Musings on Mormonism

(Today I went to the LDS website and took a close look at what they believe about Jesus, his sacrifice on the cross, and the Holy Spirit. It did surprise me a little. If you want to get into the specifics of what they believe and where they disagree with the Bible and possibly go wrong… check this monster post out.)

I’ve read more about Mormonism than I care to type at the moment. It’s a big subject, and Mormons seem to have contradictory views about their own faith. Not unlike Christians really. I know when Mormonism began it grew in large measure because it gave answers to the big questions of the day. What I mean is, while the “church” was mired in traditionalism, cliches, and had developed a distance between itself and the everyday guy, Mormonism had quick answers and an exciting story. Mormons did a better job at apologetics at that time, and many church people gravitated toward it.

I also know that much of the book of Mormon doesn’t jive too well with actual history, although it has been revised a bit since the original. Most of the weird beliefs don’t really come from the Book of Mormon but from later teachings found in the books “Pearl of Great Price,” and “Mormon Doctrine,” etc… Weird teachings such as God living on planet Kolob with all of his spirit wives having spirit babies that come down to earth.

The view of Jesus and Satan directly contradicts the teachings in the Bible and especially with Jesus, Mormonism departs from traditional Christianity.

These days, Mormons want to be included with Christianity, and the world doesn’t see any reason why not since all religion looks the same from the outside anyway. Even so, considering Mormonism a Christian religion has not been widely accepted at all. Most evangelical Churches still consider Mormonism a cult, and Mitt Romney struggles with that mindset within the Republican base every day.

Mormons should in fact be grateful to radio talk-show host Glenn Beck, one of my favorite personalities. I mean, I love the guy. Glenn has presented himself and his Mormon religion as a humble, Bible-based, and thoughtful Christian-type group. Some of you political types might think I’m crazy calling Glenn humble, but you need to actually listen to what he says when describing himself and especially his faith. Despite the fact I grew up reading and learning everything that was wrong about Mormonism, if by their fruit you shall know them, I must say I’ve seen some good fruit in Glenn. Mormons should thank him in regards to putting their churches in a positive light. I think so anyway.

Oh, I think Joseph Smith was sham. I do think parts of the Book of Mormon were plagarized from works of fiction, as well as plagarizations from the Bible, and the curious fact that angels suddenly spoke King James Bible English. They never really spoke an out of date dialect back in the Old Testament days when they were hanging out with Abraham.

I’m a huge critic admittedly. However, when it comes to Jesus Christ…

That’s where I measure whether or not a group or a person is saved, and that’s where I measure whether or not a group or a person is actually a Christian.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John 14:6

The more you get into the Bible, and understand the person of Jesus for who He is and what He is, the more you realize there is no need or room anything else or anything more. Jesus is all-sufficient. Christ’s work on the cross was the sum of all the work God needed to do. He really meant it when He said, “it is finished.” And the gates of hell did not stand against His kingdom and require him to start over in America during early American history. We have been, since the time of the apostles, witnesses of Christ from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth, and there was no need to add to that witness. Paul would write:

When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. -I Corinthians 2:1-2

And this nugget smacks against Mormonism which would arrive later:

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! -Galatians 1:8

And the Gospel Paul preached, and the Church fathers preached was Jesus Christ. Yes others would come along and begin to preach The Church, but the message of the Scriptures was always just Jesus. The message of Paul, Peter, James, John, the writer of Hebrews was just Jesus Christ, God the Son who paid for my sins by his death, and transforms me by His life.

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. -Hebrews 1:1-3

It is fitting that it is with Jesus Christ, that Mormonism and any other group, must be defined as Christian or not. According to the Scriptures, including the one above, Jesus is God. It was through Jesus the entire universe was made. When you see Christ, you see the Father. They are one, not two separate entities as you and I would be from each other, but one. Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit are not bound by a physical earthly nature that makes this impossible. God is Spirit. God is three yet one.

Mormonism teaches Jesus is separate from the Father, a mere man who has attained the highest order of Godhood and we too can become a god if we are good Mormons. We too can have our own planet to oversee. (I’d wipe mine out 2-3 times a day probably). Jesus claimed to be eternal -not a created being, but part of the Creator himself.

Mormonism teaches Jesus and Satan were brothers and the story begins to sound more like the stories of the Greek gods and less like the teachings of Christ and the Bible concerning Satan.

Christianity, at least evangelical Christianity, is based on the literal interpretation of the Bible as it was originally written in the Greek and Hebrew. Mormonism adds to that. Of course, so does the Catholic Church and others, but the doctrine of Jesus as part of the Trinity, as part of God, is a basic Christian belief going back to the first creeds ever written and spoken.

Can a Mormon be saved, believing Jesus was just a guy, who became a god?

I wonder.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
-Philippians 2:9-11

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4 thoughts on “Musings on Mormonism

  1. I guess this is where we part company. Mormon bashing (or Catholics bashing, Buddhist bashing, Hindu basing, Jew bashing, or anything other type of bashing) is not my cup of tea. In fact, in my foyer atop my grandmother’s secretary sits a cream colored ceramic Buddha. My husband never misses a chance to tell me that he doesn’t care for it, but since I have to look at his mounted, stuffed deer that hangs in the family room, we’ve reached a truce. If can can look at a dead deer, he can look at Buddha. But I digress.

    I mentioned this little fact only to add that I don’t worship Buddha in any form or fashion. However, to me he represents compassion, peace, love, simplicity, and so forth. As a psychology instructor, one of my favorite books was Dr. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled that began with one of Buddha’s noble truths. Point is, I’m not Buddhist, but I respect the religion.

    Here’s the Third Article of Faith: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege; let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

    I know I should quit now, and yet my fingers won’t stop! Was it Gamaliel who said that if the work was not of God that it would come to nothing but if it was of God, then it couldn’t be overthrown? It’s mindboggling to me that our membership has grown from six people in America to a worldwide membership of over 13 million people. Nothing, absolutely nothing, anyone does or says will stop this work.

  2. Radical Islam is growing faster than Mormonism, but that doesn’t make Radical Islam true. Gamaliel has been proven wrong over the centuries. Anyway, I completely respect the right of others to make their own decisions and come to their own conclusions regarding their faith and beliefs. Of course, the fact someone has their own faith, does not automatically make it well placed. Such as radical islam followers.

    Therefore I think we should do more than respect religion, but measure the truth of it. We should measure Mormon beliefs or any other beliefs against the revealed truth of God in the Bible, and measure it against historical evidence. My own faith is measured against evidence and accepted truth by atheists, agnostics, and sometimes even Buddhists. In my opinion, anything that cannot stand up to historical evidence, or the Bible, is false -or at least, parts of it are false. Salvation doesn’t depend on a particular Church however, nor does salvation require perfect understanding or knowledge necessarily. It depends on Christ, and our response to him.

    And that gives me hope for people in all denominations and Christian-esque sects. God knows the heart, and I can only see the fruit. And I’ve seen some good fruit in Mormons so I hope for the best.

  3. This morning I read an article stating that“ The unexpectedly large fundraising total raised by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the first quarter of 2007 had less to do with a“ Mormon network” than with the former Massachusetts governor’ s business acumen and strong ties with the financial community nationwide, according to political analysts.”

  4. Here is an article on science and Mormonism that I published awhile ago in my blog “Interlingua multilingue”:
    ……………………………….

    Science and the Mormons

    The Mormons are a religious sect that emerged from Christianity in the United States in the Nineteenth Century. They added to the Bible their own scripture, the Book of Mormon, translated by Joseph Smith from an original text in a language he called Reformed Egyptian. According to the mythology of the Mormons, in 1827 the angel Moroni gave Smith these texts, which were engraved on golden tables. Smith could understand them without learning their language through the divine magic of two special lenses that he used to read them while he translated them.

    Smith and his followers were persecuted by traditional Christians, who forced them to travel slowly and with great sacrifices until they reached what is now Utah, where their descendants dominate the religious and social life of this American state.

    According to the Mormons, the Indians of the Americas came from Egypt more than 2,000 (two thousand) years ago. They used this myth to convert many Indians to their religion. “We were taught that all the blessings of our Hebrew ancestors made us a special people,” said Jose a Loyaza, a lawyer in Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah. “And this identity gave us a sense of transcendental affiliation, a special identity with God.” But Loyaza gradually learned that there was another outrageous irony to his faith.

    He rejected his religion after learning that evidence provided by comparative DNA studies between American Indians and Asians conclusively proved that the first humans that migrated to the Americas came not from the Middle East but from Asia.

    For the Mormons this genetic confirmation of the origin of the Indians in the Americas is a fundamental collision of science against religion. It is in direct conflict with the Book of Mormon, which, according to their religion, is a completely error-free historical work that must be interpreted literally.

    The Book of Mormon is also fundamentally racist. It narrates that a tribe of Hebrews from Jeruselem went to the Americas in 600 B.C. and split up into two groups, the Nephites and the Lamanites. The Nephites carried the “true” religion to the new world and were in constant conflict with the Lamanites, who practiced idolatry. The Nephites were white (in 1980 the Mormons changed the word to “pure”), and the Lamanites received from God “The curse of blackness.”

    The Book of Mormon also narrates that in 385 A.D. the Lamanites exterminated all the other Hebrews and became the principal ancestors of the American Indians. But the Mormons insist that if the Lamanites returned to the “true” religion (Mormonism, quite naturally), their skin would eventually become white like the skin of the Nephites that their ancestors had exterminated.

    But despite these outrageous racist insults, many Indians and Polynesians (who also, according to the Mormons, are the descendants of the Lamanites) converted to Mormonism instead of telling the Mormons to go fuck themselves. (Through some perverse mechanism in human psychology, these converts are like homosexual priests who support the Roman catholic church or other gay people who support any type of Christianity.)

    “The fiction that I was a Lamanite,” said Damon Kali, a lawyer in Sunnyvale, California, whose ancestors came from Polynesian islands, “was the principal reason that I converted to Mormonism.” He had been a missionary for the Mormans before he discovered that genetic evidence proved that the Lamanites were only a religious myth, and he could not continue his efforts to convert others to Mormonism.

    Officially the Mormon church insists that nothing in the Book of Mormon is incompatible with the genetic evidence. Some Mormons are now saying that the Levites were a small group of Hebrews that went to Central America and after many generations of marrying with the natives they met, their Hebrew DNA disappeared into the DNA of their neighbors.

    In 2002, officers of the church started a trial to excommunicate Thomas W. Murphy, a professor of anthropology at Edmonds Community College in Washington, an American state at the extreme northwest of the continental United States.

    His trial attracted a lot of attention in the American public communications media, which ridiculed the church and insisted that Murphy was the Galileo of Mormonism. The general contempt provoked by this publicity seriously embarrassed the officers of the church, and they stopped the trial.

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