Click image to zoom
Click image to zoom
Same Sex Marriage Timeline courtesy of /u/KrampusonaShelf from Reddit
-August 7, 1984 newly called apostle Oaks writes memo to church: “Principles to Govern Possible Public Statement on Legislation Affecting the Rights of Homosexuals.” In it he advises against church trying to increase criminal penalties on homosexuality, as that will only create martyrs. Nor should church push against “condition” of homosexuality as “the public will see the debate as a question of tolerance of persons who are different…and those who oppose may well be seen as unmerciful prosecutors of the unfortunate.” Instead, church should focus on promoting “exceptions” to job-discrimination laws in order to protect the youth from those that would “proselyte and promote” homosexuality, such as teachers, coaches, scoutmasters, etc.. since this would be “more persuasive to the public and less subject to counterarguments…” He also stated that “In my opinion the interests at stake in the proposed legalization of so-called homosexual marriages are sufficient to justify a formal church position and significant efforts in opposition.”
-1988 church hired PR firm to monitor and lobby homosexuality stance in Hawaii (church ends up spending $400,000–SLTrib 3/26/09, B1) Continue reading
Xennial is what marketing people call my generation now. We saw the first Atari computer, and know why you shouldn’t get tangled in a phone cord while someone is trying to use a modem.
LDS members in our era likely saw this film, dubbed “The Pump” or sometimes “Consequences of our actions (Shoutout to NoCoolNameTom for his tireless work to preserve videos like this).
This Movie has a lot more history and context than you probably ever imagined
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY3ify-zFeY Continue reading
“It is by no means improbable that some future person will ask a question something like this: What book about an American of the nineteenth century has exerted the most powerful influence upon the destinies of his countrymen? And it is by no means impossible that the answer to that interrogatory may be thus written: The ABC’s of Science and Mormonism by Mithryn.” – Complete misquote and rehash of the quote by Josiah Quincy, Jr., Figures of the Past, 1883. Which by the way, Joseph Smith Jr. was interviewed for a textbook and told Josiah Quincy about it before Josiah wrote this; so Josiah here is trying to look prophetic, but the textbook was never printed.
The wonderful people over at Doubtsy have finished formatting The ABC’s of Science and Mormonism into book form and made it available via Amazon.com!
Now if you want to hand back a copy of a book when your relatives give you the latest Deseret Book wonder, or perhaps want to look smart in the middle of Sacrament Meeting while surreptitiously learning why the speaker for the day is entirely wrong (with footnotes and sources) you need look no further.
In addition, I will be speaking Friday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at Sunstone on July 29th I will be signing any books purchased and brought to Sunstone with a unique never-seen-before Mormon History fact (wayyyy better than just an autograph).
Kindle versions are also available now. Yes, the print version is more expensive but I actually make a lot less off of it, most of the money goes for paper and things. But having an actual physical book has a special appeal.
Want the free version? Here are the links to the old, not-updated (boo!) no-shiny picture versions of the first 10 of the ABC’s:
Greg Trimble is a Mormon blogger. No, scratch that, he’s a correlated Latter-day Saint blogger. His latest post shows that he doesn’t do a lot of thinking when he posts. This post is a breakdown to help people who think that his words are “so true” to see that they should apply their own critical thinking skills before sharing on social media.
His post, titled “So you think the Book of Mormon is a fraud” is a restatement of other people’s claims.
His statement, “People that oppose the Church hate when someone says, “I know the Book of Mormon is true”…but I don’t know how else to say it” comes from the talk “You Shall Receive the Spirit” in which the difference between “belief” and “knowledge” is defined and faith means one has to take action… meaning share a testimony.
What non-thinking members like Greg Trimble don’t realize is that by saying, “I know my church is true,” he is logically putting down anyone who believes differently, even other Mormons less sure of their conviction than he is. It’s being spiritually puffed up in one’s belief. Based on his numerous blog posts, I believe he honestly doesn’t know a better way to express his faith than putting down others who believe differently, but that’s nothing to be proud of.
“This wasn’t something that I figured out over night. For me…I wanted some evidence and it wasn’t enough for someone else to tell me it was true. The existence of the Book of Mormon had to be logical to me. It had to make sense. When I started looking around, it seemed like there were people everywhere saying that the Book of Mormon was a fraud.”
This last statement is key. How does he refute what the consensus of individuals around him are claiming?
“I noticed that most of the people that condemned the Book of Mormon the loudest, had never even read the book.”
Those of you who know me know that I’ve invited Greg to come on to the /r/exmormon subreddit and meet the 40,000+ people who have read the book and claim it is a fraud. Greg’s first answer to knowing the consensus is wrong is admitted selection bias. And then Greg forgets to rebut the consensus. He actually provides no counter-evidence to the pastor, friend, or mom who criticizes the book.
Greg, look, you may be convinced that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone in the UK) is a documentary, but I can refute the truthfulness of the book without reading it. People can look at claims the book makes without reading the whole thing. Or do you concede that the Koran is true until you’ve read it? How about the Biblical Apocrypha? Maybe the Satanic Bible is true? You haven’t read it, right? And by your logic, no one can disprove a tome without reading it.
It’s bad logic, and it’s logic that Greg didn’t think of himself. Instead, it was provided by his leaders; LDS.org has a wealth of talks claiming this exact point. But the true deception is in his next point:
“If the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet. If Joseph Smith was a prophet, then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the same Church that Christ established while He was on the earth. It’s as simple as that.”
This thinking, given by numerous LDS prophets as validity for their own position, is logically flawed. The Book of Mormon could be true, and the LDS branch could still be false.
A short list of churches that could be true based on The Book of Mormon includes:
In fact there are over 200 offshoots all with the same Book of Mormon, the same promise in Moroni, and the same belief in Joseph Smith. Greg doesn’t address why the Brighamite branch, which depends on polygamy, racist teachings, and any number of verifiably false claims should be the one accepted. And why doesn’t Greg address these issues? Because church leaders never do, and Greg lets someone else do all his thinking.
Then Greg suggests to ask 11 questions that happen to exist in manuals originating from apologist Hugh Nibley’s challenge. The problem is, Mormon history itself refutes all these points, in the case of James C. Brewster who also wrote a book with all of these features in even less time than Joseph Smith. Greg should be looking for examples that disprove his claims, otherwise he is engaging in confirmation bias… or even worse, just accepting what someone else told him, exactly what he states his testimony of mormonism isn’t based on in the first paragraph. And yet I’ve shown that every claim listed comes from something someone else told him. There isn’t a unique thought in the post.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t trust your feelings. We are spiritual beings, and if we can’t trust our feelings, then what do we have?”
In my new book, The ABC’s of Science and Mormonism, I give quotes by prophets like Brigham Young that refute this concept. The early LDS church actually attacked the idea that one could know things only spiritually, instead fully believing that a scientific approach would validate Mormonism. Why does Greg push for a spiritual-only knowledge? Because the claims have been resoundingly refuted. But Greg wouldn’t know that, because he only spouts off what he’s been told. This claim comes from talks and lesson manuals provided by the church as well.
“There is no doubt those plates existed.”
If there was any evidence, Greg would have provided it. So far he’s ignored his original claim, spouted church rhetoric and then said the only way to know is via the spirit. That’s not how to show “no doubt”.
But to a non-thinker like Greg, that’s all one needs. Don’t be like Greg. Do your own thinking. Did Joseph really write the book in under 60 days? What about the “years of preparation” where he was meeting Moroni”—couldn’t he have written rough drafts during that time period? Is spiritual confirmation the only way to know things? What about all those “other mormons” who read the book, prayed, and joined a different church than Greg’s? Does a person have to read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to know it is fiction?
Believing in Mormonism is fine, but being a non-thinker is not. Please, if you shared Greg’s blog post on social media, rethink why you shared a post filled with non-thinking rhetoric. Next time, it might be better if you at least attempt to disprove one of the claims listed in the article before you share.
[Update 2/8/2017 11 a.m.: I originally said “Elder Holland” but it was Ballard. Regardless I linked to the right talk]
My grandfather was nearing the end of his life. his hard years as a coal miner, sheet rocker and handiman had finally taken their toll on his fragile frame. A cancerous lump grew on his face, un-opperated on as the rest of his body was giving out anyway. My brother rushed to record some final interactions before his life faded. He related the following tale:
He grew up in Mormon polygamous Mexico, and when he was old enough, he was invited to one of the youth activities. Upon arriving at the church he quickly learned that a black man and woman had evaded the bank by saving up enough cash to buy a house outright. Black men and women were not allowed to get mortgages at that time.
The youth activity was to burn down the house.
My grandfather ran home as fast as he could to fetch his father and once my great-grandfather learned about the activity they both ran to stop it. They arrived too late. The house was burning. The woman had run into the house to save her very last possession. A piece of pottery with silver dollars in it. Covered in ash and soot as her dreams literally burned down by her, the men took the urn and smashed it, handing out the slightly melted silver dollars to the boys as a memento of the activity.
My grandfather never returned to church after that.
I can hardly listen to the cassette without weeping.
When I review the “Race and the Priesthood” essay, and it declares solemnly at the end that these things were never taught as doctrine, I feel exhausted.
Why then do you still stay?
When Prophets made declarations like Brigham Young’s that if a man “mixes with the African race” he should be put to “death on the spot”, taught in conference from the pulpit are so quickly dismissed as “not doctrine” or “speaking as a man”; how then can you continue to follow such flawed and heartless leaders?
Maybe you think as those in scripture “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” and trust that there is a greater understanding. Maybe you rely on the words of those who encourage you to “Stay in the boat”
With this record and question as a backdrop, I wish to speak directly to the believing people of the Church—young in years of age or young in years of membership or young in years of faith. One way or another, that should include just about all of you.
Observation number one regarding this account is that when facing the challenge of love of fellow man over the dictates of leaders, my grandfather truly followed the scriptures in loving his neighbor, regardless of color, as himself. He didn’t shy from speaking out when he saw an activity that was wrong. He didn’t excuse the behavior of others or hide behind rhetoric or questions of the definition of doctrine. I would say to all who wish for more faith, remember this man! In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, put the love of neighbor far over the dictates of man! In the growth we all have to experience in mortality, the spiritual equivalent my grandfather’s, but only a boy at the time, challenge to stand for the right. These challenges already come to all of us as the Leaders of the Church belittle those who leave, who have a different sexual orientation or who do not fit within the norms. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, place love over following leaders who admit they can get the very fundamentals of doctrine wrong.
The second observation is a variation of the first. When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest alone or turn to those within the church leadership for guidance. My Grandfather, instead sought help from someone who had a firm moral foundation that he could trust: his father. There was no debate about the morally correct action. No hesitation or praying about what was right. They simply took action. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of faith is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of doubt. It is not! Faith can lead good men to do evil, just as all the men who burnt that house down did. Every one of them a leader in Zion. Everyone of them had faithfully listened to the words of the prophet of their day. And everyone of them now disavowed by the official essay on LDS.org as simply blindly following the precepts of men. Doubting was not the focus, but being in touch with his internal conscience and immediately reacting in accordance to his own inner-voice over the external voice of church leadership.
So let us all remember the clear message of historical account:
* Be honest with yourself internally; life is full of people who will try to convince you to take actions against your own conscience both within and without the church. But if you and your family want to be choose the right, don’t simply default to what leaders say or you could find yourself misled into hateful, misguided paths purely of men like those who burned the woman’s house down.
Furthermore, you have more reason to question than you think you do on what the church accepts and rejects because of what the Book of Mormon calls “the greatness of the evidences.”
* “Ye shall know them by their fruits,” Jesus said; and the impact to suicide of LGBT, the harm caused by the blatant racism such as the Indian Placement Program, or the misogynistic pressures put on the world’s largest women’s program being dictated and needing permission by and from men.
* The blatant and common for-profit efforts of leaders that trump and dictate their interactions with the religion. The Book of Mormon warns of Nehor and those who would pad their pockets by preaching the word of God. How then can one look aside as the organization pays the leaders salaries higher than some governors, their schedules reveal how little they interact with the church, and the vast structure of Deseret Management funneling for-profit efforts directly to their pockets.
Brothers and sisters of the human race, this organization clearly is primarily a real-estate venture and has been since Henry D. Moyle pushed the church to the brink of bankrupcy in 1961 in order to buy 0.7% of Florida for cattle ranching (now 2%). It is evident in the purchase of a mall for more than the church donated to humanitarian causes over the history of the church. It is evident in the dismissal of youth suicides in areas of high membership. In dismissal of agitations for priesthood roles for women. In dismissing with harsh tones those who leave the religion, turning family members against one another where there should exist love.
If church leaders press you to do things against your conscience, to belittle your family, friends and others for having doubts please don’t hyperventilate. Simply stand for your moral convictions. Claims of the church need to be examined, understood, and researched. In reality, what we know do not know can and will hurt us. And remember, in this world, everyone is impacted by the realities of life.
So be rigorous regarding human failings—don’t fall for the foibles of those who call themselves leaders in a Church that claims they are led by volunteer, mortal men and women in one talk, and then admits; once exposed that leadership is actually paid. In another talk, or primary song, the demand one follow the prophet without consideration or doubt. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. But that doesn’t mean we must accept bad advice as divine or immoral dictates as edicts of the universe. And when you see imperfection, remember that the only way to correct it is for feedback to make it to leadership and for those leaders to be held accountable for change. As one gifted writer has suggested, “Accountability breeds response-ability” (Stephen R. Covey). Without accountability there is no ability to respond to mistakes and make lasting change.
Last observation: When we see corruption, fraud or abuse within an organization, we need not remain silent. If we want to make life better for future generations, as my Grandfather helped me, we must speak up and tell our stories. The scriptures warn of Pharisees, Nephite priests and even prophets who misled entire generations leading even to bloodshed. Indeed the primary messages of the scriptures seems to indicate that a people need not only be faithful to their God, but to hold leadership accountable at every level. I testify that in response to that kind of scrutiny, no underage individuals will be forced into difficult moral decisions with which they must wrestle the rest of their lives.
I said I was speaking to the young. I still am. My mother told me when I was a young boy, that her Sunday School teacher proposed she become his fifth wife. She refused and held him accountable. He died only a few years ago, in the penitentiary by the point of the mountain. When corrupt leaders abuse the money donated, commit fraud, or abuse those precious souls in our care, may we never dismiss those as simply being minor issues of frail mortals. When words are spoken by leaders that are blatantly and demonstrably false, such as that “Homosexuality is a choice” (decried even on Mormon.org) may they be removed from their positions no matter how high. And when organizations commit these atrocities without apology or correction and leaders go unchallenged or even be financially rewarded for these misdeeds, may we have the moral conviction to walk away.
Now, with the advantage that nearly 10 years give me since I left the church I declare some things I now know.
* I know that “anti-mormon lies” is a phrase that means “real history we’d rather you didn’t know about”.
* I know that Joseph Smith had over thirty relationships with women that are called “wives” by the church. That a majority were non-consensual, which is admitted to by the church. That He lied to his wife, and that the church lied to me and my family about this for generations
* I know that general authorities are paid in direct conflict with scripture. That Josephs Polygamy is in direct contrast with scripture. That the book of Abraham is not what it claims to be, “Written by Abraham’s own hand upon papyrus”.
* I know that Joseph Smith, who acknowledged that he wasn’t perfect, but the church still reverse and lies by omission about was declared a fraud, and correctly jailed on numerous occasions for actual crimes including illegal banking, divining, and that he committed treason in the Council of Fifty, whose notes were just revealed this year.
* I also know that the Book of Mormon is very clearly a forgery, including fictitious and anachronistic items such as “Brass Plates” containing Isaiah before it was written, Steel Swords in tower of Babel times, and ancient submarines carrying animals that didn’t exist in the new world.
* I know that we can be better men and women than any religion would manipulate us into being, because of the potential for the systems of organized religion to corrupt is nearly a guaranteed
* I know that 15 men whom you sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators absolutely have no claim to priesthood power, and are simply managers of a real-estate company, that consumes your donations in order to spin off interest for their real-estate investments.
These things I declare to you with the conviction of one who has spent years in research, one whose lineage is tied with the success and failure of the church, and whose family line repeatedly took moral conviction and conscience over what a leader said; and is all the better for it.
I say this in the very solemn words of one who wishes you the best in life.
Well at least the conclusion that the Book of Abraham has
Who wrote the essay? I’m not sure, it’s unsigned, but what LDS scholar claimed this idea first?
To answer that we need to travel back to 1968 when the LDS church leadership asked Hugh Nibley to publish a set of articles in the New Era on the Joseph Smith Papyri, the Book of Abraham, and what it means. Why in 1968?
In 1966, Dr. Aziz S. Atiya of the University of Utah noticed that these fragments were clearly part of Smith’s collection of papyri. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) acquired the fragments in 1967. “I Have a Question”. Ensign. July 1988. Retrieved July 9, 2014.)
The church now had the fragments due to a lucky find at The Met, and they needed someone to translate them. So who better than Egyptologist Hugh Nibley? Except he wasn’t an Egyptologist yet. He knew Arabic, Latin and Greek, but no Egyptian. So he wrote a letter to a Dr. Dee Nielson,
How do we know that church leaders approved of Nibley doing this? He published routinely his findings in Improvement Era, for example February 1968, pp. 40–40H.
With our readers, the staff of The Improvement Era will be looking forward with eager anticipation to additional developments in this fascinating story, and the unfolding of the meaning of the heiroglyphics and illustrations on these valuable manuscripts as they are given by Dr. Nibley in his articles.
And according to a memorandum from President Tanner’s office files photographs of the papyri were then given to Nelson “at the suggestion of Dr. Hugh Nibley” on January 5, 1968. (This was found by Wilbur Lingle on May 18th, 1977, after an “extensive search” because President Tanner had written to a member via telegram “In Reply to your inquiry, I say that I have never Authorized D. J. Nelson to translate the pearl ofGreat Price Papyrus. Signed: N. Eldon Tanner’ )
So what did Nelson Find?
Link goes to a PDF. Research is someone else’s. Text of research below:
Dating the Joseph Smith – Fanny Alger Relationship
Identifying the exact year of the marriage or relationship between Joseph Smith and Fanny Alger is challenging. Eight of the nineteen accounts in the chart above provide dates that range between 1832 and 1836.
When the CES letter came out, the apologists complained that the issues brought up were “old issues” and despite their answers to many of the old issues being wrong, untested, or simply insufficient, they expected people to doubt the CES letter simply because the issues were “old”.
As such, here are 17 “new” reasons to doubt provided, found, or published in 2016:
17) The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, when briefed about Wikileaks were more concerned with contributors’ sexual orientation than they were about church security. Being visionaries and prophets, they totally missed this would be leaked.
16) Jeremy Runnels was excommunicated (or excommunicated the church) for asking questions. The very reason Joseph Smith got answers from God is now grounds for being removed from the church. That should disturb even the most devout member.
15) Former Senator Gordon Smith admitting he was “Church Broke” and would do whatever the leaders asked of him, which included revealing classified information
14) Elizabeth Smart, member and sex captive of a prophet at age 14, speaks out against the church’s teachings
13) The Price of Rugs in the Celestial Room was leaked to be $17,000. This caused a lot of people to want financial transparency and realize there was none. They start #FightTheNewRug in response
12) Stake Presidents and Bishops removing temple recommends for associating with family members. Possibly not new, but something that should give people pause in any case
11) Internal Survey of Church History shows that most members are concerned about the role of women in the church. And yet the church refuses to consider the implications.
10) Church History Department video leaked explains they don’t do history but instead were to focus on serving the opinions of leaders
7) BYU had to revise its Honor Code section Title IX as it protected rapists and sexual harassers instead of victims
6) Dieter Uchtdorf compared the seerstone rock with an iPhone
5) Romney/Trump interactions along with Romney not running for President because Jeb Bush visited him. Along with this is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing for Trump’s inauguration after the Deseret News suggested members shouldn’t vote for Trump.
4). The Brass Plates – The gold plates have been criticized for years but the Brass Plates were addressed in my ABC’s and Mormonism series. They are anachronistic in the following ways:
That leads one to wonder how much they would have weighed. 1000 lbs at the minimum or about 2/3 the weight of a cow. And Nephi walked out with them while wearing armor which leads us to…
3) Armor. Also from the ABC’s of Science and Mormonism, Nephi, Laman and Lemuel all knew about the stuff because Nephi wore Laban’s armor, so Captain Moroni inventing it shouldn’t have surprised Zarahemna. Even worse, the Lamanites invent armor in Alma 3 years before Captain Moroni enters the scene (or is even born) in response to Limhi’s people.
2) Wine. Key to the story of escaping Nephites and King Noah’s Winepress, there was no wine in pre-columbia America.
1) Opioid death in Utah, but Utah declares Porn to be a “Health Crisis”
There you go, 17 things that happened this year that still aren’t addressed on FAIRMormon or in any literature that should make anyone take a real long hard look at their religion and wonder where it is headed, and what the next year will bring.