Mormons are counseled by the General Authorities of the Church to be “in the world, but not of the world.” Mormonism teaches that we need to live according to the commandments of God in every era and place. God never changes, and His commandments are eternal. Thus, fornication and adultery are just as wrong now as in the time of Noah. With the world becoming increasingly wicked in relation to the commandments of God, Mormons will (or should) become more different than the population at large.
The thirteenth of the thirteen Articles of Faith of the Mormon Church states the following:
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
In order to behave virtuously Mormons must eschew certain behaviors that are common in the world. Mormons who are living worthily keep the Word of Wisdom, and therefore do not smoke, drink alcohol, use recreational drugs, or drink coffee or tea. They do not gamble or view pornography. They live according to the law of the land and are honest in business and kind to their neighbors. They are expected to dress modestly and be reverent and respectful in their general behavior. Recreation is expected to be confined to “good, clean, fun.” They are oriented towards family life and view family values in the traditional sense. They are chaste; in other words, they reserve sexuality for marriage only, and they view marriage as a legal unity of a man and a woman. The Mormon Church will never accept gay marriage, because it is against the eternal laws of God.
In the United States, the law holds that non-profit entities, such as religious groups, may express beliefs regarding social ideas and movements, but may not endorse actual political candidates. Because of this, the U.S. election season of 2008 embroiled the Church in a great deal of controversy. Ballots in California and Arizona confront the legalization of gay marriage, and the Church has actively opposed the institutionalization of gay relationships.
Mormons are among the happiest people in the world, because of their knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, their living of the commandments (righteousness brings happiness), and the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost which allows them the help of personal revelation. It is their responsibility to share the gospel with “all nations, tongues, and kindreds.” Because of the happiness the gospel brings into their lives, Mormons are eager to undertake this responsibility. Thus, there are at least 50,000 full-time missionaries serving all over the world at any given time. The Church gains about 300,000 members each year and has a building program to accommodate this considerable growth.