Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mormon Values in a "Nutshell"

Oddly enough, I have had a few requests to write another "Day in the Life of Cat the Mormon" posts.  When I check my blog stats, I see that I get A LOT of traffic coming here from people looking up specifically "Mormon Values."  Apparently, there are a lot of very curious peeps out there.  And who wouldn't be?  We very well might have a Mormon President next year, who knows?

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!

I had a neighbor once that had serious issues with Mormons because of some bad experiences she had as a child living in Salt Lake City.  I befriended her and religion never came up.  It's not like I have a tattoo announcing "Mormon Girl" on my forehead.  We probably hung out for a few months, when one day we saw a group of people meeting at a park.  It looked like an LDS (Another term for Mormons, short for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) family.  She got this peevish look on her face and said something to me about hating those horrible Mormons.  She went on to tell me how Mormons are all jerks and unfriendly.  That they judge people harshly and walk around with their noses up in the air.  I just chuckled and told her that she probably just meet some bad ones.  She then told me that she was sure they believed that they were better than everyone else.  It was then that I told her I was a Mormon.  She was silent for a second then said, "Well, you don't live your religion then! You are WAY too nice to be a practicing Mormon."  I laughed and then I told her that I am very active in my faith.  My family goes to church every Sunday and we live the teachings to the best of our abilities.  It was then that she started changing her mind about Mormons in general.  Since she has moved away, but once in a while I will still get an email from her with questions about our beliefs and values.

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 Clean.  This doesn't necessarily mean hygiene, although that is important too.  We don't believe in premarital "relations" or in other words we believe in being Virtuous.  Of course there are people messing up all the time, and we try not to judge them.  We do believe that most sins can be forgiven.  But you have to be "clean" to enter the Mormon Temple and to be married there.  Once in a while we will get a wedding invite that will say that the happy couple will be married in the temple... then a little before the said date, we will get another notice that the wedding was moved to a church or someone's house.  Yeah, everyone knows what that means.... "Relations" (and you know what I am talking about) are very common practice with non-Mormons, and we get that, and we don't judge (at least I don't-- can you see me running around pointing fingers? Totally laughable.)

We believe in being Positive.  You will often hear me say that attitude is EVERYTHING!  Because it is!  No matter what you do or where you go, you can make the whole experience better or worse depending on how you look at it.  I have battled depression most of my life, and I tell you it can be really hard to keep my head up sometimes, but when I do I feel SO MUCH better for it!  My life is what I make it, and I love it.

And lastly,

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.


Meagan and John said...

love it, although I must say I have never gotten an invitation to a temple sealing and then another one saying it has been moved, although i do get why, I just have never experienced it.

I love how many people point out 'No your not mormon, your playing with me' and then tell me all the reasons i am not mormon--it is a mixed emotion because I am so glad i can help change their perspective, but on the same hand I am so incredibly saddened that someone else was representing the church so poorly (Cause it happens more times then plenty)

thanks for sharing Cat

Morhia said...

I want to respect your beliefs so I choose to and want to tell you I respect the values you and your family have. My husband and I have strong values as well. We love Jesus with all of our hearts and have chosen to live our lives showing it! We have had very rocky pasts and have changed our lives to live Christ like! We both experienced God at our lowest times in our lives and were deeply touched by the Holy Spirit. We both united and found one another at our church. The church that we both entered at different times and were touched by Jesus's love. It truly rocked my world when God found me (when I found God). I use to think that no God could have created Hell on earth and then one day, BAM! He grabbed me and shook me so hard. I was completely alone and was NOT Looking For Him! Actually I was looking to end my life that day. So if you get were I am going. I too have experiences that tell me Jesus is real and that he saves all who ask him too. I truly know you are an amzing person and love to read your posts! My husband has said that I should be careful to associate with others who are not equally yoked as we are but know that would make me one who has there nose facing the sky and NOT doing what we are supposed to do, Love People! Thank You so much for sharing with us! <3

Morhia said...

Hahaha! I got off on a rabbit trail and forgot to say that I did believe that if there was a God he wasn't worth trying for becasue he knowingly created Hell on earth to know that we so mny were going to fail and watch Rape, Murder, etc... That if there was a God I wanted NOTHING to do with him or it! I now know differently. He truly loves us and wants relationship with us!

Rick and Myndi Smart said...

Love it Cat! Well said. I'm always amazed at how well you can explain things without going overboard!