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  EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19
Total Articles: 26
The "Opinion" topic was created to separate out recovery from opinions on posts made in Ex-Mormonism.
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Do Mormon Men Seem Emasculated To You?
Monday, Nov 29, 2010, at 08:42 AM
Original Author(s): T-Bone
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
Let me first explain how I define emasculated. Many people define emasculated as an overly controlling guy who suddenly has to work for a female manager, and now he feels "emasculated." That's just one definition, but it misses the bigger point.

Here's how I understand it. There are a few ways a guy can have his balls removed.

1. Overbearing father

2. Overbearing mother

3. Overbearing religion

When men have controlling fathers, the effects manifest themselves in a few ways. They become controlling, too. As soon as they get out on their own, they decide they will never be dominated again, and seek to dominate. They can also go the opposite way. They see how much pain a domineering alph-male wannabe causes at home, and they want nothing to do with it.

We all know Mormon males who are excessively domineering. They create emasculated boys, or they foster hyper-masculininity. In other words, narcissists beget narcissists.

When men have controlling mothers, even those who do this out of love, it has the same effect. However, it also creates resentment. You will see unexplained hostility toward women. When a woman asks a guy for a simple favor, he gets upset. If she dares ask him to do something that is expected in traditional roles, like repairing something, he boils over. He alternately needs her approval, but he resents the fact that he's a mama's boy because everybody sees it. If they don't see it, he thinks they do.

He also fails to inspire any confidence in girls he courts because they sense that he will not stand up for her. Women look for guys who will look out for them. If they sense that a guy is a weakling, they have little use for him. Constant criticism erodes self-confidence. Constantly scolding and condemning of the father makes boys think that men are horrible, and makes them want to be more like Mama. When a mother subjects her boy to emotional manipulation, such as crying to get what she wants, he emulates her. After all, it works. Why not copy it?

As for overbearing religion, this comes out in very strange ways. When natural desires are repressed, they come out in strange ways. In Mormonism, masturbation is as sinful as murder, and that makes some young guys go crazy. They can alternately explode in church basketball games, or turn on their missionary companions like a raving lunatic. If you thought your comp was nuts, he was just suffering from sexual repression. He gave up two years he could have been screwing. If this becomes a habit, he loses something about what it means to be a man. He loses masculinity.

Mormon men seem to be afraid to admit they like women. Even as a TBM, I was not shy about liking women. We were helping a younger guy move once, and the new place had a huge shower that was perfect for all sorts of sexual adventures. It was so obvious, that when I made a comment about how great it was, all the other guys in the room cringed. One even offered to make an appointment with the bishop for me. I just remember thinking, OMFG, I'm not an outcast for admitting I want to have sex with my wife.

On the other hand, some couples are very obvious about the fact that they're banging every night. We had some newlyweds over for dinner from our ward. After dinner, they both looked at each other and the wife said, "OK, we have to get home." The husband immediately followed up with, "Time to go make love!"

On top of all this, Mormons are raised in a society where they are told that men have all the power. If we are observant, we see this is not true. Women are outperforming men academically, and they are making their own money. Granted, there is still a great amount of asymmetry in salaries and opportunities, but the world that Mormon men are led to believe they are living in does not exist. It has not existed since the 50's. The sexual revolution and the women's movement have changed that, in many good ways.

I had the overbearing father. He forbid us to make decisions. At the time when teenage boys are supposed to be taking risks and learning how to be men, he hovered over us. He was also drunk most of the time, so we had to shrink in the corner so we didn't attract his attention. It was always negative.

At the same time, my mother had to wear the pants because he did not work for years at a time. He avoided all responsibility. She did her best, but she made it clear she did not want us to be like him, so she became overbearing.

In the meantime, we had an overbearing church that tried to repress all our male tendencies, while telling us that we were in control.

No wonder I had to work on this for years.
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Why I Can't Believe Any More? My List.
Friday, Dec 3, 2010, at 07:43 AM
Original Author(s): Smokey
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
Here it is folks, my "list". Severity is on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being severe enough to kill my testimony independently of any other issue.

1. First Vision (severity 10): The first vision strongly appears to be a product of evolved story telling. There are at least 7 very different versions of the first vision; particularly troublesome is that fact that the version in Joseph's own hand writing is nothing like the official version we use today regarding critical factors that the Church is built on. In that version, Joseph was not visited by two beings, only “The Lord”. There is no mention of setting up a new church. The stated purpose of the prayer is to seek forgiveness for his sins rather than identify which church is true. Gordon B. Hinckley said that it must either be all true or all false. What choice does that leave someone who has done even the smallest amount of homework on the issue? To such a person, there can be no question that it is definitely not ALL true. At the very least, what church members were taught was true at one time was no longer true just a few years later as church leaders evolved the story into something far different than the humble personal forgiveness story it began as. Incidentally, these types of personal forgiveness experiences with the Lord were quite common in early 19th century New England.

2. Book of Abraham (severity 10): Joseph Smith's translation of the scrolls of the Book of Abraham has been undisputedly and repeatedly proven to NOT BE what the scrolls actually say by multiple independent experts who all agree on what the scrolls DO say (they are part of a funeral text for a man named Horris). Apologists argue that Joseph may have been using the scrolls to “channel” an unrelated revelation for the Book of Abraham. This claim is contrary to what Joseph said he was doing. He said he was translating the literal writing of the very prophet Abraham (written in his own hand). Not only does the translation not match up, the actual scrolls are 700-1500 years too recent to have been written by Abraham. Moreover, the textual content of the Book of Abraham is easily contradicted by known history and cultural understanding of the peoples supposedly referenced therein. Even more troublesome is that the contents are clearly based on 19th century Eurocentric ideology (the erroneous claim in facsimile 3 that the black God Anubis is a slave of the Prince, for instance). Exercising the principles of Occam's Razor yields an argument too powerful to be ignored concerning the fact that the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham were purportedly translated from Egyptian based languages prior to the discovery of the Rosetta stone (before anyone in the modern world had any knowledge of how to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics).

3. Book of Mormon (severity 10): Contrary to the claims of Elder Holland , there is a huge amount of very strong evidence that the Book of Mormon is not an actual historical document. Adding to this problem is the absence of evidence that absolutely should exist supporting it. Contrary to Mormon lore and the LDS tourism industry, there is NO credible evidence that any of the peoples in the Book of Mormon ever existed. There is NO non-LDS scientist who believes that they existed. The book is filled with textual and historical anachronisms that cannot be explained. Anachronisms are a primary indicator that historical experts look for to indicate that a given document is a forgery. A couple of examples: 1) The Book of Mormon quotes huge sections of the King James Bible word for word. Joseph Smith's translation of these sections also carries forth known errors where the King James translators missed the actual meaning of the Greek texts from which they were translating. Not only is it improbable that Early American Prophets would have written in such a way that it translated EXACTLY as the King James version (remember that the greek documents did not exist yet, so they were not quoting from those), if the translation was a “tight” translation as claimed, Joseph's translation should have avoided making the same errors. For the best place to start on this problem, read the works of BH Roberts, an early 20th century General Authority. His very relevant questions remain unanswered almost 100 years later. Apologists say “God is testing our faith”. I ask why he did not need to do this with the evidence of the civilizations in the Bible? Moreover, why would God make his gospel so incredibly hard to believe? Why would any loving parent do that with the only way back to them?

4. Temple (severity 8): The temple rituals, signs, etc that are taught as being only available in the temple and critical for entry into the kingdom of God are identical to those of 19th century masons. Contrary to apologetic arguments, there is no evidence that they existed prior to the existence of the masons. Moreover, anyone can Google or go the library and get this information, so the Holy Spirit of promise will be working overtime to determine if someone actually went through the temple or if they got the signs from another source. If an angel can tell if you are unworthy, why can't that same angel tell if you are actually a good person instead of resorting to clandestine signs and symbols that can be easily pilfered from multiple sources? Surely an omnipotent God would have created a verification process that accounted for technological advancement. I find it impossible to deny that the whole idea is representative of the 19th century worldview.

5. Changing Scripture (severity 10): Mormon scripture has been changed over time to reflect changing doctrine and the leadership path of Joseph Smith. The changes are easily verified and very significant with regard to the evolution of the concept of the Godhead, Josephs role in the church, etc. They are far from limited to expected editing. This is inexplicable given the manner in which participants claimed it was translated (what scholars call a “tight” translation; being word for word or phrase for phrase, not idea for idea).

6. Spirit As Exclusive Witness (severity 7): The assumption that Mormons' spiritual affirmations of the truthfulness of their religion are somehow more relevant, valuable and "true" than those experienced by believers of other faiths (Holy Ghost vs Light of Christ) is completely unrealistic and unsupportable by any evidence.

7. Mormonism Not In Book of Mormon (severity 10): Not a single one of the unique teachings and practices of modern Mormonism are contained in the "Most complete Book on Earth"; the Book of Mormon. Other than the nature of the Godhead (which was not in the original), the doctrine contained in the Book of Mormon is arguably indistinguishable from that of other protestant faiths today. Clearly, Mormonism is an evolved faith, rather than a revealed one.

8. Revealed Truth Already Revealed (severity 4): Most of the early unique principles of Mormonism were not unique at all. Rather, they were common (and often controversial) ideas readily found in either the literature or cultural/religious movements of the early 19th century New England (easily verified examples being the belief that Native Americans came from Jerusalem, polygamy, United Order, multi-tiered Celestial glories, avoiding Hot Drinks and Alcohol, etc). Mormonism just collected them under a single belief system.

9. Mormonism Tied to Proven Falsehoods (severity 9): The truthfulness of Mormonism is irrevocably tied to the truthfulness of many Old Testament claims that have been disproven by science (global flood, tower of Babel, single author of Isaiah, Earth being 7,000 years old, and maybe even the exodus story). There are multiple revelations made by early prophets that require that these things be true in order for the revelations to be valid (the Garden of Eden being in Missouri, for instance).

10. Brigham Young Taught Saints To Worship Wrong God (severity 10): The prophet of God (the Person who will never lead us astray) COMPLETELY missed the Identify of God himself for a period of at least 40 years. He taught that God the Father was Adam (a teaching vehemently rejected by today's leaders who are also saying that they will never lead us astray).

11. New Prophets Are More “True” Than Old Prophets (severity 10): Modern prophets repeatedly deny and minimize the clear teachings of previous prophets (the same ones who will never lead us astray). Obvious and troublesome examples are, of course, easily available. This is problematic because it means that what is true today is not guaranteed to be true in the future. This creates a dilemma regarding our obedience to current leaders (which we are taught again and again is not optional). We are promised that our leaders will never lead us astray and morally bound to follow them, but they can and have been clearly and grossly wrong about some very important things.

12. Native Americans Are Asian, Not Jewish (severity 8): The people that the Church has always claimed to be the Lamanites have been proven to have no genetic or cultural links to the old-world whatsoever: they are from Asia. Although apologists continue to question scientific findings that the Native Americans are not from the Old World, the Church itself is now claiming to not know who the Lamanites are; even though DandC 54 clearly shows that Jesus thought they were in Missouri and the lands to the west 200 years ago.

13. Theology Evolution Contradicts First Vision (severity 10): The Mormon understanding of the Godhead (that Jesus and the Father are two separate beings) is a product of easily documented (by referencing early versions of scripture and teachings) theological evolution that occurred long after the First Vision. This misunderstanding seems impossible if the first vision happened as we are taught that it did.

14. Plates Taken Back By Angel But Scrolls Weren't (severity 7): There is significant inconsistency in the manner with which God treats physical evidence of the Mormon's claims. The gold plates were immediately taken back to heaven, but the scrolls for the Book of Abraham and the mummy they arrived with experienced no such miraculous transcendence to heaven. They stayed just where they were placed like normal objects. There is evidence that Lucy Smith charged admission to see the mummy. Why would God take the plates back but allow the mummy and scrolls to remain on earth and become a side-show?

15. Where Is Christ In All This? (severity 8): The teachings and practices of modern Mormonism have very little in common with the teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. The church stands as intermediary between the member and Christ as well as the judge of a person's righteousness. This is completely unbiblical. Most sacrament meetings reference Joseph Smith more than Christ. In the New Testament, the “church” was not an all-powerful organization with judiciary and disciplinary powers, but a body of believers.

16. Focus Has Moved From Agency To Obedience (severity 8):

17. The True Church Hides The Truth About Itself: The Mormon approach of preventing/discouraging access to materials required to make the most informed decisions regarding belief in the faith is contradictory to the basic requirements for free agency.

18. Blacks and The Priesthood: The doctrine of the “Seed of Cain” and the curse of the Blacks as described in the Book of Mormon and many other Mormon documents/speeches is incompatible with the 2nd article of faith. Joseph Smith ordained at least 1 black man which contradicts Brigham Young's claims of God's will regarding the black man. Moreover, I find it too convenient that the policy (what the church calls it vs a revelation) was changed in 1978. Occam's Razor demands some consideration with this issue. I find it repulsive that General Authority Alexander Morrison claimed “"How grateful I am that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has from its beginnings stood strongly against racism in any of its malignant manifestations." This is a clear example of history being slowly and unethically re-written by popular lore. For a far more truthful understanding of the history of the Church's teachings regarding the black man, refer to just about ANY of Brigham Young's teachings. Gordon B. Hinckley's claim of “that's all behind us” is hardly sufficient explanation for such a damaging policy that is clearly not of divine origin.

19. Lack of Constancy in Scriptures/Doctrine (severity 10): There is overwhelming inconsistency in Mormon Doctrine and scriptures: For instance, Joseph Smith ordained at least 1 black man to the priesthood yet Brigham Young claimed that God did not intend for them to have the priesthood in this life. The Book of Mormon is pretty clear about how God feels about Polygamy but the DandC justifies it. The Book of Mormon (completely throughout in the original) indicates that God and Jesus are the same being, but doctrine and later scriptures teach otherwise. If the first vision had occurred, this would never have been in question.

20. Immediately after the Book of Mormon was completed, Joseph Smith tried and failed to sell the copyright to God's brand new scripture in Canada. He later claimed that the revelation came from the Devil. Most doubters cite this as an example of a false prophet but I think the real question is why would Joseph Smith ever try to sell God's scripture?

21. With the exception of the controversial civil war prophesy, every single clear prophesy made by the prophets of this generation has failed to come true. Defenders cite the Proclamation on the Family as the sole example of a modern prophecy. This is not accurate as it is a position, not a prophecy. Moreover, when the Church recently altered Boyd K Packers Fall 2010 talk for the printed edition, it was clearly demoted from being a revelation to merely a “guide”. Elder Packer called it a revelation, but the church corrected him in the printed version.

22. The church's longstanding position that the morality of the world is in an ever-increasing state of decline is not supported by the data, almost regardless of how you define "morality". Most social scientists would argue that we humans (as a whole) are treating each other with more charity today than at any other time in history. Is this not the 2nd greatest commandment?

23. Joseph Smith had a court documented history of successfully convincing others that he could find amazing treasures in the earth (none of which he actually ever produced except for the Gold Plates). He was convicted of and fined for fraud by Glass-Looking in Bainbridge NY in 1826. This is problematic because the Book of Mormon was translated by the Prophet sticking his seer stone (that he found in a well) in his hat and then sticking his face in the hat to read the stone (this fact is not questionable, it is accepted in both apologetic and critical circles). This means that the Golden Plates were not even required for the translation process.

24. The church has created a well established and easily verified practice of hiding the full truth from both the public and its members. Multiple examples can be found in current instruction manuals and press releases; some as recent as Summer 2010. Apostles have gone as far as to clearly state their opinions that it is not their job to tell the whole story, but rather to lead people to faith. Some of the most blatant of these lies were made to the government regarding polygamy. “Lying for the Lord” is another example of moral relativism: something the modern church espouses but Christ clearly abhorred. The Gospel Essentials manual makes it clear that even a half-truth or sometimes even silence is every bit as dishonest as a lie. Half-truths are something the Church utilizes quite often (examples are immediately available). Is it not reasonable for one to expect their church leaders to act within the same moral guidelines that the leadership expects of its members?

25. DandC 132 is particularly problematic as a divine justification for Plural Marriage. From an unbiased perspective, the reasoning and language appears strongly to be the work of someone trying to justify an extremely unpopular position. The very examples that Joseph uses to justify plural marriage in verses 1 and 38-39 are clearly derided by King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon (a discrepancy that is easily explainable using the principles of Occam 's razor). Moreover, although the scripture clearly claims that Emma will be destroyed if she does not accept plural marriage, she lived to an old age and Joseph died young (there is no reliable evidence that she ever accepted the practice). Lastly, the set of rules set forth in verses 61-63 are completely violated by Joseph Smith in his polyandrous marriages with the wives of 11 other living members of the church. Verse 63 is clear in classifying this behavior as adulterous.

26. It makes no sense for the all knowing-all powerful Lord to create a new dispensation, and then immediately mar it forever with the stink of polygamy/polyandry; a practice that not only clearly failed to achieve its stated goals, but does nothing but hurt testimonies, and has created multiple sub-cultures that still exist today wherein women and children are impoverished and marginalized. The scriptural claim that Polygamy was to raise up a righteous seed unto the Lord makes no numerical sense. No verified child was born to JS under polygamy (although there is evidence that the relationships were sexual). Men outnumbered women in early Mormon culture: just as many righteous children could have been born to those women in normal families without the well-documented suffering experienced by women and children in polygamous families. Could this possibly be the fruit of Christ's Gospel?

27. Joseph Smith claimed that God wanted him to secretly (unknown in most cases to not only to Emma but also to the existing husband) marry his friends' wives. And he did so; at least 11 times (after sending many of their husbands on missions). There is strong evidence that the relationships were sexual. This is easily verified using the Church's own genealogical website.

28. There is strong evidence that Joseph Smith emotionally manipulated many of his wives to get them to marry him. There is strong evidence Joseph Smith told a 14 year old that her entire family would be exalted if she agreed to marry him. There is strong evidence that he manipulated another teenage girl into marrying him by telling her that the Lord would violently destroy him if she did not agree to marry him within 24 hours (her family was sent out of town at the time). These girls were told to tell no-one of the proposition because it was so sacred (thereby precluding their opportunity to seek counsel). For a particularly heart-breaking example, research the story of Zina Hunnington Jacobs. It is painful for me to do so, but I have no choice but to admit that this pattern is almost identical to that of almost all cult leaders in recruiting sexual favors from their followers. Why in the world would God make his true church look just like any other cult in this regard?

29. Following the example of the Catholic Church, the Mormon church is not legally organized as a church at all, but rather as a corporation (a corporate Sole, to be specific) with significant holdings, and presidents rather than prophets. This occurred in 1918 as part of a legal battle to avoid losing its holdings as punishment for failing to follow the law regarding polygamy (a violation of the 12th article of faith, incidentally). There are significant tax exempt benefits of this versus a 501c3; chiefly, that there is almost no IRS scrutiny for continued tax exempt status. Christ said that where your treasure is, there your heart is also. I find it extremely problematic that the temple recommend questions do not assess the charitable nature of the candidate (the 2nd greatest commandment), but do assess his status as a tithe payer. Have you ever heard of someone not being able to attend their daughter's wedding due to not being charitable enough? It is painfully clear which is more important to the church (charitable person vs tithe payer).

30. Despite all of its boasting, actual charitable contributions made by the church almost certainly equate to less than 1% of its annual tithing revenue alone (roughly $5 per member per year over the past 20 years). This estimate is based on the best numbers available since the Church does not make its accounting available for review by anyone other than an in-house “independent” auditor (a seriously troublesome ethical issue, if not a truthfulness issue). This number is quite low compared to the charitable contributions of most other churches: which are also considered to be terribly wasteful as financial vehicles for philanthropy.
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Are The General Authorities Deluded Religious Fanatics Or Manipulating Conment?
Friday, Dec 3, 2010, at 08:13 AM
Original Author(s): 6 Iron
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
I can't figure out what they are.

This is my premise, that the church is a cult that uses, victimizes and harms its members. I think we all know the many ways the members get guilted, shamed, live in a patriarchal, performance based cult, and a culture of conditional love or affection. Many RM's rush into marriage to have sex, have kids early, and lots, try to live the antiquated single income with many many kids, started while still in college. Members pay for their own mission, and the missions are an extreme level of control. They controlled virtually every aspect of our lives from our underwear, what we can consume, wear, appearance, do with our spare time, social life, and excessive church duties.

Normal people would be more aware of the damaging and irresponsible expectations the church puts on its members, even with the now added requirement of cleaning the church toilets and bathrooms. They claim to be Apostles and Prophets but not one since JS, has any revelation about the anything in the BofM or other claim that JS said.

These are things they probably have:
  • Admiration from the leader worshipping members
  • Control over religious side of the church
  • Control over the business side of the church
  • Running the church and its billions each year(power)
  • A sense of spiritual superiority
  • Everything financial taken care of
  • The ability to continue to hide negative church history
  • Call anything negative, anti Mormon and a lie
  • Maintain a Patriarchal culture of don't think, just obey
  • Indoctrinate using feelings instead of study and investigation
  • Have the ability to call themselves prophets, seers, and revelators without actually prophesying, revealing or seeing anything
But they are leaders of an easily provable con, and they most likely have been exposed to much of actual church historical facts (I never was)

So are they just deluded religious fanatics?

Or are they deceiving, narcissistic con artists?

A religious con is the most hypocritical con there is. Using someone's desire for spirituality to manipulate them is the worst. It's taken me my lifetime to be able to see narcissists in action, and they are very good at getting you to service them. They put on an ACT, to manipulate you. And people fall for it until they recognize it. But when people are given attention, are flattered, and in the case of the church, feel that they are given spirituality, they can succumb. Narcissists charm and people succumb. But it is an act. They don't care about you, only using you for their benefit, or in the case of the church, the church doesn't care about you only what you can do for its growth, $$$, and how many children you can reproduce for it.

If it actually cared for the membership, it would be a lot different and there would be a different ratio of 4 million active with 9.5 million inactive or resigned (out of the 13.5 million claimed)

So which one is it, or is there something else?
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Whether General Authorities "Know The Truth" About The False Church Foundational Claims Is Irrelevant
Thursday, Dec 9, 2010, at 08:31 AM
Original Author(s): Skeptical
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
They know they are liars nonetheless.

Some background from a liar - me. I used to lie too about the church and priesthood power.

Once upon a time, I was with two other men and we were called a bishopric. Ward members believed that we received revelation regarding the ward's affairs, callings, problems, worries, hopes and dreams.

What we mostly did was talk to each other a lot about these things. We prayed too. One day during a ward counsel meeting, a particular person was being discussed. One of the three of us suggested to the others that this person might be a good fit for a calling we needed to fill. We quickly agreed among the three of us that we should extend the calling.

The primary president, who had been a member of the church for only several years, raised her hand and looked aghast at us. She asked: "Aren't you supposed to pray about this and isn't god supposed to reveal to you who to call?"

She just had just peaked behind the curtain and had seen a tired old wizard pulling knobs and punching buttons.

The men at the top of the Mormon church are no different. They talk about problems, consider alternatives, and make decisions to keep their church relevant and on-going. They probably pray about their decisions too and some may actually credit divinity for their own ingenuity. But not a one of them sees angels, hears the voice of god, much less is visited by Jesus Christ. And they all know this.

I hold the apostles at the head of the lying heap with the greatest disdain though. These men are the direct successors in interest of the original lie put forward by Joseph Smith later in his life, that he had seen God and Jesus Christ personally.

For the first half of church's history Smith's successors directly and blatantly lied about seeing Christ and having a special witness and ordination by him. Sometime later, the Wizards of Oz of the Sacred Grove became uncomfortable with the directly lying - it must have bothered their consciences. So talking about the fable became "too sacred" and instead they began telling their lie obliquely. With a tear in their eye and a warble in their throat they would begin saying they knew that the savior lived and was the head of their church. Yet these imposters had no more knowledge of their statement then any other person listening to them. But it is important for the Twelve Imposters to continue their charade in order to stay in power.

And they know they are lying. And worse is that these imposters are living off the hard earned money of those whom they are lying to. Your grandparents, cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, and parents pay ten percent of their net earnings to these self-aware liars. And what do these Twelve Imposter due to earn their keep? They continue to lie. They aren't building hospitals, food banks and schools, they aren't using their personal leadership skills to better the world and its inhabitants. No, they use their time and church resources to fly around the world showing their emperor's clothes of a Special Witness so that the deceived stay deceived and keep paying the money.

And they know they are lying.

So it really doesn't matter of the Twelve know about Joseph Smith's fabrications. Just like him they lie to people to stay in power. It must be too uncomfortable living a lie for them to want to know about Smith's deceit too.
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Why People Stay Even After Their Discovery Of The Truth About The Church
Friday, Dec 10, 2010, at 07:25 AM
Original Author(s): Koex
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
Recently I had an interesting conversation with a Korean convert who discovered the fraudulent history of the church a while ago and yet decided to stay in the church. He says that he doesn't care much about the history of the church because he is happy in the church. I was baffled at his logic but today I came across an interesting TIME article which helps him. The following is the excerpt of the article:

"Religion’s Secret to Happiness: It’s Friends, Not Faith"

http://healthland.time.com/2010/12/12...

Religion can be good for your health, and especially your mental health, according to the latest studies, which show that church-goers are happier and more satisfied with their lives than those who don't attend services. But what exactly is it about religion that is so beneficial to health?

Some might argue that it is the power of faith in a being or power beyond ourselves. But according to a study led by Chaeyoon Lim, a sociology professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, the reason religion makes us happy may have more to do with friends than with faith.

Using data from the Faith Matters Study, a survey of U.S. adults conducted in 2006 and 2007, Lim and his colleagues found that 33% of those who attended religious services every week and reported having close friends at church said they were extremely satisfied with their lives, while only 19% of those who went to church but had no close connections to the congregation reported the same satisfaction. As Lim noted in a statement describing his findings:

“To me, the evidence substantiates that it is not really going to church and listening to sermons or praying that makes people happier, but making church-based friends and building intimate social networks there.”

The results support the idea that friends and acquaintances can have a powerful, even contagious effect on our health. In other work conducted by Dr. Nicholas Christakis at Harvard Medical School and John Fowler of University of California, San Diego, it's clear that our social network, regardless of how close or distant we are to the people in them, can influence our health. Christakis and Fowler showed that even people separated from you by up to three degrees can influence your weight, your happiness, or even whether you quit smoking or are prone to loneliness.

A version of that idea of social connectedness may explain Lim's findings, which were consistent across Protestant, evangelical and Catholic religions; they applied to Mormons and Jewish believers as well, despite their smaller sample size in the study. Lim stresses that the sense of community that religion promotes is an important part of helping people to feel involved and worthwhile, and therefore may contribute to an overall sense of happiness.
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Why I No Longer Am A Mormon
Thursday, Dec 16, 2010, at 08:47 AM
Original Author(s): Smokey
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
1. First Vision (severity 10): The first vision strongly appears to be a product of evolved story telling. There are at least 7 very different versions of the first vision; particularly troublesome is that fact that the version in Joseph's own hand writing is nothing like the official version we use today regarding critical factors that the Church is built on. In that version, Joseph was not visited by two beings, only “The Lord”. There is no mention of setting up a new church. The stated purpose of the prayer is to seek forgiveness for his sins rather than identify which church is true. Gordon B. Hinckley said that it must either be all true or all false. What choice does that leave someone who has done even the smallest amount of homework on the issue? To such a person, there can be no question that it is definitely not ALL true. At the very least, what church members were taught was true at one time was no longer true just a few years later as church leaders evolved the story into something far different than the humble personal forgiveness story it began as. Incidentally, these types of personal forgiveness experiences with the Lord were quite common in early 19th century New England.

2. Book of Abraham (severity 10): Joseph Smith's translation of the scrolls of the Book of Abraham has been undisputedly and repeatedly proven to NOT BE what the scrolls actually say by multiple independent experts who all agree on what the scrolls DO say (they are part of a funeral text for a man named Hor). Apologists argue that Joseph may have been using the scrolls to “channel” an unrelated revelation for the Book of Abraham. This claim is contrary to what Joseph said he was doing. He said he was translating the literal writing of the very prophet Abraham (written in his own hand). Not only does the translation not match up, the actual scrolls are 700-1500 years too recent to have been written by Abraham. Moreover, the textual content of the Book of Abraham is easily contradicted by known history and cultural understanding of the peoples supposedly referenced therein. For instance, Abraham claims that his fathers came from the land of the Chaldeans. At the time that Abraham could have been writing, Chaldea would not even exist as a civilization for another 700-900 years. Even more troublesome is that the contents are clearly based on 19th century Eurocentric ideology (the erroneous claim in facsimile 3 that the black God Anubis is a slave of the Prince, for instance). Exercising the principles of Occam’s Razor yields an argument too powerful to be ignored concerning the fact that the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham were purportedly translated from Egyptian based languages prior to the discovery of the Rosetta stone (before anyone in the modern world had any knowledge of how to translate Egyptian hieroglyphics).

3. Book of Mormon (severity 10): Contrary to the claims of Elder Holland , there is a huge amount of very strong evidence that the Book of Mormon is not an actual historical document. Adding to this problem is the absence of evidence that absolutely should exist supporting it. Contrary to Mormon lore and the LDS tourism industry, there is NO credible evidence that any of the peoples in the Book of Mormon ever existed. There is NO non-LDS scientist who believes that they existed. The book is filled with textual and historical anachronisms that cannot be explained. Anachronisms are a primary indicator that historical experts look for to indicate that a given document is a forgery. A couple of easy examples: 1) As early as the 4th verse in the book, Nephi makes a claim that is chronologically impossible. He claims that in the 1st year of the reign of king Zeddekiah, Lehi had a vision that there would be an invasion and forced exile. The slightest bit of historical research reveals that by the time King Zeddekiahwas crowned, the invasion and exile had already taken place. 2) The Book of Mormon quotes huge sections of the King James Bible word for word. Joseph Smith’s translation of these sections also carries forth known errors where the King James translators missed the actual meaning of the Greek texts from which they were translating. Not only is it improbable that Early American Prophets would have written in such a way that it translated EXACTLY as the King James version (remember that the greek documents did not exist yet, so they were not quoting from those), if the translation was a “tight” translation as claimed, Joseph’s translation should have avoided making the same errors. 3) Christ makes cultural references during his sermon at the temple that are copied word-fro-word from the sermon on the mount in the New Testament. The problem is that part of the copied text is exclusively relevant to Jewish-Roman relations and would have made absolutely no sense to the Nephites. For the best place to start on this problem, read the works of BH Roberts, an early 20th century General Authority. His very relevant questions remain unanswered almost 100 years later. Apologists say “God is testing our faith”. I ask why he did not need to do this with the evidence of the civilizations in the Bible? Moreover, why would God make his gospel so incredibly hard to believe? Why would any loving parent do that with the only way back to them?

4. Temple (severity 8): The temple rituals, signs, etc that are taught as being only available in the temple and critical for entry into the kingdom of God are identical to those of 19th century masons. Contrary to apologetic arguments, there is no evidence that they existed prior to the existence of the masons. Moreover, anyone can Google or go the library and get this information, so the Holy Spirit of promise will be working overtime to determine if someone actually went through the temple or if they got the signs from another source. If an angel can tell if you are unworthy, why can't that same angel tell if you are actually a good person instead of resorting to clandestine signs and symbols that can be easily pilfered from multiple sources? Surely an omnipotent God would have created a verification process that accounted for technological advancement. I find it impossible to deny that the whole idea is representative of the 19th century worldview.

5. Changing Scripture (severity 10): Mormon scripture has been changed over time to reflect changing doctrine and the leadership path of Joseph Smith. The changes are easily verified and very significant with regard to the evolution of the concept of the Godhead, Josephs role in the church, etc. They are far from limited to editing (as the church claims). This is inexplicable given the manner in which participants claimed it was translated (what scholars call a “tight” translation; being word for word or phrase for phrase, not idea for idea).

6. Spirit As Exclusive Witness (severity 7): The assumption that Mormons' spiritual affirmations of the truthfulness of their religion are somehow more relevant, valuable and "true" than those experienced by believers of other faiths (Holy Ghost vs Light of Christ) is completely unrealistic and unsupportable by any evidence.

7. Mormonism Not In Book of Mormon (severity 10): Not a single one of the unique teachings and practices of modern Mormonism are contained in the "Most complete Book on Earth"; the Book of Mormon. Other than the nature of the Godhead (which was not in the original), the doctrine contained in the Book of Mormon is arguably indistinguishable from that of other protestant faiths today. Clearly, Mormonism is an evolved faith, rather than a revealed one.

8. Revealed Truth Already Revealed (severity 4): Most of the early unique principles of Mormonism were not unique at all. Rather, they were common (and often controversial) ideas readily found in either the literature or cultural/religious movements of the early 19th century New England (easily verified examples being the belief that Native Americans came from Jerusalem, polygamy, United Order, multi-tiered Celestial glories, avoiding Hot Drinks and Alcohol, etc). Mormonism just collected them under a single belief system.

9. Mormonism Tied to Proven Falsehoods (severity 9): The truthfulness of Mormonism is irrevocably tied to the truthfulness of many Old Testament claims that have been disproven by science (global flood, tower of Babel, single author of Isaiah, Earth being 7,000 years old, and maybe even the exodus story). There are multiple revelations made by early prophets that require that these things be true in order for the revelations to be valid (the Garden of Eden being in Missouri, for instance).

10. Brigham Young Taught Saints To Worship Wrong God (severity 10): The prophet of God (the Person who will never lead us astray) COMPLETELY missed the Identify of God himself for a period of at least 40 years. He taught that God the Father was Adam (a teaching vehemently rejected by today’s leaders who are also saying that they will never lead us astray).

11. New Prophets Are More “True” Than Old Prophets (severity 10): Modern prophets repeatedly deny and minimize the clear teachings of previous prophets (the same ones who will never lead us astray). Obvious and troublesome examples are, of course, easily available. This is problematic because it means that what is true today is not guaranteed to be true in the future. This creates a dilemma regarding our obedience to current leaders (which we are taught again and again is not optional). We are promised that our leaders will never lead us astray and morally bound to follow them, but they can and have been clearly and grossly wrong about some very important things.

12. Native Americans Are Asian, Not Jewish (severity 8): The people that the Church has always claimed to be the Lamanites have been proven to have no genetic or cultural links to the old-world whatsoever: they are from Asia. Although apologists continue to question scientific findings that the Native Americans are not from the Old World, the Church itself is now claiming to not know who the Lamanites are; even though DandC 54 clearly shows that Jesus thought they were in Missouri and the lands to the west 200 years ago.

13. Theology Evolution Contradicts First Vision (severity 10): The Mormon understanding of the Godhead (that Jesus and the Father are two separate beings) is a product of easily documented (by referencing early versions of scripture and teachings) theological evolution that occurred long after the First Vision. This misunderstanding seems impossible if the first vision happened as we are taught that it did.

14. Plates Taken Back By Angel But Scrolls Weren’t (severity 7): There is significant inconsistency in the manner with which God treats physical evidence of the Mormon's claims. The gold plates were immediately taken back to heaven, but the scrolls for the Book of Abraham and the mummy they arrived with experienced no such miraculous transcendence to heaven. They stayed just where they were placed like normal objects. There is evidence that Lucy Smith charged admission to see the mummy. Why would God take the plates back but allow the mummy and scrolls to remain on earth and become a side-show?

15. Where Is Christ In All This? (severity 8): The teachings and practices of modern Mormonism have very little in common with the teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. The church stands as intermediary between the member and Christ as well as the judge of a person’s righteousness. This is completely unbiblical. Most sacrament meetings reference Joseph Smith more than Christ. In the New Testament, the “church” was not an all-powerful organization with judiciary and disciplinary powers, but a body of believers.

16. Focus Has Moved From Agency To Obedience (severity 8): Although lip service is paid to the importance of agency, the overwhelming focus of today’s church is on strict obedience. This can easily be verified by tuning in to any general conference session.

17. Denial Of Members’ Ability To Make Informed Decisions: (Severity 8) The Mormon approach of preventing/discouraging access to materials required to make the most informed decisions regarding belief in the faith is contradictory to the basic requirements for free agency.

18. Blacks and The Priesthood: (Severity: 8) The doctrine of the “Seed of Cain” and the curse of the Blacks as described in the Book of Mormon and many other Mormon documents/speeches is incompatible with the 2nd article of faith. Joseph Smith ordained at least 1 black man which contradicts Brigham Young’s claims of God’s will regarding the black man. Moreover, I find it too convenient that the policy (what the church now calls it vs a revelation) was changed in 1978. Occam’s Razor demands some consideration with this issue. I find it repulsive that General Authority Alexander Morrison claimed “"How grateful I am that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has from its beginnings stood strongly against racism in any of its malignant manifestations." This is a clear example of history being slowly and unethically re-written by popular lore. For a far more truthful understanding of the history of the Church’s teachings regarding the black man, refer to just about ANY of Brigham Young’s teachings. GordonB. Hinckley’s claim of “that’s all behind us” is hardly sufficient explanation for such a damaging policy that is clearly not of divine origin.

19. Inconsistency of Doctrine and Scriptures (severity 6): There is overwhelming inconsistency in Mormon Doctrine and scriptures: For instance, Joseph Smith ordained at least 1 black man to the priesthood yet Brigham Young claimed that God did not intend for them to have the priesthood in this life. The Book of Mormon is pretty clear about how God feels about Polygamy but the DandC justifies it. The Book of Mormon (completely throughout in the original) indicates that God and Jesus are the same being, but doctrine and later scriptures teach otherwise. If the first vision had occurred, this would never have been in question.

20. Attempted Sale of the Book of Mormon Copyright (severity 10): Immediately after the Book of Mormon was completed, Joseph Smith tried and failed to sell the copyright to God's brand new scripture in Canada. He later claimed that the revelation came from the Devil. Most doubters cite this as an example of a false prophet but I think the real question is why would Joseph Smith ever try to sell God’s scripture?

21. Overwhelming Majority of Prophecies Either False or NonExistant (severity 9): With the exception of the controversial civil war prophesy, every single clear prophesy made by the prophets of this generation has failed to come true. Defenders cite the Proclamation on the Family as the sole example of a modern prophecy. This is not accurate as it is a position, not a prophecy. When the Church recently altered Boyd K Packers Fall 2010 talk for the printed edition, it was clearly demoted from being a revelation to merely a “guide”. Elder Packer called it a revelation, but the church corrected him in the printed version.

22. Lack of Support for the Concept of an Increasingly Immoral World (severity 6): The church's longstanding position that the morality of the world is in an ever-increasing state of decline is not supported by the data, almost regardless of how you define "morality". Most social scientists would argue that we humans (as a whole) are treating each other with more charity today than at any other time in history. Is this not the 2nd greatest commandment?

23. Joseph Smith Had a Legally Documented History Of Fraud (severity 6): Joseph Smith had a court documented history of successfully convincing others that he could find amazing treasures in the earth (none of which he actually ever produced except for the Gold Plates). He was convicted of and fined for fraud by Glass-Looking in Bainbridge NY in 1826. This is problematic because the Book of Mormon was translated by the Prophet sticking his seer stone (that he found in a well) in his hat and then sticking his face in the hat to read the stone (this fact is not questionable, it is accepted in both apologetic and critical circles). This means that the Golden Plates were not even required for the translation process.

24. Lying For The Lord (severity 10): The church has created a well established and easily verified practice of hiding the full truth from both the public and its members. Multiple examples can be found in current instruction manuals and press releases; some as recent as Summer 2010. Apostles have gone as far as to clearly state that it is not their job to tell the whole story, but rather to lead people to faith. Some of the most blatant of these lies were made to the government regarding polygamy. “Lying for the Lord” is another example of moral relativism: something the modern church espouses but Christ clearly abhorred. The Gospel Essentials manual makes it clear that even a half-truth or sometimes even silence is every bit as dishonest as a lie. Half-truths are something the Church utilizes quite often (examples are immediately available). Is it not reasonable for one to expect their church leaders to act within the same moral guidelines that the leadership expects of its members?

25. DandC 132 Shows A Clear Justification Agenda (severity 8): DandC 132 is particularly problematic as a divine justification for Plural Marriage. From an unbiased perspective, the reasoning and language appears strongly to be the work of someone trying to justify an extremely unpopular position. The very examples that Joseph uses to justify plural marriage in verses 1 and 38-39 are clearly derided by King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon (a discrepancy that is easily explainable using the principles of Occam ’s razor). Moreover, although the scripture clearly claims that Emma will be destroyed if she does not accept plural marriage, she lived to an old age and Joseph died young (there is no reliable evidence that she ever accepted the practice). Lastly, the set of rules set forth in verses 61-63 are completely violated by Joseph Smith in his polyandrous marriages with the wives of 11 other living members of the church. Verse 63 is clear in classifying this behavior as adulterous.

26. Polygamy/Polyandry A Bad Fit For Christ’s Brand New True Church (severity 7): It makes no sense for the all knowing-all powerful Lord to create a new dispensation, and then immediately mar it forever with the stink of polygamy/polyandry; a practice that not only clearly failed to achieve its stated goals, but does nothing but hurt testimonies, and has created multiple sub-cultures that still exist today wherein women and children are impoverished and marginalized. The scriptural claim that Polygamy was to raise up a righteous seed unto the Lord makes no numerical sense. No verified child was born to JS under polygamy (although there is evidence that the relationships were sexual). Men outnumbered women in early Mormon culture: just as many righteous children could have been born to those women in normal families without the well-documented suffering experienced by women and children in polygamous families. Could this possibly be the fruit of Christ’s Gospel?

27. Polyandry Seems Highly Immoral (severity 6): Joseph Smith claimed that God wanted him to secretly (unknown in most cases to not only to Emma but also to the existing husband) marry his friends’ wives. And he did so; at least 11 times (after sending many of their husbands on missions). There is strong evidence that the relationships were sexual. This is easily verified using the Church’s own genealogical website.

28. Female Participants of Polyandry/Polygamy Recruited By Unethical Emotional Manipulation (severity 6): There is strong evidence that Joseph Smith emotionally manipulated many of his wives to get them to marry him. There is strong evidence Joseph Smith told a 14 year old that her entire family would be exalted if she agreed to marry him. There is strong evidence that he manipulated another teenage girl into marrying him by telling her that the Lord would violently destroy him if she did not agree to marry him within 24 hours (her family was sent out of town at the time). These girls were told to tell no-one of the proposition because it was so sacred (thereby precluding their opportunity to seek counsel). For a particularly heart-breaking example, research the story of Zina Hunnington Jacobs. It is painful for me to do so, but I have no choice but to admit that this pattern is almost identical to that of almost all cult leaders in recruiting sexual favors from their followers. Why in the world would God make his true church look just like any other cult in this regard?

29. Not A Church But A Corporation (severity 8): Following the example of the Catholic Church, the Mormon church is not legally organized as a church at all, but rather as a corporation (a corporate Sole, to be specific) with significant holdings, and presidents rather than prophets. This occurred in 1918 as part of a legal battle to avoid losing its holdings as punishment for failing to follow the law regarding polygamy (a violation of the 12th article of faith, incidentally). There are significant tax exempt benefits of this versus a 501c3; chiefly, that there is almost no IRS scrutiny for continued tax exempt status. Christ said that where your treasure is, there your heart is also. I find it extremely problematic that the temple recommend questions do not assess the charitable nature of the candidate (the 2nd greatest commandment), but do assess his status as a tithe payer or such silly things as coffee. Have you ever heard of someone not being able to attend their daughter’s wedding due to not being charitable enough? It is painfully clear which is more important to the church (charitable person vs tithe payer).

30. Church Does Not Follow Christ’s Example Of Charity (severity 8): Despite all of its boasting, actual charitable contributions made by the church almost certainly equate to less than 1% of its annual tithing revenue alone (roughly $5 per member per year over the past 20 years). This estimate is based on the best numbers available since the Church does not make its accounting available for review by anyone other than an in-house “independent” auditor (a seriously troublesome ethical issue, if not a truthfulness issue). This number is quite low compared to the charitable contributions of most other churches: which are also considered to be terribly wasteful as financial vehicles for philanthropy.
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Turning Individual Differences Into Moral Issues
Friday, Dec 17, 2010, at 07:30 AM
Original Author(s): Cheryl
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
Mormons do this and to a lesser extent exmos sometimes do it, too.

Notice how mormons assume someone's motive and then judge them for it?

"You left because you were offended so You're weak and pathetic."

"You don't like unannounced visitors at your door, so you must have something to hide or you're just a fussbudget who needs to get over yourself."

"You don't want your grandfather dead dunked? Obviously, you believe in the temple rituals and you should just brush off all of it."

"You're upset that your relatives don't invite you to family parties anymore? Get over it. (Your feelings aren't valid.)"

Everyone is different about what kinds of things tend to bother them. Nothing wrong with that.

Discounting their feelings doesn't help anyone heal or make them want to "move on."

It's okay to accept that no one is perfect and that trying to be perfect is a false goal. Afterall, we're exmos. We're no longer required to strive for the impossible.
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Three, Errr.. Four-Fold Mission Of The Church
Wednesday, Dec 22, 2010, at 08:18 AM
Original Author(s): Nightingale
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
When I was in, the Mormon Church had a three-fold mission statement:

1. Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

2. Perfect the Saints.

3. Redeem the dead.

The church has recently added a fourth point:

4. Help the poor and the needy.

It looks a bit strange to me, putting the dead before the poor.

I also wonder what the difference is between the poor and the needy. Adding on "the needy" seems redundant to me.

Of course, in my PC little corner of the globe the term is "people living in poverty", not "the poor" and definitely not "the needy".

Maybe the author of the above little quadruplet could have written "Be charitable". That's kind of...biblical even. And all-encompassing.

As a poster on another board recently wrote - there has to be a reason the Mormon Church felt the need to add the fourth line.

Was it to clarify to the world that it is a charitable organization? Was it to admonish the Saints to further acts of giving? Was it just to sound good? (As to the latter, though, redeeming the dead before helping the living is quite the lead balloon).

Just something I'm musing about this Sunday in Advent.
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The LDS Church Peaked In The 1990's And It Has Nowhere To Go But Down From Here
Monday, Dec 27, 2010, at 09:15 AM
Original Author(s): Rubicon
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
The LDS Church will exist in one form or another for decades but it's membership numbers will decline for several main reasons.

1) Correlation killed the local ward.

2) Fun activities are gone.

3) Members are slave labor and just a commodity to exploit. (We need the toilets cleaned on Christmas day)

4) The leadership in Salt Lake continue to isolate themselves from the membership. Instead of paying a personal visit they have a video broadcast. Members visiting church headquarters are given the cold shoulder and are not even welcomed there anymore. In short, the church has become corporate and unpersonable.

5) The church can't control information it used to. The internet gives everyone easy access to information the church used to easily sweep under the rug or buy up and hide. Not any more.

6) A more international world. We are exposed to other cultures and ways of thinking now. The church no longer can control the little corner of the world we live in and be the culture. We are discovering new foods, new ways of thinking and doing thing.

7) The increased cost of living. Mormonism exists on people getting married young, popping out lots of babies, staying in their whole lives and then wasting their retirement working as slave missionaries. Today more and more people will put off marriage and won't have the retirements to waste. The economy is shattering the whole Mormon model of operations.

More and more people will just decide Mormonism now costs too much or just flat out doesn't work at all in the modern world. It was always a system that worked best in isolation where the church leaders controlled everything. As time goes on their system will continue to fail due to it's out datedness. People in the past put up with it because they actually got something out of it or had so much invested in it they chose to stay. Now with diminishing returns, more and more will just leave.
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Surviving Damage From The Cult Is The Cultists Responsibility
Wednesday, Jan 5, 2011, at 07:52 AM
Original Author(s): Jod3:360
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
When Joseph pulled these ideas out of his hat, the Native Americans were widely thought to be from Israel. There were many who came to this land and felt it their Christian duty to recognize the Lost Tribes and bring them back into the light.

Of course, many others recognized that they looked an awful lot like they had Asian ancestry, but those were usually the sciencyy types...

Anyway, the cult is never wrong. Joseph said it and so it is true. The duty of the cult follower is to make it work for them. If they are Native Americans who know very well what is true, then they have to have faith that God is in control and men are men.

FARMS/FAIR is in charge of making these dicrepencies disappear and to make the weirditudes of mormonism less obvious. This means that every prophets words can be called into question, every statement made into a private parlor joke that should not have become a cultural belief.

Much like the Mark of Cain issue, the church demands that we believe them when they say that those teachings were 'traditions' and cultural 'misconceptions' and that they were never official church teachings. Everybody over 35 knows that that is BS. Those younger folks will call BS on the older folks.

In the end, the Native American and the Blacks and the confused cultist must recognize that the only real issue here is whether they have faith enough to put whatever doubts or pains they have endured behind them and to look to the Prophet (of today) for direction. If they feel pain or loss of identity, then they need to look inside themselves and ask what sins are holding them back from feeling the power of the Atonement and showing the fruits forgiveness.

The cult is never wrong. People need to move beyond the pain and forgive the leaders, for they hold the keys to our salvation.

I agree with you. People are hurt and the church feels no pain.

The church will never apologize, and it does not need to- people are free to believe what they want. At least that's what it tells the public.
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Is General Conference And The Ensign Any Place For "Opinions"?
Friday, Jan 7, 2011, at 08:34 AM
Original Author(s): Sock Puppet
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
Whenever apologists don't like something that one of the Brethren said in the past, they paint it as he was merely talking as a man, giving his opinion.

Yet these are usually statements made at GC or in pieces authored for the Ensign, Improvement Era, or other church-published periodical.

Now, back in the day when I was a duped TBM, not once was it explained that what you'd hear at GC would be god-given truths mixed with opinions of the Brother giving the talk. No, these were billed as two days when the Saints came together to commune with god and learn his truths.

I don't recall there being a disclaimer in the Ensign that said, some of these materials express truths per god, and other parts are just made up by the men writing them.

Mark E Peterson was one of those Brothers, not dead 30 years, and whose talks and articles are regarded by many an apologist as stinky, with their noses pinched shut. I simply find those talks and articles repugnant and the product of ignorance by one who was passed off as having been enlightened by truth from god.

So, do they begin each GC these days with a disclaimer that most of what you are going to hear will be discredited as merely the ramblings of old men within a decade, two or three? Does each installment of the Ensign now come with a similar disclaimer?
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The Baby Machines Of BYU-I - The Church Membership Numbers Are Certainly Increasing In Rexburg, Idaho
Thursday, Jan 13, 2011, at 07:46 AM
Original Author(s): Fearguiltpromise
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
I sat in the waiting room of an OB/GYN clinic in Rexburg yesterday and "people watched." It is fascinating to observe mormons in their natural habitat, but at a safe enough distance. What I saw repeatedly was young couples coming in and going out, all of which had young children in tow. It stressed me out to watch one very pregnant woman in particular reach into her baby bag and retrieve a bottle for the baby her husband was holding. The baby looked to be one year old at the most. Even more disturbing was that a slightly older toddler hung off his dad's pant-leg. The toddler's pull-ups were sticking out of the top of his pants and upon seeing this I literally became nauseous. This little family would very soon have three in diapers, two on bottle/breastfeeding and no doubt the young woman would be the sole caregiver because her husband was most likely going to BYUI and working a night job. I could see the unmistakable garment lines on both of them and I truly felt pity.

Before I left the clinic, I saw a husband and wife exit with three little ones under the age of 5 and the wife about ready to pop with number four. I think what really bothers me the most about seeing this kind of Baby Machine Mentality is that I come from a TBM family of nine siblings, the oldest was only 16 when the youngest was born. Big families create difficult hardships in so many ways, however, mormonism was the reason for our big family and now only my parents and two other grown children still attend church/pay tithing.

It sickens me as I watch rank and file members do what the church leaders teach thinking it will get them to the celestial kingdom, but really it only sets up environments of neglect, harbored resentment, physical and emotional abuse and more. All this for potential future tithing payers.
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Families Are An Adversary To The Church, Not Its Raison D’etre.
Friday, Jan 14, 2011, at 08:01 AM
Original Author(s): Placebo
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
Families are an adversary to the church, not its raison d’etre.

This is because the family presents a competing loyalty. The church requires complete dedication from the individual, not the family unit. Anyone who has had a parent or spouse have a calling of any kind knows the demands on time, talents and energy the church requires at the expense of time away from home. The church do not hide this fact. It is stated explicitly in the temple ceremony.

On my mission in Italy, I remember an area authority complaining to us about how much his travels took him away from his home and family. “And they say the church is for families, Elders,” he said sarcastically.

I completely understood his pain. After all, here I was thousands of miles away from home doing my duty for the church at the expense of time with my family.

Even Jesus agrees, and makes no bones about it: “I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. … He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.”

It is worth pointing out that the high level of loyalty the Mormon church (and all churches) demands goes against our biological hard-wiring, which inherently makes us care for kin more than any other persons or organizations.

Another revealing practice is the edict to focus on the atonement rather than the person at funerals. The church handbook says:

“When a bishop conducts a funeral, he or one of his counselors oversees the planning of the service. He considers the wishes of the family, but he ensures that the funeral is simple and dignified, with music and brief addresses and sermons centered on the gospel, including the comfort afforded by the Savior’s Atonement and Resurrection. Members of the family should not feel that they are required to speak or otherwise participate in the service.”

“Funerals provide an important opportunity to teach the gospel and testify of the plan of salvation. They also provide an opportunity to pay tribute to the deceased. However, such tributes should not dominate a funeral service. Having large numbers of people share tributes or memories can make a funeral too long and may be inappropriate for a Church service.”

Even here, the church wants to undermine the family and the celebrating and remembering of its departed members. The church wants the focus for itself. It takes the control out of the family’s hands. “Members of the family should not feel that they are required to speak or otherwise participate in the service.” In other words, don’t say anything. Just sit there passively and let us talk about Jesus and further our organizational purposes.

My grandpa died when I was active in the church and I am glad my family, to a large extent, ignored the church’s rules and remembered my grandpa for the man he was, and not put undue focus on the church and its tenets. I took little solace, even as a believer, that my grandpa was “saved.” I missed the man and to impede on my right to mourn (even publicly, at the funeral) as I see fit is a clear example of how the church is primarily concerned with its own interests and not its members, be they single or family units.

Another example is the ostracizing of family members who do not practice Mormonism. Persons who do not hold “recommends” are not allowed to see their family members wed. Oh, but they can, the believer says, they just need to abandon their beliefs and agree to ours. Then they can participate with their family in one of the most central rituals in human society.

Apostates like me become an antagonistic force in my family, even if I never say a word about my unbelief. To the church, I am the enemy. By extension, since the church is my parents’ more important family (body of Christ and all that), I am an enemy to them. This discomfit between me and my folks is evident even though I am rarely vocal about my lack of belief.

I do not think the church is good for families, or built with them in mind. The church is built with the church, and its interests, in mind. It seeks a peaceable co-existence with families because it is good for business. But should the family unit grow too strong, that would be bad for business because that would present a competing loyalty.
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The Emperor's New Clothes: An Apologetic Defense Of Truth In The Face Of Folly
Monday, Jan 31, 2011, at 11:45 AM
Original Author(s): John Larsen
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
From time to time the so-called historians and folklorist roll out their same tired old arguments. I probably shouldn’t grace this folly with another written response, but I feel a general calling to do so and hope that I can spare some honest inquirer the error of unreasonable attack.

Those who have engaged in these attacks against our beliefs have long done so under the guise of scholarship, but their thinly veiled language barely masks the contempt they have for our faith. I must further state that we, as believers do not like to talk about the New Clothes, because we hold them to be sacred. They are not secret, but out of deference to our faith these “scholars” should honor our wishes about writing and speaking of the garment. However, they will continue to display their disdain for the defenders of truth.

Of course, the most well known anti-Imperial writer is none other than the infamous Hans Christian Andersen. Anderson, the flirtatious homosexual and known recluse provided a distorted view of the truth that is still leading many innocent readers astray even today. Today, most of the writings by the so-called scholars quote Anderson as a primary source, displaying their confirmed bias against our beliefs. Rather than provide new arguments, they continue to simply regurgitate old arguments that we have successfully dealt with in the past. So, with a big sigh and a cluck I will again deal with these arrogant attacks with my humble writing.

First of all Anderson and those of his ilk simple love to parade out the same old lies time and time again. Take for example the idea that the tailors, Guido and Luigi Farabutto, were swindlers is a mistruth, perpetuated by those wishing to destroy the faith and virtue of millions. In reality, the tailors were acting in the role of an Elias as evident by their providing the sacred garment to the Emperor. How could the humble tailors be deceiving the great Emperor when they were providing a service? Although it is true that they did charge the Emperor for their services, they were simply following the common practices of their time. Indeed, since there is no evidence that they overcharged the Emperor, we can conclude that they charged less than the normal rate for tailor services. Swindlers indeed! These men were providing their service at a lost, almost certainly.

The most glaring mistake is of course the assumption that there was no clothing. This bald face begging-of-the-question is the weak foundation upon which they build their entire case. However, there is nothing in any of the writings to assume that the clothing was not there. We shall return to why some did not see it in a moment. They are assuming that there was no garment, something that they themselves must take on faith. They simply substitute faith for faith and act as if they are on some sort of moral high ground. However, the burden of proof is on them to prove that the garment did not exist. For we have several witness who can affirm to its existence. Not just one tailor, but both confirmed its reality. Furthermore, the emperor and all of his aids attested to its existence confirming that they saw it with their own eyes! Testimony like that that is not so easy to dismiss.

The ongoing attack on the Emperors aids has been a cunning ploy to discredit those who meekly submit to righteous authority. These humble workers would have every reason in the world to tell their Emperor if the garment was a fake. What would they possibly gain by lying? This reveals the biggest gap in the anti-Believers theory. Their theory makes no sense in light of human nature and they must twist and tug their distorted views to make it even seem plausible.

The antis rely on the simple testimony of a child and the riotous crowd as their sole confirmation that the garments were not real. Once again, they ignore the valiant testimony of all of those who had seen the garment. Do they not read the very works they are criticizing? For right in the text it states that only those who were good and refined could see the garment. We then turn to the unrefined street rabble to confirm its existence. Their very protest confirms that the garment existed, for if it existed, they would not be able to see it!

We also have the testimony today of the millions of believers who wear the New Clothes at our sacred services in this day and age. We can provide no other information due to its sacred nature, but suffice it to say that their testimony is added to the stack. How can so many believers who have seen and experienced the garment–and offer their humble testimony be wrong. The anti writers display their supreme arrogance by suggesting that they know more than millions!

Lastly, and most important we have information for our day and time that confirms the validity of the New Clothes. From modern revelation we have their words delivered to the Emperor:
“The garment is most sacred, and desirable above all things. And the children of men do desire to possess these things. Yea, they do strive with the cunning, and with their deceptions, and with their lyings and murderings.

“Blessed are ye, who shall believe. For behold, I provide unto a sign of their disbelief. For those who disbelief in the New Clothes shall not see, if it shall be as if they are naught. But fear not, for you shall see.

“And if the disbelief of thine own heart causes you to not see. Behold, I command that you shall exercise the desire to see. And if the desire is true even one day you shall see, and this is my witness to you.

“And in that great day, behold, the clothing shall be revealed to the unbelievers. And there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And all shall know that ye do wear the true clothing in righteousness.”
The attackers have full access to these revelations but they conveniently ignore this ancient evidence showing again that they are more interested in perpetuating their lies than dealing with reason and logic.
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Speaking As A Man Or Prophet?
Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011, at 07:33 AM
Original Author(s): Jod3:360
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
When the past prophet was just speaking as a man, our parents and grandparents were required to accept his words as a living prophet who could never lead them astray.

Today, we cannot teach the things that they said to our parents because they were only speaking as men, and it is not correct doctrine.

Our counsel has always been to not worry about what the past prophets have said, and to listen to the living prophet only. But again that leaves us in a quandry- tomorrow, todays prophet was speaking only as a man and should not be repeated.

Our parents led us astray because they believed the man was a prophet. Unless we reject todays prophets, we run the risk of teaching our children false doctrine also.
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A Tale Of Dilemmas: Married Man Driving Home With Someone Else's Wife, Hitch Hikers, And Private Tutors
Thursday, Feb 10, 2011, at 07:59 AM
Original Author(s): Every Member A Janitor
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
An earlier poster noted how TSCC discourages married members from riding in a car alone with a non-family member of the opposite sex who is married, single, or vice versa. No exceptions. Here is my perspective on the teaching of this rule, its effect on members, and a few personal experiences of my own. Let me know what you think of the way I handled things in experience 1) further below.

As with many other aspects of Mormonism, this one size fits all emphasis on rules and behavior discourages members from thinking on their own. Didn't Joseph Smith say teach men correct principles and let them govern themselves? It also breeds a very judgmental and suspicious membership. If someone does not follow the rule, red flags aromatically go up and gossip and speculation begin. I don't understand. What about the spirit of the law? Emergency circumstances? Spousal permission? This teaching, like so many others, creates the very Pharisees Jesus counseled against.

Background of the rule as it relates to me: About 8 years ago there was a stake priesthood meeting at seven a.m. A member of the high council passed out three or four hypothetical questions and divided us into groups to answer them. He had each group write down how it would respond. In one scenario, you are married, it is a cold wintry day, and as you almost home from work you notice a woman getting out of a car that has slid off the side of the road. The snow is falling hard. What should you do?

Our group wrote down that we could get her out of the cold and offer her a ride home and then either call some friends to help tow her car out of the ditch it call a tow truck. Not the answer the high councilor was looking for. He lectured us on this principle of never riding some with the opposite sex under any circumstance.

It caused quite stir. Aren't we supposed to help others in need? What would Jesus have done? We were then told that aside from the law of chastity, the rule was meant to protect the name of the church. After all, what if the Elders Quorum president were seen driving home with Relief Society president? Even if there was a good reason, the observer would not know it. Who knows, vicious rumors could start in the stake and potentially damage spousal relationships.

After making an example of our group, the high councilman then turned to the rest of the priesthood gathered and asked how we really should have responded. Group think kicked into high gear and we got some very interesting responses:

1:Keep on driving and let someone else help

2: Stop to tell them woman you will call her a tow truck.

3: My favorite: Ask her if she has home teachers and call them

The high councilman then twisted the hypo a bit. What if you knew who the woman was? What if she told you she lived just a couple of blocks away? What if she didn't have a coat on? In each, he insisted, the cardinal rule could not be violated. If you know the woman, ever more the reason not to take her home. Two blocks, two miles, it's all the same. If she is cold, suggest she start her car, turn on the heater, and wait inside.

Wow! Just, wow! I thought to myself, "I don't care what people think. If someone is in need and I am in a position to help, I'm going to do it no matter what."

Personal experience:

This teaching has affected me personally, even if I disagree with it. I have had many opportunities to help others, and despite knowing there is nothing wrong with giving a co-worker a ride home when their car is in the shop, I can't help but think of what was taught at that priesthood meeting every single time. Guilt comes over me still. It is silly, but part of me also still worries that a ward member will see me, get the wrong idea, and cause my tbm spouse grief. And yes, my tbm spouse is very tbm on this issue, so I respect her wishes and make sure she is comfortable with any driving arrangements in advance, where possible.

1) I once attended a weekend conference out of town with some school colleagues. We carpooled in a few vehicles. I needed to leave the conference late Saturday so I could be at church to support a relative playing a musical number in church. I asked around to see if any drivers were interested in leaving early. There was a liberal tbm female from my same ward that said she needed to be back for church herself and offered me a ride. I personally had no issue riding a few hours with her but I understood the scandal this might create in the eyes of ward members. I called my wife to explain the situation. she was a little concerned, so I managed to find another "non-member" male to ride along with us. I tried to offer the "non-member" guy shotgun. However, he insisted on sitting in the back seat so he could stretch his legs out.

So there I was for three hours in the front seat riding with another women from the ward late at night. The fellow in the back seat fell asleep. For some reason, my internal guilt complex kicked. I knew this was perfectly fine, but that stupid rule kept going through my head and driving me bonkers.

When we took the freeway exit for the school, I faced another "dilemma." The male passenger in the back seat lived right on campus, but both me and the liberal tbm girl lived near each other but a few more miles from school. I could call my wife and have her drag the kids out of bed at one in the morning to pick me up at school or we could drop him off and then she could easily let me out at my apartment on her way home. Then I thought of how it might look the many tbms at my apartment complex chock to see me getting dropped off at such an hour by a woman other than my wife.

So what did I do? I thanked the liberal tbm girl for the ride, and accompanied the male to his dorm to get a ride home in his car so I wouldn't have to ride alone with the liberal tbm girl. It was clear when I entered his dorm that his values were very different than those of Mormonism. Inside the dorm was his female roommate. He kindly took me home and just laughed as I explained my "dilemma". He asked why I worried so much and told me in the real world people aren’t judgmental like that. I thought to myself, "Dangit! I wish I didn't have all this baggage."

2) I once picked up a starving female hitch hiker in the middle of nowhere and dropped her off at the nearest gas station, and bought here something to eat. Was this wrong? I thought Jesus would have done the same.

3) A few weeks ago, a tbm fellow in the ward invited us over for dinner while his ultra tbm wife and family were out of town. To our surprise, when we came over, a young, single girl was there helping with the food. Apparently she was there because he was giving her a tutoring lesson in physics. We ate a nice dinner, chatted, and then left the two to continue the tutoring lesson.

Now what do you think of that? Silly driving rules are one thing. But would you be okay with your spouse being alone with someone of the opposite sex, with or without your knowledge at the house while you were out of town?
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Controlling, Manipulative Family Or Inlaws Living The Mormon Lifestyle, Oblivious To Its Dangerous Teachings And Practices
Thursday, Feb 10, 2011, at 08:03 AM
Original Author(s): Experienceheals
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
I married into a family with strong Mormon history background. I was born and raised in Mormonism, I quite going at age 12, went back at age 19, continued going for several years, met my future wife and got married in the temple. All of that didn't come without a devastating price to pay with all the mental, emotional abuse that was delivered by many families of friends, part of my family, young men and women, leadership, and in-laws in the confines of Mormonism.

For those familiar with the kind of manipulation, lies, mental and emotional abuse that goes on in Mormonism, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about and there's no need to explain. Any active Mormon who denies any facts spoken about the Mormon church, lives in complete denial, because they are taught early on in their membership to uphold and defend that church shortly before they're baptized in a Bishop's interview. Anyone who remains in Mormonism lives and breathes a lot of false hopes and promises given to them, only if they fulfill X amount of requirements first!

Meanwhile the Mormon church withholds numerous secrets from their members in hopes to

1. Remain as low profile as possible.

2. Avoid embarrassment from shameful past words and actions from various past leadership.

3. Keep their members oblivious and happy by sugar coating their lessons while not discussing obvious problematic issues in the church.

4. They are asked not to question their leaders and when their prophet speaks, the thinking is done.

As you can see, the leaders in this cult have been very manipulative and controlling while doing a fairly good job at withholding shameful secrets while doing their best to keep their members in line to make sure they remain submissive and not question their "authority". They've managed to take control over millions of families financial income since the time the religion was born. They've done so, by pressuring and guilt tripping their members, if they don't do their part in building the Mormon "Lords Kingdom", there will be eternal consequences. I mention Mormon (Lord) Jesus, because their past "prophet" Gordon B. Hinckley willingly stated on Larry King they don't believe in the same Jesus as other denominations. Remember now, when the Mormon prophet speaks, the thinking is done.

Anyhow, my wife and I were born and raised in Mormonism most of our lives. I have two remaining siblings with their families in Mormonism, while they choose to remain oblivious to the many lies and manipulations this church pulls and pushes onto families. Most of my wife's side of the family remains very active in the cult religion. Her dad served a mission, as bishop and stake president. My wife served a mission and so did her two older siblings. Her dad was very busy with church callings, so much that he had little time to spend with his family outside of church and work. This resulted in his wife making most of the family/household decisions and running the family. Not sure if this was a direct result in her developing OCD, anxiety and controlling habits, or if it was from how she was raised, or her own personality. Either way, I believe a lot or most of it has been learned behavior as a result of the Mormon lifestyle, which includes her husbands excessive amounts of time spent in church callings.

Mormonism also influences people to depend heavily on the church to have all the answers for them and promises to take care of them, as long as they do their part in callings to be honest 10% full tithe payers while remaining "Temple worthy". Being temple worthy in the Mormon church is a whole other aggressive religious practice in preparing to maintain that status and the radical ordinances that goes on in the temple. Most Mormons never learn to be self reliant, while living by the unspoken rule, "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours". The problem with that rule is, it slows ones progress of thinking for themselves, resulting in poor social and behavior skills, because a lot of them will place too much personal emphasis on the church they rely so heavily on. They rarely ever give themselves the chance to know who they truly are and what they stand for as individuals. They lack personal ownership, honesty, integrity and authenticity, because of how the Mormon church cleverly coerce and entice their membersto do as the Mormon church wishes. Their entire lives are dedicated to Mormonism. In the process, they lose themselves in it's dangerous beliefs and practices while feeling guilty if they dare have a mind of their own. It's all true because of all the pressures, higher standards and guilt trips they lay on people if they don't follow and do as they say for eternal consequences.

So with that said, you're already getting a pretty good idea why and how someone can end up being controlling, manipulative, oblivious and in denial of many aspects of their lives, character and behavior, when it's pointed out to them by someone who lives an authentic, honest life outside of cults like Mormonism. My mother in-law among other family members are nearly impossible to convince the things they say and do have been very hurtful, damaging and harmful to themselves and other family members. Even when they've alienated many people in their lives. They believe whole heartedly that they are doing great and wonderful things, but it comes with an awfully heavy price on the persons mind and soul and to their family and friends. Most of them who have been involved in that cult for most their lives don't know any different, so they believe what they're believing, saying and doing is completely normal. It's a very sad ordeal, and sometimes it takes more than just a year or two of professional counseling to deprogram people to live mentally, emotionally, healthier, happier, more authentic lifestyles. A lot of love, support, gentle, realistic, objective, persuasion needs to happen in order to deprogram a certain Mormon members thoughts, behaviors and beliefs.

In the mean time, it is very frustrating to still have family/extended family members who follow this cult that continues to do a real number of damage to them while still having to talk to them once in a while. Sometimes discussions really aren't so pretty, because those who are in Mormonism tend to be ruled more by their emotions and feelings, than their thoughts. They have an awfully difficult time speaking in open dialogue in an objective manner. They are quick to get offended when someone like myself speaks the truth on things that really matter and have happened on many occasions, whether it has something to do with the church or not. They are quick to play the martyr/victim role, get their feelings hurt, then they try to deny any truths spoken while pointing their finger back at the person speaking to them, in an attempt to make it appear that they are lying and there's absolutely nothing wrong with them or what they believe and stand for. This all goes back to pride, promising to uphold the Mormon church name while learning self righteous entitlement and ownership qualities and traits that are very influential in Mormonism.

If you know someone you truly care about, whether they're involved in Mormonism or any other cult religion with similar qualities and traits, this may be a good article to read yourself and share with a friend or family member involved in any situation that encourages and influences such behavior and thoughts. It may be a big eye opener for the reader, when all the truths spoken are taken into full account. Thank you for listening.
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BYU Self-Destructs
Friday, Mar 4, 2011, at 07:55 AM
Original Author(s): Axeldc
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
I'm having a hard time thinking of a more self-destructive action by a college sports program than what BYU did this week.

BYU has never made it past the 2nd round of the NCAA since Danny Ainge left. This is one of the worst records by a team that regularly makes the tourney. They defeat the #7 team for the 2nd time by 18 points, and on the day they are ranked #3 with only 2 games left in the season, they suspend their 2nd best player over consensual sex with his gf? Even for BYU this is fantastically prudish.

The NM debacle showed that BYU will lose the MWC tourney, get an invite based soley on their 26 wins, but easily lose the 1st round. They were on course for a #1 seed, the first in their school history, and now will probably get seeded #6 and lose to a #12 team. NM will not even get an NIT invite to give you a benchmark.

Not only will this be a huge lost opportunity, but the stupidity of the decision will haunt BYU recruiting for years. Fredette will drop about 10 spots in the NBA draft, costing him millions and wasting his senior year when he could have gone to the NJ Nets last year as a 1st round pick. If I were Fredette, I'd consider suing the school for the millions he will lose, not to mention a not-so-long shot at an NCAA title.

My friend, who doesn't care at all for college sports, said, "Oh, he happened to be the only black player on the team." BYU lets student-athletes drink and carouse and the one time they clamp down, it's on their token black? One reason BYU is non-competitive in basketball is its failure to recruit black players. Big Tongas can shore up your offensive line in football, but the NBA is 75% black athletes.

Usually, I castigate NCAA teams for lax discipline, but this is the first time I've castigate a team for draconian measures. They decimated their own program on the eve of switching conferences over a prudish and possibly racist disciplinary action. Even by BYU standards, this is dumbfounding.
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Be Honest - Could You Ever Have Been A Suicide Bomber?
Friday, Mar 11, 2011, at 07:43 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
Before you answer that question, let’s imagine that we ask a good TBM Mormon the same thing:

QUESTION:

“Tell me Brother TBM, if President Monson asked you to kill for the church, would you do it?”

LIKELY TBM ANSWER:

“He would never ask such a thing.”

QUESTION:

“Why didn’t you just say ‘no’? ... You didn’t answer the REAL question did you? And you also know WHY you avoided the real question. In the bottom of your heart you KNOW that if President Monson actually DID ask you to kill for the Church – you’d obey! ”

These questions and answers are easy to imagine when the other person is “Brother TBM” – that is, when the other person is someone else. But what about yourself back in time? Was there ever a point in your life when you could have become a Suicide Bomber?

If , in all profound sincerity, the President of the Church (whether it was Thomas S. Monson, or Brigham Young, or Joseph Smith himself ) had asked you through the Holy Priesthood to blow yourself up along with certain other people, would you have done it? It’s almost certain that the book of Mormon would have been used as justification. Nephi was ordered to kill Laban because it was better that one innocent man should die then “...that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief”. Killing the innocent is ok when God (i.e. God’s Prophet) says so. The Bible is also full of similar examples. All of these are spoken by the Eminent Voice of Authority! ... And obedience is the first law of Heaven.

Even you may not be an exception: Think of the most devoted moment in your life. Maybe you just heard a great concert by the Tabernacle Choir, maybe you had just listened to a rousing talk by Paul H. Dunn (or the like). At that one very vulnerable moment, would you have strapped on a bomb belt, walked into a crowd, and pulled the pin?

Frankly, there have been a few moments in my life when I’m afraid I just MIGHT have – but I’m anonymous now, so it’s a safe admission. Tal Backman, however, admitted the same thing publically in the Mormon PBS documentary!

The good news is that ( for most of us) those vulnerable moments have been few. The bad news is that there are far too many devout Mormons today who perpetually live in those moments whether they will admit it or not. Instead, the reply they will fall back on is, of course: “The Prophet would never ask such a thing of me.” – despite the scriptural fact that it HAS been asked of God’s followers many times.

Think back – be honest with yourself – did you ever have such vulnerable moments?
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Point Of View Of Japanese
Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011, at 07:23 AM
Original Author(s): Yuko Cardon
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
The Mormon church is very American or Utah Church. There are too many teachings and practices collide with the culture. The greatest doctrine of Mormonism is "Families are forever." But the rest is not so attractive. Here are the few examples of practices many of my Mormon friends and myself think/thought just a little weird or not so wise.

1)Cinder block meeting houses. The cinder blocks in Japan are for building fences and shacks, but not for the chapels. They can not withstand with the type of earth quake there. The Japanese leaders told the men in SLC, but they said such opinions were nonsense. The Utah way of building was the right way to go(only way to go). Some Japanese leaders leave the church due to the very immovable and authoritative stance of men in SLC. During the '80, and into the '90, It was not just building, but nearly every decision they had to make must have come from SLC. I hope things are better now.

2)Huge floppy disks used in the Church Head Quarters in Tokyo.

In eighties just before I went on a mission, I was working at the Genealogical Department and everyday I had to move the 4 ft.(a little over 1 meter)diameter-long floppy disks back and forth between the computer room and the storage room. The Japanese brand palm size floppy disks and the hard wares were already available even during the era. But the men in SLC did not trust any foreign brands. So, here I was, dealing with super inefficient floppy disks every day. (The Japanese brands were excellent even at that time!!!!) Also the computer system was down almost every week, and the computer person from SLC flew over to Tokyo (every week!) to fix it. Yes, he was staying at the very expensive Imperial Hotel during the stay.

3)Green Tea.

It is very very rude to decline the tea served by anyone for you. In Japan, the tea is served in every house and at every imaginable occasions. We have to come up with some decent excuses to decline it nearly every day. It is such a stress. But the church leaders would say, "it is such a great missionary opportunity!"

4)Marrying at too young age.

Generally, Japanese do not marry young (=teens or early twenties). The greatest reason behind this is a financial reason. You need so much to rent a new apartment(3 to 4 months worth of rent have to be deposited initially)Men usually finish their education first and start career, then save some money, and finally start looking for wives. Marrying young is not wise thing to do from everyone's point of view there. They struggle between the doctrines of ideal Mormon life and the teachings of their parents.

5)Disastrous marriage

The temple marriage is so important as if it does not matter whom you marry, as long as you marry in the Temple. The ratio between the two genders within the church is like: one driver and a truck full of women trying to get the special seat next to the guy. Consequently, most of them have to marry someone, ANYONE. I have 2 friends came from rather middle upper class: one, a daughter of a company president, another, a daughter of a diplomat who spent most of her life in Europe. They were highly educated but married non-educated/un-skilled men. The both fathers were so angry at the suitors. But the couples married anyway. After the happy temple marriage ceremonies, the reality kicked in too soon. Financial situations were always unbearable to my friends that they had to beg their fathers to help them out. They found themselves working frantically to feed their children. They got divorced later.
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Great News! People Are Suffering. Lets Use It To Promote Our Agenda! Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste!
Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011, at 08:28 AM
Original Author(s): The Man In Black
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
I can't believe how many T.B.M. Facebook posts I've seen today about the Japan situation. So many about LAST OF DAYS! GET YOUR HOMES IN ORDER! PAY YOUR TITHING. No I'm not abusing the caps lock. The people posting the crap were. So many posts today about, PRAYERS ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN ACTIONS, and WE ARE SO GREATFUL THAT WE LIVE IN A NATION THAT GOD PROTECTS BECAUSE WE ARE CHOSEN.

Ok, my eyes hurt, enough with the caps.

I also can't believe the stance the church has taken. Actually, no that's not true at all. I actually completely expected to see this kind of crap on their website. It's their audacity that I can't believe.

To quote them, “We have great concern for everyone. Our prayers are being offered for them, and substantial financial [undisclosed] help has already been committed to the nation.” http://newsroom.lds.org/article/missi...

The church has even set up a donation page for you to make a contribution at your convenience. What a wonderful organization! Let's promote how wonderful we are! http://www.ldsphilanthropies.org/ldsp/news-features/donate-humanitarian.html

Let me put this in the plainest terms I can. This organization does not disclose what it does with money ever. No government or private watchdog agency has ever really successfully targeted them for it. The LDS church is not even considered a charity by the Better Business Bureau. http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/na... There are about seven Catholic charities and even Jews for Jesus but I digress.

For all you know, your donation to help Japan went to fund the construction of a Mall in Salt Lake City and this is not even a stretch. They do whatever the hell they want with money given to them because they can and nobody is watching them.

Assuming the help does go to “help” Japan. How do you think they will “help” Japan?

Here is how I think they will help Japan. They will use the money to pull out the missionaries for now, send them back later, build a temple or two there in a few years, send in more missionaries to console (did I say console? I meant convert) send in more missionaries to convert new members from the ranks of those who are suffering since people suffering are easy targets. They will promise those suffering that they can see their loved ones who died in the tragedy again. They will promise them everything a person suffering from loss wants to hear. They will promise them their loved ones back. They will also likely promise to take care of them and never let something like this happen to them again. And all they will ask in return is a substantial portion of their income. Sweet deal to get to see your dad again.

There is a bright side to this, specifically a bright yellow side. At least we're likely to see some bright yellow shirts on a church-published magazines showing how we do our alms in secret least we have our reward. Then we'll likely see heart-felt in the face of trials stories from the missionaries and members that were there and how much God loves the Japanese people (by pummeling the shit out of them). Then there will be a warning about these being the last days and God might kick your ass too if you don't pray, pay, and obey and there will be a nice little graphic about how Utah is on a giant fault that could kill us all if God's "love" ever becomes directed at us.

At the bottom there will be information about how to make a donation.

Wait for the next Ensign. See if I'm wrong. If I am, I'll wear a white shirt for a week in disgrace.
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My Answer On A Stake Priesthood Leadership Session Questionnaire
Friday, Mar 18, 2011, at 09:04 AM
Original Author(s): Derrida
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
Dug up an old Stake priesthood leadership session worksheet from 2005.

Here is one of the ten questions that leaped out at me now that I am "disaffected" with the church:

"'Many active members believe that the less-active members and new converts that fall by the wayside behave differently because they don't believe the Church's doctrine. Studies made do not support this assumption' (Elder Robert J. Whetten, April 2005 General Conference). Why do less-active members not come back to church?"

First, the passive voice on the last sentence is lame: "Studies made...." Whose studies? What studies? That's like saying, "Mistakes were made. We don't know who made the mistakes." Note, this is a dodge of moral responsibility.

And then I hate the rhetoric that assumes that anyone who does not want to do the church's program hook, line, and sinker, "falls by the wayside." There is the us vs. them, black and white thinking--there is no good reason to quit the church or to go inactive--these people still believe the doctrines of the church, according to studies that were made, but they have "fallen," they are lesser, they are weaker.

So my family gets this sort of indoctrination about my character every week. Nice, isn't it?

Second, my written response to this back in 2005 as an EQ president was to write the following:

"The reason is they don't like commitment and don't feel part of the organization. Sin might be the reason. Also, they probably lack a friend and a calling."

At least I didn't spout the tired line of "They must be offended."

What partly gets me now is that I fell for the pat answers: "sin"; they need a "friend and a calling." But what bothers me most is that I saw someone being inactive ("less active"--that is the church trying to be sensitive, diplomatic, and tactful!) as not liking commitment. Not that they didn't have it or couldn't do it, but that they didn't like it. WTF? How to analyze that psychological or motivational distinction? "They don't like commitment." How morally flawed such inactive people must be? Everyone in the church LIKES commitment, being committed to a cause, but people who "fall by the wayside" don't like commitment--they are irresponsible people, ne'er-do-wells, people who have a moral flaw.

One would think that the church is the only good cause around or that it is the only thing worth putting a committed effort toward.
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Even Chuck Norris Has A Jimmer Poster: Why Can't The LDS Culture Allow Individuality
Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011, at 06:18 AM
Original Author(s): Odell Campbell
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
"Even Chuck Norris has a Jimmer Poster." This was the Facebook status shared by an LDS friend.

I live in Oklahoma City and am a sports fan. I am also a BYU alum but since leaving the LDS church I don't feel a real connection with the school I attended. I don't put my BYU degree on the office wall.

So, Saturday night I decided to watch the BYU - Gonzaga basketball game as part of the NCAA tournament. The game was good and Jimmer Fredette lived up to all the hype I had heard about him. I watched as young men from BYU celebrated a win and advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. Then I felt sorry for them. They couldn't just be college athletes who won a huge game, they were being forced to be something more - the validation of a religion.

It was obvious to me that BYU sports are nothing more than a PR opportunity for LDS church. Jimmer Ferdette can't be allowed to be a great basketball player or a celebrated BYU athlete. Mormons, so insecure and lonely for positive attention, force Jimmer into being a religious icon. Even from a television set in Oklahoma City, I could read Jimmer's lips as he trash talked Gonzaga players. I saw the ref pull him aside and remind him to tone down the language. I suspect Jimmer is no saint.

But it doesn't matter whether Jimmer's language could make Golden Kimball blush or not. Mormons will construct him something more than an emerging sports star, he will have to validate an entire religion community desperate to celebrate anyone who can be stuffed into the mold of conformity and stereotype.

Mormons don't celebrate great ball players who have sex with girlfriends, or who aren't active LDS or who aren't white and delightsome, or who aren't Republicans, or aren't orthodox Mormons. Both BYU and its PR master, the LDS Church aren't mature enough to allow for diversity - a diversity which could allows alumni to celebrate an athlete for his on court efforts instead of parasitically requiring him to stand at the front and host the Mormon flag for those behind him to feel "normal."

And this is why my BYU degree won't be going up on the wall.
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The Future Of Mopologetics - A Second Opinion
Thursday, Jun 21, 2012, at 10:12 AM
Original Author(s): Aristotle Smith
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
Warning, long article ahead. But if you want the short summary:

The Future of Mopologetics (short version)

It's dead, Jim.

Really, It's dead, Jim.

The Future of Mopologetics (long version)

I think Stak's excellent thread gives an excellent overview of the short term prospects for DCP and crew. They will attempt to form an independent organization or internet presence to keep the flames of the glory days of FARMS (not NAMIRS) alive. There will be a lot of bluster and fanfare and a lot of hope will be invested in this effort. But I think the short term prospects for DCP's crew are only 1/4 of the future of Mopologetics. What's missing are the short term prospects for NAMIRS (not FARMS), along with the long term prospects for DCP's crew and the long term prospects for NAMIRS.

Short Term Prospects for NAMIRS

The short term prospects for NAMIRS is simple: The liberals have won. There has been a ongoing fight between more liberal Mormons who populate the bloggernacle vs. the more conservative Mormons who populate discussion boards and FARMS/NAMIRS for the heart and soul of Internet Mormons. DCP's firing is a clear indication that the former group has won, and my guess is they have won decisively. Someone sympathetic to their cause will be appointed to helm NAMIRS and edit the Mormon Studies Review (formerly known as FARMS Review of Books). The change in journal name clearly signals the change in direction. NAMIRS will become a clearinghouse for Mormon Studies and will very quickly jettison the old style FARMS Mopologetics. This group will be more politically correct and academically respectable and I predict their Mormon Studies Review will be seen as academically respectable within the next five years, at least among those who care about Mormon Studies, which is something the new NAMIRS crew is sure to wildly overestimate.

Long Term Prospects for DCP's Crew

After setting up their new online presence, DCP's crew will fade into irrelevance and the crew will rapidly lose interest in the project once they discover they no longer have much power nor a bully pulpit. The best case scenario for them is to become the conservative blog in the bloggernacle, maybe even become as popular as Times And Seasons, By Common Consent, and Feminist Mormon Housewives. A more likely scenario is that the big boys become bored with the whole endeavor and turn it over to the second and third tier Mopologists who will run it into the ground like they have MDandamp;D.

Why will this whole scheme fail? For three main reasons.

First, this new crew will have no institutional LDS backing. The problem is that their natural constituency of conservative Internet Mormons and curious and/or concerned chapel Mormons looks for backing from the LDS church in deciding if they will trust something. Since the new crew won't have it, a lot of their constituency simply won't give them a look.

Second, the new crew will not be bankrolled to the extent they have been in the past. This economy is not a good time to go looking for fresh donations. Many donors will stick with NAMIRS, rather than follow DCP (not least because NAMIRS has nominal backing of the LDS church). There won't be any free office space, phone lines, or donuts in the faculty lounge. They will be operating on a shoestring budget, or maybe no budget, for a long time. Even the most dedicated idealist tends to lose interest in this sort of stuff when there isn't a paycheck big enough to make up for the time spent. Let's also remember that DCP's teaching and administrative duties will likely be increased in other areas since he will no longer be helming FARMS, meaning that any time spent on the new venture will be AFTER spending the same amount of time he now does on other job duties. In short, it's going to be a lot longer hours to make this venture work.

Third, the new crew will have lost the resources of FARMS/NAMIRS. Here I am mainly speaking about past publications. My guess is that a large percentage of interest in FARMS/NAMIRS is generated from interest in Hugh Nibley's past publications. They will no longer be associated with that. Plus, now it will become harder to refer people to past publications, since doing so will necessarily send them into enemy territory. The bottom line is that they will be starting from scratch to a large degree.

Long Term Prospects for NAMIRS

My guess is that the term "FARMS" will become a dirty word at NAMIRS, it dredges up the bad old days that the new Mormon Studies scholars will prefer to forget.

The main change for NAMIRS is I predict they will churn our academically respectable articles which only a small group of people care about. These articles will be tedious and uninteresting to the vast majority of rank and file LDS members. Also, in pursuit of academic respectability NAMIRS will not do any apologetics. Contributing further to the lack of desire to do apologetics will be the fact that the new NAMIRS crew will likely be mostly sympathetic to secular criticisms of LDS history and doctrine. Thus they won't see any need to respond to things they largely agree with. The new crew might be interested in responding to Evangelical critiques of LDS history and doctrine, but I think that genre is likely to die off in the long term. Simply put, secular criticisms are working great at getting people to leave the LDS church, so Evangelicals will likely switch their efforts to trying to keep the exiting ex-Mormons in the theist and Christian camp.

In sum, I think the original mission of FARMS, to defend the LDS church, will be dead within 5 or so years. At this point the LDS church will realize it has made a Faustian bargain. Sure, in the short term they will have hired a more respectable crew to get them through the "Mormon Moment". But the "Mormon Moment" will soon die and in the long term they will have lost the institutional means to defend the church. This will come at a critical time as knowledge of the seedy underbelly of LDS history and doctrine will only continue to grow. At that point the LDS church will have to make a choice among three really bad options: 1) Take apologetics in house at the church office building, but lose plausible deniability in the process. 2) Try and get NAMIRS to refocus on the original mission of FARMS, which won't work because NAMIRS will largely be sympathetic to the criticisms being made. Or 3) Try and reconstitute a sequel to FARMS, apart from NAMIRS. This will also be hard because the old crew will have moved on, died, retired, or no longer have the fighting spirit left (everyone gets old eventually).

But the bottom line is that Mopologetics, and every other form of LDS Apologetics will be on life support or dead in the long term.
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The Future Of Mopologetics? A New Prediction.
Thursday, Jun 21, 2012, at 09:49 AM
Original Author(s): Mrstakhanovite
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
It is pretty much set that Dan Peterson and the stalwarts of Mopologetics have been out maneuvered, and their stock in NAMIRS is rapidly falling. The end of a rather nasty era is coming to a close, and I think the field Mormon Studies as a whole will be the better for it.

In one sense, a battle against poor scholarship and piss poor n’ petty screeds masquerading as “reviews” has been won. The war DCP, Hamblin, and Midge wage is far from over, and in the case of this trio, even a snapping turtle on its back can still deliver a nasty bite. One era is drawing to a close, but another is just beginning. What can we expect to see? I’ve decided to go out on a limb and make a public prediction.

Once Dan’s massive ego is triaged, treated, and back on four legs, DCP and company will immediately embrace their “marginalized” status, and quickly forget their long time claim of being some kind of scholarly establishment. They’ll utilize their new position on the fringe to quickly construct a narrative of wildly independent, antiestablishment scholars who don’t give a damn about going against the grain. I think we’ve seen the stage-setting for this in DCP’s recent close relationship with Willard Schryver, who more could find common cause than the sloppy academic frustrated that the world doesn’t recognize his brilliance and the long haired autodidact who would bleed to be validated by anyone with some letters after their name?

The first move will to establish a rally point for the disaffected, and I predict that point will be a group blog, with the list of contributors made up from the old guard of mopologetics. My guess is that the group will try to present themselves as the latest incarnation of the “Swearing Elders” but with an orthodox spin. There will be an out pouring of tortured masturbatory essays pretending to be blog posts about how the “Academe” has fallen from grace, mired in “postmodern relativism” and “political correctness”. These winsome rogue scholars will tell it as it is, preaching to a crowd of middle aged and sagging white male flesh.

To their eyes, they will be putting out hard hitting and insightful analysis of the New Babylon and heralding the End of Days with appeals to the good ol’ times, when scholars cared about scholarship and you could smear fellow Mormons in print without repercussions. To the rest of us, it will be the same shallow polemics to be mocked and all it will garner is a sea knowing nods of Mormon armchair theologians on the cusp of type 2 diabetes who still actively post at MDandD.

I think this will be the new phase of mopologetics, a small faction of unfortunates fighting hard for the respect they feel they earned on the front lines of “Anti-Mormonism”. The typical arrogance will still be there, but it will be flavored heavily with a new found bitterness.
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In The Long Run Do Mormon Apologetics Really Matter?
Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Mrtranquility
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19   -Link To MC Article-
In attempting to deconstruct my Mormon experience, I've read a number of psychology resources. The more I read the more I am of the opinion that a very small percentage leave their religion for rational reasons like questioning truth claims (less than 5%). Many simply leave because on an emotional level it doesn't work for them (also a contributing factor for many of us here). This has been the case for all my exmo siblings. None of them has followed a course of studying LDS history or issues related to the BoM.

So isn't Mormon Apologetics largely for those who are a part of this very small percentage who dare question the historicity of truth claims? For many here the LDS affiliated apologetics organizations were a relatively short stop on their way out the door. Have they really helped maintain anybody's faith?

Mormon Apologetics were NEVER on my radar screen as a TBM. Not once was it ever mentioned in church or in conversations with TBMs. Mormons have "testimony" so why would they need that sort of thing? It wasn't ever saving anybody's faith that I was aware of.

If I worked for the boyz at the COB, I would also dissolve the apologetic groups. They are trying to defend the indefensible which makes them look ridiculous. DCP is the embodiment of that with a good sized ego thrown in to boot which also makes him insufferable.

So if you don't like the conversation change the conversation. That's what I would recommend. Start migrating away from literal truth claims and toward a more centrist Christian based experience. There's no reason to denounce anything, just implement a new program. Is this what they could be up to?

LDS, Inc. has to be bleeding members to the point where they are feeling it in the pocketbook (the ultimate driver of change). If they stand behind what used to work (like claims of absolute truth) they will bleed more members than if they change the conversation. Desperation will be the ultimate driver.
 
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The Baby Machines Of BYU-I - The Church Membership Numbers Are Certainly Increasing In Rexburg, Idaho
Families Are An Adversary To The Church, Not Its Raison D’etre.
The Emperor's New Clothes: An Apologetic Defense Of Truth In The Face Of Folly
Speaking As A Man Or Prophet?
A Tale Of Dilemmas: Married Man Driving Home With Someone Else's Wife, Hitch Hikers, And Private Tutors
Controlling, Manipulative Family Or Inlaws Living The Mormon Lifestyle, Oblivious To Its Dangerous Teachings And Practices
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Be Honest - Could You Ever Have Been A Suicide Bomber?
Point Of View Of Japanese
Great News! People Are Suffering. Lets Use It To Promote Our Agenda! Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste!
My Answer On A Stake Priesthood Leadership Session Questionnaire
Even Chuck Norris Has A Jimmer Poster: Why Can't The LDS Culture Allow Individuality
The Future Of Mopologetics - A Second Opinion
The Future Of Mopologetics? A New Prediction.
In The Long Run Do Mormon Apologetics Really Matter?
5,717 Articles In 332 Topics
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  · ADAM GOD DOCTRINE (4)
  · APOLOGISTS (53)
  · ARTICLES OF FAITH (1)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD (31)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD - PEOPLE (16)
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  · BLACKS AND THE PRIESTHOOD (11)
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  · BOB BENNETT (1)
  · BOB MCCUE (144)
  · BONNEVILLE COMMUNICATIONS (2)
  · BOOK OF ABRAHAM (50)
  · BOOK OF MORMON (66)
  · BOOK OF MORMON EVIDENCES (18)
  · BOOK OF MORMON GEOGRAPHY (24)
  · BOOK OF MORMON WITNESSES (5)
  · BOOK REVIEW - ROUGH STONE ROLLING (28)
  · BOOKS - AUTHORS AND DESCRIPTIONS (12)
  · BOOKS - COMMENTS AND REVIEWS (44)
  · BOY SCOUTS (22)
  · BOYD K. PACKER (33)
  · BRIAN C. HALES (1)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG (24)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY (54)
  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
  · BRUCE D. PORTER (1)
  · BRUCE R. MCCONKIE (10)
  · CALLINGS (11)
  · CATHOLIC CHURCH (5)
  · CHANGING DOCTRINE (12)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM (48)
  · CHRIS BUTTARS (1)
  · CHURCH LEADERSHIP (3)
  · CHURCH PUBLISHED MAGAZINES (51)
  · CHURCH TEACHING MANUALS (10)
  · CHURCH VAULTS (4)
  · CITY CREEK CENTER (23)
  · CIVIL UNIONS (14)
  · CLEON SKOUSEN (3)
  · COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (2)
  · COMEDY (128)
  · CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MORMONISM (14)
  · D. MICHAEL QUINN (1)
  · D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON (6)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (101)
  · DANIEL C. PETERSON (88)
  · DANITES (4)
  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (23)
  · DAVID O. MCKAY (8)
  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DAVID WHITMER (1)
  · DELBERT L. STAPLEY (1)
  · DESERET NEWS (3)
  · DIETER F. UCHTDORF (13)
  · DNA (23)
  · DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS (8)
  · DON JESSE (2)
  · ELAINE S. DALTON (5)
  · EMMA SMITH (5)
  · ENSIGN PEAK (1)
  · ERICH W. KOPISCHKE (1)
  · EX-MORMON FOUNDATION (33)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 (35)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 10 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19 (26)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24 (28)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 3 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 4 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 5 (23)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 8 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 9 (26)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 19 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 25 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 26 (61)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 3 (21)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 4 (22)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 5 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 6 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 8 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 9 (26)
  · EXCOMMUNICATION AND COURTS OF LOVE (19)
  · EZRA TAFT BENSON (30)
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  · FARMS (30)
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  · HOWARD W. HUNTER (1)
  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
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  · INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM (18)
  · J REUBEN CLARK (1)
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  · JOHN GEE (3)
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  · JOSEPH F. SMITH (1)
  · JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH (8)
  · JOSEPH SITATI (1)
  · JOSEPH SMITH (101)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY (43)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - PROPHECY (8)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SEER STONES (7)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - WORSHIP (13)
  · JUDAISM (3)
  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
  · KEITH B. MCMULLIN (1)
  · KERRY MUHLESTEIN (9)
  · KERRY SHIRTS (6)
  · KINDERHOOK PLATES (6)
  · KIRTLAND BANK (6)
  · KIRTLAND EGYPTIAN PAPERS (17)
  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITE PLACEMENT PROGRAM (3)
  · LAMANITES (36)
  · LANCE B. WICKMAN (1)
  · LARRY ECHO HAWK (1)
  · LDS CHURCH (19)
  · LDS CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING (9)
  · LDS OFFICIAL ESSAYS (22)
  · LDS SOCIAL SERVICES (3)
  · LGBT - AND MORMONISM (44)
  · LORENZO SNOW (1)
  · LOUIS C. MIDGLEY (6)
  · LYNN A. MICKELSEN (2)
  · LYNN G. ROBBINS (1)
  · M. RUSSELL BALLARD (13)
  · MARK E. PETERSON (7)
  · MARK HOFFMAN (12)
  · MARLIN K. JENSEN (3)
  · MARRIOTT (2)
  · MARTIN HARRIS (5)
  · MASONS (16)
  · MELCHIZEDEK/AARONIC PRIESTHOOD (9)
  · MERRILL J. BATEMAN (3)
  · MICHAEL D. WILLIAMS (1)
  · MICHAEL OTTERSON (1)
  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
  · MORE GOOD FOUNDATION (4)
  · MORMON CELEBRITIES (14)
  · MORMON CHURCH HISTORY (8)
  · MORMON CHURCH PR (13)
  · MORMON CHURCH PROPAGANDA (5)
  · MORMON CLASSES (1)
  · MORMON DOCTRINE (35)
  · MORMON FUNERALS (12)
  · MORMON GARMENTS (20)
  · MORMON HANDCARTS (12)
  · MORMON INTERPRETER (4)
  · MORMON MARRIAGE EXCLUSIONS (1)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP (38)
  · MORMON MISSIONARIES (142)
  · MORMON MONEY (73)
  · MORMON NEWSROOM (5)
  · MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES (5)
  · MORMON RACISM (18)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONIES (38)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CHANGES (15)
  · MORMON TEMPLES (116)
  · MORMON VISITOR CENTERS (10)
  · MORMON WARDS AND STAKE CENTERS (1)
  · MORMONTHINK (13)
  · MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE (21)
  · MURPHY TRANSCRIPT (1)
  · NATALIE R. COLLINS (11)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (2)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL (1)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL INSTITUTE (1)
  · NEIL L. ANDERSEN - SECTION 1 (3)
  · NEW ORDER MORMON (8)
  · OBEDIENCE - PAY, PRAY, OBEY (15)
  · OBJECT LESSONS (15)
  · OLIVER COWDREY (6)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PATRIARCHAL BLESSING (5)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PBS DOCUMENTARY THE MORMONS (20)
  · PERSECUTION (9)
  · PIONEER DAY (3)
  · PLAN OF SALVATION (5)
  · POLYGAMY (60)
  · PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS (1)
  · PRIESTHOOD EXECUTIVE MEETING (0)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROCLAMATIONS (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · PROPOSITION 8 COMMENTS (11)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · RELIEF SOCIETY (14)
  · RESIGNATION PROCESS (31)
  · RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR. (6)
  · RICHARD G. HINCKLEY (2)
  · RICHARD G. SCOTT (7)
  · RICHARD LYMAN BUSHMAN (11)
  · ROBERT D. HALES (5)
  · ROBERT L. MILLET (7)
  · RODNEY L. MELDRUM (15)
  · ROYAL SKOUSEN (2)
  · RUNTU'S RINCON (78)
  · RUSSELL M. NELSON (14)
  · SACRAMENT MEETING (11)
  · SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (1)
  · SCOTT D. WHITING (1)
  · SCOTT GORDON (5)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SERVICE AND CHARITY (24)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS (4)
  · SIDNEY RIGDON (7)
  · SIMON SOUTHERTON (34)
  · SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT (8)
  · SPENCER W. KIMBALL (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 1 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 10 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 13 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 15 (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 2 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 3 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 4 (25)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 5 (22)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 7 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 8 (13)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9 (19)
  · STORIES (1)
  · SUNSTONE FOUNDATION (2)
  · SURVEILLANCE (SCMC) (12)
  · TAD R. CALLISTER (3)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 3 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 4 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 5 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 6 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7 (9)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TEMPLE WEDDINGS (6)
  · TEMPLES - NAMES (1)
  · TERRYL GIVENS (1)
  · THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (1)
  · THE SINGLE WARDS (5)
  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (18)
  · THOMAS S. MONSON (33)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING (63)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
  · VALERIE HUDSON (3)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
  · VIDEOS (30)
  · WARD CLEANING (4)
  · WARREN SNOW (1)
  · WELFARE (0)
  · WENDY L. WATSON (7)
  · WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME (11)
  · WILFORD WOODRUFF (6)
  · WILLIAM HAMBLIN (11)
  · WILLIAM LAW (1)
  · WILLIAM SCHRYVER (5)
  · WILLIAM WINES PHELPS (3)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM (86)
  · WORD OF WISDOM (7)
  · WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES (1)
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