Friday, 14 March 2008

The Mormon "Dumb and Dumber"!

This is surely the Mormon version of Dumb and Dumber. This is a picture of a Mormon missionary "preaching" from the Book of Mormon from behind the Sangre de Cristo's altar at the Catholic Church in Colorado. Other pictures show a missionary holding the head of a church statue, which another claimed to have decapitated; and "sacrificing" a fellow missionary on the altar. They then posted them on the Internet!

You can read more about this story at The Deacon's Bench and in the Deseret News,5143,695260598,00.html

You can also watch a news broadcast by clicking on the title of this post.

This story highlights two things for me. The first is that, for all their talk in recent years of respecting other faiths, it is natural for Mormons to feel contempt for anyone outside "the Church". The conduct of these missionaries is not so much out of character as off message. Mormons speak two languages: before the world they speak the language of conciliation and respect; in their own ranks they speak the language of dismissal of and contempt for every other church.

Orson Pratt, an early Mormon leader, said, "Who founded the Catholic Church? The Devil." Bruce R McConkie, in the 1958 edition of his Mormon Doctrine wrote:

"It is the Book of Mormon to which we turn for the plainest description of the Catholic Church as the great and abominable church. Nephi saw this, 'church which is abominable above all other churches' in vision. He 'saw the devil that he was the foundation of it' and also the murders, wealth, harlotry, persecutions and evil desires that historically have been a part of this satanic organisation"

The next edition saw McConkie's language moderated but a look at 1 Nephi 13:1-10 shows that these views are based on Mormon Scripture. Statements to the contrary notwithstanding, this is what Mormons think of other churches.

The second thing to highlight is that the Mormon Church has offered a formal and unqualified apology, describing the desecration as "inexcusable". Bill McKeever of Mormonism Research Ministry in an email observed:

"Hmm. Profound regret and sincere apologies. The LDS Church had no problem using the word apology when it came to the desecration of this Catholic shrine, but couldn’t muster up the courage to use that word when it came to the Mountain Meadows Massacre. In both cases the actual crime was committed by mere members, but the descendants of the MMM only got a profound regret. Does this mean shrine desecration is more shameful than murder or does it mean that a positive public image really means more than both?" (emphasis in original)

I guess we must remember that every Mormon statement, pronouncement and public declaration is more to do with politics than preaching and we can expect truth to be sacrificed on the altar of image and respectability.

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