to read.

    WHich youth programs do you have in mind?

    Thanks for adding to the list.

  7. nebula0 said

    I should add to this that I included the WoW under concrete identity- that by avoiding coffee and alcohol people are constantly re-inforcing their unique identity as Mormons. That is a benefit, but I assumed that you were meaning health benefits with the suggestion.

    Likewise additional scripture adds a sense of peculiarness, not just another Christian church like there are half a dozen down my street, sort of sense. Is that what you mean by claiming that as a benefit?

  8. For me if there is no priesthood authority claim, why bother with any church?

    For me things like home teaching, food staorage, WoW, etc. add to what is a very practical, day-to-day living your faith to some level. There are lots of practical things you can DO as a Mormon. It is more than just a social club and a belief system. There are practical things you can DO.

    I think it is the additional scripture which informs much of our theology. Mormons have strong beliefs regarding free will, pre existence, degrees of glory, literal resurrection, etc. Much of this comes from the additional scripture.

    My feeling is that the typical primary in the LDS church is more meaningful for kids than most get other places – I may be wrong. The church supports things like Boy scouts, and they often of a youth night during the week. Usually local Mormon churches try and take good care of their youth.

  9. nebula0 said

    Well let’s try to recast this in terms that could make sense to everyone. Not everyone is going to see the claim to priesthood authority as a good thing. Maybe this point can be subsumed under something like: Mormonism is a religion that involves its ordinary (male) members in leadership roles on every level- priesthood authority is an example of that.

    Yes I see what you mean about the DOing aspect of Mormonism. There’s lots you can DO. If you wanted, you could fill every day with meaningful things from a Mormon standpoint, things which are all commanded or suggested.

    Emphasis on the youngest generation is something most conservative churches take up these days so you’ll see a lot of programs, youth groups etc geared toward children and young adults. I’d guess Mormon to be on par with this movement. But– you don’t have to have a unique point for it to be a valid point.

  10. Seth R. said

    Sort of related to your instant community point…

    I like the fact that being a Mormon forces me to associate with people that I otherwise wouldn’t have anything to do with. From construction workers, to teachers, to people living in a group home. You don’t have the option of picking another congregation. You take life and people as you find them.

    I consider this a real strength of the Church’s mandatory geographic system.

    Of course, this applied a lot more in Laramie Wyoming – where our ward encompassed student housing, a wealthy subdivision, a trailer park, and stuff in between.

    It holds a lot less if you live in Utah, where the density of the Mormon population means that Church attendance is highly stratified by economic level. Some Utah kids spend their entire childhood never encountering a bishop or stake president who makes less than $100,000 a year.

    It really reinforces my suspicion that the LDS Church is at its best when it is out there in “Babylon” rather than isolated in its own enclave.

  11. Seth R. said

    But even in Utah, the geographic model at least ensures that you know who the people on your street are.

    I can’t say that about my neighborhood here in Colorado. I have no idea who the people across the street are.

    So I do miss that about Utah. It isn’t all bad.

  12. Rosanne said

    I was listening to a radio programme today about a 21-year-old girl who died of cervical cancer. This disease, like many other nasty consequences, is connected with sexual activity. I think the Law of Chastity, if followed by the whole of mankind, would give huge benefits in reducing a lot of disease as well as reducing the tragedy of so many unwanted children, abortions etc which, in turn, lead on to other social ills. The peace of mind and increased capacity for true love that come from virginity before marriage and complete faithfulness within marriage are other enormous blessings we should not forget, as well as the joy and spiritual strength that come from knowing we are living as our Heavenly Father expects us to.

    As for food storage, in the current time of huge financial instability throughout the world, does this not now make a lot of sense? Better to bank food and other means of survival rather than money, I think!

    Our prophet was counselling us for years to get out of debt and stay out of debt. His inspiration is clear to see now. We are blessed to have prophets who guide us and we disdain their counsels at our peril.

    As for home teaching, this is certainly not a waste of time. Some people may find home and visiting teaching a chore but I find visiting teaching very uplifting, even if I have felt a bit down earlier in the day. I know the ladies I visit feel the benefit too. When I was going through a desperately hard time some years ago, my home and visiting teachers were a vital help in getting me through it. So never neglect the home teaching. Your visit could be the lifeline that some despairing soul needs.

  13. nebula0 said

    Thanks for sharing Rosanne. Home and visiting teaching is often in the eye of the beholder and depends on the circumstances. I would have appreciate it much more if we weren’t required to visit everyone and focus only on those who requested it or those who were identified to need it. As it is, there is far too much focus on just getting the numbers than with the spirit of making sure everyone really is okay.

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