As you know, I’m very interested in the mormon doctrine. I found an amazing woman, who became my fiancé. she is mormon and for the sake of providing a good framework to raise our family, we openly discuss all kind of topics from my jewish perspective and hers.
Every religion -including mine- present contradictions. I strongly support the idea of using religion as a framework to analyse morality and learn tolerance toward our neighbours, but it’s responsible to always analyse every idea sceptically.
Let’s start with a jewish historical contradiction, some very important jewish scholars supported racism in the medieval age:
“Those who are incapable of attaining to supreme religious values include the black coloured people and those who resemble them in their climates. Their nature is like the mute animals. Their level among existing things is below that of a man and above that of a monkey.” (Maimonides, Guide To The Perplexed, Translation from the Hebrew Version)
This thought is unthinkable to the light of modern judaism. but it was acceptable in the 12th century and I feel glad some sceptics brought this position to debate and evolved morally accordingly.
In that sense, I consider very important to keep a healthy scepticism toward any idea. any idea that come to us was originated by a human observation and is vulnerable to at least a minimum amount of error.
No human can spawn an absolute truth. specially in a ever changing society.
Nonetheless, this scepticism clearly contradicts the infallibility associated by the mormon faith to their prophets, which I personally consider dangerous.
“My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he tells you to do something wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.”
- Prophet Heber J. Grant, as quoted by Apostle Marion G. Romney in “The Covenant of the Priesthood,” Ensign, July 1972, p. 98
“They will give us the Lord’s word in no uncertain terms as God makes it known. That is why He has His prophets on earth. They are for the edification of the Saints and to protect us from every wind of doctrine. Let us follow them and avoid being led astray.”
- Apostle Mark E. Peterson, “When Shall It Be?,” Church News, December 12, 1981, p. 16
Fairly, as you will see below, history inevitably present opportunities to show our inconsistencies.
For this example I will take a work written by the LDS church founder as an example, referring to the godlike powers given in afterlife to its members:
"We will become gods and HAVE JURISDICTION OVER WORLDS, AND THESE WORLDS WILL BE PEOPLED BY OUR OWN OFFSPRING." Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:48
Now, if we check the official mormon page about the topic, you will find a totally opposite view http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/mormonism-101
Do Latter-day Saints believe that they will get their own planet? No. This idea is not taught in Latter-day Saint scripture, nor is it a doctrine of the Church.
I ignore the reasons behind this change of mind. but I consider philosophically correct, to avoid and confront any faction who defend wrongdoing behind the merits of sheer obedience, as you read in the Heber J. Grant quote above. I tolerate diversity, I do not tolerate harming others because of religious reasons. Everybody deserve respect, without harming others.
I hope that one day we will reach an age when every human being will be educated to work tolerantly toward the rest of humanity, protecting as a whole our freedom and diversity, also strongly discouraging stagnant moral positions.