Thursday, March 22, 2007

Me & My Mormons - honesty and brutality

I just had the Mormons (4 of them) over for a 3rd visit and man did I lay siege at some of the foundational strongholds - in the way of kind and polite questioning and discussion. I obliged and watched their 'faith in Christ' video which only contained biblical ideals and no 'book of Mormon ideals' (I was like any church could of made that video).

Then we started discussing issues. I started in with the 13 articles of faith and how they barely believe differently than any normal church-goer (oh they didn't like that idea). We then got into praying about the faith as the basis for having faith - which makes no sense whatsoever (call it 'blind faith'). I said if I pray and get 'no answer' then what - or worse yet 'no'? They said some crap to the point of the satan fooling me and I should be more 'sincere' (I was like okay this is going nowhere). We then got into my 20 questions about the Mormon faith and they were toughies.

Some examples are:

(a) Is the Mormon church in danger of 'apostasy' (which they claim happened to the original church)? Well I pointed out 3 splinter groups within Utah alone. They agreed it can happen but isn't currently happening - still it did happen.

(b) Semantics: I touched base on this but if you ever read the book of Mormon you will see a strange thing for people that believe the KJV as the only version they'll read. Some passages contain what it seems are 'errors' - 'ye' and 'you' in the same passage (or old english and modern english in the same sentence).

(c) Atonement: If Christ died 'once for all' then is salvation a 'free gift' or not? They admitted straight to my face 'it is not a free gift'. Okay - so we can earn a place on one of their 3 heavens - cool.

(d) Kingdoms of Glory: Apparently they use 1 Cor 15:41 as a basis for the Celestial, Terrestial, and Telestial kingdoms (from the KJv of course) but in context that makes no sense in the least. Also it is mentioned one time in scriptures then - how is that even reliable? Oh I just had to say something when a verse is betrayed and context isn't considered. But good news for all of us, we will make into one the heavens kingdoms - which raised an even worse question. How can heaven stand if it is divided within itself? Apparently there is no division - just 3 kingdoms in one (lol).

(e) Trinity: They actually taught me God is 3 seperate people and God has skin and bones (just like us). I guess they all rule a seperate kingdom (lol).

(f) Ethics: If God commanded you to do something unethical - would you obey? Apparently Nephi (see example 3) is told to kill a drunk person (Laban) and chop off his head - and he does. Is this something God might ask of any Mormon? Oh they wanted to chop my head off for that question.

(g) Doctrines and Covenants 132: I questioned if everything in D&C 132 is true - they said yes. Well two things in there are: men becoming gods (v.15-20) and polygamy (v.58-66). I said is polygamy still okay then? They said 'no'. Then it led to this next point in (h).

(h) Prophets: Can a prophet change the words of the last prophet? They said 'yes'. Well then god is just double-minded ain't he? It's a total logical trap for them - either they say 'no' and they agree with polygamy then - or they say 'yes' and Smith was lied to by God (I guess) - or maybe a 3rd alternative - the prophets are humans that make mistakes (also against the articles of faith).

(i) Joseph Smith: How many wives did he have? I had 4 Mormons here that could not agree as to the exact number - one said 1, another said 2, and the eldest said he had 1 wife but many other women (on the side I guess)....he was in quite the bind as his wife sat beside him as he asnwered (lol).

(j) Question I will ask next time: If the KJV is the only version to use - why then was it created by an apparent apostate church in the 17th century? Wouldn't that be corrupt also?

I give it up to for all of the info I have recieved. This dude is getting an e-mail of congrats from me for the great questions (an ex-Mormon and missionary). Maybe I'll even start a dialogue with him.

As for me, yes they are coming back on Monday for another round - even when I told them the questions only get harder (lol). I'll attend their services and what not (when I get a chance) - since irregardless of these weird beliefs - I still respect their ethics and lives.


Jim Jordan said...

We have a Mormon channel on satellite TV and some show a real passion for Christ. However, when they start talking about the Doctrines and Covenants, the divergence from truth becomes clear. Beware the Horny Prophet, I say! Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Why, in the acquiring of those two "degree's" and the wealth of knowledge, didn't you learn the difference between possessive and plural?

SocietyVs said...

"Why, in the acquiring of those two "degree's" and the wealth of knowledge, didn't you learn the difference between possessive and plural?" (Anon)

Is this is regards to the semantics thing I proposed? Or is this in regards to something else altogether different? I know english pretty well if that helps out - if not - I am not sure what to say?

HeIsSailing said...

I SocietyVs. Your knowledge of Mormomism is impressive. I tried reading The Book of Mormon and just could not make it. I guess it is the same when some people get bogged down in Levitucus.

My dad is a Mormon of about 20 years. I must say that his beliefs drastically transformed his life. He turned from a real loser, hateful and just plain mean, to a man with real joy in his life. A real turnaround, that if he were a mainline Protestant I would attribute to nothing less than the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, his turnaround is viewed by my church friends as a Satanic trick to fool us into thinking there was something really godly to his religion. *sigh* As a Christian, you bet I felt convicted to confront him about his wacky beliefs. We would each try to convert the other over the years, we knew how each other stood. But whenever this happened we just grew upset with each other. It has been many years trying to build our relationship, one that we never had, so trying to convert each other just tore that relationship down again. In the end, after several years of this, we just quit trying. I have grown to hate religious differences and trying to convince everyone that I am right. He is 1000% of the man he used to be without his beliefs, and that is what is important to me right now. This issue is another reason I have been questioning my own beliefs so much. Is dad REALLY going to hell for believing what he is convinced is true? For trying to make his life better? For using his beliefs to be a joyous man like he has never been before? Right now, I want dad to be happy, and I want to keep a relationship with him as he grows older. That is what is important to me. Does that make me a Pansy Christian who does not hate his own family over Jesus? I guess so.

I have the correct religion!
No, I have the correct religion!
You are both wrong, I have the correct religion!
God, I am just sick of all that. I hope God is happy that we fight over him so.

BrotherKen said...

Discussing our faith with others of a different faith as Society is doing is fine and well. I am not certain on this, but I think the problem with Morman and/or maybe JW's is that they actually count their visitations as a method of gaining stature in the faith. The more rejections they receive, the more they have been persecuted and therefore the more they have sacrificed for God, sort of thing. So by being hospitable to them you help out their cause whether you accept or reject them. If this is true it is no wonder they get so many volunteers.

This issue is another reason I have been questioning my own beliefs so much. Is dad REALLY going to hell for believing what he is convinced is true? (HeIsSailing)

I think you do well not to worry about this so much as your relationship with your father. I think there will be saved people from all religions, and maybe some self professed atheists? Maybe I am wrong, but I have come to the conclusion that God will bless who he will bless and he will curse who he will curse and there is little we can do but guard our own heart and our own walk.

Will God punish the one who happened to chose the wrong man-made religion though he has been a delight to those around him? Oh, you say that Christianity is the only true and pure religion do you? Well I believe that the Bible contains all truth that was given to us at the time but what if God has or is giving us knew understandings that we just haven't come to understand yet.

All I am saying is that we should be careful in our judgments and focus more on practicing what we believe. We who believe in Christ have been commanded by Him to love and serve others not judge them (unless they represent your faith and their teachings don't align with what you understand).

SocietyVs said...

Just so I can make this is clear and plain as the eye can see - I do not hate Mormons, I do not dislike Mormons, I have no beefs with the people they are, I respect their religious beliefs, I like them as people, I do not think they are doing anything sadistic in their faith, etc.

But I post some ideas and differences the two of our faiths have and I am all of the sudden doing something insidious. But hey, they came to my house - not the other way around - and I believe in full disclosure of someone's religious values and asking questions as to why they exist. They also are trying to 'convert me' - this isn't hidden by them in any small way - and if I am going to 'convert' then I want all the facts first before I decide to make such a decision. I find some faults with historical harangues in their faith, literature, prophet-hood, and temple ceremonies (not mentioned on here).

Fact is, as hard as some Mormons are trying to 'convert' me some ex-Mormons feel that I shouldn't make that decision (based on history and basic life as a Mormon - which they know first-hand and have passed onto all who want to read it). I have to digest both sides as an honest and rationale citizen of faith - since to straight ignore one side would be tantamount to shutting my ears or eyes. So I am giving both sides equal 'air-time' if you will - and to be honest I give the Mormons trying to convert me even more respect - since I speak with them face to face.

All the Mormons that have come to my house I totally think live worthwhile lives and have a great ethical core (I respect that - listen everyone - I respect that - and when I say i respect that you can be damned sure I do). But my questions are not questioning a single person 'ethical value system' - check the questions - none of mine make someone into something they are not (ie: calling names or asserting things about their character).

But this is about conversion - and conversion is a one way street in this conversation - I am not trying to convert them (nor do I care to). What I am doing is learning about Mormonism and raising questions about some facets of the faith - casue what if I did join and didn't ask these questions? I probably wouldn't get to ask them and logically - some of the beliefs they hold have very little backing anywhere - so I want some answers as to where they are coming from and why they are 'true'...since I am not a Mormon nor do I claim to have those answers.

This isn't a war of religious beliefs - no one is throwing punches here nor are either sides throwing around names in the process...missionaries want to convert me and I want some information - plain and simple. It is sad that I should be judged for being honest and asking questions - even to the point I am making a 'religious war'?

But then how do I learn about Mormonism? Go by my values or theirs? They have asked me to believe very 'blindly' and be 'converted' - so much so that all I need to do is merely 'pray and have sincere faith when I pray, I will find out the Book of Mormon is true'. I find that a little nieve and my values demand of me to ask questions about certain aspects of the faith they hold - since they added scriptures and other things into the mix - which I am totally unaware of (as to what's in them or why they believe them). I am also asked to accept a prophethood, baptism of the dead, a 3 kingdom heaven, 3 seperate bodies of God (even God the Father has skin), my religion is apostate, KJV bible is the only true version, etc. How do I handle all that info - with blind faith as they pre-suppose I do? I could do that but then I just know I am betraying my own conscience - which also isn't quite fair.

But if asking questions is a no-no - then what is the proper recourse - have nothing to do with Mormons, or for that fact, any other religious schema I know little about? I am caught between a rock and hard place - but I am treading it with shoes on.

breakerslion said...

Some of my best neighbors have been Mormon. If you're going to be crazy, I'd rather you were Mormon crazy than Nazi crazy. I do wish, from time to time, that more of my fellow humans would learn to put the white rabbit back in the hat and stop looking for truth in the dreamscape of mythology.

Here, just in case you haven't seen this before. Good luck in your quest. Beware the Jabberwock.

SocietyVs said...

Thanks Breaker for the link - I actually have that annotated book also (as a link I reference from time to time - it was slightly helpful).

I have never had a Mormon neighbor - but I have a few friends that are and they are very respectful people - which I admire in any person (no matter their personal faith or whatever). Thanks for the comment.

Kevin Beck said...

A couple of LDS missionaries came to my door once. "Hi, I'm Elder Smith," one said. The other introduced himself, "I'm Elder Jones."

Always the smart arse, I replied, "That's weird. You both have the same first name."

SocietyVs said...

Kev, I had a friend over last night that explained to me she had Mormons over for a whole year (and even saw a baptism) and she never converted - so I bust a gut laughing whe she said 'you think I'm that easy'. Kevin keep the humor up bro.