In what some undoubtedly view as a hard-hitting video on YouTube—complete with sinister music—a critic of the Church asserts that Mormons belong to a cult because we teach that “DEATH is better than any form of immorality.” (Yes, the capital letters are in the video. Perhaps the video’s producer is doing his best to channel Jerald Tanner.)
This past weekend I was, for the umpteenth time, reading the writings of a certain LDS apostate held in high regard by many who make criticism of the Church their avocation. I don’t want to name this apostate; indeed, his name is not important. Instead, I want to review my thoughts on one particular aspect of his writings. It is these thoughts that others may find of value. (Or not; I hold no illusions that my writings are of any intrinsic value, other than when they provide a springboard for introspection within others.)
Jan Brown, a freelance writer, apologist, and ministry consultant, wrote an interesting article at Christianity Today. The article is not that bad, from an Evangelical Christian’s perspective. There are, however, a few things that just jumped out at me as I was reading through the piece.
Periodically I run into statements which imply or directly state that those who believe in the tenets of Mormonism are less intelligent than those who believe in other Christian faiths, or those who have somehow rid themselves of any beliefs whatsoever and thereby transcended the stupidity of Mormons.
In an interesting study that was released today, researchers at Vanderbilt University report that it appears that people who really have problems with presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s religious beliefs cover that problem by saying that they believe he is a “flip-flopper.” Apparently, ingenious Americans are finding the flip-flopping charge to be more socially acceptable than just saying ‘Mitt’s a Mormon, and that disqualifies him from being president.’
An interesting article from GetReligion.org came across the wires today. I know there are lots of people who play the “which celebrity is Mormon” game. This is a celebrity I never knew about; seems Katherine Heigl spent a good part of her youth in the Church.
I can’t tell you the number of times over the past five years that I have heard critics (and some Mormons) say something along the lines of “Mormons have always believed that the Book of Mormon took place in all of North American and South America, with the Isthmus of Panama as the ‘narrow neck of land.'”
What does it take to get into heaven? Interesting question.
Every six months I join thousands of others going to General Conference. Every April and October that means that I get to visit with the street preachers, who (in the name of Christianity) are more than happy to consign people to hell. After seeing them every six months however, they’ve gotten a bit used to me and I’ve gotten a bit used to them. We aren’t sending Christmas cards to each other, but it’s not unusual to wish each other well. (Other than the going to hell thing, of course.)
In an earlier post on this blog I referenced an article published by Mormonism Research Ministry (MRM), a professional anti-Mormon organization. The article, entitled Preparing for Your Temple Tour, presents the reader with questions to ask during an open-house tour of a temple. In the comments to my earlier blog post, Marc asked the following:
“Is there a rebuttal of the points made on the ‘how to prepare for a tour of the temple’ site anywhere? It would be interesting to read responses to it.”
Good question, Marc. I wasn’t able to find any single document that address this particular page on MRM’s site. However, there are responses to the criticisms that Bill McKeever, the article’s author, raises. I thought it might be interesting to examine the article and provide a few answers.
Some critics, particularly Evangelical Christian critics, have pointed out in the past that it is inconceivable that the Nephites could have built temples in the New World because “real Jews” would never do that in violation of their law.