Frontline PBS Show - Mormons

You can checkout any time you like, but you can NEVER leave!

Hotel California-The Eagles (The Rev's favourite band)

It is always someone who claims they used to be mormon and then left that ends up telling the world about the doctrine of Latter-Day-Saints. Do you think your going to get the most factual information from someone who had a falling away, or from an active member?

I found a site askgramps.org that tells of more mormon doctrine than any I have seen and it is coming from a man who still is part of the church. He also answers questions on almost any subject, it is some of the most interesting doctrine I have ever read. For a young uneducated farm boy to create a religion that has millions of members, write another testament of Jesus Christ(The Book of Mormon), create a church with one set Prophet, 12 disciples, and an organization so keen that it even includes seminaries in public high schools is insane. Joseph Smith was either inspired by some sort of higher power or a genius.

My best friend is mormon and his example has had a profound influence on my life. Their system of instruction and importance of families, even passed away ancestors, is something I admire. Mormons who follow the religion, are some of the nicest people I know. If I could get my life simplified to their standards I would consider joining, but it would be a huge change, and I would probably be frowned upon from most of my family.

Mormonism will make your life successful. There is no disputing that. I think the question that people need to ask is if mormonism is what is claims to be. The only true church of Jesus. I think that is the bottom line.

Would you agree Rick?

"Do you think your going to get the most factual information from someone who had a falling away, or from an active member?"

From 30 years experience, I'd say that usually both those sources will be inaccurate. Hard to be objective from either side of that coin.

"From 30 years experience, I'd say that usually both those sources will be inaccurate. Hard to be objective from either side of that coin."

I wasn't referring to being objective or trying to prove if the faith was true. I was meaning that I constantly hear/read things about the mormon religion that are false or are stretched in certain areas. Even some of the earlier posts are not accurate. Almost always when talking about the mormon religion someone will tell me they or someone they know used to be mormon and then procede to tell me something I know is false about mormon doctrine. You can't really be objective in their doctrine they either believe it and practice it or they don't.

Yes, but the flip side of that is that when you ask Mormons about their history or religion, you'll also get a whooooooole lot of hogwash. A lot of stretched or even fabricated detail. There is a very strong sense of "official history" in Mormonism. Things happened a certain way and that's it. I know some fellow mormons who won't read any historical treatment of Mormonism that isn't written by a fellow mormon----Even if its a positive treatment!

So, good luck finding objective, accurate info. (and of course, this doesn't just apply to Mormonism). That's why I appreciated the PBS special. They tried VERY hard to get a wide range of participants and give a very complex picture instead of the simplified version you're likely to get from either mormons or outsiders.

Darren, sorry I still haven't sent an e-mail response. Pretty tough week.

As to the other question, I do agree that it's a central matter----is this true or not? I have a lot of great friends who are more relativists...who believe that the Mormon church is true but not True. You know? For them the central questions are things like, is this good for my kids, does this make me happy, does this make me a better person. But they don't worry about the actual veracity of any doctrinal or historical claims.

I do agree that the fruits are a good way to judge a tree, but at the same time I'm not comfortable with their approach. I wish I were because it would be a lot easier on my troubled little mind. But oh well. For now I remain painfully skeptical and scrutinize things to death.

doomster, I didn't mean that you were wrong, BTW. Just that there was a corresponding problem from within mormonism.

But having said that, the PBS documentary was correct when it said that mormonism is one of the least understood religions.

I checked out askgramps.org and I have to tell you, it's exactly what I'm talking about. The tone is just as sure and authoritative as someone could muster (although it is friendly nonetheless), but thornier questions are hopelessly simplified and glossed over. He uses the party line all the way. And doesn't even address some harder questions....couldn't find any thread at all on the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

So, by all means use whatever sources you want. But if you're looking for acuracy, there's no easy road. No substitute for good old fashioned (and unpopular) work. If you want to know anything accurately, just plan on spending the next decade working on it and hope that gets you close.

Mormons. Good people. Great neighbors. But truly an incredible religious cult.

my favorite kind of noncontributory comment.

"I misquoted. Its billed as the fastest growing religion in the United States"

The US and The World are the same thing to a lot of people.

I actually respect the Mormons for one thing, most of them practice what they preach.

This is my favourite Mormon story (paraphrased and abridged):

I'm at home washing the car in the driveway when two Mormons approach (short hair, ties, short sleeves, white shirts etc). Both are about 20 and of course, have 'Elder' on their name bar.

I say hello and we exchange pleasantries. Then we get down to business:

Them - 'Have you ever read the bible?'.

Me - 'Yes'.

Them 'Do you know about Jesus?'.

Me - 'Yup.'

Them - 'Would you like to discuss passages/meaning etc etc ?'

Me - 'Not really. I'm an atheist.'

Them - 'Umm. You said you've read the bible and know about Jesus. How can you be an atheist?'.

Me - 'I was raised a Catholic and I spent 10 years in Catholic school'.

They then burst out laughing, basically said 'fair enough!' and bid me a good day.

I had to laugh, they saw me as 'damaged goods' and took off!

Having been a Mormon missionary, I bet that he didn't see you as "damaged goods." I bet he thought something more like "That's where I"ll be in a few years" or "Lucky!" A whole lot of missionaries come home after two years and give up religion entirely (like my brother and my best friend). Others get lukewarm and intellectually strained by their lingering faith (like me). (And of course other stay stalwardt)

And I bet he admired your combination of honestly and friendliness.

I could obviously be wrong, of course.

Either way, your story put a smile on my face.

^^ It was quite a moment. These two guys thought it was hilarious and we all had a good chuckle about it.

If either of them actually drank, I probably would've bought them a beer.

just buy them a Pepsi next time. They can feel like their pushing the envelope and you don't have to feel guilty for ruining two teetolers

"just buy them a Pepsi next time"

I thought caffeine was a no no?

yeah...that was my attempt to be funny. Oh well.

And actually a lot of "Jack Mormons" like me still drink caffinated sodas, just not coffee. They say that here in Utah you can tell who's a Mormon and who isn't just by the temperature of their caffiene.

And, actually, at the hospital I work at, about half the staff has a cold diet Coke in their hands at like 6:30 in the morning. Gross. Coffee sounds a lot better that early in the morning.

Ugh. My wife does the diet coke thing in the morning. I thought the official teaching is hot drinks, meaning coffee and tea.

Btw, I remember the guy that baptised me. We worked at a gas station so he had access to soda. He was hilarious because he was SOOO happy to have some, and he was like "don't tell anyone".

It was like when I would look at my dad's penthouse collection when he wasn't home.