Essay on Religion And Ethnic Diversity WEEK 4

Submitted By Jason7674
Words: 858
Pages: 4

Religion and Ethnic Diversity

University of Phoenix ETH / 125

Mormonism is a uniquely American religion founded by Joseph Smith Jr., of Palmyra, New York ("The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints," 2013). Mormonism originated in the 1820s, as described by the Church's website, when Joseph Smith Jr. was confused and frustrated by the various Christian churches and was incapable to choose one to follow. He turned to the Bible, and was told to ask God when he lacked wisdom. So he prayed to God and was visited by Heavenly Father and Son Jesus Christ. According to one of the members of the governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Bruce McConkie (1958), "Mormonism is indistinguishable from Christianity." However, there are some distinct differences between Mormonism and other Christian religions, and other religions in general. These differences have led to a history of discrimination and persecution, so much that the Church today keeps many of its ceremonies, practices, and beliefs private. The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints has had a vast impact on American culture which includes a recent Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. The differences between Mormonism and Christianity are subtle. Mormons believe that their Church is the "True Church of Christ." According to their scripture study publications, the Christian church became corrupted during "The Great Apostasy" shortly after Christ's death and resurrection ("The Message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,”). God, The Heavenly Father, chose to reestablish the true Church on earth through Joseph Smith Jr. Mormons are saying that other Christian religions, although based on the same truths, also have errors or omissions in their beliefs. Other differences between these religions lie in their cosmology. But perhaps the biggest aspect that sets Mormonism apart from almost all other religions is their practice of plural marriage. Perhaps a tactic used to grow their own population,

a minority of families practiced plural marriage between the 1830s up to the 1890s. Plural marriage was the most controversial issue between Mormons and other religions, and the government of the United States of America. As with most religious groups in relationship with others who do not share their beliefs, Mormons have faced discrimination and persecution. According to Bushman (2008), they left New York to avoid confrontation, were expelled from Ohio and again later from Missouri. They settled peacefully in Illinois for a while, but conflicts escalate and ultimately lead to the death of The Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. The source of this prejudice and discrimination are all too common. Simply said, Mormon beliefs and practices are different enough from mainstream religion which to leads them to being negatively judged. Prejudice, and its ultimate response may cause a lack of understanding and fear of what is different or unknown. Learning about the origin and history of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints leads to a basic understanding of the plight of all religions. I almost every case, each church has suffered persecution and discrimination, often at the hands of a competing religion. While religious groups face prejudice and discrimination for their beliefs and faith, race and ethnic groups face discrimination because of the color of their skin, their ancestry, and their culture. The plight of Black people, people of African descent, is perhaps the most prominent example of racism, prejudice and discrimination. That does not mean that Black people have