The Embarrassing Truth About Mormonism


In this article I want to go through several key aspects of Mormonism – from the life of its founder, Joseph Smith, to Mormon practice – and highlight how ridiculous this recent American religion is. The  Mormons are also known as the Latter Day Saints (LDS). (On a side note: I was also glad to find out that Mormons could appreciate the humour and satire in Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s musical, The Book of Mormon, so we can at least give them credit for being friendlier and less abusive than the Christians who boycotted Jerry Springer: The Opera and Monty Python’s The Life of Brian).

Mormon cosmology, or the Mormon view of the universe, says that the Earth is not unique, but one of many inhabited planets. This, in itself, is not a very controversial or ridiculous idea, except that each planet has been created and designed by Jesus to bring about eternal life for humanity. In Mormonism, it was Jesus who created the universe, his dad, God the Father, lived on Earth as a human. (The pre-mortal Jesus in Mormon theology, who created the universe, is called Jehovah).

In Christian theology, it is believed that the Mother Mary gave birth to Jesus without the need for sexual intercourse. In Mormon theology, however, since God the Father (who is also called Elohim) walked the Earth in mortal form, God physically had sex with Mary so that Jesus could be born in mortal form. I’m not sure why God had to have sex with Mary – couldn’t Jesus, being the creator of the universe, just have manifested himself in human form? I suppose Joseph Smith was just a little bit obsessed with sex, hence his emphasis on the importance of polygamy. Another reason why Mormon cosmology is a bit silly relates to the belief that these other worlds will have inhabitants who are similar or identical to humans. You don’t really get more anthropocentric than that. In Mormon teaching, it is even suggested that key events in human history, such as the tempting of Adam and Eve by Lucifer the snake, have taken place on other planets as well.

God himself, Elohim, also procreated with his many wives on these different worlds, and this acts as a theological justification for the Mormon practice of polygamy. These wives then gave birth to “spirit bodies” who became the sons and daughters of God – looks like God is a bit of a player! God eventually provided an Earth for these spirit children in which they could take on a physical form and prove to God that they would choose a life of righteousness through the exercise of free will. Jehovah volunteered to be the Savior, who the spirit children would accept in order to achieve salvation. In the Mormon picture of the afterlife, an individual gets to live with God forever (described as the greatest gift imaginable) if they unite with a “celestial” partner of the opposite sex either on Earth or after death in a celestial temple. So if you want to live for eternity beside a horny, polygamous God, you will have to be married to one woman, forever. Sounds great.

Up until 1978, the Mormon Church was also explicitly racist. From 1849 to 1978, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) banned blacks from the priesthood and banned black men and women from taking part in LDS ceremonies. Brigham Young, the 2nd leader of the LDS after Joseph Smith, asserted that the reason black people have black skin is that they have received the Curse of Cain (Cain, one of Adam and Eve’s children, murdered his brother, Abel). Blacks were descendants of Cain and had, therefore, received his “mark” or “curse” – having this innate defect meant they should not be allowed to take up priesthood within the Mormon Church. In the Journal of Discourses (1854-1886), Young writes:

You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind …. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the ‘servant of servants’; and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.

You don’t really get more racist and pro-slavery than that. As a Mormon, it’s just a bit embarrassing to have these views expressed by one of the early leaders of your religion. Prior to 1978, it was also taught that blacks could enter heaven (at least they get some reward), but as eternal servants to God (oh, I guess not). Part of the justification for this racial discrimination came from the belief that black people’s pre-mortal spirits were inherently less virtuous than pre-mortal white spirits. Nice.

According to Mormon doctrine, Jesus travelled to North America after his crucifixion. How did he get there from Jerusalem? Who knows – maybe he walked, flew or teleported. In any case, Jesus taught his gospel in ancient North America (supposedly to the Native Americans) and healed the sick. It seems unlikely that the Native Americans would have abandoned their long-standing wisdom tradition, indicated by the fact that Native American Mormons are unheard of! Mormons also believe that when Jesus returns to Earth, he will specifically return to Missouri, USA, in order to reign for 1,000 years. Mormons believe that American Indians are descendants of ancient Jews (which can be disproved by genetic analysis) and Joseph Smith taught that the original Garden of Eden was located in Missouri.

Another reason why Mormon is ridiculous and embarrassing is based on the life of its founder, Joseph Smith. In 1819, Smith was involved in something called scrying. This is the practice of looking into a translucent ball, or other material, in order to receive spiritual visions. The stones that Smith used were called “seer stones” and he used them to receive revelations from God – ‘revelations’ that he would eventually use to found the LDS or Mormon Church. Smith practised scrying by putting the stone at the bottom of a hat and putting his face over the rim of the hat in order to block the light. Local residents would pay Smith for revealing insights that would be relevant to their life. In 1825, Joseph Smith, along with his male family members, were involved in treasure hunting. Smith was hired to use his ability in ‘crystal gazing’ to look for precious metals, such as silver and gold. Unsurprisingly, Smith found nothing. In 1826, Smith was arrested and brought to court for being an “imposter” and for committing fraud. There is no doubt that Smith was an obvious con-man, charlatan and trickster.

While working as a treasure hunter, Smith claimed to have uncovered “golden plates” situated on top of a hill near his home. In Smith’s own account, an angel named Moroni visited him and told him about the golden plates which contained the gospel preached by Jesus to the Native Americans. In one account, Smith located the mysterious location of the golden plates using one of his seer stones. According to Smith, the plates “had the appearance of gold” and were engraved in ancient Egyptian. No-one ever saw the plates directly, except Joseph Smith, yet his family believed his account of them and were admitted as members of his new Church. The plates were hidden and moved to various locations, but there is no evidence that they ever existed – it seems like Joseph Smith the con-man did a pretty good job of fooling everyone.

A strange practice of Mormonism is the wearing of “temple garments”, more commonly known as “magic underwear”. They are a type of underwear worn by the majority of Mormons both day and night and when in a Mormon temple. They are supposed to be symbolic of the covenants made in the temple ceremonies and are seen by many to be protective against evil spirits. Another unusual practice in Mormonism is the baptism of the dead. This involves baptising someone who is alive on behalf of someone who is dead. The LDS Church teaches that baptism is required to enter the Kingdom of God and that the deceased can either accept or reject the baptism. This practice has created some controversy – the LDS Church has baptised thousands of Holocaust victims, for example, which Holocaust survivors and Jewish organisations have found deeply offensive, both to the living and the dead. Anne Frank was one of those who was vicariously baptised.


  1. August 20, 2013 / 10:19 pm

    OK, so, what's the embarrassing part?

    • August 21, 2013 / 8:40 am

      Mormonism has a history of racism, fraud, baptism of holocaust victims, magic underwear and obvious historical inaccuracies. I think that's pretty embarrassing.

    • Mike Power
      October 9, 2013 / 11:44 pm

      All of it.

    • May 30, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      If things had stopped there, there would be nothing embarrasing about the story. What is embarrasing is that grown ups have this guy as their prophet. Maybe they are not so grown and prefer to live as kids who are told what to do. Embarrasing is that have to pay to live like this. Embarrasing is their pride, same pride held by the naked emperor. Pride is their worst sin and then comes Lie. Aint that embarrasing for a religion that claims to be the only true one? Lies and Pride, there you are

      • anonymous
        October 6, 2018 / 12:52 am

        Dude you are so wrong. Your viewpoint on our religion is skewed. Our religion is not based on lies and pride, that is YOUR perspective and YOUR mistake.

  2. Anonymous
    May 27, 2014 / 2:55 am

    Seems quite harmless compared to most religions.

    Catholics and other Christians – basically cults of a Jewish zombie. Long history of pogroms against Jews, wars among sects, the Spanish Inquisition and the most recent child molesters club.

    Jews (at least modern day): land grab from Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza.

    Muslims: followers of an illiterate, pedophile warlord. Mostly illiterate and invariably (i.e., in each Muslim country) host to at least some super-violent sub population.

    By comparison, Mormons are saints. 🙂 Silly, sure, but mostly harmless.

    • Anonymous
      October 26, 2014 / 10:15 pm

      Yeah you need to do some more research on the Mormons… They were part of many massacres.

  3. Anonymous
    May 28, 2014 / 7:56 pm

    We all exaggerate and make up stories, but the difference is that we grow up.

  4. June 24, 2014 / 1:06 am

    Most of the problems of the world have been caused by religion. Think of the crusades, the inquisition, the dark ages, the witch burnings, the restrictions on learning, free speech, instilling guilt and shame into children, and the wars fought in the name of religion.

    More recently, think of family planning clinic bombings, oppression of gays and non-believers, murders of doctors and homosexuals, imposition of religious beliefs by force of law, and illegal use of public funds to promote particular religions.

    Mankind will never truly be free until the black yoke of religion is lifted by the clear light of truth and rational thinking.

  5. September 10, 2014 / 8:13 am

    'There is no doubt that Smith was an obvious con-man, charlatan and trickster.'

    I think that you meant to say that there is no doubt in your mind. Furthermore, if Smith was such an 'obvious' con-man, then I guess there wouldn't be some 100 religious sects that view him as a prophet & etc. So really, there is 'no doubt' that he was not an *obvious* con-man.

    Really, I'm sympathetic, if your point is that you don't believe in Mormonism. But, I wonder why it seems necessary to exaggerate the case against him? Perhaps you realize that there are experts in Mormon history and scholars and smart people and such who somehow, having been introduced to the facts and all, nevertheless manage to be believing Mormons. This is a puzzle. Indeed, even to me, it is a puzzle. I'm not a believer. But I believe even less in your objectivity.

    • Anonymous
      February 7, 2017 / 12:56 pm

      He literally got caught conning people, arrested and jailed. He is by definition a con-man.

    • Anonymous
      June 15, 2017 / 9:35 am

      Fact and religious belief should never be uttered in the same statement.

    • August 19, 2018 / 8:28 pm

      Daniel i think the person here is. Just pointing things that the lds church have done and then they the church claim by their own leaders they are rhe most perfect church and the book of mormon is the most correct book without errors they belittle the bible and most of their early leaders erza snow orson pratt joseph fielding smith brigham young have made insulting statements against biblical christianity for the last 1800 years unit joseph smith shows up and supposely restores it and the meadow massacre in utah in 1857 the mormon church killed 145 innocent people because they through they were from the same place as the mob who killed joseph and hiram smith in that jail in 1844
      So i see what the author is saying but yes i would say it in a different way. To be more objectionable

    • August 19, 2018 / 8:44 pm

      I think what we can get out of this blog is
      That joseph smith was know as a story teller making strange stories involving the native americans and he was jailed for peep stoning the act of putting a stone in your hat and putting your face against the hat to block the light and seeing and finding stuff and yes we can say joseph smith had strange rituals baptism by proxy for dead loved ones
      And for 40 years the lds church practiced polygamy till 1890 something so that utah territory could became a state and yes god did not have any relations with mary the bible is clear the holy spirit overshadowed
      Her and she concieved jesus who took on flesh and their are not spirit children floating around waiting to receive bodies and the whole thing of blacks being denied any rights in the lds. Church until 1978 shows why very few blacks are members of thier church i think the heart of the matter is yes one person named anonymous said in his post harmless in what way that they are not are not a threat to the general public meaning dangerous yes but what about the lifes of people in their cult how many people were hurt by the lies and deception of the lds church over 188 years since its existence

    • Jason White
      July 16, 2019 / 9:20 pm

      I’m a little late to the party here, by how does a person’s success somehow dictate undeniable and infallible truth? Let’s put this into an objective logic equation:

      If True and True, then the statement is True.

      Example: “Joseph Smith was successful with many followers, so he was not a con man.”

      Argument: True and True, so True—JS was not a con man.

      Let’s replace this with some alternate information.

      Example: “There have been many successful con men with many followers, so they were not con men.”

      Argument: True and True, so True—known con men were not actually con men.

      In our second example, these cons were all exposed and prosecuted eventually—just like Joseph Smith’s. This means the second half of the statement is false, therefore: If True and False, then False. Con men were indeed con men regardless of their success of follower count. Success does not objectively create truth. I’m sure the large number of participants in the Salem witch trials believed they were doing the right thing, and they were quite successful at murdering innocent women and children. Did that make their beliefs true? No. Not even remotely. Slavery, genocide, war, sports, etc. The list goes on—take your pick. Success and following do not equal true (or even morally righteous) practices or beliefs.

      Do people still invest in and fall for cons? Yes. Do people still believe JS’s original cons? Yes. Does that make the original cons (or the continuing practice of them) true? No, not at all.

      Objectively, the history of Mormonism and its belief set is inconsistent, muddled, and baseless at best. Objectively, current Mormon/LDS practices are massively inconsistent with its own beginnings, and it is constantly at odds with its current teachings (which are regularly reformed).

      If you want to ignore basic logic and history and believe in whatever you want to believe, that’s no one else’s business but your own. You have that right. That said, you can’t expect people to do the same just because you don’t want to exercise logic and critical thinking (which EVERYONE should do with everything all the time, regardless of belief or position). Beliefs do not make anything true. I can believe that everyone loves me if I want, but it is far from the truth. Pull the blinds over your eyes as much as you like.

      P.S. Bias in research is an instant disqualifying factor. You absolutely, 100%, cannot have “experts in Mormon history and scholars and smart people and such” who are at the same time followers of that religion or belief system. The bias overwrites any ability to perform truly objective analysis. Obviously no one is going to openly and actively discredit their own beliefs, regardless of how much evidence is presented to them. They’ll find a way to justify it psychologically, thereby making all of their research and statements logically fallible. If you find independent sources that are not funded by, involved with, or otherwise influenced by the study in question, then please present them. I, for one, have not seen any independent researcher be convinced by any religion in any region. All religions think they’re the one and only true religion.

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