I have been in the LDS church for about 2 years, and am ready to leave. There is so much hypocrisy, obvious false, contradictory doctrine, and the covering up of detrimental church history. If you’ve done any research at all on your church you’ll know what I mean.
My question is, how can devout Mormons stay, in light of all this evidence, which basically proves the church is false, and it’s founders are false prophets? I would really like some information which proves the church and it’s prophets are true, but I haven’t found any. Any Mormons here that would like to debate this?
Friend, it’s just futile to try to refute faith using logic, or, for that matter, to try to use faith to trump logic. They’re entirely different ways of looking at the world - the frameworks of thinking don’t intersect.
The definitions of truth are entirely different in the two realms. It’s entirely possible, and common, for someone to have a religious belief in something that reason alone would tell him was a folk tale. When pressed, he might tell you that the story was simply an illustrative metaphor, not literally true, but the deeper meaning was still true. That may be the case for many Mormons, just as it is for many member of other Christian and other denominations, but I’m sure there are fundamental literalist Mormons as well as Baptists.
So basically you are saying that we should accept the BoM and other church scriptures on pure blind faith? I cannot accept that.
If a book (which claims to be a historical document) documents events that really happened, there should be archeological and historical evidence of those events happening. Never mind the anachronisms that occur in the BoM, making the events impossible in and of themselves.
If the events in the book didn’t really happen, and it is purely figurative, why is this not offical church doctrine? Official church doctrine maintains that the events contained in the BoM are accurate and true.
How can Mormons stay? I dunno, brainwashing, maybe.
The BoM and the “prophets” contradict the Bible in so msny instances.
Not to mention the contradictory statements and changing of God’s mind when it became expedient.
Good for you! Congrats on getting free.
Andy, I was just asking if there are less literally-minded congregations in the LDS church where these stories ARE taken as figurative. Only a fairly-small minority of Christians worldwide actually believe in the literal truth of Genesis, for example, but in no way does that make them less Christian (except to some of those who DO believe).
You plainly know more about LDS doctrine than I do. Is it really required in all corners of the church that you believe in these things literally? Or are you just attending the wrong congregation for you? Obviously you have to follow your own deepest conscience no matter what. Good luck.
Oh, I guess I misunderstood you. I side with your viewpoint. I personally take a lot of the stuff in the OT (esp. Genesis) as figurative, also relying on the Hebrew meanings (for example, Adam means “man” and doesn’t necesarily mean a singular person).
Well, the church is pretty unified. All the congregations (called wards) are identical. They all teach and believe the same doctrine. They all have the same structure. It is taught the the BoM is 100% true and everything in it happened as written. The wards report to stakes, and the stakes belong to regions. It is a big heirarchy, with the top being the current president and prophet Hinckley. But great efforts are made to keep the church unified and make sure what is taught is consistent across the entire church. I’ve been in several LDS wards, they really are all the same.
The BoM is only the tip of the iceberg. Consider the Book of Abraham. The original Egyptian papyrus that Joseph Smith supposedly translated into the BoA has been analyzed by modern Egyptologists and found to be a fake. It has nothing to do with Abraham, nor was it written by him. It is just a piece of a common Egyptian funerary text. This his been confirmed by both secular and LDS Egyptologists. It just boggles my mind.
It’s not just a few parables from one book ala Genesis. We are talking about an entire book that maintains Jesus came and visited the Indians (well, the Jewish Indians anyway) and gave teachings which are at times completely contradictory to what he taught in Palestine. And that these teachings remained hidden until found, translated into English by Smith, after which time the orginals disappeared. Which is somewhat a mockery of the historical validity of the rest of the Bible, if you ask me.
I’m LDS. I’ll take the bait and play the “opposition” for purposes of this debate. A few things need to be clarified before we begin though.
While I may be able to provide a different perspective on the issues please don’t criticize me for things you assume I believe as I’m struggling with the religion myself.
Your OP was rather broad. Could you please post a single specific question at a time? Within reason I’ll try to provide an answer within a day (more if it’s over the weekend since I’m rarely online during those times).
I WAS LDS for about 4 years. Those of you who know me may refer to those as “The Mormon Years” and realize those years in no way influence my values, personality or moral structure at this time. In short, I have “re-programmed” myself and now consider myself a Pagan/Wiccan. So.
To answer your first question: in light of all that evidence, this former-Mormon did not stay.
In fact, my problem was being treated like a second class citizen because I have ovaries. I hate how the Mormons even label the different groups. Men are the Priesthood. That sounds important, doesn’t it? Women are just the Auxiliary Group. We barely count.
The other problem I had was being put on probation by the Church (after a Bishop’s Court and that whole scene) at age 15 because I was sexually molested by my 30-year-old step-brother. According to the Church, a Bishop’s Court decision is essentially the same thing as God’s decision.
Therefore, God held me personally responsible for being taken advantage of by a man twice my age…
I have no interest in debating Mormon quandaries. Just get out and find yourself a better spiritual path. It’s just not worth all that! BTW, they will keep you on their rolls forever and you will be “Home Taught” for a hundred years unless you change your identity, move 10 times or insist they remove your name from the rolls. Truly, they will track your ass down and drive you insane, trying to get you back.
This is to be my first and last post regarding Mormons, Christianity and Sexual Abuse. I have little further to say on the subjects.
Recent DNA research has proven that Native Americans (aka “Lamanites”) are not from Israel as Joseph Smith revealed. According to anthropologists, Native Americans were originally from Siberia/Mongolia and came to North America much longer ago than a mere 2600 years. No DNA evidence even hints that the Book of Mormon is accurate. All DNA evidence of Native Americans coming from East Asia is consistent with all archaeological and linguistic evidence. Furthermore, the idea that Native Americans were descendents of Israelites was an erroneous idea written and promoted by many other Americans before the Book of Mormon existed, including Ethan Smith and Solomon Spaulding, authors of accounts many believe to be the basis of the Book of Mormon.
Mormon archaeologists from BYU and elsewhere are quoted as saying there is no validity to the topography of the Book of Mormon, and no evidence of the existence of the Nephites, Lamanites, or any other group in the BoM. There are more than a dozen items and domestic species mentioned in the BoM that have never existed in the New World, such as: Egyptian hieroglyphs, metal swords, functional wheels, chariots, chains, carriages, brass armor, coins, glass, wheat, figs, olives, grapes, barley, sheep, oxen, goats, asses, horses, bulls, elephants.
The Book of Abraham (“translated” by Joseph Smith from a set of Egyptian Papyri from a random mummy’s casket, before the world knew how to translate hieroglyphs) has been declared a bogus interpretation by Egyptologists around the world. No group or body of scholars even pretends that Joseph Smith’s divine transcriptions are partly accurate. As for the Book of Mormon, according to his own scribes Smith “translated” the plates using a seer stone in the bottom of a hat without the plates ever being present. Also, each “character” was declared to be a separate word, although Egyptian is a phonetic language. Furthermore, Smith once “translated” a portion of freshly unearthed copper plates from Kinderhook, Illinois, which were later declared to be a tailored hoax by local pranksters.
Joseph Smith once wrote that he had seen only Jesus Christ in his “first” vision at Cumorah, later changed to include God and Jesus. Joseph Smith also could not decide if his consequent encounter with the angel Moroni was a “dreem or a vision” [sic]. He also interchangeably used the name “Nephi” when describing his personal encounters with the angel Moroni. He also claimed to have run several miles, twice, while in possession of the golden plates. Yet, by his own linear measurements, these plates would have weighed over 150 lbs., assuming they were at least half gold. (Many witnesses, holding the plates in bag, all estimated the weight of the “gold plates” to be between 40 and 60 lbs.). All witnesses to the gold plates signed group statements that they saw the plates “by the power of God,” despite the fact that all were previously denied privilege to see the plates upon threat of being struck dead by the power of God.
Joseph Smith lied to his first wife, Emma, and his public community about his deep involvement in polygamy. He stood at pulpits and denounced the practice while secretly married to scores of women, some of them already married. He caused a printing press to be destroyed after the newspaper promised to reveal Smith’s scandalous involvement in polygamy and the seduction of teenagers. The destruction of this press, considered an act of treason in the young United States, prompted Smith to arrange with the Governor of Illinois to be housed in a nearby town jail for protection from mobs. Rogue state militiamen later attacked the jail, causing a shootout with Smith and others who were armed inside. (Smith was shot dead after jumping from the upstairs window to escape the attack).
Many Mormon historians inform us that Joseph Smith revealed Mormonism along the lines of occult magic-based practices found in Europe in the 1600’s, heavily spiced with Masonry and mainstream Protestantism. This includes a fascination by Smith with all things related to Jupiter (the birth-sign of Smith), astrology, and treasure-digging. Smith’s reputation as a treasure-digger followed him everywhere, which he apparently denied. A court record discovered in 1971 from New York, proved that Smith had once been arrested and fined for “treasure-scrying” or soliciting to dig up buried treasure using divining rods and magic charms, which was his self-employment.
The Mormon Church based in Utah is the largest of several factions organized after Joseph Smith revealed the restoration of a gospel no one knew was missing. After Smith’s death, however, many pretenders vied for leadership of Smith’s personality cult, each claiming to have the correct priesthood authority, although no one obviously had enough authority. It seems that Smith had intended that either one of his brothers, or his oldest living son, take over his seat as prophet. NO SUCCESSION MECHANISM EXISTED AFTER SMITH’S DEATH, even though he sold his brand of religion as the “Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ” (necessarily “restored” because the ancient priesthood somehow died out during the rise of Christianity, though no mention of this priesthood exists as such in the New Testament). It took Brigham Young three years to solidify his own rule, beating Sidney Rigdon and several others in a popularity contest before leaving Nauvoo for Utah with less than half of the “Saints.”
Joseph Smith’s prophecies, wisdom, and business dealings all point to the realm of opportunistic fraud. Smith twice predicted the end of the world to be before the end of the year 1891. Smith claimed that the moon was inhabited by people dressed like Quakers. Smith was once investigated in Ohio for bank fraud, in conjunction with a failed bank venture involving printed money backed by Smith. One of the many fraud claims against Smith, though never tried for this offense for lack of evidence, was that he placed silver coins atop boxes of rocks to assure his investors that the bank was solvent.
The Utah Mormon movement has never been forthcoming about the facts of Smith’s restoration, and has even altered and corrected the original Book of Mormon thousands of times to make it more grammatically true and consistent with itself. The Church’s many historical vaults containing relevant information are off-limits to even devout members of the church. Mormon historians have been excommunicated for not presenting a politically viable picture of early Mormonism. During the 1980’s a living Mormon prophet and many apostles were personally duped by the charisma of master-forger Mark Hoffman (since convicted of murder), who presented them with documents he specifically designed to interest them by containing controversial historical data which he anticipated they would want to suppress.
The secrecy surrounding Mormon Church finances and funding is equally suspicious. It seems the Mormon Church holds such power and sway over its members that it demands absolute trust, and gets it, even though the church does not trust them back enough to let them know where donated tithing money is being spent or invested. Mormon tithes are mandatory, or one is immediately eligible for damnation. Mormon tithes are not used for charity, but are used to build the kingdom. Mormon leaders often hint at promises that tithe payers will receive increased income from paying tithes, yet Utah remains one of the poorest states in the US, despite being ranked the highest in “charitable contributions.” The Mormon Church aggressively promotes large families while aggressively promoting conservative political reforms that strips families of government education and healthcare assistance.
Personally, I don’t understand how anyone can claim that one faith is any more bogus than any other. To those who claim that the BoM perverts the Bible, I have to ask why it’s ok that the Bible itself perverted Mithraism.
I lived in Utah for a while…Payson, just south of provo, and most of the Mormons I knew were great people, very dedicated, and sincere.
However, the religion really can’t stand up to any sort of close inspection. Joseph smith stated that they should use the biblical test of prophecy, that if something is prophecied in Gods name, and does not come to pass, that the person making the prophecy is a false prophet. This alone shows Joseph Smith to be a false prophet, as several of his prophecy’s did not come true. He said that zion would be rebuilt in independece mo. and that it would happen during his lifetime. it didn’t…etc…
If you read a lot of Brigham Youngs stuff, theres really a lot of embarrasing things in there about Blood attonement, running people through with Javelins and such, and executing people for interracial relations. I spent a lot of time in a computer store with a cd-rom produced by the LDS church that contained all the wrightings of Young, and you do a search on javelin and you come up with all kinds of great stuff.
Actually, I found that the Mormons had a great system for charity.
My roommate was LDS, and through some rather odd circumstances we found ourselves unemployed with our power about to be shut off for non-payment. Even though my room-mate had not been to church in some time, he went to the church for help and they gave him the money. But rather than just give it to him, they put us to work for it. They had this little grocery store that was there just for people who needed help. Apparently, people who needed help, were allowed to go there and get food or what ever they needed. In return, reasonably able bodied people, such as ourselves, are put to work rather than just getting a handout. Me and my roomate unpacked boxes, stocked shelves, patched the roof, swept up etc. We put in a reasonable days work, and on top of the money they wound up giving us some extra food that they were over-stocked on. I thought it was a great idea. More charities should be run like this. So at least some of the tithes go into charity.
As for Mormonism and charity. The Mormon church in Salt Lake City takes in over 6 Billion dollars a year. It is estimated that less than 1% of this is used for charitable purposes (and it is expected to be paid back). Also, there are thousands of personal examples to refute the idea that Mormons are charitable on any level and even spread the ill believe that misfortune is heaven sent. I personally think that the Mormon church competes to the detriment of legitimate charities. Utah spends least, per pupil, on education in the US, one-third of what New Jersey spends. Mormons have the largest families in the US, and generally despise taxes (yet love tithing, go figure). They hate taxes so much that it looks like a church sponsored scam–encourage large families, then throw six kids into the public school system and vote ultra-conservative, and expect someone else to pay for their education.
This mindset sounds so bizarre as to be incredible. But it is not unheard of in old-fashioned polygamous clans all over Utah. They are called “hardworking and honest” by the governor of Utah, but were recently discovered to be mostly child-molesting welfare scammers, where one guy will marry many wives and have forty children, each one bringing in cash welfare for a “blood-atoning” murderous clan (male competition) that abuses women and forces teenagers to marry, sometimes members of their own family. I do not intend to confuse the issue of polygamy and mainstream Mormonism, just to illustrate that common misperceptions abound.
Utah ranks 6th in teen suicide, rural Idaho #1 (mostly Mormons there). Utah consumes more Prozac than any other state according to the Salt Lake Tribune and Ely-Lily (the drug’s maker). Utah ranks second highest in personal bankruptcies in the US. Utah ranks 41st in personal income. Utah consistently ranks among the highest in cases of fraud. Utah also ranks the highest in adult-to-child marriages. If someone wants to believe they are charitable, that is fine. But they are a tax-exempt organization based on this lie. I will quote someone else to illustrate my lasting impression of being raised Mormon, from Gordon B. Hinckley’s last general conference speech, regarding children who don’t accept Mormonism: “You may abandon them. You may disown them. But you will never get them out of your mind.” Oct. 15, 2000.
Imitation is flattery. Putting words into someone’s mouth is a whole other thing. Would you mind terribly, should you disappear tomorrow, if I went around saying you said things you never said, and hacked into the SDMB to make what I am saying true? Not that I’m saying that happened here, let the wise figure it out for themselves – it just seems odd that Jesus mysteriously changed his mind about quite a few things somewhere over the mid-Atlantic.
The idea is to give the person a sense of worth, and by having them work for what they are given, it removes the temptation of just living of handouts, so to speak.
Supposedly, if you were unable to work, you got help anyway, and by working at the store that is there to help other people who need help, I felt better about taking thier money, since what I was doing was in the long run helping people who couldnt do what I was doing…
My father used to do the same sort of thing when he was pastor of a baptist goodwill center in a really poor part of Fort Worth. If someone came by needing food, he would try and find something for them to do to feel like they earned it, rather than feel like they were begging for scraps. Sometimes he would make something up for them to do when there wasn’t anything. It wasn’t a matter of getting something back, but helping people out and still letting them keep thier dignity.
And thier cost of living is outrageous. At least in Provo. The house I rented in Payson would have been condemned in Fort Worth, and if it wasn’t, it would have rented for a couple of hundred a month. It was over $900 a month, and there were at least 15 people wanting to rent it when we rented it. (around there, they will show the house to everyone all at once, and take applications from everyone.) This place was made out of Adobe, Wiring was an after thought so all the wires were run on the outside of the house, and holes drilled through the mud where you needed a outlet. No AC, Barely had heat. No dishwasher, The floor was rotting out, and sagged several inches in some places when you stepped on certain places, and the carpet was worn through. It didn’t have city water, and the spring it got its watet from was so low that the washing machine took over an hour to fill up. Showers were exciting. the roof leaked. paint was peeling…you had to go out on the back porch to get to the bathroom because it also was an afterthought. all for $900 bucks a month.
How people even afford to live there for any length of time amazes me.
At least the crime rate was low. And you could get Stewerts Ginger Beer in the conveniance stores, so It wasn’t all bad. after 5 years or so, I don’t even wake up screaming anymore.