Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gary Wills on the Mormon Constitution

Here. Joanna Brooks corrects.


Naum said...

Funny, that there are comments on Wills' article allegedly from Mormons in agreement with that assertion.

And isn't this the guiding political philosophy of some prominent Mormons with a lot of media clout today? Thinking Glenn Beck channeling Cleon Skousen.

Furthermore, the irony of the rebuttal article coming from a woman, whose status, if you dig deeper into the inner sanctum of Mormon theology, is bizarre compared to Christianity. I'm sure Brad or somebody else will set me straight, and as most of what informs my views is Mormons (but not all ex-Mormons) who escaped the faith, but it always was explained to me that most practicing Mormons are unaware of the full breadth and depth of theology and one rises in the leadership chain, it gets more cultish.

Tom Van Dyke said...

most practicing Mormons are unaware of the full breadth and depth of theology and one rises in the leadership chain, it gets more cultish.

I'm very uncomfortable with throwing the word "cult" around this blog, since judging the truth of this religion or that religion is above our pay grade.

However, I have wondered how many Mormons are aware of just how much the deeper tenets of Mormonism differ from mainstream Christianity or if they're under the impression that their view of Jesus as Savior is pretty much the same as every other Christian's. [Or conversely, that mainstream Christianity's cosmology is similar to the Mormon one.]


In the Mormonism represented by most of Mormon communities (including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), "God" means Elohim (the Father), whereas "Godhead" means a council of three distinct gods; Elohim, Jehovah (the Son, or Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. The Father and Son have perfected, material bodies, while the Holy Spirit is a spirit and does not have a body. This conception differs from the traditional Christian Trinity; in Mormonism, the three persons are considered to be physically separate beings, or personages, but united in will and purpose.[1] As such, the term "Godhead" differs from how it is used in traditional Christianity. This description of God represents the orthodoxy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), established early in the 19th century. However, the Mormon concept of God has expanded since the faith's founding in the late 1820s. Joseph Smith said after his First Vision that God and Jesus both have physical bodies.
Being nontrinitarian, the teachings of the LDS Church differ from other Christian churches' theologies as established, for example, in the First Council of Constantinople. Mormon cosmology teaches the existence of other "gods" such as is exhibited in the concept of the Godhead being three, separate, distinct beings.

Naum said...

I don't mean to make a slur with the "cultish" term, but what I meant by that is that as one rises (again, from what was explained to me by ex-Mormons and still practicing Mormons) is that there is not only breadth and depth of theology expansion, but "secrets", not permitted for public (or even those occupying lesser rungs) consumption. That, to me, strikes as the very definition of "cult" -- "insider" knowledge, accessible as one rises up the hierarchy.

Most threads of contemporary Christianity (though Latin/Catholicism until the Reformation displayed tenets of this -- with common folk deemed too unenlightened to handle the holy text themselves) do not model this, and are indeed very "open access" in far as theology, praxis, etc.…

Tom Van Dyke said...

Yes, there is a legitimate point in there about the secrecy, Naum. However, I don't know if there can be a principled objection to it.

And by "I don't know" here, I don't mean "I doubt it," but that I honestly don't know.