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#16 aloha_spirit

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 02:54 PM

I've been asked why many of my posts contain the phrase "in Mormonism..." It's also come to my attention that some view this as an attempt to win converts.

Mormonism is different enough from most other Christian Churches that sometimes I need to explain how a certain term is used or where this tradition or that originated.

I use "in Mormonism.." as a way of not saying that the other views are wrong or declaring my path as the only option. I also use that to differentiate from official Church doctrine and my own beliefs.

If I get too preachy, just send me a PM and I will tone it down.

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#17 MoonChild

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 02:57 PM

some view this as an attempt to win converts.


If I get too preachy, just send me a PM and I will tone it down.

I assume we all tend to explain things based on our beliefs. I have seen a zillon situations where every discussion goes back to Bible or Jesus and Catholic church, which for me is ridiculous. But on the other side, we can only explain things better basing it on our own belief's, so I dont think that explaining such things are trying to convert! Anyways good that you mentioned Aloha, so that incase people have a bad feeling, they can always IM the concerned people.

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#18 Holly

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 07:20 PM

I'm going to visit the links you posted, Aloha, but before I do, I have a couple of questions...

I am completely in the dark when it comes to Mormonism -

Am I correct that you do worship the same god as Catholics/Christians?

Here's where I'm going to look really dumb....Latter Day Saints Church members are Mormons?

Your belief is that upon death, humans will take up residence on a different planet altogether? If I'm reading that correctly, then I'd like to know if you have choices.....if you have a say in who becomes part of your flock on that planet. I understand family will be with you, but what about particular followers?

And...if I am understanding this correctly, how do you arrive at the other planet and has the church ever heard back from anyone who progressed to such a plane?
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#19 Cyn

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 08:10 PM

In all honesty, I was raised Roman-Catholic, but haven't practiced in quite a long while. I am in awe of all of those that have found a religion that they can identify with and feel "at home" with. I wish I could do the same, but unfortunately I can't at this time in my life.

It is not something that someone can bring on at will...it is something that will just happen at the right time. All I know is that I am a good person, I always try to do the right thing for others and myself. I am at peace with that aspect of my life. If I die tomorrow, I hope that the powers that be will take all of that in consideration regardless of my faith.
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#20 aloha_spirit

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 11:37 PM

Am I correct that you do worship the same god as Catholics/Christians?


Yes, Mormons are Christians.

Here's where I'm going to look really dumb....Latter Day Saints Church members are Mormons?

"Mormon" refers to anyone who believes the Book of Mormon to be Scripture. Most Mormons belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LdS), but there are over 100 separate Mormon Churches.

Your belief is that upon death, humans will take up residence on a different planet altogether? If I'm reading that correctly, then I'd like to know if you have choices.....if you have a say in who becomes part of your flock on that planet. I understand family will be with you, but what about particular followers?


Immediately following death, your spirit goes to the Spirit World, which Joseph Smith Jr and Brigham Young taught occupies a different realm of the same sphere as our mortal plane. This is how we explain ghosts.

During the eternities, I believe you can visit anyone you want, as long as they aren't in a higher heaven than you. Since we will have the same personalities, I imagine we would maintain our friendships.

And...if I am understanding this correctly, how do you arrive at the other planet and has the church ever heard back from anyone who progressed to such a plane?


AFAIK, the Church has never explained how one would travel from planet to planet. I'm also unaware of any resurrected / glorified people coming back (with the exception of Jesus and Heavenly Father of course). Some righteous men and women have come back from the Spirit World, though.

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#21 blkhmster

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 01:42 PM

i live in utah and hubby's family is very much lds (we aren't), so i've learned more than i care to about mormonism, ha ha. as for the lds genealogy database...they don't use that to gain members, but if you have any lds relatives, descendants, they can have you baptised by proxy when you're dead. they just have to prove relation to you. and don't say it doesn't happen because it does, it's happened to several of my dead relatives thanks to a cousin of mine. i won't go into how disrepectful i think this practice is to those that have died. as an avid genealogist, the only thing about the lds genealogy site that i don't like is that it has a high rate of error because a lot of those people don't have sources on their submissions and since the database is so vast, there's no way that the church could possibly verify all that info.

#22 aloha_spirit

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 03:36 PM

blkhmster,

There are certain rules about whose names may be submitted for proxy ordinances. First off, at least 1 year must have passed since that person's verified death date (or 120 years since their birth date). Second, only relatives may submit names for the prior 200 (I think that's the right number?) years. After that, any member can submit the name of the deceased.

All names submitted are supposed to be screened, but it appears some slip through the crack (why won't the baptisms of WWII victims stop?!?).

As I explained earlier, we believe the deceased can accept or reject these ordinances - we just want to afford this opportunity to everyone.

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#23 blkhmster

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 05:01 PM

ok that makes sense..but what if you're like me and have no wish or desire to have a proxy baptism performed on your behalf after your dead? is there anyway to prevent it? just curious, as none of our lds friends or family will answer me on this, ha ha ha.

#24 aloha_spirit

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 09:22 PM

I'm pretty sure you can get in touch with Church headquarters in SLC, UT. Probably talk to their Temple and Family History Department. I'm afraid I don't have their telephone number, but your local bishop or stake president could point you in the right direction.

I would also suggest informing your LdS friends and family of this decision.

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#25 blkhmster

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 10:10 PM

ok...thanks a bunch!

#26 aloha_spirit

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 01:26 PM

I haven't really studied too much in the Church of Later Day Saints. I've seen their commericals on TV though. You have to explain to me some of the in's and outs of the faith, and maybe I could get an understanding as to why people would label your religion such.

Before I speculate, I guess I'd like you to answer a few easy questions that are usually red flags of cult or cult-like activity.

1) Does your church judge other Christian religions as being false or evil, such as Catholocism?


The official stance is that all religions have portions of the truth and strive to live the best they know how. IOW, they are not evil. HOWEVER, the Church's founding was based on the premise of a universal apostasy during which the Priesthood (authority to act in God's name) was lost from the earth. We believe that only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has claim to the Priesthood. In D&C 1:30, the Church is called "the only true and living church."

2) Does your church forbid the celebrating Halloween?


That's a cultural issue, not a religious question. In the U.S., Mormons generally celebrate Halloween with parties, trick or treating (or trunk or treating in some neighborhoods). In the Philippines, they observe it in much the same way as Catholics of that country (picnic at the cemetery).

3) Does your church require a regular tithing or donation?


One question in the Temple Recommend interview is if we pay a "full tithe" (ie 10% of our increase). Without a Temple Recommend, one cannot enter the temple where our highest ordinances are performed. However, paying tithing or other donations are not required to participate in our Sunday services.

4) Does your church practice "accountability" with it's members? In other words, if you miss a couple services, do they call your house and ask where you are?


There are different levels of stewardship. Records are kept as to who attends Sunday School and Priesthood / Relief Society meetings. We also note how many people are in Sacrament Meeting. In fact, our congregation's budget is a function of how many people are in Sacrament Meeting. You are considered "active" if you attend at least one Sacrament Meeting per month.

Each family has two Priesthood bearers assigned as "home teachers". These brethren are to visit the family at least once a month to check on their welfare - spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. If the family needs help (ie needs financial assistance), the home teachers will let the Bishop (head of the congregation) know. All this is confidential.

5) Does your church ask invasive questions, like what schools your children attend, how much money you make at work, or your social/political views?


Those are of no concern to the Church.

6) Does your church forbid lifestyle choices, like casual dating, drinking, or even choices in television or entertainment?


The Law of Chastity forbids any sex outside the bonds of marriage.
The WoW (Word of Wisdom) forbids partaking harmful substances (explicitly mentioning coffee, tobacco, alcohol, and tea) and encourages us to take care of our bodies.
We are strongly cautioned against bringing "inappropriate material" into our homes and minds. There have been a few guidelines, but it is ultimately up to use to decide what is appropriate and inappropriate. Pornography has come up time and again from the "General Authorities" (ie the Prophet and Apostles).

7) Does your church require separate classes/services for your children?


Our regular Sunday Services are divided into three blocks. We sit with our families during Sacrament Meeting where we partake the Sacrament, sing hymns, and listen to talks by other members of our congregation. Afterwards, the children under 12 spend the next two hours in age-specific "Primary" classes. Those 12 or older go to the Sunday School class of their choice for an hour. During the third hour, the men divide into Priesthood quorums while the women meet for Relief Society.

8. Does your church require your contact information, ie. home phone number, address...etc..?


Yes. Each member has a unique membership number. Membership records include birthdates, date of baptism / confirmation (and who performed these ordinances), which Priesthood office each male holds, when / where / if the member served a mission, and finally their status. This status indicates if they are active, disfellowshipped, on probation, or unknown.

HTH,

Lokela aka the Aloha Spirit

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#27 aloha_spirit

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 01:47 AM

Bumping this up for the new members.

Again, all questions about Mormonism will be answered unless I can't without breaking specific oaths of secrecy.

For example, I can say that initiates get a new name during a temple ceremony, but I couldn't divulge my new name.

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#28 aloha_spirit

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 03:22 PM

I'm continuing this subthread from Intelligent Design over here.

I did not intend to offend anyone, but when a religious group departs past a certain point from the mother religion, the proper definition is "Heresy". Anyone familiar with the history and tenets as well as the current behavior of certain branches of Mormonism, has no problem with calling what is taking place a heresy and sometimes a dangerous one.


Heresy, like cult, is a charged word, and should be used with care.

Heresy (as defined by Dictionary.com) is an opinion or a doctrine at variance with established (orthodox) religious beliefs or adherence to such.

Obviously Mormonism isn't as mainstream as some other denominations. We have audacity to proclaim that the earth passed through an apostasy wherein the priesthood was lost and doctrine and ordinance were corrupted. We then say that an obscure dirt farmer was visited by the Father and the Son before his fifteenth birthday. He organized the Church ten years later with Prophets, Apostles, and all the other priesthood offices mentioned in the New Testament.

During Brigham Young's tenure the church massacred at least one wagon train. The dispute, the reluctance of the wagon train's members to leave their "excess" women. This is not a slander, but is even recognized as an "historical accident performed by overzealous members", by the main body in Salt Lake.


This incident was the Mountain Meadow Massacre. Let me introduce my connections before delving into the massacre itself. John Doyle Lee is my 3rd great grandfather. His mother died when he was young and his father beat him. As Brigham Young was passing through town, he saw John receive a rather severe beating so he offered to adopt John. John's father conceded (this makes Brigham Young my 4th great grandfather, through adoption). Parley Parker Pratt is also my 3rd great grandfather.

The story really begins before the Saints crossed the plains. No matter where they settled problems arose with their neighbors. LdS leaders were tarred and feathered and brought up on false charges time and again. The Saints would leave instead of fighting back. The climax of this persecution was the Execution Order signed by Governor Boggs of Missouri. That piece of paper said the Mormons had until a certain date in February to leave the state; after that date murder of Mormons would be legal. Shortly thereafter Joseph Smith Jr was murdered while in jail (on yet more false charges).

Brigham Young led most of the Mormons to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. Brigham Young was elected as Governor and sustained as Prophet and President of the Church. Brigham Young continued to send the Tweleve on missions to preach all over the world, gathering the converts to Deseret (Utah).

In California, Hector Hugh McLean (a non-Mormon) was having troubles with his wife Eleanor so he divorced her; she went to her parents' home in West Virginia. Parley P Pratt happened to be serving his mission there and taught and baptized Eleanor and her parents, who then moved to Deseret. When Parley returned from that mission, he married Eleanor. Hector McLean learned of this and was furious. He began to track down Parley P Pratt.

Parley was called to a mission to Arkansas and was just on his way back to Salt Lake when John McLean caught up with him and shot him in the back. News of the Apostle's murder quickly reached the Saints who were outraged.

Shortly thereafter, they heard rumours of a wagon train originating in Arkansas that would pass through Deseret on its way to California. It was said that members of that caravan were boasting of the atrocities they committed against them Mormons back east. Some were even rumoured to have been in the mob that killed Joseph or help John find Parley. The wagon train's path would take it through Mountain Meadows - hundreds of miles from Salt Lake City.

Stake President Haight (a stake is a group of wards) gathered the bishops of that area together. They wanted revenge but John D Lee (one of the bishops) convinced them to send a messenger to Brigham Young before taking any action.

President Haight met with Brigham Young and informed him of the approaching wagons. Brigham Young said to let them pass in peace. Back in Mountain Meadows, President Haight told the bishops the Prophet commanded them to kill every man, woman, and child. I won't go into gruesome details, but 120 were killed; only 9 children were spared. John D Lee did not fire a shot.

John D Lee eluded federal agents for over 10 years, but was offered up as the sacrificial lamb. Not a single other person was charged. John was found guilty of 120 counts of murder then executed by firing squad.

Descendants of John D Lee place the guilt upon President Haight and maintain Brigham's innocence. The descendants of those 9 children say that Brigham Young ordered the slaughter and want a formal admission of guilt from the Church.

There are branches of the church, right now, practising polygamy in gated communities, kicking out young males who would normally be the older males natural competition. This has even been on TV, Dr. Phil show I believe.


There are sects, such as the FLDS, which did not accept the Manifesto as being inspired so they broke off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Manifesto declares that the Church would not perform any new plural marriages. Jeff Warrens, the President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is wanted on federal charges for sexually assaulting a minor (among other things). The LdS are not affiliated with any such splinter groups.

Church doctrine teaches that if prpoerly married , bonded and so forth, that a Mormon husband and wife can expect to rule their own planet as Gods; that Adam and Eve are the "gods" of our planet.


In the temple, families are "sealed" for time and all eternity. This means that family bonds are not broken by death (ever heard the phrase "till death do us part" or "for as long as you both shall live" in traditional weddings?). Yes, we believe that we will be joint heirs with Christ, receiving all the Father has.

Joseph Smith Jr expanded the concept of earthly families into the spiritual realm. Does not mainstreram Christianity admit that God is our Father? The child of a cat is a cat, right? Therefore isn't the child of a god a god?

The comment about Adam and Eve being the deities of this world were never official doctrine. If you go back to biblical Hebrew, god means governor or ruler (such as the verse Jesus cited "Does not the law say ye are gods?")

This is just one of many major deviations from standard Christianity. If you choose to doubt, contact CRI, or read "Kingdom of the Cults".


I would not trust an anti-Mormon group to give an accurate portrayal of Mormonism any more than ask a Baptist pastor his feelings on the Catholic practice of baptism by sprinkling.

For an accurate portrayal of the Mountain Meadow Massacre, read the book by Juanita Brookes by that name. For information about what goes on inside the temples (including photographs) see House of the Lord. Stay away from Bruce R McKonkie's Mormon Doctrine as at least 25% of it is not official Church doctrine (let it be noted that the Brethren -- the Prophet, Apostles, and other General Authorities of the Church -- forbade the publication of this book. Bruce had to do a major revision before he would be admited to the Quorum of the Twelve, but even this second edition is not Church-sanctioned).

Mormonism is 90% mainstream Christianity with hints of ancient Judaic rituals. It also borrowed a few symbols from Masonry.

The earliest surviving manuscripts of the New Testament are from the third century. The Revelation of St John (also called the Apocalypse) was originally recorded circa 90 A.D. Paul was martyred circa 65 A.D. Luke wrote his gospel because there already many contradicting accounts floating around.

I didn't lose my mind - I have it backed up on a disk ... somewhere


#29 evad_83647

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 03:55 PM

Aloha,
I am not a morman, although living where I have I know a lot of you. I think you did a good job separting fact from fiction. I do disagree with your philosiphies but you have every right o believe them. I was wondering how much of the bible is truly historical fact or how much was passed down through the generations and embellished before it was actually penned. According to things I've seen, which I take with a grain of salt, most of it was written well after the facts, two three or four generations later. Your story of the massacare proves how easily facts can be distorted.
Once I get there, there is somewhere else.Is it the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

#30 aloha_spirit

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 05:09 PM

The original writers of the Bible are long gone. We have to rely on what Bible scholars, our own mind, and the Holy Spirit to come to our own understanding of Scripture. It is also my belief that the LORD talks to us on our own level.

The account of the creation has its roots in truth: Jehova was the Creator, man was one of the last of his creations to make an appearance on this earth; but it's so similar to the Babylonian creation myth one has to wonder how much it's changed in the millenia since Moses' day. Also, I'm not convinced that Adam and Eve were the very first Homo Sapiens here.

Job is probably a fable (many Bible scholars attribute the tale to Moses). I can't picture the LORD making such a deal with Satan.

There are prophecies and revelations which may not be fulfilleds literally (the Revelation of St John uses a ton of symbolism).

Other than that, I believe that the main message of what we have has been preserved. There are books which used to be considered valuable which were later rejected from the canon.

I study both the King James Version (English) and the Joao Ferreira de Almeda translation (Portuguese). I switch between them on different passages for better understanding. I hate the wording of the first verse of Hebrews 6 in English.

I'm not here to convert anyone to Mormonism, but certainly won't sit idly by when it is slandered.

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