Monday, August 25, 2008

Introduction To "Mormonism Unveiled"

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I find that, 178 years after the official establishment of the LDS Church, there remains an astonishing amount of misunderstanding regarding the Church. This misunderstanding may have hindered Mitt Romney's Presidential campaign and contributed to what I still consider his premature exit from the race. Another example presents itself in the Anchorage Daily News' Church Visits blog, edited by Chris Thompson. He somehow got the idea that he would be restricted to visiting a particular LDS ward before becoming a member, although visitors are welcome at any LDS ward.

At best, this misunderstanding frustrates honest skeptics who are not necessarily ill-disposed towards the Church, but who fail to understand what it's all about because frequently we have differing definitions for the same terms.

At worst, this misunderstanding provides undeserved opportunities for hard core anti-Mormons to deliberately defame Mormonism and mislead the general public. The most prominent hard core anti-Mormons are generally former LDS who either left of their own accord under hostile circumstances, or were excommunicated for cause. Instead of accepting the decision like a responsible adult and finding an alternative better serving the dictates of their own consciences, they seek to wage war against the Church because they feel they have a "duty" to "expose" Mormonism. These are the only true enemies of the Church, not the honest skeptic who has legitimate doubts.

However, in reading a certain amount of "anti-Mormon" literature, I find that the antis occasionally bring forth points which need to be addressed. Many antis complain that they were "hustled" into the Church with the doctrines of faith, repentance, baptism, and laying on of hands, but didn't find out about the Church's more uncommon doctrines, such as plurality of Gods and temple ceremonies, until after they were brought into the system. This is a legitimate gripe which needs to be addressed.

In short, I, as a Latter-day Saint, want YOU, the prospective convert to know what you are buying into BEFORE you plunge into the waters of baptism. Mormonism is not for everybody, but it may be for YOU. But I believe you should know as much as possible before accepting it. It is worthwhile, if your mind and spirit are right before you make the decision.

The LDS Church operates two primary websites. is primarily an informational website, focusing on doctrines and practices. is the official Church website, where decisions are announced and news releases posted.

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