How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members for Atheism (Part 1)

I posted this on an ex-mormon website and the atheists came out in force. :rolleyes:
Very strong atheists there who denigrate Christianity at every opportunity.

blog.mrm.org/2015/06/how-the-lds-church-prepares-its-members-for-atheism-part-1/

(excerpt) Read the whole thing:

Why do so many Mormons become atheists? Whatever the validity of the observation, online discussions of this topic usually only revolve around the answers of not wanting to be fooled again, burnout, and that the same things that deconstruct Mormonism deconstruct all religions. All of these look outside for an answer, but what about Mormonism, itself? The very doctrines, teachings, and culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints not only directs its members toward atheism but actually gives them atheistic beliefs and atheistic perspectives such that, upon exiting the LDS faith, they find themselves closer to atheism on the spectrum of worldviews than to anything else.

In fact, it is Mormon doctrine that actually provides much of the content of an atheist worldview. Mormonism is the most materialistic worldview next to atheism. In Mormon doctrine, it is not the Mormon God or Gods, but Matter, itself, which is truly eternal, having existed from everlasting to everlasting. With Matter are Eternal Laws or Principles as well. These exist before and independently of the Mormon God. In fact, the Mormon God, like all Gods before him, is himself made up of this eternal matter and subject to these eternal laws or principles. Joseph Smith taught that spirit was actually matter, just a more “fine” form of it. God, according to Mormonism, had to obey these Eternal Principles in order to progress from eternal fine matter, or “intelligence,” to a god. This is in stark contrast to many religions that assume that independence from, and being the source of, all creation is definitive of what it means to be “God” or the “Ultimate.” However, in LDS cosmology, Matter and Eternal Law are the true Ultimate, not God.

Thus, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides its members an understanding of the universe that is nearly identical to that of naturalistic atheism, where matter and its inherent properties that are described by humans as universal physical laws are ultimately all there is. When a member realizes that the Mormon God does not exist, when this deity is removed from the materialist LDS worldview, they are left with a materialist atheist worldview already in place, provided by the LDS Church.

I read the article, and also found the exMormon atheist’s comments. So sad that they cannot see that there are alternatives.

I’ll read the article, but I’m an ex-mormon turned Catholic, and would have to say mormonism prepared me for Catholicism. Something I read in the book, “A Marvelous Work and a Wonder” (an apologetics on mormonism) stuck with me for 25 years. It was a quote by a Catholic priest that in the book is used to defend mormonism but in the end it convinced me that Catholicism was correct. The priest said the following:

“You Mormons are all ignoramuses. You don’t even know the strength of your own position. It is so strong that there is only one other tenable in the whole Christian
world, and that is the position of the Catholic Church. The issue is between
Catholicism and Mormonism. If we are right, you are wrong; if you are right,
we are wrong; and that’s all there is to it. The Protestants haven’t a leg
to stand on. If we are wrong, they are wrong with us, for they were a part
of us and went out from us; while if we are right, they are apostates whom
we cut off long ago. If we really have, as we claim, the apostolic
succession from St. Peter, there was no need for Joseph Smith and Mormonism;
but if we have not that succession, then such a man as Joseph Smith was
necessary, and Mormonism’s attitude is the only consistent one. It is either
the perpetuation of the Gospel from ancient times, or the restoration of the
Gospel in latter days.”

In any case, it didn’t take me long to realize that mormonism was wrong. But that quote stuck with me for 25 years and ultimately led me to investigate and then join the Catholic Church.

Mormonism is a parody of Catholicism.

Although Mormonism claims aspects of other religions (like many wives in the afterlife, and a species of reincarnation), the most distinct analogies are with Catholicism. Once the individual sees this, the answer is obvious.

Mormonism is a parody of Catholicism! That is so true! That’s why when I am talking with Mormons they are always like, “Catholicism is so similar!” I even heard Mormons say before that “Catholics make the best Mormons!” There is just so much of a similarity where Joseph Smith copied from Catholicism and the Bible for his parody religion.

I have heard that this is a bogus quote and the that the Catholic priest who allegedly said this has never been identified. I don’t know of many, if any, Catholics who would agree with it. Mormonism has nothing to stand on historically and its theology is far from Christian, so far that the Catholic Church does not even consider it a Christian faith tradition. This sounds to me like it was written by a Mormon.

In any case, I am happy that you found your way to the truth.

Peace.

Steve

I had a Mormon missionary tell me this about seven years ago. :shrug:

Guys, you’re missing my main point. Even if the quote is bogus, my point was- and still is- that the quote is what got me started on my path to Catholicism. I think it’s a stronger argument for Catholicism than it is for mormonism.

I got thinking about this the other day. Certainly, there are parallels: the need for an authoritative Church, a priesthood, the insufficiency of Sola Scriptura.

There are other levels that seem like an inversion or parody. For example, the bread and water (!) used for “the sacrament”, and particularly the focus on works for the dead. Rather than the Catholic view, where the Church militant prays for the Church suffering, and ask for the intercession of the Church triumphant… in Mormonism, one must do good works, be baptized, confirmed, endowed, etc. for the dead.

In another inversion, one must believe oneself worthy to stand in God’s house to get a temple recommend. Compare with “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you under my roof…”

I would tend to agree…because God was a man beforehand…pre mortal existence…I hope those who are atheists now will continue to seek truth…but the focus on Mormonism isn’t really about Christ as True God and True Man, but more the focus on man becoming a god of some sort.

Don’t know how Mormonism is today 2015, vs 2009.

Yes, Jerusha, Mormonism is a parody now more than ever of Catholicism…I am sure they are studying our catechism, already are demonstrating our use of language, now allowed in the Vatican archives copying so much of our documents on the building of the Church…pray they will convert and see the Holy Spirit…

The LDS is terribly ignorant of the other patriarchs and was rejoicing it finally got permission to build its temple in Rome’s outskirts…hoping they will get some of the same esteem, awe, and wonder the Vatican gets from the world…not realizing the Church is praising Christ in all the talents our Lord has given us…the praise is directed to Christ, not us…

So I see always self interest and self exaltation within Mormonism…

Let me know if anything has changed as I know they are finally getting the truth out about Smith’s polygamy. I remember the Mormons years back denying everything we brought up about Smith and Young…

Interesting observation.

Also, the idea that a woman needs a husband to get her to heaven instead of Jesus.

Mormons become atheists because, when they are LDS, they are conditioned to believe two points:

  1. The LDS Church is the only true church.

  2. All other churches are corrupt and lacking in truth.

For some reason, when Mormons abandon the first point, they hold onto the second. If the only true church isn’t true, then no church is true.

P.S. As a Mormon I too heard the “it is either the Catholics or the Mormons” story. It is a nice little anecdote, but it is a false dichotomy. There are several other restorationist alternatives to Mormonism (Seventh Day Adventist, Jehova’s Witness, Disciples of Christ, etc.) and several other apostolic alternatives to Roman Catholicism (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East).

I can understand how Mormons feel so betrayed when they find out their religion is a fraud that many have trouble putting their faith in anything else. But I heard someone say once that just because Mormonism is a counterfeit, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a genuine. Good wisdom to share with ex-LDS.

Per the article, the main thrust is that not only do Mormons feel betrayed by “religion”, but that they’re taught to believe things that already align with an atheistic mindset, namely, that God is not eternal, but matter and laws of the universe ARE. Even “spirit” is a “fine” or rarefied form of matter. Basically, they already accept atheistic materialism, but throw some super-powered aliens in there too.

Sources: LDS dictionary: Spirit,D&C 131:7

7 There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes;

I’ve observed much the same, and I’ve never quite understood why many ex-LDS hold on to their LDS “apostasy” baggage. If one comes to the understanding that the LDS Church is not true and none of its leaders are prophets, why would you continue taking for granted one of its central tenets?

P.S. As a Mormon I too heard the “it is either the Catholics or the Mormons” story. It is a nice little anecdote, but it is a false dichotomy. There are several other restorationist alternatives to Mormonism (Seventh Day Adventist, Jehova’s Witness, Disciples of Christ, etc.) and several other apostolic alternatives to Roman Catholicism (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East).

Absolutely! It’s as if most Mormons are completely unaware of non-Western Christianity, or assume that the claims of other Restorationist branches are as obviously absurd as orthodox Christians find the claims of Mormonism!

I agree that Mormonism prepares it’s members for atheism. It is a materialist faith, and if one takes materialism to its logical conclusion, one is left with atheism.

I also agree with truthseeker that former Mormons generally continue to hold onto the belief that all other churches are false and corrupt.

My general observation is that when Mormons leave their faith, they go back to the beliefs they had before. So converts from Christianity will generally go back to Christianity. And BIC generally become atheist or agnostic at best because they are left with a materialist worldview which is ultimately atheistic.

What is troubling for me is how then, Christ did not prepare the apostles properly but the Quorum is able to 1800 years later.

And they are now not willing to identify the ‘Roman Church’ as the cause.

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