Comments about ‘New Pew survey reinforces Mormons' top goals of family, marriage’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 12 2012 7:00 p.m. MST

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A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Honestly I find the 'attitudes of members' less interesting of a read than if this had been a study on how LDS beliefs compare to others.

Sometimes people define religions by their people instead of their beliefs. I'd rather people look at the Book of Mormon than the membership. Looking at people, you'll only find imperfection. While some articles like to show the portrait version of a white LDS family with 5 children- I know few families that are as picture-perfect.

The previous article referred only to a sample of what certain members believe politically, philosophically, spiritually, etc.

If someone is examining what we believe- I think the best answers are in the Book of Mormon, not polls. While some members may change their mind and stand apart on certain issues- our doctrine is unanimous. The message we preach to the world is the same. I'm not trying to sound cynical to the nature of these articles. I just think examining the Book of Mormon would reveal more about Mormons. When looking at an imperfect people doing a perfect work- looking at the difference in members seems to distract from discussing the work itself.

Am I wrong?

Rochdale, MA

You are right! The best answers are in the Book of Mormon. Our doctrine is unequivocal. This Pew research study also revealed that 11% of Mormons believe in reincarnation. What?!

Latter-day Saints are imperfect, but sometimes we put so much effort and focus on "appearing" perfect that we miss the mark.

We need to follow the inspired counsel of Elder Uchtdorf in the General RS meeting when he said "God is also aware that the people you think are perfect are not. And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others-usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does."

Let's not be the one who causes others to feel less about themselves, because we are bending over backwards to appear perfect. Instead, let us focus on turning our weaknesses into strengths that we may serve.

Huntsville, UT

I disagree with the previous two comments.

The best answers are the people, flawed though they may be, it gives a better understanding of the religion to see how the people live their lives than any reading of their works of fantasy will ever give.

You preach good works? Watch whether or not the members do good works. Do they also do evil deeds and then justify them using their books?

You preach love? Watch how the members treat others not of their faith (and even others of their faith). Do they show love or do they show disdain and bigotry?

The way the people wo claim to follow a particular religion live their lives is far and away a better metric than any book could ever be.

London, United Kingdom

"[B]y their fruits ye shall know them."

The study seems to me to be a useful and interesting way of looking at our fruits. I find it fascinating and, on the whole, have been pleased to see the results. After all, today's most notable representatives of our faith are Mitt Romney and Harry Reid! I think as a whole we fall somewhere in between...

Bountiful, Utah

As the Article hinted, Mormons don't make any better parents than anyone else. The difference, in my experience, and I am mormon, is that there is a great deal of peer pressure within the church to be the "perfect" parent. Now maybe this peer pressure is in other churches as well, but since I don't attend another church I don't know. Thus, no matter what is really going on at home, a false front is oftentimes created. It sometimes takes a long time for friends and neighbors to know that there is something very wrong going on at home. You can see this both in "regular" families and very public LDS familes, where suddenly the media catches a story and people are shocked to learn about abuse, etc. that was going on at home. This peer pressure to be perfect is really too bad as it sometimes hides horrible things within the family and people don't get help.

Kaysville, UT

A "Living Religion" means that a Father in Heaven made us to have families to continue his process on this earth. This is a great article as people who live the teachings are the proof in the pudding. Families are what makes Heavenly Father's purpose in having His Son come to earth and die for our sins and eternal life. That is what Christ did for us. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has such a beautiful plan from the scriptures and from a living Prophet and 12 Apostles, just as Christ's Church had in the meridian of time. Are people perfect, no. Are families perfect, no. That is why there is a perspective in this life to look for a better life through Christian living. The Mormons/LDS and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, though not perfect are a pretty happy group and seek after joy in this life and the next. This country is a place that has freedoms in so many ways as others seek life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Families help enjoin that process in Utah, the U.S. and throughout the world. Thanks DN.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

I love having other responsible organizations do objective studies on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have endured enough of the other kind of attention. Too many in the past have tried to study the Church without actually asking its members and/or leaders.

Bakersfield, CA

Mormons know their own communities' strengths and flaws, as do their non-LDS family and friends. It's not a social experiment, it's a way of life. Look at most religious communities and you'll find they care for and value their children as a whole.

On the shocking side, however, is Utah's high suicide and depression rate. That is an indicator much easier to attribute directly to the success of Mormon goals due to Utah's high % of self-identified LDS. Social, financial, personal and peer pressure are always factors, and this should be a more accurate way of national comparison. I'm gonna check this decade's statistics, because Utah led this nation in suicides in the '90's- a shock to all sides. As Kami highlighted, hiding problems solves nothing.

While I know the influence of the Book of Mormon, Mormonism's actual social instructions come from the D&C and all the prophet's words. For the 50 years that polygamy was (officially) practiced, there was no BoM influence; it decries its practice.. However, for the 148 years that blacks were prohibited priesthood status, those teachings are still within the book, while it is not followed today.

Ergo, Prophets hold more sway.

Syracuse, UT

@ Grace

I get that you imply that most of the suicide's in Utah are LDS. I happen to work on the base where we had several suicide's and the majority of them were not LDS. In fact, I don't think any of them were. I cannot speak for the other suicide's in the state. I do not know if they track that by religion. It would be interesting to know how many were and if they were active or not, vs having no religious affiliation and/or mental or physical illness.

Maricopa, AZ

Ranchhand, let's talk about "good works" or judging people by their works.
You insert "works of fantasy" in reference to our sacred scriptures.
So I continue to wonder about people who criticize other religions because they have their own belief system.
Is it a person's role or duty to find fault with others who believe differently?
The question being....are you now a better, kinder, less judgemental person than you were before.
Your "words" say otherwise.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Is there a problem with seeking a traditional family unit that consists of a loving mother and father who teach their children the secrets that bring long term happiness?

Bill Shakespeare
Salt Lake City, UT

These families are just beautiful!

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Angela08 pointed out some of the great benefits of optimism in her comment. I value what she stated.

In response to the criticism some gave-

If our doctrine condemns murder, then a Mormon commits it- then how accurate is including that person in your examination? Ultimately how "Mormon" are they?

If 7% of active LDS members favored same-gender marriage, it doesn't change the anything about our doctrine or what it means to be "Mormon". Even if 99% of members veered off 'the path'... then defining 'the path' by the people (including those who veered off of it) is invalid and logically has no ground to stand on.

Knowing someone by their fruits means that you know the person by their actions. If someone followed every last LDS belief- they in fact would be LDS. This is judging someone by what what doctrines they adhere to. But it's logically fallacious to judge the doctrine by a persons level of commitment to it. Such examination adheres to the strawman fallacy and therefore is illogical.

If people want to know our church or what being "Mormon" is- the Book of Mormon explains it accurately. Our differing levels of commitment explain nothing.

  • 1:06 p.m. Jan. 13, 2012
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Clearfield, UT

I think one of the most telling results in this survey was this: 57 percent of Mormons said that most or all of their close friends are other Mormons (this number was significantly higher in Utah, where the number climbed to 73 percent.

This shows exactly how out of touch with the world Mormons are. It also shows how unwelcoming, unfriendly, and most of all how exclusive they are. When people live within a exclusive culture they have a skewed perception of self as well as a skewed perception of the rest of the world.

It seems any excuse to prop oneself up on the platform of self-righteousness at the expense of another person or group by using exclusiveness toward those who believe differently is the norm time and time again in human history, but it truly shows up as a dominant feature of Utah culture according to this survey.

I thought Mormons would be friendly and welcoming to all when I moved to Utah only to find out they were exclusive and judgemental. This survey confirms my current perception.

Think about it. Are you a part of the 73% or are you part of the 27%?

Bountiful, Utah

Eddie | 11:35 a.m. Jan. 13, 2012
Syracuse, UT
"I get that you imply that most of the suicide's in Utah are LDS. I happen to work on the base where we had several suicide's and the majority of them were not LDS. In fact, I don't think any of them were."

Eddie, do you know what the percentage of LDS are on the base?

Kaysville, UT

As career military, my family and I have lived in Europe, Asia and around the United States. I believe this study conducted by the SSRS and Pew group spent a lot of time and research into the process through this and their other studies to reveal a pretty good sample for their survey with 1,019 LDS people. Having lived in a variety of places, except for maybe some parts of Idaho and Utah, the percentage of LDS is very small. Even in the U.S. 1% of the population is very small. Almost all of our children's friends were not LDS, especially in the military community with 5 or so LDS in a school of 1,000. People all around the world are good and you make friends, not matter what religion they are. For 9 years, I work now with people from a variety of countries from around the world and they love to come to Utah and especially visit Temple Square, some multiple times. They all say that the people are especially friendly. None of these people are LDS but they love the people here. Why? I believe some of the answers are in the survey. Great

Layton, UT

To me, it's not about the other issues mentioned here in the comments. I am all for families and marriage, but it is taken too far. I mean, it seems in the LDS culture if you aren't married with kids, your life has no meaning. How could someone who hasn't found the right person yet supposed to cope with hearing that all the time? The church leaders can promote families and marriages, but they can and need to do so without making it seem like those who haven't had the opportunity have nothing else to do with their lives besides hope and wait. Many in the LDS single adult community have complexes because of this. It truely is sad. There are many worthwhile things to do if you aren't married and don't have children.

Layton, UT

Also, the church leaders never tell you that marriage can be less than a heaven on earth. I know many people (who were sealed in the temple) divorce in a not so pleasant way and are now reaping the benefits of their bad marriage.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

Much confusion comes from how people define words. When someone says "Mormons believe this or practice that," are they referring to

What its published documents say?
What its current leaders say?
What your LDS neighbors say or do?
What the organization or it members did in the past?
What Jesus Christ says?

Syracuse, UT

@ ClarkKent

No I do not know, but I have a good idea based on all the places that I have worked, and that would be way under 50%. There have been several places in which I was the only one of more than 50.

Many people would be surprised by the number. Just look at the figures from the Ogden area.

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