Sacred Taxonomy

Every now and then I hear a frustrated Mormon express something like this:

“Why are other churches so threatened by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Other churches even have classes against us! My Church would never do that. My Church never says anything negative about other churches.”

Apart from the fact that the LDS Church has and continues to say negative things about non-Mormon churches and beliefs, I’d like to attempt to explain, via a sort of parable, the Christian churches’ manifest evaluation of Mormonism (and other faith systems).

The Parable of the Mushroom Societies

A certain group of people loved mushrooms. They gathered together and formed a Mushroom Society. They frequently went into the woods, two by two, to hunt and gather mushrooms, later preparing meals and enjoying them together. Because some mushrooms were edible and some toxic, the Mushroom Society took great care to study mushroom characteristics, to learn to identify different species, and to understand how to prepare mushrooms for safe consumption. The society grew and flourished.

Across the county another mushroom enthusiast decided to form a similar mushroom society of his own. He talked to many people and invited them to join him in the new society he had founded: The One True Mushroom Society. While this society enjoyed mushrooms, there was only one variety they found acceptable – the cultivated white button mushroom. All other mushroom varieties were labeled bad. The One True Mushroom Society believed and taught that all other mushroom varieties were, in fact, toxic. Therefore, the only mushrooms the members of the society needed to know about were the white button mushrooms. So they grew their own mushrooms and took turns harvesting and eating them. They enjoyed their mushrooms, but they never learned anything about the hundreds of other edible mushrooms that were available – and delicious.

This simple parable should not be taken too far. I’m trying to demonstrate one basic fact: According to the LDS Church, all other churches are wrong, their creeds are an abomination, and their professors are corrupt. If this is the message (and it is), why should any time be spent educating Mormons about other faiths? Since Mormon leaders insist that the LDS Church is the “One True Church,” Mormons are expected to just believe it; what other churches teach for truth doesn’t really matter; it is enough for Latter-day Saints to be taught to group all outsiders into one big classification labeled “false.”

In contrast to the LDS Church’s position that all other churches are wrong, most non-Mormon churches recognize and acknowledge that God is present and active in multiple denominations and churches. Yet some organizations, like Mormonism, deviate so far from the fundamental essentials of the historic Christian faith that they lead people away from Christ rather than toward Him. Therefore, one reason it is important for Christians to learn about different denominations, different doctrinal systems, and different faiths is so that they are better equipped to discern the true from the false, and the (theologically) good from the bad.

Thank you for tolerating my parable. I hope it has shed some light on a subject that generally thrives in the dark.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.

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107 Responses to Sacred Taxonomy

  1. We’re going to shut down the thread this evening, so please wrap the discussion up. Thanks!

  2. shematwater says:

    I apologize for my last post. It was out of line.

    Just understand the Mormon, LDS, Latter-Day Saints, and Saints mean the same thing when I use them on this thread. They are simply the names used to reference one denomination, such as Baptist or Methodist. I believe the term Christian encompasses all of them.

    I will be a few days before I can give my reply on your blog, so plese be patient.

  3. rick b says:

    Shem,
    Before the thread gets shut down I want to say, I still dont agree with your bird in the hand thought, here’s why.

    As I said, I am asking questions, not hiding something in my hand that I can kill or keep alive. Plus in my topic question, you replied with a list of things, so let me use the Fall as an example.

    The Bible is very clear, God created Adam and Eve, God told them they could eat from any tree but the tree of life. Eve ate from that tree and Adam followed suit. It speaks of Eve being Decived by Satan, and them covering themselves by the work of their own hands. Then it tells us how God said, thats not good enough, killed an Animal and covered them instead.

    The Bible tells us, God rebuked each one of them, told each one of them exactly what would happen, IE, Adam would sweat and be in pain from hard work, thorns and thistles would grow, Eve would be in pain when bearing kids, The Snake would eat dust and crawl on his belly. Then they were kicked out of the garden, I left a few points out, but still that is so clear, what can the BoM add to that, that would make everything even more clear than it already is from reading the BoM? Rick b

  4. rick b says:

    Shem,
    I did not mean the tree of life, I meant the tree of Knowladge of good and evil. Rick b

  5. Ralph says:

    Martin,

    You asked what would my relationship with God be like if I was cut off from my religion. It would be the same as it is now. I would not stop believing in nor worshiping Him. I would do my best to live the standards that He requires of me – etc. This can be seen in the lives of many church members in Europe (especially East Germany) during and after the second world war. Many members remained faithful when they had no possibility to go to church nor worship in a church service for years. When the church was allowed back into East Germany the LDS members there rejoiced. I have read stories in the Ensign about these people and their experiences.

    Contrary to popular belief on this site, the LDS church is all about our relationship with God and Jesus, as it is only through faith in Jesus that we receive the ability to return to Heavenly Father. All those who were unable to gain the necessary ordinances in this life can have the ordinances performed for them vicariously. If God knows that they would have received them in this life (you know He can read our hearts and minds) with our whole heart, then they will be counted as His. All those faithful members in countries where they are cut off from the church for any reason, if they remain faithful, will not lose out on a thing.

    that is why I say my relationship with God and Jesus will remain the same because I will still believe in and worship them and live my life the way they have told me to in the scriptures.

  6. faithoffathers says:

    Rickb-

    Read Alma 40-42. Best description of the state of man anywhere is in chapter 42. 2 Nephi chapter 2 is also tops on the topic. These chapters provide the clearest exposition on the fall I know of. They DO add hugely valuable information and doctrine.

    peace!

    fof

  7. Rick B says:

    FoF,
    I know your going to say that my reply is what you were expecting me to say.
    Much of what was said in those chapters is nothing more that a re-wording of the Bible. It really adds nothing the Bible already does not tell us.

    As for the rest of the stuff that you claim adds to my knowledge, it really contrdicts the Bible. The fall topic has been posted here in the past, and I stated already, God did not say to Adam and Eve, Do not eat from the tree or you will die, knowing that if He said Dont do it they really would and that was His plan all along.

    That not only is God being Dectiful, but that would mean it was Gods plan all along for man kind to suffer all the evil it does today. If a Guy rapes a women, or a man molests a Child, that in part is a result of the Fall of Adam and us being Sinners. You mean that was part of Gods plan? I dont think so, Since if any man hurts my Child and I in turn rain down some serious pain on that person, I will be held accountable by God for my Actions.

    But according to LDS, God wanted Man to Fall by saying Man needed to fall, so I could simply say to God, It’s your fault, and the Bible is clear, thats not the case, since it really was not part of Gods plan, but we screwed up Not God. Rick b

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