This essay also was conceived for a English class.
August 6th, 2004

Is Lds Church Vaticanizing?

Abstract

I have seen many things. I have seen many youngs, members of the Church - and here I mean the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints - who on Sunday do not attend the Church; youngs who have received the Melchizedek Priesthood. I have seen these young men that after receiving the priesthood do not attend anymore, and have left the Church.
I have seen an LDS bishop that choosed to act not, that choosed the silence, the omerta (the code of silence among the mafia mobs). Not only the Bishop but also one of the High-Priests of his ward. But this second matter is out of the topic of this writing, so let's talk of the first one.
Worried and upset for these youngs, who are my brethern, lost in the wildeness, without a guide, a flock without a shepard - I tried to do more investigations. And because I was born in Italy, I am very aware and conscious of the brutalities and witchness of some leaders of the Catholic Church, so let us try to see if there are common grounds between these two Churches.

Section 1 - Which God?

Both claim to worship the Ethernal, our Lord, Father of Jesus Christ, and both recognize the Holy Spirit (altough one says that the three Figures are One and the same, and the other substains that Jesus Christ is only the Son of God). Now for all my researches Christ is Pure Truth, but in both Churches too often the Truth comes hidden: so if they dont worship the Truth who or what do they worship?

Section 2 - The Theory of the Obedience

Both Churches require a blind obedience to their leaders. Is it a joke? Are we in a militar environment? If one is Christian, the obedience is due to the Scriptures, to the teachings of the prophets and Jesus Christ. And to other human beings is due due love. Otherwise one ends up on the verse that says: because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator Rom. 1:25.

Section 3 - Censorship in Vatican and LDS

In both Churches is severely forbidden to touch some arguments.
At the Eric's ex-Mormon mailing list ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/exmormon) that you find published in ( http://www.lds-mormon.com/censors.shtml) we read: Mormon scholars are apparently not the only ones to feel the heavy hand of ecclesiastical conformity. Here is a news item from Deutschland Nachrichten (a weekly newsletter about German affairs, which I subscribe to, in German). I have translated it from German:

RETURN OF THE INQUISITION?

At a convention in Muenster [Germany], the German "morality theologians" have complained about the increasing censorship by the church. Their spokesman, Professor Hans Kramer, called the actions of the Vatican's Congregation of Faith, which oversees doctrinal matters, a "return to the Inquisition". Kramer said that the human rights of the theologians are being "trampled on," particularly by a recent "dictatorial" edict from the Vatican under which Catholic theologians without prior notice could lose their permission to teach.
Kramer complained that the Vatican is attempting to intimidate the theologians, while, on the other hand, giving Bible scholars "almost a free rein".
I was reminded of Boyd K. Packer's statement about qualifications for teaching Mormon church history: "There are qualifications to teach or write the history of this church. If one is lacking in any one of these qualifications, he cannot properly teach the history of the Church... I will state these qualifications in the form of questions so that you can assess your own qualifications. Do you believe that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ personally appeared to the boy prophet, Joseph Smith Jr., in the year 1820? Do you have personal witness that the Father and the Son appeared in all their glory and stood above that young man and instructed him according to the testimony that he gave to the world in his published history?"
(BYU Studies, Summer 1981, pp 272-273 at http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/mantle.htm).
[An Erics note: in the same address Packer states: "There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful].
Then Eric closes with: One of the first things that made me wonder about the truth of Mormonism was the odd fact that the Mormons were so critical of the Catholic church, and yet the Mormon church was so much like it. Things apparently haven't changed.

Section 4 - Temple Square and St. Peter Square

Both are private areas, not closed to the public but better, open only to certain people.
Utah and Italy newpapers are often full of articles about public demonstrations for which the police comes called.
This is not so bad, such places are sacre for their worshippers, and in sacred places I agree that a normal and correct behavior must be hold.

Section 5 - Inventions

Both Churches have been often blamed, right or wrong, to have added, in rituals or Scriptures, something that was not in the original version of the Scripture.
A short overview on Catholic Church [Rev. Stefano Testa - Lista delle Eresie e delle Invenzioni Umane Adottate e Perpetuate dalla Chiesa Cattolica Romana nel Corso degli Anni]:
  • prayer for the deads: introduced about A.D. 310, officially adopted about A.D. 500;
  • cross sign on the body: introduced about A.D. 310, officially adopted about A.D. 500;
  • adhoration od dead Saints and Angels: about A.D. 375;
  • daily Sacrament: about A.D. 394;
  • use of Latin in the Sacrament and as official Church language: Pope Gregory I, about A.D. 600;
  • the kiss of the Pope foot, about A.D. 709. The pagan imperators had this rite. The Gospel condemns such rites; [Acts 10:25-26, Rev. 19:10, 22:9]
etc. etc., (this list is in 44 elements).
A short overview on supposed inventions of LDS Church:
  • the most recursive blame in the anti-mormon literature is about Joseph Smith and his vision of the Lord and His Son Jesus Christ. Here, inasmuch Joseph Smith has passed away, there is only One we can call to testimony;
  • another recursive blame is the use of masonic pratices in the Temple Endowment and rituals; here only the LDS leaders have the power to make clean house;
  • Abrahams Implementation of the Covenant Mission. In LDS language: [Ellis T. Rasmussen - Abrahamic Covenant - http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/basic/gospel/Abrahamic_Covenant_EOM.htm ] it appears that from the records of his forefathers, Abraham learned of the true and living God and the saving priesthood powers. Here too we have no testimonies to ask to.
Then the anti-mormon literature offers debate about the historicity and authenticity of the Book of Mormon, and are available on Internet many lists of all the contradictions in the Book: archeological, historical, scientific, the use of steel or of a compass, anachronisms, and whatever. Here are needed thousands of page to explore everything.

Section 6 - Conclusions

I think that the only true glue that can keep the young men into a religion, is the Truth of the Gospel, the teachings of the Scriptures, but heavily supported by a pure and absolut truth by the leaders. People is not stupid, when somebody lies, people is aware.
Probably, if questioned, both Churches leaders will answer but we are doing alot for our brethern: relief, assistance, educational funds, health care, etc.etc.. What I could wish to know by both Churches is if its licit to owe banks, insurance companies, whatever, and transform the Church, any Church, in a business.
So inasmuch I cannot be your judge, I leave you to decide for yourself. Regardless of my viewpoint, I encourage you to ask yourself the important questions and conduct your own research with your own heart, mind and soul.
Thank you for your time.
2003.08.06

Vincenzo Maggio