Image via WikipediaWith the popularity of the Book of Mormon musical on Broadway and the prominence of Mormon public figures, including Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and Harry Reid, a lot of people are anxious to know more about the teachings and culture of the Mormon church. In this post, I list seven places where the curious, whether novice or someone who grep up in the Mormon church, and go to discuss all things Mormon.
This message board is mostly populated by ex-Mormons and lapsed Mormons, although some prominent Mormon figures (including Dr. Daniel Peterson from the FARMS institute at BYU) do crop up on the board from time to time. Also, a lot of atheists and never-Mormons tend to participate in the discussions as well.
Go there if: You want to hear about the seedier side of Mormon history or for more of a scholarly discussion about the Mormon faith.
The board is about equally divided between defenders of the Mormon faith and critics. It also had participation from notable Mormon apologists, although the discussion tends to be much more heavily moderated than on other boards and tends to gravitate towards a faith promoting conclusion.
Go here if: You want to discuss or learn about the apologetic defenses and counterarguments for more complex Mormon doctrines.
This is the official site of the Mormon church where you'll be able to talk one-on-one with a Mormon missionary about the basic doctrines of the church. Run by Mormon missionaries working from a training center in Northern Utah, this site is about as faith promoting of the Mormon perspective as you can get.
Go here if: You want to learn about the basic doctrines of the Mormon church from a pro-Mormon perspective.
The discussion on this site tends to be quite pro-Mormon, although a few more critical posters pop up on it from time to time. The conversation tends to focus much more on the daily routines and culture of Mormonism and much less on the doctrines.
Go here if: You're a believing Mormon and you want advice about cultural or spiritual issues or have funny anecdotes to share.
Patronized almost exclusively by ex and disaffected Mormons this is the board where the most hardcore detractors of the Mormon church tend to accumulate to discuss feelings or frustrations about the Mormon faith, including historical and doctrinal problems and complains in general.
Go here if: You don't like the Mormon church and you want the world to know!
The following for this board usually consists of people disaffected with the Mormon church (New Order Mormons) who want to stay members for familial or cultural reasons. The conversation tends to center around supporting disaffected Mormons in their decisions, along with side discussions of cultural and doctrinal issues, usually from a position of ambivalence to somewhat antagonistic.
Go here if: You're a Mormon who has stopped believing in the Mormon church but you wish to remain a member of the faith.
This is another message board that tends to be somewhere between the New Order Mormons and the Mormon Dialogue message boards in tone towards the Mormon church. The discussions tend to revolve around both culture and doctrinal issues.
Go here if: You want yet another message board to discuss the Mormon faith.
For those of you who haven't seen it yet, here is a sample of the hilarious Book of Mormon Broadway play: