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An Email From a Mormon

Part One of Two

Note from Donna Morley: For those who are interested in the Mormon mind-set, I have included onto this Faith & Reason site, two emails from a Mormon named "Tom" (name has been changed, and last name eliminated). You will see, I broke up Tomís letter, responding to the specific comments he made. I did not eliminate anything from either one of Tomís letters.

Dear Sister Morley, I refer to you by the title of 'Sister" because first I believe that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, secondly because we share a common faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I write to you as a life long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who's heart is troubled.

I am sorry your heart is troubled. Maybe after my response you will have a better understanding. Thank you for wanting to call me "Sister," but do you really want to do that? Yes we are both made in the image of God, but even according to Mormon theology, God's TRUE children are Mormons who go to the Celestial Kingdom. So, according to your own beliefs, I cannot be a TRUE child of God (see Mormon theology book: Principles & Practices of the Restored Gospel, page 242). Certainly, most Mormons would not call me "Sister."

And, with all due respect (please do not take offense), because we have different beliefs about Jesus Christ and other important doctrines, I think you would agree with me that we don't share a "common faith." Besides, in Joseph Smith's First Vision, he was supposedly told that he wasn't to join any of the Christian denominations because "they were all wrong...their creeds were an abomination..." (Pearl of Great Price, J.S. 2:19).

Certainly, you wouldn't want to say that we share a "common faith" when my beliefs are "wrong" and an "abomination."

To begin, my wife is a nationally certified recreation therapist and has worked for the past year at a 'Non Denominational Christian/ Bible" based treatment facility for women with eating disorders. She was hired by the treatment center I suppose mostly as an act of desperation. They badly needed someone with Sarah's skills, talents and training, and even though she's a Latter Day Saint, they hired her anyway. I think it was kind of - 'we know you're from Utah and probably a Mormon, but if we don't ask we won't have to deal with it". Much like the military's 'Don't ask; Don't tell" policy toward homosexuals.

Your wife sounds like a blessing to that facility. But just because a facility calls themselves a "Non Denominational Christian/Bible place doesn't make them a Christian ministry. Anyone can call themselves a Christian. Usually people use the term "Christian" to say, "I'm a good person" and that's about it.

That facility probably hired many of the people for their qualifications, rather than because of their beliefs. If your wife were to work in a Catholic hospital, or a Jewish facility, etc., she would see that the majority of the people working in those places are not Catholics, Jewish or what have you. I use to work in a Catholic hospital, and when I applied, I was not only out of fellowship with the church (having left) and in profound disagreement with some key areas of doctrine, but I shared the gospel with the "Reverend Mother" at the risk of being fired. So, I can tell you first hand that there are many facilities that are not good representatives of their official religious views.

About two weeks ago one of her fellow employees approached her with a comment to this affect. 'I've noticed that the staff here treats you differently from everyone else. They're short tempered with you, they speak unkindly about you when you're not in the room. I've observed you, you do your job well, you're very pleasant to be around I can't figure out why you're being singled out. Do you know why?" Sarah provided her co-worker with no explanation and gave no clue as to what her heart knew was the reason.

I am sorry that Sarah has to go through that. I can identify with her. I too have worked in a place where I was the object of gossip. A true Christian doesn't want to take part in gossip. They know that the Bible speaks against it, and gives us the three types of gossip: the "whisperer" or "talebearer" (Greek: psithyristas); the slanderer (katalalous) and the one who insults, abuses, or reviles (loidoros).

Obviously these types of gossip hurt, such as it did with Job when he was tormented and crushed by the many insults from Bildad (Job 19:2-3), and who knows the grief Abigail experienced when she risked her life to prevent the bloodshed prompted by her husband's insults (1 Samuel 25:23-42).

Sarah has been very aware of an unchristian bias and treatment which, started shortly after she suggested to her supervisor that they break a long standing Sunday afternoon ritual of taking the residents to the Mall to go shopping. Kathleen requested that the residents organize service projects or other more appropriate activities for the sabbath. Keeping the sabbath holy is an important part of our religious tradition. She saw an immediate change in attitudes towards her, Sarah apparently got the reputation of being a religious fanatic, and the 'rumors" began to spread.

Again, these people may not be true Christians. I have seen negative attitudes in some Mormons, (such as demonstrating anger, and boastfulness). I have also known Mormons who didn't pay their tithes (and got kicked out of the church) another Mormon who couldn't stop drinking coffee (she also got kicked out of the church) and know of two Mormons who are lesbians. Obviously, they may not be true Mormons. If the non-tither or the coffee drinker were a true Mormon, they wouldn't have been kicked out of the church. Let's not assume your wife's co-workers are Christians just because they say they are.

A couple of weeks ago she was in the company book store when she saw your book, A Christian Woman's Guide to Understanding Mormonism, and decided to buy it to see if she could find some explanation as to why other self-described Christians had such bitter feelings toward Latter Day Saints.

True believers---born-again Christians--do not have bitter feelings toward Latter Day Saints. In fact, they care enough about them to want to share with them what they believe to be the truth. From your letter, Tom, I would say that you have bitter feelings against born-again Christians who write books about Mormonism.

Since then we've both read through it and found no new insights. Just a kindler, gentler form of anti-Mormonism. A sort of 'Chicken Soup" for the anti-Mormon Soul, with the same tired old stories about Joseph Smith, the same half truths, slants and distortions about what 'Mormons" believe.

I am not "anti-Mormon." I do have to say, I am not in agreement with Mormonism, any more than you are in agreement with my "born-again" beliefs. Do I call you an "anti-born again" individual? Tom, I firmly believe if you are going to state that I gave "half truths, slants, and distortions" about what Mormons believe, I ask that you be fair about this. Please provide the documentation. You have my book, and say you have read through it, therefore this should be quite easy for you to provide.

You see, much of what you report in your book is true. However, a great deal is not. But even when you get it right the information is presented with your narrative of how it should be interpreted.

Again Tom, please provide me an example.

It's kind of like the Muslims who report that