Thursday, January 13, 2005

musings on mormon doctrines

alrighty. i decided to jot down a bunch of random things that i have been thinking about lately to see what you all may think. am i apostate? stupid? right on?

satan, pharisees, and mormonism today

according to different views of satan in the pre-existance, his primary goals were to reduce free-will and glorify himself. i don't think it's possible to take away someone's free-will; but if i put a gun to someones head, i could do a pretty good job at undermining that person's free-will. likewise, if i were to offer millions of dollars to somone, i could pretty much get that person to do whatever i wanted.

the pharisees of christ's time modeled these two aspects of satan's ideals. they expanded on the commandments and created a religious order of punishment and reward for one's deeds. free will was reduced as harsh penalties were placed for breaking commandments. on the other hand, promises of earthly and heavenly rewards were made for those who followed the commandments. the freedom to choose to or to choose not to follow god was diminished by a fear of punishment for breaking, or self-glory and salvation for following.

where are we today? not so far off from the pharisees. in sunday classes, conferences, firesides, and seminary, members of the church are promised punishment and reward for the choices we make. the drive to choose good, because it is right and benefits humanity has been replaced to choose good so we can get to the celestial kingdom and be glorified. love for thy neighbor has been replaced with love for thyself and for thy future. we seek our own glory more than we seek to help out those in need. tithing isn't paid to benefit the kingdom of god. tithing is paid so we can tell our bishops in december that we are full-tithe-payers, be temple-worthy, and ultimately get celestial glory. home teaching is no longer to bless the families and lives of those home taught, but is to get the elders quorum president to leaves us alone and ultimately check that off on the list of things we gotta do to get celestial glory. the same goes with fast offerings, scripture reading, callings, etc... we've strayed from choosing to love - to seeking glory and avoiding punishment.

free-will and charity

on the flipside, i believe that free-will and charity are the ultimate grounds for the gospel. it is what we as saints should be striving for. by charity, i mean 'loving thy neighbor'. we ought to be continually seeking out the welfare of others, not our own glory. by doing the former, the latter will naturally follow and we need not be concerned. any folk doctrine in the church that does not promote free-will and charity should be tossed aside. church lessons and class discussions should be geared at promoting people to freely choose to love others.

word of wisdom

this has long been abused by the saints today. it's been turned from a beautiful lesson on moderation to a pharisaic code of do and do not; in the process we ignore much of what is taught. so much talk is put into coffee, tea, and beer (the latter actually being promoted as beneficial to man in the d&c), but nothing is said of meats, grains, and such. the church today is fat. look at most of the general authorities. fat. look at your bishopric. most likely fat. look at those in your ward. fat. obesity and associated problems are an dangerous and deadly problem to us. much much much much much much more than that of coffee and tea (and yes, it is because of the addictive nature of caffeine), but nothing is said of it. as a church, we just get fatter, and die prematurely. pass the bacon.

women and the church

i don't necessarily think that women need to recieve the priesthood, but something has to be done. women are oppressed in the church. we can say all we want about the relief society and such, but they are not equals in the church. the tribal patriarchy of the old testament is still flourishing today. as mormons, we have something to elevate women that no other branch of christianity as. we have the belief in a mother in heaven - but she is silenced. it is for some reason taboo to speak of her. women in the church have a potential matriarchal model to strive for, but we don't allow it to be done. instead women are told to get to the kitchen and make us some pies. mmmmm... pies...

blacks and the church

the church leadership needs to publicly denounce mckonkie's racist theories on why blacks could not get the priesthood. it is sad that it is only privately denounced and allowed to flourish among other folk doctrines in the church.

gays and the church

i still believe it's a choice, but that is no reason to hate. we need to embrace and love those who have these feelings. too many gay and lesbian saints are marked with a scarlet letter and tossed along the wayside

poor and the church

read king benjamin's speech. read what christ said about the poor. the number one sin condemned in the book of mormon is not sex, but ignoring poverty. we are miserably failing today.

joseph smith and polygamy

i'm not sure what happened here. my feeling is that revelation, joseph's trying to link himself to and emulate old testament prophets, and a healthy libido all came crashing together into one big mess. brigham young did his best to sort it out, but in the end, it just had to go. i don't think it is practiced in heaven.

religious experience

i don't buy much into the whole 'burning in the bosom'. that is just a chemical reaction in the body to something else. religious experience is a sort of sense perception. a sixth sense if you will. religious experience is primarily grounded in rational thought. when oliver cowdery tried to translate the plates, he expected it to just come to him. he failed miserably. revelation comes through rational contemplation. you think it out in your mind. once you think it is right, if it is, you will know. the burning may or may not follow.

i think that's all for now. i'd love to get any responses positive to negative to this.

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