What is the Mormon Religion?

Hello! Do you have a moment to talk about the Church
of Jesus Christ… of latter day saints? Didn’t I already make this joke? *checking phone* yes I have… well sh-
Today we’re going to talk about Mormonism, a religion that very much marches to its own
tune, and given a peek at what kind of explainers exist on the internet, I’m going to try
and buck the trend by not being a jerk to them. Let’s find out about the Mormons. Hey folks, I’m Tristan Johnson, and this
is Step Back. Be sure to click that subscribe button as
well as the bell notification, so you never miss a new Step Back upload or live stream. Mormons are part of the broader umbrella of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Over the years it has contained over a hundred
different sects of the religion, but Mormons have always been the most populous. They consider themselves Christians, but some
christians would fight you on that. They’re based out of Salt Lake City Utah,
but only about half of Mormons live in the United States. The other half live all over the planet. The story of this religion begins in the early
19th century. Religion was changing in America. New Protestant sects were popping up all over
the place, and experimenting with radical new takes on Christianity around the country. Historians now call this period the second
Great Awakening. This movement made its way to Western New
York to a young farmer named Joseph Smith. He and a small group of friends and family
got into the revivalist movements going on in this period. According to the Mormons, Smith prayed over
what denomination to join and claimed he had a vision telling him all the churches were
wrong. With this revelation in mind, he began a new
religious community. Over these early years, Joseph Smith claimed
he had multiple visits from angels. They reportedly told him that it was his job
to start a new church and to write a book to establish a correct doctrine for the faith. Like many movements of the time, it was millennialist,
believing that the second coming of Christ was nigh. They wanted to establish Zion in the Western
United States. In 1829, this community baptised its first
new member. They branded themselves in 1830 as the Church
of Christ. Over the next decade, they began to see Joseph
Smith as a modern-day prophet and became more and more distinct from other Protestant groups. This decade was not without its problems. Increasing tensions led the early Mormons
to leave New York and find a new place to make their own community. Their first stop was in Kirtland Ohio, where
they intended to save up resources to build a permanent settlement – the Zion they were
charged to create – in Jackson County Missouri. They settled, and by 1838 they had pretty
much been kicked out of Missouri by the locals. The governor of Missouri even issued an extermination
order on them. Their next stop was Commerce Illinois. They bought this town and renamed it to Nauvoo
and actually had a pretty good time for a while. About six years into their stay in Illinois,
tensions escalated with the local population to a fever pitch. A mob attacked the Mormons, forcing their
escape, and killing Joseph Smith, causing a surprise power vacuum. Enter Brigham Young. Most Mormons accepted him as Joseph Smith’s
successor. His plan for the Mormons? He led them further west. This is where they found Salt Lake City in
Utah territory in 1847. It was here the Mormons established themselves
to this day. So… what is this religion that seemed to
offend their neighbours so? Let’s begin with their holy text. The Mormons have a newer testament to the
Bible called the Book of Mormon. According to Mormons, Joseph Smith dictated
this book from golden plates he found in New York, translating them with divine help. He claims that an angel directed him to the
texts on golden plates and that he translated them with the help of special seer stones. He supposedly translated these documents over
a period of just under two years, including a crisis in 1828, when they lost 116 pages
of it and had to start over. Smith claimed that the angels took away the
plates after the translation, and that very few people were allowed to see them while
they were here. It sounds a little unbelievable, but belief
is kinda what religion goes for anyway, so why give them a special standard of evidence? The book itself is a claimed story of the
indigenous people of the Americas, and their relationship with God. I talked about it briefly in this video where
I discussed Mormon archaeology, but let’s flesh it out a bit more here. The book depicts a migration of Israelites
to the Americas beginning in roughly 600 BCE and arriving in 589 BCE. The authors belong to a lost people called
the Nephites, descendants of Nephi, who was in turn the son of a biblical prophet Lehi. According to the book of Mormon, these people
were Christians even before there was a Jesus to be Christian about. Now, as I mentioned in my video on Mormon
Archaeology, pretty much every expert disputes pretty much every specific claim in the Book
of Mormon. The problem is that it relies on historical
mysteries in the early 19th century that are very much not mysteries anymore. Again, my suggestion is to be like other religions
that conveniently forgot their specific claims in the pages of the deep past. Their theology is also quite a bit different. First of all, their concept of god is fairly
different from your vanilla Christians. They believe in God, who they typically refer
to as heavenly father. The fundamental difference though is that
they don’t think he is some nebulous creature that exists in some obscure place, but that
he’s a person. Like, a real flesh and blood living person,
with immortality of course. They believe his first child was Jesus, and
that the rest of his children are… well… all of us. There’s also a heavenly mother, but they’re
a little light on her details. And yes, Mormons believe heaven is not on
another plane of existence. Actually, how do most Christians explain where
heaven is? Either way, they believe that God lives somewhere
in space. Specifically, on another planet called Kolob
in a different solar system. They still believe he made the earth, but
that he used ingredients and didn’t just snap the earth out of nothing. And here’s the part I think rubs regular
Christians the wrong way. They believe that godhood is achievable and
that God himself was at one point a person. If someone lives a good life, is married,
and accepts god in the afterlife, they get to be gods on their own planet with their
families and make little earths of their own. Also, there’s no hell. How is this offensive again? According to some of the later books by Joseph
Smith, we all lived as spirits with God at some point before birth, and that humans make
mistakes all the time. Jesus is special for his atonement, and that
he’s the model to the way to godhood yourself. This good life at the moment is pretty standard
conservative Christian fare. Pretty much all fun is bad, and anyone who
doesn’t live like Mike Pence is out of bounds. They go even further to ban gambling and literally
all drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. But but but they have something really respectable
that most religions could take note of. They believe in continuous revelation, meaning
that rules can, nay must change over time. They believe God is always in communication
with mankind, from the recently passed president of the church to everyone. Many encourage people to have their own relationship
with the holy ghost and to trust revelation for their personal guidance in life. Literally, pray to figure out what to do about
how to raise your kids or whatnot. And this not only involves prayer, but certain
rituals called ordinances. This is kinda like sacraments in the other
Christian sects. This includes things like baptism, priesthood,
marriage, and naming children. They believe salvation requires a few of these,
but that they can be performed for the dead, more on that later. Mormons also have an active program of missionary
work. Around the world, young men and women go all
over to try and make new Mormons. That usually involves destruction of local
cultures, but I said I would try not being a jerk, and they’re hardly the only people
who do it. And on that note, let’s talk about controversies
Mormons have stepped into. They get a lot of trouble for those ordinances
performed on the dead. They can’t practice it on just anyone but
on relatives. This is why Mormons actually invest a lot
in genealogy, including a lot of credit for ancestry.com. They believe that the dead are free to accept
or reject these ceremonies as their will. That being said, it didn’t help them from
appearing more than a little tone deaf for posthumously baptising 380,000 holocaust victims. Also, they have quite a questionable practice
of cutting out pretty much anyone who abandons the church later in life. It has done a ton of damage to many families
and is definitely something they really need to get one of those continuous revelations
about soon. Lastly, I’m sure you’re either surprised
or have already left an angry comment about my not mentioning polygamy. Mormons did practice it, and a few still do. Joseph Smith practised it, and for a number
of decades, it was the norm in Salt Lake City. It caused a lot of pressure with the United
States, and to avoid trouble with the federal government and to help Utah get statehood,
they abandoned the practice in 1890. Since then they have backed monogamy. That decision caused a lot of internal problems
such as the breakaway of Mormon fundamentalists. The fundamentalists are a sect that rejects
the ban on polygamy also rejects the revelation that banned black people from the clergy. Yeah, that was a position the Mormon church
had to walk back on in the frankly embarrassing year of 1978. A few did not follow Brigham Young west and
remained in the American Midwest including the Community of Christ started by one of
Joseph Smith’s Widows and his son. They mostly tried to rekindle their relationship
with mainstream Christians. Lastly, there are also liberal or cultural
Mormons. They have tried to make various splinter groups
to liberalise and update the Mormon life for modern times, or just like Mormon culture
but can’t buy the whole planet stuff. Mormons often get portrayed as kind-hearted,
but strange. For a people who had a literal extermination
order against them, they seem to take a lot in stride.Today, about 18 percent of Americans
say they wouldn’t vote for an otherwise qualified Mormon for president. That’s even higher than the seven to eight
percent for the same question applied to a black, Hispanic, or female candidate. Also, this is pretty much unchanged from the
late sixties. That’s not great folks. But let’s end on a bit of a high note. They are becoming more mainstream in America. Despite his binders full of women, dancing
horses, and horrible political opinions, Mitt Romney, a Mormon did run for president, and
he wasn’t even the only Mormon in the Republican running. So, I guess they’re making some progress. But hey, that’s the Mormons. I know many won’t see eye to eye with me
politically and many will hate this video, but that comes with the territory with religion
videos. Either way, if you wanted to know what Mormonism
was and didn’t want a bunch of sharp-dressed young people in your house all afternoon,
you got your fill. Heeey everyone. First of all, I want to thank Taylor Dawe
for his help with the research for this video. It was nice for this video to sit down with
a real-life Mormon who didn’t hold back punches and wasn’t selling the religion
to me. The video is better off because of you mate. I also wanna direct all of you towards my
Twitter account. If you tweet and you haven’t come across
me yet, I’m @TristanPEJ there. This video was made possible by these wonderful
people, as well as the rest of my Patrons over at Patreon. I’d especially like to thank Don and Kerry
Johnson as well as Kolbeinn Mani for their generosity. The theme song is by 12Tone and come back
next time for more Step Back.

  1. Go on a tour of the world's religions with this whole series! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNh7QNRUVp0&list=PLnpoOo7lhNnG64vN6y07lLqQzYaiNDqwK

  2. Finally a good video on the topic. As a devout Christian with and with my best friend being a strong Mormon, I've always seen them as preyed upon, especially in Wales, where he come from. Glad to see something approaching fair and balanced

  3. Joseph Smith was a treasure hunter (who never found anything but charged people to let him dig up their land anyway) as well as a farmer.

  4. 8:00 I'd prefer it if you regard them as denominations. A neutral term that Christians use and doesn't imply that you disregard them / hate them

  5. It’s a little dark as far as the lighting goes could you maybe make it a little brighter next time?

    Also great video

  6. Nobody should laugh at the Mormons and at the same time call himself a Catholic or Muslim. It's the same mad up story but the Mormon's one is just new. If the Mormonism was created 2000 years all of you would have believed it. The funny thing is that Mormon believes are as implausible as the Bible in some way. If I had to believe in some stupid story (and I don't) the Mormons would have been higher on the list than the Catholics, for example. Isn't it better to believe a man who actually existed than an ancient Jew for who we don't have a scientific proof he ever walked on this planet.

  7. 2:50: Wait wait wait. Extermination order? What the heck was that? I suspect it's just an overdramatically-named "Get out of here you heretics" sort of deal, but it sounds like something out of a dystopian novel.

  8. Really good video. Small critique about some common misconceptions: Kolob is the star nearest to where God lives, not a planet. Also, Becoming a God like Heavenly Father doesn’t mean we ‘get a planet’, whoever reaches that point would would be the Heavenly Father or Heavenly Mother over infinite planets and creations, like Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are to us now. I’m LDS, so feel free to ask questions or for clarifications.

  9. As a member of the Latter-day Saint Church, I really appreciate your much more balanced and fair video– especially compared to how most people treat us. That is amazing! I just have one correction, and I'm sure I won't be the only one to mention this: Caffeine is not, and has never been explicitly banned by official church policy. Some members choose to avoid caffeine for various reasons (usually health reasons), but no one has ever been condemned for drinking caffeine, and even at BYU where I go to school you can buy regular caffeinated sodas. Those who do not drink caffeine are only a small part of the LDS community.

  10. Mormons also sell door to door. If you ever notice your neighborhood being mobbed by a singular company; that's a hoard of Mormons straight from City of Salt Lake. I kid you not.

  11. As an agnostic, I actual like Mormons and tend to defend them when talking about Christiand as a whole. Most of the ones I have met are pretty level-headed, they don't try to stuff their beliefs down your throats and you can have a rational and productive discussion with them about theirs and your views on the bible.

  12. I don't see eye to eye with you politically but the facts are pretty much all there. Just one small thing, Mormons do believe in a hell. It's just a bit different as is most things of the LDS church are.

  13. I would like to clarify a small but important detail about the founder of my favorite fan club, The Mormon church, aka The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was founded by Joseph Smith Junior. Not to be confused with Joseph Smith [Senior], who was Smith's father. Side note: I would LOVE to see an episode on the historicity of The Book of Mormon and it's claims or perhaps an episode about The Mountain Meadows massacre, both are fascinating topics. Keep up the good work Tristan! 🙏

  14. Thanks for the positive take, while being a european catholic and definitely finding some parts of mormonism strange, I find it much more useful to try to learn about cultures without judging them. BTW a take on Ibadi Islam would be great, I tried to read into it, but the rules and traditions that make this sect up seam pretty intransparent to be.

  15. I'm a mormon and I love this video, so fair and balanced. While I'm sure some of your points would be debated against by a missionary or two, you where most definitely not a jerk!! Please keep making religion videos!!!

  16. The LDS are a pretty unproblematic religion. They did have racial issues, but given the time period, what would you expect? They seem pretty chill.

  17. I think Mormon are strange people, but as long as there not spread hateful rhetoric and part of the those crazy evangelical people, I don’t really mind them. (By the way i’m independent Catholic).

  18. So truthfully, I knew very little about Mormons beyond the polygamy issue. After watching this video, all I have to say is DAMN! The Mormon religion is actually super interesting, more so than your regular Christian. And yes, they are still a bit strange in some of their practices but what religion isn't? Do a video on jehovah's witnesses next please, I'm sure there's lots to learn about that Christian sect. Great video!

  19. I don't feel like the "otherwise qualified Mormon" point is a fair comparison. I don't think that religious affiliation should automatically get the same ethical treatment as other aspects of identity politics. Religious affiliation is like political affiliation or philosophical identity, in that it's entirely mutable, and substantially relates to someone's behavior and beliefs/attitudes. Being black is (well… Generally) a stupid reason to vote or not vote for someone because black people can be all kinds of different ways. But if you say someone's a Mormon, it's reasonable to make assumptions about things they believe or ways they will behave, in a way that's much more direct and significant than it is for identities like race or gender. Like I wouldn't see it as a problem if people generally didn't want to vote for an "otherwise qualified" fascist or child molester or something. It helps if you break it down into what the label actually implies for people. "I wouldn't vote for an otherwise qualified colonialist, misogynistic homophobe" makes plenty of sense, and arguably maps well to certain conceptions of mormonism.

    Of course, this is hypothetical, and the real substitution is probably "heathen and heretic" for most Christians who dislike Mormons. My point, though, is that principles or social justice (or even liberal principles of toleration) don't require us to see acceptance of Mormons in particular nor religious adherents in general as a necessary feature of a just society, alongside acceptance of other now marginalized identities like black people and gay people. It's apples and oranges. For what it's worth, I think American Christians who hate Mormons should get off their high horse since they're just as bad. Like, I'll grant that getting outraged about how… You know, silly all the spiritual stuff is, like other atheists do and like I've done in the past, is probably uncalled for. But Christian cultural imperialism, anti-feminism, recalcitrant racism, bitter homophobia, and absolutely despicable, violent transphobia is real, widespread, and deeply ingrained. I oppose it, strongly, and I think that's a defensible position in line with the aims of social justice. So, like, screw mormonism.

  20. I wouldn’t vote for a Mormon presidential candidate mostly because the church has doctrines I think will negatively affect policy and only cognitive dissonance would prevent semi favorable circumstances. However that also creates a problem of being susceptible to cognitive dissonance, so yeah.

  21. Quakers also believe in personal revelation. The difference is they don't believe anyone so far has the authority to receive revelation on behalf of every person. In other words, you can be your own prophet but nobody else's. Which means no expanded scriptures.

  22. What should also be stated is the fact morons in Ohio and Missouri did have a reputation of kidnapping teen girls from neighboring counties and marrying them to much older men without the consent of their families or the girls in question. As well as threatening violence on the families of run away girls if they did not return their wives.
    With the authorities finally having enough of that and went in with militias to put a end to it.

  23. Why is it a problem that most of Americans don't want a Mormon president? Mormon beliefs are not in tune with most of Americans.

  24. Mormons can't be christians for the same reason christians can't be Jews, they differ to much in the fundamental principles and beliefs (then again you could say that about several different denominations), at best they are like Catholicism, orthodox and Protestantism and Mormonism is a completely different form of Christianity in it's own little bubble. Also on the heaven question christians probably (I'm phrasing it this way because I can't speak for all) would see it as a spiritual place (either look a dimension that we can't. Interact with or something outside of the universe where god lives). As for why christians dislike it so much, is mainly because they change fundamental parts of the religion (like their view of Jesus, which is sort of the most fundamental part of the religion that generally can't be messed with, it's that fundamental and god being a human like being and Jesus being an actual offspring is radically different and some would say incompatible with Christianity). I'm not saying this to attack Mormons or Mormonism, just trying to explain why they don't necessarily have the best relationship with Christianity, if you're a Mormon that's fine I'm not going to attack your beliefs (well maybe that one were you don't give your child medicine but that's because it endangers others and how do you know that god didn't answer prayers by giving you the medicine) because it's not me place.

  25. I was told a very very small number of mormans actually believe in that whole part of them possibly getting a planet of themselves. I'm confused again.

  26. Hey, this actually sounds kind of reasonable.

    And oh yeah, wasn't Heaven Earth in the future at some point? Religion makes no sense.

  27. Polygamy is still canonized in the LDS faith and is still practiced but not "in this life". Men are "sealed" to multiple women if their first spouse dies, where women cannot be "sealed" to multiple men if they are widowed. It's a practice among senior LDS authorities to make sure their second wife has never been married so they can practice polygamy in the afterlife. See Dallin H. Oakes and the new President, Russell M. Nelson.

  28. This video is a pretty standard overview, kudos trying not to alienate anyone! You did skim over the specific historical reasons for Smith's martyrdom and the persecution of the Saints in the Midwest. It's important to note that Smith's polygamy and Smith's order to destroy a privately owned printing press (to keep polygamy secret) caused his arrest and the mob to form which ultimately took his life. Mormon history is complicated I understand you not wanting to get lost in the weeds here. Maybe a topic for a future date 🙂

  29. What about that whole "black people are actually half devils" thing? Something about black people being cursed with dark skin for having chosen to remain neutral in a cosmic battle between Jesus and the devil?

  30. Just a note, Lehi (Lee-Hi) is never mentioned by name in the Bible. Also, I think the theory that the Algonquin people are the remnants of the Lamanites is very interesting, though I don't believe that this theory would prove the book of Mormon to be true.

  31. The Book of Mormon is basically bad Bible fan fic. Seriously, Smith pretty blatantly lifted chunks of the OT word for word, and the original stuff is absolutely ridiculous on its face (wooden "submarines" with holes in the top and bottom sealed with corks to cross the Atlantic to the Americas? There are so many logistical questions I just don't even know where to start.)

  32. I suspect the extermination order was something more akin to "GTFO you crazy religious nutbags." Religious people aren't exactly averse to making shit up.

  33. Mormonism isn't a religion, it's a sect of Christianity which is itself a sect of the religion of Judaism.

    I have an issue with you saying "other protestant groups" as this makes it seem like Mormons at one point followed the Roman Catholic Church then started or joined a protesting church, by the way most protestant groups you find today are NOT protestant.

    It's nice to see someone do some research on us as most of the videos I find on YouTube about Mormons are attacks & they are not even good attacks since most of the "facts" they give are outdated or outright lies. The only "good" attack videos come from the LGBT movement but if we are being honest they hate EVERYONE that doesn't pull the LGBT line.

    If you haven't already can you make videos talking about protestant groups

  34. My best friends when I was a kid were Mormon. They were some of the most welcoming and friendly people I've ever met. Like a second family to me, and they never tried to convert me. Completely respecting the fact that my family was Catholic.

  35. Mormons don't ban caffeine. They ban hot drinks like coffee and tea. You can buy soda in the church.

    They don't exactly condone caffeine so rarely give a statement saying it's okay.
    But it's not banned.

  36. I was raised Mormon, and I'd like to say that your information is very accurate, but I have never heard that God lives on Kolob. Their belief about heaven is kind of vague, but typically it is said that heaven is on clouds in space. Also they do believe in hell.

  37. Just wanted to let you know, Mormons don't know about the "becoming gods" issue. i would recommend you (or anyone) read, Are Mormons Christians? Stephen E. Robinson. He has a chapter on deification. very good one.

  38. Great video! It's hard to find a truly neutral and informative video about religions on Youtube these days. I think your style is the closest and most accurate I can find.
    Here's a suggestion for a video about an interesting sect of a major religion: The Samaritans. They consider themselves a more ancient type of Jews, but mainstream Jewish religion doesn't see them as Jewish, and they are only found in Israel.

  39. I have a mild dislike of the mormon church[you forgot part of the reason missouri's governor issued the extermination of mormons was because they advocated violence and were waging war against all of missouri, albeit the mormon church's own justification for the violence was that they were being persecuted.] but frankly interesting video. from what I see in the video there are a few beliefs the mormon church preaches that I personally believe myself, though the church is a bit too extreme, corrupt & wrong in it's own morals & historical facts for me to ever convert to mormonism.

  40. Great video but all All religions kill people. Even the Mormans – could have mentioned their murders


  41. From what the Mormon Missionaries told me, caffeine such as coke is fine. They even go as far as to call Coke-cola Mormon coffee.

  42. Hey, I think your content is neat and well informed. Could you do a presentation about my religion? (I'm a Hellenic Pagan.) Thanks!

  43. I just wanted to clarify that anyone that still practices polygamy are not part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They have started there own church.

  44. I’m a Mormon and would like to thank you for portraying the church as it really is. The only thing wrong is that we are allowed caffeine just not coffee or energy drinks. In fact our 2nd counselor over the church mentioned Diet Coke in one of his talks and how he likes it. And I have a Coke fridge in my house.

  45. che, mormon doctrine of God also pissess of muslims as much as they piss of christians despite ….

    muslims cover their skin and practice polygyny, like mormons….

  46. I think it's fascinating that there's a clear influence from Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism (which were quite a fad in the West at the time) in the Mormon religion. Especially the concept of achievable godhood, that souls exist before birth, the extreme asketisism and pacifism, and that creation didn't happen from nothing, which could be inspired by the Eastern concept of an eternal, cyclical universe. And you could also include the absence of hell, though the Jewish religion (originally) believes that as well.

  47. You are such a great and sincere researcher…..I am a Chritian form the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints

  48. So i see you "Coincidentally forgot" to mention how the Mormons believe that Black people are cursed for not choosing to stand up for Gods son…

  49. There is something so fucking quintessentially Capitalist about achievable God-hood. Like, "If you pull yourself up by your bootstraps and work hard enough and Jesus it up enough YOU TOO CAN BECOME A DEITY!" And I think it shows the relative tolerance (or perhaps that not many Mormons watch your videos) of Mormonism that this video – which is about religion – only has around 20 dislikes.

  50. Caffeine isn’t banned (and thank goodness, I drink a lot of it!). And wait a minute… we have sacrament, too. Also, I’ve never heard of naming children as an ordinance. As far as I know, you don’t get cut out of the church unless you ask to or something unusual like that. And revelation is a thing in the church, but it is personal unless you’re given a calling over someone else, so my neighbor has no authority to receive revelation for me, but my bishop does, because he has authority associated with his assignment. But all in all, I appreciate your video and your commitment to not making this into an anti-church video. Lastly, you probably know, but we prefer to be referred to as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

  51. I think you could have gone into their history with white supremacy more. (Many religions who predated white supremacist racial grouping but it was a product of this period of history)

  52. You missed the part, the catalyst, where Joseph Smith destroyed a local printing press/newspaper (Nauvoo Expositor) that was about to publish some things about the Church. This infuriated a lot of people and contributed to their motivation to murder Smith.

  53. It's not entirely true that they don't believe in hell. There's a couple scenarios in Mormonism where you would consider to be a "hell". Those who aren't resurrected at Jesus' 2nd coming will endure 1,000 years of suffering and then resurrected afterwards. There is also an "Outer Darkness" which is reserved for those who have denied Christ. And some Mormons would consider the lower two kingdoms of glory as "hells" in some sense because they don't receive as many blessings as those in the Celestial kingdom.

  54. Me: "Woo Missouri!"

    Tristan: "The governor even issued an extermination order."

    Me: Walked away slowly

  55. There’s one thing I think the Mormons have over Catholicism- and that’s the age at which you can be baptised.

    Basically, you have to be at least eight years old. Why? Because they say that before eight, you’re not old enough to understand right from wrong- so you can’t make the decision to become baptised. Also, all children under eight, being too young to understand right from wrong, are also completely unable to sin. Because sin requires knowledge that you’re doing the wrong thing. That’s certainly better than the “need to baptise babies (without consent) because babies are born sinful” schtick that Catholics believe.

    I get this info from the neighbours I grew up with, who were Mormon. I even attended their church with them a few times. There’s a pretty large Mormon population among the Polynesians (and my neighbours were Maori). They were genuinely lovely people.

  56. 🙁 By not trying to be a jerk – and skimming over problems with missionary work, pushing of religion, history or simply reducing it to "not unlike the other religions" I feel like you're less objective than the StepBack i've come to love. Include the bad with the good please – For this religion, christianity, and every other.

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