A few years ago, I worked at a French company. I was working in the U.S., but many of the people I worked with were French. It was a really great job. For the most part, I minded my business about my religion. I lived in PA, and the topic of religion just didn’t come up much during the working day. However, after time, people started to learn that I was Mormon. No big deal.
One day, the VP of my department (Jean-Pierre) found out I was a Mormon. The conversation went like this:
J-P: Wow! You are a Mormon, that is great!
Choco: Yeah. Thanks.
J-P: And you drive? I didn’t know Mormons drive. And you use the computer!
Choco: Yeah…I drive and use the computer. (I was getting confused)
J-P: But most Mormons, don’t drive. Or wear those clothes. Or make-up. And you are still Mormon?
Choco: (realizing what was going on)…You know, I think that you’re confusing Mormons for Amish. I’m not Amish. The Amish people don’t drive, use electricity. Wear make-up. Mormon…we do.
J-P: Really? I thought you didn’t drive. In the movies…
Choco: You’re thinking of the Amish. It’s okay. Mormons do all the same things anyone else does.
(by this time, another colleague who knew more about me assured J-P that I wasn’t Amish, and he was just confused. Eventually it got cleared up)
I don’t think that Jean-Pierre is the only one who gets confused about Mormon customs.
Mormons don’t really have a “dress code”, per se. For the most part, we are pretty practical. We dress appropriately for the occasion. For example, if I’m going running, I will wear running shorts, and a shirt dependent on the weather. If I’m gardening, I wear my hole-y, grubby jeans, old sneakers, and a tee-shirt. When I’m on a date with my husband, I try to look attractive (and appropriate for the activity). When I go to church, I wear my “Sunday Best” – a modest, dressy outfit. I want my clothes to reflect my devotion to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Additionally, I don’t want my clothes to be too showy – or to compete with the reverence of Sabbath-day worship.
In general, Mormons believe that our bodies are temples. The Spirit of God can dwell within each of us if we show it the proper respect. We believe that dressing in a modest, neat, and nice way will help to keep the Spirit of God with us. We try to be like the saints in the Book of Mormon:
“And they did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.” – Alma 1:27
You can see that there is not a strict rule on dress – for Sunday or otherwise. We simply try to dress in a way that is neat, comely. We try to treat each activity we engage in appropriately – and that is reflected by the way we dress.
Mormons love their holidays. We celebrate Easter and Christmas. These are the most important Holidays, and you will always see LDS churches throughout the world pay attention to these holidays.
We also celebrate various national and cultural holidays. I live in the U.S. Our family loves to celebrate New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I feel like I’m missing something. President’s Day. MLK Day. There are so many!
There is no “official” way to celebrate a holiday. It is up to each family. But I think that Holidays are important to Mormons because often they promote harmony and unity in the home. As a mother, I love the Holidays our family celebrates. These Holidays promote bonding and forge happy memories.
We also celebrate Birthdays, Anniversaries, and well…anything that gives us a chance to have fun, play games, eat, and maybe have a little ice cream. 😉
Find out more about Mormon Customs (etc) here.