Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Doubting, No Greater Sin

When Mormons mention the outer darkness, what does that mean? —Dandaman
Sort of like Hell? Is there Hell in your beliefs?
There's not really a hell in Mormon doctrine. Everyone gets saved, except the sons of perdition. The closest Mormon equivalent to hell is a temporary place called "spirit prison." That's where bad people go when they die, until they've adequately suffered for all their unrepented misdeeds. Thieves, abusers, violent criminals, they'll all find their way to Mormon paradise eventually.

Not so for the real bad guys, though—the ones who used to know the church was true, who had a testimony, went through the temple, served in callings, and then denied the faith. No redemption for those guys. That's right, that guy who broke into a house and tried to kill a little girl with a hammer: saved. Ex-Mormons like me: not so lucky.

So beware all you faithful Mormons, you could be one questioning thought away from outer darkness. It's not a cult, just the way God rolls. He's mysterious like that.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Blinded by the subtle craftiness of email

Mormon question about the website? —Artisticat

Every time I go there to request a bible, or request someone come visit me, they say something about an incorrect e-mail. Anyone else have this problem? I'd like to go back to church, but it's hard with our sleeping schedule, so I might ask for bible study visits or something. I was baptized at 14.

Others will answer you better, but I just have to say I love this question. What you didn't know is that when you were 14 you were one of the 200,000 or so converts that year that made all the other active, tithe-paying Mormons feel better about their church. The stone clunks forth. Well at least you solved their retention problem. Somebody needs to look into this email glitch so the 10 million lost Mormons out there can reconnect with their faith.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Frequently Avoided Questions

JW's and Mormons, What do you believe about evolution? —Chris the 4th

There's no consensus view on evolution in Mormonism. The faith's leaders have grown increasingly reluctant over the decades to make statements that may later be shown false where faith and science intersect. In my experience I've found most Mormons are antagonistic toward evolutionary theory in general, but aren't quite willing to repudiate it. It's something that—like molecular genetics, homosexuality, and the Book of Abraham—they wish would just go away.

Sunnyrains96 wrote: "Personally, as an LDS member, I keep an open mind. I believe that I was created in the image of my Father, but I also know that there's a lot of history of the world that wasn't recorded. I think that there probably was some evolution involved somewhere, but I wouldn't dare say where or how. I like to think that science and religion often are arguing two sides to the same story and if people on both sides could drop their defenses for just a moment they would see that both sides can be right at the same time."

I'd say the above response is pretty indicative of what most Mormons believe. And something tells me she's not very interested in learning more about evolution, unless it's a Mormon source offering reassurance that somehow it all works out in the end and that most importantly, "the church is still true."