Mitt Romney’s campaign has succeeded at one thing, no doubt: unearthing the really crazy shit about Mormonism that nobody tells you. Even Newsweek’s fairly recent bit on Mormonism spent more time on the sexy stories of that loony and rather obvious charlatan, Joseph Smith, than the actual theological beliefs of Mormons. I confess I’ve been really surprised by some of the bits and pieces that have come about recently, thinking the Book of Mormon to be a boring and uneventful collection of wood pulp that couldn’t inspire a frog to jump. Turns out that the best stuff about Mormonism is kept relatively well-hidden from the public, much like Scientology’s Lord Xenu and the Thetan Star Wars. They make sure you’re good and fixed inside the church before you get to taste the moonshine…
I won’t vouch for the veracity of this piece at all…take it with a grain of salt. But it surely is interesting, and the sources are listed. And it’s not like Mormons have come out swinging against these charges.
Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie spoke about the Godhead in this way, “Plurality of Gods: Three separate personages: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, comprise the Godhead. As each of these persons is a God, it is evident, from this standpoint alone, that a plurality of Gods exists. To us, speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only Gods we worship. But in addition there is an infinite number of holy personages, drawn from worlds without number, who have passed on to exaltation and are thus gods” (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 576-577).
Yeah, monotheism is kind of central to Christianity. The whole point of the Trinity is to cram three entities into one ultimate God. Keep it mono! Mormonism seems to flagrantly brush such advice aside. Wait, people can become gods?
In Mormon theology, the god of our planet is believed to have once been a man on another planet, who through self-effort and the help of his own father-god, was appointed by a counsel of gods in the heavens to his high position as the god of planet Earth, and now has a physical, resurrected, glorified body. Mormonism teaches that through the atonement of Christ and by their good deeds and “holy” living, men can one day become gods, and with their multiplicity of “goddess wives,” populate their own planets. (This is what the celestial marriage and the Mormon temple vows are all about.)
It’s kind of a lovely idea, and the universe is definitely loaded with spare planets. Hell, we likely have spare universes as well. Why not? Hell, I don’t know. If I were whipping up a new religion out of my ass like Joseph Smith did, I could go for that. Not tacky like Scientology, with lots of room for one’s imagination to play in (the key: Don’t get too specific. If you invent Lord Xenu, then you’ve got to tell me more about him, like if his ships have mere lasers or kickass phasers.)
Mormonism acknowledges the divinity of Christ, but as noted above, Mormon doctrine on what constitutes divinity falls seriously short of the Biblical standard. Mormonism teaches that Jesus, Lucifer, and all the demons, as well as all mankind, are actually all spirit brothers and sisters, born in the spirit world as spirit babies to our man-god Heavenly Father and his goddess wives. Mormon leaders have consistently taught that God the Father (“Adam-god”) had sexual relations on earth with Mary (his own spirit daughter), to produce the physical body of Jesus. Early Mormon apostles also asserted that Christ was a polygamist, and that His wives included Mary and Martha (the sisters of Lazarus) and Mary Magdalene
By this point, the average Christian has left the room and thinks Mitt Romney is crazier than Tom Cruise. This is just too much. And Mormons know it, which is why, like every genuine religious whackjob, they develop extremely slithery skills at not talking about what they’re really about (this also applies to most of the GOP Christianist Dominionist base). Still, even Christians gearing up to fight Satan and the U.N. in the desert with military hardware hear this stuff and think, “Man, those guys are fargin’ nuts!” Sure, there’s going to be a Rapture any second now, and the rest of us are going to get all those cars left empty, but goddess wives and God/Adam boning his spirit daughters? Was that completely necessary?
Oh, like I can really fathom the chutzpah required to dream up a “sacred text.” But if you’re already a racist prick, you probably do have enough mental problems to blame it on God.
According to Mormonism, then, the vast majority of mankind will be “saved,” though it should be obvious that no one will make it to the Celestial Kingdom. [Blacks used to be totally out of the equation: “Black people are black because of their misdeeds in the pre-existence” (Three Degrees of Glory, LDS Apostle Melvin J. Ballard, p. 21); “The Negro is an unfortunate man. He has been given a black skin. But that is nothing compared with that greater handicap. He is not permitted to receive the priesthood and the ordinances of the temple, necessary to prepare men and women to enter into and enjoy a fullness of glory in the Celestial Kingdom” (Elder George E. Richards). In 1978, however, the Mormon Church announced that God had lifted his curse from the African race.]
Well, wasn’t God timely? Being eternal and all, he changed his mind to fit changing attitudes towards race. And then he directly communicated that to the Mormon Church.
A typical temple ceremony would take place as follows: “The ritual began in a small cubicle where we had to strip completely. We then put on ‘the shield,’ a poncho with a hole for the head, but open on the sides (similar to a hospital gown). We went through a series of ‘washings and anointings,’ as various parts of our bodies were touched by elderly temple workers who mumbled appropriate incantations over them. Our Mormon underwear, ‘the garments,’ are said to have powers to protect us from ‘the evil one.’ It had occult markings, which were so ‘sacred’ that we were instructed to burn them when the garments wore out. The endowment ceremony mocked all doctrines held to by Biblical Christianity, and Christian pastors were portrayed as servants of Satan. We had to swear many blood oaths, promising we would forfeit our lives if we weren’t faithful, or if we revealed any of the secrets revealed to us in the temple ceremonies. We were made to pretend by grotesque gestures to cut our throats, chests, and abdomens, indicating how we would lose our lives. We were never told who would kill us! The inference was, and history testifies to, that it would be the Mormon priesthood.” (Testimony of a former Mormon.) [Note: The blood oaths and portrayal of Christian pastors were removed in April of 1990, despite the fact that the ordinance was purported to have been given originally by a revelation and was never to be changed.]
Nothing cult-like here at all. Move along, people. Stop being such bigots!
Granted, I am no Christian, and find many Christian beliefs to be inspired by madness and shenanigans. But Mormonism doubles the crazy without any appreciable benefits or any particular metaphysical insights. They might have in their defense the fact that most seem to be fairly polite and well-groomed people, much calmer than many hopped-up-on-Jeebus fundamentalist Christians. But when the underlying theology is so convoluted, tasteless, and secretive, it raises questions about those believers and how they can possibly swallow any of this horseshit. It degrades trust that the people running the religion are anything other than shysters, and the followers brainwashed sheep. Not the trust of godless heathens like myself, but the trust of the average religious person.
Just because you’re in the asylum doesn’t mean you’re just as crazy as everybody else there.