Accountability…Or lack thereof…

The other day I put my finger on something that really bothered me about Mormonism. No, folks, it’s NOT the people. Been there, done that, already have the angry hate mail. No, it’s the accountability. And by this I do not mean the simple, tithe-paying folks, but rather the higher-ups. Specifically: the PROPHETS.

See, when Joseph Smith, or Gordon B. Hinckley, or Spencer W. Kimball, or, my personal favorite, Brigham Young, did or said something outrageous, or wrong, or bigoted, there simply is no accountability. That’s when they get to be “just a man.” But when the Mormons figured they did something right, that is when he is a “prophet.” And therein lies the problem.

Either you ARE a prophet of God, or you AREN’T. I would absolutely LOVE to have the rein that believing Mormons give their prophets. I mean, THINK about it!

Oh, the places I could go….

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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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114 Responses to Accountability…Or lack thereof…

  1. WendyP. says:

    Yep, never any apologies for the Mountain Meadows Massacre or the black priesthood ban (the list could go on and on and on). No accountability, yet they require so much accountability from their followers.

    I’ve been a rather angry post-Mormon the past few days. Thanks for fanning the fire, Natalie. Haha…

    Like

  2. Mike says:

    Me – “Why can’t Mormons accept accountability for past and present Mormon dogma, that is so very obviously messed up?”

    Mormon friend – “We don’t really know or understand all things, and must continue to believe with faith.”

    Me – Fine. Then don’t try to convince me of anything using your logic on any controversial subject of Mormonism. You don’t understand God (nor do I believe anyone else does) to the point where you can make any sense of almost anything regarding religion. Just tell me it feels good. I can buy that. Don’t use apologetic shallow answers for BOM history, Polygamy, Blacks and priesthood issues or (for that matter) any other subject regarding your God.

    Mormon friend – “I know that the BOM is true. I know that JS ………………..

    Like

  3. Sideon says:

    Leaving Mormonism is like leaving the circus and getting followed by clowns, bellowing ring masters, and elephant plops for the the rest of your life. I stopped giving that money-making institution any religious or moral credence decades ago. It’s the same damn show with same damn peanuts and bad popcorn and cotton candy, recycled like it’s new.

    Like

  4. Elaine says:

    It’s never a good idea to put anyone in a position where no one (at least within the local construct, be it a church or a social group) feels that they can say “No” to a person.

    Just look where that got Michael Jackson.

    In the context of the church, re: the “prophet”, it isn’t whoever holds that office who stands to suffer the most harm, but the principle is the same: somebody is going to get hurt. Badly. Unfortunately, in the case of the church, that “somebody” is the membership, or a portion thereof.

    “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” isn’t just a group of words strung together. Within the church, the “prophet” (and, yes, I’m putting that in quotation marks on purpose) has as close to absolute power as a human can possibly get, absent being the political head of a nation. Maybe more, since I doubt there are many people who believe they will be punished by God forever if they say no to a president or other political leader. Life could be ugly here and now for them, but in any possible hereafter it won’t count for much. Convinced Mormons, on the other hand, seem to believe that saying no to the “prophet” will have eternal repercussions. And that is in a different ballpark altogether.

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  5. Rebeckah says:

    That has bothered me immensely about the Mormon faith as well. I’ve never been a Mormon — in fact, the whole “you have to have lots of children” part for women was explained to me when I was 16 and questioning the faith and I replied “you have lots of children, I’ll have a life.” so I never even got close to being a Mormon. — but I’ve researched it quite a bit, especially since the FLDS hooplah. I am frankly amazed that there are so many people that are willing to suspend their critical thinking skills so completely. In no other hiarachy I can think of is there absolutely NO accountability for leadership. It’s very sad to see the harm that lack of accountability has caused too.

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  6. You hit the nail on the head, Natalie, and not just for Mormons. Zero accountability will lead just about anyone, no matter how good a person, to do terrible things, just because they can. I’d like to think I’m better than that, but with no accountability, I’d be forcing people to shave their heads and tattoo “LUUUZER!” on their scalps within about 5 minutes.

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  7. Todd says:

    Hey all! I hope you don’t mind if I chime in here.

    The characterization that church hierarchy has “NO accountability” is totally inaccurate. Leaders, and members alike, are all accountable to God for the totality of their mortal experience. All will receive their wages of whom they list to obey.

    Are leaders susceptible to all of the temptations that come with power? Yes. Do leaders make mistakes? Absolutely. We don’t believe that any human is perfect or infallible.

    The characterization that believing members completely “suspend their critical thinking skills” in, presumably, following church leaders is also inaccurate. It’s actually quite logical to sustain and follow a duly called and authorized leader when one’s personal faith-based experiences have confirmed the wisdom in such a course.

    What you may perceive as blindly following a leader is (or should be), in fact, quite conscious and deliberate. For a scriptural discourse on the fruits of a faith-based approach, see Alma 32.

    The Apostle Paul laid out the fundamental Christian doctrine regarding the importance of inspired leaders in these terms:

    Ephesians 4:11-15

    11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
    12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
    13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
    14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
    15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

    It’s all about striving for unity and perfection together.

    Speaking the truth in love,
    Todd

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  8. Rick says:

    The problem as I see it is that what Todd says implies that there is a Christian, and therefore a Mormon God (or Christ) that has said or inspired various men to say exactly what is written in scripture, or in a general conference, etc.

    That’s where the critical thinking skills are suspended. When there are men (“prophets”) even within the same faith (eg, Mormonism) that claim that God has told them to teach a particular doctrine…then at another time, or another “prophet” states something completely contradictory to the doctrine previously announced, logic tells us to question the validity of the claim of divine inspiration at all.

    Objective scholars are leaning more to the position that the man Jesus was indeed a teacher, but the claims of his divinity came after his death by political leaders desiring to control the people by declaring their unprovable, unique inspiration from said God. So the uneducated masses were/are easy prey.

    Religions have done more damage to humanity throughout history than any other group. The answer is to hold all leaders accountable for their consistent (or inconsistent) teachings. Botom line, if it teaches TRUE love and unity for all, consider incorporating it in life.

    If not, buyer beware.

    ~Rick

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  9. Todd says:

    Of course what I say implies that there is a God.

    My point was in regards to accountability, not the validity of claims of divine inspiration. Those leaders who claim divine inspiration are solely accountable to that implied God for their claims.

    My personal belief is that it’s a great blessing to have living, breathing persons at the helm to correct and clarify, in a line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept sort of way. The line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept concept implies current incompleteness or imperfection.

    My conscious and deliberate choice to follow the prophets, their weaknesses and imperfections notwithstanding, in no way indicates a suspension of critical thinking. To the contrary, within my critical thinking is a lifetime of quiet confirmations (my spiritual education) that have proven to me that there is wisdom in such a course. I am solely accountable for that choice.

    “Objective” scholars can lean anyway they wish in regards to if, when, and why political leaders decided to spin Jesus’ divinity to their own political advantage. It’s an irrelevant point that neither proves nor disproves Jesus’ true divinity.

    It’s more accurate to state that (otherwise ordinary) humans have done more damage in the name of religion than any other cause. Humans have also done more good in the name of religion than any other cause. Now there’s a contradiction for you!

    Living by faith,
    Todd

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  10. Rick says:

    Of course what Todd says implies there is a MORMON God. The guy who was once a man. Or was he? Which prophet do you believe? Which is THE point…where is the accountability for the contradictions in what they say?

    I respect that Todd has “faith.” It helps him look to men he believes talks to the Mormon God and tells him how to live. I find some (can’t imply this about Todd…don’t know him really) that need an external source to guide them in their lives. It’s how they (we) were raised. Whether the source is real or fictitious, if it teaches reasonably good living, why not? Some seem to need it.

    But I actually find more true joy and happiness in the internal source that we each have. When one can find their individual spiritual journey without needing to depend on men that may be leading them astray, or teaching doctrine as absolute truth — then a few years later is changed by a new “revelation”…that confusion can really cause cog-dis!

    But whatever works.

    Btw, I really struggle to find examples of the “good” religions have done for mankind. My mind tells me that the good that has been done would have been done by the good nature of humans anyway. Remember it is religion that teaches that “we” are chosen, and others are not.

    Living by reality,

    ~Rick

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  11. Rebeckah says:

    I have to side with Rick. Pretty much every religion I’ve studied, albeit not all, make financial, personal, even suspension of decision making skills of their congregants. Yes, some people like to be told what to do, how to live, who to marry, when to have children, and what underwear to wear. I’m not one of that number. And I find the high incidence of depression, suicide, rape and internet porn in Utah tends to discredit the claim that Mormonism is accomplishing anything “good”. Logic tells me that those who have received benefit from the Mormon faith would have found it from any restrictive, authoritarian faith. (And yes, there are those who do better with such a faith. I won’t go into the theories about that as I don’t want to seem belittling.)

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  12. Rebeckah says:

    Just an addition, it IS suspending your critical thinking skills to “chose” to follow a man who claims he speaks directly to God but has no hard evidence to back it up. It is even more inexpicable when so many of the men within the Mormon faith who have claimed to speak for God have had demonstrably bad character (having sex with the teen age girl placed in your care leaps to mind) and can’t even agree to the basics of their faith amongst themselves. Has polygamy actually been repealed? Why does the Mormon church try to pretend Joseph and Brigham and the others weren’t practicing polygamists who insisted forcefully that polygamy must be practiced IN THIS LIFE in order to receive the highest exaltation? I could go on, but I think you get the basic idea.

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  13. Todd says:

    Rick’s logic seems to be that no external source of guidance is required in his life.

    And, yet, I presuppose that if his heart started beating irregularly tomorrow, he’d be the first to seek out a heart specialist to guide his recovery. And he would put his “faith” in that specialist to properly diagnose his condition and offer remedies for it’s correction. If his internal judgement didn’t quite agree with this one specialist, he might even seek out a second or third specialist just to be sure that the diagnosis is correct and treatment applicable. I find it doubtful that anybody would question his critical thinking skills in such a life-and-death matter.

    But, then again, I could be wrong about Rick. It’s quite possible that he would rely solely on himself to diagnose and remedy this potentially very serious problem. I find it highly likely that, for this approach, many would question his sanity; let alone his critical thinking skills. And, they would be right.

    In both cases, his inner source of guidance is both active and applicable. Seeking guidance and wisdom from external sources in no way implies or constitutes a suspension of one’s critical thinking. To the contrary, it demonstrates the highest levels of wisdom and prudence.

    It’s ironic that those who would readily seek out specialists to cure physical ailments, mock and belittle those who in likewise fashion seek out specialists for spiritual ailments.

    Can we be led astray by men? Yes.
    Can honest men make mistakes? For sure.
    Should we rely on our own sense of right and wrong? Absolutely.

    Yours truly,
    Todd

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  14. Todd says:

    Rebeckah,

    I found this 2002 article from the American Journal of Epidemiology on suicide rates that I thought you’d find interesting.

    Suicide Rates and Religious Commitment in Young Adult Males in Utah

    One should take great care when assigning cause to a very real and sad problem in society. We should be working together and not against one another in these matters.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

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  15. Rick says:

    Todd Says:

    “Rick’s logic seems to be that no external source of guidance is required in his life.

    And, yet, I presuppose that if his heart started beating irregularly tomorrow, he’d be the first to seek out a heart specialist to guide his recovery. And he would put his “faith” in that specialist to properly diagnose his condition and offer remedies for it’s correction…”

    This is too easy. There is a HUGE difference between putting “faith” in a trained, experienced, proven specialist in his field, and one who claims to speak to and for a “God” that changes his mind according to popular theory of the day.

    No Todd, I would be the first to put my trust in science and medicine, as compared to one who might say no to medical treatment…in lieu of receiving a blessing that says that “God will heal me.” Science has a much better record than “God.”

    You may misunderstand what I was trying to say Todd. I’m not saying there is no God. In my mind, the jury is still out. But I’m quite convinced that if God exists, he/she/it is not the jealous, inconsistent, divisive, racist, judgmental entity that Mormon scriptures describe. I find that checking within my heart gives more consistent, logical answers than what scriptures ever have.

    Scientifically yours,

    ~Rick

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  16. Rick says:

    The study about suicide does what many studies do when you don’t take into account the whole picture. For those of us that live in this area, a different understanding tells the real story.

    I’ve known more than a dozen people that have taken their life either accidentally (overdose) or intentionally. In ALL cases that I’m aware of, they were raised in a Mormon family/culture that told them that they were not worthy. They were rejected in critical, emotionally formative years. They were “loved” only conditionally…in many cases never were able to become what their parents expected them to be.

    Along their journey, they did realize their given religious path was not for them. But instead of allowing them to follow their own hearts and spiritual path, the parents communicated to them either consciously or unconsciously that they were to be fully accepted only if they return to full acceptance of the Mormon way.

    They did what they could to escape this most painful state of existence. Drugs, drinking…and eventually suicide for many was the only way out.

    The problem is something we all should try to understand, mormon or not. These catastrophic outcomes are a result of lack of unconditional love — whatever the source. I think we should all understand that.

    ~Rick

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  17. Elaine says:

    Yeah. You know, Todd, that “accountability to God” thing is all fine and good.

    But even if you postulate the existence of a God and an afterlife in which he/she/it will hold everyone accountable for their actions in life, that still leaves a lot of room for leaders who think they are acting in God’s name to run roughshod over people in the here and now and make their lives miserable. Because, you know, they aren’t going to be thinking that anything will happen to them when that accountability comes around since they believe that they are doing what God wants them to do.

    Therefore, I believe that there has to be some accountability in the here and now, not just in some possible afterlife. That “you’ll get your reward in heaven (or in Mormon parlance, in the Celestial Kingdom)” thing has helped a whole bunch of leaders – both religious and secular – keep the people they ruled over in a state of fear and misery down through history.

    Elaine

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  18. Todd says:

    Elaine,

    Okay. Let’s follow your path a ways and see where it takes us.

    What system of accountability in the here and now do you propose?

    Todd

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  19. Todd says:

    Rick,

    Your not-so-subtle smear tactics are so transparent it’s comical. You seem to think that the more you associate two things together the more they actually become associated, despite the chasm that separates them.

    I appreciate your personal experiences related to those who have chosen to take their own lives. I, too, have first-hand knowledge of the pain such an action causes. Suicide is tragic in every sense and we agree that love should be unconditional.

    There are, no doubt, those within the church who fall short of that ideal. But, by your own logic and despite how you’d prefer the characterize the church, the data indicates that the church excels at producing feelings of unconditional love (your stated antidote for suicidal tendencies) within committed believers.

    Your complete unwillingness to accept any good thing produced by Joseph’s religious system, even when presented with sound scientific evidence that far exceeds any need to rely solely on faith, speaks volumes. You’ve apparently reached a depth in your apostasy that is devoid of critical thinking.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

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  20. Rick says:

    Well alrighty then Todd. Since your “critical thinking skills” seem to leave you blind to most of what we say here, I’ll stick with real science and evidence-based thinking. If this is where “apostasy” takes me, so be it.

    I read your link. It doesn’t even begin to address what I said above. When looked at from an outside perspective, they didn’t begin to address the cause of the lack of acceptance the Mormon culture instills in those that are gay and otherwise “different.”

    I’ve been there. I’ve counseled those that are struggling with lack of love. I’ve seen the dead bodies. It’s real, whether you want to believe it or not Todd.

    I will say that progress has been made. My friend Ron Williams is helping bridge the divide in Utah County. Local church leaders are being trained on the problem, and how to instruct the members to love unconditionally. But bigotry runs deep, and it takes generations to change what has grown and stuck in the hearts of adults. It is actually forums like this that will plant seeds to effect change…and it will come none too soon.

    Btw, I see much good in the church. I’ve stated it in the past. The church is made up of real, loving people that want to live happy, productive lives. In my opinion, the good that comes from the church is from the inherent goodness we all have.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t give much credit to Joseph. He was an opportunistic con-man who sold the kind of snake oil many were looking for. He was quite good at it, and my ancestors bought into it.

    I guess I should be grateful…I have polygamy on both sides of my family tree. I might not be here if it weren’t for the baby production the early church created!

    ~Rick

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  21. Todd says:

    Rick,

    Actually, my “critical thinking skills” open my eyes ever so widely to most of what is said here. The bigotry is thick and irrational.

    The report I referenced really didn’t draw any conclusions about why suicide was statistically much lower in committed LDS boys and men. It just observed that it was and offered some plausible rationale. It wasn’t trying to address gays and being “different” or a perceived “lack of acceptance.”

    As I said, I have first-hand experience in this arena as well. I, too, have seen the dead bodies. I know it’s real.

    Yes, there is much to be done. The church is at the forefront of many of the efforts. It’s just one of the many good things the church does.

    I don’t give much credit to Joseph either (anymore than I would give the hammer credit in the hands of a skilled carpenter). He just did what he was told to the best of his ability, and miraculously it seems to be working! Inherent goodness is amplified and magnified in the light of revealed truth.

    Yes, you should be grateful for the legacy you were given. I know I am.

    Todd

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  22. Scott says:

    Wow… Todd really doesn’t get it. He’s blinded by his “faith”. I don’t need to cite any instances regarding the fact that Todd just doesn’t get it, it’s all up there in black and white. Todd, you cofuse “faith” with ignorance in my humble opinion.

    Regards.

    Scott

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  23. Rick says:

    Yes, seen through the Mormon lens, I’m sure what is said here appears irrational. That’s how I used to see everything too. What helps is to look at it AS IF there is no Mormon God, or absolute best way of living like is taught in church. That helps to see things without judgment. What you see as the “right way” may not be for others, and they have just as much conviction about it as you.

    I’m quite sure I understand the way you see things Todd, and as I’ve said before here, the Mormon way is not all that bad. Really. It is when others are suffering because of the “one true way” teaching that I speak up.

    If the culture really instilled unconditional love, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. But it has a way to go, and it won’t change until the denial is broken through. It’s happening. Slowly.

    There are subtle things taking place today that are good, IMO. Increased diversity teaches respect and tolerance. That’s happening all over. The internet and media introduce the many ways of living as well, so we all become more tolerant.

    I really see a day when most people live their lifestyle and are completely comfortable with others living theirs, as long as it is not harmful to others. I look forward to that day.

    ~Rick

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  24. hendoo says:

    I find it interesting that there are so many websites out there that hate on mormons… There are so many religions out there, and so many people who change religions, or just stop going to church all together.. seems to me like the mormon church is more apart of your life now that your not in it. if you hate it so bad, why dont you just leave it behind. get it out of your life, FORGET ABOUT IT!!!!! There are a lot of crazy, rude, weird, self righteous, annoying people in the mormon church.. and also in the catholic church, the baptist church, the church of christ, the Presbyterian church, and so on and so on.. why do you let this hate for one religion rule your life?

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  25. Miss O says:

    I thought of your blog today when I spoke, in length, to my TDM FIL about why I am removing my name from the records. It baffled me, leaving me speechless, at moments when the only thing he could render to say was that he feels the spirit therefore it is true.

    Being born and raised MORmON and now leaving are both nightmares! I really loved Sideon’s comments making a metaphor. Circus!!! It is so consuming, and I don’t know how you can stand to live in UT being surrounded by the ignorance.

    I just read Hendoo’s comment… it’s not that easy to “leave behind” something that follows you everywhere. HOWEVER, we do plan to move far far away from our families just to rid the cancerous cult. And yes, that is sad!

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  26. Mike says:

    Really, Todd;

    Rick’s tactics are sincere, logical – with common sense and respect; in direct contrast to your superstitious, mindless babbling.

    You do enough mental gymnastics to wear our even the most diligent, respectful reader. Reading your posts is much like listening to a child bear their testimony in sacrament meeting. To them it makes perfect sense. To the rest of us, it is cute. As an adult Todd, you are not cute anymore – just brainless.

    Sorry, I realize in advance that this post will incite much more insane words from our Mormon boy Todd, but it needs to be said. The emperor really has no clothes. Todd is misled and brainwashed.

    Like

  27. Kirk says:

    I live in the very heart of Utah – by choice. Many neighbors and close friends are LDS, lending to some very interesting back-yard religious conversations. One of the three listed authors of the LDS sanctioned book, Massacre (referring to the infamous Mountain Meadows Massacre) lives next door, and was kind enough to provide me with an unsolicited signed copy of this work. I just finished my second reading and find it extremely difficult to even summarize my feelings and emotions. Although I felt like I had studied this “event” substantially prior to reading Massacre, I almost felt compelled as the book was given to me as a gift.

    Knowing beforehand that the book had taken almost two years longer than anticipated, with complete authorization from LDS headquarters for funding, I expected a very well researched, scholarly book geared towards truth; after all, more than 150 years of almost continual scrutiny and research has passed – providing some intense and precise investigation into the massacre. Because the LDS church chose to publish the book, I almost expected new data, maybe previously uncovered letters or documentation from Brigham Young. I expected truth. Judge Roger V. Logan Jr. hailing from Arkansas, with many victims of the massacre among his relatives, recently reminded the public, “While great strides have been made in recent years, until the church shows more candor about what its historians actually know about the event, true reconciliation will be elusive.” Only in the arena of complete and honest truth cans there be catharsis.

    With this book, the LDS church follows closely to historical practices and apologetic reviews as it has done with other topics. Main points of LDS apologetics: It discloses only as much truth as absolutely necessary. It spins the truth allowing membership enough wiggle room to perform amazing mental gymnastics either justifying events, or rationalizing to their comfort level. It overloads on footnotes, appendices, definitions and historical details – giving the illusion of intense study and truth. And, it only moves into action after truth is uncovered and disclosed enough so that the apologetic response is vital to pacify membership.

    In this book, there is nothing new. John D. Lee is painted (even called outright in the book) as a religious zealot. Brigham Young is always portrayed as a peace loving man, forced by the US government into a war situation. Nothing is mentioned of B. Young’s claiming territory from San Diego to Canada as his own. Nothing is mentioned about his role in tearing down the makeshift monument at Mountain Meadows, erected by US government officials. The monument contained the words, “Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.” Nothing is mentioned about B. Young’s callous comment referring to the monument, “Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord, and we have extracted a little here.”

    The apostle Parley Pratt was murdered months prior to the massacre. A jealous husband murdered him when Pratt was adding the man’s wife as one of his polygamous own. McLane, the husband and father who shot and killed Pratt was villainized as a worthless drunk. Blood atonement was only briefly mentioned. The LDS reformation was downplayed. William Bill Hickman wasn’t mentioned. Orin Porter Rockwell was never mentioned. Brigham’s inflammatory speeches were only briefly mentioned, and at best because they are well documented in other historical accounts.

    Any reasonable person should ask himself; Why were the Mormon’s persecuted almost everywhere they lived? (Hint – it isn’t Satan’s influence) Why were a nation and the majority of people so against Mormon ideals? Why did the government of the US feel it necessary to send an army to Utah?

    LDS people must ask themselves; Would I feel threatened if a group of people moved into my neighborhood and city, proclaiming that only they had God’s truth, voting in blocks in order to take over government positions, limiting commerce to only members of their group, and further claiming that God has given this land to them? Would I feel threatened if I learned that their leaders were practicing polygamy against the law, and hiding this little secret? Would I feel upset that their leaders destroyed printing presses that exposed the truth?

    Needless to say, the book really upset me. Yes, there are pages where the right words are said. Entire chapters dedicated to rationalizing the reasons why killings happened follow these pages.

    Kirk

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  28. Jessica says:

    After reading through these comments I would like to say there isn’t a MORMON God. We believe in God and his son Jesus Christ. Just like any other Christian religion.

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  29. Carl says:

    No, Jessica; sorry but you don’t. You believe in a God that visited a man in the early 19th century and told him that all other religions were wrong – even abominations before him. You believe in a God that revealed Polygamy to be the “Everlasting Covenant” that defines relationships and enables procreation in Heaven. You believe in a God whose prophets taught for more than a century that dark skin is a mark of a curse. You believe in the tired old cliché’s of the bible that are riddled with guild, fear, retribution from a fearful God. Don’t misunderstand here; most religions teach this same baloney. Due in large part to this religious ignorance, the world is a very dangerous, divisive place today.

    Don’t believe for an instant that the God that Mormons believe in is a God of love and peace. You don’t get very far in the BOM before murders and intrigue are committed with God’s blessings. The dangerous theme is continued all throughout the book. Live well, or God will allow your enemies to destroy you.

    After spending so very much time trying to defend and spin this awful position, wouldn’t it be easier for Mormons, and more productive to just admit that we are all in this together, and that God must love all of us equally? Why is so hard to admit that we simply just don’t know the answers but are striving to find it out and be good people?

    Carl

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  30. Todd says:

    Carl,

    You seem to agree with Jessica, that Mormons believe in God and His son Jesus Christ just like any other Christian religion that teaches the “tired old cliche’s of the bible.”

    So, your post confuses me.

    I suppose you simply couldn’t resist what you saw as an opportunity to slam Jessica and smear the church by dragging in the “tired old cliche’s” of anti-mormon smut.

    What an awful, ignorant, dangerous, and divisive tact.

    Wouldn’t it be easier, and more productive, to just assume that we’re all in this together just striving to be good people the best we know how? That’s what you appear to require of others, but seem unwilling to pursue yourself.

    What price are you willing to pay for love and peace?

    Yours Truly,
    Todd

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  31. Carl says:

    Todd – You can’t make the claims against Mormonism go away by claiming that they are just “tired old anti-Mormon cliché’s.” Polygamy, dark skin as marks of a curse from God, historicity issues with BOM, etc. etc. – are all flagship earmarks of a funny little group of people that cling to religious concepts and ideals that should have been left alone decades ago.

    Basic Mormon theologies undergo so many changes, it is difficult to track. Here is a joke that summarizes your little group of Mormons, Todd.

    Quick Mormon joke here: Q: How many Mormons does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: At least six: One to change the light bulb; one to deny that there was any change made; one to say that we shouldn’t focus on the change–only the need for light; one to say we don’t teach that the light bulb needed changing in the first place; one to say that the changer was acting for himself and not as an official changer; and one to say “who cares who changed the bulb, don’t you feel the burning of the light?

    Like

  32. Todd says:

    Carl,

    So, uhmmm, what religious concepts are we clinging to?

    You cite:

    Polygamy? Officially discontinued 119 years ago, in 1890.

    Dark skin as marks of a curse from God (presuming you mean the priesthood ban for blacks)? Officially lifted 31 years ago, in 1978.

    Historicity issues with BOM? The evidence is overwhelmingly for the BOM as an historical document. And the body of evidence continues to grow. Yes, we cling to truth.

    None of these would even make the list of “basic Mormon theology.”

    Admit it Carl. You’re not about love and peace. You’re about smear.

    Like

  33. Carl says:

    “Polygamy? Officially discontinued 119 years ago, in 1890.” Response: Come on Todd. Even you know better than to print these deceptions. Polygamy remains in your scriptures and is still considered to be an eternal principle. You see, in 1890. the church was losing control of the territorial government, and many members and leaders were being actively pursued as fugitives. Among other things, there was legislation that disincorporated the Church, confiscated its properties, and even threatened seizure of its temples. When you say officially disontinued, most historians (even LDS records validate) know that there were still more than 200 polygamous marriages were performed through the early 1900’s. So Todd – polygamy still a belief; still an eternal concept; still an intregal part of the grand plan to populate the universe. Show me one church-sanctioned document that denies this belief.
    “Dark skin as marks of a curse from God (presuming you mean the priesthood ban for blacks)? Officially lifted 31 years ago, in 1978.” Response; What?? Go back and read the church position again Todd. Nothing was ever mentioned about the “mark of the curse” being wrong. Once again – the church, and you Todd, attempt to weasel out of the whole mess by just stopping your ridiculous practices – and never admitting that they were wrong to start with. You see, to admit this would require you to admit that your leaders were dead wrong. Thus – maybe not having a direct conduit to God after all. Difficult position to be in.
    “Historicity issues with BOM? The evidence is overwhelmingly for the BOM as an historical document.” “And the body of evidence continues to grow. Yes, we cling to truth.” Response: overwhelming evidence?? We could talk for days about Lamanites (and their dark skin mark of the curse), horses, steel, chariots – not to even mention timelines; I’m going to stop here because there is far too much that has already been discussed on this issue.
    None of these would even make the list of “basic Mormon theology” response; what is basic Mormon Theology Todd. Honestly, we just can’t figure it out. We thought that a basic theology about creation was that men were striving for perfection to become Gods. GBH shot that one down. Maybe we populated the universe by having women become brood mares. Anything basic about Mormon theology becomes obsolete or changed very frequently. We don’t know who changed the light bulb – and neither do you.
    I just get frustrated by ignorance and religious arrogance. Let me ask you a question here Todd. This is one that Kirk posed many months ago. “Is it more important to live good lives because we love other people, or live good lives out of fear that we will go to Hell if we don’t?”
    It’s the same tired theme over and over. Natalie has written about it many times. ACCOUNTABILITY!! When there is constant need for denial, trust cannot exist. TRUTH – Why does it take centuries to pry truth out of LDS archives?

    If you feel smeared Todd, maybe it’s a bit deserved.

    Like

  34. Todd says:

    Carl,

    You smear Jessica for a post regarding a basic Mormon belief in God and then go on a tirade about ACCOUNTABILITY!! How sad.

    The remedy for your frustration is so accessible, too.

    Todd

    Like

  35. Kirk says:

    Accountability is vital to trust. An LDS friend of mine recently asked me why I felt like there was so much anger directed towards the Mormon church, both historically as well as presently. Me response was simple. Deception angers people. Instead of accountability and honesty, the LDS church often reacts with an attitude of religious superiority; adding to already present frustrations created through frequently changing doctrines and religious practices. And, adding fuel to this already explosive situation is the flippant disregard of LDS apologists responding to legitimate questions and concerns.

    Todd’s responses are a very good case in point. Although technically true in most cases, his arguments and responses are deceptive and evasive. He knows the history of polygamy. He knows the cover-ups and deceptive practices that existed in the church. I could be wrong, but I believe in his heart he knows how ridiculous the “dark skin mark of the curse” truly is. Yet – he, like many other LDS apologists continue to incur more wrath with arguments based only on faith. There is no logic, common sense or intelligence in practices and beliefs like polygamy or dark skin curses. Almost any other questionable LDS practice and belief is deceptively met with incomplete summary answers; “I don’t know that we teach that.” (GBH) Yet, with no apologies or shame, these basic tenants of early LDS theology are flippantly explained away. The anger from non-LDS folks directed towards active LDS members would be reduced greatly if some semblance of accountability existed.

    IMO, it’s just a bad marriage – LDS with “gentiles”. It started out poorly, with Joseph lying about his sex life, progressed beyond reasonable disagreement stages, and progressed to extreme mistrust on both sides, battles and killings. The LDS church becomes defensive, its members are taught to deceive and misdirect answers to basic religious questions, outside people get upset and the vicious circle continues. God’s way? God’s church?

    Like

  36. Todd says:

    Travis,

    You missed the point of my post, so let me try to be clearer.

    It’s not sad that Carl is writing about accountability. After all, as you correctly point out, that’s the topic of discussion. The sadness is that he demands accountability, but refuses to be accountable.

    Here are the facts:

    Fact #1: I called Carl out for smearing Jessica over her statement that Mormons believe in God, just like other Christians.

    Fact #2: Carl ignored the substance of my post and proceeded to further smear me and Mormons in general for purportedly clinging to outdated or irrational concepts.

    Fact #3: I pointed out that a) Mormons aren’t clinging to the indicated concepts, and b) Carl isn’t concerned about Mormons clinging to those concepts anyway. Rather, Carl is concerned about smearing Mormons.

    Fact #4: Carl embellished upon his earlier smears, stating that I deserve to feel smeared.

    Those are the essential facts. I refer you to the actual posts above to satisfy yourself that I’m representing them accurately.

    You’re probably confusing all of the anti-mormon smut that Carl regurgitates as relevant facts in this discussion. I don’t see how polygamy, biblical curses and dark skin, BOM historicity, etc. refute a belief in the God of the Bible that Mormons have in common with other Christian religions.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  37. Todd says:

    I agree with Kirk. There is extreme mistrust on both sides.

    Kirk indicated that from his perspective, my responses are a very good case in point.

    I say, from my perspective, that Kirk’s responses are another very good case in point.

    Kirk knows that the mistrust started way before Joseph Smith ever had a sex life. He’s very familiar with the events in Palmyra, at the very first instance JS mentioned his spectacular vision to a “trusted” Methodist preacher and was met with “great contempt.” JS was 14 years old. The mere telling of the story excited a great deal of prejudice against JS among professors of religion, and was the cause of “great persecution” and “sorrow” for him.

    God’s way?

    For Kirk to say that it started with Joseph lying about his sex life and plural marriage is deception in the extreme, and Kirk knows this.

    Kirk also knows well the persecution that followed from Palmyra, to Kirtland, to Independence, to Far West, to Nauvoo, and forward. It’s well documented that much of that persecution was done under the guise of law and by otherwise pious, church-going folk.

    God’s way?

    Kirk knows, and indicates as much, that secrecy and deception are natural, human defense mechanisms. Anti-Mormons are instructed to focus on these complicated religious issues to deceive and misdirect the focus away from the basic religious questions. This is plainly manifest no better than Carl’s attempt to smear Jessica on a very basic Christian belief in God by regurgitating the aforementioned anti-Mormon smut.

    God’s way?

    Where is the accountability here?

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  38. Todd says:

    Travis,

    I have no problem with you or anyone questioning the practices or doctrines of the church, past & present & future. I question them myself, and I’m a believer.

    I understand your desire to give Carl the benefit of the doubt, but don’t kid yourself about his intent to smear. I could call Carl a jerk and be telling the truth. It would still be a smear.

    I’m no scholar, but I am fairly well versed in the facts behind the history and doctrines of the church. Since you brought up your grandfather, I’ll just mention that my great-grandfather married his 4th plural wife after the 1890 manifesto. I would not characterize plural marriage in any way, shape, or form as “basic Mormon theology.”

    And while we’re giving out advice, I would suggest that you educate yourself a little more on the tactics of anti-Mormons. They’re instructed to highlight obscure, controversial, or difficult-to-explain issues to misdirect the focus away from basic doctrine and beliefs; with the intent to destroy faith. If you can’t see through Carl, you need to recalibrate.

    I’ll take your last request at face value. Comments regarding the impossibility, implausibility, non-existence of tangible evidence, etc. have been made since before the BOM was first published in 1830. There’s an entire sub-culture attempting to refute and prove the historicity of the BOM and Book of Abraham. The Maxwell Institute and FAIR are probably two of the most prominent pro-Mormon publications. Please don’t tell me you’ve never heard of these. It’s some of the best scholarly research available anywhere, despite what the ex-mos or anti-mos on this blog say.

    Kindly,
    Todd

    Like

  39. Todd says:

    Travis,

    You’re not coming across as confrontational.

    If you’d like, we can continue this discussion here.

    Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  40. Carl says:

    Travis, are you beginning to understand how difficult it is to find an answer to your basic question? What is Mormon theology? I have meticulously tried to follow Todd’s links. I have studied FAIR’s web site. Now it appears that Todd has his own blog site. You will never get straight answers from Todd (or Mormons in general) about any specific theology in question. Polygamy? I would invite everyone to visit Todd’s blog site. He rambles on about his questions about Polygamy – and the only answer he comes up with is that a “knowing” God revealed it for his own reasons that we don’t understand. Seriously, try to get him to answer a simple, direct question; does LDS theology and practice still embrace polygamy as an eternal principle? The simple answer is “YES”. You won’t get that from Mormons. All you get are deceptive answers like Todd’s, “The practice was stopped years ago.” Deceptive? Yes. Evasive? Certainly. True? No! The Mormons continued temple sealings long after the manifesto in 1890, and Todd knows it. Church apostles lied about it. Many were imprisoned.

    Three simple questions for Todd.

    1 – Do Mormons believe that dark skin was a result of a curse from God that resulted in this distinguishing mark?
    2 – Do you believe that D&C 132 were words directed through JS? (For those interested, I would recommend reading this section, and asking yourselves if this reflects God’s sentiments.
    3 – Are there any (ANY) reputable scientific studies or publications that concur with Mormon historicity studies of the BOB? (Please refer to the Smithsonian Institute quotes concerning the BOM.)
    4 – Do Mormons really believe that they are God’s chosen people, and that (only) the Mormon Church contains all of God’s priesthood keys for salvation. (Be careful here, because Mormons, especially Todd, can be very deceptive here) Listen to their peaceful, reassuring words, but be very intent and focused on the answer; for this is truly what they believe.

    I have a list of articles of faith from an agnostic point of view that I will publish later. When Todd says, “I could call Carl a jerk” he must understand that the reflection isn’t upon me. His rants and indirect name-calling reflect his true nature. Sad

    Like

  41. Todd says:

    By highlighting controversial, difficult-to-explain, and obscure theological issues; Carl continues to resort to classic anti-Mormon tactics to divert attention away from the fundamental purpose of the church, which is to bring souls to Christ.

    We unashamedly proclaim our belief in God and in His son Jesus Christ, the same as other Christian churches, and as Jessica so simply posted above. We seek to understand God’s will and to pursue a course that leads to happiness.

    To avoid the accusation of being evasive or deceptive, I’m happy to answer Carl’s three questions:

    1) No.
    2) Yes.
    3) Yes.
    4) Yes.

    Readers are kindly referred to lds.org or mormon.org for treatise on basic Mormon theology.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  42. azteclady says:

    “By highlighting controversial, difficult-to-explain, and obscure theological issues; Carl continues to resort to classic anti-Mormon tactics to divert attention away from the fundamental purpose of the church, which is to bring souls to Christ.”

    Obscure? Polygamy, the one thing everyone around the globe associates with mormonism, that is “obscure”? In which universe?

    And if difficult to explain theological issue are not discussed, how can there be truth?

    Back to deception. It would seem that the official attitude is, “let’s ignore what we can’t explain–because, really, it makes not a iota of sense–and accuse those asking for explanations of hatred toward us and our church.”

    Nice.

    Like

  43. Todd says:

    azteclady,

    Polygamy is the one thing everyone around the globe associates with Mormonism? That’s beyond comical. Travis and I would like to see your facts on that one. Try the choir, missionaries, humanitarian aid; but polygamy?! Surely you jest!

    And to help you along, polygamy would fall into the “controversial” category. But I like how you cherry pick a word and cling to it to support your position.

    Difficult theological issues are discussed all the time all over the place. We’ve discussed them on this blog to excess. The problem is you’re not about truth, you’re about smear.

    Your official attitude seems to be to regurgitate anti-Mormon smut; which is why you, Carl, and others do it so much. I can only conclude that your true intentions are to detract from truth, not to find it.

    Amazing.

    Like

  44. Rick says:

    Hey…you guys awoke from hibernation and started “playing” without me?!

    Okay, okay…my 2 1/2 cents here is that…we all call the other side “anti…, smear tactics”, etc. It makes us feel good about our position. Once we get beyond the name calling, this is what remains:

    WE BELIEVE WHAT WE WANT TO BELIEVE.

    TBMs will find the apologetic responses that satisfy them that give them a glimmer of hope that it is all true. Then they bank on the bosom burning that has convinced them that regardless of evidence, they know the church is true. It works for them. They are happy in their daily lives, and a few like Todd occasionally try to defend their positions.

    Then there are those of us that have believed at one time, and for various reasons, have chosen to not believe anymore. It’s amazing to us that TBMs don’t see the vast evidence against the church, but they don’t. We feel like we understand the thinking of both sides because we’ve been there, and we get frustrated when the believers don’t believe…US! And generally, the believers believe we have been deceived…you know, by that Satan dude.

    Oh well, the pissing match continues. The church continues to function without us exmos. The resignation rate is continuing to grow…estimated to be that 2 are leaving for every one that joins. WE think there’s a reason for that.

    The teachings of the church continue to evolve to be more loving, supportive, and culturally positive, while the previous hard-line dogmas are minimized, down-played…probably until the younger members won’t even know about them! Before you know it, Mormonism WILL be just another Christian church.

    That’s just how I see it. They are happy, and so are we. It’s Miller time!

    Like

  45. azteclady says:

    Todd, I don’t know how many countries you’ve lived in, but in the four I have lived in, people who know nothing else about mormons DO know about the polygamy.

    Cherry-picking: the pot just called me kettle. Gee.

    Like

  46. Todd says:

    azteclady,

    Okay, so you’ve gone from:

    polygamy is the one thing everyone around the globe associates with mormonism

    to:

    …in the four [countries] I have lived in, people who know nothing else about mormons DO know about the polygamy

    That’s a pretty big leap. I’m sure you spent all of your time interviewing random people in all of those countries to see what they know about Mormons, too.

    I’ve visited more than four countries, and Texas used to be it’s own country. Does that qualify me to make rash generalizations?

    🙂

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  47. azteclady says:

    If you cannot see the difference between “lived in” and “visited” (which really, considering all the differences you cannot see… not a stretch) then, please, do feel free.

    Like

  48. Todd says:

    Little differences like that have never stopped me before… 😉

    And, let me just say, azteclady. I’ve missed the banter with you. I’m sure the feeling is mutual!

    Like

  49. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Well I can’t stay out of this any more. One of the questions asked of
    Brother Todd was, “Do Mormons believe that dark skin was a result of a
    curse from God that resulted in this distinguishing mark?”

    Todd’s reply was no.

    Seeing how there are quote after quote from prophets and church elders
    going back to the beginings of the LDS church in the 1800’s talking about
    the “Curse of Cain and the Negro race.” Not to mention all the “Curse of
    Cain” that I’ve been told about by good members in standing with the Church
    over the years. I’m just without words with Todd’s answer of no. Knowing how
    brother Todd spins words with half truths and twists and distorts LDS history.
    I can’t even imagine how Todd is going to spin his no answer about blacks
    and the curse of Cain placed upon them.

    Kelly

    Like

  50. Todd says:

    Gen. 4: 8-15
    8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
    9 ¶ And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
    10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
    11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
    12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

    13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
    14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
    15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

    I could be wrong, but the curse was regarding the earth not yielding her strength, being a fugitive and a vagabond, and being hid from the face of God. The mark, which came after Cain complained, was placed on Cain to protect him from being slain.

    So while the curse and the mark are associated with the same events, I certainly don’t believe they are the same thing; which I interpreted as the crux of Carl’s question.

    I don’t think I can spin it any clearer than that.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  51. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Answer the question Todd. You know damn well what the leaders
    of the LDS church have preached, taught and said about blacks since
    the very beginnings of the church. Brigham Young said “And the Lord
    put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and dark skin.” I was in
    high school in the late 60’s and college in the early 70’s, right in the
    middle of all the social unrest and marches about race discrimination
    and basic human rights. All I heard from members of the LDS church
    about blacks being denied the preisthood was the curse of Cain or they
    weren’t worthy because of things they had done in the pre-existence.
    One of the seminary teachers at my school went so far as to say that
    if Cain hadn’t killed his brother there wouldn’t be people of dark skin
    and there wouldn’t be all the trouble our country was going through at
    the time.
    There’s plenty of Mo’s and exMo’s on here let’s hear what ya’ll have
    been tought in the church over the years. I’ll bet that since 1978 the
    issue of dark skin in the LDS church has been changed and swept under
    the carpet to change their past history just like this thread said at the
    top “No Acountability”.

    Kelly

    Like

  52. PMP says:

    Yup. You’re right Kelly. I too, can’s stand on the sidelines anymore for this one. I was shocked when Todd answered “No” to that question. For the 18 years I was a member of the LDS church, I was taught over and over AND over again about blacks having the curse of Cain – in 2 different countries and 4 different states. So whether or not it it “official” doctrine or not, it WAS taught. And it was taught consistently. I can’t speak for the last 18 years because I have not set foot inside a LDS chapel during that time, but it most def. was taught when I was growing up.

    Like

  53. Todd says:

    Kelly,

    Just for the record, I did answer the question. Twice.

    And, yes, in 1978 everything changed. Doctrine and policy became a settled matter, consistent with the basic Mormon belief in living prophets.

    The fact that several of you anti-mos and ex-mos cling to this controversial and deeply divisive issue is further evidence that you’re not about understanding truth. Rather, you’re about smear.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  54. PMP says:

    I’m not about the smear, Todd. In fact I am more of a lurker than a participant. How is stating a belief that I was repeatedly taught until I left in 1991 smearing? I’m stating a fact.

    Like

  55. Todd says:

    PMP,

    Thanks for the clarification. I don’t believe I indicated that you were smearing, and I’m glad that you think you’re not.

    My post was specifically addressed to Kelly and those ex-mos and anti-mos who continually bring up this deeply divisive topic. They’re not doing it because they are seeking for understanding or truth. You’re foolish if you believe otherwise. These are classic tactics anti-mos are instructed to use to smear the church.

    Best Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  56. Rick says:

    One person’s truth is another’s “smear.” Of course it looks to a true believer as a smear. Anything that calls into question the truthiness of the church will look like a smear to you Todd. But I really think you are almost intentionally missing the point they are making.

    Simply, pre-1978, the “mark of Cain” was considered the dark skin by the majority of Mormons. It was considered a curse; the same curse the Lamanites had in the BoM. Even the scripture referencing the “change” of skin color when people became more righteous as “white and delightsome” was changed to “pure and delightsome,” presumably to make it more PC.

    Your point that because of modern revelation, the issue was “clarified” to NOT indicate that, is valid. To the TBM, that may be sufficient to satisfy. To the questioner, the doubter, the researcher of the issue as to whether the LDS church is God’s one true church, the one that God is continuously leading through his prophetS (capital intentional), it logically leads to the answer that since this critical teaching of the curse (and of course many other changes such as polygamy…) has changed dramatically, it may indicate that the leaders that have taught these conflicting doctrines in different times, may have NOT been inspired by the one true, unchanging God.

    IOW, it is one piece of evidence of inconsistency…something logically that God would not do. So either the former prophets were not inspired, or the modern ones are not. Either way, something is amiss, and it serves to call into question all the claims made by Mormon prophets.

    You can call it smearing, but I will guarantee that it makes logical sense and reasoning to anybody that understands the whole issue of whether the church is “true” or not. So I hope you can see that what you call “anti-Mormon” is in fact, pro-truth.

    Like

  57. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Todd go back and look at any of my past posts and you’ll see I’ve
    never said your religion is a lie, Ya’ll are following fasle teachings
    or any other “Smearing or classic anti-mo tactics. All I’ve wanted
    was a truthfull answer to my questions. If you had said right from the
    begining the blacks couldn’t hold the preisthood because of something
    they’ve done in the pre-existance or because of God’s curse upon Cain.
    But after 1978 our living prophet, through God’s divine revelation, had
    lifted the preisthood ban and now males of all colors are welcomed into
    the Priesthood. If you had said that and shown some accountablity then
    my response would have been “Good for you Todd and your faith in your
    religion. I on the other hand personally can not except or believe in what
    your faith and religion believe. I don’t give a damn what you or any other
    religion believe in it’s your faith. Believe what you want that’s your choice.
    Just because my own personal feelings and beliefs won’t let me except LDS
    doctrines and dogma, or Jews or Baptists or Muslims or whatever doesn’t
    mean I’m using smear tactics. It means I’m engaging in conversation.
    Something I’ve learned over the years that members of the LDS church
    can’t do.

    Kelly

    Like

  58. Carl says:

    Why do we waste time with Todd? At one point, I almost believed him to be a person with reason, intelligence – maybe even a kind heart. I’ve lost desire to even communicate with him. Todd – go away. Stick to your little apologetic blog site that only Mormons will consider valid.

    Just go away.

    Like

  59. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Carl this is what I’ve found to be true over the years reguarding
    members of all ultra-conservative reactionary religions, christian
    or not, that claim to speak for the Lord. Everything is laid out in
    their teachings and doctrines in order from A to Z, black and white.
    Their A to Z’s will lead you directly to God’s salvation. Now seeing
    how their A to Z’s are the only true ones because they’re given to
    them directly from God. It sets them up for the what’s called the
    “Milk Stool Dilemma”. Milk stools only have three legs so they are
    very stable on uneven ground. They don’t wobble and are a very
    solid platform to sit your little butt on. Just what all these religions
    claim to be “Rock Solid and God’s True Words for Salvation.”
    BUT, here’s where the problem is. All you have to do is remove
    one leg from that stool and the whole damn thing falls over. That’s
    why Brother Todd and all the others can’t or won’t answer anything
    with honesty. If they admit that one or more of their doctrines or
    beliefs are based on false info from God then everything else that
    their God has said might just be false also. Which leads to that
    perfect stable little milk stool falling over dumping them in the mud.
    I don’t care what someone’s religous beliefs are as long as they
    keep it within their religous circle. I won’t say a word, but when
    they start going after people who are just minding their own
    business. or believe something different from them and their God.
    Then I’ll speak up.
    All the Todd’s all over the world are just trying to keep their little
    milk stools from falling over. It’s just that with the LDS Church they
    have an easy out. Our living prophet says God says forget what
    I’ve placed in stone for ya’ll. This is what I really meant.

    Kelly

    Like

  60. Carl says:

    Kelly – gotta love the milk stool! And thanks for chiming in here. I agree with you. The one area where I cannot remain silent (mainly because of the tremendous damage that it causes, not just with personal relationships, but extending to world wars, terrorism etc.) centers on the influence of the “chosen people” theory.

    How can Mormons truly believe that they are God’s chosen people? After all, the numbers are so very, very small. Considering world populations through all history, the percentage of people that are “enlightened” is so truly miniscule; it could be considered ridiculously insignificant. Without sounding too demeaning and “smearing” here, it should be pointed out that the vast majority of early converts to most churches aren’t the cream of the crop when it comes to intelligence or social acceptance success. Most of the early converts to Mormonism from London were the people looking for economic situations better then their impoverished state at the time. Add to that, the belief that they were God’s chosen people – and bingo, stupid people with a reason to feel superior – spawning generations of Todds.

    Like

  61. Carl says:

    1831 – 1844) JOSEPH SMITH Discoverer of the Golden plates

    First Prophet and President and Founder of the Mormon Church:

    “Had I anything to do with the negro , I would confine them by strict law to their own species and put them on a national equalization.”

    (1848 – 1877) BRIGHAM YOUNG 2nd Prophet and President

    “You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable, sad, low in their habits, wild, and seemingly without the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.

    “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.”

    (1877 – 1887) JOHN TAYLOR 3rd Prophet and President

    “…after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham’s wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation a upon a the earth as well as God;.. ”

    (1901 – 1918) JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH 10th Prophet and President

    “I would not want you to believe that we bear any animosity toward the Negro. “Darkies” are wonderful people, and they have their place in our church.”

    “Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race.

    “… and they have been ‘despised among all people.’ This doctrine did not originate with President Brigham Young but was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith …”

    BRUCE R. McCONKIE of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles

    The negroes are not equal with other races when the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned…”

    …As a result of his rebellion, Cain was cursed with a dark skin; he became the father of the negroes”

    “Cain Ham, and the whole negro race have _ cursed with a black skin, the mark of Cain, so they can be identified as a caste apart, a people with whom the other descendants of Adam should not intermarry.”

    MARK E. PETERSON of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles

    “At least in the cases of the Lamanites and the negroes we have the definite word of the Lord Himself that He placed a dark skin upon them as a curse – as a punishment and as a sign to all others.

    ” If there is one drop of negro blood in my children, as I have read to you, they receive the curse, There isn’t any argument, therefore, as to intermarriage with the Negro, is there? “Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest kind of education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it.

    ORSON PRATT of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles

    “The Lord has not kept them in store for five or six thousand years past, and kept them waiting for their bodies all this time to send them among the Hottentots, the African Negroes, the idolatrous Hindoos, or any other of the fallen nations of the earth

    SPENCER W. KIMBALL:

    “Lamanites” is the Book of Mormon term for Native Americans. The quote below is from a Mormon General Conference talk given by Spencer W. Kimball in 1960. Spencer W. Kimball became the president of the Mormon Church in 1975.

    “The day of the Lamanites in nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. […] The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.

    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.”

    Keep in mind that these aren’t quotes from just Mormon members. They are direct quotes from Prophets and apostles; highest ranking Mormon leadership – receiving inspiration directly from God. Please . . . . . . . . .

    Add to this more than a century of teachings in LDS books, scriptures, lesson manuals, missionary discussions etc, concerning the dark skin curse; Shame on anyone attempting to defend this small-minded group of people.

    Carl

    Like

  62. Kirk says:

    “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter.” Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, 1823

    I plead again with a question;Why and when did it become more important to verbally and emotionally commit to some evasive knowledge of the historicity of Christ, than it is to accept the beautiful messages of religious metaphors?

    “There is not enough love and kindness in this world to give any of it away to imaginary beings.” Nietzsche

    “I do not feel obligated to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” Galileo

    It is as difficult convincing a schizophrenic of the irrationality of his fears, as convincing a “God fearing” person of the futility and danger of his beliefs.”

    I believe that intelligence, common sense and reason are no match for superstition and religion. Why is it so difficult to see the damage that is caused? Rick says it’s Miller time. I agree, but add that religion has driven me to more Miller times than I care to remember.

    Kirk

    Like

  63. Kirk says:

    Had to add one more;

    “Since no one really knows anything about God,
    those who think they do are just
    troublemakers.”

    Rabia Al-Basri

    Like

  64. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Kirk asked the question:

    “I plead again with a question;Why and when did it become more important to verbally and emotionally commit to some evasive knowledge of the historicity of Christ, than it is to accept the beautiful messages of religious metaphors? ”

    Well Kirk it all started with Jesus at the “Sermon on the Mount”. This
    was the sermon that basically laid down the foundations for most modern
    religions today.
    As we all know most people living in the middle east at that time were
    white. We know this because Christ had blonde hair and blue eyes. Before
    he started his sermon a few minor things had to be changed.
    First he stood up and said all you people with dark skin move to the
    bottom of the hill. Then he pointed to two guys sitting next to each other
    holding hands, and informed them to also move to the bottom of the hill.
    But if they stopped holding hands and hooked up with the gals who are
    holding hands. Then all four could stay, unless they had dark skin.
    Waving his hand over the crowd he said “I know there are people of
    science out there. You get your butts down to the bottom of the hill
    also, and make sure you sit behind the darkies and the queers.” Then
    as he was looking around Christ said, “One more thing. To make sure my
    sermon is heard I want all the males to come forward closer to me.
    Leave the women back there. But don’t worry if the women and THAT
    group at the bottom of the hill can’t hear. It will be your duty to relay
    what ever you think is best for them to know.”
    Then Jesus started his sermon with the Lord’s prayer.

    So Kirk the answer to your question goes way back to the beginning.

    Kelly

    Like

  65. Kirk says:

    Thanks for the answer and clarification Kelly. A lot more transpiring than just a sermon it seems. Still laughing – – – – – – – – -, but sadly.

    Kirk

    Like

  66. Mike says:

    Couldn’t help myself. The internet is a wonderful tool!

    But No doctrinal statement was given, correcting Mormonism’s view on dark skin.

    Mormonism can never correct its denigrating view of Blacks and Indians. To do so would mean that the scriptures aren’t true. It would mean that the war in the ‘pre-existence’, on Kolob might, after all, not have caused the devil to mix his blood with that of Cain. Then, Cain could not have fathered all black skinned children…

    A doctrinal statement to gloss over this racist Mormon business is therefore not possible. Mormonism could not survive it.

    To correct the bigotry now would mean that Joseph Smith could not have translated the golden plates. Perhaps Smith could not even translate anything at all! Perhaps he couldn’t read Egyptian, to boot. Could it be that Smith was a fraud and Mormonism is his colossal hoax? If so it would mean an unthinkable loss of tithing revenue for church coffers.

    A Mormon recantation of its racist foundation cannot happen because racism is directly hard-wired into the source code of the entire program.

    However, with the change of the Negroes receiving the Priesthood in 1978, Mormon leaders are attempting to cover up this embarrassing teaching concerning skin color.

    “… many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a WHITE and a delightsome people.” (1830 Edition, p. 117)

    “… PURE and delightsome people.” (1840 edition)

    “…WHITE and delightsome people.” (All later translations until 1981)

    “… PURE and delightsome people.” (1981 translations , II Nephi 30:6)

    Although the Mormon Church will not make available the handwritten manuscript of the Book of Mormon, the R.L.D.S. Church has the handwritten printers copy, which was given to the printer to set the type for the first printing. It too, agrees with the 1830 Edition. It reads “white”.

    Like

  67. Jill says:

    Great post and comments. A friend turned me on to these vidoes that really struck me. Thanks so much!

    http://songofgod.com/resources/video_eroel-promo-mormon-corporate-church.html

    Like

  68. Todd says:

    Wow. I take a couple of days off and look what happens.

    Carl – I’m not surprised that you want me to leave. However, if you’re uncomfortable with my presence, I suggest you be the one who leave. All you ever do is regurgitate tired, old anti-Mormon smut anyway. Boring… At least Kirk, Kelly, Rick, azteclady, and others post original stuff that is interesting, thought provoking, a little edgy, and generally entertaining.

    Googling a few old, obscure quotes and copying them here, outside of their context, doesn’t change the fact that Mormons don’t believe that dark skin is a curse. Rather, it just shows what a divisive, hateful, bigoted person you are. Take your own advice and stop clinging to stuff that at worst has been officially dead for decades. Move on!

    Gotta run for now.

    Love,
    Todd

    Like

  69. Todd says:

    I know I said I had to run, but I couldn’t help add a few of my own mined quotes to add to the discussion:

    =====

    Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle. – George Washington

    =====

    Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever. – Thomas Jefferson

    =====

    When I left Springfield I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. Yes, I do love Jesus. – Abraham Lincoln

    =====

    The Declaration of Independence ‘holds these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal: that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’, but, at the same time, some two or three millions of people are held as slaves for life, because the spirit in them is covered with a darker skin than ours…The Constitution of the United States of America meant just what it said without reference to color or condition, ad infinitum! – Joseph Smith

    =====

    The Mormon Church does not believe, nor does it teach, that the Negro is an inferior being. Mentally, and physically, the Negro is capable of great achievement, as great or in some cases greater than the potentiality of the white race. – Joseph Fielding Smith (1962)

    =====

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  70. Rick says:

    Welcome back Todd!

    I think you might be missing the point that at least I am trying to make about the dark skin curse. I don’t think anybody here is saying that the church teaches TODAY that the dark skin is a curse.

    It DID teach it (prophets, general conference, etc), and that very fact leads reasonable people to question the validity of any claimed revelation by leaders of the church. Why would God change his mind? IOW, rather than that being the situation, doesn’t it make more sense that the most likely reason for the contradiction is that one or more of the prophets did NOT receive correct revelation/inspiration when “he” claimed he did?

    Logically yours,

    ~Rick

    Like

  71. Todd says:

    Thanks Rick!

    Trust me, I’m not missing your point, although I’m not sure what you mean by “dark skin curse.” I’m not aware of any such curse. 🙂

    I respectfully disagree with your assessment. If nobody here is saying that the church teaches TODAY that dark skin is a curse, then why did Carl, Kelly, and PMP get all bent out of shape when I responded with a “No.” to the question posed by Carl? I’m sure they appreciate you trying to cover for them.

    I believe it is a logical fallacy to conclude that any course correction is evidence that God somehow changed his mind. It’s just as logical to conclude that His mind was never clearly revealed. It’s also just as logical to conclude that what may have been appropriate a century ago, isn’t appropriate today (and vice-versa).

    Consistent with the fundamental doctrine of continuing revelation is the notion that we don’t currently know everything. So, we do our best based on what we have and trust that God will reveal His will if we are off course in a line-upon-line, precept-by-precept sort of way.

    Reasonable people are welcome to question the validity of any claimed revelation by leaders of the church. I have no problem with that. The historical record is clear that there were high-ranking leaders who questioned the validity of withholding the priesthood from blacks. The validity of a revelation isn’t measured by how many reasonable people agree with or question it. It stands on it’s own merit.

    Thanks for the opportunity to have this dialog.

    Truthfully yours,
    Todd

    Like

  72. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Let’s look at the score board from the last few month’s.

    Brother Todd says the LDS Church doesn’t believe that dark
    skin is a curse or has ever taught that blacks are cursed because
    of the sins of Cain or choosing the wrong side in the pre-existance.

    Brother Todd says that the LDS Church has never taught or
    believed that native americans are direct desendents of the
    Lamanites.

    So let’s find out what else is the true words or beliefs of the LDS
    Church and it’s members.

    The 2nd Article of Faith states that man will be punished for their
    own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

    So I’m assuming that means that the LDS Church believes in
    Adam and Eve. Or is this another one of the Churches OOPPS
    we might have said that but we didn’t mean it.

    I’ll just keep it to one question and keep it simple for Todd.
    What’s the LDS belief on Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden?

    I’m sure in pure Toddite Speak we’ll get a complete answer that
    says absolutely nothing because as we all know that Todd can’t
    answer anything straight and to the point.

    Kelly

    Like

  73. Todd says:

    Kelly,

    Please reference where I said that the LDS Church has never taught that “blacks are cursed because of the sins of Cain or choosing the wrong side in the pre-existence” or that “native Americans are direct descendants of the Lamanites.”

    Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden? Where’d that come from?

    Is this Kellyite Speak for “let’s change the topic.”

    That’s a sign of weakness and desperation.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  74. Carl says:

    Todd,

    Kelly, weak and desperate? Todd – you deny key theologies that the Mormon church has taught for more than a century, lie about and spin absurd little webs of half-truths concerning LDS church positions on any (almost all) subjects, and then expect us to remain silent when you personally smear those people who respond?

    Like Kelly, I don’t give a damn about what you believe. Just don’t try to lie about it. Dark skin curse (or mark of a curse)? Accountability Todd. A concept that has frustrated good people about Mormons since their inception. From Polygamy to Mountain Meadows, and just about everything inbetween. “The indians did it.” “God didn’t really intend it – it was just Joseph or Brigham.” “What dark skin curse? The mark of dark skin was really a blessing to them; protecting them so that they wouldn’t be killed.” “God really loves gay people.” (just not enough to let them into heaven – unless they stop being gay.)

    Like

  75. Rick says:

    Todd says. “Trust me, I’m not missing your point, although I’m not sure what you mean by “dark skin curse.” I’m not aware of any such curse. ”

    I’m really trying to follow you Todd. Obviously, there’s some disgust by other posters here, but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, and just ask you some questions before I conclude incorrectly.

    You said “I’m not aware of any such curse.” Are you saying that since the inception of the LDS church, there has not been an official teaching, at any time, that the dark skin (blacks, Lamanites, etc) was a curse? I will let you answer before I respond….

    Next, are you saying (if there was said teaching) that God might change that doctrine? IOW, because of the culture, or current thinking about racial differences, He would effectively recant his teaching about the curse?

    Last (for now), are you saying that most likely, the earlier prophets were wrong for teaching said doctrine about the curse…so it was never really official doctrine, so God never really changed His mind — just people getting their “spiritual inspiration wires” crossed?

    Thanks in advance!

    Curiously yours,

    ~Rick

    Like

  76. hendoo says:

    Get over it… Stop letting this consume your life.. Why cant we agree to disagree. I respect that you all have your opinions on the church, so respect that there are people who believe in this church. How many church’s do you agree or disagree with? I disagree with other religions and I’m not out there making websites or blogs about it.. I respect their beliefs. RESPECT OURS. And also I’m sick of everyone complaining about church members coming over and fellow shipping you. Were damned if we do and were damned if we dont. Sorry for caring!

    Like

  77. Rick says:

    Sorry hendoo, I’m afraid you don’t understand. The LDS church was the institution that told us how to think, what to eat (and not), how to judge others, who to marry, what we should do every waking moment of our lives….

    And then we learned it was not true.

    If you really want to understand, think about that. And you might imagine why we try to help others see the light.

    Like

  78. Todd says:

    Carl,

    Your baseless accusations are becoming your trademark.

    How can you honestly tell me that I’m lying about what I believe? Do you really think that you know better that I what I believe? That’s absurd.

    I don’t care if key theologies were taught for millenia. When additional light is shed on a particular topic, I do my best embrace that light as a gift from God and go forward in faith. The key theology in play here is living, breathing, current, prophets. The key theology is that the current prophet can supersede any prophet of the past. The key theology is that we don’t cling to dead prophets, when living prophets speak on a particular topic.

    And, just for the record, I’ve never asked you to remain silent (another baseless accusation).

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  79. Todd says:

    Rick asks:

    Are you saying that since the inception of the LDS church, there has not been an official teaching, at any time, that the dark skin (blacks, Lamanites, etc) was a curse?

    That’s not what I’m saying at all. Bruce R. McConkie famously wrote in “Mormon Doctrine” that “Cain was cursed with a dark skin.” Of course, that book isn’t “official” church doctrine, but he was a church official and was teaching that notion. In his book, BRM cites Moses 5, Genesis 4, and “The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith” as references for the paragraph that includes that statement. None of those references say that dark skin is a curse.

    I think BRM was the most oft cited culprit for propagating the notion that dark skin was a curse. I’m sure there were others.

    Next, are you saying (if there was said teaching) that God might change that doctrine? IOW, because of the culture, or current thinking about racial differences, He would effectively recant his teaching about the curse?

    I don’t believe it was God’s “doctrine” or “teaching” that dark skin was a curse, so I don’t believe there is anything for God to recant. There is nothing in the standard works that says in effect “dark skin is a curse.”

    Last (for now), are you saying that most likely, the earlier prophets were wrong for teaching said doctrine about the curse…so it was never really official doctrine, so God never really changed His mind — just people getting their “spiritual inspiration wires” crossed?

    Far be it from me to pass right and wrong judgments about the teachings of earlier prophets. I don’t believe, based on my own interpretation of the scriptures and historical record, that dark skin is a curse. That is what I have consistently stated. That is what I believe. That is what I believe most Mormons believe. The revelation on the priesthood in 1978 changed everything.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  80. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Todd I love how you pick out one word to throw off what was
    the intent or topic being discussed. No one here is saying
    that “dark skin is a curse”. The mark or the curse simply
    means that to punish Cain and make him stand out from
    everyone else. The Lord gave Cain dark skin. Plain and
    simple. People of color are dark skinned because they are
    decendents of Cain. That’s what the teachings of the LDS
    church has been up until 1978. If Cain hadn’t killed his
    brother then everyone here on earth would be fair skinned, white,
    honkies, cracker ass’s. Evolution didn’t have anything to do
    with skin color. It was strictly God making Cain stand out from
    the norm by giving him black skin. As I said in an earlier post
    Brigham Young said “The lord put a mark upon him, which is the
    flat nose and dark skin.” That was the teachings of the LDS Church
    up until 1978.
    So Todd once again I ask the question. Up until 1978 did or did
    not the LDS Church believe that blacks, negroes, you pick the LDS
    term. that people of color would be fair skinned if the Lord hadn’t put the
    MARK of dark skin on Cain.

    Kelly

    Like

  81. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Well Brother Todd said,

    “Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden? Where’d that come from?

    Is this Kellyite Speak for “let’s change the topic.”

    That’s a sign of weakness and desperation”

    No Todd weakness and desperation is what you do here.

    Seeing how your replies about the Mark Upon Cain and past
    posts reguarding whether Native Americans are decendants
    of the Lamanites were criptic at best, and down right lies at worst.
    I just thought I’d ask a simple question that you might be able
    to answer either yes or no to. You know Todd like “Yes the LDS
    Church believes and teaches that God created Adam and Eve
    and that was the start of humanity.” OR “The LDS Church
    doesn’t believe in Adam and Eve it’s just religious folk lore.”

    But Brother Todd you and I both know you’re just here to push
    buttons and say whatever you want to screw with everyone on
    this list. So I just thought it would be entertaining to see what
    kind of BS ya’ll come up with about the LDS Church and what is
    believed and taught by the faithful LDS members.

    Kelly

    Like

  82. Carl says:

    Why is there even a question here? Any person with any direct black skin lineage was not permitted to hold the priesthood in the Mormon Church from its inception in the early 1800’s until 1978. They weren’t permitted to have temple recommends, or participate in any of the “important” ceremonies in LDS temples. Even members of the LDS church in Brazil (many with African ancestry) weren’t able to attend the new temples being built in that country. No temple marriage for African American people – not permitted. They were not allowed to perform church assignments such as passing the sacrament, giving blessings or even participating in basic church capacities and callings of leadership requiring the all-important priesthood.

    Everyone knows the reasons that were given for this absurd belief. Dark skin was a curse (or – mark of a curse, so that Todd isn’t able to construct his straw-man defense quite as easily). Absolutely nothing in Mormon theology or revelation (even modern day revelation) states differently concerning this bizarre belief. I encourage everyone to just read the Mormon position in 1978. No admission that the belief in a dark skin curse was wrong. Absolutely no accountability for this ridiculous and harmful practice. Nope – it simple says that now all men can hold the priesthood.

    Todd – you lie. The most damaging part about the whole issue is that you don’t seem to understand where truth ends and lies begin. Similar to LDS President Woodruff’s congressional hearing when he was asked if the Mormon’s believed that polygamy was God’s plan for his kingdom on earth. His reply, “NO, we do not believe this.” When he returned to SLC in general conference, and responding to the general membership’s questioning looks and comments about his answer, his response was very “Tood-like.” He told the audience, “I didn’t lie! I said that we didn’t believe it and I meant it. WE KNOW IT!” The audience chuckled thinking what a clever prophet they had.

    What an embarrassment, then and now. Todd, grow up and stop deceiving and spinning the truth. You might chuckle and believe yourself to be very clever. Nobody else does. (Except maybe your family and Mormon friends)

    Like

  83. Mike says:

    Todd,

    You lie. Stop it.

    Like

  84. Seth says:

    Todd,

    Stop with the lies.

    Like

  85. Kirk says:

    When the world is against religious fanatics, it fuels their fire. Persecution is the battle cry for unity. Reformation! Cleanse the unworthy from our midst!

    All can know and claim that Todd deceives, and he will perceive it as validation of his truth. A lifetime of service and dedication can never be denied by the steward. Todds of the world will comprehend, as they desire. “Truth be damned!”

    As Rick says, “It’s Miller time.”

    Kelly strives for reason and answers where there are none.

    Like

  86. Todd says:

    Kirk,

    All can know that Kelly, you, and the others are striving to divide, confuse, mock, and smear; under the guise of striving for reason and answers. This blog is about bashing Mormons, with the express purpose of driving traffic to Natalie so she can sell her anti-Mormon books and collect on adword clicks.

    The Kellys of the world admit it’s for entertainment. The Carls of the world are just bitter and full of hate.

    Where’s the accountability?

    Like

  87. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Yep Brother Todd I learned months ago that you’re not
    going to engage in any serious discussions about the LDS
    Faith. You’re here to just push other peoples buttons and
    stir the pot up. So when it comes to you it’s strictly a
    matter of entertainment to see how you’re going to dodge
    even the most simple of questions about the church.

    Kelly

    Like

  88. Todd says:

    Kelly,

    It’s impossible to have serious discussions about the LDS faith on a blog whose sole purpose for being here is to bash the LDS faith (excluding the obvious financial incentives for Natalie).

    But, hey, it’s all about peace, love, and truth.

    Yeah, right.

    Todd

    Like

  89. azteclady says:

    Does anyone else feels the mockery whenever Todd signs off with “kindest regards”?

    Plus I wonder at his assertions that the only purpose for Natalie’s blog is to “bash” Todd’s church and beliefs. Paranoia much?

    Like

  90. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Todd ya’ll said:

    “It’s impossible to have serious discussions about the LDS faith
    on a blog whose sole purpose for being here is to bash the LDS faith”

    Well Brother Todd if I go to your website or another pro-mo site.
    I’m still going to ask the same questions; and guess what. You’ll
    still dodge the questions and only want to talk about the warm
    fuzzy stuff, like you’ve been taught to if I bring up anything that’s
    not in the LDS comfort zone. Then you’ll get all whiney and huffy and
    start in calling me anti-mormon, a basher and all the other names
    that members of the church resort to when none comfort zone stuff
    comes up.

    So Todd it doesn’t matter whose website were on. The out come will
    still be the same. I’m anti-mo and the LDS Church is being bashed
    and you just don’t understand why.

    Kindest Regards,

    Kelly

    Like

  91. Helen says:

    I’ve been reviewing the posts on the web page for the past year or so, and I must say that I find them fascinating. Disclosure; I am LDS born and raised. Never really doubted it’s truthfulness until my husband of nearly 40 years recently passed due to a long and courageous battle with cancer. In most cases I believe that these “death” experiences bring us closer to an understanding of life and death, as did this experience for my dear husband and me. Yes, I feel that it brought us closer to an understanding of life and death, yet further away from the traditional God that I learned about in my LDS experiences.

    I have served in a very wide variety of church positions including primary assignments, relief society leadership assignments as well as daily visiting teaching goals with other members of our ward. My husband was a Bishop for 7 years in our small ward outside of Atlanta, Georgia. I have been a very meticulous record keeper as the years passed. My family accuses me of being a pack rat, as I have kept most of my lesson manuals, Ensign articles and magazines as well as New Era copies.

    I have to say here that for most of my life, I have been convinced that black people were burdened with this curse because of the deeds that they did in the pre-existence. I was taught that black people were cursed because they were “fence sitters” in the great battle between Jesus and Satan over how to run this world. I still have many lesson manuals and articles that taught this horrible lesson. For more than 40 years, I passed this belief on to impressionable boys and girls in my Sunday classes. I feel ashamed. I feel even more ashamed when LDS people try to avoid admitting this terrible concept that was taught in our churches. There is too much evidence to deny the teaching.

    In reading these posts, I don’t believe that Todd is as bad as you all try to make him out. He gets backed into a corner and lashes out. I think that if everyone would act with a little more civility, truth would come out easier. I learned that if I was really mad at something my children had done, and I began yelling at them, I could get them to lie about what they have done. This is human nature. Todd knows better, but I think he believes that by admitting the truth, everyone will jump on this and say even meaner things.

    I’m rambling on here I know, but I wanted to just say that I am sorry for being involved in teaching these terrible concepts for so many years. It has been very difficult as the city where I live is predominantly black.
    Helen

    Like

  92. Carl says:

    Ha ha ha ha! Thanks Helen!!

    Todd is a little boy who lies to stay out of more trouble. Perfect!

    Helen, you seem sincere. I wish you the best.

    Carl

    Like

  93. Mike says:

    Let’s all be nicer so that Todd will tell the truth.

    Like

  94. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Helen, I’d like to express my sorrow for your loss of your
    husband. I’ve got 14 years more to go with my lovely bride
    to get to 40 years.

    I’d also like to say that I was born and raised here in Utah.
    I’m not LDS but have definately run the gauntlet with LDS
    friends over religion. I must say that you’re the first person
    I’ve encountered with the courage to say what you just said.
    I’m just sitting here in shock. Back in the late 60’s and up
    until 1980 or so I did have conversations with LDS members
    over the “mark of Cain” or as you put it “fence sitters”, and they
    all said yes that was what was taught. I will also say that probably
    75% of those were upset with that part of the Church’s teachings.
    But as the LDS girl I dated in high school said “If you’re a member
    it doesn’t matter what you believe you just accept it. It’s called
    faith.”

    Here’s the part that I’ve never been able to understand. The only
    thing that I ever responded to them with was that for me personally
    my own spirituality and beliefs won’t let me except that. Plus there are
    some other teachings and doctrines that I just can’t except also. So
    for me if I can’t except these “True words of God.” Then I can’t except
    all the rest of what the Church believes. That’s it, no you’re wrong,
    your church sucks, your doctrines are false, just I personally can’t
    believe in them. Here’s the part I don’t understand. Most have
    responded with stuff like “What so you’re saying I’m stupid.” or
    “You’re mind is just closed to truth which all you Anti-mormons are.”
    They get pissed at me because of my own beliefs. I’ve lost friendships
    that I thought were very strong because of it. Plus religion has always
    come up from their side not mine. You know stuff like Book of Mormons
    for Xmas with a little note saying how they hope I can find the true joy
    and happiness that they have. This is my favorite “You and your wife
    are such good people. I just can’t believe you’re not LDS.”

    As to Brother Todd if you go back over all the other posts over the
    past months you’ll see where, unlike you, Todd doesn’t have the
    (excuse me with this Helen) the BALLS to answer anything with
    truth and not try to stir up the pot. He’s even admitted that alot
    of his answers are just to get people fired up. So it might look like
    we’re ganging up on him, but A) he’s brought most of this on himself,
    and B) all he had to do was answer a simple question like you did.
    Straight forward and to the point. I REALLY admire your frankness
    and no BS answer. What you said I’m sure was with a heavy soul after
    much searching.

    Anyway Helen God Bless you and thank you for your post.

    Kelly

    Like

  95. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Helen I forgot to say welcome and I hope ya’ll will bless
    us with more posts.

    Kelly

    Like

  96. Rick says:

    Hi Todd…sorry for the delayed response; been a bit busy lately. You said: “Far be it from me to pass right and wrong judgments about the teachings of earlier prophets. I don’t believe, based on my own interpretation of the scriptures and historical record, that dark skin is a curse. That is what I have consistently stated. That is what I believe. That is what I believe most Mormons believe. The revelation on the priesthood in 1978 changed everything.”

    The only thing I will say here is that what most of us that have chosen to doubt the church’s truth claims are saying is that the “dark skin curse” was certainly taught by MANY prophets pre-1978. I know it is a common defense mechanism for mopologists to say “well, it wasn’t doctrine…”, and try to minimize the earlier, often very strong, teachings of the leaders. There are literally hundreds of other such changed doctrines as well.

    So the point for many of us is that it is clear enough that core doctrines HAVE been changed, so logically, it is either God changing his mind, or the leaders being wrong with what they claim to be revelation from said “God.”

    We must choose one or the other…and you know what we have concluded.

    ~Rick

    Like

  97. Helen says:

    Kelly, it breaks my heart to hear the experiences that you have had with LDS people. Unfortunately I believe that your experiences certainly aren’t unique to Mormonism or any other specific religion. In my experiences, this closed minded thinking occurs just about every time people begin thinking that somehow their faith is more accurate, or closer to God’s truth than someone else.

    It was precisely this issue that caused us (my late husband and I) to really begin questioning the LDS church’s truthfulness. With a heavy heart and much remorse, it finally occurred to us that we were a very integral part of the problem, not the cure. We were very much opinionated against our children dating anyone that wasn’t of the LDS faith. This caused some serious divisions within our own family. Looking back over the years, I desperately wish that instead of teaching specific truths as if somehow I “knew” the truth, I would have focused more on love and understanding. It is difficult to teach those concepts while still believing with all your heart that the person you are loving and understanding won’t be able to live with God forever.

    Thank you for the kind words Kelly. I like talking and communicating this way.

    Helen

    Like

  98. Todd says:

    Rick,

    The core doctrine at play is a belief in living prophets who can correct, clarify, and reveal new doctrines as needs arise; in a line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept sort of way. What you see as “hundreds” of changes to doctrine, I see as additional light and truth coming from heaven.

    I guess that is a difficult concept to get across; and why, I presume, folks get stuck on the old “dark skin curse” doctrine.

    I’m not aware that this is believed or taught in any official way anymore. In short, the prophet spoke and we’ve moved on. Which is why I think is hilarious that Carl accuses us of “clinging” to outdated concepts while posting quotes that are several decades old. It appears to me that he is the one who is clinging.

    I’m perfectly fine that you don’t see it that way. It in no way diminishes any respect I may have for you.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  99. Todd says:

    Helen,

    Welcome to the fray and thanks for the kind words. I certainly don’t feel backed into a corner, nor that I’m lashing out. But, hey, I’m not the best writer in the world, and I’m sure my tone doesn’t always come across the way I intend.

    To comment on your specific post…

    I’m a little surprised that you believed “with all your heart” that the indicated person wouldn’t be able to live with God forever. I don’t think Mormons claim to know who will or who will not be able to live with God (aside from the generic 2nd article of faith stuff regarding obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel).

    One would have thought that you would have been well aware of the belief that forces in the spirit world are at work to bring souls to Christ, and that temple work contributes to that noble cause.

    I would agree that we should focus on love and understanding. I know that I get a little raucous at times in my posts; but it’s all in good fun. It can get a little stale around here when everyone is in violent agreement.

    Warmly,
    Todd

    Like

  100. Helen says:

    Todd,

    I believe in my heart that you are a good person. I have followed along reading what you write, and see myself and my beliefs in much of what you write. Contrary to what your opinion is, I believe that you write very well.

    I have chosen to remain anonymous and just be an observer for the past couple of years. The reason for this is actually quite complicated but I will try to explain. You see, I have always been a little frightened about expressing my thoughts public ally. It’s one thing to think outside the box when it comes to LDS thinking, and quite another to express in writing any thoughts that go against the church. I’m sorry to deceive you here, but my real name is not Helen. The rest of the facts about my late husband and everything else are true. I’m a bit concerned that the church can find out who I am. I would face certain hostility for voicing some of my opinions.

    I don’t agree with everything that Natalie says, and I certainly don’t agree with all the opinions expressed on this web page against the LDS church. The reason that I chose to write now is because of the topic of accountability. To explain in a bit more detail, I should say that my husband is a direct descendant of John D. Lee, and the two of us had many conversations about his role in the Mountain Meadows Massacre. I believe that if the LDS church had revealed the truth about this event, the entire nation would forgive and move on. I have learned in my life that people are very understanding and forgiving when they are dealt with fairness. Even the tragic events of 1857 could have been understood and forgiven more than a century ago if true accountability and remorse was provided by and expressed by the LDS church. Instead, the world was given excuses, lies and misdirection until the truth was practically forced out by scholars and historians. I feel that the same thing goes for the very hot topics of polygamy and dark skin curses. I know and understand that these topics (as well as others) are very difficult to deal with for LDS members. Todd, I say this with a heavy heart, but it is my belief that you are only adding to anger and resentment towards LDS people when you try to come up with excuses and vague ideas excusing these inexcusable practices and beliefs. There is simply no explaining many LDS beliefs. Over the years, I have come to understand that my only answer is a “non answer.” I don’t know or understand everything, nor do I believe anymore that it is good policy to deny and make excuses for practices and beliefs that you and I know were taught and practiced by LDS Prophets and members.

    Helen

    Like

  101. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Good to hear from ya’ll Helen. Don’t get upset over my experiences
    with members of the LDS church. You have good and bad experiences
    with all groups of people. That’s what I like about humanity, the wide
    range of its diversity. It’s what makes the world go round. Unfortunately
    there are people, organizations and religions who can’t appreciate the
    fact that humanity is made up of all types of people and their culture and
    spiritual beliefs. Yet mankind is constantly working hard to make sure
    that everyone is a round peg in a round hole. UNLESS you’re a square
    peg. Then it’s square hole only asshole, and I’ll shoot your ass if you
    don’t flatten out your sides to comform. AND GOD HELP those who
    are triangle pegs cuz the round pegs and the square pegs will stop and
    band together to wipe you out, (All in GOD’S name of course).
    But Helen I’m a Humanist and I can only hope that some day all the pegs
    will finally learn that it doesn’t matter what shape ya’ll are. All the pegs
    are made out of the same wood.

    Helen you said,

    “With a heavy heart and much remorse, it finally occurred to us that
    we were a very integral part of the problem, not the cure”.

    All I can say Helen is take that heavy heart and remorse and carry
    them out to the curb and throw them in the dumpster. It’s what you
    do from here on that counts. The best advice I can offer is embrace
    humanity. Hug those you might have driven away and ask them to
    except you back. Take your round peg ass and talk to a triangle peg
    and see that just maybe you have more in common than you think.
    In your heart and soul you’ll know what is right and what is pure BS.

    Anyway Helen don’t beat yourself up spiritually. A persons true
    beliefs and spirituality comes from within and not what’s written in
    some dogma that’s been programmed into someones head since
    birth.

    Kelly

    Like

  102. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Todd I get the OOOPPS Memo from your living Prophet.
    As you said,

    “The core doctrine at play is a belief in living prophets who can correct, clarify, and reveal new doctrines as needs arise; in a line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept sort of way.”

    So in 1978 the “need arised” to end the ban on blacks having the
    Preisthood. God gave ya’ll an OOOPPS Memo saying never mind
    about what I said about blacks not holding the Preisthood. The
    OOOPPS Memo is now in print and official. The brothern can now
    move on and forget about what happened in the past or why.
    That’s fine with me Todd I get that. What I don’t get is I’ve never
    seen the OOOPPS Memo saying that the reason that blacks have
    dark skin, “The Mark aka the Curse”, has also been removed. I’ve
    looked and read the 1978 OOOPPS Memo and it only talks about
    the Preisthood ban. So brother Todd did I miss that memo or am
    I just being anti again?

    Kelly

    Like

  103. Todd says:

    Kelly,

    Produce the original memo instating the alleged curse, and we’ll go from there.

    Nobody has forgotten about what happened in the past or why. Why do you say that? What done is done. It’s water under the bridge. Get over it and move on.

    If clinging to that issue justifies your own stance, so be it. I’m at peace with it, and cherish the opportunity I have to live and work with many fine black LDS members here in Houston.

    Warmly,
    Todd

    Like

  104. Rick says:

    Todd, I think I understand now. Thanks for the civil response to me.

    Where you (and many in the church) are satisfied with “modern revelation” illuminating and clarifying the issues, I (and it seems many like me) view the contradictions as evidence that a prophet is (or was) not teliing us the truth. Like in a court of law, the “credibility of the witness” leads us to further questioning that has lead us to disbelieve many claims.

    That’s okay, it seems to work for you…and I wish you the best!

    ~Rick

    Like

  105. Carl says:

    These past few posts from our buddy Todd, identify precisely what the problem with Mormon theology is. THERE IS NO LDS THEOLOGY! Whatever the world perceives by observing more than a century of teachings, practice, books and talks by apostles, prophets etc. etc. apparently mean almost nothing. Justification for Mormons becomes a war of little petty words with absolutely no accountability. Nope – – None! Even lifetime members who are honest enough to admit what has been taught to them and by them for their entire lives, are embarrassed for taking part in these ridiculous beliefs. I personally have been in numerous missionary discussions over the years where I was taught that this world was a step in the process where men could become Gods.

    Another simple question for you Todd; Do you believe that you may become a God one day? God Todd. Has a nice ring to it.

    Or like GBH, do you have convenient memory loss with this concept. Doesn’t matter that it has been taught and preached since the inception of the church. The problem the church has is when it uses these concepts to enlist new members, and then changes. Bait and switch at it’s best.

    Making Mormon squirm and lie is entertaining, enlightening – but pathetic all at once.

    Carl

    Like

  106. Kelly says:

    Hi All,
    Brother Todd said:

    “Produce the original memo instating the alleged curse,
    and we’ll go from there.”

    OK Todd here’s the original memo. Genesis 4: 8-16. In the
    early beginning years of the LDS church there were many
    religions that thought the “Mark” placed upon Cain was dark
    skin. Which leads us to the 8th Article of Faith that states that
    “We believe the Bible to be the word of GOD as far as it’s
    translated correctly; we also believe the BOM to be the word
    of God.”

    The LDS church didn’t need any official LDS doctrine about the
    Curse of Cain being dark skin. Because they already had it in
    the Bible. We know this because the Prophets, the General
    Authorities and what has been taught in the LDS church up
    until 1978 was Blacks had dark skin because of the curse of
    Cain. So Genesis 4: 8-16 must have been “translated” correctly.
    We also know that the church’s beliefs in dark skin being a curse.
    Is re-enforced in the BOM with the Lamonites being cursed with
    dark skin. That seems to be your God’s favorite way of making
    people who have sinned stand out in the crowds.

    Kelly

    Like

  107. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    By the way brother Todd you still haven’t answered the
    very simple question I asked about what are LDS beliefs
    and doctrine about Adam and Eve.

    Kelly

    Like

  108. Todd says:

    Kelly,

    Where exactly in the Genesis “memo” does it state that black skin is a curse?

    It appears to me, as I’ve stated before, that for Cain, the “mark” God placed on him was to protect him. If the mark is dark skin, in that context at least, it doesn’t sound like a curse.

    But I could be wrong.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    For those who are interested, here’s a good historical read on the “Negro Doctrine” by Lester E. Bush, Jr. It originally appeared in Dialog in the Spring of 1973.

    Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview

    Like

  109. Carl says:

    Unreal,

    So, Todd – if the dark skin curse was really a blessing, why were recipients of this curse unable and considered unworthy to hold the prieshood? No bullshit here Todd.

    Like

  110. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    OK Todd I’m done. The reason that blacks have dark skin
    has nothing to do with the curse of Cain or what they did or
    didn’t do in the pre-existance. From the beginning of the
    LDS church until now. The Church Prophets, General Authorities,
    and members never ever said or taught that the dark skin of
    the black race was because of anything to do with Cain or their
    actions in the pre-existance. The LDS Church has no idea what
    the reason was for denying blacks the preisthood. Plus all this
    is just water under the bridge because the ban is over. So it just
    doesn’t matter anymore. So as far as I’m concerned this subject
    is done and no further comments are needed.

    Also Todd seeing how you refuse to answer even the most simple
    of questions like “What’s the LDS belief with Adam and Eve?” That’s
    a pretty non-anti question. Yes we believe in the story of Adam and Eve
    or No we don’t believe in the story of Adam and Eve. I can only come
    to the conclusion that you and the Elders of your church once again
    have no clue what your church does or doesn’t believe in, and this is
    just another anti-question, so let’s talk about all the warm-fuzzy stuff
    about the LDS church. Because our doctrines and beliefs come from
    our Father in Heaven through our living Prophet and are the TRUE
    words of God, unless the Prophet is dead, the church is going to lose
    money, or God for reasons only he knows and we’re not privy to
    changes his mind and says “OOOPPs never mind I didn’t mean it.”

    So now maybe we can all just exchange funeral tater recipes.

    Kelly

    Like

  111. Todd says:

    Kelly,

    Your unwillingness to deal with even the most basic cultural and historical facts on this topic is telling. Instead of having an intelligent conversation that might enlighten and bring understanding, you resort to inflammatory language and sarcasm.

    The doctrines, policies, and teachings of the prophets and apostles on this topic reflect the cultural, social, and political circumstances in which they lived. To presume that they were and are not susceptible to these forces is to egregiously over-simplify the world.

    The record is clear. Over the decades, several sincere attempts to understand the priesthood ban were made. Where did it come from? Is there scriptural justification? Did Joseph Smith institute the ban? Etc.

    There were clear issues with the ban, but as time passed without clear and direct guidance, there appears to have been a reluctance to change the status-quo. Attempts were made, including theories connecting mortal conditions with pre-mortal conditions (which are ultimately unprovable), to justify the doctrine in light of the perceived silence.

    Finally, some might say, the guidance came, the ban was lifted.

    I believe that you agree that lifting the ban was the right thing to do. In hindsight it’s amazing that it lasted as long as it did. I understand the unrelenting urge to look back and be critical, to Monday-morning quarterback. If that is where you want to focus your energy, so be it.

    Yes, our doctrines and beliefs come from our Father in Heaven through our living Prophet (and other inspired men and women). Does that mean that EVERY doctrine and belief comes through a face-to-face conversation with God to a prophet and is absolutely pure and perfect in every way? It does not. Nor does it mean that EVERY doctrine and belief in it’s current form is pure and perfect in every way.

    We believe in progressive enlightenment in a line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept sort of way.

    We cling to truth.

    Kindest Regards,
    Todd

    Like

  112. Natalie says:

    Todd, the craziness MUST stop. You present yourself as though you are so reasonable and sane, and the rest of us are all nutso, when what you are asking us to believe is absolutely BONKERS. You may speak calmly and patiently, as one speaks to a child, but I still ain’t following you to the spaceship and I’m not drinking the Koolaid buddy!

    None of it MAKES SENSE. You are not offering me reason. You are offering me cyanide Koolaid. It’s stupid.

    How do you DECIDE which doctrine is INSPIRED and which one isn’t? Whichever is POPULAR at the time?

    You aren’t clinging to the truth. You are clinging to a dying vine, buddy. THE TRUTH is none of it can be proven. If you want to believe it, you go boy. But please, don’t try to hand it to me and say “Here’s the truth. Because I said so.”

    You can’t back it up with reason, sense, and facts, then don’t hand it to me.

    End. of. Story.

    Like

  113. Natalie says:

    Oh, and you don’t get to say, “Well, when that doctrine came out….” Yeah, right. Either it IS true or it isn’t. You just keep digging yourself a bigger and bigger hole. The day the LDS Church finally owns up to the fact they are just going off “impressions” and that there is no “modern-day” revelation is the day things are going to get a WHOLE LOT EASIER for the entire Mormon community.

    That little nugget is what is keeping Mormons from being mainstream Christians. Come on, you KNOW you want to be there. The whole “I enjoy being a peculiar person” phase is OVER.

    Like

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