A question for logical Mormons in the know.

A few about Utah:
One: Every Mormon does not live in Utah and every Utahn is not Mormon. Please do not say “All Utahns do such and such” when referring to LDS Members, and don’t say “All Mormons do such and such” when referring to Utahns. Better yet, don’t make sweeping judgements at all.

Two: The age of consent is 18, for marriage and sex. The age of consent w/parental permission is 16.

Three: There are polygamous practicing people in Utah, but they are not members of the LDS Church (See one)

Four: The cost of living in Utah is outrageous. Summit County is the fastest growing county in the country, and the prices reflect that. The only area growing faster is the Bay Area here in Sunny CA. Things are just going to get worse now that the Olympics are there. I grew up there, but I had can’t go back until I’m a billionaire, because I can’t afford to live there. Park City is unbelievably expensive.For example, there is a county wide tax of 8.25, but the statewide is 7.5 (Or was when I lived there.)

Five: Please do not make sweeping generalizations about anything. They are not fair or accurate. (See one)

When did this happen, plg? I thought it was still 14–at least it was when I left Zion, but that was a few years ago.

I was told there wasn’t one when I lived there, but that very well could be BS. Being that I was already married, and even if I wasn’t I wouldnt be looking to marry anyone under 18, I never bothered to look it up.

Well, if you want to get married in a LDS Temple (anywhere in the world) you must be least 14 (W/parental permission. 18 w/o). If you want to get married in Utah, you must be 16 with parental permission. If you want to have sex, you must be at least 18.
I don’t know if it’s different then when you lived there, but these were the rules I had to follow according to Utah State Law. (And I was very interested in knowing this.)

ageofconsent.com is a good place to find this kind of information. There are still laws against extramarital sex on the books in Utah, as well.

  1. There are “mormon” churches besides the standard LDS mainstream church.

  2. There are logical inconsistancies in every Faith. That is why we call them faiths.

  3. The acts of any members of any Church do not invalidate the faith. They can act to discredit the “church”, however.

  4. Clearly- the Mormon faith is not the right one for you. Find another that is. Most have some of the “truth” to them. Try the Greek Orthodox Church, or the Lutherans, or the Celtic Church, or Unitarianism, or Budhism. When you find the “right” faith for YOU- you will know.

  5. Exactly what is the “great debate” here? It is not even “witnessing”.

The same way that Catholics manage to remain faithful even though some of the Popes weren’t exactly upstanding citizens (by today’s standards).

The same way Scientologists manage to remain faithful even though the entire religion seems to be founded on random fiction.

The same way that Muslims manage to remain faithful even though a minority of more-prominent members of the Islamic faith feed on violence.

They Believe!

Pepperlandgirl,

The age of marriage in Utah is 14, and it was proposed more than once that it be changed to 16 to bring it in line with the rest of the US, but it was shot down in committee in the State Legislature. As for generalizations, I would prefer to quote statistics on Mormons, but nobody is allowed to publish these in Utah. Utah is run by Mormons. Oops, there goes another one. It’s a good thing Utah is overwhelmingly Mormon, or else one might be tempted to believe their lies and disinformation regarding their claims that Mormonism improves lives and communities, contrary to official statistics. FYI, Mormons and Mormonism spends over a billion dollars a year proclaiming their better-than-the-rest-of-us lies and false claims. Genralizations? No, just lies to get your money. There is no debate here. I’ve seen alot of people defend Mormons on the internet, usually Mormons themselves, openly assuming they are some misunderstood persecuted cult. I am here to inform anyone on this thread that Mormons are a psychological mess. For some reason, people who claim they are better than everyone else, contrary to the facts or otherwise, are the scariest people in the world. Give a victim power, and you better hide. Speaking of generalizations, I refuse to give personal examples to support my claims, which does not a refutation of Mormonism make.

Bunnyhunt:

Gotta cite for that? I do seem to remember that, but I can’t find it anywhere online.

False. Never read the City Weekly, huh?

And?

I’m not going to defend anyone against your spew, Brian, but you really need to work on that anger.

Pot, meet kettle.

Andros,

One reason people don’t compile stats on religious types, such as their rates of disease, suicide, homicide, by religious sect, etc., is because religion is taken seriously in most cultures (especially puritan America), and it is widely assumed to be a good influence, even if it is the only influence. Your post affirms that to me. If one were to dare raise a concern, it is called into question immediately. I subscribe to the City Weekly and have yet to read one article critical of Mormon beliefs or origins, (not even one, not ever). You may be confusing occasional satire of people owning two minivans or jokes about minimum wagers and union members automatically voting Republican as being critical of Mormonism.

Anyway, for info on marriage age, go a web search on the name “Tom Green” and read some news about the latest polygamy trial here in Utah. He is being accused of welfare fraud and sexual molestation of a child becuase she was accused of being only thirteen when they were married and conceived a child (not fourteen). Otherwise, it would’ve been okay by a few months. I know people who get paid to nourish others during pregnancy. They think that having a child at that young of an age is bad for one’s health, and their baby’s health too.

Such as these statistics?

Utah was ranked 37th in the number of violent crimes in 1995

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/state08.prn

Utah was ranked 47th in the number of persons below poverty level in 1995

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/state14.prn

Utah was ranked 49th in deaths per 1000 residents in 1996

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/state06.prn

Utah was ranked 46th in unemployment in 1996

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/state10.prn

Utah was ranked 13th in median household income in 1998

http://www.census.gov/statab/ranks/rank18.txt

Utah was ranked 39th in births to teenage mothers in 1997

http://www.census.gov/statab/ranks/rank06.txt

Sooo… what we’re looking at is a state (within a few years) has had:

  1. Lower violent crime than 74% of the other states

  2. Fewer people below the poverty level than 94% of the other states

  3. Fewer deaths per 1,000 residents than 98% of the other states

  4. Lower unemployment rate than 92% of the other states

  5. A greater median household income than 74% of the other states

  6. A lower teenage birth rate than 78% of the other states

Grim_Beaker

Interesting posts going on here.

I still wonder, are there any Mormons here who are aware and know the facts behind all the problems with the LDS church who are still actively Mormon? If so, I’d like to discuss that with you.

If you are Mormon and do not know what I am talking about, please visit the following sites, and read all the articles and all the linked websites articles too.


http://www.exmormon.org
http://www.frontiernet.net/~bcmmin
http://www.utlm.org
http://www.mindspring.com/~engineer_my_dna/mormon/
http://www.lds-mormon.com/

There are great many others, but these are a good start.

Grim_Beaker, Since you are the only one who specifically said you are LDS, I have these questions for you:

  1. How can an LDS member accept the Book of Abraham as a true translation, when it has been proven by many professional Egyptologist as being bogus, having nothing to do with the papyrus it was supposedly translated from?

  2. Assuming an LDS member accepts the fact that it is a bogus translation, how can he continue to support JS as a true prophet? Doesn’t this discount him? If not, why not?

  3. How does an LDS member explain the fact that there is no DNA evidence supporting the BoM events?

  4. Total lack of archeological evidence? Even after countless, targeted, excavation efforts?

  5. What aboout JS’s changing first vision accounts?

  6. Striking parallels and similarities between LDS temple ordinances, and Masonic temple ordinances (at least before 1990, when they changed them, taking a lot of Masonic stuff out). These temple ordinances were conveniently revelated shortly after JS himself performed the Masonic temple ordinances. How do we justify that? According to the Dictionary of Freemasonry, Masonic temple rites cannot be traced back to the biblical temple rites in any way.

  7. Why does the church go to such great lengths to hide the facts of these problems, altering historical documents, the BoM itself, etc … ? Sounds to me like they are well aware of these problems, but are purposely withholding detrimental information - this is an element of cult control.

I could go on and on, but will not, Brian Bunnyhurt did a pretty good job of outlining the major problems. I admit, I still have a lot of fact checking to do, but I feel I will come to the same conclusion with each issue/problem - that the church is false.

BTW, irr.org gives away a couple of books for free to LDS members, I highly recommend getting “… by his own hand upon papyrus” from them. Very objective, very detailed.

Thanks for reading.

So here’s a “Mormon in the know” I guess. Your question indicates that you’ve already passed judgement on the LDS church. I have to wonder why you’re posting this here. I recommend if you’re really interested in balanced reply that you go to the newsgroup soc.religion.mormon. It’s moderated to remove the attacks and slander, and it’s got a reasonable balance of LDS members and non-members who are both friendly and unfriendly to the LDS church.

As for why I am “devout” and why I stay, there are a number of reasons. The primary is a spiritual witness of Jesus Christ–what would be called a testimony. I have a similar witness of the truth of Joseph Smith’s calling and mission, and of the veracity of the Book of Mormon. I also receive continued confirmation and revelation when I’m serving in the LDS church to better the lives of my fellow men and women.

As for hypocrisy, I can find only members who are struggling to overcome it.

As for contradictory doctrine, I can find none.

I have read about detrimental church history and see no cover up. I know about the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the splinter groups from the LDS church, etc. and no one hid them from me.

As for the Book of Abraham, you do know about the eyewitness accounts which talk about the number of scrolls being far larger in number than the 11 fragments which survived the Chicago fire, right? You’ve read about how they covered the floor in the house?

I’ve done my research for several years. I’ve read the anti-Mormon literature, and I’ve heard the rhetoric. The majority is slander and outright lying, mixed with a few truths scattered here and there. The rest is misunderstanding and the spewing that results from the hatred of a dark heart.

Trusting the websites of a church that is hostile to the LDS church, or an organization which subsists monetarily by attacking the LDS church is not exactly the best way to go about studying the LDS church. There are more neutral sources if you really want to learn more. You’ll note that Brian Bunnyhurt is quick here to attack the LDS church, but hasn’t listed any citations, or the fact that every single item he lists has been refuted over and over again.

Here’s something even weirder than the whole Joseph Smith story which you must reconcile before you begin to talk about this stuff:

(Are you ready for this?)

We believe that a guy claimed to be the Son of God, was killed, and came back to life three days later.

This is by far the greatest leap of all the things I believe. The rest seem trivial by comparison.

I seem to recall a major magazine cover story recently (Newsweek? USNews?) saying Mormonism/LDS is the fastest growing religion in the world today. If Mormomism/LDS is as wacky as folk here suggest, why does it appeal to people instead of other religions? If the principles of Mormon are so clearly false, what does it say about people in general that they would believe in them? Or about adherants to that particular faith? Or about today’s world?
Among Grim’s stats, the one that jumped out at me was
Utah was ranked 49th in deaths per 1000 residents in 1996
Do you really live longer there, or does it just seem like it. I can already see the travel campaign for Utah (or better yet Alaska, #50). Come to Utah, where fewer people die!

Grim Beaker,

You are searching for any positive stats you can find, but I limited my stats to those related to what Mormonism claims it prevents, like depression, productive families, social improvement (like education stats). You went a search for things like violent crime (not too many gangs in 1995 were there, and besides regular crime like burglary and arson and larceny are pretty high. Also, you stats on median household income are skewed because Utah has huge families that shelter other wage earners, and also explains median HH income (I’m not guessing here, I read as much in the local paper). As for fewer deaths, again that is something Mormons place a high priority on as per smoking, and I bet if you eliminated smokers in those stats, Mormons would drop like flies off the charts in that regard.

As for this statistic on teenage births. This is interesting, because I happen to know two girls who were pregnant teens and the Mormon church arranged to have them sent to Texas and Hawaii to adopt out their unwanted babies via LDS Services. I reject this statistic outright for both reasons. I do not presume to know the logic behind this program, but can guess. As for unenployment, it goes up and it goes down all the time. It lacks huge industrial presence that tends to spike it both ways.

Again, you are clever to bluff with these, but these are not forceful claims for Mormonism, ie, anyone can avoid smoking and pregnancy or even get another low paying job while living at home, but not just anyone can avoid chronic depression, fraud, bankrupty due to mandatory tithing, a bad education and an arranged teen marriage, especially in Utah.

Er, so this gives you license to believe anything? At least there is no way to prove that is false. Jewish Indians on the other hand… hmmm, were there any Mormons on the OJ jury? That would explain a lot. :stuck_out_tongue:

BTW, without having to read all those links, can you cite any examples where the BoM was specifically altered for any reason? Does it only exist in English, or is there a secret original somewhere whose translation just keeps changing?

Here’s a link which has a very thorough explanation of this apparent contradiction.

http://web.lds.net/pages/wwbrison/rolls.htm

To paraphrase, eye witness testimony indicates that there were 2 rolls and several scraps of papyrus. The only pieces that were recovered are only small fractions of what the eye witnesses indicated was present. Also, there is evidence that the book of Abraham had much in common with the Book of the Dead (or book of breathings).

Here’s another link which goes into some detail about the Book of Abraham, the papyri and the Book of the Dead.

http://www.farmsresearch.com/free/nibley/v14ch1.html

By DNA evidence I’m assuming you mean the research into the genetic background of American Indians being closer to mongoloid stock. As far as I’m aware the Book of Mormon purports to be the history of a certain group of people who lived on the American continent not necessarily a history of all peoples who have lived there. It’s certainly probable that other people arrived via other means (bering land bridge, etc.).

Countless, targeted, excavation efforts? Cite please.

I wasn’t aware that JS’s first vision accounts changed. Cite please.

Here’s a quote that I hope sheds some light on this issue…

For the full text see…

At the very least it would be prudent to examine each side’s perspective prior to coming to a conclusion. I’m personally in this process myself.

Grim_Beaker

I’m not sure I’ve read anywhere where the Mormons have officially proclaimed that their religion improves depression or education. Cite please.

So based on your personal experience you completely reject statistical research? I see. This must make you thee authoritative objective resource on the subject matter. The impression of anger and bitterness that I get from your posts suggests to me that your emotional involvement with this issue makes you a less than ideal candidate to weigh the evidence.

Few questions regarding this statement:

  1. How many people do you know who have gone bankrupt from paying tithing?

  2. If anyone can avoid smoking and pregnancy and get another low paying job while at home why aren’t the state statistics closer to each other? Could it be that the culture of a given area has a noticeable impact on it’s inhabitants behavior?

  3. How many teen marriages are you aware of that are arranged by the LDS church (and I’m not talking about polygamist or other splinter groups)?

Last but not least… you provided statistics but no cites. I’ll be willing to accept your statistics as accurate provided you can demonstrate they come from an official neutral source (such as the census, government funded studies, etc.). Web site would be preferable since saying “The Salt Lake Tribune” is rather a broad media resource to investigate.

Grim_Beaker

GB,

You ask us to cite what about JS’s first vision? JS was loathe to cite his many claims on this subject of seeing God and Jesus, including even the disputed official year of 1820 (and only claimed he saw God at all in 1832 via scribe, and 1834 via a public claim, and it was not used in a Mormon tract until 1842). But, here is one you may find interesting. JS offered many differing serial accounts of his “first vision” and never once claimed it was a visitation at all. Originally, according to DM Quinn in Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, (Signature Books: SLC, 1987. p.113) JS went out to pray to have his sins forgiven him, so that he could better ply his trade of treasure digging (believing he needed a sinless, pure heart to find the goods). He later wrote that “a pillar of fire (crossing out the word ‘light’) above the brightness of the sun at noon came down from above and rested on me and I was filled with the spirit of god and the Lord opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Jospeph my son, thy sins are forgiven thee.” (Quinn cites Jessee, Faulring, and Backman). There are many online sources for this information, which you can easily find. Good luck.

GB, I only rejected one statistic, and here is why. If the Mormon church sends their teens out to have kids in other states, to save face for both the teen and the church, this then places a negative statistic on another state and lowers the statistic in Utah, on average. That is a double-bonus for the statistic in question.

As for going bankrupt in Utah, I know a few dozen (and this is beside the point because it was published last week in the SLTrib) and again, this is not just paying the Mormon church their spiritual extortion of 10%, but includes paying for Mormon missions, making the figure closer to 15%, which is money that should be spent on education and family vacations (but I suppose you disagree, yet you have not justified such a steep mandatory tithing even once, nor the conservative political irony of giving it without accountability). Anyway, tithing is not just the problem, but the trashy lottery mentality that comes from paying tithing based on hints that one will soon profit by it. This attitude, combined with credit cards to cover the loss, contributes to bankruptcy, which to my mind is one of the worse statistics a state can have, exacerbated by having large families in line with Mormon thinking. Yes, I am saying that Mormons are materialistic to the point that they identify righteousness with overt displays of wealth.

As for anger and bitterness, this is a fallacy (ad hominem). I don’t need anger, I have the facts and the experience to go with it. I was raised Mormon and I watched it destroy my family and many others to the point now where we/they don’t even talk civily to each other. I consider it a moral duty to raise these issues in the face of insitutional lies. What is your excuse for defending it? Moral duty or seeking unearned rewards? Please do tell. Most people stoop to claim that their lives were a mess before they learned the Mormon “truth” of their existence, but that only lessens their objective claim for obvious reasons.