What I've Learned from Anti-Mormons-aka Critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

I have noticed that the so called "anti-mormons" are a determined group found in a very limited quantity. They are not like anti-catholics, these being any Protestants. Their title comes from being protesters of the Catholic faith. Anti-Mormons are a more unique bunch though. 

The Protestants may have been vitriolic at one time but it has long been replaced for the most part as it was based on doctrinal practice.  Critics of the Mormon church have a different dialogue of misleading some with vitriolic narratives. They mix facts with a lack of historical and cultural context, outright lies and a heavy dose of opinionated nonsense that they believe without any basis other than hearing it and needing it to support their position in the anti world. 

Some religious professors at the time of Joseph Smith didn't like his testimony that had received a vision.  Was his unique among those that have claimed to have some special religious experience or vision?  His initial critics started out as simply anti-Joseph Smith in 1820 and adapted their dialogue as time passed and Joseph continue to reveal truths from heaven.  

There was no Mormon church until 1830. When it was known that he claimed to have new scripture the narratives turned to anti-Book of Mormon. These tactics were geared at discrediting Joseph Smith and his prophetic ministry because there was no way to prove his calling wasn't from God.

In testing their opinions I have seen the opposition these folks give us.  These critics don't like the church for whatever reason and in their own internal thinking believe that their active criticisms will somehow damage the church. This opposition has been taking place since Joseph Smith first told of his experience and answer to his prayer for guidance.

The intent of these folks is to get people out of Mormonism, not to help them in any other way. They may have doctrinal differences and they may act like they are disputing doctrines but they have nothing to offer but their opinions. They have no authority from God for their actions.  

Bible Scholars only offer opinions of the the scripture with no particular authority. Joseph claimed that he had authority to restore the true church of Jesus Christ.  Since they couldn't prove his testimony as false they sought to discredit him as a person.  This was much before polygamy ever became an issue to throw on the fire of discredit.

They repeat non-factual opinions like Mormons are not Christian, Joseph Smith was a pervert and a con man.  None of which have basis in any truth.   They call the church is a cult and the church's' current prophet leaders somehow have the power to brainwash millions of people and force them into lives of blind faith.  Their declarations are quite ridiculous when you analyse them for what they are, just opinions repeated over and over.

Knowing something of how Mormon teachings and those of mainstream Bible scholars are different is helpful to see how their narratives are developed around partial truths, falsehoods and sometimes an actual fact used in a contrived narrative.

Former members of the church in the early 1980s, Dick Baer and Ed Decker came out with a presentation called the God Makers. There were others before them. One of my brothers took me to listen to it.  I don't remember all of the details of the lecture, video etc., that they used, only that it depicted Mormon women being pregnant and barefoot for all of eternity. 

They and others also present arguments against events and practices in church history that don't fit their illusion of what they think the church should be like.  How is it that these few folks have questions that no one can answer and therefore the church is at fault? It doesn't change anything except that they give up their faith.

Even though I did not know much about the church doctrine back then, I sensed dishonesty and inaccuracy in their presentation. Baer is now dead and his misguided enthusiasm did nothing for him nor did it stop the growth of the church. He along with many others have been doing their thing since before the church began in 1830.

The idea of their presentation was to mock the doctrine of exaltation. This is the unique teaching of Mormonism that family relationships are eternal and and continue to increase into the eternities.  The family is ordained of God and is patterned after God's family.  The Bible does tell us that God is a father and that he does have a family from before the world was created but Christian scholars do not believe this.

Baer and Decker's intent was to shock people with this strange teaching of Mormons, which in reality is represented all around us in God's creations and the relationships between men and women founded on trust, integrity and love can lead to our highest form of happiness.

What Norton the hidden cameraman, does is no different.  First he is a self professed liar in one of his own videos. That would be your first clue that what he says and does should be suspect. If you missed that video he says he will have to lie to get a temple recommend.  Why are people enthralled with the idea of a person lying and sneaking into a place they do not belong or care to be? 

Anyone familiar with the temple recommend process knows it is based on the honor system.  He uses his knowledge of the church to sneak around knowing that the system of honesty that is used is not designed to keep out a blatantly dishonest person. 

In the video where he lies to get a temple recommend, he seems to think he is testing the bishop's power of discernment.   What he fails to recognize is that the liar is the one responsible for the lie, not the person listening to it.

No one is investigated as to how they answer the temple recommend questions. A bishop may have some knowledge of a situation and ask about it but a typical interview is straightforward, questions and answers.

Another lie he uses is that the temple ceremony is secret. The proclaimed public objective of the church is to have every member and I would say every person in the world to go to the temple. This objective of the church is hardly a secret.  

We have been sending missionaries into all the world for almost two hundred years to tell people about it. What is there, is for everyone if they desire an eternal family.  

Modern mainstream churchgoers often attend in their beach clothes, listen to Bible themed rock and roll and head off to play. The temple ceremony would certainly come as a shock of strangeness to the large percentage of them.

What the hidden camera operator is trying to do is take the temple endowment completely out of the context of a person's learning and readiness regarding making and keeping covenants in regard to the church's teachings. 

Everything in the church is to help us increase faith in Jesus Christ and strengthen our family relationships. There is no other objective. 

People sometimes lose that understanding and then go off and try to demonstrate from any angle they can that the church is misguided, its leaders are mind control experts, and they are just following the theological genius of a 14 year old boy turned con-man.  

I have discovered that the real con is the anti-mormon message. Their objectives are not to increase faith at all, only to destroy it. We shouldn't shun them though, we should embrace them, because we will learn that they are just souls that have lost their way.  They too can return to the fold of their Good Shepherd once they've finished tasting the error of their opposition.

Orthodox Christianity believes in a celibate, single, genderless deity. For this reason the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints seems strange to a person indoctrinated to believe that God is a mysterious incomprehensible entity comprised of three personalities.  This definition developed in 325 AD is conveniently used to fill the scripture titles in a metaphorical manner by mainstream Bible scholars and sectarian preachers.  

In other words Jesus is called the Son of God in the Bible, but Bible scholars do not teach this. According to them he is not a son at all. Both are eternal bachelors according to their theology. He and the father, who is not really a father at all, both are the same being. We, mankind are simply pawns, imagined and fabricated out of nothing at our birth through a process only started about 6000 years ago.

According to these scholars we are not God's children. We are made out of nothing and then adopted to become a pseudo family. Orthodox theologians cannot explain how it came to be that 6000 years ago this trinity now needed some fellowship and someone to worship it after aeons of eternity in solitary confinement.

Mormons teach that we are children of glorified, exalted beings who are our eternal parents. The concept of family is eternal and fills the heavens.  Men are in the image of the male and women the image of female.  We look like them and by following their gospel plan we may become like them. Sectarian theologians teach that marriage and family units end at death and a new mysterious relationship takes its place.

A simple self-evident truth is that there are no children without parents, two parents.  There is no fatherhood without motherhood. God said it was not good for the man to be alone.  Was this an epiphany for God?  No it is an eternal truth.  Was woman a new invention in the Garden of Eden?  No we learn from latter-day prophets that gender is eternal. Was this God's first and only world? Not according to Mormons.

Orthodox Christians quote the Bible saying that man is created in the image of God, male and female, but that is not what they believe or teach.  They don't believe that God even has a form or a body and man is therefore nothing like God.

Jesus had a body but it was only temporary, so say these Christian philosophers and theologians. Even though he was begotten of a woman in the earth and called the Son of God, in fact called the only begotten in the flesh and they don't believe that God the Father is his father.  He was resurrected with a body but sectarian scholars and theologians do not agree whether or not he gets to keep it or not.


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