2 of 5
2
Chronicles of Mormonia II
Posted: 27 March 2007 03:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

Hello woofy

Temples and chapels are built out of the tithing coffers, (and I think welfare factories and the aquisition of farm land are also bought and built with tithing dollars too but not sure).  Each temple lately has a price tag of many millions of dollars.  The Washington DC temple, for example was rumored to cost 15 million three decades ago and members of the Church that would be attending the temple were asked to help in providing at least four and a half million dollars. Local members eventually raised six million dollars.

So with that, it appears, members were paying more than 10% tithing to get that built.  To be fair, I cannot recall the church asking local members to pay for or raise money for the Sacramento temple that was just built in our area a year or two ago.  If this is so, those in Washington DC who sweated blood and tears to cough up 6 million might feel a little ripped off for being required to give so much to get their temple.  I should look into that.

Tithing also goes to fund the many church owned canneries that are staffed largely by gratis volunteer workers.  The canneries provide food for hungry people.  I have spent many saturday mornings coring apples for the applesauce machine.  It’s actually fun in a quasi cult like brotherhood comraderie kind of way.  You definitely feel special.  You feel good inside helping those who cannot make ends meet.  It’s a very tangible do gooder feeling.  You feel, oh I don’t know how else to say it… “full” and satisfied for having helped at the end of your 4 to 6 hour shift.  These good feelings are repeatedly driven into the members as The Spirit testifying of The Lord’s majestic means of providing for his people.  It aint all bad feeding the hungry like that.  Oh and if you are needy and Mormon, it’s kind of required, if you are able, to work in the canneries, chicken farms, sugar beet fields, cattle ranch or whatever Mormon subsidy is closest to you to “pay your way”.  I worked all of that as often as I could growing up and even in college just to reconnect with that feeling of helping the greater good.  But it isn’t just the poor who show up for a shift.  Many able bodied wealthy members work alongside the poor and needy all the time.  All Mormons pull the weight of the church along as they are able.

On my way out of Mormonism, I wondered a time or two why government could not envision a similar volunteer program to feed its hungry.

Aside from the 10% tithe faithful members are encouraged to give “generously” to a offering called “fast offering” wherin one goes without food for 2 meals and the money that they did not spend on those meals goes into this fund.  Usually most who can give about $20 to $50 dollars every month to this fund but many give more than that if they are able.  And the fast offering is designed to take care of the needy Mormons first. 

When the Tsunami hit, the LDS church provided world aid to the tune of millions. 

It’s programs like this (canneries, chicken farms, sugar beet fields etc) and how effectively they run that probably keep many fringe (doubting) members in tact. It’s hard to argue with the effectiveness and resulting teamwork good feeling that the entire membership partakes in.  Few things can bind men and women together more than good hard volunteer work accompanied with a smile and a hug.  Not to mention the breakfasts provided prior to weeding the fields were really great feel good motivators.  No breakfasts offered at the cannery… and you really did not feel like eating too much what with the stench around at the chicken farm. 

I gather that if you found things wrong with the theology, you could shore that up by looking around at the welfare programs etc and find things to prop your lacking testimony back up.  It’s fairly easy to doubt but say, “yeah, but look at the good it does”. 

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2007 02:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  313
Joined  2006-11-03

Hey Noggin’—
    Thank you for a thorough and thoughtful reply.  You have answered in excellent detail just the question I was getting at, and have voiced the same dilemma in your conclusion:  namely, that even though religions are fraught with error, bigotry, violence, etc. etc. etc…  they also do a great deal of good in the world.  I would argue that the sum total actions of charity (in dollars and volunteer hours) performed by the religions of the world probably far outweigh the contributions of secular organizations.  Of course, the main reason for that is that membership in world religions far outweigh membership in secular organizations.  My point is that on this forum, the negative aspects of religion are very well covered, are eloquently argued—but the positive aspects of religion are rarely brought up.  My thought is, how devastating would it be to the recipients of these charities… the millions of sick, hungry and poor… if they were to be removed?  Do you believe that secular charitable giving will ever approach the levels that have been achieved by religions?  It would be pretty amazing.  Meanwhile, I hate to think of hungry children dying of starvation because the religious charity that used to bring them food and clean water and clothing and medicines and educational supplies, is no longer.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2007 03:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

[quote author=“woofy”]Hey Noggin’—
    Thank you for a thorough and thoughtful reply.  You have answered in excellent detail just the question I was getting at, and have voiced the same dilemma in your conclusion:  namely, that even though religions are fraught with error, bigotry, violence, etc. etc. etc…  they also do a great deal of good in the world.  I would argue that the sum total actions of charity (in dollars and volunteer hours) performed by the religions of the world probably far outweigh the contributions of secular organizations.

You might be right.  And if you are, what does that say about our humanity?  That we humans need to be tricked into performing charity?  We have to believe in something vague and untestable to get off the couch and perform?  It’s heroic that men and women do these acts in the name of a god.  Therefore, how much more heroic is it to do these things because of no other reason than it should be done regardless if any gods exist?

If humans can perform for vague and untestable gods, then we by default know this capacity to perform is there.  Removing gods, we just might be able to discover the benefit of performing charity for the sake of charity.  I know many atheists who have figured this out.  Usually, when a godless heathen figures this out, and actually goes down to the soup kitchen or like Salt Creek goes and donates a few hours a week for environmental benefits (landfills), this person discovers a treasure trove of euphoria much more fulfilling than any religion could ever bestow.

In Mormonism, I served in the canneries, the sugar beet farm, the chicken farm, the temple, and in the chapel teaching the members about god and the scriptures.  The undercurrent was always doing X to please god Y.  I eventually found it completely hollow.  I honestly do not know how this is an effective motivator for most theists.  It’s chasing a carrot as one can never do enough, there is always more to be done, and if you don’t do it hellfire awaits you.

Of course, the main reason for that is that membership in world religions far outweigh membership in secular organizations.  My point is that on this forum, the negative aspects of religion are very well covered, are eloquently argued—but the positive aspects of religion are rarely brought up.

I think you should address this.  Woofy, seriously, you should start a thread discussing what atheists see positive about religion.  Predicting an unusually heated discussion.  If I thought religion was a “positive” more than a negative, I, thinking carefully here, would not be an atheist.  I’ve argued that religion polarizes people far too much to the point that they become stunted.  Sam Harris capitulates how religious faith is on track to becoming our undoing.  Having been steeped in Mormonism, and being able to attest to how solidly a human can “know” they are right about god, I readily second Mr. Harris’s doomsday motion.

  My thought is, how devastating would it be to the recipients of these charities… the millions of sick, hungry and poor… if they were to be removed?  Do you believe that secular charitable giving will ever approach the levels that have been achieved by religions?

Actually, woofy, it’s likely that if religion went away, humans would step up to the plate.  Non religious folk are doing it now.  And religious fold are so completely addicted to god that they cannot imagine a godless person wanting to do anything charitable.  It’s a haze they carry from the effects of their god drug.  I theorize also that by removing the handouts found in a grand sweeping fall of reigion, eventually self-preservation would kick in and many of those on the dole just might become motivated to get a job.  That’s harsh but still just a theory.  Of course, the truly disabled would still have government assistance as they do now.

Here a thought comes.  People give money to religious charities for many reasons and one of them might be because they do not trust government or think it is corrupt.  They trust a god more than they do their government.  They get warm fuzzies from god, and cold pricklies much of the time from governments.  Naturally, religious charities, under that scrutiny, should appear to have more funding.  But that competes with tax programs/subsidies so it isn’t actually a fair analysis.

No one is turned away from the hospital, insurance or not.  That’s not religion’s doing either.

But don’t sell humanity too short.  We secularists generally care about each other.  http://www.secularhumanism.org/

It would be pretty amazing.  Meanwhile, I hate to think of hungry children dying of starvation because the religious charity that used to bring them food and clean water and clothing and medicines and educational supplies, is no longer.

Woofy, hmm, we can’t actually know if these children would die if religion was not.  It is hard to picture a world without those who believe in god.  My heart bleeds as does yours.  Do you think we are the only two atheist/agnostics who would help out starving children if religion did not exist?

That is even more difficult to imagine.  Thanks for the thought provoking post.

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2007 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  313
Joined  2006-11-03

Hey Noggin’—
  I will have to do a little preparation first before I start a new thread, but I will make the attempt.  It is an important issue for me, for, as you know, I am in the midst of this transition from religious to non-religious life and I want to be sure I am doing the right thing for the right reasons.  I am a little apprehensive about starting a thread which may lead to “heated debate”... some of the contributors to this forum are wickedly mean.  Smart, but wickedly mean.  They do not suffer fools easily, which I understand, and that’s a good thing, I suppose.  Even though I have a college degree from a fine, upstanding university, I sometimes feel my education here is lacking somehow.  It’s a little intimidating to be engaged in conversations with theoretical physicists and attorneys and rabbis and whoever else.  Maybe I should start a little thread for intimidated housewives only!  I’d still probably get my chops busted!  Well, no one said that learning isn’t painful sometimes.  The best things in life often are, aren’t they? —ironic though that may be.  Thank you for your support and encouragement.  Although I find this forum to be depressing sometimes, I am learning.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 March 2007 01:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2818
Joined  2005-04-29

[quote author=“woofy”]. . . I am a little apprehensive about starting a thread which may lead to “heated debate”... some of the contributors to this forum are wickedly mean. . . .

I know the feeling, woofy. (Maybe I’m even on the wicked side at times? If so, sorry about that.)

This forum has a tradition of respecting requests from writers who start threads, such as, “Theists are asked not to respond to this thread.” Maybe you could open a thread and request that no one who is openly antagonistic to its thesis respond. I’ll bet it would work, though I admit to being a bit of an optimist.

At any rate, I hope to see your words soon, woofy. Just tell everyone, “No heated debate, please.”

 Signature 

Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 April 2007 07:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
Administrator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  480
Joined  2006-12-16

[quote author=“woofy”]Hey Noggin’—
  I will have to do a little preparation first before I start a new thread, but I will make the attempt.  It is an important issue for me, for, as you know, I am in the midst of this transition from religious to non-religious life and I want to be sure I am doing the right thing for the right reasons.  I am a little apprehensive about starting a thread which may lead to “heated debate”... some of the contributors to this forum are wickedly mean.  Smart, but wickedly mean.  They do not suffer fools easily…....  Thank you for your support and encouragement.  Although I find this forum to be depressing sometimes, I am learning.

Here’s a thought, Woofy - balance. Like between head and heart, you know? I look for your name and enjoy your comments because you are not afraid to put yourself and your uncertainty forward, you do not seem to get pleasure from putting other people down, your writing is very clear and enjoyable to read…..which is not to say I want everyone here to be more like you. No! I enjo some of the put-downs and don’t take them seriously - it’s like a sport. And the information we get from some of the people who have knowledge we don’t have is really interesting. But if all we wanted was information, there are some very good books we could be reading instead of spending time here.
We’re here to mix it up with people we would not meet otherwise.
So I’m looking forward to reading whatever you decide to write - 
This ‘debate’ thing you know is just an extension of that aspect of us that sees things in terms of winners and losers, I’m right and you’re wrong, this is rational, this is not rational - there’s more to life and communication than debate!
All this discussion has helped me to zero in on what it is that I really think - it matters not that people agree or disagree. I know where to go to find people who agree with me, and sometimes I do need support. But the challenge here is great! Everyone has limitations, so who cares if other people see what mine are? It’s pretty clear to me what theirs are!
It’s so interesting to hear about your transition, and how your beliefs are changing. It isn’t easy - I remember when I rejected my Buddhist sangha and how lonely I felt.
Here’s a question for you about belief - is it a choice? Or, do you just see what you see, think what you think, feel what you feel, and all the rest is rationalization?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 April 2007 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

Woofy, just do the thread.  Once you do, you’ll see it’s no big deal.  You write well, you are thoughtful, and are thought provoking.  The forum needs a mix and you are now one of the key ingredients sitting on the counter waiting to be thrown into the batter!

mix it up woofy wink

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2007 12:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  313
Joined  2006-11-03

Hi Noggin’—
    While I was hemming and hawing about starting a thread about the generosity of religious charities and the good it does, someone named bhome83 beat me to it.  There is a thread in the ‘Politics and Organizations’ category entitled “do religious organizations help more than secular organizations” (or something like that)  It doesn’t seem to be generating a lot of interest, but there it is.  I made a contribution a few days ago.  Hope you’ll check it out. 

Pat-Adducci—to answer your question, I don’t think religion is a choice if a child is indoctrinated into it from a young age; however, I think it’s getting easier to opt out of it—at least in modern and relatively unfettered parts of the world, where information flows abundantly and is readily accessible, and scientific information increases daily.  I was able to separate myself from my religion, even though I had some second thoughts, and some regrets.  Ultimately, my choice came down to:  do I pretend to believe what I don’t believe, or do I keep searching until I find what I do believe?  It’s a tougher choice than it appears.  I’m still reeling from it in some ways.  Leaving a magical, fantasy world that you really, actually believed for awhile is kind of a downer.  But the magical, real world is still out there.  I just have to make some room for it but throwing out any worthless beliefs that are taking up space in my head. 
    Another challenge for me is separating “worthless beliefs” from the truly helpful and edifying lessons that can be found in the mythologies of the world, and applied to real life.  I feel that if you can admit that your religion is a mythology, a story… then you can learn from it without having to kill anyone over it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2007 02:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  707
Joined  2005-05-16

FRONTLINE and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Profile a Religion That Is One of the Great Neglected American Narratives -

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of America’s fastest-growing religions and, relative to its size, one of the richest. Church membership, now at 12 million and growing, sweeps the globe. But from the moment of its founding in 1830, the church has been controversial. Within a month, it had 40 converts and almost as many enemies. In the early years, Mormons were hated, ridiculed, persecuted and feared. Yet, in the past several decades, the Mormon Church has transformed itself from a fringe sect into a thriving religion that embraces mainstream American values; its members include prominent and powerful politicians, university presidents and corporate leaders.

Mormons have always had a peculiar hold on the American imagination, but few know who the Mormons actually are, or who they claim to be, and their story is one of the great neglected American narratives.

This spring, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and FRONTLINE, two of PBS’ most acclaimed series, join forces to present THE MORMONS, a new documentary series about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In two, two-hour episodes, filmmaker Helen Whitney (“John Paul II: The Millennial Pope” and “Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero”) explores both the history and the current reality of the Mormon faith. Whitney gained unusual access to Mormon archives and church leaders as well as dissident exiles, historians and scholars both within and outside the faith. “Through this film, I hope to take the viewer inside one of the most compelling and misunderstood religions of our time,” says Whitney. The two-part film airs Monday, April 30, and Tuesday, May 1, 2007, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET on PBS.

Devout Mormons believe that in 1827 in the town of Palmyra, New York, 21-year-old Joseph Smith dug up a set of golden tablets that contained the seeds of a new religion. According to Smith, he was guided to that spot by an angel who appeared to him in a vision. “The kind of revelation that Joseph describes is the scandal of Mormonism, in the same way that the resurrection of Christ is the scandal of Christianity,” says Terryl Givens, the author of several books on Mormon history. “God doesn’t deliver gold plates to farm boys.” But Smith’s visions, which reportedly began when he was 14, are central to Mormons’ faith. “We declare without equivocation that God the father and his son, the Lord Jesus Christ, appeared in person to the boy, Joseph Smith,” says Gordon Hinckley, LDS president. “Our whole strength rests on the validity of that vision.”

THE MORMONS begins Monday, April 30, 2007, with the turbulent early history of the Mormon faith, from Joseph Smith’s astonishing visions and the creation of The Book of Mormon through the Mormons’ contentious and sometimes violent confrontations with their neighbors and the founding and ultimate abandonment of three major religious communities - in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. “The persecution of the Mormons was officially sanctioned by at least two different state governments,” says Dallin Oaks, elder of the Mormon Church. Adds Truman Madsen, author and historian, “House burning, rapings, abuse, taking over land and possessions, all that was part of it, but it was also denunciation from every other level, from state houses to pulpits.”

“Why would they be so hated?” asks Jon Butler, professor of religion at Yale. “It has to do with ... fear of unknown personal practices, polygamy, fear of unknown beliefs, the fear of power and hierarchy - did the Mormons really think for themselves or did Joseph Smith think for them?”

The cycle of violence climaxed in 1844 in Nauvoo, Illinois, when Smith was killed by an angry mob. Following Smith’s death, Brigham Young led the faithful across the continent to the Great Salt Lake in what would become modern-day Utah, now the seat of the Mormon Church.

“Mormons have a very complex relationship with their own sense of persecution,” says Sarah Barringer Gordon, historian. “It is unfair to say that they courted persecution. On the other hand, it is fair to say that it brought them exhilaration and conviction that what they were doing was the right thing because God’s prophets have never been welcome in their own lands.”

THE MORMONS continues on Tuesday, May 1, 2007, with a look at the contemporary realities of the Mormon Church. Whitney explores the massive missionary program, how the church has entered the mainstream of American culture, the intricacies of Mormon theology and ritual, and the excommunication of those who challenge church doctrine or who do not follow its teachings.

“Being gay in that culture is beyond hell ... I wanted to be cured so badly,” says Trevor Southey, artist. “The family is the center of Mormonism - it is the sacred, potent unit. ... It is a great failure that family can only be the family almost by the Ozzie and Harriet definition, and anything outside that is not family at all.”

“The only marriage sanctioned by God is of a man to a woman,” says Marlin Jensen, official LDS historian. “In the case of a gay person, they really have no hope. ... And to live life without hope on such a core issue I think is a very difficult thing.”

The Mormons’ protection of their view of family life also became political. “The Equal Rights Amendment was threatening because it changed the role of women ... from a nurturing housewife staying at home, taking care of the children, to someone who could now make decisions for herself,” says James Clayton, professor of political science. Author and feminist Gloria Steinem says Mormon involvement in the ERA issue of the 1970s was pivotal: “If the Mormons had supported the Amendment, it would have passed. They were enormously powerful in opposing it because there are certain key state legislatures which they control.”

“On the one hand [Mormons] have this long tradition of encouraging knowledge and education, and yet at the same time there is a real anti-intellectual strain,” says Margaret Toscano, one of many ex-Mormons whose questioning of the status of women was punished by excommunication. “To be a Mormon intellectual means that you are opening up yourself to being called into a church court.” But Elder Dallin Oaks sees the church’s position on these issues as the fulfillment of a sacred duty: “The scriptures speak of prophets as being watchmen on the tower with the responsibility to warn when an enemy approaches,” he says in the film. “The watchmen on the tower are going to say intellectualism is a danger to the church ... and if people leave their faith behind and follow strictly where science leads them, that can be a pretty crooked path.”

THE MORMONS traces the Latter-day Saints’ transformation in recent decades from the status of outcasts to mainstream players in U.S. politics and culture and into a global religion with as many as 240,000 converts annually, thanks to the efforts of Mormon missionaries. Each year, 50,000 Mormon teenagers join “God’s Army” and march across the planet from Latin America to Mongolia to Zimbabwe. “You go,” says Bryan Horn, a returned missionary. “Dad went. Grandpa went. And Grandpa, who’s a descendant of Wilfred Woodruff, who was taught by Joseph Smith, went on missions.”

The mission can be dangerous; missionaries have been kidnapped, tortured and killed. This crucible can provide a profound spiritual strength to the missionaries for the rest of their lives. “That was the moment really when my hope and my tender belief turned into something really solid, which has been the foundation for the rest of my life,” says Jensen. “So when people say, ‘how was your mission?,’ I say, ‘it was everything.’ Because I’ve never been the same since.”

Underwriters: The Park Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Liberty Mutual, The Scotts Company, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Television Viewers and PBS

http://www.pbs.org/previews/themormons/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2007 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2957
Joined  2004-12-02

I’ve read your stuff over at RFM, good stuff.  I don’t post there much.  I too am a former mo, wife still is.  Good to have some company over here. 

Mateo808

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2007 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

[quote author=“Mateo808”]I’ve read your stuff over at RFM, good stuff.  I don’t post there much.  I too am a former mo, wife still is.  Good to have some company over here. 

Mateo808

Hi Mateo808

Hey there!  Keeping it real in Springville, I see.  Lived in Provo 9 years myself.  I haven’t posted at RFM for quite some time.  I think I did some rogue post a month ago but other than that, my posting is here, IIDB and a few self-indulgent sites like a Jehovah’s Witness forum etc.  Oh and last weekend I got banned from posting over at http://www.mormonapologetics.org for saying that Dan Peterson, the intellectual giant that he tells us he is, would lose a debate in the final analysis with any logic thinking atheist and so that is why he refuses to enter debates.  (sore loser from what I gather).  I linked to the Sam Harris/ Andrew Sullivan debate and oh, should not have done that (I guess?).  Anyhow.  The moderators deemed that to be quite offensive and so they banned me.

?? okay.

I created this thread to just vent a little when I observe things in the LDS world that become “noteworthy”.  I still attend to support my wife but only as a body in the pew.  I duck out of sunday school and priesthood—look at me explain myself wink

Hope to see you share some viewpoints on TEOF!

thanks for stopping by—

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 April 2007 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  734
Joined  2007-03-10

Woofy:

I have a confession.  I am an attorney and I mistook you for a fellow male intellectual.  (And I mean that in the nicest way possible.) You more than hold your own.  I consistantly read your posts in other areas, and you write well.  You outclass and out write most of the people on here.  I agree that if you ask potential posters at the thread’s inception for the thread to remain civil, it works well.

By the way, if you need a wingman for your viewpoint, I can adapt to any topic.  I would be glad to deflect the heat off of you.  PM me.

Thus said Beach
Great sig.  If you ever change, can I borrow it?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 April 2007 08:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2007-04-07

Noggin, I appreciate your posts.  I’m a member of the church and active.

I don’t have time to pick through all that you have said because I’m at work and only have a few moments at a time.  However, I wanted to mention a small correction…that non-Mormons go to Spirit Prison and Mormons go to Paradise during the time between death and the resurrection.

This isn’t what is taught in the Book of Mormon or in the church, in my experience.  Read Alma 40:

11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.
  12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
  13 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil.
  14 Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection.

Entrance into paradise, or a happy state, is not dependent upon being Mormon…it is based on your righteousness.  Spirit Prison will be occupied by the unrighteous.  Can a non-Mormon be righteous?  Of course!  So, such will be allowed into a happy post-mortal state.  Can a Mormon be unrighteous?  Obviously, yes…so Spirit Prison will have Mormons as well.

Basically, from what I’ve been taught in the church and personally believe, we cannot judge a person, only the Savior can (the Bible even teaches this).  The Lord will judge each of us based on what we know to be true.  The African bushman from 200 B.C. can enter heaven just as readily as I can…if he follows whatever degree of truth he has understanding of as well as I follow whatever degree of truth I have understanding of.  There is no possible way for me to determine what you, the Baptist next door, or even my own spouse understand as truth…so I have no right to judge whether or not you’ll be in heaven, hell, spirit prison, paradise, or whatever you want to call our post-mortal state.  Only God knows what is in your heart, mind, and soul…so only he is able to judge how well or poorly you have lived up to what you know.

That’s about all I wanted to say.  Perhaps another time I can go over a few other points which you haven’t covered as completely clearly as they should be covered regarding our beliefs.

drmount

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 April 2007 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2168
Joined  2005-11-15

[quote author=“drmount”]Perhaps another time I can go over a few other points which you haven’t covered as completely clearly as they should be covered regarding our beliefs.

What an ideal place to insert Salt Creek’s sig. But I’ll leave that to him.


drmount. . . while I can understand your deep need to feel ‘clear’ about what you’ve bought (literally) into,  I wonder. . . do you genuinely think religious beliefs can be perceived “completely clearly” by anyone other than those who actually consider them the One Truth™? Did you take as much care in dissecting the One Truth™ of Islam, for example, before dismissing it as patently absurd? How much do you know about Allah’s model of the afterlife (the virgins or the raisins, or whatever) and all the ways that you will suffer for failing to believe what he told the Archangel to tell Mohammad to tell you through the Koran?


I hope I got the order right on that last part. I’d hate not to have portrayed someone’s supernatural belief “completely clearly”.


Another question: In your thinking, should/does the idea that your God is a ‘nice’ god (treating the righteous equally, even if they weren’t Mormon in this lifetime) make him any more plausible  than a ‘meanie’ God would be? If your God were to speak again through one of your Church’s prophets, perhaps modifying these rules, toughening things up significantly. . . would you buy it, or are you married to this idea that he’s just the sweetest, fairest thing?

Let’s just imagine him stating, through one of his modern-day LDS prophets, that he has changed his mind, and now feels that tougher punishments are warranted for various infractions. For example, what if he wasn’t  so okay with the church ditching polygamy, and insisted it be reinstated on Earth? What would it take for you to ‘believe’ that your God in fact really spoke through this prophet? What is the criteria for that sort of thing?

 Signature 


Welcome to Planet Earth, where Belief masquerades as Knowledge!

This way to the Unasked Questions—->
<—- This way to the Unquestioned Answers

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 April 2007 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2007-04-07

drmount. . . while I can understand your deep need to feel ‘clear’ about what you’ve bought (literally) into, I wonder. . . do you genuinely think religious beliefs can be perceived “completely clearly” by anyone other than those who actually consider them the One Truth™? Did you take as much care in dissecting the One Truth™ of Islam, for example, before dismissing it as patently absurd? How much do you know about Allah’s model of the afterlife (the virgins or the raisins, or whatever) and all the ways that you will suffer for failing to believe what he told the Archangel to tell Mohammad to tell you through the Koran?

No no no…my purpose in posting what I did has no relation to my “deep need to feel clear” regarding my beliefs…that wasn’t my intention.  He was representing what Mormons believe incorrectly and I felt that I should correct him, simple as that.  He was NOT representing what we believe correctly, that is a fact and has nothing to do with perception.  He was saying that non-Mormons go to Spirit Prison and that is simply not what we believe.  Was I wrong to make what we believe more clear by spelling it out from our own scriptures?

As for dissecting every other belief under the sun, I have done so, but have not evaluated every religion out there.  Has anyone?  If you read carefully what I have written in this thread, I believe that I will be judged according to what I understand to be true and so will everyone else.  If a Hindu has an internal understanding of truth at a certain level, he will be expected to live his life accordingly…and will be judged accordingly.

As for your other questions, I don’t see their relevance.  It would be equally as pointless to ask you what you would do if God appeared in your room and told you to stop being an athiest…it’s not going to happen, so why discuss it?

drmount

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 5
2
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed