Anti-Mormon Comment (Woo hoo!)

Dontcha just LOVE this?

Anonymous- in italics.
Me - in bold.

Read your church history-- and maybe be brave enough to venture outside of the pale, whitewashed "approved" version in your sunday school handbook.

I do. That’s the point of this blog.

The LDS church's history is ripe with sexism and racism.

Um, so is the United States of America’s history. Not just the LDS church is to blame nor is the church the only religion whoever didn’t accept gays, blacks, women – whatever. Did you know that Latter-day Saint men and women were leaders of the women’s suffrage movement, and Utah was the second place in the world where women had the right to vote?

Brigham Young spewed so much raciest hate over the pulpit that I'm surprised how easily modern day Mormons are able to block it all out.

It was a different time. A different setting. And people were completely different. Like I mentioned in a previous post, no prophet’s are perfect. They are human. And what God inspires them to do and say can even be masked by societal issues. Society is to blame for racism. Not one person. And certainly not one person from the LDS church. Even in today’s society there are church leaders (not the Prophet) who spew crap about blacks and their roles and history in the pre-existence and here on Earth. Just because one person starts teaching “doctrine” or what they believe, doesn’t mean the entire LDS church follows suit. And in my mind, these people should be reprimanded for teaching such things.

And seriously, does no one notice when the LDS Church quietly goes about changing things like, "white and delightsome" in the BOM to "PURE and delightsome"?

Do we not use both word often in conjunction in the English language anyway? Perhaps it was racist people who forced the change because they assumed “white” literally meant white people, not a whiteness of heart or pureness of heart. They mean the same thing in this case. People take it the wrong way, which is why we need a prophet so misunderstandings can be cleared up. Everyone sees things differently, and in this case many people assumed “white and delightsome” had something to do with race.

And men and women equal? Are you kidding me? Heber C. Kimball is quoted as having said, "I think no more of taking another wife than I do of buying a cow." Joseph Smith's "wives" included girls as young as 14, and women who, when he met them, were currently married to others (Hey, uh, God told me that apparently I'M supposed to be married to your wife). And while I suppose newly converted Mormon woman are no longer told they are expected to become the 14th wife of some lecherous old man twice their age (AFTER the journey to Utah, mind you) they still certainly are not treated as men's equals. They are expected to be wives and mothers, end of story-- no real leadership potential, and no real value outside of those two relationships.

Your idea of a woman is skewed, not ours. Like I mentioned before… different time and different place. The Mormon people were a few of the first to accept women as equals. It wasn’t the Mormon church as a whole who decided women weren’t equal – it was society. It’s individual people who have are sexist, racist, and are bigots – not the Mormon church. In today’s society the idea of men and women being equal is becoming so much more skewed. Women assume that being LIKE men is being EQUAL to men, which is not the case. Women and men are different. Each with different roles, different responsibilities, different needs. Just because it is a woman’s divine privilege to have and rear children and it is a man’s right to work and provide for his family doesn’t make either party better or worse. It also doesn’t mean that men and women have to fulfill these roles or abide by the traditional gender "rules". It just means that God made us different for a reason, and gender is a vital part of who we are.

The Mormon Chruch changes it's tune when it becomes politically or financially expedient to do so. It's members pull their blinders tighter and excuse everything said before as ok because, well, I'm sure there's some kind of reason, right? What's that famous Mormon catch all-- we don't understand everything now, but I'm sure God has a plan. (Huh, I wonder if that gives the rest of us hope for your current raging homophobia at some point. That would certainly be nice.)

It’s not the church who changes their tune when it’s politically or financially expedient to do so. We fully believe that God has living prophets today to convey his messages to his people. In the Bible there were many prophets who did this for God’s people. God chooses someone to relay his messages. I can’t speak for God, but I personally believe that He shows us what he wants to show us in due time. That may sounds nuts to non-Christians, but it makes perfect sense to me. Would you give your 5 year old child a talk about sex? No. They aren’t ready and are too young to understand. We are God’s children and we don’t know all that we think we do. Yes, right now we fully believe that homosexuality is a sin. The Bible says so and God says so through the Prophet. Maybe in 10, 20, 100 years they will all look back at us and say “Ha! I can’t believe those people actually thought being gay was BAD!” Much like we do now about inequality with blacks and women. The Bible talks about polygamy, and now we think it’s nuts. It can all get damn confusing. Who says everything must be the same century in and century out? Change is inevitable, here and in the afterlife.

9 comments:

Mormon Heretic said...

I enjoyed this post. While it is true that there are some unenlightened things in the history of the church, many other religions are equally guilty of racism, sexism, etc. For your emailer to single out mormons is quite narrow-minded. The church is continuing to progress, and I am also happy to be a member, despite the fact that the church isn't perfect. Apparently the, emailer thinks it should be. Well, we're all striving to be perfect, including the church.

I thought you had some great answers. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is kind of fun. I'm glad you responded to my comment-- what say we take this slowly and discuss one question at a time? (Man, where to start?) Having grown up in the LDS church I am really quite interested in your answers. My first question is this:
The major problem I find with your argument regarding Brigham Young's statements is that your church purports to be directed by God-- society in general does not. Brigham Young did not preface his racists teaching by saying, hey, this is just my opinion-- he said this is the eternal word of God on the matter. You're going to pick and choose between the statements that a prophet gave that qualification to? I like this one, so it passes, this one not so much? How do you trust ANYTHING he taught, if when he SAID he was giving you the word of God sometimes he was not? Wouldn't a rational God say, Hey Brigham, you know what you said about such and such? That's just your opinion as a product of your society. Let me tell you what's really up-- pass the word on to the flock. (Wait-- isn't that right there what God restoring his truth to earth would look like by definition?) Mormons love to say, hey, our prophet sometimes speaks as a prophet and sometimes as a man. But if, as in Brigham Young's case, he qualifies nearly everything he taught as "the eternal word of God" how do you tell honestly tell the difference? I'm going to guess that your answer goes something along the lines of, well, we have a modern prophet, and he gets to decide at the moment what he likes. When there is a new one, all the old "eternal word of God" stuff may or may not hold the same credence. I find such a notion frightening.
I really am interested to hear your answer. And let me tell you I will honestly consider what you have to say-- and honestly tell you if it makes sense. I apologize if I came across as a little harsh in my original comment-- that's the product of frustration. Most Mormons are difficult to discuss ideas with in the same way that it is difficult to discuss with a brick wall: easy to bang your head against, but not so easy to get to honestly consider what you have to say. Having spent 25 years in the LDS church I have run across my fair share of Mormons who do not even want to hear my questions. Hopefully serious questions don't scare you.
Oh, one last comment. Shouldn't God's restored truth be identifiable by standing out against the background of it's time? By being bright when the time is dark, and good when the time is not? Who's going to line up behind "inspired truth" if it is only a product of it's corrupted time?
I'm bookmarking your page Normal Mormon... and hoping you don't disappoint me.

April said...

Anonymous -

LOL. Thanks for commenting again. I do agree with you - many Mormons don't like to hear this stuff. We like to hide our heads in the sand. I am one of those sometimes, especially in person. I also see where you are coming from completely. How can a church pick and choose what it wants to hear from it's PROPHET. Well, being that I DO run a blog devoted to the church, I don't want to cause a huge ruckus. All I know is that, for me, this church is the one that is the MOST true. I feel that every other religion omits something important – The Book of Mormon. That’s all there is to it really. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. All this other crap that goes along with the church sometimes is fluff. Sometimes it’s not. Some Mormons think every word that came out of the mouths of our leaders is and always will be fact without a shadow of a doubt. Personal beliefs suggest otherwise. I know through personal witness and testimony through prayer what is true in my heart, and what is not. And I can’t explain why the same may not be true for others. Although we often stand together, we don't all believe the exact same things. I follow the guidance of the prophet in these times because well, he gives pretty darn good guidance. Some believe in the “all or nothing” approach. I say I can believe in whatever the Hell I want!

It’s much like we compare religion to feeling an elephant with our eyes closed - some may say it's long and skinny (if they feel the tail) and some may say it's rough and dry (if they feel the body) and some may say it’s flat and thin (if they feel the ear.) It’s really all a part of the same thing. The prophet is the one who has his eyes open and can say, “Yes, the elephant is all those things. But it’s also huge. And gray. And he also has big feet.” The prophet tells us what we cannot see. But the prophet, like I mentioned, is a man and is therefore imperfect. So if he’s standing among all of us, feeling the elephant like we are, he might say, “Yeah! The elephant IS rough and dry!” or “Yes, it’s true. He is flat and thin.”

Okay it’s a bad analogy, but you kind of get the idea. I think one huge thing we keep forgetting is the value of faith and personal witness. I can’t tell you that you are wrong after you have prayed in faith and gotten a different answer than me. I don’t know why that happens. I know it’s much easier to up and leave the church, start researching why the Mormon faith is “not true,” and begin to find information that goes against the church. Believe me, I have been on both sides of this argument. I WANT people to go out there and ask questions. I WANT people who aren’t in the church to look at all sides of this religion. I want people who ARE in the church not to take everything at face value and do a little research. I did. I do regularly. And still I come to the same conclusion every single time. The Book of Mormon is true.

Mormon Heretic said...

Anonymous,

Please pick an interesting handle. Anonymous is pretty bland, and many people use it. While you happen to be unique here, that many not always be the case.

I think you are well aware of many inconsistencies in the bible. Why are you going after only Mormon inconsistencies? Are you evangelical, agnostic, or what? Please let me know, and it will help me try to come up with scriptural or logical arguments.

Assuming you believe in the bible, there are plenty of scriptures which reference slavery, polygamy, human sacrifice (such as Abraham), women should be silent in church, etc. If you believe in the Bible, how do you explain these contradictory things spoken by prophets?

Should we start stoning adulterers like Moses told us to? Shall we put to death anyone who breaks the Sabbath?

One other thing. As you probably know, April is pretty new to the church, and probably hasn't been to theology school. For you to take shots at her isn't the the kindest thing to do, is it? If you want to discuss these types of issues, and want someone who can compare with your 25 years in the church (rather than April's short couple of years), come on over to my blog, and we can bat some of these ideas around. You may even be surprised that I agree with some of your takes. Even still, I am a committed mormon.

And please, be more respectful in your tone. You are rather insulting. While I am sure April welcomes differing points of view, you come off as quite rude. Serious questions don't scare me, but I have a real problem with your sarcasm. Yes, I'm sure you're frustrated, but please don't take it out on me or April. Most members have a hard time turning the other cheek--me included. I just ask you to be more respectful.

Is your point to ask real questions, or to tear down faith? While you proclaim the former, your tone suggests the latter. And if you really want to know the truth, why are you asking someone so new in the church? Wouldn't it make more sense to ask someone more on your level of 25 years of experience? What is your real purpose here? You seem to be more interested in vandalism than truth.

jujukitty said...

I'm still amused at how any criticism of the church, including historical fact, is dismissed as "anti-mormon." Most of us former mormons (over 30 years in, born and raised, on my part) are not "anti-mormon" and often not necessarily even anti-mormonism. We're simply pointing out what we see as discrepancies, hypocrisy, and embarrassing history. Why is that hard for members to take?

Mormon Heretic said...

jujukitty,

Can you expose some of your dirty laundry for us to pick at? I'll bet if you ran for president, we could find some of your hypocrisy, including some historical facts that I am quite certain, partisan politicians would love to trumpet to the world. Perhaps you have a daughter, like Sarah Palin does, that got pregnant as a teen. Would you be proud of this fact? Would you enjoy talking about this?

Would you think that it was anti-jujukitty or pro-jujukitty for partisans to trumpet your hypocrisies? Or is it simply neutral?

Please, put your money where your keyboard is, and tell us some of your hypocrisies. And then when people aren't so kind, don't dare say that rude comments aren't hurtful.

Look, I don't think every criticism of the church is anti-mormon. In fact, I'm critical of some things the church does, and I don't consider myself anti-mormon either. But can you honestly tell me that anonymous was neutral or pro-mormon?

(jujukitty, are you anonymous?)

Mormon Heretic said...

jujukitty,

Can you expose some of your dirty laundry for us to pick at? I'll bet if you ran for president, we could find some of your hypocrisy, including some historical facts that I am quite certain, partisan politicians would love to trumpet to the world. Perhaps you have a daughter, like Sarah Palin does, that got pregnant as a teen. Would you be proud of this fact? Would you enjoy talking about this?

Would you think that it was anti-jujukitty or pro-jujukitty for partisans to trumpet your hypocrisies? Or is it simply neutral?

Please, put your money where your keyboard is, and tell us some of your hypocrisies. And then when people aren't so kind, don't dare say that rude comments aren't hurtful.

Look, I don't think every criticism of the church is anti-mormon. In fact, I'm critical of some things the church does, and I don't consider myself anti-mormon either. But can you honestly tell me that anonymous was neutral or pro-mormon?

(jujukitty, are you anonymous?)

Anonymous said...

Im a born and raised mormon, have studied the faith, "held" a testimony" but have questions about why I need to pray so hard about believing the book of mormon to be true or why I have to wait for a leader to explain things. If I leave the church because of all the "evil" research i've been doing I guess I'll be cast out as a angry mormon too. But i'm not, i'm just becoming very aware.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how people can hate a religion and critisize it and hate everyone in it without even trying to find out if what they heard was a stupid rumor or not. You should take in both sides of the story before you form an opinion, no matter what it is. Here's a pro-mormon site for anyone interested:

http://www.mormon.org/

sorry, I don't know how to make it a direct link. :)

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