Shortsighted

Our new friend Gregory says:

You say, “There is no democratic voice for women in polygamy. They are chattel. The property of their “master.” Children are victimized repeatedly, because they, too, have no voice.”

I’ll keep this short… you obviously have no clue what you’re talking about… and you’ve probably never really met a polygamist.

It was a revelation from God. The church did just fine before the U.S. Government got involved. Learn your history before you speak.

I’ll keep THIS short.

Revelation from God my ass. YOU learn your history. And try reading it with your eyes OPEN this time.

There is NO logical explanation or basis in truth for the practice of polygamy. That’s why you HAVE to say it was a “revelation from God.” How the hell else do you explain it?

In SHORT, you don’t. You CAN’T!

I would say PROVE IT. Of course I know you can’t.

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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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106 Responses to Shortsighted

  1. Moon says:

    wasnt it Heber J Grant who said, “I think no more of taking another wife than I do about buying another cow.”

    That’s disenfranchisement. You go become breeding stock and see how you feel about it.

    Like

  2. Kirk says:

    Rock on Natalie!!

    Polygamy cannot be justified. It is sad to watch the believing LDS masses attempt to deal with it.

    I’ll post more later.

    Kirk

    Like

  3. Todd says:

    So what is the logical explanation against plural marriage?

    What “basis in truth” is there against plural marriage?

    Heber isn’t equating women to cows. He’s equating the thought process behind taking another wife with that of buying another cow. Apparently at the time he allegedly made the statement, neither required much soul searching for him. That’s disenfranchisement? You’re going to have to try harder to make that one stick.

    There’s no justification against plural marriage. It’s a hoot watching the unbelieving non-LDS masses attempt to smear it.

    Warmly,
    Todd

    Like

  4. The Astounding One says:

    Hi Natalie–

    First time reader; was directed to your blog by exmormon.org. I’ve been free of the mental slavery of the Latter Day So-Called Saints for three years now. I’m just writing to say thank you for doing what you do and spreading the word about this insidious mind-control cult. The more people who know the truth, the better. In case anyone wants to hear the story of another ex-mormon and how he was sucked in and eventually escaped, read: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=294985949&blogID=466235120. Thank you again. The world needs more people like you.

    –Andy Wulf

    Like

  5. azteclady says:

    A man equates taking a wife with buying a livestock, and that is not disenfranchisement in Todd’s universe.

    Seriously, there’s no need to say anything else here.

    Like

  6. Todd says:

    Soul searching (or the lack thereof in Heber’s case) is not disenfranchisement in any universe. Only a cow would believe otherwise…

    Love,
    Todd

    Like

  7. Moon says:

    so now I am a cow, according to Todd? How Jonny Lingo.

    Like

  8. Bob says:

    More like a Lugnut if you ask me….

    (Those in the great NW will understand that reference…sorry for the others…)

    Like

  9. Natalie says:

    Todd, are you KIDDING me? There is “no justification against plural marriage.” Let’s play fair, and intelligent, dude. What is the justification FOR plural marriage?

    Please, let me know. We’re all waiting anxiously.

    Like

  10. Todd says:

    That’s a cop-out response if I ever heard one.

    Absent a justification against, why wouldn’t a belief in the revealed will of God suffice as justification for?

    Wouldn’t that be the fair and intelligent argument?

    Please, Natalie, enlighten us. We’re all waiting anxiously.

    Like

  11. Natalie says:

    Uh, uh. YOU first. Don’t tell there isn’t a justification against it, because there is. There are PLENTY, and I shall recite them shortly. What I want to know is, HOW do you justify it? Just answer, Todd.

    For ONCE, just answer.

    Like

  12. Natalie says:

    By the way, YOU, Todd, are the King of Cop-outs. In fact, I christen thee King Cop-out.

    NOW answer the question.

    HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY POLYGAMY? What possible support and reason is there for this belief?

    Like

  13. LaFonda says:

    Shit if those white boys wanna hit it some more what is it to you? They could hit it 24 hours a day 365 a year for all I care. Ya heard?

    Like

  14. Todd says:

    Belief that it is the revealed will of God. THAT is MY justification.

    But I’m intrigued by what Jan Shipps argues in her essay “Is Mormonism Christian?” Reflections on a Complicated Question, regarding Mormonism’s ability to avoid succumbing to the “centrifugal pull of Protestant hegemony.”

    Among the factors Shipps cites as reasons Joseph’s church was able to withstand this centrifugal pull are: the Book of Mormon, the doctrine of the “gathering,” the leadership of the Prophet, and “all Mormonism’s other singular factors including…plural marriage.”

    Kindly,
    Todd

    Like

  15. Bobbo says:

    Justify polygamy…well, you can’t. But tell me this, if Abraham and King Saul were men of God, justify why they had many wives AND concubines (AKA, sex slaves) in the sight of God and hold His acceptance?

    Like

  16. Loki says:

    OK, I may be off base here but I think there is a very good reason for polygamy and you see it time and again in history. If you want a population to grow rapidly the 3 factors that will accomplish that end are: 1) Increase the number of offspring. 2) Decrease the age that mothers have their young. 3) Increase the life span within the population. Polygamy takes care of the first two nicely. (Sorry to introduce science to a religious discussion. I believe the Utah had approved a restraining order to keep science a certain distance from religion)

    In this context it makes perfect sense that the Mormons had polygamy. If you need your useful idiots to multiply, tell them to marry early and often with the intent to download as many tricycle motors as possible. Who knows you may have the population grow fast enough to control a whole state. That to me seems to be a logical explanation for polygamy.

    Like

  17. azteclady says:

    Yikes, Loki, you are making sense! I fear brother Todd may now go after you…

    Oh no, sorry, I’m mistaken. His holy cop-out-i-ness doesn’t need to go after you. He believes he’s right, dontcha know.

    Like

  18. Loki says:

    Thanks Azteclady. Too bad “Back under your Bridge” is not a commandment that he would follow.

    Like

  19. Tania says:

    I must chime in here. Growing up blindly in the Mormon church, I was taught in Young Womens and Seminary that God revelaed the LDS religion to Joseph because God wanted his religion in America where we are free, yet God told Joseph to take on more wives. Wouldn’t God have known that this would cause NORMAL Americans to run them out of the US into the west? (it was there practice of polygamy that had people up in arms not ‘because it is the truthiness of the religion’ that many who are raised – brainwashed -in the religion are taught.) Wouldn’t God have known that the Leaders of the Church would have to give up the practive in order to join the United States that the Church was going to save?

    Remember the myth that the Constitution would be hanging by a thread. The same Constitution that the Mormon Church are always fighting to redefine.

    I just wish members of the Church could just stop trying to justify the behavior of their Leader Josesp. Admit Joseph was a horndog.

    Todd your religion is crap. Sorry. Joseph just seen a way to try to control people through fear and he realized Religion is the easiest way to con people out of their money.

    Like

  20. Todd says:

    azteclady,

    You’re my one and only true love. If I’m going after anybody, it’s you, sweetie.

    Now please, come back under the bridge where you belong, you horndog.

    And bring lots of cash.

    🙂

    Like

  21. Todd says:

    Tania,

    I challenge you to find an authoritative LDS source that teaches that God wanted His church restored in America, because America is free. I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to. Although, you might find references to America being conditioned, or prepared, as the place where God could establish His church. I’m sure He could have found other creative ways to do it elsewhere. Afterall, He’s God. Looks like His chosen method worked!

    By “normal” Americans, to what are you referring?

    What do you mean by “The same Constitution that the Mormon Church are always fighting to redefine?”

    Respectfully,
    Todd

    Like

  22. Tania says:

    That’s the problem Todd. Too many Mormon teachers take it upon themselves to teach apologist points of view in order to justify the deviant behavior that is rooted in much of the Church’s history. If a follower doesn’t do research then they follow along happily. It is when you research the LDS Church Histroy your realize what a scam it is. THat is my case and I won’t even bother giving you authorative LDS source because many of the teachers in the LDS church use opinion and a teaching method. Thats how they rope in the suckers who don’t research.

    You right I should not have used the word ‘Normal’. I guess I define normal as monogomist marriage and that is my view of normal. But I also include same sex monogomist marriage as normal.

    Many Mormons look at gay marraige as not normal so I take back the ‘Normal’ statement. Because I have no problem with same sex marriage and the Mormon church fights against it and wants to redifine the Constitution to define marriage between one man and one woman.

    Like

  23. Loki says:

    Todd I have to show you some love. I love your argumentative style. I haven’t had that good of a laugh in a long time. Show me one credible LDS Source that shows LDS doctrine is wrong. Hmmm. A little hard to find since if it did show doctrine was wrong it would not be credible. A different Joseph wrote a book that used that logic as a plot device in the 60’s (That would be Joseph Heller – thats the only hint you get). It also reminds me of the arguments you find in geek forums when try to explain plot points from sci-fi that don’t fit. They forget that someone made it up and the writer either got lazy or missed something. “The millennium falcon folds space that is why Han says parsecs.” No George Lucas got lazy and threw in a astronomical term he didn’t understand. I get the same feeling reading your arguments. But hey believe what you want. Polygamy treats young women as chattel, twist whatever doctrine makes you feel better about that. But don’t expect the rest of us to buy it or argue it on your terms. Now back under the bridge with you.

    Like

  24. Todd says:

    Loki,

    Thanks for the love. It’s fun to bash minutia, if ultimately futile.

    I’m not sure I follow your “show me one credible LDS source that shows LDS doctrine is wrong” logic. I asked Tania for one authoritative LDS source that described her version of LDS doctrine. That’s not the same thing you describe.

    I hear you on the “geek forum” stuff. Most of the posters here are great at making stuff up. I, on the other hand, deal in reality!

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  25. Loki says:

    I guess I just suck as a writer. The whole point of my previous post was that you are arguing beliefs not facts. When you point at others beliefs to back up your own there is no common ground. I do not believe your premise so no matter what you argue back at me and say it’s fact the argument doesn’t stick. Is that so hard to understand? I live in a world where if you say something is fact show me the proof to back it up. No matter how hard to pray that does not change the reality that belief it is not a fact. That’s why it’s called faith not fact. When you argue with fact there is an objective measure. Your arguments lack that measure so they have the same feel as someone arguing on a geek board. My belief is more correct than yours because there are a bunch of people over here, who are smarter than me, and believe the same way as me so I must be right. If you want to live in that reality you can have it. I could care less. My reality looks at what I can see and measure. My beliefs are my own and I can argue them with the best of them but I do not have the illusion that they are reality. My beliefs can change as I do. Reality remains the same in spite of my beliefs. So I come back to my point. Polygamy for people who choose it is fine but the practice tends to treat women poorly and forces younger women into marriages they typically woulds choose on their own. It’s a good method to grow a population but it sucks if you are not blessed with a Y chromosome no matter what any dead people say about it.

    Like

  26. K*tty says:

    Todd, do you consider History of the Church, the first printing of the Book of Mormon, quotes by prophets and general authorities, the writings of Brigham Young, diaries of any of the early church members and leaders, newspapers from that day, history in general, changes in doctrine, court records, census records, DNA, learned archeologists and professors, even some that have not been fired from BYU, to name just a few, to be credible sources? May I also suggest the book, In Sacred Loneliness, the next time you want to regale the merits of Polygamy.

    Like

  27. supercb1 says:

    So Todd or Gregory, how do you explain that in the Book of Mormon, which is considered the “most correct of any book on earth” according to Joseph Smith, CLEARLY states that polygamy is wrong. Jacob 2:24 “Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord”. But then ole Joe gets a “revelation” stating that polygamy is now acceptable? D&C 132:1 “VERILY, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, JUSTIFIED my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines”. HUMMM very interesting choice of the word JUSTIFIED don’t ya think??? LMAO

    Like

  28. Todd says:

    K*tty,

    Are we talking “credible” or “authoritative?”

    Are we talking “plural marriage” or “restoration of the church in America?”

    There are two threads being commented on here.

    If you can find DNA evidence the proves plural marriage is bad, I would consider that credible.

    If you can find census records that prove America was not conditioned or prepared for the restoration of the gospel, I would be interested in that.

    I hope you’re not accusing me of regaling the “merits of Polygamy?” I am NOT a proponent. I am GLAD I’m not required to practice it. And while Todd Compton’s book is “credible” it’s far from “authoritative.”

    You can accuse me of a belief that the practice of plural marriage was commanded by God for a specific purpose. You can also accuse me of a belief that those who did their best to keep that commandment will be blessed accordingly. That said, whatever rationale church hierarchy conjured up to “sell” the doctrine is up for debate. I sustain church hierarchy, even if I don’t always “buy” their rationale.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  29. Todd says:

    supercb1,

    Read the whole thing, not just the part that you think makes your case.

    Jacob 2:24-30

    Pay particular attention to verse 30. There’s a loop-hole there you might find interesting.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  30. supercb1 says:

    Todd you are joking right? I mean really….verse 30 states “For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.” Hummm so if you have kids, if the Lord commands it, then polgamy is ok…..so where exactly are ole Joe’s extra seed…..? And didn’t he marry older ladies who probably could not have anymore children like Rhoda Richards who was 58, Fanny Young who was 56 and Elizabeth Davis Durfee who was 50? Joseph also married 11 women ALREADY married and some of those ALREADY had children with their legal husbands. They can only get pregnant by one man at a time right? I find it funny that you use the word “loop-hole” to excuse polgamy. “A loophole is a weakness or exception that allows a system, such as a law or security, to be circumvented or otherwise avoided or an ambiguity (especially one in the text of a law or contract) that makes it possible to evade a difficulty or obligation” LOL

    Like

  31. Todd says:

    supercb1,

    Now you’re the one who is joking, right? If the Lord commands it, of course plural marriage is okay. That’s exactly the point. Verse 30 removes all ambiguity. But thanks anyway for providing the definition of “loop-hole” for me.

    I find it funny that you’re using the Book of Mormon to condemn Mormonism.

    Your data regarding Joseph is intriguing and irrelevant. I could argue that “raising seed” is much more than merely making babies. Based on my own experience, making babies is by far the easy part of raising seed.

    I believe you’re correct that a woman can only get pregnant by one man at a time. Although, I did hear of a case where a prostitute gave birth to two babies who had different fathers (one black and one white). But, if true, I presume the getting pregnant part was one-at-a-time. 🙂

    ROTFLMAO,
    Todd

    Like

  32. K*tty says:

    Todd, just one question. Do you feel like the History of the Church is either credible or authoritative? I will settle for either one. Or do you discount it all together? Why is it that when a charismatic leader starts a cult, excuse me, a church, there is “special sexual bonding” that only the leader can supply? It must be in a handbook somewhere, cause they all seem to know about it. Sorry that was two questions, but one was rhetorical.

    Like

  33. Todd says:

    K*tty,

    No, but I do not discount it all together.

    Todd

    Like

  34. supercb1 says:

    Well Todd your answer to my post about Joseph Smith’s plural wives and “seed” was interesting if irrelevant to anything I stated above. No concrete rebuttal, of course, but funny stuff just the same. Thanks for the laughs. Too bad that true church history is available to everyone. (Thank God for the internet!!!) Sorry but……..it is what it is……..

    Like

  35. Todd says:

    If I may paraphrase our debate:

    You: The Book of Mormon condemns plural marriage, look at Jacob 2:24.

    Me: No, it doesn’t. Read further, particularly verse 30.

    You: So if you have kids, and God commands it, then polygamy is okay? What about all of those wives that couldn’t have children?

    Me: Yes, if God commands it, then it’s okay. “Raising seed” could be about more than just one specific wife having kids.

    You: Your rebuttal is irrelevant.

    Me: huh?

    For one who thanks God for the internet, your usage of it appears to be lacking in both depth and balance. Try reading some non-sensationalistic apologetic material once in a while. It will broaden your perspective.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  36. Natalie says:

    Todd, you NEVER ever back up a claim with facts. And yet you dance around in a gleeful circle, as though you have won POINTS somewhere. You haven’t.

    God commands it? Uh huh. Should I recite a few more things that people have believed God commanded?

    It has a lot to do with flying airplanes into buildings, and killing thousands….

    Like

  37. Todd says:

    I don’t think you know what a “fact” is, Natalie.

    And you should NEVER use the word “never”.

    Why, in this very post, supercb1 claimed that the Book of Mormon condemned plural marriage. I claimed that it did no such thing and provided a handy (and factual) reference backing up my claim. I’ve got to earn SOME POINTS for that!

    Check my facts and let me know if you disagree.

    So what conclusion do you draw from people flying airplanes into buildings and killing thousands?

    That God doesn’t exist, doesn’t command, doesn’t care? What?

    FACT: It’s a logical fallacy to conclude that one bad apple means the whole orchard is corrupt.

    With Love,
    Todd

    Like

  38. Jason says:

    Todd,

    You’re wasting your time. You’re trying to make a point with people who don’t want the point to be made, or are too stupid to understand plain english. This really is a colossal waste of time.

    Like

  39. supercb1 says:

    Ok, now Todd lets not get nasty. As a LDS church member I know that anti-mormon literature is not the best place to get information. You have to have information that has searchable, reliable references and etc…. Anyway I got my alot of the information about Joesph’s wives on familysearch.org. Perhaps not the most balanced of websites….LOL but oh well. BTW: Church websites are a wealth of information….hehehe

    You said, “Raising seed” could be about more than just one specific wife having kids. Ok, when I clicked on the word “seed” in the scripture referenced above it said to “mutiply and replenish the earth”. If you can give me a definition in scripture for “raising seed” that is not about having kids or growing plants go for it. That being said, I still need to have the answer to my question of why did Joseph marry women that were already married (some with children already) and women too old to have children?

    You know, if Joseph Smith’s polygamy was the only thing the church was not completely honest about in it’s teaching of church history to investigators and members it could possible be overlooked, but it is not. And I do not think that the old saying of “milk before meat” is acceptable at all. Anyway, I am not going to get into a prolonged discussion with anyone about those other issues of church history because this is not the place for it. If anyone wants to research church history they can.

    Todd, I can tell that you are an intelligent person with much knowledge and a honest belief. I am not being sarcastic, I mean it. Thanks for your insight. You made me think and learn which is something I am always willing to do. Good luck!

    Like

  40. Todd says:

    supercb1,

    Here’s an interesting read:
    Review of “In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith”

    I was particularly intrigued with the concept of sealings “for all eternity” only. It’s too bad that Joseph was taken out so early. It would have been very interesting to get a more complete picture of the doctrine of plural marriage.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  41. Natalie says:

    Oh man, I violated one of my own rules! You are right, Todd. I should never use never. I don’t know why I forget that. Must be the flu bug.

    I most certainly know and understand facts, though. See, I work and live on facts, and you use belief and burning bosoms. Nothing you believe in is based in FACT, Todd.

    Like

  42. Angsty says:

    What entertainment.

    Like

  43. K*tty says:

    Todd, when I asked if you felt The History of the Church was a credible source, I actually meant the 7 volume set, parts supposedly written by Joseph Smith. Your answer was:” No, but I do not discount it all together.” Did you mean all church history in general or was there a misunderstanding? It seems some Mormons quote from the set, while other quotes and entries in the volumes are ignored, those being the most distrubing. In which case, they seem to not hold those as credible, as say maybe the more faith promoting accounts. So what is your take on this 7 volume set, which has had a few re-writes of its own?

    Like

  44. Todd says:

    K*tty,

    I think the 7 volume set, History of the Church, is a very valuable source of historical information, insight, and perspective. Would I bet the farm on every bit of it being absolutely true? No.

    Are you suggesting that the editors are re-writing history, and not merely correcting errors based on new intelligence? There are of course multiple ways to represent historical data. The meaning of words can also change over time. Sometimes historians take the liberty to add clarifications and/or eliminate abiguities or confusing items. Hopefully they’re improving accuracy, readability, and understandability.

    When I write my autobiography, I’ll try to reflect the thoughtful, intelligent, and moderately handsome fellow that I am. My critics will try to point out (unsuccessfully I might add) what a shallow, stupid, doofus I am. How you formulate your opinion of me may in large part depend on what you find from other primary source material (most of which will of course corroborate my version of myself). Will you find evidence that I was shallow, stupid and a doofus? No! Well, okay, maybe. Does that make my own version incredible? Not necessarily. Have I glossed over my weaknesses? Maybe. Have I over-stressed my strengths? Maybe. Have my critics done exactly the opposite? Maybe.

    In short, any historical narrative is just data. It follows that the more good data one has, the better the conclusion one can draw. Bad data almost always leads to bad conclusions.

    I would argue that the History of the Church is mostly good data.

    How do you feel about it?

    Kindly,
    Todd

    Like

  45. Rick says:

    Hi Todd,

    BTW, I wrote a very long response to another post the other day and made the cardinal sin of not copying before pasting — then the server went down. I HATE that!

    In a nutshell, and to combine the two topics here, I do believe that a very sterilized, faith promoting history has been presented to most LDS members. I studied with Grant Palmer as he wrote his book “Insider’s View…”. He had (copies of) many journals of early members and leaders, and what I read was stunning to me.

    For one thing, most early members were quite caught up in the reality of magical things. IOW, most would attribute dreams, diseases, and natural events (thunder, etc.) to God’s messages. Everybody had visions, and there was constant argument over which vision was more “correct.” There were frequent visits from angels and spirits, good and bad ones. If you’ve ever seen “The Crucible,” the script of that movie was quite similar to the writings in the saints’ journals. Today we would be referring these folks to the psych hospitals! But that was all just a product of the environment then.

    I believe Joseph was a shrewd, charismatic salesman. He had a product to sell, and he did a bang-up job of it. Yes, the doctrine has evolved to be acceptable to the times, and since most members don’t give two hoots about what really happened back then, they go forward doing the best they can to raise their family and do their church callings as best as they can.

    Like any sales company, the best side is presented to all for “sale.” Why not?

    ~Rick

    Like

  46. K*tty says:

    Todd, I guess from the get go, I am bothered by Joseph Smith saying he is better than Jesus, which he says in those volumes. At other times, I am bothered why the study of Smith, would not include his mistakes and bad judgements. He seems more real in the set, but when Smith is studied in church, it seems the emphasis is only on the good stuff. The longer he is dead, the more perfect he becomes. If you even hint at his character, most Mormons consider that blasphemous. I don’t think it is a stretch of the imagination that the Smith prophecy where his name should be had for both good and evil is that surprising. One must consider all the mumbo jumbo, sexual escapes, talking to God, translating Egyptian originals to correspond with his ideas, to name a few.

    With good intentions, K*tty

    Like

  47. Joshua Skains says:

    “Todd, I guess from the get go, I am bothered by Joseph Smith saying he is better than Jesus, ”

    Uh, no he doesn’t. Provide a link please.

    Like

  48. Kirk says:

    JS “I have more to boast of than any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I” (History of the Church, Vol.6, pp. 408-09).

    Thought that you were gone Joshua. Even hoped that your “I’m gone” comment might be your one true uttering.

    Even though the above statement isn’t conclusive of being “better” than Jesus in all respects, even you must admit that it is a boastful, ridiculous statement – certainly deserving the ridicule that it receives.

    Kirk

    Like

  49. Todd says:

    K*tty,

    I can understand why a statement like that would bother you. I would immediately ask myself the questions: Who said that JS said it? When did they say JS said it? Is the quote verbatim? Did JS himself approve the quote’s inclusion in Vol.6? etc.

    I presume you’re referring to the commonly touted statement given by Kirk for your “better than Jesus” inference. As Kirk admits, that statement as given isn’t conclusive. The egotistical tone and “voice” of that statement also appears to be in contrast to the tone and “voice” of JS’s personal writings. Of course, that last statement is my opinion, a view that I hold based on my own personal study.

    Additionally, as any writer can attest, truly capturing nuance and tone in the written word is very difficult. So while the overall thrust of the statement may be accurate, is the tone and other related elements accurate?

    Of course, the “official” position is that JS has done more, save Jesus only, etc. Many people, myself included, believe that JS was a great man. Jesus on the other hand is something infinitely greater.

    I do find it amusing that some critics vehemently reject parts of History of the Church when it contradicts their position, but cling to ambiguous statements such as this one when it suits their purpose. If you’re going to accept those elements which allegedly put JS in a negative light, then logic would dictate that you accept those elements which allegedly put JS is a positive light.

    With the same good intentions,
    Todd

    Like

  50. Drywall Mom says:

    I wanted to comment on this. I am an ex mormon married to a my husband whose family is LeBaron. His grandfather was murdered by his brother. I have seen enough that makes me sick to my stomach. They live in a small town in the middle of nowhere and all that they know is the church. It’s an easy way to brain wash people and women do not have rights there and neither do the children. People hide things all the time, especially if it has to do with family cover ups. The worst part about it, is that because there is not much outside interaction, they agree with alot of what the men say b/c they do not know any better and leaving a large family and moving to the US is hard to get used to. Especially understanding and agreeing with the American Culter. So for the person who said that they didn’t know a polygomist culter enough. Let me tell you, I’m sorry you feel that way. Open your eyes and try to see outside the box.

    Like

  51. K*tty says:

    Thanks Todd, you’re a sweet man. I admire your conviction. I personally am bothered when someone is put on a pedestal. Because they are human, they are bound to disappoint. I am sure you are not even suggesting that Smith was even close to perfect, cause that would be insane. Do we discount all the diaries and the papers of that day because they did not have nice things to say about Smith? Cause that would be insane too.

    I do so appreciate your comments on this site. K*tty

    Like

  52. C says:

    “It was a revelation from God. The church did just fine before the U.S. Government got involved. Learn your history before you speak.”

    Right, who would DARE allow the government to dictate how people can or cannot enter marital unions?

    How much you wanna bet this guy voted Yes on 8?

    Like

  53. Todd says:

    K*tty,

    Thanks for the kind words. I like you, too.

    How much weight or “discount” a source is given is certainly a subjective analysis. It would be interesting to read what the Jerusalem Daily said about Jesus back in the day.

    What impresses me about JS is the way he was able to push the church forward in the midst of all the venom directed at him.

    Love him or hate him, you have to agree he was a remarkable man.

    Kindly,
    Todd

    Like

  54. Rick says:

    Correction: He was an influential man.

    ~Rick

    Like

  55. Kirk says:

    In my opinion – timing, social conditions, and religious fervor – all contribute to the “perfect storm” sometimes in life. And at a precise moment, they combine to thrust mortal men into perceived immortal positions.

    History, common sense, intelligence, study – and yes science correct these perceptions over time. If one believes in a creator, it is my opinion that one also should believe that this same intelligence and natural curiosity of man that leads him to study his surroundings in ways that help him reason, understand, love and survive is in large part due to this loving creator.

    Rick’s correction is important.

    Like

  56. Todd says:

    Rick’s correction isn’t a “correction” at all.

    Rather, it’s support for the use of “remarkable” to describe JS. “Influential” is part of the reason JS is “remarkable.”

    The fact that, 204 years after his birth, we’re having this debate over adjectives to describe JS make him “remarkable.”

    Unremarkably yours,
    Todd

    Like

  57. Rick says:

    Au contraire Toddster. I’m sure folks will be talking about Hitler in 204 years as well, and I argue that he was much more influential than remarkable. Maybe you’re splitting hairs, but most will agree that what Hitler did was not very positive despite his ability to influence and impact many people.

    I believe Joseph was the same.

    Yours influentially,

    ~Rick

    Like

  58. Kirk says:

    Address of the Prophet – His Testimony Against the Dissenters at Nauvoo.

    President Joseph Smith read the 11th Chap. II Corinthians. “My object is to let you know that I am right here on the spot where I intend to stay. I, like Paul, have been in perils, and oftener than anyone in this generation. As Paul boasted, I have suffered more than Paul did. I should be like a fish out of water, if I were out of persecutions. Perhaps my brethren think it requires all this to keep me humble. The Lord has constituted me so curiously that I glory in persecution. I am not nearly so humble as if I were not persecuted. If oppression will make a wise man mad, much more a fool. If they want a beardless boy to whip all the world, I will get on the top of a mountain and crow like a rooster: I shall always beat them. When facts are proved, truth and innocence will prevail at last. My enemies are no philosophers: they think that when they have my spoke under, they will keep me down; but for the fools, I will hold on and fly over them.
    God is in the still small voice. In all these affidavits, indictments, it is all of the devil–all corruption. Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days

    page 409

    of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. You know my daily walk and conversation. I am in the bosom of a virtuous and good people. How I do love to hear the wolves howl! When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go. For the last three years I have a record of all my acts and proceedings, for I have kept several good, faithful, and efficient clerks in constant employ: they have accompanied me everywhere, and carefully kept my history, and they have written down what I have done, where I have been, and what I have said; therefore my enemies cannot charge me with any day, time, or place, but what I have written testimony to prove my actions; and my enemies cannot prove anything against me. They have got wonderful things in the land of Ham. I think the grand jury have strained at a gnat and swallowed the camel.”
    _____________________________________________________________

    Todd – These are not “out of context” words. Nor have credible church historians ever denied them. “Nuance, tone and other related arguments”?

    It would be easy to understand, and even sympathize with believing LDS folks, if they could somehow show the beginnings of comprehension – maybe understanding a bit why certain tenets of LDS philosophy are difficult to embrace. Three quick examples that I will expand on later. First, polygamy. LDS claim – “We don’t practice it anymore. It is against the law, against our religion, and LDS members that continue this practice will be excommunicated. Although this statement is factually true, it is blatantly deceptive. Fact; LDS founding prophet claimed that God indicated to him that Polygamy was an eternal principle. He and other prophets and apostles of the church practiced it. The 1890 manifesto (words included in LDS scripture cannons) never denies or denounces polygamy. It merely reads as if, well “we lost this battle and will not practice polygamy right now.” Although Old Testament patriarchs are cited as reason that God sanctioned polygamy, I challenge this: (even playing in the religion / scripture sandbox for a minute) Please show me one scripture (other than D&C 132) that says clearly that God sanctions polygamy. Show me where it is even mentioned in the New Testament. Show me scriptures in the BOM where it is clearly depicted as a practice that God espouses. I can show you many BOM scriptures that clearly state that men should have only one wife. If it were truly God’s will, and eternal concept and practice, don’t you believe for a minute that God would spell it out clearly so that everyone could understand?

    Long winded I know – but point number two: dark skin as a curse from God. Please, please tell me that Mormons understand how ridiculous this is! Even though LDS practice has changed, now allowing all men to “hold the priesthood”, I have never heard, or read that the LDS belief has changed. Please show me one official document that demonstrates that LDS doctrine has changed – and no longer believes that dark skin is a curse from God.

    Point number three: Lamanites – and all the many dark skinned relatives that they have in Fiji, Polynesia, Tonga etc.. Simple question: even regarding all the many apologetic renderings from FARMS, Shields etc., etc., etc., – do LDS folks still consider Lamanite ancestry for dark skinned Islanders in the Pacific?? If your answer is “no”, please refer to the dedicatory prayers that LDS prophets have given in those countries. Local people are told that they are direct descendants of father Lehi.

    Todd – I have spent nearly my entire life defending Mormonism, even living LDS principles, serving a proselyying mission, holding branch president and PR positions. As I mentioned before, I have participated in FARMS discussions and forums, and still receive their publications. Over time, I realized simply that it did not make spiritual, intellectual, historical sense. I still believe in the possibility of a loving creator, and certainly will not discount the importance of living our lives under the golden rule. Like Rick has stated, this is a simple paradigm that seems to fit every conceivable life situation.

    Kirk

    Like

  59. Todd says:

    Rickster,

    I beg to differ, and you are trying to split hairs.

    The word “remarkable” doesn’t connotate direction, good or evil. One doesn’t have to be good to be remarkable.

    Yes, Hilter was remarkable. That is not the same as to say Hilter was good.

    I can piss further…. 🙂

    Todd

    Like

  60. Kirk says:

    conspicuous, distinguished, extraordinary, famous, impressive, miraculous, notable, noteworthy, odd, outstanding, phenomenal, pre-eminent, prominent, rare, signal, singular, strange, striking, surprising, uncommon, unusual, wonderful

    Simple Google search Todd. Of the 29 listed synonyms, there are only three that could be argued as anything other than very positive. Another hair-splitting that we all tend to do. It is rather simple; if one believes JS was a prophet of God, than it is easier to use the word remarkable – and it does create a positive connotation. If one doesn’t, the tendency would be towards other, less favorable adjectives.

    Best,

    Kirk

    Like

  61. Rick says:

    Alright Todd, I’ll give that to you. With the definition:

    “remarkable
    Adjective
    1. worthy of note or attention

    I see we don’t disagree. But just so we’re clear, I see Joseph much more on the same plane as Hitler than any positive figure in our history. With his demonstrated narcissism (thanks Kirk), predatory actions (particularly granting “salvation” as a means to bed his sexual targets), and calculated deception many times by presenting writings as “God’s word,” he was clearly living an opportunistic lifestyle to get what he wanted.

    ~Rick

    Like

  62. Todd says:

    Kirk,

    Wow… Long-winded is an understatement… You must’ve been bursting at the seams… Please exuse my long-windedness…

    As you pointed out in a previous comment, those “boastful” statements of JS’s aren’t conclusive that JS thought he was “better” than Jesus. The fact that he mentions Paul’s “boasting” in 2 Corithians 11as the backdrop and context for his comments makes JS’s “boasting” even more powerful as an oratory tool. Critics would have us believe otherwise, but this smoking gun is a dud.

    Regarding your other three “issues” with LDS theology…

    Polygamy, or more correctly, Plural Marriage – Are you stating unequivocally that you don’t believe God could or would sanction it? He’s God, so it’s silly to think that He couldn’t sanction it. I believe the LDS apologists and Bible scholars would argue that at times He has sanctioned it. Of course, they would refer you to Old Testament passages. As I’ve indicated in previous comments, the BOM doesn’t close the door to this possibility.

    I don’t presume to know the mind of God and what He would or would not spell out more clearly so we could all understand. It’s plausible that He didn’t spell it out more clearly due to our rejection of the portion He did spell out. You know… greater light, greater condemnation. He is a merciful God, you know. Wouldn’t it have been more interesting to let the whole plural marriage thing play out to see where it would’ve led?

    Next, dark skin is a curse from God…

    I think officially dark skin is an identifying “mark,” and not a “curse.” (Genesis 4:15) As far as I can tell, the distinguishing “mark” is still in place both doctrinally and physically. Whatever “curse” there was in regards to holding the priesthood, etc. has been lifted by authoritative decree.

    Last, Lamanite descendency…

    Here’s an interesting article for you to read: Why We’re All Jesus’ Children. The thesis is that if somebody living a few millenia ago has ANY living descendants, then we’re ALL descendants of that person. The onus is on you to show the implausibility that “all the many dark skinned relatives that they have in Fiji, Polynesia, Tonga etc.” are NOT descendants of Lehi.

    Kirk – While our backgrounds don’t appear to be too dissimilar, we appear to have reached vastly dissimilar conclusions. Whereas your path has led to the mere “possibility of a loving creator,” etc.; my path has led to my strong conviction in the reality of a loving creator, etc.

    I find that remarkable.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  63. Todd says:

    Rick & Kirk,

    I stand by my statement regarding JS:
    “Love him or hate him, you have to agree he was a remarkable man.”

    I can use Google with the best of ’em!

    Thanks for the thoughtful retorts!

    Todd

    Like

  64. Rick says:

    Todd,

    That would be one angle, although unlike many of my fellow mormon graduates, I don’t particularly “hate” him. I see him as a skilled opportunist, one who grew up in a time and place where many people were looking for a restoration of the original Christian church, and many also were intrigued by the possibility that the “Natives” were offspring from the ten tribes, and God was punishing them for their ancestors’ wickedness.

    Joseph found enough material — either through Rigdon/Spaulding/Cowdery, or on his own with his own research — probably including Ethan Smith’s “View of the Hebrews,” and/or Mercy Otis Warren’s compilation of early American leader’s speeches. Links here:

    http://llc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/fqn040v1

    (this is a recent wordprint study indicating significant multiple authorship to the BoM); and:

    http://www.mormonstudies.com/early1.htm.

    The point is that he worked on the writing of the BoM for a significant period of time with the most likely intention of “selling” it to the world as a new scripture that included many of the hot buttons of the culture around him…making it likely to get new followers and members.

    One rebuttal to this we hear is “why?” It is a normal trait of a narcissist to recruit followers. It is also common to recruit multiple sex partners. We know he was a master at that. Of course he weaved a web that eventually led to his death — also a common pattern.

    Point is, Joseph was quite talented in many ways. He was very persuasive. He accomplished much in his short time here. He did better than most of his counterparts of the time…and with a successor named Brigham who would move and isolate the group — an astute leader as well — the blip known as Mormonism survived better than the other restorationists.

    I see it as a survival of the fittest. I also see it as an evolving culture — one that has an inherant process to change with the times…so hopefully it will continue to do so as necessary to appeal to many.

    But that’s just how I see it.

    ~Rick

    Like

  65. Kirk says:

    “Smoking gun is a dud” In response to Kitty, you mentioned that you couldn’t derive correct nuance, intent from incomplete quotes. I provide complete quotes as provided by the LDS church history; their own documents – Wording that has stood in LDS history books for over a century. Your only defense of this ridiculous claim is that he said it while quoting an Old Testament scripture. And somehow this makes it even a “more powerful” boasting. Please tell me that you are joking.

    Again, as in every response to polygamy, you cannot provide one scriptural, logical, intelligent response. Nobody can. Nobody has. It is a damaging, shameful practice – and needs to be viewed as such. Todd, I never put limits on what God’s word might me. And don’t tell me that Polygamy is God’s word if you have nothing to back it up, other than Joseph Smith’s words. It might be possible that God can do anything. My prayers and study have indicated to me that God never embraced polygamy. My relationship with my wife and children are extremely strong witnesses to me that God’s will is not for me to have relationships with other women. The only (I repeat, only) thing LDS folks can say to justify this horrible practice is that JS was commanded to reveal it. I encourage any dispassionate observer to read D&C 132. Think and pray about the wording as it is portrayed – Gods direct words through JS. Emma is threatened that she will be destroyed if she doesn’t go along with it. Loving, caring God?? Stupidity!!

    Dark skin has been referred to as a mark of the “curse” in LDS doctrine. As usual Todd, your statements are “technically” correct, but blatantly deceptive. The mark of the curse has never been lifted. To even believe that dark skin is the mark of the curse is absolutely insane. Again, show me where the original mark of the curse was ever denied as incorrect. Todd, this is a fact. Even you will not be able to weasel word around this one. LDS (as well as other religions) believe that dark skin was a result of a curse. Splitting hairs again when you say it was the mark of the curse. I’ll let the readers decide for themselves. Again, no answers – just more denial. For once Todd – admit the truth; that Mormons believe dark skin is the result of a curse for something bad that they did. I know why you don’t want to admit this – because it is ridiculous.

    Todd, you and I differ on much more than our belief in God. I will not teach my children doctrines of fear and guilt. I will not teach my daughters or son that they will not live with us in heaven if they make mistakes here on earth. I will however, teach them love, compassion, understanding and truth. And, I will teach them to defend the truth, and speak plainly to people who teach doctrines of fear. To “not know” can be a very good thing. Admitting this can be an incredible experience. Todd, as Rick has more eloquently pointed out in prior discussions, faith and belief can be dangerous. You can bet your butt that the men who flew the airplanes into the Trade Towers believed with all their heart that they were doing the work of God. Testimonies of Muslims, Baptists, Mormons, Jews, Protestants, 7th Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, would all sound almost exactly like an LDS fast and testimony meeting when they express their testimonies of their God.

    I will submit something that will be difficult for you to admit. You don’t know anything more about God than I do. And, I know nothing more than you. We are on this journey together. Something for you to consider – – – Joseph Smith made a lot mistakes. If you blindly follow his mistakes as if they are from God – you will influence and hurt many people.

    And “remarkable” is not the word to use for this. Sad is a better word.

    Kirk

    Like

  66. Todd says:

    Kirk,

    Like many so-called LDS critics, you’re an expert at deception.

    My exact words to K*tty were “truly capturing nuance and tone in the written word is very difficult.” I stand by those words.

    2 Corinthians, and the Apostle Paul, are New Testament entities. Successful orators quite often draw upon biblical language and parallels to drive home their message. Believing, as you apparently do despite your own “isn’t conclusive” comment, that JS actually believed he was “better” than Jesus is ridiculous.

    I believe God’s will for me is to not have relationships with other women, too. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So are adjectives like “shameful,” “damaging,” “horrible,” etc. Your passionate arguments against plural marriage are nothing more than YOUR words. In principle, if I believe God revealed that order of marriage to JS, and 28 women also believe it and want to practice it with me, who are YOU to judge it “shameful,” “damaging,” and “horrible.” You’ve dispassionately read D&C 132 and aren’t aware of the scriptural basis for plural marriage? Are you joking?

    I stand by what I’ve already written with respect to the “mark” and the “curse.” I’m not aware of any authoritative doctrinal source that indicates the “mark” is the “curse.” There are plenty of authoritative doctrinal sources, the BOM at the forefront, that indicate skin color has NOTHING to do with one’s standing before God. The “marked” Lamanites were quite often the more righteous followers of Christ.

    And while I’m sure it’s true that “faith and belief can be dangerous,” they are also essential elements of Christian theology. To “believe” can be a very good thing. Christ was constantly bemoaning a perceived lack of “faith” among His followers. I accept the risks of “belief” and “faith.”

    I have no difficulty admitting the parity of our respective knowledge of God. I’m perfectly content with JS and all of his “mistakes.” You should heed your own advice. If you harden your heart against his divine work, you will influence and hurt many people.

    Live by faith, not fear.

    Todd

    Like

  67. Kirk says:

    Looks like the gloves are finally off, Todd. Finally, you show your true colors. I have much more to write concerning your attempt at an answer, and I will post it this weekend.

    I encourage anyone to please read D&C 132. Yes, I consider it a terrible threat; and not from God.

    Todd, again you deceive. I never said that skin color had anything to do with ones standing before God. That is not the issue here. Again – and please a simple answer to the question; Does LDS theology believe that dark skin color was placed on people as a mark (of a curse) for something wrong that they or their ancestors did? The simple answer is YES. You cannot hide it. But, I know how difficult it is for you to just answer a question. It seems ridiculous that this belief is still out there in our world. No play on words here Todd. Yes or no. Simple answer.

    Polygamy Todd?? Does it not seem strange to you that Jesus himself did not teach this concept? Does it now seem strange to you that the only scriptural evidence you can call on is D&C 132? I will repeat this because it is important. Polygamy is evil. JS made this one up. The world is suffering because of this.

    Seriously Todd. Please just answer the questions in a truthful manner. It certainly cannot be that difficult. It just seems difficult because you would seem ridiculous.

    There is no justification for many of your beliefs at all other than, “God told Joseph” and “I feel good about it when I pray.”

    Too many issues with this Todd.

    I encourage you to study, use your head, pray – and maybe get out into the world every once in awhile.

    Kirk

    Like

  68. Rick says:

    I’d like to make an observation. There is a fundamental difference in the way many religious people like Todd approach “God” and “God’s word,” and the way many (most I’m sure) of us former religious people do.

    Throughout these threads, Todd uses scripture as evidence of his positions. Like we all did at one time, he has had what he considers an undeniable witness that the words are in fact from “God.” They are written accurately enough for humans to perceive what God is intending for us. I understand the approach well. It’s how I lived most of my life. The approach works for most situations…as long as we keep some critical filters on our spectacles.

    We see a bigger picture. We see that “God” is telling (has told) various folks extremely contradictory messages. Those folks have had powerful “witnesses” that the message they received is true. Most of us here agree that the message given to many that God wanted some pilots to fly into the twin towers on 9/11 was not actually from God. It was sold as such, but it is clear to most of us that it was “false.”

    That, along with the gzillions of contradictory other messages given, and the fact that the people are just as convinced that their message is “truer,” indicates to us that perhaps most, if not all, are false. That includes words written by men over the last few millennia that have been compiled into a book called the “Bible.”

    As Christian theologian and author Marcus Borg says: “The Bible is true, and some of it happened.”

    So what DO we believe? Once we adopt the approach that it is possible that no one person has any more authority to speak to God than any other (remember the “priesthood authority” idea came from (gasp) men!), it becomes clear.

    All good spiritual traditions teach the Golden Rule. No one of us really knows what is best for another. We each have a unique combination of DNA, life experiences and relationships. Maybe we have had a “spiritual experience” that is so powerful that we cannot deny it was from God. Power to you.

    But I submit that your experience may not (probably doesn’t) apply to me. At the very least, it is inappropriate for you to tell me it does. When that happens, I take it as a false message from God. I need to learn what I will in this life on my own. I believe that “God” is equally accessible to all.

    So to try to quote some words written by men who “knew” the world was flat and the center of the universe, doesn’t hold much weight with me.

    But that’s just me.

    ~Rick

    Like

  69. Kirk says:

    Thanks Rick,

    If I could write as well, your previous comment would be my post.

    Your time and thoughts are very much appreciated.

    Kirk

    Like

  70. todd says:

    Rick,

    With all due respect, your philosophy ranks up there with all of the best man-made malarky ever thought up, is as old as mankind, and has no power to lift mankind any higher than he can jump.

    In short, that and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee.

    So if a cup of lies and false doctrine is what you’re after, more power to you. But as for me and my house, we will follow the Lord.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  71. Rick says:

    Todd,

    And I’m sure that your “knowledge” in your “Lord” is the one and only truth about “him.” Yes, I’ll happily side with the billions that have lived and are living on this vast planet that don’t believe your “Lord” is exactly the way you think he is. As you have said, by their fruits you will know them, and I see much more positive and socially responsible fruits outside of Mormonism.

    But if it keeps you happy in your reserved small corner of the universe, and you need to consider all other philosophies “false,” go for it. You have my blessing.

    “Falsely” yours,

    ~Rick

    Like

  72. Kirk says:

    Hey Todd,

    I thought that we’d smoke the real Todd out sooner or later. But this is almost beyond my most ambitious expectations. Anger, name calling – almost swearing but not quite – “malarkey”? You probably used the terms fletch and flip on your mission.

    “False doctrine, cup of lies, your house following the Lord”. Bring out all the LDS clichés and favorite sayings. This is what happens when you loose arguments Todd. You probably shouldn’t participate in logical, intelligent arguments if they all end up like this. With all due respect (your words) maybe you could bear us your testimony and fervently proclaim how you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that JS was a prophet of God.

    You are, of course free to follow your Lord, but please don’t be ignorant enough to proclaim him as “THE LORD”. You follow the one created for you by Joseph.

    Religious arrogance is wreaking havoc on this world of ours.

    Nicely yours Todd.

    Kirk

    Like

  73. Todd says:

    Kirk,

    The “real” Todd has been here all along. I’m not sure from where you’re deriving anger or name calling. I remain even tempered, and have always referred to both you and Rick by your stated names.

    It seems to be a common tactic of yours to fabricate emotion and behavior that simply doesn’t exist. You also seem to have to misstate the arguments against you to make your own twisted logic and “loose” arguments work.

    “Cup of lies” was a play on the “cup of coffee” cliche. “Follow the Lord” is a biblical cliche, and not specific to Mormonism (it’s actually “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord”, but “follow” just fit better).

    Godless, secular arrogance is the real culprit wreaking havoc on this world of ours.

    Warmly,
    Todd

    Like

  74. Todd says:

    Rick,

    Just so long as you agree that your philosophy is man-made, regardless of what you think about mine, I’m perfectly content. It’s amusing to me, based on your objections stated above, that you accept human philosophies that were derived by men who “knew” the world was flat.

    Christians will always be content to be the “few.”

    Respectfully,
    Todd

    Like

  75. Rick says:

    Todd,

    your black and white thinkingis so classic mormon. Even in the end, you need me to “agree” that my philosophies are man-made. It’s either from your “God, or it’s “man-made.”

    You really don’t get it.

    What if “your God” is not the real God? Maybe “God” is a force in the universe that is very different than the one you have created in man’s image? Even if you can’t allow yourself the open-mind to consider the possibility that others may understand a different concept of God/Spirit than you have imagined, PLEASE don’t tell anybody what and where their beliefs came from!

    It is the epitome of arrogance to tell another what their spiritual experiences are, and what they mean to them. When you can allow others the right to have their own spiritual lives– and allow them to live it, we can have civil conversations.

    Until then, you get placed in the stereotypical Mormon box that can’t see true unconditional love or allow true equality to all. I’m a bit surprised ou can’t see that.

    ~Rick

    Like

  76. Kirk says:

    Todd,

    No Todd, the real Todd is just beginning to surface. When faced with rational, intelligent rebuttals to your arguments, you resort to clichés, labels and childish arguments.

    I’m very much aware of the origins of your clichés. Don’t need a lecture on it Todd. Nor is it important to the discussion. Furthermore, I never said that they were specific to Mormonism – just very typically used in LDS language. Remember Todd, I have used this very same tired language for years.

    Apparently you love to twist small points in order to sound authoritative – without substance. You attempt to explain your little twists on language as if it’s important, or as if we somehow “don’t get it “, is absurd.

    A dogmatic religion like Mormonism is very tough to leave. I understand why you are having a difficult time.

    The reason you are so amusing at this time Todd, is because through all your bluster, you haven’t been able to honestly answer my basic questions. You know why? – Because if you did, you would appear like you truly are. And that is not pretty.

    Lovingly,

    Kirk

    Like

  77. Todd says:

    Rick,

    The irony in your comment is overwhelming. It’s clear to me that you really don’t get it. Maybe you should practice your own advice and stop trying to tell others what their spiritual experience are all about, you arrogant you. I have civil conversations with people who have their own spiritual lives all the time. That makes me wonder if the problem with your apparant inability to have such a conversation with me lies with you.

    Isn’t God THE force in the universe? What’s with this “your God” “my God” distinction? I’m perfectly content with the notion that others may understand a different concept than me, let them worship who, where, or what they may. (Kirk – Please excuse the typical LDS language. I am afterall, LDS.)

    Unconditional love is one thing. True equality is something else. The wicked always want true equality, but are never willing to make the sacrifices required to have it. I’m surprised that you can’t see that. Maybe that’s why you’re always trying to make the distinction between “your God” and “my God.” In your mind they can’t be equal.

    Todd

    Like

  78. Rick says:

    Todd,

    I guess the reason you don’t get it is because you consistently label us (either directly or inferred) as “evil” and wicked. You can’t seriously think we can accept that your labeling as such can be done with “equality” and with ” unconditional love.” That practically defines “conditions!”

    The reason “my God” is not “your God” is that my God teaches true equality and love without conditions — a concept foreign to most mormons I know. They say the things that try to portray love, but their actions are far from unconditional.

    So yes, I think there really is one force in the universe. Some call it God. But I believe strongly that that force created, or allowed the creation, of each of us as we are, and anybody who feels the need to change the perfect creations that we are is confined to following, as you might guess, the teachings of men that happen to be written in what you call scriptures — which are the tools of controlling institutions designed to take away basic human rights.

    Tell you what Todd, it’s quite simple. Much of what you consider evil, I call good, and I’m sure vice versa. What you call moral and family values, I consider to be bigotous, judgmental and divisive. We’ll never see eye to eye on this.

    The only point I would hope to make with you is that at the very least, there is possibly merit and logic to looking at “God” from a different perspective than yours. And if you can’t fathom that, at least practice what you preach and allow us the right to live our lives in peace. Encourage your circle of friends to allow civil rights to all, and don’t feel the need to change us.

    If you and your culture will do that, we’ll all be happy.

    ~Rick

    Like

  79. Todd says:

    Kirk,

    To which intelligent and rational rebuttal are you referring? I’ve given you substantive arguments on all points, and all you’ve offered is the same tired old anti-mormon cliches disguised as “substance.”

    When you’re presented with a substantive argument and the doctrinal, scriptural or other references supporting it, you refuse to address it. Rather, you rephrase the rebuttal to your own liking and attack a phantom position with more of your tired old rhetoric; or you completely ignore it altogether.

    In terms of twisting small points, you’ve made it an form of art. Even after I showed the accuracy of the word “remarkable” to describe JS, you continue to interject your own distorted view. Even Rick conceded that point and offered alternate and substantive prose stating his perspective.

    And for the record, I’m not leaving Mormonism, so it’s impossible to be having a difficult time doing it. Your “belief and faith can be dangerous” and “you need to get out into the world more” dogma pales in comparison to Christ’s dogma that lifts, inspires, offers hope, and leads to deep abiding joy. All your dogma does is encourage fear and doubt.

    I choose to live by faith, not fear and doubt. It’s definitely a more colorful place to be.

    Todd

    Like

  80. Todd says:

    Rick,

    Please don’t assume that when I use the word “wicked” in my comments that I’m attaching that label to you or any other specific individual, even by inference. I have the utmost respect for you as a person, even though theologically we’re galaxies apart.

    I try not to take it too personally when you, in likewise fashion, infer that concepts like “unconditional love” are foreign to Mormons. Refusing to accept evil as a societal norm does not constitute “conditional” love.

    Further, it’s illogical to conclude that scriptures are not the word of God just because some evil-designing men may use them to take away basic human rights. It’s also presumptuous to conclude that I haven’t looked at “God” from different perspectives. It’s quite probable that I have, but have found them to be severely lacking.

    And lastly, my circle of friends are already on-board with allowing civil rights to all.

    Warmest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  81. Kirk says:

    Todd – “You arrogant you”. Glad we’ve smoked you out Todd, so that everyone can truly see you for who you are.

    You are presented with simple, direct questions and can’t seem to come up with even one answer. I’ll ask them again in a very direct form. Does Mormon theology teach that dark skin (African, Polynesian, American Indian to name a few) is a result of a curse? No weasel words Please Todd – referring to the “mark” of the curse, or other pathetic attempts to avoid the question. Simple answer. I’ll answer it for you. YES. Please no attempts to lie, deceive, cover up and change the focus here Todd. Where are the substantive arguments that you have provided? They don’t exist Todd, because they are illusions created by ignorant, uneducated, unenlightened men.

    Another question that you have never answered; Has the Mormon belief in Polygamy ever been denied? Again Todd – and I know this will be difficult. Try to avoid your deceptions or partial answers that lie. Again the answer is NO! The belief still continues and is written in your scriptures. Was that all that difficult Todd? I know it will make you look ridiculous if you were to go to your wife and kids and tell them that you believe this.

    Todd, I’m glad that you have taken the time to list your thoughts. We now know better who you are. I will repeat what Rick said, because it is important. Much of what you consider evil, I call good. What you call moral and family values, I consider to be bigotous, judgmental and divisive. I will add that what you consider to be rational, intelligent, substantive arguments, I consider to be excuses – blatantly deceptive, corrosive and dangerous.

    Don’t live in fear Todd. Don’t fear the end of the world. Don’t fear the tooth fairy Todd. He won’t hurt you.

    Caringly,

    Kirk

    Like

  82. Rick says:

    Todd,

    I do appreciate the words of your belief in civil rights for all. I hope it’s true.

    And I’m pleased to know you don’t specifically consider me wicked or evil. Who knows, if you got to know me, you might change your mind…but I would imagine we lead very similar lives. We enjoy certain hobbies, work hard to support our families, spend time with friends and family…I probably don’t sit in as many church meetings as you…but believe me,, I don’t miss that!

    I’d like to emphasize one thing for clarification. When you say ” Refusing to accept evil as a societal norm does not constitute “conditional,” implicit is that you have a definition for “evil.” The point that I’ve been trying to make is that one way we (I can’t speak for Kirk, but I suspect he agrees) see evil as when one person, or institution, takes steps to restrict another’s ability to seek their happiness — however they desire to achieve that, as long as it doesn’t hurt another.

    For example, I see gay relationships as coming from love for another; romantic relationships, even outside of marriage as a beautiful expression of love — regardless of whether there is a piece of paper giving them “permission;” sharing a glass of wine with dinner — I consider that spiritual, believe it or not… you get the point.

    So “evil” must be defined in your statement above, and many things that I see as “conditional” is because many see the types of behaviors above as “evil” and not to be allowed. That is what I view as “conditional” — when the application of what is good and evil comes from the words of men that claim to have received the information from “God.”

    That doesn’t hold water with me, and it shouldn’t as far as society is concerned either.

    But again, thanks for the thoughts.

    ~Rick

    Like

  83. Todd says:

    Kirk,

    Your ignorance betrays you. Your arrogance defines you.

    The people on this blog know who I am. My colors have been on display since I first showed up on this blog several months ago. I haven’t been hiding in a cave in need of being “smoked out.”

    In regards to the “mark” of darkened skin and the “curse” let me reiterate, again and in terms even you can understand, what I believe LDS theology to be. At first you asked, in effect, is dark skin the curse? The answer is NO. Then you asked, in effect, is dark skin the mark of the curse? The simple answer is, again, NO (presuming that those marked are also, by definition, cursed).

    True enough that in both recorded cases, the “mark” was given in connection with and at the same relative time as the “curse,” both to Cain as well as to the Lamanites. But to imply that those with the “mark” are also those who are “cursed” is not accurate, nor is it accurate to infer that the “curse” is the “mark.”

    In simple terms I hope even you can understand, the “curse” is literally to be “cut off from the presence of the Lord.” The “mark” of darkened skin in the Lamanite case was given “that they might not be enticing unto my people…”

    As was previously pointed out, if darkened skin was the “curse” or even the “mark of the curse,” then darkened skin itself would infer being “cut off,” by definition. That is clearly not true, as already stated, since the dark-skinned Lamanites were at times the favored people of God.

    It also follows that if current LDS (or Christian) dogma held that darkened skin was the “curse” or the “mark of the curse,” then dark-skinned people would still be considered “cursed,” by definition. Any doubt about how dark-skinned people are considered in LDS theology was put to rest once and for all with the revelation on the priesthood. There is NO RACIAL DISTINCTION. While the “mark” of darkened skin is still around, the “curse” is a function of obedience to the will of God and not skin color.

    The sad thing is that you KNOW that, but insist that there is a distinction. You have embrace the most irrational, bigoted, divisive, corrosive, dangerous, and blatantly deceptive position possible; your excuses notwithstanding.

    In relation to plural marriage, I think you’ve stated it correctly. LDS belief in plural marriage as an, at times, acceptable order of marriage has never been denied. I’m not sure why that’s such a big deal to anyone. Clearly, the church was forced to stop the practice to comply with federal law and it’s imposed penalties. For the last century, church leaders have consistently reiterated the policy of monogamous marriages, even in places where polygamy is legal.

    Gosh, Kirk, you got me on that one…

    **yawn**

    Todd

    Like

  84. Todd says:

    Rick,

    I agree that “evil” has to be defined, and that we won’t always agree on it’s definition.

    Take care,
    Todd

    Like

  85. Kelly says:

    Hi Todd,
    One question for ya’ll. What’s the LDS belief of why some people
    are fair skinned (white) or dark skinned (black)?

    Kelly

    Like

  86. Todd says:

    Hi Kelly,

    LDS belief pretty much follows genetic science in that skin color is inherited from one’s parents.

    Who really cares?

    Todd

    Like

  87. Kelly says:

    Hi Todd,

    I knew when I posted that question I was just wasting my
    time. Ya you talk real big BUT when a direct and to the point
    question is asked you fluff it off with some lame reply. Todd
    what’s the LDS belief on why blacks have dark skin!!!?

    Kelly

    Like

  88. Todd says:

    Kelly,

    Two questions.

    Why does E=mc2?

    How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

    There, I’ve now wasted your time. 🙂

    Cheers,
    Todd

    Like

  89. Kelly says:

    “You da man Todd” You’re a true man of your faith.
    Not like the rest of the LDS faithfull who are taught
    to not answer any questions that aren’t fluffy and faith
    promoting. Yes by golly Todd you’re a true man of your
    faith.

    Kelly

    Like

  90. Kirk says:

    Todd: Your words appear intelligent and at first glance, seem to contain meaning and insight. However, for those who know something about LDS history, and FARMS tactics of apologetic reasoning, almost every line is a deceptive, pernicious lie. Sorry to be blunt like this Todd, but this is the specific reason why we have been toying with you a bit. You know the old saying about giving a man enough rope – – – and yes, Todd you are hanging yourself.

    A few quick facts: I never said that polygamy was “at times, an acceptable order of marriage. I said that it is a basic tenet of LDS theology that has never been denied as such by LDS doctrine. When you say, “clearly, the church was forced to stop the practice to comply with federal law and it’s imposed penalties”, you directly deceive. This would be similar to saying that Charles Manson stopped killing because it was against the law. Plainly spoken Todd; Polygamy was never legal in any territory or state where Mormons practiced it. It was illegal in Illinois, (Sec 121) Illinois Law, 1833. Furthermore, Todd, Mormon polygamy was never legal, at any time – not even in Utah territory from 1847 through 1890. Even though the area inhabited by Mormons in Utah was legally Mexican territory, polygamy was even illegal in Mexico. So, we can drop the malarkey (your great word) about it being dropped to obey the “law of the land”; which is a common statement heard from LDS defenders. Your direct words, “the church was forced to stop the practice to comply with federal law and it’s imposed penalties.”

    To rub a bit of salt in your wounds here Todd, the LDS church didn’t even stop the practice after the 1890 manifesto. They continued to practice in secret for at least a couple of decades beyond this date. Want to argue this point Todd?
    God’s will? Deception, lies, hidden marriages! Sure sounds like something a caring, loving God would condone. The “fruits” of polygamy are easily seen. Yes, we can know them by their fruits.

    Todd, I encourage you to go back and read your little dissertation on “mark of curse”, skin color etc. If it doesn’t sound ridiculous to you, I’m not certain that I can be of any help here. LDS theology is full of “white and delightsome” comments concerning skin color and the mark of the curse. My hope is that someday, people will be able to look back, recognize this damaging, racist, hateful doctrine as an ignorant, arrogant creation of man. But Todd, evidently you still believe this. You and I differ on this, and on many LDS theologies. Mine is not the, “irrational, bigoted, divisive, corrosive, dangerous and blatantly deceptive position possible,” viewpoint here Todd. I don’t believe that skin color has any bearing on worthiness before God’s eyes. It never did. It is not the “mark” of a curse, or a result of a “curse”. Dark skin wasn’t placed on Lamanites as a distinguishing mark Todd. Who here is the bigot? Who is the racist? Who is the irrational, bigoted, blatantly deceptive person here?

    The main problem is that you attempt to logically and rationally explain these issues as if it’s possible to do so. You can’t and haven’t. The only answer you can come up with is that you believe God revealed it to JS. Malarkey Todd!

    There is much more history to discuss here Todd. I am willing and able to start. As Rick has stated, you are “classic Mormon”. This classic attitude and example will help people uncover the truths of Mormonism. Maybe these discussions can be a useful forum.

    Kirk

    Like

  91. Todd says:

    Kirk,

    Unlike me, your words don’t even appear intelligent. You tactics, classic ex-mo. You’re so arrogant, you even think you’re “toying” with me; like I can’t see through your bait.

    Quick facts… Please keep up, if you can. And, please read carefully.

    1) With regards to plural marriage, I said “I think you’ve stated it correctly.” Plural marriage is still a “tenet” of LDS doctrine. I’m not denying that on the surface. The following clarifying sentence was mine. Your argument typically misses the point.

    2) The practice of plural marriage was stopped to comply with federal law, and it’s imposed penalties as I correctly stated. Where did I state that the law was new, or that plural marriage was ever legal in any of the locations where it was allegedly practiced, or that the church wasn’t forced to comply as a result of the increasingly harsh penalties? Have you ever read something as basic as the manifesto? It’s pretty clear concernign the rationale behind the church’s actions. Your tactics of restating my words to create a phantom position against which to rebut is, again, typical.

    3) I never inferred that that 1890 manifesto stopped the practice of plural marriage. Again, you create a new phantom position to appear to be intelligent. Quick tidbit about me, my great-grandfather married his 4th plural wife in 1898. Why would I want to argue that point at all, let alone further?

    4) I never stated or inferred that skin color has any bearing on worthiness before God, or ever did. In fact, I said exactly the opposite. Again, you restate my position to your own liking to make yourself appear morally superior. Your immorally bigoted and deceptive ways are glaring.

    5) Prove that “white and delightsome” refers to skin color. You can’t, anymore than you can prove that “works of darkness” refers to electromagnetic radiation. Your substance is transparently thin.

    Yours is the “irrational, bigoted, divisive, corrosive, dangerous and blatantly deceptive position possible.” The sooner you own up to it, the sooner we can have a constructive dialog. But, I presume, a constructive dialog is not what you’re all about.

    And lastly, people are uncovering the truths of Mormonism in ever increasing numbers, your “classic anti-mormon” efforts notwithstanding.

    Todd

    Like

  92. Kelly says:

    Todd sayeth unto Kirk,

    5) Prove that “white and delightsome” refers to skin color. You can’t, anymore than you can prove that “works of darkness” refers to electromagnetic radiation. Your substance is transparently thin.

    Todd you’re big on the BOM how about 2 Nephi 5:21

    “Wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome,
    that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause
    a SKIN of blackness to come upon them.”

    Ya, ya, I know Todd, Nephi was talking about wood chucks or maybe
    you can use the line about how God will stort all this out in the here
    after so you won’t sweat the small stuff. How about you do what you
    always do when the truth is plopped down in front of you. JUST ignore
    it and change the subject or don’t post a reply.

    Kelly

    Like

  93. Kirk says:

    OK Todd: Direct words from then apostle Spencer W. Kimball, LDS general conference 1960.

    “The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome as they were promised. (Holding up a picture) In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as white as Anglos; five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservations.
    At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl – sixteen – sitting between the darker father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents – on the same reservation, in the same Hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather. There was the doctor in a Utah city who for two years had had an Indian boy in his home who stated that he was some shades lighter than the younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation. These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.”

    Book of Mormon quote for you Todd; (3 Ne. 2:14-16) emphasis on verse 15. And there “curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;

    Geese Todd. Want more proof? Even you are current enough to know that I could quote a volume of sources within church history, Apostle and direct Prophet quotes relating to the curse of dark skin on Negroes. Need me to quote Mark E. Peterson or Brigham Young relating to Black skin? Need any more history here Todd? For the sake of all decent, honest people – just admit that it is a ridiculous, damaging and hateful belief, and stop living your life with childish superstitions.

    Back to the polygamy issue for just a short comment. And at the risk of wasting your precious time – and to avoid hearing more “wood chuck” attempts to put someone else down, I will repeat this. Tood you deliberately deceive. Your direct quote, “The practice of plural marriage was stopped to comply with federal law, and it’s imposed penalties.”
    Once again, technically cannot be argued, but again – blatantly deceptive. The LDS church’s deceptive and temporary abandonment of the outward practice of polygamy had nothing to do with their desire to comply with Federal Law. You know very well that the Mormons were at risk of loosing every possession that the church owned if they continued to defy Federal Laws pertaining to polygamy. You remind me a child who is caught with cookie crumbs on his face. When confronted by his mother, and asked directly if he had taken a cookie, his response is, “no”. All the time thinking to himself, “I did not take a cookie, I took many cookies.” In his childish thinking, he has outsmarted his mother. But she knows. And, we all know Todd. This boy then grows up to be a Clinton (I did not have sexual relations with that woman) or a Todd (dark skin is not a curse. White and delightsome doesn’t relate to skin color. Polygamy is not for me and my family, but God threatened JS with a sword if he didn’t do it, and I suppose if I must, I’ll have sex with many women in the afterlife too.) I’ll admit that I took a couple of liberties with this last one, but I’ll bet it fits pretty close.

    Todd, when you fly buildings into airplanes, make certain that your virgins are under contract.

    Instructionally,

    Kirk

    Like

  94. Todd says:

    Kirk,

    Brilliant… You offer 1) an observation by then Apostle SWK that Lamanites were getting lighter, 2) an observation by a doctor regarding the same, 3) a BOM verse that indicates some Lamanites skin became white after the curse was taken away, and 4) some allusions to quotes in church history about negro skin being black.

    Shoot, even Kelly drops a BOM reference regarding “white” skin being turned to “black.” Are we debating that? I thought we were debating whether “white and delightsome” refers to skin color. Oh, I get it. ANY reference that includes both “white” and “skin” proves that ALL references including “white” refer to skin color.

    But you, Kirk, are deceptively incomplete, which speaks to my point regarding your motives. You’re not about truth and open-mindedness, you’re about lies and deception.

    1) You fail to mention that JS changed the phrase “white and delightsome” to “pure and delightsome” in the 1840 edition of the BOM, and that the 1981 editors picked up on that change again. That’s clear proof that “white” in that context, in fact, means “pure.”

    2) You fail to mention that the word “white” is also used in the KJV Bible in the context of purity. (Daniel 11:35, Daniel 12:10

    So while you’ve provided evidence that some may have believed the word “white” in that context refers to skin color, and that in some scriptural instances “white” appears to refer to skin color; you completely ignore substative evidence that shows that the old reference to becoming “white and delightsome” does NOT refer to skin color, including the most authoritative evidence of all, that concerning JS; your quote-mining activities notwithstanding.

    I believe dark skin is NOT a curse. For you to characterize my position as a lie, akin to Bill Clinton’s famous lie, is further evidence of your own desire to lie and deceive to make yourself appear morally superior. My position is clear, despite your best attempts to make it appear different.

    Regarding polygamy, yes, the church was at risk of losing “every possession” as the penalty for non-compliance. They had lost the battle in the courts, and were being forced to comply against their will. In their view the law was immoral and unconstitutional. What is your point?

    FWIW, my original words, to which you took exception, were “Clearly, the church was forced to stop the practice to comply with federal law and it’s imposed penalties.” Where is the deception? The quote you cite was in my rebuttal to your original charge, further evidence that you’re not about truth, you’re about smear.

    You remind me of the little boy who ate from the cookie jar and, when confronted by his mother, blamed the missing cookies on his little sister. You want to make the innocent appear guilty.

    Truthfully,
    Todd

    Like

  95. azteclady says:

    Saint Todd sayeth,

    You remind me of the little boy who ate from the cookie jar and, when confronted by his mother, blamed the missing cookies on his little sister. You want to make the innocent appear guilty.

    I would bet good money that everyone but Saint Todd sees the glaring irony here.

    Like

  96. Todd says:

    I’ve just love ironies…

    It’s like…

    * winning the lottery and then dying the next day
    * a black fly in your Chardonnay
    * a death row pardon two minutes too late
    * rain on your wedding day
    * a free ride when you’ve already paid
    * the good advice that you just didn’t take
    * waiting your whole life to take that flight, and then the plane crashes
    * a traffic jam when you’re already late
    * a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
    * having ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
    * meeting the man of your dreams, and then meeting his beautiful wife

    Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you.

    Cheers!
    Todd

    p.s. all credit for the above goes to Alanis Morissette. That is ironic as well. 🙂

    Like

  97. Todd says:

    azteclady,

    The REAL question is would you be willing to bet ME good money…

    If yes, the please let me know and I’ll forward my PayPal info to you for payment.

    Unconditionally Your Friend,
    Todd

    Like

  98. azteclady says:

    Todd, from where I sit you are so unbelievably fake in all your “kindness” and “friendship” and “regards”, I wouldn’t give you the time of day if I met you in person, let alone money.

    Besides, you are sure you are going to heaven and I’m going to hell, so why would you ever need any earthly goods (such as my money) for, anyway?

    Like

  99. Kirk says:

    Todd, sorry buddy. Through your words, we know you. It is very difficult to be your friend when you espouse an organization that for over a century has carried as basic tenets – racism, polygamy, a vengeful and destroying God, fear, guilt, exclusionism, arrogance – I could go on with the adjectives for hours. A very sad aspect of this is that most Mormon people are good, moral, socially conscious people. My family and most of my community and friends are Mormons. They aren’t as interested in church history as they are in providing for their families, and making it through the basic trials of life. They fulfill church callings, raise kids, go to church and hold down jobs. Most are able to separate the dogma from the practice of the LDS church. There are a few however, like Todd, who annoy the hell out of most – because he argues endlessly about facts and dogmatic fiction that can’t be substantiated at all by intelligence, history or facts. His hair-spitting arguments over words (like remarkable) carrying a positive connotation; or the “mark of a curse rather than a curse.” He is quick to insult (Rick – you arrogant you), quick to belittle (how much wood can a wood chuck – – – – ) quick to deny, twist and distort. There are reasons why Utah has some pretty severe social problems:

    Utah leads the nation in prescriptions for anti-depressants, according to a recent study. “The fact that we’re twice the national average with something like anti-depressants begs some explanation,” said Dr. Curt Canning, head of the Psychiatric Association of Utah.

    His answers, insincere attitude and expressions aren’t worth our time and energy.

    If Todd represents Mormonism, maybe getting to know him has been helpful for those of us who have, as Rick said – graduated from Mormonism.

    Best,

    Kirk

    Like

  100. Todd says:

    Kirk,

    In the words of Ronald Reagan, “There you go again.”

    In typical Kirk fashion you have attempted to shift the blame by misrepresentation, distortion, deception, and lies.

    Yours are the arguments that can’t be substatiated by intelligence, history, and facts; which is presumably why you habitually resort to fictional characterizations and phantom positions against which to build your case.

    Your comment above regarding our little debate over the word “remarkable,” is another case in point. The “hair-splitting” was your’s (and Rick’s) doing, not mine. True enough that I didn’t let your stated objections to my word choice slide, but object you did and then you continued to carry on the debate well past intelligent reason. The record is clear, all you have to do is scroll up the page. (I admit that your ratio of positive to negative synonyms was very creative.)

    In terms of insults, I won’t even go there other than to say you’re a pro. I’ve been insulted as much as, and probably more, than anybody on this blog.

    Utah’s anti-depressant drug use could be higher than average for a variety of reason (e.g. because people in other cultures use alcohol to deal with depression). I’m no expert, but for you to even cite that without any form of contextual analysis is naive, and then to infer that it’s caused by church dogma is extremely presumptuous.

    Would you like to have a debate on Utah’s social indicators, and the church’s influence? I’m no expert, but I’m positive that, with a little research, I could show several very positive social attributes that can be directly attributed to church influence.

    If you represent a “graduate” from Mormonism, then getting to know you and your “mists of darkness” has been helpful to those of us who are sincerely trying to cling to the rod.

    Sincerely,
    Todd

    Like

  101. Allen says:

    Todd,

    I have been an active member of the LDS church for all of my 63 years. I have been reading your posts with interest over the past few weeks. At first you appeared rational, even logical. I was glad that you were representing our gospel and faith.

    Although I disagree fundamentally with Rick and Kirk’s view on religion, they are quite correct when they say that they have smoked you out. Please stop embarrassing the rest of us with your attitudes and limited view of doctrines. It is quite apparent that the main thing that makes you “annoying as hell” (as Kirk appropriately stated) is that your arguments and responses are almost those of a child. Nothing makes other people angrier than Clintonesque answers to simple questions.

    I would like to apologize to non Mormons for people in our faith like Todd. He does not represent the majority. He is argumentative and tries to come across as intelligent. He even states that his arguments are intelligent and those of others are not.

    Todd, to put it simply, please shut up!!!!!

    Allen

    Like

  102. Vaughn says:

    Thank you Allen!

    After reading some of Todd’s crap, I am understanding a whole lot better why people dislike us.

    Todd – please go away.

    Vaughn

    Like

  103. Todd says:

    Allen & Vaughn,

    I find it amusing that you call me out for my “crap” while remaining silent when Rick and Kirk spew theirs.

    Instead of telling me to “shut up” and “go away,” why don’t you post substantive clarifications to what you characterize as “childish” and “Clintonesque” answers? Wouldn’t that be the more sensible thing to do?

    Please, Allen, with your 63 years’ experience, give us adult responses.

    I would WELCOME it!

    Todd

    Like

  104. Rick says:

    Okay, are we all having fun with our pissing match now? Sheesh! I like Dr. Phil’s words…”would you rather be right than happy?”

    I also think there is a principle at play here: emotion trumps logic. I think more than “being right” about something, we cling to what we think has to be right based on our circumstances. We have made a commitment to a lifestyle, and by darned, nothing is going to change that!

    I think that is true of both of us — Mormons and post-mormons. When we post-mos challenge the mos’ logic, it is seen as a threat to the active mormon, and the natural response is to attack back. You know, fight or flight — all animals have been doing that for millions of years. The never-mo isn’t as much of a threat, since they just don’t know yet….

    To the post-mo, we sometimes have the same approach we did when in the religion — “once warned, warn your neighbor”…so we continue our proselytizing, in the reverse direction as before.

    But I submit (and I know there are exceptions to this) that most people don’t, and won’t, listen to dogmatic arguments until and unless they are uncomfortable in their current circumstance. They are either hit with something that conflicts with what seems “right” to them, or theyhave been rejected because of something they have done, or been, but seem to feel right about it. Make sense?

    My experience (and I know it’s only mine) is that most of us exmos have had a dramatic and traumatic exit experience. And it hurt. The “recovery” process is usually hard as well — and anger accompanies it. That’s the way it is. It’s neither right or wrong…it just is.

    So I’ve spent a bit of energy and time on various forums trying to get us to understand each other — I’m sure unsuccessfully much of the time. I tried here to get Todd to understand that what he calls evil, many of us don’t — and vice versa. I think some headway was made there.

    I also think Todd is generally quite comfortable and confident he has enough answers to the challenging doctrinal points brought up here.

    That works for him. It seems he isn’t interested in hearing the things we have presented him. In his paradigm, he has answers to satisfy him.

    We didn’t, and that’s why we are where we are.

    Point is, and I’m sorry if I offend a few, do we really accomplish much by debating the doctrinal points with somebody who is happy living with that doctrine? If or when Todd has the kind of cognitive dissonance many of us had, it will become clear to him — probably not until then. And is it really our duty to “sell” him on that?

    So I apologize to Todd for my part in trying to “piss further.” I imagine he can do just fine on his own…and I wish him the best.

    Really.

    ~Rick

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  105. Todd says:

    Rick,

    Very well said, and no need to apologize to me.

    I’m not offended in the least by anything you or anyone says about me. I come here because I personally enjoy a good pissing contest, laced with a little edginess, sarcasm, and humor. (Must be growing up the middle child in a large family.) I expect to get pissed on.

    I take my religion seriously, but I don’t take myself too seriously.

    I find it amusing that people think that this last little debate between you, Kirk and I is unusual, or that I’ve been “smoked out.” I’ve been pretty consistent since I began posting here several months ago. That said, I can see how someone who just pops in here might get the wrong impression. If they’re not willing to do their due diligence, I can’t help that. I know I scanned through the entire blog, including comments, before I started posting.

    And, trust that I mean it when I close with warm wishes.

    Take care,
    Todd

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  106. Mark says:

    It seems so silly to talk about PROVING things in religion, Natalie. Who can prove anything in religion? I think that to even attempt to PROVE something in religion is to completely misunderstand it. Muslims don’t pray toward Mecca, Mormons didn’t practice polygamy, Catholics don’t believe that the pope is infallible because there is any sort of proof for it. If you’re looking for proof of anything, you’re barking up the wrong tree. A more interesting question is why we should or should not believe in things we cannot prove. Is there a logical explanation possible for everything? Aristotle said (I paraphrase) “Don’t look for more precision in a subject than the nature of that subject permits.”

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