The Book of Mormon Does Not Teach Mormonism

As Election 2008 continues unabated, the issue of Mitt Romney’s religion continues to surface, both on the right (where Evangelicals don’t like the idea of a Mormon President) and the left (who don’t like the idea of religious people period.)  We expect to see considerable discussion about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and its beliefs.  If these are on par with the way the media usually handles religious questions, one can expect more heat than light.

But the first question the left needs to answer is a simple one: why is it that Mitt Romney’s religion is a potential issue when Harry Reid’s isn’t?  They’re both Mormons.

Beyond this, we have already heard statements to the effect that the "issues" surrounding the LDS church concern the Book of Mormon.  It is on this point that we want to make one thing clear: the Book of Mormon does not teach Mormonism!  We refer you to this link to see this for yourself.  This includes the whole business of men becoming gods, which we discussed a while back in Half a Million Roubles.  Is it Enough?

The reasons for this are complicated, but what it boils down to is that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and those who came after them "progressively defined" the religion as they went.  That’s why there are two Mormon scriptures after the Book of Mormon plus the pronouncements that have come from "Presidents and Prophets" in Salt Lake City.

There are some serious questions about the LDS church that do relate to politics, most of which go back to the early history of the church (Mountain Meadows, polygamy, etc.)  But these are not to be found in the Book of Mormon.

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