Archive for January, 2012

Sarah Palin is an Anti-Mormon?

January 31, 2012

Watching the Newt campaign implode, and seeing who is willing to go down with that sinking ship, I am beginning to see into the true natures of some of the people on the national scene.

I had always imagined Sarah Palin to be reasonable and kind and tolerant towards people of other Christian denominations. I had no suspicion that she harbors anti-Mormon sentiments.

The evidence, however, is that she is such a person. When you take the time to delete comments that are critical of blatantly bigoted comments from your Facebook page, you have crossed a line that will take many years to cross back.

Sarah Palin, sorry, but you’ll never get my support any more thanĀ  a racist would.

Regarding the attacks on Romney, I’ve been listening the best I can.

The charges of Flip-Flopper work like this. Take a bunch of people saying “Romney” and “Flip-flop” in the same sentence, and show them on TV. Then take every instance where Romney has said, “I have not yet made a decision on this thing” and then later said, “Here is my decision”, and call that a flip-flop. Then take every instance where Romney has said, “I don’t support this particular plan” and then “this is the plan I DO support”, and call that a flip-flop. Or take every instance where he has said, “I intend to uphold the law as it is written as Governor” and then “I intend to change the law because I disagree with it”, and label that a flip-flop. You get the idea.

The charges of lying are outrageous. I don’t even know where to begin with them. Here you have a candidate, Newt Gingrich, that tells the biggest whoppers you can imagine, whoppers that are easily verified, and makes them the center of his campaign. And then you have a candidate like Mitt Romney who has bent over backwards to be very careful to say exactly what he means. And Newt figures it’s a wise move to attack Mitt for being a liar?

Then there are the attacks on Mitt’s “true” positions. When a candidate comes out and signs a marriage pledge, and signs a tax pledge, and promises to do what he can to overturn Roe v. Wade, and promises to do what he can to balance the budget and cut taxes, and then you say he stands for the complete opposite? Holy cow.

The best part is when Mitt turns the tables on Newt, using the exact same tactics he’s used, and the Newt starts crying out “unfair! Unfair!”

There is a reason why Mitt intends to destroy Newt’s campaign. It’s similar to the reason why we don’t just play tit-for-tat in international politics. At some point, you have to eliminate certain people and factions as a participant. Newt has to go. The sooner, the better.

All of the above is simply politics. When you play this game, these things are going to happen, and it’s going to hurt and be nasty and you’re not going to make lots of friends doing it.

What crosses the line is when Newt charges that Mitt is against religious liberty. This is one of the central tenets of our faith, and here, Newt is claiming that Mitt wants to impose his view of religion on the country.

If Newt means that Mitt intends to make America a place where people are free to worship according to the dictates of their conscience, it Newt means that Mitt even intends to make people of different religions feel welcome to politics, then yes, Mitt intends to impose that aspect of his religion on his country. That’s an aspect of our religious belief that I thought the vast majority of Americans, atheists included, share.

If Newt means that Mitt wants to put his religion above others, somehow make Mormonism the new standard religion of American through government force, then I hope Newt burns in political hell for those comments. I am sure a large majority of the American public feel the same way, namely people who don’t share the same religion as Newt. This is an absurd charge. I can’t even tell you where to begin with this.

And then you have Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin, the reformer, supporting Newt Gingrich, the ultimate do-anything say-anything politician and adulterer. Somehow, she can’t find the courage within in her to support Mitt Romney, the Mormon, Rick Santorum, the Catholic, or Ron Paul, the non-Evangelical. So she has to default to the worst candidate of the four, the only one who happens to share her religion. I wouldn’t make such a charge if it weren’t for the fact that she is practicing religious bigotry on her own Facebook page. It’s clear religion is a motivating political factor for her. Let her join Newt in his downfall. I’ve washed my hands of her.

There you have it, folks. You are witnessing someone burning up every ounce of political good will they once had as they go down in flames. You are watching as Mitt Romney throws gas on the flames, and brings a leaf blower to the bonfire. Good on him, good on him, I say. I thought we were rid of the fool after he stepped down as Speaker, and I never imagined he would ever get more than 5% support among the republicans. I hope to never see him or any other adulterous, petty candidate on the national scene again.

Why We Are Baptised For The Dead

January 30, 2012

A lot of ink and electrons are being spilled about Mitt Romney’s faith, this time coming from the left, as it is apparent he will be the nominee.

The latest assault comes from Gawker. Article VI Blog does a good job explaining what’s really happening here.

Let me share with you, reader, what Mormons really feel about baptism for the dead, why you have absolutely nothing to worry about, and why it is an outward expression of our love for all mankind.

As you are aware, Jesus Christ taught that except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he can in nowise enter the kingdom of heaven. He also commanded his disciples to go and baptize all the earth. We interpret these things very, very seriously.

We believe that the day will come when every individual who ever lived on earth, or ever will live on earth, will stand before God to be judged according to their works, words, and thoughts. Those who do not live up to the perfect standard will find themselves condemned to an eternal punishment. This includes every human who ever lived on this earth, except Jesus Christ.

We believe that Jesus Christ’s role was to literally save mankind from this future reckoning. Meaning, he has made it possible for everyone to return to God with a clean record, and receive the highest blessings God has to offer to those who are perfectly obedient, despite the fact that they have fallen well short of the divine ideal.

Now, we don’t believe that everyone will ultimately accept this wonderful gift. But it will be made available to them, such that at that day, if they are still found lacking, they will have no one to blame but themselves.

One of the conditions of escaping one’s sins and receiving the blessings promised to the faithful is to receive gospel ordinances such as baptism and the laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. If you aren’t baptized by proper priesthood authority (meaning, the LDS church), Christ can’t claim you as his and he won’t be able to cover your sins. If you don’t receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the same authority, you won’t be entitled to divine guidance that will allow you to navigate the strait and narrow way.

This means that billions of people are condemned to tragedy, and have no way out. Through no fault of their own, or rather, because they were born at the wrong place at the wrong time, they will never have the opportunity to be baptized by proper priesthood authority. Even if they are alive in a time when they can receive those things (such as today), they may be blinded by ignorance and never understand what it is they are missing, and could claim that they would have received it had they known.

If we end the discussion there, we are left to conclude that God is a horribly unfair God.

The way LDS doctrine reconciles this obvious contradiction is that we have taken it upon ourselves to do proxy baptisms for every person who has ever lived on the earth, or ever will live on the earth, and who has not been baptized by proper authority. This is what is called Baptism for the Dead.

It is not Baptism of the Dead. We do not dig up graves, we do not baptize corpses. We baptize each other “for and in behalf of” the individuals who are dead. All we need are names and enough information so that we believe the person actually lived, and we can do the ordinance.

We intend to perform vicarious ordinances for every person who ever lived on this earth. We are doing the best we can with the resources we have, which we continually invest in so that we can identify and catalog more names continuously. We believe that a large part of our time during the millenium, the thousand years of peace after the Second Coming, will be consumed in doing this work. We believe that as we exhaust all earthly records of the dead, we will have angels and records from heaven that will be given to us so we can complete the chain.

Indeed, we believe that if we do not complete this work, the blame for the damnation of the world will fall on our heads, and we will not be able to claim the blessings Christ has made possible for us. Indeed, the entire earth would be cursed, and no one would be saved at all.

Now, this practice is not without controversy. Some people get offended when we baptize ourselves in behalf of their ancestors. I cannot understand why. Logically, either you believe the LDS church has authority from God to make these things happen the way we say they will, or we do not. If we do not, then at worst, it is a kind gesture signifying that we do not think of ourselves as any better than your ancestors. If we do have the authority, then we are performing an invaluable service that will entitle your ancestor to salvation in the highest degree of glory, the greatest gift God has to offer, should they choose to accept it. Why would you want to deny your ancestor that opportunity?

Some people suppose that we do not have authority from God, but we derive our authority from a darker power. Let’s see where this logically leads us by supposing, for a moment, that we are being directed to baptize the dead by the authority of the devil himself. Well, so what of it? Can the devil claim one man’s soul because someone happened to get wet on his behalf? Of course not, sin does not work that way. So that argument is simply absurd.

Regardless, the LDS church has a policy wherein we simply don’t baptize people we are not related to. For recently deceased people, we ask that those who wish to perform these ordinances obtain permission from their living descendants. We believe that if we explain what we really do in the temple, no one would be opposed to it. We don’t believe in working in secret.

If you want to attack the church, there are better ways to do so. Our notion of trying to save the entire world by performing vicarious ordinances for them in our temples is a testament to the fact that while we believe we have the authority of God to do these things, we do not intend to keep it from everyone else, even our enemies. It is a testament to the fact that we believe when God entrusts someone with His power, he demands they become a servant, not a master. It is also a testament that we do not intend to go to heaven without the whole of humanity accompanying us. If my Atheist, Protestant, and Buddhist friends and ancestors are not in heaven with me, I will not be happy. I derive no satisfaction from seeing the wicked suffer for their sins, and intend to see everyone clutched from the jaws of hell.

If you choose to attack our church in this way, don’t be surprised when people who hear about this practice decide the LDS church is worthy of investigation. I know for a fact that many people who get baptized are baptized because of our beliefs regarding the dead, so you’d be doing me a great service.

Comparing the Candidates

January 28, 2012

I like to draw out charts when there is a difficult decisions to be made. Here’s what a chart for who to choose as the Republican Presidential Nominee would look like.

First, I need to decide how I am going to measure the candidates. To me, the most important qualities are:

    • Winner? Does the candidate possess the capability to take on the Obama political machine and win?
    • Capability? Is the candidate actually able to do the job of president?
    • Uniter? Can the candidate bring both sides together on issues we agree on, or will the president be petty and divisive?
    • Character? Does the candidate show a strong moral character and an ability to match his actions with his words?
    • Constitution? Does the candidate understand the constitution, the principles that make our country great, and the ability to govern faithfully to these ideas?
    • Economy? Does the candidate believe that the path to prosperity is not only desirable, but lies in reducing the size and scope of the federal government?
    • Domestic Policy? Does the candidate agree with me on domestic policy issues?

Foreign Policy? Does the candidate agree with me on foreign policy issues?

With these criteria, it shouldn’t be too hard to get an accurate picture of what each candidate would be and do as president. From there, I can make an honest assessment of whom I should support and why.

First, let’s look at Newt Gingrich. It seems a lot of conservative pundits support him. He also has some political instincts that give him a bit of an advantage in the political arena. Note, however, that I don’t care how politically capable a candidate is, or who happens to support him. So these factors are irrelevant, except perhaps in making Newt slightly more likely to win given the same numbers in the polls as another candidate.

Winner? Unfortunately, Newt doesn’t have what it takes to get a great number of moderates to vote for him. He obviously won’t persuade any of the liberals. I doubt he can solidify support among conservatives, given his gross misconduct in his personal life. Newt hasn’t made a lot of political allies over his career, and this is a killer.

Capability? Newt does not demonstrate the executive capability of being president. If I were a member on a board, and we were responsible for choosing a CEO to manage the federal government, I would have little faith that Newt could juggle all the priorities that need to be juggled and still get things done. Newt did OK as a Speaker of the House, but it’s clear that the quickly wore out his welcome. I imagine he’d do the same as president.

Uniter? Newt is not a uniter. He uses divisive politics to get his way. Rather than embrace and work with both factions of the Republican Party, he bulldozed his way through by bullying people who disagreed with him. Newt has no credentials when it comes to working with democrats.

Character? Newt has little character. He boldly lies, boldly commits adultery, and has other character faults that cause people around him to dislike him. If we found Newt dead in a hotel with a hooker and coke in the room, no one would be surprised.

At this point, it’s really pointless to continue, but I shall persevere.

Constitution? Newt gets credit for leading the House to do what the House should do. He understands the constitution better than anyone else, and probably has a better grasp than anyone else about the founding principles of our country. It’s clear he is no light-weight in this department. Would Newt exercise his constitutional authority as president? Most likely. He’ll probably resurrect a few powers as well. Most certainly, he’ll inspire the House and Senate to actively work against him.

Economics? Here, Newt is not a very strong candidate. He stands for the right words, and he did balance the budget, but I don’t think he really understands how things get done in the real world. If we have to compare the candidates with each other, Newt is at the bottom along with Rick Santorum in this department.

Domestic Policy? Newt stands for the right words, and my disagreements with those positions are few. His idea to resurrect the space program is not something I agree with, but that’s a minor line item compared to abortion and marriage.

Foreign Policy? Newt is too hawkish for my taste. While we need a president who projects fear into our enemies, and security to our allies, I think Newt isn’t going to be able to juggle world politics very well.

Overall, Newt earns his place as my last pick because he has not demonstrated the capability to win, the capability to govern, or the capability to unite. How he stands on the other issues is really a moot point with me, because he is not likely to win, and even if he did, he is unlikely to get his agenda pushed through Congress.

Rick SantorumĀ  is next. I’ll be honest, I’m surprised Santorum is even in the running at this point. I didn’t do as much research on him as I have with others, so some of the information is lacking in quality and accuracy.

Winner? I don’t think Santorum can survive the long knives that have already been drawn out for him. Google “santorum” and you’ll see why. Santorum is a nice guy who is politically savvy, but he does not have that vicious bulldog streak required to take on one’s enemy and destroy them.

Capability? I don’t know much about Rick Santorum’s governing ability. Because he was a senator, he’ll likely end up being the same kind of failed president most senators turn out to be because he views this position as a promoted senator rather than an almost-king.

Uniter? Rick would be able to reach across the aisle to drive consensus, even though he doesn’t get any love at all from the liberals on the ground. We know this because he was an effective senator.

Character? Rick has as much character as Ron and Mitt, so I can’t complain. I have yet to catch him in a bold lie, and we know for a fact he is devoted to his family and has earned the trust and respect of the people he’s worked with.

Constitution? Rick shows a less than stellar understanding of our constitution and founding principles. He seems to want to enact unconstitutional policies rather than rely on the 10th Amendment and give the states their full power.

Economics? Rick has as good a record in economics as Newt does, which puts him at the bottom of the pack with Newt.

Domestic Policy? I can’t find much I disagree with Rick on domestic issues, except for the bits that show a lack of understanding of federalism and constitutional limits.

Foreign Policy? I imagine Rick will do OK in foreign policies. If anything, he projects too much kindness and gentleness, which can be a bad thing.

Rick Santorum is actually my third choice. If it came down to Rick Santorum or Ron Paul, I’d choose Ron Paul.

Ron Paul is the next victim of my categorization. Ron Paul is actually quite hard to classify because he runs in his own herd.

Winner? Quite possibly, yes, and he’ll do it by courting a lot of liberal voters and moderates at the cost of some conservatives. A Ron Paul win would redefine politics for a generation.

Capability? Yes, absolutely. Ron Paul understand what the president is and how he should behave, and is quite bold in how he would act as president. If you want to understand what Ron Paul is, go look up the presidencies of Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson to get the general idea.

Uniter? Unfortunately, a Ron Paul presidency without a super majority in the House and Senate would be a disaster. Our government would descend into a crisis state, with the Congress and presidency in an all-out war. I doubt Ron Paul would be able to unite the country should the need arise, unfortunately.

Character? Politically, Ron Paul has tremendous character. Every time he shoots his foot politically it is because he is speaking on things he truly cares about. He is not putting on wolf’s clothing in this race. This has worked for him in the past so he sticks with it. Privately, Ron Paul has shown as much character as Rick and Mitt.

Economics? Although Ron Paul doesn’t have as much experience as Mitt Romney, he does sing all the right songs. If his policies were enacted, or if he were simply to earn the presidency, an economic boom would result.

Domestic Policy? This is hard for a lot of conservatives to understand, but Ron Paul refuses to violate the constitution to get his way on domestic issues. However, he would probably do more to help our domestic issues than any other president.

Foreign Policy? Now we come to the deal-breaker for me. Ron Paul does not “get it”, “it” being the way the world really works. Like it or not, we are Rome, we are Alexander’s Empire, we are Great Britain. It’s not a position we sought after, it’s not something we even want to have, but we are here. If we want to see world peace, if we want to see our allies trade with us, if we want to have any peace of mind concerning the state of the world, we need to project awesome military power. I’m not saying we need to conquer the world (although I would hope people would think about it—a world ruled by a federal constitution with built-in limits would not be a bad thing), I am saying that we need to be able to do so. This means we need to fight wars in small countries, this means our young men need to go out and die just to keep the status quo. This is not the way I wish the world were, it is the way the world is. Ron Paul’s policy has a good chance of seeing Los Angelos or New York get wiped off the map. It has a good chance of seeing thousands of Americans overseas murdered. It has the very real possibility of shutting down world trade, which would lead to another Dark Age.

Overall, I like Ron Paul, a lot. I disagree with him on foreign policy, and I believe that if carried to fruition, it would spell disaster for us and the world. The reason why I maintain hope for Ron Paul is because I don’t think Ron Paul will be successful in withdrawing our military from the world. He would enter office, demand a declaration of war, and get it almost overnight.

Finally, we consider Mitt Romney. In considering my opinion of Mitt Romney, many people would throw out my thoughts because I am a supporter. If I were being paid by the campaign, or if there was some degree of self-interest, I would agree that my opinion would be significantly less important. But the fact is I am none of those things. I give you my opinions in faith that they are the best opinions I have to give.

Winner? Absolutely. Unlike a Ron Paul win, Romney would win by uniting the conservatives (except the small percentage that would never vote for a Mormon) and capturing the middle ground. I believe Mitt Romney has the capability to be popular nation-wide, unlike bold and uncompromising conservatives like Newt and Rick. In addition, Mitt has a certain “mean” streak to him, meaning, he can be quite unstoppable when he sets his mind to do something. Mitt understands strategy and politics at least as well as most of the other candidates, and has the organization and money to actually get things done. Mitt has an army, while the other candidates have militias.

Capability? Absolutely. Mitt Romney is an executive. Not only is he successful in the business world, but he was a truly capable executive for Massachusetts and for the Olympics. I don’t know all of the secrets of his success, but he is absolutely effective as an executive, moreso by miles than any other nominee for any party.

Uniter? Absolutely. Mitt Romney was notorious for convincing people who despised his positions to agree with him. Some of his fervent supporters were far-left communist democrats from Massachusettes, who felt that even though he would significantly damage the progress made in their politics, he would more than make up for it with sheer capability as an executive. They felt Mitt Romney listened and empowered them more than their own party, not because Mitt advanced the positions that disagreed with conservatism, but because Mitt actively sought out areas of agreement. Even if Mitt ended up with a supermajority of Democrats in the House and Senate, he would still advance his agend. Even if he ended up with a super-majority of Republicans in the House and Senate, he would still advance his agenda.

Character? Mitt has as much character as Ron and Rick. Since I share his religious values, I tend to biased towards Mitt, but even according to my religious doctrine, we cannot imagine that Ron and Rick are any less worthy because they have both prayerfully sought out what they believe to be the most righteous path and stuck to it.

Constitution? Mitt is extremely familiar with the constitution and the founding principles of our country. You don’t have to look very hard at Mitt’s time as governor of MA to see this. You can also hear him repeat these principles again and again in the debate.

Economics? The only other candidate that compares to Mitt’s positions on economic issues if Ron Paul. However, I give the edge to Mitt because he has a common sense that no other candidate possesses. When it comes to actually getting business out of government, and government out of business, I don’t think anyone will compare with Mitt’s ability to actually make things happen.

Domestic Policy? I find no disagreement with Mitt Romney on domestic issues. I don’t find a lot of variation among the candidates on this issue, except that Mitt Romney’s stances are built on a very solid foundation of logic and research. Having been “converted” to his current view on these topics, he is able to argue and win the day against his opponents.

Foreign Policy? Of all the candidates, Mitt will be our best foreign policy representative. He is wise, he is cunning, and he has that uncompromising attitude when it is needed. I imagine Mitt knocking some heads together, playing hardball, and totally dominating world politics in a way we haven’t seen since Reagan.

You may disagree with points of my assessment, but I think you will come to agree that overall, Mitt Romney is the best candidate for the job.

Irrational Anger Against Romney

January 28, 2012

One of the signs I look for in politics is something I call “irrational anger”. People who suffer from this tend to go down several notches in my respect book. Some of the stuff they say is fun and interesting, and occasionally, politically useful, but in the end, they are just dogs yapping at the moon, powerless to change anything. Jim Hoft at The Gateway Pundit is a good example of this kind of behavior.

On the other hand, one of the things I look for is meekness and humility. This evidences itself in a number of ways. Notably, the politicians who exemplify this attribute are more than willing to take the blame for the things they did, and more than willing to share the credit. This article at American Thinker covers a lot of what I think is most important about Romney.

If you’re the type that allows yourself to be influenced to action by anger, then perhaps you are the kind of person who doesn’t make a lot of wise decisions in his life. On the other hand, if you are the type who values results over rhetoric, then you probably find it hard to get excited about politics and instead make decisions after a lot of thought and investigation.

Which type are you?

Mormons Lie

January 22, 2012

One of the many charges anti-Mormons level against Mormons is that they lie.

Let me help those in more neutral grounds understand the truth of the matter.

Mormons do lie. We also lie, cheat, steal, murder, and commit adultery. Mormons are not perfect. No one is. God has made it clear that dishonesty is a sin.

However, I want to help you understand first, what a “lie” is; Second, examples of righteous people and even God himself “lying”; and finally, the so-called lies that Mormon leaders have been accused of telling.

First, what is lying? There are many definitions, but the broadest I see, and the one I try to live by, is to never cause deception, either through speaking or lack of speaking. However, and this is a big however, we cannot be expected to correct every mistruth out there, nor can we expect that every word that comes out of our mouth to be the absolute truth, in every way someone may interpret it.

The broad definition of lying is considered deception, that is, causing people to understand something that isn’t true. The narrowest definition could be saying something that isn’t exactly true in any context. Under the broad definition, lawyers “lie” and they do it all the time. Under the narrow definition, no lawyer lies, and if they do, they would lose their law license or worse.

I strive to live by the broad definition. I would hope everyone does. That’s the ideal—living in a society where misunderstanding simply doesn’t exist. Imagine a world where everything is exactly the way you understand them to be! How many problems and economic costs would disappear? I can’t count them. Indeed, honesty, or the lack of deception, is what makes business possible in the first place. The cost of verifying every statement is so high that business could not happen at all without some degree of trust.

In order to stamp out deception, we must first be very careful in what we say and how we say it. Under the broad definition, not only do we need to say things in a way that is true, but ensure that the way people hear it is true as well. This means we must understand our audience and speak in a way that communicates, clearly, our thoughts to their minds. I challenge anyone to live their life this way. I boldly declare that it is impossible, but a noble goal nonetheless.

We must also live our life so as to correct deception when it occurs without out action. In other words, do not allow it to continue by inaction. Of course, this is equally as impossible as the former goal; no one can know the mind of everyone around them. Even if they could, no one could spend the time required to correct every misunderstanding of deception they believe. Indeed, who would want to live with a compulsive pedant?

So, in the end, I try to live my life so as not to cause misunderstanding, and yet I find it impossible. Some of the things I say are incorrect, even according to my current understanding. Others are not understood correctly. And there are a lot of things people around me think that I will not bother correcting unless it becomes important.

Let’s talk about examples of righteous people, even God himself “lying” in this way.

The easiest examples of lying are those who lie, sometimes outright and boldly, to their enemies as part of war. I think this kind of lying is just as excusable as the “crime” of “murder” during warfare. If you get to the point where killing someone is a good thing, then lying to them is not a bad thing either. Go ahead, search the scriptures, there are plenty of examples of this behavior.

What about lies to protect one’s self or loved ones? Certainly, when Abaram (Abraham) went to Egypt, he lied to the Pharaoh about his wife, claiming she was his sister. Of course, we know this was outright deception because the Pharaoh brought his “sister” in to become, eventually, his wife. This was not the only time Abraham lied about his wife; he did the same to Abimelech.

Latter-day Saints believe God himself told Abram to lie to Pharaoh. So this lie was supernatural; it was much more than Abram lying to Pharaoh.

I am sure we can easily excuse this behavior as we can excuse the behavior of killing someone in self-defense. If it is no crime to kill someone who is going to kill you, then it is certainly no crime to lie to the same person, and that’s exactly what happened here.

Are there instances of God lying? If you use the broadest definition of the lie, permitting misunderstandings to continue, then our entire existence is an exercise in God lying to us. What excuses this behavior? Why does God sit by, allowing us to wallow in our ignorance? Aren’t we expected to correct misunderstandings, particularly when the misunderstanding is between us and another person?

I can invent a moral excuse or explanation for this lie, the same as the moral excuse that permits killing. That is, this lie is a necessary one. Did we not live in ignorance, we could not progress or grow or accomplish any part of God’s plan. Of course, if we base our morality on God himself, then anything God does is moral and good and just, and we cannot complain even the slightest.

So perhaps, in our moral universe, we have come full circle. In trying to be moral, we must lie in certain circumstances. Just like the general who deceives his adversaries, just like Abram lying to Pharaoh, perhaps the “truth” is the “lie”. In other words, perhaps the most moral course of action is to deceive the people around us.

We are left wondering what the real definition of lying is, or rather, immoral dishonesty (dishonesty that is evil), as opposed to moral dishonesty (dishonesty that is nonetheless good) or even immoral honesty (honesty that is nonetheless evil.) If you are confused, you are not the only one. All 6 billion of us struggle with what “good” and “evil” really are, and none of us can pin our finger on a universal definition that works everywhere, although we have lots of rules of thumbs that seem to work in most situations.

God hasn’t revealed to us what the definition of morality is. Nowhere in his scriptures does he declare unto us a formula that we can use to choose the right in every case. Sure, we have commandments, commandments which end up not being as universal as we would like them to be, but commandments which we are promised if we obey we won’t be held accountable for the consequences. In some cases, God shares with us tidbits of his reasoning, and we can try our best to apply them. The best advice in the scriptures is to follow the Spirit, wherever it leads, which means, basically, turn over our moral compass to God.

Now, to instances of modern LDS leaders lying. I am going to make my argument simple. Let’s suppose that the leaders of the church did what exactly you claimed they did: they committed sins, and not just any kind of sin, but the gross sin of lying. Let’s suppose that God did not command them to do this, and he did not, in any way, justify them. (I do not believe this to be the case in every instance, but perhaps there are a few where I may believe such to be true.)

So we say that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and all the prophets, including Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monsen , are liars. Very well, they are liars.

Let’s put things into context.

First, they were called by God to be his prophet. Are you challenging God in this matter? Do you think you really know better than him who should be prophet? Do you really think you can manage the complex work of preparing the earth for the Second Coming? If so, then you are the worst sort of person, the person who believes he is superior in one way or the other to God.

Second, they have been forgiven by God. Do you question the power of Christ to forgive people of their sins? Or do you believe that Christ, the one who called them to be a prophet, will not forgive them?

Recall that Christ said that by the same judgment we use to judge men, we will be judged. Are you, perhaps, holding the prophets to a higher standard than yourself? Do you expect them to be better than you are, and condemn them for failing? If they have no hope for salvation, what hope do you have?

If only there was a clear-cut way to see through all the clutter that mortality imposes on us. There is, and it is called the Holy Ghost. Do you think Mormons preach this doctrine, just to bring people into the church, and then abandon it once they have joined? No, we use the gift of the Holy Ghost every day and in every way you can imagine. We use it to discern which points the teacher is teaching that are needed for us. We use it to discern how to interpret the commands that the Lord’s prophets give us in our every day lives. We use it to discern when God has forgiven someone and when he has not.

We do not “lean unto our own understanding” or “trust in the arm of flesh”. We do not count our learning as greater than God’s wisdom, and we do not allow observations to supplant the tender feelings of the Holy Ghost. If it is true that Joseph Smith and Gordon B. Hinckley were liars of the worst sort, and you could prove it in the court of law, it would have little if any relevance to us. We do not believe them as prophets of God because they were more honest than anyone else; we believe them as prophets because the Holy Ghost tells us so.

I add: If God called these men to be prophets, and they violated our understanding of morality, is it God that is flawed, these men who are flawed, or perhaps our understanding of morality that is flawed? Or are we not supposed to question the things within us, because we automatically assume that to be correct, and things in contradiction outside of us to be wrong?

I think we live in an age where, if you only trust your eyes and ears and your understanding of morality, you will find no reason at all to believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I cannot deny that. Perhaps there was once a day when you could believe the church just based on objective analysis, or maybe there was never such a day, it doesn’t matter. If you want to drag us into a court of law or into a research laboratory, you could probably build a clear case that we are not who we claim to be. You could probably convince every member of the church that the evidence the world has and the wisdom that men have show the church to be a fraud.

But we also live in an age when the Holy Ghost is boldly testifying to everyone everywhere, and that is why we are baptizing and growing as a church despite the evidence that appears against us. You cannot explain our growth by anything but this.

I think, in the end, we will all be surprised by who God really is. We expect him to be this perfect God, and he is, but our definition of perfection is grossly flawed. I don’t mean it needs work on the edges, I mean fundamental assumptions we may have are simply backwards. For instance, we expect God to be peaceful, loving, kind, and gentle, but he is also a God of absolute justice, war, wrath, and obscene power and destruction. The same God that made the earth also made earthquakes and typhoons and has killed countless billions of people. (Everyone that dies, after all, dies because God said they would.)

It’s our understanding of perfection that is flawed, not God’s nature. We make a mistake when we try to impose our pathetic understanding of morality on God, rather than working the other way around.

When you measure the church by God’s standard, you would be lead to conclude that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (as opposed to its members) is the only church with which he is pleased. After all, that’s what God said, through his prophets.

If you do not agree with me, all you have to say is, “I do not believe God called Joseph Smith to be a prophet.” You don’t have to try and show how Joseph Smith fails to live up to your expectations of what a prophet should be, or how he has committed sins in his life. That is wholly irrelevant. He could, after all, be perfect in every way, yet lack God’s authority on earth, in which case I would no longer believe he was God’s prophet. Or he could, after all, be imperfect yet obtained God’s authority. And I would accept him as prophet, warts and sins and all. What’s important is the authority, and that is all. Nothing else matters, not a whit.

Evangelicals would rather forgive a murderer than a Mormon

January 22, 2012

A story, a rumor, is floating around. The conversation goes something like this. A Mormon asks an Evangelical, “Can a Christian who commits adultery be saved?”

The Evangelical confidently replies, “Yes.”

The Mormon, stunned, then asks, “What about a murderer?”

The Evangelical, without hesitation, responds, “Yes.”

The Mormon then asks, “What about an Evangelical who becomes a Mormon?”

The Evangelical thoughtfully pauses, then replies, “I don’t know.”

I must admit that this conversation, if true, is truly astounding to me. This shows that Mormons and Evangelicals really have little, if any, common doctrine.

Talking with a neighbor, I was surprised that he didn’t believe that someone who had once received the Holy Ghost could act in contradiction and lost the same gift. He asked me to find instances in the Bible where that had happened, or at least where the scriptures say it can or does happen. I found several. The Bible’s replete with examples of people who, once having obtained God’s grace, lose it completely. The best example is probably Judas, or even Ananias, or even the numerous predictions of the apostles that there would be a “falling away” before Christ returns to the earth. I though this was as clear as day, that once we obtain Christ’s grace, we must then persevere in Christ’s way until the end. I guess this is one of those truths that the Book of Mormon makes perfectly clear and undeniable.

I suppose you could reverse the conversation, and have it go something like this. The Evangelical asks a Mormon, “Can a Mormon adulterer be saved?”

The Mormon would say, “Not unless they first repent and obtain forgiveness from God. This is not a trivial thing to repent of, and may require excommunication during the period of repentance.”

The Evangelical would ask, “What about the Mormon murderer?”

The Mormon would say, “Again, not unless they first repent, although repentance for murder is hardly a trivial thing. Most likely, the possibility for salvation in the highest degree of glory is lost when someone commits murder who knows full well what they are doing.”

The Evangelical would ask, “What about a Mormon who becomes an Evangelical?”

The Mormon would reply, “If they believe in Jesus Christ, and obtain forgiveness of their sins, then they would be saved from their sins, no matter what church or religion they belong to. However, that is not the same as the Mormon who obtains all the covenants and acts with strict faithfulness during his entire life, who would not only obtain salvation from their sins, but exaltation in the highest degrees of glory.”

In this presidential debate, I can’t help but explain why I cannot support Newt Gingrich, even if he were the ideal candidate. If this were a race between four adulterers, then I would have little choice to choose the lesser of the four evils, but it is not. Three of the four candidates are not adulterers. Even if I agreed with those other three on no issues at all, as long as I can admit that they have some degree of wisdom, then they would be preferable to Newt. Why?

Sin is not something to be trifled with. Those people who have committed the most grave sins, which I consider the sins of adultery and murder to be, have shown themselves to be stained, and likely stained beyond repair, at least in this lifetime. If we have the choice between someone who chose to never commit adultery and murder, and someone who has but later repented, I’d rather wager on the one who has never committed those sins.

Newt has other baggage, of course; all candidates do. But his worst offense, his adultery, is the reason why I cannot support him at all, particularly because any one of the other three candidates have lived their entire lives controlling that aspect of their nature out of the respect that they have for themselves, women in general, families, society, and natural law, respect which at least at one point in Newt’s life, he showed a grave lack of.

It All Adds Up

January 18, 2012

The Anti-Romney crowd is screaming that they aren’t bigots against Mormons. Really? Have you lost your way and gone so far off the deep end that you actually have to tell people you’re not a bigot? Sorry, Eric Erickson, you’re bigotry is just too apparent. If you oppose Romney because of who he is or what he does, just say so. If you are judging him with a different measuring stick than other, non-Mormon candidates, then we’ll be able to see your true colors without you trying to tell us one way or the other.

Someone dropped McCain’s opposition research on Romney. Apparently, they could only come up with about 16 pages of material that can be used against him politically. If you’ve lived your life for more than half a century, and the politically elite can only come up with 16 pages of material that can be used against you politically, you are as good as it can possibly get.

My view on the candidates:

  • Rick Perry: If you knew how to keep your mouth shut and stick to the talking points, you could’ve been the next presidential nominee. Apparently you’re not intelligent enough to do that, or your team is incompetent. Or likely both.
  • Newt Gingrich: I see why people really, really don’t like you. You will never be president. You’ll never be dogcatcher, unless you file at the last minute in an unopposed race in some dark corner of our country. Even then, someone would likely run a write-in campaign against you and win.
  • Ron Paul: People genuinely like you and a lot of people wish you would win. That means you have to stop shooting yourself in the foot by boldly declaring allegiance to ideas and principles the vast majority of the country disagrees with. The fact that you can’t do this means you will never ever be elected president, and even if you were, you’d be the worst president we’ve ever had. With Obama in the ranking, that’s saying a lot.

I wish as much as the next guy we had a really awesome candidate that everyone likes and that was super-brilliant and politically savvy and fought to defend conservative ideals I agree with. Such a person doesn’t exist. Trust me, everyone’s looked for better candidates than the group we have here today. Millions upon millions of dollars have been spent searching. Mitt Romney is as good as it is going to get.

Let’s go over, one more time, for those at home, all of Mitt’s negatives.

  • He’s a Mormon. I know a lot of people don’t like Mormons, particularly because we are so good at taking away your few worshipers and making them into true-blue Mormons for life. I get that. Get over it, because the rest of the country loves us because we are not insane and we genuinely like people for who they are. Our church gets a bad rap, but our members are loved all around.
  • He’s rich. I know a lot of people think we should have poor people be presidents. I don’t agree. I believe politics is a sport that only the rich and established can participate in. The rest of us have more important things to worry about, namely, how to secure our own economic future for ourselves and our families.
  • He’s very handsome. I don’t know why this is a negative, but apparently it makes a lot of people very mad.
  • He has redefined what “honor” and “fidelity” mean in private life. A whole lot of people hate Romney because he has lead the “perfect” life, morally speaking. If Romney is elected, the new low bar candidates must meet to run for high office means a good 90% of the elected people out there will never advance in their career in politics. If Romney hadn’t been absolutely morally perfect, Herman Cain would still be running and Newt would be doing far better than he is.
  • He’s right on most of the issues, probably more issues than the other candidates. This makes people who oppose freedom and liberty very, very upset with Romney.
  • He’s a political outsider. That’s right, you idiots out there who think Romney is the “establishment” candidate don’t even know the meaning of the word, nor do you understand what the “establishment” is. Tell me, when did Romney join the “inner circle” of the Republican political elite? Answer: He never did. He’s always been an outsider. He built up his own political network and brought people in to build his own new establishment. Gingrich is the “establishment” if there ever was one. He’s in it to make sure all the retirement plans of former congressmen are preserved, and that people who are not in congress cannot dictate what our national political strategy is.
  • He’s got the best political network and financing the Republican Party has ever seen. Romney did something after his 2008 run that a lot of other candidates did and do. Except he was exceptionally successful at it. Palin and Huckabee and many others probably envy him a great deal for capitalizing on what little political capital he had, and converting that into a majority of the US.

I can’t say what motivates every detractor of Romney, and to be honest, I don’t care.

A lot of you are religious bigots. Religious bigotry says far more about the bigot than their targets. Mormons know and understand and actually take great pleasure in being the subject of bigoted religious attacks. It reinforces our belief system, and it shows why we are morally superior to your pathetic attempts at true Christianity. (If you feel a shiver running up your spine, it’s because you’re probably a bigot.) We have endured far worse bigotry than you can imagine, from the Mormon Extermination Order in Missouri, having our church leaders murdered at the hands of a mob of “Christians”, and watching as the Republican Party seized the assets of our church and hunted our leaders down as criminals in an extra-constitutional witch hunt. We grew up with bigotry, from the kid who can’t play with us because his mom thinks we’re of the devil, to the guys who think it’s fun to make fun of the most sacred elements of our religion, to the business associate who finds out what church we go to and whose last word to us was “Oh.” We’re comfortable with the bigotry, it’s a cross we are more than willing to bear, and I believe it is a critical component to our religion. If there were no religious bigotry against our religion, then I would probably be questioning whether our church is even true. In a paradoxical twist, by being bigoted against the LDS church, you’ve only reinforced our beliefs. If you really wanted to harm us, then you and the rest of the world would find us tolerable or even preferable. Call us the ultimate religious hipsters, because we probably are.

A lot of you are envious of Romney’s success. I get that. I worked my butt off in startups of one sort or another, and all I have to show for it is grey hair and good stories. I wonder why I can’t enjoy success at the same level of Romney. But to be honest, this kind of envy doesn’t belong in conservative politics. It isn’t healthy. It won’t make us happy or rich. We should be happy that someone is successful, and we should see it as motivation to do our best. We should learn from the successful, not make them our enemies.

Some of you are just politically ignorant. You are being played like a fiddle by your political masters whom you probably don’t even know. I hope one day you’ll learn to question everything, and you’ll mature in your understanding of what politics is and how it is really played, and how to really win big. Maybe you never will, and that’s fine, just don’t be surprised when a new person starts calling the tune and you suddenly start jumping to his beat.

The rest of you who are above all this are probably ready to get this election season over with, to move on to the generals, and see Obama shuffling out of the White House as the biggest disgrace to American politics since the beginning of American politics. We’ll be working busily to get someone elected who will represent our views, who will bring honor and respect to the sacred offices of trust, and who will simply lead the country the way we need to be lead.

One more note: Romney’s political rallies are very different than the rallies you’re used to seeing. A lot of people show up. Maybe some of them clap or whoop and holler. But most of them sit quietly. It’s called reverence and respect, and it’s completely foreign to American politics. You who do not enjoy the blessings of reverent and respectful moments cannot appreciate the emotions that run through your heart during a quiet testimony or sermon. If you want to understand where this culture comes from, all you have to do is attend more than a few LDS church meetings.

The GOP Supported King’s Vision

January 16, 2012

This Martin Luther King day, I want to share with you, readers, the perspective of the GOP, the Republican Party, on Martin Luther King’s vision for our society.

As you have been told, the GOP is a racist and hateful party. Nothing is farther from the truth. The inception of the Republican Party was when the current group of politicians could not find the backbone to stand up for the civil rights of the black race. In response, the Republican Party was formed, the Civil War was fought, and Reconstruction, that period of time when the Republican congress mercilessly pursued state governments and officials who tried to deny the black race their civil rights was enacted.

In the 60’s, republicans were well aware of the atrocities that the Democratic Party had enacted against the black race. Things like Jim Crow laws, and “separate bu equal” were abhorrent in our party’s sight. However, since for the better part of the 20th Century the Republican Party was a minority in congress, we could do little to help except in our own communities or realms of influence.

In the 1960’s, there were enough democrats, finally, that the republicans were able to get a new Civil Rights bill passed. About this time, people started defecting from the Democratic Party, not because they wanted to join the “racist” Republican Party, but rather because it was clear to them that the Democratic Party was quickly becoming the communist party of the United States. This meant a number of politicians with a racist past joined the Republican Party. It also meant that the Republican Party began to explain to these politicians the minimum behavior we demanded, and began to convince them of the vision we had for the black race, that of complete equality under the law, which they found to be tolerable and even preferable. This generation of republicans is all but extinct, along with their foolish ideas.

Martin Luther King marched with a very large number of black people. We all know this. What people often ignore is the very large number of white republicans that marched with Martin Luther King as well. This is but one example of how the Democratic Party has tried to change history.

People forget the massive and unprecedented effort to make sure congress passed the Civil Rights legislation. The TEA Party seems like a huge thing today, but it pales in comparison with the number of republicans who were raising money, knocking on doors, and making phone calls at that time. I doubt the bill would have passed if it weren’t for countless thousands of republicans doing the back-breaking work of shifting public opinion and showing politicians that their vote would be remembered. This was when republicans realized, for the first time in a generation, that they had enough people behind them that they could win. The seeds for the ’94 Republican Revolution were sown in this event.

The sacrifice that Martin Luther King and his supporters made will forever be remembered by the Republican Party. Martin Luther King spoke for us when he dreamed of a future where skin color doesn’t matter. That was the sentiment many republicans felt back in 1860 when the party was first formed. That’s the same sentiment the vast majority of republicans feel today. That’s why we are so welcoming to black politicians who rise to the highest ranks in our political party, and why we encourage everyone to participate in our party, provided they agree with our ideals of equality under the law. I do not care who is black or who is white; that is completely irrelevant to me. I simply wish everyone to do the best with what they have, to be treated equally under the law, and to be given the respect that God demands we render each other.

Don’t let the democrats tell you that the republicans are racist. It takes 5 minutes talking with a real live republican to see that this is simply not true. It takes 5 minutes of reading history to see that this isn’t true. The true party of racism is the Democratic Party. They continue with the same tactics they have used to keep the black race subservient to their political desires today.

Do not think that the over-sized federal government and the welfare state is designed to empower the black people. It is the same policy the American government used to pacify and enslave the Indian nations and make them a shadow of what they used to be. It is the same policy we use to keep foreign powers in check and below us. After all, when one person is paying off another, who is in control of the relationship when the payee becomes dependent on the money?

The new plantations are the projects and government handouts and preferential racist policies. The new slaves are people who grow up into this system believing they cannot survive without the government. The slave masters are the greedy bastards in political office who use this to get re-elected year after year, and grow fat off of the skimmings. They think they have a pretty good system, and it would work if their assumption about the black race—that they are inferior to the white race—was correct. One day, however, the black race will realize what a tremendous con game they have been cheated with, and rise up and demand equality and justice, equality and justice the Democratic Party does not offer them.

Today, the Democratic Party is falling to pieces, literally, before our very eyes. It used to be that the unions, black population, hispanic population, pacifists, environmentalists, and marxists would happily work together. Today, under President Obama’s failed leadership, none of them are getting along at all. The only party that can hold together a solid coalition is the Republican Party, and that only because they have rallied around ideas, not demographics.

Romney is the Nominee

January 11, 2012

The results from last night’s primary in New Hampshire are in, and Mitt Romney is the first non-incumbent republican candidate since 1976 to win both Iowa and New Hampshire.

The other candidates have a choice. Either they can line up behind #2 and hope the combined weight will topple Romney, or they can concede the race and support Romney for president. Since I doubt any of the other candidates would endorse Ron Paul, and he’d need all of their support, this race is over.

Here’s Romney’s victory speech. This is what he is going to sound like in the generals. Obama is toast.

What’s great about both the Iowa and New Hampshire victories is that Mormon bigotry is no longer a factor in our politics. There were vicious attacks against Mitt Romney’s faith, and there will be many more in the future, but the voters voted overwhelmingly to say, “We really don’t tolerate bigotry.”

What’s also great is that Newt Gingrich has already started attacking Mitt Romney with the same vector that the Obama camp would use. This is a really, really good thing. The earlier we work out the anti-freedom rhetoric, the better Romney will do in the generals. If the election comes down to whether people have a right to shut down companies which are not viable long-term, then let it be so.

To all those who think this is a bad thing: What do you think the shareholders do with the capital they pull out of a failing company? Hint: Where do you think other companies get their startup or expansion capital from? I know I saw someone trying to attack Mitt Romney for claiming he’s created, net net, over 100,000 jobs. They looked only at what was done with the companies Bain Capital bought into. They failed to look into what happened to the capital after it was liquidated! I am sure we will find out that 100,000 jobs created is on the low end of things.


A Simpler Model

January 10, 2012

I have spent more time than I probably ever have discussing religion and religious topics with Christians who are not LDS. I think there are several good reasons why the LDS faithful and other Christians simply do not understand each other.

First, let me describe what I understand the foundation of most other Christian’s understanding of the world is. They start with the Bible, and then they add on to that limited set of texts the writings and philosophies of people around the Bible. To an LDS believer, this is simply “the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.” I know there has been considerable effort to go straight to the source, the subject that is called “exegesis” in those circles. But the problem plaguing even this method is that the Bible simply isn’t what they think it is.

Let me explain what I mean. The Bible, to a Christian, is the word of God. As an LDS believer, I believe that too. However, other faiths tend to take it one step further, and consider the Bible to be the unerring word of God. If it were possible that the 4,000 years of recorded history that is in the Bible were passed down without interpretation or changes from Moses’ pen to today’s books, that would be true. But that is not true, and anyone who has looked at the history of the Bible and its many different versions will know it is not true.

That’s not to say that divinity does not still shine throughout the Bible. I’m tempted to say it shows more in the New Testament than in the Old, only because the Old Testament is so many years older than the New. I think most people recognize the inspired passages when they see them. That’s why people tend to refer more to the prophets, particularly Isaiah, the chapters in Genesis referring to God’s actions in the pre-history of the Bible, Exodus, the four gospels, and things like that over Ecclesiastes and Songs of Solomon.

(Of course, there are those who claim to be Christian who do not think the Bible is inspired much if at all, or wholly errant, but I don’t want to spend time condemning them for their insanity.)

(And there are those who cling to the absurd, non-Biblical notion that the Bible is the only word of God. These people are so ignorant it is difficult to help them understand why. Perhaps if they actually read the Bible they claim to believe, they would understand why.)

But I don’t know many Christians who stop at exegesis, and proceed no further. How many Christians today swear belief in texts and thoughts that are clearly outside of the Bible? I think the vast majority do. That’s where we get Creedal Christians, or the various sects and denominations. Even the Latter-day Saints are clearly in this group of people. If the texts and ideas that these Christians adhere to are from God, then they are godly. Otherwise, if they are from man or worse, then they are clearly not relying on God’s word but something else. And that is where trouble lies. When you put your trust into something other than God and his word, you are putting your trust in man or worse. And we know, from the Bible, what happens to those people.

LDS theology, on the other hand, is built on one simple truth: God speaks. He speaks through the Bible, he speaks through other scriptures, he speaks through prophets (both the head of our church and anyone who has a testimony of Christ), and he speaks through a variety of methods and times and places to a variety of people. It isn’t always trivial to figure out which messages are from God or which have another source, but we can be sure that God speaks, and we can be sure that he’ll tell us what is his words and what is not.

And that’s about it. We don’t care much what the method of delivery is, as long as it is from God. I have learned a great deal about God from my Christian friends, because they are inspired and do receive, from time to time, messages from God. I have also learned a great deal from the Bible and the Book of Mormon and the living prophets and answers to my prayers and a visions and dreams and all kinds of things.

To the mainstream Christian, what I just described is utter chaos. It is. I think every living latter-day saint has the same problem trying to sort out what is from God and what is merely nice or what is clearly from another source. That’s why we have measuring sticks, things we know, for a fact, that are true, and are unquestionable. These things are basic doctrines such as the anointing of Jesus as the savior of the world, the validity of the Bible, etc… So if I were to receive a message which I believe is from God that taught me not to rely on Christ’s merits for salvation, I would question the source, and tag it as “obviously not from God”.

To those who believe in exegesis, I think the Latter-day Saints go one step further, delving deep into the mind of God rather than stopping at his written word. No, God does not like to repeat himself, and if we haven’t done our homework (meaning, studied ALL of his written words), then we shouldn’t feel entitled to gain knowledge from the source. But we can, and should, turn our minds and hearts towards God, not just his written works.

And this is where LDS and the other Christians diverge. LDS people put their trust in God, not just his word; it seems other Christians are not ready to take this step of faith and trust in only some of God’s words, leaning on the understanding on men to supplement the gaps.

You can see why the two groups would be so against each other if you think of things like this. Just like Atheists despise Christians for claiming to receive spiritual and physical benefits due to their fantasies, Christians despise Mormons for being able to receive more of God’s word and a clearer understanding of their purpose in life due to their fantasy. While in the former, the fantasy is the existence of God and mission of Christ, in the latter is the fantasy that God speaks to people today.

I think ultimately it boils down to worldliness. If you are unwilling to give up the world and embrace God, you’ll be an enemy to God, whether you want to be or not. Just like the Atheist is an enemy to God, so too are those who refuse to accept the fact that God can and does speak today.

I apologize if my words seem harsh; I am merely trying to find the kernel of truth, which means ignoring any sentiments and embracing the way things really are.