The Mormon religion isn’t just practiced on Sundays, it is one that’s incorporated throughout the day, every day of the week. It is influenced in all aspects of life, filling the members’ homes with prayers, daily devotionals, daily teachings, and family time. A Mormons faith should be carried strongly all day long, upholding the standards whether in the chapel, at work, school, or just out in the community. Mormonism is the religious practices and beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members. Love and devotion for the Savior Jesus Christ is the center to this religion (Mormonism 101). Mormons bible in some ways is The Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon, to teach and to study, tells the story of God’s creation and behavior. It was first established by Mormon himself, a prophet, who presented the words on plates of gold. The plates were then buried for safekeeping by Moroni, his son, once he had passed. In 1823, Moroni expressed the location of the plates to Joseph Smith. In time, Smith converted it onto paper, in which it became the Book of Mormon. Mormons conform and follow this book because they believe it is the unaltered word of God. Joseph Smith, the prophet, reinstated The Gospel of Jesus Christ on earth, in which “Mormonism is the restoration of the ancient Church of Christ” (Mormon Beliefs).
Through the Gospel, Mormons strongly believe that happiness, in this life and eternally, can be reached. They believe that if they follow these principles and beliefs, that the ultimate life can be obtained for not only the members of the church but be spread worldwide to all. To ensure they are fulfilling their duties as a Mormon and a being on this earth, they incorporate various rules, moreover, follow a specific lifestyle. There are many standards that Mormons strongly enforce, such as family is everything, the importance of Mormon temples, and the prohibition from drinking alcohol, tea, or coffee.
The Mormon members firmly believe, that as humans, the most crucial things to do on this earth is to create a strong family unit. The foundation for a family begins with a husband and wife being married in the Mormon temple, as long as they are worthy. They are confident and have faith that “family is forever”, eternally (NAMB). They understand that earthly possessions cannot be taken to heaven, but in God’s plan family can be together forever. In the Mormon Church, the members are taught that “husbands and wives can be married not only ‘till death do us part’, but beyond death into eternity” (NAMB).
Another belief that Mormon members share is the purpose and importance of Mormon Temples. These temples are “places of sanctuary from evil influences, the place for reflection and inspiration and much more reason” (Mormon Beliefs). It is said that the Lord has ordered his people to construct temples, in which are “literally houses of the Lord” (Mormon.org). These temples are a place of worship, where members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints can go and deliver holy promises to God. At the temples, they study the Gospel to enhance their lives, minister, and aid one another, and to bless and attend to those gone before them. Mormons, just like everyone else, have holidays and practices. For example, Mormons are forbidden from drinking alcohol, tea, or coffee and not allowed to smoke or do any illegal drugs.
The prohibition from all of these things is part of their health code, Word of Wisdom. Another practice is their temple garments, for both men and women, in which they wear if they “take part in a baptize ceremony in the Mormon Temple” (Mormonism 101). They also celebrate Pioneer Day, which represents the first arrival of Mormons into Salt Lake City, Utah. The days of Jesus Christ birth and resurrection, Christmas and Easter, are the two main holidays celebrated by Mormons; however, they do celebrate all other holidays as well. There are two other important days for Mormons, the anniversary of the founding Latter-Day Saints church in New York City on April 6 (1830), and the day that John the Baptist came to see Joseph Smith on May 15 (Mormon Beliefs).
I’ve had the privilege of getting to know a Mormon family and how their religion plays a role in all aspects of their lives. I started nannying for this family four years ago and I remember how nervous I was, not knowing much about their religion and how much it played out in their daily routines. At first, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, they prayed before dinner and bed, one read the daily devotionals/teachings, and occasionally they had church homework. After spending more and more time with the kids, I saw how much their beliefs played out in each decision they make throughout the day.
When taking the kids to a restaurant, they know to either get water, or a non-caffeinated drink like lemonade or juice, never trying to bend the rules and sneak a drink that is prohibited. Another example is when the kids were asked to have a sleepover on a Saturday. The kids’ response was the same every time, never trying to get out of going to church on Sunday, always explaining to their friends that they can’t sleep over but can stay until dinner time on Saturday. They understand that their Sundays are blocked off for church and family and I believe they cherish it. This showed me the kids, even from a young age, enjoy their Sundays (Day of Rest) for church and family, being mature about their duties as a Mormon member.
There have been many times where the parents left town, giving me the responsibility of all five children. I not only had to keep up with school, sports, playdates, appointments and various other obligations but most importantly I had to make sure to follow all of their religious practices.One of my favorite things about following their religion with them for those few days was listening to them pray before dinner and bed. Thanking God for the food placed in front of them, the friends they played with at school, their teachers, and most importantly one another. They were truly grateful for all they had and I saw this when they clasped their little hands together, closed their eyes, and bowed their heads while thanking and loving God in prayer.
I never understood the importance of blocking off the entire Sunday for church and family, until the first full week of watching the kids. After a long week of running around, completing homework, going to and from extracurricular activities, hanging out with their friends, appointments and etc, I saw how important their Sundays were. The kids enjoyed being with one another, not having anything else to do but cherish their family and God; it is a day established for prayer, relaxation, and love. To ensure they are ready for their Day of Rest, they make sure all of their responsibilities are done by Saturday night. This includes gas for the car, groceries for dinner, having homework and chores completed, and all other duties to be prepared for the next work/school week. This is because on Sundays they are prohibited to buy anything or do anything, other than going to church and spending time with family.
I took this opportunity as a chance to grow as a person. Being a Christian myself, I went into this experience with an open mind, not knowing how it was going to be or how I would feel about everything. I wanted to understand, observe and participate in this religion for the time being, to grow as person and open my religious outlook. In the beginning, I certainly endured some culture shock however, I have grown to love this religion and its members. I heard a quote from an admired late-president of the Mormon Church, that I now cherish and conform with in my everyday life.
Gordon B. Hinckley, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fifteenth president, declared people to “be respectful of the opinions and feelings of other(s). Recognize their virtues; don’t look for their faults. Look for their strengths and their virtues, and you will find strength and virtues that will be helpful in your own life” (FairMormon). I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to further my education on the mormon culture. It has opened my eyes, making me eternally grateful for my family, friends and this world, highlighting my good aspects and helping me work on personal weaknesses.