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THE LONG HISTORY LEADING TO THE “MORMON MOMENT” OF TODAY
 
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This article does a good job of explaining the entire history of Mormonism and it's cycles of non-acceptance and acceptance by the American people.  I very much recognized and remember the more recent ups and downs.  This is long, but if you'd like an overview of how the church got to where it is with the country and religious groups, you'll want to read this.
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thanks suzyq - link to first page is here:

 

http://religionandpolitics.org/2012/05/17/the-long-approach-to-the-mormon-moment/

 

 
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rod holland:

 

thanks suzyq - link to first page is here:

 

http://religionandpolitics.org/2012/05/17/the-long-approach-to-the-mormon-moment/

 

Thanks -- I thought for sure I had back-spaced to the first page before linking to it.

 

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I think that proposition 8 has had a huge impact on how Americans view Mormonism.  Some of the misinformation that was being spread by Mormons was quite hateful, and it appeared that the Mormon church was trying to get support from other right-wing Christian denominations by being so anti-gay.

 

As someone who comes from a familly with a non-Mormon Christian background, I know that Mormonism has a zero percent probablility of ever gaining much support from the non-Mormon Christian backgrounds.  They believe that if someone worships a false prophet they are really worshipping Satan, and, not only will they go to hell, they are spreading the word of Satan.  There is a lot of evidence that Joseph Smith was a false prophet, particularly on the internet, and it just doesn't matter if Mormons otherwise agree with the evangelical Christians.

 

Proposition 8 also offended the liberals, for obvious reasons.

 

Turning now to atheists, the other group mentioned.  Atheists used to take the attitude that it is mean to burst the bubble of people who believed in religion.  However, the Christian right has really offended younger people with its anti-gay stuff, and 911 has also made a lot of atheists feel that religion is anything but harmless.  So, atheists are now aggressively trying to point out the absurdities of religions, particularly for those religions that have a strong tendency to argue against civil rights.  Mormonism is one such religion.

 

So, that is my take on the reasons why Mormonism is unpopular among non-mormons these days.

 
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Thoughtful comments AM.  Everyone believes that people make up religions or are tricked into believing someone elses made-up religion.  Some people think all religion is imagination, methaphor and allegory; others think they all are - except for theirs.

 

But religions contain large of amounts of contemporary culture and their influence and popularity wax and wane depending on the interaction of the religion with the dominant cultural norms - as you pointed out.

 

Mormonism will continue to adapt, but it will never again be able to reclaim many positions it held in the 70's and 80's - the time period when I matured and started to raise a family in the church.  I think the church is in an uncertain time period - unable to reconcile its recent past with a growing body of contradictory facts.

 

Your point about the perception of evangelicals regarding JS was interesting.  We often discuss here, in a personal way, the credibility the church has lost with its treatment of the life of JS, confusion with its doctrine, and the BofA.   I had not considered the effect you mention - the undercutting of the church's view of itself as somehow having the moral high ground in its proselyting efforts among other believers.  I haven't talked to missionaries about religion in over a decade, but I can't imagine how hard it must be now to create a plausible reason for conversion. 

 

 

 

 

 
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I'm glad that was helpful to you.  My cousin, who has recently converted did his missionary work with Spanish-speaking monolinguals in Texas.  The Mormon church has come to realize that it has become considerably more difficult to proselytize to English speaking people with access to the internet, but, untill all the dirt about Mormonism gets translated into Spanish, Spanish-speaking people seem more susceptible.
 
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that makes sense
 
       
 


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