Ask a Mormon Woman: Do Mormons…? (part 1)
We regularly review the kinds of questions people are asking when they find our site. I thought it might be helpful to just respond simply to several of them. A wide variety of topics is covered below. Questions are in bold.
Q: Do Mormons believe Jesus is God? Do Mormons believe Jesus died for our sins?
A: We believe in a Godhead of three distinct personages. God the Father is the Father of our spirits, and author of the plan of salvation. Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament (Jehovah) and the Savior of the World (as recorded in the New Testament and in the Book of Mormon), but is not the same Person as God the Father. The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit.
And yes, we do believe that Jesus died for our sins. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is a central doctrine of our faith. The Savior is the author and finisher of our faith and the
Q: Do Mormons attend the Church of the Latter-day Saints?
A: The term “Mormon” is a nickname for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sometimes people also refer to us as the Latter-day Saints (although we prefer the full name of the Church because it reflects our central belief in the Savior, Jesus Christ).
Q: Do Mormon families reunite in heaven?
A: A core doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that, because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, family relationships can continue beyond the grave. This is made possible through sacred ordinances performed in temples — the house of the Lord — that bind families together through the priesthood power of God. These blessings are not automatic; they are available through faith and obedience to God’s commandments.
We believe this blessing of forever families is something that can be available to all of Heavenly Father’s children. Mormons perform temple ordinances on behalf of those who have passed on and did not have the opportunity to receive these ordinances in their lifetimes. We then believe that people will have the opportunity to choose whether or not to accept them.
So the answer is that we believe that families can reunite after this life, but that this blessing is not just available to those who are currently members of the Church.
Q: Do Mormon women carry their book of scriptures with them when they go to the meetings?
A: Yes, we do. All Church members who have been baptized are encouraged to have their own set of scriptures, which for us includes the Holy Bible (Old and New Testaments), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.
Q: Do Mormon women want big families?
A: Some do, some don’t.
While, as Sister Julie B. Beck said in a talk a couple of years ago, “We believe in having children,” couples are left to ponder the doctrine of eternal families and the importance of parenthood in God’s plan and prayerfully make decisions about family size. (This relates to questions about Mormons and birth control, which we will cover more thoroughly in a future Ask a Mormon Woman post).
Q: Do Mormon women wear make-up?
A: Some do, some don’t.
Q: Do Mormons believe in alien beings/extraterrestrials?
A: We recently addressed this question in the post “Do Mormons believe in aliens? but since it is one that has come up in different forms, I wanted to address it again here.
The quick answer is that we believe that God has created other worlds, populated with His children. We also believe in angels, who played a significant role in both the ancient and modern work of God. But we also believe that “there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it.”
– Doctrine and Covenants 130:5
We also do not believe God the Father or Jesus are aliens, which is another form of this kind of question we have had people asking. They are glorified Beings of flesh and bone. We worship them as our Father and Savior, respectively. That they are separate Beings with glorified bodies is a key truth that was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, made known when he himself saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Q: Do Mormons dance or drink alcohol?
We sometimes do dance. In fact, local Church congregations (or a group of congregations) provide regular dances for youth ages 14 and up, and for single adults as well.
But we do not drink alcohol. (Or at least that is the standard we are invited to adhere to, a standard necessary for baptism and temple attendance). You can learn more about our health code, called the Word of Wisdom, in this post or in this New Year’s post which shares some ways we “party” without alcohol.
Speaking of parties, here’s the last question for today:
Q: Do Mormons celebrate birthdays?
A: Oh, yes! Sometimes in fun and crazy ways. See Brenda’s post on her 30th birthday party as an example.
I also attended a ward that would celebrate birthdays as a ward, with a ward [congregation] activity called the “Everyone Birthday Party.” Every month had a theme, and people dressed up and had a ball. We ended with a food fight.
Yes, we have fun with birthdays.
Related to this is a question about whether Mormons have birthday parties on Sundays. That ends up being a personal decision…another “Some do, some don’t” situation. I think it’s safe to say that family gatherings are more common on Sundays than friend or neighborhood birthday parties.
Do you have a question you would like to ask? Simply leave a comment below or email us. Our username is ‘mormonwoman’ and we are found at gmail.
We’ll address more questions like this in a week or two.