What's Wrong With Mormonism?

My comment on Mitt Romney’s Mormonism last Tuesday sparked some controversy over Facebook. To clear up my meaning, and tell my overall view of Mormonism, I decided to repost my response on Facebook as a blog post.

First off, I should say that I don't consider myself an expert on Mormonism...or Christianity in general for that matter. I also know that there is a lot of diversity within different religions, even within different denominations of Christianity, so what is written here may or may not be what all Mormons belive. What follows is some of the basics of Mormonism that I've gathered from research I've done on this subject. (www.mormon.org was where I did a lot of my reading.)

Mormons aren't exactly not Christian...but they aren't exactly Christian either. Saying I don't want to vote for a Mormon isn’t the same as saying that, say, I won't vote for a Protestant or a Calvinist. Mormons believe in Jesus Christ like Christians do, and that's good. It's just some smaller, wonky things that aren't necessarily bad, but don't have any Biblical basis (as far as I know) that put me on edge. (They have the Book of Mormon basis, of course, but still...)

For example, that the Fall wasn't all bad. That without experiencing pain and loss we couldn't experience joy. (So disobeying God was good? Or sin and disobedience is worth it because it has good consequences? Huh?)

We were once all spirit children, but we don't remember it. And we will become spirit children after we die, married to spirit spouses and have more spirit children. I'm a little confused about this one. We were spirit children, and we needed to go to Earth to be able to experience our spirit life better. Why then are we having more spirit children? Will they need to go to Earth too? Is it an ongoing cycle?

And then, the Biggie: That we will all be happy in the afterlife. Yes. Everybody. First when you die, you go to a kind of school-heaven where, if you didn't get the chance before, you learn about God. Then you make your decision. To quote "Scott" from
www.mormon.org, "Life isn't a pass or fail test...it's more like an A, B, C, test."

Basically, if you know and love God and obeyed his commandments, you get to go live with Him and all is happiness. If you were a good person but didn't know God, you don't get to live with Him, but you live with other people like yourself and all is happiness. If you choose to follow Satan after Heaven-school, you get to go live with Satan and with everybody else who chose to do so. And all is happiness.

Basically, God is too loving to punish anybody. This is a nice idea, but it isn't true. The Bible says God is a loving but Just God. Being a "good person" isn't good enough. Only knowing Christ is what "gets" you into Heaven. Saying nobody will be unhappy degrades God. It's saying that He isn't the only way to live a happy fulfilling life and afterlife. He said something else, and you can't disregard that. There IS a Hell, and people WILL go there. "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life" (Matthew 7:14). Does God relish that idea? No, of course not. He does love us, and he does want everyone to know Him and live with Him and live forever joyfully...but that simply can't happen. "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). The Mormon faith makes things all happiness and butterflies. Their ideas, in general, aren't evil or anything. They just aren't true.

Once again, I'd like to emphasize that I wouldn't support or not support Romney based on his faith. I would simply rather support somebody whose beliefs are closer to my own, because they would be much more likely to run the country like I would like it to be run. I would also like to say that I do believe that Mormons (and Catholics and Calvinists and all the rest) CAN really and truly love God, and therefore we should support them. But as a general rule, if the person in question hasn't proved that he or she does love God, I'll be wary of them - especially if their faith is different from mine.

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