A Friendly Discussion: Mormonism Pro and Con - Ed Bliss

from the publisher:
The question you must ask yourself is this: “If my beliefs about Mormonism were wrong, would I really want to know?” If not, don’t risk your peace of mind by reading further. Religious beliefs, even if incorrect, can be comforting, and I’m not interested in upsetting your equanimity. Of course, it wouldn’t make any difference anyway, because if you are a faithful Mormon you say to yourself, “I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and anything that could cast doubt on that is automatically false.” If that’s how you feel, read no further. Depart in peace. I wish you well.

Now that there’s nobody left here except us genuine Seekers after Truth, let’s take a look at Mormonism, and consider both its strengths and its weaknesses.

Mormonism is a mixed bag. Because all devout Mormons are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind , obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent (to borrow a list of virtues from the Boy Scouts) it is obvious that the church appeals to the positive tendencies in human nature. Mormons are good people, always striving to be even better. At the same time, devout members of the church often lack certain qualities that most people consider important: open-mindedness, objectivity, healthy skepticism, candor, and a willingness to submit their beliefs to the test of logic. When the church warns its members never to read anything critical of its teachings, its history, or its leaders, it is demonstrating that the notion of a free forum of ideas is alien to the culture of Mormonism.

But there must be “opposition in all things," according to the Book of Mormon, so to get an honest picture of Mormonism we must look at both the “pro” and the “con.” I decided that the easiest way to do this is would be to write a book presenting a dialogue between a missionary and a knowledgeable “investigator.” The result was the book, A Friendly Discussion: Mormonism Pro and Con, which has helped many readers to look at both sides of the question and then make a rational decision.


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