20140529

The Many Gods of Early Mormonism (satire)

Recently I have been interested in Joseph Smith Jr, thanks to the excellent missionary work of the Mormons. Before people think I've gone off the deep end, let me reassure them: as a Buddhist, it is my duty to explore non-Buddhist religions so as to see what good they have may be reflected in my understanding of the world.

Having said that, I have read about the history of the Mormons. So this articles is about his "many gods" revelation. I will not be discussing polygamy here, but will declare that it was possibly a means of survival for the early Church of Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

One sign that Joseph Smith Jr might have been making his brand offolk Christianity was when he came up with the "many gods" ideology.

However, the "many gods" ideology isn't anti-Christian. It's just confusing to monotheistic notions of the one true God Almighty.

If you are of that kind of a person, then it will be hard to explain panentheism and the Hindu Pantheon, because most monotheists are ignorant of the fact that "deities" is akin to Elohim and the Muslim "We" which represents the "all things that are God".

Indeed, nobody will understand what I just said because it is simpler to think of one God rather than a God who has avatars who are merely reflections of all of His qualities.

Joseph Smith Jr realized this, too. However, this was too much for some of his Christian neighbours in Nuavoo, Illinois, who lynched him merely for having a novel interpretation of the Bible.

However, Smith wasn't referring to deities or gods, he was referring to the prophets and other people like Esther and Rebecca in the Bible. That this irked other God-loving people in Illinois is understandable since they had the notion that the First Commandment was vital to keeping the peace among their fellow Christians.

However, Brigham Young not only kept the polygamy part of Smith's works, he also allowed the "many gods" ideology morph into "baptism for the dead", which seems to me to be a way of relieving Mormon anxiety about dead loved ones who aren't Mormons. It also verges on ancestor worship, which is not strange at all and is probably Mormon in the sense that Smith almost worshipped all the people depicted in the Bible from Adam to Jesus and Mary to John.

At least, that is my understanding of what I read about Mormon history. If anyone who is Mormon wishes to correct me, then please do.

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