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02/26/2008 01:40:43 AM · #1
Well, let's see how long this can stay out of Rant. I'm not sure there are enough LDS members on this site to constitute a quorum, but I was wondering what they thought about the PBS documentary about their faith? We've been watching it over the last few nights (I'm only halfway) and am curious about the "inside perspective".

How do you personally deal with the darker sides of Mormon history?
What do you make of the splintering of Mormonism into sects or denominations? In other words, how is it any different than what Christianity underwent over it's substantially longer history?
Were the views presented typical of the average Mormon?

Just curious. It would be an interesting discussion. I love talking to the LDS kids that come to my door, but they either gloss over things or present different views than what I'm seeing in the documentary. Perhaps I've been asking them the wrong questions.
02/26/2008 02:23:51 AM · #2
is it true mormons belive they will become gods when they die?
02/26/2008 07:16:26 AM · #3
I think those that ask the question "will they become gods when they die" think Mormons we somehow blasphemously place ourselves equal to God, which is far from the truth. In a nutshell:

We humans are direct spiritual descendants of our Heavenly Father. He created us in His image. We have the potential to become "like" Him. Never replacing Him, of course, but to become "like" Him in exactly the same fashion that your own kids have the potential to become "like" you as they grow up. Our goal (difficult as it may seem) is to live a worthy life, to be good, to learn all that we can, to progress, and to be sealed to our spouses and children for all eternity in the temple, and to some day (in the far future) become "like" Him in having spiritual children with whom we will populate our own worlds. Yes ... like God. But as I said, never replacing God. He will always be our father.

Doc, I have heard of the documentary but have never seen any of it. Some folks that I've heard from have said it is "mostly a fair representation" of the LDS beliefs.

You can learn more of the LDS beliefs here: //www.mormon.org
02/26/2008 07:16:32 AM · #4
I don't know Doc, but having read the questions you raised... one could argue that the same could be asked of just about any other structured religion.

My money says that this will be in the Rant in no time flat... but I could be wrong.

Ray
02/26/2008 07:19:42 AM · #5
On //www.mormon.org, If you go to the section on "Heavenly Father's Plan of Salvation" and read that page and the links directly below it (on the left), you'll get a fair representation of what we believe is His plan for us and where we fit in and what our goals are.
02/26/2008 07:39:26 AM · #6
I read a pretty amazing book on Mormonism, Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. It's a fast read and quite an unvarnished account of the history of the Mormon Church. I doubt if the Mormons like it but I found it to be pretty revealing.


02/26/2008 07:58:17 AM · #7
Originally posted by jjstager2:

I read a pretty amazing book on Mormonism, Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. It's a fast read and quite an unvarnished account of the history of the Mormon Church. I doubt if the Mormons like it but I found it to be pretty revealing.


Do keep in mind that the above book is not about Mormonism, but about the splinter group that emerged when the core LDS faith laid aside polygamy (about a hundred years ago).

That's the one thing that disturbs us most is how the media treats splinter groups as if they were part of the mainstream.
02/26/2008 08:09:13 AM · #8
Yes the book starts with a tragic story about the actions of some individuals that were a part of a more radical splinter group.

But to be completely fair about the book's content, Krakauer goes all the way back to the days of Joseph Smith and his travels across the US. The part I found most educational was this historic account of the birth of the Mormon church and its early years.


02/26/2008 08:19:53 AM · #9
Here is a comparison. Take it as you please.

comparisons
02/26/2008 08:30:14 AM · #10
To learn more about Joseph Smith in the early years, read the Joseph Smith Papers.
02/26/2008 09:05:25 AM · #11
Probably not the favorite website of Mormons, but I found this website very interesting to read.

//www.exmormon.org/
02/26/2008 09:16:37 AM · #12
Originally posted by dwterry:

......<clip>.......

Our goal <clip> is to live a worthy life, to be good, to learn all that we can, to progress, and to be sealed to our spouses and children for all eternity

.......<clip>......


I'm not religious, but the above is good stuff!
02/26/2008 09:42:23 AM · #13
Originally posted by dwterry:

......<clip>.......
Our goal <clip> is to live a worthy life, to be good, to learn all that we can, to progress, and to be sealed to our spouses and children for all eternity

.......<clip>......

Originally posted by Strikeslip:

I'm not religious, but the above is good stuff!

Most structured religions have this as a tenet, and then fall horribly short in practice due to politics, manipulation, and general abuse of power in the administration.

It's a terrific idea to try and live in such a manner despite what any organized religion tells you.

No matter who ends up "right", you can't go wrong living like that.
02/26/2008 10:06:13 AM · #14
Hmmm - could someone please tell me what it means to be 'sealed'? One of our daughters mentioned this about her friend (or someone in their family), and we have no idea what to say to her. Are we to be happy for her, or is it a sad occasion?

Thx
02/26/2008 10:10:13 AM · #15
In my limited, probably oversimplified, understanding, being sealed is an eternal marriage of sorts.

In my experience, probably 98% of the Mormons I've been around were awesome people, great to be around, and very, very dependable.

I have seen it get rather ugly (on a family/community level), though, when someone converts "out."
02/26/2008 10:15:13 AM · #16
In many marriage ceremonies, you will hear the preacher say the words "until death do you part". And we believe that to be true, even in the "civil marriages" that occur within our church. We have temples, on the other hand, wherein the power and authority to "seal for time and all eternity" is held, such that a man and wife can be married not just for time on this earth, but for eternity.

As I mentioned above, the goal is to live together in the eternities as family units, from our ties to our Heavenly Father on down through our ancestors and our own children, grandchildren, etc. All of this depends upon both the sealing ordinances and individual worthiness.

Message edited by author 2008-02-26 10:15:49.
02/26/2008 10:19:10 AM · #17
Originally posted by dwterry:

We humans are direct spiritual descendants of our Heavenly Father. He created us in His image. We have the potential to become "like" Him.


It is my (limited) understanding that the Mormon "Heavenly Father" was once a human himself. Is this true?

BTW, I am not a Catholic. SuperPope is just a cartoon character I created.
02/26/2008 10:25:26 AM · #18
Thanks for the information Karma & David. I think this young girl (12-13 yrs old) was talking about being sealed to her family. I won't hijack the thread with more questions, but this family has some MAJOR issues (kids & drugs, divorce, abuse), and we're trying very hard to be supportive. Just not sure HOW to do that, given their religious beliefs.

(Sorry for the thread jack, Doc.) :)
02/26/2008 10:52:20 AM · #19
i've seen some of the documentary that doc is asking about, and from my limited experience with mormons and their faith, it seemed to be pretty accurate.

i have a lot of questions myself... if this thread stays out of rant, i might ask a few along the way...
02/26/2008 11:23:02 AM · #20
Thanks for the links, but I'm not looking for the party line, I want to talk to real, actual LDS members.

I struggle with Mormonism. I've known many LDS in my life. To the person they profess a belief in the atoning death of Jesus Christ. To me, this is the basic litmus test for a Christian denomination. However, there are many other beliefs held by Mormons which I think are "out there" (to be frank) such as exaltation, works over faith, multiple levels of heaven, etc.. So what do I do with the faith? I don't know. On the one hand, it is not my job to judge (that's God's job), and if I see Mormons in heaven, I'll be happy. On the other hand, I'm never quite sure if the Missionaries are glossing over their own views that mainstream Christianity is "wrong".

One interesting thing is the groups within the umbrella of Mormonism. The last missionary I was talking with at my door was speaking about Smith's grove experience and how God told him all the current churches were not His true church. He (the missionary) tried to make the logical argument that because there are so many Christian denominations none of them could be correct and they all fight with each other. What I didn't realize at the time is there are at least 4-6 such groups within Mormonism and I'm not sure how this is any different. Mormonism has only had 175 years to start disagreeing on things, Christianity has had 2000.

Anyway, still hoping to keep this conversation civil. So instead of links, give me your own views about things.

Message edited by author 2008-02-26 11:23:45.
02/26/2008 01:19:12 PM · #21
Doc, You are right about our belief in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is at the center of our beliefs.

Our othe beliefs may seem "out there", yet the more they are considered, they come to have an "of course" feel.

Yes, we feel that "faith without works is dead," as share in the bible. Both are necessary, and one without the other is incomplete. Faith includes the way we feel about our beliefs. Our feelings determine our actions. Faith that is deep and abiding, brings forth works that match. Just like Tom Sawyer said, "You can't live a lie." Yet works, without the deep and abiding faith, is also living a lie. We all know people who do thing for the right reasons. We can say we believe, but without the actions that follow those beliefs, the faith is just words without meaning. It is not works over faith, but faith and works together.

I'll share more about other beliefs later.
02/26/2008 01:45:28 PM · #22
Originally posted by rjkstesch:

Doc, You are right about our belief in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is at the center of our beliefs.

Our othe beliefs may seem "out there", yet the more they are considered, they come to have an "of course" feel.

Yes, we feel that "faith without works is dead," as share in the bible. Both are necessary, and one without the other is incomplete. Faith includes the way we feel about our beliefs. Our feelings determine our actions. Faith that is deep and abiding, brings forth works that match. Just like Tom Sawyer said, "You can't live a lie." Yet works, without the deep and abiding faith, is also living a lie. We all know people who do thing for the right reasons. We can say we believe, but without the actions that follow those beliefs, the faith is just words without meaning. It is not works over faith, but faith and works together.

I'll share more about other beliefs later.


Certainly I'm familiar with James 2, and I agree with your idea that works is the proof of faith, but I think things diverge there. The Mormons I've talked to seem to know the Book of Mormon fairly well, but only have a superficial understanding of the Bible. What do you think about Romans? Paul really lays it on the line about salvation through faith and not works. He does it again in Ephesians. I'll quote some pertinent stuff below in KJV (because I know LDS prefer than version although I think there are certainly more readable translations out there), but this is not merely pulling out a single verse out of context to back up what I'm saying.

Romans 3:28 "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:"

Let me push a little harder (and I'm not doing this antagonistically, but rather to test the quality of what you are saying). When talking about salvation, let us only speak of what you would call the Celestial realm or highest level of heaven (after all, if I can't spend eternity with God, what does my salvation matter?). Can one attain the Celestial realm without a Temple Recommend? Can one attain a Temple recommend without such works as tithing, baptism, etc? I'm assuming the answer to both those questions is no. My final question would be then whether you live with the great fear that you cannot live up to the standard set before you? What makes you think you are "good enough" for the Celestial realm and not at risk of losing your status by the shabby things we all tend to do? And what if that standard suddenly changes? In the mid to late 1800s the standard included plural marriage. It no longer does, but that tells me that perhaps 5 years from now the standard could be different from where it currently stands. Isn't this frightening?

Once again, I'm asking this in all civility.

Message edited by author 2008-02-26 14:15:23.
02/26/2008 02:10:32 PM · #23
Have you ever noticed when Mormons are asked about their religion, they respond with "What we believe...", "the center of our beliefs...", etc. I haven't yet to my experiences heard a Mormon say what he believes, or what she believes. It's not an individual thing, but as a group. That leads me to the understanding that the Mormon church is a totalitarian system of control.
02/26/2008 02:31:53 PM · #24
Hereís some interesting facts about Christianity in general:

Scholars suggest that the Jesus story is borrowed from other religions. Pagan mythical parallels can be found for almost every item in the New Testament: the Last Supper, Peter's denial, Pilate's wife's dream, the crown of thorns, the vinegar and gall at the crucifixion, the mocking inscription over the cross, the Passion, the trial, Pilate's washing of hands, the carrying of the cross, the talk between the two thieves hanging beside Jesus, and so on. There were many crucified sun gods before Jesus. There was the crucifixion of Antigonus, the "King of the Jews," and Cyrus, a Messianic figure. Prometheus and Heracles wear mock crowns, and in some versions of the story, Prometheus is executed by crucifixion. Babylonian prisoners dressed as kings for five days, then they were stripped, scourged, and crucified. I can give you the parallels of Buddha, Horus of Egypt, Mithra, Krishna of India, Prometheus of Greece, and others, making any research of Biblical passages a waste of time.

With these facts known, Christianity is becoming suspect of a fraud. Maybe we should also discuss the Council of Nicea where this committee got together to decide whom they would adopt as their savior, which gospels were to be recognized, and which were to be discarded. The votes were not unanimous.

These myths violate natural law, contradict science, and fail to correspond with reality or logic. You might be more wise to spend your time learning how to separate truth from fantasy.

There may very well be a god. But be cautious of any religion. They are all man made and they serve that manís purposes.
02/26/2008 02:35:51 PM · #25
Hey Zeuss, how about starting your own thread instead of hijacking mine?
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