Okay so I am going to be honest. I have always been Catholic but for a while seemed confused and explored other churches. I came across Mormon missionaries and was given a BOM and was told if I read it sincerely and asked God if it was true he would confirm it to me. The problem is that about halfway through the book I realized I was reading complete garbage that was obviously written by a fraud. The book to me has absolutely no purpose and has stories that strangely parallel stories in the bible. I told them that and their responsewas I wwasn’t being sincere and read it again. How about no? I seriously can’t believe people think this book is for real. And then I did background on Smith and the whole story is almost just laughable. I really feel bad for these brainwashed people because it seems they sincerely want to follow Christ but are definitely doing it the wrong way. They tell me there was an apostasy after the apostles died and papal succession is impossible yet if I am correct their own “living prophet” is elected? What?
Right, the whole deal is so preposterous, yet the LDS church has survived incredible hardships and has grown into a huge and wealthy worldwide organization. You have to admire these people for their very fortitude and stamina, but its really for nothing in the end.:shrug:
I read the BOM because I was interested in what it said. I agree that the Bible is much more believable just based on the historicity and archeological evidence, etc. that much of the BOM lacks. Could I caution you about calling it complete garbage, though? I’m not LDS but I imagine that could be offensive, perhaps…no different than many a non-Christian referring to the Bible as complete garbage and obviously made up because of the miracles, etc. it contains.
The book to me has absolutely no purpose and has stories that strangely parallel stories in the bible. I told them that and their responsewas I wwasn’t being sincere and read it again. How about no? **I seriously can’t believe people think this book is for real. **
I understand that you are just being honest, but your last sentence above is, again, similar to what non-Christians say to us about the Bible.
And then I did background on Smith and the whole story is almost just laughable.
Well, I don’t believe much that LDS do…but “laughable” is a strong way of putting it. Much of the story of Joseph Smith and LDS beliefs, don’t seem to hold up under scrutiny (IMO).
I really feel bad for these brainwashed people because it seems they sincerely want to follow Christ but are definitely doing it the wrong way.
Well, we should feel concern out of charity for anyone who lacks the truth. But I wouldn’t say they are “brainwashed” anymore than people could say that Christians are “brainwashed” because we believe a dead man came back to life. People have a tendency to live in the faith that they are brought up in, I think. No matter what the religion. I don’t think that that is “brainwashing”.
(BTW, that’s why conversion stories are fascinating to me because it seems to take such courage to convert from one faith to another.)
You do realize that many people could utter your last sentence above and direct it right at any particular denomination of Christians that is different than theirs, right?
They tell me there was an apostasy after the apostles died and papal succession is impossible yet if I am correct their own “living prophet” is elected? What?
Yes, there is a lot that they believe that we don’t as Christians. And when you sit down and discuss the differences with them in dialogue, the truth stands out.
Sadly, I have seen people treat people of other faiths as though they are the enemy. (Please don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that you do that.). God loves LDS just as much as He loves Lutherans, Catholics, atheists, Muslims, pantheists, etc. We should be respectful to and love people of other faiths while at the same time be willing to discuss the similarities and differences of our belief systems.
To be honest with you, I responded because I thought the wording of your post was a bit harsh.
I used to be a Mormon. Please try to approach them with Christian charity. They are truly sincere, and they have been lied to and don’t know it. I didn’t know before I was a member of the LDS church or during about Joseph Smith being a fraud or that many of the lies told to support the Book of Mormon were lies, such as that there have been great archaeological finds in the exact places where the Book of Mormon had cities. And some of what they tell you rings so true. It does seem like there was a great apostasy- there’s what, 30,000 different Christian denominations now? Of course, their theory relies on the Catholic Church being false. If one becomes convinced that the Catholic Church is not false, then the only apostasy was that of the protestant denominations.
When I read the Book of Mormon, I did believe it. For a guy with a 6th grade education, Joseph Smith actually did a fairly good job on it. Of course, a great deal was plagiarized from the Bible- 2 Nephi is nearly an exact duplicate of Isaiah, if I recall correctly. But he grabbed onto some things out of the Bible and put a different spin on them that- at the time- rang true. Where Jesus said he had other flocks and our interpretation is that he meant the gentiles, the Mormon interpretation is he meant the New World.
As far as their Prophet being elected, I think the process is quite a bit like how the Pope is selected, so I wouldn’t be overly critical of that. FWIW, I think most Mormons are very sincere, and I do believe they are Christian despite their misunderstandings. Hopefully more of them will find their way home to the Catholic Church- the true Church of Christ on Earth that they are seeking- and I hope that the concept of invincible ignorance applies to the rest of them as it applies to the protestants because it’s not their fault they were lied to.
I bought a BOM at a thrift store out of curiosity several years ago. I made a valiant effort, reading the first few chapters, but found the writing almost incomprehensible (but, sometimes I find the Bible that way too :eek:).
I mean no disrespect to the LDS in any way. A few weeks ago some nice young men in ties & white shirts came to the house. They were extremely polite & asked if they could do anything to help my family. I said we were happy with our church & wished them well. Frankly, I couldn’t do what they (& the JWs ) do, going house to house & speaking to strangers.
While the B.o.M is in fact a book of fiction, the followers of the LDS faith strongly believe in it. How and why can they believe in it? Not sure. They are trying to know Christ. So we should help them come to know our Lord (Doesn’t help that their past president Hinkley said “The Christ in the Bible is not the Christ they worship”) But hopefully someday they will come to know Him!
I have read the BoM as a non-believer multiple times. I have analyzed and dissected it to an obsessive degree. My first reading I almost threw it across the room as insulting and blasphemous rubbish. I still see it as a parody of the Bible. However, it does contain some truths, not necessarily abstracted or plagiarized from the Bible. Such truths are often critical of Mormonism. Any lie, to be believed, must contain some truth. Remember, they lived in Utah in an insular society for many years, constantly teaching their children about the beauty and truth of their scriptures and religion. If they hadn’t, they wouldn’t exist today.
I appreciate the measured and civil tone multiple posters are trying to strike in this thread.
One reason why Mormon’s - in my opinion - are so enamored by the BofM is that they do not read or understand the Bible. When the two are compared, the BofM pales by contrast.
But, we will hear, the Bible NT and OT are both studied for an entire year in Sunday School every four years. Every week 50 minutes is devoted to its study. LDS churches in the USA are currently on the Bible NT. But when you hear the classes, each lesson seems to take one or two scriptures from the particular book in question and then squashes it into supporting a particular Mormon belief. Often it ends up with a proof that the ancient writers were thinking of Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the LDS church.
So having been a Mormon for 25 years, I can say that in general the Mormon populace do not understand the Bible or its teachings. Therefore the BofM can look like scripture to them.
Sorry for an disruption of the friendly tone of the thread, but the BofM is poor literature at best, and certainly not the Word of God, except of course where it is plagiarized [from the Bible] correctly.
It was the study of the Bible that led me out of mormonism.
For me it was the study of the BOM that led me out of the LDS church and into the Church of Christ (temple lot). Then when I learned that there was no document signed by witnesses I left Mormonism behind.
I would think if more LDS study the bible without the LDS filter, really independently study the bible without all the JS so called “scripture”, they would seriously question the truth of the LDS church. Nothing in the bible supports LDS theology.
It is really, really hard to approach a text that you have known all your life from a different perspective.
And while it is our job to proclaim and live the true gospel of Christ (which involves acknowledging falsehoods when called to do so), it is the Holy Spirit who opens minds and convicts hearts.
A non-trivial portion of my family is LDS, and I love them dearly. Many of them may be much further along the path to salvation than I am, notwithstanding their unwitting adherence to false teaching.
Here’s a quote from Francis A Sullivan, S.J. (Gregorian University in Rome) who most likely studied “without all the JS so called scripture” and came to a conclusion less than fully supportive of the doctrine of “apostolic succession” and supportive of the LDS position that bishops are not successors of the apostles.
“No doubt proving that bishops were the successors of the apostles by divine institution would be easier if the New Testament clearly stated that before they died the apostles had appointed a single bishop to lead each of the churches they had founded. Likewise, it would have been very helpful had Clement, in writing to the Corinthians, said that the apostles had put one bishop in charge of each church and had arranged for a regular succession in that office. We would also be grateful to Ignatius of Antioch if he had spoken of himself not only as bishop, but as a successor to the apostles, and had explained how he understood that succession. Unfortunately, the documents available to us do not provide such help.” (Sullivan, From Apostles to Bishops, pg 223)
It just not that hard to find independent scholarship that supports LDS doctrine out of the Old and New Testament.
Did Joseph Smith know anything about the early Church outside of the Bible? Only his own words and not present day LDS believers. Tks in advance.
Is this the same Francis Sullivan SJ that thinks women should be ordained to the priesthood?
Does he seem credible to you? Mormons would not agree with him on this issue, I assume.
***The question that remains in my mind is whether it is a clearly established fact that the bishops of the Catholic Church are as convinced by those reasons as Pope John Paul evidently is, and that, in exercising their proper role as judges and teachers of the faith, they have been unanimous in teaching that the exclusion of women from ordination to the priesthood is a divinely revealed truth to which all Catholics are obliged to give a definitive assent of faith. Unless this is manifestly the case, I do not see how it can be certain that this doctrine is taught infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium. .
Francis A. Sullivan SJ***
How in the world did you extrapolate that Sullivan is supporting LDS theology from this paragraph? :eek:
In no way does the above paragraph state apostolic succession didn’t happen, just there is a lack of written documentation on it. Remember we Catholics hold to teaching from Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium.
Claiming the written record could have been clearer on the doctrine of Apostolic succession is not the same thing as saying he does not believe it is true. History happens regardless of it being recorded in writing.
Mormonism also claims the doctrine of Apostolic succession which the written record shows to be completely false. It is very hard to find independent scholarship to support the claims Joseph Smith made about the Book of Mormon, or the claims Brigham Young, and the Mormon Church make about Apostolic succession.
As of 2014, there are approximately 15,082,028 Mormons worldwide according to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Approximately 1/3 are active.
The population of the earth is over 7 billion so I wouldn’t consider Mormonism huge.
Their wealth is in the tithing (approx. 2 billion dollars per year) and in the real estate holdings they have. (Florida land, City Creek, other corporate holdings) They are listed as a corporation sole with Thomas Monson as the only shareholder.
Actually their annual income is somewhere in the $40 billion range with Tithing accounting for $8 billion of that. So yeah, the LDS church definitely has financial strength. As you are correct, the LDS church reports somewhere between 4 and 5 million active members. They do ad adherents quicker than most religions with their active missionary work, but they also hemorrhage them pretty quickly as well and are not growing in proportion to the population anymore (not unlike every religion in the US other than “non-affiliated”
Very clever lax16, you present me with a false dichotomy in that the only way I can accept Sullivan’s conclusions about apostolic succession is to accept his conclusions about female ordination.