Anti-Mormons--Honestly, Think Better of Yourselves


Last Sunday, as we got home from church, we noticed a plastic bag hanging on the front door knob. Inside was a very attractive DVD. Based on the title of the DVD, as well as the paucity of any other information on the cover, I guessed that it was an attack on Mormonism. I was right.


The first 15 minutes of the video were actually pretty good. It seemed to me a very fair comparison of what (I think) traditional Christianity believes versus what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe. They got the Mormon part right, anyway. It is actually something I wouldn't have minded showing my children--except for what followed. Flowing music and beautifully professional cinematography couldn't cover up the scurrility that made up most of the rest of the video.

A Deseret News article this morning quoted the producer of the video as saying that he produced the video out of love for the Mormons.

Pshaw!!!

When it comes to showing love for a group of people, in this case one that belongs to a certain religion, the greatest initial showing of love that one can have for his fellow men, other than laying his life down for them, is to have one's facts straight.

After the first 15 minutes of the DVD, nearly every single allegation was patently untrue, and several claims were of such inconsequence as to defy understanding as to why they were even in the film in the first place.

It is easy for us to want to be better than someone else. It is easy for us to think that we are more of an authority on something--particularly when it comes to religion--than is someone who belongs to that religion. This could in actuality hardly be the case, however. I have caught myself doing this as I have studied other Christian religions as well as Islam. However, the best I can hope for is to be authority on my own religion. It is the Christlike (or Mohammed-like, or Bhudda-like, etc.) thing to do to ask someone who is a member of a religion that I'm not a member of--rather than holding myself up as the authority, when in reality I would be a fraud.

If these people sincerely had the best interests of the LDS people at heart, the producers of and characters in this vile and dishonest film claiming to be about the Mormon church could have contacted any of a number of actual members of the Mormon church who could have set them straight on the doctrinal and historical facts.

That is what someone who really loves his fellowmen would do.

I am just not feeling the love. To the producers and participants of this salacious screed--please apologize. Do not attempt to drag members of another faith down to the gutter in which you lay. Honestly, you should think better of yourselves than to attempt to divide and destroy with your disingenuousness.

Comments

  1. When I served as a missionary, we had some that advocated the idea of saying that they were simply taking a poll. I completely disagreed with this approach because it was disingenuous. Even if there was some true polling involved, that was hardly the reason you were contacting people.

    Trying to get people to listen to your message using deception and gimmicks is the wrong approach, especially if you believe your message to be the truth. Not only does approach this drive away actual truth seekers, the people it does attract are not the kind you would want anyway.

    The folks involved in this 'ministry' should get a clue. But they won't. The main guy quoted in the article has been at it for many decades now.

    Let's try his argument on for size. He claims to love Mormons so much that he's willing to lie to them to show them that they're deluded. This approach would be just as slimy if you applied it to any other type of human relationship.

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  2. In response to your Anti Mormon posting… Don’t you think that having strangers knocking on doors basically preaching absurdities and telling people that they should join the LDS church because otherwise they will go to hell is an attack on any other religion out there? Its anti-Catholic, Anti Semetic, anti-Muslim and ANTI-AMERICAN.
    I just have to remind you of the childhood saying, "If you can't take it, don't dish it out". I find these young, immature "Elders" offensive. You should be open to other "propaganda" if you are going to go door to door and dish out your own.
    PS: I found your blog while looking up Utah Politics, it must be nice to have a website for Mormon Politics ...Whatever the church says goes, must simplify life to never have to think for yourself.

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  3. Anonymous,

    I agree with you that LDS missionaries should not preach that you will go to hell if you don't join our church (I suspect that very few of them do) because you won't. The LDS church is not supposed to be combative, and I feel sad that you have gotten this perception. What I say for anti-mormons--that they should understand the LDS religion before making statements about it--goes for Latter-Day Saints as well. We have no business making false claims about other religions.

    Regarding your statement about my parroting the LDS line--please. Ask anyone who knows me. I think for myself as much as you do.

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  4. Elizabeth,

    The DVD was filled with gross distortions and outright falsehoods about LDS history and doctrine. A careful refutation of each point can be found here.

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  5. Elizabeth,

    You can watch the video here
    http://goodnewsforlds.org/video.html
    and judge for yourself.

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  6. It is not a "Hate Crime" anymore than the first vision of Joseph Smith is. Mormon missionaries tactics are clear they come across as just another denomination before they then spring the "secrets" of the Mormon Church and its additional extra biblical teachings. There is truth out there I suggest you seek it out and if you think the Mormon Church does not use the same methodolgy you are sorely mistaken. I have had them send me an unwanted DVD telling me that the Mormon Church is the only TRUE church and all other Christian Religions are false. Talk about misrepresentation. It is fine if you want to dispute issues on the DVD but to attack a tactic that you also use? That is just hypocrasy. Here are some notable quotes that are Anti Christian from Mormon Leaders and Prophets. http://heartforthelostblog.blogspot.com/2007/04/update-2-on-response-to-mormon-dvd.html#links Please watch what you say in regards to the term "Hate Crime". That is a post modern term and this country is founded upon the ability to discuss our differences, even in a DVD.

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  7. or hypocrisy if I am spelling correctly :)

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  8. Andy,

    I'm not sure if we are using the same tactics--I didn't when I served a mission for the LDS church. But if there are certain representatives of the LDS church who are doing this sort of thing, then they are as wrong as the goodnewsforlds producers are, and they should apologize.

    Please see the link above (in the comments) for a rebuttal of every point made in the video.

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  9. Frank,

    Thank you for your response. Are you telling me that when you first met with someone you went through and explained your doctrines, theology, secret rites, marriages etc.? Missionaries intentionally do not talk about many things in the Mormon Church and many new Mormons do not find out about many issues for quite some time. How about what they are showing as a Movie in the Temple about Joseph Smith and his death? It contradicts your own history of how he died? You are telling me that is not decietful? Strange. Be careful who you call a "Kettle". And you still did not respond to the first vision. "all other (Christian) Churches are an abomination." sounds like you are less "Universal" then you believe. The LDS Church should apologize for labeling disagreement with their belief as "hateful". No one is being hateful. Many Christians just want you to know the truth, the only reason Mormons are so upset is because they cannot honestly defend their own writings. And unfortunately FAIR claims they do not speak for the Church so their rebuttal is not valid. I pray that you will know the truth.

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  10. It seems to me that several different strands of reasoning can be found here. One strand rightfully suggests that when people discuss controversial topics, including religion, they should do so with respect and graciousness. Another strand seems correct in saying that when someone makes claims as to a religion's veracity, they should not be shocked when they encounter disagreement. On the other hand, some here seem to imply that religion by its very nature is not the sort of thing that makes claims that can legitimately count as knowledge. This third strand, it seems to me, cannot be an option for either Mormons or traditional Christians, since each believes that his theology is correct, which entails that the other thinks the other wrong. That's the consequence of claiming to know that something is true (even if it turns out to be false).

    The only resolution it seems to me is for each side to concede the obvious, we believe our side is right and your side is wrong. Looking for offense as a means of cultural leverage in order to quash dialog is just passive aggressive tyranny. On the other hand, many of us have not mastered the art of congenial manners with pointed argument, something that includes both respect and honesty about one's own beliefs and the beliefs of others.

    I have written on this subject in an article I published in 2005 in the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, "Sects in the City: Mormonisn and the Philosophical Perils of Being a Missionary Faith." You can find it here.

    Francis J. Beckwith

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  11. Andy,

    Sorry that I did not respond to some of the other issues you raise. I will attempt to make a more full response.

    We explain the basic doctrines and theology. We do not explain what you call "secret" rites, because we don't expect them to know everything about the church before they can decide that they want to be a member of it. Anyone can qualify to enter the LDS temple, but no one is required to; those who do not enter the temple can still be members of the Church in good standing.

    Please give me more detail about the temple movie regarding Joseph Smith. I attend the temple at least once per month, and I have not seen or heard of this movie.

    I did not use the term "hate crime", as you imply in your comments. You used the term first. I'm not sure what you mean by this.

    Regarding the first vision and true churches vs false churches. We do not believe that all other churches are completely false. We do not believe that everyone from every other denomination will burn in hell or anything similar. Nearly any religion has truth, and many religions have much truth. What they do not have is the authority to act in the name of God.

    You are correct that the LDS church sends out DVDs. Often, but not always, these are as a result of "referrals" by other people. The difference in the videos that the LDS church produces and the recent (and nearly all) anti-Mormon production is that the LDS church does not try to grossly misrepresent what another religion believes.

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  12. So only if a referral is requested can you then send a DVD? Frank S. be honest there is no difference in what the LDS Church does. It is more deceitful for them to re-write History with the "Restoration Movie" about what really happened when Joseph Smith died. I suggest you read "Rough Stone Rolling" Since it is written by a Mormon and you can get it at Desert Book Store maybe you will read it, the question is since many claims in that book are also on the DVD are they then still wrong? Or is Bushman hateful towards his own religion? The irony here is that Mormons are damaging their own Evangelism efforts with the Secular world with these statements. Eventually preaching the Biblical Christ and the Mormon Christ will be a hate crime in their eyes.

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  13. The referral route is the way I understand it. It's not so much receiving a DVD, but the fact that the DVD I received was putrid in its regurgitation of previously proven non-factual evidence.

    I have not heard of "Rough Stone Rolling", but I will check it out.

    It's possible that Bushman (Richard, Jess, someone else?) has become disaffected with his religion. It has happened before--to people in nearly every religion, and for a plethora of reasons.

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