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21-10-2013, 01:21 AM
RE: Ask a Mormon
(20-10-2013 05:53 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  Thank you for answering both my questions Shy But I would like clarification on these kingdoms if you're of a mind to. Like, super-mormans get into The Celestial Kingdom, while mormans who slip up every once in a while get the 2nd best place? Perhaps there's a kingdom for the "D students"?
I would think, at least, coming up with a variety of heavens would be an improvement over figuring out how many circles of pain & torcher you could fit into hell!

The Celestial Kingdom is the highest glory available to God's children. It is represented by the sun. It is the kingdom where god himself will dwell with Jesus Christ. In order to reach this holy place you must

1) Be sealed and endowed in the temple.

2) Keep every single commandment of the gospel perfectly, repenting when you cannot be perfect.

The Terrestrial Kingdom is the second highest glory. It is represented by the moon. God and Jesus do not dwell here, although it is populated by many angels from the Celestial Kingdom. These are all the glorified beings the inhabitants will have access to.

Those who live in the Terrestrial Kingdom earn their place by having lived good lives, but having chosen not to be Mormons. Those who choose to become Mormon in Spirit Prison are sent here as well.

The kingdom is described as being an absolute heaven by comparison to earth, lacking only in its absence of God or Jesus. The inhabitants must experience an eternity of knowing they could have achieved better, but did not.

The Telestial Kingdom is the lowest possible place to qualify as a form of heaven.

In order to achieve this kingdom all you have to do is avoid committing any sin major enough to get you bounced down to Outer Darkness. Rapists, liars, philanderers, abusers, thieves, robbers, alcoholics, drug abusers, and anyone who loves a good time a little too much are all invited.

The Telestial Kingdom is unique because it is bound up in the rules of Earth. In other words, humans are free to harm and harass one another, just as they were in life. In the Celestial and Terrestrial kingdoms, no such behavior is possible. Essentially, this kingdom is an eternity doing whatever you loved most about life.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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21-10-2013, 01:33 AM
RE: Ask a Mormon
(21-10-2013 12:03 AM)LostandInsecure Wrote:  I am stuck on this because a part of me thinks, how rude would it be to baptise someone without their permission.

The church uncovered a treasure trove of names from many holocaust victims not very long ago. In no time they were baptizing them in a frenzy, only to be stopped cold by the Jewish Lobby of America which was outraged. The church was forced through political pressure to stop the baptisms, although many believe they continued them anyway long after they agreed to it.

Clearly you are not the only one who thinks its rude. LOL

(21-10-2013 12:03 AM)LostandInsecure Wrote:  Mostly though, I just think it is really silly that someone who is not even Mormon would believe that a dead person could be turned Mormon against their will.

I once read of a political group that believed just that. They organized a hilarious protest against the baptisms. They gathered names of known deceased Mormons, and began performing ceremonies that would "turn them gay". I just about died laughing.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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21-10-2013, 01:44 AM
RE: Ask a Mormon
(21-10-2013 01:33 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I once read of a political group that believed just that. They organized a hilarious protest against the baptisms. They gathered names of known deceased Mormons, and began performing ceremonies that would "turn them gay". I just about died laughing.

There's this, seems legit......


But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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21-10-2013, 01:48 AM
RE: Ask a Mormon
(20-10-2013 06:44 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  What the Mormons told me is that when they marry, they marry for eternity. So how is it that I see Mormons getting divorced? Da fuq's up with that?

You are correct when you say that Mormons claim to marry for all eternity. However, they can still divorce.

The ceremony is similar to the sealing, but is intended to "break the seal" and unbind the couple. It must be performed by the same type of officiant who created the seal in the first place.

This is a drastic choice, and is avoided at all costs by members. I know several woman personally who put up with abusive or even incestuous drunks, rather than perform this drastic breaking of their seal. Merely to suggest such a thing can cause a member to be shunned by friends and family.

I know of one woman who performed this procedure twice. Upon her second time she had to approve it through the Prophet of the Church himself. It was approved on account of her husband's sexual perversion and adultery. Sexual sin in the church is treated as akin to murder, and is dealt with in extreme ways such as excommunication.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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21-10-2013, 06:13 AM (This post was last modified: 21-10-2013 06:23 AM by Cathym112.)
RE: Ask a Mormon
Thank you for answering my questions! I do have few more and one follow up.

1) *why* can only those who have been sealed with god witness a sealing of a couple? I'm looking for the deep rooted logic of this. A few *whys* into the question. Why can only thy witness? But why? But why? Did god specifically say this in the Book of Mormon?

2) if Mormons want converts - what is the purpose of the secrecy? Is it like the same concept of how Bernie Madoff was so successful by making the person feel special for being selected as worthy?

3) are you *out* to your family? If so - are you ostracized now?

4) what belief or behavior of your religion are you most ashamed of? For example, I'm ashamed that when I was a catholic, I was unkind to my friends with prior sexual experiences. It took me a long time to move past that kind of sexual dysfunction when it came to religious restriction from a voyeuristic
god.

5) what do Mormons say about other religions? (Other than the obvious view of untruthfulness) for example, I've heard Catholics compare Mormonism to Scientology with these fictional planets.


6) what does the church consider sexual sin?


A common theme I see with all religions, is that while they can maintain critical thinking as it relates to the ridiculousness of the stories central to other religions, they seem inoculated against critical thinking with respect to their own religion.

I never understood why all religions do not permit honest questions regarding the validity of the religion. If your religion is real, then it will stand up to inquiry. It's like an investment. Any company that will not open its books to an audit, isn't a company you want to invest in.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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21-10-2013, 11:35 AM
RE: Ask a Mormon
(21-10-2013 06:13 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  Thank you for answering my questions! I do have few more and one follow up.

(21-10-2013 06:13 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  1) *why* can only those who have been sealed with god witness a sealing of a couple? I'm looking for the deep rooted logic of this. A few *whys* into the question. Why can only thy witness? But why? But why? Did god specifically say this in the Book of Mormon?

1)This is a difficult question to answer. The temple ordinances are heavily influenced by Masonry. Joseph Smith was particularly fond of Masonry, which focused heavily on secrecy.

In my opinion, the secrecy is meant to conceal crazy and despicable doctrines. For example, within the temple ceremony, each person is taught the appropriate "signs and tokens" which will grant them passage into the Celestial Kingdom. Without the proper hand gestures and words, entrance will be impossible.

This part of the ceremony is followed up by a ritual mime of cutting ones own wrists and throat and saying something along the lines of "If I ever reveal this to any unworthy man or woman, may my wrists and throat be severed by almighty god." This is all done while wearing Masonic robes in pure white.

None of the specifics of the temple rituals are included in the Book of Mormon. They all originate with the Prophet Joseph Smith, and his successor, Brigham Young.

(21-10-2013 06:13 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  2) if Mormons want converts - what is the purpose of the secrecy? Is it like the same concept of how Bernie Madoff was so successful by making the person feel special for being selected as worthy?

2) It's true that Mormons want converts, just like any other religion. It is their goal to convert the entire world, which they believe is inevitable. Even if the masses reject their gospel here, Spirit Prison will do the trick.

The secrecy when it comes to converts is standard practice. It was introduced to me as the "Milk before Meat" principle when I was a young man, learning how to preach.

Essentially, the Mormons know that their doctrines sound crazy, so much so that they feel the need to begin with the ones that sound halfway decent, and then slowly progress to the crazier. No doubt having a secret ritual, which is very difficult to become worthy for, makes it seem all the more legitimate to the endowed person, since they had to sacrifice so much just to get there. Robes, hoods, bare feet, and ancient rituals lends it credibility in the eyes of the superstitious.

(21-10-2013 06:13 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  3) are you *out* to your family? If so - are you ostracized now?

3) I am currently "out" as an Atheist, even to my family. They have ostracized me emotionally. They still invite me to family events, but always give me stiff warnings as to what kinds of comments or behaviors will get me bounced. I have issued my own stiff warnings of what kind of comments, or preaching, will cause me to leave voluntarily. We have an uneasy hostage negotiation type of relationship, without any real emotion. It's a drag really. I don't spend time with them often.

My wife believes in God, but is not religious in any sense of the word. I find my comfort and acceptance in her embrace.

(21-10-2013 06:13 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  4) what belief or behavior of your religion are you most ashamed of? For example, I'm ashamed that when I was a catholic, I was unkind to my friends with prior sexual experiences. It took me a long time to move past that kind of sexual dysfunction when it came to religious restriction from a voyeuristic
god.

4) I am ashamed that the Church has manipulated so much tithing money out of my family. Very little of it was mine, since I was just a child, but all the same I paid my little 10 percent. Dimes and pennies from my jar went to the church every month.

An organization worth millions demanded that my family pay our share, even when we did not have enough to eat several times. I am ashamed that I did not see this for what it was, abuse. The fact that my parents paid the tithing rather than eat, is a testament to their level of indoctrination. God could have demanded my sacrifice on an alter, and I think they would have considered it.

(21-10-2013 06:13 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  5) what do Mormons say about other religions? (Other than the obvious view of untruthfulness) for example, I've heard Catholics compare Mormonism to Scientology with these fictional planets.

5) Mormons spend very little energy disproving any other religion in public. A recent Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley famously said, "Bring all the good you have and we will see if we can add to it." They firmly believe that they have the "fullness" of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Other Christian faiths may have good deeds, or sound doctrines, but they will never be "complete" or truly "whole" until they receive the "missing portions" offered by Mormonism.

This makes a great deal of sense theologically since Mormon doctrine solves a number of difficult conflicts in mainstream Christianity.

1. There is no Trinity. Three distinct and separate beings, conversations between Jesus and the Father now make sense.

2. The fall of Adam damns no one but him. No one need feel ashamed for simply existing.

3. Translation errors in the Bible are solved, because Jesus also visited the American Continent as a resurrected God. There he gave many of the same speeches, including the famous "Sermon on the Mount" located in Matthew, Chapter 5. Since the Book of Mormon was only translated once, and supposedly by the hand of the prophet himself, they consider it a reliable proxy that clarifies Bible conflict.

These are three of many adjustments to Christianity, that actually help it to make more sense. It doesn't stand up any better over the long run with reason, but it looks attractive to Christians with doctrinal doubts.

As far as other faiths, such as Islam or Shinto, I never even heard them mentioned in all my years studying the gospel. It is an assumed truth in the church, that anyone who doesn't worship Jesus Christ is obviously wrong. It was never even discussed.

(21-10-2013 06:13 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  6) what does the church consider sexual sin?

6) The following are considered sexual sins akin to the seriousness of Murder. The Book of Mormon states clearly that they are the absolute most ugly things you can commit outside of Murder itself.

1. Masturbation
2. Homosexuality
3. Bestiality
4. Pre-marital sex of any kind.
5. Violent sexual practices of any kind, S and M.
6. Pornography

Although it is not openly added to the list, Oral sex has been preached against now and again by apostles or prophets in the church. There is no doctrine against oral sex officially, but unofficially it is considered equally wrong.

(21-10-2013 06:13 AM)Cathym112 Wrote:  A common theme I see with all religions, is that while they can maintain critical thinking as it relates to the ridiculousness of the stories central to other religions, they seem inoculated against critical thinking with respect to their own religion.

I never understood why all religions do not permit honest questions regarding the validity of the religion. If your religion is real, then it will stand up to inquiry. It's like an investment. Any company that will not open its books to an audit, isn't a company you want to invest in.

The church never promoted critical thinking of any kind when I was a member, not even against opposing religions. They accomplished control of thought through different means, a strong community taboo.

Asking critical questions about the church, and its validity is immediately looked down upon with force. You will be told you lack faith, and should repent. You will be shamed and given guilt that does not belong to you. You will be told to pray and ask god to explain it to you, and give you a personal testimony. You will not be given straight answers, or truthful ones.

I once went through a period of intense questioning while I was living at home. I asked questions of my mother every single day, to the point where she and my father asked me to talk with them privately. They told me that I was a negative influence in their home, and that I had the spirit of Satan around my person. They told me that my lack of faith was infectious and would soon destroy their home if I did not leave. I was gone within the week.

The worst part was them telling me not to speak with my little sister anymore, since she is young and impressionable. They were afraid that my honest questioning of the church would become contagious, and she would lose her faith.

Being told you are are a carrier for the devil, and that you will harm your family if you do not leave immediately, was enough to keep me quiet after that. I left with a sense of deep sadness.

This has not improved much among friends and family, especially after coming out as an Atheist. I committed social suicide among my church friends, and I keep in touch with absolutely none of them. It is as if I died, to them. '

I am equally confused as to why those who profess such a magical truth are so afraid of any outside influence. If you know the truth, what have you to fear? Doesn't it set you free?

Apparently not.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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21-10-2013, 01:02 PM
RE: Ask a Mormon
I feel badly for you in terms of your friends. I know what that is like to have friends that were more friends with my christianity than they were with me. Frusty

As it pertains to the sexual sins, how rampant was sexual scandal in the church you were in?

Its a shame so many religions criminalize sexual behavior of two consenting adults. Dr. Darrel Ray describes sexual restriction in religion in his book God & Sex as a Dam. A dam without controlled release can be extremely damaging. He also cites several studies that found a correlation (not causation) between sexual restriction and sexual perversion.
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21-10-2013, 01:21 PM
RE: Ask a Mormon
(21-10-2013 11:35 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  If you know the truth, what have you to fear? Doesn't it set you free?

Apparently not.

It is actually a very smart idea. It makes perfect sense to me. If you are raised to embrace faith and fear and to reject facts and truth, then you cannot easily be lead away from the church. It is where I am now. I can tell you that my religion was all lies and I can logically decide that god is not real but I cannot seem to shake that "faith" aka fear that was engraved into me as a child. I believe I will get there with time, but many people who realize that factually none of this is real still cling to that faith because they were taught to reject facts from a young age.

Also that is funny about turning dead Mormons gay. Oh dear lol. Oh the possibilities. Maybe turn my great grandmother into a lucky psychic? Then hope that the past her wins the lotto and maybe present me will inherent some money...hmmm
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21-10-2013, 02:01 PM
RE: Ask a Mormon
(21-10-2013 01:02 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  I feel badly for you in terms of your friends. I know what that is like to have friends that were more friends with my christianity than they were with me. Frusty

I felt badly about it myself for some time. Fortunately now I have better friends, including my wife, the best friend of all. One of my favorite quotes is from Christopher Hitchens. "Those who offer false consolation, are false friends." That is who my old friends were, false. I don't mind them being gone so much now. They have their faith, which was all they liked in me anyway.

(21-10-2013 01:02 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  As it pertains to the sexual sins, how rampant was sexual scandal in the church you were in?

Sexual matters were closeted in my church to the extreme. If anyone had any kind of sexual deviance issues among the adults, I never knew about it. It was a matter between them and their Bishop.

The Bishop in what is known as a "ward" acts as a sort of confessional for the members. They confess their sins to him in order to be forgiven by God, but must then follow his instructions exactly, or fail to repent. There is no "drink and be merry and then confess it on Sunday, repeat, repeat" like in the Catholic Church. They believe that if you commit a sin more than once, you retroactively receive the guilt and punishment for all the other times you have done so. Your former repentance is null and void.

Bishops can issue extreme punishments in some cases, such as excommunication or a loss of official priesthood authority.

As far as sexual scandel, the youth are an entirely different topic. The Mormon church has a special interest in its young people, and makes a point of bombarding them with activities, responsibility, priesthood ordinances, after school social gatherings, weekly teaching of the gospel, etc...until they can't breathe or remember who they are.

Part of this bombardment of responsibility is the "Bishop's Worthiness Interview". You become eligible for this personal interview with a bishop as young as 12 years old. At this age young men are ordained into the priesthood, and young women join the "Relief Society".

You sit alone in a small interview room, with a man more than three times your age. You have no advocate, not even a parent to protect you, or watch over you. You must then endure a series of uncomfortable questions about your personal life, faith, and sins, including an interrogation concerning whether or not you masturbate.

That's right, even little 12 year old girls must sit in a room with a middle aged man, who will be asking them whether or not they masturbate.

I endured this abuse myself on many occasions. Unfortunately I was stupid enough to be honest about how much I was masturbating. I thought God wanted me to be honest with his bishop. If I had known the years of forced shame and emotional degradation that I would have to endure as a result, I would have lied my little ass off.

(21-10-2013 01:02 PM)Cathym112 Wrote:  Its a shame so many religions criminalize sexual behavior of two consenting adults. Dr. Darrel Ray describes sexual restriction in religion in his book God & Sex as a Dam. A dam without controlled release can be extremely damaging. He also cites several studies that found a correlation (not causation) between sexual restriction and sexual perversion.

I know for a fact that sexual repression or restriction leads to perversion and disorder. I experienced an entire youth of uncontrollable desire to view pornography constantly. My insatiable appetite for sexual release surpassed the limits of physical and mental heath relatively quickly. The resulting shame and self loathing from a lifetime of indoctrination only worsened the downward spiral.

The irony was that upon losing my faith, and thus the sinful sex stigma, I became normal within two weeks. Everything just cooled right down to a reasonable level.

I now enjoy a happy, sexual marriage with my beautiful wife. All I needed was a little love. Smile

All of that hardly seemed worth the fuss everyone made for over 7 years. Not to mention the internal torture I experienced. Hell might not exist in the physical realm, but I know it is real in the mind because I lived through it.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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21-10-2013, 02:12 PM
RE: Ask a Mormon
(21-10-2013 01:21 PM)LostandInsecure Wrote:  It is actually a very smart idea. It makes perfect sense to me. If you are raised to embrace faith and fear and to reject facts and truth, then you cannot easily be lead away from the church. It is where I am now. I can tell you that my religion was all lies and I can logically decide that god is not real but I cannot seem to shake that "faith" aka fear that was engraved into me as a child. I believe I will get there with time, but many people who realize that factually none of this is real still cling to that faith because they were taught to reject facts from a young age.

I love where you are going with this and I completely agree with you. It looks designed to me, specifically to encourage absolute obedience and loyalty, while demonizing critical thinking.

Just to clarify though, my quote was headed in a different direction than where you were able to take it. Here it is in full.

(21-10-2013 01:21 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  I am equally confused as to why those who profess such a magical truth are so afraid of any outside influence. If you know the truth, what have you to fear? Doesn't it set you free?

Apparently not.

My original point was this; Why doesn't their belief make them happy and secure?

I know they aren't because they obviously fear the influence of anything contradictory. I do not go about my day avoiding anyone who might say "gravity is a lie" because I know it is not. I would be unchanging in my opinion regardless of who might say otherwise. My comfort in knowing about reality would not leave me.

Personally, I think they don't really believe. If they truly did, we wouldn't see this kind of insecurity. I think they know it is dubious at best, and they are clinging on to the dream as desperately as they can. The world is moving on to more reasonable thinking, and they both know and fear it.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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