Filed under General
Anti-Mormonism and ExMormons, why all the fuss?
When you begin learning about the Mormons and the Mormon Church, no doubt your friends, relatives, and neighbors will be shocked or amazed. They may tell you rumors they have heard about the terrible things Mormons do, or else try to convince that Mormons really aren’t Christians. From the very beginning, Mormons have been followed by rumors, misinformation, and even lies. Joseph Smith said that when the angel Moroni first appeared to him, the angel informed Joseph Smith, “that [his] name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people” (Joseph Smith-History 1:33).
That prophecy has come true, and faithful Mormons know that they must always confront such misinformation. Fortunately, persecution today does not include the mobbings and murders of the nineteenth century, but many people face huge obstacles when joining the Mormon Church. Families and friends may oppose you. You may find it difficult to change some habits and to repent of some past mistakes.
You must remember that it is never easy to follow Jesus Christ and it never has been. The early Christians of Paul’s time faced tremendous hardships. Many were murdered or driven from the homes, just as members of the Mormon Church were in those days. Paul told the new converts to Christ,
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise (Hebrews 10:32-36).
We must always remember not to “cast away [our] confidence” in Jesus Christ, for once we know that Jesus is our Savior and that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God, then we must be prepared to endure and be patient. We cannot know the answers to everything; only God knows everything, but we can know through the power of the Holy Ghost what is true and what we must do. The key and the anchor to our testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Book of Mormon. Once we know that the Book of Mormon is true through the power of the Holy Ghost, we can know with surety that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World, and that Joseph Smith was His prophet here on earth because he (Joseph Smith) translated the Book of Mormon for us. Once we know this, we can know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s Kingdom here on earth and that we must join ourselves to it through baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.
Just as in Jesus’ and Paul’s time, many people oppose Christ’s Church today. Some of these people are called Anti-Mormons or Ex-Mormons because they seek to attack the Mormon Church and its teachings. Not everyone who disagrees with Mormonism is an anti-Mormon; only those who prefer to use insults, innuendo, and scare tactics are really “anti-Mormon.” These people like to use quotes out of context or compare isolated verses from the Bible and Book of Mormon and portray the Book of Mormon as if it contradicts the Bible, which it does not. They want to destroy faith and scare people into thinking that the Mormon Church is somehow evil or conspiring to deceive people. Simply ask any faithful member to learn the truth about these things.
Being a Mormon is not just believing a particular thing, it is living a certain way, too. Mormons believe in working together and helping one another as an essential part of following Jesus Christ. Mormonism also has many traditions and customs which differ somewhat from other denominations. Because of this, joining or leaving the Mormon Church can be difficult, since it means changing one’s whole way of life. This leads some anti-Mormons to say that Mormonism is a cult. This is untrue and unfair. Any time a person changes his or her deeply held beliefs and makes the lifestyle changes that follow, it can be difficult, but this does not mean that their first life-style was a cult.
The important thing to remember when reading anti-Mormon and ex-Mormon hate literature directed at the Mormon Church is that they are written unfairly. They play up every failing of a Church leader or find obscure quotes that do not pertain to the Gospel to discredit Mormons. Prophets are not perfect, and when they comment on things like science or history they do so according to their own knowledge, just as everyone does. We must remember that only God knows everything and that we should trust in Him to lead us by His Holy Spirit. Remember, you know what you know. Trust in what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you and seek to understand the things you do not understand.