This started off as a comment on a friends blog-post about how religions have morphed and evolved. It was an outgrowth of the whole Jerry Falwell / divisionist / right-wing / conservative / homo-phobic / repressionist diatribe that has been sucking up blogosphere bandwidth (including mine) for the past few days.
As is all too typical for those of us who lean towards excessive verbosity, my comment evolved into a post in it's own right. Which I am presenting here.
I want to apologize up front to one particular blogger (who knows who she is) who I'm sure will (justifiably) take exception to this post. I'm not attacking (even though it will really, really sound that way), just sharing my personal observations and research about a faith that I don't consider to be as mainstream as they would lead people to believe.
I don't mean to pick on the Mormons, but my ex-step-son and his family were Mormon so I researched it in an effort to understand and...OMG! They are more bizarre than I ever dreamed.
We all know about the polygamy thing. If you don't, go watch Big Love on HBO. Great show! Harry Dean Stanton is awesome!
We all know that they don't consume caffiene, or alcohol, or tobacco, or God knows what else. That's why they are in such a hurry to get to heaven. There is nothing enjoyable about being alive on earth. Plus, their ward members are in their business 24/7 so there is no opportunity to think, question or doubt.
The geneaology thing is more controversial than people realize. I admit to availing myself of their massive archives during my 11 years of geneaology research. It is an unbelievably comprehensive collection. If you are interested in your family history, they are the WalMart that you can't avoid shopping at.
The reason they are so interested in searching for ancestors is so they can convert them to Mormonism in the afterlife. That's right. Your entire family has been "Free Will Baptist", Catholic or even Jewish for 200 or 2000+ years. One modern family member becomes Mormon and he takes all of those ancestral records to a Mormon Temple and has them all converted to Mormonism so that they can all spend Eternity together in Mormon Heaven.
They also expect Mormons to conduct at least one Haj-like pilgrimage to a Mormon Temple to consecrate and seal their family.
I don't know about you, but spending Eternity locked into a foreign Heaven with every distant cousin I never knew existed listening to them beg me to co-sign on a harp or lend them my angelic wings "just until I get myself situated" is my idea of pure Hell.
"They have an additional scripture called the Book of Mormon that explains that Jesus visited America (in ancient times) and describe what he did while he was here"
Uh huh. They do indeed. Google "Adam-ondi-Ahman". Apparently, this is where Adam and Eve were exiled to when they were booted out of The Garden of Eden. Where is Adam-ondi-Ahman, you ask? Just north of Gallatin, MO. in Daviess County on the bluffs of the Grand River. Jesus came to visit them there. Even though Jesus wasn't born until 4000 years after Adam and Eve according to strict, evangelical timelines. They can show you the sacred altar (big rock slab) where Jesus and Adam prayed together.
Plus, I can understand how the Jews could lose the Ten Commandments carved on stone tablets by The Hand Of God over the course of, what? Four thousand years? I mean, you move, you wander in the desert, stuff gets packed and unpacked, there are wars and famines and plagues, temples get built, temples get sacked...it's happened to us all. Right?
But copper sheets from an angel only a couple of hundred years old? I mean, we have the parchment (sheep skin) originals of the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution older than that!
How do you lose angelic copper plates? Where are they? Wouldn't that make a pretty compelling argument on those door to door missionary pilgramages?
"Hey! Look at these! Copper sheets with angel-writing! Pretty cool, huh? Wanna join our church?"
I'm just sayin'.