6 Signs You Grew Up Mormon

As featured on KSL.com and DeseretNews.com

Not everyone is familiar with the strange but endearing ways of Latter-day Saints, but they definitely have some character traits that set them apart from most. Even if you didn’t grow up in Utah, most Mormon families are more than familiar with the following six cultural trends:

1. Innocent ‘bad’ words

If your home growing up was a place where “fart” was a bad word, you might be a Mormon. Although not every Mormon was taught not to say crude words, most experienced some type of innocent word being outlawed. The offending words (aside from regular swear words) could include but aren’t limited to the following: “fart, butt, shut up, stupid, crap, suck,” etc.

2. Strange foods

Despite what some might say, Mormons have a strange affinity for abnormal food combinations. If every family gathering you went to included a casserole dish of green (or some other type) of Jell-O with carrot shavings in it, you likely grew up in a Mormon family. In addition to gelatin desserts with random vegetables snuck in, you might have enjoyed funeral potatoes and “Better Than Whatever” cake.

3. Mormon acronyms

Most people are bamboozled by the seemingly endless collection of acronyms common in Mormon vernacular. But, if you grew up Mormon, you’re likely not going to have any trouble deciphering the following common acronyms also known as Mormon-ese:

  • FHE (family home evening)
  • MTC (missionary training center)
  • BYC (bishop’s youth committee)
  • D&C/BOM (Doctrine and Covenants/Book of Mormon)
  • DI (Deseret Industries)
  • YSA (young single adult)
  • WoW (Word of Wisdom)
  • RM (returned missionary)
  • EFY (especially for youth)
  • CTR (choose the right)
  • MoTab (Mormon Tabernacle Choir)

As with any tight-knit culture, abbreviations rule the day, and Mormon-raised people have little issue with translating each one of the above.


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4. Catchy tunes

Music is a huge part of the Mormon culture and worship, so it only makes sense that certain songs are well-known throughout the worldwide Mormon community. Non-Mormons might not get excited when they hear “Popcorn Popping,” or “Scripture Power,” but these songs and other Primary (Sunday School portion of Mormon worship for young children) classics will always get a rousing response from anyone that grew up singing the songs each Sunday at church.

5. Caffeine controversy

It’s commonly known that Mormons abstain from alcoholic beverages as well as coffee and tea, but fewer non-Mormons know that even caffeinated soda is up for debate. According to the Word of Wisdom (the Mormon law of health including dietary restrictions), “…as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good…” Some Mormons claim that this scripture along with other urgings from church leaders includes any caffeinated beverage within the list of off-limit substances. So if you were raised to say Sprite was OK but Dr Pepper wasn’t, then chances are you grew up Mormon.

6. Sunday movies

Sundays are often a day to relax and enjoy some time off. However, most Mormons believe they should not engage in typical outdoor recreation, work, or spending on Sundays, so other forms of entertainment take place. One such form of entertainment that seems to be sanctioned for the Sabbath is The Living Scriptures videos, which take scriptural stories from the Mormon scripture canon and turn them into cartoon movies for kids.

Because the movies are stories straight from the scriptures used by Mormons, most Mormon kids grew up watching these pleasing videos on Sunday, for FHE and more.

If you still want your kids to enjoy the scriptural stories and lessons taught in these videos, know that you can stream the videos to your devices instantly at the click of a button. Learn more at www.livingscriptures.com today.

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55 thoughts on “6 Signs You Grew Up Mormon”

  1. Utah mormons are a peculiar people, the rest of us don’t eat green jell-o.

      1. Agreed, I think I had that back when I was a kid, but haven’t seen it since & it was in Ut lol

    1. You agree. I grow up in Mexico City and was raised as a Mormon. It was very different than how some of my friends that were raised in Utah. People are full of Mormon traditions there.

  2. All but the carrot jello apply to me but them again I grew up in the m sdion field (still do).

  3. I grew up just outside New York City and never met a “Mormon” until I was 15, but Jell-O with carrots was a common dish at our family gatherings. I also remember, in the MTC, being taught not to say “with every fiber of my being,” since that was a phrase that non-“Mormons” might not understand; yet I’ve probably heard that thousands of times from people who aren’t members of the Church of Jesus Christ vs. maybe half a dozen times from those who are.

    Different world, I guess….

  4. Funny thing, the only thing I can personally relate to is #3. I grew up with the other things being a Utah joke, but never really expirienced any of them.

  5. I never knew it was hard to have people help you move. If you needed help to move you called your home teachers and had 10 people ready to go in just a few hours. When I had friends ask for help to move outside the church, they were almost apologetic about it and then surprised when I’d show up with a couple of people from church with me to help as well.

  6. Number 2 is definitely Utah centric. I’ve never had jello with carrots. It’s not a thing anywhere else. Also DI is very Utah centric.

    1. Not really, maybe sourhwest because I know DI and i have had many of gatherings with carrot-filled jello and i live in Arizona.

  7. Im a Utah Mormon and don’t and will never eat jello with carrots. We have jello salad with cottage cheese, cool whip and fruit but that’s completely different!

    1. Yeah, at our family and ward gatherings it was lemon jello or banana pudding with sliced bananas on top. Tres delish!

    2. I served in the Utah Provo Mission and had green jello filled with shredded carrots served on a lettuce leaf topped with mayonnaise several times.

  8. You know, I get up in a Mormon house, and I can say only one of those is true, the Mormon Abbreviation, though sadly WoW isn’t the Word of Wisdom in my house It’s World of Warcraft.

  9. I was taught not to say fart. I set a New Year’s resolution 4 years in a row to not say it and all, and was perfectly successful 1 of the 4 and felt really guilty the other 3 years. I still think it’s an extra funny word.
    The ‘S’ words were shut up and stupid.
    Gosh and darn were too close to the real things and might make you think the curse words – so those had to go too.

    With the inability to say anything to release pressure, it’s a wonder we turned out!

    1. Yup. Its true. My dad always told us to say “Hot Jello!”, when we felt the need to say a bad word. I still say it and it sounds so silly that it makes us all crack up and forget what ticked us off in the first place. Smart man,my dad was.

      1. I did not grow up Mormon, but my kids have. I still had jello with carrots in it, and used “other” words for cuss words. We used Fiddlesticks and Pickles. We weren’t allowed to used Darn, Frieking, Shoot, and others already mentioned.

        It wasn’t until my oldest daughter moved to Utah that I had ever heard of DI. I still have to think about WoW too.

  10. All applies to me and I grew up in Peoria AZ! Lol! But more often than not it was the punch (7up or ginger ale with sherbert) that showed it’s face before the Jell-O every time!

  11. I grew up in a small town in AZ and yeah most of these apply. Except My mom did jello w/cottage cheese and a carrot and raisin salad. And we drank Dr P all the time! And wonderful world of Disney on Sunday!

    1. My mom made both the jello salad with cottage cheese and a carrot salad with Raisins and it was so good too!!!!

  12. I grew up Mormon in Oregon & I can relate to everything but the carrot-Jell-o. We had Jell-o ALL the time but NEVER with carrots!

  13. Jell-o with cottage cheese yes, but never carrots or veggies, pineapple yes. We were not introduced to funeral potatoes until my daughter brought the recipe back after a trip to Arizona. Everything else to right on!

  14. I am a 6th generation Mormon and was born in San Diego ca. My father was an inactive Mormon who was born in Utah. My mother was born in grace idaho. I remember all 6 signs for growing up in Utah. I think that they refer to multigenerational mormons whereever they live.

    1. Ryan, I grew up in Soda Springs. I still have cousins that live there. Yes, I have had and made lime jello with shredded carrots and mayonnaise on top! Yes I like it. 4-8 generation Mormon depending on which side of my family tree you bark at.

      1. Same here, but mom grew up in various parts of the U.S. and I grew up in Carson City, NV. Dad swore like a farmer and drank coffee, mom didn’t like the swearing, but there was a lot of caffeine in the house as it was our “Mormon alcohol ” yo my non Mormon friends. Dad would bring out hot yellow jello water when my brother and I had the flu and would make green jello with canned pineapple whenever I would bring home a date. I would apologize and say, no matter how much and far the boy from Bountiful changes and moves away, the Bountiful ways still find a way to come out.

  15. Knew all of the acronyms, I just didn’t drink soda as an athlete so caffeine was never really an issue, unless you find a hot chocolate. That contains caffeine. But I don’t know originally were that one came into play.

  16. Yeah. I have lived in Utah my whole life and I dont know anyone who has put carrots in their jello. Everything else definitely applies.

  17. The only time I had green jello with carrots was at my Methodist Grandma’s pot lucks. Pretzel and strawberry Jello is one I associate with LDS. One thing they left out is having a food storage room.

    1. I’m in a few homesteading groups, and one woman posted pictures of her food storage and said “I hoard food like a Mormon!” I couldn’t help but laugh with her, because we all know it’s true.

  18. Reading some of the comments I think INACTIVE may be another “Mormonism” I live in Georgia, many people around me can’t fathom that we go to church every week (let alone 3 hours!), and lots of people still consider themselves religious even if they only go to church on Easter and Christmas eve.

  19. I’m a “Southern Mormon” so basically was considered an alien because we didn’t drink sweet tea. Everyone would ask, “Well then, WHAT do you drink!?” Haha
    We know nothing about jello except it goes in the dessert table.

  20. I wonder if the green Jello morphed into the Jello salad with cottage cheese. Like a generational thing. I remember seeing the green Jello when I was younger (born in 1981) but there was almost always that nasty cottage cheese Jello at every event I went to in Utah.

  21. I’m a Utah Mormon and green jello with carrots is definitely a thing. Maybe it’s just Utah County, where I lived, but I had some several times. However, I haven’t seen it since I moved away so it might just be a Utah thing. Everything is 100% true. Fart was a very bad word in my house.

  22. Putting away chairs is another one. Several times I’ve had people approach me and ask if I am LDS based on my willingness to and ability to put away folding chairs quickly, several at a time, and pushed together on a cart so they all fit.
    Dry mopping is also apparently a dead give away.

  23. Yes to all the above, but I was raised in Texas by a convert and a 2nd generation Mormon. Texas Mormons are a bit different. They seem to keep a few things from their Baptist pasts. Songs, sayings and such. And are the better for it in my opinion. I was raised strictly Mormon. Now that I’m grown, I’m more of a Jack Mormon. Which means I believe in all the church teachings but don’t always follow all the rules. My rule breaking comes in the form of swearing like a sailor and church attendance being hit or miss. The opportunity to serve others and the friendships built are greatly missed. The Savior is always the center of my life. I guess that’s the bottom line no matter where we were all raised. God’s speed my brothers and sisters, wherever you all are.

  24. I grew up Mormon but in the east, the 6 sign you grew up Mormon should be titled “Utah Mormon”. I live in Utah now and can relate but it was not my experience out east. Utah has a separate culture.

  25. I grew up Mormon in Oregon in the 70s and 80s. I never heard of the Living Scriptures until I went on my mission to California. We did listen to the Book of Mormon stories on cassette tape and had the book to follow along. My mom was a convert at 18 but we still had crazy Jello concoctions. We would have lime jello with pears, strawberry jello with bananas, and orange jello with either carrots or mandarin oranges. I’ve never had them since having my own family. We also had funeral potatoes but called it just potato casserole. I never heard them called funeral potatoes until moved to Utah. I had to ask someone why they were called that. I also didn’t see or hear used a lot of the abbreviations we use in Utah. I never heard FHE, BoM, or even MoTab until I went on my mission and heard it from the other missionaries. We always just said the whole word. We didn’t even have a DI near us, just a Goodwill. And let’s just say, we loved our caffeine pop growing up. I didn’t realize this was a issue until I went to Ricks College in Idaho and the vending machines had no Dr. Pepper or Coke. First time I had ever seen or heard of Fresca which became my drink of choice while at school. 🙂

  26. Yes I grew up in Utah and of course I remember all of those I am the 7th generation who lives in Utah in my dad’s side and probably the 6th generation on my mom’s side but I love it here in utah

  27. I live in Idaho and the funniest thing is that I have experienced every single one of these things. I love being LDS. I especially thought the acronyms were funny because we do say them all the time. This made my day:)

  28. Lived in Utah my whole life, Never heard of Jell-o with carrots but green Jell-O or funeral potatoes I have

  29. I grew up Mormon, I’m currently inactive, but I remember all of these traditions fondly. I was one of 5 Mormons in a high school of 2 thousand. It was an experience on its own.

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