A Conversation for Mormonism - A Question and Answer Session

My difficulties with Mormonism

Post 1

Mark R. Cordell

I am fascinated with Mormonism and have been researching it for months, including trying to plough through the Book of Mormon (I failed as it is "chloroform in print" as Mark twain once said, sorry!)

The things I find odd about the faith is the general complexity of it, the various priesthoods, offices, temples, rites etc which seem to me to have little direct scriptural basis. Jesus essentially lived as a tramp, he seemed to detest elitism/offices in the jewish temple, he was poor, and these qualities are not necessarily represented in the LDS church, as well as many other Christian denominations.

Joseph Smith's life seems odd too, with neighbours saying that Smith would go treasure digging and dowsing etc, and that he copied Masonic rites for Temple rites.

Perhaps this is bunkum and Smith's intentions were pure, but to me it just *seems* so fishy, a religion based on America, convenient revelations renouncing pluralism and racism, even though original church leaders were dead set for it.

The Mormon story is a fascinating one that perhaps no-one perhaps really knows the full truth about, but I always felt religion was at its best when simple, not full of priesthood ranks, rituals and ceremonies and ostentatious buildings. Perhaps that makes me a Quaker!

My difficulties with Mormonism

Post 2

Researcher 192341

It is good to see someone who has a genuine interest.

I cannot answer all you points here, but Jesus only began His travelling mission when He was 30 years old. Previous to that little is said, except that He appears to have grown up and lived a relatively normal life amongst men.

While the circumstances of His birth were meek and lowly He and his family were not actually poor. He and His earthly father, Joseph were carpenters, which was (is)a skilled and respected profession. He was also of David's lineage of Royal descent. Israel was in bondage to the Romans so there was no Jewish royaly at the time, but He was effective the Prince in Exile.

There are stories about Jospeh Smith searching for gold. Why that is considered quite so evil I don't understand.

Regarding the masonic temple worship, where did the Masons get
there rituals from?

The answer is that they were eveolved from Solomon's temple. There is bound to be similarity.

The early Church leaders did not wholheartedly and eagerly embrace plural marrige. Brigham Young for instance stated that he found it a very difficult concept. However he did do what he was commanded.

By the way the British Government debated whether to allow it after the first world was when a generation of young men were killed and there just were not enough man to for the womenfolk to marry and raise familes. The reasons are pretty much the same as to why it was introduced for early mormon pioneers.

Hope this at least gives you some things to ponder.

My difficulties with Mormonism

Post 3

Mark R. Cordell

Interesting, perhaps Jesus was middle class? Still that doesn't get around his later life as a poor man, does it?

It's all so complicated, a lot of effort required to understand from the Mormon perspective or the crtic's perspective. Mormons always have an interesting andwer to most questions about their faith, but so do all the other denominations!

Which to choose...smiley - winkeye

My difficulties with Mormonism

Post 4

Researcher 192341

You are right about Jesus in the last three years of His life. While he may have been a king in exile, and had a respected trade, he did forsake the things of the world in order to do that which He came to earth to do.

At aged thirty he left His hometown for His three year mission to proclaim the gospel, which would culminate in His atonement and sacrifice for each of us. In order to this He had to travel and put away the things of the world.

My difficulties with Mormonism

Post 5

Mark R. Cordell

So you seem to be saying that if riches and wealth had not interfered in his mission then it would have been fine for him to be wealthy?

Actually wouldn't it have been more effective for Christ to use wealth immediately to spread the Word? He could have hired scribes to spread written works, travelled greater distances on powerful horses etc. But He didn't.

I think the fact he associated with the common man, the hated man, the prostitutes, riding an ass, not working etc speaks volumes about Christ's attitudes to wealth. After all these things are temporal aren't they, the really important stuff is in the afterlife.

My difficulties with Mormonism

Post 6

Researcher 192341

Jesus was simply not concerned with temporal wealth, but with salvation for each of us and you are absolutely right in your last paragraph.

Jesus had at His disposal the entire resources of Heaven to draw upon if he so required, but his mission was about changing the hearts of people. That comes from the heart within, and any amount of literature or display of temporal power does not do that.

In fact the Jews were looking out and waiting for a messiah to be exactly like that - a warrior leader who would show forth power and glory to liberate them from captivity and bondage - from the Romans.

What they did not realise was that the deliverance Jesus was offering was from the captivity and bondage of sin.

My difficulties with Mormonism

Post 7

Researcher 236005

jesus was rich the earth is his. mormon missionarys come from all walks of life some are poor others wealthy .during there missions they own nothing and have just enough to live on. as members of christ church we are taught to use our money wisely and to help others.

My difficulties with Mormonism

Post 8

Philip Jones

Hello Mark! The best way to learn about The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints is to invite a pair of missionaries to make a presentation of the basic principles and beliefs of the Church. It is a step by step series of discussions which you can opt out of at any point should you so wish. The presentation is designed to answer all your questions about the Church. As for your very good point that Jesus'life was dedicated to his mission here on earth,and devoid of any material pursuits: Yes,you are quite right. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints are required to dedicate our lives to the building up of the Kingdom Of God on earth. Were you to become a member,you would be able to pay tithing[one tenth of your income],the monthly fast offering[the proceeds of the cost of a day's meals],the perpetual education fund[to help needy members mainly in poor countries to get an education and improve their life skills - which they pay back to help others follow],the Humanitarian Fund[Disaster Aid],Temple and Missionary Funds,The Book Of Mormon Fund. As you can see,Church membership is not a matter of enriching oneself,but helping others. It is not for the half or faint-hearted. There is no paid priesthood. Everyone contributes. If you do not initially receive a testimony that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God,then it would be very difficult for you to make the above commitment. It is entirely your choice as it is ours. We know by the power of the Holy Ghost that Joseph Smith was a true prophet,which makes it so easy for us to commit ourselves to the building up of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints. For us it is "The" Church Of Jesus Christ.

My difficulties with Mormonism

Post 9


"I always felt religion was at its best when simple, not full of priesthood ranks, rituals and ceremonies and ostentatious buildings. Perhaps that makes me a Quaker!"

Or perhaps that makes you a Pagan!

My issues with Mormonism

Post 10

Researcher 241849

I don't understand why the Mormon's god, who's word is never unchanging, as any god's word should be, keeps changing his mind.
First, Mormon's were told that they should practice polygamy. The reason being is that Mormon's believe that they will become god's when they die, but only if they do eveything that their religion tells them to do here on earth first. They need to have as many children on this earth as possible as the spirits of these children will become spirits of bodies of the planets that the father has become a god to. (can you keep up?)
Why did god now say that Mormons may not practice polygamy any longer when it is needed for their grande scheme?
By the way, Mormon men may still marry more than one woman in the temple for "time and eternity" when a spouse has passed away, but women may only marry for time if they have already been "eternally married" to another man.
Another change of the Mormon god's never-changing word, is the fact that people of African descent were not allowed to go through their temples and the men were not allowed to hold the priesthood, until sometime in the 1970's when the Mormon god became enlightened.
It's all a bunch of stuffed shirt, corporate religion and doesn't deserve the second thought of anyone that recognized brainwashing.

My issues with Mormonism

Post 11

Researcher 192341

....no more than the mainstream Christian God "changes his mind".

The Bible says that in Jesus Christ the old is done away and new laws apply.

"It is written an eye for an eye.... I say unto you turn the other cheek"

Also no more blood sacrifices, or circumcision.....

If you are anti-religious it is a reasonable argument, but while God is unchanging he knows that the circumstances in which man lives do change.

An analogy that may help you. Our Heavenly Father is just that - our spiritual parent. His concern is for our growth and wellbeing. As parents we apply different rules for our children according to their age and ability to take responsibility. My twelve yearold daughter may think it is inconsistent and changing that that she is not allowed to go places and stay out as late as my eighteen yearold.

In the same way God can be unchanging but give us differnt rules according to our spiritual development. He is completely just and will judge us on what we know.

My issues with Mormonism

Post 12

Researcher 241849

So are you saying that your god was condoning racism?

Your answer doesn't make any sense, your quotes aren't supporting your argument and it appears that you are beating around the bush.

A true god's word does not change, nor would the true religion's interpretation of god's word be incorrect once and corrected again otherwise, it wouldn't be the true religion.

My issues with Mormonism

Post 13

Researcher 192341

Please explain why my arguments do not make any sense and why you think I am beating about the bush.

I have explained clearly that the rules are changed in religion according to what we are willing and able to accept.

Jesus clearly taught the Jews concepts beyond that which they had already accepted. Blood sacrifices and circumcision were done away with as the Jews needed to progress beyond the Mosaic Laws to accept the Gospel.

If you are a Christian and accept Jesus's word than you will accept that. If you are Anti-religious then I do not expect that you will accept any explanation.

There is another thread discussing and explaining the racism issue. I will not go into it here other than to ask whether, according to the old testimony, God treated any one group of people differenty from another. Simple answer is yes He did.

(Please will you stop shouting)

My issues with Mormonism

Post 14


The reason behind polygamy being stopped was social, rather than theological. We were told to stop practicing polygamy because to continue doing so would have resulted in increased persecution of the Saints. Therefore, President Woodruff asked God about it, and was instructed that the survival of the Church is more important than being able to practice polygamy.

This viewpoint is explained more fully at the end of Official Declaration 1, from D&C, in the section titled 'Excerpts From Three Addresses by President Wilford Woodruff Regarding the Manifesto'. A copy is avaliable online at http://scriptures.lds.org/od/1.

My issues with Mormonism

Post 15


In my personal experiences, I live in Kansas City and the original base for RLDS church is in Independance Mo, just 5 kilometers from me. They are the church that first droped plural marrige, when Bringam Young took the rest of the followers to Salt lake city. The ones that stayed think that god is comming and have built a church with a spirial top for him to come down , it's really funny. I personaly find it interesting that in this faith the old people just become "prophets" and can change the doctrine to what they "hear from god", creating a environment ripe for corruption of scripture and the people it serves. Asside from my oppinion, the faith is deep in commitment and I have met alot of very genuine people with alot of heart from LDS and other mormon churches. I myself am not affilitated with any church, and plan to stay that way.

If you are looking for information on the less publicized ofshoots of the LDS. There are fanatical sects of almost all religions. The book covers items not shown in traditional US media, Reguarding the Elisabeth Smart story, and others that we only knew about the Crime but not about the background, deep in Mormon fundamentalisim.

"Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer Doubleday books

Nature of God

Post 16


With reference to the query about an unchanging God, I see it as referring to His nature, that is, His character and righteousness is unchanging. He is the same God He was in the past, the same God now and will be the same God in future times. But that's not to say he will not change some rules whenever a change is called for. Simply because He might change a rule or two doen't class Him as being an unchanging God,(as pertaining ot His nature).


My difficulties with Mormonism

Post 17


Gold digging represents greed. Do you not find anything wrong with greed? The stories that can be found in mormon history indicate joseph smith and his family were into scamming for money.

Masonic rituals are pagan rooted, or indirectly Satanic - not a Solomon Temple evolution. There is nothing Holy about it. I will give you a few examples.

The cleansing with oil at the body orifices originated from witchcraft and it was done to prevent evil spirits from entering through the openings.

The giving of secret names originated from luciferian cults.

The motion of cutting the throat if anyone reveals the temple secrets, that has now been taken out of the ritual, some time in the early 90's if I remember correctly, sounds just like something a Christian would ask someone to say right? Not.

When I think of plural marriage, I think of every man's wildest dream.

My issues with Mormonism

Post 18


I also have a problem with mormons considering themselves ever being persecuted or persecuted now. I don't think they know the first thing about persecution. There are over 300 Bible believing christians that DIE every single day. Usually quite brutally, with 10 foot poles so as to not get to close just in case the Christian decides to lash out. Then their head gets slowly removed alqueda style while someone displays it yelling 'where is your god now?'. To me, that is persectuion.

My issues with Mormonism

Post 19


i don't think that any member of the church would disagree with you that what you described is not persecution. in no way do we feel as if we are being treated as terribly as that. but you have to understand that the vicious lies and rumours that circulate about our church are hurtful and offensive. particularly as they are spread by people who have no interest in actually finding out the truth about us. we are entitled to worship as we wish - it would be nice if people could just respect us for that.

The honest approach

Post 20


Hello all,

There are various issues raised in this thread – most of them “straw men” – beliefs or practices attributed to a particular person or group that that person or group do not actually believe or practice. If a person has “issues” with Mormonism at least let them have issues with Mormonism not with some misrepresented or misunderstood Mormonism!

A general issue that I have with “critics” of our faith is that they are often not honest in their attacks. For example, many issues that they raise against the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon or the Church would be equally damaging to the ancient prophets, the Bible and the ancient Christian church. This is shown by the discussion [in this thread] of whether God can change his word, whether polygamy can ever be practiced by prophets, whether God can withhold gospel blessings temporally from a particular group of people, whether a servant of God can also have wealth, and whether it is right to assume that we know the motives of either God or his servants in a particular action.

The other general issue that I have is that the real question is never addressed. The rejection of the restoration almost always reduces itself down to the rejection of revelation from God. To allow that revelation from God is possible in our day is to be open to the possibility that God spoke to and through Joseph Smith. This is the real question that needs to be answered about the ‘Mormon’ or LDS faith: was Joseph Smith a prophet of God? Did God speak to him and authorise him to speak for God?

The Lord put it simply when he said of Joseph Smith:

“But this generation shall have my word through you”
D&C 5:10

That is really simple. This is the real question that needs asking and answering: Is Joseph Smith a prophet of God? Once we personally know the answer to that question – then we can raise all the other questions and get proper answers. The way to get the answer to that question is likewise simple. We study and pray about the Book of Mormon. Not just study but pray. Honest, genuine, sincere, real, open prayer. Then we have the promise:

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
Moroni 10:4-5

How often do people that attack the Bible say that they have prayed to know whether it is true and have found out that it is not? How often do people who attack the Book of Mormon say that they have prayed to know whether it is true and have found out that it is not? Isn’t it obvious that if we want to find out if something is from God that best way is to ask him? That is the faith of those who have prayed and know that God speaks.

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