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By "true Christianity" you probably mean Catholicism - a faith promoted by the Roman Church since the 4th Century when it was actually invented and then imposed by the Roman emperor Constantine I.
In my not so modest opinion, all Christian religions, sects and ... whatever, are equal. They promote Jesus the Son of God via Mary the Virgin: whoever doubted the validity of such fairy tale used to risk one's life and limb, including being burned alive by the Roman Inquisitor and his 'gang'.
No wonder that Catholics, especially after the latest financial and sexual scandals that afflicted the clergy throughout the world, are deserting the Roman Church and joining the endless variety of Protestantism including the so-called Mormons with their strange mentality and funny rituals.
Religions have always been a problem for humanity. Since times immemorial all the way to this very day, religions pit one individual against the other rather than bringing them together as they should.
As an atheist I find this article rather funny, to say the least: it looks like the editors did not have enough material to fill the pages of the magazine and were forced to also include "The Mormon faith ......".
This being said, or rather written, I will go back to reading Mad Magazine that is often funny and does not make me feel like I am wasting my time.
Maybe they believe or maybe they make believe.
As an atheist none of all this makes any sense to me whatsoever. Can anyone explain what the hell is going on?
As a person of the Jewish faith and the acquaintance of many LDS people, I find the uproar about posthumous baptism to be absurd. Mormons have shown time and again their kinship and respect for the Jewish people from the church's inception. Jews were the first separate religious group recognized by the Mormon church and the first synagogue was erected with participation from the Mormon community on land personally donated by Brigham Young. There were Jewish mayors and elected officials in Utah long before anywhere else in the US. As friends to Israel the Mormons have been second to none. In addition, both share an unhappy history of persecution, exile, and ultimately redemption - as well as cultural values of family, education, and personal accountability. Finally as any Jewish person knows, Mormon missionaries will immediately (and politely) cease any proselytizing once informed that you are Jewish. The practice of posthumous baptism is a kind and compassionate gesture on the part of Mormons who truly believe that it will ease the departed's road to heaven. Much like buddhist chants for the dead or other rituals that practitioners of other religions may apply to people of different faiths I see this as in no way similar to what was forced on Jews through years of persecution and forced conversion. I think it's time we really stop focusing on reasons for conflict and instead look at all the commonalities that bind Jews and Mormons together - which are vastly more significant in our troubled time.
I appreciated this thoughtful piece. As a believing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I'm grateful for the life and example of Thomas Monson.
Amazing that in the 21st century human beings still believe in all this guff.
As a Jew, it sounds like a non-story to me. I don't see how LDS is better or worse than any other Christian denomination.
Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try, no hell below us, above us only sky......
Have you actually investigated Mormon theology? Because you have their beliefs totally wrong. It’s not a polytheistic faith. They believe in one God. They also believe that Christ is their savior. By definition that makes them Christian.
The practice of baptising the dead and those arguing about it reminds me of those "scholars" who spent their time arguing about how many angels can fit on the point of a pin. Seriously? This is the 21st century.
As a Mormon and a jew let me agree that the furor over a few accidental posthumous baptisms of holocaust victims is overblown. They were unintentional and against policy. As a previous post states, spot on, Mormons have strong kinship (and theological linkage) to Judiasm. Mormons though are 100% Christian - they worship God Father and Jesus Christ and nothing else. They believe baptism is an ordinance necessary for exhalation (returning to God‘s presence) that must be performed on earth by a valid (i.e. Mormon) priesthood holder (yes male only). Since spirits can convert to the „true gospel“ after leaving the earth through death, they still need a way to receive the baptismal ordinance. Hence posthumous baptisms. Now I disagree with many Mormon teachings and policies, such as discrimation against gay marriage and children in those families, and am agnostic im my faith, but the Mormon church still has many wonderful teachings, good policies and helps mold positive character. Mormons are generally very high quality people, and if you know some personally you would likely agree. So the church is a source of goodness in our world. Thus, despite my differences with Mormonism, I will always speak respecfully of the church and of other churches as well.
First, I noticed that you dodged around a few topics that Latter Day Saints believe in. You made it sound like we don't allow women to have the preisthood in the paragraph stating:
He boosted the role of women in decision-making bodies and as members of the church’s corps of young missionaries, but resisted demands to ordain female priests. The leader of a campaign for female ordination was excommunicated.
Females that have been endowed in our temples already have the power of the priesthood. There is no ordination required. The only thing that they are lacking is the title, and most Ladder Day Saints don't understand that. The woman that was excommunicated didn't know that, and her followers didn't either.
Second, you said:
Although Monson epitomised the religion’s custom of having long-lived, long-serving white Americans at the helm, he broadened the church’s leadership by elevating to the inner circle of leaders a German, Dieter Uchtdorf, who proved an active ambassador for the faith.
We believe that Brother Monson didn't make the decision, but that God did.
You also said:
Stories abound of Monson excusing himself from important meetings because of a sense that somebody elsewhere needed his help.
We also believe in the Holy Ghost, which is essentially the messenger of God. Monson didn't just have a sense for these things, he was warned that someone needed his help.
Mormons teach that Jesus Christ came back to earth for three days following his resurrection and destroyed 16 cities in America by fire, floods and earthquake including innocent children. I know it sounds incredible, but it's all there in the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 9 (you can find it easily online). This is quite a difference from Jesus Christ of the Christian Bible.
The reference to women in the church is accurate. The LDS website is pretty clear that female ordination is not allowed (https://www.lds.org/youth/article/answers-to-my-questions?lang=eng) and that this state is a "divinely decreed pattern that only men will hold offices in the priesthood.. The church website do not mention "in name only" and it seems odd that women can have all the trappings of priesthood but that "most Ladder Day Saints don't understand that." If no one understands that they are priests in all but name, how respected are they? It also seems odd to excommunicate a group of people over a misunderstanding when it appears she was questioning fundamental precept.
Regarding President Monson and his revelations, just because you believe in divine inspiration doesn't mean the rest of us do and journalism should reflect reality over fantasy when possible. It is amazing a German white man counts as a break towards diversity in a global faith.
Following the example of church policy towards black people I assume that once there is enough public or legal pressure there will be two more "divine revelations" regarding how discriminatory the church is allowed to be towards women and homosexuals.
The "Ladder Day Saints"?
The article really ought to give a few more details about Mormonism. that interesting thing about Mormonism is that it is recent enough that its founding is well-documented.
Joseph Smith, the founder was known for telling people he could find buried treasure on their property - for a fee. He was arrested for this and the records of his court case still exist. He later claimed to have found an ancient text', written in a previously unknown form of ancient Egyptian. Smith 'translated' this work by staring into a hat and narrating the text, claiming that God himself was giving him the translation. Nobody ever saw the book of mormon that he dug up and Smith claimed it was taken away by an Angel. Around that time Smith remarked to a friend that 'I have got the fools fixed and will carry out the fun.'
Smith turned up later in Ohio where he was once tarred and feathered, and later tried to start his own unapproved bank, printing his own three dollar bills. He had to high-tail it out of town when a number of people lost their life's savings. Later Smith claimed that an angel of the lord visited him and told him he must marry a series of teenage girls and other men's wives. He also said that not even Jesus Christ ever managed such an accomplishment as he did.
Such a person was Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church.
It should be noted that Monson's allowed the 2015 anti-discrimination law to go forward only when there was a carve out allowing for discrimination by the LDS and the Boy Scouts.
Can a Rabbi posthumously convert a Mormon to be a Jew?
While hiding under the façade of Christianity and sweetness, the Church of Latter Day Saints is actually a polytheistic cult where every good Mormon expects to be a god governing their very own planet. With an infinite number of possible gods, Mormonism rivals Shirley MacLaine in her quest to turn humans into gods. This strange cult, with nice, but confused followers, albeit with fancy underwear, should never be associated with true Christianity. To confuse the two is like saying that Nancy Pelosi is a good Catholic, while she promotes abortion.