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:
- The FLDS
- The Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorgranized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (which was determined to be the true successor by the Supreme court in 1870 as the resolution to the Temple Lot Case)
- The Remnant Church
- The Strangites
- The Allred Group
- The Kingston Group
- The Rigdon/Bickertonites
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.