Skip to comments.The Truth About Mormonism
Posted on 04/15/2012 9:22:28 AM PDT by Kaslin
Being a Mormon isn't an easy path.
Heather Beeseck, a sophomore secondary education major at Potomac State College, would know. She has been involved with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for two years and was baptized into the faith on August 6, 2011.
The Church, according to the National Review, is the fourth largest religious organization in the United States. Its numbers expand at 2.5 percent higher rates than the Roman Catholic Church and may soon pass the United Methodist Church in size.
Matt Slick of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry published estimates that 800 people per day joined the faith. Just under 12 million worship in it worldwide.
Despite their growing strength of numbers, Mormons face a unique challenge of perception. Media coverage is usually the first time that non Mormons are exposed to the faith. As Beeseck explains, Many people have never met a Latter-Day Saint. Five years ago, I hadn't. The media is all some people ever know about the church, and even once those individuals meet a Mormon, they don't always revise their opinions.
This can be problematic, as when Lawrence ODonnell of MSNBC claims that Mormonism was invented to excuse Joseph Smiths infidelity. Or when the Huffington Posts Andrea Stone implies that Mitt Romney has some power to change Church doctrine.
Tom ONeill, vice chair of the West Virginia Republican Party, has been a Church member for 20 years and active in it for almost a quarter century. He does not see most media coverage as overtly malicious, but says that negative stories are more often than not the products of misunderstanding.
Beeseck agrees and states that for or the most part, the media tries to get its facts right, or at least be believable for their audience. She then warns that, when they do get it wrong, the average person believes them.
Misconceptions stem from salacious accusations about the faith, especially coverage of renegade polygamist cults. Covering these stories without mentioning that the Church does not condone polygamy leaves a false impression in the public mind. For example, Mike Taibbi narrated a segment on NBCs Rock Center that highlighted an ancestor of Romneys from the 1800s who fled to Mexico to escape prosecution for polygamy. For some reason, NBC considered this a relevant story to run on the eve of the New Hampshire primary.
Media coverage also tends to describe Mormons as systematically oppressing minorities, homosexuals, and women. They also imply that there are mysterious secretive rituals. Some outlets on the fringe of, or outside, the mainstream media do blatantly attack Mormonism. As National Review deputy editor Kevin Williamson writes there are few if any websites dedicated to unmasking the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., but there are dozens dedicated to Mormons.
The Stone story, featured in the Huffington Post last February, took the Church to task over posthumous proxy baptism of Jewish victims of the Holocaust. ONeill explains (which is necessary, because Stone does not) that the baptisms are not conversions and that recipients are not considered members of the Church. The practice is based on a biblical understanding that baptism is a rite essential for salvation, together with the Churchs belief in the inviolate ability of a person to choose for themselves whether or not to accept and ratify, in the hereafter, the baptism performed on their behalf. Stone did quote a Church spokesman as saying that the practice did not have official sanction.
The story also describes how Mitt Romney refused to respond to calls that he try to force the Church to halt the practice, which is akin to demanding that John F. Kennedy over a half century ago convince the Pope to allow clerical marriage.
One of the largest misconceptions is that Mormons are a single unit of voters that will automatically line up behind one of their own. Media types generally, and falsely, assume that groupthink predominates (or should predominate) over individual choices. Traditional teachings of Mormonism frown upon unthinking acceptance of a political leader. One verse from the Mormon Book of Mosiah states, Now I say unto you, that because all men are not just it is not expedient that ye should have a king or kings to rule over you
Beeseck speculates that many Mormons, because of the importance of free agency to their faith, may tend to support Ron Paul. She also says that fear of ramped up intolerance might drive some believers away from voting for Romney. The media often demonstrates a fatal analytical flaw in their analysis of religion, race, and gender in politics. They assume that all members of a group will, or should, vote as s single collective bloc, regardless of individual beliefs. These assumptions also reveal the most important misconception held by political types, that everyone is as obsessed with politics as they are.
The blogger Ablayn on MormonPerspectives.com states that even sympathetic coverage misses the mark. In an attempt to seem evenhanded, they never reach understanding. They never talk about what Mormonism means to the heart of the believer.
Some of the problems encountered by Mormons in media perception of their church might originate in how the Church evolved in its dealings with the public and the press. ONeill describes how violence and legal assaults against the Mormon church in the 19th century created a culture within the Church of introversion. Threats of violence drove believers out of Missouri and Illinois before the Civil War. In 1903, the US Senate refused allow Reed Smoot (no known relation to the author) to take his seat for four years because he also served in the Church.
This difficult history means that, although the last half-century has seen strong attempts at outreach, the Mormon church has traditionally been turned inward. This contributes to an unintentional air of mystery seen by the general public.
Possibly some pundits have read the Mormon holy writings, which do contradict typical liberal and left wing ideologies. The writings in some cases portray excessive authority and taxation as leading to a breakdown of civil society. Another verse from Mosiah, for example, reads, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry . . . by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity.
The media often misses positive Mormon stories, such as former NBA player Shawn Bradleys involvement in a school for troubled youth. Bishop Daniel Peterson described in the Deseret News how his work often focused on helping people suffering the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, emotional problems, dysfunctional families, poverty, various chronic limitations, joblessness and despair. Nearly 50,000 missionaries serve somewhere in the world at any given time.
A news media that deigns to preach fairness, diversity, and tolerance to Christians needs to practice the same when it comes to Christians.
ONeill emphasizes the similarities between Mormons and other Christians. We are not out to convert the world, but to offer an invitation to those who are looking for something. Were pretty normal, regular people, and we just want to help make our communities better places.
Beeseck offered her own personal insight, saying My faith is my life.
When a supporter has to stoop to that we know what Romneys chances really are
I am responding to your continual posting of your “personal testimony” in
the post above.
Telling a half truth is not the same thing as telling the truth.
It is a lie with consequences.
... When you tell a half-truth about God’s nature, you make God into an idol.
... When you tell a half-truth about the Gospel, the result is eternity away from God.
... When you tell a half-truth about man, you repeat the sin of Satan.
Sadly your personal testimony, which you continually post here (apparently) in order
to portray mormonism as Christianity and yourself as a misunderstood Christian with a
few minor differences, is full of half-truths in the three categories above - and frankly
others as well.
Only you know if you are emotionally deceived enough to rationalize
the careful way you craft your explanation to justify your own choices,
or if you knowingly and selectively choose your half-truths to make
mormonism appear Christian in order to proselytize FReepers and promote
In the end, a half-truth remains a lie and is certainly contrary to the
image I used to have of you. I gave you multiple chances to come clean,
but in every response you obfuscated and continued your carefully crafted
sales pitch. You were unable to come right out and state what you believed.
In the end, I realized you did not want to tell the whole truth. I post this
to notify others on FR that you are posting half-truths about Christianity
and about mormonism. This is a common mormon tactic taught to their “missionaries”.
I feel for you... not just because of your physical challenges, but even
more importantly and of greater consequence, you spiritual challenges.
I pray for your physical and spiritual healing. In the meantime, I will continue
to point out the problems with your post here that distorts the simplicity of
the Gospel of Grace, the nature of our ONE GOD, and the unworthiness of man to
reach God through his own efforts.
Sorry, you are apparently so wrapped up in your accusative nature and spirit that you will let such things pass...and with your approval no less. I had thought better of you.
No one is pimping anything...not cancer for sure, and not Romney in the least.
I do not support Romney. I support Newt which I made clear, and Santorum before him, and Cain, before him, and Sarah before him.
If Romeny is all that is left us for a nominee, I will vote for him against Obama, but I pray Newt can pull off a miracle and get a brokered convention to avoid that. I have made that clear here on FR.
I did try and provide a counter balance to the attacks on this thread against my faith, using my own testimony and experiences in an effort to show where our faith resides...and one of your number made fun of my malignant bone cancer to thank me for it.
Fine. You are apparently so wrapped up in your vindictiveness and angest that you are unwilling to even call out that behavior. That’s what the real shame is.
Given this latest, I’ll not repsond any more on this thread...it’s just too sickning, IMHO...and such a shame to see on FR.
I pray God’s blessings on you, to open your eyes...not really regarding the LDS church at all...but regaring your own allownces and willingness to justify such behavior.
Why did you leave the Southern Baptist Church?
Did someone tell you there was something wrong with it?
Did someone tell you that the Southern Baptist Church was not a "True Church"?
Was their doctrine in error?
Were their creeds an "abomination"?
Did your current church accept your Southern Baptist Baptism as valid?
A misleading statement at best. Smoot was not just a member or volunteer in the Church, he was a member of the 12 Apostles.
This was the rough equivalent of having a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church elected to the Senate. Not surprisingly, some were concerned about such a highly placed member of a church recently involved in serious conflict with the US government being a senator.
* * * *
The heart of the Reed Smoot affair was the issue of polygamy (plural marriage). Smoot was not a polygamist.
The Senate's issue with Smoot dated to the 1898 election of U.S. Representative Brigham Henry Roberts of Utah. B.H. Roberts was a polygamist, and was a polygamist at the time of his election to Congress, two years after Utah became a state based in part on the condition that polygamy would be illegal (it's illegal in the Utah Constitution, which provides that the United States must consent to any amendment of that provision).
1898, as you'll note, was eight years after LDS President Wilford Woodruff's 1890 Manifesto on polygamy and the LDS Church claimed to have ended polygamy.
However, the LDS Church quietly continued to perform a small number of polygamous marriages after 1890 Manifesto, in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and the 1890 Manifesto didn't break up the large number of existing polygamous relationships (which would have been extremely cruel).
Congress had refused to seat B.H. Roberts because he was a polygamist.
Smoot's 1902 election set off four years of hearings on the fact that the LDS Church continued to practice polygamy and perform polygamous marriages. The perceived issue for Smoot was whether he could take an oath to uphold the Constitution while being such a high-ranking member of the LDS Church, which was still, at the time of his election, violating the laws of the U.S. regarding polygamy, and was violating the terms of the Utah Constitution, Utah law, and the conditions under which Utah had been permitted to become a State and elect Senators. Polygamy, in the eyes of those practicing it, was the law of God and not something that the laws of man could affect.
During the Reed Smoot Hearings, LDS President Joseph F. Smith issued the Second Manifesto (the 1904 Manifesto) which established excommunication for polygamy.
But - the Reed Smoot Hearings? They were, at the core, about polygamy.
I’ve been an LDS member for over 25 years now, Jeff. I appreciate your witness of Jesus Christ which I share.
Thank you...it was freely and sincerely given.
Your handle remnds me of an experience I had on Normandy beach about six years ago when I went over there to pick up one of my sons who had just finished his mission.
We went to Nomandy Beach on the day before we flew home. I had an uncle who was killed in the air over Belgium in World War II and at the end of seeing his mission, we wanted to see Normandy.
While there a French man approached me and asked if we were Americans. I said, yes, we were and were grateful for the way that so many French people were a part of and employed in taking such marvelous care of the memorial there.
He thanked me and then said what he really wanted to ask me was if I was glad Bush’s term was almost up and wouldn’t we be glad that he, as a war monger, would soon be gone.
I stopped for a moment and it got quiet as I gathered my thoughts and controlled my emotions. I finally told him that he would not agree with my answer, and that it would be contentious, and that my son and I had come there to honor the dead Americans buried there by the tens of thousands...who died freeing his country from abject tyranny, and that I didn’t really care to talk politics with him.
He apologized, and said he understood.
As he left, I indicated to him to reflect on something... that perhaps, just perhaps, sixty years from now two people like he and I may meet over in Iraq where Americans once again were dying to help free people from another brutal tyrant and be standing at another such memorial to American sacrifice in blood for other people’s fredom. With that, I bid him Adieu.
God’s speed and blessing to you and yours. I pray we can help restore our nation to the fundamental moral and constitutional principles upon which it was founded and hope we’ll see a huge step in that direction here in November.
America at the Crossroads of History
And thanks to the fine heart surgeon in Salt Lake City that performed the quad bypass on me hack in 2009. I knew he had a steady hand based on his reputation. That greater power certainly knew that it was not yet my time. He/She directed the hands of that fine young doctor.
Please, take this apologetics crap somewhere else. We have been exposing the blasphemies and heresies of MormonISM for year at FR. These people are not ‘misunderstood’, they are misled, being duped by forces of darkness. At FR, when the facts of what the foudners and leadership of LDS inc have taught are exposed, the Momron apologists whine that the sources are not official, that the heirarchy has changed, that Christianity needed restored to the original by their ‘prophet’, that ... well, you get the gist. The LDS inc apologists do what their previous head of their ‘church’ did when cornered on Larry King Live, they lie. Oh, to be sure, they do it with such a fluid tongue and such humble rebuke, but it is lying for their religion just as their missionaries are taught to do.
Thank you. I spent some time on Normandy beaches a few years ago myself — also visited one of the large cemeteries there. It was all very beautiful, and were poignant moments as I considered all that had gone on there during WWII.
The earth and its destiny is in the Lord’s hands — ultimately His will shall prevail and Christ and His Kingdom will triumph.
Jeff, have you taken the oath of LDS inc melchizedek high riesthood? And honest answer is not what I expect from you, but you might surprise me. And if you have taken that oath(s) then you have committed blasphemy toward Jesus Christ Who is the ONLY Melchizedek High Priest and He is that Priest FOREVER, Jeff. You’re a fraud.
Notice the date of the Mountain Meadow Massacre, the largest act of domestic violence on U.S. soil until the Oklahoma Bombing. That date is September 11.
Notice also how Mormon “prophet” Brigham Young ordered and carried out the destruction of the cross - the most sacred symbol of Christians - adorning the top of the cairn where the Christian victims of the Mountain Meadow Massacre were buried. That cross still has not been restored:
I have told you before that I have served in Bishoprics in the Church MHG. You claim to know a lot about the Church and if you do, you know the answer before you ask it.
I am a High Priest in the LDS Church. It is a lay priesthood and my oath is to Jesus Christ who leads that Priesthood. He is in fact my High Priest, just as He is for the entire earth, and the one I look to for my Salvation through His atonement.
The Priesthood is how the Church is organized, and we believe how it was organized by Christ himself. We believe all the original Apostles and other leaders were called similarly.
But, you do not believe that and these issues have been discussed at length elsewhere and ultimately devolve into LDS believers getting damned to hell, called frauds and many other names, etc., etc.
Again, as I have done in the past. God bless you for your sincere faith in Christ and any sincere and Christlike efforts you make to bring others to Him, that work is not waisted by anyone...in the end, He will draw all sincere believers to Himself and all truth.
I hope you and yours have a blessed remainder of the sabbath day,
Its Americas Islam.
Lies and myth concocted by a con-artist for coercion and profit - just like the fleece Muhamad pulled over his sheeple's eyes.
Of course a totally different house belonging to a totally different father down the street is another issue...
Of course a totally different house belonging to a totally different father down the street is another issue...
Huh? For a guy who says he knows the Bible, you sure do miss quote/reference it a lot. “know by fruit” as you have been told dozens of times refers to false prophets, like Joseph Smith.
Your continual reference to your own cancer is boring, and self promoting, saying this as a 25 year survivor of ovarian cancer.
psst lds have maybe 14 mil world wide, 6 mil maybe in the US and only half of them are considered active. Really Jeff if you are going to spout stats at least use some that are not so easily found out to be untrue or at the very least highly exaggerated.
>>I am a High Priest in the LDS Church.
What’s the name of the BS-Artist who’s High Priest on Planet Kolob?
Is being god of Kolob a permanent position or, since it’s just a vacation planet, is it more like an anarcho-syndicalist commune where you’ll take it in turns to be a sort of Executive Supreme God Man and Officer for the week — You know, an honorary god of the cruise ship during mardi gras sort of thing...?