The Faith of Abraham

Back in my Mormon Matters days (a John Dehlin website), it seems like we’d get a post every couple of weeks about how the scriptures are full of bad stories of God commanding the death of someone. We’d get complaints about Nephi and Laban, of course, but the story that seemed to get the most attention was that of Abraham being commanded to sacrifice Isaac.

I remember one post, in particular that suggested the story should be changed to have Abraham refuse to sacrifice Isaac and the angel of God then praises Abraham for refusing to do something immoral even if God commands it.

I can see why this story is so troubling to theological liberals and non-believers. This story simply leaves no room to ethically explain it away. Continue reading

What Is “Mormon Doctrine?”

In my first post I discussed why God was concerned with creating creeds and using them as a test of one’s allegiance to God. In my last post I explained what it means to not have creeds and gave examples of the LDS Church following that pattern. I am now prepared to tackle the question of “What is Mormon Doctrine?” To outsiders, our doctrines must seem slippery or downright fluid. It’s impossible to pin us down on anything that they care about!

What informed (semi-informed?) outsiders want to know is what our specific teachings are on all the juicy subjects they’ve heard through the anti-Mormon grapevine:

  • Was Mary really a virgin?
  • Did God once live on another planet and live a sinful life?
  • Do Mormons secretly worship other gods?
  • Do Mormons want to take over the world?
  • Do men in the LDS Church get to decide if their wives are resurrected or not?
  • Why were African Americans banned from the priesthood?

I can’t say that I blame them. Thanks to our Evangelical neighbors, a half-true version (and by this I mean “a lie”) of many of our “doctrines” has long since leaked out. Worse yet, every juicy statement made by our 19th century leaders has been carefully combed through for any bombs and all have been dropped.

Continue reading