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Dez
12 Oct 2010, 11:22
As you guys know, I'm currently undergoing a rather dramatic change in personal beliefs. However, I was born and raised Mormon, the daughter of a Seminary/Institute teacher (Latter-Day Saint equivalent of a Youth Pastor), and the decedent of people who knew Joseph Smith, crossed the plains, and practiced polygamy during the Brigham Young years.

If you have any questions, please, feel free to ask!

Raphaeline
12 Oct 2010, 11:24
What's a priesthood holder? Is it just any adult male? Any male head of a family?

Also, I've heard a reference to a husband "laying a blessing" on a wife. What does that mean, how is it done?

Dez
12 Oct 2010, 12:17
What's a priesthood holder? Is it just any adult male? Any male head of a family?

Also, I've heard a reference to a husband "laying a blessing" on a wife. What does that mean, how is it done?


Gag...I just printed up a whole response and lost it :P

There are multiple levels of priesthood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priesthood_%28Latter_Day_Saints%29), each of which are allowed to do different things. The first level of the Aaronic priesthood is when a boy is 12 years old (which, technically, makes him outrank his mother in modern LDS culture). There are different "keys" (http://www.mormonmissionprep.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/melchizedekpriesthoodholdersgiftholyghost.jpg) that a boy is given at the ages of 14, and 16. Then, at 19, before leaving on his mission, he is initiated into the temple, and given the Melchizedek priesthood. After that, there are a whole bunch of levels of authority, leading clear up to the Twelve and the Prophet.

When a man gives a blessing, he lays his hands on the person's head, and starts and ends with a set "form", however, the middle is open for him to communicate what he feels he is being guided to say by the Holy Ghost. Blessings are given when someone is having a particularly tough time, or in preparation for events, such as children getting ready to start a new year of school. If someone is ill, then usually two Priesthood holders participate, one placing consecrated olive oil on their head, and the other offering the blessing. Some things, like a baby blessing in church, or a baptism allow more then two.

http://www.mormonmissionprep.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/melchizedekpriesthoodholdersgiftholyghost.jpg

kilrane
12 Oct 2010, 13:19
I was waiting for this to pop back up :)

My questions are about the missions young men go on. Now as I understand it the family of said missionary is responsible for the cost of the mission. How does this effect families who are going through hard financial times? Is there an assistance program so that their son(s) can go and the church helps pay their way? Or does the church allow you to do the mission later on in life? If the mission is done at a later time in a young man's life how does it effect their standing within the church?

I would also like to know how it is decided where a missionary is sent to? Does the missionary and his family get to choose or is it done by the church?

I guess that's it for now :)

Dez
12 Oct 2010, 15:33
I was waiting for this to pop back up :)

Yay...someone missed it :) That makes me happy to know that people actually read my blather on this thread.



My questions are about the missions young men go on. Now as I understand it the family of said missionary is responsible for the cost of the mission. How does this effect families who are going through hard financial times? Is there an assistance program so that their son(s) can go and the church helps pay their way? Or does the church allow you to do the mission later on in life? If the mission is done at a later time in a young man's life how does it effect their standing within the church?

Well, first of all, I want to back up a bit. When the church first started sending men on missions, it wasn't young, unmarried guys. It was married men, who left behind a wife and kids, often for a couple of years (given the time it took to travel), and went without "purse or scrip", like the apostles in the New Testament.

In my own family history, my maternal great-grandfather got called on at least 4 missions that I can think of. He and his wife got married in May or June, then had a March baby each year for the first three years they were married (the second was my grandmother). Then, he was gone on a mission for a couple of years, and nine months after he got home, she had twins! Those missions were very hard on my great-grandmother...she believed very strongly in the church, but my grandmother said that when she was 10 or so, her mother went to the stake president and begged him to stop calling her husband on missions...he said he'd love to, but her husband kept volunteering.

Now, things work a little differently(obviously). Young men go on their missions at the age of 19, and it's a cultural expectation. While they might wait a year or two, that's a very unusual situation, and if there is any reason why they might not be considered worthy, they are not allowed to go. Some young women also go on 18 month missions, starting when they're 21 or 22.

About ten years ago, they changed the system so that there's a "pool" of money, rather then some missions being so much more expensive then others. One issue with that, though, is that now many missions end up needing some help, anyway, because their church stipend doesn't take into account inflation, or more subtle differences in housing and food costs within, say, a state. For families that can't afford to send their son, there is a mission fund, that people can donate to separately from tithing. Depending on the situation, though, the family may need to make smaller payments, or pay the fund back.

There are also retired couples who serve missions, also out of their own pocket. They will help run the mission office, or serve on temple grounds.



I would also like to know how it is decided where a missionary is sent to? Does the missionary and his family get to choose or is it done by the church?

I guess that's it for now :)


Each day, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles sits down with a list of missionaries who have sent in their papers, and a list of missions that need more missionaries. They pray about where each Elder or Sister should be sent. Often it comes as a surprise, but other people find interesting syncrosities.

For example, my younger brother always had a love for Germany, and got German names whenever the family went to do baptisms for the dead. No one was surprised when he served his mission there...he even began learning German in anticipation of being sent there(even though he had no way to know if that would be the case). My other brother is currently serving a mission in Provo, Utah, which caught him totally off-guard.

In my husband's family, everyone who served a mission has gone somewhere in Asia. His mother served in Japan (the same mission as my husband did), his father in Korea (he served late--he was in the military first), and his older brother served in The Philippians.

kilrane
12 Oct 2010, 18:21
Yay...someone missed it :) That makes me happy to know that people actually read my blather on this thread.

Yes, the old threads were a big help to me. My in-laws are mostly Mormon and I really didn't know much about Mormons till I met my wife.

I'm a bit of a lurker and I try not to ask questions that have been asked before. I originally wanted to ask that question a while ago, but I was lazy. With the old forum gone I figured now would be a good time to get off my butt ;)

Dez
12 Oct 2010, 18:29
Yes, the old threads were a big help to me. My in-laws are mostly Mormon and I really didn't know much about Mormons till I met my wife.

I'm a bit of a lurker and I try not to ask questions that have been asked before. I originally wanted to ask that question a while ago, but I was lazy. With the old forum gone I figured now would be a good time to get off my butt ;)


"Mostly-Mormon" eh? So culturally....? No good advice with that, but if you have any other questions you want to throw my way, feel free ;)

Shahaku
13 Oct 2010, 07:50
How do most Mormons feels about polygamy? If I understand right, it was mostly gotten rid off in the early 1900's but some sects have kept it up. What are the feelings about these groups and how they affect the Mormon image?

Dez
13 Oct 2010, 10:39
How do most Mormons feels about polygamy? If I understand right, it was mostly gotten rid off in the early 1900's but some sects have kept it up. What are the feelings about these groups and how they affect the Mormon image?


Now that's a pretty complex topic. Yes, it was gotten rid of with The Manifesto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1890_Manifesto) in 1890, but that did not immediately get rid of the practice. There were some secret sealings which still took place, since at the time, the church leaders felt that it was a forced concession to the American Government. There were also families, like mine, who ended up in Canada or Mexico, since the governments in those locations didn't care. In Mexico, in particular, the practice continued quietly almost until the 20's.

Now, the church does not practice polygamy, and any member who does so is excommunicated. However, while women are only sealed to one man for eternity in the temple (meaning that a woman who divorced remains sealed to her husband until she wants to marry another temple-worthy man, and petitions to have herself and her children sealed to him, requiring proof of a serious offense on the part of the first husband), a man can be married multiple times in his lifetime, and sealed to all his spouses, with the implication that they will all continue to be married to him in the next life. Brigham Young stated many times that polygamy was a requirement for the highest portions of heaven, to be like God himself, so you can imagine the interesting implications of that.

The polygamous groups are viewed with a great deal of dislike and distrust. There are some muddy waters, too. It's not unheard of for a girl to marry into what she thinks is a regular, but large, Mormon family, only to find out that her spouse's father is an underground polygamist. More then anything, at this point the church seems to want the whole issue to just go away. References are being removed from lesson manuals, and the church recently supported a film about the life of Emma Smith, Joseph's wife, which made only a passing reference to the entire issue. Long-time Mormon families, like my own, still raise their children with an expectation that polygamy will be reinstated eventually, though.

thalassa
13 Oct 2010, 12:46
I just wanted to put this in the new thread too...

PBS has a 6 hour special on LDS, as well as a website @ http://www.pbs.org/mormons/

volcaniclastic
23 Oct 2010, 17:32
What's up with that whole no-coffee-no-alcohol thing? (The only mormons I've ever known in real life were my neighbours as a teen. They were REALLY weird - does mormonism have any "weird" rules/regulations it has to follow?)

Dez
24 Oct 2010, 13:54
What's up with that whole no-coffee-no-alcohol thing? (The only mormons I've ever known in real life were my neighbours as a teen. They were REALLY weird - does mormonism have any "weird" rules/regulations it has to follow?)


Short answer is that the Word of Wisdom (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/89) was given to Joseph Smith by God as a series of dietary restrictions that members were to follow with a promise of additional strength.


18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.


The long answer is a little more complex:

When this commandment was written, the brotheren of the church met in a room above the Smith's kitchen. Many of them chewed tobacco, and when they spit, eventually, Joseph's wife Emma would end up with tobacco juice dripping down into her kitchen. She kvetched, understandably, and Joseph came back from praying with this revelation.

Now, at the time, it was considered a suggestion, for the "weakest of the saints":


1 A Word OF Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion—
2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—
3 Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints.


There are multiple records of alcoholic drinks continuing to be served at special occasions, like Christmas punches, or use of alcohol in medicine, after that.

The Word of Wisdom only became a requirement to get a temple recommend in the 1930's(in fact, there were several breweries funded by Brigham Young in the early Utah period ), and the modern reading of it usually focuses on avoiding tobacco, alcohol, tea and coffee (both "hot drinks" see verse 9), and modern avoidance of other drugs. Some members reason that it's the caffeine in drinks like tea and coffee that makes them addictive, and therefore not ok, and so avoid caffeinated soda as well.
There is very little focus on verse 12, which encourages members to eat meat sparingly.

There is an increasing focus, now, on also avoiding misuse of prescription drugs, particularly painkillers, since Northern Utah has a very high incidence for both abuse of those, and antidepressant use.

As for your second question, V...I think most religions with a very strong culture attached do things that some would consider weird. A lot of people would find the dietary guidelines above strange, for sure. Another typical thing people notice about Mormons is their dress code. No tattoos, skirts or shorts above the knee, or sleeveless clothing. The only piercings allowed are one in each ear for women.

Shahaku
25 Oct 2010, 10:21
What's the Mormon view on modern medicine and it's use?

Dez
25 Oct 2010, 16:15
What's the Mormon view on modern medicine and it's use?

Mormon leaders support medicine, and their aren't any weird prohibitions against organ donation, or receiving blood transfusions or anything like that. You do get some families, like mine growing up, though, that distrust the "medical industrial complex".

Shahaku
26 Oct 2010, 06:55
Well, I somewhat distrust the "medical idustrial complex" as well so.... can't say I blame them for that.

Dez
26 Oct 2010, 18:46
Well, I somewhat distrust the "medical idustrial complex" as well so.... can't say I blame them for that.


I don't trust it entirely myself, and I firmly believe that people should educate themselves and use their brains rather then trusting a professional *simply* because they have a lab coat on.

It gets complex for me, though, because there were many ways I would have benefited from the influence of the medical model. As a homeschooled child, my parents didn't believe in sex ed, and so the only reason I understood all the basic mechanics when I got married was because the midwife I saw for birth control and an exam sat me down and gave me the birds and bees talk.

I also had several experiences where I was in physical trouble--like at the age of 14, running a fever of around 104 for a couple of days after helping to cater a family friend's wedding. Because my mom didn't trust doctors, I was left pretty much alone on a makeshift bed on my brother's bedroom floor. I actually have damage to enamel of my back molars, which were still forming when that happened.

I think that there's a line between self-empowerment, healthy mistrust, and putting yourself or loved ones on the line.

Clive
14 Nov 2010, 10:21
Have you ever seen the movie Latter Days with Wes Ramsey? It occurred to me the other day that I've never heard anything out of the Mormon Church about this movie.

Dez
14 Nov 2010, 10:53
Have you ever seen the movie Latter Days with Wes Ramsey? It occurred to me the other day that I've never heard anything out of the Mormon Church about this movie.


I've actually never seen it. Most Mormons who I know who had even heard of it mentally categorized it as Antimormon/pro-gay propaganda. From what I understand, the content would be taboo for even most open-minded members of the LDS community.

Mormons also are not allowed to see rated R movies, so there's that.

shadow1982
14 Nov 2010, 11:01
My understanding of how Mormonism(?) started is a little sketchy. From what I understand, Joesph Smith was given golden tablets by an angel which only he could read and would translate to people from behind a curtain. These tablets were then lost/disappeared. How much of this is correct and how much am I either oversimplifying things or am completely off base?

Clive
14 Nov 2010, 11:41
I've actually never seen it. Most Mormons who I know who had even heard of it mentally categorized it as Antimormon/pro-gay propaganda. From what I understand, the content would be taboo for even most open-minded members of the LDS community.

Mormons also are not allowed to see rated R movies, so there's that.


True, I doubt many hard Mormons would want to see a movie about a promiscuous man and an Elder falling in love...especially considering the two (IIRC) sex scenes included. It's a very good movie, though - sexy, romantic, and sad all at the same time. I recommend it.

Dez
14 Nov 2010, 12:09
True, I doubt many hard Mormons would want to see a movie about a promiscuous man and an Elder falling in love...especially considering the two (IIRC) sex scenes included. It's a very good movie, though - sexy, romantic, and sad all at the same time. I recommend it.

Interesting. If I ever have a chance, I'll watch it. It would probably push too many buttons for my spouse, though, given that his older brother came come from his mission and came out. The family as a whole has never really gotten over that.



My understanding of how Mormonism(?) started is a little sketchy. From what I understand, Joesph Smith was given golden tablets by an angel which only he could read and would translate to people from behind a curtain. These tablets were then lost/disappeared. How much of this is correct and how much am I either oversimplifying things or am completely off base?


Pretty much right on, shadow.

When Joseph Smith was 14 years old, he prayed about which church was right for him to choose. God and Christ appeared to him, and told him that none of the churches were right, and that he would found a new faith.

When he got older, an angel named Moroni came to him, and told him about a record buried in a local hillside, made on thin sheets of gold. In the stone box with them was a sword (the Sword of Laban), and a Urim and Thumim, a stone or stones which allowed him to translate the record. After this, the plates were returned to Moroni, their caretaker.

shadow1982
14 Nov 2010, 12:15
How different is the Mormon bible? Is it a completely different book or are there only a few changes from the christian(?) one?

Dez
14 Nov 2010, 12:38
How different is the Mormon bible? Is it a completely different book or are there only a few changes from the christian(?) one?


The LDS church has 4 major texts, all of which are made available to read online:

The Bible, King James Version, Old Testament and New Testament. This means no Apocrypha. There are subtle changes made by Joseph Smith which are added as footnotes. Here is a list (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/jst/contents), if you want to pull out a bible and see how LDS theology differs.

The Book of Mormon (http://scriptures.lds.org/bm/contents). This is the text translated by Joseph Smith. It is said to contain a record of some of the goings-on in the New World before Columbus, and follows the story of a family who leaves Jerusalem before it is destroyed under Zedekiah (597 BC-ish).

The Doctrine and Covenants (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/contents). This is more historical in nature, being revelations which were given to Joseph Smith, as well as some documents, such as The Manifesto (the delegation that Mormons would stop practicing the law of polygamy). This is also the book that I refer to when discussing concept like the Word of Wisdom (D&C 89), Mormon dietary laws.

The Pearl of Great Price (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/pgp/contents). Revelations to Joseph Smith of ancient scripture. The account of Moses first seeing God, as well as the Book of Abraham, which Smith is said to have been inspired to reveal as the original version of an Egyptian Book of the Dead which was touring America with a group of mummies. Also included are Smith's account of his vision of God and Christ, as well as the Articles of Faith, an excellent synopsis of Mormon beliefs.

shadow1982
14 Nov 2010, 12:49
Thanks :) I don't have a bible but have booked marked the other 3 so I can read over them properly.... will probably have lots more questions for you once I start reading them ;D

Dez
14 Nov 2010, 12:56
Welcome!

Here's the front page for that portion of the LDS Church's website. It's a bit easier to navigate from, and also has an Old and New Testiment-- http://scriptures.lds.org/en/contents

Dez
19 Nov 2010, 17:15
And now for something completely different...

Back last summer, the website the LDS church designed for people asking questions about the church, Mormon.org, introduced a new feature--the capability to chat live with missionaries at the MTC. Talk about setting out a welcome mat...

I bring you a segment entitled,

Trolling Mormon Chat.

In the beginning, trolling Mormon chat was pretty straight-forward, and brought to you primarily from the folks at /b/:

http://artoftrolling.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/9b5aa683-4d66-4cb3-ae81-1128e5282e29.jpg

http://artoftrolling.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/ad642fcf-52d2-42b1-a901-53ed03c51dbe.jpg

http://artoftrolling.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/3c5028d5-b30c-4b99-8ae6-864d24bafff6.jpg

Then, sometime last month, the missionaries really started to catch on.

http://artoftrolling.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/2ed30387-9f2b-48b5-a68f-d455e5e31247.jpg

....or, at least the smart ones :P

http://artoftrolling.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/2281800f-6531-4aee-a7c6-d5932b797db9.jpg

The few and the brave have even seemed to learn to Rick Roll right back.

http://artoftrolling.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/97e2e0e9-a7f9-4b48-93bc-765ba8b474ef.jpg
http://artoftrolling.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/0d08afa4-1e99-44f5-bbdb-fbcbc2aa6d87.jpg

At the end of the day, though, one very valid point still remains:

http://artoftrolling.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/25264a44-3e76-4a3c-bb50-a48c20f35e84.jpg

For more Mormon Chat Trolls, I'd recommend Helpfeedthetroll.com (http://www.helpfeedthetroll.com/random/funny-mormon-org-chat-trolling-god-delivers/) and the Mormon article from the Encyclopedia Dramatica (http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Mormon).

Maulus
19 Nov 2010, 17:44
My Wife and I have had a really good laugh at these trolls :) Brilliant and +1 :D


M

Dez
03 Dec 2010, 12:39
Hey guys...I realized today that A lot of the newer members don't really know who I am as well as the older ones, particularly in light of the sometimes rather odd mix of respect, humor, and frustration I exhibit towards the Mormon church.

I started to write more about me, but it went long, so I decided to post it in the Meet the Staff (http://www.paganforum.com/index.php?topic=290.msg19617#msg19617)thread, instead.

I also wanted to share something that the President Monson, the current LDS Prophet said recently. I don't agree with everything the church says, but I thought that the points in this talk about Charity were very good, and much-needed. (http://lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/charity-never-faileth?lang=eng)

newgirl24
03 Dec 2010, 13:01
The trolls are hilarious.

I chatted with missionary once on that site, and asked legitimate questions about Mormonism. It was very interesting to me. The missionaries pretty much stopped trying when they asked enough questions to find out that I'm living with my boyfriend with no intention to marry him (any time soon, anyway).

Ophidia
03 Dec 2010, 16:54
I soooo wanted to get on here & ask you how magnets work, DR.

Instead, I have a perfectly legitimate question that I found on the artoftrolling, lol.

Is Mormonism primarily an American religion, or has it spread to other countries?

magusjinx
03 Dec 2010, 18:10
MORMONS ... They're everywhere ... They're everywhere ...

Sorry Des ... I just had to ...

Aba Nigeria Temple
Accra Ghana Temple
Adelaide Australia Temple
Albuquerque New Mexico Temple
Anchorage Alaska Temple
Apia Samoa Temple
Asunción Paraguay Temple
Atlanta Georgia Temple

Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple
Bern Switzerland Temple
Billings Montana Temple
Birmingham Alabama Temple
Bismarck North Dakota Temple
Bogotá Colombia Temple
Boise Idaho Temple
Boston Massachusetts Temple
Bountiful Utah Temple
Brigham City Utah Temple†
Brisbane Australia Temple
Buenos Aires Argentina Temple

Calgary Alberta Temple†
Campinas Brazil Temple
Caracas Venezuela Temple
Cardston Alberta Temple
Cebu City Philippines Temple
Chicago Illinois Temple
Ciudad Juárez México Temple
Cochabamba Bolivia Temple
Colonia Juárez Chihuahua México Temple
Columbia River Washington Temple
Columbia South Carolina Temple
Columbus Ohio Temple
Concepción Chile Temple†
Copenhagen Denmark Temple
Córdoba Argentina Temple†
Curitiba Brazil Temple

Dallas Texas Temple
Denver Colorado Temple
Detroit Michigan Temple
Draper Utah Temple

Edmonton Alberta Temple

Fortaleza Brazil Temple†
Frankfurt Germany Temple
Freiberg Germany Temple
Fresno California Temple
Fukuoka Japan Temple

The Gila Valley Arizona Temple
Gilbert Arizona Temple†
Guadalajara México Temple
Guatemala City Guatemala Temple
Guayaquil Ecuador Temple

The Hague Netherlands Temple
Halifax Nova Scotia Temple
Hamilton New Zealand Temple
Hartford Connecticut Temple†
Helsinki Finland Temple
Hermosillo Sonora México Temple
Hong Kong China Temple
Houston Texas Temple

Idaho Falls Idaho Temple
Indianapolis Indiana Temple†

Johannesburg South Africa Temple
Jordan River Utah Temple

Kansas City Missouri Temple†
Kona Hawaii Temple
Kyiv Ukraine Temple

Laie Hawaii Temple
Las Vegas Nevada Temple
Lima Perú Temple
Lisbon Portugal Temple†
Logan Utah Temple
London England Temple
Los Angeles California Temple
Louisville Kentucky Temple
Lubbock Texas Temple

Madrid Spain Temple
Manaus Brazil Temple†
Manhattan New York Temple
Manila Philippines Temple
Manti Utah Temple
Medford Oregon Temple
Melbourne Australia Temple
Memphis Tennessee Temple
Mérida México Temple
Mesa Arizona Temple
México City México Temple
Monterrey México Temple
Montevideo Uruguay Temple
Monticello Utah Temple
Montréal Québec Temple
Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple

Nashville Tennessee Temple
Nauvoo Illinois Temple
Newport Beach California Temple
Nuku'alofa Tonga Temple

Oakland California Temple
Oaxaca México Temple
Ogden Utah Temple
Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple
Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple
Orlando Florida Temple

Palmyra New York Temple
Panamá City Panamá Temple
Papeete Tahiti Temple
Payson Utah Temple†
Perth Australia Temple
Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple†
Phoenix Arizona Temple†
Portland Oregon Temple
Porto Alegre Brazil Temple
Preston England Temple
Provo Utah Temple

Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple†

Raleigh North Carolina Temple
Recife Brazil Temple
Redlands California Temple
Regina Saskatchewan Temple
Reno Nevada Temple
Rexburg Idaho Temple
Rome Italy Temple†

Sacramento California Temple
St. George Utah Temple
St. Louis Missouri Temple
St. Paul Minnesota Temple
Salt Lake Temple
San Antonio Texas Temple
San Diego California Temple
San José Costa Rica Temple
San Salvador El Salvador Temple†
Santiago Chile Temple
Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple
São Paulo Brazil Temple
Sapporo Japan Temple†
Seattle Washington Temple
Seoul Korea Temple
Snowflake Arizona Temple
South Florida Temple†
Spokane Washington Temple
Stockholm Sweden Temple
Suva Fiji Temple
Sydney Australia Temple

Taipei Taiwan Temple
Tampico México Temple
Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple†
Tijuana México Temple†
Tokyo Japan Temple
Toronto Ontario Temple
Trujillo Perú Temple†
Tuxtla Gutiérrez México Temple
Twin Falls Idaho Temple

Urdaneta Philippines Temple†

Vancouver British Columbia Temple
Veracruz México Temple
Vernal Utah Temple
Villahermosa México Temple

Washington D.C. Temple
Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple


† Temple announced or under construction.
http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/temples/

Dez
03 Dec 2010, 18:22
The trolls are hilarious.

I chatted with missionary once on that site, and asked legitimate questions about Mormonism. It was very interesting to me. The missionaries pretty much stopped trying when they asked enough questions to find out that I'm living with my boyfriend with no intention to marry him (any time soon, anyway).


Yeah...I could see that. I'd argue that part of the issue with that is that they're 19-21 year olds, and so they have no concept of long term, but I hear complaints about the same sort of thing from a lot of people who move into Mormon areas. It always makes me wonder what they would have done with someone like early church leaders. Both Eliza R. Snow and John Taylor took years, if I remember right, before actually joining the church.



I soooo wanted to get on here & ask you how magnets work, DR.
*Snort*


Is Mormonism primarily an American religion, or has it spread to other countries?


Magus is exactly right (LOL).

A lot of Mormons will go out of their way to attend a temple in another location when they're traveling...so let's see...

I attended the dedication of the Bountiful, Utah temple. I was 8 at the time, and had to receive a special recommend from the bishop to go. It was very long, but interesting...before any temple is blessed, they have an open-house that anyone is welcome to attend, as long as they are dressed appropriately. If any of you ever get a chance to do so, I would strongly encourage you to. The actual dedication is reserved for members--those who have temple recommends and their older children.

I've also been to the temples in Provo and Vernal Utah, Laie Hawaii, and Orlando, Florida, as well as the one here in Rexburg. L and I were married in the second oldest temple, the one in Salt Lake City.

I'm very excited on behalf of my family for the temple being built in South Florida. Up until now, the trip up to Orlando has been 4 hours each way for them, and the new temple location is less then 30 minutes away.

Dez
17 Dec 2010, 18:04
http://artoftrolling.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/chatroulette-trolling-those-pesky-mormons.jpg

Dumuzi
22 Dec 2010, 16:31
Hey Desert!

I wanted to ask you what Mormonism teaches about the prophets that are mentioned in the Old Testament. I know they believe in them, but how much do they rely on the information mentioned in the Old Testament. I ask specifically because there are lots of bad things said about those prophets. Is it the same in Mormonism, or do they believe that the prophets of god are the best of the best?

I also know they have the book of Abraham and Moses as part of Mormon scripture, do they generally agree with the information contained in the Old Testament?

PS: After typing this post, I realized I used the word "you" when saying things like do you believe in such and such. So I had to type "they" instead of "you". :P

Dez
22 Dec 2010, 21:44
Hmm...Mormonism is generally very positive about the main figures of the OT. Yes, there are some rather crazy things that happen, but I was always raised with a distinction being made between prophets (like Abraham and Moses) and the patriarchs (also Abraham, but Isaac and Jacob as well, etc). The distinction is usually that the prophets were specifically servants of God, however the patriarchs like Jacob were pretty average men who were included because of their linage. They make some rather serious mistakes, just like looking into the extended family of just about anyone.

Other prophets who are considered important within Mormonism are Melchizedek and Enoch. Neither are mentioned much in the OT, but are very important figures in Mormon Scripture.

Did that make sense? I'm not quite sure if I answered your question or not, honestly, so if you want me to clarify or anything of the sort, let me know :P

Dumuzi
23 Dec 2010, 10:15
Did that make sense? I'm not quite sure if I answered your question or not, honestly, so if you want me to clarify or anything of the sort, let me know :P


I should have been more clear!

As I said before, I am specifically asking about the major sins that are ascribed to some of the prophets of God in the Old Testament. Like do Mormons generally agree with that, or do they believe that was actually not true?

Also since you mention prophets and patriarchs, what about Noah, Lot, David and Solomon? Which of the two are they?

Dez
23 Dec 2010, 14:51
I should have been more clear!

As I said before, I am specifically asking about the major sins that are ascribed to some of the prophets of God in the Old Testament. Like do Mormons generally agree with that, or do they believe that was actually not true?

Also since you mention prophets and patriarchs, what about Noah, Lot, David and Solomon? Which of the two are they?


Ah, ok, I see!

Mormons believe that a prophet is still mortal (fallible) and can still make mistakes. If he really oversteps, though, God can cause his death rather then let him lead the people astray. Joseph Smith claimed that when God commanded him to reinstate polygamy, that he didn't at first, out of respect for his wife, however, an angel with a flaming sword came to him and told him that the practice was a part of the restoration of all of God's truth, and that he was sent to destroy him if he didn't bring it back.

...which of course, raises all the same issues. Is the prophet right? Is he imperfect? What if he makes a mistake or misunderstands?

From my perspective, while LDS cultures says that prophets can make mistakes, the words of the current prophet, even if he is not acting "with the mantle of authority" as prophet, are treated as scripture. However, as time passes, people seem to be rather selective about what statements are retained in church-sanctioned curriculum.

Noah is counted as a prophet, however the others are patriarchs. Good men, but imperfect, who's mistakes are good learning tools.

Dumuzi
23 Dec 2010, 15:57
Thanks for the clarification, Deseret. :)

Medusa
23 Dec 2010, 23:55
I might have asked about this before but I can't remember. While I was just watching a documentary on NG channel, about Mormons and a filmed wedding.....Would you ever consider a sister wife? Also, the documentary talked about if the two people marrying actually sign the marriage license they probably won't be adding sister wives because this could be used against them later if issues arise. Did you sign a marriage license? And...were you an arranged marriage? I know..personal questions. But stuff I don't know. So...well I gotta ask. :o

Dez
24 Dec 2010, 10:00
I might have asked about this before but I can't remember. While I was just watching a documentary on NG channel, about Mormons and a filmed wedding.....Would you ever consider a sister wife? Also, the documentary talked about if the two people marrying actually sign the marriage license they probably won't be adding sister wives because this could be used against them later if issues arise. Did you sign a marriage license? And...were you an arranged marriage? I know..personal questions. But stuff I don't know. So...well I gotta ask. :o


LOL, ok, a couple of things right off the bat. First, the mainstream LDS church hasn't practiced Polygamy since the Manifesto of 1890 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1890_Manifesto). That means that my Great-great grandfather on my mother's side had four wives, but they were all long dead before I was born.

Why the Manifesto? Mormon polygamy was a major plot point during two presidential elections during the 1860's. There were a lot of people insisting that it was white slavery, etc, etc, and that the US had an obligation to go in and end it. And so you got the Utah War (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_War). There have been several splinter groups that have broken off, in support of polygamy, and other doctrines supported by Brigham Young that have since been moved to the back burners of Mormon theology, if mentioned at all.

Since then, there has been a bit of a double standard--polygamy is an offense that gets one excommunicated from the mainstream church. Period, the end. However, at the same time, a woman can only ever be sealed to one man, but one man can still be sealed to multiple women (currently dead and ex wives, as well as their current spouse, for example). Also, those in longstanding Mormon families are often raised like I was, being taught that it was a correct principal, but "the church wasn't ready for it", and that it will be restored again when we are. I think that current church authority does not share that belief, though, since mentions of polygamy are being pushed further and further out of church texts, since they're one of the things that keeps the church from being recognized as mainstream christian. Personally, I'm suspicious that the current leaders of the church don't want the can of worms (and loss of half the church either way) that would happen if polygamy became legalized, and that's part of the reason why they are currently coming down so hard on gay marriage (the foot in the door), after an era of comparative understanding and encouragement of love and kindness under the late President Hinkley.

Oh, and you sometimes get Fundamentalist Mormons hiding in mainstream congregations. Often acting as a single mom, widow, or one with a spouse that travels a lot, in order to get assistance from the Bishop. Good times.

So, with all of the above in mind ;), mainstream Mormon marriages go by the book. We have a marriage license, and then were sealed in the temple, "for time and all eternity". It's a good thing that there aren't arranged marriages in the mainstream church, either, because my parents can't stand my husband....and the feeling is mutual. Instead, there's a lot of pressure for women to put marriage and family over education, and men to get married as soon as possible after returning from their mission at the age of 21. Because of that, we were 23 and 18 when we got married, and I had my first miscarriage at 19, and my daughter at 21. I wouldn't trade her for the world, but in retrospect, things would have been much, much easier for us if we hadn't believed at the time that we needed to do whatever our leaders were telling us, and "god would reward us for being faithful".

As for a sister wife? That's an entire other can of beans. I feel rather strongly that as a bisexual woman, I would be very happy down the road with a poly relationship. I'm not sure how all that would work out, honestly, but even though L and I are discussing right now how, exactly, we want our life to change now that we are no longer following the church, and I'm open to experimentation, at a core level I still believe in a fairly traditional level of commitment. Not necessarily extreme exclusivity, but only being involved with people that I have taken the time to form a deep and long-term bond with. I'm willing to not rush into things to make sure that all the pieces fit, too. I already have one good relationship, and I'd want to take my time, and insure that whoever either of us were involved with was a good fit, long before it became physical.

That sort of concept is nothing like the way Fundamentalists practice polygamy, though. That is very much a group of women with one man "in the lead" (even though that is rarely the case within the home), and holding it all together.

If we were ever to follow through with that, too, we would both need to be prepared to take one of two tactics--either be excommunicated, or formally resign from the church before there was anything they could use to investigate into our lives and excommunicate us anyway.

Dumuzi
24 Dec 2010, 10:50
I just got an idea while I was reading this. You should tell Mormons to move to Egypt, they'd be allowed to marry up to 4 women perfectly legally!

;D

Dez
24 Dec 2010, 13:26
I just got an idea while I was reading this. You should tell Mormons to move to Egypt, they'd be allowed to marry up to 4 women perfectly legally!

;D


LOL...well, right now, you can be excommunicated for practicing polygamy even if it's legal in your country!

There are a lot of members, too, who find the entire concept disgusting, and treat it as an odd quirk from the past. Boy, do they get a surprise if they read some of the statements by Brigham Young that claimed that one had to practice "the principal" in order to become like God!

Dumuzi
24 Dec 2010, 13:53
LOL...well, right now, you can be excommunicated for practicing polygamy even if it's legal in your country!


Ah I see, that does make perfect sense. I first assumed it was only a matter of respecting the law of the country you are a citizen of.

It's as if I said it's OK for Muslims to drink alcohol because it's legal. Legal or not, Allah is the god of all countries whatever their law on alcohol is!


There are a lot of members, too, who find the entire concept disgusting, and treat it as an odd quirk from the past. Boy, do they get a surprise if they read some of the statements by Brigham Young that claimed that one had to practice "the principal" in order to become like God!

Ha, I can see his motives.

"Honey, I love you and I don't want to marry anyone else, but it's what god wants us to do!" ;D

Seriously, though, (and I'm sorry if it seemed I was derailing your thread earlier) I do have a question.

How do Mormons know that Joseph Smith is a real prophet? By the way, this is NOT a debate. I just want to know how someone who is Mormon would reply if I asked them this. Just trying to understand.

What would a Mormon say, if I asked how he knows that Joseph Smith is really who he claimed he was, and that he did actually receive revelation from God?

calfhill
24 Dec 2010, 20:57
Great question. When I was a Mormon, it was never questioned. Joseph Smith was a prophet. Period. No discussion, or debate. Accept it.
Of course, now, I don't question it; because, I don't believe it.
Sorry, I know this is not my thread. It is Deseret's. Just wanted to put in my two cents worth.

magusjinx
25 Dec 2010, 14:13
How do Mormons know that Joseph Smith is a real prophet? By the way, this is NOT a debate. I just want to know how someone who is Mormon would reply if I asked them this. Just trying to understand.

What would a Mormon say, if I asked how he knows that Joseph Smith is really who he claimed he was, and that he did actually receive revelation from God?
Sorry Des if I jump in here too ...

I think believing that someone is something special in ones chosen path is what "FAITH" is all about ... Something that is accepted as just is ... Just as some believe Jesus to be the son of God or that Moses was a prophet ... Or in Buddha's, Isis' or Hathor's divinity ... It is a matter of faith ... Generally "supported " by something in writing ...

Dez
26 Dec 2010, 18:28
I would generally agree with the guys on this one, D.

I think, too, though, that Mormonism places an unusually high emphasis on emotion. For example, missionaries are taught to do their best to generate strong emotions talking about love of Christ, and how you love your family and want to be with them forever. When a potential convert then mirrors those emotions, they are pointed out to them as the Holy Ghost telling them that the LDS church is true.

While I believe in emotion and intuition as very powerful tools of deity, I think that logic and empiric evidence should also agree.

calfhill
26 Dec 2010, 19:54
Looking back that is exactly what happened to my family when we converted. I was 17 and got really excited about the whole concept. Holy Spirit, or excitement at something new? Now I realize that it was the latter. At the time, I bought the whole package.
Both of my younger brothers served on missions and could probably shed a lot more light on the subject than I can, but one is still rabid in his beliefs and the other, who has finally come to terms with being gay, would likely still be uncomfortable in a Pagan Forum.

Dez
26 Dec 2010, 21:38
Looking back that is exactly what happened to my family when we converted. I was 17 and got really excited about the whole concept. Holy Spirit, or excitement at something new? Now I realize that it was the latter. At the time, I bought the whole package.
Both of my younger brothers served on missions and could probably shed a lot more light on the subject than I can, but one is still rabid in his beliefs and the other, who has finally come to terms with being gay, would likely still be uncomfortable in a Pagan Forum.


That can be really rough, calfhill. My husband's older brother is gay, he came out shortly after his mission.

It really breaks my heart that after the initial shock, his family tried really hard to be supportive of him, but that changed with the whole Prop 8 thing. Since then, the church has started coming down really, really hard on homosexual behavior again, and leaders have started insisting again that it can be changed "if one turns to Christ" etc, etc...I just don't understand that, and it makes me sad and angry.

It's the other reason I took a big step back. For a long time I thought that I could just try to be myself, and make it agree, but it was more then a bit of a shock when last fall in particular I'm hearing talks in Conference where leaders are implying that if you have any "same-sex attraction", and aren't willing to go to a (Mormon) councilor, share it with your (untrained, lay) bishop, and submit to whatever they think you should do to heal, that you don't love God enough and are sinning.

I have a lot of love for the people in the church, still. I'm proud of my heritage, and the things those people suffered and went through to keep the LDS church running, how they stood up for what they believed in. But this is turning into a witch hunt.

calfhill
26 Dec 2010, 21:51
I admire your ability to still have a lot of love for those people. I cannot share that feeling.
I'm not bitter; because, I don't believe in the church anymore, so... So what about their beliefs.
And yet, I still feel compelled to comment. So, what does that say about me?
Anyway, I do enjoy these conversations.

MaskedOne
26 Dec 2010, 22:14
I would generally agree with the guys on this one, D.

I think, too, though, that Mormonism places an unusually high emphasis on emotion. For example, missionaries are taught to do their best to generate strong emotions talking about love of Christ, and how you love your family and want to be with them forever. When a potential convert then mirrors those emotions, they are pointed out to them as the Holy Ghost telling them that the LDS church is true.

While I believe in emotion and intuition as very powerful tools of deity, I think that logic and empiric evidence should also agree.


Does Mormon doctrine make room for strong emotion that is not generated by the Holy Spirit? The high emotion focus here leaves room for entertaining (well for me, anyway) disputes if there aren't some additional factors in play.

calfhill
26 Dec 2010, 22:23
Personally, I would think not. If you are a "good" Mormon, there is no room for disputes. I've tried, many years ago, to express thoughts outside recognized doctrine and been, mostly, shot down.
I will; however, step back and await Deseret's response. I think she has a better grasp of Mormonisms than I do.

Dumuzi
27 Dec 2010, 02:58
I would generally agree with the guys on this one, D.

I think, too, though, that Mormonism places an unusually high emphasis on emotion. For example, missionaries are taught to do their best to generate strong emotions talking about love of Christ, and how you love your family and want to be with them forever. When a potential convert then mirrors those emotions, they are pointed out to them as the Holy Ghost telling them that the LDS church is true.

While I believe in emotion and intuition as very powerful tools of deity, I think that logic and empiric evidence should also agree.


Thanks for the answer Deseret and others!

I'll keep that in mind if I run into any missionaries. Though I don't think there's a chance for that!

And I do agree with you.

Dez
27 Dec 2010, 08:54
I admire your ability to still have a lot of love for those people. I cannot share that feeling.
I'm not bitter; because, I don't believe in the church anymore, so... So what about their beliefs.
And yet, I still feel compelled to comment. So, what does that say about me?
Anyway, I do enjoy these conversations.


That's kind of you calfhill...I do think that a part of that is a difference in training, and the culture that we were raised in, as much as anything, though. As a woman raised in a multi-generational family within the church, the message that I learned was that my value and worth in the world lay in my ability to 1) be sweet and attractive, 2) obey authority and not make waves, and 3) catch the right sort of man to insure that we as a couple progressed to higher and higher callings within the church. Oh, and have lots of babies...did I mention babies? The pressure is often a bit different, and harder to adjust to as a man, especially with priesthood responsibilities thrown into the mix.

There are some people that the above makes extremely happy. It has an element of certainty and security that is hard to match. As long as you are the right sort of person, and do your job, everything just falls into place.

I think that the problem happens when you have people who, for one reason or another, don't fit. Instead of making allowances for that, or other acceptable paths, the church tends to say that if you don't walk this one, narrow path, you're in trouble, and if the person doesn't promptly self-regulate back into the fold, then attempts to help them are often insulting at best, and often downright damaging.

I haven't had that happen, because if something comes up that I disagree with, I either smile and nod, or change the subject. Remember what I said about not rocking the boat? It seems obvious to me, though, that members have no idea how insulting or shame-inducing their tactics are. That's what the church told them to do, so, it must be right, right? In all fairness, it will probably get harder for me once my family realizes that I've started taking my kids to the UU congregation down in Idaho Falls ;) But then again, maybe not....the folks here on this forum watched me struggle back and forth for three years before I finally made peace with wanting to leave.



Does Mormon doctrine make room for strong emotion that is not generated by the Holy Spirit? The high emotion focus here leaves room for entertaining (well for me, anyway) disputes if there aren't some additional factors in play.


I can't speak for everyone, but the particular way I was raised, emotions the church wanted (peace, joy, love for your family, highly charged emotion with crying, guilt/shame for doing something wrong, a sense of obligation to help those who have strayed, etc) all equal the Holy Ghost, while emotions like anger, frustration, desire, lust, etc, are part of the "Natural Man":


For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.


But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


But remember that he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the bdevil hath all power over him. Therefore he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God; and also is the devil an enemy to God.

There is no middle ground, it's either God, or the Devil. If you are feeling something that the church does not want you to, it's the latter. One of the greatest ironies of the past few months is that there are so many things that I have been experiencing as suspiciously similar to intervention from the Norse pantheon, more similar to ancestors then to the way I experience Deity/the Ultimate Good/whatever you wish to call it. Several things that it seemed to me, personally, as though they had a hand in(and I'd said as much to my husband), we had pointed out to us by our last bishop as being decidedly, and unequivocally "from God", proof that he blessed the choices that we were making.

That was a moment of "Hmmm....".

magusjinx
27 Dec 2010, 18:35
But then again, maybe not....the folks here on this forum watched me struggle back and forth for three years before I finally made peace with wanting to leave.
Frak ... Has it been that long?

Dez
27 Dec 2010, 18:55
Frak ... Has it been that long?


Yep, my daughter had just turned one year old when I joined, and now "little squishy" is 4 1/2, and starts Kindergarten next fall.

You guys have seen me through hell and high water, that's for sure.

magusjinx
27 Dec 2010, 20:25
Not sure about Hell, but high water for sure ... ::)

Ophidia
28 Dec 2010, 05:31
Can you share some information or background on the ties between Mormonism and Masonry/Freemasonry?

Dez
28 Dec 2010, 13:28
Well, the short version is that Joseph Smith was innitiated as a Mason a few months before he had the temple ceremony revealed to him. They share a number of similarities, particularly in that participants wear unusual clothing, and go through a story line involving special words and signs.

In modern times, members are discouraged from participating in fraternal organizations, and so many members often assume that similarities are simply accusations by bible belt groups.

Dez
15 Feb 2011, 14:41
Ran into this today, thought some of you might find it interesting: Apparently, the guys behind South Park have a new Broadway Musical called The Book of Mormon (http://www.slate.com/id/2284692/).

magusjinx
15 Feb 2011, 17:52
I gotta see it ....

calfhill
15 Feb 2011, 20:54
Absolutely gotta see it. Hopefully, a film version will be done. I've no plans to go to NYC.

magusjinx
16 Feb 2011, 10:51
I agree with the New York bit .. Too expensive and crowded there ... Waiting for the DVD ...

Dumuzi
05 Mar 2011, 05:02
Since this is the ask a Mormon thread, may I ask you to say thank you to those wonderful Mormons?

http://connect2utah.com/news-story/?nxd_id=133926&shr=addthis

I think that was really awesome of them.

Dez
05 Mar 2011, 09:13
I just saw this in the other thread! Love it, and thanks so much for posting it, D. I've been dealing with a lot of examples of Mormons not entirely living up to their religion lately, and so it really warmed my heart to read that :)

Medusa
06 Mar 2011, 02:33
Since this is the ask a Mormon thread, may I ask you to say thank you to those wonderful Mormons?

http://connect2utah.com/news-story/?nxd_id=133926&shr=addthis

I think that was really awesome of them.
Everyone's heart is warmed.



Just don't read the comments.

Dez
06 Mar 2011, 14:38
Yep...expected that, too. So I didn't read the comments. I wanted to savor the cultural warm fuzzies.

Medusa
12 Mar 2011, 03:22
Omg. Mormon soaking? Explain!

Dez
12 Mar 2011, 06:47
Huh??

I had to google that to figure out what you were talking about, Medusa. LOL...wow. First I've ever heard of this. I call BS.

I can see the concept having started as a joke or a troll among Mormon kids, however someone who actually gets that far (particularly with a Mormon girl, who has had messages about keeping the men she dates "on the right track" pounded into her head from childhood) is going to have much more enjoyable options at their disposal. Not to mention if someone has enough self control to fight against an action their body is hard-wired to fulfil, they probably have enough control to not stick it in, in the first place.

You're much more likely to get college kids fessing up to dry humping, possibly oral sex. Unless you have an old bishop, who remembers leadership coming down hard on oral sex in the 80's, they tend to be kinder about those, particularly if the couple is engaged.

Medusa
13 Mar 2011, 19:10
Oh man. I was so hoping this was real!:p

Dufonce
15 May 2011, 04:12
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HSlbuli7HM&feature=player_embedded#at=74

uh... whaaa...?

thalassa
30 Aug 2011, 18:57
Des, (if you don't want to answer this its cool)...but I was randomly reading one of the exmormon.org "why I left" testimonies (http://www.exmormon.org/whylft63.htm), and read this little gem:


"Evolution: Probably 75% of the biology classes I took at BYU spent at least one hour (some took a whole week) on the topic of evolution. These discussions primarily focused on justifying why evolution should be taught at a Church institution (we've got the temple film, we don't need Darwin), and helping creationist Mormons get over their misunderstandings about the Church's position. Typically, a packet of declarations by Church leaders is passed out to the class, so everyone can see that Mormons can believe in evolution. But those pronouncements that clearly denounce evolution are conveniently left out. I think that teaching evolution is certainly the right thing to do, but editing history is not. We can excuse conflicting remarks by our prophets as just their opinion, but then how do we know that what the prophet says today about R-rated movies isn't just his opinion? I guess someday we'll know. I mean, if a prophesy never happens, or a proclamation never pans out (like Joseph Smith's declarations that the American Indians are Lamanites), then it must be just their opinion. Funny how prophetic word is only definable in retrospect."

Do you know anyone that has taken a bio class there? I mean...this guy is a MOLECULAR BIOLOGIST and his bio classes spent no more than A WEEK on evolution? WTH?!?!?! I can't say that I have EVER had a bio class that didn't talk about evolution at least periodically all semester long, and I have had three different classes that were entirely about the subject. Oh...and what movie is this that he's talking about, do you know? Do you know what this info might be that he is talking about?



Also...he makes a comment...


Anyway, my wife and I are still together--she is a Mormon and I am pretty much an atheist. It is not exactly the perfect situation for marriage and family, but now we talk about our beliefs instead of sitting silently in discomfort. I am lucky to have married a woman who learned tolerance and understanding as a child, instead of superiority and dogmatic ideals. She understands some of the problems I have with Mormonism, but she expects less of the Church and therefore does not feel the same disappointment.

Is this common? Because of the social aspect of LDS?

Dez
30 Aug 2011, 20:38
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HSlbuli7HM&feature=player_embedded#at=74

uh... whaaa...?

Wow, I completely missed this before, I'm sorry! I just saw it while reading the post by Thal.

That is fairly accurate. The way they state it is a bit stranger then worked in here and there within other theology...but yes, most of that is accurate. It needs to be said, though, that there are several ideas in that cartoon that most modern Mormons would denounce as anti-mormon lies, since they haven't been actively taught for a very long time, and aren't mentioned in current sanctioned church texts.

Adam-God theory is not the idea that Adam is the same as God the Father, as the cartoon states, but that Adam is the same as Michael (usually listed by other churches as an archangel), and that he and Jehovah were part of a group of gods, headed and directed by God the Father, which created this earth...meaning that Adam is a god in his own right. This idea has been denounced by church authorities since the 70's, however, Brigham Young stated that:

"When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken—He is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later."

"When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family".[26] Young explained that Adam "was begotten by his Father in heaven" in the same way that Adam begat his own sons and daughters, and that there were "three distinct characters, namely, Eloheim, Yahovah, and Michael"

This is from the Journal of Discourses, which is no longer used as source material for the LDS church. For more, the Wikipedia article is accurate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam%E2%80%93God_doctrine

For LDS apologetics on the subject, go here: http://fairmormon.org/Adam-God

Another now denounced idea is that those who were less stalwart in the preexistence were born with dark skin. Again, quoting Brigham Young, after hearing of a mixed-race marriage taking place between two members of the early church:

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110)

Young went on to ban Black men from holding the Priesthood in 1848. This ban was lifted in 1979.

More "goodies":

"You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind …. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the ‘servant of servants’; and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree."--Brigham Young Journal of Discourses, 7:290.

The reason that one would lose his blessings by marrying a negro is due to the restriction placed upon them. 'No person having the least particle of negro blood can hold the priesthood' (Brigham Young). It does not matter if they are one-sixth negro or one-hundred and sixth, the curse of no Priesthood is the same. If an individual who is entitled to the priesthood marries a negro, the Lord has decreed that only spirits who are not eligible for the priesthood will come to that marriage as children. To intermarry with a negro is to forfeit a 'nation of priesthood holders'....Apostle Mark E. Peterson, 1954 Convention of Teachers of Religion at the College Level at Brigham Young University

Due to the Book of Mormon's claim that the children of Nephi were "white and delightsome" while those of his brothers were dark due to their wickedness, there are also more quotes then I care to share up through the 60's and 70's in which various important people claim that the Native Americans who joined the church are paler then their families due to their faithfulness.

And again, from FAIR: http://fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_racial_issues/Brigham_Young/Race_mixing_punishable_by_death

Brigham Young also actively taught that God the Father literally slept with Mary to produce Jesus, and that Jesus had multiple wives.

Also...no one likes to talk about Joseph Smith's treasure seeking days...*ahem*

If you want a simpler version of this, I would suggest the Book of Mormon Musical:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tggtPHDmrR8

Dez
30 Aug 2011, 20:49
Des, (if you don't want to answer this its cool)...but I was randomly reading one of the exmormon.org "why I left" testimonies (http://www.exmormon.org/whylft63.htm), and read this little gem:


Do you know anyone that has taken a bio class there? I mean...this guy is a MOLECULAR BIOLOGIST and his bio classes spent no more than A WEEK on evolution? WTH?!?!?! I can't say that I have EVER had a bio class that didn't talk about evolution at least periodically all semester long, and I have had three different classes that were entirely about the subject. Oh...and what movie is this that he's talking about, do you know? Do you know what this info might be that he is talking about?

Based on my own classes at BYU, that would be accurate. There's a reason why you don't see a lot of Mormon biologists running around. Similar issues are why Mormon artists generally aren't popular outside of LDS circles: church schools require that all drawing from life be done with the model wearing at least one-piece bathing suit.

As for movie...do you mean the temple film, or what he said about R rated movies?



Also...he makes a comment...



Is this common? Because of the social aspect of LDS?

Actually, given some of the couples I've met, or dealt with on similar sites, he has been very lucky. Many LDS families break apart if one spouse realizes they don't believe, but the other is very firmly a member. It says a lot about both of them that they've been able to hold their marriage together.

thalassa
31 Aug 2011, 03:34
Ah, the temple film--for some reason I was thinking it was something they showed in class. I forgot what the point of it was, but I remember its existence now, lol!

Dez
31 Aug 2011, 08:29
Ah...yep. The temple used to have live actors acting out the drama you witnessed. In the Salt Lake City temple that's still the case, but in a shortened form. Everywhere else uses a film made back in the early 90's now.

thalassa
26 Sep 2011, 05:41
Des, have you seen this?

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/24/church-leadership-post-for-an-openly-gay-mormon/

Dez
26 Sep 2011, 08:30
Yep...I've been following it with some interest since before it was picked up by the bigger news groups.

First, I have a lot of respect for the guy...he seems to be firmly in the "The Church is true even if people within it make big mistakes" camp. While I personally don't agree with that, he is making it work for him. He is out and honest and that will force a lot of Mormons to possibly re-think their stance on gay people...or maybe not.

This seems more then a little bit of a PR stunt for the Bay Area. Notice how many people they say are attending the SF ward, vs how many are on the books. Notice that they shipped him out of his regular ward to do this (not a standard practice, usually all leadership is from within the ward boundaries). It seems to me as though someone in higher up leadership was looking for a token gay guy to say, "Look! We DO accept everyone!", and try to boost numbers in an area hit HARD by the worst of Prop 8. While he's embracing this as a chance to change things, I worry that he's a pawn. Much in the same way that the church had a group of women they trotted out as the most vocal supporters of stopping the Equal Rights Amendment, telling horror stories about how it would lead to mixed bathrooms, women being forced to work, and women in the military.

While the church is pointing to him being in a leadership position, ward secretaries have zero authority. They track records and keep track of the Bishop's appointments. That's it. He has no say in anything, and I find it interesting that they chose a position for him that is still culturally tantamount to a women's role.

What is going to happen when he wants to have another relationship? According to church policy, he can't go to church and so much as hold hands with another man without being in deep water. Sex would mean excommunication, so he is planning on being celibate for the rest of his life. Or will he try to get legally married, doing everything by the book, and push the issue?

One gay man acting as a secretary does not make up for the thousands pushed out of the LDS church, IMO. Or those driven to suicide (http://www.affirmation.org/suicides/). I worry that a lot of Mormons are going to point to this and say, "See? We treat gay people just fine! All the people who leave just aren't willing to follow the commandments", and stop thinking. If he uses the attention to try to stop the suicides, the teenagers kicked out of their homes for coming out, the people shunned by their friends and family, the large numbers of gay and bi men who endanger their lives and the lives of their spouses by getting married then having risky sex in hiding on the side, because they honestly believe being gay is a sin next to murder, then we'll have some progress.

All of that said, he is very brave for being this open about such a touchy issue. I wish I could say he would last ten minutes in Utah.

"Turn It Off" from The Book of Mormon Musical, everyone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8uAYcLYEFI

Hawkfeathers
26 Sep 2011, 20:04
My ex-husband was raised in a Mormon family. The only one who kept to the teachings was his sister. He and his brothers all had addiction issues, etc., and left the church. Anyway, I learned a good deal about it at that time, and although I disagreed with it, I respected it until the debacle occured where Mormons were posthumously converting Jews. That just crossed too many lines for my tolerance zone.

Dez
27 Sep 2011, 07:27
Ah, I remembered that your husband was former LDS, hawkfeathers! If you don't mind me asking, what sort of path is he on now? I find it interesting to see where people end up. There are a lot of atheists, but I also keep running into former members (men in particular) who worship the Norse gods or the Green Man.

If it's not too personal, were the addiction issues in question pornography related? I have some quotes that might interest people on that note.

Siloh
18 Mar 2012, 15:55
Okay, I just want to say thank you for hosting this thread, because I am earnestly fascinated by Mormons (similar to, and in part because of, Trey Parker and Matt Stone d: ). That said...

Can you explain the magic underwear? O.o

Dez
18 Mar 2012, 17:02
Okay, I just want to say thank you for hosting this thread, because I am earnestly fascinated by Mormons (similar to, and in part because of, Trey Parker and Matt Stone d: ). That said...

Can you explain the magic underwear? O.o

Hey there Siloh, and if I haven't before, welcome!

Full adult members of the LDS Church who are considered worthy are able to attend the temple. Wortheness is determined by an interview with their bishop, including questions about whether the person pays a full 10% tithing, is honest, follows the Word of Wisdom, and meets all sexual/moral guidelines.

Upon initiation to the temple ceremony, a person is given their first pair of garments(the underwear). They can only be purchased from the church, and come in a few slightly different cuts and fabrics. One is not allowed to adjust them in any way, which makes things interesting if one is particularly short, etc.

From the time I was 18 until 2010 I wore them myself, and the basic cut seems to be based on Victorian underwear(bloomer and camisol). In my great-grandparents day, though, they were like long john's, to the wrist and ankle.

Medusa
18 Mar 2012, 21:42
Hey there Siloh, and if I haven't before, welcome!

Full adult members of the LDS Church who are considered worthy are able to attend the temple. Wortheness is determined by an interview with their bishop, including questions about whether the person pays a full 10% tithing, is honest, follows the Word of Wisdom, and meets all sexual/moral guidelines.

Upon initiation to the temple ceremony, a person is given their first pair of garments(the underwear). They can only be purchased from the church, and come in a few slightly different cuts and fabrics. One is not allowed to adjust them in any way, which makes things interesting if one is particularly short, etc.

From the time I was 18 until 2010 I wore them myself, and the basic cut seems to be based on Victorian underwear(bloomer and camisol). In my great-grandparents day, though, they were like long john's, to the wrist and ankle.

Purchased for a nominal fee? Exactly how much does the church charge?

Siloh
19 Mar 2012, 06:25
That actually sounds rather charming so long as it's not too hot out. So, the magical part... Are they just a religious symbol of faith and dedication (not to mention initiation), or are they truly believed to grant invulnerability quite literally for the wearer?

Thanks for the welcome. I feel very welcome. I appreciate your patient and thorough responses. I've seriously been waiting for an LDS missionary to ask 90% of the questions addressed here.

Dez
19 Mar 2012, 20:28
Purchased for a nominal fee? Exactly how much does the church charge?

It ended up being about $6-8 per set, top and bottom, depending on fabric. That means that starving students like us back in the day usually had to save up for a week's worth for both of us, then wore them until they practically fell apart.


That actually sounds rather charming so long as it's not too hot out. So, the magical part... Are they just a religious symbol of faith and dedication (not to mention initiation), or are they truly believed to grant invulnerability quite literally for the wearer?

Thanks for the welcome. I feel very welcome. I appreciate your patient and thorough responses. I've seriously been waiting for an LDS missionary to ask 90% of the questions addressed here.

They actually were ok enough for winter...however, I'm fairly sure a man designs the women's ones. They are expected to be worn under your bra, which can lead to some interesting slipping issues. Also, trying to navigate little slits in the breasts of maternity tops after opening a nursing bra...good times.

As for your question...I suppose that would depend on who you ask, and how you go about doing it. The initiation involved promises protection, however, since one is sworn to secrecy about the contents of temple ceremonies, any discussion of the contents is usually avoided in order to not sound strange or discuss the sacred. The answer I would have given you while Mormon most likely would have been that they are a symbol of spiritual protection.

In a cultural level, Mormon communities are full of urban legends about people who were in fires, or hit by a car, and the damage only extended to the edge of their garments. You also get urban legends about people finding garments made out of leather where Native Americans used to live.

I'm very glad you feel welcome :). Please remember in my thread, too, that while I try to give a well-rounded answer, mine responses are those of a former member who is something of a history geek (including aspects of Mormon history that tend to be passed over in current official texts). Because of that, my answers might be very different from those you'd get from a faithful practicing member.

Siloh
20 Mar 2012, 05:24
I'm very glad you feel welcome :). Please remember in my thread, too, that while I try to give a well-rounded answer, mine responses are those of a former member who is something of a history geek (including aspects of Mormon history that tend to be passed over in current official texts). Because of that, my answers might be very different from those you'd get from a faithful practicing member.

That is the sort of source I'm looking to consult. I've been forbidden to invite Mormons into the house, because apparently they won't leave you alone, and my roommates are already being patient with my Jehovah Witness friends coming by to chat and drop off some texts. Besides, I'd like to ask the JWs about the rumors that the higher-ups of the church maybe used to choose children to automatic write, and this is what they had based some information on in the past for Watchtower publications. But... You know, it's not like my friendly neighborhood JWs are going to bat around the idea that their church may have endorsed occultist practices secretly in the past. Similarly, if two young men in immaculate ties riding bicycles showed up here, I wouldn't be like, "I'm so glad you're here! Tell me about your invincible underwear!"

Thanks for your well-rounded answer.

Dez
20 Mar 2012, 08:22
Hahaha....it's true, they're very hard to get rid of again, unless you make it blatantly obvious you have no plans of converting. Even then...

In all fairness, they're still kids, with an amazing amount of pressure on them to baptize people. The boys are only 19-21, while the girls are 21-22. Because of that, I try my best to be nice to them when they stop by, although for me these days, that usually consists of explaining that I'm a former member, and telling them they are welcome in my home for a cold glass of water or a meal, to use the Internet, or to use my cell phone to call their mom or girlfriend. They just can't proselytize. Secular subjects only.

Since most of those are no-no's, while kind, it actually gets them off my porch rather rapidly. It'll be interesting to see what happens if I ever find a pair who miss home badly enough to take me up on it.

Siloh
20 Mar 2012, 15:21
Hahaha....it's true, they're very hard to get rid of again, unless you make it blatantly obvious you have no plans of converting. Even then...

I'd love to welcome them in to chat, because I just love talking theology with people of true believing faith. I admire it, and I often wish I had it. But I don't. And I was rather distressed thinking of the JWs visiting, because I'll never convert; I just don't have what it takes. And through this inability, I feel that either I will lose my theology buddies or be leading them on. So though I've long hoped to open my door to some Mormon missionaries, I'd feel bad making them think I was interested in a way valuable to their objective. But they're so darn nice-looking! I just love their good will.

---------- Post added at 07:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:58 PM ----------

Also, Dez, have you seen the Trey Parker movie Orgazmo? Trey Parker (of South Park) stars as a Mormon missionary who becomes entangled in a pornographic movie so that he can get home to his fiancé. It's lewd, but in traditional Trey style, he mostly avoids casting any negative light on the Mormon faith (so far in what I've seen, The Book of Mormon is the most critical thing he's produced concerning Mormonism).

Dez
20 Mar 2012, 18:28
Also, Dez, have you seen the Trey Parker movie Orgazmo? Trey Parker (of South Park) stars as a Mormon missionary who becomes entangled in a pornographic movie so that he can get home to his fiancé. It's lewd, but in traditional Trey style, he mostly avoids casting any negative light on the Mormon faith (so far in what I've seen, The Book of Mormon is the most critical thing he's produced concerning Mormonism).

No...that's on the agenda for me eventually. Last vaguely LDS related show I watched was SLC Punk(very good, by the way, if a bit unusual).

I love the soundtrack for Book of Mormon the Musical, though. You're right; the South Park guys are actually pretty darn respectful when it comes to Mormonism. They're actually often kinder then when they handle other faiths. I think it's that they respect that even if things Mormons believe are kind of out-there, the members themselves are almost always genuine and NICE. On BoMM, they also threw in a ton of jokes that you wouldn't get unless you were a member or former member. Lots and lots of little things...it made for a lot of funny points, and quite a few that touched me and my husband, or hit a bit close to home.

Siloh
21 Mar 2012, 05:23
No...that's on the agenda for me eventually. Last vaguely LDS related show I watched was SLC Punk(very good, by the way, if a bit unusual).

SLC Punk is somehow related to Mormonism? I haven't seen it in years.


You're right; the South Park guys are actually pretty darn respectful when it comes to Mormonism. They're actually often kinder then when they handle other faiths. I think it's that they respect that even if things Mormons believe are kind of out-there, the members themselves are almost always genuine and NICE. On BoMM, they also threw in a ton of jokes that you wouldn't get unless you were a member or former member. Lots and lots of little things...it made for a lot of funny points, and quite a few that touched me and my husband, or hit a bit close to home.

That's really fantastic. Yes, relatively speaking, they are quite gentle with Mormonism. Just look at the ways they've handled Scientology and the Catholic church ("Locked in the Closet" and "How to Eat with Your Butt" respectively). Did you see the full "All About Mormons" episode (or, alternatively, the "I learned something today" portion)?

Dez
21 Mar 2012, 19:30
SLC Punk is somehow related to Mormonism? I haven't seen it in years.



That's really fantastic. Yes, relatively speaking, they are quite gentle with Mormonism. Just look at the ways they've handled Scientology and the Catholic church ("Locked in the Closet" and "How to Eat with Your Butt" respectively). Did you see the full "All About Mormons" episode (or, alternatively, the "I learned something today" portion)?

SLC Punk has some in-jokes, tied to Mormon influence. They're more the sort of thing you'd get if you were familiar with the SLC area, and I lived just North of there until I was 15 or so.

Would that be the "Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb" episode?

Siloh
22 Mar 2012, 07:27
SLC Punk has some in-jokes, tied to Mormon influence. They're more the sort of thing you'd get if you were familiar with the SLC area, and I lived just North of there until I was 15 or so.

Would that be the "Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb" episode?

Ah, okay.

Yeah, my dear boyfriend pointed out that the whole mockery of the Joseph Smith story was pretty offensive.

BUT the "I learned something today" portion is the point at which ridicule and ridiculousness are ceased and the end message is revealed, and at that point in the episode, the entire idea of Joseph Smith maybe making up the story is swept aside as insignificant in the face of what he and Mormonism can do for those who live by the Book of Mormon. I'm really sorry if my reference was disrespectful in any way.

It's hard to help asking about your views on this, because for every demographic I do not belong to that is highlighted in any of South Park's work, I always wonder how that demographic feels, particularly the ones mocked relatively gently and who are ultimately depicted respectfully (albeit by Trey and Matt's standards of respect).

But, that aside, this came up this morning in household conversation: how does the church of LDS view the marriage of a Mormon and a non-Mormon, particularly another Christian, if the couple basically stays in the parameters of Mormon tradition concerning their relationship (abstinence before marriage etc.)?

Again, I'm sorry if my reference was offensive.

anunitu
22 Mar 2012, 08:52
Since I am nether Mormon or Christian,I may be a bit out of line here,but in the matter of a Mormon marriage to a Christian,the Mormons might be upset,but I think the(any flavor) Christians might be a tad bit more upset,because they do seem to view Morons as a "Cult"(not my words) I think that was said on the political news.

MaskedOne
22 Mar 2012, 09:10
Generalizing Christian response is at best risky and at worst an exercise in insanity. Going purely off sects that people on this site have experience with, there's a significant difference between the Catholic Church, the sect (whose name escapes me) that Thal was raised with and what I've seen presented by a former Jehovah's Witness that drops in occasionally. Off-hand, I can say that the Catholics my family deals with generally don't bother bitching about cross-sect marriage and I don't see that changing just for Mormonism.

Siloh
22 Mar 2012, 09:23
Yes, I was asking specifically about how it's viewed in Mormonism simply because they seem to have more of a dedicated lifestyle going across the board--and things certainly aren't always what they seem--so I was wondering if there was a general rule of thumb response in LDS toward this behavior. The sects of Chrisianity that I have any experience with seem really highly varied in practice and observation, moreso than I would expect, based on the little I know, of the LDS.

Dez
22 Mar 2012, 09:30
Siloh, you have said nothing offensive here at all, so no worries! Questions like this are part of why I started the very first Ask a Mormon thread on this forum, and that was five years ago come June(I spent my first 3 1/2 years on here as an LDS member). I like having interesting discussions, and about 99.99% of the time, people are super-respectful. Sometimes, the best way to get a feel for a faith is asking those tough questions.

I was an older teen when that South Park episode came out, and you know what? My friends and I all laughed our asses off. Older members were shocked and horrified(still, didn't hold a candle to the fuss about Big Love when that started up). It made our teenage lives easier though, since it meant that many of the kids our age now knew *something* about the Mormon church, and no longer confused us with the Amish :P Still, there were a number of things that Trey Parker and Matt Stone mentioned that raised some of the very first questions for me about my faith--why was Joseph Smith shown looking at a stone in a hat? All teens 14 and up take an early-morning seminary class before schools starts, and that year was church history. The fact that things Trey and Matt represented as facts, not just their own take on it, didn't match up with what I was being taught was the first of a number of very important "hmm" moments for me over the past 9-10 years.

In the words of Apostle of the church Boyd K. Packer, the LDS church, while good, often takes a stance that, "Some things that are true are not very useful."

As for the marriage issue, to a degree, I would agree with annitu...a lot of American churches, in particular, strongly discourage dealings with Mormons. I have a friend who grew up Wesleyan, and her congregation put Mormons in the same camp as "witchcraft", so you can imagine the laughs we have over that one.

Mormons actively discourage marrying someone from another faith, as well, though. A big part of the issue is temple marriage: from the time you are a child, you are taught that the only "real" marriage, a marriage that will last "for time and all eternity", allowing you(if worthy) to become a god after this life, has to be performed in the temple. There is a lot, and I mean A LOT of shame attached to the individuals and extended family of someone who does not get married in the temple, even if they are later "sealed" there (same ceremony). That happened to a family member of mine(different reason then a non-member spouse), and the stigma has followed them for the rest of their lives, including, I suspect, being present on their official church record and influencing what positions they are allowed to take within the church.

Because of this pressure to marry another member, most families who can afford to send their children to a church-run college. There, the expectation is generally for girls to get married ASAP, and they often drop out to help support their spouse's education. This is why Utah has a high female-male college attendance ratio, but the lowest rate of women graduating in the nation. Girls who aren't married by the time they could serve a mission are generally pitied, and someone 25 or 26 is often treated like an old maid.

Outside of Utah, there is often less pressure then that, but Mormon youth who date a non-member are encouraged to do everything in their power to convert them. While I've seen one or two marriages that have worked (often girls who were seen by Mormon men as having passed their expiration date, discovering that they were valued outside of the culture), it's much more common for a young person to get a lot of pressure from family to try and convert their boyfriend or girlfriend, and then if that person does not convert, they they dump them. Mormon girls, in particular, are taught that the absolutely most important attributes in a spouse are that they are 1) A priesthood holder, 2) have served a mission 3) Will take them to the temple.

Siloh
22 Mar 2012, 09:46
Thanks for that, Dez. Can I share the part about you as an older teen and South Park with a couple of my close friends (all die hard Trey Parker Matt Stone fans)?

A non-Mormon girl I knew went to a Mormon college in Utah. The students can't have coffee! How do any of them graduate? :P I wonder if she found any pressure there religiously. In any case, the way I knew her was that she was "that shiksa" who was chasing my Jewish best friend's a tail. So, you know, I'm not here to judge; I've been guilty of being in a population pressuring others, no matter how self-mockingly that pressure was applied to non-Jews.

So, dare I ask what is most important in an LDS bride (besides youth)?

Dez
22 Mar 2012, 10:33
Thanks for that, Dez. Can I share the part about you as an older teen and South Park with a couple of my close friends (all die hard Trey Parker Matt Stone fans)?

Hahaha....Sure, by all means!


A non-Mormon girl I knew went to a Mormon college in Utah. The students can't have coffee! How do any of them graduate? :P I wonder if she found any pressure there religiously. In any case, the way I knew her was that she was "that shiksa" who was chasing my Jewish best friend's a tail.

Goooood question! It kinda depends on the generation ;)

The ban on alcohol is from a text called the Word of Wisdom, which was a suggestion until the Prohibition, at which point following it became required for temple attendance. When it was first presented to the church, avoiding tea and coffee was popular with a lot of churches in the area...since it specifically says no "hot drinks", though, that leaves it rather open to interpretation. Some strict members in older generations took that literally, and avoided even hot chocolate(although you would have had to pry her morning Postum out of my grandmother's cold, dead hands), while others have said that it means no caffeine, and so church schools don't serve Coke or Pepsi. A few years ago, there was a lot of pressure to avoid energy drinks....those had become the primary way the college generation was keeping up. IMO, tea and coffee are gentler on the system! Which school was she going to, by the way? Was it Brigham Young University?


So, you know, I'm not here to judge; I've been guilty of being in a population pressuring others, no matter how self-mockingly that pressure was applied to non-Jews.

So, dare I ask what is most important in an LDS bride (besides youth)?

I know the feeling...it's very different being part of an in-group vs. being on the outside. It was a real eye-opener for me to actually start to not attend in a LDS-majority town. I'd always been a bit of an oddball, but I'd never been shunned before...it gave me a lot of pause about just how invisible others can be when you are part of a majority.

As for what LDS brides are taught...I think that church materials can exemplify that far better then I ever could. Women are taught to be mothers, and often not much beyond that, unless their individual family is very progressive.

This is part one of the lesson manual for girls age 12-18: http://www.lds.org/manual/young-women-manual-1?lang=eng

I would particularly suggest one of the ones on Homemaking, Supporting The Priesthood (Priesthood being all men over the age of 12, in various capacities), or Lesson 8, "Attitudes About Our Divine Roles".

This is a talk by Julie Beck, the current president of the Relief Society (the organization for adult women), talking about what women are expected to do. It's called "Mothers Who Know": http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/10/mothers-who-know?lang=eng

That is the single best synopsis of the worldview I was raised with I can think of. My mother was very strongly for education, as a bit of an exception, and encouraged me to wait until after college to get married, but the choices I made were more in line with the culture...I'd be fine with talking about that if you're interested.

And, last but not least, generally recognized as hokey but still with a valuable message attached, I give you Johnny Lingo: http://mormonchannel.org/video/johnnylingo

I think that a culture's humor says a lot about it...last time I was at BYU, they were selling shirts that said "8 cow wife" on them.

Siloh
22 Mar 2012, 12:04
Oh... Dez... I've only read a few of the articles so far...Phew.

I'm sorry if this derails the Q&A format.

Here's a quote from Junot Diaz's novel The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao:
"I was the perfect Dominican daughter, another way of saying the perfect Dominican slave"

I used to replace the word "Dominican" with "Jewish" when I read that due to certain gendered household pressures (religiously endorsed, of course).

Reading these, though, well, it's kinda easy for me to see the draw and security of these types of values. Making my own plan is more daunting in terms of the possibility for confusion and failure than following God's plan. And, really, all of my deviant behavior comes with a real hard price. I used to be a goody-good. Things were simpler in a lot of ways. But I was also a nervous wreck of a perfectionist. Very exhausting. But, a tempting lifestyle in several ways, no doubt.


I'd always been a bit of an oddball, but I'd never been shunned before...it gave me a lot of pause about just how invisible others can be when you are part of a majority.

I was shunned once when I was thirteen. ;) It was nuts!



Which school was she going to, by the way? Was it Brigham Young University?

No idea, but I could figure it out if you're interested. Every conversation about her and that school was "WTF no caffeine?!" Me and my friends were all nocturnal gamer nerds who regarded coffee as holy.

---------- Post added at 04:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:57 PM ----------

She did to to BYU.

Dez
22 Mar 2012, 15:30
Pfft...this is fun!

Author of a q&a thread pretty much gets to make the rules. Mostly, they have a different format, and are labeled specifically as q&a, just so that people don't try to climb on them and argue or bash. Doesn't happen often, but every once in a while...

Your quote...it hits kind of close to home. I know that there are women out there who do really well with that...I look at the women in my family, though, and there are a lot of stresses trying to adapt to those expectations. Especially the one's with strong personalities. That might be overly-simplistic for me to say, though. One of my most outspoken family members for the way the church deals with women says that she's very happy, but she's been stressed to the max by having three kids in seven years, and now that the youngest is one, she's trying again! It makes me angry, because she waits on her husband and kids hand and foot, but if something happened, or he left her? She would literally have nothing.

It hasn't always been that way...the Mormon church culture has grown more and more strongly conservative over the past 100 years. There's a fantastic book about it called Women and Authority; Re-Emerging Mormon Feminism. I used to put up a link to where it was available online, but it's out of print and has been taken down. Many of the Sufferage-era female leaders in the church were outspoken feminists, and fully supported ladies like Susan B. Anthony.

It's a bit different for me, though...I was always a bit of a black sheep.

You should ask your friend about curfew, then, and whether boys were allowed to use their restroom or not ;)

Dez
25 Mar 2012, 18:40
Speaking of quotes about women, got this one in my Facebook feed via extended family, and given the recent conversation, couldn't not share:

"The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity." The Joy of Womanhood, Margaret D. Nadauld, Young Women General President, October 2000 General Conference

I appreciate the sentiment, I do not agree with the subtext or the false comparisons

MaskedOne
25 Mar 2012, 20:27
Ouch, that's a lot of traits that don't need to be in opposition to each other.

Medusa
25 Mar 2012, 23:53
Ouch, that's a lot of traits that don't need to be in opposition to each other.

Exactly. I prefer to see myself as a Tigress. Ever seen her rip an animal in half? Yet pick up her cubs in her jaws with gentle movements?

Siloh
26 Mar 2012, 05:08
I've been reading the Young Women's manual quite a lot. So far, I've learned that if I need to entertain a group of Mormon youth, shirt ironing competitions are what's really good. Also that Heavenly Father is counting on my influence over housekeeping to compel men to make the right choices. I'm currently reading the section on degrading media, which has so far taught me that I majored not in Literature and Writing, but in Satan's Greatest Tool. How nifty! I wonder if I can convince the college to change my diploma this late.

---------- Post added at 09:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:01 AM ----------

I decided I have more to add than a little humor.

My sister-in-law (she's 19) has been dating a Mormon boy on and off, kinda. They've been really good friends for a long time and had begun seeing each other around the age of 16 or 17. He gives me a lot of confusion, though. There's no way he could qualify for a mission. I don't think he really cares much for the Mormon tradition, though he does attend services and has brought my SIL with him a few times and has otherwise encouraged her to explore Mormonism, but the kid...

I guess my question here is, can you be considered a young Mormon man when you're basically perpetuating every evil the LDS have renounced as the work of Satan and wickedness? Is there a Mormon Lite that I've not encountered, or is it you're in or you're out?

Reading all of this, I can't believe they let my SIL in the house! Apparently his parents are pretty observant.

Dez
26 Mar 2012, 10:29
Ouch, that's a lot of traits that don't need to be in opposition to each other.


Exactly. I prefer to see myself as a Tigress. Ever seen her rip an animal in half? Yet pick up her cubs in her jaws with gentle movements?

I agree with both of you. A major aspect of my growth over the last couple of years has been figuring out that I CAN be tough and tender. I can know what I want, instead of looking to others to tell me what I want, or denying myself simply because I want it. It is slowly getting easier for me to state what I want it bout feeling massive amounts of shame.

I think that a lot of Mormons, especially the women, never really grow up all the way. In order to stay "sweet", they live in a sort of perpetual adolescence, where they still speak in childish terms and little soft voices. You can see it in the women who get called into leadership...just search YouTube for Julie Beck, the woman who gave the talk I linked.


I've been reading the Young Women's manual quite a lot. So far, I've learned that if I need to entertain a group of Mormon youth, shirt ironing competitions are what's really good. Also that Heavenly Father is counting on my influence over housekeeping to compel men to make the right choices. I'm currently reading the section on degrading media, which has so far taught me that I majored not in Literature and Writing, but in Satan's Greatest Tool. How nifty! I wonder if I can convince the college to change my diploma this late.

Glad you're enjoying it :) Certainly a strange trip for anyone not raised in the culture.

I remember ironing shirts. Gah! I also remember the young men in my ward having an activity where they were supposed to cook a meal for the girls, which turned into us doing all the prep work. Something that might augment the experience: if you put the title for any of the chapters into google, you will find additional suggestions women have come up with, and a plethora of chipper little handouts and activities.

Flipping through that brought back some very interesting memories...I'm pretty sure if I dug through my old mementos, I have a scrapbook sheet with pictures of me at 12 or 13 in my YW leader's wedding dress, attached to a signed promise to get married in the temple. We did it when we had the temple marriage lesson.


I decided I have more to add than a little humor.

My sister-in-law (she's 19) has been dating a Mormon boy on and off, kinda. They've been really good friends for a long time and had begun seeing each other around the age of 16 or 17. He gives me a lot of confusion, though. There's no way he could qualify for a mission. I don't think he really cares much for the Mormon tradition, though he does attend services and has brought my SIL with him a few times and has otherwise encouraged her to explore Mormonism, but the kid...

I guess my question here is, can you be considered a young Mormon man when you're basically perpetuating every evil the LDS have renounced as the work of Satan and wickedness? Is there a Mormon Lite that I've not encountered, or is it you're in or you're out?

Reading all of this, I can't believe they let my SIL in the house! Apparently his parents are pretty observant.


I am speaking in terms of generalities, since there is still a lot of variation in the LDS church, however, it sounds to me as though his family think that he is going to convert her, and so they're encouraging.

It gets...complicated...with Mormon boys that age. With some families, he'd be a lost cause at this point, but if there was that much drama(especially the "you are dead to me" kind), you probably would have heard something. The more plausible options at that point are 1) that he's very good at lying his head off, and lets his more unacceptable behavior out around your family because it's ok, or 2) that his family is the sort that is fine with him "messing around", but expects him to get his act together and become a model member here soon.

That's very cynical of me, I know. Since you guys aren't in a Mormon central area, he might become "Jack Mormon", ie, culturally Mormon, but drinks, smokes, etc. That's very looked down on, but given less shame outside of large LDS populations. He could be planning on going inactive or leaving, but still attends due to family pressure, too. The LDS church is loosing massive numbers of 18-30 year olds right now...this is the generation that grew up with the Internet, and so the stance of not talking about issues with history or theology isn't working as well as it used to.

If I knew your SIL, personally, there would be a couple of issues that I would raise. There are cultural issues that will be programmed into this kid, even if he rejects the faith as he grows up.

The first is the sense of entitlement that many Mormon young men are raised with. the assumption is generally that they need to learn how to take care of themselves for college and their mission, because other then that, there will be a woman taking care of them. She should take a good look at his parents, and see what his mother does in the home. Does she still do his laundry? Make everyone's meals? If this is why you asked about cultural expectations for women, then you are right in track. Even if he is very responsible and considerate while they're dating, he will move right into the example set by most of the men in his life unless he's actively aware that he doesn't want to do that.

The very interesting variation on that is marriages where the wife has a very strong temperament. At that point, you have couples like my husband's parents, where the wife runs everything, all while pressuring her spouse to keep him on top of his "priesthood obligations". Generalizations, which often mix and blend, but still. Even with that sort of example in my husband's home growing up, his littlest sister is often lauded as "perfect" by her friends...meaning that she waits on her sons and husband hand and foot, and takes pride in the fact that her infant daughter is never seen without a hairbow, already telling her what a great mommy she'll be. It's very troubling for her when she asks my five year old daughter what she wants to be when she grows up and the response is something like, " I want to be a painter, and play the piano and the violin, and ALL the instruments! And be a doctor! And a mommy.... *grin*". Her entire sense of self worth rests on being a good mommy, and making sure her kids grow up to "follow the gospel".

The other issue that might come into play is the potential for sexual hang-ups. If they're involved now, the fact that it's taboo could be making things work better then if they got into a more perminant relationship. In Mormon culture, girls are told that it is their responsibility to insure the chasity of the young men, including by dressing modestly. Because of this, if your SIL wears anything above her knee, or sleeveless, his family might have an attitude that he can't help their relationship because she's tempting him(poor boy...). He also has been raised in a culture that puts massive amounts of shame on men about porn and masturbation, still following Victorian era guidelines in how to avoid the latter.

Those ideas threw a lot of kinks in my marriage, some of which we're still working on. It's taken a LOT of hard work.

Siloh
30 Mar 2012, 14:49
Have you continued to practice a form of Family Home Evening?

Dez
12 Apr 2012, 23:30
Oops! Missed your question somehow Siloh...sorry about that!


If anyone ever has me go for a while without responding on here, please poke me! I will not be offended at all!

We still go out of our way to have regular family nights, but nothing as structured as FHE(prayer, hymn, lesson, activity, treat, etc.). Instead, we generally try to do activities that will inspire questions and curiosity, and roll with wherever it takes us. Make sense?

Non sequitur, but I had a rather interesting article end up in my Facebook feed today. Thought I'd share: http://davewhittle.net/2012/04/05/truth/what-mormons-really-believe-get-ready-for-the-anti-mormon-bigotry-parade

Jembru
13 Apr 2012, 16:45
You know, I actually quite like the sound of that family home evening. Despite living with a Morman for a year (shared halls at Uni), I'd never heard of it until reading it here, but it sounds sweet and I'd love to try to make a pagan/science and nature awareness version of that, should I ever have a family.

Actually, you mentioned how Mormon females never grow up. Is there also pressure for them to stay petite? The girl I mentioned, who lived in halls with me, had an eating disorder, as did her older sister. The church didn't seem to do much to support her with this (not blaming the religion, just this particular church seemed to brush off her issues). I would never have suspected her faith was the cause of her disorder, but after reading your comment, I couldn't help but wonder if there was a link.

Dez
13 Apr 2012, 17:39
Interesting question, Jembru, and I like the idea of a similar pagan concept!

I have no statistics one way or the other on Mormon women and ED. However, I dealt with bulimia between the ages of 13 and 23...there were a number of old posts tied to that before the forum crash. There most certainly were issues and examples from both my parents that came into play. There is also a very strong sense of competition among women in their 20's for "worthy" male members, especially at church run schools. The ideal is very thin, and since leaving I've run into several men who did not find it attractive, but felt obligated to marry someone who fit that look.

For a while after the birth of my daughter (21) I attended group therapy while still a student at BYU, however it went nowhere, and my issues with depression and anxiety went unaddressed. I reached out several times for help while a student, with rather horrible results up each time.

Jembru
13 Apr 2012, 18:32
Thanks for being so open about your experiences. It seems that at least you, had a similar experience to my roommate, but that is not to say it IS the church's fault. I wasn't aware that there was so much pressure on young Mormon ladies to marry (I assume the men feel the same?). Sorry if you have already answered this, I've been following the thread but may have skipped sections, but is it expected that a woman would stay at home while the man would work? If so, as modern Western economies favour the 'two working adult' household, do Morman families often struggle financially?

I ask because I have a friend who came to England from a culture where a woman expects to stay at home and be 'kept', so is reluctant to work (she is married to a Brit, but unless she gets citizenship, she could face being deported if she doesn't work within 2 years of arriving here). I am seeing through her eyes, how difficult this way of life can be in the West, and wondered if Mormon families had similar issues.

Dez
14 Apr 2012, 09:34
I'd say that's accurate, Jembru, and thank you for the kind words. In that case, there are similar blind spots in Caucasian middle-class culture wherever you go in America. The way authority is handled in Mormon culture can make it a little more complicated, though, as it means that your religious leaders you are expected to go to for help have zero training.

I also noticed Mormon gender dynamics in place the times I attempted to seek counseling through the school via a program that utilized psych undergrads. The first time was shortly after I got married. I was dealing with my first round of anxiety and panic attacks due to a sexual assault by a date shortly before I met and married my husband. The male undergrad I saw clearly had his own issues with women he had not dealt with...I quit after he took one phrase I'd used to begin to repeatedly try to "discuss" the idea that I had actually been enjoying control in the relationship...with a young man who had held me down and threatened me.

Speaking in vast generalities, based on having attended a church school(it's not quite as firce "in the world"): Mormon men work to make themselves attractive. They need to have (or at least project) the right look, future job, hobbies, level of church activity including "desirable" callings, and having served a mission. There is generally an undertone that by doing all of that, by the time they leave their mission, they will have earned a wife, who will be more attractive the more people they have baptized, the more valliant they have been, etc.

On the female side, there is a high expectation to look attractive, feminine, and sweet. Yes, the expectation is for the woman to stay home, which, combined with pressure to not wait to have children and discouraging long engagements (temptation), means that while Utah has a high rate of woman attending college, it also has the highest female drop-out rate in the nation. When I was that age, it felt like a very narrow window: Mormon men who have returned from a mission are looking to marry, and if you are not headed in the same direction, you will get dumped. That means that it is covert, rather then stated outright, but competition is high for men who look as though they are on the road to both religious success(already in a bishopric, etc), and financial success(pre-med, etc, so that there is not a life of financial hardship ahead of you for marrying so young). Many women are shocked when they discover that a man who had all the right "trappings" turns out to be abusive down the road, possibly part of why the divorce rate in Mormon communities is about the same as elsewhere, even though it comes with intense social stigma.

An excellent example of the Mormon stance on woman staying at home would be the current political fuss here because someone said that Ann Romney (presidential candidate Mitt Romney's spouse), wasn't qualified to have his ear on the needs of women, because she has never had to work. Now, there's a strong backlash, complete with bumperstickers (https://www.mittromney.com/donate/moms-economy).

thalassa
14 Apr 2012, 10:13
An excellent example of the Mormon stance on woman staying at home would be the current political fuss here because someone said that Ann Romney (presidential candidate Mitt Romney's spouse), wasn't qualified to have his ear on the needs of women, because she has never had to work. Now, there's a strong backlash, complete with bumperstickers (https://www.mittromney.com/donate/moms-economy).

/off topic, but...since you brought it up, lol...

And I think that's unfortunate...because I think the criticism had value, once you looked at the nuances between Ann Romney as a SAHM, or you and I...

Its a helluva lot easier to parent when you are assured food on the table and a roof over your head without stressing over how its being paid for, whether one stays at home or not.

Dez
14 Apr 2012, 12:32
Heh...hopped on Facebook yet today, Thal? I bet you can figure out the demographic of the ladies who jumped on me over this.

thalassa
14 Apr 2012, 14:14
Heh...hopped on Facebook yet today, Thal? I bet you can figure out the demographic of the ladies who jumped on me over this.

I'm sure I can, lol...

GaiaDianne
23 Apr 2012, 14:05
Hi Everyone --

Just to offer another perspective -- I "converted" to the LDS (Mormon) religion while a freshman at BYU, really threw myself into it and was very devout for many years. I was married in the Temple, a writer for Church magazines and organizer-speaker at various functions, a research assistant to several BYU Religion profs and even got into the LDS Historian's Archives. I'd also be very happy to answer any questions anyone might have on LDS theology, doctrine, principles, practices and policies.

Blessed Be - GaiaDianne

Dez
23 Apr 2012, 14:14
Welcome to the forum!

Any and all comments you want to throw around are very much welcome :). Impressive that you had access to the archives...were you a history major? If you don't mind me asking, what took you to BYU if you weren't Mormon, and what was your path away again?

GaiaDianne
23 Apr 2012, 14:37
Welcome to the forum!

Any and all comments you want to throw around are very much welcome :). Impressive that you had access to the archives...were you a history major? If you don't mind me asking, what took you to BYU if you weren't Mormon, and what was your path away again?


GAIADIANNE:

I'm now a Wiccan High Priestess.

I went to BYU originally as a non-LDS because i honestly felt "led" there, and certainly learned a lot of Lessons -- Only a few of which Mormons would have intended :p ;) No, i wasn't a history major, i just was fascinated with LDS theology and history.

Dez
23 Apr 2012, 20:39
Very interesting!

Hope you stick around...I'm not sure how much of the OP you read (This is actually the third Ask a Mormon thread we've had, if I remember right), but I was born and raised in the LDS Church, also attended BYU, and was a member of the board for several years before being "found" by Frey and Gerd.

What ever you wish to add to this corner of the forum is more then welcome, and I hope to see you around!

Dez
24 Apr 2012, 13:20
Had someone put this in my Facebook feed today. Irreverent, but so am I. Thought I'd share since this often comes up on here. Mormon flowchart for what happens to your soul: http://mollymuses.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/mormonflowchart3.png

Siloh
06 May 2012, 16:22
I love all the "Are you a man?" lines. I'm still reading through the Young Women's manual. :D

thalassa
04 Jun 2012, 12:24
Just saw this today... (http://www.believeoutloud.com/news/300-mormons-march-salt-lake-city-gay-pride-parade)

thalassa
05 Jun 2012, 07:51
And I found another interesting Mormon thing in my blog feed, on the Heavenly Mother (http://feminismandreligion.com/2012/06/05/mormonisms-heavenly-mother-why-i-stand-by-her-by-caroline-kline/)

Dez
05 Jun 2012, 10:07
Just saw this today... (http://www.believeoutloud.com/news/300-mormons-march-salt-lake-city-gay-pride-parade)

I've been seeing this in my feed...and I have mixed feelings.

I love the idea. I love that they did that. I hope that none of them get in trouble, or have bishops trying to accuse them of being gay, now. Here's another article, if you're interested: http://mcwilleyfactor.com/2012/06/04/marching-with-mormons-at-the-2012-salt-lake-city-pride-festival/

I want to see more things like the gay pride parade happen. I don't want it to become a token thing...it was a couple hundred people out of around 2.4 million Mormons in Utah. I don't want to see people using it, saying, "see, the church likes gay people", having it become something like the "I don't hate gays, I have a gay friend!" argument that politicians toss around.

I think part of why I just can't get as excited about this as I would have once is that it's airing right at the same time a story is starting to hit the news about a gay couple in Gilbert Az, who are being bullied right out of their home by their neighbors. (http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/06/04/gay-parents/) Gilbert is another majority LDS town, so much so that they have issues with people calling the bishop or stake president instead of reporting gang violence to the police. (http://www.mormonstoday.com/001027/D2GilbertGang01.shtml) I've only seen that first link point out that Gilbert is majority Mormon. I think a lot of other sources are worried about being accused of being anti-Mormon. I don't know, though. If I were to say that none of my relatives would have gone and marched in that parade, I'd be accused of being anti-Mormon.





And I found another interesting Mormon thing in my blog feed, on the Heavenly Mother (http://feminismandreligion.com/2012/06/05/mormonisms-heavenly-mother-why-i-stand-by-her-by-caroline-kline/)

I've seen writings by Caroline Kline on the blog Feminst Mormon Housewives before. I have a lot of respect for the slow change she is trying to encourage, even though I find it frustraiting. It's also uncomfortable reading for me, as it hits directly on one of the major "ah-hah's" that led to me finally letting go.

The Mormon Heavenly Mother is silent. Those who have claimed to receive promptings from here have been either pushed back into silence or excommunicated, as that would break the male chain of authority. Mormon women who hold onto her treat her as a divine mystery, and often as proof that their sacred role pathway to divinity is to be completely in the background. It would be wrong and unlike her to desire to lead or speak up in any way. My MIL describes her as the silence that fills edges...an idea totally at odds with the personalities of most of the women I know, Mormon or otherwise. A disturbing idea if that is the only available model of perfect, desirable, femininity, not one of many.

I ultimately disagree with her professor's assessment of the root of the problem being Heavenly Mother as a mother. With all due respect, he has never stood in the final stages of temple ceremony with his face covered. He has not been told that not speaking about Heavenly Mother, not knowing her name(or names) is a safety measure Heavenly Father put in place to "protect her"(if she is his equal, why would she need protecting?). That his ultimate goal In this life is to be quiet, faithful without question, and industrious, so that in the next life he can keep (or be given to) a faithful spouse, and bear his children for eternity, quietly and faithfully, the sacred silence around the edges of God's music.

Siloh
29 Jun 2012, 07:11
Hey Dez.

So I've been attempting to improve my Hebrew reading and writing recently (!בוקר טוב, דז) and have been coming across random Mormon stuff. Among them, an evangelist Christian blogger who's been doing a series on the LDS. So, yeah, sources. But he sparked a debate with one post that I'm curious about, and you're the lady I trust on the subject.

1) WTH is with "reformed Egyptian"? Apparently the plates were written in it instead of Greek or Hebrew? Because Hebrew takes up too much space (which might be a fair argument, since Hebrew uses letters not symbols)

2) Joseph Smith was a treasure hunter? I thought he was like, the world's most pious teenager?

3) Joseph Smith died by gunfire?

Sorry for all these. They're probably pretty run-of-the-mill don't-believe-LDS questions, but I've really only read the LDS material for information about the LDS. And this thread.


Hope you're having a blessed Friday.

Dez
29 Jun 2012, 23:52
Hey Siloh!

Actually, those are some great questions...I don't think we've ever covered any of those on this thread or it's predecessors!

Reformed Egyptian: Hmm...there are very few examples of what Joseph Smith actually meant by that, as no one other then him actually saw the plates(big disclaimer--Mormons disagree with that statement, pointing to the witnesses who signed the beginning of the Book of Mormon, however, original texts indicate that those men saw them "with their spiritual eyes", a rather common distinction in early LDS Church history). Here (http://ldsdoctrine.blogspot.com/2008/05/archeological-evidence-for-reformed.html) is one very sincere Mormon apologists take on the issue, if you're interested. The comments are worth reading. Here's (http://www.cometozarahemla.org/egyptian/reformedegyptian.html) another, including the examples Joseph Smith wrote down and showed to others. The argument is that the Book of Mormon was written in a text that was neither Hebrew or Egyptian(too early for Greek: supposedly Nephi begins some 50 years pre-Babylonian Diaspora), but based on Egyptian language. The specific reference to Reformed Egyptian only occurs once. At the very end of the Book of Mormon (Mormon 9:32) where Mormon, getting old and preparing to die talks about how if the plates had been large enough, he would have written the text, a compilation of his people's history, in Hebrew, but it took up too much space.


It's late, so I'll need to cover the other two tomorrow.

thalassa
02 Jul 2012, 14:27
Dez, did you see this (http://news.terra.com/mormons-quit-church-in-mass-resignation-ceremony,4b4fbffb61048310VgnVCM20000099cceb0aRCRD. html) yet?

Dez
11 Jul 2012, 13:56
Ok, things have been crazy, and I've tried to respond to this twice only to have my response eaten :p

First, to finish up with Siloh's questions:

You are never going to find info about Joseph Smith treasure hunting in LDS Church sources. The closest you get is him mentioning some youthful indiscretions in the account of the First Vision that is in the triple combination with the Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants. Anything else is considered the work of evil men trying to stop the sacred work of the church. There are arrest-records, however, from 1826 and 1830 for Joseph Smith. Those include allegations of treasure hunting, disorderly conduct, and glass-looking.

What another former Mormon has to say about the evidence: http://mormonscripturestudies.com/ch/dv/1826.asp

What FAIR, a Mormon apologetic organization says: http://www.fairlds.org/fair-conferences/2006-fair-conference/2006-legal-trials-of-the-prophet-joseph-smiths-life-in-court

Joseph Smith was later imprisoned with other church leaders for treason against the United states. Once in Liberty Missouri, and a second time in Carthage Illinois. This second time, a mob of some 200 local men stormed the jail. Weapons had been smuggled in to the held men by sympathizers, and so the whole thing turned into a gun fight. As Smith moved to fire out the window, he was shot once from the front, and twice from the back, pushing him out the window. He and his brother Hyrum, who also died in the altercation, are considered Martyrs.

Thal, I had seen that!

It actually led to a lot of thought by L. We celebrated our Independence Day this year by putting in the formal paperwork required to get our names and those of our children formally removed from church records.

novalayne
16 Jul 2012, 19:13
So I've been reading your question threads for 2 or 3 years now (maybe even longer?) and I'm planning to go to the open house for the temple opening in my city this fall. What should I wear to it? It says "Modest dress is requested", but I feel like their idea of modest of dress might be more conservative than mine. Also would it be really weird if I, a 16 year old girl, went by myself? None of my family members/friends would want to go cause they don't see a point. (it also might be worth noting most people think i'm in college, so I might not be questioned as much).

And then for a question about Mormonism itself, how is rape viewed within the church? Like how are men that commit rape treated/disciplined and how are women that have been raped treated (in particular those that were virgins or were raped by their husbands)

Siloh
17 Aug 2012, 11:30
Hey Dez, thanks for those sources on those mysterious assertions about Joe Smith. The reformed Egyptian thing is still kind of messing with my head, but, you know, golden plates, Jesus in America... Sometimes I feel like I'm stopping a Sleeping Beauty recitation to ask how the castle didn't crack their heads open while falling asleep while ignoring the whole magic bit. :D No offense meant there. It's the same deal with the questions I often have about Judaism; I'm poking into the logistics of miracles in ways they weren't necessarily meant to answer to.

Waiting with baited breath for your response to your fan below. You should go big league blog with this stuff!

Siloh
21 Aug 2012, 20:52
http://http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CEkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Farts%2Fcritic s%2Fatlarge%2F2012%2F08%2F13%2F120813crat_atlarge_ gopnik&ei=vGI0UN_oOIbs9ASkpICoDw&usg=AFQjCNG-CCOlukao3LLdc51owWrILJbwnQ&sig2=-dIBHg8Apw6aqzvU4ueM7w

...Could not figure out embedded linking. This is a New Yorker article from a couple of weeks ago entitled "I, Nephi." It sort of goes through the history of Mormonism and relates its history and culture as a purely American religion and how that has become topical, I guess you could say, increasingly in recent history. Frankly, as a New Yorker addict, I think this was one of the more unfocused essays I've read. His thesis seemed to sprawl. But I thought I'd link it.

Dez
23 Aug 2012, 11:01
So I've been reading your question threads for 2 or 3 years now (maybe even longer?) and I'm planning to go to the open house for the temple opening in my city this fall. What should I wear to it? It says "Modest dress is requested", but I feel like their idea of modest of dress might be more conservative than mine. Also would it be really weird if I, a 16 year old girl, went by myself? None of my family members/friends would want to go cause they don't see a point. (it also might be worth noting most people think i'm in college, so I might not be questioned as much).

And then for a question about Mormonism itself, how is rape viewed within the church? Like how are men that commit rape treated/disciplined and how are women that have been raped treated (in particular those that were virgins or were raped by their husbands)

Wow...you've really been reading it for this long? I'm slightly speechless, and flattered.

Mormon conservative attire for women is this: A top that isn't body-conforming or sheer, does not show cleavage, and covers the shoulders. It should not pull up high enough to expose your middle, either. A skirt for something like this, at your knee or below, with no slit going higher. This is why many Mormon women just wear jumpers and the like. Lately they've also been trying to go back to panty-hose, with quite a bit of polite backlash. Just wear nice shoes or sandals, no flip-flops, and you should be fine. They'll have you wear little shoe-covers, most likely.

I'm sorry it took me so long to answer your other question, but I had to think about it for a bit.

You see...I was sexually assaulted by a date when I was was a new college freshman.

I can tell you what the official stance is, how rape is considered a horrible crime, etc, etc, and then I could tell you what I, personally have experienced. I wrote about it recently, and decided this morning to upload that bit to my personal blog as my response to your question: http://heavenlymundaneum.blogspot.com/2012/08/someone-to-hold-her.html

You might also find these links helpful:

http://www.askgramps.org/how-does-mormon-church-view-victims-rape-incest-and-sexual/

http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_2935199

http://www.lds4u.com/lesson4/chastity.htm

The only place where the term "rape" is used in the church handbook of instructions (the special book that teaches lay ministry how to do their job as bishop, etc) is in the segment on abortion, where it says that abortion is only acceptable in cases of rape, incest, or because the life of the mother is in danger. http://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/content/english/pdf/language-materials/08702_eng.pdf?lang=eng


Hey Dez, thanks for those sources on those mysterious assertions about Joe Smith. The reformed Egyptian thing is still kind of messing with my head, but, you know, golden plates, Jesus in America... Sometimes I feel like I'm stopping a Sleeping Beauty recitation to ask how the castle didn't crack their heads open while falling asleep while ignoring the whole magic bit. :D No offense meant there. It's the same deal with the questions I often have about Judaism; I'm poking into the logistics of miracles in ways they weren't necessarily meant to answer to.

Waiting with baited breath for your response to your fan below. You should go big league blog with this stuff!

Heh, thanks :) There's actually a lot out there, if you know where to look. I am outspoken on here, but something bigger would potentially hurt my family, as L and my families are still firmly LDS, and would also end up with a lot of people claiming that I'm "anti-mormon". It's not worth the stress and drama, and hurt bystanders. I'm glad that I can answer you guys, though :)

I also find what you said above rather interesting. I wonder whether that's part of why there's a huge split I've seen. There are a small handful of ex-mormons who get in a big fight with a bishop or something, and become Baptist, or Jewish, or Seventh-Day Adventist. Most, though, become pagan, or agnostic, or athiest. It's hard to take any of it seriously after being forced to examine such fundamentals. Treating the Bible as a literal historic document, in particular...it's almost impossible without a lot of mental gymnasics.

Reminds me of an analogy L used the other day: know that moment when the balloon pops, and you know it will never be a balloon again. A lot of the Liberal Mormons I know seem to have a "very useful pot" a la Winnie the Pooh. They know the balloon is popped, but they keep pulling it out and looking at it, then putting it away again. I just couldn't do that. It was mentally and emotionally exhausting.




http://http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CEkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newyorker.com%2Farts%2Fcritic s%2Fatlarge%2F2012%2F08%2F13%2F120813crat_atlarge_ gopnik&ei=vGI0UN_oOIbs9ASkpICoDw&usg=AFQjCNG-CCOlukao3LLdc51owWrILJbwnQ&sig2=-dIBHg8Apw6aqzvU4ueM7w

...Could not figure out embedded linking. This is a New Yorker article from a couple of weeks ago entitled "I, Nephi." It sort of goes through the history of Mormonism and relates its history and culture as a purely American religion and how that has become topical, I guess you could say, increasingly in recent history. Frankly, as a New Yorker addict, I think this was one of the more unfocused essays I've read. His thesis seemed to sprawl. But I thought I'd link it.

I need to look into embedding again, too. I left long enough this spring and summer that I forgot all my coding for this site :p

Would you try to cut and paste again, please? That is a bad link... ah, I remember: [url=whatever the url is] what you want to say [/ url]

Just get rid of my spaces.

Dez
23 Aug 2012, 19:32
Had this show up on my FB feed:

Why Mitt Romney does not live his religion . (http://truth-out.org/news/item/10481-mitt-romney-gold-medal-in-dishonesty)

thalassa
24 Aug 2012, 14:33
An interesting blog post I ran across (http://allergicpagan.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/a-mormon-therapist-takes-on-masturbation/)

Dez
25 Aug 2012, 20:56
Wow....Thanks Thal. If you didn't take a look at the comments on the original post he was linking, I'd strongly suggest it.

Pallas
14 Dec 2012, 20:10
I apologize if this has been asked before!

My fiance worked for a Mormon man in one company and now has moved to another company owned by the other man's cousin. He's a very devout Mormon (refusing to work on Sunday and everything) and we associate with them a lot. The other man that works in the company is very Atheist but this guy's friend. But he often likes to point out flaws in the Mormon faith (behind his back.)

So I was wondering the Mormon answer to this: I know that the Mormon faith is opposed to tea and coffee, stimulants pretty much. But I see many Mormons drinking soda and other caffeinated things like crazy and say "They didn't say soda, so it's okay to drink." Do all Mormons take that in the literal sense, or was it intended to ban all things that are like coffee and tea?

Dez
06 May 2013, 15:57
Hey Pallas,

I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to respond to this! Please forgive me--I've been needing to deal with some rather serious personal issues during the past year, and so my presence on the board has been spotty. I saw this back before some recent medical issues, but had the forum delete my response.

Here's the deal on that aspect of the Word of Wisdom (http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/89?lang=eng): back in the 1830's-40's, it was very trendy in certain religious circles to shun tea and coffee. Originally it was simply seen as advice(notice verse two, where it says "not by command or constraint"), and most people were rather casual with it. It was Prohibition that changed that. During that period of time, in support of the cultural shift it became a requirement for a temple recommend to follow it. Most Mormons are still rather casual about other parts of that section(like eating meat only "in winter or in time of fasting"). Since soda drinks didn't exist yet when it was written, it's considered a loophole, and I could find half a dozen quotes by General Authoritites of the church pointing one direction or the other.

Within individual families, it can vary. My family didn't drink caffeinated soda, and you can find non-caffeinated versions of many brands( like Braggs root beer) in Utah that are unusual elsewhere. Other families will use it like "medicine", only consuming it when they have a headache, while others consider it free game. Others have a very strict interpretation don't consume anything with caffeine, even chocolate. One of the more amusing results of this cultural oddity is that while BYU doesn't serve caffeine anywhere on campus, the student consumption of energy drinks often neared medically hazardous while I was a student.

Sondst
16 Nov 2013, 05:45
Ah nice to see I was not alone in my up bringing haha. I to can answer questions lol. My father was a bishop. My mom could not perform any church duties do to same sex attraction but she practices Mormonism and is still married to my father. My brother and his wife practice.

Then there is me the tattooed, pierced mother with a child out of wedlock raising her child pagan and teaching her about witch craft lol.

Johnkat
29 Dec 2013, 22:46
Okay, say someone (me) joined the church, but ended up, later on, wanting to leave. Is that possible?

thalassa
31 Dec 2013, 04:03
Okay, say someone (me) joined the church, but ended up, later on, wanting to leave. Is that possible?

Yes. Des would be able to tell you more, but as a friend of hers, she's left the church formally. This site gives some information on that process.

(http://www.mormonnomore.com/)

Sondst
02 Feb 2014, 15:23
Okay, say someone (me) joined the church, but ended up, later on, wanting to leave. Is that possible?

You can just stop attending. Though people may nag you every now again, a lot at the beginning. Or you can formally request for you name to be taken off their records. Personally I have not done this process yet. Because I left as a youth I do not get harassed by the church whatsoever. It seems the older you are and have callings ect the more likely you are to be annoyed about when your coming to church next ect. The striking process can be a short one or a long one depending on who you deal with. But from many I have seen its been a fight for them to remove. They don't like seeing their flock leave regardless of reasons.

Your first step is to talk with your bishop.

Dez
02 Feb 2014, 19:48
Actually, you are under no obligation to speak with a bishop unless you wish to. The steps from an LDS perspective can often be rather different from what is legally required.

Johnkat, if you'd like some more links, or more information about my resignation letter, I'd be happy to help in any way possible.

Gleb
20 Apr 2014, 22:30
I know that my question may seem a little bit stupid, but really I haven't found any answer before to it.
What is the Mormon religion all about? I only know that this religion is somehow connected with Christianity, that's all.

Amunet
20 Apr 2014, 23:19
I wasn't a very good Mormon growing up ... I created my own ideas apparently o.O

Lol but I was raised Mormon. The basic principal that I think differentiates is the main God type ... person. It is Abrahamic (like all Christian, Judaism and Islamic) but Mormon's believe that God (Also called Heavenly Father), Jesus and the Holy Spirit (or also called Holy Ghost) are SEPARATE entities and that Jesus is the son of God, not the form of God on earth.
There are also MUCH more deep things that I even had no idea about. I very much believe that Mormon or the LDS religion has become so populated that there are still different thoughts on the very basic beliefs.
Such as Hell. My mother just learned last month that Mormons aren't suppose to believe in Hell.

Also, for the afterlife ... well ... Mormons believe in an afterlife. They are taught (in what I call, advanced Mormon class) that there are 3 tiers of Heaven. Each tier has it's own name, but I completely forgot. But the lowest Tier is watched over by the Holy Ghost, 2nd is watched by Jesus and the top tier is watched by God. Which tier depends on sins and conversion and all that fun jazz. If you're in a higher tier, you can visit your family in the lower tiers, but they can't visit you in the higher tier.
The belief BEFORE being born is that we were pre-existing souls with personality all formed before being born. There are some that believe our families were already families before being born and some believe that we chose our parents prior to being born (but didn't know them before apparently o.O).

Church is also 3 hours long; Sacrament (pretty much like mass), then split into class by age, then split into classes by gender (this is for tweens thru adults). For younger children it is Sacrament, Primary (mini mass for little kids), classes of about 7-10 children. Each class/mass is an hour long.

Mormons do not have an elected or paid official for the 'branches' of church. I don't know too much about high clergy but I do know that every Elder in the highest branches of the church (or heads of the whole church ... like a pope) is considered a prophet.
As for the 'branches' of the local church (called Wards, dependent of where you live), the Bishop and the Bishop Rick (no idea if that's how it's spelt, but that's how it's said) are volunteers and are appointed position by prayer of someone from the Bishop Rick (like a comitee) or the previous Bishop.

Tithing is also involved. 10% of each paycheck or income you get.

Only men hold Bishop and places of power within the church. Women are more ... well ... homely and children oriented.

Also, as for beliefs, apparently God resides on a planet somewhere in a specific place in a galaxy o.O But yeah, I had no idea about that until my husband converted and took 'advanced Mormon class' as I call it XD

Sorry to ramble! If there are any other questions, I'll try my best to answer :)
If anyone else could get in here and help with the proper terms, that would be most helpful too! :)

P.S. I never took Advanced Mormon Class