You are free to have your opinions about Mormons, but just because Mormons will disagree with you on matters of Faith doesn’t mean we are giving evasive answers or there are gaping wholes in logic. I certainly do not.
However, remember, Faith is Faith. It is not Law or science. There are 6 billion people on the planet, and I doubt that there are two people who agree a 100% in matters of Faith.
In addition, I feel it is Mormons with years of real life experience, who are studious, earnest, and intellectually curious who understand the issues of Mormonism (real or imagined) the best. Certainly not the critics whose sole source of intellectual curiosity is to cut and paste from another website. It’s very comical to behold.
Just as YOU are 'free' to continue to ignore the FACTS of MORMONism that are being posted.
Yes; it is.
We laugh (in sorrow) that MORMONs do not seem to be able to DEFEND their beliefs or even to acknowledge the WRITINGS that their own Organization has produced!
First, yes we are all free to disagree on matters of faith. That is not the issue. Faith does not create simple facts and simple facts can be proven.
You can believe that there is a McDonald's on the corner of 5th and main, that you know in your heart is there and open for business, but when we get there and find an empty lot we both will have issues getting a Big Mac. That is not a matter of opinion or faith but raw truth.
You are right faith is faith, but God also gave us minds to think and reason, and indeed Paul and others make many references to faith AND reason essentially walking hand and hand.
The Bible is a reasonable good history as well as an article of faith. Indeed so thorough is God's word that in the end reason and logic can deal with everything in it short of the very last question, the one true point that we have to take on faith and this is the question of whether the actions within and the person of Christ were Divine in nature or not. God left no lose ends or fantasy worlds for his detractors to deal with unless the are willing to look foolish.
One cannot question the existence of Rome or Cesar, I can right now even as we speak arrange a trip to the holy land. Just a couple of years ago Jewish Scholars in Israel uncovered the corner stone of Herod's place. All the real and tangible people and places of the Bible either have left us direct records or have acted and reacted as we would expect people in those places to do.
None of these things are matters of faith or opinion for they were real and did exist in time and history.
Sadly the lands and peoples of the BOM cannot even remotely stand against such scrutiny. Even those friendly and partial to the LDS cause cannot bring anything credible to the table, much less those seeking simple scientific inquiry with no interest in the subject at a personal level.
If things that should be tangible cannot stand in such regard then what do we say about the arguments of faith that are intertwined and emanate from the same narratives.
The second point I take away from you answer is in the last paragraph. You say that earnest and studious Mormons understand the issues of Mormonism the best. That simply cutting and pasting what should be straight forward quotes is not enough. I will not do so then, and the doctrine of the LDS is evidence here on FR many times anyways.
So there are a couple of things I can take from that and I am not sure exactly what tack to use. I guess the first would be to say, ok, then as an earnest and studious Mormon you should have no issue in being straight forward about the simplest of Mormon doctrine, that the simplest of ideas should not require deflection or obfuscation.
So from that I will take it that you believe and have no issue answering in the affirmative that Jesus, according to LDS doctrine as well as the Bible, is a deity, a god, and that god the father is separate and distinct from Jesus, that as Smith himself has stated from day one of the faith, that they are “two personages”.
I also will take it that your earnest answer to the simple question of how many gods there are is at least two as of this counting. Note I made no previsions of saying how many your worship or what world they are in charge of, but make a simple counting of the individuals that exist that have godly powers in their own right.
I also take it that you believe that those male Mormons who have successfully made the grade, so to speak, to reach Celestial Glory, that have been sealed in Celestial marriage and been exalted will become gods as well, as stated in the Doctrine and Covenants Section 132, paragraph 20. We have to assume at least a couple have made it that far (be sad if none had been successful to date, right?) so our god count rises even more.
I take it that as an earnest Mormon who follows letter of the Mormon scripture and has studied on these things knows that they are true and right and correct. Therefore you should have no problem when I state that by the very purist and true definition of polytheism, the one that states it is the worship of OR belief in more than one god, that the LDS is a polytheistic religion.
I also take it that you believe that Joseph Smith has a hand in the path to glory along side Christ himself because Brigham Young, a prophet of god, as well as others, has stated that no man may attain heaven without Smith's certification, a fact and quote posted on FR many times.
I take it you hold no issue with any and all the direct postings made here that come DIRCETLY from LDS dogma, any accompanying “editorializing” by the ”antis” not withstanding.
I am certain you do.
BTW one last note. You make a minor leap in logic in your last paragraph when you say critics of the LDS sole source of intellectual curiosity is to simply cut and past dogma and LDS “scripture”. There are pages and pages of material from the LDS, it takes at least some intellectual effort to find the specific lines oft used here.