I didn’t know a thing about the Mormon religion just a few months ago, but now I do! That’s what happens when you travel: you encounter new things that sparkle your curiosity, you end up meeting people with different realities than yours and, all of that, makes you want to know more. You observe, you listen, you get new things to read…
During our brief stop in Salt Lake City (Utah) we visited Temple Square, where the headquarters of the Latter Day Saints Church are located. This visit served to us as an intro to Mormonism, the main branch of the LSD movement, which falls within Christian beliefs.
Joseph Smith was the founder of this movement, back in the 1820s. I am not going to lecture you: you can read more about the origins of this religious movement and its core beliefs on the wikipedia page.
Like with most religious, it’s not easy to follow all guidelines that were once ideal but that sometimes clash so astonishingly with life these days. Mormons, in this case, are morally restricted from doing a lot of fun things: drinking alcohol (or even coffee or tea!), smoking, using drugs (even the legal ones should be taken with moderation), having sex before marriage or even pleasuring themselves (even if just visually) with erotic material. They thrive to live and dress like Christ, that is modestly, and be good family-oriented people, respectable neighbors and citizens.
Clashing with the no-fun things above, fundamentalist Mormons still defend and practice polygamy – the men gets several ladies, not the other way (almost needless to say!), even though the LDS Church does not officially recognize plural marriages anymore (but I can understand that this system still has plenty of supporters).
It’s always fun to encounter such different life-styles and beliefs in the places one travels to. Just today itself, researching our upcoming trip to Thailand, I read about Confucianism (an ethical system based on the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius). As you go around the world, you have to keep your mind open all the time, because your way might not be the right way and, for sure, is not the only way out there! The world is large, diverse and definitely interesting!