U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Christianity
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-02-2013, 05:34 PM
 
Location: In a little house on the prairie - literally
10,202 posts, read 6,087,992 times
Reputation: 4527

Advertisements

Within so-called mainstream Christianity, there's a wide variety of the way different sects view their faith.

A significant number of them, especially in the United States of America, are fundamentalist. By that I mean they interpret the Bible literally.

Is that the same case in mainstream Mormonism? Or are there various branches, some who take the Bible and the Book of Mormon literally, and some take it metaphorically and allegorically?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-02-2013, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,959 posts, read 22,109,113 times
Reputation: 10689
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupper3 View Post
Within so-called mainstream Christianity, there's a wide variety of the way different sects view their faith.

A significant number of them, especially in the United States of America, are fundamentalist. By that I mean they interpret the Bible literally.

Is that the same case in mainstream Mormonism? Or are there various branches, some who take the Bible and the Book of Mormon literally, and some take it metaphorically and allegorically?
In the case of mainstream Mormonism (i.e. the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), I'd say there is a fairly wide-range of opinions with respect to how literally either the Bible or the Book of Mormon should be taken. I wouldn't use the words "branches," "sects," "divisions" or "offshoots" to describe these different groups since there is definitely nothing official, so to speak, about them. My guess (so take it for what it's worth) is that more Mormons take the Book of Mormon literally than take the Bible literally -- probably since it doesn't date all the way back to supposedly 6000 B.C., and since there have been fewer opportunities for transcription and translation errors than with the Bible. I think the vast majority of us believe that parts of the Bible are definitely to be understood as being allegorical.

I was personally raised in what I would describe as a fairly liberal, free-thinking LDS family, and I know I was never taught that everything in the scriptures was to be interpreted literally. I have always (as far back as I can remember, at least ) believed in both evolution and in a very old earth. I remember my dad (who was a professor of German and a very well-read and well-educated man) rolling his eyes when people in church would say that all of the languages in the world today came into existance at the time of the Towel of Babel. I'd say that when I was growing up (in the 1950s and '60s), my family was more the exception than the rule. I remember a Sunday School teacher, for instance, telling the class that believers in evolution were of the opinion that a woman could give birth to a monkey. When I told my dad, he reminded me that there was no rule saying I had to believe everything I ever heard taught in church, and that God didn't give me a brain for nothing.

I'd say that most well-educated Mormons today believe pretty much as I do. I know that LDS-Church owned Brigham Young University has an excellent graduate program in Genetics and Biotechnology, which would be unlikely if the faculty (or the Church) was in any way anti-science. When the state-owned University of Utah opened its new Utah Museum of Natural History (which, by the way, has a very good reputation in the scientific community), the LDS Church contributed quite a large sum of money to help fund it. Once you're in the museum you can see a number of skeletons that pre-date Adam by a few million years. During the last presidential election, I can't recall Romney making any kind of a statement one way or the other on global warming (not saying he didn't; I just can't remember one way or the other). Huntsman, however, who is also a Mormon, was very outspoken in saying that he was, in fact, very concerned about global warming.

As far as other Bible stories are concerned, there are LDS people on all ends of the literal/metaphorical spectrum. The Church has been pretty non-committal on most of the Bible stories, and left it up to the members to decide or themselves what exactly to believe. What I mean by this is that there are no sanctions against members who don't take these stories literally, and it's entirely possible to be a "member of the Church in good standing" and hold more liberal views on these issues. I do recall reading an article in a Church magazine a few years back that said the reference in Genesis to God taking a rib out of Adam's side to create Eve was not to be interpreted literally. On the other hand, we are still taught the story of how Adam and Eve came to eat the forbidden fruit and were cast out of Eden, so I'd say that there's a mix of literal and metaphorical beliefs today.

I hope I've answered your question to your satisfaction. If I haven't, please just tell me.

Last edited by Katzpur; 11-02-2013 at 07:15 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2013, 07:08 PM
 
32,532 posts, read 30,651,383 times
Reputation: 32347
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
I'd say that when I was growing up (in the 1950s and '60s), my family was more the exception than the rule.
I'd say so too. I didn't meet a liberal Mormon until I was 17.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2013, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,959 posts, read 22,109,113 times
Reputation: 10689
Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
I'd say so too. I didn't meet a liberal Mormon until I was 17.
LOL. I know, liberal Mormons are still kind of an oxymoron.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2013, 09:49 PM
 
Location: In a little house on the prairie - literally
10,202 posts, read 6,087,992 times
Reputation: 4527
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
.......

I hope I've answered your question to your satisfaction. If I haven't, please just tell me.
Thanks for a great answer and I appreciate it. Is there a move that you sense of a greater equality between the genders? As example, would girls who turn 18 ever become missionaries the same way boys do?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-02-2013, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,959 posts, read 22,109,113 times
Reputation: 10689
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupper3 View Post
Thanks for a great answer and I appreciate it.
No problem.

Quote:
Is there a move that you sense of a greater equality between the genders?
That's a hard one. As you probably know, we have (and always have had) an all-male priesthood, and I'd say that well over 99% of all LDS women are fine with that. I know I am, and I'm one of the less traditional, more liberal ones . Despite what a lot of non-Mormons think, most Mormon women really, truly do not see themselves as subjugated. In LDS worship services, women speak from the pulpit, offer public prayers and teach adult Sunday School classes attended by both men and women. At the Church's semi-annual General Conferences which are broadcast worldwide, women speakers address the Church's 15 million members as do men. There are a number of women, growing in numbers but still a very tiny percentage who believe that women should also hold the priesthood. Most of us are actually quite satisfied with our roles in the Church. The whole thing is probably kind of hard to relate to without understanding exactly what "the priesthood" means in the LDS Church -- the function of "the priesthood" is different in the LDS Church from what it is in traditional Christianity.

That said, the Church is admittedly still pretty traditional when it comes to gender roles in the family. A portion of an official Church proclamation a few years back states, "By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation." Women are encouraged to get good educations and to pursue careers if we wish, but are strongly reminded that ourr children are our number one priority. Back 30 or so years ago, when my kids were little, the Church leadership really did tend to push for women not to work outside the home. As a women trying to juggle a career and a family, I did often feel that I was being judged pretty harshly for my decision to hold a 30-hour/week job. It was pretty hard on me sometimes. Fortunately, I see attitudes changing and Mormon women feeling as if they can make whatever choices are right for them and their families without being made to feel guilty.

Quote:
As example, would girls who turn 18 ever become missionaries the same way boys do?
Actually, for many years, young men could serve missions as soon as they turned 19. Young women had to wait until they turned 21. A year or so ago, this policy was changed, allowing the young men to begin serving at 18 and the young women at 19. Still inequality, I know. I'm really not 100% sure what the reasoning is behind those numbers. It's probably has a lot to do with the fact that for young men, missionary service, while not obligatory, is very strongly encouraged. It's considered to be a responsibility associated with the priesthood they hold. For women, there is simply not an emphasis on serving a missions. They are definitely encouraged to go if they want to, but it's just not one of those things a young Mormon woman would ever feel pressured into doing. When I was young, almost no young women chose to go. Nowadays, huge numbers of young women do. As far as the age getting lowered to 18 for women, I suppose there's always a chance that might happen. After all, it came as a pretty big surprise to everybody when the last change was implemented. Currently, about 24% of all LDS missionaries are women.

Last edited by Katzpur; 11-02-2013 at 10:38 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2013, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Vegas
1,789 posts, read 1,797,721 times
Reputation: 1767
I have not been an active LDS in 40 years so my answer might be outdated.

I was taught that the Bible was inspired by God but contained many allegories and was not a direct or accurate translation of the Hebrew or Greek.

In addition to The Book of Mormon and the Holy Bible, they have another called The Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price which also delves into the beliefs of the church. One has to read that in order to fully understand the beliefs of members of the church.

I will fully admit that the main point of my leaving the church was the practice of getting up in front of the entire congregation to tell why you believe in the church and basically admit one's many sins. I know from first hand experience that a whole lot of BSing goes on.

At least in the Catholic church, when one confesses their sins to a priest, it's in private and protected.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2013, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,037 posts, read 54,537,410 times
Reputation: 66388
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupper3 View Post
Within so-called mainstream Christianity, there's a wide variety of the way different sects view their faith.

A significant number of them, especially in the United States of America, are fundamentalist. By that I mean they interpret the Bible literally.

Is that the same case in mainstream Mormonism? Or are there various branches, some who take the Bible and the Book of Mormon literally, and some take it metaphorically and allegorically?
I don't want to start something here, because too many people think this reflects Katzpur's church, which it does NOT, but if you are interested in a fundamentalist view of the LDS, I suggest you read Under the Banner of Heaven. It's about a murder within an FLDS family, and it's a good example of a religion gone haywire.

Again, this is NOT about mainstream Mormons, but it was a fascinating tale of a religious subgroup in the United States.

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith: Jon Krakauer: 9781400032808: Amazon.com: Books
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2013, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
21,959 posts, read 22,109,113 times
Reputation: 10689
Quote:
Originally Posted by sargentodiaz View Post
I will fully admit that the main point of my leaving the church was the practice of getting up in front of the entire congregation to tell why you believe in the church and basically admit one's many sins. I know from first hand experience that a whole lot of BSing goes on.

At least in the Catholic church, when one confesses their sins to a priest, it's in private and protected.
I've never been under the impression that we're expected to confess all of our sins in front of the entire congregation, and to be perfectly honest, I've never seen anyone do so. To publically admit that we're far from perfect is one thing, but I don't think that's what you're saying you felt you were supposed to be doing. This (for those who don't know) would be done as part of "Fast and Testimony Meeting," which is held once a month, and nobody is ever required to stand up and say anything at all. The purpose of the meeting is primarily to "bear testimony" (i.e. "witness") to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to perhaps share a faith-promoting experience one has had during the prior month. In my entire life (and I'm 65), I've stood up probably no more than about 3 times.

As I understand it, the only time a person would be expected to confess something to the congregation as a whole would be if the sin he'd committed affected or was against numerous members of the congregation. When I was a child, a man in our ward (i.e. congregation) was involved in stock fraud, perjury, and other illegal activities. He'd involved a number of the people in the congregation in these activities, and had even forged their names (my father's name included) on certain documents. He ended up serving a number of years in the state penitentary. I was pretty young when this all happened, and I really can't remember whether or not he ever stood up and confessed to anything in church. (He probably didn't because, as I recall, he went to prison adamantly denying his guilt.) I give this as an example because this is the kind of thing one might be expected to publically admit to. On the other hand, if someone in the congregation had had an extra-marital affair, this is something he or she would be expected to confess to his or her spouse and to the Bishop, not to the entire congregation.

Last edited by Katzpur; 11-03-2013 at 01:05 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2013, 01:24 PM
 
400 posts, read 452,280 times
Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by sargentodiaz View Post
I have not been an active LDS in 40 years so my answer might be outdated. I will fully admit that the main point of my leaving the church was the practice of getting up in front of the entire congregation to tell why you believe in the church and basically admit one's many sins. I know from first hand experience that a whole lot of BSing goes on.
At least in the Catholic church, when one confesses their sins to a priest, it's in private and protected.
Thanks for sharing that. Mormons don't have the corner on BSing. When I was a student and in my profession I have talked to MANY from all kinds of Christian walks that admit pretending, lying, faking, and BSing various church rituals and customs. It amazes me what people will admit doing and seeing, yet still remain loyal to their church. Equally amazing are those who get their nose bent out of shape over some little thing, like new carpet color, and leave.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Christianity
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top