| As an Orthodox Christian
Interesting. I don't know anything about that. I once
read a history of Christianity, thinking that as a Westerner
I should know something about the background culture,
but it turned out to be sort of a genealogy backward
from American Protestantism. Eastern Orthodox was never
mentioned. Nor was any other branch. Not the mysterious
Cathars or even the seemingly unlikely mystical flowering
from people like Teresa of Avila, Hildegard of Bingen, John
of the Cross, etc. So I really didn't learn much other than
the political history.
| I think one of the things you missed in your wonderful
| exposition (are you a professional writer?) was that
| to me, and I presume other Christians, our faith is
| not a blind theoretical abstract. It is a living and
| defining part of me/us.
That's what I was trying to convey with the story of the
Catholics. For people who see themselves on a spiritual path
of some kind, faith is often more like realization than belief,
I think. But people who are not religious at all usually can't
see how it can work that way.
| It was not always so. I grew up going to Sunday school, even church on
| occasion. I swallowed the little wafer and drank the grape juice (I liked
| the grape juice, the wafers need some salt!). At the time (early 40s)
| was also an option available to parents for their offspring to attend
| school once a week for a half day - or maybe a couple of hours, don't
| recall - instead of public school. My parents exercised that option so I
| was well indoctrinated. I believed.
It was similar for me. We went to an Episcopal church, because
my mother's best friend went there. As far as I could tell it was
a womens' hat contest and I didn't see why I should have to suffer
through such an astonishingly boring program. I was finally released
from the sentence in 6th grade. Then I found Joseph Campbell's
Hero with a Thousand Faces some years later. His premise was that
many different faiths and traditions -- from Jesus to Odysseus to
Pacific Islander myths -- were basically allegorical training manuals
for attaining wisdom beyond the normal realm of human endeavor.
(There's actually a very straightforward Western version of that in
Plato's allegory of the Cave.) After that the how, what and why of
religions didn't seem so arbitrary to me. If one accepts that some
knowledge cannot be known or transmitted conceptually then it
follows that the transmission would have to follow some route other
than just ideas recorded in books. ....But I sense this discussion
could widen into a vast array of topics if we're not careful. :)
| > was my grandfather bouncing my sister up and down on his
| > knee (they liked that kind of stuff) and telling her she
| > was going to hell because she was not a Mormon. Grandmother
| > has the grace to be embarrassed. My sister was traumatized
| > for years, not to mention pretty pissed.
| SM: I'd like some evidence of this teaching.
It's my understanding that Mormons volunteer to be
baptized repeatedly on behalf of non-Mormons, so that
the latter can be saved from Hell. Is that not true? If it
is true then it implies a belief that non-Mormon's go to
Hell, which implies that by merely being baptized a Mormon
one dwells with God after death. Doesn't it seem a bit
fishy that the promise of eternal bliss should cost less
time and trouble than getting a drivers license?
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for
they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed
me said that all their creeds were an abomination in
his sight; that those professors were all corrupt;
that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but
their hearts are far from me, they teach for
doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of
godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
Maybe they have found a work around.
the riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped
Some truth to what you write. The baptisms for
the dead occur in the temples. I've participated
in these, in each of the several roles. They are
done not less than one year after the person's
death. We believe the ordinance is optional, the
deceased may or might not accept. It is very possible
that a person might be in the middle kingdom with
all his (her) friends and might not want to move
up. We don't believe that God forces anyone to
be saved or exalted. And we sure try not to force
Todd, you and anyone else is always welcome at my church. I took me many
years to find a religious organization which didn't preach the fear
of any particular deity when you may backslide because you're human and
lack the perfection of our God. It's a wonderful feeling to know you're
accepted no matter who you are and what others outside the church may
think of you. We never push our beliefs on anyone or damn them for being
nonbelievers. Our love of our fellow man is extended by our God toward
everyone. If you're interested in finding out more about the most
inclusive religion of all time, I'm posting a link below. ^__^
Mormons believe in three "degrees of glory" plus
outer darkness. Baptism is the key to the highest
degree of glory. There are two degrees of glory
and outer darkness, which don't need baptism.
If memory serves, this is mentioned in 1 Cor chapter 14,
in the new testament. But, not really understood by
many churches. Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial.
If you define Hell as the same as outer darkness (cast
out of God's presence, with weeping and wailing and
all that), then few non-Mormons go there.
Perhaps the Department of Motor Vehicles has little
to do with Heaven?
I'd agree with that.
I would add that they also help keep us from killing each other (though with
only moderate success) and that they convey considerable power upon those in
charge of the manuals.
I was told by the missionaries in 1970 that if I did not join the Mormon
church, I would not be able go to any form of heaven, and would burn in
hell. Now, I understand they no longer preach that, along with hundreds
of other things they have changed in their "doctrines" and "prophecies"
they have received through the years. So, it therefore fails the test
of the bible re: prophecy. If a prophecy is real, it will come to pass,
and will not change. They must have some office like 1984 where the
forecasts and prophecies are changed yearly. I know that the Book of
Mormon has hundreds of versions where changes have been made.
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