Originally aired on Viewpoint on Mormonism on July 4, 2012
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It’s not unusual for leaders to fire-up the faithful by creating bogeymen. They’re being persecuted and attacked by enemies and need to be more fully committed to the cause. I think in some instances it’s called “waving the bloody shirt”.
This is yet another example of how people who are thinking about joining the Mormon
church should do some research and not simply accept what Mormons say to them about
things that tend to appeal to one’s feelings , i.e. Mormons were persecuted therefore they
can also be considered true christians etc . It seems Mormons reason that this persecution
validates their church / religion as true , thus they pass on a story about an ” extermination ”
order by a Missouri Governor , and while this may get an audience to feel sorry for Mormons
and thus facilitate a meeting with Mormon Missionaries to hear their ” gospel” presentation ,
still, it appears to be a one sided story as research reveals and which Bill and Eric have
Mormons experienced persecution and they were not alone in the 19th century to suffer this.
Validation through persecution?
Maybe in the minds of those claiming persecution. Should we start to list all of the groups religious and otherwise who could claim to be persecuted? It sort of reminds me of people who charge “bullying”. That’s quite popular these days. I had a student in school whose mother insisted her boy was being bullied. In fact the kid was not liked by the other students because he was a total jerk. If he was “bullied”, it was in reaction to his own obnoxious bullying behavior.
I would think that this is what happened as a result of Sidney Rigdon’s obnoxious behavior. Mormons certainly weren’t Quakers who are known as pacifists.
So what about the Mormon sect known as the Community of Christ who can legitimately claim the legacy of early Mormonism?
“Looking back to earlier questions, what does it mean to be Community of Christ and to share Christ’s peace? Our name calls us to embrace the gift of Christ’s peace and see the world from a new perspective. It also means hearing and responding to the call to engage in actions that bring justice and wholeness to our world.
These actions bring us closer to shalom—closer to Christ’s peace. As American theologian Walter Brueggeman stated, “Shalom is not only an incredible gift; it is a most demanding mission.”
This is Christ’s mission, and it is the mission of Community of Christ.”
“Being a peacemaker is active and relational. Building relationships requires leaving our comfort zone, being open to others’ perspectives, and being open to where the Holy Spirit guides us. As we come to understand the importance of the relational aspect of peace, we can draw on the deep well of God’s community in pursuing peace in the face of injustice. We believe and experience God’s shalom, embodied in Jesus Christ, through loving and sacred community.”
“And it is as a community of Christ that we are called to be peacemakers. We are called to become more involved in working toward positive, holistic, and transformational change for our world. Whether at the congregational, mission center, national, or world level, we must continually become more active to fulfill the counsel in Section 163. Opportunities abound for all of us according to our passions, skills, and ministries.”
“God calls us to go deeper and beyond that which separates us from each other and all of creation. God calls us to boldly live out Christ’s mission. God counsels us to relinquish our fears and journey into spiritual and relational transformation. God calls us into sacred community.”
“God calls us to be peacemakers!”
I don’t think Sid would have made it in this sect of Mormonism!
When looking at history, context is everything. Mormons would have us believe that they were singled out especially for persecution. The fact of the matter is that while America’s ideal is religious tolerance, that’s not always been true in practice.
“In the storybook version most of us learned in school, the Pilgrims came to America aboard the Mayflower in search of religious freedom in 1620. The Puritans soon followed, for the same reason. Ever since these religious dissidents arrived at their shining “city upon a hill,” as their governor John Winthrop called it, millions from around the world have done the same, coming to an America where they found a welcome melting pot in which everyone was free to practice his or her own faith.”
“The problem is that this tidy narrative is an American myth. The real story of religion in America’s past is an often awkward, frequently embarrassing and occasionally bloody tale that most civics books and high-school texts either paper over or shunt to the side. And much of the recent conversation about America’s ideal of religious freedom has paid lip service to this comforting tableau.”
“While some of America’s early leaders were models of virtuous tolerance, American attitudes were slow to change. The anti-Catholicism of America’s Calvinist past found new voice in the 19th century. The belief widely held and preached by some of the most prominent ministers in America was that Catholics would, if permitted, turn America over to the pope. Anti-Catholic venom was part of the typical American school day, along with Bible readings. In Massachusetts, a convent—coincidentally near the site of the Bunker Hill Monument—was burned to the ground in 1834 by an anti-Catholic mob incited by reports that young women were being abused in the convent school. In Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, anti-Catholic sentiment, combined with the country’s anti-immigrant mood, fueled the Bible Riots of 1844, in which houses were torched, two Catholic churches were destroyed and at least 20 people were killed.”
The issue of the persecution of Mormons in their early history , and the way it is used by rank
and file Mormons today as a validation that their church is the only true church etc , this
rational is similar to how Mormons advertise their authority . When Mormon authorities
seek to convince investigators that Mormonism is Jesus’ true church restored , not all they
say about this claim is false , there is some points they bring up that are true . However, those
investigating the Mormon church are not getting the whole story , there may be some things
that the Mormon church has in common with what Jesus’ established through His apostles
2000 years ago but there are other things that are not often declared to a public audience
that is the problem . Likewise , the persecution Mormons experienced and the feelings that
this might elicit which cloud a objective evaluation of Mormonism’s religious beliefs , should
not divert away from the fact that there were non LDS who were persecuted or verbally
assaulted in ways similar to that encountered by Mormons . In other words , there is more
to this story than what Mormons typically share to non LDS etc .
Thanks to MRM for making available information about Mormonism , both doctrinally and
historically , what people may not hear from the Mormon Missionaries or Mormon PR dept ,
information that is valuable in order to make a proper evaluation of the claims of Mormonism .
I don’t think Mormonism is ever “done”. It just keeps evolving. There are all sorts of sects of Mormonism vying for the “one true church” with the “living prophet” label.
It’s funny that Smith could keep the deal going since he blundered so many times. Rigdon’s speech is just one example of Smith’s megalomania trampling over what ever political sense he may have had. He built his cult on confrontation and keeping a sense of urgency and persecution going kept people from noticing what he was up to. He was a very bold guy who just kept rolling along no matter what the crisis. He’s one of those guys who just believed his own spin. He was an exceptionally good liar!
Falcon, Mormon leaders have ” evolved” significantly from what they originally preached as
the gospel of salvation ,( and other claims ) . They stand guilty of some of the same type
behavior which Mormons have accused churches of ” Christendom ” of , which they claim
identifies these churches , and other religious leaders , as apostate . These other churches
also have ” kept going ” . Fact of the matter is , Mormons use arguments that attempt to prove
they are identified as Christ’s true followers , but practically all of them ring hollow , and how
many Mormons today use the issue concerning the ” extermination ” order by Gov. Boggs is
one example .
the Mormon people are a sincere decent people who have been detoured by the very type of
individuals that Jesus long ago predicted would come in the latter days —- MK 13:22-23 .
Mormons thus are thus is a precarious position . Rescue is available if they would exchange
their apostles for the ones Jesus sent out to preach His gospel of salvation — Rom 1:16 .
Yup, I agree.
These LDS folks don’t need their apostles, prophets and “one true church” to have access to God and the salvation He provides through His Son Jesus Christ. In fact these Mormon “features” are a stumbling block to knowing God, His Christ and the pathway to eternal life.
It’s amazing how the LDS people grab a hold of the temple rituals for example as if these meaningless rites can actually do something for them. There is only one pathway to the Father and that’s through Jesus Christ and having faith in Him and what He did on the cross. The shedding of His blood is the perfect sacrifice and nothing, especially church rites and man’s works, can be added to it.
The fact that Mormons believe they have to earn their place in a fictitious Celestial Kingdom, keeps them enslaved in a false religion that requires much and in the end can’t deliver on its promises.
I think fear is at the heart of why so many Mormons won’t even consider the possibility that their religion isn’t what its been advertised to be. What its been advertised to be is a “restoration” of first century Christianity that was lost at the death of the apostles.
It would take about fifteen minutes of search/research to debunk that claim made by Joseph Smith. In fact on the Day of Pentecost, the Father sent His Promise to the Church and that promise, the Holy Spirit, protects the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. That should be enough right there to prove that God keeps His promises and that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each believer safe guards the Gospel. This Gospel, the Bible tells us, was once and for all delivered.
So for Mormons it comes down to who they are going to believe. Are they going to believe Jesus or Joseph Smith?