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Mormons: Don't Buy Into The Myth That Raising Kids In The Church Will Benefit Them - It Won't
Thursday, Jul 31, 2014, at 08:02 AM
Original Author(s): Dave Gamble
Topic: CHILDREN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 2   -Link To MC Article-
Generally Mormons are decent, honest, respectful, and don't have a culture that involves either alcohol or drugs, and so because of this some might argue that even if the actual beliefs are not true, being part of the culture can be beneficial.

"Raise your kids Mormon, because they nurture things such as public speaking, athletics, music, crafts, and other skills", is the thinking.

Actually, this belief prevails for many beliefs, I'm simply picking one so that I can talk a bit more specifically and critically about the myth that you need to raise your kids in a religious context for them to be truly good. You will find a similar belief prevails within many cultural contexts, it is all part of the con trick that belief has evolved with so that it can successfully propagate itself to the next generation.

While I am focusing on the Mormons, a similar criticism applies to all beliefs. If you opt to raise your kids as Mormons, then the observation that they will focus upon some truly good and noble attributes is indeed true, but it is only half the story, there is a dark side to it all as well.

The problem with such thinking is that there are other things included in the package that introduces real harm, here are some examples:
  • No Critical Thinking - The Kids are taught to obey and not to question, thinking and self-reliance is very much frowned upon. If they are presented with something they think is incorrect or simply don't understand, then they are expected to pray, study their scriptures, and seek guidance from the Bishop until they fall in line, get their mind right and conform. Those in charge cannot be wrong, so if the kids have doubts about something they are being told, then it must be them and their lack of faith. Instead of being encouraged to think things through for themselves in a rational manner, it nurtures a culture of dependence, one in which the kids permit others to do their thinking for them - this is a road that leads to disaster.
  • Blame culture - If the kids fall short and cannot keep all the rules, then the problem is clearly with them. The demand for perfection is a tool that is used to manipulate individuals and leverage guilt to keep them in line.
  • Honesty Filtration - This is perhaps an unintentional consequence of the culture. As the kids advance within the Church, they get interviewed by the Bishop as they progress to ensure that they are worthy for the next step. If they tell the truth, they will not advance, but will instead face criticism. However, if they parrot the desired rhetoric, then they will be praised and advanced up to the next level. Most young people are desperate for both acceptance by the community and also for the approval of their parents, so they learn to happily lie to achieve this goal, "Gosh no Bishop, I have never ever masturbated". The consequence is that those with some integrity, independence and honesty will be automatically filtered out because they will resist the pressure to play the game, and will instead tell the truth.
Parents who permit their children to be raised Mormon, or for that matter in other beliefs, so that they can inherit a moral lifestyle are playing with fire and may end up being badly burned. For example, Mormons tend to look down upon other non-Mormons and so the children will tragically end up viewing their non-believing parents as objects to pity, targets for conversion, or perhaps even as those to be avoided because they are in the grip of Satan. The final twist of the knife might come when they marry a fellow Mormon; the parents would not be permitted to attend because they would be deemed unworthy to enter the temple.

Many parents have successfully raised children who are indeed decent and honourable without recourse to any supernaturalism. By ditching an irrational religious upbringing they have avoided a lot of rather bad stuff, and a considerable degree of heartache.

The reality of the world we live in is that most humans, regardless of their belief or non-belief, strive to do what is right. The trap for many is that if the things that you believe to be right are not actually ethical, and are only believed to be right because they have been "blessed" by your favourite supernatural entity, then you are at risk doing some quite obnoxious stuff. If you are also in a place that suppresses self-reliance and critical thinking, then you are nurturing kids who will be unable to think things through for themselves, and will blindly obey.
"people who were raised as Mormons by "good" Mormon families have testified that their Mormon upbringing is a major source of their emotional and social problems later in life" - Richard Packman, ex-Mormon
http://www.skeptical-science.com/reli...
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Brazillions Of Missing Mormons! What Would Paul Harvey Say?
Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014, at 09:16 AM
Original Author(s): Baura
Topic: CHURCH PUBLISHED MAGAZINES   -Link To MC Article-
The current issue of the ENSIGN has an article on the growth of the Church in Brazil:

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/07/th...

A few tidbits:
"Growing Like an Oak

"A prophecy given in Argentina in 1926 by Elder Melvin J. Ballard (1873-1939) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles suggested that the region would initially have slow growth but that it would one day be mighty. He prophesied: "The work of the Lord will grow slowly for a time here just as an oak grows slowly from an acorn. It will not shoot up in a day as does the sunflower that grows quickly and then dies."
Notice how this remark has been upgraded into a "prophecy." Nowhere did he say it was a "prophecy." And nowhere in the quote does he say it will "become mighty." Now there are actual prophecies that Joseph Smith gave "in the name of the Lord" etc. that didn't happen and we're told, well, he was speaking as a man.

There are two things I like about the Church: it's face.

Further on in the article:
"The priesthood revelation and temple dedication were the catalysts for one of the greatest missionary successes ever seen in the Church: more than 700,000 Brazilians joined the Church in the next two decades."
and
"Dedicated Members

"The strength of the Church in Brazil is not just the number of members but also their dedication to the gospel."

"The Church in Brazil

Members: 1,239,166

Stakes: 242"
That comes out to 5120 members per stake. Wow, those stake conferences must be PACKED!

Now, as Paul Harvey used to say, here is the rest of the story:

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogsfai...

From the article:
"The 2010 Brazilian census found that 225,695 people identified as Latter-day Saints whereas the LDS Church reported 1,138,740 members in Brazil in 2010.

""These findings indicate that self-identified Latter-day Saints on the census account for only 20 percent of total membership officially reported by the church in Brazil," writes Matt Martinich, an independent LDS researcher. "Furthermore, the percent of official LDS membership self-affiliating as Latter-day Saint on the census has declined over the past decade."

"In 2000, the census reported 199,645 Latter-day Saints, or 26 percent of Mormon membership reported for that year (775,822) by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"To Martinich, who lives in Colorado Springs, the "most concerning finding" was about the LDS Church's growth rate.

"The church reported that Brazilian "membership increased by 362,918 members between 2000 and 2010 yet the censuses for these two years indicate a mere 26,050 increase in self-identified Latter-day Saints," Martinich wrote on his blog. "In other words, the increase in census-reported Latter-day Saints was only 7 percent of the membership increase reported by the church.""
So here's an interesting question to pose to your TBM friends who actually read the ENSIGN: Is the Church a reliable source of information about the Church?
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LDS Youth Trek Or How To Manufacture A Spiritual Experience
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014, at 07:23 AM
Original Author(s): Craig Paxton
Topic: MORMON HANDCARTS   -Link To MC Article-
Its that time of year when Mormon leaders take the youth of the church on a fanciful recreation of an event that involved less than 10% of those who immigrated to Utah during the period from 1847 to 1869, when the transcontinental railroad finally put an end to Brigham's brainchild, Yes I'm referring to the Hand Cart immigration recreations.

I've personally been involved with two of these treks. They are specifically designed to manufacture a spiritual experience in the youth who are almost always forced to go on these treks. I remember the amount of peer pressure we were encouraged to exert on the youth in our ward...particularly since none of them initially wanted to go and if given their free will wouldn't have chosen to go at all. But with lots of pressure from us and their parents...we were able to get the vast majority of our youth to attend the trek.


We marched them over the dry and windy plains of Wyoming, exposing them to the elements as best we could. Fed them johnnie cakes and water, crossed the Sweetwater river, had the boys carry the girls across much like boys from the recue party had allegedly carried survivors of the Martin-Willy companies. Had mock deaths along the way (since handcarts stories are full of mass dying, right?). We even stopped to dig a grave with sticks to bury a mock baby...(some of the female youth were given fake babies to care for...we would then randomly kill their babies along the wa)...all with one expressed purpose...to manufacture a spiritual experience in our youth.

Our SP told us that if we were able to break them physically on the trek, like one would break a horse (his exact words) we could then help them have a spiritual experience. True to his words...the youth testimony meeting was a tear filled meeting with both boys and girls bawling their eyes out by connecting with forefathers none of them had had for a recreation of a journey none of their forefathers had actually taken. (none of our youth had forefathers who were involved in the handcart migration). The experience was a complete success and completely manufactured by us to illicit a spiritual experience in the youth under our charge...and boy were we successful.
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Over Dramatizing Pioneer Deaths
Monday, Jul 28, 2014, at 07:34 AM
Original Author(s): Just This Guy
Topic: MORMON HANDCARTS   -Link To MC Article-
We all know how much effort the church spends worshiping the sacrifice that Mormon pioneers had to make and how many people dies on the crossing. Well, a new study published by BYU shows that deaths on the trail was only slightly higher than the national average for all pioneers.

See: http://news.byu.edu/archive14-jul-pio...

Some interesting points that they make:

Quote:
Bashore worked with a team of actuarial scientists at Brigham Young University to analyze 56,000 pioneer records from 1847-1868. Of these 56,000, there were an estimated 1,900 people who died either on the plains or within the calendar year of their arrival. That is about a 3.5 percent mortality rate, whereas a national comparison group in 1850 experienced an annual mortality rate between 2.5 percent and 2.9 percent.
Quote:
Only four deaths reported were from Native Americans, two were eaten by wolves, two suffered a poisonous bite or scorpion sting, and one was murdered.
Quote:
Yet just 5 percent of Mormon immigrants traveled by handcart. Of those, 1,000 belonged to the Willie and Martin handcart companies. Not counting the Willie and Martin companies, pioneers who traveled by handcart experienced a 4.7 percent mortality rate.
Quote:
For some reason, pioneer babies fared better than expected on the trail given infant mortality rates at the time. Tolley isn't certain about the cause - but one possible explanation is that some expectant mothers chose to wait and make the journey after a successful delivery.
Quote:
The gender breakdown of the Mormon immigrants that came over is quite balanced, with 26,615 females and 28,306 males. In conjunction with the balanced number of females versus males in the data, their mortality rate is also quite similar with females at 3.6 percent and males at 3.3 percent. Interestingly, almost half of the immigrants were under the age of 20, and the mortality rate for this age demographic was a surprisingly low 1.75 percent.
So, while pioneer hardship makes a nice faith promoting story, reality is something different. Also, it is interesting how many of the thing they like to push (hard ship, wild animals, loss of babies and children, etc) really are false.
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Drop Everything! Missionaries Are More Important Than You!
Friday, Jul 25, 2014, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Cheryl
Topic: EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24   -Link To MC Article-
They're somebody's deluded kids. Their church and their families and communities mistreat them, so everyone else is mean if they don't step up, put their own pursuits on hold and take care of somebody's else's adult kids first.

I'm not buying it.

Supplementing mishies a little here or there might be nice. Giving them clues about their delusions might be nice. BUT none of that is required. It's purely optional.

Students in college have their own concerns and budget problems. Their classes, tests, and part time jobs are important to their futures. They need to stay focused. It isn't their fault mishies are sneaking on campus and confronting them.

People on the streets have busy lives taking care of their job concerns, their families, their health, and their personal goals. If they have an interest in halting their pursuits, they are making a choice. They are no more noble than those who hurry by missionaries to get to their medical oncologist appointments or to their eye surgeon's office than those who love missionaries and accept responsibility for them no matter what.

What about people in their homes? They also have lives and limited resources. If missionaries show up at their doors, they have a choice of continuing to do their physical therapy exercise program or postponing it for the sake of somebody else's adult children banging on the door. It's up to them and it isn't mean if a private stranger in their home continues with their phone call or their bath and ignores somebody else's gangly teens on their doorstep.

In my opinion it's disrespectful of a church to send missionaries to school campuses. It's certainly intrusive to send them to homes if the residents have said to stop coming there or if signs are posted against trespassing or solicitation. It's an admission of stupidity for Mormons to claim they can't keep their records in order and don't know which homes and campuses have banned religious proselytizing.

In truth the Mormon church wants these kids to trespass where they're unwanted and stay away from exmos who are excited to talk to them. So the church doesn't keep or honor "no entry" or "no contact" directives when they could if they chose.

I have no problem with anyone who wants to talk to or entertain missionaries. I do think it's inconsistent if anyone gives them preferential treatment over JW or other proselytizers however.

I also think it's a fair choice to ignore or send away any stranger who confronts you when you're trying to live your busy life. Your daily priorities are every bit as important as the goals of religious strangers who happen to pop up when you least expect them.

Every person is someone's child, mother, brother, sister or grandma. It isn't just missionaries who are someone's children. Our loved ones care what happens to us as much as mashie parents care. Anyone who has no loved ones to worry about them deserve special consideration. If they are not someone's child they might feel lonely and abandoned.
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Age Gaps Don't Necessarily Matter At All In Love
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014, at 07:55 AM
Original Author(s): Tal Bachman
Topic: TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7   -Link To MC Article-
Mormon leaders once had a lot to say about relationships: you should marry someone from your own culture, or your own race, or a returned missionary, and only in the temple, etc. It often seemed like there was a "preferred Mormon type" of couple.

But life outside the cult indicates that mutually-satisfactory relationships come in all different shapes.

One issue is age gaps. In his thoughtful, recent thread, "Forty Year Old Virgin", "anon" worried about finding a partner, since most women his age are now married or in relationships. Thinking about this, I realized that quite a number of the happy couples I know well in town have very large age gaps between partners. All the couples I describe below are real, and I know them well.

1.) B is, I believe, thirteen years older than her boyfriend, . - who, by the way, utterly adores her. They are a match seemingly made in non-Mormon heaven, and cannot get enough of each other. They have been together for years, and I think, will probably always be together. They are trying for a baby.

2.) L, a guy, is 47. His girlfriend is 23. They also utterly adore each other, and often are with L's kids from his previous marriage.

3.) R is a very "young" 52 Belgian guy. His girlfriend is in her early thirties.

4.) My buddy M married C. M is also 52. His wife is, I believe, 30. They are two peas in a pod and now have a child.

5.) A, a young man, is 22. His girlfriend is 31. They live together and are planning a life together.

Speaking for myself, I have gone out with, or just hung out with, quite a few women since my marriage ended in 2008 (I'm 45 now). My experiences have led me to marvel at the sometimes strange ways that attraction works.

One lady I happened to meet on a trip was fifty. She was married, but I have to admit, was fit, curvy, sexy, charming, feminine, service-oriented, and overall, a genuine smokeshow. Her husband (who, coincidentally, was seventeen years her senior) seemed like a lucky guy. Very few guys, even much younger guys, would have not felt attracted to her.

Another lady I met during a trip was single, and not what you would call beautiful by any means. She was very plain looking. She was also, I think, 58. But she was a very young 58, and she was just so damn honest, so at peace with herself, so healthy and full of life and fun, so passionate about her hobbies, that I had to admit to myself that I would rather spend an evening hanging out with her, than her physically hot daughter, who was around thirty.

On the flip side, most of the women I've dated in the past six years were in their mid-twenties (the youngest was 21, the oldest was 32, with most about 26). All but one were full-on smokeshows. But despite them being smokeshows, I only really felt "attracted" to a couple. One I dated for a while, but then broke up with once I realized there was no future. The other moved away to college, met some guy, and is now married. I later met a hottie as nuts as I was (she's 29), and we've been nearly inseparable now for a year.

What is the point? Well, there's a few. One is that there is an element of mystery to attraction and compatibility. It does not necessarily correlate with age, or even physical beauty.

But more importantly, I submit that, especially as ex-Mormons, we should refrain from negatively judging men and women who have found happiness together. Some people in particular seem very upset by couples fitting the older man-younger woman model, and are very free with insults like "creep" and "perv".

But different people find happiness in different ways. Different people have different needs, and different preferences, and who is to say that any one is right or wrong? Where two people find happiness together, regardless of age gap, culture or race difference, sexual orientation, or anything else, I think we ought to celebrate that - especially as ex-Mormons.

I submit that this world is big and wide, and that things like romantic love do not come to one and all in the same ways. Some find it in arranged marriages. Some find it with partners very similar to themselves. Some find it with partners seemingly very different to themselves. Some find it with members of the same sex. And some prefer other things to romantic love altogether. I think that is just what we should expect in a world uncontrolled by religious leaders preaching a "one size fits all" way of living.

The couples I mentioned in my other post would, I think, stare with a kind of stupefaction at anyone who would characterize their relationships as being about "ego", or as being "pervy", as some posters did on the other thread. Why? Because they sincerely love, adore, and respect each other. They have found with each other something they could not find with anyone else. The man loves the woman, and the woman loves the man. How anyone could, from afar, with no insight or knowledge, cast snippy aspersions on something so awesome for them, I'm sure would be nearly unfathomable to them. And I would love for those so keen to judge to be able to see with their own eyes that love can come to different people in different ways, and even more, to celebrate that. Instead of grinding axes, I think we should be sending sincere best wishes.

I think this point is reinforced by the fact that so many marriages, which outwardly fit all the "proper criteria", fail - proper criteria like "close in age", "from the same culture", "from the same race", "speaking the same language", etc. And not only do they fail, but many of the stories I am personally familiar with are shocking and heartbreaking. Often, kids bore the brunt of the destructive behaviour of one or both of the parties.

I already mentioned happy couples I know with big age differences. I also know several very happy inter-racial couples. One is a friend whose family came from Ghana. S is as black as it gets. His wife is as white as an ice floe, and her family is a wealthy, almost aristocratic family from England. They have little kids, and are happy as can be. Two other inter-racial couples I know (man is Canadian, woman is Japanese) are very happy, have lasted a long time, and have children. Another is a white Canadian woman with a black former gang member/former prison inmate from South Central Los Angeles. They are as happy as can be. One happy couple I know currently overcoming a language barrier is a caucasian Canadian man with a woman who recently moved here from Russia. They're married now and expecting a child, and I don't see them ever splitting up. They seem as happy as can be.

My point? There IS no "right way to be a couple"; and if the phrase "proper couples are mostly alike" had any merit to it, the divorce rates in North American wouldn't be in the toilet (unless by "proper couples" you mean "future divorcees").

I think ex-Mormons should be at the forefront of celebrating the rich diversity in personalities, needs, and desires within the human family, and celebrating the fact that love between consenting adults can come in all differerent kinds of ways.

Just my two cents.
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Brian C. Hales Doesn't Know His Church's Own History Either
Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014, at 07:29 AM
Original Author(s): Willroberts038
Topic: BRIAN C. HALES   -Link To MC Article-
Brian Hales may be an expert on Joseph Smith's practice of polygamy, but he doesn't even know his church's own history. I did something really mean to him: I challenged him on something other than polygamy. Something I apparently know much more about than he does: the history of the First Vision. The full exchange can be read here (See: http://josephsmithspolygamy.org/the-j...) , but I'll post some excerpts and a TL;DR here. (See the bolded parts toward the bottom for a particularly interesting exchange.)

Why would I do something so "off topic"? Well, if you're going to defend JS, you had better be prepared to defend the whole package. Trying to defend Jim Jones' practice of public shaming would not be nearly enough to defend the man or his cult, and JS is no different with his practice of polygamy. So how did Brian Hales fare in defending the First Vision?

Me:
As you are a man who appreciates original sources, I'm sure you are familiar with the work of H. Michael Marquardt, who along with the Reverend Wesley Walters, has produced scores of original documents that demonstrate that Joseph Smith's first vision story is full of inconsistencies and contradictions from other primary sources. JS's polygamy doesn't matter if that vision didn't happen. And the evidence against that vision happening the way JS says it did is overwhelming.
BH:
I'm a little surprised to see you appeal to the First Vision allegations. As you probably know, the Joseph Smith's Papers project has published all of the original manuscripts at http://josephsmithpapers.org/site/acc.... There you and I can see the originals documents and make our own decisions. We don't need to get filtered and biased reporting from Wesley or my good friend Michael (he helped with several part of my books). I have read the accounts and am nonplussed by the critics' claims. But this is where I'm very comfortable agreeing to disagree. At least everyone is looking at the originals and not believing secondary sources.
Me:
You probably didn't look at http://firstvisiontimeline.com and you probably don't have time to wade through the dozens of original (and secondary) sources referenced there, including all of the First Vision accounts referenced in the Joseph Smith Papers URL you mentioned.

The apologetic responses to Walters/Marquardt are speculative and problematic in many areas. For example, JS said that his vision happened early in the spring of 1820. The evidence suggests that there was no religious excitement at that time comparable to 1816/17 and 1824/25, so apologists have to make the claim that "camp meetings were common and probably not mentioned that much", and they have to point to meetings of this sort that happened scores of miles away from Palmyra at a minimum, sometimes as many as 209 miles away (see http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith... ). This is a big stretch to assume that JS and his family would be traveling so far when there were plenty of religious meetings they could attend in their own town. Further, JS specifically stated that this excitement occurred "in the place where we lived". 209 miles away could hardly be considered the place where they lived, especially when travel was done by horse and foot. JS also stated: "great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties". There is no evidence that this happened in 1820 anywhere near where the Smiths lived. This religious excitement matches perfectly to the revival of 1824/25. Literally every detail, such as when some of the Smiths joined the Presbyterian Church, it being after the death of Alvin Smith, it being the second year after the Smiths moved onto their Manchester farm, and the preachers Benjamin Stockton and George Lane mentioned by Oliver Cowdery and William Smith were actively preaching during this revival (George Lane specifically being the same preacher that gave a sermon that allegedly caused JS to ask God which church he should join). It leads one to wonder, how did William Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and Lucy Mack Smith all write such relatively consistent accounts, but JS's 1838 account is all mixed up in its details by comparison?
BH:
I visited the website you recommended and appreciate the research, but I'm puzzling over the enthusiasm expressed by critics regarding the First Vision, especially since http://josephsmithpapers.org/site/acc... has published all of the known accounts without any apologetic discussion and apparently not sensing the need for any. I've read them and am nonplussed by critics who worry about the different details that were emphasized in each account.

[An attempt here to change the subject to the Book of Mormon]

However, I did a little research and here is what I found. The Palmyra Register for July 5, 1820 states: "'Plain Truth' is received. By this communication, as well as by the remarks of some of our neighbors who belong to the Society of Methodists, we perceive that our remarks accompanying the notice of the unhappy death of James Couser, contained in our last, have not been correctly understood." You've undoubtedly read this, but it shows that "neighbors" belonged to the "Society of Methodists" in the Palmyra area in 1820. It is a small jump for me to believe they might have exhibited an "unusual excitement" etc.
Me:
There are a few problems with your explanation of religious excitement in 1820. First, show me where the great multitudes joining the various denominations are. See http://firstvisiontimeline.com/#11 for original sources on why 1824-25 is a better fit. Also, you need to explain why Lucy Mack Smith, William Smith, and Oliver Cowdery all seem to think it was no earlier than 1823. Lucy mentions it after Alvin's death in her memoirs, which occurred in November of 1823. And you also need both Rev. Benjamin Stockton and Rev. George Lane to be present in the Palmyra area as they are both specifically mentioned by William Smith. Cowdery also mentions Rev. Lane. You'll find original documents placing them directly in Palmyra at that same link above. Interestingly enough, William recalls the exact sermon that allegedly caused JS to take action, and guess which scripture was the subject of that sermon: none other than James 1:5.
BH:
[More trying to change the subject]

The issue of the First Vision is not a big deal to me. By 1838, Joseph Smith had dictated the Book of Mormon, the Book of Moses, and all the revelations in the D&C up to section 118. He gave us hundreds of pages of revelations and now we are quibbling about his memory regarding details he recalled from an event 18 years earlier. There just isn't enough available evidence to say his story has any errors. As I quoted, the Methodists were in Palmyra in 1820. It seems to me that this is another example of assuming there was no "excitement" etc. and then condemning Joseph based upon that assumption. If Joseph was a fraud, I might expect some documentation stronger than the First Vision criticism sometimes advanced.
Me:
I have a hard time understanding why the First Vision issues aren't a big deal to you. Despite it being 18 years after the fact, the way JS remembered it is just completely, totally, demonstrably wrong. There is plenty of available evidence to say his story has errors - you are just choosing not to acknowledge it. This is confirmation bias and use of defense mechanisms, specifically denial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial ) and intellectualization (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectualization[8] ). The evolving story has key inconsistencies, it contradicts his contemporaries, and it contradicts the historical record that we have. Again, that religious excitement perfectly matches what the historical record reflects in 1824-25, including the very specific preachers mentioned by JS's brother and Oliver Cowdery. It matches what the church membership counts indicate. (For sources, see: http://www.fullerconsideration.com/so... ) If it didn't happen like he said, that's a problem. The LDS church sends out tens of thousands of missionaries every year that are teaching an incorrect narrative to people. That's a huge problem! If it happened more like the 1832 account like Richard Bushman and other well-known apologists contend, why aren't missionaries teaching that narrative instead? The church has dug itself into a deep hole with this one and unfortunately it's not the fault of anyone alive and there is no easy way out.
BH:
I'm also a little disappointed in your repeated appeals to alleged problems in the First Vision. You claim "the way JS remembered it is just completely, totally, demonstrably wrong," which is as remarkable as it is unprovable. Anyone who has performed much historical research realizes that little details do not usually persist in the historical record. What is more problematic in my view, however, is the confidence you reflect that Joseph's statements have been disproven. It doesn't work that way. You can't prove a negative. But also, it seems you have only consulted antagonistic sources. Maybe you should look at this article by Steven C. Harper: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/eval...
Me (this is an excerpt from the comment he did not allow on his site):
I'm quite disappointed in your repeated inadequate answers to the problems in the First Vision. If you want to claim my evidences don't prove the First Vision has irreconcilable problems, that is your prerogative, but I'm just having a really hard time understanding how you arrive at your conclusions based on the complete picture. Even Richard Bushman admitted, "Can we reconcile all of the conflicting evidence and get back to the actual chronology of events from 1816 to 1824? At this point, I think we must acknowledge the possibility of an error somewhere in Joseph's chronology, simply because of the internal contradiction." If Joseph's chronology is off, why are missionaries teaching a version of the First Vision that is demonstrably wrong?

Regarding my "antagonistic sources," please tell me what is antagonistic about the Palmyra Road Tax list? Or the Palmyra Town Book from 1820? How about "William Smith on Mormonism"? Or Lucy Mack Smith's memoirs? Or Oliver Cowdery's letters explaining the early history of the church? Or the membership records of the Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist church? These are the primary documents from which I draw my conclusions! Not a single antagonistic source by any stretch of the imagination. I've read some of Dr. Harper's work, including the essay you mentioned. I have more of his work on my reading list. His arguments concerning the First Vision do not refute what I've shown here. He deals with one fact at a time and conveniently forgets to look at the big picture. Intellectualization is indeed a very powerful defense mechanism.

This isn't just about "proving a negative," a phrase you've used repeatedly as if that's what's going on here. What I've quite effectively proven with these evidences is that JS's 1838 account could not have happened the way he told it. While no one knows for sure what exactly happened, I can say with an extremely high degree of confidence that the 1838 account is inaccurate at best. This is why Richard Bushman and other apologists (I believe this includes Steven Harper if I recall) gravitate toward the 1832 First Vision account, knowing full well it doesn't reconcile the many problems the 1838 account presents. It's a convenient intellectualization to avoid the discomfort of the problematic canonized account.

Even if Walters had known about the June 1820 Palmyra newspaper article about the Methodist camp meeting, he would certainly have reminded you that Rev. Benjamin Stockton and Rev. George Lane were not assigned to preside over their respective churches in the area at the time. He would have reminded you that this is still inconsistent with William Smith, Lucy Smith, and Oliver Cowdery's telling of the events (and if you were to guess where Oliver Cowdery heard the story, what would your guess be?). He would have pointed out that your "late Spring could have meant early Spring" argument is speculative and weak. The problem here is, Brian, you are zooming in on one thing at a time, providing a plausible explanation, but you aren't including the rest of the story. This is the typical pattern of Mormon apologetics and why your/FAIR's explanation is inadequate and frankly falls flat on its face.
TL;DR: When challenged on the history of the First Vision, Brian Hales had to resort to regurgitating FAIR/Mormon Interpreter pages to rebut me. He never answered my questions and prevented my final comment from showing on his website (probably recognizing that he couldn't adequately answer my questions).
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Never-Mormon Take On The Swallow-Shurtleff Scandal
Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014, at 07:34 AM
Original Author(s): Thewriterwithin
Topic: MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES   -Link To MC Article-
The son of a friend of mine, Wyatt Levinson McKean, penned this about the unfolding scandal around John Swallow and Mike Shurtleff. I think it is quite good, insightful. He was raised in Salt Lake but has never been a Mormon. I am not sure if it has been published -- I'm a little unclear about that -- but he did appear in a photo with Pat Bagley in a connected story. If I can get a publication verification, I'll share that.

"I don't mean to invoke the stale trope of the Utah Culture Wars, but I consider the following tidbits particularly revealing about the socio-political context of our double-whammy AG scandal:

"Lawson stated... that, if McBride would not back off Robbins and take the website down, McBride would be sitting in jail for a long time because Defendant SHURTLEFF had `things' on McBride. Lawson further told McBride that he, Lawson [sic] was like `Porter Rockwell' and that he took care of things for the then Attorney General, Defendant SHURTLEFF. Lawson also stated that he had guns and `Polynesian friends' who liked to `bust people up' . . . . [at a later meeting between Shurtleff and McBride at Mimi's Caf, {a Cajun-themed chain restaurant} in Murray] SHURTLEFF acknowledged that he knew that Lawson used his name and told people that he represented SHURTLEFF. Defendant SHURTLEFF explained to McBride that Lawson had introduced him to people who became contributors to his campaign . . ."

Today's NYTimes quotes Matthew J. Burbank, a U of U political scientist who says the scandal is "at odds with the state's preferred reputation for economic growth and reliable government." Burbank says: "Utah doesn't think of itself in these terms. This is not Louisiana. This is not Illinois."

Of course, by "Utah," Burbank means members of the state's dominant culture, religion, and political party. The rest of us know better.

The majority still indulges a poisonous fantasy that the state's religious homogeneity somehow makes it impervious to the evils that accompany money, power, and politics everywhere else in the world. But to those of us outside the majority, we know well that the Kingdom of Zion is no city on a hill, and never has been.

Lawson allegedly compared himself to Porter Rockwell. For those of you unfamiliar with Utah history, Porter Rockwell was Joseph Smith and later Brigham Young's personal bodyguard and hit man. Rockwell is considered a bit of a rugged anti-hero in Mormonism-a kind of gunslinger-cum-holy warrior who made the frontier safe for the faithful. To outsiders, he is more like a Mormon Luco Brasi, a brutal strongman who did the prophets' dirty work and an emblem of the violent coercion that was necessary for the Mormon utopian experiment to succeed.

Lawson's purported reference to Rockwell does a few things. First, it establishes that both speaker and listener shared the LDS lexicon, and that both at least understand the history and symbols (and are probably members) of the dominant culture. It shows how Mormonism saturates secular affairs in Utah sub rosa, even in the most unsavory places. Second, it casts the Attorney General in the role of the Prophet, maybe not in the religious sense, but most definitely as a noble and beloved patriarch (Godfather?) whom the speaker serves. Third, and most importantly, it validates the speaker's otherwise vicious behavior. The salient feature of the Rockwell myth is that his violent deeds are forgivable, because they were committed in service of a holy cause, against those who provoked his masters' (and thus God's) displeasure.

This is the original sin of the Kingdom of Zion-and most theocracies, for that matter. Tokens of piety-obedience to church authorities, regular church attendance, upholding the nuclear family, abstaining from various worldly indulgences-become substitutes for morality. Meanwhile, corruption, intimidation, and oppression are justified so long as they are practiced in the name of the faith and the faithful.

I do not mean to imply that this unseemly cast of characters-Johnson, Rawle, Shurtleff, Swallow, Lawson, and all the rest-committed these crimes at the behest of their church. What I mean to say is that the majority should not be surprised at the moral failings of which they stand accused. It should surprise no one that in a culture founded on public displays of piety and moral chauvinism, people in positions of power might actually be more likely to abuse the public trust.

"This is not Louisiana. This is not Illinois," says Burbank. This is how the Mormon majority in Utah sees both the outside world and the outsiders who live next door. We are the objects of sneering condescension-unwashed, irresponsible, morally degenerate, unable to govern ourselves. We are the reason the world outside appears to be rattling itself to bits. We are not like them.

They love to tout Utah's high levels of education, its low crime rates, and its low rates of substance abuse as evidence that their leadership has allowed a moral utopia to flourish while the rest of the country slips into degeneracy and decline. Forbes designated us the "best-run state" in the country. Our wholesome, family-oriented, and industrious workers are held up for their qualities of industry, reliability, and self-sacrifice. This fixation on the most superficial stand-ins for morality and personal integrity make them blind to the deeper, subtler forms of depravity that pervade our political and commercial culture.

They will never admit this. Surely Swallow and Shurtleff are nothing more than isolated freaks, bad apples, aberrations, they will say. None of them will admit that they might actually be fairly representative of the political and business elite at the helm of the dominant culture: middle-aged, white, male, and Mormon; superficially righteous and calculatedly humble; designated for leadership in uncompetitive elections, almost as a matter of destiny; prosperous (though never as much as they appear), savvy about business (ditto), and eager to trade favors on the down-low with anyone meeting right demographic profile. Never would they consider this episode an opportunity for reform-say, by making the AG an appointed rather than elected office, or by enacting campaign finance limits at the state level. There will be no reform either because the Republican leadership is in denial or because many of them are guilty of more or less the same pattern of conduct.

"This is not Louisiana. This is not Illinois." What morally superior hogwash. Utah's culture of homogeneity and obedience is not a prophylactic against corruption-quite the opposite. It enables a self-serving political apparatus that could put Tammany Hall to shame. In our placid suburbs, where a person's moral worth is measured by the number of towheaded offspring and the size of his garage, our crooks, party bosses, and knuckle-dragging Mafiosi hide in plain sight. They are concealed only by the cloak of conformity and religious observance. If the majority can't see that, then they are blind."
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No Persecution Surrounding The First Vision
Monday, Jul 21, 2014, at 07:32 AM
Original Author(s): Eddie
Topic: FIRST VISION   -Link To MC Article-
Joseph was not persecuted as claimed.

Since Joseph never told anyone about the vision, he wasn't persecuted. There is simply no evidence that he was ever persecuted for the First Vision.

Here's what Joseph said officially about it:
  • "Some few days after I had this vision, I happened to be in company with one of the Methodist preachers, who was very active in the before mentioned religious excitement; and, conversing with him on the subject of religion, I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had. I was greatly surprised at his behavior; he treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil, that there were no such things as visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased with the apostles, and that there would never be any more of them.
  • "I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects-all united to persecute me.
  • "It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and dreviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself."
How strange that Joseph says that the neighborhood knew enough about it to persecute this obscure boy, but his own family hadn't heard about it at all. If Joseph's story had actually occurred and caused said excitement, someone would have mentioned it. No one did.

Joseph was persecuted, but not for his first vision account in 1820, but rather from talking about treasure digging and later, in 1827, about the golden plates. No one, friend or foe, in New York or Pennsylvania remembers either that there was "great persecution" or even that Joseph claimed to have had a vision. Not even his family remembers it. It is likely that the vision was unremarkably similar to many other epiphanies of that era and no one took notice of it.

God & Christ visit a young boy, and because of local gossip, he withheld that info from his family. And yet then he receives another visitation three years later from an angel, and immediately he tells his family? Why the inconsistencies?
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A Painful Exodus
Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014, at 07:44 AM
Original Author(s): Jerilyn Hassell Pool
Topic: WOMEN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 3   -Link To MC Article-
Note: As is my way, I made a silly movie and post first, which sparked this much more serious post.

Six weeks ago, I enjoyed the company of several active, LDS women who all hold temple recommends and various ward or stake callings. This last week, I was able to reconnect with them and we talked about something that rocked my entire being.

Nearly every single one of them is considering leaving the church either by resignation or indefinite absence.

The recent crackdown on those of us who live in the borderlands of church membership and dare to question the status quo or advocate for greater inclusion of our marginalized brothers and sisters has left many of us wounded and fearful.

We are fearful, not for ourselves, but for our children. None of us want to raise children in a church that will allow local leadership to discipline anyone based on a vague definition of apostasy. None of us want to raise children in a church where people rejoice at the excommunication of one of our own. None of us want to raise daughters in a church where they are taught their bodies are visual or physical prey for the whims of men. None of us want to raise daughters in a church where they are taught that the only path to happiness for women is marriage and motherhood-experiences removed from their own agency and fully dependent on the choices of men. None of us want to raise sons in a church that teaches them entitlement. None of us want to raise sons in a church that teaches them that their self-control is dependent on the clothing and actions of our daughters. None of us want to raise daughters or sons in a church that privileges boys and men above their own faithful mothers, grandmothers, and sisters.

When women leave the church, they take their children with them, directing multiple generations away from the saving ordinances of the gospel.

I have not slept well for the last several weeks. I've faced some difficult consequences surrounding my own support for marriage equality. I've watched dear friends lose their membership and even their faith. I've listened to tearful women express their pain and anguish over what feels like betrayal.

I cannot bear to see my sisters in such agony. Every time I hear, "I have to leave; I cannot stay anymore," my lungs squeeze a little tighter and my heart grows a little colder. We are losing the best and brightest women I know and I feel each loss deep in my bones.

I won't stop them. I can't stop them. I value their agency and self-respect far above my own comfort. Instead, I mourn with them and feel their pain in my hands and heart and wonder when our pain will be so great that the church as a whole will find it unbearable as well. And when that day comes, how many women will be left?

There is a constant prayer in my heart that someone, somewhere, will find the courage to stand up and stop this brutal expulsion of our sisters.

I am a faithful, believing Mormon. I have faith that those 15 men at the head of the church want to do what is right and good. I want to believe their lungs squeeze a little when they hear of another sister leaving the church. I want to believe their hearts hurt with the pain and tears of their sisters. I want to believe they feel the loss of our sisters in their bones.

And yet, all we hear is silence, and the silence has been the most painful sound of all.

http://www.feministmormonhousewives.o...
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The Mother Of All Paradigm Shifts Is Underway
Monday, Jul 14, 2014, at 07:42 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: APOLOGISTS   -Link To MC Article-
This morning David Bokovoy posted on Facebook:
From Brent Metcalfe, one of the world's foremost experts on the Book of Abraham: "Even as a nonbeliever who is well informed on Mormonism's scriptural texts, I see a catalyst theory as a viable option for believers, but as a vehicle for communicating a prophet's struggle to understand God, not a way to recover actual historical events...

I 100 % agree"
David's fringe views have flown in under the radar for the most part, but his message is nothing short of earth shattering for traditional Mormonism. He has also gone on record recently, stating that Abraham never wrote a book to begin with. I know of one other BYU professor - who will remain anonymous because he confided this to me in private - who has asserted, "the Book of Mormon too seems to be more like a midrashic expansion of the biblical text. So yes, I see this as a huge problem for those who argue that the Book of Mormon (or the Book of Abraham) is an ancient text."

This is huge folks.

William Hamblin and Daniel Peterson are the two prominent Mormon scholars who have voiced aggressive opposition to those who would suggest having a Mormon testimony is compatible with rejecting the historicity of Mormon scriptures.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this in the coming years or maybe even months. David isn't shy about making his views known either. And perhaps what is most interesting about all of this is the fact that he is acquiring a loyal following. I've noticed this as of late, more and more people agreeing with him with only a few dissidents questioning his loyalty to the Church. In fact, just yesterday he posted a farewell to a friend who is going on his mission, and he said this kid agrees with him about the papyri having nothing to do with Abraham. Not sure why he mentioned that, but what's certain is that David is on a mission to convert people into the new Mormon paradigm. What isn't so certain is how much the Church leadership is aware of it, and how it would respond if it did.
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For The Blessing Of The Lamanites
Friday, Jul 11, 2014, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Boyd K Packer
Topic: LAMANITES   -Link To MC Article-
For the Blessing of the Lamanites
written by Boyd K Packer
Assistant to the Council of the Twelve
August 1964 Relief Society Magazine

In March of this year almost two hundred teen-aged Indian boys and girls gathered in Sandy, Utah,in a youth conference of the Indian Student Placement Program of the Church. They represented almost twenty Indian tribes, and they came from reservations spread over a wide area from Mexico on the south to Canada on the north. For the school term they had lived with non-Indian Latter-day Saint foster families throughout Utah and Arizona. The theme of their conference, selected by the students themselves, was "Our History Foretells Our Future."

Those who visited the conference and observed the display of talent and leadership during the two days of activity would have agreed that a brightening future awaits these young people. In many ways they reflect the development and progress which is being achieved to an increasing degree by Indian people throughout the land. In fulfillment of Nephi's prophetic words(see 1 Nephi 15:14-14), the Lamanites in our day are, indeed, being restored to their rightful place in the House of Israel. By their obedience to the principles of the gospel,they are beginning to receive the blessings promised to their ancient fathers.

In devising a theme for their conference, the Indian boys and girls gave recognition to the illustrious history and achievement of their forefathers, recounted in the Book of Mormon. Following the time of the savior's visit to this hemisphere, the Nephite-Lamanite remnant reached a peak of perfection and righteous achievement. Fourth Nephi records:

"And it came to pass. . .the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another. . .

"And now, behold it came to pass that the people of Nephi did wax strong, and did multiply exceedingly fast, and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people. . .

"And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

"There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God" (4 Nephi:2,10,16,17).

Today thousands of Lamanites are coming into the Church. More than one hundred Lamanite branches have been organized among the stakes and within the missions. In many of these branches the leadership is provided by the Lamanite members. They are the branch presidents, the teachers, the auxiliary leaders, the music directors. With increasing effectiveness and with characteristic humility and devotion, they are carrying forward the program of the Church. Lives are being transformed. In some cases whole Indian communities are being affected.

In the small Paiute Indian settlement near Cedar City, Utah, a beautiful new chapel points its spire to the sky. The building,faced with colorful native stone, is a monument to the dedication and energy of the members of the Cedar Indian Branch. Much of the work on the new chapel was done by the branch members themselves. To provide a lovelier setting for their chapel, the Indian people have undertaken a community improvement project.Homes and outbuildings are being painted;yards are being improved;fence lines and empty lots are being cleared of weeds and debris.A new sense of pride and industry seems to pervade the little community.

The development taking place among these people has been reflected in yet another way. Recently the branch presidency was reorganized, and Franklin Benn, an Indian Elder, was installed as the new president, the first Indian to serve in this capacity since the branch was organized.

A growing number of Indian boys and girls are accepting calls to serve on full-time missions. At the time of this writing there are more than thirty Indian missionaries laboring in the two Indian missions. An added number are serving in other missions throughout the world. The Muddy River Indian Branch in the Moapa Stake, with a membership of fifty-five, has three missionaries in the field. If one were to visit the Pomo Indian branch in the Santa Rosa Stake (California), the Omaha-Winnebago Branch in Nebraska, or the Cattaraugus Branch in New York, he would find capable Indian members serving as Relief Society presidents,Sunday School superintendents, and branch leaders.

More than six thousand Indian boys and girls are attending special Seminary classes which are being conducted across the Nation from New York and North Carolina to California and Oregon. Forty-seven Indian students were enrolled in the Brigham Young University during the 1963-64 school year, and there were hundreds in other institutions of higher learning.

But the work is only beginning. Thee is a great deal yet to be done, and all of us share in the responsibility. Brigham Young charged the membership of the church in his day to press forward with the work of redeeming Indian Israel. Speaking to a group of the saints in the Provo area, in 1855, he said, "Now, if this people,male and female, feel to school them (the Indians), spend time and pains to instill into their minds correct principles, to divide land with them. . . and will go to work and restore them to the knowledge of the truth the Lord God will bless them, and they will have nothing to fear. If you live up to this you will rise, while those who do not will go down. If this people will observe this covenant, and follow it one and all..thousands and hundreds of thousands will embrace this gospel, and for ought I know scores of thousands will become members of the Church (J.D. 9:228-229).

Nephi, seeing in vision the important role which the non-indian members of the church would have to play in this great latter-day work,said:"And after our seed is scattered the Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the gentiles, which shall be of great worth unto our seed; wheretofore it is likened unto their being nourished by the gentiles and being carried in their arms and upon their shoulders"(Nephi 22:8).

The work in behalf of our Lamanite brothers and sisters must go forward. They have waited long years for their restoration to the blessings of the gospel. The Lord has placed a direct responsibility upon the members of the Church to see that the great work of redemption does not falter. Every Latter-day Saint should be a friend and a champion of the Indian people. We must be certain that blessings are not withheld because of any indifference or intolerance on our part. Our patient labor in behalf of Lehi's seed can help them to reclaim their inheritance in this land.

"And then at that day will they not rejoice and give praise unto their everlasting God, their rock and their salvation? Yea, at that day, will they not receive the strength and nourishment from the true vine? Yea, will they not come unto the true fold of God?

"Behold, I say unto you, Yea; they will be remembered again among the house of Israel; they shall be grafted in, being a natural branch of the olive-tree" (1 Nephi 15:15-16).
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The New Mormon Paradigm Shift
Friday, Jul 11, 2014, at 07:01 AM
Original Author(s): Kevin Graham
Topic: LDS OFFICIAL ESSAYS   -Link To MC Article-
And so it seems the new approach which was only started for apologetic purposes, is finally gaining strength in the Church. So now translation doesn't really mean translation after all.

On facebook Pedro Olivarra and David Bokovoy have been getting excited about this development. I've tried to explain my position as best as I can without coming across like an A-hole. I consider many of these Mormons my friends and so I get no joy out of pouring cold water all over their excitement. However, at the same time it really annoys me when I see so many people buying snake oil by the gallons. Here is what I posted last night in one Facebook thread, responding to Pedro's reference to the 1828 definition for "Translation," as well as the claim that Joseph Smith never needed a source document to produce a translation, because that is what he did with the JST.


"Pedro, in the context of language and manuscripts the word translate meant in 1828 precisely what it means today. I think this "translate didn't really mean translate" position doesn't hold water and will go down as one of the many, many apologetic theories that eventually lost its flavor."


"(Facebook User) makes the same point I used to make to William Schryver years ago, when he insisted the translations had absolutely nothing to do with a preexisting ancient text - in his attempt to completely divorce the Book of Abraham from the papyri.

Well, let's think about this for a second. Following this logic the Book of Mormon people fought endlessly, sacrificing life and limb for centuries just to preserve a record which, according to the new apologetic paradigm, wasn't at all necessary since Joseph Smith could have just translated the Book of Mormon without those plates in the first place!

So why go through all that trouble if the centuries long process of preserving a physical record for translation purposes, was ultimately superfluous? This is just one of the many examples in which these new paradigm shifts cause more problems than they intend to solve. Because in the end you're left throwing the early LDS leaders under the bus, effectively ignoring all their comments that undermine said theory. So we're now supposed to believe that the guy responsible for revealing this stuff from God, also has to be the guy who understood it the least?!?! That it took nearly two centuries before Church apologists (not appointed leaders) finally figured this all out?

You see, it seems more logical to me that Smith's references to "translating" things like the JST was the EXCEPTION, and the word he chose was probably for lack of a better term. It makes no sense at all to say this exception became the RULE, therefore none of the literal translations were really literal translations. The way apologists have tried to spin this as the rule doesn't work logically. Even with the early 19th century dictionaries, one cannot just pick a variant definition and apply it just because it is something unusual, and then say "ah ha, Joseph Smith meant it THIS way!" You still have to follow the rules of context in languages, and translation in the context of languages doesn't mean moving things around, or teleporting people to heaven or what not. It means deciphering one language into another, the same way we understand the term today."
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Prediction On How Future Apologists And Members Will Use The New Essays
Friday, Jul 11, 2014, at 10:37 AM
Original Author(s): Curious_mormon
Topic: LDS OFFICIAL ESSAYS   -Link To MC Article-
For a moment, let's ignore the outright lies. Let's ignore the double speak. Let's ignore the inconsistencies. Let's ignore all of the other deceptions, obfuscations, spin doctoring, selective deletion of history, and unsupported claims.

Instead, I want to try and predict what future members and apologists will say these essays disavow, or what doctrines were never taught because of an implication in the essay. Some are stretches, but they're more supported than many of the apologetic arguments used in the essays themselves.

Multiple Accounts of the First Vision - See: https://www.lds.org/topics/first-visi...
  • Disavows the claim that the LDS church teaches the "First Vision"
  • Disavows the claim that all retellings agree with each other.
  • Disavows the claim that Joseph shared the first vision before 1832 (minister story didn't happen. In fact, it's rewritten).
The Church's relationship with the larger Christian world - See: http://www.lds.org/topics/christians
  • Disavows many scriptures (some previously changed) in the 1830 Book of Mormon.
  • Disavows former temple doctrine that protestant ministers were in the employ of the devil.
  • Disavows 2 churches only doctrine.
  • Disavows the peculiar people doctrine.
Race and priesthood restriction - See: http://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-th...
  • Disavows more than a century of Godly racism.
  • Disavows the parts of the Book of Mormon claiming God marks the cursed with darker skin colors.
  • Disavows the parts of the Book of Mormon claiming darker races are less desirable sexual partners or otherwise lesser beings because of race.
  • Disavows the claim that prophets are somehow more prescience or somehow better than the culture as a whole.
  • Disavows the claim that a revelation was necessary.
  • Sets the ground work for disavowing chosen people.
Plural marriage, including Joseph Smith's involvement - See: http://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marr...
  • Disavows the claim that polygamy stopped in 1890 and turns it into an 1890 discouragement.
  • Disavows knowledge of the doctrinal reasons behind polygamy.
  • Disavows the declaration that God wants a peculiar people, turns that into a self-chosen classification.
  • Disavows the prophetic claim that polygamy was required for exaltation.
  • Disavows Hinckley's claim that polygamy was a restricted practice.
  • Disavows the history that LDS hid from the law and lied about their practice of polygamy.
  • Disavows the claim that Monogamy is a curse.
Book of Mormon translation - See: http://www.lds.org/topics/book-of-mor...
  • Disavows the history that Joseph edited and changed the original manuscript
  • Disavows the history that the Book of Mormon was changed.
  • [continues to] Disavow Mother Smith's history that the Book of Mormon stories were told before the translation had begun.
  • Disavows the fact that language structure changes when translating from one language to a completely different language.
  • Disavows the claim that seer stones were different from Urim and Thummims.
  • Disavows the word for word translation appearing on the seer stone.
DNA studies and the Book of Mormon - See: https://www.lds.org/topics/book-of-mo... Disavows the historical accuracy of the Book of Mormon Disavows the claim that the Lamanites are interchangeable with Native Americans (continuation of teachings from 2005) Disavows the Book of Mormon claim that the Nephites arrived at reserved land, and all but two had died during the Jaredite wars. Disavows all knowledge of genetic origin of the Native Americans. Deification in Church teachings - See: https://www.lds.org/topics/becoming-l...
  • [Potentially] Disavows humans progressing to a point of getting their own planets.
  • [Potentially] Disavows the teachings prior to 1835 on salvation.
  • There are a few other potentials (and quite a bit of doublespeak/deception), but this one seems more direct than most.
Egyptology and the Book of Abraham - See: https://www.lds.org/topics/translatio...
  • Disavows the claim that Joseph translated Egyptian.
  • Disavows the claim that the papyrus was written by Abraham.
  • Disavows that Joseph tried to translate the kinderhook after the Book of Abraham.
  • Disavows the history that Joseph tried to create a grammar.
  • Disavows all scholarly analysis of the Papyri.
  • Disavows the claim that the papyri directly translates to Joseph's interpretation.
Allegations of violence in the 19th-century Church - See: https://www.lds.org/topics/peace-and-...
  • Disavows the Old Testament and Christ's love of violence, implicitly denying Christ was the God of the Old Testament.
  • Disavowed the member's part in instigating early conflicts.
  • Disavowed the Danites were effectively a secret police.
  • Reverse the disavow that the Native Americans were Israelites.
  • Disavowed church involvement in the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
TBP:
  • Women's roles in the Church
 
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Thu, Jul 31, 2014:
Mormons: Don't Buy Into The Myth That Raising Kids In The Church Will Benefit Them - It Won't
Wed, Jul 30, 2014:
Brazillions Of Missing Mormons! What Would Paul Harvey Say?
Tue, Jul 29, 2014:
LDS Youth Trek Or How To Manufacture A Spiritual Experience
Mon, Jul 28, 2014:
Over Dramatizing Pioneer Deaths
Fri, Jul 25, 2014:
Drop Everything! Missionaries Are More Important Than You!
Thu, Jul 24, 2014:
Age Gaps Don't Necessarily Matter At All In Love
Wed, Jul 23, 2014:
Brian C. Hales Doesn't Know His Church's Own History Either
Tue, Jul 22, 2014:
Never-Mormon Take On The Swallow-Shurtleff Scandal
Mon, Jul 21, 2014:
No Persecution Surrounding The First Vision
Wed, Jul 16, 2014:
A Painful Exodus
Mon, Jul 14, 2014:
The Mother Of All Paradigm Shifts Is Underway
Fri, Jul 11, 2014:
For The Blessing Of The Lamanites
The New Mormon Paradigm Shift
Prediction On How Future Apologists And Members Will Use The New Essays
5,883 Articles In 370 Topics
TopicImage TOPIC INDEX (370 Topics)
TopicImage AUTHOR INDEX

  · ADAM GOD DOCTRINE (4)
  · ANCESTRY.COM (1)
  · APOLOGISTS (57)
  · ARTICLES OF FAITH (1)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD (31)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD - PEOPLE (16)
  · BLACKS AND MORMONISM (12)
  · BLACKS AND THE PRIESTHOOD (12)
  · BLOOD ATONEMENT (5)
  · BOB BENNETT (1)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 1 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 2 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 3 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 4 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 5 (25)
  · BOB MCCUE - SECTION 6 (19)
  · BONNEVILLE COMMUNICATIONS (2)
  · BOOK OF ABRAHAM (53)
  · BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 1 (25)
  · BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 2 (25)
  · BOOK OF MORMON - SECTION 3 (16)
  · BOOK OF MORMON EVIDENCES (18)
  · BOOK OF MORMON GEOGRAPHY (24)
  · BOOK OF MORMON WITNESSES (5)
  · BOOK REVIEW - ROUGH STONE ROLLING (28)
  · BOOKS - AUTHORS AND DESCRIPTIONS (12)
  · BOOKS - COMMENTS AND REVIEWS - SECTION 1 (26)
  · BOOKS - COMMENTS AND REVIEWS - SECTION 2 (20)
  · BOY SCOUTS (22)
  · BOYD K. PACKER (33)
  · BRIAN C. HALES (2)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG (25)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY - SECTION 1 (25)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY - SECTION 2 (30)
  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
  · BRUCE D. PORTER (1)
  · BRUCE R. MCCONKIE (10)
  · CALLINGS (12)
  · CATHOLIC CHURCH (5)
  · CES LETTER (1)
  · CHANGING DOCTRINE (14)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 1 (24)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 2 (25)
  · CHRIS BUTTARS (1)
  · CHURCH LEADERSHIP (3)
  · CHURCH PROPAGANDA (6)
  · CHURCH PUBLISHED MAGAZINES (56)
  · CHURCH TEACHING MANUALS (10)
  · CHURCH VAULTS (4)
  · CITY CREEK CENTER (23)
  · CIVIL UNIONS (14)
  · CLEON SKOUSEN (3)
  · COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (2)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 1 (24)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 2 (21)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 3 (24)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 4 (22)
  · COMEDY - SECTION 5 (40)
  · CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MORMONISM (14)
  · D. MICHAEL QUINN (1)
  · D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON (6)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (104)
  · DANIEL C. PETERSON (92)
  · DANITES (4)
  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (24)
  · DAVID O. MCKAY (9)
  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DAVID WHITMER (1)
  · DELBERT L. STAPLEY (1)
  · DESERET NEWS (3)
  · DIETER F. UCHTDORF (13)
  · DNA (25)
  · DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS (8)
  · DON JESSE (2)
  · ELAINE S. DALTON (5)
  · EMMA SMITH (5)
  · ENSIGN PEAK (1)
  · ERICH W. KOPISCHKE (1)
  · EX-MORMON FOUNDATION (33)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 (35)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 10 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19 (26)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24 (41)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 3 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 4 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 5 (23)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 8 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 9 (26)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 19 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 25 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 26 (62)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 3 (21)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 4 (22)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 5 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 6 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 8 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 9 (26)
  · EXCOMMUNICATION AND COURTS OF LOVE (19)
  · EZRA TAFT BENSON (31)
  · FACIAL HAIR (6)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS - SECTION 1 (25)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS - SECTION 2 (24)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS - SECTION 3 (21)
  · FAITH PROMOTING RUMORS (11)
  · FARMS (30)
  · FIRST VISION (25)
  · FOOD STORAGE (3)
  · FUNDAMENTALIST LDS (17)
  · GENERAL AUTHORITIES (30)
  · GENERAL CONFERENCE (15)
  · GENERAL NEWS (6)
  · GEORGE P. LEE (1)
  · GORDON B. HINCKLEY (68)
  · GRANT PALMER (8)
  · GREGORY L. SMITH (9)
  · GUNNISON MASSACRE (1)
  · H. DAVID BURTON (2)
  · HAROLD B. LEE (1)
  · HATE MAIL I RECEIVE (23)
  · HAUNS MILL (2)
  · HBO BIG LOVE (12)
  · HEBER C. KIMBALL (4)
  · HELEN RADKEY (17)
  · HELLEN MAR KIMBALL (4)
  · HENRY B. EYRING (5)
  · HOLIDAYS (13)
  · HOME AND VISITING TEACHING (9)
  · HOWARD W. HUNTER (1)
  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
  · HYMNS (7)
  · INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM (18)
  · J REUBEN CLARK (1)
  · JAMES E. FAUST (7)
  · JEFF LINDSAY (6)
  · JEFFREY MELDRUM (1)
  · JEFFREY R. HOLLAND (35)
  · JEFFREY S. NIELSEN (11)
  · JOHN DEHLIN AND KATE KELLY EXCOMMUNICATION (19)
  · JOHN GEE (3)
  · JOHN L. LUND (3)
  · JOHN L. SORENSON (4)
  · JOHN TAYLOR (1)
  · JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN (1)
  · JOSEPH F. SMITH (1)
  · JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH (8)
  · JOSEPH SITATI (1)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY - SECTION 1 (21)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY - SECTION 2 (23)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - PROPHECY (8)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SECTION 1 (25)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SECTION 2 (23)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SECTION 3 (22)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SECTION 4 (31)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SEER STONES (7)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - WORSHIP (13)
  · JUDAISM (3)
  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
  · KEITH B. MCMULLIN (1)
  · KERRY MUHLESTEIN (9)
  · KERRY SHIRTS (6)
  · KINDERHOOK PLATES (6)
  · KIRTLAND BANK (6)
  · KIRTLAND EGYPTIAN PAPERS (17)
  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITE PLACEMENT PROGRAM (3)
  · LAMANITES (38)
  · LANCE B. WICKMAN (1)
  · LARRY ECHO HAWK (1)
  · LDS CHURCH - SECTION 1 (20)
  · LDS CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING (9)
  · LDS OFFICIAL ESSAYS (37)
  · LDS SOCIAL SERVICES (3)
  · LGBT - AND MORMONISM - SECTION 1 (45)
  · LORENZO SNOW (1)
  · LOUIS C. MIDGLEY (6)
  · LYNN A. MICKELSEN (2)
  · LYNN G. ROBBINS (1)
  · M. RUSSELL BALLARD (13)
  · MARK E. PETERSON (8)
  · MARK HOFFMAN (12)
  · MARLIN K. JENSEN (3)
  · MARRIOTT (2)
  · MARTIN HARRIS (5)
  · MASONS (16)
  · MELCHIZEDEK/AARONIC PRIESTHOOD (9)
  · MERRILL J. BATEMAN (3)
  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 1 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 2 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 3 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 4 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 5 (25)
  · MISSIONARIES - SECTION 6 (26)
  · MISSIONARY BLOGS (6)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
  · MORE GOOD FOUNDATION (4)
  · MORMON CELEBRITIES (14)
  · MORMON CHURCH HISTORY (8)
  · MORMON CHURCH PR (13)
  · MORMON CLASSES (1)
  · MORMON DOCTRINE (35)
  · MORMON FUNERALS (12)
  · MORMON GARMENTS (21)
  · MORMON HANDCARTS (14)
  · MORMON INTERPRETER (5)
  · MORMON MARRIAGE EXCLUSIONS (1)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP (38)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP PURGE 2014 (9)
  · MORMON MONEY - SECTION 1 (25)
  · MORMON MONEY - SECTION 2 (25)
  · MORMON MONEY - SECTION 3 (25)
  · MORMON NEWSROOM (5)
  · MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES (7)
  · MORMON RACISM (18)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONIES (39)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CHANGES (15)
  · MORMON TEMPLES - SECTION 1 (25)
  · MORMON TEMPLES - SECTION 2 (25)
  · MORMON TEMPLES - SECTION 3 (24)
  · MORMON TEMPLES - SECTION 4 (42)
  · MORMON VISITOR CENTERS (10)
  · MORMON WARDS AND STAKE CENTERS (1)
  · MORMONTHINK (13)
  · MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE (21)
  · MURPHY TRANSCRIPT (1)
  · NATALIE R. COLLINS (11)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (2)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL - SECTION 1 (1)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL INSTITUTE (1)
  · NEIL L. ANDERSEN - SECTION 1 (4)
  · NEW ORDER MORMON (8)
  · OBEDIENCE - PAY, PRAY, OBEY (15)
  · OBJECT LESSONS (15)
  · OLIVER COWDREY (6)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PATRIARCHAL BLESSING (5)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PBS DOCUMENTARY THE MORMONS (20)
  · PERSECUTION (9)
  · PIONEER DAY (3)
  · PLAN OF SALVATION (5)
  · POLYGAMY - SECTION 1 (22)
  · POLYGAMY - SECTION 2 (23)
  · POLYGAMY - SECTION 3 (15)
  · PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS (1)
  · PRIESTHOOD EXECUTIVE MEETING (0)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROCLAMATIONS (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · PROPOSITION 8 COMMENTS (11)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · RELIEF SOCIETY (14)
  · RESIGNATION PROCESS (28)
  · RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR. (6)
  · RICHARD G. HINCKLEY (2)
  · RICHARD G. SCOTT (8)
  · RICHARD LYMAN BUSHMAN (11)
  · ROBERT D. HALES (5)
  · ROBERT L. MILLET (7)
  · RODNEY L. MELDRUM (15)
  · ROYAL SKOUSEN (2)
  · RUNTU'S RINCON (79)
  · RUSSELL M. NELSON (15)
  · SACRAMENT MEETING (11)
  · SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (2)
  · SCOTT D. WHITING (1)
  · SCOTT GORDON (5)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SERVICE AND CHARITY (24)
  · SHERI L. DEW (4)
  · SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS (4)
  · SIDNEY RIGDON (7)
  · SIMON SOUTHERTON (34)
  · SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT (8)
  · SPENCER W. KIMBALL (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 1 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 10 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 13 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 15 (14)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 2 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 3 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 4 (25)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 5 (22)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 7 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 8 (13)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9 (19)
  · STORIES - SECTION 1 (1)
  · SUNSTONE FOUNDATION (2)
  · SURVEILLANCE (SCMC) (12)
  · TAD R. CALLISTER (4)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 3 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 4 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 5 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 6 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7 (12)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TEMPLE WEDDINGS (6)
  · TEMPLES - NAMES (1)
  · TERRYL GIVENS (2)
  · THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (1)
  · THE SINGLE WARDS (5)
  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (26)
  · THOMAS S. MONSON (33)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TITHING - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TITHING - SECTION 3 (22)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
  · VALERIE HUDSON (3)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
  · VIDEOS (30)
  · WARD CLEANING (5)
  · WARREN SNOW (1)
  · WELFARE - SECTION 1 (0)
  · WENDY L. WATSON (7)
  · WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME (11)
  · WILFORD WOODRUFF (6)
  · WILLIAM HAMBLIN (15)
  · WILLIAM LAW (1)
  · WILLIAM SCHRYVER (5)
  · WILLIAM WINES PHELPS (3)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 1 (24)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 2 (25)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM - SECTION 3 (38)
  · WORD OF WISDOM (7)
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