Utah Mormons: What Do You Want to Know?

I am a Utah Mormon.*

If that shocked you, you may need to spend more time plowing thru -okay, you’re right: I don’t mention it much. I mostly don’t bring up my location or religious affiliation because of The Box Phenomenon. People are so keen to categorize that they will automatically assume things about my character, things that are probably not true.

There are, however, many characteristics or behaviors or habits or lack of cuss words that are true because of my Utah LDSness.


  1. I don’t drink alcohol. Never have, and I mean never.
  2. I have not done recreational drugs.
  3. I’ve never had a cup of coffee.
  4. I have no tattoos. Never have.
  5. I wear one set of earrings, in my ear lobes.
  6. I lived a very clean dating life and my husband is the only man I’ve known.**
  7. I don’t swear, unless it’s the morning after the children have not slept and they will damn well hear about how frustrating they’ve been after the umpteenth time -in which case, it’s still only “damn” and “hell.”
  8. I attend church every week and (before I was pregnant) voluntarily worked a ‘job’ in our ward.

The list could go on, I suppose, but that’s why I’m writing this post. I am naturally curious about how other people live their lives, and assume others might be curious about mine. I specifically wonder if everyone else starts the day with a cup of coffee. Does everyone else flip off bad drivers on the freeway? Does everyone slip on a tank top and short shorts and call themselves dressed?

I don’t.

And so, what do you wonder about MY day-to-day life or views based on my location and religious leanings? Within reason, what questions do you have? Do you have any?

I’m no official representative of my faith and will not purport to be so, but am willing to answer what I can.

Try me. I’m curious.


*The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has officially stated that its members are not ‘Mormons,’ but are ‘members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.’

**You know, in the biblical sense.


Besides a question, you may also be interested in my writings of last week:
Wednesday, November 13: Made some important announcements about the blog’s schedule in “I’m Having a Baby (I Think).”

Thursday, November 14: Attempted an homage to Geoff’s style with “A Tribute to Geoff LePard of TanGental.”

Friday, November 15: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Matt Snyder!

Saturday, November 16: Announced the 52nd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest! Happy birthday to bad poetry!! The theme is BIRTH, and is the last contest of the year. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, November 17: “A Confusing Session,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, November 18: Shared LA’s astute assessment of life and its responsibilities.

Tuesday, November 19: “Since the Bombs Fell: Five.”

Wednesday, November 20: Today.

I also posted a poem on my motherhood site, “Is There an Echo?


Photo Credit: Michael Hart

©2019 Chelsea Owens

95 thoughts on “Utah Mormons: What Do You Want to Know?

  1. johnlmalone November 20, 2019 / 8:22 pm

    No, I never knew that about you but find it fascinating. I never picked it up from your writing and rather than putting you in a box this post enlarges you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 20, 2019 / 8:54 pm

      That’s one of the nicest things anyone’s told me, John.

      🙂 Do you have any questions?


  2. robstroud November 20, 2019 / 8:52 pm

    What a nice invitation… to ask about your beliefs as a member of the LDS. I have a question about the destination of people after the Final Judgment. Could you describe the three degrees or kingdoms “of glory” and who goes where?

    A specific question, of particular interest to me, is the presumed destiny of a pastor of an orthodox or traditional Christian church such as myself? If I was a good (i.e. moral) guy, would I be admitted to the Telestial Kingdom (after a millennium in spirit prison)? Or–because I actively taught a different Gospel than the LDS, would I be cast into “outer darkness” with Satan?

    I’m not be facetious in asking this. I’m genuinely interested in knowing about LDS eschatology. Thanks, in advance, for your answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 20, 2019 / 10:34 pm

      I would never assume you to be facetious, nor to have any malicious intent.

      In the LDS faith, there are three degrees of glory to which all souls are sorted after a final judgement. Surprisingly (or not), the wikipedia page outlines them in fairly accurate terms. A basic explanation is that telestial is much like the earth now and people who never accepted the gospel go there. The terrestrial is for those who are middling; who accepted part of the message. The celestial is the highest, and is further split into three levels within itself.
      (Personally, given the overarching idea that we eternally progress, the finality of these kingdoms does not necessarily sit well with me.)

      As to your specific question, a person like you would go to Spirit Prison after death. You’d have a chance to convert. Where you go after that is up to the decisions you make.
      A teacher once told me that even Hitler won’t go to Outer Darkness, so you’d have to be really bad to end up there…

      Liked by 1 person

      • robstroud November 28, 2019 / 11:36 am

        Thank you for your response. Morally, I’m nowhere near a Hitler… but I had been told once that there was a special sort of damnation case for non-LDS clergy.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens November 28, 2019 / 11:48 am

          That’s terrible! I’m certain that would never be the case.

          (Anyway, I’m too open-minded to assume the LDS description to be the end-all, be-all.)


  3. RuthScribbles November 20, 2019 / 8:52 pm

    I had my first ever alcoholic drink in my late 20’s early 30’s. Never smoked or used non prescription drugs. I used to go to church twice on Sunday and Wednesday night. “We were the only one true faith.” 😉 do you wear shorts or dance? Or swim with boys?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 20, 2019 / 10:37 pm

      That’s a lot of church! …and I had an anthropology teacher who told us all religions claim to be “the one true faith.” 😀 She sure was trying to shake us up.

      I do wear shorts, but they need to cover my garments. I hate dancing in public; maybe I should take lessons? -it’s certainly not forbidden. I swim with all my boys, else they drown. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • RuthScribbles November 21, 2019 / 7:16 am

        Our skirts had to cover our knees standing and sitting. No sleeveless blouses. No pants except under a skirt… that kind of started to change. But not allowed jeans with a front zipper because it was men’s clothing. I could go on…

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 8:48 am

          I think you could. I think you need to write a book.

          I had similar clothing restrictions (except the pants one), to prepare for the length requirements of wearing garments later. The stringency of dress seemed mostly based on parents’ choices, though.

          Liked by 1 person

          • RuthScribbles November 21, 2019 / 9:09 am

            Well…. home, yes! And my dad was the minister. (Wouldn’t use the word pastor because pastor means elder and elders have a specific role, even though no one was qualified enough to be an elder. My dad started out as a missionary, but then rejected that term as non biblical. Oy

            Liked by 1 person

  4. robertawrites235681907 November 20, 2019 / 9:56 pm

    I don’t know that much about mormons, Chelsea, but I am a believer in each to their own choices, particularly when it comes to religion. I am religious but don’t believe in the manmade structure of the church so I don’t practice in a traditional manner.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chelsea Owens November 20, 2019 / 10:40 pm

      I’m pretty hands-off as well. A big part of the LDS faith is ensuring we share the gospel with others; historically, that idea was delivered with a lot more guilt and such. Like, “Convert your neighbors so they don’t go to hell!”

      Most LDS I interact with share my view and yours that you expressed: that a general acceptance and love is much better than a dogmatic pressure to join a certain religion.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. TanGental November 21, 2019 / 1:42 am

    Me, i don’t drink, no drugs beyond a regular craving for custard, do drink coffee, don’t smoke (but i’ve been known to smoulder) despair at the modern obsession with tattoos and have never voluntarily pierced any part of my anatomy. I’m a happy atheist who freely admits I’m wrong about most things but I see nothing to suggest Im less wrong than anyone else on the big questions.
    Happy for anyone to embrace whatever belief system they want be it big or small.
    As for questions not really. I do have a sneaking regard for your Church on embracing the Book of Mormon. Not sure how that played out in Utah but in London the UK branch of the LDS paid for adverts on the sides of buses ‘you’ve seen the show, now try the faith’. Yep, if you can do things with humour its a sign of security in your beliefs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 8:03 am

      Pleased to me you, happy Atheist. 😀 I’ve done that as well.

      The reason I don’t drink, drink, smoke, or pierce is because of my upbringing. I’d love to be able to claim the same as you as an adult, of my own choices, but know I would have turned out much differently (which is why I bring it up in connection with the religion).

      I enjoyed the approach to The Book of Mormon play as well. My understanding is that the LDS church went through a few draconian periods of member-repression, so acceptance is always a good sign. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Härzenswort November 21, 2019 / 2:05 am

    That’s interesting, thanks for sharing. I’m not religious anymore and openly so (see for example “Confessions of A Broken Soul” on my blog), but I still don’t drink alcohol and I don’t do drugs. I started drinking coffee about a year ago, because moms get tired as you well know and caffeine helps 🤷 but i try to limit it to two cups a day! I don’t really have specific questions, but I’m always interested in the reasons why people do or do not believe in something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 8:21 am

      You’re welcome. I was going to tell you I wouldn’t be able to read your post without Google Translate …but you wrote it in English.
      (My German heritage thus also avoided shame.)

      I understand the failings of religion and the anguish of mind that comes from trying to make it all work. I went through an atheist period and have come back with a much better, more mature, less anxious outlook.
      I’ll have to revisit my “What Do I Believe?” post with these new findings, but first I must see if phrasing it all will even make sense. One thing I do know is that, even given the right words, another person’s understanding of them will differ.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Härzenswort November 21, 2019 / 8:32 am

        I think that is very true, everyone sees and understands things differently. Even when we think we’ve made ourselves unmistakably clear, there will still be room for interpretation and discussion. We all bring so many different things to the table, different values, ideas and beliefs. I think it’s admirable that you invite questions and discussions with an open mind. I have the greatest respect for people who believe in something as you do, but accept, without judgment, that others may not share their faith.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 8:49 am

          Thank you. I can tell you are similarly accepting and open-minded.

          I’m no saint; I definitely judge people -though I’ve noticed almost all of my judging is for rude or socially-damaging behaviors. 🙂


  7. msnyder1970 November 21, 2019 / 4:07 am

    I work for a company in Pa that was bought out by a company from Provo, Utah owned by a Mormon. For the most he’s pretty generous with Bonus’s and profit sharing for all but chintzy on raises (only had 3 in 10 years), health insurance and we had prayer before meals (the problem with that is not everyone in Pa shares a common belief) and his character is far from nice. Its a weird juxtaposition of a person a generous jerk. Granted he stepped down as president and is now just the owner looking to sell so he can retire as missionary, I just hope the generous as opposed to the jerk side sells to another generous soul.

    as for me:
    Never did recreational drugs
    Never had sex unless I was in love
    Swear when angry at times, but its not a daily habit
    3 Tattoos
    Consider myself a polytheist that doesn’t believe in organized religion
    Doesn’t judge people on their income, sex, sexuality, political affiliations, religion. I judge people by their character. And you Chelsea never gave me the impression as someone I didn’t like. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 8:27 am

      Ack! My husband worked for an MLM (they’re kind of big in Utah) that made my skin crawl. We’d attend these lavish Christmas dinners where the founders would be in tears over a conversation they had while on their yacht in the Caribbean -a conversation about how Product X was saving a poor widow because she’d signed up for automatic shipments….

      Yeah; save the widow by charging her each month… What if she couldn’t sell any, you pricks??


      I really admire people able to make sound decisions based on their own impetus; I’m hoping I’d have done so by my 30s, but I’m also a bit weak in that area of characteristics.
      Being genuine has definitely shown through as most important in my book. So, thank you very much for the compliment. I can tell that you are as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Norah November 21, 2019 / 4:36 am

    Interesting post, Chelsea. I also find it fascinating discovering how people think and what drives their beliefs and actions. I could tick agreement with some things on your list, but not others. The only Mormons I have very occasionally met are the ones who have knocked on my door to share their faith. While I have been polite, I haven’t encouraged their teaching as I prefer to seek answers to my own questions rather than have someone interrupt my day to share their beliefs. I have always been intrigued by the way ‘they’ travel in pairs on bicycles (usually) and alway wear white shirts and ties. I think I have heard that polygamy is part of the Mormon tradition. Is that true? (I could Google it now, but decided to ask you instead.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 8:36 am

      Those nice people in pairs are missionaries. They’re teenage (now; the age changed to 18 for guys and 19 for girls) laymen who devote 1.5-2 years to voluntarily travel where assigned, live a rather monastic life, teach, and do X hours of service. Big commitment.
      (I have a neighbor who’s gotten them to help with her gardening, and has no desire to join. 🙂 )

      Polygamy definitely was in the LDS church’s history. In fact, once the official command came to knock it off, several families refused to do so. We have a few communities in Utah and surrounding states from that schism.

      I’ve read “A Study in Scarlet,” some accounts from people escaping repressive sects, and a more open-minded book by the family who were the inspiration for ‘Big Love.’ All interesting perspectives.

      The history of polygamy doesn’t bother me, though learning about it has shaken some members into leaving in the past. The practice makes sense logically for the time (growing membership), and I’m glad to not deal with it today.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Norah November 23, 2019 / 2:42 am

        Thanks for the depth of your response, Chelsea. It is a big commitment for those missionaries at that stage of their lives. However, I think it is a stage many of us go through when we are rather zealous about making a difference in the world. I once (if it really was me) contemplated being a missionary nun. I got no further than reading the literature of some orders. Funny, I haven’t thought about that in years.
        Sometimes, while I have no wish to embrace it, I think polygamy (like harems) would work quite well as long as it was all consensual.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens November 23, 2019 / 8:43 am

          I agree on both points, though some of our neices and nephews are at the ‘missionary age’ and we can see how scary such a commitment looks to them.

          I believe the book I read was Love Times Three. I’ll have to look it up again. Theirs is a consensual polygamy relationship; it does run rather idyllic, according to their accounts.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Norah November 24, 2019 / 2:52 am

            Interesting. Thanks, Chelsea. Idyllic is a great recommendation.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens November 23, 2019 / 8:44 am

          I saw some polygamist women at Wal-Mart last night, and thought of your questions. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Norah November 24, 2019 / 2:52 am

            How did you recognise them?


            • Chelsea Owens November 24, 2019 / 6:43 am

              The female members of the group I see most often sport the same hairstyle: long, no bangs, a specific ponytail or bun that lays down their back. They wear a dress with sneakers. I also realized I’m picking up on their faces.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Norah November 25, 2019 / 3:56 am

                Okay. I hadn’t realised they were already known to you. That makes sense. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                • Chelsea Owens November 25, 2019 / 7:01 am

                  I’m sure there are many groups that do not stand out, ones who dress like most others and act like most others. It’s the groups that choose to behave differently who stand out.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Norah November 26, 2019 / 12:38 am

                  That’s true. In all areas.

                  Liked by 1 person

  9. masercot November 21, 2019 / 5:31 am

    No questions. When I was a teenager in El Paso, my best friend was a Mormon…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 8:37 am

      This almost sounds like the beginning of one of your lists… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • masercot November 21, 2019 / 8:44 am

        We were math nerds and chess buddies. His religion seldom came up… except once when I asked him why he didn’t go to the school dance.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Violet Lentz November 21, 2019 / 5:37 am

    Ok. You asked for it. What’s up with the “garments’? You had to know I’d ask…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 8:42 am

      😀 I had a friend in Girl Scouts ask if Mormons wore magic underwear…. If she’d asked me these days, I would’ve said, “Yes.”

      The short answer is that LDS peoples who turn 18 and complete some ritualistic promises in the temple then start wearing special underclothes called ‘garments.’ I used to worry about saying too much, but wikipedia….

      There’s a shirt and shorts, they’re supposed to be next to your body, and they’re almost always white (police and military have special colors to comply with their uniforms).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Violet Lentz November 21, 2019 / 9:19 am

        So they get you outta wearing a bra? Where do I sign up!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 10:03 am

          😀 That would be a bad idea, after most of us pop out so many kids!


  11. Pam Webb November 21, 2019 / 5:56 am

    I hear you about “boxing” yourself in. We have a large LDS influence in our community and my LDS students are generally great kids both academically and all around. I am curious about why parts of the LDS church or service is closed to the public. Most, if not all other churches, swing wide their doors to seekers. Or is that one of those myths about LDS?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 8:46 am

      I’m glad to hear you have nice LDS people living near you. 🙂

      In the LDS faith, there are two different places of worship: churches and temples. Anyone who behaves himself is welcome to go to anything at the churches. One has to meet certain requirements (lifestyle choices, testimony, membership, and paying tithes) to attend the temples.

      When a temple is newly built or remodeled, they always host an open house so everyone can see what’s inside. Several temples have scale models in their visitor centers now, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Lesleykluchin November 21, 2019 / 8:17 am

    I don’t think your life is that unusual or that far off From the norm. I don’t swear or drink and I was a virgin when I married my first husband. You regularly go to church and practice your faith. You aren’t weird. Being Jewish I’ve had people ask to see my horns. And they were serious! BTW, they were disappointed to learn I didn’t have any.
    I don’t have any questions for you, probably because as a teacher I worked with students who came from a plethora of different backgrounds and faiths. All lovely. My conclusion is that We’re all pretty much the same.
    Faith is Faith. My older brother and his wife are currently in Israel and he emailed me today to tell me he said a prayer for my health at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and also put a scroll with a prayer in it for me in the wall. Then they went to the holiest church in the area and prayed there that I’d beat cancer. I was so moved to read that. I figure, it doesn’t matter what faith you are as long as you believe. It’s all good my dear. Just be who you are and embrace it proudly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 2:00 pm

      Thanks, Lesley! I am glad your brother did that for you; what a touching gesture and I’m certain his faith will help.

      I was surprised to hear that about the horns. Someone told me people used to ask Mormons that as well. I guess it’d be a good conversation-starter!

      Watching the world or traveling outside of Utah makes me think I am that different from others. Not drinking, alone, puts me in minority situations the most. I’m happy to hear that most people strive to be decent and you see the norm as closer to how I behave. 🙂


      • Lesleykluchin November 21, 2019 / 2:31 pm

        I do see you as “normal”. I grew up in a pretty traditional home. My parents were devoted to one another and we were raised to be polite, treat others kindly, and our faith was a strong part of my upbringing. So I in turn raised my children in a similar fashion but with a more modern twist. Ironically, my oldest son doesn’t drink at all. He never has. My younger son rarely does and jokes how at parties he holds the same drink all night. Perhaps not having it in the house made them not interested in it. Who knows. I never told them not to drink. It just wasn’t high on their list of priorities In life. I think providing a loving home allows children to grow up to make good choices.

        Liked by 2 people

      • msnyder1970 November 21, 2019 / 3:41 pm

        Personnaly I gave up drink for two reasons, as I aged the hangover got worse even after 1 drink and two because I don’t like drinking alone (some would argue that’s what friends are for but if rather imbibe with my wife) essentially because my wife is stabilized on a lot of meds for her bipolar and can’t even if she wanted to.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Almost Iowa November 21, 2019 / 8:33 am

    Mormons always struck me as down-to-earth, common-sense sort of people – but no tattoos? I mean, GOSH, what’s the use of having an arm if it isn’t permanently stained dull blue?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 8:50 am

      😀 Good point.

      I’m glad you’ve met good Mormons.


  14. confessionsofahelpfulbrunette November 21, 2019 / 8:47 am

    That’s fascinating! I think it’s great you are open to questions because just like you are curious others are curious! I also believe it’s fascinating the self control you have. I think this is the most self control to not try.

    Have you ever questioned your beliefs or questioned staying on this path? If so what kept you going?

    I drink more coffee than I’d like to admit lol I’ve tried drugs (when I was a teenager), I’ve smoked, drank more than I should of at one point in my life and still love my wine on occasion. I do have tattoos. So I believe if I never tried those things of course I’d probably be easier to never do it, but that’s an assumption, I could be way wrong. That’s why I think it’s amazing you’ve never done it 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 9:02 am

      I definitely questioned! Most of my childhood, then life, I questioned the great disjoint I felt between ideas of faith and logic of mind.

      I embraced atheism. I had to step away from God and my feelings surrounding Him.

      These last two years have been a finding of myself, an evolution of perspectives, a return to religion (thanks to a program I am nearly done with called Pathway), and a general maturing.

      I wouldn’t say I’ve “stuck with it,” but I would say I’m much more comfortable with where I’m at. I’m much more patient with myself, and with learning The Answers to Life.

      I know I would’ve been addicted to any number of those habits, had I tried them, so I think your conclusions are correct (for me). Others are better at self-control than I am. It’s probably an addictive personality.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. lensdailydiary November 21, 2019 / 10:22 am

    This is a very timely blog Chelsea because of my recent YouTube viewing. I have become hooked on the BYU choral groups, noteworthy etc. and introduced them to two of my teenage grandchildren. I love Christian/Gospel music in particular and was happy to have come across them. Staying on YouTube for a second I have also been viewing a YouTube vlog named ” Tiny Notes from Home”. I mention this because it is about a Christian family living in Kentucky who have four boys and she is currently expecting a fifth child. Sound familiar.
    My question relates to this vlog. The mother always wears a head covering and she is constantly asked why she wears it so they vlogged about it. They quoted bible verses as to why women should cover their head and getting into this they basically said that husband and wife are equal but have different responsibilities. The woman’s being the home and children. She home schools her children. She is also a very good Christian singer and her husband is building her a recording studio in their home.
    That was my long winded introduction to the following questions.
    1. Does your church suggest different roles for men and woman?
    2. Other than the clothing routines you have talked about in other comments, is there a rule on head coverings for male or female?

    My own religious and moral bio:
    Was a die hard Catholic until the abuse crisis struck and I had my eyes opened about institutional religion. Still follow the Christian faith, but in my own way. Has to come from the inside out and practiced versus rituals and formula. I’m not knocking rituals because I find them calming and prayerful.
    Still attached to alcohol since my father took his two older boys to the pub at 16 and I ended up sitting on the curb at the side of the road and throwing up for most of the visit. I never learned….though I don’t throw up anymore. Learned a word called moderation.
    Smoked incessantly from the age of 15 to 30.
    Swear at other drivers when they cut me off or do 50 in an 80 zone.
    Am strongly pro life and believe all human life is sacred.
    Believe the family is number one priority and everything should be done to preserve the family structure.
    Believe that people should be comfortable in their own bodies and should not distort or manipulate the body we were given…but learn to get along with it.

    11 DAYS TO GO.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 11:34 am

      😀 You’re keeping better track than I am.

      Your views sound about like mine, minus the drinking.

      1. Yes, we have different roles for men and women. That distinction was much more severe in the past, though the church retains rules about only men holding the priesthood and holding the highest positions of authority.
      I, personally, don’t mind the men being in charge like that; many feminists do.

      2. We have no rules for head coverings in public life. Some temple rituals involve wearing a veil or hat.


    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 2:19 pm

      Also, the men and women are separated at church into different areas. The men have a men’s quorum that meets together; same with the young men, young women, and women (called Relief Society). The children under age 11 attend Primary, where teachers are both men and women -but (and this is true across the entire church) we do not allow men and women who are not married to teach together, attend meetings one-on-one, or walk in private areas together.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lesleykluchin November 21, 2019 / 2:53 pm

        That’s interesting . Orthodox Jews separate the men from-the women as well, and have done that since the days of the old Testament. I was raised conservative not orthodox, where men and women sat together, however, only men could touch the Torah or become Rabbi’s. Today’s reformed Jews allow female Rabbis and Cantors. And women can now touch the Torah (The five Books of Moses ). As an adult when the Rabbi came around and women were finally allowed during services to touch the Torah (Each Torah has been hand scribed and is usually very old), I was brought to tears. I remember as a child feeling left out that my brother could carry or touch it and I could not. I’m happy those times have changed. I am a feminist. So seeing female rabbis now I find very inspiring.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 3:47 pm

          Oh, and we all sit together for the general, first meeting (although the bishop and his counselors sit up front, apart from their families).

          Liked by 1 person

  16. Denny K November 21, 2019 / 1:00 pm

    Wow, I didn’t see that coming. I love it when my deep-seated prejudices and preconceptions are challenged. I like to think I am open-minded and then I read the first line of your post and said to myself, ‘really?’ instead of just bobbing my head along thinking, ‘ok, why not?’
    Your featured photo does remind me of scenes I’ve seen around St. George. Although, I don’t recall that many trees. The mountains remain an awe-inspiring sight for me. Is it true that the streets of St. George are so wide so Brigham Young could easily turn his coach around?
    I am a Baptist, and we are known for the things we don’t do…at least when we’re all together on Sunday morning. You know the difference between a Baptist and a Methodist is that a Methodist will say hi when you see them in the liquor store. Sorry. I became a Baptist after I heard they didn’t allow dancing. I’m not sure if its my lack of rhythm or coordination, but, well, you know.
    As you might guess, the caffeine restriction is probably enough to keep me from exploring LDS too closely. Unless you offer half-day memberships. I have done in the past many of the things i choose not to do now. I don’t recall the last time I flipped off another driver. But I have muttered, ‘That was stupid’ or a sarcastic.’Thanks a lot’, which really isn’t much better. Safer, but not better.
    I don’t sport tattoos or piercings, but I’m quite sure that would be different if I was about 20 years younger. That’s another area where I try to not let my preconceptions keep me from meaningful interaction.
    It is amazing to me how freely and naturally colorful language flows in some circles. When did THAT become the favorite meaningless adjective? I don’t think much of hell being a swear word because of the context that I hear it most often. Occasionally I’ll exclaim, ‘holy shit’ which is really a bizarre combination of words. Normally, I’m pretty much a PG speaker.
    I have wondered where you were located. But topics, language and posting times are the only things that spark that curiosity, because location really doesn’t matter that much in this digital age.
    Thanks for your post. It has given me reason to rethink my preconceptions. I like having my thought process challenged.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 1:55 pm

      Thanks for continuing to read after I shocked you. 😉

      I know very little about Baptists, which may be surprising because I DO know there are some communities where the Baptists and Mormons are like the farmers and the cowmen…

      St. George is a small town in the southern part of Utah. If you meant to ask about Salt Lake City, the capital, then your queries are right on. Yes, the streets there were built to accommodate a carriage turning fully around. Brigham Young also insisted on a grid system for addressing the streets. The spacing has allowed for better growth and traffic downtown, and the numbering system makes a world of sense.
      For some reason, Utah lawmakers decided to continue the addressing numbers waaaay out South and West (but not North), so Utah has street numbers like …14600 South or 6200 West. I’m not sure I would have done that, but too late now.

      😀 Your driving sounds like mine. I always assumed I picked up talking to the other drivers from my mom, but maybe everyone does it to stay sane.

      Liked by 2 people

      • gregoryjoel November 22, 2019 / 8:54 am

        I have to smile a bit. I was always told (by my Baptist friend) that wherever there were 4 Baptists there was bound to be a fifth!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Denny K November 22, 2019 / 2:15 pm

          Nice. Not sure if that’s true, but there will definitely be a casserole and fried chicken.


  17. bereavedandbeingasingleparent November 21, 2019 / 1:11 pm

    If you had mentioned it earlier I would have censored some of my language. Certainly going to have rehash today’s poem – I had pushed the boat out….
    Why not coffee?
    I guess it was a similar reaction to my partner. Her family are strict Quakers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 1:46 pm

      Ha ha! You haven’t offended my eyes yet! 😀 I mostly speak up when someone doesn’t venture beyond more cuss words than adjectives in his sentences, so you’re fine.

      Back in the beginnings of when the LDS church was started, Joseph Smith came out with something we call The Word of Wisdom. It included no tobacco or alcohol, and no hot drinks like tea or coffee. Since then, the church has made official statements about what that Word of Wisdom includes, so almost all LDS do not smoke, drink alcohol, do drugs, or drink tea or coffee. Some members go as far as restricting chocolate, though some will drink Mountain Dew or energy shots and then wag their fingers at people downing coffee…

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Heather Dawn November 21, 2019 / 2:00 pm

    I loved this post! It is fascinating for me to get to know the people I follow. I’m from a Mennonite Christain background. Drop the traditional Mennonite beliefs and that’s who I am today.
    I just started drinking coffee this year. I always preferred tea, but yes, I drink it every morning now.
    In summer, I definitely wear shorts, tanks and flip flops and call that dressed lol. But still, within reason. There are inappropriate places to wear such attire. And granted, I feel like summer lasts two days up here so I take full advantage of getting that sun on my albino skin.
    Do you have your own bible in the church of the Latter Day Saints? I never know the differences between types of Christianity, and I couldn’t tell by your posts alone that you believe any differently from me. But I’m sure there are some differences. I’m curious to know though… can you tell from my writing that I would have differences in what I believe? Anyways, I’m glad you’re not ashamed to share. I admire people who can genuinely “own” their faith (or atheism).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 2:14 pm

      Thanks, Heather. Some might call me nosy, I suppose, but I’m genuinely curious about things like this.

      I’ll wear a bathing suit for swimming (of course), but I at least wear t-shirts and long shorts for day clothes. Our summer lasts a BIT longer here. 🙂 I’d love to travel up to Canada since I prefer a cool climate and green areas to the desert landscape.

      In the LDS church, we read the KJV of The Bible. I prefer it as well, but I’m a word nerd. If I could, I’m sure I’d like trying to read scriptures in their original languages. Besides that, we also have The Book of Mormon (which you’ve undoubtedly heard of), the Doctrine and Covenants (a collection of revelations given to Joseph Smith, plus one or two prophets at later dates), and The Pearl of Great Price (supposedly a translation of some papyrus scrolls Joseph Smith acquired, written by Abraham). Besides those, we consider the speeches (we call them ‘talks’) given by church leaders at our semi-annual conferences to be sources of spiritual guidance and inspiration.

      I can tell, by your posts, that you are Christian. What usually happens, for me, is I pick up on the Christian elements and get excited that another person might be LDS -then see some mention of coffee or drinking or pastors. I agree with you that we seem pretty much aligned, though.


  19. Nitin Lalit November 21, 2019 / 2:22 pm

    I belong to the philosophers of Rahh. We’re a relatively unknown group in rural Mississippi. We are shunned by most people because we’re in the Bible Belt. My morning routine includes a ton of coffee, energy drinks and cigarettes. I wear blue jeans and no shirt. I have three nose piercings and four tattoos that state our creed, which is just the word Rahh. We greet each other by saying ‘Rahh’ four times and hence the four tattoos. We believe that everything is Rahh. The women come and the women go, talking of Rahh. I swear a lot, but I say four Rahhs to ensure that I die Rahh. I do drugs and when I’m really high, I converse by uttering four Rahhs now and then. Rahh Rahh Rahh Rahh my Mormon friend. Rahh Rahh Rahh Rahh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 2:27 pm

      If only, Nitin. 😀 Maybe you ought to consider actually starting this sect over in …Mississippi.

      I have thought you could at least look into the LDS theology. Some of the ideas presented there are fascinating, but you’d have to get over your insistence of God being completely separate from man first…


  20. bereavedandbeingasingleparent November 21, 2019 / 4:11 pm

    This is a really daft question. If you can’t have hot drinks can you have things like cuppa soups. I love Mountain Dew. For years I thought it was a Swiss Drink as that was the only place I ever saw it. Now in the UK many shops won’t sell it to kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 8:30 pm

      Not so daft. I’m sure that’s why they’ve specifically outlined what it means since. 🙂
      I’m not a Mountain Dew fan but that’s funny to hear about your thinking it was Swiss. I’m really glad shops won’t sell it to kids; I wish they’d do that here.

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Peregrine Arc November 21, 2019 / 4:41 pm

    Cheers. 😊

    No questions here at the moment but I’d like to say +20 down points for me because I knew what “only man I have known” meant without the asterix.🤓

    Liked by 1 person

  22. H.R.R. Gorman November 21, 2019 / 8:33 pm

    Whew! I tried to read all the comments to seeif people already asked the things I wanted to know, and most of them were!

    My spouse has to travel to Idaho a lot, and many of the people there are Mormons. It seems to me like the engagement periods are very short – how long is a typical engagement in Utah? How long was yours? How do you feel about living only a few hundred miles away from those crazy Idaho Nazi compounds?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 21, 2019 / 8:49 pm

      Excellent question(s)! As part of your answer, keep in mind that LDS people who are dating save sex for after marriage. My engagement wasn’t typical since I met my now-husband in high school.

      What about the crazy survivalist Utahns? Things could get interesting…


  23. gregoryjoel November 22, 2019 / 9:13 am

    *I wasn’t shocked nor am I sure I have any questions. You see, my wife is LDS and I’ve learned so much from her. I was raised Church of Christ (think of ultra-conservative Southern Baptists on steroids). I’m sure my parents would be certain I was going to hell for marrying a lady who is LDS. Heck, they were upset when I started visiting other churches (denominational and non-denominational. To their credit, they mellowed in their old age and became far more accepting of others and myself.

    Although I am not a member of the LDS church, the values they extend are incredible. We have missionaries and home teachers visit the house. They’ve performed blessings for my wife, especially since she’s undergone some medical issues lately. I truly appreciate it when the question on their (and anyone’s) mind is “What can we do to help?”
    I listen intently and question my wife or the home teacher frequently when I see disagreement in our beliefs. I appreciate that when they can’t answer my questions they say “I don’t know but I’ll ask the Bishop”.

    My son asked me one time what Margaret and I had in common. We have widely different musical tastes, hobbies, etc. – all the things that people judge incompatible. The reason we love each other so much is because God is the head of our home and our spiritual values are the same. Everything else is externalities and unimportant.

    Chelsea, I appreciate you for talking about who you are and the basis for your faith. I’m so glad I walk the journey with so many others.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chelsea Owens November 22, 2019 / 2:01 pm

      ❤ This is beautiful. Your marriage sounds more harmonious and functional than mine, and we’re both LDS over here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • gregoryjoel November 23, 2019 / 10:57 am

        I guess “harmonious and functional” are relative terms! We married seven years ago and this is the third for both of us. I guess third time really is the charm. Although we knew each other for several years before we started dating. We married 90 days after our first date! Part of our success hinges in the godly way we courted and I’m sure age played a factor in it. A study among folks who had been married for fifty years plus showed that most had short courtships. It was the general census among the couples they didn’t have time to fall out of love… Blessings to you and yours!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chelsea Owens November 23, 2019 / 7:46 pm

          Thanks! I’m the first to tell people it’s no walk in the park. A commitment, on both people’s part, to making the marriage work and grow is vital.


  24. Benjamin Woolridge November 22, 2019 / 10:38 am

    I did not know that about you but it makes perfect sense. I think you being Mormon gives your writing a unique quality. Just when you think you know a person you learn something new. So cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 22, 2019 / 2:03 pm

      Thanks, B! I hope it doesn’t deter people, so I appreciate your encouraging words.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Benjamin Woolridge November 22, 2019 / 5:13 pm

        I don’t think it will. You’re a skilled writer and that’s what shows up first.

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Pastor Cathy's Estate November 22, 2019 / 8:50 pm

    Thats a busy life, including being a mother. Thank you for caring for the children and yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Lisa Bradshaw November 24, 2019 / 4:57 am

    I use LDS a lot for genealogical research.. They really have done a lot for creation of family trees. I do not like at all those other mormons who have many wives, marry young children and do so in the name of religion. I do believe that most people no matter who we are..(I’m catholic, my mother was.. I don’t go to church but believe and accept Jesus as part of my life).. are just good people, trying to live a good kind life and we hope our kids turn out okay.. I love coffee and have a big cup when I first wake up.. I love your blog and certainly would not stop reading it.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsea Owens November 24, 2019 / 6:59 am

      I forgot all the stuff with family history! Yeah, they’re kind-of nuts about it. I haven’t the time, but love knowing about my ancestors.
      Those “other Mormons” haven’t been so for over a hundred years. I am thoroughly against anyone who takes advantage of youth. I mean -ugh. I plan to devote volunteer hours to stuff like girls in Africa having more chances at life when I’m past this young-mothering.
      I love your blog, too! I can live your beautiful life through your posts.

      Liked by 1 person

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