Pros and Cons of Mormonism

I’m the kind who, when i make up my mind that something is the right course to pursue, stays on that path until i reach my destination or die trying. I’ve decided to seriously consider whether Mormonism is the right way for me.

Please tell me what you think is the best, strongest, most convincing reason to accept or reject Mormonism. More importantly, please tell me why. I’m hoping for a wide range of opinions pro and con.

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The people in the wards are very helpful. If you ever get into a major emergency and you are active in your ward, there will be plenty of people willing to help. This is especially true in places like Indiana where I live. There is a strong social support system as long as you are active in the LDS Church.

Socrates4Jesus,

I speak as a Catholic convert who has had some Mormon friends and distant in-laws. My advice to you before you do anything is to pray to Jesus that he sends you the Holy Spirit to guide you.

My experience is that Mormons have an extraordinary social network and support system. They require a lot of your time for various meetings and worship, but in return a lot of bonds are created with your local ward. As a purely social construct, the Mormon church is much better at community building than most Christian groups I have encountered.

However, the Mormon theology is not Christian. They will get very offended if you state this, but they use Christian terms to describe a theology that is anything but.

I would suggest that you read this; it’s a kind and thoughtful exploration of Mormon theology from Fr. Richard John Neuhaus (firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=2550&var_recherche=mormon)).

Here is one equally true but not quite as charitable (atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/JB05Aa01.html)).

Feel free to email me privately if this is something you want to discuss deeper. I don’t want to use a public forum like this to be negative about someone else’s religion.

PS. It is looking to me like my links aren’t working. The first one is from the First Things website; it’s an old article in the archive entitled “Are Mormons Christian?” The second one is from this week’s Asia Times… Google Spengler and the article is called, “Yes, Romney, there’s a Sanity Clause.”

There are no pros. They are not even Christians.
They claim everyone can be a god!

Thank you Bart! :thumbsup:

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Pros and Cons of Mormonism:

Pros

[LIST=1]
*]There is a strong social support system among active members of the Latter Day Saints Church.[/LIST]

That’s my prayer every day, Like, especially when trying to make an important decision such as this.

:thumbsup:

Thank you, Like. I know you do not believe Mormonism is Christian. If you will not tell me why it is not for fear of offending thoughtful Mormons, perhaps someone else will?

I personally do not find it offensive when someone disagrees with me, unless the person falsely slanders my character without good cause. However, you may send me a private message with your honest opinions, if you like.

:slight_smile:

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Pros and Cons of Mormonism:

Pros
[LIST=1]
*]There is a strong social support system among active members of the Latter Day Saints Church.
*]The LDS wards do a better job at creating a sense of belonging than some other religious groups.[/LIST]Cons

[LIST=1]
*]Mormonism is not really a Christian religion.[/LIST]

Hmmm. Well, Thistle, i suppose that if it was true that i could become a god, that might be a good thing!

:stuck_out_tongue:

However, i’ll put that on the con list, as you said there are no pros.

Pros and Cons of Mormonism:

Pros
[LIST=1]
*]There is a strong social support system among active members of the Latter Day Saints Church.
*]The LDS wards do a better job at creating a sense of belonging than some other religious groups.[/LIST]Cons
[LIST=1]
*]Mormonism is not really a Christian religion.
*]Mormons think they can become gods.[/LIST]

Pro: Mormons emphasize strong, close, loving family ties.

Con: There is absolutely zero linguistic, archaeological or historical support for anything claimed in the Book of Mormon or the rest of the LDS church’s supporting documents.

Socrates - I was raised LDS (fourth generation on both sides). I must agree with all of the pros you have listed. The mormon community is extremely close-knit and supportive. Another pro is that the LDS welfare system to help those in need is without peer.

On the con side, I would add that the sense of belongingness in that wonderful community requires that you seek and acquire your own “testimony” of the truth of the BoM and Joseph Smith’s prophetic role. It’s the exact same internal witness from the Holy Spirit that Zerinus has been speaking about in your conversations with him/her. If you participate in the community while you are seeking, or become a mormon after receiving that witness, you will be fine and will be able to enjoy the benefits of what is truly the best social support network I’ve ever experienced. But beware - enjoyment of all that the community has to offer you socially and spiritually is contingent on you receiving a spiritual witness that the Church is true. If you honestly and sincerely seek that testimony and do not in the end receive it and make that known you will find that former friends will begin treating you differently. You will be “advised” by concerned friends and ecclesiastical leaders that perhaps you really weren’t sincere in your search after all, or you lacked faith, or you weren’t listening to the whisperings of the spirit, or you didn’t really want a testimony since it would require you to change some personal habits, or even that you have some unresolved sin that is interfering with the Spirit. Your lack of a spiritual witness won’t be attributed to God or to the possibility that perhaps mormonism isn’t for you. You will be personally blamed for the lack of a witness. I speak from experience here as a lifetime member of the church who now finds himself in exactly that situation. Each and every one of those “explanations” of the lack of a witness have been cited by bishops, friends, parents, and extended family members. The same will happen to you if you join the mormon community and do not in the end receive that witness.

NS

The articles I mentioned do a far better job describing the particulars of Mormon theology. However, in a nutshell, they deny almost every line of the Apostle’s Creed. They do this because they claim the early Christian Church went apostate and remained that way until Joseph Smith was visited by the Angel Moroni and given the Book of Mormon.

There is absolutely no archaeological or historical evidence to back up anything that Joseph Smith ever uttered or wrote down. All evidence instead points to the likelihood that he was a conman who used a self-made papacy to garner power and sexual conquest.

This is unlike the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, which can show a clear line of succession and development reaching to the men lived with, spoke with, and touched Christ.

Again, I think there are many well-meaning, good Mormons out there and they make great relatives and neighbors, but they use Christian terminology to cover a polytheistic and heretical works-based religion.

PS. As an aside, the Temple rituals draw very heavily on Freemasonry, which JS discover AFTER he had discovered/written the Book of Mormon. I’m not going to get started on the danger of Masonic ritual here.

Most readers of the Book of Mormon conclude that their god is racist. Racism is the prevalent attitude among LDS.

I recently left Mormonism by resigning my membership in the Church. My wife and children are all still active members and I continue to attend sacrament meeting with them every week without communing. They are still nice to me, but I have seen some cases in which a person who departs from the church loses all their friendships. I assume the main reason I am tolerated is because of my family ties.

The Mormons require 10% of your money to enter the LDS Temple. If you don’t pay them the 10% you aren’t allowed to attend your children’s weddings or any other weddings in the temple for that matter. If you don’t pay them their 10% they claim you will not make it into heaven so essentially you are paying for salvation. That didn’t bother me when I believed in Mormonism, but once I caught onto the fraud I quit paying. I didn’t get to attend my first son’s marriage ceremony or any of the weddings of my other children if they decide to get married in the temple.

To me, LDS “tithes” almost amount to taxation or even extortion. :confused:

The problom with Mormonsim is the simple fact that it is pseudo-christian if that and it is polytheistic in nature. I apologies for any offense some might take from that statement but it is a fact and I do not apologies for what I said. Mormons are no diffrent from the jehovahs witnesses in how they warp the bible. although the JW’s changed the bible it self, mormons merely added to the end of it with a book that has ,like many have said, no geological evidence to prove its stories true. The bible does. The Mormons beleive that we can all reach a godly state, although they cite verses that say (in so many words, and many verses) that we all are cleansed by the blood of jesus and are sanctified by it. They take this a step further and say we can all reach this state. This contradicts Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” It is impossible for us to become sinless, there was ONE man on this earth that was sinless, Jesus Christ. With sin in our lifes we cannot become like God completely.

as a con you would have to list the amount of control over your life that you must cede to LDS leaders. there are regularly scheduled interviews of various types in which you are expected to let LDS leaders know exactly what you have been doing. you will not see requests for volunteers in any ministerial functions. you will instead see assignments. every new member can expect to be given callings. while you can turn down a calling in LDS teaching that rejects direct revelation from God. Your compliance with LDS rules will be monitored and your ability to participate in various functions will be affected. if you don’t show that you meet the criteria you will not be allowed in the temple for example. you will be directed to give your time and talent in the specific ways and amounts that the local leaders dictate. your monetary contribution will be expected to be 10% plus monthly offerings for the needy as a minimum.

in exchange that is how you get the social safety net.other members will be directed to help those in need and the funds will be available because others were directed to give in those set amounts and the local functions are all performed without monetary compensation. if you are “called” to be the finance clerk you are expected to perform that duty for free regardless of how long it takes.

  • They white wash their religious history in order to produce an image of persecuted righteousness. Which for me, is a form of lying.

  • They believe polygamy is a divine institution of God. Though they no longer practice it, the defend it, whereas Christians see this practice as immoral.

  • The truth of mormonism if founded on a testimony of their BoM and their founder, Joseph Smith. The truth of Christianity is based on Christ.

  • Their secret temple ceremony (endowment) was once, word for word, the same as a Freemason ceremony of the same period. They have since changed the wording of the ceremony.

  • False prophets: Previous mormon prophets have taught false doctrines, these include: Adam is God, humans with dark skin bear the Mark of Cain, blood atonement (some sins must be atoned by blood). Current mormons of course do not believe these to be “truths” about mormonism. That does not change the fact that this something one of their prophets taught as “truth”.

  • Smith’s translation of the Book of Abraham has been proven to be a sham – another false prophet

  • Smith once “translated” some chicken scratch writing on a pair of buried and “found” plates. This was people of his time playing a joke on him. He didn’t recognize the scam that was being pulled on him and he translated their chicken scratches using his “prophetic” abilities (another false prophet)

  • The mormon church hierarchy does not allow for discussion within its membership. Google “September Six”. con: suppression of dialog within the church itself

  • mormons have many unusual beliefs about God that you won’t be told about by mormons until after you have joined their church…they don’t want to scare you off…they call this practice “milk before meat”. One has been mentioned (men can become gods). Also, there is God the Father has a tangible body of flesh and bone, God lives on a planet near the star Kolob, God has at least one wife “heavenly Mother” (google it). She is so holy that she is not described in any scripture and she is not worshipped, there are many gods ruling over their own worlds, Jesus and Satan are brothers to each other and to us all, Jesus was conceived by God the Father and Mary via sexual intercourse, the Garden of Eden was in Missouri, USA,

  • expectations placed on you by the mormon church (you’ll have to decide if these are pros or cons for yourself)…personal “worthiness” every year with a bishop where a local mormon authority inquires about your private life, religious and social activities, 10% tithing (already mentioned), give up the use of alcohol/tobacco/coffee/tea, you will receive “callings” which are work assignments (this is the time consumer that has been mentioned), unquestioning obedience to mormon church leaders (see above suppression of dialog).

  • to the social network - it is a very good network,but it is only there for active mormons…Christ taught that we should reach out to those not like us…con: exlusiveness

Well, the recent solicitation for donations to Catholic Answers to fight the Mormon threat has brought me here.
I am a LDS and a former Catholic. If I was ever convinced that the CoJCoLDS is not God’s church, I would be Catholic again in a heartbeat. I left Catholicism a little ignorant of what I had as a Catholic. When I recognized this I attempted to purge this ignorance as best I could.
Surely I am BIASED, but I will offer a few things.

[LIST]
*]Properly understood LDS theology is Biblical theology. I personally have found the systematic theology contained in Ostler’s Exploring Mormon Thought to be the best exposition on what LDS can (and perhaps should) believe.
*]The coming forth of the BOM is not explainable via naturalistic means. There are numerous problems with the BOM that have been used to discredit it, but on the whole I believe the answers to the problems and the positive evidences weight strongly in favor of the BOM. As a Catholic I would need to embrace “the devil did it” theory.
*]Early Christian history offers much reason to see an “Apostasy of Authority” and to see a restoration of various doctrines found within the CoJCoLDS. The most import doctrines IMO being deification and a rejection of creation ex nihilo (which has profound impacts upon free will and theodicy).[/LIST]

Now, you wrote:

Cons
[LIST=1]
*]Mormonism is not really a Christian religion.
*]Mormons think they can become gods.[/LIST]
As you might guess LDS would disagree with #1. In fact while I do not personally deny the label of Christian to Catholics, Protestants, or even JWs there are differences in our views of Jesus and the Trinity.
I believe that the Bible supports my view of the Trinity (generally called Social Trinity I think first by Protestant philosopher Plantinga) above the Catholic view I call the Augustinian Trinity.

I also boldly declare that the Bible teaches and the early church acknowledges that men can become gods. This does not mean that men supplant God, but it does meant that we are “conformed to the image of Christ” who is the “image of God.” Here is a thread I started to explore the Catholic view on this:
[/FONT]http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=1624

I have since read Deification and Grace by Keating (a Catholic seminary professor). I found his book to be a remarkable demonstration of the Biblical warrant for deification, followed by a peculiar attempt to mute the power of the Biblical statements by claiming that words applied to Jesus mean something different when applied to men.

If you are philosopher, I really recommend Ostler’s books. In addition to his exposition on Mormon thought, I think he outlines philosophical problems with non-Mormon thought that I have never seen solved.
Here is a link to info on his books:
[/FONT]http://www.koffordbooks.com/mormon_thought.shtml
[/FONT]http://www.koffordbooks.com/mormon_thought2.shtml

Charity, TOm

And there is absolutely no accounting for tithing money. It goes to Salt Lake City and is spent without letting members know where it goes. A typical ward receives only a small fraction back of what it sends to Salt Lake City. And the Church spends money to support the Salt Lake economy like their 2 billion dollar investment in malls in downtown SLC.

Pros: ditto on the social structure
Pros: ditto on the family values
Pros: small group with a mission status promotes community

Cons: Joseph’s vision seems to be weighted above Jesus’ words
(Great Apostasy)
Cons: continued revelation (at times historically contradictory)
Cons: divorce is encouraged if your partner leaves the LDS faith

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