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Author Topic: Mormon Proselytization (Split from: Introduction and Question)  (Read 5774 times) Average Rating: 0
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Thomas
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« on: November 06, 2006, 01:49:51 PM »

Dear Serb,

As a former Mormon, The answer to your question is that as an experiencial event, Mormon conversion is much like the  pentecostal event---very emotional and at times very contrived or selective.

Mormon traditional steps to successful proselytizing are:
1) Mormon missionaries are advised to look for specific groups of people who will be more responsive to their message---for example teenager in angst trying to decide where to go spiritually, people  in college away from home or newly in the military, newly weds, people who have recently moved to a new city or new job,  new parents about 3month to 1 years into a first child, the lonely ---newly divorced, seperated, or widowed, a family who have recently lost a child, etc. in otherwords people who are in needs of answers and  a supportive social community.
2) Surround these people with loving and caring people who are anxious to help and be of service.
3) Tell them to read the Book of Mormon with a described  spiritual event  "heart being warmed" and lots of people "testifying " and "bearing witness to the truth". For many this is the answer they need and they feel their "heart warmed" just as they have been told they would.

By using this technique of working with  spiritually and emotionally needy persons, the Mormons fill the need of many people whom conventional religion has failed in filling. Sadly, many LDS (Mormon) converts several years after their conversion event will become inactive in the LDS Church or leave it completely  as the controversial, non-orthodox teachings and doctrines taught by the LDS church  do not ring true---many of these people never reaffiliate with a Christian Church or other spiritual communion.

In Christ,
Thomas
« Last Edit: November 09, 2006, 12:45:07 PM by DavidBryan » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2006, 07:55:13 PM »

So i've basically decided to try to go to a Pentecostal service sometime soon.  There's just no way around it.  Which "branch" would you suggest would give me the "full blown experience" ??  If you want to PM me the details, I would appreciate it. 

You weren't asking me, but I'd suggest United Pentecostal. When I've been to their services, I'd say they were the most extreme Pentecostals.

Quote
So actually I have no idea about waht you mentioned above.  So what if I feel something after I read the Book of Mormon?  What if I DON'T feel anything??  What if I feel anger?   

Many would say to do it again. If you do it and don't get the expected answer, you've done something wrong. The problem always lies with you. I have a Mormon background also and found this is the way most think. 20 years in the AG, and 18 in the Mormon church. The Orthodox Church will be the end of the switching though.

Quote
A lot is left to be desired from this outlook...just generally speaking.  If you have any insights on Mormonism please let me know how that whole thing works.

If you have questions about them, feel free to ask me. I'll help you with them. Also, Thomas has a Mormon background too, and I'm sure he will be willing to answer questions.


« Last Edit: November 09, 2006, 12:45:37 PM by DavidBryan » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2006, 09:28:09 PM »

Marat and Thomas:

I hope that I did not misrepresent in my answer to Serb about Mormonism.  Thanks for clarifying the issue.  I defer to you two in matters LDS.

Actually, Serb, Marat said what I was going to--try a UPC service.  Or if there are any other "apostolic" churches in your area try one of those.  Some of the other Sabellian Pentecostal churches are Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, and almost anything with the name Jesus or apostolic in the title.

One caveat:  it could get much wilder than I described so be prepared for bedlam. There may even be a very emotional "altar call" to try to induce a "sinner" (like you, Serb LOL) to come to the altar.  Don't go!  Don't allow them to lay hands on you either even for the purpose of prayer.  Maybe some of the others who have had expereince in this area would comment on this point also.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2006, 12:45:48 PM by DavidBryan » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2006, 12:21:06 AM »

There's a lot to be considered, and i'm in the middle of mid-terms in school..so this might take me a while. 

I definately want to read through the article posted above.  I'll get back to you CH on that as soon as I can. 

As for going to a service...there seems to be mixed feelings.  I have to ask around before I make a final decision.  Either way i'll let you guys know. 

Thomas, Marat,

Any further information on PROSELETIZING within Mormonism would be well appreciated.  If you want to look at all of the questions I put to CommingHome in this thread, that might be a good place to start in terms of getting ideas of things i'm interested in knowing. 

I just want basics.  Where they're comming from in terms of knowledge, basis of scripture, how much history they know, etc. 

Thanks for everything guys! 
« Last Edit: November 09, 2006, 12:45:56 PM by DavidBryan » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2006, 12:55:40 PM »

 

Thomas, Marat,

Any further information on PROSELETIZING within Mormonism would be well appreciated.  If you want to look at all of the questions I put to CommingHome in this thread, that might be a good place to start in terms of getting ideas of things i'm interested in knowing. 

I just want basics.  Where they're comming from in terms of knowledge, basis of scripture, how much history they know, etc. 

Thanks for everything guys! 

Wow. All the questions you asked him. I'll give it a try. First off, I remember you were giving the Statement of Faith or whatever they call in for the AG. Here are the Articles of Faith for the Mormon Church.

   1.  We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

   2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.

   3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

   4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

   5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

   6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

   7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

   8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

   9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

  10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

  11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

  12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

  13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Joseph Smith http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,106-1-2-1,FF.html

You will not find such doctrines as eternal progression or polygamy (no longer practiced) in those statements, however they are a framework for the church beliefs.

Most members tend to be fairly knowledgeable about the faith and it's history, and a fair amount of scripture. Scripture knowledge will be strongest where it reinforces their beliefs in contrast to other groups.

As far as proselyting them, I wouldn't waste my time trying it with missionaries. Feel free to if you want, but they are a most difficult group to try. They spend 24/7 focused on why their church is true, researching scripture to support it, and praying for the "burning of the bosom"  to know their church is true. The "burning of the bosom" is when you pray to find out the truthfulness of the church and the Book of Mormon. If it is true, they believe the Holy Ghost (they never say Holy Spirit) will manifest the truthfulness to you through a burning sensation in your chest. I've done it and achieved it. It is mostly a self fulfilling prophecy.

If you do try to proselyte among the Mormons, the main area to focus on is authority. They believe that the true church fell away shortly after they apostles died. A specific year will never be given. From that time until 1830, the true church of Christ was not on the earth until restored by Joseph Smith. In 1820, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him the church would be restored through him. In 1829, the priesthood was restored. First the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist, then the Melchezidec by Peter, James, and John. April 6,1830 was when the church was formally reestablished. I have stated these things as they believed, instead of inserting allegedly in every sentence. If you can convince them the church never fell away, that Jesus' promise in Matthew the gates of hell would not prevail against the church, then there is no need for Joseph Smith to restore it, and therefore he is a false prophet. It will not be easy to get them to see it.

Other issues you might try involve why God changes his mind. Why polygamy for a time, until it was outlawed by the land when it became God's law to no longer practice it? After it was outlawed by the church officially, why were certain people still commanded to practice it, such as the presidents of the church? Why did God promise Jackson County, MO as zion for the saints, only for them to be driven away, never to really return? Why did God promise his blessings on the Kirtland Antibanking Society only to have it fail? Why did God promise Joseph Smith someone in Canada would pay for the copyright of the Book of Mormon, only to have that fall through? Why did Joseph believe in the Kinderhook plates, proclaiming them from God, which were clearly a forgery? 

Whatever you do, don't go in attacking. It will backfire and they will tune you out. I'm going to end this post, go back through your previous ones to CH and see what else is to be answered. Feel free to ask away.

« Last Edit: November 09, 2006, 12:46:07 PM by DavidBryan » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2006, 02:17:06 PM »

Since I am really pressed for time this week, I feel bad, but I would feel worse if I just left this topic without pushing more questions into the arena  Wink Grin

Can you please explain each point in this paragraph: 

Quote
Other issues you might try involve why God changes his mind. Why polygamy for a time, until it was outlawed by the land when it became God's law to no longer practice it? After it was outlawed by the church officially, why were certain people still commanded to practice it, such as the presidents of the church? Why did God promise Jackson County, MO as zion for the saints, only for them to be driven away, never to really return? Why did God promise his blessings on the Kirtland Antibanking Society only to have it fail? Why did God promise Joseph Smith someone in Canada would pay for the copyright of the Book of Mormon, only to have that fall through? Why did Joseph believe in the Kinderhook plates, proclaiming them from God, which were clearly a forgery? 

I understand that this is all part of Mormon history and I should just read a book.  But like I said to CommingHome...why read a book when I can just ask you... Wink Wink
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2006, 02:43:52 PM »

Since I am really pressed for time this week, I feel bad, but I would feel worse if I just left this topic without pushing more questions into the arena  Wink Grin

Can you please explain each point in this paragraph: 

I understand that this is all part of Mormon history and I should just read a book.  But like I said to CommingHome...why read a book when I can just ask you... Wink Wink

OK, I'll try.

Quote
Other issues you might try involve why God changes his mind. Why polygamy for a time, until it was outlawed by the land when it became God's law to no longer practice it? After it was outlawed by the church officially, why were certain people still commanded to practice it, such as the presidents of the church?

Polygamy was outlawed in 1896 as part of Utah being allowed entrance as a state to the US. The president of the church at the time, Wilford Woodruff continued to practice it, as well as the following presidents too, Lorenzo Snow and Joseph Fielding Smith. You can find records at www.familysearch.org which verify this.

Quote
Why did God promise Jackson County, MO as zion for the saints, only for them to be driven away, never to really return?

In the early Mormon church, they continually searched for zion, a place where they could practice their faith in peace. It didn't happen in New York, or Ohio, but they were promised Jackson County, MO would be the place for it to happen through a revelation to Joseph Smith. They were there for a short time before being driven out at gunpoint. They were forced north to Far West, MO, where they were also driven out of MO altogether to Nauvoo, IL. This was accomplished the the Extermination Order signed by Gov. Lilburn Boggs of MO stating the Mormons must be driven from the state or if necessary, exterminated. This was only rescinded in the 1970s. Couldn't God have forseen this all happening?

Quote
Why did God promise his blessings on the Kirtland Antibanking Society only to have it fail?

When the church was located in Kirtland, OH, they wanted to establish a local bank. They were denied a charter from the state of Ohio, so they started an unauthorized bank called the Kirtland Antibanking Society and published money. This was not illegal at the time. However, the bank was in debt and soon failed, even though Joseph promised the bank would succeed and those who invested their money would be safe. The bank failed during a time of many bank failures throughout the US.

Quote
Why did God promise Joseph Smith someone in Canada would pay for the copyright of the Book of Mormon, only to have that fall through?

To raise money to have the Book of Mormon published, Joseph send Parley Pratt (I believe) to Toronto to find someone to pay for the copyright and provided funds for the publisher. Joseph had been told by God to do this, and was promised it would work out. It did not. They ended up getting the money to publish the Book of Mormon by convincing Martin Harris, a prosperous farmer, to mortgage his farm for the money. Harris did, and lost that farm, but the Book of Mormon went forth.

Quote
Why did Joseph believe in the Kinderhook plates, proclaiming them from God, which were clearly a forgery?

Here is an article about them. It does far more than I could on this topic. http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/kinder.htm

I hope this helps. I tried to keep it short and simple.

edit.. 100 posts.. go me
« Last Edit: November 09, 2006, 12:46:32 PM by DavidBryan » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2006, 10:18:04 PM »

Marat,

Thanks for the explanations!  They were awesome.  Very insightful and helpful. 

Here are some quick questions and then more general ones will be below. 

Quote
10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

Um...how is Zion to be built on America?  Why America?  Where did they get THAT information from? 

I am assuming the Book of Mormon here, but since I have never read it, i'm not sure. 

Quote
They believe that the true church fell away shortly after they apostles died. A specific year will never be given.

Not trying to be stupid here, but how come they never give a specific year?  Wouldn't this seem important? 

Would the same verse about "the gates of hell will never prevail against the church" work here?  CommingHome brought this up as the verse which really changed his life and thought about Pentecostalism.  Would it be applicable here? 

---------------------------------------------------

General Questions: 

I am somewhat familiar with Mormonism having encountered many people who are knowledgeable in this faith.  I wanted to ask if you have any further thoughts on these topics which I will list, or even if you've never heard of them:

1.  I have heard that you can be baptised even after you are dead, and that any person can be baptised by a Mormom in a temple. 

2.  I have heard that when you die you become a God in your own right and you are God over one of the many planets in the universe, of which Christ is one and God the Father is the head of. 

3.  So what does this make the Virgin Mary (Theotokos)??

If you can answer any of these questions or give me a better understanding of where Mormonism is comming from with this stuff, I would appreciate it!   Thanks!!   Grin

« Last Edit: November 09, 2006, 12:46:50 PM by DavidBryan » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2006, 10:35:50 AM »

Marat,

Thanks for the explanations!  They were awesome.  Very insightful and helpful. 

Here are some quick questions and then more general ones will be below. 

Um...how is Zion to be built on America?  Why America?  Where did they get THAT information from? 

I am assuming the Book of Mormon here, but since I have never read it, i'm not sure.

It is not from the Book of Mormon (BOM). It is from the teaching of Joseph Smith (JS) during his lifetime. The original garden of Eden was in Missouri, which is where pre-flood biblical events took place. After the flood, Noah and crew landed in the Middle East to start over. Some Mormons will try to deny this teaching today, but it is the original teaching of the church and many will admit to it.

Quote
Not trying to be stupid here, but how come they never give a specific year?  Wouldn't this seem important? 

Would the same verse about "the gates of hell will never prevail against the church" work here?  CommingHome brought this up as the verse which really changed his life and thought about Pentecostalism.  Would it be applicable here?

They don't give a year because they don't have one. It would be important, but since they don't have one to give, they don't. You'll hear them say it was a gradual event, but even a gradual event would have an end date of some kind. Yes, the same verse does apply here. I thought I mentioned it in my post, but I guess I just meant to.

Quote
---------------------------------------------------

General Questions: 

I am somewhat familiar with Mormonism having encountered many people who are knowledgeable in this faith.  I wanted to ask if you have any further thoughts on these topics which I will list, or even if you've never heard of them:

Ask away. I'll be surprised if you find something I haven't heard of.

Quote
1.  I have heard that you can be baptised even after you are dead, and that any person can be baptised by a Mormom in a temple.

Yes, true. I Cor 15:29 Members do proxy baptisms for the dead in Mormon temples. I've done a bunch for deceased relatives, including for my own father. Any person can be submitted to be baptized in a Mormon temple, but the rules state it should only be done by a direct descendant, or if not, close relative. Famous people are not to be submitted, nor Holocaust victims, although both have been done.  Baptism does not mean they join the church, or anything more than baptism. The gospel is preached to the spirits of those who died, and those who accept the Mormon message can accept their baptisms and progress forward. Those who don't remain in the state they were before. The baptism doesn't help them.

Quote
2.  I have heard that when you die you become a God in your own right and you are God over one of the many planets in the universe, of which Christ is one and God the Father is the head of. 

Sort of true. Not everyone does. Only those who were most righteous here and achieve the highest level of heaven, the celestial kingdom. There are three levels of heaven. Celestial, terrestrial, and telestial. Those who make the highest level of the celestial kingdom (three levels there as well) will achieve exaltation. According to the church Gospel Principles book, it is defined this way.

"Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He possesses all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the Father of spirit children. He is a creator. We can become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation.

If we prove faithful to the Lord, we will live in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of heaven. We will become exalted, just like our Heavenly Father. Exaltation is the greatest gift that Heavenly Father can give his children."

I think you are going to ask about the three levels of heaven so I'll go ahead and tell about them, from the top up. The celestial is for the most righteous, those who have been baptized by one in authority (aka the Mormons, which is why the focus on baptizing the dead) and who lived a life of righteousness. The terrestrial is for good people who fell short, who didn't join the church before or after death, and those members of the church who were baptized but weren't faithful. I'll skip the telestial for a second and go to a fourth place, but not a level of heaven. It is called outer darkness, and is what would be hell to others. It is reserved only for those who knew the truth of the gospel with a high degree of certainty and yet rebelled against it. An example would be Judas, although many debate whether he is there or not. Very few end up there. Everyone who didn't fit into a category I've mentions goes to the telestial.

 

Quote
3.  So what does this make the Virgin Mary (Theotokos)??

I don't know. She isn't really discussed that way by the Mormons. However, no one has received their rewards yet until the second coming.

Quote
If you can answer any of these questions or give me a better understanding of where Mormonism is comming from with this stuff, I would appreciate it!   Thanks!!   Grin

I hope I've been able to.
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2006, 11:15:04 AM »

We have seemingly diverged into two different subject matters here:  Mormonism and Pentecostalism.  But that has brought up an interesting point:  there seems to be a good deal of correspondence (at least in some ways) between the two.  I would love Marat's view of this.

I didn't mean to steal your thread. In fact, I started to answer his original question on a separate thread, then decided why bother, it was just one post, right? Smiley I don't mind answering his questions, I just didn't want to hijack your thread.

One thing I do see in common which I don't think I realized until recently is just how focused both are on emotions. The focus on emotions shows in different ways, but it is still all about the emotions, not logic, and I think even more on emotion than on scripture. The Pentecostals express their emotional focus through baptism in the spirit and speaking in tongues. The Mormons through the burning of the bosom when praying about the Book of Mormon or for a testimony of any other church teaching. Once achieved, little else matters to them. They know what they believe is true because of the emotional experiences it has provided. It is very difficult to break through that.

It is funny that I didn't see that before when I've spent nearly 20 years in each. I just traded one emotional experience for another. This is like therapy.  Grin Of course, the next line of thinking would be am I joining the Orthodox Church for an emotional experience of a different kind? I can over analyze with the best.
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2006, 01:48:42 PM »

Quote
By using this technique of working with  spiritually and emotionally needy persons, the Mormons fill the need of many people whom conventional religion has failed in filling. Sadly, many LDS (Mormon) converts several years after their conversion event will become inactive in the LDS Church or leave it completely  as the controversial, non-orthodox teachings and doctrines taught by the LDS church  do not ring true---many of these people never reaffiliate with a Christian Church or other spiritual communion.

This paragraph could also read:

By using this technique of working with spiritually and emotionally needy persons, Evangelicals fill the need of many people whom conventional religion has failed in filling. Sadly, many evangelical converts several years after their conversion event will become inactive in the Evangelical church or leave it compeltely as the controversial, non-orthodox teachings and doctrines taught by various branches of evangelicalism do not ring true . . . .

I know, I spent many years in evangelical churches before coming home to Orthodoxy. I would even go so far as to use the word prey on the spiritual and emotionally needy. I've been in churches where it seems as if everyone was spiritually or emotionally needy and wore it as a badge of honor.

Conversely, on my return to Orthodoxy I found many converts to be people who have given a great deal of thought and investigation into their conversion having found their former church to be lacking. I am not saying that either group of converts is any better than the other, nor is it wrong to be needy. Have to put in these caveats so no one jumps down my throat.

These are my observations for whatever they are worth  Undecided
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2006, 03:08:49 PM »

Marat,

I will look into greater length at your earlier responses later on today.  I just wanted to post so that my "responses" link will be hooked up to this particular thread. 

Oh, and I enjoyed this thoroughly: 

Quote
It is funny that I didn't see that before when I've spent nearly 20 years in each. I just traded one emotional experience for another. This is like therapy.   Of course, the next line of thinking would be am I joining the Orthodox Church for an emotional experience of a different kind? I can over analyze with the best.

By the way...why would joining the OC for emotional experience be a bad thing?  In your opinion...

A lot of people say that the OC has no emotional experience built into it, which I disagree with wholeheartedly.  So your comments are intriguing, if overanalyzed... Wink Tongue
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« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2006, 03:17:34 PM »

By the way...why would joining the OC for emotional experience be a bad thing?  In your opinion...

A lot of people say that the OC has no emotional experience built into it, which I disagree with wholeheartedly.  So your comments are intriguing, if overanalyzed... Wink Tongue

I think joining because of emotions is without foundation. Once the newness wears off, the tough times come along, emotion without substance will not be enough. I don't want to be joining because I think the services are pretty (which I do) or whatever. I want to join what I find to be doctrinally and historically true.
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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2006, 04:57:53 PM »

Marat:

I had made a comment somewhere (I can't find it now) that there seemed to be several similarities between Mormons and Pentes (e.g., restorationism, tongues, etc.)  What do you make out of that?  Are there any that stand out to you?  Do you have any theory as to why this is the case?  Just wondering
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« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2006, 05:40:19 PM »

I think joining because of emotions is without foundation. Once the newness wears off, the tough times come along, emotion without substance will not be enough. I don't want to be joining because I think the services are pretty (which I do) or whatever. I want to join what I find to be doctrinally and historically true.

That is very very interesting.  Many people in the Orthodox church that I talk to have no problem finding a basis in the faith, but have a problem with not being "emotionally" involved with the services.  This brings me to question just how much of their faith they actually know.  Would you agree with something like this? 

Marat:

I had made a comment somewhere (I can't find it now) that there seemed to be several similarities between Mormons and Pentes (e.g., restorationism, tongues, etc.)  What do you make out of that?  Are there any that stand out to you?  Do you have any theory as to why this is the case?  Just wondering

I would also be interested in hearing if you see that there are any parallels. 
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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2006, 06:58:28 PM »

That is very very interesting.  Many people in the Orthodox church that I talk to have no problem finding a basis in the faith, but have a problem with not being "emotionally" involved with the services.  This brings me to question just how much of their faith they actually know.  Would you agree with something like this? 

I would also be interested in hearing if you see that there are any parallels. 

Post 9 above was about this, the comparison between the Pentecostals and the Mormons. I'll think about the rest and post.
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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2006, 07:00:31 PM »

Marat:

I had made a comment somewhere (I can't find it now) that there seemed to be several similarities between Mormons and Pentes (e.g., restorationism, tongues, etc.)  What do you make out of that?  Are there any that stand out to you?  Do you have any theory as to why this is the case?  Just wondering

Whoops. I replied to the wrong one in the above post. In reply 9 I mention some of what I think is in common with the emotional aspect. I'll think about the rest and post later. My mind is fried right now.
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« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2006, 07:01:43 AM »

Thanks for your answers Marat.  The emotions thing is very interesting to me also as it is to Serb.
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« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2006, 11:33:27 AM »

So as I was thinking more and more about this I came to a question that I think it pretty important to the whole conversation that we have had about both Pentecostalism and Mormonism.  Since this is the Mormon thread maybe we can answer the question based on this faith system. 

Question: 

How educated are the "normal"/"regular" people who are a part of the Mormon faith?  Are there parochial schools?  What is the "sunday school" system in Mormonism? 

The reason I ask is because if these people are "educated" then the emotional high that they are trying to experience is either comming from their education or from them NOT knowing anything. 

If they are educated to highten their emotions and to use them in order to know God, and their particular faith, then I would be interested in exploring this aspect. 

If they are just being emotional because they do not know better, then this would also be interesting for different reasons. 

Let me know what you think, and if you have any answers. 
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« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2006, 06:05:02 PM »

Dear Serb,

here are my responses to your questions:
How educated are the "normal"/"regular" people who are a part of the Mormon faith?  Are there parochial schools?  What is the "sunday school" system in Mormonism? 
a)The average Mormon has several years of college if they reside in Utah.  Mormons prize "True" education (i.e. education that does not challenge or questions LDS teachings). They have  many universities (Brigham Young University is a prime example) and many others Schools in Utah and other areas such as the South pacific, South America, and Africa that are sponsored by the LDS Church as well as Utah,Nevada, Montana, Arizona,and California state schools with many LDS leaders on their  Trustee Boards.

b)Every High School in Utah has a Seminary building or program near it  and  students may opt for an elective period of leaving the school to go to scheduled seminary classes. Outside of Utah, one frequently sees LDS kids going in the doors at 5:30 or 6 am  of their local Branch or Ward house to attend Seminary (High School Religous education). 

c)The College age students attend LDS Institutes of Religion are often located near the secular Colleges and trade Schools with large LDS population.  It provides a building for fellowship of LDS students at the College or University. Those in missionary areas have Institute Classes at their Branch or Ward Houses (Institute offers College level religion Classes, sometimes given  college credit).  The Institute also offers the opportunity for LDS singles to meet each other under the supervision of the Church Leaders. Many couples meet, date, and get married from those very Institutes of Religion without ever participating in other College extracurricula activities.
 
d) Mormons have well-coordinated church wide Sunday Schools in which all levels of Students are studying the basic 4 years course of study appropriate to their own age group at the same time. ( Year One-Old Testament,  Year 2- New Testament, Year 3-Book Of Mormon and Year 4- Doctrine and Covenants &Church History) by doing this the parents and the children can discuss the same topic and what they learned  during family meals as well as during the once weekly Family Home Evening when Families meet together for  in home family religous training. All texts are from approved LDS sources and students generally pay for their own texts. This is also expanded to Classes held by the Relief Society (Women's group) and the Priesthood Meetings held for all men 12 years and older in addition to the Sunday School Classes they will attend. [The cost of the material is reasonable ranging from $3.50 to about $7.00]

EDUCATION in the LDS or Mormon Church  has the purpose of stregnthening their belief system, building their testimony, and assuring compliance that they think and believe as a Mormon should think and believe. The education is not meant to open questions for discussion but rather reinforce current teachings and doctrines and limit questioning of  the LDS System of beliefs. In deed if a seminary teacher or institute teacher is asked certain questions, they are advised to consult with higher Church Authorities. Bishops of the Wards have been known to visit the Seminary Class to get wayward teens back on track.  I have known a Stake President or  member of the Stake High Coucil to visit with an Institute (College Students) asking too many questions; It is not unheard of someone being disfellowshipped (not excommunication or being removed from the church but not being allowed to commune or give testimony until they repent) in order to call them back to correct thinking.


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« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2006, 06:22:27 PM »

Thanks Thomas for the excellent reply. Reading your post, I'm reminded of the big sign when you enter the BYU campus which reads "the glory of God is intelligence." I always thought that statement summed up the Mormon near obsession with education, which in my mind is a great quality of theirs.

I'm going to lay off the Mormon discussions for a while. All the talking and thinking about them is making me nostalgic for my time in the Mormon church and thinking of going back. I'm not, but it makes me feel that way sometimes.  Also, I feel like I'm trashing them at times, which I hate. I have many loved ones in the church, and I don't want to write anything I'd be ashamed for them to read.
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« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2006, 07:11:03 PM »

I'm going to lay off the Mormon discussions for a while. All the talking and thinking about them is making me nostalgic for my time in the Mormon church and thinking of going back. I'm not, but it makes me feel that way sometimes.  Also, I feel like I'm trashing them at times, which I hate. I have many loved ones in the church, and I don't want to write anything I'd be ashamed for them to read.

I sincerely hope that you do not feel this way.  Your contributions to my questions and to this thread have been a great help to me. 

I totally understand if you are going through personal difficulty as a result of "thinking back" and I appologize if I have caused this.  It was not my intent. 

I will continue to post questions, and if someone answers, GREAT!  If someone doesn't...i'll just leave the questions up until somone does... Wink

---------------------------------------------

Thomas,

I have to re-read your post and try to structure my questions.  It might take a day or two.  Thanks a LOT for your answer!  Hopefully my questions are not tiresome to you.  If you have any comments just PM me if you feel like saying something. 
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« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2006, 10:12:39 AM »

Oh Serb, my issues aren't your fault. I've just been in a funk recently. I hadn't check this thread until now. If you want to ask questions, ask away. I'll answer what I can.
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« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2006, 08:15:38 PM »

To be honest i've kind of let the questioning go.  I'm gona spend some time reading and doing some personal reflection about all of this stuff.  I can't just keep asking questions.  I have to take some of this in and think about it.  Then can I come back and ask more things. 

Thanks for the offer though!  I hope everything works out for you. 

Serb
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« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2006, 06:19:03 PM »

Marat and Thomas:

I hope that I did not misrepresent in my answer to Serb about Mormonism.  Thanks for clarifying the issue.  I defer to you two in matters LDS.

Actually, Serb, Marat said what I was going to--try a UPC service.  Or if there are any other "apostolic" churches in your area try one of those.  Some of the other Sabellian Pentecostal churches are Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, and almost anything with the name Jesus or apostolic in the title.

One caveat:  it could get much wilder than I described so be prepared for bedlam. There may even be a very emotional "altar call" to try to induce a "sinner" (like you, Serb LOL) to come to the altar.  Don't go!  Don't allow them to lay hands on you either even for the purpose of prayer.  Maybe some of the others who have had expereince in this area would comment on this point also.
I have been to a UPC service before. Very frightening. First of all, they are not Christians, for they deny the Trinity. Second, there is the speaking in tongues, the moaning and wailing, the throwing of themselves on the ground. The entire event seemed demonic to me.
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« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2012, 01:51:18 PM »

*Thread resurrection*

Two young polite men just rang my doorbell. I wonder what would the best response to these kind of guys? I doubt that they'd be interested about my monologue on Church history nor would they find it convincing. This time I just asked them how they can be so sure that the Book of Mormon is a Word of God.
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« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2012, 02:02:54 PM »

I just politely tell them I'm not interested. I used to debate them but its hard to debate folks who deny history.

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« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2012, 02:27:07 PM »

*Thread resurrection*

Two young polite men just rang my doorbell. I wonder what would the best response to these kind of guys? I doubt that they'd be interested about my monologue on Church history nor would they find it convincing. This time I just asked them how they can be so sure that the Book of Mormon is a Word of God.
A couple of years ago when that happened to me, the two young men were obviously surprised when I told them I'm an Orthodox Christian. It wasn't an answer they were expecting. I did invite them in. I actually sympathized with them by saying something like, "We Orthodox, like you, are often misunderstood by other Christians." "Like you, our understanding of the Christian faith comes to us from more sources than just the Bible." They actually listened and came back a few days later to continue the conversation. They asked me some very good questions and we all enjoyed the exchange. Neither side was immediately convinced of course, but I know I left them with things they hadn't thought of before. I tried to focus mainly on the Incarnation.

Unfortunately, the last time similar visitors appeared at the door, I was too busy to engage in conversation with them and politely told them so. They were equally polite with me.
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« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2012, 02:41:17 PM »

*Thread resurrection*

Two young polite men just rang my doorbell. I wonder what would the best response to these kind of guys? I doubt that they'd be interested about my monologue on Church history nor would they find it convincing. This time I just asked them how they can be so sure that the Book of Mormon is a Word of God.
A couple of years ago when that happened to me, the two young men were obviously surprised when I told them I'm an Orthodox Christian. It wasn't an answer they were expecting. I did invite them in.

I'd love to do that but I believe that my puppy and their bad Finnish skills would complicate matters a bit. laugh
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« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2012, 04:35:14 PM »

I think you never lose by actually engaging them & telling them about orthodoxy. 

as an aside, I never actually went to a pentecostal service, but there's no time like the present!  I might even go this year after Pascha!  i'm thinking about it now that I saw this thread!  how time flies by. 
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« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2012, 04:38:45 PM »

I think you never lose by actually engaging them & telling them about orthodoxy. 

as an aside, I never actually went to a pentecostal service, but there's no time like the present!  I might even go this year after Pascha!  i'm thinking about it now that I saw this thread!  how time flies by. 
They're interesting to say the least. Especially if they get "baptised by the spirit". Its all cartwheels and baby babble from there  laugh

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« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2012, 05:08:09 PM »

LDS Elders utilize a very smoothly written missionary program that is changed every few years to bring it more up to date and attractive to those they wish to missionize. It does no harm to discuss the orthodox Faith with them as they have no knowledge of it except in those countries they proselyte Orthodox Christians in (Russia, Greece, Roumania, etc). THey are often shocked when confronted with the fact that the Church of the Apostles is still here, they have been told that the Original and True Church fell into Apsotacy led by such men as St Athanasius and St John Chrysostomos who corupted the True Church and that it mo longer exists. Every Mormon I know who has converted came to believe the direct lineage of our Bishoips to the Apostles and see the continuity of belief from the Apostles to our Bishops and pastors today.

Thomas
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« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2012, 05:47:03 PM »

LDS Elders utilize a very smoothly written missionary program that is changed every few years to bring it more up to date and attractive to those they wish to missionize. It does no harm to discuss the orthodox Faith with them as they have no knowledge of it except in those countries they proselyte Orthodox Christians in (Russia, Greece, Roumania, etc). THey are often shocked when confronted with the fact that the Church of the Apostles is still here, they have been told that the Original and True Church fell into Apsotacy led by such men as St Athanasius and St John Chrysostomos who corupted the True Church and that it mo longer exists. Every Mormon I know who has converted came to believe the direct lineage of our Bishoips to the Ap[ostles and see the continuity of belief from the Apostles to our Bishops and pastors today.

Thomas
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« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2012, 08:10:48 PM »

LDS Elders utilize a very smoothly written missionary program that is changed every few years to bring it more up to date and attractive to those they wish to missionize. It does no harm to discuss the orthodox Faith with them as they have no knowledge of it except in those countries they proselyte Orthodox Christians in (Russia, Greece, Roumania, etc). THey are often shocked when confronted with the fact that the Church of the Apostles is still here, they have been told that the Original and True Church fell into Apsotacy led by such men as St Athanasius and St John Chrysostomos who corupted the True Church and that it mo longer exists. Every Mormon I know who has converted came to believe the direct lineage of our Bishoips to the Ap[ostles and see the continuity of belief from the Apostles to our Bishops and pastors today.

Thomas

do you think it's strong if you go right into the cosmology? 
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« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2012, 12:24:53 AM »

LDS Elders utilize a very smoothly written missionary program that is changed every few years to bring it more up to date and attractive to those they wish to missionize. It does no harm to discuss the orthodox Faith with them as they have no knowledge of it except in those countries they proselyte Orthodox Christians in (Russia, Greece, Roumania, etc). THey are often shocked when confronted with the fact that the Church of the Apostles is still here, they have been told that the Original and True Church fell into Apsotacy led by such men as St Athanasius and St John Chrysostomos who corupted the True Church and that it mo longer exists. Every Mormon I know who has converted came to believe the direct lineage of our Bishoips to the Ap[ostles and see the continuity of belief from the Apostles to our Bishops and pastors today.

Thomas
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I was referring to the following perhaps I was not clear,  "Every Mormon I know who has converted to the Holy Orthodox Church came to believe the direct lineage of our (Orthodox) Bishops to the Apostles and see the continuity of belief from the Apostles to our Orthodox Bishops and Orthodox pastors today."  Mormons trace their lineage through Jospeh Smith to Peter James and John whom Joseph Smith claimed ordained him to the Melchizdek Priesthood and John the Baptist who ordained him to the  Aaronic Priesthood. Every Orthodox Priest and Bishop can trace his apostolic  procession by name to every one who proceeded him back to the Apostles and Jesus Christ himself.

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« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2012, 07:49:55 PM »

LDS Elders utilize a very smoothly written missionary program that is changed every few years to bring it more up to date and attractive to those they wish to missionize. It does no harm to discuss the orthodox Faith with them as they have no knowledge of it except in those countries they proselyte Orthodox Christians in (Russia, Greece, Roumania, etc). THey are often shocked when confronted with the fact that the Church of the Apostles is still here, they have been told that the Original and True Church fell into Apsotacy led by such men as St Athanasius and St John Chrysostomos who corupted the True Church and that it mo longer exists. Every Mormon I know who has converted came to believe the direct lineage of our Bishoips to the Ap[ostles and see the continuity of belief from the Apostles to our Bishops and pastors today.

Thomas
The only thing more interesting than listening to mormons legitimize their "bishops" is listening to a moonie explain "the heavenly family"  Roll Eyes


PP

I was referring to the following perhaps I was not clear,  "Every Mormon I know who has converted to the Holy Orthodox Church came to believe the direct lineage of our (Orthodox) Bishops to the Apostles and see the continuity of belief from the Apostles to our Orthodox Bishops and Orthodox pastors today."  Mormons trace their lineage through Jospeh Smith to Peter James and John whom Joseph Smith claimed ordained him to the Melchizdek Priesthood and John the Baptist who ordained him to the  Aaronic Priesthood. Every Orthodox Priest and Bishop can trace his apostolic  procession by name to every one who proceeded him back to the Apostles and Jesus Christ himself.

Thomas


But is that reason enough for them to convert?  Or is that just an important parallel? 
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« Reply #36 on: February 29, 2012, 12:32:40 AM »

It is an important point in leaving the LDS Church for many who seek genuine Apostolic Christianity.

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