Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Liars, Liars Everywhere: The Story of My "Lie Chart"

I've become rather weary of the steady anti-Mormon whining about how the Church has "lied." They've stated their complaints a thousand times, and continue to repeat such accusations on this blog. We all know the routine: Joseph lied, the temple is a lie, the Book of Mormon is a lie, Gordon B. Hinckley lied, BYU is a lie, and we are all living a lie. I'm sorry some people are so bitter about whatever bad experiences they may have had with the Church or some of its members, or about human failings in the mortals in the Church. However, this blog is not the forum to repeat such accusations.

I can understand how people can struggle with objections over various issues in the Church, but even for our devout opponents to call EVERYTHING a lie and to be able to see only the negative in every aspect of the Church represents tragic blindness.

The harping about how the Church has "lied" to us all reminds me of a phase I went through around age 6. I became convinced that my dear mother was a horrid liar, and began keeping a chart with tick marks for every time she "lied." My indignation began one summer day when I asked for a popsicle. She said not now, but that I could have one when we got back from shopping later that day. A couple hours later, we returned and ate lunch. It was probably a big lunch - I was a big eater then and was fairly overweight. I then asked for a popsicle and she said no, probably because I had already eaten too much. I cried and protested but she said I would have to wait a while longer. While I can safely report that, over the years, I have eaten dozens of popsicles since returning from the store that summer day, I was nevertheless outraged at my mother's lie and felt betrayed. While her words "after we get back" were hardly meant as a promise or, shall we say, a "prophecy," the temporary delay in its fulfillment convinced me that there was a fatal flaw with my mother, though she is truly an honest and highly moral person and has always been a great mother. Over the next week or so I began scrutinizing her every statement, looking for more examples of "lies," and was up to a count of about 60 when I came to my senses. It's easy to find "lies" when that's your goal! "She said we'll eat in 10 minutes - ah hah, it's already been 20. Where's my pencil?"

I'm not quite sure what sparked the change in my deadly attitude - it may have been a Primary lesson on forgiving or honoring your parents. Wait, I think it was something I heard in a lesson about how if we don't forgive, we have the greater sin, or not judging unrighteously - something like that. And I think she did something especially sweet and loving for me one day that reminded me that this was no villain lurking in my home. The chart came down, the "watching for evil" mentality was dropped, and I soon found that I was not such a victim as I had thought. In fact, looking back over the years, I don't think she's ever actually lied to me.

Unreasonable expectations, honest misunderstandings, and natural human flaws can, with the right lens, be magnified into massive "lies." As we use that lens to view everything around us, eventually we turn it toward God, the source of all light, and, like those who stare at the sun through a magnifying glass, quickly go beyond merely warped vision to total blindness. Forgiveness, patience, and faith are required if we are to avoid the bitter traps of condemning others unjustly. To those who are bitter and blinded by the faults of others, put the lens down, have an ounce of charity and forgiveness, quit focusing on the flaws of other mortals, and instead try to see the big picture that includes God's love for you and the great blessings of the marvelous work and a wonder that is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

How appropriate are the words of Isaiah in his prophecy dealing with the Restoration and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, as found in Isaiah 29. Here are a few relevant verses:
14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. . . .

18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off:

21 That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.

22 Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.

23 But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.

24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.
Those who pore over the words of Church leaders to make men offenders for their words, finding "lies" and reasons to be offended, put the lens down and stop being blind. Hear the words of the book that has been preserved and brought forth in our day, the Book of Mormon. Seek understanding, stop murmuring, and come unto Christ. Yes, there are flawed humans in the Church, but we are not here for the humans, but for Christ and eternal salvation.

In saying this, I do not mean that we should skirt the issues that are raised. My LDSFAQ section of my Web site, FARMS, FAIRLDS.org, should provide abundant evidence that members of the Church are willing to discuss the controversies that others raise and dig into details of evidence and fact. But I hope that our critics will become a little more generous, a little more willing to actually read and debate the things we discuss instead of just making the endless accusation of "lie, lie, lie."

A good place to explore specifics, perhaps for my next post, would be the issues around the Book of Mormon and the Book of Abraham. Those who accuse Joseph Smith of lying in these matters really need to take a step back and consider the validity of their negative paradigm. If it's all a lie, for example, how do you explain the origins of those documents and the impressive "direct hits" that are increasingly coming to light?

{Paragraph 2 and the last two paragraphs were added at 5:24 PM Central Time.}

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

My goodness, this is remarkably incoherent, even for you, Jeff! Your argument is that we should disregard possible lies in church history and doctrine because the truth of the chuch is more important than the lies. Yet those who think the major faith claims involved in church history and doctrine are lies would--as a direct logical consequence of this belief--reject the notion that there is an important underlying truth in the church. Furthermore, this rejection is reasonable and rational, given such beliefs.

If you want to engage with these people, you need to address specific arguments and specific instances of apparent lies. You can't bring them to Christ by an appeal to something that they don't believe.

On the other hand, if the purpose of this post is to pat yourself on the back for being a member of the secret truth club, I think you're right on track.

As a faithful Latter-day Saint, I find this kind of horrible question-begging by defenders of the faith embarrasing. Indeed, I think it quickly becomes a tool of the devil. It supports a smug in-group sentiment among members and doesn't promote dialogue or even missionary work with respect to people outside the group.

Repent, Jeff, repent!

-Samuel the 21st-Century Lamanite

Frank said...

Drawing analogies between popsicle-eating and the truthfulness of a religious creed is facile at best.

True or false, Mormonism can divide friends and families, soak up one's time and money, and radically change one's world view for life.

Those who are practicing Mormons must come to grips with that reality just as those who argue against it must recognize that it isn't going away anytime soon.

But don't just brush off the critics as children.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jeffs post. At the MTC I think all Missionaries should be promised after they return from the Temple they will get popsicles and taught this lesson.

AlexG said...

The problem with the characterisation of some events in Church history presented by critics is that the 'scholarly' approach that they utilise is quite flawed, in that they mostly present facts severed from their original context or 'half quotes'. One common characteristic that I perceive about some critics is that they have left the Church over some minor disagreement that was made a major issue. I would not characterise critics as small children, yet most of them seem to have a quite 'adolescent' trait in that they expect perfection of every Church authority. Davis Bitton, former Church historian, has given an interesting view of such approach, critising the Church from its history. If a members' testimony hangs on the perfection or the actions of some leader (what ever level), this testimony is not cemented on firm ground and can be easily blown up. From the information posted by several critics on why they left the Church, it appears that this is the case.

The link to Bitton's address can be found in the following link:

http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/conf/2004BitD.html

Alex G

Walter said...

Frank said: "But don't just brush off the critics as children."

You're missing the point.

It would be one thing to dismiss the critics and their arguments by asserting they are merely childish. But Jeff hasn't done this. His website has significant depth around the issues critics raise about the church. This shows a willingness to address the issues, rather than dismiss them.

Jeff's point (and I agree), is that there is a significant amount of childish behavior that critics of the church display. Have you ever spent time reading posts on the ex-mormon boards. Calling members of the church "morg-bots" is childish. Removing posts from members of the church that respond to criticism is childish. It is a very silly and childish community.

If there are issues, let's debate them. If someone asserts that DNA is problematic for the Book of Mormon, let's explore why or why not. But it becomes childish when a scientist like Simon Sutherton loses faith in the church but chooses to remain a member while publicly criticizing the church, and then pouts when he is not excommunicated on his terms.

Examples of childishness abound.

Mormanity said...

The fact that my focus on "lies" occurred at a young age is not to suggest that anti-Mormons are inherently childish, or that intelligent adults cannot become obsesses with what they think are lies. But I do think the tendency to say that the whole Church is a lie and to repeat this over and over, often in inappropriate forums, is based on blindness and even a degree of immaturity. Yes, I have worked to address the issues that are said to be lies on my LDSFAQ section of my Website.

Natalie said...

Wow, Jeff, that made absolutely NO sense at all. But I realize today is fast Sunday, and you probably hadn't eaten anything when you wrote it. Have a good meal and come back and look at it.

I think you'll be hitting the delete button.

Frank said...

Walter said:

"It (ex-mormon groups) is a very silly and childish community" after telling me that I missed the point about brushing these groups off as children.

So he brushes these groups off as children.

Ex-mos shouldn't stereotype Mormons, and Mormons shouldn't stereotype ex-mos. Those who are critical, like Quinn, Palmer, Southerton, Murphy, et al are serious men, with issues and evidence that the church must address. And there is a lot at stake. Hiding behind the immaturity of some is just as egregious as shouting "lie" without evidence.

Walter said...

Frank said: "Hiding behind the immaturity of some is just as egregious as shouting 'lie' without evidence."

No one is "hiding behind the immaturity" of anyone. Jeff has responded in detail to the DNA and other issues. Personally, I have read Quinn and others who are critical of the church so that I can understand their points. (I am not active in apologetics. I have found it a rather fruitless endeavor. And this exchange is a good reminder of how things often go.)

Could you please explain how a person like Jeff -- who has spend countless hours responding to critics and their issue -- is "hiding" behind anything?

Walter said...

Natalie --

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make, although it appears Jeff's post made you a bit irritated. (Jeff irritates me too, but for different reasons. You should see the ugly dress shirts he wears to work!)

You say that since Jeff won't address the issues on his site, you'll address his post on your blog. Your comments merely poke fun at Jeff for having low blood sugar on fast Sunday, and then you end with a quip about three account of the First Vision, implying that somehow that shows the church is a lie.

I think you would be more persuasive if you actually addressed what Jeff has already written about the First Vision, rather than providing an example of the exact point Jeff was making in his post.

See:

http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_first_vision.shtml

Anonymous said...

Haha I understood your post, Jeff. And I too get frustrated and saddened by the efforts of anti-Mormons. They have the disguise of wanting to be good people and help latter-day saints see the light, but they don't take responsibility for their own actions; what I see from them is not what I would expect to see from "good people" trying to help others. I wish I could pity them more, but too often I see a difference in lifestyle rather than just a difference in beliefs.

Anyway, yeah I don't know how much good this post actually did. I was amused by the thought of your "lie chart." Nevertheless, the parallel between your mother and the church leaders is rather weak. We shouldn't minimalize peoples' concerns about the church as if they are 5 year olds; when you were 15, did your mother still treat you like you were in preschool? No, I think you should just keep addressing their concerns as best you can, as you've been doing. If they don't believe as you do, so be it. People have a right to their belief. You still are helping many many people with your website; don't forget that just because a few anti-mormons get you frustrated. The issues are real and shouldn't be ignored. When we have forgiveness and charity in our hearts, we will see the truth for what it is and won't expect perfection from church leaders.

Natalie said...

But the popsicle story was just so POIGNANT, Walter. I'm also sorry to hear Jeff wears ugly dress shirts.

I read Jeff's circular reasoning about the first visions, and frankly, it doesn't stand up. It's a "I THINK HE MEANT" kind of explanation. That's all fine and dandy, if it works for you. And I'm aware it does work for some people.

I appear to be missing the Mormon gene, because I like my beliefs to have basis in fact and not in burning bosoms.

Kirk H. Sowell said...

I think where there is some basis for claiming that the church has "lied" is in regard to its history. When I was at BYU, I checked a lot of alleged "changes" in church history from the original sources (i.e. Times & Seaons, etc.) to the official version and many of the texts were changed without brackets or ellipses being added. This would get any professional history fired for sure.

Also somewhat deceptive (although not necessarily intentionally) is the "Teachings of the Presidents of the Church" series. Having read numerous speechs by Brigham Young and then reading the sanitized version in Priesthood was like reading about two different people. To an extent many churches do this, emphasizing scriptures which they think support them and ignoring the others, but at least with regard to the Old Testament Baptists (for example) could argue that it was the old covenant, and they didn't really believe in it.

But B. Young's teachings would pretty largely still be relevant today, except that many have now been repudiated. I think church members should be aware that they aren't just reading "The Teachings of Joseph F. Smith" or whoever.

Anonymous said...

"This would get any professional history fired for sure."

Sure, if a professional historian had done it... Historiography worked very differently a century ago.

Stephen said...

When you get older, the obsessive/compulsive characterization of things as "lies" is usually referred to as mental illness rather than immaturity.

Jeff was taking a mild approach to part of the issue. Interesting to read the way people responded, it tells me a lot about those posting.

Anonymous said...

I think this post today is a good example of what frustrates many people about Mormons. Everything the church does is right and anyone that questions the church is wrong. Jeff did not say that, but show me anywhere on his site where he said that the church has been wrong about anything. When everytime someone questions the church is being 'influenced' by Satan, it says something. It says something about a church that teaches its members that anyone speaking ill of its onointed are influenced by Satan.
When someone questions what Mormon prophets have said and done, it is explained away as not important, not true, or not understood by the non-mormon. Never have I seen the Mormon church ever say that one of their Prophets was wrong about anything. How can it be that a church that is 175 years old never be wrong? Or that one of the many Prophets never be wrong. Or that any doctrine they have never be wrong and needing changing. (BTW, Susan Black in her history of the Prophets class at BYU talks a lot about some of the doctrinal changes in the church, but you would never hear that from mormon apologists like Jeff)
From what I have read on Jeff's sites, every time he studies some doctrine about the church, he arrives at the conclusion that the church is right and that the antis are wrong. Every time some part of Mormon history is brought up as something negative, Jeff investigates it and comes to the conclusion that, you guessed it. The church was in the right. Have you ever seen jeff arrive at any conclusion that is not favorable to his belief system? His studies have shown 100% of the time that Jeff and the Mormon church are right and the 'antis' are wrong. That is very telling about his research. The way that many Mormon posters respond to these posts and comments is very telling. Hearing anything negative or somewhat questioning of their belief system brings out the beast in them. They are walking belief systems and to question it is to question their being. One little chink in their belief system armour and they fall apart. I guess that is why they defend the church to the death, putting aside logic and reason.
I'm sure this like any other post that is not favorable to Jeff will fall on deaf ears. Ever notice how only the people that agree with Jeff in their comments are right and that anyone that questions his posts are wrong? Telling

Anonymous said...

The references to anti mormons being "childish" bothers me. the church is full of childish adults. There are many that are abusive in leadership. At least there are more than you would expect.

LDS people are typically and often very RUDE when discussing other churches. They hold other churches in contempt. In our Ward it is not unheard of to hear of how bad the Catholic church is from our pulpit. I remember one person making reference to "blacks in Milwaukee". I remember an anti-Catholic poem being passed out in Releif Society.

From our pulpit I have heard how easy it is to be a Wisconsin farmer because they dont have to work as hard as a farmer in the west. (That was from a mission president).

Then the BYU grads come to our area and act like we folk in the mission field are completely uneducated.

We recently had a musician move from BYU to our area. People made comments: Now we have a good LDS musician in the area. I was shocked since I thought there already were a couple of good musicians in the area.

But in Wisconsin we all wear bib overalls, and spend our weekends in Bars and Bowling alleys. (That has been said numerous time by a Stake Presidents counselor.

Mormanity said...

The last commentor speaks as if he's read my writings carefully, but I think he's ly-- I mean, I think he might have not put much effort into his investigation. The fact that mortal Church leaders and prophets have made mistakes, just like prophets of old, is an important issue on my Web pages, one that is mentioned rather often. The theory that prophets should be infallible and living in a stream of constant revelation for every trivial matter ("choose the cerel box on the lower shelf, Gordon - it has the instant winner prize in it") is a straw man and an apostate construct out of harmony with true LDS doctrine.

A highly referenced page in my writings and on this blog is the one on the fallibility of prophets at http://www.jefflindsay.com/fallible.shtml. I also raise the possibility of human error in my discussions on changes in the Book of Mormon, First Vision accounts, blacks and the priesthood, perplexing statements of Brigham Young pertaining to the Adam-God Theory, science versus evolution, the purchase of the so-called Salamander papers, etc. And the idea that there have been changes in the Church is hardly a secret to us Mormons. There were major inspired changes in the early Christian Church, such as the revelation that the Gospel was to go to the Gentiles (who could also have the priesthood, after centuries of exclusion) in Acts 10. We've also made changes in the Temple, changes in priesthood rules, changes in the organization of the Church and its programs, and have grown in understanding in many areas. How can you have a church guided by revelation without learning new things, without realizing that old assumptions were limited, or some old practices need to be updated or discarded? Critics love to cry foul, but this kind of change follows the ancient prophet of God leading His people through living prophets, instituting covenants and teachings as He sees fit.

That last poster seems shocked that I don't agree with anti-Mormons. Well, sorry that offends you.

Anonymous said...

The worst thing to destroy our local ward was when a man and his family "blew in" from mormondom. He immediately set up his AMWAY organization. He preyed on the weak in the church and he found them. He used the church to push AMWAY, even recruiting people i the Chapel before and after Sacrament.

MANY lies were told. People were told how rich they would become.

All of the weak members that signed up to become rich with AMWAY no longer attend church. The AMWAY leader blew away after he was canned from his real job in the area.

Destroyed many in our Ward. He brought a spirit of contention as the ward for a period became you were either part of the AMWAY group, or you were not part of the AMWAY group.

Now---4 years later--nobody in the
ward is active AMWAY. It has made things much better.

Anonymous said...

The worst thing to destroy our local ward was when a man and his family "blew in" from mormondom. He immediately set up his AMWAY organization. He preyed on the weak in the church and he found them. He used the church to push AMWAY, even recruiting people i the Chapel before and after Sacrament.

MANY lies were told. People were told how rich they would become.

All of the weak members that signed up to become rich with AMWAY no longer attend church. The AMWAY leader blew away after he was canned from his real job in the area.

Destroyed many in our Ward. He brought a spirit of contention as the ward for a period became you were either part of the AMWAY group, or you were not part of the AMWAY group.

Now---4 years later--nobody in the
ward is active AMWAY. It has made things much better.

Bookslinger said...

Anon said:
----------------
I think this post today is a good example of what frustrates many people about Mormons. Everything the church does is right and anyone that questions the church is wrong. Jeff did not say that, but show me anywhere on his site where he said that the church has been wrong about anything. When everytime someone questions the church is being 'influenced' by Satan, it says something. It says something about a church that teaches its members that anyone speaking ill of its onointed are influenced by Satan.
----------------

That is a gross mischaracterization of Jeff's web site and his blog. Thank-you for that post. It reveals more about you and your tactics than it does about Jeff. And it bolsters Jeff's stance more than the antis'.

I admit that some of the comments from the Pro-Mormon Peanut Gallery have been snarky. But Jeff has written/spoken in the measured words and polite tones that become an LDS Bishop.

Go ahead and keep up the mischaracterizations. He's eventually going to get tired of this and either turn off comments, or just stop responding.

You're justifying the advice that LDS leaders have given since Jospeh Smith's time: Keep a record of the attacks, but don't revile against the revilers. And as Parley Pratt said, responding to the anti's just wastes our time and keeps us from more important things.

Bookslinger said...

Amway commenter:

Yup, there are wolves in the sheepfold. And some of us, especially me, do have a tendency to Nephite disease.

rcbeetle said...

Jeff,

I appreciate the efforts you make every day to share your personal beliefs and knowledge with others using the Internet. I can personally witness that your website has provided me answers and insights to issues that cause many to stumble. We need more voices like your own on the Internet.

In response to some of the comments made on your post, I would submit that this church is exactly what it claims to be, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Because it is led by a Prophet of God who receives direct revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ, it is unique in regards to authority and it's mandate compared with the way other Christian Churches are led today. Quite simply, it is led in a definitive fashion which many find to be foreign and offensive. But remember, it is led by God through His Prophets and not man.

We, as members of the church, are commanded to exercise our faith to follow the Prophet. Our faith is not blind however. Gratefully the power of the Holy Ghost does testify of the truthfulness of the gospel taught to us by ancient and modern Prophets. The "burning in the bosom" experiences I receive by the power of the Holy Ghost confirm to me that the Lord loves me and that my faith is not in vain. I find that the frequency of such experiences increases as I ponder more carefully the words of the scriptures with a willingness to obey. I love the references to the power of the Holy Ghost and how Nephi uses it found in 1 Nephi 10.

rcbeetle said...

Jeff,

I appreciate the efforts you make every day to share your personal beliefs and knowledge with others using the Internet. I can personally witness that your website has provided me answers and insights to issues that cause many to stumble. We need more voices like your own on the Internet.

In response to some of the comments made on your post, I would submit that this church is exactly what it claims to be, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Because it is led by a Prophet of God who receives direct revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ, it is unique in regards to authority and its mandate compared with the way other Christian Churches are led today. Quite simply, it is led in a definitive fashion which many find to be foreign and offensive. But remember, it is led by God through His Prophets and not man.

We, as members of the church, are commanded to exercise our faith to follow the Prophet. Our faith is not blind however. Gratefully the power of the Holy Ghost does testify of the truthfulness of the gospel taught to us by ancient and modern Prophets. The "burning in the bosom" experiences I receive by the power of the Holy Ghost confirm to me that the Lord loves me and that my faith is not in vain. I find that the frequency of such experiences increases as I ponder more carefully the words of the scriptures with a willingness to obey. I love the references to the power of the Holy Ghost and how Nephi uses it found in 1 Nephi 10.

Anonymous said...

WAIT….. You mean to tell me after all these years I’ve been DUPED? After all this time I thought I was so smart. Why didn’t someone tell me this before? After all these years I’ve been faithful to my wife and children, I’ve shunned pornography, avoided alcohol, tobacco, and harmful drugs. I’ve tried to be unselfish, put others needs as important as my own, paid tithing, fast offerings, and missionary offerings. I was honest as I could be to everyone, even the taxman. I tried to love the Lord with my whole heart and soul, as well as my neighbor, and even my enemy. I’ve prayed, and had family home evenings with my family. I have tried to share the gospel with my friends. Them lyin’ snakes!!! After all, what did I get out of it all? What good did it do for ME?? All I got was a fulfilling intimate relationship with my wife, incredibly successful kids that love and respect me, freedom from alcoholism, addictions, DUI’s, STD’s, and PBJ’s (well maybe not that). I can’t believe how stupid I have been!!! I must have been crazy. That could be the only explanation for it. I should have moved to Salt Lake City years ago, maybe I would have recognized the lies there. I have been in Texas too long. Maybe if I had been in Salt Lake City I could have stopped those lyin’ snakes from buying Main Street and turning it into the monstrosity that it is. All those trees, flower beds, and reflecting pond, and most of all: restricted free speech on private property!! What were they thinking? I liked the asphalt and traffic better. I could have sued. I know I could have got the guys with the underwear around their necks to join with me. I could have been a card carrying member of the great and spacious building, pointing my finger of scorn and derision at the believers. It would have been SO FUN to make fun of other people for their beliefs. Why did I believe them for so long? Them lyin’ snakes. I should have left my wife years ago, and bought a subscription to Playboy. After all, a Playboy wouldn’t hog the covers like my wife does. I should have just stolen the things I wanted, instead of working for them. I should have gone to Vegas and had a little fun at the craps tables, and getting obese at the cheap buffets. I could have had a few Corvettes with all the tithing and offerings I’ve paid over the years. Damn. WAIT… Every time I crack the bible I see the same lies being taught. We must worn everyone of the danger of this evil book too. Maybe someone should start an email chain or something. We have got to get the word out. These lying, deceiving snakes must be stopped. I must have been delusional and hallucinogenic to listen to them for so long.

Candid Schizophrenic
Fort Worth, Texas

Anonymous said...

Is it too much to ask for honesty of people who expect me to do whatever they say? (Gordon Hinckley, Ensign November 2003, pp. 113)

Anonymous said...

Funny how many of us know how to live our lives in a fulfilling way that promotes happiness at home and a successful career. Texas poster needs a religion to tell him how to do it and make him feel good about himself. Without a religion he would not have remaied faithful to his wife and abstained from harmful drugs. Brilliant! Yo Texas, good thing you got yourself some religion so as to keep you in line there. You Mormons sure got the market cornered on morality and clean living. The rest of the world can't figure out how to live successful lives. You are lucky to have a living prophet that receives inspiration to lead you. As G Hinkely himself said, his communication with God is just a feeling he gets after praying. WOW that is fantastic. An old man in SL that prays real hard and then considers how he feels about what he's prayed about and this is the leadership you follow? Baa Baa
Thanks Texas, you are a perfect living example, of a sheep.

Bookslinger said...

Anon said:
"Thanks Texas, you are a perfect living example, of a sheep."

That's what some atheists told me after I accepted Christ as my Savior back when I was a teenager.

I think that epithet has been used against Christians in all ages. It was probably used against the children of Israel who followed Moses, too.

Jesus described his followers as sheep, and himself as the Good Shepherd. So maybe it's not such a bad word after all.

I did a pretty good job of messing up my life whenever I rejected Christian principles, so apparently I do need a system to follow.

Do you have any alternate suggestions for a philosophy or a way of life that has nice support systems built into it, like caring leaders, people willing to be your friends, congregations all over the world, activities for youth and single adults, weekly classes that teach boys and men how to be better husdands and father, and weekly classes that teach girls and women how to be better wives and mothers?

Do the Moose, Elks, VFW, American Legion, Masons, etc., come close?

The Masons must be at least somewhat okay, because Joseph Smith is accused of borrowing stuff from them. I understand the Masons teach men how to be better husbands, fathers, and citizens too.

Is there any good organization out there that offers a feeling of belonging and all those warm fuzzies that _doesn't_ have a leader or leaders? The Democratic party, maybe? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

I kind of liked the Boy Scouts for a year or two when I was in Jr. high school. But as an adult, where can I go to learn how to have a fulfilling life, happiness at home, and a successful career like you? My parents didn't teach me. And no one has given me any instruction manuals on life.

Where did you learn the fulfilling life, happiness at home, and successful career thing? Did it just come naturally? How do you teach, convey, or replicate your fulfillment, happiness and success for people who weren't able to pick it up like you did?

How do fulfilled, happy and successful parents convey the secrets of those things to their kids? Do the kids get it just by osmosis or power of example? Or are there books, classes, organizations, and systems to pass along the keys of fulfillment, happiness and success?

If I could find such a system outside of religion, it might be worth checking out, and save me 10% of my income, and allow me to drink cappucino, latte's, and have that occasional Drambuie that I used to like.

Anonymous said...

Some antis may find this ironic, as I just experienced a "tender mercy of the Lord." I have had a porn addiction for many years now, and have been trying to quit for nearly as long. It has a powerful hold on me, and even after I pray for strength I give in to weakness. So I was looking at porn this morning when my grandma came over, so I minimixed the windows I had open and decided to check out Jeff's blog instead.

Whoever left that link for the Prophet's 2003 address is an ANSWER TO A PRAYER; as I went to the church website to look it up, there was a link right there for the recent New Era Q&A about pornography. Then I read the link for Hinckley's 1998 priesthood talk about Living Worthy of Future Wives. It took all this before the porn desire finally left and i was able to close the minimized windows i still had open.

I did finally make it to the article that anonymous poster referenced: it's a wonderful talk by the Prophet towards women. What in that whole talk is so wrong? Eh I don't really care. What matters to me is that as I investigated that anti's attempt to turn me against the prophet's words (one thing I don't think i will ever do), I was somehow sidetracked and it saved me.. at least for today. Thank you, anti. May God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Jeff, your saying that Prophets are human is not the same as saying you think the Prophet was wrong. Never once have I seen you ever say that you thought the church was wrong or that the prophet was wrong. I have never seen the church ever say they have been wrong about anything either. Has it never been wrong? I imagine at times it has. But you would never know that from reading your studies that always arrive at the same conclusion. The church is right.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, you're anonymous guy still hasn't bothered to read your web site. As one example, your page on fallibility begins with a discussion of how Joseph Smith's ERROR resulted in the lost 116 pages. Among other things, it has this sentence: "Joseph Fielding Smith felt that man would never go to the moon. When he was proven wrong . . ."

But he did get one thing right: see his last sentence.

Anonymous said...

Prov.28 26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but who so walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

Matt.7 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matt.24
[11] And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
[24] For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mark.13 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

Luke.6 26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

2Pet.2 1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

1John.4 1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

John.14 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me

Acts.16 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

John.3 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
[17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Rev.22 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
[19] And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book