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Fr Dwight Longenecker Asks, Does Mitt's Mormonism Matter? Comments

Most Americans are unaware of just how peculiar the beliefs of Mormons are. Do they know about Mormonism's exclusivity? It's secretive rituals? It's strange doctrines? Probably not. Even if they do know all the shady and weird stuff about Mormonism, do most Americans care? Should they care? With the possibility that their next president is a Mormon, does it matter? Continue Reading

61 - 70 of 135 Comments

  1. Phillip
    2 years ago

    Father your: "Modernist Mormonism is much like modernist Christianity. It's all about making the world a bett¥er place, being nice people, having good manners, helping the poor and doing good. Any idea that the whole of Mormonism is supernatural and involved with divine revelation and an interaction between this world and the next is quietly dismissed as out of date and irrelevant. This is the Mormonism of smiling families in slick advertising campaigns, clean cut All American values and an apple pie utopian dream of America as the prosperous and peaceful promised land."

    Is not something I as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recognise as being in any way a correct observation. As a self convert from Anglicanisim after having been baptised originally a Catholic.

    I fully appreciate the Church's history and understand the fact that Joseph Smith was a prophet, who in the most important intervention in human history, saw God and Jesus Christ. After all personal "due diligence" and four years of critical investigation I self converted to the LDS Church 34 years ago.

    My "zeal" for the faith and it's veracity is exactly the same as yours for your new found faith. You originally were a Christian from the evangelical side (you attended Bob Jones University) became an Anglican vicar in England and now are a Catholic and uniquely a Father in every sense of the word being a married one with Children. I value your perspective (given your own faith journey) and will continue to follow your Patheos blog and these articles.

    Father Longenecker meet with us Mormons, engage with some of our academics (incredibly we do have a well regarded University and an Church Education System) and perhaps your understanding will be illuminated.

    Our kinder LDS perspective on other faiths is best shown by this story:

    When he was a student, Elder Talmage was once approached by a man offering to sell him an excellent oil lamp. Elder Talmage already had a lamp he felt was satisfactory, but he allowed the lamp seller to come up to his room to demonstrate. 

    “We entered my room, and I put a match to my well-trimmed lamp. My visitor was high in his praise. It was the best lamp of its kind, he said, and he had never seen a lamp in better trim. He turned the wick up and down, and pronounced the judgment perfect. 

    “‘Now,’ he said, ‘with your permission I’ll light my lamp,’ taking it from his satchel. … Its light made bright the remotest corner of my room. Its brilliant blaze made the flame in my lamp weak and pale. Until that moment of convincing demonstration I had never known the dim obscurity in which I had lived and labored, studied and struggled.” 

    Elder Talmage bought the new lamp, and he later suggested what we can learn from the lamp seller as we teach the gospel: “The man who would sell a lamp did not disparage mine. He placed his greater light alongside my feebler flame, and I hasted to obtain it.

    “The missionary servants of the Church of Jesus Christ today are sent forth, not to assail nor ridicule the beliefs of men, but to set before the world a superior light, by which the smoky dimness of the flickering flames of man-made creeds shall be apparent.
    The work of the Church is constructive, not destructive”.
    (In Albert L. Zobell Jr., Story Gems [1953], 45–48; see also The Parables of James E. Talmage, comp. Albert L. Zobell Jr. [1973], 1–6).

  2. Thomas
    2 years ago

    This article is absurd.

    My Catholic friends and I (I am Mormon) are very aware that both of our religions have been misrepresented, slandered, and presented as something very different from reality over the years (centuries, in the case of Catholicism).

    It is confusing how an adherent of an oft-slandered religion is unable to see that his argument against Mormonism sounds exactly like the arguments that were once used to distort and misrepresent the tenets his own faith. Friar Longenecker, you are guilty of bearing false witness against your Mormon neighbors, just as Protestants have falsely witnessed about you for centuries. Your writing is intellectually dishonest.

  3. Janet Dawson
    2 years ago

    This article contains a lot of misinformation that could really hurt the campaign of Romney who is an honest, courageous, and god-fearing man (respectful of God). I know with the internet it seems that "anything goes". We must all be vigilant in thoroughly researching and finding the truth about all of our leaders.

    I am a member of the Mormon church. I feel very grateful to be a member of this church. It has truly blessed my life and the lives of my family. I have friends of other faiths who have a lot of respect for my beliefs and I respect theirs. As we Christians work together we can be a strong force to reverse the direction of this nation.

    I pray that we may all work together to bring to pass the things that will bring us true happiness. May we each take the opportunity to search deeply as we choose who to lead our country out of the tragic mess (debt, immorality, drugs, power, etc.) that we are in.

  4. Kurt
    2 years ago

    Sounds like a page out of the playbook of those who didn't want JFK to be president because he was a Catholic.

    "The moderate Mormon believes what his religious leaders tell him. He is a follower not a leader. He accepts the laundered version of the Mormon history and goes along with the practices. He tithes..."

    The LDS Church is thriving because it depends on lay leadership. Almost all Latter-day Saints are in lay leadership positions, and there is now way possible that their lay leaders have the time or energy to tell them what to do. They have to get it together with the Lord.

    There is no "laundered version" of LDS history. All the original document images are being published along with digital versions for searching. Yes, there is the epic of the Latter-day Saints to be told, but no critical thinker in or out of the LDS Church would regard that as the history. When is the Vatican going to release all their holdings as digital images?

    Tithing. Ahhh. Why is should considered a negative among people of faith? Let's match the tithing records of LDS and Catholic politicians. Is it now to be considered somehow unenlightened, cultist, or extreme to pay a full tithe?

  5. Wendell
    2 years ago

    Once again a non-Mormon has tried to explain my religion to the world and has failed miserably. Should Catholics accept my analysis of Catholic dogma and history as being accurate to them? Why in the world does this Catholic cleric think he knows more about my own faith than I do? By comparison, what is the great historical veracity of all Catholic claims? Does anyone have another sliver of the true cross? This finger bone belonged to St. so and so. I wonder which of the three flavors of Mormonism the good Father would assign me to? And where does he get off thinking he has Mr. Romney pegged? The whole idea that a person outside a faith can write a column claiming to be able to divide the adherents into three neat little categories and then "pontificate" on his conclusions is profoundly presumptive and almost guaranteed to be wrong.

  6. brad
    2 years ago

    I am assuming the father asked so many unanswered questions because he doesn't know the answers...but why is there so much hate spewing from his keystrokes? Did a Mormon hurt you as a child, father?

  7. Mike
    2 years ago

    Stephen Morley, I can appreciate your comments and trying to see both sides of the fence, but I think you misunderstood what Fr. said. He mentioned the scandals, hoaxes, and fraud of the founders of the Mormon faith. Those scandals, hoaxes, and fraud do not apply to the Apostles, those who Christ hand picked to start his Church. Big difference. Also, the selling of an indulgence to guarentee salvation was never doctrine. It was a complete and disgusting misuse of indulgences. That misuse (the individuals' sins who promoted it) was not doctrine.

  8. deila
    2 years ago

    Thank you Denise M. Sharar for your comment. I love my catholic friends, and I am a Mormon. It was very sad to read this commentary from a Catholic Father. so sad that he would spew mis-information after Mormons.

  9. Dandini
    2 years ago

    Interesting how Catholics are afraid to discuss their own Church history, yet will easily attack another faith on it's history...

  10. vance
    2 years ago

    Does Mitt's Mormonism matter? NO. What matters is what he does when he is in office.

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