Dec 29th, 2019
from a www.nytimes.com [nytimes.com] article about a proposed Mormon temple for my town a decade ago. I haven't seen it, so I am guessing that it did not pass the town board...what I am reading here (which I made bold) about their religion shocks me:
Mr. Bushman said that, at one time, Mormons had to travel to the only temple in Salt Lake City to perform three rituals called ordinances. The ordinances are special marriage ceremonies, said to unite, or seal, a husband and wife for eternity; vicarious baptisms, performed by living Mormons standing in for the dead, and what is called an endowment ceremony.
The endowment ritual, which, Mr. Bushman said is repeated many times each day in each temple, consists of the replaying of a two-hour film or re-enacting a cosmic drama about "the creation of the world, the coming of humans and their struggle to obey God's laws and to find their way back."
Mr. Bushman said: "There's always the fear that Mormons will descend on a new temple like people flocking to Disneyland. But this will be a small temple, and temples are not open on Sundays or Mondays." He added that even at the larger Kensington temple, "The cars are staggered all during the day, and the neighborhood isn't flooded by them."
John R. Stone, president of the New York stake of the church -- an organizational unit like a diocese -- said the rooms that make up the core are standard in all temples, but the temple's facade should "complement the surroundings." "There is no one Mormon look," he said. "The San Diego temple is quite modern; the Kensington temple is classic." The one constant of exterior design, Mr. Stone said, is "a spire, topped by a golden figure, the angel Moroni."
The proposed New York and Massachusetts temples replace another proposed temple formerly planned for Hartford. Mr. Stone said those plans were scuttled about a year ago when church authorities decided that the Boston and New York sites were nearer to the areas of greatest growth."The Mormon church is one of the fastest growing in the world, with 9.4 million members and 22,000 congregations worldwide. There are currently 4.7 million members in the United States. Using young missionaries and family-to-family proselytizing, Mormons are experiencing their greatest growth in Latin America, Russia and Eastern Europe and have begun to reach out to minorities in this country.Mormons feel they follow a "restored" or corrected form of Christianity. Their sacred books are the Bible and the Book of Mormon, which they believe was revealed to their founder, Joseph Smith, in upstate New York 166 years ago.
|by Fr Serge Keleher
|Fr Serge Keleher
Deliver us, Good Lord! That said, here are a couple of things to take into account:
There are relatively few Mormon temples. Local congregations have some sort of premises for worship services, although there are some services which can only be done in a full temple.
Their strange habit of "baptizing the dead" has led to the Mormons developing a remarkable and useful collection of genealogical information. They are generous in making this resource available to researchers who are not connected to their particular religion.
There is a veritable plague of Mormon "missionaries" from the USA here in Ireland. Two of them came to call on me; I invited them in and sat with them in my living room, until all of a sudden, having introduced themselves by title and surnames, they had the effrontery to address me, in my own home, by my unadorned Christian name. At that point I explained that they had just violated a fairly basic rule of good manners, and asked them to leave immediately.
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There is some evidence that they are not growing as fast as they claim, or have as many members as they claim. There are actually a lot of people leaving as well.
This should hardly be surprising, considering:
- The initial revelation received by Joseph Smith was from "golden tablets" that conveniently vanished once he had "translated" them (only a few people could testify to having seen them)
- All Mormonism is predicated on the North American Indians being descendants of the "Lost Tribes of Israel," which the science of genetics has now thoroughly disproven
- Some later Mormon "revelations" were "translated" from authentic ancient Egyptian papyri that Joseph Smith had acquired; however, once it became possible to translate hieroglyphics later in the 19th century, these were proven to be simple business records, not even remotely reflecting Smith's "translation"
- Oh, yes--let us not forget that the official "prophets" of the LDS church have flatly contradicted each other (notably over the issue of polygamy), all the while claiming to bear God's infallible revelation
I think the main thing the Church can learn from the success of Mormonism is that "modern man" and his supposed rationalism is largely a myth--we must not be "ashamed of the Gospel" for this or any other reason.
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