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BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY
Brigham Young University is owned by the LDS Church. BYU is known as the "Zoo" and a place where young Mormons go to get married. Women are taught that the education they receive is to be used only in teaching their children and not for their own careers.
| If you are excommunicated or leave the Church as an apostate, BYU does not release your transcripts. Anyone in school at these places should not attempt to leave the Church until they have transferred to another school. This discussion has actually taken place on this board. I would get a lawyer and fight them on this, but I don't know what good it will do. My son, who has not left the church, transferred to another school before getting two years at BYU-Idaho and had no problem getting his transcript sent out. They will punish you if you become an apostate before you graduate. After you graduate there is not much they can do about it and they will send out your transcripts. Don't ever leave the Church when you are attending BYU anywhere.
| Nicole Kidman's character in the new movie "The Interpreter" is a translator at the United Nations whose fluency in an obscure foreign language uncovers an assassination plot.
The thriller, which opens today, could have added an element of credibility if Kidman's character were portrayed as a Brigham Young University graduate.
BYU is establishing itself as a major American center for language study, a goal set for the university 30 years ago by a leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns the school.
Consider: More than 25 percent of BYU's student body take language courses each semester. The national average is 8 percent.
"To go to one place and see so many people with that much language skill is unusual," said Mike Turner, a special-agent recruiter for the Drug Enforcement Agency. "It's a huge place for us to be. Students at other universities just don't seem to have the same interest in the position of special agent or the fluency in another language or languages."
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
Of course Brigham Young University is one of the leading centers for language study. The LDS Church has to get their propaganda material (read: BOM) translated into as many languages as they can. The more languages, the more potential cult members, the more possible income for the Church.
| I always get a twinge when I get my copy of the BYU Alumni magazine.
I did not like BYU as a freshman, I seemed to be acutely aware of the bubble like environment and false frontedness. I hadn't attended seminary and wasn't as conditioned as most. I didn't go back for a couple years.
When I returned as a serious married student, I felt different and really enjoyed the BYU environment. I was focused on getting my education and didn't expend a lot of energy on the religous stuff. I have a lot of good memories there.
Now as a 52 yr old adult, I find the place kind of strange overall.
Anyway Saturday I got my BYU Alumni magazine, and it is so slick, I start wondering about the dynamics of an organization based on lies that can sponsor such a wonderful institution (as I momentarily forget reality)
Then I see the picture of the ardent students in the "Spreading the Gospel" class. (pre mission conditioning). Then I see the picture of the lady professor in another religion class expounding on the depth and meaning of the "First Vision".
Reality rears its ugly head, BYU is a slickly packaged Mormon PR machine. Yes, you can get an education there, but also it is a MORG finishing school, a pre mission conditioning center (this seems especially true at Ricks), and a post mission affirmation center.
Many go, most will never recover.
| From Scroll Online, the Brigham Young University of Idaho Paper:
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
This week as I was in the testing center I was made aware of the fact that my back was exposed during my last visit. I expressed the fact that this annoyed me quite a bit, because as an endowed member of the Church I go to great lengths to always have some sort of shirt (usually white) that is longer under my top layer to be sure to keep my garments from showing.
When I stated this, I was promptly told that I need to wear a different color of t-shirt (not just white) so that no one would mistake my t-shirt for my garments.
I was also told that the only reason why they look for this is to try and stop those people who do not care about whether or not they show their garments. I do appreciate that they are trying to uphold the standards of this institution, but am I breaking the dress code for trying to cover my garments with a white t-shirt? Apparently so.
I believe that there are bigger battles to be fought on this campus than to chasten the students who are trying to live in accordance with the gospel and their temple covenants.
| A new online auction Web site, Mormonbid.com, is making its way in the business world ruled by giants like eBay, Bidville and Overstock.
According to Mormonbid.com founder Neal Randall, the new Web site is different from its big brothers because the site is reviewed intently for fraud, salacious postings and false advertising. The site also offers users a clean environment without the worries that have plagued some of the larger sites.
“I bought some DVDs on eBay, spent about $100 and they never arrived,” Randall said. “The site is so large that they cannot handle what is going on the Web site. It’s easy for people to take advantage of other people.”
He said he gave the site the name Mormonbid.com to indicate the level of honesty and trust one can experience on the site. For example, R-rated movies are generally discouraged on the site, as are games of chance, pornography and advertising that may deceive the buyer.
Yet Randall said the site is not only for Mormons but also for those who live similar to LDS lifestyle.
“We wanted a place where people could feel comfortable with who they are trading with,” he said. “We wanted a place with groups of people who would have similar standards and trust for each other. We made sure that we would not have pornographic material.”
Despite the benefits of the new Web site, some students have doubts as to whether the owner will be able to keep the image of the Web site as business increases.
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
| A handful of scholars researching the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will move to Salt Lake City after the closure of a research institute at Brigham Young University dedicated to LDS history.
BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins confirmed Monday that during a meeting Friday, academic vice president John Tanner told religion faculty members the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History would be closed.
The LDS Church issued a press release Monday saying those working on the institute's major research interest – the Joseph Smith Papers Project – will all "soon be housed together in one location at church headquarters."
"Bringing together nearly all those working on the project in a single location will enhance collaboration, increase productivity and accelerate publication of archival materials dealing with the life, mission, teachings and legacy" of LDS Church founder Joseph Smith, the statement said.
The project – which includes journals, correspondence, discourses, written histories, business and legal documents either drafted by or concerning Joseph Smith is "the most important church history project of this generation," said to Elder Marlin K. Jensen, who was recently named church historian.
He told the Deseret Morning News the change was "chiefly motivated by the importance of the Joseph Smith project and the difficulty we've experienced" advancing the work "at an acceptable pace and within acceptable cost limits."
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
| From the school of Dumb and Dumber comes:
"With so many groups in the world who have identical facts but argue opposite sides of various issues, the question “what is truth?” arises.
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
“The point is that truth is not just a set of facts,” Heaton said. “Truth has something to do with your attitudes and philosophy and the way you have of looking at the world.”
The Savior indicates in the scriptures that his children must “be of the truth” to hear His voice and follow him.
“You have to have the right attitude, value system, and be somehow ‘of the truth’ as the scripture describes, to understand truth,” he said."
| Latter-day Saints with limited knowledge about mental illness can add to the pain of those who suffer when they ascribe to several common myths.
Rick Hawks, a psychologist and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told an audience gathered Thursday at Brigham Young University that he has received criticism in the past for characterizations that some church members' insensitivity adds to the pain of those with mental disorders and their family members.
In a lecture titled "Mental Illness: How Latter-day Saints Shoot Their Wounded," was one of hundreds of presentations offered during the annual Education Week at BYU, drawing tens of thousands of people to the Provo campus. Classes concluded on Friday.
Hawks dismissed what he said are commonly held myths about the mentally ill and their families.
The first, that "if you keep the commandments, you won't have mental illness," reinforces an ancient but false belief that spirituality inoculates people against mental disorders, which in reality are physical illnesses like cancer and diabetes.
The myth goes hand in hand with the idea that "all emotional difficulties have to do with personal sin." Yet the truth is that no one is immune, including church and community leaders, he said, noting former LDS Church President Harold B. Lee suffered from depression.
"Praying, fasting, reading the scriptures and good parenting are all important, but they don't treat mental illness."
The second myth is that those who suffer simply need a "priesthood blessing" to restore proper mental function. Complex mental disorders require consultation with professionals, proper medication and lifestyle changes, he said, quoting top LDS leaders who have advocated such treatment in public settings.
While church leaders are often helpful with problems of the soul, such spiritual "shepherds are not veterinarians," he said, quoting Elder Vaughn Featherstone. Some need to realize that, Hawks said, noting he was once in a church meeting where an LDS stake president told the congregation from the pulpit that if they were taking Prozac, they should stop doing so.
Editor Note: Who let this guy talk at BYU? Now you are going to have a lot of young, confused, future tithe payers who are going to seek medical help rather than look to the church for help. But I highly doubt it. Mormon youth will continue to believe that any mental illness is a test in life and if they give in, Satan will win. And in all reality this is exactly what the Mormon Church wants because these young people will cling to Mormonism thinking it will save them.
| Brigham Young University President Cecil O. Samuelson encouraged an estimated 7,500 students to carry on the "legacy of learning" left by former Latter-day Saint prophet Joseph Smith.
"Joseph encouraged continual learning and the acquisition not only of knowledge but also wisdom," Samuelson said Tuesday during a devotional address in the Marriott Center. "His doctrine was expansive rather than restrictive."
Samuelson urged the students to follow the footsteps of the church founder as they begin the new semester, which started Monday, by appreciating lessons learned in classes and the often-difficult roads to success. The devotional was the first of the school year.
"We have the opportunity to continue the vital process of expanding our understanding and acquiring knowledge and wisdom," he said. However, that learning process isn't always easy, and just like Smith endured hardships to shape his character, so too must students be prepared for challenges and demands, Samuelson said.
The president's wife, Sharon Samuelson, also spoke of the importance of living according to the advice and counsel of church leaders.
"There always has been a need for the steady, reassuring voice of a prophet," she said, but added that just hearing is not enough. She challenged the students to take seriously their leader's counsel and to live their lives as advocates for not only their beliefs, but their school.
Editor Note: Lets follow in the footsteps of one Joseph Smith Jr... Sex with multiple partners, bigamy, adultery, pedophilia (sex with underage girls as young as 16), drinking and smoking, destroying public property (Nauvoo Press), using rocks to find non-existent buried treasure for money (Glass Looking), defrauding hundreds of people with an illegal bank (The Kirtland Bank) and the list goes on. I wonder how many students will incur BYU honor code violations for following in the footsteps of their prophet criminal.
| BYU Idaho has published a new article about Anti-Mormon Literature.
The article tells us several things that can happen to you if you read Anti-Mormon Literature:
Oh yes, and all Anti-Mormons are "misinformed" with lots of "misconceptions".
- Your spouse has the right to give you an ultimatim: Choose the Church or get out.
- You will have marriage problems.
- You will contemplate and possibly try to commit suicide several times.
I am always amazed at what Mormons teach each other. The Mormon Church is more important than anything - even your own family. I also find it suprising that Mormons just cannot fathom that they are the cause of their own problems - not the Anti-Mormon Literature.
| || Harold B. Lee Library Is Reviewing Its Current Policy - Students Will Now Be Forced To Obey Honor Code To Enter Library |
Thursday, Sep 15, 2005, at 06:55 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| The Harold B. Lee Library is reviewing a policy that allows students to receive services, whether or not they are in compliance with the Honor Code’s dress and grooming standards.
Library officials stopped enforcing the Honor Code more than a year ago, but BYU administrators were unaware of the change until last week when questioned by The Daily Universe.
Now, university and library officials say the policy may be revised and that in the future, the proper academic vice president will review Honor Code changes.
Julene Butler, associate university librarian, said, “Our prior approach [with Honor Code enforcement] is that it was something that was asked of us. It was extremely difficult to enforce and in terms of the spirit of the law, it was difficult to have students reporting on students.”
Randy Olsen, university librarian, said the library didn’t want to unjustly refuse service to alumni, non-BYU students, children of faculty or anyone else who is not obligated to abide by the code.
Also, inadequate training for employees was cited as a reason for the decision. Olsen said “there was some concern that with 400 student employees and rapid turnover, that it would be difficult to adequately train those employees" how to enforce the Honor Code.
Editor Note: So those of you attending BYU, you will soon be banned from the HBLL if you have more than one earring, or your shorts are above the knee, or your hair isn't cut appropriately. BYU is starting to crack down! Remember ... The thought police are always watching you. Jesus Christ is more concerned about the number of earrings you are wearing than he is about your desire for knowledge. Ah yes, Mormonism is always about obedience. Pay, Pray, Obey.
| || Fascinating Thread - TBM BYU Football Fans Discussing Impact Of Missions And Scouting On Success Of Sports At BYU |
Friday, Oct 7, 2005, at 07:07 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| I found some of these post quite down to earth, and others literally made me want to puke. Fun reading, though. Here's the link and a few excerpts:
"If you look at the FACTS, it is clear that as more BYU football players have chosen to serve missions during the course of their college football career, the success of the team has steadily decreased. In the past few years, the vast majority of the players have chosen to serve missions, and of course it has had a demonstrably negative impact on the team."
"please don't tell me you would rather have a winning team than for young men obey the command of god and go on a mission....are you?"
"I think there is absolutely no question that the more players that serve missions the more difficult it is to field a consistently good team. You can have seasons of success but I think it is impossible to do so consistently. There is also no question that we have seen many more players serve missions over the last fifteen-twenty years or so. The 70s and 80s saw virtually none. And Mendenhall's recruiting philosophy may see 80% or so of the recruits serve."
"I have long proposed something similar to Vincent. Create a hybrid player/missionary program. There are tons of speaking opportunities for willing athletes. I recall my sister-in law who was all-WAC in hoops speaking with Ty Detmer on occasion and the impact they had on the youth in attendance was obvious. No one can tell me that knocking on doors in a foreign country would somehow be more of a legitimate mission than working with youth and investigators in the Utah/SLC area while playing. There are dozens of creative mission opportunities for seniors - can we think outside of the box for others too? As long as we believe that a successful football team can be a vehicle for mission work then why not do things like this to strengthen both the players through service and the team by keeping some continuity? I think we are so afraid to think of different ways of doing things that we forget people have served missions in all sorts of ways throughout Church history. We are just stuck in our most recent go-at-19 end-of-story way of thinking."
"I will throw out another controversial idea while I am at it. Converts per missionary has steadily dropped for a long time now (numbers available for anyone interested) to the point of literally half of what they were several years ago. The activity rate, especially in non Utah/Idaho/Arizona locations is phenominally low. It has been estimated that there are probably 5 million active members worldwide despite our insistence on throwing out 12 million plus to keep members feeling good. My point is that perhaps the Church is not meant to fill the earth to the extent some may have been raised to think. If it is, some conversion and retention trends are going to have to seriously reverse themeselves."
"I see the key to the decline in baptisms is the Scouting Program. i served a mission more recently than many here and saw for myself that these Eagle scout types didn't have "IT" they couldn't recognize the spirit. They had no social skills and were HORRIBLE missionaires...My mission averaged one baptism per missionary per year... I baptized between 15- and 20; so that means many of the missionaries weren't doing SQUAT...why did I succeed where they failed? I grew up in a home where recognizing the spirit and gaining a personal testimony was more important that scouts or other showy things. At times my father was less active; my sister and I often were the only members of my family at church... I went on a mission prepared... Also I said "Screw that" when my Mission President came up with crazy stupid ideas ( most notable was his "NEW" first Discussion... which he wrote despite specific council in his handbook not to... I won't go into detail too much abotu how bad it was; but lets just say it involved the missionaries SINGING "joseph's first prayer" instead of reading/ quotiing the PoGP...I think too many missionaires and mission presidents are trying to PROVE the church, forgetting the divine power of the calling; and relying on the spirit...The boy scouts teaches boys to rely on practical logical solutions and man-power over the spirit...we need to teach our boys to pray; to trust in the preisthood and the Holy ghost...we grew too fast and are feeling the growing pains... our missions focus on numbers (I called these "cheese" baptisms on my mission-- they low income people who join the church because they are the missionaires fireds; but then leave as soon as they are baptised... it boosts numbers; but doens little else)we need to reevaluate what we are doing..as long as our boys are knocking on low income doors all day looking for numbers; we will continue to struggle...we need to focus on families, and find something effective for the missionaries to do all day... sure knocking doors wastes time and keeps them busy; but it isn't effective in finding quality members...I think teh first step in fixing the missionary program is establishign a spiritual young mens program similar to teh outstanding young women's program we have... look at eh drop off rate of men vs. women right after HS... boys have no foundation and leave teh churhc as soon as their parents stop making them attend..."
"I am glad to see somebody else thinking outside of the box. BTW, I would be interested in those convert per missionary numbers."
"My guess is that there are probably 3 million active members, including children. I had read somewhere that about 12% of adult members hold temple recommends. Anyway, I digress..."
"I, too, think that athletes can do tremendous "missionary work" by speaking to youth groups, representing the Church at functions, etc. Good point! Let's face it -- no one is going to take notice of BYU sports if we continue to lose all the time. I have always believed that if BYU is to undertake something, then it has a responsibility to do it at a very high level. Let's let our programs be worthy of our unique message. Right now, that isn't happening -- it's time to look at new approaches."
"And of the 25% of total church membership that is "active", 5% of them are doing 95% of the work. Which means that, in reality, there are only about 144,000 people currently on the earth who are ready to build Zion.
Wait ........... isn't that enough? We could start tomorrow!"
| || BYU To Build New Alumni And Visitor's Center - To Be Named After Gordon B. Hinckley - Students Asked To Pay Costs |
Friday, Nov 18, 2005, at 08:21 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Typical of Mormonism, place the burden of costs on the members. Regardless of how much the LDS Corporation says that tithing dollars do not go to fund things like $1.5 billion dollar shopping malls, until the LDS Corporation opens the books showing where the money came in and where it went out, it will always be assumed they are robbing the members. In this case, the LDS Corporation has shifted the entire cost of the new building onto the struggling students - and then tells them they will be blessed for it. Skip a few meals, pay a little more, pray a little harder.
From BYU NewsNet:
President Samuelson made the announcement of building a new alumni and visitor’s center. The new center will be named in honor of President Gordon B. Hinckley, and funding will come not from tithing for the building, but instead from students who want to participate through donations.
Through “Choose to Give,” students can donate to the fund, and donations from students will be matched by Ira and Mary Lou Fulton 5 to 1. President Samuelson said students who participate will have their name recognized in the building for their own families to see in the future when they visit BYU campus.
Students present gave a majority acceptance after President Samuelson extended the invitation to participate in the opportunity to honor President Hinckley.
| From the Mormon owned Deseret News:
Brigham Young University this week announced a 6.2 percent tuition hike for the 2006-07 school year for LDS students, and an even steeper hike for students who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Why would any NON Mormon want to go to BYU? BYU is not an institution of learning, it is an institution of supression. Professors such as Daniel C. Peterson purposefully withhold information to keep students from learning real truth. Women who go to BYU are told that their education is for themselves and to teach their children, and NOT for their careers. With this tuition hike up 150 percent, the school will see far less non-Mormons attending. You would think that with more non-Mormons attending, the LDS Corporation would have more potential cult members. Go figger.
The church sponsors BYU and uses tithing funds to subsidize tuition for member students.
The increase will bring the undergraduate rate for LDS students to $1,810 a semester, up $105 from the previous year.
Non-LDS students will pay 200 percent of member tuition, up from 150 percent used in previous years, bringing their tuition to $3,620 a semester. Non-LDS students now pay $2,558.
Perhaps when the LDS Corporation finishes building their $1.5 billion dollar mall, they can charge 150 percent increase to non-Mormon business owners, and 300 percent to non-Mormon business owners who will be serving alcohol.
| A BYU Devotional, of all places, is where a plural wife of Joseph Smith bore her testimony of the prophet. She lived and died a faithful Latter-Day Saint. Her personal testimony of Joseph Smith speaks volumes about the kind of man he really was: |
Excerpts from the testimony of Mary Elizabeth Lightner, Address at Brigham Young University, April 14, 1905
The words of the Prophet that had been revealed to him always have been with me from the beginning to the end of the gospel. Every principle that has been given in the Church by the prophet is true. I know whereon I stand, I know what I believe, I know what I know and I know what I testify to you is the living truth. As I expect to meet it at the bar of the eternal Jehovah, it is true. And when you stand before the bar you will know.
Joseph Smith preached polygamy and he not only preached it, but he practiced it. I am a living witness to it. It was given to him before he gave it to the Church. An angel came to him and the last time he came with a drawn sword in his hand and told Joseph if he did not go into that principle, he would slay him. Joseph said he talked to him soberly about it, and told him it was an abomination and quoted scripture to him. He said in the Book of Mormon it was an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, and they were to adhere to these things except the Lord speak.
[At age 13] I was the first being that the revelation [of plural marriage] was given to him for and I was one thousand miles away in Missouri, for we went up to Jackson County in 1831.
I was there in all the tribulations and trials. I have been in the houses that have been stoned. The rocks have been thrown criss-cross in every direction. I have seen the brethren shot and ruined for life. I saw the first martyr dead and a more heavenly corpse I never saw or expect to see on the face of the earth. His face was so happy.
I have seen our bishop tarred and feathered in the streets of Missouri. They took off his shirt and covered him with tar and then took a pillow and turned the feathers over him. I looked at him and thought if ever man was counted worthy to be a martyr, he was. His life proved it for he lived an upright and honorable life and was beloved by the prophet while he lived and after he died the prophet honored him. Two of his sisters were Joseph's wives. Emma took them by the hand and gave them to Joseph.
I asked him if Emma knew about me, and he said, "Emma thinks the world of you."
I was not sealed to him until I had a witness. I had been dreaming for a number of years I was his wife. I thought I was a great sinner. I prayed to God to take it from me for I felt it was a sin; but when Joseph sent for me he told me all of these things.
"Well," said I, "don't you think it was an angel of the devil that told you these things?" Said he, "No, it was an angel of God. God Almighty showed me the difference between an angel of light and Satan's angels. The angel came to me three times between the years of 1834 and 1842 and said I was to obey that principle or he would slay me.
"But," said he, "they called me a false and fallen prophet but I am more in favor with my God this day than I ever was in all my life before. I know that I shall be saved in the Kingdom of God. I have the oath of God upon it and God cannot lie; all that he gives me I shall take with me for I have that authority and that power conferred upon me."
Well, I talked with him for a long time and finally I told him I would never be sealed to him until I had a witness. Said he, "You shall have a witness." Said I, "If God told you that, why does he not tell me?" He asked me if I was going to be a traitor. "I have never told a mortal and shall never tell a mortal I had such a talk from a married man," said I. "Well," said he, "pray earnestly for the angel said to me you should have a witness."
Well, Brigham Young was with me. He said if I had a witness he wanted to know it. "Why should I tell you?" said I. "Well," said he, "I want to know for myself." Said he, "Do you know what Joseph said? Since we left the office the angel appeared to him and told him he was well pleased with him and that you should have a witness."
I made it a subject of prayer and I worried about it because I did not dare to speak to a living being except Brigham Young.
I went out and got between three haystacks where no one could see me. As I knelt down I thought, why not pray as Moses did? He prayed with his hands raised. When his hands were raised, Israel was victorious, but when they were not raised, the Philistines were victorious. I lifted my hands and I have heard Joseph say the angels covered their faces. I knelt down and if ever a poor mortal prayed, I did.
A few nights after that an angel of the Lord came to me and if ever a thrill went through a mortal, it went through me. I gazed upon the clothes and figure but the eyes were like lightning. They pierced me from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. I was frightened almost to death for a moment. I tried to waken my aunt, but I could not. The angel leaned over me and the light was very great, although it was night. When my aunt woke up she said she had seen a figure in white robes pass from our bed to my mother's bed and pass out of the window.
Joseph came up the next Sabbath. He said, "Have you had a witness yet?" "No." "Well," said he, "the angel expressly told me you should have." Said I, "I have not had a witness, but I have seen something I have never seen before. I saw an angel and I was frightened almost to death. I did not speak."
He studied a while and put his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands. He looked up and said, "How could you have been such a coward?" Said I, "I was weak." "Did you think to say, 'Father, help me?'" "No." "Well, if you had just said that, your mouth would have been opened for that was an angel of the living God. He came to you with more knowledge, intelligence, and light than I have ever dared to reveal."
I said, "If that was an angel of light, why did he not speak to me?" "You covered your face and for this reason the angel was insulted." Said I, "Will it ever come again?" He thought a moment and then said, "No, not the same one, but if you are faithful you shall see greater things than that."
And then he gave me three signs of what would take place in my own family, although my husband was far away from me at the time. Every word came true. I went forward and was sealed to him. Brigham Young performed the sealing, and Heber C. Kimball the blessing.
I know he had six wives and I have known some of them from childhood up. I knew he had three children. They told me. I think two are living today but they are not known as his children as they go by other names. These are things I can testify to as the living truth."
- The Testimony of Mary Elizabeth Lightner, Address at Brigham Young University, April 14, 1905, http://www.ldshistory.net/pc/merlbyu.htm
| || BYU Idaho Students Must Obtain Endorsements From Their Bishops Proving They Attended Church - Those Who Fail To Attend Receive Honor Code Violations |
Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006, at 07:51 AM
Original Author(s): Byu Lackies
Topic: BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| President David A. Bednar, during a Devotional, September 1, 1998 stated:
"The Honor Code is a lesser law preparation to enter the house of the Lord and make sacred covenants, and the dress code is a lesser law preparation for how you will dress and should act after you have entered into those covenants."
Ecclesiastical Endorsement - LDS Students:
Annually, each student planning on continuing at Brigham Young University-Idaho beyond the winter semester will be required to obtain a continuing endorsement from the bishop of the ward the student resided in during the winter semester before registering for any subsequent term or semester.
Continuing Ecclesiastical Endorsement:
Frequent absences from Sunday meetings in the student’s campus ward to attend farewells or other meetings may jeopardize the student’s attendance requirements.
Students must receive their endorsement from the Bishop of the ward they resided in during winter semester.
The more they tighten the screws, the more people will rebel.
Occasionally a bishop may feel that a student he worked with during the past semester may have moved or changed apartments to avoid completing the repentance process or to locate a different bishop who may be more sympathetic to the student's cause. In the event that this should occur or a determination is made that a specific student should only be endorsed by a specific bishop, the bishop should forward the student's name to the Dean of Students office on the appropriate form provided as soon as possible. The Deans Office will coordinate with the bishops involved and assist the student in getting to the appropriate bishop for the endorsement.
| The latest news from BYU: http://byunews.byu.edu/archive06-Mar-maxwell.aspx |
A few interesting tid-bits:
Brigham Young University’s Board of Trustees recently approved the renaming of BYU’s Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts (ISPART) to the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.
“By renaming ISPART, BYU honors the memory and life’s work of Elder Maxwell,” said BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson. “This change firmly sets the future direction of the institute, which is to promote profound scholarship supporting the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ--something Elder Maxwell cared about deeply.”
(Why would renaming ISPART in honor of N.A.M. in and of itself promote profound scholorship supporting the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ? Couldn't the gospel do that itself?)
“The scholars associated with the Maxwell Institute are honored to come under the umbrella of Elder Maxwell’s name,” Skinner added.
(What happened to that Jesus fellow?)
For more than 25 years, the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) has been conducting research and publishing books and periodicals that have both furthered scholarship and made friends for the university and the Church of Jesus Christ.
(It's all in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?!?)
| “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”–George Orwell
It was not until my third visit to the Soviet Union that I truly appreciated my years at BYU. As in Bulgaria and Romania I saw the same nameless faces of the oppressed. I could see delusional joy in a rally on May Day or in a devotional. It was all a sham. Anyone who could think knew it was all rotten but all were caught up in something larger than themselves that gave them security in belonging. The state, or in this case the religion, had done the thinking for them. A pall of depression was in each society – not material but moral and spiritual. I could see that each person had some private angst.
I would sit in the library and observe. There was a hierarchy here. Utah and Idaho Mormons were different from California or Mission Field Mormons. At the top of the pyramid were the grandchildren of the General Authorities. Who you were related to counted.
Conversation was superficial and was primarily centered around the activities of the church. The university did not have so many activities, it was more church centered. It was rare to engage anyone in a real intellectual conversation. I was finding that instead of bright, cultured, traveled and inquisitive students I found a bunch of brain-washed zombies sitting around me. Of course there were exceptions but there was such a distrust among us that we all seemed to avoid conversations that questioned anything. I had assumed coming to BYU that it would be a center of learning. On the contrary, it was a center of conformity.
I cannot say I had not been warned. A friend who was a member of the bishopric had told me that while the church was important, this was not the place to judge the church. He had the wisdom to know that the arrogance of the believers would sour anyone to the church. He was right, I just did not think of it at the time. Telephone numbers to turn in dress code violators, people who would question your faith, and hate letters to anyone who spoke out. We never knew in any gathering who we could trust. It was a horrible way to live.
In my naïve freshman way I believe that everyone was truth seeking as they had proclaimed and if I could just gain an audience that people would listen. Sure, they had not traveled as I had so if I just communicate we can clear this all up. “Clearing up” political and social misunderstandings was no different that disagreeing with the General Authorities. I was unaware that I was in a flock of sheep who were being told that the thinking had been done. I could not believe I was in a totalitarian state. My efforts against the Vietnam war were met with hate. The Democratic party on campus was becoming viewed as allied with Satan.
It was obvious I had to study this culture. I did notice that there was a hole where most universities had active pre-Columbian archeology programs. I began to see that the church history class was full of nonsense. Each time I encountered a “problem” with the history of the church I went straight to the library and studied. What fools to have put the answers in the library. (I note that some books were pulled several years after). The contradictions were glaring but no one bothered to look. The deeper I explored, the more rotten the underpinnings of the church were. When I questioned, I was shut up lest I harmed the testimony of others.
I was also learning of the culture of lying. Lying was a way of life here. Integrity was never spoken of as well as evolution. The lies being spread about the “outside world,” other faiths and the nature of other cultures was sobering. It was sometime before I met anyone with any contrary views to this reality. We were all so isolated from one another.
The stories of the BYU underground circulated. I could tell there were two levels of reality – the blissful utopia of the Lord’s university and the reality hidden from view. The curtain would sometimes blow open and you would find out about a student suicide that had been hushed up or a prank that was committed by the football players and covered up to protect the sacred team. Stories of dorm searches turning up a tea bag and any student seen at certain social spots or gatherings were in circulation. Classmates would “disappear” in those days dumped by the standards people. I awaited my turn.
There was no intellectual inquiry here, no spirit of questioning. The world was exploding outside with a new generation coming of age, experimenting and questioning the ways of their elders. These people were a collection of the intellectually dead. Not once did I see anyone stand up and say “You are wrong.” It was the curriculum of the John Birch Society and yet none of these provincials had ever seen a communist. What nature of backwater had I come to? I could see a culture of hate – they hated anything they were told to hate. In my political science classes I could once in a while glimpse some notion of diversity but not much. Even in those days Democratic Governor Rampton was still on the home team. It did get much worse.
Living off campus was the only refuge. You could think more clear and at least listen to a normal radio station or the news without someone questioning your faith or morals. I knew of the greater world out there and of plural thought. Mono-thought was just so absurd to me. I could see others biting their tongues daily and putting up with this nonsense and yet no one else would speak up. I was called into the Dean’s office, the one who enforced standards and it was suggested that I leave. I had planned to and finally fled north.
I moved to Salt Lake City and found that the University of Utah was where many of the refugees had fled. The change was incredible and even though I lost about one year I quickly made it up with classes that challenged and questioned.
I did work at a church institution, LDS hospital for a number of years. There I saw more behind the curtain. There is no covering up at a hospital. The psych ward was filled with the refuse of the society of lies. I saw people who were clinging their Books of Mormon in delusion. I wondered what the difference was here and on the streets. I saw those who had been sent home early from missions in the psych facility. Returned sister missionaries deep in crisis, elders so mixed up some did not make it through the MTC. I guess there was more honor in mental illness than coming home early.
I saw what was done to homosexuals first hand. It was barbaric in those days. Dr. Shock was attaching electrodes to genitals and claimed to cure gay people. We all knew he was nuts. The refuse of those ideas were medicated people in wards.
I began to meet polygamist families who we treated equally. I was able to learn something from them and that was that all of them are not forcing young girls into marriages as I had heard. There were many who were in fully voluntary relationships. I learned about Mormon communities we just never heard about. I saw the other side too of young girls with old men. It exists and I must say that there is some evidence that the church seems to ignore these groups.
Occasionally people would come to me with their religious problems and I would put them off. I took the position of a rabbi that unless you persist in asking I would rather not give advice. There is not really much middle ground here. Either you teach epistemology or you sit in sacrament meeting. It is a cult that lasted into the next century in isolation in the West with an absurd theology. They could reform and become mainstream but there is no desire to do so.
In the years after I loved to travel the communist world where I saw a commonality with Utah, BYU and totalitarian regimes. Corruption was the mother’s milk of the societies. “See all those cars?” a man told me in a Leningrad suburb. “They are all criminals. In our society it is mathematically impossible for those workers to have a car. They do not make enough. They all moonlight taking pay for other work or steal from their factories and sell goods. Everyone lies here.”
Your relationship with the hierarchy was everything and it is no different in Utah. Societies that routinely lie are ultimately found out. They cannot exist in the light of the democratization of information. This generation and each succeeding generation will question, will speak up a bit more than the last, and will be more tolerant of gay people and other ideas. Opening Mormonism to the world will have the opposite effect than the brethren anticipate. The world will not flock to the church, the church will change from the exposure. The church cannot continue to state that they have a number of members that they know is wrong. Lies no longer work. A society of lies will ultimately crumble. It has happened in each group of people who have claimed the absolute truth. As I learned at BYU – there is only one absolute truth and that is that there are no absolute truths.
| If you went to BYU, you had to experience the weird world of the BYU Religion Department. I doubt many of those who were there in the late 60s, or early 70s are around now, but they were well known in their day.
I can think of several names:
Richard Cowans--a blind guy, basically nice, who loved the "Doctrine and Covenants." His class was hard, given it was a two credit hour class, and no-one cared. I recall the final--it was closed book, but most of the students cheated like crazy. He was blind, and could not see the cheating. I would have felt sorry for him, but his class was ludicrous.
Reid Bankhead--Much, too much, is written about this guy. The great hater of evolution, the man who refused to look at a dinosaur fossil. He died in a whack job compound in Levan, awaiting the "Second Coming."
Chauncey Riddle--Philosophy Professor and Religion Professor. A truly pompous man, who made some weird pronouncements. My parents thought he was just short of Christ. Riddle hated "humanists" and "do-gooders," and spent his time attacking all "humanist" impulses.
Hyrum Andrus--Very popular with the fanatics. I never had him, but I did tell a girl that "Hyrum Andrus is closer to being excommunicated than I am." She snorted and scoffed. Hyrum Andrus started getting revelations for the church, and was excommunicated.
Rodney Turner--another Mormofascist. I gather he was hated and loved. The man was a bigot, and his brand of Mormonism was insufferable.
George Pace--popular beyond belief. Got in HUGE trouble with Bruce McConkie, and faded away as a force. I felt sorry for him.
Margaret McConkie Pope--the ultimate Mormofascist. She was the sister of Bruce, and the stories about her would fill volumes. She screamed about Mountain Meadows ("We do not talk about that in this church") and said that Bruce is now writing songs for Christ's Second Coming.
William Barrett--a strange little man, and a great lover of bogus LDS history. I recall his book about Mormon History, which was all bogus. I also recall him telling a class that "Chinese would not enter the Celestial Kingdom."
There were plenty more, but these are the ones I recall. Oh, the memories. What a huge waste of time all that "religion" credit was.
| From the Daily Herald:
An employee of BYU's student leadership office was fired after writing a letter to the university's student newspaper asking for more transparency in student elections.
Todd Hendricks of Spanish Fork was terminated Tuesday after he said he failed to sign an agreement allowing him to voluntarily resign
Until Tuesday, Hendricks served as an adviser of the Brigham Young University Student Association and as a student leadership coordinator. He said that on March 10, the day his letter to the Daily Universe was published, he was called into a meeting with Vernon Heperi, dean of students, and student leadership director Brent Barclay. "I was told my act was very disloyal and not helpful and that action would be taken against me."
Hendricks's letter was critical of the process of selecting a committee of 10 students to make sure candidates comply with election regulations.
| From BYU's Honor Code:
"Brigham Young University will respond to student behavior rather than to feelings or orientation. Students can be enrolled at the university and remain in good Honor Code standing if they maintain a current ecclesiastical endorsement and conduct their lives in a manner consistent with gospel principles and the Honor Code.
So much for wearing a tutu and a pink shirt on campus.
"Advocacy of a homosexual lifestyle [whether implied or explicit] or any behaviors that indicate homosexual conduct, including those not sexual in nature, are inappropriate and violate the Honor Code."
| From the Mormon owned Deseret News:
Brigham Young University police arrested 24 people, among them five current students, who participated Tuesday in a march and demonstration by a national gay-awareness group.
At the event, the group marched around the edge of campus and then staged a "die-in" on campus property near the university's main entrance, just past one of the university's icons – the sign "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve."
The students could face disciplinary action under BYU's Honor Code if university officials judge the march, organized by the group Soulforce, as advocacy of a gay lifestyle, which is contrary to the teachings of BYU's owner, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Homosexual conduct is banned by the Honor Code, but gay students can study at BYU if they avoid advocating a gay lifestyle and any behavior that indicates homosexual conduct.
| || Hinckley Building Backfire: BYU Alumni Office Employees Shocked And Surprised At The Number Of Exmormon Alums |
Wednesday, May 17, 2006, at 08:20 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| My sister, who is an administrative employee at BYU is good friends with another employee that works in the Alumni Office. Many of you are aware that BYU is pushing BIG TIME for its alumni to donate money to the new Gordon B. Hinckley alumni building.
Well, apparently the latest rounds of telemarketing to solicit money from the alumni have resulted in lots of heated arguments, hang ups and people who want no further contact from BYU. Gone are the days where BYU can take for granted that nearly all of its alumni are TBMs. Aparently the alumni office is shocked and surprised that there are so many Exmormon and/or inactive and/or otherwise generally hostile alumni directed at their alma mater and/or the Church. Yes, this has always been the case to some degree, but apprently the staff hasn't seen ANYTHING like it has experienced recently.
| My freshman year was in Helaman Halls, Hinckley Hall. We wanted hall sweat shirts made up and we came up with this logo with a buffed cougar and a hot female cougar and the slogan was, "Hinckley Hall: We've Upped Our Standards So Up Yours." Needless to say we could not get it approved. So we got another slogan passed off, but, we went ahead and printed up the original slogan.
All the guys who ordered sweat shirts were in on it but told not to wear the shirts until after the holiday break because by that time the guys on the hall counsel who made the shirts up would be gone on their missions.
The secret phrase was Santa Clause is coming tonight. All the guys new to leave their doors unlocked when they went to sleep and the shirts would be dropped off, but again, everyone was told not to wear them out until next semester.
Sure enough, the next morning in the Cannon Center 30 guys were wearing these shirts.
The higher ups went nuts. Their heads exploded. A full scale investigation. We had one resident assistant with the head resident call every single printing shop in Utah County to find out if they could find the guys responsible. Fortunately they used a printer in Salt Lake. But it was just so funny to see the McCarthy like investigation and inquiry go on. Guys being called in. Threats. Questions. Interrogations.
Bunch of whacko fascists.
I still have the sweatshirt.
| According to graduated Harvard students, undergraduates wish they could have more exposure to an "evidence-based way of thinking," which helps them “choose among alternatives, form a core philosophy and transcend opinions they arrived with, even strongly held opinions." [Prof. R. Light, Making the Most of College: students Speak Their Minds (Harvard UP, 2001)]
But at BYU, an “evidence-based way of thinking” is not only avoided but positively hindered from becoming the normal approach to university life. First of all, there are students who try their best to confine teachers to doctrinally endorsed teachings, with the ability to apply this requirement across such a broad variety of subjects that it is astonishing. Any teaching that is taken as an offense to students’ beliefs has the potential to become a threat to teachers’ jobs through the bad ratings students give them in the area of being spiritually inspiring. I’ve worked with a teacher who became extremely worried that mentioning in class that not all Native Americans are modern descendants of Lamanites might get him in trouble with students who will be offended and disagree. Introductory Biology teachers have to work out a way to reconcile evolution and the gospel, with some weird results; my teacher had powerpoints supporting what was in the book but then verbally refuted it in lectures. Teachers hint at, butworry about open discussions about ethics in comparison to the church’s stance. In the case of disagreement among students over sensitive topics like gay people and women’s roles, teachers become mediators, trying to downplay responses that don’t agree with the church’s expressed positions on the topics and noting church leaders’ superiority in such issues. When there is no dissent among students, as is much more often the case, teachers effectually become Sunday School teachers, the almost redundant vocalizer of what everyone already thinks and agrees with. Most often, though, there is no opportunity for dissent.
Indeed, most classes become effectual Sunday School classes, in which the teacher takes advantage of the trust that Mormons give so freely to authorities and lecture as if theirs is the only correct opinion in the world. They support their positions by showing how scholarship has changed over time, pointing out how ridiculous people were in the past to make mistakes like they did, and how we now have learned form our mistakes and have only correct opinions. This shared arrogance for past mistakes, eliciting chuckles from the students, disturbingly seems to add substantially to teachers’ credibility and supports the immutability of trusted authorities’ opinions. In the process, they sacrifice the framework needed to engage in the great debates and hard moral choices that have to be made in life, and encourage students to look for evidence that simply supports their certainty in opinion, rather than questioning it.
If there is a search for truth through questioning assumptions, it is carefully constructed in complete separation from the religious realm. Teachers in the history department range from refusing to “touch church history with a ten-foot pole” to criticizing and redefining some aspects of the church’s history while preserving others. One teacher’s approach involves ignoring some of the wording of the book of mormon so that it fits better with history with the justification that such “peripheral” aspects of Mormon belief should be scrutinized while central aspects, such as Joseph Smith’s prophetic-ness, should not. Scientists obviously make a practice of purposefully questioning their assumptions but confine this to subjects unrelated to faith. Basically, whenever there is a goal to establish an evidence-based learning style, it is with careful parameters that are often contradictory and cognitive-dissonace evoking. Instead of the goal to question one’s worldview, BYU students settle for questioning what they have to in order to be accepted in the scholarly realm and allow their religion to determine the rest.
While an “evidence-based way of thinking” is ideal for an educated person, the “peculiar” students at BYU are both unmotivated and unable to achieve it, a tragic failure of wasted potential.
| || BYU Professor Rick Davis "We Don't Have Blacks In This Area To Speak Of" In Describing Region's Low Welfare Rate |
Friday, Oct 27, 2006, at 08:03 AM
Original Author(s): John Miller Ap
Topic: BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| From SeattlePI.com:
An eastern Idaho history professor who appears to link what he described as his region's low welfare recipient rate with the fact that "we don't have blacks in this area to speak of" is drawing irate reaction.
Rick Davis, a professor at Mormon-owned Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg, told The Associated Press he was quoted accurately by the Internet publication salon.com in an article about Idaho conservatives.
"His statements are derogatory, discriminatory and racially based," said Mary Toy, president of the NAACP in Boise. "When you make blanket statements like that, you've got to make sure, number one, your facts are correct, and two, that you're not singling out a group of people, whether it's race-based, religious-based or politically based."
| The Church News for the week ending October 21, 2006 contains several interesting articles – one of which just set me on my ear. My eye was caught by the title – “Shared Religion Helps Couples Prevent, Resolve, and Reconcile Marital Conflict” and I was hooked. I assumed this was aimed at all those LDS couples in which one person wakes up from the coma of Mormonism and opts out – which we all are familiar with here. It ended up being worse than that.
The article is based on a recent research study conducted by BYU Family Life professor, David Dollahite, in collaboration with BYU graduate Nathanial Lambert. The study was published in the October issue of “Family Relations” – a BYU sponsored journal from the Child Development and Family Relations Department – oh, BROTHER!!!! (to read the entire journal article, go to http://familyliving.byu.edu/documents....)
The second paragraph of the glowing Church News summary states: “The take-home message here is that couples who practice their faith together are more likely to have less conflict, to reach mutually satisfying resolution if there is a conflict, and to remain committed to each other and the marriage when conflict does occur.” (as quoted by author, David Dollahite)
WOW! Now, if these research results were legitimate, that would be a fairly compelling finding worthy of national attention. I am a social scientist myself, so statements like this attract my attention. Unfortunately, reading the actual journal article leads ones to an entirely DIFFERENT conclusion.
First, the research questions that directed this study were “a.) Do highly religious couples PERCEIVE (caps mine) that their religious beliefs and practices influence conflict in their marriages? And b.) To what extent, and specifically, how does religiosity affect marital conflict?” Well… this is a bit of a horse of a different color….studying perception is not quite the same thing as studying actual fact.
So, how exactly did the illustrious BYY Family Life professor go about studying these complex and thorny questions? Well, he selected 57 “highly religious” heterosexual couples from “Abrahamic” faiths (Christian, Muslim, Jewish). These couples were predominately white, middle-aged (men - 48, women – 45), had been married an average of 21 years, had at least one teenaged child, and had high educational levels (almost all college grads or above). OK – so not exactly a representative sample. Oddly enough, the research study included NO control group against which to compare the experimental group – hmmmm - curiouser and curiouser....
The experimental design consisted solely of a self-report questionnaire with an intensive interview by the researcher. Both husband and wife were interviewed together – even though the journal article clearly stated that “many scholars advocate interviewing spouses separately to encourage greater honesty and to be sensitive to issues of GENDER AND POWER”. Apparently, this best practice was not utilized in order to “allow spouses to discuss their relationship – including conflicts – together and thus be able to remind and correct each other and complement each other’s experience” – uh, yeah...right – that’s going to happen in male dominated fundamental religions – sure thing....uh-huh!!!
So – what did this study find? Well, they logically found that deeply religious couples PERCEIVED that their shared religious beliefs helped them avoid conflict, resolve marital conflict, and even reconcile in those rare occasions when *gasp* conflict actually occurred? NO – REALLY????? These couples actually think this is true? Well, waddaya know??? What was even more interesting, the researchers sort of forgot to add the words “participants felt, or thought, or perceived, or stated” when they summarized the results – suddenly self-reported feelings and perceptions became stated as FACT!!!
WOW – I wonder why that happened?
Furthermore, guess what these 57 super religious couples said were the magical strategies for avoiding conflict, resolving conflict and reconciling after conflict had occurred???? Wait for it – here it comes – it is an amazing super secret answer....
The answer is ----- prayer, studying scripture and attending church.
Uh, oh – OK….. Jeez! How come I didn’t think of this???
Of course, the fatal flaw in this so called “research” is completely obvious to anyone with a semester of research methods training - thereis a HUGE difference between fact and perception. What someone thinks or feels is NOT the same as what is fact – what is real – what is objective truth that can be proved, measured, quantified, substantiated! Well, except in the Mormon Church, that is. In Mormonism what someone feels always seems to trump what is fact. Fine for a religion – not so good when it comes to research in the social sciences!!!! This type of bilge would be summarily dismissed by any legitimate journal in which articles are submitted to real-life peer review.
The best part is that at the very end of the Church News article, Brother Dollahite gushes, “The teachings of the Prophet are true”.
Ah, yes – academic rigor at its best.
Four benchmarks can help church members know whether their personal faith in Christ is being made perfect by their works, said Bishop Keith B. McMullin, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, at Sunday's CES fireside, (Nov. 5, 2006).
This stereotypical bishop tells the zoobie students how to measure their FAITH.
Choices, Devotion, OBEDIENCE, and service.
Lo and behold, his example about choices, is about overcoming PORN
PORN PORN PORN PORN PORN PORN PORN PORN PORN
Why is it the topic of choice for mormon leaders? C'mon the mayor of Clearfield downloaded tons of PORN and he was still able to function as not only the mayor(albeit mayor of the GI town Clearfield) BUT, he was able to be a stake prez...
IF there was PORN back in 1830 this discussion board would not exist as old Joe would have just grabbed him some porn and relieved his sexual tensions with Rosie Palm instead of Fanny Alger.
He then relates a story that makes no sense and relates to faith in christ in no way shape or form... First it happened in 1856, so its REAL current, next it is about a child who gets lost from the handcart company his family is walking with. He implies the mother stayed awake for six days until her child was found. WTF? Like other parents of other faiths, even atheists, would not do that?
Run! He's got the marriage obedience sledge hammer out and looking to bust some knee caps.
He rags on young people who are destined to follow the path of Sherri Dew, the most famous old maid in mormonism, and possibly the most successful. So whats wrong with that? They sure do put her up on a pedestal, yet she never married(her fiancée ended up GAY) and therefore abandoned the spirits in heaven she was to provide tabernacles of clay..
He tells the young twenty-somethings to stop "hanging out" and even though they cannot afford to get married, he's certain through their obedience to mormon leadership, if they will get married poor, they WILL BE HAPPY bringing children into poverty. WTF?
CAN someone look up the history of this pious puke? From the looks of his bald geekieness, I bet he had a tough time snagging a bride..
Since this is one of his measures of Faith in Christ, you'd assume he was talking about serving others less fortunate than yourself?
NOPE! He's talking about service as in attendance at LDS CHURCH SERVICE(s), e.g. being an active mormon. WTF? What about service to your fellow human?
"Unchecked by faith in Christ as the redeemer of mankind, this secular or natural world produces men and women who are proud, obsessed with self, overly competitive, reactionary, fiercely independent, driven by desires, appetites and worldly acclaim"
Huh, sounds like Sherri Dew: http://www.deseretmorningnews.com/dn/...
There ya have it!
Stop bopping the baloney, be so devoted to no masturbating that you will end up getting married so that you can have your new bride use her vagina to work the semen out of you in a proper manner, into her fertile womb, thereby producing future tithe payers. Lastly get your ass back in the mormon pew.
| Last week I slipped behind the Zion Curtain, (used a back road,) to attend a NSTA science convention in SLC, UT. Held at the Salt Palace, presenters from all over the US were there. I had intended not to attend a BYU presentation on “Evolution” figuring it would be Adam and Eve and 7,000-year-old stuff. But, out of curiosity I walked in late from another presentation to see some thing I never thought I would. There was this BYU professor right up in front of god, a large crowd and everybody, teaching man from monkey- evolution straight up. We were only two blocks away from the COB. I half expected exCIA security types to be recording from the shadows this blasphemy for use at his tribunal. He had set up on the audience tables about 6 or 8 complete sets of the standard plastic early human evolution skulls that are used by the rest of the world to show our primate heritage and he was talking through some finer points of human evolutionary biology. I was stunned.
After the session and the crowd had dispersed some, I talked to him and mentioned I was surprised to see him teaching human evolution so openly considering that BYU was not known for it’s academic freedom. He said that he had worked at BYU for over 30 years and had been called in a number of times- like recently when he had debated on radio a creationist and BYU felt he was crossing the line because people might have considered his defense of evolution to be an official church position. He did mentioned once a GA had called him on his open teaching but it seems he has continued to teach real science anyway. (How did he escape the September 7?) He had written a small book (that he was not selling) from which he quoted to the small after crowd that had gathered, what he considered the official church position. A verse from genesis and a statement that man was made in gods image. He concluded this did not exclude evolution.
My question to him was how could he reconcile this with the fact that on the other side of BYU campus from him religion professors were teaching the earth was 7,000 years old and we most certainly did not come from monkeys. And back in the 30s, 40’s and 50’s the Church was pounding the pulpit with the same message that creationists are spouting today. He suggested that the church had in the early 1900’s accidentally “ painted its self into a corner and had been trying to get out ever since”. (Not very hard, I thought).
He mentioned that things were improving and recounted how in years past he could hardly sit through a BYU faculty meeting with out someone getting up and tearfully bearing their testimony and saying how they needed to get rid of those atheist scientists on campus who were teaching evolution. But now if something like that were to happen in a faculty meeting, they would be considered out of line. I guess that is progress.
One of his disciples (if vigorous head nodding makes one such) volunteered “some people have left the church over evolution when they didn’t even need to. But that wasn’t the real reason they left…” (Of course not… they must have sinned).
I was thinking yes, that was actually one of the reasons I left, and he was right it wasn’t the only reason. I left because I expected god’s one true church would be correct about how the world worked. They’d be social moral front runners. They’d be right often and right first. Not bring up the rear on science or civil rights. I left because god’s one true church would not do any back peddling on new world archeology or genetics to try and keep afloat their most sacred sinking Book of Mormon. There’d be no back peddling excuses for past prophet’s contractions to modern teachings, the shear volume of which makes it obvious these men were simply wrong. Wrong way too much and way too often to use the excuse “Oh we have to remember they were just human ” I left because their “new revelation” does not look like new knowledge, but simply a reluctant caving in on past doctrine as they drag their feet on issues in which you’d think gods true church would lead….
I applaud the BYU professor for teaching human evolution as he does. To the official Church Secret Service assigned to lurk on our board: I am sure the church knows who he is already, no need to return and report. But I don’t want to send any more grief his way. So I won’t mention his name. I suspect he is left alone because BYU could lose accreditation if they fired him just for teaching accepted science. Besides they might need him some day. The church has been officially quiet on evolution for years, knowing that to take any stance would drive a wedge in the church. But someday in the future when my mother’s young earth generation has died off, the church will spin a twist and let it appear as if they had always allowed people to believe either way, much like the Catholics have done. And this guy will be the shinning proof. But it is way too early for them to embrace evolution right now, even my uber-TBM Mom could not handle that. Meanwhile, in spite of a few brave souls, the predominant perception in thechurch is still a straight reject of evolution. This causes a leak- a moderate but significant intellectual mind drain from church membership which might other wise have stayed in the fold. So they are stuck, they are damned if they do …damned if they don’t. Just plain damned in so many ways.
I am safely home from the conference now. Park City where I stayed with my son, is a breath of fresh air. I can’t see anywhere else in Utah I would move to on purpose. I loved the Blue Boutique bill board on I-15. You can get CTL rings there by the way and there is soft porn in the back room. Downtown Sugarhouse. Ok, maybe I could live in Sugarhouse.
There must be people out there who have taken this guy’s YBU classes. Anyone get it straight up at god’s own university? How many are still hearing the 7,000-year-old earth doctrine from religion professors?
| From the Huffington Post:
The campus of Brigham Young University was electric with controversy today as it was the site of two protests surrounding Dick Cheney's upcoming visit to speak at their commencement ceremony.
On one end of campus were the "anti-Cheney" demonstrators sponsored by the BYU Democrats. Between 100 and 200 strong at any given time, students and faculty members raised signs displaying their distaste for the policies espoused by Dick Cheney such as war profiteering, torture, preemptive war, lying, using the "f-word", lying, etc.
BYU had "given them permission" to voice their opinions. Well, not really "voice" their opinions, BYU said they could sit down on some side walks and hold up signs, just not shout chants or yell anything. And they only had until 1:00pm to do it. Having received permission to protest, the ecstatic students remained peaceful and sat inside BYU's designated "free speech" zone in the middle of campus. Over the entire three hour demonstration it was estimated that 700-800 faculty and students were able to participate.
As soon as 1:00 hit and the time for free speech expired, after an impromptu performance of the Star Spangled Banner by the BYU Democrats, men from BYU dressed in suits and sunglasses with Secret Service-style earpieces roughly rounded up all of the signage and banners. "You'll be able to use it all again. We're just going to keep it for you. So you don't carry it around campus, we'll take it to a safe place until the next designated protest."
It was like Daddy deciding that the kids had had enough play time and was taking their toys away.
Students we spoke to, on camera, were understandably livid. "I'm a student, but I'm not with the Democrats and that sign is my personal property," a disconcerted student told us, "What they're saying is they don't want any disruptions on campus and 'free speech time' is over until they say so."
| For those of you who read my response to "who attended the alternative ceremony" - you know that my daughter and I did. I loved it - so much passion, so much creative energy. It reminded me for just a second of the positive side of the 60's anti-war movement. I remembered feeling the passion and excitement of believing we could change the world for the better.
Yesterday I went to her convocation at the Marriot where she received her empty folder that will hold her diploma when it arrives.
driving into Utah County - I noticed for the first time the emphasis everywhere on family -
One billboard said - "you have two toddlers and are expecting twins" and then proceeded to sell the new and growing family something that new and growing families apparently need.
Getting to the campus I was surrounded with families everywhere. It appeared that almost every graduating sutdent was married and had a toddler or two in hand.
When we sat down we were surrounded with families - large one - the siblings and parents of the grad and all the sibling's children - were apparent.
As a graduate would "walk" - the announcer would say something like - Sally Jones is walking with her husband. Or Jim Jones (yes on purpose) is walking with his wife - Judith. sometimes they would say - Ellie Smith is the 11 child in her family. Or Spencer Kimball Williams is the son of (insert some GA, President of BYU Hawaii, etc).
Family and church hierarchy - over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over . . . .
My daughter (you give them a card with your name on it when you approach the stand) had them announce - Michelle Ross the Fourth - so cute and just a little rebellious. But still - just because she is graduating with a 3.8 GPA, got accepted into a very competitive MBA program,has a mother that figured out how to support four children and did a great job at it - with one masters degree and two graduate certificates - who started and manages a Research Center at a University Research One Facility - none of that is noteworthy. (I realize that many of the graduates have amazing accomplishments and stories - my point is that is not what was focused on - only - were they married, did they come from a large family, and was their father some GA person.)
My little family certainly did not fit. My youngest (boy)has chin length hair, his girlfriend was not dressed as if she wore garments, I had on a sleeveless turtleneck under a sheer jacket, and BtC came directly from a day of play in jeans and a T-Shirt.
I tried to remember 29 years ago when I graduated at the young age of 20. I was pregnant when I got my diploma and most of my friends were married and also pregnant. Over the next couple of years we all added to our brood. By the time my husband finished his masters - we had two children. Our ceremonies were full of siblings, children, and Mormon sureness.
But I can't remember how it felt to be Mormon anymore. I could remember thinking that I was going to change the world for Mormonism (had given up the ole hippie life - but not the youthful, unrealistic passion). but I can't find the feelings anymore - I can't relate.
One thing you all might find interesting - is the Dean admonished them all to pay their tithing. That cracked me up - we are at a graduation and we get a tithing talk.
Well - Michelle has graduated. She is off this morning to Alaska to work and then will go to Bradeis in the fall. I will drive out East with my amazing, talented, beautiful, smart, and driven daughter (so proud).
I hope she dances.
It was Eric Bybee - one of the 25 students who planned the event and one of the speakers. He said no one in Provo would rent them space for the commencement ceremony and that the 1000 students who signed a petition protesting Cheney as commencement speaker were put on a no-hire list and that list was given to businesses in Provo.
| From The Huffington Post:
The madness continues in Provo, Utah.
Last week, news broke that Provo School District had blacklisted students searching for a venue to hold their alternative commencement ceremony (in case you haven't been following this story, Dick Cheney was invited by BYU to speak at the official commencement).
Students had been promised a venue at a local school before a memo was sent out to all principals telling them to turn the students down.
School District spokesman Greg Hudnall described the ceremony as a "protest" and said it would be "disruptive to the learning process."
As one of the organizers of the alternative commencement, I was subsequently called by a member of the Provo School Board (who wished to remain anonymous), saying that she was familiar with the language of the building rental policy and it was clearly being violated. In other words, students were being denied a venue for reasons against their own policy.
Now BYU Alternative Commencement has received an email from a local businesswoman named Denise Harman, who claims that all BYU students participating in activities against Dick Cheney are being tracked by local businesses. "Many businesses are noting the names involved," she says.
Why are business tracking the names of soon to be graduating students? "You are being tagged as trouble makers and added to massive 'Do Not Hire' lists," says Denise Harman, who hires hundreds of graduates every year.
She adds curtly, "Just thought you should know that activities have consequences."
For more on the events surrounding the BYU/Dick Cheney controversy, visit http://www.byualternativecommencement....
UPDATE: I have just been called by BellSouth and informed that the woman who sent the email threatening to not hire BYU graduates protesting Dick Cheney DOES NOT work there. The woman claimed in her email to hire hundreds of graduates every year and her email included the bellsouth name, but apparently this was her provider, not her employer. I apologize for the confusion and ask that no more complaints be sent to BellSouth since they apparently have nothing to do with this. Thanks.
| Several years ago I was a BYU student, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. At one point during my years there I became suicidally depressed, and after all of my blessings, prayers, and attempts to be "righteous" failed, I attempted suicide. I spent a week in the hospital, after which my mother accompanied me home to my BYU approved apartment. Having just experienced the worst hell I could ever imagine, and thinking things could only get better from there, I was shocked at what came next.
Before I had even left the hospital, the Honor Code Office had contacted each of my roommates individually (none of whom, by the way, were BYU students), and asked them detailed and personal questions about me. They launched an investigation, and I was summoned to their office like a criminal. I had no idea that attempting suicide was considered an Honor Code offense. I can't describe to you the feelings of panic, betrayal, shock, and downright anger I felt towards the Honor Code Office, BYU, and the Church.
Their involvement was wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to begin. First of all, how did they find out about my situation in the first place? Psychiatric patients are afforded the same right to privacy as any other kind of patient. That means someone broke confidentiality to snitch on me to the Honor Code Office. Who would do that? When I actually met with the Honor Code Office representative, I was shocked. She demanded that I sign a release allowing the office total access to my treatment records, and allowing them permission to speak with my psychiatrist and therapist about my treatment. I was threatened with expulsion if I refused. Since when does the Honor Code Office have any legal right to my legally protected medical records?
I was a very fragile and sick young woman, and the invasive, violating investigation pursued against me by the Office drove me to the brink of a second suicide attempt. I needed help, compassion, and treatment. Instead I was treated like a dirty criminal unworthy of studying at God's great university.
I have never written about this before, but a few days ago in the mail I received a survey from the Honor Code Office requesting information from those who had had "dealings" with them in the past few years. Even now, several years after leaving the church and BYU, that questionnaire made me feel like a dirty sinner, even though all I was guilty of was having a psychiatric disorder.
One question on the survey asks if the "guidance" provided by the Honor Code Office strengthened your relationship with Jesus Christ. No, you bastards, it didn't. It nearly cost me my life.
| I was never very TBM anyway. I was the one at the stake dances that had the scandalous clothes on, or the one in class who would tell the teacher that it was wrong to befriend only members of the church.
I was my Beehive president, and in the Miamaid presidency, but once I got to Laurels, the leaders had learned not to ask me to be an example.
Once I went to college, it actually was my choice whether or not to go to church. My first year I went to Weber, and rarely (if ever) went to church. I had few mormon friends, and I usually convinced them to not go to church with me. We would do something else, something fun.
Then I went to BYU where everyone in my apartment was TBM. I lived in an apt with 6 other girls, and had to share a room with one of them (she would ask me to turn off my music if the lyrics were offensive). There was always religious iconography on the walls, and religious programming on the television.
My first hint that something was REALLY wrong was my first Tuesday on campus. At 11, everything was shut down for devotional, so I thought I'd go too. I had no friends, and so was all alone as I started towards the Marriott Center. That didn't last long, as I was joined by this tide of humanity walking north from the humanities building. Everyone was being reverent, or at least silent. It was the creepiest thing I have ever experienced in my life. I felt like cattle, like a part of this mindless herding to listen to more mindlessness. I never went to another devotional.
I hated religion classes. The teachers were pompous and uncaring, and the subject matter was ridiculous. I took one of the DandC courses because I had to, and I was bored to tears and more than a little scared. It was things that I had never heard of before and awful to read (I thought the BOM class was bad). The only classes I enjoyed were my bible ones, and that because we could actually look at historical sites and tie it to ancient history. No doing that with the fiction in the BOM.
I didn't get on with anyone from BYU. My roommates were scared of me, and I learned early on not to go to my student ward. My first few months there, I kind of did, but it was the least spiritual experience of my life. I attended at one of the buildings on campus, and our bishop was always telling us to get married and the girls shouldn't say no to dates. Then, my bishop threatened to pull ecclesiastical endorsement because I wasn't going enough. So I transferred my records up to my brother's Salt Lake ward (which I also didn't attend very much).
The boys at BYU were beyond awful. I didn't date. I refused to date pompous sexist bastards who thought I should cow at their priesthood authority and listen to every word they said. I was told that I wasn't submissive enough, wasn't quiet enough, wasn't meek enough. You are damn well right I'm not!
Occasionally some well meaning soul would try to take me aside and tell me how I could make myself more marketable in the marriage field. Be quieter, and don't disagree so much was the general consensus of how to fix me. I made it clear that I had no desire to get married or be marketable in any way. So I was a feminazi to all that knew me.
It wasn't all bad. I read all day everyday. I occasionally wondered if I was going crazy. I studied a lot. I wrote some. I worked all the time. I always had lunch on campus, usually getting a soup in a loaf. Those things were good.
I heard in church all my life how the world would be such a great place if everyone were a mormon, and how great the millennium would be. At BYU, I saw what the world would be like, and I didn't like it. I thought it was an awful way to live.
Anyway, so two years after graduating from BYU, I intellectually found out what I had emotionally known all along: the church is a crock, and no place for me. Thank god!
| There is an interesting story developing about BYU being placed on probation for recruiting violations for the men’s volleyball team.
You can read the story here:
Many of you exmo’s who will read this are probably going to react that “Told you, BYU does bad stuff too” or “Ha–this will show TBMs that their gloried BYU aint so spanking clean”.
TBMs will respond that the findings of the NCAA aren’t that egregious and that this is no big deal–no real sanctions were imposed.
But there is a more subtle and ugly story hear. One that involves the ruining of a good person’s lively hood and reputation for the purpose of saving God’s University from a little tarnish or smear in its athletic program.
The violations leading to the probation aren’t the “here’s a convertible”, game fixing or “let’s have someone take that test for you” violations that normally plague athletic programs. Instead, the NCAA cited BYU and its then volleyball coach for “failing to monitor” things which resulted in technical violations of NCAA rules. No unethical behavior or intent to cheat was found on the part of the coach. Simply there was a failure to oversee things.
If you read the NCAA report and the coach’s response, you are left wondering–wow–the NCAA rules can get kind of technical. I can see how compliance is difficult, but perhaps alone not a justification for a failure to comply. On the other hand, where you had defectors from Cuba who were out of place in the U.S and they were receiving the kind of human help you’d hope people (and church members) would give to people doing something as brave as defecting from the Cuban national volleyball team, (such as English lessons paid for by a player’s mother, a ride from the airport, crashing on a couch, and a job that paid $2 more than an alleged “nominal wage”) you are left wondering--are these really the kinds of violations you need to ruin someone’s career over. Clearly, this wasn’t your run of the mill “program-gone-wild” like SMU in days past.
The defecting cubans also joined the church supposedly. The one who actually ended up playing at BYU had a big write up in the BYU paper a few years back about how brave his whole story was (fleeing the National Team and his family) and how it all lead to him joining the church. If members of the BYU volleyball community helped along the way, is that really such a bad thing from BYU's perspective?
Nonetheless, BYU felt the need to ruin somebody so–they forced the then volleyball coach to resign and built their case to present to the NCAA around the notion that all blame should be placed on the Coach. A scapegoat had been found.
It appears that the former Coach was quite a contributor and loyal devotee of BYU. From Orem, the former Coach, Tom Peterson, has been involved in BYU volleyball since day one. A graduate of BYU, coaching the club team way back when to lay a foundation for its sanctioning by the school and future success, coaching the women’s team, before leaving to Penn State where he lead State to the first National Championship by a non-west coast team. He later returned to BYU as head coach to lead BYU to a National Championship also. With Peterson’s talent, he probably could have gone other places besides BYU, but he apparantly always wanted to be apart of BYU. (See bio at http://utahstateaggies.cstv.com/sport...)
It is probably no surprise to most of us here that an institution like the Church/BYU would behave this way. Despite the somewhat benign nature of the infractions and Peterson's deep commitment to BYU volleyball and his 27 years of untarnished compliance with NCAA rules, BYU felt the need to turn their back on him the moment it looked as though something negative might come out about the School–and as soon as BYU probably saw the PR/legal advantage of distancing itself quickly from the coach via the forced resignation in a late night meeting. Prudent maneuvering to woo the NCAA and its review committe (representing another, very similar organized institution--the NCAA--that says it promotes high ideals, like BYU but at the end of the day, is highly motivated by the $$$ in college athletics).
How many of us have had the same experience? Years of loyalty and service to the Church, dedication, and trust that the institution will look out for you only to be blindsided when things get just a little rough, you realize that the church isn’t in it with you. You are really on your own. Disposable at a whim to promote the larger, glorious mission of the Church.
I feel sorry when people get trapped in in these kinds of games. Sure, this kind of politicing and scapegoating happens everywhere–big institutions, other churches, etc, and we are all grown ups in a tough world. But for members of the church I'm just a little more sensative. They give the church a trust and commitment that you don’t give to others not really knowing that, in reality, the Church sees you as disposable if needed despite the commitment you've made to it. Such loyalty and belief is clearly ill advised. But I once felt that way too, so I understand how gut wrenching it can be when it is all shattered, not to mention the financial impact of a lost job.
There were probably other issues at play here too that might color this story by way of speculation. How would BYU be seen by Cuba if it were known that defectors from its prominent national volleyball team were given safe haven at BYU? Would they let the missionaries in once Castro kicks the bucket?
Who really knows what motives Church/BYU administrators judgement. I'm just glad I'm out of the line of fire now.
The BYU Coach who was forced to resign made a press release about the decision here:
The NCAA report is on their web site at NCAA.org
| The Deseret Morning News (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,...) reports today that BYU student Nathan Langford was threatened with a police citation for singing between his classes.
A “self-proclaimed fantasy geek,” Langford dressed in a Hobbit-like cloak and often sang folk songs outside the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on campus. But such outbursts of nonconformity are not appreciated at the Lord’s university.
“Officers confronted Langford in response to several reports of suspicious activity, said BYU Police Lt. Arnold Lemmon. Callers were concerned about the singer’s mental health.
This reminds me of chanson’s run-in with University Standards for her unusual hairstyle (http://lfab-uvm.blogspot.com/2008/03/...). One thing BYU students are good at is policing the actions and behavior of other students. In fact, they are encouraged to do so. Many of my friends have had to report to the standards office (read: Honor Code enforcement) because someone reported them for some sort of violation, whether substance-abuse-related or merely their not wearing socks (I’m not kidding). The sad thing is that often my friends were not guilty of these infractions, but someone reported them out of spite, apparently.
“‘In today’s world, we can’t just blow off people saying there’s something going on here,’ he said. ‘For us the bottom line was his peers were concerned about his behavior.’”
It’s not surprising that this kind of superficial judgmentalism thrives in a religion that cares about whether its bishops have facial hair or its fair young women have more than one hole in each ear. Apostle David Bednar went so far as to suggest that you could tell how faithful a girl is in following the prophet by her willingness to remove superfluous earrings. The scriptures tell us that God looks on the heart, but Mormonism looks on the beard and the skirt length.
As for poor Mr. Langford, he’s learned his lesson. He’s through singing: “Yeah, hello,” he said. “Like going against authority really isn’t my thing.” Of course not. If it were, he wouldn’t be at BYU
| The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at BYU, by Bryan Waterman and Brian Kagel, Signature Books, 1998, 474 pages.
Most universities experience tense relationships among students, faculty, and administrators. Many schools welcome this conflict as an integral part of university life. Not so at Brigham Young University. The school's policies are approved by BYU's board of trustees, a panel that includes the president and other high-ranking officials of the school's sponsoring organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – men revered as prophets by church members (commonly known as LDS or Mormons).
How do students challenge the status quo in an environment shaped by their religious leaders? People who have grown up in the church are familiar with this statement from The Doctrine and Covenants, a standard Mormon book of scripture: "The glory of God is intelligence." The church encourages gaining knowledge, including spiritual knowledge attained through personal revelation. Thus many students arrive at BYU already thinking for themselves, only to encounter BYU's stifling policies on dissent and the expression of unorthodox opinions.
The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at BYU offers a history of Mormon attitudes toward education, using BYU's past few decades as a case study. It traces the development of the school's positions on feminism, evolution, student appearance, the school newspaper, and other turbulent topics.
This book particularly interests me because several chapters focus on controversies that took place while I attended BYU, during the 1990-91 school year and again from 1994 through 1997. These include the firings of feminist English professors Cecelia Konchar Farr and Gail Turley Houston and anthropology professor David Knowlton, as well as the investigation and subsequent resignation of English teacher Brian Evenson.
Surrounding these high-profile dismissals were cases of censorship of the official student newspaper, The Daily Universe, and investigations of contributors to the unofficial, off-campus student newspaper, The Student Review. The Lord's University authors Bryan Waterman and Brian Kagel are particularly qualified to document conflict surrounding BYU's student media because they served as editors of the Review and the Universe, respectively.
I also worked for both of these papers in a variety of positions – the Review during my freshman year, 1990-91, and again in late 1996, and the Universe from 1994 through 1996. Despite my involvement in student journalism, I was unable to stand firmly on any side of the academic freedom controversies erupting around me. As an ardent supporter of the First Amendment and John Stuart Mill's concept of the marketplace of ideas, I favored free speech and the unrestricted flow of ideas, even though I often disagreed with some of the professors who were fired or were under investigation. On one hand, I didn't agree with the university's actions in firing and intimidating these teachers. But on the other hand, I believed private organizations have a fundamental right to hire or fire whoever they want, for any reason, whether the law allows them to or not. This put me in the awkward position of defending both the intellectual freedom of professors whose views I disagreed with, and the university's right to fire them,even though I disagreed with the university's doing so.
Waterman and Kagel begin their book with historical chapters on Mormon education, the development of feminism at BYU, the evolution of the student newspapers, and the student dress and grooming standards, providing essential background information for understanding later controversies at BYU. They point out that Mormon education is based on the church's rejection of Protestant authority in the 19th century, setting itself "in opposition to 'the world' in education, theology, government, economics, and eventually marriage patterns – and [this] opposition implied a Mormon superiority. . . . At the same time, however, Mormonism – and especially its founder Joseph Smith – yearned for recognition and legitimation from the very culture it so fiercely opposed." Waterman and Kagel view subsequent decades of BYU policy through this lens, portraying a university that "on one hand . . . pined for the approval of the American mainstream; on the other, it wants to maintain that legitimacy while preserving the authority ofchurch leaders to maintain doctrinal purity."
This dichotomy is evident to students, who follow a set of dress and grooming standards primarily left over from the 1950s. As political unrest escalated throughout the 1960s, BYU's president, Ernest Wilkinson, gradually developed an appearance code that first discouraged, then forbade, long hair and beards for men, and short skirts, pants and the "no-bra look" for women. Wilkinson had a set idea of what he didn't want at the school. "Certain kinds of people who seemed to be oddballs and had no regard for the culture or responsibilities of a civilized people were first characterized as 'deadbeats' and are now referred to as 'beatniks.' There is no place at BYU for the grimy, sandaled, tight-fitted, ragged-levi beatnik. If any appear on campus, we intend to 'tick them off.'" Wilkinson also told students "we want no 'go-go girls' nor their pseudo-sophisticated friends, nor will we tolerate any 'surfers.'"
The authors note Wilkinson's evident anti-California cultural bias "that probably reflected the increase at BYU of California students (no doubt too highly represented, in Wilkinson's view, among troublemakers) as well as the increasingly notorious activities of Berkeley students." BYU sought to avoid even the appearance of political dissent.
BYU's appearance standards have changed over the years. Women were allowed to wear pants in recreational areas beginning in 1967, and universally in 1971, although denim privileges were still several years away. Perhaps they changed because so many students ignored them: "A BYU Survey Research Center study conducted in March  revealed that almost 40 percent of the students violated dress and grooming standards in some way, and that over 85 percent of that group did so knowingly."
Despite the changes, the university designed appearance standards to make BYU an example to the rest of the world of how university students should look. This emphasis on surface factors like appearance is telling – BYU has always striven to maintain its image, even at the expense of the freedom of student inquiry: freedom of the press, academic freedom and even at times the right to assemble.
The biggest academic freedom conflicts at BYU have revolved around feminism. This is a little surprising in a historical context, since the church, in its early years, had a comparatively progressive attitude toward women in higher education. However, even though the church has encouraged women to attend college, it always insisted that "their divinely ordained role is that of mother," and couched its encouragement of women's education in the value it would hold for men. Former BYU president Dallin Oaks echoed the thoughts of the church's president when he said in 1975: "Some have observed that the mother's vital teaching responsibility makes it even more important to have educated mothers than to have educated fathers. 'When you teach a boy, you are just teaching another individual,' President Harold B. Lee declared, 'but when you teach a woman or a girl, you are teaching a whole family.'"
For decades, the church's policy of encouraging women to stay at home meant that most of the women hired were either unmarried or non-Mormon. When BYU started a new nursing school in 1954, "the school survived only because most of its posts were filled by non-Mormons; all of the graduate degree holders on its faculty were non-LDS. Over time the program was able to carry itself with Mormons gradually joining the faculty, but the school's initial message was clear: church leaders considered it more important for Mormon women to stay home than for BYU faculty to be LDS."
As the feminist movement grew stronger and more radical throughout the 1960s and '70s, BYU and the church maintained strident opposition to feminist-supported legislation like the Equal Rights Amendment and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. Despite counsel from church leaders "that in the employment and compensation of women – as in all other matters – you give careful observance to the requirements of the law," Dallin Oaks announced "BYU's unwillingness, to comply with six of Title IX's regulations" largely due to concerns about gender-separated housing and student appearance. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare "assured BYU over the next four years that the government would not interfere with limitations imposed by private institutions for religious reasons."
Feminism at BYU was on shaky ground, and the authors note that "Mormon opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment . . . would drive feminism in Provo underground for nearly a decade." Feminism resurged in the late 1980s and early 1990s, largely starting with the formation of a feminist campus club in 1988, named VOICE in 1989. Cecelia Konchar Farr, who had earned her master's degree at BYU in the mid-1980s, became one of VOICE's faculty advisors in 1990. When BYU advised that women be accompanied by men while walking on campus at night because of recent violent incidents against women, VOICE ridiculed the advice. It gained media attention by posting satirical flyers all over campus, stating that men would no longer be allowed to walk on campus at night unless accompanied by at least two women, "to demonstrate that they are not threatening." Campus staff tore down the posters, triggering a protest by over 400 students.
Farr's activities generated increasing hostility at the school, including her participation in a pro-choice rally and VOICE's "Take Back the Night" demonstrations. She claimed, to the outrage of many conservative church members, that she was "a conservative and believing Mormon and also . . . a committed feminist." She was eventually dismissed, triggering more student protests.
Gail Houston, another feminist English professor, was warned before her third-year review to modify her "feminist orientation and advocacy," and was eventually placed on provisional status for a year until the school discontinued its provisional category, returning her to full status. The review cited several offenses, such as complaints from students that her classes were too politicized, with which she had not been confronted previously. She was fired, with much controversy, at her sixth-year review in 1996. According to BYU, Houston had "engaged in a pattern of publicly contradicting fundamental Church doctrine and deliberately attacking the Church." As with Farr, many of her students and colleagues were baffled by these claims, believing that the school fired her for her political views."
Others were investigated for different reasons. BYU fired anthropology instructor David Knowlton at the same time as Farr, following a controversy surrounding a paper by Knowlton on why Mormon missionaries made useful targets for Latin American guerrillas. Church leaders released a statement "warning against presentations that 'jeopardize the effectiveness or safety of our missionaries."' Despite the critical stance many in the church took toward Knowlton's study, he probably wouldn't have been fired for this alone had he not publicly disputed the critics of his paper.
Brian Evenson, another member of the English department, left BYU voluntarily after a lengthy investigation of a book of short stories he published before he was hired. I didn't know Evenson personally, but his harassment hit closest to home for me. I read his nationally-acclaimed book, Altmann's Tongue, months before the university expressed any concern about its content. Evenson was one of only two Mormon fiction writers whose work excited me and inspired my own attempts at writing – and now he was under attack for his fiction.
An anonymous student note triggered the investigation, decrying the book's ostensible graphic violence and amorality. Evenson acknowledged "that Altmann's Tongue is one of the most difficult books ever written by a Mormon . . . but I also think it is one of the most uncompromisingly moral books as well, and many people have agreed." He saw his fiction as a realistic portrayal of evil and violence that countered glamorized depictions seen elsewhere. School officials disagreed. After continual pressure, Evenson announced in 1995 that "he was taking a year's leave from school for a position at Oklahoma State University. A year later he resigned when the position there became permanent." Anonymous notes to church leaders have become a fairly common occurrence at BYU, leading to the fear among some faculty members that they may be attacked for misunderstandings without having an adequate opportunity to defend themselves.
Waterman's and Kagel's account of censorship on the campus newspaper in The Lord's University is true to my own experience. In addition to administrative intervention, the Universe practices intense self-censorship, excising most controversial opinions (and sometimes entire topics) before going to press, often due to fear of reprisal:
The ever-present issue for the Universe . . . is censorship. Lorin Wheelright, overseeing the Universe under Dallin Oaks, once commented that "we control so much of the environment [at BYU] . . . that the temptation to manipulate the news is beyond human capacity to resist." He added, though, that administrators needed to exercise patience with young journalists, unless the school was openly willing to sponsor "a house-organ polyana [sic] sheet in which sweetness and light will be so glaring that we will die of ennui if not from blind staggers or a sour stomach."
On the other hand, the off-campus Student Review, because of its student ownership, was not subject to official censorship. But it is banned from campus distribution. BYU also forbids campus-owned organizations, such as the BYU Bookstore, from advertising in the Review. This, combined with an adversarial relationship with the Universe, has caused the independent paper editorial and financial strains over the years, leading students almost to the point of abandoning production several times. The authors' coverage of BYU's newspapers is the topic they are most qualified to discuss, but here they also show a bias. For example, here is a paragraph discussing a student who was fired by the Universe after covertly working for both newspapers simultaneously:
Political science student Russell Fox . . . had been involved with the Review and the Universe before accepting a paid position with the latter in the summer of 1992. He did a good job as city editor, and that fall the position of political editor was created for him. What the Universe did not know was that at the same time Fox was also a volunteer editor at the Review – under the pseudonym Michael Ho. While faculty advisors and Fox had had a few mild run-ins during the semester, it was not until election day itself – as Fox was organizing the complicated network of reporters, photographers, and copy editors who would be putting together the Universe's coverage – that [Universe faculty advisor John] Gholdston learned of Fox's secret identity. Fox was fired on the spot and Universe editor-in-chief David Farnworth and others assumed control of the effort.
Waterman and Kagel fail to mention that Gholdston learned of Fox's dual affiliation on election night because Fox left the Universe newsroom to attend a Review staff meeting that evening – arguably the most important evening of the semester for a political editor. In that instance, a conflict of interest was clear – but the authors' view of Fox as a good guy causes them to leave out his responsibility for the situation.
But in all, Waterman and Kagel have captured the essence of the BYU experience for those students and faculty members who don't maintain as strict an orthodoxy as the administration would prefer. In a church of ten million people, views differing from the norm will always pose a problem:
John M. Armstrong, a philosophy student, wrote that one serious problem with the academic freedom document was that it assumed there is a set of values that all LDS people have in common. The list of fundamental LDS values and doctrines is shorter for some people than it is for others, he argued. "It seems inevitable that, in the coming years, those with the long lists will want all others to adhere to their lists." Armstrong wrote that when others "do not adhere, and the peer review process upholds the opinions of the so-called 'rebel,' there is nothing to stop those people with the long lists from contacting their General Authority friends as they have done historically in an effort to squelch the infidel."
Most BYU students don't share these concerns, content instead to follow the administration's cues and at times ridicule those who question school policy. Even so, the church's attitude of maintaining such strict orthodoxy at its college is somewhat perplexing, considering that church leaders encourage students to attend college all over the world. In the early 1990s particularly, church leaders emphasized that college-age Mormons shouldn't set their hearts on attending BYU, instead encouraging them to attend other schools, particularly local colleges and universities, while maintaining church activity and attending church-sponsored Institute courses (the equivalent of the religion classes taught at BYU).
This acknowledgment that Mormon students can enjoy successful, faithful educational experiences at secular schools stands in sharp contrast to BYU policies. If it's OK for Mormon students to gain exposure to controversial and secular ideas and environments elsewhere, why are church leaders so apprehensive about students' exposure to these things if they happen to attend school in Provo? One of the most important functions of a university is to expose students to new ideas and concepts, to challenge and stimulate, to provoke and sometimes disturb. With such a large support base in place, Provo seems to me to be the safest place for Mormon students to confront the unfamiliar. At any rate, surely the church is strong enough to manage campus tension without squelching dissent. After all, many other universities do, even those that don't claim to be "the Lord's University."
(Printed in Liberty, May 1999 issue.)
| Back in 2000, Scott Woodward was a full professor (not assistant or associate) in the department of microbiology at BYU.
This quote comes from an article in 2003 in the Wall Street Journal about the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation
"In 2003, the project severed its ties with BYU and relocated to Sorenson's corporate headquarters in Salt Lake City. The university was running out of lab space, and the switch helped allay any concerns among non-Mormons that the project might have a religious agenda."
It seems that Woodward had to go so that the SMGF didn't look like it was trying to find Lamanite DNA. That is probably why Perego and Woodward are so pissed at me. They think that I sent emails to the Brethren that showed that Woodward was looking for Lamanite DNA. If anyone sent emails to the Brethren it could only have been Area Leaders in Australia. I didn't even know who to mail stuff to.
By 2005 Woodward was back lecturing at BYU and listed on the staff directory as a professor. But later in the year he was out and his name removed from the BYU directory.
Don't the brethren treat their "world-renowned BYU scientists" well.
| I was once a BYU landlord. Seeing how the church controls BYU students (and those trying to rent to them) was a real eye opener! I had to enforce honor code issues and pretend that I care when *gasp* someone had a member of the opposite sex in their room. (I would only know this if a roommate tattled.) I saw kids who couldn't pay their rent because they were embroiled in yet another Utah MLM scheme.
I had to evict someone for having homosexual relations in the house (his roommate tattled) Of course, if I didn't do as BYU said, all of the tenants would be forced by BYU to move out mid-semester and I'd be outta business.
All of the rules and regulations related to BYU approved housing end up driving up the price for BYU students, who pay considerably more than the market rate for non-byu approved housing in the area. Large, well connected BYU-approved property owners have got to be the only ones benefiting from this system.
| Last Friday, February 13th, I had my official university review with Vernon Heperi, Dean of Students at BYU. Susan flew with me to Utah for the review, and a Valentine's weekend ski get-away. She has no religious upbringing whatsoever, and for her to witness the university review at a Mormon-run school was indeed shocking. She still can't believe what she experienced, and neither can I. She told me that several times during the review, she had to hold her mouth from dropping from the questions that Mr. Heperi asked me.
My experience as a full-blooded Latter-day Saint is that the LDS church has an obsession with sex- even more than my innocent beefcake calendar. They don't get off by openly acting out sexually, just by asking others what they do in private. They love to ask the dirty little personal questions. For those who are, or have been LDS- you know exactly what I am talking about. You never can enjoy a private moment without thinking that you will have to discuss every graphic detail in your next bishop's interview.
Well let's just say that my "university review" at the accredited Brigham Young University felt much like a bishop's interview - but it managed to entirely cross the line into much more personal, private questions.
From Heperi's point of view, in order for him to grant me an exception to receive a diploma because I was excommunicated from the Mormon Church, he had to determine that I was still in good honor code standing currently- meaning that since I was last enrolled at BYU in 2002, and bound by the honor code - up until the current time I sat across from him in the review, I had to have lived the BYU honor code in its fullest.
Yes, you read that right. The past 6+ years, even though I was not a student and had not stepped foot on campus until my August 2008 graduation, I had to have abstained from coffee, tea, alcohol, and anything and everything SEX all those years I was away in order to be in good honor code standing to receive my degree.
I am sorry to say that I have worn shorts, grew out a beard and watched an R rated movie a few times since 2002, so I might be out of a diploma.
If you think this is ludicrous, how do you think my poor friend Susan felt. She is still freaked out about it. My Dad was there too. Imagine being grilled about sex in front of your Dad- and at an "academic" review. I know I am a grown adult, but please! It was so extremely embarrassing and inappropriate. My family is uber-Mormon. They don't talk about sex, period! The whole experience was so surreal and strange and just plain degrading.
I recorded the review, and will have it available for public consumption in the future.
| From KUTV:
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Brigham Young University dean has denied an appeal to release a hold on the diploma the creator of a Mormon beefcake calendar says he earned.
Chad Hardy's diploma was withheld by BYU last fall after he was excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns and runs the school. Hardy was excommunicated during the month between completing his courses and graduation ceremonies.
Note that the quote: "Heperi says Hardy's refusal to answer some questions about his life since leaving BYU in 2002 and the present were a factor in the decision." was an interrogation by the Mormon Cult. Chad was asked "normal" Mormon interrogation questions about his sexual life, masturbation, alcohol and drugs. Chad's refusal to be subjected to Mormon Cult rules even after he was excommunicated led to the decision.
From Deseret News:
Officially, the loss of membership was for conduct unbecoming a church member. The charges were rooted in his failure to pay tithing, a lapse in other religious obligations and, according to a senior church elder, his involvement with the 2008 "Men on a Mission" calendar.
So now you can be excommunicated for not paying your tithing?
"I conclude that you have not demonstrated conduct and personal behavior in harmony with the principles and values reflected in the honor code, including the principles of living a chaste and virtuous life, respect for others and participating regularly in church services," Heperi wrote.
I thought the details of private Priesthood meetings were secret. Why is Heperi discussing the details of this meeting to the public?
| From Google (Associated Press):
PROVO, Utah (AP) – Thousands of issues of Brigham Young University's student newspaper were pulled from newsstands because a front-page photo caption misidentified leaders of the Mormon church as apostates instead of apostles.
An apostate is a person who has abandoned religious faith, principles or a cause.
The caption called the group the "Quorum of the Twelve Apostates." The mistake happened when a copy editor ran a computer spell check and apostate was suggested as the replacement for a misspelling of apostle.
| You would be in school with the one Kenneth Clark and his ilk. Kenneth apparently has problems keeping his thoughts pure and has grown tired of constantly averting his eyes from the temptations of the flesh that abound on the campus of the Lord's university. Particularly threatening to his eternal salvation are "unnecessary displays of bosoms" (as opposed to the necessary displays, which are, of course, harmless).
Well, he isn't going to take it any more, so he has lashed out at the parties responsible for his thoughts and temptations - women. You see, they have been thoughtlessly disrespecting his desire to keep his thoughts pure by wearing shirts that show a little cleavage (which he helplessly notices, BKP patented rapid eye aversion techniques notwithstanding) and utterly failing in their responsibilities of keeping Kenneth's thoughts clean and his environment in a state that he would find temptation free. His wife is equally appalled, obviously not confident that Kenneth will be able to withstand the fiery darts of the devil - at least not those in cleavage form. Like her hubby, she also lays the blame at the feet of the women Kenneth happens to see when he walks around campus each day and not with Kenneth himself.
Here's his thoughtful editorial from today's Daily Universe:
No low necklines!
Kenneth Clark, Orange, Calif.
I wish to send out a reminder to the female student body of BYU. As the weather warms up, your necklines should not be going down. I have been saddened to notice that many female students are not being as attentive to their attire as they ought to be.
I understand this doesn’t account for all women, but too many are letting their necklines dip lower than they should. At first I thought it was just me noticing and averting my eyes. But my wife mentioned the same issue. We agree that the women at BYU need to know that showing cleavage lines isn’t acceptable.
Young men do not want the “view” and married women do not want you exposing their husbands to unnecessary displays of your bosoms. Please think twice when choosing your clothing. It isn’t just the Honor Code; it is respect for yourself as well as others.
What a joke. BYU would be laughable if it weren't tragic.
"As part of the reorganization, the Women’s Research Institute will be discontinued, ... Additionally, the Women’s Studies minor, which had been administered by the institute, will now be administered by the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences."
So to translate that out of newspeak, BYU is saying "Instead of having an entire Research Institute devoted to learning, we've decided to abolish it and make anyone who wishes to minor in Women's Studies do so through the College of Being a Good Housewife"
Only in mormondom can a discontinuation of a research institute be a reorganization that "will result in significantly expanded resources for research and creative activities pertaining to women."
And yet somehow mormons have this view that BYU is some 'Harvard of the west' type super-school where real academics are important.
It's really no surprise to me that a church which (as of 2003) is still teaching women that their divine role consists of "cooking meals, washing dishes, making beds for one’s precious husband and children" wouldn't value having a feminist academic wing at its flagship university. (See http://institute.lds.org/manuals/eter...)
| My wife has a client who is on the faculty at BYU-I, who keeps her informed on all the latest and greatest mandates coming down from on high courtesy of Kim Clark, president of BYU-Idaho. The latest? A hotline that all faculty and staff can use to anonymously report any behavior they observe in which another faculty member fails to live up to the standards expected of a temple endowed employee of BYU-I. It's a 24 hour hotline, and employees are expected to use it if they observe untoward behavior at a grocery story, a football game, in the privacy of someone else's home...doesn't matter. God...er, I mean, Kim Clark et al want to know if ANYONE is at ANY TIME doing ANYTHING that they don't approve of.
| Max Hall, the record-setting BYU quarterback out of Mesa Arizona and former LDS missionary in Iowa has become the talk of the nation after leading the Arizona Cardinals to victory over the defending Super Bowl Champion Saints(until being knocked out of today's game against the Seahawks with a concussion). The undrafted rookie quarterback has been compared to Kurt Warner. He commands the respect of his team.
Is Max Hall the next Steve Young for the church? Apparently not.
You probably did not catch it, but Elder Ucthdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles used the priesthood session of general conference to take a swipe at Hall's hateful rant about the University of Utah. The apostles said, "Perhaps there is no better laboratory to observe the sin of pride than the world of sports. I have always loved participating in and attending sporting events. But I confess there are times when the lack of civility in sports is embarrassing. How is it that normally kind and compassionate human beings can be so intolerant and filled with hatred toward an opposing team and its fans?...They justify their hatred with broad generalizations and apply them to everyone associated with the other team."
To remind you the words of the now infamous diatribe: "I don't like Utah. In fact, I hate them. I hate everything about them. I hate their program, I hate their fans, I hate everything....I think the whole university, their fans and their organization, is classless."
My understanding is that Church brass were not happy about the post-game comments, especially when the QB's hateful words were broadcast again and again over the national networks. Earlier in the season, he spoke about representing the faith as a QB. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pe7Zy... I am sure they were also unhappy about hearing the QB drop the F-bomb on live national TV earlier in the game after missing a pass. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooqKFu...
The use of profanity seems to be continuing. According to ESPN, in a huddle at a recent NFL game, "He barked out one sentence that dripped with confidence, contained at least two expletives, and was described as somewhat shocking."
"I can't repeat what he said," receiver Larry Fitzgerald says, citing Hall's reputation as a man of faith. "It was something that we wouldn't expect from a BYU guy, a Mormon guy," says center Lyle Sendlein. "
In the same week that the media is digging into revelations about Brett Favre's past, the media is also looking into Max Hall's past, specifically, his short time as an LDS missionary in Iowa. According to ESPN, "Hall left for his mission after his freshman season, heading to Iowa at the age of 19. He didn't complete the full two years of the mission, and doesn't talk much about why he left."
ESPN called the Iowa Mission Office to get the scoop on the early departure. According to ESPN, "They don't know him. A woman called Sister Bee is working Tuesday afternoon in the Des Moines, Iowa-based office of the Latter-Day Saints Mission, and will confirm just one thing about Max Hall: No one on staff remembers him. It was years ago, and the faces are constantly changing." See http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns... for full article.
Is it really true that none of the missionary in the mission office nor the president and his wife know who Max Hall was? Absolutely not. I live in Iowa and all the missionaries serving here know who he is and where he served. They are familiar with the circumstances surrounding his departure. I've even spoken with missionaries that served when he was here. He is by far the greatest legend the Iowa mission has ever had. I'll leave it at that.
Anyways, it appears that Church PR has infiltrated the Iowa Mission to tightly control what gets out to the media about Max Hall, and I'm not speaking just about the mission office. The missionaries suddenly are avoiding the subject entirely, as though they are under some sort of marching orders.
Will Max Hall become the next Steve Young? Probably not.
Note:Former NFL star Steve Young is the darling of LDS Church Public Affairs. The handsome Super Bowl MVP is well known and respected by sports fans the world over and appears regularly on ESPN. Young has been the poster boy of the church for over two decades, a convenient figure for Mormons to point out to their non-Mormon friends. Despite playing football on the Sabbath, Young is so revered by the church PR deparment that it had him narrate a recent video campaign dispelling myths about mormons. See clip at
| In a recent edition of the BYU Daily Universe, new student, (says he's from Provo, but I'm assuming originally from Vietnam, based on his name at the end of the letter), expresses his concerns about difficulty he has had finding new friends upon arriving at "the Lard's university".
He wrote a letter to the Reader's Forum that can be found by following this link:
His letter is at the bottom of page 3, titled: "Making Friends"
Apparently Mormons are still using manipulation tactics to get more converts to the cult. This young man states that classmates told him, “Try to go to church even if you don’t like it. It’s the only way to make friends here.”
Later he says:
"Admittedly, going to church provides many chances to make friends. Nevertheless, it is still hard for me to join their conversations. Surrounding me are Mormons with many novel customs and identities that are often difficult for me to understand. Not only does the language barrier prevent me from chatting with them but the difference about religion also creates an invisible wall between us.
WHAT?! Mormons are clueless on how to interact with people who have no interest in joining the cult? Unheard of!
"In my opinion, implementing weekly cultural-exchange meetings is one of the solutions that may help international students to get used to their new American life. Creating a venue besides church meetings where students can make friends in a smaller group setting should be considered."
I suppose if this poor young man wanted to be baptized, BYU would have all kinds of activities geared toward including him in the group. In fact they would probably assign students to be his "friends". It's just too bad that people are only willing to be friendly to get another person to convert. Why can't people just be good people, for the sake of being good? Why must there always be stipulations attached to elicit good behavior in Mormons (one might include most other religious groups in this statement as well)?
Sadly, I was that way once.
Do you think this kid would have signed up for BYU if he knew then what he knows now?
| David P. Wright is one we've been talking about at the Tall Man house for the last couple of months. His story just grieves us.
He did a real watershed analysis of the use of the KJV in the BOM. He showed an undeniable fingerprint among the italicized words that indicated the person plagiarizing the text isolated those words for replacement in the new work (BOM).
Here's his study: http://user.xmission.com/~research/ce...
By all indications he was a happy, faithful member who had no desire to separate from the church. His study is somewhat dry, and mostly a statistical analysis. But it shows the author of the Book of Mormon betrayed the plagiarism of the KJV by replacing the italicized words with greater frequency than any other words. And sometimes the altered version rendered the text meaning things the original could not have intended.
He was excommunicated for apostasy in 1994. He and his wife both wrote letters to their bishop that can be seen here: http://www.lds-mormon.com/dpw.shtml It's very sad reading.
He was fired from BYU for publishing his study. He has one of the most succinct statements regarding the conflict between scholarship and devotion in the LDS culture:
"First of all, scholarship is not some sort of sin, a 'failing of the flesh,' which an individual recognizes to be an error and which that individual considers to be a blemish to his or her personal integrity. Scholarship, rather, is a constructive activity and is one of the purest expressions of a person's character. Scholarship involves a failing of the flesh, paradoxically, only when one is not forthright with his or her conclusions, when one holds back evidence, when one dissembles about his or her views in the face of social--or ecclesiastical--pressure. To express one's views, especially when they fly in the face of tradition, in other words, is hardly a sin but rather a virtue. Because Church disciplinary proceedings treat scholarship as if it were sinful, and even employ along the way the polemical myth that sin is what is responsible for a scholar's unorthodox views, the proceedings are an attack on the individual's integrity."
| Recent events impacting students at the University of Utah; elimination of TSCC sponsored sorority and fraternity; another chapter in eliminating the "fun factor" from church activities/membership and increasing control of the Supreme Soviet.
Of course, BYU "social units" (men's/women's clubs) were banned years ago; social units had morfed from the more traditional previous sororities/fraternities which had been at the Y for years.
Samuel Hall Society was a mens club formed to extend the Goldbrickers traditions when "social units" were formed in the 1960's at BYU, and maintained many of the previous Bricker traditions.
Of course, Bricker alums include G.A.'s Loren C. Dunn, and Dallin Oaks, among others. Many remember David Bednar when he rushed Samuel Hall Society as a pledge ("zero Bednar") and participated along with the other "zeros" in twice a day musters, making paddles, etc. And, yes, Dave was paddled in to the club, just like everyone else.
Good for them then, but eliminated now.
| Anybody smart enough to realize that Mormonism is false is unlikely to teach at BYU.
Some of the best professors are obsessed with their subject, and spend all their waking hours studying it. These eccentric (but brilliant) professors have no place in Mormonism, which sucks away large amounts of time from its members.
The best teachers are sensitive people. Mormonism weeds out sensitive people, and retains lousy teachers.
To truly understand different points of view, you have to listen to people who truly believe in these other points of view. Professors who passionately believe in things at odds with Church teachings are unwelcome at BYU.
Biology professors experience pressure to "water down" their teaching of evolution.
Science professors downplay the personal beliefs of the top scientists, most of whom are do not believe in God.
History professors do not teach the complete, unsanitized history of Mormonism.
Humanities, fine arts, and drama professors are unable to watch R-rated movies and cannot deal with high quality artwork that could be considered "dirty".
Religion professors who teach and believe in other religions don't exist at BYU.
Philosophy professors sugarcoat ideas at odds with Mormonism.
Psychology professors ignore the fact that the father of modern psychology (along with many other top psychologists) was an atheist.
English professors do not properly study novels written by unbelievers.
The non-Mormon professors have a chip on their shoulders and are bad teachers, because BYU was their last choice, and they only teach there because no other university would hire them.
The only "good" professors at BYU teach business. This is because Mormonism needs good businessmen to enrich the Church, which is, after all, a business. Business deals less with "great truths" and more with how to manipulate people, which the Church is very good at doing. Good Mormons find it hard to excel in many fields, so they tend to put their energies into business, one field that is "approved" by the Church. But even here, BYU fails to attract the greatest and most humanitarian men in business, such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.
Law professors are almost, but not quite, as good as business professors. This is because Mormonism needs a lot of lawyers, and law is a Church approved profession, but lawyers are sometimes too "intellectual" for the Church to handle.
There are MANY other problems with BYU, but this is enough for now.
| I think I learned more about the church at BYU than even on my mission or at any other time. I pretty much was a jack mormon in my teenage years and never planned on serving a mission. The summer after high school and the following college year was a blur of working hard, studying hard, lots of parties, and enourmous amounts of drinking and of course sex. I was at a frat house at the University of Idaho. The drinking got so out of hand that to keep people stinking up the bathroom with puke the house rule was to puke out of the window in the stair well into the shrubs outside.
After a semester it got old. I actually looked forward to going home for Chistmas. I wanted out of the frat house and I had no idea where I wanted to go. I got too caught up in the partying and was just living in the moment. Being the cameleon skilled jack Mormons are, I went into TBM mode while at home and our bishop called me into his office after church and asked me if I had thought about going on a mission. I was so burnt on the decadent life and partied out, it actually sounded good. I had no idea what I wanted to major in so hey, lets go on the mission and postpone that for awhile.
This was the biggest mistake I made in my life. The moment I stepped into that washing and annointing booth in the temple I knew I had made a huge mistake. The whole temple experience was miserable and I remember feeling sick riding home in the car with my parents. I whould have called the whol thing off and went back to school.
Instead I went into the MTC. Serveed for a year and then ended my mission early. I didn't want to go back to the University of Idaho so I went to BYU in Provo. I had some really good friends going there. I lived in the Old Mill apartments. I just wanted to be a good boy. I thought my partying days were over. I was 21 years old and the girls I was dating were 18 and 19 year old girls just out of high school. Some of these girls were good LDS types but so many seemed to want a fling. My apartment were guys from California who were jack mormons and jocks who worked out all the time. Girls were always coming over to our apartment. The drinking and sex started again. But it wasn't the crazy frat house thing. It was more classy and of course more undercover. I liked the LDS girls better than the more looser non-LDS girls. Not all the girls I dated were like that. I wasn't looking for any serious relationship but I was in a situation of being a 21 year old guy with young barely legal girls wanting a fling or some ofthem wanted to rebel. Sometimes we would share our feelings as we both rebelled. It got deep actually.
Then I saw these same girls meet the so called Mr. Right and change. It like they accepted their fate. It just dawn on me there was a bit of a frathouse thing going on at BYU for these girls. It was a wierd and unique situation but hey, I wouldn't have changed it for the world. I learned a lot at BYU. I got to where I couldn't stand it there and went to the University of Washington, hunkered down and graduated with a finance degree.
I remember one of my room mates at BYU saying the amount of sex going on here is way more than anyone would believe. He goes, it's a joke. There was a kind of a rebellion or a I want to live my youth thing before I have to get into that marriage trap thing. We would go to Vegas and just live it.
It was fun but then it was time to grow up and get serious. I had a neighbor who was Swiss. Her son had graduated from high school and was living with his aunt in France. I asked what he was doing there and she said oh he's taking a few college classes but mostly goofing off enjoying his youth. She then said, then he will come back and get serious. Kids do need to enjoy their youth. Frankly, you need to live a little, get laid, date around and just inhale life and learn.
What went on at BYU eventhough many people would think it's wrong was a good thing. Geting drunk and puking out the window was a good thing. LOL! It part of growing up. The church steals that from so many. If anything we all were just a bunch of LDS kids in some kind of therapy session. It was more than just some kids geting laid and doing some rebelious stuff. It was kids sneaking a taste of their youth before the religious shackles got slammed on.
Now kids are going to go on that mission at 18. I cringe to think about it. They will come home with only a mission as life experience. They will be pretty screwed up. At least when you get a year of life away from home before the mission you are a little more grounded. I would say half of my companions were hell raisers before their mission. If anything else, we were just kids who went on the mission to hide from reality or to escape the wildness of the oat sowing. I needed a little monistary time but not two years worth.
The BYU girls were the best on many levels. I never had a bad date there. I wonder how many are bishop wives on Prosac now. Sad. A waste. They had class. So many were creative. They were fun and adventurous. They had a more positive fun attitude than the U of I girls that seemed kind of burnt and negative. Hmmm. Maybe the BYU girls were more innocent and naive. I think they just had more of a sense of wonderment. If anything, sometimes I just felt I was making up for that year the mission stole.
I have a complex love and hate of the church. I think I see so much potential in so many of the people butt there this awful church octopus trying to control and smother all the good things. That's the best way to describe it. If anything, it was me and whatever girl I was with at any particular time exploring life. There was a world to discover and no thank you we don't need the church itinerary thank you.
| A thread on early morning seminary brought back some memories from high school many years ago. That also reminded me of my religion classes at BYU. Going to seminary at high school was okay, since the grades at seminary meant nothing. But grades in religion classes at BYU did count in my grade point average (as I recall, although I may be wrong).
I remember struggling through my Book of Mormon classes and thinking they were a big waste of time. One of my professors said that his goal was to have each of us have a "religious experience" every day in his class. Didn't quite work out that way.
Luckily, after that I was able to get some religion classes in the Honors program, and they were a lot more fun. I took New Testament Greek from C. Wilfred Griggs, and we learned enough to read the New Testament in Greek. I still remember one scripture that was translated incorrectly in the King James Version of the Bible, because the text they were working from was faulty. Now we have a more accurate version of that scripture in the original Greek, and so can translate the verse so that it makes more sense. Being a true believer at the time, I thought sure that Joseph Smith would have put in the correct version in his Inspired Version. But no, he did not.
Another BYU religion class that I enjoyed was world religions. We learned about all the major religions around the world. That class too still remains very much in my memory. I still remember reading the Tao Te Ching and writing a paper on it.
Funny after all these years that I cannot remember learning a single interesting thing about the Mormon Church in my BYU religion classes, but remember very well learning about the Bible and the Tao Te Ching.
| In the Fall of 1988 I attended a Biology 100 class at BYU. I was shocked to hear Dr. William Bradshaw say he believed in Evolution and he touted his credentials as a former full-time Mission President in Hong Kong for 3 years. I already knew that first day that I might need to switch out of that class due to a change I was trying to make to get added to a class I needed for my Major. I got the add-approval but due to my disgust with Bradshaw I was pushed over the edge in deciding to drop Biology altogether. Later that Fall Boyd K. Packer came to BYU and gave a talk on how Evolution is false. Then I heard from others that Bradshaw openly said that Packer was wrong. I knew he was an evil apostate so I kept this in mind.
Throughout the rest of my BYU years I could never seem to find a Biology 100 class that worked in my schedule unless Bradshaw was teaching or I had a busy semester full of Major-required classes which pushed Biology 100 off to the distant future. As a result I ended up having to sign up for Biology 100 during my final term of school - Summer 1994.
My teacher whose name I don't recall was a professor (not some grad assistant hired to teach Freshmen during the summer) and he was excited about some work getting started on DNA analysis of approx. 3000 Peruvian natives by his colleague Dr. Scott Woodward. During that term all the news talk was about the legendary NFL running back O.J. Simpson in jail and facing double-homicide charges because police found a lot of his DNA in blood spattered all over the place and comingled with the blood of the 2 victims Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. Whoever killed those 2 people obviously had gotten hold of some very fresh blood from O.J. because it was conclusively his due to its DNA analysis. The DA/police believed that O.J. was the killer so that's why he was locked up. If someone else's DNA had been in the blood instead then O.J. probably wouldn't have been in jail that summer and this particular fact was mentioned in class when talked about DNA. Now we'd be able to learn from Woodward's research how the NativeAmericans were truly of Lamanite and Hebrew origins.
Now fast forward 5.5 years to early 2000. In the meantime I had a young family, working hard in my career, and I was busy as a Bishopric counselor. I hadn't yet seen any news articles in the Church News or other publications on Woodward's exciting work and it frankly fell off my radar screen. Then while trying to solve some questions I was having on the Kinderhook Plates and the original DandC Section 101 article on marriage from 1835 prohibiting polygamy after the 1831 reference in the preface of Section 132 I came across http://www.exmormon.org/whylft125.htm and remembered the discussions we had in class during the summer of 1994 about Woodward's planned work.
I emailed Southerton requesting his references on DNA research because I wasn't going to take the word of a lost soul like him. I was also curious if his BYU contact in this story of his was Woodward which he confirmed but I kept this private until Southerton publicly disclosed this. Well Southerton sent me 4 references and that same day on April 22, 2000 I quickly found 2 of them online at websites of very reputable top-tier American universities. I read these 2 articles and quickly concluded that I was probably wrong about the Book of Mormon and thus pretty much everything in life. That was the turning moment of my life as from that day forward I no longer implicitly and automatically trusted the church on everything.
If Bradshaw hadn't been so adamant about Evolution then I might still be active in the church. The timing on taking Biology 100 during the early days of the OJ frenzy and the early days of Woodward starting his research (before Woodward found out that his DNA samples had the wrong markers) sure set me up for testimony disaster in April 2000. Before I could say "get thee hence Satan" and save my testimony I found a moment of truth that did the ultimate damage to LDS inc. testimonies - i.e. that moment when the implicit and automatic trust for the Brethren is lost. When that moment happens then its only a matter of time before a person is "lost" from the church.
| In the 1970's 2 BYU Masters theses and a PhD dissertation were suppressed/restricted by General Authorities.Here are 2 of them. I can't locate the 3rd. Story in comments. (self.exmormon)
From an excerpt of "Brigham Young University: A House of Faith" by Gary James Bergera and Ronald Priddis:
"In the late 1970s, debate over the possible negative impact of graduate research in church history and theology led some General Authorities to request that school administrators limit access to two master's theses and one Ph.D. dissertation. They were Stanley R. Larson's 1974 master's thesis, "Study of Some Textual Variations in the Book of Mormon, Comparing the Original and Printer's MSS., and Comparing the 1830, 1837, and 1840 Editions;" Rodney Turner's 1953 thesis on "The Position of Adam in Latter-day Saint Scripture and Theology;" and Robert J. Woodford's 1974 doctoral survey of the [p. 74] "Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants." Although partial restrictions were lifted from Larson's thesis in late 1976, both Larson's and Woodford's studies had been initially authorized by the board on the condition that their results remain unpublished except by permission from the "proper authority." After alumnus Robert F. Smith lodged a formal complaint with BYU's accrediting agency inmid-1980, the Board of Trustees removed all restrictions so as not to jeopardize the university's accreditation."
The first thesis on Book of Mormon textual changes is here: http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/ref/...
The second on the position of Adam (adam-god teaching) is here: http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/ref/...
There is a much more readable wiki-formatted version of this thesis with links to all the actual references on official servers here: http://mormonbookshelf.com/wiki/The_p...
The dissertation titled "Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants." used to be sold on CD with a searchable PDF as it is over 1,000 pages long. This has since been discontinued and I can no longer find any online source for it.
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