The Dark Side of Mormonism

Posted on June 10, 2012 by

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Michael Kranish and Scott Helman write in Vanity Fair:

“But a dichotomy exists within the Mormon Church, which holds that one is either in or out; there is little or no tolerance for those, like so-called cafeteria Catholics, who pick and choose what doctrines to follow. And in Mormonism, if one is in, a lot is expected, including tithing 10 percent of one’s income, participating regularly in church activities, meeting high moral expectations, and accepting Mormon doctrine—including many concepts, such as the belief that Jesus will rule from Missouri in his Second Coming, that run counter to those of other Christian faiths. That rigidity can be difficult to abide for those who love the faith but chafe at its strictures or question its teachings and cultural habits. For one, Mormonism is male-dominated—women can serve only in certain leadership roles and never as bishops or stake presidents. The church also makes a number of firm value judgments, typically prohibiting single or divorced men from leading wards and stakes, for example, and not looking kindly upon single parenthood.”

The article as a whole seems to feign a balanced perspective while casting Mitt Romney and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as both chauvinistic and emotionally insensitive.  The paragraph quoted above seems a perfect example of the authors’ slant on Mormonism.

Surely there are some members or former members of the Church who would agree with the authors that “one is either in or out” with the Church.  After all, the authors were able to find three disgruntled women who had some bone to pick with Romney and the Church, and despite their recollection of events differing from Romney’s and differing from the norms and practices of the Church, the authors apparently were unable to find as many examples from the certain crowd of hundreds or thousands who would have vouched for Romney’s good character and the love to be found in the Church.  However, teachings from highest leadership of the Church run completely counter to the authors’ claim of exclusivity.  Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, stated in the April 2012 General Conference of the Church:

“This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:

Stop it!

It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.”

So if it is the case that some individuals find cases of exclusivity within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then they should recognize that the perpetrators are actually acting counter to the direction of the Church leaders.

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Posted in: Chauvinism, Judging