Los mormones

Los mormones

A principios del siglo XIX, José Smith, el hijo de un granjero de Nueva Inglaterra, experimentó una sucesión de visiones sobrenaturales. La narración de Smith de estos eventos informa que Dios y Jesucristo se le aparecieron en 1820 en las afueras de Palmyra, Nueva York. Le dijeron que estuviera listo para un proyecto importante. Smith informó además que, tres años después, se encontró con un ángel llamado Moroni que le reveló la existencia de planchas de oro enterradas que tenían grabados, en una lengua arcaica, de la historia de los primeros tiempos. pueblos de América del Norte. Su interpretación inglesa de la historia, titulada El libro de Mormon, fue publicado en 1830.Una nueva iglesiaEl 6 de abril de 1830, Smith y algunos colegas de ideas afines establecieron la Iglesia de Cristo, que pronto será conocida por el título actual, la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días. La iglesia se expandió rápidamente, y para el primer año contaba con unos 1,000 adherentes. Tradicionalmente se sostiene que la organización de la iglesia ocurrió en Fayette, Nueva York, en 1830. A principios de la década de 1830, los mormones fundaron colonias en Independence, Missouri y Kirtland. , Ohio. El templo mormón original se inauguró en Kirtland en 1836. La década de 1830 fue una década de expansión, pero también surgieron dificultades importantes en esos años. Sin embargo, la angustia volvió a aumentar. Los mormones de Missouri se habían establecido en una ciudad llamada Far West en la parte norte del estado, luego de su expulsión de Independence en 1834. Veinte mormones, incluidos varios niños, fueron asesinados en la "Masacre de Haun`s Molino." Smith y algunos de sus asociados fueron detenidos por acusaciones que los mormones hasta el día de hoy sostienen que eran infundadas.Expulsión de MissouriExpulsados ​​de Missouri el mismo año, casi 15.000 mormones se retiraron a Illinois. Además, a principios de la década de 1840, el resentimiento se vio exacerbado por las aspiraciones de rey de Smith y por los rumores de que los mormones estaban comenzando a practicar la poligamia, la condición de tener más de un cónyuge. Un elemento fundó un periódico para castigar a Smith, quien se había convertido en un contendiente presidencial. Los miembros de una mafia mataron a tiros a Smith y a su hermano en un asalto al calabozo el 27 de junio de 1844.Territorio de UtahLas turbas expulsaron a los mormones de Illinois en 1846. Este plan ahora fue implementado por [Brigham Young], quien se había convertido en el nuevo líder de la iglesia. Un joven dirigió un intrépido grupo de inmigrantes en el valle del Gran Lago Salado en 1847. Buscaron la admisión a la Unión, dando a su estado propuesto el nombre Deseret, pero en 1850, el Congreso optó por crear el Territorio de Utah, y luego nombrar a Young como gobernador.La guerra de UtahLa disputa con los mormones estalló nuevamente. Un informe falso llegó a Washington, DC, de que los mormones estaban en rebelión. La protesta pública antimormona persuadió al presidente James Buchanan de reemplazar a Young con un gobernador no mormón y enviar soldados a ocupar Utah en 1857. El conflicto terminó en 1858 cuando Young aceptó al nuevo gobernador y el presidente Buchanan otorgó el perdón total a todos los interesados. de Utah aumentaron los asentamientos *, lo que finalmente obligó a los indios residentes, en particular a los Utes, a alojarse en reservas. Un sueño mormón se hizo realidad en 1896 cuando Utah se convirtió en el estado número 45. Otro principio del mormonismo que finalmente sucumbió fue la actitud hacia los negros, a quienes se les negó la oportunidad de alcanzar el sacerdocio en la iglesia mormona primitiva. En su entrevista de 1859 con [Horace Greeley], Brigham Young afirmó que los negros no podían ser sacerdotes hasta que se levantara la "maldición pronunciada sobre Ham". Esta siguió siendo la política de la iglesia hasta 1978.


* Al menos otras 300 localidades se establecieron en una región que se extiende desde Colorado hasta California y Canadá hasta México. La mayoría de los mormones, sin embargo, residían en Utah.


Historia mormona

La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días (& # 8220Mormons & # 8221) fue fundada por José Smith, quien nació en Sharon, Vermont, el 23 de diciembre de 1805. En 1816 se mudó con su familia al oeste del estado de Nueva York, a veces conocido como el & # 8220 Distrito Quemado & # 8221 debido a las oleadas de avivamiento religioso que periódicamente se extendía por la zona. El joven José asistió a avivamientos en las cercanías de Palmyra y se convirtió en un devoto creyente en Cristo, pero también estaba confundido por las doctrinas contradictorias que escuchó. En la primavera de 1820 oró pidiendo guía sobre qué iglesia era la correcta y recibió una visión en la que dos personas (a quienes los Santos de los Últimos Días aceptan como Dios el Padre y Su Hijo, Jesucristo) se le aparecieron y le dijeron que él no se uniría a ninguna de las iglesias existentes, y le aseguró que & # 8220 la plenitud del evangelio & # 8221 le sería dado a conocer en algún momento futuro.

Tres años después, José Smith afirmó haber recibido una serie de visitas de otro mensajero celestial, Moroni, quien le informó de un registro antiguo, enterrado en una ladera cerca de Palmyra. José encontró el registro, escrito en planchas de metal que tenían la apariencia de oro, y luego lo tradujo & # 8220 por el don y poder de Dios & # 8221 y por medio de dos piedras, el Urim y Tumim. Contaba la historia de tres grupos de personas que habían emigrado a Estados Unidos en la antigüedad, centrándose principalmente en uno que llegó alrededor del 600 a.C., floreció durante mil años y recibió la visita de Jesucristo poco después de Su resurrección.

El registro traducido se llamó El libro de Mormon, después del profeta-guerrero que lo había compilado en la antigüedad, y fue publicado a principios de 1830. Su propósito principal, como se indica en el prefacio, era ser otro testigo de la divinidad de Cristo. Pronto se convirtió en la principal herramienta misionera de la Iglesia.

Mientras tanto, José Smith se convirtió en objeto de desprecio y críticas, pero a pesar del hostigamiento ganó varios seguidores. El 6 de abril de 1830, él y otros cinco hombres se organizaron bajo el nombre de Iglesia de Cristo. La iglesia tomó oficialmente su nombre actual ocho años después.

El mormonismo surgió en un momento en que numerosos & # 8220 restauracionistas & # 8221 buscaban restablecer el evangelio original de Cristo, cuando & # 8220 buscadores & # 8221 se trasladaban de iglesia en iglesia en su búsqueda, y en una atmósfera religiosa cargada de millennialismo y perfeccionismo cristiano. . Su mensaje restauracionista, junto con El libro de Mormon atrajo a muchos y la nueva iglesia creció rápidamente. Uno de los primeros conversos fue Sidney Rigdon, un ministro restauracionista. La conversión de Rigdon y la mayor parte de su congregación allanó el camino para que José Smith se mudara a Kirtland, Ohio: el propio Rigdon pronto se convirtió en consejero del líder mormón.

Menos de un año después de la organización de la iglesia, José Smith llevó a la mayoría de los mormones de Nueva York a Ohio, donde ya había más de mil conversos.

En Kirtland, se dedicó un hermoso templo en 1836. Se usó principalmente como centro de reuniones y escuela, pero también se convirtió en el escenario de varias visiones celestiales e intensas experiencias espirituales para los mormones. Los líderes de la iglesia también participaron profundamente en el desarrollo económico del área, incluida la fundación del banco Kirtland Anti-Banking Society. Sin embargo, los acosaron serios problemas económicos que contribuyeron a una creciente hostilidad contra los mormones, así como a una gran insatisfacción y apostasía entre los propios miembros de la iglesia. El banco quebró en medio del pánico nacional de 1837, y esto, junto con otros problemas, finalmente obligó a José Smith y Brigham Young, uno de los más destacados de los Doce, a huir para salvar la vida a Misuri.

Los mormones no eran más populares como grupo en Missouri que en Ohio. Su aparente exclusividad, su aparente actitud liberal hacia los negros libres y los viejos colonos y los temores de que los mormones pronto dominarían el área tanto económica como políticamente llevaron a su expulsión forzosa del condado de Jackson en 1833. Encontraron refugio en los condados contiguos, pero problemas similares los acosaron en todas partes. Para 1838, el conflicto había alcanzado un estado de virtual guerra civil cuando las turbas golpeaban, saqueaban y asesinaban a los mormones. La milicia estatal entró en la refriega para mantener la paz, pero claramente simpatizaba con los colonos mayores, y el gobernador Lilburn W. Boggs emitió su infame & # 8220Extermination Order & # 8221 requiriendo que los santos salieran de Missouri o fueran exterminados. Finalmente, en el invierno de 1838-39, fueron expulsados ​​del estado.

El siguiente lugar de refugio fue el oeste de Illinois, donde, a orillas del Mississippi, los mormones compraron terrenos y comenzaron a construir la ciudad de Nauvoo. Con el tiempo, unas 12.000 personas vivieron en esta comunidad de santos laboriosa y bien planificada, y cientos de mormones vivieron en otras comunidades circundantes. José Smith imaginó a Nauvoo como una gran empresa cooperativa en la que todos los ciudadanos trabajarían por el bienestar de la comunidad y por la edificación del Reino de Dios. Lo espiritual y lo temporal estaban tan estrechamente relacionados en la mente de los santos que había poca distinción entre asuntos religiosos y seculares. En el ámbito político, por ejemplo, José Smith pudo obtener un estatuto para la ciudad que la hizo prácticamente independiente del estado. Se convirtió en alcalde de Nauvoo, editor de un periódico y teniente general de la Legión de Nauvoo. Promovió el desarrollo económico de la ciudad e incluso se convirtió en candidato a la presidencia de los Estados Unidos en 1844, aunque fue asesinado más de cuatro meses antes de las elecciones por una turba enfurecida.

Los santos construyeron un magnífico templo en Nauvoo, destinado no solo a las reuniones, sino también a la introducción de las ordenanzas sagradas que ahora se llevan a cabo en todos los templos mormones. En Nauvoo se introdujeron otras enseñanzas y prácticas mormonas distintivas, pero ninguna fue más controvertida o cargada de consecuencias de mayor alcance para la iglesia como institución que el matrimonio plural. Comenzó después de que José Smith recibió una revelación en respuesta a su pregunta sobre por qué los antiguos profetas bíblicos tenían más de una esposa, y se le ordenó instituir la misma práctica entre los Santos de los Últimos Días. En Nauvoo se practicaba en secreto y se limitaba a un número relativamente pequeño de líderes eclesiásticos seleccionados. Se predicó públicamente por primera vez en 1852, después de que los santos se asentaron de manera segura en la Gran Cuenca.

Problemas similares a los que encontraron en Missouri continuaron afectando a los mormones. Su creciente fuerza política y económica, y los rumores de poligamia, finalmente alienaron a muchos de sus vecinos y llevaron a la amenaza de una guerra civil en el oeste de Illinois y a la intervención del gobernador para tratar de evitar tal catástrofe. José Smith y su hermano Hyrum fueron llevados a la cárcel en Carthage, Illinois, y allí, el 24 de junio de 1844, fueron asesinados por una turba. Surgió cierta controversia sobre quién debería suceder a José Smith como líder de la iglesia, pero a fines de agosto la gran mayoría de los santos estaban convencidos de que el Quórum de los Doce, bajo el liderazgo de Brigham Young, eran los sucesores apropiados.

La persecución continuó, e incluso mientras Brigham y los otros líderes empujaban el templo hasta su finalización, también estaban planeando el traslado al oeste que antes había previsto José Smith. El éxodo de Nauvoo comenzó antes de lo previsto cuando la actividad de la turba obligó a los santos a comenzar a cruzar el río Misisipi cubierto de hielo en febrero de 1846.


Muchos mormones desconocen los detalles desordenados de la historia de la Iglesia SUD

La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días ha aparecido en los titulares recientemente después de que se publicaran una serie de ensayos en el sitio web "Temas del Evangelio" de la iglesia que detallaban mucho sobre su historia con la poligamia (ver aquí, aquí y aquí). En particular, estos ensayos incluyeron admisiones de que el fundador de la Iglesia, José Smith, tenía hasta 40 esposas (al menos una de tan solo 14 años) y que entre ellas había mujeres que ya estaban casadas con otros hombres.

Si bien la mayor parte de esta información no era nueva para los académicos y eruditos de la historia mormona, es probable que muchas de las noticias fueran sorprendentes para muchos de los miembros de base de la Iglesia. Si bien el currículo educativo institucional mormón contiene algunas referencias a los "matrimonios plurales" de José Smith, los detalles completos sobre el alcance y la naturaleza de estos matrimonios, incluidos sus experimentos con la poliandria, están ausentes del currículo estándar de la Escuela Dominical (ver aquí y aquí para una descripción general). visión de conjunto). Por lo tanto, estas fueron revelaciones sorprendentes, si no impactantes, de la Iglesia SUD para muchos de sus miembros.

Otros mormones, sin embargo, han restado importancia a la novedad de la información contenida en estos ensayos. Han argumentado que la Iglesia SUD nunca ha ocultado intencionalmente esta información y que los mormones tienen la responsabilidad de estudiar su propia historia (ver aquí, aquí y aquí). Por lo tanto, culpan a la base mormona por su ignorancia sobre estos asuntos.

Estos argumentos, sin embargo, contrastan con las declaraciones hechas por historiadores mormones fieles y respetados como Richard Bushman, quien explicó en una entrevista reciente de MSNBC: "El hecho es que la Iglesia no ha estado discutiendo la poligamia, ha intentado ponerlo en el pasado, para olvidarlo. Para que los miembros de la iglesia puedan crecer sin tener un entendimiento real de que José Smith [tuvo otras esposas que no sean] Emma ". Echar la culpa a los propios miembros también ignora el hecho de que los mormones que discutieron públicamente los detalles más confusos de la poligamia y otros problemas históricos a menudo han sido marginados y, a veces, incluso excomulgados por líderes de la Iglesia en un pasado no muy lejano. Por ejemplo, D. Michael Quinn fue excomulgado en 1993 en parte por publicar una investigación que detallaba cómo la poligamia continuaba en Utah incluso después de que el presidente mormón Wilford Woodruff anunció oficialmente su terminación en 1890 (cabe destacar que uno de los ensayos recientes sobre poligamia también describir cómo la poligamia continuó en Utah incluso después de que se suspendió oficialmente en 1890.) Además, en 1989 los líderes de la iglesia advirtieron a los miembros sobre las "voces alternativas", que se entendía ampliamente como fuentes de información no aprobadas por la Iglesia sobre la doctrina e historia mormona. Las consecuencias de estas acciones todavía se sienten hoy en día, ya que muchos mormones fieles sospechan profundamente de cualquier información relacionada con la historia de la Iglesia que provenga de fuera de la estructura institucional de la Iglesia, o cualquier información que contradiga la narrativa histórica saneada que la Iglesia ha enseñado a sus miembros durante los últimos años. varias decadas.

Algunos pueden preguntarse cuántos mormones sabían, antes de la publicación de estos ensayos, que José Smith tenía 40 esposas (algunas tan jóvenes como 14) o que se casaba con mujeres que ya estaban casadas con otros hombres. Que yo sepa, no existe evidencia de encuestas que pueda responder definitivamente esa pregunta de una forma u otra. Sin embargo, una encuesta de 2012 realizada por David Campbell, Quin Monson y John Green, midió los niveles de conciencia de los mormones sobre otro tema espinoso de la historia mormona: su prohibición de que los miembros de ascendencia africana sean ordenados al sacerdocio, que terminó en 1978.

La prohibición del sacerdocio mormón es el tema de uno de los primeros ensayos históricos publicados por la Iglesia a finales de 2013. Explica que a principios del siglo XX, los líderes mormones enseñaron que la prohibición del sacerdocio era una consecuencia directa de que los negros habían sido " menos valientes "en su vida anterior a la tierra. Esta fue una enseñanza popular en la cultura mormona durante varias décadas, aunque rápidamente se le quitó el énfasis después de que se levantó la prohibición del sacerdocio en 1978. Aunque ciertamente fue minimizada por algunas razones, esta enseñanza fue oficialmente desautorizada en 2013 cuando el ensayo de la Iglesia SUD sobre raza y el sacerdocio declaró explícitamente: "Hoy, la Iglesia rechaza las teorías avanzadas en el pasado de que la piel negra es un signo de desagrado o maldición divina, o que refleja acciones injustas en una vida preterrenal que los matrimonios mixtos son un pecado o que los negros o las personas de cualquier otra raza o etnia son inferiores a cualquier otra persona ".

Un año antes de que llegara esta desautorización oficial, la Encuesta de Personas Peculiar de 2012 preguntó a los mormones estadounidenses si alguna vez habían oído hablar de lo siguiente: "En el pasado, algunos mormones han dicho que los negros tenían que esperar para poseer el sacerdocio porque eran menos valientes en el guerra en el cielo, o la existencia preterrenal ". En esta encuesta, solo el 45% de los mormones dijeron que habían oído hablar de esta enseñanza, de los cuales el 22% dijo que estaban de acuerdo con ella. Eso dejó solo al 10% de los mormones estadounidenses que se habían enterado y estaban de acuerdo con él. (Ver Buscando la tierra prometida, págs. 58-62.) A medida que pasan más años y la Iglesia SUD continúa creciendo tanto a través de conversiones como de reemplazo generacional, es probable que este número continúe disminuyendo en el futuro.

Todo esto es digno de mención porque muestra que más de la mitad de la población mormona estadounidense desconocía por completo que los líderes de su propia iglesia habían enseñado hace solo unas pocas décadas que los negros eran "menos valientes" en su vida preterrenal. En contraste, los detalles confusos de la poligamia y la poliandria de José Smith no fueron enseñados de manera similar en una capacidad oficial por los líderes de la iglesia SUD a lo largo del siglo XX. Por lo tanto, no es descabellado sospechar que las recientes revelaciones de la Iglesia sobre los detalles históricos de la poligamia fueron muy probablemente noticias para la gran mayoría de los miembros de la Iglesia SUD.

En mi experiencia anecdótica personal, la mayoría de mis amigos y familiares mormones son, en el mejor de los casos, solo periféricamente conscientes de que estos ensayos históricos existen y muy pocos se han tomado el tiempo de leerlos o reflexionar sobre sus implicaciones. Si bien la Iglesia SUD, para su gran mérito, ha puesto esta información a disposición en su sitio web oficial y ha hecho grandes avances recientemente hacia una mayor apertura y transparencia sobre su historia, aún no ha estado publicando o promoviendo activamente estos desarrollos entre sus miembros. en sus planes de estudio educativos o discursos semestrales de los líderes de la Iglesia, las fuentes donde la mayoría de los mormones esperan que se enseñe la versión "verdadera" y "aprobada" de su historia. Hasta que la Iglesia SUD haga un esfuerzo más agresivo en este frente, debemos esperar que la mayoría de los mormones continúen desinformados y "en la oscuridad" acerca de estos importantes detalles de su propia historia.


Asentamiento mormón

Los miles de años de prehistoria de Utah y sus siglos de historia registrada conocida son tan distintivos y complejos que un resumen sólo puede insinuar la rica herencia del estado. La sinopsis que se ofrece aquí sigue los principales temas de la historia de Utah e incluye algunas de las fechas, eventos e individuos importantes.

Cuando Joseph Smith, Jr., fundador de La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días, y su hermano Hyrum fueron asesinados en Carthage, Illinois, en junio de 1844, Brigham Young y otros líderes mormones decidieron abandonar Nauvoo, Illinois y mudarse Oeste. Su éxodo comenzó el 4 de febrero de 1846.

Con el estallido de la Guerra Mexicana, el presidente James Knox Polk pidió a los mormones un batallón de hombres. Se reclutaron voluntarios y se formó el Batallón Mormón. Durante su famosa marcha de 1846 & # 82111847 desde Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, hasta San Diego, California, forjaron una ruta de carromatos a través del extremo suroeste. Su paga y sus exploraciones posteriores ayudaron a los colonos pioneros.

En abril de 1847, la compañía pionera de mormones se dirigía desde Winter Quarters, Nebraska, a Utah. Los informes de Fremont y las conversaciones con el padre De Smet, un misionero jesuita de los indios, ayudaron a influir en su decisión de dirigirse a la Gran Cuenca. Un grupo de avanzada, que incluía a tres afroamericanos, entró en Salt Lake Valley el 22 de julio de 1847 y el resto de la compañía el 24 de julio. La siembra y el riego, así como la exploración del área circundante, comenzaron de inmediato.

Aunque la lucha por la supervivencia fue difícil en los primeros años del asentamiento, los mormones estaban mejor equipados por la experiencia que muchos otros grupos para domesticar la tierra dura. Habían sido pioneros en otros asentamientos en el Medio Oeste, y su fe religiosa comunitaria subrayó la necesidad de un esfuerzo cooperativo. Las industrias básicas se desarrollaron rápidamente, se trazó la ciudad y se inició la construcción. Los recursos naturales, incluida la madera y el agua, se consideraron propiedad comunitaria y la organización de la iglesia sirvió como el primer gobierno.

El asentamiento de las zonas periféricas comenzó lo antes posible. Abundantes, Farmington, Ogden, Tooele, Provo y Manti se establecieron en 1850. La inmigración había aumentado la población a 11.380, la mitad de los cuales eran familias de agricultores. La familia típica de 1850 estaba formada por dos padres de entre 20 y 30 años y tres hijos. Las autoridades eclesiásticas generalmente elegían un líder para dirigir cada asentamiento, y se seleccionaba a otros para que proporcionaran las habilidades básicas para la nueva comunidad. Los pequeños asentamientos eran con frecuencia fuertes con cabañas de troncos dispuestas en un cuadrado protector.

Vagón tren ensamblado (o acampado) en el área de Coalville, 1863.

Entre 1847 y 1900, los mormones fundaron alrededor de 500 asentamientos en Utah y los estados vecinos. Al mismo tiempo, los misioneros viajaron por todo el mundo y miles de conversos religiosos de muchos orígenes culturales hicieron el largo viaje desde sus países de origen hasta Utah en barco, tren, vagón de tren y carretilla de mano.

La aldea mormona en Utah fue hasta cierto punto inspirada en la ciudad de Sion de José Smith, una comunidad planificada de agricultores y comerciantes, con un área residencial central y granjas y edificios agrícolas en la tierra más allá. La vida en estos pueblos se centraba en el trabajo diario y las actividades de la iglesia. Las instalaciones educativas se desarrollaron lentamente. La música, la danza y el teatro fueron las actividades de grupo favoritas.


Los asesinatos que plantearon preguntas sobre la historia mormona

Netflix constituye un verdadero complejo industrial de delincuencia real en este punto. Algunas de sus series documentales han tenido un impacto viral duradero (2020 Rey Tigre), mientras que muchos solo lograron impulsar la conversación en las redes sociales durante un fin de semana antes de retroceder hacia el abismo (2021 Escena del crimen: La desaparición en el hotel Cecil, entre muchos otros). Hay un estilo de casa clara para estas miniseries, en las que pesan cabezas parlantes iluminadas, recreaciones y, a veces, recreaciones animadas. Pero uno de los documentales recientes de Netflix, coproducido con la BBC, es bastante inesperado, tanto en su creación como en su tema. Asesinato entre los mormones fue codirigido por Jared Hess, el director de Napoleón dinamita (2004) y Nacho Libre (2006), y se centra en una conspiración dentro de la moralmente tensa Salt Lake City. El caso del falsificador Mark Hofmann llegó al corazón del mormonismo, planteando serias dudas a los Santos de los Últimos Días sobre la validez de su sistema de creencias.

En la década de 1980, Hofmann hizo olas en la comunidad mormona como comerciante de libros raros y arqueólogo aficionado que se especializaba en artefactos relacionados con la historia temprana de la iglesia. Muchos de sus supuestos hallazgos fueron extremadamente controvertidos, ya que cuestionaron la narrativa oficial sobre la historia de la iglesia. La más infame fue la “Carta de la salamandra”, que afirmaba que el fundador José Smith no había sido visitado por ángeles como él afirmó, sino que recibió su “nuevo evangelio” de una salamandra. La iglesia, notoriamente protectora de su imagen, gastó fondos incalculables para adquirir estos materiales con el fin de enterrarlos, incluso si ya habían hecho su daño. Y luego resultó que estos documentos escandalosos eran fabricaciones completas. Hofmann dedicó un enorme esfuerzo a la elaboración de documentos que arrojarían dudas sobre el dogma que había dominado su vida. Todos estos engaños solo se revelaron después de que Hofmann intentó escapar de una deuda creciente orquestando una campaña de bombardeos que mató a dos personas.

En sus películas, Hess, quien codirigió esta serie con Tyler Measom, está fascinado con los objetos materiales y los libros de tiempos pasados. Puedes sentir rastros de su estilo en las recreaciones y recreaciones de la serie, que se basan en el sentido, a menudo hortera, de un sano kitsch asociado con la cultura mormona. Vemos a una familia jugando al juego de mesa con temática astrológica. Persecución celestial (enmarcado junto a un plato de golosinas Rice Krispies), alfombras peludas y clips de películas educativas cursis con las que estoy muy familiarizado. Y las obras de Hess a menudo han sido sobre personajes impulsados ​​singularmente por cosas - las fantasías del cuaderno de espiral y el baile instruccional VHS de Napoleón dinamita, el casero lucha libre uniforme de Nacho Libre, los libros de bolsillo de pulp Caballeros Broncos. Y, por supuesto, hay Don Verdean, sobre un arqueólogo bíblico desviado de sus convicciones por un rico evangelista. Es difícil para mí no conectar este interés por los artículos materiales dotados de un poder casi religioso con el mormonismo mismo. La religión se basa en viejos pergaminos mohosos, supuestas planchas de bronce ocultas y "piedras videntes".

Asesinato entre los mormones me atrajo con su conspiración histórica libresca y su elenco de nerds obsesivos, pero también me llamó la atención por mi experiencia. Fui criado en la misma religión intensa y abarcadora que Mark Hofmann. Extrañamente, casi encuentro su caso identificable. Hofmann no podía imaginar no ser mormón incluso cuando perdió su fe, como lo hacen muchos otros escépticos, aunque aparentemente dejó de creer cuando era adolescente, todavía trabajaba como misionero, asistía a la iglesia y participaba en eventos, y crió una familia mormona. todo por un sentido de obligación profundamente arraigado. Se sintió impulsado a engañar a la gente porque sintió que lo habían engañado toda su vida. Al igual que él, mi propio linaje se remonta al origen de la iglesia: tenía un tatarabuelo o algo así que estaba en prisión junto a José Smith, y mi familia estaba en el segundo vagón cuando los santos llegaron a Salt Lake. Valley por primera vez. Sé lo difícil e incluso desestabilizador que puede ser encontrarse fuera de una institución que da forma a todas las facetas de su ser.

The series makes a sharp turn after its first two episodes, casting the church as a potential suspect in the bombings before revealing Hofmann as the culprit, whereupon the church becomes a victim in the third and final episode. Given Mormonism’s violent persecution in its early days, its membership has developed a sensitive self-image, and Mormons are often quick to guard against critics. It feels like Hess fumbles a bit by giving in to very church-mandated talking points about “anti-Mormonism” in the last episode, though he still goes further in his critiques than most other active members would ever dare. The LDS Church does not encourage discourse or debate. Hess does not draw a direct link between LDS leadership and a man who would commit murder to cover up his lies, but Murder Among the Mormons still raises some incredibly worthwhile questions about the religion’s relationship to its own history.


History of LDS Restorationism before 1843 CE

The Mormons have had a fascinating and turbulent history. Its founder was Joseph Smith. He lived in Palmyra NY -- in ". western New York state, sometimes known as the "Burned-over District" because of the waves of religious revivalism that periodically swept over the area." 1

His family of origin were called "Seekers." These were Christians who were not affiliated with a specific denomination, but who respected the teachings of all faith groups. In his early teens, his mother and most of the rest of the family converted to Presbyterianism. However, Joseph was deeply troubled by the multiplicity of sects that existed in Christianity. Methodists, Presbyterians and Baptists were active in his hometown. In common with many Christians before and since, he wondered which was the "true" Christian religion. He asked God: "Who of all these parties is right or, are they all wrong together?"

Smith's first vision:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- the main Mormon church -- teaches that he received his answer in the form of his first vision in 1820, at the age of 14 in Palymra, NY. God and Jesus Christ appeared before Joseph as two separate persons, apparently in flesh and bone bodies. This conflicts with the traditional Christian beliefs that God is a spirit, and that God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit consist of three persons in a single entity.

Smith wrote that he was told by Jesus to:

"Join none of them, for they were all wrong, and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight that those professors were all corrupt that: they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof ." 2

Smith was also told that he would receive a major personal assignment in the future.

Belief in this vision is a central belief of the LDS Church. LDS president, Gordon B. Hinckley, has said:

"We declare without equivocation that God the father and his son, the Lord Jesus Christ, appeared in person to the boy, Joseph Smith. Our whole strength rests on the validity of that vision." 3

During an interview with PBS, Hinckley stated:

". it's either true or false. If it's false, we're engaged in a great fraud. If it's true, it's the most important thing in the world. Now, that's the whole picture. It is either right or wrong, true or false, fraudulent or true. And that's exactly where we stand, with a conviction in our hearts that it is true: that Joseph went into the [Sacred] Grove that he saw the Father and the Son that he talked with them that Moroni came that the Book of Mormon was translated from the plates that the priesthood was restored by those who held it anciently. That's our claim. That's where we stand, and that's where we fall, if we fall. But we don't. We just stand secure in that faith. 4

Subsequent visitations:

However, he was not permitted to remove the plates at that time. He was instructed to return to the spot at each Autumn Equinox. Four years later, in 1827, he was finally allowed to take possession of the material.

Translation of the golden plates:

A friend of Smith, Martin Harris, attempted to authenticate the tablets by taking copies of some of the inscriptions to Professor Charles Anton and is said to have received verbal confirmation that the tablets were written in "reformed Egyptian" hieroglyphics. There is no such language. Prof. Anton later denied making this statement, and wrote that the symbols that he saw were a combination of Greek, Hebrew, inverted or sideways Roman letters, and elements from a Mexican calendar.

Joseph Smith positioned himself behind a curtain and used the special stones to translate the inscriptions on the golden plates. Emma Smith, Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdery served at various times as a scribe. A 116 page Book of Lehi was translated over a two month interval in 1828. Unfortunately, Martin Harris showed the only copies to his wife who promptly "lost" them. Lucy Harris was a skeptic, and there is speculation that she believed the book to be a fraud. By forcing Smith to retranslate the book, she hoped to demonstrate discrepancies between the two versions, thus proving that the book was a hoax. Smith stated that God was so angry at this loss that he temporarily took away the special stones. Smith later decided to not re-translate the Book of Lehi, but to translate the plates of Nephi instead, which described the same events as the Book of Lehi.

The preface to the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon included the following preface referring to the loss of the Book of Lehi. It was signed "The Author:"

"As many false reports have been circulated respecting the following work, and also many unlawful measures taken by the evil designing persons to destroy me, and also the work, I would inform you that I translated, by the gift and power of God, and caused to be written, one hundred and sixteen pages, the which I took from the Book of Lehi, which was an account abridged from the plates of Lehi, by the hand of Mormon which said account, some person or persons have stolen and kept from me, notwithstanding my utmost exertions to recover it again and being commanded of the Lord that I should not translate the same over again, for Satan had put it into their hearts to tempt the Lord their God, by altering the words, that they did read contrary from that which I translated and caused to be written and if I should bring forth the same words again, or, in other words, if I should translate the same over again, they would publish that which they had stolen, and Satan would stir up the hearts of this generation, that they might not receive this work: but behold, the Lord said unto me, I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his evil design in this thing: therefore thou shalt translate from the plates of Nephi, until ye come to that which ye have translated, which ye have retained and behold ye shall publish it as the record of Nephi and thus I will confound those who have altered my words. I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work yea, I will shew unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the Devil. Wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, I have, through his grace and mercy, accomplished that which he hath commanded me respecting this thing. I would also inform you that the plates of which hath been spoken, were found in the township of Manchester, Ontario county, New-York." 10

The preface is missing from modern editions of the Book of Mormon.

Mormons believe that John the Baptist later appeared to Smith and Cowdery, investing them in the Aaronic Priesthood showing them how to baptize each other by total immersion in water. Still later, the Apostles Peter, James and John invested Smith and Cowdery in the Melchizedec priesthood and commissioned them as the first two elders of the new church.

Smith founded the Church of Christ:

Joseph Smith and five other men founded the Church of Christ in 1830-APR-06. it attracted 1,000 members during its first 12 months. Smith and a small band of followers moved to Kirtland (near Cleveland OH) in 1830. Their group was renamed the Church of Latter Day Saints in 1834. Financial problems and local opposition from non-Mormons caused them to flee for their lives to Jackson County, MO in 1837, which he called Zion. Church members were heavily persecuted here as well -- largely because many of the public believed that the church was promoting the establishment of a religious dictatorship -- a theocracy. They were also distressed at the Mormon's belief that the Book of Mormon was the revealed work of God, with the same status as the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and Christian Scriptures (New Testament). In spite of the opposition -- much of it state-sponsored or condoned -- the church increased greatly in numbers.

Many of their homes were destroyed. Many Mormons died while trying to survive winter without adequate shelter. Other Christians expelled the church from Jackson County. The Mormons settled in Far West, MO, in Caldwell County which had been reserved for them. In 1838, they renamed their group again, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, In the same year, 17 Mormon settlers were murdered in the Massacre at Haun's Mill.

Sidney Rigdon had a major influence on the LDS between 1831 and 1839. In spite of his mental illness -- apparently bipolar affective disorder -- he was Joseph Smith's spokesperson and was responsible for a number of:

"...doctrines, policies and key portions of Mormon history like the current two-tiered priesthood structure, moving to Kirtland, temple building, the belief of an immanent second coming in early Mormonism, the Joseph Smith 'translation' of the Bible and portions of the Pearl of Great Price, the Word of Wisdom, the United Order, a First Presidency, a salary for some church leaders, the name of the church and the term 'Latter-day Saint,' the Lectures on Faith, a new Jerusalem and Zion in Jackson County, Zion's Camp, and settling in Nauvoo. . It is very safe to say that Mormonism would be a very different religion today were it not for Sidney Rigdon's influence. He delivered nearly every significant Mormon sermon in the 1830s." 5

Few present-day Mormons are familiar with Rigdon's massive contributions to the church during its early years.

Sponsored link:

Joseph Smith's prophecy about Jesus' second coming:

During 1843, Joseph Smith heard a voice while he was praying. He, or someone on his behalf, wrote, in Doctrines and Covenants section 130:

14: "I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:"

15: "Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter."

16: "I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face."

17: "I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time." 6

Smith would have reached the age of 85 during 1890. Unfortunately, by that year, Smith had been dead for almost a half century, having been assassinated by a Christian mob in 1844 when he was 38 years of age. Mormon belief is that Smith would have reached the highest of the three levels of Heaven when he died and would end up in the presence of Jesus at that time.

Note that his prophecy can be interpreted that Jesus would return to Earth during 1890 (which did not materialize) or that 1890 would pass without Jesus' return (which did come to pass). Some anti-Mormon sources quote only verses 14 and 15, and draw the former conclusion -- that Smith's prophecy failed.

As a result of this prophecy, his followers were not caught up in the great religious turbulance caused by William Miller's prophecy of the imminent return of Jesus. He initially computed the date to be between 1943-MAR and 1844-MAR. When that failed, Miller changed the date to 1844-APR-18 and later to 1844-OCT-22. These were equally unsuccessful prophecies. Mormons also were able to ignore subsequent predictions of the date of Jesus' return as later prophecized by Ellen White (co-founder of the Seventh Day Adventist denomination), Mary Baker Eddy (founder of Christian Science) and Charles Taze Russell (founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses).

On an unrelated topic, Joseph Smith predicted that a Civil War would occurr and would start in South Carolina. Two decades later, the Civil War began with shots firec on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

Later history of the LDS Church is described elsewhere on this site.

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS," University of Utah, at: http://www.media.utah.edu/
  2. Joseph Smith, "Pearl of Great Price -- History." 1:9 to 20.
  3. "The Mormons" Frontline, WGBH, 2007, at: http://www.pbs.org/
  4. "Interview Gordon B. Hinckley," Frontline program, PBS, 2007-JAN, at: http://www.pbs.org/
  5. "Sidney Rigdon: A portrait of religious excess," 2think.org book review, at: http://www.lds-mormon.com/
  6. Joseph Smith, "Doctrine and Covenants," 130:14-17, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (1981).
  7. Stephen R. Gibson, "Did He Falsely Prophesy Of Christ's Return?," Light Planet, undated, at: http://www.lightplanet.com/
  8. Joseph Smith, "History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957), 5:336 337.
  9. "William Miller (preacher)," Wikipedia, as at: 2011-JUN-03, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/
  10. "Joseph Smith's Historical Enterprise," The Church Historian's Press, at: http://josephsmithpapers.org/

Copyright 1997 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2013-OCT-15
Author: B.A. Robinson

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Is Mormonism Christian? The Mormon Christian Debate

The question is Mormonism Christian the answer you will be given will be depend on who it is given by. Whether it be one of the Mormon faith or one of the Christian faith. There are many different ways to which the question can be phrased and that is also what the answer will depend on.

In accordance to the Mormons they are the only religion on earth that one should abide by or otherwise one will not be saved. According to the Christians the Mormon doctrine has been twisted to meet the needs of the individual leaders themselves as stemming back to the one that began this religion which is Joseph Smith.

So is the Mormon church a Christian denomination as we know it?

The answer is no because it denies what the Christian doctrine is actually based on. This basis is on the most important aspects of the Bible. To begin with the mormon religion does not recognize the deity of Christ being the Father, the son and the Holy Ghost as one. The Mormonism beliefs are that they are three separate entities. Secondly if there is no such thing as salvation by grace it puts a question mark as to what was the purpose of Christ dying on the cross?

Finally the third is the resurrection of Christ is not something that is believed or taught in the Mormon religion. The general consensus of the Mormon is that the holy Bible has become corrupted over the years and is not as valid as what people would believe it to be.

If one must ask a Mormon if he is a Christian and his sense of the word is that being a Mormon makes him one. Then his answer would be yes. If he were asked if those who were of another faith and claimed to be Christians, would they be so. The answer you would get back is probably not because they don't believe in the doctrines of the Christian Church. (which is the Mormons according to them).

Then the question arises is a possible for a Mormon to become a Christian? The answer to that is maybe possibly or should even be yes as anybody that comes before Christ and confesses their sin and accept him as their personal savior is a Christian. However if the individual was to remain in the Mormon church following their doctrine then no they would not be classed as what Christianity is based on in the world today

When the Christians look for a stance in their support of rejection of the Mormon church they refer to several scriptures that are very clear in the holy Bible concerning different spirits and Gospels. What makes it even more astounding is the account that the Bible gives is almost an exact description of how the Mormons came to be.

Most people are aware that the Mormon Church was founded by Joseph Smith who was to have had a vision where God and Jesus told him that he was to start a new religion. From a few simple followers it took off in a flurry and that there are now thousands of followers of the Church of latter-day Saints.

Click the links below to read more about.

“Discover The Shocking Truth About Mormonism”

“For the First Time in History These Rare Books
Have Been allowed in Public Hands. And it's Not
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Joseph Smith's first original vision and its myths
The church's hidden dark history and its true nature
The secret mormon temple rituals never revealed in public before
Was Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God?
Is mormon church a freemason's affiliate?
The secret of granite mountain and the truth behind Joseph's magic eye glasses
Was Mormonism Derived From Christianity?
And many many more.

Even if you only "scan" these documents once, your perception will be changed forever! This is really powerful stuff.


MORMONS

MORMONS. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) has experienced 2 distinct periods of its history in northeast Ohio: the "Kirtland Era" of the early 19th century and the post-WORLD WAR II era. During the Kirtland Era, the Saints gathered at specific geographic locations to "build up the Kingdom of God." In the later period, the Latter-day Saints Church expanded beyond geographic confines. Joseph Smith, Jr. (called the Prophet) and 5 other men organized and incorporated the Church of Jesus Christ on 6 Apr. 1830 in Fayette, NY. (The phrase "Latter-day Saints" was added in 1838.) The church quickly attracted converts, many of whom became zealous missionaries, including Parley P. Pratt. A former Campbellite preacher from Ohio, Pratt helped to introduce Mormonism into the WESTERN RESERVE. In Nov. 1830 Pratt and Oliver Cowdrey preached the restored doctrines of Mormonism to the congregations of Pratt's friend, Sidney Rigdon (another former Campbellite minister) in Mentor and Kirtland. Impressed, Rigdon read the Book of Mormon and admonished his congregations to carefully investigate its message. Conversion to Mormonism quickly followed for Rigdon and about 127 members of his flock. News of the Kirtland success reached Smith in western New York in Dec. 1830 he received a revelation directing the New York Mormons to "assemble together in Ohio." The next January, Smith and his family arrived in Kirtland, which soon became a physical and spiritual focal point for the Mormons.

Although Mormon activity centered in the counties east of Cuyahoga, proselytizing produced mixed results throughout the Western Reserve. In 1831 Mormon missionaries baptized John Murdock, a farmer who lived near Warrensville, who then preached throughout eastern Cuyahoga county. Eventually 55 residents were baptized because of his efforts.

Due to its reliance on lay priests and volunteers, the Church of the Latter-day Saints created new stakes and wards only when certain that a particular area could supply its own leadership and guidance. (A Mormon stake and ward are analogous to a diocese and parish respectively a branch has fewer members than a ward.) Between 1831-38, 4 Latter-day Saints branches were established in MAYFIELD VILLAGE, ORANGE, STRONGSVILLE, and WARRENSVILLE HTS. The NORTH UNION SHAKER COMMUNITY also attracted the attention of the Mormons. In Mar. 1831 Smith directed Rigdon, Pratt, and Leman Copley to proselytize among the Shakers, who proved unreceptive the effort was discontinued. Kirtland eventually lost its favored position. The attention of the Prophet, material goods, and people were increasingly diverted to Jackson County, MO, following a revelation in July 1831 designating that area as the new Mormon Zion. Economic problems in Kirtland caused disharmony during the mid-1830s: land speculation provided quick profits for some, bankrupted others, and destroyed friendships. With the failure of the Kirtland Anti-Banking Safety Society, many local Mormons discounted Smith as a fallen prophet concerned only with generating capital to repay debts. Finally, persecution from local residents outside the Latter-day Saints Church increased over time. With the departure of the Prophet and many of the Saints from Ohio in 1838, the Kirtland Era came to a close. Over the next 10 years, the Mormons were expelled from Missouri, built Nauvoo, IL, and trekked westward to the Great Salt Lake Valley, beginning in 1847. For nearly 100 years following the establishment of the Mormon Kingdom in Utah, the church administered to a scattered membership in northeast Ohio through units known as missions.

In 1946 one Latter-day Saints branch encompassed not only Cleveland but also a large part of northeast Ohio. Members traveled from as far as the Pennsylvania border, Sandusky, and Hudson to attend Sunday services in a rented room in the Carter Hotel. The average attendance was 30. By 1986 the same geographic boundaries housed 2 stakes comprising 15 wards, and 3 branches, encompassing a total membership of over 4,800. At the stake level, 2 significant developments affected Cuyahoga County Mormons. In Oct. 1961 a large portion of northeast Ohio was organized into the Cleveland Stake, which administered to over 2,400 Latter-day Saints in 8 wards and 3 branches. In 1983 the Kirtland stake was organized, which took in the eastern portion of the Cleveland stake. With the boundaries running north and south through PUBLIC SQUARE, the Cleveland and Kirtland stakes included the western and eastern portions of Cuyahoga County, respectively.

For nearly 20 years following the end of World War II, the core of Cuyahoga County's Mormon population consisted largely of transplanted westerners who moved into the Cleveland area because of job transfers, professional opportunities, and matriculations at local educational institutions. They helped strengthen a growing local body. Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, most area Mormons lived on the city's west side, and in 1947-48, steps were taken to build a meeting house there. A small 2-story structure was completed on Lake Ave. near Detroit Rd. in 1950. Increasingly, a significant portion of the branch's population came to be composed of students attending Western Reserve Univ.'s School of Dentistry. These students and their spouses first congregated in the LAKEWOOD area and, later, in CLEVELAND HTS. and SHAKER HTS. Together with a small number of permanently relocated Mormons and a growing convert population, the student families comprised a viable east-side group of Latter-day Saints. In 1955 the Euclid Branch was organized, later renamed the Cleveland East Branch, which stretched from Public Square to the Pennsylvania border. While most of its members resided on or near Cleveland's east side, there were families, mainly converts, scattered throughout the far eastern portions of the branch. All of the meetings and activities took place in members' homes and in several community buildings, including the Brainard Community Center, the Mayfield YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSN., and public schools. Inability to find a suitable site for a meeting house stymied construction attempts throughout the late 1950s. In 1962 a parcel on Cedar Rd. in Mayfield, just west of SOM Center Rd., was purchased. The meeting house, begun in 1966, was completed in 1967. In 1969, after it had been fully paid for, the building was dedicated. The Cleveland East Branch became a ward in Oct. 1961, when the Cleveland Stake was organized. Since then membership growth and ward proliferation have taken place east of Cuyahoga County, as well as within its boundaries, including wards in Ashtabula (1968) and Kirtland (1977). In 1986 3 wards shared the eastern portion of Cuyahoga County, Mayfield, Shaker Hts., and Solon, including approx. 700 Latter-day Saints.

Following the student migration from the west side, the population of the Cleveland Branch was reduced to relocated westerners and local converts. Both populations grew, and by 1966 the Lakewood Chapel had become too small to house the west side branch. After selling the building to a Lutheran congregation, members of the Cleveland Branch worshipped and held social activities in community buildings and private homes for 2 years. In 1968 a new building was completed on Westwood Rd. in WESTLAKE. The building housed 2 wards and the offices of the Cleveland Stake. A second chapel was completed in 1979 on Rockside Rd. in SEVEN HILLS. Since individual branches of the Mormon church were established west of Cuyahoga County, in Lorain and Sandusky, in the 1950s, the proliferation of the Cleveland Ward occurred within the confines of western Cuyahoga County. In 1986 4 wards occupied the area, Cleveland, NORTH OLMSTED, Seven Hills, and Westlake, with approx. 1,200 Latter-day Saints. The postwar establishment of the Cleveland and Kirtland stakes and the subsequent organization of new wards within their boundaries indicated the numerical growth experienced by the area Latter-day Saints Church. The average ward had 300 members in 1986.

Lakeland Community College

Arrington, Leonard J. and Davis Bitton. The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saints (1980).

Backman, Milton. The Heavens Resound: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio, 1830-1838 (1983).


Once Joseph Smith was released from Liberty Jail and reunited with his family and the Latter-day Saints, the question arose as to whether it was safe for the Saints to gather in one place. The alternative was to spread out. The Church was still in its formative stages, and Joseph Smith was receiving constant revelations [&hellip]

Under the direction of the Twelve Apostles, members of the Mormon Church quickly gathered to finish the construction of the Nauvoo Temple, so that all Latter-day Saints who desired to and were worthy could complete ordinances there. The Twelve fine-tuned the organization of the Church, so that duties were defined and worthy men assumed responsibility [&hellip]


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Notes on our trip to Hungary

Nota: In 2020, our family planned a month-long trip to Hungary that was canceled due to Covid-19. It would have been nine years after our first three-week visit in 2011. We own a home now in a Hungarian city and hope to visit soon, perhaps next year even. I was thinking a lot about our trip recently almost 10 years ago, and searched Wayback for a blog I did for StandardBlogs about the trip. I found it and am very pleased to share it again. It includes a family visit to the local branch in Kaposvar, Hungary, where my wife, Kati, grew up. -- Doug Gibson

For most of the last three weeks, our family visited Hungary, a first experience for myself and the kids. We spent two and a half days in Budapest (at the bottom floor of photo above) and then the bulk of our time in the city of Kaposvar, where my wife, Kati, grew up. Besides cleaning and starting the renovation of a condominium, we got to know the city and made side visits to Lake Balaton and Pacta, to enjoy a medieval fair.

The following are diary entries from the trip, which lasted about 17 days and included forays into four airports and three flights, between SLC and Chicago, Chicago to Zurich, and Zurich to Budapest, and back. (Forgive the typos and other mistakes, some due to my inexperience with a Hungarian keyboard) We took more than 1,000 photos, a few of which may yet get on this blog.

JUNE 9: Switzerland and Hungary so far. Amazed at the large swaths of very high, dense forest areas that abut residential areas and farms. You can literally go across the street and get lost in the forest. … Hungary, Budapest: With family in a ground floor apt rental of the old school. Has an iron gate that leads into a court with four floors of apartments that are accessed by a winding stone stairwell and each floor squares the building a tiny fence and narrow passage way! … in Budapest, just bought horse sausage at market, yum. The market below.

JUNE 11: Saturday we visited the House of Terror museum, which is the site of the secret police headquarters of both the fascist WW2 and the communist security operations. It is a somber place. It is several stories, connected by a winding stone staircase. The courtyard has a huge 1950s tank, the type that the Russians used to invade Hungary in 1956. Wallpapering the several floors are pictures of the victims of the 1956 uprising. Each floor is devoted to a portion of the 19th century history, whether it is World War II, the later communist invasion, the propaganda techniques, media and art included, the judicial system and how the show trials were conducted. Besides the many videographed testimonies, there is a communist propaganda film, complete with English subtitles, that is used to justify the Soviet invasion. The basement is heart-wrenching as you see the torture areas, two floors of cell after after cell, the completely dark punishment area and the execution room. I admire the Hungarian people for having this museum not only as a way to show that evil did not last, it was indeed condemned after a few generations, but also those Hungarians who participated in this evil are acknowledged. There are infamy rooms with hundreds of pictures of major Nazi and communist leaders as well as minor participants in the oppression and cruelty. Scores of these people are still alive and it must be a huge, albeit deserved disgrace to be so noted. My own nation should emulate such self introspection. I’m not sure that we do. Below is the Iron Wall memorial, outside the House of Terror.

JUNE 12: Budapest is an active city comprised of 22 districts and split by the Danube River. It’s fast-paced with pedestrians moving quickly, sharing space with bicyclists, cars move through streets, most narrow. There’s a perpetual smell of tobacco in the air far more people smoke here. The streets are well stocked with side-by-side businesses, vertical in style, mostly independent, although there are Burger Kings and McDonalds spotting the area. The Danube features several bridges that connect Buda to Pest. Below is a photo in a park across from Heroes Square where our family greets the statue of the long-ago court scribe Anonymous.

The currency is forints, and 183 F equal a dollar. Due to a VAT, you pay the price as marked. They have TRAX, buses and a fantastic subway system called Kontroll, or metro. It’s a small city in itself and there are several lines. Small billboards dot the metro and there are long escalators that the kids love. The subways run every minute or so. (If you want to see the Budapest metro, see the film Kontroll. It’s easy to rent. The architecture is classic for establishment building. Homes are courtyard style, several floors and Soviet style multiple floors. Lots of balconies. Also lots of museums and statues. We visited Heroes Square, the Parliament Building (during tour we the 1,000 year old crown that is on Hungarian coinage. We also enjoyed a late night meal at a restaurant that mocks the communism era. It included Soviet style appliances and an iconic photo of Breshnev and Honecher (East German leader) smooching each other like lovers on the lips.

JUNE 13: (after taking the train to Kaposvar, about a three to four hour journey) Im falling in love with this small city Kaposvar, Hungary. The mid-sized city is literally filled with scores of parks, which is apt because there are thousands of tall trees with lots of leaves, the type of trees that lean together over narrow streets. (At left is a photo of the town square) And the streets are filled with symphonies of birds singing. There is music on the street where our condo all the time. When it comes to dining, we follow Andrew Zimmern’s advice and go where the locals go. We favor a small cafe with more than 50 types of pizza and great Hungarian soup. The people in Budapest and Kaposvar dress far more casually than in the U.S.. shorts, T-shirts and sandals are very common. Today we went to a water park, not much different than what we have in Utah except the diving area was a stone 4 meter deep small pond with three stone ledges jutting out from stairs … short, medium and high dive. … One more observation — there are more public displays of affection, particularly between 20 somethings. I remarked to Kati that it seemed persons marry early here and she said that very few under-30s get married. They live together. Apparently the marrieds are too busy chasing kids to be publicly affectionate. I suggested to Kati that we pretend we were living together by leaving the kids in the apt. and go out to the street to make out. A photo of the front of Kaposvar's city hall is below.

JUNE 13: Forgot to mention — the first people we met after checking into Hotel Kaspo and going for a walk was a couple from Spanish Fork with their daughter and missionary son, Elder Clark, whom they were picking up as his mission was concluding. Small world, they approached us due to my U of U hat. … Today, walking the streets, I noticed steel grates under many windows. They provide ventilation for the gas heating — old fashioned — in the buildings.

JUNE 15: In Kaposvar, Hungary, noticed that most of the trees are chestnut trees. Nuts are a few months from being ready. Had lunch at Kati's cousin's home — several courses, including a delicious Hungarian soup with yarn pasta, chicken broth and boiled chicken with carrots — also culled more antiques from the condominium, including an 1854 hymnal, an 1874 Biblical geography — It hasn't reached much more than 80 and the humidity stays around there, not unpleasant. We visited Tescos, a hypermarket like Walmart. I found a DVD of the cult film "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" very cheap, less than 3 dollars in ftz, so I bought it. We bought a copy of Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix in Hungarian at a small bookstore very expensive, roughly $35 in forinz. I have noticed that Kaposvar has as many residents as Ogden, Utah. Land size is smaller due to style of housing, inherited from Soviets, of very tall housing that extend 10 or 11 stories with small condos jutting upward.

JUNE 17: (A trip to Lake Balaton) We visited Lake Balaton in the Hungarian countryside today. It began with a two hour bus drive to Kesathely, a small city. There we first toured the Festetics Castle, which dates from the late 18th century. Its an amazing building. (See it below paragraph) I think I enjoyed the library the most. It had more than 90,000 books, many first editions from the 18th and 19th century. We also toured the castle grounds which included a carriage museum, with carriages dating to the early 18th century. Back in Keszthely we ate lunch on the square. One new food was langos, Hungarian fried bread, and we walked a mile or so to Lake Balaton It was great. I waded into the lake as far recreational swimming was allowed, a few hundred yards. The water went up as far as my chin. There was a healthy crowd there, most German and Austrian tourists. There were a couple of water slides that emptied into the lake. After that we discovered our bus back to Kaposvar was not running, so we grabbed a slow train back to Kaposvar. It must have stopped 20 times, including very, small remote interesting villages. Long day, but worth it and memorable. The kids and Kati and I learned so much.

JUNE 19: (a trip to a medieval fair in Pacta, Hungary) We went to a medieval fair in the village of Patca on Saturday, about 15 miles outside Kaposvar. The bus winded its way through a few small towns and the road was at times sided by forest. The fair is at a ranch called Katica-Tanya, which is in the middle of the countryside. There was a castle/fort where battle-clad reenactors laid siege and fought sword fights and infantry arrow assaults. There was a large catapult that thrust its weapon a few hundred yards. Reenactors had also set up living arrangements in period tents and we could go visit them and they would teach us how to duel with padded weapons and shoot arrows. The fort had three stories that included a very, dark, dank dungeon. We all enjoyed it (we were with relatives) but Joe and Boti, the five year old son of Kati's cousin's daughter, just had a great time. We ate lunch there. Some of the cooking was done over slow fires in bell-sized cauldrons of that era. A couple of things to notice is that children's playgrounds here are mostly constructed of wood and quite sturdy. I can play on them. We too the bus back where Joe and Boti fell asleep during the 25 minute ride. I sure am glad that we have taken public transportation everywhere while in Hungary, rather than taxis or renting a car. Its very cheap, convenient and provides a more realistic vacation for all of us.

JUNE 20: Sunday in Kaposvar we walked about a mile to the largest cemetery and visited the graves of Kati's father, Tibor, Kati's grandma and her grandpa. The cemeteries are quite interesting. They are dense with large tablets of stone and large gravestones abutting the tablets with the names of the families interred. It's very peaceful ad a history lesson to walk among the graves. Later we went to the small Kaposvar LDS church branch. There were four missionaries (one Elder Jared Johnson, is from North Ogden) and about 23 or so members in attendance. The missionaries spoke and Kati gave the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting. Afterwards, went to the Csima family, friends of our family, for a long lunch that included Hungarian vegetable soup, chicken paprika, homemade jam pastries, homemade syrup juice drinks, and cherries from their backyard. Their son, Zoltan, speaks English and we chatted a long time and now are FB friends. Later we went to Kati’s cousin Eva's home in Kaposvar with her kids Dora and Esther, her spouse and their son Boti, and enjoyed lecho, a Hungarian pepper dish and Hungarian pancakes. Today, Monday, we started the job of clearing out the condominium. (see its balcony at above left) Lots of work sifting the rare jewels from a lot of junk. Kati's dad was a hoarder and he seemed to never throw away anything. I was sifting through what seemed like 41 years of mail and newspapers and magazines. There were even several Standard-Examiners in the condo. We filled up our rented Dumpster in a couple of hours. Lots more still to do. (Above left is the balcony of the condo. It is renovated now and we own it.)

JUNE 24: (Thoughts on our last night in Hungary) The prices in Hungary are about equal with the US but salaries are lower. There is an overall bit of pessimism among any Hungarians that the system is stacked against them and things won’t get better. … The homes are beautiful and old most people endure minor discomforts that we are not accustomed to as much, such as no factory air conditioning and far smaller apartments or homes … Virtually no windows have screens, most are open and doors nudge open a bit vertically to provide air … The lack of screens, even in hotels, leads to very minor problems with flies, mosquitos … the streets are beautiful, most homes and businesses have prominent balconies … few apts and business complexes have elevators. Instead, be prepared to walk several stories. Businesses tend to have circular, winding stairwells and apartment complexes have standard right-left upward identical staircases. … The Kaposvar government building was beautiful, with marble, ornate, grand staircases, detailed art work on the ceiling, and classic art several hundred years old, including art of Jesus Christ …. There is a sense in business and government areas in Hungary that the customer is not always right. Hungarians stoically wait in line for long periods. Line cutting is an art in Hungary, as my wife pointed out. No offense is taken if you use your body to block out a line-cutter … at stores, by the way, bags cost extra, don’t expect one if you don’t pay for it … at some areas, particularly Lake Balaton, using the restroom costs about US 30 cents … don’t expect free water in restaurants, a half litter costs about US 1.75. … The most ugly buildings are the communist-era Soviet style 10 to 15 story balconyless apartments that must be boiling hot in the summer in the upper floors. … Hungarians smoke at about the ratio that Americans did 40-plus years ago. It’s probably good to be getting back, since I’m starting to actually enjoy the tobacco scent a little. … There must be hundreds of playgrounds in Kaposvar and thousands in Budapest. It’s great that so much is provided for kids. Most playgrounds are made of wood, although older, metal ones are still around. Kati pointed out a metal twirling teacup (moved by steering wheels) that used to make her ill 30-plus years ago.


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