Traveling back from the Steeling the Mind conference in Ceour d’Alene, ID, my family and I spent a half day touring Temple Square and the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City, UT. Here are some of my thoughts, and pictures.
- Mormonism is clearly a non-Christian cult, but one has to listen closely to catch the subtle but fundamental differences between Christianity and Mormonism.
- Mormonism is King of the Hill at religious manipulation. They understand emotions, friendship, the power of glory, the power of beauty, the strength of history, and the almost-irresistible pull of “story.” Someone whose heart is hungry would fall for their manipulative presentation in a New York minute. It is a no-pressure tour and video presentation led by (in our case) two college-age girls who were filled with innocence and excitement and just enough inexperience to put the tourist at ease that they were not going to be pressured for anything. Never a hint of asking for money nor of asking for the tourist to begin a religious journey, yet the pull to begin that journey was huge and unmistakable for the keen observer.
- Mormonism is dependent upon continuing prophecy. Without it, they are toast. Because of this, much of the artwork, the select use of Scripture, and the Biblical displays center around God giving revelation.
- There is no measurable difference between Joseph Smith receiving a new revelation from God and Beth Moore, Jonathan Cahn, or John Q. Christian. Smith was just a better salesman.
- Any mega-church or denomination that is impressed with its “bigness,” power, or influence is just a laughable attempt at a lion’s roar. The Mormon church not only boasts the historic Tabernacle and Salt Lake City Temple, but has a 21,000 seat auditorium, larger than many stadiums yet with an unmistakable feel of a “church.” No other church can boast a 21,000 auditorium, nor could any denomination fill it.
- The Mormon church recognizes the value and impact of art and architecture. I am personally baffled as to why Christianity gave up both when they were once the sole-purveyors of art and architecture for the ages. It is beyond debate that art and architecture can communicate a message far more effective than the spoken word, and it is a message that will be proclaimed each time a person sees the work and will make an indelible image in the mind of the observer. With this truth, Christians are working overtime to build ugly, cold, black-box industrial theaters all across America while the Mormons always build a building that immediately communicates “Church” (though they are anything but). The longevity of their buildings will make a lasting effect on society for generations to come (while the Christian church buildings are made to be disposable or easily sold to any business venture).
- Mormon society is financially well-off, with low crime rates and high levels of personal satisfaction with strong educational achievements because they emphasize the nuclear family. The rest of society should be smart enough to realize that two-parent homes take people out of poverty and off welfare, and into education and entrepreneurship. The family solves problems on every level of existence, and any society of any faith that emphasizes family, with marriage as the base, will thrive. Sadly, the Mormon emphasis on family is built on unbiblical concepts of eternity, but the emphasis nonetheless strengthens Mormon communities.
- Mormonism is a works-based non-Christian cult that is a perversion of Biblical Christianity. They serve a different God than the God of the Bible and have a different worldview than a Biblical worldview.