Talking about What it means to be Mormon


What it means to be Mormon

June 18: One of the leaders of the Church of Latter Day Saints, Elder Russell Ballard, sits down with NBC’s Ron Allen to talk about what it means to be a Mormon and talks about misconceptions of what Mormonism stands for.





Filed under News and politics

5 responses to “Talking about What it means to be Mormon

  1. Chris

    Thanks for this link. Very informative.

  2. David

    Where to begin …
    It\’s not a bad interview, but it broke no ground and wasn\’t what I\’d call "investigative".  There were no difficult questions – the one question about polygamy (a red herring issue if I\’ve ever seen one) wasn\’t fully answered – The Elder has no idea why God changed his mind about this teaching that was so central to the faith in the past …  I\’ll hazard the guess (from history) that it was common sense.  Utah wanted statehood and the Federal government back then wasn\’t about to grant it until the state outlawed the practice.
    Why a red herring?  Simple.  Polygamy is practiced in the Scriptures and is accepted as normal throughout much of Israel\’s history.  It wasn\’t until the New Testament that the practice was even addressed – and then, only within the context of Elders and Deacons who were expected to be the "Husband of one wife".  By inference, other than social mores, there was no theological reason to ban it …
    Scripture – This is where the more "orthodox" Christian churches have issues with the Latter Day Saints.  Orthodoxy insists that only the Bible is authorative.  LDS teaches that there are four "inspired" books – "The Book of Mormon", the "Pearl of Great Price", Doctrines and Covenants", and the Bible, "insofar as it is correctly translated".  That\’s quite the caveat – particularly since the only version the Church uses is the King James – not what I\’d consider a particularly accurate translation …  It\’s not a question of "Cult vs. Church" – it\’s more of a "Orthodoxy vs. LDS".  I don\’t consider the Mormon Church any more a "cult" than King James only Baptists or the Catholic Church.  The LDS are a great organization who maintain some rather quirky beliefs from the perspective of the more Orthodox groups – but that\’s fine … talk to a Greek Orthodox member about the Catholic Church and you will get an earful about false teachings …
    It\’s about different beliefs and the discussion therof.  I LOVE discussing faith and religion.  I can\’t imagine a more interesting or more important conversation to have.  I have some very different beliefs from the LDS, but I can\’t bring myself not to call them "brethren".  I believe that Jesus (in a similar context) upbraided his followers for critisizing those who didn\’t follow "thier" band of believers by saying, "those who are not against us are with us …" 
    For my Mormon friends who want some interesting readings on the traditions of the more "orthodox" faiths, find a copy of "Will the real heretics please stand up".  You will find it very interesting.

  3. Richard

    Point by point:
    1.  "The Elder has no idea why God changed his mind about this teaching that was so central to the faith in the past …  I\’ll hazard the guess…"  fine.  You\’re only guessing and have no more an idea than he (the Elder) did; uneless you assert to know the mind of God…
    2.  "It wasn\’t until the New Testament that the practice was even addressed .."  Incorrect.  Moses also addressed it.
    3.  "By inference, other than social mores, there was no theological reason to ban it …"  Again, *guessing* at what God thinks. 
    The major point of the interview was to address three points:
    a.  The Church of Jesus Christ of LDS *is* Christian, by definition and practice
    b.  That the Church is guided by a prophet
    c.  That the Book of Mormon is the Word of God.
    No more, no less.  I would even boil it down to the third point.  Any discussion I have usually comes down to that; because its the keystone.  Anyone who has read it with real intent (meaning, not reading it to try to find something wrong or erroneous, but what the message is) will as suredly understand the position as any member of the Church who has done the same.

  4. David

    Aw, Rick …  Don\’t get defensive.  I\’m not attacking anyone or anything – just making a couple of observations.
    I\’d "hazard a guess" that you didn\’t take a look at the "Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up?" reference?  You should.  It\’s great stuff for anyone who wants some background on the "Traditions of the Holy Protestant Church" <g>
    I\’m a "Whittenburg Door" type Christian.  An "Eastern tradition" type beliver.  Although raised in the Catholic Church (Irish and Benedictine), I was later involved in the "Jesus Movement" of the 60\’s and 70\’s – and much later matured many ideas that most "Orthodox" bretheren would consider a bit odd – and sometimes heretical.  I\’m fine with that – but it makes finding a "home" church a bit challenging.
    I\’ve also defended the occasional Mormon from the occasional barrage of Anti-Momonism they invite.  No matter.  I\’ll battle "religiousness" and self-rightousness when and where I find it … and occasionally if others <gulp> find it in me.
    Christian, from the Koine, simply means "Christ-like one".  To be a "Christian" simply means you are identified as someone who lives like, believes like, thinks like, and behaves like "Yeshuah hamaschiach".  I\’ve met plenty of LDS\’rs (you among them) who I consider "brethern" – and as a brother, I\’ll poke fun, but never with poor intent.  My apologies if my writings are interpreted in any other way than that.  I just happen to love good, healthy discussion.
    Re: Moses …  He certainly did! <g>
        2 Wives, Zipporah, and the Ethiopian Woman
    "And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter." Exodus 2:21. (See also Exodus 18:1-6.)
    "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman." Numbers 12:1

  5. William

    Religion is so material from the very beginning. I read the 8th chapter of Romans from time to time; this Apostle was not a carnal minded one. I like to stay in the conversation of Religion. I\’ve spent time among the Mormons of the Wasatch Valley in Utah and will always be grateful for the strength they afforded me during my stay there; it will last for my entire life. I am not a Mormon; that is for certain. My major social concern for religion is Al-Islam. It\’s not that I have any reason to get too close to any of the major religions. I just love to learn about all the world\’s religions, because religion is a favorite loophole in an anxious era of mankind.
    To be sure there is nothing funny about Mormons; where is one?

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