My wife bought a copy of “Mormonism For Dummies” because her youngest son dated and later married, a girl who is from a Mormon family. (Guess what – now they are getting a divorce) I had already done some reading about Mormonism, so I wanted to see how this book stacked up against what I had already read. Unfortunately, it was so tiring to read, I did not finish it. Here are some “brain droppings” regarding it….
The opening page “About The Authors” gives a short summary of the 2 people that wrote this book, both of whom are Mormons. It goes without saying that this book is going to be written with a pro-Mormon slant, but it also makes sense that you go to “the in-crowd” of people to get the most correct information about those same people, right? Let’s hope their biases don’t cloud their vision.
Chapter 1, the first sentence reads: “Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, traditional branches of Christianity – and Mormonism?” and already I am wondering why this information is grouped the way it is. Mormonism believes everything in the Christian Bible PLUS some more books, so grouping it outside of the non-Christian VS Christian groups seems odd. Where does Scientology and Pastafarians fit in with these groups? Hopefully there will be a subsequent book for those too. Meanwhile, back to the subject at hand.
The book describes the basic ideas, tenets, and rituals of Mormonism. It gives a past accounting of it’s founder, Joseph Smith, who claimed to be a profit.
Page 15 briefly mentions Joseph Smith’s assassination and on page 30 it mentions that he had been previously tarred and feathered, falsely imprisoned, and driven from his home; yet they never mention the reasons why these events happened. If the life of Joseph Smith had been shown in chronological order, it would have detracted from Mormonism on the whole.
Joseph Smith had read the Bible and his “revelations” and additional books seem like an obvious ploy to invent his own religion. The science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard did the very same thing when he came up with Scientology.
The book tries to use humor to lighten the conversation, yet the punchlines fall short, leaving the reader to wonder if “those who know all Celine Dion’s songs by heart” really are limited to the bottom level of the Telestial Kingdom. (seriously, page 35)
Page 41 tries to explain how the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (in Mormonism) are not the same as the “Trinity” (in Catholicism), yet their descriptions seems only slightly different at best. Po-TAY-to, Po-TAH-to….
Pages 67-72 talks about the different functions of the priesthood, ranging from “Deacon” at age 12, through “General Authorities”, where they are working for the church full time. One of these functions is blessing the ill, which is supposed to heal your sickness, though they admit that they can’t force a healing if it is against God’s will. Of course this makes one wonder “If it’s God’s will, then why bother praying?” These functions are for the male members of the church because the church is “unapologetically patriarchal”, much like the Bible itself.
Page 75 says that Mormons believe that God himself is married. I wonder what the Heavenly Mother has to say about God’s alleged tryst with Mary (mother of Jesus). She must be pretty open-minded to allow her husband to stray like that. (Unlike the strict Mormon mindset).
Mormons believe that the family unit is extremely important and they spend much time tracking family genealogies. They also have other people perform ceremonies, such as “proxie baptisms” for those people that did not get the opportunity to do so while they were alive. What I’m wondering is if we are ALL related and we ALL come from the same pair of parents (Adam & Eve or God and Mary), then why not perform these ceremonies en masse?
I skipped ahead, trying to find information regarding Donnie & Marie Osmond or the planet Kolob, but neither was explained (or even mentioned).
Needless to say, this book, like every other religious book, is slanted, biased, and only worth reading if you really want to see how ridiculous their own propaganda can be.