THE MORMON CURTAIN
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EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1
The "Opinion" topic was created to separate out recovery from opinions on posts made in Ex-Mormonism.
| 1. Women working. There is no support given to a working woman. Most have to work to support their families. A two-income household is pretty much the norm now-a-days, but working women are regarded as if they are trying to earn extra money for cosmetics.
2. Single women. There is no support given to single women. The most they do is try to make you into a married woman. If that fails then you can just sit at the back of RS, listen to talks about the priesthood in your home and be called on to help the married sisters when they are too overworked by trying to maintain their large families.
3. Masturbation. The church still feels that masturbation is evil. A very victorian stance. Most people maturbate, men and women, yet the church thinks that it can control/stop this behavior. On top of it all, this is seen as a male problem, since the church fails to acknowledge a woman's sexuality.
4. Intellectual Investigations. They just label and threaten those who look behind the curtain.
5. Poor Convert Retention. The rosey picture converts are fed quickly fades into the cold hard reality of sexism, racism and authoritarian control. The church is marketed as a spiritual path, but in the end, its a prison where one must always do as they are told or suffer consequences. There is NO recouse for a member who feels wronged by a superior ranking member in the church.
6. History. It was stated just recently that the mormon church is different than some other churches because its history can be easily investigated and found wanting, whereas other churches can hide behind a mysterious past. Everything is laid out before us, one only has to read a page or two of historical material to find lies and mistakes. Yet the church will cop to none of it. It stands by its claim about the BOM, Doctrine and Covenants and Book of Abraham. The Book of Abraham is a great example of a proven fake still being touted as God's word. There isn't even anything mysterious about it. It was funeral rites for some dead egyptian guy!
7.Change. The church hates change. They fight it tooth and nail. Things as simple as earrings to things as important as civil rights for blacks, equality for women. The latest example is, of course, the gay rights issue. The arguments they use about protecting the family make no sense. But, it is par for the course, THEY ACCEPT NO CHANGES.
| In the news release, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Disputes Media Use of 'Fundamentalist Morman', issued earlier today by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over PR Newswire, the headline should read "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Disputes Media Use of 'Fundamentalist Mormon'" rather than "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Disputes Media Use of 'Fundamentalist Morman'" as incorrectly transmitted by PR Newswire.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Disputes Media Use of 'Fundamentalist Morman'
Recent news reports regarding various issues related to the practice of polygamy, especially focusing on groups in Texas, Arizona and Southern Utah, have used terms such as "Mormon," "fundamentalist Mormons," "Mormon sect" and "polygamous Mormons" to refer to those who practice polygamy.
There is no such thing as a "polygamous" Mormon. Mormon is a common name for a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church discontinued polygamy more than a century ago. No members of the Church today can enter into polygamy without being excommunicated. Polygamist groups in Texas, Utah or Arizona have nothing whatsoever to do with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
When referring to people or organizations that practice polygamy, terms such as those listed above are incorrect. The Associated Press Stylebook notes: "The term Mormon is not properly applied to the other ... churches that resulted from the split after [Joseph] Smith's death."
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
| Tithing collections are down, and have trended downward for years, not months. Resignations are growing, with no method or manner to turn them around.
And, I think the people that are leaving are mostly couples in the prime of their earnings years. I know that I am, and, based on just the people I know on this board, big humongous dittos.
A quarter of decline here and there warrants a few adjustments on the controls, just like most corporations. The mix of promotion, product, profitability, and positioning is adjusted and the juggernaut moves on.
HOWEVER, the Church doesn't have the ability to make those adjustments, as they have ridded themselves of those controls long ago.
With only one product, only one promotion scheme, and a market position that is quickly becoming untenable, they now have absolutely no control over the profitability of their offering.
And, as others have observed, the MBAs, Attorneys and other business-types who are firmly entrenched in the oligarchy cannot watch month after month turn into year after year of declines in tithing collections. This would get anyone fairly excited!
Now, can they weather the storm? Sure, for now. But no matter how big the boat, enough unpatchable leaks will bring it down!
For now, the Brethren are content to let GBH's Temple building program run its course.
Here in San Antonio, I know the new Temple brought a new level of excitement. However, they only had about 50% of the planned visitors. Many of the busses left the Ward Meetinghouse shuttle origination with only a few people on board.
I would venture a guess that about 90% of the time there were more Mormon docents than there were visitors!
Although they tried to spin it, I have inside information.
The parents of a young Mormon couple we helped to leave were in charge of the event, and there were really no good positive conclusions. No on-the-spot conversions, no big increase in visitors to Mormon meetinghouses, no increase in missionary efforts. A big dud.
I know for a fact they have already began handing out "quotas" as a way to drive people to get their recommends current, and to drive the tithing contributions, which is exactly what you would do if you were a business and had a "grand opening".
Now to the investments liquidation. THIS is where the Brethren will draw the line, as their legacy and their income/support is derived from that pool of money.
When you're running a business and you have to borrow money from "Daddy", or you have to liquidate some CDs or other long-term investments for short-term needs, the alarm bells are certain to go off in everyone's head, hence the Hinkster's public statement.
In every corporate environment, you have the people that have the story and the spin, and then another group, those that have the truth. And, in most Corporations, they are most often segregated groups, for very good reasons.
The Story and Spin guys keep the organization moving forward, and they work hard at maintaining that movement. That's their job.
But, the Reality guys are always there! And, in the Mormon Church, they are the ones that are beginning to be paid attention to.
When Hinkley is replaced, which I predict will occur; it will be an interesting time.
The Temple Building scheme is a last-ditch effort to patch the dike, and the Brethren are content to let it run its course.
Again, Temple attendance was down BEFORE Temple-building began. Tithing collections was down BEFORE Temple-building was started.
And, more importantly, meeting attendance is continuing to trend down with resignations trending up.
Think for a moment how anyone with a brain could look at the operational metrics of that organization and not wonder when it will end, or how to reverse it!
Here's where the Enron analogy comes in. And, I seriously urge all of you to see the indie movie "The Smartest Guys in the Room", the real Enron story. It is just creepy how similar to Mormonism it is.
Here are the Enron-like comparisons. Add your own as you see fit:
1. Enron: Market Making
Mormon: Myth Making
2. Enron: Charismatic Manipulating Liars At The Top
Mormon: Oligarchy Knowing the Truth and Ignoring It
3. Enron: Profits Pressure on Line Presidents
Mormon: Pressure on the Area, Stake Presidents and Bishops
4. Enron: Falsifying Financial Reports
Mormon: Falsifying Historical and Doctrinal Statements
5. Enron: Falsifying Market Growth
Mormon: Falsifying Membership Growth and Totals
6. Enron: Currying Public Favor and Acceptance By Association
Mormon: Seeking Legitimacy From Other Religious Leaders
Where will this all end?
I would suppose that at some point in time there will be a whistleblower or two.
I think they are already in place, and planning their 15 minutes of fame.
They are merely waiting on the right story, the failures to reach some crescendo where they will get the biggest bang for the buck and the best book publisher advance they can get.
Mormon expose and historical publishing is a growing niche, and publishers are beginning to get a little hungry.
We'll see what happens, but I don't think it can last for more than 10 years before the whistleblowers come out in force.
| Here's why "exmormons who were born in the church are more likely to become atheists" .. at least in my case. I don't know about converts' experiences leaving the Church, but Born User pretty well described my experience as a born-n-raised TBM becoming an atheist.
For one thing, I decided long ago that either the LDS gospel was true or the whole biblical god was a sham (concluding at the time that of course the LDS gospel was true); there were too many holes in any other version of Christianity to make sense, that could only be explained by all the unique teachings of Mormonism. I guess I was encouraged into that kind of analysis by everything I soaked up from sunday school and seminary about the unique fullness of the gospel that we had a corner on. Maybe the Church's emphasis on the apostasy and how wrong every other version of Christianity is to blame: in the contrapositive, they convinced me that "even" atheism would make more sense than any version of the gospel as taught by a competing church.
But there's no getting around this point: everything I've ever supposedly felt the "Spirit" about has been from Mormon experiences and about the Mormon version of the gospel. Now I can see that feeling I interpreted as the Spirit was always inside my own mind. I can't (now as always) conceive of finding faith in any god without sensing that god through the Spirit; yet I also can't (any longer) believe that that sense of the Spirit is at all worthwhile as a basis for evaluating what is true. Rather, it was my own inner response to certain experiences, a response perhaps to perceptions of beauty or connectedness with the divine, or feelings of altruism or comfort or communion with loved ones and fellow believers; a perfectly valid perception or feeling, but a totally arbitrary and senseless way to decide what is true. That is what we need science for, because that mythologically bent and universally anthropomorphizing human mind is not naturally built to distinguish evaluating reality from subjective perceptions and feelings.
Instead I faced up to this: there is absolutely no objective evidence for the existence of anything resembling our definition of a god; there is also overwhelming evidence that, whether or not any gods exist, the human mind is predisposed to perceive and place faith in gods; and there is overwhelming evidence that there cannot be a god as conceived of by Western civilization, if that god is defined to be both all-powerful and perfectly compassionate toward us humans. As Dostoevsky said, the suffering of children is all the proof needed that God does not exist - or as he had Ivan say in The Brothers Karamizov: "Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature...and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on this condition?"
Epicurus also expressed this point succinctly: "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?"
Christian theologians have from the beginning wrestled with this problem with all sorts of flimsy mental gymnastics, and Mormon doctrine settled on a few main rebuttals with a lot in common with some of the classic Christian explanations: first, Christ descended below them all, so no matter what anyone suffers through, at least they can know (at least if they've learned the gospel) that at least Christ can empathize with them. Second, no matter what you suffer, this entire mortal existence is just a blip in the eternal timeline of our existence, you'll be dead before you know it and then everything will be set right and you will never suffer again. (Unless you go to hell, of course.) In the meantime, suffering can build character, help teach us to be humble and more compassionate, and give us a chance to work charitably to relieve each other's suffering, and is therefore part of our learning experience in this mortal life. Finally, as for the suffering inflicted by others as opposed to that inflicted by illness, accident and Nature, God is unwilling to interfere with the free agency of those doing the inflicting, and if they don't repent, the blood of their victims will justify their condemnation. (Call me on this if I am not representing fairly the Church's explanation of suffering.)
All this trivializing explanation of suffering sounds great, and is fairly easy to say for wealthy and comfortable modern Americans. I can't imagine the gall of someone trying to explain it to a three-year-old Darfurian girl whose picture I keep in my desk, with her malnourished one-year-old brother on her back, having carried him several hundred miles across the border with Chad, on foot, after everyone else in their family were brutally killed by the militias backed by their own government. My own little girl is three, and my younger son almost one. I have tried to envision my family having swapped places with that Darfurian girl's family. I don't think anyone could repeat the Church's explanation of suffering with a straight face without having long been insulated from much of the world.
The Church's facile explanation teaches those who accept it to trivialize the suffering of others - God is ultimately in control, the suffering of others is part of God's plan for them and helping build their character and grow spiritually. It also requires those who accept it, not only themselves to trivialize suffering, but to accept a version of God who also trivializes suffering. No matter what deprivations and crimes a child suffers through, it is all part of God's plan to help them grow, and/or God is willing to let them continue suffering to keep from interfering with the free agency of the offender? Eternal perspective or not, that God is a callous one. Any reasonable person should be angry at someone with power to stop at a whim the suffering of their loved ones, but who refuses out of concern for "building character". Instead they (typically) force themselves somehow to reconcile themselves to that paradox of an all-compassionate God who causes or allows tragedy and pain, like a battered child or woman who rationalizes the brutality of an abusive father or husband whom they still think loves them, while they themselves are somehow at fault.
To accept that there is no all-powerful, all-compassionate God standing idly by to watch us suffer through illness, accidents, disasters and crimes, is not only the only logical, non-dysfunctional conclusion; it is also liberating. You can accept that there is not someone who wants you to suffer despite supposedly having a perfect love for you and plan for your well-being that the suffering must somehow fit into. Existence is not so cruel that is is governed by a God we are responsible for loving and following despite his indifference or plain abusiveness toward us. Our suffering is instead due simply to bad fortune and/or the crimes of a few of our fellow humans; we are free of having to feel bitterness or anger at God that we are afraid to express and confused over how to rationalize away. Instead we can know it is up to us to mitigate and prevent the evils of this world to the best of our capacity as reasoning humans, and without having to worry that doing so is interfering with God's intentions for our suffering.
Don't see how that makes a difference? How many times have people made the excuse that we shouldn't interfere with God's will, even to take a course that would obviously prevent suffering or tend to someone's ease or health? How many Jehovah's Witnesses have died rather than accept a blood transfusion? I've read of believers who refused to allow corrective surgery on their baby because it would interfere with how God wanted things. Pious believers said the same thing about penicillin. How many "Christian Scientists" have died because they thought illness was punishment for evil and that modern medicine is a sin? Speaking of which, modern medicine, the result of dedicated and ingenious efforts of human reasoning using the scientific method, has saved literally millions of lives, as can be objectively demonstrated. How many miracle workers and priesthood holders can demonstrate to an objective observer that they have ever improved someone's health? And how much good could the Church accomplish if it decided wehumans are the only ones who can save each other, and set its standing army of 60,000 missionaries to spend only four hours per week proselytizing and 60 hours per week doing humanitarian service, instead of the other way around?
There is no objective evidence for God; there is overwhelming evidence that the human mind is predisposed to perceive the presence of a God; and there is overwhelming evidence that there cannot be a God who both loves us and has the power to save us. But there is also overwhelming evidence that we clever humans are capable of growing from a population of only 5,000 in eastern Africa to a global civilization, of building societies and nations that work to our mutual advantage and common dignity, of serving each other selflessly, of creating works of astonishing beauty, of understanding ever more about the world around us and using it to our advantage - maybe even in the long term, if we are wise enough. My faith was often a beautiful experience, but it was also a hangup that kept me from properly applying my capacity for reason to evaluate the world around me. I don't think we have anything to be afraid of in insisting on facing the Universe only as it is, not as we wish it would be. We will be far better offand even happier in the end if we let go of God and pay more attention to each other.
| Mormonism is living in a "Bizzare-O-World":
- Where people are judged by the Shape and Color of their underwear.
- Where non-TBM Family member's are not invited to attend their own children's weddings.
- Where people are judged by the temperature of their caffeine.
- Where neighbors prohibit their children to play with non-Mormon next door neighbor children.
- Where the word "Translation" doesn't mean to translate from one language into another.
- Where the truth is a lie and verifiable facts are discarded.
- Where hot coffee is forbidden but hot chocolate is encouraged.
- Where post life polygamy is doctrine but real life polygamy is condemned.
- Where men who wear white shirts and a tie to church are righteous but men who wear colored shirts and a tie are disobedient.
- Where a prophet is not accountable to his own words.
- Where lying is rewarded...i.e.: in the attaining of temple recommends but those who are honest are called to repentance.
- Where unchangeable ordinances can be changed because of the results of a member survey.
- Where so called scripture, the words of God, can be changed to fit changing beliefs
- Where unfulfilled prophecies are ignored.
- Where the truth teller is the apostate and the liar is the righteous one.
- Where "Families are Forever" but not if you're married to a non-believer.
- Where the Glory of God is Intelligence...but intellectual thought is criticized.
- Where the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth...but its most testable basic claims are discounted, ignored and de-emphasized.
- Where God was once a man, but NOT if you are speaking to a Non LDS audience.
- Where the Book of Mormon must submit to every analysis and examination...to historical tests, to the test of archeological research, and also to higher criticism (BH Roberts)...unless someone actually takes the church up on this test.... then we must accept it only on faith.
- Where EQ Presidents that lie about monthly home teaching results are praised...but those that give honest appraisals of monthly results are reproved
- Where priesthood blessings with positive results are proof of priesthood power, but negative results are the will of God.
| A few months after I left the Church, I talked to my sister on the phone. She asked about my "apostasy," and I told her it was true. She said, "So, are you going to picket the temple now?" I said something like, "No, as long as they keep it out of my driveway." My mom goes further. She says things like "You see how unhappy and depressed you are?" whenever I have any sort of downturn in life.
These are all-or-nothing statements. The purpose of them is to corner you into two possible outcomes: the one they want and an exaggerated worst-case scenario. The assumption is that there is no in-between. Talking to members of my family, you would think that if you don't stay in the Church, then your only possible option from there on out is to live a life of anguished activism and depression, fighting a losing battle against the cause of righteousness.
Here are some other all-or-nothing statements:
"How can you trust your husband if he's not a worthy priesthood holder?"
"If your son/daughter doesn't stay active in the Church, he/she might get involved in drinking/drugs."
"My ex-Mormon brother is becoming an alcoholic. He had a beer the last time we went to a restaurant."
I think it's interesting that these statements always place the Church in an position of moral superiority, considering its history.
It can be really infuriating when confronted with statements like these if you don't know what the people making them are trying to do. I think some ex-Mormons try to live their lives to disprove such statements, by showing Mormons that you can leave the Church and still be a happy, moral and productive member of society. Maybe an alternative might be to call them on it when you hear people making them. "That sounded like an all-or-nothing statement to me."
| Below you will find an item written by Robert Green Ingersoll. ( 1833- 1899) One of the great free thinkers of the 19th century. He is one of my personal heroes.
As Joseph Smith was building an irrational institution, in a rational enviroment, Ingersoll was coming of age.
He makes so much sense to me. Pushing back the walls of ignorance and intolerance , with wisdom, rationality, and just plain old common sense!!
All below, I think, can be applied to the BofM also!!
We are told to investigate the Bible for ourselves, and at the
same time informed that if we come to the conclusion that it is not
the inspired word of God, we will most assuredly be damned. Under
such circumstances, if we believe this, investigation is
impossible. Whoever is held responsible for his conclusions cannot
weigh the evidence with impartial scales. Fear stands at the
balance, and gives to falsehood the weight of its trembling hand
I oppose the church because she is the enemy of liberty;
because her dogmas are infamous and cruel; because she humiliates
and degrades woman; because she teaches the doctrines of eternal
torment and the natural depravity of man; because she insists upon
the absurd, the impossible, and the senseless; because she resorts
to falsehood and slander; because she is arrogant and revengeful;
because she allows men to sin on a credit; because she discourages
self-reliance, and laughs at good works; because she believes in
vicarious virtue and vicarious vice -- vicarious punishment and
vicarious reward; because she regards repentance of more importance
than restitution, and because she sacrifices the world we have to
one we know not of.
The free and generous, the tender and affectionate, will
understand me. Those who have escaped from the grated cells of a
creed will appreciate my motives. The sad and suffering wives, the
trembling and loving children will thank me: This is enough.
Robert G. Ingersoll.
April 13, 1878.
| As Gordon Hinckley has recently re-emphasized the infallibility of the prophet it might be useful to explore that concept in theology and practice (citation welcome). I find it especially enlightening if one compares Mormon and Catholic practice. The pope claims to be infallible. However, there are clear procedural requirements that a papal statement has to meet to qualifiy as infallible. The pope has to to speak from St. Peter's throne ex cathedra. Hence there can be no doubt which statements claim to be infallible. Below ex cathedra proclamations the pope can elevate statements by including them in an encycleca.
Mormon leaders, OTOH, do not clearly identify the theological validity of their statements. The membership is left in limbo whether a particular statement is prophetic or of personal opinon. Thus the Morg can demand extensive obedience about trivial matters. Should a statement be discredited, it can always be denied as personal opinion. Hence Morg authorities yield extraordinary power while minimizing their personal accountability and that of their institution.
| This is what the LDS church is telling the youth about pornography:
"Pornography can be powerfully addicting. Scientific research–including new brain-scan technology–is beginning to show that pornography may cause physical and chemical changes in the brain similar to those caused by drugs. The only sure way to avoid the danger is to stay away from pornography in the first place."
So instead of going to parents, the church is telling the youth to go directly to their bishop.
"If you have become addicted, you must seek help. The first person to see is your bishop or branch president. He can help you bring the Savior’s redeeming and healing power into your life. He can also help you obtain professional help as necessary. Please don’t try to go it alone." - “Danger Ahead! Avoiding Pornography’s Trap,” New Era, Oct. 2002, 34
So how does an LDS bishop use "the Savior's redeeming and healing power" to cure addiction to pornography?
Knowing how Mormonism works, going to the bishop is probably only going to make things worse for those "addicted" to porn. After all, aren't they really talking about "addiction" to masturbation? And as we already know, the church considers masturbation a terrible sin. Their approach is a heavy dose of guilt and shame. Does that really work?
This church article written to the youth also promises that the Bishop can "help you obtain professional help." What professional help do they have? Does the church have an effective professional program of some kind to "cure" masturbation?
Does it really do more good or harm to go to the Bishop?
| I had to discuss one of my personal testimony breakers with my TBM in-laws. I asked them how they were able to reconcile their testimony after learning that Joseph Smith manipulated teenage women and 11 married women to mulitply and replenish the earth with him. Threatening their salvation if they refused. Doing it without Emma's knowledge or consent. They responded with "We don't know the full story." "History could be tainted."
I went to FAIR to get the full story, or the other side. To find out if history had been tainted. Couldn't even find a book or shred of evidence that the history from "Mormon Polygamy" was false or speculative.
Conversation with Fanatical TBM in-laws a few months back:
I was very candid with my in laws and asked them some tough questions about polygamy that TBM's won't let themselves think about. I asked my father in law if he would be fine with his wife having sex in his bedroom with another man while he endures in the same home. I asked him if he would remain faithful to the church if she loved this man, had married him behind his back and claimed it was commanded by God. He didn't like me turning the tables on that one. His wife happens to have no problem with polygamy and said she looked forward to having sister wives. IT"S INSANITY. I looked at her and said "you are honestly telling me, that you have no problem with your husband, the love of your life, taking a teenage girl, having sex in your bed while you are forced to live with her, with the possibility he will take more wives and you will soon be forgotten, neglected, while he picks a prettier, younger more favorite wife?" She replied "with polygamy, you have to take the sex out of it. That's the Christ like love we are progressing to."
So I said "How do you take the sex out of sex? Adultery is a sin for good reason." I told her to look at how an affair destroys a marriage. Breaks hearts. With polygamy, you are forcing a wife to not only endure the affair, but live with the new wife in many cases, and continue worshiping your husband. IT'S A SICK WORLD TBM's LIVE IN.
This discussion with my in-laws was after my time at FAIR and I realized Mormons who defend this after learning the truth of polygamy are just nuts. I asked them if ANYTHING made them uncomfortable in Joseph Smith's plural marriages. They admitted some things did but quickly went around it by saying he was not perfect. They started to get really heated with me and raising their voices when they could sense that I was questioning the Prophet. I told them to calm down and try to understand that I didn't want to believe the church was false, but the evidence was leading me there. How can I believe in this kind of God? Commanding slavery of women for eternity. I let them know that this doctrine has ruined my relationship with Jesus. They told me to "repent and get over it." They also accused me of wanting to be angry at God. That really infuriated me. I was devestated by their lack of compassion for the pain I was going through. They would have fit right in with the wacko apologists. What's so funny is in the same breath, they tell me how sex is so sacred and special which is why God set it up to be within the New and Everlasting Covenant. I couldn't keep back my snicker on that one. Next they resorted to this famous one. "why do you want to drag up all of Joseph and Brighams garbage? Why do you feel it's your place to judge and bring up all their sins? Would you like to have all of your sins and my sins published in a book?" O.K. in-laws, so you are now telling me that all this stuff was sin and garbage? Just a minute ago it was commanded of GOD. I replied with "Don't put words in my mouth. I don't care what Joseph's sins are. I am only discussing with you the things he did in the NAME OF GOD and commanded other members to do BY COMMAND OF GOD. There is a big difference. I don't need to know if Joseph was committing adultery with Emma unless it pertains to scripture and command. " I ended the conversation at that point and repeated my intent. "I want to know if Polygamy is the true order of Heaven because if it is,I will have no part of this church." They are probably having family fasts and prayers for me now. That's all they can do because there is no explanation for this kind of doctrine.
They have avoided discussing anything with me now and haven't even asked my husband how I am doing. They know that once you find out the truth, there is little chance of staying in the church. That's why they lie and hide it from members. It's been a while since this converstion and I have progressed and learned so much since then. I haven't told them I left the church yet but they will know why when they find out. I think they are embarrassed at how ridiculous they sounded trying to make sense of their argument. They should feel bad for condemning me as well. There are no secret sinful desires in me. I told them I will always live the commandments of the Bible regardless of which church I attend. They didn't like that. They think you can only be a good person if you are Mormon. They already believe I must be looking for a way of out of living the gospel or I wouldn't question anything and should only worry about following Gordon Hinckley. It's impossible. They feel sorry for my sensitivity to polygamy and wish I didn't have such an ideal of marriage.
| You may be aware that Bernard Ebbers, the former CEO of World Com was convicted of accounting fraud and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Under his direction, World Com cooked the books to the tune of billions of dollars, which mislead investors to think that the company was in better financial condition that it was.
In handing down the sentence, the judge said, "Mr. Ebbers statements deprived investors of their money. They might have made different decisions had they known the truth."
How many of us, how many others, would have made different decisions about dedicating our lives to Mormonism and giving 10% of our incomes to it had we known the truth? If the COB had been open and honest about its history and about its doctrines, how many of us would have stood in the temple and sworn oath to "suffer out lives to be taken" or to sacrifice all we have for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
As I see it, according to the standard expressed by this judge, Mormon leaders are complicite in a fraud on a scale similar to Ebbers. Through their dishonest manipulation of history, through lies of both commission and ommission, they have induced millions of people to invest their money, indeed their very lives, in perpetuating the fraudulent organization they lead.
I wonder, when the faithful gather in the great and spacious building to kiss the wizened ass of birthday boy Wrinkley, will any of them reflect on the fact that what Wrinkley is doing is little different in intent and outcome than what Ebbers did?
I cannot express my feelings of bitterness that I wasted four decades of my life in this fucking cult. A victim of deceit and manipulation.
And the sheep wonder why we can't "just leave it alone."
| Recipe for Apostacy:
2 cups critical thinking skills
Combine first five ingredients in a large blender. Agitate gently until doubt begins to form around the edges. Pour mixture into a medium size casserole dish, and sprinkle the cognitive dissonance liberally. Bake in a well tempered intellect until the cognitive dissonance has melted and is bubbling golden brown. Baking times may vary.
1 cup spiritual experiences or tbm experiences
1/2 cup skepticism
1/4 cup Mormon Enigma, Palmer's Origins, or similar activating ingredient such as exmormon.org, etc
2 Tablespoons WTF moments with tbms
1 cup cognitive dissonance, for topping
| Since "Intelligent Design" (under the name "Divine Design") has made the news in Utah I think we should become acquainted in the claims of the "Intelligent Design" proponents.
[*** DISCLAIMER: I'm not a biologist and I don't play one on TV. If anyone who is more knowledgeable finds errors in this presentation please feel free to correct me ***]
First: Utah Representative Chris Buttars wants it taught so that school children will not be taught that they are descended from apes. The upshot is that there is nothing in "Intelligent Design" theory that conflicts with humans evolving from apes.
Back up a bit.
One of the stock "refutations" of evolution that creationists have used since Darwin's time is their consideration of the mammalian eye. The eye has at least two parts that operate in conjunction to allow the eye to transmit images to the brain: The lens and the retina. Now, say the creationists, how could a lens evolve if there were no retina? How could a retina evolve if there were no lens to form images on it? They point out that without one of these parts already perfected natural selection would not favor the evolution of the other.
Theoretical studies have shown, however, that with even the most rudimentary retina natural selection will favor small improvements in a rudimentary lens and vice versa. Thus the two can easily evolve incrementally (through natural selection) together.
Enter "Intelligent Design"
Molecular Biologist Michael Behe applied a similar argument to something that was unknown in Darwin's time. Behe noticed that certain molecular processes at the cellular level exhibited what he called "irriducible complexity." By this he meant that each part of the process was necessary for the process to work (similar to the lens and retina). His analogy is the mouse trap. If any one of the components of a mouse trap were missing (base, spring, hammer, escape mechanism) the trap would be useless.
Therefore, Behe asserts, all parts of the metabolic process must either have randomly come together in a miraculous violation of unbelievably slim odds or else it must have been designed by an intelligent being of some sort.
Since we are dealing with molecules rather than tissue structures (as with the eye) there is no availability of the concept of incremental evolution of the parts together since a molecule doesn't gradually evolve. It is made of a few discrete atoms which are either there or are not there.
Before we discuss objections to ID it is important to point out that ID is completely consistent with an "intelligent designer" setting the processes in motion in one or more single-cell organisms billions of years ago and then letting that evolve into life as we know it. Thus even if ID is correct man may still (to Chris Buttars's chagrin) have evolved from ape-like ancestors.
There are two main points that are raised in objection to Behe's arguments.
(1) Irreducibly complex mechanisms can evolve from highly redundant mechanisms by the elimination of unneeded parts. Thus a process can gradually evolve from a large, non-irreducibly complex process to a streamlined, irreducibly complex process. When a bulding is finished the scaffolding is removed. At that point a casual observer will be at a loss to explain how the building could have been constructed without skyhooks.
(2) One of the main points of ID theory is that no element of the process can be removed and still have the process "work."
The concept of the process "working" is not an absolute concept. In a given context a process does something that is used by the larger organism in some way. What is to say that it did not evolve from a simpler process which served a different function for the ancestor organism. That way a process can be built up one molecule at a time and still be favored by natural selection all along the way.
As an example of different function one biologist once wore a mouse trap, with the trip mechanism and cheese holder removed, as a tie clip. Thus the classic example of an irreducibly complex object still performed a different but valued function after parts of it were removed.
The ideas of ID theory are new and are still being hashed out by both proponents and skeptics. Many of the overt claims of the proponents have been seriously weakened by others who have looked more carefully. ID is not so much a biological theory as a philosophical point which is still being debated.
The scientific community has not accepted ID theory as anything other than a new idea to discuss. That a state legislature should mandate which fringe ideas be taught in science classes is absurd.
| I recall a few years ago a big deal was made about the way that the Church would be displaying its corporate logo. The name tag the Missionaries wore would no longer be just TCOJCOLDS, JC would no be bold, front and center baby.. just let everyone know that they are the Church of Jesus Christ.
So, what happened? This year in Sunday School they are learning about the DandC, last year, it was BOM, I guess once every 4 years, they learn about the New Testament, which, if I have my Bible and LDS books correct, is really the core teachings of Jesus and his life and death here on Earth.
So, for a Church with Jesus Christ right in the name, what happened? Where did Jesus go? Perhaps WDJG is a better slogan for the kid's wristbands.. and WWJSD, as in "What would Joseph Smith Do" a bit more honest. (Ah, the answer to that, is lying beneath the sheets!) I became quite disillusioned when I read that ol Joe had the cujones to utter the "No man has ever turned against me! Not even Jesus can say that!" phrase (when of course, several of his so called vision-image witnesses DID turn against him), and every meeting I've attended, I can't think of a single time when a decent passage about Jesus' life actually comes up.
There are multidudes of great stories, Mary Magdallen, water into wine (or is it water into water?), loaves and fishes, Sermon on the Mount, riding into Bethlehem, so many great new Testament stories.. I've heard them many times in Catholic Mass, the lessons and examples that Christ taught, and how if we follow them, perhaps we can be better people. Pretty simple doctrine to me. The idea in those lessons from a Catholic Mass seems to be "Here was a good Man, the Best of Men, this is what He did, maybe you can be a little like Him, and in turn, be a better person yourself."
What I get from TCOJCOLDS is "Joseph Smith was martyred! He was awesome! Joseph was so young, maybe 14, maybe 17, maybe 21, we don't know when he saw this great vision with Angels, or Heavenly Father oh, AND JESUS! They told Joseph he would write a book about these people that sort of knew Jesus, and then they'd maybe come to America, who knows, DNA is still freaking us up on that one, BUT! Remember! Jesus is right there in our name!"
Can anyone recall the last time Jesus' ministry was brought up in any meeting? FandT? No way, another thread has dispelled the thought of that.. FandT is all about the Truth of TSCC, not about Jesus.. Sunday School is about prophets, Joseph's martyrdom, the trek to the West, the Nephilaminites, that little blond kid having a vision.. NOTHING about Jesus. Why bother? Just drop the Jesus Christ and become "The Church of Latter Day Saints".. the CO Joseph Smith wouldn't fly, it would just be too true, and the Church can't do THAT!
Sorry for ranting, this one has been itching on me, and I think reading about FandT really crystalized it. This is no more a Church of Christ's teachings than Islam is.. they both probably reference him about the same.
| Even when I was a young TBM, the Church News articles merited some sarcasm from me and my friends. Here are some of the ones I can remember:
Hurricane (fill in the blank) devastates (fill in the blank). All missionaries safe and no damage to chapels. Proves church is true.
Cecil B. DeMille visits with Church President David O. McKay about movie "Ten Commandments". Says "Thou almost persuadest me to be a Mormon". Comment proves Church is true.
Charlene Wells chosen as Miss America, proving Church is true.
There are now 15 Mormon Senators and Representatives in Congress. This proves that the famous prophecy of Joseph Smith is being fulfilled.
Osmonds biggest act in Great Britain (1970s). Helps missionary and proves Church is true.
Jim McMahan throws Hail Mary pass, B.Y.U. wins game with miracle finish. Adds prestige to Church owned school and proves BYU is best school in the land, fulfilling early prophecy of (multiple choice) a. Karl G. Maeser b. Henry Eyring c. Brigham Young d. Orson Pratt e. John Taylor
Genealogist finds headstone of 3rd great grandfather in swamp in the dark after getting lost and breaking leg. After healing for three years, is able to do temple work. Proves the Lord is directing genealogy work.
Saints warned by Prophet to build up year's supply of food for coming cataclysms. No other religious provide similar warnings. Proves Church is true.
Billy Casper joins Church, spreads gospel on the links. Church must be true.
Senile Joseph Fielding Smith regains mind after succeeding David O. McKay as prophet. Succession proves Church is true.
Twins, separated at birth, both join Church in middle age. Then run into each other and reunite miraculously at Rose Bowl swap meet just days before both are killed by separate meteor landings. Proves Church is true.
Church builds 28 story office tower next to Temple Square, much higher than any building at the Vatican. Proves work is going forward.
Salt Lake Temple sits on natural clay and spring water reservoir, thus making it earth quake proof. Brigham Young true Prophet. (Not to mention the design of that cool elevator shaft that works into the endowment perfectly. Could only happen with prophecy).
Mormon property in Laie Hawaii now valued at 2.2 billion dollars, but true value is in helping Pacific Islander Lamanites leave behind primitive ways and go on the true Western path.
Willard Marriott chairs Richard Nixon's inaugural for second time. Proves that Marriott is most important person back east, and hence Church is true.
President Eisenhower (Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Bush 43) meet with President Smith (McKay, Smith, Lee, Kimball, Benson, Hunter, Hinckley) proving that Church is true.
Governor Reagon visits Mormon cannery in California. Praises Church's self reliance. Proves that Welfare Plan comes from God.
| Twenty years ago, University of Washington sociologist Rodney Stark observed the phenomenal growth of Mormonism and declare that it would "soon achieve a worldwide following comparable to that of Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and the other dominant world faiths."
The American-born Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was on the threshold, Stark wrote, of becoming "the first major faith to appear on Earth since the Prophet Mohammed rode out of the desert."
In recent years, however, other scholars have noted a declining growth rate and lack of convert retention. They have even argued that the LDS Church doesn't have what it takes to be a world religion.
At an April conference sponsored jointly by Brigham Young University and the Library of Congress, British scholar Douglas Davies distinguished between "global religions," which have members in many different countries but never become part of the host culture, and "world religions," makes themselves at home in myriad places and cultures.
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| Scoutmaster's post about his TBM friend with a PhD got me to thinking about how two contrasting world views reside in the same head.
In my encounters with believing latter day saints, the argument is often raised, that "so and so has a PhD, and he/she believes". The individual often then argues that any claim that the church is not true is a simultaneous claim to be more intelligent than the TBM PhD. Due to the commonality of this argument to the appeal to authority often used by TBMs, below are some potential arguments for how having a PhD may make it more difficult for some TBM PhDs to come to grips with the reality of the church.
Late Arriving Critical Thinking Skills
First, along with the PhD comes the ability to discount knowledge. PhDs are trained to critically evaluate information and being willing to point out BS. For example, just because the Dr. Phil says XYZ, doesn't make it so. This gives the TBM scholar the tool of being critical... or of feeling secure in discounting information from others. Although at first glance, it would appear that this skill would work against remaining TBM, one has to remember that it is very likely that the majority of TBM PhDs were TBM before they were PhD. TBM beliefs were engrained before the new rules for critically evaluating information were acquired. Hence, the skill of criticality is more likely to be used to comfortably discount attacks on the church, but rarely turned on the church itself. A metaphor could be useful. Gaining a PhD is like acquiring the ability to throw up "breastworks of timbers" around a city to protect it. While such a wall could be a formidable barrier to an enemy trying to enter, it does little toprotect from dissenters already inside the wall. Likewise, the PhD can help prevent the individual from being persuaded by poor data and arguments, but it does little to protect him/her from long held beliefs and assumptions.
Built in Need Satisfaction
Second, the PhD may act to increase the amount of social pressure for testimony preservation. TBMs seem to hold believing scientists in high-regard, which would lead to positive reinforcement of the TBM PhDs spiritual contributions. That is, the TBM PhD would be more likely to receive attention, deference, praise, and reverence. These would serve to satisfy the individual's Need for Affiliation. In addition, if education level is positively associated with hierarchal level in church leadership, then it could also lead to satisfaction of an individuals Need for Power. Such a need-satisfying context increases the costs of breaking from such an organization.
Natural Cognitive Dissonance Resolution
Third, the PhD could play a role in a person's response to cognitive dissonance. The TBM PhD experiences cognitive dissonance when he/she comes across information that is inconsistent with the TBM world view. To relieve the dissonance, the PhD has to either discount his/her prior experience, judgment, and choices or discount the non-conforming information. It could be argued that having a PhD makes it less likely that the person can repudiate their prior choices to bring their attitudes and beliefs in consonance with other information. Any confidence, arrogance, or self-assurity that comes from having the degree would act to decrease the probability that he/she would discount past choices. Discounting the other information is the psychologically easier choice. Perhaps it could be simply said, that their expertise in one area leads them to a sense of security in their judgment in other areas of their lives.
Demystification of Science
Fourth, the PhD acts to lower the person's esteem of science. As a researcher, the PhD realizes that science is not perfect. He/she realizes that scientific inquiry still involves judgment, biases, measurement limitations. This information, likely makes it easier for the TBM PhD to discount "science" that produces information discrediting the church by attributing it to one of several limitations in science. With science taken off of its pedestal, there is plenty of room for a prophet.
Hard vs Soft Sciences
Fifth, my experience is that PhDs in the physical sciences do not hold the social sciences in high esteem. There are "hard" (real) sciences like chemistry, physics, etc and there are "soft" (hokey) sciences like psychology, sociology, history, etc. This bias, if held, would also make it very easy for the TBM PhD in the hard sciences to discount findings of historians and explanations provided by the psychological paradigm. Scientists in such fields may have less experience dealing with the imperfect measurement and data that plague such subjects, and find it easier to discount any uncomfortable findings as being the result of this "bad data".
In conclusion, although the "smart people believe" argument is persuasive and pervasive in the church, there is reason to believe that such trust is flawed. Humans with PhDs are still humans, and are subject to human frailties that may even increase the probability of them remaining TBM. I would be interested in seeing the proportion of PhDs in the social sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, archeology, history, etc) that join the church after having received the PhDs from research oriented programs. My hypothesis would be that the proportion would be extremely small. Scientist's belief in myth is due to their human psychology and not their systematic methodology.
| Does anyone else remember hearing conference talks on caring for elderly parents? Essentially, we are not supposed to put them in homes, but rather consider it our blessing and privelege to care for them right up to the end? Warning: this topic may be sensitive...
I just got back from visiting my aunt tonight (who, by the way, is very distressed about my leaving the church, but that is another story). My grandmother is living with her and is in her 94th year. Grandma is at the point where she can hardly walk, and can barely swallow her food anymore, and falls constantly. My aunt is the oldest of three children, and was unable to have children herself. My mother and my uncle both have many children, and therefore, it seemed the logical conclusion that since this aunt had "so much spare time, not having kids and grandkids and the like", the bulk of care for my grandmother should go to my aunt.
My aunt has been caring for her now for over eight years, and is completely worn out in body, spirit, and mind. Tonight she was so depressed. My mother really isn't in a position to take my grandmother and care for her full time(again, another story), and my uncle simply won't take care of her (can you say, "typical mormon male chauvinist that's woman's work pig"?) and so the obvious: it is time to put my grandmother in a home.
But oh, the guilt! We are not supposed to put our parents in old people's homes! Even though it makes no sense not to - my aunt has a bad hip and back herself and physically should not be lifting her mother - oh, how the Lord will hold it against us, and oh how our deceased loved ones are going to beat us when we all gather together in that celestial kingdom in the sky.
This is yet just one more way the church throws out a lot of guilt and bad advice (alias "commandments") and messes with people's lives. Don't deal in reality! Let guilt be your guide!
I am trying to talk my aunt and help her see that it is for the best for everyone - she would gain her life and sanity back, my grandma would have trained caregivers that were physically strong enough to lift her, plus medical staff around to help. Yes, becoming that old and incapacitated is sad to watch, but it is a reality of life, it is not my aunt's fault, and she should have a life of her own.
This church really is a gerontocracy... at the expense of the middle class worker bees....
| Someone posted a line the other day that I found hilariously accurate. Regarding the eternal families doctrine, this person argued that the only people who really believe it are those who were born and raised in the "hermetically sealed" environment of the church.
I think the description is apt, don't you? Mormonism survives to this day not because of the superiority of its doctrines or practices but because the church is unusually successful at stuffing its adherents into a kind of bubble, a "hermetically sealed" environment where not only are they discouraged from considering alternatives, they're hardly even aware that alternatives exist.
Particularly in the Corridor, Mormons honestly believe that they are the only religion on the planet which claims access to the Spirit, which believes in revelation and prophecy, or which has a concept of eternal families. The church teaches members that they need not go anywhere for the important sources of knowledge but the church itself. All answers are to be had in the Mormon standard works. The prophets give you all the information you need to know to get by in the modern world -- their messages, after all, are for you specifically. It surrounds missionaries in a bubble of exacting rules and demands so that they have no time or desire to process the otherwise horizon-broadening experiences they're exposed to; or at least so that missionaries take all their experiences and filter them through the lens of Mormonism.
And in the greatest coup of all, the church ruthlessly controls the flow of information regarding its past, closing off all avenues of discourse except the officially-sanctioned histories and doctrines that emanate from church headquarters. Mormons who might flirt with unorthodox history are warned that "the church is either all true or nothing but a fraud" and thus scared away. Those who persist are made into cautionary examples, disciplined or excommunicated so that the faithful can dismiss any of their insights with a Dogbertian wave of the paw.
Mormonism is most successful in a bubble. It works best only when its adherents are ignorant -- by circumstance or by choice -- of the world around them. Seen from within, it does seem remarkably coherent and logical; it has a lot of answers. But it succeeds only because it also controls the questions.
Ignorance is the milk and willful ignorance the meat of Mormonism.
Just my $.02 for your edification.
| Mormons expect to be respected for their beliefs, but think they have the only true church which means they can't respect opposing ideas.
Mormons expect to be welcomed when they show up for years on doorsteps they've been told to stay away from. But they acted persecuted when my husband showed up at TBM doors once or twice to complain.
Mormons claim that the dead can refuse proxy baptismal rites, but have no actual wording in the rituals that reflect such a belief.
Mormons claim that righteousness and blessings go hand in hand, but say mormons with problems are being tested. Non-believers who have the same problems are getting what they deserve.
Is it just me, or are there many of these areas of disconnect in the TBM mindset?
| Out of the blue, my teenage daughter said after church yesterday that they had made no mention of 9/11 in sacrament meeting.
This didn't surprise me, and I'm glad she noticed such an important commemoration was missing.
The Mormon Church is simply out of touch with most of the biggest, most pressing concerns of the day. It's leaders are businessmen, not spiritual guides.
Members seeking inspiration and guidance (especially if they're objective and not totally brainwashed), will invariably come away empty.
The day before, the stake youth had a full day youth conference on the topic of Joseph Smith. This was advertised long in advance, and hailed as something they wouldn't want to miss.
Normal youth in other churches and in society in general would generally be abuzz with chat the next day about this really cool event.
My daughter intentionally didn't attend it.
I asked her if those who attended were talking about it, and the answer was basically no.
It reminds me of the Beatles song "Good Morning, Good Morning" from Sgt Pepper's:
"....everyone you see is half asleep, and you're on your own, your in the street."
| Listening to the radio yesterday I accidentaly found myself listening to the Doug Wright show "honest to Pete". Anyway he was giddy with excitement over the Church's pronouncement of "regret" over the efforts to make Utah a storage center for spent nuclear fuel. Here were my observations:
1) This issue of nuclear waste storage in Utah is not new. I believe the Goshute tribe has been at this for at least 8 years. Why didn't the church speak out sooner? Is it possible that this would've gotten so far along had they put the kibosh on it from the start? Why must they feign reluctance? Everyone knows they are the clearing house for political capital in Utah.
2)The language of statement was almost ambivalent. Oh, you just "regret" the federal regulators decision. You don't whole-heartedly oppose it? This is their feeble attempt at subltly influencing politics and public policy, but at the same time leaving it in just a way that they can still claim to be apolitical. So much for standing for something. More like stand for something in private, hem and haw around it in public, always leave yourself an out in case it gets messy.
3) Wright and his guest, Sen Hatch, were obviously emboldened by the church's statement. It was obvious that the church's decision to weigh in on this had its desired effect. I'll try to paraphase Wright's comment "Well now, won't it be interesting to see how this changes the momentum of the debate in the [state] Legislature." I don't understand how one would need the validation to oppose something like nuclear waste. Isn't it a no-brainer? I was also troubled by the lock-step reaction. The statement of the church while innocuous to outsiders, is a code-like fatwa for the believers (as evidenced by the Wright and Hatch's reaction) to "take the gloves off, you have our blessing".
4) Last time I checked the church itself pays no taxes on the vast real estate holdings or mountains of money it has in its coffers. What makes their opinion so valued on the issue? For me it reverts back to the principle behind the laws preventing non-profit orgs from getting into electoral politics. That principle being that organizations subsidized without the positive consent of tax payers should keep their mouths shut and stay out of the political process.
Here's the actual statement:
"We regret [the] decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to authorize the issuance of a license that would allow storage of radioactive waste in Skull Valley. Storage of nuclear waste in Utah is a matter of significant public interest that requires thorough scrutiny."
| Kind of like playing with the only wild card in the game, the living prophet always holds the winning hand when any embarrassing doctrine or former prophetic statement finally receives enough public pressure or exposure. This is when the Mormon leadership system really shines. The so-called living prophet can merely pronounce that he has had a revelation from God Almighty that contradicts what his predecessor prophet’s position. was. The church then merely redirects its course to follow blindly without question, this new pronouncement from their living seer.
The wonderful thing about this Mormon escape clause is that the churches so called prophets, seers and revelators are NEVER held accountable for any of their prophetic statements.
With the ability to discount the statements of their predecessor’s declarations by merely saying...Oh Gosh.he was only speaking as a man when he said that and not as a prophet...it begs the question.... If prior pronouncements can be discarded so easily... why should a member of the church accept as authoritative ANY statement by their so-called living Seer? What's to keep the next leader in Mormonism from totally brushing off his predecessor's pronouncements? Nothing!
Since its creation of the church by its founder Joseph Smith, his predecessors have either changed or abandoned the following doctrines:
Nature of God
Blacks and the Priesthood
Setting for the Book of Mormon
Grace vs Works
What is tithing
How to live the Word of Wisdom
What a Lamanite is or isn’t
Qualifications to enter the Temple
Interpretation of Science
Gathering of Zion
The actual ownership of all personal property by the church
and I could go on and on.
Each failed doctrine or embarrassing belief is discarded or abandoned without explanation or apology for the damage and pain that it inflicted on members of the church or their posterity.
Gee wouldn’t we all like to hold this TRUMP CARD!
| Since believers always gobble up things like this when they appear in the news, a poster on another board had found a newsweek article that I found interesting as possibly something to send to those believers...
It is, for the most part, history as the LDS church interprets it. However, there are some golden gems that may begin to plant the seed.
The article is located here: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9630255/site/newsweek/ (Oct 17, 2005 issue of Newsweek)
My excerpts of interest that are not as the LDS church openly admits to, with comments, are as follows:
"No single mormon doctrine or practice has been more controversial than polygamy. Smith said he was commanded by God to take plural wives like Abraham and other Old Testament figures. Most historians agree that he married his first plural wife, a 16-year-old who worked in his house, about 1833--and some 30 more in the next decade. Not everyone believed God sanctioned the marriages."
Even this article in a largely pro light states clearly that Smith took young women as wives.
"The characteristic features of the LDS Church--sacred temple rites, personal revelation, tithing and a history of polygamy--come directly from Smith."
Again, polygamy from Joseph Smith.
"Because of Mormonism's unique theology, some of which challenges early Christian creeds, many Christian denominations don't consider the LDS Church to be Christian."
Odd, isn't it, that a restorationist church differs from early Christianity?
"Smith knew that his testimony required a leap of faith. 'I don't blame anyone for not believing my history,' he said shortly before his death. 'If I had not experienced what I have, I could not have believed it myself."
I just can't help but think of Fast and Testimony Meeting in concert with this quote. I know this... I know that... I know the other... Not even Joseph Smith would have believed himself (or at least, that's what he said), if he didn't experience it. Why is it not "I have faith that..."? Why is "knowing" so essential for them to repeat over and over? This is not what the Book of Mormon says, ironically, either...it states that faith is not to have knowledge, but it is more like a hope (ie, faith is not the same as knowing). Mormon testimonies, when you think about it, are about the least faithful testimonies I have ever heard...they "know" it all, there is no wiggle room or room for faith to be openly admitted to--gotta look good to the masses!
"After Smith ordered an antagonistic printing press destroyed, he was jailed."
This comes in context of when he was killed. So this article even brings out the truth that it was because he destroyed a printing press with differing ideals. Contrast that with the First Amendment!
"The record reveals a complicated man. The church's early converts, many of whom learned about it from missionaries, were sometimes shocked when they met Smith in person. He was uneducated, he lost his temper, he enjoyed power--and perhaps most startling for converts was the fact that, on occasion, his ventures failed. Simply put, he didn't always seem like a prophet. "It was very hard, even in his own times, to remain neutral on him," says Mark Scherer, church historian for Community of Christ, a branch that followed Smith's son Joseph III instead of Brigham Young after Smith's death. "Either you thought the guy walked on water or you thought the guy was a huge fraud." Smith was involved in dozens of lawsuits. By the end of his life, he had accrued some 30 wives, massive debt and hundreds of enemies."
And the missing line is that those who "know" LDS is true will rationalize away Smith's failed ventures, ignore his temper, and disregard his power trips rather than admitting Smith was wrong on anything.
| My conversation with the Mormon missionaries recently was a perfect illustration of the massive denial you have to operate under as a representative of the church to keep the CogDis from driving you crazy.
When confronted with damning evidence that shatters the racist myth of Mormonism, the social/intellectual/emotional constraints are so strong and limiting the Mormon missionary's only reaction is to smugly say, "WE teach it because it's TRUE!" completely ignoring the fact that genetic science has conclusively proven the racist claims of mormonism false.
I told him, "That's your right to believe that racist myth if you want, but it's my right to tell you it's a lie. Difference is, I can back it up with evidence and facts based in physical reality. You can't. If your so-called "Truth" were really "true" then science would bear it out as it advanced and it would be increasingly accepted by people who were not Mormon. Instead, just the opposite phenomenon has happened. As science advances, it tends to disprove the claims of Mormonism. Nobody but Mormons believes Native Americans are descended from Lamanites. That's a racist myth. That is exactly why I choose not to believe in Mormonism. It's racist and I don't want to be a racist or associated with racism. It's increasingly inappropriate to maintain that myth, especially now that it has been completely debunked. So why maintain it? Doesn't Christ's commandment, to love one another as yourself, outweigh the need to maintain that a certain race is descended from a cursed race of people? I found that morally, I could no longer associate myself with a white supremicist organization."
I had the same discussion with a GA, with the same outcome.
I told him that 99.9% of the genetic material tested amongst Native Americans from the tip of Alaska to the tip of S. America was definitively of Asiatic descent, the other .1% was definitively non semetic. In other words, there is not a trace of semetic DNA in any native American population, which completely contradicts the racist claims of the BOM, so why maintain them?
The GA, who is also a well known, very good trial attorney, sat there next to my bishop, who was also my wife's OBGYN and told me, "Well, that doesn't bother me. Everything I learned as a child has been turned on it's head. I wouldn't be supprised if Genetic Science was turned on its head tomorrow."
WTF!?!?!?!? What century were you born in? My brain was reeling. I was in shock.
"Are you serious? You mean to tell me that EVERYTHING you learned as a child has been turned on its head? Hasn't Newton's theory of inertia been around since the 17th Century? Hasn't the theory of electricity been around since the 18th century? Hasn't the theory of Evolution been around since the 19th Century? Hasn't the theory of Relativity been around since the begining of the 20th Century? All of those theories have only become more and more well established and usefull over the years, far from being turned on their heads. Science has come a long ways in the past few decades. We now have the human genome mapped, along with quite a few other species. They send people to the electric chair based on DNA evidence. They can tell exactly where we came from. And you seriously think it could all be turned on its head? The God I believe in does not change the laws that govern the universe at random."
He told me after that, "I don't have answers to your questions." and proceeded to share some pointless antecdotes with me.
I told him I appreciated his candor, but that I didn't expect him to have the answers. I told him that they were rethorical questions since already knew the answers to my questions before I asked.
I respect those two men immensely in almost every way. They are good men, professionally, morally, socially, ethically, I personally know of no better men. They are both very well educated, honest and reasonable. Good people.
It's just sad to see that even people as intelligent and good as those two men are reduced to believing the racist myths they have inheirited and refuse to face well established scientific fact, since as representatives of LDS Inc, they have to draw the line at independent thought.
| This arose as a counter argument to the lists that supposedly list the points that make the church true. The LDS church does not have a shred of evidence to support its claims. On the contrary everything screams that it is all a lie.
- Changing accounts regarding the first vision.
- Lack of reports in the local press about Joseph Smith prior to 1830 even though he claims that he was subjected to substantial pressure from the church communities around him. Religious news was readily reported in the local press meaning if there really had been a first vision it would have been reported prior to 1830.
- Joseph Smith's association with folk magic (i.e. divining rods).
- Joseph Smith's "money digging" and attempts to avoid legitimate employment.
- Similarities between Joseph Smith's accounts of uncovering the gold plates and the writings of Solomon Spaulding.
- Similarities between the Book of Mormon and "View of the Hebrews" and several other books of the period.
- Portions of the Book of Mormon that quote the New Testament prior to the writing of the KJV of the New Testament.
- Changes to the KJV by Joseph Smith that have not been supported by documents that have been subsequently uncovered (i.e. The Dead Sea Scrolls and biblical texts that are older than the sources utilized by the KJV translators).
- The Kinderhook plates and Joseph Smith's "translation" of the fraudulent characters.
- The changing locations of the supposed Hill Cumorah in spite of recorded statements from Joseph Smith and others to the contrary. (i.e. Zelph the white Lamanite and his participation in the last battle, and the ancient Manti supposedly being located in Randolph County, Missouri).
- The Book of Abraham and the total lack of comparison to the papyrus.
- Joseph Smith's "Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar" and proof of this alphabet being bogus.
- Joseph Smith's prophecy concerning the Civil War was predated by discussion in the popular press stating the same thing.
- Unfulfilled prophecy concerning building of temple in Independence (the date for that has long since passed).
- Unfulfilled prophecy regarding Second Coming in reference to Joseph Smiths age (the time frame for that is long passed).
- Lack of DNA evidence concerning the peoples in the Book of Mormon.
- Book of Mormon denouncing polygamy and initially the Doctrine in Covenants. D and C changed to accommodate polygamy.
- Joseph Smith concealing polygamous marriages from Emma. In some instances even performing a second ceremony so that Emma would not know that he had already been married to certain individuals.
- Joseph Smith putting time pressure on women to marry him.
- Joseph Smith through the vehicle of "revelation" threatening Emma with destruction if she did not accept polygamy.
- Joseph Smith using the vehicle of "revelation" in the form of supposed blessings for accepting and cursing for rejecting proposals for polygamous marriages.
- Joseph Smith marrying women that had husbands still living.
- Joseph Smith sending individuals on missions that may have opposed plural marriages.
- Brigham Young using manipulative tactics to obtain polygamous marriages.
- Over 200 polygamous marriages being performed after 1890. One as late as 1907.
- The churches denial of post manifesto polygamous marriages until it was revealed to the general public to a degree that they could not deny.
- Joseph Smith denying that polygamy was being practiced until the 1840's.
- FARMS and the church "spinning" evidence and the Book of Mormon account to fit the current evidence.
- Gordon Hinckley and Dallin Oaks concealing evidence in the Hoffman case.
- Dallin Oaks stating that it is acceptable to not tell the truth when it casts the church or its leaders in a bad light. What about the temple recommend interview question? "Are you honest in all of your dealings?"
- Church history being presented in a one-sided fashion and many times in a totally dishonest fashion.
- The church's censure of BYU faculty and other individuals who produce works that are truthful, albeit casting the church in a bad light (i.e. concerning church history, research concerning the Book of Mormon, etc.).
- Gordon Hinckley lying to the press about the church's doctrinal stands on polygamy and the divine potential of human kind.
- The temple endowments plagiarism from Masonic ceremonies, which by the way have been shown to have originated from other places and times than most members are led to believe (not the temple in Jerusalem).
- The macabre penalties that were removed from the temple ceremony.
- The changes to the Book of Mormon (i.e. "he was a going" hardly sounds like the work of an all knowing God).
- Unfulfilled prophecy from Brigham Young concerning blacks and when they would receive the priesthood.
- The teaching that when blacks and Lamanites repent they are supposed to become a white (changed recently to "fair") and delightsome people. I have lived around many church members who are either African-Americans or "Lamanites" and their skin color does not change even after many years in the faith. Their descendents skin does not change either. People living closer to the equator have darker skin than those closer to the poles, indicating an environmental cause for the pigmentation differences.
- Reliance on circumstantial evidence in current members lives as "proof" the church is true.
- When faced with the crushing evidence against the Book of Mormon, we are encouraged to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, both of which can and in billions of cases have caused faulty conclusions, i.e. Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam. If the answer is still in the negative then it is our fault and we need to pray again.
- Treatment of members that is in line with the way that cults treat members. Building your own testimony by bearing your own testimony (this is brainwashing).
- The teaching that if someone does not believe they need to read more. Again brainwashing. For instance, we don't need to keep rereading Boyle's gas laws to re-convince ourselves that they are true.
- Manipulating, trying to induce guilt, trying to induce fear of loss of blessings, and trying to induce fear of being cursed within those who no longer believe (unethical and immoral). If these tactics were employed in a secular organization there would be serious legal action leveled, and you would lose in court.
- The church's paranoia about the truth. The truth will stand for itself. If the truth is being suppressed and twisted then you are dealing with a fraudulent organization
| The church has gone from growth strategies to survival strategies.
The church has begun to micro-manage its members and it is getting worse. The post about the facial hair is an indicator, they are beginning to tighten the noose, or as they put it, raise the bar.
The church does not need more temples in Utah. These are just giant billboards.
When the FARMS board of directors comes to our turf that is a move of desperation, they realize that people can see through their (un)logic and that people are getting tired of the non-stop info-mercial.
For those of you who still attend you will notice that the minutia that was already bad, like r-rated movies, coffee and coke usage become emphasized more and more.
I do not envy the church leaders. No one has ever confronted the truth in open battle and won. The only way to defeat the truth is to increase ignorance of it and dilute it. The internet has taken away that strategy. It is the double edged sword. The church depends on it but it is also killing the chuch.
The only reason the church survives at all is because the top leaders wisely do not depend on revelation. They depend on public relations firms, the best.
| I have been thinking about the Churchs problems with 'so called intellectuals' who do research about the church and how the church says we should only study the doctrine by using church published and approved materials. I have always been an avid learner and love to do all sorts of studying even when I am not required to for job or school. In the Doctrine and Covenants it is a commandment to study the complexities of the world and history, wars, and foreign things. It is also stressed in church that we need to study the gospel and get learning by 'study and also by faith'
Then when you actually do these things as recommended and you don't get the answer or beliefs they want you to have because you have followed their counsel you end up getting fired from BYU and excommunicated or you are told that you 'think too much.'
If the glory of God is intelligence and we are trying to become 'all knowing' like God, than shouldn't we be free to study all sides of an issue, not just the pro?
Before I vote on a candidate as a PoliSci graduate I was trained to look at the pros and the cons of a situation. I feel it is a waste of an education not to do this.
So why does the church on the one hand encourage learning and getting all the education you can, but on the other hand when you do and then ask questions that can't be answered you get slapped back down? If the gospel was the eventual source of all truth, than I would think that any learning should eventually lead into supporting the gospel. This has not been the case though in my experience. There are some subjects that I have actually avoided studying when I was younger because they might undermine my testimony, for example biology and evolution. I was also strongly cautioned and cajoled not to pursue a career in psychology because my TBM family said it could challenge my testimony. I lost my testimony actually reading apologetics stuff when I was trying to build up resources to fight the 'antis' not studying some college science course.
I feel that the church allows you to study all you want as long as it is business or something to make money, but if you try to study stuff like philosophy or social science and some of the hard sciences such as physics or biology you are quietly discouraged or in my case strongly discouraged. It hasn't gone unnoticed by me that the majority of GAs have MBA degrees or law degrees. They are highly educated, just not in a course of study that would make them question the church.
| Having been on both sides of the LDS fence I don't see that the Mormon Jesus has the same role as he does in Protestant churches. Sure, everyone knows that the Mormon Jesus is different than the Protestant Jesus. But since the role he plays in salvation is night and day different that influences the Jesus content of Mormon SM's and in individual Mormon's lives.
Jesus for me was always a comfort and never a taskmaster. Like you suggested, as a TBM Jesus and TSCC existed in two different realities. That wasn't the case when I was a Protestant. Jesus was never used by the pastor as a lever to affect members' lives in a manner inconsistent with the NT depiction of him. In fact, pastors frequently were ineffective because they relied too heavily on the long suffering role model of Jesus. More importantly, Protestant Jesus was never used to manipulate church members into doing something merely because the pastor wanted it done. As such belief in Jesus had more personal impact since there wasn't a lot of conflicting dogma.
[I'm sure there are Protestants whose experience was different than mine, but I can only relate what I experienced. I had two pastors as an active UMC member, two mediocre and one exceptionally good. At worst the two mediocre pastors were the equivalent of my best bishops in how they interacted with members and influenced them as leaders. The best pastor (not necessarily the best sermonizer) put every bishop and SP I've ever known to shame. We're talking 'man of God' goodness here. The GAs are nothing compared to him. And he's just an everyday guy.]
As a Protestant believer Jesus was a real inspiration to me in how I acted, thought, and perceived the world around me. It was very much as McDonkie has decried as a personal relationship. Now, even I will grant you that you can't have a personal relationship with a past historical being. But you can model your life after a historical being to the point at which you feel a oneness of purpose.
In contrast, Mormon Jesus to me as a TBM was a distant, seemingly irrelevant Savior. Afterall, he had done only a bit more than Joseph Smith to provide for my salvation. The distance was made worse by Mormon lay leadership who largely did not know how to lead others as disciples of Jesus. The net result is the politics of the institutional church killed Jesus as an effective role model for members.
I think about this subject frequently as a non-believer while DW is in the other room reading the BoM and other scriptures. Her Jesus is buried beneath the behemoth of the institution. Truly her only opportunity to learn about the Jesus I once believed in is personal time reading the scriptures. (She certainly won't learn about that Jesus in SM, Sunday School, or RS.) And if she would read the NIV NT she would get a glimpse of that Jesus I knew. But the Jesus of the BoM, DandC, HoC, etc... is a connived Jesus that exists solely to justify the existence of the LDS institution.
Palmer's and other's suggestions then are really circumspect. Yes, perhaps there would be a bit more compassion in TSCC. Yes, maybe there would be less ecclesiastical abuse. But in the end the net effect would be minimal because the institution is jealous of, and honestly at odds with Jesus. Afterall, TSCC doesn't want members to be devoted to Jesus. They want members to be devoted to the institution and to believe that the institution, not Jesus, is essential to their salvation.
I haven't given up all hope on religion or Christianity. The pain and disillusionment of the Mormon fraud is fading. If there's anything that gives me pause to think that maybe I'll believe again someday it's the Protestant Jesus I grew up believing in.
| Mormonism controls what you think, say, drink, believe, entertain yourself with, and how you pray, think of God, deal with your family , deal with others, and on and on and on. Run-on sentence for a run -on list of behaviors.
Since there is such a need for control, what about control of occupations?
Mormons are notorious (at least in Utah) for being the cheapest employers on the planet. They pay incredibly low wages, take advantage of starving students, and cheat on and replace their workers without batting an eye. Provo is run by businessmen who screw students every way they can. Students are basically indentured servants when working in Provo.
People like Larry Miller sell cars the old fashioned way--getting people to pay far more than they should, selling useless "loan insurance," treating people like dirt the minute their warranty expires, and cheating them on repair expenses (I dealt with this, so I know how Miller operates). But Miller is a moral hawk. We all know that. He cares about his standing with the Lord.
Mormons love to be in the business of usury. They have more "post-dated" check places than anywhere on earth. They love high interest loans, loan sharking, and greedy banking practices.
And the church does not care. If it brings in money , and tithing, then that is fine. Thus the pawn broker becomes a Stake President, and the loan shark a Bishop. All is well six days a week. Only Sunday appearances matter.
When will the church start to deal with this? When will it mean it when its leaders ask "Are you honest in your business dealings?" It asks, but it means NOTHING. The church worries itself sick over coffee and masturbation, but crooked business dealings don't really matter at all.
I know a person has to make a living. But if the goddam church is true, why is there so much acceptance for cheap, shoddy, and dishonest business practices? Why is the loan shark Bishop material? Why is the guy who rips off his customers and student employees on a BYU High Council?
I guess it all comes down to your ability to see the purpose of religion. Maybe you need to understand the importance of a mall, and the fact that "the business of God is business."
| Just casually talking to my high school son the other day.
I can't remember the beginning of the conversation, but the State of Missouri was involved, and I jokingly mentioned something about the "garden of eden" having been there.
My son looked at me like I had two noses or something. "What are you talking about?" he asked.
"You know!" I said...."The church teaches that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri. You've heard of that, haven't you!"
"What are you talking about?" he laughed.
I said, "You've never heard that song, 'Adam Ondi Ahman?' It's in the hymnbook. That's the place in Missouri where all the prophets are going to come together in the last days to combine all the keys and meet with Jesus."
"What in the world are you talking about?" he laughed again.
"You've never heard this. Are you serious?" (I know he'd heard of it when he was a little boy, because I led that hymn in church many times...but maybe that was before he could remember.) "You've never had any lessons about this in Priesthood or SS or in Seminary?"
"Never heard of it." (I am still not sure he even believed me.) (I haven't taken time to show him the scriptures.)
This is a kid who has possibly missed about 4 Sunday meetings in his whole life.
So, I asked my daughter. She said, "Never heard of it."
Now.....if I were an active, believing mormon, I might be pretty upset about this. But, even as a non-active, unbelieving mormon I'm upset. Leaders and teachers are leaving out some of the basic teachings of Joseph Smith and other prophets that were VERY important when I was young.
You might remember a couple of months ago when I talked about telling my teenagers about Joseph Smith finding the book of Abraham in a mummy that his mother had purchased. They started laughing and I had to calm them down before I could tell them that it was a real. They thought it was so absurd that they may not believe it still.
Makes me realize that most mormons have NO IDEA what they are doing.
I'll bet that if you went into my ward and asked them about Joseph Smith and the mummy, probably 5 people would have heard about it. One would be the ward scholar and another would be the ward "intellectual." I'll bet the bishop doesn't even know about it.
(I'm not in a large UTAH ward, where many more elderly people who've been mormons from their birth would know about it. I'm from a mostly convert ward where most people know hardly anything. People still call the mother of Jesus, "Virgin Mary" or "the beloved mother, Mary." That's not mormon talk.)
| It's About Time The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Wakes Up And Realizes They Are Not The Only Mormon Organization |
Monday, May 15, 2006, at 08:48 AM
Original Author(s): Geek Sqaud
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 -Link To MC Article-
| ↑ |
| Warren Jeffs and the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints are blowing President Hinckley's mainstream public relations effort out of the water like a hydrogen bomb.
Mormonism and polygamy have always and will always be glued together in the public image. Just because one sect of Mormonism did away with polygamy a century ago does not eliminate the fact that the founder of Mormonism Joseph Smith, practiced polygamy and the followers of Brigham Young practiced polygamy.
Mormonism has and does include several organizations such as: The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints being some of the better known Mormon sects. In short, any groups of people who follow the teachings of Joseph Smith are indeed Mormon. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is just one Mormon sect. Of course it's the biggest and richest but it's not the only Mormon Church on the planet.
The current problems with the FLDS in Colorado City are getting a ton of international attention. People watch a modern Taliban in the US and wonder why and how could such a horrible thing happen? Well, the answer is always the same. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Embarrassing facts the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been trying to hide or ignore for decades, now it's all coming back bigger than ever.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is embarrassed of it's own factual history. Sure they can play the persecution card but the History Channel and PBS never forgot about the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The current media is showing the rest of the world the sick guilt and control Mormon doctrine is based on and the horrid results such a theocracy becomes when allowed to grow unchecked.
In a day and age when all of us have a sour taste for religious, fanatical, terrorism, well heck, we sure wonder when we look at the FLDS and Warren Jeffs and when we see it all go back to Joseph Smith we understand better why the man was so hated and shot by a mob.
The real Mormonism isn't the fluffy PR the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints sends out via their Hollywood styled publicists or their Madison Avenue PR agency. No, real Mormonism is simply found by going back to Joseph Smith. Fortunately, it's all available on the Internet and easy to find. If you want western Mormonism, then it's Brigham Young you want to study.
People are and it's scaring that big church in Salt Lake City to death. Warren Jeffs and Big Love all wrapped up into a big burrito and the American public is taking a big bite and want to know more.
| Following on from all the DaVinci code hype, the church issued a statement on whether Jesus was married or not. As reported on KSL;
"The belief that Christ was married has never been official Church doctrine. It is neither sanctioned nor taught by the Church. While it is true that a few Church leaders in the mid-1800s expressed their opinions on the matter, it was not then, and is not now, Church doctrine."
Such statements include;
Jedediah M. Grant - Jesus and his disciples were persecuted for being polygamists.
Orson Hyde - "It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction , it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it."
Orson Pratt - Jesus a polygamist, God the Father had a plurality of wives. "We have also proved that both God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ inherit their wives in eternity as well as in time."
Click here for summary and links to JoD. http://www.irr.org/MIT/WDIST/wdist-po...
It's yet another example of the "I don't know that we teach that" move to the mainstream; Another example of mormon doctrine being exactly what the leaders want it to mean when it's convenient.
| Let us look at Mormon Church History:
"Gentlemen, that is as plain as the translators, or different councils over this Scripture, are allow it to go to the world, but the thing is there; it is told; Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana of Galilee, and he told them what to do... Now there was actually a marriage; and if Jesus was not the bridegroom on that occasion, please tell who was. If any man can show this, and prove that it was not the Savior of the world, then I will acknowledge I am in error. We say it was Jesus Christ who was married, to be brought into the relation whereby he could see his seed, before he was crucified." - Journal of Discourses 2:82, Orson Hyde, October 6, 1854
[When Joseph Fielding Smith was asked if this meant that Christ had children, Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, "Yes! But do not preach it! The Lord advised us not to cast pearls before swine!" (Letter to J. Ricks Smith, dated March 17, 1963]
"I discover that some of the Eastern papers represent me as a great blasphemer, because I said, in my lecture on Marriage, at our last Conference, that Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children." - Journal of Discourses 2:210, Orson Hyde, March 18, 1855
"It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it." - Journal of Discourses 4:259, Orson Hyde
"We have now clearly shown that God, the Father had a plurality of wives, one or more being in eternity, by whom He begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus His First Born... We have also proved most clearly that the Son followed the example of his Father, and became the great Bridegroom to whom kings' daughters and many honorable Wives to be married." - The Seer, p. 172, Orson Pratt
"Evening Meeting. Prayer By E Stephenson. Joseph F Smith spoke One hour and 25 M. He spoke upon the Marriage in Cana at Galilee. He thought Jesus was the Bridgegroom and Mary and Martha the brides. He also refered to Luke 10 ch. 38 to 42 verse, Also John 11 ch. 2 and 5 vers John 12 Ch 3d vers, John 20 8 to 18. Joseph Smith spoke upon these passages to show that Mary and Martha manifested much Closer relationship than Merely A Believer which looks Consistet. He did not think that Jesus who decended throug Poligamous families from Abraham down and who fulfilled all the Law even baptism by immersion would have lived and died without being married." - Wilford Woodruff's Journal 8:187, July 22, 1883
Mormon leaders have demonstrated a systematic desire to bury their own history and the teachings of their prior leaders. When times change, the "never changing God" of Mormonism preaches, "They were speaking as men."
| I tuned into Mormon Stories podcast and listened to the Dehlin and Palmer stories. Very worthwhile, came away a better informed person and a better person. I really appreciate what these guys have been willing to do and sacrifice. Bravo to both of them! And I will continue to read and listen. I own both of Palmer's books; first one was great, second was OK, but should have settled for a used copy.
Before I mention anything else, let me assert my ultimate support for Article of Faith 11, "who, what, how they may" doo-dah, doo-dah.
At this point, I'm having a hard time understanding how these two guys retain their allegiance to the church as a whole while at the same time basically declaring it a fraud. They also unapologetically highlight the church's failings regarding its ethical and moral obligations to be what it claims to be.
It seems to me that these two guys are essentially saying that:
1. The church is actually 'alright enough' provided you don't take it seriously, because we took it very seriously and got our "Drawn Sword" spanked. In fact, we took it so seriously that we were working off the assumption that our pursuit of truth would ultimately and directly lead us strait to The Church as advertised on TV.
2. The church is 'alright enough' to participate on a Chinese menu basis, if that.
3. The church is 'alright enough' as long as you keep your expectations quite low in terms of what to expect from the members, the local leaders, the regional leaders, the top leaders, the doctrine, the culture, the apologists, sunday school teachers, etc.
4. We choose to remain at risk of further church disapproval and discipline, as if it really matters at this point, should we cross some line that someone somewhere is monitoring.
So my question is, why would these guys waste such precious time and energy on something that isn't worth taking seriously. We're talking about the human soul and salvation supposedly.
I do, however, love the new twist they have put on redefining acceptable, faithful church activity. It seems to go something like this:
"The church is great and you can bet your favorite Peep-Stone on it that I'm a Mormon. Now, the only way I can tolerate this worthwhile institution or co-exist with it is to essentially dismiss it as unworthy of taking seriously.
But you can bet your "golden pot" that I'm a Mormon and the church is 'alright enough' for me to subject myself to disciplinary action and the threat of further disciplinary action if I do something this organization might not approve of."
As a hypocrisy check and in an effort at full disclosure, I have yet to resign my membership; however, I don't participate on a Chinese menu basis or on any basis other than being on some list somewhere. My resignation letter is cocked and loaded as soon as "an anointed" decides to take themselves seriously before I'm ready to mail it off at the right time.
Again, I remain a fan, but don't quite get this part of their story.
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