I wrote a post a little while ago about whether we members of The Church of Jesus Christ can laugh or not. You might snicker at that question, but it’s one of the “Mormon Misconceptions” some folks have at times. Some also wonder if we can dance, sing, go to the beach, drink caffeinated drinks, marry non-LDS; the list goes on. In most of these cases, the answer is, “Of course we can … Silly.” But, still, the rumors persist, some innocent, some less so. This blog exists in large part to try to help dispel and differentiate between the true and the not-so-true.
For today’s post, I want to share with you a number of Mormon t-shirt pics I found online: they are both humorous and insightful. They too in their own way teach more about our culture, our doctrine, who we are, and what we think. I thought they’d be a fun way to “edumacate” you a little more. I hope you enjoy ’em and hope you’re having a great day.
The “Called to Serve” t-shirt (below, on the right) is a throw-back to my two-years in the Italy Rome Mission as a full-time Mormon missionary (from 1988-1990). There are currently 60,000+ full-time missionaries around the world, in 421 different missions. The Book of Mormon is published in 188 different languages! Many are surprised to learn this and to learn that we’re an international religion with more members outside the United States than within. Did you know that yourself? If you did, you’re likely in the minority.
The ark tee (below) is a reference to the prophet Noah, of course, and the fact that, yes, we do believe in the Old and New Testaments, just like most Christians, in case you didn’t know this as well. Personally, I love the princess tank-top (middle right): it reminds me of how I know the Lord sees my own wife and daughters, and all of his daughters on earth, whether they’re Mormon or not. (It’s a good reminder for me, too, even at certain times of the month. I’m only kidding). They really are the most precious of all my blessings.
The “Families are Forever” shirt is a nod to the fact that, here in the Mormon church, we build temples just like in ancient days, the days of King David, Solomon, etc. In temples, a Mormon couple or family can be “sealed” forever by someone holding the priesthood (the authority to act in God’s name here on earth). I still want to do a post on this subject but, suffice it to say for now … we know there’s life after death, we know we can all be together someday, and we know how to ensure that happens. When you get married in an LDS temple, it isn’t just “till death do you part” as in most cases. (Nothing wrong with most ceremonies and I certainly don’t mean to disparage them at all; marriage, in any case, is a special thing). We just know that there’s more understanding available to us all. It’s really great news!. If you want to know more about this, please leave me a comment.
As Mormons, we do believe in Jesus Christ and worship him as indicated by the yellow shirt below. We love Christ and really do try to honor him with all our hearts. The small-print shirt on the right says “Don’t Drink – Don’t Smoke – Ask Me What Do I Do.” This, of course, is a reference to the fact that most Mormons don’t drink coffee, alcohol or smoke tobacco. It’s part of a health code we try to live by called The Word of Wisdom and is one of the main reasons Mormons live longer than most. The “I Love Mormon Girls” is a funny shirt, but I have to agree. I’ve always loved Mormon girls … especially my own wife and daughters. They are incredible. I love you Madeline, Brighten, and Tessha!
The red T-shirt is a joke of course. It says, “I’m a Mormon and Yes, I Know I’m Going to HELL. Thank You For Your Concern.” I found it funny. A lot of people actually think this though we obviously disagree. The t-shirt is another example of sarcastic humor. The “Latter-Day Surfer” is also a play on words. You’ll hear Mormons referred to as “LDS” at times because of the designation, Latter-day Saints. Why is that? It’s very simple. Read on to understand.
You see, Christians in the Bible were referred to as saints and since we believe these are the “last days” the name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The “saints” reference doesn’t mean we’re all perfect, by the way. Not by a long shot. But our goal is to be good and better followers of Christ, whatever that means.
In the Church, we call each other Brother so-and-so and Sister so-and-so a lot of the time. Hence the “Mormons. Calling Each Other ‘Bro’ before it was Cool” shirt. I thought it was funny. (Brother and Sister is really just a title or term of endearment more than all else, though we do believe we’re are all children of God and, as such, all brothers and sisters).
The elephant t-shirt (below) is a reference to one of our Articles of Faith (short declarations of what we believe). It reads “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men.” (Click Here if you’d like to review all 13 of these tenets. It’s actually a good way to get to know us a little better, if you’d like).
The blue t-shirt says “I’d Rather Be Wearing Mormon underwear.” It’s a joke but it’s also referring to a common “slam” that some anti-Mormons like to sling toward us active members of the Mormon Church. You see, if you’re an active, temple-worthy member of the LDS Church, you’re allowed to wear a certain special kind of undergarment that’s referred to as “the holy garment.” (I’m actually going to write a post about this at another time and try to explain the garment in a little more detail). They’re not “magic” or anything like that, by the way. For today, just think of them as a daily reminder of who we are and what we believe, of the kind of life we want to live, that we see daily (kind of like a priest with his collar or a nun with her habit). The main difference is that we wear our “reminder” under our clothes. As such, they’re the first thing we put on and take off each day and each night. Like I said, I’ll explain them in more detail at a later date. The “Mormon Air Jordan” tee is a picture of the Angel Moroni who appeared to Joseph Smith back in the early 1800s and led him to the hidden record, The Book of Mormon, helping to usher in what we refer to as “The Restoration of the Fullness of the Gospel Gospel.”
The “Heck is For Those Who Don’t Believe In Gosh” shirt is pretty creative, I though, and obviously a reference to the fact we also try to watch our language as Mormons (i.e. be a “little more creative” in our speech than a lot of people seem to be these days).
The “I Believe” shirt is from the Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, which has been wildly popular and has won several Emmy awards, among other things. While it is a satire and can be crass at times (I hear) and most definitely pokes fun at missionaries in the Church and our faith in general, etc., the show has actually created a lot of sincere interest in the Church itself. (To my understanding, the Church has even run an ad campaign in their programs at times that says, “You’ve Seen the Play. Now Read the Book,” inviting people to order a free copy of The Book of Mormon if they want one). If you’d like your own free copy delivered to you and don’t have one yet, please Click Here).
Personally, I haven’t seen the musical yet but I do actually hope to see it live someday. Next time we get to New York City or it comes here on tour I really hope to do so.
The “Mormon Father” tee is, of course, a reference to the classic film, The Godfather. The subline below it says “Loyal to the Family.” It’s more a statement than a joke, I think … a reference to just being a good dad. Fatherhood is important in the Mormon church. The only thing greater, in our opinion, is women and motherhood. (They’re way better and more priceless than us men, in my opinion; read: “us yahoos trying to figure things out”).
You’ve all seen Mormon Missionaries out and about with their white ties, black name tags, bicycles (often) and eager smiles more often than not. Seriously, though: I was one of them myself once and, I’ll be the first to admit: it was one of the most incredible, life-changing experiences of my life. (More on why this is in a future post but, suffice it to say, they were the best two years of my life up to that point for a lot of reasons).
The “This Is My P-Day” shirt refers to the one day a week when Mormon missionaries get to be “off” to write emails home, do their laundry, maybe go see the sights in the area in which they serve, etc. It’s their “Preparation Day” or, in other words. their “P-Day.”
The young kid’s shirt (middle right) with a tie and a name tag is obviously a reference to him looking forward to being a missionary someday if he elects to. It’s a huge honor to be able to represent the Church once you turn 18 or older and a lot of us look forward to doing so when the time is right.
The “Mormon Ninja” shirt is just a joke, though I know a few people like Mr. Greg Trimble who I personally think qualify well for that designation. (I wrote a post about him a little while ago. Click Here
to view his own Blog, “Life Through My Eyes,” if you’d like. It’s full of some really great Mormon/Life-focused insights)
The Tree of Life shirt (below) refers to a chapter in The Book of Mormon where a really neat metaphor of Christ is shared with the first prophet in the book, a man from ancient Jerusalem by the name of Lehi. (Click Here
to see what Wikipedia says about this story). It’s analysis of life, temptation, staying strong, and “returning home” is extraordinary.
The type in the brown shirt with the yellow truck is a little hard to read but it says “Elders Quorum Moving Company” in small red letters. This is a reference to the fact that when you’re Mormon and you’re moving in or out of a neighborhood you’ll usually see a bunch of members from your local congregation show up and help you out. (It’s called the Elders Quorum in the Church but they’re basically just any men above 18 years old).
I also like the t-shirt of the three missionaries with their swords. It reminds me of the old (2000) movie by Richard Dutcher, God’s Army
, which I highly recommend you see if you’ve never seen it. (Click Here
to view a YouTube trailer of the film if you’d like to).
The blue and white “I Can’t… I’m Mormon” shirt below is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that as Mormons there are some things we commit not to do. Alcohol, drugs, tobacco and premarital sex usually top the list. (That doesn’t mean you can’t be cute though as the picture attests). We do have a lot of pretty women in the Mormon church, most of whom do try to wait until they get married to “get jiggy.”)
The Mormon Mafia is a joke though there are some who actually think it exists. It’s a myth. I thought the “Keep Calm and Morm On” was creative, as well as the shirt below it, “The Super Mormony Mom.” (I know a few women who’d qualify as that).
Almost done now. The phrase, “Faith Can Move Mountains,” is a biblical reference as is also the Alma 19: 5 reference. It’s a verse from The Book of Mormon (Click Here
to read it if you want to understand the “he doth not stink” reference; it’s actually kind’a funny).
Another one of The Book of Mormon prophets (Lehi’s son, in fact) is named Nephi and he’s known for doing exactly what the Lord asked him to do, even when it wasn’t easy. Hence the t-shirt and reference to “Just Go and Do It.”
“Trust Me, I’m a Mormon” is also a tongue-in-cheek reference, of course. I don’t know that Mormons are any more trustworthy than the next person but we do try. And it is a fact that the FBI and CIA recruit a lot of returned Mormon missionaries, both for our language skills and also for the fact they can rely on us, or so they say. (Click Here
to read a great article on why this is true and also how the “Mormon Mafia” myth got started).
The Stripling Warriors t-shirt is another reference from The Book of Mormon
, a story about a group of 2,000 young warriors who went to war to protect their family members who, by the way, had previously covenanted to never kill again. It’s an awesome story. You can find the reference to follow if you’d like to read the story. Just Click Here
to do so.
Personally, I love the “Mormon Dude” (Mountain Dew reference) t-shirt; I might actually go buy myself that one; it’s classic. And, last but certainly not least, probably the best one of them all is the t-shirt about moms and the influence they have on their kids. It isn’t funny. It’s tender and so true. A mom’s contribution is, indeed, Beyond Calculation. I mentioned this earlier but I really can’t describe for you how much our moms, daughters, wives, etc., mean to us in the Mormon Church. They’re the epitome of all we hold most dear and a true sign of the incredible love our Father in Heaven has for us all. As men, we are truly inadequate companions by comparison, in my own opinion. (We’re just “trying to keep up.” I’m so grateful for the extraordinary women in my own life…).
P.S. Anyone who tries to tell you that the Mormon Church is chauvinistic and that women hold an inferior role does not have their facts straight, at all. This too is a topic I’ll write more about in a later post but, in the interim, if you’d like to dig into this topic more, feel free listen to the talk at the following link. It’s incredible. I know I’ve shared a lot of links in this write-up but they’re here if you want them and have time; if not, that’s perfectly fine. (To listen to the talk, from a sister named Sharon Eubank, you can Click Here
. She does a really good job of addressing this topic as well).
Wow, that took a lot longer than I expected it to. I’ve gotta say, I started this post thinking it was going to be a short one (“just copy a few pictures and add some comments, right?”) It never quite works out like that. It’s all good. It’s been fun, putting it together.
So…. you’ve gained a few more insights and I hope you enjoyed it.
Thanks for hanging in here with me. Have a nice night and I’ll talk with you later.
Keep laughing … and learning.
All the best,
Patrick Laing – Portland, Oregon USA