Mormonism
#1
I was recently reading a book where there is a critique of Mormonism and a question came to my mind: how was it that such a nutbar and whackjob "religion" as Mormonism, so easy to debunk and so full of flaws and errors, could spread and become a very powerful and rich organization in America? Does it have anything to do with its early links with Freemasonry?
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#2


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#3
A tradition always seems crazy from the outside, but it looks very different when you've been surrounded with it since birth.
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#4
Given America's Protestant roots and its anti-intellectual religious tradition, I'm not surprised that Mormonism took hold.  Of course, there was a lot of persecution in the early days of Mormonism.  Sadly, Tertullian's statement "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the faith" seems to hold true for false religions as well.

Lastly, who else would want to live in Utah?  Grin
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#5
(02-17-2012, 04:40 PM)Montgisard Wrote: I was recently reading a book where there is a critique of Mormonism and a question came to my mind: how was it that such a nutbar and whackjob "religion" as Mormonism, so easy to debunk and so full of flaws and errors, could spread and become a very powerful and rich organization in America? Does it have anything to do with its early links with Freemasonry?

I don’t have a particular answer and I’m usually not inclined to ascribe much influence to modern day “freemasonry” (the local lodge is across from my town’s library; as I occasionally see the octogenarians wander out on their canes and walkers I have a difficult time seeing it as anything more than a very silly social club, still to be avoided).

There is a priest of the Diocese of Boise (recently retired) whose maternal grandparents were early LDS immigress to eastern Idaho from Norway.  I have been told or read that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the missionaries focused on the European lower classes and gained converts by the promise of free farm land in the U.S.  I do give them credit for a pioneer spirit as they typically settled in areas no body else wanted to live in because of their harshness.

This priest’s mother converted to the Catholic Church while she was pregnant with him.  As he had a large LDS extended family and much of his parish ministry was in an area of Idaho with a majority LDS population he would give about a two hour workshop on Mormonism for Catholics.  Unlike some of the protestant material on this topic Father went out of his way to be nice.  He simply explained the differences between Catholic and LDS beliefs, mentioned some of their virtues (the importance of family, devotion to the church, good values, self reliance and hard work, how they take care of their own, etc.), and touched on sensitive topics such as the temple rites in only a broad manner.  He would always have an LDS official at his workshop because he didn’t want to say anything about them that was incorrect.  I’ve been to two of his workshops and both times walked out thinking “they are even more messed up than I thought”. Grin

It’s always been a mystery to me as to how it experienced such growth.  I imagine it now probable has its share of “cultural mormons”, who stay with it because of familiar ties but don’t necessarily buy into its theories.  I have heard that a proportion of converts are attracted to it because of the “good values”, its family centeredness, wholesome youth activities, and they go for that without really “getting into” the more bizarre aspects of the theology.  Part of that may also be that Mormonism is still visible “monolithic” (the few offshoots such as the Reorganized LDS Church and the splinter polygamist groups are barely noticeable) where as what is called “Christianity” is, in the world’s view, divided into hundreds of different groups, with wide variations in beliefs and practices.
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#6
(02-17-2012, 05:25 PM)moneil Wrote:
(02-17-2012, 04:40 PM)Montgisard Wrote: I was recently reading a book where there is a critique of Mormonism and a question came to my mind: how was it that such a nutbar and whackjob "religion" as Mormonism, so easy to debunk and so full of flaws and errors, could spread and become a very powerful and rich organization in America? Does it have anything to do with its early links with Freemasonry?

I don’t have a particular answer and I’m usually not inclined to ascribe much influence to modern day “freemasonry” (the local lodge is across from my town’s library; as I occasionally see the octogenarians wander out on their canes and walkers I have a difficult time seeing it as anything more than a very silly social club, still to be avoided).

There is a priest of the Diocese of Boise (recently retired) whose maternal grandparents were early LDS immigress to eastern Idaho from Norway.  I have been told or read that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the missionaries focused on the European lower classes and gained converts by the promise of free farm land in the U.S.  I do give them credit for a pioneer spirit as they typically settled in areas no body else wanted to live in because of their harshness.

This priest’s mother converted to the Catholic Church while she was pregnant with him.  As he had a large LDS extended family and much of his parish ministry was in an area of Idaho with a majority LDS population he would give about a two hour workshop on Mormonism for Catholics.  Unlike some of the protestant material on this topic Father went out of his way to be nice.  He simply explained the differences between Catholic and LDS beliefs, mentioned some of their virtues (the importance of family, devotion to the church, good values, self reliance and hard work, how they take care of their own, etc.), and touched on sensitive topics such as the temple rites in only a broad manner.  He would always have an LDS official at his workshop because he didn’t want to say anything about them that was incorrect.  I’ve been to two of his workshops and both times walked out thinking “they are even more messed up than I thought”. Grin

It’s always been a mystery to me as to how it experienced such growth.  I imagine it now probable has its share of “cultural mormons”, who stay with it because of familiar ties but don’t necessarily buy into its theories.  I have heard that a proportion of converts are attracted to it because of the “good values”, its family centeredness, wholesome youth activities, and they go for that without really “getting into” the more bizarre aspects of the theology.  Part of that may also be that Mormonism is still visible “monolithic” (the few offshoots such as the Reorganized LDS Church and the splinter polygamist groups are barely noticeable) where as what is called “Christianity” is, in the world’s view, divided into hundreds of different groups, with wide variations in beliefs and practices.

If you attempt to confront Mormons on their "weirder" beliefs (Adam/God, blood atonement, infallible yet contradictory prophets, planet ownership), they immediately fall into two camps: 1) LDS who reject anything that sounds weird as "made up by opponents of the Church".  These are the cultural, yet practicing, mormons...they are essentially nondenoms who don't want their family to disown them.  2) People who acknowledge all these beliefs as dogma no matter the arguments against it.  Unfortunately there's not much hope for the latter category, as the "burning in the bosom" or whatever they experience is more important to them than facts or logic (e.g., the Truth).

Sadly, category 2 mormons have a lot in common with liberal catholics.
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#7
The initial success of Mormonism definitely is related to Joseph Smith openly teaching the Freemason ideology that many of his friends and family already believed.  After that, a certain snowball effect of plausibility occurred, "how can so many people be crazy?  Must be something to it."
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#8
If anyone doubts the role Freemasonry played in the founding and organization of Joseph Smith's cult, just read D. Michael Quinn's book "The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power".  Quinn is a Mormon historian and the research in his book is backed up by 300 pages of documentation.

I bought the book to learn about my ancestor, Isaac Morley, who was one of the two Mormon "patriarchs", the other being Joseph Smith Sr.  As it turned out old Isaac was a polygamist Freemason nutter, just like I suspected.  My dad's side of the family practically worships "Father Isaac, the Patriarch".  I just call him the "old pervert.  They scatter every time I bring up what's in Quinn's book.  Grin
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#9
(02-17-2012, 08:43 PM)Hawaii Five-0 Wrote: If anyone doubts the role Freemasonry played in the founding and organization of Joseph Smith's cult, just read D. Michael Quinn's book "The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power".  Quinn is a Mormon historian and the research in his book is backed up by 300 pages of documentation.

I bought the book to learn about my ancestor, Isaac Morley, who was one of the two Mormon "patriarchs", the other being Joseph Smith Sr.  As it turned out old Isaac was a polygamist Freemason nutter, just like I suspected.  My dad's side of the family practically worships "Father Isaac, the Patriarch".  I just call him the "old pervert.  They scatter every time I bring up what's in Quinn's book.   Grin

Thanks for the book rec; sounds interesting.  Keep on telling your family how it is.  Grin
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#10
To someone without faith and belief that JESUS is GOD , a wafer being GOD seems farfetched remember.
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