What do I tell my wife about the MORMONS?

by OnTheWayOut 20 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • OnTheWayOut

    A Mormon declared his intention to run for President of the USA.
    My wife starts talking about it and says that they are mainstream Christianity
    except for the multiple-wives issue.

    I told her that the official church doesn't allow the multiple wives, but I cannot
    see them as a normal mainstream religion. I asked her if she knows how they
    got their start.

    "I know that Joseph Smith was supposedly inspired to write the book of Mormon.
    It supposedly has more gospel accounts."

    I added, "He was led to some gold tablets or templates of the gospel account
    where the resurrected Jesus visited American natives after living in Israel."

    The conversation went no further at the time (We were driving in rough weather and
    had plenty of other things to pay attention to.) WHAT SHOULD I SAY ABOUT THE
    MORMONS WHEN IT COMES UP AGAIN? How can I use this to help her see that
    a cult is a cult is a cult is a cult is a cult is a cult is a cult is a cult?

  • Crumpet

    I'm so sorry I don't really know enough about Mormons to be able to advise except the boys they send on the doors are always HOT! But I don;t suppose you will be wanting to tell your wife that. HOWEVER I did dig this recent article from friday up for you which touches on how main stream religions regard the Mormons:


    Romney tackling issue of his religion head-on

    He's closely studied JFK speech, may give his own

    By Adam Nagourney and Laurie Goodstein
    New York Times News Service WASHINGTON — As he begins campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, is facing a threshold issue: Will his religion — he is a Mormon — be a big obstacle to winning the White House?
    Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney talks with Republicans after a breakfast stop in Boone, Iowa, Thursday. He has expressed confidence that he can quell concerns about his faith, pointing to his run for governor in Massachusetts. (Steve Pope, Associated Press) Steve Pope, Associated Press Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney talks with Republicans after a breakfast stop in Boone, Iowa, Thursday. He has expressed confidence that he can quell concerns about his faith, pointing to his run for governor in Massachusetts. Polls show a substantial number of Americans will not vote for a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for president. The religion is viewed with suspicion by Christian conservatives who make up a vital part of the Republicans' primary base.
    Romney's advisers acknowledged that popular misconceptions about Mormonism — as well as questions about whether Mormons are beholden to their church's leaders on public policy — could give his opponents ammunition in the wide-open fight among Republicans to become the consensus candidate of social conservatives.
    Romney, in an extended interview on the subject as he drove through South Carolina last week, expressed confidence that he could quell concerns about his faith, pointing to his own experience winning in Massachusetts. He said he shared with many Americans the bafflement over such obsolete LDS practices as polygamy — he described it as "bizarre" — and disputed the argument that his faith would require him to be loyal to his church before his country.
    "People have interest early on in your religion and any similar element of your background," he said. "But as soon as they begin to watch you on TV and see the debates and hear you talking about issues, they are overwhelmingly concerned with your vision of the future and the leadership skills that you can bring to bear."
    Still, Romney is taking no chances. He has set up a meeting later this month in Florida with 100 ministers and religious broadcasters. That gathering follows what was by all accounts a successful meeting at his home last fall with evangelical leaders, including Jerry Falwell; Franklin Graham, who is a son of the Rev. Billy Graham; and Paula White, a popular preacher.
    Romney said he is giving strong consideration to a public address about his faith and political views, modeled after the one John F. Kennedy gave in 1960 in the face of a wave of concern about his Catholicism.
    Romney's aides said he has closely studied Kennedy's speech in trying to measure how to navigate the task of becoming the nation's first LDS president, and he has consulted other LDS elected leaders, including Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, about how to proceed.
    Romney appears to be making some headway. Several prominent evangelical leaders said that, after meeting him, they had grown sufficiently comfortable with the notion of Romney as president to overcome any concerns they might have about his religion.
    On a pragmatic level, some said that Romney — despite questions among conservatives about his shifting views on abortion and gay rights — struck them as the Republican candidate best able to win and carry their social conservative agenda to the White House.
    "There's this growing acceptance of this idea that Mitt Romney may well be and is our best candidate," said Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal advocacy group, and a prominent host on Christian radio.
    Mark DeMoss, an evangelical public relations consultant who represents many conservative Christian organizations, said it was "more important to me that a candidate shares my values than my faith," adding: "And if I look at it this way, Romney would be my top choice."
    Mormons consider themselves to be Christians, but some beliefs central to the LDS Church are regarded by other churches as heretical. For example, Mormons have three books of Scripture other than the Bible, including the Book of Mormon, which they believe was translated from golden plates discovered in 1827 by Joseph Smith Jr., the church's founder and first prophet. They believe that Smith rescued Christianity from apostasy and restored the church to what was envisioned in the New Testament — but these doctrines are beyond the pale for most Christian churches.
    Beyond that, there are perceptions among some people regarding the LDS Church that account for at least some of the public unease: that Mormons still practice polygamy (the church renounced polygamy in 1890), that it is more of a cult than a religion, and that its members take political direction from the church's leaders.
    Several Republicans said such perceptions could be a problem for Romney, especially in the South, which has had a disproportionate influence in selecting Republican presidential nominees.
    Gloria A. Haskins, a state representative from South Carolina who is supporting Sen. John McCain for the Republican nomination, said discussions with her constituents in Greenville, an evangelical stronghold, convinced her that a Mormon like Romney could not win a Republican primary in her state. South Carolina has one of the earliest, and most critical, primaries next year.
    "From what I hear in my district, it is very doubtful," Haskins said. "This is South Carolina — we're very mainstream, evangelical, Christian, conservative. It will come up — in this of all states, it will come up."
    But Katon Dawson, the Republican chairman in South Carolina, said he thought Romney had made significant progress in dealing with those concerns. "I have heard him on his personal faith and on his character and conviction and the love for his country," Dawson said. "I have all confidence that he will be able to answer those questions, whether they be in negative ads against him or in forums or in debates."
    Romney's candidacy has stirred a flurry of discussion about faith and the White House unlike any since Kennedy, including a remarkable debate that unfolded recently in The New Republic. Damon Linker, a critic of the influence of Christian conservatism on politics, described Mormonism as a "theologically unstable, and thus politically perilous, religion." The article brought a stinging rebuttal in the same publication from Richard Lyman Bushman, an LDS history professor at Columbia University who said Linker's arguments had "no grounding in reality."
    Romney is not the first Mormon to seek a presidential nomination, but by every indication he has the best chance yet of being in the general election next year. His father, George Romney, was a candidate in 1968, but his campaign collapsed before he ever had to deal seriously with questions about religion.
    Hatch said his own candidacy in 2000, which was something of a long-shot, was to "knock down prejudice against my faith."
    "There's a lot of prejudice out there," Hatch said. "We've come a long way, but there are still many people around the country who consider the Mormon faith a cult."
    But if Romney has made progress with evangelicals, he appears to face a larger challenge in dispelling apprehensions among the public at large about the church. A national poll by The Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg last June found 37 percent said they would not vote for an LDS Church member for president.
    Romney offered assurances that seemed to reflect what Kennedy told the nation in discussing his Catholicism some 50 years ago. He said the requirements of his faith would never overcome his political obligations. He pointed out that in Massachusetts, he had signed laws allowing stores to sell alcohol on Sundays, even though he is prohibited by his faith from drinking, and to expand the state lottery, though LDS faithful are forbidden from gambling. He also noted that Mormons are not exclusively Republicans, pointing to Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader.
    "There's no church-directed view," he said. "How can you have Harry Reid on one side and Orrin Hatch on the other without recognizing that the church doesn't direct political views? I very clearly subscribe to Abraham Lincoln's view of America's political religion. And that is when you take the oath of office, your responsibility is to the nation, and that is first and foremost."
    He said he was not concerned about the resistance in the polls. "If you did a poll and said, 'Could a divorced actor be elected as president, would you vote for a divorced actor as president,' my guess is 70 percent would say no. But then they saw Ronald Reagan, they heard him, they heard his vision they heard his experience, they said I like Ronald Reagan, I'm voting for him."

    The bits in bold are mine.

  • Crumpet

    What is a cult?

    Definitions: Cult, Cults

    Home / What is a Cult?
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    »Positive, Negative, or Neutral?
    »A Pejorative Term?
    »'New Religious Movements'
    »Cult? What Do You Mean?
    »Sociological vs. Theological Definitions
    »Types of Cults
    »What is a Sect?
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    About This Entry

    About this page Color Key
    Blue border = Quoted material


    The word cult comes from the French culte, and is rooted in the Latin cultus, which means "care" and "adoration." That idea comes from the Latin cultus - the past participle of colere, which means "to cultivate."

    The word was used in the sense of "to worship or give reference to a deity." (Note 1)

    Nowadays the term 'cult' has a variety of meanings, as evidenced by this dictionary entry:

    1. : formal religious veneration : worship
    2. : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
    3. : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
    4. : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults >
    5. a: great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad
      b: a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion
    Source: Merriam-Webster OnlineOff-site Link Back To Top

    Positive, Negative, or Neutral?

    The term 'cult' can be used in a positive, negative, or neutral sense. Examples:

    • Postive sense:

      How much would you pay for a bottle of wine? $20? $40? How about $500 or $1,000? That's how much collectors have been paying for California's so-called "Cult Wines." But why? Source: What Makes A Cult Wine?Off-site Link KRON TV, Feb. 7, 2002 Back To Top
      You may also have heard of, for example, cult films, cult bands, or cult hits. Here the term 'cult' refers to a relatively small but devoted following.
    • Negative sense:
      Example 1

      The Church of Scientology is a vicious and dangerous cult that masquerades as a religion. Its purpose is to make money. It practices a variety of mind-control techniques on people lured into its midst to gain control over their money and their lives. Its aim is to take from them every penny that they have and can ever borrow and to also enslave them to further its wicked ends. Source: Operation Clambake present: What is Scientology?Off-site Link Back To Top
      You may also have heard of other destructive cults, such as David Koresh's Branch Davidians, Shoko Asahara's Aum Shinrikyo, or Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church.

      Here the term 'cult' refers to a movement that claims to be a religion - and which may indeed have all the trappings of a religion - but which in reality is harmful to its followers and/or to others.

      Example 2

      ...while Mormons profess to be Christians, they are outside orthodox Christianity and the Mormon Church is considered to be, theologically, a cult of Christianity. Source: Mormon Church, Apologetics Index entry Back To Top
      Here the term 'cult' is used to indicate that the group in question has separated itself from the mainstream religion it claims to represent. (In this case, given that the theology and practice of the Mormon Church violates essential Christian doctrines, Mormonism does not represent historical, Biblical Christianity, is not a Christian denomination, and is not in any way part of the Christian church.)
    • Neutral sense:

      We have chosen to use the concepts "cults" and "sects" in the title of this volume for two reasons. First, the concepts do have more or less precise meanings as employed by social scientists. Second, it has become abundantly clear that after nearly two decades, the concept new religious movements has virtually no recognition either in the mass media or the general public. By calling attention to the concepts as they are used by social scientists, we hope to begin the long process of educating the mass media and public regarding the non-pejorative meaning of these words. Source: Introductory essay, Religion and the Social Order: The Handbook on Cults and Sects in America by David G. Bromley and Jeffrey K. Hadden Back To Top
      The late sociologist Jeffrey K. Hadden has stated that"[t]he concepts "cult" and "sect" do have precise meaning as they are used by sociologists, and are free of prejudice."

      While that is true, some scholars - Jeffrey Hadden en David Bromley included - have unfortunately forsaken neutrality in favor of becoming 'academic supporters of alternative religions.'
    Back To Top

  • puck

    have her read the book of mormon. not mainstream. i grew up in idaho/utah, and there are tons of mormons there, so we'd prepare for service by knowing some of their beliefs in order to talk to them. (i'm also "mormon royalty" -- brigham young is a many-times-great grandfather! ) unfortunately, i don't recall a great deal of things about them. they are not mainstream, though, imho.

  • OnTheWayOut

    Thanks Crumpet, there's someplace to start with your first comment.
    I don't want to directly use the dreaded word, "CULT" but want to discuss
    the bizarre religion.

    puck, if I could get her to read the book of Mormon, maybe I could get her
    THE WATCHTOWER. What I am saying is FAT CHANCE. I have to reach
    her through little mini-interventions.

  • PaNiCAtTaCk

    I know that Mormons who leave the church refer to the church as the MORG, instead of the BORG for a JW:) That should tell you something. I know that Mormons believe the native americans are descendants of the israelites. Obviously, DNA testing has already destroyed that belief but the Mormon church and its followers put faith in what hasnt been found yet. They say Joseph Smith didnt write the book but only translated it from the plates that the angel Moroni gave him. Joseph smith had been convicted of scamming people out of the money already, before he supposedly translated the book of Mormon. They beieve the garden of Eden was in Missourri:) Lots of Offshoot groups that are fundamentalists, who think the mainstream Mormons are the devil. If you truly believe in Joseph Smith then you must accept his commandments to live the principal, which means multiple wives. Of course the Police had a problem with all the multiple wives so the Mormons had new light to change it. Ok, now that ive said those things. The Mormons for the most part are, very good people, they are honest, they dont steal, they are hardworking, they believe in education, and they are very rich as an organization because they do mandantory tithing.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I understand the story of how Joseph Smith came up with the doctrine.

    I would like more on this-

    If you truly believe in Joseph Smith then you must accept his commandments to live the principal, which means multiple wives. Of course the Police had a problem with all the multiple wives so the Mormons had new light to change it.

    What's it mean to "live the principal" (principle?)
    How did they get "New Light" ?

    These sound like things a JW would find similar to their own doctrines.

  • LittleToe

    Their "Book of Abraham" is a must read, especially if you know anything about Egyptology

  • bikerchic

    Tell her it's another cult and just as dangerous as the JW's.

  • skeeter1

    from www.exmormon.net


    Here are some beliefs Mormons resist

    telling you at first...

    • The LDS Church is the only true church. The Lord told Joseph Smith personally that all other churches are an "abomination." Any non-Mormon church is automatically part of the "church of the devil." No other church has the valid priesthood. The devil has even made a pact with many Christian pastors to teach Christian doctrines about the Trinity and salvation by grace. But in public we say that all religions are good and have some truth.

    • There are many gods. We deal with three of these distinct gods from the council of the gods: Elohim, Jehovah, and the Holy Ghost.

    • God, the Father,was once a man like us. His name is Elohim, and he had a literal father before him. (That means there is a god even higher than God the Father!)

    • We can progress to become gods of our own worlds just like the god Elohim.

    • Jesus is the brother of the devil, not his creator.

    • Jesus was not born of a virgin. Elohim had sexual relations with his daughter, Mary, to bring about the conception of Jesus. (Not all Mormons are familiar with this teaching.)

    • We are not permitted to pray to Jesus, but only to another god named Elohim.

    • Celestial heaven is near a star called Kolob.

    • The Bible contains doctrinal errors.

    • Polygamy is an eternal principle. Mormons still believe in polygamy, but just can't practice it right now.

    • Black people were cursed with their black skin because of their inferiority in the pre-existent life.

    • Native American Indians are really Israelites who were cursed with red skin because of their sin.

    • The current prophet, Gordon B. Hinkley, is a prophet in exactly the same sense as Moses or Ezekiel in the Bible. He has authority to write new scripture.

    • The first LDS prophet, Joseph Smith, saw God the Father in the flesh.

    • Adam did not sin when he ate of the forbidden fruit, but was merely choosing to obey a contradictory command from Jehovah.

    • Jesus shed his blood to offer us the potential to be forgiven if we successfully stop our sins permanently.

    • We cannot be saved (forgiven) by grace alone through faith alone.

    • Secret temple rituals where one learns secret names and secret handshakes contribute to one's exaltation in the celestial kingdom. No non-Mormon is worthy to go inside a dedicated temple.

    • No one who pays less than 10% of their income to the LDS Church is allowed inside a functioning temple.

    • It is possible to eventually become perfect by progressing a little bit at a time through eternal progression.

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