Why Does It Matter to Me?
Until last weekend, I didn't have any opinions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormonism, or its founder Joseph Smith. I didn't have an opinion because I didn't know anything about it except the most superficial facts. Like most Americans, I associated Mormons with Utah, large close knit families, a history of polygamy, and some scriptures not included in Catholic or Protestant bibles. Since I live in an area that is basically free of the Mormon influence, I didn't give it much thought.
Until last weekend....
A video about problems with Mormonism popped up as recommended on YouTube. I watched it and realized how little I know. Much of the content made no sense to me. The terms referenced were totally unfamiliar. I imagine it is like a Jew hearing arguments about Christianity for the first time. Who's this "Paul"? What is Easter? What do you mean the laws don't need to be followed anymore? In order to understand any problems with Mormonism, I first needed to learn its language and its stories.
I quickly learned that the founder of the Latter-Day Saints, Joseph Smith, was convicted of fraud and known to lie. The gold plates were seen by no one else with their natural physical eyes. The story told in the Book of Mormon has no historical basis but is partially plagiarized from other books. In short, the whole of Mormonism rests on the word of one man and that man was a liar.
If people choose to devout their lives to the teachings of a liar, that is their choice. If that were all it was, a small group of people knowingly following a work of fiction, I would have no reason other than scholarly curiosity to examine the practice more intensely. That isn't all. People in the Latter-Day Saints churches are not told the complete story and they are actively discouraged from questioning the official stories. Furthermore, the LDS intensely trains thousands of young Mormons to spend two years of their lives trying to convert people.
The LDS expend an enormous amount of time and resources to recruiting new members. The story told to the potential recruits does not reflect the actual beliefs of the LDS nor the truth of its origins. Potential members are not told that Joseph Smith moved from state to state to evade prosecution for fraud. They are not told that he secretly "married" as many as 33 women. They are not told that he ordered the destruction of the local newspaper because it printed concerns about Smith and his practices. They are not told that they believe in many gods and God was a man. They are not told they will have to give the LDS at least 10% of their income AND the LDS will check tax returns to make sure you are giving 10% of your gross income and not 10% of your net income.
All of these things I learned since last week. In the future I will provide many links to show the truth of my concerns. The best place to start is the Mormon Research Ministries. This website uses many of the LDS's own sources to show inconsistencies. Its founder Bill McKeever has written many books about Mormonism and has YouTube videos of his talks. I have watched many of his talks and look forward to reading his books.
Another place to start is the book by former Mormon Blair Watson called Latter-day Saint Swindle: The Mormon Church’s $200-Billion Scam. http://www.blairwatsontribute.net/ Mr. Watson spent three years researching this book and even as a lifetime member of the LDS was shocked by much of it. Once I started reading this book, I had trouble putting it down to do trivial things like eat. I finished within a day but plan to read it again paying attention to his numerous footnotes. Since Mr Watson's death, a link to a free PDF can be found at Tribute to Blair Watson
Mormon Fraud: A Brief Summary of Mormonism and its Deceptions - Kindle edition by Kristan Payne. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.