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Aug 19 2010

Racism Part 3b: Religion

Mormonism is no more ‘Christian’ than Islam.

Now the things I’m going to tell you about Mormonism may seem unfair, but they are core principles of the faith and I personally don’t think they’re more ridiculous than any other religion.  I’m using Wikipedia as my source where I can because, however much you may despise the depth of its scholarship, its contentious nature means that what is presented is generally agreed on (except for temporary aberrations like Colbert’s Elephant).

First of all, Mormons worship the God of Abraham, just like Jews, Christians, and (gasp) Muslims.

Like Islam, it is a Restorationist religion which believes that priesthood authority was lost and the text of the Bible changed.  This condition of Apostacy was rectified by a special revelation to a new prophet succeeding Jesus of Nazareth.

The story of the Mormons starts about 600 BC when a man named Lehi, his family, and several others are led by God from Jerusalem shortly before the fall of that city to the Babylonians in 586 BC.  After some wandering around the Arabian Peninsula they travel by sea to a new promised land- the Americas.

There’s some serious debate among scholars of Mormonism whether the events described take place in Central or Northern America and there is also a description (the Book of Ether) of an earlier migration by a group of Jews from Babylon called the Jaredites around 2500 B.C.  “The Jaredites grew to become a civilization that exceeded two million people just prior to their destruction.  They finally destroyed themselves about the time Lehi and the other refugees from Jerusalem arrived in America.”

Lehi and his refugees soon divided into two camps, the Nephi and the Lamanites, and they were almost constantly at war.

In the 3rd Book of Nephi there is a description of a miraculous visitation by Jesus of Nazareth after his death, resurrection, and assumption where he personally communicates the ‘Good News’ of the Gospel to the Nephi and for several generations after that there is peace.

The Book of Mormon as a whole is an account of the life of Mormon, the last great warrior king of the Nephi who is said to have written most of it (some transcribed from other records), and his son Moroni who finished it and hid it after the final defeat of the Nephi around 350 AD.

The chronology of Jesus of Nazareth’s visitations to America (North or Central) is somewhat confused as he appeared not only around the generally accepted dates of his life (say 33 BC to 50 AD) but also to the Jaredites some 2500 years previous and to Lehi and his followers shortly after their arrival some 600 years before he was even born.

It’s a miracle.

There is no God but God and Mohammed is his Prophet.

Now I’ll try not to be as harsh on Joe Smith Jr. as Sam Clemens.  If a man tells me he’s hefted something, I’m willing to believe it.

However.

Accepting the story at face value, the last Nephi and Lamanite died 1000 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue and 1300 years before Joe Jr. dug up those tablets in Palmyra, New York and translated them from ‘reformed Egyptian’ with the aid of the Ghost of Angel Moroni.

It will take someone with much tougher theological chops than I (and as you can see I have some) to explain to me the difference between that and Mohammed’s revelations in a desert cave.

When you listen to Glenn Beck, or Mitt Romney, or Harry Reid, remember that these truths are articles of faith to them that they believe as firmly as you believe in the Miracle of the Menorah, the Resurrection of Christ, that Mohammed ascended to heaven with the angel Gabriel, or that Siddhartha Gautama sat under a lotus tree.

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