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Thursday, November 3, 2011

I am NOT a Mormon

There is a lot of attention on the Mormon religion right now. Currently a Broadway play called The Book of Mormon is receiving wonderful reviews and enjoying sold-out crowds. But more importantly two Presidential candidates are members of the Mormon church: Mitt Romney, a front-runner, and Jon Huntsman. It would be a first in our country if a Mormon were elected to the White House. They liken it to when President Kennedy, a Catholic, was elected. (I beg to differ but no time to get into politics today.) To try to make this possible-historic-event happen, the LDS advertising machine has launched a major television campaign themselves. You'd have to be living under a rock (or possibly in a state that hasn't aired it yet) to miss the flood of commercials with the slogan "I'm a Mormon" which features everyday people of all races and ages. What they are trying to do, in my opinion, is combat the very negative view most people have of the Mormon religion and help us understand that Mormons are folks just like you and me.

But in talking with people lately and reading bits and pieces on the Internet, it is clear most people have no clue what the Mormons believe. One person said, "They're just another Christian denomination, right?" Wrong, wrong, wrong!

So I thought I'd tackle the subject here and tell you why I am NOT a Mormon.

First, a brief history. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded by Joseph Smith in 1830. According to Smith, an angel named Moroni (who is actually the dead son of a great prophet and military leader named Mormon who supposedly lived in America in AD 385) led Smith to a secret location where a set of "gold plates" were hidden. Moroni supposedly hid those plates 1500 years before Smith found them. On the plates were ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics that could only be translated by using these special stone-glasses. The Book of Mormon, which Mormons claim as the most important holy book of their religion, is supposed to be a translation of those plates, which the angel Moroni conveniently took back to heaven with him so no one can see them now.

Far-fetched, you say? Read on.

Here are some basic beliefs of the Mormon religion that completely differ from Christianity:

GOD was once a human on another earth. He progressed to being God over our earth. He is married and has a father and mother who are gods over another world. Humans are literally the children of God and can become gods too.

JESUS is the spirit-brother of Lucifer (Satan). Although he was conceived by the virgin Mary, it was God the man-father who actually came to Mary, not the Holy Spirit as the Bible says. Jesus is one of many gods and is our "elder brother." His death on the cross is only the beginning of our atonement for sin. It wasn't the complete, final payment spoken of in Ephesians 2. It's now up to us to follow-up with good works.

The BIBLE is accepted by Mormons, but they believe it is inferior to the Book of Mormon and two other books written by Joseph Smith. They claim the Bible has been corrupted over the years and cannot be relied on to tell us what God really says.

The CHURCH cannot be any church other than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the "one true church". All other denominations are false.

HEAVEN and DEATH take on new meaning in the LDS church. After death but before judgement, the wicked get a second chance to make it to heaven, which has three levels: 1) LDS members are highest; 2) good people who aren't LDS members; 3) the unrighteous. The fourth group consists of Lucifer, his angels, and the unrepentant "sons of perdition." They all go to hell.

Everything Mormons believe--at least the major points--contradict the Bible. Sandra Tanner, great-great granddaughter of Brigham Young, directs a ministry called Utah Lighthouse Ministry to help Mormons find salvation through Jesus Christ. If you have questions about the Mormon faith--what they believe and how it differs from Christianity--check out their web site. There are just too many differences to go into here on the blog.

The bottom line is this: Mormons are not Christians. It doesn't matter if the name of their religion has the words "Jesus Christ" in it. Their religion and beliefs are based on the ideas and imagination of Joseph Smith, an adulterous man called a "deliberate charlatan" who was attacked and killed by a mob in 1844.

I'll leave you with this:

"But there were false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up." 2 Peter 2:1-3

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This week's Prayer Shout-Out countries are:
USA, Poland, United Kingdom, India, Zambia, Italy, Russia, Ukraine

23 comments:

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

Good post. Hopefully Christians will wake up and not be duped. I can not vote for a Mormon or anyone who does not claim to be a Christian. Just sayin'

Beth said...

I agree with Patricia. We Christians need to let other know just what you said, Michelle. Thanks for being a bold witness!

Anonymous said...

Oh I don't think Smith made it up. I think he was really visited by an angel that day. After all 1/3 of all angels stopped following God and were kicked out of heaven.

Michelle Shocklee said...

Patricia, I agree! Thanks!

Thanks, Beth. We really do have start speaking out for Truth.

Anonymous, interesting thought. One thing I didn't mention in the post is that The Book of Mormon is said to be a copy of a fictional novel by a Presbyterian minister named Solomon Spaulding. He titled it "Manuscript Found" and his family signed sworn affidavits that the two books are the same. Mr. Spaulding died before his book was ever printed.

Thanks everyone for your comments!
Blessings,
~Michelle Shocklee

Derrick Tornow said...

I think this was just another lazy blog post by someone that doesn't want to put in the time to know what they are talking about. This post is similar to what you would read at any anti-Mormon website, no facts & only gossip. If you want to know what Mormons believe ask a Mormon. Simple! Patricia & Beth - You can't vote for someone that has served others their whole life, has good ideas on how to make this country better and has experience because one is a Mormon maybe you shouldn't vote.

estevan studios said...

The Koran is in the same league. The "prophet" found that Christianity and the Bible were corrupt and took it upon himself to rewrite God's word, adding in the killing of non-believing infidels and allowing multiple underage wives (sound familiar? In April 1841, Smith wed Louisa Beaman, and then during the next two and a half years he may have married as many as 30 additional women, ten of them already married to other men, and ten of them under the age of twenty.)

While living in THE most mormon city (per capita) in the US, Rexburg Idaho, I would have long religious discussions with the mormon women I worked with (the entire company was mormon with the exception of my boss and me). Having taken several of the "become a mormon" classes, I would compare their beliefs to Christianity. When I would read 2 Peter 2:1-3 to them and ask "who is the leader of the mormon church?" they really had no answer. Some of what I would bring up, the women would not have heard of as the men and women are raised up separate in the church, with men privey to many "sacred" doings that the women are not. I used to tell them "Bottom line, one of us is going to be very surprised when we die, and it ain't going to be me!!"

Michelle Shocklee said...

Derrick,
Glad you stopped by and left a comment. Wasn't a very nice comment, but we're all entitled to our opinions. "Lazy" definitely does not describe my research. For the past decade or so I've looked into and studied about MANY world religions, Mormonism being one of them. For the sake of the space of a blog post, I highlighted what I have read in books, websites, testimonies of ex-Mormons, etc. etc. I seriously doubt you could claim that the Tanners don't know what they're talking about, since they come from a very long line of the very folks who founded the LDS church and made it what it is today. I encourage you to take an open-minded look at the Tanner's testimonies and answer the question yourself about why they would leave the LDS church if it was built upon Truth.
Blessings to you,
~Michelle Shocklee

Michelle Shocklee said...

Good for you, Estevan! ;) Seems to me 'some people' think that because we disagree with them then we haven't done our research or talked to live Mormons. Your comment proves that theory is wrong.
Love ya!
~M.

Michelle Shocklee said...

Derrick,
I forgot to say...please--and I mean that sincerely--feel free to share what you believe is erroneous in my blog post. What I've posted came from multiple sources and I'd be happy to list them.
~MS

Anonymous said...

Have you read "The Book of Mormon?"

Michelle Shocklee said...

Anonymous,
I have not read The Book of Mormon from cover to cover. I have read excerpts, quotes and a synopsis of the story. I have considered obtaining a copy of The Book of Mormon for myself, but my spirit has stopped me every time, which in my heart I know is the Spirit stopping me.
~Michelle

Anonymous said...

Huh? Even if you think the Mormon faith is nonsense, you still need to know what you're talking about. How else do you do that unless you read the primary texts of that religion? The texts won't bite you. And do you really think you get a balanced, fair view from the Tanners and other critics of Mormonism? I wouldn't get a balanced, fair view of you if all I did was talk to people who didn't like you. Don't you think fairness matters?

Michelle Shocklee said...

First of all, since you don't know all the sources I've used, you can't possibly know if they are all negative about Mormonism. They aren't, for your info. Some are just straight-up facts on the religion.

Second, no, I don't need to read the whole thing. What I've read is plenty to tell me the God and the Jesus of the Mormon faith are not the God and Jesus that I worship. Why would I want to spend more time delving into a false doctrine when what I've studied is plenty? I am not nor do I ever plan to be some kind of expert on Mormonism. My blog was simply in response to the commercial campaign to say why I am not a Mormon.

The Tanners ARE the experts however. They lived it. Their families lived it. Their ancestors lived it. You haven't. Nor can you ever fully understand Mormonism even if you read every single word that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young wrote on it. You've read tons on Christianity and yet you still don't understand it. Not from the perspective of FAITH, I mean. You have to live it to know it fully.

Thirdly, if my spirit is telling me to keep away from something, you better believe I'm gonna listen!

See ya.
~M.

Anonymous said...

Come on. Can you honestly say that you want someone to present your faith the way you presented the Mormon faith (sarcasm included--as in "it gets better")? Doesn't the Golden Rule hold in Texas this month? Is mockery really putting "do unto others" in action?

Michelle Shocklee said...

Oh brother, Brother. Okay. So I'll remove my one line of sarcasm, but the rest is factual and, in my opinion, far-fetched. That will stand.
Love,
M.

Britt said...

As per the "I'm a mormon campaign", the LDS church has been pushing this. I do not believe that this is related closely to Romney's run for president. There are a few reasons for this: 1) The leadership in the LDS church is mixed in terms of political leanings. Many of the leaders will likely vote for Obama and vote against Romney if he wins the bid as a candidate from the GOP. 2) The Church avoids getting involved with politics... it has strict rules about separation between church and state. i.e. the church building can never be used for political rallies amongst many others. 3) It would be a PR nightmare for the church to get involved to push Romney for President. The church already gets enough heat.

Moreover it is about time that the Church does something to help with the misconception that we are irrational, abnormal, cultists. The church's critics have defined mormonism and who mormons for far too long. It is time that they help people see that we followers of christ, good members of the community, and family people.

I have some videos on youtube that I made that help explain greater context what we believe about the Godhead for example and the Book of Mormon. If you will allow me to posts those or send those to you I would love to do that. I think that they would help give you more context with which to judge. (I will wait for your reply, before I do... because I can understand why you may not be okay with that.)

Michelle one last thing. I want to say that I really admire you for your other posts about teachings in the Bible. Like your post on using the Lord's name in vane. This is something that we also have in common. I do not use his name in vane and hold it sacred too.

Britt said...

Please don't take anything that I am about to say offensively Michelle. I don't mean any offense.

First, I will start by saying that I am a Mormon. And I just get so sick and tired of people producing this kind of content. I have studied my belief with a skeptical eye and until I had further investigated these very issues amongst others thought maybe I had been a fool. However, I am a very inquisitive person by nature, which means I have asked the questions that most protestant christians seeking to help enlighten "mormons" on my own and I have visited the ministry sites that you have cited and more... Part of being truly inquisitive is not just asking but needing answers, good answers. The bottom line is that you have not done enough research.

This will not be clear to most people and they will take it at face value. But to someone who has delved into these questions with as much time and consideration as I have, it is really clear that you still need to research more.

I will not attempt to address all of the problems with this blogpost. But I may take a crack at a few of these. I just want to point out a few problems to help illustrate why you should probably take this post down until you have conducted more research. (not to offend you.)

So, one of the reasons why I can tell you have not sufficiently researched these topics is that you have provided the narrowest context on every single one of these points. Additionally, the context that you have provided is the exact same narrow contexts that the anti-mormon sites use. (I know because I've been and studied them for hundreds of hours) They provided the narrowest context in order to strategically make mormon beliefs seem non-biblical. However, the truth is the more I read the bible and the more I study each issue, the more convinced I am that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is actually the restored Church of Christ. This being said, I would never speak poorly of my fellow christians and their denominations. Why? Because I believe that they have truth, I believe they helped preserve Christianity, for which I will always be grateful. I am grateful that I can relate with my protestant friends in our belief that Christ is the savior of all mankind (not just mormons). I believe in the verse John 3:16. I believe the bible and I honor the reformers for their sacrifices. It is true that I believe the Book of Mormon is the word of God. However, I also believe the Bible is the word of God. I see the Book of Mormon as a complimentary to the Bible. And, my personal study of each of these sacred text has given me a strong conviction that both books are true. More importantly I have felt a witness from the Holy Spirit that both books are true.

Britt said...

sorry, about the reverse order of my posts as well.

Michelle Shocklee said...

Hi Britt,

Thanks for your heart-felt comments, and no, I don't take offense. You are speaking your mind just as I spoke mine in my post. As I said to Derrick, for the sake of the space of a blogpost, my description of the Mormon beliefs was as basic beliefs (which I made clear). Obviously I haven't done the hours of research you have on the beliefs of the LDS church, but I definitely didn't just read a bit here and there and then post the negatives. What I posted is what I've read from many different sources, including the Tanners pages, Mormonbeliefs.org, Mormondoctrin.net, Wikipedia (yeah, I know) as well as many other sites, and in several books including Misguiding Lights which is a study on 11 different world religions.

I don't know if you read my post from today on why I'm a Christian, but I used the same 5 belief-points as I did in my post on the LDS faith to give a basic description of Christianity. The LDS church and Christianity have completely different beliefs in the core faith elements, which are God, Jesus, the Church, the Bible, and life after death. The God of the LDS church is not the God of the Christian faith nor is the Jesus of the LDS church the same Jesus that I worship.

Britt, I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, believe you have accepted a false doctrine. You probably believe the same about me, but my faith is not based on the writings of one man who historically was known for treasure hunting with 'seeing' stones, a dissatisfaction with Christian churches, many adulterous "marriages", and making changes to the original Book of Mormon, which a renowned Egyptologist--Prof. Charles Anthon--declared the "Egyptian hieroglyphics" Mr. Smith claims were on the plates as a hoax.

I wish you well in you endeavor to seek and to serve God. Thank you for your kind words about some of my other posts. Feel free to post the links.

Blessings to you, Britt!
~Michelle Shocklee

Michelle Shocklee said...

One of the most compelling testimonies I've read.

http://www.mrm.org/lane-thuet

~Michelle

Brit said...

Michelle,

Thanks for your response although we are going to have to agree to disagree on a number of your points. As I mentioned before I am glad that we agree on at least some important points of doctrine and values. I would suspect that our values are nearly the same. So again even though I feel like what you have written could be quite misleading due to the narrow context which may be inherit in just trying to be concise. I appreciate your willingness in allowing me to post links that will provide some greater context and perhaps allow more meaningful discourse between the readers of your blog.

I actually did read your blogpost from Monday. I agree with absolutely everything in a few of the paragraphs, doctrinally. And appreciate the sharing of your sincere belief in the others that I don't agree 100% with even though most of them are pretty close to what I believe.

Here is some additional context on the Godhead. These videos are designed to provide the missing context often left undiscussed on anti-mormon blogs that explain why we believe what we believe. I'd love to get your feedback. (Specifically if after watching it you can at least see where we are coming from. I am not trying to convince you, just get people to see where we are coming from.)
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4065A7B5A366086F

Brit said...

Michelle,

Here is one other relevant video to our discussion that I made. It has to do with the Book of Mormon and the Bible.

Here is the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNiMt0IFb9A

Michelle Shocklee said...

Britt,

Thanks for sharing. I watched most of the first batch of videos and then the one on the Bible. Sincere stuff presented by sincere men, but still nothing that I didn't already know about the Mormon beliefs. Jehovah's Witnesses have the same belief about the Trinity as Mormons. I disagree with both religions and firmly believe the Bible does make it clear the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all one God. "Immanuel." "The Father and I are one." So on. It's also always been my understanding that the verse in Revelation 22:18 that talks about 'adding to this book' refers only to Revelation and not the entire Bible. I personally have never been taught (in 48 years of Biblical teaching!) that it meant the whole Bible.

That being said, a book or any writings that contradict the Bible's clear picture of God and Jesus is false doctrine. The LDS church and Islam both accepted additional books written by "prophets" who each said THEY had been given the REAL truth. Both religions accept the Bible, but they're beliefs seemed to be formed more from the additional books.

Anyway, I wish you all the best, Britt. I really do.

Blessings,
~Michelle