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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » USA President is a Mormon. (Page 2)

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Author Topic: USA President is a Mormon.
Ser Bronn Stone
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I do believe that a Mormon candidate for President would be an unwise political decision for the Republican party. To win, they need the Christian right to march in lockstep AND to get some of the moderate middle. That seems a poor recipe on both accounts.

And thus I hope they do it.

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tern
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quote:
Do you really think Mormons have a monopoly on being told they're going to hell?
I probably should have phrased that as "You haven't lived until you've been told you're going to Hell", as that was the thought in my mind.

I don't really see a Mormon candidate making it past the primaries for quite a while, just like I don't see an openly homosexual candidate making it past the primaries for quite a while, and for the same reason: The country's just not ready yet.

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Amanecer
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quote:
"You haven't lived until you've been told you're going to Hell"
Alright then, I think just about everybody has lived. It seems there's always somebody around the corner ready to pass judgement.
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Chreese Sroup
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dobie broke. I didn't do it.
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Belle
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quote:
I think the reason they do that is that they're worried about losing their congregations to a church that does so much missionary work and who are appealing in other ways, like strong families, committment to values, etc.
You're welcome to your opinion, but I think this is patently wrong. No congregation I've ever been a part of that has invited speakers on Mormonism, Islam, or any other faith has ever been worried about losing their congregations. I personally attend those speakings so I can be educated, because I firmly believe in learning about my own faith and that of others. Your faith does not have a monopoly on commitment to family, mission work and values. Your comments are insulting, and rude and be glad I consider other jatraqueros to be more accurate representatives of their faith or I would have a poor view of Mormons indeed.
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katharina
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A church in Michigan once invited the missionaries to speak on Mormonism to them when they got to that part of the class. I really liked that - if you want an authority, go to the source. [Smile]
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dkw
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One of my classes has asked if we could have a presentation on the various non-mainline Christian denominations. Im trying to decide if I can get away with bringing in a scholar of American religious movements or if I have to arrange a panel of representatives from each of the churches. I'll probably go with the panel, and supplement with the scholar for the groups that I can't get a representative for.

Its interesting until I moved here I had never once heard the word Mormon in any church group. Of course, in the last communities I served Catholics were about as exotic as the religious diversity got. Everybody else was Lutheran, United Methodist, or went to the independent evangelical church. Here, Ive had several people ask about Mormon beliefs. Of course, the church is right across from an LDS historical site and right on the Mormon trail, so yall are a little more visible here.

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kmbboots
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What relgion are you?

Roman Catholic

Do representives (sunday school, ccd teachers, ministers, priests etc.) of your relgion ever compare your relgion to other people's?

Yes. Especially in the RCIA class (adults converting to Catholicism) we talk a lot about what is different about Catholocism. Not in a "we're right and they are going to hell" way.

What sort of things do they say?

Well, we (now) have specific teaching that the Catholic church is not the only way to heaven.

If you are a member of a non-Catholic but Christian religon, how important is the idea of "not Catholic" to your religion?

In my case, not very!

Americans, was the fact that John Kerry is Catholic ever mentioned at Mass/the service (I only attend when my family drags me to Mass when I'm home, so I never saw if this came up)? What opinions were given?

Not at Mass. In our parish we were very careful not to be directive about how to vote. Certainly, no candidate was endorsed because of his denomination.

If you voted in the 2004 election, did Kerry's religion (or Bush's) sway your choice?

I was not more likely to vote for Kerry because he shares my faith. I was more likely to vote against President Bush because of church/state issues.

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Zalmoxis
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Belle:

I'm glad to hear your perspective. I have to ask though -- what are the motivations for bringing in speakers to speak about Mormons?

From the tone of the materials (publicity and educational) that I have seen/heard for some of these types of 'educational sessions,' it doesn't seem like just some (ecumenical) exercise in learning what others believe. A lot of it looks like scare tatctics to me.

Of course, you specifically mention your churches so your anecdotal experience may be vastly different from mine.

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Elizabeth
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"A truly surprising number of people think that values are inseparable from theology."

Why is that surprising? I think many people who are religious have learned values from their religion. I am honestly confused about your surprise, Tom.

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Rico
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That's true, you can learn your values from theology. I think he may have been thinking more along the lines of: If you were to suddenly give up theology, would you also give up the good values you gained from it? I know I didn't, and I expect that most people wouldn't either.
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Scott R
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>>A lot of it looks like scare tatctics to me.


Bah. Eat a baby once in a while, suddenly the whole world is out preaching against you.

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM HAD IT COMING!!!

I mean, have you any idea how much NOISE those kids make?

[Smile]

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TomDavidson
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quote:

I think many people who are religious have learned values from their religion. I am honestly confused about your surprise, Tom.

Because it would imply that people who abandon their theology abandon their values, and people raised without theology are raised without values. It also suggests that theologically-neutral values cannot exist.
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mr_porteiro_head
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You find it surprising that people think this, Tom?
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TomDavidson
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In my less cynical moments, yeah, I'm surprised by it.
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katharina
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quote:
Of course, the church is right across from an LDS historical site and right on the Mormon trail, so yall are a little more visible here.
dkw, you're near Winter Quarters? That's kind of cool. [Smile] Winter Quarters just got a temple recently, I think.
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dkw
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I'm right across the street from the Kanesville Tabernacle. I think the temple is across the river in Omaha.
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mr_porteiro_head
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I've been to most of the Mormon historical places, but not that one.
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dkw
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Well, come vist then!

(You can be on the panel [Wink] )

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mr_porteiro_head
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Panel?

I'd love to visit some day.

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Taalcon
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With all respect to Belle and her Pastor, if you want accurate info on a Ford, would you go to a Toyota representative to ask, and believe you were receiving accurate information about Ford's products?

While it's good and healthy to hear various thoughts and to have a wellrounded perspective, anything that sounds 'terrible' or 'hard to believe' or 'ridiculous' is usually best brought up to someone who actually belongs to the faith that is reported to believe in such things.

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Brian J. Hill
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If you wanted objective info on a Ford, do you think a Ford salesman would give you an unbiased opinion on their products?
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Brian J. Hill
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Back to the original topic, I saw this article today on USA Today, and it specifically mention's Romney's Mormonism as a potential political downfall.
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Belle
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One of our speakers was a former Mormon. If I want a perspective on a Ford, I can get it from a Ford owner or from a Chevy owner who used to own a Ford and now shares with me the reasons he no longer does so.

Why should you be offended that my church wishes to minister to Mormons and try to proselytize to them and get them to join our faith - your Mormon missionaries do the exact same thing to people of my belief system.

All of us believe in the teachings of our faith, we think we have the Truth and we want those that don't to know of it. The LDS do that just as Protestant missionaries do.

You need to stop assuming several things - 1) that all the information is inaccurate and presented only as a scare tactic and 2) that you have a monopoly on having your faith spoken against.

I've had my beliefs challenged by many another Protestant. Let's face it - we believe different things. I'm sure all the LDS on this board think they are correct - that their view of God and salvation is right. Guess what? I believe mine is right too. And I support missionaries reaching out to LDS to try and convert them to our beliefs just as I'm sure you support LDS missionaries doing the same.

The LDS information sessions I've attended have been set up to teach people specifically how to minister to those of the LDS faith. Aren't your missionaries trained on how to talk to Protestants and Catholics and such? It's the same thing.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
You need to stop assuming several things - 1) that all the information is inaccurate and presented only as a scare tactic
I think that many people assume this because this is what they've seen in the past.
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Pat
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I'd be interested to know the specifics of what they taught you in your 'information sessions.'

And no, LDS missionaries are not trained on how to specifically react to different religions. We believe the spirit of contention is of the devil, and that once that spirit is there, then any attempt at teaching is relatively futile.

If I wanted to learn about a Toyota, I'd go to the source. I'd test it out, drive it around, kick the tires and then decide for myself if I wanted to buy it. Getting advice from a disgruntled former Toyota salesman seems illogical and a tad conterproductive.

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mr_porteiro_head
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Any time somebody gives you advice, keep in mind two things:

1) How likely is this person to have knowledge/experience that can help me?
2) What personal reasons might this person have for giving me this advice?

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Brian J. Hill
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quote:
think that many people assume this because this is what they've seen in the past.
I think therein lies some of the cause of the so-called "great divide" between Latter-day Saints and our Protestant and Catholic brethren. Many Mormons, including myself, have encountered some kind of anti-Mormonism. I'm not talking about things said in the spirit of honest disagreement, but hate-filled Fred Phelps-like vitriol spewed out by people who truly hate the Mormon church and protest at the Hill Cumorah Pageant and such. This has led many to believe that EVERY church who tries to educate their people about the LDS people are the same kind of hate-mongers.

Then there's what I like to call the "perception of misperception." Mormons tend to think they're the only ones who know how to present their beliefs; anyone else who tries is bound to be wrong. This is true, to an extent. I know a lot about the Catholic faith, but I wouldn't do as good of a job presenting the Catholic faith as a lifelong Catholic. But that doesn't mean that I can't in good faith tell other people what I know about Catholicism.

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Dante
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quote:
This has led many to believe that EVERY church who tries to educate their people about the LDS people are the same kind of hate-mongers.
I think this is part of the problem. As Pat and mph have pointed out, we in the LDS church don't have anything equivalent to "educating a congregation" about another church. We focus on teaching what we believe rather than trying to get "educated" on how other specific churches or religions are wrong or even dangerous--which is, as I understand it, the main purpose behind such meetings in non-LDS congregations.

Now, that said, we do of course talk about doctrines that we don't share with other churches and why we think we're right, but I have never heard of a Sunday School class on "Why Lutherans Are a Dangerous Cult!" or Elders' Quorum meeting on "Catholics: Are They Really Christians?"


[edited to amplify thought]

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Amanecer
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quote:
we in the LDS church don't have anything equivalent to "educating a congregation" about another church
I think part of this has to do with the different nature of the religions. The LDS church can say "They're all wrong because they're missing the revelation of Joseph Smith." With other Christian faiths, you have to get into more of the details since there isn't such a ready answer.
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dkw
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On the other hand, its possible to have a Catholic or Protestant church that never mentions or implies anything about the LDS church at all. However, because the LDS church believes that its a restoration, is it possible to learn about LDS theology and history without being taught that the Nicene Christian churches (which would include Catholics and most Protestants) were/are apostate?
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pwiscombe
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I was reading a post on another message board where the question of "could you vote for a Mormon for president" was asked.

One reply that stood out to me from a very conservative Republican was that he couldn't vote for a Mormon due to the following:
  • America is a Christian country
  • America has God's blessing because we are a Christian country
  • If America elected a "non-christian" as President, it would mark then end of this being a Christian country
  • America would then lose God's favor.
  • QED = Christians can't vote for a Mormon

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Dante
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dkw
quote:
However, because the LDS church believes that its a restoration, is it possible to learn about LDS theology and history without being taught that the Nicene Christian churches (which would include Catholics and most Protestants) were/are apostate?
The thing is that most LDS meetings don't deal with history and theology. They deal with doctrine and personal experience. Incidentally, I'd hazard a guess that many LDS may have heard of the Nicene Creed but most don't know exactly what it is.

So yes, as I noted, we certainly talk about the apostasy, but that's quite different from inviting people in to describe why a particular church or religion is wrong and how you can prove that to them with the Bible.

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TomDavidson
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quote:

Mormons tend to think they're the only ones who know how to present their beliefs; anyone else who tries is bound to be wrong.

I get that a lot from some of the Mormons on this board. Astonishingly, when pressed, very few of them are ever able to tell me what exactly I got wrong, rather than just things they thought I expressed in a less flattering but still accurate way. [Smile]
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Lyrhawn
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pwiscombe -

I find it hard to wrap my head around the idea of not voting for a president based on their religion. I would vote for a Mormon just as easily as I'd vote for a Catholic, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu or a Zoroastrian.

My decisions are based on their issue positions. If their religion demands a specific position on an issue, one that I happen to disagree with, then I won't vote for them, but not because of their religion, rather, because of the issues they support or are against.

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Scott R
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>>Astonishingly, when pressed, very few of them are ever able to tell me what exactly I got wrong, rather than just things they thought I expressed in a less flattering but still accurate way.<<

Must be a problem with the *tone* of your posts, hmm?

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mr_porteiro_head
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Tom, there have been several times that I've corrected you on things you've said about Mormons and our doctrine. You have responded at least once by saying that the difference between what you said and what I said doesn't really matter.
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ElJay
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quote:
Originally posted by Dante:

So yes, as I noted, we certainly talk about the apostasy, but that's quite different from inviting people in to describe why a particular church or religion is wrong and how you can prove that to them with the Bible.

Right, but like dkw said, a lot of churches don't do that. I've never heard Mormons mentioned at all in church or any chuch-related activity I've ever attended. But whether a Mormon knows what the Nicene Creed is or not, they've been taught that my church is apostate.
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Dante
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ElJay, I'm not sure what point you're making.
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Scott R
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>>But whether a Mormon knows what the Nicene Creed is or not, they've been taught that my church is apostate.<<

We talk about the apostasy as something that happened "back then." And then the restoration came. The term 'apostate churches' hasn't been used in decades in our teaching literature, as far as I'm aware.

I've never heard other churches mentioned at all in Mormon services, except for members saying things like, "I was a Southern Baptist for 97 years, and never knew the goodness of lime jello. I thank God every day for the Sister Missionaries who brought me my bowl of Lime-flavored Salvation."

I'm glad to hear that there are some churches out there not gunning down Mormons. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to eliminate the martyrdom complex so many Mormons suffer from when every week, some itinerant howler from Northern Arizona makes his rounds at all the local churches, preaching against Joe Smith and his Golden Bible of Adultery? Right hard, let me tell you.

[Big Grin]

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ElJay
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quote:
Originally posted by Dante:
We focus on teaching what we believe rather than trying to get "educated" on how other specific churches or religions are wrong or even dangerous

My point was that teaching what you believe is teaching how specific other churches (all of them) are wrong. No, you're not inviting someone special in to do it, and you're not saying the other churches are evil. But I still don't think you can say it's "quite different" from what members of other churches have been describing. And I think it's somewhat disingenuous to be indignant about some other Christian congregations talking about why they think Mormons are wrong when all Mormon congregations teach that everyone else is wrong.

And I know, obviously, that everyone thinks that they are right. I certainly do. But I think the vast majority of Christian denominations are rather inclusive about what "types" of Christians they believe have full benefits in the afterlife. It's a small but vocal minority that do not. Including Mormons. [Smile]

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Dante
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quote:
But I still don't think you can say it's "quite different" from what members of other churches have been describing.
But it is quite different. Or do you not think there's quite a difference between a mostly passive, non-sect-specific doctrine and an active "education" session of the type that was being discussed?
quote:
I think it's somewhat disingenuous to be indignant about some other Christian congregations talking about why they think Mormons are wrong when all Mormon congregations teach that everyone else is wrong.
<looks around for Elder Strawman> I believe the indignance, if it exists, is that some churches bring in "experts" whose job is to "expose" the LDS church as a cult, as a non-Christian religion, as a bunch of Scott R-esque baby-eaters, etc.

Look, I know most churches don't do that. But some do. I've seen the flyers. I've talked to many of those who have attended such meetings/services. There is nothing remotely similar to that in the LDS church. If you don't see a distinction, well, fair enough. But I see a huge one.

quote:
But I think the vast majority of Christian denominations are rather inclusive about what "types" of Christians they believe have full benefits in the afterlife.
I disagree, but I'm not sure how this fits into the discussion so I'll leave it be(or as TomD would say, I'm just admitting you're absolutely right but your wit has confounded me <jk> ).

By the way, Scott, I believe if you're doing the impression the right way it should be written "ol' Jo' Smith an' his Golden Bible!"

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TomDavidson
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quote:
as TomD would say, I'm just admitting you're absolutely right but your wit has confounded me
Well, no. As Porter has already observed, I would admit that she's absolutely right but then explain why it doesn't matter, because it has nothing to do with the point I'm making. Assuming of course that it didn't.

It would be highly, highly out of character for me to announce that I've been confounded by someone else's wit. Even if I were. As unlikely a possibility as that is. Confronted by new facts that force me to revisit my conclusions? Sure. Confounded by wit? Not gonna happen. [Wink]

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Dante
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Okay, fair enough. I probably shouldn't be taking liberties with my TomD invocations, anyway. I'll try to be more circumspect and only invoke you when I really need to.

Oh, no, Tom you misunderstood--I wasn't saying that's what you would say, I was saying that's what you would call what I was saying.

No, I think that you honestly saying you thought you were dazzled by someone else's wit probably happens about as much as...well...me saying something like that.

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TomDavidson
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*grin* Actually, there are a few people on this site alone who've managed to dazzle me with wit. (Monte and his poetry springs to mind, here.) But I'm more often confounded by wit's bastard cousin, stubborn insistence.
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Dante
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On the other hand, I can leave wit aside entirely and just try to make Tom look sort of silly by adding to my post while he's responding.
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JennaDean
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quote:
Because the LDS church believes that its a restoration, is it possible to learn about LDS theology and history without being taught that the Nicene Christian churches (which would include Catholics and most Protestants) were/are apostate?
It is definitely taught from childhood up that the original Christian church that Christ established went through an apostasy, and that was why a restoration was needed. What isn't done in the LDS church is a specific comparison of our doctrine to the doctrines of other religions. We simply teach what we believe. Occasionally if someone asks a question such as "At my Catholic school they taught me this, is that correct?" we will specifically address the differences, but great efforts are made to NOT teach what is wrong with any other churches - only what is right with ours. The hope is that if they learn what is right then when they hear opposing doctrine they will recognize the differences themselves.

I guess it's a fine line to draw; I never actually thought about the fact that teaching of a general apostasy was teaching against all the other Christian churches. But I do see a difference: we don't do it by name, because the intent is not to steer people away from other churches. We just teach what we believe with the intent to steer people to our church. I have always been uncomfortable and confused about my friends going to their church and being taught specifically what was wrong with my religion, instead of what was right about theirs.

Does that help make the difference clear?

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Dante
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quote:
But I'm more often confounded by wit's bastard cousin, stubborn insistence.
No you're not. Prove it.
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TomDavidson
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quote:

I have always been uncomfortable and confused about my friends going to their church and being taught specifically what was wrong with my religion, instead of what was right about theirs.

I've noticed this tendency in Mormon culture in general, actually: a genuine dislike of open criticism, replaced instead with the positive presentation of alternatives. When sincere, it's one of the things I like best about you lot.
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Dante
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quote:
When sincere, it's one of the things I like best about you lot.
Dammit, Tom, you're getting me all mushy. Commere, you big lug!

Okay, in the interest of trying to re-rail, here's an interesting quote from an AP article I found at Foxnews announcing Romney's decision today not to run for a second term:
quote:
There has also been an undercurrent of concern among Christian conservatives, particularly in the vital South, rooted in his Mormon faith. One political operative in South Carolina branded the religion a "cult."
That is a good example of why, as several here have pointed out, a Latter-day Saint will never be president.

[ December 14, 2005, 11:42 PM: Message edited by: Dante ]

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