Mormons and Christians Make Family, Marriage, Having Children Into Idols –
Biblical Christians should be very concerned that they are mirroring Mormons
I did a little bit of reading about Mormonism several years ago. I don’t remember everything I read, but I do vaguely recall from what I did read that Mormons place a lot of emphasis upon marriage and family.
Mormons believe in the afterlife that a man can become a god, and he needs a wife and kids to repopulate the planet he becomes ruler over, or something like that (seriously, they believe this stuff.)
Mormons place a lot of emphasis on family and marriage and having a lot of children, and it has something to do with how many planets they get to rule in the afterlife.
When doing an internet search about singleness, I’ve noticed about one-third of the blog pages and forum discussions that show up are for and by Mormons, complaining how there are so many un-married Mormon ladies who want to get married, but they remain single into their 30s and older.
The Mormon singles also complain about Mormon leaders ignoring singles, and about the special preference their denomination/church gives to married couples.
I am struck by how similar all this Mormon singleness talk is to how conservative Christianity treats marriage and singlehood, and how conservative Christianity worships marriage.
Some of the blog pages I’ve seen by Mormon single women sound like something I could have written about being a single in a Christian upbringing and environment.
I just came across this while doing a web search today:
- (Link): Family Values. Strengthening Families. [Mormon site]
The happiest marriages and families are those grounded on the principles Christ … She told me she had read The Book of Mormon but was unable to find anyone that …. We welcome all to visit and worship with us in our Sunday services.
On that Mormon web page is a heading that reads, “Families Come First.”
At the bottom of that same Mormon page is a category heading of “FAMILIES PREPARE US FOR ETERNAL LIFE.”
What is eerie about that Mormon web page title, tag line, and other content on the page is that it resembles the same “Rah rah, family values!” rhetoric conservative Christians continually publish and produce – such as, well, (Link): “Focus on the Family.”
(Glancing over the FoF (Focus on the Family) home page, I notice there is no mention made of the un-married, of singles – FoF should care, because if they can help singles get married, there would be more families for them to focus on. This fact continues to escape these marriage- and- family- obsessed Christian groups.)
Then, about a week ago, I found a page, (Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family), whose Christian author also noticed that some portions of conservative Christianity have deified and idolized family and marriage as much as Mormons have. I would highly encourage you to read that page.
Here’s a blog page by a Christian guy who has lived around Mormons, and he has noted that Mormons have idolized family and marriage, much like some Christians are guilty of:
Excerpts from that page:
- [After summarizing how Mormons idolize family, marriage]
Who doesn’t want a happy family? Who wants to see their family die off one by one? Who wants to be alone? I certainly do not and nor does anyone if they have had a decent family experience or something similar.
This is the hope that Mormons are peddling. It is the leading foot of their Gospel and the discerning believer will see it is just not the Gospel.
So what can evangelicals learn from this perversion of the Gospel centered on the nuclear family?
We must preach joy, hope, and love from the Gospel and not life circumstance.
Whatever joy and happiness can be gleaned through family should pale in comparison to knowing Christ. If family is were you find joy and happiness then you will be sadly surprised in an eternity staring into the face of Christ. Paul considers “everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus [his] Lord.” (Philippians 3:8).
The Gospel can and will influence and improve our family relations but this is not the ultimate in view. A radical focus on the Gospel, Christ’s work, as our source of joy and happiness then opens the door for people of all life settings to begin to live in goodness of the Gospel among the wider family of God.
We must reassert the Family of God as primary to the Gospel above the Nuclear Family.
As Dan Edelen pointed out 1 Corinthians7:1-40, Luke 18:28-30, Mark 3:31-35, and Isaiah 56:3-5; these verses all give good counsel on what the new family of God looks like above and beyond the nuclear family.
I might add to this list 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 with its picture of the body of Christ and the differently gifted members there within. I would further point my LDS friends to Christ’s discussion with the Pharisees in Mark 12:18-27.
The marital arrangements of this world will be superseded by a much greater marriage arrangement and that is between Christ and His church.
We must remember now that our marriages and families, as sweet and important as they are, are only meant to prefigure our future union as the church (family of believers) with Christ.
We must work hard to understand the role of singles in the Family of God.
In 1 Corinthians 7:1-40 Paul makes the case for the single’s ability to be free from the anxieties of this world and be anxious about the things of the Lord. This is set against those that are married that must be, by nature of life setting, concerned about the things of the world and not just about the Lord’s work (1 Corinthians7:32-33).
In Fact Paul points to the fact that those that are married have divided interests (1 Corinthians7:34). Picking up Cheerios in a minivan may be more of a divided interest than living the dream.
As the church we would do well to promote the health and Godly vitality that singles can bring to the church as those committed first to the work of the Lord; only to relinquish that work do to a calling to marriage or uncontrolled passions.
Instead of always pushing and prodding singles toward marriage why not push and prod toward Gospel work! One’s singleness can lead to the most fruitful and enriching time with the Lord if the focus is on Christ and His work and not the lack of marital union.
We must be careful not to take the renewed interest in family ministry within the church to far. The Mormon Gospel of family should serve as a warning to Evangelicals in our endeavors to more fully embrace the family in churches.
It is a very good thing for us to think about how to minister to families in our churches, but we must not carry our ministry to far and eclipse the wider family of God we have been called to be a part of.
While I doubt many evangelicals will wrap family in with the Gospel as Mormons have done, we have come dangerously close at times. Family is super-important and is the primary place most of us will live out our Christian witness, but we must keep first things first.
To read the rest of that blog page, (Link): please click here.
One practice of some Mormons is polygamy. If I understand correctly, the Mormon church officially condemned the practice some time ago, but some off-shoots of Mormonism still accept it and practice it.
I guess the thinking with some Mormons is if marriage is really great, and you get to rule more planets in the afterlife the more wives and kids you have, why not start this in this lifetime?
Polygamy (a form of marriage and family worship) in turn leads to other problems, such as this:
- June 15, 2005 —
At least 400 teenage boys have fled or have been kicked out of their communities along the Utah-Arizona border, forbidden from returning home.
Known as the “Lost Boys,” they once belonged to a secretive sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which broke from the Mormon Church because its members wanted to practice polygamy.
The Lost Boys believe that polygamy is directly related to their exile.
John Jessop says he was kicked out of his mother’s house at age 13 after running away for three days.
“It’s hard,” he said, “not being able to talk to my family at all, really. I think about it all the time. I actually have a hard time sleeping because of it.”
Sam Icke says his father made him leave home after he got caught kissing a girl.
“He had no choice in the matter,” he said, “because if he wouldn’t, he would have the same problem that I had. And he really believes in this.”
The man they blame for their plight is Warren Jeffs, who law enforcement officials say dominates every facet of life in the FLDS community. He enforces a dress code, chooses who marries whom and even controls the police.
Reducing Competition for Brides
While representatives of the fundamentalist Mormons insist they’re only kicking out people who violate their moral code, prosecutors and former members suspect the real motive may be polygamy — an effort to reduce the competition for brides.
“These guys know that to continue to live polygamy — and at the level it’s gone to the last few years, with a few men having 10, 20, upwards of 70, 80 wives — it’s obvious that a number of boys have to go,” said Dr. Dan Fischer, a former fundamentalist Mormon.
“In order to exist in a polygamist society you have to have more women to men, your ratio of women to men has to be greater,” said Tom Sam Sneed, one of the many “Lost Boys” who have had to find new homes.
Sneed found a job and a place to live with the help of best-selling author Jon Krakauer, who wrote “Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith,” a book about fundamentalist Mormons.
Krakauer is personally trying to track down Jeffs, who hasn’t been seen since January and is now under indictment on charges that he tried to arrange a marriage between a 28-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl.
“He has made it pretty clear that he will not be taken alive,” Krakauer said. “He answers to the laws of God; he does not answer to American law or state law.”
Jessop wants to see Jeffs caught.
“There’s been times I wish I didn’t exist,” he said. “I felt alone in the world.”
But more important than bringing the sect leader to justice, Jessop says he wants to be reunited with his mother.
ABC News’ Dan Harris filed this report for “World News Tonight.”
Ironically, this article appeared in a Mormon publication (BYU Studies):
(Link): Values of Christian Families: Do They Come from Unrecognized Idols? – use link on right hand side to view full article in PDF format – or (Link): click here to read the full article (PDF)
—Related posts this blog:—