Starting a new post is better than addressing your posts point-by-point because my thoughts are fragmented. Let me state my beliefs - I do not look to any god for mercy, redemption, salvation, morality, or direction. I suspect there is no god, am comfortable knowing I could be wrong, but have no reason to believe a god exists. Most gods I know of are arseholes anyways, including Christian God and Jesus Christ. Religion is an interesting thing to study, but in terms of a way to live one's life, offers little that can't be found inside oneself.
Once, I was Mormon. I believed in Mormon God, and Mormon Jesus, and believed that prophets had conversations with Mormon God and Mormon Jesus. When troubling ethical dilemmas came up, such as Nephi murdering Laban at God's command, I trusted that it must be the will of God, that his ways were higher than my ways, and I must simply accept his ways, for one day all will be revealed. Isaiah 55:8, D&C 101:34-36...
Over time, I discovered that prophets are wrong. Getting into how I came to this conclusion is not salient. What is relevant is that I did not need to compare Mormon teachings to general Christian teachings to determine if they were moral or immoral. I was able to reason things out.
Cherry-picking Mormon doctrines is inconsistent with the religion itself. Moroni 7:12-15 states:
"Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually. But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God. Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil"
D&C 18:34-36 states:
And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it. These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man; For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power you could not have them; Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words.
and D&C 1:38 states:
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
The prophets speak with God's voice and authority, as do the canonized works, and both speak good works, enticing men to do good. Yet, when it comes to doctrine that is morally or socially reprehensible, like polygamy or murder, many Mormons want to blame the prophet - he's speaking as a man, he's wrong, he was a pervert who liked boinking lots of women...Yet, when it comes to doctrines that are socially or morally acceptable, such as abstinence from tobacco, the prophet is a hero - what a visionary, what a remarkable display of foresight, how could he have known that unless God told him?
Now, you may argue that murder and polygamy bring about evil works and entice no man to do good, while avoiding tobacco brings about good works, and good health. But, think again. Murdering Laban had an eternal purpose. Read 1 Nephi 4:12-13:
"And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands; Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief."
Murder brought about a good work! Let's look at tobacco. 100 million people (as of 2003) were employed, worldwide, by the tobacco industry. Government revenue from tobacco taxation in the US was $15 billion in 2009, and in Canada, $7 billion in 2009. It could be argued that tobacco consumption brings about a good work and thus, prohibition of tobacco is an evil work.
Once a Mormon rejects one teaching from a prophet, that Mormon is in a bind - she as much as admits one or more of the following:
1. D&C 1:38 is wrong. A prophet does not speak with the voice and authority of God
2. God is wrong and is communicating immoral teachings to his prophet
3. A personal moral code is stronger than a religious moral code
4. Moroni 7:12-15 fails - some things that come from God are immoral
Accepting some doctrines and not others is equivalent to stating that revelation and prophecy, the cogworks of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do not function as described in scripture and promised by prophets. In fact, it is tantamount to inventing a personal religion.
I'm not defending revelation, prophecy, or LDS scripture. As I've pointed out, I believe these things to be bunkum. My argument is that one who claims belief in God and claims belief in scripture can only pick and choose which doctrines they accept and which they deny if they also accept that they are creating a new, personal religious movement that is no longer Mormon.
It is Mormonish.
"Others cannot endure their own littleness unless they can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level."
~ Ernest Becker
"Whether you think of it as heavenly or as earthly, if you love life immortality is no consolation for death."
~ Simone de Beauvoir