Mormon Culture and Lifestyle
“Mormons believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men” (Article of Faith 13). Standards for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are very high. This is because Mormon doctrine teaches that we are each children of a divine being who has a specific plan for each of us. Our bodies are literally sacred temples which should be protected and kept sacred.
The Word of Wisdom is a guide for Mormons to live their lives by and is found in the Mormon book of scripture called the Doctrine and Covenants. The Word of Wisdom states that we should not consume alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, or anything that could potentially harm us or mar our judgment. The scripture states the purpose of this commandment: “Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—” (D&C 89:4). This commandment was not given to take all the fun out of our lives or to place restrictions on us. God wants to protect us from all the problems and hurts which these products can bring in their worst form. Addiction cannot shackle us if we never partake of those things which may attempt to enslave us. We will never have to worry about hurting someone while driving drunk, or letting our judgment slip and making all kinds of poor choices from drink or drugs if we never try those things.
Mormon doctrine also teaches that individuals should practice chastity before marriage and fidelity inside of marriage. This means no sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage. Period. The world views this as silly, prudish, restrictive, ridiculous, and any other number of things. However, Mormons truly believe that marriage itself is ordained of God. The family is the most sacred unit in the Mormon Church and should be protected. The power to have children is something that is God given and carries immense power and responsibility. God has stated that sexual intimacy is a sacred act which should only be practiced under the guidelines He has set. Think about all the things one never has to worry about if this law is lived: no risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, no risk of having a child out of wedlock, with all of the pain that can cause everyone in the situation, no risk of causing a future spouse jealousy or worry by having shared such a special thing with someone else. There are so many reasons to practice the law of chastity and only one reason not to: instant gratification. That is what the world teaches, that anything good should happen now and as frequently as possible. They miss the spiritual aspect of intimacy and lose the most special part of it.
From the outside looking in, many people think Mormons are no fun and could not possibly have any fun. The exact opposite is true, in fact. Being free from so many restrictions makes room in the lives of members of the Mormon Church for true joy. So many worries will never have to be thought of, and time can be spent focusing on the family and on helping people around us. Mormon culture is full of music, dancing, athletic activities, parties, spending time together, and enjoying other people’s company. Service is a huge part of the Mormon culture as well. Mormon youth are encouraged to participate in service projects to help their communities and other members of their congregation. Women serve one another when children are born, when loved ones are lost, when lives are busy. The Mormon community is one which builds and strengthens everyone around it.
With such a focus on the family here and after this life, Mormon lifestyle and culture focus on tight-knit families and on reaching out in love and kindness to all of God’s children. The Mormon Church is not about things that we cannot do; it is about opening your life to all the good, better things one can do when following the guidelines of our Savior, Jesus Christ.