Friday, March 02, 2007

Recent Gallup Poll About Mormons

Gallup recently did a survey to analyze America's attitudes towards the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Click here to see the results

Polygamy seems to be the greatest concern, so Sunday, I will address it.


Anonymous said...

I have spoken with members of the LDS formally (had missionaries come visit) and informally (with members of LDS).

One thing I am unclear about is the church's authority/rationale for the claim that Jesus had a ministry in the Americas.

Christians, Jews, Muslims, aethesits all acknowledge, for the most part, that a person who we contemporarly refer to as Jesus Christ lived and breathed in the middle east.

However, the LDS, and the LDS alone claim that the same Jesus Christ lived in the Americas. And this claim has only existed as long as the LDS has existed. So what explains this?

When I asked missionaries about this discrepancy they told me the reason why there were no records of Christ in the Americas was because the Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortez destroyed the records when he entered what is now Mexico City. The reason I was given to support the conclusion was that the indigenous people of Mexico City let Hernan Cortez into the city because they thought it was Christ, who their ancestors had already seen years ago. How prevalent is this theory in the church?

For me faith and reason must go hand in hand. I admire people who are strong in both and find an appropriate balance. Yet when faith becomes so strong that it appears to fabricate reasons for its justification I am hesitant to follow.

For example there are a few things about the Cortez theory that do not seem reasonable. First of all, if Christ was in the Americas, why would the only records be in Mexico City.
Second, if Christ was in the Americas, why would the Spanish conquistadors have to convert people that already knew about the Christ. And finally, it verges on the border of racism to say that Cortez was let in because he looked like the Christ. White Hispanic Europeans males look like Mid-Eastern males?

Faith and Reason need to go hand in hand, men and women cannot live on faith alone nor reason, there must be a balance of both.

When I told the missionaries that I doubted the Cortez theory they said I had to pray for wisdom and then I would just feel it and get it. That is faith, I can appreciate people of faith seeking faith and belief.

And the LDS does have reasons for the belief of faith, but they just don't seem reasonable to me. They seem more like post-faith justifications.

Finally why does the faith of the LDS even need the following reasons for which there is no proof, only faith. There is no proof of tablets or seer stones by anyone outside of the church. There is no proof that Christ is Satan's brother. There is no proof that God was once a man. There is no proof that there are three different levels of heaven. There doesn't necessarily have to be 100% proof of these things, but there needs to be some evidence, there needs to be something more than faith and faith alone- after all these beliefs (as I they have been represented to me) are offered as basic tenets of the religion.

Craig Pankratz said...


Thank you for your well-articulated feelings and thought-provoking observations. I have several things to do today, but after I finish, I will answer your questions. Be patient if my answers don't come until late tonight.

I wish you the best.

God bless,