As far as the religion, lots of religions have quirks that could appear
"weird" to others. I dont find the LDS religion any "weirder"
then others.Now, when it comes to culture, I have had mixed
experiences.In LA, I had a close working relationship on a project
with a LDS from LA.He was normal. I enjoyed working with him. He
was non judgmental and accepting.My experience in Utah was a bit
different. I think that the concentration of LDS in Utah fosters an attitude
that is hard for "an outsider" to feel comfortable in. When
you are completely surrounded by those who have very similar beliefs and
attitudes, it becomes easy to be emboldened with what is normal and right. One
can become rigid in their thinking and become intolerant of those different from
the norm.I.E, In Utah, everyone knows it is wrong to drink a beer or
play golf or mow your lawn on Sunday. And some may feel justified in telling
you so. In LA? They would not think of it, LDS or not.
Sadly, we as a nation, are so grossly under educated, that many Americans still
know very little about Mormons, especially in the East Coast and Deep South. The
major news agencies certainly do not accommodate the LDS church, like other
special interest groups, in terms of educating the general public.Even
with Mitt Romney having run 2x for president, along with the exposure of many
LDS entertainers, athletes, businessmen, politicians, etc, most Americans
don't have a clue. And as far as other religions are concerned, they most
definitely don't have their facts correct, concerning our beliefs, for the
most part. This is an indirect indictment against our country's collective
I love the concept of being "relate-able" but I must confess that as a
convert I have been greatly disappointed how "normal" so many Mormons
are. especially here in utah members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints seem to do the minimum. they don't want to risk being a different by
being more righteous. what happened to being a "peculiar" people?
why are so many addicted to meds or on prozac? the Gospel should be
setting us free. but it just seems to be stressing us out!
A Mormon who claims not to know "everything" about the Church - I
don't know what is really meant by that. But trying convince others that
Mormons are "normal" is just another manifestation of Mormon cultural
insecurity and a desire to be accepted. This goes back to the Brigham Young
days, and is apparently so ingrained into the culture that perhaps it will
That's what we non believers have been trying to tell you forever. You are
just normal folks (some whacky beliefs, but then all religions have those)no
special powers, no special status, no exclusive information. Just normal folk
with all the problems of the rest of us.
@happymomto9Re: your mentioning of why so many Mormons are on Prozac
or addicted to other meds, I'm not sure what conclusion you're
drawing: do you think it's because the Mormon Gospel is so hard to live?
Or because Mormons have stopped being a "peculiar people?"From what I've read, a major reason for the Prozac and meds is because
it's hard for many Mormons to live up to the Mormon ideal of getting
everything done breezily and cheerfully--e.g., "Molly Mormon." And
these people are depressed because they think there's something wrong with
them, when everyone else seems to be doing it all just fine. (But *are* they?
Or, outside of the public eye, are they depressed too?)The greatest
irony about being normal is that it's normal *not* to be just like everyone
else. We're all individuals. And the moment we try to force ourselves
into fitting perfectly into some template--we stop being normal! And we pay for
that with things like depression.So let's all be normal, Mormon
and non-Mormon alike--by truly being ourselves. Maybe we can put Prozac out of
This Norman site is part of individual members of the Church being asked by
Pres. Ballard to not let others misinform the world about The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints.Individual members have the ability to publish
about themselves with today's www.
to happymomto9 & Esquire... Kudos. The 1st things I thought of as well were
being a "peculiar people" & Insecurity.**normal is
another persons definition of what is socially acceptable**
I have to admit I find this whole conversation, about whether or not some LDS
people are trying too hard to be "normal", more than a little
baffling.I understand the angst regarding the importance of not
being too far outside the norms of society and the negative consequences of
consequently being regarded by too many (you can decide what percentage "too
many" is) as unwanted or undesirable. There are many examples of social
outcasts (religious minorities, racial minorities, etc.) from both our past and
present that offer ample evidence of the down sides of being outside the "in
crowd".But, if my understanding of LDS and most other Christian
doctrine is correct, then it would seem the ideal interpretation of social
acceptance is completely universal and excludes no one. In other words,
normalcy and social standing in general has no meaning. The "in crowd"
includes **everyone**. I think that was the whole point of the parable of the
Good Samaritan. We are ALL children of the same Heavenly Father (God) who loves
each one of us, individually, exactly the same, whether we are "normal"
in the context of our human societies or not.So, "normal" is
a faulty metric.
@ Esquire - Springville, UT - "A Mormon who claims not to know
"everything" about the Church - I don't know what is really meant
by that. But trying convince others that Mormons are "normal" is just
another manifestation of Mormon cultural insecurity and a desire to be accepted.
This goes back to the Brigham Young days, and is apparently so ingrained into
the culture that perhaps it will always be."A "manifestation
of Mormon cultural insecurity"?Yeah, it's gotta be
that.....Please stop trying to read into this something it so
clearly is not.This is simply a member of the LDS church letting
others, who are not familiar with LDS belifes, things like....- we
listen to rock music- we only have one wife- we use electricity- we use cell phones and computers- we don't all have 12 kids
(heck, most of us DON'T have more than 4 or 5 these days)- we
don't worhsip purple octopuses (heard that one in Korea.....yes, really)- we don't worship Joseph Smmith- we don't have horns on our
heads- we do believe in Jesus ChristTo the creators of
It all depends on what normal is. If normal is keeping your mouth shut most of
the time and living a good life, serving others inconspicuously, being a good
neighbor/friend/family member. Being honest at work and in dealing with others.
Being sober. I wish all those things were normal. I think they should be. I
think many people can and should achieve to be this type of normal, but the
truth is, these qualities are not the norm (not for many LDS). Popularity seems
to be the norm these days. Nice clothes, nice house, big title at work, the
picture perfect family. Unfortunately that is the norm for lots and lots of LDS
Mormons outside are typically normal. They are also less judgemental and more
inclusive in my opinion.
On the one hand, I'd like to think that most people by now realize that
latter day saints are relatable, fair, critically-thinking human beings after
all that's gone on, the whole mormon.org revamp, and the general
election.On the other, the obsession people had with Mitt
Romney's religion during said election (and the 2008 primaries), among many
other things in my own life, say that it's still a major thing.There is no insecurity or farce involved; the idea is to stand up and say
"Hey, I'm a reasonable human being, and I know that I am a child of
God." Other people increasingly try to render the two as mutually exclusive
traits, ironically resulting in people who have neither.
I find it interesting that LDS people are perceived in so many different ways.
If we (Mormons) try to be "normal", we are castigated for not living our
religion and being hypocrites. If we do our best to live the values by which we
have come to be known, we are perceived as too righteous or "holier than
thou". This is not an attempt to play the "poor me" card, I'm
merely making an observation. As Free Agency put it, "So lets all be
normal...by truly being ourselves". Live your values and people will either
accept you, or they won't. What really counts is our Savior's
This takes courage and I respect and encourage the author of the blog. Taking
action on your feelings is a great skill. Keep it up!
to pragmatistferlifewanting to be normal/accepted yet thinking they
are special is IMO what causes the cognitive dissonance.to Free
Agency "So let's all be normal, Mormon and non-Mormon
alike--by truly being ourselves. Maybe we can put Prozac out of
business!"If one is truly at peace with themselves and their
place in the world then they need for prozac nad the like goes away. The
Quixotic journey to be "normal" is exactly what big Pharma, the retail
industry, etc... want.
I sang this song as a kid. There was a time when Mormons were proud of their
uniqueness. I’m a Mormon, yes I am!And if you want to
study a Mormon I’m a living specimen.Maybe you think I’m just
like anybody else you see,But trust in my word, You’ll quickly
observe,I’m different as can be!
Myself, I never know whether to be ashamed or complimented when someone says
"I didn't know you were a Mormon!" Not sure if I am not
living my beliefs or if I am (I hope!) living them well!I do think I want
to be "normal" if that includes loving my Savior and being a good
person.This article has given me a lot to think about.Keep up your
@ The Caravan Moves On, thank you for substantiating my point. There are lots
of uninformed people out there, not just about Mormons, but about politics,
science, entertainers, and so on and so on. It will always be the case. Who
cares if some have silly, ill-informed ideas about Mormons? I'm secure
enough in myself and my religion that I'm not going to let myself get all
twisted over it. Those with whom I deal know I'm fairly normal and it just
isn't an issue. But I assert again, the LDS culture has an inherent, in
the DNA, insecurity about itself and its place in the wider world. I have
looked at this issue for a very long time and not only is it fascinating, but I
don't know when we will evolve out of it.
Necessary? Yes. I think it's great that members tell about
themselves and how they see the Gospel of Jesus Christ impacting their lives.
The church is more than doctrine and practices...it's about how we use
faith as a way to see others as children of God, as a means to approach our
problems and challenges, to contribute to society, and try in our own way to
make the world a better place. I like this blog. Great job!!
I read some 'normon' web site content and blogs including one that all
but justified the 'practice' of an openly homosexual lifestyle of a
member. Many comments praised the young man for his 'openness' but
how many saw the message it sends to self-justify sin?I'm a
little concerned about this site to suggest members of the Savior's Church
can be of the world and remain obedient to Christ. I think this is dangerous
ground to tread upon in a day when we clearly know and have been warned by
apostles and prophets not to be 'of the world', but to stand up for
our beliefs by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.Whenever
perceptions of increased are created of assimilation with the modern mainstream
culture, it reminds me of the scripture in Matthew 6:24, 'No man can serve
two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he
will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and
mammon.'. Likewise I think of the related scripture in
Revelation 3:16, 'So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor
hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.';
I've saying that I'm Mormon. I'm not. I'm a member of The
Church of Jesus Christ. I still take opportunities to testify that Jesus is the
Christ and to share my love of the Savior and how grateful I am for all He has
done for me and all people in all times. If it comes up, I explain that
Mormonism is a complex culture that has grown up around a simple faith, somewhat
like Judaism, and that, even though Mormonism is a mostly positive culture lived
by mostly good people, I work at not becoming a Mormon. It interferes with my
ability to be honest and open. It's a mask, a happy mask, smiling and
helpful, but still a mask. In Mormon culture, you don't say that Church
leadership is infallible, but behind the mask, you believe it. The leaders have
mostly been good people, so it's easy to believe it, but in truth, holding
such a belief is blasphemy. I have a testimony of the living apostles, but I
question everything they say. To not question is creepy. People aren't
interested in creepy.
No thanks, I like being peculiar.
When I moved to the Midwest in 2004 I was amazed that high-functioning, educated
people thought that Utah was full of Amish people who drove wagons and had many
wives. Their ignorance was astounding and shows that efforts like this are
helpful and even necessary.
As a missionary, I was led into the jungle to be executed. I considered my
immediate rescue by soldiers to be divinely guided. I once lost my job in a
company downsizing, and wondered if my slightly anti-Mormon manager might have
had something to do with it. Either way, my new job since then has been
fantastic. Insecure? Nope! I make it a daily pursuit to be valiant
in my testimony, and trust that the Lord will bless me as I work to love and
serve those around me.Normal? Not by a long shot, but I think
I'm appreciated for being me.
Social media produced by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints is truly a modern miracle and blessing for the world. There is no doubt
the Lord's hand is in this hastening of the work of salvation.The caution I felt while reading this article and examining small part of the
web site is that we should be careful with trying to convince the world they
need to accept us on their terms. Rather, we should be valiant in the
testimonies we are given by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ the best we
can.Given the dramatic shifts in mainstream values and cultures in
recent decades, we as a peculiar people need to be cautious with whether we are
pleasing the world or sharing the Gospel in the ways that bring souls unto
Christ. It can be a fine line of discernment often subject to individual
interpretation.My opinion is that if we follow the Savior in the
paths He has given us by Priesthood authority, revelation, and scripture, than
we cannot go amiss. But, if we trust too much in the arm of flesh, temptation
will not be far behind.
The conundrum is, if Mormons are like everybody else, what’s the point in
being a Mormon. You could just be, well, like every body else.
EternalPerspectiveEldersburg, MDI read some
'normon' web site content and blogs including one that all but
justified the 'practice' of an openly homosexual lifestyle of a
member. Many comments praised the young man for his 'openness' but how
many saw the message it sends to self-justify sin?--------------My Dear EP,I just read the same blog. Maybe you are not
aware that openly admitting that you are gay (attracted to the same sex), is not
a sin. Leaders have been saying that for quite a few years now. This young man
admits to being gay and then admits to living a clean life. He is to be fully
accepted and loved as a member, temple attender, and maybe someone who will
serve in a bishopric or higher sometime in his life. He is doing what the Lord
and the Elders of the church have commanded him.I don't know
what your idea of "openly homosexual lifestyle" is, but he is not living
it.I think you owe him an apology.
All this time, I thought Normans were Vikings who settled in France.
LaneThere was too much room for interpretation in what I implied
with the 'homosexual blog' comments. For that I apologize if mercy
was not present in my statements.It is important as you said to
recognize the difference between having same gender attraction as an affliction,
and acting on it. I like you, admire anyone’s courage to come out with
what must be a very difficult existence for someone who suffers from these
feelings.While he did not mention practicing that lifestyle, the
suggestion that he could make such a decision in the future is dangerous. He is
treading a line that could easily lead to self-justification of sin. I encourage you to read back over the entire blog posting again and think
about how someone who struggles from same-gender attraction might receive it.
We all suffer from temptations whether of ourselves or by others.Compassion is important, but so too is recognizing the subtle influence of
evil that presents itself even with a good cause as this young man is trying to
do. I don't judge him anymore than the next person. But, I do see danger
of worldly influence in a mixed message.
Anything that can clear up some of the ridiculous misconceptions out there is of
some positive value.
EP,The danger is in being judgmental.The blogger is not
at risk of that sin. Someone else here is.
A site to prove just how normal Mormons are’+++When the goal is to be a peculiar people, this isn't a good thing is it?
The challenge for this blog will be to explain how a "peculiar people"
can also be normal.
In making an honest assessment of the world we live in, I cannot fathom anyone
wanting to be considered a 'normal' member of it. No thank you - deal
Having read all the posts so far, I tend to agree with the notion of
"not" being normal. In a world that to me looks more and more like it,
and its culture, are going off the deep end, I think todays Mormons, and even
more so, tomorrows Mormons should look more and more out of the mainstream of
society. As societies norms continue to change at a rapid pace, Mormons who
just maintain the traditional standards should seem to be more and more out of
step with modern times. Otherwise Mormons might find themselves moving their
standards to try to keep pace with the mainstream of America. Today, more than
ever, it is time to be seen as a really peculiar people.
After reading a few comments, it seems many missed the point of her creating the
blog. She had many experiences with other people who were genuinely surprised
she was Mormon b/c she didn't fit their preconceived ideas of what a Mormon
is like. Anyway, congrats on a great blog and introducing others to who you are
and how the church has shaped your life. I think it's great that you'd
share somthing that is so meaningful to you.
I applaud this website. Some commenters are really over-thinking this.
It's not about being insecure, craving the world's approval, or
conforming to worldly standards. It is a light-hearted website to let people
know such things as (as The Caravan Moves On @ 9:07 AM said) Mormons can listen
to rock music and are not polygamists. Clearing up misperceptions is a good
thing. To those who enjoy being a peculiar people, don't worry; being in
favor of this fun, lighthearted website does not take away your ability to be
When you have to mount a campaign to prove that, by gum, you are normal
it's pretty safe to assume that you're not. But both the prevalence
and value of normalcy are vastly overblown.
If someone says Mormons are "more normal than I thought," do they
realize how insulting and condescending that sounds?
With the likes of Cliven Bundy, Russell Pearce, Cleon Skousen, Glenn Beck, Mike
Lee and a host of tens of thousands of hard right Utahns leading the way,
Normans is fighting an uphill battle.
AjaxIf polls of the current trend are accurate, it will be the likes
of Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Holder, Ed Schwartz, Steve Colbert, and the Clintons,
who are going to fight be fighting an uphill battle.
Loved the website! Some of the articles were hilarious, "16 Reasons Buddy
the Elf is Probably Mormon". Others were very honest and thought provoking.
Good job demonstrating our "normalities" as well as our differences all
wrapped in intelligent writing and wit.
"Normons?"Do normal people make up funny names for
@GaryO .... Yes, normal people do.
Hey Ajax -"With the likes of Cliven Bundy, Russell Pearce, Cleon
Skousen, Glenn Beck, Mike Lee and a host of tens of thousands of hard right
Utahns leading the way, Normans is fighting an uphill battle."Don't forget Mark Hoffman and Ted Bundy.
re: Moontan "In making an honest assessment of the world we live in, I
cannot fathom anyone wanting to be considered a 'normal' member of it.
No thank you - deal me out."In other words... "I would not
want to belong to any club that would have me as a member" - Groucho Marx
She is right about one thing, that we are not “normal” in the sense
of being like the rest of the world. Nor should we be. The world is corrupt,
immoral, and full of evil at every turn. Latter-Day Saints ought to shun
anything and everything that is contrary to the laws and commandments of God and
that drives away the Spirit, and very rightly, most of them do (to some extent
or another). However, the idea that we should even need a blog to
tell people how “normal” we are is in and of itself rather
condescending and insulting. We shouldn’t have to explain these sorts of
things to the world at this point, particularly after Mitt Romney, and were it
not for persistent religious prejudice against us, misinformation being spread
about us in the media and in mainline Protestant churches, and obscene, vulgar,
and deceitful abominations like the Book of Mormon musical being celebrated in
popular culture, we wouldn’t have to. Righteous indignation against
society’s double standards may not win converts, but I think it would be
more than justified at this point.
@Hank Pym ... Well, that too. Not having joined the LDS Church until 44,
I've acquired plenty of reasons to give myself wide berth in any
consideration. If I can get through the Pearly's on His merit alone,
anybody can. I'm slowly coming around to the idea behind
showing people Mormon's are 'normal'. It is a nice website. I do
think maybe some way of conveying 'not abnormal' might work better.
Spending my Mormon years in hostile areas, I frequently have to deny having
multiple wives. Frequently. Or than I'm not a secret member of the Klan. So
the idea behind the website is indeed noble.
RE: Moontan,"Or than I'm not a secret member of the"... [Temple
Masonic]? Utah the Beehive state symbol is used in Freemasonry as well.My Father is a Normal Mason and my Father-in Law is a Normal Temple
Mormon. Several times, I’ve tried to explain the similarities(at least
13) of the Temples secrets to them, they would not listen. I was
married in the Mormon church but left when I became a Christian which is normal
when you are truly Born Again. My wife is a jack Mormon,not a normal
Mormon. A lot of Mormons in Utah consider me Anti-Mormon but I’m really
@JoeBlow...May I say Sir excellent post, superior comment. You hit the heart of
the matter dead on. Utah Mormons and The Planet Utah bubble. There truly is
quite a difference with Mormons elsewhere.
How very interesting a website to prove and show how "normal" Mormons
are. Good luck in Utah. Hopefully many will be investigating this site!
Well, I don't know if I can go from being a Peculiar Person to being a
Normon.I kind of like being peculiar....you know....in the world but not
of the world.
@donn ... I'm all too familiar with the attitude you expressed re Christian
vs Mormon. Having been baptized a Baptist at a very sincere 12, my entire family
- immediate and extended - now think I've gone from 'born again'
as you say, to, I suppose, the Unborn? :) But thankfully they see that in all
other respects I am 'normal' - which of course is the intent of this
new website. The alleged distinction between 'I'm not
Anti-Mormon, I'm pro-Bible' must be handled with care. When a
non-Mormon Christian tells me I am a member of a cult, I write it off to a lack
of knowledge in a sincere, good heart.(For I, too, am pro-Bible). The second
attempt becomes harassment, badgering, in my opinion. An annoyance. This is the
origin of the 'anti-Mormon' view you mentioned. And
don't you think it curious that the longer some staunchly anti-Mormons are
around me, the more like it is that I will often hear "you know, maybe
I'm wrong about the LDS Church. You don't seem all that weird to
@donnWhen you are really "pro-Bible" then you will return to the
LDS faith. They aren't exclusive, despite what the under-informed have to
say.@GaryOof course we won't forget, because folks like
you will always be around to remind us. So, do you remind other faiths of those
in their midst who may not be to your liking? Or do you only point out the
glaring examples (Hoffman, Bundy) who may still have had membership but
Moontan “For I, too, am pro-Bible”. Really? (3 Ne.21:9).
A Marvelous Work and Wonder. A Modern Translation, “ Therefore I will
take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as
fools.” (Is 29:14 L.B) Or,(Is 29:14
Septuagint)”Therefore behold I will proceed to remove this people, and I
will remove them: *I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will hide the
understanding of the prudent.”Paul quotes from, Is 29:14
Septuagint, *I will Destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing
the understanding of the prudent” see,(1 Cor 1:19 KJV)God
denounces the policy of the Wise in Judah seeking an alliance with Egypt against
Assyria. Fulfilled ultimately the Jews reject Jesus. “because ..the cross
is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power
of God.(1 Cor 1:18).
@Joe Blow...Excellent post Sir! Mormons here in Utah are most definitely
different. Hopefully there will be many investigating this website.
How interesting...A website designed to explain how "normal" your
religion may be. Can someone please explain to me why Mormons are always
attempting to prove this point and why it matters how non Mormons perceive your