THE MORMON CURTAIN
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BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY - SECTION 1
Brigham Young University is owned by the LDS Church. BYU is known as the "Zoo" and a place where young Mormons go to get married. Women are taught that the education they receive is to be used only in teaching their children and not for their own careers.
| If you are excommunicated or leave the Church as an apostate, BYU does not release your transcripts. Anyone in school at these places should not attempt to leave the Church until they have transferred to another school. This discussion has actually taken place on this board. I would get a lawyer and fight them on this, but I don't know what good it will do. My son, who has not left the church, transferred to another school before getting two years at BYU-Idaho and had no problem getting his transcript sent out. They will punish you if you become an apostate before you graduate. After you graduate there is not much they can do about it and they will send out your transcripts. Don't ever leave the Church when you are attending BYU anywhere.
| Nicole Kidman's character in the new movie "The Interpreter" is a translator at the United Nations whose fluency in an obscure foreign language uncovers an assassination plot.
The thriller, which opens today, could have added an element of credibility if Kidman's character were portrayed as a Brigham Young University graduate.
BYU is establishing itself as a major American center for language study, a goal set for the university 30 years ago by a leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns the school.
Consider: More than 25 percent of BYU's student body take language courses each semester. The national average is 8 percent.
"To go to one place and see so many people with that much language skill is unusual," said Mike Turner, a special-agent recruiter for the Drug Enforcement Agency. "It's a huge place for us to be. Students at other universities just don't seem to have the same interest in the position of special agent or the fluency in another language or languages."
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
Of course Brigham Young University is one of the leading centers for language study. The LDS Church has to get their propaganda material (read: BOM) translated into as many languages as they can. The more languages, the more potential cult members, the more possible income for the Church.
| I always get a twinge when I get my copy of the BYU Alumni magazine.
I did not like BYU as a freshman, I seemed to be acutely aware of the bubble like environment and false frontedness. I hadn't attended seminary and wasn't as conditioned as most. I didn't go back for a couple years.
When I returned as a serious married student, I felt different and really enjoyed the BYU environment. I was focused on getting my education and didn't expend a lot of energy on the religous stuff. I have a lot of good memories there.
Now as a 52 yr old adult, I find the place kind of strange overall.
Anyway Saturday I got my BYU Alumni magazine, and it is so slick, I start wondering about the dynamics of an organization based on lies that can sponsor such a wonderful institution (as I momentarily forget reality)
Then I see the picture of the ardent students in the "Spreading the Gospel" class. (pre mission conditioning). Then I see the picture of the lady professor in another religion class expounding on the depth and meaning of the "First Vision".
Reality rears its ugly head, BYU is a slickly packaged Mormon PR machine. Yes, you can get an education there, but also it is a MORG finishing school, a pre mission conditioning center (this seems especially true at Ricks), and a post mission affirmation center.
Many go, most will never recover.
| From Scroll Online, the Brigham Young University of Idaho Paper:
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
This week as I was in the testing center I was made aware of the fact that my back was exposed during my last visit. I expressed the fact that this annoyed me quite a bit, because as an endowed member of the Church I go to great lengths to always have some sort of shirt (usually white) that is longer under my top layer to be sure to keep my garments from showing.
When I stated this, I was promptly told that I need to wear a different color of t-shirt (not just white) so that no one would mistake my t-shirt for my garments.
I was also told that the only reason why they look for this is to try and stop those people who do not care about whether or not they show their garments. I do appreciate that they are trying to uphold the standards of this institution, but am I breaking the dress code for trying to cover my garments with a white t-shirt? Apparently so.
I believe that there are bigger battles to be fought on this campus than to chasten the students who are trying to live in accordance with the gospel and their temple covenants.
| A new online auction Web site, Mormonbid.com, is making its way in the business world ruled by giants like eBay, Bidville and Overstock.
According to Mormonbid.com founder Neal Randall, the new Web site is different from its big brothers because the site is reviewed intently for fraud, salacious postings and false advertising. The site also offers users a clean environment without the worries that have plagued some of the larger sites.
“I bought some DVDs on eBay, spent about $100 and they never arrived,” Randall said. “The site is so large that they cannot handle what is going on the Web site. It’s easy for people to take advantage of other people.”
He said he gave the site the name Mormonbid.com to indicate the level of honesty and trust one can experience on the site. For example, R-rated movies are generally discouraged on the site, as are games of chance, pornography and advertising that may deceive the buyer.
Yet Randall said the site is not only for Mormons but also for those who live similar to LDS lifestyle.
“We wanted a place where people could feel comfortable with who they are trading with,” he said. “We wanted a place with groups of people who would have similar standards and trust for each other. We made sure that we would not have pornographic material.”
Despite the benefits of the new Web site, some students have doubts as to whether the owner will be able to keep the image of the Web site as business increases.
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
| A handful of scholars researching the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will move to Salt Lake City after the closure of a research institute at Brigham Young University dedicated to LDS history.
BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins confirmed Monday that during a meeting Friday, academic vice president John Tanner told religion faculty members the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History would be closed.
The LDS Church issued a press release Monday saying those working on the institute's major research interest – the Joseph Smith Papers Project – will all "soon be housed together in one location at church headquarters."
"Bringing together nearly all those working on the project in a single location will enhance collaboration, increase productivity and accelerate publication of archival materials dealing with the life, mission, teachings and legacy" of LDS Church founder Joseph Smith, the statement said.
The project – which includes journals, correspondence, discourses, written histories, business and legal documents either drafted by or concerning Joseph Smith is "the most important church history project of this generation," said to Elder Marlin K. Jensen, who was recently named church historian.
He told the Deseret Morning News the change was "chiefly motivated by the importance of the Joseph Smith project and the difficulty we've experienced" advancing the work "at an acceptable pace and within acceptable cost limits."
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
| From the school of Dumb and Dumber comes:
"With so many groups in the world who have identical facts but argue opposite sides of various issues, the question “what is truth?” arises.
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
“The point is that truth is not just a set of facts,” Heaton said. “Truth has something to do with your attitudes and philosophy and the way you have of looking at the world.”
The Savior indicates in the scriptures that his children must “be of the truth” to hear His voice and follow him.
“You have to have the right attitude, value system, and be somehow ‘of the truth’ as the scripture describes, to understand truth,” he said."
| Latter-day Saints with limited knowledge about mental illness can add to the pain of those who suffer when they ascribe to several common myths.
Rick Hawks, a psychologist and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told an audience gathered Thursday at Brigham Young University that he has received criticism in the past for characterizations that some church members' insensitivity adds to the pain of those with mental disorders and their family members.
In a lecture titled "Mental Illness: How Latter-day Saints Shoot Their Wounded," was one of hundreds of presentations offered during the annual Education Week at BYU, drawing tens of thousands of people to the Provo campus. Classes concluded on Friday.
Hawks dismissed what he said are commonly held myths about the mentally ill and their families.
The first, that "if you keep the commandments, you won't have mental illness," reinforces an ancient but false belief that spirituality inoculates people against mental disorders, which in reality are physical illnesses like cancer and diabetes.
The myth goes hand in hand with the idea that "all emotional difficulties have to do with personal sin." Yet the truth is that no one is immune, including church and community leaders, he said, noting former LDS Church President Harold B. Lee suffered from depression.
"Praying, fasting, reading the scriptures and good parenting are all important, but they don't treat mental illness."
The second myth is that those who suffer simply need a "priesthood blessing" to restore proper mental function. Complex mental disorders require consultation with professionals, proper medication and lifestyle changes, he said, quoting top LDS leaders who have advocated such treatment in public settings.
While church leaders are often helpful with problems of the soul, such spiritual "shepherds are not veterinarians," he said, quoting Elder Vaughn Featherstone. Some need to realize that, Hawks said, noting he was once in a church meeting where an LDS stake president told the congregation from the pulpit that if they were taking Prozac, they should stop doing so.
Editor Note: Who let this guy talk at BYU? Now you are going to have a lot of young, confused, future tithe payers who are going to seek medical help rather than look to the church for help. But I highly doubt it. Mormon youth will continue to believe that any mental illness is a test in life and if they give in, Satan will win. And in all reality this is exactly what the Mormon Church wants because these young people will cling to Mormonism thinking it will save them.
| Brigham Young University President Cecil O. Samuelson encouraged an estimated 7,500 students to carry on the "legacy of learning" left by former Latter-day Saint prophet Joseph Smith.
"Joseph encouraged continual learning and the acquisition not only of knowledge but also wisdom," Samuelson said Tuesday during a devotional address in the Marriott Center. "His doctrine was expansive rather than restrictive."
Samuelson urged the students to follow the footsteps of the church founder as they begin the new semester, which started Monday, by appreciating lessons learned in classes and the often-difficult roads to success. The devotional was the first of the school year.
"We have the opportunity to continue the vital process of expanding our understanding and acquiring knowledge and wisdom," he said. However, that learning process isn't always easy, and just like Smith endured hardships to shape his character, so too must students be prepared for challenges and demands, Samuelson said.
The president's wife, Sharon Samuelson, also spoke of the importance of living according to the advice and counsel of church leaders.
"There always has been a need for the steady, reassuring voice of a prophet," she said, but added that just hearing is not enough. She challenged the students to take seriously their leader's counsel and to live their lives as advocates for not only their beliefs, but their school.
Editor Note: Lets follow in the footsteps of one Joseph Smith Jr... Sex with multiple partners, bigamy, adultery, pedophilia (sex with underage girls as young as 16), drinking and smoking, destroying public property (Nauvoo Press), using rocks to find non-existent buried treasure for money (Glass Looking), defrauding hundreds of people with an illegal bank (The Kirtland Bank) and the list goes on. I wonder how many students will incur BYU honor code violations for following in the footsteps of their prophet criminal.
| BYU Idaho has published a new article about Anti-Mormon Literature.
The article tells us several things that can happen to you if you read Anti-Mormon Literature:
Oh yes, and all Anti-Mormons are "misinformed" with lots of "misconceptions".
- Your spouse has the right to give you an ultimatim: Choose the Church or get out.
- You will have marriage problems.
- You will contemplate and possibly try to commit suicide several times.
I am always amazed at what Mormons teach each other. The Mormon Church is more important than anything - even your own family. I also find it suprising that Mormons just cannot fathom that they are the cause of their own problems - not the Anti-Mormon Literature.
| The Harold B. Lee Library is reviewing a policy that allows students to receive services, whether or not they are in compliance with the Honor Code’s dress and grooming standards.
Library officials stopped enforcing the Honor Code more than a year ago, but BYU administrators were unaware of the change until last week when questioned by The Daily Universe.
Now, university and library officials say the policy may be revised and that in the future, the proper academic vice president will review Honor Code changes.
Julene Butler, associate university librarian, said, “Our prior approach [with Honor Code enforcement] is that it was something that was asked of us. It was extremely difficult to enforce and in terms of the spirit of the law, it was difficult to have students reporting on students.”
Randy Olsen, university librarian, said the library didn’t want to unjustly refuse service to alumni, non-BYU students, children of faculty or anyone else who is not obligated to abide by the code.
Also, inadequate training for employees was cited as a reason for the decision. Olsen said “there was some concern that with 400 student employees and rapid turnover, that it would be difficult to adequately train those employees" how to enforce the Honor Code.
Editor Note: So those of you attending BYU, you will soon be banned from the HBLL if you have more than one earring, or your shorts are above the knee, or your hair isn't cut appropriately. BYU is starting to crack down! Remember ... The thought police are always watching you. Jesus Christ is more concerned about the number of earrings you are wearing than he is about your desire for knowledge. Ah yes, Mormonism is always about obedience. Pay, Pray, Obey.
| I found some of these post quite down to earth, and others literally made me want to puke. Fun reading, though. Here's the link and a few excerpts:
"If you look at the FACTS, it is clear that as more BYU football players have chosen to serve missions during the course of their college football career, the success of the team has steadily decreased. In the past few years, the vast majority of the players have chosen to serve missions, and of course it has had a demonstrably negative impact on the team."
"please don't tell me you would rather have a winning team than for young men obey the command of god and go on a mission....are you?"
"I think there is absolutely no question that the more players that serve missions the more difficult it is to field a consistently good team. You can have seasons of success but I think it is impossible to do so consistently. There is also no question that we have seen many more players serve missions over the last fifteen-twenty years or so. The 70s and 80s saw virtually none. And Mendenhall's recruiting philosophy may see 80% or so of the recruits serve."
"I have long proposed something similar to Vincent. Create a hybrid player/missionary program. There are tons of speaking opportunities for willing athletes. I recall my sister-in law who was all-WAC in hoops speaking with Ty Detmer on occasion and the impact they had on the youth in attendance was obvious. No one can tell me that knocking on doors in a foreign country would somehow be more of a legitimate mission than working with youth and investigators in the Utah/SLC area while playing. There are dozens of creative mission opportunities for seniors - can we think outside of the box for others too? As long as we believe that a successful football team can be a vehicle for mission work then why not do things like this to strengthen both the players through service and the team by keeping some continuity? I think we are so afraid to think of different ways of doing things that we forget people have served missions in all sorts of ways throughout Church history. We are just stuck in our most recent go-at-19 end-of-story way of thinking."
"I will throw out another controversial idea while I am at it. Converts per missionary has steadily dropped for a long time now (numbers available for anyone interested) to the point of literally half of what they were several years ago. The activity rate, especially in non Utah/Idaho/Arizona locations is phenominally low. It has been estimated that there are probably 5 million active members worldwide despite our insistence on throwing out 12 million plus to keep members feeling good. My point is that perhaps the Church is not meant to fill the earth to the extent some may have been raised to think. If it is, some conversion and retention trends are going to have to seriously reverse themeselves."
"I see the key to the decline in baptisms is the Scouting Program. i served a mission more recently than many here and saw for myself that these Eagle scout types didn't have "IT" they couldn't recognize the spirit. They had no social skills and were HORRIBLE missionaires...My mission averaged one baptism per missionary per year... I baptized between 15- and 20; so that means many of the missionaries weren't doing SQUAT...why did I succeed where they failed? I grew up in a home where recognizing the spirit and gaining a personal testimony was more important that scouts or other showy things. At times my father was less active; my sister and I often were the only members of my family at church... I went on a mission prepared... Also I said "Screw that" when my Mission President came up with crazy stupid ideas ( most notable was his "NEW" first Discussion... which he wrote despite specific council in his handbook not to... I won't go into detail too much abotu how bad it was; but lets just say it involved the missionaries SINGING "joseph's first prayer" instead of reading/ quotiing the PoGP...I think too many missionaires and mission presidents are trying to PROVE the church, forgetting the divine power of the calling; and relying on the spirit...The boy scouts teaches boys to rely on practical logical solutions and man-power over the spirit...we need to teach our boys to pray; to trust in the preisthood and the Holy ghost...we grew too fast and are feeling the growing pains... our missions focus on numbers (I called these "cheese" baptisms on my mission-- they low income people who join the church because they are the missionaires fireds; but then leave as soon as they are baptised... it boosts numbers; but doens little else)we need to reevaluate what we are doing..as long as our boys are knocking on low income doors all day looking for numbers; we will continue to struggle...we need to focus on families, and find something effective for the missionaries to do all day... sure knocking doors wastes time and keeps them busy; but it isn't effective in finding quality members...I think teh first step in fixing the missionary program is establishign a spiritual young mens program similar to teh outstanding young women's program we have... look at eh drop off rate of men vs. women right after HS... boys have no foundation and leave teh churhc as soon as their parents stop making them attend..."
"I am glad to see somebody else thinking outside of the box. BTW, I would be interested in those convert per missionary numbers."
"My guess is that there are probably 3 million active members, including children. I had read somewhere that about 12% of adult members hold temple recommends. Anyway, I digress..."
"I, too, think that athletes can do tremendous "missionary work" by speaking to youth groups, representing the Church at functions, etc. Good point! Let's face it -- no one is going to take notice of BYU sports if we continue to lose all the time. I have always believed that if BYU is to undertake something, then it has a responsibility to do it at a very high level. Let's let our programs be worthy of our unique message. Right now, that isn't happening -- it's time to look at new approaches."
"And of the 25% of total church membership that is "active", 5% of them are doing 95% of the work. Which means that, in reality, there are only about 144,000 people currently on the earth who are ready to build Zion.
Wait ........... isn't that enough? We could start tomorrow!"
| Typical of Mormonism, place the burden of costs on the members. Regardless of how much the LDS Corporation says that tithing dollars do not go to fund things like $1.5 billion dollar shopping malls, until the LDS Corporation opens the books showing where the money came in and where it went out, it will always be assumed they are robbing the members. In this case, the LDS Corporation has shifted the entire cost of the new building onto the struggling students - and then tells them they will be blessed for it. Skip a few meals, pay a little more, pray a little harder.
From BYU NewsNet:
President Samuelson made the announcement of building a new alumni and visitor’s center. The new center will be named in honor of President Gordon B. Hinckley, and funding will come not from tithing for the building, but instead from students who want to participate through donations.
Through “Choose to Give,” students can donate to the fund, and donations from students will be matched by Ira and Mary Lou Fulton 5 to 1. President Samuelson said students who participate will have their name recognized in the building for their own families to see in the future when they visit BYU campus.
Students present gave a majority acceptance after President Samuelson extended the invitation to participate in the opportunity to honor President Hinckley.
| From the Mormon owned Deseret News:
Brigham Young University this week announced a 6.2 percent tuition hike for the 2006-07 school year for LDS students, and an even steeper hike for students who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Why would any NON Mormon want to go to BYU? BYU is not an institution of learning, it is an institution of supression. Professors such as Daniel C. Peterson purposefully withhold information to keep students from learning real truth. Women who go to BYU are told that their education is for themselves and to teach their children, and NOT for their careers. With this tuition hike up 150 percent, the school will see far less non-Mormons attending. You would think that with more non-Mormons attending, the LDS Corporation would have more potential cult members. Go figger.
The church sponsors BYU and uses tithing funds to subsidize tuition for member students.
The increase will bring the undergraduate rate for LDS students to $1,810 a semester, up $105 from the previous year.
Non-LDS students will pay 200 percent of member tuition, up from 150 percent used in previous years, bringing their tuition to $3,620 a semester. Non-LDS students now pay $2,558.
Perhaps when the LDS Corporation finishes building their $1.5 billion dollar mall, they can charge 150 percent increase to non-Mormon business owners, and 300 percent to non-Mormon business owners who will be serving alcohol.
| A BYU Devotional, of all places, is where a plural wife of Joseph Smith bore her testimony of the prophet. She lived and died a faithful Latter-Day Saint. Her personal testimony of Joseph Smith speaks volumes about the kind of man he really was: |
Excerpts from the testimony of Mary Elizabeth Lightner, Address at Brigham Young University, April 14, 1905
The words of the Prophet that had been revealed to him always have been with me from the beginning to the end of the gospel. Every principle that has been given in the Church by the prophet is true. I know whereon I stand, I know what I believe, I know what I know and I know what I testify to you is the living truth. As I expect to meet it at the bar of the eternal Jehovah, it is true. And when you stand before the bar you will know.
Joseph Smith preached polygamy and he not only preached it, but he practiced it. I am a living witness to it. It was given to him before he gave it to the Church. An angel came to him and the last time he came with a drawn sword in his hand and told Joseph if he did not go into that principle, he would slay him. Joseph said he talked to him soberly about it, and told him it was an abomination and quoted scripture to him. He said in the Book of Mormon it was an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, and they were to adhere to these things except the Lord speak.
[At age 13] I was the first being that the revelation [of plural marriage] was given to him for and I was one thousand miles away in Missouri, for we went up to Jackson County in 1831.
I was there in all the tribulations and trials. I have been in the houses that have been stoned. The rocks have been thrown criss-cross in every direction. I have seen the brethren shot and ruined for life. I saw the first martyr dead and a more heavenly corpse I never saw or expect to see on the face of the earth. His face was so happy.
I have seen our bishop tarred and feathered in the streets of Missouri. They took off his shirt and covered him with tar and then took a pillow and turned the feathers over him. I looked at him and thought if ever man was counted worthy to be a martyr, he was. His life proved it for he lived an upright and honorable life and was beloved by the prophet while he lived and after he died the prophet honored him. Two of his sisters were Joseph's wives. Emma took them by the hand and gave them to Joseph.
I asked him if Emma knew about me, and he said, "Emma thinks the world of you."
I was not sealed to him until I had a witness. I had been dreaming for a number of years I was his wife. I thought I was a great sinner. I prayed to God to take it from me for I felt it was a sin; but when Joseph sent for me he told me all of these things.
"Well," said I, "don't you think it was an angel of the devil that told you these things?" Said he, "No, it was an angel of God. God Almighty showed me the difference between an angel of light and Satan's angels. The angel came to me three times between the years of 1834 and 1842 and said I was to obey that principle or he would slay me.
"But," said he, "they called me a false and fallen prophet but I am more in favor with my God this day than I ever was in all my life before. I know that I shall be saved in the Kingdom of God. I have the oath of God upon it and God cannot lie; all that he gives me I shall take with me for I have that authority and that power conferred upon me."
Well, I talked with him for a long time and finally I told him I would never be sealed to him until I had a witness. Said he, "You shall have a witness." Said I, "If God told you that, why does he not tell me?" He asked me if I was going to be a traitor. "I have never told a mortal and shall never tell a mortal I had such a talk from a married man," said I. "Well," said he, "pray earnestly for the angel said to me you should have a witness."
Well, Brigham Young was with me. He said if I had a witness he wanted to know it. "Why should I tell you?" said I. "Well," said he, "I want to know for myself." Said he, "Do you know what Joseph said? Since we left the office the angel appeared to him and told him he was well pleased with him and that you should have a witness."
I made it a subject of prayer and I worried about it because I did not dare to speak to a living being except Brigham Young.
I went out and got between three haystacks where no one could see me. As I knelt down I thought, why not pray as Moses did? He prayed with his hands raised. When his hands were raised, Israel was victorious, but when they were not raised, the Philistines were victorious. I lifted my hands and I have heard Joseph say the angels covered their faces. I knelt down and if ever a poor mortal prayed, I did.
A few nights after that an angel of the Lord came to me and if ever a thrill went through a mortal, it went through me. I gazed upon the clothes and figure but the eyes were like lightning. They pierced me from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. I was frightened almost to death for a moment. I tried to waken my aunt, but I could not. The angel leaned over me and the light was very great, although it was night. When my aunt woke up she said she had seen a figure in white robes pass from our bed to my mother's bed and pass out of the window.
Joseph came up the next Sabbath. He said, "Have you had a witness yet?" "No." "Well," said he, "the angel expressly told me you should have." Said I, "I have not had a witness, but I have seen something I have never seen before. I saw an angel and I was frightened almost to death. I did not speak."
He studied a while and put his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands. He looked up and said, "How could you have been such a coward?" Said I, "I was weak." "Did you think to say, 'Father, help me?'" "No." "Well, if you had just said that, your mouth would have been opened for that was an angel of the living God. He came to you with more knowledge, intelligence, and light than I have ever dared to reveal."
I said, "If that was an angel of light, why did he not speak to me?" "You covered your face and for this reason the angel was insulted." Said I, "Will it ever come again?" He thought a moment and then said, "No, not the same one, but if you are faithful you shall see greater things than that."
And then he gave me three signs of what would take place in my own family, although my husband was far away from me at the time. Every word came true. I went forward and was sealed to him. Brigham Young performed the sealing, and Heber C. Kimball the blessing.
I know he had six wives and I have known some of them from childhood up. I knew he had three children. They told me. I think two are living today but they are not known as his children as they go by other names. These are things I can testify to as the living truth."
- The Testimony of Mary Elizabeth Lightner, Address at Brigham Young University, April 14, 1905, http://www.ldshistory.net/pc/merlbyu.htm
| President David A. Bednar, during a Devotional, September 1, 1998 stated:
"The Honor Code is a lesser law preparation to enter the house of the Lord and make sacred covenants, and the dress code is a lesser law preparation for how you will dress and should act after you have entered into those covenants."
Ecclesiastical Endorsement - LDS Students:
Annually, each student planning on continuing at Brigham Young University-Idaho beyond the winter semester will be required to obtain a continuing endorsement from the bishop of the ward the student resided in during the winter semester before registering for any subsequent term or semester.
Continuing Ecclesiastical Endorsement:
Frequent absences from Sunday meetings in the student’s campus ward to attend farewells or other meetings may jeopardize the student’s attendance requirements.
Students must receive their endorsement from the Bishop of the ward they resided in during winter semester.
The more they tighten the screws, the more people will rebel.
Occasionally a bishop may feel that a student he worked with during the past semester may have moved or changed apartments to avoid completing the repentance process or to locate a different bishop who may be more sympathetic to the student's cause. In the event that this should occur or a determination is made that a specific student should only be endorsed by a specific bishop, the bishop should forward the student's name to the Dean of Students office on the appropriate form provided as soon as possible. The Deans Office will coordinate with the bishops involved and assist the student in getting to the appropriate bishop for the endorsement.
| The latest news from BYU: http://byunews.byu.edu/archive06-Mar-maxwell.aspx |
A few interesting tid-bits:
Brigham Young University’s Board of Trustees recently approved the renaming of BYU’s Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts (ISPART) to the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.
“By renaming ISPART, BYU honors the memory and life’s work of Elder Maxwell,” said BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson. “This change firmly sets the future direction of the institute, which is to promote profound scholarship supporting the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ--something Elder Maxwell cared about deeply.”
(Why would renaming ISPART in honor of N.A.M. in and of itself promote profound scholorship supporting the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ? Couldn't the gospel do that itself?)
“The scholars associated with the Maxwell Institute are honored to come under the umbrella of Elder Maxwell’s name,” Skinner added.
(What happened to that Jesus fellow?)
For more than 25 years, the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) has been conducting research and publishing books and periodicals that have both furthered scholarship and made friends for the university and the Church of Jesus Christ.
(It's all in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?!?)
| “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”–George Orwell
It was not until my third visit to the Soviet Union that I truly appreciated my years at BYU. As in Bulgaria and Romania I saw the same nameless faces of the oppressed. I could see delusional joy in a rally on May Day or in a devotional. It was all a sham. Anyone who could think knew it was all rotten but all were caught up in something larger than themselves that gave them security in belonging. The state, or in this case the religion, had done the thinking for them. A pall of depression was in each society – not material but moral and spiritual. I could see that each person had some private angst.
I would sit in the library and observe. There was a hierarchy here. Utah and Idaho Mormons were different from California or Mission Field Mormons. At the top of the pyramid were the grandchildren of the General Authorities. Who you were related to counted.
Conversation was superficial and was primarily centered around the activities of the church. The university did not have so many activities, it was more church centered. It was rare to engage anyone in a real intellectual conversation. I was finding that instead of bright, cultured, traveled and inquisitive students I found a bunch of brain-washed zombies sitting around me. Of course there were exceptions but there was such a distrust among us that we all seemed to avoid conversations that questioned anything. I had assumed coming to BYU that it would be a center of learning. On the contrary, it was a center of conformity.
I cannot say I had not been warned. A friend who was a member of the bishopric had told me that while the church was important, this was not the place to judge the church. He had the wisdom to know that the arrogance of the believers would sour anyone to the church. He was right, I just did not think of it at the time. Telephone numbers to turn in dress code violators, people who would question your faith, and hate letters to anyone who spoke out. We never knew in any gathering who we could trust. It was a horrible way to live.
In my naïve freshman way I believe that everyone was truth seeking as they had proclaimed and if I could just gain an audience that people would listen. Sure, they had not traveled as I had so if I just communicate we can clear this all up. “Clearing up” political and social misunderstandings was no different that disagreeing with the General Authorities. I was unaware that I was in a flock of sheep who were being told that the thinking had been done. I could not believe I was in a totalitarian state. My efforts against the Vietnam war were met with hate. The Democratic party on campus was becoming viewed as allied with Satan.
It was obvious I had to study this culture. I did notice that there was a hole where most universities had active pre-Columbian archeology programs. I began to see that the church history class was full of nonsense. Each time I encountered a “problem” with the history of the church I went straight to the library and studied. What fools to have put the answers in the library. (I note that some books were pulled several years after). The contradictions were glaring but no one bothered to look. The deeper I explored, the more rotten the underpinnings of the church were. When I questioned, I was shut up lest I harmed the testimony of others.
I was also learning of the culture of lying. Lying was a way of life here. Integrity was never spoken of as well as evolution. The lies being spread about the “outside world,” other faiths and the nature of other cultures was sobering. It was sometime before I met anyone with any contrary views to this reality. We were all so isolated from one another.
The stories of the BYU underground circulated. I could tell there were two levels of reality – the blissful utopia of the Lord’s university and the reality hidden from view. The curtain would sometimes blow open and you would find out about a student suicide that had been hushed up or a prank that was committed by the football players and covered up to protect the sacred team. Stories of dorm searches turning up a tea bag and any student seen at certain social spots or gatherings were in circulation. Classmates would “disappear” in those days dumped by the standards people. I awaited my turn.
There was no intellectual inquiry here, no spirit of questioning. The world was exploding outside with a new generation coming of age, experimenting and questioning the ways of their elders. These people were a collection of the intellectually dead. Not once did I see anyone stand up and say “You are wrong.” It was the curriculum of the John Birch Society and yet none of these provincials had ever seen a communist. What nature of backwater had I come to? I could see a culture of hate – they hated anything they were told to hate. In my political science classes I could once in a while glimpse some notion of diversity but not much. Even in those days Democratic Governor Rampton was still on the home team. It did get much worse.
Living off campus was the only refuge. You could think more clear and at least listen to a normal radio station or the news without someone questioning your faith or morals. I knew of the greater world out there and of plural thought. Mono-thought was just so absurd to me. I could see others biting their tongues daily and putting up with this nonsense and yet no one else would speak up. I was called into the Dean’s office, the one who enforced standards and it was suggested that I leave. I had planned to and finally fled north.
I moved to Salt Lake City and found that the University of Utah was where many of the refugees had fled. The change was incredible and even though I lost about one year I quickly made it up with classes that challenged and questioned.
I did work at a church institution, LDS hospital for a number of years. There I saw more behind the curtain. There is no covering up at a hospital. The psych ward was filled with the refuse of the society of lies. I saw people who were clinging their Books of Mormon in delusion. I wondered what the difference was here and on the streets. I saw those who had been sent home early from missions in the psych facility. Returned sister missionaries deep in crisis, elders so mixed up some did not make it through the MTC. I guess there was more honor in mental illness than coming home early.
I saw what was done to homosexuals first hand. It was barbaric in those days. Dr. Shock was attaching electrodes to genitals and claimed to cure gay people. We all knew he was nuts. The refuse of those ideas were medicated people in wards.
I began to meet polygamist families who we treated equally. I was able to learn something from them and that was that all of them are not forcing young girls into marriages as I had heard. There were many who were in fully voluntary relationships. I learned about Mormon communities we just never heard about. I saw the other side too of young girls with old men. It exists and I must say that there is some evidence that the church seems to ignore these groups.
Occasionally people would come to me with their religious problems and I would put them off. I took the position of a rabbi that unless you persist in asking I would rather not give advice. There is not really much middle ground here. Either you teach epistemology or you sit in sacrament meeting. It is a cult that lasted into the next century in isolation in the West with an absurd theology. They could reform and become mainstream but there is no desire to do so.
In the years after I loved to travel the communist world where I saw a commonality with Utah, BYU and totalitarian regimes. Corruption was the mother’s milk of the societies. “See all those cars?” a man told me in a Leningrad suburb. “They are all criminals. In our society it is mathematically impossible for those workers to have a car. They do not make enough. They all moonlight taking pay for other work or steal from their factories and sell goods. Everyone lies here.”
Your relationship with the hierarchy was everything and it is no different in Utah. Societies that routinely lie are ultimately found out. They cannot exist in the light of the democratization of information. This generation and each succeeding generation will question, will speak up a bit more than the last, and will be more tolerant of gay people and other ideas. Opening Mormonism to the world will have the opposite effect than the brethren anticipate. The world will not flock to the church, the church will change from the exposure. The church cannot continue to state that they have a number of members that they know is wrong. Lies no longer work. A society of lies will ultimately crumble. It has happened in each group of people who have claimed the absolute truth. As I learned at BYU – there is only one absolute truth and that is that there are no absolute truths.
| If you went to BYU, you had to experience the weird world of the BYU Religion Department. I doubt many of those who were there in the late 60s, or early 70s are around now, but they were well known in their day.
I can think of several names:
Richard Cowans--a blind guy, basically nice, who loved the "Doctrine and Covenants." His class was hard, given it was a two credit hour class, and no-one cared. I recall the final--it was closed book, but most of the students cheated like crazy. He was blind, and could not see the cheating. I would have felt sorry for him, but his class was ludicrous.
Reid Bankhead--Much, too much, is written about this guy. The great hater of evolution, the man who refused to look at a dinosaur fossil. He died in a whack job compound in Levan, awaiting the "Second Coming."
Chauncey Riddle--Philosophy Professor and Religion Professor. A truly pompous man, who made some weird pronouncements. My parents thought he was just short of Christ. Riddle hated "humanists" and "do-gooders," and spent his time attacking all "humanist" impulses.
Hyrum Andrus--Very popular with the fanatics. I never had him, but I did tell a girl that "Hyrum Andrus is closer to being excommunicated than I am." She snorted and scoffed. Hyrum Andrus started getting revelations for the church, and was excommunicated.
Rodney Turner--another Mormofascist. I gather he was hated and loved. The man was a bigot, and his brand of Mormonism was insufferable.
George Pace--popular beyond belief. Got in HUGE trouble with Bruce McConkie, and faded away as a force. I felt sorry for him.
Margaret McConkie Pope--the ultimate Mormofascist. She was the sister of Bruce, and the stories about her would fill volumes. She screamed about Mountain Meadows ("We do not talk about that in this church") and said that Bruce is now writing songs for Christ's Second Coming.
William Barrett--a strange little man, and a great lover of bogus LDS history. I recall his book about Mormon History, which was all bogus. I also recall him telling a class that "Chinese would not enter the Celestial Kingdom."
There were plenty more, but these are the ones I recall. Oh, the memories. What a huge waste of time all that "religion" credit was.
| From the Daily Herald:
An employee of BYU's student leadership office was fired after writing a letter to the university's student newspaper asking for more transparency in student elections.
Todd Hendricks of Spanish Fork was terminated Tuesday after he said he failed to sign an agreement allowing him to voluntarily resign
Until Tuesday, Hendricks served as an adviser of the Brigham Young University Student Association and as a student leadership coordinator. He said that on March 10, the day his letter to the Daily Universe was published, he was called into a meeting with Vernon Heperi, dean of students, and student leadership director Brent Barclay. "I was told my act was very disloyal and not helpful and that action would be taken against me."
Hendricks's letter was critical of the process of selecting a committee of 10 students to make sure candidates comply with election regulations.
| From BYU's Honor Code:
"Brigham Young University will respond to student behavior rather than to feelings or orientation. Students can be enrolled at the university and remain in good Honor Code standing if they maintain a current ecclesiastical endorsement and conduct their lives in a manner consistent with gospel principles and the Honor Code.
So much for wearing a tutu and a pink shirt on campus.
"Advocacy of a homosexual lifestyle [whether implied or explicit] or any behaviors that indicate homosexual conduct, including those not sexual in nature, are inappropriate and violate the Honor Code."
| From the Mormon owned Deseret News:
Brigham Young University police arrested 24 people, among them five current students, who participated Tuesday in a march and demonstration by a national gay-awareness group.
At the event, the group marched around the edge of campus and then staged a "die-in" on campus property near the university's main entrance, just past one of the university's icons – the sign "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve."
The students could face disciplinary action under BYU's Honor Code if university officials judge the march, organized by the group Soulforce, as advocacy of a gay lifestyle, which is contrary to the teachings of BYU's owner, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Homosexual conduct is banned by the Honor Code, but gay students can study at BYU if they avoid advocating a gay lifestyle and any behavior that indicates homosexual conduct.
| My sister, who is an administrative employee at BYU is good friends with another employee that works in the Alumni Office. Many of you are aware that BYU is pushing BIG TIME for its alumni to donate money to the new Gordon B. Hinckley alumni building.
Well, apparently the latest rounds of telemarketing to solicit money from the alumni have resulted in lots of heated arguments, hang ups and people who want no further contact from BYU. Gone are the days where BYU can take for granted that nearly all of its alumni are TBMs. Aparently the alumni office is shocked and surprised that there are so many Exmormon and/or inactive and/or otherwise generally hostile alumni directed at their alma mater and/or the Church. Yes, this has always been the case to some degree, but apprently the staff hasn't seen ANYTHING like it has experienced recently.
| My freshman year was in Helaman Halls, Hinckley Hall. We wanted hall sweat shirts made up and we came up with this logo with a buffed cougar and a hot female cougar and the slogan was, "Hinckley Hall: We've Upped Our Standards So Up Yours." Needless to say we could not get it approved. So we got another slogan passed off, but, we went ahead and printed up the original slogan.
All the guys who ordered sweat shirts were in on it but told not to wear the shirts until after the holiday break because by that time the guys on the hall counsel who made the shirts up would be gone on their missions.
The secret phrase was Santa Clause is coming tonight. All the guys new to leave their doors unlocked when they went to sleep and the shirts would be dropped off, but again, everyone was told not to wear them out until next semester.
Sure enough, the next morning in the Cannon Center 30 guys were wearing these shirts.
The higher ups went nuts. Their heads exploded. A full scale investigation. We had one resident assistant with the head resident call every single printing shop in Utah County to find out if they could find the guys responsible. Fortunately they used a printer in Salt Lake. But it was just so funny to see the McCarthy like investigation and inquiry go on. Guys being called in. Threats. Questions. Interrogations.
Bunch of whacko fascists.
I still have the sweatshirt.
| According to graduated Harvard students, undergraduates wish they could have more exposure to an "evidence-based way of thinking," which helps them “choose among alternatives, form a core philosophy and transcend opinions they arrived with, even strongly held opinions." [Prof. R. Light, Making the Most of College: students Speak Their Minds (Harvard UP, 2001)]
But at BYU, an “evidence-based way of thinking” is not only avoided but positively hindered from becoming the normal approach to university life. First of all, there are students who try their best to confine teachers to doctrinally endorsed teachings, with the ability to apply this requirement across such a broad variety of subjects that it is astonishing. Any teaching that is taken as an offense to students’ beliefs has the potential to become a threat to teachers’ jobs through the bad ratings students give them in the area of being spiritually inspiring. I’ve worked with a teacher who became extremely worried that mentioning in class that not all Native Americans are modern descendants of Lamanites might get him in trouble with students who will be offended and disagree. Introductory Biology teachers have to work out a way to reconcile evolution and the gospel, with some weird results; my teacher had powerpoints supporting what was in the book but then verbally refuted it in lectures. Teachers hint at, butworry about open discussions about ethics in comparison to the church’s stance. In the case of disagreement among students over sensitive topics like gay people and women’s roles, teachers become mediators, trying to downplay responses that don’t agree with the church’s expressed positions on the topics and noting church leaders’ superiority in such issues. When there is no dissent among students, as is much more often the case, teachers effectually become Sunday School teachers, the almost redundant vocalizer of what everyone already thinks and agrees with. Most often, though, there is no opportunity for dissent.
Indeed, most classes become effectual Sunday School classes, in which the teacher takes advantage of the trust that Mormons give so freely to authorities and lecture as if theirs is the only correct opinion in the world. They support their positions by showing how scholarship has changed over time, pointing out how ridiculous people were in the past to make mistakes like they did, and how we now have learned form our mistakes and have only correct opinions. This shared arrogance for past mistakes, eliciting chuckles from the students, disturbingly seems to add substantially to teachers’ credibility and supports the immutability of trusted authorities’ opinions. In the process, they sacrifice the framework needed to engage in the great debates and hard moral choices that have to be made in life, and encourage students to look for evidence that simply supports their certainty in opinion, rather than questioning it.
If there is a search for truth through questioning assumptions, it is carefully constructed in complete separation from the religious realm. Teachers in the history department range from refusing to “touch church history with a ten-foot pole” to criticizing and redefining some aspects of the church’s history while preserving others. One teacher’s approach involves ignoring some of the wording of the book of mormon so that it fits better with history with the justification that such “peripheral” aspects of Mormon belief should be scrutinized while central aspects, such as Joseph Smith’s prophetic-ness, should not. Scientists obviously make a practice of purposefully questioning their assumptions but confine this to subjects unrelated to faith. Basically, whenever there is a goal to establish an evidence-based learning style, it is with careful parameters that are often contradictory and cognitive-dissonace evoking. Instead of the goal to question one’s worldview, BYU students settle for questioning what they have to in order to be accepted in the scholarly realm and allow their religion to determine the rest.
While an “evidence-based way of thinking” is ideal for an educated person, the “peculiar” students at BYU are both unmotivated and unable to achieve it, a tragic failure of wasted potential.
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