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.
Wish I were the fly on the wall for that! LOL
. . .
Having Joseph Smith waiting at the gates of heaven to let us in or deny us access is against all teachings in the Bible. It is NOT Christian.
By denying this was taught are you also denying that previous prophets of the LDS church were NOT real prophets
I never said it is not taught. IT IS.
I said that this part is often used without the rest of the teachings. This makes it sound like something it isn't.
I have only been an ex-non-Mormon for 40 or so years.
I started out to prove this Church was wrong.
I had a closed mind, I did not need to study more, I “knew” the Church was wrong.
I found that with a little extra study, proving this Church wrong could not be done.
There are still some points the critics use that I have not found the answer to.
And if one of them turns out to prove my faith in Father's Church is wrong, I will admit it and change.
It just takes a little extra study to find out what the critics are leaving out, and how leaving it out changes what the real meaning is.
So, all I can say is to look deeper, past the easy answers, and see how Father's teachings come together as a hole.
Father loves all of us.
***I found that with a little extra study, proving this Church wrong could not be done.***
Three minutes of “study” will prove the Mormon church, and all of it’s little daughter churches, wrong.
I just HATE when that happens!!
I guess that ol'
is wrong; and your blessed Founder is right.
17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the otherThis is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
18 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.
19 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; 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.
20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was. I replied, Never mind, all is wellI am well enough off. I then said to my mother, I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true.
Reminds me of an old joke...
Late at night, a drunk was on his knees beneath a street-light, evidently looking for something.A passer-by, being a good Samaritan, offered to help. "What is it you have lost?" he asked.
"My watch," replied the drunk. "It fell off when I tripped over the pavement."
"About half a block up the street," replied the drunk.
The drunk said: "Because the light's a lot better here."
Answer the question F. If this is your response, then it is par for your course.
There are many who have investigated and do not agree with Fred's take on the subject.
I found that with a little extra study, proving this Church wrong could not be done.
There are still some points the critics use that I have not found the answer to. .
And if one of them turns out to prove my faith in Father's Church is wrong, I will admit it and change..
It just takes a little extra study to find out what the critics are leaving out, and how leaving it out changes what the real meaning is..
So, all I can say is to look deeper, past the easy answers, and see how Father's teachings come together as a hole. (Do you mean "whole"?)
Recently a group of bright, faithful young Latter-day Saints wrote down some of the most pressing questions on their minds. One sister asked, Why doesnt the Church defend itself more actively when accusations are made against it?
To her inquiry I would say that one of mortalitys great tests comes when our beliefs are questioned or criticized. In such moments, we may want to respond aggressivelyto put up our dukes. But these are important opportunities to step back, pray, and follow the Saviors example. Remember that Jesus Himself was despised and rejected by the world. And in Lehis dream, those coming to the Savior also endured mocking and pointing . . . fingers (1 Nephi 8:27). The world hath hated [my disciples], Jesus said, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world (John 17:14). But when we respond to our accusers as the Savior did, we not only become more Christlike, we invite others to feel His love and follow Him as well.
To respond in a Christlike way cannot be scripted or based on a formula. The Savior responded differently in every situation. When He was confronted by wicked King Herod, He remained silent. When He stood before Pilate, He bore a simple and powerful testimony of His divinity and purpose. Facing the moneychangers who were defiling the temple, He exercised His divine responsibility to preserve and protect that which was sacred. Lifted up upon a cross, He uttered the incomparable Christian response: Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).
Some people mistakenly think responses such as silence, meekness, forgiveness, and bearing humble testimony are passive or weak. But, to love [our] enemies, bless them that curse [us], do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them which despitefully use [us], and persecute [us] (Matthew 5:44) takes faith, strength, and, most of all, Christian courage.
Mormons are free to conduct their religion in the U.S., but I hope they drop the "Christian" identifier. No one outside of their group is buyin' it.
Joe Smith wasn't a prophet and Mormons are not Christian. Just refer to basic Christian Doctrine if you don't believe me.
Other than that, all the Mormons I've met are very nice people.