I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon; so I do not watch, read, listen to, or participate in immoral things.

Believe me -this was the least raunchy one when I searched for ‘sexy.’
Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

It’s about virtue.

Virtue “is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards.” It encompasses chastity and moral purity. Virtue begins in the heart and in the mind. It is nurtured in the home. It is the accumulation of thousands of small decisions and actions. Virtue is a word we don’t hear often in today’s society, but the Latin root word virtus means strength. Virtuous women and men possess a quiet dignity and inner strength. They are confident because they are worthy to receive and be guided by the Holy Ghost.

LDS Gospel Topics, “Virtue”

As youth, we who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are advised to avoid violent or immoral films, to not listen to risqué music, to never look at pornography, and to keep our thoughts and actions clean. As adults, we’re expected to live similar standards in order to answer questions of worthiness to attend LDS temples (more on that, later). Those questions involve being honest, having a testimony of key gospel points, and striving for moral cleanliness.

As such, I’m not likely to join a swingers group. I am careful about the movies I see. I’m rather prudish in my thinking. Really, it goes along with clean living regarding not drinking alcohol or coffee, not smoking, and trying not to curse. We want a thoroughly clean aspect.

©2022 Chel Owens

……

Technically, we Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

67 thoughts on “I’m a Mormon, So…

  1. John Teal March 28, 2022 / 10:23 am

    There is peace in following the prophet !

    Thanks for sharing from a fellow Latter-day Saint

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 28, 2022 / 3:17 pm

      There is. Thanks for the thanks. 😀

      Like

  2. trentpmcd March 28, 2022 / 10:55 am

    What, no coffee? That would make it so much harder to avoid the cursing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 28, 2022 / 3:20 pm

      Don’t worry; I’ve seen some of what I’m missing and I agree. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jules March 28, 2022 / 11:27 am

    In general I do believe that all people want to be good. Fun has different layers.

    I like the line for Las Vegas… what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
    I think certain privacy should be respected.
    Virtue is a good word. Being strong allows for good choices. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nope, Not Pam March 28, 2022 / 12:49 pm

    This is an interesting one, for it’s a matter of judgement, isn’t it? I personally feel I’m quite virtuous, I don’t deliberately seek out anything immoral, but I’ve read books which have questionable themes. The monk being a prime example. I’m wonder at the difficult of maintaining this one. It’s a bit grey

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 28, 2022 / 3:25 pm

      Everything is ultimately you (well, you and God). The bishop isn’t in your bedroom with you, after all. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nope, Not Pam March 29, 2022 / 4:15 am

        Trust and honesty seem to be huge components in your faith

        Liked by 1 person

  5. petespringerauthor March 28, 2022 / 1:55 pm

    While we generally have a good idea of what’s right and wrong, I’ll bet there’s some disagreement in religions about what qualifies as immoral and moral. I’m curious about the objection to coffee. Is it because caffeine is a drug? Wouldn’t this also disqualify soda?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 28, 2022 / 3:29 pm

      There may be disagreement, of course. Many things are spelled right out; others are up to you and God.

      I speculated a bit with others back when I first talked about the no coffee. Coffee and tea (and alcohol) are specifically banned, while soda pop could be taken as discouraged since we follow general good health guidelines.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Richmond Road March 28, 2022 / 4:12 pm

    It seems that everyone is pointing out, one way or another, that acting virtuously and morally is a fairly standard goal for all religions (and applies equally so to we atheists) … so there is nothing particularly Mormon about that (nor are you claiming so, of course). What seems to be, and is always, in question, is the definition of virtuosity and morality. I think you are absolutely right to point out that, for the most part, this is a matter between you and God. I do question the right of any church to ‘tell’ you what is moral and virtuous. I understand that the guidance of the church might be very helpful in making your own decisions.
    I think we should all be very suspicious when told that this or that, ‘is not virtuous, immoral, don’t do it’ or, even worse, ‘it is not permitted’.
    Religious organisations, particularly the extreme versions (and I’m not putting Mormons into that basket) are notorious for the restriction of information to followers – my own argument is that religions are based upon a fear of the truth, and have a vested interest in concealing it (I certainly don’t expect you to agree with that, Chel!)
    Information is to be found in lots of places, and it is hard to cut the sources of information off from a person without physically incarcerating them. But if I was to be asked of the best ways of limiting information, to restrict personal development and encourage compliancy, I would quickly suggest placing strict limitations on art, literature, sex and drugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 28, 2022 / 6:31 pm

      Yes to many of these. The LDS church *does* define many things considered immoral that I didn’t enumerate. Those include chastity, fidelity, and monogamy. They include no incest, pedophilia, or gay sodomy. -so, would you say a church has no right to forbid those?

      I agree that many religions limit knowledge and discourage questioning what is taught. I’ve heard things like, “It’s God’s will. We don’t question that.” My experience in the LDS faith has been an encouragement to seek knowledge, to find things out for myself and build my personal testimony, and to grow in wisdom and experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Richmond Road March 28, 2022 / 8:19 pm

        I think it’s great that the LDS church encourages the questioning mind, if that is your experience.
        I suppose I am not saying that a church has no right to forbid things – for upon signing on to any organised religion you are, effectively, handing over certain rights to them. That is what I find very wrong.
        Interestingly, you seem to be focusing on sexual matters and I do find it alarming that the church so often seems obsessed with such things. With the exception of pedophilia (it’s a bit alarming that you list it alongside the others) I would argue that these should be entirely personal decisions. And why do you specify ‘gay sodomy’? Does that imply that anal sex in a monogamous heterosexual relationship is fine, but in a monogamous homosexual relationship it is wrong? Or are you actually saying that homosexual sex (and therefore homosexuality itself) is wrong?

        Liked by 2 people

        • Chel Owens March 28, 2022 / 9:00 pm

          Yours is always an interesting perspective. Why is it “signing on to… hand… over certain rights?” Why isn’t it understanding that doing the things the church teaches will improve your life? It’s always your choice -you know, unless you’re Copernicus. We’re a bit past those times, though.

          I was attempting to list the sexual sins specifically outlined by the LDS church. And, yes, gay sex is immoral and a sin. That’s not a very popular stance these days.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Richmond Road March 28, 2022 / 11:24 pm

            Thank you for that response. Your perspective and indeed the perspective of the church, is always interesting to me likewise.
            I think when you become a card carrying member of any organisation you implicitly make an agreement to follow that organisations rules. If you are a smoker, for example, and the rules of the organisation state that no smoking is permitted on the premises, then you agree to abide by that, even though you are personally in favour of people being allowed that freedom of choice in a more general sense. In the case of the church, of course, the ‘premises’ is planet earth, so smoking is off the personal agenda full stop. I imagine that within the LDS church there are people who disagree with certain rules (homosexual sex may be one of them) but nevertheless agree to abide by them for what they perceive as the overall good. But, as you say, it is very difficult to put a valid argument up for that particular rule in this century.
            So, whilst you have the freedom of choice to be a part of the church or not you are, once having made that choice, voluntarily giving up other freedoms.
            The argument that doing things that the church teaches will improve your life is difficult to support. Even after following all the rules to the letter and coming to the end of your life and acknowledging that you have had a wonderful life, you cannot say with absolute certainty, that your life may not have been even better had you lived it as a drunken, promiscuous, homosexual drug addict.

            Whilst we are on the subject of sex …. do you not find it odd that the Catholics confess their sexual ‘sins’ to the priest who, by definition, should have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, and further that this lack of ‘knowledge’ would seemingly have led to atrocious sins on the part of the priests themselves?

            By way of an amusing religious based story – I have a niece who joined the Carmelites as a nun in a silent order. I used to visit her in an Austrian monastery where we could see each other through the bars of a small window and touch fingers. Essentially she wasn’t permitted to speak for about 7 years. Since leaving the monastery (but whilst still very much part of the church) the rules, for her, have changed, and it is now almost impossible to shut her up. All those words that got stuck inside just come gushing out.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Chel Owens March 29, 2022 / 12:15 am

              First point: why is sin a ‘freedom?’ Why is following law not? Choosing not to smoke is no different than choosing not to steal from a store.
              And I heartily disagree with your concluding statement. Having experienced some aberrant choices and mostly observing those of others (“drunken, promiscuous, homosexual drug addicts”) I can, with certainty, come most of the way through life already and say my life is better the way I’ve lived it. Can you?
              I understand your desire to not believe; surely no one can say something for sure. Surely, no one has truth or real conviction -right? We cannot know whether the cat is really in the box or that the tree is really falling in the forest -right?

              But… what if you can? What if you, RR, came to a place of mental quiet and spiritual happiness?

              Second point: I’ve often wondered that about the Catholic confession as well. I suppose it’s part of their training?

              Your niece joined a silent order? How neat! I’ve dreamed of being a nun. What would it be like? How funny that now she’s gushing words. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • Richmond Road March 29, 2022 / 4:14 am

                I preface all with the very honest statement that I never mean to offend or, if I do, it will be very obvious. I have certainly no intention of offending you.
                So ….
                First point: I don’t think we are really debating what freedom is. But we may be debating what sin is. I think I am taking the line that we are all free to decide what sin is, but, we must also acknowledge that certain things, murder for example, are fairly universally taken as ethically unacceptable within society. Whether or not any individual accepts murder as acceptable is rendered purely academic in practical terms. People were well aware that murder was detrimental to society well before Moses ever mentioned to them. But I can’t accept that something is a sin because the church tells me so (or the bible for that matter). So the problem, as I see it is that (for example) 1. I don’t engage in promiscuous sex because I know from observation and experience that to do so would be detrimental to my existence – in which case the church’s opinion is rendered irrelevant; or 2. I don’t engage in promiscuous sex because the church tells me that to do so would be detrimental to my existence – in which case my own observation and experience is rendered irrelevant. The two positions are mutually exclusive.

                Just for the record … I’m not a drunken, promiscuous, homosexual drug addict (because, you know, I’ve really had to cut back on the booze in old age) but I know and love a lot of people who reside in some or all of these categories. Have their lives been happier or less happy than mine? That’s hard to say – I’d like to think my balance has been a little better than some of them. Are they evil sinners? Most definitely not.

                You say, with conviction, that your life, has been better the way you have lived it and so I ask you … better than what? Better than mine? How could you possibly know? Better than my drunken, promiscuous, homosexual drug addict friends? How could you possibly know? Don’t worry. I don’t know either.

                I don’t have a desire to ‘not believe’. I think believing must be great. But I don’t believe.

                Second point: Well, yes. They are trained. But, in this case, it would be like training a footballer without ever letting him touch a football.

                Third point, my niece: Yes, she did! And I don’t really think she has a lot to say negatively about the experience. She now lives with her mother (who is also devout in her slightly alternative Catholicism) and they fight almost continuously. Jane (my niece) always insists on driving and drives like a lunatic (as though her life really was in God’s hands), and I have travelled in the back seat with both of them screaming at each other in the front, through these narrow Austrian backroads and felt compelled to yell over the mayhem, “for Christ’s sake, can somebody apart from me keep an eye on the road???” It’s a hoot.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Chel Owens March 29, 2022 / 10:30 am

                  Ah. Since I do not define sin as something either “ethically acceptable” (those lines change) or “what the church tells me” but instead follow “what commandments are in the scriptures and told by leaders in the LDS church that I have thereafter prayed about for myself,” we were not quite seeing eye to eye. 🙂

                  I do not insinuate that I know how a specific promiscuous drug addiction feels. I instead imagined myself taking that road and expressed how I would view my life versus where I’m at now.

                  I would be terrified driving with your niece and her mother, although I would also see the wild humor of it. 😀

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Richmond Road March 29, 2022 / 2:31 pm

                  Hmmm …. ok …. so it just happens to be coincidental that ‘what the church tells you’ (isn’t that the same as ‘what commandments are in the scriptures and told by leaders of the LDS church’?) and what you have thereafter prayed about match perfectly?
                  I’m afraid that ‘imagining yourself taking that road’ and actually taking it are two very different things. Still, I think we can agree that drug ‘addiction’ is not a desirable state.
                  And speaking of roads …. no – steer well clear when my niece and her mother are on one.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Chel Owens March 29, 2022 / 2:50 pm

                  I mean that I hear a commandment from scripture or the leaders, then pray about it if I’m not sure it’s a good idea, then go with the personal revelation I receive.

                  Of course they are different things. Still, I think s person can use accurate judgment about herself and about what she hears others describe to determine what destinations might lie at the end of what roads.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Richmond Road March 29, 2022 / 3:49 pm

                  I probably shouldn’t keep babbling on about this – I have taken up too much space on your blog already ….
                  But are you suggesting that your personal revelations are sometimes different from the teachings of the church? If (theoretically) your revelations indicated to you that group sex was actually no sin at all, and really quite a good idea, then how would that work, as a Mormon?

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Chel Owens March 29, 2022 / 6:59 pm

                  An interesting question. Completely off the books, the answer is, “Yes.” The authorities of the LDS Church would, naturally, also need to be conferred with since your example is something expressly forbidden. I’ve only disagreed with church direction twice; unfortunately, nothing so interesting as an orgy.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Richmond Road March 29, 2022 / 7:05 pm

                  Ha ha! Good for you!
                  Somethings are far less interesting than they sound, anyway.

                  Liked by 1 person

              • Richmond Road March 29, 2022 / 5:25 am

                And look …. I’m sure you would not really see the decision not to smoke as equivalent to the decision not to commit theft. You might have not quite expressed that in the manner that you intended.

                Like

          • An Artist Named M March 29, 2022 / 4:44 am

            For the record sodomy isn’t the only form of sex in a homosexual relationship.

            Like

            • Chel Owens March 29, 2022 / 10:23 am

              Yeah…. funny thing is that I was just going to write “sodomy,” but it isn’t the same as the Bible anymore…

              Like

  7. Tippy Gnu March 28, 2022 / 4:19 pm

    I’m the opposite. I want to read, listen to, and watch just about anything that is shunned or banned by “polite” society. Just as long as everything is consensual and no one is being harmed. It keeps my mind open to new ideas, and I think it helps me to be more effective at dealing with this crazy world.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens March 28, 2022 / 6:35 pm

      🤔 Interesting, Mr. Gnu. Now, tell me about your childhood …oh, wait; you already have. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. CarolCooks2 March 28, 2022 / 8:24 pm

    Interesting post and comments…some of which I agree with and some I don’t…I like to think I have morals and live as good a life as I can…I don’t smoke but I do like a sundowner(moderation)…I have never watched porn and wouldn’t I also don’t (really ) don’t like swearing, especially in books/films it offends me and the other day I was absolutely horrified at a word pertaining to a body part that was on TV..that channel was changed pretty quickly and I sought a promise from the grandchildren that they would not be watching that channel and if I can block it I certainly will(I am not tech-minded with Tv’s and the like…but censorship to point does bother me as sometimes we have to see to learn what is wrong and right for ourselves… and many things should be kept behind closed doors and not in the public domain…nuff said 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens March 28, 2022 / 9:07 pm

      Sounds fine to me. I follow what’s between me and God; what feels right according to His spirit.

      There’s plenty of psychological evidence that a developing mind cannot process the sorts of images and language in an adult film. Once they are more developed, of course, it will be up to them to decide -and also to decide for their children.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Frank Hubeny March 28, 2022 / 8:54 pm

    Good point from the teaching: “Virtue begins in the heart and in the mind. It is nurtured in the home. It is the accumulation of thousands of small decisions and actions.” Good advice to avoid violent and immoral films.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Richmond Road March 29, 2022 / 4:20 am

      I think we all know what a ‘violent’ film is Frank, but how would you define an ‘immoral’ one?

      Like

      • Frank Hubeny March 29, 2022 / 11:48 am

        I see immoral films as not only pornographic movies, but those which tolerate or condone all forms of behavior which goes against the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. What is immoral is only so because it goes against God’s commands. That would be a sort of divine command theory of morality.

        Like

        • Richmond Road March 29, 2022 / 3:44 pm

          Then how would you define a ‘pornographic’ movie? Like …. are bare breasts and bums ok but no genitals? Passionate kissing is fine, but only between fully dressed people? This is a serious question. What, actually, is pornographic?
          And as for words in an old book (the original version of which is very much out of print) translated and rewritten over and over again over eons ……. well, Frank, I think we will just have to agree to differ on that, the very idea of ‘God’s commands’ being so utterly ludicrous to me.

          Like

          • Frank Hubeny March 29, 2022 / 9:00 pm

            Regarding a pornographic movie consider Matthew 5:27-28. Based on this a pornographic movie would be one that encouraged you to look at a woman with lust.

            Regarding the divine command theory of morality, see G.E.M. Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy” for more on it. Given Anscombe’s essay it doesn’t surprise me that you would find the idea “utterly ridiculous”. That would be the assessment of philosophers since Kant. However, I see no just alternative to it.

            Like

            • Richmond Road March 30, 2022 / 2:28 am

              Thanks Frank. Matthew didn’t have a lot to say about movies, of course, and interpretation is always a risky business. But, that considered, it would seem to suggest that male homosexual movies would be ok, though I realise that sort of stuff is vaguely covered elsewhere in the scriptures. But, even so, you’d have to concede that what might encourage one man to look at a woman with lust may be different to another. And is it a question of intent? A movie may effectively encourage me to look at a woman with lust, regardless of whether the film maker intended it. Is one permitted to look upon one’s wife with lust? Likewise Mathew seems a bit unclear about how women may react – heterosexual women, anyway.
              So it all remains a bit hazy.
              Yes, in order for ‘divine command’ to have any meaning one must first have faith in the divine.

              Like

              • Frank Hubeny March 30, 2022 / 9:08 am

                Exactly, as you say, “in order for ‘divine command’ to have any meaning one must first have faith in the divine.”

                If one tries to do this without faith and obedience, one will be reduced to rationalizations which are even riskier than interpretations. They also lead to injustice which was Anscombe’s complaint against moral philosophers since Kant.

                Besides without God there is no point in talking about “morality”. Anscombe even suggested that “moral” philosophers go back to Aristotelian virtue “ethics” because their rationalizations without God go no further than that. They do not reach the level of morality without introducing the immorality of injustice.

                Like

                • Richmond Road March 30, 2022 / 5:26 pm

                  I don’t know. It seems to me that we all have a fairly consistent idea of right and wrong which, I would hypothesise, is the result of eons of human experience. Religions have merely formalised what people already knew. One way or another, for example, most of us have figured out the coveting one’s neighbour’s wife tends to lead to undesirable social consequences more Fien than not – so it might be best to curb that type of thinking a bit.
                  We don’t need God to tell us these things, it’s startlingly obvious already.
                  Sometimes I imagine God looking down upon His creation and murmuring to himself, “why did I even bother giving you humans brains?”

                  Like

    • Chel Owens March 29, 2022 / 10:32 am

      😀 I have six kids…

      Like

  10. An Artist Named M March 29, 2022 / 4:33 am

    I searched sexy in Pexels…yeah that algorithm is a bit off lol…there are some weird photos mixed in

    Like

  11. Jim Borden April 2, 2022 / 7:25 am

    does the LDS church publish a list of which movies are not to be seen by its members?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens April 2, 2022 / 8:48 am

      No. That would be interesting, though.

      Like

    • Chel Owens April 2, 2022 / 8:51 am

      In practice, members use a personal gauge. Some, like Frank, recognize how poorly most movies keep things clean and therefore stay away from most popular films. Most seem to fast-forward ‘bad parts’ like a sex scene if there are only one or two. Some like filtering services like VidAngel; the film industry does its darnedest to shut those types down, though.

      Like

  12. hbsuefred April 10, 2022 / 10:41 am

    Here’s another instance where my idiot ex-spouse “broke the rules.” He also said he couldn’t come to Mom’s house because it was “too Jewish.” If that’s not “against the rules” it should be!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens April 10, 2022 / 12:33 pm

      😀 Agreed. We’re taught to treat everyone how Heavenly Father would want them to be treated.

      Liked by 1 person

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