Date: December 23, 2013 09:56PM
I've put this up before but will do so again for illustrative purposes. I'm not religious, knew the church was made up but was going to get married to a Mormon and pretended to go along with it. Well, the marriage didn't happen but they were still trying to get me to join the church. The sisters I spoke with didn't have a clue about what I could easily find out about Mormonism on the World Wide Web:http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,280759,280821#msg-280821
...When I asked them about people becoming gods or the 1890's style magic Mormon bloomers there was total silence--and they they claimed not to know anything about Joseph Smith having multiple wives or sex with under age girls either...
Dear (Sisters "A" and "B"):
Thanks for at least trying to answer some of my questions. I am a bit disappointed that you weren't able to answer all of them. My mistake was in thinking that the LDS / Mormon church was just another church --- it isn't. Mormonism is a complete way of life--much more akin to Islam (not in theology, but in scope) than a standard basic Christian denomination ( like Baptists, Methodists, etc) . Try to look at this from my point of view. You move to a new place, don't know anyone, and a friend suggests going to church to meet new people. You have heard of the Mormon church but you don't really know much about it in detail so you decide to look it up. What you find is a lot of very strange things so you go straight to the horse's mouth to find out what the straight story is. That's how I wound up contacting you.
I think you are going to have a difficult time trying to get people to join your church. It didn't take me but two or three weeks to find out about the history of Mormonism, how the LDS church got started, inconsistencies between the LDS official story of Joseph Smith's life and the actual historical evidence, strange and different theology, legacy of racism, peculiar practices and so on. When I tried to ask you about these things, you seemed shocked that I would ask about them or didn't seem to know what I was talking about. Here's a sample:
** Misspellings, bad grammar and plagiarism (i.e. whole passages copied from the Bible) in the Book of Mormon
** Smith's neighbours in New York gave evidence that he was con artist and he was actually prosecuted for fraud and disorderly conduct
** A close friend of Joseph Smith named Peter Ingersoll said that Smith told him that he found some white sand in a creek bed after a rainstorm while walking home and wrapped in up in his work shirt. When his family asked him to see it, he jokingly told him in a grave manner that it was the "ancient gold bible from Canada" and all who tried to see it would fall dead
** The few people who actually dared to look in the box that supposedly contained the ancient gold plates reported seeing nothing but bricks or sand
** Smith "translated" the plates by remote viewing -- he put his head in a hat with magic seer stones (commonly used for divination like birch rods) and dictated the text
** Smith used polygamy as a ruse to satisfy his sexual desires and was almost castrated by a lynch mob
** Mormons are not Christians (as they claim to be) nor are they monotheistic. The Mormon pantheon acknowledges many past, present, and future Gods, and one of the basic tenets of the faith says that humans can become gods themselves ("As Man is, God once was. As God is, Man may become..." )
** Mormon temple rituals, robes, and undergarments are no longer secret and details are easily obtainable online.
** According to Mormon theology, when humans were spirits in heaven they fought over whether or not human beings would have free will. One third were in favour, one third were against, and one third were neutral. Those that were in favour became humans on Earth, those against became demons, and the neutral or less valiant third were allowed to become humans but were "cursed" with dark skin.
I have no axe to grind here and I have nothing against Mormons. I was just trying to find out what the truth was. I've been to Nauvoo, IL and I know that Mormons were horribly persecuted for their religion and faced extermination and ethnic cleansing. No one will ever really know Smith really saw or what what actually was (if anything) revealed to him. Was he a flawed conflicted man who was actually chosen by God or did he make the whole thing up? Why the ruse of the gold plates? Did he feel that no one would believe him if he had nothing tangible?
You asked me to pray about the veracity of the Book of Mormon. After speaking with you the other night I was flipping channels for something to watch while eating dinner. A western movie was on Showtime about settlers crossing Utah on their way to California so I decided to watch it. This movie was about the Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1857--a wagon train was attacked by Mormons and the survivors were shot in the back of the head execution style. Only those eight years old or younger were allowed to live (and of course were to be raised as Mormons). I took this "revelation" as my answer. I probably think too much and ask too many questions to join your church.