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Question

 

Gramps,

Why do so many Mormons have trampolines? There are a lot of Mormons in my hometown and it’s something I’ve always wondered about. I’ve been told two totally different theories. One, jumping on a trampoline is just good clean fun, and because Mormons have tons of kids, it’s a good way to keep them all busy, fit, and tired. Second, that there’s some kind of quasi-spiritual benefit of “jumping” closer to God. I would really appreciate any insight or information you could provide on this topic!

Natalie

 

Answer

 

Dear Natalie,

Weird myths about the Mormon Church and the Mormon people never cease to circulate. I thought that I had heard them all, but this idea of jumping on a trampoline to get closer to God is one that I had never heard before, and it tops the list of ridiculous, unfounded concepts attributed to the Mormon people.

It’s true that the Mormon people have a strong affinity for the home as being the foundation of society, and adhere strongly to the traditional notion that one of the sacred purposes of marriage is to bring children into the world and provide for them a healthy, happy and productive home life. But the idea that Mormons have “tons of kids” is, of course, stretching things a bit. Mormon families are indeed somewhat larger than the average U.S. family, but that difference stems much more from the limitation that modern society has put on bearing children and raising them in a traditional family setting than it does on any supposed undue size of Mormon families. The average household size for the U.S. in the 2000 census was 2.59. We can compare that household density with that of a typical small Mormon community in central Utah. The population of Manti, Utah in the year 2000 was 3,042. The average household size in this typical Mormon community in the year 2000 was 3.25–slightly more than half a child per household more than the national average. That difference would hardly qualify for the description of “tons of kids.”

Now back to the trampoline. It is obvious that with an average household density not that much higher than the national average, trampolines are not used by Mormon families as an energy outlet because of an inordinate number of children in the family. However, there may be a reason for a higher number of trampolines in Mormon families that is related to their culture. Sports activities are part of the youth programs for both the young men and young women in the Mormon Church. Basketball leagues are sponsored for young men between the ages of 16 and 18, and also for young adults. Volleyball leagues are sponsored for the young women. So the youth of the Mormon Church are rather sports oriented, and trampolines are nothing more than an additional recreational activity that would appeal to any sports oriented youth.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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