What Kind of Mormon Are You?

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Over on the Sunstone Blog, Stephen Carter writes, “Right now we have four kinds of Mormons: active, inactive, jack, and ex.” He goes on to say that he would like to see two new kinds of Mormons:

New Mormon #1: Emeritus Mormon. We have general authority emeriti right? Why can?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t we have Mormon emeriti? Why can?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t someone come through, serve us as brilliantly as Richard [Dutcher] did, and then move on?

and new mormon #2:

New Mormon #2: (Sorry, I can?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t think of a name for them yet.) These Mormons take their religion seriously. It gives their life meaning and purpose. They believe that it will perpetuate itself into eternity. They have faith in their fellow Mormons. So much so, that when a fellow Mormon leaves, New Mormon #2s treat it as a farewell to a friend who is about to tour the world.

Can you think of any others that should be added to the list? Here, along with the basic four, are a few off the top of my head. Some are more serious than others, and there is some crossover between items but I’m hoping they will get you thinking.

  • Active-Mormon
  • Inactive-Mormon
  • Jack-Mormon
  • Ex-Mormon
  • Less-active-Mormon*
  • Feminist-Mormon
  • Intellectual-Mormon
  • Anti-Mormon
  • Molly-Mormon / Peter Priesthood
  • Apathetic Mormon
  • Post-Mormon
  • Dry-Mormon
  • Catholic-Mormon
  • Fundamentalist-Mormon
  • Black-Mormon
  • Gay-Mormon
  • Social-Mormon
  • Genetic-Mormon (Mormon by family or birth)
  • New convert-Mormon
  • Disillusioned-Mormon
  • Married to a Mormon
  • Non-Mormon

*in case there is some difference between less-active and inactive.

Do you know any of these Mormons? What kind of Mormon are you?

38 thoughts on “What Kind of Mormon Are You?

  1. I’m sort of a pro-gospel, anti-social mormon. I like the gospel. Believe the doctrine. Can’t stand most of the members or the unnecessary social aspect of church culture.

  2. I am/was a Genetic Mormon. Born into a family who can’t see outside the box and imagine any other way of thinking. So when I told them at 15 that I wanted to start looking at other religions and seeing if it was true…they freaked out. I never believed that the doctrine was true, and was being told that IT WAS. I just wasn’t in tune or faithful enough apparently. I am still not quite treated the same by my family.

    However, I am still a very spiritual person.

  3. I am an active/(ok coming to terms with this next part) semi-feminist Mormon. Non-traditionalist is some ways, perhaps traditionalist in others. My testimony is strong, my belief is irrevocable, but I don’t take it for granted. Perfect? Nope, far from it. I don’t like the “culture” for the most part, but it usually doesn’t bother me, I just roll my eyes and do my thing. The doctrine I believe, and I don’t worry about some things I am not totally clear on. It comes with time.

  4. How about “Casual Mormon”? Weekly church-goer, love the Book of Mormon, believe in the restoration but has trouble keeping up with home teaching/callings and have never been to the temple.

    Also can include the folk who show up for Sacrament Meeting but skip Sunday School. (This is what I would do a few years ago, although I find myself enjoying G&D class more than anything, these days.)

  5. Kim, how can you second casual Mormon’s submission? You do your home teaching, fulfill your calling and have been to the temple.

    And I should clarify, when I say culture, I don’t mean the positive LDS Culture, I mean the “Mormon” culture of “you are someone if you have 30 generations of Mormons in your family history and we invite all of those descendants to every important event in our immediate family and you are only a mormon if you vote conservative”. That part I ignore because it is worth ignoring.

  6. There is such thing as a New Order Mormon-one that doen’t believe the church is true but remains for either cultural or family reasons.

    I call myself a
    Skeptical Mormon – One that is very skeptical of the claims made by the Mormon church. Theese are people that are currently in a “crisis of faith” and are in transition to leave the church.

  7. Me, I’m a Mormon who cannot contemplate ever leaving the Church, though I think Smith (and perhaps Jesus himself) was a fraud. Nevertheless, I never tire of stressing that the Church is about far more than its murky past. True, I think I’d rather we had a paid clergy open to women, than a lay one, and that doubt could be openly expressed at Church, instead of suppressed. Meetings are simply toolong/too boring. I therfore do not attend at present. But I am very loyal in my defence of Mormons, hate seeing people formerly leave (because few come back), and still see Mormonism as potentially one of the world’s great religions. I’m an inactive, non-believer, who detests the well-meaning but misplaced assumption of members that if I go to Church and announce I am a member, that I am therefore ripe for fellowshipping back into orthodoxy, or that I need a calling or home teaching.

    I am particularly proud of the emergence of second and third generation members and their achievements in the UK (where I was born and raised), and indeed, here in Australia wher I reside.

    I detest anti-Mormons, the smugness of so- called Postmormons (a contradiction in terms surely-I was born and raised as a Jew and the concept of descibing myself as ‘PostJewish’ seems utterly unthinkable)and those who talk of ‘Mormons’ and ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’interchangeably.

    So, I am an agnostic, with a love for, and a fascination with, Mormons and Mormonism that knows few bounds; but I have not attended Church since 1995 (I joined at 18 in 1975).

    What kind of Mormon does that make me? In a nutshell, probably an ‘Eccentric Mormon’. In all seriousness, though, there are aspects of Refom Mormonism I find intriguing. One is the emphasis on perhaps my favourite JS doctrine, that of eternal progression. A pity the Church leadership seems to have abandoned the idea, or at least seems to hope it will pass awway unnoticed.


  8. I should in fairness explain (writing this in haste, half-asleep at 4.55am in Melbourne, Australia) that in decrying the term ‘Postmormon’ I am referring to those raised within the Church and formerly immersed within the culture, in particular, multi-generational members. The term ‘Postmormon’ could admittedly, be validly applied to those who join the Church of their own volition and eventually leave, which has no real parallel with the Jewish tradition, where virtually all can trace their Jewish heritage back into distant history.

  9. I would vote for one more descriptor. Utah-Mormon.

    You can almost always tell a Utah-Mormon versus other ones.

  10. There is. I don’t know what it is either, but there is something about them, and many southern Albertans fall into the “Utah Mormon” category (but the main thing I find irritating is when they refer to anywhere outside of Utah as “The Mission Field”. The whole world, including Utah is the mission field.)

  11. One thing I’ve noticed is that Utah has some very distinctive accents that show up in speaking. Of course, the most famous characteristics are the ones that show up on Sanpete County and some other southern/central regions, such as “harse” for horse and “form” for “farm.” But there are others that you’ll notice throughout the state if you listen carefully. Lloyd Newell has a rather strong Utah accent, though he’s a well-accomplished professional announcer. He’ll say “rill” for real, for instance.

    While watching the movie Charlie I was distracted by the characters who were supposed to be from New York City and were speaking in very thick Utah accents.

  12. …I’m fairly sure, though, that those characteristics are shared as much by non-Mormons as Mormons in Utah.

  13. but the main thing I find irritating is when they refer to anywhere outside of Utah as “The Mission Field”.

    One of the things I found irritating during the period when I lived in Utah, and in fact still do find irritating, was when people from outside Utah would adopt an attitude of superiority and start talking derisively about “Utah Mormons.” I usually find such comments founded in bigotry.

    Please don’t misunderstand—I’m not accusing rick or Mary of taking that attitude. But I’ve seen an awful lot of it in the Church. “Oh, I wouldn’t want to raise my kid around all those Utah Mormons.” I usually respond with something like, “Utah Mormon—you mean like Gordon Hinckley? I think he turned out OK.”

  14. Things that bothered me on my mission was when members would phone our mission president if we bought a Coke. Or they’d stop us in a restaurant if we were eating meat in the summer. Or they’d phone the mission president if we stayed in our apartment for dinner any longer than an hour, or left any later than 9:30 or got home any later than 21:30.

    But then they’d invite us to their house for supper and practically throw their teenaged daughters at us.


    And don’t get me started on the whole onions and Jell-O thing.

  15. All very weird, but aren’t there weird members all over the world?

    (Onions and Jell-o? Yikes—I never encountered that one, even when I lived there. Actually, I never encountered the Coke/meat/missionary schedule busybodies, either, but that’s just my experience.)

  16. It may only be a phenom that missionaries in Utah experience. I served in SLC and I experienced the Coke/missionary schedule busybodies. Some members generally believed they were your mission president. It was great!

  17. As Kim has said, in Utah Provo mission “Every member a Mission President”. :)

    He still loved his mission though.

    I think Duncan is right, the missionaries experience it, not the general population.

    Oh and Kim has a story involving jello with sour cream. Nasty suprise when you think it’s whipping cream. Jell is a dessert, people!!!

  18. I agree with ola senor in comment 8. I get pretty worried when I see people divide themselves up into factions and “types.” I hope we’ll strive more to be of one heart and one mind than to be categorized. Moses 7:18.

  19. “and many southern Albertans fall into the “Utah Mormon” category”

    Mary, I believe the term you are looking for is “Raymond Mormon”.

    re: #27

    Interesting…. how would you go about developing an atmosphere of “one heartedness and one mindedness”? I would think this would require a great amount of tolerance, empathy, and understanding on the part of each individual. In a world full of people who only look to push their point of view on everybody else, this Enochian task seems to get harder every day.

    How would you bring about the change ltbugaf?

  20. The ones I think likely exist and are going to be fascinating are Mormons that might have been good honest people who went about living their lives maybe even existing in the background somewhere that maybe even were kind of unnoticed yet had their calling and election made sure.

    By the way,

    Just in case you were wondering, I’m not one of them.

    I know you probably thought I was though, didn’t you?

  21. By the way, in answer to the question of what kind of a Mormon am I, I am a convert of 34 years.

    There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind of the truthfulness of the church.

    I’ve lived both sides and seen the difference.

    There’s nothing else out there that even comes close.

    You can’t hide from the truth.

    I’ve been through all the anti-Mormon stuff. I think those people are morons.

    If I had to be a Pentecostal, I would kill myself.

    I don’t go to church for the people.

    Sometimes I’d just really rather stay home and vegetate, but I go anyway to show what side I’m on and be a supporter.

    I think that someday we will find out there were horses.

  22. You forgot to close with ,”…and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ”, Garry.

    I mean, as long as you’re bearing your online testimony and everything…

  23. If it makes you happy, why not; although, I didn’t see it as such.

    The question was what kind of a Mormon are you? That was my answer.

    Although I make no pretense of living a perfect life, as far as the gospel goes, I see it a pretty much cut and dried. Either it’s true or not.

    If it’s not, why waste our time? We could go and relax at the beach or go to the river or whatever.
    If it’s false, so is tithing so keep the money. If it is true, shut up and stand up for the truth.

    Guess what. No matter what I think or anybody else thinks, we can’t hide from the truth. If you don’t know for sure, I highly recommend you figure it out.

  24. “either it’s true or not.”~Agreed.

    “if it’s not, why waste our time?”~Agreed.

    “if you don’t know for sure, i highly recommend you figure it out.”

    …and what happens when I ‘figure it out’ and I come to a conclusion that’s different from yours? Should I just go pray about it until I agree with you?

  25. It’s your decision. You’re the one who has to live with your decision so none of us can make that for you. I just highly recommend you make the right one; there’s a lot at stake especially if you have a family and the accompanying responsibilities.

  26. You may not believe this, but people have disagreed with me before, and guess what . . . I even lived through it.

  27. I thought it was shaved carrots and jello. I guess carrots are out and onions are in. Onions must be cheaper than carrots.

    Maybe the onions were to keep you away from their teenage daughters.

  28. I currently go to BYU and am getting ready to go serve a full-time mission. I would call myself a born-in-the-church-convert. I was raised in the church, never thought anything about it. My junior year I decided I was going to go to medical school, so I didn’t have time for a mission. I figured the church was good, but not for me. My senior year, my friends decided to convince me the church was a lie, and we where all brainwashed. I thought if that was true, they are not to good at brainwashing. I started researching what they were saying from anti-mormon accounts as well as members. I was challenged by my brother to go to the source, and read the Book of Mormon. As I read it, I asked myself, how did Joseph Smith write this thing without God. I determined it was either a lie, or the truth, as Garry said. I realized if it was a lie, what does it hurt to go out and be a good person. And if it is the truth, which I know believe, then why not serve the Lord with all your heart, might, mind, and strength? I love the church, and would not trade it in for the world.

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