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Twilight Preaches Mormonism November 19, 2009

One Day of Rain

One Day of Rain

A friend’s teenage daughter started gushing about a book series she is reading. As a lit major and writer my interest is always piqued when I see a teenager talk about literature with a glazed look of love in their eyes. So, on her recommendation I bought Twilight and devoured it (ha, joke for those who have read it) in a couple of hours. Stephenie Meyer is no Austen, Steinbeck or Hemingway, nor will Twilight ever be a classic…but it was a page turner of a yarn with characters… that may be stereotypical…but you instantly care about their fate. In lit circles we often debate genre vs literary fiction, and in the Twilight series, Stephenie Meyer has “out genred” even JK Rowling. I have dubbed these types of books… pop rocks … remember the candy you put in your mouth… starts out sweet, then explodes in your mouth and leaves an odd slightly disturbing tingle before it disappears completely…yet you still want more?

So, I got “pop rocked” on the first book, then went out and got the other three… and read them in about 2 days … of course doing “laundry” while racing over the words. Everywhere I went (book in hand) I was stopped by women of all ages excited to share with me their own love of the books, relating the characters to their lives in personal ways.

All right, so now to what my blog is really about.

I am not a Mormon/LDS. I am not an expert on it either. I have studied it in comparative religion, and have friends that are…so I know enough to recognize it’s doctrine. To me, the Twilight series seems an apologetic treatise on Mormonism. Am I the only one out here that thinks this way? Stephenie Meyer, author of the series is a Mormon. In fact, an “elite” Mormon having attended BYU and all that entails. So I found it fascinating that she wrote about teenage angst and love among vampires and werewolves. When I tried to flush out why that puzzled me, I started checking out some web research and blogs about it. What I found were rabid Mormon fans that have approved the book for reading in their stake book clubs. The books were “clean” even though erotic, and I was disturbed by some of it’s messages but couldn’t put my finger on any specific thing…other than the regular vampire violence. So I was shocked when my search dug up remarks on LDS websites touting Twilight as seminal Mormon reading…why?

Light started to dawn when I was conversing about the series with a friend who is a pastor and teaches high school English. He asked me what I thought of the Mormon message of the book. My mind tried to recall the themes from my three day word trance…. and there it was, the answer to my question. The books are a romanticized indoctrination into LDS theology, made palatable by the classic themes of courtly love and the noble savage. Make no mistake, the contriversal doctrines of the Mormon church are there. Here are just a few in my opinion…I could probably fill up a good size term paper drawing all the comparisons.

*Warning – Plot Spoilers Below*

1) Mormons believe in deification – you can become a god or goddess through their various rituals and practices. Certainly that is what Meyer’s vampires portray. The gods of the world. They all have super powers, are all powerful both physically and through their immeasurable wealth, supermodel beauty… intelligence…and in the case of Edward’s coven (or stake)… they have risen above their baser natures and don’t even have to really be vampires…at least not the evil Dracula types. Bella, the protagonist, seeks to become a goddess herself…which can only happen if she becomes a vampire (Mormon). But she doesn’t just want any old vampire to change her into one. She sees it as a way to become one with Edward…so she only wants him to do so. Edward, a good old traditional vampire, will only make her one if she agrees to marry him. So her only way to immortality is through marriage. Of course she has a child in book 4, despite all odds… because only in having children does one truly become immortal….and it is a Mormon book after all.

2) The Vampires are living their afterlife. The Cullens, however, have evolved to a higher plane of existence compared to the other vampires. Bella even wonders in book 2 or 3 if Edward can move to an even higher existence if he were to actually die, because of his goodness (the dead, deader…). Meyer contrasts the enlightened Cullens to the “meat-eaters”… those vampires that still feed on humans and can’t control their baser instincts and blood lust. The “vegetarian” Cullen’s exist on a higher plain…perhaps another level of afterlife bliss…due in part to their dietary restricted lifestyle that allows them to co-exist with humans, thus putting them on a higher plain. This denial of nature allows them to follow the higher ideal of intellectual pursuits (medicine, science, music, art) and perfect them. They are civilized. Also, they are humanitarians. Instead of simply luxuriating in their spoils like the Volterra who live the ennui and courtly execess ala Medici’s or Louis XIV, the Cullens are still doing saintly things and continue learning/evolving (even if it means repeating High School or Harvard ten times). This doctrine is called “eternal progression” in the LDS, where it is a core belief for even a god or goddess to learn (progress) for eternity. And this progression doesn’t end unless you are chopped up and burnt (at least if you are a vampire).

3) It is all about the family… the family unit is the humanizing factor that sets them apart from the other vamps and even humans. The mortals in the story appreciate their humanitarian efforts (Dr. Cullen) and see them living a wholesome family life (hiking and camping together)…but they still find them odd and different from everyone else…even a little scary. Edward is not the only thing Bella is drawn too, but also his family life…so different from her own broken one. Family is so important to Dr. Cullen and wife Esme, that they create it in their own way. Because dead vampires can’t procreate (or so they thought in book 1-3), they make children by biting other humans… of course only the ones that would die anyways. This “sealing ceremony”… actually is portrayed by the vampires injecting the venom that turns humans to the other side…then they sear or seal the venom into the victims body, essentially making them immortal. In LDS, the sealing ceremony of marriage also includes future children they have, making them an eternal family. Amazing how the theme of children…having them, the inability to have them (Rosalie), the fact that Bella still is one in many ways…plays in this book. When you get the book 4 you find out the most bitter vampire battle is over vampires so desperately wanting children, that they bite young ones to keep them in that perpetual state.

4) Book 4 starts with a Celestial marriage. In a LDS sacred marriage ceremony, a man and a woman make covenants to God and to each other and are sealed as husband and wife for time and all eternity. When Bella marries Edward their vows last Bella’s human lifetime and in her afterlife shortly to come. Which is why it was so important to Edward that Bella marry him as a human. Although the true sealing doesn’t happen until Bella is bitten. In LDS doctrine, the sealing power in the ceremony is what maintains the union after the resurrection from the dead. Unions not sealed will not survive into the afterlife. Interestingly, a man can be sealed to more than one women…technically, only if she dies (polygamy wiggle room), but a woman can only be sealed to one man in mortal life…even if her husband dies. But in the afterlife, all rules are off…women can seal to more men. Good thing Eddie and Bella have a love to last an eternity.

5) Bella is sacrificed and resurrected. Of course Bella has been so prepared by Edward’s family, and her heart is so pure, she doesn’t even have the normal human devouring adjustment period. The death and resurrection scene is intense in book four, made palatable and acceptable to the outsiders (werewolves and family) by the sacrifice she is making to birth a miracle child, Reneseme. A child created by a union between mortal Bella (Mary) and a Edward (God). Mormons don’t believe in the virgin birth, and they believe that God physically impregnated Mary.The blue collar Mormon will tell you this isn’t true, but if you dig deeper into their actual teachings you will find this doctrine. The physical part of God joining with the physical part of Mary… Reneseme in the book becomes the saviour to a tormented Jacob and embittered Rosalie, and is expected to shake up the entire world she is brought into. Being both goddess and woman…. (Feminine mystique work here).

6) Bella is a frustrating character. She is instantly in love with this hundred year old vampire who watches over her (literally when she is sleeping, she calls him her angel). Edward introduces her to a new world of sophistication and eroticism, protects her, is omnipresent and literally in book 2 sucks out her soul. In a nice twist, Bella becomes his saviour…but hey that’s a whole other blog. It is this instant comfort and acceptance of his beliefs, and the fact he is an old, kinda creepy man wrapped up in a hot sexy bod…that makes an interesting statement of what some LDS girls might be looking for…or at least being told to look for. She is willing to give up everything, even her humanity to be with him. Interesting how Meyer works it all out in book 4, so she doesn’t have to…takes some quick footwork though. And when she crosses over into immortality, her superpower is a mental shield, that protects all her loved ones from the mental trickery played by other immortals. Oh, and no one can read her mind. Supermom, hyper-vigilant to the evils of the world.

7. The book takes place in utopia for vampires… Washington State Olympic Peninsula, where it hardly ever is sunny. They can come out and live amongst the folks…interestingly right next to the Hyper aware and wise Native American tribe. The book of mormon follows Christ’s ministry to Native Americans, and the city of zion was said by Joseph Smith to be near their land. Although hard for me to believe Forks as a Utopian city… works in context.

8. Okay, last one for now… The idea of imprinting is creepy. The fact that a werewolves can imprint…or basically mark a mate who is an infant or toddler is weird. There are two characters in Meyer’s books who do so, one is Jacob…who upon seeing the infant Reneseme knows that she will be his future mate. He explains to Bella in book 3 I think, that it is not creepy. This older male will simply be a beloved uncle for awhile, then as she grows into an adolescent a friend whose shoulder to cry on, and then only when she is old enough a wife and lover. How the pack, or family will look out for her and protect her until it is time for her to be taken by the werewolf to mate. How they will even accept their mortal enemies the vampires, because of the power of imprinting. This is eventually accepted by Bella, because omniscient Edward can read Jacob’s thoughts and vouches for his purity of motive and heart.

Hmmm…. a lot to chew on. Anyone else read the books and see the parallels? Maybe you have some I left out. I would love to hear any comments….

Okay, so why do this? In interviews Stephenie Meyer has dismissed and hedged around her religious implications, calling it a story. I will grant Meyers that LDS is the context and POV she is operating within. CS Lewis was a Christian when he wrote Narnia, how much of the inferences we take from it were intended and how many are there simply because he was existing in the framework of Christianity…. authors write what they know. Albeit, Twilight came to Meyer’s in a dream, much like her religious idol Joseph Smith who saw Moroni (who strangely might have looked like Edward in sunlight). My “why” hypothesis is two fold:

1) It is my experience that the everyday Mormon does not know most of these “controversial doctrines”. I think they are purposely withheld from them until they work their way up and can be trusted. I think most cults operate in this manner. It is not until you reach the upper echelon that the true doctrine of their belief system is revealed. So, this is certainly a great plowing technique. Tilling the soil in the hearts of these young LDS women, preparing them for the ideals they will face…. Twilight, although not well written, is a provocative story and a great read…. I can see how easy it would be to start adjusting my expectations and beliefs in order to find a “higher love” like Edward and Bella.

2) It sows the seed in a generation of possible recruits. If the young hearts of girls go pitter-patter for the ideals espoused in the Twilight series… hey, when they are approached with a religion that makes it possible… it’s an easier pill to swallow. Books are powerful – they form and shape ideas of what and who we want in this world. (My husband, is a lot like Mr. Darcy…coincidence? Probably not.) Also, it introduces readers to the sanitized world of LDS. Hey, who doesn’t know that the author is Mormon…and she wrote a cool book like that… how bad can Mormonism be.

As a Christian, I have always found the lines of wizards, witches, vampires in literature interesting. Christians readily accept CS Lewis and Tolkien versions of them as acceptable…but have heart attacks over Hogwarts. I will NOT let my children read Harry Potter UNTIL they realize the biblical truth that witchcraft is Satanic…all witchcraft, even “good” witches. I will not let my daughter read Twilight, UNTIL she can realize how unhealthy Edward and Bella’s relationship is -that Meyers true message is cloaked in unrequited love and supernatural (not God’s) protection. However, I (unlike Bella) can’t shield them from all the evils and influences of the world. Instead, I can help them find the lines of truth before God. In Romans the Apostle Paul said, you have to find that line in your heart, and be accountable to God for the decision you make…however, open your eyes, and know what the message truly is.

 

121 Responses to “Twilight Preaches Mormonism”

  1. Wendy Says:

    That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. It seems to me that you dug really really deep to find some kind of correlation between the book and her religion. You must have way too much time on your hands. It is simply a great story told by someone who happens to be a mormon!

    • venti Says:

      completely liked the read I’d have to look up the facts about the issues you presented but other then that its an interesting perspective that shouldn’t be left out of for discussion.

      the first comment is why you shouldn’t just read books.
      a lot of books are just stories but they do have meanings to them its a little frustrating that some people cant see the deeper meaning even if it is just a story. even if there’s not deeper meaning they do implant thoughts into others minds maybe children wont notice them but adults can pick up on them. the last thing i can say is you think he or she is crazy for thinking this.. how many books did this author sell? without being a good story there’s reason enough when money seems to be involved for anything to be implanted into peoples heads.

      another thing is its just someone else’s opinion don’t need to flip out. if we all let one person think for us the world wouldn’t be the way it is today. also if its just a book then look at simple children s books that get kids to read some of them teach you about Jesus its interesting technique to get kids to read and sell their religion all at the same time just cause it’s thicker then 10 pages don’t mean it doesn’t have a point or deeper meaning.

      another thing is picture how many people think its related to Mormon ties when they don’t even know the authors background.

  2. mormonsarechristian Says:

    Is Stephenie reflecting early, New Testament religious thought?

    Divinization, narrowing the space between God and humans, was part of Early Christian belief. St. Athanasius of Alexandria (Eastern Orthodox) wrote, regarding theosis, “The Son of God became man, that we might become God.” Irenaeus wrote in the late 2nd Century: “we have not been made gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods” Justin Martyr in mid 2nd Century said: “all men are deemed worthy of becoming ‘gods,’ and of having power to become sons of the Highest” Clement of Alexandria explained “Saints . . pure in heart . . are destined to sit on thrones with the other gods that have been first put in their places by the Savior.” The Gospel of Thomas (which pre-dates the 4 Gospels, but was considered non-canonical by the Nicene Council) quotes the Savior: “He who will drink from my mouth will become as I am: I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him,” (Gospel of Thomas 50, 28-30, Nag Hammadi Library in English, J.M.Robinson, 1st ed 1977; 3rd ed. 1988)

    The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) agrees with Early Christian church leaders regarding theosis.

  3. mormonsarechristian Says:

    Perhaps C.S.Lewis didn’t reflect such Early Christian thoughts because the Nag Hammadi codices were not translated into English until the late 1970’s.

  4. mormonsarechristian Says:

    Early Christians considered Celestial marriage to be their most holy mystery. The Gospel of Philip states that “those who have united in the bridal chamber will no longer be separated”[xiv] “One receives them [the male and female powers] from the mirrored bridal chamber.”[xv] “if anyone becomes a son of the bridal chamber, he will receive the light. If anyone does not receive it while he is in these places, he will not be able to receive it in the other place.” [xvi]

    [xiv] The Gospel of Philip, in Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library in English 142
    [xv] Ibid, p 139
    [xvi] Ibid p.151

  5. Mac McCarty Says:

    Haven’t read the books–probably won’t. (Smiling, he thinks “Chick stories”, but he’ll never say that aloud to SWMBO and Horse Girl.)

    But the dig about too much time to a Mom and wife of a deplyed Marine needs a response. Not fair and simply wrong. If it keeps you sane and brings you back to writing, go for it, kid.

    Abundant blessings to you and yours.

  6. writetools Says:

    Thanks for your adds everyone. In your posts MareC you quote from the apocrypha, which is NOT part of the accepted canon of the Christian Bible. The early Christians who were inspired by God to gather the Bible together into one book did not feel the gospels of Philip and Thomas were inspired by God, and were not included because of that reason.

    • visitor Says:

      It’s not that the non-canonical books weren’t “inspired by God.” As a matter of fact, books such as Thomas’ Gospel are still referenced as valuable texts. You have to look at the canon as the collection it is. If you’re creating a Greatest Hits CD or a CD of Beatles love songs, you’re not going to put in songs that don’t fit the overall scheme of the work. Just the same, the collection of texts we call the Bible, are collected with the intent of showing the movement of God throughout salvation history. With this intent, books that deal highly with mysticism would not fall into this work. What you have are texts that show what God did, what his people did, and how to live a life pleasing to God.

  7. mormonsarechristian Says:

    The reason the Nag Hammadi codices were not included in the Canonical Bible is that the Cathoic Bishops wanted to please the Emperor Constantine, and thus excluded all the Books which mentioned esoteric activities.

    What do you think Jesus did for 40 days between His Resurrection and His Ascension. Read the Books of Thomas and Philip, and your eyes will be opened.

    The Egyptian Saints realized what was happening and buried the only extant copies of esoteric gospels, before the Emperor’s church could burn them.

  8. Lydia Says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful and brave post.

    I have just started hearing about Twilight from the movie advertisements and I thought I was “hip” . . . obviously NOT! From these advertisements I would have thought the series written as a a “tween” edtion of Rice’s Vampire Chronciles. We read some of these in our Banned Book Club in seminary. It was fairly obvious that Rice was dealing, whether consciously or unconscioulsy, with personal faith struggles. I am glad that she has come out on the side of the Light!

    Knowing just a litte about the Mormon faith I appreciate your analysis of how this series can be read as an apologetic treatise on Mormonism. Why would one find this shocking!?

    Lydia

  9. writetools Says:

    This Blog just hit CNN!!! Amazing… Here is the link

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Movies/11/20/twilight.cast/index.html

    Look under From the Blogs: controversy and commentary

    Who would have thunk it!

  10. Jade Says:

    I find this article fascinating. Although I need to read up more on Mormon teachings in order to have a more level-headed view on this. I do find Edward creepy(so shocking!) when compared to an old Mormon man with an arranged marriage to a young Mormon girl. The same with the wolf imprinting on the younger girls at the tribe. (I did notice that in the books! Why must the Quilete girls be much younger than their wolf-husbands-to-be?!) “be an older uncle until ready”… yuck. Tsk tsk Stephenie Meyer. But again I have to know more about Mormon teaching before I go on and see Stephenie as a woman brainwashing young girls with her Mormon beliefs. Still my intuition gives me a negative view on Mormonism… it seems too fishy to an outsider…. too cult-like.

  11. Dj Says:

    Hey thanks for the comment! I started to read your post but found that you had some spoilers to the plot so I wasn’t quite ready to read it all without spoiling the story. I’ll definitely consider some of your points as I’m reading though.

  12. writetools Says:

    WHoops Sorry DJ – Should have posted a plot spoiler warning! Thanks for commenting, you as well Jade… I had the same feelings while I was reading those sections.

    And for all the other readers… PLOT SPOILERS INCLUDED, be warned!!

  13. Coco Says:

    To momansarechristian: There is only 1 God, He is our Lord and Savior, He became man to live amongst us and teach us how much He loves us and how we should love others. There are no other God’s. God the son, Jesus, taught only love – nothing about us becoming a God – only that through the Son we might be with HIM. Any teachings other than those spoken by Jesus – are of man….I prefer to follow Jesus and have no plans on becoming a God – but to be with God.

  14. Janelle Says:

    Thank you so much for this insightful post. My middle school students are reading these books and I went to see the movie on my day off. Instantly, I was sucked in! Meyer is an amazing writer but I can sense these books are spiritually dangerous to the unsuspecting person. I agree that books – fiction books especially – have tremendous power to shape our thinking.

    Thank you!

    Janelle Anderson

  15. […] I felt like there were so many references and shadows of Mormanism in the story. Hmmmm…., found someone else who says it all very, very well. Twilight Teaches Mormanism […]

  16. writetools Says:

    Sylvia and Janelle- thanks for taking the time to comment and post a link to this blog. I agree Janelle, powerful characters leave lasting imprints on our souls. As a writer I strive to create them. After this series I am learning what a great responsibility I have to my future readers.

  17. snocone Says:

    I have read the Twilight series and enjoyed it, simply as entertainment. The movie was pretty good as well. While I do agree with your opinion that Meyer’s writing lacks a certain depth I disagree with your conclusion that Meyer wrote Twilight as a tool to convert people to the LDS church. I think Meyer, like many authors, writes about what she knows. It seems that she, like many God fearing people, looks to become more Christlike (or Godlike), values family, faithful and lasting relationships, love, and chastity

  18. A Mormon Writer Says:

    Interesting article. Obviously, since Stephanie is a Mormon she can’t help but have some of what she believes come out in her work anymore than Tolkien or Lewis did. There’s nothing wrong with that. Any author who struggles to write something completely at odds with his belief system seems rather silly.

    At the same time, the columnist’s comments obviously come from someone who doesn’t understand Mormon doctrine very well. In some instances, the comments ranged from misinformed to patently offensive.

    Beyond that, I fail to understand why the reviewer is afraid to let her kids read Harry Potter but is okay with having them read Lord of the Rings. That’s both absurd and paranoid.

  19. burg3g Says:

    Parallels and comparisons can be pulled stretched and fit to any text or narrative. To compare and question is a healthy exercise, however to imply you have studied and understand something like the LDS faith in order make such stretches isn’t helpful to your readers. I find it funny that most people who don’t truly investigate the LDS faith are the first ones to put it down. I would suggest that you may want to more fully learn about the LDS church before you make comparisons that are so utterly laughable and false.

  20. Interesting post. I have not read the books, but I am Mormon and find some of your connections quite a stretch to say the least. And seriously we aren’t a cult and we aren’t dangerous. We have a lot in common with mainstream Christianity.

    Now, I have no doubt that Meyers was influenced by her religion in these books. It’s a big part of who she is and how she thinks, but I don’t think she sending subliminal messages or trying to brainwash anyone. Mormons flock to these books not for the doctrine, but because one of our own wrote them and we are proud of her.

    • Nathan Graham Says:

      “And seriously we aren’t a cult and we aren’t dangerous.”

      The word cult has connotations to it these days that Christians (or mainstream/traditional/sola scriptura Christians, if you prefer) discussing Mormonism don’t mean to apply to the discussion. We are not implying that Mormons drink cool-aid, participate in animal sacrifice, or present a violent threat to society. What we ARE saying is that Mormonism is an offshoot of Christianity that departs substantially from biblical truth.

  21. rexgoode Says:

    Despite some sketchy and uninformed recitations of “controversial [Mormon] doctrines”, the most absurd part of this piece is the contention that “everyday” Mormons don’t know what the church really teaches. I’ve been a Mormon all of my life and I’ve known this stuff, in forms not filtered by Evangelical explanations, as long as I can remember. No, I didn’t go to BYU.

    I’ve also always been aware of the ridiculous ways it is portrayed by others. Mormons who don’t know these beliefs are not paying attention. They’re not held back until you reach some “upper echelon.” It’s all there, ready to be learned by anyone who is willing to invest the time.

    If Mormons were allowed to gamble, I’d bet you that those young women you think are being plowed to accept “controversial doctrines” already known about those doctrines and have already accepted them. You’re too late.

  22. John C. Says:

    I’m confused. What part of Mormonism do you see in imprinting? I haven’t read the book, but what you describe does not sound like the Mormonism I know.

  23. Another Mormon Says:

    The most accurate thing in your post is when you said you are no expert on Mormon doctrine. Heaven help us if the vampire world of Twilight is a reflection of our doctrine! I don’t think so! Perhaps you should stick with defining your own beliefs and let us define ourselves.

    Oh, and I think Mormon women have flocked to this book for the same reason as other women–it’s an easy, fun book that allows an escape from reality. Many of the Mormon women I know that love these books (I’m not one of them) are excited that she is a Mormon in the same way that folks might be excited to find out a writer is from their home town.

  24. Former Mormon Says:

    “It is my experience that the everyday Mormon does not know most of these ‘controversial doctrines’.”

    You need to get more experience if you are going to write about what Mormons believe. The doctrines you mention are not esoteric, and most of the controversy surrounding them is created by those who are more interested in marginalizing Mormons than understanding them.

    “It sows the seed in a generation of possible recruits. If the young hearts of girls go pitter patter for the ideals espoused in the Twilight series… hey, when they are approached with a religion that makes it possible… it’s an easier pill to swallow.”

    Yeah, right. Everything Mormons do is about tricking people into being pulled into the cult. Except that nothing Meyer has written bears much resemblance to Mormonism. If she really had an agenda like that you accuse her of, she certainly could have done a much better job.

  25. CS Friend Says:

    Very interesting! I too have wondered about these books being written by a Mormon woman and why did she write these…..I have tired with Bella and this intense love for both Edward and Jacob….even though the book does have one message that I like…that is abstinence until married. I have not put the insightful thought into the story that you have so I appreciate your thoughts. I loved reading from your blog…I like the way you put words together and the pictures you create. Keep it up!

  26. no-man Says:

    this is flat out ridiculous. your claims about Mormonism are not based on the religion but on the falsifications of anti-Mormons. and how insulting can you be suggesting that “everyday Mormons” don’t “know these doctrines”. these are not doctrines, but exaggerations, and you start with the belief that Mormons are stupid, deluded victims of a conspiracy. i’d suggest you go back and get your facts straight before attempting a comparison with this vampire romance fiction.

  27. axemechanic Says:

    Hmm, interesting theories. I’m certainly not one to approve of Mormon beliefs as I am a Pentecostal youth leader. I encourage my kids to read and I read as many of the books they are reading as I can. We discuss them and the spiritual connotations they may possess and discuss the questions they induce.

    It’s times like this that I ask myself, “Can a writer just write a book without making it about forcing beliefs on others?” Obviously they can. However, can a person write a book without pouring themselves into it? Not often.

    I think that with the Twilight series we simply have a writer who wrote a story and in writing put what she knew into it. I don’t believe that the writer wanted to “turn” readers to a religion (thoughtful pun). An artist cannot create without their knowledge and life experience shining through.

  28. Jason Says:

    Yes, why would a Mormon write a book other than to indoctrinate the public into their vampire theology?

    More chicanery from the “BYU elite”.

    Great points. No other book would past this logical test you have provided.

  29. I’m so surprised that you missed the most obvious Mormon reference of all. I call it the “Cougar-Connection.”

    Think about it: Who does this book appeal to (besides the Hannah Montana crowd)?

    This book has an amazing appeal to older women, mothers, housewives, etc. Undoubtedly, these older women are facinated by this book because of that sexy young vampire-of-a-man and his wolfy friend Jacob. Do you see the connection now?

    The book is all about older women who are attracted to younger men. In a word – COUGARS!

    We all know that the BYU mascot is none other than – COUGARS!

    Indeed, this book is an “unapologetic” attempt to convert Cougar women to Mormonism.

    I be willing to bet that all of those Cougar women out there who are reading the Twilight series will swoon when those two young Mormon missionaries (Edward and Jacob) come knocking at their door.

    I even heard that the Church paying astronomical dental bills to retro-fit their army of missionaries with extended bicuspid crowns that are honed to a subtle point.

    The hunter has become the hunted. The cougar has become the quarry. Before you know it, all of the Cougar women will be getting baptized – Mormon style!

    It’s all about the “Cougar Connection.”

    If there are any “Cougar” women out there who would like to discuss this further, please visit my website!

    http://canyoudigitbecausediggercan.blogspot.com/

  30. CS Friend Says:

    You wrote about the good vampires being vegetarians. I ran across an interesting LDS discussion board on why being a vegetarian in their afterlives, or in their millineum period will probably be required. Another interesting idea presented in these books that tie to Mormonism.

    http://www.timesandseasons.org/index.php/2008/11/millennial-vegetarianism/

  31. Dana Says:

    You are SOOOO right on with this! I’ve been trying to work with a local group (AZ) called Concerned Christians about coming up with educational tools to warn non-mormon readers about these books. I would love to speak with you about this if you’d like to. You are a great writer!

  32. BJ Says:

    Your arrogance is incredible. You, a non-member who has “researched” Mormonism, somehow know more than me, a “blue collar” member of 27 years. You could use your time more effectively by fighting to defend traditional marriage or uphold standards of morality. In trying to sound intelligent and thoughtful you have only exposed yourself as a paranoid and ignorant woman. This book is pure fantasy. There is nothing else there. And by the way, we Mormons enjoy our “sanitized” way of living as the world goes skipping down the road to Sodom.

  33. Wow, some testy responses here. I must say that, as a BYU alum, I’m tempted to make a joke about being an authoritative “elite” (rather than a regular old “blue collar”) member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But I’ll refrain. :-)

    Your post is very interesting to me, I must say. I’m a Mormon who is actively involved in the Mormon literature community, and I often think about the influence that Mormonism has on the works of people like Stephanie Meyer. I don’t see this kind of analysis much from people who aren’t Mormon. I have to say, though, while interesting as an exercise in literary/cultural analysis, approaching this subject from feelings of paranoia is neither helpful nor accurate. If you talk to writers like Stephanie Meyer, Orson Scott Card, & Shannon Hale (all of whom are Mormon), I’m pretty sure they’ll tell you that, like all writers, they are influenced by their beliefs and their life experiences. There is no hidden agenda in their work trying to make Mormonism “palatable” to people who wouldn’t otherwise accept Mormon beliefs. I mean, I guess there could be–I haven’t actually asked Stephanie Meyer what her intentions in writing Twilight were. But to analyze their works in the context of some imagined vast Mormon conspiracy is to build an argument on faulty assumptions, never mind that it doesn’t exactly build bridges of understanding between people of different faiths.

    I do, however, appreciate your interest in analyzing Twilight’s works from a Mormon perspective, even if much of it isn’t exactly right. It does spark discussion, which is good.

    I also realize you weren’t trying to personally offend Mormons–you were obviously writing your post for an audience other than Mormons.

    May I suggest, if you are interested in the influence of Mormonism on the Twilight books, that you read posts about Twilight at the Mormon arts & culture website, A Motley Vision (motleyvision.org). And if you are interested in how Mormons integrate spirituality and art in general, you might be interested in the online magazine, Mormon Artist (mormonartist.net).

  34. P.S. A couple of Mormon bloggers have actually started an online journal devoted specifically to literary/critical analysis of Meyer’s Twilight series–with a particular interest in exploring the cultural ties to Mormonism:

    http://www.motleyvision.org/readinguntildawn/ojs/index.php?journal=readinguntildawn

  35. Um, that should be “Stephenie Meyer,” not “Stephanie Meyer.” Sorry ’bout that. :-)

  36. Dana P. Says:

    Obviously you hit a nerve if the LDS bloggers out there are so diligently posting their opinions on just how “uninformed” they think you are. You make rather researched comparisons to the practices of their faith; that they hide in order to consider themselves “just like the rest of us Christians”. Or quite possibly they don’t understand, as suggested, the details of their faith and early church beginnings that have been continuously changed over the years to suit the current “prophet” or LDS president’s views. as of 2001, the book of mormon has undergone nearly 4000 substantive changes. I can understand how one would have a hard time keeping up with what is actually true about the mormon faith.

    In contrast, the Bible is God -breathed, Holy inspired and wholly true, without change. Perfect in its origin and intent. My prayers are for the people of the LDS religion to research their founder, Joseph Smith, a true prophet is known by his predictions and if they are wrong, time and again, then they are false predictions and he is a false prophet. (Apr. 23rd, 1824, 1832, 1844). You don’t need to follow a man who could never become his own god…only GOD is GOD!

    What about the practice of “blood atonement” central under Brigham Young in the early days of the church…the killing of “bad” mormons by their own…destroying angels under the guidance of Porter Rockwell….Appointed bodyguard to Joseph Smith. Has a vampire feel about it!

    Thank you for your summary of a book I will never need to read….I have enough false doctines beating down my door with the name badge of “elder” attached to the clean white shirt of a post-pubescent face.
    I can only pray for them to know….the Bible teaches salvation is a free gift of God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone and not from any works of our own! Eph. 2:8-9, Romans 3:20-28.
    God bless you and your beautiful gift of writing your heart’s words.

    • hmmmm....... Says:

      Where did you hear that the Book of Mormon has undergone over 4000 changes? Was it from a misinformed anti-Mormon like our friend who wrote this false and ludicrous article? I’ve been a Mormon my whole life, just like my parents, their parents, their parents, right down to people who knew Joseph Smith. Never, ever has the Book of Mormon been changed. I testify this to you with all my heart. I am sorry that you are misinformed and I, and the rest of the LDS Church would appreciate it if you would verify your knowledge before spreading it. Please, if you have any questions on the Book of Mormon and its truthfulness, I beg you to watch this talk given by one of our leaders. Truly inspired.

      http://www.mormonworld.org/lds-beliefs/elder-holland-book-of-mormon-talk-and-video-safety-for-the-soul/

      • Seth R. Says:

        Actually, there were changes to the Book of Mormon made – mostly back in the 1980s.

        The VAST majority were mere spelling and grammar corrections of no significance whatsoever.

        A few changes changed the actual content of some verses. But in all cases, the changes were made in light of additional documents showing what Joseph Smith himself wrote. In every instance the change was made to better reflect what Joseph Smith himself wrote in his own translation work.

        Hardly something to get excited over, and it certainly doesn’t make any sort of anti-Mormon point.

        If it comes to that, the texts of the Bible have far more variations, errors, corrections, and alterations in their history than the Book of Mormon has in its own. So we can chalk this argument off to just another ignorant Evangelical trying to attack Mormonism and shooting himself in the foot.

  37. Schwa Says:

    re: “Has a vampire feel about it!”

    Dana, you might be interested in this: http://www.noirdame.com/index.php?crn=206&rn=610&action=show_detail

  38. Rachel Says:

    Just wanted to say that I do have substantial knowledge of the LDS church, although I am not LDS. I have not read the series but know someone who adores Twilight. I think the connections you made are worthwhile and obvious. I think that anyone who denies the religious implications of this series is either defensive (because they are LDS or because they think “mormon” is a dirty word and don’t want the novels that they’re in love with to be associated..) or unfamiliar with mormonism. I found this blog interesting. Thanks.

  39. peaceful Mormon Says:

    I’m sorry for the tone of the posts of several of my fellow Mormons. We are actually very nice people. We take seriously the commandment to love our neighbors. Even when they disagree with us :-). But many of us do have understandable persecution complexes. I’ve had ancestors who were killed for their religious beliefs. In the United States.

    That doesn’t justify treating anyone with less than pure Christian love, however.

    I do appreciate your thoughts in your article, though I disagree with many of your points. I won’t go into those here, though, since there’s not enough time or space.

    I do, also, know Stephenie Meyer, and I’m almost positive that her books are not meant to proselytize or indoctrinate, but are rather simply her own fantasies, fantasies that are, given their popularity, quite common across religions.

    One last point on both sides, given that Mormons and conservative Christians are two groups that it is politically correct to hate and to make fun of, to demonize, we should be working together, especially since we share most of our values. We need to accept our religious differences, and work together to make the world a better place for our children.

    • SabineMadigan Says:

      I am most impressed with your comment and with the comment of the pentacostal youth leader. I come from a southern baptist upbringing, which I turned away from because of the “everyone is wrong if they don’t believe and live the way we do” outlook (among other reasons). I am always happy to hear that there are still those who see that though there are differences, we all pray to the same God.
      Kudos to you!

  40. Some Mormon elements will definitely shine through being that the author is LDS.

    I think the largest Mormon idea (that the young girls love) that shines through this book is the concept of ETERNAL LOVE.

    They have this quote: “true love stories don’t have an ending” because they believe they will still be married in the afterlife.

    Check out this male’s perspective on Twilight(novel)–maybe my reasoning will resonate with you!

  41. Abra Says:

    My only hang up on the book was the sudden twist, sadistically. I mean, i know the whole world seems to being going to H*** in a handbasket, but i liked to believe the vurtue bit. I’m not really religious, but i’ve sort of risen to the occasion to write my version of a love story

    http://www.featherbookseries.com

  42. Sabina Says:

    Okay. I am not a Mormoan, I am not religious. There is no God, as far as I am concernced. I loved the Twilighht books- Mormon inspired or not. It is good old fashioned entertainment.
    Even though I find your comments very intereseting and probably true, what disturbs me most is the fact that you will not let your kids read either Twilight or Harry Potter. Now that’s real brainwashing!
    How are they supposed to learn about the world and possibly bad influences ( such as cults) if you don’t give them the chance to find out the truth for themselves?

    • Nathan Graham Says:

      So parents shouldn’t have any authority over what their kids read or watch, what they put into their minds? Bad influences can come in many forms, media included. By your definition, forbidding or allowing your child anything — actively parenting and influencing them — is brainwashing! Very odd.

      Also, Amie did not say that she would NEVER allow her kids to read HP or Twilight — just that they would have to wait until they had the requisite maturity to deal with them. I think this is perfectly reasonable, and what any good parent would do.

  43. wendy Says:

    Hi and thanks for your insight on the connection b/w the Twilight series and mormonism. I read the books so I would be ‘up to speed’ when I took my nieces out to see the movie…I am so glad that I did b/c now I will have more to talk on than just the plot. I noticed by the middle of book 3 the parallels with the mormon religion 1.) the kids (they are under 21) got married right out of high school and 2.) the imprinting was screaming ‘arranged marriages’ b/t older men and young girls which is all too common with the fundamentalism- yuck!

    You had a lot more insight (and express yourself better in writing) than I do…so thanks again for sharing- it will be used in my discussions with my young nieces.

  44. Terri Cronin Says:

    As a former rank-and-file Moromn (LDS for 35 years), there were a lot of LDS docterines that I was honestly not aware of, the physical sexual God-Mary union being one of them. I do think there are a lot of hidden docterines that most people don’t find out prior to joining the LDS Church, and then are taught one crumb at a time to help lessen the shock of it all. Joseph Smith is viewed as a ‘god’, along with all the ‘prophets’ that have follwed him. The temple becomes a false idol due to the fact that one has to go through it (and its rituals) to even be about being able to receiving the the highest level of heaven. Marriage in the temple becomes a false idol because, again, it is something that must be obtained if you want to reach the inner circle of godhood and continue to progress. It’s not easy to see how wrong it all is until you walk away and actually become a born-again Christian. There are a lot of really wonderful and moral people who are LDS. However, Mormons, no matter how much they try to profess themseleves to be, are not Christians. They believe in a very different kind of God and Jesus than the bible teaches about. And that is only one of the reasons.

    That all being said, I think the article is insightful. However, I don’t think the intent of the author is to indocternate the masses at large, she is only drawing from what she knows. There are plenty of other things in the Twilight series that bother me other than the connections that can be made to LDS theology, like Edward telling Bella that she is his own personal brand of herione and the fact that he watches her sleep and stalks her in the beginning. This is an unhealthy start to any relationship. This series is having an impact. It makes me wonder what kind of impression it is having on our teenage girls and how they view relationships.

  45. Grégoire Says:

    The twilight books were sorta fun, in a misogynist type of way. This article addresses a much larger (and certainly unintended) issue.

    What many Christians don’t realize when they bash other religions is that all their arguments can just as easily be turned around and used on Christianity.

    There’s no historical evidence for any of the book of mormon, but then there’s no historical evidence for Jesus, either. Nothing in Mormonism is any more or less ridiculous than the idea that some god made a mistake, got mad at himself, created a hell to punish his children for his mistakes, then felt bad and came to earth as his own child, murdered himself to appease himself, and then forgot it all — provided people donate money to their local preacher. That’s the essence of Christianity. It makes no sense and no rational, mentally sound person could possibly take it seriously.

    Mormons have angels and gold plates, Christians have the suicidal god in the sky. One is pretty much as silly as the other, so be careful when you’re throwing stones from the crystal castle-in-the-sky.

  46. Laura Says:

    After reading Gregoire’s post and his description of the ‘mad god who made a mistake’ it’s obvious to me that he is neither rational nor mentally sound. LOL.

    Twilight is a breath of fresh air in that teens are flocking to it without the sex-thing enticing them. Most teens aren’t bright enough to get the subtle Mormon overtones (If they are there) designed to entice them into the ‘cult’.

    Born-again Christians who rail against the satanic practices of mormonism need to take a look at all of the pagan (satanic) rituals in their own religion. After Constantine ‘converted’ to christianity to hold his empire together, all of the pagan practices of the day were incorporated into the state religion and that way everyone was happy. To illustrate my point, research the holiday traditions of two of christianity’s big ones, Christmas and Easter.

    I remember when everyone said The Lion King was about mormonism. (The lions lived in a pride and the King had many wives.) It never ends. Teach your children your values and then let them go. The bible says to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. It doesn’t say, however, to suffocate them and alienate them to the point where they rebel because they were denied any freedom or self-expression whatsoever until they leave home.

  47. Grégoire Says:

    Laura rants:

    After reading Gregoire’s post and his description of the ‘mad god who made a mistake’ it’s obvious to me that he is neither rational nor mentally sound. LOL

    and then sez:

    Christians who rail against the satanic practices of mormonism need to take a look at all of the pagan (satanic) rituals in their own religion

    Oh LOLOLOLOLOL!

    On one side we’ve got people who believe that God killed himself on a cross, to appease himself for the mistakes he made. On the other we’ve got people who believe that Christians are Satanists. The inmates are loose, and running the asylum…

  48. CS Friend Says:

    All these irate Mormons writing you should look to their own for confirmation of what you write about. This review was posted on their Association for Mormon Letters website – looks pretty official to me:

    Jana Reiss, a Mormon and an editor at Publisher’s Weekly, wrote on her own blog, “ When I read Twilight, I was intrigued by the subtle Mormon themes woven throughout the book, particularly the idea that is so central to the Book of Mormon: that we must overcome the “natural man,” or person, and strive for a selfless spirituality and a life that is lived for others. But New Moon is deeper and more introspective, opening with some provocative thoughts on religion (what is a soul? Do vampires have eternal souls?) and carrying that through with restrained but thoughtful ruminations on the nature of eternity . . . I feel like Meyer is leading us to a greater understanding of the chasm that exists between [the Mormon concepts of immortality and eternal life]. Bella, who takes her human life entirely for granted and can’t wait to shed the “burden” of being human, doesn’t yet understand the precious nature of her humanity and her soul. Edward, who is damnedly immortal and understands the chasm all too well, can’t make her understand what she is so ready to blithely throw away. It will be fascinating to see what happens next.”

    If you are proud of what you believe…then accept it and defend it, don’t attack others who…while may not understand all the finer details of your doctrine… at least acknowlewdges it.

  49. Enbrethiliel Says:

    +JMJ+

    This is a really intriguing post that I wish I had found when I first started reading the Twilight series.

    I wouldn’t say that Meyer is using her books to proselytise, just that they are full of “Mormon sensibility”–which, you have to admit, makes sense.

  50. pam Says:

    I read Twilight because my 13 year old daughter asked me to read it with her. I enjoyed the book but saw Mormon connections. ( my former husband and his family are Mormon)
    Not sure why I was making all these connections ,I googled Moroni, Mormonism, Twilight, and Meyer. I just read your blog and it answered all of my wonderings. Thank you.

  51. cyndi64 Says:

    WOW,,,has anyone reported Ms Steph to Homeland Security???!! Shouldn’t we just be happy our kids are readsing?? Even moreso that they CAN read!!
    People…another question here. Has anyone ever heard of the word fiction?? why does every religion believe that only their. Beliefds are right and everyone else’s are wrong??

  52. Sally Says:

    AMAZING insight and very thought-provoking! I started to read Twilight because of all the fuss (and I’m a big Buffy and Angel fan) and gave up because it was boring and rather juvenile. Finally saw the flick and LOVED it–hey, pretty people, pretty cinematography and a rockin’ soundtrack–who could resist?–and am starting over on the series–but finding it difficult to take seriously.

    I’ve been struggling with trying to put my finger on why this book is so popular with teens, especially when the romance seems almost more father-daughter than lover-like (sitting on Edward’s lap, the whole ‘protection’ theme, etc) and wondering if Mormonism has anything to do with it.

    Your article makes it all fit in my mind, so I appreciate the help in trying to puzzle this series out. I hope girls just fantasize about a dreamy guy and not look into Mormonism as a result. Then again, Christians need to be reminded that we can affect the culture the same way. As CS Lewis said: “any amount of theology can now be smuggled into people’s minds under cover of romance without their knowing it.”

  53. death by tire swing Says:

    These comments are funny.
    Hell, this whole article is funny.

    Being a non-Mormon who was raised in Provo Utah, I no doubt will have many of the posters here jumping down my throat about any negative accusations that I make about the faith. At the same time I can also say that the “Christians” here trying so hard to judge Mormons as somehow not being fully christian are also quite silly.

    Twilight is pulp, plain and simple, it might be written by a Mormon who allows some of her ideology to filter into said pulp, but it is nonetheless pulp, it’s bad vampire fiction, just the way Anne rice is bad vampire fiction. While it’s true both have integration into the authors spiritual and religious travels, they are not often intentionally so. Attempting to break it down analytically is commendable, and I find your observations astute and fairly accurate, that is, until you get to the point where you blatantly claim that Mormons don’t understand what they believe. While it IS the case that Mormons do not bring to light many of the “odd” actions of the church (special mason-esque undies anyone?) to the non-Mormon populace, I doubt many Mormons do not know about this, as it is a tradition in the religion, just as I doubt you’d find a single Mormon who does not know that at one point their prophets practiced and promoted polygamy. And while in the comments there is someone who mentions being Mormon and not fully knowing the extent of the beliefs, I think that while there are most definitely what I would consider outright silly beliefs in the Mormon faith, they are no more silly than some of what is considered standard Mormon Dogma (the three heavens comes to mind.) On a similar token, mainstream Christianity downplays many terrible events that have transpired out of it, such as the Inquisition or antisemitism that came about after the crucifixion of Jesus, yet as a whole Christians are still aware of this. This I suppose, is the irony behind this article and most of the comments following. When speaking on the topic of such a thing as religion is seems very important to speak of the faith of others on a secular level, rather than from the viewpoint of another faith, as invariably this comes off as counter-propaganda, which in turn ruins any insight on the subject.

    The problem in this article lies when you begin to deviate from the sound metaphorical connections, to personal implied connections which are explained in the “why” hypothesis. Even beyond this you imply that the author idolizes Joseph Smith rather than Jesus as the doctrine would preach, and follow it off with a knock on Harry Potter, stating that you will not allow your children to read the books. Which gives the whole article an air of anti-Mormonism and outright confuses me. You analyze pulp metaphorically, then based on YOUR analysis you essentially claim the author is consciously aware of this, and encouraging it, then you turn around and bash another piece of literature based on it’s physical content, rather than whatever the novels are dealing with, on the metaphorical layer. All of this, while bearing in mind that this analysis is only one form of literary criticism, and that addressing this reading from say, a feminist critique would be just as possible.

    But by adding this at the end of your article it no longer is about how Twilight shares connections with Mormonism and how deep they run, or even about the review of the book itself for it’s own content and merit. Instead it comes off reeking of the same religious zealotry and intolerance that one can find in places like Iran.
    And while I think the history of the Mormon church is shady at worst and well-intentioned at best, making a point about how a story about Vampires is really an attempt to persuade tween youth to off and join a “cult” is about as silly as bringing up a story with wizards, demons, elves and other “pagan” symbolism as a Christian analogy, followed with a dismissal of another Children’s book about witches and wizards as having roots in satanism. Honestly, I’m really not sure how you can go about being a writer or a “Christian” for that matter, with such a distorted sense of narrative work.

    In any non-secular discussion about religion though, the infallible hypocrisy does not end with the speaker herself, but follows through with anyone who believes themselves to be following the only set pinnacle of justice and righteousness in a society of such decadence. From calling someone who views God from that of an atheistic viewpoint as being “neither rational nor mentally sound.” to wonderful little assertions that “Mormons enjoy sanitized living while the rest of us head towards sodomy” side by side with accusations that “the time spent analyzing and writing book reviews would be better spent protecting “traditional marriage” or that “groups are being formed to protect non-Mormons from becoming Mormon.” The intolerance in some of these comments is outright laughable, and worse than that, none of them really do a very good job of being Christian in the first place: “‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:43)”

    To address an issue analytically is one thing, but inserting the validity of our faith against that of the “other” in such a thing is just instigating. Perhaps if more of the righteous would take action in living a more “Christ-like”, and even “Christian” life, rather than actively condemning those whose lifestyle or belief we do not agree with, the world WOULDN’T be “on the road to sodom.”

    I figure I should also clearly state that none of these things are composed out of hostility, but rather because there is a level of hypocrisy that follows religious debates like sunshine follows rain.

  54. Nina Says:

    Wow,thanks for all that research and effort you put into this article.What some of the other people commented about is true though,the book can be spiritually dangerous if you don’t know about its… what would you call it?-subliminal ideals?I’m not sure.
    But if the reader is well rounded,and not easily influenced by others beliefs then the book can still be enjoyed and appreciated. :)

  55. CS Friend Says:

    Dosen’t anyone read with an eye for detail anymore. Several times I have read comments that you won’t let your children read Harry Potter or the twilight books (for example Death by Tire Swing) and then disparages your great post because of that. Did they not read your caveats… UNTIL… UNTIL…UNTIL come on people read. Write Tools said she won’t let them read the books UNTIL they can understand the deeper meanings and subtext.

  56. Rumor Says:

    If anyone is interested you can go to Catholicanswers.com and they do a really thorough job of comparing the Catholic Christian doctrine to the morman and jehova’s witnesses doctrines. I thinnk it will clear it up for the LDS’s who evidently know nothing about the Catholic faith. Sorry, but it does not seem that you all are informed about us.

  57. Grégoire Says:

    Being a non-Mormon who was raised in Provo Utah

    Unless “death by tire swing” is ten years old, s/he just proved hirself a liar.

    As a fella who was born in Provo Utah, I can assure the casual reader that there were *no* non-Mormons who were raised there from birth that I *ever* met in Provo. There might be a few dozen today, but they’d probably be too young to type.

    This is actually a well-known pattern which Mormons follow whenever they are criticized on the internet. They start out with the Prozac-swilling breeder types who make veiled anonymous insults (Laura, etc.) and then progress to pretending to be non-Mormons who “just happened by to stick up for my poor, persecuted, wonderous Mormon neighbors, who you guys are being so mean to…”

    We call it “lying for the lord”. Google it for more information.

  58. Death by Tire Swing Says:

    Wow. I’m not sure if I should take offense to that or not. It is entirely possible to be raised non-Mormon in Provo. My father taught at BYU, and I subsequently moved out the moment I turned 18, if you were to check my IP address you’d find I’m in Rhode island.
    If for one minute you think I’m sticking up for Mormons, you are sadly mistaken. While I have many friends who went on missions and all that rubbish, Mormonism as a whole is about as obviously fabricated as creationism. And having grown up, (was not born there.) in Provo Utah, I can say with an honest face that the way I see most Mormons overcoming the fact that the “Prophet” of their church had a history in “treasure hunting” and Con-Artistry, is simply by ignoring it, or pretending such things were created to tarnish his image. Just because people chose to be delusional does not make them ignorant of these things. I hope that clarifies that I am not taking a side, so much as proving how between the conservative Christians and the self-righteous Mormons neither is “right” and arguing over whose imagination heaven-land was “real” was outright comical.

    I’m glad that my post was at least read, but do not presume that while something is uncommon it is non-existent. My stance on seeing religious groups argue over which is “right” and which is “wrong” comes from being raised in a place that I was constantly told I was going to hell, even if I had higher moral standards than some of the Mormons, but not “aligning” myself with a organized religion and instead seeking god myself somehow makes me “less” than someone who takes solace in the fact that they can go to a place they don’t want to be for 4 hours, and come out ahead. I hold no lack of resentment to Provo, my good man, but to allow myself to only preach hatred about those who have belittled my search for something greater than the apparent would make me just as bad if not worse, hence why I refuse to jump on the Mormon-bashing bandwagon without giving them any amount of credit, or claim them to somehow be less than anyone elses beliefs.

    CS, I’m glad you were quick to point out the point I made about Harry Potter. In your response though you ask if anyone read with an eye for detail, I’m going to say here that if you were to have read my post with such an eye, you would find out that I am not bringing this up in relation to if it is okay or not okay to allow the reading of Harry Potter. What I am asking though, is when the author analyzes one book based on metaphorical content (Mormonism) She then brings up another book based on apparent content (Witches). If she were to state clearly that she encourages her children to analyze what they read and then draw conclusions based on the “message” of the books, then I would not have even brought up such a point. Instead she devalues her argument by looking at these books in whichever way will allow her to come to the conclusion she has created already. Kind of a hard way to properly critique literature, unless of course she believes that the Harry Potter books are actually promoting witches as witches, instead of witches and magic as an analogy for education and boarding students. But then we’d have to look at vampires as vampires, instead of vampires as an analogy for Mormon God-people, or whatever the hell they call them.

    Like I mentioned prior, This is probably spot on, and the article would be a solid piece of reading if it were not for what appears to be overly-righteous drivel tacked on at the end, which only stands to devalue to the previous points made, rather than strengthen them. I do think that her pointing out that her children should engage themselves in a thoughtful manner in their literature should be commended. Too few children even read these days, let alone read thoughtfully.

  59. cyndi64 Says:

    This is totally pathetic people. It is a book of fiction with no overt or intentional “subtle undertones of Mormonism”. And “subliminal messages”??? Give me a break!! That comment cracked me up, I laughed for a good 10 minutes after reading that post!! {:•)
    No matter which religion we all belong to isn’t the overall message is that we are all loved by some type of “higher being”? Also, if there were truly a God, wouldn’t there be only one religion for everyone?? I think “religio”n was created many years ago d/t the fact that everyone needs something to believe in,especily when times are really bad. I feel this “religion” and God were brought about to make people feel better about themselves and their situations at the time and to make them believe that some “higher being” was “looking out” for them. That these people could sin and then pray for forgiveness or go to comfession and thei sins would be taken away by someone who died so that these people could sin but as long as they believed then their sins were taken away.
    These beliefs were spread throughout the world and soon adapted to whatever made these people feel safe and protected and “looked after”
    More wars have been fought because of religion than for any other reason!!

  60. cyndi64 Says:

    Why are your kudos listed below only people who agreed with your bigoted opinion??

  61. cyndi64 Says:

    Oops,I stand corrected on the kudos issue u apologize for “leaping before looking”! (For some reason my comments are taking a long time to post)

  62. cyndi64 Says:

    That should be “I aologize”, not u

  63. cyndi64 Says:

    Btw, I still feel that your post was extremely bigoted. God said l “love they neighbor”, not “love they neighbor except for Mormons.” Maybe you need to take a step back and take a look at yourself and your own “Christian” beliefs. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.

  64. cyndi64 Says:

    Btw, I still feel that your post was extremely bigoted. God said l “love they neighbor”, not “love they neighbor except for Mormons.” Maybe you need to take a step back and take a look at yourself and your own “Christian” beliefs. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.
    Look at some of the other. Christian blogs like Christianity today ( who gives a list of others who have discussed Twilight as well) for common sense reviews and thoughts(well, most are common sense =)) on the book, it’s characters, and topics of discussion after seeing the movie /readin the book.

  65. Tori Says:

    OH I SOOOOO AGREE with this blog! I thought of it all myself while reading the books!!!!! Now, I am not a Mormon either BUT I have studied and my former husband bantered around the idea of us converting from Evangelical Christianity to Mormonism. I have been to Salt Lake and Provo ( multiple times) and been through “classes”, read the book of Mormon and other books on or about the Mormon religion. I know quite a bit for a non -believer–or “gentile” as they like to call ALL of us.

    All of the statements by the author of the original article in this blog are true and from Mormon doctrine. I’ll go a step further w/ the comparison of the Volturi to the structure of the Moron church. One “Profit/Revelator” and two seconds in command with an “army” below them. THAT is the Volturi!

    Now the imprinting…I will ruffle some feathers here– but the FLDS ( Fundamenal Later Day Saints) DO beleive in this sort of thing. Hence, marrying young girls ( who have been chosen by them at very young ages…they are destined to be together if the Revelator/Profit of that particular “Ward” says so…) and having plural wives
    ( did ya all see that part in “Eclipse”–book 3– about the wolves having that for a while ( multiple wives) when they were under the influence of the “bad spirit”? It is all there in all 4 of the books. I could go on but I won’t…

    Now…I LOVE the books ( also loved Harry Potter and I AM an Evangelical Christian and I read the DaVinci Code as well…I am an AVID reader and I know the difference between fiction and nonfiction)–but I could NOT help but see the influence in her writing of her Mormon beliefs. It is just that plain and simple. I do not say that is bad…I do not believe it is away of brainwashing our youth but I so see the influence. All writers are influenced by things in their lives it is just part of the process. I do not imagine the Mormon church growing in leaps and bounds as a result of these books–though.

  66. Misty Says:

    You wrote: “To me, the Twilight series seems an apologetic treatise on Mormonism. Am I the only one out here that thinks this way?”

    I haven’t read the book, but only by watching the film, I picked up the Mormon influence right away. Meyer did admit that her beliefs shaped her book. As she said on a Mormon-themed website, “Unconsciously, I put a lot of my basic beliefs into the story.”

    So thanks for posting this. I have nothing against Twilight (nor do I like it), but it’s always helpful to know its background and where it comes from.

  67. LOL@MORMANS

    Maybe Stephanie Myers should’ve just written the whole damn book in a mysterious Divine Code and sent it off to the lost continent of TimBukTo to be deciphered by a spiritually superior, albeit illeterate, man?! Its so surprisng when I see people proud to be declaring their own involvement in such a phony religion as the LDS. Seriously. Go join scientology and worship their goddamn holy clam, its got more legitamacy than your piece of crap could ever claim.

    To quote a pretty famous webpage, “You noobs pretty are sucking mah bawls, right here and right there, Oh yeah take it noobs”~Jeremy, PurePwnage.com

    Mormans are such religious babies. They epitomize the ignorance that gets america hated by the world and perversion that justifies that hatred. Go cry to your 10 wives if you dislike my opinion. But you all know its the truth.

  68. Gregory Says:

    So, wait, your problem with the books is that your kids will be too stupid to chose for themselves what to believe in their own lives? The idea that reading a book about a subject is going to change your entire perception of the subject is moronic. If so, the millions of people who have read Lolita would all be obsessing over 12-year-olds.

    You’ve read a lot into some rather dull and poorly written books.

  69. Becky Says:

    I don’t understand how her review was hateful or bigoted-she simply stated her opinion, and did not call names or use hateful language or slurring at all. If we are not allowed to state our opinions anymore, then free speech is truly gone. This has been the atheistic agenda for a while, to make “free speech” really mean “any speech we agree with”-don’t fall into that same trap. Being able to speak what one believes is the truth with conviction is part of why America was founded-just because I do not agree with mormon doctrine does not automatically make me a “mormon hater” or one who is not complying with Jesus mandate to love your neighbor as yourself. Since when was the definition for that “love your neighbor means agree with whatever they believe”. Jesus certainly didn’t do that-which was why He was hated by the Pharisees. But He still loved the pharisees. The above author wasn’t stating that mormons were bad people, she was simply pointing out doctorinal points that opposed her position. As a former mormon who is now a born again christian and has parents and family that are still mormon, I find myself persecuted by those who preach religious tolerance all the time. One of the mormon articles of faith states that “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” yet when anyone states any position opposite their own they are labeled as “anti-mormon”. Joseph Smith himself stated that all other religions were “an abomination”. Again, “let any man who is without sin cast the first stone”-that would be none of us, yet JS sure cast a stone at every other christian religion that has ever and will ever be in existence. The author above was not throwing stones-she was simply stating her position. She never states that mormon people are bad or aren’t saved, she simply outlines what she disagrees with out of their belief system. I, for one, agree with a lot of her positions. However, I don’t believe Stephenie Meyer has an agenda, her book has simply been shaped by her worldview, which is mormonism.

  70. Deborah Says:

    Maybe it’s not indoctrination, but clearly Meyer writes allegorically about the tenets of the LDS Church. I worried about my daughter reading these books, although my initial worries weren’t about religion but rather sensual content. However, after reading the entire saga, I saw countless images of LDS teachings buried just below the surface. Apparently, she and her friends didn’t seem to notice them, though, and just enjoyed the romance – especially the sensual parts from what I gathered. (OK, I admit it, I did, too.)

    Anyway, I don’t know that Meyer had any intent other than to share her faith. What I do know is that people are drawn to truth – even if it is inaccurate or incomplete. Edward is a compelling character. He is the personification of perfection and appeals to our desire to be loved unconditionally for who we are, worts and all. Carlisle fills the role of the benevolent and loving father we know we don’t deserve but who we hope to please. Bella stands in for us as we make our journey through this life to the next.

    It seems to me that the LDS Church has borrowed from many religions – Egyptian, Judaism, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism and Protestantism – over the course of time. They recognize the Jewish people of the OT as the chosen people. They acknowledge the progression of Covenants that led to the establishment of the Catholic Church by Jesus Christ. They affirm that this one Church was left under the care and leadership of the apostles after he died.

    However, they also believe this one Catholic Church became corrupt and lost its authority when the last of the apostles died (which contradicts his promise that “the gates of hell will not prevail.”) They believe the Eastern Orthodox and Anglican churches never had any authority to begin with since they broke away from the one Church that had already lost its authority. Ditto for the Protestant denominations.

    The LDS Church teaches that they are now the one true Church as restored by Jesus Christ. While they accept the King James version of the Bible, they have also produced companion scriptures (The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, Doctrines & Covenants) and claim a parallel history in the Americas that mirrors that of the Israelites. Unfortunately, sources for these additional materials have not been authenticated, and some of them contradict each other.

    Maybe it’s good thing that the LDS Church continues to accept new revelation. Perhaps one day they will come to recognize the whole truth and correct the errors they currently teach. For the most part, these well-intentioned believers live out a better Christian example than the general population. We should not be accusatory and unkind to them for what they don’t know.

    To that point, I would encourage LDS members to honestly study other religions (from authentic sources, of course) and the historical record – particularly 1st century Christianity. Then compare this information with LDS teachings and other Christian churches (don’t forget the Catholic Christians in your research). You might be very surprised at what you find :)

    Good luck and God bless,

  71. Jasmine Says:

    Intersting commentary. I think it was a little overthought though – perhaps reaching a little too far. : ) I have been Mormon for many years and at first was wary of the book when my daughter bought it. I ‘m not a fan of vampires or ‘romance’ novels. I told her to read it if she must and then get it out of the house… lol. My daughter and I read to each other all 4 books. Clearly there are some principles and doctrine of our Church woven into the story – interestingly enough using the evil of vampires to represent the dark evil nature of man and demontrating that we can overcome with our ‘Father’s’ help, the ‘natural’ man. It demonstrates the power of making good choices and ‘overcoming’ the dark side of our natures. Very interesting. The eternal nature of family and marriage, and especially the tenderness, respect and sensitivity in a relationship between a man and woman that should be was of course a main feature, and I believe is what intrigues many of the youth. We have a sore lack of this in our world today. Not too surpirising when I read that girls want their ‘boyfriends’ to read the series.

  72. Deborah Says:

    More likely the Volturi represents the Catholic Church, who the LDS Church believes became corrupt and had its authority taken away.

    Vladimir and Stephen represent the Eastern Orthodox Church, who broke away from the Catholic Church but believe they should have that authority. They join with the Cullens in the hope of taking that authority for themselves. The LDS Church believes they never had any authority to begin with.

    Alistair represents the Church of England (Anglican), who also broke away from the Catholic Church. He is not as certain of his standing as the Russians and flees in fear of repurcussions from the Volturi. Again, the LDS Church believes they never had any authority to begin with.

    The Cullens represent the LDS Church, who believe they now have the rightful authority as the restored church. The Cullens consider the Volturi to be their greatest adversary as they once had legitimate authority before it was taken away. The Cullens lay claim to their authority and display their strength by standing against the Volturi with their allies (Wolves, Denalis, Wanderers, etc.)

    The Wolves represent descendants of the Lamanites. Look it up – too much to explain here. Suffice it to say it brings in the Judaic element and parallel history of the LDS Church.

    The Denalis represent another branch of the LDS Church.

    The Wanderers represent LDS missionaries or perhaps independent believers who have not been corrupted by other man-made religions.

  73. Jasmine Says:

    (I hope you don’t censor this… people don’t have to agree with my ‘interpretation’ of the book – it would be good to have a true Mormon perspective on this. I don’t think that censorship is ‘persecution’ but it does show fear. There is more danger in censorship than what is already obvious in the book – and what is obviously a draw to this tale – Mormon and Non-Mormon alike. One thing I do know about Mormon’s is that they are always encouraged to have a free exchange of ideas – There should be no fear in that. It is the only way we can learn the truth about each other.)

    Intersting commentary on this site. I think it was a little overthought though – perhaps reaching a little too far. : ) I have been Mormon for many years and at first was wary of the book when my daughter bought it. I ‘m not a fan of vampires or ‘romance’ novels. I told her to read it if she must and then get it out of the house… lol. My daughter and I read to each other all 4 books. Clearly there are some principles and doctrine of our Church woven into the story – interestingly enough using the evil of vampires to represent the dark evil nature of man and demontrating that we can overcome with our ‘Father’s’ help, the ‘natural’ man. It demonstrates the power of making good choices and ‘overcoming’ the dark side of our natures. Very interesting. Our belief that many disagree with – the eternal nature of family and marriage, and especially the tenderness, respect and sensitivity in a relationship between a man and woman that should be was of course a main feature, and I believe is what intrigues many of the youth. We have a sore lack of this in our world today. Not too surpirising when I read that girls want their ‘boyfriends’ to read the series.

    Jasmine

  74. Karen Lawler Says:

    Hi Thanks for this article. My high school daughter asked me to read these books with her! We have had fun talking about them & having a common interest: something precious! I did read that the author was a Mormon and started to see correlations between the books and what I knew of the faith. I didn’t like how controlling Edward became of Bella in books 2 or 3, so it gave us an opportunity to talk about that! I was glad to see some family values, but then really started sensing some of the Mormon themes in the book. This article has helped me be able to explain some of hose principles to my daughter…I am glad to have read the books and thankful for this article!

  75. amycourts Says:

    I apologize for not reading all the above responses first…but I’ll tell you what I told another friend who pointed me to your blog: having read and re-read the saga a couple times, and being a graduate of bible college with a degree in theology and apologetics, emphasizing philosophy, I gotta say, I feel like you’re grasping at straws.

    As an author, you surely recognize that beliefs inevitably and invariably inform what you write (yours in your books; mine in my songs). So it should come as no surprise to find reflections of Mormon doctrines or ideas in a Mormon authors fictional tale. No artist of any faith should be expected to leave her faith at the door when approaching her art.

    But I’d disagree that she’s “Preaching Mormonism,” and find it a rather significant leap to call it such. Like I said, I’m a theology major, and I think, to some extent anyway, I’ve trained myself to be hyper-tuned to theological over- and undertones in the books I read. I don’t doubt her theology informed and trickled into the ideas and storyline. And I get where and how you’d follow that trail. But it’s a difficult, extreme line to follow, especially if you’re following it to the “She’s preaching at me!” end. I’d venture to guess it wasn’t Meyer’s intention to make the saga an allegorical treatise on Mormonism, or to preach and win converts.

    A comparison between the “theological currant” of the Twilight Saga versus, say, The DaVinci Code or Angels & Demons might be helpful, when deciphering what kinds of books’ story lines are informed by beliefs and which actually preach them.

    Cheers!

  76. amycourts Says:

    ps: You said, I will NOT let my children read Harry Potter UNTIL they realize the biblical truth that witchcraft is Satanic…all witchcraft, even “good” witches. I will not let my daughter read Twilight, UNTIL she can realize how unhealthy Edward and Bella’s relationship is -that Meyers true message is cloaked in unrequited love and supernatural (not God’s) protection.

    See, I came from this kind of rearing, and as a [step]mother to an avid read-a-holic who literally devoured the HP series before I even cracked a look, it boggles my mind why we, as parents, should be so deathly afraid of ANY literature. Perhaps I’m naive, or too liberal (it’s been said), but I figure if a) I’ve done my job as a parent in teaching and instilling Truth (Biblical) in my children from birth, and b) I’ve reared them to be readers, then these kind of books *should* spark conversations like this, in which we can talk about the layers within the story. I’m always baffled by Christians who practically throw CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia at their children but then fear for their kids’ souls when they start looking at Harry Potter.

    Again, maybe I’m a bleeding liberal. But I say knowledge is power. Reading is the door. Let them read, and may I be responsible enough to know when a discussion is needed! My experience says it works: I’ve had more in-depth theological and spiritual discussions with my 12-year-old stepson over themes in books – including Harry Potter, Narnia, and some favorites of mine by Ted Dekker, etc – than any “let’s sit down and chat” conversation could possibly provide.

  77. ibehim1 Says:

    I was a Brother of the Later Day Saints for six years. When I read Twilight I couldnt help but notice the blairing parallels with Mormonism it posessed, even before I knew that the author was Mormon. I have been through the required seminary and other rituals, and I can attest that there are certain things(most of which are mentioned in the blog) about Mormon docterine that they deliberately do not tell you until you reach a certain level in the chruch. For example there are things that you dont learn until you turn 16, until you become a missionary, until you are a return missionary, until your married, ect.
    I have been a true Christian for more than a year now and I can compare Christianity and Mormonism to a glass of water, and a glass of water with a few drops of poison in it, respectfully. One of the tricks that is used to cause us to fall away from our faith is slight change. Sure Mormonism is a form of Christianity, but there is enough of a change to cause us to go off the path ever so slightly that we dont even know that we are veering. Which glass would you take? They both look the same to the untrained eye but LDS are convinced that theirs tastes better. Now one thing I can say about Mormons is they have an inspiring enthuasim in their religon and nearly unwaivering faith and I only wish that Christians had the same zeal for the gift that has been given to them.
    Another thing I feel strongly about is the use of popular media to cause our youth to fall. I’m sure we can all agree that when our son/daughter is listening to a catchy sounding song there is usually some sort of enuendo/blaintly sexually connotation to it, and the accompaining music video just makes you shudder that the FCC would allow that on TV. Some of the most popular movies have some form of impurity. Now I’m not saying that Twilight is sexually impure but it is still using popular media to pull impressionable, unknowing minds away from the right path on that slippery slope that I’m sure we have all experienced.

  78. counterpoint Says:

    While I found the messages in Twilight disturbing, they are not the ones that are related to Mormon doctrine:

    1. The ideal man is stalker/jealous/control freak, perfect combination for an abusive partner. One could argue that Mormons are misogynistic because men hold the priesthood and not women, but you can also argue so for any Christian religion that claims the wife should be submissive to the husband and the husband to the Father. In truth, most relationships are equal give and take, across all religions. I think the reason the relationship between Bella and Edward is so strange is because Meyer used the love she had for her children and not her spouse as a mold.

    2. Most of Meyer’s relationships, not just the imprinting, are older man/younger girl (although the imprinting is the most disturbing and many of use readers just could not swallow it validity). While polygamy (not part of the story) is part of Mormon history, it was not old man/young girl forced like it is with the Fundamentalists. Mormon couples are within a few years of each other and select their own spouses. I have often wondered why Meyer finds a father-figure love so appealing, but the idiosyncrasy does not come from her faith.

    3. Most importantly, the series is sold as moral because there is no premarital sex, but the girl is the one constantly begging for sex. That this series is shoved on girls because it is clean while it is erotic and a bad relationship pattern is disturbing. Incidentally, if ward book clubs are reading the book, it just means they are swept up in the fandom like everyone else. It is ever increasingly hard to find clean literature, so it does not surprise me that this would fit their criteria, most of which decide by clean content not doctrine (in which case Twilight would not comply).

    Certainly, Meyer’s religion influenced her writing, but that is not what all the comments by Mormons upset at the misrepresentation of their doctrine are arguing against. Sometimes you do a fair job of comparing Twilight to what you think Mormon doctrine is, but most of the time you spice it up with strangeness in the story that implies further doctrine that is not true. Or you don’t even mention the doctrine, you just state problems you have with the ridiculous plots/characters and readers are left to assume that Mormons believe in things like assigning marriages from birth and then the to-be family caring for the child. Even common Christian beliefs like the resurrection and life after death seem absurd by comparison. You throw in biting young ones to keep them in a perpetual state of parenting as if Mormons are so desperate to have children they would go to any means when Rosalie’s disappointment about never being able to mother could be correlated to female instinct to mother. You insinuate LDS girls look for hot, older but erotic, controlling men whom they are willing to give up their lives for; couple that with the statement that Bella is sacrificed and it certainly sounds as if Mormons believe in human sacrifice. The implication that girls give up everything to become Mormon and then are enveloped in their new family and the insult that Mormonism is a cult and the argument about utopia leaves one to believe that Mormons are shut up in a compound where outsiders are not invited in unless they join. I could go on, but any time you mix a little bit of truth with falsehood, or at least the implication of it, you lose the power of your argument and certainly run the risk of offending those whose beliefs you have twisted.

    Here are the correlations I find between Twilight and Mormonism: no premarital sex, no drinking (even coffee) or swearing, overcoming natural passions, a focus on getting married (although please not that young), the importance of having kids, pro life, eternal marriage/families, and belief in the afterlife.

    • Elizabeth Says:

      Thank you counterpoint. I am LDS and I read the 1st book, but do not plan to read more or see the movies b/c I find them disturbing for the reasons you suggested.

  79. Paul Says:

    Ha Ha! Who in there right mind would teach there daughters to go out with creepy old perverts, unless you would want your daughter to go out with old guys you have no business stating such as truth. I am glad that is not a mormon teaching, because that would suck for me being a mormon boy.

  80. Mo Says:

    See, this was a great read, but that last paragraph… witchcraft… “Satanic”… biblical truth… WTF?

    Disqualified.

  81. DJ Says:

    I feel that this was fairly spot-on, as far as the Mormon beliefs. My husband and I have worked very closely with Mormons for the last several years. There is a lot of secrecy when it comes to their lives and speaking/fraternizing with those of us that are non-LDS. It is a very cult-like religion. It’s not that it doesn’t teach kindness and love, but there is a lot there that is money-driven and they definitely have a feeling that they are the only good people in the world. Once they find out that we are not LDS, their faces drop and they don’t share with us any more.

    It’s OK that anyone creates literature with their religion in the background – or even the forefront. We don’t know the author’s intentions. However, my experience with the LDS is of a need to convert as many people as possible more of a cattle call-style. Of course, there are other factions of Christianity that focus the same, but is more of a prevalent church than the LDS in Southern states.

    Because of this, I can definitely believe that it is a possibility. But, if you don’t bring this up to your children, then you really don’t have to worry about them all of a sudden converting to Mormonism. They won’t long for things of which they are unaware, right?

  82. australianteen Says:

    i’m a teenager and i read the twilight books last year. until today i had never heard of mormonism in my life. i heard someone mention today that stephenie meyer was mormish and so i looked it up, found this website and read it. i found it interesting to read, and it even made me feel slighly sick, and question whether i’d be conned or manipulated through the Twilight series into converting to mormonism. it sounds clever to make ‘connections’ between Stephenies religion and her book, but at the end of reading your post, i was also wondering what your point was? you sounded like you don’t like mormonism. you only concentrated on the ‘negative’ sides of mormonism and twilights connection to them. it seemed your problem with the book was that apparently you know some mormon people who like them and read them in church. probably my lack of understanding of what mormonism is makes me fail to realise what the problem with this is, and its possible i am oversimplyfying things or that i missed the point entirely. i think its likely that writers put some of their own beliefs and opinions into their books, but i highly doubt that stephenie, consciously or unconsciously, wrote the things in her book because they symbolised or linked to Mormonism, such as your idea of her having vampires symbolise gods. ?? if you try to, i think you can make connections between anything. and you can think, well she’s just a dumb teenager who doesn’t even use capital letters, but i read the twilight series without seeing a single hint of mormonism or promotion of, and if the mormonism aspects or promotion of are hidden so deep that the average reader doesn’t notice them, then maybe they aren’t worth talking about or aren’t there at all?

  83. Liana Says:

    Wow. You had me until “all witchcraft is satanic”.

    Maybe your next good reading spree should be on the subject of neo-paganism, because you have some serious misconceptions, sweetie.

  84. Ethan Says:

    Well, if what you claim is true then I think perhaps the LDS have a beautiful, inspiring world view. The fact that they can solidly back it up with Biblical references and early Judeo-Christian literature and tradition is all the more impressive. Who’s to say that their interpretaion of the same Bible is the wrong one? I think an eternal, righteous family like the Cullins is a noble pursuit. Go Mormons!

  85. Ethan Says:

    Why did you delete my comment? I gave a very fair follow up comment to your observation. I hope it was not because I corrected a few inaccuracies in your LDS theology, it’s important to be dealing with truths.

    Furthermore, all of this Twilight Mormon speculation is ridiculous. Obviously there are parallels. The question will be whether or not the youth of world find these teachings as offensive as anti-Mormons do.

  86. mormonteengirl Says:

    1. Mormon women can and DO marry more than one man if their husband dies. My greatgrandma married 3.
    2. Some of these things are definite stretches. Like the resurrection one. Yes we believe in resurrection, but if you have ever read the bible, so do they.
    3. No I’m terribly sorry, we are not a cult. We are open to look at any literature and anyTHING we want. Heck, I’m reading this right now.
    4. Harry Potter is not Satanic, Holy Crap, you call Mormons crazy, look at yourself! Ya sure witchcraft is, but what dumb child is going to go get involved with that. If you teach your child right, they will know right.(my own belief)
    5. C.S Lewis was indeed amazing and a great Christian writer, but I am pretty sure Stephanie Meyer is writing from her own fantasies and not purely from doctrine. Every teenage girl wants a perfect man. I’m pretty sure you do, too. And it IS possible. I’ve seen many beautiful and lasting relationships, Mormon and not. My parents for example have been together for over 27 years. My Grandparents, 60 years. So really, it isn’t a far reach to dream about. Heck, even Sarah Dessen, a teenage girl writer, who is not Mormon, has the same concepts.
    6. I would check on your Mormon knowledge before spreading false information around. Maybe you should talk to a Bishop or a missionary before making such accusations. Like saying that Mormonism is a cult! If Mormonism is a cult, then so is Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam. But they’re not, right? Then do not say that our religion is a cult. We do no outrageous worships where we summon the devil. We meet each Sunday and go to our Sunday School lessons. We go to Youth Group on Wednesdays like many other Christian sects. We have our beliefs, but so do others. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in his son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. But then again, don’t you? Before you claim to know things about the LDS church, I would advise wisdom before action.

    And I’m just 17. I do not judge you. Why must you judge me?

  87. TJCL Says:

    This Mormon sure feels silly! I watched the movie with my daughters a few months ago – twice. I remember thinking how cool it was to watch a vampire movie that wasn’t filled with violence and sex. I NEVER saw the mormonism in it. I think this blog really does some stretching to turn this series into a tool to teach Mormon doctrine. We’ve been told to write what we know – perhaps the author used some her core beliefs to create a story and why wouldn’t she? Most importantly, I haven’t seen anything that promotes the church in these books – nothing that says, “for more information on vampires and werewolves, contact the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” Why is it that so many want to demonize a church that teaches living a moral life whether you consider us Christian or not (and we are)!?! This is just continued silliness from the same ilk that boycotted the DaVinci Code – a NOVEL that may have provoked some thought. Why are so many Christians so fearful of THINKING?

  88. Olivia Says:

    This is an interesting blog post. Thank you for sharing :) ..I’ve been doing a lot of research on this subject and I can’t seem to find my answer.. I’m a teenage girl and I am stuck in the middle of the decision to continue feeding my mind with Twilight or cutting it out of my life for good.. I read the Twilight series and loved it. I saw it as a romance more than a thriller. I believed Edward was a true gentleman and Bella was admirable with her selflessness and love. Then I saw the movie and that is when I started getting really.. obsessed. The world of fantasy has always captured me. I am always wishing life could be like one of my fantasy books. It’s so much more interesting. But that’s my problem. I can’t read/watch things like Twilight without becoming obsessed. I desperately wish I could just read/watch these things in a light-hearted way, but I just can’t seem to.. My answer should be obvious now: Don’t get involved with it at all then!.. Well, it’s not as simple as that. I want to be able to read some fantasy, don’t I! But then, when I pick up my Twilight book again, I ask myself “Would God approve of Twilight and vampires?” and the answer is always “No!” .So I should get rid of my Twilight books and DVD.. But then a voice in my head says “No, no, don’t be ridiculous! It’s only fiction. It can’t harm you, silly!” And so I don’t worry about it, until I start wondering about it again… See my problem? I just can’t decide! I’m stuck. I’m stupid. I’m young. And I don’t know what to do… I’m worried that since I discovered Twilight I’ve changed. I wonder if satan has been getting to me through it. I do feel hardened and I’ve been swept even further away from God.. but I’m not sure if it’s Twilight’s fault. Before it I was drifting away from God. I’m so worried.. I am afraid of being damned to hell, yet I still do nothing about it.. I have a Bible sitting in my bookshelf getting dustier everyday. And my Twilight books sit in the same bookshelf, not getting dusty, but getting it’s pages tattered. Why can’t I fill myself up with God’s word? Yet I can pick up Twilight to read it for the dozenth time….
    I am pretty sure that most of the things I said just then didn’t even really make sense.. but it just shows how confused and messed up I am about it all….

    • eleanorhope Says:

      olivia, i do THE EXACT SAME THING. every since i’ve first started reading that dang catchy series. Preachers @ my church have been preaching about it too. i was even warned beforehand not to read it. but i did read them. when i was in the middle of the series, i was a SERIOUS Twi-hard. It made me question myself. “why am i SO obessed with this book?” the devil will use ANYTHING to pull you away from God. and i agree with janise (i think comment # 26) about how christians need to be careful when reading these series, b/c they could be sucked in. i’ve had others tell me how they stopped reading or watching twilight because they felt a bad spirit. now i’m sure stephenie was writing for pleasure, but also she was influence A LOT by music. the devil likes to use music to play with our minds & bring in spirits. for example, play a heavy metal radio station for a couple of minutes, then change to a christian radio station. feel the difference? i know I do, and i’m not just saying that b/c im Pentecostal. i FEEL a difference.i was letting it get in the way of everything, even i would DREAM about the books! i personally had to ask God to help me with my obession with this series because i was putting it above Him. God says specifically to not put anything before Him, or worship anything other then God Himself. it got to the point where i WAS “worshipping” twilight in a way. so just be careful, and ask God to help you focus on Him more. If possible, you just might have to get rid of the books. I think I’m going to do so myself.

  89. Todd Says:

    I am LDS and personally I am not supportive of Stephanie Meyers twilight series due to reasons that would surprise many non LDS people and LDS members alike. These books contain material that go against the standards and teachings of the LDS church. Whether you area a non member or member of the church, if you become familiar with the cadence of the quorum of the 12 apostles and the many talks, counsel, standards, scripturesm, teachings etc.. you will understand that the things Meyers presents are in conflict and out of harmony with the teachings of the Church. Even though many LDS mothers, daughters and even some sons have glommed onto these books assuming thier contents to be acceptable due to thier link to an LDS author, this assumption is in error. Meyers presents to the adult and youthful mind alike a highly charged sexual atmosphere between the main characters and places them at the very edge of a sexual encounter many times to provide fantasy and erotic feelings that captivate her primarily female audience. As members of the church, we dont teach our young daughters and sons that it is okay to lie to their parents, sleep with thier boyfriend in bed, passionately making out while wearing thier underwear. I dont care that they never actually follow thru to a full sexual encounter while not married, they delightfully dance along this edge and the young LDS audience who reads this material will think that perhaps they can be this strong and place themselves in these compromising situations as well. In reality — none of us is that strong. Meyers does not even attempt to put any moral context in these situations such as is done in the Bible when Potiphars wife grabs Joseph by his clothes and demands him to lie with her — in this situation he reconizes the spiritual danger and runs immediately. In Meyers books, the main characters marinate in the erotic feelings they have for each other and constantly see how close they can be tempting each other — at one point one of the main characters is actually begging the other to take her sexually. He resists (but does not run) but not because he has any moral objection to it, rather he is afraid he will kill her in the act. The idea that these books are really embraced by the LDS church is completely false, although with many poorly versed members gravitating toward this garbage and reccomending it to thier daughters I understand where people would get that impression. Many vampire movies or books have themes which one could ultimately find a number of random loose similarities to some LDS or even Christian concepts for that matter, but it is clear that this article has an axe to grind with the LDS church and is really reaching to find some correlation to these books and the doctrine of the Chruch. For those of you who arent members, trust me — even if you disagree with the LDS church’s doctrine, as a member I know this book does not reflect LDS doctrine and actually is offensive to many LDS members for its deceptively veiled counterfiet rationalization for what some think is teaching abstainence. In reality, if it has an influence it is one that is drawing youth closer to getting themselves in trouble sexually and has become light mental pornography for many adult church members who fantasize about the characters, situations and are using the material as a boost to thier personal sexual lives. –I get that most of the word does not see this as a problem, but once again if we are talking about what the Church actually teaches, it is that Married men and women practice complete fidelity and the church counsel given has been specific to include that we do not fantasize or view, or read material that is intended to or causes us to fantasize about anyone other than our spouse.

    Lastly – many LDS members are very familiar with the Mary/God conception references that were asserted. However, if you reasearch them and study them you will find that the opinions that many anti mormon authors state about it, take a fair amount of interpretive liberty in insisting that God actually had intercourse with Mary. If you read the original source of these writings, you will find that the facts of what is actually written do not say it quite like that. What is written could be embellished or stretched or imagined to have that exact meaning, but it also can simply mean that God who uses physical processes to accomplish things — physically caused Mary to become pregnant. (not necessarily by intercourse as many will naturally conclude) I think many people imagine that process of creation in Genesis as God waving his hand and things magically happening. Well maybe they seem magical in our minds, but the physical and spiritual are connected with God and one day we will understand more about the creative power of God in a different way than we do today.

    Just my two bits..

  90. Seth R. Says:

    I don’t dispute that Twilight probably has some Mormon themes. Some of them you mentioned well enough.

    Whether God had physical sex with Mary is certainly a fringe folk doctrine that, while espoused by some past LDS leaders, never really made it into mainstream belief. However, Mormonism certainly has a certain sexual energy that runs through it.

    Honestly, it’s probably because we’re not a bunch of sexually repressed Puritan leftovers like the rest of self-righteous Protestant America. We happen to think that sex is a pretty good deal. And I see no reason why we ought to apologize for that.

    And our theology about becoming divine – probably the best selling point in the entire religion. Beats out human-hating Evangelicalism any day of the week.

    So Mormon theology makes for good fiction. Is this supposed to be a criticism of Mormonism or something. Because I happen to think it’s freaking awesome.

    Now, your parting shot about us being a “cult”…

    What exactly do you mean by the word cult?

    Because in my experience the word is usually simply code for “that religion I don’t like.” It’s a word that has some technical definitions that almost nobody uses. And then it has some popular imagery associated with it that is utterly incompatible with what modern Mormonism actually is (I’m talking about the LDS Church – not the FLDS of course). It’s a word that really has no further practical use in polite society and you’d do well to stop using it.

    In the end, it’s really nothing more than name-calling.

    But if you feel our theology is really so awesome that the only way to combat it is with negative labeling and stereotypes, then I can’t help you there, I guess…

  91. Seth R. Says:

    I agree about the Harry Potter thing. You really need to get a grip and quit trying to mind-control your kids. It makes you sound like a right-wing Evangelical fundamentalist head job who is simply bitter about the Mormons encroaching on your turf with a theology that has the nerve to be better than yours.

    See, I can do unfair name-calling too. Fun being on the receiving end of it, isn’t it?

  92. r432 Says:

    The only thing I know about Mormonism is that the one of the apostles supposedly headed on over to America once Jesus was gone.

    Yep, that’s all I needed to know about Mormonism, thanks.

  93. Brian Montgomery Says:

    You are very right about the Mormon themes. Thank you for posting this blog! I have written a similar blog over this topic. Feel free to check it out here:

    http://brianmont51.wordpress.com/2009/04/27/twilight-vampire-love-story-or-lust-driven-mormonism/

  94. […] and young physical attraction.  However, upon further examination, it is laced with many, many allusions to fundamental mormon values.  These range from deification to “nuclear” family […]

  95. Cory Says:

    Genius! I’m grew up Mormon from an “elite” mormon family and this post is spot-on.
    Good work.

  96. irinity Says:

    I wonder if anybody has noticed that Stephenie Meyer has a BA degree… which means a person is supposed to have read a great of deal of books. And I think it played its role as well. Even Stephenie herself said she was fond of classical literature: Shakespeare (Romeo and J.), Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice), E. Bronte (Wuthering Heights), Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables) . All of these books were mentioned in Twilight Saga. Of course SM’s religious convictions influnced the book in a way too but it’s understandable. Like somebody here in the blog said “No artist of any faith should be expected to leave her faith at the door when approaching the art” or “An artist cannot create without their knowledge and life experience shining through”.
    I’m not a Mormon, but a Christian in the Church of Christ (ICOC) and I can definitely say that after reading the TW I’m not going to change my convictions and turn into a Mormon! Thus I do not think that SM’s mission was to convert people into her faith, I think she’s just a romantic person who likes the character of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth, Romeo, Juliet, Anne of… and she tried somehow to combine their traits into new images. I cannot deny there was everything I liked in the book, e.g. imprinting, Jacob’s phasing in front of Charlie. But there were definitely things I was impressed by: strong and deep love not selfish (Edward gave a choice to Bella in the triangle with Jackob, he didn’t say like “You are only mine, you belongs to me and you will do what I want”), Bella’s respect and care for her parents, no sex before marriage (!! because it’s such a rare thing now), I personally got married at 20 and I had clean relationship with my now husband, but I get often asked “How did u manage to survive without physical relationship during 3 years?!!!!! With God’s help everything is possible. We managed to put a very good foundation, and our love wasn’t built only on emotions, desires… But I cannot say it was an easy thing to do. Somebody here said that Bella was thinking about intimacy with E. all along – so, of course she could feel that way! We are humans and we are supposed to feel. God created those feelings, but He wants us to do it in a proper way , not to mess up with His gift. That’s why I liked Edward’s attitude to this when he insisted they start their ph.relationship only after the marriage. I didn’t see any Mormonism there (somebody pointed that out in the blog)! It’s just a good thing that I hope lots of infatuated teenagers nowdays will hopefully start cling to…

  97. Maddy Says:

    Wow, thank you for the thoughtful, insightful, well-written article. It’s good to see something that legitimately questions the Twilight books, as opposed to the normal trash – “This is stupid. Bella’s stupid, Edward’s evil, and Jacob might have been normal, except for the perverted imprinting stuff. Oh, and have I mentioned that Bella is stupid?” I immensely enjoyed Twilight for what it was – a compulsively readable book that tiptoed the line of right and wrong, life and death, love and lust, and all that good stuff. Reading your article, I agree with the parallels of Mormonism you’ve found sprinkled into the story. However, I don’t see anything wrong with Stephenie Meyer having written it. She is a Mormon; her beliefs are her own, and if they permeate her every word, her every thought, her every deed… good for her. At least she believes in SOMETHING. =]

    @DJ
    Christianity does the same thing. We’re all sheep, to be tended by the good shepherd. The desire to drag the whole world kicking and screaming to a place where they can see things your way is simply human nature, buddy. ;)

    @counterpoint
    1) He’s addicted to her blood, and he’s intrigued by the fact that he can’t read her mind.

    2) Of the many scattered points in this one, I’ll address this: There are only two mentions of imprinting being between an older man and an extremely young girl. The reason she wrote it between Quil and Claire, I believe, was intended to be a sort of foreshadowing, a way of making it slightly less bizarre and more palatable to both the characters in the book and the reader.

    3) I agree that Twilight is not necessarily clean. Bella pushes the limit of what any guy would be capable of withstanding many times over. It’s perhaps a testament to his straight-up goodness that he resists. Of course, a truly good guy would never compromise with a bad guy. The compromise goes like this: Edward’s addicted to Bella – body and blood. Bella wants to be with him forever; that means becoming a vampire. He doesn’t want to hurt her, but agrees that if she wants him to change her, she’ll have to marry him first. Then she discovers just how much he wants her body, and attempts to use that to get her way. He turns her down, again insisting on marriage. She agrees. He agrees. They agree. And then all hell breaks loose =]

    @Deborah
    Wow! I hadn’t even thought of stretching the parallels that far. Now that you mention it, I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed. It fits perfectly. Granted, you could probably shuffle the religions around a bit, and it would still be accurate – humans have this way of constantly ganging up on each other. Dunno why…

    @cyndi64
    I’m not sure how the author seemed bigoted or hateful to you; (s)he wasn’t criticizing Mormons, simply the fact that the themes appeared very strongly in the books. Some people don’t like it when strangers try to insinuate their beliefs on the impressionable minds of their sons and daughters, regardless of how good or pure or right they might be.

    @Gregoire and Laura
    I think you’re both a lil nuts. ;) Whatever happened to live and let live?! I don’t even see how either of your comments even vaguely connect with the article, except for the fact that, essentially, religion becomes a game of “My horse is bigger than your horse!” and, if we’re not all careful, we end up bashing our own beliefs.

    To people who’ve questioned the “father-daughter” themes – I believe that a true, loving relationship will involve a good measure of trust and protection from each partner. Kind of an “I’ve got your back” thing, if you will. Bella has her trust to offer to Edward, and in return, he gives her his strength. They’re not the same person, and thus, have different qualities to bring to the relationship. I don’t think this was intended to seem like SM was endorsing daddy issues, nor do I believe there is anything inherently unhealthy in their relationship. Granted, him sneaking into her room nearly every night is a little disturbing, but it can also be explained as him acclimating himself to her smell. Vampires don’t sleep, so what else would he do, anyways?

  98. leo Says:

    Thank you for your insights on Twilight’s Mormon doctrine. I couldn’t put my finger on some of the odd themes and metaphors until I saw this and it all fell into place. This is invaluable to me as we look at ways to shed light on the dark, pervasive, and insidious influence of this book on our children.

  99. kate Says:

    There is another comparison to be made – the Volturi as the “great and abominable” Catholic church versus the Cullens as the moral high-road Mormons. The Volturi wear long robes, make judgments against other vampires, have punitive practices, burn fellow vampires guilty of acting outside their rules and their leader (Aro) has a “special” guard. The Cullens are accepting, omnipotent (Edward can read minds, Alice can see the future) and exercise great self-control.

  100. Daniel Says:

    i’m just going to state the truth here, and tell all you mormons who are trying to defend yourselves, that i have never in my life met a mormon who wasn’t on an instant mission to try to convert me. so, why should anyone think that stephanie meyer’s books are any different from the constant barrage of conversion tactics. don’t try and tell me i don’t know or understand, because i’ve read your books and done a lot of discussing… with mormons, i get idea, and i realize there is no changing your mind, and you all just want to seem sweet and innocent while still making it your goal indoctrinate everything that moves.

  101. Amy Says:

    Am I the only who thinks its absolutely hilarious that you are reading books on undead characters with occult abilities, and the problem you have is that someone’s differing religion shows through?

    Do you read books on satanic characters and get disturbed that they don’t blaspheme with the right type of communion wine? hehe.

    This is so silly!

  102. tyler Says:

    really, it is irrelevant. both the book and mormonism are largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. really not enough there to really dig into either way.

  103. tyler Says:

    counterpoint. a religion is a cult as long as those not in it determine it to be one.

    cults are secretive: check one for mormonism

    cults abound in outlandish practices: check two for mormonism

    cults abound in predatory behavior of the senior members on the younger ones: check three for mormonism

    cults have a large financial component in terms of “tithing”: check four for mormonism

    cults are evangelical as all get up: check 5 for mormonism

    cults typically run into trouble with the law over their practices: check 6 for mormonism and polygamy, which is supposedly “in the past”

    cults typically have a strong patriarchal and hierarchical structure built on obedience: check 7 for mormonism.

    well, walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it probably is a sheep!

  104. Carla Says:

    I agree! These were my reasons: some similar to yours, some different:

    1. There’s this brand new awesome way of life taking hold in America and growing (just like the mormon church) in contrast to the older, corrupt tradition with its leadership in Italy (mormon perception of the Catholic Church)

    2. Eternal families – your family is the most important thing in your life. period.

    3. Marriage is forever – Bella and Edward, Carlisle and Esme, Jasper and Alice, Rosalie and Emmett: they’ll all be married forever, and their relationships are #1 in their priorities

    4. Unique dietary restrictions looked down on by others but glorified as the peak of morality by the believers

    5. Patriarchy – where is there a woman in charge? EVER?!

    6. unreasonable persecution (the mormons claim they were persecuted because of their righteousness, but it had more to do with their leaders crimes and their attitude toward non-mormons)

    7. Amerindians – they play a huge role in mormon theology

    8. Stories from the past – we hear the stories of many of the vampires’ pasts over time (reminiscent of the idea of the golden plates and their lost stories of the past)

    9. Secrecy; you have to keep the vampire world a secret (huge amount of secrecy surrounding mormon rituals and doctrines)

    any number of other similarities …

  105. Otto Fick Says:

    If you research Mormonism you soon discover it’s just as insane as $cientology and that’s really saying something. Cults Suck.

  106. Carrie Says:

    I thought this was a great analysis. Answered some questions for me that mostly started with the phrase “Why would she have made them do that?” I struggled with why the protagonist is a woman who seems to make her own choices and is in some ways a strong character, but in other ways she is completely dependant on Edward for everything…It was weird. But your thoughts are very helpful. And I greatly appreciate your last paragraph. It is not keeping kids from things that makes them good Christian kids…it is teaching them how to approach the world with a clear head and analytical mind so that they can find truth in a world filled with lies and deception. Whether you are a Christian or not you should be doing that for your kids.
    Thank so much for sharing your thoughts.

  107. Caleb Land Says:

    A couple things for my Mormon friends writing on this board:

    1) It’s perfectly fine for Meyers to write a book influenced by who she is, a devout mormon. There are parallels, even if they don’t go as deep as writetools points out.

    2) I’ll give you one clear example…values. As you’ve proved even on this message board, it’s all about morals and values…as with Edward Cullen and his family…umm coven…of vampires.

    If mormonism were just a moralist philosophy…well, fine. But it isn’t. It claims to teach truth about God (“gods,” whatever). The difference is GOSPEL. The GOOD NEWS is….you don’t have to be Edward Cullen to be saved. You can be imperfect, from a broken home, lustful, an adulterer, a liar, a sinner and be saved through the grace of God and the blood of Jesus Christ. You don’t have to perfect yourself, you can be made righteous in Christ.

    Unfortunately, Paul, from the Bible writes, “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8) And what is that gospel? Salvation by grace through faith, so that no man can boast in his works (Ephesians 2:1-10). Sorry Moroni, but it doesn’t sound good for you.

    The LDS Third Article of Faith states: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel”

    Joseph Fielding Smith explains what that last phrase means: “that which man merits through his own acts through life and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel”

    And how about this fine gem that would sound great coming from Edward Cullen’s lips:

    “Each command we obey sends us another rung up the ladder to perfected manhood and toward godhood; and every law disobeyed is a sliding toward the bottom where man merges into the brute world” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pg. 153)

    Bottom line…it’s fine for Meyer to write soft core porn for teenage girls influenced by mormon theology…this is America. But we are free to point out the mormon theology and to choose not to read it or allow our children to read it when we think it is wrong and harmful…if I had a girl she would never read trash like this!

  108. Brittany Says:

    Okay so I searched for mormons and twilight and came across this. My boyfriend’s best friend mentioned this to me…and I really flipped out on him. I grew up in the LDS church for 17 years…and then left the church. I know all the good, the bad, and the ugly. And this “theory” is incredibly INSANE. It’s just a story for god sake, not some religious revelation. People write what they know, and family is a very huge theme in the LDS church, so naturally family would play a big role. But to say that she wrote these books to lure people to join the church…is just plain ignorant. Seriously don’t you people have anything better to do with your time then find something, ANYTHING to bitch about? It’s a damn good series, end of story. It’s not some cult (which the LDS church is not a cult, if you consider it a cult you might as well throw every other church in that category as well) doctrine. I’ve heard everything from “magic underwear” to “they have 10 wives”. Most of it is all crap. Don’t talk about something you don’t know. Please. It just makes you look highly unintelligent. So the author is Mormon, big whoop. The fact that she IS Mormon is the only reason why this was every brought up. I promise you that if no one knew her religion, no one would make these comparisons.

  109. bekah Says:

    What do you mean by that Mormon’s believe that God physically impregnated Mary? That is ridiculous, especially because I have grown up learning about the “Virgin Mary” or I’ve seen plays that are sponsored by the church that emphasize the fact that Mary was truly a virgin? How can you write lies like this and still feel okay about it? Are you that ignorant? I’m sorry, I really am nice, but I get really frustrated that people are so awful about something they know hardly anything about. We don’t believe that we ourselves become like God, but we reach a state of celestial exaltation that allows us to be WITH God.

    I stress with the most importance that we are in no way or form a cult. That is one of the most lies falsely stated about our church. We are Christians, we believe in the Bible, and our official name is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter Day Saints for heaven’s sake! How much more proof do you need?

    As for the claim that you made about only certain Mormon’s being taught all the doctrine that we believe in, you are probably thinking about our temples, and the fact that only our endowed members can go into. Endowed, meaning they are worthy and have gone through certain ceremonies covenanting with our Heavenly Father. We believe that these things are too sacred, not secret. This blog is a prime example of this. Our beliefs are being torn apart and disected in false ways. If we revealed the things that we learn in the temple, the same thing would happen to them. They are way too sacred for that. All worthy, endowed members (most Mormons) can participate and learn these things.

  110. Amy Says:

    Oh come on, my point was really valid there.

  111. Emily Says:

    This seems pretty convincing. I’ve been researching Mormonism on and off for 5 or 6 years as a hobby and paragraphs 4, 7 and 8 are especially convincing. Don’t listen to those edward obsessed kids who refuse to believe the obvious.


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