Among the numerous religious movements, Mormons clearly stand out. This is one of the largest movements of the Latter-day Saint movement. Adherents are based on the teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr., who published the Book of Mormon in 1830. This work is revered by believers on a par with the Bible. The author himself claimed that the records are a translation of ancient chronicles composed by the prophet Mormon and his son Moroni.
Since then, this religious direction has spread quite strongly, especially its strong position in the United States. Even the presidential candidate in the US in 2012 from the Republicans, Mitt Romney was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Despite the apparent presence of Mormons in the life of America, even there they do not quite well imagine what kind of movement this is. And for us it is generally a curiosity. It is not surprising that this religion is overgrown with numerous myths, some have emerged from ignorance, an incorrect interpretation of the subject, and some are deliberately spread by ill-wishers.
Mormons practice polygamy.
The church officially refused polygamy back in 1890. Then its head Wilford Woodruff issued the “Manifesto”, which advised Mormons not to enter into such forms of marriages that are prohibited by the laws of the country. However, the President of the Church did not fulfill the order, it was the poet who in 1904, the new President, Joseph F. Smith, issued the second Manifesto. Since then, any Mormon who openly or secretly practices polygamy must be excommunicated. The same groups that continue to live in polygamy are the radical current of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And this happens outside the main majority of millions of believers. True, despite this, it is worth noting that in the Doctrine and Covenants of the Mormon writings, the practice of polygamy is described. Men are allowed to have more than one spouse, but women have the right to have only one husband. Some believe that Mormons believe because of this in the existence of polygamy in heaven.
In the old Utah, Mormons were forced to practice polygamy because there were more women there than men.
Actually, in the middle of the XIX century, when such practice developed, there were more men than women. This was written by the Mormon apostle John Widtso in his book “Testimonies and Harmonization”. In his view, the Church, through polygamy, tried to provide a larger number of parishioners with the help of men. Although it is believed that there have always been more women in the Church than men, this is not supported by evidence. On the contrary, there were always more men among Mormons. So there is no historical evidence to support such a myth.
Mormons are not Christians.
Mormon theology differs from traditional Christians in key positions – in understanding the nature of God, in relation to Jesus Christ, in revelations and scriptures. Traditional Christians believe in the Trinity, that God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are one. Mormons, on the other hand, believe that they are three different beings. Traditional Christians consider the Bible to be the only word of God, while Latter-day Saints believe in the Bible and other scriptures, including the Book of Mormon. Nevertheless, it is Jesus Christ who is considered the main figure for the Mormon faith, to whom they are faithful and worship. Christ is the Son of God and the savior of all mankind. So, as in the case of Christianity, in this case, believers also worship Jesus.
All Mormons live in Utah.
This state is really called the whole state in the state. In Utah, the Mormons, which are 62 percent, live fairly compactly. There are also many believers in neighboring states. Nevertheless, throughout the US there are communities and small groups of Latter-day Saint adherents. Mormons are quite common all over the world, they are already present in more than 100 countries. Their number is growing rapidly in Africa and Latin America.In fact, outside the US, Mormons are even more than in this country, 8.2 million against 6.2. In Utah itself, Latter-day Saints are gradually losing their positions, by 2030 this will not be the most numerous religious confession in the state.
Mormon men and women are not equal initially.
Even the Apostle Paul said that in the Lord there can not be a husband without a wife, or a wife without a husband. So in the eyes of God in marital relations, both spouses are equal. The divine plan is that fathers must preside over their families, providing them with protection and all that is necessary. The responsibility of mothers is caring for children. In fulfilling their duties, a man and a woman should help each other as equals.
Women can not lead or make speeches in Mormon churches.
Clergymen from Mormons are indeed only men aged 12 years. Women can lead women’s and children’s organizations, conduct studies of the scriptures, provide services of a religious nature and speak from the department. So their situation is not so bad as it is presented. As early as 1842, Joseph Smith founded the Relief Society, which was intended to help the needy. Growing up, it is almost the largest female organization in the world.
All Mormons are Republicans.
In fact, political unity in the ranks of believers is not. In 2011, researchers from Trinity College in Connecticut conducted a survey that showed the following results. It turned out that only 60 percent of Mormons throughout the country consider themselves Republicans, 14 percent of believers in general expressed support for the Democrats. Mitt Romney became the first Mormon nominated by a major political party for the presidency. He just represents the Republicans. However, the most senior Mormon in the country is not Romney, but the leader of the Democratic majority in the US Senate Harry Reid, representing Nevada. But the official policy of the Church itself provides for neutrality in political matters. Outside of the US, Mormon political preferences cover the entire spectrum – from left to right, from socialists to conservatives.
Mormons baptize the dead.
In fact, in such rituals, dead bodies are not used. Mormons have live volunteers who represent dead ancestors. Indeed, there is a ritual known as “the baptism of the dead.” It resembles the usual baptism for the living. However, such a sacrament is held exclusively in the Mormon temples. The candidate representing the deceased wears everything in white and stands waist-deep in the water. Then the Baptist, also dressed in all white, pronounces the words: “Being commissioned by Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name [of the deceased] in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen”. After that, the candidate falls under the water for a while. Pronounced words almost coincide with those that are pronounced during ordinary baptism. This ceremony does not mean that the deceased automatically becomes a Mormon in heaven. Latter-day Saints believe that for this, a person must make his own choice during life. Those who were baptized posthumously, never enter the church lists and do not count in the community.
Mormons do not control fertility.
In the families of believers, according to statistics, there are more children than the average American family. However, this does not happen because the Mormons do not have birth control. The church says that the birth of children is the privilege of married couples, but the decision about how much should be in the family of offspring and how much space they occupy is very personal and intimate. This is decided by the couple themselves together with the Lord. Mormons believe that sex is more than just a way to conceive children. The handbook states that sexual relations in marriage are divinely approved not only for the purpose of procreation, but also as a way of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual ties between a man and a woman.
Mormons are exposed in their temples.
Rituals inside the churches are closed to the public. This gives rise to fantasies and speculation about what is happening inside. In fact, participants are dressed mostly in white clothes for participation in ritual performances. They show the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, the experience of the mortal world and the return to the kingdom of God. At each stage of the ritual, participants make promises to God. Also in the temples are connected pairs of Mormons, for a joint life both in this life and in the subsequent.
If a Mormon becomes the President of the United States, he will be just a puppet in the hands of his church.
In Mormon Scripture, this issue is dealt with directly. In the Doctrine and Covenants, article 134, adopted by the church back in 1835, states that religious influence should not extend to civil government. And today the Mormons claim political neutrality, clarifying that they reserve the right to decide in a non-party way those issues that are of great importance to the community. In other words, Mormons can defend their interests, but not politically. True, there is evidence that lawmakers at the federal and local level lobby for the interests of Mormons. But this does not mean that the church calls them or forces them to do so. The Mormon neutrality document says that elected officials must make their own decisions, although not everyone can do this. Politicians do not need to be in agreement with each other or even with the public position of the Church. Officials should make their choice on the basis of a better solution for the constituencies and voters they represent.
Mormons do not believe in the Bible.
The Bible, especially the version of King James, is part of the Mormon Scriptures. In addition to this, Latter-day Saints accept in the form of Scripture also such books as the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. The Bible is especially used in religious discussions and debates, cited in sermons, without this book missionary activity is inconceivable. Latter-day Saints believe that the Bible is indeed the word of God, if translated correctly.
The Mormon Church is the fastest growing in the world.
In fact, an explicit number of adherents of Catholicism and Islam makes these world religions the fastest growing, both in relative and absolute terms.
There is no paid shepherding in the Church of Latter-day Saints.
All the main employees in this confession in Salt Lake City are offered content for their service. In spite of the fact that small employees do not receive money, in Doctrines and Covenants 42: 71-73 it is explicitly stated that they should have remuneration for their work.
Reading the Book of Mormon will tell you everything about the Mormon doctrine.
This sacred book does not succeed in strengthening the unique doctrine, which is the foundation of faith for the Latter-day Saints. So, in the practices for the subsequent deification, the Book of Mormon does not play a special role.
All the prophecies of Joseph Smith have come true.
If this were true, then Jesus would return to Earth in 1891. This is evidenced by the Documentary History of the Church (DIC) 2: 182. Civil war was to encompass all nations (Doctrine and Covenants (DIV), 87: 1-3), and the sinners of the Smith generation would be wiped off the face of the planet (DIC, 1: 315), in the city of Independence, Missouri was to appear a temple, with a generation of people who lived in 1832 (DIZ).
The time of the Book of Mormon was proved by archaeologists.
To date, there is no evidence to support the age of this sacred Mormon scripture. Within the Church itself, more and more supporters of the fact that the Book is not really a historical document. No authoritative archaeologist outside the Mormon movement views the Book of Mormon as an important archeological artifact of the New World.
Brigham Young never taught that Adam was God.
This religious figure not only taught that Adam was the Archangel Michael, but also called him our Father and our God, the only one with whom we should deal and believe him. Young said: “So, let everyone who hears these doctrines, think before they treat them with indifference. After all, they prove their salvation “(Diary of Lectures 1: 50,51). It is worth noting that Yang himself called this point of view a doctrine, not a theory, on which modern Mormons are based.
Mormons are greedy, so they profess self-reliance.
In fact, self-sufficiency implies readiness for potential and emergency situations. In this case, personal independence, diligence and thrift, as well as self-esteem, also increase. This is how new opportunities are achieved in serving others and caring for the needy.
Mormons are not allowed to drink beverages with caffeine.
In 1833 the Word of Wisdom was published, in which it was said about the health of believers. The founder of the Church, Joseph Smith, condemned the use of tobacco, alcohol and strong drinks. To the latter, church leaders later attributed coffee and tea. However, nothing was said about the reasons for their inclusion in the harmful. Many believers decided that this happened because these drinks contain caffeine, which is why people began to avoid any liquids with this stimulant – for example, soda pops. Recently, the Church officially explained its position, which explained that it was prohibited to drink alcohol, coffee and tea. This allowed young Mormons to launch a petition and ask them to sell simple Coca-Cola in their places of study.
The Church categorically prohibits abortion.
In 1973, the official position was declared, which is still valid today. Although in general the Church of Latter-day Saints and opposes abortion, rare exceptions are recognized when the mother’s life or health is at risk. Such a measure is also permissible if a woman has been raped and is suffering heavily because of this. But in any case, an abortion should be discussed with a local priest in advance and, through prayer, be confirmed by God about the correctness of the chosen decision.
Mormons do not dance.
Some confuse Mormons with Amish, which are really extremely conservative. In fact, dances are welcome in the Church of Latter-day Saints. This is a long-time pleasure for the Mormons, in which Joseph Smith and Brigham Young participated. Dance youth groups of Mormons, in particular between the University of Brigham Young, generally received international recognition.
Mormons donate to the church as much as they want.
The church strongly recommends parishioners to give their tithes. Such a tax was known from the Old Testament. The tithe fund is used to build new buildings, finance missionaries, and education. The Church emphasizes that such a sacrifice is not a question of money, but of faith. It is an honor and an opportunity, not a burden.
Mormons provide humanitarian assistance only to Mormons.
Since the church started recording its assistance in 1985, it received 167 different countries worth a billion dollars. In many of these countries there are no Mormons at all, and some are not Christian at all. Today, there are more than 53,000 Mormon missionaries in the world. All their ministry is aimed at helping the hungry, stripped, orphans and widows, regardless of their faith.
Joseph Smith died as a lamb, led to the slaughter.
The history of the martyrdom of a leader is very popular not only in religion, but also in other spheres of life. In fact, Joseph Smith died in a shootout, using a gun, secretly delivered to him in Cartridge prison. The documentary History of the Church, published six years after those events, states that Joseph Smith pulled a six-shot revolver from his pocket. He pulled the trigger six times, but only three times the gun fired.Then the preacher realized that two or three people were injured and then died. However, some Mormons object to using the term “shootout”. A battle can be a struggle between equal parties, and a gunfight will appear with a gun. Journalists, on the other hand, did not see this as a problem, considering the clash between the rioters and those who defended themselves with weapons, not by the actual murder of Smith, but by shooting.
Mormons worship Joseph Smith.
The Church has officially declared that it does not worship Joseph Smith, the Prophet, but his God, the eternal Father, who rose from the dead Jesus Christ. The prophet is revered as a tool in the hands of the Almighty.
Mormons have racial limitations.
The church does not have any racial limitations or color regarding those who wish to join it. Similarly, priests can be blacks and Asians, Europeans.