A friend pointed me to an “I’m a Mormon” profile on Mormon.org, which reads like it could have been written by any number of my apostate friends:
Although I have come to develop unorthodox views and continue to grapple with Mormon doctrine and history, I continue to be an active Mormon because Mormons are some of the most kind and giving folks that you’ll ever meet.
Read: I don’t believe in the church, but Mormons are nice folks.
Why don’t Mormons have paid clergy? The highest leaders in the LDS church do receive a “living allowance,” Church-funded housing, subsidized/discounted meals at Church-owned cafeterias, and an automobile or car pool service, all of which has a monetary value.
In other words, when they say they don’t have paid clergy, they’re being misleading.
What is done with the tithing that Mormons pay?
Church members cannot be certain exactly how their tithing dollars are spent because LDS leaders do not provide Church members with financial statements detailing how their tithes are actually spent. However, Church members trust their leaders, and those leaders tell us that our tithes are spent on such things as constructing and maintaining meeting houses and temples, financing the missionary program, and operating Church-owned schools like BYU. This very website is an example of something that tithing dollars are used to finance, as well as the Church’s use of professional Public Relations consultants. Church members have been assured that their tithing dollars are not being used to finance the Church’s purchase, renovation, and new construction of the multi-billion dollar City Creek Mall in downtown Salt Lake City.
Why do Mormons baptize their new members?
Mormons believe that God will not allow us to live with him for eternity unless we are baptized by someone holding the “priesthood authority,” which Mormons believe exists only within the LDS church. Mormons believe that a baptism performed in any other church will not be recognized as valid in God’s eyes, no matter how sincere the persons involved were. Mormons believe that God is a loving, gentle, kind, compassionate, and merciful Father, but at the same time, He is a Father who only wants to spend eternity with those of his children who choose to receive ordinances through the proper (i.e., Mormon) priesthood authority; otherwise, he considers us “unworthy” to live with him.
Some call the Mormon Church a cult because their observations cause them to conclude that Mormon leaders employ some or all of these mind-control techniques.
How I live my faith I believe in the universal human values that all world religions have long embraced, and I strive to live by them. I believe that Mormonism embraces these values, albeit imperfectly, and attempts to implement them through numerous programs, rules, and institutional structures, some of which are unique. I embrace those unique Mormon elements to the extent I find them helpful, and disregard them when I don’t.
A better definition of a cafeteria Mormon one couldn’t find.
I’m wondering how long Andrew’s profile will stay up. Either someone hacked the Mormon.org site, or someone in Salt Lake has reading-comprehension problems. Or maybe the LDS church is trying really hard to appear inclusive.