Profanity is so ingrained in American culture that it stands out more when someone doesn’t ever do it. So do Mormons swear?
No, Mormons don’t swear. They don’t say the names of the Lord, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Ghost unless meant with respect. They also don’t use profane language because it is offensive to God.
Although it isn’t the worst sin imaginable, Mormons do find it offensive and will even ask others to stop swearing if they feel it’s necessary.
What Is Swearing, Anyway?
When we talk about swearing, we are typically talking about profanity. Profanity is somewhat vague but, generally speaking, it’s a word or phrase that is offensive.
The offense can be due to disrespect for one’s religion or because it is simply rude.
In English, profane words are commonly known as the four-letter words because the most common swear words are four letters. I don’t think it’s really necessary to write out what they are. I’m sure you know which ones I’m talking about.
For Mormons, swearing refers to both types of offense.
If you say something that is disrespectful of their religion, like saying the name Jesus Christ in a context that is not in praise of the religious figure Jesus Christ, then you are swearing.
Likewise, Mormons would think that Cardi B’s “WAP” is full of swearing and profanity because she and Megan Thee Stallion are both using actual swear words and because they are singing about something profane, namely hot sex.
Mormon Swear Words
The irony is that almost all Mormons have found replacements for swear words that sound almost exactly the same, just slightly different.
So when a BYU college student is riding his bike down the sidewalk and hits a rock, sending him over his handlebars and into the road, he’ll yell, “Frick!” or Frig or Flip or Fetch or Fart.
Of course, there’s the familiar “oh my gosh” instead of “oh my god,” which circumnavigates the uncomfortable situation of having taken your creator’s name in vain.
If you really don’t like someone and think they’re a pretentious butthole, you may call them a witch in a fit of rage.
And then your mother will come running down the hall and say, “dangit, Billy. I oughta whoop your bottom to heck for that crap.”
At which point, you’ll both feel less angry but maybe now a little guilty for having brushed up against the devil so close.
What’s funny about all of this isn’t that Mormons have fun words to replace harsh swear words. It’s that they use acceptable words interchangeably with words that they aren’t allowed to use.
Words are just symbols that point to something else, so if you’re using a different word to point to the same thing, is it all that different? It’s unclear, and this debate is robust in Mormon circles.
Most of the euphemisms for swear words come from Mormon youth in college.
Although there is not a cut-and-dry response from the church’s leadership about these euphemisms, they have a pamphlet called For The Strength Of Youth which helps young Mormons live a righteous life and make good decisions.
It doesn’t mention substitutes for swear words but tells the youth that their language should reflect a “bright and wholesome mind.”
It recommends that Mormons use language that is clean and intelligent. Language that “uplifts, encourages, and compliments others.”
The youth will be the youth, and even Mormon youth are prone to pushing boundaries.
So whether you believe substitute curse words are the same as regular ones or not, the youth will likely continue on their merry way.
So no, Mormons don’t swear. Not like the rest of society anyway. They say things like “Oh my heck!” instead.
But because they aren’t actually swear words, they are often considered a cleaner way of expressing pain, anger, or frustration. Just because Mormons don’t express frustration vulgarly doesn’t mean they don’t experience frustration.
The next time you hear a Mormon say, “Feck, my flippin’ razor scooter got stolen! That son of a motherless goat, I’m gonna have to walk to church now. Heck!” just cut them some slack.
They’re having a bad day. Let them fake swear in faithful peace.