I’m impressed at how frequently I hear parallels drawn between our church and the many other religions out there. Apparently, we are similar to…
- the Catholics, due to our shared focus on a formally ordained lineage-based priesthood, strong church hierarchical organization, conservative moral politics, family focus with traditional gender roles, the need for works in addition to faith, and the role of priesthood ordinances in obtaining salvation.
- the Evangelicals, with our conservative moral politics, family focus with traditional gender roles, claim to spiritual gifts, 19th-century scriptural interpretations, and renewed focus on salvation only being available through faith in Jesus Christ.
- Islam, since we both have post-biblical prophetic foundings, accept additional scripture that adds to the Bible, prohibit alcohol consumption, and share conservative moral politics, family focus with traditional gender roles,and marginalized American social status.
- Biblical Judaism, due to our establishment of ritual temple worship, engaging in covenants with God, formally ordained lineage-based priesthood, and our self-identification with the tribes of Israel.
- Modern Paganism, from our various hagiographa supporting a feminine divine, a plurality of gods, and the earth as an ensouled being.
- Buddhism, specifically with regards to ancestor veneration (sealing the human family from generation to generation, baptism for the dead, that sort of thing).
- the Protestants, due to…hmm…I’ll have to come back to that one. Other than both being Christian religions, maybe we really don’t have too much in common.
I’ve also heard comparisons made with Taoism, Hinduism, and Native American religions. So what I’m curious about is, is this a distinctly Mormon thing? Do we have a particularly wide-ranging, eclectic set of doctrines? Or, could I find just as many parallels between any other two religions?