Most of what I know of Mormonism is based on heresay (as opposed to heresy) and, sad to say, South Park. There was an episode that explained the story of Joseph Smith and some of the core beliefs of the Church of Latter Day Saints. The words "Mormons actually believe this!" would be superimposed on the screen while depicting some of the odder articles of faith. For those who missed it, below is a nice site that compares the episode with what Mormons really believe. I was going to do a little re-write and post, but I can't improve upon the original site.
South Park Mormons
I certainly can't assume an air of superiority to any system of belief*, given that I was raised in the Catholic church (which has its own crazy ideas) and I named my online journal after a tarot card.
In the comment section for Day Fifteen, Carol asks about the talking salamander, a notion the Church of Latter Day Saints is currently challenging. I don't know anything about it, but it did start me thinking about the fundamentally American quality of the religion. Has the Church of Latter Day Saints had success converting those in other countries? A quick internet search didn't reveal much of an answer. The talking salamander also makes me think about the impact that landscape has on indigenous religious beliefs. Julie's comparing the burning bush to the talking salamander points out an idea that prophets find God talking to them through whatever vessel happens to be around. Not too many salamanders outside of Egypt, so a bush it has to be. There's plenty of greenery in America, but a talking fish is special. Could Islam have flourished in a jungle? Could Buddhism ever have originated in a tundra? When the landscape is bare, is it necessary to teach non-attachment to things of this world?
Believe me, this isn't Trash Mormonism Week. I had planned to post more about the Koran, but when it comes time to read it, I always seem to find something else to do. I watched The Testament of Dr. Mabuse last night. Great movie. The night before it was the first episode of Elizabeth R, the BBC series from the early 70's. God, Glenda Jackson rules. Well, she does by the end of the episode, anyway. Tonight I'm going iceskating in Central Park. God is wherever you want to find It.
Unintentional Spellcheck Humor: Suggested replacement for "Tarot" was "tardy." As in "re-tardy," I can only assume.
*Although, let's face it, I still do.