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Mormon AMA/Discussion

Emma

Eye See You
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(#mini-modding) This is a thread for Mormon discussion, yes, but you guys could be a little more respectful to someone who has a strong faith in this than "Mormonism sucks, their all idiots". Express your opinions, but do it tactfully please. ;)

As for me, I have no questions about Mormonism. All I have to say is I agree with Sir Q in that all the Mormons I've met have been very hospitable and friendly, and they have a very strong faith. =)
No one actually said anything like that. Assuming that intent is only liable to cause the person assuming it to preemptively treat people as if they are doing that, and then provoking a likewise response. So.... don't automatically assume hostility just because someone does not agree with your views. Assume good faith, try not to jump to conclusion that the other side is out to get you. That is almost always not the case. And when it is, it's never hard to pick out because then it's blatantly obvious. And no "I do not agree with you" does not equal " you're stupid". So, try not to be so defensive and putting words into people's mouths.
 

The Joker

<span style="text-shadow:2px 2px 4px Purpl
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Ok lazarusryu you should probably check your sources because I don't believe those are official Mormon doctrine. Also, I can't believe how incredibly disrespectful you're being, based off of some video made by baptists with the intent of turning people against the church. Those were made as

Propaganda against the church. I've been in the church my whole life and not ONCE have I heard most of those things. A lot of people dislike the church and want to harm it, so they create fake quotes, books, or anything to make people believe false about the church. So check your sources then come back with crap about the church that is true. We very strongly believe in equality and not racism. There are many black members of the church. And also, the church hasn't practiced polygamy in years so don't even.
Sorry guy, those are from legitamate sources. I also find it amazing that you guys follow a religion that was created by a racist con man who lost power when he tried to pick up his follower's wifes. What makes him a mardyr?
 
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Raindrop14

Soldier for Christ!
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Location
E-Arth
No one actually said anything like that. Assuming that intent is only liable to cause the person assuming it to preemptively treat people as if they are doing that, and then provoking a likewise response. So.... don't automatically assume hostility just because someone does not agree with your views. Assume good faith, try not to jump to conclusion that the other side is out to get you. That is almost always not the case. And when it is, it's never hard to pick out because then it's blatantly obvious. And no "I do not agree with you" does not equal " you're stupid". So, try not to be so defensive and putting words into people's mouths.
Sorry, I didn't mean to do that, but it still didn't seem like friendly conversation. I'm not Mormon, by the way, I'm Catholic, I just want to make sure things go civilly in discussions. Sometimes when you insult a religion it insults the person too (same goes for insulting non-religious beliefs, it insults the people sometimes). Anyway, sorry for taking it too far, I didn't mean to put words into people's mouths.
 

27ジョーカーソン

LOVE AND PEACE
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Location
The world
Sorry guy, those are from legitamate sources. I also find it amazing that you guys follow a religion that was created by a racist con man who lost power when he tried to pick up his follower's wifes. What makes him a mardyr?
Ok, let's take this one step at a time. First of all, whatever resource said they were treasure hunters was not official church sources. They were simple farmers, barely scraping by, since they were a big family with so little money.

Next, the church does not practice polygamy and has not for nearly 200 years. That was a very short period of time after which God told them to stop it, as the only purpose was to enlarge the church for a short period of time. We are actually very much against it and do NOT believe God had more than one wife.

Next, Joseph Smith was not a Con-man, as he took almost non of the money given to him for himself, but used it to build the church.

Now to the topic of racism. All of those quotes were OPINIONS of church leaders from LONG ago, when this was the opinion of most of the world at this time, not official doctrine. They even later apologised for these comments in front of the whole church. If you had read the verses around that one in Moses, you would see it explained more. Also, this is from the Book of Mormon, explaining more:
33 For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile. (2 Nephi 26:33)
I hope that helps. Believe me the Church itself is not, and never has been racist, just some of the leaders have been. America has had bad leaders. Does that make it a terrible country? The LDS church believes in equality for all people, no matter their race.

As for the quote from Joseph Smith, he was often harassed and attacked by groups of people, I'm sure he often said things out of anger that he didn't really mean. Everyone has done that. No one is perfect. Also he went to jail over false accusations, which was later proven. A lot of people hated him. I mean, they killed him

I truly believe that Joseph Smith brought, through God's guidance, the complete and true church to the earth. He has brought truth, peace and joy to countless lives, and he died fighting for what he knew was true. THAT is how he is a martyr, which is, by definition: "Someone who died for or because of religious or other moral beliefs"

I hope I've answered all your questions. And don't argue with me, because I know my crap.
 

The Joker

<span style="text-shadow:2px 2px 4px Purpl
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Ok, let's take this one step at a time. First of all, whatever resource said they were treasure hunters was not official church sources. They were simple farmers, barely scraping by, since they were a big family with so little money..
Actually, it's quite well known even by the higher ups of your religion; as described in this article:

http://mormonmatters.org/2009/10/10/joseph-smith-treasure-seeker-or-prophet/

I can already tell that you know little to nothing about Mormonism but I will continue just for kicks.

Next, the church does not practice polygamy and has not for nearly 200 years. That was a very short period of time after which God told them to stop it, as the only purpose was to enlarge the church for a short period of time. We are actually very much against it and do NOT believe God had more than one wife. .
Oh. So it was only for as long as Smith or other members wanted more than one lover until they realized how twisted their method was. How does this excuse Smith's actions of trying to steal his partner's wives?

Next, Joseph Smith was not a Con-man, as he took almost non of the money given to him for himself, but used it to build the church..
By my understanding, he built the church to control people and pick up chicks. Tells me that he got what he wanted. At least before he got himself killed.

Now to the topic of racism. All of those quotes were OPINIONS of church leaders from LONG ago, when this was the opinion of most of the world at this time, not official doctrine.
I'm sorry that you failed to fully read or possibly lack comprehension as you read my post. I linked scripture that's pretty racist:

"And Enoch also beheld ...the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it were the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not a place among them."

- Moses 7:22

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be" (ibid., 10:110)


For more: http://crcmin.org/article_pages/racism_in_mormon_scriptures.html

A good lesson here is that you really need to read your bible or start paying attention in your church.

They even later apologised for these comments in front of the whole church. If you had read the verses around that one in Moses, you would see it explained more. Also, this is from the Book of Mormon, explaining more:
33 For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile. (2 Nephi 26:33)
Hey! You just accidentally found a contradiction in your own bible. Yeah, there's lots of contradictions in the scriptures of all religious texts. I would have been more impressed if you had pulled that from the book of moses but as it stands, I find your argument rather lazy since it relies on a whole other book.

I hope that helps. Believe me the Church itself is not, and never has been racist, just some of the leaders have been. .
I think you fail to understand the word never as you're not making much since with that sentence; given the leaders and your bible; plus Joseph Smith's racism.

America has had bad leaders. Does that make it a terrible country? .
Nice random shot at my country.


As for the quote from Joseph Smith, he was often harassed and attacked by groups of people, I'm sure he often said things out of anger that he didn't really mean. Everyone has done that. No one is perfect. Also he went to jail over false accusations, which was later proven. A lot of people hated him. I mean, they killed him.
Outside of church sources, how was Smith proven innocent?


I truly believe that Joseph Smith brought, through God's guidance, the complete and true church to the earth. .
There are plenty of kids that truly believe in Santa Clause too, that doesn't make him any real.

He has brought truth, peace and joy to countless lives, and he died fighting for what he knew was true.
THAT is how he is a martyr, which is, by definition: "Someone who died for or because of religious or other moral beliefs" .
And what do you call "Someone who had died for an elaborate con for lust"? A creep. Joseph Smith was a creep and in my opinion, he deserved worse than what he got.

I hope I've answered all your questions. And don't argue with me, because I know my crap.
I believe I just proved you need to read your bible more and pay more attention in church. Remove your rose-tinted goggles and use that organ behind your eyes.
 

43ForceGems

Quid est veritas, Claudia
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Nice random shot at my country.
Actually he wasn't insulting America at all. He was defending it if anything. Because you're saying Mormonism is terrible because it's had terrible leaders, and he's saying is America terrible because it's had terrible leaders... And the answer is no
 

onebizarrekai

gay energy
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Regardless of what you might think of us Mormons…

remember that times have changed, and your 'sources' may not be accurate. You can't really judge a church for being racist or whatever else if you haven't even heard of what we really do believe. I've never even heard of any of your sources. Where are you getting our doctrine from? Clearly, you're not getting them from the website, otherwise your views would probably be much different. "lds.org"

All of these misconceptions of our religion have been explained so many times, but there are always those people…

(sigh)
 

Ganondork

you touch her butt and she moves away
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
your 'sources' may not be accurate.
John L. Brooke, one of the authors of a book cited by The Joker, is UPenn and Cornell educated and has a PhD. He's a reputable source, there's no two ways about it. Michael D. Quinn, another author cited, is from Yale, and specializes in the history of the Mormon church. He's easily one of the best resources you can have from an objective standpoint. I can keep going, as The Joker's sources are clearly accurate, and from reputable people. Saying they, "May not be accurate," doesn't really mean anything. Research the sources and find out for yourself.

I've never even heard of any of your sources
That's entirely irrelevant. I had never heard of Abdul Rahman Azzam until a few weeks ago, and his book, "Saladin," is the crux of a paper I'm writing on Islam. You're not going to know every single person that specializes in LDS history, because there are simply too many. And what does never hearing about them have to do with anything? Plenty of influential authors and people are only well-known within their field, while the general public have no idea who they are. That's just how it is.

Clearly, you're not getting them from the website, otherwise your views would probably be much different. "lds.org"
The official website is biased. I can go over to the Scientology website right now, and they can talk about how amazing the religion is, and all the good it does in the world. And yet it's nothing more than a pyramid scheme. Third parties are essential to dissecting a religion, as proponents are biased in favor, and critics are biased against. The middleman that views both sides is the only truly reputable source. While I don't feel The Joker is neutral on the subject, I feel his sources are. The Mormon site is not.
 

onebizarrekai

gay energy
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Well sure, okay then.

But you can't hate on us for what you believe our history is, when you know nothing about what we actually believe today.

Go ahead. I don't care that you keep going on about how 'wrong' we are. It's not gonna do a thing.

I'm not trying to be offensive here; not in the slightest. In fact, I'm trying to cool this down and be patient. But you have to remember that you're talking to real life people who believe the things your hating on, so I think that if anyone's being offensive here, I think it's you.

We believe different things, but we're all human beings here.
 

Batman

Not all those who wander are lost...
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Go ahead. I don't care that you keep going on about how 'wrong' we are. It's not gonna do a thing.
The more people in the world that understand the nonsense and lies behind Mormonism, the fewer Mormons there will be and the less credibility the religion will have. Mormons are defecting from the Church in droves and the rates of deconversion are only going up as time passes. Missions are failing to convert like they used to as well. So I daresay opposition to Mormonism is definitely "doing a thing".

I'm not trying to be offensive here; not in the slightest. In fact, I'm trying to cool this down and be patient. But you have to remember that you're talking to real life people who believe the things your hating on, so I think that if anyone's being offensive here, I think it's you.
Often when discussing and debating matters of philosophy and religion, offending and taking offense is just an inevitable consequence. Nevertheless, the truth is not dependent on the offense taken or avoided in such conversations. Scientologists find it offensive when I denounce their Ponzi schemes, but that doesn't mean that my criticisms of Scientology are not legitimate. I get offended all the time by the opinions of others, but that doesn't mean that their criticisms have no value just because they offend me.

We believe different things, but we're all human beings here.
Definitely. People who consider themselves members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are by all accounts human beings who deserve to be treated like human beings without exception. Nevertheless, human beings, good and bad and in between, can believe in all sorts of nonsense that has no grounding in reality and can even be harmful. And people are going to point it out.
 

27ジョーカーソン

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Ah man i thought this discussion ended long ago...
But i can't just stand by and have my religion attacked so here i am.
Anyway i hope you realise it's not your duty to convince people they're idiots following the wrong faith. If we believe something why can't you just let us believe it? Why is it that you feel the need to oppose it? If you disagree with our beliefs you can say you disagree, but you don't have to try to "deconvert" people. I'm not trying to convince you it is all perfect and factual, that's just what i believe. You don't have to bash my beliefs. Honestly it's really quite rude. I've never heard of any Mormon telling someone they're an idiot because of their beliefs, or saying their beliefs are complete nonsense. The church actually counsels against any of that sort of thing. Sure we try to convert people and bring them in, but that's because a lot of people get happiness from being in the church, and we want other people to be happy too. Honestly of all the religions, why do you have to hate on Mormons so much? We're not the most ridiculous or anything. And it kinda annoys me when we're compared to scientology, because we're really nothing alike. In closing, I mean no offence to you or any of your beliefs. You can believe what you want. So please let us do the same without being bashed about it.
 

Batman

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27Hooray said:
Anyway i hope you realise it's not your duty to convince people they're idiots following the wrong faith.
It is my duty as someone interested in philosophy to scrutinize and speak out against philosophical ideas that I find to be wrong. However, I never said that Mormons are idiots and my ever doing so would be inappropriate and baseless. There are incredibly smart, dumb, and average people following all sorts of religions and no religion.

If we believe something why can't you just let us believe it? Why is it that you feel the need to oppose it? If you disagree with our beliefs you can say you disagree, but you don't have to try to "deconvert" people. I'm not trying to convince you it is all perfect and factual, that's just what i believe. You don't have to bash my beliefs. Honestly it's really quite rude.
I am letting you believe whatever you want to believe. And even if I was some psychopath who wanted to control what people believed, I have (nor should I have any) no power to do so. By all means, believe anything in the world you want to believe and I personally have no problem with it whatsoever, except on purely intellectual grounds, which is rather trivial. I am not trying to deconvert people; I'm just pleased when rational dialog helps people deconvert themselves. If personal beliefs inspire objectively immoral actions, then I have a real problem with those actions, but otherwise, I am fully for people believing whatever truths or nonsense as long as they keep me and the government out of it. That said, as someone interested in pondering, questioning, promoting, and debating philosophy, I am going to criticize philosophical beliefs that I find to be untrue. There's nothing rude about criticizing capitalism or communism; there's nothing rude about criticizing the existence of ghosts; there's nothing rude about criticizing truth claims made by theistic traditions. Someone taking offense does not by default lead to the offender being rude.

Sure we try to convert people and bring them in, but that's because a lot of people get happiness from being in the church, and we want other people to be happy too.
You are telling people that their preconceived ideas about religion are flat wrong and that your philosophical ideas are superior and true. I fail to see how that is somehow a good thing until I do it. Like the LDS, I want to give people happiness by allowing them to realize superior philosophies, and I enjoy letting people know that it's okay to leave the (what I consider) shackles of their faith behind if they would like to. One difference between the LDS and me however, is that I don't proclaim that if someone doesn't subscribe to my ideas that they are destined for eternal suffering or are somehow less of a human being in the grand scheme of things.

Honestly of all the religions, why do you have to hate on Mormons so much?
Mormonism and Scientology are recent religions, so their absurdities are more visible to our society. Older religions have been ingrained in the cultural superstructure for thousands of years, so their absurdities have had time to acclimate.
 
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Dio

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I don't like organised religion to begin with. People should come to their own conclusions rather than having to be part of a group or cult. Mainstream religions such as Islam, Hinduism or Christianity are ancient religions which are very much ingrained in our histories and have contributed allot to cultures across the world.
I particularly have a dislike of new religions such as Mormonism, due to the fact that it is much easier to disprove their beliefs as lies and mumbo jumbo, and yet for some reason certain people still subscribe to that kind of thing. It amazes me that some people can deny all the evidence against what they believe and accept the teachings of a charlatan who started a cult for making him money and gaining power over those he manipulated.
 

Ganondork

you touch her butt and she moves away
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I don't like organised religion to begin with. People should come to their own conclusions rather than having to be part of a group or cult
I'd like to point something out here. In many religions, it's entirely possible to come to your own conclusions in a lot of religions and philosophy. It's a very Western idea that you can only practice a single religion, and that religion only. In Eastern religion, we see how differing ideas can come together and form new religions. Aryan religion and indigenous Indian religion meshed to create Hinduism thousands of years ago. A more contemporary religion, Sikhism, was the mixing of Islam and Hinduism. Think about this. Islam, a religion nowadays that has extremist followers that say it's impossible to coexist with non-Muslims, was able to come together with Hinduism - Islam's polar opposite - and form a new religion.

I can discuss many religions - Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Shinto, etc. - and how they are all able to come together and share new ideas. I'm going to assess another religion that is marked on this site as one of intolerance and hatred. Christianity. Christianity can be incredibly rigid, yes, however that's entirely up to the follower. Christianity as a whole has many influences. Did you know that there was a sect of Christianity in the first century that actually worshiped a Persian god?* We see the Eastern Orthodox Church have very clear Greek influences, as well. How strange that a polytheistic group could mesh so well with a religion that is very clear in its monotheism.

Below in the spoiler tabs is an excerpt from the book, The Templars and Assassins: The Militia of Heaven by James Wasserman, which is the source for most of my information.

Early Christianity was also open to influence from other faiths. For example, Greek philosophy introduced numerous doctrinal variations to Christianity that would also bear fruit as future heresies. And Gnosticism easily adapted Christian language into its rich mix of Greek and Oriental thought. In the second century, Gnostic Christian philosophers such as Basilides (who conceived the Gnostic formula of the Supreme Deity known as Abraxas), Valentinus, and Bardesanes taught emanationist doctrines that placed the Christ figure within a recognizable pattern of cosmic spiritual hierarchies.

One of the greatest challenges to the new faith arose in 242, when the Persian mystic Mani of Ctesiphon proclaimed himself messiah. He divided the world into good and evil, darkness and light. He identified the earth as the kingdom of darkness under the reign of Satan. The only hope for man lay in intense ascetic practices by which he could remove the shackles of the dark force from his soul and rise to the kingdom of light. After thirty years of preaching, Mani was crucified and his body stuffed with straw by the Persian authorities on the recommendation of Magian religious leaders. His martyrdom fueled the spread of Manichaeism.

This showed how different early Christianity was, as well as the different ways of looking at the holy texts. Intense ascetism is a trait of religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The idea of a black-and-white concept of good and evil, light and darkness is very Zoroastrian in belief. But I digress.

Now, I fundamentally disagree with only exposing yourself to what a religious leader says. It's their job to interpret texts and teach you, but they are not the end-all be-all. It's up to the individual to figure things out in solitary readings of holy texts, as well as the philosophy attached. If you do that, you'll find just how compatible religions can be with one another.

Mainstream religions such as Islam, Hinduism or Christianity are ancient religions which are very much ingrained in our histories and have contributed allot to cultures across the world.
Mainstream religions are also ingrained within our society. The caste system is entirely based on Hinduism. Much of America's morals can be traced to Puritanical origins. We see countries like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc. actually put in place the interpretations of Muslim law (Shari'a). Before you say how horrible Shari'a Law is (by the way, it truly is), do keep in mind that these interpretations were done by radicals that don't represent Muslims as a whole. Shari'a law in the past - I'm talking 9th, 10th, 11th centuries - has been much more moderate, even liberal for the time.*

It amazes me that some people can deny all the evidence against what they believe and accept the teachings of a charlatan who started a cult for making him money and gaining power over those he manipulated.
I'd like to point out that Christianity began as a cult. Some early practices were even very cult-like. I already mentioned it a little earlier on, but I'm going to give you some more from the same section of the book.

The early years of Christianity were a period of chaotic, experimental, and anarchistic religious creativity. By 384, eighty separate Christian sects could be found in the Roman Empire. Certain heresies developed at this time that will figure largely in the Templar history. Among these was the agape, or love feast. Greek and Roman Christians would gather for the Sabbath sacramental dinner in which wine and bread would be blessed as the blood and body of Christ. Then the "kiss of love" would be exchanged among the faithful. Contemporary historians complained that these gatherings frequently degenerated into orgies. By the third century the agape had disappeared from mainstream Christianity.

I'm going to go ahead and just copy and paste the important parts of my World Religions classes' notes on cults:

  • Usually begun by a single person, and disappears with their death
  • Can be sniffed out in modern society because they are not exempt from having to pay taxes
  • Most religions begin as cults (See: Christianity)

I'm just going to stop typing because I feel like part of the meaning was lost some time ago, but I think this provides some interesting insight on the fine line between cult and religion, and how a cult can become one of the largest religions in the world.

* The Templars and Assassins: The Militia of Heaven by James Wasserman
 

NoRush

Soldier, Royal Family
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Location
Indiana
I have 2 points.

My first is a concern of mine. Mormonism is a level-based cult (to you a religion). The more "inside" you are, the more information you are privy to.
Why are you sharing Mormon information with us when it is against your religions policy to do so?
Unless, the info. is so basic it's okay to reveal what you have revealed?

Second, this is exactly how all cults begin: by starting from a general or unclear statement and moving to the graphic or specific.
You must start with passages and ideas that are graphic, clear, and concise and THEN try to prove whatever it may be.
This is why so many people claim to be able to prove anything with the Bible. They make the great mistake of taking a general idea
and then using specific texts to support it. It's the other way around (we must use specific texts in order to measure other
arguments against that.)

This is exactly why Jews don't believe in Jesus, also.
 

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