My Reasons For Supporting Tom Phillips in His Fraud Case Against President Thomas S Monson

Chris Ralph and I were happy to support Tom Phillips and the fraud case against Thomas Monson because we believe that it’s ultimate aims are positive and the net gain will be good.

Many people, including the press, have got our motives wrong.

Newspaper links:

Washington Post

Huffington Post

International Business Times

Daily Telegraph

I think that says more about their own attitudes and motives than ours.

Some people just superimpose their thoughts, fears, biases and prejudices onto us.

However anyone else feels about what we are doing let me state categorically that our motives are only focused on the good of the members of the Church.

This is about openness and honesty in how the Mormon Church presents itself to investigators and it’s members.

It’s not about getting our money back or proving the Mormon Church wrong per se.

Many members of the Church are hurt by suddenly discovering the Church has not been entirely truthful.

THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE!

I’m doing this out of a desire to help the Church become more open and honest about the difficult issues which are causing so many people a lot of emotional upset when they discover them.

The last thing I want to do is hurt anyone, particularly my own family. I never want to hurt anyone, especially those I know & love.

I was always taught to do what is right no matter the consequence. Through my life, though at times it has been painful for me to be honest, I have always tried to do so. As a believing Mormon and now as a non-believer, I very much believe in honesty and integrity, in fact probably more so now.

It is my desire to be honest, along with my integrity and compassion which drives me.

My motives have always been about compassion as evidenced in my Sacrament Talk “Compassion For Those Who Leave.”

My heart reaches out to thousands of others around the world who struggle when they have a change of belief in the Church. I have already had hundreds of messages from people feeling trapped in their relationships and not being able to be honest with those they love. I have phone calls from Bishops, and I’ve even had a Stake President email me recently as he no longer believed and was desperate for support.

Thousands of members are struggling with the emotional trauma of dealing with the fallout from a change of belief. I feel your pain!

Difficulties In Leaving The Mormon Church

I am struggling to write this blog due to the tears welling up in my eyes as I think about those who are suffering.

YOU are the reason we do this!

I get messages and comments from hundreds of people with similar stories:

Many members tell me they live in fear and are closeted about their disaffection and loss of faith.

They feel that the family and community repercussions are too great to be honest with people.

They feel that to maintain even a modicum of a relationship with their loved ones they need to hide their true feelings.

They tell me that it’s scary to share their thoughts and to tell the truth because it opens them up to ridicule and harassment.

They have to hold back the pain for years whilst occasionally letting the tears flow as the feel completely consumed by the journey.

They often fear for their own sanity. They thank us for stepping into the arena to speak up on their behalf.

When I hear these comments I feel an increased desire to continue this campaign.

Some people have their own desires to fulfil. I desire to fulfil the desires of others, to be a voice on behalf of those who are voiceless. To raise the questions which many thousands of disaffected members currently cannot raise themselves.

Mine and Chris Ralph’s actions in supporting this fraud case against Thomas Monson is only an extension of our ongoing campaign for open, honest and frank answers to the questions we raised over a year ago with the series of Open Letters to the European Area Presidency and our Proclamation For Truth.

First Open Letter

Second Open Letter

Proclamation For Truth

Open Letter From Twelve Concerned Members

It is because of my compassion for others that I have agreed to act as a witness in this case. Hopefully we will encourage the Church to become much more open about these issues and become more supportive of those leaving the Church.

*********

JOINT STATEMENT concerning summonses served on Thomas Spencer Monson:

This present case is Tom Phillips’ initiative. However, we were invited by him last December to submit to the District Judge letters outlining our own situations. Perhaps, in view of the many ideas which have been flying about since the news of the summonses broke, we could first state what this legal action, in our view, is NOT about:

It is NOT an attack on ordinary faithful Mormons. We have been long enough in those ranks to understand their outlook, and their need to believe in something to which they are committing their lives, and we also know only too well the pain of discovering, before we were ready to, the harsh realities of Mormon history.

It is NOT per se an attack on Mormonism as a belief system. We believe that as long as people are first made aware of all of the relevant historical facts which ought to inform their decision making, it becomes solely their choice and their business if they wish to hand over their money, time and efforts to the LDS church. When comprehensive disclosure becomes the normal practice, we will find no fault. We accept that some will choose to believe whatever they will, despite mountains of contrary evidence, and that is their inalienable right.

NOR, as far as we are concerned, is this a personal vendetta against Thomas Monson. We do not know him, and he has never met us. Unfortunately, he happens to be the man at this point who occupies the Church President’s office, and so the summonses have been served upon him. On a personal basis we feel compassion for a man of his advanced years, allegedly not in the best of health, who has recently lost his wife. He has been part of our Mormon culture. We always enjoyed seeing him wiggle his ears to entertain the children. It is a rare gift. We feel no personal animosity towards him.

This is NOT being done out of anger, but out of concern for the many who otherwise, will perhaps one day feel hurt and betrayed, as we presently do.
This action is being taken over what we consider to be unethical and fraudulent practices. Our view is based upon our own experiences, and also those of others within the Mormon community. These practices are approved and implemented by the church hierarchy. Our argument is therefore with that system and whoever is ultimately responsible for implementing such practices.

When members of the church are formally taught from childhood that they will only be with their families in the next life if they pay a minimum of 10% of their income to the church, (tithing being a requirement of entering the temple, where the eternal sealing of families occurs), a pattern of lifelong financial sacrifice is established. We have been taught that all hope of remaining with our loved ones in the next life, is contingent upon a lifelong monetary commitment to the church, and we have been led to believe that the keys to this eternal sealing are vested in the President of the church, currently Thomas Monson, who has authority to grant or dissolve such unions. We have been repeatedly instructed by those in church authority that God requires us to pay tithing before attending to any other household expenditure, such as rent, food, fuel or clothing.

It follows that those who default on payments, start to fear that they will lose their loved ones in the eternities. In certain cases known to us, defaulting tithe-payers descend into a state of despondency, feeling utterly worthless, sometimes losing the respect and confidence of their family members who depend upon them to be obedient to the law of tithing. In many cases obedience is accomplished only through fear and coercion, and the fear is induced by constant reference to and emphasis upon the LDS scriptures. Yet those scriptures themselves fail the tests of historical authenticity. A growing body of evidence, (not disclosed at present to the average tithe-payer), clearly points to them as being the work of Joseph Smith, and his contemporaries, rather than texts of ancient origin.

We contend that anyone faced with making a demanding financial commitment to the LDS church, deserves first to be presented with the full evidence concerning LDS truth claims, so that they may make up their minds without being misled. In the UK, such onerous financial commitments are usually undertaken with appropriate warnings and additional information, otherwise they are deemed “mis-sold”.  We believe that any person seeking to join the LDS church in Britain, and all British members wishing to place their trust in the family sealing powers claimed for the LDS temple, first ought to be told, at the very least, why The Book of Abraham is not accepted by the rest of the world as an authentic translation, and why The Book of Mormon has much more in common with a 19th century novel than it has with 1600 year old Native American artefacts; they should also be informed of the real reasons which led to the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, including the shocking details of Joseph Smith’s polygamous and polyandrous extra-marital unions, in the name of God, with women and girls, some as young as 14.

If, knowing these details, candidates choose to proceed with their baptisms or temple ordinances, none will later be able to claim, as we now do, that they have been deceived. At present however, that is very much not the situation, for most tithe-paying temple-attending members have little or no idea about the true history of their religion, or the profound lack of evidence supporting many of their tenets.

We would like to see the church admit that it has erred grossly for many years in neglecting to address these matters openly and honestly as a matter of routine. We feel it should repent of its failings, apologising for misleading its members in the past, encouraging them in turn to mislead others in their missionary and teaching assignments. We would like to see the church taking steps to educate its members and prospective members fully in accordance with the historical record. We would also like to see full openness and accountability in terms of financial accounting and LDS archival holdings. We would like it to provide sensitive counselling and care for those who lose their faith when they discover the uncomfortable realities. There should be no more labelling of such members as “faithless”, “dissidents” or “apostates” – as though there was something wrong with people having a desire to seek out the truth. Possibly the church leaders could work in combination with those of us who have already trodden this difficult path, so that rehabilitation into the wider world of belief choices would become smoother and less traumatic for spiritual victims of the system.

We are also anxious to see the church offer assurances about the position with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs of members and former members who now feel, as we do, that our tithing and other offerings were obtained by the church under false pretenses. For every pound paid to the church by LDS members in the UK who, (following leadership counsel), have availed themselves of Deeds of Covenant and Gift Aid, £0.20 has been added by the British Taxpayer to the church’s bank accounts. The sum paid out by HMRC in this connection must now amount to tens of millions of pounds. It is understood that in most cases the resulting tax rebates made to individuals, were handed over to the church at its request. We seek an assurance from the church therefore, that in the event that at some future time these payments made by HMRC will be deemed to have been fraudulently obtained, the LDS church will offer immunity to those individuals, and ensure that such sums as were rebated will be returned with the due interest to HMRC.

Finally we hope one day to see a more compassionate church, in which those of us who still retain through habit something of a Mormon identity, may find acceptance within the LDS community, no matter what our perceived deficiencies or peculiarities or orientations might be, being valued simply because we place a high value on objective truth.

Steve Bloor
Chris Ralph

7th February 2014

**********
Other blogs about the Summons of Thomas Monson:

Chris Ralph’s Personal Blog about the Summons

Mormon Think: Thomas S Monson Court Summons

Mormon Disclosures: Media Blitzed Monson Summoned To Court

What Is Actually Going On With The Court Summons?

Church of The Fridge: Charges of Fraud Are Nothing New

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39 Responses to My Reasons For Supporting Tom Phillips in His Fraud Case Against President Thomas S Monson

  1. Crystal says:

    This made me cry. I feel this frustration deeply, and you’ve articulated my feelings perfectly.

  2. It takes guts to speak up when you know it means condemnation by your family and friends for doing so. It is right to point out the fraud and deception that is being practiced.
    One thing I know you learned in primary Steve, “do what is right and let the consequence follow”

  3. Diana Anderson says:

    Love this! Thank you for standing strong. I whole-heartily support your efforts.

  4. Debbie says:

    ♫ Do what is right, let the consequence follow.♫
    I support you 100%, Steve. Your are only telling the truth, and asking others to answer for the truth. Any hurt that results, results from the LDS Church lying, not from any action on your part.

  5. Kemari says:

    This is what I love in people. I love when people like you Stephen, are courageous and speak for truth and do what is right. I know this isn’t easy for you. I hope you know thousands are supporting you and appreciative of what you are doing. You are giving us a voice. On a scale of 1-10 your integrity is a 15! This is completely positive in every way.

    “Go forward? only thing to do! On we go!”

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  7. Johnny Turner says:

    Will you please post an email address for Tom Phillips or some other way I can furnish him some info helpful with his lawsuit. You may send it direct to my confidential email. I have been unable to find this on my own. Thanks, jt

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Johnny,

      That’s very generous, but for security reasons I can’t release his email.

      I have though forwarded your message and email address with your kind offer of assistance.

      Best regards,
      Steve

  8. Lydia says:

    I have been think hard about my comment on this. I believe you are brave to put yourselves through this. I am not sure I yet completely see what can be achieved, BUT I can relate to the feelings you express above. I think active members don’t really get how hard it is for some of us to leave. I have often said leaving was harder than staying. We loose friends and the beliefs of our life. Nothing feels certain anymore.Its starting again and so hard to describe to someone who has not been there. The real shock of finding out the truth – that what you believed in was not the truth. Over the last year or so I have been through every emotion possible. When I read Hans Mattssons ( sp) interviewed I cried, he summed things up for me.
    Now I am at a place, spiritually, where I feel comfortable saying ” I don’t know” – that will have to do for now. But leaving has changed me.
    I wish you and Chris and Tom all the best in your endeavors. I will follow it closely

  9. dbundy says:

    What I don’t understand is how people, who profess to put their faith in God, and not to trust the arm of flesh, believe that God is lying and man is telling the truth?

    Was it not God who said the learned could not read the words of the sealed book and the unlearned could not read? Yet, today the Gentiles have the words in more than 100 languages, and the ears of the deaf hear the words of the book and the eyes of the blind see out of obscurity and out of darkness.

    The truth is, though, the Lord, who has proceeded to do his marvelous work, as promised, is the light that shines in the darkness, but the darkness cannot comprehend it.

    Why do you think it would be wise to permit a non-tithe payer to enter the temple and make covenants to consecrate everything they have to the Lord, when they can’t consecrate 10 percent to him?

    • Karen says:

      If you look carefully it is always a man who is saying what ‘God’ is suppose to be saying. Any theologian would tell you that the Bible is mans interpretation of the word of God.

      • Scott says:

        That’s how God works Karen. He calls prophets and apostles and gives them His instructions. Were you expecting God to actually come down to earth each time He wants to declare something and then when you write it down wouldn’t that be your interpretation of what He said?

        Those who have received revelation actually understand how God works with man. Those who haven’t, don’t and make comments like yours.

      • C says:

        @Scott,

        How do you know God calls prophets and apostles to give instructions to? Is that not an idea told to you by a man? If you were seeking to use circular reasoning to sore up your theory, you did that, but only for yourself–outsiders see right through it. There are many people who claim to talk to God, or gods, and they all claim he is saying different things. Even in the LDS church God tells different people different things, like changes in regards to race and the priesthood/temple–which was later stamped with the ‘not doctrine clause’. Or what about the faithful sisters who have fasted and prayed and have received ‘revelation’ that they should receive the priesthood? Perhaps this can be explained by projection, a well-understood psychological concept?

        Perhaps God confirmed to you that these prophets are ‘true’ prophets? Maybe you are projecting? Maybe these ‘spiritual’ experiences you have are just psychological mechanisms that religion has claimed as their own?

        Those who understand psychology actually understand how people believe that God works with man. Those who don’t, make comments like yours.

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  11. David W Woodford says:

    I have three children born into the church one still attends and two have decided it is not for them.
    it in God I trust and Jesus is the Christ. Ii trust in Thomas Monson and all my church leaders.
    I prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true and I have had the truth reveled it is that truth that leads me to church some 40 years latter. I have no fear I will see my love ones when I leave this life. What is important is you believe in and have faith in Jesus Chirst he teaches knock and it will be opened to you. David William Woodford .

    • SteveBloor says:

      David, I’m happy for you.

      Unfortunately, faith is not enough for me. Truth is more important.

      I could no longer believe things on insufficient evidence.

      Faith when there is no evidence is one thing. But faith when all the evidence contradicts that belief is delusion.

      I now follow the evidence.

      If the Church does indeed have the truth then they should not fear.

      Wishing you well.
      Steve

      • Scott says:

        Steve, they don’t fear. They roll their eyes and then have sorrow for people like you. Those who have chosen to follow the arm of flesh and put their trust in the philosophies of the world.

        You claim that you have evidence that contradicts the teachings of the church, yet we both know that really isn’t true. You’ve never put forth any fact that contradicts the doctrines of the church. Not one. Nor can you.

        We are here to walk by faith and to have the guidance of God through the Holy Ghost. It’s always funny to read how you try to soften the blow of your actions, trying to make it look like you are just out for truth and facts. Lucifer said and continues to say the same thing.

        Eternal consequences do rest on the decisions we make in life. No sugarcoating can make it appear any other way. You, yes you, are leading people away from God. That will be on your head in the end.

        Cheers.

      • Holly says:

        @Scott, I am in a crisis of faith right now, but hoping to eventually stay in the church, as it is my life, promises so much, and leaving carries so many consequences. That said, this comment really disturbed me. I have so much admiration for those who leave. Although only mentally, I have walked in their shoes, and it takes courage to leave. If they leave based on the crazy history of the church, which is completely disturbing to anyone honest enough to admit it, I don’t think that God will be all that hard on them, if they are wrong. He love us, all of us, and doesn’t WANT to condemn any of his children, least of all those who are doing their best to search for truth. I am an honesty fanatic, and I have many of these same thoughts as steve. I will never be the same, whether I stay in or leave the church. I have so much more respect for everyone, and I am just so glad my eyes were opened. As an addendum, this crisis of faith began 2 days after I prayed for humility. Suddenly all this church history info happens into my lap, and now I have been completely humbled. And I read comments like these, and although it exactly what I would have said 1.5 years ago, it comes across as condescending and judgmental. God loves us, he wants to save us, in whatever way that is. Would God damn someone, or even just punish, because they don’t think polyandry is a doctinal principle, therefore something is up with the church? Would God have a problem with us having a problem with polyandry and the Book of Abraham? I am still trying to form my religious beliefs once again, but I do believe in God and I have felt that God loves me. He knows I only want truth. He is not mad at me for questioning. He knows this is painful for me. He knows my predicament. And Steve’s and Tom’s, and your’s as well. The gospel is all about love, even more than faith…you know faith is a tinkling cymbal without charity… and I just didn’t get that from your comment.

  12. Karen says:

    So how would Jesus react to all of this? I doubt he would of given the statement the LDS PR department did. The wise thing to of done would be to say sorry that these people felt deceived and immediately offer to return funds to them.
    After still recovering from the pain and distress finding a different historical account of Mormonism to the one I had been given I am deeply grateful to Tom, Chris and Steve. At some point this had to be dealt with. It shows deep courage to do so. Power in my view is the real adversary especially with the toxic element of financial greed. Power always implodes itself. Courage and humility needed to be shown by LDS leaders when the documents were found in the 1960s. This is simply a consequence of misguided dishonest behaviours. And a greater desire to hold onto control, power and wealth. The history of religion gives the answers to the LDS but they were unwilling to lose central control and create safe places for a variety of believe. How deeply sad are the consequences to devout LDS members but simply inevitable.

    • Scott says:

      What consequence will come to me Karen because I am a devout LDS member? When will it come? How will it come?

      Just in case you are wondering…..there isn’t one thing you or anyone else could say that would make me question my testimony that the Lord’s church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Absolutely nothing.

      I have had so many personal witnesses over my lifetime that the LDS church is true and is the Lord’s gateway back to His presence. I’m sorry you haven’t.

      Jesus would be ashamed of those who have turned their backs on Him and are following the path Satan has laid. He always has His arms outstretched to welcome those who repent and turn unto him. Hopefully you will come to your senses and do that.

      How deeply sad are the eternal consequences of those like you and Steve who have turned their backs on Christ and they will be swift and just.

  13. Manuel Silva says:

    Steve,
    I am sorry that you feel that way, I do respect you for your willingness to come and expose your feelings.
    As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I never felt anyone persecuted or pressured to hide their opposing feelings as your statement seem to indicate.
    I have found that members that do not agree or feel strongly that they must leave the Church they have a very simple and confidential way do terminate their affiliation with the Church. Unless they decide to tell themselves, no one will ever know they no longer belong to the Church.
    I think that because of increased interest, increased availability of information and increased means of dissemination of the information all can find the historical facts available and make their one opinions. I still don’t understand why is that relevant in terms of faith.
    The historical facts that I can relate about my personal faith in my personal history, my actions of faith, my service and the feelings of respect , love and sustaining towards Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, Thomas S Monson and the other leaders are difficult to prove or disprove. They are to be discerned by the eye of faith only. People that talk the same language understand and feel what I think and feel. Others out of that context will eventually not understand. Does that make me a fraudulent person?
    Regarding your desire for transparency I think that you would agree that the information is available to anyone that wants to read. I think you will not accept it any information that comes from the Church. You will judge it not trustworthy, same way I as a member of the Church may feel that your source of information may be likewise. I think that an accurate approach would be putting side by side your arguments with those of the Church and let people freely make the judgement.
    Sincerely,
    Manuel Silva

    • SteveBloor says:

      Cognitive biases are huge in the Mormon mind set.

      I hear similar apologetics from Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      What the Court Judge agreed with are serious allegations of fraud.

      The due process of Law will decide.

      • Scott says:

        hahahahahaha hahahahahaha hahahahahaha……that’s the only response I had when I read yours.

        bwaaaahhaaaaaa hahahahahahaha

        you are comedic relief Steve, comedic relief.

  14. Louise Engels says:

    I am probably best described as a rather liberal Mormon, active with a testimony. I have had my doubts and questions but overall I see this as a good church, better for me than any of the others I have attended. The church I attend and love bears little resemblance to the church described by the former Mormons I love and am close to. I accept church history, warts and all, and I don’t feel i have been lied to by anyone. The church is always growing and evolving. Last years church history gospel doctrine course was so much more open than previously. I doubt that the church leaders have deceived on purpose. Errors have been made, and some historical facts may have a logical explanation. The curriculum is changing. I happily pay my tithing knowing that it supports the church the missions of perfecting the saints, proclaiming the gospel and redeeming the dead. Our local Church of England is desperate for money to maintain it’s building and other necessary church works.. They have sent out a letter to every parishioner asking for tithing to be paid. I actually fund raise with them as I live in a small village and I see the village church as an important part of our community. Every time I go to a social event, I pay for a ticket, and there is a collection every service, and we fund raise for repairs for the church roof etc. The LDS church is organised differently and I appreciate the well maintained facilities and activities, and the curriculum materials. Everyone benefits from the money paid in tithing and funds raised through the investments of the church. Many members are not full tithe payers but still freely worship at church. They are not charged for their activities and materials. They are welcome. I believe tithing is about more than money. It is about faith and sacrifice. I don’t pay it so I can be with my family. I pay it to contribute to a good cause. There is room for everyone at church. I like the previous comment about ‘creating safe places for a variety of belief”. One day I hope and pray that as a church we will be more open to everyone, and accepting of the full range of commitment and beliefs, and that people won’t feel the hurt and disappointments that many former Mormons do. I have a strong testimony now. The former mormon arguments did make me wobble, but now I feel stronger in my faith. I love being a member of the church and I miss those of my nearest and dearest who have left, and it saddens me that so many are still so upset and hurt. I am not sure how this latest fraud case against Thomas S Monson will help anyone to feel better and move on and find a belief and church that suits their own beliefs and values better. My husband is not an active member anymore. He supports me in my beliefs and I accept his. I don’t love him any less and only God will judge if we will be together forever.

  15. KSDelgado says:

    If you claim to see a more “compassionate church”, then perhaps it’s time to stop trying to tear it down. The church preaches members to love their ‘enemies’, but it does not preach that they have to love what you do, especially when you are promoting the philosophies of men over the philosophies of God.

    • SteveBloor says:

      “We are enslaved by anything we do not consciously see. We are freed by conscious perception.” – Vernon Howard

      Many in the LDS Church do not have the opportunity to see reality due to the indoctrination from infancy and the absence of full and frank disclosure of the facts.

      Our aim is to encourage:

      Honesty
      Openness
      Transparency
      And acceptance

      What of these things are you afraid of?

  16. Jenelle says:

    Hi Steve. As a fellow truth-seeker, I just wanted to say that I have hope that this action will compel the church to be more honest. While my family and I have recently parted ways with the church, we still have hundreds of family members and friends whom we love that continue to sacrifice so much for this organization based on the half-truths that they have been taught from the cradle. They deserve that honesty and transparency that you are aiming for. Thank you for your courage.

  17. Scott says:

    Steve, no worries about not posting the rest of my comments. I’m sure this one won’t make it as well as it doesn’t fit into your little agenda.
    At the judgement bar my friend, you will realize that you have been working against Him who is your Father in Heaven. At that moment, it will set it but clearly it won’t have an impact on you because we know that in the afterlife we pretty much stay true to who we are on earth.
    Who knows, maybe you’ll have a moment like a couple of the 3 witnesses and return to God’s church on earth with humility. Perhaps not.
    Is censorship really the way to go on your blog Steve? Keeping out the comments that don’t agree with you? Seems like you are only giving a partial fill to your readers in the same way you claim the LDS church only puts forth what it wants the world to see. Ironic isn’t it?

    • SteveBloor says:

      Scott my personal blog does not pretend to be the one and only true Church of God. It is just my personal insights shared with others who need to find people who can support them during a difficult time in their lives.

      This website is not here to be twisted to your own agenda.

      You have a multi-billion dollar corporation who shares your views and can act as your support.

      I bid you farewell and adieu,
      Steve

      • Scott says:

        Well, when Christ says it is, it is. It’s the stone cut without hands that will continue to roll over the whole earth until the day Christ comes back to reign personally.

        As for agenda’s….you have a clear agenda; it’s to try to destroy what you once claimed was true. The only twisting that is going on is on your blog. You refuse to allow the personal insights of those contrary to yours….how quaint.

        Again, the words you will hear at the judgment bar will those you posed to me….farewell and adieu.

        Cheers

    • Karen says:

      Scott – it always makes me sad to read how judgemental, dogmatic and arrogant LDS can appear to be in their posts. I say appear, not that you necessarily are. Perhaps the world would of spilled far less blood if religion hadn’t been part of it. And I say that even though I am a recently confirmed member of the Anglican Church after leaving the LDS. I participate in a faith community but view things metaphorically rather than literally. I am fully aware of the dangers of religion. As you said to me God doesn’t come down and speak directly. In reality everything is based on our own interpretations and faith if we choose it. Some believe in Prophets like you, others like me and Steve do not. Isn’t it great that we live in a place where we are free to choose what we believe? Even though I am a believer I fully respect and support Steve for not being. Only he can decide what is right for him. My job is to simply sort my own belief system. I would simply ask that you enjoy your belief system without having to say that everyone has to believe the same as you. Knocking others beliefs can appear as lack of confidence in your own. I say appear, that’s how it comes across even if you don’t mean it to. Point scoring has no place in charity, kindness and love. Don’t we all feel better when we support one another?

      Sincerely I am glad the LDS works for you, perhaps you might be able to show us how it influences you to show understanding, empathy and compassion. I would just like to see a nicer Scott appear here, who I think – he’s a good example for the LDS. I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically.

      • Scott says:

        Thank you for your reply Karen but I suspect Steve will not post my response because he has filtered out many proper responses to posts already made. He does not want anything posted contrary to his agenda.

        I can appreciate how one might take my firmness and steadfastness in my testimony of the Lord’s church on the earth as being arrogant and dogmatic. It comes with the territory of not being tossed about by the winds of the philosophies of men. I know what truth is and how revelation works. I choose to be a covenant keeper and not one who turns his back on the Lord and denounce the revelations received.

        You blame religion for bad things that have happened in the world while I put the blame squarely where it should be, on the person or persons who made those choices. Satan is a great deceiver and runs in the hearts of many throughout the world, then and now.

        It is fantastic that we can believe what we choose to believe. As you are well aware, that is the purpose of this life, to see if we will be obedient to the things we are commanded. The Lord’s house is one of order, not chaos. There is one Lord, one faith and one baptism. Not the thousands that populate the world today.

        Christ also told us there would be people who would lean to their own understanding relying on the philosophies of men, not the eternal truths that He has given through His prophets and apostles. There is only one way and there will be few that find it that leads to eternal life.

        What is truly sad is that you and Steve were on that path and have since chosen to follow some other path that is not of God. Even the very elect will be deceived.

        The Lord’s church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is no other way to receive the ordinances that will allow us to return to God and Christ. None. Joseph Smith saw God and Christ and through him the gospel was restored and the priesthood authority returned to the earth. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It’s inspiring and the vehicle for conversion. As Joseph said, if people live the teachings contained in the Book of Mormon they will draw close to God and the world will be a better place to live.

        I have nothing but sad feelings for people like you and Steve who leave the church. I have sat in too many councils where people espouse beliefs that they claim are received through revelation that are contrary to the gospel. That is what is truly arrogant. I’ve seen it far too often and it boils down to just a couple of things in each case: tithing or the unwillingness to actually live the commandments (they are too hard).

        Anyway, I hope you have a great day and a great life. I hope you return to the Lord with full purpose of heart and regain the ordinances that will allow you to gain eternal life with Them. I’d encourage you to read your patriarchal blessing as that is your own personal scripture of things you are to accomplish on earth.

        Cheers….

  18. Pingback: Don’t Trust The Messenger: The Fear Of Apostacy! | Steve Bloor's Blog

  19. Stormin says:

    Praise God! the many truth seekers who have found the truth have a voice through you. You are very eloquent where I am very blunt and turn off so many so fast. My heart breaks to hear the brain washed members who leave negative comments, who believe in people being open to reading the Fantasy —- The Book of Mormon but not open to learning the Truth about the lies taught for years in the LDS Church. In my world, surrounded by the brainwashed in Zion, it is just like being caught in the Twilight Zone (US old TV show). where you only know the truth but the brainwashed many treat you as crazy.

  20. Jon says:

    @Steve. A sincere question: do you apply the same standards referenced in your post above to all faith traditions or just the Mormon faith? If the same are applicable to all faith traditions, why single out the Mormon faith, except for the immense emotional and personal investment that you have in that faith? I wonder if your statement, as follows, would not apply substantially to virtually any religion sincerely practiced by many in this world.

    “We believe that as long as people are first made aware of all of the relevant historical facts which ought to inform their decision making, it becomes solely their choice and their business if they wish to hand over their money, time and efforts to the LDS church.”

    For example, convincing arguments are made against the basic truth claims of Christianity (e.g., the Resurrection of Jesus) and the historicity of other Biblical events and figures (Adam & Eve, Noah, Moses, etc.). Should all religions be held to the same standard? If not, why not?

  21. Peter Wilkins says:

    Steve, can we have your thoughts post 14/3 ? the ruling states it was tenuous, no chance of conviction, abuse of process, the court is being manipulated. I’m thinking Tom Phillips didn’t have your best interests at heart.

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