volunteer mormon teachers in China

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by jimdunn, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. jimdunn

    jimdunn Member

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    I'm a student in a Chinese college. There are many volunteer teachers from Utah in our college. Usually they come here with their wives. The old gentleman that teaches us is going back to US in a week. So we had a little get-together in his home. We talked and laughed and he became kinda emotional and even cried a little.

    He showed us a video about BYU. He didn’t mean to preach or anything. But it seemed that he was suggesting we can consider BYU if we are going abroad for graduate study. BYU might be a good university. But I’m gay, so…

    There was rumor on Chinese internet that the mormon church has sent many secret missionaries to China in the name of volunteer teachers. They intend to convert the elite Chinese students so that the church can control the future of China. But the mormons in our school never talked about their religion even when asked to. Basically, they are very nice and gentle people.

    The man that taught us has 9 kids and more than 30 grandkids. Once he joked that he and his wife were here to find him a young Chinese wife, because girls here are so beautiful. So I can’t help but thinking is he a polygamist? But even if he is, he is still a helping and respectable man. Generally, all the mormons in our school are very nice people, very different from the extreme fundamentalists we see in the news.
     
  2. Altitude

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    Hmm, I haven't heard about the Mormon thing in China, but I don't doubt that many are there to proselytize. Of course many are probably there to teach, no more, whether they're Mormon or not. We have some friends of friends that are currently in China under the guise of being English teachers, but they're Southern Baptists.

    Is it really hush-hush there when people are there to proselytize, or is it more open than it used to be? We were told by these friends of friends that they had to pretend to be English teachers, otherwise they never would've obtained passports to get into China.
     
  3. cowboyfireman

    cowboyfireman New Member

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    my advice...be afraid, BE VERY AFRAID!
     
  4. jimdunn

    jimdunn Member

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    Actually two of my classmates encountered several missionaries on our campus that were trying to propagandize their religion. My classmates simply ignored them.
     
  5. dreamer20

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  6. JustAsking

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    jimdunn,
    Mormons are not what I would call Fundamentalist Christians. They have similar views on homosexuality and some other things however. They are strict and conservative but not in exactly the same way as fundamentalists.

    It is possible that they are under Chinese edicts to not proselytize when in China. I can assure you that in other countries and in the USA, Mormons are extremely driven to recruit.

    Mainstream Mormons have not been polygamists for a very long time. However there are fundamentalist Mormons that do practice it I don't believe those groups have enough resources to fund missions in China, however. Your Mormons must have been from the main LDS church.
     
  7. jimdunn

    jimdunn Member

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    Thanks. i know there are great differences between fundamentalist mormons and mainstream LDS. there are only 20,000 to 40,000 polygamists in the US.

    i'm just a little suspicious because of his big family and his joke about a younger wife from china. but i'm probably wrong since mormons tend to have bigger families.
     
  8. jimdunn

    jimdunn Member

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  9. HotBulge

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    Hi Jim,
    Your questions bring up several issues about Mormons and Mormonism. You may or may not realize that your question has a complex response, even for Americans, because Mormonism is controversial within American culture. Some points:


    1. If you are gay, DO NOT go to Brigham's University! Don't even think about it. You WILL be unhappy. The United States has several wonderful public and private universities, most of which have a separation between religion and education. Brigham U is one of the few private, religious colleges of the United States where a religious organization actively runs the institution. So, unless you are very religious and very influenced by the Christian Bible and are very conservative, don't even think about attending Brigham's for graduate study. Brigham's may have decent academic programs, but you can just as easily find even better institutions that do not place you in a religious environment. In North America and Europe, there is a strong belief that religion should be separate from government (and also education). The official position is that religion is a private matter and people should be able to practice their religion freely and not by force or pressure. At Brigham's there would be a lot of cultural pressure to be a very conservative Christian and to practice Mormonism.
    2. Even many Christians have problems with Mormonism. Historically, Mormonism developed ONLY in the US in the 1840s. They started in the eastern state of Pennsylvania and were forced out of the state because their understanding of Christianity was rather unusual/unorthodox i.e. Christianity that most Christian scholars would disagree with. So, please don't think that Mormons represent most Christians... they don't. They really only represent a small group of religious people who believe in the Christian Bible yet have added their own unusual interpretations (and an additional book of the Bible that is not found in most Bibles historically).
    3. Mormons no longer believe in polygamy. In the 1800s and early 1900s, Mormons did believe in polygamy. The practical reason was that when Mormons were forced out of the state of Pennsylvania, they traveled West to Utah. In the 1840s and 1850s, the area West of the Mississippi river was very large, wild, and had few people living there. The Mormons honestly believed that they were starting a new society in the West (i.e. Utah), so they had to have more children to grow their numbers and their religion. The fastest way to have more children and to grow the Mormon population was to have more than one wife. So, in the 1800s, Mormons believed that polygamy was acceptable. IT is a FACT - the official Mormon Church officially made polygamy unacceptable in the 1960s/70s. There are a few "crazy" Mormons who still believe that polygamy is acceptable, but the official law of the Mormon Church in 2008 is that polygamy is NOT acceptable!
    4. Your English teacher has 9 children. He is probably NOT a polygamist, but his beliefs are old-fashioned. Before ~1960, American families, especially farm families, had 3 or more children. Having three to five children was considered normal as a family size; having nine children was unusual, but every town had a few families with several children. After 1970, however, it was and still is considered unusual to have 9 children. It's too expensive to raise all of those children. Most American families have 2 or 3 kids; any more is almost too difficult financially. So, your English teacher has an attitude about family size that is about 50 years old or more.
    5. Trust me! When Americans obtain work permits in China, they are told by the American government and the Chinese government that spreading religion and trying to convert Chinese citizens is basically illegal in China. Most Americans know that the Chinese government can ask them to leave if they try to actively convert Chinese people. So, your Mormon teachers will not openly admit to trying to convert students. They are aware, however, that their own practice and background will make some Chinese citizens curious about them. So, many Christians who teach in China hope that Chinese students will be curious enough about their background to consider switching to Christianity.
     
    #9 HotBulge, Jun 23, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  10. D_Ivana Dickenside

    D_Ivana Dickenside New Member

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    LOL i second that! :biggrin1:
     
  11. jimdunn

    jimdunn Member

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    thanks a lot HotBulge. it's very useful information.
     
  12. Mem

    Mem
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    Bring 'em young.....Always Funny. :wink::biggrin1:
     
  13. sfniceguy

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    Some comments:

    First, Mormons actually do still "believe" in polygamy. They just don't practice it any longer, because it is illegal to do so in the United States. Even now, a male Mormon can be "sealed" to more than one woman in the Mormon temple -- but only one of those wives can actually be alive. In other words, a widower is "sealed" (which is a Mormon phrase basically meaning being married for all time and eternity) to his former wife/wives who are passed away. If he remarries, he's still sealed to his previous wife/wives. And in Mormon theology, he will in fact be married to all these women in the hereafter -- and they will all live together as one big married family.

    The mainstream Mormon church would still be practicing polygamy to this day had the practice not been found to be illegal by the federal government. Mormons back in the late 1800's living in the Utah area desparately wanted Utah to become a state, and knew that could not happen as long as they openly practiced polygamy. So the (mortal) practice was declared suspended by Mormon leadership in 1890 (not in the 1960's/1970's), and Utah became a state in 1898.

    Despite the practice being suspended, it still remains an integral theological concept in their faith. Which is why so-called "fundamentalist Mormons" (who aren't officially part of the mainstream Mormon church) continue to this day to practice polygamy, because the concept is so deeply imbedded in the origins of the Mormon faith.
     
  14. HotBulge

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    Okay. Thanks for the fact-checking on Mormon theology. I was just trying to dispel the common misconception that Mormons are polygamists.

     
  15. sfniceguy

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    No problem.

    And, as a former/recovering Mormon, I like to help correct misconceptions myself. Including another common misconception (which is perpetuated by the church itself) that modern-day mainstream Mormons abhor polygamy. As I pointed out, the Church doesn't practice polygamy anymore (for legal reasons), but it's still part of what it believes in theologically.
     
  16. slickthroat

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    Mormons......are hot! And with all that repression, just begging for a BJ.
     
  17. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    Why would they want morons to teach? I don't care if they're doing it for free or not, it just don't make sense.
     
  18. rbkwp

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    One of the Better and Informative threads LPSG, in a long time..for myself at this time,of course.
    THANKS JimDunn and all other contributors..interesting reading on a cold n wet NZ day
    enz
     
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