Was Mormonism Ever Pro-slavery?

Related Posts: Blacks and the Priesthood; Race issues in the Book of Mormon: Part I; Race issues in the Book of Mormon: Part II

Summary: On the McLaughlin Group Lawrence O’Donnell ranted against Mormonism. He said the LDS faith is racist and Joseph Smith was a criminal. He also accused the Church of being pro-slavery. His views are extremely biased–that will be obvious to anyone who watches the clip below.

So, was Mormonism ever pro-slavery?

The LDS faith was never pro-slavery. Neither were Joseph Smith and Brigham Young–the only LDS Presidents during the antebellum period. Joseph Smith wanted to free the slaves by purchasing their freedom. Brigham Young said, “I am neither an abolitionist nor a pro-slavery man.” He goes on to say if he had to choose he would be against the pro-slavery side.

Brigham Young wanted Utah to be a free state, but as a territory it permitted slavery. Though there were probably never more than 100 slaves in the entire territory.

Naturally, politics came into play. When the church was in Missouri it was accused of being abolitionist, which is something Joseph Smith had to deal with. Brigham Young was afraid if slavery were abolished polygamy would be next. So they both walked a political tightrope.

Their positions on slavery are not what we would like them to be. But I cannot conclude either of them were pro-slavery. Continue reading

The Mormon concept of Heaven(s)

Related Posts: What is Kolob?; Mormon Temple Worship

We believe that after the final judgment there are four places to which a person may be sent. They are the celestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, the telestial kingdom, and outer darkness. The first three are referred to as the three degrees of glory, often compared to the sun, the moon, and the stars (D&C 76:70, 78, 98).

Three Degrees of Glory (1,2,3)

A representation of the tree degrees of glory and outer darkness.

The celestial, terrestrial, and telestial are kingdoms of glory. Outer darkness is not a kingdom of glory. Any person who inherits one of the top three kingdoms is technically saved; and they are saved through the power of the Atonement of Christ.

In common usage, the word “saved” typically refers to going to the celestial kingdom and “heaven” refers to the celestial kingdom.

So, what are these three heavens? And who goes where? Continue reading

Blacks and the Priesthood

Related Posts: Was Mormonism ever pro-slavery?; Race issues in the Book of Mormon: Part I; Race issues in the Book of Mormon: Part II; The Premortal Life

See also The Untold Story of Black Mormons

There has been some recent talk about the Church’s former policy of not ordaining black men to the priesthood. I am republishing this post from my other blog (Response to Damon Linker).

An article written by Jason Riley in the Wall Street Journal brought up some good points (“The Mormons still haven’t settled their race problem“). The only issue I had with the article was the comment, “Ultimately, the ban was a manifestation of a central belief that blacks are unfit to be full members of the church on Earth, or to exist alongside whites in heaven.”

There was never a doctrine of separate heavens for blacks and whites. Mormons did, and some still do, see blackness as the mark of a divine curse. But there was never a teaching that blacks could not eventually receive all the blessings that whites may receive. I know that doesn’t change the past or make it less offensive, nor should it. But because Mormonism’s past is checkered with practices and doctrines that many consider racist or strange, assessments of our beliefs easily tend toward exaggeration and/or distortion–sometimes a lot, and sometimes a little

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Who is Jesus?—to a Mormon

Related Posts: Are Satan and Jesus Brothers?; Whom do we Worship?; The Trinity; The Nature of Christ; Godhead: God or Gods?; The Premortal Life

Today in an article written by Frank Pastore on Townhall.com the following allegations about Mormon beliefs were given.

Second, when [Mitt Romeny] said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind,” he did not also include that, according to Mormon theology, there are an infinite number of “sons of Gods,” that Jesus is a Son of God along with his brother Lucifer, and that Jesus is only the savior of this world, since Mormon males can become the God, Creator, and Savior of their own planet one day. (“Christian Angst Over a Romney Presidency”)

I would like to write about who the Mormons believe Jesus is. Continue reading

Are Satan and Jesus Brothers?

Related Posts: Who is Jesus?–to a Mormon; The Premortal Life; Angels

A recent comment published in the New York Times by presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee brought up the issue, are Jesus and Satan brothers? The interviewer writes:

I asked Huckabee, who describes himself as the only Republican candidate with a degree in theology, if he considered Mormonism a cult or a religion. ‘I think it’s a religion,’ he said. ‘I really don’t know much about it.’ I was about to jot down this piece of boilerplate when Huckabee surprised me with a question of his own: ‘Don’t Mormons,’ he asked in an innocent voice, ‘believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?’ (“The Huckabee Factor“)

Huckabee’s not-so-innocent statement (not question) was intended to create animosity towards Mitt Romney’s religion—towards Mormonism. So what is the story behind the statement, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” Huckabee is not the first to mention it. I came across it a few times while serving my two years as an LDS missionary. Continue reading

Mormon Temple Garments (Mormon Underwear)

Related Posts: Mormon Temple Worship; Fall of Man Part I

See Also: “Garments” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism and Temple Garments at LDS Newsroom.

There has been some talk of Mormon temple garments, what some people call Mormon underwear. So I thought I would say a few things about them. The Church discourages its members from engaging in casual conversation about temple garments so I will be brief;)

After a Mormon has gone through the temple he or she is expected to wear what is called “the garment,” or temple garment. In form it is usually a two piece undergarment consisting of what looks like a t-shirt and an extended leg brief. The pictures below are ordinary undergarments which can be purchased at any department store, but they look almost exactly like Mormon garments. In fact if you were in a locker room you probably wouldn’t notice the difference. The Mormon garment is about 1 to 2 inches longer in the leg.

Picture of Mormon garments look alike.

Pictures of what Mormon garments look like.

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