FMA: Persecution of the Mormon Church
"The True Church is always persecuted, and the Mormons have always been persecuted."
Mormon claims of persecution as evidence of truth must founder on these facts:
Their claim of persecution generally ignores the persecutions inflicted by the Mormons themselves on their opponents. This is usually because the source of information about their "persecution" is the Mormons themselves. They make much of the Haun's Mill Massacre, but say nothing about the Mormon mob burning the town of Gallatin. They say nothing about the Mountain Meadows Massacre, where Mormons slaughtered 150 innocent and unarmed immigrants. They don't tell you how they drove David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery and others from their homes under threat of death. They don't tell you about their persecution of the Godbeites in Utah.
- Persecution, however intense, or even martyrdom, cannot prove the truth of the victims' beliefs. Every religion has its martyrs, and yet no Mormon would accept the persecution of Islamic martyrs, or the persecution of the Baha'i or the Falun Gong, as evidence that those religions are true.
- Although history shows that Mormons were persecuted, history also shows that it was not for their theology, but for their goal of establishing a Mormon theocracy wherever they settled, to the justified resentment of the non-Mormon population.
- Mormons have never suffered persecution such as was visited upon the Jews of Europe, the pagans of the fourth and fifth century Roman empire (where Christianity had recently become the official state religion), the native religions of America during the European conquest, especially by the Spanish, or any number of other persecutions where one group forcefully imposes its religion on another. At the present time, the Baha'i in present-day Iran and the Falun Gong in China have suffered much greater persecution than Mormons. Nowhere have the Mormons been forced to abandon their religion under threat of death or harm. (The Mormon abandonment of the practice of polygamy in 1890 merely "forced" them to follow their own Article of Faith stating that they believe in obeying the law.)
Mormons also seem to believe that disagreeing with them and pointing out the errors of their religion is a form of persecution. This very attitude shows that they really know nothing first-hand about being really persecuted.
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© 2001 Richard Packham
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