@speed66:I understand what you are saying here. However, I might
suggest that you not take what your Mormon friends state as their beliefs and
construe that to mean that their personal beliefs ARE Mormon doctrine nor the
same beliefs other Mormons have. For example: I don't believe the
earth is 6,000 years old, nor that men lived with dinosaurs, nor am I anti-gay,
nor do I know that polygamy will be restored in Heaven. I believe it is a
common misconception for people to think that all Mormons are cut out of the
same cookie cutter. Yes there are certain "absolutes" which we find
in the scriptures and are taught from our living prophets, and yes, we hold
those ideals in common. However much of what we each believe has come to us
through study, prayer, pondering, and individual revelation through the Spirit.
Much of what is accepted by LDS members is simply tradition, not doctrine. Your comments lead one to believe that non-believers are rationalists,
and believers are not rational, thinking, intellectual members of society who
can help shape a better world. I do take issue with that.
"the fascination with the speed at which a religion grows"That contains the 'why' you have a hard time understanding it. Think of it
less as fascination. There is no surprise or wonder or curiosity in it. People
in the Church want the truth spread. You may not call it truth, humor me.If God appeared to you and said 'all religion is false and none preach
the truth, so I'll have you reestablish My church on this Earth' wouldn't you be
only happy to see it grow?This is how members of the church feel.
Some may cite it proudly as a 'we beat you guys, ha ha' kind of statement. But
no one is perfect so I wouldn't take that to mean the masses, only the few. Most
simply want the church to grow because we find goodness in the church. We find
good in others also, but in no other organization do we find the truth's that
will truly bring them to our Father in Heaven, etc. So we praise others when we
find good, we look for good, but more than praise, there is a deeper happiness
when people join with our cause.
Getting more exposure is a double-edged sword. I have many friends who are LDS.
I also have evangelical friends. Separating people from their
"traditions" is something that most of us do. That doesn't mean that
learning more about their beliefs endears me to those beliefs nor does knowing
members of the belief. It's impossible to respect someone who believes that the
earth is 6,000 years old and that men lived with dinosaurs. I ignore the belief
because I like the person. Most Americans are not anti-gay, they don't believe
that they can be a god or that that polygamy will be "restored" in
heaven or that Jesus stopped by North America. I ignore this because I like the
people. It's not endearing - it's an intellectual pass...a belief mulligan if
you will.I've never understood the fascination with the speed at
which a religion grows. Mormons cite this a lot. Does that mean that Islam is
even more true - given that it is growing faster? The other group that is
growing very fast is the group of rationalists - the non-believers. I'm putting
my money on them for the long term success of our planet.
The Colbert Report comparison between the gold plates and the 10 commandments
was not only absolutely hilarious, but it was very accurate in portraying out
'out of touch with reality' those who criticize the church really are.Michael Otterson is a voice of goodness in a world that needs help. People
often say 'why would God let such evil things happen?' or 'your church is false,
etc' - rather than fighting the LDS Church, maybe you don't want to join... but
help in the charitable causes of the Church. No one is going to say no to that,
and then you can help fix the wrongs of this world one step at a time. Fighting
begets only one thing, fighting.Help or hurt... I know what one I