How often have I heard this an other defenses of the Mormon church! "But I'm a good person/we're good people!" "But we have high standards." "But we have good family values."
And I say...so what?
Being a good person or teaching high standards and being family focused are good things of course...but they do not make something true, nor do they provide a good excuse to keep following something untrue.
For instance, the argument that "we're good people."
First of all, not all people within a religion or worldview are good.
I've known two active Mormons who were unrepentant rapists. While some
religions may be better and some worse in things like this, there are
bad people in all religions and worldviews--whether their belief is
necessarily sincere or not is another question. I know that at least one
of those rapists sincerely believed in the Mormon religion. Second,
there are good people in the majority of religions and worldviews.
Mormon, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, Wiccan, and so
forth--it doesn't matter. There are good and bad people in pretty much
all of them.
Second, good is a relative term. If we're talking about good on the world's standards, sure, many Mormons are
good. Many people in general are good on that standard. But what about
God's standards? Are people good on God's standards? Let's consider
this. Have you lied? Lusted after someone not your spouse? Stolen? Used
God's or Jesus' name(s) as a cuss word (blasphemed)? Coveted? Disobeyed
your parents? If you're honest, you probably have to say yes to most of
these, and most of us would probably have to say yes to all of them.
This means that in God's eyes, you are not good.
Romans 3:12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
Mark 10:18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone."
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
high standard is good, but does not prove a religion right or true. You
could say Muslims have high standards--but does that make it true? Does
it change that their violence and extreme sexism is wrong? Not at all.
Sometimes, high standards go overboard into legalism, and Mormons fall
into this category, creating guilt for those who fail to meet the
standards (even if they're a good person focused on God) and pride for
those who meet the standards (even if they're self-righteous pricks more
concerned about themselves than God). You can get good standards from
many different world views. Even atheists can have pretty high
standards--many are humanists.
Family values are also good, but again doesn't prove a religion right or true.
In fact, Mormons take family to the level of idolatry. Eternal family,
family values, and family focus are taken to such a high level of
teaching and focus that it is often put over God in their daily lives.
Family is is most certainly something people should focus on--a
Christian is certainly admonished to raise their children right. But it
should never be put above God.
So, when all is said and done...yes, maybe that's true. But does that make your religion right, or does it mean you should stay it in if its not right? Definitely not.