Book of Mormonisms

Did they really say THAT?

Mormons 4th Largest Denomination in U.S.

Posted by skiutah on Monday, August 10, 2009

As reported by National Council of Churches, NCC report, here are the top 4 denominations by membership numbers in the U.S.:
1. Roman Catholic Church, 67,117,06
2. Southern Baptist Convention, 16,266,920
3. United Methodist Church, 7,931,733
4. Mormon, 5,873,408

Compare that to the Pew Forum, reporting affiliation by percentages of adults in the U.S.:
1. Protestant evangelical churches, 26.3%
2. Catholic, 23.9%
3. Protestant mainline, 18.1%
4. No religion, 16.1%
5. Protestant black, 6.9%
6. Jewish, 1.7%
7. Mormon, 1.7%
8. Jehovah’s Witness 0.7%

Another interesting statistic from the Pew Forum Report, it states that only 57% of Mormons believe that the LDS religion is the one true religion. When I used to go to church, it was more like 99% believed that. Did something change?

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36 Responses to “Mormons 4th Largest Denomination in U.S.”

  1. Andrew said

    I think it represents a quiet liberalization within certain theological points. For example, there’s less emphasis on such a far-reaching apostasy…I mean, that doctrine isn’t debunked, but there is more emphasis on ecumenism and trying to reach common ground with other denominations. So, instead of saying, “The Mormon church is right and all others are wrong,” the dialog has become more of something like, “Ah, look at all the places where we have similarities and truth…but the Mormons may have one more that you may like.”

    • coventryrm said

      My impression from the conversations I have had recently with active LDS is that either they are TBM and have learned that telling someone straight up that they think they have the one and only true church is not productive and dance around this issue and soft pedal it just like they do things like polygamy, blacks and the priesthood and many many other questionable issues that they would rather not talk about upfront or with complete honesty or they are more along the lines of a cultural or New Order Mormon and are more honest with non-Mormons but just keep quiet around the TBM’s. When I was active either I was completely unaware of this second type of Mormon or they are a new breed.

      • Andrew said

        Well, firstly, I think that cultural Mormons and NOMs have always been around. It’s just that it’s only been recent that they’ve been audacious enough to think it’s ok to talk like that in church or around others. Normally, I would think NOMs and cultural Mormons would select themselves out of the discussion — by becoming inactive or less active, saying safe things in church, etc.,

        I also think that NOM as a cherished and distinct identity is a new thing — and that in the past (or even now) it would be more likely to see someone who is a kind of buffet mormon but believes he’s not being strange.

        Again, I note that these kinds of doctrines are *never* “denounced” or “rebuked,” that’s not how the church operates. So even pointing out a TBM who finds certain doctrines are “not productive,” and who “dance around” the issue sounds exactly characteristic to me.

      • coventryrm said

        Maybe they have, I maybe a bit older than you so who knows, perhaps as a TBM I just was to TBM to notice. My Sister was of the opinion that NOM’s were just transitional

  2. John said

    The church does not dance around issues. The church teaches that contention is of the devil. A lot of times LDS members are approached about their doctrine by people in a confrontational manner. In an attempt to keep the peace, they water down doctrine in a way that will be more generally accepted.

    In my case, if you have a question, I answer it.

    Since you brought up some topics, i’ll address them.

    Polygamy – Was taught in the LDS Church up until over 100 years ago. It was also taught by the Father of Christianity, Abraham. My question is this, why is polygamy “OK” as long as it was 6 thousand years ago?

    Blacks and the Priesthood – No, “Blacks” weren’t banned from the priesthood. People of the lineage of Ham were banned from the priesthood, which included blacks, whites, browns, and yellows. A black man was an LDS general authority during the time of the ban. My question to you, why are you OK with the ban of the priesthood during biblical times, but not in these days? In the bible, only the people of Levi held the priesthood thus banning the blacks of egypt from holding it. However, that doesn’t seem to come up very much does it?

    Any other questions?

  3. Andrew said

    Gordon B. Hinckley’s “I wouldn’t say that [we believe that]” answer to the question about Mormon belief that God once was a man (and that couplet) sure sounded like dancing around the question.

    The watering down of doctrine to avoid confrontation is exactly what I mean. It’s not a rejection or denunciation of doctrine, but a shelving of it, a putting it aside, so one doesn’t have to confront it. So the church doesn’t have to say things were wrong…but rather, the doctrine can be quietly deemphasized.

  4. John said

    Andrew

    I have no idea of the context of the quote that you just gave us. That being said, your quote has no bearing in the conversation.

    The reason that the church doesn’t say things are wrong, is because they WEREN’T wrong. They weren’t wrong then, they aren’t wrong now.

    However, many people do not like confrontation, so when questioned about a controversial subject, they tend to crumble. Is that what I would do? No. Is it understandable? Yes.

  5. Andrew said

    The context of the quote I gave were from a couple of interviews Gordon B. Hinckley was a part of. One with the San Francisco Chronicle (Musings of the Main Mormon, April 13, 1997), and one with Time (as is written about in their article, Kingdom Come, August 4, 1997).

    This *does* have bearing on the conversation. It is as you say: the church doesn’t repudiate certain doctrines or actions because they do not believe they were wrong. But for the sake of avoiding confrontation, its members, its leaders, its correlation councils (see: new Gospel Principles manual) will shelve the issues. It reduces credibility of the integrity of the leaders, and also implicitly supports dangerous and destructive doctrines (because they aren’t “wrong.”)

  6. John said

    Andrew,

    I do like your points..

    However, from everything that I’ve seen and read, the leaders do not “shelf” any of the commonly talked about issues.

    I agree with you 100% that many members of the church tend to do that.

    Also, I wouldn’t consider any of the commonly argued doctrines to be “dangerous and destructive” I would consider them, “biblical”

  7. Andrew said

    John,

    Adam-God is “biblical”? “As man is, God once was” is biblical? (Note: theosis can be found from early church fathers like Athanasius but this still isn’t biblical) Blood atonement is “biblical”? A heavenly mother is “biblical”?

    These are each just a few issues that the leaders and correlating councils of the church have deemphasized and shelved, whether in the past or recently (please check out any blog that overviews the changes to the latest Gospel Principles manual to see some of the latest de-emphasizing). These are ideas that, at the very least, are not biblical, at a little bit more, are rejected from even being prophecy (e.g., Brigham Young wasn’t speaking as a prophet for this teaching or that), most commonly are denounced (but then again, you note there is no official church denunciation of many of these things because the church doesn’t believe many of them are wrong).

    You’re not that familiar with rather high-publicity interviews General Authorities and Prophets have taken part in (like the Hinckley ones I raised — I remember when those were on TV for a wide audience), so perhaps that’s why you’re not familiar with the leaders shelving issues.

  8. skiutah said

    There’s the interview about polygamy:

    Larry King interviews Gordon B. Hinckley on national television in September of 1998. Larry King asked LDS church president Gordon B. Hinckley if he condemned polygamy.

    Gordon B. Hinckley answered: “I condemn it, yes, as a practice because I think it not doctrinal.”

    Then there’s the Don Lattin interview about the God-Man doctrine:

    Don Lattin interviewing Gordon B. Hinckley, San Francisco Chronicle, April 13, 1997. Lattin: For instance, don’t Mormons believe that God was once a man?

    Gordon B. Hinckley: “I wouldn’t say that. There was a little couplet coined, As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become. Now that’s more of a couplet than anything else. That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don’t know very much about.”

    And there are hundreds of quotes from other LDS prophets that state the opposite views (from above) on either polygamy and/or the God-Man doctrine…

  9. John said

    The polygamy Hinckley was speaking of was about the Fundamentalists that were all up in the news at the time with Warren Jeffs and everything… come on, you knew that.

    Don’t try to deceive on here..

    The whole, “God was once a man” thing, I don’t know much about it. I would welcome the idea to learn more because I don’t believe that it couldn’t be true. Something important to realize about Godhood and religion, is that forever to us is only a reference to our eternal round in its sphere.

    Andrew, it sounds like you know a lot about the Church so its great to talk to you on here. Usually the religion debate against the LDS church is SO elementary that I don’t even have to use my brain to destroy arguments (as I’m sure you know).

    However, Adam-God – Not official Church doctrine. It was an idea of Brigham Young that I do not understand. I’ve questioned it before a lot. We have to understand however that at times Adam is called “Father Adam” He is our father in the sense that he was the first man on earth. Likewise, Heavenly Father (God) is our father because he created our spirit. In a way Young was comparing the two…

    Explain to me your understanding of Blood Atonement.

    Also, Heavenly Mother is not a topic I touch on a whole lot. However, you are not the mocking type by any means, so I will give my thoughts. I do not reject the idea of a Heavenly Mother. I do not know of any official doctrine that she is there, but I wouldn’t doubt that she exists. That would all be tied to the “God was once a man”, eternal marriage, and other doctrines of the type.

    Andrew how are you so familiar with the LDS Church?

    • coventryrm said

      John

      “The polygamy Hinckley was speaking of was about the Fundamentalists that were all up in the news at the time with Warren Jeffs and everything… come on, you knew that.”

      “Don’t try to deceive on here..”

      Refer to my earlier post, is there really a difference between Warren Jeffs polygamy and Joseph and Brigham’s? No deception going on here not sure you could claim the same regarding the whitewash job the LDS church has attempted in regards to their Polygamous past.

      https://coventryrm.wordpress.com/2008/04/09/52-girls-removed-from-flds-compound-in-texas/

      • skiutah said

        For reference, here’s the Gordon B. Hinckley interview with Larry King regarding the Mormon church and polygamy:

        Gordon B. Hinckley is clearly talking about the current Mormon church in regards to polygamy as well as the fundamentalist LDS polygamist churches…

  10. Andrew said

    John: “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become” was a couplet first spoken by Lorenzo Snow in 1840 (although Joseph Smith already had said statements with the same impact earlier). It’s kinda important…seeing as it lays the background for LDS ideas about exaltation and eternal progression (don’t they still teach this in church?!)…are you serious when you say you haven’t heard much about it?

    I mean, if you haven’t, that wouldn’t be surprising, because as I’ve noted, it is being shelved and put aside. Joseph Smith’s King Follett discourse, where he talked about the nature of God and the ability of humans to become like him through exaltation, is still respected and believed by many, but it would not be a lie to say that it too isn’t doctrinal (because it has been shelved too).

    Trust me; I don’t even know *that* much about everything that’s out there, but it’s surprising that something like the progression of God is already so far out of sight/out of mind in church theology…There are other blogs in the bloggernacle with much better historians, theologians, and doctrinal scholars in the church.

    The thing is, with Adam-God and many of these other ideas, we say they were not (and were never) doctrine *now*, but this is exactly the shelving process. We take ideas that were taught as doctrine way back when and then quietly de-emphasize them until we say that they were never doctrine. But where does it end? If we want to keep avoiding contention, won’t we just become like the REST of Protestantism? Additionally, why doesn’t the church come out and say strongly that these things were wrong, rather than just deemphasizing and saying “they were never doctrine” (though they were taught as such for a while)? Because many of these things are shocking for people to find for the first time, and for the general authorities now to be quiet about them, say, “I don’t know that we believe that…” isn’t comforting.

    Blood Atonement, as I understand it, *began* as a theocratic justification for capital punishment — the murderer’s crime fits an execution, so to speak. However, one controversy is not the capital punishment part, but rather statements made that suggest that the blood atonement is necessary because Christ’s atonement actually is not powerful enough to “cover” sins like murder. A second controversy, however, is to what Brigham Young attributed blood atonement would be helpful in meeting the needs for atonement. Over time he expanded it. For example, he also said if a white person married someone from another race and had a child, then blood atonement “would do a great deal towards atoning for the sin.” (You tried to defend the priesthood ban in a previous comment, but I don’t think you quite realize all of the ramifications of it and I think some of your facts need to be checked. Then again, I’m not the scholar on this on. I would look up Margaret Blair Young…she blogs at By Common Consent now and is a professor at BYU…she also directed the presentation “Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons.”)

    As for Heavenly Mother, it’s unlikely in the future you will have to touch on that topic a whole lot anymore. In the latest Gospel Principles manual, nearly all (there’s still one or two references left, I believe) instanced of “Heavenly Parents” have been exchanged simply for “Heavenly Father.” So the new generation growing up in the church won’t need to think about if it takes two to make spiritual children (who are eternal anyway, but oh well.) But the Heavenly Mother has been hinted through historical doctrine repeatedly — because continuing back to God-man theory, the idea was that just as our exaltation and creation of worlds beyond in in the celestial kingdom hinges upon temple marriage, so did God’s.

    I’m familiar with all of this stuff because I was born and raised a member. Remember: many members STILL believe all of these things…the church has only “shelved” some of these. So you can look at any history, and old doctrinal book, any of the prophets or general authorities’ old words, and find this stuff. This is why I find it problematic that the GAs and leaders now are simply shelving these things. If they repudiated and rejected them, that would be one thing. But now, they are just quietly deemphasizing, so that a future generation or new converts don’t learn about it…but when they DO learn about it, what will happen to them?

  11. coventryrm said

    Andrew

    Welcome and thanks for your comments. I enjoyed looking through your blog.

  12. Sharron said

    This is from “Dear Abby” Aug.7th,2009:
    Dear Abby: Our nephew recently asked family members for money to help him go on a mission for his church. Apparently he is supposed to gather 50 sponsors to pay a “tax deductible” $50 to $100 per month for two years (via direct bill or credit card), according to the form from the church.

    We love our nephew and his parents, but we do not share their religious beliefs. And quite frankly, the request has upset more than a few members of the family because the amount requested is obviously not to support the young man. But a way to support the church.

    Help! How do we respond to such a “charitable” request?

    –EMBARRASSED IN ARIZONA

    Her reply was standard, send a polite note wishing him well on his mission and explaining they did not feel comfortable donating.

    Just this week we have been asked for the very same above, plus the Spearfish Indian Nation wanted $100 for the Elders and the children and a grass root effort in D.C wanted another $100 to stop Obamas health care reform. I simply turned the tables and asked them for $100 for the next two years as we are paying for a soldiers college education and that soldier is out there protecting your freedom right now. We have bean and rice dinners (we are Elders, too!)because our food shelf is very bare. To the lady in D.C. I complemented her efforts but informed her I put power to to pen rather money into the “hand of no return”.

    The mormon family probably won’t call anymore. I think the call was to “test the waters” anyway, and I am comfortable saying no.
    It’s a very satisfying feeling, saying no. Sharron-richer in many ways!

  13. John said

    This is a complete lie.

    Let me explain my reasoning.

    1. The church does not accept mission payment (or any other payment for that matter)BY CREDIT CARD or Direct Bill. The only form of payment to the church is check.

    That statement alone discredited the entire post.

    2. The monthly payment for a missionary is $400 in TOTAL. ($9600 for the entire mission)

    Question, why do people lie in an attempt to make the LDS church look bad?

  14. Andrew said

    yeah, that doesn’t even sound like an LDS mission…my cousin (not LDS) wanted to go on a mission trip though, and it sounded more like that than any LDS mission I’ve heard of.

  15. John said

    See, the whole “as man is, God once was” is a doctrine that is spoken of but not in great detail. That is because in our eternal round, it doesn’t play much into us entering into exaltation.

    As far as Adam-God goes, it was never passed as doctrine. it was never taught as doctrine. it was an idea spoken of one time, off the record by Brigham Young. It is a doctrine that has NOT been shelved because it hasn’t been taught.

    Blacks and the priesthood, check me on my facts. They are 100% accurate.

    Heavenly Mother – Spoken of in a couple LDS hymns. Still, I do not doubt the possibility of a heavenly mother.

    The church deemphasizes things that aren’t necessary for salvation. They do not hide them, but they don’t waste time on deep doctrine. They focus on basic principles because in general, those concepts aren’t completely understood, why would they move on to deeper subjects? That would be like going to first grade and jumping to college. There are steps of learning in religion just like academics that need to be followed for things to make sense.

    That is why mainstream Christianity doesn’t understand a single word that the bible says. They try to delve into the book of Revelation and they don’t even understand Christ yet.

    • SkiUtah said

      John’s statement that ““Blacks” weren’t banned from the priesthood” is different from what LDS prophets and leaders have taught. There are hundreds of quotes on this topic, here are just a few:

      Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, vol. 2, p. 185: “If a Negro desires to join the Church, we will give him all the encouragement that we can, but we cannot promise him that he will receive the priesthood.”

      Improvement Era, 1924: “It is true that the negro race is barred from holding the Priesthood, and this has always been the case. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught this doctrine…”

      Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 492: “The question of extending the blessings of the priesthood to blacks had been on the minds of the Brethren over a period of years…”

      Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 237: “A special problem exists with respects to blacks because they may not now receive the priesthood.”

      Brigham Young, JD 2:184, “The blacks should be used like servants…though they are not entitled to the priesthood.”

    • coventryrm said

      John

      “See, the whole “as man is, God once was” is a doctrine that is spoken of but not in great detail. That is because in our eternal round, it doesn’t play much into us entering into exaltation.

      In the Journal of Discourses Volume 6 Joseph Smith delivers a sermon it is quite lengthy but I would suggest you read it. Joseph Smith seemed to think it was quite important that we knew that God was once a Man.

      “These are incomprehensible ideas to some; but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us;”

  16. coventryrm said

    J of D Volume 6 p3 “King Follet Sermon”
    A Discourse, by President Joseph Smith, delivered at the Conference held near the Temple, in J of D Volume 6 p3 “King Follet Sermon”
    A Discourse, by President Joseph Smith, delivered at the Conference held near the Temple, in Nauvoo, April 6, 1844.

    “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted Man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens.”

    “That would be like going to first grade and jumping to college. There are steps of learning in religion just like academics that need to be followed for things to make sense.”

    This is just rhetorical garbage in an earlier post you made the arrogant statement “Usually the religion debate against the LDS church is SO elementary that I don’t even have to use my brain to destroy arguments (as I’m sure you know).” But yet for the most part all you do is repeat the LDS Rhetoric we have all heard over and over. Maybe you should use your brain; I have yet to seen you destroy an argument but just quote the same old tired reasoning.

    • John said

      How is anything I’ve said Rhetoric? The reason that you haven’t seen me destroy an argument is because you haven’t presented me with one to destroy.

      Until you can come up with something to discuss, you have nothing to say.

      The only one who knows religion here is Andrew which is why I like responding to him.

      All Coventryrm does is lie in his posts. You are a liar. You lied about the missionaries in Colorado which is the only thing that even brought me to this site. You are a liar. Liars burn…

      • coventryrm said

        John

        Yes, you have accused me of that before, but the fact is as I pointed out, I post links and quotes and have shared my personal experiences or opinions. Never have I lied nor do I lie on my posts, period, so give that one a rest.

  17. John said

    Really SkiUtah?

    Maybe you should have studied more.

    his name was Elijah Abel. How do you like that for evidence?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elijah_Abel

  18. Andrew said

    John, this is one place where I was questioning your facts.

    Elijah Abel was not ordained during the priesthood ban. Remember: the priesthood ban was not in place since the beginning of the church (as you might have learned), but was first implemented by Brigham Young. Elijah Abel was ordained an elder by Joseph Smith and was set apart as Area Seventy (note: area seventies; that’s third and on, are not general authorities) later on. Note that when Brigham Young was prophet, he denied Abel his endowment and sealing. This persisted throughout John Taylor’s church presidency, although Taylor still kept him in the 3rd Seventy and even allowed him to go on a third mission.

    This actually raises more into question the black priesthood ban. Why was it in place for so long when apparently Joseph Smith never thought it was appropriate? (and in fact, outside of Brighamite sects of the church, there has never been a formalized priesthood ban. Only the main church [which is the Brighamite sect] and its polygamist splinter groups [who broke off because the main church banned polygamy] feature this unique ban that can quite cleanly be attributed to Brigham Young’s prejudices.) It seems indefensible, and yet leaders nowadays will not flatly call it only BY’s folly or BY’s error.

  19. John said

    No no. I know that it was not in effect since the beginning of the church. Fact is, Elijah Abel was a general authority during the time of the priesthood ban. He was in the third quorum of the seventy.

    Also, the main church and the break off sects always do different things. Including the priesthood ban. I fail to see your point on this one. One thing I personally find interesting is that while people of Hamitic descent couldn’t hold the priesthood in the LDS church, people get mad calling the church racist. They fail to recognize that the leaders of their own church were stoning blacks at the same time… just some food for thought.

  20. Andrew said

    But he wasn’t a general authority. Third quorum of the seventy isn’t general authority. Secondly, he was still denied his endowments.

    My point with the main church and break off sects is this. So, Joseph Smith did not have a priesthood ban. In the succession crisis (where Brigham Young “won” as successor to the main church), the other churches did not have a priesthood ban. Only Brigham Young introduced it. When polygamy was ban, churches that splintered from the Brighamite church maintained polygamy as well as the priesthood ban. So, they are a particular “snapshot” of the earlier brighamite church.

    Now, you raise a point that the LDS church wasn’t the only one with racist doctrines…however, most other denominations have repudiated old doctrines relating black people to having the “curse of Cain” or being “of Ham.” However, since the LDS church has never repudiated, but merely shelved, there are still members who harbor such ideas as blacks are Hamitic, or blacks were less valiant in the premortal existence, etc.,

  21. John said

    In his day there weren’t 8 quorums. In the day, he was a General Authority.

    Also, many blacks are Hamitic… Nextly the church never taught that blacks were less valiant. That doesn’t mean to post quotes of apostles saying things that may point in that direction, because the fact of the matter is doctrine and thought are two different things.

    As far as the break offs. Our claim to revelation does not extend to all of the break off sects of the church. The priesthood ban was a revelation, therefore it makes sense that the break offs do not do the same things as the main church.

  22. Andrew said

    No, in his day, he was a Nauvoo Seventy. By 1845, Joseph Smith had already established at least 10 quorums of seventy. History shows that even through John Taylor, the purpose of the seventy were closer to area purposes. Our idea of “general” Seventy (the first and second quorums) didn’t even formally begin until 1975 with President Kimball. The “stake” quorums of Seventy weren’t “abolished” until 1986.

    Again, that you still cling to the black-Hamitic concept is indicative of what I’m saying. It simply represents that nowadays, because of doctrinal shelving, members simply pick and choose which folk or past doctrines they will accept vs. which they will not. So, you in particular do not accept the past words of Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie about black valiance in the church, but you do accept ideas of Hamitic blacks (which actually comes from other denominations and was imported culturally into the church).

    My point isn’t to say that one should be considered doctrine and the other shouldn’t. Rather, that both of these positions (and many others) have similar historical validity, looking at what various authorities said. So, while you are free to pick and choose which ones you will find to be personally persuasive, it just represents a personal action that you’re taking, and not a more correct view of history.

    To continue to hold the priesthood ban as revelation (when modern prophets now claim that it was more policy than anything) still opens wounds and raises question on how inspired the various leaders are. At least if we attribute the priesthood ban to personal racism (or even societal racism), then that sidesteps the question, but still the question remains of when a Prophet is a prophet and when a prophet is a man.

  23. John said

    I think you understand the answers to your own questions.

    Your religious thought process is very similar to mine.

    What needs to happen is you must recognize that Bruce McConkie did NOT speak for the church when speaking on black valiance. Not only that, but the LDS church DID renounce his statements and made him release a statement stating that it was not church doctrine.

    i’ve always had somewhat of a bone to pick with McConkie as it is. Do I think it was right to name a book “Mormon Doctrine” that wasn’t really doctrine? NO! I do not have a clue why he did that. However, the LDS church didn’t make the statement so you should really quit pretending like it was taught and later on shelved. You and I both know that is not the case…

  24. Andrew said

    The thing is…through this and other examples, we get this nasty precedent where conceivably, no one speaks for the church. Not even Prophets of the church. Now, it would be fine if we had a reliable mechanism to discover when people did or did not speak for the church…but we don’t even have that. So we have several statements, spoken by people very high up in the church, that were spoken in the context that they believed they were speaking for the church, but decades later, the modern church and apologists and other groups simply say, “No, they weren’t speaking for the church.”

    You’re right in that the church got McConkie (and so after the priesthood ban was taken down, he wrote a talk pointing out, “Forget everything I have said; forget everything we have said; in the past, I spoke with limited understanding.”) But we don’t have that for all of the numerous folk doctrines and past doctrines out there. Not only this, but this leaves us with an awkward predicament for any General Authority — how can we be certain for any particular doctrine that the GA doesn’t speak with limited understanding at that point in time?

    Basically, in the end, what you (and in many ways, the church) is asking people to do is to divorce the General Authorities and Prophets from the church. That way, you can safely say, “Well, this isn’t what the church said; this is just what some guy who just happened to be high up said,” when it comes to troubling or questionable doctrine, but when it comes to doctrine that you agree with, you can say, “This is inspired; this is what the church teaches.” This seems duplicitous.

  25. coventryrm said

    John

    The Missionaries mocking post, apparently something in that post or link struck a chord with you. It somehow made me a liar in your eyes. The reason I even mention this again is to show how you spin and deflect the real issues being discussed and create a “red herring” and somehow think you have proven a point or discredited something

    Going back to the Missionaries mocking post, I linked an article regarding an incident in Colorado, I wasn’t there I didn’t make any claims of that sort, I simply posted the article. I also posted a link to a missionary imitating a southern preacher –

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=P1UrS0U9dUw,

    somehow I was under the impression that this happened at a zone conference, the link is no longer active so I can’t be sure as to was it was labeled that way or I assumed it was based on what it looked like to me. It may have just been a talent show or Missionaries just having fun in the cultural hall, it really doesn’t matter in the context of my post.

    I made the following observation in regards to the news story regarding the missionaries in CO.

    “I post this as I find it interesting that the Church is mainly apologizing for “damage to property” in this article. I can tell you from my experience as a missionary in England where there was plenty of Church of England and Catholic landmarks that it was more common for missionaries to make fun of and mock than to visit with reverence and appreciation. You mainly have 19 to 21 year old boys forming basically a fraternity based on the thought that they are fighting a war against evil and Satan to save souls by bringing them into the LDS faith. I know the Church will most likely take the position that this is the exception and not the rule, I would be willing to wager that if you were to go through most missionaries photo journals finding pictures like these would be a regular occurrence.”

    I then posted the Utube link and made the following comment (Remember two separate links)

    “This is at a ZONE conference – I would say mocking other religions is the norm not the exception!”

    I stand by my personal experiences as both a missionary and very active member of the LDS church for over 30 years that mocking and making fun of others beliefs is common place among members.

    You and Andrew are discussing the priesthood issue, you have thrown in the example of Elijah Abel, and now the two of you have even debated if he was or was not a GA. Andrew did bring it back to the real issue at hand, it was practiced it was doctrinal the Church has not renounced it; just basically claim they don’t understand it and using the good ole “God Made me do it” excuse.

    You can throw in all the side issues that really have no bearing on the context of the discussion and deflect all you want but the point is still just as valid.

    My favorite defense that LDS use in regards to the priesthood ban is well it was common place at the time among other religions as well or as you put it

    “They fail to recognize that the leaders of their own church were stoning blacks at the same time… just some food for thought.”

    And that brings me to my question. The LDS Church seems to stay consistently in line with Fundamentalist Christianity in my opinion even more so when it comes to issue such as the priesthood band and homosexuality etc… I believe it is social conscience not religion that brings us to such enlightened realization slavery or denying a race or group of people the same rights as others is wrong . So my question is this — if in fact the LDS Church is the one Church with a Prophet that holds the keys to truly talk to God and receive revelation why are they one of the last organizations to come to such enlightenment?

  26. skiutah said

    The LDS Leaders are consistently inspired about 30 years later than the rest of society with social advances such as racial equality, gender equality, homosexual equality, and so on. Maybe God is in some sort of hibernating state, and only wakes up every few decades to prod the Mormon leaders in the right direction?

    The Internet Mormons and New Order Mormon sects seem to be coming to grips with these issues.

    However, the enlightened Orthodox Mormons continue to ignore, disavow, or concoct unbelievable explanations for a vast range of topics such polygamy, racial inequality, the Book of Abraham, DNA showing native Americans are from Asia, polyandry, Cockatrice, gender inequality, Zelph, homosexual inequality, Kolob, 14 year old brides, Garden of Eden in Missouri, Glenn Beck, God physically impregnating Mary, and on and on.

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