1 of 2
1
A real live apostle of Christ comes to town
Posted: 30 July 2006 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

Nice to see that indoctrination is alive and well in my former faith, Mormonism.  I attend there with my wife and kids one hour a week, as I have mentioned previously.  Today, a special treat was announced for this upcoming week. A bonefide special witness of Jesus Christ—even an apostle of the Lord is coming to our neck of the woods to speak to us. (Mormons believe that the Jesus' church was restored in 1830 through Joseph Smith, including apostles, prophets, deacons, priests, teachers etc)

Nearly all Mormons believe that the 12 living Mormon apostles and the current Prophet of the Mormon church have all seen and conversed with Jesus Christ.  Not joking.  I used to believe it too.  So to have one of these men visiting is supposed to be penultimate.

Our Stake President (the man acting as the highest presiding local area authority in my 200 mile vicinity) paid the congregation a visit.  He admonished us to prepare our hearts and minds through prayer and fasting to receive the words of this holy apostle of Christ next week.  I have met three times with this Stake President to declare my unbelief.  He is a sincere man who has tried to direct me in plugging up the holes in my testimony thereby shoring it back up to a workable design.  This next part of his speech, I felt, was directed at myself sitting in the audience.

The congregation was told that the spirit of the lord would be present in abundance.  Those who do not feel it at this meeting will surely know that their heart is hard and they are on dubious ground.  Those who are prepared will have a glorious feasting on the words of Christ.  If you are not found feasting, you are in error.

It is this type of mind manipulation that I now despise.  Mormonism is run on how things feel.  And the way "things" feel can and are manipulated to highly significant levels.  This man was doing the classic con setup and the most convincing part of this con is that the man himself is convinced and he does not even know he is part of a gigantic con.  The way I see it, it is what makes a con most effective or .. er..convincing.

Interestingly, this man is not reccommending that any of us attend the general conference of the "Reorganized" Mormon church.  This is a splinter group of Mormons deviated from the Salt Lake Mormons in 1844 who number about a million strong.  They too have 12 apostles and a prophet.  And glory be!! You ought to feel the spirit THERE!!  I am told that the "spirit" ratifies the calling of these "other" apostles just as strong as the Salt Lake church.

So, surprise, I plan on attending if my schedule permits.  It is not too often that an actual self-proclaimed and Church wide accepted living apostle of Jesus comes to my neck of the woods.  I am curious.

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 July 2006 04:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  43
Joined  2006-07-07

[quote author=“Noggin”]
This next part of his speech, I felt, was directed at myself sitting in the audience.

The congregation was told that the spirit of the lord would be present in abundance.  Those who do not feel it at this meeting will surely know that their heart is hard and they are on dubious ground.  Those who are prepared will have a glorious feasting on the words of Christ.  If you are not found feasting, you are in error.

Don’t be found in error!  Be found on vacation instead!  :mrgreen:

So, surprise, I plan on attending if my schedule permits.  It is not too often that an actual self-proclaimed and Church wide accepted living apostle of Jesus comes to my neck of the woods.  I am curious.

Oh.  *sigh*  Well, have fun.  Return and report.  Health in thy navel.  When you go to shake his hand, slip him the third token by surprise.  :twisted:

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 July 2006 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  402
Joined  2006-07-08

[quote author=“Noggin”]

The congregation was told that the spirit of the lord would be present in abundance.  Those who do not feel it at this meeting will surely know that their heart is hard and they are on dubious ground.  Those who are prepared will have a glorious feasting on the words of Christ.  If you are not found feasting, you are in error.

I am curious what happens in the mind of someone who believes that he has had direct revelation from God.  I know that revelation is somewhat fundimental to the Mormon faith, but what is the process?

Little Bobby (age 14) wakes up one day, and says,
“Moroni came to me!  He told me “Male and Female created He them,” therefore, all swimming pools must be segregated.  No Men and women at the same time!”

Now, In many other places of the world, this kid would be taken to a psychologist.  He would be analyzed and the appropiate treatment meted out.

Now, what would happen in Utah, or in any other region where direct revalation is observed?  Is there a filter?  How do the Elders (Mormon or otherwise) deal with this?

Just wondering,

Craig.

 Signature 

History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

-James Joyce

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 July 2006 04:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

[quote author=“switch”][quote author=“Noggin”]

The congregation was told that the spirit of the lord would be present in abundance.  Those who do not feel it at this meeting will surely know that their heart is hard and they are on dubious ground.  Those who are prepared will have a glorious feasting on the words of Christ.  If you are not found feasting, you are in error.

I am curious what happens in the mind of someone who believes that he has had direct revelation from God.  I know that revelation is somewhat fundimental to the Mormon faith, but what is the process?

What is the process.  Having expert level experience in this process I can broadcast a little light on the subject. 

Basically here is basic Mormon revelatory process 101.

You meet with the Mormon missionaries, they give you a Book of Mormon.  You chat for a while about the 1st vision that Joseph Smith had in 1820.  They tell you that Smith saw God and Jesus who told him all other churches were in error “Their lips talk of me but their hearts are far from me” (loosely paraphrased).  Next, you read a few passages from the Book of Mormon.  You are told, and you read about how Jesus, after his death in the east, resurrected and appeared to the Jews who lived in America (in all their millions).  The appearance is great and terrible and dramatically wonderful all at the same time.  Christ institutes the sacrament and basically gives the sermon on the mount to the western people.  This is justified by the eastern christ (New Testament) having been quoted as saying

Other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them too must I visit (very loosely paraphrased).

So then the missionaries, hoping you are enthralled by what they have thus imparted to your itching ears, challenge you to pray about the book of Mormon and if god answers you, will you be baptised?

You stammer.  They persist in a gentle authoritarian manner.  You say what you say.

If you actually decide to ask god if this Book of Mormon is true, this is the scriptorial guideline in which this revelatory process plays out:

Moroni 10:3-5

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.  
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things

These words of Moroni that you just read are coming from a man who was the last Mormon prophet in the book of Mormon.  He supposedly roamed the hills and dales of North America around 400 A.D or so. (Growing support now occuring by some who say he roamed Central America but what’s a few thousand miles).

So, now, having thoroughly disected this passage of scripture, you are now ready to kneel down and ask God if the Book of Mormon is true.

1. You must be sincere:  What will you do with an answer from god if he were to give it to you?  Are you going to do nothing?  Probably not going to receive an answer with that mind set

2. You must have real intent: see above

3. You must have faith in Christ: Faith in Allah not going to get you very far.

If you have these three things, supposedly, God will cause your heart to swell with gladness and joy at some point after asking him.  Others might feel strong confidence in their mind that what the missionaries imparted is true.  This also is a proper “hit” from the Mormon revealing god.  Read Galations 5 to see the “fruits of the spirit”.  And there it is, in all of its glory.  Joy (specifically timely joy after praying) is supposed to be the penultimate source of truth revealed.  If it makes you feel really great inside, warm, bubbly, excited and full of light then it is god telling you that Mormonism is true.

That is how one is to know that something is true pertaining to the kingdom of the Mormon god. 

Now, consider that countless people I ran into asked god and received nothing.  Just tumbleweeds blowing in the desert.  I saw that they wanted to know, and viewed how they told me that they were sincere (i.e. they would be baptised if god revealed the Truth to them).  But nothing.  These people puzzled me as a missionary.  Why would god do that.  God’s ways are not man’s ways.  Anyhow, they were chalked up and compartmentalized into some sort of rationale of not being ready to follow the Truth for some undisclosed reason… the real intent was not real enough (?)... or perhaps they had some undisclosed sin that kept them unworthy for god to filter his spirit upon them.  That is a bizzare but widely accepted reason in Mormonism as to why some people feel the spirit dictating to them whereas others do not.  Sin makes people unworthy.  God dwells not in unclean temples sort of thinking.

However, many people receive(d) answers.  Many people chose not to follow the answer.  (Again, wouldn’t god know that they were not going to actually follow through with their answer?  I thought real intent was a requirement?) We felt very sorry and sad for them.  33 people I knew personally in Europe did get baptized.  It was cause for much joy back then.  Only 3 are still active last census I took 5 years ago.

Little Bobby (age 14) wakes up one day, and says,
“Moroni came to me!  He told me “Male and Female created He them,” therefore, all swimming pools must be segregated.  No Men and women at the same time!”

Now, In many other places of the world, this kid would be taken to a psychologist.  He would be analyzed and the appropiate treatment meted out.

Now, what would happen in Utah, or in any other region where direct revalation is observed?  Is there a filter?  How do the Elders (Mormon or otherwise) deal with this?

Good question.  There is a definite heirarchy in this type of revelation.  The ground rules are as follows:

Lower ranking preisthood officials cannot receive revelation pertaining to the domain of higher ranking preisthood officials.  God is not the author of confusion so therefore he worketh in very distinctly laid out channels of communication.  However, regarding ones family and personal life, personal revelation is highly encouraged.  That means conflict could arise between husband and wife… but ultimately the wife is asked to swallow up her will into the will of the preisthood holder… as long as her preisthood holder (husband) is deemed to be righteous (i.e. anxiously engaged in a worthy and righteous Mormon cause).

Mormonism preisthood is extended only to “worthy” (tithe paying, chaste, non smoking, non drinking, non coffee, willing to serve in church capacity) males and is set up in quorums.

Deacons: 12 yr olds
Teachers: 14 yr olds
Preists: 16 yr olds
Elders: 19 to say 40’s
High preists: anywhere from 25ish to the grave

Then there is the general authority presiding over these quorums found in

Bishops: The “father” of a ward consisiting of about 300 members
Stake President: The “father” of a stake consisting of about 1500 - 2000 members.  There is also a governing body of high counslors (usually about 12 men) who preside in functions and are also charged with the task of discipline… i.e. excommunications/disfellowshipment.
Area presidency: 10-20 stakes

and so forth up to the apostles and finally the prophet.

No man is called to these positions unless he is found completely swallowed up in the system… i.e. willing to submit every part of him to the “way things are”.  Few times is there any friction, if friction is found say from a bishop when asked by a stake president to do something and the bishop refuses, he will be seen in error and frowned upon.

My father was my bishop from age 11 to 17.  He has served in stake presidencies.  He is currently serving as a counselor to a bishop.

Last thought here:  In hindsight, I now see that one of the reason the personal lives of Mormons are spelled out in such rigid do’s and don’ts is so that less confusion or conflicting revelation happens.  The tighter reign that the Mormon government can hold, the fewer chances for dissent to happen.  It is a black and white thinking society that works for many.  I should say that making covenants with a god in god’s holy temples helps too.  These covenants are bound up by oaths of allegiance.  This helps the process of submission and it works rather well.

I hope this was helpful.

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 July 2006 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  402
Joined  2006-07-08

[quote author=“Noggin”]

Mormonism preisthood is extended only to “worthy” (tithe paying, chaste, non smoking, non drinking, non coffee, willing to serve in church capacity) males and is set up in quorums.

Well, that pretty much cuts me out in toto.

Seriously, Mike, Thank you for the info.  I’ve looked into Mormonism before, but I have never had that part of it broken down so well for me before.

Now, I was kinda pulled in half growing up.  My father’s familly is from New York.  They are Congragationalists.  “Protestant Freethinkers!  They helped free the slaves.  Yay!”
My Mother’s side is Southern Baptist.
Now, My mother does not believe in the dogma of her familly.  She laments this.  She wishes she had the faith of her sister…...

I felt the same way too.  I really wanted to be a good Christian.
There was always this thing nipping at my side though.
I just couldn’t believe.
No matter how I tried.  It just didn’t make sense.
I’d go to prayer meetings, Church, I’d be polite, but it seemed like a con to me.

I remember, My Mom hooked me up with her friend’s Husband.  We used to meet every saturday when I was 18, at Perkins, and discuss God’s plan for me.

This ended one day when I tried to talk politics.  I stated my case, and he said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa,....you wouldn’t think that way if you hear Brother Shmashma speak last week….. He put the situation and it’s biblical relevency in perspective.”
That’s one of the many moments that I realized I couldn’t do it.
I felt bad for my Ma ‘cuz she couldn’t find faith.  I have told her since that I admire her for it.  I was dragged from one church to another as a kid,  all of them trying to show me the way..I guess I was lucky,  all along I never bought it.
Mike, I really like reading you, I feel your pain.  Even though you are going through this now, I remember when I was a kid and really wanted to beleive and felt like my arms were being pulled out of their sockets.  It will pass. Just stick by your Guns and your friends and your work.

I am way off topic.  I wanted to say something else but got a smarmy (that’s a chicago word, i think).
I just forgot how hard it was for me back in the day to release myself.  Thank you for reminding me of that.  I wish good luck to you and your family.  If you ever come to the North-west neighborhoods of Chicago, I’ll get you a most Frosty Guiness.

craig.

 Signature 

History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

-James Joyce

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 August 2006 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

Hello Craig, Forum.

I have hesitated to post this next bit because the experience was so significant to my family that for them to read me here casting any sort of dark light on it would cause serious strain.  But post it I must.

Our family had one of the ultimate sacred Mormon experiences that can happen to a Mormon family.  Remember I said that a Mormon apostle was coming to visit our area?  I was not kidding.  Now, you all who are not LDS (Mormon), might snicker behind hands at the significance of this man’s stature in Mormon circles.  How can I paint it?  Take a random sample of devout Mormons out of a room and 9 out of 10 of them will tell you straight up that they believe that a Mormon apostle is no different in significance than Peter James or John and the rest of Jesus’ apostles.  When I say “no difference”, I mean it.  90% of Mormons believe that apostles communicate face to face with Jesus Christ.  They “know” that Jesus directs the affairs of the Mormon church and to do so, must interface with his prophet and apostles.  Can’t say it much plainer.  If Jesus is going to appear to any mortal, he will do this first with the prophet and apostles.

So what happened to our family?

We experienced a tragedy recently in our family so great that our area authority who was hosting the apostle for the weekend mentioned my dad’s name.  The apostle declared that he was interested in meeting with my father.  So he did.  Right after the conference address he gave to our area.  We all waited in the room for him to come by, fully expecting him to arrive and depart with my father for a closed session of counsel.  Instead, the apostle stayed in the room with us all and spoke quietly to my father while we listened.

He had some kind words of advice to give.  He spoke so softly I could barely hear what he was saying.  And you could hear a pin drop.  After the counsel, he stood and extended an invitation to give my father a priesthood blessing.  Mormon blessings are supposed to be extended via pure revelation from god.  As a believer, I gave a few blessings to heal those who were sick, comfort the weary and depressed.  Mormons lay their hands upon the afflicted’s head and basically tune into god and say a prayer that they feel is generated by the holy ghost… in essence, they speak what they believe god wants said to the individual.  It takes a man who feels he is “worthy” to stand in such a conduit.  So as you might imagine, doling out priesthood blessings for the lay Mormon is a daunting task much of the time.  However, I saw a few good results in my day.  But that is another story. 

In short, to receive a blessing from an Apostle!  Oh.  This is supposed to be Jesus’ right hand man.  I mean, I don’t know how else to explain this.  The conduit to god does not get much more refined. 

Okay so the priesthood circle was formed around my seated father.  I was invited to join the circle and help assist in the ordinance but since I did not believe in Mormonism, I declined.  The apostle was gracious enough about it.  I got a few -all but jaw gaping- odd glances from my believing brother’s in law as if to say to me

what are you crazy??  this is an apostle of The Lord Jesus Christ!  You have a chance to stand in a priesthood circle with an apostle and you are denying it?

Well? Deny it I did.  I am big on being true to what is inside me these days.  Call me crazy.  I certainly did not want to be jerkish or offend anyone, I was there for moral support anyway.  I am past wanting to offend or callously call attention to myself over my unbelief.  They believe it, so be it.  It helps them through life’s challenges.  Denying it, I feared, would detract… but I had to deny it. 

Anyway.  Some really tender words were spoken by the apostle.  There was a general edification felt.  My father was admonished to continue after the Savior’s example so that perhaps members in my father’s family might recapture their feelings about the gospel.  My sister is an atheist.  She was not present.  Three of my cousins do not believe in Mormonism.  I am a non theist.  So I gather he was pointing a marker at us.  Which is fine and expected.  After the blessing, he stood back and went through the room to shake our hands. He came to me and nodded his head forward in my direction and I capitulated.

I wasn’t overly floored by his presence.  But I was touched that a man of his stature would take the time to do this for my father.  I was happy for his thoughtfulness.  I know it meant a great deal to Dad.  It was very touching.  I was amazed to see how much of a human the apostle really was in real life.  I had heard countless sermons from this man over the years.  I had studied his words and thoughts.  Religion seemed to have had a honing effect on his person.  He seemed, well, graduated… or transcended.  But not in an obvious way.  After he left, one of my sisters exclaimed

Well!  We certainly have been edified by this meeting!

There was a brimming of gratitude and awe in her voice at the same time.  She was enraptured, high, full of zeal.  Seriously, good for her.  It was a galvanizing event for them all.

Overall, it was a gracious experience.  I imagine I would feel reverence meeting the Dahli Lama or the Pope too.  These are devoted men who have given themselves completely to an ideal and there is something that ought to be revered by that.  I understand that many of you will declare that he is just a man… and I know that he is… but I admit that such a man has walked a few more steps of progress against human temptation than I have.  Is it will power?  Is it divine intervention or assistance?  I say it is will power, but, you know…

I am happy to note that my belief structure has come out unscathed.  You might laugh, Why wouldn’t it?  And I say that you just don’t understand the significance.  Which is why I hesitated to post this.  I am fine if you do not understand it.  I just wanted to chronicle the experience with some amount of ambivelant respect. 

When I learned that he would be meeting with the entire family, I wondered if I would feel some Pentecostal fire in my bones that would knock the cobwebs off of my unbelieving heart.  I think an unbelieving but formerly devout Catholic would wonder the same had he a chance to meet the pope.  It did not happen.  Most Mormons who read that declaration would say that I am “past feeling” meaning I am now dead to things of a spiritual nature.

I’d take that as a compliment wink

A link to a 2005 sermon entitled, “Truth Restored” given by this apostle:
http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-559-25,00.html

primer:  ...How do we know these truths? How can you confirm their validity? You see around you great confusion regarding the nature of God, His teachings, and the purpose of life. How then does God, our Heavenly Father, guide His children on earth? How does He communicate truth and His will so that faithful, believing children can make the right choices and receive the blessings Heavenly Father wants them to have? I will explain….

Noggin

post script:  I would like to point out the different tones from my original post in this thread compared to the one I just did.  The reverence you detect is practically palpable.  It was an experience that brought our family closer together than it has been in years.  I guess in whatever format that arrives in my world, I celebrate (as far as I am able).  koom bye yah…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 October 2006 03:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  63
Joined  2006-10-01

As an exCatholic, I understand how you feel. I am also glad that you were able to be an observer, and be objective about your beliefs/feelings in such an emotional situation.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 October 2006 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  985
Joined  2005-12-16

[quote author=“Noggin”]Well! We certainly have been edified by this meeting!

There was a brimming of gratitude and awe in her voice at the same time. She was enraptured, high, full of zeal. Seriously, good for her. It was a galvanizing event for them all.

Overall, it was a gracious experience. I imagine I would feel reverence meeting the Dahli Lama or the Pope too. These are devoted men who have given themselves completely to an ideal and there is something that ought to be revered by that. I understand that many of you will declare that he is just a man… and I know that he is… but I admit that such a man has walked a few more steps of progress against human temptation than I have. Is it will power? Is it divine intervention or assistance? I say it is will power, but, you know…

Noggin,

I have met many wonderful people fitting your description: “transformed by faith”. Interestingly, the most genuine, most sincere, most happy were rather simple and not high in the church’s hierarchy. Nuns, followers of oriental guru, psychics, even Muslems (in Istambul).

I read the link you posted and ... was not very much impressed with it. If you ever feel you are loosing your skeptical attitude and need good invigorating injection of agnosticism I will have some suggestions about “alternative” reading. No, not some dismantling of religion. I think that readings by “even more inspired saints from competing (to Mormonism) belief systems” will have the power to put your emotional experience in the right perspective. Other than that what can I say. Goodness is good and welcome even if it comes in the religious garb.

Thomas Orr

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 October 2006 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

[quote author=“Thomas Orr”]I read the link you posted and ... was not very much impressed with it.

You weren’t?  First of all, I am thankful that you took the time to read that sermon this supposed modern day 21st century “apostle” of Jesus Christ gave.  I am impressed, actually.  I am very intrigued as to how you were not impressed by this man’s allegedly profound insight.  You should know that 99% of all Mormons revere every word that this man speaks as second only to God almighty’s.  When I tell you that this man is an apostle, I mean it in every sense of the word.  Men and women in Mormonism hold that Mr. Scott is no more nor less apostle than Peter, James, John and the rest.  In ever way.

If you ever feel you are losing your skeptical attitude and need good invigorating injection of agnosticism I will have some suggestions about “alternative” reading.

I am always open to suggestions.  I feel rather tightened up as of late, very much steeped in my agnosticism—which is why I posted what I did on this experience.  Before, I would have doubted myself, felt chagrined to have strayed so far from the Mormon ideal… perhaps been in awe and falling all over this man, whereas now, that was not the case.  I respected that he stood in the gap and held a high line of morality and that he gave his entire life to serving the Mormon masses.  But I did not fall all over him and experience some rapture like my sister (see the OP).

No, not some dismantling of religion. I think that readings by “even more inspired saints from competing (to Mormonism) belief systems” will have the power to put your emotional experience in the right perspective.

I am positive of this.  I have read quite a few books by non mormons that have had much more profundity entrained into them.  It is one of the experiences that caused me to start questioning my faith 8 years ago.  I would come away from listening to the Mormon apostles speak and sometimes be shaken with “That’s it, then? ... that is all the apostle of God has to offer our generation… don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t have sex… keep the sabbath day holy and pay tithing.. and serve god in everything you do? ”  I mean, conference became same old same old.  I never did quite understand those (like my parents and their friends and my wife) who became enraptured, filled with the spirit of god with the marvelous things the apostles chose to impart.  Some times I would feel uplifted and inspired, sometimes not.

At the tail end of my final months of devout belief in Mormonism, the actual alleged Prophet of God, Gordon B. Hinkley gave a sermon on the temple experience and how sacred it all was.  It was one of those lightbulb experiences for my unbelief.  I kept picturing myself and every other Mormon I knew dressed up in the white temple robes with the green aprons on and the sashes… all around the temple altar making the strange (but holy don’t forget) signs of the holy priesthood with their hands and arms.  After saturating my mind with this imagery, I stood a little taller with conviction that this could not possibly be god’s Only True Church on earth.  It seemed so transparent.  So Masonic.  So invented.  So bizarre.  It was only a few months later that I was able to tell my wife I no longer wanted to wear the priesthood underwear under my daily clothing any more due to my unbelief.

Other than that what can I say. Goodness is good and welcome even if it comes in the religious garb.

Yes.  Religion ‘works’ for them.  Staunch theists make annoyingly closed minded but good neighbors.

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 October 2006 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  985
Joined  2005-12-16

[quote author=“Noggin”]I am very intrigued as to how you were not impressed by this man’s allegedly profound insight. You should know that 99% of all Mormons revere every word that this man speaks as second only to God almighty’s. When I tell you that this man is an apostle, I mean it in every sense of the word. Men and women in Mormonism hold that Mr. Scott is no more nor less apostle than Peter, James, John and the rest. In ever way.

Maybe because I count myself among the prohets? grin

Now, why wasn’t I impressed with the writings? Nothing personal. There is only as much I can be impressed by writings and apostles stuck inside the Christian framework. I quickly verified that Mr. Scott is not an exception and subject to the same limitations other Christian persona are.

To go beyond limitation of Christianity, so you can be impressed even more by the saint-like figures, try Yogananda (Autobiography of a yogi) or New Age types like Edgar Cayce (well, Cayce was formally a Christian but is known as a psychic with all the implications making him more of the New Age type than, say, Billy Graham type).

Thomas Orr

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 October 2006 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1632
Joined  2006-09-23

[quote author=“Noggin”]Staunch theists make annoyingly closed minded but good neighbors.

Well, in some cases.  I’ve just finished reading Vikram Seth’s novel A Suitable Boy (1400 pages, researched for 10 years, on life in post independence India, 1951-1952).

One episode depicts a Muslim parade and a Hindu parade that just happens to intersect each other as the Muslims are going to the mosque and the Hindus are going to the Ganga (River).  The Sunni Muslims are mourning the slaughter of Hussain and other rightful heirs of Mohammed (according to them), the men flagellating themselves with chains to which nails and razor blades were attached.  On the other hand, the Hindus are celebrating a festival of joy.  When the two processions run into each other, the Hindus are enraged at the Muslims’ wailing and mourning interrupting their joyous occasion (reunion of two gods or something like that).  There was constant tension between the two communities anyway.

So the Hindus start screaming at the Muslims for daring to profane their religious celebration with this insulting behavior.  The Muslims are already armed and start bashing the Hindus with their flagellation tools.  Despite police presence, there are quickly two mobs that broke up into most people fleeing home to hide and some (young men) roaming around the streets in groups killing each other.

A Hindu main character has brought his Muslim friend (and occasional sex buddy though neither are “gay”) to see the parade.  Instead they are confronted by a squad of Hindu men who demand they identify themselves.  The Hindu does and is asked to recite a passage of scripture (Gita), which he does. 

They then turn to his friend.  The Hindu says that the friend is a Hindu too.  The thugs’ leader says “It’s easy to prove, isn’t it?”  By this they mean that Muslims are circumcised and Hindus aren’t.  The Hindu character knows they will kill his friend if they see his penis, so he quickly goes on verbal attack and shames the leader for this awful behavior during a sacred ceremony.  The leader is slightly rattled, enough for the two characters to run away. 

They hide in the Hindu’s sister’s house, which they know is safe since her husband is a minor local politician.  But the sister has to go next door to find a phone so that she can let the Muslim’s family know he’s with them, so they won’t send out a search party and possibly get themselves killed.  She has to word the call with great care because the neighbor is listening and she can’t give away the fact that a Muslim is in her house. 
Subsequently, the Hindu character is known to the Muslim community as having saved the life of one of their own.

Rural untouchable castes were apparently treated like Negroes in the Jim Crow south.  One, 18 years old, goes to the city and forgets the “hell” he grew up in.  He comes back for a visit, rides his bike around the village,  and asks a higher-caste woman for a drink of water.  Fatal error.  That night, other higher-caste Hindus grab him, make him eat feces, and bash in his brains.  Everyone knows who they are and what they did but nothing happens to them.

Gandhi wasn’t violent but he accepted the caste system.  He said “Let a scavenger remain a scavenger” for instance.  (Caste members were expected to do the dirty work of society and sons had to follow their fathers and grandfather into the same job.)

There is so much violence, cruelty, and oppression in this book, towards the end, it’s awful.  I have no reason to believe it’s all made up.

Now, in my experience, Mormons do make good neighbors.  At least in northern California.

In case you’ve read this far, Noggin, I wonder if you have noticed more of an emphasis on Jesus in LDS life and worship recently.  I’ve read that there was an inclination that way so as to be more appealing to Christians in general.  Less of Joseph Smith, in other words.

 Signature 

“I will tell you with the utmost impudence that I esteem much more his Person, than his Works.”

  (Dryden, St. Euremont’s Essays, 1692.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 October 2006 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

[quote author=“made_maka”]
In case you’ve read this far, Noggin, I wonder if you have noticed more of an emphasis on Jesus in LDS life and worship recently.  I’ve read that there was an inclination that way so as to be more appealing to Christians in general.  Less of Joseph Smith, in other words.

What an engrossing post, made_maka.  Thanks.  All I can say is I am glad that religious zealots are what they are on the American soil.  But, I sense a polarizing.

Okay, as for Mormons emphasizing Jesus, yes that happened early 1990’s.  Mormons were accused flagrantly by most of the christian sects of being unchristian with their wierd temple ceremonies and hero worship for Joseph Smith.  In fact, even recently the Catholic church would accept baptisms done in some non-catholic religions thus negating the need for these converts to have a proper catholic baptism.  Well, the rub goes like this… Mormons are so unchristian in the Vatican’s vantage point, that if a Mormon were to convert to Catholicism, that person would definately need another bonefide “real” baptism performed by Catholic clergy.  Hmmmph.  Well.  Of all the nerve.  That really rankled the feathers in Salt Lake.  The big 15 (12 apostles of the day, the prophet, and his two “counselors”) met in a secret session and determined something had to be done.  They hired a big national level PR firm (the name escapes me) to see what could be done about their good name.  After all, the baptism conversion rates were down in the USA.

1. They changed the type face of the missionary placard, and the official name of the church from

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

to

The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints

They felt that ALLCAPS on the JC name would send a clear message to non Mormons everywhere.

2.  Mormons went on a huge high dollar radio and TV ad campaign.  Remember the catch phrase? 

Family….. It’s about ..... time

clever.

3.  Dictations from the pulpit went out fairly regularily that encouraged all members not to engage in bible bashing with other denominations.

4.  A world wide humanitarian Aid relief fund was set up for members to contribute (ANOTHER fund?  Good grief! They already give 10% of gross earnings!)

There are many other ways that they tried to improve their image.  Lately, though, the church has spent around 2 billion dollars in acquiring the huge Mall in down town Salt Lake City.  They are the largest land and building owner in Utah.  They invest heavily in cattle ranches.

5.  The Prophet, Mr. Hinkley, went on national television with Larry King (whose wife is devout Mormon) and Mike Wallace over the space of two years.  Hinkley tried to dispell the notion that they worship a different Christ than the rest of the world but bungled it when pushed to the wall.  He said,

[Do you believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity?] “No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.’”

So with that 1998 bungle, the church has continued to back peddle and hem and hah.  They have tried to bridge many gaps with their Christian neighbors.  Go to any Mormon chat room (see http://www.fairlds.org) and I bet that in the last 3 months someone has trotted out this argument and beat the horse within an inch of it’s life again. 
“Oh No!  My neighbor says I am not a Christian… what dear lord do I tell him!!!”  blah blah blah.

Then the faithful console themselves at how misunderstood they are from the rest of the world.  You can practically see the inky seperatist mentality ooze forth, the Us vs Them polarity, the persecution complex.  It is all there.

But I am rambling again.

6.  oh yes! I almost forgot!  In 1991 they made a most significant change to the temple ceremony.  They took out all the pantomiming of the gruesome death oaths that we were all supposed to swear to.  I had to swear allegiance to the church and never divulge the sacred secrets in the temple ceremony.  the wording went something like

I will never reveal this token or sign as given to me, rather than do so, I would suffer my life **pantomime slashing my throat, my stomach and my chest** to be taken.

there were some other very important parts of the temple ceremony taken out.  OH!  They took out the part where the Christian minister gets all but heckled by Adam and Eve for being a servant of Satan… and for preaching “the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture”  Hmmm. I wonder why they would take that part out!  duh.

did you make it this far?  That was the best part!  I hope you read the whole thing wink

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 October 2006 06:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  41
Joined  2006-06-26

[quote author=“Noggin”]
6.  oh yes! I almost forgot!  In 1991 they made a most significant change to the temple ceremony.  They took out all the pantomiming of the gruesome death oaths that we were all supposed to swear to.  I had to swear allegiance to the church and never divulge the sacred secrets in the temple ceremony.  the wording went something like

I will never reveal this token or sign as given to me, rather than do so, I would suffer my life **pantomime slashing my throat, my stomach and my chest** to be taken.

there were some other very important parts of the temple ceremony taken out.  OH!  They took out the part where the Christian minister gets all but heckled by Adam and Eve for being a servant of Satan… and for preaching “the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture”  Hmmm. I wonder why they would take that part out!  duh.

Noggin- 

Also, in case you didn’t know they changed the Temple Ceremony again.  The Washing and Annointings have been altered so there is only touching on the face.  I guess being naked with a sheet cloth covering you like a pancho doesn’t seem to be welcomed all that well and then have water placed on specific parts of your naked body.  I definitely would have to say that was a very unusual ritual performed at the temple.  I’m glad they changed that ceremony because that seems to have caused a lot of problems with some memebers/ex-members that I’ve spoken to about the original ceremony.

 Signature 

Read not to contradict nor believe, but to weigh and consider.

-Francis Bacon

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 October 2006 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1632
Joined  2006-09-23

[quote author=“Noggin”]

I wrote a long reply to this post and the forum ate it!  (Or maybe I hit “preview” instead of “submit”?)

I’ll try to write it again sometime today.

 Signature 

“I will tell you with the utmost impudence that I esteem much more his Person, than his Works.”

  (Dryden, St. Euremont’s Essays, 1692.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 October 2006 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  985
Joined  2005-12-16

[quote author=“made_maka”][quote author=“Noggin”]

I wrote a long reply to this post and the forum ate it!  (Or maybe I hit “preview” instead of “submit”?)

I’ll try to write it again sometime today.

made_maka,

before hitting the submit button select the entire text you typed and copy to clipboard (Ctrl+C). When something goes wrong start edit again and copy your text from the clipboard (Ctrl+V).

Or, when you did something you didn’t want to use the browser’s <= Back button. Your text should be still there.

Thomas Orr

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 October 2006 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1632
Joined  2006-09-23

[quote author=“Thomas Orr”]
before hitting the submit button select the entire text you typed and copy to clipboard (Ctrl+C). When something goes wrong start edit again and copy your text from the clipboard (Ctrl+V).

Good advice.  I know I should do this and always let my guard down.

I don’t actually know what the clipboard is… my husband will.  I usually save in Notepad.  Can you save to the clipboard between sessions?

Or, when you did something you didn’t want to use the browser’s <= Back button. Your text should be still there.

Aha!  This will be helpful With this one, though, I thought I had posted successfully.  It wasn’t until I came back today that I saw it wasn’t there.

 Signature 

“I will tell you with the utmost impudence that I esteem much more his Person, than his Works.”

  (Dryden, St. Euremont’s Essays, 1692.)

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed