Thursday, December 13, 2007

Recommended Reading (free videos to view at the bottom)

Stocking Stuffers

Since Mormonism is all the “rave” today, at least in the blogosphere, I will recommend a few books that will assist the researcher to better understand what Mormonism is all about. If one were to read these five books listed, you would have quite a grasp on Mormon history, theology, as well as a reasoned theological and philosophical response to it. Click on the books for the link.

Mormonism 101: Examining the Religion of the Latter-day Saints

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One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church

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Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism (this book is a sequel to the historical survey above and deals more with what modern Mormonism teaches)

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The Mormon Concept of God: A Philosophical Analysis (Studies in American Religion Series) – Library Edition

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The New Mormon Challenge: Responding to the Latest Defenses of a Fast-Growing Movement

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Free Videos!!

(Click on the images below to start watching the videos)

The Bible vs. the Book of Mormon

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DNA vs. the Book of Mormon

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Lifting the Veil of Polygamy

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UPDATE: 12-16-07, in response to comment section:

Starting to Learn,

All you need to do is open up your “quad” and the Bible that is in that conglomeration of adding and taking away authority from it is what I accept.

This "Continuing Revelation" is key to Mormon theology. Scripture can be changed. For instance, in the 1835 edition of Doctrines and Covenants we find this in Section 101:4:

4. All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband, neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband. All children are bound by law to obey their parents; and to influence them to embrace any religous faith, or be baptized, or leave their parents without their consent, is unlawful and unjust. We believe that all person who exercise control over their fellow.

Polygamy was practiced from 1832 to after 1890 while the 1835 D&C 101:4 (which was Scripture until 1876), originally condemned the practice of polygamy. The Book of Mormon likewise condemned it:

Mosiah 11:2

For behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. And he did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord. Yea, and they did commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness.

Jacob 1:15

And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son.

Jacob 2:24

Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

Jacob 3:5

Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.

Now, this "Continuing Revelation" is one aspect (of quite a few) of what makes Mormonism a theological cult (not a harmful cult that interprets scripture that end up killing people, like Jehovah's Witnesses), but the mere fact that whomever is in control can change the Scriptures to suit there needs, and all the previous “editions” of “revelation” are now obsolete. For instance, from the 1833 edition to the 1835 edition of Doctrines and Covenants there were 65,000 changes. But I am only dealing with one aspect of those changes here, polygamy. IN later editions of Doctrines and Covenants we find this, and the previous section I quoted was removed:

Doctrine and Covenants Section 132:1

1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—

Section 132:37-39

37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.

38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.

39 David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.

Section 132:61

61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

This weighs heavily on me in regards to a politician who is “wishy washy” already in what they typically promise and bring to fruition. Except in Mitt’s case, he has a theological premise to change, cover-up religious truths because he feels only those who have been sealed in the Temple are worthy to know the real meanings behind LDS theology, etc.

I am sure others reading here who were not aware that changes to “Holy Scripture” could be made so easily is somewhat eye raising, to say the least And the 150-year long history of half-truths to what Mormons believe should likewise concern those who take religious convictions mixed with political serious as well.

Cult break-offs of the Mormon Church happen because as the Main church changes their “revelations,” others stick to the belief being X-ed out or “white-washed.” Take the "Black Issue" and the changing of Mormon Scripture to cover up the fact that Mormonism taught racist ideology.