Meet Moxie Mona.
Mona is traveling to all 50 States and she has been privileged enough to come and stay with me for a while, in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. She is in awe of my Snuggie. What Mona didn't know was that she was coming to stay with a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as a Mormon. (Insert gasp here.)
Like many inanimate dolls, Mona had a lot of misconceptions about Mormons, and had heard a lot of stereotypes about us. I really tried to keep my judging of her to a minimum, but it was a little difficult. Do you see what she's wearing! She makes Britney Spears look modest!
But after the end of her stay with us, I think she came to an understanding about what Mormons are all about. And together, we can fight Mormon stereotypes, just like Mona fights wearing pants. She and Lady Gaga have a lot in common.
Here are some of the myths and stereotypes Mona had heard about Mormons:
1) Mormons are polygamists.
If only this were true. Do you know how difficult it is to have to do the laundry, take out the trash, try to destroy the earth, and take daily naps, all by myself? I could really use a sister wife right about now. And I'm sure Adam would LOVE to have two or three more dishtowels to throw out on the landing.
Polygamy was discontinued by the LDS church in 1890, and is illegal in all 50 States. Any member of the LDS church caught practicing polygamy would actually be excommunicated from the church. There are break-off sects of the LDS church that do practice polygamy, such as the sect in Texas whose compound was raided, but these sects are not affiliated with the Mormon church in any way.
I guess I will have to continue to throw Styrofoam cups into the Great Salt Lake, all by myself. Sigh.
2) Mormons have horns.
Hahahaha. What a silly myth!
Everyone knows that Mormons have giant green ears, like Shrek.
Why else do you think us Utah Mormons love giant, ratted hair? The Bumpit was an answer to my prayers. It completely hides my Shrek-like ears.
(Last time I checked, I didn't have horns or green ears. A tail is an entirely different matter, of course.)
3) Mormons have a gazillion children.
Listen, The Duggars are really putting a cramp in our style. They aren't even Mormon!!! How are we supposed to compete with 19 children? My uterus hurts just thinking about it.
The family is the main focus of the LDS faith. We believe that families are eternal and will be together after this life as well. Many Mormon couples do have large families. But it's not required to have 10 children in order to be a good church member. The focus is mainly on having healthy, strong families, whether it's a family of three or a family of twelve.
We don't have any children yet. And I'm very old. I'm almost 32! I feel like Sarah from the Old Testament. I did have a near miss with a lightening strike once, but I somehow managed to escape.
4) Mormons and the Amish are one and the same.
I'm pretty sure I watch more TV than the editor of TV Guide. And in a fire, if it came down to saving my framed picture of "The Hoff" or one of my DVRs, I would have to go with my DVR. That way, I could still watch "The Hoff" every week, as well as KBYU, of course.
I'm also a bit more of a hussy than Amish women. I will show a bit of an ankle now and again. I've even been known to flaunt my elbow on special occasions.
I think that a lot of people confuse Mormons with Mennonites. The Amish, or Amish Mennonites, live very simple lives, dress very plainly, and don't adopt most of modern society's conveniences, such as electricity. Mormons LOVE electricity. Have you noticed how many of us bloggers there are? If I could put electricity in green jello and eat it, I would.
5) Mormons don't drink soda.
This is true. Most Mormons actually have a Diet Coke IV shoved into their veins. Drinking it takes too much time.
Mona got a little carried away up there, and is actually in a Diet Coke coma.
Mormons do follow what we call The Word of Wisdom, which is a type of health code. We don't drink coffee, caffeinated tea, or alcohol. Also, we don't smoke, or use tobacco. Soda is not off limits, but many Mormons choose not to drink caffeinated soda as well. However, it is not prohibited by the LDS church.
6) Mormons are all white, Republican, and live in Utah.
I think I saw a Mormon Democrat once. I couldn't be entirely certain, as I didn't get close enough. It was kind of like trying to capture Sasquatch or The Loch Ness Monster on film.
Oh, and since no one is going to read this, I feel like I can safely say this here. I am a registered Independent. Did I just hear someone faint?
Only 12% of Mormons actually live in Utah, and there are more LDS members outside of the United States than inside. Mormons are affiliated with all political parties and there have been many high-ranking LDS church leaders who are registered Democrats.
7) Mormons are not Christians.
The full name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The very first and main tenet of our religion is faith in Jesus Christ. Our church may not fit the traditional mold of a Christian church, but we profess a belief in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings.
So there you have it. Moxie Mona and I had a delightful time visiting the sites in Salt Lake City, including the This Is The Place Heritage Park. I really had to wonder why the pioneers just didn't use cars. Seems like things would have been a lot easier!
Kristina lives in Utah with her husband and her well traveled Snuggie. Kristina is a full-time social worker, bringing joy, rainbows, and metaphorical unicorns to all the people she works with, on a daily basis. In her spare time, she can be found reading blogs, knitting blankets for disadvantaged hairless animals, shunning Twilight, and wearing high heels while vacuuming. Kristina's dream job is to write for Conan O'Brien, or to move to Alaska and work on an oil rig. She'll take whichever one gives her squeezy cheese for lunch. She blogs at Pulsipher Predilections.