The media often likes to focus on the famous Mormons—Mitt Romney, Donny and Marie Osmond, Gladys Knight, or any number of athletes. However, most Mormons are not famous or powerful. They are simply ordinary people living ordinary lives. They have trials and joys. Some have children; some don’t. Some live in Utah; others live all over the world. They have careers, families, and challenges. Their lives are varied, but they are united by their faith.
Although it might seem the Mormons (a nickname sometimes used for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) have so many rules they would all be just alike, in reality there is great diversity within the church. The church is a lot like a sonnet. A sonnet has many rules, but there are millions of sonnets, all different, written within that strict format. Mormons can choose from many different varieties of life within the framework God has created for them. They belong to a variety of races, have many different nationalities, belong to different political parties, and work in a wide range of secular careers within their own communities.
It is likely you know many Mormons and don’t realize it. They don’t dress differently than anyone else, except that they dress modestly while remaining fashionable if they choose to be fashionable. They live in ordinary homes in whatever community they choose and have ordinary jobs. However, if you don’t know any Mormons, or aren’t aware that you do, there is a place you can visit to peek into the lives of everyday Mormons.
Mormon.org is a website created to help people who are not Mormon learn more about the religion. On this site are profiles of many ordinary, everyday Mormons. Mormons can volunteer to post these profiles. They are asked questions about their lives and their beliefs. It is not required and the people in these profiles are not chosen by the church. (The people featured in the video profiles have been selected for their interesting stories, but the written profiles were done because a Mormon decided to share his or her story.)
Meet Mormons allows you to filter to find people a lot like you. You can select by age, gender, ethnicity, and previous religion. Then just start reading. Choosing at random, I found these stories.
Becky is a single parent of nine children who works as a customer service representative. At church, she teaches adult Sunday School.
Isaiah Gray is very athletic, but has chosen to put sports on hold to serve a two-year volunteer mission for the church. He will be sharing his faith in the Dominican Republic.
Jen is Korean-American and is in graduate school, obtaining a dual MD-PhD degree. She plans to be a physician-scientist.
Elizabeth, another grad student, became Mormon two years ago. Before that, she was actually very anti-Mormon. Just below her profile, she explains why she once thought Mormonism was a cult—and why she doesn’t now.
Here is a video of another (somewhat) ordinary Mormon: