30 Eerie Mormon Beliefs You Won't Believe Exist
By Sophia Maddox | June 21, 2023
Welcome to our slideshow gallery exploring the unique rituals and beliefs of the Mormon people. The customs and practices observed by Mormons can be intriguing and sometimes puzzling to those unfamiliar with their faith.
As you continue reading we'll delve into some of the beliefs that may seem unusual or even creepy to outsiders while shedding light on their significance. From the belief in the planet Kolob to the avoidance of caffeine and the practice of posthumous baptism, we'll navigate through these intriguing aspects of Mormonism. Let's dive in!
Mormon temple garments, known officially as "temple garment" or "garment of the holy priesthood," are worn by adult members of the Mormon Church following their participation in a ritual called the "temple endowment." This ceremony typically takes place when individuals embark on missionary service or get married.
Once initiated, adherents are expected to wear the temple garments at all times, except during activities such as sports. These garments, predominantly made of white material, resemble a t-shirt and shorts and are embellished with sacred symbols significant to the Mormon faith. Mormons acquire these garments through church-owned stores or the official LDS website. According to Mormon church officials:
This garment, worn day and night, serves three important purposes. It is a reminder of the sacred covenants made with the Lord in His holy house, a protective covering for the body, and a symbol of the modesty of dress and living that should characterize the lives of all the humble followers of Christ.
No Coffee, No Tea, No Caffeine At All
Mormons, also known as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, follow a religious guideline called the Word of Wisdom, which provides guidance on healthy living. One aspect of this guideline advises Mormons to refrain from consuming coffee and other caffeinated drinks. From their perspective, this counsel is believed to be a divine instruction from God. It's not entirely clear how caffein affects your morality or spiritual well-being, but to each their own.
Mormon Women Are Expected To Dress Modestly
In the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there is an emphasis on dressing modestly, particularly for women. Modesty in clothing is seen as a way to honor God, show respect for oneself and others, and maintain a focus on spiritual values. This typically involves wearing clothing that covers the shoulders, avoids revealing or tight-fitting attire, and keeps the legs covered to an appropriate length.
While proponents argue that these standards promote spiritual values and self-respect, critics argue that they perpetuate gender inequality by placing the burden on women to control men's thoughts and desires.
Three Levels Of Heaven
In the Mormon belief system, there are three degrees of glory or kingdoms of glory if you prefer, which serve as the eternal dwelling places for the majority of individuals after their resurrection from the spirit world. The LDS Church, the largest denomination within the Latter Day Saint movement, holds the belief that the apostle Paul briefly mentioned these degrees of glory in his writings, specifically in 1 Corinthians 15:40-42 and 2 Corinthians 12:2.
Joseph Smith, the church's founder, further expanded upon Paul's descriptions based on a vision he received in 1832, documented in Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) Section 76. According to this vision, all individuals will experience resurrection and, during the Final Judgment, will be assigned to one of three degrees of glory: the celestial, terrestrial, and telestial kingdoms.
No Sex Before Marriage
In the LDS Church, the concept of chastity extends beyond simply refraining from sexual activity. It encompasses maintaining moral cleanliness in one's thoughts, words, and actions. Furthermore, sexual relations are deemed permissible solely within the context of a marital relationship between a husband and wife. The church emphasizes to its members that engaging in sexual relations before marriage is discouraged for both males and females.
Food Can Have An Effect On Spiritual Well-Being
Mormons believe that food can have an impact on their spiritual well-being due to their adherence to the principle of the Word of Wisdom, a health code outlined in their religious teachings. According to this guidance, Mormons are encouraged to consume a balanced and wholesome diet while abstaining from harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco, and coffee. They believe that by following these dietary guidelines, their bodies are better equipped to house their spirits, leading to improved physical and spiritual health.
Mormons see their bodies as sacred creations of God, and they believe that nourishing their bodies with nutritious food fosters spiritual clarity, strength, and overall well-being. This belief reflects their commitment to honoring and stewarding their physical selves in harmony with their spiritual beliefs.
Mormons Are Required To Serve A Full-Time Mission As A Rite Of Passage From Adolescence Into Adulthood
All Mormon men between the ages of 19 and 26 are expected to give two years of their lives to missionary service, as emphasized by current LDS President Gordon Hinckley. Women who are 21 years and older may also be called as missionaries, but their service period is 18 months. The majority of missionaries, accounting for 76 percent, consist of young men. Missionaries are responsible for covering all their mission expenses, and many Mormon children begin saving for their missions from a young age, often starting with their first allowances at around 6 or 7 years old.
Some young Mormons take after-school jobs to contribute to their mission funds. In cases where the cost is too burdensome for a missionary and their family, the local ward may provide financial assistance. Once accepted, missionaries undergo intensive training at the nearest Missionary Training Center, which can last up to three months with long days of instruction.
Missionaries learn six foundational lesson plans designed to guide potential converts towards baptism. Every aspect of their behavior and appearance is carefully evaluated during the training. They are taught essential skills such as active listening, maintaining a friendly demeanor, finding common ground with strangers, and handling people who aren't happy to see them. The church determines the specific location where each missionary will serve their mission.
Mormons Must Abstain From Alcohol
Mormons are required to abstain from consuming alcohol due to their religious beliefs and teachings. This expectation is based on the Word of Wisdom, a health code that forms an integral part of the Mormon faith. According to the Word of Wisdom, Mormons are advised to avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages. The reasons behind this requirement are rooted in the belief that alcohol can have negative physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences. Mormons strive to maintain a clear mind and make wise choices, and they view abstaining from alcohol as a means to protect their physical and mental well-being.
Moreover, Mormons believe that the body is a sacred gift from God and should be treated with respect and care. By refraining from alcohol, they aim to honor this principle and create an environment conducive to spiritual growth and personal development. This abstinence from alcohol is seen as a demonstration of their commitment to living a virtuous and disciplined life in accordance with their religious convictions.
Mormons Are Strict About Gambling
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints takes a firm stance against gambling, including lotteries operated by governments. Church leaders actively discourage members from participating in any form of gambling and encourage them to collaborate with others in opposing the legalization and government endorsement of such activities. The church's opposition to gambling is rooted in its teachings and principles, which emphasize responsible stewardship, self-reliance, and moral integrity. Mormons believe that gambling can have detrimental effects on individuals, families, and society as a whole. They view it as a practice that can lead to financial hardship, addiction, and the erosion of moral values. Consequently, the church advocates for a stance against the expansion and sponsorship of gambling, seeking to promote well-being, self-reliance, and the preservation of moral standards within their communities.
With Enough Hard Work You Too Can Become A God
In Mormonism, the concept of Exaltation is considered synonymous with eternal life and represents the attainment of godhood through complete obedience to all of God's commandments as defined by the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to this belief, those who achieve exaltation are granted the privilege of living eternally in the celestial kingdom alongside their families.
It is believed that through unwavering obedience and adherence to divine principles, individuals can progress and ultimately become gods themselves, sharing in the same glory and power as God the Father. The doctrine of Exaltation is central to the Mormon faith and serves as an ultimate goal for devout followers who seek eternal life in the celestial realm, united with their loved ones.
Satan Controls Bodies Of Water So It's Best If They're Avoided
Look at any religion and you'll find some weird stuff lurking about, but the Mormon tradition of staying away from water because Satan controls the waves in a kind of King of the Beach type of way is especially strange. LDS Living writes that this belief/superstition comes from section 61 of the Doctrine and Covenants. According to History of the Church 1:202–3:
On the 9th, in company with ten Elders, I left Independence landing for Kirtland. We started down the river in canoes, and went the first day as far as Fort Osage, where we had an excellent wild turkey for supper. Nothing very important occurred till the third day, when many of the dangers so common upon the western waters, manifested themselves; and after we had encamped upon the bank of the river, at McIlwaine’s Bend, Brother Phelps, in open vision by daylight, saw the destroyer in his most horrible power, ride upon the face of the waters; others heard the noise, but saw not the vision...
They Have A Strange Relationship With Cain
Brigham Young, the successor of Joseph Smith as leader of the Mormon Church, implemented policies that continue to trouble the Church today. In 1852, Young proclaimed that black individuals were cursed with dark skin as a punishment for Cain's murder of his brother. He went on to declare that anyone with even a drop of "Cane's seed" (referring to Cain) could not hold the priesthood. Young's views on interracial marriage were equally severe, suggesting that a man could only atone for it by having his head severed and blood spilled upon the ground. Other Mormon leaders also believed that black people's pre-existent spirits had sinned in heaven by supporting Lucifer's rebellion against God.
The priesthood ban had far-reaching ecclesiastical implications for black Mormons. They were excluded from participating in sacred ordinances such as the endowment ceremony, which prepared individuals for the afterlife, and sealings that formally bound families together. These rituals, taught by Smith and Young as necessary for attaining celestial glory, were inaccessible to black members of the Church.
Not So Virgin Mary
The concept of the virgin birth is a key belief in Christianity, stating that Jesus was born to a virgin mother. According to the Bible, Mary conceived miraculously without having engaged in sexual relations. Mormons, too, profess to believe in the virgin birth, but there are differing interpretations within their community. While some Mormons describe the virgin birth in a manner consistent with the traditional Christian understanding held for centuries, others hold a belief that differs significantly. Notably, the official position of the Mormon Church on whether the immortal Heavenly Father had physical intercourse with Mary, his mortal spirit-daughter, to conceive Jesus remains unclear and subject to individual interpretation.
The Planet Kolob
Do Mormons believe that God lives on a planet named Kolob? Not technically. But also, maybe? The traditional interpretation of Kolob in the Book of Abraham from the Pearl of Great Price states that it's a star located either in or near the physical presence of God's throne within the universe. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, claimed that Methuselah and Abraham discovered this star through the use of Urim and Thummim, which were seer stones bound into a pair of spectacles. This interpretation suggests a connection between Kolob and divine revelation as perceived by these biblical figures.
Church leader and historian B.H. Roberts (1857–1933) believed that Joseph Smith's teachings indicated the Solar System, with the Sun as its governing "planet," orbited a star called Kae-e-vanrash. In turn, Kae-e-vanrash, along with its own solar system, revolved around another star known as Kli-flos-is-es or Hah-ko-kau-beam. All of that is to say that early Mormons believed that God either lived on or near a planet called Kolob, but it's unclear if modern members of the church still believe that their higher power lives on a planet that's yet to be discovered outside of the Milky Way.
You Can Be Baptized Into The Faith Even After Death
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds a unique belief regarding the practice of proxy baptism, which centers around the idea that individuals who have already passed away can be baptized on their behalf. This practice allows a living Mormon to undergo a baptism ceremony as a representative or proxy for the deceased person. According to the teachings of the church, this act grants the deceased individual the opportunity to accept or reject the baptism in the afterlife, ultimately allowing them to embrace the blessings and salvation offered by the Church.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and certain branches of Mormon fundamentalism adhere to the doctrine of celestial marriage. Also known as the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage or Eternal Marriage, this belief states that marriages have the potential to endure eternally in the celestial realm, which refers to heaven. This concept is distinct to Mormonism and represents a core teaching within these religious communities.
There Are Passwords In Heaven
The Mormon Church holds a belief that has been attributed to early leader Brigham Young. According to this belief, individuals are taught specific "signs and tokens" which are considered essential for gaining access to Heaven and achieving eternal exaltation. Young described these signs and tokens as enabling believers to traverse the heavenly realm, passing sentinel angels on their journey back to the presence of God the Father. This concept suggests that possessing and correctly utilizing these secret passwords or symbolic elements is necessary for the ultimate attainment of salvation and eternal life.
God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit Are Three Separate Entitites
Mormons hold a unique belief regarding the nature of God. While they share the belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit with other Christians, Mormons differ in their understanding of the Trinity. Unlike the traditional concept of the Trinity, which posits that these three entities are one unified being, Mormons believe that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are distinct individuals with separate identities. However, they believe that these three individuals work harmoniously together, united in their mission to bring about the salvation of all humanity.
Everyone On Earth Was A Spirit During Pre-Existence
In the early days of the Latter Day Saint movement in 1833, Joseph Smith introduced the belief of pre-existence within the Mormon Church. Smith taught that human souls have always existed alongside God the Father, similar to the co-eternal nature of Jesus and God. Following Smith's passing, the doctrine of pre-mortal existence was further developed by subsequent leaders within the LDS Church.
While the concept acknowledged the co-eternal nature of the human mind and intelligence with God, Brigham Young, another prominent leader, differentiated between the spirit and the mind or intelligence. This clarification aimed to reconcile apparent conflicts between verses in the Book of Mormon that suggested God as the creator and Smith's later teachings that all individuals were co-eternal with God. Young proposed the idea that each person possesses a pre-spirit intelligence that eventually takes on a spirit body before being born on Earth in a physical body.
Jesus Visited America After His Resurrection
It is believed that Jesus Christ visited the Americas after his resurrection. This belief is based on an account found in the Book of Mormon, a sacred text revered by Mormons alongside the Bible. The narrative suggests that Jesus appeared to the indigenous people of the Americas, establishing his teachings and ministry among them. This event is seen as a significant aspect of Mormon theology, highlighting Jesus' universal mission and extending his message beyond the confines of the ancient Near East. Mormons view this visitation as a testament to Jesus' role as the Savior of all humanity, reinforcing their belief in his divinity and his desire to reach out to people in different parts of the world.
The Book Of Mormon Was Translated From A Set Of Golden Plates
According to the account given by Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon was translated from a set of ancient golden plates. Smith claimed that an angel named Moroni directed him to these plates, which were inscribed with ancient writings. The plates were said to have been buried by an ancient prophet named Mormon in a hill in upstate New York. Smith described the plates as being made of gold and bound together with rings. He said that, with the aid of special seer stones, he translated the ancient writings into English, resulting in the publication of the Book of Mormon.
The golden plates are considered by Mormons to be a significant artifact, serving as the primary source for their religious text and providing an account of ancient civilizations in the Americas. While the plates themselves were said to have been returned to the angel Moroni, their alleged existence and translation hold central importance within the Mormon faith.
Earth Was Created As A Test
The Mormon Church upholds the belief that Earth was created by God as a purposeful and probationary period for humanity. According to this belief, life on Earth serves as a test or preparation to determine individuals' readiness to meet and dwell with God in the afterlife. Mormons perceive Earth as a place where people experience joy, sorrow, and the opportunity to exercise agency, making choices that shape their character and spiritual growth. The challenges and trials encountered during mortal life are viewed as opportunities for personal development and spiritual refinement. Ultimately, Mormons believe that how individuals live their lives on Earth will influence their eternal destiny and determine their ability to progress and be reunited with God.
Adam Was Originally The Archangel Michael
Brigham Young, a former president of The LDS Church in the mid-19th century, taught a theological concept known as the Adam-God doctrine. Although this doctrine is no longer accepted by the LDS Church today, it continues to be part of the belief system held by certain Mormon fundamentalist groups.
According to the doctrine, Adam, originally a mortal man, was resurrected and exalted. He then came to Earth as Michael, hailing from another planet, and played a role in its creation. Adam and his spouse, Eve, were given physical bodies and became mortal after partaking of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. After fulfilling their earthly duties and establishing humanity, Adam and Eve returned to their heavenly positions, with Adam assuming the role of God and becoming the Heavenly Father of all humankind.The doctrine further posits that Adam later appeared to ancient prophets on Earth and became the literal father of Jesus.
In 1976, LDS Church president Spencer W. Kimball clarified that the church does not support this doctrine. While many Mormons recognize Adam as an important figure, often referred to as "the Ancient of Days," "father of all," or "Michael the Archangel," they do not regard him as "God the Father."
People Can Receive Spiritual Gifts
In the Mormon faith, it is a common belief that individuals can receive spiritual gifts based on their personal needs and abilities, as well as the needs of those around them. These gifts are seen as valuable tools that aid individuals in their pursuit of eternal life and serve as indications of true faith. Mormons view these gifts as blessings from God, bestowed upon those who have a genuine love for Him. These gifts not only benefit the recipients but also contribute to the spiritual well-being of others, fostering a collective journey towards salvation and eternal life.
They Were Polygamists In The 19th Century
Polygamy, known as plural or celestial marriage within the Mormon Church, stands out as one of the most controversial doctrines in Mormonism. Its practice caused significant upheaval within the household of prophet Joseph Smith, leading to a schism within the church and drawing widespread condemnation from many Americans for years to come.
The origins of the doctrine can be traced back to Smith's study of Old Testament prophets in 1831, which prompted his curiosity about their practice of having multiple wives. Smith later claimed to have received a revelation stating that such acts, when commanded by God, were not considered adultery. According to this belief, multiple women could be united in eternal "sealings" to the same man. Although Smith kept this doctrine concealed initially, there is evidence suggesting he may have entered a polygamous marriage with Fanny Alger, a teenager working in his home, in the mid-1830s.
The revelation officially dictating the practice of plural marriage was recorded on July 12, 1843, although Smith consistently denied its existence outside of the Mormon community. It was not until 1852 that the doctrine of polygamy was publicly acknowledged by the church. The controversial nature of polygamy continued to stir debate and became a prominent feature of the Mormon faith, leaving a lasting impact on the community and its relationship with the broader society.
Jesus And Satan Are Bros
According to Mormon belief, Jesus and Satan are considered brothers in the sense that both were created by God. Mormons see God as the literal Father of all spirits, including Jesus and Satan, and thus regard them as spiritual siblings. This understanding stems from the notion that all human beings are considered children of God, making them brothers and sisters to one another as well. Mormons emphasize the divine origin of all souls and their potential for spiritual growth and development. It is important to note that while Jesus is revered as the Savior and embodiment of goodness, Satan is seen as a fallen angel who rebelled against God's plan. The concept of Jesus and Satan being brothers underscores the universal siblinghood among all humanity as children of God in Mormon theology.
God Became God By Putting In The Work
Mormons hold a belief that God, whom they refer to as Heavenly Father, was once a mortal man who attained godhood through righteous actions. According to their teachings, Heavenly Father progressed through various stages of existence, similar to how humans do, and eventually achieved divine status.
This concept is rooted in the Mormon belief in eternal progression, which holds that individuals have the potential to advance and become like God. Mormons view Heavenly Father's journey as an example of the possibilities available to humanity. They emphasize the importance of living virtuous lives and following the teachings of Jesus Christ to reach their own potential for godhood in the eternities.
The Unlearned Can Become Mormons After Death
Mormons believe in the concept of "a burning in the bosom," which refers to a personal and subjective spiritual experience. It is described as a warm or burning sensation felt in the chest, often during prayer or when contemplating matters of faith. Mormons interpret this sensation as a spiritual confirmation or a sign from the Holy Spirit, indicating that a particular belief or course of action is true and aligned with God's will. They view it as a form of personal revelation and guidance. This experience is highly valued within the Mormon faith as it provides individuals with a sense of reassurance and conviction in their beliefs. Mormons often seek to cultivate and recognize these spiritual promptings, believing that it strengthens their faith and helps them make important decisions in their lives. It is important to note that while this experience is significant to Mormons, they also acknowledge the need for careful consideration, study, and discernment in making decisions and interpreting spiritual experiences.
They Have To Keep It Clean
Mormons adhere to a prohibition on pretty much every harmful chemical that one can inhale due to their religious teachings and guidelines. Within the Mormon faith, this practice is outlined in the Word of Wisdom, a health code that emphasizes principles of healthy living. According to the Word of Wisdom, Mormons are counseled to abstain from the use of an smokable plant in any form. The reasons behind this restriction are multifaceted. Mormons believe that their bodies are sacred creations of God and should be treated with respect.
The Garden Of Eden Was In Missouri
Joseph Smith, according to witnesses from his time, taught that the Garden of Eden was situated near Independence, Missouri. After Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden, they supposedly traveled to Adam-ondi-Ahman, a historic location in present-day Daviess County, Missouri, around five miles south of Jameson.