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The Economist and other media consider why Mormonism carries agitation among many

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  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    June 21, 2011 6:59 a.m.

    The LDS position is that

    Unless one accepts the LDS religion as the true one, he/she will not have the same opportunities in the afterlife as the LDS.

    Do you really not understand why others do not warmly welcome the LDS?

    The LDS imply (or outright claim) religious superiority over ALL OTHER religions and then cry foul when others push back.

    Now, some of you can spin the teachings to make them "softer", but the implication is there and it is a fair characterization.

  • friedeggonAZstreets Glendale, AZ
    June 21, 2011 8:30 a.m.

    I don't know why his speech should offend anyone. I personally thought it was a nice one. Lots of religions out there have wonderful and beautiful aspects to them. The church does teach us this is the case. Maybe they are having an issue with this speech because members say of the church that it is the only true church out there and then they hear a member say something like this in a speech.

    It is true all religions do point to God and have some very good principles to live by. It is hard to explain how we believe this is true in one speech let alone one comment.

  • speed66 Hever City, UT
    June 21, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    I'll take the argument a step further and suggest that a candidate's faith or lack thereof should not be a factor at all. A simple look at the recent crop of adulterers - Ensign, Vitter, Lee, Edwards - all who wore their faith like a merit badge, is enough to tell us that professed faith is an unreliable metric at best.

    In my life, its those people who use their faith as credibility that have proven to be the least honest and trustworthy. The three most honest people I've ever known was a rancher in Croydon Utah - a devout Mormon who never used his faith as a measure of his integrity. A Jewish business woman in Ogden and a logistics expert in Oklahoma - neither of whom had any belief in a deity. I can see no relationship between faith and integrity/capability.

    I'd like to believe that Romney was telling the truth and I liked the sentiment. Unfortunately, he has a history of telling his crowd what he thinks they want to hear. My guess is that is was written by a good speech writer and that he was trying to water down his faith. That is a equally disturbing.

  • uteslogan Logan, UT
    June 21, 2011 9:44 a.m.

    I'll try to explain, then, in the basic missionary style.
    Latter-day Saints believe that God always calls prophets to establish his organization and reveal his word and will for a particular era of time. This happened through the operations of Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Moses, down to Jesus Christ. When Christ was here, He established a church with 12 apostles, He being the head. He gave them the authority to act in God's name to baptize, give the gift of the Holy Ghost-- the baptism of fire-- and the ability to perform miracles when necessary and receive revelation for Christ's organization. That authority is called the priesthood.
    After the resurrection of Christ and His departure from the earth, His apostles and other ordained ministers like Stephen went into the world they knew to preach the gospel. They were rejected and killed, and thus the authority died with them, as it had done generations before.
    However, as the world became enlightened in all aspects, the Lord once again called a prophet in the little-educated Joseph Smith to established His word in the modern day, in preparation for the second coming of Christ.

  • uteslogan Logan, UT
    June 21, 2011 9:47 a.m.

    And with that said, it's important to know the Latter-day Saint doctrine is that everyone will have the opportunity to hear the fullness of the Lord's teachings and have equal opportunity to receive them, whether here on earth or after they pass. For this reason, Latter-day Saints, in faith, perform ordinances such as baptism in the temples on behalf of those who have passed on so they can receive the ordinances that they can no longer do for themselves. Thus, when they rise again from the dead with a whole, perfected body, they will have the full opportunity to know their Creator and obey accordingly.

  • friedeggonAZstreets Glendale, AZ
    June 21, 2011 10:49 a.m.

    @Joe Blow--"The LDS position is that Unless one accepts the LDS religion as the true one, he/she will not have the same opportunities in the afterlife as the LDS"

    Here's the short answer to the above.

    We believe that all people will inherit a degree of glory because they choose to come to earth in the pre-mortal world. As to which degree (or level) of glory is really up to the individual. Yes, the highest level is for those who live and have the ordinances done with the proper authority, but even the lowest degree is much better/beautiful/glorious than where we are living now.

    Again this was the short answer and there is more to it, but who can explain it all in comments? However, you can visit the churches website and find out more by asking to chat or meet with a missionary. If people don't get to hear about it here; then they will have an opportunity to learn in the next life. No other church teaches this principle: Baptisms for the dead by proxy. They can reject the baptism or except it. U R Always a free to choose.

  • Eichendorff Olathe, Kansas
    June 21, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    @joeblow

    How is that any different from Catholics or Protestants? They all believe that unless you accept Christ according to their terms, you do not have the same opportunities in the afterlife as they do.

    At least LDS doctrine provides a way for those who never accepted Christ, through no fault of their own, to have the very same opportunities as everybody else.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    June 21, 2011 10:59 a.m.

    I've never seen a religion spend so much energy worrying about what the media thinks, yet behave in such a way that demonstrates how little they are willing to earn good press.
    To hence: Prop 8 was a media fiasco and the LDS church earned every bit of bad press they got as a result. What did they think was going to happen? 31 or so years prior to the orchestration of prop 8, many were still trying to defend the church's racist policies against black people.
    Winning media approval is easy. You start acting like you care about people with different values. You stop trying to incorporate your religion into secular law. You stop punishing young adults for having wedding ceremonies that include all their loved ones (by not making them wait a year for a sealing afterward) and you, in general, acknowledge that not everybody is going to come around to your belief system either here or in the next life and that's okay.
    But continuing on the course that the church is currently on, they are not going to get a lot of positive media approval any time soon. It's simple choice and consequence.

  • cg1020cg ABERDEEN, WA
    June 21, 2011 11:03 a.m.

    Joeblow,

    while most of your statments are true to a point, I think you fail to understand the LDS church and the teachings.

    Most Christian Churches teach that there is one heaven and one hell. You are either going to one or the other. If you not a follower of Christ then you will go to hell. Now compare this with the LDS church. Yes, we do believe in a hell but the we believe that only few will go to this hell (the same hell that most christians believe in that many will go).

    To recieve the highest reward (kingdom)we must be worthy, for Justice must be meant. However those who have failed or wandered off will still be in his heaven (lower kingdoms) for also his mercy must be meant.

    If anything the LDS church teaches the most pure form of love and forgivness that is the cornerstone of Jesus Christ messege when he came and died and atoned for our sins.

  • friedeggonAZstreets Glendale, AZ
    June 21, 2011 11:13 a.m.

    @moniker lewinsky-What you don't understand is that this church is run by Jesus Christ himself or maybe you do know this, not sure since you did not say.

    Christ was even unpopular in his time. This "advertising" is not to gain popularity. I think you misunderstood the church's intentions. It is to give people the opportunity to learn more if they want to. As for acknowledging that not everyone will come around in this life or the next, we know this, but this does not free us from the responsibility given to us as members or the church, for that matter, to give people the opportunity to listen. They have a God-given right called agency to say "No, I don't want to learn more." Or "Yes, please let me find this out for myself."

  • friedeggonAZstreets Glendale, AZ
    June 21, 2011 11:15 a.m.

    @moniker lewinsky--Part 2...I ran out of room.

    NO pressure at all. No one is forced to go to the websites of the church, talk to a member or even the missionaries. If they come to your door and ask to speak to you, you can turn them away. God gave us all the power to choose for ourselves. We are not the drones people make us out to be or think we want others to be. We just ask for you to find out from us who we are and what we believe in. This is what this campaign is about. I don't think this is too much to ask.

  • sergio Phoenix, AZ
    June 21, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    The nation and the world has more than enough problems for the time being without an additional problem of having a mormon of questinable and controversial qualities in the white house. The nation needs a president that we can believe in, understand and know who and what he/she is. We need someone we can identify with and trust.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 21, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    The Economist piece (and an additional post it links to) are well worth reading.

  • called2serve249 PROVO, UT
    June 21, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    @sergio-That's an unusual sentiment, "The nation and the world has more than enough problems for the time being without an additional problem of having a mormon of questinable and controversial qualities in the white house." You seem to believe that there are politicians out there with such positive qualities that they would do better than Mitt Romney, or any other politician.

    There's a reason Thomas Paine identified Government as "at best, a necessary evil". This nation suffers, not from "having a Mormon in the white house", but having career politicians in the white house. I haven't seen any candidate in the last three decades or so that I would really "identify with and trust". A Mormon career politician is no different.

  • called2serve249 PROVO, UT
    June 21, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    I'm very critical of government, and feel that we've fallen far from the more ideal (not perfect) government established by our founding fathers. I say that, not from the perspective of a Christian, but as a Freemason who shares the same ideals as several of them.

    And lastly, your critical assessment of a man's religion as making him suitable for government is a primary reason the Constitution contains a clause forbidding religious test for office. Thank goodness you didn't write it.

  • Jeff R. Sheridan, WY
    June 21, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    I wonder what people would think about the church if they knew what they did in the temple.....they world may never know!

  • Spikey Layton, UT
    June 21, 2011 12:53 p.m.

    JoeBlow:

    I'm thinking that most religions believe they are "true." If not, why are THEY so concerned about US? If other people don't believe their religion is "true" then why bother? If it "might be true" or it "might not be true"...how does it have the faith to SAVE people?

    While the beliefs of Mormons might be strong, isn't that the kind of faith that really saves? If it really is true, it pushes people to go, and to do. Not to sit there twiddling our thumbs waiting to be "saved."

  • Maryquilter Farmington, UT
    June 21, 2011 12:59 p.m.

    @Jeff R: Can't imagine what you think is happening in our temples that would shock the world. I think the extreme 'right' shoots themselves in the foot by opposing Mormons in the political arena, as most Mormon politicians are fiscally conservative, morally conservative, and stand for most if not all that the political right stands for. That means they oppose them simply because of the church they attend and not their political ideals. Now who is judging people for all the wrong reasons?

  • cg1020cg ABERDEEN, WA
    June 21, 2011 2:15 p.m.

    Jeff R,

    Contact me and I can hook you up with the missionaries. After you are baptized and take some classes then you too can find all about what happens in the temple. Otherwise please make no comments on something you have no clue on. Have a great day

  • ElkBowhunter IDAHO FALLS, ID
    June 21, 2011 2:55 p.m.

    @moniker lewinskyYou, like many others are simply ignorant as to the LDS Churchs stance on Prop 8. The Church has nothing against the gay community having the same rights as all other citizens. The failing of Prop 8 will simply open the door to make it mandatory for LDS Social Services to offer adoption services to everyone, including gay couples in CA. This will not happen. Just as in other States where same-sex marriages are allowed, most LDS adoption services will cease to exist in CA, which is very sad.

    Prop 8 might also open the door to gay couples insisting that their wedding ceremonies be performed within the sanctuary of LDS chapels or templeswhich will also not happen. These are the consequence of a failed Prop 8, which was not the will of the people of Ca.

  • Lilljemalm Gilbert, AZ
    June 21, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    Continuing on Joe Blow's theme:
    What he brings up is actually an evangelical/Baptist doctrine, that only those who believe a certain way are saved and all others damned. The LDS believe that anyone, regardless of religious affiliation, can return to live with God in the hereafter. There are requirements, like the proper babtism, but means are provided so that every one will have the chance to get it. Heaven is not a Mormon only club in that regard.

  • Maryquilter Farmington, UT
    June 21, 2011 5:35 p.m.

    Elk Bowhunter is correct. Utah has never been against civil unions for gays and has supported their rights to things like medical insurance, death benefits, etc. It has only taken a stand on gay marriages for reasons like those stated by Elk Bowhunter. As a mother whose daughter is in the process of adopting her second baby through LDS Social Services, I know how devastating it would be for those services to be closed down for an entire state. I personally have nothing against gays being joined civilly through the state, but I don't think churches should be forced to perform those wedding ceremonies. I have gay friends who are married in every respect except a marriage certificate and as long as all of their civil rights are protected a 'rose by any other name is still a rose'. I also have gay friends who were married legally in CA and are now bitterly divorced; that piece of paper didn't seem to matter.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    June 21, 2011 6:40 p.m.

    "There are requirements, like the proper babtism (sic)"

    Let me re-phrase that for you in terms that EVERYONE can understand.

    There are requirements, like accepting and being baptized into the LDS religion. (while dead or alive)

    So, in reality, it is a "Mormon only club"

    See, That wasn't so hard.

    There are many cases where the LDS side step a question or skirt around the real answer because they know how it will look to others. The ole Milk before Meat mentality.

    Sometimes it borders on deceit. Please, just say what you mean.

    And to a degree, some other religions do teach the you have to be "one of them" to get to Heaven.

    I think they are wrong also. But, that is the nature of religion.
    Everyone wants and claims to be the true one.

    How about this. Be honest. Treat others with respect. Love your neighbor.
    Dont steal or cheat or harm others.

    Follow those rules and maybe, just maybe, your religion doesn't matter one bit.

  • nanniehu Wendover, UT
    June 21, 2011 7:54 p.m.

    @Joeblow - So whose baptism is the right one? We follow Christ, do you? This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As has been said, everyone will have the opportunity to accept or reject true baptism by those in authority.
    @ Jeff R. - I too wonder what you think goes on in temples. My experience has been sweet and truly joyful at having been a part of giving someone who has passed from this life an opportunity to enjoy the same blessings I've had. How could that be so wrong?

  • Jeff R. Sheridan, WY
    June 21, 2011 10:18 p.m.

    I am a member and I have been in the Temple. Only my experiance was not a very good one and it is because I went to the temple, that my faith in the LDS church has been shattered.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    June 21, 2011 10:35 p.m.

    As a Latter-day Saint, I have NEVER had the opportunity to vote for a president according to his religion. Why now?

  • Larry Lawton Wan Chai, Hong Kong
    June 22, 2011 1:27 a.m.

    I do not find the LDS position on church membership markedly different from most other Christian churches. More improtantly, it is what I read in the Holy Bible, "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."

    Though others might find free will overridden here, I do not think that's the meaning -- nor is our consistent teaching that we must be one, or we are not His.

    Sounds like, eventually, we will indeed be one happy family, with "one Lord, one faith, one baptism."

  • speed66 Hever City, UT
    June 22, 2011 8:16 a.m.

    I'm not entirely sure why this thread has turned into a referendum on the various stances of the Mormon church. There is no church that would please everyone. That said, we should rely on facts and there have been several misstatements.

    It was good to hear so many Mormons professing a willingness to offer Civil Unions - Utah still doesn't offer them. As for Prop8, the claim that the church is afraid of being forced to acknowledge gays is nonsensical. No such no such provisions exists. It's a political statement that doesn't match the records obtained in the trial. Claiming that you believe in equal rights except for is not equal. The arguments sound eerily familiar to those made against race discrimination and interracial marriage - another faux pas of the LDS church. To be clear, a church position does not equal the position of it's members.

    Claiming that religion doesn't matter is also a bit silly. How many of you would vote for a well-credentialed atheist? Religion matters whether it should or not.

  • Maryquilter Farmington, UT
    June 22, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    @ Speed66: I have intelligent, hard working, compassionate, politically savy friends who I would vote for in a minute, regardless of the fact that they are atheists. They are better 'Christians' than many church goers I know. I didn't say that religion does not matter with most voters, I think I said that it should not matter. I have seen little proof that our Senators and Congressmen who are supposed to be Christians have an edge on morality or honesty in their lives. I would take an honest, moral atheist over someone like Weiner any day. After all, did not our country's forefathers argue for separation of church and state? Let's carry that over to our voting patterns.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    June 22, 2011 1:39 p.m.

    To my knowledge, no other major "Christian" religion has statements canonized in their sacred scriptures that condemn all other religions.

    But the LDS scriptures have this:

    "...they were ALL wrong; ...ALL their creeds were an abomination in [God's] sight; that those professors were ALL corrupt; that: 'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof'"

    (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History 1:19).

    That is a sweeping indictment and condemnation of all other religions and all other preachers, pastors, teachers, and leaders of all other religions, and it is contained in the official, sacred, canonical "scriptures" of the LDS Church.

    I think that is a BIG difference.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 22, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    "I wonder what people would think about the church if they knew what they did in the temple.....they world may never know! "

    I think your statement makes it quite clear. In the temples they find out how many licks it takes to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 22, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    "The failing of Prop 8 will simply open the door to make it mandatory for LDS Social Services to offer adoption services to everyone, including gay couples in CA. This will not happen."

    It won't happen even if gay marriage is legal, as long as LDS Social Services (I thought it was Family services since I'd been calling it LDSFS... maybe I'm wrong about that) doesn't take gov't money which as far as I know of, they don't. That's why they've had no problems in Mass unlike Catholic Charities.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 22, 2011 1:54 p.m.

    "Prop 8 might also open the door to gay couples insisting that their wedding ceremonies be performed within the sanctuary of LDS chapels or templeswhich will also not happen. "

    It won't happen because that'd be unconstitutional. Think about it, the LDS church can ban any kind of marriage it wants from being performed in the temples right now. You don't see unworthy mormons or people of other religions suing in order to marry in the temple. You know why? The case would be thrown out. Churches can do what they want with their own buildings and gay marriage is not one iota of a threat to that.

  • Maryquilter Farmington, UT
    June 22, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    to A Scientist: It is true that Joseph Smith was told that at the time there were churches who had parts of the original gospel as set out by Christ when He was upon the earth, but they also contained some doctrines that were not completely correct. Joseph was instructed to wait so that with the Book of Mormon and revelation, all doctrines of the original church could be restored. The Mormon church does not condemn all other churches but celebrates the truths they do have and the good they do. We simply believe that the restoration brought a more complete gospel understanding, clarifying some confusing doctrines, especially those set down in the NIcean Creed. The Book of Mormon is a second testament of Jesus Christ and teaches us to love our neighbor not condemn them. Mormons will not be the only ones in Heaven.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    June 22, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    Maryquilter,

    Your claims are not supported by any canonized scripture. Nowhere in the LDS Standard Works is there anything even suggesting that "the Mormon Church does not condemn all other churches but celebrates the truths they do have...". Nowhere.

    By stark contrast, your claims are in direct opposition to the quotes I gave from canonized LDS scripture.

    It is a shame when LDS mis-represent their Church's true doctrine all in the name of popularity, isn't it?

  • MrsDownhomeAmerica Los Angeles, CA
    June 26, 2011 7:40 p.m.

    I don't really care if you think our doctrine is what it should be. Summus quod summus.. . .dealwiddit. We don't believe anything that would disqualify anyone from public office, except that corruption is wrong, and truth and right are worth givning your life for. As for me, I haven't believed in a political candidate since Bobby Kennedy, and I don't think he could get elected now. What I fear is that any candidate that starts out Mormon won't be Mormon enough to matter by the time the whole, sordid election process is done. I don't know if any follower of the ancient Hebrew/Christian ethic (ten commandments) could be elected president without so much compromise it's hardly worth it. It's just embarrassing to see our people lose their principles in public. If I find a candidate I can support, I'll vote for him or her, Mormon or not. And no one needs to think the Republican party owns the Mormons, they don't. Maybe we need a third party for people who are tired of trickle-down economics (I'm pretty tired of being trickled on, aren't you?) and fed up with situational ethics. Cincinnatus, where are you?

  • kenny Sterling Heights, MI
    July 1, 2011 8:33 p.m.

    Any mention of the mormon temple by anyone who knows little to nothing about it is treading on dangerous ground and that is not because I said it. Its because it is true.I hear comments that sound too much like slander.I hope they stop and we raise our level of conversation.