The more you know Mormons

Since Hollis Brookline is a public school, talk of religion is minimal. But when it is discussed, do students really know the facts? Due to the town’s small population, there is not a huge range of diversity in religion. According to Sperling’s Best, only 43.4% of Hollis Brookline is religious, and of that 43%, almost 31.94% is Catholic.

A religion that seems to be quietly touched upon is the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, better known as the Mormon religion. It seems that in terms of misconceptions, the Mormon religion has many. “There are so many out there. I’ve heard things as ridiculous as we shower with our clothes on,” said Tracey Cole, ‘14, “or people say we can’t watch R-rated movies.”

The media has a large influence on how most of these came to be. One of these misconceptions stemmed from the TLC show, Sister Wives, which follows the lives of Kody Brown and his four wives. This provided the stigma that every Mormon man and woman are apart of a polygamous marriage. What a lot of people don’t realize is polygamy was actually abolished from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1890.

Recently, South Park authors Matt Stone and Trey Parker produced the Broadway musical Book of Mormon, yet much of the content is not accurate. One misconception brought about from the musical is that Mormons go door-to-door trying to get people to convert, with force. Dan Bentall, ‘14, said, “[People believe] that you are forced into the religion and it’s frowned upon if you go inactive.” Bentall went on to say,

A fundamental belief of Mormons is the gift of agency, and it’s our freedom to choose. Everyone makes his or her own decisions for themselves, and has to become converted in his or her own way.

— Dan Bentall, '14

Whether it be Mormons, Catholics or Buddhists, every religion and belief has their own misconceptions. Before making judgments, it’s important to know the facts and, all it takes is some research.