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#31 Markway

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 07:50 PM

Aloha,

I am taking my future in my hands at GV by even disagreeing with you, a monitor. Most of my personal research concerning Mormonism came from the memoirs of ex mormons who have/had left the church in disgust. I could be much more embarassing than I already have, but thought that a small sample was enough. Mormonism is Christian in form only. In America that isn't any sort of crime. Rejoice in your difference! But, as the Bible says, your christ is not my Christ. Christianity has more in common with Islam than Mormonism. Mormonism has more in common with Free Masonry, and if you've done your homework, you know what I mean.
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
This much let me avow---
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream:
Yet if hope has flown away In a night,
Or in a day, In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

#32 aloha_spirit

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 11:20 PM

Mark, you needn't fear disagreeing with me or any mod on religious or philosophical matters. Discusion and debate is good (and keeps things from getting too boring) if it does not turn personal or get out of control. Besides, I'm not the mod for the Religion / Spirituality board.

The debate regarding is Mormonism Christian has been raging for 175 years. There is very little you could say that would shock me. When debating the topic, I always consider the source. Obviously former members of the Church have some grievances and grudges. This is not to say that their accounts are 100% false. Likewise, most LdS whitewash history or are oblivious of some of the proverbial skeletons in the closet. Official Church sources are as biassed as anti ones; both should be taken with a grain of salt.

The biggest Masonic influence in Mormonism can be found in the Initiatory and Endowment ceremonies, performed within LdS temples. During the Initiatory, the individual is ceremoniously washed, annointed, and given a new name. The initiate promises not to reveal the new name or the covenants associated with the annointing. This ceremony, while modest, is a big shock for people not properly prepared for it. Several have left the Church as a direct result of the Initiatory.

The Endowment goes through the six creative periods, and has further covenants and blessings. At each major stage, we are sworn not to reveal it to anyone outside the temple. Incidentally, 95% of the Endowment can be found within LdS Scripture, which is available to the public.

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#33 jenbrown

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 03:24 AM

Thanks Aloha for giving some of us the answers we were looking for. I am not Mormon but am a descendant from a long line of Mormons. One of such came to Utah with Brigham Young. My great-great-grandfather was also a polygamist.

I have a question or would like your opinion. Many people are brought up in one religion and as they get older question what the teachings of that religion are therefore, break from the conventional church. What would you say is the percentage you know of that have broke from the LDS church once they are older?

My question is based on the fact that both sides of my family did break from 2 religions. My mother was raised Catholic but as she grew older questioned the teachings of Catholicism. My father's mother (who I never knew) did the same with Mormonism.

It seems to me that the LDS is very complex with it's ideas and rituals and I wonder how many people of the church once older and free to make up their mind actually question why.

I also grew up knowing other kids who were Mormon and they were usually the most rowdy of the kids I knew. I learned my first dirty jokes from my Mormon friends. My sister's best friend was Mormon and her family was so screwed up. At least in my generation the Mormon kids I knew were just going through the motions of their religion. I don't know what happened with those kids, whether they practice Mormonism as adults or not but it just seemed to me that the church would most likely lose many people who weren't devout growing up.
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#34 aloha_spirit

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 12:06 PM

Jen, I appreciate you question and understand where you're coming from.

This is a problem facing all religions. Children are raised in a certain church but never gain their own testimony. Or the kids are micromanaged and don't know how to control their new-found freedom when they move away from home.

The first scenario tends to play out where the family belongs to the dominant religion. Over 90% of my home village are LdS (or at least baptized). 12% or so of the LdS of my generation over there were sexually active, used drugs, or did other things against what the church teaches. Likewise almost half of all Utahns are LdS (but the perception and influence is much greater). In such a community, teens who want to rebel really rebel: body piercings, extreme vulgarity, drugs, alcohol, etc. Something small like wearing a cross instead of a CTR ring just isn't a big enough shock.

Some people are shocked when they experience the temple ceremonies for themselves. The movie the God Makers was made by people who left the Church after going through the temple.

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#35 evad_83647

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 04:57 PM

I also knew a lot of wild Mormons growing up but I think they were far outnumbered by the little Catholic Girls.lol My sex education is directly related to Catholic girls. :weeee:
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#36 Bobnoxious

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 04:04 AM

It's easy to play the "you're not REALLY Christian" game. I know people who think the Catholic Church is really Pagan because they "worship" the Virgin Mary and pray to saints. They also find fault with confession and the idea of a Pope. And as Aloha pointed out, there are similarities between the Babylonian and Christian creation stories. There are also similarities between the code of Hamurabbi (probably not spelling that right) and the Ten Commandments. And the officially recognized date for Christmas and Easter were chosen for their proximity to Pagan religious holidays to make it easier to convert the "heathens". One could keep going along these lines for some time.

I don't know how many different sub-sects of Christianity there are, but there's quite a few. Who gets to say which of these sects is the "mainstream" one? Well, the Catholics certainly have done their part to stake a claim by slaughtering any number of heretics like the gnostics. Who knows, if they had just left these "heretics" alone, the gnostic version of Christianity might be the mainstream branch. But honestly, I don't want to Catholic bash. That was a long time ago and doesn't fairly reflect the Church as it is now.

But allow me to go out on a limb and say that there's almost as much differene between a liberal protestant denomination like the United Church of Christ and staunchly conservative factions like Evangelicals as there is between the Mormons and the Catholics. Where do you want to draw the line as far as who's Christian and who isn't? Seeing as I'm an agnostic, I'll sit that one out.

Also wanted to address Evad's question. As far as historical accuracy and the Bible go, it's hard to say. There just isn't a whole lot of reliable historical documentation about the events mentioned in the Bible outside of the Bible itself. That doesn't mean the Bible is wrong, it just means that you're taking what you read in there on faith. Which is the whole point, right?

Finally, just want to say thanks to Aloha for taking all these questions and comments in stride. If more people of all faiths were as agreeable as he is, we might all understand each other better.
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#37 evad_83647

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 04:59 AM

I was in Egypt and took pictures of the sign that said Jesus slept here. I do believe there is enough historical evidence to prove that Jesus was a real living person. Was he the son of god or a charlatan? Who knows? Were the miracles he performed embellished by stories passed down through the generations? Probably. I think back to the biggest fish stories I've heard, each time the fish gets a little bigger. After three hundred years of stories they would still be based on fact but probably not very accurate.

We also have proof that the Mormon founder lived and his story was written during his lifetime so that will be much more accurate than Jesus's story. I beleive history has painted an accurate picture of the Mormans presecution. With all things we do not understand we try to obliterate it. Look at any period in history and you will find the same things happening. I do not pretend to be an expert on anything but I am a history buff.

I see a lot of similarities between the way the Mormans were persecuted and the early Christians. You can also expand that to non-religious principles, like blacks or indians. Ignorance isn't bliss. I don't consider my self an agnostic , I do question our religious roots though.

I don't recall right off the bat when the last supper was painted but it was around 1400ish, that is 1400 years after the life of Christ, Did Da Vinci have a drawing to reference? Was that Peter or Mary Magelan (sp)? Who knows, we can't ask DaVinci, we can't ask Jesus or Peter. lol

Most of our religious and historical beliefs are on half facts that were written long after the facts occured. We are trying through reverse engineering to learn the secrets of the Pyramids and other loctaions. We think we have a pretty good understanding but if we are off by even a couple of little symbols history can be completely rewritten. The same is true for the bible.

I look at the Christmas holidays coming up. Most people don't realize the true meaning of Christmas. It isn't a time for giving and getting gifts. It is a time for celebrating life. Thanks to Hallmark it has become more about economics. I am going home to see my parents both of whom are ill, I am not going to give or get presents (altough I suspect that will occur), I am going to to be with my family. If no gifts were involved I'd be just as happy. I was in the military most of my life and Christmas and thanksgiving were just another day for me. When you are in Africa or somewhere else during Christmas you learn real quick what is really important.

If I don't post until after Christmas, Merry Christmas to all. And whether god exists or not may he bless you all.

Dave
Once I get there, there is somewhere else.Is it the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

#38 Markway

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 03:43 PM

At one point during the 19th century, textual criticism was born in Germany. This led to an internal examination of the bible, and a lot of speculative criticism. The end result was a "liberal" theology which rejected most of the foundational and historical tenets of the Christian faith. This view was in turn rejected by still other groups calling themselves "Fundamentalists", meaning that they held true to the fundamentals of the faith. Whose position has weathered best?

Where science is concerned, the Liberal view has done better. Evolution seems to hold sway, and a seven day creation, a 5,000 year age of the universe seem less and less likely. On the other hand the age of the bible and the accuracy of the New Testament has been pushed farther and farther back. The first three gospels, the so'called Synoptic gospels, (seen with one eye), so called due to their similarity. Show a history of development from a very early period, probably from te 1st century A.D. In other words, Mark came out first, Matthew wrote his, but had Mark as a guide, Luke wrote his using both Matthew and Mark. Mark was then updated using the other three. It appears that all three writers consulted a book of sayings usually called the "Q" document. "Q" for "Quelle", I think. This was a supposed list of the sayings of Jesus which was drawn upon by all three of the synoptic gospels, and apparently by the writer or the Gnostic "Gospel of Thomas", although here they appear in a reinterpreted form to suit gnostic beliefs, well established before the birth of Christ.

The letters of Paul seem to have been written, except perhaps Hebrews, by Paul. He was closely associated with the original apostles and the Christian Church at Jerusalem. These letters were copied and treasured by churches founde by Paul, as well as other early Christian churches. Anyone attacking doctrinal authority has to go after Paul, but no one has seriously done so. He makes some very interesting factual assertions as well. For example, that Christ appeared to a group of over 500 people after the resurrection, and before the assumption.

One last interesting piece of trivia. Prior to the advent of the Christian church, most books were in the form of scrolls. Afterwards they were in the form of sewn books. This is interesting as the most common writing tool during that period in that form was a Roman wax tablet/notepad for taking notes. It is probable that people who were actually present at the sermon on the mount were actually taking notes!
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
This much let me avow---
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream:
Yet if hope has flown away In a night,
Or in a day, In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

#39 aloha_spirit

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 01:42 PM

This is somewhat off-topic, but got my attention last week.

On Monday, 2 Jan 2006 two LdS Missionaries were shot in Chesapeake, Virginia. The two elders had just chained up their bikes and were getting ready to knock doors when they heard someone cry out "It's them!" and shots rang out. Elder Morgan Winslow Young (21, of Bountiful, Utah) was hurt too badly to do anything (he died that evening in the hospital), but his companion (Elder Joshua Heidbrink of Greeley, Colorado) ran to get help. Police speculate they were shot for witnessing a failed shooting earlier. James Rickey Boughton, Jr, has been charged with first-degree murder and malicious wounding. Elder Heidbrink is currently with his family; he will resume his mission after recovering.

Then on Friday, I heard news of two other LdS missionaries shot in New Zealand.

What's up with this?

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#40 Markway

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 09:28 PM

Perhaps it's time to adopt new missionary methods :ghost: Very bad form though, in all seriousness. As followers of Christ we are all called to walk in his footsteps.
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
This much let me avow---
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream:
Yet if hope has flown away In a night,
Or in a day, In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

#41 evad_83647

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 01:57 AM

Years ago when I lived in Tacoma, we had Mormans coming to our house every Wednesday at precisly 9 AM. There were two problems with this: One my wife had told them we were not interested and had asked them nicely several times not to come back, and sure enough the next Wednesday they were there again.

Secondly I was a Grave Shifter, this meant at 9 AM I was just getting to sleep. When someone knocks at the door I would wake up and strain to hear the conversation. My sleep cycle is ruined for that day. I have written a nice long analogy of what grave shift is like, I won't post it here, suffice it to say when you are a day sleeper you never get enough sleep. For me when my sleep is interrupted for whatever reason I can not go back to sleep.

There were often twenty four and forty eight hour and intermittently times where I was up over four days when I had no sleep at all. This is probably not a good thing for a jet engine mechanic where people lives are depending on me to make rational decisions about the engine I am working on so they will not be unduly risking their lives. The more weeks went by with no sleep on Wednesdays the more irrational my thinking became. I told my wife I would stay up the next Wednesday and answer the door myself.

I thought about all kinds of hairbrained schemes to get the point across, from answering the door naked to telling them we were Jehovah Witnesses.

Sure enough, right on time, knock knock, knock. I stood up with the rifle I was cleaning and answered the door. They saw me, they saw the rifle, though it wasn't pointed in a threatning manner. "Next Wednesday" I began, "If someone knocks on this door at 9 AM I'm going to blow a whole through it and then open it to see who was here."

"Uh... do you want us to put you on our list of people not to contact sir?" The well dressed man backing towards the sidewalk to join his already departed companions asked?

"If you have such a list. Put me on it!" I shouted.

While crude, it was very effective, they never came back. I actually felt bad after wards but they kept pushing the issue by not taking "No we aren't interested for an answer."

I am by no way implying what I did was right, but what they continued to do after being asked politely to stop wasn't right either.
Once I get there, there is somewhere else.Is it the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

#42 evad_83647

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 02:10 AM

BTW I had no intentions of "Blowing a hole through the door." I was just trying to get their attention. I have no idea what I would have done the next Wednesday if they had shown up. I never thought it through that far. The next Wednesday though I still didn't sleep with the thoughts going through my head about the previous Wednesday.

It is a sad commentary on this world to know there are people who think nothing of taking anothers life.
Once I get there, there is somewhere else.Is it the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

#43 spooksareus

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 02:26 AM

I used to work graveyard a lot when I was a kid.
I had insomnia anyway so it was really the
perfect shift for me at the time.
But my friends and roomies that worked it were
a sleepy bunch I'll tell ya.
You don't wan't to know what they did to early
knockers.... :P
Rude is one thing, murder is just :blush:

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#44 aloha_spirit

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 11:46 AM

9 AM does seem a bit early for them to be knocking. When I was on my mission, we had a very strict schedule. Wake up at 7:30. We had to be fully dressed by 8 (this includes eating breakfast). An hour of personal study was followed by an hour of companionship study. We were to leave our flat no later than 10:30 and were not to return until 9:30 or 10:00 that night (one of my areas was extremely dangerous, so my companion and I were not allowed out after dark). We were allotted 1 hour for lunch and half hour for dinner (in the US it's the other way around). Arriving back in the apartment, we went over the day, and had lights out by 10:30.

As should be noted from Dave's experience, there is an area book which includes where they've already tracted and which houses to leave alone. It also records which message was to whom. Normally you should be able to just ask not to receive any visits, and this be good for at least 3 months (missionaries are transfered to new areas, so the new missionary may knock before looking in the area book). Dramatics liven things up and provide missionaries stories to tell. It's all good as long as they are only scared and not hurt.

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#45 MoonChild

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 11:53 AM

Well, sorry for being so ignorant, are LdS (Mormons) the only people who knock and preaches? What is the purpose of preaching? Sorry if this is kind off topic.

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