Skip to comments.The Mormonizing of America (BOOK EXCERPT, PT 2) [Lds: We ALONE only true church; rest 'corrupt']
Posted on 07/01/2012 7:48:15 AM PDT by Colofornian
The presidential race of Mitt Romney and the success of the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon have generated new interest in Mormonism. Stephen Mansfield's book The Mormonizing of America provides a careful study of this growing religion. The Book Stop blog is posting excerpts from the first two chapters of this book.
What Matters to a Mormon
For a Latter-day Saint, the heart of Mormonism is the restoration of priesthood authority. It is impossible to overstate this. At the core of everything Saintly is the unshakable belief that something lost for centuries was restored through Joseph Smith. It is now present in the modern world. It is present only through the LDS Church. It is what all men will ultimately need.
Mormons believe that the pure Christianity of Jesus Christ lasted only a short while after Jesus left this life. The Christian church quickly became unrighteous and corrupt, and it stayed that way until around 1830. In other words, for centuries the Christian church was a perverse shell of what was intended. Then came Joseph Smith. He not only gave the world the Book of Mormon, but he also received, along with a man named Oliver Cowdery, the restoration of the true priesthood of God. Mormons speak of this as a restoration of priesthood authority, which they believe was given in two defining appearances by glorified human beings: an appearance by John the Baptist and an appearance by the apostles Peter, John, and James. In these appearances or visitations, the only real priesthood was restoredto Mormons.
This means that when someone asks, Where has the great age of miracles and revelation gone? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says, It is here, right now, with us. What Mormons believe they have in this priesthood authority is the ability to bring Jesus Christ into peoples lives through ordinances. It is the ability to give the gifts of the Holy Spirit, to have revelations, to bless, to dedicate, and even to heal. In other words, it is the supernatural power to do the great works that were done before the Christian church went astray.
The Heart of the Faith
Of course, the nonreligious think this is crazy. The traditional Christian thinks it is devilish. The Jew thinks it is evidence of a stolen legacy. And nearly non-Mormon thinks it is fruit of an astonishing Mormon arrogance.
Still, it is one of the most important truths we can know about what Mormonism is. Despite Joseph Smiths many doctrinal innovations, Mormonism is not primarily about doctrine. It is about the experience of a restored supernatural power, the all-important matter of priesthood authority. This was what Smith built upon. It is what early Mormons sought. It is still at the heart of the faith. It is what outsiders most misunderstand.
Though it is risky to make the comparison, the best illustration of this vital truth is found in the thinking of the Prophet Muhammad, whom Joseph Smith deeply admired. For a man living in the sixth century, Muhammad was well traveled. His occupation for many years was leading caravans that crossed the known world carrying goods from place to place. This brought the future prophet into contact with nearly all the religions of his day. He likely sat by the campfires of Jews and Christians of every type and heard them talk about what they believed. He admired them both, but their factions and theological divisions disturbed him. Jews rallied around their rabbis and Christians rallied around their favorite theologies and even slew each other over seemingly slight doctrinal matters.
Muhammad found it all too complex, too contentious. When he began claiming to have revelations and when this set him to the task of designing a new religion, he decided that simplicity was the key. It should be simple to get into the faith and simple to understand the main doctrines of the faith. The more difficult matter would be actually living it out.
The simplicity of Islam has historically been part of its power. A man enters Islam largely through a one-sentence confession, the ShahadahThere is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophetand then understands the core of Islam with Five Pillars that describe his duties and Six Articles of Faith that describe his beliefs. This is the heart of Islam. And the genius. Islam conquered a huge portion of the known world in the first hundred years of its existence partially through the power of the sword and partially through the simplicity of its system. In this matter of simplicity, Islam was to religion what McDonalds is to food: easily remembered, easily consumed, easily replicated.
Though Mormons wont necessarily feel complimented by the comparison, Joseph Smith was much like Muhammad in this popularizing, simplifying work. Dr. Kathryn Flake, a Mormon who is also an esteemed professor at Vanderbilt University, has said, Joseph Smith was the Henry Ford of revelation. He wanted every home to have one, and the revelation he had in mind was the revelation hed had, which was seeing God. Dr. Flake is referring to the same dynamic in the intent of Joseph Smith that weve seen in the doctrinal system of Muhammad. Though Mormonism appears complex to the outsider, it was actually an attempt to be something like the McDonalds of American religion.
Smith lived at a time of great spiritual upheaval, excitement, and divisionas well see in the next chapter. Like Muhammad, he was put off by the constant bickering in Christianity. He claimed revelations in which he was told that all churches were corrupt, that none of them had the truth, and that none were worth joining. He wanted his true Church to move beyond everything that led to the infighting and destruction he had seen among Christians. This created the Mormonism we know today.
The faith of the Saints evolved by prophecy rather than by doctrine. Smith was opposed to creeds. He thought they were little more than invitations to a fight. As a result, today it is difficult to find a definitive, systematic statement of what Mormons believe produced by the Mormons themselves. By their critics? Yes. By Mormons? No. He also thought that a paid clergy is an abominationhe called them hireling priests who would feed themselves, not the flockso most Mormon leaders are unpaid volunteers. They are also untrained theologically. The study of doctrine is surprisingly informal in the Church. As a result, there is little place for professional theologians among the Saints, unlike some denominations in which the theologians almost outnumber the members. And though there are dozens of titles a male Mormon can wearfrom deacon to bishop, from high priest to presidentnone of them come with any academic requirements.
All of this stems from the fact that Joseph Smith was focused more on what a man does than on what he believes. He was interested in spiritual experience, not theories about the spiritual. He wanted revelations, not theologies; an open heaven, not just open books. Deeds, not creeds, the Saints often say, and this is the intentional legacy of Joseph Smith.
The result is that while the outside world naturally identifies Mormons by the doctrinal oddities they have accrued through the years, Mormons think of themselves in terms of priesthood authority and the sacred life they share together as a result of this grand restoration.
Excerpted from The Mormonizing of America by Stephen Mansfield, © 2012.
Published by Worthy Publishing, a division of Worthy Media, Inc., Brentwood, TN. www.worthypublishing.com. Used by permission. Tell us what you thought of this excerpt on Twitter: #Mormonizing @WorthyPub
From the book excerpt published on this blog: For a Latter-day Saint, the heart of Mormonism is the restoration of priesthood authority. It is impossible to overstate this. At the core of everything Saintly is the unshakable belief that something lost for centuries was restored through Joseph Smith. It is now present in the modern world. It is present ONLY through the LDS Church.
[NOTE: See middle portion of chart below for corresponding documentation coming directly from Lds "scripture" -- D&C 1:30]
Snapshot of Joseph Smiths Slanderous Invectives vs. Christian Sects
Mormon Source[Note: Most of these are Mormon scriptures'. In fact, First three rows below are Lds 'scripture' & therefore cannot be rug-swept any more than a Jew might try to take three commandments off of the very tablets of stone Moses brought down from the mountain]
|...which of all the sects was right must join NONE of them, for they were ALL WRONG those professors were ALL CORRUPT ||Joseph Smith History vv. 18-19. Lds "scripture" Pearl of Great Price|
|...which of all the sects was right ALL their CREEDS were an ABOMINATION in his sight they teach for doctrines the commandments of MEN ||Joseph Smith History vv. 18-19. Lds "scripture" Pearl of Great Price|
|Mormon church the only Christ-sanctioned church on earth: the foundation of this [Mormon] church the ONLY true and living church on the face of the whole earth [Obvious scorched earth implication: All other churches are false and dead]||Lds scripture Doctrines & Covenants 1:30|
|Direct question asked of Joseph Smith: 'Will everybody be damned, but Mormons?" Answer from Lds "prophet" Joseph Smith: 'Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness."||Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 119 [Not scripture but still publicly spoken by the Mormon living prophet and published by a later Mormon living prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith via a publisher owned by the Mormon church Deseret News Press, 1938]|
|In 1952 the first official proselyting plan was sent to missionaries throughout the world It included seven missionary discussions that emphasized [four topics, one of them being] THE APOSTASY and Restoration [This makes it 60 years that Mormon church missionaries, now numbering 55,000, have formally emphasized in its training & door to door saturation a priority in bashing the worldwide Christian church as apostates (100% AWOL)]||Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints p. 116, 1996|
Please also other chart portions above that document other excerpts from the book published by the blog: He claimed revelations in which he was told that ALL churches were corrupt, that NONE of them had the truth, and that none were worth joining...Mormons believe that the pure Christianity of Jesus Christ lasted only a short while after Jesus left this life. The Christian church quickly became unrighteous and corrupt, and it stayed that way until around 1830.
Of course, this claim -- if true -- means that Mormons call the apostle Paul a false prophet.
You see, Jesus is the Ever-Present Master Church-Builder who prevails as the Strong Guardian of a Church that has never fully apostatized -- and the apostle Paul recognized that -- even if Mormons have not:
Ephesians 3:21: to him [God] be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
The apostle Paul's prophesy here is that ALL generations of the Church would (and have) given God glory, for ever and ever!
Paul said there would NEVER be a time where the Church would fail to given God glory!
I recall a post one time that ex-Mormon ColorCountry included:
Although, tragically, the gates of hell can and do prevail over individual Christians who succumb to mortal sin and cut themselves off from life-giving union with Christ (Rom. 11:22; Gal. 5:4; 2 Peter 2:20-22; 1 John 5:16-17), they can't prevail against the Church Jesus built on the rock of Peter.(Jesus didn't command his followers to do things he himself couldn't do. "Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rains fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on a rock" (Matt. 7:24- 25). It was no coincidence that Jesus used the words, "on this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18; Luke 6:46-49). See also Hebrews 11:10 and 1 Peter 2:6-8.) If they could--if they did--Jesus is made to look foolish for having taught, "Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, 'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish'" (Luke 15:28-30).
Ping re: mention in post #1
Perhaps. But what the author needs to add here is that an "anti-creed" is still a "creed." What do I mean?
Well, living in creed relativism just doesn't work. People need principles, standards, and absolutes to live upon. We can't be stable -- or mobile -- in quicksand -- in which there is nothing "bedrock" upon which to build. So even the phrase, "There are no creeds" -- becomes in and of itself a creed.
That's one of the core problems with Mormonism. It has changed upon the whim of the next Mormon "prophet" delivering his latest spiel.
Well, here's the problem "in a nutshell" re: this for Mormons: If they are going to tout "restored supernatural (experiential) power" -- then the source of that supposed "power" needs to be clearly id'd.
When I open up the very supposed "founding vision" upon which Mormonism is built -- what is called "The First Vision"...
...which was made into "official Mormon 'scripture'" in the 1870s...
...I find no specific Name at all given to the entities that appeared to Joseph Smith!
This is absolutely amazing!
Go ahead! Look! Joseph Smith - History. Pearl of Great Price (which is Mormon "scripture").
A Challenge to Mormons to Reread the First Vision of Joseph Smith.
Please go to vv. 16-25 of Joseph Smith History, Pearl of Great Price. Now tell me anywhere in those passages where these "Personages" are identified as either "God" or "Jesus."
Go, ahead. (There MUST be some attribution to "God" as THE source of a restored priesthood, right?)
Is His (or Jesus') Name in verse 19 of this First Vision account?
No? Well, maybe 14 yo Joey set it up in v. 18?
What? Not there either?
Well, let's look after v. 19.
Where is the SOURCE for Mormons claiming that "God" is the source?
Let's review what Joe said he felt and saw and heard:
Saw a pillar of light
two Personages brightness & glory defy all description
a son of the other
a light heard a voice
a light two Personages
And here some convert-Mormons thought they thoroughly investigated Mormonism before they joined!
Yet they NEVER knew these entities deliberately avoided identifying themselves as either God or Jesus?
Do I have to be the one who breaks the news to you LDS that being "a son" of another unnamed being/personage (v. 17) doesn't equate to being Jesus?
Do I have to be the one pointing out to you that these entities are "no names" -- identityless -- per the vision account?
Mormons, you were sold a bill of goods that are valueless. And that to me is absolutely heart-breaking.
ALL: Let's say, for a moment, that a new church sprung up. Let's call it More Men New Church.
...they added "Revelation 23" to their Bible.
...and some unnamed entities appeared unto their leader, and he reported as part of "Revelation 23":
My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)and which I should join.I was answered that I must join NONE of them, for they were ALL wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that ALL their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were ALL corrupt; [NOTE: This, in fact, is literal "Mormon scripture" -- Joseph Smith 1, vv. 18-19 in the Pearl of Great Price]
Furthermore, let's say the leader of this "newbie church" claimed he was lay[ing] the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth [this is in fact "Mormon scripture" -- Doctrine & Covenants 1:30]
Furthermore, let's say the leader of this "newbie church" claimed that this "Only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth" was the "church of the Lamb of God" -- and he translated an ancient document which said:
"Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth." [this is in fact "Mormon scripture" - 1 Nephi 14:10 from the Book of Mormon]
Now let's say that this church grew to 14 million around the world -- and that about 5-6 of million of them tithed to spread the above message into over 100 different languages.
Fact: Mormon "scriptures" bash Christians 24/7 in all kinds of languages every hour of every day. Yet somehow, NONE of this tends to draw complaints from either Christians or Mormons. Why not?
I have the Lds Church published Topical Guide of the Bible (1979). When you look under "Apostasy of the Early Christian Church" -- p. 13 -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lists 1 Nephi 13:26 of the Book of Mormon as applicable to our history: ...thou seest the formation of a great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.
So. They accuse our spiritual forefathers of being...
..."a great and abominable church"
...It's supposedly "most abominable above all other churches"
...And that we removed most of the Gospel of Jesus Christ;
...and finally, removed covenants as well.
ALL: The lesson that too many Mormons want you to know is that it's "A-OK" for these kinds of LDS accusations about Christians to be plastered around the globe by 55,000 missionaries and 24/7 Lds.org and Lds books & curricula...but, if a few FREEPERS dare to make a perceived overly negative comment about Mormons, the thin skin is bared and it's time for the Mormon toys to go home.
BTW...that same 1979 Topical Guide of the Bible published by the Mormon Church...check out p. 101 under the entry of "Devil, Church of"...When we see Book of Mormon verses listed like 1 Nephi 13:6, 32 and 14:9-10...it leaves absolutely no doubt that "true believing Mormons -- including some FREEPERS -- deem us Christians as part of the "Church of the devil."
The LDS church proclaims to be the "one true church" (see Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:9-10) and in fact, theologically, according to this passage only recognizes two churches -- the true one and the Satanic counterfeit. (Guess who LDS label as the true "Lamb of God" church and who by default thereby falls under the broad Satanic umbrella?)
Indeed. And if you were Satan, you would lead poor, uneducated men to have visitations from unnamed "angels" who would give other revelations to steer men away from the Bible...and unto these new "gods."
For MORE on these similarities...see:
Islamic And Mormonism Similarities: Similarities Between Joseph Smith and Muhammad (by Brother Andrew, who indeed "loves" others in other religions!!!) ... Be sure to review posts #1 & #6 -- and others there within the thread by various posters. Post #1 includes four additional links to other similar FREEPER-posted threads.
OMG! Is Romney going to make me convert?
Romey? Moslem? Hmmm
The world had to wait until the 19th century to finally come to the truth?
Those who accept the teaching of Joseph Smith must, by process of elimination, deny the Founder of Christianity — Jesus Christ.
This very important stuff coming out just before the election
It makes it obvious that we should elect for president a Muslim who is doing everything he can to promote Islam, which will hasten the Caliphate, rather than commit the sin of voting for a Mormon.
No wonder this country is screwed up.
There's the key question right there:
If Mormons are offended by the term "cult" applied to them; yet they then regard every other sect, every other religion, as essentially heretical...then what's the beef about? We're essentially "cultists" to them???
That's a question that needs to be asked REPEATEDLY of Mitt Romney!!!!!!!!
(That's the bottom line of Mormonism...Joseph Smith usurps Jesus Christ...Jesus Christ "failed" in his mission to keep his church going...it 'apostatized' for 1700 years or so...)
Wait a minute, Old Curmudgeon. We've had literally DOZENS of FREEPERS (perhaps even yourself) who have claimed that Romney's religion should be off-limits for discussion...that it's pure "bigotry" to harp on its negative elements...
Why, your comment above seems to place Islam in a negative light...any second now...the self-appointed "bigot patrol" will enter the thread stage right...and perhaps accuse you of religious "bigotry" vs. Islam...
(But then...reality dawns upon me once again...Like that level of religious consistency would EVER happen 'round here!)
Never mind. As you were. Resume posting as is.
Joseph Smith and Mohammed are “soul brothers”?
I’d rather commit a sin then vote for O...
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