I had this thought several days ago, and coincidentally read about it in an edition of Nat Geo magazine, and thus decided to write about it.
Unlike other subjects that I had written previously, this is a real challenge for me, as I never really understood Mormonism. Believe me, I have no idea what Mormonism is all about..
I'm am sure most Christians have heard of this Mormon thing. I was told by my mother that it's a cult, yet the internet claims otherwise. I am not really sure what it is, as my research draws more confusion than explanation. Is it a church? Or a cult?
So I started out via wikipedia~ =P
So it all started with this guy named Joseph Smith, Jr. He was the founder and claimed prophet of the Latter Day Saint Movement.
In the late 1820s, Smith announced that an angel had given him a book of golden plates engraved with a religious chronicle of ancient American peoples in an unknown language. He also said he had received a pair of divining stones in which he could see the translation, which he published in 1830 as the Book of Mormon. On the basis of this book and other revelations, he founded a church in western New York, claiming it to be a restoration of primitive Christianity.
Smith's followers believe he was a great prophet who saw God and angels, and they regard some of his revelations as scripture. Actually he was rewriting the bible too, adding his own elements into the bible =.=
After Smith's death in 1844, the Latter Day Saint Movement divided into several groups, the largest of which, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) became known in the 19th century for its practice of plural marriage.
The LDS Church officially renounced this practice in 1890 and discontinued it completely in the early 20th century. Other denominations, who refer to themselves as Mormon fundamentalists, continued the practice.
Mormon fundamentalists here refers to the population who adheres to plural marriage, and it still exists in America today. However, the leadership of the Mormon Church became increasingly determined to shed its polygamous past and be accepted by the American mainstream.
The article that highlighted Mormonism in Nat Geo magazine explicitly revealed some of the bizzare practises of Mormons, which include the expulsion of young boys from the community, which they call the "lost boys", plural marriage and arranged marriage of young girls to certain church member, and also heeding jailed prophets.
A Mormon who has five wives and forty six children~
The author of the article presented his work efficiently, revealing the fundamental lifestyle of the Mormons, and upon reading those I felt that this is the exact phenomenon claimed by the bible:
"Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that
the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by
which we know that it is the last hour." (1Jn 2:18)
I'm not judging that Mormons are wrong. They COULD be right, and they COULD be wrong, we'll never know~
but one thing is certain; there are too many streams and denominations of Christians today, to the extend that even cults are being worshiped vigorously. There are various confusion in Christianity itself, with many "prophets" who came out with their own translation, solution and teachings.
The only common thing amongst these denomination is that they all revolve around Jesus Christ, but this put many believers' faith in vain~ they could be doing something which aren't fruitful after all...
Somehow, it is understandable for the Mormons to maintain their beliefs despite cynical remarks from other denominations. Imagine one day you are told that your church is a cult and you have been worshiping in vain all these years, you would probably shrug it off and claim it to be a test from God~.... o.O
That's the main problem with religion nowadays. With science, wrong is wrong and right is right, all to be determined by experiment.
There is no such thing as you believing that electrons are positively charged when other people telling you otherwise and you shrug it off despite experimental evidence laid before your eyes...
So we are not supposed to assume that all churches are good... It could be cult that you're joining =.=