Monday, April 07, 2008

Mormons and Muslims, shaman, con-men, false prophets

This week I read that Mormons and Muslims have come together because they find they have a lot in common.
Then this story appears. The polygamous enclave where women were held captive and abused.

The more I dig the more I find similarities between Mormons and Muslims. It's not just the disdain for alcohol and the polygamous marriages.

Both Mormons and Muslims have a prophet with dubious integrity starting their religious following.

Both Joseph Smith and Muhammed had revelations from God.

According to claims made by Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, Jesus Christ, the Bible and America are the basis of the new religion he founded more than a hundred years ago in the United States. However, no Christian denomination has ever recognized the religion that Smith created as a Christian faith or an extension of Christianity. Instead, it is seen as a unique new religion with a theology of its own. The Mormons, as Smith's followers would later be commonly called, see themselves as the new Israel, God's chosen people (as the Jews are God's chosen people and Muslims are God's chosen people), who wandered through America until they came to the promised land, now known as Utah.

Smith said he had received a revelation, which would ultimately lead to the restoration of the true church and its priesthood, that had been lost. He believed this priesthood and authority had been lost for centuries, until he had his revelation during the 1820s near Palmyra, New York. Smith said, no other church on the face of the earth held equal authority and he became Mormonism's first modern-day prophet.

But lets not stop there.
A similar story is told by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder and leader of the Unification Church. Cult leaders such as David Koresh, Shoko Asahara of Japan and Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple all seemed to feel that God had given them an exclusive mission and somehow exalted their group above all others.

Smith was largely regarded at the time as a con man and fraud. His golden plates disappeared, transported to heaven, or so he said. The civilizations recorded within the Book of Mormon have never been substantiated by any historical evidence through either archaeology or corroborated by any credible scholar or historian. Instead, as originally perceived by Smith's contemporaries, they appear to be little more than a collection of fictional stories put together by Smith, based largely upon other writings and his own creative imagination.

Then there is L Ron Hubbard the founder of Scientology. Need I say more?

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