Thought provoking….

Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits.
–Dan Barker, “Losing Faith in Faith”, 1992


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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72 Responses to Thought provoking….

  1. Natalie says:

    Just to stop the Mormon defenders in their tracks, DO NOT go after the author of this quote. Just address what he has to say. (Won’t it be funny to see how many JUST can’t help themselves and attack him personally?)


  2. Todd says:

    Faith isn’t a cop-out, it’s a necessary element in lots of human activity.

    Without faith, for example, we would all starve. Early civilizations didn’t understand the mechanisms behind germination, but they knew that seeds would sprout and grow if planted. So, with faith, they planted. We drive to the grocery store accepting the assertion that there will be produce on the shelves.

    Sick people use faith when they visit a doctor. We take prescribed medications based on faith, accepting the assertion of the doctor that the medication will work it’s intended function.

    Employees use faith when they show up for work, accepting the assertion that a paycheck will follow.

    We go to bed at night calming accepting the assertion that the sun will rise the following day.

    Natalie pays for dance lessons, accepting the assertion that it will be a fun and profitable experience for her and her daughter.

    Dan Barker is an idiot. 🙂

    Kindest Regards,


  3. Natalie says:

    Dearest Todd, maybe they waited in faith for the seeds to grow, but then GUESS WHAT? They grew. If they had watched unfertile ground for 20 years, just waiting, waiting, waiting, with never even a sprout, but a “promise” of what was to come, would you still be saying this? I think not. Dan Barker is not the one you would be calling an idiot.


  4. Todd says:

    So, you agree that faith is a necessary human trait?

    Is there a statute of limitations on faith-based results? Say, 20 years?

    I have faith that humans will reach Mars. Right now, I have nothing more than a “promise” or “hope” of what will come. It may take years, but I believe it will happen.

    You’re right, Dan Barker isn’t the only idiot.


  5. Todd says:


    Honestly, it’s trivial to show how humans use a faith-based approach in many, many, many aspects of everyday living. Faith, more than any other trait, drives human behavior. It’s so second nature, we don’t even realize it’s being used.

    Just because some things can’t be explained, doesn’t mean there isn’t an explanation. So, we proceed cautiously optimistic on faith until we figure it all out.

    Just my $0.02.

    Keep up the good work.

    Kindest Regards,


  6. Todd (Another one) says:

    OK, Todd’s comment here is just so bizarre to me. I have never gone to a grocery store with faith that food would be there, I go knowing that is what grocery stores do, they provide a service in exchange for my money. And I have been to grocery stores before that have an abundance of food everytime I go. We act on what we know, if I knew rioting or devastation had recently occurred in my area, would I lose my faith if when I went to the grocery store there was no food?

    If early civilizations didn’t understand the mechanics of growing and the need to provide sun, water, and nourishment, then they would have starved. Like the earlier comment, they did not have faith food would grow, they saw food growing and replicated the process, probably through a lot of trial and error.

    Optimism and faith does not drive behavior, knowledge and understanding of the world around us. Faith, I think you are using that word incorrectly to make an argument, but your argument is just bizarre.


  7. Rick says:

    Like Todd 2 said…

    Todd 1’s definition is not “faith” at all, it is experience and knowledge; the traits that TBMs are taught to not hang your hat on. Talk about cog-dis!

    I think another scripture is in order here — “Faith without works is dead.” Think about that from a Mormon perspective.



  8. Loki says:

    The Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it?


  9. Todd says:

    Without the belief that there are answers, and the faith to seek them; there wouldn’t be any experience, or knowledge and understanding of the world around us.

    You put your faith in the grocery store to have their shelves stocked, the grocers put their faith in the grocery suppliers to fill the shelves, the grocery suppliers put their faith in the farmers to grow the produce, and the farmers put their faith in the seeds they plant and the techniques and fertilizers they use.

    Faith is a major motivating principle in nearly all human activity. Like I said, it’s so second nature we take it for granted. It’s against our very nature to avoid using faith. We are creatures of faith.

    It’s comical to me that you believe that experience and knowledge is all there is. Experience and knowledge and understanding are the fruits of faith.

    Kindest Regards,


  10. Nando says:

    Todd, you are a prime example of a man with no valid argument. You resort to ad hominem attacks. It is disingenuous to see someone state that a person they disagree with is an idiot, and then immediately follow this with a smiley icon and “Kindest Regards.” Todd, this is immature.

    First, we go to grocery store based on experience and the knowledge that grocery stores are in the business of providing large quantities of produce and other items. If Store A is typically short on items we need (or want), we then might take our business to Store B. When natural disasters occur, you see people hit the stores and load up on the things they think (or know) they will need. We know that grocers are primarily concerned about profit (kind of like the LDS Church – just look at the church’s business investments and their focus on tithing) and not the general well-being of paying customers or the general public. (This is why grocery stores offer so many unhealthy food products, and do not give their items away, Todd.) Grocers have demands and requirements on their suppliers, who in turn have stringent requirements on the farmers. If there is a “weak link” in the process, that supplier or distributor will soon be replaced by someone who can meet the demands of the grocer.

    Second, reasonable people follow the advice of a doctor because they recognize that the doctor has the expertise, training and knowledge in the field of medicine. This is not faith. (You realize that medical doctors go to school for the express purpose of learning this one area, don’t you? In contrast, NONE of the supposed “Twelve” has formal training as clergy. Would YOU take medical advice from an auto mechanic?) While it is somewhat true that we take the doctor at his word (Honestly, the drug company reps maybe just lined his pocket in order to get him to endorse their product or brand of drug), the fact remains that the doctor is in a better position to diagnose or treat us than we are. And if we are taking a drug and it is having little or no effect, then we can tell the doctor that the drug is not working as designed. He will then look at alternatives.

    Third, employees go to work because otherwise they will be replaced, i.e. fired. They have no real choice. Most do not have the option of starting their own company. Workers also know that there are laws and avenues to collecting pay, i.e. small claims court, BBB, notifying the press or legislators, etc.

    Fourth, people go to bed with the knowledge that the sun will “rise” in the morning, because they earth has continuously spun on its axis and continued its rotational path around the sun every single day for untold ages.

    And lastly, someone initially takes dance lessons because they think it will benefit them or otherwise bring joy to them. Once the lessons have begun, that person is then in a good position to discern whether the lessons have been worth the investment in time, money and energy. At that point, the customer can decide whether to continue taking lessons.

    Todd, do have sufficient faith to run out in front of a moving car on the Interstate? You know beforehand that if you were hit, you would most likely be killed or paralyzed. This is not lacking faith – it is exercising sound judgment.


  11. Rick says:

    Yes, the LDS soundbites of “faith” are all poor definitions. I agree that it IS faith, in the true sense of the word, that sends us to grocery stores. We have faith because we have knowledge, experience, and trust (based on past experience) that we can buy what we need there.

    If I desire to jump off a cliff and fly…and simply try to increase my faith to do so, it won’t allow me to fly. That is the true “faith without works.”

    If you think you can develop your faith to jump off a cliff and live, with the knowledge that no human has ever done it Todd…more power to you!



  12. Natalie says:

    Excellent thoughts all, especially Nando. Not that Todd will listen. The only thing he hears is what he WANTS to hear. He must get dizzy a lot, listening to himself talk in circles…..


  13. Todd says:


    The “attack” on Dan Barker was a play on Natalie’s comment to “NOT go after the author of this quote,” because I just couldn’t help myself. Hence the smiley face. Apparently you only hear what you WANT to hear. Thanks for failing to see the humor. The irony of Natalie’s 2:46pm comment is not lost on me!

    Of course you go to the grocery store based on experience and knowledge about what grocery stores do. And, I’m sure you have a perfect knowledge about every intricate detail of the grocery business. Or, rather, do you simply have faith that the people who run these businesses have that perfect understanding, and that they’ll execute acceptably to avoid being the “weak link.”

    Let me answer that for you. They have the knowledge and experience, you simply have faith. Really, it’s a very simple concept.

    You have faith in your Doctor in the same fashion.

    You apparently have faith in your “professionally trained” clergy, in the same fashion.

    I have faith in my “unprofessionally” trained clergy, in a similar fashion.

    Workers have faith they’ll get paid, or they have faith in the laws and law enforcers that will assure they’ll get paid when they do work.

    People have faith that the earth will continue to spin on it’s axis ad infinitum. Otherwise there would be widespread panic.

    Really, Nando, faith is such a simple concept. You’re making this way too difficult.

    Kindest Regards,


  14. Todd says:


    Thanks for having the honesty to admit that these are all examples of faith, in the true sense of the word.

    Faith, which is based on belief, leads to wisdom, which is based on knowledge and experience. Wisdom would manifest the utter foolishness of jumping off a cliff, based on one’s knowledge of the laws of gravity and the human body’s ability to survive the impact.

    And, yet, there are those who routinely jump off cliffs and live to do it over and over again, for fun! Of course, they’re putting their faith in devices that can mitigate the effects of gravity and soften the landing.

    Faith isn’t doing stupid stuff. Faith is acting on a BELIEF that something is true.

    I believe that God answers prayer, therefore I pray. If I don’t pray, there are no “works” and, therefore, my faith is dead. It’s as simple as that.

    Best Regards,


  15. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Well in my opinion some of ya’ll and Brother Todd are missing
    the key point of the quote.

    ” then you are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits.
    –Dan Barker, “Losing Faith in Faith”, 1992″

    Grocery stores, the sun rising, planting seeds and gravity are not
    faith if they can be taken or stand on their own merits. All of these
    have been proven true through science and having a track record
    of working.

    Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, God placing a mark on a group of
    people by giving them dark skin, Heaven (levels 1,2or3), Hell
    pick your version or pick your religous fairy tale, can not be proven
    by science or by any proven method of a track record. All anyone
    who believes in these can go by is faith. Even though there is no,
    and in many cases have been proven false by science or total lack
    of a track record.

    That’s what Dan Barker’s quote says in a nutshell. Faith can’t be
    proven one way or the other. Faith is a personal belief that only a
    single person or group of people believe in that have no proof or
    track record to support their claims.



  16. Todd says:


    I understood it that way as well, which is why I made the point that,

    Just because some things can’t be explained, doesn’t mean there isn’t an explanation. So, we proceed cautiously optimistic on faith until we figure it all out.

    A major principle of faith is to gain knowledge and understanding, often through a trial and error process in a line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept sort of way.

    Faith is an essential human need.



  17. Mindy says:

    I wonder if faith could be compared to assume….and we all know what we get when we assume something…. we make and ass out of u and me….. har har…old analogy, but that’s what came to my head…
    I’m on the fence about the whole thing….


  18. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    “A major principle of faith is to gain knowledge and understanding,
    often through a trial and error process” I think you
    might want to look up the meaning of faith in a dictionary Todd.
    Instead of making up crap like that statement. You’ll see things
    like “firm belief in something for which there is no proof” or
    “without doubt or question”, “complete acceptance of a set
    of religious beliefs” , “firm in adherence”.

    You just keep proving how your church’s true and restored
    Gospel of Christ is only sorta true and kinda rock solid depending
    on what real truths come up by your little trial and error process.

    That’s not faith it’s a reaction and as was stated right from the
    the beginning a”cop-out.”



  19. Todd says:


    Faith is a belief that is not based on proof. (Ref)

    Just because something hasn’t been proven, doesn’t mean “there is no proof” or that it can’t be proven.

    You can’t tell me you’ve never been to the grocery store for a particular item only to find that the item isn’t in stock, or isn’t carried anymore. Your absolute knowledge that the item would be there was “proven” invalid.

    You can’t prove that the grocery store is stocked until you see the goods on the shelves. All you can do is have a rock solid belief, based on knowledge and experience.

    I’m not “proving” anything regarding my church. I’m acting on a firm belief that the church is the true and restored Gospel of Christ; trusting that I will continue to increase in knowledge and understanding in a line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept sort of way; as promised.

    I don’t have to have absolute knowledge that my grocer currently has in inventory or carries the item I want. They have delivered on my expectations enough to justify my faith in them, even to the point that I will usually shop with them first for items that I have never seen before and only hope will be there.

    Best Regards,


  20. Todd (Another one) says:

    Again I do not think Todd’s example of faith is valid. I won’t go into his specific example of not finding a particular item, as I have had that experience several times and I never stopped going back to the store because another specific item might or might not be there.

    But based on that, having grown up in the LDS church, served a full time mission, and even being married int he Temple, my faith was never validated. No matter how much I fasted, prayed, and lived all the precepts I had been taught, the church was never more than a cultural thing to me. No answers, no deep spiritual and meaningful experiences, it was just another religion asking for way more than it gave in return. I see that some people need the contact and feeling of validation and belonging that they get from church. There was always the underlying current of members feeling somewhat superior for having the “truth”, and regardless of the teachings, the subtle discrimination for anyone who was different…

    So while Todd has his faith and good for him, not everyone does or will feel the same thing for the LDS church and no amount of Todd’s kindest regards will get them to feel differently.


  21. Natalie says:


    Your “firm belief” is still just THAT. Belief. Without one iota of proof. And if you want to believe, that’s cool. That’s okay. But you can’t argue it like it has backup, because it DOES NOT. End of story.


  22. Todd says:


    I thought we were talking about it being a “cop-out” to accept assertions based on faith – that faith itself is a “cop-out.”

    As I’ve pointed out with my extremely simple, everyday examples; it’s trivial to show that humans routinely accept assertions based on faith, without one iota of proof.

    The time and effort required to prove an assertion is irrelevant.

    I accept the assertion that there is life elsewhere in the universe. I accept it based on my knowledge that there is life here, on earth; and my firm belief that life sustaining places, like earth, exist elsewhere. I have faith that one day we will find life elsewhere in the universe.

    An entire community of well-respected scientists accept that same assertion. My guess is that YOU accept that assertion. Where’s YOUR proof?

    Arguing that not having one iota of proof “proves” that there is no proof is a logical fallacy. Any idiot knows THAT!

    End of story.


  23. Rick says:

    Todd, you are really struggling to understand this. It’s not that hard. There IS proof that you will get a result by exerting “faith” in something. What you are calling faith, we are calling compelling evidence that a result will happen due to past experience.

    Step outside the Mormon box for a minute to understand. I know you can do it!



  24. Elaine says:

    My problem with the concept of “faith” is that it asks me to accept something just because someone told me it is true, and that further it (faith) is considered to be weak if I look for independent confirmation. Additionally, even if faith makes provision for confirmation, the only confirmation that is usually accepted is that warm, fuzzy feeling after prayer. You know, like praying to know that the Book of Mormon or “the church” is “true”.

    Those who most often ask people to have faith are preachers (and others trying to recruit converts *cough*missionaries*cough*) and con men. It might be a character flaw, but I don’t hold much truck with either group.

    Just to address a few of the examples discussed earlier: We take medication with the understanding that it has been tested and shown to work in alleviating or curing the disease or condition we are taking it for…not because we have “faith” that it works but because there is a body of evidence showing that it works is most cases and that the risks are outweighed by the benefits.

    Same thing in regards to the sun rising…there is a very, very long string of evidence that it will rise tomorrow morning just as it has every morning for the past 4.5 billion years or so. Although to be all technical about it, the earth rotates making it appear from our perspective that the sun is rising. And even if it didn’t rise tomorrow morning as scheduled, that would be because conditions had changed, not because not enough of us had the faith that it would do so.

    Employees show up for work with the knowledge that their paycheck has appeared on time in the past and knowing that there will likely be legal consequences for their employer if a paycheck is not forthcoming for the work they perform, not because the have a hope, unsupported by evidence (that would be that “faith” thing) that the paycheck will appear. If employees show up just in hopes that they will get paid for their work, they need to have their heads examined. I know I wouldn’t remain in the employ of any business that didn’t pay my wages reliably.

    And in closing…I don’t even know how to begin to approach the example of the early beginnings of agriculture which, in any case, came before “civilization” made much headway. There had to be surplus food to feed the specialists needed to build a civilization and keep it running before civilization could appear. It’s a cart/horse kind of thing. But, the whole topic is just too long and complicated to be dealt with in a blog comment. But I’m pretty sure that the beginnings of agriculture didn’t have much to do with faith.

    But, I don’t expect anyone to take my word for any of this. There is plenty of evidence out there for anyone willing to take the time and effort to locate and read it.




  25. Natalie says:

    Ugh. Todd, you must make yourself dizzy. You talk in more circles than anyone I have ever met. You just go on telling yourself that…..


  26. Todd says:

    Me dizzy? Not at all. After all, I’m not the one struggling to come up with a definition of faith that fits a false paradigm.

    But the irony of your personal attack is amusing, given your initial comment. I guess you just CAN’T help yourself.


  27. Natalie says:

    Personal attack? Because I said you are talking in circles? Dearheart, that is not a personal attack. And using big words doesn’t change the fact you do NOT have a valid argument.


  28. Todd says:


    All you’ve got is more personal attacks?

    That’s when you say something about the person, because you can’t refute the argument. If I am using circular logic, please cite an example so that it can be inspected. Otherwise, your accusation is nothing more than hollow, empty, small words that must be taken on faith. Which, of course, you believe is a “cop-out.”

    Take, Elaine’s comment, for example. A pretty good rebuttal overall. Only a few personal attacks, and some well thought-out arguments.

    And, if I’m using words that you don’t understand, please forgive. I’ve re-read my comment a few more times, and I’m at a loss. Is it the word “paradigm?”

    Your dearheart,


  29. Todd says:


    What I am calling faith, is a belief in something that is not based on proof. But, for me, it goes further in that faith requires action or “works” as we’ve discussed.

    I believe a medical doctor can prescribe a remedy based on their knowledge of the human body and medicine. He/she “knows” the stuff, I believe he/she “knows” the stuff. For them it’s wisdom based on knowledge, for me it’s faith based on belief.

    For those who are interested, James E. Talmage’s classic book “The Articles of Faith” really covers this topic well. See Lecture V.

    Best Regards,


  30. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    I find it interesting that brother Todd can’t or won’t answer a
    direct question about LDS doctrines and teachings. He always
    misdirects everything away from the topic. Even when I’ve asked
    the most simple of questions like does the LDS Church believe
    that Adam & Eve is a true event like some churches or just a
    fairytale like other churches. Todd refuses to answer it. Now
    when the topic is religious faith Todd only talks about grocery
    stores, dance lessons, gavity, life on other planets anything
    but religious faith and their doctrines and teachings.

    But the thing I find most interesting is why don’t any other LDS
    members agree and back up what Todd piles up as the truth.
    There’s been members saying Todd’s an embarresment and
    should shut up. There’s been members who have said Todd was
    wrong, but ya’ll never see anyone in his corner. I’ve never
    known LDS members not to take up the cause with another
    member of the church. I guess they see through his Bullshit
    also but unlike us they’re smart enough to not waste their time
    responding to Brother Toddite.



  31. Mike says:

    Mormons simply cannot help themselves. LDS doctrine (if it actually exists) eventually falls apart and demands that intelligent people either leave the church, or begin talking in circles like Todd here.

    I go back to the reason that it is so maddening. Like Natalie posted; there is NO accountability. Most know what Mormon theology is pertaining to dark skin, polygamy, wars in heaven, Satan, Adam and Eve, etc.. We just have a problem when stupid people try to explain it using some twisted logic and ridiculous definitions of faith. Todd takes it further by lying about it. And the worst part about it is that in his mind – somehow he believes that he is doing his faith a service by continuing his little writing quest. Sometimes, even hitting a stupid person between the eyes with truth, makes no difference to them. They are truly blinded by their own light.

    Todd’s little writings expose who he is; little empty smiley faces (the same empty ones I used to see in church), false flattering little sayings (kindest regards), insignificant little cute observations (black skin is actually a blessing so that they wouldn’t be killed). All this is starting to make a little stomach bile come up in the back of my throat.

    I’ll come right out and say what almost everyone here feels. Todd is an absolute idiot! The only value he offers is the chance for everyone to get a true glimpse of Mormonism.
    It’s not pretty.


  32. Rick says:


    What I am calling faith, is a belief in something that is not based on proof. But, for me, it goes further in that faith requires action or “works” as we’ve discussed.

    I believe a medical doctor can prescribe a remedy based on their knowledge of the human body and medicine. He/she “knows” the stuff, I believe he/she “knows” the stuff. For them it’s wisdom based on knowledge, for me it’s faith based on belief.”

    Come on Todd…you’re smarter than this! ALL of what you have said in each of your posts represent PROOF to you, based on your past experience of that person, or persons. IOW, yes, you trust the Dr because your experience, individual and collective, indicates to you that what he/she prescribes is going to work.

    Now, if YOU have faith that the sun will NOT rise tomorrow, that is (what you define) as “faith.” And if you believe that you can “will,” through your “faith,” the sun to stay down tomorrow, I have a bridge to sell you.



  33. Mike says:


    Todd has already been sold the most expensive bridge in life, a false little bridge without foundation. Now, he is busily (desperately) trying to build foundations on moving sand.

    Not a pretty sight watching him squirm. Entertaining, but in a pathetic – almost hopeless way.


  34. Todd says:


    Past experience is proof? Really?

    So, since the store had the item the last time, that’s proof that it will have it this time?

    Since the doctor prescribed correctly the last time, that’s proof that he’ll prescribe correctly this time?

    That logic is comically ridiculous and trivial to disprove! I thought YOU were smarter than that!

    Indications based on experience enhance belief and trust, and hence faith; but they are not proof.

    Go on, Rick, admit it. You’ve been to the store only to find the item you were looking for was out of stock. You can do it. It’s okay. It won’t mean that you’re pro-Mormon to admit that I’m right.

    In order to have faith that that sun wouldn’t rise tomorrow, I’d have to first believe it. Now if the sun didn’t rise tomorrow, I might begin to believe that it wouldn’t rise the next day either. And, presuming this goes on for several days, my faith would grow and I would start to behave accordingly. As would yours.

    In order to will the sun to stay down tomorrow, I’d first have to believe I had unrestricted access to that kind of power. Maybe someday! 🙂



  35. Todd says:


    My bridge is so firmly anchored in truth that I can barely feel you yapping.

    I just can’t help laughing at the irony of Natalie’s first comment.



  36. Rick says:

    Okaayyyy, I guess Todd lives on another planet. Is it called Kolob? Yeah, that’s it! I think he grew his faith, and beamed himself to Kolob. Well, at least he’s in good company there, right?

    Maybe they only think MormonThink there so he can be understood….



  37. Mike says:

    Todd is stupid.

    He pisses people off. His logic doesn’t make any sense. His excuses and tired examples are tiring at best.

    It has been said here before. GO AWAY TODD!!! You are a real dumb-ass. People have been too polite to you – and apparently this encourages you. No longer. Shut the hell up!!



  38. Todd says:


    Is someone forcing you to come here?

    The epitome of illogical is continuing to participate in something that affects you so negatively (which may be why you have such a difficult time with the logical).

    Maybe you should bring up something less tiring and fresh like: dark skin, polygamy, wars in heaven, Satan, Adam and Eve, etc. Oh, wait, you already did!



  39. Mike says:

    Todd, somehow you believe that this is a game. Through your greetings, writings and signature “kindest regards” or “love”, smiley icons etc. it is apparent that you might consider these posts as a playground for entertainment. They aren’t. There are good, thoughtful people on this site who have demonstrated kindness and fairness to you. The interchange of ideas has grown stale.

    What at first I believed to be an important part of learning truly has become burdensome to witness. You aren’t doing your church a service here. What should be quite obvious to you simply escapes your mind. Even LDS folks who occasionally post comments here have all sounded a united voice; “please just shut up Todd”

    Go play in your own little playground. Perhaps Rick is right. You are on Kolob.



  40. Todd says:


    Just to be clear…

    I’m not intimidated nor dissuaded by your little tirades.

    I really don’t care what LDS or non-LDS people think. I’m here as a person who happens to be LDS and, therefore, has views that represent LDS thought. LDS people who disagree with my views are welcome to tell me to “shut up” and / or to clarify LDS thought from their own perspective.

    I recognize and accept that my views are not the same as many who comment here. I expect there to be criticism, both of me and my views.

    You apparently can’t deal with the arguments I present, so you resort to personal attacks.

    For example, you state that my definition of faith is ridiculous. Have you even consulted a dictionary? Here, let me help you out. Click Here



  41. Mike says:


    I certainly don’t need you to clear up any definition of faith for me. Your examples of faith, and the responses from everyone here (including LDS members) show quite clearly that your views are not just different – they are stupid.

    People do not talk clearly enough when they are trying to be politically correct. Let me spell it out for you; you are a dumb-ass. The only place and situation where you are able to express your bullshit is through the Internet where you can post stupid little sayings, little smiley icons, call people names and then stand there and scream like a little kid, “I’m not intimidated.” Nobody here has threatened you or expected you to be intimidated you little child. Grow up. We expect honesty and maturity of which we get very little.

    The reason for emotion here, is that we see the damage and stupidity that you foster, and we have all felt the significant injury from self righteous, arrogant, ignorant belief systems where somehow “GOD” has designated his “TRUTH” to a very limited group of misfit, antisocial, losers who desperately strive to be somehow special, or “God’s chosen”. And to add insult to injury, these morons then attempt to explain their beliefs as if there is some logic behind it. We don’t want to take the bull shit any more, and you represent all the bad aspects of stupid people trying to appear smart. It that were the worst of it, it might not be so pathetic; but, you add God into the mix, somehow believing that this wonderful perfect being has bestowed upon you the truths of his universe so that you can share it with everyone else. Grow the hell up!



  42. Carl says:


    Almost what everyone wants to say to Todd, but has restrained due in part to social and ethical norms.

    Not that I don’t value you as a human Todd, but I’m going to refuse to communicate further with you as I view it as a waste of time. I’ll post from time to time as I see necessary, but Todd has lost not only my interest, buy my respect.

    I encourage him to continue writing, both on his little web post group and here. Mormons need to be exposed. Even with all this input and effort, we still get little smiley faces, lies and deception.

    Bye Todd


  43. Todd says:


    I know you don’t NEED me to clear up the definition of faith for you. I did it as a service. When MY definition of faith is the socially and culturally established definition that is found in the dictionary, it’s not ME that appears stupid.

    Your tiff about name calling, maturity, and being self-righteous is supremely comical, because that is you! Case closed. You can’t address the facts, so you resort to your self-righteous comfort zone of yelling, screaming, and name calling.

    Take your own advice, and grow up. Your mother may succumb to your little tantrums, but they’re not having an impact here. 🙂

    Kindest Regards With All My Love,

    XOXOXOXOXO 🙂 🙂 🙂


  44. K*tty says:

    As Todd is, I once was. As I am now, Todd may become. It is silly to berate Todd when his need to believe is so strong. Been there done that. If the “paradigm” of Mormonism does not bother Todd, then I am okay with that. But I am bothered enough not to believe nor participate any longer in the church of lies and big business. I think Todd adds a lot to the discussions and I find him delightful as a person. How sad the world would be if we all thought the same way. As for me and myself, I am not sure who I am serving, but it certainly is not the Mormon church.

    Love ya Todd. You are a hoot!!


  45. Todd says:

    Love ya back, K*tty!


  46. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    So getting back to the original topic about RELIGIOUS FAITH.
    Is it faith when ultra conservative reactionary religions who
    believe in Adam & Eve, Noah’s Ark, Blacks have dark skin because
    God placed a mark upon them, large cities in north america at
    the time of Christ’s death, man was on earth the same time as
    dinosaurs, ect. ect ect. Science has proven all these wrong. So
    if someone or some religion firmly believes these. Is it faith or just
    eyes closed and your head up your ass. There is no proof that there
    is a God. Just as there’s no proof that there is no God. So is faith
    a belief in something based strictly on something that can’t be proved
    or disproved. Like Dan Barker said “something that can’t be taken on
    it’s own merits” Or when people and their religious teachings and
    doctrines are proven wrong and they still believe their dogma, does
    that count as faith also?

    I personally think that believing in a higher being, God, entity or whatever
    your term, is faith and not a cop-out. Where as a belief in a higher power
    that teaches hatred toward groups of people, belief in fairytales and
    imposing the will of a few over that of many, whether they believe in your
    beliefs or not, isn’t faith. Referring to it as a cop-out also doesn’t fit.
    Because it’s way worse and harmfull to all of humanity.



  47. Todd says:


    If I read your post correctly, you suggest that since certain religious beliefs have been “proven” incorrect — and I’ll accept that premise for the sake of argument — that faith is the only thing that keeps the incorrect belief alive.

    And, to extend that logic back to the original premise; in the face of proof, relying on faith to keep a false belief alive is a “cop-out,” since the merits of the proof should be sufficient rationale to accept the truth and move on.

    If that is what you’re arguing and my logical extension is valid, then here are a few thoughts:

    This whole notion of faith is at the heart of line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept.

    Continuing to believe something that has truly been proven false is irrational. I agree with the original premise that citing faith for these beliefs is a “cop-out.” However, from my LDS perspective, faith isn’t considered a justification to believe false notions.

    Rather, the purpose of faith is to gain knowledge and understanding in something that might be true, but can’t necessarily be proven by currently available scientific methods. By exercising faith, knowledge increases. As evidence arrives validating a belief, knowledge increases; similarly when evidence arrives invalidating a belief, knowledge increases. This whole process really is classic scientific method. Form an opinion or belief and then test it.

    I am of the opinion that this form of faith is second nature.

    My belief in the essential doctrines and dogma of the LDS church have been validated over and over again in sometimes remarkable and curious ways, so I press onward. When I believe I’ve encounter a more perfect system, I’ll have to deal with it in the same fashion I’ve come to trust, that of faith.

    Kindest Regards,


  48. Bree says:

    Todd, you write, “My belief in the essential doctrines and dogma of the LDS church have been validated over and over again in sometimes remarkable and curious ways, so I press onward”.

    I am eager for some examples! Do your jesus jammies save you from accidents? Are you better off financially, when you pay your tithing? If so, I call these “examples”, proof of the brainwashing expertise of the mormon cult!


  49. Todd says:


    Further proof of the brainwashing expertise of the mormon cult is that I don’t even expect those “blessings.” I’m not in it to be safe from accidents or to be better off financially.

    My validations generally fall into two categories: practical, tangible evidence like the coming forth of the Book of Mormon; and the deeply personal, spiritual manifestations that have accompanied fervent searching.

    Thanks for asking!



  50. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Brother Todd said,

    “If I read your post correctly, you suggest that since certain religious beliefs have been “proven” incorrect — and I’ll accept that premise for the sake of argument — that faith is the only thing that keeps the incorrect belief alive.”

    No Todd that’s not what I said, this is what I said,

    “Where as a belief in a higher power that teaches hatred toward
    groups of people, belief in fairytales and imposing the will of a few
    over that of many, whether they believe in your beliefs or not,
    isn’t faith.”

    Faith doesn’t sustain a religions false doctrines and teachings.
    It’s people who blindly except it knowing that the doctrines are
    wrong and causing harm to not only church members but others
    who are not members.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s looked at from a line-upon-line, precept-
    upon-precept perspective. Sustaining religious beliefs that are
    known to be wrong isn’t faith it’s just wrong and evil.



  51. Todd says:


    Then we’re in complete agreement. Belief in false precepts isn’t faith.



  52. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Well speaking of false teachings and what has to be one
    of most disgusting and pure bullshit statements to come
    from the LDS hierarchy. On Monday Oct.12th Elder Dallin
    H Oaks gave a speach on the aftermath of Prop H8 and
    what the LDS church has been through. He compared the
    treatment of Mormons in the election’s aftermath to that of
    blacks in the civil rights era. He said that gays by showing
    their contempt for the LDS church’s role in getting Prop. H8
    passed, “were putting themselves in the same category as
    people we deplore from that by gone era.” ” THE PEOPLE
    WE DEPLORE” You mean people who treated blacks as
    second class citizens, denied the Priesthood to them because
    of the color of their skin. Or how about statements from the
    LDS Churchs general authority in the late 1960’s saying that
    Martin Lurther King Jr. was a communist trying to over throw
    the government. You mean THOSE people Brother Oaks.
    The LDS Church during that time was the most racist and
    bigotted religion in this country. What a hypocrite.

    OOOHHH but wait. I forgot. Because the LDS Church is always
    looking at their doctrines and teachings on a line-by-line,
    precept-by-precept sorta way. That doesn’t matter anymore,
    and you poor bastards are going through just what the blacks
    did for the last four hundred years or so.

    Right on Brother Oaks. Lift your right hand up with your black
    leather glove on and yell “Power to people by black brothers
    WE feel your pain.



  53. Todd says:


    Where did Elder Oaks speak? I can’t find any talk on 10/12.

    The transcript of his 10/13 talk at BYU-I on religious freedom doesn’t contain the quote you cite.



  54. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    It’s sorta hard to figure out from the article in the Standard
    Examiner. There was definately a press release on Mon.
    the 12th. but it looks like the speach was given the next
    day on Tues. the 13th. The article in the Standard was on
    Weds. the 14th.



  55. Rick says:

    The talk was at BYU Idaho. The backlash is all over the news and blogosphere. Keith Oberman called Oaks one of his “worst people of the day.” (you can watch his comments on Emily’s blog: )

    I like how he suggests that Oaks refresh his memory about his church’s history wrt marriage…today fighting for “one man, one woman,” when in the not too distant past, they felt it necessary to fight against society norms and have “one man, many women.”

    Maybe that’s where our frustration with Todd lies. Seems there is a pattern to forget the past. Maybe the concept of modern revelation injects some hormone in the Mormon brain to forget blatant contradictions of previous doctrines?

    The problem is Todd, those “prophets” claimed to be speaking for God then too! Oh nevermind Todd, that “line upon line” concept makes it okay for God to keep changing his mind, right? Oh yeah, it’s all about testing your faith!

    Keep at it!



  56. Todd says:

    Oberman is famously a far left-wing wack job that has deservedly driven MSNBC’s ratings into the toilet. I like how he erroneously refers to the “Church of Latter-Day Saints.” He’s either afraid to say the words “Jesus Christ” or he’s a complete moron. I think both.

    While urging Elder Oaks to refresh his memory about the church’s history wrt to marriage, he fails to recall that the polygamy debate was about, among other things, religious freedom, the theme of Elder Oaks’ talk. So, by attacking Elder Oaks, Oberman puts himself and MSNBC firmly in opposition to religious freedom and, even worse, freedom of expression; bedrock philosophies of our republic.

    I love how the SSM debate has highlighted the blatant contradictions in the doctrines of a society that knows no God. Where were all of the civil rights proponents 120 years ago when the church was under attack for polygamy, or 175 years ago in Missouri? The past is not forgotten.

    Elder Oaks was spot on, as usual. My faith in these inspired men is growing.

    Keeping at it!


  57. Rick says:

    Classic TBM deflection, but we’ve come to expect nothing less from Todd. Yes, he’s “keeping at it”…deny that these wacko leaders are putting their feetsies in their mouths almost weekly now — and are suffering in the PR polls because of them.

    There must have been a “don’t use the brain” virus in the BYU President’s office; between Oaks and Holland spouting claims they seem to know nothing about (gotta love the Holland “there has never been a valid challenge to the BoM” comment — are they restricted from reading anything scientific up there at the Mormon HQ’s?!)

    I heard the recent Criddle report updated last week with the historical timeline of the BoM writing. Very compelling! Listen to his talk if you want to know where the BoM really came from:

    (it helps to have his handout material to follow his timeline, but you can get the jist…)

    Enjoy, Todd! (or not…)



  58. Natalie says:


    1. You never address a claim as it is presented to you. EVER.
    2. You do not ever have a valid point.
    3. You use deflection as a tool.
    4. I am not attacking you personally, nor have I ever attacked you personally.
    5. I’m sure you are a really nice guy, but you are digging yourself a very, very deep hole here. You are not coming at ANYONE with a valid viewpoint.
    6. I know you are a smart guy desperately trying to cling to a belief we were handed as children. Clingon. Heh. That’s okay. REALLY it is okay. But stop trying to defend it. It is not working.
    7. I don’t care if you really walk away every day with this “what if” thought in your head that keeps you tied to Mormonism. It’s okay. You can be Mormon. No one at your Church building will argue with you like the Trappees. It’s how thousands of Mormons deal with all those burning questions. They just surround themselves with true believers. Then they don’t feel stupid or put upon.
    8. Take the chip off your shoulder. I have never attacked you. I think you are probably a cool, smart dude in person. I UNDERSTAND why you are trying to rationalize all this. It just isn’t working.

    LOVE, Natalie. 🙂 🙂 🙂


  59. Todd says:


    1. Sorry, I’ll try to be better.
    2. Sorry, I’ll try to be better.
    3. Sorry, I’ll try to be better.
    4. Okay. Thanks.
    5. Sorry, I’ll try to be better.
    6. Sorry, I’ll try to be better.
    7. Okay. Thanks.
    8. Okay. Thanks.

    Love you back,


  60. Susan says:

    Hey everyone, enjoyed reading this. Had to speak up for Todd, he’s the only one presenting a clear argument while everyone else is resorting to name-calling and anger. Why take him so personally?

    I think it comes down to intolerance, hatred, and prejudice against the LDS religion and its people, and not Todd personally.


  61. Natalie says:

    LOL. Susan, Todd is NOT presenting a clear argument. Where did you find that? Please, give me an example. I promise to consider it thoughtfully.

    And I agree that some personal attacks are being made, and frankly, I don’t like it. (Carl, this means you. Play nice or be moderated. I don’t want this to be a place of personal attack.)

    There is no hatred of Mormons, or prejudice against them. That is a notion that Mormons spread whenever the Church hierarchy does something stupid and the members have to stand there with a smile on their faces and pretend they agree. Because THAT, friends, is what good Mormons do.

    This is not about Todd personally. It never will be. I went to high school with Todd, and I will validate that he is a very nice guy, although we have not seen each other in many, many moons.

    That doesn’t mean I agree with his viewpoint, nor does he agree with mine. And that’s okay.

    But you, Susan, need to jump in here with a little less broad defense. Give me specifics. What valid argument did he present? What is it you agree with?


  62. Susan says:

    I think that Todd’s point that faith is an everyday necessity is true. Call it what you will–trust, belief, confidence–but it is part of all of our lives. The more faith evident in a person’s life, the better off that person is. You will find that faithful people are happier, more successful, and more stable than those who live in fear, doubt, and uncertainty.

    This doesn’t have to be religious. Your daughter feels your faith in her when you allow her to become more and more independent. As she proves to be trustworthy, your faith in her grows. Having faith in someone is one of the most important aspects of a loving relationship.

    Having faith in yourself means that you believe you are able to accomplish great things. You have faith in your abilities and your potential.

    Faith drives our relationships with ourselves and others.

    Faith in God and in religion is just one more type of relationship. If you allow faith to grow in a religion, and it proves itself worthy and true, your faith will grow more. It may even become knowledge.

    Todd’s claim is that he had faith and it has been validated over time. In other words, he has found religion to stand on its own merits, according to your quote. No one can take that personal experience away from him. That is his personal experience with that religion.


  63. alice says:

    Faith or trust or confidence is like everything else — it is useful in appropriate amounts and applications and is only as good as what it is vested in. Anyone who has faith in something that is not transparent and verifiable sets themselves up to be prey for the ruthless. A good example of that is the deregulation that St. Ronnie Reagan preached that left us vulnerable to a business community that operated without restraint and collapsed on itself leaving us all breathless.

    Likewise, there are numerous Catholic families that were stunned to find that their children had been violated by the priests who preached chastity to them and in whom they had unquestioning faith and trust.

    Bernie Maddoff was able to bilk so many — including his own family and sophisticated charitable foundations — because they had faith in the ponzi scheme results he touted and trust in him personally.

    Black Mormons who had faith that the LDS would eventually confer the priesthood on them would still be waiting if their non-Mormon brothers hadn’t worked and suffered and pushed for equal rights in the larger society.

    Anyone who believes that Joseph Smith translated “reformed Egyptian” or looked into a hat and came up with the Book of Mormon because he said so, is asking to be duped.


  64. Kelly says:

    Hi All,

    Brother Todd has said a whole mouthfull of stuff with this
    bunch of LDS dogma regurgitation.

    (“I love how the SSM debate has highlighted the blatant contradictions in the doctrines of a society that knows no God. Where were all of the civil rights proponents 120 years ago when the church was under attack for polygamy, or 175 years ago in Missouri? The past is not forgotten.”)

    First let’s look at this lovely christian statement,

    (“I love how the SSM debate has highlighted the blatant contradictions in the doctrines of a society that knows no God.”)

    A couple of people who are doing no harm to anybody. Just paying
    their taxes, going on with their lives while being discriminated against,
    and going on with life being tormented by people who claim that their
    hatred for a group a people is OK because their God says so. To claim
    that these people know no God is about as anti-God as anyone or
    religion can get. Plus whose God does Brother Todd refer to? My
    God who I think I have every right to believe in doesn’t refer to gays
    as Godless. My God welcomes all into his church and firmly believes
    in “Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.” But then My God
    doesn’t turn a person’s skin black to place a mark upon him. My God
    excepts all unto his alter without reservations. But that’s my God and
    I know the only true God lives on Kolob. So my God, my faith, my trust
    doesn’t count.

    This is line that really is LDS dogma and teaching at their best,

    (Where were all of the civil rights proponents 120 years ago when the church was under attack for polygamy, or 175 years ago in Missouri?)

    Well Todd the civil rights proponnents were applying the same set of
    standards then as they are doing now with the only true followers with
    the FAITH to stick to the Prophet Joseph Smith’s doctrines and
    teachings. That brother Todd is the FLDS. Scumbags all of them, but
    the only ones following the true and restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
    The civil rights proponnents still think that having sex with 14 year
    olds is wrong, marrying women who are already married is wrong and
    discriminating against groups of people because of their race, sex or
    religion is wrong.

    And finally,

    (The past is not forgotten.”)

    Brother Todd what happened to all the line-by-line, precept-by
    precept BS that lets you put things that were not right and a test
    for the brethern and their faith, and allows you to put it all in the past
    and move on with a stronger faith. IF THE PAST IS NOT FORGOTTEN.



  65. Kelly says:

    Hi All and Susan,

    Well Susan made this statement,

    (Todd’s claim is that he had faith and it has been validated over time. In other words, he has found religion to stand on its own merits, according to your quote. No one can take that personal experience away from him. That is his personal experience with that religion)

    Susan I couldn’t agree with you more except for one small thing.
    If the LDS Church, Todd and the rest of the members only said this
    is what our doctrines and teachings are and left it at that. There wouldn’t
    be any problems. But they go out two by two uninvited to non-members
    homes and tell them their faith is wrong and only theirs is right. It’s
    OK to send millions of dollars and volunteers to overthow a states
    election by outside people. Discrimination against a group of people
    because their skin is darker, or they just don’t except LDS dogma is OK.
    They have been given the true and restore Gospel of Christ, EXCEPT
    when God says OOOOPPs never mind that doesn’t count.

    The old saying about people who live in glass houses applies, except
    when people start to throw rocks back. Then it’s your anti-Mormon,
    we’re being discriminated against, yada, yada, yada. Faith can be
    a good thing. Except when you export yours and impose it on
    the faith of others.



  66. Rick says:

    Susan said:

    “I think that Todd’s point that faith is an everyday necessity is true. Call it what you will–trust, belief, confidence–but it is part of all of our lives. The more faith evident in a person’s life, the better off that person is. You will find that faithful people are happier, more successful, and more stable than those who live in fear, doubt, and uncertainty.”

    In a sense, she is absolutely right! “Faith” IS necessary. Faith that I can accomplish goals, be productive at work, be able to see and interact with my family…and do it again the next day. THAT is faith.

    And I agree that the more “faith” one has, the happier they are. Those that lose faith tend to be depressed, discouraged, and victims.

    But this has nothing to do with religion. In fact, some of the most unhappy people I know are those that are religious, have expectations that “God” will bless them for certain acts they did, then it doesn’t happen, and they are told they didn’t have enough faith! Or they didn’t “do” it well enough.

    I also agree that those that live in fear, doubt, and uncertainty are less happy. Fear often comes from a lack of love (that’s new thought spirituality), and is often attached to a fear of “God.” Doubt comes when something once believed plays out to be false. Doubt follows, then often leads to deep soul-searching and study. I have very little doubt today…I’m quite certain that my spiritual path is very true for me.

    We live in a time of transition. Dogmatic religions are failing. Many studies indicate that more people every day are leaving religions in lieu of personal spiritual paths…leaving the homogenizing, controlling religions in the dust.

    It only makes sense. The more access we have to real history, real science, and education in general…the more we begin to live authentic lives.



  67. Kirk says:

    Bottom line; TRUTH. Truth is independent of our faith. Although I believe that certain faith and belief systems can definitely alter human actions, and even positively affect our attitudes and emotions, these faith-based systems cannot be defended as truth – regardless of our devotion and life-long feelings for these systems. I believe that we all understand this basic concept. Unfortunately the one thing that we all seem to have trouble admitting is how easily each individual can be programmed. Very powerful forces and emotions, far beyond our capability to understand completely, are working on everyone relentlessly twenty-four hour a day.

    Here is the problem as I see it; the problem begins when we accept that God is the origin for our thoughts and feelings. I’m not saying that he is or isn’t. He could be. He might not be. We must be respectful of each individual’s journey towards the final goal of bliss. Remember, your bliss is not necessarily mine. For example; whenever I see the LDS bumper sticker that says, “Families are Forever”, I view it as more of a threat than a promise. If you knew my in-laws, you’d understand.

    I have no right to tell you that my truth is more important than your truth. As long as you don’t try to push your truth on me as the “only” and “complete” truth that will get me into heaven, I’ll leave you alone too. The problem is, Mormons (and many others) can’t seem to let it go at that. They push. They proselyte. They spew guilt, fear, heaven, hell, Satan, wars in heaven etc. as if they know more than anyone else. They don’t. I spent more than 40 years in the organization and have a really good handle on the whole system. I’m not that gullible, naïve or stupid anymore. I’m too old and have seen too much to buy into the “God gave his truth to one man” theory. Many religions espouse this concept. They even hold onto the Old Testament belief that God speaks mainly to his appointed prophets and expects others to believe them, even when they are wrong. I haven’t heard one argument from LDS folks (or almost any religious argument) that makes any sense at all. Yet, these folks continue to argue, defend and present ideas and faith-based arguments as if we might understand. Well, we don’t.


  68. Carl says:

    Rare honesty from a “LDS” publication.

    “During the decade of the 1990s, many rapidly-growing churches, including the Adventists, Southern Baptists, Assemblies of God, and numerous Pentecostal groups, reported accelerating growth trends, while The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints experienced persistent trends of decelerating growth. The LDS Church is one of the few Christian groups with a large missionary program to experience declining growth rates in spite of widening opportunities”.


  69. Carl says:

    “The Mormon Church does not offer a religon; it can not even describe Mormon Doctrine; the last time they tried, in a book written by an Apostle, everyone was horrified at the truth behind the mask.

    At its best, the Mormon Church offers one thing – a structure within which Mormonism’s sense of community can flourish.”


  70. John fraser says:

    Go to exmobb and click on jan 2009 artical by australian downunder
    hell beond description… that is my experience off the church…



  71. John fraser says: click on exmobb… scan to jan 2009 my artical
    hell beond description……..(the mormon church experience) John Fraser


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