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Linda from Washington

As a complete outsider, belief-wise, I have done a lot of reading over the last few years about various religions.

Lately it has been Mormonism.

Read Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven, Fawn
Brodie's No Man Knows My History and another one, One Nation Under Gods.

Not reading from a "seeker' POV, just interested in why and what and who others choose to believe.

A purely American-grown religion, Mormonism.

Guess I just don't have the belief gene...but it is interesting to read the real origins of religions as opposed to the ones flogged by the churches themselves.


Kiril Kundurazieff

When it comes to controversial writings about the Mormons, and other religious subjects, a friend brought to my attention a now nearly forgotten author, and his book of fiction called THE CHILDREN OF GOD.

Learn more about Vardis Fisher, his thoughts, and his books, especially this one, here:

VARDIS FISHER - ATHEIST AUTHOR
By Richard Andrews - January 30, 2000

Amanda

So I may just be a teenager and people sometimes think that I've been brainwashed to believe in the Mormon church, but seriously, I belive it.

I found this article interesting. I've never talked to a nonmember who has gone through a temple before dedication. It was interesting to hear your reaction at the sacredness of the temple and such.

I was also impressed by your incouragement for doing family history. I've found that most non Mormons don't have any interest in doing their geneology and I can't seem to figure out why. To me family history is very interesting. I've recently started doing my own personal family history and I encourage others to do theirs. I mean you never know who you're related to! ^_^

-Amanda-16-California

Kiril Kundurazieff

Thank you, Amanda, for stopping by.

Thanks as well, for your comments about my story.

As long as YOU beleive in, and are comforted by, your beliefs, that is all that matters.

If, as you grow older and, for whatever reason, change your beliefs, and leave the church, that is your decision, and you should be respected for that, and should not regret it in any way.

As for the genealogy:

More non-Mormons than you realize are interested in their genealogy.

There are tons of websites online, from the personal, and general, to the specific, and related Message Boards, that are of use to people doing research.

You will discover this if you have not already.

marcus

I also enjoyed your article very much. I'm Mormon. I'm also a wildly enthusiastic genealogist: but not exclusively for the reasons you would think. There are great reasons for pursuing genealogy above and beyond the reasons most Mormons think of first-off (belief-related motives). It seems to me that we Mormons as a whole are so obviously enthusiastic about what we believe and what we do that sometimes we rub others wrong. Some think of us as fanatics. When it comes to representing ourselves to others, I hope "outsiders" (I hate that term, but "non-Mormon" seems like a poor, clumsy label too!)can at least understand: there are thousands and thousands of "spokespersons" for our religion. Any single member can "speak for the Church" or explain its doctrines. And yet, the situation is much like saying that every last soldier in Iraq is capable of giving the same "correct" or "serviceable" explanations or reasons as the state department would give, or the department of defense, or the White House. I bet each soldier has a unique take on things, with nuanced differences of understanding or misunderstanding. That's very human of soldiers. Also very human of Mormons. I also think it's silly to suppose that only "outsiders" like Krakauer can speak accurately about the religion. That's untenable, philosophically. No good journalists would depend on a single source, or lean heavily on an outsider for information. similarly, it would be utterly absurd for me to say, "I won't ask a Muslim what Islam is about, because that's a question best answered by Christians, Jews, Pentacostals, atheists, outsiders, etc." I think the Muslim world sees "outsiders," particularly Americans, as underinformed and even arrogant for not engaging them in any discussion about who THEY are and what THEY believe. So if you read Krakauer, why not also get a balanced view by entertaining the explanations of Mormon believers? It's amazing what people will believe: Mormons and non-Mormons alike. I'm very sorry for the gullible. I would not ever want to be so gullible as to rely on a "Mormon explanation" or an "outside explanation" of anything. I guess this is mostly in response to an earlier comment. Back to your article on the temple tour: thanks for letting me know how YOUR experience was.

Kerry Platts

I am also a Mormon and am deeply impressed with your article. I feel that you did a wonderful job in portraying the beauty and sacredness of our temple. I was fortunate to have been to the New Port Beach Temple for the first time a week ago and found it difficult to describe in words how impressive it was. Thank you for your descriptive clarity.

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