“Sistas in Zion”–Mormons Having a Good Time

“Sistas in Zion”–Mormons Having a Good Time

If you’re at all familiar with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon church), you’ll know that the church has a bit of culture to it. Mormons have distinct cultural traditions and stereotypes. Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes are two women who both embrace their black heritage and tackle missionary work through their blog and podcast, “Sistas in Zion.” Sometimes the best way to understand Mormon culture is to laugh at it.[1]

Embracing Their Own Cultural Heritage

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle not be shortened. Happiness never decrease by being sharedWhile Tamu and Zandra didn’t meet and become friends until later in their lives, both women had to come to grips with the Caucasian population in Utah. When each of them moved to Utah, they expected to find instant connection with the other church members around them. What they didn’t expect was difficulty in connecting because of different cultural backgrounds.

The Church of Jesus Christ understood this difficulty that its black members were facing and set up the Genesis Group, an organization dedicated to serving the needs of black Mormon and other Mormon minorities. Both Tamu and Zandra found great strength and comfort in the Genesis Group. “It was a breath of fresh air,” Zandra expressed. “That’s where I met Tamu.” (more…)

Mormons: Investing in Parenthood

Mormons: Investing in Parenthood

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a faith often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon church) are subject to many stereotypes. One of the biggest assumptions about Mormons is that they have large families. Many Mormon parents have seven, eight, even ten children, sometimes more. While having large families isn’t part of Mormon dogma, bearing and raising children is. In a statement issued by the late church president Gordon B. Hinckley in 1995, he states, “The family is central to to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. . . . God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”).

Apart from this dramatic statement, church leadership leaves family planning to the discretion of each individual family unit. The fact that Mormons are known for their families is significant: Mormons value children and investing in parenthood.[1]

Families Are Forever

When you come to the Temple you will love your family with deeper love than you have ever felt before, the temple is about families - Richard H. WinkelOne of the key doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ centers on the family. Mormons believe that sacred ordinances performed in the temple can ensure eternal families. Mormon men and women are encouraged to prepare themselves for the temple, which isn’t open to the general public as the chapel meetinghouses are. Temples are reserved for sacred ordinances that prepare us for the eternities. One of the most significant ceremonies performed in temples is the sealing ceremony. A sealing is the term Mormons use for a temple wedding. These ordinances are different from civil weddings because the officiants’ authority does not extend through just this life. Men and women sealed together are married for time and all eternity. No civil officiant has the power to extend a marriage beyond death. Eternal marriage is unique to The Church of Jesus Christ and essential for eternal families. (more…)

Those Greek Geeks at BYU

Those Greek Geeks at BYU

Languages like ancient Greek and Latin are dead, right? No one actually speaks them anymore. That may be true, but in the world of academia, the study of those languages is alive and well. Humanities students of Brigham Young University, an institution owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a faith often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon church), have taken the study of classic languages seriously and have made an impression in national competitions.[1]

BYU Students Rank Highly in Competition

Seek knowledge by study and also by faith - D&C 88:118In the National College Greek Exam, six BYU students ranked in the top 20 of contestants. BYU has always brought impressive competitors, and this year those students raised the bar even further. The National College Greek Exam is a test of 40 questions that students have 50 minutes to answer. Questions cover Greek grammar and translation. Two BYU students tied for second place, and four others placed in the top 20. (more…)

175 Years of Mormonism in the UK to be Celebrated

175 Years of Mormonism in the UK to be Celebrated

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon church) has a history that spans the entire world. The Church of Jesus Christ was restored in America by Joseph Smith in 1830. After the restoration, The Church of Jesus Christ sent missionaries all over the world. One of the first places Mormon missionaries travelled was to the British Isles. The United Kingdom is coming up on the 175th anniversary of Mormonism’s presence, and the Saints in the country are planning a grand celebration. [1]

Pageants Are a Big Part of Mormon Culture

In the United States, Mormons produce pageants all throughout the summer months commemorating scriptural accounts and church history events. Several pageants are produced in Utah, with several others taking place in Palmyra, New York; Nauvoo, Illinois; and Mesa, Arizona. In America, pageants are a big part of Mormon culture.

The Chorley Pageant

175 Years of Mormonism in UKThe Saints in the United Kingdom thought that producing their own pageant would be a fitting way to commemorate the 175 years of the presence of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the British Isles. The focus of the UK pageant will be the church’s history in their own country. This presentation will include telling the stories of the first Mormon missionaries to proselytize in England, who arrived in 1837. The storytelling will take place through both acting and musical performances. The event will also hold pre-show activities for everyone, like period dancing with costumes and games. (more…)

Mormon Missionaries: Not Always in Dark Suits?

Mormon Missionaries: Not Always in Dark Suits?

Chances are you’ve seen missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a faith often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon church) canvassing streets proselytizing. They’re most often men in their early 20s wearing dark suits, ties, and name tags. Sometimes they’re young women dressed in conservative skirts and dresses. Recently The Church of Jesus Christ updated the dress code for their missionaries, making them not only more current with the professional trends but also more relatable and approachable. [1]

Sister Missionary Dress Code

Mormon Sister MissionariesA few years before this newest addendum, the dress standards for sister missionaries were updated to include knee-length skirts, trendy blazers, and brighter colors. This move made sister missionaries able to wear trendy clothing that was still appropriate for their callings as missionaries. They can wear cardigans, belts, and dresses, as well as clothing with bright and vibrant  patterns. Wearing makeup is permissible as long as it looks natural and conservative. The Church of Jesus Christ encourages sister missionaries to wear clothing that fits well and looks professional. The Mormon sister missionaries used to look a little frumpy, but since the update to the dress code, now look more professional and put together. (more…)

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