Mormonismgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
Dear Sir, I keep getting visited by members of the Mormon Church. I wanted to ask what the Vatican and the Pope's point of view is towards this religious practice. I have read and studied them a little bit and a lot of what I see and read and hear is pretty negative feedback. your response would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.
Respectfully, David M. Brown
-- David M. Brown (email@example.com), October 05, 1999
As a Catholic I have read not indepth but to great degree this what I term " cult. " The genesis by Mr. Smith sounds like a movie script much ike the preset day Moonies somewhat. The Golden Tablets I find hard to accept along with the migration of a lost tribe to NOrth America.
They are to me a full parody of Chrsitianity and I have to question a " church " that does not celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. They as a whole are good living people I have found although there is great deal of predjudice from them to us.
I experinced this once during a vist to Utah and while asking for directions from a State Trooper in my looking for the Cistercian Monestary outside of Salt Lake City. I was left with a feeling not being wanted in the State of Utah.
Also having attended a number of services I have found them to have far too many " bishops " to my liking as I feel they like titles. Their church is very wealthy in untold millions perhaps billions and have entered the world of medical research presenting many theoritical scams but have always pocketed the grants etc:.
One of the most positive aspects of their way of live is I have never seen members suffer hunger as I have seen firsthand the foodstuffs given to needy families. We as Christians have a lot to learn yet about sharing on a practical basis.
Shall stop there for others to input.
Peace And Well Being A Little Brother In Christ
-- jean bouchard (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 06, 1999.
Dear Mr. Brown,
I do not know the Pope's position on this issue, and I do not presume to speak for the Church, but have a definite point of view as a Christian.
Joseph Smith claims to have found "golden plates" that had reformed Egyptian hieroglyphics (?) written on them. These "reformed" hieroglyphics could only be translated with a pair of glasses that he found along side of the "golden plates". These spectacles were so large that one lens was the size of a mans head (!). I cannot remember all of the details of these very strange claims, except that all eleven people who at one point claimed to have seen these "golden plates" later on declared that it was a hoax. It is amazing to me to see the followers of Joseph Smith today neglecting to investigate his blatant fabrications.
With all that aside, as absurd as those claims are, what is even more disturbing are the doctrinal claims of this cult. Joseph Smith claimed:
"I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."
This is scary stuff if you believe the Holy Scriptures. As Christians we believe that the only infallible book is the Bible and to believe that another book would bring you closer to Jesus Christ than itself is outright apostasy.
What makes it hard is the point made by Jean, these are decent people, I have a fellow whom I would call a friend, who is mormon, but I would never call him a brother in Christ.
-- Barry Hanson (email@example.com), October 08, 1999.
Barry - I do not think I referred to cult members as brother's in Christ rather I feel they are decent living people. Many Catholics have moved into this cult(s) due to the compassion and empathy lacking by many " true " Catholics who on the whole are passive in their faith.
-- jean bouchard (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 08, 1999.
I am sorry, I did not make myself clear, I was not referring to you calling them "brother", only that "I" would never call him a "brother in Christ".
-- Barry Hanson (email@example.com), October 09, 1999.
Mormonism is certainly interesting, I'll give you that. Here you have this NUTBALL religion with all kinds of wacky beleifs, but on the other hand, the people who practice it are by far some of the most good, clean, wholesome, caring individuals I have ever met. You'll never hear a Mormon raise his voice, get drunk, or swear. I don't think I've eve heard of a Mormon going to jail.
-- Anti-bush (Comrade_bleh@hotmail.com), September 28, 2003.
Most of what you say about Mormons' personal character is correct, but that is definitely no reason at all for choosing to be a Mormon. Their invented (19th-century religion) is based on a tissue of lies and false "scripture" written by the deceptive founder, Joseph Smith. Until the mid-20th century, it was an openly racist religion. Now it is falling apart morally, giving in to societal pressures to approve some abortion, etc..
Plenty of Mormons are/were in jail, including some who have insisted on the right to have a harem of wives (right up to our own time).
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 29, 2003.
I heard that Joseph Smith himself died in a jail shootout.
-- JCB (email@example.com), September 29, 2003.
He did. But that's besides the point. The point is his own testimony undermines his credibility. Look, every religion has to face a muster of the criteria of credibility. Just because you claim to have seen an angel or God and call yourself a prophet doesn't automatically mean you are telling the truth, are sane, and indeed are a prophet!
Yet many major religions have started with founders merely asserting divine aprobation and essentially getting away with it. Islam is one.
In both Mormonism and Islam you have one man who claimed to have seen an angel who teachings him a new gospel or revelation about God and about his will for mankind.
Neither provide any proof of credibility - other than their word for it.
Joseph Smith claimed to have discovered golden tablets written in "ancient hiroglyphics" which he could read by using "magical specticles" and thus was able to write his Book of Mormon. When challenged to produce the tablets and glasses, he claimed they were lost. uh huh.
Now, suppose he really saw a golden tablet written in "ancient egyptian"... why in the world would one of the Lost Tribes of Israel write ANYTHING in Egyptian? Remember, this would have been a post- exodus tribe - they had their own language, they wouldn't have known much less touched anything written using "graven images"!
Then you have the tricky little detail of the angel himself - Mormon. A name not found in any OT or NT account, and itself without any Jewish root. You do have New Testament warnings about "angels of light" appearing to teach people new doctrine...
Then you have the human weakness criteria: Prophets whose core doctrine or dogma change to allow for their OWN weakness should be held suspect... if the great prophet is married but wants a wife, and so "suddenly gets a revelation that it's OK" shouldn't be trusted.
It should be pointed out that even the "6 bad popes" of the 1400's didn't do this. They were morally corrupt, but they didn't change Catholic doctrine to justify their sins! They didn't dispense with celibacy, or claim a right to marry, or have concubines... which all other worldly prophets and religious leaders have done repeatedly!
-- Joe (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 29, 2003.
I had to laugh--a local priest at my college, who's usually scandalously tolerant of other religions, upon hearing someone suggest inviting Mormon guests to dinner, whined, "But it's a made up religion!" Heh.
Thing is, as much as this is all true from a historical point of view, it's not essentially different from how Islam was started--the only real difference in the Catholic eye is that Islam is older and has produced a slightly more appreciable intellectual contribution to science and philosophy (In the middle ages).
But with both religions, we have to consider that both modern Mormons and Muslims believe in their religions in earnest. Though they ought to be open to the Truth we offer, they don't share the moral culpability of their founders. Mormons didn't create Mormonism; John Smith did, and even though many of them see the manifest silliness of Mormonism (and wind up in Catholic seminaries as a result) others are just trying to "work out their salvation in fear and trembling."
I'm just encouraging tolerance--of course, a true tolerance that doesn't neglect our solemn Catholic responsibility to preach Christ to the world--but tolerance nonetheless. There'll always be a special place in my heart for Mormons, since I took a nice Mormon lady-friend to the Winter Formal five years ago. I'll always remember that. :)
-- Skoobouy (email@example.com), September 29, 2003.
If I remember right "Moroni" was the "angel" that talked to Joseph Smith. He was once a man and the son of Mormon. He was sent back to Joseph Smith as a kind of angel. "Mormon" was the name of his father, don't remember about him though.
BTW, the Mormons are in no way Christian, in that they deny the Trinity in a Nicean sense, (although some claim to believe in the Trinity, but mean that the father, son and holy ghost are three separate people), believe that god has a wife and that as individuals a good Mormon and their wife will become gods on par with their god eventually. Pretty wild stuff as far as Protestant groups go.
Oh and the other thing that's kind of funny, and kind of sad, is the institutional racism in the Mormon church. Up until recently blacks couldn't be in the priesthood and as Bringham Young said,
"“Cain slew his brother....and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the FLAT NOSE AND BLACK SKIN...” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, pages 290-291)"
So being black meant you bore the mark of Cain! God has apparently changed his mind on the status of blacks though.
"Brigham Young: Death to inter-racial couples:
“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 SO.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, page 110)"link - site biased though, obviously
-- Someone (ChimingIn@twocents.cam), September 29, 2003.
And a brief post-script--a mutual friend of the Mormon girl I mentioned told me back then, that her parents stopped her from seeing me when they saw I wasn't a target for conversion. Now I'm in the seminary. Well, guess they were right. :)
-- Skoobouy (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 29, 2003.
Good to hear you're in the seminary! Like Peter you have to keep your eyes focused on Christ so that you won't be scared by the wind and waves... faith, hope, and love in Him, the Best Friend, will keep you "afloat" amid the many crisis and storms, the spiritual warfare and ups and downs.
No one knows the strength of temptation or the depths of hell - or the heights of heaven and blinding love of God like the man who walks the road "ad altare Dei". I'll pray for you.
-- Joe (email@example.com), September 30, 2003.
Thanks Joe; good to see you here, too. I've enjoyed your posts immensely. You really know how to hold your own. God bless.
-- Skoobouy (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 30, 2003.