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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: July 29, 2011 02:33AM

Dear XXX

First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians (Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, verse 11)

When I was a child, I spake as a child,
I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
but when I became a man, I put away
childish things. For now we see through a
glass, darkly; but then face to face: now
I know in part; but then shall I know even
as also I am known.

LDS missionaries point to this scripture as foreshadowing additional light and knowledge that would be forthcoming in the future. They are trying to prove the apostles were told a "restoration" would be needed, even though Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail upon his church.

In this passage from Corinthians, Mormons know Paul could not have been referring to his coming exaltation because, as a single man, Paul would be ineligible for the Celestial Kingdom. So who among the apostles was eligible? The apostles wondered that too and they asked Jesus. They assumed they would all be there, married or single, and just wanted to know how close to Jesus they would be sitting. Who would have the position of power at the "right hand" of Jesus?

This was the perfect time for Jesus to explain that none of them would be there because they were not practitioners of the sacred, holy, required principle of Celestial Marriage--i.e., polygamy? Strangely, no. He basically gave them a teaching on humility and the elevation of oneself in one's own eyes.

The apostles will not be in the Celestial Kingdom. They were in error, according to Mormon doctrine.No. The apostles write that an early Christian leader must have but one wife and missionaries weakly attempt to suggest that meant "because they would be too busy to properly manage them." Somehow, Jesus forgot to mention the one thing that was crucial to get to heaven, at least in Joseph Smith's version of Christianity.

So what was Joseph Smith's version if it wasn't an accurate depiction of the early Christian church? Someone once said that religion is old news and in many ways that is correct. There is very little new under the sun, pretty much variations on old ideas that re-emerge, enjoy another round of popularity for a time and then fade. Mormonism is one of those. The Joseph Smith doctrine most closely resembles the Gnostic Heresy which could have become The Christian Religion had it not been suppressed by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, which institutionalized the Trinity and branded all other views heresy (the real source of accusations that Mormonism is a cult today). Here's why I think Mormons are Gnostics:

*Gnostics believed you had to have an experience of the Divine, a "knowing." Mormonism includes this and calls it "testimony." Missionaries go right for this when they ask people to pray about the Book of Mormon and expect a burning in the bosom.

*Gnostics believe the creator god is a type of demon; their god is masculine and feminine, with Mary Magdalene revered as a consort to Jesus. Heavenly Father is actually Heavenly Father + Heavenly Mother; however, in this patriarchal form of Christianity, she is almost never mentioned.

*Gnostics had the following sacraments: are baptism, chrism, eucharist, redemption, and a bridal chamber; and their religious practices seem to blend elements of asceticism and promiscuity. Mormonism uses "chrism" (Greek for "anointing") for the Washing and Anointing in the temple. The blending of elements of asceticism and promiscuity are present in several forms in Mormon doctrine and practice:

-- Emphasis on celibacy and moral purity before marriage.
-- Emphasis on the body and modest clothing
-- Wearing of symbolic, asexual underwear which mandates more clothing coverage, reflecting view of the body as evil, responsible for sin
-- Emphasis on repression of masturbation and viewing of pornography, both of which have increased in modern times.
-- Doctrine of Celestial Marriage which requires polygamy for exaltation to the Celestial Kingdom
-- Emphasis on early marriage and dangers of postponing childbearing
-- Missionaries being subjected to continual worthiness interviews focusing on sex, reflecting connection between asceticism and spirituality
-- Missionaries assigned to same-sex companion in shared room with no opportunity for personal privacy
-- Same sex nudity for showering in the MTC
-- Partial same sex nudity for washing and anointing in the temple

*Gnostics believed Mary Magdalene was an apostle/teacher and was a consort to Jesus. Mormons agree and go one further--Many believe she was his wife, since he would be required to have her and others to be eligible for the Celestial Kingdom himself.

You mention the Book of Mormon as though it has not been proved false when it has. There is not one credible anthropologist or archeologist in the world that agrees with Book of Mormon version of New World history. Furthermore, in exasperation over continued Mormon citing of its name in such distortions, the Smithsonian Institute went so far as to issue a letter of denial of Mormon claims regarding the Book of Mormon in 1997 (http://www.irr.org/mit/smithsonian.html). Since that time, no corroborating evidence has been found at all while advancing satellite technology and science offers us new locations which confirm the Bible archeology and enable us to locate hidden cities described in the Bible. Further advancements in DNA science further confirm the facts provided by the Smithsonian, confirming that Native Americans were of Mongolian descent, not Middle Eastern.

And as far as "further light and knowledge speaking from the dust," when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and illuminated the Gnostic view of Christianity, did Mormons rejoice? Did they immediately adopt the Nag Hammadi documents as a more recent revelation than Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon and discard the Book of Mormon in favor of actual ancient documents which are real? Did they respect these parchments alongside their Book of Abraham and Pearl of Great Price?

Absolutely not. Why? Because that light and knowledge does not bring a single dime into the coffers of LDS, Inc. Even if it is Latter Day. Even if it is about Mary Magdalene and---but wait. Oh, here's the problem. The theology of this further light and knowledge does not match Mormon convoluted temple requirements/celestial kingdoms/pay-up-or-you're-out theology. Instead, these words from the dust speak of Mary Magdalene knowing Jesus better than the apostles and displays how annoyed they were because she was superior in spirituality and she was (gasp) a woman.

Regarding accurate Mormon history, most people like me have been "lead away by Satan" by reading authorized Mormon scripture or history. There is nothing more anti-Mormon than Doctrine & Covenants Section 132 and the entire Journal of Discourses. If you yourself ever wonder if there might be "more light and knowledge" available to you using the internet, check out this one page regarding the Mormon General Authorities bribing a Supreme Court Justice. There is a lot you don't know and I respect your right not to know.

Just don't assume that I left the church because I was "offended." I am a woman with a brain which at the moment contains more truth about the Mormon church than you have allowed yourself to obtain.

I respect your choice and ask that you respect mine.

Anagrammy



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2011 03:16AM by anagrammy.

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Posted by: dclarkfan1 ( )
Date: July 29, 2011 02:57AM

ENCORE!

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Posted by: formerlyfrumpy ( )
Date: July 29, 2011 03:14AM

Bravo!

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Posted by: archytas ( )
Date: July 29, 2011 09:41AM

I'm an amateur student of gnostic texts. I think there is overlap with mormonism, but I also think there are differences.

Gnostics, generally speaking, saw the body as a prison for the soul, while mormons think that bodies are so important that even the gods have them.

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Posted by: elee ( )
Date: July 29, 2011 10:10AM

Speaking broadly, of course, and not trying to make comparisons between Mormonism and any specific Gnostic heresy, this seems to hold true.

To some gnostics, the body was seen as an inferior "meat suit" that one needed to experience, then shed in order to move on to higher knowledge. Some even believed this was the case with Jesus, which in light of the newly available Gospel of Judas, seems to be supported. The betrayal was entirely pre-planned as necessary for Jesus to drop the meat suit and attain glory. In other words, it's all about the afterlife.

Some gnostics also believed that only a select few were able to handle "the truth" of reality. That enlightenment was only for the rare individual who was willing to search for it and that churches existed for the average joe who didn't care about such things. This contradicts the mormon zealousness in spreading the gospel and gaining converts, but the underlying principles are the same: we have special knowledge and if you join us, we will show it to you. For a fee, of course.

Line upon line, precept upon precept. Some gnostics believed in life-long study, which would slowly build toward enlightenment, and finally, redemption. In other words, secret knowledge.

Not intending to be snarky, but as a point of correction, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi texts are not the same thing. The Dead Sea scrolls contain most of the Old Testament as we now know it. IOW, it's Jewish. The Nag Hammadi texts are decidedly and distinctly Gnostic and contain many non-cannonical texts.

Lovely post, anagrammy. Love it!

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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: December 21, 2014 03:51PM

"The Dead Sea scrolls contain most of the Old Testament as we now know it."

Um, no.

"There are 225 Biblical texts included in the Dead Sea Scroll documents, or around 22% of the total..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Sea_Scrolls

That 225 number is the number of *copies* of all the "biblical" (OT) books. While there are fragments of all the currently canonized OT books except Esther, there is only *one* complete biblical book manuscript: Isaiah. None of the others are complete, most are very minor fragments, and most interestingly, the various copies of each "book" (or their fragments) often show major differences.

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Posted by: tiptoes ( )
Date: July 29, 2011 10:52AM

You are the best Grammy ever!

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Posted by: Shummy ( )
Date: July 29, 2011 12:06PM

quote** 9) We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
**unquote


Yeah, right.

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: July 29, 2011 12:10PM

Thanks, folks, it's awesome to have people to talk to about this kind of thing.

There is a strategy in my choosing the subject of Gnosticism as a reply to "who hurt your feelings?"

I wanted to show, rather than tell, what critical thinking about Mormonism sounds like. I wanted to tell them something I am sure they haven't heard before in a matter-of-fact friendly way. Especially, I want them to see original documents and Mormon sources as avenues of information that leads questioning members out of the church.

It is intellectual laziness that causes members to cut and paste FARMS answers like "why is the church doing so well if it isn't true?" and "there is not one shred of evidence yet that the BOM isn't true."

Hopefully a rich expose-letter will stimulate whatever intellectual curiosity they may have that has not been anesthetized by the sonorous tones of the Mormon General Authorities. And for the love! Have some respect for women!


Anagrammy



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2011 12:11PM by anagrammy.

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Posted by: Spiritus sancti ( )
Date: December 23, 2016 06:19AM

I love studying the 19th century restoration movement.
None of humanity .... Including the prophets and Jesus came back through the veil of death.
All descriptions are manifested visions or rather hallucinations brought about by the ecstasy of our minds pushing to the outer limits of rationality. Like an acid trip without acid.
Not to mention ... The holy meal of communion....
Was it simply form and substance representative of the Christus sacrifice or were some of these meals opportunities to take mind altering substances to achieve nirvana???
Did prophet Smith imbibe in wild plants or mushrooms and then have his visions. He was a 14 year old boy ... Impressionable and curious.
In conclusion .. Human beings are informed of their mortality as soon as they become verbal ... First with lovely comforting stories ... Then with fear producing edicts of how to achieve one with God at death to have resurrection ... But we are all very afraid and very helpless. We push back the chaos of awareness in this realm by forcing ourselves to believe that Jesus came back from the dead. We are told by other humans if we do not believe the church doctrines we are dead to life everlasting in the presence of God.
Not even the great religious leaders can answer the ultimate xistential question of consciousness and eternal unconsciousness.
Sooooo scary for us. That has always been the bottom line.
We die a little every day. Think about it.

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Posted by: JohnDrake ( )
Date: July 29, 2011 08:34PM

I would encourage anyone interested in Gnosticism to visit www.gnosis.org, The Gnostic Society website. There, you will find the entire known body of Gnostic writings, along with sermons and essays from the clergy of Ecclesia Gnostica, the Gnostic Church in America.

That being said, I am also a student of Gnosticism. While I agree that Mormonism contains some Gnostic elements, I disagree that the religion itself is a totally Gnostic one. A core element (and a sore point with me) in Mormon practice is "knowing" (I "know" this church is true, etc). The very fact that a missionary can (or will) tell an investigator that that "feeling" is evidence that the Spirit is witnessing the truth of Mormonism is totally counter-intuitive to Gnostic understanding.

"Knowing" in Gnosticism is individual, separate, and trans-formative in nature. When one "knows" the truth, they are forever changed. By extension, that experience is different for each person. A four year old child getting up in Primary to announce that she "knows this church is true", while mom or dad coaches them forward is not experiencing "Gnosis". And some immature boy interpreting your feelings as the Truth is not describing "Gnosis".

Modern Gnostic thought values the individual, and promotes critical thinking. Two things that are, in my mind, absent in Mormon Doctrine. Plural Marriage is not a pre-requisite for return to Pleroma (Fullness), nor is Priesthood, or a lifetime of tithing, for that matter.

"Gnosis" is a gift from the Divine that eventually comes to everyone, whether in this life or another one (Gnosticism is open to the idea of Reincarnation). Man can prepare himself by eventual detachment from material things, but the final "break" comes from God.

In my mind, the only other Gnostic elements evident in Mormonism are The First Vision (Theophany), and Sealing, which, I believe is a corruption of the Sacrament of Bride Chamber, where the individual is "sealed" to their angelic twin.

That Gnosticism could have had more influence in mainstream Christianity is entirely true. However, it was viewed as dangerous and radical at a time when the Church was forming and vulnerable to instability. That's why early Church fathers like Iranaeus actively demonized Gnostic thinkers like Valentinian. In fact, Augustine was a Gnostic for a time.

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Posted by: archytas ( )
Date: July 29, 2011 09:12PM

Good points.

Another major difference I thought of is the gnostic re-casting of the creation myth. (as in the Apocryphon of John and other places). Yaldabaoth (aka Yahweh) is the bad guy, and the serpent is the good guy. This seems very unmormon to me. Mormons don't seem to be the least bit bothered by the fact that god lies in the genesis story and the serpent tells the truth. It's passed over complacently.

However, the gnostics did seem to notice that discrepancy.

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: July 29, 2011 10:08PM

I noticed that Satan was telling the truth and was even giving the orders to put on aprons, which we obeyed. He said he was the god of this world and then he tells the audience when to go to another room, and again, we do what he says.

He threatens people if they do not keep their covenants, that they will be in his power. Doesn't he seem like he should be saying things like, "Oh, poo, that silly slashing business means absolutely nothing, and a new name? Everyone here got the same so-called sacred name. The only reason you aren't supposed to say it is so you don't lose your feeling of sacred inspired-ness by finding out they crank out 7 names a week and everybody gets the same on on the same day.

So when you are ready for your exaltation, your husband calls "Mable" through the veil, every Thursday temple attendee will rush to the curtain.....

Anagrammy

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Posted by: dinah ( )
Date: December 21, 2014 05:01PM

I love this discussion.
Once again, I'm going to say that if Mormon Sunday School was more like this, I might go back.
(Not really - just saying....)

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: December 21, 2014 05:32PM

"I am a level headed academic historian."
"I also fervently believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet."


To quote Sesame Street: One of these things is not like the other.

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Posted by: scooter ( )
Date: December 22, 2014 11:32AM

my coffee table sketch knowledge of Gnosticism is that the Gnostics treated women as equals in their ability to know and preach the gospel.

and the Romans were having none of it.

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Posted by: Anonymous User ( )
Date: December 22, 2014 07:17PM

I've heard the same thing.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: December 22, 2014 07:29PM

"fervent" faith is not level headed but emotional and subjective, to say the least.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/22/2014 07:32PM by donbagley.

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Posted by: MW ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 01:05PM

I agree with most of what is said here. I have come to most of those conclusions myself. I am an active Mormon, and the gnostic elements are clear to me. Good article. Do some believe that being called a gnostic is somehow an insult? I sure don't.

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Posted by: Bill ( )
Date: May 15, 2018 01:27PM

You are an active Mormon? I'm sorry. I was for 40 years, former Bishop, High Councilman, etc, but when the internet showed me the dark hidden truths of Mormonism, e.g. Joseph Smith having sex with 10 teen brides, 10 brides already married to living men, and 14 others...I had to stop and think - is this really what Jesus wants? Then there is absolutely no evidence of the BOM whatsoever, i.e. linguistic, archeological, DNA, etc. and so many other dark truths hidden from me growing up.

How do you do it? I mean how do you stay in such a cult? Why did you come to this site if you are still an active Mormon?

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Posted by: rid ( )
Date: December 22, 2014 12:22PM

Exemplary posts anagrammy. Thank you for it.

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Posted by: fluhist ( )
Date: December 22, 2014 06:07PM

Thanks Anagrammy, an incredibly interesting post!

Have a wonderful Christmas! I will be thinking of you!!!

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: December 22, 2014 07:53PM

I just say: If everyone that was offended at anytime did not attend, there would be no one there!
That shuts up that nonsense and gets a laugh.

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: December 23, 2016 06:53AM

Super!

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Posted by: anonuk ( )
Date: December 23, 2016 08:06AM

"Mormonism is Gnosticism", I agree to certain extent, however, there were many sects labelled 'gnostic'. Mormons copied some of their habits and beliefs. They do not being told so, however, in my experience.

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Posted by: Babyloncansuckit ( )
Date: December 23, 2016 11:29AM

Gee, that kinda makes Gnosticism look bad. I'd like to point out that the burning in the bosom thing is pretty useless if it's not taught where you're supposed to feel it. The heart chakra and solar plexus chakra are close together. In all these years, no "prophet" has bothered to delve into that. Just one more indicator that they're unenlightened boobs.

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Posted by: thinking ( )
Date: December 23, 2016 07:46PM

I think JS was a product of the American Enlightenment as were many of his converts. He approach does seem somewhat gnostic. It could have been the source of some of his ideas. Its fairly easy to see how he was trying to synthesize information into a whole. People have always been attacked to gaining more insight so he was offering that to them, at least that's how they viewed it. Gnosticism by its nature is a threat to institutionalized churches. Kind of wonder if original Christianity was gnostic. and that's why it was viewed as such a threat...?

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Posted by: Heartless ( )
Date: December 23, 2016 08:06PM

Small note.

Clement and Eusebius both state Paul had been married.

Some believe Paul was a widower.

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: December 23, 2016 08:11PM

I have a simple reply to: did someone offend you?
ME: (lightheartedly!).... If everyone that was ever offended did not attend, there would be no one there!
Reply: usually a smile and a little laugh!


Yes, there are plenty of reasons to Take Offense! Both the claims are offensive and the members are often offensive.

But, I would have to "Take Offense" and ..... I refused!

I just left knowing the whole thing was not what I wanted in my life.

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Posted by: Jerome ( )
Date: December 23, 2016 09:37PM

Mormonism was Gnosticism. Not anymore. Joseph Smith said that a man is not saved any faster than he gains knowledge. Sometime in the late 70's knowledge started to become devalued in Mormonism. Kimball had the lyrics of "I Am a Child of God" changed from "teach me all that I must know" to "teach me all that I must do to live with him someday." Indeed, pursuit of knowledge is viewed with suspicion by the modern Mormon church. I dare say that's the reason some of us became disaffected.

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Posted by: Kentish ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 11:34AM

Nitpicking but the gates of help are not an offensive weapon. They are defensive the point is that the church will prevail against hell because hell's gates will not withstand the assault of the church and not the other way around.

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Posted by: nomoremon ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 12:45PM

I know the washing and anointing changed over time, but can anyone confirm that it used to contain partial nudity? I know it doesn't now, but now they don't even wear the "shield" or whatever it was called. They just wear the white temple clothes (not the endowment stuff, just the all white dress clothes.)

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Posted by: Aquarius123 ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 06:31PM

Why is this post fromv2011 here? Just curious.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: May 16, 2018 06:39PM

Aquarius123 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why is this post fromv2011 here? Just curious.

From the posting history, my guess is that the topic is of continuing interest. The posts on this thread (some posts have been hidden along the way) are from 2011...2014...2016...2018.

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