Well, I wish people would be shocked at how different Mormon dogma is too! If you are going to have a go at JW's, why not Mormons! (I know Mormon theology is criticized too, but sometimes I feel as theirs more bias against JW's!) My idea is too criticize ALL who are "heretics."
I couldn't care less how good they are with their family ideals and how much they join in the community. I'm not going to join a community that preaches crap Joseph Smith! He just made all that up in his head!
Which is worse - the Jehovah's Witness or the Mormons?
Well, I would have to say "shoot," too if someone asked the question Mormon or Witness?
uh, ok, that clinches it for me...
I used to be a J.W., but then converted to Mormonism. When I joined the Mormons, the J.W.'s disfellowshipped me on grounds of apostasy. Years later, when I found out that the claims of Mormonism were fabrications and myths, I left them too, and by my own request, had my name stricken from their membership rolls- which, being an Elder, could only be done by excommunication.
As a J.W., I felt fairly happy within my circle of friends, until I began to openly doubt their teachings due to some highly questionable doctrinal positions, as well as having problems with resting my faith on the quicksand of their ever-changing teachings in the name of "new truth". The problem of knocking on others' doors as a J.W. is, you begin to meet and have dialogues with people of other faiths, and that opens you up to the realization of other interpretations of scripture besides just what the J.W.'s were taught. It so happened that trying to solve the problem of interpretation led me to the Mormons who made the point that the Bible could be interpreted and translated in so many different ways that you really need something else besides the Bible to know what is the correct interpretation. That "something else" was God speaking thru a Prophet to explain the scriptures. The Joseph Smith story was about God and Jesus visiting Joseph Smith, and also the Apostles Peter, James & John, as well as Moses & Aaron (not to mention the Angel Moroni). The purpose of all this was to restore the keys of the lesser and greater Priesthoods to the earth, or what is referred to as the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood. These represent the authority to receive truth and revelation from God, and without that authority, we have no business running around telling others what the Bible supposedly teaches. There was a great apostasy, or falling away, that was prophesied would occur. There was a falling away from the Church and of the Church, so that the Priesthood Authority was removed from the earth until the "latter days".
It wasn't until a number of years later, after living as an active Mormon, that I discovered a whole lot of things about the Mormon Church that I had not known about before. It's like the Church almost makes a point NOT to talk about this stuff, because of the volatile nature of it, and how few people would even consider joining the church if they knew about it in advance. Some of this includes some absolute horror stories in Mormon history, like the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Doctrine of Blood Atonement ( where a secretive group known as "Danites" actually went out and slit the throats of certain members who committed adultery and such, and then buried them- to kill the body as atonement for their sins), edited changes to the Book of Mormon, failed prophesies, illegal Polygamy, the Adam-God doctrine, the problem of the Pearl of Great Price having verses that can be traced to a "sen-sen fragment" in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a pagan funerary text, and dozens of other very serious matters that I find repulsive and indefensible.
The lies and cover-ups trying to defend the indefensible with both of these religions, I would say, are pretty much on a par with each other. The difference I can see is that the subject matter is different.
Socially, living as a Mormon, I found much happier and fulfilling, even though it is pretty much a case of living within their circle, with very little going on outside Mormonism that they participate in, other than when it comes to matters of business and education. They very much believe in and encourage higher education, whereas JW's discourage this because the end of the "System of Things" is so near. Going to Grade 12 is pretty much encouraged by JW's because at least you can get a reasonable job to sustain yourself, and still be active in field service or even go Pioneering. I met one from Bethel once, and he told me the Society really likes those with a trade, such as printing or construction, because they can always use those skills for and on behalf of the Society. At the same time, they do not want you pursuing "worldly wisdom". Mormons have a Brigham Young University at Provo, Utah, and they have a teaching faculty that is one of the best in the entire U.S.A., and have a very credible faculty dealing with business and banking. But the number of Mormons around the world are probably in the minority when it comes to actually attending B.Y.U. as opposed to going to Universities and Colleges in one's own home town or region.
Both religions have leaderships at the top that expect, even demand, absolute obedience to their respective organizations and teachings. Mormons have more discretion to listen to other points of view outside their faith, because they are taught that other faiths do have "some of the truth" but just not the "fulness of the Gospel" which only they (supposedly) possess. J.W.'s on the other hand, seem very unwilling to consider anything from outside their religion, as they think along the lines "Satan will teach a thousand truths to get you to believe one lie" or "Satan keeps transforming himself into an Angel of Light". Personally, I experienced Mormonism as having a greater degree of intellectual freedom than the J.W.'s, although both leave a lot to be desired. There are many Mormons with professional degrees and careers (doctors, dentists, lawyers, psychologists, bankers, economists, accountants, teachers)
Mormons allow divorce and remarriage under any grounds that is allowed under "the laws of the land", unless you have been married in the temple for "time and all eternity". Then you can get a "temple divorce" only on the grounds of adultery. J.W.'s cannot divorce and remarry except on grounds of adultery, regardless of what the laws of the land allow. However, you are still allowed to separate on other grounds if it becomes too unbearable, such as mental and physical abuse.
J.W.'s do not allow blood transfusions, and many, many J.W.'s have died over this issue. Mormons do allow transfusions. J.W.'s do not go to war under any circumstances. Mormons do it in obedience to the laws of the land. They are very patriotic. J.W.'s profess allegiance only to Jehovah.
J.W.'s attend endless meetings at the Kingdom Hall and Assemblies. Mormons have endless meetings at their Church Wards, as well as attend a number of Church Conferences at different jurisdictional level. J.W.'s make their kids sit thru all the meetings right there with the adults. Mormons have Primary and Sunday School for the kids at different age levels, as well as have boy scouts and girl guides, with programs geared to their different levels of education, perception and ages. Mormons have Family Home Evening once a week, where families spend time together and play games, deal with issues, and all sorts of things. J.W.'s do get together with the kids, but usually it is around a Bible study.
So you tell me, which environment you would rather live under.
The biggest issue I see surrounding this question is that of Religious Authoritarianism, and how these Organizations rule over your entire lives, demanding your unquestioning obedience. That is what I am sensing with all of these posts. Secondarily, I think the individuals here also have had to wrestle with some real doctrinal issues in terms of the J.W.', and this has resulted in them questioning the whole notion of the Governing Body even having the right to dictate what you shall believe or not believe in matters of faith, given their track record and failures.
Personally, I am thankful to be out of both of them, and I enjoy the freedom of being able to pursue "truth" in whatever form I see, and no matter where I see it. In the end, I think this is all an individual matter, and we can all share in dialogues, and we are all entitled to our own opinions, and this should be conducted with mutual respect amongst one another. And I do not believe for a minute that God is going to judge us or condemn us for pursuing truth from this level. After all, even Charles Taze Russell and Joseph Smith once had to question the "established religions" of the day, and do independent thinking and pursue pathways that departed from the religious authorities, and they claim to have God's blessings and inspiration. How, the, are you and I any different?
All the best, everyone, and vive la difference!
Yeah! Great post! Awesome! Thanks for posting! :) I don't know much about Mormons, now I know a bit more. :)
I can see why people would rather be Mormons now. :) More free and family oriented. Services for children and adults, adopting "outside" religious beliefs and not getting spastic over it.
But, this is how I see it the Mormon doctirnes are SO WRONG, but the lifestyle is much better. The Jehovah's Witness doctrines are FAIRLY ACCURATE, but their lifestyle is much worse.
But I'd take the gun anyday and ask Jehovah to give me another chance in paradise*! :) Would be interested in seeing some of you people on this board in Paradise too! That would be cool! lol :) (I'm literal about it.) American accented: "Hey! Are you that inquirer guy!"
*In the New American Bible (Yeah, I love reading other Bibles, it's cool!) it says that paradise is another name for heaven. But I still think it means earth. In actual fact, though, Paradise comes from the word "park." So I think the original meaning in Genesis is still applied thousands of years later like in Matthew, Mark... as a paradise/park (a gigantic park!). NOt paradise/heaven.
haha.......I wouldn't pick either...
Religion is a "snare and a racket"........".Religion is a box where extra rules are always placed....and made by man..."
Rod P, terrific post. Thank you.
Opiate of the masses.
Both religions are mentally and spiritually abusive. They are not inspired of God, nor preacher's of love.
Evil Force - may I suggest that's far too generalistic. In both churches there are plenty of people (the body of the church) who do actually love other people in their congregations and are inspired to do good and act charitably. Just becasue you disagree with the doctrine you can't lump all believers into that hole - personally I try to love people (varying degrees of success)- I've spent hours counselling, caring, doing service etc.. and I'd do it all again. Not everyone is unloving and uninspired.