The top 10 lies your Mormon friend is telling you

Social media has enabled communication between friends like never before. It’s also enabled lies to be spread (and debunked more quickly) than ever before.  The lies Mormons tell are typically hold-overs from before Snopes was invented, and most Mormons may not realize they are lying, or simply justify the lie because the church is too good and you, their neighbor, would “make such a good member!”  Next time a member sends you one of these lies, feel free to send them a link to this list.

Also, to you members, before your blood begins to boil on my definition of a lie, I’m using the one given in Gosple Principles lesson 31: Honesty

innocent?

Lying is intentionally deceiving others. Bearing false witness is one form of lying…There are many other forms of lying. When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.

Lie number 1: Missionaries are there to share a simple message, or are not there to convert you.

Yes, yes, yes.  You people who have always seen through this one and that’s fair, but the members really think you might believe that the church spends millions of dollars (er, excuse me, the missionaries spend “Their own money” which they gave to the church and then the church gives them back to live on as well as flight tickets, apartment rentals, utility costs, etc.) just to share a nice message.  But the reality is that missionaries are selling a product, and they are measured by the micro-conversions leading up to that product.

Number of messages shared?  No one gets credit for that.  Number of times you go to church with them, yeah that’s a metric, but it’s a minor one.  Baptisms.  It’s all about baptisms.  The numbers reported to the District leader include how many challenges to baptism you made that week.  That goes up to a Zone Leader, and that to a Mission President.  In the general conference, what number is reported?  Number of Convert Baptisms, in front of the whole church, every 6 months.  “Simple message” is a hook.  The missionaries use a sales technique they are told is the “Commitment pattern” but every Vector/Cutco, pest Control, living scripture, or telecommuting sales agent knows it is how to break down barriers and make a sale.

Lie #2: No one is paid in the church

This one is most frequently stated by missionaries who are “paying their own way”, and don’t get me wrong, the missionary force being so devoted and putting so much money in, is remarkable.  But just a step or two above every missionary is a man being paid.  And yes, it’s always a man.

Mission Presidents receive above $100,000 a year, the average mission president receives $170k and I’ve personally known ones who received $340k.  So why the lie?  Well, one, it makes the missionaries who are living in dirt-poor conditions in 3rd world countries feel better.  Also it lets the church pay one mission president $240k less than other mission presidents.

How do they get away with it?  An IRS loophole where the mission president pays for whatever it is first (Say, a maid to clean the house, or Christmas presents, or first class travel for their whole family to a famous tourist attraction in their country… all 100% covered) and the the church reimburses the mission president.  So they may not be “Paid” with a salary, but they do receive “compensation for their time”.  Deceptive no?

Lie #3: It’s all about eternal families

Oh, Mormons are big on families, no mistake, as long as you conform.  But step out of line and suddenly that “eternal family” rhetoric becomes something to bludgeon a “wayward” child over the head with.

For example, the LGBT community in Utah is well aware that the primary cause of homelessness in Utah for teens is being not part of the “Gender norm” the church dictates

Or if you stop believing: Just this past week, a general authority of the church spoke at BYU’s commencement for the need to “Disassociate” with those who have lost faith

“We should disconnect, immediately and completely, from listening to the proselytizing efforts of those who have lost their faith, and instead reconnect promptly with the holy spirit.”

SHuuuun

It’s all about family as a control mechanism.  Now your well-meaning Mormon friend might say that one talk at BYU doesn’t constitute what all Mormons believe, but I can give dozens of examples where at conference, from the pulpit prophets have called those who don’t believe, “Lazy”, “Darkened”, “Tools of the Adversary”, “Foolish”, and most recently in the April General Conference by Deiter Uchtdorf, “Lacking in integrity”.  Go ahead and tell your spouse you love them, then call them those names and see if it’s all fine and dandy.  No?  Not exactly loving is it?

Lie #4: The Mormon Church was never Racist.

Here is the published church essay, on LDS.org admitting that Leaders of the church caused policy that lasted for a 150 years based on their own racist views.  Oh, and the church never told the members about this essay which is kinda dishonest too, so they might be very surprised

In 1852, President Brigham Young publicly announced that men of black African descent could no longer be ordained to the priesthood, though thereafter blacks continued to join the Church through baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Following the death of Brigham Young, subsequent Church presidents restricted blacks from receiving the temple endowment or being married in the temple. Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church.

Yup, leaders did it, and the church has no idea why; just kept people out of “Eternal families” and the belief they could get to heaven based on skin color.

Lie #5: Polygamy ended over 100 years ago

This one was told by Gordon B Hinkley on the air waves in the 90’s so perhaps the member can be forgiven for not knowing that the last LDS (yes, LDS, not FLDS) polygamous relationship in this life, where two women could be sitting in the pew next to their husband, legitimately LDS and able to go to the temple in the day and have sex together that night, was as late as 1964.

You see, the apostles didn’t stop marrying after they church issued a decree in the 1890’s that plural marriage was to end.  One apostle went so far as to get married in 1905.  His wife was 19 years old.  And since the church only stopped adding new marriages, they didn’t break apart old ones, it turns out that all those sealed before stayed married.  The 19 year old who married the apostle Crowley, died in 1964 (and she died early, if she had lived to a full age 1977 would have been easily obtainable).  So yes, new marriages were stopped 100 years ago, but kids could grow up in a polygamous home as legitimate LDS members until my generation.

Lie #6: Early marriages were common in the 1800s

So you’ve known this person for years and had lunch a few times, maybe over for dinner.  Finally, for some reason, Helen Mar Kimball or one of the other teenage brides of Joseph Smith (that the church admitted to in this essay, but still hasn’t told most of the members about as of this writing, going so far as to leave it off the official list of published essays).

“Well, I don’t know much about that”, says your member friend, “The marrying age was a lot younger back then.”  It’s easy to check: http://classroom.synonym.com/age-marriage-us-1800s-23174.html

the average age of a first marriage for men was 26 years, and the average age of marriage for women was 22 years.

Yup, it’s a known quantity.  Easy to verify on half a dozen sites with Google.  You see, there is this thing called the “Census” and it records ages of marriage. This 22 years of age, includes all the Mormon outliers bringing the average age down too!

Lie #7: We don’t believe you will go to hell

I am sad to say, I’ve said this one myself.  The trick is that when Mormons say “Hell” they typically mean the Bugs Bunny-devil-with-a-pitchfork and hot coals place.  So no, they legitimately don’t believe that will happen.

Ask them, instead; “Do you believe there will be afterlife consequences for me because of my belief, and that those consequences will be worse than yours?”

They will answer they do.  See they believe you’ll go to “Spirit Prison” which is totally different from Hell.  Also that there is a place called the “telestial kingdom” after judgement.  Still no coals, but it is a punishment for actions in this life as well as belief.

Me?  Oh I get my own “Special Hell” for those who joined mormonism and then left it.  Yes, right there with people who talk in the Theater.  It’s called “Outer Darkness”.  But they only send family members they love there who rejected the beliefs, see; it’s all about “Eternal Families”.

What’s that my Mormon friends?  You say that I’m still not bad enough to go to Outer Darkness.  Well, please tell me which prophet described who will after Brigham, because he sure as “hell” put me there.

Lie #8:  We just want to invite you to the baptism/wedding/church activity because you’re a good friend

There is a church doctrine “Every member a missionary”.  They have lessons multiple times a year about inviting friends out or inviting them to meet the missionaries.  No joke.

Lie #9: We can think the way we want.  We are encouraged to learn and study.

Here is a timeline of thought control in the church.  Notice the “you can think, but not really” talks are more frequent this year than prior years.

So yes, study; but always temper that study with faith, as many many of the quotes say.

Lie #10: We’re not anti-science.

Oh yes, I went there.  Fun fact, my Grandmother almost dated Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of the television (she turned him down).  I know that you can rattle off a lot of engineering done by members, or a member of the church who has “Science” in his title at work.  I can even hear you protest “I love science!”.  That’s not what I’m talking about.

What I’m talking about is that as soon as DNA evidence proves that the Native Americans are not Lamanites, or that Coffee isn’t bad for you, or that Noah’s world wide flood is not a possibility you don’t change your beliefs at all.  You don’t respect science.  But, as soon as Cigarettes are shown to cause cancer you’re happy to proclaim Joseph Smith’s Word of Wisdom a scientific success.  When it was learned that LDS individuals lived 11 years longer than the average, that was added to my missions’ tracts (yes, this actually occurred and we were told to share it).  We weren’t given the statistical knowledge behind it, it was just a sales pitch.  When you claim that marriages are 50% more likely to last in the church or share that article that seems to link the middle east with Native Americans or quote some journal that seems to validate your belief, then you “love science”.  But if it contradicts you, suddenly science is something that takes a back step to faith.

Let me tell you, that’s not loving science.  That’s abusing science.  If it were a person, you’d only date them when they told you what you wanted to hear.  If they disagreed with you, you’d physically shove them to the back of a closet only pulling them out when they agreed to say things you liked.

Please, stop abusing science, and claiming you love it.

There you go, 10 lies that I think just about every LDS Mormon shares.  FLDS, Allred Group, and even the community of Christ have a similar list of things they claim too, so I think it fits to ascribe it to all Mormons, but I’d need to adjust a few quotes for their particular branch.

Now, share this with your Mormon friend who just told you one of these lies and see how fast they stop sharing things on social media with you.

This entry was posted in Current issues. Bookmark the permalink. Last edited by Mithryn on April 25, 2016 at 6:46 pm

45 Responses to The top 10 lies your Mormon friend is telling you

  1. Nicholas says:

    Typo in Lie 6: You either meant 19th Century or 1800’s, not 1900’s.

  2. Lori says:

    Are you really saying that the number one reason for teen homelessness in Utah is linked directly to gender identity in the LDS church? It seems like drugs would take that position and not a family rejecting their homosexual child.

    • Mithryn says:

      What we were taught about Drug addiction is all wrong. Namely that kids with a strong support system are very unlikely to be addicted: https://www.ted.com/talks/johann_hari_everything_you_think_you_know_about_addiction_is_wrong/transcript?language=en

      That said, I think even in LDS communities, one is likely to send addicts for treatment, but gays and trans kids out the door.

      • JeanLuc LaBarre says:

        Drug addiction is recognized as a problem that needs to be corrected, whereas homosexuality is not.
        Both are destructive, but only one is treated as such.

        Simply put, the issue is not that parents reject their homosexual children at a higher rate than a drug addicted kids, it is that the addict says, “I need help” but the homosexual has been brainwashed into thinking his/her condition is normal.

        FYI: I’m not mormon.

        • Mithryn says:

          “brainwashed into thinking it is normal”.

          Such not cool words, dude. Get out of your house. Go meet some homosexuals. Learn that they are people too. And that it is, in fact, normal. It’s on the bell curve.

  3. Brandon J. Osborn says:

    A potential addenda to Lie #3:

    The video below was posted on LDS Philanthropies’ youtube channel (I think) about a year ago. It encourages parents of non temple-worthy children to disinherit them and will the assets to the church. There was, apparently, an uproar from members, and the video was taken down. Luckily, copies were downloaded and archived, and re-uploaded to youtube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNRlg6O8ekU

  4. Abu says:

    It’s okay to walk away from the Mormon church if you don’t believe it. Attacking it makes you seem desperate to justify yourself. Just walk away. Let it go. Move on. Everyone will feel better.

    • Mithryn says:

      oh oh oh, want to tell me how to live my life do you?

      First, get your leaders to stop being petty in attacking the exmormon. You know like the BYU talk I mentioned, or Uchtdorf stating we lack integrity or are lonely. Because the finger you are pointing at me sounding “Desperate to justify myself” only applies way more for leaders of a world-wide organization.

      Next, ask them to get out of politics. How many bills did they impact this session? Medical Marijuana, alcohol during an R-Rated movie at Brewvies, Porn as Health Crisis. Once the Church stops attacking me via legislation we can talk about it

      But finally, you need to get the crosshairs off my kids. There are literally dozens of adults all committed to ensaring my kids via lies like the ones above, and they have a decent sized budget to work with.

      I’m just one dad, trying to protect my kids from your lies.

      You tell me how to live my life, Let me recommend that you curb your church’s enthusiasm, or just live with that you deserve to be attacked.

      As your own leaders once said:

      “If we have the truth, [it] cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.” (J. Reuben Clark, counselor in the First Presidency)

    • Lewis McCorvey says:

      Ok to walk away , how about run away ? sprint away ? And telling the truth is attacking ? Ok lets get this straight , I have a book which my mission president told us to buy, it came out in 1976, out of print . My mission was 77-79 , on page 620 it reads ” since the early days of the church blacks did not receive the priesthood” Very plain and simple fact . So if i shared that in 1977 with a black man was i attacking him ? Or if he was man for not receiving the priesthood was he attacked , since at that time that was doctrine practiced for 150 years .

      Now fast forward to when the church essay came out saying that 150 years of documented doctrine is now theories they disavow , sweep under the rug.

      So when those of us who leave and where not told the truth , its alot like those people who got bullied by Lance Armstrong , knowing he was lying .
      At least he came clean, the church never has .

    • Lisa M says:

      I believe this church has taken tons of my time and life experiences. Same for my family members still in. There is a lot to vent about. It’s the way we want to use our 1st amendment right, if you don’t like it, you just walk away.

    • Jodi says:

      It is vital that lies are dispelled. I respect people who walk away from cults and speak out.

  5. Elder Olddog says:

    “The Glory of God is Intelligence.”

    Just don’t try to use it.

  6. apostate says:

    Lie #7 doesn’t seem to jive with what I was taught growing up or shared as a missionary. Do you have a citation to go along with that claim? To my knowledge Outer Darkness is supposedly reserved for those who had received personal witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ e.i. had seen him and knew with certainty that he was the Christ.

    Also, I was under the impression only priesthood holders could go there. So much folk mormonism is spread that my version of doctrine may be just as unfounded.

    It’s all make believe anyways, I just haven’t heard your version of this in the church.

  7. Jake says:

    Very well thought-out. Definitely some of those uncomfortable truths that we would have liked to be able to admit earlier, but only are able to really see when we step away from the forest a little bit.

  8. Zelph says:

    To be fair, there isn’t much consensus on what it takes to be sent to outer darkness. I had a seminary teacher that believed even Judas wasn’t going to be sent there. The rest of the post is nails though, really really good points, thanks for sharing.

  9. Tinapj says:

    👏👏👏👏👏👏

    I wish I was brave enough to share this on my FB wall!

    Keep up the good work & thank you!

  10. Sherem says:

    Love this and your response to the person telling you to leave the church alone.

    For #7 what about the doctrine/idea/belief that the “truly righteous” parents will somehow save their apostate children and drag them to heaven whether they like it or not?

  11. Bishop-nomore says:

    Great post (as was your follow up post in outer darkness). My mother, although very loving in her response to my apostasy, believes I am going to outer darkness. She is legitimately concerned for my soul. I think there are many of her generation who believe that.

  12. SophieESA says:

    I would add to #5 that celestial polygamy is alive and well as current doctrine. That’s never changed. If you are a woman in the Mormon afterlife, you will share your husband with any other women he’s “sealed” to and spend your eternity pumping out spirit babies together. Enjoy.

  13. Robyn Price says:

    Since we’re talking about deceptions here, “Exploring Mormonism” seems to be practicing a form of deception. A more appropriate name would be “Denouncing Mormonism.” Why not be upfront with your purpose and intent instead of posing as an unbiased source of accurate information? It seems to me that your sole objective in your “explorations” is to denounce, criticize, castigate, and destroy the Mormon church. So why not be honest about it in the title of your website?

    • Mithryn says:

      I got the site back when I was still on the fence. I have an “About me” page where I’m up front about my position. I updated it as by beliefs changed.

      But here is the thing, we can “Explore Mormonism” without believing it. I can, as a former member, point out things that confused me as a member, investigate details like “Who goes to outer darkness”; and so forth.

      I do Explore it, but I don’t put forward false claims; and that seems to force me into the “Anti” category in your mind. Please consider why that is.

  14. The best way to deal with relgion is humor. Here’s my attempt: https://goo.gl/ktXhwI

  15. Elmer Gantry says:

    I spent a year in the army sharing an office with a master sergeant who also was a Mormon “bishop.” His 9-to-5 job rarely took more than a couple of hours out of his day and the rest of his time he spent conducting church business — primarily recruiting — on the office telephone.

    We were in an infantry division, and the infantry grunts tend to spend weeks and months on end either in field exercises or deployed elsewhere. So those soldiers who were married tended to spend a considerable time away from their spouses and family.

    Whenever a unit would deploy (which would be common knowledge on post), the bishop would call around to the wives in his congregation whose husbands served in the deploying units to ask them to identify other women whose husbands also had deployed but who weren’t members of the Mormon church. Then he would call these other women and invite them to a church social gathering, making certain to mention that it was not a religious gathering, just a familial event.

    These women in general would be young and un-worldly, and for many it was their first time from home. Most are finding the army environment alien and a little unsettling, and their husbands being gone so much left them feeling lonely and isolated, so many are eager to find a support group …ANY support group. And if the young wife committed to accept the bishop’s invitation, his next telephone call was to at least two of his women congregants to assign them to make sure this woman was warmly received at the event.

    So what he’s doing is identifying vulnerable women, targeting them, luring them to a Mormon gathering with promises of companionship but at which she will be tag-teamed by multiple designated recruiting specialists. He’s casting a dazzling-colored fishing lure her way, but with hidden razor-sharp hooks.

    But eventually the infantry husband comes home. And if the wife has taken the bait, he won’t be home long before she starts needling him to let the bishop come talk to him about the church.

    The man has spent the last month sleeping in a mud hole and feasting on freeze-dried food. If not worse. He’s physically and mentally exhausted, he knows it’s only weeks until he goes back to the same mud hole, and the last thing he wants is conflict in his home when he’s counting on relaxation and “down time,” so finally he gives in. And then the bishop comes to visit.

    The morning after the visit, late enough that he can be sure the husband has left home for the day, the bishop calls the wife once again. They chat a bit and eventually the conversation turns to the previous evening’s visit. He tells her he enjoyed the evening he thanks her for the hospitality. Then he asks her if once he had left, if she and husband spoke between themselves about the bishop’s sales pitch. To which the answer always is “Yes,” because that’s part of what she’s been coached to do.

    Then comes the truly chilling bit: “Would you mind sharing with me what his thoughts were?”

    Always that exact same phrase. Chilling because the bishop is tweaking the wife’s sense of gratitude to the bishop, figurehead of the support group that has relieved her from her loneliness and isolation, effectively reducing her to collecting intelligence against her husband and relaying it to the Mormons.

    It’s a very sophisticated recruitment campaign. And equally insidious.

    • Mithryn says:

      Growing up I knew a lot of members whose fathers were in the military. I always wondered how a peace-loving organization like ours could have so many military families.

      Well, I learned we weren’t so peace loving, but this is an interesting aspect. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Miranda says:

    “Next, ask them to get out of politics. How many bills did they impact this session? Medical Marijuana, alcohol during an R-Rated movie at Brewvies, Porn as Health Crisis. Once the Church stops attacking me via legislation we can talk about it”
    This was my favorite part since the thing I get told the absolute most is why can’t I leave the church alone.
    Gosh, I don’t know, maybe because it impacts my life on a daily basis via legislation. Also, because virtually every member of my family is a member including many too young to do much about it at this point.

  17. Brian C says:

    #3 – some other examples:

    1) Missionaries are isolated from their families for 18-24 months only allowed to call home twice a year. It’s hard to find any other organization anywhere with such an anti-family policy.

    2) There are a lot more examples of it being a control mechanism. A kid doesn’t get to be baptized or ordained by his dad where the other kids do – great plan – social pressure on the kids and make them ashamed of their parents. Then theirs the ultimate – excluding from weddings.

    3) The lds church doesn’t actually teach “forever families” it teaches “forever partial and fractured families.” There is a really good chance that someone in your immediate family – parents, siblings, spouse, children isn’t going to make it to the Celestial Kingdom. And that means they aren’t sealed in your eternal family. Most religions or at least religious people implicitly believe families continue in the afterlife. The Mormon religion actually has an extremely pessimistic viewpoint that most families have people missing. This creates guilt and fear that you have to worry about not only getting you but your whole family to the Celestial Kingdom. And, oh yea, if you aren’t into the church you get the added guilt that you are breaking your Mormon loved ones heart because they are losing you for all eternity.

    4) It’s not uncommon for local church leaders to spend a significant amount of time at church instead of with their family. Many callings require a 10 hour day on Sunday as well as an additional weeknight or two each week. Time of work gets spent going to youth camps or other activities instead of with family.

  18. Friendly Finley says:

    This is a great post, thanks.

  19. I found the video on the flood interesting, but it has a major problem. How do you know the height of the tallest mountain prior to the flood? The whole theory rest upon the current height of Mt. Everest without taking into consideration that the tallest mountains were created after the flood by rapid continental drift.

    • Mithryn says:

      You are correct. It is a problem.

      However as Everest is growing slowly , I think it is assumed that the bias is probably in the favor of the analysis, and that it is small. We don’t have to be exact; if we’re off by 20% of the total, it’s still a valid analysis because it’s just an illustration of how difficult a world wide flood would be.

  20. Clara says:

    I am LDS and I share the gospel with my friends out of love. If they aren’t interested they remain my friends. In fact, I have neighbors that aren’t interested, but I am still going to invite them over for Family Home Evening because I believe that it is a great program for them to do with their kids to help the kids learn their parents’ beliefs. They are Catholic and I am fine with sharing whatever pieces of the gospel they are willing to accept, even if they don’t join the church. I believe that whatever they take will do them good. I have also learned things from them that have done me good. I do not have some evil plot to force them to do anything or to brainwash them. I just want them and the kids to be happy and I believe that what I have will help them to be happy. My friends and the others in the church are the same way.

  21. Mormon and lover of all love abiding religions says:

    Truth is decerned through the influence of the Holy Ghost. I can only decern full truth when I have the influence of the Holy Ghost. That goes for Mormons and Non- Mormons alike. Contention is not of God, never has been and never will be. Satan is the father of all lies and all half truths. When a person shares their truth, that is what it is, their truth, but it may not be the FULL truth. I am blessed to live in a country where I can share my truth. God is love. Always has been and always will be. I have Mormon, Jewish, Catholic, etc. friends who are amazing. When I see a person, I see my brother or my sister. Let us all remember where we came from. We are all God’s children. None of us are enemies. Only one being wants us to believe we are and that is Satan. He laughs when we contend one with another. I won’t take his bait, and I invite anyone who would like to join in that perspective to do the same. Let us all respect other’s opinions and let people practice their own religion. After all, that is another privilege we have in this country. Their are many half truths and faulty conclusions made in many posts on this site, but since people can think as they like, I won’t criticize. There are great people in many different religions. There are many great truth loving people in the LDS church who love to serve their fellow man and do things for the right reasons. There are also some who are not. Let us not pretend other religions have similar circumstances. If we are going to hold a microscope to anyone or any religion let’s expect that one way or another the same will be done to us.

  22. Mormon and lover of all love abiding religions says:

    That is an interesting perspective on God. But I can see how someone would feel that way. Are you really seeking truth? Cause if you are, you will find it. Knowledge is amazing to acquire and the journey is filled at times with so much work and delayed rewards. Oh and Satan is nobody’s puppet. No one is, we all have choice. No one has the right to take that away. Not even God does that. He has laws he abides by. He is the only being who does not lie. But he has boundaries. He gives us guidelines to live by because he won’t raise spoiled Narssasitic children. But we humans can be dumb and submit our will as in the case of addictions. But in the end we have it us and with the grace of God to win it back. So many questions won’t be answered in this life time. I choose to walk by faith and love for my fellow man. The best to you.

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