First off, I just want to remind people that you can't judge ANY religion by the "bad seeds." Every faith out there has them, and so do the Mormons. There are many that claim to live the gospel and think they live the gospel, but everyone around them knows better.
As much as I love my faith, I have to admit that most of my major foes in life have been fellow Mormons. Sad, but true. Even as I type this, there is a Mormon Weenie making life very hard for my husband. Do I blame my faith? Heck no! I blame the guy!
So what are Mormon standards? What are our values?
I think former LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley sums them up the very best in what we call the "Be Attitudes." (Here they are with my added input):
We believe in being Grateful for the things that we have, for the people in our lives, and for our many blessings.
We believe in being Smart in the choices that we make and things we do. No education is wasted, either.
We believe in being Involved. The Mormon church has one of the biggest successful welfare programs in the world! We think it is important to get involved in our communities, in politics, in our churches, and even in the military. Mormons are VERY patriotic! We believe in making a difference!
We believe in being True. Honesty is a huge thing with us. Personal integrity is something that often sets us apart from others. Have you ever lost your wallet or cell phone? Have you said a little prayer that you would find it or someone honest would? Well, I can't begin to tell you how many wallets I find left in shopping carts! Once I found an envelope at a casino in Vegas stuffed with around 5 thousand dollars! My friend wanted to keep it... But I turned it in just as the owner came looking for it. He was SOOOO happy!
We believe in being Still. Which basically means to be patient and know that as we go through our lives, if we do the best we can, things will work out in the end. I don't have a whole lot to say on this because it is something I struggle with -- but I am working on it....
We believe in being Humble. People would like you to think that humble people are weak. This is simply not true. Humble people are teachable. Humble people admit when they are wrong and apologize. Humble people are willing to change to be a better person.
We believe in being Prayerful. We pray all the time. And any one of us will tell you that we have gotten answers. Here is personal example from the other night. (Warning: If you don't like churchy experiences then skip to the end) My husband mentioned something that this guy (the Mormon Weenie mentioned above) was doing to him at school. I mean totally treating my Ben like garbage. This made me furious, I wanted to take a drive and give this guy a piece of my mind! I was even ready to get physical with my mean kick boxing moves! When Ben basically told me to chill out, I was mad and ran into our room and shut the door. I was thinking Ben was being too passive and unmanly for not telling this guy where he could stick it. After a few minutes, I calmed down a bit, and I decided that I needed to pray. So I got on my knees and first thanked the Lord for all my blessings and for my wonderful family. Then I told him that for the first time in my life I really wanted to seriously harm someone. I prayed that I could understand why we are having this trial and that I could know if things would work out. After closing my prayer, I sat for a moment in silence and I waited for something.... then I felt this overwhelming peace fall over me. And I felt that everything was going to be fine, that this guy was only really harming himself and that Ben was doing the right thing by being the bigger man and I needed to trust him. So I went in the other room and I told Ben what I felt and he felt better too.
Now, for all you curious peeps out there, I bet you are wondering if it happened... if the feelings I had were true. Well, things did work out! Mormons believe in a very close, personal relationship with God. We believe that he cares very much for us and our lives. We believe that if it is important to us, than it is important to Him.
These values above just scrape the tip of iceberg. We have many layers, us Mormons. Such as loving our families and loving life. We strive to be better people every day. No one is perfect. Like I said, my biggest struggle is "Being Still". I don't have a still bone in my body! And patience has never come easily to me... and I will probably be working on it for the rest of my life -- and knowing when to keep my mouth shut... but that's another story!
For more information about Mormons, you can check out the Official Church Website for non-Mormons here.
Note: I have peppered this post with what we call "Mormon Ads" from the church website. They have been around as long as I can remember and they always seem to make me smile. To see more click here.