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June 24th, 2011
02:11 PM ET

Explain it to me: Mormonism

With two Mormons running for the Republican presidential nomination and a play riffing on the religion tearing up Broadway, the country appears to be having a Mormon moment.

Here are 10 facts about Mormonism. What other questions do you have about the faith?

1. The official name of the Mormon church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

2. Mormons consider themselves Christian but their beliefs and practices differ from traditional Christianity in key ways, including belief in sacred texts outside the Bible and practices like posthumous proxy baptism and wearing special undergarments.

3. There are about 14 million Mormons today, with more than half living outside the United States.

4.  The Mormon religion was founded in upstate New York in 1830, when Joseph Smith published a translation of writings he said he found and translated from Egyptian-style hieroglyphics into English.  That's the Book of Mormon, which believers say consists of writings produced by ancient American civilizations.

5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has outlawed polygamy since 1890.

6. Early Mormons faced intense persecution, so church headquarters relocated from New York to Missouri to Illinois in rapid succession. Joseph Smith was killed by a mob in Illinois. His successor, Brigham Young, led early Mormons to the Great Salt Lake in what's now Utah, where church headquarters remains.

7. Mormon men are expected to perform two years of missionary work beginning when they're 19 years old. Women can also do missionary work when they turn 21, but there is less pressure to do so.

8. Famous Mormons include J.W. Marriott, founder of the hotel chain, Glenn Beck and Gladys Knight, a convert.

9. Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney represent different generations of Mormonism that have related pretty differently to American culture.

10. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is running some major ad campaigns to take advantage of burgeoning interest in the religion.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mormonism

soundoff (3,741 Responses)
  1. Reality

    It is called the Great Angelic Cons:

    Joe Smith had his Moroni.

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
    Some added references to "tink-erbells".

    "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Apparently hallu-cinations did not stop with Joe Smith.

    newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

    "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."

    Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

    "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."
    And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

    "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."
    "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

    "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

    For added information see the review at:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel

    -----------------------------------------------–

    June 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • airwx

      Hello Reality... I see you are back to cut and paste religion bashing. And I had such high hopes for you're full recovery from OCW (Obsessive, Compulsive Wikidimencia)

      June 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      I do not know Airwx, the other day Reality posted using his own words and thoughts.... it was ... I think all that saw it believes it is better and easier to follow when he post another's words than his own.

      June 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Reality

      As we "thu-mp" along with rational thinking, conclusions and reiteration to counter the millennia of false and flawed religious history and theology!!!

      June 25, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Mark Ever the diplomat. Reality's own words were clear, concise and utterly abominable ...

      June 25, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  2. Brent Slensker

    BEFORE J Smith was "Killed by a mob" (some reports say he JUMPED from a two-story window) he shot and mortally wounded TWO men...which makes him a killer.

    June 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • C.

      That is TOO rich! Imagine- a mob of men intent on murdering you, and then you get criticized for self-defense? Any individual harmed in the mob that murdered Joseph Smith got harmed by his own choice to participate in the mob and the consequences that follow. Who cares if Joseph tried to jump or not? He got MURDERED for crying out loud. Classic case of crucifying the victim while refusing to wonder what caused someone to be the perpetrator.

      June 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Tom

      @C it is somewhat comical to me that Joseph Smith had a pistol smuggled into the jail cell that he was in. It is also comical that he thought the approaching mob was his beloved Nauvoo Legion, you would think a "prophet" would know that this was the mob bringing his death, not his own group of worshipers.

      June 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Joe Smith is a pedaphile

      Smith was not MURDERED. He was killed in an act of self defense. Rather than take his many many many cues and leave he picked a fight and lost. He is a LIAR, PEDOPHILE and Criminally INSANE!

      June 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • Brian

      This is rich. Joseph Smith was a sitting duck. He had a gun because he and everyone else knew what was going to happen. Also, he was in there with three other men. So he wasn't just defending himself. His brother Hyram was also killed, shot through the door before the mob even entered the room.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Brian

      How exactly do you pick a fight, when you are in jail?

      June 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  3. steve

    MAN MADE GOD.

    June 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      All gods are man made.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  4. D'Bourgeois

    Humans have a habit of exalting mortal spiritual guides to God status posthumously. Value in religion lies in their philosophy, not in messiah or prophet. Praying to any would not get to heaven or hell, since neither exists – its a made up concept to get compliance

    June 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  5. Tom

    If you would like to learn more about mormons, then please read the wikipedia article on Joseph Smith. It will tell you all sides of the story.

    June 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Joe Smith is a pedaphile

      No it does not. Read about the real story of Moronism in much better places than the Mormon edited version in Wikpedia.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      So are claiming there is such thing as a fully unbiased website on the internet. Let us be real, we all can point to this site or that and proclaim that site are the real truth. Sadly, its the sites we see as being true, only echo our own held views. Those that tell us things that we do not hold as true are automatically classified as coercive and buckets of lies.

      Try this... maybe there is ... I do not know.. a blog somewhere attached to a major news organization where you can meet and speak to actual Mormons and those of other Faiths.

      Wonder if such a site exist.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  6. D'Bourgeois

    Humans have a habit of exalting mortal spiritual guides to God status long posthumously. Value in religion lies in their philosophy, not in messiah or prophet. Praying to any would not get to heaven or hell, since neither exists – its a made up concept to get compliance.

    June 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  7. momof3

    I read the book of Mormon and all I had to do was read the beginning and I could tell that Joseph Smith thought of himself as a higher being. As in the bible it had the names starting with John Smith and he begat and then the begats begin. Taken from the bible I think so. Yeah I read that he never made it from Chicago because he had power struggles with the Mafia. Oh and my aunt and uncle could not go into the temple to see my counscins wedding because they did not belong to the church. He also had to convert to marry his wife. That is my real life experience with the religion. Sounds like a sect to me. No different than many religions though that have come along over time. But christian ??

    June 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      "I read the book of Mormon and all I had to do was read the beginning and I could tell that Joseph Smith thought of himself as a higher being."

      Joseph Smith isn't in the Book of Mormon.

      "As in the bible it had the names starting with John Smith and he begat and then the begats begin."

      There is comparable "begats" section as you'd find in Genesis.

      "Taken from the bible I think so. Yeah I read that he never made it from Chicago because he had power struggles with the Mafia."

      Joseph Smith never had any dealings with "the Mafia." Nor did Mormons ever settle in Chicago.

      "Oh and my aunt and uncle could not go into the temple to see my counscins wedding because they did not belong to the church."

      A Mormon temple wedding takes place in the temple. To go to the temple, you not only have to be a Mormon; you have to be a Mormon in good standing.

      "He also had to convert to marry his wife. That is my real life experience with the religion."

      Mormons marry non-Mormons all the time. You don't have to convert to marry a Mormon, even if the wedding is held at a Mormon chapel.

      "Sounds like a sect to me. No different than many religions though that have come along over time. But christian ??"

      All religions are "sects." Mormons believe in Jesus and strive to live a Christian life. That is the basis for Mormon Christianity.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  8. myke

    I am still trying to figure out which are funnier mormans or scientology.

    June 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • haunyocker

      I trying to figure out what is funnier, the fact that you can't spell Mike or you can't spell Mormon, especially when it was spelled for you in the article.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      Jews are the funniest. They have the longest list of stand-up comedians – and the most successful.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  9. Albert

    Why does Thomas Monson have so many different million dollar estates?

    June 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Brian

      You call this a mansion?

      He lives in a home built in the early 1960's, in Utah. He and his wife have lived in this home since it was new.

      http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_does_President_Thomas_S_Monson_live

      June 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  10. Drew K

    Catholic/Christian VS LDS ...thousands of people saw heard or bore witness to jesus and his miracles and teachings... hundreds wrote about them both contemporarily and posthumously...there are both archeological and historical evidence to collaborate and place in context for christianity and catholosism (SP?) ...
    LDS .. 11 people saw the plates which have now disapeared, and some of those 11 have recanted their story.
    DNA testing has proven there is no tie in the entire western hemisphere in the genitic make up if the indigineous people to Judiism. (directrly contradicting Joseph Smith's direct words.)
    Now AS a catholic I believe if you are good and do kind acts you will be rewarded in the afterlife. the bible does not say only catholics will go to heaven... it says those who follow and believe in christ will. that means all christianss who believs and follow his teachings will be rewarded...regardless of what particular you church you choose to worship christ at, is called...
    Keep in mind though worshiping false idolss and putting someone before god is breaking one of his big 10
    Just something to thinlk about...

    June 25, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Brian

      None of the 11 witnesses ever recanted their stories, even though some did leave the church.

      As for Jewish DNA, read this article:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_X_%28mtDNA%29

      June 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Drew K

      You said: "Catholic/Christian VS LDS ...thousands of people saw heard or bore witness to jesus and his miracles and teachings... hundreds wrote about them both contemporarily and posthumously...there are both archeological and historical evidence to collaborate and place in context for christianity and catholosism (SP?) ..."

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
      -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, (The Gnostic Gospels)

      The bottom line is we really don't know for sure who wrote the Gospels.
      -Jerome Neyrey, of the Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. in "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

      Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
      -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!

      Most of the supposed authors lived AFTER Jesus was dead. Can you say hearsay?

      We don't even have a wooden shelf that Jesus might have built. Or anything written by Jesus. God incarnate, and we don't even have a Mother's day card signed by Him.

      The Dead Sea Scrolls did not mention Jesus or have any New Testament scripture.

      Jesus, if he existed, was not considered important enough to write about by any contemporary person. The myth hadn't had a chance to flourish.

      Paul's writings were the first, about Jesus. But, Paul's writing was done 25 to 30 years after Jesus was dead. In a primitive, ultra-supersti_tious society, 25 years is a lot of time for a myth to grow. Paul never met Jesus.

      Some people feel that Paul, not Jesus, is the real father of what most Christians believe today (Pauline Christianity).

      Questions on the Crucifixion story:

      "Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save." Mark 15:31

      "Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe..." Mark 15:32

      It would appear, that the chief priests are admitting that Jesus "saved" others. If they knew this, then there is no reason for them to demand that Jesus descend from the cross, in order for them to believe. They already admitted to knowing of Jesus's "miracles".

      I'm sure you will apply Evangelical gymnastics to these verses, but taken literally it would seem that this is just an embellishment by Mark. A work of fiction.

      Here is some more:

      According to Luke 23:44-45, there occurred "about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour, and the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst."
      Yet not a single mention of a three hour ecliptic event got recorded by anyone. Why? 'Cause it didn't happen!

      Mathew 27 51:53
      51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
      How come nobody wrote about zombies running through the cities? 'Cause it is all b.s.

      If Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God, who died for man's redemption, then this would be the most important event in the history of man.
      Why wouldn't god have ensured there was tons of evidence that this was true? Multiple Writings by contemporary eyewitnesses – Jews and Romans.

      You are going to want to say that there IS lots of evidence, but look at reality: There are way more people, in the world, who are not Christians (68%) than who are (32%). Obviously, the evidence is not adequate to convince even a majority of the world's people.

      Cheers!

      June 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Bill Kilpatrick

      Drew K, I was tempted to take you task for your errors of fact, but I'd rather agree with you on the one thing that really matters: Being a Christian isn't about what you believe or what you say you believe. It's about what you do. Catholics and Mormons are the only Christians I know of who actually preach this.

      To be a Christian is to follow the teachings of Jesus, which are all about action.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Magic

      Drew K and Brian:

      Read David Johnson's post, then read it again... and after that read it again.

      These 'angels' and 'holy spirits' were not very wise if they didn't know that their 'messages' were so poorly evidenced.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Magic

      Bill Kilpatrick:

      Some of the teachings attributed to Jesus are beneficial to peaceful and compassionate human behavior. It is the claim of supernatural beings and events as the motivation for this behavior which is at question; and the insistence of each religion that their fantasy scenario is the true one and that all others are wrong.

      June 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  11. Karen

    if you are truly interested in what Mormons believe see the website for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at http://mormon.org/. I am a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I live in California. I thought the movie on Mormons beliefs on this page was well done. He is not a believer but he went out of his way to present accurate information. Good job CNN!

    June 25, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  12. Tom

    One of my favorite things about mormon history is Joseph Smith running for president. They never talk about this in their worship meetings, but it definitely happened, and is definitely extremely comical.

    June 25, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Jenna

      Yes, he did run for president because at the time, the LDS population didn't feel there was a candidate who was worthy of their vote and could at least feel good about their voting if he ran. That he didn't win is not surprising. The only reasons that it's not usually really talked about are that it has nothing to do with our doctrine, which is what is taught in our meetings, and it really didn't influence our history either.

      June 25, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Tom

      Jenna, according to your own church publication called the Ensign, it was one of the contributing factors to his death. Seems like something rather important to so obviously leave out of the story.

      June 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Aaron

      Tom, you say they don't talk about it but then turn around and say they put it in their official publications? Am I missing something?

      June 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • C.

      How do you KNOW this is never talked about? Do you have some unknown, scientifically verified polling that can prove this point? It's easy to take this information out of context.

      June 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • haunyocker

      @Tom
      One of my favorite things about people like you is that you reveal your bigoted ignorance to the world in your mockery and your willingness to so blatantly illustrate that ignorance is indeed comical. Be that as it may, there are reasons for presidential runs.

      There have been at least 68-third party presidential candidates who've run for President and that doesn't include hundreds of other candidates who didn't get enough traction to be listed. If you examine the list of candidates and the names of their parties you'll discover a host of usually "single issue" candidates who has a problem or issue. William Wirt was an "anti-Masonic" candidate in 1832. There were prohibition candidates, Free Soil candidates, Union candidates and the list is long and usually single issue oriented.

      As a Mormon, I've read the history of Joseph Smith's run for the presidency again proving your false assertion that the issue is not discussed in the Church's historical context. It's in our history books. I would suggest to you that the list of issue candidates, like Joseph Smith, ran to express opposition to given government actions or to propose a resolution to a perceived problem.

      In the case of Joseph Smith, he was attempting to get the attention of Washington politicians for the grievances committed against "Mormons." Mormons were being illegally driven from their land time after time. Members were killed and Washington politicians were aiding and abetting the mob. Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob and the government did nothing, but allowed Mormons to be driven from their homes in the dead of winter. Many died. If you think murder if funny we know what kind of person you are.

      I wonder what you would do to express your objections as a member of a group who was being murdered, had your property stolen, children killed and religious leaders murdered. Would you be laughing then?

      June 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  13. Daniel

    Missing from the top 10 is that Mormons believe that Jesus Christ was an angel, and not God. That is why Christians know that Mormons are totally mistaken about God and are instead a friendly, wholesome cult.

    June 25, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Aaron

      That's not accurate. Please double-check your sources.

      June 25, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Aaron

      http://mormon.org/jesus-christ/ says "Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of God. He is our Redeemer."

      June 25, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • YetAnotherBob

      Wrong. Jesus is God, because the Father gave him all power. God is not a name, it is a description. The bible plainly teaches this.

      June 25, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Aaron

      Sure, whether God and Christ are the same person or father and son is an age-old debate in all of Christianity. I'm just pointing out that his claim that Mormons think Christ is an angel is inaccurate.

      June 25, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Drew K

      Aaron
      Is it not true that LDS believe Jesus was the son of Mary and God thru terestial relations? Similar to those of Greek Mythology

      June 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Andy

      You're comment applies more closely to Jehovah's Witness .

      June 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Drew K

      Andy
      Your post does not answer the question. It tells me what another religion believes not what asked about LDS

      June 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Reality

      It is called the Great Angelic Cons:

      Joe Smith had his Moroni.

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.
      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Apparently hallu-cinations did not stop with Joe Smith.

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."

      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."
      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."
      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel

      June 25, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Brian

      @Drew.

      Mormons believe Mary was a virgin and yet she conceived. But Mormons also teach that God the Father is the literal father of Jesus. You can interpret that anyway you want, but no, Mormons do not believe nor does the Church teach, nor has it ever taught that Jesus was conceived in any similitude to Greek mythologies.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Magic

      Brian,

      Ancient history has many myths about half-man / half-god beings, who performed amazing, awesome feats. People sure do like their fantasy super-heroes.

      June 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Brian

      Mormons do not believe Jesus was half man/ half God. He was God before the foundation of the Earth, and chosen to be the redeemer and savior long before his birth. But his Father is not Joseph, and it is not the Holy Ghost.

      June 26, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • Magic

      Brian,

      The Abrahamaic "God" is thought of as a spirit being. I understand that the Mormon "God" is flesh & bone, like us. Many of the ancient myths thought of their gods as flesh & bone also and they mated with humans quite often.

      June 26, 2011 at 2:49 am |
    • Segev Stormlord

      We believe that the God of the Old Testament is Jehova, Who was Christ before He was incarnated on the earth for his mortal ministry. God the Father gave His Son all power to carry out the plan of salvation, and it is thus Jehova-the-spirit Who we see in the burning bush and the like. When He was born to Mary, He gained a body of flesh and blood, as we have. When He was resurrected, He obtained a body of flesh and bone, as our Heavenly Father has. It is this that we believe all of us will have when we partake of the resurrection, ourselves. "We" here refers to nearly all of mankind, as very, very, VERY few will fall so far and so hard as to qualify for eternal damnation with Satan and his demons, forever trapped as bodiless spirits and separated from God and the rest of us. (Indeed, the depths of sin required for this – that one knows, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the Word is true, and actively works to keep others from partaking of it – is literally impossible for most of us to achieve, since most of us will never have that KNOWLEDGE in this life; we are here, in part, to learn faith, and knowledge kills faith.)

      July 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  14. T3chsupport

    As far as any 'Christians' go, Mormons have always been my favorite. They're the most kind, tolerant, and trusting of any of the major Christian sects I've had interaction with. That's not to say that they aren't just as big of jerks as soon as they're in a large group, like any other religion, but I've found the individuals to be pretty stand-up people.

    June 25, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      All cults and sects, as long as they are in minority they behave very kindly, friendly and politely. As soon as they have taken over rule, they show their true colours.

      June 25, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yep ...and as soon as the blacks get a black president they are going to take revenge on the white population.

      June 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • JohnR

      Good one, Mark!

      Oh, Earth to Rainer: Not all small "cults" behave nicely. Remember the group that released sarin gas in the Tokyo subway? And Mormons are far too numerous and have been around too long to dismiss with the label 'cult'.

      June 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Brian

      When the Church sanctions a gas attack on a Tokyo subway, then I will disavow them. Until then, I follow the scripture that says, "by their fruits, ye shall know them."

      June 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  15. missskeptic

    Mormons are friendly to your face, but they will cheat you if they can. Also, Mormons may have outlawed polygamy in theory, they still believe in the practice in the afterlife. Mormon women in Utah have the highest use of anti-depressents in the country. There is a good reason Mormon kids marry really young – it's because they can move out of their parents' homes and get all kinds of student loans and grants from the government. They are great at gaming the system. I once spent 5 days (vacation) in Utah and have never been so uncomfortable in my life – all these mechanical smiles that can turn on you in a second if they don't like what you're doing.

    June 25, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Nate

      You've got to be kidding! You are not serious... right? You spent 5 whole days in Utah and now you are an expert? Actually it's 5 days plus an hour on the internet reading some Mormon hate website. I'm sorry if you met a few people who were less than exemplary but I've been there several times and was quite impressed.

      June 25, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Aaron

      That hasn't been the case with Mormons I know.

      June 25, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • YetAnotherBob

      You may not know that Salt Lake City is less than half Mormon. The people you mat will have the same percentage.

      June 25, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yeah I have to agree with the other poster. Dude or Ms... you were on vacation. Often you are dealing with nothing but fake smiles. Check out a recent story about the QE2 and how many of the staff got so fed up that at the first port many jumped ship. The remaining cruise the remaining could not even do a fake smile.

      I mean do you really think you experienced all of Mormon ...while on Vacation. That is like folks going on vacation to Jamaica and saying they experienced what is Jamaica. Just to let you know, the Jamaicans laugh when travelers say that they went to Jamaica. 🙂

      June 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  16. Tim

    Mormons are also Christians that create ponzi schemes in Mesa Arizona. Google stargate worlds.

    June 25, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  17. Sgrewgun

    Why does the liberal media never mention Harry Ried is a Mormon?

    June 25, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  18. John

    I guess it's good that people are trying to 'save' each other, but we'd all be happier if we worry about saving ourselves and practice tolerance. It's OK to express a different belief, but recognize that you too have beliefs which might seem crazy when described by another. Even atheists believe a pinhead exploded billions of years ago and spontaneously created all life, the universe, and even dictated the words I'm now writing. Let's grow up and stop being bigoted extremists.

    June 25, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Free

      When they talk about 'saving' each other why does it often sound like Bears and Packers fans dishing about who has the better team?

      June 25, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Tom

      One of my favorite things about mormon history is Joseph Smith running for president. They never talk about this in their worship meetings, but it definitely happened, and is definitely extremely comical.

      June 25, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • David Johnson

      @John
      It's OK to express a different belief, but recognize that you too have beliefs which might seem crazy when described by another. Even atheists believe a pinhead exploded billions of years ago and spontaneously created all life, the universe, and even dictated the words I'm now writing.

      That isn't what I believe, and I'm an atheist. I took the pledge and everything. It wasn't a bang. More like an expansion – think a balloon being filled with air. Also, the Big Bang did not create life. Google "abiogenesis".

      Cheers!

      June 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  19. John

    People.. please love people, regardless of what you believe about their beliefs.

    June 25, 2011 at 9:32 am |
  20. Believe

    Dear Cow. Your posting name says it all. Really? Mormons are Christians. They are kind and generous, loving people because it is a more rewarding way to live life. Whether you like it or not, you are a part of the human family, Cow, and life is a better experience when lived happily. To put it in terms you might more easily understand: don't upset the herd.

    June 25, 2011 at 9:11 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.