(November 21st, 2011)
I wrote this post in answer to a request on Amazon's discussion forum asking for opinions of Mormons...
I find it interesting that, in this day and age, not only do a rather large percent of the younger generation totally reject the restored Gospel (i.e. the Book of Mormon), but they are, in ever-increasing numbers, rejecting the Bible and, by association, the Savior, as well. I'm a child of the 80s, so I can relate to many of the younger generation, but it saddens me that it seems pride is more often than not being lifted up as the God of the populace. More and more of my generation believe words prophesied against in the Book of Mormon, such as: "I am no devil, for there is none.", "...That every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature ... and whatsoever a man did was no crime.", "if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.", "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us", and, of course, "A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible.". It has been said, "Woe unto the generation that understands this book!", and I can see why. When we start living the teachings of those who were wicked in the Book of Mormon, it stands to reason that the same consequences which befell them might very well befall us.
I also see many young people turn away from religion because they mistakenly believe that our Father in Heaven should rob us of free will when we might hurt ourselves or someone else and should never allow us to pass through the kind of trials that will mold us and shape us into beings more like Himself with each passing day. Many of them really want, for their God, someone who will throw them regular frat-style keggers, never expect them to do or learn anything that isn't fully fun and entertaining every nanosecond of the time spent thereon, and always permit any action without consequence, no matter how damaging to themselves or others (because they want Him to stop others from hurting people, but they absolutely do NOT want anyone stopping them from having "a good time").
As for my opinion of Mormons, well, like any religion, we have our more sanity-challenged people on the outskirts, but the core of the Church seems, in my opinion, to be mostly very kind and caring individuals who love others regardless of their religion (there is good in all religions, after all). As to one comment made about our "special kind of crazy", I fail to see how believing that God gave a gift of tongues (i.e. the ability to translate languages you do not know) to an uneducated farm boy so we could have a new, more complete account of His Gospel (especially since they were inhabiting the continents upon which the distant descendants or relatives of the civilization that wrote the record existed) is so much more crazy than believing that a 34-year-old Carpenter's Son preformed a plethora of miracles (from walking on water to healing leprosy) was publicly executed and came back to life about 36 hours later (executed on Friday evening, rose on Sunday morning). Now, I personally believe in both, quite strongly, but I fail to see how the gift of tongues is so much more difficult to swallow than all the miracles Jesus did, other than modern stigmas and assumptions. Honestly, if the ancient creeds and traditions, most of which have nothing to do with the Bible, had never existed, would people still find it so hard to accept the Book of Mormon? In my experience, the more familiar a person is with the actual teachings of the Bible (instead of just what small portion most preachers talk about on Sundays), the more likely they are to accept the Book of Mormon. Those less familiar with the Bible (and more "preacher-dependant", as I prefer to call them) seem less likely to accept more scripture (and why should they if they can't really be bothered to read and search the scripture they already have, no offence intended, of course). Outside of the dual scriptures in Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelations 22:18-19 (which prohibit altering, i.e. adding to or deleting from, the words written in the Bible and have no bearing on the Book of Mormon because it isn't a book of the NT or OT, it's a new record of Holy Scripture) show me a single part of the Bible that gives us permission to tell our Father in Heaven to shut up and stop bothering us. Show me a single passage that says, "I have spoken and acted and I will never again speak to man which I have created nor will I act to do anything for or against them, no matter how much they might pray or believe in me. If you blow yourselves up, don't say I didn't warn you. Have a nice life." I'll give you a hint, you won't find this, or anything similar, in all of sacred writ (Bible, Book of Mormon, etc.).
In short, if the fact that God speaks and acts (i.e. lives) today is so offensive to so many people, I fail to see how the Bible can be deemed acceptable. If the Bible is thrown out of the heart, the people seem to turn almost instinctively to following Korihor's teachings, and we Mormons know how "well" THAT worked out. So, mock all you will, but remember not to say to us a couple hundred years from now that we didn't warn you. :)