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Kind Debater
02-26-2014, 09:05 AM
Since TWeb went down, I've been lurking some at mormondialog.org and have been surprised at the amount of theological liberalism I've seen there. By "liberalism" I mean taking the BoM and Bible as figurative texts that aren't wholly true and relaxing what seems to be the official LDS stance on things. There are some people there who openly doubt the LDS church, but there are others who seem to have an attitude of "all religions are valid ways to God, I just picked LDS because the people are nice and I like the BoM" and/or "no religion is really 100% true, so I just pick the things from Mormonism that work for me."

ETA: as another example, on one thread a poster recommended this book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Future-Religion-Gianni-Vattimo/dp/0231134959

I was just wondering what the LDS members here think about their ward/temple and the LDS church in general. How common are the views above? Does mormondialog.org just have more liberals than other LDS forums? Do you see the LDS church going the same way as mainstream Christianity in America, where there are seemingly more and more people who see the Bible as myth, etc.?

Cow Poke
02-26-2014, 10:34 AM
While waiting for Mormons to respond, I'll share what I know about the half dozen I know in real life who have left Mormonism.

Because Mormonism encapsulates their entire world -- work, friends, church, family... it is so hard to leave that, so when they find the teachings no longer believable, it's much easier to adopt this "liberal" view --- they can stay (to a point) because of the things you mention.

Meanwhile, "there is a way that seemeth right to a man...."

RBerman
02-26-2014, 11:49 AM
It seems to me that Mormonism encouraged strong devotion in its early days, when orthodox Christians were considered doomed, along with all non-Mormons. But the more recent party line is that pretty much everybody ends up in at least the Telestial Kingdom, because almost nobody is bad enough to join Satan in "outer darkness." I asked a couple of young "elders" last year why they were devoting two years of their lives to telling people that they were not going to hell regardless, and they didn't have a coherent answer. The enormous expenditure of missionary effort made more sense in less universalist LDS regimes of the past.

Cow Poke
02-26-2014, 03:41 PM
It seems to me that Mormonism encouraged strong devotion in its early days, when orthodox Christians were considered doomed, along with all non-Mormons. But the more recent party line is that pretty much everybody ends up in at least the Telestial Kingdom, because almost nobody is bad enough to join Satan in "outer darkness." I asked a couple of young "elders" last year why they were devoting two years of their lives to telling people that they were not going to hell regardless, and they didn't have a coherent answer. The enormous expenditure of missionary effort made more sense in less universalist LDS regimes of the past.

Excellent point. Hadn't thought of that!

Kind Debater
02-27-2014, 09:31 AM
Because Mormonism encapsulates their entire world -- work, friends, church, family... it is so hard to leave that, so when they find the teachings no longer believable, it's much easier to adopt this "liberal" view --- they can stay (to a point) because of the things you mention.


Makes sense.


It seems to me that Mormonism encouraged strong devotion in its early days, when orthodox Christians were considered doomed, along with all non-Mormons. But the more recent party line is that pretty much everybody ends up in at least the Telestial Kingdom, because almost nobody is bad enough to join Satan in "outer darkness." I asked a couple of young "elders" last year why they were devoting two years of their lives to telling people that they were not going to hell regardless, and they didn't have a coherent answer. The enormous expenditure of missionary effort made more sense in less universalist LDS regimes of the past.

I thought Joseph Smith introduced the three kingdoms thing as a way of softening the eternal damnation bit when he realized some of his relatives weren't going to join his church? At least I got that impression from what I read.

I assume part of the rationale for LDS missions is to give people a chance of getting into the Celestial kingdom. OTOH, it's kind of a gamble -- if you don't join the church, you can be pretty assured of entrance into one of the lower kingdoms, but if you join and then leave, you're in danger of Outer Darkness.

Cow Poke
02-27-2014, 09:37 AM
I thought Joseph Smith introduced the three kingdoms thing as a way of softening the eternal damnation bit when he realized some of his relatives weren't going to join his church? At least I got that impression from what I read.

It was when his own brother died, not having been baptized, that Joseph Smith came up with some "revelations" that would allow his brother to be included. At one time, we had a link to "the life of the Prophet" or something like that, where you have a hard time arguing, even from the Mormon's own film, that this was not the case.

ETA: Here's the link.... https://www.lds.org/church/events/temple-square-events/joseph-smith-the-prophet-of-the-restoration?lang=eng

carbon dioxide
03-01-2014, 09:18 PM
Since TWeb went down, I've been lurking some at mormondialog.org and have been surprised at the amount of theological liberalism I've seen there. By "liberalism" I mean taking the BoM and Bible as figurative texts that aren't wholly true and relaxing what seems to be the official LDS stance on things. There are some people there who openly doubt the LDS church, but there are others who seem to have an attitude of "all religions are valid ways to God, I just picked LDS because the people are nice and I like the BoM" and/or "no religion is really 100% true, so I just pick the things from Mormonism that work for me."


Speaking just from my personal experience, I don't know any LDS that at least say openly that take the Bible and BOM as figurative texts. There might be issues within the texts that that can be taken that way. I think within any large population of people you will see an people on all parts the spectrum but the bulk are not doubting anything or say all religions are valid ways to God. Outliers are to always to be expected in any group and sometimes the outliers are the most outspoken.

KingsGambit
03-02-2014, 03:52 PM
While browsing the Internet this afternoon, I came across a site that argues that Mormonism can still be held to even if one believes that Joseph Smith completely made it all up. I can't say I get the point of this.

http://www.liberalmormon.net/507his.shtml

Cow Poke
03-02-2014, 04:58 PM
While browsing the Internet this afternoon, I came across a site that argues that Mormonism can still be held to even if one believes that Joseph Smith completely made it all up. I can't say I get the point of this.

http://www.liberalmormon.net/507his.shtml

One of the videos we had posted some while back pretty much reasoned that same thing --- it's much easier to close your eyes and stay in "pretend land" than to admit you were totally horn-swaggled.

There is a way that seemeth right to a man....

Kind Debater
03-05-2014, 08:32 AM
While browsing the Internet this afternoon, I came across a site that argues that Mormonism can still be held to even if one believes that Joseph Smith completely made it all up. I can't say I get the point of this.

http://www.liberalmormon.net/507his.shtml

Interesting, thanks. I'm trying to wrap my mind around liberalism like this in general since it seems to be so prevalent in society.

Bill the Cat
03-05-2014, 08:52 AM
We had one chap registered "BTC" (Before the Crash, not Bill the Cat :glare:), who was adament that the JEDP theory was accurate.

RBerman
03-05-2014, 09:24 AM
I thought Joseph Smith introduced the three kingdoms thing as a way of softening the eternal damnation bit when he realized some of his relatives weren't going to join his church? At least I got that impression from what I read. I assume part of the rationale for LDS missions is to give people a chance of getting into the Celestial kingdom. OTOH, it's kind of a gamble -- if you don't join the church, you can be pretty assured of entrance into one of the lower kingdoms, but if you join and then leave, you're in danger of Outer Darkness.

The "elders" to whom I spoke could not generate much enthusiasm for anyone being in Outer Darkness, even ex-Mormons.

One Bad Pig
05-02-2014, 09:50 AM
We had one chap registered "BTC" (Before the Crash, not Bill the Cat :glare:), who was adament that the JEDP theory was accurate.
This guy (http://danielomcclellan.wordpress.com/), I believe.

Bill the Cat
05-02-2014, 10:10 AM
This guy (http://danielomcclellan.wordpress.com/), I believe.

Yup.

Sparko
05-02-2014, 10:10 AM
One of the videos we had posted some while back pretty much reasoned that same thing --- it's much easier to close your eyes and stay in "pretend land" than to admit you were totally horn-swaggled.

There is a way that seemeth right to a man....

Yeah reading that site it is obvious that the guy doesn't actually believe anymore, but is not willing to just let go and admit the LDS church is a fraud. It is a way to still "belong" while not actually believing any of it is true.

For those type of people (including liberal Christians who do the same thing) I would ask, "So if nothing has to be true, what about God? Is he real? If so, how do you know anything about him if everything about him is not true?"