Mormons are Satan Worshippers

Somebody asked me the other day, “how come you don’t blog/write about being Mormon? Are you trying to hide it?”

It never occurred to me that anyone would construe my NOT blogging about being Mormon as an attempt to ‘hide it.’ Just like, it never occurred to me to blog about my Mormon-ness purely for the sake of telling my five blog followers that I happen to be Mormon. I mean, does anybody care -what religion an author/blogger is? I know I dont… It drives me nuts when people discuss the Mormon symbolism in Twilight…or debate whether or not Stephanie Meyer is a ‘good’ Mormon because of what her sparkly characters do. Do we know what religion JK Rowling is? Do we care?

But I digress.

In the interest of full disclosure, I shall blog once and for all about my religion. Yes, I am a  Mormon – a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints otherwise known as the LDS church.  My parents are also Mormon and they tried their bestest to teach us and raise us according to LDS gospel principles. Some of us frequently run amuck but we’re all trying, learning, falling over, and getting back up again. I now try to raise my own children as ‘decent’ Mormons – and mess up more than I succeed – which is why NOBODY should ever see my blog as an example of a “good Mormon Mom Blog”….*ducks head in shame*

Some of you may be wondering, what’s a Mormon?  I could quote you a list of doctrinal descriptors and belief statements and direct you to the nearest missionary near you…but instead, Im going to do what I do best – and relay a waffly, possibly humorous, potentially offensive story from my salacious past.

Once upon a time, when I first started “dating” the Hot Man (as much as a young couple in Samoa could ‘date’…) someone in his family was very happy. She said, “What a good choice! Mormon girls are good girls. Lani is a good girl!” She said this because Mormons (supposedly) do not have sex until they’re married, don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, don’t go to nightclubs, and don’t wear revealing clothing. I will neither confirm nor deny at this time, if all those things were true of my nineteen year old self because my teenagers might read this blog and we all know how dedicated they are to seeking out evidence of their parent’s misdemeanors so they can justify all of THEIR stupid choices... I will however say, that IF all those things were true of me, then, in her opinion, that made me a far superior choice compared to SOME of the girls the Hot Man had been going out with. (Naming no names…pointing no fingers…)

So yes, the Hot Man’s mother was very happy we were dating. But then we got married. And a year or so later, the Hot Man decided to get baptized and become a Mormon. My mother-in-law wasn’t so happy then. Especially when her son – much much later – became so committed to his faith that he went to the Mormon temple. She didn’t like it one bit. “I heard that Mormons worship Satan. They don’t believe in Jesus…they’re a cult…they do strange sexual things inside those temples…there’s a man wearing a horned mask talking to the Devil in there…” I guess she only liked nice Mormon girls when they dated her son. Not when they married him and took him over to the Dark Side of the Force.

Which is why, it was beyond hilarious to me when she came to ask for my help one day…with composing a prayer. Yes, that’s correct. She had been assigned to recite/say the prayer in her congregation and wanted me to write one for her. Why me? “Because in your church, everybody prays all the time, even the little kids can say their own prayers. Only the priest/pastor says the prayers in our church. And besides, you’re a writer so you can write something nice for me to pray.”

Anybody want to guess how tempted I was to open my prayer writing with: “Dear Satan…o blessed forked tailed one”?

But I didn’t. I composed a nice prayer and she was very happy with it. And the Hot Man was very relieved I chose not to address the Dark Lord.

And everyone lived happily ever after.

The End.

What do we learn about Mormons from this story? (according to Lani anyway) Let’s separate fact from fiction.

1. Family unity is very important to Mormons. We believe that families can be together forever in the “afterlife” so it makes sense then that we would want to build strong families and actually LIKE the people we’re stuck with by familial ties. Tolerance for other people’s beliefs is also important (and keeping your cool even when others think you’re an acolyte of Lucifer.)

2. Contrary to exciting rumors, Mormons do not have more than one wife ( at a time.) We are not polygamists. The Hot Man is only ever going to be married to me. (Until I get hit by a bus and then he can choose another wife from a list I have lovingly prepared for him.)

3. Practising/active Mormons live by what we call the Word of Wisdom which is a guideline for healthy living. We don’t drink alcohol, coffee or tea. We don’t do drugs or smoke. We’re supposed to eat a diet that’s heavy on the ‘harvest of the field’ – grains and vegetables/fruits and light on meat.

4. We do believe in Jesus Christ. And  frown upon worshiping Satan.

5. We have a Law of Chastity and try very hard not to have any kind of sex unless you’re married. (doesnt always work but one can only try) We’re also supposed to dress in a modest fashion. Which works better for some than others. Big Daughter hates to wear skirts above the knee while I adore them…

6. We go to church for three hours on Sunday. We don’t have full-time clergy. Everyone is called upon at different times to serve in a particular ‘job’ ranging from being the Bishop to teaching Sunday school to being a Youth Leader. Right now, I’m a teacher in the women’s organization called Relief Society and the Hot Man is a leader in the Young Men’s youth program – so he gets to do fun stuff like take teenagers on hikes and do yard work service projects.

7. And yes, we are rather good at praying. (So if YOU ever need a prayer composed, ask a Mormon to help.)

My faith is important to me and super-helpful as I try to be a wife and a mum. I don’t actively try to put my spiritual beliefs into my books or my blog but because they are an essential part of who I am – then I guess some of it is going to find its way in there somehow!

BUT if I ever see a critical essay written on “Mormonism in the TELESA Series”, I’m going to vomit all over it. And call on the Dark Lord to set it on fire.

You have been warned.

91 comments

  1. I LOVED THIS! though i am not Mormon, i still respect them & everyone else’s religious beliefs/Backgrounds – AND i wouldn’t care what religion you were – You are an awesome talented writer, but now that you’ve mentioned it, out of CURIOSITY I’m going to Google and see if i can find what religion JK Rowling is, LOL Happy Blogging!

      1. Lani, I admire you for speaking out! I have many nieces and nephews who are Mormon and I respect their lifestyles and beliefs as I do everyones

  2. I died while reading this…it was too hilarious…I’m a christian baptist…and honestly didn’t know much about Mormons though I was sure they didn’t worship satan. I think this post will help others see that different religions, though they definitely have different characteristics…there’s a lot more similarities than we think. Awesome post!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Sherre – it can be potentially divisive and dangerous to blog about religion…but i figured with my (usual) slightly-cracked way of talking about stuff – it would be alright. I agree that most religions share more similarities than we probably think. One of the most fascinating and useful courses I ever took back in the day, was the study of World Religions. There is so much we can connect on – no matter what faith people are.

  3. No, I don’t think it matters one bit what the religion is of my favourite authors. The only other person I know who is Mormon is Donny Osmond and a fine example of a human being is he! You’re in good company Lani. (VBG)

  4. I didn’t know about the light on meat part. Good to know and its healthier anyhow. Also, according to CIA global factbook Seventh Day Adventist is an often practiced religion in the South Pacific. Seventh Days’ are vegetarian. I’m curious, does this still stands as true Ms. Young?

    1. Sorry I dont know very much about Seventh Day Adventists and their beliefs. It is a strong and rapidly growing religion in Samoa and I believe that our beliefs on alcohol and health are similar.

  5. OMG Lani, I’ve been meaning to write (unleash more like it) a post about the looks and comments I receive about “not going to church” and the really sorrowful almost “pity for me” types of looks I get but more for my poor poor children. Apparently my children have no real future in this world because I have failed them in taking them to church. I suppose at least, Lani you are going to church LOL but I still shock people of all walks of life that I am a “non church going islander”. Followed by, “but isn’t religion a huge part of your culture”. (yeah, I’m thinking so is *fa’alavelave’s) Followed by other weird and wonderful assumptions.

    So I say the same thing to everyone that wants to box me up in one nice little package according to what church I go to (or lack of)….and it’s the same thing I have shared with mum & dad because they were concerned too…..

    “I walk with God everyday and he holds my hand and guides me where I need to go and what I need to do. I ask him always how I can help his people beginning with my own children and family. He moves through me and everything I do is for both of us. I am a decent human being and raise my children to be great human beings. When they are old enough they can choose for themselves when their frontal lobes are fully developed and equipped to deal with all the humungous decisions they will have to make in their lives. Right now, we practise being God to others.”

    That was the short version LOL
    *fa’alavelave-unexpected events requiring money

    1. I like your statement, Maureen. I used to be in church VERY heavily… now I’ve been on a life sabbatical…kind of just hanging out and trying to pursue some other things, but my underlying faith and walk is what guides my actions, and while i’m far from perfect, I try every day to be a blessing to others and spread laughter and encouragement. Day by day….

  6. So..’Big Love’ and ’7 Brides for the Brother’ was just a bunch of hooey then.
    Lol, very amusing blog post. Keep up the great work

  7. I am a big fan Lani you are a crack up and very talented. You are an awesome example and role model for our youth of Polynesia who struggle with Literacy I hope that one day our paths cross.
    Aroha nui ki a koe e te Rangatira

    Na Paora Te Paki

  8. Something I’m hoping you can explain to me…

    My acupuncturist has a nephew who is American Mormon doing his mission in Samoa. Apparently he’s not allowed to swim during his time there? Would this be right?

    How you can be in the tropical heat with that beautiful ocean glistening at you and not be able to swim is a punishment to me!

    1. Ahhhh I know what you mean – the heat and humidity in Samoa is DISGUSTING! Im not an expert on the rules for missionaries in the mission field. However, I do know that they are not allowed to go swimming no matter what country they are serving in. Likewise, they cant watch television, go to movies, go out to parties, read any latest bestsellers or attend stuff like rock concerts and football games. They commit to two years of dedicated service to their missionary work. Many of the rules are in place for their safety and well-being. For example, my parents served as senior missionaries in Siberia and they were counselled never to go anywhere without the other and never to leave the house without their passports and travel documents ( in case they needed to be extracted at a moment’s notice). Other rules for missionaries are in place to help them stay spiritually focused – which is prob where the no swimming, no socializing or TV comes in. They are encouraged to write letters home every week but they can only make phone calls to their family TWICE a year – once on Xmas and once on Mother’s Day. My nephew just got back from serving his mission in Australia and we’re all very proud of him and the work he was able to do there – and hes SUCH a mature and responsible young man, did a lot of growing up on his mission as well.
      Hope this helps with your question?

      1. Ahh yes. Definitely makes sense now. You would have to be very dedicated to your missionary work if you resisted swimming in Samoa! Thanks for answering my question. I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to any religion.

        And now I’m dreaming of To Sua…

      2. One of the best tool a missionary can have while serving (young man/young woman) is able to maintain the Spirit of the Lord with him/her at all times. While some of these activities may seem harmless, it is through obedience to these simple rules (laws) or any rules/laws of God that brings any missionary (us) closer to their (our) Savior while serving their (our) fellow men. As Sister Wendt said, they are out there for two years to serve the Lord – not to please themselves although its very tempting 24/7. Thank you Sister Wendt

  9. I am also LDS and found this very entertaining and an inspirational way of expressing our guidelines and beliefs. I am very proud to be a member too! Thank you for posting this!

  10. Thank You Lani, I enjoyed your article, the title was capturing! Because I am a Mormon, my curiosity opened your article. I love your sense of humor and I truly believe that through the way you communicate and write, it enlightens those who are clueless and have preconceived ideas of the LDS faith. It was delightful to read and kind of puts a Human side to who we are!! LOL That we are normal and human too… Love it Thanks Kay

  11. Malo Lani! Our dear niece posted your blog on her Facebook page so I HAD to come and read it! Auoia I am laughing so hard at the almost 360 degree turn that your dear mother-in-law took re: courtship with “Hot Man”, to “Mormons worship Satan … there’s a man in a horned mask who’s talking to the Devil in there” to “can you write a prayer for me”! Oi kalofae hilarity!

    I am no longer an active member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but I know this: 1. Mormons are first and foremost about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ above everything else 2. The most prevalent principle for me that stood out in all Gospel teachings was free-agency, the right for all of us to choose whatever whomever we believe in and whatever choices we make in life & 3. I too am proud of our nephew for serving an honourable mission for the Church and thus following the marvellous example of both sets of his grandparents, his Dad and his Uncle.

    I’m looking forward to following more of your blogs! I joined New Word Press just so that I could make comments from time to time as one of your many blog followers! (Five indeed! More like five hundred and five thousand)! A’e I may even take the opportunity to write a blog myself!

    Writing to you from a writing retreat from Long Bay at Vaughan Park Writing Retreat about to wind up this PhD at last this year!!! Alofa tele atu to you, HMD and the Fabulous Five! Lina :)

    1. Fabulous to have you on here Lina! I hope blog reading didnt distract you too much from the PhD writing on what sounds like a beautifu reatreat. I gotta tell you – you would make a GREAT blogger. I can just imagine the fiery, fun and feisty stuff you would have on your blog….go on, do it!

  12. Came across this on Facebook and am sooooo Re-Sharing it!! Do not be surprised if you find yourself with an onslaught of new Bloggy Friends…hehehehehe! Highly enjoyed your perspective – it was just what I needed! Being a “Single LDS Mom” (my husband is no longer a practicing Mormon but fully supports me raising the kids LDS), this was a great reminder to me, that not matter what people’s perceptions are, we are ALL TRYING OUR BEST to live the Best Way We Know How!!

    (I also LOL’d when you referred to those peeps who do analogies with Mormon religion and their writings that have Nothing Whatsoever To DO with their bestselling novels….Sometimes I just shake my head and think to myself “you’re bearing testimony about Bella right now? Seriously???” BWAAAHAHAHAHA!!)

    1. Im glad to find another person who agrees with me on the whole “bearing testimony about Bella” thing! LOL Always rolling my eyes and gagging at the Twilight mormon testifying OR bashing. Want to say to them – Its just a story folks, move along, nothing to over-analyze here… lol
      Thank you for the blog visit.

  13. I love your response or essay or article, not sure what to call it. All I know is that I love it. We Mormons try to live up to or own standards, we don’t always succeed but we try. Even non-mormons judge us by our own standards.
    I love how you stated simple facts about Mormonism in a humorous way.
    You don’t know me, but I knew of your family. Your parents have always been a great example and they have raised a talented young daughter. Thank you for being an inspiration.

    1. Hi Malaela! Thrilled you could stop by the blog – of course I know who you are. I served with Logo in Pesega Lima and I shall forever be in love with the cinnamon rolls and potato-bacon chowder soup that she makes so fabulously. Your brother worked with my husband for awhile and we enjoyed lots of fun dinners at the Tauiliili’s… I miss home and our home ward so much.
      Thank you for your feedback.

  14. I enjoyed reading this. You are a talented writer. I remember you from school teaching English at Pesega. (with your carrots for lunch) :) I feel so related to what you said. It is normal that some rather find faults with us Mormons than finding the good in us. Keep up the faith and good work Sister Young. :)

  15. LOL…Fa’afetai tele lava Lani…I was rolling when I read your story…love da Hot Man part…props for enlightening some of your readers/bloggers about our faith. Malo le finau male fa’amalosi from Salt Lake City, Utah.

    1. Thank you – glad you enjoyed it. My poor husband is less than excited about my “list” for his approved next wife if I drop dead. I told him i cant put Angelina Jolie or Nicole Kidman on there cos theyre already taken ( and I think Angelina is too busy with all HER kids to take on my five…LOL)

  16. That was absolutely amazing! The way you explained about the church. It was very simple and easy to understand with no misunderstandings to be had. It is true we are all not perfect but one things for sure is that we can always find our way back home!

    Thanks so much you really made my day!

    From a brother in the gospel in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    1. Malo lava – its great to have blog readers from so far away. Thank you for the feedback. Of course there’s lots we can say to explain our religion but I thought I would just pick a few of the basics to cover.

      1. not lame at all sis! Humor is sometimes the best way to ward off the negativity that usually comes up when someone hears the word Mormon. lol! Mormon like its a bad word. You Mormon you! hi5!

  17. Aloha, Kia Ora, & Talofa, nice to meet you via Blog as a friend posted this on fb. Yes, I’m a Latter-Day Saint and a convert too, the only one in my family. I continue to live with ups and downs and the good news is I believe that the downs aren’t so low any more, and the ups are getting that much closer, and boy does it take a lot of work. Your blog caught my attention because one of my bosses at work is married to a Wendt. I don’t know much about them, mainly the husband, but I never figured that Mr Wendt, just maybe comes from an LDS aiga. Mrs Wendt who I know from work and she’s a very nice lady, I don’t think is LDS. I just hope that the example that I try to set at work is good enough to invite the spirit and hopefully do some good for all us in our small organization. Eager to read more.

  18. You are definitely a woman of God, standing by your standards and values. Im proud of you Lani, this is what we all need to do, proclaiming the truth unto all nations about who we really are, as sons and daughters of the most high God. That is your way of being a missionary and so keep that fire burning. Remember last conference talk “Im Mormon, I Know It, I Love it, I Live it” and we must do just that, to stand as witness of God and His Son Jesus Christ at all times, and in all places. I am proud to be a Mormon – a member of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of the Latter Day Saints, and very happy to share this to the world of doubts. All the best Lani in your future publications.

  19. Being an RM makes me really Happy to read this and wonder where i could get a copy of your Book…Im glad to be a member of this Church and that not all have the confident and boldness to share their belief and knowledge like this….You explained it Short and Simple that all could understand it…and very HILARIOUS….!..Yes we’re not perfect but we’re trying to be like our Heavenly Father because that is his Goals and Plan for us to do all that we can in living his ways and learn to return back to him. Thank You.

  20. Hey Lani
    Wow thank you for sharing, and as a fellow member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I couldn’t have said it better myself. I too was rolling around in fits of laughter at ‘Hot Man’s’ dear mother’s perception of our religion and beliefs, I will definitely be following your blog – I’m sure I have much to learn through your words of wisdom! I attended CCWS for 2 years way back then (we won’t mention how far back in the caveman days it was) but I remember you and I dated brothers at the same time…and I shall leave it at that! Because your Hot Man and my Hot Man came out best and found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow lol! Take care and keep blessing us with your inspirational words!

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  22. I’m not active Lani, but i couldn’t have put it any better myself, loved the blog and will be following you with keen interest…malo lava…

  23. I love this piece of writing Lani. I‘m happy of what the hot man has become.Thank you very much fo ther humour, look forward to more of your writings. Ia manuia oe ma le aiga..

  24. I really appreciate your post and the help in straightening up the misconceptions our nonmember friends have on the church, the humour is just brilliant, esp. “Hot Man’s mom”…and isn’t it so true about so many of us LDS girls when we date non-members?….I too dated, baptized, and took a non member “HOT MAN” to the temple…Your blog is a great read, and nicely illustrated by a beautiful, hardworking LDS mom with only Eternal Perspectives for her growing family and for those around her….Well done Lani!

    1. Thanks – its hard work raising a family no matter what religion one is ( or isnt) and my blog is often my safety net for ranting and raving so I dont go too nuts with my patient family. Glad you enjoyed the blog!

  25. I read your blog, and I just about died laughing. Not because it is a joke, but because i can tell you have a sense of humour and I loved your blog. I read it because I wanted to get an insight to what being a Mormon is. I am not a Mormon though. I am a Seventh-day Adventist. Been born into it and still am (although I am not as active as I probably should be). But after reading your blog, I see a lot of similarities that your religion has with mine. But just as many had misconceptions about being a Mormon, many have the same misconceptions about us. I always say to my friends that like to talk “crap” about Mormon or any other denomination for that matter is get to know about it before making any type of judgments. I mean I myself have heard people saying stuff that SDA’s are cultists (because of David Koresh). But he is just one man that had a very extreme and twisted view of the world. Some of the things though that make us different is the belief that we try to ENCOURAGE the health message – so no light or heavy meat is included in our diets. However, after the flood, God gave humanity the means to survive by allowing meat. There’s totally nothing wrong with it. It is all about personal choice. God did give us the power to choose, and whatever choice we make in life, we either benefit from it or we suffer the consequences. Anyhow, I don’t mean to preach or anything as this is not my intent. I just want to thank you for giving some kind of insight and just to let everyone else know, again, don’t judge a religion by its name alone. Every religion experiences drama, backstabbers, etc. Just like at work or school. Church is meant for healing the wounds that have been inflicted upon and to get YOU as an individual to a better place in your life, better than it was before you made the choice to follow Christ. Anyhow, thank you once again and I think now you just inspired me, a writer to share about what my religion.

    1. I really enjoyed reading your insightful and thoughtful response – i find it always helps to learn more about each others faith and spiritual beliefs. Helps us better understand and connect with others. Thank you for visiting the blog.

  26. Amazing piece of writing Lani. Proud to have known and associate with your family very well. Keep up the great work and alofa atu to the “Hot man” and the kids. God bless.

    1. I admit I was super nervous when I saw that my Bishop had visited my blog… so relieved to get your positive feedback, thank you. We really miss our home ward and are looking forward to moving back at the end of the year.

  27. thanks Lani…enjoyed the read…do you have an older sister 40ish unmarried who is looking for an LDS man to marry in the Temple…if she’s witty & pretty like you, that would be a plus ;)

  28. Great blog Lani! I think that religion can be very valuable and nobody has the right to judge…period. My first trip to Samoa found me in a congregational church all by myself and a long way from home. The routine and flow of the service was very familiar to me, being of a similar faith, and I felt very comforted and at peace within the confines of those four walls and among a community of people who had similar interests. Now that I am a mum, who has yet to find the perfect Parenting for Dummies Handbook, religion is even more important as it supports our family values and guides our decision making. No matter where we are we can always count on being part of a church community and THAT is invaluable. Thanks for reminding us that we need to be accepting of others and careful in our judgements.

    1. Well-said, I agree that religion can be such a strength for parents trying to raise children in an often crazy world. Im so grateful for the support network that comes with our faith. It really does ‘take a village to raise a child’ and through church attendance, one can connect with that ‘village’.

  29. I was sleepless in Samoa about 3am this morning with the Torrential rain… this led me to reading your blogs, Samoa observer & NZ Herald.… that led me to waking up at 8.55am which is rather late for me living in Samoa. Neway I’ve had a permanent smile on my face since reading your blogs… I love the way you see the light heartedness/humour in topics that would normally be cumbersome or straight up boring! Lol.
    Great job with the blogging, I will become your no. 6 blogg follower. Manuia le weekend Lani

  30. The “HOT MAN” in my life is not a member of my faith either… And after being married for 8 years I am happy to report that he now knows that we do not worship Satan :)

    I really enjoyed reading this slightly cracked :) description of what it is to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    Well said Lani! :) … Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thansk Delsa. Ive had to watch myself and my words a lot more lately since my mum just figured out how to go online and read my blogs…cant blog about her as much as I used to!

  31. Thank you for this entertaining blog…..I am curious to read more of your blogs to perhaps spark some interest in penning out my thoughts in my journal.

  32. Talofa Lani, very proud of the way you explain your LDS religion. After reading Telesa and now in to “when water breaks” i decided to do a bit of reserch on this one person name Lani Wendt Young. To my surprise I found out you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Keep up the good work. Perfect…

  33. Hi Lani!
    Thank you for reminding me of what is important through the experience you shared. My family had struggle to cope with my father’s illness in the hospital this last week and I have got to let you know that the “Telesa Trilogy” help kept me up all night so I can monitor my Dad. I never knew you were Mormon until I read this blog. I enjoyed the talents you poured into your writing and wished that I had you for my Writing Composition class in High School and College. Thank you for the inspiring testimony. My sisters and I made plans to visit Apia just to get a book from you but we missed out. We will be on the alert for another book signing in the near future and hope it’s going to be here in American Samoa. Take care!

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback. Its a real joy when others are able to connect with the characters and stories Ive created. I hope your father is doing much better? I did a very quick book signing trip to Pago last year but would like to come back.

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