Rules for comments

Before anyone feels inclined to comment, please consider my rules for posting on my Personal Blog.

I do not intend to Mormon Bash. I love Mormons.

The majority of my extended family are all active True Believing Mormons. My Mormon family & friends are some of the nicest, kindest, most compassionate & generous people you could meet.

My intent in writing my thoughts down is initially to gain personal insight into my own neurology in the context of previous Mormon thinking and my evolving belief system.

I post some of those personal analyses and introspections on my Personal Blog in an effort to reach out to others who are going through a similar transition, to offer hope and inspire courage to other disaffected & questioning Mormons.

I emphasise strongly that I do not wish to deconvert anyone. I cannot do it.

My intended audience does not include those members of the Church who are absolutely sure of their testimonies & committed to unquestioning adherence to their belief system.

Please feel reassured, I cannot force anyone out of the Church, and I do not intend to.

So please, if you feel inclined to comment in an emotionally defensive & argumentative tone I will not argue with you!

I invite readers of my blog to comment with their own stories of their transition out of Mormonism or insights they’ve gained which they feel may be helpful to others questioning their faith or continuing their lives post-Mormon.

I moderate all the comments & only approve those comments which I deem to be respectful.

I will not tolerate attempts at character assassination or attacks on me or anyone else who comments.

Those comments will remain unapproved.

Instead of emotion driven thinking & comments, I value rational thought & well-considered argument. 

I am not interested in hearing your testimony of the Church or any apologetics.

I will instead wish you well in your journey & bid you farewell.

This life is the only one we know we’ve got so I’m more and more focused on living it to the full with free thought, and helping others enjoy that privilege outside the constrictures of the mind control of religious indoctrination.

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

43 Responses to Rules for comments

  1. Scott says:

    Thanks for your comments Steve. I recently resigned from my position as Ward Clerk under very similar circumstances to those you have detailed. My Bishop was kind, but condescending, but we all understand they have been conditioned to see us as Apostates and understand how they are trained to respond.

    I have had significant doubts for many years, but lived with the “well it’s a good way to live so don’t be bothered with doubts” category. Funny enough the stimulus for me to admit to myself and others what I really believe was the birth of my son. Playing along and going through the motions would require that I spend so much of my time with my son effectively lying to him – “I know the church is true, son”, when in fact I lost faith in the religions of men long ago.

    My primary challenge now is the effect it is having upon my dear wife. She is a wonderful and amazing woman, who is they type of Mormon that gives the group a good name. She is not overly concerned with doctrines or historical facts, but likes the way the church makes her feel and is of course worried that my decision is threatening the eternal well-fare of our little family. I have told my wife that I support her desire to continue going to church, and I am even attending with her so she doesn’t have to be shamed by the other members, but her heart continues to break.

    I suppose this is probably the #1 challenge with realizing the truth…it hurts our families who love religion. I guess I am just looking for thoughts/suggestions/learning experiences from those who have had similar challenges as I try to find a way to be honest with myself and my son while minimizing the hurt it causes my dear companion.

    • Bruce Nadeau says:

      Sadly when it comes to openly declaring ones lack of belief in faiths such as the LDS church, the box has been open on causing pain, for yourself and others. It is painful and traumatizing, and not an easy journey out, or being apart of as a none believer. Even if your wife came about to seeing the truth, there would be even more hurt more likely than not, realizing she had been lied to and deceived about something so important to her. It almost broke me, and made me angry and bitter for five years after leaving before I started to heal properly. There just is no easy, pain free way of life when dealing with loved ones in the church, it’s only how strong are we, and can we survive that pain?

  2. Gayle says:

    I have been reading your posts on Facebook and eventually they have led me to your blog. I don’t know if you remember our family from church, it has been a long time since we attended.Anything I add to your debate will probably not be very reasoned, logical, scientific or in anyway based on any truth other than my own.I remember having my bishopric interview before going to the temple for the first time and he asked me if I had any problems with the tenements of the church. My answer was yes…the one law I had a problem with….obedience. I meant not obedience to a loving heavenly father, but obedience to the Church which was founded and run by people. Ever since I have been small I’ve had a tendency to question figures of authority….I think it is a part of my nature. It is probably all the little questions I asked and prayed about and didn’t get an answer to that led to me leaving rather than a larger understanding of the history of the Church. I do not question the good intentions of its members and I fully understand that for many this is their guiding light in life, so I cannot question their faith, even if I cannot rec.oncile the churches teachings in my heart.
    I think from reading your material that you may now follow the humanists.(I may be wrong) To me this is yet another Faith that I will always,through a very personal experience, question.
    A few years ago one of our lovely daughters died. I can’t put in words how we felt…..I have never been able to explain the devastation. I could barely get up off my knees. In true Mormon tradition (we gave her a Mormon burial as she chose to attend church even though we had left) I dressed my daughter with the help of sisters from the church who I hadn’t seen for a long time. I dreaded the day, but when it came my grief fell away and I felt strong and powerful and for the first time felt that ‘burning’ in the breast. I felt like nothing could stop me; at the same time I felt a wonderful feeling of peace. I know without a doubt that this was the pure love that the church talks about. Whose love was it????Mine for my daughter????My Daughter for me???The love of my sisters? Or my heavenly father? I can’t answer that. I only know that everything is tempered by that original feeling. Hateful behavior, intolerance, judgmental institutions, violence of any sort,pettiness,bullying force,deceit…the list goes on,they all make me want to cry.
    Three years ago my mum died. She had been ill for a long time and was now in the hospice. My family had spent many days with her and exhausted we went to our homes to get a couple of hours sleep. I woke up with the same feeling in my breast that I had with my daughter. I phoned the hospice and they said mums breathing had changed and we should get there pretty quickly…I phoned my brother and he was already dressed and in the car…the hospital hadn’t contacted, he’d felt mum cuddle him and he was on his way. How do you explain this?There probably is a scientific reason……why when my daughter die did I feel a physical part of me removed???again there is probably a scientific reason.
    Did I return to church. No. The church is full of dedicated people who follow a faith, but to me it doesn’t hold all the answers.
    My mum’s wishes were for an humanist funeral, so that is what we did. I wish I had conducted her funeral because there was preaching at the beginning,about the humanist movement which detracted from the service. And quite simply, for £90 she could say very little which matched my feelings and experience.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Gayle,

      Thank you for your comment. I can tell it was heart-felt.

      I do remember you, Quintin & your lovely children. My wife Liz remembers you fondly from when she visited you as a Visiting Teacher.

      My main contention with the Mormon Church is that the leadership have been, & still are lying to the membership.

      The foundational claims of the Church as a divine institution are deeply flawed. The General Authorities know it but continue to exert undue influence over the membership in order to control them. I find this despicable. I am in contact with many thousands of disenfranchised members whose lives have been turned upside down by discovering the truth. Tragically some marriages & families broken as a direct result of some active believing members choosing the Church over their loved ones.

      My mission is to extend a helping hand of support to those who are suffering from religious trauma syndrome.

      Even Liz still suffers from the stress of discovering that everything she had based her life on was a fantasy. With disturbed sleep & emotional flashbacks.

      It’s taken over two years for my own father to become comfortable with discussing the issues.

      It was John Dehlin’s presentation on the reasons why Committed members are leaving the church which eventually helped him understand.

      Ironically it was due to promoting that presentation which got me kicked off the Harrogate Ward Facebook group & banned.

      Unfortunately there is a lot of fear in the Church, & members run away from hearing anything which questions their beliefs for fear it may affect their fragile testimonies. This fear unfortunately threatens relationship.

      It’s a big mess which is going to take a long time to unravel.

      Liz & I are pleased to have finally joined the rest of the human race. Loving coffee!

      I see you emigrated to paradise!

      I bet you miss the rain;-)

      Take care,
      Love to you & your beautiful family,

      Steve

      • Gayle morris says:

        we didn’t emigrate and still live in the grim north….however Nick our eldest did and we have had a couple of wonderful extended holidays with him and his children…saving up now for another one.Thanks for the reply….as I have got older I have become less able to conform to any of the ‘great’ faiths as well as a few new ones. I think joining the Mormon church was just apart of one big learning experience I have been going through, so I don’t regret being a member and still love many of the good people I met who still go there…and older and wiser that I am I still have much to learn!
        yours have grown up too.Liz hasn’t changed.xGayle

  3. DaveKeo says:

    As you know when a Amish person leaves the flock they are forever banished. Their own family shuns them. I can’t at all understand that concept. The people that live down the hill from me recently lost their son to a drug OD. It is something I will never forget. The pure raw grief they expressed. As they were taking the lad away the mom was unconsoled beyond anything I have ever heard before. She would do anything to have him back. So how someone could deny their own children to ever see them has to be so brain washed. Baffles me.

  4. Elder says:

    Steve, I have been in the home of your childhood and shared scared testimony with your family. I have been in your fathers jewelry shop. I have even admired your sister Julie as a beautiful daughter of god. I have been driven home to newlyn by your father when no one else would. I have learned from the strength of your mother. I would brag about how your home had the only automatic dishwasher I had ever seen in England in it. I have had my testimony of Jesus strengthened by your family’s example. I “walk” by faith. I do from time to time hurt my feet when I see others turn to shoes to explain things of god. But I will keep my feet strong by staying on the path of faith. It is not to late to put your feet back on the path that leads to eternal life and the light that no Coffee or ale can replace. We all have hurt our feet none of us make it to the end of life’s journey without the pain it is part of the growth we all wanted. I have always felt love for your family and the healing I have felt in your home. Understand this will never change. Also, please realize that only Jesus is without sin, and the leadership of his church are here with sin. It is through the experience of working with flawed people that we grow much like your feet on your barefoot path. Best wishes

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Elder,

      You have an advantage over me.

      I do not know your identity.

      Regards,
      Steve

    • SteveBloor says:

      It’s good to hear from you.

      The press have misconstrued our motives.
      This is mainly about campaigning for openness and honesty.

      My parents are the most wonderful kind and generous people in the World. With or without the Church they would be amazing.
      The life I lead post Mormon is about compassion, integrity and authenticity.

      If you’re ever over here again please come and visit, I’d love to meet up.

      Best regards,
      Steve

      • Ivan says:

        You are so right. Your parents are so kind and generous. On March 2, 1984, while doing missionary work in Helston we had a meeting with your dad and others. We learned that our ward mission leader was being released and that sister Moe Maddern in Newlyn wouldn’t be able to go with us on our next teaching appointment. I was somewhat discouraged and to top things off our ride back to Newlyn fell through and your dad was taking us home again (as if he wasn’t busy enough). But, I cherished the chance to listen to your father. He told us that we have many blessings coming to us and that prayer really uplifted him. After his example,sacrifice and testimony I took greater care to show more gratitude, be more humble, and find more happiness through prayer.
        I really appreciate your parents and their spirit. It’s hard to remember people over the years, but I will never forget your parents. If I ever return to England I will come for a visit. That would be a great experience.
        I have an old photo of your family and I am trying to locate it. When I find it I will send a copy.
        I am certain that through your service in the church you showed compassion,integrity, and authenticity to all those you served. These traits are found inside the church and outside. These traits will serve you well.
        As a father of two (one serving a full time mission) I wanted you to know that your family has been a positive influence on mine. If I could contact your parents I would thank them for having such a great family and let them know of the impact they have had on my family.
        I will be authentic myself and say that I don’t understand taking a different path in life when this one is so fulfilling. I wish nothing but the best for you and your family.

        Holding to the Rod,
        Ivan

  5. Ivan John Marchello says:

    I seek no advantage Ivan John Marchello EBM July 1983 to January 1985. 6 Months Penzance. Facebook- Ivan John Marchello Meridian Idaho

  6. Faith says:

    Steve, I just stumbled on your blog and read your story and the comments. I appreciate the time that it has taken you to put your thoughts together for others. I do have a question though. Can you explain at all how your children have reacted? I may have missed that part. I’m terrified of losing my children because we did such a good job indoctrinating them. They are ages 12-BYU. I continue on because I can’t bear the thought of not being at their weddings. Of their judgement or emotional distance. We are a close family. Thanks.

  7. Shayna says:

    I almost left the church after reading several anti Joseph and anti church books but I am so glad I took the time to read the History of the Church boxed set. As I read day by day entries written by Joseph Smith, I realized that those other books had conned me and others with half truths and outright lies, spun to look like plausible truth. Read History of the Church for yourselves before you fall for the other Palmer books, etc. The church is indeed the true church. I would also like to comment about how those who say they are not Mormon bashing, proceed to do just that when challenged. I have been on many blogs and read much by those who fell for the books that came out around 2004. You have been fooled, friends, and to stay fooled is your choice alone. To partake in fooling others now, is to your condemnation. I hope you will print this because if you only print what supports your decision to leave the church, without printing this, is completely unfair and shows a hidden agenda.

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Shayna,
      Thank you for commenting.

      If only you were right. I was desperate for the Church to be ‘true’. But it is tragically just as ‘true’ as all the other religions of the Earth.

      What makes YOU so sure? There is no evidence on this earth any stronger than your pretended knowledge based on feelings alone. A ‘testimony’ in the Mormon Church is a sham. It is pure hope dressed up as knowledge. Just as in every other religion around the world.

      My ‘agenda’ is to promote rationality and encourage people to judge the evidence fairly, as opposed to the Mormon Church which promotes unquestioning belief based on nothing more than emotions and desires for a ridiculous story to be true so that its followers can avoid facing reality.

      And that ridiculous story keeps changing as new information is brought to light by historians.

      The dishonesty of the Mormon leaders in hiding its own difficult historical and doctrinal past is now coming back to haunt them, and though initially painful for many of us former believers to come to terms with, once we accept the truth that we were conned by a corporation masquerading as a church, there is a great sense of relief and a brighter future based on reality not fantasy.

      If only the Mormon Church could do as I have done and face up to the stark reality of truth by accepting it was wrong to teach fiction and lies as fact. Their lawyers admitted in a court of law in England that there are no facts in the Mormon Church, only beliefs. Maybe that’s a step in the right direction.

      The Mormon leaders just need the honesty, courage and decency to admit that they have misled millions of wonderful and pitiable people in a big fat fraud.

      Then, maybe we can say the Mormon Church has no hidden agenda itself.

  8. Why Not says:

    The following is Why Not’s response to Stephen Bloor’s letter to his ward (Helston, UK) about leaving the Church of Jesus Christ. Steve Bloor’s Blog–From Mormon Bishop to Secular Humanist
    SB = Stephen Bloor. WN = Why Not.
    SB: I want to reassure you, my Mormon friends, that life can be even more wonderful outside of the belief system.
    WN: Life can be even more wonderful INSIDE of the belief system. One reason why life is usually more wonderful inside of the belief system is that the Lord does not always suffer people to take happiness in sin (Moroni 2:13). Another reason is that they can have the assurance of a much happier life hereafter.
    SB: …after discovering that the most important information about the origins of the Mormon Church had been kept from me,
    WN: The origins of the Mormon Church were not kept from you any more than certain controversial issues recorded in the Bible are being kept from members of traditional Christian churches. The Church would not object to members learning about controversial issues if that learning process included careful, prayerful, detailed, objective, open-minded study of positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and logical, sensible, and reasonable counterarguments which can be used to resolve questions and controversial issues pertaining to the Bible, Jesus, modern scriptures, Joseph Smith, and Church history.
    SB: and that I’d even been deliberately lied to by senior Church leaders,
    WN: What you say are deliberate lies told by senior Church leaders are not deliberate lies any more than controversial statements made by senior church leaders and Christ himself during New Testament times. A careful examination of the so-called lies reveals that they were not technically lies according to the strictest definition of a lie. Again no so-called lie spoken by a Church leader today is no more of a lie than any so-called lie spoken by an ancient apostle or prophet or Christ himself. Examples of so-called lies which can be reasonably explained: Abraham telling pharaoh that his wife was his sister. Christ saying that some people living during his time on Earth would live to see his Second Coming. Each of those so-called lies were not lies but were technically the truth as shown by proper interpretation.
    SB: I felt I could no longer trust them, nor have faith in something which is based on lies and deception.
    WN: The true Church of Jesus Christ had never been based on lies. Again, what some critics label as lies can be explained by proper positive interpretation, just as some statements made by Christ’s original twelve apostles can be explained by proper interpretation of the so-called lies spoken.
    SB: Hopefully, you still remember me as someone who was totally committed to truth.
    WN: If you had been totally committed to truth, you would have searched and researched positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and logical, sensible, and reasonable counterarguments which can be used to resolve questions and controversial issues pertaining to the Bible, Jesus, modern scriptures, Joseph Smith, and Church history. If you had done that, you it would be highly unlikely that you would have left the Church after being so devoted to it for so long.
    SB: It is my dedication to following truth, & my determination to be totally honest that directs my actions.
    WN: If that were true, you would be willing to prayerfully consider in greater detail positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and logical, sensible, and reasonable counterarguments which can be used to resolve questions and controversial issues pertaining to the Bible, Jesus, modern scriptures, Joseph Smith, and Church history. That careful study would have included the words of prophets, apologists, true-religion scholars, positive websites such as FAIR, conferences and symposiums that present positive interpretations of the same data used by critics to condemn the Church. Now Church is publishing essays concerning controversial issues. But even the latter do not cover all the evidence. For example, the essay on the Book of Abraham is missing the evidence (e.g. from Oliver Cowdery) showing that Joseph Smith possessed the original papyri on which Abraham wrote his “Book of Abraham” with his own hand.
    You may claim that you looked at counterarguments before you bailed out of the Church. But that look was probably superficial. If you say it was a deep, it probably was not deep enough. It is virtually certain you and David did not consider all existing counterarguments. Since conferences, symposiums, favorable websites, and the Church’s essays miss some good counterarguments, it is likely you two brothers also missed some of them.
    SB: And it is my compassion, love & concern for others which motivates me to reach out to those who are still being held hostage in the Church.
    WN: No one is being held hostage in the Church today any more than they were held hostage by Christ’s church at the time Christ and his first apostles lived on the Earth.
    SB: Currently my focus is on exposing the deception by the Church so that others like me can be spared the emotional turmoil of discovering that their lives have been based on a lie.
    WN: The lives of members of Christ’s church today or during New Testament times have not been based on a lie. What you may call a lie during either or both of those times, is not a lie when you prayerfully look beneath the surface as indicated above.
    SB: I’m inspired by the analogy from Christopher Miller: “If you saw a thirsty man drinking water from a well you knew to be poisoned, would you let him continue to drink or would you guide him to a safe well?”
    WN: That quotation also applies to critics of Christ’s church today and when he first set it up while he lived on Earth. Critics who publish accusations but refuse to objectively and patiently publish detailed, open-minded, objective counterarguments to those accusations are dropping poison into the well. Defenders of the faith of Jesus Christ help guide people to the safest well and help them realize that the well has not been poisoned by apostles or prophets or Christ himself because of some of the controversial things he said and did.
    SB: Also my brother David summarises why members often find it difficult to consider the truth, & why we should never give up on those who currently cannot conceive that they have been deceived:
    WN: Critics including ex-members often find it difficult to lay their biased mindset aside and consider positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and logical, sensible, and reasonable counterarguments to their accusations. We should never give up on those who have been deceived into thinking they have been deceived during their Church membership but have been taught the word of God which focuses on that which is “virtuous, lovely, and of good report, and praiseworthy” and will lead them to eternal life with God.
    I believe that anyone who is educated with common sense and realizes that words of critics of Christ and his true Church can often be contaminated will accept the scriptural warnings not to drink the poison offered by critics who deceitfully fail to give credit to positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and logical, sensible, and reasonable counterarguments to their accusations. These critics operate in an atmosphere of intent and justification resulting in their disregard of the truth of the true gospel of Jesus Christ and acceptance of the accusations and negative interpretations characteristic of fellow skeptics and critics.
    Critics and their adherents accept bogus claims against Christ and his true church, rather than using energy and resources to discover the gospel truth by carefully and prayerfully studying positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and logical, sensible, reasonable counterarguments which resolve questions and controversial issues pertaining to the Bible, Jesus, modern scriptures, Joseph Smith, and Church history.
    SB: “Information is key to raising awareness of what our brain withholds from our conscious mind. Unfortunately we are hardwired emotion-driven thinkers. It takes effort and training to exercise introspection and mindfulness.” ~ David Bloor.
    WN: Amen to those words because they apply to critics who are unwilling to make the effort and take the training to exercise introspection and the mindfulness required to resolve questions and controversial issues pertaining to the Bible, Jesus, modern scriptures, Joseph Smith, and Church history. Resolution in favor of the true church of Jesus Christ can be accomplished by carefully and prayerfully studying detailed positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and logical, sensible, reasonable counterarguments which resolve questions and controversial issues. It is often not enough to take these resolution steps in a superficial or haphazard manner. They must be carried out thoroughly and comprehensively, not suddenly throwing up hands and giving up before turning over all stones in an effort to find resolution in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
    SB: I appreciate it can be a sensitive subject defending a belief system which has become a part of your identity.
    WN: Critics of Christ and his true Church defend a belief (disbelief?) system which has become part of their identity. This identity often involves a different lifestyle which does not counsel caution against certain behaviors. A Telestial or Terrestrial Kingdom lifestyle is more tempting for many people. Do whatever you want or don’t do anything you don’t want to do. “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.” “Play now and pay later.” Payment will be required a least in the next life.
    SB: I did it for 46 years when I was fully invested in the belief system. I was completely committed, & for me Mormonism was more important than life itself. For me Mormonism gave me my purpose for life. The Church was the vehicle to Eternal Life. I believed everything was temporary except the gospel of Jesus Christ, which was the power of God unto Salvation.
    WN: Doubtless these same words were spoken by disciples of Christ who ceased following after him while he yet lived among them. He ate with them, slept with them, taught them, and performed miracles which they witnessed; yet they abandoned him. “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (John 6:66). Not just a few, but MANY disciples walked no more with him. If disciples of Christ who walked and talked with him could stop following after him, we should not be surprised if some of his disciples today, such as Stephen and David Bloor will stop following after him even though they were faithful disciples for a time.
    SB: When I resigned as Bishop of Helston Ward one of my counsellors pleaded with me more than once to continue as Bishop, even though I knew the truth claims of the Church were false.
    WN: You did not know the truth claims of the Church were false. You only thought you knew they were false. A classic case of self-deception. Some of the disciples of Christ ceased following after him because they thought they had come to “know” that the truth claims of Christ were false. No doubt they were influenced by the critics of that day—atheists, pagans, Pharisees, Sadducees, Roman scholars, Greek philosophers, etc.
    SB: He reasoned I was doing a great job, saying I was the best Bishop he’d ever known, and should continue to serve the members.
    WN: Some of the disciples who stopped walking with Christ could have been good bishops before their withdrawal from Christ and his church. Peter was the chief apostle, yet he denied Christ three times. Judas was a chosen apostle who served well for a time and watched Christ perform miracles, yet Judas betrayed Christ. Saul, Israel’s first king, was a righteous man who eventually apostatized and fell on his own sword. David was a prophet, yet finally yielded to temptation. Solomon was the wisest man on Earth for a time and was a prophet who saw God—yet he succumbed to the “more fulfilling” lifestyle of idolatry. He and/or his wives probably said things like, “’Life can be even more wonderful outside of the belief system’ of the Israelites.” At least King David and the apostle Peter repented. Hopefully the two Bloor brothers will do likewise someday.
    SB: But I would argue that happiness is not always synonymous with wellbeing.
    WN: The same thing can be said about that first statement: “I want to reassure you, my Mormon friends, that life can be even more wonderful outside of the belief system.” A wonderful life outside of the belief system is not usually synonymous with wellbeing as illustrated by the lives of ex-church members like King Saul, King David, and King Solomon. A critic’s belief (or disbelief) system is especially risky for a wonderful life and wellbeing in the next life.
    SB: I believe human wellbeing is a more worthy and desirable goal than just happiness.
    WN: Then you should be concerned about human wellbeing, as well as happiness, in the next life and not destroy or dilute people’s wellbeing they enjoy in this life by following Christ and being active in his true Church. “But whoso shall offend one of THESE LITTLE ONES WHICH BELIEVE IN ME, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6).
    SB: The objective evidence very clearly shows any neutral observer that belief in Mormonism as a route to Eternal Life is akin to belief in Middle-Earth as the home of Hobbits in JRR Tolkien’s fictional fairytale.
    WN: Wrong. Belief in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is belief in the church Christ established while he lived on Earth. Today’s Church of Jesus Christ is the same church Jesus Christ established while he lived on Earth with the same doctrines, ordinances, and organization, including a quorum of twelve apostles.
    SB: And the Book of Mormon is as historic and as useful as The Lord of The Rings is a true account of real people.
    WN: Wrong. The Book of Mormon is as historic and as useful as the Bible. In fact, prophets have said that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on Earth.
    SB: When it comes down to authenticity, I think actual, objective reality is far more useful than any fantastic, fictional stories can ever hope to be.
    WN: Objective reality includes a careful, prayerful, detailed study of positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and logical, sensible, and reasonable counterarguments which can be used to resolve questions and controversial issues pertaining to the Bible, Jesus, modern scriptures, Joseph Smith, and Church history.
    SB: Though the Book of Mormon may be useful as interesting fictional mythology, unfortunately it is just as historically authentic as stories about Odin or Zeus.
    WN: The Book of Mormon is not fictional mythology. It is as true as the Bible. It is at least as historically authentic as the Bible.
    SB: Maybe less so, as most of The Book of Mormon is plagiarized!
    WN: The Book of Mormon was not plagiarized any more than the Bible was plagiarized from older pagan and Greek sources. Incidentally, these sources had their apostate origins from original truths revealed to Adam and succeeding patriarchs and prophets. Each accusation of plagiarism in the Book of Mormon or the Bible can be resolved by a detailed study of positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and logical, sensible, and reasonable counterarguments.
    SB: I don’t doubt most latter-day Saints are sincere, but even the deluded can be sincere. I think authenticity is much more important than sincerity.
    WN: I don’t doubt most critics are sincere, but even deluded critics can be sincere. Critics can become deluded by their failure to conduct a careful, detailed study of positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and logical, sensible, and reasonable counterarguments. Authenticity is more important than sincerity.
    SB: Human flourishing & wellbeing requires more than mere hopes & dreams in an illusionary Eternal Life, but should be based on knowledge of sound objective reality.
    WN: Human flourishing and wellbeing require more than mere literal, face value, outward appearance interpretations of controversial historical words, behavior, and events. Critics have dreams of scholarly expertise, but their dreams should be based on knowledge of sound objective reality which includes the reality of the scriptures, Christ, and his true Church.
    SB: Though it is a rather extreme example, consider the fact that even the Taliban are sincere and committed to their belief system, but it is very easily & widely acknowledged by neutral outside observers to limit the potential of its adherents. Whether male or female, but especially women and LGBT.
    WN: Agreed. That is another reason why the sincerity of critics does not justify the offense they give to believers in Jesus Christ when they publicize their criticisms and accusations without giving proper attention and credit to positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and logical, sensible, reasonable counterarguments. Again: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6).
    SB: Though to a less severe degree, but still significantly, the Mormon belief system is also acknowledged by neutral observers to limit the potential for human flourishing & wellbeing, especially for women, but also LGBT.
    WN: On the contrary, the Mormon belief system expands the potential for human flourishing and wellbeing for everyone, including women and LGBT people. This is especially true from an eternal perspective—the potential to eventually receive all that God has. Of course, people who are not interested in pleasing God or receiving all that God has will feel limited and restricted because they don’t like the learning process and the tests required by God to receive his highest rewards in the Celestial Kingdom of Heaven and to become capable of doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people. They want to go their own way and apparently are content to receive a Telestial or Terrestrial glory which they can have if they don’t want to follow the procedures required for the Celestial. They are like college students who get tired of the classes, homework, and tests required to receive a college degree. They quit because they think that life will be even more wonderful outside of the college system.

    SB: Having learnt that the Church was started by a fraudulent, adulterous, paedophile, charlatan,

    WN: Absolutely false. The Church of Jesus Christ today and at the time of Christ on Earth was not started by a fraudulent, adulterous, pedophile, charlatan. It was started by Christ himself while he lived on Earth and was restored by Christ himself in our day through the prophet Joseph Smith. Again, you would not make those accusations if you had prayerfully and carefully studied positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and reasonable counterarguments to the accusations made against Joseph Smith. Those who parrot the critics’ favorite accusations should remember: “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” “Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them” (D&C 121:16).

    SB: (T)he vast majority of those who have seen the evidence are convinced the Church is also a Fraud

    WN: The majority of those who prayerfully and carefully study the positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and reasonable counterarguments to the accusations made against Joseph Smith and the Church will come to believe that the Church is true. Or at least they will admit that there is a high probability that the Church is true.

    SB: And, as we are told by many of the Church leaders, including a ‘Prophet of God’, that the Church is either all true or it is a Fraud, there are only two choices. It is a fraud, & as such cannot ever hope to provide an authentic system for human flourishing & wellbeing.
    WN: The Church is true. It is not a fraud. It provides not only an authentic system for human flourishing and wellbeing, it provides the best system for human flourishing and wellbeing because it was set up by Christ himself under the direction of God the Father.
    SB: The well is poisoned! All who drink from the well become incapacitated in some way.
    WN: The well is not poisoned! All who continually drink from the well become better and better in every way. Beware of critics because many of them they are attempting to poison the well of the true gospel or convince people to drink from a well which they have already poisoned.
    There is a great need to love and assist all people of the world who yearn for truth, who seek to come unto Christ, to help them recover from the poisons of doubt and skepticism, to help them become born again so that they might be blessed with increased levels of authenticity in their relationships and life experiences which most people can’t even conceive of outside the Mormon Church.
    I can reassure you, my friends, that there are many wonderful ex-Mormons who do not understand the anti-Mormon mindset and how initially painful it might be when they start coming to terms with valid counterarguments to the false accusations against Christ, his true church, and his apostles and prophets. But also be assured that we are here for you when you need us. We understand the trauma of having one’s anti-Mormon foundation crumble under a skeptic’s feet, as well as the crushing realization that everything they trusted which was given to them by critics was based on lies, falsehoods, misrepresentations, and misinterpretations.
    We know what it means to cry tears of joy at the prospect of a fantastical future Eternal Life in the Celestial Kingdom of Heaven, of being reborn into a new world full of rich opportunities for real growth, as well as solid and authentic relationships, never dreamed of before becoming devout members of the true church of Jesus Christ. Life can actually be more real and vivid than ever before once one realizes the real truth about Mormonism, not the false, distorted, twisted, accusations by critics.
    I desire all to partake of the blessing of this knowledge and hold out a hand of friendship and encouragement to all who are ready to receive it.
    Sincerely, Why Not

    • SteveBloor says:

      I’m sorry ‘Why Not’,

      You’re just not making any sense.

      There is no objective evidence you can find to back up Mormonism or even Christianity.

      I’ve heard fanatical Muslim and evangelical Christian apologists who sound very similar to you when they defend their own particular fairy tale.

      If you seriously research how the human mind works you will understand better how people can believe in weird stuff with all their hearts.

      “The eye cannot see what the mind is not prepared to comprehend.”

      Best regards,
      I bid you adieu.
      Steve

  9. Why Not says:

    Steve, what I wrote in response to your letter to your old ward makes at least as much sense as that letter. There is an abundance of evidence to back up Mormonism (LDS Christianity). See /“1000 EVIDENCES for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Allen H. Richardson, M.Ed, David E. Richardson, Ph.D., Artisan Enterprises, 10787 S. Coral Dune Dr. (3970West), South Jordan, Utah, 84095, 801-446-2392, allenartisan.richardson@gmail.com VOLUME 1: “The Everlasting Gospel” (500 Evidences are presented in the following chapters:) The Greatest Evidence. Evidences from the Prophecies of Church Leaders. Evidences Concerning the prophet Joseph Smith. Evidences Concerning the Pearl of Great Price (including Book of Abraham). “By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them.” Doctrines and Ordinances of the Church. Organization of the Church. Miracles in the Church Evidences concerning the Temples of the Church VOLUME 2: “Voice from the Dust:” (500 Evidences are presented in the following chapters:) Witnesses of the Book of Mormon. Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Book of Mormon Prophecy. Historical Accuracy ((Horses, elephants, iron, steel, wheel, etc.). Book of Mormon Geography. Book of Mormon Culture. Names used in the Book of Mormon. Book of Mormon Literacy. Ancient American Science. Warfare in the Book of Mormon.

    You said you’ve heard fanatical Muslim and evangelical Christian apologists who sound very similar to you when they defend their own particular fairy tale. You have also heard about closed minded people who, even after they were invented, refused to accept the existence of radios, televisions, telephones, etc. until they saw or heard them with their own eyes and ears. You have also heard about closed minded people, including scientists and philosophers, of the past who refused to believe, before they were invested, that rockets could reach the moon, that man would walk on the moon, that machines heavier than air carrying people could fly in the sky, that such a thing as a microchip containing almost limitless amounts of information could be invested, etc. etc.
    Doubtless at some time in their lives, some of the more scholarly of these closed minded people, including scientists and philosophers, argued as you have: “If you seriously research how the human mind works you will understand better how people can believe in weird stuff (like radios, television, rockets, airplanes, microchips, walking on the Moon) with all their hearts.’ ‘The eye cannot see what the mind is not prepared to comprehend.’”

    Sincerely, Why Not

    • Joe Rawlins says:

      Hello, “Why Not”,

      I don’t believe that Steve or anyone else is insinuating that there aren’t apologetics who look to justify what they already believe. That’s just not how evidence works. The quest for empiricism is not a matter of adding up points of evidence on two sides and whoever has found or contrived the most points is the “most true”. Evidence leads to a conclusion in an honest inquiry. In a dishonest inquiry, a person seeks out the evidence that supports his already-arrived-at conclusion.

      Evidence is used to help narrow down newer and newer conclusions. The following is an excerpt from my book THE KORIHOR ARGUMENT. Enjoy.

      This is a commonplace occurrence in arguments between the god-fearing and the godless. The presumption made by god-fearing people is that someone who does not believe that God is real must provide evidence that God isn’t real. This is contrary to the way that learning works. One can presume that anything is possible without concluding that everything that is possible is safe to presume as being true. For example, if I say that men live on the moon who live to be very old and dress like Quakers, you can say that such isn’t true because astronauts and rovers have found no such men nor their remains nor any other such evidence in missions to the moon. But when Joseph Smith told a Mormon named Philo Dibble that such men lived on the moon, there had been no Apollo Space Program and no footage of the moon or experiments conducted on the lunar surface. Could Dibble prove that there were not men living on the moon? Of course not, because he does not have that data like we do, now. However, the fact that Dibble cannot disprove Joseph Smith’s extraordinary claim does not mean that Dibble should be convinced that it is true, particularly as it is now thoroughly debunked as not even being remotely possible.

      • Why Not says:

        Joe, sorry to take so long to get back with you—trips to visit family. JR = Joe Rawlins. WN = Why Not
        JR: The quest for empiricism is not a matter of adding up points of evidence on two sides and whoever has found or contrived the most points is the “most true”.
        WN: “Most probable” is often more useful than “most true.”
        JR: Evidence leads to a conclusion in an honest inquiry.
        WN: That is another reason why we love the collection of evidence titled “1000 Evidences” I referred to above.
        JR. In a dishonest inquiry, a person seeks out the evidence that supports his already-arrived-at conclusion.
        WN: It is not dishonest at all. Most scientists probably seek evidence that supports their already-arrived-at conclusions or suppositions. The important thing is to look at the evidence, whether conclusions were pre-conceived or not. Evidence is evidence.
        JR: Could Dibble prove that there were not men living on the moon? Of course not, because he does not have that data like we do, now. However, the fact that Dibble cannot disprove Joseph Smith’s extraordinary claim does not mean that Dibble should be convinced that it is true, particularly as it is now thoroughly debunked as not even being remotely possible.

        WN: Your word “claim” is too strong. The word “said” would be better. That would leave the door open to interpret Joseph’s words as a joke or as a personal opinion of the region where the spirits of some Quakers reside in the Spirit World. The Spirit World is around us, and so is the Moon. Our scientists have not yet figured out how to look into the Spirit World. And speaking of scientific possibilities, the Spirit World may be a parallel dimension, part of which coincides with the location of our Moon. Scientists one day might figure out how to look into parallel dimensions which scientists already claim exist.

  10. Jimmy says:

    To Why Not,

    I am going to refute your response in the order it is written.

    My life was never wonderful inside the belief system. In fact it was an enormous weight and burden to me from as young an age as 9. I actually attended therapy to properly deprogram myself from the brainwashing that the Mormon Church excels at.

    The true origins of the Church and it’s founders are absolutely hidden and I was not even asked to consider any of the origin story besides the first vision when I was asked to enter into a baptismal covenant at the ripe old age of 8. That this prepubescent and immature age is considered the “age of accountability” is both absurd and disgusting. They also failed to mention Joseph Smith’s criminal record and Oliver Cowdery’s family history. At 8 years old they manipulated and played with my emotions.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was built on lies by convicted liars. Your refusal to trust the historical accounts of public record is a type of volunteered ignorance that makes me sick.

    When a person like Steve or I began to question the Church it was with every intention of proving its validity. My family and life was all about the Church, it not being true was not an option for me. I needed it to be true, the idea that it wasn’t stressed me as much as being a member itself did.

    My scientific education has done an adequate job of proving the non-existence of God. Imagine you trying to pray to Allah and how ridiculous you would feel when you are positive he isn’t listening. You insist we prayerfully consider that which is impossible, unexplained, illogical, nonsensical, and unreasonable counter arguments. As you bring up the PoGP I assume you will be avoiding the embarrassing misinterpretation of the “Sacrificing of Isaac” drawing.

    The method of community building and retention does in fact hold the minds of many people hostage. You would call the same tactics used in another religion brainwashing, and that is what it is. The members are held hostage mentally and emotionally.

    The Bible is filled with lies and contradictions. The NT wasn’t even written in Christ’s times and the newest objective studies of that era conclude that it is unlikely the man existed at all. Not to mention how brilliantly unoriginal his story is. Please spare the works of Satan argument, as it does become pathetic just like when it is used to blame the “evil” people as they surrender to the “natural man.”

    The critics you speak of do exist, but they are not the only ones. The best criticisms come from the intellectuals, including historians and scientists. Scientists are not all conspiring to take you down. The fact of the matter is the religion does not stand up to science. For Mormonism the archaeological and DNA evidence counters your side. With Christianity as a whole we need not look further than Adam’s story in search of the scientifically absurd.

    Amazing how weak the light of Christ must be if while searching for affirmation we can be deceived into thinking we’ve been deceived already. This is why your entire letter is moronic at best. No one cares what you “believe,” Faith is the product pedaled by the deceivers. Believe not the evidence, but what you feel is right. One of the most dangerous concepts in the history of mankind.

    You continually make assumptions about how prayerful and diligent we were in our search for answers. Your assumptions are continually wrong.

    Yours is the mind who needs changing. The Church has far too many lies and too much to reconcile to possibly be true. There has to be a point where one can rely on logic alone to say, “I am trying way too hard to convince myself of the truth of all of this.”

    The message of your response is simply the following, “The Church has found a way to explain every negative thing you have found. If you are unable to reconcile this massive amount of convenient explanation, then the problem is within you, not the church.” THAT is where you sound like EVERY OTHER FUNDAMENTALIST RELIGION! You don’t believe enough so just believe harder!

    From birth it is obvious all things that are actual facts are covered and riddled by evidence. Any thing that is true will always have repeatable processes to prove it’s truth that are consistently successful and never change if being exposed to the same conditions for testing. There is no religion on Earth based in any type of external spirituality that accomplished this proof.

    You cite self-deception toward your conclusion and yet the idea of believing in anything without real, hard evidence is by definition, self-deception. The fact is, the only type of evidence ever presented is anecdotal. In science, we like to simply call that, “not evidence.”

    The remainder of your argument relies on the Church being true but you have yet to provide satisfactory evidence for this claim. This is simply because there is none. The development of humanity has been driven by science and reality, not the religion concocted by a charlatan. The Book of Mormon is an obvious fraud when observed under the scope of history, science and archaeology.

    “When it comes down to authenticity, I think actual, objective reality is far more useful than any fantastic, fictional stories can ever hope to be.” Objective reality is science and science disagrees with your religious account of the origin of humanity and everything from there forward. Now go ahead, say something stupid like, “Evolution is just a theory.”

    Our search for truth was not so we could sin, it was to know the actual truth. Search for yourself with true objectivity and you will come to the same conclusion. All religions are man made and brilliantly unoriginal. The founder of the LDS Church is Joseph Smith, pure and simple.

    I desire all to partake in the truth of all things and to demand evidence before forming their beliefs. REAL evidence. NOT feelings.

    Sincerely, Jimmy

    • jeanikins says:

      Well said Jimmy. I was jotting down some notes while watching General Conference today and it links up really well with something you wrote. “I am trying way too hard to convince myself of the truth of all of this.”
      Why should we strive to believe is my question? That was advice handed out by an apostle of God today – we must ‘strive’ to believe. If we have to strive to believe, chances are, the thing is not true.
      “Force a smile when things go wrong.” Turn it off, like a light switch, turn it off, it’s a neat little Mormon trick.” And that is why there are more deaths in Utah due to pill overdose than any other state in the USA.
      If we force ourselves to believe that which is unbelievable to us, it can cause mental instability and depression.
      By the way, Jesus trumps anything that anyone in the church says because he is the son of god right? He said “judge not, that ye be not judged”. That doesn’t mean with all the caveats the church inserts into the Biblical story, such as, judge not unrighteous judgment. Just don’t judge anything about anyone who has left the church because you have no idea about their journey or how hard they tried to believe.

      • Why Not says:

        We should strive to believe so that we can be saved (in the Celestial Kingdom of Heaven) and not be damned (have to settle for the Terrestrial or Telestial kingdoms of Heaven):.
        “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT SHALL BE DAMNED (Mark 16;16). Also we should strive to believe so that we can be worthy of special blessings while we live here on Earth. Many scriptures support that promise.

    • Why Not says:

      Jimmy, sorry to take so long to get back with you. Many out of state family visits.
      J = Jimmy. WN = Why Not

      ***************************
      J: My life was never wonderful inside the belief system. In fact it was an enormous weight and burden to me from as young an age as 9.
      WN: That’s too bad. It probably happened because of some over-zealous parents or teachers. Attending school can also be an enormous weight and burden to some young people because of the same or similar reasons some find it burdensome to attend church.
      J: I actually attended therapy to properly deprogram myself from the brainwashing that the Mormon Church excels at.
      WN: The Church does not brainwash. To say it does, is no more true than saying school teachers brainwash their students about science and math which are burdensome to some students.
      J. The true origins of the Church and it’s founders are absolutely hidden and I was not even asked to consider any of the origin story besides the first vision when I was asked to enter into a baptismal covenant at the ripe old age of 8.
      WN: The true origins of the Church and its founders were not hidden. I was baptized two days before I turned eight and knew the true origin of the Church and about its founders.
      J. That this prepubescent and immature age is considered the “age of accountability” is both absurd and disgusting.
      WN: Considering eight years of age as the age of accountability is both valid and thrilling. Biblical scriptures can be quoted to show the knowledge and wisdom of young people. While still in the womb, John the Baptist recognized Jesus. The scriptures talk about “out of the mouths of babes.”
      J. They also failed to mention Joseph Smith’s criminal record and Oliver Cowdery’s family history.
      WN: When I was eight, I knew that Joseph had been subjected to numerous false accusations, court appearances, persecutions, and martyrdom. Our family held family home evenings where Church history events and issues were discussed in addition to other subjects.
      J. At 8 years old they manipulated and played with my emotions.
      WN: No more than you were when you attended school.
      J. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was built on lies by convicted liars.
      WN: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was not built on lies by convicted liars. It was built on truth taught by men of God. They were just as faithful and true to God as were the prophets of the Bible.
      J. Your refusal to trust the historical accounts of public record is a type of volunteered ignorance that makes me sick.
      WN: Your refusal to trust the true historical accounts of public and private records is a type of volunteered ignorance that makes open-minded, non-judgmental people sick.
      J: When a person like Steve or I began to question the Church it was with every intention of proving its validity.
      WN: You evidently failed to make a detailed, open-minded, prayerful study of positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and faith-promoting interpretations of the issues that eventually weakened your faith and pulled you out of the Church.
      J. My scientific education has done an adequate job of proving the non-existence of God.
      WN: The non-existence of God cannot be proven. The true God of the scriptures could have always existed or he could have begun at the instant of the Big Bang. Or he could be the end product of biological evolution on another planet. Carol Sagan said that intelligent beings surely evolved on some of the billions of planets in our galaxy but they eventually exterminated themselves. He said that is why we haven’t heard from any of them. Here is another science based theory: Some of the planets (in our universe or a parallel universe) who did not destroy themselves evolved to the point where the people were so highly intelligent that they eventually eliminated war and disease. The greatest intelligences who were the end products of evolution on these special planets became supreme beings. Our God was one of these Gods whose evolution produced a perfect being—perfect in love, compassion, scientific knowledge, and all other positive characteristics. Being all loving, he gave suggestions, counsel, and recommendations (e.g. commandments) for happiness and eternal progression including becoming as he is. Careful testing (trials, tribulations, etc.) would be required to winnow out those who could possibly abuse the power of a God. Let me rephrase that: Careful testing (trials, tribulations, etc.) would be required to select those who would not likely abuse the power of a God. “As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.” Not only would these super-intelligent beings, whose bodies and minds not only evolved biologically, but they evolved in goodness and righteousness
      We have heard from these intelligent beings, at least in the form of revelations from God and his angels. The most convincing proof of God to many people is their “testimony” that God lives and Jesus is the Christ. Many have claimed to have literally seen our supreme being. The most reliable of these witnesses are those mentioned in the scriptures and in talks and writings by prophets of God. Some skeptics will scoff and mock at explanations such as this. “Fools mock but they shall morn.” But it is no harder to accept certain other scientific facts, e.g. evolution itself, the Big Bang, parallel universes, String Theory, sub-particle entanglement, black holes, virtual particles, etc. How do you explain the forces of magnetism, gravity, electricity, radiation, heat, light, etc? When you come right down to it, we have to confess, “We don’t exactly know why. All we know is that they exist and they work.”
      J: You insist we prayerfully consider that which is impossible, unexplained, illogical, nonsensical, and unreasonable counter arguments.

      WN: No. I suggest we prayerfully consider counterarguments which are possible, explainable, logical, sensible, and reasonable.
      J: As you bring up the PoGP I assume you will be avoiding the embarrassing misinterpretation of the “Sacrificing of Isaac” drawing.
      WN: It wasn’t Isaac. It was Abraham. Joseph correctly translated the Book of Abraham originally written by the hand of Abraham on papyri. After translation, these sacred papyri were delivered into the hands of a heavenly messenger, possibly Abraham himself as the plates of the Book of Mormon were delivered to Moroni after translation. Joseph retained possession of the Sensen “Book of the Dead” funeral papyri. Joseph and/or his scribe cut, pasted, and sketched on the Book of the Dead facsimiles to represent the original facsimiles in the Book of Mormon papyri. These modified Book of the Dead facsimiles became visual aids for people to learn approximately what the original Book of Abraham facsimiles looked like.
      J: The method of community building and retention does in fact hold the minds of many people hostage.
      WN: Not true any more than public schools and colleges hold the minds of their students hostage.
      J: The Bible is filled with lies and contradictions.
      WN: We believe the Bible “as far as it is translated correctly.” Controversial scriptures can be explained to open-minded people.
      J: The NT wasn’t even written in Christ’s times and the newest objective studies of that era conclude that it is unlikely the man existed at all.
      WN: Objective, scholarly studies of that era conclude that Christ did live during that time.
      J: The best criticisms come from the intellectuals, including historians and scientists. Scientists are not all conspiring to take you down.
      WN: The best information comes from intellectuals, including historians and scientists who are not godless and from true prophets of God.
      J: The fact of the matter is that religion does not stand up to science.
      WN: The fact of the matter is that true religion DOES stand up to true science.
      J: For Mormonism the archaeological and DNA evidence counters your side.
      WN: Not true. See Volume 2 of “1000 Evidences.” Also consider this: 1) Carvajal-Carmona, et al. (2000), discuss the presence of several indicators of Jewish ancestry among the Antioquian population of Colombia. “A number of the Antioquian (COLUMBIA) Y-microsatellite haplotypes shown in table 4 carry large alleles at locus DYS388 (alleles with >14 repeats). These alleles are absent or have low frequencies in European and African populations but reach high frequencies in Middle Eastern populations (Kayser et al. 1997; Thomas et al. 2000). Large alleles were detected in the Basque and Catalan populations, at frequencies of 3.9% and 3.7%, respectively, and, in Antioquia, at a frequency of 16.2%. Among the Arabs, Berbers, Saharawis, and Tachelhits, such alleles were found at frequencies of 8.9%, 0%, 10%, and 11%, respectively. This suggests some Semitic ancestry for Antioquia and is consistent with the genetic distance analysis of table 3. Interestingly, haplotype 4, which carries a DYS388 allele with 16 repeats, corresponds to the Cohen modal haplotype (CMH) of Thomas et al. (1998). This haplotype has frequencies >10% among Jewish populations but seems to be rare in Arab populations and has been proposed as an indicator of Jewish ancestry (Thomas et al. 2000). Two other haplotypes (12 and 29) are one mutational step away from the CMH. Haplotypes 3 and 5 also match haplotypes detected among Jewish populations; they correspond to haplotypes 2 and 27 in Thomas et al. (2000). In that survey, Antioquian haplotype 3 was observed only among Sephardic Jews. These matches occur in haplogroup C and, on aggregate, imply that ~14% of the Antioquian haplotypes could have a Jewish ancestry.” Carvajal-Carmona et al. (2000 – available online). **** (2) Haplogroup X occurs most among Algonkian-speaking groups such as the Ojibwa [sometimes spelled Ojibwe], and has been detected in two pre-Colombian North American populations. Today, haplogroup X is found in between two and four per cent of European populations, and in the Middle East, he said, particularly in Israel” (“Europeans Colonised America in 28,000 BC” by Roger Highfield (2000), Science Editor for Britain’s Electronic Telegraph news service. *** (3) Though found mostly in the northern parts of the Americas, there is tentative evidence of haplogroup X being found in ancient remains in Guatemala, among the Iximché tribe. David M. Reed at the University of Michigan mentions this tentative finding on his Web page at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~dmreed/Activities.html: “I am studying anthropological genetics and biostatistics while performing new research into the population history of the Americas. For the most recent national anthropology meetings I presented preliminary results from mtDNA analysis of the Iximché skeletons. The most tantalizing feature was the possible X-lineage individual. If this result holds it will represent one of the only times that haplotype X has been found.” **** (4) Schurr (2000) points to other evidence of haplotype X in two Pre-Columbian North American populations and possibly “a few ancient Brazilian samples.” He may be referring to the work of Ribero-dos-Santos et al. (1996). **** (5) “…in the work of Karafet et al. (1999), several Y-chromosome haplogroups were studied. A minority of the Native Americans displayed haplogroup 4 (1 Cheyenne and 2 Zapotecs). This haplogroup was one of the two major haplogroups for Greeks and the most common one reported for EGYPTIANS, but was absent from Asians, Eskimos, and other North Americans. The work of Hammer et al. (2000) shows that HAPLOTYPE 4 IS ALSO ONE OF THE MOST COMMON HAPLOTYPES AMONG JEWS. Several other haplotypes may link scattered Native American individuals with Africans or Europeans (including the Mediterranean), though the genes in question occur to a small degree in some Asian populations as well.”
      J: With Christianity as a whole we need not look further than Adam’s story in search of the scientifically absurd.
      WN: The Bible contains much symbolism and many parables.
      J: Amazing how weak the light of Christ must be if while searching for affirmation we can be deceived into thinking we’ve been deceived already.
      WN: Amazing how weak the godless approach must be if, while searching for affirmation of their biased beliefs and disbeliefs, the godless can be deceived into thinking they have the truth already.
      J: This is why your entire letter is moronic at best.
      WN: I’m tempted to say that your entire rebuttal is biased, bigoted, judgmental, hard hearted, and closed-minded at best, but I won’t say it because I want to be polite and diplomatic.
      J: No one cares what you “believe,” Faith is the product pedaled by the deceivers.
      WN: I’m tempted to say those are two more bigoted opinions, but I won’t say it because I want to be polite and diplomatic.
      J: Believe not the evidence, but what you feel is right.
      WN: No. Look at all the evidence, pro and con. Then decide which set of evidences is most probable.
      J: You continually make assumptions about how prayerful and diligent we were in our search for answers.
      WN: I don’t know that you were prayerful and diligent. I suggest that we truly should be prayerful and diligent in searching for answers.
      J: Your assumptions are continually wrong. Yours is the mind who needs changing.
      WN: Judgmental bigotry showing up again?
      J: The Church has far too many lies and too much to reconcile to possibly be true.
      WN: The true Church of Jesus Christ has no lies any more than science has lies. You could say the same about science: It has too many lies and wild theories to possibly be true.
      J: There has to be a point where one can rely on logic alone to say, “I am trying way too hard to convince myself of the truth of all of this.”
      WN: There has to be a point where one can rely on logic alone to say, “The skeptics and dissidents are trying way too hard to convince themselves of the truth of their accusations and block out anything that disagrees with their preconceived or adopted notions.”
      J: The message of your response is simply the following, “The Church has found a way to explain every negative thing you have found. If you are unable to reconcile this massive amount of convenient explanation, then the problem is within you, not the church.” THAT is where you sound like EVERY OTHER FUNDAMENTALIST RELIGION! You don’t believe enough so just believe harder!
      WN: The message of your rebuttal is simply the following, “The skeptics and dissidents try to explain away every positive explanation of the accusations against the scriptures and the Church. If a skeptic is unable to accept the massive amount of reasonable explanations of the accusations, then the problem is within the skeptic, not the church.”
      J: THAT is where you sound like EVERY OTHER FUNDAMENTALIST RELIGION! You don’t believe enough so just believe harder!
      WN: That is where the skeptics and critics sound like every other godless anti-Christ. “You Church members don’t believe enough of our accusations, so just listen to us more until we critics brainwash you into giving up your religion and accepting our interpretations.”
      J: From birth it is obvious all things that are actual facts are covered and riddled by evidence. Any thing that is true will always have repeatable processes to prove it’s truth that are consistently successful and never change if being exposed to the same conditions for testing. There is no religion on Earth based in any type of external spirituality that accomplished this proof.
      WN: Critics of the scriptures and the Church often twist or misinterpret data and call it “evidence.”
      J: Any thing that is true will always have repeatable processes to prove it’s truth that are consistently successful and never change if being exposed to the same conditions for testing.
      WN: Anything that is physically true will always have repeatable processes to prove its truth that are consistently successful and never change if being exposed to the same conditions for testing. However, things which are spiritually true or morally true or psychologically true or socially true will frequently have repeatable processes to prove their truth, but there is no guarantee that those truths will be consistently successful even if exposed to the same conditions for testing. But they are still true.
      J: There is no religion on Earth based in any type of external spirituality that accomplished this proof.
      WN: There is no moral or psychological or social organization or program which satisfies this “proof” 100 percent of the time. However, they do possess and implement truths which are of great benefit to mankind.
      J: You cite self-deception toward your conclusion and yet the idea of believing in anything without real, hard evidence is by definition, self-deception.
      WN: It is not self-deception. There is no “hard” evidence to support many of the truths recognized and utilized by social and psychological programs and organizations.
      J: The fact is, the only type of evidence ever presented is anecdotal. In science, we like to simply call that, “not evidence.”
      WN: See again “1000 Evidences.” Whether you like it or not, they are evidences. Even if not all 1000 of them are “hard” evidences, they are still evidences. Even if they are not concrete proofs, they are powerful testimonies of possible and probable truths.
      J: The remainder of your argument relies on the Church being true but you have yet to provide satisfactory evidence for this claim. This is simply because there is none.
      WN: See again “1000 Evidences.” Even “circumstantial evidence” is evidence. Even tantalizing evidence is evidence. At least you must admit that they are “possible evidences.”
      J: The development of humanity has been driven by science and reality, not the religion concocted by a charlatan.
      WN: Jesus Christ was not a charlatan. Neither was Joseph Smith.
      J: The Book of Mormon is an obvious fraud when observed under the scope of history, science and archaeology.
      WN: The Book of Mormon is NOT an obvious fraud when observed under the scope of history, science and archaeology. An honest, sincere, truth seeker who examines the historical, scientific, and archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon, as in Volume 2 of “1000 Evidences,” will at least admit that there is a possibility that the Book of Mormon if true. Then they will have to decide what the probability of that possibility is.
      J: “When it comes down to authenticity, I think actual, objective reality is far more useful than any fantastic, fictional stories can ever hope to be.”
      WN: Agreed. However, the Book of Mormon is not fantastical or fictional. It is historical and inspirational.
      J: Objective reality is science and science disagrees with your religious account of the origin of humanity and everything from there forward.
      WN: Biological evolution is compatible with our religious account even though many prefer the special creation theory.
      J: Now go ahead, say something stupid like, “Evolution is just a theory.”
      WN: Temper. Temper. It’s hard for some people to be calm, non-judgmental, and non-bigoted.
      J: Our search for truth was not so we could sin, it was to know the actual truth.
      WN: If you truly wanted to know the actual truth, you would have examined positive possibilities, alternate explanations, and logical counterarguments. You probably gave up too soon.
      J: Search for yourself with true objectivity and you will come to the same conclusion.
      WN: Search for yourself with true objectivity and you will come to the same conclusion.
      J: All religions are man made and brilliantly unoriginal.
      WN: The true Church of Jesus Christ was not man-made. It was established on Earth by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and he restored that same Church in our day with the same doctrines and organization including 12 apostles “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:11-14).
      J: The founder of the LDS Church is Joseph Smith, pure and simple.
      WN: The founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was Jesus Christ, pure and simple.
      J: I desire all to partake in the truth of all things and to demand evidence before forming their beliefs. REAL evidence. NOT feelings. Sincerely, Jimmy
      WN: Would that all would partake in the truth of all things which includes both evidence , REAL evidence, AND feelings. Sincerely, Why Not

  11. Henry Lions says:

    Very impressive “Why not”
    “1000 EVIDENCES for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,”

    Volume 1 written by the brothers Richardson and Anthony E. Bentley
    Volume 2 written by the brothers Richardson and Anthony E. Bentley

    You seem to have forgotten about the contributions of the third author, but you would not know that of course since you simply cut and pasted this part of your post directly from a response to a post on the Mormon Stories website and therefore have possibly never even saw or read a copy of the book. “1000 EVIDENCES for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Published by the inestimable Envision Press a Salt lake city vanity publishing house and printer, where any author, with a full wallet can go and happily have any book professing anything printed and published, with out having to worry about all that bothersome fact checking and peer reviewing.

    All three authors are former missionaries and their company Artisan Enterprises, does not exist on the registry of businesses, the address 10787 S. Coral Dune Dr. (3970West), South Jordan, Utah, 84095, 801-446-2392 is a private residence, I’m sure they appreciate you’re spreading that all over the net.

    Assuming this is the home address of one or other of the Richardson Brothers we must be careful therefore not to confuse these brothers with their namesakes
    Allen H. Richardson m.ed, with the respected lobbyist based in Washington
    Or
    Dr, David E. Richardson, the noted educator and chemist resident in Florida

    These two Utah residents seem to dedicate their time to establishing Artisan Enterprises, what ever it does, presumably alongside their colleague Mr. Bentley.
    I am sure we all wish them luck in their next attempt at vanity publishing their amusing fiction.

    • Bruce Nadeau says:

      Henry, I wish I would have seen this when I posted earlier. Just backing up my information.🙂

    • Why Not says:

      Wonder no longer. “Why Not” is a pen name for Dr. David E. (Earl) Richardson (PhD, M.S.), co-author of “1000 Evidences.” I thought of using “Mark Twain” as a pen name, but it was already taken. My brother Allen H. (Hart) Richardson (M.Ed.) did most of the research. If you don’t like what he compiled, mainly from non-LDS sources, you should complain to them. The third author, Anthony E. Bentley, is a nephew. He edited the first edition but did not have time to edit the latest edition “c. 2011 Revised and Enlarged by Allen H. Richardson and David E. Richardson” as noted on the second page. Anthony Bentley owns a company and has a large family. Envision Press is one of many who are in the business of publishing books. Peer reviews occasionally get it wrong. However, some of the quotations in “1000 Evidences” are from sources which doubtless have been peer reviewed. Facts are facts whether they have been peer reviewed or not.

      The true church of Jesus Christ embraces all truth from all sources whether peer reviewed or not. You can draw your own conclusions about how reliable the quotations are by contacting the references given for the quotations. The titles of the references themselves give confidence in the reliability of the quotations. Finally, there is no fiction in the two volumes. It is a monumental scholarly work based on the research and conclusions of credible non-LDS sources. Buy the books and see for yourself: “1000 EVIDENCES for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Allen H. Richardson, M.Ed., David E. Richardson, Ph.D., Artisan Enterprises, 10787 S. Coral Dune Dr. (3970 West), South Jordan, Utah, 84095, 801-446-2392, allenartisan.richardson@gmail.com.

  12. When I listen to apologists, I do not recognise the Church they represent? It is not the Church I once belonged to. It is as if they are in denial of all we were taught and lead to believe. We have now come to learn that we cannot trust prophets and apostles, because their greatest critics are the apologists themselves — so much so, that the Church does not need ex-Mormons, or so-called anti Mormons to denigrate or reject the words of these past prophets – the present Church apologists and hierarchy do it so well themselves! We have learnt from them NOT to TRUST. As I look at the denials, compromises, fudges, U turns and downright lies from the Church and its apologists they merely CONFIRM what we once feared – that it is all false. I am amazed at the arrogance and the sliding moral degradation of an organisation which has Christ’s name in its title. I thank God (or whatever may be out there) that I am no longer a member of this embarrassing and absurd system of belief.

    • Bruce Nadeau says:

      Robert, I have been out of the LDS Church for 13 years now, and I am shocked at times when I hear doctrines I grew up being taught, and that I taught on my mission no longer is taught, or like past doctrines, changed and whitewashed. I wonder how growing up in the church we as members never really noticed stuff like this? I must assume it was due to us being so brainwashed, that we must have justified the changes, or we call the ones who talk about older teachings “fried” members. No, they are not fried, they are only speaking truth, that what was taught to them, but had to change to fit with the time/era the church was facing, and we as newer members, converted or born into the church grew up with the newer revisions and never knew any better.

      If the church has changed many issues over a 13 year period that I know for myself, as I was taught, and had taught doctrines now changed, why would they not have done this for over the past 150 years? The power of brainwashing, and so happy I am free.

  13. Bruce Nadeau says:

    “Why Not?”

    Have we heard and understand the word “Pseudoscience”? “1000 EVIDENCES for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” is based on claims that have already been proven wrong via credited historians and scientists, and the book referenced is a 3rd rate piece of work, it is pseudoscience.

    The Clovis-First-Working-model and Pre Clovis period places the first peoples in North America and Central/South American coming from Siberia, areas of Mongolia and northern China via exposed ice bridges, and first started to migrate here starting approx 18000-17000 years ago, and testable evidence that has been conducted produce results over and over that could be verified by others. This is proven by DNA, archeological proof and has been mapped out by people such as Dr. Spencer Wells and Dr Alice Roberts, both well respected in their fields with good credentials, as well as supported by Penn State Unv, which also goes even further and breaks down the North American Native’s DNA by bands, along with which bands are related to which peoples that came over the ice bridge. These studies were researched by people in the field, who work outside and inside a lab, do extensive testing to make sure they get accurate results, and had their work confirmed by peer review, which the intent of is to intentionally try and prove a hypothesis wrong and if it cannot, then it becomes a scientific theory, which explains something with evidence that has been tests and confirmed. Unlike the 2 others, only one has a degree in science, and not even in a science that can be associated with the claims of the book being used as evidence to prove the LDS church correct.

    Not only does DNA confirm the Clovis-First-Model, it also places the people well over ten thousand years before “Lehi’s” family left the old world, as well it predated before the supposed Jarradites, which means the Book of Mormon is incorrect when stating that the land was given (Twice) to the characters of the Book of Mormon before anyone else had ever had it, as we would have had North, Central and South America settled by the Pre-Clovis and Clovis peoples well before the time frame given by the Book of Mormon. That is only two examples of real science showing us the correct truth, not to add in that there is no archeological evidence what so ever supporting the geography of the Book of Mormon in South or Central America. Only LDS scholars claim that there is “posits” for evidence, but even they admit there is no concrete evidence, only a few have, and they are the laughing stock of their academic field, and their credentials questionable at best. Least we forget to add that the animals claimed in the Book of Mormon have not one fossil to provide evidence to those animals being there during the time claimed in the BoM, and we should have some fossils out of the billions being found, to support the BoM, but we do not. We can also show when horses, oxen, and other domesticated animals came to the America’s and it was well after the claimed destruction of the Book of Mormon peoples. Add in there were no Elephants in the America’s, unless we want to use woolly mammoths, which would have been extinct by the time the Book of Mormon Characters came over to the America’s.

    IF we try to use the claim that the Book of Mormon events took place in what is now known as Eastern US/Can as has been claimed already, the same statement above applies, and more added to it. We have evidence that is damning for locations claimed in the BoM, where we can match them to existing known places of Smith’s time period, where the names have been for the most slightly altered some to make the Book of Mormon city name, or it has been left the very same, such as Alma, Quebec, Canada to throw one out. This is easy to look up and confirm, but I highly doubt you will, but please do. We also have a book written before the Book of Mormon was ever “found”, which tells us almost a spooky similar story, called “Views of the Hebrews” by Ethan Smith (No relation to Joseph Smith), which if one reads was plagiarized pretty much by one Joseph Smith, and again, look more into this if you want to know the truth. There is Emmanual Swedenborg, and how Smith took the 3 glories of heaven, which is a dead ringer of Swedenborgs hypothesis, which came before Smith was on the block. There is much more on this claim of the Eastern North America geography but that could be a blog on its own, and not my intent, just to bring facts up showing the Book of Mormon is not a historical book.

    So we have DNA, Pre-Clovis/Clovis-First, archeological evidence/confirmation alone to show us that the Book of Mormon is incorrect and a book of fiction created by Joseph Smith.

    The Book of Abraham has been proven without doubt by Egyptologists(Sp?) that are HIGHLY credited as being nothing more than ancient Egyptian funeral parchments, which was common to the Egyptians, and do not remotely translate to what Smith claimed, or the church still claims today. ONLY LDS scholars accept this, and make posits off of information that is at best shaky. There is a youtube video that counters an LDS Egyptologists claims that other none LDS Egyptologists support his findings, and they flat out state they do not support his findings at all, but 100% disagree with those findings. This one is a simple closed matter, and only those unwilling to look into it accept it within the church. This has been a major source of LDS members leaving the church, as this is pretty serious stuff here, claims proven 100% wrong, and openly lies about it to deceive its members.😦

    I do not have time for 1000/500 claims that have been covered and exposed for the lies they are, there is so much out there by credited and acclaimed historians and scientists showing the Book of Mormon cannot be correct based on what we can prove. I listed just a hangnail of information that is out there, that can be confirmed, and not written by three former missionaries, two with no related degrees and one with a chemists degree. Sorry, I will go with the tested and confirmed evidence by those that are in the field, and had their work peer reviewed.

    I did not leave the church because I was offended by someone or because I “sinned”, I left because the information I came across was through church study in church approved books that contradicted one another, and lead me to look deeper to understand better, or why. That lead me to confirming things I had discovered on church history that were troubling to say the least that the church did not teach at the time I was growing up, or had white washed the history. It was not even the Book of Mormon issues that had me, and I confirmed claims I came across with church approved book out of the church library, such as History of the Church (Several volumes). No it was the churches own books that condemned them as frauds, I hadn’t even gotten into the science part of all this at the time, strictly history that was verified, proven, and documented either Federally or by the State themselves as well by historians.

    I have debated those who have used claims from “1000 EVIDENCES for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…”, I have heard the arguments, and IF you seriously want to know the truth, then cross reference those claims in the book with none LDS scholars, historians and scientists and see what the differences are, and how they came to their results compared to these three co-authors. You will see two different processes, one real science via the scientific method, you will see accurate history verified by different sources contrary to what the LDS church now claims. You will not see pseudoscience or white washed history from those outside, their is no alternative motive with science, just to learn.

    I hope you take my advice and research each topic claimed in the book you cited as your source to other sources, I have no malice to the church, I am an atheist and do not believe in any faith, so I have no alternative motive either way, and btw, I do agree, LDS members are Christians, even if deceived ones, well all theists are deceived, so again, no biased there. lol

    • Why Not says:

      Bruce, “1000 Evidences” is not pseudoscience. The two volumes contain much science, history, archaeology, geography, etc. It is a collection of quotations from scholarly sources which are mainly non-LDS. Much of it has been tested and confirmed by those that are in the field, and had their work peer reviewed or else it would not have been included in the scholarly references quoted. The claims in “1000 Evidences” have not been “proven wrong.” You might not think they are highly probable, but you cannot say they are absolutely wrong. They are possibilities whether you like it or not, no matter how probable you think they are.

      An open minded person would say is that each claim is possible, even if they don’t believe is highly probable. People who do not believe in God think that anything which supports God or the scriptures or the true Church of Jesus Christ is either false or of low probability People who do believe in God are prone to think that the evidences presented in “1000 Evidences” are credible with reasonable probability that they are true.

      Even without bringing God into the discussion of how credible the claims are, there are reasonable counterarguments to each and every objection which some people, including worldly scholars, have to those claims. For example, see what I have written elsewhere in this blog about DNA, Book of Abraham, etc. Critics say what they do against these and other claims because they have only scratched the surface and jumped to conclusions without examining all that it out there as illustrated by their missing the arguments explaining DNA and Book of Abraham. Critics need to dig deeper before throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

  14. Thanks for that Bruce; clear and unequivocal.

  15. Grant Kimball says:

    “Why Not?” The burden of proof is ALWAYS on the believer to prove it true, not the unbeliever to prove it false. If the church truly believes they have the evidence to support their case then why don’t they stand up and make it? Get all your best evidences together, along with all your best reasoning, write up a scholarly, well thought out case for your claims, then put it out there for peer review. When you cite a mormon author who has written a book, specifically for the mormon buyer, and has made, literally no effort to put his “evidences” out there for scholarly review, then you are NOT making your case. Just the opposite. You, and they, are in effect screaming that you don’t have the evidence to back up your claims. 1000 “evidences” or “10,000” to an audience that already “knows” its true is no evidence at all.

  16. brianhales says:

    Hi,

    I appreciate the diplomatic approach to disagreement. You say you are not interested in apologetics, but that label could be used regarding most any comment from a believer—or not?

    A couple of weeks ago I was in Lamoni, Iowa, USA attending the John Whitmer Historical Association (JWHA) meeting. On the airplane to Kansas City, I sat by Michael Marquardt a well-known former member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He told me he was amazed at how much historical material has been recently uploaded to the LDS Church History Library website, documents that previously were difficult to access prior to their being scanned and posted electronically. He said he had downloaded over 6 gigabytes of data and finally had to stop because he didn’t have time to even catalogue what he had downloaded.

    At the JWHA meeting, I spoke with Elder Steven Snow, the Church Historian and member of the Seventy. I commented on this new openness to documents download from the Church History Library website. He responded by saying that technology is a wonderful thing allowing the Church to do things it couldn’t before. He also added that “Transparency is important.”

    As an author of six book on Mormon polygamy, I can honestly say that I have never been denied access to a document at the Church History Library. Neither has my research assistant, who I hired for two years.

    I believe your claim that the Church is hiding documents is not true from my personal experience and that of many others. Furthermore, the Joseph Smith’s Papers Project is going publish every document associated with him regardless of what it says. Is that hiding material?

    I have read hundreds of reports regarding Joseph Smith and polygamy and can tell you that half-truths, misrepresentations, and inaccuracies abound in print and on the internet. My motto: READ THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS. Don’t believe the antagonists or the apologists. You may be surprised by which voices are teaching falsehoods.

    I agree with the managing editor of the Joseph Smith Papers Project who said that he was confident that when all the documents are published, “Joseph Smith will do just fine.”

    God Bless,

    Brian Hales

    • SteveBloor says:

      Hi Brian,

      Thank you for taking the time to defend the Church but I’m afraid if you were to try to teach my old Ward what you know they’d probably feint from the shock of it. Or failing that, chase you out of the building for being a liar and scoundrel who was trying to tarnish their beloved Joseph’s reputation.

      The general membership of the Church, at least here in the UK, hasn’t got a clue about the extent of polygamy and polyandry. Nor of the other issues about the Church which are causing so many to leave at the moment. And they don’t want to know. Their particular version of the Church has been constructed over several decades from Sunday School, and Priesthood/Relief Society lessons etc and from the fear-mongering by Church leaders, both at local level and General Authorities.

      Most members here don’t even want to read the recent essays on Church History published by the Church.

      Is it not probable that any nuanced view of the Church and its despicable history is completely biased by the need for it to be true in order to maintain belief?

      Members in my old Ward won’t even read my Open Letter I sent to them because they are terrified they’ll lose their testimonies.

      My Stake President is petrified of the information I have read that he won’t even read it.

      Why would people who are so sure of their testimonies not have the confidence to consider new information, even from the likes of someone like you?

      Where does the fear come from?

      Unfortunately the evidence is stacking up against the truth claims of the Church. President Uchtdorf alluded to mistakes which the Church may have made, but without being specific about the actual issues which are causing a mass exodus or apostacy from the Church.

      It seems to me that the time has come for answers to be given by the Lord through his chosen servants. If God cares, then surely He would instruct the Brethren to help those members of the Church who are struggling to understand why He required the Mormon doctrines of polygamy, polyandry, and Blood Atonement.

      To explain the problems with the translation claims for the Book of Abraham, or the multiple and disparate versions of the First Vision of Joseph Smith Etc., Etc.

      It’s also insulting to our intelligence for the Church to say that the racist doctrines & practices of the Church in the past were “just opinions of men.” In actual fact they were taught as if from the mouth of God Himself by His Prophets on earth.

      Members of the Church are now confused in what to believe. Either the Prophets CANNOT lead us astray, or they CAN?

      This quote is very relevant:
      “The Mormon obsession with defending repulsive doctrine is heartbreaking on many levels. I believe the modern Latter-day Saint is now vastly superior in both character and integrity to the moral and ethical scoundrels they are compelled to defend. You may come to know, as I have, many Latter-day Saints who are trustworthy, dedicated, and beyond reproach in their character. Those are precisely the respectable Mormons who will hesitate or struggle to justify the obvious spiritual failures and bizarre doctrines of the church, because they know in their hearts that they and their families live far better Christian lives than those whom they are now required to defend.” ~ Lee Baker

      If God gave us intelligence. Surely He will now give us the ability to use that intelligence to decide between truth & error, based not just on emotional feelings of the spirit, but on solid rational reasoning & evidence. Or does He require us to switch off our rational minds & blindly follow leaders who haven’t really got a clue what’s going on?

      “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance — it is the illusion of knowledge.”
      ― Daniel J. Boorstin

      Brian, you may have made a choice because of your intelligence and ability to study, but the vast majority of people who join the Church are not taught about the problems with the Book of Abraham ‘translation’, or that the Book of Mormon was never translated from the Gold Plates but by a stone in a hat.

      Most people are not aware of the evolving, multiple and dispirate First Vision stories.

      The missionaries do not teach that Blacks are believed to have been less valiant in the Pre-Mortal life so were not permitted the Priesthood or Temple Marriage till 1978.

      That President Brigham Young taught as the Mouthpiece or Prophet of God that those involved in mixed racial marriages should be beheaded.

      That Joseph Smith taught that there were men living on the surface of the moon, that were reportedly dressed like Quakers and lived to be 1,000 years old.

      Or that Joseph Smith married prepubescent girls.

      Etc. Etc.

      I have lots of questions which The Brethren are staying suspiciously silent on. It is not enough for them to delegate to Mormon apologists. The Prophet and Apostles are the men called of God to lead this Church, not the apologists.

      There are literally tens of thousands of members crying out for answers.

      Yet the Brethren stay silent. Only apologising for “mistakes which may have been made.”

      They need to be more specific, what mistakes.

      I was always taught that the Prophets could not lead us astray.

      Are we now to discover that is not so?

      If it is, then how do we trust what they say today, if in 10-20 years time some other Apostle will be apologising for today’s “mistakes.”

      I wish you well.
      Steve

    • Henry Lions says:

      Dear Mr Hales
      I agree with the statements you have made but to contextualize them slightly I will turn to the old adage, “if you want to hide a leaf, put it on a forest”
      The LDS has been decrying the internet as the greatest threat to the restored gospel for some years now.
      Having wisely come to the conclusion that they cannot staunch the hemorrhaging of of historical information and having been embarrassed constantly by the ridiculous posturing and ranting of the unofficial apologist of FAIRmormon and FARMS as well as stupid comments from their own General Authorities and experts for example

      “I have a hard time with historians because they idolize the truth. The truth is not uplifting; it destroys. I could tell most of the secretaries in the church office building that they are ugly and fat. That would be the truth, but it would hurt and destroy them. Historians should tell only that part of the truth that is inspiring and uplifting.”
      Boyd K. Packer: Faithful History: Essays On Writing Mormon History, p 103, fn 22

      the only option left open to the Church was to flood the internet with so much information (mostly unimportant and/or well known) that the leaves of important truth are buried in the Autumnal fall in the forest of trivia.
      The LDS know the majority of faithful well enough to know that they will trust their church to drip feed them “the important stuff” in the Ensign and at conference and will not leap head long in to the deluge of new information, hungry for facts.
      Those who do research the facts available and publish them outside of the official channels can be immediately decried as “Anti-Mormon” and none faith promoting by the LDS without their ever mentioning that the facts published are actually true since this is irrelevant to the faithful Mormon. The word and advice of the church NOT to read something is enough and will be adhered to.
      Result the truth is hidden in plain sight in the sure and certain knowledge it will be ignored by the loyal tithe payer.
      This is part of the churches policy of spiritual hostage taking or perhaps more accurately the churches exploitation of internationally applied Stockholm syndrome.

  17. Why Not says:

    Where can I find my previous comments and responses to my comments?

  18. Why Not says:

    Thanks. I was search WhyNot rather than Why Not.

  19. William Covington says:

    The Book of Mormon is a total nonsense. When the Americans became truly American and got their claws into the land, they constructed narratives showing themselves as legitimate heirs to the country, and The Book of Mormon is one such narrative. In the introduction in the 1981 edition of the BOM, you can read the following ‘…the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians’ and in the introduction in the 2013 edition of the BOM, you can read , ‘…the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians’. Could it be that scientific advances in DNA research lends no support to the assertion that American Indians are descended from Jewish peoples?

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