The Two Views of Mormonism

Aaron32

Active member
The subject of Mormonism is viewed and understood in two ways: forward or backward.

Forward Mormonism starts with the first vision of Joseph Smith and declares salvation by obedience to the principles of the gospel are faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. They believe “faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify [them] for the work.”

Backward Mormonism starts with the King Follett Discourse, the last conference talk of Joseph Smith, where God is man, salvation is earned, and the purpose is to glorify ourselves to eventually gain our own planet with our multiple-goddess wives.

In forward Mormonism, Jesus Christ is central. He is Alpha and Omega, our Advocate with the Father. Our exemplar, The way, the truth, and life.

In backward Mormonism, there is no significance of Jesus. He’s the brother of Satan. He’ll pay for your since IF you qualify, which you never will because it’s impossible to do all you can do.

Forward Mormonism says your mind is darkened if you treat the Book of Mormon lightly.
Backward Mormonism views the Book of Mormon as an imaginary tale, sprinkled with Bible scripture.

Forward Mormonism focuses on truth. It makes logical sense. It’s found in scripture (which members call “the standard works”) it’s found in repeated statements of apostles, prophets, and other ordained leadership, in conference addresses, magazines, etc., and discerned by the fruits of the Spirit.

Backward Mormonism has no organized methodology of determining doctrine. Everything said by anyone by the church is of equal value. It’s often contradictory. Things which align with the Bible are dismissed, but the REAL beliefs are the only ones that support the narrative above.

Forward Mormonism focuses on what IS. Because “Mormonism is Truth” it can be found and accepted at face value. Teaching can be found everywhere: at church, in scripture, and manuals for every single class and function of the church, etc. which can be found online, nothing is hidden. The beliefs are shared from the highest authority (the prophet) down to the newest member.

Backward Mormonism always seeks to redefine reality: “real” faith, “real” grace, the “real” Jesus, and “real” Mormons. The “real” beliefs are deep and buried. “Real” teaching begin at the temple, oppose the Bible, and hang on mysteries that can never be proven: (ie. the origin and corporeal nature of God, the exact moment man receives salvation, etc.) True understanding is always measured by how long you have studied it, the greatest authorities are called “experts”.

In forward Mormonism, members lead each within their own capacity, fulfill leadership callings, teach lessons, they are called to give sermons to the congregation at sacrament meeting every Sunday, etc.

In backward Mormonism, church members don’t know what they “really believe” the ones who know the most are the ones that have renounced their religion and left the church. Members only do those things out either being manipulated somehow, or seek to manipulate. They need to come to forums like this to be taught what they “really” believe.

In normal Mormonism is truth-seeking, & honest. Members are counseled to read the scriptures, individually and with family, daily and pray “with a sincere heart and real intent”. They are counseled by leaders to become spiritually self-provident. They have diversity of thought and opinion.
Some mysteries and principles are interpreted differently, but only on the things that don’t affect salvation. Members accept that each person is on their own learning journey.

Backward Mormonism focuses on falsehood. You’ll have the truth when you know Mormonism is FALSE. There’s no diversity in views or opinion. If you don’t believe the teaching (according to the “experts”) your no longer a “real” Mormon. You are told what you believe, and then told how you will go to hell if you believe it. If you are an active member of the church, you are publicly shamed of your dishonesty if you dare challenge the “experts”.

In forward Mormonism, you’re encouraged to set goals (spiritually, physically, professionally, and socially)and live a balanced life. “The Holy Ghost tells you all things that Ye should do.”

Backward Mormonism takes up your entire life. The “experts” and the advocates thereof labor day-in, day-out teaching their message. If you leave a forum like this, and come back a year later, chances are the teachers will still be here saying the same thing over-and-over.

In Forward Mormonism, Members meet together weekly. Class discussions are open, where the teacher leads a discussion and each “speak [one] at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.”

Proponents of backward Mormonism meet every 6-months with signs in front of temple square, or at special occasions like the Manti pageant. From a distance you can hear them yelling over each other. And if your fortunate to enter a discussion your taught by debate, denigration, and strife.

Forward Mormons are taught to be spiritually self-reliant, read scriptures, pray to know if something is true, worship God within the dictates of your conscience, and be led by the Holy Ghost. They are invited to share their testimonies monthly, and tell non-members “bring all the good you have, and see if we can add to it.”

Backward Mormonism is reliant on “experts”. One is instructed to never become to closely associated with members. It’s too dangerous and you might get brainwashed. If you’re ever in a discussion with a Mormon, never think for yourself, or use common sense - consult an “expert” that will tell you which books to read before you discuss further.

Forward Mormonism is taught in truth in love - like you actually feel like people care what you think, feel, and experience.

Backward Mormonism is taught in fear. Active Members are told by the “experts” what they “really” believe, and often educated on how they feel, think, and behave, and what they intend. Any positive experience wasn’t “real”, it’s all a result of the brainwashing.

Forward Mormons invite to “Come and See”, to pray and know for yourself. They respect the agency of the investigator. They share the message out of love with their families and friends. Members defend their beliefs when challenged, and stand as witnesses of God in all things and all places.

Proponents of backward mormonism have a savior complex. They determine It is up to them to warn and teach the falsehood that is not to believed, while recovering the lost members who believe it. They act in kind and loving ways, until you disagree with them.

Forward Mormonism gathers family and members together. They view all mankind as children of God.
Backward Mormonism divides families and friends. Proponents of backward Mormonism are elitist in their own right. You must believe like them, and actively forsake your beliefs (whether the glorify God on the surface or not) to be saved.

Proponents of forward Mormonism use scripture and cite sources to justify their beliefs.
Proponents of backward mormonism frequently steer away from the topic, ignore the sources, and make the subject the opposition’s tactics or character of the member. Discussions almost always result in activity of head games and psycho-analytics.

Forward Mormonism teaches “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
Backward Mormons, especially the non-Christian ones, rejoice in the inquity of others by fault-finding, and continually challenging authority. Some even make podcasts and build a following by doing so.

Believers of Forward Mormonism seek the praise of God. That’s how they can stand coming into a forum like this and continually be told how they think, feel, and act while defending their beliefs. Mormons even challenge the views of fellow members.
Proponents of backward Mormonism frequently create a circle of public praise and social acceptance in their echo chambers. Any topic that challenges their beliefs of truth are moved to a different forum, to ensure a one-sided conversation and always have their opposition on defense.

Most importantly, remember:
Forward Mormonism is painted as a cult by Christianity.
Backward Mormonism, according to Christianity, leads you to “the truth that will set you free.”
 

brotherofJared

Well-known member
In forward Mormonism, Jesus Christ is central. He is Alpha and Omega, our Advocate with the Father. Our exemplar, The way, the truth, and life.
Hmmm... but God the Father isn't central? He isn't the way the truth, or the life?
Forward Mormonism is painted as a cult by Christianity.
No. Our critics paint the who Mormonism picture as a cult either way.

You can't save face by dividing your beliefs, cutting out the parts you don't like.
 

Aaron32

Active member
Hmmm... but God the Father isn't central? He isn't the way the truth, or the life?
Ummm...no.
God the Father is perfect. He cannot permit sin with the least degree of allowance. Though he loves us, it is impossible to have us return to his presence without Jesus' help. By permitting sin, he would cease to be God.
Jesus saw and did all the Father would do and speak. Through Jesus, we know the way. In him is life.
The truth is unchanging. Jesus is OUR source of truth, we can't bypass Him.
Jesus does everything in the Father's name, just as we do everything in His name.
No. Our critics paint the who Mormonism picture as a cult either way.
Knowing the audience I presented this to, I used terminology that they would understand. It's all labels. Who is "Christian"? Who is a "cult"? Are really just opinions.
You can't save face by dividing your beliefs, cutting out the parts you don't like.
Look, Mahonri...The church doesn't dictate my beliefs. I don't believe the church because the prophet said so.
If I don't conform to Mormonism the way people define mormonism, then I'm not a mormon. Plain and simple.

I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Jesus is my master, not any man. My beliefs, like Paul's, are "neither received...of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Gal 1:12)

My entire message to mormon and non-mormon alike is to read the scriptures, gain an understanding for yourself. Forget what any other person has told you, and use common sense. If it's not in the standard works, then I have no need to accept it. And you know what? The prophet and apostles have and do support that all the day long. I'm just as open to you as I am to fellow members and friends, and nobody has kicked me out yet. On the contrary, I was called into the bishopric.

I think we've discussed many mysteries. You're views are plausibly true, they connected a lot of dots. But at the end, it's just good theory.

Christians, when they're not bashing mormons do a good work by teaching about Jesus, faith, grace, and the atonement. I believe them. In arenas outside this forum, many Christians agree with me. The gospel is not changed. It's not the gospel that was restored. It was the priesthood to do the ordinances, and the church.

The man made doctrines such as the Trinity, Sola Scriptura and other things outside the Bible can be seen. Yet, we can recognize the intent in which they were given. The problem is that they are accepted as gospel, and Christians have a hard time distinguishing the difference. Discovering the truth of Christianity has made the world of difference to me. But, it's extremely lonely. There are so many people SO interested in defending their religion, that they sacrifice the truth over their desires. When you take "religion" out of it. There's really nothing to fight about.

Anyway, my hope is exhausted. I'm taking a break off this board for a while. Check out my profile if you want to catch me on facebook.
 

The Prophet

Active member
 

brotherofJared

Well-known member
Ummm...no.
God the Father is perfect.
And Jesus isn't perfect?
He cannot permit sin with the least degree of allowance. Though he loves us, it is impossible to have us return to his presence without Jesus' help. By permitting sin, he would cease to be God.
So, Jesus can permit sin. Is that it? How do you suppose we will ever get into the presence of God, the Father?
Jesus saw and did all the Father would do and speak.
That's not what Jesus said. He said can only do what he sees the Father doing. Not what he would do.
Through Jesus, we know the way.
Apparently, Jesus knew the way because he saw his Father go that way.
In him is life.
In the Father, is also life.
The truth is unchanging. Jesus is OUR source of truth, we can't bypass Him. Jesus does everything in the Father's name, just as we do everything in His name.
No one is arguing that we can. The KFD certainly doesn't propose that argument.
 

brotherofJared

Well-known member
Knowing the audience I presented this to, I used terminology that they would understand. It's all labels. Who is "Christian"? Who is a "cult"? Are really just opinions.
You missed my point. I'm not arguing the terms "Christian" or "cult". My point is, that our critics don't care if it's the first vision or the KFD. They disparage us regardless of the focus we present to them.
 

Aaron32

Active member
And Jesus isn't perfect?
Yes. Jesus is perfect. He is also our Redeemer and our Judge.
So, Jesus can permit sin. Is that it? How do you suppose we will ever get into the presence of God, the Father?
Jesus provides "the way" that we can return to the Father without being perfect.

Read John 14.
That's not what Jesus said. He said can only do what he sees the Father doing. Not what he would do.
Oh my heck, now your just nit-picking. Please try and understand the spirit of my words.
Let me rephrase "Jesus did exactly what the Father would have done." Jesus surrendered his will completely to the Father.
Apparently, Jesus knew the way because he saw his Father go that way.
Or the Holy Ghost direct Him. It doesn't matter.
In the Father, is also life.
Not without Jesus.
No one is arguing that we can. The KFD certainly doesn't propose that argument.
I never said it did.
Jesus is the source of whom we look to. That what "the way, the truth, and the life" means. I'm quoting scripture. Jesus said himself. Take it up with Him if you have an issue.
 

Aaron32

Active member
You missed my point. I'm not arguing the terms "Christian" or "cult". My point is, that our critics don't care if it's the first vision or the KFD. They disparage us regardless of the focus we present to them.
I agree. That's why my objective isn't to win an argument, but to simply leave a witness.
They can determine their own level of honesty, and their conscience can convict them...or not. I leave it in God's hands. But no one can accuse me of being deceitful.

I think I've gone the rounds with essentially everyone here. I'm basically at an impasse with all of them until they are willing to see another view, or if another approach pops in my head. I can't see how anyone can be a proponent of "backward mormonism" and not see that they are in a cult themselves. Satan sure is subtle, is he?
 

brotherofJared

Well-known member
Look, Mahonri...The church doesn't dictate my beliefs.
As you well know, they don't dictate mine either. But the fact remains, you're dividing the church into parts you accept and parts you reject. That creates a whole new church belief. You won't get our critics to accept the church minus polygamy minus KFD. We still practice polygamy, though serially now and we still teach that God the Father is not the Son and that they are two separate beings. The KFD gives us some idea of what life will be like after death as resurrected exalted beings and while you disagree with the KFD, we still believe that we will be exalted as gods and continue the seeds with our many wives forever.

I struggle to understand why you insist on performing surgery on our beliefs for the benefit of our critics.
I don't believe the church because the prophet said so.
If I don't conform to Mormonism the way people define mormonism, then I'm not a mormon. Plain and simple.
I'm not questioning your faith. I would never have said anything, except you offered this surgical forward and backward dissecting. You opened the door. I simply stepped inside. I am not judging you. I just don't see how this will be a successful operation.
My entire message to mormon and non-mormon alike is to read the scriptures, gain an understanding for yourself. Forget what any other person has told you, and use common sense.
Only if only we could get anyone on this board to do that...
I think we've discussed many mysteries. You're views are plausibly true, they connected a lot of dots. But at the end, it's just good theory.
I agree. It's just a good theory. But how is rejecting the parts you don't like a good theory?
Christians, when they're not bashing mormons do a good work by teaching about Jesus, faith, grace, and the atonement.
I know. I can't understand why these Mormon bashers feel they need to bash. Why can't they leave it alone and focus on these good works?
The gospel is not changed.
Sorry. I agree the gospel itself hasn't changed, but the gospel our critics were taught has changed. It's changed so drastically, that there are 1000s of different gospels being taught out there. They have a common theme. Salvation comes through Jesus Christ, but outside of that, they all fall apart.
 

Magdalena

Active member
Ummm...no.
God the Father is perfect. He cannot permit sin with the least degree of allowance. Though he loves us, it is impossible to have us return to his presence without Jesus' help. By permitting sin, he would cease to be God.
Jesus saw and did all the Father would do and speak. Through Jesus, we know the way. In him is life.
The truth is unchanging. Jesus is OUR source of truth, we can't bypass Him.
Jesus does everything in the Father's name, just as we do everything in His name.

Knowing the audience I presented this to, I used terminology that they would understand. It's all labels. Who is "Christian"? Who is a "cult"? Are really just opinions.

Look, Mahonri...The church doesn't dictate my beliefs. I don't believe the church because the prophet said so.
If I don't conform to Mormonism the way people define mormonism, then I'm not a mormon. Plain and simple.

I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Jesus is my master, not any man. My beliefs, like Paul's, are "neither received...of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Gal 1:12)

My entire message to mormon and non-mormon alike is to read the scriptures, gain an understanding for yourself. Forget what any other person has told you, and use common sense. If it's not in the standard works, then I have no need to accept it. And you know what? The prophet and apostles have and do support that all the day long. I'm just as open to you as I am to fellow members and friends, and nobody has kicked me out yet. On the contrary, I was called into the bishopric.

I think we've discussed many mysteries. You're views are plausibly true, they connected a lot of dots. But at the end, it's just good theory.

Christians, when they're not bashing mormons do a good work by teaching about Jesus, faith, grace, and the atonement. I believe them. In arenas outside this forum, many Christians agree with me. The gospel is not changed. It's not the gospel that was restored. It was the priesthood to do the ordinances, and the church.

The man made doctrines such as the Trinity, Sola Scriptura and other things outside the Bible can be seen. Yet, we can recognize the intent in which they were given. The problem is that they are accepted as gospel, and Christians have a hard time distinguishing the difference. Discovering the truth of Christianity has made the world of difference to me. But, it's extremely lonely. There are so many people SO interested in defending their religion, that they sacrifice the truth over their desires. When you take "religion" out of it. There's really nothing to fight about.

Anyway, my hope is exhausted. I'm taking a break off this board for a while. Check out my profile if you want to catch me on facebook.

What was your hope?
 

Aaron32

Active member
As you well know, they don't dictate mine either. But the fact remains, you're dividing the church into parts you accept and parts you reject. That creates a whole new church belief. You won't get our critics to accept the church minus polygamy minus KFD. We still practice polygamy, though serially now and we still teach that God the Father is not the Son and that they are two separate beings. The KFD gives us some idea of what life will be like after death as resurrected exalted beings and while you disagree with the KFD, we still believe that we will be exalted as gods and continue the seeds with our many wives forever.

I struggle to understand why you insist on performing surgery on our beliefs for the benefit of our critics.

I'm not questioning your faith. I would never have said anything, except you offered this surgical forward and backward dissecting. You opened the door. I simply stepped inside. I am not judging you. I just don't see how this will be a successful operation.

Only if only we could get anyone on this board to do that...

I agree. It's just a good theory. But how is rejecting the parts you don't like a good theory?

I know. I can't understand why these Mormon bashers feel they need to bash. Why can't they leave it alone and focus on these good works?

Sorry. I agree the gospel itself hasn't changed, but the gospel our critics were taught has changed. It's changed so drastically, that there are 1000s of different gospels being taught out there. They have a common theme. Salvation comes through Jesus Christ, but outside of that, they all fall apart.
Ok. I think we're in agreement, 99,5% of the time.
I just want to make one thing clear. I don't dissect our believe.
My criteria is what's given by church leadership:
Scripture + church + Holy Ghost = Doctrine.
I only focus on doctrine. If you can prove that method wrong, then I welcome you to do so.
 

brotherofJared

Well-known member
Oh my heck, now your just nit-picking. Please try and understand the spirit of my words.
Sorry. This is one of the foundational scriptures that supports, for me, who the Father is and how he's related to us. So, pardon my nit-picking.
Let me rephrase "Jesus did exactly what the Father would have done."
That's the same thing you said before but it's not what the scripture says.
Jesus surrendered his will completely to the Father.
And my understanding of that will, is Jesus, do what I did.
Not without Jesus.
Uh. no. It's the other way around. Jesus would not have it without the Father. John 5:26 "For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself."
I never said it did.
What's the point of arguing it then?
 

brotherofJared

Well-known member
Ok. I think we're in agreement, 99,5% of the time.
I just want to make one thing clear. I don't dissect our believe.
My criteria is what's given by church leadership:
Scripture + church + Holy Ghost = Doctrine.
I only focus on doctrine. If you can prove that method wrong, then I welcome you to do so.
Sorry, I just see this thread with the two views of Mormonism as an effort to dissect our beliefs. If I'm wrong, I apologize.
 

Aaron32

Active member
Sorry. This is one of the foundational scriptures that supports, for me, who the Father is and how he's related to us. So, pardon my nit-picking.

That's the same thing you said before but it's not what the scripture says.
Ok. Cite the scripture specifically, and explain what it means to you, and we'll go from there.
Sorry if I'm being slow today
And my understanding of that will, is Jesus, do what I did.
Ummm...ok. I think? I don't see an issue here.
Uh. no. It's the other way around. Jesus would not have it without the Father. John 5:26 "For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself."
Do we need Jesus, yes or no? If we do, then FOR US, Jesus is the source of life.
What's the point of arguing it then?
Ok. To be clear. I'm not continuing the argument from another thread. I'm on a whole other topic.
In this new conversation, your brought in the KFD, not me. The KFD is non-sequitur from what I'm trying to say. I don't even know what I'm trying to say anymore. What are we talking about? LOL! Let's just stick to the Book of John for now, k?
 

Aaron32

Active member
Sorry, I just see this thread with the two views of Mormonism as an effort to dissect our beliefs. If I'm wrong, I apologize.
Sorry. I'm clearly not at my best today.
Let me make it easier for you. "Backwards mormonism" = "anti-mormonism". I'll be waiting for the mods to kick me off now.

The discussion on this board centers all about how mormonism is defined. Our critics don't want to do that.

You ask them, how does mormonism define "doctrine". I made an OP of it. No response. The only person that would answer the question was Theo, he said the method was "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". I'm thinking, "Uhhh...ok. The church isn't a method, but whatev."

They leave mormonism undefinable so they can twist it into whatever they want to. Just like they use the Trinity - when it's convenient God is 1, except when I need God to be 3, then it's 3.

Look at anti-mormonism as a cult, it's all there. The thinking has been all done for them, they just parrot the message, twist reality, and defend it to the death with absolutely no substance at all.
 

Magdalena

Active member
Sorry. I'm clearly not at my best today.
Let me make it easier for you. "Backwards mormonism" = "anti-mormonism". I'll be waiting for the mods to kick me off now.

The discussion on this board centers all about how mormonism is defined. Our critics don't want to do that.

You ask them, how does mormonism define "doctrine". I made an OP of it. No response. The only person that would answer the question was Theo, he said the method was "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". I'm thinking, "Uhhh...ok. The church isn't a method, but whatev."

They leave mormonism undefinable so they can twist it into whatever they want to. Just like they use the Trinity - when it's convenient God is 1, except when I need God to be 3, then it's 3.

Look at anti-mormonism as a cult, it's all there. The thinking has been all done for them, they just parrot the message, twist reality, and defend it to the death with absolutely no substance at all.

On the contrary, a lot of research, thought, experience and prayer goes into our opinions and responses.
 

Aaron32

Active member
On the contrary, a lot of research, thought, experience and prayer goes into our opinions and responses.
Yet, not when it comes to theology. You can't see the Bible any other way. And instead of seeing our view, you paint us with evil motive.
 

Magdalena

Active member
Yet, not when it comes to theology. You can't see the Bible any other way. And instead of seeing our view, you paint us with evil motive.

I lived your view most of my life. And you want to tell me I’m the one who can’t see the Bible any other way.
 

Aaron32

Active member
Sorry, I just see this thread with the two views of Mormonism as an effort to dissect our beliefs. If I'm wrong, I apologize.
Oh...wait! Do you believe Mormonism is to glorify ourselves to get our own planet with our multiple goddess wives? That would explain a lot. I'm thinking to myself, why is BoJ so confused over this?
 
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