Skip to comments.Mormons told to avoid faith-related arguments
Posted on 10/06/2008 10:58:58 AM PDT by Zakeet
Mormons should never respond with arrogance or hostility to attacks on their faith, but be peacemakers among themselves and in the community of faith, said several speakers at the 178th Semiannual LDS General Conference on Sunday.
"More regrettable than the [LDS] Church being accused of not being Christian is when church members react to such accusations in an un-Christlike way," Apostle Robert D. Hales said on the second day of the two-day conference. "Surely our Heavenly Father is saddened - and the devil laughs - when we contentiously debate doctrinal differences with our Christian neighbors."
Sometimes, the best response is to say nothing at all, Hales said. "Meekness is not weakness. It is a badge of Christian courage."
Hales was speaking to more than 20,000 gathered in the LDS Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City and millions more watching on TV, the Internet or via satellite to LDS meeting houses across the globe.
One Sunday speaker, Apostle Russell M. Nelson, made a veiled reference to the church's opposition to same-sex marriage.
"The subject of marriage is debated across the world, where various arrangements exist for conjugal living," Nelson said, adding emphatically, "Marriage between a man and a woman is sacred - it is ordained of God. . . . [And] a temple marriage is the highest and most enduring type of marriage that our Creator can offer to his children."
Comparing wedding choices to shopping, Nelson said, "Some marital options are cheap; some are costly; and some are cunningly crafted by the adversary. Beware of his options. They always breed misery."
Not all Mormons in California agree with the church's support of the state's traditional marriage initiative, which may have prompted Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the church's governing First Presidency, to discuss the need for unity among members.
As the church attracts members from diverse backgrounds and experiences, true peacemakers recognize they have more in common than they have differences, Eyring said. "God will help you see their differences not as a source of irritation but as a contribution. In a moment, the Lord can help you see and value what the other person contributes which you lack."
For his part, Pres. Thomas S. Monson, who became the 16th leader of the 13-million member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February, spoke personally and emotionally about accepting change.
"Some changes are welcome, some are not," Monson said during his morning address. "There are changes in our lives which are sudden, such as the unexpected passing of a loved one, an unforeseen illness, the loss of a possession we treasure."
The 81-year-old leader reflected on his years as an LDS apostle, watching the 14 men ahead of him in the church's hierarchy pass away until the death of longtime LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley, which elevated Monson to the position.
"Of course, there's no going back, only forward," Monson said. "Rather than dwelling on the past, we should make the most of today, of the here and now, doing all we can to provide pleasant memories for the future."
Several other LDS authorities discussed the best way to handle critics and disagreements.
Apostle M. Russell Ballard said in the last few decades the LDS Church had experienced "unprecedented ideological attacks on our people, our history, and our doctrine through the media."
In a possible allusion to the critics of Mormonism that emerged during Mitt Romney's failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination, Ballard noted that in the 1920s, LDS apostle Reed Smoot was elected to the U.S. Senate but had to fight to be seated.
"A great deal was said of the church and its teachings at that time - much of it hurtful and directed toward [LDS] President Joseph F. Smith and other church leaders," Ballard said. "However, some newspaper articles began to speak of the members of the church as contributing citizens and good people."
From the church founding in 1830 to today, Ballard said, "persecutions have raged. Calumny, lies, and misrepresentation have attempted to defame. But in every decade . . . the truth of God has gone forth boldly."
Monson closed the conference in the afternoon with an appeal for tolerance and kindness.
"We are a global church," he said. "May we be good citizens of the nations in which we live and good neighbors in our communities, reaching out to those of other faiths as well as to our own. May we be men and women of honesty and integrity in everything we do."
He thanked members for their generous contributions, which help the church continue its humanitarian work. He urged them to offer every kind of assistance to those in need.
"May we ever be mindful of the needs of those around us," Monson said, "and be ready to extend a helping hand and a loving heart."
The conference was adjourned until April, 2009.
Seems like this wipes out the Mormon missionaries who go door to door in an attempt to prostelitize Christians.
in general, I’ve never had a Mormon push their views.....and I live in an area with a good number of Mormons...
This line is humorous: Mormons should never respond with arrogance or hostility
Thats the kind of statement that suspends disbelief.
I don’t think they are talking about tempered discussions between people of opposing viewpoints who nevertheless respect each other. They are counseling against contentious adrenaline laden verbal sparring matches.
I left the church during this time after finding out oabout the false prophesies of Joseph Smith, and Brigham Young, and the thug-like and murderous behavoir.
Here are a few quotes that really stick out in my mind...
I discover that some of the Eastern papers represent me as a great blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, that JESUS CHRIST WAS MARRIED at Cana of Galilee, THAT MARY, MARTHA, AND OTHERS WERE HIS WIVES, AND THAT HE BEGAT CHILDREN. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, page 210)
Brigham Young, answering critics who claimed polygamy as a relic of barbarism: Yes, one of the relics of Adam, of Enoch, of Noah, of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, of Moses, David, Solomon, the Prophets, OF JESUS, AND HIS APOSTLES. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, page 328)
"President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision and by the Holy Spirit. . . . it was the will of God that they should be ordained to the ministry and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, for the coming of the Lord, which was nigh even fifty six years should wind up the scene." (History of the Church, Vol. 2, page 182).This prophecy was spoken by Joseph Smith in 1835, and recorded by Oliver Cowdery. The fifty-six years were passed by 1891.
Deuteronomy 18:22 (King James Version) 22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
The LDS Church wants these secrets and thousands more like them to continue to be kept from the current membership, that is why they have ordered members to stop arguing doctrine with true Christians.
I'm not sure I agree that's all that's at stake.
The Saints quickly get into trouble when they run into someone who is well informed about their religion.
For example, this individual might bring up topics such as the dozens of obvious errors in the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, the thousands of changes to Mormon Scripture, the nine different versions of the First Vision, sexual perversion (including D&C Section 132), the obvious contradictions among Mormon scripture, the failed prophecies by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, the Adam-God doctrine, the Kinderhook Plates, the United Order, the Kirtland Safety Society, the sins committed in the time of preexistence by the spirits born into bodies as African-Americans, the Satanic Mormon Temple Ceremony, the LDS' connection to the occult, and much, much more.
Articles posted earlier on this forum indicate LDS membership may be overstated, and there may now be more ex-Mormons than practicing Saints. And much of this is due to their exposure to the truth.
I therefore can easily interpret the article as advising Mormons to avoid discussions with people who have opposing viewpoints because they might be handed facts which will cause them to loose their faith in Joseph Smith and their Church.
Pres. Hinkley is dead. These current pronouncements are from Pres. Monson. The LDS Church has a long history of having current leaders’ pronouncements supercede previous leaders. One may not agree with it—but that’s the way they choose to do things.
I wonder if this means they won’t be allowed to post threads on Free Republic.
I think the same is true of any religion, certainly Christianity as a whole, mainly because the internet has spread information to widely. One does not have to wait for the latest scholarly book debunking the story of Noah’s flood or quibbling with the reality of Sodom and Gomorah. it can all be found quite readily and explained fairly simply on the internet—which can then lead one on to more scholarly cited articles if desired. As a result argument over all brands of Christianity have decreased as people are better informed, at least in my experience living in the Bible Belt.
That was my point. Membership numbers cannot withstand much contact with the truth, therefore the change in policy.
Quite so as any disagreement or exposure of LDS history and doctrine is called an attack by the LDS leadership. How many LDS posters are willing to explain what they are actually taught about Adam, who and what he was and what supports their view?
I can understand ignoring hecklers but someone alleging error is not the same thing and anyone that can't tell the difference should post as a caucus.
I think it’s more about the LDS Church pushing to be more mainstream—to be accepted into the list of Christian churches. I think in the past they have had problems being viewed as “one of the gang” when it comes to community services and organizations. Knock-down drag-out arguments only exacerbate the gulf between them and mainstream Christianity (assuming for the sake of argument that such a thing exists).
Neither the story of Noah's flood or Sodom and Gomorrah can be or have been written off. I recommend you check with a Christian apologist such as Josh McDowell for more details.
As a result argument over all brands of Christianity have decreased as people are better informed, at least in my experience living in the Bible Belt.
Actually, it is some of the mainstream Protestant denominations who are losing members due largely to the adoption of non-Biblical doctrine and practices. For example, the Anglicans are currently splitting and many of their membership is turning to other Christian denominations over their practice of ordaining homosexual clergy.
On the other hand, according to various studies, Catholics added more than 30 million new members last year, Orthodox Church membership has soared since the fall of the Soviet Union, and Evangelical and Pentecostal church membership is exploding. In the instance of one project alone, the Jesus Film, over 230 million people have either converted to Christianity or vowed to convert after viewing the presentation.
One is left to conclude either there are a lot of uninformed people, or your experience is very limited in scope.
If you don't think Mormons are Christian, fine you are more than welcome to your views, but you will never persuade a Mormon that they are not. To us, Christ is central to our faith, and if others want to define what is Christian in narrow terms, so be it, it doesn't effect us or our faith.
Good advice when you have a losing argument.
Are you saying that the Mormons flip-flopped on a policy/teaching/doctrine?
That is hard to believe! < /hyper-sarc>
You might be interested to know the LDS Church actually has a long history of condemning Christianity. The church has also stated repeatedly that no one can be saved without the permission of Joseph Smith. The church has even suggested that Islam is better than Christianity.
Consider the following:
THE MORMON CHURCH CONDEMNS CHRISTIANS
And the angel of God said unto me: 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. And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10-11
My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all 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 by God 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; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof." He again forbade me to join with any of them Prophet Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith History 1:18-20
Christianity...is a perfect pack of nonsense...the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century. Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p.167
The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God. Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:171
Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth." Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:176
Where shall we look for the true order or authority of God? It cannot be found in any nation of Christendom. Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 10:127
Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast. Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225
What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing... Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the things of God. Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225
The Book of Mormon remains secure, unchanged and unchangeable but with the Bible it was not and is not so it was once in the sole and exclusive care and custody of an abominable organization (Christianity), founded by the devil himself, likened prophetically unto a great whore, whose great aim and purpose was to destroy the souls of men in the name of religion. In these hands it ceased to be the book it once was. Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, The Joseph Smith Translation, pp. 12, 13
In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints "do not believe in the traditional Christ." No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, LDS Church News, June 20, 1998, p.7
SALVATION IS NOT THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, BUT JOSEPH SMITH
If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by the Prophet Joseph Smith; if we enter our glory, it will be through the authority he has received. We cannot get around him. Apostle George Q. Cannon, 1988 Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, p. 142
[There is] no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth...no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p.190
No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith...every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are... [Joseph Smith] reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p.289-91
I tell you, Joseph holds the keys, and none of us can get into the celestial kingdom without passing by him. We have not got rid of him, but he stands there as the sentinel, holding the keys of the kingdom of God If brother Joseph is satisfied with you, you may pass. Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p.154-155
ISLAM IS BETTER THAN CHRISTIANITY
The Greek and Roman Churches, which have been called Christian, and which take the name of Christians as a cloak, have worshipped innumerable idols. On this account, on the simple subject of the Deity and His worship, if nothing more, I should rather incline, of the two, after all my early traditions, education, and prejudices, to the side of Mahomet, for on this point he is on the side of truth, and the Christian world on the side of idolatry and heathenism. Apostle Parley P. Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p.38
Now, if we take Mahometanism during those dark ages, and the corruptions that are so universally prevalent over the earth, and the idolatrous systems of religion, falsely called Christianity, and weigh them in a balance; with all my education in favor of Christian nations and Christian powers, and Christian institutions, so called, with all my prejudices of early youth, and habits of thought and reading, my rational faculties would compel me to admit that the Mahometan history and Mahometan doctrine was a standard raised against the most corrupt and abominable idolatry that over perverted our earth, found in the creeds and worship of Christians Apostle Parley P. Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p.40
Though Mahometan institutions are corrupt enough, and need reforming by the Gospel, I am inclined to think, upon the whole, leaving out the corruptions of men in high places among them, that they have better morals and better institutions than many Christian nations; and in many localities there have been high standards of morals. So far as that one point is concerned, of worshipping the one true God under the name of Mahometanism, together with many moral precepts, and in war only acting on the defensive, I think they have exceeded in righteousness and truthfulness of religion, the idolatrous and corrupt church that has borne the name of Christianity. Apostle Parley P. Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, p.41
You can find many more similar quotes of Mormon leaders slamming Christians HERE.
Your wrong, I wouldn’t be interested. In fact, I am not interested in hearing negativity about any Christian, or non Christian Church. I believe people are better off for having faith in their lives, and living the best way they know how. I don’t believe that the snippets you have taken represent the views of the Mormon Church or it’s members. Mormons consider themselves Christian, and would, therefore, not condem themselves. God bless all those with religion in their lives, and the desire to be better people.