Mormon Misconceptions

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Mormons Worship Joseph Smith

Mormons Worship Joseph Smith

A Great Man … But Just A Man. Not Deity.

Mormons consider Joseph Smith to be a prophet, like Moses and Abraham. He is not worshipped or looked at as deity. With that said, Joseph Smith has a unique place in the Mormon church. He was the first prophet of the last dispensation. He also translated the Book of Mormon (he didn’t write it … that’s another misconception) and helped restore the important principles and ordinances of the gospel that had been lost during the apostasy. Joseph Smith was a great man and a wonderful leader. 

Modern-Day Prophets

A lot of people get hung up on the idea of modern-day prophets. I hear people say, “Prophets are a thing of the past,” or “We have the Bible, why would we need a prophet today?” I’ve even heard people say, “Mormons are blasphemous! They’re evil for thinking that there can be modern-day prophets.”

The first thing to remember is that Biblical prophets, for the most part, were speaking to their own people. Abraham never stood on a rock and prophesied, “The city of San Diego, California will burn to the ground if it doesn’t repent!”

The lessons they taught are timeless. That’s why we can easily adopt them into our own lives, even though they were given thousands of years ago.

With that said, I doubt Abraham and his people knew how to use a computer, browse the internet, download MP3s, etc. Our world is very different than Abraham’s world. Sure, the timeless lessons of love, charity, faith, etc. still apply today. But the influx of technologies and other modern-day advancements (both good and bad) make our time unique.

The only prophet that can understand today’s challenges is a prophet living today.

God Is Unchanging

We’re taught in the Bible that God is omnipotent, infinite, eternal and unchanging. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. We’re also taught that God loves his children. Why did God provide prophets in Biblical times? It’s simple. He loved his children. He knew they were imperfect and needed help. That help came in the form of prophets. God provided prophets for thousands of years. Each generation had its own challenges and needed someone that was not only inspired but also mindful of the people’s current situation.

If you actually believe that God is unchanging, wouldn’t it stand to reason that God also loves us? And if he loves us, wouldn’t it make sense that he would provide prophets to guide us? Think about it.

To understand the need for a prophet like Joseph Smith or any other modern-day prophet, you need to understand the nature of God first.

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Filed under Joseph Smith Worship God Nature of God

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Mormon Men Have Multiple Wives

Mormon Men Can Have Multiple Wives

Mormon Men Can Have Multiple Wives

A Plethora Of Wives

Of all the Mormon Misconceptions, this might be the most pervasive. I don’t know how many times I’ve had people ask me, “Is it true that you can have multiple wives?” The media (think Big Love and Sister Wives) has fueled the common misconception that Mormon’s practice polygamy. During my 2-year church mission to Quito, Ecuador, it was fairly common for people to ask, “If I join your church, how quickly can I get married to another woman? I’d like to have at least two wives.” My response was typically something like, “You’re looking in the wrong place. Try another church.”

One Wife. No Exceptions.

The subject of polygamy has followed the Mormon church for well over a century. To set the record straight, Mormons can only have one wife. No exceptions. The Mormon church has not practiced polygamy, in any form, since the 1800’s. And even then it was only practiced by certain individuals.

Mormon Spin-Offs

There are a handful of Mormon spin-off religions that practice polygamy. These “religions” are not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"This Church Has Nothing To Do With Those Practicing Polygamy"

In 1998, Gordon B. Hinckley made the following statement, “I wish to state categorically that this Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church. Most of them have never been members … If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church.”

Related Articles

Polygamy Then and Now

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(Source: newsroom.lds.org)

Filed under Polygamy Wives Plural Marriage

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Mormon’s Are Not Allowed To Watch R-Rated Movies

Mormon's Are Not Allowed To Watch R-Rated Movies

Mormons Are Not Allowed To Watch R-Rated Movies

Yesterday’s R-Rated Movie Is Today’s PG-13

No one can disagree that the level of violence, sex and language in movies has escalated over the years. Today’s PG-13 movies would have been R-Rated 15-20 years ago. Society, as a whole, is in a moral tailspin.

Decreased Morals Is Not A Step In The Right Direction

Some would argue that the decrease in morals is somehow progressive. Sure, it might be “progressive,” if you’re OK with society progressing towards disaster. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that watching increased violence, sex and language in movies will lead to a more corrupt and violent society. The more trash we watch the more desensitized we become. And the more desensitized we become the more likely we are to not care if people around us are acting inappropriately. And ultimately, we lose the ability to distinguish right from wrong in our own lives.

Watching R-Rated Movies Is Discouraged

So why can’t Mormons watch R-Rated movies? The simple answer is that they can. And some do. The church strongly discourages watching R-Rated movies, but at the same time it does not have concrete penalties for members that do (i.e. excommunication, exclusion from the temples, etc.).

I used to watch R-Rated movies. However, I distinctly remember walking out of a particularly violent movie in 1996 and thinking to myself, “I feel like crap right now. I just watched 100 people get blown to pieces and mutilated. I heard the “F” word about 3,000 times. My overall happiness just took about 10 steps backwards.” That night I decided to never watch an R-Rated movie again. Did the church force me to give up my R-Rated movie habits? No. Did the church say I would burn in hell if I watched an R-Rated movie? Of course not. I came to a self-realization that watching R-Rated movies was taking away from my overall happiness.

Take a look at some media statistics

Boundaries = Confidence and Long-Term Freedom

With that said, I know quite a few Mormons that justify watching an occasional R-Rated movie by saying, “It’s historical. Sure there is violence, but that’s what really happened!” To be honest, I agree with that argument. However, I also try to live my life by rules and boundaries. I have decided that in the bigger scheme of things missing an occasional “historic” R-Rated movie will not kill me. I feel more confident in myself knowing that I have the will power to say no and stand up for the convictions and goals I’ve set for myself.

It’s About Self-Mastery

Many of the Mormon church’s “rules,” guidelines, suggestions, etc. are designed to make us stronger individuals. Self-mastery is important to maintaining a balanced and happy life.

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Filed under Sex Violence Movies