The Mormon church, or The Church of Latter-Day Saints, has done a lot of good work both in America and abroad. This faith-based community is dedicated to helping others and spreading the good word of Jesus Christ. The thing is, not everybody agrees with the good word of Jesus Christ. Some celebrities who were born into the Mormon church found value there and decided to stay, while others found conflict and decided to leave.
One celebrity on this list decided to join the Mormon church even though she wasn’t born Mormon. Keep reading to find out who that celebrity might be.
Amy Adams Says It Taught Her Love And Compassion
Amy Adams was raised as a Mormon until her parents got divorced in 1985. After the divorce, Amy’s family left the Mormon church. Amy has said that she never really had any strong religious convictions, but she valued the time she spent with the Mormon church because it taught her about love and compassion.
After the divorce, Amy’s father moved to Arizona and remarried, while Amy and her siblings stayed with their mother.
Julianne Hough Says It Kept Her Grounded In Hollywood
Julianne Hough was born into a Mormon family, but she has since left the church in favor of a more secular lifestyle. Julianne’s father was the chairman of the Utah Republican Party twice.
Julianne has stated that she is no longer Mormon, but she still gives the faith a lot of credit for giving her her moral code. She said that her Mormon past kept her grounded while she was pursuing a career in Hollywood.
Derek Hough Says His Childhood Was “Very Mormon”
Julianne’s brother, dancer Derek Hough, also grew up in the Mormon church. He described his experience growing up in the Mormon faith in his book, Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion. He has described his childhood as “very Mormon,” and although he has left the church, he still avoids drinking alcohol and coffee while he’s working on a show.
Some lessons of the Mormon faith can be applicable to secular life.
Marie Osmond Supports Her Daughter’s Lifestyle
Speaking of famous Mormon siblings, Marie Osmond, Donny Osmond’s sister, also grew up Mormon. While she still technically identifies with the Mormon faith (as far as we know), she has been through some life experiences that may have shaken her beliefs.
Sadly, Marie’s son killed himself in 2010 after a long battle with depression. Also, Marie’s daughter came out as bisexual, and she now lives with her female partner in Los Angeles. Marie fully supports her daughter and she was even named the Grand Marshal of the Ogden Gay Pride Parade in 2010.
Ken Jennings Considers Himself A Socialist Mormon
Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings is currently a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. While he is very much still Mormon, he considers himself to be more of a socialist Mormon, and he doesn’t agree with all of the decrees that the Mormon church makes.
For example, Ken doesn’t feel the same way about homosexuality and gay marriage as the Mormon church does. He’s open-minded to progress and researches both sides.
Stephanie Meyer Says Her Faith Impacts Her Writing
The author of The Twilight Saga, Stephanie Meyer is a practicing Mormon. As a Mormon, Meyer acknowledges that her faith has had an impact on her novels. She says that her characters “tend to think more about where they came from, and where they are going than might be typical.”
Although she didn’t intend for her books to be about Mormonism, there’s a whole lot about abstinence, purity, and pining for forbidden physical intimacy in the Twilight series.
Her Faith Helped Katherine Heigl Through Tragedy
While Grey’s Anatomy and Knocked Up star Katherine Heigl is no longer fully Mormon, she is still very grateful for her Mormon upbringing. She said that the Mormon community was very helpful while her family was going through a personal tragedy. Heigl’s brother passed away when he was just 7 years old.
Heigl said, “Both my parents felt a great desire for answers, and they found an answer in the Mormon church.”
Paul Walker Believed in a Higher Power
The late Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker was raised in a Mormon household but later became a non-denominational Christian. When Paul Walker died, many Mormon news publications put out articles expressing their condolences.
While Paul left the Mormon church, he still maintained a belief in God, stating, “The people I don’t understand are atheists. I go surfing and snowboarding, and I’m always around nature. I look at everything and think, ‘Who couldn’t believe there’s a God? Is all this a mistake?’ It just blows me away.”
Jon Heder Has High Standards For Hollywood
Napoleon Dynamite star Jon Heder was raised Mormon and is still a member of the Mormon church. Heder said that his Mormon upbringing is part of the reason why he doesn’t do more raunchy films.
The actor said, “These are the standards I live by and whatever comes my way in the future, whether filmmaking or animation or whatever, I’m going to do my best to live by those standards.”
Ryan Gosling Was Influenced By His Mormon Upbringing
Ryan Gosling’s parents were Mormons, and Gosling has said that the religion influenced every aspect of their lives. However, he also said that he “never really could identify with [Mormonism].”
There’s a very cute video of a very young Ryan Gosling performing at a Latter-Day Saints talent competition. This was before his Mickey Mouse Club days. If his Mormon upbringing gave him nothing else, at least it gave him an opportunity to strut his stuff on stage.
Chelsea Handler Has A Diverse Religious Background
Chelsea Handler’s father is Ashkenazi Jewish, and her mother was a German-born Mormon. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989 and died from the disease in 2006.
Chelsea said, “I was raised half-Jewish/half-Mormon. I was the youngest of six. At 5 years old, I was asked to pick. My sister was, like, ‘Jew, Jew, pick Jew.’ So I went with the dreidel.” Chelsea says that she connects with Judaism more than Mormonism, but she isn’t very religious either way.
Donny Osmond’s Entire Family Are Mormon
Donny Osmond is one of the most famous Mormons in the world. He had the entire Osmond family all belong to the Mormon church. Donny faced some public backlash when he talked about his reaction to Proposition 8 on his website.
Donny said that he opposes same-sex marriage, but that he doesn’t have anything against homosexuality. He believes that gays and lesbians should be accepted in the Church if they choose to be celibate.
Aaron Eckhart Attended BYU
Actor Aaron Eckhart grew up Mormon and completed his two-year mission in France and Switzerland. Eckhart studied film at Brigham Young University, and while he was there he appeared in the Mormon-themed film Godly Sorrow. This role marked the beginning of his professional acting career.
Clearly, the Mormon church has given Eckhart a lot. Whether he’s still a practicing Mormon remains to be seen. It seems like Aaron has shifted his focus to the craft of acting now.
Brendon Urie Knew It Wasn’t For Him
Panic! at the Disco vocalist Brendon Urie grew up Mormon in Las Vegas. He had to follow the religious community’s rules, which he didn’t particularly like. As a kid, he knew that he wanted to be a professional musician and that Mormonism wasn’t for him.
He took a long break from Mormonism before returning to the religion in his own way. Brendon had to have a very hard conversation with his family when he left the church, but it all worked out for the best.
Keala Settle Was Raised Mormon in Hawaii
Keala Settle was born in Hawaii. She is the eldest of five children and she was raised in the church of Latter-Day Saints. Keala is best known for her role as Lettie Lutz The Bearded Lady in the movie musical The Greatest Showman.
Keala sang the song “This Is Me” in the film which won a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Jewel Hasn’t Gone Back
The singer Jewel was born in Payson, Utah, the second child of Attila Kuno “Atz” Kilcher and Lenedra Jewel Kilcher. When Jewel was born, her parents were living in Utah and her father was attending Brigham Young University. Her father was originally from Alaska and was Mormon, but the family stopped attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints after Jewel’s parents got divorced.
It seems like Jewel is doing just fine without her Mormon faith. She’s a famous singer who’s been nominated for a whole bunch of Grammys.
Christina Aguilera’s Parents Met At BYU
Christina Aguilera was raised in a Mormon home. Her parents actually met at Brigham Young University and they got married in the Washington DC Latter Day Saints Temple.
Christina’s parents later got divorced because Christina’s father was allegedly abusive. Christina used music to escape the chaos of her home life. Eventually, she made it on to The Mickey Mouse Club and the rest is history, but her story really did start in the Mormon church.
Dustin Lance Black Uses His Voice
Screenwriter, director, film and television producer Dustin Lance Black is best known for directing the 2008 film Milk. Black grew up in a Mormon household, and for most of his childhood, he tried to conceal the fact that he was gay from his family and his community.
In 2010, Black narrated 8: The Mormon Proposition, a documentary about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ involvement in California’s Proposition 8.
Larry Bagby’s Faith Influences The Roles He Chooses
Larry Bagby is an American actor and a musician best known for playing Ernie ‘Ice’ in Hocus Pocus, Larry Blaisdell in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Marshall Grant in Walk the Line. Bagby grew up Mormon and served in the Argentina Córdoba Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1994 to 1996.
It was hard for Larry to decide to take on the role of Larry Blaisdell in Buffy the Vampire Slayer because of his Mormon faith.
Not Even Shay Carl’s Fans Know He’s Mormon
Shay Carl Butler, known professionally as Shay Carl, is an American vlogger, author, and YouTube personality. Shay Carl has a family vlogging channel on YouTube called The “Shaytards.”
They’re a great example of a Latter-day Saint family for audiences who don’t know much about the Mormon church. A lot of Shay’s fans don’t even know that he’s Mormon. They don’t make the church the sole focus of their videos, but they do mention returning from church or going to church in their videos.
Mireille Enos Values Her Time Spent At The Church
Mireille Enos is a stage actress who has also been in several television shows including AMC’s The Killing. She also starred in the ABC thriller The Catch which was canceled after just one season.
Enos grew up a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her father actually met and baptized her French mother while serving his LDS mission in France. Mireille is no longer a devout Mormon, but she says that she’s grateful to have been a part of the Church as a child.
David Archuleta Is Still A Member Of The Church
David Archuleta was a contestant on the seventh season of American Idol. He ended up being the runner up on his season of the singing competition show. David is a Mormon and On October 7, 2010, it was announced that he would be the guest star at the annual Christmas concert of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Davids 2015 single, “Glorious” was used in the film Meet the Mormons.
Gladys Knight, AKA the Empress of Soul, was baptized into the Church of Latter-Day Saints in 1997. Before then, Knight was a practicing Baptist. Gladys was very happy to join the Mormon faith, but she often wished the church’s music had a little more “pep” in it.
Knight created and now directs the Mormon-themed choir Saints Unified Voices. She made it her mission to inject some soul and some soulful music into the LDS church.
Mitt Romney Was The First LDS Church Member To Be Nominated
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout his adult life. He served as bishop of his ward and later as a stake president near Boston.
In 2012, Romney won the Republican presidential nomination, becoming the first LDS Church member to be a presidential nominee of a major party. Even though Mitt didn’t win the presidential election, he still served as an example of a virtuous and upstanding Mormon.
Jacinda Ardern Left The Church
Jacinda Ardern is New Zealand’s 40th and current Prime Minister. She was raised as a Mormon and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ardern decided to leave the church in 2005 because she said it conflicted with her personal views; in particular her support for the LGBT community.
In January 2017, Ardern identified as “agnostic.” While she no longer considers herself to be Mormon, the church has definitely had an impact on who she is today.
Brandon Flowers On Being A Mormon in Las Vegas
Brandon Flowers is best known as the lead singer, keyboardist, and occasional bass guitarist of the rock band The Killers.
The alternative rock singer has said that growing up in Las Vegas as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints helped prepare him for the world of rock and roll: “Really, being a Mormon in Las Vegas prepared me for the lion’s den. It is sin city. The things that go on, the lights, it’s the ultimate rock and roll stage. Without Las Vegas, I would be a wreck.”
Glenn Beck Says His Faith Saved Him From A Bad Lifestyle
Glenn Beck is a famous conservative American political commentator, radio host, and television producer. Beck heavily supported fellow Mormon Mitt Romney during his run for president.
Beck has credited God for saving him from drug and alcohol abuse. In 2006, Beck read an inspirational essay that he wrote about the “healing power of Jesus Christ” at an event in Utah which was released as a CD two years later.
A.J. Cook Keeps An Open Mind As An Actress
A.J. Cook is a Canadian actress best known for playing Jennifer “JJ” Jareau in Criminal Minds. Cook is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but she doesn’t only choose acting roles that reflect her religious beliefs and values.
In 2001, she married her long-time boyfriend, Nathan Andersen. The couple met in a film class at Utah Valley University. They now live in Los Angeles with their two sons.
Kaycee Stroh is best known for playing Martha Cox in Disney’s High School Musical movies. Stroh is a Mormon and she married her now-husband, Ben Higginson on January 9, 2009, in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Many of Stroh’s High School Musical co-stars attended the ceremony and the reception. She and her husband now have two children named Zeta and Lettie.
Wilford Brimley is an American actor who has appeared in films like The China Syndrome (1979), The Thing (1982) and The Natural (1984). Brimley is Mormon and he supported John McCain in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. McCain jokingly said that he would pick Brimley for vice president, stating, “He’s a former Marine and great guy and he’s older than I am, so that might work.”
We can only assume that Brimley also supported Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.