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Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Stormin' the Mormons- One of the things we'll be getting the next two weeks as the Winter Olympics is going on is a lot of free PR for the Mormons. There are some people who don't understand why the Mormons ("Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" is the offical title) are a "cult", or at least so unothodox in their theology that they shouldn't count as Christans. Here's my quick-and-dirty on the subject. I'm doing this off the top of my head at work, with some refreshers from Gospelcom.net; my dead-tree resoures are at home, so I reserve the right to modify this later today when I get home. The founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, claims to have found extra books dictated by God. The Book of Mormon is the best know, but two other books, Pearl of Great Price and Doctrines and Covenants are the books where the heterodox Mormon theology comes from. "Back when God was a buck private" would fit Mormon theology, since the core divergence comes from the idea that both Jesus and Elohim (sp?) (God the Father) were once men themselves and evolved into godhood. Believers can themselves be promoted to godhood, ruling over planets of their own. "As God once was, we are; as God is, we may be" is a key Mormon saying. In Mormon theology, Jesus is god of this planet-there are other planets with other gods. Mormon theology holds Elohim personally came down to have sex with Mary to start Jesus along in his earthly form. Another funny part of Mormon theology was the relationship of Jesus and Lucifer. There was a vote in the heavens over which of the two would get to run Earth. Jesus ran on a platform of free-will to the spirits, while Lucifer ran on required obedience. Jesus won, and the spirits who voted for Lucifer got placed into black bodies. Thus the Mormon had a theological footing for liking the church to be "white and delightful." It wasn't until the 70s that blacks could be full members (adult male members are all priests, carrying the "priesthood of all believers" a bit too literally) of the church. Baptizing the dead and the continuation of marriage after death (going against Jesus’ words) are two other unbiblical quirks of the Mormons. If this reads like bad sci-fi, I'm reminded that Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard was a sci-fi writer before (and after?) he founded his crack-pot faith. Joseph Smith had one very wild imagination, put into overdrive with the Devil's help. The "Latter-Day Saints" part of the official Mormon title gives the LDS acronym. That gives those familiar with the Mormons a good laugh in Star Trek 4 when Kirk tells the fellow bus-rider that Spock was "into LDS in the 60s." Most Christians groups, including the Catholics and Methodists (hey, they get one right for a change) can see that Mormons are theologically off-base and, while they may use Biblical terms, aren't practicing the same faith.

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