Spiritual peace and enlightenment are the best reasons to investigate and join the LDS (“Mormon”) Church; any other benefits are secondary. I’ve been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for over 20 years, and Jesus Christ’s restored gospel continues to transform my life for the better. My love of the Savior is the reason I continue to dedicate my life to Him, however imperfectly, day after day.
However, there are many secular and humanistic benefits for being Mormon as well. So many in our society shout angry condemnations of religion in general and Mormonism in particular. They claim that religion has done no good in the world. These loud critics are misinformed, and their allegations are demonstrably false. Allow me to list some of the secular benefits of being Mormon.


A doctorPhysical and Mental Health Benefits

Surprisingly, there are significant physical and mental health benefits to being Mormon. These benefits are likely derived from our dietary code and the social support we receive in our Church communities. Let me list some of the specific health benefits: ()

Physical Health

  • Active Mormons have reduced death rates, increased life expectancy, and increased longevity. American Mormon men live, on average, 10 years longer than the average. Mormon women live 5 years longer. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
  • Active Mormons have lower general cancer rates, reportedly the lowest rates in the country. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
  • Active Mormons have lower rates of lung disease and cancer. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
  • Active Mormons have lower rates of breast cancer. (1) (2) (3)
  • Practicing Mormons have lower rates of cervical cancer. (1) (2) (3)
  • Practicing Mormons have lower rates of ovarian cancer. (1) (2)
  • Practicing Mormons have lower rates of uterine cancer. (1)
  • Practicing Mormons have lower rates of cancer of the larynx. (1)
  • Practicing Mormons have lower rates of cancer of the pharynx. (1)
  • Practicing Mormons have lower rates of cancer of the oral cavity. (1)
  • Active Mormons have lower rates of esophageal cancer. (1)
  • Active Mormons have lower rates of urinary bladder cancer. (1)
  • Active Mormons have lower rates of stomach cancer. (1) (2) (3)
  • Active Mormons have lower rates of colon-rectum cancer. (1) (2) (3)
  • Active Mormons have lower rates of pancreatic cancer. (1)
  • Active Mormons are less likely to get leukemia and lymphoma. (1)
  • Active Mormon men have lower rates of prostate cancer. (1)
  • Active Mormons have lower rates of heart disease. (1) (2) (3)
  • Once a month, most Mormons fast (abstain from food) for approximately 24 hours. The money that would have been spent on food is donated to the poor. Studies have shown that Mormon-style fasting reduces oneís chances of getting heart disease. (1) (2)
  • Mormons are less likely to smoke, drink, and use illegal drugs than Protestants and Catholics. (1)
  • 85% of Mormons report their health is good or excellent, higher than any other religious group. Only 3% of Mormons say their health is poor. (1)
  • Active Mormons have lower rates of multiple sclerosis. (1)

Mental Health

  • Mormons are less likely to be depressed. For women, depression tends to be lower among those that are more active in the Church. Mormon men were found to have the lowest depression scores of any group. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
  • A study of American teenagers conducted by researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill found that Mormon teens were more likely to have a positive attitude about the future than any other group surveyed. (1) (2)
  • High levels of commitment in the LDS Church are found to be positively correlated with a sense of meaning in life. (1)
  • Mormons are less likely to commit suicide. (1) (2) (3)
  • Studies have shown that religious people are less impulsive. (1)
  • Studies have shown that religious people in general have better psychological well-being. (1)

Humanitarian Efforts

Over the course of the past 20 years, the LDS Church has spent over 1 billion dollars (1 billion!) on humanitarian efforts. This great work has been accomplished using donations from faithful Church members all over the world. For me it is an honor to be part of an organization that does so much good. Let me list just a few of the Church’s recent humanitarian projects: ()

  • Atmit is a highly nutritious Ethiopian porridge mixture. In 2003, the Church sent its first shipment of Atmit, 80,000 pounds, to Ethiopia to help relieve mass starvation. The Church continues to produce Atmit and to distribute it to people suffering from starvation in various parts of the world. (1)
  • The LDS Church first participated in a wheelchair initiative in 2003. The Church distributes wheelchairs through local agencies to disabled people, principally in the developing world. In 2006, for example, 54,840 wheelchairs were distributed in 54 countries. (1)
  • As part of Churchís vision treatment program, volunteer ophthalmologists assist medical care providers around the world with training and equipment to treat simple vision problems. Since 2003, the Churchís efforts have assisted 20,000 people. In 2006, for example, training was conducted in 10 developing nations. (1)
  • The LDS Church provided immediate humanitarian assistance in December 2004 to the tsunami-hit areas of Indonesia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. Partnering with Islamic Relief Worldwide, the Church sent food and emergency supplies from the United States to the devastated areas. The Church continues to assist with the reconstruction on homes, schools, medical facilities, and mosques. (1)
  • The LDS Church has sent volunteer physicians and nurses to instruct birth attendants on neonatal resuscitation techniques. With this training, attendants are able to help save the lives of babies who have breathing difficulties at birth. Through Church efforts, tens of thousands of birth attendants have been trained. In 2006, for example, training was conducted in 26 developing nations. (1)
  • In 2003, the Church donated three million dollars to support a worldwide initiative that would provide measles vaccinations to children in 40 countries. The Mormons undertook additional vaccination projects in 2004 and 2006. (1)
  • In 2002, the LDS Church began an initiative to provide communities around the world with access to clean water sources. In 2006, clean water projects were conducted in 32 countries benefiting over 1.1 million people in over 1,000 communities. (1)
  • The Perpetual Education Fund, a Church program implemented in 2001, provides educational loans to members living in areas with widespread poverty. As of late 2009, over 40,000 people had received loans through the program. One study confirmed that the monthly wage of loan recipients increases from US$179 before schooling to US$756 immediately after completion of their training program. (1)
  • A recent (2010) study indicated that Mormons are among the most charitable of Americans with their means and time, both in religious and non-religious causes. (1)

Education

Mormons leaders often stress the importance of getting a good education. Consequently, there are a number of educational benefits to being Mormon as well. ()

  • As Mormons gain more education, they are more likely to have stronger beliefs, the opposite of most other religions. (1) (2)
  • Mormons are more likely to have at least some college education than the general population (61% vs. 50%). (1)
  • In one study, LDS women were found to be more likely to graduate from college than Catholic or Protestant women. (1) (2)
  • A study of American teenagers conducted by researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill found that Mormon teens performed better in school than any other group surveyed. (1)
  • Mormon college students who serve missions tend to have better GPAs when they return home. (1)

Family

A great example of teenagers who have been shaped by their Mormon beliefs
Mormonism also benefits family life, including the lives of both children and parents. ()

  • American Mormons that marry other Mormons in the temple have the lowest divorce rates in the country. In 2000, the divorce rate for Mormon temple marriages was found to be 6%. (1) (2) (3)
  • Mormon youth are less likely to be delinquent. (1)
  • Mormon youth have the lowest use of tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs. (1)
  • A study of American teenagers conducted by researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill found that Mormon teens were less likely to engage in risky behaviors than any other group surveyed. (1)
  • High levels of activity and commitment in the ìMormon Churchî are correlated with higher levels of marital satisfaction and adjustment. (1)

Work and Productivity

Some studies have also demonstrated the positive effect Mormonism has on work productivity.

  • High levels of commitment and activity in the ìMormon Churchî were found to be positively correlated with positive work attitudes and job satisfaction. (1)

Religious Beliefs and Practices

Mormon young women describing their faith
Many people consider piety to be a virtue, regardless of theology. Mormons also score high on tests of religious devotion. ()

  • 100% of Mormons surveyed in 2009 said they believe in God or a supreme being, higher than any other religious group. (1)
  • 83% of Mormons say their religion is very important in their lives, compared to 56% of the general population. (1)
  • In the United States, Mormons are among the most active of the major religious traditions. 76% attend Church at least once a week, compared to 39% of the general population. By comparison, roughly 60% of evangelicals attend church weekly. (1)
  • 88% of Mormons believe that God performs miracles in our days, compared to 50% of the general population. (1)
  • Mormons are far more likely to read scriptures weekly (76%, compared to 35% of the general population). (1)
  • Mormons are more likely to pray daily than the general population (82% vs. 58%) and more likely to believe they receive answers to their prayers at least monthly (54% vs. 31%). (1)
  • A recent (2010) study indicated that Mormons are among the most devout religious groups in the country. (1)
  • A recent (2010) study indicated that Mormons are among those most likely to keep their childhood faith as adults. (1)
  • A recent (2010) study indicated that Mormons are among those most friendly toward those of other faiths. Religious harmony is very important in the Mormon faith. (1)

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