Stereotype – Beliefs or ideas about the personal attributes of a group of people.
Living in Utah, sometimes it is hard to find someone that does not already know about the LDS church. Most of the people living here know what stereotypes or rumors are true and which ones are not.
I work at a drug and alcohol recovery center that mostly caters to patients from out of state. Most of the time the first thing a patient will ask me is, “Are you a Mormon?” While working there I have been asked almost everything from A-Z concerning mormon stereotypes. Having been on a mission, I have been well prepared in how to respond.
Some of the things people ask me I feel like they already know the answer to but want to see my reaction anyway. These stereotypes are the ones that really bother me. I am fine answering honest questions but when the stereotype is discussed just to see the reaction of a member of the group the stereotype is about, I get a little frustrated.
One patient asked me how many moms I had. One asked me why I don’t believe in the bible. These of course are stereotypes that people, who are not educated or just heard something wrong, have about Mormons
The thing about stereotypes is that most of the time they are not true for everyone in the group. This can offend people if we are quick to make judgements just based on how we classify them to a specific group.