Mormon Culture

There are some who consider themselves Catholic despite having never stepped in a Catholic church and may not even have been baptised Catholic. But his ancestors were Catholic, so he is.

Some call themselves Jewish despite the fact that she’s never had a Bat Mitzvah, never stepped in a synagogue and even eat pork. But her ancestors were Jewish, so she is.

Has Mormonism arrived at the point yet where being Mormon is more than just being baptised? Can someone rightly claim to being Mormon even if s/he has never been baptised, but her/his parents and grandparents were?

12 thoughts on “Mormon Culture

  1. I don’t believe that it’s correct to say “rightly claim” because technically without baptism, you just plain aren’t a member of the church.

    However, I do think that if you’re a part of the community, know the customs, attend the meetings, and are fairly ingrained in the lifestyle, you could make the claim that you’re a part of it.

  2. I don’t know if it is inevitable that we’ll get to the point where this kind of identification is as natural for cultural/ethnic Mormons as it is for cultural/ethnic Catholics or Jews. It may be something that comes with age. But I don’t think we’re there yet.

    I think most Mormons who identify with the church culturally, but who don’t attend/believe still feel the need to qualify their Mormonness in ways that Catholic/Jewish inactives do not. My sister has been a believeing inactive member for thirty years and calls herself a Jackie Mormon, rather than simply Mormon. And most of my friends/aquantances who no longer attend/believe say they were “raised” Mormon or “I’m Mormon but I don’t go anymore.”

  3. My sister who is totally inactive and claims she doesn’t want to have anything to do with the church, refuses to have her name removed.

    But if you ask her if she’s Mormon, she’ll say no.

    Saying it doesn’t make it so or not so.

  4. Tara

    This is how my inactive brothers and sister see it too. They refer to “Mormons”, and don’t include themselves in the category, although they are all still members.

  5. One of the players on “Survivor” right now refers to himself as “a gay mormon,” yet he’s never been baptised, according to news reports. His parents apparently were LDS as are other relatives.

  6. While serving my mission in Quebec, I found there was a very strong sense of being “Catholique” that had little to do with whether one went to mass. Saying you were Catholic was like saying you spoke French at home–it was a big part of people’s identity as Quebecois. One of the barriers we had as missionaries was that people believed we were there to make them stop being Quebecois. Considering the history of French Canadians’ struggles not to be crushed or swallowed up by competing cultures, I can see why it’s a sensitive issue.

  7. In many cases, if you know what the church is all about then it is difficult to say that you are a mormon if you are not active at some level. I feel that the LDS church holds very high expectations of what members should be doing (and rightly so). It seems that it is not as much the case for catholics/jews – I may be wrong. I guess I feel that saying you are a mormon publically is more meaningful in how you live your life than it is for many other religions. Of course there will be exceptions in both camps.

  8. Let me try this again.

    I feel that the church holds high expectations for what it means to be a member in terms of how you live your life (rightly so). For someone who knows what the church is about it would be difficult to say that you are a member when you are not walking the walk. I feel that is more the case for the mormon church than either jews/catholics or protestants (I could be wrong). Saying that your a mormon is more meaningful in terms of who you are and what you do than in any other religion.

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