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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Comments

Annie Witz

I have no problem with a frank discussion about the doctrines of Mormonism. However if this is about Mitt Romney and trying to defeat him based on his religion than I do. Many presidents have been Masons as well as other churches that call the Catholic Church vile names as well. I am not saying I will vote for him as of yet but his religion isn't the reason I will or will not vote for him. I also ask why we would accept a conversion to the pro-life side from a Henry Hyde but not a Mitt Romney.

David1

Independent of their beliefs, I like that they send their children on mission. I wish we could do that. What a great experience for them.

Paustin

LDS people do not set out to devour anyone's religious belief. I have watched Catholics and I have not seen much of that. Evangelicals however, area different story.
As Christians either the catholic church or the LDS church are right. If either are wrong the "protestants" are wrong. I have seen much of the cooperation of the LDs Church with Catholic charities worldwide.
Service is where the rubber meets the road.

A Simple Sinner


Living in the midwest I never thought much about these folks. I had met a few and they were - to the man - polite, friendly, genteel people. No alcohol, pre-marital sex, caffiene, smoking or swearing. If every Catholic mirrored there example, we could all be very pleased.

Having said that, when I lived briefly in San Diego years ago - over a decade - I was amazed to find a rather large - and dare I say it? - beautiful and impressive Mormon Temple. The idea that these folks are just in Utah, or just a thing of the past is totally untrue.

They are growing, and in some parts of Latin America they have made tremendous inroads.

About the people in the church, the rank and file, I am inclined to be very positive. About the church itself and its teachings, I can't say I feel the same.

When I first heard of some of the strange doctrines of the LDS, I was rather amused and stupified. How could a Catholic be talked into that? How could anyone?

The more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that the PSA's they sponsor , the missionary efforts that downplay the more "unique doctrine" (this is taught later - "milk before meat") and frankly, its esoteric appeal.

What do I mean by esoteric appeal? Well in the midst of spiritual, doctrinal and social melee that is religion in the west, someone coming along with something totally new and something totally different can have a definate appeal to some. Of course this isn't new - do some reading up on the [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism]Gnostics[/URL]. Coming into "special new knowledge" not common to others from your theological patrimony has always been appealing to a few. It can take precious little spiritual pride to seek "new truths."

I don't know how big they will grow or how long their converts will stay in the LDS, but I do know, it is far easier to keep a first generation Catholic in the Church than it is to get the ex-Catholic's kids back. To paraphrase, Home Simpson who once said "Once you go Vatican, you never go back again!" I submit "After the Vatican, its hard to come back again."

Prayer must be, as a rule, our first and most sustaining effort to roll back heresies. After that? What is to be done?


Batjacboy

"I also ask why we would accept a conversion to the pro-life side from a Henry Hyde but not a Mitt Romney."

Because Henry Hyde wasn't pro choice, pro gun control, and pro civil unions and then flip-flop when it happened to be politically expedient:

http://massresistance.org/docs/marriage/romney/record/

Subvet

Like some of the other posters my experience with the Mormons has been positive. As for the claim their beliefs are "strange" or "weird" we're in the position of a pot calling the kettle black. This was brought home to me when I recently explained the story behind the Infant of Prague to my Methodist wife. For some reason she finds an account of talking statues hard to believe.

And before anyone goes into a four star hissy fit, I DO believe the story of the Infant. My point is that "strange" can be in the eye of the beholder.

Thomistic

Many of the comments above express something very like religious indifferentism.

Those who are not disturbed by the gnostic heterodoxy and racist overtones interwoven throughout Mormon doctrine can't possibly take their Catholic faith seriously.

It is blasphemous to suggest that the Most High God had carnal intercourse with the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God. It is also blasphemous to suggest that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers or that Our Lord, who was a chaste virgin throughout His holy life, married three women and had children with them.

Additionally, Mormons deny the divinity of Jesus Christ and the correct understanding of the Incarnation, as well as the existence of the Most Holy Trinity, as taught by Christian doctrine from the time of the Apostles.

The Jesus of Mormonism is a counterfeit Christ; an antichrist. Belief in the Jesus of Mormonism necessitates a rejection of Jesus Christ as He truly is, namely the Christ of Sacred Scripture, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, true God and true man.

Statements of indifference about such things, or which attempt to diminish the scandal that such a perverse doctrine exists are not indicative of a love for Jesus Christ, His teachings, or His Holy Church.

Moreover, it is deeply disturbing that Mormonism allows legal, elective abortions. Abortion is murder.

Anyone talking about how works are where the rubber hits the road and are the proof of Christian virtue must remember that one of the works of Mormonism is supporting a religious system that allows for the killing of the unborn. What kind of work is that?

In so far as talking statues, such a concept is not unscriptural (although in Scripture demons talked through idols) but it is not troubling to think that a God who spoke to Moses through a burning bush would speak through a statue.

Nothing in Catholic doctrine or authentic Catholic tradition is contrary to what is set forth in Sacred Scripture, whereas much of what is explicit in Mormon doctrine is contrary to not only Sacred Scripture, but also sound reason (the infinite progression of gods is one example).

Nobody is denying that many, if not most, Mormons are kind, clean-living people. Having lived in Utah for more than two years, I am very familiar with the good and the bad with respect to Mormon people.

Yes, they are kind, but they are also clannish. They are anti-Catholic and prejudiced against non-Mormons. Mormon businesses do better in a place like Utah than non-Mormon businesses. It's a lot like the Masons, actually. (In fact, Joseph Smith was affiliated with Masons and copied many Mormon rituals from Masonic rites.) As with membership in a Masonic order, the Mormon religion is an excellent way to do well in business and make money.

As for the statement that either Catholicism or Mormonism is correct, that is true in a sense, but only in the sense that Catholicism is correct. If Catholicism is not the true faith, then no Christian denomination can be, since they all broke away from Catholicism. A truer statement would be to say that either Catholicism is correct or Judaism is correct.

Touching on the matter of Mitt Romney, I would suggest that although Mr. Romney has tried to shelter his religion from criticism by suggesting that criticisms of his religion or his own belief in that religion are rooted in bigotry and comparable to questions posed to John F. Kennedy. Yet he and his supporters ignore the fact that his religion permits legal, elective abortion, and his religion is inherently racist in some of its doctrines, and Romney is faithful to that religion. How can he be trusted to be solidly pro-life when he subscribes to a creed that allows elective abortion? How can anyone be comfortable with a leader whose religion holds that their skin color indicates that they were less pleasing to God before they were born?

Pax,

Thomistic

Imprimartin

I'm almost forty now but in my wild early twenties, I had my experience with mormons. One of my best friends was a "jack mormon" (non-practicing mormon) but quite theologically knowledgable and we used "scam on chicks" at mormon dances. (LDS wards typically have dances to encourage marrying within the faith).

Anyway, we both met girls there and we were steady for about six months until she cheated with my friend! (his girl didn't work out). Needless to say, he wasn't my friend anymore.

Nowadays, I know clean cut Mormons and Jack Mormons just as I know clean cut catholics as well as cultural catholics (Jack Catholics?)

Which brings up another point: I've noticed that Mormons and catholics are alike in that they are born into it. Whereas protestant churches are more of a volunteer only. And so we have similar "family" issues. Whereas in protestant churches, ALL members seems like good practicing protestants.

On another note, the LDS church has a great support system for families which could be that "Milk" that the article was talking about.

A Simple Sinner

"Like some of the other posters my experience with the Mormons has been positive. As for the claim their beliefs are "strange" or "weird" we're in the position of a pot calling the kettle black. This was brought home to me when I recently explained the story behind the Infant of Prague to my Methodist wife. For some reason she finds an account of talking statues hard to believe."

And she is free not to, even as a Catholic!

Private revelation (PR), even when approved by the Church does not add to the deposit of the faith to which the faithful must adhere. PR is only binding on the recipient of the revelation. Authenitc PR will be complimentary ot the Church teachings in such a fashion that if one goes there whole life NEVER hearing a word of it, yet following the precepts of Christ and His Church, you will be fine.

Not so for those in the LDS. The opportunity to become Gods, that Jesus and Lucifer wre brothers, that our God is one of MANY, etc... This is to be believed by their faithful.

"And before anyone goes into a four star hissy fit, I DO believe the story of the Infant. My point is that "strange" can be in the eye of the beholder."

Do you think there is a little economy of scale to be considered here?

Is there a difference in your mind as to the "wierdness" of a Catholic experiencing a vision telling him or her to pray more and be a good Catholic, vs. an irreligous seeker coming up with a new testament produced on golden tablets no one has ever seen describing North American cultures no one has ever found any rcheological evidence for, and coming up with such claims as:

Jesus was the son of God-turned-man who had sex with Mary?

Jesus & Lucifer are brothers?

Black people are descendants of spirits who did not fight on the side of Christ in a heavenly battle?

Jesus had many children?

We can become gods of our own planets?

Batjacboy

Romney has spent his entire political career (up 'til now) consistently pro-choice.

He belongs to a religion which allows abortions for all 5 exceptions (which cover all abortions), and allows the woman to make the choice.

Here is what the Mormon Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley said on abortion:

"While we denounce it, we make allowance in such circumstances as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have serious defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. But such instances are rare, and there is only a negligible probability of their occurring. In these circumstances those who face the question are asked to consult with their local ecclesiastical leaders and to pray in great earnestness, receiving a confirmation through prayer before proceeding." Nov. 1998 Ensign

So the Mormon Church allows for abortions in all 5 classic “exceptions,” the exceptions that the pro-choice advocates insist upon in any pro-life legislation. Not only does this mean that a Mormon woman can rationalize abortion for just about anything (“health” of the mother allows for any psychological trauma they may want to claim), but he also states that a Mormon woman can get an abortion after getting “confirmation through prayer.”

God gives confirmation for (at least some) abortions? Does that make God a situational ethicist, or just unsure of His own position on abortion?

Bottom line: Mormons allow for all the usual exceptions, and leave it up to the woman to make the choice.

That's not pro-life.


Bitterroot
"Service is where the rubber meets the road."

Talk to any Catholic Charities volunteer in Utah about how many referrals they get directly from the Mormon establishment.

Sure, Mormons are quick to help their own, and quick to help those whom might agree to convert to their faith. If you're non-Mormon and in need of help, however, they're likely to give you the number to Catholic Charities and send you down the road. Unless, of course, you're interested in "reading and praying about the Book of Mormon."

Ever seen Catholic Charities put a faith-stipulation on their assistance?

Honestly, how often to you see the Mormon Church on the scene of the aftermath of hurricanes and other natural disasters? How about Catholic Charities? After hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, the only local Mormon leaders to be seen were there, for the most part, "helping members recover."

Before moving over a decade ago to the Gulf Coast, I lived for nearly 30 years in and around Salt Lake City, Utah. I grew-up in the only Roman Catholic household in a Mormon neighborhood - there weren't even any protestants in our midst. The prejudice and pressure to convert was overwhelming at times.

I did make friends with a kid on the next block over... He had (at the time) 28 siblings by five "mothers" and his father. I witnessed firsthand what the LDS church claims to no longer exist nor tolerate. They (the "family") were active members of the local "ward."

As for the missionary requirement being a good thing, well, I dispute that too... It's a compulsory requirement of most young men, to the point the family seems "shunned" if the young man rejects his "calling." I saw this devastate another family that I was close to - which ultimately resulted in a young man's suicide and the subsequent destruction of the family as blame, anger and rejection by their faith community crushed them.

Oh, I have countless tales - eyewitness accounts from the trenches "behind the Zion curtain"... And needless to say, I'm not a fan of Mormonism - its people, politics or its faith.

Though I will say, the Mormons I have met outside Utah are, for the most part, a different breed. (No pun intended.)

Annie Witz

We aren't voting for priest or pope but for president. As a Catholic I disagree with most of the theology that the candiates hold except for Sam Brownback. (I don't know where Tommy Tompson stands of theology) As for the Mormons and abortion they give the same response as most evangelical protestants. They don't quite say that abortion is always allowed. Most abortions would not fall under any of those exceptions that you bring up. While not agreeing with the Mormons let's not distort the rules that they give. They do not support abortion on demand and to say they do is dishonest. Notice they didn't say you can have an abortion if you don't have the money, you wanted a baby boy instead of a girl, or your baby has downs.

The Catholic church is the only church that has remained totally pro-life. Even many Eastern Orthodox bodies in the western world allow for invitro. When you aren't with Rome these things will fall to the wayside.

Batjacboy

"They don't quite say that abortion is always allowed."

They're policy is to allow for all the exceptions. No way you can call that pro-life.

"Most abortions would not fall under any of those exceptions that you bring up."

ALL abortions can fall under those exceptions, because all mothers can claim that having the baby will affect their "psychological health." This is how women were able to get abortions before Roe v. Wade--their physicians would claim that the abortion was for the (psychological) health of the mother, give them a prescription to that effect, and off they could go to the abortionist.

"While not agreeing with the Mormons let's not distort the rules that they give. They do not support abortion on demand and to say they do is dishonest."

Why add the term "on demand"? It's a cop-out. Adding the term "on demand" is unnecessary and irrelevant. Do the Mormons allow abortions? Yes. Will ANY abortion fit under one of the five exceptions? Yes. Therefore, they are not pro-life. And adding "on demand" doesn't let them off the hook.

"Notice they didn't say you can have an abortion if you don't have the money, you wanted a baby boy instead of a girl, or your baby has downs."

All of your examples fall under (psychological) health of the mother. Trust me, I'm a surgeon, I know first hand that it happens this way.

The Mormons are not pro-life. For them to say they are is dishonest.

Annie Witz

Can you trust an evangelical whose church says the same thing as the mormons? I voted for Bush and he is a Methodist. That Church really allows for all abortions and has paid pro-abortion lobbyists in Washington. He gave me two good Catholic judges. I am not saying I will vote for this guy in the primary but I trust a Mormons word more than I do most of the "Catholics" that have been elected to higher office.I certainly would pick him in a general election over any of the pro-abortion democrats out there.

On the subject of the LDS church on abortions. Most all abortions are grounds for excommunication in the church. I do not by any means take lightly the bad doctrines the church teaches. I do however think it is unfair to say they support abortion for any means. They are mormons not pro-abortion leftists. The excuses used by the abortion industry are not the ones used by most active mormons.

Batjacboy

"On the subject of the LDS church on abortions. Most all abortions are grounds for excommunication in the church."

That's not what their Prophet said.

Again, in his own words:

"In these circumstances those who face the question are asked to consult with their local ecclesiastical leaders and to pray in great earnestness, receiving a confirmation through prayer before proceeding."

That's not pro-life. That says that the INDIVIDUAL makes the choice, supplemented by "ecclesiastical leaders" and God's "confirmation."

The eccelesiastical leaders obviously can't argue with God if He gives the "confirmation", and there's obviously no objective determinant of God's "confirmation."

That leaves them a huge opening.

And it's not a pro-life position.

LJ

There is a very good reason for wanting to know more about LDS. Recently, there have been various callers to various talk shows claiming to be Mormons and also trying to suggest that they are really just Christians like anyone else with a little twist here and there. If these callers are Mormons, they are either not well educated in their own religion or they are being deliberately disingenuous. All of this in the context of the Mit Romney campaign. It may or may not be a good thing to vote for MR, and that is up to the individual.
But we need to be clear about what Mormonism really teaches and realize also that for more that 1000 years Christian meant Catholic only, then for another 500 years it included Orthodox, and up to the present also includes various Protestants. This is primarily because of a common Trinitarian doctrine, identified in the early Church and codified. Anything other than that is not Christian and by their own stated doctrine that means Mormons are not Christian. Nice people perhaps, clean living obviously, quite charitable unquestionably, but not Christian.
Vote for whoever turns your crank, Christian or not, Catholic or not, but let's not blur the facts.

spaxx

A good way of obtaining insight into the true nature of religious sects is by looking at the lives of their founders. Islam can be seen in the life of its founder Muhammad (a violent and lustful pedophile). Protestantism and Anglicanism can be seen in their founders Martin Luther and King Henry VIII (proud, covetous, avaricious, lustful).

Mormonism can be understood in light of its founder Joseph Smith. He was a Freemason and so where his offspring. The Joseph Smith family was a Masonic family which lived by and practiced the estimable and admirable tenets of Freemasonry. The father, Joseph Smith, Sr., was raised to the degree of Master Mason on May 7, 1818 in Ontario Lodge No. 23 of Canandaigua, New York. An older son, Hyrum Smith, was a member of Mount Moriah Lodge No. 112, Palmyra New York. Numerous attempts have been made to prove that Joseph Smith and his family where depraved, degenerate and disreputable persons. Joseph Smith, Jr., was initiated a Master Mason in a Masonic lodge in Nauvoo, Illinois. His father and brother were both Masons. "The Mormon Church and Freemasonry" By Terry Chateau gives an excellent insight of the association between Mormonism and Freemasonry.

Like Freemasonry, Mormonism is vehemently opposed to The Church; it is the enemy of God and of the Church. It is true indeed that Freemasonry and Mormonism can never be dissociated; they both aim at the complete destruction of the Catholic Church.

As far as Mormons are concerned,

- all churches except the Mormon Church are abominable in the sight of God.

- the Catholic Church is the great and abominable church

Mormon doctrine is thoroughly strange and as perverse as they come; that it is a doctrine of devils should be fairly obvious to any true catholic.

Freemasons "openly vaunt their materialism as well as their codes and statutes which explain their plans and efforts in order to overthrow the legitimate Heads of State and completely destroy the Church." (Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Quo Graviora)

CDK

Very nice and informative post.
Can you write a similar one on the Jehovah's Witnesses?

Glen Hopkinson

Percentage wise, I'll bet you that more Catholic women have abortions than Mormon women.

Glen Hopkinson

Many years ago in my Deacon’s Quorum (Mormon boys ages 12 and 13 meet each Sunday for an hour religious lesson) our old instructor was teaching us a lesson on being kind and tolerant of other people’s religion and beliefs. My best friend at the time was a Catholic boy. He was funny and we had a lot of fun together. Of course he wasn’t in attendance. One of the boys in class was trying to get my goat and made some rude statements about Catholics. While the old teacher was trying to keep order in the class room the other boy and I had an angry exchange. I challenged him to meet me in front of the church after class. He was a year older and bigger than I but we met at the front of the church and I popped him one in the nose. With a bawl, he grabbed his bleeding honker and ran home.

I share that experience to show you my creds (credits) as a defender of the Catholic faith. In the many years since I was twelve, I haven’t had too many other opportunities to defend your faith. Besides, when I reached my full 5 feet 8 inches hight as a senior in high school, I decided that being a fighter might have a lot of disadvantages. However, I do feel that I need to defend my faith. But before I do that I have to let you know how things developed with my Catholic friend. Of course we graduated from high school together and a few years later he married a Mormon girl (not active) from another town. A few years after that I ran into him and found that they had joined some Evangelical Church. Before we had just been two boys, a Mormon and a Catholic who were friends. Now he felt like I was the member of a cult. How do you like that? Result of the story (which is true) Catholics 0- Mormons-0 Born agains-2.

As I read these posts, I have to chuckle that people from other faiths are always trying to tell me what I believe, and they run to the pulpit if they can scare others and “teach” what Mormons believe. As an example, a few years ago I attended one of a series of anti-Mormon meetings being sponsored by a Protestant Church. The propaganda and misinformation went on for over an hour. I raised my hand, letting them know that I was L.D.S. and if the group wanted to know what Mormons really believe why didn’t the pastor invite some Mormon Missionary or other representative of the Church to answer questions and share our gospel and doctrines. At a later time when my wife and I had shown that pastor an L.D.S. film that tells of the Eternal nature of marriage and family, I suggested that he show that to his people. He said , “I could never show them that! It looks too good. Besides, regular Mormons don’t know what your Church leaders really teach.”

Statements like that amaze me. We Mormons DO know what we teach and we know what we believe. We know Mormon History. As for some of your posters indicating that Mormons have weird or strange beliefs, I liked what “subvet” said about the pot calling the kettle black. All people who have a belief in God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ should be careful about denigrating others beliefs. If I wanted, I could ramble on for a long time about the strange beliefs of just about any other faith.

We Mormons want to be friends. Of course we like the opportunity to share our Faith with others. That’s why when we are young men we pay our own way to serve two year missions. We politely invite any and all to listen. If you don’t want to listen, we still want to be your friend if you will let us. We have a lot of goals in common. We believe that to serve Jesus Christ we must serve our fellow man. I know that Catholics believe that as well.

There are so many statements to counter, that I just can’t get to them all. But let me address Bitterroot’s statements. “After hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, the only local Mormon leaders to be seen were there, for the most part, "helping members recover." Totally Bogus! Many Mormons showed up to help. I am sure that it was only natural to find the condition of the affected Mormons, but a lot of help was put out to whoever was in need. Our numbers in that part of the country are such that we can’t reach everybody.

Bitterroot also said, “As for the missionary requirement being a good thing, well, I dispute that too... It's a compulsory requirement of most young men, to the point the family seems "shunned" if the young man rejects his "calling”."
That too is foolishness. Shunning isn’t something we teach, other than shunning evil practices. If it happens, it should be shunned (little joke there). A mission is encouraged but certainly not compulsory. I served a Mission. My oldest son didn’t serve a mission. My second son did serve a mission. There was no rejection by anyone in our Church or community. It is just the opposite. If for whatever reason a young man doesn’t serve a mission, we want he and his family to feel welcome in our midst. I just have a hard time believing that a young man’s suicide can be blamed by the members of his faith community.

I don’t live in Utah, but did live there while in college. I love Utah, but I do understand a person like Bitterroot who might get tired of being around sanctimonious Mormons (there might be a couple).

Anyway, let’s agree where we can agree (especially in the political arena) and let’s try to be friends.

Patrycke

Glen Hopkinson,

You sound like a nice guy, and would probably make a good neighbor. But, I have a few thoughts about what you have written.

Percentage wise, I'll bet you that more Catholic women have abortions than Mormon women.

A fair comparison would be that of practicing Mormons and practicing Catholics. A comparison which includes "jack" Mormons and "cultural" Catholics gets us nowhere. I believe you will find that a very low percentage of practicing Catholic women have abortions.

Now he felt like I was the member of a cult.

The word "cult" is difficult to define. It means different things to different people. I tend to restrict its usage to situations where a charismatic leader uses mind control techniques to manipulate and control his followers. The Mormon sect does not meet the above criterion. However, I must admit that I do, at times, use the word "cult" in a loose manner.

If I wanted, I could ramble on for a long time about the strange beliefs of just about any other faith.

A thing is strange when it is unusual or out of the ordinary. The Catholic Church and its beliefs are largely responsible for the creation of Western European Civilization (The Western Hemisphere is part of that culture stream). The Church accomplished this not only through its doctrines but also by preserving and passing on the best of Greco-Roman Classical Civilization.

Given that the Catholic Church and its beliefs have helped to form the basis of a great world civilization over a period of two millennia, I can state with confidence that our beliefs are not "strange."

Catholic beliefs did appear to be strange in the beginning. Ancient Romans were shocked by our belief in the Eucharist. Many of them regarded it as cannibalistic. But, that was 18 centuries ago.

You must come to grips with the fact that Mormonism is the new kid on the block. Your beliefs are strange within the context of Western religious tradition, culture, and history.

As for who the Mormons helped or didn't help during recent disasters I have no comment. I don't know anything about that. Nor do I know anything about missionary activities.

One of my biggest complaints about the Mormon religion is that it seems to present itself as part of the Christian mainstream. Mormonism is not a Christian religion, and I will stand by the that statement. For instance, one should not deny the doctrine of the Trinity and profess to be Christian. If you do so you are simply trying to redefine the word "Christian."

If the Mormons would stop presenting themselves as a sort of Christian alternative it would probably improve its relations with the true Christian religions.

Glen Hopkinson

Patrycke: First of all I appreciate this website and the willingness to let me say a few things. Yes, I am a nice guy and a good neighbor. Like I mentioned, it has been a long time since I popped anyone in the nose. Concerning my first post about Catholic and Mormon women who have abortions; I felt just a little bad about making the statement. First of all, I’m sure it is a low number in both religions, and second, who is going to find out for us? Thirdly, I suspect that “cultural” Catholics and “jack” Mormons are about the only ones who would get abortions. Fourthly, I’m not that interested to make the effort to find out.

Back in the early 80s I was President of the Right to Life Chapter in Cody, Wyoming. I only served for a year but worked with some nice folks, mostly Catholic but a few Protestants and Mormons. One thing I came to realize is that abortion is such a reprehensible thing to most people they don’t even want to think about it, so getting people to become aware of the tragedy of abortion was our biggest challenge. We put a float in the Fourth of July parade and I think that my main contribution at that time was talking one of the fellows out of putting a bloody bathtub in the parade. We went with balloons and signs. Maybe his idea was better, but I have a pain threshold as well. I’ve always thought that if someone made a true film of the horrifying experience from the mother and the baby’s standpoint showing exactly what happens, then more and more people would demand Roe v. Wade be overturned. But...who would want to watch it? I grieve when I think about it and contrary to Batjacboy’s statment “that a Mormon woman can rationalize aborition for just about anything.” you just don’t see that happening. You know, we are big family people too.

The L.D.S. are against abortion. It is a grievous sin. The following is statement about abortion on the L.D.S. Church website states: “Church members who encourage an abortion in any way may be subject to Church discipline. But even these circumstances do not automatically justify an abortion.
Elective abortion as a method of birth control, however, is contrary to the commandments of God.”

Batjacboy quoted President Gordon B. Hinckley’s statement: "While we denounce it, we make allowance in such circumstances as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have serious defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. But such instances are rare, and there is only a negligible probability of their occurring. In these circumstances those who face the question are asked to consult with their local ecclesiastical leaders and to pray in great earnestness, receiving a confirmation through prayer before proceeding." Nov. 1998 Ensign.

I am fine with that statement.

Patrycke says, “One of my biggest complaints about the Mormon religion is that it seems to present itself as part of the Christian mainstream. Mormonism is not a Christian religion, and I will stand by the that statement. For instance, one should not deny the doctrine of the Trinity and profess to be Christian. If you do so you are simply trying to redefine the word "Christian."

You don’t own the word “Christian”. “Christian” is a word. It has a meaning, i.e. –adjective: 1. of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith. 2. of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ:
–noun a person who believes in Jesus Christ;
a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ.

We Mormons have always maintained that we are neither Catholic or Protestant and have not tried to present ourselves as part of the “Christian Mainstream”(by the way, isn’t this the same argument that you gave to the Protestants about four or five hundred years ago: “You are not Christian! You are heretics and deny the faith!” When did you decide Protestants are part of the Christian mainstream?)

You also said, “If the Mormons would stop presenting themselves as a sort of Christian alternative it would probably improve its relations with the true Christian religions.”

That one gives me a big laugh! Perhaps you will tell me which ones are the “true Christian religions”. How many are there? Did Jesus say “Crooked is the gate, and wide is the way, which leadeth unto life, and many there be that find it.”? No, he said “Because strait is the bgate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Say what you will, we are, above all, followers of Jesus Christ, The Son of God, who was born of the Virgin Mary and died for our sins. We try to live our lives in obedience to his commandments (“As I have loved you, Love one another...If ye love me, keep my commandments.) We are not going to let someone else tell us that we don't believe in Jesus Christ. I'm sorry for your discomfort with our stand but we are true Christians; followers of Christ.

Jesus also taught; “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

I think that means that you might not worry so much about whether or not I am a Christian (a follower of Christ), but are you a Christian (a follower of Christ)? Farewell, perhaps more later.

Patrycke

While we denounce it, we make allowance in such circumstances as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have serious defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.

Obviously, Mormons do not believe "a fetus" is a human life. If they did, the above exceptions would not exist. The Mormon position, then, is different from what we Catholics believe. Thank you for clarifying that.

You don’t own the word “Christian”. “Christian” is a word.

You have merely proved my point. ("...you are simply trying to redefine the word 'Christian.'")

It has a meaning, i.e. –adjective: 1. of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith. 2. of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ:
–noun a person who believes in Jesus Christ;
a person who exemplifies in his or her life the teachings of Christ.

I think it would be eye-opening for you to give your account of just who Jesus Christ is. Then we can decide if we actually believe in the same person. I can say I am a Buddhist, because I am a follower of Buddha. But, if I believe Buddha was a spaceman from the planet Crypton, that complicates things a bit--don't ya think?

I'm sorry for your discomfort with our stand but we are true Christians; followers of Christ.

Again, you have proved my point. You do try to pass yourself off as Christians.

...isn’t this the same argument that you gave to the Protestants about four or five hundred years ago: “You are not Christian! You are heretics and deny the faith!” When did you decide Protestants are part of the Christian mainstream?)

No, it isn't the same argument. Protestants did not write a whole new book book based on fantasy. They used bad translations of the Catholic Bible and edited out certain books of the Bible. They also advanced certain errors. It is possible for Catholics to become heretics. Being a heretic is a matter of denying or distorting a truth (or truths) of the Faith. Your Religion is a whole new creation based on a 19th century book. The only similarity between the book of Mormon and the Bible is that the Book of Mormon contains a REALLY BAD imitation of Elizabethan English (By the way, Elizabethan English is not the original language of Scripture).

I am not the one to decide that Protestants are part of of the Christian mainstream. The Catholic Church has decided it. Protestanism is Christian because they share most of the basic tenets of Christianity in common with the older Catholic and Orthodox faiths. Furthermore, Protestantism is part of the "mainstream" because of the role they occupy in our culture and history. I must admit this, even though I disagree with some of their beliefs (errors).

That one gives me a big laugh! Perhaps you will tell me which ones are the “true Christian religions”. How many are there? Did Jesus say “Crooked is the gate, and wide is the way, which leadeth unto life, and many there be that find it.”? No, he said “Because strait is the bgate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Please don't equivocate. It is clear from the context of my comment that my use of the term "true Christian religions" was meant to indicate authentic Christianity--not moral purity.

Lastly, you say you are a follower of Jesus Christ. That may be so. But, the Jesus Christ you follow is a different Jesus Christ than the one Christians follow.

You can be a follower of a Spanish speaking gardener named "Jesus." Or, you can be a follower of a homeless person, off his medication, who thinks he is Jesus Christ re-incarnated. And, you can be a very good, morally upright person. But, that does not make you a Christian.

Jenner

Tolerance is the key. There are now as many Mormons in the US as Jews.

The doctrinal debates are unecessary. Mormons have as much right to exist free of persecution as any other major world religion, inlcuding Judaism, Catholicism, and Evangelism.

People are VERY comfortable mocking and defaming Latter-Day Saint beliefs and origins. The same tone used against Jews or Catholics is considered dangerous hatespeech. I think the LDS would do well to bring the hammer down on those who deride and defame. Perhaps my LDS children will live to see a day when an LDS anti-Defamtion League can watchdog those who seek to purge Mormonism both as a religion and as a cultural identity.

Catholics have been there, Protestants have been there and Jews have been there. This is Mormonism's hour for intense rejection. History will keep this religious intolerance and persecution cycle fresh until the next paradigm shift of religious idealogy arises in several hundred years. By then Mormonism will have existed long enough to have the kind of PR inroads that Jews and Catholics presently enjoy. That is the Human way of greeting these infant religions. I understand that now.

As a Latter-Day Saint I have great respect for Catholics and usually evangelicals (though the latter often cause me great sorrow).

I am never interested in debating doctirne. i am comfortable with our religious differences. It is the right for LDS to exist free of defamation (see above cartoon with truths twisted to suit the author's needs).

I do not troll google searching for Hanna Barbara cartoons from the 1970's that mock sacred Orthodox Jewish clothing or temple rites. I do not not seek out vintage cartoons that "expose" the Catholic churches darker aspects in history. This cartoon should be removed from youtube as dangerous propoganda.

I love Catholics, and Christians of all stripes. Can't we tolerate each other's existence?

Larry

I am a fifth generation Mormon on every line of my family. My ancestors knew Joseph Smith. Many of my ancestors were polygamous. I was the first Mormon to graduate from St. Thomas Aquinas in St. Paul Minnesota a Catholic University. A priest asked me to talk to the seminarians about Mormonism. I am very frustrated when Catholics and Mormons argue. Here is my opinion after studying both religions for many years. From the beginning of Christianity there were many types of Christians. There were Catholics, Gnostics, Judaisers, Arians and other heresies. Appealing to the bible does not settle the question because on many doctrinal points the bible is unclear. The bible does not clearly tell us how to be saved, who is to be baptized, the mode of baptism, who will lead the church when Peter is gone ect. All of the conclusions of various Christians are just opinions or traditions. The same goes for the Church Fathers. There were Church Fathers who supported the trinity and those who had other opinions. There were also Church fathers who advocated unique doctrines of Catholocism, Mormonism and Jehovah Witnesses. I do not find much support for Protestantism in the Church Fathers. Maybe somebody could enlighten me. The Catholic church can tell you almost nothing about their first fifteen Popes. Part of this is because many of the records were destroyed. Mormon scholars are struggling over what Joseph Smith really taught as they are finding now that much of it was hearsay. There is much evidence for and against both religions. My opinion. It is either the Catholics or the Mormons if Jesus was the Savior. The reason? Only Mormons and Catholics have a real church with real doctrines that can be traced to the Church Fathers. Other churches say it does not matter which church you are a member of. Is that a real church? Would Jesus say oh just believe in me but join any church? The Jehovah Witnesses in my opinion are not really a church. They are more of a bible study group. A true church is holy, apostolic, and universal. Only Mormons and Catholics are holy (have miracles and produce good works, apostolic (face it real authority must come from Peter), and universal (appeal to all cultures). I would also add another criteria. The true church also must be living. It can not just be a study group that studies the bible or the past but it must get inspiration now and direct its people now with current inspiration which is backed up by more than just study,tradition, or the bible but reason, justification and the Holy Ghost. Only the Catholics and Mormons qualify. What other churches are so organized? It is either you or me. An old joke. Pope we have some good news and some bad news. What is it my son?
Jesus has returned. Wonderful says the Pope. The bad news your eminence is we need to go to Salt Lake to meet him. In love to all.

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