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Understanding World Religions

Religion is the driving force behind much of what happens in the world today -- particularly when it comes to the "big three" religions -- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Religious differences have and continue to spark wars, create nations, and spawn ongoing conflict down through the centuries. No matter what religion you adhere to (or even if you claim that you don't adhere to any religion at all), you need to have a basic understanding of the world's religions in order to understand what is happening in the world today so that you can be better informed and a more useful citizen of your nation and of the world. Without some knowledge of religion, you will not understand the underpinnings of what is happening in an increasingly global society.
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Jul 7, 2016

Our quote for today is from Ronald Reagan. He said: "The frustrating thing is that those who are attacking religion claim they are doing it in the name of tolerance, freedom and openmindedness. Question: Isn’t the real truth that they are intolerant of religion? They refuse to tolerate its importance in our lives."

In this podcast, we are making our way through Garry R. Morgan's book, "Understanding World Religions in 15 Minutes a Day."

Our Understanding World Religions topic for today is, "Mormonism."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often called the Mormon (or LDS) Church, is probably the best known and undoubtedly the largest of the religious movements begun since 1800. Since 1950, it has doubled in size every fifteen years, and in 2010, claimed fourteen million members worldwide, with over half that membership outside the U.S. Much of its growth is attributable to its missionary program: Tens of thousands of clean-shaven, white-shirt-and-tie-clad young men give two years of their life, at their own or their family's expense, to spread the LDS Church's message globally. In an average twenty-four-month stint a missionary converts five people to the Mormon faith.

Once found mainly in Utah, Mormons now live in all fifty states and nearly every nation. Formerly despised, on the fringe of society, Mormons have become a mainstream group. They head large corporations like Marriott and Albertsons and are elected as representatives and senators. Their strong family values help them find acceptance in almost every neighborhood. Many Americans, including some members of the LDS Church, assume they're another Christian denomination. But their actual teaching contradicts Christianity on a number of key points. Mormon use of Christian terms, with different meanings, causes and spreads confusion.

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