The Biggest Reason People Believe Mormonism is a Cult? The Mormon Church itself….

I took a few days off to head up to the mountains with family and friends, and boy, was it busy here at Trapped while I was gone.

There has been lots of discussion about whether or not I should have to write another letter to the bishop asking for my name to be removed from Church records.

My stance is: why bother?

Johnny the Mormon claims it is VERY necessary. He has posted many comments enforcing his claims that it is the BISHOP’S fault my name was not removed, and I obviously now have a new bishop.

But Johnny has not read my explanation close enough. I FORCED the bishop to honor my request, and the proper forms were filled out, and I received the confirmation from Church HQ that my name had been removed.

Now, if they don’t just move the names and the records from one file to another, HOW did that happen? Ward lists and ward rosters COME FROM CHURCH HQ. Obviously. Therefore, this cannot be an error. Yes, yes, Mormons, I am aware that they picked the WRONG person to put back on the records.

I’m sure they are cursing that little fact, probably even today. “Dagnabbit, Gordon, why did they put Natalie Collins back on? Anyone but her! ANYONE. Even Hitler! Oops. Did I just say that out loud?”

The bottom line is this. NO ONE IS EVER ALLOWED TO LEAVE. Living in Utah, it is especially difficult. I have made peace with this, in my own little way.

I don’t have time to fight this anymore. I would rather WRITE about it. It suits me and my occupation.

When Johnny insists that it is necessary, I choose to produce my information proving it is a HUGE WASTE OF TIME. Why fight it? I’m not going to win. But neither are they. Mormonism is my heritage, my background, and my upbringing. While I do not believe, I can see where it has colored and enriched my life, so I choose to step back and say, “okay.”

I spent the weekend with friends and family, all of whom were raised Mormon, with the exception of one. We discussed, again, how “cultlike” Mormonism is. This is a source of continual irritation among the Mormon set. I don’t know that I would consider Mormonism a cult, but I will admit it has many cultlike characteristics. My best friend has not been a faithful Mormon for years, but she has defended ardently what she sees as “good” coming out of the Church. In the past ten years, her position has changed DRASTICALLY.

The reason for this is NOT her friendship with me, despite what our Mormon friends might like to think.

It is not that important to me to try to prove other people wrong in their beliefs, despite what all the Mormons that visit here seem to believe. This blog, or online journal, is not about proving Mormonism wrong. It IS about proving what I believe to be true. Look people, if you are going to say you don’t believe something to be true, you should be prepared to back it up. I am prepared to do that.

And anyone who comes here, comes here of their own volition. Johnny, Shaniqua/Jason, Wayne…. You come because you WANT to come. I have never come to your doorstep and invited you, or told you that I have the only truth and you need to listen.

My best friend is no different. If she wants to talk about something, we do. But for the most part, it’s just not something we address. Her husband is the same way. But after YEARS of seeing the worst side of Mormonism, they have come to feel that Mormonism is a cult. Before my Mormon friends jump all over me, let me assure you, I had nothing to do with it.

It’s hard to explain how this happened, but one of the ways involves actually ATTENDING a Mormon Church. Sporty Boy’s baptism is an example of that. Some Primary President who had never even met Sporty Boy stood in front of the crowd and told everyone how they were sinning if they let their kids play soccer, or go to dance, or do other things on Monday evenings, because Monday is for Family Home Evening and for scriptures.

And then there was the meeting, a missionary farewell, where the bishop stood at the pulpit and pointed out young men of missionary age in the audience, and said, “…and YOU must go on a mission, and YOU must go on a mission, and YOU must go on a mission, because it is what God has commanded.” That time, both my friend, her husband, and another friend left feeling EXTREMELY uncomfortable with the brainwashing and cultlike-behavior.

Funerals that are little more than MORMON PRAISE MEETINGS are also firming up, for less active Mormons, that this Church is not what they have always been taught. At a time when people should be remembering the life of a loved one, they are instead listening to Church leaders proclaim how greatly the dead person believed in the Mormon gospel, and how important it was that everyone accept this fact. This is enforced with the constant reminder that this is the ONLY way to see this person again.

The bottom line is, Mormons are driving other Mormons away in droves. While you won’t hear it from Church HQ itself, most people know that baptism retention rates are HORRIFIC. By their actions, the Church itself is helping to enforce the belief that Mormonism is a cult. Not purposely, of course. But the methods are backfiring. I see it every day, and it has nothing to do with “anti-Mormons” or Jack-Mormons,” or any of those things. It has to do with what happens inside the Church, inside the walls, and what happens when Mormons who are not entirely BELIEVING really explore the Church they have always been told is true.

I thought I would recount what I see as the most common “cultlike” behaviors of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Again, this is JUST MY OPINION. You can take it or leave it.

1. One of the BIGGEST red flags, in regard to brainwashing behavior, is the emphasis on only reading Church-approved material. Considering a recent manual only spoke of Brigham Young’s ONE WIFE, I would say this isn’t the brightest idea. You aren’t going to get the whole, impartial story.

2. Like the manual mentioned above, the revisionist history employed by the Church is VERY troublesome. Likewise, troublesome past beliefs that are wholly ignored by today’s LDS leaders.

3. Funerals that emphasize the MORMON GOSPEL, and not the person who died. This is so wrong. A funeral should be a memorial service, not a podium for calling people to return to Mormonism, and yet that almost always happens. The emphasis on Mormonism being the only way to see those people again is tantamount to blackmail.

4. The constant brainwashing of youth: you must serve a mission; you must be married in the Mormon Temple; you must attend seminary. The indoctrination is huge. That, combined with a refusal to allow any outside sources of study or knowledge is frightening.

5. The refusal to allow anyone but Mormons inside the Mormon Temple. And only faithful, temple-recommend holding Mormons (read someone who pays tithing, among other things) are allowed in. Entire families face HUGE divides when someone decides to marry in the Mormon temple. Less faithful or non-Mormons are faced to wait outside the temple. This exclusionary practice alone is EXTREMELY cultlike. And I’m not even going to get started on the rituals that happen INSIDE the temple.

6. Okay, well, maybe I’ll get SLIGHTLY started. Mormons who go through the temple receive a secret name. Only a woman’s husband is allowed to know her secret name, so he can pull her through the veil. She, of course, does not get to know HIS name. What PEOPLE, Mormons and others, do not realize, is that EVERYONE who goes through the temple on a certain day receives the SAME NAME. I can see some huge problems with that.

7. The refusal to LET PEOPLE GO, even when people WANT TO GO!!

8. To be in the club, you gotta wear the magic underwear. Sorry folks, but this is VERY cultlike. To wear the magic underwear, you have to go to the temple, and speak the secret words, and do the sacred dance. Er, well, maybe not a dance, but you get the drift. Again, very cultlike. And the underwear? It ain’t cute. Maybe people
would be signing up in droves if Victoria’s Secret got the new Mormon contract, but until then, I just don’t see it as a big attraction to the Mormon way of life….

9. Drive-by Baptisms. Come on folks, it should take AT LEAST a year to learn about a religion, and decide if it’s what you want.

10. Milk before the meat. This practice involves missionaries only telling prospective members the WONDERFUL aspects of Mormonism, and not telling them about the more controversial aspects of it until after they are already hooked.

There are ten items. I know I can come up with more, but it’s late and I’m tired. I was going to post some pictures from my weekend, including the “When Crawdads Go Bad” pictures, but this seemed more pressing, given the activity on the blog. Feel free to add any reasons you think Mormonism IS or ISN’T a cult.

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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58 Responses to The Biggest Reason People Believe Mormonism is a Cult? The Mormon Church itself….

  1. Cele says:

    Darn and I wanted pictures of Bad Daddy Craws.

    Like

  2. anna says:

    My best friend (active) and I (removed talked about this a lot tonight. She was talking about how her kids have very very very valid reasons not to be vaccinated and how this effects their ability to go on a mission. A friend of hers has a son who gets very ill, for years after a flu shot. His Mission President declared all missionaries must have one. He explained why he couldn’t get one and was disciplined for his disobedience until he did. He spent the whole mission ill as a result. But was ‘blessed for his obedience” (huh?). This is so stupid! I remember being taught as a youth that we could pray and know for ourselves what was right FOR US. It was part of what made the church feel right to me. But in the last several years obedience has become beyond a big deal. Especially obedience to something that isn’t really in the doctrine or is just the whim of some leader. And to me (among a million other reasons some of which you mentioned) this is what is making the church a scary culty place. And it scares my active friends too

    Like

  3. I have seen this a lot lately.

    We had some Mormon missionaries stop by recently, and my husband has obliged them on several occasions.

    It is sad how they repeat the same rote answers for everything.

    The last time they stopped by, one of the boys was not there, but there were two other boys with the other boy who had been stopping by. There may have been “valid” reasons for moving the boy to another area, but he was also beginning to ask my husband some really really good questions… I wonder if his leaders caught wind that he was asking these good questions and removed him before he found out the truth…

    I just finished reading Under the Banner Of Heaven and everything you listed above was mentioned. I think my biggest problem is that they are told to read nothing that has not been approved by the church. What are they afraid of (rhetorical question, because I know the answer…)

    Blessings,
    Karla

    Like

  4. sam says:

    Wow. Great entry. If you are having that much difficulty getting your name removed from the church roster, I guess I am completely out of luck getting my name and my relatives (living and dead) off of the list for proxy baptisms.

    I heard about this practice and it really pisses me off that the LDS think they have a right to perform these baptisms on the dead. I didn’t choose to be a Mormon while alive, and it is so disrectful that they would perform this ceremony on the dead. This is America where freedom of religion is a right. What right does the LDS church have to “attempt” to make choices for me when I’m dead. Not that I think there is any validity in these ceremonies, but it’s the principal. It’s so wrong.

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  5. sam says:

    Just adding……….and the LDS wonder why they are viewed as a cult?????????

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  6. azteclady says:

    Sam, I guess you missed the entry where the late Pope John Paul II was baptized into the mormon church? It’s right there, online, for ALL people around the world to see. (Natalie, help a Trappee out, what’s the link for that?)

    If *that* is not cult-like, I don’t know what could be!

    Well, that and controlling what people read, who they talk to, how they dress, how they raise their children…

    sarcasm
    Gee, why would anyone consider that cult-like?
    /sarcasm

    Like

  7. aerin says:

    Thanks for your entry Natalie.

    As you know, I agree with most of what you brought up. The “church approved sources” thing really bothers me for many reasons. I also remember being in meetings where people were pointed out (from the pulpit) and told to do things (like marry in the temple or go on missions).

    I will say two things though. I respect what you have written and just wanted to note where my experience was different.

    1 – There are people (like myself) who actually do go through the process of getting their name removed and they no longer appear on ward records. I’ve checked the ward records (where my records were) and I’m no longer on them. I may just be in another file somewhere, but it is theoretically possible to have your name removed.

    Why things were different for you – I can’t say – except that this would be another example of LDS Inc. NOT being the same in every ward and stake.

    I’m not sure why (as I’ve mentioned before) your name has not been removed but I don’t think it’s right at all. And – I’m sure that there are others who have also gone through name removal and are still on the books – but we have no idea how common that is or is not. (Hey, if the SLC organization actually published reputable statistics about its membership and didn’t count people on their books until they were 110, maybe it would be easier to verify).

    2 – I have been to two other funerals (non LDS) where the deceased person was barely mentioned. One was a high Roman Catholic mass. I’m not saying that it was right – and in both instances the deceased person was a very faithful adherant of that religion. So we (the mourners) knew that the service based around their religion was what they wanted.

    It was not very comforting though and I too prefer memorial services like what you describe. Whether or not those other religions are cults – that can be argued. I just wanted to mention that LDS, Inc. doesn’t have the corner on the funerals not about the person market.

    Like

  8. sam says:

    Wow. I didn’t know that about the Pope. Very disturbing.

    Like

  9. Jason says:

    Well, I’m bored at work, nothing to do, so I’ll try to write on this one. Here is the definition of a cult:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cult

    As you can see it would definitely include probably all people associated with any religion, and several groups outside of religion as well.

    But I think in general the way the term is used is to describe a small group of people who are blindly lead into false practices, doctrine, etc. The group consists of people who really don’t get it, are stupid, blind to what others are doing to them, etc. The practices of the cult are not only wrong and offensive they are also strange, and make no sense. Is that an accurate definition?

    I guess I’ll start with answering your points that you listed:

    1. One of the BIGGEST red flags, in regard to brainwashing behavior, is the emphasis on only reading Church-approved material. Considering a recent manual only spoke of Brigham Young’s ONE WIFE, I would say this isn’t the brightest idea. You aren’t going to get the whole, impartial story.

    I have never seen any evidence of this. Admitedly I have spent my whole life outside of Utah, except for going to BYU. I have lived in the Bay Area and Oregon, two places where Mormons are the minority. But I absolutely never heard anything about reading only church approved materials at BYU.

    But what do you expect leaders of the church to say? Yes, go ahead and read anti literature. Tons of members read anti literature all the time. I’ve read quite a bit, and I’ve know several other people who have as well. It’s no secret Brigham had more than one wife, anyone reading the manual you are referring to knows that. It’s official church history, listed in the D+C, and in the manifesto ending polygamy. These are included in the cannonized scriptures of the church.

    2. Like the manual mentioned above, the revisionist history employed by the Church is VERY troublesome. Likewise, troublesome past beliefs that are wholly ignored by today’s LDS leaders.

    Could it be that the people who are claiming these doctrines are correct are wrong? It’s hard to say anything here unless you are more specific. For example, I am thinking along the lines that a lot of people thought that the Adam-God theory was church doctrine. It clearly was not doctrine, it never was. Here is a good quote on this:

    From Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., from Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, p.102-106:

    The statement by President Brigham Young that the Father is the first of the human family is easily explained. But the expression that he was the same character that was in the Garden of Eden has led to misunderstanding because of the implication which our enemies place upon it that it had reference to Adam. Unfortunately President Brigham Young is not here to make his meaning in this regard perfectly clear. Under the circumstances we must refer to other expressions by President Brigham Young in order to ascertain exactly what his views really were in relation to God, Adam, and Jesus Christ.

    GOD: FIRST OF THE HUMAN FAMILY. Let me comment first upon the expression that God is the “first of the human family.” This same doctrine was taught by Joseph Smith. It is a fundamental doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to the teachings of Joseph Smith, he beheld the Father and the Son in his glorious vision, and he taught that each had a body of flesh and bones. He has expressed it in these words:

    “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.”

    He also taught that, literally, God is our Father; that men are of the same race — the race called humans; and that God, the Progenitor, or Creator, is the Father of the human race. “In the image of his own body, male and female, created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created and became living souls in the land upon the footstool of God.”

    It is a doctrine common to the Latter-day Saints, that God, the Great Elohim, is the First, or Creator, of the human family.

    THE FATHER WAS WITH ADAM IN EDEN. In discussing the statement by President Brigham Young that the Father of Jesus Christ is the same character who was in the Garden of Eden, it should be perfectly clear that President Young was not referring to Adam, but to God the Father, who created Adam, for he was in the Garden of Eden; and according to Mormon doctrine Adam was in his presence constantly, walked with him, talked with him, and the Father taught Adam his language. It was not until the fall, that the Father departed from Adam and no longer visited him in the Garden of Eden.

    Surely we must give President Brigham Young credit for at least ordinary intelligence, and in stating this I place it mildly. If he meant to convey the thought that the character who was in the Garden of Eden, “and who is our Father in Heaven,” was Adam, then it would mean that this expression was in conflict with all else that he taught concerning God the Father, and I am bold to say that President Brigham Young was not inconsistent in his teaching of this doctrine. The very expression in question, “the same character that was in the Garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven,” contradicts the thought that he meant Adam.

    BRIGHAM YOUNG’S TEACHINGS ABOUT ADAM. Now let me present one or two expressions in other discourses by President Young — of course, the critics never think of referring to these:

    “How has it transpired that theological truth is thus so widely disseminated? It is because God was once known on the earth among his children of mankind, as we know one another. Adam was as conversant with his Father who placed him upon this earth as we are conversant with our earthly parents. The Father frequently came to visit his son Adam, and talked and walked with him; and the children of Adam were more or less acquainted with him, and the things that pertain to God and to heaven were as familiar among mankind in the first ages of their existence on the earth, as these mountains are to our mountain boys.”

    “How did Adam and Eve sin? Did they come out in direct opposition to God and to his government? No. But they transgressed a command of the Lord, and through that transgression sin came into the world.”

    “The human family are formed after the image of our Father and God. After the earth was organized the Lord placed his children upon it, gave them possession of it, and told them that is was their home. . . . Then Satan steps in and overcomes them through the weakness there was in the children of the Father when they were sent to the earth, and sin was brought in, and thus we are subject to sin.”

    “Our Lord Jesus Christ — the Savior, who has redeemed the world and all things pertaining to it, is the Only Begotten of the Father pertaining to the flesh. He is our Elder Brother, and the Heir of the family, and as such we worship him. He has tasted death for every man, and has paid the debt contracted by our first parents [that is Adam and Eve].”

    “The Latter-day Saints believe in Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of the Father, who came in the meridian of time, performed his work, suffered the penalty and paid the debt of man’s original sin by offering up himself, [they believe he] was resurrected from the dead, and ascended to his Father; and as Jesus descended below all things, so he will ascend above all things.”

    It is very clear from these expressions that President Brigham Young did not believe and did not teach, that Jesus Christ was begotten by Adam. He taught that Adam died and that Jesus Christ redeemed him. He taught that Adam disobeyed the commandment of the Father, or God, and was driven from the Garden Of Eden. He said that Adam was conversant with his Father in the Garden of Eden. This is believed by all members of the Church, and also that the Father was in the Garden of Eden until Adam was driven out for his transgression….

    3. Funerals that emphasize the MORMON GOSPEL, and not the person who died. This is so wrong. A funeral should be a memorial service, not a podium for calling people to return to Mormonism, and yet that almost always happens. The emphasis on Mormonism being the only way to see those people again is tantamount to blackmail.

    I’ve honestly never been to a MORMON funeral. But the reason mormonism is brought up in a funeral is that it is an explanation for what happens to people after they die. It’s a source of comfort for those who are grieving to know that someone they’ve lost isn’t gone forever. I have been to several catholic and presbyterian funerals, and religion permeates the ceremonies. If the funerals are being used to proselyte people then that needs to change. It’s hard for me to comment here.

    4. The constant brainwashing of youth: you must serve a mission; you must be married in the Mormon Temple; you must attend seminary. The indoctrination is huge. That, combined with a refusal to allow any outside sources of study or knowledge is frightening.

    I guess this must mainly be a Utah thing. I don’t hear this tone of rhetoric in CA. and OR. But what do you expect people to say? I think what this issue really boils down to is a difference in belief. If you believe in the religion, then these things come naturally, and aren’t a big thing at all. I still am not seeing church leaders telling people to only read church approved materials. I think if this was really that widespread I would have seen it at BYU. And besides, people are plenty smart to make up their own opinions.

    5. The refusal to allow anyone but Mormons inside the Mormon Temple. And only faithful, temple-recommend holding Mormons (read someone who pays tithing, among other things) are allowed in. Entire families face HUGE divides when someone decides to marry in the Mormon temple. Less faithful or non-Mormons are faced to wait outside the temple. This exclusionary practice alone is EXTREMELY cultlike. And I’m not even going to get started on the rituals that happen INSIDE the temple.

    I think the ceremonies in the temple are widely mis-understood. I view them as being completely symbolic, there is hardly anything literal in the entire ceremony. I won’t go into more detail though.

    But why shouldn’t we be allowed to have standards? And why would people who don’t believe in the religion want to go into the ceremony anyways? Why wouldn’t just a civil service suffice for these people (in the case of marriage).

    6. Okay, well, maybe I’ll get SLIGHTLY started. Mormons who go through the temple receive a secret name. Only a woman’s husband is allowed to know her secret name, so he can pull her through the veil. She, of course, does not get to know HIS name. What PEOPLE, Mormons and others, do not realize, is that EVERYONE who goes through the temple on a certain day receives the SAME NAME. I can see some huge problems with that.

    Once again, it’s symbolic. I don’t think you’re catching the meaning of the symbolism, but I’m not going into details.

    Temple worship has been around for a long time, it’s mentioned all over in the old testament. Mormons seem to be the only ones who practice it anymore.

    7. The refusal to LET PEOPLE GO, even when people WANT TO GO!!

    Well, I think it is reasonable to be frustrated when you have asked several times to have you name removed and it hasn’t worked. I am sure though that it is church policy to let people go when they ask, and to not make a fuss or delay about it.

    So the problem must be with the local leadership, either they aren’t following church policy, they don’t know what it is, their records are too disorganized to do anything, etc.

    8. To be in the club, you gotta wear the magic underwear. Sorry folks, but this is VERY cultlike. To wear the magic underwear, you have to go to the temple, and speak the secret words, and do the sacred dance. Er, well, maybe not a dance, but you get the drift. Again, very cultlike. And the underwear? It ain’t cute. Maybe people would be signing up in droves if Victoria’s Secret got the new Mormon contract, but until then, I just don’t see it as a big attraction to the Mormon way of life….

    You’re not understanding the symbolism again. And we’re not a fashion organization. And there are many LDS who are not endowed and don’t wear garments, they aren’t treated any differently than anyone else.

    9. Drive-by Baptisms. Come on folks, it should take AT LEAST a year to learn about a religion, and decide if it’s what you want.

    I find it ironic that you want to impose conditions on people entering the church, but are extremely irritated when conditions are imposed on you when you try to leave. In your case it is merely writing a letter. And yes I know you have written it before, and they have screwed it up several times.

    And isn’t this a personal thing? Can’t people decide for themselves when they are ready?

    10. Milk before the meat. This practice involves missionaries only telling prospective members the WONDERFUL aspects of Mormonism, and not telling them about the more controversial aspects of it until after they are already hooked.

    Well, I know when I was a missionary tithing was part of the second discussion. If I remember right there were a total of 5 discussions we taught. This is a big sacrifice for most people. I think what you mean here is that we don’t teach some of the controversial doctrines of the church as the antis define them. The problem is that in many cases the doctrines the antis are ascribing to the church are not and never were doctrines. The Adam-God theory is just one of these.

    And why would we even try to explain the temple and other more complex things before we explain the basics? It would just obviously confuse people.

    The underlying message I am getting from all of this is that you think Mormons are just a bunch of fools. You don’t come out and say it, but in order for everything here to be correct that has to be the case. The problem that you have in defining mormonism as a cult is that there are a lot of people who are bright, who do “get it” and area active and believe in the church. And the practices of the church do align very well with ancient christianity. The distinctiveness of the doctrines and practices are evidence for the authenticity of the church, they aren’t evidence against it. If this was just another man made religion why wouldn’t we just copy some of the other practices of catholicism or the protestants or someone else?

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  10. azteclady says:

    Paraphrasing Jason’s rather long winded comment above: “you don’t get it, but I won’t get into detail why you are wrong”

    Gee. So enlightening!

    Oh, and from the definitions linked by Jason? Check out number 6:
    6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.

    Hmmm…. lemmee think… who could that be?

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  11. anne says:

    the pope, hilter, jews, marilyn monroe and elvis are just a few of those who are now ‘mormons’ or choose to be when asked in heaven. it is an obnoxious (sp?) and arrogant practice.

    i hate when mormons will throw the words ‘free agency’ at you when you talk about this practice- it is a bunch of BULLoney.

    thanks for your post.

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  12. Jason. You lost me at the Adam-God doctrine. Brigham Young taught it. Members believed it. It was doctrine. Get over it. Just because some later prophet contradicted what a former prophet taught doesn’t mean the earlier prophet didn’t actually teach it. It just means that prophets disagree, as ordinary men often do.

    You can engage in whatever mental gymnastics are necessary to convince yourself that Adam-God wasn’t taught publicly by a prophet of the Mormon church, just don’t expect me to give you any credibility while you do it.

    Like

  13. sam says:

    Jason: Your statement that the definition of a cult “would probably include ALL people of ALL religions” is so inacurate and so misguided. I just can’t even believe you think that is true.

    I would have to say that trying to get through your explanations, justifications and church rhetoric made my head spin. Me thinketh that you sound rather………errr….what’s the word? Cult-like.

    Man, I need a cup of Kool-Aid.

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  14. sam says:

    Jason says: But why shouldn’t we be allowed to have standards? And why would people who don’t believe in the religion want to go into the ceremony anyways? Why wouldn’t just a civil service suffice for these people (in the case of marriage

    O.K…..this is really sad. You question why anyone who doesn’t believe in the religion would want to attend the ceremony is astonishing. The point of inviting guests is to celebrate the union of the couple….not celebrate that particular religion. Well, I can only vouch for non-LDS ceremonies. I have been to just about every kind of house of worship celebrating the marriage of two people. It’s about sharing their joy being a part of their memories of their special day.

    Haven’t you ever been to a wedding of a co-worker, friend or family member that had different beliefs than you do? It’s called diversity. Once again, by exhibiting this closed-off attitute, you perpetuate the Cult actions of Mormon’s.

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  15. azteclady says:

    If I understand correctly (Natalie, please correct me where I err), you have to be not just your garden variety mormon, but the ultra sekrit ultra speshul kinda mormon to attend a temple ceremony.

    And really, why would a mother or father or sibling–or dammit, best friend–want to attend your “real in the eyes of your religion” wedding ceremony? It’s not like they are good enough, after all.

    Eeeeekkkkkk.

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  16. Mary says:

    Re the baptism for the dead thing, I recently discovered that my great-grandparents and all of their children including my grandfather (and grandmother), plus my three uncles who died before 1993, have all been posthumously “converted.” I suspect that the responsible party is a 2nd cousin who was married in the Atlanta LDS temple, so he evidently converted at some point.

    I cannot tell you how offensive this is.

    My great-grandfather, my grandfather, and one of my uncles were all ordained Baptist ministers, all had very thorough theological and classical educations (my grandfather attended the Sorbonne), and all took their faith very seriously. Obviously I don’t believe that their necro-dunking had any effect other than to get somebody else thoroughly wet, but it is disrespectful to their memories and to everything they stood for in their lives.

    After my father’s death in 2005, an article about him in the Washington Post was picked up in syndication and ran in about a dozen other newspapers including the Provo one, so I was tremendously relieved to see that he has escaped this indignity.

    Like

  17. Falcon says:

    Jason,
    Let me see, Mormonism patterns after ancient Christianity. Could I have a source for that. Start with the Book of Acts and read through Revelation and tell me where the doctrine and rituals of the Mormon church appear. I’ll save you the time. They aren’t there. Mormonism is based on extra Biblical revelation. It is not based on first century Christianity. The doctrine does not have it’s roots there. It’s another Gospel and therefore should be rejected out of hand. Go get the real thing.

    Like

  18. Renee says:

    I can’t say it isn’t cultish. I can’t say that some of my neighbors are Christians through and through who happen to belong to the Mormon Church. All I can say is that my Methodist grandmother (to the core) does not and did not exclude my parents (lapsed Methodist and somewhat active Lutheran) from ANYTHING because they didn’t always go to church, nor did they baptize me (I did it myself at age 20). I just don’t get the sense of social pressure. And I do understand it is not a sole signal of the LDS church, other religions have it as well. I just think it is wrong in any sheep’s clothing.

    Like

  19. Renee says:

    I should haver said “aren’t Christians through and through”. Damn Grammar lessons…

    Like

  20. Natalie says:

    Wow, Jason. You are ONE scary individual.

    You wrote:

    <>

    Standards? What ARE your standards? If you aren’t MORMON, you don’t MEET the standards? Why would people who don’t believe in the religion want to go into the ceremony? HOW ABOUT BECAUSE THEY GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE PEOPLE GETTING MARRIED?

    A civil service might suffice if the people don’t believe, but if they DO…. You, Jason, are a complete bigot. How sad you are. You need to go back and REREAD your statements. Why would people who don’t BELIEVE In the religion want to SEE THEIR LOVED ONES MARRIED? You are a very sad, crazy, little man.

    Like

  21. Johnny says:

    1) Well, I see many of my comments have disappeared. And you still haven’t published that letter from HQ saying YOUR name was removed (but what about your husband & kids??)

    2) But this, Natalie ,is false: Now, if they don’t just move the names and the records from one file to another, HOW did that happen? Ward lists and ward rosters COME FROM CHURCH HQ.”

    You show that you don’t know how it works. HQ only updates local directories. (And how did you see the Ward’s membership directory anyway? another unanswered!)

    Also this is false: The bottom line is this. NO ONE IS EVER ALLOWED TO LEAVE.”

    If you want to leave the church, good riddance!!! NO ONE WANTS YOUR THERE ANYWAY!!!

    3) This is true: “While you won’t hear it from Church HQ itself, most people know that baptism retention rates are HORRIFIC. ”

    It’s just how it is.

    But forced on a mission?: Pt Monson, Apostles: Paker, Nelson, Oaks, Hales, Eyirng and Utchdord never served missions yet they are still in the top governance.

    4) This is also false: “One of the BIGGEST red flags, in regard to brainwashing behavior, is the emphasis on only reading Church-approved material” ,

    I’m currently stake president, work for the church as membership & statistics manager (for our Area here “across the pond” as you once put it) and read YOUR blog, Samuel the Utahnite and some (very few) in Mormon Curtain where you also are as their pride and joy. You’ve block me once before but I keep track of what you do here & there. And what you claim is false because from you guys (the anti-mormons) we see what the critics are saying and can then deal with this in conference talks –as does the hierarchy too.
    But your book was good though!
    Now to finish up on this pointless exercise with you Natalie:

    1) I recognized the churches problem in the current procedures that’s in place to remove someone’s name from the church. Basically a Bishop has to want to do it for the member (who wants to an ex member) have any hope of actually getting it down.

    2) I actually, at first, empathized with your dilemma and current state. You don’t want to be a member; fine with me and the first presidency and the apostles (who run the church) Now a bishop has to take on your cause to get anything done……

    3) You say you did this once, wrote the letter and got the reply from HQ -this is actually how it happens so I tend to believe you up to there. But did the letter cover your husband and the children SPECIFICALLY? Otherwise they are still listed as members. (Still the unanswered question here) also if your underage kid is a member you have to show up on their record because you’re the parent/guardian. But this can also be fixed if you are will to fix up this administrative error.

    4) You quoted me as saying something that I never did say; I pointed this out, but you’ve kept silent on that matter. The “Johnny asks what is wrong with someone stopping by to see how you are? ” I never wrote that!!!

    5) I was actually reaching out to you -across the pond- to help you solve this problem but you seem to not want a solution or any help. In this behaviour its you how are cult like. The solution is there and you can fix things up since no one really wants someone like you in the church anyway!!!! (But your book was a good read)

    Conclusion: you’re not out to fix this administrative error about your name removal and your families name removal but just looking for another cheap shot at the church you obviously hate. Why not chill out and just fix the problem??? Because as any anti-morg would do your just out to fight the church in anyway possible. AmI right? Close?? Well

    And look -I’m actually a fan of Big Love. Here it’s almost finished its first year’s season. And looking at that there is one clear conclusion: The Mormon church isn’t the problem in Utah, it;s Utah Society, its people, who are the problem there. Church members are completely different in other areas -and we are still temple worthy members! Also there are polygamists here; non-members like the actor Jack Thompson who some yanks know about, and no one gives a shit about how they run their lives because our society is like that. No one cares in church if kids are wanking themselves blind -when it comes up(the issue, not the…) we tell them ‘you have to learn to control your body” and that’s it. In Utah kids commit suicide because they can’t stop masturbating; this because of the Utah society problem and nothing to do with the church otherwise kids would suicide here too when they just don’t.

    Anyway, I’ve written too much and have to go home now. But take my advice, solve your problem with the church the easy way and the best way and life will be better -well maybe not for you since you live off this anti-Mormon stuff like your book!

    I’m taking a break from your blog too since you ‘didn’t invite me here’ -ohhhhh sooo sad.!!!!!

    Like

  22. Johnny says:

    Oh, one last final thing -well 3)

    1) if its a part member family I, and everyone I know here, will recommend that they marry civily outside the temple and then wait the year to be sealed. Its their choice too. Effect is the same especially since couples these days wait a few years before having children. (the BIC part) I’d agree that the way they do this in Utah is wrong -for part member families; another Utah society problem not a church one!

    2) I do ware garments but not to the beach nor for tennis; also I buy my wife victoria secret and elle mcpherson lingerie. She’s hotter in it than in garment -but both come off quickly anyway. I’m sure that this wouldn’t be acceptable in Utah because of the ‘Utah society problem’. I wonder though about members in LA or NY or in Tokyo, would they be the same as us here, or like Utah morgs? And last I herd was from elder Eyring saying that the “church just won’t get into your bedroom ” (addressing priesthood leaders) why is Utah different, wait, Utah society problem??

    3) Milk before meat. Yeap, done everywhere, schools before university, one engine plane before 747’s, university law degree before attampting the bar (here called Legal Practice Course.

    Last of all itn’t it interesting that church sensored the brigham young teachings book? left out his MANY wives? Do you do something like that?
    ie, church own’s copyright to teachings of the prophet brigham young and puts it whatever it wants to; You own this blog, domain…..and you put in whatever you like too, censored???? or sometimes uncensored????

    Like

  23. Johnny says:

    “…….1993, have all been posthumously “converted.” ”

    This is doctrinally incorrect. The ordinance for the dead is done with the understanding that a) you are related to them and want them ordained and b) They will exersice their agency and chose or accept the endowment as they feel. No name presented at the temple is ‘posthumously converted’. There may be mistakes, like Hitler or Evis, but even they can still reject or accept the offer in their spirit world.

    Actually now read all the comments here: Jason offered you some good explanations, he’s reached out to you guys on the other side of the fence, he’s obviously an active mormon who reads this anti-mormon blog (disproving the Number 1 item) and you’re reponse to him, Natalie, is: “You, Jason, are a complete bigot. How sad you are.” “You are a very sad, crazy, little man. ” that instead of discussing the issue here?????

    Natalie, you are being cultish. Now, I really need to be getting home to the misses, 6:31pm here, so bye. I don’t I’ll be back here soon, not because you are anti-mormon, but because you’re really not that interested in exchanging opinions with LDS, just bad mouth the church of your youth, am I right????

    PS block me again if you wish, I don’t care anymore.

    Like

  24. Tracy says:

    Johnny, you need glasses, your comments haven’t disappeared, but are on the other thread.

    Oh, and she isn’t going to show you hers, until you show her yours, and if you want to know what that means, you have to go to the other thread.

    Like

  25. CW says:

    Thank you for this post! I had a discussion just this weekend where the cultish status of mormonism came up, but I often have trouble articulating myself in actual speech. You said here what I was trying to say, and much better than I could have. Thanks. 🙂

    Like

  26. sam says:

    Johnny, You are one scary dude.

    You like the show Big Love. So, you think polygamy is cool. Wow…way to show

    Like

  27. sam says:

    continued………..

    way to show the world just how sick you are.

    Like

  28. Paulina says:

    Temple worship has been around for a long time, it’s mentioned all over in the old testament. Mormons seem to be the only ones who practice it anymore.

    do an inductive study of the temple in the OT and you will see that none of the practices that happen in the mormon temple ever discribed in the OT.

    and the OT rites never happen in the mormons temple. there is a temple here in my home town and i never see smoke rising from it to even imply that the sacrifices described in the OT are happening there.

    oh and utah is not alone in the to the book mormons, any area where there are more mormons then anyone else. Idaho, AZ and the South western part of Wyoming.

    Like

  29. I haven’t removed ANY of your comments, Johnny. And you must have missed my “SHOW ME YOURS” and “I’LL SHOW YOU MINE.” I want to see some verification you ARE who you say you are before I show you my letter, WHICH I have found.

    Like

  30. You know, it’s interesting how defensive you got, Johnny, although you started out pretty even keeled. I think this has a lot to do with realizing you couldn’t just “straighten us out” with your words. This is a common Mormon belief. If they just TELL YOU HOW IT IS, all will be better. But it doesn’t work that way.

    As to your other comments, that I don’t know how Church HQ works, uh, HELLO! Who do you think KEEPS all the records??? That’s just plain silliness.

    Like

  31. CW, you are welcome. 🙂

    Like

  32. RoboMomo says:

    Jason, Johnny… It’s pointless to try to make a rational argument with Natalie and her Klan. They’ve already decided they are right and you are wrong. It’s like trying to have a productive conversation with a Nazi or a terrorist. It’s impossible.

    Like

  33. RoboMomo, the EXACT same could be said of YOU and Jason and Johnny. And Mormons do NOT make rational arguments. Because MORMONISM is not based on rationality. You are just plain silly. Mormonism is based ONLY on faith…..

    Like

  34. mlbower says:

    In speaking of the cult, I haven’t seen anybody mention the Mormon Lo-Jack device that is implanted at Baptism. I noticed that the Church has found me each time that I have moved and I have not provided a forwarding address. The worst part is that they used to just show up and don’t call first. You’d think if they found out where I live, they could have gotten my phone number also. It never failed that my assigned stalker showed up on laundry day while I was folding laundry on the couch. Of course, I didn’t realize at that time that I had to write a letter to leave the church. I figured that not attending in over 4 years was good enough.

    I did receive a phone call last week from my new home teacher asking if he could come by for a visit. I told him no. He asked if my husband was uncomfortable with visits. Haha! I tried to tell him politely that I had my concerns ans was considering leaving the church. He told me to pray about it. I said that I did. He told me that I needed to REALLY pray about it on my knees and everything. I was rather irritated that he assumed I didn’t pray good enough if I didn’t come up with the answer that he considers acceptable. So, I finally told him what I believe to be the clincher….I don’t believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of Jesus Christ. hahaha. Natalie, I do believe that he would blame you if he knew I read this blog. He said he could tell that I was influenced by ex-mormons. I really don’t like people assuming that I cannot think for myself.

    At this point, I am waiting to see if I get a letter from the Bishop or something. It could prove to be very interesting.

    Like

  35. Andrew says:

    Catholic guy here again. Killing some time at lunch. Couple thoughts here. If you study the structure of a catholic monestary or convent they are as close to pure communism as you can get. Now keep in mind that’s on the “inside” of the Catholic church. We as members are not required to report income. If we change parishes (like wards) we do not have to have permission and we left alone buy the clergy. If one needs help all they need do is ask. God says turn no one away. No obligations are placed on the needy just help is given.

    A couple of numbers you all may like. During the Spanish civil war The Catholic church directley aided in the killing 60,000 left leaning members. The Catholic church is the second largest financial organization in the world. 2nd only to the total GDP of the United States. SEE GAO reports and reported revenue from the church.

    I find it odd that the Mormons hide all their money and I find it odder that even with actual science looking them in the face concerning genetics (The Jews and the Native Americans) they still do not stop and question the whole situation.

    I can and have questioned my church and I am still considered a valued member. But call some one on the carpet just because they have a question is beyond me.

    Is the Mormon church a cult…can’t say. The battan death march of world war two was not carried out buy a cult but if you didn’t stay in line you were killed on the spot.

    Like

  36. Mary says:

    Johnny, you are completely missing the point about my relatives and direct ancestors having been posthumously baptized. I don’t care about whether or not my description was doctrinally correct, because I think the doctrine is nonsense. What I do care about is the complete disrespect shown to their memories and to everything they stood for, believed in, and worked towards.

    It’s offensive.

    Like

  37. Tracy says:

    Hey! Robomomo just lumped us in with Nazis and terrorists.

    Our training has been complete. Now where’s my cookie.

    Like

  38. Falcon says:

    Say Andrew, I was Catholic, elementary school, mass everyday in Latin, nuns the whole deal. I left over 40 years ago and I still feel Catholic despite the fact that my theology is not Catholic. It’s hard to explain. Nobody ever hunted me down, my family loves and accepts me, everythings cool. I’m not bitter about some of the goofy stuff that went on or was taught. I’m certainly not hostile. I was real negative for a while but I resolved it all, found spiritual life in Christ. I’m grateful for the moral structure the church gave me. I see a real contrast here with what some of the exMormons are reporting. Don’t take it wrong folks, but I’m really entertained, enlightened whatever with what you write. It’s all very interesting. Keep it flowing. It’s very cool!

    Like

  39. azteclady says:

    Johnny said earlier, No name presented at the temple is ‘posthumously converted’. There may be mistakes, like Hitler or Evis, but even they can still reject or accept the offer in their spirit world.”

    I had to read twice.

    How magnanimous of the church to give the spirits the choice of rejecting the offer–after their names have been used in a posthumous baptism!

    Care to explain how that sits with people who were truly and deeply devout Catholics like oh, say, Pope John Paul II?

    Or can I say that it’s extremely arrogant to think that the Pope would change his mind “in the spirit world” just ’cause someone got baptized in the mormon church in his stead?

    Like

  40. Jason says:

    Wow, that was a lot of responses. It’s hard for me to answer all of these but, I’ll try. And keep the discourse civil, some of this looks really childish.

    AztecLady-

    Read the first definition used for the word. And if the sixth definition is the one that best suits you, couldn’t this be easily applied to many people. I mean wouldn’t muslims say this about christians, catholics about protestants, baptists about mormons, etc? Wouldn’t Jews at the time of Christ say this about Christians? Most defintiely so. It’s entirely subjective and using the standard definition you would not be able to rule out many well respected and organized religions that have existed for thousands of years from the definition.

    Anne-

    Baptisms for the dead in the temple give people the opportunity according to LDS belief to become LDS. Baptism is the chance (read free agency here) for people to decide to join the church. This is LDS belief, pure and simple, they are not automatically members if it isn’t accepted by the person in heaven. And besides, if this is all false why would it matter anyways?

    Jonathan Blake-

    This was written in response to people’s misinterpretation of what Brigham said. Go back and study Brigham Young like I have and you will find many things he said himself which contradict this supposed doctrine. So how do you pick and choose what is correct, and what it incorrect?

    It’s just amazing that people outside of the church will try to define it’s doctrines and then attempt to show the church is false by knocking down these doctrines. I am just trying to picture myself studying catholicism, then defining it’s doctrines and setting up a website, or writing a pamphlet showing how false the doctrines are. It’s a strange approach.

    Sam-

    Go drink your Kool-Aid and come back with something substantial to say. Use logic, reasoning and facts. How would Catholics, or Evangelicals, or Baptists not fall under the definition above(and if you want to be even more broad I’ll go with AztecLady’s definition of #1 or #6).

    Are these groups a system of religious worship? Yes.
    Do they have rites and cermonies? Yes.
    Are they considered false, unorthodox, or extremist? Yes. And this is also subjective, and so this must be applied subjectively and it depends on the person answering the question.
    Do they live outside of conventional society? Yes, they do not make up the majority, and they are not even close.
    Do they have a charismatic leader? Yes. The Pope, the other cardinals, leaders of the baptist convention. I don’t know the Evangelicals structure, but they are very charismatic.

    Sam(again)-

    Why is it astonshing? The ceremony for the most part wouldn’t make sense to people outside of the church, and you haven’t answered why a civil ceremony would be enough. The restrictions on the temple involve the LDS belief that it is the “House of The Lord”, and that his spirit dwells there. And so the people who enter this house must also be clean. And sure go ahead, mock away. I’m sure you’ll have fun with that belief.

    Falcon-

    They are too there, you haven’t looked for them. Here is an excellent piece about this topic by Jeff Lindsay:
    http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_Christian.shtml

    Scroll down to the section “Doesn’t historical Christianity contradict the idea that there can be multiple “Gods””?

    Here is another interesting website on this subject:
    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/2671/EC.html

    Natalie-

    The standard isn’t merely being Mormon, the standard is living up to the teachings of the church as well. The temple, and especially marriage in the temple involve serious covenants with God. People who aren’t prepared for this shouldn’t be making the covenants. In the LDS church marraige is not only a promise between the two that are getting married, it is also a promise to God.

    I guess I’m still lost as to why people who don’t believe in the church, would be interested in attending this over a civil ceremony. If they do believe then they should put their lives in order so they can go back to the temple if it was that important.

    And lay off the CAPS, the swearing and the name calling. You’re not stupid but it makes you look like an idiot. And in some sense I agree with you when you say Mormonism is based on faith, I think it is. But there is a lot of reasoning and facts behind the faith. But yes I think the foundation is faith.

    Andrew-

    DNA does not prove the church false. Check out this link if you’re interested:
    http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=97ca39628b88f010VgnVCM100000176f620aRCRD&vgnextchannel=f5f411154963d010VgnVCM1000004e94610aRCRD

    If that doesn’t paste right go to lds.org type DNA in the search function. Yes, I know it is a biased source. But you will need to decide for yourself based on the facts and logic in the articles whether what the are saying is correct. There is probably enough reading there for a couple of weeks.

    This is taking up a lot of time, I get the feeling when I send this it will just multiply into something even bigger. So I don’t know if I can keep up with it.

    Like

  41. Paulina says:

    this is just a side note but because we did mention that only mormons who are temple worthy can go to a marrage inthe temple i just want to add that according to my Mormon grandfather (who does have his recamend and had been on four missions for the church) only weddings that happen in the temple count.

    he actually said this to my mother’s face that her wedding because it took place in a catholic church did not count.

    Like

  42. Falcon says:

    Jason,
    Nice try but no cigar! It’s called scriptural cherry picking.

    Like

  43. Beverly says:

    “I guess I’m still lost as to why people who don’t believe in the church, would be interested in attending this over a civil ceremony. If they do believe then they should put their lives in order so they can go back to the temple if it was that important.”

    Jason,

    You keep saying this as though you think people have the choice between attending a temple ceremony or a civil ceremony. Yet when my brother and my sister got married, they had a temple ceremony only. I went to my brother’s wedding and sat outside in the lobby with my husband (and the children) because as an ex-mormon and a non-mormon, we weren’t allowed to attend my own brother’s wedding. When my sister’s came around, and it was also only a temple ceremony, I said I wouldn’t be there. I decided I respected myself and my husband too much to sit in the lobby like naughty children for all the good Mormons to walk past and see.

    So, my answer to you is, I don’t believe, but yes, I would have liked to see my brother and sister married. But it’s because of the cult-like behavior of Mormonism that I didn’t get to do that (and yes, I am intelligent enough to realize that they did have a say in things, but what is that to 20+ years of indoctrination and guilt-trips?)

    Like

  44. BWF says:

    If you remember the story of Nephi and his brothers. They too saw an Angel of God and they would be good for a little while, then it was back to kicking Nephi’s butt. God himself could come down to you and kick your butt, but it wouldn’t do any good. You are what you are. Faith before miracles. And what about Jesus…what about all the miracles he performed. Yet there were still people talking crap about him. There has always been and will always be people like that. I’d hate to be one of them. God forgive you, you know not what you do.

    Like

  45. sam says:

    Jason:

    The more you babble………the more you sound like a cult member.

    I could respond to ALL the comments you posted to All the posters, but I don’t think you are worth that much time. Plus, you are so far gone that it’s pointless.

    All I can say is that you are one angy Mormon. Maybe your anger is misdirected. Ya think?

    Why are you on this Blog? The more you jibber-jabber, the more you show the cult thinking of the Mormon’s.

    Like

  46. sam says:

    To BFW: What? I don’t need you to ask God to forgive me. How self-righteous of you. Wow.

    Like

  47. Natalie says:

    Dear BFW,

    What a lovely faith-promoting story. Look, I have no problem with you believing what you believe. I personally don’t. Now Jesus, I would not mock him. In fact, I do admire the “portrait” of Jesus that we have been given. He forgave, and offered love, and forgiveness.

    Nephi? The Book of Mormon? Not so much. There is plenty of proof that the BoM was Joseph Smith’s fallacy.

    Like

  48. Natalie says:

    The reason why I don’t give Jason and his arguments much heed is because he posted here first as Shaniqua, and then as Borat. How do I know his name is even Jason?

    Like

  49. Jason says:

    Sam,

    Good question, I don’t know why I posted here. It originally started because I googled something else and then saw this. And well I get bored at work sometimes too. And yeah go ahead and reply to my comments. I honestly haven’t heard anything substantial out of you at all. You mock, call names and criticize but don’t offer anything up in the way of evidence, facts or reasoning supporting anything.

    And I’m not angry at all. I mean it’s reasonable for people to have differences of opinion. It is annoying when someone says you are brainwashed, a bigot, an idiot etc. Especially when they provide no cause for labeling someone like that.

    And here is a good one for you. I just got done playing a softball game by Alma street, look it up it’s in Palo Alto, CA. I played at Greer park if you don’t believe me. Surely, this is a Spanish name. Everything down here is Spanish. So, this is where Joseph Smith got the name of the book from, right? Didn’t we catch him in the act?

    We’ll check this out at http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_BMEvidence.shtml. It starts in the paragraph “Book of Mormon names were also…”

    So what’s your explanation here buddy? You haven’t provided anything rebutting any point I’ve made. If this is all a fraud it should be easy to prove it wrong. Go ahead have at it! Where is the name Alma listed in the Bible? How did Joseph Smith know this was a Jewish name? Give evidence! Saying “we’ll Joseph
    Smith got a hold of a Jewish book” is not evidence. Provide any book related to Judaism where this is found. Good luck!

    And don’t give me the same old schtick. The “Joe Smith is a con man”, “you guys are just braiwashed” only shows that you have nothing meaningful to say whatsoever. If that’s you response save some electricity and everyone else’s time and just fughettaboutit.

    Natalie,

    Yes, I did post as Shaniqua and Borat, I was joking around. Didn’t think anyone would take it seriously. I was bored at work. But yes my name is really Jason.

    I think you need to decide on my arguments though on the merits of what I am saying. This is important stuff whether you believe in it or not and is definitely worth a lot of time and study.

    Hey Falcon,

    Explain to me again how you are not scriptural cherry picking? And how are you in a position to define the doctrines of the church?

    Last Post, back to work tomorrow. Adios.

    Like

  50. sam says:

    Jason: YOu accuse me (us) of not proving anything. First of all, I don’t need, nor do I want to prove anything. I don’t have to. Secondy, you haven’t proved anything either. You put in links to proof-articles that are all from the LDS church. What have you proven?

    Any TRUE scienctist , historian, theologian (not one from your church) has a whole different take on these topics. I think there has been plenty of evidence that disproves your thinking, but the church has choosen to twist evidence around and you choose to believe what the church tells you.

    If anything, it proves to me that you are really good at repeating what the church has spoon-fed you.

    It kind of reminds me of the owner of the coal mine where 6 men are trapped. He went on an emotional rampage about the fact that the cave in was caused by an earthquake. He called the seismologist “SO-CALLED EXPERTS”. He was ranting that AN EARTHQUAKE CAUSED THIS CAVE-IN, IT WAS NOT THE CAVE-IN CAUSED THE EARTHQUAKE. Well, the scientist have the proof that the cave-in created the seismic activity, but he chooses not to believe in the science. Just has a familiar ring to it.

    Like

  51. This was written in response to people’s misinterpretation of what Brigham said. Go back and study Brigham Young like I have and you will find many things he said himself which contradict this supposed doctrine. So how do you pick and choose what is correct, and what it incorrect?

    That’s a good question. I’ll allow Brother Brigham to be a bit self-contradictory. We all change our minds on occasion. I don’t expect him to teach one consistent doctrine his entire life. So your question is really based on a false assumption: that there is a single correct doctrine. So I’ve changed my mind. That’s a bad question. 🙂

    Having said that, it’s hard to misinterpret the original sources. Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, Franklin D. Richards, etc. all taught Adam-God.

    It’s just amazing that people outside of the church will try to define it’s doctrines and then attempt to show the church is false by knocking down these doctrines. I am just trying to picture myself studying catholicism, then defining it’s doctrines and setting up a website, or writing a pamphlet showing how false the doctrines are. It’s a strange approach.

    1) I lived my life as a Mormon until seven months ago, so I’m just barely on the outside.
    2) The writings and sermons of the early church leaders define their doctrine.
    3) I’m not trying to refute Adam-God in some theological way, just show that it was taught in the early church. You’re the one who has a stake in showing that it was never taught because its existence shows that Mormon doctrine hasn’t been consistent throughout the church’s history. This leads you to spin and cherrypick historical sources.

    I’ll give you one thing. You’ve got chutzpah for trying to pawn off these arguments on people who know better. 🙂

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  52. Falcon says:

    Johathan,
    You don’t expect BY to teach consistent doctrine through out his life? I about came out of my chair. Do you know what you said? I guess you did! Because you gave yourself a “do over”. Mormons, in my opinion, need to be alitte clearer on what is doctrine or what is opinion. The prophets look like super balls bouncing all around out of control. How can we debate if there is no definitive source for doctrine and belief.

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  53. Jason says:

    Well, I said I wouldn’t be back but here I am again. I’ll give it up to Jonathan Blake for providing evidence and facts to support what he thinks. No comment for Sam, it’s just the same old thing. No evidence no facts, no reasoning, no nothing. I never said I proved anything. I am providing evidence supporting a view. It’s impossible to prove religion(any religion for that matter). I just find it so improbable that Joseph Smith could have invented a name like Alma that so clearly sounds (and it actually is) like a Spanish name, have everyone doubt the Jewishness of the name, and then lo and behold someone finds out that it is actually Jewish. I mean what are the odds of that?

    So, I read a lot of the links posted by Jonathan. I have seen some of them before. I still say that it is not clear what he is talking about even if you read the links and consider nothing else. For example, if you read the very first link that says it describes Brigham Young teaching the Adam-God doctrine(the one from Deseret News) you’ll find at the bottom of the first page in the middle paragraph it says that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. If you go directly over into the next paragraph(straight to the left) it says “about our Father in Heaven, his son Jesus Christ”. It must follow from this that God is a Father in Heaven, and his son is Jesus Christ. This is clearly what Brigham is saying.

    If the Adam-God doctrine were correct this would mean that Adam was the Father in Heaven, and Adam’s son was Jesus Christ.

    Brigham is simply saying that Adam is the Father (in the physical sense, since he was the first) of the human race. He must be using a different definition for God in what the creative editors have underlined in this passage. You just can’t have both of these ideas exist in the same passage, it makes the whole thing illogical. If they were both true(Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and Adam is God) then it must follow that Jesus is the Son of Adam! It’s also important to mention that in the same section the passage mentions explicitly that “Jesus Christ is the son of God, and still the son of man” . The passage explicitly distinguishes between God and man.

    And if that isn’t enough on the second page at the top the editors have underlined a paragraph “We say that Father Adam came here…He is Micahel, a great Prince, and it was said to him by Eloheim, go and make an earth” Eloheim means God in Hebrew. They’re two separate people. Strange that they would underline this, the cherrypicker needs to find another job. He clearly screwed up here if they’re claiming this supports the Adam-God doctrine.

    It is LDS doctrine that Adam participated in the creation, along with Jehovah(another name for Jesus Christ) though.

    I definitely think BY could have been clearer in his grammar, and I can see why it’s confusing.

    Sam-

    I find it strange that you claim I am just linking articles from LDS sources. If you would have read what I sent you you would have found that one of the sources was a master’s thesis by a Roman Catholic Monk at UC Berkeley. Did you read this at all?

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  54. If the Adam-God doctrine were correct this would mean that Adam was the Father in Heaven, and Adam’s son was Jesus Christ.

    That’s about the size of things, at least according to Brigham Young. He believed that Adam (a resurrected being) came here to the earth, shaped it, brought his wife Eve, and started the human family so that his spirit children could come to the earth and receive bodies. Adam later returned to the Earth to father the mortal tabernacle of Jesus. In that same article:

    Then [Adam] said, “I want my children who are in the spirit world to come and live here. I once dwelt upon an earth something like this, in a mortal state. I was faithful. I received my crown and exaltation. I have the privilege of extending my work, and to its increase there will be no end. I want my children that were born to me in the spirit world to come here and take tabernacles of flesh…

    And if that isn’t enough on the second page at the top the editors have underlined a paragraph “We say that Father Adam came here…He is Micahel, a great Prince, and it was said to him by Eloheim, go and make an earth” Eloheim means God in Hebrew. They’re two separate people. Strange that they would underline this, the cherrypicker needs to find another job. He clearly screwed up here if they’re claiming this supports the Adam-God doctrine.

    The confusion here is that Elohim meant something else to early Mormons: the Council of the Gods (note the plural form in Hebrew of Elohim). Adam/Heavenly Father came here under the direction of the Council of the Gods. Jehovah was also understood to be the title for God the Father during early Mormonism. Modern Mormons on the other hand understand Elohim to be a title for God the Father (not the Council of the Gods) and Jehovah is a title for Jesus (not Heavenly Father). This difference of definition is the root of the confusion.

    I think this Sunstone article on the historical development of Mormon theology should be enlightening.

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  55. INTJ_Mom says:

    Great post Natalie, as usual. Sorry I’m late, been gone on vacation so the little kids could meet their paternal cousins. As for the Adam-God stuff — in the temple ceremony the actor who plays God the Father sends Jesus and Michael/Adam down to create the earth. They report back to God the Father after each step. I can see how things could be interpreted different ways, personally. For me it was always kind of a non-issue since there are so many other ways to easily debunk the LDS religion.

    The relatives we visited are Catholic. We were talking a bit about the “drive-by baptisms” thing. People investigating Catholicism or Judaism have to take classes over a period of 6 months to a year. They have to learn about both the milk and the meat before they can join. It’s very different from the high pressure “hooked on a feeling” approach taken by the LDS church. It comes across as the membership numbers are the most important, as opposed to the actual people. My SIL was telling me that when she first moved to Indiana, she and a friend went to visit the Mormon services one Sunday. She said not one person greeted them or attempted to talk with them, etc. And there aren’t a lot of Mormons in the area of Indiana she lives in, so you’d think a couple of new faces would be pretty noticeable. The next Sunday they went to a Catholic service and she said at least 20 different people noticed they were new and talked with them and invited them to various church events, etc. She said it was like night and day. She later married a Catholic fellow, and though she’s never officially joined the Catholic church, they raise the kids Catholic and she says the Catholics have always been very friendly and accepting of her. Her family doesn’t get any pressure about the fact that she’s never officially joined the religion.

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  56. As for the Adam-God stuff — in the temple ceremony the actor who plays God the Father sends Jesus and Michael/Adam down to create the earth. They report back to God the Father after each step. I can see how things could be interpreted different ways, personally. For me it was always kind of a non-issue since there are so many other ways to easily debunk the LDS religion.

    Not to belabor a point, but it is Elohim who sends Jehovah and Michael. It’s the modern Mormon interpretation which equates that to God the Father sending Jesus and Michael.

    I wouldn’t discount the Adam-God doctrine as a valuable way to show that modern Mormons (myself included until quite recently) are actually quite unfamiliar with the early church.

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  57. gabriela says:

    I was trying to find out about a flight and then this just popped up in my computer. i come from southamerica and i’ve been in the usa for almost a year. i’ve been a mormon for almost ten years and it was very shocking for me to see how different mormonism is shown here and there. i cacn’t even believe it’s the same church i joined!!! i think the reasons you mentioned above are so true, now that i know more about the what happens behind everything. i completely agree with the “milk before the meat” idea because by doing some research for school i found out so many appaling things regarding their principles. i was a very active member of the church but after i arrived here… it’s impossible not to notice things and start realizing. i’m still in shock and i don’t kno what to do, especially after reading that you can’t get out of the church and you’re trapped inside. i’m considering leaving it but i don’t know how.

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  58. K*tty says:

    gabriela, everyone on this site who has left for whatever reason can feel your pain. It is hard to comes to terms with the lies and the betrayal you must feel. Been there done that. But I can honestly say, it does get easier. Keep finding out the truth and peace will come. When you think about it, trying to be “worthy” in the eyes of the Mormon church is exasperation at its best, and trying to be a god, is so blasphemous, I can’t believe I entertained that idea for even a moment. I put in 30 plus years, so consider your 10 as waking up sooner than I did. God bless you.

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