Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mormons Resent Misconceptions

CNN finally gets it right and the headline says it all- Mormons resent the misconceptions about our faith.

If you want to know what people really think about us, check out this incredible movie-
Article VI Faith, Politics, Americas. I had the pleasure of attending the screening of this in SLC on Tuesday night. There are no Mormons interviewed in the movie. And Mitt Romney is not mentioned. It does interview several pastors, Divinical school deans and professors, and street preachers, and asks them about the Constitution, the LDS Church, and politics in general. It is fascinating and eye-opening.

There are viewings still to come in Atlanta, Dallas and Washington, DC. You can also download the movie for viewing on your own computer, or buy the DVD for yourself.


  1. kimba9991:57 PM

    Cry me a river. Try being an atheist in this country. At least Romney is able to become a serious contender for the presidential nomination. An atheist? No way, no how.

  2. Hmmm... Believers in a "religion" stared by a young con man who supposedly was divinely directed to nonsensical gold plates that he could only decipher with magic glasses, both of which mysteriously disappeared later, had previously practiced polygamy (and some unaccepted off shoots of mormonism still do), had previously decided that blacks were incarnations of evil, believe that one can achieve some degree of divinity through diet (no caffiene and lots of whole grains folks!), and still don't let women into parts of the main temple (or allow them to hold certain religious positions), bereave their treatment as members of a unacceptable cult? DUH! Old-timey scientology anyone? Joseph Smith's calling Xenu!

  3. Jules6:49 PM

    To Mormons are idiots--have you ever been inside a temple to verify this information? In our temples, women minister to other women. I won't get into it with you but I suggest you find the blog Feminist Mormon Housewives--proud feminists defending the faith. Check out the Genesis Group--black Mormons speaking up and defending their faith. Listen to those who know, not just those who think they know.

    Also, much of the misinformation out there is from vociferous anti-mormon groups. Would you ever ask your enemy for a job referral? No? So why should you believe the words of those who choose to hate?

  4. *sarcasm*

    I so glad we have someone as open-minded and tolerant as "mormonsareidiots" to enlighten us.

    Why oh why did I waste all these years of actually reading the scriptures, studying the history, and-heaven forfend-actually praying to Heavenly Father about the church?

    *sarcasm ended*

    Would I ask a Rabbi about Catholicism? Would I ask a priest about Islam? And yet it seems that so many are ready to take the obvious anti-Mormon propaganda pablum with no reservations at all. Before you belittle, ridicule, or condemn us further, how about learning about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from practicing members of that faith?

    Also interesting to note is that you don't see our church publishing, preaching, or disseminating any materials attacking or belittling other faiths...I find that speaks volumes.

    In response to Americans’ concerns about his Catholicism in the 1960 presidential campaign, JFK said “an act against one religion is an act against all.”

  5. Steve-O9:34 PM

    Jules and Ian,

    Your premise that you must be a Mormon to truly know anything about Mormonism is ignorant and short sighted to say the least.

    Can one know about fighting a war without being in the army? I hope for Mits sake that one can.

    The fact is the church does not tell the whole truth about its history to its members. There are multitudes of truths that the average member thinks are anti mormon lies because they have not taken the time to read their history.

  6. Mormons don't know their own history? I guess that's why the church allows it's lay ministry to teach church history classes every four years. It's such a great secret, that the entire church misses it even though they are studying it on their own?

    Talk about misrepresenting what Latter-Day Saints believe. No wonder Mormons feel resentful.

  7. Steve-O11:55 PM

    As Hugh Nibley once said the Mormon church is largly "Zeal without Knowledge" I am continually surprised at what Mormons don't know about their own history. And Yes I am a Mormon.

  8. Steve-0: no, you're not. Please don't make the mistake of assuming that because you have chosen not to live this religion anymore that you know more than the rest of us who choose to stay. That is the definition of arrogance.

  9. Choosing to stay does not mean I don't know the history. I just wish people would stop telling me what I believe and let me speak for myself. I'm sure most Mormons feel the same way.

    In fact, I would bet that's what Mitt is dealing with on his campain.

  10. I feel for you.

    I'm Catholic and get very frustrated about the misconceptions about MY faith. So I sort of know how you feel.

    I have a real problem with people who don't understand faith - yet claim to be more enlightened than those of us who dare / choose / are called to believe.

    I support Mormons! Whoo hoo!

  11. dfl47011:03 AM

    "The fact is the church does not tell the whole truth about its history to its members."

    But you have the entire truth right? Spare us!

    Your conspiracy that the Church is with holding great secrets and yet you are the one who has them is silly at best.

    I tell you what Steve-O. Keep on with your anti-Mormon hate speach. Do it because you love us.

    To me, it is clear why you are doing it and it has everything to do with your own history and nothing else.

  12. dfl47011:10 AM

    "As Hugh Nibley once said the Mormon church is largly "Zeal without Knowledge" I am continually surprised at what Mormons don't know about their own history. And Yes I am a Mormon."

    So you agree when Hugh Nibley says something that may benefit your crap talk, but accuse him and others of not being honest?

    The truth is you are whole bunch of talking points and not much else.

    Go justify your sins to someone else. We don't care.

  13. dfl47011:15 AM

    "MormonsAreIdiots said...
    Hmmm... Believers in a "religion" stared by a young con man who supposedly was divinely directed to nonsensical gold plates that he could only decipher with magic glasses, both of which mysteriously disappeared later, had previously practiced polygamy "

    So you are saying Christianity is untrue? Jesus was a young man... inscriptions were commonly used... secret names are talked about in the bible.. deciphering is talked about in the bible.

    What if the Book of Mormon talked about talking donkeys? sitting in a whales belly? beating a giant with a sling shot? would it still be false?

  14. Voltron7:49 AM


    I appreciate your comment.

    I think it is a shame when people rush to condemn other people based solely on their religion.

    You know, in the years since 9/11, America has been very careful to not label our War on Terror as a War on Islam. Whatever your position on the War on Terror, it is obvious to all of us that we don't need to pick a fight with Islam, just those few people that want to destroy our systems of government.

    Intriguingly, within Mitt's run for public office, this same sensibility is being ignored, which I think is sad for all religions, not just Mormonism.

    I wonder if God would be happier with ALL of us if we quit arguing whose religion is "Truthiest" and instead just tried to love each other?

    And no, loving each other doesn't mean slamming religion, like some are doing here.

    Jesus said, "Love your neighbor." Not, "Love your neighbor, except the damned Mormons."

    Wouldn't the world be better if we tried to do what he said?

  15. Steve-O9:17 AM

    Well Jules I guess we would have to sit down and talk about what each of us knows to really settle the issue wouldn't we.

    In my personal experience 99% of the Mormons I talk to are unaware of the issues that caused me to walk away.

    When I meet Mormons who do know and still believe it is because of a spiritual experience they have had along the way that allows them to brush the skeletons under the rug. Without a witness people usually fall away and rightly so.

    I never had the burning bush experience and I won't apologize for it. I know too many good people who had the same experience.

    Arrogance is believing the only reason someone would leave the church is because of sin.

  16. Steve-O9:24 AM

    Here is a link to a discussion of the current curriculum being taught about Joseph Smith. This is a BYU fan site and full of True Blue (some Red) died in the wool Mormons.

  17. "Your premise that you must be a Mormon to truly know anything about Mormonism is ignorant and short sighted to say the least."

    Actually Steve-O I would posit that your assertion is faulty. You make it sound like we have bumper stickers that say "Its a Mormon wouldn't understand." And that would be absolute drivel.

    Do you know the context of that Hugh Nibley quote? Who he was talking to and when and where?

    Without proper context I can show you in the Bible where it says women are commanded to be silent and that "...if they will learn anything let them ask their husbands at home..." (1COR 14:34-35). Isn't it fun what we can do with quotes?

    But with the proper context, and understanding the history of the Corinthian "ward," and the background of Paul's letter there we are able to see what Paul's intent was with that passage and that is was in fact directed to specific individuals who were attempting to subvert the called and ordained leadership of the Corinthian ward.

    So, would you be willing to state the source of your quote by Mr. Nibley so we can see who he was talking to, why he was talking to them, and what he was really saying?

  18. Steve-O9:37 AM

    "Zeal Without Knowledge", a talk given by Hugh Nibley in 1992 at BYU as part of Academic Emphasis Week.
    For those too lazy to google Nibley+Zeal without knowledge here you go

  19. That's right, vitriol is always the way to go.

    As a matter-of-fact I am in the middle of preparing for a meeting at the law firm I own. But you're probably right, I'm just too lazy to do more then to ask you to answer a simple question.

  20. Contrary to popular belief, many LDS don't follow the faith blindly. My personal belief in the gospel is hard won, and won't be swayed by sour grapes. Notice I said the gospel, not the the church. I have my own personal opinions on the actions of Joseph Smith, polygamy, and many other skeletons you say I have swept under the rug. I haven't.

    I just happen to know that my personal salvation is dependent on my testimony of the gospel as restored through an imperfect man who was chosen to be a prophet. No mortal man on this earth will ever be perfect, even our prophets.

    I think President Hickley was right on when he said some people leave the church, but they never leave it alone. I totally respect the decisions and rights of other to believe what they will. It is, after all, one of our Articles of Faith. I just ask that those who choose not to practice any particular religion leave the rest of us to do as we choose in peace.

  21. Why even bother arguing about religion or religious history? The fact is - every religion since the beginning has been persecuted at one time or another. It's best to just say, "Live and let live". If I choose to believe that a young man walked into the woods one day and saw Heavenly Father and Jesus, why should that start an argument where someone is telling me I am wrong? I have a friend that told me she believes she came from the cluster of stars called pleiades. Do I agree with her? No. Does that mean I need to yell at her and argue with her about it and try to change her mind? Certainly not. In fact, arguing with someone about what they believe is generally the least productive way to get them to change what they believe.

    The whole premise of this movie is that if you are doing your best to follow Jesus Christ, or even doing your best to just be a good person, that includes being nice to others. A huge argument is that Mormons aren't Christian because their understanding of Jesus Christ differs from the understanding of other Protestant religions. However, the whole point of being a Christian, however you understand it, is to be nice. It also means you probably ought to take a step back and not let yourself get offended at the dumb things that people say. Jesus Christ was certainly nice and I've read and taught from the New Testament and he was constantly yelled at and ridiculed and challenged and yet didn't get offended. Allow people to figure out their own journey through life and you will probably have a lot less hatred and be a lot happier.

  22. SistyUgler6:45 PM

    To Heidi:
    I like what you said, a lot. You make good sense.

    As for Jules:
    I am sick of people like you. In fact I am sick of you. It is impossible to have a normal discussion with you. You feel that you are doing a good job of defending your faith or defending yourself by doing your best to shut people down and always attempting to get the last word, no matter how trivial it is. It is annoying and small minded of you. The next time someone gives a remark that is illogical to your thinking, try making an inquiry as to what could possibly spark such thinking. Contrary to popular belief, there are things in the mormon religion that can cause a fellow happy mormon to disappoint his family, leave his heritage and abandon his faith. If you take your hands off your ears you might, just might, learn something new.

    Another thing, you like to presume lots of things I have noticed. Quit presuming that ex-mormons are church haters. We don't hate anything about it. I know you enjoy thinking that ex-mormons only hate the church but really, most of them just don't care either way. Knowing the mormon culture as well as you do, you know that an ex-mormon can never really fully walk away from the church because of the so many ties through family and friends, it is still very present in our lives. So, you see. It isn't very easy to just "leave it alone". Try this for a change, Jules, quit hating those who don't believe as much as you can and leave the lesser believers alone.

  23. Anonymous1:58 AM

    "By their fruits ye shall know them" How many Mormon people do you actually know? I know quite a few and they are honest, clean living, sincere people who do a lot of charitable works in our community. If a religion causes people to be honorable, it must have some value. It seems smarter to judge a religion by the people who practice that religion than by people who want to discredit it because it is ammunition to fight a candidate they dislike. Bigotry is unbecoming.

  24. Why are people getting so mad at the mormons.

    I think they can believe what they want. lay off!

  25. Yikes, erinannie, what a lively debate!

    Being a practicing mormon, I thought this movie looked very intriguing and I emailed the makers to see if they're having a showing around where I live. Thanks for posting the link.


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