So, I just finished watching (and may continue to watch) more youtube videos, heavily or largely relating to Mormonism.
One video was Dawkins against a Mormon on Norwegian TV.
If I had to choose to uphold the opinion of either man, I would say neither.
1) I can not agree with Dawkins because I am 100% that there's something more, that there is some kind of supernatural or unknown being greater than ourselves who can intervene in our lives, who may be seen or unseen. I think Science can answer questions about this greater being, but denying his existence is contrary to what I know through personal evidential experience.
2) I can not agree with the Mormon either, he was just the basic, weak, and inarticulate support of the church that tries to seem educated but actually isn't. Truth is, I view mormonism to be a very, very flawed religion.
I know there is a God, I know that God can appear in the form of Jesus Christ.
I know that Mormonism has some kind of magic about it, or at least SEEMED to have some kind of magic about it. But the religion and society are so flawed it is actually a great marvel that the church could possibly even have that much "reality" to it.
From my historical mormon perspective - how could I possibly explain life, the universe, and everything?
I KNOW there is a God, or at least some kind of greater being out there who we have little idea of. I think that the Mormons have tapped in to some of God's reality, but more on an individual basis through personal prayer and study, and not as a church on the whole. Joseph Smith and other early leaders "fouled" it up so much that the whole organization has a very weak foundation. But, I give credit to the few mormons I've found who have been able to develop their magic or understanding of God on a personal basis, whether that be based on presupposed beliefs caused by Joseph Smith or through serious personal revelation.
All of my spiritual background is in presupposed beliefs given to me by the LDS church. I have discovered that there really is truly a God, but I have also discovered that the LDS church is largely a waste of time and not very smart. OK - to give some credit to the church it was a "decent" (? was it decent?) introduction to God, but I find I am more fulfilled living my own life on my own with my own relationship with God that I would be or was as a member of the LDS church who always had to listen to man made opinions about God and all that.
I've found that I can have good, happy, holy ghost feelings and testimony about things that the church would not allow or approve. The church could say I'm deceived by the devil, except if the devil can mimic the holy ghost, then we have no real idea that the church isn't even a deception of the devil. In fact, I understood more truth and good feelings from one source than the church would let me believe in -- and the church's ideas on the subject were obviously way out of line with reality.
OK - I don't need to rant, no one wants to listen, I know, no one really cares about me.
I am basically just moved to comment about my thoughts after more video watching.
My basic points are:::
1) I know there is a God or greater Being out there.
2) I know the Mormon church is so flawed that it shouldn't be relied on.
Hmm. maybe those were my only points.
3) Mormonism introduced me to God, but I prefer my personal relationship with God over some guy's opinion of God whose trying to control my life who obviously isn't making sense or making me happy.
There you go. Now I can stop.
I could, I suppose, also mention this other video I watched where Ezra Taft Benson ranted about the evils of Communism.
Considering the church's law of consecration or whatever the proper title of that was, which I've already forgotten, the only real big difference between Socialism or Communism and the Church's failed system of communal economics is that the church CLAIMS that communists or socialists don't believe in God, while their own failed system did believe in God.
I mean, the LDS mormon consecration system as far as I know was comparable to communism/socialism, but the mormons just like to distance theirs from the political versions based on the idea that the political version doesn't believe in God - that somehow the Mormon version of communal living is way better than the evils of a government-sponsored communal living system.
Though I can understand through my own experiences with my own Government's socialist tendencies that it is definitely not a perfect system, that it's not exactly the greatest thing, I can also understand that the Mormons are very much WORSE than what the government offered me. If the Mormons had done what they were supposed to do, I would never have needed the government support.
So: Government Social programs and benefits are not perfect.
But I wouldn't need Government Social Programs if the LDS church had operated in the way it was actually supposed to operate. The church is way too fouled up to get me started in life properly.
If the church supports capitalism, then why do they demand of us that we should work on service projects without pay? Thats not capitalism - that's slavery. Yes- it could be said I was once a slave to the LDS church, working so that I could do little more than eat food. I didn't even get paid for my labour beyond food, and what income I did have, 10% of that went to the church through tithing anyway. They weren't going to pay me --- they were going to take my money and enslave me to their service work (without pay). That is the totally better system that the church worked out that's better than communism or socialism.
At least with socialism I can acquire more than just food, such as, well, anything I want as long as it fits in the budget the government gave me. The church didn't even give me a budget, and only took 10% of my budget on top of that. And then didn't pay me for my work, while with the government system I am expected to work for pay, unless i explicitly want to work for free, whereas in mormonism you are forced to slave away for free on the service projects.