People sometimes think the darndest things about Utah.  Growing up an LDS(Mormon) kid in Michigan, I got a lot of the same questions.  Things like "Why don't you believe in electricity?" and "How many moms do you have?"  As recently as last week I was asked how many Polygamist weddings I've been to.  (For those who are curious, the answers are we do, just one, and none.)

Here are some common Myths about Utah that people tend to believe are true.

1) Only Mormons Live In Utah

This is not true. However it makes sense for some people to come to that conclusion.  While Latter-Day Saints(LDS) make up only 0.2% of the world's population, they make up over 60% of the population in Utah.  This explains the culture shock for people who move here from other states who suddenly find themselves in a culture that is largely unknown to the rest of the world.

Most of the country is less than 1% LDS, while Utah and the west is much higher
Most of the country is less than 1% LDS, while Utah is over 60% (reddit)

What also feeds into this myth is how much LDS people are disproportionately represented in government.  According to The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 out of every 10 seats in the Utah Legislature are occupied by Members of the LDS Church. That may explain why the liquor laws for example are the way they are.

So while it's not true that everyone in Utah is LDS, it is true that the majority of the state is, and the overwhelming majority of the lawmakers are as well. So "everybody" is more of a feeling than a solid statistic.

2) Alcohol is Illegal

This is not true.  Of course drinking in legal in Utah.  However Utah does not allow hard liquor or wine to be sold outside of state-run liquor stores, so we understand how someone can go to the grocery store, not see a liquor aisle, and then think it's not sold anywhere.  There are also wonderful bars and tap houses around the state that are definitely worth checking out if you're looking for an adult beverage and atmosphere.

"wait a dad gum minute...this isn't apple juice!!!!" (canva)
"wait a dad gum minute...this isn't apple juice!!!!" (canva)

3) Polygamy is Legal

Contrary to what you see on Netflix, Hulu and Reality TV, Polygamy is not legal in Utah, and hasn't been legal for over a hundred years.  Although Polygamy still persists in small pockets of Fundamentalist communities, none of them have been issued multiple marriage licenses by the state.

Sorry, playa. Polygamy is not legal in Utah. Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sorry, playa. It's been officially just one wife a piece for over 100 years. Getty Images/iStockphoto

4) Utah is Covered In Snow

What most people think Utah is like
What most people think Utah is like

While Utah is home to world-class ski resorts and was the home of the 2012 Winter Olympics, the state has a wide range of climates and elevations.

Snow Canyon, St. George Utah: Where ironically there is no snow. (Jocelyn Stilson)
Snow Canyon, where ironically, there is no snow. (Jocelyn Stilson photography)

St. George for example has a year-round desert climate much like Las Vegas and will rarely if ever see a single snowflake fall.

5) Dancing is not allowed

I hear this one a lot and I'm not sure where it came from.  But if dancing was illegal in Utah, I'd be on death row by now.

Footloose GIFs - Get the best gif on GIFER
Every church gymnasium in Utah. (gifer)

What are some myths you've heard about Utah?

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