The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LSD) started on April 6, 1830, with the first prophet, Joseph Smith (Andrews & Boyle, 2016). According to Mormonfaq’s website, in the beginning, it only included six members, but today the church has over fifteen million worldwide. The main purpose and goal of the religion are to be caring to everyone as well as to spread the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ (Andrews & Boyle, 2016).
In high school, Angela participated in marching band and winter guard. Despite the confusion and discrimination from the other students, Angela proudly displayed her religion. Taking part in the band program, certain uniform changes had to be made for her. She would be made fun of because she could not wear sleeveless tops or pants above the knee. Members of the guard would also be upset because they could not wear uniforms they liked if Angela could not wear it. The book states “modesty is an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior,” so the show music and uniforms had to suit the requirements of Mormonism (Andrews & Boyle, 2016). Sunday is a day to worship, so she would not attend any Sunday rehearsals (Harmer, 2017). Since many of the members were not religious, they did not understand why she would not show up and limit the amount they could rehearse because she was a component of the show. This caused prejudices against the Mormon religion because it was an inconvenience for them, the way her culture affected theirs.
The Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints has many expectations for their members. They are expected to follow God’s commandments, which affects many of their decisions in their everyday lives (Harmer, 2017). The culture does not consume drugs or alcohol, which is something many cultures stray away from. However, they also discourage cigarettes, tobacco, coffee, and tea (Harmer, 2017). This is so poor decisions are not influenced. It is expected to donate 10% of income to charities, as they are focused on helping others (Harmer, 2017). Mormons are also expected to fast monthly, this is called a words of wisdom diet (Andrew & Boyle, 2016).
Going to school with Angela, there was a lot of cultural baggage for me. I am a member of the church of Christ and was not focused on how other people’s religions could make their lifestyle different. The two religions have many similarities and differences that I was unaware of. Both cultures have a love and respect for all people. There is a “foundation of belief in Christ and how we can be the best people we can become” shared in both religions (Harmer, 2017). There is a shared belief in baptism and cleansing sins, Mormons have a confirmation after the immersion to gift the Holy Ghost (Mormon.org, 2018). Baptism takes place after a person can distinguish between right and wrong. The LSD’s believe this is at age eight (Andrew & Boyle, 2016). Prayer is also frequently used throughout religions along with scripture to grow and learn more about God. The church of Christ does not have women leaders, LSD has women leaders and they also encourage teens after graduation to go on a two-year mission to spread the love and knowledge of God (Andrew & Boyle, 2016). Angela went on a mission a few years ago after she finished high school.
There was confusion towards the culture Angela had from the band members. However, after learning more about it, I realize our core beliefs are similar and we just express it in different ways. Not all Christians are the same, there are many religions that make up Christianity and they all have different lifestyles and expectations. I learned this after becoming friends with Angela and witnessing the way in which she lives her life.