1.) If the church
is all it claims, then no sacrifice would be too great for
it; but if it is not what it claims, then NO sacrifice ought
to be made for it at all.
If you have come to conclude that the LDS Church is a fraud,
tell your children why. Stop deluding yourself, out of fear
and emotional dependence, into thinking that a church which
would rather see your child come
home dead from his mission, or see you go bankrupt partly
because of your tithes, offerings, and time wasted on the
thing while it spends billions on real estate and radio
stations, really is "the best thing out there",
and that you ought to just let them believe it "because
it's good for them".
your children hear good things taught at a Mormon church
service? Of course. Does that justify lying through omission
to your children because you've bought the cult scare tactics
about them turning into drug addicts if they don't swear
slavish obedience to some village magician's successor as
president of a fraudulent "one, true church"?
can hear "good things" pretty much anywhere (I
know this may be hard to believe for those born and raised
in the church in Utah...); and there is absolutely no reason
why good, true things need to be mixed up with nonsense
which may actually be very harmful.
it really so crazy to imagine that virtue is its own reward?
Yes, if you're an active apostate, like one of these "liberal-Mormon"
types who knows it's a fraud but just keeps wishing "the
church would get with it." One of the few straightforward
things Gordon B. Hinckley has summoned the courage to emit
in the past decade is this statement: "either
it is a fraud, or it is not". And if it is, it
ought to be treated as one.
day your child grows older constructing him or herself,
and learning how to make sense of the world, on a completely
fraudulent foundation, making all his/her most important
decisions based on comments no more divinely inspired than
those of Brian David Mitchell's, the more you set him or
her up for crushing disappointment. Why do this? The sooner
they find out, the easier it will be. So my opinion for
what it's worth is, we do our jobs as parents and prepare
our children for a happy, responsible life by ceasing to
ape Joseph Smith and Gordon B. Hinckley in letting them
think a lie is the truth, and the truth is a lie.
not saying we necessarily force our children to stop going
to primary. If we explain to our children why we believe
that Santa's not real, but they still want to send letters
to him, what are we going to do? But at least we will have
done your part. Doesn't that make sense?
completely sick of getting e-mails from people telling me
how they just can't level with their children about the
church because it will "upset them". Duh - of
course it will upset them. Is there nothing worse than being
upset for awhile? If your daughter's dating some guy you
find out is a convicted felon, do you keep quiet because
she'll be upset? Our children being upset is a lot better
than them wasting the only life they have, that I know of,
devoting themselves to a harmful cult run by men like the
duplicitous Gordon Hinckley, the silly egomaniac Thomas
Monson, and the odd, angry Boyd K. Packer, who would probably
rather see his own son dead, as Joseph Fielding Smith once
said about his own sons, than acknowledge he was a homosexual?
the sooner your children know, the easier it will be for
them to handle it. And would we keep it quiet if it meant
our children getting killed for the thing? The odds are
overwhelming that they never would have to die for Mormonism,
but that isn't because missionaries still aren't serving
in very dangerous places, and taking gross risks for it
out of an exaggerated sense of invincibility.
Gordon B. Hinckley did, and does, take that risk with the
members; and because neither he nor any church leader will
open the archives up for fear of "damaging" information
getting out (what should there be to fear?), I regard them
all as complicit in the murder or suffering of everyone
who has paid a price for this church. Everyone who has ever
stonewalled or obfuscated or outrightly lied for the thing
is complicit. The General Authorities all ought to be ashamed
of themselves, demanding that members vow to be honest with
their fellow men, when they don't even know the meaning
of the word, and would rather see people dead than be so.
The whole attitude is elitist, literally, to a potentially
lethal degree. And these are the humble (salaried) servants
of a man who supposedly gave his life for others, and who
said "the truth shall make you free", and "do
unto others as you would have them do unto you"? The
sick truth is that Mormon leadership and apologists, in
their allegiance to the organization over truth (however
personally amiable they might be as individuals), make a
mockery of the very man they claim as "the first Mormon".
What a sick, unfunny joke.
our children, with the best of intentions, in a cult-like
organization, teaching them that the way to please us and
win approval from their peers, was to get up in front of
200 people once a month, and LIE, by announcing that they
"knew" something which they didn't know. We taught
them to bear false witness, as did Elder Packer in his "Candle"
monstrosity, to be dishonest with their fellow men, and
that really sucks, and I say we ought to try to undo the
damage by leveling with them now. And once we do, then let
them make their own decisions.
More broadly, and lastly, I remain completely unable to
find any validity to the argument, first spun out by Plato
and carried on in our own time by a few Straussians, Stalinists,
Nazis, religious leaders, etc., that humans are so completely
stupid as to require being force-fed consciously crafted
lies to function healthily. But even if that were the case,
I should say that no man has the right to presume that another
requires lies; if lies really are necessary for life, then
each man ought to, and presumably would very naturally,
unconsciously create his own. And maybe we do anyway in
some ways, even in the most liberal of environments.
for us to consciously create a myth, or come to see a myth
for what it is, and then, out of some sense of our superiority,
some sense of our "right to rule because we get it",
impose it on sincere others whose only crime is to trust
us, is to take away their freedom, to bind them to us through
fraud, to perpetuate our own advantage over them, to make
war really upon our fellow man. It is to set them up for
bitter disappointment once they come to see, like us, the
myth for what it is. But this is rather like the attitude
I sense in certain church leaders (and hear anecdotal evidence
of). But it is just wrong.
by the way, for Boyd K. Packer, who calls himself an apostle
of Jesus Christ, to draw moral equivalence between not gratuitously
insulting overweight church office building ladies, and
withholding facts from people who are devoting their entire
lives to a church based on claims those facts might disprove,
really says a lot about how totally immoral Mormon (or other
such organizations') "morality" can get.
can't see why truth should need lies to sustain it, and
if someone can tell me why, I am happy to listen. Maybe
there is something about the whole Mormon theory of "'truth'
creation and management" that I'm missing.
4) A close
relative of mine told me some months ago that even if there
were no plates, God and Jesus didn't appear to Joseph, and
Peter, James and John didn't appear either to bequeath the
priesthood to him, that "the church would still be true".
Radio "personality" Van Hale continues to proclaim
that the church is true, despite acknowledging that the
Book of Mormon is not a translation of an ancient record,
which of course necessarily means that either he believes
that the angel Moroni was lying, or that there was no angel
Moroni and Joseph Smith was lying. Yet, "the church
is still true".
historian Davis Bitton delivers an essay in which he claims
that a testimony of the church doesn't depend on a testimony
of the history of the church, despite the fact that, given
that the foundational events of the church ALL HAPPENED
IN THE PAST, and thus exist under the category of "history",
this is a logical impossibility. He even advocates playing
mind games with yourself prior to reading church historical
documents so as not to have your faith damaged, e.g., imagining
the worst thing you could find out about Joseph before research
so that you are always pleasantly surprised.
Peterson acknowledges that the Old Testament is a "re-imagination"
of Israelite history by a later Israelite historian, despite
the O.T. being a canonized portion of LDS scripture, and
despite JS never proclaiming it as such though he produced
an "inspired" revision of it (although Joseph,
oddly considering his gargantuan sexual appetite, did take
the opportunity of declaring that the Song of Solomon wasn't
inspired scripture); but DCP will not acknowledge that another
canonized portion of LDS scripture, the Pearl of Great Price,
might likewise be a "re-imagination" of Abrahamic
history, or the BOM a "re-imagination" of American
history by a would-be American historian named Joseph Smith.
All the more peculiar is that the only reason DCP acknowledges
this about the OT is the voluminous evidence that it is,
in fact, a "reimagination" - but the voluminous
evidence weighing in favour of the BOM being a "re-imagination"
of American history by a later American historian, and also
in favour of the PGP being a "re-imagination",
have been rendered non-existent and therefore entirely untroubling
to him. (Talk about the fallacy of "special reasoning"...).
So, "the church is still true".
Oaks twists hiself into pretzels trying to create rationales
for believing mutually contradictory or flat-out bizarre
church claims, and even once went so far as to claim that
he would still believe if his superiors decided that the
BOM wasn't to be considered historical anymore. So for Dallin,
as for my relative, even if Joseph had lied about the BOM,
"the church would still be true".
amateur and professional church defenders post messages
on boards and send personal e-mails to guys like me which,
almost without exception, make no sense, or as little I
should say, as the rancourous ramblings of Nation of Islam
defenders, right wing populist conspiracy theorists, alien-made
crop circle believers, etc.
rank and file members all throughout the church, like me
for years, are creating the most absurd alternative realities
in their minds in order to keep on believing in something
which no one, not DCP nor Gordon Hinckley himself, can even
explain coherently in the end, and which quite apart from
external reality could never possibly be true given its
many internal inconsistencies...
question is: At what point should people - not just within
Mormonism, but in any group like it whose beliefs just,
in the end, cannot sustain contact with reality but in which
we are so emotionally invested we can't admit that to ourselves
and so declare war on our own minds - kind of be considered