An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Last week I attended a large anniversary celebration for some Catholic friends. I couldn’t help contrasting their party with affairs hosted by Mormons.

First of all, it was held at a hotel rather than a church social hall, so there was no awkwardness for friends of a different faith—and of course, no dress code. No eyebrows were raised for women wearing pants or sleeveless tops. Men breathed comfortably sans neckties.

Even more importantly—no formal reception line. Guests did not have to queue up to pay their respects. Our hosts circulated and socialized throughout the evening.  

Of course, there was a bar which may have lubricated the sociability—but no one got drunk or even loud. I had a great time without alcohol. At this season of my life, I abstain for other than religious reasons. Observation has convinced me that most people who start drinking after their teen years make fools of themselves. Nobody will think that’s cute or even forgivable at my age.

But, back to entertaining. Most Mormons I know are not uptight people, but no one would guess that if they saw them only at wedding or anniversary receptions. Mormons could improve their image by lightening up and throwing parties to celebrate special occasions rather than hosting formal affairs where the guests stand in line and wish they were home.

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