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Posted by Kelly (+2718) 9 years ago
I'm not trying to start an argument here. I'm genuinely interested in what Christians think of the Mormon faith.

From comments I've heard, people don't seem to know much about it.

What do you think about the Mormon god being an actual 6'2" man who lives on the planet Kolob?

What do you think about their belief that the Virgin Mary was not actually a virgin?

What do you think about their temple garments (magic underwear), especially since they believe these will stop bullets?

What do you think about the church baptizing the dead?

Mormons believe their leader talks directly to god. Is this the same as the Catholic Pope?

Thanks in advance for your sincere response.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17503) 9 years ago
Here's my thoughts

What do you think about the Mormon god being an actual 6'2" man who lives on the planet Kolob?

Wacky.

What do you think about their belief that the Virgin Mary was not actually a virgin?

Makes sense to me.

What do you think about their temple garments (magic underwear), especially since they believe these will stop bullets?

Double wacky.

What do you think about the church baptizing the dead?

Not anymore wacky than baptism on its own.

Mormons believe their leader talks directly to god. Is this the same as the Catholic Pope?

Yep.
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Posted by howdy (+4945) 9 years ago
I think all "organized religion" is wacky...Faith should be and is a very personal thing no matter what you believe and if you think Jesus would approve of not helping the poor and letting them go hungry by taking away food stamps you are wacky in your beliefs...If Jesus ever came back he would look like a hippie down in the slums helping the poor and sick...He also wouldn't like all the crap that is attributed to him and his sayings and would send the folks that said it to the very debths of hell IMO...
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Posted by MeiMei (+169) 9 years ago
Not sure where you got this information but I think maybe you should consult representatives of the Mormon church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the official name if you want to do an internet search) directly for correct information instead of perpetuating this misinformation. It would be the "Christian" thing to do.

[This message has been edited by MeiMei (9/1/2012)]
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Posted by Mindy B (+71) 9 years ago
I'm with the Mei Mei, I think a lot of this is fact. A quick google search found the underwear thing is a myth started by critics of the church:

"Mormons believe that garments provide some form of protection
If you remember, Mormons wear the garments as a reminder of the covenants they've made with God to keep the commandments. Mormons believe that as they keep these commandments, God will bless them and strengthen them against temptation and sin.

Again, critics like to take these promises of protection and distort them to make it sound like Mormons teach that garments provide all forms of physical protection (e.g., bullets, fires, etc.). Contrary to this perception that garments are some sort of impenetrable armor, Mormons believe that the promises are generally of a spiritual nature."

I also agree with Howdy, not a fan of organized religion, they are all wacky in their own way.
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Posted by angel2 (+32) 9 years ago
I am 100% agree with Me!Me!

[This message has been edited by angel2 (9/1/2012)]
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Posted by Kelly (+2718) 9 years ago
I'm not Christian, that is why I am trying to learn. Also, I've directly spoken with many former members of LDS. I've also been inside a Mormon temple.

In Mormon folklore, tales are told of Latter-day Saints who credit their temple garments with helping them survive car wrecks, fires, and natural disasters.


From Wikipedia

Edit: Was I wrong about their god, the planet Kolob, or the Virgin Mary?

[This message has been edited by Kelly (9/1/2012)]
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Posted by howdy (+4945) 9 years ago
Had a friend that was a nurse in Salt Lake (she wasn't Mormon) that said that the older Mormons wouldn't completely disrobe from their "garments" unless an arm or leg was already in the clean pair...when I see Mittens, I find myself picturing him in underwear with weird symbols on it LOL....
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Posted by MeiMei (+169) 9 years ago
I hope we can all keep focused on the real issues in the upcoming election and I honestly am not sure underwear for either candidate is one of those.

I am more concerned about integrity, moral judgment, intelligence, etc.
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Posted by Kelly (+2718) 9 years ago
This is NOT a discussion of the upcoming elections! It is a conversation about faith. Notice it is under the Religion & Theology forum, not National News, Politics, and Issues. I am an atheist who questions and consumes information. Therefore I put the questions out there. Please stop turning this into something it is not, namely politics.

Edit: Besides, even if it were politics, can't we have more than one discussion at a time? I know I'm mentally capable of it.

[This message has been edited by Kelly (9/1/2012)]
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11823) 9 years ago
I'm still stuck on the golden plates and lizards and reading things at the bottom of the hat but I have equal problems with all popular mythology. I just don't 'get' how people, and this includes dear friends and family members, can actually believe some of that stuff.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 9 years ago
Whatever you think of their mythology, the Mormons I have known are great people. One thing that the church really emphasizes is spending quality time with family and they tend to have some great family relationships. I used to spend Thanksgiving every year with a Mormon family and and all 5 of the grown kids would be there with a huge pack of grand kids and we would watch football, let the kids riot around the house, and then put them to bed and play cards until 2 or 3 in the morning for the 3 nights I was there. For them this wasn't just a holiday thing but something they did almost every weekend. You don't see families that tight very often but a lot of Mormons are this way and I think the church's emphasis on family time has a lot to do with it.

I also have a friend that is an ex-Mormon (but is still religious and now a mainstream protestant of some sort) and who has very little positive to say about the church and considers it a cult so your mileage may vary, but most of the Mormons I have known are great.
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Posted by CK (+853) 9 years ago
I think asking questions is healthy. As long as one is open to learning and not set on previously assumed things. Anyone is welcome anytime to come visit our church, worship with us, 10:00 on Sundays at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints on Comstock and Doeden. You can then make your own decision. Our missionaries you see wondering around would be more that willing to answer any of the questions you have. I would be more than willing to sit down with anyone and have a friendly discussion. You will find that most things you have heard are distorted facts or completely false. Below I have copy and pasted the church's Articles of Faith: thirteen things that declare what we believe. They were written for "Long" John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat, when he asked similar questions to Joseph Smith, the prophet of the Restoration, in 1842.

You will also find the following websites helpful in displacing fact from myth.

www.lds.org
www.mormon.org

I am serious about talking or meeting with anyone who wants questions answered. Just email me.



The Articles of Faith
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints



We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.

We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Joseph Smith
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1906) 9 years ago
I pretty much agree with levi on this one. I've known Mormons that were great folks and met some that were jerks, like any group of people.

Its a little hypocritical for any member of any organized religion to consider other religions wacky. All religions require a leap of faith at some point. Ever heard comedian Jim Gaffigan(sp?) "explain" Easter?
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Posted by angel2 (+32) 9 years ago
If anyone have questions pertaining to God's teachings I think you should ask God if it is true or really wacky since it is about God. Who else can tell you better than Him who is the author. If your prayer is really sincere or you really want to know the answer , you might be surprised how He answers your prayer.

[This message has been edited by angel2 (9/1/2012)]
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Posted by Connie Muggli (+99) 9 years ago
As I was growing up we were taught the basics about "Freedom of Religion" and what respecting that freedom means -- and I've passed it along to my kids. Maybe the current environment of divisiveness would be a good time to give this some thought.

This country guarantees everyone the freedome to chose their own religion. Each person's beliefs are their own and as such are sacred to them, just as ours are to us. Respecting another person's right to chose and exercise any specific religion costs you nothing other than a respectful silence. Their beliefs are not open to ridicule regardless of how strange it seems to you, period. Another person's religion is "None of your business", was my grandmother's standard.

If you are truly curious or interested in learning about any religion then find a qualified person or group of that faith to discuss it with, take a great class like "Comparative Religions" at a university or read a good book. Then - be thankful when other people will treat your beliefs in the same way.

I'm lucky enough to have some very wonderful friends that are Mormon, as well as friends that are American Indian, Buddhist, Aetheist, Jewish, Muslim and just about every denomination of Christianity --all are caring, giving, kind, decent people, and most simply go about their day living their beliefs as they interact with their community and the world around them. You couldn't tell by looking at any of them what their religion is or spiritual beliefs are.

It is interesting to me that the tenants of each religion are so similar -- their belifs bring them peace and comfort as individuals, but also benefit others in the community at the same time.

[This message has been edited by Connie Muggli (9/1/2012)]
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Posted by Kelly (+2718) 9 years ago
If you are truly curious or interested in learning about any religion then find a qualified person or group of that faith to discuss it with, take a great class like "Comparative Religions" at a university or read a good book. Then - be thankful when other people will treat your beliefs in the same way.


As a scientist, I agree completely. However, unless there is a published study for Christian sentiment regarding the Mormon faith in Miles City, MT in 2012, I won't get my questions answered. I've taken a comparative religions course at university.

Some of you have taken my posting to be a bashing of Mormons. It is not. Why is it that you can't ask questions about religion without everyone automatically assuming you are out to malign it? I also agree that Mormons, in general like the rest of us, are great people. So were my Muslim next-door neighbors in San Diego. So were the Hindu post-docs I worked with in graduate school. So were the Ba'Hai friends I played Dungeons & Dragons with as a kid. So were the Jehovah's Witnesses friends in the neighborhood of my youth.

Because of my varied background, I am one of the most open-minded people in Miles City. But it is hard to have one's mind opened further when one can not get sincere questions answered with the same sincerity. I asked you all to teach me something specific, and you scolded me for eating paste.

[This message has been edited by Kelly (9/1/2012)]
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1906) 9 years ago
Thank you, Connie.

On a snottier note: I see some evangelical types are taking credit for "steering" Isaac away from the RNC. I'm sure the folks in Louisiana, Mississippi, etc thank them.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 9 years ago
Kelly climbed up on his high horse and wrote:
Because of my varied background, I am one of the most open-minded people in Miles City.


Can we assume that "as a scientist" you established this fact via some sort of peer reviewed, double blind study?
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Posted by Mufasa (+82) 9 years ago
Nice ad hominem.
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Posted by Cheryl Pieters (+476) 9 years ago
I've been in 3 Mormon Temples (including the one in Salt Lake) and have seen at least 3 of the Mormon recruiting films (I used to have a freind who was practicing to be a Missionary) and I did not ever see any evidence that their God was 6'2" and living on a distant planet. I have heard of the "magic underwear" directly from Mormon friends and I myself think that the "Mary was a virgin" myth was created at The Council of Nicea in the 4th Century AD to try to make Jesus into something more than just a man and a prophet. For that matter, those MEN (not God) were responsible for creating the Christian Religion, and had many petty squabbles over which sections to include in the Bible and which to throw out in their quest to control the populace at the time. http://www.livescience.co...world.html

I too have many Mormon friends and am impressed at how well they treat their families and fellow Church Members on the surface (if a family loses a house in a tragedy, the Church doesn't just give lip service to helping them give back on their feet-they will actually put their money where their mouths are and help them build a new house). I also have a friend who is a psychotherapist in Salt Lake City and it seems that below the surface there is a huge boiling mess of incest and abuse in some of those families because they cannot deal with the strict tenets of the Church but hide all of those demons and act out on them in private for fear of being excommunicated and being cast out of the Church and away from their families. She had set up her practice in Palm Springs, CA for a while after 8 years in SLC and ending up moving back to Salt Lake City because she said the people of Palm Springs were so relatively normal that she was bored and felt that the Mormon population in Salt Lake City needed her help a lot more.

I personally think all Religion should be distanced VEEERRY far away from Politics (look what happened during the Dark Ages when the Government and Religion were so entwined. http://en.wikipedia.org/w...eformation In fact, there are plenty of modern examples of Genocide by Governments based on religion. http://www.historyplace.c...bosnia.htm

I feel like baptising people into the Mormon Religion after they have died is very presumptuous, and maybe shows a level of fanaticism that would be very dangerous if incorporated into a Government. http://www.huffingtonpost...80379.html
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14997) 9 years ago
I myself think that the "Mary was a virgin" myth was created at The Council of Nicea in the 4th Century AD to try to make Jesus into something more than just a man and a prophet. For that matter, those MEN (not God) were responsible for creating the Christian Religion, and had many petty squabbles over which sections to include in the Bible and which to throw out in their quest to control the populace at the time. http://www.livescience.com/2410-cou...a-changed-world.html



I would encourage everyone, especially those who are Christian, to read How Jesus Became a Christian by Dr. Barrie Wilson. I just finished this book last night. This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read.

This book covers the 2nd Temple period, roughly from 200 BC to 200 CE. He explains the attempted Hellinization of Judaism in 175 BC by Antiochus Epiphanes which carried into the days of Jesus. He discusses at length Jesus ministry and what being a Messiah meant in that day. It isn't what you are taught in Sunday school. Jesus was a very Torah observant jew. The followers of Jesus were known as the Ebonites a sect of Judaism that died out after the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.

The book discusses how Paul came along and crafted his own cult and created the mystical Christ. Paul followed none of the teachings or practices of the historical Jesus. The mystical Christ, a dying-raising savior, shares many of the same characteristics as other figures well known within the Roman world through the cult of Dionyusus, Isis, and Mithras. The virgin birth story is rooted in these Roman cults.

One of the aspects of the book I most enjoyed is how Dr. Wilson took Pauls letter to the Galatians and exposes the faulty and downright dishonest logic to make the leap from Abraham to the mystical Christ, ignoring about 1200 years of Jewish history in the process.

There are many other places like this where he exposes the bible. For example, the order the books are arranged. If one reads the New Testament in chronological order you would have a very different understanding of what occurred. It becomes very obvious that Paul teaches doctrine that directly contradicts what Jesus taught and believed. The NT is arranged in a particular way to lead the reader to certain conclusions and impressions that are totally false. The book of Acts is written and placed specifically to connect the gospels to Pauls writings. It is largely after-the-fact-hyperbole to attempt to create a plausible connection between James and the rest the Jesus movement (Ebonites) and the proto-orthodox Christianity of Paul.

This book exposes Christianity, and by extension Mormonism, as the ultimate house of cards. I would highly recommend this book, especially to those who belong historical-critical denying denominations.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11823) 9 years ago
As I have often said, I don't get flying invisible teapots but respect the good things that FIT can do for people. And am equally disgusted by the stupid things the belief in FIT can do as well.

ETA for those of you who don't get the reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/w...l's_teapot

[This message has been edited by Amorette Allison (9/2/2012)]
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6167) 9 years ago
As a resident of Utah for the past 18 years I have had the privilege of seeing Mormonism from deep behind the Zion Curtain. I'm not an expert at all but this is what I have personally observed.

1. Mormonism, like all faiths, has some weird theology based upon the interpretation of a written document.

2. Like all faithful, Mormons practice their faith in varying degrees of compliance.

3. Unlike other areas of the country, Utah has a very high concentration of Mormons. This means that the religion tends to be a larger part of the public debate than it might be in other places.

4. Mormonism is a fairly strict religion but then so is conservative Judaism. Is refraining from drinking coffee any weirder than refraining from eating dairy and meat together?

5. Most Mormons want their children to be successful, happy, and productive adults. Doesn't everybody?

6. Mormons raised outside of Utah have a slightly less stringent take on things in general than Utah Mormons.

7. Our Mormon neighbors welcomed us quite heartily and have been great neighbors ever since. They have not tried to convert us.

8. Mormons value economic success, sometimes to their detriment as the amount of affinity fraud in Utah is quite high.

9. Mormonism has relaxed its positions on some social issues. It has tried to soften its teachings to keep up with the reality of today's hectic life.

10. Mormon women still can't be leaders in the church which I think stinks.

11. The Mormon tendency to exclude non-Mormons has lessened greatly during the last 20 years. My daughter hangs out with Mormons and non-Mormons alike (as do I).

12. Mormon Halloween rocks!

13. Mormonism's restrictions on behavior have given rise to a fantastic alternative culture in Salt Lake City, full of art festivals, music festivals, ethnic festivals and a fabulous gay pride parade.

So that's what I know.
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Posted by Diane Emeney (+494) 9 years ago
This is what I know...if you have a question about a certain religion, instead of posting here go to the church in question and find out. Best source is the "horse's mouth" lol. And then I also know that I have better things to do than put down or malign someone's beliefs. For me to put someone else down would be to assume that I know all things. Unfortunately I do not. I've always been fond of this quote.."Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone".
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14997) 9 years ago
The answers to your questions Kelly, can be found in a book or video called "The Godmakers".

And I am going to call BS on those of you saying that if you want to learn about a certain religion go to that church and ask. In this thread we have seen an example of what mormons teach on a surface level. You have to be pretty deeply intrenched before they will tell you about how the angel Morni, (a registered trademark of the LDS church) who was the gardian of the golden plates appeared to Joseph Smith beginning on Sept 21, 1823.

They won't tell you upfront how Mr. Smith used the Urim and Thummim to translate the book of mormon from Egyptian hieroglyphics written on the golden plates. They won't mention the teaching that Jesus and Satan are brothers is based on their concept of God being the Father of all pre-existent spirits. Since Jesus is the son of the Father and all other spirits, including Satan, are sons and daughters of the Father then all are brothers and sisters! This idea has been part of Mormon teaching from the time of Joseph Smith and continues today. Few LDS authorities have been bold enough to plainly state this.

Mormons are not alone however. LCMS Lutherans put the Book of Concord on equal footing with the bible. Most LCMS Lutherans don't know that the Book of Concord teaches the perpetual virginity of Mary. "Mary, the most blessed virgin, did not conceive a mere, ordinary human being, but a human being who is truly the Son of the most high God, as the angel testifies. He demonstrated his divine majesty even in his mother's womb in that he was born of a virgin without violating her virginity. Therefore she is truly the mother of God and yet remained a virgin. (Formula of Concord [Solid Declaration], Article VIII) Yet, I have had Lutheran Pastors deny to my face that this is what they teach. This defies a reasonable scientific explanation of human anatomy. Similar belief was part of the Roman cults as well. Some of their gods wer born of virgins.

My point is that going to a particular church and asking them to explain what they believe will in no way assure you that a church of the same denomination down the street believes the same thing.

The truth is that ALL religions are based on some god revealing himself to one individual. That individual then gathers followers and then eventually secures some sort of "government" sponsorship. In Judaism it is god revealing himself to Abraham and then Moses. In Christianity it is god revealing himself to Paul. In Islam, it is Mohammad. In Mormonism, its Joseph Smith.

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "the easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also." The truth is that ALL believers are truly atheist with regard to all other religions but their own. True atheists have just rejected one more religion.

I'd challenge anyone who is willing, to take the "outsiders test". The outsiders test is to simply test your own belief with the same skepticism that you would apply to other religions. Test your beliefs as if you were an outsider to your faith. To be clear, by religious faith I am referring to beliefs that are essential for a member to be accepted in a particular religious community of faith that worships together and/or accepts the same divinely inspired prophetic/revelations and/or those beliefs whereby one's postion in the afterlife depends.

For the christian the challenge of the outsider test means there is no more quoting the bible to defend the claim that Jesus' death upon the cross saves us from sin. No more quoting the bible to show how the hypostatic union of christ is possible. Rather, such claims must be addressed from a rational point of view making sense of it from an ancient superstitious people who didn't have trouble believing this could happen. (See Acts 14:11 and Acts 28:6). No more assuming there is an answer to the problem of evil before approaching the evidence of suffering in our world. No more trusting anecdotal religious experiences, since such experiences are had by people of all religious faiths who differ about the cognitive content learned as a result of these experiences. Rather, rational evidence from multiple sources and reasonable explanations inside the bounds of sound methodology are required.

I find it odd that a loving, omnipotent, omnipresent, god can't be bothered to reveal himself and a singular message to all mankind throughout time. The fact that man through the ages has had such a varied concept of god, is evidence that he/she probably doesn't exist or is of our own making. If after investigating your religious faith with the presumptions of skepticism it passes intelectual muster, then you can have your religious faith. If not, the reasonable response is to abandon it. Any loving god who requires us to believe correctly, should surely make the correct religious faith pass the outsider test.



http://en.wikipedia.org/w...ay_Saints)
http://bible-truth.org/jesusbro.htm
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+787) 9 years ago
Ingrid and I know all about the Mormon faith. We just saw The Book of Mormom http://www.bookofmormonbr...m/home.php. We like the Uganda version best. Too bad Mitt didn't go to Uganda instead of France. He might have learned something.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11823) 9 years ago
It never occurs to people how odd their faith looks to an outsider. I said something once about the symbolic cannibalism in Christianity and the person I was talking to freaked out. Then I reminded her that the blood and body of Christ are supposed to be consumed regularly and they realized what I meant but assured me, it was not cannibalism.

It would look that way to anyone who didn't grow up with it.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6167) 9 years ago
Right, the point is that all religions have bizarre elements that seem perfectly normal to their adherents who mostly grew up in the religious culture. Cannibalism, zombies, magic garments, split personalities, etc. Show me a religion that has nothing odd in its theology. I dare you. Folks who convert usually know nothing or very little about the weird side. They are attracted to other elements of the faith such as community, forgiveness, a doctrine of love, positions on social issues, etc. I think people should believe what they want to believe. I believe that, for most people, going to church benefits their lives.
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