The week after the members knew I had resigned as the bishop, the High Priest Group Leader of my ward gave a talk in sacrament meeting in which he indirectly likened me, as an apostate, to Korihor!
Korihor is a character described in the Book of Mormon who is styled as an ‘anti-Christ’ because he denies the existence of God & the prophesied coming of the Messiah Jesus Christ.
In the story Korihor is put on trial by the Church, with Alma the prophet as the judge.
Korihor’s initial premise is that of a gnostic athiest, who later changes his plea to agnostic athiest.
In the story in the Book of Mormon Korihor eventually admits he really always knew there was a God, but was just a con-man.
His final demise was an awfully painful death as he was trampled under the feet of a crowd of people and crushed to death!
I was very emotional at the time so got extremely upset at the High Priest Group Leader’s insensitivity & foolhardiness in likening me to Korihor as a blatant attempt at mind-control using fear-mongering. I thought it could have potentially inspired an emotionally unstable ward member to carry out the judgement of God & punish me.
I can laugh about how ridiculous it all was now, but at the time I was not amused.
When I confronted the Stake Presidency about this they denied it ever happened!
I suppose in a way it’s a compliment to be likened to Korihor? What’s wrong with wanting evidence for supernatural claims.
Korihor said in the story, “I do not deny the existence of a God, but I do not believe that there is a God; and I say also, that ye do not know that there is a God; and except ye show me a Sign, I will not believe.” Alma 30
Scientific research & progress in medicine & technology is based on strong evidence.
I certainly wouldn’t be happy receiving a life-threatening cancer treatment which was not based on strong scientific evidence. Imagine a doctor using a treatment on you because he feels good about it!?
Why are members content with accepting emotional feelings about their ‘eternal lives’ as the absolute confirmation of the objective truth regarding their fantastic supernatural afterlife reality? It is after all nothing more than a strong emotional feeling!
All religions base their belief systems around feelings.
Yet scientific evidence is what enables us to make mobile phone calls, to drive cars & to cure cancers, and even send a exploratory rover to land on the surface of Mars.
Science has done more to improve the life conditions of people on this planet than religious belief ever did.
As Adam B says on Mormon Stories:
“That Korihor didn’t really believe what he was saying transforms him from a heroic champion of empiricism into a mentally unbalanced con man. But it doesn’t invalidate his implicit claim of a potentially more fulfilling life outside religion. In Gospel Doctrine on Sunday, I asked what a person who believes has to fear from the words of a person who doesn’t? The answers I received were as troubling as they were predictable. And they were all based on this idea that there is no good alternative to full belief and participation in the Church. So the question I’m left with is this: how meaningful can active Church membership be if you are afraid that every possible alternative leads to misery? And isn’t it conceivable that Church activity would be more fulfilling if members felt like they were choosing it, not out of fear, but, rather, out of an appreciation for the good things it offered?”
As I choose Agnostic Athiesm for myself, I choose uncertainty over belief in a fantasy.
I’d rather believe in nothing than something which is wrong.
In this regard I’ll be a skeptical Korihor any day!