I am going to depart a bit from my light-hearted commentary on Movies, TV, and Music to speak on something that had been weighing on my mind for some time. I know some of my readers are of other faiths and you can feel free to skip to something like Family Friendly Netflix Movies or How to Get into The Movies for Free. But if you stick around I think you will find principles that apply universally.
I served my mission in the Bible Belt and the anti-Mormon sentiment was everywhere. Part of my mission was in Missouri, where there was a law demanding the Extermination of Mormons up until 1976. I was constantly berated about the false teachings of my church, that I was going to Hell, that everything I believed was a lie. There were literature and pamphlets devoted to it that were often given to our those who were interested in our message by their family, friends, pastors. I encountered many people who were drawn away from the faith because of these methods.
The Korihor Doctrine
With the emergence of the “Mormon Moment,” these tactics are less effective. Everyone knows that Mitt Romney doesn’t have horns, that Steve Young isn’t going to abscond with your daughters, and that Stephen Coveys’ day planners aren’t trying to brain wash you. As a result, there has begun an emergence of a new type of Anti-Mormon campaign. I choose to call it the Korihor Doctrine.
In the Book of Mormon, a recurring theme is that of Anti-Christs. In it’s simplest form, the term means anyone or thing that counterfeits or opposes the gospel of Jesus Christs. But is also refers to persons who pretend to represent the gospel of Christs, but are actually against it.
The Korihor Doctrine teaches that there is no sin, that the teachings of Church leaders are merely foolish traditions. As I search the Internet for content for the site I often come across other blogs and websites that seem to teach this doctrine. I am choosing to not list specific sites as I really do not want to promote these types of sites, but I did want to discuss the contents. But I’m sure many of you have seen the sites.
One Podcast tells stories about Mormons. I love faith promoting stories about members of the Church so I listened to an episode about a young man struggling with same gender attraction. His story is very heartfelt and he speaks about his repentance process. The episode is about 6 hours long and I admit, I skipped around a bit. Then when you finally reach the end of the podcast, though, the whole story flips and he claims that the Spirit told him to leave the Church and he subsequently removed his name from its records.
The message finally portrayed is that those who have same-gender attractions should feel perfectly justified in leaving the Church. I think a story like Josh Weed‘s gives a much better outline of a way to feel happy in dealing with same gender attraction. His journey might not be the route for all in that situation, but he talks about how he reconciles his faith to his desires. Which is a universal theme for all of us.
Another blog I read today wrote about how masturbation was not a sin, and that the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet no longer condemns it and notes that the updated version removed the word “masturbation.” What the writer fails to include is the section that states, “Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body.”
One very popular writer claims the moniker of Mormon in all her books and blogs but then goes on to teach against everything the brethren tell us. She then claims to be a victim and will be targeted because she is a feminist and an intellectual. I know of no Church doctrine that teaches that it is a sin to support women’s rights or gain a higher education. Utah was one of the first states that allowed women to vote and in recent years, there have been many General Conference talks advising members of the Church to increase our learning by attending University. But if you continually speak evil of those who have been selected by the Lord to lead His Church, your membership might be questioned.
There seems to be a pattern all these sites follow; a tragic story of a member of the church (usually of how they are struggling with sin), a quote or Church teaching that is taken out of context, then how their rationalization removes the feeling of guilt associated with the sin they were struggling with.
Which is why I call it the Korihor Doctrine. If there is no sin, then there is no guilt. But we learn from the Second Book of Nephi,
“And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.”
How We Protect Our Faith
One thing I have learned from being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that living the commandments makes me happy. If your Sunday School is on track, then 2 weeks ago you learned about Alma teaching the Zoramites about faith. It is one of my favorite chapters because it talks about how we gain a testimony. More importantly, it talks about how we keep it.
Even our youngest Primary children learn that once our seed of faith begins to grow we need to care for it. A Tree needs water, warmth, light, air, rich soil, and even occasional pruning. Likewise, our testimonies need the prayer, church, service, scriptures, love, and even trials. When a tree of faith withers it is not because the seed was bad, it is because fail to give it what it needs, or perhaps give it things it doesn’t.
I will be the first one to admit that I don’t know or understand everything about the Gospel or Church History. But what I do know is that when Jesus Christ was on the Earth He established His Church. That Church was lost from the Earth. It was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and a Prophet has been called to lead the Church until today when it is led by Thomas S Monson. I trust that he receives revelation from God on how to lead His Church and how we can live a life centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Most importantly I know that as I have lived these teachings and tried my best to keep the commandments and repent when I fall short I am happy.
I guess I could identify with Elder Price a bit.