A learned man came to me once.
He said, "I know the way, -- come."
And I was overjoyed at this.
Together we hastened.
Soon, too soon, were we
Where my eyes were useless,
And I knew not the ways of my feet.
I clung to the hand of my friend
But at last he cried, "I am lost."
Mormons as a group are taught to believe in temporal experiences to
validate God's will. God speaks to each of them individually. They
have been taught in detail what experiences will confirm their direct
conversation with the Almighty. They witness their friends and role
models delineate and report having had that experience. Amazingly
enough, they themselves soon begin to experience it.
The proper word for the process that results in such an easily
predictable experience is 'brainwashing'. But that word sounds so
awfully harsh. It is a no less obvious example than the children that
literally 'see' reindeer hoofprints on their snow covered house roofs
Christmas morning. The reliance upon such experiences is properly
called mysticism, which also sounds harsh. I personally feel that
such mysticism is a downplayed part of much of Mormon life and ritual.
Did God send us a 'holy spirit'? The bible certainly tells us so. To
profess otherwise would be to deny belief in the Trinity. Have you
done much study on Trinitarians versus Unitarians? Most Mormons do
not immerse themselves in the richness of other religious cultures
except to dig for bits or threads, scraps of random theology, that
can be used to persuade believers of that other culture to convert to
the 'restored' and 'true' church. (But alas, I read a lot).
The Trinity was invented quite a time after Jesus and Peter were
walking the earth (let alone Moses and Abraham). It resolved a
theological conundrum and eventually became a 'creed' for mass
hypnotic repetition. These kind of political activities pepper the
written history of formal religious institutions. It is this layer
upon layer of delineation and revision that have obscured and
perverted the original pure message. This philosophical silt, like
the buildup of dirty residue that dims the luster of old-master
paintings, serves no purpose, but has come to seem in current days to
be part of the very essence of the underlying ancient masterpiece.
Such is the easily deluded nature of man, especially in matters of faith.
But Joseph Smith and his followers agree with my point. It was
revealed that "All religions" in existence in the 1850's
"are corrupt". But then they miss the point of the
revelation. Was that a heaven sent check list (as he would have us
believe) or a generally applicable revelation about the very nature
of institutional corruption? How convenient for Smith to comprehend
and proclaim this message literally but then ignore its essential
underlying meaning, and then use this warning to self-justify the
founding of his own new corruptable sect. Was the context of that
message meant to restore and invent biblical and extra-biblical
history and rituals or to simply remind mankind to wipe away the waxy
buildup upon the masterpiece of His original divine message? Was God
really conjuring up another 'chosen' mortal to speak his message?
And why, for heaven's sake, this one, and not the others proclaiming
the same experience before or since?