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

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Human Cost of Drawing People Away from Faith

Anti-Mormon zeal brings a high human cost, in my opinion. Sometimes I see people who seem to value attacking Mormonism more than actually helping the people they are supposedly trying to save. For some it seems more desirable to drag people into anything other than Mormonism. For some any tactic seems justified to "rescue" a Mormon. A painful example I am watching involves the ex-husband of a relative of mine who is so keen on keeping his troubled young adult daughter away from Mormons that he did all he could to pull her out the safe setting she had finally found with LDS relatives and bring her back near a place where she had previously been entangled in drugs and other horrific problems.

She has been rescued from the Mormons, where she was engaging in such vices as prayer, attending sacrament meetings, and having a steady job and a drug-free life. Back near her old friends and away from the support she needed, she is now on the path of tragedy and self-destruction. But at least she isn't acting like a Mormon. It's not all his fault, of course, but his intervention to bring his daughter away from Mormons, fueled by his anti-Mormon zeal, was a critical turning point. We are praying that there will be another turning point toward healing and happiness again.

I know many who leave the Church publicly declare how much better their lives are when they leave. It may be so, and some did face genuine problems, pressures, or disappointments in the Church. There are good people who leave the Church for what may be good reasons to them, and I know some who go on to have productive, happy lives with good relationships and good careers and meaningful service to society.  I hope people of any faith will experience such blessings and success. But I think there is great joy that the LDS faith, properly lived and understood, brings into the lives of its members. Breaking that connection is not worth the zeal that many put into their anti-Mormon efforts.

The LDS faith has never been an especially easy religion, and our human mistakes in the Church can make it much worse and unnecessarily difficult for some. Yes, there are genuine complaints that sincere former members can raise. But a high fraction of the people I know who have left the Church seem to have lost a great deal in their lives. Especially when the move out of the Church is into a world without the grounding of religion, the loss and the pain seems to be great, as it is for the young adult woman we know and love who is entangled again with destructive influences. Is her father's gain worth what she has lost?

For those whose goal or end effect is to replace Mormon or any fervent Christian faith with atheism, their work seems especially misguided. Of course, when it comes to religion and its benefits, I am biased. So was Nobel Literature laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (d. 2008), quoted by Daniel Peterson in his outstanding presentation at the 2017 FAIRMormon Conference, "What Difference Does It Make?" (transcript and video available at FAIRMormon.org). Peterson quotes from the opening lines of Solzhenitsyn's 1983 lecture sometimes titled “Godlessness: The First Step to the Gulag”:
More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

What is more, the events of the Russian Revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire 20th century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God.
Those who remember God, at least those who believe in God and participate in organized religion based on studies in the US and Europe, as Peterson discusses in his presentation, experience higher mental health, physical health, healthier marriages, higher rates of charitable giving and service, and many other factors that our society should welcome and encourage. Instead, though, religion, particularly Christian religion, is disparaged from numerous angles by the elites in our society.

Among several sources Peterson relies on is Dr. Rodney Stark, a leading authority on the sociology of religion with a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, where he held appointments as a research sociologist at the Survey Research Center and at the Center for the Study of Law and Society and later was professor of sociology and professor of comparative religion at the University of Washington. In 2004 he became Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences and co-director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. Peterson draws upon his 2012 book, America's Blessings: How Religion Benefits Everyone, Including Atheists. An excerpt from Peterson;s presentation dealing with Christian religion in general and not Mormonism in particular, is still relevant to my concerns regarding the occasional loss of faith resulting from casualties of anti-Mormon zeal:

As I’ve already noted, fashionable schools of psychology have long taught that religion either contributes to mental illness or is itself a dangerous species of psychopathology. But the evidence, says Professor Stark, “shows overwhelmingly that religion protects against mental illness.” For example, persons with strong, conservative religious beliefs are less depressed than those with weak and loose religious beliefs. “They are happier, less neurotic, and far less likely to commit suicide.”

Religious people are more likely to marry and to stay married than their irreligious counterparts, and, on the whole, they express greater satisfaction with their marriages and their spouses. They are far less likely to have extramarital affairs. In addition, “Religious husbands are substantially less likely to abuse their wives or children.” Mother-child relationships are stronger for frequent church attenders than for those who rarely if ever go to church, and for mothers and children who regard religion as very important, they’re stronger than for those church-attenders who don’t value religion so highly. Precisely the same thing holds for the level of satisfaction of teenagers with their families. Greater religiosity means higher satisfaction.

Strongly religious persons seem, all other things being equal, to enjoy reduced risks of heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure or hypertension than those who are less religious, and seem to recover better from coronary artery bypass surgery. The average life expectancy of religious Americans is more than seven years longer than that of the irreligious. Moreover, “a very substantial difference remains” even when the effects of “clean living” have been factored out.
Religious students tend to get better grades than do their non-religious counterparts, as well as to score higher on all standardized achievement tests. They are less likely to be expelled or suspended or to drop out of school, and are more likely to do their homework.

Religious Americans are also, on average, more successful in their careers than are the irreligious. They obtain better jobs and are less likely to find themselves unemployed or on welfare.

Committed religious believers are less likely to patronize astrologers or to believe in the occult and the paranormal than are nonbelievers. On the other hand, though they’re often caricatured as ignorant, churchgoers are more likely to read, to patronize the arts and to enjoy classical music than are non-churchgoers.

“Translated into comparisons with Western European nations,” writes Professor Stark, addressing an American audience, “we enjoy far lower crime rates, much higher levels of charitable giving, better health, stronger marriages, and less suicide, to note only a few of our benefits from being an unusually religious nation.”

None of these facts proves religious claims true, of course. But they certainly undermine the old accusation that religion is unhealthy and antisocial.

As Harvard’s Robert Putnam expresses it in his famous book Bowling Alone, believing churchgoers are “much more likely than other persons to visit friends, to entertain at home, to attend club meetings, and to belong to sports groups; professional and academic societies; school service groups; youth groups; service clubs; hobby or garden clubs; literary, art, discussion, and study groups; school fraternities and sororities; farm organizations; political clubs; nationality groups; and other miscellaneous groups.”

“So,” asks Mary Eberstadt in her book How the West Really Lost God, “is it in society’s interest to encourage Christian practice?” She then provides her own response. “The answer is: only so far as it is in society’s interest to encourage quality of life, enhanced health, happiness, coping, less crime, less depression, and other such benefits associated with religious involvement.”
Perhaps not all of these benefits are experienced by Mormons, but in my experience all or nearly all  are.  Fortunately, some members of the Church if they choose to leave stay involved in many of the good things they were doing before -- service, family prayer, diligent study, temperance, etc. -- but too many drift into other paths, far from their roots, far from where they should be, and find themselves allegedly happier but without the grounding the Restored Gospel gave them. Losing faith in God is not a healthy step, in my opinion. Giving up on prayer and the grounding of a personal relationship with Christ and the gifts of the Holy Spirit represents a tragic loss, in my opinion. May we do a better job in helping our people grow in their faith and find the fullness of joy that is possible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is much to lose, and yes, it does make a different because, as Peterson explains, Christ makes all the difference.

72 comments:

Mormography said...

Is this a confession of guilt that it was wrong to refer to other religions as great and abominable whores soliciting corrupt professors in the employ of Satan?

Anonymous said...

What I'm wondering is how you justify the fact that the #LDS people have higher than average depression, opioid abuse and LGBTQ suicides?

Jeff Lindsay said...

Utah, unlike the neighboring states of Idaho and Arizona, also high in Mormons, does have the highest rate of prescribed antidepressants. But that rate does not necessarily say anything about the influence of religion upon the lives of those who live it. Studies looking at that issue generally show LDS religion has a positive effect. See the FAIRMormon page on the issue of antidepressants.

Anonymous said...

And why is teen suicide higher in Davis County Utah than anywhere else in the USA? What is the mormon church doing, if anything, about this aside from constantly reminding the membership that they must be perfect in all things all the time?
Here's what helped me and my wife transition out of the church (and get this: we still consider ourselves Christians): we won't want what the LDS church offers as the ultimate in salvation. The LDS church teaches that polygamy is an absolute requirement for the highest level of the celestial kingdom. NO THANKS! Everything else fell into place when we realized we did not want what they pretend to promise. We still believe we'll be together (literally ever Christian denomination believes this), but we don't have the sword of absolute perfection hanging over us at every single turn. Good night.

Ramer said...

The LDS church teaches that polygamy is an absolute requirement for the highest level of the celestial kingdom.

Uh... no it doesn't. I've heard this one before, and I can guarantee that this is taking one isolated statement out of context.

Faenrandir Turion said...

Thank you for your thoughtful post. Any effort to expose members to LDS truth-claim data, or alter their living environment, must take into account some overall cost-benefit analysis of exposure or environmental disruption, and I think most former members would agree (this kind of cost-benefit discussion happens regularly on ex-mormon forums, for instance)

Of course, former members likely do not weigh the helps and harms in the same way active members do, so that may account for some of the vigor with which former members pursue their proselytization.

Helps and Harms

The Pros and Cons of Mormonism

Finally, please be aware of the religious engagement paradox, which is a well documented sociological phenomenon, and has particular implications for those in wealthier nations:

> "Curiously, irreligious places (nations, states) and highly religious individuals tend to exhibit high levels of health, wellbeing, and prosociality. Religious engagement correlates negatively with prosociality and well-being across aggregate levels (countries and American states), and positively across individuals (especially, as noted earlier, in more religious countries)"

> ... in nations which suffer from poverty, hunger, and low life expectancy, religiosity was correlated with SWB [subjective well being], and religious individuals had a higher SWB in poor nations but not in wealthy and secularized nations.

Mormography said...

Ramera 2:07 PM, August 28, 2017 –

Yes, there are many, many things that are no longer taught, but “one isolated statement” and “out of context” …. Now who is twisting things?

Anonymous said...

Ramer, have you read section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants? Or Brigham Young's thoughts on the matter?

Ramer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mormography said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ramer (Not A Woman) said...

Jeff, why do you still allow Mormography to comment on your site? As if the repeated insults and projection weren't bad enough, now s/he's assuming people's gender (incorrectly, I might add).

Anonymous said...

Ramer, read Journal of Discourses 11:269 then get back to me. I'm not going to strip it of context. It's clearly and plainly laid out that polygamy is required if you want mormonism's brass ring.

And as for calling Mormography out: grow up. This is the real world. People disagree with people. Do you call for someone to get banned whenever you're backed into a corner?

Mormography said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeff Lindsay said...

Ramer, sorry, I missed the gender slurs but have now deleted them. I'll have to be more vigilant about insulting comments to ensure they are deleted.

Watch, it people. Stay polite.

Mormography, viewing "other religions as great and abominable whores" is not what the Church teaches, in spite of the sometimes harsh rhetoric one can find in the past. It might do you a world of good to listen to a few dozen General Conference broadcasts and count how many times the word "whore" is used or how often other religions are treated with the disdain certain commenters show here with almost every breath they take.

Brigham Young welcomed the Catholics, for example, and helped them build a beautiful building in Salt Lake and early Mormons helped them in St. George. Brigham did not excoriate them and drive them from Utah. Mormons are taught to respect other religions and not assume we have a monopoly on truth and goodness, though we definitely have something to offer.

Yes, we believe the the Lord was not pleased with some rather infrequent aspects of the creeds that overthrew truths about God, Christ, and man, and He used some harsh language against the religious leaders pushing those harmful doctrines, but hostility toward other churches is NOT what we are taught. Read the Articles of Faith. List to Conference. Attend some sacrament meetings and Sunday Schools. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Jeff Lindsay said...

This is not a post about polygamy. A comment on the topic has been deleted. But no, we certainly do not teach that polygamy is required to go to heaven. Ugh. Strange words from the Journal of Discourses that allegedly support that notion are not our doctrine. There was much said about polygamy and other topics in the past that expressed personal and apparently errant opinions. Such strange statements, if accurately recorded, are not part of our canon and do not rise to the level of official doctrine that we are taught to follow. I know that's horribly disappointing, but there are still plenty of other issues you can use to make inflammatory comments about Mormons, so don't stress.

Ramer said...

Right, sorry for the earlier threadjacking.

Mormography said...

Mormanity - So it is a confession of guilt and u admit it was wrong. Like I said, u r not much of apologist. Especially when your defense is there is nothing to defend w "that was never official doctrine" broken record.

U and ramer opening reject the foundation and even recent belief structures, only defending a reimagined Mormonism.

Mormography said...

Sorry for slurring my speech I will try to enunciate more clearly. Pushing modern basises aside, men and women r more than anatomically different. Activities such as this are predominately male. I didn't think that was an earth shattering revelation. Do Not worry, there is no shortage of things u can find for phony outrage.

Anonymous said...

You're right Jeff, I'm not sure how anyone could interpret that plural marriage is a requirement for the highest degree of glory based on LDS scripture. The idea is completely asinine: (D&C 132)

1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines--
2 Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter.
3 Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.

20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.

31 This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself.
32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.
33 But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.
34 God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises.

Anonymous said...

Nice try, Anonymous @9:23, we all know the apologist's response: "no it isn't. We aren't talking about that anyway. Because it isn't. How could you think that? It isn't!"

Jeff Lindsay said...

Monogamy is the norm except for exceptional situations, as explained in Jacob 2. Section 132 teaches eternal marriage, which can include polygamy but of course monogamy. The polygamy option was ended with a canonized declaration over a century ago. But of course you know this. Of course you know that LDS doctrine does not require us to become polygamists now or in the next life.

Mormography said...

Mormanity –

“But of course you know this”???

I know many Mormons who are confused and do not know the answer. That is because both you and Anon are correct. The scripture had been interrupted both ways. “the norm” and “exceptional” are defined by sampling bias. I personally know Mormon spouses that make promises based on when they will know the answers (the after-life)

For me to describe your statement, “but of course you know this”, as being out of touch is charitable.

Anonymous said...

The problem I see with members falling away is Mormonism is the ultimate Teflon religion. I don't know of any other religion where doctrine, canon, prophesy, revelation are all so equally and easily disregarded, disavowed, and simply declared wrong!
How can anyone depend on the very word of God when it's constantly changing?

Anonymous said...

Plural marriage as a necessity was taught for years in the church and no amount of theatrical "Ugh"-ing will make it different. It wasn't some marginal kook who preached it--it was doctrine. But of course you know this. Your attempt to downplay its significance is extremely disingenuous. The revelation in D&C 132 is pretty clear. The church no longer practices plural marriage but the revelation in D&C 132 hasn't been renounced. The manifesto was a renunciation of the practice out of necessity but it wasn't a renunciation of the doctrine. Go back and read Official Declaration 1--I did and was reminded of this fact. Another reminder is the church's stance on marriage. Women needed a cancellation of sealing to remarry while men don't. This illustrates that the doctrine is still in place. It is still unofficially taught that there will be plural marriage in heaven because there will be many more righteous women in heaven than men and the only way to obtain the highest degree of glory is for a woman to be attached to a man through the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.

I know the church has made much of the difference between doctrine and practice in recent years in defense of past practices that had been seen as doctrine. This is a doctrine that hasn't been in practice because of political pressure. This was the first major mainstream move the church made to bow to political pressure to further its own existence. It did it with blacks and the priesthood. I'm assuming it will eventually make a similar move in regards to homosexuality at some point down the road.

Anonymous said...

But the LDS church does still practice plural marriage. There are several widowed general authorities who, upon the death of their first wife, quickly got married and sealed to another woman. This is plural marriage in practice. To deny this would be to lie to yourself.

Jussi Kemppainen said...

I wanted to share this article, but the comments, that were derailled into polygamy discussion is such a stupid addiction that I will no share this...sad.

Mormography said...

Focusing on common ground, all parties agree that polygamy is an integral part of the believe structure, and polygamy and beliefs surrounding it are withheld from “investigators”. It is not much of an apology.

Mormography said...

Ramer – Your stated rejection criteria sound like acceptance criteria. To say I disagree with your rejection criteria is, in your words, twisting things. Please explain how your criteria rejects for example the Methodist, the Strangites, Warren Jeffs. If you cannot, all the casual observer can say about your criteria is that it has been used far more effectively against your believe structure.

Mormography said...

Unless Mormanity and Ramer care to clarify, if a young Joseph Smith today asked God which Christian denomination to join, God’s answer would be any of them.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Anon@11:05, the accusation was made that the Church teaches that polygamy is essential to get into heaven. No, that's wrong. It's not what our official sources of LDS doctrine teach, including Section 132. Church has explained that for at least a century. E.g., Charles W. Penrose in the September 1912 Improvement Era gave us this:

Question 4: Is plural or celestial marriage essential to a fulness of glory in the world to come?
Answer: Celestial marriage is essential to a fulness of glory in the world to come, as explained in the revelation concerning it; but it is not stated that plural marriage is thus essential.



Jeff Lindsay said...

From the Gospel Topics area at LDS.org, "
Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah
":

"During the years that plural marriage was publicly taught, all Latter-day Saints were expected to accept the principle as a revelation from God. Not all, however, were expected to live it. Indeed, this system of marriage could not have been universal due to the ratio of men to women. Church leaders viewed plural marriage as a command to the Church generally, while recognizing that individuals who did not enter the practice could still stand approved of God. Women were free to choose their spouses, whether to enter into a polygamous or monogamous union, or whether to marry at all. Some men entered plural marriage because they were asked to do so by Church leaders, while others initiated the process themselves; all were required to obtain the approval of Church leaders before entering a plural marriage."

Yes, in its heyday you can find people saying it was essential, but that is not canonized doctrine nor accepted official doctrine and we are simply not required to enter into polygamy to be saved and enter into the Crkestial Kingdom. It is not a requirement.

Jeff Lindsay said...

I know what you mean. Animal sacrifice used to be cool. And perpetual, for all generations. Then God changed that. Gentiles used to be off limits. Changed. Sabbath was Saturday. Then suddenly it was Sunday. And the good ol' days had an eye for an eye and occasionally what some felt was a much-needed stoning. Now everything is so tame. A guy hardly knows what to believe anymore in this Teflon-coated world of biblical religion.

Jeff Lindsay said...

The issue I am addressing is not whether it can exist, but whether it is required and whether the Church teaches that it is essential. No, those familiar with the Church know thus.

Anonymous said...

If you'll recall, this was the original claim:

"The LDS church teaches that polygamy is an absolute requirement for the highest level of the celestial kingdom."

It wasn't that you can't go to heaven. You and I both know that members are taught that there are different degrees of glory in the celestial kingdom. Compare the claim above to the scripture below. Sounds like a requirement to me (italics added). . .

31 This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself.
32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.
33 But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.

Mormography said...

Mormanity is essential declaring half of the active LDS pop that accepted what they were taught, of being anti-mormon. Absurd.

C T said...

Polygamy makes us cringe because we are bounded by temporal and physical limitations and can't comprehend how a husband and wife can be "one" if there is more than one wife. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are also one, but there are degrees of authority and differences of roles within the Godhood. I'm content to let the Lord have a greater understanding than me on this topic for he lives in eternity, while I live in 2017. I feel sad for those who let worries about God wanting to take away their husband's love (as if love is a zero-sum game in the eternities) pull them away from the greatest love of all, God's love.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8/31/2017 8:23 AM,

Here is a more complete text surrounding the verses that you quoted in D&C section 132:

28 I am the Lord thy God, and will give unto thee the law of my Holy Priesthood, as was ordained by me and my Father before the world was.

29 Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.

30 Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins—from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph—which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them.

31 This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein he glorifieth himself.

32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.

33 But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.

34 God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises.

35 Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded it.

36 Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written: Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.

:
:

Anonymous said...

:
:

37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.

38 David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.

39 David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.

40 I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things. Ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you according to my word.

41 And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed.

42 If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man, she has committed adultery.

43 And if her husband be with another woman, and he was under a vow, he hath broken his vow and hath committed adultery.

44 And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many.

45 For I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time.

46 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.

47 And again, verily I say, whomsoever you bless I will bless, and whomsoever you curse I will curse, saith the Lord; for I, the Lord, am thy God.

48 And again, verily I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one on earth, by my word and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings and not cursings, and with my power, saith the Lord, and shall be without condemnation on earth and in heaven.


Lots of things are discussed:
- Polygamy
- Sacrificing Isaac
- What constitutes adultry

The overarching theme is obeying God's commandments. Another theme was God fulfilling his promise to Abraham by allowing him to marry Hagar. The temple sealing to one spouse covers this promise for us.

I can also see where one can make the assumption that only polygamy is the entire theme of the verses but it is not.

Steve

Anonymous said...

The human cost of drawing people away from Faith ----- Yet Jeff Lindsay and others who are apologists for the Mormon religion have no problem with what they do to drive people out of the Mormon religion. Huh.

Their ad hominen attacks, derogatory terms name calling, cuss word calling, intolerance of those who disagree with them, and on and on.
To defend Daniel Peterson using cuss words and derogatory names is not good nor helpful. Looks bad.

Example : Jeff Lindsay said in one of his articles "I am sorry to sound so harsh". Then why be harsh? Obviously you are not sorry. I guess human nature takes over so strongly that it is easy to forget to be like Jesus and forget the Golden Rule and Commandments.

The Mormon apologists and Mormon critics all go low too much of the time. I expect better from Mormons, but I can see that is asking too much.

I have been investigating the Mormon church for over two years. I read every thing I can, both pro and con, Internet sites that are very critical, sites by Mormons that are really educational, and so forth.

What is stopping me from joining is the actions of many members, apologists, Mormon politicians, and the Salt Lake City leaders themselves. I see so, so much hypocrisy.

What the Salt Lake City leaders do and say are polar opposites. It is very disappointing and disturbing.

The Mormon church today is no different than any other church. It reminds me of the Catholic Church
in many ways. Hypocrisy rules, double speak is encouraged, and there are out right lies.

The Mormon church today has move far away from what Joseph Smith established. God can not be leading a church whose top leaders are deceitful.

I will continue to speak to others about the Mormon church, on every site that will allow and in person.
I will try to show the two sides of the Mormon religion and people can decide for themselves. I will continue to warn about certain apologists.

If the Mormon church was still practicing what Joseph Smith instituted I would join. I believe the Book of Mormon was not written by anyone of Smith's day, it is not a hoax. I believe what happened to the first Mormon converts with all the Angelic visitations. Yeah, Smith messed up a lot. There are some very gray areas. Every church has that.

But, how can the leaders stand up and say God is literally speaking to it's top leaders today to guide the church when there are so many lies. And the hypocrisy!

The Mormon church is supposed to be conservative and supposed to support conservative values but that is also a lie. That is one thing that bothers me. The Mormon church is no longer Conservative. The Mormon church leaders are very left of center in too many things. It reminds me of the Catholics. "Shudder"

I come across many people who truly live the Christian religion, and I think about how the Mormons profess this, but I do not see it from too many prominent Mormons. I see it from some average Mormons, but not from those who have are in the spotlight on occasion. They set a bad example. (So far David Archuleta is the only well known Mormon who sets a good public image and example)

So I attend a non denomination little church. I will still read the Book of Mormon and other Mormon Scripture. And the Bible, and will continue to read and study all that I can.

Mormography, and others, you give good information for thought. I can not express myself as well as the many who comment. Some commenters get a little too snarky so please do not become like Peterson and others in that regard. To those Mormons who defend your church you too provide good information.

And Jeff Lindsay hats off to you for seeing through that Evan McMullen who "ran" for U S.A. President that so many Mormons slobbered over. He is not a good person. At least you still have some common sense in some areas.

Sorry for being so harsh on you and others Jeff Lindsay......good luck. Off to better things. My time is short.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Jeff. Animal sacrifice, off limit Gentiles, the Sabbath, an eye for an eye. It's amazing how the arrival of the Messiah can complete, fulfill and "Finish" God's plan for salvation. That is until the LDS Church nullifies the sacrifice of Christ with it's own version of the Law.
.
And I guess if you want to equate the fulfilling work of Christ to how the Church recently tossed out the doctrinal teachings of Brigham Young in order to keep up with the culture and save face go right ahead.

Ramer said...

Their ad hominem attacks, derogatory terms name calling, cuss word calling, intolerance of those who disagree with them, and on and on.
There seem to be a lot of accusations like this recently. These people must be talking about different apologists, because I still have yet to see the ones they are naming act like this.

Jeff Lindsay said in one of his articles "I am sorry to sound so harsh". Then why be harsh? Obviously you are not sorry. I guess human nature takes over so strongly that it is easy to forget to be like Jesus and forget the Golden Rule and Commandments.
Uh... you say almost the exact same thing at the end of your comment.

I see so, so much hypocrisy.
I don't see nearly as much in the Church as you're implying there is; I see more of it from the antis.

What the Salt Lake City leaders do and say are polar opposites.... Hypocrisy rules, double speak is encouraged, and there are out right lies.
This is treated like a given, but like I said I cannot see what you are claiming from the side you are claiming it's on.
This actually seems to be a common trait of several antis - they claim that the Church and the apologists are guilty of the things they themselves are actually guilty of. I've seen it plenty of times, from several antis.

Ramer said...

It's amazing how the arrival of the Messiah can complete, fulfill and "Finish" God's plan for salvation.
From my understanding, Christ didn't "finish" the Plan of Salvation; He provided the key element needed to allow it to progress. And the fulfillment was of the Law of Moses, not of the Plan. But aside from that, yes, it is amazing.

That is until the LDS Church nullifies the sacrifice of Christ with it's own version of the Law.
Uh? The Church does no such thing. What do you think "its own version of the Law" is, exactly??

And I guess if you want to equate the fulfilling work of Christ to how the Church recently tossed out the doctrinal teachings of Brigham Young in order to keep up with the culture and save face...
Pretty sure he's not equating those - especially since the Church did not "toss out" the teachings of Brigham Young to "keep up with the culture," neither recently or earlier.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

The overarching theme of the chapter is set forth in the first three verses. It is "the law" being presented. The law is clearly plural marriage. I'll grant you that obedience is an implied theme but only because "all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same."

Mormography said...

https://www.fairmormon.org/archive/publications/what-is-the-body-of-christ-or-christs-universal-church

From fairmormon.org: "The differences you see among all the different evil flavors of Evangelical churches today are signs of evil, not strength."

Jeff Lindsay said...

Nowhere does Section 132 require that everyone practice polygamy to make it to the Celestial Kingdom. It does not require that only those practicing polygamy will be there. That is not the teaching of the Church, as explained by the Church today and in the past. The Book of Mormon also clarifies that polygamy is an exception, not the rule.

You are mistaking your hostile interpretation of scripture for what the Church teaches and requires us to believe. Really, this passage does not require all of us to enter into polygamy to be in God's presence and the Church doesn't teach that. You might as well argue that the Church requires us to believe the earth is 6,000 years old or that bats are birds because it's in the Bible. There are lots of errant ideas and opinions that may have been taught assumed by some in the past, but that doesn't make it official Church doctrine.

But again, this post is not about polygamy. You've made your point that you want people to think we require polygamy to be in the Celestial Kingdom. But we don't. To say that it is an "absolute requirement" to be there is ludicrous. Please don't keep regurgitating that false claim on a post unrelated to your agenda.

Jeff Lindsay said...

I don't know what's up with that page, Mormography, but I find the use of "evil" there to be offensive and have sent a message to that effect. Thanks for your observation.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Another anon said "the LDS Church nullifies the sacrifice of Christ with it's own version of the Law." Sigh. Another critic who missed the numerous times when Christ and other early Christians taught that we must follow God's commandments. "If ye will enter into life, keep the commandments." Can you guess who said that? A rabid Brigham Young, perhaps? Have you ever had a meaningful Bible study discussion on what those words mean, or why John said that those who do God's commandments are the ones who have access to the tree of life? It's not because our works save us. John, Christ, Paul, etc. did not teach that, nor do we. This thread is not about the grace versus works issue, but if you'd sincerely like to know what LDS scripture teaches on grace and works, I'd be happy to share a couple of things. But I think you don't really want to know. You want to jab. Jab received and noted. Thanks!

Jeff Lindsay said...

I am tired of the stream of ad hominem attacks of Daniel Peterson. He's been publishing stuff at MormonInterpreter.com for a few years now. Can you help me by pointing out there or at the Maxwell Institute any of his cuss words, ruthless ad hominem attacks, vile name calling, or any of the other evil acts that you accuse him of? Your words demonstrate the kind of groundless name calling that you accuse him of. I'm sorry you are so trouble by him or what others have told you about him, but he's actually a very decent guy.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, can you show me in your meaningful Bible study where the Commandments of God include Temple ceremonies such as endowment, baptism for the Dead, and Sealings all requiring a full tithe paying Temple recommend card?

Anonymous said...

One more response and I think I'm done. My only agenda in this post is to keep you honest about church doctrine--past and present. You are the one who tried to play off the idea of plural marriage as a requirement for the highest degree of the celestial kingdom as some strange doctrine that was taught by weirdos only loosely related with the church. I merely pointed out how current, accepted cannon echoes the original claim you tried to explain away. Also, you're still muddling the claim. There is being in the celestial kingdom, and there is being as a god in the Celestial kingdom. D&C 132 is pretty explicit that to earn the rewards of Abraham (the main one being eternal increase) one must follow the same law that Abraham followed ie plural marriage. I'm merely reporting what's in black and white on the page.

Jeff Lindsay said...

Your interpretation requires ignoring key language in the section itself. You may finally understand why we don't teach what you say we teach when you read and consider verse 19, which clearly and explicitly refers to a man marrying a wife (singular), as do other verses:

19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of Promise ... it shall be said unto them--Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths--then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life ... it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world....

The works of Abraham include marriage for eternity. This does not require polygamy. We don't teach that as a requirement and your are absolutely wrong to insist otherwise.

Mormography said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mormography said...

Mormanity –

I think most here understand the whole “official” doctrine position.

You appear to miss the other side’s position: you don’t own the words “we” and “teach”. Think of the movie A Few Good Men. Was the phrase “code red” in any of the official manuals? No, but as surely as they all knew how to find the chow hall, it was something they lived by.

Hit the pause button on some of things you said, for example: “lots of errant”, Oxymoron? Is this like M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled is actually the most traveled road? Claiming it was wrong for the low-level, unpaid clergy to teach certain things, it does not change the fact that they did so in mass.

It is instructive. Your lackey derided me for “my” interpretation as being “twisted”, just as you accuse anon for “his” interpretation as being “hostile” and “ludicrous”.

In the end, I found solid proof it was not “my” interpretation and I was not twisting. Fairmormon’s own article. Now in the spirit of George Orwell's 1984, where the antihero’s job at the Ministry of Truth is to erase old newspaper articles and replace them more palatable ones, Fairmormon has deleted that article, so that in future arguments they can say “we don’t teach that”.

Sighhh …

Anonymous said...

Jeff, you just can't put down the shovel, can you? Let's say we're reading an article about doughnuts. In the article the author gives a hypothetical and states "if a man eat a doughnut," are we to assume that his claim is that a man is only going to eat one doughnut? What if his entire article is about the benefits of men eating more than one doughnut? Does it make sense that we must assume his is switching gears and advocating men only eat a single doughnut, or is he merely providing a hypothetical using a single doughnut? You must see how ridiculous your claim is based on the context of the entire chapter.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 8:42 AM, September 01, 2017

Section 132 clearly talks about polygamy and clearly states that if a man is married to more than one woman through the new and everlasting covenant, then that union has God's approval. The section does not state that man must enter into plural marriage to enter into God's kingdom. Verses 18 and 19 clearly state one wife and clearly talk about the sealing ordinance and finally, verse 21 states that if you don't have the sealing ordinance, you can't enter God's kingdom:

18 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.

19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.

21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.


Steve

Jeff Lindsay said...

There's no question that polygamy was commanded for Joseph and some others, and was stridently taught during the time it was temporarily practiced by a fraction of church members. But the Church DOES NOT teach that it is mandatory, though some people may have given that opinion in the distant past. Church leaders have explained that Section 132 does not require that, as evidence in 1912 already. Other scriptures (Book of Mormon, Jacob 2) indicate it cannot be a requirement if it is the exception rather than the rule. The math wouldn't work out, either. I know you really, really want it to be a requirement because that would be wonderfully scandalous, but you'll have to be content with the trouble of limited polygamy alone, which ought to be trouble enough. No need to try to make it an even bigger problem with inaccurate claims of what the Church teaches.

Please save further regurgitation of your claims for other blogs. I'd like to end the threadjacking here.

Anonymous said...

As I've stated previously, I'm not looking for scandal, merely for intellectual honesty. You've finally approached that in the 56th comment. I agree that the church doesn't currently teach or practice polygamy, but neither have they renounced the doctrine.

To add clarity to Mormography's 5:12am post, there are certain "latent laws" in the church that have been laid out as commandment but are not in current practice. With these laws it is understood that they will be reinstituted when the time is right. Polygamy is one and the law of consecration is another. With consecration, it is in scripture, it's a commandment, and it is expected that members attempt to live it in their personal lives. It is also understood that someday it will be in place again as a social programme, but it is not currently practiced or taught. Polygamy is similar.

I agree--this horse ain't going to move anytime soon. . .

Anonymous said...

In other words, the Law of Consecration is to Tithing as Polygamy is to Monogamy.

Mormography said...

1984 opening: “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

Kudos to you Mormanity. Isn’t that right Ramer?

Jeff Lindsay said...

You are welcome to your opinion, but there is no basis for saying that polygamy will be reinstituted someday or that the Church somehow looks forward to such a scenario. You speak as if we think that's the norm, when the scriptures teach that it is the exception and monogamy is the norm. And in any case, the claim that it is a requirement for us is simply and wildly incorrect.

But for the last time, this post isn't about polygamy. Changing gears. Topical comments are welcome now, others aren't.

Anonymous said...

I believe some are not drawing Mormons away from faith but are instead following the example of Christ. Throughout His earthly ministry Jesus spoke out against a religious hierarchy that was more concerned with an appearance of godliness and "worthiness".
Jesus summed up God's commandments into two. Love God with all your heart and do to others as yourself. We never see Jesus sitting down with each apostle at the end of the year doing tithing settlements and issuing temple recommends.

Anonymous said...

The apostle Paul spoke out against religious legalism and those who would require the yoke of the law, worthiness, perfection to earn salvation. Did the apostles walk around preaching every night until 9pm because they weren't allowed to go home until then?

Ramer said...

For some reason I thought I had posted this already. I guess not. Sorry about posting on a thread that hasn't been active for a while, but I think this needs to be said.

While this can serve as a response to the second half of Anon's comment at 8:50 PM on Aug 28, I am posting this as a general comment, to everyone. For simplicity's sake, and based on previous discussions on other threads, I will refer to a certain named party as "he," although if I am told this is incorrect I will acknowledge it.

And as for calling Mormography out: grow up. This is the real world. People disagree with people. Do you call for someone to get banned whenever you're backed into a corner?
No, I do not. My reason for "calling Mormography out" has nothing to do with whether or not he agrees with me. It has everything to do with his attitude and tone towards those that disagree with him. There are a few regular (or formerly regular; I haven't seen them on recent posts) non-Mormon commenters that I would have no problem engaging in a debate/discussion, because they're clearly trying to be respectful to others (of course they don't always succeed, but the intent is clearly there). I could name at least two off the top of my head.

On the other hand, there are actually some pro-Mormon anonymous posters (I haven't been able to identify any regulars) that I would not want to talk with, because they are pretty condescending and rude towards non-Mormons. Attitude, not agreement, determines whether or not I want to talk with someone.

Mormography has a history of making condescending, snide comments toward anyone who disagrees with him.
He parrots their arguments back, misapplies the ad hominem claim, and outright insults them, and when he's called out on it, he either acts superior or claims they are misquoting or misrepresenting him.
He makes strawmen arguments from apologists' reasoning, some much more obvious than others.
He manages to take pretty much any positive argument about the Church and twist it beyond recognition so that it becomes a negative argument; sometimes he skips the twisting and just claims the positive is really a negative without documentation.
Sometimes he draws conclusions that are so far away from what was previously said that I literally cannot figure out his logic.
If any response to him ignores or sets aside any point he makes, he claims that they are "conceded" and thus must be too good to rebut. I have seen him do the exact same thing to flat-out disagreements (on points that were NOT ignored) - because they didn't explain why they were disagreeing.
He takes anything negative said about him and then either says that that person is projecting their own flaws onto him, or he essentially says "if that was true, you would have been able to prove it" (even when there is proof in that very discussion).
Not to mention he keeps mentioning the principle of falsifiability, the reason for which I cannot figure out (that one might just be me, though).

I could go on, but this comment is long enough as it is. I think I've made my point as to why I no longer wish to interact with him. Note that I have deliberately tried to avoid saying anything bad about him specifically, rather than the way he talks to others.

So as far as me "growing up?" I am actively trying to be mature here by purposefully avoiding discussion with someone who has a history of toxic interactions.

Mormography said...

Ramer – Hit-and-running-behavior is characteristically immature. You falsely accused me of twisting things. You were glaringly proven wrong. When I used your own language, you declared it an insult. This means you convict yourself of being insulting, but refuse to apologize. Then you declared because I am insulting, you are going to shut off dialogue.

Now you are finding a third party to air your grievances and pretend you are not engaging me in dialogue. It is OK. We all mature at different rates.

Your hostile interpretations of my comments are wildly incorrect and ludicrous. But I invite you to keep regurgitating those false claims as long as you can do the mature thing and back them up.

Anonymous said...

I found this quote shortly after we moved on from the polygamy discussion and didn't want to scratch a healing wound. It's been some time and there hasn't been much action on the blog, so I thought I would share. This is a quote from the LDS seminary manual. I think it proves both Jeff's point and my own. It clearly states that the church doesn't teach polygamy is required, but neither does it deny that it is:

Note: Avoid sensationalism and speculation when talking about plural marriage. Sometimes teachers speculate that plural marriage will be a requirement for all who enter the celestial kingdom. We have no knowledge that plural marriage will be a requirement for exaltation.

https://www.lds.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-and-church-history-seminary-teacher-resource-manual/nauvoo-period/doctrine-and-covenants-132?lang=eng

Mormography said...

Anon - That official publication is twisted, hostile, and ludicrous. You should stick with the ever disappearing, reappearing reasoning of unofficial apologist.

Anonymous said...

You are welcome to your opinion, but there is no basis for saying that polygamy will be reinstituted someday or that the Church somehow looks forward to such a scenario. You speak as if we think that's the norm, when the scriptures teach that it is the exception and monogamy is the norm. And in any case, the claim that it is a requirement for us is simply and wildly incorrect.

I know this post isn't about polygamy, but Jeff, what you said here is false, and you know it. It requires a response. There is a basis.

Doctrine and Covenants 132:

"For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.... And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God."

The "new and everlasting covenant" was understood by Joseph Smith's contemporaries to mean polygamy.

Doctrine and Covenants 131:

"In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase."


John Taylor:

The voice of the Lord came to President Taylor saying - "My son John: You have asked me concerning the New and Everlasting Covenant and how far it is binding upon my people. Thus saith the Lord All commandments that I give must be obeyed by those calling themselves by my name unless they are revoked by me or by my authority and how can I revoke an everlasting covenant."

Brigham Young:

"The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessings offered unto them, and they refused to accept them."

Joseph F. Smith:

"Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or non-essential, to the salvation or exaltation of mankind. In other words, some of the Saints have said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful, as he possibly could with more than one. I want here to enter my solemn protest against this idea, for I know it is false. "

So you can argue that polygamy is not an essential doctrine of Mormonism if you want to (though the arguments would likely be specious), but don't try to claim that there is "no basis" for thinking that polygamy is essential, or that considering it a requirement is "wildly incorrect."

Mormography said...

Anon –

You are correct. At one time this was taught and, as the quote from the official publication demonstrates, many of the Mormon lay clergy taught Mormons would one day return to polygamy. This is fact, not interpretation. However, today the LDS Church has essentially declared it has completely abandon polygamy and will never return to it. They are embarrassed by their history, just as slavery dimmed the American light on a hill.

What Mormanity is doing is classic lying for the Lord. The psychology of it does not cease to fascinate me; an outward appearance of rectitude, presented alongside blatant deceit. Mormanity is the only one lying here. Most of the anons here concede that LDS Church is done with polygamy ideas, it is only Mormanity that is lying, playing dumb and pretending things were never taught that in fact were. Whited sepulcher?

Mormography said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mormography said...

In this post Mormanity accuses Mormons of being unfamiliar with their own Church and full of “errant ideas” and “hostile interpretation of scripture”. Despite Jesus saying, “my yoke is easy” and Moses holding up the serpent staff that his followers refuse to look at because it was too easy, Mormanity says, “The LDS faith has never been an especially easy religion”. His only apologist technique consisted of repudiating prior Mormon doctrine, calling those that expose him crazy, and accusing anyone who views Mormonism with critical thought of being an Atheist. In the end he seems to agree with his arch nemesis, the Evangelicals, in arguing that “a personal relationship with Christ” should come first to participating in a religion.

And this is a good Mormon apologist? …

Anonymous said...

Mormography,

You are missing the picture. Some do not "lie for the Lord", especially if they truly believe what they are preaching. Then it isn't lying, but an indoctrinated reply and rebuttal. How can you convince a frog it is boiling in water, when it's been in the water the whole time before the water began to boil? Bad analogy I know, but I think you get the point.

Mormography said...

Anon - I am not sure what the picture is you are referring. There are 'some' of every variety, so saying 'some' is not useful. With regards to Mormanity, he is not a believer and the phrase 'indoctrinated' does not even come close to describing him. His technique reinvents doctrine.

The not lying analogy was valid two decades ago, before the rapid distillation and challenging of information. The inability to response to many contradictions indicates knowledge