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Make way for the Mormons :)
February 13, 2002 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Make way for the Mormons :) Reports of religions' demise have been greatly exaggerated. The Economist reports, "[w]ithin four decades, one in 20 Americans may be a Mormon and there may be 50m or more worldwide. How will outsiders react to the next world religion?" Minivans, trampolines and canned food, hooray!
posted by kliuless (29 comments total)

 
sign me up! when do we take over? Can we ship out the non-Mormons or do we force them to convert? How about the Muslims, also a fast-growing religion in the US and also worldwide? Can they have duels, on horseback, like the knights?
For any religious belief, the first thing I ask is how do they feel about Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt, my guiding lights on all ethical and spiritaul problems.
posted by Postroad at 1:23 PM on February 13, 2002


This just looks at one religion. This month's Atlantic devotes a lot of space to an article on the explosion of religions around the world ( ...titled "Oh, Gods! Religions mutate with Darwinian ferocity. Today we are witnessing an unprecedented explosion of new religions—and the "problem religion" of the next century may not be the one you think" ... sorry, no link ... you have to pay to get into the article online).

The interesting thing about the article is the growth of Pentacostals ... that are on track to be nearly twice as large as the Economist article mentions for Mormonism.

Forget about getting your hands on the funny underwear of the Mormons ... focus your energies on learning to speak in tongues.
posted by MidasMulligan at 1:32 PM on February 13, 2002


I'd prefer to focus my energies on ensuring that said religions leave non-members of their religion alone, and that they don't get away with amending our laws to suit their own theologies.
posted by chuq at 1:36 PM on February 13, 2002


the funny underwear of mormons.
posted by quonsar at 1:37 PM on February 13, 2002


I saw an interview where Steve Young talked about putting on his Mormon underwear before games, and how the players laughed at first then thought it was "pretty cool".

One of the most beautiful girls I've ever met was an Asian Mormon. If there's more like that back in Utah, maybe I will sign up as a Latter Day Saint...
posted by owillis at 2:17 PM on February 13, 2002


Owillis: Traditionally, mormons like to kidnap impressionable youth such as yourself and hold them hostage in the Salt Lake Temple. Some have escaped, however, by flinging themselves into the Great Salt Lake and swimming to freedom. So your day will probably come.
posted by mecran01 at 2:27 PM on February 13, 2002


The writer of this article is making one of the most basic errors in logic: Assuming that because a trend is occurring, it will continue indefinitely. (Yes, one day, we will all be Scotsmen.) Such a mistake is rather surprising coming from The Economist.
posted by aaron at 2:37 PM on February 13, 2002


aaron: So I get to ware a kilt!

Actualy, I think the world is going to be overrun with Yemeni, the fertility rate there is 6 kids per women on average. Yesh.

And just wait untill Scientology starts to make inroads...
posted by delmoi at 3:17 PM on February 13, 2002


My word. The author can't even get the official name of the Church correct.

*sigh*

(Fact checker!)

Good thing I got in early... my member ID will be lower than most of these folks'. That must count for something!
posted by silusGROK at 3:23 PM on February 13, 2002


Jeez, aaron, they used weasel words like If current growth rates continue. What more do you want?

But this is hardly the first time people have worried about the ascendancy of the Mormons -- as lightly touched on in the article, In 1846 they were run out of Illinois by mobs. My dad has an incredible print, published in newspapers of the time, of the sight from across the Mississippi as they buildings they had abandoned were put to the torch. It must have seemed a little like September 11.

Anyway, who ever reported the demise of religion? TIME's Is God Dead? cover was 30 years ago, and about a decade ago, they repudiated the implication (even though the original article hadn't exactly said He was), as more Americans attend church than ever. There's less continuity of churches among families, though, with young people who were raised in mainline Protestant churches spending years of agnosticism before joining vaguely evangelical churches like Willow Creek -- and I bet Mormons are a big exception to that trend.
posted by dhartung at 4:25 PM on February 13, 2002


Let's not forget that "Hispanic" is the largest-growing population segment in the US, and most people who would identify themselves as "Hispanic" are Catholic or Pentecostal.

I want to be a Scotsman, too!
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:30 PM on February 13, 2002


Vis10n: I am perfectly sincere when I ask this, and will not argue or make a joke or say anything about your answer, because I am sincerely curious:

Do mormons believe John Smith found the golden tablets with magic treasure finding stones in his hat? And was he the only person to see the tablets, because anyone else looking at them would die?

Everything I find on the web concerning this seems to be from really out there, anti-mormon/masonic conspiracy sites.
posted by Doug at 7:16 PM on February 13, 2002


I don't care what you believe in or who you pray to, as long as you don't harm me or mine... just stop coming to my door at 9AM!!!
posted by crankydoodle at 7:41 PM on February 13, 2002


Here is some straight-up information:

http://www.carm.org/mormon.htm

http://thebereans.net/prof-lds.shtml

There used to be a good reprehensive site at www.mormon.org... but the church took it over.. and now it's all watered down and equivocal.

Yeah, he used all sorts of trinkets (just read the history of the church, by the church).
posted by aaronshaf at 7:45 PM on February 13, 2002


"I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left..."
Joseph Smith

Well, that certainly never happened.
posted by aaronshaf at 7:48 PM on February 13, 2002


I loved reading "Jesus: The Western" aka - the Book of Mormon
posted by da5id at 7:52 PM on February 13, 2002


I was just in SLC for the olympics. I think that the christians protesting mormonism were meaner than the Mormons themselves, who were very polite and unintrusive. And don't get me started on the anti-abortion activists... however you feel about it, branches of planned parenthood and the like were part of the neighborhood and the community, and weren't hidden like they are in a lot of municipalities i've been in. Also, the city (which may have been purtied up a bit) was very well laid out and the locations of venues, etc. were well planned.

According to some of the christians that we talked to who were residents there, they can't speak out against mormon control of the government or promotion of mormons over non-mormons because they'd be basically blacklisted. I think that tends to be true in any small city, though... people talk, especially bosses from different companies in the same fields and at the same level.

I'm not religious at all. I don't think that the US, or any state, should be ruled by what basically amounts to a theocracy. I do have to say that Utah seems to be that way, and it's a disservice to the 51% of the population of Salt Lake City that is not mormon. It's disturbing to see a religious symbol marking every highway sign that references a state route. It's disturbing to find an active religious facility as the geographic center of the city, and that the streets are labeled so that at any intersection you can tell how many blocks you are from the temple.

So I'm not mormon-bashing, but I do beleive that Church and State should be separated -- an idea that seems to be missing in Utah.
posted by SpecialK at 8:25 PM on February 13, 2002


Go Mormons! Let's get that Travel to Kolob program going again right away!
posted by rodii at 8:39 PM on February 13, 2002


My word. The author can't even get the official name of the Church correct.

*sigh*

(Fact checker!)

Good thing I got in early... my member ID will be lower than most of these folks'. That must count for something!

Interesting that they don't call the choir "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Tabernacle Choir" , but rather the "Mormon Tabernacle Choir" and yet insist on the former for designation of their church.
posted by onegoodmove at 10:09 PM on February 13, 2002


onegoodmove, I think Vis10n was lamenting the "Church of Latter-Day Saints" mentioned in paragraph three (or two, if you count the small, bold intro paragraph), not "the Mormons". I believe the church actually prefers to be called (at this point in time, they made a bit of a change a few months ago to emphasize the "Jesus Christ" portion) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which has been the full name for as long as I remember, but the "Jesus Christ" part is now in extra-big letters. I'm not sure, since I don't get bothered by the missionaries ever since the day I answered the door with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. I have no doubt that my house has a big red X on it on the map in the church's offices. "Here be sinners", or something like that.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:30 AM on February 14, 2002


Actually, it's Latter-day Saints (with the lower-case d in "day") if you want to be entirely correct. I was an English major, so sue me. Mormons are the people, the name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The name of the choir is historical.

Doug: Do mormons believe John Smith found the golden tablets with magic treasure finding stones in his hat? And was he the only person to see the tablets, because anyone else looking at them would die?

Ask a sincere question, and get a sincere answer. To your multiple parts:

1. Yes, we (Mormons) do believe that Joseph Smith had golden plates, but he didn't find them with magic stones or any other trick. They were shown to him by an angel named Moroni.

2. He was not the only person to see the plates. A group of other people were permitted to see, hold, and touch the plates, turn the pages, and generally fiddle around with them. They signed documents to attest they really did and, despite much persecution, never denied it, despite leaving the Church and later considering Smith to be a "fallen prophet." (see http://scriptures.lds.org/bm/eghtwtns)

Your question indicates the quality of some of the information you'll find on the web. If it's not from an authorized source, question it (as you did). Why are people more willing to take anti-religious information from sources less reputable than where they'd get their financial advice, or world news, or movie reviews?
posted by terceiro at 8:07 AM on February 14, 2002


Mr_Crash_Davis writes,"I don't get bothered by the missionaries ever since the day I answered the door with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other".

They stopped visiting my house when the younger of two home teachers seemed truly interested in why I was an atheist. The senior was disturbed by the course of the conversation and quickly found a reason to leave.

The attraction of the mormon church, I believe is the feeling of community they provide for there members. If you are outside of that community watch out.
posted by onegoodmove at 10:07 AM on February 14, 2002


doug: what terciero said.

terciero: um... do I know you?

mr_crash_davis: don't kid yourself. We love sinners! And if you'd like, I could arrange a visit or you could do it yourself!

; )

Or you could just hold-tight. It takes years to tract through a town of any size... and what with fewer stay-home mothers, and folks generally spending more time away from their homes (not to mention an increasing emphasis on alternative forms of proselyting), it takes even longer.

But don't worry... we'll be by eventually!

onegoodmove: I was indeed grumbling about a major publication getting something as fundemental as the official name of the organization their writing about wrong. I don't mind that we're called mormons -- that's the word I use (it just seems weird to refer to oneself as a "saint")... but I take pains to call folks what they wish (personally or collectively) and wish others would do the same.
posted by silusGROK at 12:29 PM on February 14, 2002


caution: inside joke coming -- appologies in advance...

vis10n: Until very recently, I still received all the email for Paula's Pies. And Bruno's Bakery. And yes, people still, in 2001, were emailing both Paula and Bruno.
posted by terceiro at 1:19 PM on February 14, 2002


(Oh man! I thought you'd fallen off the face of the earth. Man! good to hear from you... drop me a line! I'd e-mail you, but the one from Burlington is, of course, dead.)
posted by silusGROK at 5:16 PM on February 14, 2002


Three handshakes. That's all I have to say for now.
posted by aaronshaf at 6:42 PM on February 18, 2002


No! I was wrong! A great quote also:

"...to teach that the all-sovereign God, the infinite and supreme being, the Creator and Master of the universe, is merely an exalted man is a fine example of what Orwell had in mind."

Cheer,

Aaron
posted by aaronshaf at 6:44 PM on February 18, 2002


No! I was wrong! A great quote also:

"...to teach that the all-sovereign God, the infinite and supreme being, the Creator and Master of the universe, is merely an exalted man is a fine example of what Orwell had in mind."

Cheer,

Aaron
posted by aaronshaf at 6:47 PM on February 18, 2002


Aaron... I am so confused. What are you talking about?
posted by silusGROK at 7:31 PM on February 18, 2002


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