Archive for the 'Mormonism' Category

Book of Mormon Geography: North America

I should probably acknowledge up front that I am nowhere near an expert on Book of Mormon geography, although that will be pretty obvious from the start.  My interest in a North American setting for the Book of Mormon (and specifically a Great Lakes / Northeastern United States) has been kindled by my move to Ohio.  There are a lot of native American Indian mounds in the area, apparently built by a group of Hopewell Indians, at about the same time frame as the story of the Nephites.  Many local members are convinced of a Great Lakes setting for the Book of Mormon, and they have encouraged us to visit some of the mound sites around the area.

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40 Answers from a Mormon

I saw a couple of facebook links from a sister of mine to some dude with a blog that had posted 40 questions for Christians.  This obviously meant something to her, so I wanted to respond at some level.  This particular list is not as impressive as it may sound.  There are really about 5 questions that are asked in different ways.  These questions seem to be more focused on main-stream Christianity.  And in my highly biased opinion, Mormonism provides better answers.

So, I know this is long (although my answers are very brief), but it is something that can be easily skimmed through.  I hope some of these simple answers are meaningful to someone. – especially the sister.

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Dude. You Have the Scriptures on Your IPod?!

A paraphrased story from my #2 son:

We have recently moved to a small town in western Ohio.  My #2 son is one of only two young men in the local high school (as far as I know).  He is participating on the football team and just the other day the team had a meal together.  At the table where he sat, the conversation turned to the practices of Mormonism.  The report of the conversations went something like this:

“So you believe there should not be any sex before marriage.”

“Yes”, my boy said.

“Seriously?”

“Yes”

“What would you do if a pretty girl came up to you, unzipped your pants, and gave you a hand job?”

“I would probably slap her face.”

“No you wouldn’t”

“Yes I would”

“What about Adam and Eve, they weren’t married”

“Yes the were”

My son then pulls out his IPod and goes to Genesis 1 to show that Adam and Eve were husband and wife.

“Dude.  You have the scriptures on your IPod?!”

The boy seemed to handle it pretty well.  And seems to have no fear.

Who Should Be More Optimistic About The After-Life?

I have been wondering about the question of whether members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ought to be more optimistic about the after-life than members of other Christian faiths.  In asking this, I am not wondering which group is more smug, arrogant and self-righteous.  I am also not asking this in terms of who is more confident in being doctrinally correct.  What I am wondering, is given the basic theology of different religious traditions (Mormonism and mainstream Protestants for example), who should be more optimistic about the after-life?  In making such comparisons, I will of course be generalizing and over-simplifying to very high levels.  But I hope that thinking and discussing this will have some positive results.

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Saying that Mormonism is a Non-Christian Cult is a Fallacy of Equivocation

Dan Peterson makes what I feel is an excellent point in a recent article here.

The basic point is this, people know that terms like ‘non-Christian’ and ‘Cult’ are loaded terms, and they use them anyway.  They may justify this by telling themselves that they are using a lesser known meaning or use of a word, while the audience will largely take away the common use of the word.  Peterson does a good job of bringing this out.

I Know the Church is True – Or – Epistemology of a Testimony

I know that the church is true.

This statement is repeated over, and over again on the first Sunday of every month in Fast and Testimony meetings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Members, of course, are not forced to say this, but most of them do.  This certain statement bothers a few people when they hear it.  They will often say that the ‘know’ part is to strong, and ‘true’ is a pretty strong word as well.

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Paid Ministry and Corruption

Many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints take some pride in the claim that there is no paid ministry in the church.  This is true enough on the local level, where local leaders volunteer all of their time without financial compensation.  But I understand that it is also true that many (if not all) full time general leaders of the church do get paid – something along the lines of what a college professor might earn.  If this is not true please correct me, but it is my understanding, and I will proceed as if it were true.

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