i think my house has managed to work its way onto some sort of latter day saints' database in manhattan resulting in a fruitful friendship with the mormons over the last two years. we've met with them every couple weeks in streaks over that time asking questions, learning, and solidifying what i believe to be true versus what they do.
there are major discrepancies. huge ones:
different levels of Heaven.
they don't believe in the Trinity.
marriage/family is eternal.
women can only enter the highest realm of Heaven through marriage.
slight variation in text.
infinite grace from a God with no wrath.
on the outside mormons appear very similar to Christians, but the more i reasearch into it, the more i realized just how skewed and obscure what they believe truly is...and how different their Jesus truly is.
i've now had lengthy conversations with 6 different college-aged mormons regarding their faith and what they believe. they seem to be all about fulfilling a list of tasks in order to attain the highest level of heaven (a level that i'm not able to attain unless i accept the book of mormon and follow the ways of Joseph Smith - hereby denying a handful of truths i've believed and continue to believe now.
evidently, when Joseph Smith discovered the "Book of Mormon" he also discovered a list of passages in the original Canon that had been corrupted throughout the 1800 years after Christ - coincidentally it's all the passages that don't directly support the Church of the Latter Day Saints. hm.
their belief in Heaven really irks me. they believe that for all of us to even be on Earth, we've already found favor in God's eyes. we start as spirits with God, and God sends the deserving ones to Earth. Therefore we ALL GO TO HEAVEN once we've made it this far. there is no hell for those who come to Earth, just different levels of Paradise. the celestial (read: those who are mormon) get to be with God again, the terrestrial (where my current status is apparently) have a middle-ground Heaven awaiting us, and the telestial is for those of us who aren't the slightest bit righteous, but who God has infinite grace for and will save anyway*. we can deny Christ and still make it to Heaven. God has no wrath. no judgement. just infinite love and compassion and grace.
anyway. i could go on and on about their tactical antics. they avoid questions they dislike the answer to, and any Scripture that is presented that doesn't support their views is quickly refuted/dodged via Smith's Book o' Biblical Corrections.
i guess i'm just left with a sense of sadness now. that people with enough faith to believe this extensively absurd business aren't going to Heaven. that a lifestyle such as theirs can be utilized running in the wrong direction is disappointing. their hearts are so great too, but their faith is so off. i'm praying for their eyes to be opened to the lies they've believed. the Jesus they serve is not my Jesus. they simply can't be the same.
EDIT: or read the second comment to this post.
* 1 Cor 15:40-41 (KJV) - i consider it a misinterpretation. i dont understand how one warped perspective of one verse can lead to an elaborate hierarchal system like that.