Ask A Mormon

I make this thread in the hopes that as a whole, we can better understand someone’s religion who is still affiliated with them. I’ve noticed a lot of threads about the Mormon Church and so I wanted to start this thread to answer any questions that someone might have about the faith.

I am a return missionary currently attending BYU, was born and raised in the covenant and attend church every week. I will do my best to answer any question to the best ability of a typical mormon. I’ll be truthful with my answers and won’t sugar coat anything. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll tell you. You can know what the church is teaching now, what it taught, and why the changes.

The only thing i do ask however, is that you refrain from questions regarding sacred promises and acts within the temple. We believe we have made a promise not to indulge what goes on purely out of respect for God and His Holy Temple.

Also, HUGE reason we believe things that we do is because we have first gained a testimony in the Book of Mormon, that Joseph Smith is a true prophet and has restored Christ’s church on the earth.

Also, i apologize if i can’t get to everyone’s questions, hopefully there are other LDS here who are willing to provide answers for you also.

I appreciate your willingness to jump into the arena. Just be prepared. Many of us will be making sure your answers are true and reflect ALL the teaching of the LDS Church.

I, too, am a returned missionary. I also served in EQ presidency and bishopric. I have attended many temples and was originally sealed in the Guatemala Temple after my Honduras mission and took out my endowments in the Idaho Falls Temple.

Can you explain this?

I am reading this post, as well as several others that make it seem that you were claiming to be a former mormon. You have to love looking up a person’s posting history. :smiley:

I think we need to know which side of the coin your are on. I hate to be skeptical here, but it looks like you’re trying to play both sides.

Please explain.

:popcorn:

TPK is munching popcorn…so I will bite:

When did the Great Apostasy occured? What date? And please provide verfiable proof, tangible proof…not speculations.

Here’s a question that has bothered me for some time:

  1. Many LDS apologists interpret the “black” and “white” skin, as discussed in the Book of Mormon, as being metaphors or “spiritual” interpretations, where blackness/darkness of negative/sin, and whiteness is pure or Godly (which certainly is a valid usage of such words in the broader landscape of religious language). However, it seems clear from the actual Book of Mormon that such skins were viewed as literally skin color.

I bring that up as a preface. In addition, General Conference is regarded as a time when we can hear the inspired words of the Lord’s prophets, apostles, and other inspired leaders. We talk of continuing revelation, God speaking in our day, etc, and General Conference is regarded as a time when we can hear His voice and listen to His living oracles. If so, then do we accept this as truly being an inspired discussion on skin color and righteousness?

The Day of the Lamanites-Elder Spencer Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 1960 General Conference

*The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised (2 Ne. 30:6). In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos; five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.

At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl—sixteen—sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents—on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather. There was the doctor in a Utah city who for two years had had an Indian boy in his home who stated that he was some shades lighter than the younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation. These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.*

I could only imagine sitting in the tabernacle or wherever listening to that part of the inspired message of an apostle of the Lord, ya know, being brown skinned. How do you view such teachings, in the General Conference setting?

  1. Also, how do you view the King Follett Discourse (also taught in General Conference, by Joseph Smith) and the teaching that God has not always been God, and progressed to Godhood, and that we follow His example and path?

Okay E.G.B. So why would joe smith need to restore Jesus Church? Was Jesus wrong in His teachings before?

I have a couple of honest questions. Nothing meant to stump or to confuse. Just curiosities.

  • Mormons believe that in history, there have been periods of when there was a proper faith between people and God, followed by periods of apostasy, and thereafter, restoration. Joseph Smith is believed to have brought the latest restoration. That being said, is it possible, according to Mormon theology, that sometime in the future there will be another apostasy that might leave the world without communication (for lack of a better term) with God? If not, well, why not, since it’s a pattern in history?

  • What do Mormons traditionally make of the fact that most archaeological records do not seem to support Mormon claims in terms of a Hebrew tribe having landed in the Americas, and believing in Jesus Christ, or a record of scriptures that support any Mormon theological claims not associated with classical Christianity? Or do Mormons believe that such records and scriptures actually exist?

  • Just your personal opinion - why do you think Mormons seem to buck the trend in terms of social decay that has impacted the rest of Western society, including many people who profess to be in the classical Christian churches?

Thank you for your time,

With pleasure, About 2 years ago, i started to question a lot in my life after a tragic accident involving my grandparents, I only sought answers that i thought could be answered as a true truthseaker. I’ve never “left” the Mormon church but for a year or so I did decide to not be affiliated with a specific group, which ironically, lead me to the catholic forums because my grandparents are catholic. Out of love and compassion for them i decided to delve deeper into the understanding of catholicism and place my self in the church, so i made myself catholic without actually being baptized, if that makes any sense. I thought if i renounced a false religion and accepted the true church i would receive an anser to my prayers.I simply wanted truth and sought any and all means to receive it. I’m still a mormon purely out of respect for my parents, I haven’t seen enough evidence to deter me away and haven’t found enough evidence to lead me to another church. But i am open minded and am willing to listen and learn. Hope this makes sense, that was a rough time in my life so a lot of my past posts will be, one day im catholic, the next protestant, the next buddhist. But I do attend the LDS church each sunday and am still looking for the one true church. Hope this helps

Sounds to me like you dont know what you are or what you want to be. Also, one cannot call themselves Catholic and still be a mormon :mad: And you are a mormon because of your parents? Are you not your own person? But if you are looking for answers, you have come to the right place. There are alot of very smart people here that know their religion and can help you.

This in truth is a very hard question but also a very good question. The best way I can explain this and how most mormons view it is that the Great Apostasy occurred over time not in a single day or even year. It starts with Judah and trickles down, not to the other apostles of course but over time. Its a common belief that the Great Apostasy was “complete” with the death of the last apostle.

Side note, however, its also believed that John the Beloved is still alive and walks the earth with the three nephites (BoM reference).

This is the typical teaching of the church.

Erin, If you read the Acts of the Apostles very closely you will see the church building up in numbers. That’s Christ’s Church led by Peter, and Paul doing a great amount of the evangelization of building it up in numbers. He even wrote over half of the new testament. When did it crash? Never, the church existed before the bible ever did, in fact it was the work of the church which put the bible in existance so it would help build up the church and the faith of it’s people. The church has 1.2 billion members today. So where’s the apostasy? It’s stronger than it’s ever been, look at the love we have for each other. That’s a love created by God. If you truly understood the Catholic church you would never leave it. Jesus was from the tribe of Judah.

Unfortunately, God isn’t the biggest fan of big neon signs. :stuck_out_tongue:

Most of us belong to a particular faith because of our parents. That is part of our parents’ job in the faith, and part of our own when we have children. :wink:

I’ll give you how the church views the skin change first and then i’ll give you my two cents.

Very recently, in fact, in my mission this was a very hot topic to discuss since I was spanish speaking and we proselyted to latino’s. My mission president discussed with me that the overall consensus of the church is that it was a “spiritual” darkness that is talked about in the book of mormon. The church does not openly teach that because of their wickedness, God made them dark. Again this is the church’s standpoint

Now i’ll give you my two cents. I firmly believe that the Book of Mormon clearly states that God did infact change the skin color of those persons who were not God’s people. Now, I know that Melanin is what changes skin color to appear darker. I think that God introduced Melanin to the Lamanites to distinguish God’s people from the non believers.

However, according to the articles of faith, “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgressions” So someone having darker skin does not make them evil. It was simply a mark for people to distinguish God’s people from non believers. In many instances in the Book of Mormon, Lamanites became more righteous than the Nephites. Does that mean their skin turned white and the Nephites skin dark? of course not, by then, everyone was intermixed and melanin was running a muck. However, this is the gospel according to me. Thats how I view it, The curse not the mark is the key thing.

Taking off my doubting Mormon hat and putting on my Mormon hat:

LDS have multiple reasons for believing an apostasy makes sense to them, as I’m sure Erin will go into. LDS frequently will cite the alleged loss of apostles as a prime reason for this. LDS say that apostles are to be at the head of the Church, so when there were no more apostles, replaced with bishops, this was a loss of authority, since they do not view apostles as holding the same office as bishops (there is a different view of apostles vs bishops between Catholics and LDS, as has been discussed in other threads). LDS will then say that due to the persecution and the apostles being spread out, it wasn’t possible for them to ordain successor apostles.

LDS also view as evidence of an apostasy the alleged changing of ordinances and doctrines. For example, LDS say that baptism was originally performed by immersion, then it was changed to pouring (they generally don’t realize that Catholics still perform immersion in addition to pouring), which changed the ordinance from the original. Doubting Mormon hat-LDS ordinances, such as the Endowment and the Initiatory Washing and Anointing, have changed in form over time as well. I think that LDS will typically excuse this by claiming that such changes were inspired by God, implying that changes or evolutions in doctrine and ordinance/sacrament anciently is evidence of apostasy. Very interesting.

Of course not. The reason Joseph Smith needed to restore the church is because of the Great Apostasy.

Thank you. So how do you specifically view the statement made in the General Conference quote given?

Also, how do you view the teaching that God has not always been God, but progressed to Godhood, as taught in the King Follett Discourse in another early General Conference?

1 of the 9 versions of smiths visions says that God/Jesus told smith that all the other churches had it wrong. Not that there was an apostacy. So who is lying, Jesus or smith?

I have a bunch of questions but you have to promise not to get offended because I really don’t know that much about Mormonism.

[LIST=1]
*]What’s the difference between the concept of the Godhood in Mormonism and concept of the Trinity in Mainstream Christianity?
*]Do Mormons believe God was once a man, who became God after He died?
*]Kolob, do Mormons believe in it?
*]Do Mormons believe God and Jesus were polygamists?
*]Do Mormons believe you can become a God with your own planet?
*]Why can’t Mormons drink coffee, tea, and hot drinks?
*]Do Mormons believe Jesus and Lucifer/Satan were spirit brothers?
*]Do Mormons believe Jesus came to the Americas to preach to the natives (who were israelites?)
*]Do Mormons believe in exorcisms?
*]Is it true Mormons believe in three Heavens instead of the mainstream Christian concepts of Heaven and Hell?
[/LIST]

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