Dating a Mormon - For the person considering it
Mormon people tend to be sincere, dedicated, and generally all-around nice people. Foundational to their belief system is that they belong to the one true church. According to their church leaders, the Mormon Church is the only right religion on the face of the earth. They will gladly say that all religions have some truth, but no other pastor, bishop, priest or spiritual leader has any spiritual authority except for the leaders of their Church.
Depending on how committed the Mormon person is to their church, you can expect varying degrees of insistence that you yourself become a Mormon. If the person you are dating is a faithful, committed Mormon the expectation will be that sooner or later you will convert, with the greatest pressure (if not an absolute condition) on you to convert a year before marriage so you can be married in a Mormon temple. For more on what this entails see this article on temple marriages by a former Mormon:
If the person you are dating is a nominally committed Mormon, there will still be a desire for you to convert and undoubtedly requests for you to take the Mormon Missionary lessons as part of the conversion process. However, the person may not insist that you become a Mormon before marriage, though you will generally be thought to have a second-class marriage if you are “unequally yoked,” i.e., if you’ve not joined the one true church.
If the person you are dating is a cultural Mormon, or non-practicing, or inactive member, they may not care if you join the Mormon Church or not. They will however, still hold some unique doctrinal beliefs that it would be good that you were aware of. Here are a couple of examples taken from our article on Mormon belief, which I’d encourage you to read in full, if you have not already.
- The Bible has many errors, changes, and omissions and must be understood using the Mormon scriptures as explained by the LDS Church's prophets.
- God the Father was once a man like us but is now God, our Heavenly Father.
- We are all eternal, uncreated spirits who became the literal offspring of our Heavenly Father and Mother.
- Jesus Christ was the firstborn spirit son of our heavenly parents and is the literal elder spirit brother of all of their other spirit children, including Lucifer (Satan). He became a God in heaven before becoming a mortal man.
- The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate Gods with three separate bodies (the first two of flesh and bone, the third of spirit).
- Jesus Christ organized this world with the help of others, under the direction of Heavenly Father and the Council of the Gods; his helpers included Adam and perhaps Joseph Smith.
As you can see from these examples, much of Mormon teaching regarding God and Jesus is not based on the Bible, and Mormonism as a religious system is not true Christianity. A true Christian church should never claim to be the ONLY true Church. Mormons do use certain Bible verses (though these are often taken out of context) to support some of their beliefs and teaching, and they do have a good and proper emphasis on family and morality, but these elements alone don’t make any church Christian.
For other perspectives on life as a Mormon you may want to read some of the stories on our Stories page.