“A Temple of God”: A Qualitative Analysis of the connection Between Spiritual/Religious Beliefs and Health Among Mormons
In the last decades, studies have increasingly shown an association between religious/spiritual beliefs (R/S) and several health outcomes. In this context, Mormons provide an intriguing case for such investigation because Mormonism stands out for its commitment to the “Word of Wisdom” with several restrictions and recommendations. Despite the consolidated wide array of evidence, showing that the relationship between “Word of Wisdom” and health may usually have a protective effect in North-American studies, little is know about this community in other countries and, to our knowledge, no health studies have ever been carried out in European and Spanish Mormons. The present qualitative study aims to fill this gap, exploring the discourses, opinions, and attitudes of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about the recommendations of the Health Law and the “Word of Wisdom” on their health. In the analysis, six themes appeared during the coding process and were converted in the following categories: Theme 1 Body as a Temple, Theme 2 Promises of blessing, Theme 3 Healthy lifestyle, Theme 4 Stigma, Theme 5 Damage to the family, and Theme 6 Spiritual Performance. We found that fulfilling the “Law of Wisdom” may lead Mormons to take care of their health, and to have a network of support from church leaders, who may act as health promoters. Religiosity tends to insert values and behaviours that seem to benefit individual’s health and protect their families, such as the non-use of substances and the preservation of a “healthy body” (i.e. “body as a temple”). However, some stigma and isolation may appear in contact with other groups due to these restrictions and limitations.
KeywordsHealth Religion Mormons Qualitative research
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
No conflict of interest has been declared by the authors.
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