Today is Harry Potter’s (and author J. K. Rowling’s) birthday. In honor of the world’s most famous boy wizard, fans worldwide are celebrating the release of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” (the script of a stage play that continues the Harry Potter story and officially premiered in London yesterday).
Many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are fans of the Harry Potter series, perhaps because there are some similarities between Mormons and the Harry Potter characters. Here are 14 ways that being a Mormon is like living in the Harry Potter world.
1. We have big families.
Sure, the seven-child Weasleys had more kids than the average wizarding family. But that only makes us love them more.
2. We like to eat.
In the Harry Potter world, every important event — from the beginning of the school year to Christmas to Halloween — is marked with a pristine feast. While ward potlucks may not be as lavish, there’s no denying that Mormons like to bond over a good meal.
3. Our lives are changed by a single letter.
If wizarding children feel nervous waiting for their Hogwarts letter, it’s nothing compared to the anxiety induced by waiting for your mission call.
4. We have our own schools.
Like Hogwarts, Church-owned schools include courses in subjects specifically tailored to their students. At BYU, students take Church history classes. At Hogwarts, it’s History of Magic.
5. And some of the schools’ rules might seem a little tight to some.
Students at Hogwarts live by a strict set of rules. Students at BYU, BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii can relate.
6. We put great responsibility in the hands of teenagers.
Young Aaronic priesthood holders may be able to relate to Harry and his friends, who are given great responsibility at a young age (and sometimes don’t get it completely right the first time).
7. We live all over the world, but there are some communities with higher concentrations of Mormons.
Remember how the Weasleys lived in the same little town as the Lovegoods and the Diggorys? Ottery St. Catchpole, Godric’s Hollow, and Hogsmeade might remind Mormons of our own settlements populated primarily by Mormons.
8. We have a history of persecution.
In the Harry Potter books, the wizarding world swore itself to secrecy after witches and wizards experienced great persecution. Mormons also have a history of being mistreated and driven out of settlements.
9. We’re frequently misunderstood.
Do you ever get frustrated when someone on the Internet says something false about Mormons? Yeah, Harry Potter characters get that.
10. We believe that choices are incredibly important.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strongly believe in the importance of personal agency. This is one of the essential themes of the Harry Potter series.
11. We have our own specialized stores.
Wizards have Ollivander’s, Gringotts and Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. We have Deseret Book, CTR Clothing and Sister Missionary Mall.
12. We have our own celebrities.
Harry Potter dealt with wizarding fame throughout the series. Mormon celebrities (like Steve Young, Jane Clayson and Donny Osmond) can surely relate.
13. Some people think we’re strange.
Some people who join the Church experience pushback from family and friends who think Mormons are weird.
14. But when you get to know us, you find out we’re actually pretty cool.