1. The Mormon Church and the Boy Scouts of America are in bed together.
The Mormon youth program for boys is the Boy Scouts of America. About 13% of BSA’s youth members are Mormons but they play a much bigger financial role and that allows them to strong-arm policies on homosexuals and co-ed participation. The Mormon version is an organization meant to indoctrinate boys to serve an LDS mission and a lifetime of church membership. Emphasis is placed on indoctrination and obedience to the Mormon Gospel. I personally think there are some special ceremonies that train young men to be able to eventually swallow the Mormon Temple Ceremony, such as Order of the Arrow.
Non-Mormons involved in scouting tend to see the Mormon version as a joke and resent the heavy influence that the church wields in an organization they care about. For example Mormon boys are more easily granted the rank of Eagle Scout and leaders are generally less trained than those in non-Mormon troops. The Mormons do not participate in the Girl Scout program.
2. The “magic” of Mormon Underwear lies in the masonic symbols that are embroidered into the cloth.
Mormons call them “garments”. There are 4 symbols: a right angle (2 sides of a square) over the right nipple, a more narrow angle over the left nipple, a simple straight line over the belly-button and another simple straight line over the right knee. Each symbol represents a promise that the wearer makes in the temple that is also connected to a special name, a token (handshake) and a sign (arm gesture).
The “magic” supposedly lies in the constant reminder of the temple covenants to the wearer (but Mormons would never use the word “magic”). For example, a man about to commit adultery might be in the midst of foreplay, taking off his garments, but upon seeing his garments he would be reminded that he promised God in the temple that he would only have sex with his wife and he would then put his clothes on and run away.
When a pair of holy garments becomes “worn out”, the owner of the garment must take a pair of scissors and cut out the embroidered symbols on the breasts, navel and knees. These symbols must then be burned. The worn out garment can then be disposed of by throwing the garment into the trash or used as rags as they no longer mean anything without the symbols.
3. The Mormon Church has no binding and official position on what constitutes a binding and official position.
Plausible Deniability is how the Mormon church engages the larger community and its own members. There’s some level of obfuscation and elusiveness that is preferred by the institution and its members. The unspoken rule is that there is power in ambiguity, and strength in non-officiality. At the same time Mormons pat themselves on the back for how “plain and simple” the gospel is to them. It is anything but.
Engaging Mormonism can therefore be tremendously frustrating. This spills over into its political and ecumenical activities. For example, Prop 8 documents include a quote by the Yes campaign and the LDS church as saying, the church will “… not to take the lead so as to provide plausible deniability or respectable distance so as not to show that church is directly involved.”
Individual Mormons have this same habit. It’s the sort of approach to honesty and integrity that has some people wonder what Mormon public figures such as Mitt Romney really think or believe. They always seem to be telling only what they want you to know or what they think you want to hear.
4. Many beloved quotes and talks in Mormonism were plagiarized.
In addition to the clear evidence pointing to the plagiarism of the Book of Mormon and the Mormon temple ceremony, many other concepts are clearly plagiarized.
Former President David O McKay ripped line off a famous line from Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), a renowned British politician, novelist and essayist who said:
“No success in public life can compensate for failure in the home.”
Mormon Church President Ezra Taft Benson’s beloved talk, Beware of Pride, was a blatant exercise in plagiarism from the writings of Christian apologist C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), as found in Lewis’ work, Mere Christianity, under the chapter heading, “The Great Sin”
5. The Mormon Church’s Name hasn’t always included “Jesus” or “Christ”
This is only a big deal because the Book of Mormon, Mormon lesson manuals and Mormon missionary lessons make a big deal out of the name. The LDS Church changed its name twice in the first eight years of its existence? According to The Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 27:7-8) the true church must be called after Christ’s name; and for the first four years, it was called “Church of Christ.” In 1834 the name was changed to “Church of the Latter-day Saints.” Finally, in 1838, it became “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” Since the Book of Mormon indicates the name of the true church must be called after Christ, was it an apostate church from 1834-1838?
6. Monogamy was once taught as evil
Oh, we all know about Mormon polygamy, but most people aren’t aware that to justify that doctrine, Mormon leaders railed against monogamy as an evil leading to the downfall of civilizations.
“…the one-wife system not only degenerates the human family, both physically and intellectually, but it is entirely incompatible with philosophical notions of immortality; it is a lure to temptation, and has always proved a curse to a people.”
– Prophet John Taylor, Millennial Star, Vol. 15, p. 227
“I have noticed that a man who has but one wife, and is inclined to that doctrine, soon begins to wither and dry up, while a man who goes into plurality [of wives] looks fresh, young, and sprightly. Why is this? Because God loves that man, and because he honors his word. Some of you may not believe this, but I not only believe it but I also know it. For a man of God to be confined to one woman is small business. I do not know what we would do if we had only one wife apiece.”
– Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses Vol 5, page 22
“Monogamy, or restrictions by law to one wife, is no part of the economy of heaven among men. Such a system was commenced by the founders of the Roman empire…. Thus this monogamic order of marriage, so esteemed by modern Christians as a holy sacrament and divine institution, is nothing but a system established by a set of robbers…. Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the Lord’s servants have always practiced it. ‘And is that religion popular in heaven?’ it is the only popular religion there,…”
– The Prophet Brigham Young, The Deseret News, August 6, 1862
We’ve all heard today’s Mormon leaders blaming the fall of the Roman empire and the decline of civilization on Homosexuality.
“This heinous homosexual sin is of the ages. Many cities and civilizations have gone out of existence because of it. It was present in Israel’s wandering days, tolerated by the Greeks, and found in the baths of corrupt Rome.”
– Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks Out on Morality,” LDS New Era, Nov. 1980, Page 39
7. The LDS church employs people as spies to check on its members
The Strengthening the Members Committee is a “1984” or “Big Brother” type of watchdog committee that keeps track of members who say or do things that the LDS Church doesn’t like. The facts collected are then forwarded to local church officials who can bring offending members into a disciplinary council and a resulting excommunication. For a people who so vehemently despise socialism and communism, it’s a curious likeness of life behind the former iron curtain.
Watch this recent BBC video of an investigative reporter (starting at 3:35 – 7:15) delving into the Strengthening the Members Committee. Most interesting is the initial lying by the church spokesman on this fact (Holland himself has the very same reaction to questions on the temple penalties earlier in the video. First denying and then admitting).
Although the PR department of the church and the media generally often report it, Mormonism is not the fastest growing religion. Currently its growth rate in the United States, is at 1.6%, about the rate of the growth of the rest of the U.S. population. In other words, growth has stagnated. Since many other large denominations are actually shrinking in members it does top the growth rates of other large denominations.
Internationally, it falls behind many other evangelical churches when you look at the real numbers. In Brazil, for example the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists both exceed the LDS growth rate in that country.
9. Early Mormon temple ceremonies included sealing of men to men
Adult men used to seek out other higher-placed adult church authorities and have themselves sealed to them. This was known as “the law of adoption.” The historian Hubert Howe Bancroft gave this information about the law of adoption:
“The father may be either younger or older than the son, but in any case assumes the character of guardian, with full control of the labor and estate of the adopted son. Many young men give themselves over to the leaders as ‘eternal sons,’ in the hope of sharing the honor of their adopted parents.” (History of Utah, page 361)
Brigham Young’s grandson, Kimball Young, had a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and served as chairman of the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University. Dr. Young made some interesting comments regarding the law of adoption:
“Here is evidence of deep, psychological Brüderschaft. There are obviously latent homosexual features in this idea and its cultural aspect has many familiar parallels in other religions. Most Saints, including Brigham Young himself, would have been much shocked by such an interpretation. Yet the Mormon system, with all its ecclesiastical trappings and military controls, like other organizations of this sort, had strong homosexual components. This is true of armies; it is true of priestly orders in all religions; and certainly in many aspects of the occupational guides of the Middle Ages.” (Isn’t One Wife Enough? The Story of Mormon Polygamy, 1954, pages 278-280)
10. The early Mormon church advocated the spilling of blood to atone for such sins as adultery, apostasy and interracial marriage
This was known as Blood Atonement and the doctrine has since been abandoned for several obvious reasons. For one, the teaching itself obviously minimizes Jesus Christ’s role in human salvation. The doctrine was practiced secretively (see #3) during the early Utah era of the church according to several eye witnesses at the time.
The infamous Mountain Meadows Massacre is said to be the result of Brigham Young’s teachings on Blood Atonement. In her book, Wife No. 19, Eliza Young claimed she was threatened and hunted after divorcing Brigham Young and apostatizing from the Mormon Church.