"By their fruit, you will recognize them."

A wonderful instruction from Our Lord, Jesus!

I have been raised Protestant, but I am gratefully exploring Catholicism. (I may find that it is my home). But, one thing I notice on these forums is that the Catholic answer to just about everything satisfies my soul except for its response to Mormonism. It seems Catholics just don't know what to DO with Mormons. I've also heard statistics (I believe from articles on this website) that many Catholics are converting to Mormonism.

Before we get started, please note that I am not looking for "intellectual" or "historical" reasons why Mormonism is "wrong." Two can play at that game and I do not have the mental patience at this time to sift through those "reasons."

Right now, I would like to focus on the intriguing phenomenon of just how NICE Mormons are! Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. If you have any doubts, just google "Why are Christians so..." and see what the assumptions are. Do the same with Mormonism. Under "Why are Christians so..." the assumptions are "hypocritical," "miserable," "mean," "arrogant," and many other nasty words. Under "Why are Mormons so..." the assumptions are "nice," "friendly," "happy," "peaceful." I've also noticed that Mormons are much better than Catholics in practice of having kids!

In my home congregation, most conversion stories I hear are of people "noticing something" in the lives of Christians that is very mystical. They reckon they want a piece of it, and then joyously discover Christ. However, you begin to see my point that Mormons seem to have this "something" much more consistently then classical Christianity.

I consider myself an orthodox Christian, let's just get that out of the way first. But, I am also trying to be honest here. Someone please give me a good explanation for the lack of practical application among Christians and the incredible "performance" (for lack of a better word) of Mormons.

thanks in advance (I generally like this forum and appreciate it, thanks)

Mormons are very nice people, and yes they live upright lives.
I do however understand they are not if fact orthodox Christian but they do choose to identify as Christan.

You are right to ask why the Christian house is so divided and disordered. Jesus asked this of Christians in John 17:

20 I pray not only for these but also for those who through their teaching will come to believe in me.
21 May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.
22 I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one.
23 With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in unity that the world will recognise that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me.

Yes, I’m aware that they identify as Christians.

When I say orthodox, I am referring to the communions that consist of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. Those are the “official” orthodox traditions of Christianity.

[quote="Mort_Alz, post:1, topic:246197"]
A wonderful instruction from Our Lord, Jesus!

I have been raised Protestant, but I am gratefully exploring Catholicism. (I may find that it is my home). But, one thing I notice on these forums is that the Catholic answer to just about everything satisfies my soul except for its response to Mormonism. It seems Catholics just don't know what to DO with Mormons. I've also heard statistics (I believe from articles on this website) that many Catholics are converting to Mormonism.

Before we get started, please note that I am not looking for "intellectual" or "historical" reasons why Mormonism is "wrong." Two can play at that game and I do not have the mental patience at this time to sift through those "reasons."

Right now, I would like to focus on the intriguing phenomenon of just how NICE Mormons are! Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. If you have any doubts, just google "Why are Christians so..." and see what the assumptions are. Do the same with Mormonism. Under "Why are Christians so..." the assumptions are "hypocritical," "miserable," "mean," "arrogant," and many other nasty words. Under "Why are Mormons so..." the assumptions are "nice," "friendly," "happy," "peaceful." I've also noticed that Mormons are much better than Catholics in practice of having kids!

In my home congregation, most conversion stories I hear are of people "noticing something" in the lives of Christians that is very mystical. They reckon they want a piece of it, and then joyously discover Christ. However, you begin to see my point that Mormons seem to have this "something" much more consistently then classical Christianity.

I consider myself an orthodox Christian, let's just get that out of the way first. But, I am also trying to be honest here. Someone please give me a good explanation for the lack of practical application among Christians and the incredible "performance" (for lack of a better word) of Mormons.

thanks in advance (I generally like this forum and appreciate it, thanks)

[/quote]

First of all, I am not sure Catholics must do something about Mormons? What does it matter? Mormons have nothing to with my salvation. As for being nice? Nice has nothing to do with salvation either.Remember that Satan & demons can appear as angels of the light.

I know 1 mormon, and they aren't that nice. They aren't mean, but in all honesty, I don't know what you're talking about.

[quote="Mort_Alz, post:1, topic:246197"]
I've also noticed that Mormons are much better than Catholics in practice of having kids!

)

[/quote]

well, obviously. Look at Brigham Young - 17 wives and 56 children. :rolleyes:

To the OP: Sorry if my answers are upfront, but Mormonism just kind of bothers me.

Hope you understand. Thanks :)

I know lots of Filipino people who are nice too. So? Does that mean we should apply for a change in citizenship? :)

I'm being silly. Really though, as Christians, we should try to be nice to people...meaning accepting them for who they are, be polite, and give others the benefit of the doubt when appropriate. I'm not sure if Mormons are more pleasant than other people on average, and if they are, I don't know why. At the same time, I'm not sure if it matters.

We should love our God with our whole heart, and love our neighbors as ourselves. Sometimes love involves being pleasant. Sometimes not! Sometimes loving God and obeying His commands means doing things that other people consider unpleasant.

So, perceived niceness does not always equal better Christian.

I understand what the OP meant by appeal. These are people who don’t drink alcohol, dont drink caffein, are healthy and good looking, etc. And really appeal, in the same way American TV make families appeal in the 50’s. Value appeal rather than sex appeal.

It is a nice thing. The Mormons I know are wonderfal, one is my NRA course instructor

I also have a close friend who plans to move to Utah to be closer to that kind of folk. I tried to warn him about avalanches (snow) but he wont listen :shrug:

Yes, I agree with the OP that Mormon people appear to be very wholesome. It almost resembles a great marketing campaign. The Mormons I have met are very nice people, and haven't been pushy with me, but then I tend to be pretty gushy and excited about my faith. I guess they realize they wouldn't get too far with a conversion with me :)

I remember when my son was small and we drove by the LDS church on our way to our own Parish, he'd always comment on the smaller, less crowded parking lot. He actually liked our noisy, crowded one better, which is a good thing.

I often wonder how the world would change if every Catholic lived their life in a Eucharistic way, knowing that they have a real, genuine, authentic encounter with Christ at least once a week. That they are Vessels of the Holy Spirit to the World. That prayers make a difference. Can you imagine every Catholic praying for peace or unity of faiths? Can you imagine every Catholic praying for an end to Abortion? Even for one day... Just imagine. Can you imagine what a different world it would be? We might make the Mormons look a little less... wholesome. Not pointing fingers, really, as it's not always easy to do, as life and free will gets in the way of being who Christ calls us to be... Just saying...

So you're looking for our anecdotal evidence as opposed to evaluating the truthfulness of doctrine? ;) :p :D

Honestly, the only Mormons I know are Ken Jennings and Mitt Romney (and I obviously don't know them personally). So I cannot really comment on whether their reputation for being nice is deserved or not.

I think your question does touch on something very important: the power of personal witness. If we don't behave like our faith makes a difference, then it makes it difficult for us to make a compelling case for it.

Meeting some devout Catholics who were good people and serious about their faith is what led me away from my lukewarmness. But that by itself didn't resolve my lingering intellectual questions. Only prayer and study did that.

I think you can find "Kind" and "unkind" people in any religious group. A lot depends on the kind of contact you have with them and how large the number of people in the group you are studying. Because I know more Catholics than people of other religions, I know that there are many wonderful, kind families in the Catholic community. I also know that there are some who must turn others away from our Church because they don't practice what they preach. For several years, I lived in a largely Mormon community because I am one of those Catholicw who believe in large families. I knew very nice people, and I knew many not-so-nice among my Mormon neighbors. There were those who abused their wives and children, those who found rationalizations for doing things they wanted to do even when they were not strictly in accord with the teaching of the religion they professed, and those who gave a wonderful example of the religion they professed - just like in any other group.

The Mormons believe that you must have large families - I believe 5 chidren is the minimum-in order to be saved. Of course they are going to have a high percentage of large families. Catholics believe that we must be open to the gift of life, accepting of the children God gives us, but not having more children than we can responsibly take care of.

Now, I find some of the ideas puported to be supported by the Mormons hard to believe, so far removed from our beliefs that they are a little scary to the non-believer.
If I am correct (and if I'm not, the fact that many people believe I am is enough to answer part of your question). If a Mormon is saved, or so I am told, he is established as a god on his own little planet.This one is really hard for me to understand. Another problem is that their door to door evangelization gets annoying after awhile. Even if Catholics were good at arguing their religion, the Mormons come at their convenience, not that of the people they visit. They know what they are going to talk about and have had time to study and pray about it. We haven't had that opportunity when they arrive at our door uninvited and unexpected, so we find the invitation to discussion to be bothersome rather than welcome.

These are just a couple of ideas of why people on this forum are not more positive when speaking of the Mormons. Most of those I know who admire the religio9n admire their emphasis on the family. Family night is one such practice. I admire that emphasis myself.

It appears to me you are falling victim your own fallacious argument of generalization. Basically you have seen some very peaceful and happy Mormons, and met some seemingly not-so-peaceful and supposedly unhappy Catholics, and are trying to make a decision based on your own emotional experiences.

What this will lead to is you making a decision based on emotion and feelings instead of being based on fact and truth. Saying this I can’t help but call to mind the old saying: “ignorance is bliss”; which is to say: People I think that are stupid seem like they are happy all the time, therefore being stupid is better than being smart. Now I mean no insult towards Mormons by saying that, but I am only saying it to help you see the absurdness of your reasoning.

To imply the Mormon religion is better than the Catholic religion because more people seem happier as Mormons than Catholics without addressing and comparing doctrinal truth, is a logical fallacy. I see this type of reasoning all the time, as have you because you stated you see people convert all the time because the way they see people feel about something. It is a natural tendency for us to want to fee happy during our lives. If we see people behaving as if they are happy, we naturally want to flock to whatever they are doing so that we are happy. But true happiness only comes from God, and the only way to true happiness is by seeking and finding the Truth, because the Truth is the way to God. There are happy people in all different religions, but the outward appearance of happiness does not prove that it is the truth.

“Know them by their fruits” does not address an emotional state. Fruits are the results of their labors of love (charity)…or inequity if we are talking about people who do not teach the Truth. Regardless, the saying doesn’t assert that this alone proves they are obeying or disobeying God’s commandments-- it is simply offered as a clue. Many non-Cathoilc churches also do good works of charity, and even atheists do. Do their ‘fruits’ mean they are followers of the Truth? I don’t think so.

[quote="Mort_Alz, post:1, topic:246197"]
A wonderful instruction from Our Lord, Jesus!

I have been raised Protestant, but I am gratefully exploring Catholicism. (I may find that it is my home). But, one thing I notice on these forums is that the Catholic answer to just about everything satisfies my soul except for its response to Mormonism. It seems Catholics just don't know what to DO with Mormons. I've also heard statistics (I believe from articles on this website) that many Catholics are converting to Mormonism.

Before we get started, please note that I am not looking for "intellectual" or "historical" reasons why Mormonism is "wrong." Two can play at that game and I do not have the mental patience at this time to sift through those "reasons."

Right now, I would like to focus on the intriguing phenomenon of just how NICE Mormons are! Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. If you have any doubts, just google "Why are Christians so..." and see what the assumptions are. Do the same with Mormonism. Under "Why are Christians so..." the assumptions are "hypocritical," "miserable," "mean," "arrogant," and many other nasty words. Under "Why are Mormons so..." the assumptions are "nice," "friendly," "happy," "peaceful." I've also noticed that Mormons are much better than Catholics in practice of having kids!

In my home congregation, most conversion stories I hear are of people "noticing something" in the lives of Christians that is very mystical. They reckon they want a piece of it, and then joyously discover Christ. However, you begin to see my point that Mormons seem to have this "something" much more consistently then classical Christianity.

I consider myself an orthodox Christian, let's just get that out of the way first. But, I am also trying to be honest here. Someone please give me a good explanation for the lack of practical application among Christians and the incredible "performance" (for lack of a better word) of Mormons.

thanks in advance (I generally like this forum and appreciate it, thanks)

[/quote]

Well, for those of us who actually live in Utah, we see the other side of things. The divorce, rude drivers, etc. so I see that they are a lot like the rest of us.

However, their dress code does make them stand out in a crowd, in a nice way. And they have very cute kids! (Not as cute as mine, of course! :p )

You’ve got that right. Ever had a conversation with one?

Maybe you should quote some of those statistics. Many Catholics? That’s news to me.

What you’ll mostly see in these forum posts is discussions about differences in our religious beliefs and/or asking questions and looking for answers/understanding of the LDS faith. That’s what we’re trying to DO. Not sure what you’re seeing - what else would one be doing on a forum such as this?

Many RCC have joined the LDS faith - and many have left it after joining. And many other people of different or no faith have joined and left. You’ll hear a lot about the joining from the LDS - not so much about the leaving.

Sorry, can’t agree with this point - at all. I grew up in a Baptist church with many, many wonderful, faithful people - very full of the same “something” you’re talking about. There’s also tons of “something” in my RCC church and I see it in people of all walks of life and all types of faith. I don’t think LDS has any more of that than other faiths - I do think they promote the heck out of the clean cut, family image to certainly appear they have more of it.

I worked with a company that merged with a second company that was based in Provo, UT - ground zero for LDS - so I got to know many, many LDS folks quite well. Most were nice folks - no nicer or less nice than others. They care about their families, desire to have children, raise they children well, etc - just like my RCC, Protestant, Hindu and Muslim friends.

I’ve also seen many of them have the same issues that most other folks have - addictions, divorce, depression, etc. So they’re no different. I’ve also experienced on many occasions, especially when talking about our differing faiths, conceit and condescension from them because for many of them they see themselves, and are often told this by their parents and religious authorities, that their faith is special and they have something better than we do - they have the truth and we don’t.

Regarding their incredible “performance” - I think that may be a fitting description b/c from a media standpoint it is just that. That’s not to say they aren’t nice folk and do promote family values - but not any “better” than others. Although I’ve had many LDS tell me with a straight face that they are, in fact, better.

You should do a little research on past LDS president Gordon Hinkley. Hinkley was instrumental in bringing the fresh, clean, all-American, we’re just like everyone else image of Mormonism to the public. The history of Mormonism from it’s beginning until early in the 20th century was one of separatism. Over time the LDS leadership saw that wasn’t going to work so well if you wanted to join the mainstream and grow membership so the media campaign started (that’s my amateur historian take on it) and it’s been successful. And that’s not to disparage the LDS church - I think the RCC church could learn something from them. But in the end, they’re no better, no worse, no different than most other people, just in in their faith.

Here is an interesting and related article on Mormons I came across today:

catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2011/06/mormons-at-your-door-what-to-expect.html

Of particular relevance to this discussion, this portion caught my attention:

I have no doubt that this is exactly how a lot of Mormon conversions happen. You have someone, maybe they go to Mass every Sunday and slip out after without talking to anyone. Despite going there for years, they're relatively anonymous, and in any case, don't see the other parishioners except on Sunday morning. Then a couple of Mormons meet with them, and simply *act Christian *towards them. They don't persuade them (at first), they simply witness through their conduct. Perhaps they'll do a few meals together and get to know one another, and one day, the missionaries will probably invite this person to their church, where the same thing happens: they find a welcoming community.

By the time hard questions of dogma come up, it's a battle between logic and emotions, which looks like a battle between the head and the heart. Missionaries know to constantly emphasize two points: (1) just pray on it, and (2) look for the fruits. If those are the only two ways you're seeking truth, it's easy to come away with the impression that God must want you to be Mormon, and that the LDS church must be God's Church, since it bears such good fruit.

I found it interesting how the two points he brought up that missionaries emphasize includes "look for the fruits."

Whether deliberate or not, I can see how it is an effective technique: (1) successfully disseminate the image of the clean-cut Mormon; and (2) emphasize "by your fruits you shall know them." It's an effective appeal to the emotions. But, of course, missing from the equations is our God-given gift of reason.

[quote="Hecares, post:12, topic:246197"]

The Mormons believe that you must have large families - I believe 5 chidren is the minimum-in order to be saved.

[/quote]

While Latter-day Saints enjoy having large families, there is no "minimum in order to be saved". We do not have such a concept.

Even if Catholics were good at arguing their religion, the Mormons come at their convenience, not that of the people they visit. They know what they are going to talk about and have had time to study and pray about it. We haven't had that opportunity when they arrive at our door uninvited and unexpected, so we find the invitation to discussion to be bothersome rather than welcome.

Missionaries actually do come at the convenience of the people they visit. Some people request visits with the missionaries. If the missionaries knock on your door and you don't feel like talking and would rather have them visit at a later time, they would gladly meet at your own convenience. That's how it worked with me. The missionaries will not force you to have a discussion if you do not want to. In fact, that probably happens more often than not.

It seems Catholics just don’t know what to DO with Mormons.

I don’t know if there are a lot of Catholics out there that know a lot about Mormonism to properly address it, but I have been approached by Mormons walking my neighborhood. They are very polite and actually listen when you talk.

I was asked if I knew anything about the Mormon faith. I said I think so, but asked if it was true that they believe that the Mormons are a restoration of the early Christian faith. He said yes, that what I learned about them is true. I then asked, to clarify it, if that meant that they believe the early Church disappeared for awhile and later it was reestablished by their founder? He confirmed it to be so.

I said, well I don’t buy it. He then politely asked me why I don’t think so.

I asked him if he was familiar with the bible passage where Jesus declares “On this rock I will build my church?”…He said he knew what I was referring to and seemed like he was ready to give me a canned response, anticipating I was going to use the verse to prove the Catholic Church was that Church. But then I visibly threw him by asking him if He recalls in that passage that Jesus promised “Not even the gates of hell will prevail against it”. He said, yes and asked me to explain.

I told him that the gates of hell are death, which is the most powerful weapon of the devil…the most power force to surpass when attacking any stronghold is the gates. I asked, if not even death, the most powerful force in the devils arsenal, can prevail against the Church, then what makes you think that a bunch of men somewhere along the line corrupted it and it had to be reestablished? If we say that happened, then we make Jesus a liar. If we say it’s not possible, because God doesn’t lie, then the Church must still be in the world today. I asked, where is that Church?

Well, the two gentlemen had nothing more to say about it, said that they would think about what I had told them and they politely departed. I have not seen them since.

[quote="Joe_5859, post:11, topic:246197"]
So you're looking for our anecdotal evidence as opposed to evaluating the truthfulness of doctrine? ;) :p :D

Honestly, the only Mormons I know are Ken Jennings and Mitt Romney (and I obviously don't know them personally). So I cannot really comment on whether their reputation for being nice is deserved or not.

I think your question does touch on something very important: the power of personal witness. If we don't behave like our faith makes a difference, then it makes it difficult for us to make a compelling case for it.

Meeting some devout Catholics who were good people and serious about their faith is what led me away from my lukewarmness. But that by itself didn't resolve my lingering intellectual questions. Only prayer and study did that.

[/quote]

Most of the Mormons I have met have been delightful and basically very nice people.

I think that a lot of the "unkindness" (and I don't condone it, BTW) towards them stems from the fact that most folk here and in other Christian forums do not consider them Christian, despite the fact that they claim to be Christian.

They deny the traditional Trinity----------THEIR Trinity is three SEPARATE Gods. Jesus, God, and the Holy Ghost. Three SEPARATE Gods. A commentator and activist (Protestant, as a matter of fact) defined a cult this way----"If they deny the Trinity, it's a cult." I'm sorry, but I agree with that.

They believe God was Human once------and begat Jesus on Mary the NORMAL way.
Also, after one dies one gets their own "planet"-----plus Polygamy is Ok on the planet-----so long as it's after death.

These are some of the bothersome things they believe in. I don't dislike Mormons, nor do I think that they should be "attacked" here at CAF--------but on the other hand, there is nothing wrong with pointing out the inconsistencies and deviations from Christian doctrine when they come here.
Lovingly, of course.
Sorry, but ultimately-------they are NOT true Christians.

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