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Author Topic: The basis of Mormonism is no more illegitimate than the basis of any relgion  (Read 3542 times)
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« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2012, 02:37:15 pm »
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So, Brigham Young was the St. Paul of Mormonism? Very interesting.
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« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2012, 02:41:06 pm »
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So, Brigham Young was the St. Paul of Mormonism? Very interesting.
True in more standard ways than that one, of course. As in, effective founder of the organization that exists today, and would not if he hadn't been around.
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« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2012, 04:09:44 pm »
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So, Brigham Young was the St. Paul of Mormonism? Very interesting.

Sort of; but I see the analogy a little differently. Joseph Smith was the thinker, the dreamer, the mystic of Mormonism, while Brigham Young was the doer, the hardnosed planner, the builder of Mormonism beyond Joseph Smith's death.

Think of the Biblical Joseph and Moses. Joseph Smith was Joseph, while Brigham was Moses.
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« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2012, 05:35:37 pm »
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So, Brigham Young was the St. Paul of Mormonism? Very interesting.

Sort of; but I see the analogy a little differently. Joseph Smith was the thinker, the dreamer, the mystic of Mormonism, while Brigham Young was the doer, the hardnosed planner, the builder of Mormonism beyond Joseph Smith's death.

Think of the Biblical Joseph and Moses. Joseph Smith was Joseph, while Brigham was Moses.
Aaron and Moses, maybe?

Regardless, welcome to the forum.
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« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2012, 11:09:06 pm »
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Joseph Smith NEVER taught that; he in fact ordained several black priesthood holders, and in his presidential campaign expressed the idea that slavery should be phased out. So clearly, the black priesthood ban was never real doctrine.

When you say "phased out" do you mean like the Latin American solution of having the children of slaves be free from birth but maintaining slavery for current slaves, or do you mean something else?  Curious because I never knew that about Smith.
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« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2012, 08:59:55 pm »
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Joseph Smith NEVER taught that; he in fact ordained several black priesthood holders, and in his presidential campaign expressed the idea that slavery should be phased out. So clearly, the black priesthood ban was never real doctrine.

When you say "phased out" do you mean like the Latin American solution of having the children of slaves be free from birth but maintaining slavery for current slaves, or do you mean something else?  Curious because I never knew that about Smith.

He advocated using federal money (gained through selling public lands) to essentially end slavery by buying all the slaves. Here's Wikipedia's summary of his presidential platform, if you want to know what else he advocated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith#Political_views

What is interesting is that he seemed to be a Ron Paul-esque candidate; no chance at winning, but using his campaign to promote his views (or in Smith's case, trying to get people to learn about Mormons so that they wouldn't try and kill them).
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« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2012, 02:37:39 pm »
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Somehow Christianity wasn't American enough, and that's why a few guys came up with the invisible golden tablets. It's the quintessential 19th century American religion, just like Scientology is the American religion of the 20th century.
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« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2012, 08:24:04 pm »
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Somehow Christianity wasn't American enough, and that's why a few guys came up with the invisible golden tablets. It's the quintessential 19th century American religion, just like Scientology is the American religion of the 20th century.

To be fair, Mormonism does address a perceived problem with standard Christian doctrine that arose because of the discovery of the Americas.  If Christ is sole path to salvation, how could a just god condemn the residents of the Americas for fifteen centuries to eternal damnation because it was impossible for them to receive his message. It does so by inventing a tale of Christ himself delivering his message to the ancient peoples of the Americas, and it addresses the problem more generally through its doctrine of baptism of the dead.
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« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2012, 11:44:28 am »
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To be fair, Mormonism does address a perceived problem with standard Christian doctrine that arose because of the discovery of the Americas.  If Christ is sole path to salvation, how could a just god condemn the residents of the Americas for fifteen centuries to eternal damnation because it was impossible for them to receive his message. It does so by inventing a tale of Christ himself delivering his message to the ancient peoples of the Americas, and it addresses the problem more generally through its doctrine of baptism of the dead.

why does the world have a problem with God having the right to have mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy?
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« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2012, 11:47:25 am »
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To be fair, Mormonism does address a perceived problem with standard Christian doctrine that arose because of the discovery of the Americas.  If Christ is sole path to salvation, how could a just god condemn the residents of the Americas for fifteen centuries to eternal damnation because it was impossible for them to receive his message. It does so by inventing a tale of Christ himself delivering his message to the ancient peoples of the Americas, and it addresses the problem more generally through its doctrine of baptism of the dead.

why does the world have a problem with God having the right to have mercy on whom he chooses to have mercy?

Because it's quite obvious to any person who doesn't have a severely warped moral compass that condemning someone to eternal torment based on their ignorance of a religion they've never heard of is monstrously evil.
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« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2012, 05:00:03 pm »
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Because it's quite obvious to any person who doesn't have a severely warped moral compass that condemning someone to eternal torment based on their ignorance of a religion they've never heard of is monstrously evil.

of course, you are distorting what the bible actually says about the Judgment - it does NOT condemn anyone for lack of faith or knowledge, rather it condemns on account of sin and declares everyone a sinner.  And it declares that it is NOT the hearers who will be declared righteous, but those who have received mercy and grace through the gift of faith which lead them to repentance.

so, knowledge of the Gospel apart from the gift of faith allowing one to come to Christ, is useless.
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« Reply #36 on: April 04, 2012, 05:31:40 pm »
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Because it's quite obvious to any person who doesn't have a severely warped moral compass that condemning someone to eternal torment based on their ignorance of a religion they've never heard of is monstrously evil.

of course, you are distorting what the bible actually says about the Judgment - it does NOT condemn anyone for lack of faith or knowledge, rather it condemns on account of sin and declares everyone a sinner.  And it declares that it is NOT the hearers who will be declared righteous, but those who have received mercy and grace through the gift of faith which lead them to repentance.

so, knowledge of the Gospel apart from the gift of faith allowing one to come to Christ, is useless.

So instead of condemning them because they don't have knowledge of the thing that would help them you're saying God consciously chooses not to help them when he's more than capable of doing so? I fail to see how that makes your deity any less monstrous.
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« Reply #37 on: April 04, 2012, 05:32:29 pm »
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Because it's quite obvious to any person who doesn't have a severely warped moral compass that condemning someone to eternal torment based on their ignorance of a religion they've never heard of is monstrously evil.

of course, you are distorting what the bible actually says about the Judgment - it does NOT condemn anyone for lack of faith or knowledge, rather it condemns on account of sin and declares everyone a sinner.  And it declares that it is NOT the hearers who will be declared righteous, but those who have received mercy and grace through the gift of faith which lead them to repentance.

so, knowledge of the Gospel apart from the gift of faith allowing one to come to Christ, is useless.

How are people to have a faith they have never heard of?  Or are you of a Calvinist persuasion that holds to predestination, so that even if the aboriginal Americans had heard of Christ, they would have rejected him?
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« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2012, 10:31:11 am »
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So instead of condemning them because they don't have knowledge of the thing that would help them you're saying God consciously chooses not to help them when he's more than capable of doing so? I fail to see how that makes your deity any less monstrous.

Obliviously, you fail to see the irony in your attempt to condemn God for not helping them, while you yourself boldly proclaim to be an enemy to the Gospel and state that your purpose is to oppose those whom he has sent to spread the Gospel?
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« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2012, 10:44:08 am »
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So instead of condemning them because they don't have knowledge of the thing that would help them you're saying God consciously chooses not to help them when he's more than capable of doing so? I fail to see how that makes your deity any less monstrous.

Obliviously, you fail to see the irony in your attempt to condemn God for not helping them, while you yourself boldly proclaim to be an enemy to the Gospel and state that your purpose is to oppose those whom he has sent to spread the Gospel?

"Obliviously", you fail to see why this argument doesn't make a lick of sense in light of the fact that I don't believe in your god or the claims made in the Bible.
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« Reply #40 on: June 18, 2012, 11:40:37 am »
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As to whether Mormonism is a sect or a cult, I might characterize it as a sect because they do have some very unorthodox views in their doctrine.  But they profess to be Christians and believe in Jesus (albeit not the same way as many Christians do), and that's what matters most to me.
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« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2012, 11:08:04 am »
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As to whether Mormonism is a sect or a cult, I might characterize it as a sect because they do have some very unorthodox views in their doctrine.  But they profess to be Christians and believe in Jesus (albeit not the same way as many Christians do), and that's what matters most to me.
This. I'm not a Christian, but it's my understanding that belief in the Trinity is not necessary to be Christian.
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« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2012, 11:04:09 pm »
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Yes, the BS spewed by Joseph Smith in his disciples is no more ridiculous than the story of Genesis.. except when taken into context. 

Mormonism was created a couple centuries ago by an ego-maniac with a ridiculous story.  We had made quite a but of progress as a species. 

Judaism and its offspring were created in the uneducated villages of the desert thousands of years ago... before even a semblance of reason and science had been introduced. 

Not only that, but I have no way to unequivocally prove to you that Jesus did not exist and was not the son of God.  I can prove to you that the Native Americans are not a lost tribe of Israel.  The only word to describe the tenants of Mormonism is "silly".  I give mainstream Christianity a little bit more credit.  Not much... but some.
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« Reply #43 on: June 25, 2012, 07:58:15 pm »
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Mormonism was created a couple centuries ago by an ego-maniac with a ridiculous story.  We had made quite a but of progress as a species. 

Ah, the triumphalism of positivism.  "Progress" indeed!  Unlike those ignorant Bronze Age savages, we know how to kill each other in more economical and efficient ways than ever!  While those morons died of smallpox, we invented the tools to first eradicate it, then used those tools to weaponize it and singlehandedly restore the fear of smallpox to the world!

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« Reply #44 on: June 26, 2012, 09:50:28 pm »
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Yes, the BS spewed by Joseph Smith in his disciples is no more ridiculous than the story of Genesis.. except when taken into context. 

Mormonism was created a couple centuries ago by an ego-maniac with a ridiculous story.  We had made quite a but of progress as a species. 

Judaism and its offspring were created in the uneducated villages of the desert thousands of years ago... before even a semblance of reason and science had been introduced. 

Not only that, but I have no way to unequivocally prove to you that Jesus did not exist and was not the son of God.  I can prove to you that the Native Americans are not a lost tribe of Israel.  The only word to describe the tenants of Mormonism is "silly".  I give mainstream Christianity a little bit more credit.  Not much... but some.

Yeah, we love you too,  AWallTEP81.
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« Reply #45 on: June 27, 2012, 09:22:43 am »
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Does the LDS Church have a clear stance on whether membership in the church is necessary for salvation? For example, does the Church say that a person who takes the Bible and Jesus' teachings seriously but does not accept the Book of Mormon and the teachings of the LDS Church goes to hell? In other words, is the membership in the LDS Church the only path to salvation?

Maybe one of the few mormons on this page know the answer to this question. Also note that this question is not meant as an indirect attack but I ask this out of pure curiosity.
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« Reply #46 on: June 27, 2012, 12:43:32 pm »
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Does the LDS Church have a clear stance on whether membership in the church is necessary for salvation? For example, does the Church say that a person who takes the Bible and Jesus' teachings seriously but does not accept the Book of Mormon and the teachings of the LDS Church goes to hell? In other words, is the membership in the LDS Church the only path to salvation?

Maybe one of the few mormons on this page know the answer to this question. Also note that this question is not meant as an indirect attack but I ask this out of pure curiosity.

Oh, that's alright, I love answering this question.

See, there's no Mormon "hell" per se. There's a concept called "outer darkness", in which you are cut off from God forever, but as that is torment enough, there's no further kind of "hell". And only the worst of the worst (those who have seen God himself or very clearly felt his power, and denied it/went against it afterwards) go to outer darkness.

Otherwise, there's a system of three heavens (or "kingdoms"), based mostly upon your good works as a mortal being, but also based on your faith.

First is the terrestrial heaven/kingdom, which is reserved for very nasty people (murderers, really bad thieves, that sort of thing). It's for those who did not do good works as a mortal being, and who refused to accept the principles of Christ in a kind of interim afterlife (called spirit prison/paradise by Mormons, depending on how you act in that interim). Despite being for those who are terrible people, it's described as being better than anything on earth. Yep, the worst level of heaven reserved for terrible people is better than earth.

Second is the telestial heaven/kingdom, reserved for good, but not great people, and members of the church who didn't quite cut it. It's a place for those who were not quite good enough for the next level. Telestial is again described as better than earth, and Joseph Smith even noted that it was indescribably wonderful. So even the "mid" level is so awesome that it can't be put into words.

Third and final is the celestial heaven/kingdom, reserved for very kind, loving, and Christ-like people. It's mostly supposed to be for virtuous members of the LDS Church, but if you're non-LDS and incredibly virtuous, then you get in anyway. Also, those who have died before eight years of age and those ultra-virtuous who have had a proxy baptism done for them get in here as well. The celestial kingdom is described as being as far beyond the telestial kingdom as the telestial kingdom is to modern earth. It's not only indescribably wonderful, but much, much moreso than the lower heavens.

 There's also a kind of sub-level within the celestial kingdom, that of LDS people married (by proxy or in the flesh) in an LDS temple who kept being virtuous throughout their lives. It's taught in the LDS Church that these special people will become as God is (and that he was once as they were), and that they will have all the abilities of God, without being worshiped. As it is taught that God shaped the planets, this is the source of the infamous "Mormons get their own planets and believe they'll become a god" joke.

 Within the LDS church, it's referred to as "becoming gods and goddess", but since those ultra-virtuous LDS couples will not be worshiped, I personally think that it's a clunky and easily mocked term. A term meaning "higher than angels, but not quite at the level of God the Father" would be more accurate.

Technically, the LDS Church teaches that if you're virtuous enough to get into the celestial kingdom, you will probably convert to the church in the afterlife so I suppose you're correct, but on a basic level, yes, even unbelievers can reach the highest heaven.

It's a bit complicated, but there you have it.
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« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2012, 08:00:04 pm »
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There's a concept called "outer darkness", in which you are cut off from God forever, but as that is torment enough

Why? I am "cut off" from "God" now, and whatever condition I am in, the word "torment" simply does not accurately capture my satisfaction with my life. In fact, it is totally off the mark. Is being cut off from God after one leaves this mortal coil, different from when one is on this mortal coil for those that believe there is some sentient existence for one, after one's body returns to dust? Is this just religious boilerplate, that one copies and pastes, or is there more to it?
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« Reply #48 on: June 27, 2012, 09:45:30 pm »
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There's a concept called "outer darkness", in which you are cut off from God forever, but as that is torment enough

Why? I am "cut off" from "God" now, and whatever condition I am in, the word "torment" simply does not accurately capture my satisfaction with my life. In fact, it is totally off the mark. Is being cut off from God after one leaves this mortal coil, different from when one is on this mortal coil for those that believe there is some sentient existence for one, after one's body returns to dust? Is this just religious boilerplate, that one copies and pastes, or is there more to it?

It's completely different, though somewhat subtle. According to LDS theology, here on earth, you don't have access to God's might and love the same way that you would in the afterlife, but your life is touched by it. Whenever you feel joy, pain, any emotion or sensation, you are feeling the effects of God's work in some small way. The positive emotions are more God's work than the negative ones, but keep in mind that to distinguish the two kinds, you'd have to have both positive AND negative emotions.

Specifically, as you have a body, you can feel such things (in LDS doctrine, Satan and his original buddies never got a body). In outer darkness, you are cut off from every emotion, every feeling, every sensation, because you are completely cut off from God. All but one feeling, at least You get to be as tormented, miserable, and agonizingly lonely as Satan himself. Imagine being as lonely as you've every felt, as left alone and abandoned as possible. Now imagine being lonelier than that; for eternity. Any time you felt lonely in life, it was nothing compared to outer darkness, as even at the most lonely, (LDS theology teaches) you still had God willing to listen. In outer darkness? Never do you have anyone listen. Never do you have anyone to help your miserably lonely state, not even your fellow residents.

That's why it's reserved for the worst of the worst; can you imagine countless years, decades, centuries of feeling nothing but loneliness?
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« Reply #49 on: June 27, 2012, 10:41:39 pm »
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Being human is a function of God in your view. Without it, you have no emotions (other than loneliness I guess, which rather than hope, is what remains in Pandora's Box), even though other animals do. I get it.
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