Believed to be a record of the ancient people of North America, and translated by Joseph Smith with the help of God. The LDS Church believes it to be the most correct book written. Jump to: navigation , search. A minority of Latter Day Saint adherents, such as members of the Community of Christ, believe in traditional Protestant theology, and have distanced themselves from some of the distinctive doctrines of Mormonism —Excerpted from Latter Day Saint movement on Wikipedia , the Free Encyclopedia.
Categories : Bookshelf Religion Bookshelf. Search for Books. Yes, evangelical Christians do have strong disagreements with Mormonism, but the argument is with a belief system and not a people. The LDS people are no better or no worse than any other group of people. Any dispute is to be a disagreement with the "ism", not the "Mormon".
James White , meanwhile, rejects the term because of a lack of reciprocal terminology. Even some members of the church who write negatively about it, especially those who call into question its divine nature, have had their writings labeled anti-Mormon. Ex-Mormons who write about the church are likewise frequently labeled anti-Mormon, even when their writings are not inflammatory in nature. Stephen Cannon has argued that use of the label is a "campaign by Latter-day Saints to disavow the facts presented by simply labeling the source as 'anti-Mormon'".
Mormons often respond to these accusations by questioning whether critics like Johnson and Cannon really have Mormons' best interests at heart. For Brigham Young University 's Hour Board, the "anti-Mormon" label serves the purpose of warning Latter-day Saints away from individuals who espouse "hatred and bigotry".
It is better, says the Board, for a confused Saint to "talk to someone Those individuals and groups who challenge Mormonism, particularly those who approach the challenge from an evangelical Christian perspective, would generally sustain that they do, in fact, have the best interest of the Mormon at heart;  and for the most part can legitimately claim to understand what the church teaches, since many challengers of Mormonism come from an LDS background.
In addition, they often declare that highly charged words such as "hatred" and "bigotry" are employed to an excessive degree to describe any challenge to a truth claim, and often cite this reactionary response as part of a Mormon "persecution complex. Mormonism, or the Latter Day Saint movement , arose in western New York , the area where its founder, Joseph Smith , was raised, during a period of religious revival in the early 19th century.
Smith claimed to have several visions involving God, Jesus and angelic Native American prophets. These claims were often not received well by those in the community, as evident in the following excerpt from Smith's account of LDS Church history:. I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me.
While the claims of a divine call often received a cold shoulder, the eventual publication of the Book of Mormon ,  and the official organization of the Church of Christ in were met with increased opposition on various fronts. In New York and Pennsylvania , anti-Mormonism dealt mainly with issues including whether or not Smith actually had the gold plates ; whether those plates belonged to the people rather than Smith; whether or not Smith ever really had had visions at least ones of theological import ; Smith's treasure-digging episodes; and alleged occult practices by Smith.
In Ohio , anti-Mormons focused on the ill-fated banking efforts of the Kirtland Safety Society and other failed economic experiments including the United Order. In Missouri , once the gathering place of the Latter Day Saints, Mormons tended to vote as a bloc, wielding "considerable political and economic influence," often unseating local political leadership and earning long-lasting enmity in the sometimes hard-drinking, hard-living frontier communities.
The Extermination Order was not formally rescinded until In Nauvoo, Illinois , persecutions were often based on the tendency of Mormons to "dominate community, economic, and political life wherever they resided. The persecution in Illinois became so severe that most of the residents of Nauvoo fled across the Mississippi River in February Beginning in , every Federally appointed official left Utah under duress.
In President Buchanan concluded that the Mormons in the territory were rebelling against the United States. Much of this anti-Mormon sentiment was expressed in publications during the early part of LDS Church history.
The first was the work of Origen Bacheler, who had no direct contact with the body of Mormons, and contained the contents of a debate between the author and Parley Pratt , with Pratt's side omitted. Bushman describes the author's rhetoric as indistinguishable from that uttered by "scores of other polemicists of his time," providing a glimpse into the kind of material considered anti-Mormon.
The pamphlet described Joseph Smith as a "blockhead," a "juggling, money-digging, fortune-telling impostor" and, along with the Book of Mormon witnesses , as "perhaps the most infamous liars and impostors that ever breathed. By their deception and lies, they swindle them out of their property, disturb social order and the public peace, excite a spirit of ferocity and murder, and lead multitudes astray on the subject in which, of all others, they have the deepest interest.
The critics' writings largely controlled the reading public's image of [Joseph Smith] for the next century, with unfortunate results for biographers. The sharp caricature of "Joe Smith" as fraud and con man blotted out the actual person. He was a combination of knave and blockhead. No one had to explain what motives drove him.
He was a fixed type, the confidence man, well known in the literature of antebellum America. Americans knew all about these insidious scoundrels who undermined social order and ruined the lives of their unsuspecting victims. Joseph Smith became the worst of the type—a religious fraud who preyed upon the sacred yearnings of the human soul.
Arthur Conan Doyle 's A Study in Scarlet , the novel in which the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance, includes a very negative depiction of the early Mormon community in Utah after its migration westwards and the foundation of Salt Lake City.
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Mormons are presented as violent, rigidly intolerant and corrupt, systematically terrorizing members of the church and forcing polygamous marriage on Mormon girls against their will comparing Mormon practices to the well-known theme of European girls being forcibly taken to Muslim harems. Later in his career, Conan Doyle apologized to the Mormons for his lurid account of them as being steeped in kidnapping, murder and enslavement.
During a tour of the United States, Doyle was invited to speak at the LDS Church's Salt Lake Tabernacle ; while some individual Mormons expressed their bitterness, in general the atmosphere was warm and friendly far beyond the famous author's best expectations, and in later writings he presented Mormons in a very positive light. Vehement opposition to the LDS Church comes from individuals or groups associated with the Christian countercult movement , which is mostly an evangelical Christian phenomenon.
In the 21st century opposition to Mormonism has become frequent among Secular or New Atheist groups. Among those with religious motives, Daniel C. Peterson and Massimo Introvigne have identified two major streams of modern anti-Mormon thought. The first is "traditional anti-Mormonism", typified by Rev. Anti-Mormons in this category, "anxious to be taken seriously by at least a portion of the scholarly community," generally try to explain Mormonism in naturalistic terms.
They appeal to "Joseph Smith's environment and his wicked or pathological character, perhaps assisted by a co-conspirator or two", as a sufficient explanation for Mormon origins. It admits the presence of supernatural events in the founding events of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is quite willing to acknowledge continuous supernatural influence in the life of the Church today.
Spencer and many others. According to Introvigne, New Age anti-Mormonism emerged in the s largely as a result of the rise of Third-wave Pentecostalism and its emphasis on spiritual warfare.
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Traditional anti-Mormons, according to Peterson, are those who "are content to argue that Mormonism is untrue" and "incompatible with the Bible. For them, naturalistic and historical explanations are always preferable to supernatural ones. Among the most prominent of the traditional anti-Mormons are Jerald and Sandra Tanner. Despite the high caliber of some of their work,  the Tanners have been criticized on a number of points: notably for the vitriolic tone of some of their more polemical pieces, their resistance to change, and their unauthorized publication of several copyrighted documents.
In their study of anti-Mormon "word games", for example, Daniel C. Peterson and Stephen D. Ricks have nothing negative to say about them. Instead, they enlist them as allies against New Age anti-Mormons like Ed Decker, whose fabrications the Tanners have denounced on more than one occasion. Perhaps the most controversial of the traditional anti-Mormons, however, was Walter Martin. Martin saw Mormons as deceivers who "pose as Christians". He called them "anti-Christian" and "a cult infiltration" and said they secretly harbor a "deep contempt for Christians".
He further accused them of being egomaniacs and "cultists". New Age anti-Mormons have generated considerably more controversy than the previous category. The God Makers has attracted criticism not only from Latter-day Saints,  but from traditional anti-Mormons as well. When Decker was denounced by Jerald and Sandra Tanner , he went so far as to accuse them of being in the pay of the LDS Church and even of being "demonized" themselves. Decker and his associates offered to exorcise the Tanners' demons, and expressed great sadness when they refused.
The Christian writer William Schnoebelen asserted that "the marks on the Mormon Temple garments 'are held together by a subtle occult web of sexual energy which is activated by pressure from the two highest grips in the LDS Temple endowment. At the recently constructed Sacramento temple, for example, protesters dispersed pamphlets to visitors who came to take a guided tour. They also held up signs directing people to websites critical of the LDS Church. Our goal at MRM is not to be antagonistic.
In fact, whenever a representative of MRM speaks publicly on this subject, we often emphasize how Christians should reflect a Christ-like attitude when sharing their faith. We must be firm in our convictions but compassionate and patient as well. It is true that, just as some Mormons want nothing more than to ridicule and insult those with whom they disagree, some Christians have done the same.
This is wrong and always will be wrong. Some other individuals have been seen throwing copies of the Book of Mormon on the ground, stepping on them, and portray using temple garments, which LDS hold sacred, as toilet tissue, and other similarly offensive actions.
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As a result of organized protests at Mormon events, a number of Latter-day Saints, and even non-Mormons, have begun to counter-demonstrate at events by singing hymns, for example. Opposition to Mormonism has been more prominent in the 21st century from New Atheism perspectives. Richard Dawkins , Bill Maher and John Dehlin are among those who more prominent individuals who have used media appearances or podcasts to oppose the Institutional LDS Church and its doctrines and policies. Monson in the United Kingdom. Monson was accused by disaffected member Tom Phillips of breaching the Fraud Act The summons alleged that two men were induced to pay tithes to the LDS Church by church teachings which are objectively untrue.
The alleged untrue teachings were:. The court case was tossed out before trial. Tangible acts of violence against Latter-day Saints are considerably less common in the United States today than they were in the 19th century. The first significant violent persecution occurred in the early s in Missouri. Mormons tended to vote as a bloc there, wielding "considerable political and economic influence," often unseating local political leadership and earning long-lasting enmity in the frontier communities. The extermination order was not formally rescinded until After the destruction of the press of the Nauvoo Expositor in Nauvoo, Illinois , Joseph Smith was arrested and incarcerated in Carthage Jail where he was killed by a mob on June 27, Even after Mormons established a community hundreds of miles away in the Salt Lake Valley in , anti-Mormon activists in Utah Territory convinced U.
President James Buchanan that the Mormons in the territory were rebelling against the United States; critics pointed to plural marriage as a sign of the rebellion. In response, President Buchanan sent one-third of the American standing army in to Utah in what is known as the Utah War. More recent persecution against Mormons in the U. An internet posting signed by Bash Back!
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In Latin America, however, hatred of Mormons has often taken on a much deadlier form. Another Bolivian terrorist group, the Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army , claimed responsibility for two attacks against Mormon chapels. Although a position on anti-Mormonism is not part of the official doctrine of the LDS Church, it has been mentioned specifically in a number of general conference talks made by church general authorities.
Marvin J. Ashton , speaking as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles , began a fall conference by relating an experience he had with a protester outside Temple Square. He went on to declare "[t]o the world, and especially to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" that "there is no time for contention. The poet Robert Frost once defined education as "the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.
Therefore, we encourage all our members to refuse to become anti-anti-Mormon. In the wise words of old, can we "live and let live"? Carlos E. He describes " Lucifer " as the source of at least some anti-Mormon and apostate groups, relates an experience of a Mormon convert being excommunicated and encourages the avoidance of "those who would tear down your faith":.
Since the spring of , Lucifer has led a relentless attack against the Latter-day Saints and their leaders. A parade of anti-Christs, anti-Mormons, and apostate groups have appeared on the scene. Many are still among us and have released new floods of lies and false accusations. These faith-killers and testimony-thieves use personal contacts, the printed word, electronic media, and other means of communication to sow doubts and to disturb the peace of true believers.
Two months ago we received a tender letter from a bishop. He informed us that he had been involved in an excommunication of a recent convert. The new convert had fallen under the influence of a very dedicated apostate who was successful in destroying the convert's testimony. It seems that, to discredit Joseph Smith and subsequent prophets, the apostate cited changes made in Church publications over the years. The approach used by the apostate is common among those who are more interested in shadows than in light.
Their logic, if followed, would have them burning the New Testament because Luke's account of the gospel is not exactly like Matthew's or because the book of Acts reports two differing versions of Paul's vision on the road to Damascus. See Acts —9 and Acts — Belief in modern prophets and continuous revelation is absent in the lives of many apostates. They would pin their hopes for salvation upon things other than those related to living prophets and living faith. Avoid those who would tear down your faith.
Faith-killers are to be shunned. The seeds which they plant in the minds and hearts of men grow like cancer and eat away the Spirit. Gordon B. Hinckley describes the situation in the letter as a "terrible tragedy" and states that he "believe[s] the writer still has a testimony of this work. That testimony has been with him since the time he was baptized, but he has felt neglected and of no consequence to anyone. A passage from an early Mormon epistle addresses a claimed tendency of ex-Mormons to criticize the church of which they are no longer a part:.
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From apostates the faithful have received the severest persecutions In , Vaughn J Featherstone, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of the LDS Church, addressed students at the church-owned Brigham Young University , calling anti-Mormon material "theological pornography that is damaging to the spirit," stating that "none of it is worth casting an eye upon. Do not read the anti-Mormon materials. That is not the way you resolve questions about the truthfulness of the restored gospel.
Mormon apologetics and members vary both in their perception of criticism and opposition, as well as what they see as falling under the umbrella of anti-Mormonism. Hugh Nibley , the author of voluminous works in response to books deemed anti-Mormon, including a chapter on how to write an anti-Mormon book,  explained why he thinks ex-Mormons criticize the church:.
Apostates usually become sometimes feverishly active, determined to prove to the world and themselves that it is a fraud after all. What is that to them? Apparently it is everything—it will not let them alone. At the other end of the scale are those who hold no rancor and even retain a sentimental affection for the Church—they just don't believe the gospel. I know quite a few of them. But how many of them can leave it alone?
It haunts them all the days of their life. No one who has ever had a testimony ever forgets or denies that he once did have it—that it was something that really happened to him. Even for such people who do not have it anymore, a testimony cannot be reduced to an illusion. Additionally, he singles out publishers such as the Utah Gospel Mission and the Utah Lighthouse Ministry as being "anti-Mormon, at least in intent. I am not entirely comfortable with labeling this an anti-Mormon work, for I don't see hatred of the Church and a determination to destroy as the prime motive behind it.
On the other hand, whatever the intention of individual authors, the label is not entirely misapplied either. In any case, one thing is sure: the compilation will be exploited by the Mormon-haters. Others consider the definition of anti-Mormonism rather fundamentally: those in opposition to or against the LDS Church. While not including those who simply believe differently, it includes those who are actively engaged in opposing the LDS Church.
Thus, a person's intelligence, honesty, qualification or accreditation do not make them anti-Mormon. Anti-Mormon arguments are those in opposition to the claims and institutional aims of the LDS Church, and anti-Mormons are those who spend a significant amount of time opposing the church via such arguments or otherwise. Many members of the LDS Church believe that since the church is sanctioned by God, Satan and his followers will seek to destroy it, with some even seeing this opposition as evidence that the LDS Church has divine origins. Some avoid anti-Mormon material, while others analyze and criticize it, such as William J.
Other prominent LDS Church members note that the opposition from anti-Mormonism can actually be beneficial. As Hugh Nibley expressed it, "We need more anti-Mormon books.
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They keep us on our toes. Convince us of our errors of doctrine, if we have any, by reason, by logical arguments, or by the word of God, and we will be ever grateful for the information, and you will ever have the pleasing reflection that you have been instruments in the hands of God of redeeming your fellow beings from the darkness which you may see enveloping their minds. I am now convinced that we Indeed, let me state it bluntly to the LDS folks here this evening: we have sinned against you.
The God of the Scriptures makes it clear that it is a terrible thing to bear false witness against our neighbors, and we have been guilty of that sort of transgression in things we have said about you.