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Normal Mormons
Christian Century ^ | Sept. 26, 2011 | Jana Riess

Posted on 09/30/2011 10:53:33 AM PDT by Colofornian

The public affairs department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently noted an uptick in the media's use of the word cult to describe Mormonism, even in august publications such as the New York Times and the Economist. It is probably not coincidental that two Mormons, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, are running for president.

The peculiar place of Mormonism in American culture was made even more evident in a comment by Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt. Speaking in July with two other commentators about the presidential chances of Texas governor Rick Perry, she said she expected that Perry would be able to raise money from the conservative base of the Christian Coalition, especially "with Romney obviously not being a Christian." Her cohosts murmured their assent, as if it were obvious that the Mormon Romney is not a Christian.

That Romney and Huntsman are Mormons is a huge stumbling block to their candidacies. Polling in June by the Los Angeles Times revealed that at least one in five Republican voters said that on principle they would not vote for a Mormon for president. An even higher number of Democrats—27 percent—claim that they would not support a Mormon.

It's not just in the arena of politics that people are suspicious of Mormons. In their 2010 book American Grace, sociologists Robert Putnam and David Campbell revealed that Mormons rank as the third-most-hated religious group in America, after Muslims (no surprise) and Buddhists (a major surprise). The study's findings also showed, however, that suspicion of minority religions decreases significantly when people have personal interactions or friendships with members of those religions. A conservative evangelical soccer mom may claim to despise Mormonism, but her qualms tend to lessen when she becomes friendly with a Mormon co-worker or neighbor.

Therein lies a problem: unfamiliarity. A 2009 LDS-sponsored study indicated that nearly half of Americans understand next to nothing about Mormons, and many have never known a Mormon personally.

On the other hand, as increasing numbers of Mormons move out of traditionally Mormon-dominated areas in the western U.S., Mormonism should become more accepted and mainstream. The LDS Church has attempted to further that trend with its "I'm a Mormon" ads. The ad campaign began with the church opening its website to members worldwide, inviting them to upload home videos describing themselves and their beliefs. It was an unexpectedly democratic move for a religion that tends to favor top-down authority and a centralized single message.

In June, the church expanded the PR campaign to include "I'm a Mormon" billboards in New York and other cities. This campaign will reach more cities this fall. The ads, which aim to show the racial and ideological diversity that exists in the LDS Church but is not always apparent to outsiders, appear to be working: the church has reported a significant boost in visitors to its website. The ads also seem to have the desired effect of thawing chilly receptions of Mormon missionaries in the cities where they have been launched. The theme of the ads may be described as, "We're normal—in fact, we're just like you!"

But can Americans expand their definition of normal to include a religion that seems so different doctrinally than the forms of Protestantism and Catholicism they're used to? Evangelical Christians, in particular, have been aggressive about pointing to the differences between Mormon and mainstream Christian beliefs. For example, during his 2008 campaign, Mike Huckabee suggested that Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers. In May, writing at Patheos.com, evangelical pastor Warren Cole Smith declared that any candidate who supported a "false and dangerous religion is unfit to serve," adding that a Romney presidency would "normalize the false teachings of Mormonism the world over."

The editorial elicited more than a thousand comments, testifying to the polarizing nature of Mormon beliefs. Some of Smith's fellow evangelicals expressed their deep suspicions of Mormonism, seeing it as a wolf in sheep's clothing, while true-blue Mormons chimed in and smugly asserted a monopoly on religious truth. Atheists and agnostics expressed a snarky wonderment that anyone could subscribe to a religion claiming that a man rose from the dead—and compounded such a fabrication with additional whoppers involving golden plates and the perils of tea drinking.

Many of Mormonism's critics fail to appreciate the ways that Mormon theology has changed through the years, often by way of the guidance that the LDS president claims to receive from God through "continuing revelation." (The teachings of a previous era are almost never explicitly repudiated, however.) For example, the doctrine that African Americans bear the "curse of Cain" is certainly not LDS doctrine today, though it was in the days of Brigham Young.

Some theological teachings are more opaque. For example, Mormon theology has traditionally dictated that human beings will become gods and that God himself was once human. An apparent disclaimer of this early Mormon teaching came when LDS prophet Gordon B. Hinckley appeared on Larry King Live in 1998 and, when asked whether Mormons believe that God was once a man, answered, "I wouldn't say that." He had given similarly vague denials the previous year to reporters from Time and the San Francisco Chronicle.

But what one LDS leader says to the media is not as reliable a gauge of the changing winds of LDS theology as the wording used in the LDS Church's twice-annual General Conference, when many worldwide Mormon leaders address the faithful by satellite or streaming Internet. In that forum, it's been rare to hear leaders talk about godhood recently unless they are quoting earlier leaders on the subject—and even that happens less frequently than it used to.

An investigation of the official LDS website confirms this trend. From 2006 to 2011, the word godhood appeared only ten times in official General Conference talks, church magazines and manuals. Of those cases, two quoted former LDS prophet Spencer W. Kimball about human beings becoming gods; one quoted former prophet David O. McKay on the subject; one cited midcentury leader Hugh B. Brown; and two drew from former apostle Marion G. Romney (a cousin of George Romney, Mitt's father). Two others referred to the "godhood" of Jesus Christ. Only one magazine piece—written anonymously—asserted that human beings "have within us the seeds of godhood," while an article about recovering from romantic breakups mentioned godhood twice as a goal for righteous human beings. Interestingly, that article was not written by a high-ranking international leader.

By comparison, church talks and materials from the 1970s and 1980s employed the concept freely in relation to the eternal destiny of men and women. As then-prophet Spencer W. Kimball said in 1976, "Our Heavenly Father has a plan for man's growth from infancy to godhood."

Does that mean that Mormons no longer believe that they can become gods? It is difficult to say. Many Mormons no longer think about the topic at all; it has become an insignificant aspect of contemporary theological expression. The idea may someday fade away, just as the church's encouragement of plural marriage—once a cornerstone not just of Mormon practice but of its belief system—has faded away.

There's no question that Mormon theology is subtly changing. The real question is how far it will bend to accommodate its host culture and where will it seek to reestablish its distinctiveness. Historians such as Jan Shipps, Thomas Alexander and Kathleen Flake have argued that whenever Mormonism has had to give up something central in order to assimilate into American culture, it has tended to compensate by hardening its position in other areas. For example, when polygamy was jettisoned in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Word of Wisdom (the Mormon dietary code that eschews coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco) assumed a position of prominence. Early generations of saints had adopted a relaxed view of the Word of Wisdom, as is evident in the sanctioned presence of wine at early Mormon temple dedication ceremonies, the appearance of coffee on the list of required provisions for saints undertaking the arduous journey west to Utah, and Brigham Young's decades-long struggle to stop chewing tobacco. But once polygamy was disavowed, the Word of Wisdom became one of the most important markers of LDS identity.

In 1906, the wine of the LDS sacrament (communion) became water in a nod to the broader U.S. temperance movement, and by 1921 strict avoidance of coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco had become not just recommended but required for Mormons seeking entrance to the LDS temple. Coincidentally, Mormons expanded their temple-building efforts abroad, began emphasizing Joseph Smith's "First Vision" and underscored the unique revelatory role of the LDS prophet. It's not that these elements were absent from Mormon theology and practice before the disappearance of polygamy, but that they were rarely front and center.

Mormon history has always revealed a tension between adapting to the surrounding culture and emphasizing distinctiveness. In the past 30 years, Mormons have become more like evangelical Protestants in their political leanings (approximately 65 percent of Latter-day Saints in the U.S. identify themselves as Republicans) and even in their theological formulations. There is far more emphasis on grace and on Christ's atonement among Mormon leaders today than there was two generations ago. However, Protestant and Catholic critics are correct when they say that Mormonism remains theologically distinctive. For example, Mormons reject creedal Christians' doctrine of the Trinity as "extrabiblical."

Mormons today are likely to stress their distinctiveness in the area of personal and family values. Even those who criticize Mormon theology often express a grudging admiration for the LDS Church's focus on family, teetotaling, tithing and missionary service. Mormon spiritual practices serve as bridge-builders even when doctrine is a point of contention. It's not difficult to imagine that some doctrines that have been the greatest sources of division are going to go the way of spotted owls even as the unique Mormon lifestyle continues to win praise.

To some extent this transformation is already occurring. During the very same summer that voters were scrutinizing Romney's Mormonism and finding it wanting, American popular culture fairly exploded with what the media called a "Mormon moment," which presented Mormonism in a generally positive light. The cheeky Book of Mormon musical found itself the toast of Broadway and brought home nine Tony awards; Newsweek published a story titled "Mormons Rock!"; and freshly returned Mormon missionary Elizabeth Smart was lauded for her evolution from kidnapping victim to mature, committed activist—a development she credits to her LDS faith.

Mormons now find themselves in the familiar situation of being on the defensive theologically and politically, but at the same time they are in terra incognita: they are not only a tolerated sect but are viewed as a model minority leading the way in preserving family values. When a group is held up as a model minority, it tells us as much about what the host culture needs as about the minority itself.

Mormonism's new cultural role is apparent in the profane but charming Book of Mormon musical (which, for the record, I saw in previews and found hilarious). Some Mormons have been anxious to clarify that the musical is not really about Mormons but about American culture's idea of Mormons. Historian Richard Bushman recently compared the production to visiting a funhouse Hall of Mirrors at a carnival: you can recognize yourself, yet it's not really you. He is quite correct about that—but the distortion itself is instructive.

Probably the most theologically flawed song in the production is "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream," in which a missionary who has abandoned his companion succumbs to the guilt he feels for breaking the rules and failing in his mission. The lyrics posit a Dantean inferno for the Mormon reprobate: "Down, down to Satan's realm / See where you belong / There is nothing you can do / No escape from Spooky Mormon Hell Dream." Lucifer is there in the Mormon hell, and Catholics and Jews are his minions. Elder Price finds himself confessing his "awful" sins (failing as a missionary, stealing a donut as a child) to his fellow travelers in this nightmarish afterlife: Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Dahmer.

The song is side-splittingly funny, and it's augmented by sight gags, like a pair of giant dancing Starbucks cups that represent the terrible temptation of coffee. The coffee part is at least accurate. The worldview mocked by the rest of the song is a fiction: Mormons don't believe in any sort of eternal hell that resembles the one depicted in the song. In fact, one of the sticking points between LDS theology and mainstream creedal Christianity is Joseph Smith's near-universalism and his emphasis on the three levels of paradise that the vast majority of humanity will find themselves in after the final judgment. A popular Mormon folk story features Smith's teaching that even the lowest kingdom in heaven is a paradise so divine that anyone who caught a glimpse of it would be tempted to commit suicide to get there sooner. The story is probably apocryphal, but the spiritual point hits home: in the Mormon cosmology, almost everyone attains some version of heaven, even adherents of other religions.

Yet the song's existence illustrates what the host culture now requires. Throughout history, the reasons that Mormonism has been vilified have changed according to the anxieties of the day. In the 19th century, Latter-day Saints were excoriated for an allegedly lascivious sexuality. Mormon men were depicted in cartoons and antipolygamy fiction as sexual predators whose libidos knew no bounds. In the early 21st century, members of the same religion are portrayed as being sexually repressed. The creators of The Book of Mormon production apparently also need them to believe in a sinners-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-God variety of eternal punishment. In a strange way, Mormons have become the cultural arbiters of morality: the musical critiques LDS teachings on homosexuality even while showing Mormons to be some of the sweetest people you'll ever meet.

The story of what happens next in Mormonism's careful negotiations with American culture is unwritten, but the past suggests that the church will bend for the sake of assimilation. With two Mormon candidates running for president and Romney among the front-runners, such negotiations have high political stakes.


TOPICS: Current Events; Other Christian; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: bookofmormon; cult; huntsman; inman; jonhuntsman; lds; mittromney; mormon; mormonism; polygamy; polygyny; romney
Note: Jana Riess is a Mormon.

From the article: The public affairs department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently noted an uptick in the media's use of the word cult to describe Mormonism, even in august publications such as the New York Times and the Economist...The peculiar place of Mormonism in American culture was made even more evident in a comment by Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt. Speaking in July with two other commentators about the presidential chances of Texas governor Rick Perry, she said she expected that Perry would be able to raise money from the conservative base of the Christian Coalition, especially "with Romney obviously not being a Christian." Her cohosts murmured their assent, as if it were obvious that the Mormon Romney is not a Christian.

Cult indeed...Christian counterfeiting indeed. Any religion subscribing to multiple gods and claiming that you can become one yourself is obviously not Christian.

From the article: In May, writing at Patheos.com, evangelical pastor Warren Cole Smith declared that any candidate who supported a "false and dangerous religion is unfit to serve," adding that a Romney presidency would "normalize the false teachings of Mormonism the world over." The editorial elicited more than a thousand comments, testifying to the polarizing nature of Mormon beliefs. Some of Smith's fellow evangelicals expressed their deep suspicions of Mormonism, seeing it as a wolf in sheep's clothing, while true-blue Mormons chimed in and smugly asserted a monopoly on religious truth.

The Mormon Church PR dept would would overtime to inculcate Mormonism if a Romney White House ever occurred.

From the article: Mormon theology has traditionally dictated that human beings will become gods and that God himself was once human. An apparent disclaimer of this early Mormon teaching came when LDS prophet Gordon B. Hinckley appeared on Larry King Live in 1998 and, when asked whether Mormons believe that God was once a man, answered, "I wouldn't say that." He had given similarly vague denials the previous year to reporters from Time and the San Francisco Chronicle. But what one LDS leader says to the media is not as reliable a gauge of the changing winds of LDS theology as the wording used in the LDS Church's twice-annual General Conference, when many worldwide Mormon leaders address the faithful by satellite or streaming Internet. In that forum, it's been rare to hear leaders talk about godhood recently unless they are quoting earlier leaders on the subject—and even that happens less frequently than it used to. An investigation of the official LDS website confirms this trend. From 2006 to 2011, the word godhood appeared only ten times in official General Conference talks, church magazines and manuals. Of those cases, two quoted former LDS prophet Spencer W. Kimball about human beings becoming gods; one quoted former prophet David O. McKay on the subject; one cited midcentury leader Hugh B. Brown; and two drew from former apostle Marion G. Romney (a cousin of George Romney, Mitt's father). Two others referred to the "godhood" of Jesus Christ. Only one magazine piece—written anonymously—asserted that human beings "have within us the seeds of godhood," while an article about recovering from romantic breakups mentioned godhood twice as a goal for righteous human beings. Interestingly, that article was not written by a high-ranking international leader. By comparison, church talks and materials from the 1970s and 1980s employed the concept freely in relation to the eternal destiny of men and women. As then-prophet Spencer W. Kimball said in 1976, "Our Heavenly Father has a plan for man's growth from infancy to godhood." Does that mean that Mormons no longer believe that they can become gods? It is difficult to say. Many Mormons no longer think about the topic at all; it has become an insignificant aspect of contemporary theological expression. The idea may someday fade away, just as the church's encouragement of plural marriage—once a cornerstone not just of Mormon practice but of its belief system—has faded away.

Hmmm...the Mormon gods' revelations that humans can become gods will just fade into the woodwork?

Will a Mormon leader -- this being the weekend of yet another Mormon General Conference -- speak about becoming gods? Or will they, knowing that more PR attention is paid to these talks, just ignore it as "meat" while the want to supposedly "milk-feed" non-Mormons???

Interesting that this Mormon author points out Hinckley's outright lies made to Time Magazine [and the Chronicle reference].

1 posted on 09/30/2011 10:53:43 AM PDT by Colofornian
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To: All; Elsie
From the article: In 1906, the wine of the LDS sacrament (communion) became water in a nod to the broader U.S. temperance movement, and by 1921 strict avoidance of coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco had become not just recommended but required for Mormons seeking entrance to the LDS temple.

Imagine that. Where did that 1906 revelation come from? (I don't recall a 1906 revelation from the Mormon "prophet" about wine or water included in the Mormon Doctrine & Covenants? What? Did Jesus change His mind about turning water-into-wine -- His first recorded miracle -- well after the fact? Hmmm)

2 posted on 09/30/2011 10:56:32 AM PDT by Colofornian
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To: Colofornian

If the LDS is not a cult, the word has no meaning.


3 posted on 09/30/2011 11:01:59 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: Colofornian

the great wall of ‘secrecy’ pops up in this article when discussing whether or not mormons believe they will evolve into gods. For example, rather than answer the question straight up, they deflect or remain silent.

One cannot be considered Christian when they deny the core teachings that ALL Christians accept.


4 posted on 09/30/2011 11:12:29 AM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: Colofornian
"The public affairs department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently noted an uptick in the media's use of the word cult to describe Mormonism"

Once in a while, the media gets it right!

5 posted on 09/30/2011 11:14:30 AM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (You know, 99.99999965% of the lawyers give all of them a bad name)
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To: Colofornian

Not a cult.....it’s a business.


6 posted on 09/30/2011 11:15:49 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Colofornian
I wonder if lds is using their forced tithing collected to pay for this massive PR campaign to make their image more acceptable when they actually still teach that jesus was created, the Joseph Smith claimed to be greater that Jesus, that the lds jesus is the brother of satan, that they (men anyway) can become gods of their own planet, that they practice "celestial polygamy", that they (lds) must work for their salvation, that jesus was married, that god had physical sex with Mary, that abortion is not acceptable unless you pray about it and god says its ok...........and more.

Sorry, no amount of PR will erase who they are and what they teach, it is my hope that mormons learn what and who they have aligned their souls to.

7 posted on 09/30/2011 11:19:45 AM PDT by svcw (Those who are easily shocked... should be shocked more often. - Mae West)
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To: Colofornian

Its LAUGHABLE that those two rags have the TEMERITY to refer to Mormonism as a “cult” when they would NEVER DREAM of referring to the murderous maniacs who follow that desert pedophile and Slaver, Mohammad, as a “Cult”!!!!!!!!!


8 posted on 09/30/2011 11:22:21 AM PDT by ZULU (DUMP Obama in 2012)
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To: Colofornian

So do Normal Mormons still want to be gods of their own planets?


9 posted on 09/30/2011 11:46:31 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine
So do Normal Mormons still want to be gods of their own planets?

It varies.

Up to 80% of Mormons aren't even temple Mormons...so Mormon leadership has already told them they aren't eligible for godhood.

Of the remaining 20% who are temple Mormons, if a wife doesn't have a spouse who measures up -- or is single -- she, too, is "out" of a "god job."

As for the rest of temple Mormons, you'd need to quiz them yourself if they really think they will share prayers and worship from people with God!

(We Christians have a name for that: Idolatry!)

10 posted on 09/30/2011 11:52:42 AM PDT by Colofornian
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To: ZULU

If this post were about islam you might have a point.
This is a religion forum post about mormonISM.
As a side note check out the alignment that mormonISM has with islam, even to the point that Joesph Smith said he would be the next mohammad.


11 posted on 09/30/2011 11:54:04 AM PDT by svcw (Those who are easily shocked... should be shocked more often. - Mae West)
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To: Colofornian
Dictionary definition of the word "cult":

1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.

2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.

3. the object of such devotion.

4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.

5. Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.

Given these definitions, almost any religion could be called a cult.

12 posted on 09/30/2011 11:56:31 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: blueunicorn6
Not a cult.....it’s a business.

That's what it turned into. There's not a single shred of proof of any mormon claims, and yet it get coverage as if it's an actual religion instead of a cult.

I feel so bad for the millions of followers of this insane cult created by a shyster fortune seeker with magic stones. Their path to hell will be a short one, and I doubt if they'll pass Joseph Smith, Jr., on the way down, he already being a resident.

13 posted on 09/30/2011 12:03:07 PM PDT by laweeks
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To: Colofornian
a Romney presidency would "normalize the false teachings of Mormonism the world over.

One of many reasons I would never vote for him.

14 posted on 09/30/2011 1:57:20 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Colofornian
the doctrine that African Americans bear the "curse of Cain" is certainly not LDS doctrine today, though it was in the days of Brigham Young.

A whole lot more recent than the Brigham Young era. Wasn't it about 1978 when mormons finally admitted that black people really were fully human and that a 13 year old boy didn't have to be "white and delightsome" to attain the Melchizedek priesthood?

How old was Romney in 1978? An adult for sure. Is their any record of him ever speaking out about this injustice?

15 posted on 09/30/2011 2:04:46 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Colofornian
Mormon theology often express a grudging admiration for the LDS Church's focus on family, teetotaling, tithing and missionary service.

I have zero admiration for a church that requires mandatory tithing.

16 posted on 09/30/2011 2:11:02 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Colofornian
The public affairs department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently noted an uptick in the media's use of the word cult to describe Mormonism, even in august publications such as the New York Times and the Economist.

Indeed!

They SHOULD have said Hellish HERESY and/or Demonic Deception..

17 posted on 09/30/2011 4:11:44 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: Colofornian
It is probably not coincidental that two Mormons, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, are running for president. the Flying Inmen are posting SO much TRUTH about MORMONism on one of America's premire Conservative sites.
18 posted on 09/30/2011 4:13:18 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: Colofornian
...strict avoidance of coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco had become not just recommended but required for Mormons seeking entrance to the LDS temple.

Oh?

That's nNOT how the MORMON scripture about it reads!!


 
THE
DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
SECTION 89
 
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, February 27, 1833. HC 1: 327–329. As a consequence of the early brethren using tobacco in their meetings, the Prophet was led to ponder upon the matter; consequently he inquired of the Lord concerning it. This revelation, known as the Word of Wisdom, was the result. The first three verses were originally written as an inspired introduction and description by the Prophet.
 
1–9, Use of wine, strong drinks, tobacco, and hot drinks proscribed; 10–17, Herbs, fruits, flesh, and grain are ordained for the use of man and of animals; 18–21, Obedience to gospel law, including the Word of Wisdom, brings temporal and spiritual blessings.
 
  1 A aWord OF Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion—
  2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the aword of wisdom, showing forth the order and bwill of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—
  3 Given for a principle with apromise, adapted to the capacity of the bweak and the weakest of all csaints, who are or can be called saints.
  4 Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of aevils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of bconspiring men in the last days, I have cwarned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—
  5 That inasmuch as any man adrinketh bwine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
  6 And, behold, this should be wine, yea, apure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.
  7 And, again, astrong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.
  8 And again, tobacco is not for the abody, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.
  9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.
  10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome aherbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
  11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with aprudence and bthanksgiving.
  12 Yea, aflesh also of bbeasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used csparingly;
  13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be aused, only in times of winter, or of cold, or bfamine.
  14 All agrain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;
  15 And athese hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.
  16 All grain is good for the afood of man; as also the bfruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—
  17 Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.
  18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, ashall receive bhealth in their navel and marrow to their bones;
  19 And shall afind bwisdom and great ctreasures of dknowledge, even hidden treasures;
  20 And shall arun and not be bweary, and shall walk and not faint.
  21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the adestroying angel shall bpass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.



19 posted on 09/30/2011 4:15:24 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: ZULU

Aw...  shucks...
 

I's gots TEMERITY!!!

20 posted on 09/30/2011 4:17:07 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: svcw
As a side note check out the alignment that mormonISM has with islam, even to the point that Joesph Smith said he would be the next mohammad.

No!

I am SHOCKED!!


 

“I Will Be a Second Mohammed”

In the heat of the Missouri “Mormon War” of 1838, Joseph Smith made the following claim, “I will be to this generation a second Mohammed, whose motto in treating for peace was ‘the Alcoran [Koran] or the Sword.’ So shall it eventually be with us—‘Joseph Smith or the Sword!’ ”[1]

It is most interesting that a self-proclaimed Christian prophet would liken himself to Mohammed, the founder of Islam. His own comparison invites us to take a closer look as well. And when we do, we find some striking—and troubling—parallels. Consider the following.

  • Mohammed and Joseph Smith both had humble beginnings. Neither had formal religious connections or upbringing, and both were relatively uneducated. Both founded new religions by creating their own scriptures. In fact, followers of both prophets claim these scriptures are miracles since their authors were the most simple and uneducated of men.[2]

  • Both prophets claim of having angel visitations, and of receiving divine revelation to restore pure religion to the earth again. Mohammed was told that both Jews and Christians had long since corrupted their scriptures and religion. In like manner, Joseph Smith was told that all of Christianity had become corrupt, and that consequently the Bible itself was no longer reliable. In both cases, this corruption required a complete restoration of both scripture and religion. Nothing which preceded either prophet could be relied upon any longer. Both prophets claim they were used of God to restore eternal truths which once existed on earth, but had been lost due to human corruption.

  • Both prophets created new scripture which borrowed heavily from the Bible, but with a substantially new “spin.” In his Koran, Mohammed appropriates a number of Biblical themes and characters—but he changes the complete sense of many passages, claiming to “correct” the Bible. In so doing he changes many doctrines, introducing his own in their place. In like manner, Joseph Smith created the Book of Mormon, much of which is plagiarized directly from the King James Bible. Interestingly, the Book of Mormon claims that this same Bible has been substantially corrupted and is therefore unreliable. In addition, Joseph Smith went so far as to actually create his own version of the Bible itself, the “Inspired Version,” in which he both adds and deletes significant portions of text, claiming he is “correcting” it. In so doing he also changes many doctrines, introducing his own in their place.

  • As a part of their new scriptural “spin,” both prophets saw themselves as prophesied in scripture, and both saw themselves as a continuation of a long line of Biblical prophets. Mohammed saw himself as a continuation of the ministry of Moses and Jesus. Joseph Smith saw himself as a successor to Enoch, Melchizedek, Joseph and Moses. Joseph Smith actually wrote himself into his own version of the Bible—by name.

  • Both prophets held up their own scripture as superior to the Bible. Mohammed claimed that the Koran was a perfect copy of the original which was in heaven. The Koran is therefore held to be absolutely perfect, far superior to the Bible and superceding it. In like manner, Joseph Smith also made the following claim. “I told the Brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding its precepts, than by any other book.”[3]

  • Despite their claim that the Bible was corrupt, both prophets admonished their followers to adhere to its teachings. An obvious contradiction, this led to selective acceptance of some portions and wholesale rejection of others. As a result, the Bible is accepted by both groups of followers only to the extent that it agrees with their prophet’s own superior revelation.

  • Both Mohammed and Joseph Smith taught that true salvation was to be found only in their respective religions. Those who would not accept their message were considered “infidels,” pagans or Gentiles. In so doing, both prophets became the enemy of genuine Christianity, and have led many people away from the Christ of the Bible.

  • Both prophets encountered fierce opposition to their new religions and had to flee from town to town because of threats on their lives. Both retaliated to this opposition by forming their own militias. Both ultimately set up their own towns as model societies.

  • Both Mohammed and Joseph Smith left unclear instructions about their successors. The majority of Mohammed’s followers, Sunni Muslims, believe they were to elect their new leader, whereas the minority, Shiite Muslims, believe Mohammed’s son was to be their next leader. Similarly, the majority of Joseph Smith's followers, Mormons, believed their next prophet should have been the existing leader of their quorum of twelve apostles, whereas the minority, RLDS, believed Joseph Smith's own son should have been their next prophet. Differences on this issue, and many others, have created substantial tension between these rival groups of each prophet.

  • Mohammed taught that Jesus was just another of a long line of human prophets, of which he was the last. He taught that he was superior to Christ and superceded Him. In comparison, Joseph Smith also made the following claim.

“I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him, but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.”[4] In light of these parallels, perhaps Joseph Smith's claim to be a second Mohammed unwittingly became his most genuine prophecy of all.


[1] Joseph Smith made this statement at the conclusion of a speech in the public square at Far West, Missouri on October 14, 1838. This particular quote is documented in Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History, second edition, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971), p. 230–231. Fawn Brodie’s footnote regarding this speech contains valuable information, and follows. “Except where noted, all the details of this chapter [16] are taken from the History of the [Mormon] Church. This speech, however, was not recorded there, and the report given here is based upon the accounts of seven men. See the affidavits of T.B. Marsh, Orson Hyde, George M. Hinkle, John Corrill, W.W. Phelps, Samson Avard, and Reed Peck in Correspondence, Orders, etc., pp. 57–9, 97–129. The Marsh and Hyde account, which was made on October 24, is particularly important. Part of it was reproduced in History of the [Mormon] Church, Vol. III, p. 167. See also the Peck manuscript, p. 80. Joseph himself barely mentioned the speech in his history; see Vol. III, p. 162.”

[2] John Ankerberg & John Weldon, The Facts on Islam, (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1998), pp.8–9. Eric Johnson, Joseph Smith & Muhammed, (El Cajon, CA: Mormonism Research Ministry, 1998), pp. 6–7.

[3] Documentary History of the [Mormon] Church, vol.4, pp.461.

[4] Documentary History of the [Mormon] Church, vol.6, pp.408–409.




21 posted on 09/30/2011 4:18:25 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: Elsie

Bump


22 posted on 09/30/2011 4:19:34 PM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Obama has made it official now..a white is only 3/5s a person in the US. Diversity wins.)
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To: Graybeard58
Wasn't it about 1978 when mormons finally admitted that black people really were fully human and that a 13 year old boy didn't have to be "white and delightsome" to attain the Melchizedek priesthood?





"You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.

The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings.

This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race--that they should be the 'servant of servants', and they will be, until that curse is removed."

Brigham Young-President and second 'Prophet' of the Mormon Church, 1844-1877- Extract from Journal of Discourses.



Here are two examples from their 'other testament', the Book of Mormon.

2 Nephi 5: 21 'And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.'

Alma 3: 6 'And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.'



August 27, 1954 in an address at Brigham Young University (BYU), Mormon Elder, Mark E Peterson, in speaking to a convention of teachers of religion at the college level, said:

"The discussion on civil rights, especially over the last 20 years, has drawn some very sharp lines. It has blinded the thinking of some of our own people, I believe. They have allowed their political affiliations to color their thinking to some extent.I think I have read enough to give you an idea of what the Negro is after."

"He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a cafe where white people eat. He isn't just trying to ride on the same streetcar or the same Pullman car with white people. It isn't that he just desires to go to the same theater as the white people. From this, and other interviews I have read, it appears that the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage."

"That is his objective and we must face it. We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about sin, 'First we pity, then endure, then embrace'...."

(Rosa Parks would have probably told Petersen under which wheel of the bus he should go sit.)



1967, (then) Mormon President Ezra Taft Benson said,

"The Communist program for revolution in America has been in progress for many years and is far advanced. First of all, we must not place the blame upon Negroes. They are merely the unfortunate group that has been selected by professional Communist agitators to be used as the primary source of cannon fodder."



We are told that on June 8, 1978, it was 'revealed' to the then president, Spencer Kimball, that people of color could now gain entry into the priesthood.

According to the church, Kimball spent many long hours petitioning God, begging him to give worthy black people the priesthood. God finally relented.



Sometime before the 'revelation' came to chief 'Prophet' Spencer Kimball in June 1978, General Authority, Bruce R McConkie had said:

"The Blacks are denied the Priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty.

The Negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow there from, but this inequality is not of man's origin, it is the Lord's doings."

(Mormon Doctrine, pp. 526-527).



When Mormon 'Apostle' Mark E Petersen spoke on 'Race Problems- As they affect the Church' at the BYU campus in 1954, the following was also said:

"...if the negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory."



When Mormon 'Prophet' and second President of the Church, Brigham Young, spoke in 1863 the following was also said:

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God is death on the spot. This will always be so."

(Journal of Discourses, Vo. 10, p. 110)





Yeah; Native Americans are althroughout the Book of MORMON; too.

 

“I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today ... they are fast becoming a white and delightsome people.... For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised.... The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.

At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl-sixteen-sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents—on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather.... These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness.

One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.

 

(Improvement Era, December 1960, pp.922-23). (p. 209)

 



 

23 posted on 09/30/2011 4:19:34 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: behzinlea; Colofornian

sigh, Another non post by someone who appears to not understand this is a religion forum post and most likely knows nothing of mormonISM.


25 posted on 09/30/2011 5:28:32 PM PDT by svcw (Those who are easily shocked... should be shocked more often. - Mae West)
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To: Elsie

Was that a racist comment?

By the way, I’m an Anglo White.


26 posted on 09/30/2011 6:33:03 PM PDT by ZULU (DUMP Obama in 2012)
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To: Colofornian

If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, and quakes like a duck...(?)


27 posted on 09/30/2011 7:11:35 PM PDT by LiteKeeper ("Who is John Galt?")
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To: Colofornian

‘For example, Mormons reject creedal Christians’ doctrine of the Trinity as “extrabiblical.”’

I worked with a Mormon at one time who told me they believe in the Trinity. I think there’s a big failure to communicate among many of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3BqLZ8UoZk


28 posted on 10/01/2011 1:37:29 AM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: ZULU
Was that a racist comment?

After seeing post #23, do you STILL want to know?

29 posted on 10/01/2011 4:11:43 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: ZULU
Its LAUGHABLE that those two rags have the TEMERITY to refer to Mormonism as a “cult” when they would NEVER DREAM of referring to the murderous maniacs who follow that desert pedophile and Slaver, Mohammad, as a “Cult”!!!!!!!!!

No one wants to know whether THIS comment is RACist or not...

(PS: I, too, am a WHITE anglo; but I am NOT very 'delightsome'.)

30 posted on 10/01/2011 4:14:34 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: ZULU
Was that a racist comment?

Nah; more of a red-neck comment. There's plenty around that can talk dis way...

31 posted on 10/01/2011 4:35:06 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: Elsie

Islam isn’t a race.


32 posted on 10/01/2011 5:30:40 AM PDT by ZULU (DUMP Obama in 2012)
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To: ZULU
True; but lots of folks don't know that. They think ARABs: Lawrence of Arabia types...
33 posted on 10/01/2011 7:59:10 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: Colofornian
A conservative evangelical soccer mom may claim to despise Mormonism, but her qualms tend to lessen when she becomes friendly with a Mormon co-worker or neighbor.

Then this ESM is both IGNORANT of what CHRISTIANity is all about as well as the things the MORMONism teachs.

34 posted on 10/01/2011 8:00:55 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: Elsie
Wife, mother, and Mayor.

My name is Mia Love, and I'm a Mormon.


Watch this video on www.youtube.com
…and I'm a MormonWife, mother, and Mayor. My name
is Mia Love, and I'm a Mormon.
YouTube.com/Mormon
Oh oh!
35 posted on 10/01/2011 8:12:06 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: blueunicorn6
Not a cult.....it’s a business.

The business of making money, and they do so very successfully.

That's why they wear suits and ties.

36 posted on 10/01/2011 11:07:48 PM PDT by T Minus Four
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