For those who don't know this yet, I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so in other words, I'm a Mormon.
It kind of cracks me up that people think we are full of hate when we are really a very loving people. I think it's because we have different rules of right and wrong than most people. So, in a effort to clear this up a little bit I've decided to explain what "right" and "wrong" mean to me.
God in His infinite wisdom knows the happiest and best possible course and end for each of us. This is to become like God, literally. Our Heavenly Father, having attained this goal Himself, wants each of us to have all He has. So He has given us specific instructions, called commandments.
Following commandments is kind of like following a compass heading. There is only one "right on the mark." Everything else is wrong. They are different degrees of wrongness, but every last one of them will fail to get you exactly where you want to go. Being 1 degree off or being 90 degrees off, either way, you are going to miss the mark. Anything that does not lead you to Godhood is "wrong."
None of us are perfect, and yes all of us Mormons know we aren't perfect. As Christians, we believe that Christ can and will make up for our imperfections, after all that we can do. We don't, however think this is a one shot deal.
We believe that God constantly corrects us as we follow our compass and seek to follow Him. He doesn't force Salvation on anyone, but He knows it is easier for us to allow Him to correct our alignment a degree at a time than to turn a huge amount. The fewer degrees we are off track the easier it is for us to allow Him to bring us fully in line.
God doesn't force anyone to Heaven, we have to want it, we have to walk it, and we have to learn to accept course correction.
So when a Mormon says, "We believe it is wrong to drink alcohol."
Please, please, please, do not hear, "I think you are disgusting and evil because you drink that stuff."
Because, what we are really saying is, "It's hard enough for me to accept course correction as it is! I can't afford to deaden myself to feeling God's promptings."
We find safety, peace, and joy in walking as close to the right direction as possible.
Now here's the part where people get really confused: It pains us to watch people we care about walking in another direction.
People think, "You hate everyone who isn't like you. You can't accept that I have a right to live differently."
That isn't true.
We aren't about hate.
We do know you have the choice to do what you want with your life, your eternity.
We just wish you wouldn't make choices that turn you away from what we honestly, truly, 100% believe is the only path that ends in happiness.
And, isn't caring about your eternal happiness... loving you?