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Mormon myth-busting

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Is the Book of Mormon the LDS Bible?

The BoM was written by Joseph Smith, who claims to have translated it from a pile of gold tablets an angel hipped him to. In addition to the Bible and the BoM, Mormons rely on additional written scriptures, but also innumerable "revelations" that the church president, believed to be a living prophet, thinks up over his morning decaf. His edicts supersede previous scripture, making Mormon dogma very fluid and often fickle.

Do Mormons practice polygamy?

Not the mainline LDS, though some breakaway sects still do. In the main church, however, polygamists are excommunicated. Salt Lake City apostles ended polygamy in 1890 after a "revelation" that serendipitously followed a federal move to seize the church and all of its assets because of the practice.

I've heard Mormons wear magic underwear.

Not magic. Not even secret. Just sacred. The two-piece garment, adorned with curious Masonic-inspired symbols, is issued as part of the "temple endowment" and must be worn day and night, removed only for bathing and P90X workouts.

Are Mormons Christians?

Mormons worship Jesus Christ, believe he is the son of God, and consider Mormonism a Christian religion. However, a top-notch religion lawyer would shuffle through his briefcase and produce parchments noting that nearly 2,000 years ago Roman Emperor Constantine assembled extant representatives of an increasingly anarchic Christendom in order to lay down some constitutional rules. A major point of agreement was the notion of the Holy Trinity. And though the LDS recognize Jesus, God, and the Ghost, they view them as distinct entities, not a mystical unity, failing the Holy Trinity test.

Was Jesus the only son of God?

Nope. In LDS scripture, Jesus and Lucifer were actually brothers in the "pre-mortal" world. When God sat them down to explain his plan of creating Earth to test human spirits under mortal conditions, Lucifer proved to be a rebel, and Jesus a daddy's boy. Result? Devil banished to the outer darkness for eternity; Jesus heads to terra firma.

Do Mormons really get their own planet in the afterlife?

Only Really Good Mormons who tithed and were "sealed" or married at some point. No planets for the unwed.

Where do Pretty Good Mormons go?

The second level of glory, the Terrestrial Kingdom.

So who goes to Hell?

Bad Mormons. It's called "Outer Darkness" rather than Hell, but make no mistake, it's eternal damnation. Oh, and Bad Mormons are joined there by the spirits that followed Satan even before they were born.

Unbelievers don't go to Hell?

No. In the afterlife, unbelievers head to Spirit Prison, where they are received by missionaries and offered salvation. Learn some gospel, go through the temple stuff, and poof! You're in paradise, and from there on move to one of the three levels of glory ... Unless you end up in Spirit Prison and still reject Jesus Christ because you're just one of those incorrigible types that needs to be in a spiritual supermax situation. But even under that scenario, you serve 1,000 years before being transferred to the Telestial kingdom, which is the lowest level of glory, but still so damn glorious that Joseph Smith said "man would crawl on his hands and knees just to get to there."

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