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Mormonism 101: New LDS Church infographic describes beliefs, members

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  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    March 11, 2012 1:50 p.m.

    1aggie: Again I will state what is missionary work and the purpose of it: TO bring all to Jesus Christ. What is temple work, but to redeem the dead, to bring them to Christ. It is in the temple that an individual can even come close to what Jesus Christ did for all mankind. When members try to say it isn't centered in Christ it is because they are expecting it to be all about Christ. However, all of the work the Church does is because of Jesus Christ. It is because of Christ and not man. We as a membership need to listen more carefully to what is said. When someone says this bishopric member was ill at ease is basically deriding their faith with some false pretense. Truthseeker stated that a member of another faith was attending and left before the meeting was over. How does he know they left because of what was said other than his own belief.

    I thought the same thing once and asked the missionaries. Found out an emergency came up and they left. They didn't end being baptized but it wasn't what was said.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 11, 2012 12:48 a.m.

    @ Bill in Neb

    You have attempted to move the goalpost. Being Christ-centered and being "focused on Jesus Christ" are completely different things.

    Truthseeker is correct; the graphic is misleading. A meeting on obedience to the commandments, for example, is not "focused on Jesus Christ". Neither is a meeting on missionary work, or temple attendance (meetings on missionary work are focused on missionary work and meetings on temple attendance are focused on temple attendance).

    It doesn't feel right to me when my church misleads and doesn't tell the whole truth It should bother you too.

  • Miss Piggie Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 10:17 p.m.

    @Tzadikim:

    "Yes, they believe they can become Gods of their own worlds- through Eternal Progression."

    That's what is meant by being sons and daughters of God, as the Bible proclaims. To inherit all that God has. How else can it be taken?

    "Yes, they believe plural marriage..."

    As did some ancient prophets such as Jacob who had four wives... family called 'House of Israel. If it's good enough for him it surely must be good enough for others.

    "Yes, they believe that All other churches have No priesthood authority."

    Probably the only church that believes priesthood authority to act for God is given by God and not conferred by a divinity school diploma.

    "Yes, Joseph is their 'Mohammed,' so to speak."

    Not even close... Mohammed advocated force and coercion, akin to terrorism. Smith used love, kindness, and gentle persuasion.

  • Mr. Bean Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    @LVIS: The rest of the meeting is adjunct to the actual sacrament service, and no one believes that the entire meeting is focused on Jesus Christ. It should be, but unfortunately isn't."

    There is only so much can be said about Jesus Christ... He died for the sins of the world, was resurrected and ascended into heaven. That's it. It'd be a very uninteresting meeting if that's all that was talked about.

  • Alfred Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 9:23 p.m.

    @A voice of Reason: "If you really want to learn what we believe, the Book of Mormon is a better and the most accurate source."

    The Book of Mormon is a poor source for learning what Mormons believe. It's mostly about wars and rumors of wars. The story of its origin is the intriguing part.

  • Tzadikim Bakersfield, CA
    March 10, 2012 9:19 p.m.

    OMGoodness! What an incomplete and misleading site. My LDS neighbors just about fainted. Yes, they believe they can become Gods of their own worlds- through Eternal Progression. Yes, they believe plural marriage will be the option in the Celestial
    Kingdom. Yes, they believe that All other churches have No priesthood authority. Yes, Joseph is their "Mohammed", so to speak.

    When I gave them the 3rd definition of a cult, they agreed with the moniker from its Biblical context. The father is in a bishopric and says "Utah Mormons are too sensitive and apologetic. California Mormons have to be accurate, bold and own our religion. Otherwise they'll smell fear and pounce."

    Get on the same page folks.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 8:11 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska- I'd love to add to what you shared.

    The Book of Mormon clearly explains how many rebelled against God's prophets to be a law unto themselves- justifying themselves, their actions and desires, etc.

    I believe that when people fight God's true church, prophets, etc. it is to 'be the right answer' and justify themselves instead of 'learn the right answer' and in humility improve themselves. All my experiences stand as evidence in my own life to support this. Every time I set aside how I currently understand or feel about things and am willing to listen and learn, I receive answers that fill that desire to know. If we live right and continually receive revelation then the very nature of what revelation is would stand alone as evidence that our faith is "Christ-centered". Even though 4 prayers are offered in His name in the sacrament meeting alone and the sacrament itself is more than adequate evidence. Although 1000 reasons won't convince anyone but those willing to listen.

    We all know one has to be willing to listen in order to understand- yet people deny it for convenience, all in the name of fighting the truth.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 10, 2012 6:19 p.m.

    re: Bill in Nebraska

    What I often do is sit back and imagine I am attending church as a non-member. What messages are being given that makes me want to return? I can guarantee you if the meeting focused on how to convert others, it would the last meeting I attended. I remember one such meeting where there were some non-members in the congregation. They left before the closing song. On the other hand, if the topic of the meeting focused on avoiding judgmentalism or being charitable, honest, kind, humble, benevolent etc. I would return for more. I do appreciate the non-professional speakers, especially those that share their own personal journey and struggles.

    We'll have to agree to disagree on this issue.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    March 10, 2012 4:10 p.m.

    To Truthseeker: What is missionary work, except to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All sacrament meetings are geared to become better disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The way the message is presented depends on the speaker themselves. For those who think it idffers and isn't about Jesus Christ need to really sit back and take notes on what is actually said. I've attended sacrament meetings for thrity years and one time I thought the same until I actually sit back and pushed my OWN agenda out the window. When I did that all of the meetings centered entirely on the Savior Jesus Christ. Whether the talk is on Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, how to be a better missionary are all centered on Jesus Christ. The problem is that many only listen to what they want to hear not what is being said. These are not professional speakers but to me that is the joy of sacrament meeting.

    Also everything about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day is biblical. It just depends on whose intepretation one wants to believe.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    March 10, 2012 4:09 p.m.

    Hugh< if you have to keep explaining something, you certainly don't represent it. Mormonism has some issues.

  • LVIS Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 2:24 p.m.

    Truthseeker
    SLO, CA
    I don't agree with the graph saying "100% of sacramental worship services that focus on Jesus Christ."

    If they had said "100% of sacrament meeting", I would agree with you. However, I believe they are referring to the actual sacramental ordinance (or worship service). The administration and partaking of the sacrament is Christ-centered. The rest of the meeting is adjunct to the actual sacrament service, and no one believes that the entire meeting is focused on Jesus Christ. It should be, but unfortunately isn't.

    Still, you bring up a good point. Perhaps this could have been articulated a bit better.

  • Capella Bakersfield, CA
    March 10, 2012 1:27 p.m.

    Mark, you are right on re: the whitewash. I don't understand why the SLC leaders are reticent about sharing unvarnished Mormonism 101. Do they consider it embarrassing, unbiblical, skeptical, unhistorical? I don't get it, because it is very easy to define and easy to see where it differs from Biblical doctrines.

    My Mormon grandparents would be horrified at the lack of clarity and ownership on the doctrines. I have been speaking at churches and teaching on the differences between Mormonism and textual, Biblical Christianity for 26 years and it never gets difficult to agree on the distinctions. We don't agree on validity, but we do agree that there's little parity.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 10, 2012 1:18 p.m.

    I don't agree with the graph saying "100% of sacramental worship services that focus on Jesus Christ."

    What was their measuring stick?

    First off, unless they've been to every meeting, every congregation the claim is unrealistic.
    Secondly, I can think of many sacrament meetings where the only mention of Jesus was in the prayers.
    My least favorite meetings are the "sales" meetings instructing members about the mechanics of doing missionary work. I can think of many other examples, but won't enumerate further.

    My hope is they will revise that ridiculous statement and that congregations will focus more on the life and teachings of Jesus.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    March 10, 2012 1:12 p.m.

    With all the confusion among non-Mormon Christians, who mistakenly think Mormons do not believe Christ is God, and in light of all the latter-day scriptures (and hymns) that do affirm the divinity of Christ, why does this "Christ-centered" news release fail to go the last step and acknowledge that Mormons do, in fact, affirm Christ's Godhood?

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    March 10, 2012 1:07 p.m.

    All one really needs to do is to take and study the Gospel Principles as outlined in that book/study guide. That really spells out the basic truths of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Sure there are some skeletons that many members don't understand and don't want to understand. However, the information put forth by many critics of the Church of Jesus Chrsit of Latter-Day Saints are either half truths or out right lies tied to some truth. This perpetuates the lies and thus some say well it is whitewashed.

    As voice of reason states,come and see for yourself and see the truth. Bring the truth you have and we will add to that truth in a way that will bring greater happiness to you and to your family. Those who argue and critize do so either with an axe to grind or because they have lost the will to decipher the absolute truth.

  • awsomeron Waianae, HI
    March 10, 2012 11:58 a.m.

    Basic Religion is very simple. Basic Mormonism is No different.

    The problem is getting the Members or Masses to understand the Basics.

    Members and Non Members will Debate 101. Debate is good as long as that in the end it does not change the Basic.

    Some people like to keep things in the dark the main reasons being.

    They have not read and do not know themselves.

    They are a fried that if investigators learn to much they will find something they do not like and leave.

    Open Conflict with a Value as stated by the Church.

    Lack of knowledge leads to Urban and Rural Myth which I separate because they are sometimes different.

    Example: Some things are considered to be not Moral, however the Church has No Stand On them (mostly because the leaders can't wrap their mind around the concept or it has just never come up). However there is No Scripture to back things up either way and it is left up to the individuals involved. A Sort of Free Agency.

    101 is fine but some people will need 095 first.

    Part of me thinks that the Articles Of Faith are and where enough.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    Northern Lights & Moontan,

    I appreciate the friendly words. I need to make more of an effort to state what I find good in other people's posts.

    Mark,

    You're absolutely right. This isn't the best way or source to read to learn about this church. If you really want to learn what we believe, the Book of Mormon is a better and the most accurate source. If you want to know how we act on those beliefs, then (with taking into account our being imperfect, of course... as we all are) then going to an LDS church on Sunday for the full Sunday block, attending a general conference, and meeting several members from several different backgrounds, from several parts of the world- this would be an adequate way to learn about the church.

    I have spent my far from perfect life learning about good principles. I haven't done nearly as much good as I could have- but in every step I take to learn from the church, I've only found the most wonderful doctrines which preach forgiveness, repentance, and ultimately a plan of happiness.

    Not everyone will learn about the church this way, but it is the best way to know.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    March 10, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    RE: Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the[literal] Son of our loving Heavenly Father.
    The Deuce, As a non-member of the LDS faith,If more people took a few minutes to read this, there would be less confusion about who Mormon's are. OK,
    The Âpale of Christianity believes the birth of Jesus was a unique miracle by the Holy Spirit/Ghost, same Greek word(Pneuma).
    Joseph Fielding Smith, ÂThey tell us that the BoM states that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost. I challenge that statement. The BoM teaches No Such Thing! Neither does the Bible!Â(Doctrines of Salvation
    A precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost and bring forth a son yea, even the Son of God. ( Alma 7:10) .
    The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.(Luke 1:35 KJV) .

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    March 10, 2012 7:27 a.m.

    Mr Walker-I challenge your choice of words: "with a healthy dose of Broadway glitz".

    It was hardly healthy.
    It was offensive to both Mormons--and Ugandans.
    While it WAS disguised as glitz, it was nothing more than mocking and insulting.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    March 10, 2012 7:17 a.m.

    This is a great site. Very informative.

    Reason ... I enjoy your thoughtful posts.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    March 10, 2012 6:32 a.m.

    Mormonism 101 is awesome! awesome! awesome! To those that help with that effort, THANK YOU!

  • Europe Topeno, Finland
    March 10, 2012 3:36 a.m.

    Great article and great info...
    I especially like CHRIST CENTERED.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2012 2:51 a.m.

    The Deuce, sorry to tell you, but if you only read through the Mormonism 101: FAQ you have learned very little from that source that's accurate about the LDS Church. I have never read as blatant a whitewash from any large organization as this.

  • awsomeron Waianae, HI
    March 10, 2012 1:49 a.m.

    I think that this is a very good idea.

    Now if we can just get Mormons to read it.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    March 9, 2012 11:39 p.m.

    As a non-member of the LDS faith, I took the opportunity to read through hte article and learned quite a bit about the religion. If more people took a few minutes to read this, there would be less confusion about who Mormon's are.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2012 11:31 p.m.

    Full-on double rainbow,

    If you read the definition of the word "reason", or according to common practice in the entire debate/philosophy world- you'll find that it primarily is used to state "explainable through reason", not to state "I am right". I state my beliefs and support them through reason. I am not always right and like everyone else I make mistakes. But I have beliefs and real experiences and I can rationally explain them. You can disagree with those beliefs according to your desire to- but disagreeing with an attitude you inferred in my screen-name logically equates to "disagreeing with yourself". At best, you disagree with something that "isn't there" and then there is no disagreement at all.

    Either way, I have proven that my screen-name didn't mean what you inferred it to mean. There is only so much you can accomplish when each comment someone makes is fighting anything and everything LDS. Rather than always try to find something wrong- one has just as much of a choice presented them to look at the positive, look for good in others, and so on. We can't be justified until we make that our intent.

  • Northern Lights Louisville, KY
    March 9, 2012 9:33 p.m.

    Rainbow,

    I thought the comment by A voice of Reason was articulate and well thought out. If more who commented took things in a positive light, the discussions on these message boards would be an enjoyable experience. Criticizing a perosn based solely on their screen name doesn't lend anything towards your credibility as a critic.

    I believe the Church is simply trying to present the beliefs of the LDS Church in a manner that is not judgemental, but instead highlights something unique offered to all mankind.

  • Full-on double rainbow Bluffdale, UT
    March 9, 2012 9:03 p.m.

    @ A voice of reason

    I don't agree with your self-glossed screen name.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2012 6:27 p.m.

    My only hope with this is that it is not used to suggest to others "we are better than you, we attend more, we have better families, etc." but rather to suggest "despite what others tell about you, here's who we really are, what we really believe, etc."

    I read everything in here with a positive light. It's up to everyone else to make that same choice. We also choose how we share it. Comparing 'our percentage' to 'the rest of America' might seem a bit forthcoming, but in actuality it can indeed serve the purpose of saying- "The rest of the politically charged media, hateful groups, critics, etc. are telling you that we are 'less Christian' or 'not' or less religious or less anything- but the truth is that we are far more than what they have represented us to be." -again, the use of the data this way is a far more tactful approach from those sharing it and a more open-minded approach from those receiving it. We all know what kind of comments we'll see on here anyway, but I've approached this data fairly. It's not unreasonable for me to expect similar high standards from others.