Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mormon Related Survey? —Grant H

I have two questions in this Mormon Related Survey
1. Are you currently a mormon or are you an ex-mormon

2. Where you raised as a Mormon or did you convert to Mormonism

BTW: what's the deal with the magic underwear?
more questions

3. Those of you who are ex-mormons
why did you leave the LDS church

4. Those of you who converted to Mormonism, what brought you to that decision

5. When Moroni spoke to joseph smith, was he an Angel of Light

6. Why do you never see pictures of Joseph Smith with his head inside a hat
1&2. Raised Mormon, mission, temple marriage, callings, etc. Have since resigned.

2a. I wear Hanes, thanks for asking. Some are even colored. ;)

3. Left when I became convinced the church was not what it claimed to be. No longer hold any supernatural beliefs.

5. Moroni was a resurrected personage, not an angel.

6. Why do you never see pictures of Joseph Smith with his head inside a hat? Because it's not faith promoting.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Appropriate gift for Childs Baptism (Mormon)?
I was invited to the Baptism for a Friends Child. They are Mormon and I am not sure what is an appropriate gift. Any Help would be great. —ditka2k7

All good suggestions, and the gift sounds like a nice gesture. You should know though that Mormon baptisms aren't necessarily a gift-giving occasion. The child probably just turned eight, so they just got a bunch of birthday stuff. Just sayin', it's certainly appropriate for you to just show up if that's your preference. It's generally Sunday dress, which for Mormons is almost always dresses for ladies and dress pants with a white shirt and tie for guys. (But no one will care if you wear something different.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ex-Mormons - would you let your children be Mormon? If not - why? —Lola

Not if I could help it, for lots of reasons. Obviously I don't believe Joseph Smith is credible, so that's one reason. But on a purely social level, I want more for my kids. I don't want my kids, especially my girls, to feel like their life's path has been preselected. I don't want them to feel limited in the roles they can fill based purely on their sex.

Also, I want my kids to learn to make tough decisions and accept responsibility for the consequences. I don't think magical thinking or feelings-based decision making is the best approach to life. Too often LDS kids (and some adults!) want to abdicate responsibility for deciding where to go to school, whom to marry, what career to pursue. They'll ask church leaders, fast and pray, and choose based on feelings and an attempt to please the most people. And then when things don't work out as hoped they can fall back on, "I know this is where the Lord wants me to be." "I don't know why I needed to experience this trial right now." It's never, "I made a mistake, and I need to fix it."

Next, I have a strong aversion to the LDS church's approach to "worthiness." First of all any parent who allows their minor children to be interviewed behind closed doors and asked by a priesthood leader about inappropriate topics like masturbation and sexual purity would have to be crazy. And yet this happens every week in every LDS ward. I would never let my kid go into an interview without me. Better yet, don't let them go at all. Their self worth should come from inside, not from a bishop's "recommend."

Guilt is a huge part of LDS membership, often exploiting kids' developing sexuality. What city ranks highest in google searches about masturbation? That's right, SLC. (See link.) Same for the term "pornography." The church is obsessed with it. What state has the highest male teen suicide rate? Again, the award goes to Utah. (The Des News did a big series on this in May 2007.) In Nov. 2007 the same church-owned paper reported "Utah leads the nation in rates of depression." What's wrong with this picture?

It's also a very image-conscious and judgmental religion. It takes everything it can from members. Missionaries fund their own missions, and the church recently reduced the monthly stipend they receive. They laid off their janitors a few years ago and ask the members to clean the toilets. They've now started asking members to house missionaries to save more. Not to mention you tithe 10% and have to appear to be receiving material blessings, or everyone will know it's your own fault. I don't want my kids seeing the world that way.

Now ask me how I really feel. ;)


Saturday, March 22, 2008

What is it like for a non - mormon to live in a predominately mormon suburb/city? Just curious.? —zotta1

My town is mostly Mormon. If you're a friendly person and into having close relationships with neighbors, I think you'll find most Mormons are happy to have association with "nonmembers." Just realize that's what you'll always be to them, a nonmember friend. They may try to convert you, or they may not. But you'll want to be very sensitive to the world they live in: generally no swearing, particularly you never hear Mormons say "Lord" or "god" as a cuss word. Unless they were converts they likely know very little about drinking and tend to be very uncomfortable with even the sight or mention of alcohol. Otherwise they're like anyone else.

And if you'd just as soon be left alone, that's easy in a Mormon community too. They may bring you cookies at Christmas, but they're not going to run you out of town.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When the LDS Mormon missionaries come to my door does anyone have any info I can share with them? —doo_unto_others

Give 'em twenty bucks and tell them to buy themselves a decent dinner. They just had their monthly stipends decreased last year.

If you really feel like challenging them over points of doctrine ... first of all it's probably pointless. They're with their companion so they have to keep their game faces on, not express any doubts or anything. Plus their lives are hard enough for those two years when they really believe in what they're doing. Coming home early has social ramifications, so it's usually in their best interests to finish it out.

But if you think it'll do some good, keep it focused on what they have in their hands: the LDS scriptures. Ask them who the Lamanites are today. Show them a verse like 3 Nephi 3:22 where it talks about "their horses, and their chariots, and their cattle, and all their flocks, and their herds, and their grain" and just ask them, "This is supposed to have happened somewhere in America around A.D. 17?" Show them the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham and ask them if they're aware these have been translated by Egyptologists.

I think at best you'll get blank stares, and a challenge to read it and pray so you can "know for yourself" that there were horses and pigs and cattle and chariots in America in A.D. 17. Good luck with that.

El guapo gives some pretty good points, but with a little research outside of anti-mormon websties, you'll see that horse bones etc have been found in the Americas. The Earth has not always been divided by water anyway, this goes way back then just Book of Mormon times.

And i doubt Egyptologist have translated the facsimilies correctly, "correctly" being the keyword.

Nice Try El Guapo.
Thanks for the lesson in ancient American megafauna. Are we talking about horses in the Pleistocene epoch? Or Book of Mormon times? And just how far off do you think the modern study of Egyptology is?

"Most of America's big wild mammals (including its horses, most of its camels, and other species likely to have been domesticated had they survived) became extinct about 13,000 years ago." —Jared Diamond, "Guns, Germs, and Steel," p. 162

"All of this nonsense is illustrated by three facsimile woodcuts, depicting: (1) the "sacrifice" (falsely restored from a scene of Anubis tending Osiris on the funerary bier), (2) an astronomical scene of planets (actually a hypocephalus), and (3) enthroned Abraham lecturing the male Pharoah (actually enthroned Osiris with the female Isis). ... Smith's hopeless translation also turns the goddess Maat into a male prince, the papyrus owner into a waiter, and the black jackal Anubis into a slave." —Robert Ritner, Egyptologist, University of Chicago

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Mormon girl I like says there's no chance for a relationship. How can I convince her otherwise? —labourerdavis

I started dating a beautiful Mormon girl a few months ago and I'm completely mad about her. She says she likes me too, but she's confused because she's absolutely convinced that there could be no "longevity" in a relationship between us. I know this is because I am not a Mormon and any relationship would not be eternal unless I converted to the Church. I have lost patience a couple of times and slandered her religious beliefs because they seem to be keeping us apart. I know that people's religious convictions are usually a major part of their lives and I know I was wrong for talking badly about hers. Now she's completely ignoring me, but I'm going to give in and go to her Church to see her. Is there any hope for convincing her that beliefs about the afterlife are just theories and should not be able to keep lovers apart? Or, if I truly love her, should I be willing to convert? I'm confused too, and sad.
Sorry, man, there's no way around this one. You just have to walk away. It's her loss too, and neither of you are at fault. It just is what it is. If you're still single a year from now call and ask her if she's still Mormon. Rinse. Repeat.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What are some visible/noticeable differences between a mormon and a regular christian/catholic/jewish person?
im not talking about physical appearance..i mean more like lifestyle —caitlin d

When I was LDS the only times my business associates were likely to notice anything different about me were when we were offered coffee or went to dinner together. (Mormons don't drink any coffee or alcohol.) That's probably the best you're going to do without asking him or inviting yourself to go to church with him or something.

One other idea: do you know anyone else who is Mormon? There are subtle things a fellow Mormon might notice that might be a pretty clear signal. Utah Mormons often have a certain way of speaking--something about the way they say their S's, and I don't mean a lisp. I know I still "sound" Mormon and probably always will. Or you might notice his garment line above his knees. Does it look like he's wearing boxer briefs that come to his knee? Does he always have a white undershirt on? If you ever see him dressed up, does he wear anything other than a white dress shirt? Again, all possible signs, but you won't know until you ask.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Is it true that Mormon underwear is indestructible? —flamespeak

If the question is about the material, paula is right, it's just regular material. But I think it's pretty obvious that's not what your question is about. You want to know whether Mormons believe their underwear protects them, right? I'd say some responders are being disingenuous with their answers, but I guess they did answer the question as asked.

I've heard it said that a fanatic is someone who actually believes what their religion teaches. You say some people "have gone beyond the normal religious delusion" in believing the temple garments stopped a bullet or whatnot, but isn't that exactly what they're supposed to believe? How come no one's owning up to this? J. Willard Marriott told Mike Wallace his garments saved him.

you sir, are weird. Imagine asking about someones underwear. Truly it must be a fetish you have.
James B:
You can't have it both ways, sir. The Mormon religion makes underwear a part of its religious practice. I don't think it's weird someone would ask about it. Imagine asking fully grown adult adherents to only wear regulation underpants, and then interviewing them regularly to ensure compliance. Is *that* a fetish?

Gordon B. Hinckley, J. Willard Marriott, and Steve Young:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why can't families watch a mormon wedding if they're not mormon?
Why can't you watch, say, your son or daughter get married in a temple if your not mormon? —carlss

I really think this policy will change in time. It's the most glaringly "cultish" practice in the church today and creates a lot of animosity toward the church. And for what? I won't be surprised if this changes during Monson's tenure.

formermo: I'm just guessing of course, but it's an easy change to make really. They'd still do the endowment stuff, and probably even the "sealing" thing in a small private setting, but that could be viewed as preparatory to a public wedding ceremony that's done in typical wedding attire. You don't have to let the guests roam freely through the whole temple. This way you could even wed non-member spouses in the temple, just skipping the sealing part altogether.

Monday, March 10, 2008

How do Mormon critics explain 2 Nephi 12:16? —Brian in Oregon

Many assert that Joseph Smith copied text right out of the King James Version of the Bible during those parts of the Book of Mormon in which Nephi quoted from the writings of Isaiah.

Although there are several subtle differences between the two, one notable difference between the Book of Mormon and the KJV Bible is found in 2 Nephi 12:16 (compare with Isaiah 2:16). For your convenience I have quoted both references below:

2 Nephi
"And upon all the ships of the sea, and upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures."

"And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures."

Interestingly, the Septuagint (Greek) version of this same verse is translated as follows:
"And upon every ship of the sea, and upon every display of fine ships."

If not from the golden plates, where did Joseph Smith get the phrase, "And upon all the ships of the sea"? It is very improbable that a poor American farm boy would have had access to a Septuagint Bible in 1830.
I am a Mormon critic and I can't explain that. I also can't explain the NHM thing.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Is there any proof that the Book of Mormon is true? —curethedolphins

What do you mean is it "true"? If your question is, "What does the archeological evidence look like for the historicity of the Book of Mormon?" the answer is it appears to be pretty devastating for the Mormons' claims. If your question is, "If I pray to God to know if I should join Mormonism, will he answer?" then yes, I have no doubt you'll discover it's true. Good luck with that.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A question for Mormon skeptics - Hebrew in the Americas? —hibby76

How do you explain the 2000 (or so) year old Hebrew inscription of the 10 commandments found in Arizona?

And while you're at it, tell explain to us how Joseph Smith knew to put Chiasmus's in the Book of Mormon (but then never wrote it down or mentioned it to anyone).

You clearly have answers for everything, these two should be a piece of cake for you.
I think it's safe to say neither Joseph Smith nor Sidney Rigdon knew anything about chiasmus. I doubt even Dr. Seuss knew what it was. Does that make you feel better?
Why do people always cry at Mormon church?
like it's some sort of contest...? —You Know It's True

I assume you're talking about the people speaking at the podium? Take your average person in the congregation. Put them in front of a large group (remember most people are terrified by this thought alone). Ask them to speak about their deepest beliefs and desires. Result: lots of tears.

If it's a contest, I don't think it's one they're consciously aware of.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I am Mormon and I was wanting to know if they alow homosexuals in their church? —singlebratty

And if they discrimate people?It has been like 7 years since I been to the church it was in Morristown ,Tn and when I came out of the Closet that is when I stopped going to church and I am wanting to know if they will except me for my sexuality,please someone help me and be seriouse about this question,Thank You!
Mormons accept "same-gender attraction" as a natural condition that some people will struggle with. However their belief system does absolutely prohibit acting on those desires. Will they accept you into their congregation? Yes. Will the bishop consider you "worthy" if you are in a homosexual relationship? Not likely.

The Proclamation on the Family: