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Mormonism & War: Why do Christians claim Mormonism is Peaceful despite its history?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Gxg (G²), Oct 8, 2014.

  1. ChristsSoldier115

    ChristsSoldier115 Mabaho na Kuya

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    A lot of religions have blood on their hands, why would Mormons be any different?

    On a side note, I can't help but think of that stupid south park episode and now I have that dumb song in my head.

     
  2. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    True...
     
  3. SolomonVII

    SolomonVII Well-Known Member

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    I imagine that Mormons would be quite correct in their assumptions that the reasons that the massacre is being brought up has noting to do with a dispassionate discussion of history, and everything to do with attempts to de-legitimize Mormonism through show in how bad Mormons historically have been.
     
  4. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    When you reword the point I made like this, of course I'm able to sympathize with it.

    However, it's not the point I was making. The point was that Mormons I've heard from deny that Mormons were at fault and, more than that, say that the incident is a fiction. That's quite different from saying that it needs to be evaluated fairly.
     
  5. SolomonVII

    SolomonVII Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't disagreeing with your point. I am sure that is what happens each and every time.

    I just think it is useful in a thread such as this to expose the other half of the story, of why the Mountain Meadows massacres and the like are being brought up in the first place. Mormons are not wrong to read malevolent intent against their religion into such threads and discussions.
     
  6. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Does it matter why the Mormon desire is to rewrite history in order to make themselves appear to always be the victim? This point strikes me as being similar to Catholics who immediately call "anti-Catholicism" if anyone suggests that their church had anything to do with the Inquisitions.
     
  7. MKJ

    MKJ Contributor

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    I think that is fair, actually.

    I mean, most Christians would say they have a peace-promoting religion, even if they do not come from a branch of Christianity that is pacifist, and even if there are historical instances where their church has actually acted in a way that contradicts it's own teachings on that point.
     
  8. SolomonVII

    SolomonVII Well-Known Member

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    People certainly do like to rewrite history in order to put the things that they want to identify with in the best possible light. It goes for Catholics, and Mormons, and even Japanese and Turks who would deny the the things that their armies did against the Chinese and the Armenians respectively.

    For the Catholics, who make the claims that the RCC is the one true church, and that its unbroken history demonstrates that case, it is fair to point out the defects in that argument, which show that the infallibility of that voice of God here on earth has been less than stellar. For Muslims who both advocate that the great military successes of Islam makes their religion true, and that Islam is a religion of peace, likewise criticism can be warranted.
    For Mormons, if their theology was even close to being Christian, they would be participating here. As it is, they are not here to defend themselves, and everybody here knows that their theology is flawed and historically unbelievable anyway.

    But more importantly, as a group, they contribute marvelously to America, raise good, vibrant families, and uphold values that most Americans ought to find desirable, and do find desirable. The violent history of the past was very much tied into the fact that there was a great deal of bigotry against Mormons in the 1800's and this reinforced the cult-like paranoia of striking out at a hostile world.
    The Mormons have gone mainstream now, fielding even presidential nominations, vibrant businesses, and in every way they are successes at the American way of life. A lot of people resent that too.

    It does reflect badly on those Mormons who feel the need to whitewash their history. Still, that has nothing to do with this thread. This is not their forum, and nobody here needs to be taught what their real history is, or the falseness of their religion and its prophets. I have yet to meet a Christian that considered them pacifists anyway.

    Nor should any of us be. Pacifism is not a good moral policy.

    Agreed, Mormons are not pacifists. Agreed, that there have been incidents of unprovoked violence on behalf of Mormons, especially in the past.

    The example of bad theology leading to violence was something about blood atonement. Mormon officials have dropped that theology in the past generation of two.
    Problem solved.

    Where is the disagreement then? If the point of this thread is to criticize Mormons for bad behavior in order to make them better citizens, and less of a violent threat, that boat had already arrived long before this thread was created, long before this thread was created even.

    They don't even have alcohol fueling any of the violence that is typical for most other groups in America. It can't even be said that they are 'teateetotalers' ;), because caffeine is forbidden in their diets too.

    I have no quarrel with Mormons. There is no big threat coming from them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  9. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Right. I thought that my point was worth adding to the discussion, but I also readily admit that it was just an "aside." It's not a direct response to the OP which is concerned with what the rest of us say about Mormons on this particular issue, not what they say themselves.
     
  10. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    I don't think for a moment that there are other religions that do not have blood on their hands - as noted before in #57 and #319. That would not even be historical to ignore that reality.

    On the same token, when it comes to considering themselves as peaceable or peaceful, it is unfortunate to see how often it seems the majority of Mormons emphasize where it is that they are not like Christians (whom they consider apostate). For me, when it comes to evangelizing Mormons, this is something that cannot be avoided if we're to do real ministry with them and noting terms as they are. For anyone to read ill-intent into the issue would be akin to someone assuming those coming out of Radical Islam must have it out for all Muslims and demonizing it simply because others came out and noting that the roots of Radical Islam were anything from peaceful. The same is said in regards to the OP when it comes to Mormonism and seeing its roots in being far from either peaceable or pacifist - no matter how much it is claimed otherwise when they may contrast themselves with Christians.

    Some of this is difficult for many Christians to handle since Billy Graham’s meeting with Republican candidate Mitt Romney was followed up with seeing where Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed “Mormons” from a list of non-Christian cults - a list which included groups who ranged from Jehovah’s Witnesses to Unitarians.



    Again, I think Mormons are nice people to be around - regardless of where I disagree with the theology. Some of this has been noted before - as seen here from the reference earlier:


    And I appreciate others doing ministry with them. ...as well as others sharing directly what their experiences were like when involved with the LDS.


    Grant Palmer - "My Ah-Ha Moments While Researching Mormon History" - YouTube

    I am thankful, in example, for Ravi Zacharias at BYU and the Mormon Tabernacle

    Dr. Ravi Zacharias - Mormonism Is Not Christianity - YouTube

    Ravi Zacharias at the Mormon Tabernacle - YouTube

    Ravi Zacharias in LDS Tabernacle 2004 - YouTube



    Again, I don't....nor have I ever (for anyone actually bothering to read the link reference to older threads) noted where Mormons are not wonderful people in many respects. But discussing Mormons and the wonderful things they do is not the focus on the thread. The focus is examining its violent history and the saddening ways Mormons will often portray any resistance to Mormonism as if they are being persecuted or as if they are truly pacifist when their religion is inherently leaning (in its factual foundations) toward violence.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  11. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Unfortunately, when it comes to seeing what other Mormons (ex-Mormons, to be exact) have said on the history of their camp as well as those within it, it is sadly avoided many times due to the attempt to keep a false image present - and assuming critique is based on trying to do anything with regards to bashing Mormons when the reality is evaluating what is or isn't a false image that often comes up whenever Mormons have evangelized. Some of this goes to the unforunate advocacy of the myth that Mormons were either the sole ones experiencing Bigortry in the 1800s or that it was in any way justified in what they did (which was bigotry) when it came to others reacting to the things they did toward others - including Joseph Smith in his The violent history of the past was very much tied into the fact that there was a great deal of bigotry against Mormons in the 1800's and this reinforced the cult-like paranoia of striking out at a hostile world. One may appreciate where Mormons have contributed to the U.S in family values or community endeavors - but that does not change where we have to deal with showing the roots of what the religion promoted when it comes to continuing to have an "Us against the world" mindset that often has no issue demeaning Christians as if nothing occurred bad on their part.

    Even outside of the hostility present to others in the religion's foundation, the racism alone is another factor that gets glossed over way too often. Actually had one instance talking to one of my Graduate School peers noting to me where he actually battled racism growing up in Utah (as a Mormon ) and saying how it was a battle even talking to me since I as a Black man broke his stereotypes ....and it was something he said gets overlooked way too much when it comes to the image Mormons portray to others of being accepting when there's an entirely different reality:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tfHzyCXHiw&list=PL6AE8423CC6F7F07F&index=1

    The OP was concerned with what others have experienced with Mormons - as well as what Mormons say on themselves - and addressing the issue for what it is when it comes to the actual history present...as it concerns pacifism, seeing themselves/their roots as promoting peacefulness and other Christians contending with others advocating that Mormons are peaceful by their roots as well -as noted before here:

     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  12. SolomonVII

    SolomonVII Well-Known Member

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    There really is no substance to the OP claim about what Christians think about Mormons being pacifists.

    But in terms of your aside, I can verify hearing a similar conversation long before I joined CF,between a Mormon evangelist and an atheist Jew, in which the atheist slammed the Mormon for the Mountain Meadow Massacre, and the Mormon came back with a denial, pretty much as you have described.

    It doesn't surprise me at all that that is the typical kind of conversation here in the Unorthodox forum too when it comes to Mormons and their denial of any historic violent missteps.
    Denial of violent wrongdoing is about as far as a Mormon might go in self-describing themselves as the religion of pacifism.
     
  13. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Yes. There seems to be a consensus about that. It's certainly true, even if there were not one.
     
  14. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus PESKY DEVIL! GIT! l SAID GIT! Supporter

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    I believe Joseph Smith of the LDS and Ellen White of the SDAs

    American Prophet: The Story of Joseph Smith

    Joseph Smith, Jr. (December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism.
    When he was twenty-four, Smith published the Book of Mormon; and by the time of his death fourteen years later, he had attracted tens of thousands of followers and had founded a religion and a religious culture that continues to the present.

    Born on December 23, 1805, in Sharon, Vermont, to Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph Smith Jr. grew up on a series of tenant farms in Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York.
    Though in his youth Joseph was largely deprived of a formal education, he was "instructed in reading, writing, and the ground rules of arithmetic."1 Joseph's mother said that he was often "given to meditation and deep study."2

    In 1823, Joseph Smith said he was visited by an angel named Moroni, who told him of an ancient record containing God's dealings with the former inhabitants of the American continent.
    In 1827, Joseph retrieved this record, inscribed on thin golden plates, and shortly afterward began translating its words by the "gift of God."............................................

    Ellen G. White - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Ellen Gould White (née Harmon; November 26, 1827 – July 16, 1915) was a prolific author and an American Christian pioneer. She, along with other Sabbatarian Adventist leaders, such as Joseph Bates and her husband James White, formed what is now known as the Seventh-day Adventist Church................




    .
     
  15. ChristsSoldier115

    ChristsSoldier115 Mabaho na Kuya

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    Ok, they were violent.. gotcha, but are they violent now?
     
  16. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    It doesn't matter if they are violent now just as it'd not matter if someone came from a religion which had a basis in violence but the mantra was "This is a religion of peace" - whatever is promoted has to match the description of where it was rooted in order for it to be valid or honest on its own history.

    And as it concerns now, there are others with no issue justifying the violence now - that has been noted in the OP and by others who used to be in Mormonism. That is the central point, in addition to the racial aspects behind what occurs with the theological system that justified the racism present in it. If people are going to deal with Mormons now when it comes to evangelism, there need to be facts.
     
  17. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    Thus far, there really has been no substance to show anywhere that Mormons today do not deny where they have been violent/advocated it or that they do not play the role of the martyr when it comes to addressing where all of the values advocated (i.e. family, community, patriotism, etc.) have often been placed forth to promote an image of supporting pacifism/peacefulness - and it is unfortunate to see where others have yet to address what other Mormons have already said on the matter.

    But that generally tends to happen with reactions rather than actually dealing with the facts.
     
  18. ChristsSoldier115

    ChristsSoldier115 Mabaho na Kuya

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    What they did cannot be changed now, but their wonky quasi-christian theology can and should be attacked for a better chance of evangelizing to them. This is what you should focus on instead of using some silly:

    Mormon: "Our religion isn't violent and never has been really. We've always benn ersecuted for our peaceful ways."
    Evangelizer:" Oh yeah? Well what about these [insert such-n-such facts here]!"

    I don't think this.. I don't know the term.. backhanded witnessing[?] will work effectively on them.
     
  19. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Ambassadors

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    No one says that what they did can be changed now - as the basis was addressing what is presented today in the current when it comes to either denying what happened or not seeing the reality of what's present and where it does not line up with the PR image. Of course this is to be done with gentleness and respect (I Peter 3:15-18, Colossians 4:5-7, etc.) - BUT part of doing witnessing involves showing the history behind what things are.

    In example, a Mormon may say "Our religion isn't violent and never has been really - we've always been persecuted for our peaceful ways" ....and the response would be "Part of what's deemed persecution really isn't accurate because of the following.." or "How can you call what you did a matter of being persecuted when xyz occurred?" - the nature of Apologetics and Polemics when it comes to reasoning with others.

    If doing that - no different than what Paul experienced in Acts 17 with witnessing to those in Athens (or the Jews in Acts 13-14, etc. whenever Paul was asked to share and he gave historical review to the Jewish people of what the Scriptures said - just as Stephen did in Acts 6 - to show what really happened and where their claims were not valid ) or what others referenced earlier (such as Ravi Zacharias) - is a problem, then one is really not witnessing as the Bible calls for and gives example of. This is something many in Mormonism who came out of it have noted when it comes to sharing truth with Mormons

    Witnessing to mormons- Jeff Durbin - YouTube

    ? Former Mormon Bishop Lee B. Baker & LDS Exodus - YouTube
     
  20. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

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    indeed given the "extermination of heretics" in the dark ages it would be a bit like the pot calling the kettle black were this thread a Catholic take on "the violence in Mormon history".

    Hopefully they are not the ones doing it.

    Beyond that I agree that organized violence such as was done in Utah and in the dark ages is deplorable for any religion.

    (Hopefully the Eastern Orthodox have their hands clean at least on this matter of history and organized violence).

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
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