What Growing Up Mormon Looked Like

Why yes, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you’ve been here more than a week, that probably isn’t a surprise. I was born to two mormon parents and have attended the LDS church weekly since then. This is what growing looked like (for me):

At age 6: No Sunday birthday parties and no Saturday sleepovers. Assisted prayers by my bed each night.

At age 8: A very special birthday, a chance to invite friends to church, and understanding what happy tears were like. *

not realizing some kids didn’t know God, 
didn’t talk to Him,
and didn’t know He loved them

At age 10: A trip to New England for the Boston temple dedication and a resolution to get married there, someday.

At age 12: No R rated movies (I couldn’t even watch PG13 movies yet) and no tank tops in the summer. Three hours at church each Sunday and a week of girls camp in the summer.

At age 13: No school dances. Wednesday night youth group activities. Monday night family night.

At age 14: A quiet afternoon in the hills of Vermont, a simple question, and an overwhelming divine answer. No more leaning on my parents’ faith.

they all thought it was a religion of “don’ts,”
if only they could understand that they weren’t rules,
they were guidelines for happiness. 

At age 15: No dating, no swearing, and answering lots of questions about why not.

At age 16: Daily bible study before school, a summer on the hill**, and dates with door-opening boys.

At age 17: Nothing more than kissing, no drugs, no drinking, and no studying on Sundays. Sleeves on a prom dress, one piece swim suits, and basketball shorts at girls camp.

wishing I could share what I knew,
wishing they could know
because it made me so happy

At age 18: Counting down to college, moving to Utah, and having a completely sober (and incredibly fun) freshman year.

At age 20: Getting married in the temple, for time and all eternity, to a return missionary who became my best friend.

Often, from the outside, people thing church is a thing I do on Sundays or that religion is a thing celebrated alongside Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. Writing this was a fun reminder that what I believe, what my family believes, has had a daily impact on my life since before I can remember. It was also interesting as I tried to distinguish parenting from religion and realized how completely intertwined the two were in my childhood.I’ve had quite a few questions from friend and bloggers when sharing posts on my religion and I want you to know I love answering them, so never hesitate to ask.

Have a wonderful Wednesday. 
*At age 8 in the LDS church you get baptized
**The Hill Cumorah Pageant (more info here)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. This was interesting! I'm not a LDS member, but live close to Palmyra, NY and have been to the Pageant. I was so impressed by the people I met and the atmosphere.

  2. I love when you post this stuff!! I know very little about the LDS church and I'm always so intrigued!!

  3. I love when you write about things like this. I always loved talking to you about our experiences growing up LDS on opposite sides of the world and country and neither of us in Utah. I am so grateful now for all the questions and teasing I got growing up. It made me need to decide for myself and solidify my beliefs. Love you!Lovin' Lee Life

  4. so sweet. I think we both definitely had a different experience growing up outside of Utah.

  5. Love this post! It's so amazing to look back at your childhood and realize how the gospel has blessed your life! I admire you for sharing the gospel on your blog. I am always looking for ways to share the gospel too!

    XO Courtney

  6. Great, simple post. I'm actually a Catholic, but could identify with some of your memories of growing up. I particularly love, and agree with, this: '…they weren't rules,they were guidelines for happiness.' Keep the faith! 🙂

  7. What a cool post! I love the way you formatted this and told your story. I'm actually a convert of four years, so it's interesting to read about the childhood of a Mormon, since I never had those experiences when I was young.

  8. This post popped up somehow and I know it's old. I have a question about r rated movies, are there ever exceptions? For movies like schindlers list or the passion– because it isn't crude, sends a message, on an important subject? Is it a strict standard or more of a rule of thumb that can't be reevaluated (I imagine you don't watch crude pg13s)

    1. Hi! We are taught to avoid media that is "vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in anyway." Growing up, we watched edited versions of some classics like The Patriot that removed some of the most graphic violence (and maybe some language? I'm not sure because I haven't seen the original). The R-rated counsel was given in the context of not watching pornography and such. I've taken it pretty literally because I find I need to turn off some of the PG13s I watch (and I probably should turn off more than I do)… I also don't watch a lot of movies and don't do well with violence or extreme language – but I could imagine choosing to watch something like Passion of the Christ with its R rating. The actual R rated movie comment hasn't come from church leadership in years (although personally I expect that its probably because by saying "no R-rated movies" you imply that all the rest are okay) – they instead stick with the quote about no vulgar media and for my family that meant no R rated movies + discretion with others. Does that make sense?

  9. Yes, that does make sense. I'm sure 99% of r rated movies fit the bill for inappropriate viewing. The passion is entirely violent and not something I enjoy viewing ever, but I do try to watch it every few years around Easter time. The violence is horrible, but real, raw, and not gratuitous. Of course I understand and don't judge anyone that chooses not to view it. Also I'm with you, so much stuff is inappropriate and what gets me is it is so unnecessary. Husband and I are both sad there aren't any shows that are current that we would view with future children, it wasn't like that when we were kids in the 90s. I was also appalled a few weeks ago when I had to go to laundromat to wash my comforter and the TV was on– a super graphic sex scene. At 9pm, on regular tv. Yikes! I enjoyed I love Lucy reruns as a child, hope my kids do too, since I'm not sure how much current TV I want in my home 🙁