A while back I engaged in a half-hour long debate with some mormons on my doorstep (I was bored).

I asked them, if no one had come to my door that day, and no one ever came to my door to preach to me about mormonism, what would happen? I may be completely unaware of mormonism for the rest of my life, and I would die a non-mormon. So would that mean I was going to hell?

One of them said that if no one had ever told me about mormonism, I would go to a little 'holding area' after my death and I could choose whether or not to be a mormon and thus whether or not to go to heaven.

So I respond 'isn't that a little unfair on me?'. If none of those suckers ever came to my door, I could lead to rest of my life as a complete heathen and still enjoy the fruits of paradise. And because there is obviously no chance of me ever becoming a mormon, they have effectively damned my soul to an eternity of torment. Thanks a fucking lot.

P.S. discuss

That's the sort of thing that people in MANY religions say. I don't agree with the mormons who said that to you, but it's certainly not the type of thing that's exclusive to my faith.

Egotism seems central to a lot of people's personal faiths.

I know I've been told by countless evengelicals that I'm going to hell for all eternity (and at least we mormons don't believe in eternal hell) because I'm not "saved." Even if I'm a great person who loves his wife, studies the Bible, gives to the poor, etc. One gave me a pamphlet that literally read "Don't believe that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell; that's a lie straight from the devil." Apparently the only people that go to heaven are the ones that read the 3-line prayer at the end of the pamphlet---even if they never see the pamphlet in their lifetime.

So anyway, I'm ranting now. All I mean to say is that those guys might have been dicks and probably don't understand much about Mormon doctrines (after all they're 19-year-olds), but it's not like that kind of "believe what I believe or go to hell" attitude is exclusive to Mormonism.

I never understood it when people say " Well other churches do it to."

It is like when I point out problems with the previous mormon leaders. ie: Brigham Young and his blood atonement teachings. Mormon missionaries are like Huh? So I show them from primary sources where he states that Christ's atonement is not enough for the remission of certain sins. The sinner must have their own blood shed.

The reponse I always get is "Well what religion do you follow?" When I say Roman Catholic they go off on a bender about how bad the Catholic Church has been. Like that makes it okay that their leader was evil.

I don't get it. When a lutheran tells me about problems with catholicism, I agree. Things need to change. I don't spout off about how Martin Luther was anti-semetic. Why can't we all just admit our religions shortcomings with honesty? *shakes head sadly*

If you somehow understood that I was excusing or endorsing the behavior, than I apologize for not being more clear. I in no way support the "believe what I believe or you're going to hell" mentality.

However, I think that many people (especially fellow Christians) throw the first stone on that issue, and that's all I was commenting on. The blade cuts both ways and it's not just crazy mormons that do that crap.

Now as far as some of the other stuff you mentioned, that's pretty much exclusively crazy mormon stuff---but I think I've always owned up to it pretty well.

No, I didn't think you were excusing the behaviour. It just got me thinking about religions in general. I used missionaries as an example then realized it could seem like I was picking on them.

"I think I've always owned up to it pretty well."

I agree. Although the majority of mormons I know are not like you. That is why you are here. ;)

Actually, I enough your posts. Much more than many of the evangelicals here.

Btw, I remember you saying something about writing an indepth essay about the anti-black teachings of the past. Did it ever materialise? I would love to read it.

I am still contemplating writing my own critque about the book of mormon, but I know once I get started it will take me forever as I am way too much of a perfectionist.

Have you ever thought of sharing why you are a mormon?

I am interested. Please just don't tell me that you "know" it's true. :)

I thought there was no hell in Mormonism.
Only 3 different heavens.
One for sinners, one for generally good people, and one for strict mormons and their family.

we don't believe in an eternal hell. And yes, we believe in different levels of heaven, in a sense. There are some people in my church who take a very prescribed, geographical view of that (i.e. think of it as three different geographical places and assign particular requirements for each place--like those you indicated above). I've never been comfortable with that interpretation and I've never seen it specifically laid out in anything we would consider canon. I think there are an infinite number of levels of happiness both here and hereafter depending on how close one alines himself/herself with God.

I wrote an apologetic piece a long time ago about our former docrine of exlusion against black people and have wanted for some time to polish it up and post it here. It's difficult because I'm in school full time, work full time, have a wife, a kid and a fetus. So my plate is usually pretty full. However, it's still a serious goal of mine and I will really try hard to get it done. Not this month, though. Studying for finals.

I have also always wanted to write a "why I am a Mormon" response to Bertrand Russel's "why I am not a Christian." Not sure if I'm smart enough to do it justice, though.

My understanding was that there is a hell in LDS theology but it is for satan, his demons, and ex-mormons like me.

"into that hell which hath no end." 1 Nephi 14:3

I always liked the idea that almost everyone gets a chance to get with the program in mormonism. It's kinder than some of the other systems I've heard.
I was told that mormon "hell" was being erased. Your soul isn't tortured, just gone. True death.

There is an eternal suffering for Satan himself and his co-workers, but not for any human being. Not even you, Cherry picker : )

Doctrine and Covenants is very clear on that. "Eternal punishment" or "endless punishment" have specific meanings. You may remember that in the doctrinal nomenclature there is a difference between "immortality" and "eternal life"--even though from an outside view they look synonymous.

Well "eternal punishment" means "God's punishment" and is only considered "eternal" becasue God Himself is eternal. But even Hitler gets out sometime.

As I said, I don't think of any of this as prescriptively or as geographically as the standard view holds. I think that we have an eternity to become like God and that all of us can do so in this life or the next---many choose not to and many make this life a living hell for themselves. They will have the same free agency to do so for all eternity and it may take some people a really, really long time to get out of it.

I do have to say, though, that there really might be some prescribed limits---or maybe just that some people have become so bad that they can't ever become good. I just don't know if someone can commit genocidal mass executions and later become a good guy.

"There is an eternal suffering for Satan himself and his co-workers, but not for any human being. Not even you, Cherry picker : ) "

Whew! If Elohim shows me them gold plates with their reformed egyptian language when I die then I will change my mind in an instant an repent for all my mormon bashing, and for being catholic. ;)

Until then...Let's get it on!

Just kidding.

: )