A thought-provoking article was published last week on OpEdNews.com. Bringing Sense To Tax Exemption: A Coming Mormon Dilemma was written by Douglas Wallace, a former Mormon who served his mission in the United Kingdom as “Mission Architect.” As Mission Architect, he was involved in the initial planning for the first Mormon temple in England.
Mr. Wallace states in his article that, in 2008, after a long period of litigation, the LDS Church lost its tax exemption for its second British temple, located in Preston, England:
“In analyzing the pertinent law, it was determined that only structures which were open to public religious services were exempt from the tax. It was ruled that since the public in general and Mormons who failed to pay tithe were denied access to the temple that it failed to meet the test of being open to public worship.”
Mr. Wallace argues that taxes should be paid on all LDS temples around the world because they are not open to the public and they don’t provide any service beneficial to the public or government.
Mr. Wallace explains,
“Temple Patrons are members of the church who have passed strict investigation as to morals, strength of church membership and the most important, being a full tithe payer to the church treasury. The tithe represents a full ten percent of gross income before any governmental taxes are deducted. A member in otherwise good standing but failing the full tithe requirement is denied a pass from the local church hierarchy to receive a Temple recommend…
“Probably less than 30% of Mormons are full tithe payers and therefore 70% are ineligible for the temple recommend. Boiled down to the lowest denominator, only members who have paid the price for the ‘Blessings’ of the temple are allowed in it…
“…each patron may return to the temple and do proxy work for each of their ancestry provided they continue to obtain the Temple Recommend each year by paying a full tithing. It is very similar to the privilege to drive a car upon the highways by purchasing an annual license.”
Mr. Wallace goes on to liken the Church’s promised rewards for temple participation to “buying a share in the Brooklyn Bridge.” Of course, he’s writing from the perspective of one who no longer believes Mormonism is true and who has come to believe it’s all a “scam”. He sees the only winner in this scenario to be the one who ends up with all the money — the LDS Church. Therefore, he proposes, “let the church at least pay back to local governments a portion of its gain from the temple scheme.”
Mr. Wallace seems pretty cynical about Mormonism, and perhaps about religion in general, but he presents some interesting ideas. What do you think about his notion that a Temple Recommend is like buying a vehicle license? Or that any supposed spiritual benefits from temple attendance are “purchased” with the patron’s cash?
One might argue that it’s not just disobedience in tithe-paying that would bar someone from the temple, but disobedience of any of the required commandments would forbid participation. This would be tragic because, according to Mormonism, the only way a person can regain the presence of Heavenly Father — the only way anyone can spend eternity in the presence of God — is by going through the temple:
“Only through the eternal ordinances provided in temples can Heavenly Father’s children return to His presence.” (Church News, 5/25/2002, 16)
“It is only through the temple that we can regain the presence of our Heavenly Father.” (Cheryl C. Lant, “The Steps to the Temple,” Ensign, August 2009, 23)
So does this mean that a person cannot be fully reconciled to God and live with Him eternally unless he gives an honest tenth of his income to the LDS Church? And also keeps the Word of Wisdom? And also attends all his Church meetings? And also sustains the current Prophet? And also lives the law of chastity? And also keeps all his covenants? etc.? Does this mean a person can only come to the Father through the Mormon temple? What do you think about that? And how does it fit with John 14:6?
Comments within the parameters of 1 Peter 3:15 are invited.
I was fully aware that there was no charge
required to enter your Ward (church) building,
and that all are welcome.The Context of my post
was the LDS Temple,where as you stated, “is
reserved” for only those members with a valid
recommend ( “permission slip” ).I find it very
troubling that I would need to be “recommened”
by a fallen man just like me in order to get
into God’s presence(house).I thank Jesus that
He’s already accomplished that for me.
I feel that the vast difference in our faiths
is that the LDS Temple is the center and the
highest goal of Mormon worship and experience.
However, Jesus occupies that position for me.
A Church manuel states: ” Temple worship is the
capstone of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” [ p.200
Achieving a Celestial Marriage ].
As for my original post concerning the LDS temple
being,for all intended purposes, the “gate” (Matt
7:13) vrs Jesus being the “gate” to heaven, at
least one LDS Apostle saw this connection with
” The Temples, the houses of our God,when accept-
ably dedicated, become to us the gates of heaven
…” [ Franklin D.Richards, J.of D. vol.25 p231
One greater than the Temple has come–Matt.12:6
Let us all praise Him.
i assume one is baptized in order to become an accepted member of the church you attend.
How does one get baptized at your church? is there a class? an interview? or can one simply walk in the door and be baptized with no questions asked?…just curious how it compares to when i was baptized in the church of my youth(before i was LDS)
I don’t know about everyone else here, but when I became scripturally convinced that we ought to show our faith by being baptized, I went to my pastor and said, I want to be baptized. He said terrific, how about this next Sunday, and I said, OK.
After the usual morning service, he opened up the font behind the pulpit, and we walked down into it. He gave me a moment to express my love for Jesus to the congregation, and then he baptized me.
By the way, he did NOT baptize me a member of his church, nor did I have to make any commitments to his church, monetarily or otherwise.
His baptizing me meant that he knew that I knew Jesus as my Savior, and that I wanted to walk with Him the rest of my life.
(no class, no interview. my pastor knew me, and believed me when I said I was ready)
how did it go at your childhood church?
1 was 14, and that was the age when all youth of the church were baptized and recognized as members. This, of course, following a brief class. I find it interesting that you Pastor “gave (you) a moment to express..”…had you requested a moment? did the pastor mention that a moment would be given beforehand? or was it “spur of the moment”?
Interesting how this “oral testimony” seems necessary.
So, how do you become a “member” of that church, how is it that the church recognizes you?
I don’t know how to become a member. I never bothered with it, nor was I pushed to become one.
What church did you go to?
He asked me if I’d like to say anything, right before the service started, if memory serves. I thought about it, and decided there was something I wanted to say, so I did.
I’m not sure what you mean by recognizes me. I walk in the door, everyone knows who I am, and those who want to, greet me. When I give money, I give it discreetly (the pastor’s back is turned, and I give cash), there is no record kept of my givings. There would be, for tax-write-off purposes, if I put my name on what I gave, but I don’t.
There is no standard age at which people are baptized in that church. Baptism doesn’t happen as a membership ritual. It only happens if a person becomes born-again, and desires to make a public confession of their position in Christ by following Him into the waters of baptism.
Your childhood church sounds like it has some similarities with the LDS church. Yeah?
Concerning your questions on being baptised
and church membership. It starts with the
admission that you’ve asked Jesus to forgive
you of your sin, and to have asked Him to be
your Savior. Then you can be baptized.
Yes, you meet with the Pastor and he explains
what baptism means, a date is then set etc.
A testimony is rather simple for us as it is
all about Jesus.You hear very little,if any,
comment about the church etc.
One of my favorite verses: ” Wherefore He is able
also to save them to the uttermost that come unto
God by him, seeing He ever livest to make inter-
cession for them.” [ Heb.7:25 ]
Sub, that’s the first I have ever heard of a Christian church baptizing all members at 14. Some Christian churches, Lutherans for example, batpize babies, but generally baptism is reserved for those who confess they have made Christ their personal savior. The age ranges vary greatly from as young as 6 (that’s the youngest I have seen), to ????. Interesting. What kind of church was it? Did you mention reformed Presbyterian before? I’d really like to look into that.
Baptism huh? I was baptized as a baby in the Catholic church. It’s quite a ceremony but I don’t remember much about it being only a few weeks old! But the baby gets water poured on his/her head, is anointed with oil, salt is placed on the tongue and the godparents take vows for the baby (see the movie “The God Father”). Than at eight years old, when the child goes through their first communion, they speak for themselves, repeating the baptismal vows.
So I leave the Church at twenty, get born again at twenty-six and never give much thought to getting baptized again. Didn’t feel any pressure from anyone and didn’t even think that God was requesting, demanding or even suggesting that I should get baptized. I think it was probably twenty years after receiving Christ as my Savior, a pastor friend was baptizing some folks in a river and I decided I’d do it. Still didn’t feel a bit compelled to do it. I just decided to.
I wasn’t any more saved afterwords nor did I join a Church.
I’m a minimalist, keeping things super simple as I think things should be theologically or ritualistically. Growing up Catholic, the sacraments were always cited as a “means of grace”. I’m pretty ambivalent and accepting with folks who want to do rituals as long as they have their doctrine straight when it comes to the essentials of the Christian faith.
If someone isn’t straight on who God is and what His plan of salvation is, all the rituals in the world won’t save them regardless of how they “feel”.
I think it is disingenuous to keep repeating (as Ralph & you do) that “you cannot understand what we teach.” smithism is surely not some big mystery that is incomprehensible to anyone who is not a member.
What smitians are denying is the language of the cult. Smith has applied his own meanings to things to twist them from what they were originally intended. Then, (in most cases) the members look down their nose at those who have left (apostatized) from the cult.
No one is claiming that smithians don’t love the Jesus they have created, it is just not the real Jesus. If someone were to worship the sun, and say that the sun has certain characteristics and intelligence, and that the sun has communicated to them by some spiritual means that they must set up a certain system to gain eternal life, and to reject that system is damnation – then those that know the true characteristics of the sun (that it is a star) would try to tell them that no, you are praying and worshipping something and living a set of rules laid down by something that has no meaning – because the sun is just the sun.
A person can love the sun all they want. They can be sincere about it, but it won’t change the fact that the whole belief system is skewed because the faith is being placed upon a faulty belief.
Again, it all comes back to smith, and HOW HE CHANGED GOD, HOW GOD SHOULD BE WORSHIPPED, & how God’s teachings should be applied in our lives.
You can call yourself the Church of Jesus Christ, but Smith’s church has NOTHING in common with Christ’s church. Your Jesus is not OUR Jesus, and believe me, we UNDERSTAND it completely.
I posted this a few days ago, but you must have missed it.
I think this “you just don’t understand” routine we get from the Mormons is nothing but a smoke screen. I don’t find anything in Mormonism that’s so complicated the average person couldn’t understand it. If they’re saying that a person has to believe it to understand it, that’s just plain hog-wash. This is a religion that is moving along propelled by religious feelings. Since we don’t get an emotional buzz from Mormonism then it is to be concluded (by Mormons) that we don’t understand it. The major mistake Mormons make is concluding that God is causing their feelings as a sign affirming truth.
I caught a little git of a “glory, signs and wonders” conference on GodTV today. Those folks in attendance were displaying some deep and intense feelings. Did God cause the feelings? I’m checking the box marked “doubt”. I would guess I’m right down the line with these folks doctrinally, but not because of some feelings that would supposedly confirm the truth of the matter.
Maybe if Mormons would get a religious feeling after reading the creeds, then they’d understand them, right? And of course then the Mormons would have to conclude that the creeds reflect the truth, right? I got a really good feeling once after reading the Apostle Creed in Latin. That’s how I know the doctrines articulated there are true.
Grindael and Falcon: I have a question. 2 Nephi 5-21, 1 Nephi 12-23, & Alma 3-6 God caused a skin of blackness to come upon former whitey’s, due to unbelief and rebellion. If God is consistent, why am I still white and delightsome? As a matter of fact, I’m whiter than I used to be, since I used to jog and had a pretty good tan (skin cancer stopped my jogging). I recall the Defender of the Faith, stating you can’t doubt the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon??? But with the “modern revelation” thingy – maybe they came up with something I’m not aware of the saves apostates, like me, from being “cursed” with a dark skin. Just a question.
Come-on, after all of this time you should be able to think and reason like a Mormon. It’s all about progression and having more light and knowledge. That’s why it’s so hard to nail a Mormon down on anything especially related to their past; the ever changing doctrines and pronouncements by their inspired prophets. Mormonism should have a sign that reads “all doctrines subject to change without prior notice.” In fact progression and increased knowledge and light are the main feature of Mormonism. The problem is, while to them this is really hot stuff, it makes them look flakey and dishonest for those of us who don’t buy into their religious philosophy.
Just think what a leader can do with a bunch of followers who won’t hold him accountable because he’s convinced them that he has new and improved truth. The prophet can do and tell them anything and they go along with it. What happened to Joseph Smith however were that a bunch of the folks were not buying into sexual forays under the disguise of “the principle”. Of course if you don’t buy into it, you just really aren’t one of the really super duper spiritual people.
So it really is a case of “button, button whose got the button” when it comes to uncovering the truth of things. There’s a different standard in the Mormon world.
Oh OK Larry,
I’ll bite on this one. In the Bible it says there is a time and a place for everything and it is usually God who determines this time and place for the major things. During the OT we see Him destroying the wicked from out of the midst of His people (the golden calf aftermath, etc), ordering the destruction of non-believers or unfaithful (Elijah had about 400 priests of Baal killed; the Israelites and their genocide of people in the promised land; etc), and He destroyed the wicked many times Himself (the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc).
We are told in the Bible that these last days (in which we NOW live) are going to be more wicked than before the flood and in Sodom and Gomorrah. There are more people that are non-believers or who are going after ‘golden calves’. And the list goes on with comparisons to the wickedness in the OT where God destroyed the people.
Following your logic the question stands why is He not doing the same thing today? Because for some reason or another in His wisdom it is neither the time or place.
Sorry to hear about the skin cancer. I work in research and the lab I am in currently focuses on melanoma. Our supervisor is a clinician and has gone through many cases with us in our group meetings that he has dealt with. It’s a terrible thing and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
I am just a researcher though and know very little about the clinical side of things so I can’t answer many questions about melanoma unless you want a biochemical background of the samples we have here.
All the best with things.
Hi Ralph, thanks for the kind words about the melanoma. Well in regards to the flood God said he would never do that again, in regards to Sodom and Gommorah; when did the aids epidemic start? (I think about the same time as the Gay liberation movement started.) All I said is if He was consistent, why am I still white. But, this begs a different look at the verses from the Book of Mormon. Why does skin color have something to do with righteousness at all. You know as well as i do that 1 Sam 16-7, says in part (:”for the Lord seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
Take Care, Larry
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Ralph, “We are told in the Bible that these last days (in which we NOW live) are going to be more wicked than before the flood and in Sodom and Gomorrah.”
How do you know that it is “NOW”?
How do you know it is not in 5000 years from NOW?
“But the Bible states and shows many times that if we do what God wants us to do He can and will reward us.”
The only honest commentary I have ever heard from a christian reguarding this idea is that only SALVATION can be promised. Prosperity, happiness, health or other blessings cannot be promised. It is implied by most people promoting the christian faith, and many people claim benefits from becoming christian, but its not a given.
Those are some pretty ignorant statements about AIDS. It used to be called ‘grid’ (Gay-related immune deficiency)It was changed because its not a gay only disease, and did not adaquately describe the those afflicted.
Its kind of like the term ‘h1n1’, you don’t have to be anywhere near a pig to contract it. One muslim country quarantined their single pig they had at a zoo. The more neutral term is supposed to allow people to have more compassion, be open to information, and have less judgement.
Enki, that’s a good point about prosperity. Try telling Christians in Ethiopia or Eritrea, or Somalia, China, and just about anywhere in the world outside of the U.S.A. that becoming a Christian will give you a good life.
Several months ago I watched a friend’s wife die of breast cancer. He is a fairly new believer (she was, too) and leaned on God a lot during those times. We both prayed a lot for healing. On her last day of life I was speaking to him and said something to this effect, “You may at some point be tempted to blame God for this, because you believe in Him, and asked Him to heal your wife, but He didn’t. There are no temporal rewards promised for faith in Christ, although many who become Christians experience many blessings that they attribute to their salvation. But look at the people downstairs in the lobby (many of our friends from work had come to offer support). Most of them profess a belief in God, but they are living lifestyles that are vile in God’s eyes. They use the name of our Savior and God as a curse word and hate all that we stand for. They’re going to go home tonight to their wives, and they are healthy, while you and I watch Annette, who is a believer, suffer. God makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. Some of the most prosperous people in the world are absolute haters of God and enemies of His kingdom, yet they live long, healthy, “blessed” lives. God gave me, you, and Annette the only gift He ever promised. If we repent of our sins and come to Him in faith He will give us eternal life. We become heirs of every spiritual blessing and adopted children of God. Many of those people downstairs will not come to Christ because they hate all that He stands for. God is just, and the wicked will only prosper while God lets them.”
When you were Mormon, did you ever attribute “blessings” to your level of obedience? I know that when I was a new Christian I did.
Enki, sorry for the ignorance, but how about answering my question — righteousness has something to do with skin color????
This is probably a good place to insert Hebrews 11:13. The whole chapter is worth reading. There’s a whole section of the American Christian Church that operates under what has become known as “name it claim it”. Also a whole $$$$ solicitation scheme has sprung up under something called “planting a faith seed”. The latter says that if you plant a money seed in this or that ministry or church, you will be rewarded. The “name it claim it” folks of course believe that if you have sufficient faith and claim something (especially if you can attach a Bible verse to it and repeat it) your hopes, dreams and desires will materialize. In-other-words, a believers faith becomes sovereign, in a sense.
The difference between this, of course, and Mormons buying their blessings is that as Christians we have a choice. We can simple ignore these teachings and there are no real consequences to us. However, if Mormons want to capture the brass ring of godhood, they have to buy their way into the temple. Money is very important to the Mormon system. The Mormon leaders have the faithful by the throat when it comes to their false belief that they can become gods.
Good point on those fads that blow through the
American christian church form time to time.
I feel that if the tax-exempt status of the
Mormon church is denied over tithing, that
the LDS prophet will have “new light” from
God and a change in requirements to enter the
Temple will conveniently be arranged. They may
not completely dump the 10% rule but it will
be cleverly written(by lawyers) so as to keep
them out of legal trouble.
Scenarios similar to this has happened within
the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society(JW’s),
over their positions on voting and military
service, once considered as “God’s law”, these
are now “up to your conscience”.The change was
more of a result of public perception etc.
So get ready for a rule change.
The Mormon system is based on control of the membership. If the organization can control people’s money and by it the means of the highest reward, they have the grip they need and total control and power. It’s a rare active Mormon that will stand-up and disagree with the leadership of the Mormon church. Having grown-up Catholic, I know the power of “father says” or “sister says” in the old days. Catholics are not so inclined to fall into line anymore. Not so with Mormons with their famous motto, “When the leaders speak, the thinking is done”. Mormons are so duped that they haven’t ever given any real consideration that the leaders are totally clueless when it comes to what God wants or is saying. I can’t imagine being under the thumb of religious leaders or a system in the way Mormons are.
The aids virus started as a result of using live chimp cultures for the polio vaccine. These were cultivated using chimp kidneys, and all the data matches up. It is still debated hotly in scientific circles tho. I have read some compelling documentation on the subject. There is a good article on line here : http://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/dissent/documents/AIDS/
A lot of things have changed in smith’s world. A typical mormon sacrament meeting has little in common with what went on in Kirtland and Nauvoo. Funny how all that ceased with smith…
I personally don’t understand the phobia the smithians have with homosexuals. The Bible condemns the practice, as it does other sins. I personally don’t feel the marraige institution is threated by gay rights. I saw a Hinkley interview with Larry King in which he said they do not do politics, but they sure went into a frenzy in California… And it sure didn’t stop the smithians when they wanted to break the law and practice polygamy. I don’t agree with gay marraige, but at least they are trying to do it legally.
The problem with smith’s fingerpointing at others is that He is the one who made the claim to prophethood. He put himself on that level.
Different people express God’s gifts differently. There is diversity in the Christian Church because of people, but we have the Bible as our standard, and it always comes back to that. It is God’s miracle to us, as his preserved church. 2 billion and growing…
Here in Australia, Tithing has only been considered for tax returns for the last 20 to 30 years. Before that members were not allowed to claim tithing back on tax. Now the laws have changed again and from this financial year onwards we are only allowed to claim 75% tithing back at tax return time. As far as I know, none of these scenarios have changed the faithful from paying a full tithing, even when they were not able to claim it back from tax. So if the church lost its tax exemption status and the members were not allowed to claim it back on tax returns, I don’t think it would change much in the organisation/doctrine of tithing. But that’s my thoughts from my knowledge and experience in another country.
You said “But look at the people downstairs in the lobby (many of our friends from work had come to offer support). Most of them profess a belief in God, but they are living lifestyles that are vile in God’s eyes. They use the name of our Savior and God as a curse word and hate all that we stand for.”
Can you read their hearts and thoughts? How can you judge them when you claim it is our faith that saves us, not our works? How do you know they do not have the ‘saving faith’ that you claim? They are just human and imperfect and slip up, but they still claim faith in Jesus Christ and God. Since Jesus taught us to judge not or we shall be judged accordingly (Matt 7:1-2), aren’t you living a life that is vile in the sight of God as well in making this judgement? Or are you exempt because you have faith in Jesus Christ and that faith is better than these others you are talking about?
I was wondering where you got the part on
claiming “tithing on back taxes” from what
I had posted? All I was saying related to
admitance to the Temple etc.In other words
rather than drop a once required step(law)
to enter the Temple, instead it will be made
to appear to outsiders(the Government?) that
the 10% is really just a “donation” perhaps.
By doing that it will appear not to be a
absolute mandatory requirement.This might
appease the Government etc. This is only an
example.Church lawyers will certainly work it
out so that the tithe keeps coming in!
As far as I know, the members are allowed to claim tithing back on tax returns because of the tax exempt status of the church – being classed as a charity organisation and religion. So if the tax exemption status was revoked then the members could not claim tithing back from tax. I am just saying that for most members this would not stop them from paying their tithing as past experiences show.
But I did misread your statement to some extent which is why I answered the way I did.
Tithing is a voluntary donation regardless of what the government or anyone else may think. Yes, not paying tithing does restrict people from entering the temple, but that is said right up front – nothing hidden. If one wants to go to the temple they know from when they joined that they will need to pay a full tithing. It is their decision not to pay so they really only have themselves to blame.
To look at it from a human perspective, those who pay their tithing contributed to the building of the temple, those who did not pay did not contribute. Why should they be given the blessings if they were not prepared to contribute or do anything about it? But that is a human perspective, not God’s.
There are people who are classed as exempt from tithing who are allowed to go through the temple. I don’t know what the requirements are for this exemption, but it does show that people can go to the temple without having to pay tithing.
You mentioned that there may be an “exemption”
for someone who could’nt actually pay their
tithe in order to get into the temple. That may
be true, but the real issue for me is that the
whole LDS Temple recommend scenario is a man-made
teaching.In my view,being “recommened” by a
fellow sinner(Bishop) to get into God’s presence
(Temple) is troubling. Aaron mentioned one time
that Jesus was his Temple recommend.Jesus period.
Thanks for your perspective on this Ralph.
Ralph, besides the fact that I was not in any way claiming that the blaspheming men claimed to have saving faith, only a belief in “God” (they are not professing atheists), I believe I can read their hearts and thoughts. I know these men. I work around most of them daily, and the things they say and do are a testimony to God’s common grace in that he allows them not only to live, but to prosper. The point that I was trying to make was that people of all faiths attribute their “good fortune” as a blessing from God for some act of obedience, when in reality God blesses all people according to His will and purpose. There are faithful people from all religions who also suffer horrible things so our suffering is also according to God’s will (Luke 13:1-5), but He uses it for His purposes.
As for your comment about saving works, this ground has been plowed over and over again. If the blasphemous men (remember I know the conduct of their lives, not just one outburst of blasphemy) claimed to be Christians I would doubt their claim of faith based upon the “works” flowing form their mouth:
Remember, I know these men and they are consumed with all manner of vileness, hatred for their fellow men, and God, although they possess a belief in a “god”, and profess to be “good people” because of the good work that they do for society.
As for judgment. The smithian view of Matthew 7 is very skewed. It does not say to never judge anyone. How else could we accuse a person of apparent sin in their lives? It warns against going to a “brother” to accuse him of a sin that you yourself commit. Verse 5 tells us not be hypocites, but to first judge our own lives, remove gross sins, then go to our brother and point out the things we see them doing.
The issue of skin color and ancestry is one issue I had with the LDS faith. I was raised with incredible bias in this way, and still suffer somewhat from this prejudice, but from years of being away from the LDS faith has healed quite a lot of it. If you ask mormons about this you could get a variety of responces.
The answer I have is from science. Kind of yes and no. For the most part moral conduct has little to do with skin color/ethnicity. If it has any effect at all it would be from generations of strange practices, like brother/sister marriages for several generations. That doesn’t really produce race, but it does increase the chances of an increase of disease. Exclusion of non-believers over time can create a race. Practices such as polygamy AND MONOGAMY can produce an ethnicity. I am convinced that monogamy can reduce genetic diversity, which can lead to problems.
I used to be very uncomfortable with the practice of ‘wife sharing’ amoung my ancestors, but that was actually to assure genetic health, as we were such a small group of people with limited contact with other people. I am sure that monogamy and polygamy is just a way of men controling women within the larger context of patriachy, along with homophobia.
I agree, the LDS church body can practice what they will with legal gay marriage. Idoltry is considered a sin by the faith, and yet the church body has its hands tied legally via the 11th article of faith. So, I haven’t heard of any mormon legally opposed to idoltry.
They could also attempt to make tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea illegal. But they don’t because thats trying to impose their values using the law. Why not try to make Mormonism the national religion. Muslims do that, even though even the koran states that shouldn’t be done.
Just as anecdotal evidence that attending the smithian church and tithing does not bring spiritual blessing, my closest smithian friend and I are on completely different spiritual journeys. When I first met him 12 years ago he was the LDS poster boy, fresh off a mission, not a foul word was to be found coming from his mouth. I was a professing agnostic, and a vile curser of God and Jesus Christ. I hated Christians because I thought they believed they were better than everyone else because of their goody-two-shoes attitudes. I was the one of whom it was said in regards to vileness, “You took it way too far” and I loved being the moral conscience shocker.
I have since become a Christian and over the past 8 years I have grown in holiness. I realize my sin and confess it, truly feeling sorry for my transgression. I make a conscious effort every day to pray that I am a man that glorifies God in my actions and speech. God has placed me in a very caustic environment, and I fall often, not willfully, and less often as time goes on, but out of old habits from my past sinful life (it’s hard to erase 31 years of sin in 8 years, but God is working). I am not a full tithe payer, should give more to charity, etc., but it is God who is changing me as a result of prayer, not my good works.
My LDS friend on the other hand, is temple worthy (wears his Jesus Jammies, as he calls them), pays his tithe, fulfills his callings, etc. But he has sunk deep into anger, hatred, and cursing, and his family has not been blessed. Their lives are full of discord and confusion, recurring physical injuries and sickness.
I assume that you will say that he is not blessed because he is living in willfull sin. I would say that he is living in willful sin because Smith’s church has no power to save anyone, and he is not filled with the Holy Spirit, therefore he has no conviction about his sins. I think that he is just going through the LDS motions because it’s all he has ever known.
I ran across this, and thought of you. Since I don’t know where the thread is where you brought this issue up, and since you appear to be following this one, here it is: