Exposing What Mormons “Really” Believe

I’ve lost track of how many articles lately, and how very many comments on articles,  claim to reveal to the world the secret, sinister beliefs of the LDS Church.  Their attempts at scandalous revelations tend to revolve around the same few topics, and they’ve all been squarely addressed (I covered the whole “Mormons want to become gods who rule their own planets” trope last summer), so I don’t want to analyze them one by one here.

What most strikes me about these alleged controversies, though, is how deep into obscure arcana the critics have to dig in order to find objectionable stuff.    If the worst dirt you can find on an organization is based on a handful of rumors, gossip, and secondhand quotes from 19th century figures, how bad can the organization really be?

Imagine a make and model of a car that someone wants to take down.  So they write some snarky blurbs about it online that show the world the truth: the company logo on the rear end is kind of derivative.  And the antenna is a bit hard to unscrew.  And don’t even get me started on the horrors of the rubber coating under the front passenger floor mat.

“Trust me,” says our automotive Internet muckraker, “I know all about the dark, seedy underbelly of this scam.”

But, of course, if this vehicle were really that bad, the critics could crow on about its engine, mileage, safety, etc.  The fact that they don’t can only mean that those major things aren’t bad at all.

And so it is with those who seek to undermine the LDS Church.  The usual roster of supposedly secret abominations are so trivial, so irrelevant, that one must think of them as an implied compliment to the 99% of Mormonism that is far more common.

Here’s a radical concept: what Mormons “really” believe are the things they say they believe, the things they preach to each other in their meetings, the things they teach their children at home, the things printed in all their Sunday School manuals, the things their missionaries share with people.

If you can’t make an argument against Mormon beliefs based on what they actually say they believe, then you can’t make much of an argument at all.

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5 comments on “Exposing What Mormons “Really” Believe

  1. I like you’re approach Huston as what Mormons believe is what they say they believe. Sounds straight forward, simple. The challenge is of course, nailing down a set of beliefs in a church that relies on revelation to light the path forward. When Bruce R. McConkie, a scholar and scriptorian by anyone’s standards, published Mormon Doctrine in the early 1960’s, President David O. McKay asked Marion G. Romney and Mark E. Peterson to go through McConkie’s text post publication and report on their findings. Their report documented over 1,100 errors. If Bruce R. McConkie can’t get it right isn’t it a bit unrealistic to expect the occasional NY Times reporter to nail our beliefs down sufficiently to write an article? I think so.

  2. Nice, catchy headline there. Get some traffic, eh? :D

    I’m making light of that, but actually: You can take it from a former Agnostic and later Mormon (me, that is). All religions are scams if you don’t believe in them. This whole God bit is patently false and sounds really scammy. Show me organised religion that does not lend itself to abuse by its human representatives!

    First, you have to be convinced of the existence of a being, whose existence can not be shown from independent sources. Blow the whistle.

    Second, various Mormon leaders have behaved deplorably in the 19th, but also the 20th and 21st centuries. Less than 10 years ago a bishop turned out to be guilty of multiple statutory rapes while performing his “duties” as a Bishop. This in my former stake, knew all the people. No need to blow the whistle…

    BUT!

    It’s not the religion or some other abstract idea that is terrible. It’s the humans, us. We can turn absolutely anything into something very ugly, because we behave in an ugly way towards others. Not all of us, all the time, but yes, all of us at some time in our lives have done it, although it may not be child molesting. But we tend to be callous, unfeeling and careless with other people’s lives.

    But there are also many, many people who really would give their last shirt to someone without one. (I wonder if that is the right metaphor here, but you see what I’m driving at.) And I thank God for them, because they are what makes humanity worth a second thought.

    It’s not so much that I want to believe in God, it’s just that I’ve experienced God. I can not deny that, nor do I wish to, any more. It’s not that without Faith I would be your archetype of a villain, but having felt pure Love, I would that I also could love humans.

    There also seems not to be a bright, clean line. Sometimes doing something is fine, when in another situation it would be terrible. And, even if it seems good now, just wait 150 years and it’s quite twisted.

  3. Forgot this one: Bruce R. McConkie was not a scriptorian as much as a very argumentative, opinionated person, whose father-in-law ended up being President of the Church, and agreeing about a lot of things.

    Not much revelation there, just old-fashioned politically and socially motivated argumentation. Sorry for the blunt words, but I have actually read (and then destroyed) a 1966 edition of Mormon Doctrine…

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