Those Mormons love their 'meetings' (and by that, I'm not referring to 'worship services'). When I say 'meetings', I mean the word in the sense of business 'meetings'. I have said before that they should be called the "Church of the Latter-Day Businessmen" Truly! They preach what can only be called the "Gospel of Wealth" (to borrow the phrase from Andrew Carnegie): they think that being "successful" in life (a word they use an awful lot!) is the same thing as being "blessed," and that the more "successful" a person is (in terms of making money), the more "blessed" he or she must be! Now, how twisted is that? That's the way the primitive-minded Hebrews of Old Testament times thought! ("The more goats and cattle I have, the more wives, concubines, and children I have, the more 'God' has showed favour upon me ...") Good God! To think that these 'Mormons' still think like that! To think that the human race has not budged (or evolved) one inch in all those thousands of years! What a sad, sad commentary on the human race!
Erstwhile 'Mormon' presidential candidate Mitt Romney (the former Governor of Massachussetts) wanted people to think he was good presidential material because he is a "successful leader" and businessman (his exact words). He is certainly every inch a 'Mormon', just like all the rest of them!
The truth of the matter is, that we are constantly being "blessed" by God! Just being alive here on this earth is the greatest blessing of all. And we are being blessed by God, even when we think we are not! As Thoreau, Blake, and Whitman would have all been quick to agree, it is a blessing even to be poverty-stricken! Think about that ... Yet it teaches humility, and compassion for all living beings, doesn't it? Hard to learn those lessons if one is filthy rich ... And as Thoreau pointed out, being poverty-stricken is also a blessing, in the sense that we then don't ever have the chance to become unduly attached to material possessions; instead, we learn to love other people (instead of desiring and growing jealous over our "possessions"). Didn't "Jesus" say that "where your treasure is, there your heart is also"? Yes, of course "he" did. ...
And--though we may not recognise it as such--we are even being 'blessed' when disaster or tragedy visits its awful, heavy hand upon us. ... Think about that! Yet, if you will really think about it, and work it out in your mind, you will realise I am speaking the truth here. "Disasters" and "tragedies" teach us to appreciate the good times. We could never learn to value the "good", if we did not also experience the "bad" (right?) So even the "bad" times are also blessings for us--"blessings in disguise". Much, much more could be said on this subject.
And the 'Mormons' also place far too much emphasis on 'leaders'! Everyone in that church aspires to be a 'leader'! Just how many 'leaders' can there be, before everyone is aspiring to be a 'leader', and no-one is left to follow? "Jesus" had choice words to say about people who desire preeminence among their fellow-men, didn't he? Rather than desiring that human beings should live in a hierarchical, stratified, or layered society (and helping to bring such a thing about), shouldn't we rather strive to serve one another, humbly, with "broken hearts and contrite spirits"? Didn't "Jesus" make this point (beautifully, simply, and elegantly) when he stripped naked in front of his disciples, and washed their feet (which was considered filthy, demeaning work back then)? Of course he did.
The 'Mormons' claim to believe in a doctrine which they call "eternal progression," by which they mean that human beings should be continually evolving and expanding their comprehension of knowledge; but what is actually the case is that the 'Mormons' literally follow the contrary doctrine, which could aptly be referred to as 'eternally staying put right where they are,' thank you very much! Try attending one of their Sunday-School classes. And then do the same for about six or seven Sundays in succession. They merely repeat their standard, basic doctrines--the same doctrines that are taught to "beginners in the faith"--as if even the seasoned church members of forty years and more have learned absolutely nothing in all that time! This is sad, to say the least.
I myself, when I was a child growing up in the 'Mormon' faith, took that "eternal progression" doctrine literally, and went out into the world and began learning things. Unlike the vast percentage of 'Mormons' (and Christians), I did not shy away from an uncomfortable fact when it happened to contradict what I already believed (or thought was the case). To my way of thinking, if a proposition was demonstrably true and correct, why then, I had better get myself accustomed to accepting it.
This process eventually led me to turning my 'Mormon' beliefs completely inside-out, and demonstrating them (and most 'Christian' beliefs) to be based solely on unwarranted and unexamined assumptions--assumptions which when once thoroughly examined and exposed to the light and air, turned out to be sadly false. I say sadly, because it was at first extremely disconcerting to have my world-view turned upside-down, and inside-out. This is because (contrary to what some poeple may think) I am in fact a thinking, feeling human being just like the rest in most respects, and that entails a certain emotional/psychological dislocation when one's existential security happens to be seriously challenged.
Fortunately, I survived the experience relatively unscathed (save for the total loss of certain beliefs that were wholly untenable in the light of sound evidence to the contrary).
I therefore think that the 'Mormons' have got the idea of "religion" completely backwards and twisted around. And (again) that is very sad.
It took me many years to figure this out (since I was raised by them). As you may well imagine, it is so very hard to turn against the beliefs one was taught as a child ...
I have here spoken of (and quoted) "Jesus" as if he were a real human being, but please remember that I only do this so as to better be able to teach certain important points. ... I do not in fact believe "he" ever had any physical existence on this earth (at least not in the guise with which he is familiar to us from our shared cultural heritage).
Now, in saying all of the above, I do not for a moment mean to be understood as saying that all ‘Mormons’ are necessarily ‘bad’ people. There are in this faith (as indeed in all faiths) an enormous number of otherwise decent, wonderful human beings—some of whom I count as friends, and some of whom are my own distant kinspeople. I would never say they are ‘bad’ people—only greatly deluded or mistaken people. I truly believe that if they could only see the serious, profound contradictions inherent in ‘Mormonism’, they would soon have to view the religion in much the same way I now do. …
23 December, 2007