Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mormonism in a Nutshell

I have gone through and corrected any mistatements or half-truths about LDS faith in the belief-o-matic information. It is true that other writers would probably add or emphasize different things than I have in the corrections. But, I think most would agree that there are problems.

[added and corrected text]
(explanations and deleted material)

Belief in Deity
A "Godhead" of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit/Ghost as three separate entities united in purpose. God the Father resides in heaven with His wife, the Heavenly Mother; Christ, their only begotten Son; and the Holy Ghost; a spirit without a body. God has a perfect [Glorified] body, which looks like ours. (I have left out "and 'exalted' Mormons, who become God-like in heaven" as that is not exactly true. Eventually that will be the case when the final judgement happens, but it is hard to say if it has already happened for any previous earthly inhabitants yet.)

Jesus Christ is God's firstborn son in the Spirit [and Only Begotten in the Flesh]. Jesus is Lord and Savior; God of this earth; creator of all in heaven and earth as directed by God the Father; one in purpose with the Father and the Holy Spirit--a Godhead of three separate members.

Origin of Universe and Life
God, through Jesus Christ, created the heavens and earth in six time periods--the word "day" is not of a specified number of years, [but represents periods of creation. All things were created Spiritually and Physically.]

After Death
One's spirit immediately joins the spirit world and will be assigned to either paradise or spirit prison. Based on one's record of [faith], thoughts, words, and actions; righteous believers will live in a state of paradisiacal happiness. Unbelievers and sinners in spirit prison will live in misery, but they are provided the opportunity to repent, accept the gospel, receive ordinances performed for them by the living, and thus [become capable of going to the highest level of Heaven if they would have lived in righteousness on earth knowing the truth.](I have left off "and thus move to the lowest level of heaven" as rejecting the purpose for all the missionary work in the spirit prison.) At the Final Judgment and Resurrection, most will be assigned to one of three kingdoms of heaven where spiritual growth continues. [The most righteous and faithful will go to the Celestial Kingdom where they will live with and become like God. The rest will be placed in one of two lower Kingdoms. Only those who had fallen from Heaven with Satan, or with full knowledge openly rebelled against God,] will suffer eternal torture in the outer darkness. ( I have left out "Only a few, the most wicked sinners, will suffer eternal torture in the outer darkness, as most will have accepted the gospel and suffered for their sins enough by the end of the Millennium." as untruth.)

Why Evil?
Humans did not inherit guilt (I left out "sinful nature" as an innacuracy. We did inheret physical bodies that are susceptible to sin.) from Adam and Eve's original sin, [but became responsible for our own mistakes]. The Fall was a planned blessing from God, enabling people to experience human bodies, procreate, experience the joy of redemption, and to do good (the complement of evil). Satan and his demons [traverse](I left out "pervade" because it is doesn't sound correct) the earth as spirits tempting all to sin. God gave people free will, and Satan's temptations are [part of God's plan] (I have left out "a blessing from God" as both innacurate and redundant) so that people can show their faith by resisting.

Show faith in and obedience to God and Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Adhere to the practices, requirements, commandments, laws, and sacraments of the faith as exemplified by Jesus Christ. Good works are integral to the [development of] faith through [such things as] monthly fasts and fast offerings to the needy, to show your obedience and love for God. Baptism [and confirmation as a member of the church becomes necessary starting] at age 8 , the age of accountability. (That whole baptism sentence was a little off. It had to be re-written to make sense.)Confess all sins to God, and major transgressions to a presiding officer as well. Receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost; receive the temple endowment; be married for time and eternity.

Undeserved Suffering
Adam and Eve disobeyed God, thus the first humans and their descendants lost their immortality and connection to God, gaining physical bodies that suffer disease, deterioration[, and death]. Also, Satan rules the earth and causes misery to mankind. [The Fall and Atonement](I took out "this" as unnecessary pronoun) was God's design --to bless humans with the ability to enjoy their physical bodies, have free will to choose good over evil, be able to experience [ joy](took out "pleasure" as inaccurate dichotomy. As I have said in another place, the word can be both good and evil depending on its use.) which complements suffering, and to experience the joy of redemption and eternal life through Christ. God allows Satan to cause misery to mankind as an opportunity to strengthen character and faith.

Contemporary Issues
Abortion is wrong [in most circumstances]. (Regardless of my own feelings on the subject, the Church does see some areas -- such as rape and health issues -- where its not out of the question.) Homosexuality is wrong, and homosexual rights vehemently opposed [as a mockery of the divine plan]. The divine role of woman is mother and wife, helper to the husband. Men are regarded as the head of the family, provider, leader, and teacher. Marriage is regarded as eternal, but divorce is permitted if necessary. [Church growth has brought challenges and changes in leadership responsibilities, such as going from a provincial to a world wide church] (I added the leadership part because I consider it a contemporary issue at least within the church).In keeping with the belief that doing good works is essential for salvation and is Christian, Mormons established a "welfare" program. Mormons practice monthly fasts and give fast offerings to assist the needy.

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