What are the pros, cons, and rules of Mormonism?

Craig Good

Craig Good, I was one until I got out.

Répondu il y a 59w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 20.2k et de vues de réponses 60.3m

Avantages:

  • Strong community
  • Emphasis on family
  • Emphasis on personal responsibility and preparedness
  • Emphasis on good citizenship
  • Lower risk from many diseases if you follow the health guidelines

Cons, which include all that go along with being an Abrahamic Monotheism:

  • Reliance on religious faith
  • High risk of psychological damage from the Guilt Trap
  • Unhealthy attitudes towards sex (see above)
  • Bigoted attitudes toward homosexuals are official, but becoming more rare among the remaining rank and file members.
  • Teaches obedience to external authority, made worse by it being an imaginary one
  • Designed to occupy nearly all of your free time
  • Very demanding in terms of financial support
  • Can promote an insular and victim-oriented world view

Note that the list is true for just about any flavor of Christianity. As for rules, Abrahamic monotheisms all have multiple, conflicting, impossible rules as a matter of design. This is standard fare for totalitarianism: make it impossible to obey all the laws.

The rules unique to Mormonism include most famously the “Word of Wisdom”, a sort of health code that Joseph Smith and his cohorts invented. Since it includes abstinence from tobacco and alcohol it makes a huge difference in health risks. There are also rules about “modesty” (a misogynistic concept) and about wearing ritual undergarments once one has had a certain set of ordinances in the temple.

To give credit where due, the church does have a rather ingenious welfare system, which works really well. Adults are requested to fast for 24 hours once per month. (This is harmless for most people from a health standpoint.) Then they are asked to donate what they would have spent on those meals to a special fund which is administered primarily by the bishops, who are the local ecclesiastical leader. It’s used as a safety net, and people getting aid are expected to work, even if symbolically, for the support. That’s actually very good for their mental outlook. They’re encouraged to get back on their metaphorical feet when able.

Toby Dillon

Toby Dillon, Born and raised in the LDS church, raising my kids the same.

Répondu il y a 59w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 10.5k et de vues de réponses 5.1m

Well, that’s not necessarily a short answer.

Avantages:

  • Excellent retirement package. Literally better than every other religion on the planet.
  • Personal relationship with God.
  • A cohesive theology that answers all the difficult questions with more than “We’re not meant to know.”
  • Lay clergy with lots of opportunity for leadership among peers.
  • Tithing optional; it is required for some blessings and opportunities, but raising money is not what the church is about.
  • Home and visiting teachers are assigned to look after you and your family.
  • We don’t require a lot of deep study to get started. You learn at your own pace.

Inconvénients:

  • Retirement package requires real work and faith-based effort in this life. This is not an “easy” religion, just like Honors Biology is not an “easy A” class.
  • Personal relationship with God is dependent on personal worthiness. You get out more than you put in, but you have to put in something.
  • Theology is “living,” and thus can change, seemingly at any moment. Recommended reading: Who Moved My Cheese?1 to prevent becoming hidebound and finding one separated from the teachings of the church as things develop.
  • Leaders in the church are required to use what is available and cannot hire experts, leading to sometimes lackluster development and occasional depression.
  • Regular reminders to go and do your home and visiting teaching, because it turns out even Saints have difficulty doing so.
  • Other Christian sectarians may have negative opinions of you because of your restorationist views. Many still refuse to consider members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Christians.

Règles:

  • The Articles of Faith cover many of the beliefs expected: Articles of Faith 1
  • Keep the Commandments.
  • Follow Christ.

Notes de bas de page

1 Who Moved My Cheese : Dr Spencer Johnson : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

Steve Schmutz

Steve Schmutz, Life-long Mormon.

Mise à jour il y a 56w

I believe in Christ.

I believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and was God’s instrument in restoring the Gospel to the earth.

I believe in modern-day prophets.

I believe in the Book of Mormon and the Bible.

Just want to lay the groundwork for my response, since this thread is mostly filled with responses from former Mormons, and those who have some unfavorable viewpoints toward the faith.

I respect everyone’s right to express their opinion. From what I’ve read in other posts, that doesn’t seem possible. But it’s true. I fully respect and support varying opinions, thoughts, beliefs, and values.

Now I respectfully offer my own response to the pros, cons, and rules of Mormonism:

Avantages:

  • The following doctrines:
    • We are children of a loving God. We are ALL his sons and daughters. Regardless of race, religious belief (or non-belief), culture, socioeconomic conditions, or any other possible variable. There are no variables regarding this fact.
    • Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of all mankind. Again, this is regardless of race, religion, etc. We are all beneficiaries of His atoning sacrifice.
    • The Godhead is made up of three distinct personages: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost. Knowing who God is allows us to worship Him in truth. We don’t have to wonder who or what he is.
    • The Priesthood of God has been restored to the earth. The Priesthood is the authority to act in God’s name. This is not taken lightly, nor is it used as a “holier than thou” attribute of the Church. God is a god of order. To perform ordinances such as baptism, His authority must exist, and must be properly and faithfully used.
  • The following teachings:
    • The Word of Wisdom has been mentioned - mostly in a favorable light. I have lived the Word of Wisdom my entire life. I know it has blessed me - not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. Keeping myself clean from harmful substances has made a huge difference in my life. I believe the Word of Wisdom to be a fruit of Joseph Smith, and a testament that he was indeed a prophet, for I believe the Word of Wisdom to be inspired of God.
    • The Law of Chastity - many people might not know that particular term. It essentially is a code of moral conduct. It teaches us to abstain from all sexual relationships outside the bonds of marriage. One person commented that Mormons have an unhealthy attitude towards sex. I guess that depends on how you define what a good or bad attitude is. I personally have a wonderful sexual relationship with my wife, with whom I’ve been married for over 33 years. I have been 100% faithful to her all those years, and because of that our physical relationship is strengthened.
    • The Church teaches its members to be honest in all their dealings. This is a powerful teaching, and when faithfully lived allows a person to feel the kind of peace associated with being honest. Imagine a world where everyone was honest. It would be amazing.
    • The Church teaches us to love everyone. Much has been said in this thread about the Church’s so-called bigotry toward other races and homosexuals. These are misguided interpretations. The truth is that Mormons are taught to love everyone - no matter who they are, no matter where they are from, no matter the color of their skin, or their sexual preferences.
      • It is true that Mormons are taught that acting on homosexuality is a sin. I believe it is - just as I believe any type of sexual relation outside of marriage is a sin. If I were unfaithful to my wife, I would be committing sin. That’s no different with homosexual relationships. This is not to be confused with loving the person. We are taught to do as Jesus did - to avoid committing sin, but to love the sinner. I can honestly say, as a faithful, practicing member of the Church, that I do not hate a single person, nor do I look down on anyone because of their race, sexual preferences of anything else.
    • The power of prayer, fasting, faith, and hope. I believe very strongly in the power of prayer. I believe that God listens to and answers our prayers. I believe in the power of fasting - which is in many ways an extension of prayer. I believe in faith - faith to be healed, faith to receive answers to prayers, faith that God loves me, cares about me, and wants me to succeed. I have hope - hope for a better world to come, hope that this world can be improved by living God’s teachings (including loving all people). I have hope that my faith - the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints, is true and that the promises made to all who are faithful will come true. I have absolute, complete hope in those promises.
  • CONS
    • Are there cons? Would a faithful Mormon be honest enough to express cons? Yes:
    • The Church isn’t perfect. Leaders and members alike make mistakes.
    • We aren’t very good at PR. The misunderstandings of some of the things said in this thread is a prime example. Too many people misconstrue our true beliefs and stances. We need to get better at communicating.
    • In the past, we have not been open enough about certain topics. I believe that is changing now. The Church is much more open about things than in past years. Even with our increased efforts to be open, I wish we would be even more open.
  • DES RÈGLES
    • This one is pretty simple.
      • Keep the commandments.
      • Love other people as you love yourself.
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I want to respond to a comment from another post that mentioned that Mormons don’t have to “think too hard about science.” That statement infers that Mormons don’t study science, math, physics, etc. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Mormons all around the world are actively engaged in the sciences. We believe that science and religion not only co-exist, but do so perfectly. Anyone who thinks science has all the answers is just as blind as someone who thinks religion has all the answers. What I believe is that God wants us to learn everything we can - about science and the world around us, and also about Him. Are there things I don’t understand? Absolutely. Are there inconsistencies between my religious beliefs and current scientific belief? For sure. But I have faith that one day those questions will be answered - perfectly. In the meantime, I hope that science can discover new and wonderful things, and I hope that religion can give people a foundation of goodness in their lives.

I sincerely hope it’s helpful for readers of this thread to hear a response from a practicing Mormon.

Daniel Nelson

Daniel Nelson, studied at Dixie State University

Répondu il y a 59w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 82 et de vues de réponses 7.7k

Règles:

  • Obey all of the commandments.
  • Don’t drink any alcoholic beverages, coffee, or tea, and do not smoke.
  • Dress modestly,(particularly for women) because you know that if someone lusts after you, or rapes you, it is partly your fault because you made them feel that lust. Even if you don’t get raped, you still caused them to sin in thought.
  • Pay 10% of your gross income to the LDS church. Also donate fast offerings and for other causes as requested by your local and general church leadership.
  • Read your scriptures and pray every day, because continual self-indoctrination is essential to have faith and belief in irrational propositions. In reality praying is expected to be done almost constantly, at least several times per day.
  • You must believe that a man who has never claimed to converse with God or prophesied anything, nor brought forth any new canonized scriptures, is a prophet of God.
  • You should believe that The Book of Mormon is an inspired translation of an authentic historical record, which tells of God’s dealings with the ancestors of some of the Native American people. You must believe that it is true and authentic in spite all of the overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary. See: Book of Mormon Difficulties, Contradictions and Explanations
  • You should believe that Joseph Smith Jr was a true prophet of God who restored the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Earth in these latter days. You must believe this, in spite of the fact that JSJ was a deceiving treasure seeker before he became a prophet (and was convicted in a court of law), and that he used the same stone that he found in a well and used to unsuccessfully search for hidden treasures, to translate the golden plates into The Book of Mormon by putting the rock in a hat. You must believe he was a prophet, in spite of the nasty habit he had of marrying teenagers (as young as 14) when he was in his late 30s, and marrying women behind his legal wife’s back and while the womens’ legal husbands were on a mission.
  • In spite of the fact that some of Joseph Smith’s plural wives copulated with him at a younger age, you must not date until after you turn 16.
  • You must not engage in any sexual activity, including masturbation, or touching erogenous zones of your partner, outside of marriage. Doing so will lead to disciplinary action by Church leaders.
  • You should accept all of the Mormon doctrines.
  • This is not a comprehensive list of rules. I’m sure I have missed some. There are additional rules for attendees of BYU and the LDS missionaries.
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Avantages:

  • You get to feel special now because you are part of the lineage of the House of Israel, God’s chosen people.
  • If you are already a bigot, it gives you a good reason to feel superior and an excuse to condemn the behavior of LGBT people and people with darker skin than you since the narrative of The Book of Mormon is clear that righteousness can affect the color of your or your descendant's skin.
  • If you would like to give away 10% of your income without any accountability or concern of where it goes or whom it helps, it gives you a convenient way to do that.
  • You get to believe that the LDS Church is making good use of your money by feeding the poor, healing the sick and giving comfort to the downtrodden, although there is no accountability to show evidence of that.
  • If you like to judge others for drinking alcohol, coffee, and tea and you don’t have a desire to EVER do so, Mormonism gives you a framework to do so.
  • If you never like to wear anything provocative or sexy, you have the opportunity to always cover your shoulders, mid-section, and legs above the knees. Although this is only required all the time if you want to appear as and/or to comply with being the most faithful kind of Mormon.
  • You don’t have too think to hard about science and can just take all the stories in the scriptures (including The Book of Mormon, The Book of Abraham, and all other Mormon scriptures) as literal and just believe that God does a whole bunch of things with his magical power. What do scientists know anyway?
  • The Mormons focus a lot on Family, which is great!
  • When you judge someone to be evil, you can always take comfort in believing that Jesus will return and cleanse the Earth of all wickedness. You don’t have to worry too much about pain and suffering or justice here on Earth, because you believe that God will set it all right in the end.

Inconvénients:

  • You give away a part of your humanity by elevating yourself above others because you think you are special to God.
  • You become more judgmental of others who are different or who don’t believe the same way you do.
  • You give away your freedom to have an occasional beer, glass of wine, or celebratory alcoholic drink. You cannot drink coffee, even in moderation, and even if it is good for you.
  • You allow a bunch of prudish men to control your decisions regarding your private sexual relationship(s).
  • You give into mystical and magical thinking and rely way too much on God, when there is no evidence that God intervenes for our good in any way, and the solution to our problems is within humankind’s own capabilities.
  • You give away 10% of your income to an unaccountable organization whose financial records are closed, even to full tithe payers. According to the evidence, by all credible estimates, less than 1/2 of 1% of the LDS church’s total revenue goes into outside charity or humanitarian aid.
  • You may be shamed for private matters that are nobody’s damn business.
  • You may inadvertently cause shame on others for their private matters that are nobody’s damn business.
  • If your skin is darker than the average white person, you may wonder what you or your ancestors did or didn’t do, to deserve such a ‘curse’.
  • The Mormons focus a lot on Family, which is great! Until it comes time that someone gets married in the temple and the non-temple worthy members of the family get left out of the ceremony, or they get frequently shamed because they will be left out of the eternal family.
  • Your cognitive abilities ares impaired because, at some point, you need to disparage or discount legitimate science.
  • You are always waiting for Jesus to come and rescue the righteous from the sinners and to cleans the Earth.
  • And last, but not least, it’s not true. Whatever Mormonism has that is good, is not unique. Whatever it has that is unique, is not good.
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The above is not an exhaustive list of the pros, cons, and rules of Mormonism, but I think I hit the main points.

J'espère que ça aide.

Shelama Leesen

Shelama Leesen, former part-time semi-professional former Mormon (Formon)

Répondu il y a 59w · L'auteur dispose de réponses 556 et de vues de réponses 120.8k

The pros, if you can buy into it and stay active…

  1. It works, especially in providing nurturant, supportive and beneficial social community.
  2. Provides meaning and purpose and involvement.
  3. Where it overlaps with Humanism — which is actually considerable — Mormonism does both good and well.

The cons…

  1. It suffers from the same defects that plague all of Christianity — the belief that the Bible (including Genesis and the Gospels) is reliable history and the word of a god; the belief in “God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost”; and the belief in the “Atonement” — that the bloody execution of Jesus by Pilate was actually a “sacrifice” to atone for sins required by the demands of Elohim/Yahweh. (Mormons, along with most of Christianity, also mistakenly believe that Jesus is Yahweh/LORD/Jehovah/I AM of the “Old Testament,” separate from Elohim as God/Father.
  2. The foundational, orthodox narrative of Mormonism is simply not true and cannot be sustained — the Joseph Smith story, the so-called “First Vision,” and the writing of the Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham are not as Mormons claim and believe.
  3. Mormonism is profoundly controlling and cultish… WOTM: Is Mormonism A Cult?
  4. It is profoundly a church of it’s leaders and of conformity. The leaders admit publicly that they're fallible but offer no reliable guide for members to know when and resort, then, to ‘follow your leaders, regardless’ — lest you listen to Satan and be unfaithful or unworthy.
  5. Mormonism is a profoundly “worthiness” church, including an extraordinary preoccupation with sex and genitalia.
  6. Mormonism is a profoundly ‘blame and shame’ church, both institutionally from leaders and from your own family — if you doubt too much, if you’ve lost your faith & testimony & belief, it’s only because you’re not worthy or faithful, or not praying or reading your scriptures, or paying your tithing, or because of sin or rebellion, etc — in absolute total denial of the fact that the evidence fully supports doubt, and loss and lack of belief, as a wholly justified, honest and intelligent, informed conclusion.
  7. With Brigham Young first, and then another 100 years of additional “prophet, seers and revelators” on race, and on race and their priesthood, Mormon leaders have proved for all time that they can never be trusted to distinguish their own bias, bigotry or ignorance from the god they claim to speak for.
  8. Atrociously bad policy and teachings about “counterfeit” lifestyles and marriage. Including that same-sex marriage is “apostasy” and subject to excommunication, and with sanctions on the children of same-sex marriage — a policy that was belatedly and falsely claimed by a rogue, top leader, long after the fact, to be a “revelation from the Lord.” (See #7)
  9. Mormonism frequently touts its total membership numbers — currently about 16M — but consistently fail to mention that only 30% or so are actually active… a number that’s been in decline for years.

The Rules…

  1. Suivez les leaders.
  2. Suivez les leaders.
  3. Suivez les leaders.

John T. Prince

John T. Prince

Répondu il y a 59w

A one-page summary of the helps and harms:

Helps and Harms

A near-comprehensive analysis of the pros and cons, from both a believing and non-believing perspective:

The Pros and Cons of Mormonism

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