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BioShock Infinite - A Mormon Perspective

Arnox

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Founder
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Now, before I start, you might be wondering what me being Mormon has anything to do with BioShock Infinite (hereon referred to as 'BI'). As you know, BI has a very prominent character called Father Comstock. And he's said in the game to be a Prophet to the people of Columbia. And of course, almost right from the get-go, he's presented as an asshole. A fake prophet.

So anyway. Having played through the entire game, and being a big believer in a religion that also follows a prophet figure, I figure this puts me in a unique position to compare and contrast this figure with actual LDS prophets and beliefs.

Now on the surface level, the LDS religion and Comstock's religion seem pretty similar. Both are American-centric. Both have prophets that can issue massive church-wide changes and can make huge announcements. But this is where the similarities quickly start to end. Perhaps the biggest difference that I'd like to address here between our religion and Comstock's religion is that in the LDS religion, we actually worship Jesus Christ and God. And nobody else. The apostles, the seventy, the prophets in our religion, all of them are but men. They may be good men. Even great men. But they are fallible. Founding fathers? All imperfect men just like you and me. Sometimes very imperfect men. I think Benjamin Franklin was a pervert just for starters.

Some outsiders think we worship Joseph Smith. This is absolutely false. It's not called The Church of Joseph Smith. It's called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jesus Christ is the absolute center of our worship. If you read the Book of Mormon, you know it says right on the cover, "Another Testament of Jesus Christ", not "Another Testament of Joseph Smith".

So back to Comstock. I particularly like, or should I say, hate it when he says this quote. "God forgives all. But I'm just a man, so I don't have to." Fuck off, Comstock. Did you even read the Bible that you tout around so much? You would never catch an LDS prophet or even a general authority saying something as utterly stupid and contradictory as that.

Once again, God and Jesus Christ are the end-all and be-all of LDS worship. We believe the prophet does indeed receive counsel on how to govern the church, but EVEN THEN, we are encouraged to pray to know the truthfulness of everything the prophet claims. And there's another huge difference between us and the Comstock religion. All of us are entitled to personal revelation. ALL OF US. (Although only for ourselves. The authority to give revelation for others is an orderly business. You should pray to personally know the truth of anything any LDS authority says is revelation.) We don't need a prophet for that.

In the LDS religion, everyone is equally valued. If our prophet is killed, we simply appoint another. And that goes for any LDS authority. We are all replaceable, authority wise. Now, there are other issues people have with us besides following prophets, but that's mostly what I wanted to address.

Now I know what the responses to this will be. "You can worship what you like as long as you're not harming anyone." Don't be like that though. Argue with me, damn it. I dare you. I'd love it. Don't be boring.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
621
I feel like this deserves a response, even though I'm not American, haven't played Bioshock (or Infinite) and doesn't follow a prophet religion.

You can worship what you like as long as you're not harming anyone. ,)

No, but seriously though. One Man's True Prophet is another Man's False Prophet. Or something.
Lets take LDS, which is a grouping name for a whole host of different beliefs which all originated from what Joseph Smith taught (which in turn is an off-shoot of Christianity..which is also an of-shoot..sooooo..) and that religion (Mormonism) is only 200 years old.
Which of all the different leaders are the actual current Mormon Prophet??

"God forgives all. But I'm just a man, so I don't have to."
Is actually a really relevant quote. If one believes that God is infallible, but man is not, doesn't that then follow that God's Plan (which is also infallible) takes into account Man's fallibility (of which He created) and sort it all out accordingly? If it does not, then God isn't infallible. Which begs the question of what makes him a God. Especially the omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent aspects. Epicurean quote away!

Also also.
You can pray (ask God for advice/help? in knowing his Will and Plan?) for a revelation as to the nature of truth regarding a statement..but not if it comes through the current prophet/priesthood (which are only men) because they do Gods Will?
What?

OKAY, There. I've argued a bit. Happy now! ^^
 

Arnox

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Vendor-Lazarus said:
Which of all the different leaders are the actual current Mormon Prophet??

"God forgives all. But I'm just a man, so I don't have to."
Is actually a really relevant quote. If one believes that God is infallible, but man is not, doesn't that then follow that God's Plan (which is also infallible) takes into account Man's fallibility (of which He created) and sort it all out accordingly? If it does not, then God isn't infallible. Which begs the question of what makes him a God. Especially the omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent aspects. Epicurean quote away!

Also also.
You can pray (ask God for advice/help? in knowing his Will and Plan?) for a revelation as to the nature of truth regarding a statement..but not if it comes through the current prophet/priesthood (which are only men) because they do Gods Will?
What?

OKAY, There. I've argued a bit. Happy now! ^^
The current true Mormon prophet is the current Mormon prophet which is currently Russel M. Nelson. Just as in old times, the Lord has called many prophets to lead his church. And we believe he will call many more.

God needs to give us agency. Without it, we could make no progress. So we would be damned if he made us follow the commandments through any means. Damned meaning, simply, to be stopped from progressing. Putting that aside, yes, he does take into account our fallibility. We all sin. Every single one of us who is not Jesus Christ has sinned and will sin. This is why the Atonement was made. So we can choose liberty and Eternal life according to the Atonement or captivity and death according to Satan and his followers.

Having said that, those who go throughout their entire lives not really knowing the truth of these things or not even knowing them at all will DEFINITELY not automatically be damned. This is why we do baptisms and confirmations for the dead. That work will continue on even after the second coming, so everyone will have a chance to hear the Gospel and make a choice.

And nope, you can and SHOULD pray as to the truth of what the prophet or the general authorities say. We're not automatons.

Not all of us anyway...
 

Vendor-Lazarus

Arch Disciple
Sanctuary legend
Messages
621
Arnox said:
Vendor-Lazarus said:
Which of all the different leaders are the actual current Mormon Prophet??
The current true Mormon prophet is the current Mormon prophet which is currently Russel M. Nelson. Just as in old times, the Lord has called many prophets to lead his church. And we believe he will call many more.
So it's not Vernon Whiting? or Warren S. Jeffs? or Lynn A. Thompson? or Stephen M. Veazey?
Or are they also True Prophets? or False ones?
 

Arnox

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Founder
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4,255
Vendor-Lazarus said:
Arnox said:
The current true Mormon prophet is the current Mormon prophet which is currently Russel M. Nelson. Just as in old times, the Lord has called many prophets to lead his church. And we believe he will call many more.
So it's not Vernon Whiting? or Warren S. Jeffs? or Lynn A. Thompson? or Stephen M. Veazey?
Or are they also True Prophets? or False ones?
You must have the clearance to be a prophet. AKA the Priesthood. That was lost long ago during the Great Apostasy when the church started to become corrupted after Christ's death and the apostles began to be hunted down one by one. This is partly why the Restoration by Joseph Smith was needed so badly.
 

PsychedelicDiamond

Outlander
Messages
18
I always had my issues with Bioshock Infinite's portrayal of Columbias religion as well, though it's of a different kind. I always felt like it shied away from actually engaging with christianity. Which is a shame because there is a lot that can and should be said about american christianity. But I'm fairly sure there's not a single cross in the game which stuck out to me like a sore thumb.

I had some of the same issues with Far Cry 5. You have those cultists that are kinda christians but also kind of a standin for ISIS and also hippies which made its actual story seem a bit muddled, thematically. And I'm not even gonna get into the ending, which is a clusterfuck inside of a clusterfuck.

It's interesting to hear a mormons perspective on it. We don't have many of those over here in Germany but I'ver heard you all are very decent people.
 

Arnox

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PsychedelicDiamond said:
It's interesting to hear a mormons perspective on it. We don't have many of those over here in Germany but I'ver heard you all are very decent people.
We really are. <3

For the most part.
 

Sonofallfather

Outlander
Messages
9
I believe we are in the middle of the second coming as we speak. The prophets are being hunted and destroyed and ive personally seen and fought evil that up until the moment it happened I would have scoffed at. I’ve layed down my life and now hope to enter the halls of Valhalla with my axe in my hand and a snarl on my mouth. May the lord allfather bless those that stand with him
 
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