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Total Articles: 51
"The Ensign", "New Era" and "The Friend". These magazines are "Faith Promoting Material" that all Mormons are counseled to read and openly display. Full of propaganda and white washed history with heavy emphasis on tithing.
Church Published Magazines
Saturday, Jan 1, 2005, at 08:42 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
The Mormon Church publishes several magazines including The Ensign, Friend, Liahona, New Era and Church News.

Mormons are counseled by their leaders to obtain and maintain Mormon Church magazine subscriptions. This is in addition to paying a full 10% gross tithing, fast offering, missionary fund and other contributions (not to mention personal time).

Mormon Church magazines contain sanitized versions of Mormon history and faith promoting stories. Such stories include families that were destitute and could not afford to purchase food for their families, but because they paid their tithing first, they were blessed with food. Other stories vilify those who are not “following the commandments of God”, not paying tithing or heeding the counsel of modern day prophets. Generally, stories are fictious and designed to "pull on the heartstrings" of Mormon members.

Mormon Church published magazines are further indoctrination techniques used by Mormon Leaders on members.
Why Mormons Can't Just Be "friends"
Monday, Feb 7, 2005, at 12:13 PM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
In the February 2005 issue of the LDS Church magazine, the "Ensign", the following has been posted:
"Ideal Mormons" and "Deep Friendships":

The first two lessons, which we learned early in our efforts to be good member missionaries, have made sharing the gospel much easier: We simply can’t predict who will or won’t be interested in the gospel, and building a friendship is not a prerequisite to inviting people to learn about the gospel. We discovered these principles when we were newlyweds and the missionaries in our ward asked us to make a list of people with whom we could share the gospel. We were to start with those at the top of our list and begin “preparing” them through a twelve-step process. First, we were to invite them to our home for dinner and follow that by going to a cultural event together. The sixth, seventh, and eighth steps were to invite them to church, give them a copy of the Book of Mormon, and ask them to take the missionary discussions. The program culminated in the twelfth step–baptism.

We dutifully made this list, placing those we thought most likely to be interested in the gospel at the top. They looked like “ideal Mormons”–people whose values, such as clean living and commitment to family, mirrored our own. We then began building deeper friendships with them, adding additional social events to our already busy lives. One by one, those we thought might be interested in learning about the gospel declined our invitations when we got to steps six through eight. Our invitations didn’t offend them, but in their own way they told us they were happy in their present approach to religion. After much work over many months, we didn’t find anyone who was interested in learning more about the gospel.
Every member of the Mormon church is a missionary, regardless of their age. The church actually publishes this kind of thinking that it wants it's members to obey. Friendships to Mormons are not based on genuine things such as love, trust, faith and companionship. Mormon relationships are based upon converting any person who is not yet a member of their church.

And Mormons wonder why so many people can see right through them.

Reference Here.
God = Compound W Without The Bad Smell: An Important Message To LDS Youth
Tuesday, Mar 15, 2005, at 08:03 AM
Original Author(s): Kc
I just skimmed the April New Era (church magazine for teens) to see what message they are sending the teens this month. The only interesting thing I found was a "testimony story" of a girl who prayed and fasted for 2 weeks for her warts to go away. And God shrank all the warts on her hands until they were gone! Hallelujah.

Does it ever occur to any of these people... How come God doesn't heal burn victims? Or heal kids with cancer who beg and pray to be healed? Why doesn't he heal babies with spina bifida, or people in wheelchairs? But he heals a kid's warts.

I am just glad this TRASH goes in the TRASH where it belongs instead of into my children's hands!!!
My "sin"-born Baby More Likely To Die Of SIDS: Thanks Ensign
Tuesday, Mar 15, 2005, at 08:54 AM
Original Author(s): Kc, Blue Clouds
Editor Note: This kind of bullshit just pisses me off. Where does the church get off writing this kind of crap? Show us the data that states that children born out of wedlock are at a higher risk than married couples. This article from the leaders of the Mormon Church tells us the following:
  • Bearing children out of wedlock is a disgrace.
  • Bearing children out of wedlock is an embarassment.
  • Church wishes to bring back the stigma of nonmarital childbearing.
  • Having a child out of wedlock is a sin.
  • Having a child out of wedlock may cause your baby to die of SIDS.
  • Having a child out of wedlock will cause your child to become a juvenile offender.

- -

If you read my post earlier this week you might remember I am 35, divorced, in a stable relationship and pregnant. I left the church months ago and was trying to decide how to tell TBM friends that I am pregnant, and have left the church.

Well hoily inspiration!! The April Ensign came to prime the pump of judgement and attempt to induce guilt and fear. Leave it to the profit to come just at the right time.

The article, "Multiply and Replenish the Earth" urges people to get married for the purpose of having kids, and says how sad it is that couples these days selfishly think that marriage is for the emotional needs of adults. But it has a heading, "Nonmarital Childbearing." It says:

"...bearing children out of wedlock has traditionally been considered an embarassment and a disgrace. But in today's world, where good is called evil and evil good, the stigma of nonmarital childbearing has largely vanished. Not only is this practice a sin in the eyes of heaven, but researchers have found out-of-wedlock birth to be associated with several risks for the baby. ... children born out of wedlock are more likely to die of sudden infant death syndrome, suffer death due to injury, or eventually become juvenile offenders."


- -

There was a post on Feb. 22 by Randy J. on "Joseph Smith's attitude towards sexual relations in polygamy..." in which he quotes a conversation in the 1880s recalling the Prophet's words (to H.C. Kimball): " reason why illegitimate children are often so bright and intelligent is because they are begotten in love and unless the children are begotten in love they are not so liable to be so intelligent" (quotation from Stan Larson, ed., "Prisoner For Polygamy: The Memoirs and Letters of Rudger Clawson at the Utah Territorial Penitentiary 1884-1887," p. 12).

This emphasis on the energy involved in conception, regardless of marital status, is good Hermetic philosophy (with which Smith was familiar, according to John L. Brooke's "The Refiner's Fire"). I witnessed a contemporary restatement of this from Norman Mailer, at a college gathering in 1971, when he commented on the superior vitality and robustness of illegitimate children conceived in passion: "A good f--- makes a good child."
More White Washed Mormon History - Ensign May 2005
Tuesday, May 3, 2005, at 07:44 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
The front cover of the May Ensign is of GQ Joseph organizing his church. The problem is, It shows the women voting. Is it not true, that women did not sustain in the church until several years later? As a matter of fact, in a Solemn Assembly, Was it not Gordon B. Hinkley who was the first prophet that women actually had a vote? This, of course, would be a problem to have to explain to non members.

Hell, if you're gonna repaint Joseph's appearance, you might as well paint the women's arms up in the air I suppose.

By the way, is that Fanny Alger in the front row? It must be, because they painted Joseph's eye's NOT ogling her.

The article about N.K. Whitney went through the sacrifices he made for the church and for JS. How he sold his store, etc.

What sacrifice didn't the article mention? That N.K. Whitney gave his seventeen-year-old daughter to Joseph Smith as a wife.
Is The Ensign The Most Boring Church Magazine In All Religiondom?
Monday, May 16, 2005, at 06:38 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Fifty years ago, church magazines were frequently interesting, I think because they were far loonier. I almost began longing for those days while I was coming down the home stretch. I thought there was something wrong with me in always fighting back the thought that there appeared to be virtually nothing of relevance to my life in any church magazine anymore. But I think I would have even settled for something not totally boring.

Fifty years ago, The Ensign featured "Answers to Gospel Questions" with apostle Joseph Fielding Smith subtly insulting entire High Priests Groups because they hadn't managed to figure out that - OF COURSE - earth had been catapulted out of the presence of the star Kolob when Adam, "the sole progenitor of the whole human race", fell or whatever. (I especially got a kick out of Elder Smith's work on the age of the earth, and his explanations of the cave men). I mean, at least this kind of stuff was entertaining. (The problem with the "entertainment" argument, though, is that you could defend even the most horrific events on grounds that they were "entertaining" as in attention-grabbing and maintaining - like WWII or a car crash or something.) So, maybe the lunacy wasn't worth it...

Modern church magazines are, by contrast, usually very boring. This is quite a feat for the magazine of a church started by the irrepressible and creative (and sometime militia leader) Joseph Smith, who was one of the least boring individuals in American religious history, right up there with Jimmy Swaggart, David Koresh, Sri Bagwan Rajneesh, and Jim Jones. I actually think he'd throw a modern Ensign right into the trash and totally revamp the whole thing. In his own words, he became rather addicted to excitement. I think he would disdain such a boring thing.

The Ensign is almost unreadable, precisely because what Mormonism is - or at least, what it presents itself as consisting of - continues to shrink in the direction of the mainstream. There is a sensivity to the external culture which simply was not present fifty or seventy years ago; and in some ways, it almost seems like there is a slowly growing consciousness within the church, of the distant hum of profound trouble vis-a-vis the church's foundational claims, which inhibits speech and speculation. But nothing potentially controversial means nothing very thought-provoking or interesting.

So, as it stands right now, in-flight magazines strike me as far more riveting than The Ensign. Flying on American you can read about some guy who sold everything, moved to Tuscany, started his own vineyard and after near bankruptcy, made loads of money; or about some lady who went to the Pamplona bull run and watched a couple of drunken gallegos get gored to death. At least that's something.

But then, you open up an Ensign and struggle to get through some bland article about how much Jesus loved children by some Japanese Seventy you've never heard of, which reads like it was written by the same computer software program which writes every other one of those seventy's pieces; and then struggle against blackout slogging through another watching-paint-dry bunch of mindless stories totally irrelevant to how we should live our lives from Thomas Monson, and then some rah-rah propaganda about how they just formed a brand new stake in Portugal somewhere, which doesn't mention that the "new stake" was actually the product of a reduction in the number of Portugese stakes. In-flight American magazine lesson: dare to live boldly, but not so boldly that you get killed. Ensign lesson: the gospel, on its surface anyway, consists mostly of boring, flattering platitudes and cliches inferior to those you could find on any Hallmark Card, and for those hearers/readers of even minimal mental function, the expositionof which - supposedly, by men appointed by the indisputably charismatic, iconoclastic, spellbinding, provocative Jesus of Nazareth - is increasingly so banal as to constitute a kind of penance.

If the church isn't true, can't its official magazine at least be entertaining or interesting? What's wrong with these people? Just because you're not really being directed by Jesus doesn't mean your magazines have to be so lame. It's like reading "Highlights" at your dentist's office. Don't they know?
General Conference Report - I Have Seen A Sign
Friday, May 27, 2005, at 10:10 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Editor note: This made me chuckle. - Infymus.

I was getting dressed this morning when I noticed a copy of the conference Ensign by the bed. By the bed, but unopened - a sure sign of a TBM in the house. The front cover showed a bored looking Joseph Smith at an incredibly boring looking meeting in the Peter Whitmer house. The picture seemed designed to rewrite history, Orwell style, as if saying "see, the early church was just as boring as today." What a depressing cover! I wondered what the rest of the magazine was like. Nervously, I opened the magazine.

Inside front cover: smiling, happy First Presidency in their palatial mansion. But what's this? The white ghost of Joseph Smith hovering behind them - it looked like a still from Scooby Doo. Intrigued, I opened the pages at random to find a talk. The first talk I saw (page 46, by Elder Andersen) was entitled "Beware the evil behind the smiling eyes." I turned back to the inside front cover. Three kindly old men with smiling eyes. Joseph Smith standing behind them. "Beware the evil behind the smiling eyes!" Is this a sign?

I was tempted to read the rest of the magazine, but the Big Brother picture on page 5 spooked me, then the talks entitled "Tithing - a a Commandment Even for the Destitute" and "The Fruits of the First Vision" made me remember why I am no longer a member. I turned to the Sunday Morning session for confirmation. First talk: "What Seek Ye?" Second Talk: "Pornography." I have seen enough. The magazine was closed. Truly, it is a sign.
Cover Story On The June Ensign: Strengthening Future Mothers
Wednesday, Jun 15, 2005, at 10:13 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous

Folks, here is another lovely article just waiting to be dissected by the foyer.andnbsp; I rarely glance more than a few seconds at the cover of the Ensign, but this one had a photo ofandnbsp;a mother showing her daughter how to sew on a button.andnbsp;


Sure that the article would be full of useful tips on how to brainwash your daughters into thinking there is nothing more to life than caring for a house and children, I opened it up.andnbsp; I was not disappointed.

Here is a link to the entire article:$fn=default.htm

Sister Susan Tanner enlightens parents and YW leaders on how to make sure these girls know exactly where their place is.andnbsp; Though the entire article is gag-worthy, here are some of the, *ahem*, finer points:andnbsp; (my notes are in blue)

The article starts with this:

Several years ago my husband and I asked our children what they liked about the recent general conference. Our then-16-year-old daughter was elated. She said, "I loved it! I loved hearing inspired, intelligent prophets and leaders affirm motherhood." Then she told us that this was one of the disturbing anxieties in her life: "I just don't hear it from anyone?not at seminary, not in Young Women, and definitely not at school; nowhere except at home."

All I have to say, is 'yea, freakin' right'.andnbsp; As ifandnbsp;any 16 year old says:andnbsp;andnbsp; "I loved hearing inspired, intelligent prophets and leaders affirm motherhood."andnbsp;

It goes on:

....I talked with a group of about 20 Laurels whom I had never met before. I asked them what their goals were. The first few mentioned educational goals such as getting a PhD; some said they would like to go on a mission?all worthy goals. Finally one girl timidly expressed the desire to be a mother. Then a few more girls talked about other goals. After one more girl mentioned motherhood, the rest of them joined in. But it was quite courageous for those first two girls to admit they wanted to be mothers.

Note how she brushed over the fact that some girls wanted an advanced education.andnbsp; "It's a worthy goal, but I want you to be like me and be a mother so that is what I'm going to talk about", is what she is really saying.

Here are her bullet points:

1.andnbsp; We must teach young women how to strengthen their current homes and families

Several of our general board members grew up in homes with parents who were less active in the Church. One of them had a wise Young Women leader who counseled her to be with her family when they did recreational things on Sunday but to maintain her personal standards. So if they went to a swimming club, she would go with them to visit with them, but she herself would not go swimming. She was able to build a tender relationship with her family.

2.andnbsp; We must prepare young women with skills, both temporal and spiritual, that will bless their future homes

(note how educational skills is not listed....)

Homemaking skills are becoming a lost art. I worry about this. When we lose the homemakers in a society, we create an emotional homelessness much like street homelessness, with similar problems of despair, drugs, immorality, and lack of self-worth....

So we must teach homemaking skills, including practical ones such as cooking, sewing, budgeting, and beautifying. We must let young women know that homemaking skills are honorable and can help them spiritually as well as temporally. Making a home appealing physically will encourage loved ones to want to be there and will help create the kind of atmosphere that is conducive to the Spirit.

3. We must inspire young women to want to be wonderful wives, mothers, and homemakers.

My best and most consistent example in learning the joys of homemaking and mothering was my own mother. She told me many times every day how much she treasured being a mother and homemaker, and then she lived those words in every action. She sang as she folded laundry; she exulted over the clean smell in a freshly scrubbed bathroom; she taught me how to read and write, sew and cook, love and serve. Because she emanated the Spirit and the fruits of love, joy, peace, meekness, long-suffering, and temperance, I felt it, and I knew I wanted the same things in my life.

4. We must help young women have the courage to face a world that is desecrating families and family values.

It has been alarming recently to feel the full fury of Satan's attack on families. Alternative lifestyles, abortion, cohabitation, divorce, immorality, and violence are issues that are screaming in our faces at every turn....

I feel faith in Jesus Christ and in His restored gospel upon the earth. I feel empowered by the truths of the gospel succinctly stated in the proclamation on the family. It takes a stand on each of the issues I just mentioned, as well as others.

(See, the thinking has been done, I don't have to do some hard thinking about some of life's complex issues.andnbsp; I just love the gospel!)

5. We must emphasize to young women the eternal responsibility and privilege of motherhood and help them understand that each of them will make a home and influence children, whether or not they have the opportunity to have children in this life.

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) talked about the influence of strong women of God upon the world: "Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different?in happy ways?from the women of the world."

We are distinct and different in happy ways because we know who we are eternally. We are all divinely appointed to these womanly roles of mothering and nurturing....

How significant are our roles as parents! How crucial are our roles as leaders! How imperative that we properly train the future righteous women of God!


Okay, so I have to say that she forgot one major bullet point:

6.andnbsp; Young Women:andnbsp; When you get to be 25 years old and have 4 little ones and feel overwhelmed with your calling and the financial problems you have because your husband is still in school and you have no health insurance and diapers cost too much... I have a little secret:andnbsp; Prozac.andnbsp; It's God's drug and it will make you forget about your problems.andnbsp; It will help you raise up your children in the church so their salvation won't be lost.andnbsp; YW leaders and parents:andnbsp; let your girls know that after they have served everyone else in their life: their husband, their children, their ward.. then they can serve themselves... that is if they have any energy or self-esteem left.

The photos in the article are the following:

1.andnbsp; A YW smilingwhile putting a pot roast together while the family gazes on adoringly.andnbsp;

2.andnbsp; A YW smiling while she irons something under the watchful eyes of two women who appear to be her YW leaders.

3.andnbsp; A YW smiling as she arranges a vase of flowers with the help of a woman.

4.andnbsp; A smiling YW with a full grocery handbasket and a list being pointed at by a woman.

5.andnbsp; A smilingandnbsp;YW holding up something she has just finished sewing.andnbsp; A woman and another girl look at her finished project with great adoration.andnbsp; Interestingly , it looks like she is holding up a homemadeandnbsp;temple 'leaf' apron.andnbsp; (See pg. 23 of the magazine.)

6.andnbsp; And finally... it wouldn't be a proper article without a smiling YW reading a Book of Mormon.


Sorry, but this article just pushed some of my buttons.andnbsp; Makes me glad I won't be parroting this shit to my daughters.

July Ensign Article Encourages Members To Contact Those On "Do Not Contact" List
Thursday, Jun 16, 2005, at 11:03 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
The July Ensign isn't posted yet on, but once it is, I'll try and get a link. Basically, the article is about a Bishop who assigned some members in the ward to contact everyone on the "do not contact" list, to try and befriend them again.

The member claimed he was successful in breaking down boundaries with every single person on the do not contact list, except for one family. So, he sent that family a subscription to the church magazines. Lo and behold, a year later, that family who received the magazines eventually "softened their hearts" to the gospel once again.

Moral of the story: If you don't want to be contacted, resign, because the church won't respect "do not contact" lists anymore.

- -

They tried doing that when I was still TBM,lol.

When the RS contacted a woman who had already told them she did not want to be bothered, she let lose such a stream of obscenities over the phone that the good sisters' ears were burning.

Nevertheless, the RS tried to get me to call her again three months later because "everyone had to be contacted at least four times a year". I absolutely refused to do this.

The church is nuts, treating adults like little kids. If a person really wants to be in church, they will have no problem finding out the meeting times.

I think the article is nothing but another faith-promoting propaganda lie.

And to think I used to read the ENSIGN cover to cover each month, never realizing that most of their stories are either outright fiction, or heavily re-worked to tug at the reader's heart-strings.

- -

I was in an Elders Quorum presidency once, and I can remember having a list of about ten families that didn't get assigned to regular home teaching, because they were "somewhat hostile." They got assigned to the Elders Quorum president, and he would call them up once in awhile to reaffirm their desire not to be contacted by religious kooks.

Sometimes he would come back with a report that he had a nice visit with one of them, but the details were sketchy and there were never any follow-up reports.

I seriously doubt that this bishop was able to reach ALL the no-contacts in his ward except for one, and then reached that one with an unwanted Ensign subscription. That's Mormon fantasy land.

We used to get visits from high councilmen all the time in our quorum meetings who would feed us the usual line about how people were inactive because they were "offended." I didn't even believe that then. I would have laughed out loud if I'd been fed this cock and bull bishop story.

I think this article isn't geared for those trying to contact "inactive members" (ex-Mormons). It's to make the general membership think that all is well in Zion and that even unbelievers believe on some level, and that if you're having any doubts, you're the only one.
The Life Of Bathsheba Smith (Abridged)
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2005, at 08:33 AM
Original Author(s): Justin B.
The July Ensign includes a rather lengthy article on Bathsheba Smith, fourth Relief Society general president. As noted at the end of the article, a longer version of the article appeared as a chapter in the book Elect Ladies, published in 1990. (Elect Ladies is a collection of chapter-length biographical studies of each of the Relief Society general presidents (through Elaine L. Jack).)

I decided to compare the two versions for interest's sake. Certainly the original article simply needed to be shortened for inclusion in the magazine, and I found plenty of examples of condensed material consistent with that very purpose. But what was most striking is the fact that I found a consistent pattern of excising all references to plural marriage found in the original article. What emerges is a distorted picture of Bathsheba Smith's life.

Here is one example: (strikethroughs indicate material found in the original and omitted in the Ensign article; boldface indicates material found only in the Ensign article):
At age eighteen 19, in Nauvoo, Bathsheba earned the distinction of being was among the youngest woman present at the organization of the Relief Society in March 1842. She also attended the laying of the cornerstone of the Nauvoo Temple. In Nauvoo, too, Bathsheba and her husband, George A. Smith, were among the first to receive their temple endowments and to be taught the principle of plural marriage by the Prophet Joseph Smith be sealed together.
The paragraphs below are found in the original but not in the Ensign article:
Bathsheba was one of the first persons to receive the temple endowment in Nauvoo and to hear the Prophet Joseph Smith teach of the celestial order of marriage. In January 1844, a month after Bathsheba and George A. received their endowments, Joseph performed the sealing ceremony for them. She wrote of the effect of the revelation on celestial marriage on her life:

"Being thoroughly convinced . . . that the doctrine of plurality of wives was from God; and having a fixed determination to attain celestial glory, I felt to embrace the whole gospel. . . . Like Sarah of old, I gave to my husband five wives, good virtuous, honorable young women. This gave them all homes, with us; being proud of my husband and loving him very much . . . and believing he would not love them less because he loved me more, I had joy in having a testimony that what I had done was acceptable to my Father in Heaven."

Over the next two years Lucy Meserve, Zilpha Stark, Sarah Ann Libby, Hannah Maria Libby (Sarah's sister), and Nancy Clement were married to George A. Smith, and Bathsheba accepted these women as sisters.
The editing in the following paragraph removes any mention that George A. Smith had plural wives, going so far as to change the word families to family:
In June 1847, many Saints left Winter Quarters for the Salt Lake Valley. Among them were Bathsheba's sisters, her in-laws, and her husband, George A. Bathsheba longed to go with them, but she decided to George and Bathsheba followed a different course. Bathsheba remained at Winter Quarters with the rest of George's wives and children, feeling it her duty to care for them. Even though she wondered later if she should have gone, she did what she thought would be her husband's wish. In all, she spent three years at Winter Quarters to help others while George A. traveled back and forth to the Salt Lake Valley helping other Saints to migrate west.

By late June 1849Two years later, it was finally time for George A. secured enough supplies and a wagon for each of his five to lead his familiesy to move west.
The next passage contained in the original is not found in the Ensign article:
In June 1851, George A.'s wife Sarah died. Her sister Hannah did not get along well with Bathsheba and, after Sarah's funeral, argued with Bathsheba over who would raise Sarah's three-year-old son. As first wife, it was Bathsheba's responsibility to handle the situation. Far more comfortable working with her hands than dealing with challenges such as these, she wrote of the conflict to George A.: "What Hannah will do now I don't know. . . . I could take her home if she would be kind to me, but she will not. I was not very well and my mind was troubled knowing the feelings that existed in our family and Sarah just being dead and everybody looking on, one saying one thing and another thing for every mean thing that could be said had been said. . . . I will try to do the best I hope I can and if I do not write I hope you will tell me how and I will try to do it as I always have."

By August, Bathsheba could write to her husband of resolving the conflict: "I saw Hannah today at meeting, she was as friendly as I have seen her since you left. I hope she will continue to be friendly for I do hate to have anyone cross with me."

George A. returned briefly the next month. The following year, in August 1852, Church leaders asked him to preside over the Saints in the Provo area, some forty miles south of Salt Lake City. He took Hannah and Lucy with him, leaving only Bathsheba in Salt Lake City.
Another passage excised from the original:
In October 1857, George A. Smith took another plural wife, Susan Elizabeth West, and brought her to live with Bathsheba. Bathsheba later wrote of the common interest in home industry she shared with Susan:

"Sister Susan and myself for about ten or twelve years have spun, colored and wove full cloth, flannel, linsey janes, kerseys, blankets, coverlids, shawls, wove fringe, wool carpets, stair carpets, rag carpets, and have spun flax and tow, and wove table linen towels, bed ticks, and made sewing thread. We also carded, spun, and wove cotton, made cotton cloth for diapers, dresses, bedspreads, bed ticks, bags, spun candle wicking, spun and wove table cloths, towels, we knit our own stockings, socks, hoods neckwraps mittens, made netting, embroidery . . . and have done all to encourage home manufactory. We have exhibited many of our homemade goods at our territorial fairs and they always received favorable attention."
Another passage carefully edited from the original:
Still deeply grieving over her son's death, Bathsheba experienced a profound sense of loss when her daughter left home. But she was not alone. Happily for Bathsheba, Julina still lived with her, and she was close to the children of Susan, George A.'s seventh wife. She took a particular interest in Susan's oldest daughter, Clarissa.
I also found an instance of editing that may have been motivated by other content concerns. Bathsheba's thoughts regarding her husband's death are shortened when quoted in the Ensign version, perhaps to avoid offending modern sensibilities regarding equality within marriage or to avoid raising theological questions:
George A. Smith died in September 1875.from complications resulting from an old injury, a lung punctured while he was serving on a mission. Bathsheba wrote of his death: "His head lay . . . against my bosom,. Ggood angels had come to receive his precious spirit, perhaps our sons, prophets, patriarchs. . . but he was gone my light, my sun, my life, my joy my Lord, yea almost my God. . . . I must not mourn but prepare myself to meet him but O my heart sinks within my bosom nearly."
Finally, the Ensign article unfortunately excises mention that Bathsheba was actively involved in the cause of women's suffrage.
Subliminal Tithing Message In This Months Ensign?
Wednesday, Sep 7, 2005, at 08:04 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Anyone notice the picture in this month's Ensign showing a member filling out a contribution slip? The picture shows a close-up of the slip designating $325 in tithing and another $175 in fast offering and other contributions (missionary fund, PEF), for a total contribution of $500 (the picture also shows the member's personal check written out for $500).

Now, presuming the member is paying a 10% tithe on gross income for that period, this means the member made $3,250. Thus, the member's total payment of $500 to the Church is over 15% of that member's gross income (and would be an even higher percentage of the member's net income presuming that the member brought home much less than $3,250 after taxes, etc.).

Hmm ... the details of that picture (showing the exact figures of income and contributions) cause me to suspect those numbers were not chosen at random by the photographer. Do you think the Church is trying to send members the message that they ought to be giving well over 10% (and upwards of 15%) to the Church?

- -

Phouchg and Cinnabonbon said it - there are NO subliminal messages about tithing. They hit you over the head with it and this is no exception. The message is clear.

In one of my last TR interviews the bishop (who knew I paid on net, although I never said it) did everything he could to say I should pay on gross without actually saying it. He recounted a conversation he had just had with a GA about it (who said the church will not specify gross over net because of the various ways people earn money, but for salaried folk it is clear - they should pay on gross.) The bishop told a few more anecdotes including one about a financially strapped single mom in the ward (it wasn't hard for me to figure out who he was talking about) who was told to pay tithing on net so she would have more money, and the bishop warned her against it, saying "Sister, the Lord doesn't want your money but he wants your faith - don't succumb to the temptation to pay on net instead of gross!" The bishop then told me that he wanted gross blessings, not net blessings. And lastly he said that he didn't want to get to the judgement seat and find out that he had paid on net instead of gross and that wasgoing to keep him out of the CK.

The whole time I just sat there politely, smiling, knowing what he was doing but not saying a word. He ended up giving me my TR (I needed it since I worked for LDS Inc. at the time.) It was kind of humorous.

My sister told me that her husband was in a meeting once where the speaker said that members should give to fast offerings "until it hurts". My BIL went home and wrote out a check for $5000 and gave it to the bishop for fast offerings. My sister was livid.

There is no subtlety and no subliminal message. The message is quite clear regarding tithing and other donations.

- -

And lastly he said that he didn't want to get to the judgement seat and find out that he had paid on net instead of gross and that was going to keep him out of the CK.

What a wonderful role model of a loving father!

Give me money, or I'll fry your ass.

My own earthly loving father never asked for any money from me, nor did he demand a sacrifice. Instead, he gave money to me and sacrificed for me, never once asking for anything in return.

I now try to emulate his behavior in my relationship with my own children.

Apparently, however, I'm doing it all wrong. As God is the perfect role model, it appears I need to start demanding financial sacrifices from my children. I need to demand a share of the lawn mowing or baby sitting money they earn and then withhold my love from them if they don't give it to me.

Geez, who's to know that I was doing it so wrong for so long?

Thanks God for setting me right.

Isn't it marvelous?
Fashions You See At Church May Be Shocking - Women Are The Cause Of Unclean Thoughts In Men
Thursday, Nov 10, 2005, at 09:04 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Meridian Magazine article claims that women are the cause of unclean thoughts, not men. From Meridian:
"The danger in this is that when they wear immodest underwear it gives them the feeling of being provocative and sexy and affects their behavior. It can put unclean thoughts in their minds. They may succumb to an opportunity to show what is hiding beneath."
December 2005 Ensign-- "Merry Smithmas!" Are You Kidding Me!?
Monday, Nov 28, 2005, at 09:30 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
So, in our mailbox we get the latest issue of the Ensign. (Only one more month of it before our subscription expires. Yay!)

To our absolute shock and disgust, the cover, on the December issue that really should be all about Jesus CHrist, is a cover of Joseph Smith, knealing in the Sacred Grove.

Are you serious!?

My husband and I have only stepped away from the church in the past 4 months, and we're still in shock that we didn't notice this favoritism of Jo Smitty until recently.

Yes, it's Smitty's 200th birthday on the 23rd.... i get it-- but man, it's also -- more importantly-- the season we celebrate Christmas. That should have been the cover-- and the article about Christmas doesn't even hit until page 22-- and there are no pictures of Christ in the article. A few pages later there are some paintings of Christ's life.

How could I have been so blind.

I wanted to call my whole family and point this out-- oh well.

Let them enjoy their Smithmas.
The December 2005 Ensign First Presidency Message, Written By President Hinckley, Is Essentially A Repeat Of An April 1977 General Conference Address.
Tuesday, Dec 6, 2005, at 08:44 AM
Original Author(s): Justin Butterfield
The December 2005 Ensign First Presidency message, written by President Hinckley, is essentially a repeat of an April 1977 General Conference address.

However, there are some changes of note. For instance, in keeping with recent trends, the term "Mormon" is replaced with "Latter-day Saint" and "genealogy" is replaced by "family history." References to specific corporations (IBM and Xerox) have been deleted, statistics have been updated or revised (e.g., the 1977 talk incorrectly referred to 3000 church members in 1830; the 2005 message refers to a more accurate figure of 300), a description of General Conference visitors gathered in the Tabernacle from across the world has been altered, and a description of the location of Illinois Governor Thomas Ford's grave has been deleted.

A stark assertion in the 1977 talk that, "In no conceivable way could [the Word of Wisdom] have come of the dietary literature of the time, nor from the mind of the man who announced it," however, was left unchanged. (Scholarship of the last thirty years has come to more modest conclusions on this issue [see here and here]).

For the purpose of comparison, I have adopted the 1977 address as the baseline text. Additions to the 1977 message are noted in bold. Deletions are noted with strikethroughs. Minor stylistic and punctuation changes are not noted (e.g., 30 vs. thirty).

Joseph the Seer Smith Jr.–Prophet of God, Mighty Servant

My brethren and sisters, I seek the direction of the Holy Spirit. Many of us have been gratified recently as we have read in periodicals and seen on television some complimentary references to the Church.

For instance, last month one of the large circulation magazines spoke appreciatively of the Mormon way of life, a way which discourages the use of tobacco, alcohol, tea, and coffee and encourages physical fitness. Then a network television broadcast reported on our tremendous genealogical program. There have been other positive accounts dealing with the organizational structure of the Church, with our welfare program, and with the family home evening program.

But largely absent from all of these accounts is any mention of the origin of these practices, or the reasons for them.

Further, some recent publications carry the thesis that there is nothing of the hand of Divinity in the establishment and development of the Church; that this has been only a natural response to contemporary social conditions.

An acquaintance said to me one day: "I admire your church very much. I think I could accept everything about it–except Joseph Smith." To which I responded: "That statement is a contradiction. If you accept the revelation, you must accept the revelator."

It is a constantly recurring mystery to me how some people speak with admiration for the Church and its work, while at the same time disdaining him through whom, as a servant of the Lord, came the framework of all that the Church is, of all that it teaches, and of all that it stands for. They would pluck the fruit from the tree while cutting off the root from which it grows.

The so-called Mormon code of health, code of health followed by Latter-day Saints, which is so widely praised in these days of cancer and heart research, is in reality a revelation given to Joseph Smith in 1833 as a "Word of Wisdom" from the Lord (see DandC 89:1). In no conceivable way could it have come of the dietary literature of the time, nor from the mind of the man who announced it. Today, in terms of medical research, it is a miracle, whose observance has saved incalculable suffering and premature death for uncounted tens of thousands.

Genealogical Family history research is suddenly becoming has become a popular hobby as a result of Alex Haley’s book Roots in recent years. Thousands of eyes across the world have been turned to what is described as the Mormon treasure house of genealogical Latter-day Saint treasure-house of family history data. But this tremendous program of the Church did not result from the pursuit of a hobby. It is an extension of the teachings of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet the Prophet. He declared that we cannot be saved without our forebears, those who did not have a knowledge of the gospel and consequently could not fulfill its requirements nor partake of its opportunities (see DandC 128:9, 15).

The remarkable organization of the Church, which has received much attention, was framed by him as he was directed by revelation, and no modification or adaptation of that organization is ever considered without searching the revelations set forth by the Prophet.

Even the welfare program, which some are prone to regard as of rather recent origin, is founded and operated strictly upon principles enunciated by Joseph Smith in the early years of the Church. This is likewise true of the family home evening program, which is no more than an extension of early revelation on the responsibility of parents to bring up their children in "light and truth." "to bring up your children in light and truth" (DandC 93:40).

Proclaiming a Prophet

Not long ago, Once while riding in a plane, I engaged in conversation with a young man who was seated beside me. We moved from one subject to another, and then came to the matter of religion. He said that he had read considerably about the Mormons, Latter-day Saints, that he had found much to admire in their practices, but that he had a definite prejudice concerning the story of the origin of the Church and particularly Joseph Smith. He was an active member of another organization, and when I asked where he had acquired his information, he indicated that it had come from publications of his church. I asked what company he worked for. He proudly replied that he was a sales representative for IBM an international computer company. I then asked whether he would think it fair for his customers to learn of the qualities of IBM its products from a Xerox representative of its leading competitor. He replied with a smile, "I think I get the point of what you’re trying to say."

I took from my case a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants and read to him the words of the Lord expressed through Joseph Smith, words which are the source of those practices my friend had come to admire in us while disdaining the man through whom they had come. Before we parted, he agreed to read the literature I would send to him. I promised him that if he would do so prayerfully he would know the truth not only of these doctrines and practices which have had interested him, but also of the man through whom they were introduced. I then gave him my testimony of my conviction concerning the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith. That baby boy born 200 years ago this month in humble circumstances in rural Vermont was foreordained to become a great leader in the fulfilling of our Father's plan for His children on earth.

We do not worship the Prophet. We worship God our Eternal Father, and the risen Lord Jesus Christ. But we acknowledge him, the Prophet; we proclaim him; we respect him; we reverence him as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty in restoring to the earth the ancient truths of the divine gospel, together with the priesthood through which the authority of God is exercised in the affairs of his church His Church and for the blessing of his His people.

The story of Joseph's life is the story of a miracle. He was born in poverty. He was reared in adversity. He was driven from place to place, falsely accused, and illegally imprisoned. He was murdered at the age of 38. Yet in the brief space of 20 years preceding his death, he accomplished what none other has accomplished in an entire lifetime. He translated and published the Book of Mormon, a volume of 522 pages which has since been retranslated into more than a score scores of languages and which is accepted by millions across the earth as the word of God. The revelations he received and other writings he produced are likewise scripture to these millions. The total in book pages constitutes the equivalent of almost the entire Old approximately twice the volume of the entire New Testament of the Bible, and it all came through one man in the space of a few years.

In this same period he established an organization which for almost a century and a half 175 years has withstood every adversity and challenge, and is as effective today in governing a worldwide membership of more than three and a half some 12 million as it was 145 years ago in governing a membership of three thousand 300 in 1830. There are those doubters who have strained to explain this remarkable organization as the product of the times in which he lived. That organization, I submit, was as peculiar, as unique, and as remarkable then as it is today. It was not a product of the times. It came as a revelation from God.

Immortality and Eternity

Joseph Smith's vision of man's immortal nature reached from an existence before birth to the eternities beyond the grave. He taught that salvation is universal in that all men will become the beneficiaries of the resurrection Resurrection through the atonement Atonement wrought by the Savior. But beyond this gift is the requirement of obedience to the principles of the gospel and the promise of consequent happiness in this life and exaltation in the life to come.

Nor was the gospel he taught limited in application to those of his own and future generations. The mind of Joseph Smith, tutored by the God of heaven, encompassed all mankind of all generations. Both the living and the dead must have the opportunity to partake of gospel ordinances.

Peter of old declared: "For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit" (1 Peter 4:6). In the case of the dead there must be vicarious work if they are to be judged according to men in the flesh, and in order to accomplish this, they must be identified; hence the great genealogical family history program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was not established to satisfy the interests of a hobby, but to accomplish the eternal purposes of God.

Within the space of that 20 years preceding his death, Joseph Smith set in motion a program for carrying the gospel to the nations of the earth. I marvel at the boldness with which he moved. Even in the infant days of the Church, in times of dark adversity, men were called to leave homes and families, to cross the sea, to proclaim the restoration Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His The Prophet's mind, his vision encompassed the entire earth.

Seated in this hall today are those from For our general conference meetings twice each year, members gather in North, Central, and South America; from in the British Isles and Africa; from in the nations of Europe; from in the islands and continents of the Pacific; and from in the ancient lands of Asia. You who have come from far and near, you These are the flowering of the vision of Joseph Smith, the prophet of God. He was indeed a mighty seer, who saw this day and greater days yet to come as the work of the Lord moves over the earth.

This magnificent flowering would amaze those men with painted faces who, in a cowardly attack, shot and killed the defenseless Prophet that sultry June day in 1844. It would amaze Governor Thomas Ford of the state of Illinois, who had pledged to protect the Prophet and then had left him to the mercy of the merciless mob. It was this same Thomas Ford who concluded in his History history that Joseph Smith "never could succeed in establishing a system of policy which looked to permanent success in the future." (Thomas Ford, A History of Illinois..., quoted in B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church, 2:347).

It is this same Thomas Ford who today lies buried in a secluded section of the cemetery in Peoria, Illinois, largely forgotten, while the man he had judged a failure is remembered with gratitude over the earth.

Praise to the Man

When I was a boy 12 years of age, my father took me to a meeting of the priesthood of the stake in which we lived. I sat on the back row while he, as president of the stake, sat on the stand. At the opening of that meeting, the first of its kind I had ever attended, 300 or 400 men stood. They were men from varied backgrounds and many vocations, but each had in his heart the same conviction, out of which together they sang these great words:

Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.
Blessed to open the last dispensation,
Kings shall extol him, and nations revere.
(Hymns, no. 147.) ("Praise to the Man," Hymns, no. 27)

Something happened within me as I heard those men of faith sing. There came into my boyish heart a knowledge, placed there by the Holy Spirit, that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of the Almighty. In the many years that have since passed, years in which I have read much of his words and works, that knowledge has grown stronger and ever more certain. Mine has been the privilege of bearing witness across this nation from sea to shining sea, and on continents north and south, east and west, that he was and is a prophet of God, a mighty servant and testifier of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom,
Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.
(Hymns, no. 147 27)

That testimony I reaffirm to you this day, as I also affirm that he who presides at this conference is the legal successor to him of whom I have spoken. I know that, and I leave my testimony now, in the name of him Him of whom Joseph Smith was a witness and of whom I also am a witness, even the Lord Jesus Christ.Amen.
God Loves Clam Chowder More Than Anything!
Friday, Dec 9, 2005, at 09:49 AM
Original Author(s): Beentheredunnthatexmo
According to the 12/05 Ensign's "The Clam Chowder Story", written by Gary B. Lundberg, Edgemont 14th Ward, Provo Utah Edgemont Stake, miraculous things are awaiting us all just for the asking.

Seems that god/jesus loves and/or prefers a "good" bowl of Clam Chowder as much as the next guy and a whole helluva lot more than the 30,000 innocent little children that he let die horrible deaths TODAY on this planet due to starvation, disease etc.

Do TBM's really buy this tripe hook, line and sinker??? This story and its author are a colossal insult to humanity...along with the entire cast and crew of LDS Inc.

If I was Gary B. Lundberg of the Edgemont 14th Ward, Provo Utah Edgemont Stake, I'd be out buying the latest Lottery ticket...and I mean and fast!

Now ask me how I really feel...
February Ensign: Dead Sea Scrolls "Prove" Smith And Show A Lost Ancient LDS Community?
Thursday, Jan 26, 2006, at 11:22 AM
Original Author(s): Noggin
I am confused by this article written by Mr. Skinner in the February Ensign. He takes the dead sea scrolls and actually stretches them to fit the Mormon world view. No one else outside of Mormonism would think to do this. I should really go to WWW.ISLAM.COM and see how Muslims spin the Dead Sea Scrolls to "prove" Islam to be true... yeah, I should do that!

Any how... the source credit (Mr. Skinner actually posted his real name to his article.. for SHAME!)

Dead Sea Scrolls Support Joseph Smith
"...One notable difference among the scrolls points us to
Joseph Smith. The Prophet Joseph Smith’s claim to have
translated the Book of Mormon from metal plates was
given significant credibility by the discovery of a unique
document at Qumran. Among the many texts unearthed
was the singular find of Cave 3 in 1952–a scroll composed
of a long, thin metal sheet called the Copper Scroll. This
was one of the first texts to be uncovered by professional archaeologists and contains a description of buried treasure.5 Although people have looked carefully, no one has
found any of the treasure."

I know that Smith was lampooned for his gold plates but this is not jiving. What does one long thing metal sheet scroll have to do with Smith's claims?

Those who lived at Qumran were temple covenanting people... JUST LIKE US
The basic ideal for the covenant makers at Qumran was to
live as though they were in the midst of the temple itself every minute of every day.10 They sought to make their isolated community a virtual open-air temple and often wore white linen robes to symbolize the level of purity they sought to attain. Some beliefs and practices described in the scrolls could suggest either a pre-Christian era “gospel” community at Qumran or a long-lost group of ancient Latter-day Saints with their emphasis on consecration, temple-worthy behavior, a strict probationary period before full membership, a hierarchical priesthood organization, an expanded body of scripture, the apostate condition of the world, the term "Saints" applied to all covenant members, new ordinances and religious festivals

What does this really prove in terms of Mormonism though? A long lost group of ancient Mormons? Come on, Skinner.

Skinner's inner machinations:

Let's end this stretched article of mine on the Dead Sea Scrolls testifying of Joseph Smith some how... okay here goes:

"...that LDS doctrines and practices paralleling some of the ideas found in the Dead Sea Scrolls were in fact brought forth by Joseph Smith long before the discovery of those ancient documents. The witness of the Holy Ghost and the study of latterday revelation teach us that Joseph Smith was not simply a lucky forecaster. He was the Lord’s prophet..."

Why does it always have to be tied back to Joseph Smith when no rational scholar outside of Mormonism would even remotely do this?

Is this merely an example of scholarly thought inbreeding caught in a warping spin cycle?
And This Is Why I Don't Want My Kids Reading New Era
Friday, Mar 3, 2006, at 08:15 AM
Original Author(s): Mrwright / Mathmatica
The latest issue of New Era has arrived. As many of you know, I remove it from the mailbox and deposit it in the garbage. I did happen to peruse this issue and most of the articles helped reassure me I'm doing the right thing. Here is my favorite line from the March issue . . .

Elder Henry B. Eyring writes in an article about prayer, "The Lord teaches us the pattern for prayer . . . " (using Matthew 6:9-13, The Lord's Prayer as translated in the King James version of the Bible) . . . "The Savior used thee, thou, thy and thine instead of you, your, and yours when He prayed. We should do the same . . . "

Now how is that for scholarship? Could you die laughing? Who knew Jesus spoke olde English? I was always under the impression he spoke Aramaic. Silly me.

There are many other gems in this issue. It's chock full o' the usual FP stories and self-righteous Mormon judgmentalism, not to mention numerous reminders to obey and follow the prophet. Yes, upon further reflection, the garbage is exactly where the New Era belongs.

- -

Wow, this is the first time in years I've looked at a New Era....scary stuff. There was another article on the same topic in the January 2006 New Era by Dallin H. Oaks. More of the same drivel:

"Thee, Thou, Thy, and Thine -- The special language of prayer that Latter-day Saints use has sometimes been explained by reference to the history of the English language. But the history of English usage is not the point. Scholarship can contradict mortal explanations, but it cannot rescind divine commands or inspired counsel. "

In other words, 'it doesn't matter if it makes no sense, it's inspired counsel!'

He continues:

"In our daythe words thee, thou, thy, and thine are suitable for the language of prayer, not because of how they were used anciently, but because they are currently obsolete in common English discourse. Being unused in everyday communications, they are now available as a distinctive form of address in English , appropriate to symbolize respect, closeness, and reverence for the one being addressed."

Why aren't they used anymore in everyday communications? Because they gradually came to have a perjorative connotaion. Here's an article on the word 'thou' from

"2nd nominative singular personal pronoun, O.E. žu, from P.Gmc. *thu (cf. O.Fris. thu, M.Du., M.L.G. du, O.H.G., Ger. du, O.N. žu, Goth. žu), from PIE *tu-, second person singular pronoun (cf. L. tu, Ir. tu, Welsh ti, Gk. su, Lith. tu, O.C.S. ty, Skt. twa-m). Superseded in M.E. by plural form you (from a different root), but retained in certain dialects (e.g. Philadelphia Quakers). The plural at first was used in addressing superior individuals, later also (to err on the side of propriety) strangers, and ultimately all equals. By c.1450 the use of thou to address inferiors gave it a tinge of insult unless addressed by parents to children, or intimates to one another. Hence the verb meaning "to use 'thou' to a person" (c.1440)."

Also, by that same extension, why don't we just have everyone revert to the Proto Indo European, because those words have been out of use for even longer?

I just saw the link that wakarusa posted. Man, this article is even better in person!

Some more quotes from this article and my thoughts:
"Ask for what you need when you pray. Try recording what you pray for in your journal. Then record the answers to your prayers to help you better remember all the times the Lord has answered them. "
Good God...if I had followed this advice maybe I'd have been out sooner... I never got anything out of prayer. Ever.
"The Joseph Smith Translation of this verse asks the Lord to "suffer us not to be led into temptation." "
Which translation? Jesus' script 3 Ne. in the Book of Mormon still contains the "lead us not into temptation" wording. Oops! But none of this is of issue anyway, cuz there' a disclaimer in the lower right corner!
"Editors' note: This page is not meant to be a comprehensive explanation of the selected scripture verses, only a starting point for your own study."
Classic. How long before they start putting this kind of stuff on all the articles.... I can see it now, the text scrolling across the screen before General Conference:
"The contents of this broadcast do not necessarily represent the views or policies of God, COJCOLDS, or the Q12. Neither COJCOLDS nor the appointed speakers assume responsibility for the accuracy, reliability, quality, logical soundess, or financial prudence of the words spoken in this conference. COCJOLDS and the Q12 reserve the right to periodically add, change, improve, update or flat out deny any of the doctrines presented in this conference without notice. On second thought, make that frequently. Those who choose to follow any counsel, advice, suggestions given do so of their own initiative and are responsible for the consequences be they spiritual, social, mental, emotional or financial."
The March 2006 Friend Helped Prove My Point With My Wife
Monday, Mar 27, 2006, at 10:37 AM
Original Author(s): Skeptical
My wife and I have had some disagreements about the harmful effect the Church has with children. I believe Primary is nothing more than brain washing. The themes are general about surrendering judgment to the church and the cutesy songs today are about the church being true and following the prophet. There is little taught about being honest, decent, not lying, kindness, service in the community, etc. If Primary was about being good, I would be less concerned about it.

Last week I saw a cute card notice on the counter. It was reminder that our seven year old son had a talk assignment in Primary for Sunday. On Saturday, I had my wife asking our children if they knew where the March 2006 Friend magazine was. None of the kids knew. My wife got on the computer and tried to pull it up on the internet, but had some problems with it. So she calls me for some help. Naturally, as we are going the website, I ask her if she is helping son get his Primary talk ready. She is. I ask her if there is an assigned topic. My wife says that the topic is the theme from the Sharing Time section of the March 2006 Fried magazine. We pull it up and click on the Sharing Time and guess what pops up? An article called “Follow the Prophet.” She had that look on her face of, “yeah, he’s right” or “I didn’t want him to see that.” Both looks are quite similar so I couldn’t tell the difference.

So I said, “You see what I mean?” She responded: “What is wrong with following the prophet, his advice is good?” The problem, as I see it, is that my son is being trained to suspend his own ability to think and form judgments in favor of someone else, no matter how piously minded such a person is or claims to be. What Primary is really about is substation of judgment.

My wife then said that she would prepare the talk on “Following Christ.” The problem she next ran into is that she couldn’t find a Friend article about “Following Christ.” So she just had to write the talk without any reference from the Friend.
April 2006 Ensign Article States The Book Of Mormon Is Not Ancient History
Thursday, Mar 30, 2006, at 07:32 AM
Original Author(s): Polygamy Porter
Page 68 of the April Ensign:

"I had done enough serious scripture study and had read enough of the world’s sacred literature to become immediately aware that this book was not a record of myth or an ancient history text or anything other than the true word of God."

Check out the fairball that got coughed when this was poised at the fboards:

bcspace had an interesting comment: "Therefore, the Bible, like the Book of Mormon, at best, is a work of historical fiction from the scientific standpoint."
A Church Magazine Actually Printed Some Truth
Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006, at 07:30 AM
Original Author(s): Mathyou
The article in question can be found in this month's The Friend. The URL to the article is

The title of the article is "The North Star." The article reads:
Gordon and Sherm gazed earnestly at the millions of stars that filled the clear night sky. They pointed out and identified constellations they had read about in the encyclopedia. Then Gordon traced the outline of the Big Dipper, connecting the dots with his finger. And just off the cup he found the object of his search.

“There it is,” he said. Anchored in place, the North Star was always where it was supposed to be ... “I want to be as steady as that star,” he thought.
Now any astronomer will tell you that the North Star (aka Polaris) is, in fact, NOT constant. The earth wobbles on its axis (known as precession.) This slow wobble is predictable. Because of precession, the north pole will eventually point elsewhere. It takes thousands of years to complete a cycle. But in the past, Polaris was not "the North Star." And in the future, Polaris will "fall" out of it's position as "the North Star."

Anyway, back to the article. It concludes:
As the prophet of God, President Gordon B. Hinckley [is] ... steadfast and anchored as firmly as the North Star.
If he's as "firm" as the North Star really is, then there is no reason to have faith in anything he says. Looks like the church is teaching a correct priciple afterall.
The Nonsensical Doctrine Of The "Natural Man" - Aka, Institutionalized Self-Loathing
Wednesday, Jun 28, 2006, at 07:10 AM
Original Author(s): Lucyfer
The July Ensign is chock full of Mormon silliness, but the one article that caught my eye was entitled “Putting off the Natural Man – A Continuing Series Examining the Doctrines Unique to the COJCOLDS”.

As expected, this article contained the usual GA blather about the supposed dual nature of man. One side (the "natural man) is base, corrupt, and animalistic, dominated by passions, lusts, appetites, ambitions of the flesh. The other side ( the "spritiual man") is akin to the divine (HF is our Dad, after all), striving for perfection, characterized by restraint, purity, self-mastery, rejection of all things worldly, focused on God, and guided by the Holy Spirit. Apparently the Mormon God set things up this way on purpose so that each of us could join the glorious battle against the natural man within us. How thoughtful…..

Now, I happen to find this whole concept of the evil and animalistic “natural man” to be one of the greatest abominations of Mormon Doctrine, but I was shocked that TSCC would be so egotistical as to claim that this was a doctrine unique to Mormonism – AS IF!!! Once again, we have a little problem with accepting reality and studying real (non-Mormon) history.

This concept of the natural man has been around for centuries. Good old Paul wrote about the evils of the natural man in this letters to the Corinthians. The early Catholics (always the over-achievers) took the natural man concept and took it to extremes with the whole concept of “corporal mortification” in which the devout tried to achieve greater spirituality by self-inflicted physical suffering and deprivation. The Calvinists were absolutely OBSESSED with suppressing the natural man whom they believed was inherently evil and sinful – the Puritans were masters at this! As usual, there is nothing original about this Mormon doctrine – just another re-hashed amalgam of religious bits and pieces that Joseph Smith found appealing or useful.

I for one choose to celebrate the natural man – or in my case, the natural woman. I don’t have any problem with being an animal – a creature of nature. The fact that we have instincts, appetites and behaviors that have evolved over time to help us survive and thrive as a species is a GOOD thing! While we humans do have to curb some of our individual survival instincts in order to live successfully in groups, I see this as part of our natural adaptation to the environment. We have evolved to be social creatures because it is a strategy that works.

Trying to beat down or subjugate the “natural man” really is a form of self-loathing which is fundamentally unhealthy and unproductive.

Silly people….
Dallin H. Oaks - Satan Controls Anything Against Marriage - Get Married Now And Have Goodly Number Of Babies - Women's Movement Is Bad
Monday, Jul 24, 2006, at 09:07 AM
Original Author(s): Mamajama
A neighbor "accidentally" left the June Ensign at my house (mixed in with some other stuff), and I couldn't resist taking a look through it since I haven't done so for 10 years or more. My hell, it hasn't changed a bit. Sorry if this offends any of you, but I can hardly believe that I bought into some of this crapola.

Take for instance this article on Dating versus Hanging Out by Dallin Oaks:

...This tendency to postpone adult responsibiliites, including marriage and family, is surely visible among our Latter-day Saint young adults. The average age at marriage has increased in the last few decades, and the number of children born to LDS married couples as decreased. It is timely to share some concerns about some current practices in the relationships of young LDS singles in North America.
He goes on to list contributing factors.

1. The cultural tides in our world run strongly against commitments in family relationships. For example, divorce has been made legally easy, and childbearing has become unpopular. These pressures against commitments obviously serve the devil's opposition to the Father's plan for His children...
So...the devil is in charge here. Cool. "Divorce has been made legally easy." I'm not sure that my divorced friends would agree with that statement. More factual is that marriage has been made legally easy, as well as popping out puppies before "parents" are mature enough to raise them. Perhaps the young adults have wisened up here.

2. The leveling effect of the women's movement has contributed to discourage dating. As women's options have increased and some women have become more aggressive, some men have become reluctant to take traditional male initiatives, such as asking for dates, lest they be thought to qualify for the dreaded label "male chauvinist."
Is it just me, or does anybody else find this offensive? Guess it's the "aggressive" part of me.

There is a 3rd and 4th point, but I won't get into those.

But get a load of this quote...

Men, if you have returned from your mission and you are still following the boy-girl patterns you were counseled to follow when you were 15, it is time for you to grow up. ... Start with a variety of dates with a variety of young women, and when that phase yields a good prospect, proceed to courtship. It's marriage time. That is what the Lord intends for His young adult sons and daughters. Men have the initiative, and you men should get on with it.
Whoa. Talk about pressure. I love the "you men" part.

My single young friends, we counsel you to channel your associations with the opposite sex into dating patterns that have the potential to mature into marriage, not hanging-out patterns that only have the prospect to mature into team sports like touch football. Marriage is not a group activity - at least, not until the children come along in goodly numbers.
Um...and what are "goodly numbers?"

And finally, Quote:
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught this same thing in another way. When he was asked how he governed such a diverse group of Saints, he said, "I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves." In what I have just said, I am simply teaching correct principles and inviting each one of you to act upon these prinicples by governing yourself.
I love this. It's the old fundamentalist catch 22. Here are the rules. You can follow them or not. If not, you are out of the club, and your life will basically suck the big one (but we still luv you).

Oh, and he forgot to mention the correct priniciple of having multiple wives.

Anyway, just wanted to hear what the rest of you think about this article. Thought I'd try to stir things up a bit since it's summer (in the northern hemisphere) and I've been mostly absent - playing in my garden, working, etc. Anybody need some zucchini?

Peas, (I have those too)
Great Advice For Single Moms In Sept Ensign ---- Yeah, Right!
Monday, Aug 21, 2006, at 06:39 AM
Original Author(s): Lucyfer
The September Ensign includes an article entitled “For the Divorced Single Parent” by Kaye Terry Hanson which contains some very poisonous advice. Single Moms (the article never once mentions single men with kids, BTW) who are foolish enough to follow this advice will not only find themselves exhausted and utterly demoralized, but also quite possibly bankrupt.

First of all the author shares three considerations for single mothers that she lists in order of importance. Quite predictably they read:

1. The Gospel and the Church
2. The children
3. Yourself

She goes on to describe how important it is the be “completely active in the church” by attending all meetings, making sure home visits are made and home teaching occurs, serving others through a multitude of church callings, regular temple attendance, and of course, paying tithing. The paragraph on paying tithing reads, “Even at this time of potential financial challenges – ESPECIALLY at this time – keep your tithing current that you may have access to promised blessings.”

Now, let’s just think about the real-life result of following this advice. I have been a divorced Mom and have some experience here. First, what is Mom supposed to do with the kids during all the home visiting, callings and temple attendance? If you really did all of this it would translate into at least 6-8 hours away from home each week – and that would be on top of having to be away at work. Not all of us have family members willing and able to watch a passel of kids at the drop of a hat. Some of us have to pay a baby-sitter. I make a good salary and I would have a hard time coughing up the funds for this level of out-of-home activity.

In addition, as a single Mom I had to do everything myself – all the cleaning, all the laundry, all the shopping, all the cooking, all the driving kids to their events, helping with homework, on and on and on. Exactly WHEN is a single Mom supposed to do all this wonderful church stuff? What is a single Mom supposed to NOT do in order to get this church stuff done? Now add three hours of church meetings with the kids in tow each Sunday – oh yeah, and don’t forget to honor the Sabbath so don’t even think about doing chores on Sunday. The trade-offs here are simply not plausible. The advice this authors gives is not humanly possible – it is a complete set-up!! All this does is make single Mom’s feel guilty for not doing all that is expected, or leads to utter exhaustion if a Mom is stupid enough to try to comply.

Now let’s think about the whole tithing thing. US Census Data indicated that the poverty rate for single mothers in 2004 was 36%. (I wish I had some Utah data, but all I could find was for the whole nation). This means that over one third of all single mothers had income below the federal poverty standard for their family size. If you have ever seen the federal poverty rate charts, you know that the level of income defining poverty is GRIM in the extreme. Even at 150-200% of poverty, people are POOR! (go to for the article).

The sad fact is that divorce leads to poverty or at least diminished economic security for many women and their children. In many cases Mormon women have been stay-at-home Moms. This often means little advanced education, few marketable work skills, and very little work experience. While alimony is a possibility, just try to live on that and child support and see where it gets you. Work will be necessary to pay the bills, but low-paid work may be all women with little experience can find. Lots of the low paid/low skill employment involves shift work – another dilemma with child care!

So, here we have women and their kids in households with significantly less time and less income being asked to put forth more time and money all for the good of “the Church”. The “blessings” this leads to would include poverty, household squalor, less time with the children, exhaustion, guilt, and just all around misery.

Am I missing something here? This advice is not family friendly at all! Following this advice puts vulnerable women and their children at extreme risk. Once again if you follow things through logically and think about the real-life consequences of walking the Mormon talk, it just does NOT compute.

Families are forever, my a$$!
"The Freind" As Compared To Other Magazines For Kids
Wednesday, Aug 23, 2006, at 07:10 AM
Original Author(s): Doubting Thomasina
The thread about the Ensign got me thinking about the "The Freind."

I find this very telling--my children loathe "The Freind." They loathed it when their mother was TBM and tried to encourage them to read it. In contrast, they really enjoy "Highlights," a non-religious magazine for kids.

The differenence is this--"The Freind"'s fiction and articles are very preachy, very boring. Everything has a moral point that is way to obvious and very patronizing.

There was a time when I longed to work on the church magazines and thought I'd have died and gone to heaven if I ever landed a job there. Years later, when I was on a airplane flight to New York City to attend a magazine publishing conference, my coworkers and I overheard soem conversations among the church magazine staff who were also attending. The discussions centered around editorial ideas for stories that would make readers "feel the spirit." It was a study in the fine art of emotional manipulation. Our magazine staff tried to be freindly to the church magazine staff--most of us were LDS. The church magazine staff held themselves apart and were very condescending. We were puzzled and amused by that.

Well, looking back, I laugh now because we were engaged in straightforward computer journalism and I'm sure we made a hell of a lot more money than the church editors did.

Am I glad I was never worthy enough to enter THAT WORLD!

Magazines such as "Highlights" and "Cricket" have stories that both engage children and very subtley teach them about the consequences of their decisions and how to treat people.
Example Of Morg Arrogance In The Latest Ensign
Friday, Dec 22, 2006, at 07:46 AM
Original Author(s): Uncle Mo
I don't want to make too big a deal about this, but in the latest Ensign there's an article called "Our Difficult Neighbor" in which the author's noisy toddler is bothersome to their downstairs neighbor. Some excerpts:
We enjoyed his antics [those of her son], but our neighbor downstairs was rather impatient. He often turned up his music in retaliation and came upstairs to complain to us.

We met with our apartment manager and our neighbor to try to resolve the conflict. As we talked I noticed that our neighbor was especially defensive in his words and attitude.

I began to see how difficult it might be for him, but I still did not have a fair solution. I started to pray for him, and my heart was touched to be a little more sympathetic.
The author patches things up with an offering of cookies.
It still warms my heart to remember how the simple gift of Christmas cookies quickly changed an unpleasant relationship into a wonderful friendship.
Let me see if I understand this correctly. The author's child is treading on her neighbor's right to peace and quiet yet it's the neighbor who is "impatient", "complaining", and "defensive." So as a counter she is praying for her neighbor. Would that prayer go something like this?:
Dear Lord, please soften the heart of my impatient, complaining, defensive neighbor to understand that raising my children however I want trumps his right to peace and quiet everytime. Help him to understand that because I am a member of thy chosen Church his rights are trivial compared to my righteous desires.
The solution, of course, is cookies, because that's all that simple-minded Philistines can understand. And boy does it EVER work. In fact, he even joins God's one and only special Church.

The author is completely unempathetic, unapologetic, and blind to any wrongdoing on her part - in a word arrogant.
Training Children Is The Same As Training Dogs
Friday, Dec 29, 2006, at 08:22 AM
Original Author(s): Substrate
N. Eldon Tanner wrote:
"It is an interesting thing when we are training animals, we expect those animals to do exactly what they are told, and we will spend hours, we will spend days, and we will spend weeks, and we will spend months training a hunting dog or a sheep dog or a horse; and they do the same in a circus with their circus animals. Those men who are acrobats in a circus spend months and years in preparing to do those things that are necessary, using all the laws and obeying those laws to accomplish what they wish to do.

"This is true with anything in life. But we are prepared to spend that time and give rewards to our animals when they do right and punish them otherwise, and if they won’t do what we tell them and we can’t train them, we dispose of them. How much more important that we take time to train our children to do what is right, and ourselves as children of God, to do what is right, and to be sure we are where we should be when we should be, doing the things we should be doing in keeping the commandments of God, being obedient in every way. As we do this, we can gain eternal life. How true this is!"
N. Eldon Tanner, “Obedience,” Ensign, Jan. 1974, p92
Ensign Article Contradicts FARMS Propoganda On Masons
Monday, Feb 26, 2007, at 07:15 AM
Original Author(s): Polygamy Porter
Has the editor of the church rag even heard of FARMS?

From a Feb 2007 Ensign article:
Did Joseph Smith reinvent the temple by putting all the fragments–Jewish, Orthodox, Masonic, Gnostic, Hindu, Egyptian, and so forth–together again?
Notice how they attempt to obfuscate the heavy masonic influence by throwing in five other words? Plain and simple, Smith ripped off the Masonic ceremonies and used them for his temple ceremony.

You will ONLY find such vague opinions from LDS Inc. All outside investigations and research all point to a strong if not complete Masonic connection.

This article, published by LDS Inc themselves, does not align at all with what their own scholarly research team at BYU has printed nearly EIGHT YEARS AGO... HELLO?

The Ensign facade continues:
No, that is not how it is done. Very few of the fragments were available in his day, and the job of putting them together was begun, as we have seen, only in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Even when they are available, those poor fragments do not come together of themselves to make a whole; to this day the scholars who collect them do not know what to make of them.
Oh reaahhhhillly?

Horsepuckie! Cow Dung! According to their very own LDS Scholars at BYU , the masons were JEALOUS of old Joe and his superior knowledge:
Joseph, the Prophet, was aware that there were some things about Masonry which had come down from the beginning and he desired to know what they were, hence the lodge.

The Masons admitted some keys of knowledge appertaining to Masonry were lost.

Joseph inquired of the Lord concerning the matter and He revealed to the Prophet true Masonry, as we have it in our temples.

Owing to the superior knowledge Joseph received, the Masons became jealous and cut off the Mormon lodge.
Check out the concluding circular logic in the remainder of the Ensign obfuscation from above:
The temple is not to be derived from them, but the other way around. … That anything of such fulness, consistency, ingenuity, and perfection could have been brought forth at a single time and place–overnight, as it were is quite adequate proof of a special dispensation.
That circular logic is soooo typical of sheeple speak. Lets see which stray sheep wanders up here first to attempt to cover up this pile of sheep crap.

Read this gem in that same article:
Let me suggest that the reason why temple building and temple worship have been found in every age, on every hand, and among every people, is because the gospel in its fullness was revealed to Adam, and that all religions and religious practices are therefore derived from the remnants of the truth given to Adam and transmitted by him to the patriarchs. The ordinances of the temple in so far as then necessary, were given, no doubt, in those early days, and, very naturally, corruptions of them have been handed down the ages. Those who understand the eternal nature of the gospel–planned before the foundations of the earth–understand clearly why all history seems to revolve about the building and use of temples.
So can one of the resident members of the Garment patrol please 'splain that?

If the "fullness of the gospel was revealed to Adam", then what was Christ doing? Restoring it? Then Joe, restoring it AGAIN?
Stupid Mormon Tricks – Tips For Telling The Difference Between “promptings” Of The Spirit And Those Pesky Personal Feelings
Tuesday, Mar 6, 2007, at 07:37 AM
Original Author(s): Lucyfer
I am soooo happy to have my Ensign subscription back again. I missed my monthly dose of Mormon mirth and merriment! The March 2007 edition has a fabulous article under “Questions and Answers” in which loony TBMs have written in their own special “tips” for distinguishing between “promptings” of the Holy Spirit and personal feelings. These responses are hilarious, sad and/or scary - depending on how you look at it. Here is a sampling:

The “I’m too stupid for my hat” tip –

“When making important decisions, I use the text given in DandC 8:2 as my guide: “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the holy ghost.’ If the prompting makes sense in my mind and feels good in my heart, I can have confidence that it is right and comes from the Lord. If the two are not in harmony and I am confused, I know I may need to step back, take some time, reconsider the options, and modify the decision”…..

Interpretation – In order for me to make a decision on a major life issue, it needs to make sense AND feel good! If the decision works out, then it must have come from an imaginary being because I am too stupid to reason anything out for myself! If my decision goes to hell in a hand basket, well, it must have been those stupid personal feelings again – gosh darn it!!!

The “Let’s pretend my good common sense = spiritual promptings” tip -

“The majority of my answers to prayers have come as I have followed this process: studying out the issue in my mind (DandC 9:8-9), making the best decision that follows what I know to be right, and then going forward with what I have decided even if I don’t get an answer from the Lord. Then, as I act on my decision, I feel comfortable and at peace, and may even feel a strong burning in my bosom later on.”

Interpretation – I think through the decisions in my life using a rational process and am guided by my own internal compass about what is right and wrong. My rational decisions usually work out, so I just pretend they were brought on by spiritual intervention! Hey, if it were just me doing the thinking, things would not work out – right?

The “feeeeelings...whoa, whoa, whoa...feeeelings” tip

“This method works for me and is helping me teach my children to recognize promptings: When you are in a situation where you are positive that the spirit is present – such as during testimony meeting, during a musical number, after receiving a blessing and so on - take notes on how you feel. Write down your thoughts and feelings. This way you can learn what the Spirit feels like!”

Interpretation – I generally don’t think at all- why bother?? When something gives me warm fuzzy feelings, I just go with it. I am a completely irresponsible, brainless person who takes pride in passing these admirable Mormon traits onto my offspring!

The “Mormon silliness masquerading as scientific method” tip –

“I have found that if a thought has one or more of the following characteristics, it has a high probability of being a prompting. Then, I act on it, as long as it is safe and righteous.

-The thought increases your awareness of the situation so you can make a good decision
-An insistent righteous thought seems to come back after you have dismissed it
-The thought prompts you to act in a more logical way, even if you don’t see anything wrong with your current way”

Interpretation - I pretend to use a multi-phase logical decision making process so that I appear to be a rational reasonable human being. I am trying to make it look like I have scientifically studied when my decisions are a result of promptings as opposed to my own emotional responses. I really don’t know jack, but talking about stuff like probability makes me look smart. Actually, I act on unpredictable feelings and emotion, but I don’t want to admit that.

The article closes with a lovely summary of the “distinguishing characteristics” of inspiration by Elder Dallin H. Oaks. Leave it to an attorney to quantify exactly how Mormons know the decisions they are making actually come from an imaginary being messing with their heads.

Man, oh man.
June 2007 Ensign : Do Not Seek Answers From Outside The Church
Monday, Jun 4, 2007, at 07:48 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
The current issue of the Ensign (June 2007) has the following:
“A Firm Foundation in a Shaky World - Don't let something you don't know shake your faith in something you do know. When questions that don't seem to have answers build stress along the fault line between the world and the gospel, the resulting quake can cause casualties of faith among those whose foundations are weak.”
What are some of the questions that do not have answers?
  • Why are there so many versions of the First Vision?
  • Why did Brigham Young teach the Adam God Doctrine and why did the Church get rid of it, including changing the DandC, the History Of The Church and even the Hymn book?
  • Why do modern-day Egyptologists - who can now fully read ancient Egyptian - say the Book of Abraham Facsimiles show that Joseph Smith was totally wrong in his interpretation?
  • Why does the Church condemn polygamy in the media, yet their own current scriptures (See DandC section 132) say that Polygamy is necessary for Godhood?
  • Why does the Church state that it is not racist, yet there are thousands of paragraphs in Church History showing racism even as late as the 1970's with Ezra Taft Benson?
  • Why did Joseph Smith create a bank and swindle people out of over $30,000 dollars?
  • Why did Brigham Young order the Mountain Meadows Massacre and why does the Church now cover it up?
  • Why does FARMS teach about the "Limited Geography Theory" when official cannoized Church Doctrine contradicts it?
  • How did a murderer by the name of Hoffman get into the inner sanctum of the First Presidency? Why was the Church buying up documents to hide them away and ended up getting ripped off by Hoffman?
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of issues. You will not find answers to these questions from “someone you know” (meaning the Church). You will only find the answers from “someone you don't know”. And your faith will be shaken when you start unraveling the issues within Mormonism. So, in the words of the Church (through the Ensign), don't ask, don't tell, don't talk. Keep quiet or your faith may be shaken. And if you don't find an answer within the Church, here is your answer:
“When searching through praying, reading the scriptures, and studying the words of our leaders doesn't turn up an answer, we wait (see DandC 101:16).”
As others have commented, Mormons who only look towards the Church for answers will be waiting a long, long time. In the eyes of the Church, that is perfect.
Dealing With Anti-Mormon Literature
Monday, Jul 30, 2007, at 07:33 AM
Original Author(s): Sethbag
While I was sitting on the couch today listening to our home teachers retell Pres. Monson's story about the wedge that was left in a cleft of an oak tree, and caused the destruction of the tree a few years later, I glanced down and saw the cover of the July, 2007 issue of "The New Era".

On the cover was "Dealing with Anti-Mormon Literature, p. 14", so tonight I picked it up to have a look.

I have to laugh at TBMs on MAD, this board, etc. who say that the church doesn't try to steer people away from anti-mormon literature. They absolutely do, and this article is a good example of it.

Here are some bullet points from the first page of the two-page article.
  • Say you would rather read something you trust, like the scriptures.
  • Spending a lot of time and energy reading anti-Mormon literature would be a waste.
  • If you run across it, discuss it with someone who is knowledgeable about the gospel.
  • Never take anti-Mormon literature at face value.
  • Honest inquiry is good, but everything needs a proper perspective and context.
Just reading these bullet points, I have visions of Boyd K. Packer waving his fingers in front of our face in the Jedi mind trick "these aren't the truths you're looking for", and we all, zombie-like, intone "these aren't the truths we're looking for", and then he says "you want to read the scriptures and pay your tithing", and we all intone "I want to read the scriptures and pay my tithing" and we wander off, later wondering what just happened, but with this inexplicable hankering to pull out the triple combination and write GBH a check.

Here's another gem:
Think of how you feel when you read the Book of Mormon, or bear your testimony. How do these feelings compare with the feelings that come from reading anti-Mormon literature? Which is guiding you to the truth? [emphasis added]
Despite whatever denials you may ever have read over on MAD or from the TBMs here that the LDS testiphony relies on feelings, here's the Chapel Mormon magazine for LDS laying it all for the chapel mormon youth, and it's all about the feelings. Here's what they're saying, whether they would say it this way or not. "We deliberately put ourselves into a state where we feel good when we read the scriptures or bear our testimony, and reading anti-mormon literature creates disturbances in our minds, because it challenges the foundations of the church we've built our lives on. Since LDS testimonies rely on feelings, and anti-Mormon literature induces disturbing feelings, you should interpret those disturbing feelings as God's way of telling you that the anti-Mormon literature is false."

They have "Readers" section at the end of the article with answers provided by some teenaged and young 20s readers who replied to some question about what to do if a friend shows you some anti-Mormon literature.

Here's a good one:
Just tell your friend the truth, that you find that literature disturbing. If he or she is a true friend, he or she will have no problem with it. Stick with your feeling of not wanting to read it. If you do read it, it could open up a window of doubt. There are plenty of good books (like True to the Faith) that have been written through inspiration. Pick up one of those so that you may know how to respond to questions. [emphasis added]
And another:
Anti-Mormon literature will be filled with scriptures or quotes that are taken out of context and twisted to serve the author's purpose of filling people's minds with doubt about the Church. The fact that you get an uneasy feeling when you read anti-mormon literature should be proof enough. The best thing you can do to be prepared for questions is to be faithful and read the Book of Mormon daily. Also, most people who will ask you questions that come from the anti-Mormon literature are not interested in finding the gospel. They want you to argue with them so they can twist your words (see Alma 11). [emphasis added]
Isn't it so painfully obvious now that they work hard to instill a fear of anti-Mormon literature into people, and then point out that if they feel uneasy while reading it, that's proof that it's false? They've created their own anti-dote here. They've undermined a person's ability to read information and process it with their normal rational faculties. Over time this because a very real blind spot with them. This is why you can have brilliant scientists, lawyers, doctors, or whatever else who are LDS, who are smart and rational about every aspect of their life but the LDS church. They've slowly, over the years, turned off their brain's normal critical thinking thought processes whenever the topic revolves around the LDS church, thought processes which they may apply brilliantly in other areas of their lives, but cannot see to do it where the church is concerned.

One last one for the road:
One day I was talking to a friend, who is not a member of our church, and we almost got to the point where we started putting each other's churches down, but I didn't want it to get to that point, so I just bore my testimony and stopped. A few weeks later I got some pamphlets and magazines in the mail from her. I could have kept them so that I would know what some writers think about our church, but I didn't. This experience made me want to be more prepared when things like this happen. [emphasis added]
Watch For The Spin In The January Ensign - Joseph Smith Telling Stories About The Book Of Mormon Before He Received The Plates
Friday, Dec 28, 2007, at 08:25 AM
Original Author(s): Mythbuster
On page 41 of the January Ensign is an unsigned article titled "...and it came to pass". This article mentions Lucy Mack Smith's recollection that Joseph told his family stories of the "ancient inhabitants of this continent".

The SPIN in the Ensign is in this statement "Joseph's mother, Lucy, wrote of the time period when Jospeh was discovering the stories of the Book of Mormon for himself" followed by a quote about Joseph telling his family stories about those "ancient inhabitants".

On this page ( you can read essentially the same quote:
"In the course of our evening conversations Joseph would give us some of the most amusing recitals which could be imagined he would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, their manner of traveling, the animals which they rode, the cities that were built by them, the structure of their buildings, with every particular of their mode of warfare, their religious worship as particularly as though he had spent his life with them. It will be recollected by the reader that all that I mentioned and much more took place within the compass of one short year. (EMD, vol. 1, p. 296)"
So, the anonymous author(s) of the article is/are essentially giving the average Mormon that hasn't (or wouldn't) take the time to learn the background on this quote a feel good explanation for the quote.

Now, rather than wondering how Joseph could be telling stories about the Book of Mormon people before he's even obtained the plates, much less "translated" them, Mormons will just say that Joseph was being told these stories by Moroni.

Don't even dare think that his storytelling ability may indicate that he made up the Book of Mormon, or perhaps was reading a Manuscript obtained from someone else - he was being Divinely Home-Schooled!

I'm sure this is how apologists have long explained this quote - but now it is in the "canon" of the Church by being included in the Ensign.
Shattered Faith Syndrome
Friday, Jun 13, 2008, at 10:36 AM
Original Author(s): Merry Prankster
It is interesting that the on-line chapter (Confusing Tradition With Doctrine) of "Shattered Faith Syndrome" starts with this quote from Ronald Poelman's infamous talk in 1984:
"Sometimes traditions, customs, social practices and personal preferences of individual Church members may, through repeated or common usage be misconstrued as Church procedures or policies. Occasionally, such traditions, customs and practices may even be regarded by some as eternal principles."
This language was stricken from the official version of the talk that appeared in the Ensign and replaced with the following language:
"The eternal principles of the gospel implemented through the divinely inspired Church apply to a wide variety of individuals in diverse cultures."
This revision along with a number of other revisions were made without any notations or indications informing the reader about the changes. The church even taped Poelman giving the revised version of the talk in the Tabernacle in order to create the impression that the revised talk was the original talk. As one website reports:
"The thousands of LDS Church members who attended the October 1984 General Conference, who watched it live on their televisions, or listened to it being broadcast on the radio, had the opportunity of hearing Elder Ronald Poelman give what some considered to be the best talk of the conference. What a surprise it indeed was for some of them to discover a heavily revised version of his remarks in the Ensign the following month, which differed substantially from the sermon they had originally heard and from the excerpts given in the Church News.

"Of course, most members of the Church – living outside of America - wouldn’t have had the opportunity to watch the conference live, and therefore would of relied on video tapes shown at their Stake Centres. Those who watched such tapes, however, would remain unaware that a change had been made in Elder Poelman’s talk, due to the fact that following conference he was re-filmed giving the altered version of his speech in the tabernacle, and it was presented in such a way on the video that it would seem to viewers as if he was speaking live."

Since the footnotes to this chapter are not included in the on-line pdf file, I cannot tell whether or not the author of "Shaken Faith Syndrome" notes any of this controversy surrounding this talk. But I do find some irony that one of the later chapters in this book is entitled "Church 'Cover-Up.'"
The Rest Of The Story
Sunday, Dec 28, 2008, at 09:17 AM
Original Author(s): Substrate
This month's Ensign contains quotes describing the character of Joseph Smith to help us gain "insight" into the man, but the sources of the quotes are perhaps more interesting than the quotes themselves.

"Jesse N. Smith, the Prophet’s cousin, said: “[Joseph Smith was] incomparably the most God-like man I ever saw. … I know that by nature he was incapable of lying and deceitfulness, possessing the greatest kindness and nobility of character. I felt when in his presence that he could read me through and through. I know he was all that he claimed to be.”

Jesse N. Smith was born in December 1834, making him 9 years old at the time of Joseph Smith's death. One would assume that a nine year old would have to possess remarkable insight to pronounce such judgments of character.

"Emmeline Blanche Wells wrote: “In the Prophet Joseph Smith, I believed I recognized the great spiritual power that brought joy and comfort to the Saints. … The power of God rested upon him to such a degree that on many occasions he seemed transfigured. … The glory of his countenance was beyond description.”

Emmeline was 16 at the prophet's death. She had arrived in April of 1844, just two months before his death. One wonders how she would have had time in those two months to have seen him "transfigured ... on many occasions."

"Amasa Potter recalled: “I remember the Prophet arising to preach to a large congregation in the grove west of the Temple in Nauvoo. … Joseph stated that every Latter-day Saint had a [spiritual] gift, and by living a righteous life, and asking for it, the Holy Spirit would reveal it to him or her.”

Amasa Potter was born in 1833, making him 11 years old at the prophet's death. He is perhaps best known for his claim to have found Nephite wheat in a burial mound on his property in Payson, Utah, in 1870. The Nephite wheat, it was said, produced much more than its modern equivalents.

"Parley P. Pratt wrote of the time the Prophet Joseph Smith and others were held as prisoners in the jail in Richmond, Missouri. They had listened for hours to the dreadful blasphemies and filthy language of the guards. “On a sudden [Joseph] arose to his feet, and spoke in a voice of thunder, or as the roaring lion, uttering, as near as I can recollect, the following words:

“‘SILENCE. … In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still.’ …

“The quailing guards … begged his pardon, and remained quiet.”

This account is well-known, but of course, it's important to know that a year before this event, Pratt was denouncing Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple following the failure of the Kirtland Bank.

"Mercy R. Thompson wrote of the Prophet, “When riding with him and his wife Emma in their carriage I have known him to alight and gather prairie flowers for my little girl.”

Mercy was the sister of Mary Fielding Smith, wife of Hyrum Smith.

"Mosiah L. Hancock wrote, “Brother Joseph offered to pull sticks with anyone–and he pulled them all up one at a time.”

Mosiah Hancock was ten years old when Joseph died.

"Eunice Billings Snow wrote: “I saw the ‘Nauvoo Legion’ on parade with the Prophet, … with his wife, Emma Hale Smith, on horseback at the head of the troops. … He so fair, and she so dark, in their beautiful riding-habits. He in full military suit, and she with her habit trimmed with gold buttons. … His favorite riding-horse was named Charlie, a big black steed.”

Eunice Billings Snow was also ten years old at the death of the prophet. Seeing General Joseph Smith in full military dress would probably have been impressive to a child.

"Parley P. Pratt recalled, “On the 21st day of February, 1835, I took the oath and covenant of apostleship, and was solemnly set apart and ordained to that office; and as a member of that quorum under the hands of Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer.”

And two years later he was denouncing the man who ordained him (as were the other two men who ordained him).

"Lucy Walker Kimball wrote: “He well knew … that he must sacrifice his life for the principles God had revealed through him. … I have often heard him say he expected to seal his testimony with his blood.”

This would be the same Lucy Walker who at age 15 had become one of Joseph Smith's plural wives. Of her wedding she said, “Emma Smith was not present and she did not consent to the marriage; she did not know anything about it at all.”
January First Presidency Message: Warn Your Neighbors
Thursday, Jan 1, 2009, at 05:30 PM
Original Author(s): January
I don't know why I torture myself in this way, but have any of you seen the First Presidency Message for January by Henry Eyring? I haven't seen one of these in a while, are they all this pathetic?
Because the Lord is kind, He calls servants to warn people of danger. That call to warn is made harder and more important by the fact that the warnings of most worth are about dangers that people don't yet think are real...

The duty to warn our neighbor falls on all of us who have accepted the covenant of baptism. We are to talk with nonmember friends and relatives about the gospel. Our purpose is to invite them to be taught by the full-time missionaries, who are called and set apart to teach. ...

As a member of the Church, you can expect that the full-time or the ward or branch missionaries will ask for the opportunity to help you make a list of people with whom you could share the gospel. The missionaries may suggest you think of relatives, neighbors, and acquaintances. They may ask you to set a date by which you will try to have the person or family prepared to be taught by the missionaries.

...The Lord would not use the word warn if there was no danger. Yet not many people we know sense it. They have learned to ignore the increasing evidence that society is unraveling and that their lives and family lack the peace they once thought was possible. That willingness to ignore the signs of danger can make it easy for you to think: "Why should I speak to anyone about the gospel who seems content? What danger is there to them or to me if I do or say nothing?"

Well, the danger may be hard to see, but it is real, both for them and for us. For instance, at some moment in the world to come, everyone you met in this life will know what you know now. They will know that the only way to live forever in association with our families and in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, is to choose to enter into the gate by baptism at the hands of those with authority from God. They will know that the only way families can be together forever is to accept and keep sacred covenants offered in the temples of God on this earth. They will know that you knew. And they will remember whether you offered them what someone had offered you.

THIS is one of the reasons why many Christians think the LDS church is a cult. Christians believe they will have meaningful associations with loved ones and God in the next life. But Henry says NO, if you are not MORMON, if you some other type of Christian, you WON'T. This is downright offensive to other Christians. Eyring even shares a story of a non-LDS family from another church, whose son became LDS after all the kindness showed to him. No wonder it's impossible to have a real, honest relationship with Mormon neighbors: they think they have to convert you and that they are always on show to provide an Example(TM) for you. (Do they ever stop and consider the ways non-LDS people could be an example to them?)

I feel bad for the Mormons who feel guilted by this crap. Look at the fear that is used:
-You are in DANGER if you are not Mormon.
-Your friends will know if you FAILED THEM in the next life.
-Non-Mormons (or less valiant Mormons) will NOT live with their families and loved ones or Jesus in the next life (if that's not hell, what is?).
-Society is UNRAVELING; peace is only available through the LDS church.

I think that while the "eternal families" doctrine sounds nice, in practice it is an exclusive doctrine that causes much strife in mixed-LDS families, and it is impossible to divorce this doctrine from its unfortunate roots in the polygamy and polyandry practiced by Joseph Smith.
Moroni's Promise Not Necessary To Know Church Is True
Monday, Feb 2, 2009, at 07:41 AM
Original Author(s): General In The Pre-Existence
Back when I was still in high school, I temporarily allowed myself to question whether I REALLY believed everything the church taught. I decided to actually try to cash in on Moroni's "promise" and got nothing, even after reading the BoM all the way through again.

Fortunately for the morg, an article came out in the New Era that basically said that you don't need any spiritual confirmations to know the BoM is true. It went so far as to say you might not get the confirmation because you already know its true and God hates answering questions you know the answer to.

This article in essece, kept me in the church long enough to go on my cosmic soul saving holy crusade (kudos to whoever originally came up with that term).

Another New Era I found while looking for the previous one states that you can know the BoM is true if you like hearing birds sing.

What a great set up.

Spiritual confirmation (burning bosom) = Church is true

No spiritual confirmation = Church is true
Causes Of Personal Apostacy
Monday, Jun 1, 2009, at 07:43 AM
Original Author(s): Crathes
In the new (June 2009) Ensign, there is an article discussing personal apostacy. Yup, that's right, the causes of this are sinning and fault finding of leaders.

I often wonder why it is that others join the Mormon church. What form of personal apostacy caused the convert to leave the Catholic, or Lutheran et al churches. Was it their sinful nature? Was it fault finding with their pastor? If leaving a church reflects personal apostacy, then the Mormon church will have major issues with their new converts. In fact, I would bet that less than 1 in 3 stays active!

The closing line of the article: "I testify that we can avoid the mists of darkness that lead to personal apostacy by repenting of our sins, overcoming offense, eliminating fault finding, and following our Church leaders. We can also avoid those mists by humbling ourselves, forgiving others, keeping covenants, partaking of the sacrament worthily each week, and strengthening our testimonies through prayer, daily scripture study, temple attendance where possible, magnifyig our Church callings, and serving our fellowmen."

This is so full of bad logic and manipulation, I just don't know where to start!!

I had to laugh when I realized the church is accusing "apostates" of the very behavior THEY engage in!

The article states:
"The gospel reference guidebook True to the Faith defines “apostasy” as the act of individuals, the Church, or entire nations falling away from the truth."
So if the church teaches lies, then THEY are apostates.

Here's another quote from the article:
"Apostasy frequently results when a person commits serious sin but does not repent. To silence his conscience or justify his sinful actions, the individual [church] moves away from the truth, looking for imperfections in others "
Yep, they accuse apostates of sin rather than admit to the serious mistakes in their own beliefs (B of M, B of A) , lies (of JS and in their whitewashing of church history) and inconsistencies in their own doctrine. They WILL NOT address problems with their own teachings and practices, but resort to character assassination of anyone who recognizes the problems.

And another:
"We enter a state of apostasy when we assume authority we do not possess or when we seek revelation for a stewardship outside of our sphere of responsibility. "
Okay . . . .so WHO is assuming authority? Who presumes to speak for God? Who "calls" people to do things for God? Who asks people personal questions and judges their worthiness? Can you GET any more presumptuous?

Perhaps they are referring to the wackjobs who claim their own "revelations" and seek to set up their own offshoot religions. But most so-called apostates just want to assume authority in their own lives. That doesn't sound too presumptuous to me.

Yet will the church allow MEMBERS to call the leaders on their boundary violations? NO. That's considered the first step to apostacy.
Dear Youth: Never Ever Think For Yourselves
Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009, at 02:47 PM
Original Author(s): Gilgal Garden
When they go shopping "....these young Latter-day Saint women take both cash and a certain booklet. That same booklet guides their parents when buying clothes or looking for a film to view."

In Mormonism you just can't do anything without a manual. You just can't be trusted to think for yourself or to use your own judgment. Ever.

So, bring the manual with you at all times. The quote above is from the current Ensign about how some youth in England take their cultish love of "For the Strength of Youth" to a whole new level.

The title of the article? Appropriately enough: "Standards: One Size Fits All."

The youth are constantly being reinforced with the pamphlet, For the Strenghth of Youth. Adult teachers and speakers would use the pamphlet in every aspect of youth meetings and classes. I heard many a member refer to it as "For the strength of the church" pamphlet. Kids were given pocket size pamphlets to carry on their person so they could refer to it when in doubt. Even adults/parents were encouraged to keep it on their person.

The message is that kids and parents are not able to get through the temptations of this age without the express guidelines written down by the prophets. Life without this booklet will end in tragedy! The message is if you don't follow the direction of the brethren, you will be miserable and unproductive in your life. The message is that you will not be able to serve the church and do its work if you stray from the booklet! Where is the agency when fear and guilt are on the line?

The church is true about one thing, it does the thinking for you. You need not fear if you do exactly what we tell you to do, when we tell you to do it. So pray, pay and obey or you will live with heartache, misery and unhappiness for the rest of your life.
Guilt For Financial Difficulties In The New Ensign: Oh And Misogynistic Drivel As A Bonus
Thursday, Jul 30, 2009, at 08:36 AM
Original Author(s): Elmo James
I was just reading an article in the Ensign titled “Staying Home…Again.”

It’s basically about a mother who started working outside the home in a family-owned business and really started to like it. She was, of course, plagued with guilt over actually enjoying her work outside the home and, in some cases, dreading to come home to fufill her “divine role” as wife and mother. She started to panic and prayed that HF would 1) help her to rekindle her desire to be at home full time, and 2) help her find a way to become a full-time mom again. Luckily HF answered her prayer by bringing on the bad economy, which caused them to default on the business loan. After going out of business, this good sister was able to resume her divine role as wife and mother.

This article is offensive in so many ways, and I feel sorry for TBMs who read and actually are influenced by this misogynistic drivel. But there was a paragraph that struck me.
A few months after my first prayer, we reached a point where we were no longer able to make our loan payments on the business. Eventually we had no choice but to close the business and allow it to go into foreclosure. The bank would sell the building for much less than it would get as an operating company, and we would be responsible for the difference, which would amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Hmmm……now are these really the emissaries of God giving us advise from on high through this ridiculous story, or is this the board of directors of Zions Bank Corporation trying to protect the viability of their bank by reminding people that they better not try to stiff them through a bankruptcy, foreclosure, or a short sell.

A lot of people in my neck of the woods (Las Vegas) are struggling with unemployment and mortgages that are a lot higher than the value of their homes. Now the TBMs that read this get to suffer just a little more as they face the guilt of not being able to pay the bank back for the difference between what they owe to the bank and what their house is worth. It also might convince some families God is cursing them because mom went to work, so the best way to deal with a financial problem is for mom to stop working.
Ensign Article Contradicts BYU MI/FARMS Propoganda On Masons
Monday, Aug 16, 2010, at 09:37 AM
Original Author(s): Polygamy-Porter
Has the editor of the church rag even heard of FARMS?

From a Feb 2007 Ensign article, Why Symbols?:
Did Joseph Smith reinvent the temple by putting all the fragments–Jewish, Orthodox, Masonic, Gnostic, Hindu, Egyptian, and so forth–together again?
Notice how they attempt to obfuscate the heavy masonic influence by throwing in five other words? Plain and simple, Smith ripped off the Masonic ceremonies and used them for his temple ceremony.

You will ONLY find such vague opinions from LDS Inc. All outside investigations and research all point to a strong if not complete Masonic connection.

This article, published by LDS Inc themselves, does not align at all with what their own scholarly research team at BYU has printed nearly EIGHT YEARS BEFORE... HELLO?

The Ensign facade continues:
No, that is not how it is done. Very few of the fragments were available in his day, and the job of putting them together was begun, as we have seen, only in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Even when they are available, those poor fragments do not come together of themselves to make a whole; to this day the scholars who collect them do not know what to make of them.
Oh reaahhhhillly?

Horsepuckie! Cow Dung! According to their very own LDS Scholars at BYU , the masons were actually JEALOUS of old Joe and his superior knowledge:
Joseph, the Prophet, was aware that there were some things about Masonry which had come down from the beginning and he desired to know what they were, hence the lodge.

The Masons admitted some keys of knowledge appertaining to Masonry were lost.

Joseph inquired of the Lord concerning the matter and He revealed to the Prophet true Masonry, as we have it in our temples.

Owing to the superior knowledge Joseph received, the Masons became jealous and cut off the Mormon lodge.
Check out the concluding circular logic in the remainder of the Ensign obfuscation from above:
The temple is not to be derived from them, but the other way around. … That anything of such fulness, consistency, ingenuity, and perfection could have been brought forth at a single time and place–overnight, as it were is quite adequate proof of a special dispensation.
That circular logic is soooo typical of sheeple speak. Lets see which stray sheep wanders up here first to attempt to cover up this pile of sheep crap.

Read this gem in that same article:
Let me suggest that the reason why temple building and temple worship have been found in every age, on every hand, and among every people, is because the gospel in its fullness was revealed to Adam, and that all religions and religious practices are therefore derived from the remnants of the truth given to Adam and transmitted by him to the patriarchs. The ordinances of the temple in so far as then necessary, were given, no doubt, in those early days, and, very naturally, corruptions of them have been handed down the ages. Those who understand the eternal nature of the gospel–planned before the foundations of the earth–understand clearly why all history seems to revolve about the building and use of temples.
So can one of the resident members of the Garment patrol please 'splain that?

If the "fullness of the gospel was revealed to Adam" in the first place, then what the hell was Christ doing? Restoring it? Then Joe, restoring it AGAIN?
More Mormon Double Speak
Monday, Nov 15, 2010, at 08:16 AM
Original Author(s): Truthseeker
Just received the Conference Edition of the Mormon magazine. (my wife insists). Could not believe the contradictions in this address by "Elder" Claudio Costa.(General Conference October 2010. He gave a thinly veiled "keep in line" speech, disguised as 14 reasons to always follow the Prophet...
"First: The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything"
Nonsense. If that's the case, why have many words of past Prophets had to be "clairifed" or corrected by others? That would imply God makes mistakes.
Second fundamental: "The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works"
Nonsense. Once again trying to dispose of the Bible and replace it with the opinions of men.
Third fundamental: "The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet"
OK, then why is the whole Church formed on the words of a "prophet" who died 200 years ago?
Fourth fundamental: "The prophet will never lead the Church astray" ("Fourteen Fundamentals," 27).
Nonsense. Every prophet has made serious mistakes. They are human beings. Look at the "Salamander Letters" mess, Mountain Meadows, Zion's Bank, and on and on...
Fifth fundamental: "The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time"
Nonsense. Can the prophet counsel on nuclear physics? ;-) Don't think so.
"Sixth: The prophet does not have to say 'Thus saith the Lord' to give us scripture"
Guess that is why the Church has now prohibited recording or transcribing any comments or speeches by a GA?
"Seventh: The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know"
In other words, don't think, don't question, just obey.
Eighth fundamental: "The prophet is not limited by men's reasoning.
Since anything he says is infallibe scripture (see rule 7), guess that's OK...huh?
"Ninth: The prophet can receive revelation on any matter-temporal or spiritual"
In other words, the Church can dictate any aspect of a member's life they choose to.
"Tenth: The prophet may be involved in civic matters"
This makes sense. The profit has a lot of lucrative business Boards to oversee, and shopping malls to build.
"Eleventh: The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich"
In other words, those who think and act for themselves
"Twelfth: The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly"
In other words, those who think and act for themselves.
"Thirteenth: The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency-the highest quorum in the Church. . . .
Here we go again with abosolute, unquestioned authority
"Fourteenth: The prophet and the presidency-the living prophet and the first presidency-follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer"
If persuasion and kindness don't work... Use threats!!
Can I Cancel A Gift Subscription Of The Ensign?
Monday, Aug 15, 2011, at 07:48 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
My parents keep a gift subscription of the ensign for me. I have asked them to stop but they refuse. They think that eventually it will do me some good and "bring me back around." I don't mind throwing it away every month, but I don't want anyone, even my mailman to assume that I associate with those people. I have looked all over the church material subscription websites and can't find anything about canceling, though I'm not too proud to say I missed something. Any ideas?

I went to Google and typed: "how do I cancel my ensign subscription"

I then clicked the first link, and then the "Contact Us" tab. The first section of contact includes "If you have questions, need to cancel an order, or want to place an order by phone, call"

For kicks I actually called the US number and asked how hard it was to cancel a gifted subscription. The very nice women said, "Not hard at all, we handle those all the time. (Small chit-chat in here resulting in subtle hints about being exmo.) Some over-exuberant friends or family members tend to get them for people who would rather not get them."

They say there's a phone number in the fine print in every copy of the magazine.

Option 1 is to accept a refund for upcoming issues.

Option 2 allows you to have the refund sent to your "benefactor."

I think you can also have them lock in an option of never accepting other subscriptions in your name.

I can understand why some exmos would hate having this rag show up in your mailbox. The idea gives me a slight case of creepiness. To me, it would feel like getting instructions for building terrorist bombs or torturing dogs in my mail, offensive and embarrassing.

Other people probably don't mind tossing it into the recycle bin every month on the way from their mailbox to the front door.
Reading Supplements For The October Ensign Special Issue About The Book Of Mormon
Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011, at 08:28 AM
Original Author(s): Jesus Smith, Hoggle
The October Ensign is a special issue focusing on the Book of Mormon.

It would not be complete without keeping in mind who the Book of Mormon is supposed to be a history of.

Who and Where are the Lamanites, Ensign December, 1975

(Also two additional articles can be read on next pages)

"In this composite group is the blood of Israel, for we know that Lehi was of the tribe of Manasseh (see Alma 10:3), that Ishmael was of Ephraim (see JD 3:184), and that Mulek was of Judah, being a descendant of King David through Zedekiah. Therefore, the Lamanites of today–all the mixed descendants of the Book of Mormon peoples–have a legitimate claim to the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant and, in turn, the duty to now carry these blessings to those nations of the earth who yet remain in darkness, the remainder of the descendants of Noah."

Bedrock of a Faith is Jolted, Los Angeles Times, February 16, 2006

"We were taught all the blessings of that Hebrew lineage belonged to us and that we were special people," said Loayza, now a Salt Lake City attorney. "It not only made me feel special, but it gave me a sense of transcendental identity, an identity with God."

"A few years ago, Loayza said, his faith was shaken and his identity stripped away by DNA evidence showing that the ancestors of American natives came from Asia, not the Middle East."

I especially like this quote from the article:

"The Book of Mormon has withstood the tests of time, trial, and testimony and lies at the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ. "

I'm reminded of Holland's Book of Mormon Rampage in Oct 2009.

Holland Quote:

" still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died–from Ethan Smith to Solomon Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. "

Yeah, denial denial denial.

He also made this statement that I feel is coming true. But in reverse.

Holland spoke about apostates:

"such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: “a stone of stumbling, … a rock of offence,” "

Instead of it being apostates having to crawl over or under or around the BoM, it has become a stumbling stone for the 15. They've had to revise it more than 4000 times, correcting farm grammar, old English misspellings, removing racist phrases, and redacting strong utterances about Lamanite descendents. They have full-time apologists trying to explain why it makes some of the outrageous claims it does about Ancient America fauna and foliage (horses, sheep, barley, wheat, etc.). They’ve had to ignore clamorous demands that they dig up the Hill Cumorah for evidence that they know doesn’t exist. They’ve had to find dishonest professors that selectively cite references supporting the few places the BoM makes specific claims that coincidentally tie to reality (Nibley, etal.). They've had to downplay the Book of Abraham, given that it is tied to the integrity of the BoM showing that Joe Smith was in fact no good at translating Egyptian--regular or reformed.

If anyone is having to make their way around, gloss over, or duck under the Book of Mormon, it’s the 15. They know it's trouble and it makes us wonder how long they can keep it up.

In 2007 the introduction to the Book of Mormon was changed to allow other ancestors for America's indigenous people. LDS members and apologists downplay the change by stating that the introduction was written by Bruce R. McConkie and was not from the gold plates.

This October Ensign downplays the Book of Mormon's importance to America's indigenous people.

On page 23 it says “The title-page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates”.

The introduction had been written by the LDS apostle McConkie, but the title page was translated from the gold plates. Instead of making changes to it, things are simply no longer mentioned.

On the inside cover of this Ensign it says this: “. . . Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever–And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ” (title page of the Book of Mormon).

It does not make it clear who the "remnant of the house of Israel" is. The actual title page says this before the quote used in the Ensign: "Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile–Written by way of commandment"

Page 39 has this: "The title page, written by Mormon, reveals the book’s main purposes. The first purpose specifically addresses the descendants of the children of Lehi".

Looks like the Mormons have lost their Lamanites! This Ensign is quite different from 1975. There is no mention that it is written to the Lamanites. The emphasis of this edition is that the Book of Mormon is for everyone in the world, but no clarification on who the book is supposed to be a history of and who the living descendants of the Book of Mormon people are supposed to be right now.

Did the DNA research cause this? It seems that the LDS church changes what it can get away with and de-emphasizes what it cannot change.
October Ensign Lies - Inside Front Cover Picture Of Smith Translating From Plates - No Peepstone In A Hat Yet Again
Monday, Oct 24, 2011, at 07:07 AM
Original Author(s): Gorspel Dacktrin
It's amazing how carefully dishonest they are...

Everyone who has seriously studied the history knows about the rock in the hat. But they continue to publish illustrations and articles that omit all reference to the true and principal method of translation used. I sometimes wonder how they can sleep at night. Surely they know that they are omitting key historical facts and using illustrations that promote false impressions.

But their illustrations got one thing sort of right. The one that shows the three witnesses looking at the plates presents an image of a visionary experience--which matches up with the "spiritual eyes" aspect of it. But even that illustration is dishonest because it doesn't indicate the fact that Martin Harris had a problem seeing anything until Joseph Smith took him aside and coached him separately.

I hate to say it. I really do. But, and to be as diplomatic as possible, the leaders of the Church appear to be lying sacks of bullshit. I'm sure they're reasonably nice guys and don't kill puppies for sport. But sheesh! They are so dishonest!

See it for yourself :
A Titanic Piece Of Crap In LDS Living Magazine
Monday, Apr 23, 2012, at 11:16 AM
Original Author(s): Fiyero
So I'm still on the LDS Living mailing list, because I enjoy some good comic relief now and again. Today however, a promo teaser in my email intrigued me because I had recently seen the re-release of Titanic in 3D and was curious by the name of the article:

"100 years after Titanic sinks, LDS connections still remembered"

Seriously??? That takes a good amount of spin to turn the Titanic into a faith promoting Primary lesson. After reading through, here is my interpretation:

1. The whole article is actually based on only 1 LDS person who actually was actually on the boat. I expected to hear several human interest tales of joyful survival or tragic demise. Instead it was neither. I was a classic case of devising a story ahead of time, and crafting details (true or not) to try and fill space where none should exist.

2. "A mother who sacrificed to save others" (the one actual LDS person)

Despite the declarative paragraph header, they have zero evidence to support the assertion. According to the author's logic, because she had just studied midwifery, she must certainly have used her valuable training to heroically save other passengers in need of medical assistance. Perhaps the stress of imminent death may have put a few pregnant women into labor, and this altruistic sister was there to comfort and deliver the babies before the icy water overtook them all.

(Oh, and let's not forget that second class was much better than business class today. Squash courts, libraries, and mingling with 1st class.. Why do they even bring that up really, except to paint the picture that she must have run back into steerage to save the huddled masses instead of saving her privileged self. Instead of seeing it that way, I immediately saw the money connection to Joseph F. Smith instead. Why am I so cynical?

3. "The missionaries who almost didn't make it."

If this story is even true, there is nothing beyond normal coincidence here similar to the myriad tales related to being late to work at the WTC on the morning of September 11. To me, it sounds more like a faith promoting Paul H. Dunn fabrication, or at best an incidental occurrence that has grown more and more legendary with each re-telling. Supposing it is true that the reservations were cancelled, how is this miraculous or a prompting in any way? One of their party was delayed, and as missionaries it is customary to remain in a group and travel as a group. Rather than overwhelming prompting and divine guidance to cancel the reservation, the lead Elder was most likely pissed off and cursing under his breath at his travel companion whose delay caused them all to miss the experience of a lifetime. I do feel goosebumps right now. Not.

4. A totally irrelevant reference to some rich publisher who happened to mention the church a few times in his newspaper. If he was defending the church as claimed, he was most likely deceived and misguided in claiming polygamy was no longer practiced. (Most likely a result of the church propaganda surrounding the Reed Smoot hearings I would guess.) Still, what relevance does this man's presence on the Titanic have in a story about "LDS Connections" on the Titanic? I'm sure John Jacob Astor must have had some business dealing with a Mormon at some point in his career. Shouldn't the author research that as well and add a fourth connection to make this fluff piece even fluffier?
The Artistic Renderings Of The Face In The Hat
Thursday, May 17, 2012, at 11:28 AM
Original Author(s): Aristotle Smith
One of the common complaints that critics of the church make is that all artistic renderings of the translation of the Book of Mormon are completely wrong. They always show Joseph poring over gold plates or using the Urim and Thummim, or deep in thought, or something that accords with common Mormon misunderstandings of how the translation happened. They never show it how it happened, with Joseph sticking his head in a hat.

LDS apologists have generally retorted that it's artistic license or the artists don't know what is going on. I mean the artists just paint the stuff and the GAs believe in the freedom and integrity of the artist and his/her product so they wouldn't dare tell the artists to go back to their studios and get the paintings correct. Above all they always emphasize that art isn't doctrine and that only bozos get their doctrine from art.

Up until now I have sided with the apologists, but I am now switching sides to the critics on this one. Why? Because of this art work put in the December 2011 issue of the Ensign. Please take a minute to compare the original art work on the left and the Enisgn's version of the art work on the right at this web page:

Basically, someone at the COB decided to edit Carl Bloch's "The Resurrection" to make it more in harmony with LDS beliefs. Specifically, the angels in the Ensign version lack wings and are dressed more modestly.

If the LDS church can censor and edit a great painting to accord more with Mormon doctrine, then they sure as hell can tell their in house and contract artists to get the translation renditions correct. From this we can conclude that the COB doesn't give a care about artistic integrity. And they sure are worried that people are getting their doctrine from art work. Since this is the case, the COB has no excuse to continue publishing the misleading pictures of the Book of Mormon translation. They either need to commission new works of art to reflect reality or it's time to edit in Joseph's face in a hat in all of the existing LDS artwork depicting the translation process.

ETA: I found the pdf of the original Ensign article to see for yourself, it's on page 54:
An Article You Never Expected To See In The Ensign
Thursday, Jun 21, 2012, at 11:28 AM
Original Author(s): The Brother Of Shiz
I guess the Ensign staff have spent enough time reading the stories on PostMormon and other forums and decided it was time to chime in.

Hey, I'll give credit where credit is due: Mad props to the Ensign for publishing this.

When He Stopped Believing - Ensign, July 2012

One small complaint/critique: Why withhold the author's name? Is it really that big of a stigma to be known to have a non-believing spouse in Mormonism? Oh, yeah, never mind...

I think it is really good that the church is publishing an article which tells people not to leave their angry apostate spouses because they will drag you down to hell, but I still think the line of thought expressed in the article is destructive. I feel as though the author is supremely condescending to her husband (which is probably why she withheld her name), and is still promoting impossible expectations. Here are some quotes which I take issue with:
"It is impossible for my husband to dedicate his life to the Lord if that is not his personal choice."
I don't think she understands her husbands position here. Most of us don't choose to disbelieve and disobey god, we are forced into it by the evidence. She probably didn't choose to believe in Mormonism, but follows the evidence too. I don't think that belief and disbelief is a choice, but delusion may be a choice. If she is choosing to believe in Mormonism, then she is probably deluded.
" the help of the Spirit I have realized that either I can focus on what my husband’s choices have taken from our temple marriage, or I can strive even more to develop a celestial relationship with him."
She isn't denying that her husbands foolish and evil choices have taken valuable things from their temple marriage, just that she shouldn't focus on it. Furthermore, I don't understand what she means by striving to develop a celestial relationship with him. How can you have a celestial relationship with someone who doesn't believe that one exists? I'm sure her husband doesn't want a celestial relationship, whatever that means.
"the overall feeling of love and the occurrence of spiritual experiences have been strengthened both in our relationship and in our home."
If she is saying that their relationship has encountered more spiritual experiences since he stopped believing, then I'm sure she thinks that he is an idiot for not seeing them and believing.
"This does not mean that we should desire or expect any less from our spouse, but that we should give our love freely no matter what point they are at on their personal road of progress."
It seems as though she is saying here that even though she left her husband in the dust on the road of spiritual progress, she should love him anyway. This kind of love seems so condescending. It isn't saying, I love you despite your flaws, it's saying I love you despite this one specific major flaw. It's like saying, I love you despite the fact that you are stupid. Also, the first part of the quote scares me, it sounds like she is saying that she should still hold her husband to the standards of the gospel, and expect him to be a righteous husband, even though he doesn't believe.

Anyway, I'm glad that this came out and that it is emphasizing love, but I don't think that she (or the church for that matter) understands what love is.
Faith Promotion In Action - July Ensign 2012
Wednesday, Jul 25, 2012, at 07:41 AM
Original Author(s): Poliisi
Latest faith promoting material (July Ensign 2012) has an article making pretty outrageous claims regarding the BoM.

So first lets see who's behind this artickle..
Derk Palfreyman, Utah, USA
Now that's pretty unusual name, I wonder if I can dig out some data out of lets see.
Former Utah County Sheriff's deputy Derk Palfreyman also sought to have his punishment reduced. He appealed a POST decision to revoke his peace officer certification.

Palfreyman was charged with misdemeanor theft, accused of stealing livestock equipment from a man he was feuding with over leased ranch land. He struck a plea deal with prosecutors. He admitted to the POST Council that he wasn't exactly forthcoming when Salem police investigated the theft – but he was cooperative with other investigators.
Now that's an interesting piece of information there. Apparently he has been a dishonest cop, which puts some question marks on his credibility, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he's lying this time. So lets see further what he's claiming in his Ensign article.
The rabbi was intrigued. He asked how old Joseph was when he had the First Vision. When I told him Joseph was 14, about the same age as Samuel of the Old Testament, he replied that many prophets were called in their youth. He said it was consistent that God would call Joseph Smith in his teen years.
Oh wow! So the alleged rabbi is making a statement that many of the biblical prophets were called in their teens. Lets see... Moses, raised to adulthood, saw a slave master beating a Hebrew and killed the slave master fled to Sinai before was called by God. No teenagers here...

Ezekiel, started his career as a prophet at the age of 30!?

Jeremiah, the prophet that claimed being only a child and not wanting to be a prophet, born around 655 BC, called by God around 626BC, so nope no 14 yr olds here either.

....(the list goes on)..

So I find it very difficult to believe that a real rabbi would actually make such a statement, but let us not stop there lets see what's next...
He then explained why the text appeared to be an English translation of Hebrew.
Erh..What? Excuse me everyone, but Joseph Smith claimed the text to be reformed Egyptian! Hello!
I told him the book was written by a tribe of Israel. I cited Ezekiel 37:15–20, which speaks of the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph. We agreed that the stick of Judah represents the Bible, and I explained that the stick of Joseph is the Book of Mormon.
Oh please a real rabbi would definitely not have agreed on this. A real rabbi would have been very familiar with the Genesis 49:10
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Which clearly indicates that the "stick of Judah" is a sceptre, a symbol of power, held in the hand of a king. Also a real rabbi would most certainly know how the kingdoms on Judah and Israel were in time separate until they were united under the one sceptre which the Ezekiel 37:15–20 refers to.

I cannot even remember when was the last time I read as clear BS as this. Now getting back into the real world here's a real rabbi with his own name commenting the "two sticks".

I think it is apparent that the Ensign editor doesn't really bother to check anything when it comes down publishing faith promoting and uplifting fantasy.
The Right Time To Marry | March Ensign 2013
Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013, at 10:47 AM
Original Author(s): Stormy Waters
In the March Ensign there is an article that encourages marriages at a young age.

The right time to marry

There may seem to be less encouragement for returned missionaries to get married. If that is your understanding, it is false.

All returned missionaries should be encouraged when they return home to remain active in the Church, secure an education, acquire employment skills, and move in the direction of finding an eternal companion.
Between the lowered missionary age and this continued counsel I don't think the church intends to address why people leave, it just intends to remove the opportunity to leave.

I also note that it wasn't stated that the right time to marry is when you find someone you love.

In fact, I couldn't find the word "love" used anywhere in the article.
Ensign Article Has My Feminist Friends Enraged
Friday, Mar 29, 2013, at 07:17 AM
Original Author(s): Dogeatdog
This article in the April Ensign has my LDS, nonmo, and exmo friends on the warpath.

It's filled with blatant lies, tries to redefine equal and preside, and is a work of deception. The church is going to regret they published this.


"Equality is all too often mistaken to mean that if two things are equal, they must be identical to each other." This is not even remotely true. Equality isn't 'all too often seen as identical'. To me, equality means equal opportunity and not being told you shouldn't do something because of your gender!

""The Family: A Proclamation to the World" teaches that gender is "an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

And saying it in the article as though it's even remotely authoritative...! What the heck about all the people that don't fit into one gender or the other?! It's so essential that some people aren't biologically one gender or the other...?

The entire thing about Eve is just BS. I've never even heard it focused on, talked about, lessons planned around it, talks about it, or Ensign articles about it. Yay for you TSCC - it's such a big deal that you never talk about it.

The only good bit I saw: "Spouses are to enter their marriage relationship convinced of each other's equality." And the stuff about parenting as a team.

Priesthood does NOT equal motherhood. It's unfortunate that so often in TSCC Priesthood is equated with a particular role in church office.

It's beyond annoying that they spin it to make it sound like women have any sort of ACTUAL leadership authority at all.

Who did the authors of the article quote?

On the men's side (names and titles as quoted in the article)

Elder Earl C. Tingey, formerly of the Presidency of the Seventy
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Elder Bruce C. Hafen, formerly of the Seventy
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
President James E. Faust (1920–2007)
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

On the women's side (names and titles as quoted in the article)

His wife, Marie.
Rescuing A "Wayward" Spouse - Merdian Magazine
Thursday, Aug 1, 2013, at 07:23 AM
Original Author(s): Shinjiruka
**Warning** some comments made by this Author, Larry Barkdull, may drive the desire to punch your computer screen or worse. Now, I will be fair, I think some of his advice is good and this husband should love his wife and not abandon her or push her to go to church.

BUT - Here are some of the quotes that made me want to throw my computer across the room: Quote:
You might want to think of your wife's situation as having the flu. You certainly wouldn't insist that she attend church or carry her weight in the family during her sickness.
Interesting diagnosis, provided by one with hallmark signs and symptoms of spiritual diarrhea. I wonder if I have spiritual Iron Deficiency Anemia, or advanced stage spiritual Irritable Bowell Syndrome. Or maybe spiritual food allergies and constipation?

I hope your marriage doesn't end, but if someday it does, let the decision be hers. The lie that she is living will likely drive her to the point of decision; either she will admit and abandon it or she will act on it. We pray that she will abandon it.
I doubt that her issue is the Church. People don't casually discard their beliefs and covenants unless they are dealing with some deep-seated issue that they cannot resolve. Your wife seems to be trying excessively hard to go opposite the gospel, and she is using anti-Mormon literature as her rationale. I would guess that she has been struggling with other non-Church issues for some time.
Satan is a master at misdirection and keeping us so busy with trivia that we never confront the real issue.
She needs to talk to a good counselor to get to the root causes of her feelings and behavior. Don't force this upon her; rather, set the example by going yourself. By all means, talk to your bishop. Beyond being a good man, he has special priesthood keys for this very situation. Your solution needs to be directed by the priesthood.
I think you need a big warning in caps and bolded. Something like "Warning: clicking this link and reading the following article and its associated comments will leave your brain reeling. You may emerge stupider and incoherent as a result of exposure to this drek."

Here's the link:
Manipulative Faithful Examples: Friend September 2013
Monday, Aug 26, 2013, at 08:00 AM
Original Author(s): Stormy Waters
From the September issue of The Friend:
Once a General Authority visited a ward in Hong Kong where people were struggling to support their families. He told the bishop that the members should pay their tithing.

The bishop was worried. The people barely had enough food and money to meet their needs.

“If they will pay their tithing, the Lord will bless them,” the General Authority said.

The bishop thought for a moment. Then he said, “I will talk to some of the most faithful members of our ward–the Primary children!”

The next Sunday, the bishop visited the Primary. He taught the children about the law of tithing. He asked them to pay tithing on the money they earned. The children promised they would–and they did!

Thought this was weird and manipulative especially considering it is targeted at children.

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