If you recall, a while back I mentioned that I was going to be taking a new direction on the blog. Not changing the title or url or anything like that. That won’t happen for a few years, at least. So I don’t mean a completely new blog or anything like that.
No, I’m going to start a more serious feature series. I don’t expect it to be a weekly thing, probably bi-weekly at best. Because this one is going to take a
little lot more prep-work than my typical features, which will stay. I’m still going to do the Movie Monday posts and the Furry Friday posts. So the fun stuff will be here, too, as well as the regular ol’ every day kind of posts.
When it became clear Romney was going to be the Republican candidate, there was a lot of back-and-forth on the internet about whether or not Romney was a Christian and whether Mormonism is a Christian belief system. I didn’t engage in much of it, for one thing because I don’t necessarily feel that’s a relevant factor when choosing a President during a time of global recession, crippling national debt and the highest unemployment rate in a decade. But also because it was obvious that there was such a serious deficit of knowledge about either Mormon or Christian theology, that it would have been like trying to explain quantum mechanics to someone who has never heard of addition. You have to start at Square 1.
Which is what I’m going to do.
Let me lay the groundwork for this by saying, my only objective here is to take the fundamentals of the Mormon religion and hold it up against the Bible. In doing so, I will be following the instruction of their own prophet, Brigham Young, who said, “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test." (May 18, 1873, Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, p. 46.) I’ll do my best to stick to the basics, as difficult as that will be. Mormonism is a fascinating and complicated belief system and there’s an awful lot we could cover. I’ll do my best to be streamlined.
This series may get me labeled as being “anti” or “against” Mormons. Even people who aren’t Mormon seem to consider examining Mormonism to be motivated solely from bigotry. Nothing could be further from the truth. While there are people who are hatefully anti-Mormon, I am not one of them. I have Mormon friends that I admire and love like family. When we joined the Army, the first people to take us into their homes and make us feel like we “belonged” were Mormons. I have nothing but unreserved warm feelings towards Mormons.
And let’s be honest, if we’re just talking about your standard, run-of-the-ward Mormons (Latter-Day Saints, technically, but since it’s the more widely-recognized term, I’ll use “Mormons”) there’s not a whole lot to criticize in general. They have large, warm, tight-knit families. They are actively engaged in improving their local communities and third-world countries. They tend to be very wholesome, clean-cut individuals who are contributing members of society. I have a Mormon friend who, I swear, really does live in a world of unicorns and rainbows. And even if you don’t like Mitt Romney, you have to admit he makes some good-lookin’ kids. I know I’m stereotyping, but really, I’m not wrong.
The point is, I’m not wanting to talk about individual Mormons. Or even Mormons as a group. People keep tossing around the question: “Is Mitt Romney a Christian?” And the response is often, “Of course he is, Mormons are Christians.” Bad question, bad answer. I can’t see into anyone else’s heart. I can’t look at someone I don’t even know and pretend to know the ins and outs of their relationship with God. I can, however, examine a set of beliefs and evaluate whether or not they line up with what the Bible teaches without it coming from a place of hate.
And for those who are wondering, no, I am not and have never been a member of the Mormon church. I have, however, been studying LDS history and theology seriously for several years now. I don’t pretend to know it all, but I know more than the average non-member. I’m not above error, and I will accept factually-based correction.
The last thing I’ll say is, I am looking forward with great anticipation to discussions prompted by this series. Please be sure your reply-to email is set so that I am able to reply to all of your comments. I don’t have to ask everyone to keep it civil, because I have the best readers in the world. I’ve posted about controversial topics on here before and y’all have never been anything but thoughtful and mature. I look forward to carrying that spirit on as we go on this new discovery journey together.