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“A Temple of God”: A Qualitative Analysis of the connection Between Spiritual/Religious Beliefs and Health Among Mormons

  • Bárbara Badanta
  • Giancarlo Lucchetti
  • Rocío de Diego-CorderoEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Health Religion Mormons Qualitative research 

Notes

Funding

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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019
corrected publication 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Nursing, Physiotherapy, and PodiatryUniversity of SevilleSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Research Group: Coalition for the Study of Health, Power, and DiversityCenter of Community Research and Action at the University of SevilleSevilleSpain
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, School of MedicineFederal University of Juiz de ForaJuiz de ForaBrazil
  4. 4.Research Group CTS 969 “Innovation in HealthCare and Social Determinants of Health”, School of Nursing, Physiotherapy and PodiatryUniversity of SevilleSevilleSpain

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