Internet Threatens Mormons
Mormons have apparently just discovered the Internet, a decades-old platform containing information.
NYT (“Some Mormons Search the Web and Find Doubt“):
In the small but cohesive Mormon community where he grew up, Hans Mattsson was a solid believer and a pillar of the church. He followed his father and grandfather into church leadership and finally became an “area authority” overseeing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout Europe.
When fellow believers in Sweden first began coming to him with information from the Internet that contradicted the church’s history and teachings, he dismissed it as “anti-Mormon propaganda,” the whisperings of Lucifer. He asked his superiors for help in responding to the members’ doubts, and when they seemed to only sidestep the questions, Mr. Mattsson began his own investigation.
But when he discovered credible evidence that the church’s founder, Joseph Smith, was a polygamist and that the Book of Mormon and other scriptures were rife with historical anomalies, Mr. Mattsson said he felt that the foundation on which he had built his life began to crumble.
Around the world and in the United States, where the faith was founded, the Mormon Church is grappling with a wave of doubt and disillusionment among members who encountered information on the Internet that sabotaged what they were taught about their faith, according to interviews with dozens of Mormons and those who study the church.
Every faith has its skeptics and detractors, but the Mormon Church’s history creates special challenges. The church was born in America only 183 years ago, and its founder and prophet, Joseph Smith, and his disciples left behind reams of papers that still exist, documenting their work, exposing their warts and sometimes contradicting one another.
“The Roman Catholic Church has had 2,000 years to work through the hiccups in its history,” said Terryl L. Givens, a professor of English, literature and religion at the University of Richmond and a Mormon believer. “Mormonism is still an adolescent religion.”
Apparently, they don’t get cable television in Utah, either, as South Park pointed this all out years ago.
If I had to pick between believing a story about the “seer stones” and Jesus in North America or Wizards and House Elves….well I’m going with the Wizards every time.
Of course, nearly every religion’s scriptures are full of historical anomalies. The only difference is that Mormonism comes from a recent enough time that we have enough contemparaneous sources to make them more obvious than in other cases.
Whenever I find out someone is a Mormon, it really changes the way I look at them, given that they are able to believe such a transparently fraudulent religion. I realize when you are raised in a belief system, it is hard to move on, but the religion is so painfully phoney. I feel really bad for the converts. How can you be THAT stupid? Mormonism fascinates me, and I have found myself doing a lot of reading about its early history and the many, many splinter groups. I’ve been meaning to sit down and sit through one of the “cam” versions of a Mormon service that are posted on the internet, since one can’t otherwise attend.
At least mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox, Muslims, Jews, and so on have history and tradition on their side
James, the link at the end of the post is blocked. A shame. That straight retelling by Southpark of the Mormon origin story was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on TV.
The easiest way to deal with uncomfortable facts is always to ignore them. I expect that for a consulting fee the Schlafly kid would be willing to help set up Mormonapedia. Out of curiosity I checked. Conservapdia’s “Book of Mormon” page is reasonably respectful. Anybody know if they changed it when Romney began to rise?
So the New York Times just discovered “Jack Mormons”, who have been around since . . . forever (disclosure: I’m an ex-Mormon). Seriously, the former Mayor of Salt Lake City (Rocky Anderson) is a Jack Mormon, and not even the most prominent one in Utah history.
All religions are ridiculous. Mormonism is just too recently ridiculous. One needs a few centuries to obscure the absurdities.
All of them except mine of course.
I am a Sun Worshiper.
My Holy Book is Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.
The Enabling Scripture is the footnote on page 18:
The internet, like television, has its good and bad points.
Revealing the truth to deceived individuals just happens to be one of the good points.
One needs a few centuries to obscure the absurdities.
And they’re not even well obscured!
@aFloridian: Be sure to check out A Study in Scarlet.
Per WikiP: “A Study in Scarlet is a detective mystery novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, introducing his new character of Sherlock Holmes,..”
I read it years ago and either did not know or forgot is was the debut of Holmes.
How long does any institution have to exist before history and tradition are on their side?
Been there for 16 years. Free from slavery at last!!!! Thanks, Mr. GOOGLE.
Ah, yes, said the old pagan. But all that happened a long, long time ago.
That fact does not keep me from continuing to seek the True Faith that will one day lead me to tax-free riches!