Todd's Post

(Note: I wasn’t sure what else to call this, for fear of being tagged “anti” something or other, so it’s just Todd’s Post. Sorry for the lack of creativity. I’ll make up for it.)

Natalie,

There is so much ridiculing, mocking, disrespecting, half-truth telling and spinning contained in your over five years of blogging that I hardly know where to begin.

There is also so much insight and stark honesty about mormons and mormon culture, especially in Utah, that I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading your posts. I really should take the time to read all of the comments. Maybe someday.

So, in all honesty, my opinion of you as an anti-mormon is mixed. You’re certainly not the extreme sign-carrying, garment waving, peace disrupting anti-mormon that you harp against in some of your posts. But, you do spew quite a bit of anti-mormon rhetoric within the walls of this blog.

Here are a few examples:

Oct. 7th, 2004 – You list several things the missionaries don’t mention: polygamy (a recurring theme), Brigham’s Adam/God theory (another recurring theme), and Blacks and the Priesthood (Brigham’s racist tendencies is another recurring theme). These are transparent anti-mormon themes. I’m curious to know how you rationalize that they’re not.

Jul. 25th, 2005 (as one example) – You repeat your slogan: the church won’t leave me alone, so I won’t leave the church alone. This is overt acknowledgement that you (and other ex-mormons) actively pursue an agenda against the church.

Nov. 26th, 2005 – An example of you lambasting a pro-mormon commentator about misrepresenting some data (in this case church growth figures), and then you proceed to misrepresent the same data. A blatant lie on your part? Maybe you didn’t read the SLTrib article in full? Maybe an honest mistake? The article clearly stated that church membership continues to increase (not decrease as you indicated). The article did indicate that as a percentage of Utah’s population, church membership was declining. A half-truth or simply spin on your part?

You seem to really like to verbally lambast people, and I must say you’re quite good at it. I really like it when you ignore subtance and lambast people because they cain’t spel.

Feb. 26th, 2006 – Another blatant half-truth. To be a believing mormon, one doesn’t have to rely on faith and faith alone. If you really claim to have researched mormonism before dropping out, you have to know there is a huge body of solid, tangible evidence for the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s story. That is not to say that faith doesn’t play a huge role, I believe, by design.

May 28th, 2006 – You dedicate a whole post to actively opposing proxy baptism.

Aug 30th, 2006 – Another post on polygamy, including the *shocking* revelation that “they practice it everyday, in mormon temples all over the world.” In another post you indicate polygamy is a MAJOR tenet of mormonism. These are blatant lies at worst, and half-truths at best. I refuse to distance the church from polygamous beliefs, but your insinuation that the church is actively practicing and preaching polygamy is simply disingenuous. Or, maybe I just haven’t been paying attention the last four-and-a-half decades.

So, if it has feathers, a beak, webbed feet, and quacks…. guess what? It’s a duck! And a duck by any other name is still a duck.

So why exactly do you not like the anti-mormon title? If the spew fits, wear it! 😉

Your old friend,
Todd
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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.
This entry was posted in Natalie's Posts. Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Todd's Post

  1. Todd says:

    Kelly,

    Are you arguing that polygamy is still a “major” tenet of mormonism and “actively” practiced? Or, are you simply pointing out the polygamous “practices” technically still occur within the church in situations involving a deceased spouse when the (I should say living) people involved desire it?

    I would disagree with the former, and agree with the latter.

    To your specific questions, I believe that in the end, God will work it all out and we’ll wonder why we spent so much time worrying about it.

    And, lastly, I personally wouldn’t classify these sorts of questions as anti-mormon.

    Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  2. Todd says:

    Natalie,

    Thanks for following through on your promise (not that I ever doubted you would)! I’m looking forward to seeing your response.

    Appreciatively,
    Todd

    Like

  3. Robert says:

    From Kelly’s comment:
    …but because women can’t get into heaven without being sealed to a male…

    I’m not trying to bean mean-spirited or argumentative or anything like that, but I just wanted to point out that this statement is not true, according to LDS doctrine. It’s actually the exact reverse of Kelly’s statement that is true: according to a revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants, a man cannot “get into heaven” without being sealed to a female. Nowhere does it say anything about women not being able to “get into heaven” without being sealed to a male.

    Also, the above restriction only applies to entering into the “highest degree” of the celestial kingdom.

    Like

  4. K says:

    Hmmm, it is like a high school class reunion.

    Oh Natalie, thanks for helping me get remarried

    All I can say is that doctrinally Todd, didn’t you listen to conference?

    M. Russell Ballard said “God has spoken through His prophet and announced to the world that “the Standard of Truth has been erected” and that “no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing.” That is undeniably and indisputably true. We have seen it for ourselves, in decade after decade, from the time of the Prophet Joseph Smith to the time of President Thomas S. Monson. Persecutions have raged. Calumny and lies and misrepresentation have attempted to defame. But in every decade from the time of the Restoration forward, the truth of God has gone “forth boldly, nobly, and independent.”

    If that is what you believe, then nothing Natalie says should matter. Church History shouldn’t matter. Intelligent discussion shouldn’t matter.

    Actually from my viewpoint, none of it really matters, since we are all going to die, but that is just the cynical, exestential agnostic that was created by Mrs. Beattie’s Humanities class at Davis High.

    But damn it, it is so much fun to argue about.

    Like

  5. K says:

    Sorry, try this link.

    Like

  6. Todd says:

    Kelly,

    I accept your scenarios as valid examples of a type of polygamy (i.e. being temple sealed to more than one living spouse, even though civil divorces have been granted). Individual members who desire that type of thing are permitted to be temple sealed, I presume, on the basis of the doctrines as they’re understood.

    I still dispute that polygamy is a “major” tenet of mormonism and “actively” practiced. I suspect that what you highlight is a very, very small percentage of temple marriage ceremonies. You used the word “embrace” in your argument. “Embrace” resonates a little better with me. I can “embrace” a doctrine as true and still not actively practice it as a major tenet of my faith.

    The “what ifs” and “loophole” discussions often come about because weak and wicked (generically speaking) men and women don’t practice the clear-cut and straight forward doctrine of the restored gospel, which is essentially that temple or eternal or celestial marriage is essential to obtain the highest exaltation possible. Situations that arise due to death and divorce (and maybe some other unusual circumstances) are an unfortunate reality that are dealt with the best we know how in a manner consistent with doctrinal understanding. If mistakes are made, we rest assured that God will intervene at the appropriate time to set things straight. The guilty will be punished and the innocent blessed.

    I suppose that in your ideal world the answer to every single scenario would be given in advance. I believe that God expects us to act in good faith with the information He’s given us; in a line-upon-line, precept-by-precept kind of way.

    Kindly,
    Todd

    Like

  7. K*tty says:

    Todd, since you have elected to be the Mormon answer man, could you help me with this? Since you say that God will work it all out and we will wonder why we even worried about it, answer this: In the temple men are given the names of their wives to call forth through the veil. They also learn the secret handshake. Why is this necessary since God could obviously work out who goes where and who deserves what? If I can use one of the names that are given in the temple, (they are all the same on that particular day), teach someone the secret hand contortions, shouldn’t I be able to get through? And just in case the answer is no, what is the purpose with this fraternity gimmick, if it won’t work? Mormonism, thy name is CONFUSTION.

    Like

  8. azteclady says:

    Well, since God will work it out in the end, then belonging or not the the mormon (or any other) church is irrelevant, no?

    I’ll just put things in His very capable hands and not bother trying to get any rational, logical, straight answer of someone who answers specific doctrine questions with “God will sort it out, but you are still anti”

    Like

  9. Kelly says:

    Hi Natalie,

    Well seeing how I’ve been placed on moderation status I guess I’ve
    worn out my welcome. Anyway thanks for letting me play with you and the
    other kids in your little cyber sandbox. I’ve really enjoyed my short
    visit. I’ll resume my lurking status and leave ya’ll alone. In closing
    I’d like to quote some of my Irish kin.
    “May you be in heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you’re dead.”

    Kelly

    Like

  10. Natalie says:

    Um, Kelly? I haven’t put anyone on moderation. And in fact, I see your post here. What made you think you were?

    K, so happy for you and J. Pretty neat you found her through ME. And yes, it’s old Davis High week here at Trapped……

    Like

  11. Kelly says:

    Hi Natalie,

    Earlier today I made a reply to Robert and again Todd. Both posts
    came back as if they had gone through but they said across the top
    of each post that they were in moderation. They never showed up on
    the little recent post window that shows the last two post made. So I
    knew they hadn’t gone through. I kept waiting for them to be accepted
    then around three thirty they disappeared off of my screen so I just
    figured ya’ll had dumped them. Hence my post about being moderated.
    A strange thing did happen when I hit the submit button for my moderation
    post. Up on the screen a window opened and it asked me to punch in
    the four digit number that came up on the screen. I did and my post went
    straight through. Go figure. Well I’m glad I can still play nicely with
    ya’ll and I’ll see if I can remember my replies to Robert and Todd.

    Kelly

    Like

  12. Todd says:

    K*tty – no comment.

    Aztec – I believe that everyone will receive all of the blessings to which they’re entitled. The atonement is infinite and eternal. The specific questions were not doctrinal, they were situational.

    Like

  13. JulieAnn says:

    Todd, how come you don’t respond to K’s comment? Just curious. Thanks, Natalie…you made me very happy! LoL

    Like

  14. azteclady says:

    In the previous blog post, Todd says:

    azteclady – show me a scientific method that can quantify faith or love or hope (then I’ll show you a religion that increases all three!) 😉

    Love,
    Todd

    I brought up the scientific method when you started going on about the “evidence” supporting the book of mormon. I frankly don’t need you to show me what love, faith or hope can do for a person. Kelly brought up valid questions of doctrine, and you dismissed them as situational. K*tty asked specific questions, you have no comment.

    Seems like spouting off non-sequiturs, dodging direct questions, and falling back on, “why won’t you accept you are anti mormons?” seems to be your preferred mode of “rational” discussion, I’ll leave you to it.

    Like

  15. Kris says:

    I think that perhaps too many people spend too much time worrying about what others’ think and do instead of focusing on themselves and their own families. In addition, I am not certian why people think that by simply pointing out ‘errors’ or ‘lack of judgement’ that others have about (insert issue here) that it will make one difference in what their position is.

    As an active member of the LDS church I have to say I am slightly offended by your tactics here Todd. I may have come here once and perhaps felt a simliar sentiment but when I realized exactly how hypocritical I was being and took a hard look at myself I realized EVERYONE is entitled to their beliefs and opinions and just because I may not always agree that doesn’t make me RIGHT.

    And I will add that even though Natalie and I don’t always agree I respect her and all of her opinions.

    Seriously Todd.
    K.

    Like

  16. K says:

    Thanks for the kind words Natalie, I’ve been busy so I haven’t been very active on the whole Internet reading thing. I do love a good old discussion however.

    I just barely had a chance to read everyone’s comments and when my appointment didnt’ show up to work this morning (Yes, JulieAnn I am at work and only playing a little hookie.)

    In hindsight, I don’t think I really responded to Todd’s post, so maybe that is why he ignored me. I mean unlike K*tty I didn’t even warrant a “no comment.”

    So in an effort to settle the argument (and spread the comment love), let me say first that you are wrong Todd.

    Natalie is not a duck. I know this for a fact.

    If, however, you are attempting to say that Natalie is a beast of the 666 variety, Korihor, heading to outer darkness (if only she had had the pure light of knowledge), or gulp, an “Anti-Mormon.” By definition (since it is definition you are relying on — correct?), you are wrong. Websters states that anti is one who is opposed. I’ve read enough of Natalie’s blog to know that say like in March of 2007 she wrote, “I would like to keep the discussion calm and without name-calling.” This sentiment permeates her blog.

    Now, Natalie isn’t always nice about historical problems — blacks, polygamy, Adam/God theory. Natalie may get her facts wrong, but this duck quacks more like a critic, than a duck or an anti-Mormon. A critic is either
    1 a: one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique or
    2: one given to harsh or captious judgment.

    Natalie’s readers can decide which definiton to apply and we can stop all this ducky name calling.

    On the other hand Todd, you accuse Nat of slanting things and then you write something like “there is a huge body of solid, tangible evidence for the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s story.” By this do you mean the three or four versions of the first vision? Or maybe the fact that entire passages in the Book of Mormon are lifted directly out of the King James Bible. Or maybe the fact that there are Shakespeare quotes in the Book of Mormon. I always thought of Shakespeare as God, so I take that one back, maybe that is solid evidence. I just have to differ with you on the quality of the physical evidence. It wouldn’t stand up to much legitimate scrutiny.

    And K*tty, so you don’t feel left out. Your questions are interesting if you want to be a Mormon fundamentalist, but really all any of us are doing with religion is to try and create metaphors that add meaning to our existence. Metaphors (be they Mormon, Catholic, Muslim or Shakespearean) can be very confusing, so take heart, you aren’t alone.

    Finally, JulieAnn, thanks for having my back and being very happy.

    Like

  17. Kelly says:

    Hi Robert,

    You didn’t come across as mean-spirited. If anything it was just
    the opposite. I just want to get your statement correct because
    this is the first time I have ever heard what ya’ll said. If I’m not
    mistaken you said that males can’t get to the 3rd Celestrial level
    of heaven without being sealed to a female, but women can whether
    they’ve been sealed to a male or not. I think your Bishop might
    just be scheduling your Bishop’s Court as we speak.

    Kelly

    Like

  18. Todd says:

    K,

    I promise I didn’t ignore you. I read your comment and felt like your post added little or nothing to the debate, so I didn’t reply.

    Now your second post was great! You clearly addressed some of the subtance of the debate. Because of that, I’ll respond to your comment.

    1) Being calm and not calling anybody names does not mean you are not opposed to something. You’re just opposed to it while remaining calm and polite. I would disagree with your conclusion that Natalie is always calm and polite. I pointed out an instance where Natalie resorted to tacit name calling, and completely ignored the substance of the person’s argument, because that person didn’t spell correctly.

    2) I would agree that Natalie at times quacks like a critic, and at other times quacks like an anti-mormon. I disagree that you can only be one or the other. Can’t you be an anti-mormon critic? I even stated as much in my post:

    [quote]So, in all honesty, my opinion of you as an anti-mormon is mixed. You’re certainly not the extreme sign-carrying, garment waving, peace disrupting anti-mormon that you harp against in some of your posts. But, you do spew quite a bit of anti-mormon rhetoric within the walls of this blog.[/quote]

    3) Your and other’s comments about the body of evidence supporting the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s story are legitimate (not to be confused with conclusive). Questioning evidence doesn’t make one anti-mormon. My point in that regards is, blatantly ignoring a huge body of evidence for the Book of Mormon and the Joseph Smith story, while declaring that believer must rely on faith and faith alone is false.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  19. azteclady says:

    Oh man, this is funny!

    K,

    I promise I didn’t ignore you. I read your comment and felt like your post added little or nothing to the debate, so I didn’t reply.

    Do we need a Todd-approved definition for ignore now?

    Like

  20. TeddyBear says:

    I’m not on any side of this discussion but: (just asking)

    Natalie:

    You have and maintain a blog to talk about how wrong mormons are. That’s because you want everybody to know that in you opinion, mormons are wrong. Right?

    If you are not anti mormon, then why bother having to maintain this blog, and trying to make Todd or anybody understand that he/she is wrong?

    What’s so wrong with being anti mormon? Why you don’t want to be called anti mormon?

    Like I said: Just asking.

    Teddy

    Like

  21. Teddy says:

    Natalie, just asking (i’m not in any side of the discussion)

    If you have and maintain a blog to tell everybody how wrong mormons are, and you engage in this kind of discussions where everybody tries to convince the others that the church is good/bad, why you don’t want to be called anti mormon?

    I mean What’s so bad about it?

    Thanks

    Like

  22. Teddy says:

    Oops, sorry about the double post. I sent the first one and your page gave me an error, so I thought it didn’t went through then I wrote the second one.

    Again sorry for it

    Like

  23. Renee says:

    Oh, Azteclady, he ignored me too. I usually approve of Todd and his message, but obviously since I’m a gentile I must be anti-Mormon. Which isn’t true. But I am anti-discrimination, which is what I encountered quite a lot while a resident of Zion. So, I did what a lot of people writing letters to the editor recommend. I got out. It won’t end discrimination everywhere but it ended a lot of mine.

    Like

  24. azteclady says:

    I get your point, Reee, though I would argue that Utah is not a mormon State (as in, country), and non-mormons shouldn’t have to flee. Isn’t there separation of church and state in the US constitution to protect against religious persecution when you don’t belong to the predominant religion somewhere?

    Teddy, you may want to read a bit more around here.

    The blog is not about telling anyone how wrong the mormons are. It’s about Natalie’s experiences as a non-mormon living in mormonland.

    And since she was brought up in a family of mormons, and her parents are still devout mormons, she deals with the negative side of mormonism (meaning, what it is to be a non-mormon surrounded by mormons). It’s not about “look at the kooky mormons in the news!” It’s about “look why my children and I face every day.”

    Like

  25. Renee says:

    Oh, trust me, part of my problem is that I believe that Utah is NOT a Mormon state.

    Now if the Mormon Chuch leaders would figure that out. (Most members do get it in my experience and would be happily tolerant of a separation).

    I’m ALL about church and state separation. Really Really.

    I don’t want to live anywhere me and mine (Lutheran Liberal Democrat) rules the world either. I just want some diversity. And I’ll argue against discrimination anywhere, in any form, that I see it.

    Like

  26. Tracy says:

    “Do we need a Todd-approved definition for ignore now? ”

    azteclady, Shhhhh…it’s not ignore, gosh, now your going to get Todd’s panties in a twist.

    Like

  27. K*tty says:

    Tracy writes, Shhhhh…it’s not ignore, gosh, now your going to get Todd’s panties in a twist.

    I am smiling big time to myself and its all about the restraint I have shown for not commenting on the twisted panties. I can’t even tell you how hard that was for me, but I just could not zing Todd with my clever comment. It would have been rude and major anti. Quack!

    Like

  28. Todd says:

    Kris,

    Far be it from me to deny ANYONE of their god-given right to believe what they want. I’m a VERY tolerant person. I have the utmost respect for Natalie and her opinions. She can believe what she wants.

    So, you can complain about my “tactics” or you can add some substance to the dialog.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  29. Todd says:

    azteclady,

    Untwist your panties…

    I know exactly why you brought up scientfic method.

    While being able to prove everything by scientific method would be great, scientific method is limited to what it can measure. And, as I pointed out, scientific method can’t measure belief, love, faith, hope, wisdom and a whole host of other divinely given gifts.

    So, if you’re going to limit yourself to a belief in those things that can be proven only by scientific method, while discounting every divinely given evidence about a topic, then you’re putting yourself in a severely disadvantaged position.

    Kindly,
    Todd

    Like

  30. azteclady says:

    Todd, my panties are perfectly straight–not that it really matters, since the topic in discussion is how your logical arguments are anything but logical.

    Yes, when talking about evidence proving one religion’s ‘truth’ above others, I am going to limit myself to evidence that can be proven independently–otherwise it *is* circular logic. Which is not what makes airplanes fly or computers work, by the by.

    And Todd? I have religious beliefs, and find myself much less disadvantaged by them than you by yours.

    Truthfully,
    me.

    Like

  31. Kris says:

    Todd,

    Natalie has given me every courtesy to speak my mind openly and freely here. I am not going to have you decide what does or does not constitute “substance” or substantial dialogue on HER BLOG. How about you move this conversation to another venue, only then will I deem it substantial dialogue.

    Honestly people why are we even giving this guy the time of day?

    K.

    Like

  32. azteclady says:

    ’cause it gets his Jesus jammies in a twist?

    😀

    Like

  33. Todd says:

    Anybody know what time of day it is? 🙂

    Seriously Kris.

    Too funny…

    Like

  34. Todd says:

    azteclady,

    What do you mean by “I have religious beliefs”? Are they all based on scientific method, which you seem to espouse so vigorously?

    Who is going about trying to “prove” one’s religion’s truth above another’s? Truth is truth, no? Truth stands independent at the top, no?

    Todd

    Like

  35. K says:

    I always thought Moroni 10:4-5 was the scientific method — silly me.

    Like

  36. dragonhlm says:

    K,
    I love Mormon scripture. Here are my favorite Bible verses to go along:

    Proverbs 28;26 “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”

    Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:who can know it?”

    K, how does the holy spirit testify again?

    Like

  37. Todd says:

    K,

    Here are some of my favorite Bible verses to go along:

    Psalms 119:2 “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.”

    Proverbs 15:14 “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouths of fools feedeth on foolishness.”

    Proverbs 15:28 “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.”

    Ezekiel 11:19 “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you, and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:”

    😉

    Todd

    Like

  38. dragonhlm says:

    Todd,
    Not one of your scriptures says to listen to your heart, to follow that burning of the bosom. Sooo….. what is your point? Did your heart tell you to post that?

    Scientific methodly yours,
    Mike

    Like

  39. Todd says:

    Moroni 10:4-5 is about seeking with a “sincere” heart and real intent.

    But if you insist:

    Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

    Faith methodly yours,
    Todd

    Like

  40. K*tty says:

    Todd, you are programmed to believe the church and nothing short of God is going to change your mind. It is much like a zealot Republican or Democrat, but mostly Republican. I would just like you to address any of the weirdness in the 132 section of the D & C. You won’t be able to give proof for the BoM, so move on. Or how about defending those crazy ex-prophets who have said outlandish things without saying they spoke as a man. I have come to the conclusion that maybe I am anti, not the people, but certainly the doctrine. I used to wonder how the Scientologists could believe what they do, until I am starting researching and found Mormonism to be right up there with them. (Not that there is anything wrong with being a Scientologist.) The Mormon idea of the hereafter is down right SCARY, which seems to be appropriate for a good Halloween story. Be very afraid!!

    Like

  41. azteclady says:

    There is an unwillingness to question what you are told that is, I think, an essential part of the personality type that thrives in such a cultish religion. That is what I see in T and others who have come around with guns blazing.

    Like

  42. Todd says:

    K*tty,

    I have no intention of trying to prove the Book of Mormon. That is left up to those who desire to know for themselves, via the process outlined in Moroni 10:4-5. And, yes, I have been “programmed” to believe, but the programming has been at the hand of God through sincere effort on my part in a line-upon-line, precept-by-precept, question-asked-question-answered kind of way.

    I have no intention of trying to defend those “crazy ex-prophets” who, in your opinion, may have said some outlandish things. I’ll cast my lot with all of them without a moment’s hesitation, great men that they were.

    And finally, I can’t imagine anything more GLORIOUS than the hereafter promised the faithful in the doctrines of mormonism.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  43. Todd says:

    azteclady,

    It’s not an unwillingness to question, which happens VERY frequently. It’s more a willingness to listen, with both head and heart.

    Happy Fright Night!
    Todd

    Like

  44. azteclady says:

    I can’t imagine anything more GLORIOUS than the hereafter promised the faithful in the doctrines of mormonism

    That right there explains so much!

    Worry not, I’ll say a prayer for you.

    Like

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