Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Skepticism Behind Joseph Smith

 After reading the Third Book of Nephi, I began to make more sense of Mormonism. I found it interesting how Mormonism depicts Jesus’ resurrection in the United States, something far different than what Christianity believes in. Many of these stories seem a bit fantasy like in their depiction of the second coming of Christ. However where I begin to criticize Mormonism and believe to think of it as stretching the truth of Christianity, is Joseph Smith's teachings and beliefs. I come from a Christian background so my view is very biased, but I believe Mormonism touches on pro-American ideals and white superiority. I believe Mormonism brought the idea of Christ resurrecting in America only to give America a sense of religious importance. Joseph Smith in my opinion seems to have written himself into this newly developed religion of Mormonism. He achieves this through being directed by an angel in a vision to the golden tablets, which only he can read with the help of a seer stone. Through his translation from Egyptian script to English he then can write himself into the “Book of Mormon” and serve as a servant to the Lord. As Christ goes on to say, “for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them…. But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand….”. Thus hinting at pro-American ideals through Smith's role in this new religion and the American values/principals that affect Mormonism. Where the theme of white superiority comes in, is the outlook on the Lamanites found in the Book of Mormon. It is believed if the Lamanites (Native Americans) do not commit to the Lord through baptism, then God shall not spare them in the afterlife. In the 19th and 20th centuries, white Americans may have seen the Book of Mormon as a way of answering many of the questions surrounding the Native Americans, and the views on Native Americans in the Book of Mormon may have fueled the fire for racism in America. In my view, the Mormons are more or less forcing the Lamanites to join the church of Mormon through guilt and the promise of an afterlife with the Lord; hinting at the notions Mormons have for less superior beliefs. 

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