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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|The Mormon Question|
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
I have been thinking about this for quite a while, ever since I heard a person from my church congregation, in a small group setting, say something to the effect of "Well, of course, Mormons are a cult of devil-worshipers . . . "
Now, to be honest, I don't know this person from Adam, except that I see them every Sunday morning across a sanctuary of 500 people. But I almost came out of my chair at this person--I had a visceral reaction against what I perceived as a blatant statement of bigotry. In the end, though, I didn't say anything--I needed to know more before I got into that debate, and that setting wasn't the time or the place, really.
But my silence has been bugging me. Obviously. And so I've been trying to figure out what I should do with that memory.
I'm not well-versed in the Theology or the background of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There's Hugh's book (an invaluable tool right about now), but, other than that, there's really very little I've been able to find out that would satisfy my wonderings.
So, as I'm learning to do whenever I have doubts about things like this, I turn to Scripture. Thus, the quotation from the Gospel of Matthew up above.
So I started looking around at the "fruits" of Mormonism. First, from my own history: two of my classmates in high school were Mormons--actually, many more than two, but I spent a lot of time with these two because we had almost identical class schedules. And, in all honesty, they seemed to me to be a little high-strung, a little "nerdy," but very high achievers, very smart, and very good young men. And, as they grew older, I found out that they both had the dryest, quickest wit from among our circle--never vulgar, but really very quick and very funny.
Then, I look to my history as a teacher. I think of the students I've picked to be in leadership positions, and I think of how they handled that, and I think of the really impressive musicians I've taught . . . And in every list that has those attributes, Mormons are, seemingly, over-represented.
Look around the world: in every great mission area of the world, who do you find? I would submit you find the Catholic Church, you find Evangelicals, and you find Mormons. Mainline Protestants? Not so much. Jewish? I don't know--honestly, I don't, but you don't hear much about Jewish missionaries.
Oh, yeah, and you find Muslims.
You can do the same sort of experiment for yourself: go to any--ANY--suburban high school, and ask for a program from their recently-held graduation ceremonies. Then, look at the list of Valedictorians (plural--most schools now have many students survive four years with a 4.0 GPA, thus, multiple Valedictorians): I promise you, on that list of Valedictorians will be at least one Mormon, and likely more than one. And, whatever the real number is, it will be larger than the representation of Mormons in the general population. Likewise, ask the Deans or Assistant Principals in charge of discipline how many disciplinary contacts they had in the past year with students who they know are Mormons. I'd be willing to bet real money that the number can be marked on one hand.
And it really makes you wonder if they're not doing something right to be on all of these lists SO over-represented.
And then you look at Mitt Romney himself. Successful businessman, startlingly intelligent, great organization, history of election success and successful governance, and (distressingly) the ONLY Republican candidate still married to his first wife, with an equally impressive family right behind him. All-in-all, pretty impressive.
So, on a tentative basis, subject to more information, I am forced to conclude that the Mormon question is irrelevant to my vote in the upcoming elections. Indeed, at the same time, upon reflection, I'm a little embarrassed by my own behavior in relation to the Mormons I've known. If I'd have had the same sense of purpose, the same discipline, and the same focus that the Mormons I've known have had, my list of "things to do" in my life would be significantly shorter. But, more importantly, I would have many MANY fewer memories of behavior that causes me embarassment than I do now.
I don't know where the link between Satanism and Mormanism is, or how extensive it is. Perhaps somebody can lead me in the direction of that information.
But, what I do know is that the "fruit" of the Mormon "tree" is good fruit. That's all I need to add to my equations.