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Romney's past as an LDS Bishop

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Invisible Fan, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    Who told you that, Kos?

    Obama has done nothing but make us look weak on the international stage.
     
  2. napalm06

    napalm06 Huge Flopping Fan

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    I really shouldn't be taking this bait, but... nothing is brushed under the rug. LDS missionaries that knock on your door are very forthcoming about the origins of the LDS church. It's what the lessons begin with. Why on earth would someone accept something without believing in the validity of its origin?

    You can tell them you reject the story and they will thank you for your time and exit your home. The end.

    Your assertions about Joseph Smith being a con-man are obtuse. Your 'proof' is that he has a fantastic story. Indeed he does. So it's either very true, or very false. Regardless, he endured decades of tar, feathers, and persecution of his family, poverty, deaths of children, and died a martyr for that fantastic story. Right down to his last breath, killed by a mob in an American prison, he would not deny God. Neither would any of his closest friends / followers, several of which left the church because of personal disagreements. That's not the typical story of a con man. Again, you're free to disbelieve. If you think his story is false, it's false. That doesn't hurt me whatsoever. As Thomas Jefferson (a noted agnostic) once wrote: "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

    As a side note, your own logic presents a problem: If the church has celestial origins, they will probably seem fantastic and impossible (immaculate conception, anyone?). Yet you criticize them for being fantastic and impossible, and then assure yourself that its all of terrestrial origin. That's an airtight bubble you've built there.

    I was very offended by a History Channel documentary that once called Joseph Smith a con-man and insinuated that forming the church was only a by-product of him being a treasure hunter. There are a wealth of primary, secondary, and other sources that contradict this. But again, some people seek only the answers which resonate with their pre-formed conclusion.

    I completely understand why anyone would reject the Mormon religion. My intention here is hardly to convert anyone. But I don't understand what causes people to be incapable of basic respect. Why the slander? I doubt Joseph Smith personally injured you.
     
    #42 napalm06, Sep 11, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
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  3. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    napalm_black:

    First of all, try not to ever be offended by the History Channel. I think they have a better than even record for falsehoods. And perhaps they had Joseph Smith mixed up with L. Ron Hubbard. Many people confuse the two religions as they are each relatively modern while the others are ancient.

    One question for you:

    Do you believe that Mary was a virgin? Does your Church?

    I am under the impression that Mormons believe she was not -- that she was impregnated by God/Adam in the form of a man that had intercourse with her. But I would like to be educated otherwise if I am wrong.

    I know that a lot of the God-Adam stuff has been dropped from LDS. Has this part been dropped (like the darkies are evil part) or is it still of a piece with the Mormon story and faith?
     
  4. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    Incidentally, I want to be clear that while I think the origin myth on which Mormonism was founded is insane and completely beyond rational thought, I do not believe it is any more so than Judaism (of which I am a non-believing member), Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Scientology, or any other religion. All rely upon faith and all test that faith with pretty outrageous stories -- ones we would lock people up for believing were they not part of established religions.

    As David Cross said, "Where are the unicorns?"

    Just to be clear, I am even-handed in my admiration of faith and my hatred of religious institutions, as they have almost every one been more often an instrument of hate and war than love and peace. Mormonism at least is not guilty of those most terrible sins, though the Mormon record on race is deplorable. Props to J. Smith and his believers for not preaching hate beyond that awful stain though. I have many Mormon friends and they are among the nicest and most genuine people I've ever met. That is, I believe, a direct result of their Mormon upbringing.
     
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  5. napalm06

    napalm06 Huge Flopping Fan

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    A 'better than even record' isn't great, but I realize you have to take things for that they're worth.

    The church believes Mary was a virgin at the time of Christ's conception. There could be some Mormons somewhere who believe in the Adam-conception doctrine, but I've honestly never even heard that.

    Throughout Mormon history, there have been several mid-level authorities who have passed their opinions to people as doctrine. That's where a lot of that Adam-God stuff or geographical assumptions come from. The church is not shy about clarifying or recanting minor beliefs.

    I can tell you that the Mormon church connects Adam with Michael, the archangel.
     
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  6. napalm06

    napalm06 Huge Flopping Fan

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    Thanks for the kind words. I wish everyone felt the same way about religion as an institution. I'll be the first to admit that Mormons, as a people, are majorly imperfect and there are some deplorable social trends (like racism, which I don't believe is a result of any church doctrine but rather a narrow-minded culture from Utah). Just recently I've been involved in a Mormon group raising awareness of rape within the church and how to deal with it.

    As you can imagine, serving an LDS mission in Brazil I learned more about myself and every single one of my philosophical views than ever before. Interestingly, serving the church that solemnly lead to the most questioning and conflict I've had with religion. There is a serious problem with fundamentalism and group-think and adherent members of any organization should be the FIRST to be on their guard. I'm in the minority of libertarian Mormons that constantly clash with the traditionalists. (There are more than a few Democrat Mormons of course, like Harry Reid & co.)
     
    #46 napalm06, Sep 11, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  7. napalm06

    napalm06 Huge Flopping Fan

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    DISCLAIMER: I'm only presenting a defensive case here. I'm not trying to convert anyone. I respect atheists, muslims, and mormons alike. I don't think an internet forum is a great place to discuss deeper religious doctrine. But alas.. Mr Roboto...

    Your doubts about the Mormon church are occasionally reasonable, but somewhat off-base. Also, they are very common and simple. As if you've been reading subjective pamphlets instead of consulting primary sources.

    Truth: 0% I studied science at BYU, a Mormon university, and was taught contrary to this fact dozens and dozens of times. Said Dallon H Oaks, a Mormon apostle and former BYU president: "...it is wise for us to admit that our understanding--in religion and in science--is incomplete and that the resolution of most seeming conflicts is best postponed. In the meantime, we do the best we can to act upon our scientific knowledge, where that is required."

    Truth: 75%. Several things make it less insidious than you imply: 1. This is an interpretation of the 'mark' that was placed upon Cain, in the Bible. 2. The occurrence of this curse in the Book of Mormon was followed by dozens of instances where God commands the two peoples to interact. The peoples are almost entirely referred to with respect to their piety and civility for the remainder of the Book of Mormon. Later in the Book of Mormon, the dark skinned people are favored over the light skinned due to their righteousness and civility. They exterminate the light skinned people in war with God's favor.

    As a sidenote, this certainly DOESN'T imply the need to be racist. When I served my LDS mission I was among the entirely African-Brazilian community of Bahia, Brazil. I had amazing experiences with the Mormons and non-Mormons there.

    Truth: 100%. This is a very well known fact: Mormons don't drink alcohol. The hot drinks refer to coffee and addictive drinks. This commandment is referred to as the "Word of Wisdom". It is open for interpretation, but the PURPOSE is to avoid addictive substances and seek moderation. Other religions have very similar ideas expressed less explicitly.

    Truth: 95%. As there were people scattered across the world, including the Americas, Mormons believe that Jesus visited other locations in the world. This is one of the defining aspects of the religion. Part of the logic is found in John 10:16 of the New Testament. “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” The jury is still out on the Missouri Garden of Eden claim. One doctrine states that a major assembly/gathering will occur there at Christ's second coming near Missouri.

    Truth: 100%. This is another major place where Mormonism differs from protestant Christianity. Believe it, or don't. I don't think it's too crazy, all religious doctrine considered. Assuming that God exists, why should heaven and hell be the only options? Why despise the religion because of this? (Is it right for a murderer and a alcoholic to receive the same hell?)

    Truth: 30%. The jury is out on archaeological evidence. They even have difficulty definitively proving that Jesus Christ himself ever existed, divine or not. There are plenty of events in secular history with little archaeological trace. However, there are flaws with your statement. The 'ships' were wooden boats, constructed in two specific cases where the prophet was aided by God in construction. The horses/elephants/cattle statement is 100% false. The Book Of Mormon refers to animals being present, but they are not named or described in detail. It is very factual that there were ancient civilizations in the Americas with origins (and disappearances) that science cannot explain. Mormonism acknowledges that it does not know which of the known ancient Americans, if any, specifically connect with the ones chronicled in the Book Of Mormon. There has been plenty of personal conjecture by Mormon leaders on this topic that is not canonical.

    Truth: 15%. This is a bunch of deep Mormon doctrine tossed casually into a blender with historical inaccuracies about Joseph Smith. I can't do this any justice. Joseph Smith lived in a more heterogenous, states-rights type of American culture. He sought a more independent Mormonism in Nauvoo, and later Westward. The book he so closely espoused, the Book of Mormon, has specific examples of men and people denouncing tyranny by kings and seeking a government led by multiple judges with a religious advisor. The prophets were only the civic leaders on occasion during Book of Mormon history. A fun sidenote. As far as the church modifying their beliefs, this is part of believing in modern inspiration and an open canon. I value the fact that the religion seeks answers to itself and does not rely on stubborn blindness. Of course - I speak of the organization itself, not of the stubborn people within...

    Thanks for your sincerest apologies. If you're going to pride yourself on presenting an objective, factual case, please provide sources or at least explain how you discovered the information.

    Like I said - I don't care if you believe. I just want everyone to get both sides of the story.
     
    #47 napalm06, Sep 11, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
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  8. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    I have to spread rep before giving it to you again. You're clearing up a lot of the garbage that's out there, that people try and use to attack the LDS.

    Your patience is a testament. I'm sure it would be very easy to at best ignore, but even easier to get upset, and respond with that anger. You haven't done it at all. You've been patient with those whose intent has been to paint your religion in a bad light. It's impressive.

    Can I ask a question. When you were in high school, did you go to a bible study in the mornings before high school begins? One of my friends and his wife, are currently teaching that kind of bible study, and even though the guy was a close friend in high school I had no idea that he went to a bible study before high school the whole time I was there.
     
  9. Qball

    Qball Contributing Member

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    If you ask me, I would actually have had a harder time deciding between Obama and 2008 Romney instead of the no-brainer which was Obama vs 2008 McCain. He simply gave up whatever he believes in just to attract the new hijacked teaparty ridden Republicans in his presidential run. Similarly, 2008 McCain did the same. In 2000, McCain should have won the republican nomination.
     
  10. IzakDavid13

    IzakDavid13 Contributing Member

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    I just asked the question of whether Mormons believe that they are Christians or not.
    Would a Mormon refer to himself as Christian or mormon, seeing as though there are some doctrinal differences.
    Also was told that Mormons believe that Christians aren't saved, as they are not following the true church, reading corrupt scripture and deny Joseph Smith as a being a prophet.

    No hate on the Mormons, the ones that I've met are pretty awesome...and as I stated before: some Christians could learn a lot from the Mormons about living clean God fearing lives.

    Myself being an Evangelical Christian don't believe that Mormons are 'Christians' but a separate religion of Mormonism, just as Catholics refer to themselves as Catholics, not Christians.

    Also, I don't watch south park.

    Just asking.
     
  11. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    He answered that Mormons did consider themselves Christians, and Catholics do refer to themselves as Christians as well.
     
  12. MrRoboto

    MrRoboto Member

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    napalm_black,

    I appreciate your responses and your calm demeanor in the face of what could be considered accusations. It is not my intent to offend, it is my intent to present facts so the discussion from your perspective is interesting to me.

    I do not have the time to respond in full to what you have posted but I will address when I am able.

    There are several of the things I listed that have been modified in the modern Mormon church, however that does not deny their existence at the origins of the religion. Conversely most of the information I have posted is current Mormon doctrine or expressed fairly explicitly in the Book of Mormon.

    Again, it is not intended as "bait". It is intended to spur discussion on how, in my eyes, someone can believe something that is so obviously born of man and logic.

    I don't care what anyone believes, and you are welcome to your faith. It does not change my mind in respect to what I consider to be obviously fraudulent in origin.

    Peace and
     
  13. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    Thanks, napalm. This was something I'd heard from an ex-Mormon that left the church at 18. And I've read on wiki and such that the Adam-God thing had been largely dropped as had polygamy, but I couldn't find anything on Mary.

    Now that you've clarified it for me, I won't repeat the misinformation. (Take a lesson, Romney and co.)
     
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  14. slcrocket

    slcrocket Contributing Member

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    napalm_ is, in my opinion, doing a good job of expressing what are the established beliefs of our church. As he stated, I would re-emphasize that there have been leaders in our church that have often made, shall we say, questionable comments that stated their individual belief. The tricky part is determining what is official church doctrine and what is an individual's opinion. Even so, I don't necessarily want to excuse or condemn anyone's opinions - people are people and they sometimes say things that make you scratch your head. The Introduction to the Book of Mormon states, "We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true." We believe that, as it is written in James 1:5, that if anyone lacks wisdom, he can ask of God and that God will answer that prayer.

    To answer the question about the bible study thing, yes...it's a very common practice for high school age kids to attend what we call "seminary" in most areas...it's usually early morning and a chance for kids with similar beliefs to learn more about church doctrines and how to approach the challenges that are faced at that time in life. A lot of the kids (especially in areas where the church membership is not so high, i.e. outside of Utah) know each other already from their various congregations, so it's a pretty social event as well.

    As far as the Christian/Mormon thing, a lot of folks don't know that the official name of our church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We may have some doctrinal differences with many of our other brethren that make up most of mainstream Christianity (and are therefore not considered to be Christian by many), but our belief in Jesus Christ and his role (as we see it) as Savior of the world should be clear to any who take a half-hearted interest in our beliefs. There is no deification of Joseph Smith, and any attempt made to worship or pray to him would be viewed as extremely erroneous.
     
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  15. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Are you seriously comparing Romney's experience with the Olympics to being President for 4 years and dealing with the messes left by Bush in the middle East? You are senile my friend.
     
  16. napalm06

    napalm06 Huge Flopping Fan

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    I answered your question a few pages ago. I'm not offended by it. Your question is very common, and I'm sure you have your reasons for not classifying us as Christians. I honestly don't know if this is a cultural difference (you're Aussie, right?) but it sounds like your term for Christianity is simply a synonym for Protestantism.

    Of course Mormons believe they (and not anyone else) are following the 'most' true church. Why follow an idea if you don't believe it has some merit? I also mentioned that non-Mormons are not destined for hell by any means. In fact, even at church-wide 'General Conferences', there have been speeches about non-Mormon secular and religious leaders being inspired by God and being exemplary people.

    Trust me I have plenty of friends who vehemently deny me the title of "Christian". Call me a duck or a lizard. As we can coexist and respect each other, titles are trivial.
     
    #56 napalm06, Sep 12, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
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  17. napalm06

    napalm06 Huge Flopping Fan

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    Nah you give me too much credit. What's the point in getting personal? I honestly wish more of D&D was like this, where we could just talk about even the wildest disagreements without getting petty.

    I did 5:50 AM bible study before high school, yeah. Probably 15 kids from my high school attended. Nobody really knew or cared that we were Mormon. Like I mentioned earlier in the thread, I got good grades and was big into the local music scene. Got along with everybody. People were surprised to find I was Mormon even though they knew I didn't drink and what not. I guess they expected me to wear a cape or ride a goat to school or something.
     
    #57 napalm06, Sep 12, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  18. Mathloom

    Mathloom Shameless Optimist
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    It's so depressing seeing that it will take new democracies (like Egypt for example) this much time to fully remove religion from the government.
     
  19. napalm06

    napalm06 Huge Flopping Fan

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    Thanks for the response. Your posts didn't strike me as someone who wanted to have a two way discussion. You seemed like someone with a point to prove and a concocted trail of supporting bullet points.

    Your personal beliefs don't hurt me, but your choice to misrepresent mine does. It creates a lot of suspicion and awkwardness towards me in school, the workplace, and anywhere else when people like you associate me with craziness in the eyes of people who don't know better. Even the craziest fact sounds more reasonable when presented in the correct context. People are very presumptive and they'll take whatever you and I write as the whole truth. It's dangerous. It's true that the church has had various fundie beliefs in different times and in different places. I can tell you're well informed. But you're strategically turning people against an idea without giving them the chance to decide themselves. Don't ask a baptist about Mormonism. Don't ask a Mormon about Judaism. Don't ask a horse about milking a cow. Ask a Mormon about Mormonism. And if you don't like it, live and let live.
     
    #59 napalm06, Sep 12, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  20. napalm06

    napalm06 Huge Flopping Fan

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    Haha. I know our views on plenty of things are bound to differ, but I'm sure you agree we learn through discussion. Don't be afraid to criticize my Mormonism as long as we can talk it through. I have my own issues with the polygamy thing, and other defunct doctrines. I understand the reluctance to appreciate extreme doctrine, so I'm glad we can let it go.
     

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