However, members are also located in many other countriesaround the world. Mormons use the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and two otherbooks or revelations to Joseph Smith, founder of the church. These other tworevelations are the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. TheMormon organization consists of a three member First Presidency and a twelve manCouncil of Apostles who make up the major policy-making body of the church. Mormonism’s founding doctrine was based on the assumption that Christianity wascorrupt and that it was necessary to restore the “true” Christian gospel.
TheMormon church sees only itself as recognized by God. Joseph Smith founded thechurch in New York in 1830. He said that he had visions of God and otherheavenly beings that told him to establish the restored Christian Church. Hewas “directed” to some thin metal plates that he translated into what is nowcalled the book of Mormons. This book describes the history, wars, andreligious beliefs of a group of people who migrated from Jerusalem to America. Smith attracted a small group of followers who settled in Kirtland, Ohio, andJackson County, Missouri.
Because of persecution, the church moved to northernMissouri, then to Nauvoo, Illinois. The people of Illinois welcomed thepersecuted Mormons, and Smith began to construct a temple and a hotel there. In1843, Smith secretly instituted the practice of plural marriage among a group ofhis followers. This could be because he himself had 50 wives. The Mormonslived in relative peace until 1844 when a group became mad about Smith’spractices. They started a newspaper called the “Nauvoo Expositor” and attackedhim, accusing him of practicing polygamy.
Smith denied this charge but waskilled anyway. Brigham Young took over as their new leader. In 1852 , polygamywas officially announced at the Mormon conference. Points of DebateWhat was so wrong with their views?* Belief in the Bible and Book of Mormon==; How? The Mormons believe the Bible and The Book of Mormon to be the Word ofGod. However, the Bible states that it is the only Word of God.
==; Mormonismbelieves that God has a physical body. The Bible contradicts this belief* Belief in Polygamy==; Teach that Jesus Christ himself is a polygamist. * Mormonism and Blacks==; Mormonism teaches that African Americans have dark skin because they arecursed by God, and are an inferior race. * King James Bible is Plagiarized==; An analysis by Michael Marquard, shows that the portion of the Book ofMormon that was supposed to have been written during the Old Testament period isliterally peppered with phrases and quotations from the King James New Testament.
==; The book of Mormon virtually copies the life of the Apostle Paul with itsown teacher, named Alma. * Blunders in Biblical Material==; Peter’s paraphrase of Moses’ words in the Bible is referred to as Moses’ ownwords in the Book of Mormon. Thus Peter is accidentally quoted hundreds ofyears before the book of Acts was written or Peter had ever uttered his words. Are their limits on acceptable beliefs in our democracy?* Yes, but not enough==> There are limits to keep religious beliefs from physically harming us, suchas the Branch Dividians, but there are no limits on beliefs that can spirituallyharm us, such as the Mormon religion.
Should we welcome and tolerate all views?* We should listen, then judge==> We should allow these religions to state their purpose and determine howtheir teachings will affect us. ==> We should not tolerate any view which isdetrimental to our society or to our country. Mormonism goes against all beliefs of the early Christian church. The MormonChurch was too radical for the people and that is why they were persecuted.
BibliographyAllen, James B. , and Leonard, Glen M. , The Story of the Latter-day Saints (1976). .
Arrington, Leonard J. , and Bitton, Davis, The Mormon Experience (1979). Bitton, Davis, and Beecher, Maureen, eds. , New Views of Mormon History (1987). Hansen, Klaus J.
, Mormonism and the American Experience (1981). Shipps, Jan, Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition (1984). Walters, Wesley P. Mormonism (1996).Religion