Which is worse - the Jehovah's Witness or the Mormons?

by inquirer 59 Replies latest jw friends

  • AlanF

    I think that the question is like asking whether you'd rather get killed by an atomic bomb or a volcanic blast. Both are injurious to your health, but in somewhat different ways.

    Each religion is destructive to its members in different ways. JWs muck up individual freedom much more than Mormons do. Mormons have a much more serious problem with pedophilia than JWs, since older men marrying/fooling around with young girls has been part of the cult since its beginning.

    As far as effects on the community, JWs are much more deleterious because of their isolation. They simply are not a part of the community. But given their nasty, cultish ways, that's probably a good thing.

    Excellent writeup, Rod P.!


  • Satanus

    Thanks rodp. Mormons are more creative in their conversion efforts. They also appear to be more sneaky at it than jws. But, that could be because i know jw lines so well, but am not that familiar w the mormon pitches. Because of the flagrantly manufactured history in their mormon book, i find that they have a higher gag factor than the wt.


  • trevor

    To increase the impression of persecution the Watchtower Society once adopted the slogan - Religion is a Snare and a Racket.

    This is one of the few things they ever said that was true and it applies to all religion.

    The Roman Catholic church is responsible for an appalling catalogue of corruption and distortion of truth. The present Bible which so many rely on as the - word of God - is one of many versions altered and amended to produce a religion dominated by power hungry men who exclude women. All who disagreed with the enforced changes were burnt at the stake. This include five million women!

    Which religion is the worse? They all stink!

    That is not say that God and Truth do not exist. It is just that they will not be found in the politically motivated religions of the Western world.

  • DanTheMan
    I guess one thing I'd like to know is what is living in a predominantly JW neighbourhood like in comparison to a mainly mormon one? Forget theology - what are the social consequences like?

    I know of a few neighborhoods where there seems to be a lot of JW's but for the most part you won't find this kind of clannish-ness among them. They're pretty much scattered all around.

    I think Salt Lake City Utah would be about the last place in the USA that I would want to live. Like living in a city where everybody is a JW I imagine LOL.

  • Rod P
    Rod P


    I got converted and baptised into the JW religion back in 1962 in the City of Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, which, at that time, had a population of around 20,000. There were about 100+ JW's in the Congregation back then. To get any sense of what it was like in a JW community on any kind of a scale, you would have to participate in their Circuit and District Assemblies in the larger cities like Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver. In terms of the day-to-day, life pretty much revolved around Kingdom Hall meetings, local book studies, and field service. The brothers and sisters would circulate amongst themselves, inviting one another to reciprocating suppers, and once in a while, some social gatherings, like on a farm, where you played home-style baseball and Saturday night dances to waltzes, polkas, and accordian music- and had a ball. None of this involved interacting with the community at large. I certainly enjoyed the social aspects of this life, and did not feel the need to pursue interests outside this closed society (Not that outsiders weren't welcome to join in as "potential converts"....er I mean guests.)

    When I got married, my wife, who was raised as a JW, along with her many brothers, had a different experience overall. They lived on a farm and went to a nearby small town school in a mostly rural community, where the majority of the students were either Mormon or Mennonite. They were the only JW's in the school, and then there were a couple of Buddhists that also attended. During school baseball games, when the JW boys were up-to-bat, the Mormon kids on their side would yell "Come on Jehovah! Come on Jehovah! Hit a home run!" (They were pretty good in baseball because there were enough brothers, so they could practice at home on the farm.) My wife's experience growing up was that she thought the Mormon kids really thought they were IT! She also felt they were prejudiced against JW's and the poor little Buddhists (i.e. the Majority persecuting the Minority- and boy, do kids treat each other mean.) She did not have this kind of negative experience with the Mennonites at the same school.

    As a convert to Mormonism, of course, I was ostracized from the JW's, but then I met some really nice Mormon friends. It's just that I couldn't join in with the married couples because of the divided home situation. When I went to Salt Lake City and Brigham Young University at Provo, Utah, I saw a lot of the spirit of love and brotherhood, but then I also sensed a lot of pride in some of them, bordering on self-righteousness. By and large, though, I think they are pretty nice people, doctrines notwithstanding. I think all religions have virtually all personality types within their ranks, so that should not be the measure of the Church itself, IMHO.


    As a JW, I was very active in field service, including Pioneering. Later on, as a Mormon, I went door-to-door doing Missionary work. I found it ironical one day, that as a Mormon, I and my companion were going down one side of the street knocking on doors, while right across the street were a pair of JW'ss also knocking on doors. It was like we were in competition, trying to get to the households before the other guys did. A bolt of deja vu went thru me as I watched them go down the block and following our trail. My companion and I laughed about it in amusement. Secretly though, it felt like a kind of "split personality", like wondering if I should put on my JW hat or my Mormon hat. Those poor, unsuspecting householders!

    As for the "pitches", I know that the Mormon missionaries are much more intensively trained than are Jehovah's Witnesses in general (excluding the more gifted JW leaders and speakers). They have some pretty dynamic salesman types knocking on doors, if you know what I mean, but then, would it make sense to send out people unprepared and unskilled at any kind of presentation? No, of course not. So why expect anything less?

  • drwtsn32

    I don't think they're as bad as JWs.

    From what I can tell, the LDS church does not instill a tremendous fear of the outside world in its members like the WTS. Nor are they told to cut off all communication with former members. LDS members are usually much more productive members of the community.

    The LDS church does have many weird rituals and even stranger beliefs than the WTS, though.

  • Rod P
    Rod P


    I suspect most of your ideas of Mormonism's strange rituals have to do with the Mormon Temples and what goes on inside. To understand this, you must know something of Church History. In Joseph Smith's day a number of Mormon converts were Masons. They came to J.S. and showed him essentially their Code of Ethics, and asked if there was anything wrong with this. Joseph didn't see anything wrong, so he became a Mason too. As a matter of fact, he became the head of the Nauvoo Chapter. Then he is supposed to have received a revelation about the temple endowment ceremony, and in it is supposed to be revealed the original teachings from the time of King Solomon. The Masons on the other hand, claim a historical connection, that all this was handed down to them over the centuries since the days of Solomon. (Many historians discount this as myth, though, saying that evidences show they actually began during the middle ages.)

    Whatever difference may exist between the Mormon practices in the temple and those secret signs, tokens and penalties, etc. as practiced by the Masons is attributed by the Mormons as a restoration of original truth; whereas the Masonic practices were subject to errors creeping in down thru the centuries as it got passed along. So now, to consider the Mormons as being weird in their practices and rituals in this area probably has a lot to do with not knowing or understanding what is going on. Of course, if you consider the Masons all a bunch of weirdos, then I suppose it is just as likely, that you would consider the Mormons weirdo's as well.

  • lucky

    Did anyone see the South Park episode about the Mormons? It had the history of the church being sung, along with a chorus of "Dum,Dum,Dum,Dum,Dum". It was a riot.

    When I was 18 I "moved to where the need was greater" to a Mormon community and had lots of experiences witnessing to Mormons. I studied for a couple years with one very nice, intelligent woman with 9 children who had gone to BYU. She was absolutely stunned to learn that Jesus did not speak the English of the King James Version.

  • Rod P
    Rod P


    No, I was unaware of any South Park episode on the Mormons, so can't comment.

    I don't know which Mormon community you are talking about, but my instincts tell me it was probably in Utah, or maybe Idaho. The woman you are talking about was most likely one who was born into the faith, and surrounded by a majority Mormon population, and also most likely multi-generational Mormon. Individuals like these often live a pretty sheltered life, and get spoon-fed almost everything they know, as opposed to studying on your own initiative to find out what you should know.

    Regarding the Bible, Mormons "believe the Bible to be the Word of God insofar as it is translated correctly". The King James Version is the one they accept most, as they believe it is the most accurate translation out there. (That is why that LDS woman probably thought the Bible was written in the King's English, because that's probably the only Bible she has ever seen. Probably no-one ever told her about all the other translations or versions of the Bible, and how it was written in Hebrew and Greek, etc.)

    Mormonism teaches that the Church of Jesus Christ has a living Prophet who continues to receive new Revelations from God. During the time of the Old Testament, the Nation of Israel had living Prophets who received revelations; and at the time of the Apostles revelations continued to be received. Many new revelations were revealed along the way. Protestants teach that the last revelation has been given, and all the needed Revelations have been recorded in the Bible, and so there is no longer any need for living Prophets or New Revelations. In other words, the Heavens are sealed. Mormons see this as illogical and inconsistent with the way God deals with His people at any age. He has always revealed His Will thru a Prophet in the past, and there is nothing to say or prove that He is any different today.

    For this reason, those born into Mormonism and live all their lives in a majority Mormon populated community feel they are simply following the ways of Old, listening to the message of God's Chosen Prophet, which is no different to them than you and I studying the Bible containing God's Revelations to understand God's will.

    The whole problem with all this, as I see it, is that it all depends whether the Prophet at the head of the Mormon Church is a true Prophet of God, or not. The question behind that one is, Is the Mormon Church the True Church? and does what it teach constitute the Truth from God? How are we to know for sure? If you use the "Bible only" as the measuring rod for judging whether Mormonism is true or not, then there will follow a huge debate, because Mormon scholars have some pretty interesting arguments and interpretations of what is supposedly contained within the pages of the Bible. At B.Y.U. they offer courses in Religion, and Biblical studies, and they do get into studies of Hebrew and Greek and ancient languages and manuscripts, etc. etc. It might surprise you how well their arguments can hold up against conventional Protestant and Catholic interpretations of the Bible. (I know this, because I spent over 9 years studying it from a Mormon perspective.) But the question of Mormonism is even more complicated than this, for the reason that they have additional "Scriptures" which they consider to be on a par with the Bible (for example, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price). Without getting into long dissertations on those, suffice it to say that Mormons consider these to be inspired of God and containing important revelations that are not found in the Bible, or else clarify a number of ambiguous teachings that are in the Bible, or that have been lost or distorted because of problems of translation.

    Anyway, I am not trying to act as a Mormon apologist here, but rather just trying to explain how and why they are the way they are, so that you can understand better what is going on as you see these people in their day to day lives.

    Anyway, as for the lady who did not know her Bible, I can assure you this is not typical of Mormons at large. Many of them know their Bibles by virtue of them being converted to Mormonism from other religions. Some from inside the Church have become ardent Biblical scholars, and can hold their own against scholars outside the Church. Every year, thousands of Church members go on a mission for two years somewhere in the world, and these people become pretty trained in the Bible, since they have to talk to people of other faiths and must know where these other people are coming from when dealing with religion and matters of faith and the scriptures.

    Rod P.

  • witnessofjesus

    Having been a Mormon elder for the past 12 years, I can say that I'd rather be a JW, than a Mormon, at least the JWs have the basic fundamental truths of Christianity correct, such as no trinity, no immortal soul and no burning hell. Mormons on the other hand worship a patheon of gods, and goddesses, which we believe we would become someday if found faithful, and the Mormons, although they like educated people, and teach that the 'glory fo God is intelligence', as one of the verses in one of their modern books of scripture teaches, they also excommunicated educated BYU professors who dare oppose or speak out openly against their beloved prophets, or their Book of Mormon. In fact, as recently as 2006, they made a drastic change in the forward to the Book of Mormon, which once stated that the Lamanites, the children of Laman, son of Lehi, were the 'PRINCIPLE ancestors of the American Indians', now since DNA evidence is so clearly against such a position, the Mormons changed this to read, "AMONG the ancestors of the American Indians', so they're no longer the PRINCIPLE ancestors, but AMONG the ancestors, and the General Authorities of the Church didn't even have the decency to tell the average Mormon of these changes, I found out by viewing ex-Mormon sites on the internet and then went and verified the updated reading myself.

    Having been sealed in the Temple to my wife, and having to wear the Mormon temple garment underwear, which isn't cheap, and only being able to buy it from the LDS distribution centers throughout the world, I can say, that I'd rather be a JW, than a Mormon anyday. Yes, inactives are looked unfavorably upon, and Mormons do not shun people as the JWs do, they strive to help the repentant sinner return to the fold, that is the #1 goal in doing the monthly "Home Teaching" assignments, where men are assigned five families to visit each month, and where the women do "Visiting Teaching" and go to their assigned five families each month, some active, some not and give an hour long lesson to encourage them to either remain faithful, or to return to the fold of activity. Mormon do teach that their Church, is the Kingdom of God upon the earth, that it is the 'stone cut out of the mountain without hands that will fill the whole earth.'

    They teach that Jesus, before He came to earth, was known as Jehovah, and that Adam was Michael the Archangel before he was sent here to earth to be the 'father of our race', and that Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers, and that in fact, Satan is also our spirit brother and that Heavenly Father has multiple wives in heaven, that He is also a polygamous spirit and that we likewise can have billions of spirit wives when we get to heaven. This is well documented teachings of theirs found at their official site of http://www.lds.org

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