Muslims and LDS: Beliefs, Values, and Lifestyles


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Ammon went to serve King Lamoni, and stated that he intended to live amongst his people until the day he died. That would obviously necessitate knowing the Lamanite culture.

The church will continue to grow, and will be expanding in other Muslim dominant countries in the coming years. Dubai / U.A.E. as exhibit A. Knowing their backgrounds and religious/cultural views will reduce suspicion, help us minister to them in the right way, and in turn help their hearts become softened to the message of the Gospel. Don't be surprised to see another pamphlet like this on Hinduism and/or Buddhism as the church continues to make its way into India and China.

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1 hour ago, scottyg said:

Ammon went to serve King Lamoni, and stated that he intended to live amongst his people until the day he died. That would obviously necessitate knowing the Lamanite culture.

The church will continue to grow, and will be expanding in other Muslim dominant countries in the coming years. Dubai / U.A.E. as exhibit A. Knowing their backgrounds and religious/cultural views will reduce suspicion, help us minister to them in the right way, and in turn help their hearts become softened to the message of the Gospel. Don't be surprised to see another pamphlet like this on Hinduism and/or Buddhism as the church continues to make its way into India and China.

A new approach to killing with kindness

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5 hours ago, scottyg said:

Don't be surprised to see another pamphlet like this on Hinduism and/or Buddhism as the church continues to make its way into India and China.

I might be wrong, but I'm not seeing this pamphlet intended to be a missionary aid, or something to help LDS folk convert Muslims better/quicker/more often.  I think it's more of the church's decade-long concern about erosions of religious liberties, and finding allies where we can.  Sort of along the same stripe of having the Baptist Reverend Al Mohler speak at BYU in 2013, where he said "I do not believe that we are going to heaven together, but I do believe we may go to jail together".   Or when we partnered with LGBT supporters in Utah in 2015 to pass antidiscrimination legislation that protected religious freedom and LGBT rights.  Or in 2019, when we continued the momentum on to the federal level, by partnering with churches, Christian orgs, LGBT groups, the 1st Amendment Partnership,  the Alliance for Lasting Liberty, and others to pass the Fairness for All act.  

Of course, an increase in understanding and love for our neighbors can only help our missionary efforts.  I just don't see that as the primary motivating force here. 

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18 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

A new pamphlet on the church website: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/muslims-and-latter-day-saints/004-intro?lang=eng

Interesting stuff, worth a read.

 What are your thoughts?

Having spent time with those of Islamic faith - I believe we have more in common with our Islamic cousins than we do with our Traditional Christian cousins.  Perhaps the most power tool to convince our Islamic friends how close our religions are to each other is the Book of Mormon.  I agreed to read the Quran if a Muslim would read the Book of Mormon.  What I discovered is that the Quran is quite difficult to to read without constant input to help me understand context and intent.  But more to my surprise I discovered that Muslims (especially from the Middle East) understand many things about the Book of Mormon than most members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  For example: Many members struggle with Nephi cutting of the head of Laban because G-d commanded him.  A devoted life long Muslim reads this in the Book of Mormon as a witness that to them that the Book of Mormon is of G-d and that Nephi was a prophet called by G-d.  They agree that the sword of Laban would then become a sacred relic.   That the sword was then presented to Joseph Smith is a witness to them that Joseph Smith was a prophet called by G-d.

As another thought I was having a discussion about Sharia Law with a Muslim from Bahrain that was temporally living in Utah.  We agreed that no nation on earth fully implements Sharia Law so I asked him where in the world I could go to see the best example of a society living Sharia Law.  After thinking for a while my friend said - Here in Utah in the predominate LDS cities.

Last thought - Muslims believe that at the end of time that Mohamad with come with Jesus to unite Christians and Muslims to restore all the laws and ordinances of G-d's truth.  The idea of a restoration is something that is very interesting to them.

 

The Traveler

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On 1/21/2022 at 6:53 AM, NeuroTypical said:

A new pamphlet on the church website: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/muslims-and-latter-day-saints/004-intro?lang=eng

Interesting stuff, worth a read.

 What are your thoughts?

A little introduction about the origin of Islam would be helpful.  A friend of mine has done a lot of
research about it (and available on Amazon).

Qur'an-Bible Comparison: A Topical Study of the Two Most Influential and Respectful Books 
in Western and Middle Eastern Civilizations by Ami Ben-Chanan | Feb 4, 2011


Muhammad is said to have met with an unidentified spirit and he was so frightened he 
believed he had a demonic experience. Muhammad met with his wife and she tried to convince 
him that he was wrong in thinking it was a demon who visited him. She did not succeed. Then 
Muhammad met with Waraqa, a blind man, who affirms him that his wife was correct but Muhammad 
himself was wrong. He was finally able to convince Muhammad that it was the angel Gabriel who 
had actually visited him.

There are three stages to this story in the Quran.

1. Muhammad and the spirit
2. Muhammad and Khadija, his wife
3. Muhammad, Khadija and Waraqa

Waraqa was able to convince Muhammad by comparing the Moses' experience at the burning bush 
with the experience of Muhammad.

The biblical story of Moses also has three stages.

1. Moses and God
2. Moses and Aaron, his brother
3. Moses, Aaron and the elders of Israel

We have some differences. In stage 2 he met with Aaron and convinced him; later in stage 3 
both of them met with elders of Israel and convinced them. In Muhammad's experience, Muhammad 
was sure that he had met a demon in stage 1. In stage 2 he told everything to Khadija and she 
tried unsuccessfully to convince Muhammad. In stage 3 both of them went to meet blind Waraqa, 
and finally he was able to convince Muhammad that it was the angel Gabriel sent from God.

And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord who had sent him, and all the signs which he 
had commanded him. And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the 
children of Israel: And Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and 
did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed: and when they heard that
the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, 
then they bowed their heads and worshipped (Exodus 4:28-31).

Moses was convinced by God in stage 1. Muhammad was convinced by Waraqa at stage 3 and Islam 
was created.

If Muhammad had had an encounter like the Ethiopian eunuch with Philip, the religion of Islam
may never have been.

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11 hours ago, Traveler said:

believe we have more in common with our Islamic cousins than we do with our Traditional Christian cousins

100% agree. Both are religions that were founded by prophets and place great importance on Holy books they created. Yes, there are many differences, but we have a lot in common. 

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  • 2 months later...

Evidently some of you here know a bit about Muslims. I know virtually nothing about Muslims, so I'm curious if the following things which I've read or heard, are bunk or have something to them... I have no problem with Muslims (or any other religion), or those with other gender preferences, other races, cultures, etc. I know the Lord gave us our agency, so we are allowed to live as we see fit, as best suits our thoughts and/or believes. But I'm curious about the following.

Why is a religion of G-d espousing cutting off people's heads for not believing the same as they do... I thought agency was one of our gifts? 

Muhammad himself said he was so frightened by his visit from the spirit that he thought it was a demon... I thought fear could not come from G-d, but is of the adversary? Why would G-d send a messenger to frighten him... was Muhammad right, and his wife and the blind man wrong?

Is it true that if someone converts to being Muslim, that they will always be "beneath" those born to it (a second class citizen, so to speak)?

I agree there are some striking similarities, but after reading the pamphlet from the church, it's very obvious that both can not be right... they do not believe Jesus to be the son of G-d, and they believe Muhammad to be the last prophet, and their "scripture" to be the final words from G-d.

Honestly curious, but if this ruffles feathers, feel free to delete it. But I'm still curious.

Edited by DMGNUT
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47 minutes ago, DMGNUT said:

Evidently some of you here know a bit about Muslims. I know virtually nothing about Muslims, so I'm curious if the following is bunk or has something to it...

Why is a religion of G-d espousing cutting off people's heads for not believing what they do... I thought agency was one of our gifts? 

Muhammad himself said he was so frightened by his visit from the spirit that he thought it was a demon... I thought fear could not come from G-d, but is of the adversary? Why would G-d send a messenger to frighten him... was Muhammad right, and his wife and the blind man wrong?

Is it true that if someone converts to being Muslim, that they will always be "beneath" those born to it (a second class citizen, so to speak)?

Why do any of those questions matter?  At the end of the day, Islam is a false religion and Muhammad was not a true prophet.

Despite that, it is advantageous to all parties that we find common ground and shared values and beliefs because of the relational, social and political benefits of so doing.

Note:  My father and most of my family on his side are Muslim.

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Other than illustrating the falseness of the Muslim religion, I don't think my questions do matter... but I guess I was expecting to get blow-back about the things I heard or read and how they aren't true and how horrible of me to ask about them. Maybe I was just dancing around the elephant in the room, so I appreciate your straight forwardness about Muhammad being a false prophet, but I'm honestly still curious about some of the things I mentioned... namely, are they true? 

In regards to the pamphlet, it's all fine and good about us (Muslim and LDS) understanding each other better, so it's cool and likely helpful to some (as for me, it would be in a limited and unique set of circumstances, that I can't currently imagine)... I guess I just live a busy life and haven't yet found myself in situation that I need to know specifics about our religious differences (but the same applies to most any religion, not just Muslim). I just thought as this is a thread about Muslims specifically, I could ask some honest questions.

And I didn't mean to sound like I was singling the pamphlet out (of all church resources) or disputing it's relevance, there's lots of services that the church offers that I haven't utilized. The Emotional Resilience class, or Employment Services come to mind. Likewise, there are things that the church offers (and encourage) that I do participate in... the Emergency Preparedness Fairs that are held by many Stakes on an annual basis, for example. But maybe that's a bad example, as only about 20% of the members have a year supply of food, so I suppose there are a whole lot of members who don't care to take advantage of the information shared at those. My bad, I guess a lot of members still have a ways to go before we learn everything.

PS. Most of my family on my Dad's side are Baptist, so I feel your pain.  😎 

Edited by DMGNUT
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On 4/2/2022 at 6:11 PM, DMGNUT said:

Evidently some of you here know a bit about Muslims. I know virtually nothing about Muslims, so I'm curious if the following things which I've read or heard, are bunk or have something to them... I have no problem with Muslims (or any other religion), or those with other gender preferences, other races, cultures, etc. I know the Lord gave us our agency, so we are allowed to live as we see fit, as best suits our thoughts and/or believes. But I'm curious about the following.

......

Honestly curious, but if this ruffles feathers, feel free to delete it. But I'm still curious.

Please allow me to give some opinions to your questions - I will apologize now if my answers seem overly long.

Quote

Why is a religion of G-d espousing cutting off people's heads for not believing the same as they do... I thought agency was one of our gifts? 

 It is my view that this is an overly rash view of a very broad religion with many branches.  Similar to Christianity Islam has many branches and interpretations of their doctrines.  I would also point out that historically Christians have been much harsher to non Christian neighbors - if you wish I can give examples of Christian genocide of non-believers in the trinity that includes open slaughter of women and children and the perpetrator of the atrocities heralded as "The Defender of the Faith".  But all this is distractive to your question.  In short - most Muslims do not believe in beheading for the reasons you suggest - granted there are extreme fundamentalists.  For most the punishment of beheading is reserved for those that commit the highest of sins against G-d (usually defined as someone in open rebellion against G-d or someone that has broken a sacred covenant with G-d).  I would point out that Muslims that I have associated with that have read the Book of Mormon are quickly impressed that Nephi was a prophet because he was called of G-d to behead Laban with Laban's sword.  This because the ritual of beheading must only be done by one called of G-d to do so.  Radical Muslims wishing to make their cause seem sanctioned by G-d take every advantage to make themselves look to be called of G-d.  Such extremes are a sign to most Muslims I know that something is greatly wrong.

Quote

Muhammad himself said he was so frightened by his visit from the spirit that he thought it was a demon... I thought fear could not come from G-d, but is of the adversary? Why would G-d send a messenger to frighten him... was Muhammad right, and his wife and the blind man wrong?

I would point out that it is not uncommon for someone to experience some fear in an initial contact with a divine being(s).  I would point out, for example, when the angles appeared to the shepherds when Christ was born, the shepherds were somewhat fearful and another example when Jesus first appeared to his disciples when Jesus explained he was not a spirt but a resurrected being of flesh and bones.  And then there are other instances where the visit did not engender fear.  We are only left to speculate why some experience fear while others do not.

Quote

Is it true that if someone converts to being Muslim, that they will always be "beneath" those born to it (a second class citizen, so to speak)?

 I personally we see this particular temptation in what we LDS call the "natural man".  I think we humans tend to think those born to something are somehow greater than those "converted".  But in Islam there is something else going on.  The Qur'an was written in Arabic and Muslims believe that translations of the Qur'an are not as pure and valid as the original text.  All Muslims are encouraged to become proficient in Arabic in order to understand sacred scripture as G-d intended it to be written and read.  In addition those of Arabic linage (direct decedents of Abraham) are consider to be in special favor to G-d and His covenant with Abraham.  It is also believed that the Arabic language is the most pure language on earth and was spoken by Adam and Eve and is the natural language of G-d.  I would also point out that Muslims have their original scriptures saved and preserved in the Kaaba in Mecca and believe that Christians have been unfaithful to their scriptures so much that all their original scriptures have been lost and so they are left with flawed manuscripts.  Many Muslims see us LDS very different than other Christians because we have the Book of Mormon direct from revelation given to a prophet.

Quote

I agree there are some striking similarities, but after reading the pamphlet from the church, it's very obvious that both can not be right... they do not believe Jesus to be the son of G-d, and they believe Muhammad to be the last prophet, and their "scripture" to be the final words from G-d.

This question put forth a very important point in my mind.  Especially to us LDS the testimony and witness of Christ if of great importance.  I would point out that for the most part, Jews do not believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah (or Christ) and Christianity would not have the Old Testament and even some of the New Testament if it was not for the Jews.  I am somewhat conflicted because I find many truths and spiritual inspiration from the Qur'an (much like I find in the Old Testament).  I am somewhat conflicted and have some questions but as I have pointed out to Muslim friends Muhammad was the last prophet for those that speak Arabic because a prophet will always speak to those he is called to testify in their tongue of understanding.  As a side note - I have been told that unlike most Christians we LDS are most difficult to debate concerning our religions.   

I am not sure what things the future will bring as we prepare and continue through these Last-days but I sense that the time will come when our Islamic cousins will be converted in great numbers - much more than our Christian cousins - but this is just my personal opinion.

 

The Traveler

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Hey Traveler,

Thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to type out such insightful responses to each of my comments. Very thorough and very well thought out. I can find no disagreement with anything you've said, and you've given me a better perspective with which to view Muslims, as a whole.

As I said, I don't disagree with anything you've said, but I would like to add a couple of comments in regards to the first topic (beheadings). I certainly agree that historically, Christians have been quite brutal to their non-believer neighbors. But for the most part, I'd like to think (in these "modern" times), that's all behind us now... but that's not so much the case in regards to radical Muslims. Also (and this is just a bunch of numbers... math), statistics from 2018 show there to be approximately 1.2 billion Muslims (worldwide), with roughly (according to US intelligence agencies) 15% to 25% of Muslims being "radicalized". On the low end, that means 180 million are radical. I only point this out because it indicates the number of radical Muslims (worldwide) is significantly greater than half the overall population of the entire United States... or another way of looking at it is, there are 10 times as many radical Muslims, as there are members of our Church. In no way does this invalidate anything you said, but I would suggest it is perhaps some cause for alarm. Thanks again. 

Edited by DMGNUT
my numbers were wrong... correcting my weak math mojo
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On 4/9/2022 at 1:24 AM, DMGNUT said:

Hey Traveler,

Thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to type out such insightful responses to each of my comments. Very thorough and very well thought out. I can find no disagreement with anything you've said, and you've given me a better perspective with which to view Muslims, as a whole.

As I said, I don't disagree with anything you've said, but I would like to add a couple of comments in regards to the first topic (beheadings). I certainly agree that historically, Christians have been quite brutal to their non-believer neighbors. But for the most part, I'd like to think (in these "modern" times), that's all behind us now... but that's not so much the case in regards to radical Muslims. Also (and this is just a bunch of numbers... math), statistics from 2018 show there to be approximately 1.2 billion Muslims (worldwide), with roughly (according to US intelligence agencies) 15% to 25% of Muslims being "radicalized". On the low end, that means 180 million are radical. I only point this out because it indicates the number of radical Muslims (worldwide) is significantly greater than half the overall population of the entire United States... or another way of looking at it is, there are 10 times as many radical Muslims, as there are members of our Church. In no way does this invalidate anything you said, but I would suggest it is perhaps some cause for alarm. Thanks again. 

From what you have posted it would look as though we (especially you) need as many friends as we can get.  I do not know what your plans are - but I would suggest you get to know some Muslims (especially devout Muslims) in your area (Google for the local Muslim Mosque) and demonstrate to them that you are the kind of person they can trust and honor.  That you are not of the variety of Christian that were behind the crusades.   To Muslims the mention of crusades is as scary to them as a fundamentalist Islamic Jihad is to many Christians.  You may be interested to know that all Islamic Mosques are open to all that worship the G-d of Abraham - regardless of Islamic denomination (the definition of Islam is a believer in Allah  the G-d of Abraham - in the Arabic translations of the Book of Mormon the translation for G-d is Allah).    I suggest you stop by sometime and introduce yourself as a disciple of Jesus Christ - if you are LDS tell them about your faith and that you would like to learn more about them - you may even want to tell them someone you met (a friend of Islam) recommended you get to know them better.  This may well reduce your feelings of alarm.

 

The Traveler

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On 4/8/2022 at 9:44 AM, Traveler said:

I think we humans tend to think those born to something are somehow greater than those "converted".

I have seen this particular accusation made by at least one other person on this forum. I disbelieve it. Among the many Latter-day Saints I have known in many areas of the US and the world, I can remember exactly zero who proclaimed this strange doctrine, that those born in the covenant are in some way better than those who convert to the gospel. On the contrary, I have heard the opposite from many Saints, including some on this forum, proclaiming that those who are born outside the covenant and then join this Church are morally stronger than those BIC. It's an ignorant and offensive claim, whichever direction it goes. But I have only ever heard it suggested in one direction, and it's not the direction you suggested above.

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3 minutes ago, Vort said:

I have seen this particular accusation made by at least one other person on this forum. I disbelieve it. Among the many Latter-day Saints I have known in many areas of the US and the world, I can remember exactly zero who proclaimed this strange doctrine, that those born in the covenant are in some way better than those who convert to the gospel. On the contrary, I have heard the opposite from many Saints, including some on this forum, proclaiming that those who are born outside the covenant and then join this Church are morally stronger than those BIC. It's an ignorant and offensive claim, whichever direction it goes. But I have only ever heard it suggested in one direction, and it's not the direction you suggested above.

Just wondering if you believe there is a difference within the church for those that live in Utah as opposed to other stakes and districts of Zion?  I do recall that outside of Utah when my wife and I showed up at church with our family that there was more excitement generated than a newly baptized family.  I do not disagree with your observation and I am inclined to think that the primary reason is because of the missionary program of the Church.  Missionaries tend to have great respect for converts and returned missionaries married in the temple tend to be looked up to - to fulfil callings.

 

The Traveler

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On 4/11/2022 at 11:43 PM, Traveler said:

Just wondering if you believe there is a difference within the church for those that live in Utah as opposed to other stakes and districts of Zion?  I do recall that outside of Utah when my wife and I showed up at church with our family that there was more excitement generated than a newly baptized family.  I do not disagree with your observation and I am inclined to think that the primary reason is because of the missionary program of the Church.  Missionaries tend to have great respect for converts and returned missionaries married in the temple tend to be looked up to - to fulfil callings.

I've heard a lot of disparaging comments about "Utah Mormons".  I never noticed a difference... probably because I never paid much attention.

To me, it doesn't really matter if you're BIC or out, in Utah or not.  We all need to be converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ at some point in our lives.  If we're born in it and we are finally converted long after 8 years old, sobeit.

The fact that we're truly converted in our hearts is what matters.

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7 hours ago, Carborendum said:

I've heard a lot of disparaging comments about "Utah Mormons".  I never noticed a difference... probably because I never paid much attention.

To me, it doesn't really matter if you're BIC or out, in Utah or not.  We all need to be converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ at some point in our lives.  If we're born in it and we are finally converted long after 8 years old, sobeit.

The fact that we're truly converted in our hearts is what matters.

As a youth I wondered why anyone that is LDS would choose to live outside of Utah.  The bishop of the other ward that met in our church building married the daughter of Elder Hugh B Brown.  From time to time I use to help keep this good Bishop's yard and Elder Brown would often visit and relax by the backyard pool.  I grew up knowing Apostle Brown personally and had the privilege of many discussions with him.  My mother was a school chum of Elder Boyd K. Packer and my uncle (Father's brother) was Elder Packer's life long best friend.  After college I car pooled to work with his son.  When I moved back to Utah (where I live now) I home taught the son of Elder Steven L. Richards and on occasions talked with visiting general authorities visiting prior to his death.  On one occasion, in my youth, I was walking downtown in Salt Lake City and on a chance came upon President David O. McKay and he was so kind as to chat with me for a few minutes.

In my later years I realize that this time of openness in the Church no longer exists - even in Utah.  But starting with my mission I have learned that there are many good leader that serve as diligently and as inspirited in their callings as do the general authorities.  As I traveled throughout the world in my profession - I have loved attending church (very often where I never understood a word of the native language - including Korea) and found great brothers and sisters serving sometime like pioneers in their lands with the same spirit as there is with general authorities.  Many of these pioneers serve even as new converts without all the understanding of doctrine as my self (5th generation member).

Truly we are all brothers and sisters in the household of G-d and have come to serve in these last days to prepare for Christ as Latter-day Saints.  I wall to thank all for their contribution.  It is a privilege to spend a Sabbath worship with any and all Latter-day Saints.

 

The Traveler

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