Monday, December 3, 2007

Why do some people believe that members of the LDS Church (Mormons) worship Joseph Smith and not Jesus Christ?

Great question. Interesting responses thus far also. As far as responding to the nay-sayers, I think Mickey P snubbed Schneb well enough. Peter Priesthood pitched a perfect prose response too.

Coming from a convert's (i.e., outside) perspective, I think there are two main reasons for this misconception:
1. Innocent Ignorance
2. Intentional Ignorance

Here's an example of the first. When I was in high school I asked a Mormon friend (I had not yet joined the Church) what went on in the temples. I don’t remember the exact details of that conversation because he was so excited to start talking about the Church he probably gave me the first 4 discussions. So I went away from that conversation thinking that Mormons baptized gold plates on behalf of the dead. No joke. If I had not studied it out myself I would probably still believe that as well as believe what anti-mormons, or anyone for that matter, told me.

“For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it “ –D&C 123:12

This next section is not meant to slight or offend anyone, it is my honest observation however.

There are many people who are against the Church, who have fallen away from the Church, and even some who are in the Church who willfully and intentional remain ignorant of the restored truths of the gospel. In all seriousness, in some ways that makes life a lot easier! We belong to a church with very high standards. Think about it from their point of view. “If Joseph Smith wasn’t a fraud, then the Book of Mormon is true, then I have been wrong, then I do have to do more than just confess with my mouth and believe (Rom 10:9), then I am accountable for every decision in my life, then I have to keep trying harder and harder every day to be the best I can be, then I have to stand strong against the millions of people who want to tear my beliefs and my religion down everyday, etc….”

-I know that this is not exactly most people in that categories cognizant thought process; I’m just making a point.

To summarize the intentionally ignorant: It mostly boils down to pride. Anti’s don’t want to think they might be wrong, apostates are usually offended at someone in the Church, and many members in the church think they know better –without having studied very much- and pick and choose which commandments to keep and which doctrines to believe.

It takes a humble heart and mind in order to truly follow the Lord throughout mortality.

Still, many intentionally ignorant will continue to slander the Church and accuse us wrongly. Let’s not forget what the Lord (that would be Jesus, not Brother Joseph) said to those nay-saying Pharisees: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matt 12:36

Best Wishes,

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