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29-10-2012, 10:30 PM
RE: Ask a Former Mormon
(29-10-2012 12:43 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Not trying to tread on someone else's thread here, but I live in Salt Lake City, I've grown up with this religion and almost married into it just this year, I can maybe clear up a little of these questions.

No worries, Aseptic Skeptic. I was raised in Orem, so naturally, you probably have a much healthier/accurate view. Wink
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29-10-2012, 10:38 PM
RE: Ask a Former Mormon
I know that the church had an issue with dark skinned people for a large part of it's existence. Have there been any prominent mormons who could be considered (erroneously) as descendants of the Lamenites?

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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29-10-2012, 10:39 PM
RE: Ask a Former Mormon
Hi Wrenecape, how strictly is the tithing thing enforced?
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29-10-2012, 11:03 PM
RE: Ask a Former Mormon
(29-10-2012 12:44 PM)cufflink Wrote:  First of all, welcome to the forum! Thanks for your articulate posts and for starting this thread. I'm really looking to forward to seeing what you have say.

A good friend of mine is an ex-Mormon. He did his mission in France, got married, and had two kids, all the time trying to deny his homosexuality. Today he's divorced, out of the church (excommunicated, actually), and much happier. He's still extremely close to his family--five grandkids and counting--and his children seem to accept him for who he is. But when his son and daughter were married, he wasn't allowed to attend the temple ceremonies. Sad. Anyway, I've learned a lot about Mormonism from him, but I still have questions. So for starters:

1. Is it true that Mormons believe that God has an actual physical human body?

2. What's with the Planet Kolob?

3. How do Mormons respond to such scientific criticisms as the fact that DNA evidence shows Native Americans do not originate from the Middle East, or that linguists have never heard of "Reformed Egyptian"?

4. Have you seen "The Book of Mormon"? Smile (I saw it yesterday. In a word: meh.)

Thanks for the welcome, cufflink.

1. Yes, it's true that Mormons believe God has an actual physical body and that God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate, distinct beings. There is no "doctrine of the Trinity" in Mormonism other than the roles that each play for the salvation of mankind. God is God, Christ is his son, and the Holy Ghost testifies of both. As far as the Holy Ghost having a physical body, that's not a part of church doctrine and no official word has ever been given.

2. According to the Book of Abraham Chapter 3 (part of Mormon scripture), Kolob is a "star . . . nearest unto the throne of God." Basically where God lives. And if you read further down that link, you'll see that one day on Kolob is equal to 1000 years on earth Big Grin.

3. This is a huuuuuge problem and one that I struggled with for a very long time. Simon Southerton is an Australian scientist and former Mormon who published a book about Native Americans and mitochondrial DNA and how it shows that Native Americans did NOT come from the Middle East. After this publication, the Introduction to the Book of Mormon was changed. It used to say that the people of the Book of Mormon were the "principle" ancestors of the American Indians. Now it says they are "among" the ancestors of the American Indians. Legerdemain.

And more to your question, Mormons don't respond to such claims. They don't have to. They let the Church and the Prophet speak for them. Or they let their ignorance and blind faith speak for them. If a Mormon truly believes that their faith is true, and the Mormon church is true, then everything else simply must be rationalized away, sometimes in extremely paltry manners. I speak from intense personal experience here. I believed so strongly for so long. My response to things like this? "Well, there has to be a good reason for it. They changed it for a reason. Okay, it doesn't really make rational sense, but faith and spirituality are simply that because of their lack of reliance on reason. If this is how the Church leaders are approaching it, then it must be the right way to go. I shouldn't really question them. I know the Church is true, so there must be a good reason for anything that the Church does that doesn't make much sense to me now." Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. It sounds puerile because it is.

So whatever issues come up don't matter if the Church/Prophet doesn't say they matter, because if you truly believed, then you wouldn't question. Even the temple ceremony says that you will refrain from "evil speaking of the Lord's anointed."

4. No, I've not seen "The Book of Mormon." I would like to, but I live in the Middle East, and I don't think it's playing in my city . . .

Thanks for the questions.
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29-10-2012, 11:12 PM
RE: Ask a Former Mormon
(29-10-2012 11:03 PM)wrenekape Wrote:  4. No, I've not seen "The Book of Mormon." I would like to, but I live in the Middle East, and I don't think it's playing in my city . . .

Thanks for the questions.

Well, if you happen to be in Tel Aviv, then maybe there's a chance you'll get to see a road show of BOM. Otherwise . . . yeah, pretty unlikely. Smile

Thanks for the answers.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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29-10-2012, 11:34 PM
RE: Ask a Former Mormon
(29-10-2012 10:38 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  I know that the church had an issue with dark skinned people for a large part of it's existence.

I was curious about this myself. Also could you briefly inform me bout polygamy. For the record, I think consisting adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want, but I was curious as to why it was okay, then not okay, and why some of the Mormons choose to ignore the latter rule change. On who's authority do these rules get changed? Is there like a Pope of the Mormons? Also, what branch did the Mormons break away from originally, or did it kind of come into it's own existence apart from other protestant denominations with strong influences from X denomination/s? Sorry for asking so many questions, you can tackle them one or two at a time if that's easier.

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29-10-2012, 11:35 PM
RE: Ask a Former Mormon
(29-10-2012 10:15 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  Do you believe there are modern day Danites still active today?

Did you believe you would be populating your own celestial planet one day?

What did you think of Fundamentalist Christians who think Mormonism is a cult?

Did you ever get baptized for the dead?

When you joined the temple, did you have to give "death oaths" similar to what Freemasons do in their ceremonies?

Did you really believe the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel lived in Missouri?

1. To give you an idea of exactly how Mormons control information that might look bad on them, this is the first time I've heard the word "Danite". I had to go look it up. And based on my experience, I would say there probably aren't any active. Then again, I had no idea who they were, so what the hell would I know? Big Grin

2. Yes, I believed I would be populating my own planet one day. But it wouldn't be a celestial one, just like this planet isn't a celestial one . . . yet.

3. Mormonism as a cult. This is vehemently denied by faithful members of the Church for its obvious negative connotations, but if you look a dictionary.com's definition, Merriam-Webster's definition, and Oxford Dictionaries definition, you would not be able to find a temple-going, faithful Mormon who could honestly disagree with any of these definitions. They would only respond to the aforementioned negative connotation of the word and try to give a touchy-feely response to why Mormonism really isn't a cult.

4. Yes, I got baptized for the dead. Lots and lots and lots of times.

5. The temple ceremonies have changed over the years, and when I went for the first time back in the early 90s, the blood oaths had been taken out. You didn't actually make the suicidal motions on your body to indicate what would happen to you if you let the secrets out. Needless to say, when I found out that this had been done for quite a while, I was obviously disturbed, but I shoved it away because unpalatable as it was, it was no longer practiced, and I had all the other positive things about the Church to go on and not be bogged down by a questionable practice or two in the past (see how this works?). You do promise, though, in the temple ceremony "In the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses" that you will never reveal certain parts of the ceremony. You're surrounded by 50 church members, all of them older, some of them much older than you, including your parents and friends, saying the same things and performing the same actions. You think people would all of a sudden pipe up and say, "Uh, hey, this doesn't seem right"? They need a stronger word than "duress".

6. The lost Ten Tribes are "scattered" all over the world. Missouri is just where the final gathering of the tribes will eventually take place, if I'm not mistaken.

Cheers!
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30-10-2012, 02:18 AM
RE: Ask a Former Mormon
(29-10-2012 10:38 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  I know that the church had an issue with dark skinned people for a large part of it's existence. Have there been any prominent mormons who could be considered (erroneously) as descendants of the Lamenites?

Hi Lilith Pride,

Do you mean prominent within Mormonism or without? I can't think of anyone outside of Mormonism like a Steve Young or a Mitt Romney. And within Mormonism I could only find one member of the leadership of the church with Native American heritage. That was a cursory look, so there might be more, but if there are, they are sparse.
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30-10-2012, 03:05 AM
RE: Ask a Former Mormon
(29-10-2012 10:39 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Wrenecape, how strictly is the tithing thing enforced?

Hi Mark Fulton,

I would say very, and here's why:

It's all about guilt and denial of blessings. Sure, you can choose not to pay tithing, BUT you will be missing out on all the wonderful, amazing, glorious blessings "that there shall not be room enough to receive it" a la Malachi 3:10. Also, one of the temple recommend questions that you are asked is if you pay an honest tithe. If you don't answer satisfactorily, you can't get a temple recommend. If I had a nickel for everytime I heard "If you pay your tithing I KNOW the Lord will bless you," I'd be in my cabin on the Pacific coast writing the Great American Novel.

Now, in the interest of fairness, I did personally benefit from tithing on a couple of occasions. When I was newly remarried, I didn't have a very good job, and I was in school. My bills were more than what I made, so after speaking with the bishop I was allowed to go to the Bishop's Storehouse to get food and groceries for my family. The Bishop's Storehouse is a place with food and supplies, mostly made and packaged by the church, for members like myself at the time who have a hard time making ends meet. Now, you still have to pay tithing on whatever income you have (gross, not net), but you can get help with the essentials. This is one reason I find the ultra-conservative, anti-government, anti-"handout" majority of Mormons so hypocritical. Maybe they make the argument that taxes are imposed and tithing is encouraged, or parse it other ways, but to me it's a double standard.

So while there is no overt enforcing, there is plenty covert and psychological enforcing, regardless of the temporal benefit that some families receive from tithing funds.
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30-10-2012, 03:13 AM
RE: Ask a Former Mormon
(30-10-2012 03:05 AM)wrenekape Wrote:  
(29-10-2012 10:39 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Wrenecape, how strictly is the tithing thing enforced?

Hi Mark Fulton,

I would say very, and here's why:

It's all about guilt and denial of blessings. Sure, you can choose not to pay tithing, BUT you will be missing out on all the wonderful, amazing, glorious blessings "that there shall not be room enough to receive it" a la Malachi 3:10. Also, one of the temple recommend questions that you are asked is if you pay an honest tithe. If you don't answer satisfactorily, you can't get a temple recommend. If I had a nickel for everytime I heard "If you pay your tithing I KNOW the Lord will bless you," I'd be in my cabin on the Pacific coast writing the Great American Novel.

Now, in the interest of fairness, I did personally benefit from tithing on a couple of occasions. When I was newly remarried, I didn't have a very good job, and I was in school. My bills were more than what I made, so after speaking with the bishop I was allowed to go to the Bishop's Storehouse to get food and groceries for my family. The Bishop's Storehouse is a place with food and supplies, mostly made and packaged by the church, for members like myself at the time who have a hard time making ends meet. Now, you still have to pay tithing on whatever income you have (gross, not net), but you can get help with the essentials. This is one reason I find the ultra-conservative, anti-government, anti-"handout" majority of Mormons so hypocritical. Maybe they make the argument that taxes are imposed and tithing is encouraged, or parse it other ways, but to me it's a double standard.

So while there is no overt enforcing, there is plenty covert and psychological enforcing, regardless of the temporal benefit that some families receive from tithing funds.

Thankyou for your very good answer, Mark
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