In an article published Thursday (3 January 2008) in The American Spectator, LDS writer Carrie Sheffield discussed why Evangelicals [are] Against Mitt. After suggesting Evangelicals worry about a surge in LDS Church growth if there were to be a Mormon in the White House, Ms. Sheffield concluded,
“The LDS church is likely to continue its current modest-but-impressive growth whether or not Romney wins the White House. Perhaps the only real worry for evangelicals is that, if elected, the former Massachusetts governor will demonstrate to Americans that Mormons don’t have horns.”
Today The American Spectator published some readers’ letters addressing Ms. Sheffield’s article. One in particular presented an interesting perspective. C. V. Crisler from Gilbert, Arizona wrote (in part):
“Mormons certainly don’t have horns if this is meant in a personal sense. Most Mormons I know are nice and unthreatening, and even conservative. There’s nothing about them at all to suggest they are a robotic, brainwashed cult-like fans of Hannah Montana…
“The complaints of the evangelicals have more to do with theological issues, and the term ‘cult’–probably over the top to use the term nowadays–has to do with truth in advertising…
“There isn’t any real ‘moral equivalency’ between Christianity and Mormonism, i.e., no basis for a tu quoque [i.e., “you also” or “you’re another”], as in ‘what about Christian beliefs?’ Christians are usually right up front about what they believe, and seldom hide their beliefs…
“For Christians, Mormon teaching is really quite strange, and even puzzling. From an ‘epistemological’ point of view, evangelicals are right to fear that Mormons wear horns…”
As an Evangelical I would like to clarify that it is not the “strangeness” or “puzzling” nature of Mormon doctrine that causes me concern. Rather, it is what I understand to be unbiblical teachings — teachings which are manifest in promises from Mormonism to provide a way (the way) for people to be forgiven of their sins and reconciled to God; promises the LDS Church is unable to fulfill.
I don’t agree with the letter-writer that Mormons have epistemological horns — or any horns at all. But it might be said that Mormonism has horns.
I’m not specifically concerned over the growth of the LDS Church as Ms. Sheffield suggests; but, like Paul,
“I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ…
“And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do…for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:3, 12, 14)
I don’t “fear that Mormons wear horns.” I fear that Mormonism will lead people away from their only eternal hope: pure devotion to Jesus Christ.
I guess I’m wondering what it means to “wear horns” in this context. If it has something to do with fearing Mormons, I know I don’t fear them as individuals. If it’s theological horns we’re talking about, I think people have a right to fear (Mormon doctrine). This is especially since there is a “we believe just like you” approach in modern Mormonism. I find that Mormon doctrine/teaching runs the gambit from odd (small horns)to repulsive (large horns).
Okay guys, I’ll fess up. This is actually MY fault.
You see, I was an LDS m issionary several decades ago in a solidly Protestant area, full of the usual misconceptions about our religion. We were young and kinda bored, so the two of us each broke off a couple of rose bush thorns, stuck them prominently on our foreheads and proceeded to knock on the door.
The lady of the house answered the door. Her response could not have been more satisfying to a couple of guys with a juvenile sense of humor. (I still chuckle, actually – sorry – guess I haven’t really grown up that much).
Yeah, I did that. Sorry. 🙂
You said that the protestant area was full of the usual misconceptions about Mormons….thus the horns. I’m curious as to what the misconceptions are/were. About the only one I’m aware of is that Mormons still practice polygamy (today). I’m not really sure how wide spread that particular misconception is since I’ve never heard it expressed by anybody. In fact I didn’t know any Mormons growing up and thus knew next to nothing about Mormonism but I did know that polygamy had stopped as a practice. So what are these misconceptions that lead to Mormon Horns?
Well, this blog spot is chalk full of the ‘usual misconceptions’ – don’t let me bore you – read to your heart’s delight.
But I’ve gotta tell you about an UN-USUAL misconception. I served my in southern Africa (yeah, Protestant). And the ‘mormons,’ you know, have a tunnel from Johannesburg through the heart of the earth to Salt Lake City and they’ll steal your daughters and take them to SLC to marry them into their nefarious polygomous unions!
NO LIE. I’m NOT making this stuff up.
You asked about horns. It goes like this: Mormons are children of the devil, right? (I just read that this evening on this blog spot, so I have it on good authority). Well, since the devil has horns – us mormons must have horns too – it’s a genetic thing.
I don’t know what anyone should make out of LDS “speculations” like Jesus had three wives. I have a mis-conception about that subject, so I think Mormons have “horns”.
Wait for a day when you hear from Mormons that they are “Evangelicals” too. Their recent “We’re Christians” PR may not be helping Mitt Romney anytime good. Thank God for Huckabee who made that misconception clear. I don’t care he wins or not, he made a great point.
Nope, not going to let you off the hook Donny. Enumerate for me the common misconceptions (in the United States please) about Mormons that give them “horns”. I’ll even take common misconceptions that you say appear on this blog. Give me your top five! I’ll help:
1. Mormons believe that there is a mother god and father god that procreate spirit children.
2. Mormons believe that there is a progression toward godhood and that even the god of this territory was once a physical man.
3. That Jesus was not eternal but is the spiritual offspring of the mother/father god and the physical offspring of the Virgin Mary and Elohim, by some sort of union that the Mormons can’t seem to quite settle on.
4. That Joseph Smith used a magic stone (which he placed in a hat) than pushed his face into the hat to mystically translate some gold plates into the Book of Mormon.
5. That the Book of Abraham, which Brother Smith “translated” from parchments, turned out to be common funeral text, proving he had no ability to translate anything, magic stone or not.
Give me your top five Donny or correct mine here.
Yes, I would also like Donny to point out the misconceptions that this blog is “chock-full” of. You don’t have to give all of them. But 3 or 4 examples, along with reasons why they are misconceptions, would be great.
Donny, if what you say is true about this blog, then I honestly do not recall you ever posting a “correct” View under the former posts, so please state these problems or admit that you were mistaken. Rick b
I agree with the author. I hate it when people call me “anti-Mormon”. I like Mormons. I find their work ethic and their devotion admirable beyond belief, and a model for evangelicals. However, on the opposite side, I find their doctrine to be in some cases, foolish, and in many cases, detestable. So, I’m not anti-Mormon in the slightest. I just strongly believe that their work ethic and devotion is worthy of a better cause.
Honestly, I went to bed last night a little concerned that you guys would get the bit about the pit bull hopelessly gnawing at the fence – and just ignore me. But, it doesn’t appear that I need to worry about that!
I appreciate the compliment paid by Nathan to nice LDS members. Civil fellow, that Nathan.
But, I think my ‘nice’ gene might be just a little crooked.
Sorry, it’s a bit late. So, let me sharpen my horns, get some sleep – and, I’ll see you tomorrow!
Love and kisses,
Well, I certainly hope to have more frank and open discussion about beliefs.
I would like to say one thing. The whole “I like mormons because of (enter whatever you will)” platitudes are certainly appreciated. However, it is about when the comment turns towards the “but” part that kind of gets to me. Of course I would love to discuss any part of my church’s doctrines in an open forum, but to simply blanket ones beliefs in what could be considered an offensive manner and then try to sweep it all under the harmony and peace carpet by using those same platitudes that is where I get a little ruffled the wrong way.
I don’t know any specific list of misconceptions about my church and its beliefs but I am quite willing to explain to the best of my understanding any doctrines or unknowns about my church.
So, hit me with your best shot.
Interesting to note that missionaries, especially in the DC area are experiencing tremendous interest in the church– and often this interest translates into baptisms. My father attended a church meeting a few weeks ago where these facts were inadvertently discussed — a returned missionary from the DC area shared experience after experience with church leadership in the stake that investigators commonly attributed their interest to the candidacy of Mitt Romney, and the inevitable demonizing (horn-ing) of mormons by SOME of the evangelical community that followed.
Listen, if ya’ll (sorry, I just spent 1 month in Virginia) want to say our doctrine has horns–be my guest. I went to church with my husband’s family this season (all evangelical–some southern baptist and others independents) and neither tooted their “horns” enough to compel me to feel differently about Christs’ restored gospel.
The horns represented the devil or anti-christ.
It comes from a belief in a false prophet.
A prophet who promotes illegal sex acts.
A prophet who kills people personally with a gun.
A prophet who commits Treason.( Treason is a crime against America).
Okay, that that is a bit too far.
Those are obvious inflamatory falsehoods.
I don’t even know where you get the first one.
The second one, Joseph did have a pistol to protect those that were with him, but it misfired twice.
The third was a charge which never even went to trial. Why, oh yeah, he was murdered. The reason he was even in that jail in the first place was originally because he was being charged double jepeordy for the crime of rioting, which he was already acquitted of, and as soon as his bail was paid for that crime, he was brought under the charge of treason. Interesting that it almost seemed that certain people were adamant about having him in that jail.
So, if you wish to continue on these lines, perhaps you should get your facts straight before making simple offhanded remarks.
Jacob, I really think you need to go back and re-read the History volume 7. JS picked up his brothers gun after his brother was killed, it says he shot 3 times, not that he pointed the gun and it misfired twice. Rick b
And where does it say that he killed anyone? I am sorry but no matter how you say it, I sill say the above statements are inflamitory and unsubstantiated.