Mormons and Their Religion: A Brief Portrayal

Monday, July 1, 2013
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As the choice of the Republican Party for the presidency of the United States, Mitt Romney’s candidacy gave the American public a unique opportunity to take a closer look at Mormonism, a religion whose members maintain a steadfast devotion and fidelity to their beliefs despite a contentious history of persecution and emotionally charged practices. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, as the Mormon Church is officially known, Mr. Romney’s religious views understandably came under close scrutiny by an oftentimes skeptical public. But as with John Kennedy and Catholicism, the fact that Mr. Romney was a Mormon appeared, on the surface at least, as nothing more than a minor influence on his viability as a presidential candidate. In the months leading up to the election, an inquiring public could now judge for themselves some of the basic precepts of Mormonism, an American-established, 183-year-old religion. Was it now possible that, in the aftermath of the election, some longstanding misconceptions about Mormons and their beliefs could finally be laid to rest?

Perhaps no other religion has stirred as much debate and controversy as the Mormon Church. Although widely known for their worldwide missionary program, and extensive family history program, a highly respected educational system, a well-run welfare program, as well as a penchant for financial acumen and self-sufficiency, Mormons suffered form the lingering after-effects of an early church policy favorable to polygamy. This despite the fact that the Mormon Church has officially disconnected itself from the practice of polygamy for the past 123 years! Of course, it doesn’t help when an undiscerning public associates the polygamous practice of a few minor splinter groups with the Mormon Church.

As with plural marriage, the Mormon Church does not condone same-sex marriage. The family is at the center of the social structure of the church, consisting of a husband, wife, and their offspring. Traditionally, and historical edict passed down from early church leaders encouraged the establishment of large families. But that practice is likely to come under social and environmental pressure to change, acknowledging the reality that all human beings are living in an increasingly overcrowded world with decreasing, finite natural resources.

For a period of time, the Mormon Church was guilty of racial discrimination, as certain ethnic groups were excused from holding offices in the church. Currently, no racial group is disbarred from holding any church office. The Mormon Church considers itself an open religious body, and invites the public to attend worship services regardless of race, creed, or political affiliation.

On occasion, the Mormon Church has been accused of being cultist, but the actual reality is in the opposite direction. Under church policy, every individual has the basic freedom to choose the direction and nature of his or her beliefs. Blind obedience and obsequious behavior under a tyrannical authority is nonexistent within the Mormon Church.

While claiming a primary connection with the life and ministry of Jesus Chris, Mormons eschew engaging in a battle of doctrinal supremacy with other religions. Instead, they recognize the community stature and value of other religions and will limit themselves to a friendly dialogue based on mutual respect and acceptance.

Mormon missionaries represent the church throughout the world. They are bound, under church authority, to discuss doctrinal principals only after obtaining verbal consent from prospective members. They do no harangue or attempt to coerce others. While missionaries are in the front line in spreading Mormon doctrine, all members of the church are unofficial missionaries. They will discuss their religious beliefs in a friendly, open manner while avoiding any polemics.

With the stigmata of the past largely eliminated and forgotten, and backed by organizational stability and efficiency, the Mormon faithful pursue an agenda of altruism and enterprise the leads to an increasingly positive contribution to the spiritual and social well-being of the world.

Thomas M. Woodring is a retired clinical psychologist and a lifelong resident of Santa Barbara, having been born here in 1936.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Is this the same "altruism" and avoidance of "any polemics" that led to the creation and promotion of Prop.8 that attempted to tear apart families and create a theocratic society?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 12:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Woodring: As for Mitt Romney, if you look at him as a candidate, and not a Mormon, you would see this man is a very authoritarian big-government politician whose politics run contrary to the free-from-government approach of the Mormon church.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 12:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Mormons and the Mormon Church is a cult. One only needs to read the book and their literature to come to that conclusion. Joseph Smith was a con man until the day he died. How cults like the Morons and Branch Davidian are created may always be a topic for inquiry, but they obviously exist, because people are credulous.

Christianity as a whole is made up of over 33,800 sects (cults) according to Christianity Today. If Christianity was true, which it obviously is not, there would only be one Christian church. None of them can agree on the tenets of their faith and if it was true, it would not need "faith".

Thompson_TX (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 3:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Romney's Mormanism had no effect on the election. Mitt lost because he was possibly the worst candidate in modern memory.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 12:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mormonism may not have entered into it in a major way, but does anyone really believe the Obama campaign wasn't saving a few choice revelations

about the "religion" if it hadn't been an obvious landslide?

Imean, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a major tenet of the Mormon "faith" that when good Mormons die, they're reincarnated on their children have to worship them as "gods"?

And isn't the reason Mormons are so into geneology that if they can find ancestors who were not baptised as Mormon, they can baptise them posthumously and then the ancestor will have to worship them as gods?

I don't care what else Rommney had going for him, I just couldn't see electing a megalomaniac/fanatic like him POTUS!

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 12:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Woops, I garbled that last post a bit - meant to say:

When good mormons die, don't they believe they will be reincarnated and get to spend eternity on their own planet and that their children and posthumously baptised ancestors will have to worship them as "god's?

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 12:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

People's religeous beliefs are their own business, and in fact if three or more consenting adults wish to get married I don't think it's anybody else's business. What Americans rejected was Romney.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 12:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I know that NORMALLY religious beliefs are a private matter, but we're talking about a cult here KV - another tenet of the Mormon faith is that due to his rank in the "church", Romney is considered a "living God" and no matter WHAT he does, he's guaranteed a place in Heaven.

Are you seriously going to argue that that sort of belief system isn't material to selecting the POTUS? The man with the power to pretty much end life on Earth with the push of a button? Seriously?

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 1:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"For a period of time, the Mormon Church was guilty of racial discrimination." Well, by "period of time" Woodring meant to say "for most of its existence." Not until more than three-fourths of the way into the 20th century did Church leaders receive a "revelation" that Blacks were acceptable as full participants. As a member of the Church hierarchy, Romney received a free pass on questions about his Church's original and then "revealed" correction to its theology on this issue.

pk (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 3:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Woodring has served up a whitewash.

“… an early church policy favorable to polygamy.” More like hell-bent on it. Polygamy was a COMMANDMENT (D&C 132).

“… the Mormon Church has officially disconnected itself from … polygamy for the past 123 years!” Only after national legislation and under threat of losing lands to the U.S. government. Still, the church continued polygamy in the U.S. in secret and colonized Juarez, Mexico, to continue it there. (I recommend Joanne Hanks’ book “It’s Not About the Sex My A**” for an inside look at modern Mormon-derived polygamy. Easy to find if you google her or the title.)

“… it doesn’t help when an undiscerning public associates the polygamous practice of a few minor splinter groups with the Mormon Church.” The public has every right. The splinter groups draw their beliefs and practices from those of the original Mormon Church, which today’s Mormons still defend.

“For a period of time, the Mormon Church was guilty of racial discrimination, as certain ethnic groups were excused from holding offices in the church.” The “period of time” was 138 years. “Certain ethnic groups” were Black men of African descent. “Excused” means barred and “offices” means priesthood, needed for exaltation in the hereafter. The church began ordaining Blacks in 1978 after pressure from civil rights groups and protests at Brigham Young University sporting events.

“… accused of being cultist, but the actual reality is in the opposite direction.” Cults are characterized by central authority, holding back information, “us” versus “them” thinking, showering recruits with attention, and promoting adherence by psychological intrusion. The Mormon Church gets a checkmark next to each.

“… every individual has the basic freedom to choose the direction and nature of his or her beliefs. Blind obedience and obsequious behavior under a tyrannical authority is nonexistent within the Mormon Church.” Not true. Apostasy is excommunication-worthy, and obedience is harped on.

“Mormons … recognize the community stature and value of other religions and will limit themselves to a friendly dialogue based on mutual respect and acceptance.” Nonsense. Founder Joseph Smith said Jesus told him to join no other church, and that “… their creeds were an abomination in his sight … all corrupt … ‘they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.’” This position has never changed.

“Mormon missionaries ... are bound, under church authority” — the one he just called nonexistent — “to discuss doctrinal principals [sic] only after obtaining verbal consent from prospective members. … With the stigmata [sic] of the past largely eliminated and forgotten … the Mormon faithful pursue an agenda of altruism and enterprise the [sic] leads to an increasingly positive contribution to the spiritual and social well-being of the world.” Show me.

APratt (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 4:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thomas, you aren't telling the truth, and I think you know it.

The “undiscerning public” knows polygamy is still Mormon doctrine and is codified in its scriptures. And Mormon men may have more than one wife in heaven. Women, of course, are forbidden from having more than one husband.

And seriously, “certain ethnic groups were excused from holding offices in the church.” “Excused from holding offices"? No, they were DENIED participating in important rites that assured exaltation. The Mormon church has at the local level, a lay ministry. Every "worthy" male holds the priesthood. But Blacks, of course, weren't worthy and were denied that by the racist LDS church until 1978!

And “every individual has the basic freedom to choose the direction and nature of his or her beliefs.” Sure, but you better step in line if you want to be with your family in heaven. (And you better cough up 10% of your income, or no "eternal family" for you!) And you can't get a temple recommend (essential to entering the temple and receiving essential ordinances) unless you sustain the president of the LDS church as a prophet, seer, and revelator; unless you pay 10% of your income; and unless you follow your local leaders.

And your biggest lie of all: “Mormons eschew engaging in a battle of doctrinal supremacy with other religions.” Hogwash. Thomas, please tell us, what is the ONE TRUE CHURCH on earth, in Mormons’ view?

You lied, Thomas. Shame on you.

Justine_Harrison (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 4:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

People are entitled to their spiritual beliefs as long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others (prop.8 would be an example of overreach.)
I'm free not to join the Mormon church and still love my Mormon friends, that's enough for me.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 5:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And why does anyone care how many consenting adults marry each other? If your spouse isn't adding another partner, why should you care?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 5:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow, it looks like the idea of a Mormon POTUS ha been pretty much been trashed here, and no one seems to have even touched on Romney's fanatical support of Israel, singleminded pursuit of profit despite the human cost, rumored off shore hidden assets, tax cheating, cheerleading for Armegeddon, or even his bizarre "friendship" with Bibi!

(I mean really, that Bibi is one cold blooded bastard - the way he threw Mitt under the bus over the question of their "friendship", was just classic: "Yeah, I knew him... I guess...")

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 5:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Romney.. "meh small potatoes".

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 6:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Now there's the way to end a discussion once and for all - since we seem to be done with the Mormon question, can we move on to something important, like whether 2 consenting adults should be allowed to marry a horse? Or what place this new family might have in the hereafter? Enquiring minds want to know, KV! It's a burning question!

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 6:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't think bestiality occurs to most people as an option. I think that says more about the people who broach the topic than actual human nature.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 6:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Actually, the way some people run hot and cold, seemingly at the flip of a switch, makes their authenticty extremely doubtful - I mean one minute KV seems ready to defend the poor, downtroden Mormons with his dying breath, the next he's like "meh, small potatoes."

Seriously KV, are schizophrenic, or just some weird all purpose troll? Which is it? Really?

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 6:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm an independent thinker, "you ain't got time/ to hang a sign/ on me"

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 6:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's not a question of hanging a sign on you, it's what, if anything do you stand for? And even more important (at least to me) is why would you abandon the "Mormon" thread and start in with your nitpicking over on the "bullying cop" thread? Who gives a crap if my grammar isn't all that elegant? You understand me perfectly well, so what's the problem? Do really have so little to say? Really?

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 2, 2013 at 6:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This article by the dear Dr. is so full of untruths, misdirections, and misconceptions that it would take another full article to expose them all. Rather than do that and recreate the wheel, the following provides an overview of basic Mormon beliefs and why, because of those beliefs, Mormonism is nothing more than a cult of Christianity.

CAPro (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 4:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

we profess freedom of religion in this land, so Mormons can do what they want. Critic Harold Bloom, no Mormon he, does feel it's a unique and completely "American" religion, and Jos. Smith was a true ecstatic. Or, if your persuasion is atheism, a full-on wingnut.
Romney lost, like Herschel stated, because he was a horrible candidate, & his views of "the 47%" accurately portrayed his true feelings.
I support the "wall" separating Church and State, and erected in our First Amendment. KV nails it stating in his first post that in a rarity this Church (though Mormons are not really Christians!) crossed the wall from the Religion side in so openly and vigorously ($!) supporting Prop 8...for that we might consider labeling them a business a la Scientology "church" and taxing them as such. While I do in fact know some wonderful people who profess Mormonism, nonetheless Woodring is plain wrong when stating Mormons "do no[-t] harangue or attempt to coerce others." Likely HE does not, but this is a proselytizing bunch, and they'd love a theocracy here. Curious that NO ONE is ever allowed into Mormon "temples" unless they're in the religion. More open faiths make sure their places of worship are open and inclusive.
All for "religious atheism"!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 6:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Spiritwalker, you said to let you know if you are wrong.

" isn't a major tenet of the Mormon "faith" that when good Mormons die, they're reincarnated on their children have to worship them as "gods"?"

Yes, you're wrong. We believe that we may be as God is, but it has nothing to do with wanting anyone to worship us, and everything to do with becoming as happy as our Heavenly Father is.

And no, we do not do geneaology so that our ancestors can worship us, either.

No, we do NOT consider Romney a "living God". He is just as human as the rest of us. He has no official rank in the LDS church, he is a member. The highest position of authority he has held was as stake president, and they are a dime a dozen in our church.

Lindasdf (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 6:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

capro, those web sites don't even start to portray the truth of what Mormons believe. Instead, try going to our official web sites, and let US define what WE believe.

Lindasdf (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 6:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Well, if I'm wrong then I admit it - not to excuse that, but I did a web search last night and found it impossible to determine just exactly what Mormons believe.

Which probably explains why most Americans consider Mormonism to be a cult - when religious "enlightenment" is held as a secret, it is to be expected that the uninitiated will draw their own conclusions.

Now, since I fully admit to be wrong, would you care to explain why anyone would elect an adherant to a secret religion POTUS? Would you pease to explain why, as a Mormon, Mr Romney was so willing to cater to every whim of his good "friend" Bibi Netanyahu as far as attacking Iran? Do you think WWIII is a Mormon "thing"? Where's the benefit for us heathans?

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 7:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I am a Mormon. Proud to be one. I joined the Church almost 50 years ago. To my faithful Christian friends throughout the world, may I invite you to approach what we believe, not through the lens of our differences, but rather through the lens of the things we share. I thought the article was thoughtful, and basically well stated. Differences of interpretation between the institution of plural marriage (polygamy) "by church elders", or "by Commandment" do not change the fact that it was once part of the Church's doctrine, but for 123 years has not been such.

One little request I would make to one and all, though. The church is not "the Mormon Church". As specified at the beginning of the article, the full name is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". However the Church's main website ( gives the guidelines for referring to the Church in articles, and requests that after affirming the full name, the approved abbreviated name "LDS Church" be used. There is not now, nor has there ever been an official "Mormon Church".

Thanks again for a most insightful article.

dbirley (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 7:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Is Mormonism founded on greater fraudulence than other religions, or does its relatively recent founding subject it to more fact checking? Don't get me wrong, people. What's founded on fraud (or call it creative genius) will always bear VERY evident traces of fraud, but pants-down proof is soon reinvented, pleasingly.

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 8:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

How my Mormon co-workers in Utah can get by without a cup of joe is beyond me. Must be a sign of inner strength.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 10:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

We are not a secret religion. If we were, you would not see us unless we wanted you to. It's true that we don't discuss the sacred things that we do in the temple, not even with each other.

Joseph Smith said that he would teach correct principles, and let the people govern themselves. Basically, what we believe is listed in the thirteen Articles of Faith.

1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

11 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.

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Joseph Smith.

That's pretty much it, in a nutshell.

Lindasdf (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 10:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

To “spiritwalker” you do need a lot of correction. You have heard a few beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), distorted them and made ridiculous conclusions. Before you comment and embarrass yourself as you have done here you may wish to study the subject first. May I suggest for a more complete understanding of Mormonism?
First of all we believe in a literal resurrection of the body and not in reincarnation. If you are not familiar with this Christian doctrine I propose you read the Bible, particularly the New Testament. You are correct when you say we (Mormons) believe that mankind may develop some of the attributes of Christ and God the Father when resurrected; after all Christ said “be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect. This is also a well know teaching of the Bible identified as Theosis. Mormons are not alone in teaching this doctrine. Millions of Orthodox Christians likewise endorse it. There are many verses in the Bible that will in lighten you on the subject. Here are a few ( Psalms 82:1, 6-7, 1 John 3:1-3, 2 Peter 1:2-4, Philippians 2:5-6, Romans 8:15-17, and Revelation 4:21; 21:7) We believe all may thus be blessed hence it is silly to think our children will worship us since they too may obtain to the blessings Christ promised to his followers.
We do genealogy to bring the ordinances to those who did not have the opportunity to receive them on Earth. For instance the Bible teaches that “he that believes and is baptized will be saved”. Paul also taught “Else what shall they do that are baptize for the dead if the dead to not rise at all” (1Corthians 15:29). We believe that missionary work continues in the world of departed spirits and those who we baptize (on their behalf) and accept the teachings of Christ will have the same opportunity for salvation as those who received the Gospel in this life. (1Peter 3:18-21) It has nothing to do with the worship of anyone. Do you suppose that Catholics believe if a child is baptized on the earth the recipient has to worship that Priest for eternity? If not, why do suspect that Mormons have such distorted view of the afterlife?
About Romney- do you have any proof, other it is what you believe, that he is a fanatic or megalomaniac? Where did you get your degree in Psychology? You sound more like a person that is nothing more than an uninformed critic who needs to study things out a little more before spouting off.

teedy (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 1:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To Texas Thompson: Your reasoning is spurious at best. If the Constitution was a correct doctrine there would be complete agreement among all Americans on its execution. Right? What Christians do believe is that Christ came to save mankind.
Why do you bother to condemn Mormonism (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) when you believe all 38,000 Christian churches are likewise erroneous? Just because you find no value in the writings of the LDS Church is hardly the endorsement of the most knowledgeable persons in the universe.
How do we know you are not the credulous one? Give the Savior a little room in your life and you may find happiness you currently no nothing about.

teedy (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 1:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Same sex marriages are skyrocketing! The world still spins! And the climate is still changing!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 2:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thomas, I will assume you are a believing Christian and answer your objections to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) with that in mind. Your distain for polygamy is unfounded and you do not have the same opinion of it as the God of the Old Testament. God did not condemn its practice in fact he endorsed it. See 2Samuel 12: 7-11, here David’s wives are taken from him and given to his neighbor, not just to provide for them but to be his literal his wives. You may denounce having more than one wife at a time but God did not. Some of the most faithful persons in the OT had multiply wives (Abraham, Jacob, Moses). Besides why do you care if Mormons believe it is possible to have additional wives in the afterlife? If Mormons are wrong about this do you believe it will be permitted just because they teach it. What’s you logic on this????
Again the subject of withholding the priesthood from some; don’t you recall from reading the New Testament that Christ said he was sent only to the house of Israel? Non Jews were deprived rites of the priesthood and where not allowed to enter the temple during Christ time. It was not until Acts 10th chapter that non Jews (gentiles) were taught and allowed membership in the New Testament church. The non Jew was keep from participating in the Law of Moses for over 1000 years. Does this make you angry at God the same way you are angry at Mormons????
Persons in the Old Testament times also were required to be worthy to participate in the saving ordinances under the Law of Moses. And there were worthiness requirements just as the LDS Church has today. See Psalms 24 and Ezekiel 44.
All churches teach they are “true” that does not mean we endorse holy wars on those who don’t believe as we do. What would you expect someone to say we are not the true Church?????Perhaps you have forgotten the terrible things done to Protestants and Catholics to each other?
You need to ask yourself why all the misplaced anger towards LDS.

teedy (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 2:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I that that in TORAH Abraham had only ONE wife, Sara (various spellings). Now, when she was unable to conceive for a long time (until 75), she allowed Abraham to take unto him the servant woman, Hagar, who was comely to look upon. Hagar and Abe had Ishmael, the founder of the Arabs and eventual Mohammedans, but then apparently Hagar got uppity or Sara became jealous, or both. However, when Sara finally gave birth to Isaac, he was always the legitimate son in TORAH, anyway, and Hagar and Ishmael had to flee. Abraham had one wife.
teedy, there are more errors in your screed.
Lindaasdf, one problem is where you state "We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved" -- and we have to follow the Gospel, too. Which one? Why do you need to be "saving" all humankind, perhaps many don't want your saving? Did pushing and funding Prop 8 fall under this "saving"?!
Your religion also does have secret teachings, as do many others, but do not deny it.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 4:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

One the issue of how many wives:

As for baptizing the dead, consider this:

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 6:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

For what it's worth, I find the theological debate FAR more interesting than the debate about Romney's politics.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 6:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To Dr Dan
Sorry your search was wrong, don't know why some people shoot from the hip so much.
Abraham had three wives, not two as your source says: Sahah, Hargar and Keturah. Secondly I did not quote the our 3rd Article of Faith some one else did. Go back to sleep.

teedy (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 10:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Teedy: What do you define as "New Testament church"? A man-made idea, or the body of believers? (To wit: "ekklesia" in Greek)

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2013 at 3:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I would define the New Testament Church as a body of believers, with authority from God. There were many who tried to define the church but lacked the witness and authority of the apostles. In other words it is the same today many calling themselves a true Christian but lack a source of truely knowing God's will. Of course we have the Bible but in the NT church a true understanding of God's teachings came from 3 sources, i.e. Scripture, the Apostles and the Holy Spirit. After the death of the Christ and his Apostles came chaos.

teedy (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2013 at 6:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

ahh, Teedy, locked into your narrow faith: there is an enormous scholarship on this wife/concubine thing. See for starters. Solomon allegedly had 700 wives, but there's plenty of confusion whether they were concubines or wives. Since I do not read classical Hebrew I'm reliant on scholars.
In TORAH, there are differing versions about the status of both Hagar and Keturah. You mention Keturah, so at 1 Chron. 1:32 she is termed a concubine: pileges. Admittedly, at Gen. 25:1 the holy revelation contradicts itself stating Keturah is Abe's wife ['issa]. This tedious stuff goes on and on, but the main point is that it is NOT at all clear that Judaeo-Christian scriptures approve of polygamy. Keturah was likely in an intermediate place, a sort of concubine-wife. Is that what Mormonism is heading back toward? Along with condemning gays, keeping African-Americans out until the 1970s...??
Go back to sleep, or start reading some scholarship about your so-called holy revealed truths, Teedy.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2013 at 9:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks BC for the biblehub webref on TIMOTHY: of the at least 20 modern English translations offered there first of all the VARIETY is interesting. Most of them state that a minister or man [no comment on woman] "must be true to one wife." However, this is a New Testament document.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2013 at 9:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

To the LDS commenting here, it is unfortunate that you do not know the truth about the church's history. It's not your fault as the church goes to great lengths to sweep it under the rug. Not long ago I was just like you. Take a few moments to explore If you don't believe what you read check the primary sources referenced there.

FlatFour (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2013 at 9:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Remember the Great White Salamander? That was a fun story.

Ryansbca (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2013 at 10:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

We swim with the salamanders, and in this video, Paul McCartney is in love with one. (Opening line "say you don't love him, my salamander) It's all part of the McCartney/Mormon international conspiracy. It's not a half bad song either.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2013 at 4:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't think God gives a damn what we think.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2013 at 5:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To Doc Dan,
You did not address the point of God giving David’s WIVES to another. Again, your misplaced revulsion of polygamy does not explain how God could be an accomplice to polygamy by giving David’s wives to a neighbor. The very fact that God did this gives sanction to having more than one wife at a time. Your right about Keturah she is designated as both a wife and a concubine. But you still don’t get it; whether she was one or the other Abraham was having sexual relations with more than person at a time. David was found righteous before God while having multiple wives (or concubines if you wish) as was Solomon. Only when they committed other sins did God reject them.
You will notice in at least one place in the Scripture Keturah is designated a wife. Why you would dispute the Scripture on this subject is hard to say. If I was defining why she was called both, I would guess that at one time or another she may have been both. You should have more faith in the God’s word than you seem to have.
Finely, as I have stated above your displeasure with Mormon’s not allowing blacks to hold the Priesthood until the 70’s does not compare with God having only one chosen people for over 1000 years. Will you please address and solve this problem before you condemn LDS, then I will give some credence to your presently flawed augments.

teedy (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 1:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To FlatFour,
You failed to specify what your Church believes or what Church you belong to. Please tell us how well your constituents know what they believe. It is easy to throw out statements like Mormons know nothing of their history and then fail to back it up. At this point all we have is your undocumented assertions. I will assume you are a Protestant because most persons who make the point you posted are Protestants. Did you know that contrary to what you post Mormons know more about their faith than do Protestants?
“Protestants, Catholics and Mormons Reflect Diverse Levels of Religious Activity” - - July 9, 2001 study released by the Barna Research Group of Ventura, California. The study found that Mormons are more likely to read the Bible during a week than are Protestants. The Barna institute for religious studies identified that outside of Sunday church sermons (meaning in the home), Mormons were more likely to have read the bible (not the Book of Mormon, but the Bible) than any other religion polled.
A national 2010 Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey aimed to test a broad range of religious knowledge, including understanding of the Bible, core teachings of different faiths and major figures in religious history: on questions about Christianity and the Bible, Mormons scored the highest. They also scored second only to Jews in knowledge of Judaism. Overall, Mormons understand their own doctrines and the Bible better than other Christian denominations.
It is so easy to throw out junk as you have. I say you dress funny and your mother does not like you.

teedy (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 1:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

teedy, first, I'm just as critical of "God having only one chosen people for over 1000 years" and that system of revelation, but that wasn't Dr. Woodring's topic in the article. You err grievously when you say I don't "address the point of God giving David’s WIVES to another". But I'm trying to follow some textual stuff, never accepting A PRIOR that "God giving" anybody to anyone! You're the believer here; we're discussing how the texts have a lot of contradictions and differ wildly from one another. The Old Testament and Torah within it; The New Testament; The Koran; and your Book of Mormon.
You miss the point when you ask me, "Why you would dispute the Scripture on this subject is hard to say."? Because the two passages I referenced [1 Chron. and Gen. 25] show CONTRADICTIONS. Your sacred texts do not have inerrancy, nor are they literally true, and various interpreters [say prophets like Jos. Smith, Mohammed, Elijah] translate them as they wish. Hence, the Book of Mormon. Oh yes, and I have nothing against polygamy, and my reading about early humans suggests some were polyandrous and some polygamous.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 2:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I had read that the reason Spencer Kimball received the revalation about black people was because the Mormon church wanted to do missionary work in Brazil but the plethora of "Negroes" made it a tough sell back in the theologically segragated days.

"from every nation, tribe, people and language" (Revelation 7:9),

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 6:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

" Neither give heed to afables and endless genealogies, which bminister cquestions, rather than godly dedifying which is in faith" -Timothy 1:4-

" But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain." -Titus 3:9-

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 6:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Obvious copy/paste problems in the post above, but you get the drift.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 6:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

um, meant A PRIORI, of course.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 8:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I personally don’t belong to any hierarchical Religion, preferring to open my Soul to the Holy Spirit for a direct connection, if you will, gets past all the issues, in my opinion.

I do find it interesting that our resident self avowed Atheists, genuflect, grovel and pay tribute to the Manmade God of Government and claim they have no Deity.

I have been traveling and came across 3, in my opinion Gay men.

1. Sat 11 hours beside a patent lawyer that transitioned into private equity.
2. My wife and I trying to figure out the RER train to Paris Metro, American that took the time help us as he was going that way. Teaching architecture in Paris.
3. Spent 10 days on an equestrian ride with a Guy from DC, a young lobbyist, drank a few booze burgers with him.

I found all of them smart, friendly, well educated and extremely multitasking, kind to my wife and I. I did perceive a hint of loneliness. The Holy Spirit tells me they are children of God, love them.

Gordon Lightfoot in his iconic piece, “Sit down Young Stranger” writes, “The answer is in the forest carved upon a tree, John loves Mary, does anyone love me”?

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2013 at 9:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@teedy: you should have less faith in God’s 'word' than you seem to have. All those contradictions in the same text?
And why do you never quote from your own, even more "holy" book [for you, self-professed], the Book of Mormon? When the angel Moroni showered the tablets into Jos. Smith's Nauvoo jail wasn't that almost golden rain like that which Zeus sent unto Semele?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2013 at 10:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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