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Do Mormons really want recognition as a 'mainstream' religion?

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  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 25, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    RE: Moontan:
    Try and be fair about others interest in the Mormon people and their history. Read the Mormon doctrine and you will learn that for the most part it is not non-Mormons (or as you refer to as antis) that shut out or oppose Mormons. It is the Mormon doctrine that shouts the alarm and challenge that; you are with us or you are against us, you can not be elevated to the celestial kingdom if you are not Mormon and one of us. This is a source of the problem. Mormons think they are superior to everyone else, naturally this going to cause some push back.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 25, 2012 3:55 p.m.

    Moontan,

    LDS Doctrine teaches that the Church will roll forth and consume the whole earth; that the church is currently just ecclesiastical, but will someday (soon?) be "both political and ecclesiastical, and will have worldwide jurisdiction in political realms" (Bible Dictionary); and that "they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people".

    Does the fact that I refuse to bow to your Church's god, and your Church's leaders and your Church's authority, even and especially when it is political, make me "anti-Mormon"?

    If so, I accept the title proudly.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    May 25, 2012 3:10 p.m.

    Joggle .... Re "People of different beliefs and religions would be opposed to Mormonism because they don't believe the same thus that high percentage can apply."

    Not true at all. There is a difference between opposition and disagreement. I'd agree that probably 99.9% of folks disagree with LDS doctrine, but only a small and insignificant percentage classify as "anti-Mormon." One can disagree without being offensive or insulting about it. I've never been to a Muslim website and criticized believers or the Koran, for example. I respect Muslims. I have no need to attack their faith, as you see several anti-Mormons doing here.

    When I use the word 'anti' I mean exactly that. Hostile to. Those who have a need to insult Mormons here ... with harsh comments about Joseph, the Book of Mormon, the Church, etc. There are perfectly acceptable ways to voice disagreement with each of those; and there are perfectly offensive and cruel ways to do so, too. If those who disagree with Mormonism absolutely MUST visit here to comment, at least they could be polite about it.

    An added treat would be if they could offer a new argument.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    May 25, 2012 2:17 p.m.

    @Moontan

    ANTI also means....one that is opposed or a person who is opposed to a particular practice, party, policy, action, etc. . People of different beliefs and religions would be opposed to Mormonism because they don't believe the same thus that high percentage can apply. You are wrong! Try again!

    With that being said....I've come to believe that Mormons use the term "Anti-Mormon" way too liberally. It seems to me that it's sometimes so overused that it's lost it's real meaning. In some cases, I think it's used to dismiss sincere and legitimate concerns that members and non-members have about Mormonism. I think that often the use of the term "anti-Mormon" reflects more upon the user than it does upon the person or statement being described. All too often, people within the Church exhibit a persecution complex in labeling anything other than effusive praise as "anti-Mormon." For me, the only thing which would qualify as anti-Mormon are malicious mischaracterization of Church doctrine or history in an attempt to discredit the Church, however, often simply disagreeing with many aspects of the Church is falsely interpreted as anti-Morman!

  • Semper Fi Bakersfield, CA
    May 24, 2012 6:22 p.m.

    When pigs fly... When hell freezes over...

    Wait? Is there a nicer way to say it? Well, if the site monitors are off today, this explains all the off-topic, personal attacks going on here.

    I hope these ideas are not from mainstream Mormons, because these are just bizarre. But if you want a bizarre theology, it's all yours. And it has been since 1830. Polygamy, polytheism, pagan/Masonic oaths...

    You want mainstream, get mainstreamed. You want excluded, stay exclusive. Just stop showing up on my doorstep with free books that my church uses, reads from weekly, believes in, and will die for. Smiley boys on bikes who can't explain their way out of the OT temple worship being about sacrifices and NOT marriage ceremonies, will never be mainstreamed.

    You tossed polygamy, exclusive all-white priesthood, and Masonic rituals. Just go all the way and come into the Tent of Christianity....

    or not. But you're not coming in with your own definitions, your new revelations, and your total revision of God's Word. Call it anything you want. But you're not redefining our God, our Book, our Gospel.

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    May 24, 2012 5:45 p.m.

    You use the same words, RAB, but they don't mean the same thing at all. What you worship is not what the Jews worship, nor is what the Christians worship. The Islamic and Jewish gods are close. Not a weapon, but a fundamental truth and I'm an atheist. Mealy mouthed phrases with qualifications you could drive a truck through - "that to mankind, God is both omnipotent and omnipresent" - merely show that in fact you don't believe what they do.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    May 24, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    Skeptic ... anti = 'against; hostile to.' That's not 99.9% of the world. Its probably not even .9%. Try again.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 24, 2012 3:07 p.m.

    RE: Moontan: You state: Forget what a person says about his/her beliefs, and watch how they live. That's where the anti's fall short. Your thinking is extremlly superficial if not insane. Do you realize from your Mormon point of veiw the anti's are over 99.9% of the world population. And there is no information or prove that Mormons are better behaved than the rest of the world. We all need to try harder. I hope you are a good example.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    May 24, 2012 2:33 p.m.

    @sigmund5 ... No, never been to Utah. Mall sounds nice, though. I suspect its put a lot of people to work. And of course mainline churches would do the same, only they'd do it with money tithed to God. Jim Bakker went to prison for that very reason. Look at some of the mansions owned by the television preachers. Again, money tithed to God.

    But look now. To an anti-Mormon, any argument however strained will do, and there isn't any reasoning with them. The people here who criticize the Church because of polygamy 100+ (!) years ago would have NO problem if their non-Mormon neighbor had 4 or 5 live-ins. "To each their own ... unless you're Mormon." Those would decry a history of alleged racism wouldn't dream of living in a minority neighborhood, or of sending their kids to their schools.

    And how many critics of the Church and that mall shop there?

    Forget what a person says about his/her beliefs, and watch how they live. That's where the anti's fall short.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 24, 2012 2:30 p.m.

    @RAB: You seem to find a way to rationalize most everything. If someone in the church were to say the moon is a cube you would find a way to belive it. It is easy to understand how one can find many wonderful things to love and enjoy in the Mormon church, but get real.

  • sigmund5 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2012 2:22 p.m.

    @RAB What do you consider ample evidence? I know of no historical, anthropological or scientific evidence for any such civilizations. No artifacts certainly have not been found.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2012 1:34 p.m.

    @RAB
    "God waited to give black men the priesthood until black men began demanding their civil rights. "

    1978 was over a decade after the civil rights act was passed.

    "You seem to conveniently forget that the deadly persecution of the Mormons in Missouri was almost entirely in response to their lack of support for slavery. "

    Even if that were accurate for Missouri (I'm skeptical that it was "almost entirely" the reason, I believe it was a minor reason) it wouldn't explain their issues in free states like Illinois or the fact that the RLDS church which stayed behind didn't seem to have the same level of problems which suggests to me that polygamy was the largest cause of problems.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    May 24, 2012 1:19 p.m.

    @ Demiurge

    Wrong. From the earthly mortal perspective in which the Bible was written (the only perspective that matters in this life), LDS church members believe the same as all Christians do--that to mankind, God is both omnipotent and omnipresent. We worship no God except Him. LDS beliefs about God’s actual form and nature are quite irrelevant with respect to this life, which is why such beliefs are rarely emphasized. The only people who find such doctrines meaningful are people who use them as a weapon for devaluing Mormon Christianity.

    @ sigmund5

    Somehow I doubt that the arrival of the 21st century automatically erased the ample evidence that the Book of Mormon events could have taken place.

    Grossly overstated blanket accusations with regards to racism among Mormons are just vindictive and meaningless. Though I’m sure they must exist, I never knew a Mormon who wantonly mistreated blacks. You seem to conveniently forget that the deadly persecution of the Mormons in Missouri was almost entirely in response to their lack of support for slavery. And City Creek Cneter--an investment in improving downtown Salt Lake. Not about money.

  • Kazbert VAIL, AZ
    May 24, 2012 12:58 p.m.

    Quote from the article: "If Mormons think of themselves as another Christian denomination, the risk of defection rises."

    The real fear amongst our fellow Christian sects is just the opposite, namely that if they endorse the perception that Mormons are just "another Christian denomination," then there could be many more "defections" to Mormonism.

  • sigmund5 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2012 12:56 p.m.

    @Moonton "Let them have their prosperity theology, scandals, private jets and lavish lifestyle" Have you been to the new 2 BILLION dollar church mall in SLC? Mormonism in Utah is VErY much into the prosperity gospel. It is all about money as a sign of grace and the importance of making money and buying and consuming to keep up with the Joneses. No other mainstream church would dare use 2 Billion dollars to build an alter to upper middle class conspicuous consumption.

  • sigmund5 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2012 12:51 p.m.

    @RAB "God waited to give black men the priesthood until black men began demanding their civil rights. " is an interesting explanation. Even tho justifying racism in this way is interesting in terms of logic I guess it is better than the complete silence from the church on why racism was such an essential part of church history.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    May 24, 2012 12:32 p.m.

    The problem with going mainstream is that the mainstream always gets it wrong.

    @ Thinkman

    Wrong.

    1.Priesthood for blacks was not about pleasing the world. God waited to give black men the priesthood until black men began demanding their civil rights.

    2.Temple ordinances are not supposed to be known outside the most worthy membership. The changes were made only to eliminate misunderstandings among members.

    3.Lorenzo Snow’s expression about man’s godhood is thoroughly embraced by the church. Unfortunately, the church is forced underemphasize all things that are grossly overemphasized and publicly misrepresented by the opponents of the church.

    4 and 5 The church is forced overemphasize all things that are underemphasized and publicly misrepresented by opponents of the church.

    @ Brahmabull and LValfre

    You are right that people maybe are just thinking God told them to do things. However, I love my kids and therefore I make sure to guide them from harm and towards wisdom. A loving God would do no less for us. Regardless of our imperfections, He would STILL select the wisest and most receptive of us and provide guidance for us through them.

  • sigmund5 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    Will Mormonism give up the insistence that people say that the myth stuff about Laminites etc. has no historical or scientific basis? This is the 21st Century will the 19th Century elements of the religion going to be given up? Will the church stop creating propaganda and complicated apologia that any reasonable person knows is a sham and can't muster the mental gymnastic ability to hold onto? Will the church be able to move onto a mytho-poetic notion of religion and not the bury your rational mind in the sand and listen to the old white men?

  • SparkyVA Winchester, VA
    May 24, 2012 10:53 a.m.

    The words of the Prophets are third level scriptures if you will. First level are the accepted scriptures, second level are those books published by the quorum of the 12 (i.e. Jesus the Christ). These have been vetted (knowing that there are a few issues with translation). The words of the prophets are below that until they are elevated to scripture as we have seen in the last few sections of the D&C. It is a process of seeing how they hold up with time. The Proclamation on Marriage is one such document that may, over time, be elevated to scripture.
    That said, the teachings of the Prophets is replete with their wisdom which is generally much better than our own and should be respected. And there are times when what they say is due to a plain and direct revelation. During the invasion of Buchanan's Army Pres. Young gave a fiery speech about fighting. In the afternoon he got up and said "This morning you heard Brigham Young, Thus saith the Lord" and completely reversed himself. If you have ever received personal revelation, you will understand the difference between your best solution, and the Lord's.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    May 24, 2012 10:29 a.m.

    Nothing about me throughout the entire course of my life has ever been what others would call "common", "ordinary", or "mainstream". I am happy that my religion is not so either, and I would not want it any other way.

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    May 24, 2012 10:09 a.m.

    The "god" of the LDS is not "god" as understood by other Semitic religions. The LDS god is neither omnipotent nor omnipresent, though it may be omniscient. The existence of multiple deities (whether one is to do with them or not) precludes the first two, along with the idea that god is inside the universe in a physical body.

    The universe to the LDS was not created ex nihilio by their god, nor were "souls" created by their god, but like that matter which formed the universe always existed.

    These differences are fundamental, not peripheral, differences in the nature of the respective deities.Because of this, the LDS will never be mainstream.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    May 24, 2012 8:36 a.m.

    @Brahmabull,

    I agree. If you have personal revelations and a relationship with God .... why subjugate your conscious to a prophet?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 24, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    Is it then possible that god didn't tell them to do it at all? I mean it seems rediculous that god would say to do something, then later say wait now don't do it. Do this, now stop, now do that, now stop. I don't think god cares about all of these little things. I think he cares about how we treat others, that is what every commandment comes back to. Not how much money I pay in tithes, not how many times I step into a building on sundays, not how many times I read the words(opinions) of prophets in the scriptures from thousands of years ago, in a land not near here, in a culture not close to mine. I don't think he cares if I smoke or gamble or have facial hair. Point is, maybe it is the people are just THINKING god told them to do something. Didn't Warren Jeffs claim that god told him to do what he did? Anybody can say that.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    May 24, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    The leadership of the LDS church seemingly does want the "mainstream religion" moniker.

    Why?

    1. Blacks get the priesthood over 100 years after slavery is ended
    2. Softening and changes in the temple ordinances
    3. Church no longer embraces the Hinckley-named couplet: As God is man may become and as man is, God once was.
    4. Promotion of the Bible on TV by the LDS Church
    5. I am a Mormon campaign

    These are hard evidence items of the LDS church leadership wanting the church to be more mainstream. Other very clear indications are evident as well.

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    May 24, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    It's hard not to draw comparisons between the LDS Church and the RLDS Church, which has become so "mainstream" (even changing its name to the "Community of Christ") that from my perspective it almost has no reason to exist, at least separately from a number of protestant churches. Our relevancy lies largely in what distinguishes us from other religious faiths, or from the world in general, so it's almost a truism that the more mainstream we become, the less we have to offer.

  • Marcellus West Jordan, UT
    May 24, 2012 7:35 a.m.

    This article fails to consider the difference between doctrinally mainstream and societally mainstraim. I think Mormons can be recognized as mainstream in the sense that they are not viewed as a cult or fringe religion and yet not be considered mainstream in the sense of abandoning or diminishing the doctrines which distinguish Mormons from other religions. We can still be a peculiar people even as we become a more populous people, popular people, or at least more publicly recognized people.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    May 24, 2012 7:35 a.m.

    Juan Figueroa - Very little of what you described is really a problem outside Utah. There are lots of places where chapels are a short drive away, homework-free youth nights, etc. And outside Utah, you get early morning seminary, which frees up a period for advanced students to take another class. And you get two political parties!

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    May 24, 2012 6:00 a.m.

    I love the statement that "Mormons are a peculiar people".
    Every bit as peculiar as Scientologists, Jehovah Witness, etc. etc. etc.
    All a little different, all think they're "right", all expect your money, time and devotion.
    The entire block of Mormons do worry a little too much about what others think.
    "We spend our whole lives worrying about what others think about us, we get older and find out nobody was paying any attention".

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    May 24, 2012 12:12 a.m.

    To: als Atheist Provo, UT - you made the statement "We have seen such Dominionist belief systems throughout history. It never turns out well for those who don't believe the same way." This implies that Jesus Christ has returned to the earth. Do you really think that things will be the same given this change in direction? You needed to qualify your comments by indicating that the LDS believe that Christ will be the head of all things. Even as a non-member I understand this from their teachings and you live in Utah. If we make the assumption that Christ is now the leader of all, it would be reasonable to assume that the "domination" that you suggest would not exist based upon what we read of Christ's teachings in the Bible. Now if you do not believe in Christ, then what the LDS believe has no value to future events.

  • awsomeron Waianae, HI
    May 24, 2012 12:11 a.m.

    Yes. I see it as a mostly good thing. However what some Mormons want most is to be Reconized as the Worlds Only Religion or Only True Religion. All others falling somewhat short.

    That Not Happening any time soon. So we take what we can get. In any good Religious Demographic Pie. (As a direct Marketer I made my living with Dempgraphics), Mormons have their own small Slice. They are other wise listed as Christian or Other. However in the Good Pies the ones with lots of suger and sales, Mormons have their own small slice. (around 10 percent more or less) World wide its a % of less then 1, but you are talking a 7 Billion People and including the Non Religious. Good Demo Pies do Not Lump Mormons.

    Now Mormons don't even lump Mormons. Active, Less Active, Inactive, Widow, Single Young Adult, Single Adult, so forht and so on.

    Mormons are a World Wide Church and are part of the Mainstream. Some places it trickles but some place Religion Trickles also, but its there.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2012 11:44 p.m.

    @RAB
    "Personally, i think it was a misunderstanding and that Joseph Smith only meant to say that priesthood authority should not be given to blacks who are still slaves subject to another person's will."

    God woudn't let such critical mistakes hang around 120 years in a church if it had a direct line to God.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    May 23, 2012 10:55 p.m.

    It does not matter in the least who "mainstreams" what. People of faith retain their beliefs for many different reasons, as evidenced by statements here. My pioneer grandparents were the most dedicated, faithful, loving people you could find on this earth. I do not share their religious beliefs, but I am proud of my heritage. They taught us to study God's Word, ask Him for the answers, and then remain true to what He told us, because Judgment Day will be solely between us and our God.

    They were heart-broken, as was my family, when I did read all of God's Word and discovered a different truth. But that didn't stop the love, the mutual prayers, or our DNA. We respect each other's convictions, and it will never matter what some social, ecclesiastical or media body declares about mainstream religion.

    But the article was interesting. It reveals what academics still don't get about religious believers. No "Shock and Awe" has converted one Taliban, terrorist, or fanatic. The human will is not predictable.

    Conversely, no Bible-only believers will ever accept a Bible-Plus theology. Not in two more millenia either..

  • Kith Huntington Beach, CA
    May 23, 2012 10:50 p.m.

    Brother Chuck Schroeder

    "ALL Mormons really want recognition as a mainstream religion."

    Please speak for yourself.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 23, 2012 8:20 p.m.

    @Kith;

    All of the 12 and the Councilors to the President of the Church (note: that is his real title) are ordained "prophets, seers and revelators". Each one of them, not just the "president". (It wasn't until David O. McKay's time that the word "prophet" came into use for the President of the LDS Church, prior to that it ALWAYS referred to Joseph Smith.

  • sue1951 MAY, TX
    May 23, 2012 7:40 p.m.

    seems that every time I read an article, there is bashing of some sort. I live in the mission field, I do want to be seen as different, but it is hard on the kids, so sometimes I would like to see us mainstreamed. My kids and grandkids wouldn't have to be afraid cause the teachers would say things about their faith. I am a convert. Those of you who live where there are a lot of LDS take our faith for granted. When there is only a hundred members within 50 miles you stay close.

  • lars Pittsburgh, PA
    May 23, 2012 7:26 p.m.

    The Mormon faith isn't the only one that struggles with deciding what's doctrine and what's opinion. For instance, every Bible translation I've seen states very clearly that women should not speak in church. And yet, how many denominations actually hold that as doctrine?

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    May 23, 2012 7:20 p.m.

    Actually, I'd begin to worry if 'mainline' denominations considered the LDS Church just another member of the club. America has become a moral wasteland on their watch; I don't want their recognition, and I was a Protestant for 44 years.

    Let them have their prosperity theology, scandals, private jets and lavish lifestyle, and the growing obsession with sex-related sermons.

    The one, true Church suits me just fine.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    May 23, 2012 7:16 p.m.

    @ skeptic

    Wrong. Mormons are as well-educated and open-minded as anyone. The majority of so-called “history” is not backed up with indisputable evidence. If you are predisposed to either defy or support the church, you can find ample “history” to support your assumptions. It is much better to judge Mormons by their current beliefs.

    @Brahmabull and DonP

    Wrong. All prophets are first and foremost human beings. They are no more required to be infallible than you are. The difference is that prophets were called of God because of their qualifications the best available spokesmen for God. We therefore can almost always trust their words over the words of the average non-prophet. Yet, they can still err, be misunderstood, or allow their feelings and opinions to mix with what the lord wants them to say. YOU therefore, will never be released from YOUR responsibility to be spiritually receptive to God’s verification of their words.

    @ A scientist

    Wrong. The quoted scripture is talking about judgment day for each individual—not some future day of universal intolerance. It is merely a plea for people to not reject God.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    May 23, 2012 7:03 p.m.

    @ als Atheist

    Wrong. Just because Latter Day Saints believe their church is the true one, does not mean that they expect others to recognize them as such. Most are surprised that other people do not think the same about their own religions. I know I couldn't live that way. But you can go right ahead and not believe whatever you want.

    @ no fit in SG

    Wrong. Scriptures and teachings towards blacks has not changed. All that has changed is the speculation as to why the Lord apparently delayed giving the priesthood to black men. Personally, i think it was a misunderstanding and that Joseph Smith only meant to say that priesthood authority should not be given to blacks who are still slaves subject to another person's will. Church members now worry and fear that the delay was just prejudice, but i was around in the 60s and 70s and I was always taught to love black people as much as anyone else, that they were equal to any white man, and that the lord would one day give them the priesthood. We saw the delay as God's will--not man's will.

  • annewandering oakley, idaho
    May 23, 2012 6:50 p.m.

    A Scientist:
    According to D&C 1:14, those who do not believe in Mormonism will not be tolerated at all:

    "...the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;"

    Hmm well that means they will be cut off of from His people. In truth they have already cut them selves off by that point. Why would this even matter to someone not LDS? Cut off does not mean shunned by the way. It just means no longer counted in membership.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    May 23, 2012 5:53 p.m.

    DNews, and Utah's members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who view Mitt Romney's successful campaign for the Republican presidential nomination as a significant step toward acceptance of the church as a mainstream American religion.

    ALL Mormons really want recognition as a mainstream religion.

    Tell me something new.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 23, 2012 5:49 p.m.

    My sense is, mainstream is where the recognition and political power is, and yes that's where the organisation wants to go, whether or not individual members feel that way. That's why they've worked so hard behind the scenes to rebrand.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 23, 2012 5:47 p.m.

    Regardless what individual members believe, or what the Church emphasizes right now, the problem is with the Church's official, scriptural vision of the future.

    According to D&C 1:14, those who do not believe in Mormonism will not be tolerated at all:

    "...the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;"

    And foreshadows of that intolerance are already manifest in the cultural attitudes I see among LDS people almost every day. It comes across as an "ethnocentrism", but also as an "arrogance". It is really off-putting.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 23, 2012 5:47 p.m.

    Re; Regis, But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a *peculiar people…(1Peter 2:9 KJV) “ The Priesthood of the believer”, Luther’s verse to the RCC during the reformation.
    But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession..(1Peter 2:9 NIV) (*peripoiesis,406,possession).

    To: LDS Liberal, There are elements of Gnosticism in the LDS faith that I like. I read the Gnostics Nag Hammadi, specifically the Gospel's of Thomas.
    The Gospel of Thomas is not really a Gospel(euangelion)but a list of sayings. Do you believe saying(logos) 114, Simon Peter said to them let Mary leave us for women are not worthy of life…?
    There are elements of Gnosticism in the LDS faith. True,
    The Colossian Heresy: Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility…(Col 2:21-23)W of W.

  • Give Me A Break Pullman, WA
    May 23, 2012 5:45 p.m.

    What does it even mean to be mainstream? We certainly are not going to give up our restoration doctrines, or our priesthood authority, or lower the standard for admittance into our temples. We are not going to ever side with the Trinity declarations of the Nicean Creed, and we are never going to stop baptizing for and in behalf of the deceased of our progenitors. But we will continue to grow and gain momentum until we fill the earth. Maybe then we will be mainstream, but not much earlier.

    Those who oppose us, even in this newspaper comment board, are never going to think we are Christians. If that is what they are, then being a modern-day Christian loses some of its appeal anyway. But we will continue to live Christian lives, practice Christian virtues, pray to the father in the name of the Son, and follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ, all the while attracting those of like values. I am getting used to being peculiar. Why change now?

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    May 23, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    But,
    Sasha Pachev, do we have a right to do "some correction of the "stream" which is what we are trying to do" as you say, and force those who are not with us to be with us against their will? To me, in my view, that smacks of Lucifer's plan in the Preexistence, which Heavenly Father did not accept. We can't force our fellowman to take our path, in order for us to be mainstream. We have to allow for choices, whether we like them or not, whether they are in line with our doctrine or not, in order to allow others to choose to follow us. True? Even our hymns sing of these things.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    May 23, 2012 4:49 p.m.

    I imagine some do, those who aren't comfortable with not fitting in, or who don't like being "different", perhaps, or those who just want to be popular and are afraid of what others will think of their strange religion. And there are some who are comfortable in their own skins and feel they have nothing to prove, as long as they are at peace with their God and with themselves. There are the people like me, who are in the last category and also a little strange, who really couldn't care less what anyone thinks anyway...lol...and march to their own drumbeat, who are happy with what they have and are willing to share it with the first person who wants to know. So Mormons--LDS folk come in all flavors, and this article is a little useless other than to point that out.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    May 23, 2012 4:30 p.m.

    Being "mainstream" is good, if the "stream" is flowing in the right direction. If we can become "mainstream" without turning away from the true doctrine of Christ, that is great. In our world today it would require some correction of the "stream" which is what we are trying to do.

  • regis Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2012 4:23 p.m.

    The desire of Mormons to be loved and embraced by the rest of the world reminds me of Sally Field at the Academy Awards: "You like me! You really like me!" Kind of silly, you know.

    Jesus clearly told his followers that they would always be looked upon as peculiar. He taught that they should rejoice and be glad when they were persecuted and hated by others, just as he was persecuted and hated.

    Mormons ought to take some pride in being looked upon as odd, or different, or "a cult." Who cares if the Rev. Jeffress doesn't think we are in the mainstream of Christianity? That was the exact criticism of the Jews when Christ was on the earth, that he taught new and different doctrines that didn't jive with the accepted teachings of the time.

  • peabody Steamboat Springs, CO
    May 23, 2012 4:18 p.m.

    As the Buddy Holly song goes; "That'll be the Day".

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    May 23, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    @Brahmabull

    "I mean it seems rediculous that god would say to do something, then later say wait now don't do it"

    Do you have kids? When they were young, did you tell them they couldn't cross the street alone? Then when they got older, did you change that so it was OK?

    Changing your mind did not make you a bad parent, and at neither time were you wrong! You were simply applying the rules based on the child's aptitude, ability, judgment, and the circumstances they were living in (you'd be more apt to apply that rule if you lived on a busy street instead of a one-lane dirt road). When the child's maturity and/or circumstances changed, that rule was no longer necessary so you got rid of it.

    That's how God is with us: He gives us rules based on our aptitude, ability, judgment, and circumstances. It doesn't make him fallible and it doesn't make the prophets wrong - it just means he adapts the rules depending on internal and external factors.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 23, 2012 3:16 p.m.

    Dunedain

    Is it then possible that god didn't tell them to do it at all? I mean it seems rediculous that god would say to do something, then later say wait now don't do it. Do this, now stop, now do that, now stop. I don't think god cares about all of these little things. I think he cares about how we treat others, that is what every commandment comes back to. Not how much money I pay in tithes, not how many times I step into a building on sundays, not how many times I read the words(opinions) of prophets in the scriptures from thousands of years ago, in a land not near here, in a culture not close to mine. I don't think he cares if I smoke or gamble or have facial hair. Point is, maybe it is the people that are just THINKING god told them to do something. Did not Warren Jeffs claim that god told him to do what he did? Anybody can say that.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    May 23, 2012 3:10 p.m.

    @Brahma, Polygamy is not a "doctrine". It has nothing to do with the Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost or any part of the Atonement. Like circumcision in the New Testament, it was a covenant and God-given practice that existed for a purpose for a given time. There are really only a few things that are "core" to our beliefs that are consistent throughout history. Woodruff et al were being faithful to a commandment at the time, then told to change.

    Some people have a problem with change. It's part of Revelation. I would have more of a problem if some things couldn't change with our needs. Do you ever change practices in your household? How do you explain to your kids?

  • Kith Huntington Beach, CA
    May 23, 2012 2:37 p.m.

    DonP,

    It is my understanding that only the prophet may speak words of scripture.

  • FanofTHEgame Mapleton, UT
    May 23, 2012 2:35 p.m.

    There is little question to a person who espouses a religion that they do so because of what they gain from that religion. If they stop "gaining," most will leave that religion unless they feel some compelling reason to stay (i.e., they seem value for their children, business opportunities, etc.). Sometimes they depart for another religion, sometimes they simply disavow all religion. It runs the gamut. We've seem plenty of examples of those who come and go in their religiosity and certainly this is the case in Mormonism.

    For me personally the value of "Mormonism" is that it gives me the highest value, the greatest opportunities to serve, the greatest potential for blessings. It allows me to see further, to feel deeper, etc. Others, of course, don't share this opinion. I don't fault them for there position just as I don't care if they fault me for mine. I have no doubts about my beliefs. I am certainly far from anything "perfect," but I firmly believe that Christ commanded us to "be perfect." Mormonism gives me the best opportunity for achieving "perfection," which I know I will never achieve in this life.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    May 23, 2012 2:18 p.m.

    In the world, not of the world.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    May 23, 2012 2:08 p.m.

    @als Atheist

    "We have seen such Dominionist belief systems throughout history. It never turns out well for those who don't believe the same way."

    religion does not have a corner on intolerance or atrocity. Millions of people living in the Soviet Union under Stalin's regime were killed or sent to horrible work camps because of their political beliefs. State not religious leaders killed them.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    May 23, 2012 2:00 p.m.

    The more pertinat question should be, "Why would we want to be mainstream??

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 23, 2012 1:37 p.m.

    Wally West
    SLC, UT
    @ LDS Liberal 12:10 p.m. May 23, 2012

    There are elements of Gnosticism in the LDS faith that I like.

    ==========

    Agreed.
    That was what got me going in the 1st place.

    I read the Gnostics Nag Hammadi - specifically the Gospel's of Mary, Thomas, and Philip --

    And remembered D&C 91:1
    1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning the Apocrypha—There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly;

    4 Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth;

    “Mormonism” includes all truth. There is no truth but what belongs to the gospel. ~ Brigham Young

    Which is why we have been given that most wonderful gift of Holy Ghost - to discern ALL truth.

    And the truth shall set you free.....

  • Dunedain PROVO, UT
    May 23, 2012 1:31 p.m.

    The Jews practiced circumcision because God through his prophets told them to do so. Then Christ and his Apostles showed up and told them that it was God's will that they no longer follow that law. It doesn't invalidate what was previously said by the Prophets it just means that God has revealed something new to his people. Polygamy is the same thing.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    May 23, 2012 12:57 p.m.

    @ LDS Liberal 12:10 p.m. May 23, 2012

    There are elements of Gnosticism in the LDS faith that I like.

  • Dunedain PROVO, UT
    May 23, 2012 12:35 p.m.

    I feel like half the people who want to attack the church's view on whether or not what a prophet says is doctrine have a false assumption of what a prophet is. It seems that they think that by our definition a prophet, since he can speak for God, is infallible or that he is perfect. We've never claimed that and to my knowledge I don't think that the scriptures, ours of those accepted by all Christians, teach that. Moses forgot to circumcise some of his sons if I remember right, Peter denied the Christ. Those things don't diminish their callings as a Prophet or an Apostle it just means that they were human. If they would take away their assumption of Prophet=Perfect then there doesn't appear to be the contradiction of saying that sometimes a prophet just says something and sometimes he's officially speaking for the Lord.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 23, 2012 12:31 p.m.

    eastcoastcoug - Ok, it is fairly common stuff. Polygamy was a doctrine revealed to Joseph Smith, and was practiced because it was doctrinal (see doctrine and covenants)

    "We will not end the practice of plural marriage until the coming of the Son of Man". (Wilford Woorduff, manti temple dedication)

    "Though I go to prison, God will not change his law of celestial marriage. But the man, the people, the nation, that oppose and fight against this doctrine and the Church of God, will be overthrown." (Lorenzo Snow in historical record)

    Gordon B. Hinckley stated in the Larry King interview: "I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal."

    Clearly it was not only a teaching, but a doctrine. A practiced doctrine. Then you have president Hinckley who states that it is NOT DOCTRINE. This is just one of many examples.

  • Juan Figuroa Seattle, WA
    May 23, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    Mainstreaming makes missionary work somewhat easier, and mitigates some obstacles to practicing one's faith. Utahans get unscheduled Monday nights, Sabbath-observant neighbors, meetinghouses within walking distance, homework-free youth nights, and high community expectations about behavior. None of that necessarily strengthens the soul. But statistically, it does increase religious participation. So one supposes, with a lukewarm affirmation, that on the whole, it's more or less a good thing. Ultimately, though, it doesn't matter, and obsessively tracking worldly acceptance levels is a form of idol worship -- one God probably doesn't approve of.

  • Chris from Rose Park PROVO, UT
    May 23, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    For me, I want to be respected and give respect to others. This does not always mean that I will agree with everyone and that everyone will agree with me. If being "mainstream" is defined as respect, I believe LDS members seek that very much. However, if it is defined as fitting in with the rest of Christian theology which differs from the LDS church, then I for one do not desire it.

    @no fit in SG
    I actually like the topic of LDS doctrine outside Utah. From various experiences, especially with an internship in Florida and now moving to Connecticut since graduating school here, I have decided those topics are less controversial then they first seem. I was surprised how many questions I was asked (probably because of Romney) but the outcome was always one of mutual respect.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    May 23, 2012 12:10 p.m.

    ‘Do Mormons really want recognition as a 'mainstream' religion?’

    ==================

    No, absolutely not.

    The more mainstream we become,
    the more watered down our religion becomes.

    We will loose most of our "Plain and Precious" truths that make us unique.

    As a Mormon,
    I consider myself a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Gnostic, Wiccan, and Shaman - all of it.

    All truth can be circumscribed into one great whole.

    I will not give any of it up for all the "mainstreaming" in the world.

  • PapaDroid Lehi, UT
    May 23, 2012 11:48 a.m.

    The answer is No. Our beliefs in the Godhead, the nature of our Savior, the Preexistence, Life after death, the Priesthood, work for the dead, our opportunity to become exalted, etc. is way different from 'Mainstream religions'. If we attempt to become mainstream we would have to give up some of our beliefs and then we would not be who we are.
    A devout disciple of Christ and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    May 23, 2012 11:48 a.m.

    Name a conflicting statement, Brahma. Many of us would like to know what you're talking about...

  • Tornogal LITTLE ROCK, AR
    May 23, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    "Not every statement made by a church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole church."

    Honestly, this baffles me, an non-Mormon.

    It seems with the benefit of time, it is so easy now to sift through and identify all those times in the distant past LDS prophets were "representing a personal opinion."

    But assuming today's prophets are no more perfect than, say, Brigham Young, can anyone point to anything a current prophet has recently said that is also "a personal opinion"?

    It seems to me Latter-day Saints regard every word spoken by the current prophets to be doctrine. Will some of those words be re-characterized in the future as "opinion"? Is it possible--just possible that President Packer's comments on gays might be regarded as such some day?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 23, 2012 11:29 a.m.

    Donp - no, unfortunately that is not still a valid teaching. Prophets words are not doctrine, they used to be because, you know, they are prophets, right? But now because all of the contradicting statements made by prophets they have labeled them all opinion. So the big question is, what is the need for a prophet if what they say is only opinion. "Follow the Prophet" would be invalid, as what they say is only a suggestion. It all doesn't make sense.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    May 23, 2012 11:23 a.m.

    My, my, what a list of malcontents that seem to be waiting to pounce on the blogs with every article on the Church. I feel most sorry for the ones who live in Utah and feel trapped.

    My experience is that organizations of all kinds (right down to family size) have members that don't agree with the values or the way those values are being practiced. However, I see far more willingness in the LDS Church to let people choose whether to believe and join according to their own wishes. However, there are those who get in (or who are born inside) that want out or want to change it. For those, I just say "do it". But stop carping about whether or not the rest of us who remain faithful are blind or of low IQ.

    As for the article, most of us welcome the more serious examination and discussion (surprised, doubters?). I've often thought that many of our doctrines and beliefs as practiced, would go down well with most thoughtful and moral people of the world. Truth exists independent and there are many out there who seek it.

  • Climberswife Midvale, UT
    May 23, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    I don't get it either....

    the Mormon "Articles of Faith" even says:
    "#11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

    We believe this and so if everybody else would believe that too... the haggling with anybody's belief's should stop... Right?

  • DonP Sainte Genevieve, MO
    May 23, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    I was taken somewhat aback by the lack of reference to the Ensign, especially the conference editions, as being official doctrine. I have been taught that the words of the General Authorities, spoken in conference, especially the words of the the President, are considered scripture. Is that teaching still valid?

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    May 23, 2012 10:53 a.m.

    It shouldn't matter what Mormons want or don't want. Its Christ's church. Do what HE wants.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 23, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    There may be some merit to the old saying that: familiarity breeds contempt. And it seems the more one becomes familiar with Mormon history, doctrine and political culture the more confusing and questionable it becomes. It seems the true believing Mormons compensate for this by closing their minds to reality and going along with the church current that flows through a some what closed society of church authority dominance.

  • Emjay Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 23, 2012 10:17 a.m.

    I swear, I just can't believe the way every time an LDS-oriented article appears there always are those who take the opportunity to spew their own emotional problems concerning the Church whether it is relevant or not. Do they really think they are convincing anyone? Honestly, this is sad.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    I hadn't thought about some of the points raised. Coming from a United Methodist background that carries a strong belief that "it doesn't matter what denomination you belong to" made the concept of joining another church (the LDS church) much easier since I don't think any church is "the true church". Of course it also made it easier for me to leave the LDS church and assume that whenever I do find someone to marry odds are I'll just join her church to make things easier.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 23, 2012 9:57 a.m.

    I don't think we want to be considered "mainstream." We take great pride (I'll use the word pride for lack of a better word) in the fact that we are a "peculiar" people. But that doesn't mean "weird." We are regular, normal people who happen to profess knowledge of the restoration of Christ's true Church. We want that message to be spread far and wide. But, we want it made clear that we are unique in the world as a faith and as a people. We are not exactly "mainstream."

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    May 23, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    Many Mormons are kind people. However, some are a bit pushy. When one leaves the state, it is sometimes beneficial to refrain from discussing the LDS religion. It leads to the standard, uncomfortable questions about the Celestial Plural Marriage(polygamy) thing in their question" Well, how many wives do you have"? Also, Utah is unique in that there are not as many minorities. This leads to the questions, "Why don't Mormons like Blacks, didn't they ban them from their Church"?
    Should a missionary ask these people to read the scriptures explaining this... they must be told to read "newer" scriptures with explanations of why "unpopular answers" are in the "older" scriptures.
    People who attended LDS Sunday School, Relief Society and Priesthood classes in 1970 will hear a world of difference their now. My own children do not believe me concerning LDS writings, until I take out the 1960-1970 publications and Scriptures and show them.
    This may be causing reluctance for those who are considering joining the LDS Church and in a lesser area, voting for Mitt Romney, an LDS church member.

  • als Atheist Provo, UT
    May 23, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    The simple answer to this headline questions is "No".

    Instead, Mormons want recognition as the "one and only true and living Church on the face of the whole earth with which God is well-pleased".

    They want recognition as the "...the kingdom of God on the earth, but is at the present limited to an ecclesiastical kingdom. During the millennial era, the kingdom of God will be both political and ecclesiastical, and will have worldwide jurisdiction in political realms when the Lord has made 'a full end of all nations' (D&C 87: 6)." (LDS Bible Dictionary).

    We have seen such Dominionist belief systems throughout history. It never turns out well for those who don't believe the same way.