9 Reasons to fear mormons

LDS Smile posted cute reasons to be afraid of mormons here: http://ldssmile.com/2014/10/14/9-reasons-afraid-mormons/

Let’s run with that logic and talk about 9 reasons to really fear mormons:

1) Their doctrine says they should cut people’s heads off if it helps the nation and the voices in our heads tell us to

2. There was a secret organization of police who would kill those who left for about 100 years called danites

3. Members of the religion murdered 120 individuals traveling across the state because they felt god told them to

4. Members promise to obey fully and give everything to the Church in the temple while wearing Scooby-doo-level-cult outfits and until 1990, promising to pull tongues out and disembowel themselves if they revealed too much

5. We have our own brand of serial killers including Ted Bundy

6. Ranking members of our society (Bishops) are expected to routinely ask children behind closed doors about sexual topics (As well as adult members)

Now, tell me about the law of Chasity… how often do you touch yourself?

7. They expect women to go back to the kitchen and have even gotten politically involved to maintain it

8. The torture methods used by the Bush administration were written and permitted by Mormons

9. They have 80,000 missionaries out there right now trying to convert more people into their religion while not telling them any of the actual history or issues as well as a massive PR department putting out cute memes to make them more likable

Oh ho ho ho… such sillyness.  No reason to be afraid of mormons.  NONE!

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Did Brigham Young engage in Human Trafficing

And perhaps more importantly is “Human Trafficking” baked into the Mormon narrative?

To understand this, we turn to… the Pope. Yesterday (July 22nd, 2015) the Pope met with Mayors from around the world and discussed Climate change and Human trafficking, two items that are major issues around the world for almost every country.

However, the fascinating thing was that most of the mayors left with an idea how the two were linked.

“When it gets hot, the poor get a lot hotter, and when it gets cold, the poor get a lot colder,” he said. “That’s a quote from Gen. [Russel L.] Honoré. The point of this is, when climate change comes, when we feel its dramatic impact, and it forces people to move out of their homes, like they did after Katrina, people are put in really, really difficult situations where they have to make bad decisions, and in very impoverished countries one of the decisions they make is to sell their bodies, or to give themselves over to somebody else to abuse them, and quite technically enslave them into owing them money for the rest of their lives, which evidently turns into a very large economy for human trafficking across the world.”

Continue reading

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Twopence more and up goes the donkey

“Twopence more and up goes the donkey”.  It’s a fascinating phrase because it only exists for a limited time in London.  It has a meaning that people ascribe to it, and even one man who claims to have invented it, saying he was fined for balancing a donkey.

Continue reading

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“No Official Doctrine”

Things the LDS Church has no official position on (According to FAIRMormon):

1) Evolution[1] which is funny because the Garden of Eden, The Fall, Noah’s flood and such all are impacted by this concept

2) The Official location of the peoples in the Book of Mormon[2] which is funny since the entire truth claims of the church depend on this book being legitimately about people in North America who are the ancestors of Native Americans

3) Who the Great and Abominable Church is that Nephi is talking about that God shows to Nephi[3] which is funny, because if there are only two churches, the church of the Lamb and the Great and Abominable church, it might be important to know which you are in

4) The Consumption of Cola Drinks[4] which is funny because they are dead set against coffee and tea; when those actually have health benefits[5] proven by science[6] .

6) Whether or not there was Death before the Fall of Adam[7] which is funny because it only matters if one takes the scriptures very, very literally, and needs sex to be somehow linked to all of mankind’s actions.

7) Whether there was a global or local flood[8] which is funny because the church has published that to be Mormon means to acknowledge a global flood in its official magazine[9] and it is a fairly key component to many church leader statements, and yet they know the science doesn’t back up the position

8) When the lands of the earth were separated[10] which is funny because the Bible makes a statement, and despite having prophets with communication to God, they still haven’t answered if this verse can be taken at face value

9) Dinosaurs[11] . Because evidence and every 5 year-old’s heart loving these movie-blockbusting lizards from a previous era is no reason to actually acknowledge their existence.

10) Jesus being married[12] which is funny because early leaders actually cited Jesus’ marriage as proof that he was polygamous to back their own polygamy. Taking away this argument would be “anti-mormon” lies back in the 1860’s

11) Which books are considered doctrine[13] even when they bear the copyright or trademark of “Intellectual reserve inc” doesn’t make it official which is funny because everything had to go through the correlation department before going to printing.

12) Whether a person can progress between the three degrees of glory[14] which is funny because that whole claim about “Families being forever” kinda could somehow be affected by whether people in the Telestial kingdom could show up in the Celestial kingdom one day

13) The age of the Earth[15] which is kinda funny since D&C 77 pretty much states it, and the Nauvoo Masonic Hall still has the year of the earth on the corner from a Young Earth Perspective. Further, it kinda impacts the whole “Adam was the first man” concept

14) The Date of Christ’s Birth[16] which is funny because Apostles have said it over the pulpit during conference even though that date is clearly wrong.

15) Whether Jesus knows who is going to be saved[17] which is funny because that’s part of the definition of omniscience, a trait of God explicitly stated

16) Did God have sex with Mary[18] which is funny because it was explicitly stated by church leaders over the pulpit at General conference.

17) Whether the Sons of Perdition will have another chance at eternal glory[19] yup, even being damned doesn’t mean you are according to the Church official positions

18) Whether Native Americans are Lamanites[20] which is funny because Spencer W. Kimball took kids from their homes to be re-educated by Mormons[21] hoping to make their skin whiter[22]

19) Whether Jesus Christ is the savior of other worlds[23] which is funny because the atonement is described as infinite and eternal. I guess that’s a “limited infinite” that lasts for an eternity.

20) Whether Joseph said the Moon was inhabited[24] which is funny because well, moon-people in 2015… this should be a clear and easy one to simply say “No, we officially don’t believe this”

21) Spencer W. Kimball’s claim that women should fight to the death to preserve their virtue[25] which is funny because he clearly said it, it’s printed in Miracle of Forgiveness and quoted in manuals, and still pretty much used everywhere.

22) Whether the Garden of Eden is in Missouri[26] which is funny because it was pretty clear for most of Church history what Joseph meant.

23) How the Book of Abraham was translated[27] which is funny because it’s a book of scripture that very much informs the LDS worldview, and that is highly suspect in its authenticity. A question to deity could easily resolve this issue.

24) Anything Apologists say[28] which is funny because, they have so few actual opinions of their own, and rely on these unofficial apologists as sources so frequently

Some Official Positions:

1) Adam God Theory is wrong[29] which is funny because Brigham taught it for 37 years[30] including over the pulpit in conference. It’s funny because it’s hard to figure out what is doctrine if this isn’t; and it’s one of the unique teachings of Brigham, whose credibility the LDS church entirely depends upon

2) Opposing the ERA[31] (Equal Rights Amendment for women to be paid the same as men)

3) That hot drinks are tea and coffee[32]

4) The key, official doctrine of the Church is that Jesus is literally the son of God (i.e., this is not a symbolic or figurative expression), and Mary was a virgin before and after Christ’s conception.[33] which is funny to think about, but sure, this one makes some sense.

5) The proclamation on the Family IS official doctrine[34] which is funny because I look forward to reading the FAIR page that corrects the notion that this was ever doctrine in about 10 years

6) The location of the 10 tribes[35] is still that they are scattered, which is funny because, it’s about damn time the church found them.

7) The church support for Prop8 was official[36]

8) There are several official statements that the Blacks will never receive the priesthood[37] including first presidency quotes, which is funny because the only one they highlight is where a church leader claims there was no official position of the church.

Summary Anytime top church leaders cannot unanimously agree on central tenets, the church simply labels the issue with “No official position” which weakens the claim that the 12 are united on policies of the church as several key doctrines are left unanswered. When the church is attacking individuals (Women with ERA, Blacks and the priesthood, Gays with prop8) the church takes an official position.

This damning of others, while refusing to use the prophetic gifts to answer fundamental questions of life and mormonism is evidence the church is damned/apostate as the leaders cannot answer questions, but only dig in their heels when lobbing the church’s weight against minority groups seeking equality.

The church must take official positions on doctrinally relevant questions or it will continue to grow doctrinally irrelevant while appearing to merely be a vehicle for bigoted hate.

Or maybe that’s just FAIRMormon’s official position?

Posted in Apologetics, Correlation, Current issues | Leave a comment

Baloney detector and kids

A great post.  Just going to link to it without further commentary: http://parent.co/how-to-help-your-kids-build-a-better-bs-detector/

And animations mentioned in the article:
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/02/09/critical-thinking/

Posted in Critical Thinking course for Kids | Leave a comment

Lds.reddit.com archives – How to talk to a family or friend leaving the church

Original Link

First, I don’t mean this to be snarky, sarcastic, or hateful. I genuinely want to help people on the TBM side of the equation see what common phrases in the church mean to someone who is doubting/has left the church, and why sometimes very innocent sounding phrases can be terribly offensive.

I mean this to help relationships that any of you may experience in the future. Hopefully none of you will experience it, but statistics say that each of you may encounter this at some point. Regardless, best of luck to you.

(Yes, every one of these has been said to me by a close person, yes a similar list will be posted to /r/exmormon)

I know the church is true”

Why this hurts – The implication with this statement is that all other faiths are not true, including the one the person who you are talking to. It’s immediately comparative, and creates enmity, the definitions of Pride according to Bensen’s 1989 talk on Pride. It lifts you up, by pushing the person you’re talking to down.

The reverse said to a member (So you can see the hurt level created – “I know the church is false”

A better way to say it – “Despite your new beliefs, I am comfortable with mine”. or “I’m happy that you’ve found truth. I feel I have too. I appreciate you sharing with me, and I’d be willing to share more of mine with you if you would like”

“You just wanted to sin!” “Are you guilty of infidelity?” “What are you doing wrong?” etc. etc. etc.

Why this hurts – well, beyond the obvious that you are accusing the person of committing some ghastly deed; it’s an obvious logical fallacy. A person can easily stay a member and sin. We see it all the time, and I’m sure you do to. Therefore, people do not typically leave to sin. Even if someone did leave to sin, as some of the /r/exmo crowd did do, it’s usually very detailed, nuanced and has depth to the reason. This casts it as “black and white” drawing the line appropriately so that the person you’re talking to is the “black” side of the equation. Even if you believe this to be the case, saying it to a person doesn’t help the relationship.

The reverse said to a member – You are just a member of the church because you want to sin (Such as gluttony, a catholic sin, or eating bacon, a jewish sin).

A better way to say it – “Tell me why you left.” or “I understand you probably have reasons for what you did, I don’t want to know the reasons, just know I still care about you”

“Who offended you?”

Why this hurts – The implication is that you left over something trivial. Like spilled milk (or milk strippings) affecting one’s eternal destination. It condenses what is more than likely a very complex/difficult decision into something meaningless very quickly.

The reverse said to a member – “You’re just a member because you were brainwashed” equally reduces the complex nuances as to why one is a member to a simple, trivial statement. “All members are alike” is similar in how it reduces everyone who left to a stereotype.

A better way to say it – “I still love and respect you regardless of belief. Tell me what hurts.”, “I’m sure this journey did not happen over night, tell how you got to this place” both express a willingness to listen to hurt without simplifying the person’s experience.

“People who leave the church can never leave it alone”

Why it hurts – The implications is that one who leaves is affected by the devil, or always obsessed by the church. People who have a genuine interest in the culture or history are grouped together with “Angry Anti’s”, as well as people who are still caught between their spouse and the religion who do get upset regularly are portrayed as though they should “Just leave”, when they continue to talk about the church because it is still prominent in their lives.

Reversed – “People in the church only talk about the church and nothing else. It’s like they are obsessed or something” or “People who stay in the church only do it to save face”. Both of these statements group and stereotype unfairly, as well as remove good reasons that members take action in a similar way to the original statement’s stereotyping and good reason removal.

A better way to say it – “You’re still talking about the church even after you left, what is it about the church that still matters to you”. “People online who continue to attack the church, or talk about it after they left confuse me. Can you explain to me their reasoning for continuing to talk about the faith?”

“People who leave are dark, unfeeling, unselfish, devil-possessed, narcotics users, wife beaters, ugly, etc.”

Why it hurts – Because the statements are designed to castigate humans into a “Them” category that is inferior. Yes, there are leadership quotes to say that these things. Yes you may not be talking to an exmormon. But the person you are talking to might have a husband, father, mother, niece, former-roommate who has left, and calling names at someone’s friend or relation hurts.

Reverse – “Mormons are all dull, the same, bland, stupid, annoying, etc.” Name calling is that on either side.

Say it better – “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” – Thumper’s Mother.

bonus – The above goes for Atheists as well, even if General Authorities do it, it doesn’t make it right or okay to group people together and cast them as inferior.

Edit

“I know you know it’s true!”, “You know it’s true, why are you denying it?”

Why it hurts – It immediately brings to mind how wrong we were when we thought we knew the church was true. It forces us to think of how betrayed we feel, the lies we encountered, etc. It quickly makes the conversation “not safe”.

Reverse – “You know that there are problems with the church. You can feel it is false!”

A better way to say it – “Have you ever felt the song of redeeming love? Can you still feel it.” Alma gives a much better way to address this issue that is a lot less condemning. Follow his example.

“Are you gay?!”

Why it hurts – The member has just skipped right past any actual feeling or emotion of the person they are talking to. If the person is gay, they now feel threatened. If not, the ex-member is torn between explaining why “Gay people aren’t bad” and the real reasons they left. In addition it generally feels threatening.

Reverse – Are you in a cult?! Similar shortcircuit of emotional reasoning and threatening felling of conversation is created.

How to say it better – “Tell me your reason for leaving.”

“You have to consider your sources” “The internet is full of lies” “How can you trust such angry people”

Why it hurts – The automatic assumption that the person you are talking to hasn’t verified the source, or thought through what is said is hurtful. In addition though, the exmormon is likely to want to say something about how all the sources the member has been reading are paid by the church. Hugh Nibley, The Maxwell Institute, and General Authorities all have an incentive to twist the truth in favor of the church. FAIRlds have no financial incentive (well, some do), but are not backed by the church in anyway, they have just as much credibility as Mormonthink.com or Mormonstories.org, and sometimes much less. Without advanced wikipedia skills, you probably don’t even know who was posting to FAIRlds. The irony of calling out sources, is difficult to reconcile/deal with for members.

In addition calling out Michael Quinn for being gay, or attacking Richard Bushman/the Emma Smith authors when they are very LDS, even when being put through some very trying experiences does not help your case in seeming like you have a well-thought out and reasoned argument.

I’ve had people say this to me when I was quoting Joseph Smith himself. Yes, yes, I considered the source a LOT before quoting him.

The reverse – “Everyone you read is paid off by the organization, consider the source” This one cuts both ways

*A better way to say it” – “Let’s set apart some time to review the materials you’ve been reading/studying/etc. and look at the sources to see if they are valid”. Or, “Please tell me about the source of where you heard this.” Or, if you feel threatened, “I’m not sure I want to discuss this now.” Asking to not talk about a troubling item is not a bad thing, but throwing some mud at a person’s time and efforts in order to not talk about something will damage a relationship.

“We should not criticize our leaders, even if that criticism is true”

Why it hurts – Every organization has mistakes, misdeeds and problems. Even the church. In fact, if one points out any errors made, many people say “Well, he was just acting as a man”. In fact, this statement is a * criticism*. Regardless, criticism is an important tool for an organization to self-correct. Without any criticism organizations make worse and worse mistakes. Being able to see the disaster before it happens, and not be able to say anything is hard for any person. Shutting that person up will not help a relationship.

Reverse – “You should not criticizing people who left the church, even if the criticism is true”. You see how difficult that standard is to maintain, and how ANY system would be able to look good if it followed this advice. “You should not criticize Walmart, even if that criticism is true”.

A better way to say it – “Please don’t use ad hominem attacks against leaders. I honor and respect these men still.” “It sounds to me like you’re just making a personal attack, if that’s not your intent, please explain it to me.”

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From the /r/LDS archives – 18 year olds and alcoholism on Missions

A few of my posts from earlier times have been resurrected from the subreddit lds.reddit.com.  I produce them whole cloth without edits or updates over the next few pages.  I will also link back to the originals but please be aware the subreddit could shut down again at anytime killing the link:

Original Link

With the reduction in missionary age, several things flashed though my mind. One of which was how ill-prepared I was at 19 to deal with alcoholism in people I met. Someone right out of highschool would be even less prepared.

So I want to set the record straight. To be clear, this is not an attack on the church, this is not intended to deter people from going on missions, and this is not to revel in the exmormon stance either. This is because I know the suicide rates of people trying to get off of alcohol, and I am more aware now that it’s fairly likely I may have driven people to death by how we taught the word of wisdom principle, and I see this as a real chance for missionaries to do some good in the world and to help out.

This is me, after years of learning, trying to teach a younger me not to hurt people, and hoping others benefit.

1) Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic.

  • Why this matters: Because if you walk around after getting a guy who has a beer with dinner once in a while to stop drinking beer, claiming you helped cure alcoholics, you’re not only wrong, you’re a danger to others (That’s coming).

Alcoholism is a bad term. Alcohol dependence is preferred, and once you leave the Utah scene (I’m assuming I’m talking to a younger version of myself, many of you may, in fact, have seen the difference) you’re going to see the difference.

Alcoholism is more than just “likes to drink”. It’s where the person is dependent on the drug. Let me repeat that, they DEPEND on the drug. Shaming them, attacking them in front of their spouse and kids, or other things for not quitting drinking so they can be baptized can be very dangerous and will probably not work. If you think it did, odds are they hid the drinking from you because they DEPEND on the drink at that point, and recovery is not miraculous or immediate.

2) Teenagers should not drink –http://alcoholism.about.com/od/teens/a/blacer050216.htm

Why this matters. Odds are, you’re going to see a lot of this in whatever country you go to. Drink of various types is embedded in the culture. Vodka, irish beer, scotch, all of them have some connection to the culture. People drink certain drinks during celebrations. This is just normal for them, and has been for years. Knowing the science behind why teenage drinking hurts kids can really help you prevent future damage to people.

But realize the social pressure is enormous. Not just in the “Hey, buddy, wanna beer” way of American society, but it is a rite of passage to manhood in many countries to have your first beer.

3) The recovery system of the church is taken from the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Knowing the 12 steps, what they are, and how they work can be very beneficial when you meet your first addict. And if your mission is anything like mine, you’ll meet lots of them Something about missionaries attracts the drunk, even more than the hot girl.

Knowing how to deal with a drunk (forget rationality and make your arguments make no sense if they get aggressive/combative, the confusion is your best chance at disarming them) will be very valuable, but the addict you care about will be far more challenging.

Know this: only about 2-5% of people in alcoholics anonymous make it through the program. Got that? 5% tops. That means that out of 100 people you try to help, if you follow the system perfectly, 5 of them will recover (on average) (source is a 1980’s statistical study, more recent studies place it at20% for the first year after.

Here’s the kicker, the 4th step of the 12 step program is basically repentance. One has to write out a list of everything they’ve ever done to hurt someone, and try to make restitution in some form. According to the AA professionals I met and worked with on my mission, suicide rates during this step are about 32%

That is, about 5% recover, and 1/3rd end up dead.

This is an enormously difficult task. The pain is amazing.

4) Numbers vs. Humans

Why it matters: You’re going to want to get numbers of baptisms. You’ll say to yourself now, “I won’t care about numbers, I’ll care about people”, but once you have an AP a Zone leader and a mission president asking where the numbers are, you’ll struggle. It’s hard to resist that kind of peer pressure.

And it will /seem/ like Mr. Foster (or whoever) is clean and should be baptized this week. But the thing is, Alcohol dependence is for life. He has to shift his entire mental philosophy.

But then there’s that number, shining in front of you, so easy to get.

The mission president, zone leaders and AP’s may even encourage you to “Move on”, “forget them if they won’t convert or show progress”.

But remember, you’re looking at a 33% suicide rate, while this person is in the most difficult step, that portion where they try to make amends (Something they’ll be thinking about during preparation for baptism).

You walk away from them, and you might be signing their deaths. You shame them, or mock them, or push them in front of their families, and you might as well have handed them the loaded gun (Suicide, as far as I can tell, is “death by embarrassment”, very few suicides happen without embarrassment).

So if you are still reading this, and you head out on a mission later, remember these words. This isn’t a game. It isn’t just about a plan of salvation, or joy, or whatever; it’s real people with real struggles that odds are, at 18 or 19, you’ve never had to face.

Go out there and be serious, be helpful, and forget the numbers if someone really needs you and be a good person.

Craig Ferguson backing up what I’m saying

Penn and Teller about 12 step program and recovery

Penn and Teller, round 2 on 12 step

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Confirmation Bias and 2 4 6

I’ve had good success with this video in helping kids to understand bias.  I pause it frequently and let them make their guesses (writing down their guesses if they can write) and let them “get it wrong” along with the adults.  It’s powerful for them to see adults getting it wrong the same way they do and when they hear the explanation it is meaningful that adults and children can both be wrong in the same way.

Plus, it’s kinda a game, which makes it fun.  Good family home evening lesson, but I’d cut off after the reveal as he kinda goes anti-religion after he explains what confirmation bias is.

Posted in Critical Thinking course for Kids | 1 Comment

Leadership and data conference notes

Recently I attended a great multi-industry conference.  A few things speakers said impacted me.  They are included here without spin, but simply allowing the reader to take the context of LDS leadership in connection with the quotes.

“To solve any problem that has never been solved before, you have to leave the door to the unknown ajar” – Richard Feynman

“Blockbuster was doing location analysis so that one of their stores would be less than 10 miles than anyone in the U.S. while Netflix was being released.  Sometimes not changing can be even riskier than taking risks”

Information is a powerful political component.  Individuals in an organization can wield power over others in the same business with the word: “classified”.
If you steal a pencil from the company you can get fired, but if you withhold information you get promoted. Yet the latter can undermine the business and cost millions.

“Letting go of Control is a true sign of leadership”

Hording information may have been successful in the past, but it is negatively impacting business today.

Having doubt is healthy.  We wouldn’t look for more information or bather to seek/ask questions if there were no doubts.

All new discovery is driven by doubting something

The most frightening people (in leadership especially) are the ones who have no doubts.  Because no matter how wrong they are, they will never know it and they cannot be reasoned with

Predators only partner with other predators, not with prey, such as lambs.  If they are not willing to be equal with you, odds are they see you as the lamb on the dinner table.

Hate is gained as much by good works as by evil ones – Marchiavelli

It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver – Marchiavelli

If you find yourself always donning a superhero cape to save someone else from a fire, odds are they see you as a dove; which means you are also on the dinner table

If you share more information that your peers, odds are you are also prey, not a predator.

And finally:

Data is the enemy of belief.  When data challenges a person they move from the intellectual to the emotional response.

Doubt is not to be feared, it is to be welcomed as the possibility of a new potential. If you know that you are not sure, you have a chance to improve the situation. – Richard Feynman

http://www.gartner.com/it/products/research/media_products/wolfcio/index.jsp

Posted in Church Finances, Current issues | 3 Comments

The risk of being a Mormon

Learn something? Please consider DONATING HERE to support my personal project to help people learn about the Mountain Meadows Massacre

 

I think most members of the LDS faith are Risk Averse.  They are not likely to gamble, they seek steady employment, and generally try to have stable families.

And I don’t think that is by accident.  Much of the church’s philosophies push risk out to after death, or to say that one needs not fear, things are in God’s hands.

And I think this lack of appetite for risk exposes itself as an individual leaves the church. Let me explain

If I were to ask a member how sure they were the church was true they would probably say they were 100% sure.  That is to say, there is no risk that they have made a bad choice.  They might express this as

“I know the church is true”

However, if one talks about any of the details of church history they are less sure.  Even some current doctrines can be skipped over or be less concrete in their minds.  Is Coke against the word of wisdom?

“Didn’t president Monson say it was Okay?  I hear he drinks Pepsi and that is like coke, sometimes I drink a Mountain Dew, I like it better, but not coffee because it is a hot drink, but hot chocolate is okay”

When members learn more about Joseph Smith or church history, they essentially take on more risk.  It’s like doing research in the prospectus for your 401k and not just throwing money from your paycheck into the 401k each month.  “Is Joseph Smith Jr. a good investment”.

And each historical item; Kinderhook plates, 33+ wives without telling Emma, Anachronisms in the Book of Mormon, etc. call into question the risk amount there is for following Joseph.

A member may go through periods where they are 50% sure their investment in the LDS church is sound.  Exmormons sometimes make the statement

I am more sure today that the church is not true, than I ever was that it was true

Under what context would this statement make sense?  Well now they’ve done their homework, they’ve read the prospectus, and decided to move their investments to another location.  They are still Risk Averse; trying to find stability, they just found the church is not as stable as it claims.

Dieter Uchtdorf framed the question as

“One should doubt one’s doubts, before one doubts one’s faith”

But once we see the situation as “appetite for risk” this statement (Stolen from a 1920’s Christian Minister by the way) becomes almost ludicrous:

One should remain constant in an investment, even as more risk appears

Imagine you have a portfolio of stocks in the banking industry in 2007.  You look at the earnings ratio, you look at the reserves.  Something doesn’t add up.  But instead of pulling out; you doubt your doubts, and continue to invest.  By 2008, you are a poor person.

Each of us is going to have a financial crisis.  We are going to die.  The question should be “Can the church provide salvation after death for me?”  Given there is little evidence for it, and so many questions about their story and moments were the balances on the books don’t seem to match the actual reserves, a risk averse person should LEAVE the church.

But they don’t; and this is why the Essays and such are so difficult on members.  They want to be Risk Averse.  They are trying to maintain stability; but leaving the church carries with it an immense quantity of “unknown”  It is a challenge.  And so it becomes easier to refuse thinking about the risk; and to fall back on the concept that  “one knows that the investment is sound”.

Maybe the investment is sound, maybe it isn’t.  But it is worth reading the prospectus to figure out; rather than to pretend the risk doesn’t exist.

Similarly, I think the common factor in people I found on my mission is that they were all risk averse; and learned to see the church as a safe investment.

Posted in Current issues | 1 Comment