Similarities and Discord 2: Outline of Issues

September 19, 2007

Part 2: An Outline of the Issues

I believe that true dialogue requires a thoughtful and respectful, yet honest discussion of issues that both unite and divide.

Last night, I “brain-stormed” a list of what I regarded as the “major” issues uniting and dividing us. I plan to use this list (or a modified version) as a sort of an outline of the posts I intend to write in the “Similarities and discord” category. I also intend to post on other issues as they arise or strike me, but right now the plan is to keep the “Similarities and Discord” category for this list of issues.

I know I’ve been getting hits on the blog every day, but I realize that it’s in its infancy. So far, it’s really been an experiment for me as I figure out the system and work on my editing. From this point forward though, I’ll be actively soliciting readership and I would really appreciate your suggestions as to what should be included in this list. Also, I’ve been defaulting to LDS vocabulary without much explanation because I have an assumption that the majority of readers will end up being LDS. However, I have been using Jewish religious terminology from time to time but providing parenthetical definitions as needed. If my assumptions are wrong, however, I’d like to know about it so don’t hesitate to write me.

On to the list…

Similarities Differences
Charismatic Prophets “Institutional” Prophets
Aaronic Priesthood Rabbis – Weak “Melchizedek” priesthood
Mikveh/Baptism Purity laws – Mikveh used in repentance
Proxy baptism of Jews – strongly resisted
“Peoplehood” and Religious Faith
God as person
God as Corporeal Being* God as incorporeal (a firm view among most Jews since the Middle Ages)
God As Finite* Discarded by Jews in the Middle Ages but resurfacing recently
Pre-existence of human spirits
No “original sin” per se
Fall Brings death only
Fall a “part of the plan”
Universalism – No or limited hell
Satan ultimately serves God’s plan Ambiguous or impersonal Satan
Large List of commandments
Tradition of Temple worship Modern Temples
“National” and “Quasi-National” identity Fading in Mormonism
A serious Sabbath The nature and day of the Sabbath
Dietary Rules Different ones
Holy garments Different ones (though similar)
“Salvation” for the dead Weak in Judaism – no “Ordinances”
Polygamy ended due to pressure

I know there are more issues out there. I’m really looking forward to suggestions!

*Issue that is definitely present in traditional Jewish literature and possibly once represented a majority view but rare today. I plan to examine the sources for these assertions in detail.


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