Opposition to Mormonism-Facts, Fiction or Opinions
The modern technology allows for mass dissemination of opinions and information, both true and false. Opinion narratives drive much discussion in politics, religion, science and any number of subjects. The reader or listener must evaluate and think critically about what they hear and see.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints claims and testifies that it is the only true and living church on the earth and that Jesus Christ stands at the head of it. The priesthood order and authority that administers the covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ and salvation is found it it.
The Savior established a church when he was on the earth. Catholics make some claim to being the "true" church but Protestants can't make such a claim. None of them carry the name of the Savior and claim authority to be what is termed the Kingdom of God on the earth, except the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Why is this?
Some critically minded people just can't seem to accept the fact that even the Lord's church is full of imperfect people. Leaders and members alike are such and that events and practices they don't agree with have occurred in its history. Even so by what authority do they judge? Only with their opinions and false judgements.
They represent themselves and have no claim to any authority and claim no credentials to speak for God. They speak for themselves. Their opinions are not designed to lift others or to take a person anywhere except from the church. They may become atheists or join in contradictory theologies of creedal sectarianism.
Mainstream Christian churches often start when person feels the desire to form a congregation or to depart from another congregation. They may disagree with another or current pastor or for occupational reasons seek to proclaim their version of biblical Christianity. They sometimes claim that they have received an anointing even though it is just their own claim. They simply meld into another of the tens of thousands of sectarian Christian factions.
To assume that thousands of different churches can somehow be authorized to teach differing opinions because they can open a Bible and read it certainly seems to be a contradiction of truth.
The essence of the arguments against the Mormon church and its leaders comes down to one of the two scenarios mentioned at the beginning.
Either the critics are using deceptive tactics to portray their story to misinform people. Their claim is that Joseph Smith managed to establish a 2000 year ruse. In so doing they set themselves up a burden of proof that can't be met. He was willing to die for his claim. Was he was in fact a prophet of God bearing testimony of truth? How do you recognize a true prophet? You study the fruits of his ministry.
The many voices of internet dissention and discussion against the LDS church are uninformed individuals parroting information that was proven questionable long ago. They fail to study the matters and persist in rationalizing their own lack of spiritual progress by tearing down the church. The sad thing is they have nothing to offer in the least to replace it.
They use fallacies in defining their narrative of Joseph's youth. They tell of things that were normal and cultural in the 1820's that would seem strange if you did them in our day and age. It is like comparing the practice of bleeding sick patients in early medical practices to how disease is cured today.
The critical narratives depend on a listener's lack of knowledge and lack of desire or opportunity to get all of the facts to know what the actual circumstances were. If the false narrative comes from someone they trust, like a pastor or minister then there is a tendency to dismiss the need for more information. These narratives have been repeated over and over in churches and on the internet around the world.
Such has been the approach of the of critics that continue to emerge to oppose the Church since it began some two hundred years ago. They have provided their dialogues of misinformation to thousands of of orthodox Christian churches, pastors and leaders and they disseminate it to their congregations in one form or another. They like to emphasise that Mormonism is a non-christian cult.
The process is readily identifiable for the purpose of spreading false information. Such was the case with me after I joined the church in 1973. I was taken to a church where a lecture was being given to explain why the Mormon Church was the fabrication of a "con artist". Their methods and actions of teaching and disseminating are the real work of "con artists". Here is what they suppose.
Because the growth and success of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has occurred against great odds, they want people to believe that it is actually the result of a cleverly crafted scheme.
Their narrative, in attempting to demonstrate a corrupt Joseph Smith, they actually show the prophetic nature of what he accomplished. Today the church is a worldwide organization with a presence in almost every community in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia, and still expanding to parts of the world where Christianity can be taught.
The critics base their overall antagonism against the church from an irrational standpoint. They want people to believe that a 14 year old boy, Joseph Smith made up a story and told multiple lies to support it over a 30 year period. These lies would become a con for centuries to come. The church he founded would endure substantial persecution and eventually become established through out the world and known for its moral and family values. He said God and Christ visited him as an answer to a prayer while seeking knowledge about religious truth.
Joseph claimed that they called him to be their prophet to accomplish an important work in the earth to prepare the world for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Could such a story be the subject for a con that would be carried out over two centuries? As a boy prophet in 1820, in the United States he saw God and was visited by resurrected apostles and prophets that laid their hands on his head to ordain and give him authority. No other church founder has made such claims of authority that the fullness of Christ's gospel would be restored. The only things that had taken place before were reformations of the existing churches. None claimed authority to be the true church.
It is true today, 190 years later that you can speak his name in religious circles around the world and they know his name, some for good and others for ill. His critics have fulfilled the prophecy.