Thursday, August 31, 2006

"Special Witnesses"-Written By Ray, an avid Mormon Truth Reader, Listener and Supporter. We'll just Call it Ray #1.Thanks Ray for your contribution!!


I have encouraged all Mormon Truth readers and listeners to send me anything that they have written, that they want published and finally, one of you has taken me up on this. Ray, who is a great regular reader and listener, has sent me these comments regarding "special witnesses" and I think it's an awesome post and very powerful and well deserving of being on my blog for all to read and ponder. I couldn't have expressed these views any better myself and I'm proud to post his words on my blog.

I hope that Ray will become a regular contributor as I know he has a lot to say and express, just like I do. I hope that this will inspire and encourage more of you to send me your thoughts and writings that you want published. We get between 5,000-10,000 hits a month on Mormon Truth, so you will get a good audience and be able to help many people and I will always give you full credit. Take care everyone and enjoy this great post and feel free to leave your comments, as Ray will be sure to respond to everyone and will look forward to what you have to say, as will I.
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"Special Witnesses"

I come from a family that is TBM as far as I can see. Both sides of the family. My father buys into the whole church thing and just loves a good FPR. (faith promoting rumor) Nothing like a good story to prove, once again, that the church is true. My aunt (my father's sister) is staying with him while serving a service mission somewhere on temple square. Not long ago, she came home with a great story about Henry B. Eyring.

Please keep in mind that I was not personally at this meeting so I do not know all that was said. This is a second hand story so take it as you will. She (my aunt) attended some type of meeting where Henry B. Eyring was the featured speaker. As he began to speak, he talked about the need for the members to practice being more Christ-like. A courteous driver is Christ-like. Then he adds this little comment: "This isn't what I was going to speak about but I feel impressed to say this. I don't know where this is coming from."


Is it just me or does that phrase just rub you the wrong way? Are Apostles required to take a humility class where they learn how to be humble and at the same time hint about how inspired they are? They are all very good at it.

"I don't know where this is coming from." What the hell? Of course, he is hinting that he is receiving revelation right there on the spot, in a humble way, of course. The next part of the story really gets me. He even had tears in his eyes! Wow! What an act! Are Apostles also required to take acting classes where they learn how to produce tears on demand? Of course, TBM father and aunt buy into the whole story with complete conviction that it's all 100% true. It never even occurs to them that the guy is putting on a great show.

I know this has been said before, but I need to say it again. What exactly are these guys a "special witness" of? If they are a witness, how come they are not allowed to tell it? Of course, they all hint that they have personally seen Jesus Christ, but they can't actually say it. So here, I see a problem. If Joseph Smith claimed to see God and did so very openly (that's what they teach although we ex-mo's know that he never did), why can't they do the same? Why is it too sacred for them to say it but not Joseph Smith? Isn't he (Joseph Smith) the ultimate example of truth and right? Why then, won't they follow his example?

Why do church leaders hate being asked if they have seen God? Before I left the church, I was afraid to ask this very important question. I remember hearing stories of people asking this question and the person who asked was publicly rebuked for having no faith. Sorry, but I don't remember specific examples. Apostles won't admit to having seen God, but they won't deny it either.


Is this because they haven't seen, but can't let the faithful members know this? Having such an open ended answer is very convenient. They are not actually lying about it since they have never actually claimed it! How convenient. And yet they ask (or rather demand) for complete obedience to them. Why should I follow a "special witness" who will neither admit nor deny this very fundamental question? "Have you seen God?" In essence, they basically answer by saying, "Duh! Isn't it obvious?"

Even President Hinckley, when asked by a reporter if he is really a prophet, gives the same open-ended answer (and I paraphrase): "That's what every one seems to think. Laugh." And when asked, "Does God talk to you?" he replies (and I paraphrase again): "Yes, I talk to Him by praying." Well sorry, buddy, but that doesn't answer the question. You were asked if he talks to you, not if you talk to him. They all dance around and avoid the question. Why? I'll speculate on that for a moment.

Perhaps they know they are deceiving the people but are justified (as I hinted before) by not actually claiming to it. If it is later proven that they don't see God, they can state that they never actually claimed it. If it is later proven that they do see God, they can state, "See? I told you I was a special witness!" Once again, a perfect example of why the open-ended answer is so convenient: it leaves them guiltless and right either way.

Perhaps, they really have seen God and have had great things revealed to them that man-kind is not ready to receive. In being fair in our criticism of the church, we have to accept this as a possibility, however unlikely it may be. After all, we expect the TBM's to accept the church not being true as a possibility. But my rebuttal to this possibility is, if man-kind is not ready to receive it, why doesn't God reveal it to future Apostles in the time when the world is ready? After all, aren't the revelations of God supposed to be for the benefit of man-kind? So, if it doesn't apply to man-kind, why bother to reveal it?

Joseph Smith taught that the gospel can never change. So does this discredit "revelations" that change doctrine? How can one special witness claim it can never change, and then another special witness can claim that it can? Is it apostasy or revelation? Are these two witnesses getting their inspiration from the same source? It depends, the way I see it. If it outright changes an established doctrine, then it is apostasy. If it adds to a doctrine and expounds further upon it, then I could accept it as a revelation. That is a very fair statement and I believe that even most TBM's would agree with it.

So what about Joseph Smith teaching in the Fifth Lecture on Faith that "the Father [is] a personage of spirit"? Is it a doctrinal change when that statement is removed from the D&C and is replaced with "God has a body of flesh and bones"? It certainly appears so to me. One of these "special witnesses" is wrong. One (and I'm not suggesting which because it could be either) has received a revelation that contradicts the other. If they both have their revelation from a true source, why do they contradict each other? Why did the doctrine change? This very question bothered Book of Mormon witness David Whitmer so much that he left the church because of it.


He later wrote:

"Is it possible that the minds of men can be so blinded as to believe that God would give these revelations...and then afterwards command them to change and add to them some words which change the meaning entirely? Is it possible that a man who pretends to any spirituality would believe that God would work in any such manner?" (An Address to All Believers in Christ, 1887)

Let the TBM answer this question: is this apostasy or continuing revelation? (They won't answer it though; they'll just dance around the question like their leaders do (because they know the answer and don't want to admit it)). In this case, it is obvious that the doctrine has changed, not been expounded upon. If it was expounded upon, the Lectures on Faith would have been left in the current version of the D&C. But they have been removed and the church conveniently never talks about it.


In fact they claim that the church has always taught that God has a body. This is obviously changing doctrine and is proof that the church itself is apostatizing. Since this is the case, the leaders can't possibly be inspired, at least not by God because apostasy is of the devil. Whew!

As a member of the church for many years myself, I never once, ever heard that the church's official doctrine, for 86 years (from 1835 to 1921), was that God is a spirit! The church claims that they do not hide anything, and that may be true (I say "may" but strongly disagree with it), but they certainly make no effort to inform the members of the things they don't want remembered.


The leaders know this is faith destroying and makes them look foolish, so they give their best effort to make sure no one knows about it. How? By dictating approved reading and studying materials. By warning members to avoid reading too deep into church history. By teaching that anti-Mormons are full of satan and can only lie to you. And lastly, by teaching that your "testimony" is more proof of the church than you will ever need.

I heard many times, "A witness of the Holy Ghost leaves a more lasting impression on the soul than an actual eye-witness". In other words, facts don't matter if they contradict the Holy Ghost. This looks to me like not only hiding the truth, but also brainwashing the members.

Okay, maybe I am starting to run in circles, but I will make my point, which I believe is very powerful. If it is necessary for church leaders to hide and suppress damaging information about the church, doesn't that tell you right there that they know it's not true? So why do they continue to promote it? Money and power. What else could it be? I mean, they elevate themselves to near God-hood, which is nearly unlimited power. All they have to do is speak and the world obeys without question. Money and power. The very thing which they condemn from the pulpit.
Hypocrites! Damn good hypocrites!

We don't have a living prophet; we have a living God (fifteen of them; three in the First Presidency and 12 in the quorum of the twelve)! And they can't lead us astray because whatever they say is God's will (therefore, suggesting, again, that they are God). No wonder they worship Joseph Smith. He is the God of Mormonism. Brigham Young should have taught the Joseph Smith - God theory. Then there would be no need to hide it and denounce it!

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All I can say Ray, is AMEN brother!! You nailed it perfectly and I don't need to add anything to what you just thoughtfully, clearly and perfectly explained. I hope that some TBMS will respond to this, especially McKay, who left comments on the last blog entry. I don't know how anyone can argue with his logic, unless they slip into the infamous Cog Dis of Mormonism and cults.

Take care everyone and I sincerely apologize for my lack of posts and podcasts, as I've been very busy with the "summer family get togethers." I appreciate everyone's participation, patience and concern, but I'm fine and you'll be hearing plenty from me very soon. Thanks again Ray for your contributions and for this great post!!

Samuel the Utahnite

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130 Comments:

At Thursday, August 31, 2006 3:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ray, this was bloody fantastic!! You somehow in a few paragraphs said and answered some of my deep seeded questions since seminary! I feel like I've just been to therapy!!

Thanks so much!

Samuel. I really look forward to the "Fall Season" of your blog and Podcasts!

Lori


www.steppinupmusic.com

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 3:28:00 AM, Blogger mckay said...

Hi sam (and everyone)

Since you addressed me directly I wanted to respond. Before I do I have a question. As I read through your blogs and peoples responses I only see those who agree with your stance against the church (I havent read them all). I am curious.. is this ment to be an open forum for a myriad of oppinions and perpectives including those who believe the in Gospell? Or is this ment to be a support site for those who have left and/or dont belive the church. I dont want to post if my comments are out of context with the purpous of your site.

McKay (my real name btw)

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 5:04:00 AM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

McKay,

First, let me say welcome!! This forum is for everyone, but it certainly isn't a safe haven for TBMS to hang out in, if that is what you are asking. I'm sure that I really didn't need to say that to you for you to already know that. If you had read any of the 160 + posts or listened to any of my 25 podcasts, you would already know this, right? I'll give you a break, since you are the new kid on the block.

I only addressed you, because you do indeed seem to be the only TBM hanging around at the moment, you shared some pretty strong feelings in my last post and I have no problem with that. Maybe if you hang around long enough, some of our logic will actually rub off on you and help you to see what we see.

I will debate anyone anytime and any of these issues, as I've spent literally thousands of hours in research over just the last year. I'm certainly not afraid or intimidated by anything that any TBM has to say about any issue because after all, I was TBM for 30+ years, served a mission and have now been on both sides of the fence.

Most TBMS don't have the balls to even come here and leave comments, so big kudos to you McKay and stay as long as you like. You seem sincere and to be a real TBM, that is happy with what you have and the experiences that you've had. I don't understand it and I probably never will, but I respect you and your right to belong to any Church you want and you don't even need to explain why.

Everyone is allowed to believe whatever they want and everyone is allowed to share their opinions in Mormon Truth. You may not like some of the responses you get, but that's the way it is in Mormon Truth land. I encourage honesty, truth and passion and you will definitely find that here. Nobody is protected by me and there is no net to catch you. I expect everyone to fight their own battles here and I know that everyone is capable of doing so.

If you on the other hand are looking for people to be in your corner, supporting you and congratulating you; you probably won't find that here. There are other places like FAIR, where you will find supporters for what you believe, but I'm sure that you already know that.

Now unlike FAIR and RFM, you can say whatever you want here, unless you get nasty and start making racial slurs, or something absurd like that, which I'm sure you won't and I will never delete your comments otherwise. I strongly encourage full dialogue on all the issues and to get them all out on the table.

Like I said, I have nothing to worry about and I feel that I have the facts and truth in my corner. When I say truth, I'm speaking of the truth of Mormon History and the many realities of Mormonism that you've already addressed or mentioned in your comments.

It's amazing that so many things can trouble you and that you recognize them, but then reject them as completely insignificant because of your spiritual experience. That is exactly and precisely what the Mormon Hierarchy has taught us and trained us to do from a very young age. Disregard all evidence, all flaws and all reality in exchange for a burning bosom, because that is more important than truth and facts. I'm sure that everyone here has heard the old adage a million times, that "the Church is perfect but the people aren't." What BS!!

The Church is the people and the people are the Church. The other adage, or I should say doctrine and official teaching, is that they can't possibly lead you astray without being removed by God. So how can imperfect people promise to never lead you astray? It's ridiculous!!

Who cares if there is one shred of evidence proving the validity of the BOM; if our bosom goes on fire, it's true, case closed. Yeah, I taught that for 2 years on my mission and it worked quite well in manipulating people into baptism.

Maybe one day you need to give everything the same amount of weight and do an honest analysis instead of being 99% spiritual experience/bosom and 1% reality of the situation. As I've mentioned, I completely respect your right to believe and cling to the Mormon Church and I would never bother you, but you came here and engaged me and everyone else, so I now feel free to tell you where I think your going wrong and how I see things. I expect you to respect my opinions, just like I respect yours. I don't expect you to understand where I'm coming from, anymore than I can fully understand where you are coming from.

Nobody is forced to come or stay here, but I sincerely hope that you'll stick around a while and further explain your deep passion for Mormonism despite the lengthy list of flaws that you yourself have already stated.

I find it amazing that anyone can actually admit to and see all the flaws, yet continue to profess that they know the church is true. Have you studied cults and what cults do and how cult members act? On one hand, you seem to be very open minded to things but then you slam the door closed.

I also wonder how you can give such validity to a spiritual experience that was based on the lies and half-truths that you were taught by your Mormon leaders and the Hierarchy. Is a spiritual experience that wasn't based on reality and the whole truth even valid? How can it be? Why is the Mormon Hierarchy afraid to teach the real truth, especially to investigators? I think you know the answer to that one McKay.

So, to answer your question.....why wouldn't you be welcome here? I'm not welcome in FAIR, on the Mormon Curtain, nor RFM anymore because of my passionate posts, which they can't handle. I would hate to act like those losers and edit some pro-Mormon guy that came into my blog, just like they did to me. Hell, I'm hated by FAIR and RFM, one pro-Mormon site and EX-Mormon site. That is what drove me to start this blog!!

People that do that "editing of posts", are pathetic, shallow and afraid, that's all I can say. If a person isn't free to express their honest opinions, in their manner of expression, the place is completely worthless and a pile in my opinion. I don't want to be like them.

My main goals with my blogs and podcasts, are to help those that are on the fence and seeking the truth and those that have already found the truth, to know that there are others out here just like them, that share and feel their pain. I never started these blogs or podcasts to reach TBMS. If they stumble in like you have, so be it. But, you can rest assured, you won't be changing our minds and I'm sure we won't be changing yours. It is fun to try though, isn't it? Nothing wrong with good honest, passionate debate, right?

So, let's debate away and I have a ton of questions that I want to ask you when I have more time, which I don't have right now.

Now, if you turn out to be a pathetic TBM apologist, that is just screwing with us all; we will slice you and dice you and make you want to leave. Let's hope that isn't the case, because I have ZERO tolerance for such insane individuals and they just waste my time. Unfortunately, there are many losers like I just described out there and you can never be too sure. They are basically fakes, phonies and posers(and did I mention pathetic)....which I hope you are not.

Now, if you happen to be the lovable King of cog dis, Daniel C. Peterson....you can stay all day long so that we can blast you into oblivion...LOL!! Now that would be fun, but I'm afraid that he's the cowardly lion and only goes where he is safe with plenty of safety nets, supporters and protection from moderators, which certainly wouldn't describe the treatment that he'd receive here.

Take care everyone,

Samuel

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 7:56:00 AM, Anonymous ray said...

Hey Samuel,

Thanks for posting my article. I wan't expecting that and certainly hope it can help someone.

Lori, I guess it already has helped. What kind of questions were bothering you?

Hi McKay, my reply to you will be similar to Samuels. But first, I must say that if the Mormon apologists were more like you, then they might actually have an argument! Like you have said, our only difference is the conclusion. I fully respect everything you said (in the comment section of the last post).

You are surely welcome here. This is not a place of hate. It is a place of honesty. Sometimes a little too honest. Neither Samuel or I have a problem with someone who choses to remain LDS. I, personally, commend you for it. Being true to yourself is the most important. So comment away! Your comments are very sincere and, although they are the minority here, we "ex-mos" are not full of anger and hate like the church wants everyone to think. 99% of us still have family and friends in the church. So we don't hate Mormons, we love them.

I am open to email comments if anyone wants to make it private. Or feel free to comment here, either way. My email: polomolok@yahoo.com I will make my best attempt to reply to everyone. My spamguard is ON so if your email gets put into the spambox automatically, then I apologize now because I periodically empty it without even looking it over. This would be the only reason why I would not reply to anyone.

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 2:32:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Thanks again Ray for your effort in writing the comment and for allowing me to post it, as I think it is powerful and spot on. It was an honor to post it for everyone to read and I look forward to posting many more things from you and hopefully others. I would especially encourage anyone that has a personal story that they'd like to share.

Now, I also want to echo your comments, as I've said so many times, so that nobody misunderstands; I too, highly respect anyone that wants to remain Mormon. Like you said Ray, I have many family members and friends that are still Mormon. I don't condemn or threaten them, or say silly stuff like, "they will lose their souls forever", etc. They are as free as we are, to believe whatever they want and chart their own path in life. If someone claims to be happy, just who the hell am I, to get in their face and tell them that they are not?!! That is the method used by nutjobs and fanatics!!

In fact, most religious cults use it as their main recruiting tool. Why else would Boyd K. Packer see funerals as the perfect time to try to teach and convert people, when they are the most vulnerable. It's disgusting and I'm just glad that I can see it now.

The problem with some of them(TBMS), that know I no longer believe, is actually the reverse; they ironically can't respect me and my right to leave Mormonism. I can't even tell most of them for fear of repercussions, both for me and my family. I'm far more tolerant than most Mormons I've met or know. After all, they are taught that anyone leaving the "one and only true Church", will be a Son of Perdition, because they have denied the holy ghost and their testimony.

I mean come on...Boyk K. Packer describes the darkness that is in us and that can be felt while calling us "disease germs." Brigham Young flat out calls us "anti-Christs", which is a clearly understood term for someone that is pure evil...back then and now. And we wonder why Mormons and specifically TBMS, are afraid of us and see us as evil and loathsome? They are just following their leadership and past Prophets, that's all. You know...the Prophets that "can't lead them astray."

If serving a mission and having a burning testimony based on several experiences doesn't qualify for their "Son of Perdition hood", then I don't know what would.

So, like you said Ray, I don't hate Mormons and my anger, frustration and passion, is always directed toward the hierarchy that runs the multi-billion dollar cult/real estate company/corporation. The innocent members are merely victims of said cult and said cult leaders and it is tragic and horrible.

Unfortunately though; these innocent members end up being collateral damage and it can't be avoided. Even though they are not my intended target, then end up stumbling into the path and my websites. They feel that any attack on their Church and beliefs, is a direct attack on them. I used to feel the same exact way, so I understand where they are coming from.

However, I can't be afraid of hurting TBMS feelings and thus have to hold back on what I'm saying and trying to do. Like I said, they are just collateral damage and nothing can be done about it. They have the option to click that little X in the upper right hand corner and nobody is forcing them to stay, read, listen or comment.

After what I've now learned and been through; helping sincere truth seekers and those that have already discovered the fraud of Mormonism, to deal with their pain and know that we are here for them, is my first goal, not protecting the oversensitive feelings and bosoms of TBMS. So yes, I respect them, but I don't cower to them and I'm not afraid to say whatever it is I want to say.

I speak the truth, use a lot of passion and if they read it and are offended...so be it and that's life in the big world. But again, my attack is not on them personally, rather their hierarchy and they themselves are the ones that personalize it and call me out, trash me, etc. I then respond accordingly and strongly and say whatever it is that I need to say.

I thank everyone once again for your participation and I look forward to some good, honest debate with our new TBM poster McKay and many others.

Just keep a heads up everyone for those pathetic Mormon apologists that come in here masquerading as a TBM who is sincerely seeking help and answers. In RFM, they are called trolls and we've had some here and I'm sure we'll have many more in the future. Feel free to say to them whatever you want. Unlike the moderators in RFM and FAIR, who are absolutely terrified of trolls....I love to screw with them and call them out, because they are all idiots!!

However, I don't waste much time with them and they just go away. Daniel C. Peterson is one of these trolls that goes around using different names....lying about who he is...and then claiming to have only wanted help and guidance. He pretends to be shocked at our hostility and then goes and writes a post about how awful, evil and nasty us EXMOS are. Then again, he is being paid to be a fraud and "lie for the Lord." He's a joke and an embarrassment to himself and his cult!!

Take care everybody and a lot of stuff is coming down the pike that I'm sure you will enjoy. As always, I appreciate everyone's support, patience and comments.

Samuel

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 2:56:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

Hi Sam and Ray

Thanks for the response. I feel much better about posting now. Let me just say, I dont think you will find me to be the typical TBM. I will try not to give the typical vain and repetitious responses as these seme contrived and insincere. If you will excuse me for a minute... I do not mean to be putting off addressing the questions pertaining to this post directly... but my mind has been troubled and I cant seem to focus on other things until I say this.

I cant remember where on your site I read it. But it had somthing to do with a TBM saying to Samuel or others that you are basically a pathetic apostate and "the work will go on"... with or without you. I must say that these kind of reponses are at the forfront of my my mind and bother me more than all the other posts against the church combined. How arrogant, how discriminate!, how abnouxious to dismiss all those on that have left the church as those who will burn in hell as the church marches happlly forward. If memory serves me correctly Christ has said that He himself would leave his flock of 99 to pursue the 1. Christ himself has said that should even a sparrow fall from the nest, he knows. The entire core of our doctrines state that the sole of man is more important in the site of God than any other thing. If this is so, how you could dismiss the indescribable worth of every single person weather mormon, anti morman jewish, christian, hindu, muslim or whatever? How can you not aknowledge that as the Church goes on, it will not do so with the significance, valor, and integrety as it would without those that have left? How can you say that at the judgement seat of Christ that these peoples hearts are not more sincere than your own? How can you say that they have rejected the Gospel of Christ, when you yourself in your Valor and zelousness, have become a poor spokesman and exmple.

No.. I believe for the most part what these people are rejecting is the contrived, fake, and insincerety they have seen. I believe these people have hearts that are good and honest. I beleive that these people are facing ridicule, scorn, and rejection for leaving the Gospel because they believe it is wrong.. Does this not take more integrety of heart that vainly and superstousouly following a belief that you cannot sustain? As far as im concerned that kind of valour is what we would commend if these were in defense of our faith. If they left their famillies leaving broken homes and sustained relationships to JOIN the church we would be singing there praises... Oh how then can you act with such guile and hypocrisy as these people are living more in accordence with the conviction of there hearts that many members within our own faith.

From what I can tell, the people on this site have given a great majority of their lives to the Gospel, They have dedicated missions, time, effort, money, and all energy to the cause. Listen to Samels journal pages and tell me he did not try with all sincerity to believe, and to live as he belived. Am I to believe that this kind of sincerity and passion has gone unnoticed by God? Samuel has undered trials, abuse, mockery and scorn at the hand of church members and its leaders even while giving service. He has not rejected the Gospel of Christ.. he has rejected those who did not reflect it properly. I for one commend you and thank you Sam and all others who have devoted your time, energy, and stregnth. I am sorry beyond measure that you have been treated and felt as a peg in a board within the social structure and politics of the church. I am sorry you have experienced those so centered in their own rightchoueness that they could not see how wrong they are.

Since when did the Gospel become a game of numbers and social appearences? Since when did the Body of Christ become on object outside of its members? How can we say that the work will go forward without those whom are precious in the site of God? True, God has decreed that no unhallowed hand shall stop the work from going forward. But are we as members supposed to assume that it will go forward with the significance and stregnth without every sincere soul who is seeking to know and understand God or seeking to live the conviction of their heart? What good is a work that will role forward if it arrives without every single soul who is would be willing to accept the true gospel of Christ if they had seen its true value in your own dispositons? We have an empty shell without these people, every single person is precious in the sight of God. EVERYONE!

How easy is it to accept the will of God when we think we are saved merely claiming to be a member of a church, and how easy to dismiss the damnation of another as long as we believe we are saved. So go ahead, point the finger of scorn and ridicule.. call these people apostates, sinners, hell mongerers or what have you.. But when you are brought before Christ you will see how fierce the daggers that are places in your own eyes. You will see with perfection, your own hypocrisy and guile. You will see the pain you have brought to those who would believe had you stood as a better witness and testimony of Christ.

I believe in the Doctrine that states that "by their fruits ye shall know them". If sincere people are leaving the church in droves, I have to believe this is bad fruit. I have to call it like I see it! All those who hold the priesthood of God, that have let the political strucure and social status of the church take preisdent over the testimony and will of God, all those that have sought to cover the transgressions of the church or its leaders to save face in the eyes of the public, all those who are unwilling to embrace your own history and have sought to cover it up... I would condemn the lack of sincerity in your hearts. Truth bares its own witness, and I speak that which I believe to be true, and I will let the hearer decide

What are we afraid of? why cannot we embrace out own history as it is? What can we as a church expect to happen when we have presented a version of our Doctrine that is incomplete or altered. Tyrants, Dictators, and corrupt governments have done the same. Hitler burned books, controlled newspaper contect, killed those who dissagreed. People were held in ignorance and captivity because they were not allowed the information to know the truth. It is a very fine line between a righteous leader and tyrant. I fear we have crossed it too many times.

Now we are left with the fruits of our own policies. Some church leaders are condemning the internet as the most distructive force the church has seen. While I agree that when it comes to pornography, salaciousness, plagiarism and enabling communication among terrorists... yes it is being used for great evil. But when it comes strictly as an informational tool... how can this be thought of as destructive? Only a dictator seeking unrighteous dominion and control would see this as the case. People are more informed, they can now make better, more informed choices. A man cannot be saved in ignorance. If we then are ignorant as to our own history as it has been mislead and covered up, how could we be saved? If we are truly converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by power of the spirit which can leave a greater impression upon the spirit that a physical appearance, and if we truly believe that this is the power by which people are converted. Then why are we afraid of the imperfections of our leaders? Why are we embarrassed and try to distance ourselves from our own doctrines for political purposes?

We are suffering at the results of our own policies. By teaching a completely watered down version of our own histrory and painting a perfect rosy picture, when we are faced with the full story, we stumble, we are not prepared for the facts, we call the people who tell these portions of our history Liars. We give ammunition for our opposition to hold our own history against us and present a distorted picture! How does this come across? It tells the world we are ignorant of our own faith! What kind of testimony is that to offer?

I want to know the truth! I want it as it is, not how someone thinks it should be. If the presidency has been enabling a policy to "adapt" our doctrines and history to "the weakest of the saints" the time has come to acknowledge our heritage and history in its fullness. If we are indeed in the fullness of times, and the prophets are correct in saying "we are the greatest generation that ever lived" then treat us like it! Give us truth, sincerity, integrity and honesty. Give me the dignitity and trust to know that I will be able keep my testimony in spite of controversies, conflicts, or the imperfection of the members. If all we do is present a story that is most believable to the weakest of the saints. do we not drive away the stronger? Those who would more fully embrace it if we had all the facts an offered the truth in sincerity?

If there is any member reading this who would challenge my testimony, intentions or faith you shoud read.

Joseph Smith taught:

I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.

and

I ask, Did I ever exercise any compulsion over any man? Did I not give him the liberty of disbelieving any doctrine I have preached, if he saw fit?

and

It looks too much like the Methodists, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have a creed which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammeled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine. The high counsel undertook to censure and correct Elder Brown, because of his teachings … Whether they actually corrected him or not, I am a little doubtful, but don’t care.

David O McKay says, quote:

Ours is the responsibility … to proclaim the truth that each individual is a child of God and important in his sight; that he is entitled to freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly; that he has the right to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. In this positive declaration, we imply that organizations or churches which deprive the individual of these inherent rights are not in harmony with God's will nor with his revealed word. (124th Annual

Hugh B. Brown taught

I hope that you will develop the questing spirit. Be unafraid of new ideas for they are the stepping stones of progress. You will of course respect the opinions of others but be unafraid to dissent if you are informed. Now I have mentioned freedom to express your thoughts, but I caution you that your thoughts and expressions must meet competition in the marketplace of thought, and in that competition truth will emerge triumphant. Only error needs to fear freedom of expression. Seek the truth in all fields, and in that search you will need at least three virtues: courage, zest and modesty. The ancients put that thought in the form of a prayer. They said, “From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth, from the laziness that is content with half truth, from the arrogance that thinks it has all truth – O God of truth, deliver us.

So I ask you... am I not within the my God given rights to question policy? I am as much a member of this church as any other man! And altough I may not dictate policy of the church, I can as part of a great church body, voice my opinion and cry unto God and my leaders for truth, integrity and honesty in our faith.

I bear witness that God lives, I have received this truth, I know it, I will live it. I know that deep within the mormon poltical and social system beats a core of the truth of God. The doctrine of Christ is there for all who will believe. The book or Mormon is what it claims to be, and Joseph Smith not matter what his imperfections, had what God needed at the time to bring about the restored Gospel. Even the Book of Mormon, the Priesthood, and the Body of Christ.

I will humble myself to the depths of the sea and submit to any authority at the head of this church as long as I believe it is Gods will (and I do)! But I will raise my voice to defend truth. I will use my God given rights to stand for what I believe no matter who the I disagree with. I will embrace my heritage in its fullness. I embrace every weakness of ever member of the church so long as they are humble seekers of Christ, no matter how they me err. I will also embrace every sincere, honest person no matter a friend or foe of the church. My compassion runs deep. and I accept full responsibilty for where I have made error. My life has been but one error after another, my example..pathetic at times, for this I am truly sorry. Yet I know, it is true, and I know God will forgive. I believe where the church or members has been it error, we must also accept it, embrace it, apologize with sincerity and move on in the faith of Christ.

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 3:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ray, one of my questions I had as a teen was "If Christ loved me unconditionally and died for me as a "gift", then why does the church have a million and one things I have to do to "earn" that sacrifice. I felt like they were talking out of both sides of their mouths. We are loved unconditionally, but...no we're not.

Also, I couldn't understand if Jesus walked among the poor, then why on earth would he feel comfortable living in these huge gaudy temples we build for him. The "poor" of the world would never feel comfortable there and now that I'm an adult and know what sort of money has to go into the upkeep of a place like that, why would anyone want that? That would be more like a stone around your neck than a glorious place to live.

Also, somewhere in 1Ne, it talks about something being "white as the driven snow" Before I knew anything about the fraud that the church is, the though came to me, "how would someone who supposedly lived in Jeruselem know anything about snow, let alone 'driven snow'? Well, he wouldn't, but someone living in New York certainly would.

Yep, that is about it for now. Thanks for asking!!

Lori

www.steppinupmusic.com

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 3:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, one more thing I just remembered.

If murder was so bad, against the commandments, against civil law, etc, etc etc, why then was it ok for the "Father" to murder his own son? Basically the "Father" mocked his own laws and consciously planned, thought out and systematically murdered his son, while his son assisted in his own suicide/murder, and somehow this is actually supposed to help me in some way?

The way I see it is if a fireperson comes into a burning building to save my life and dies in the process, he is a hero because he/she did something tangible for me, they have me my life which I can actually use to help others and continue on, however Christ's death means absolutely nothing to me as it doesn't benefit me whatsoever, also he gets to go be a god again, so where is the big sacrifice? A fireperson knows they will die and has to go through the intense emotional anxiety that goes with that, the unknown. They know nothing that is going to happen to them before they die. It really wouldn't be a sacrifice if you knew you were going to be a god and live in supposed mansions and have zillions of people worship you after you "sacrifice yourself". No, the whole Christ story is really, really shallow and hollow for this reader.

Thanks.

Lori

www.steppinupmusic.com

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 5:02:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Lori, you rock!!

I agree whole heartedly with what you just said. If we just apply common logic and common sense to everything in the Bible, like Adam and Eve, Jesus, etc, it isn't hard to see things clearly and figure it out.

I think it's so funny that everyone is always so down on Judas for betraying Christ. I mean come on, it was an awesome thing wasn't it? It was magnificent and furthermore, part of the plan from before the foundations of the world. I would go as far as to say that Judas must have been one of the special chosen people, to be entrusted with such an important and critical moment in time. Just where would we all be without Judas, right? Praise God/Jesus and praise Judas while your at it.

I would also say that it's BS that Judas should suffer for it, instead, he should be praised and thanked, maybe even prayed to. He helped put the final plan into action, which had to happen anyway. The die-hard believers should mention Jesus, the Apostles, Judas and John the Baptist in the same sentence, as wonderful men, shouldn't they?

Oh, so if Judas hadn't betrayed Jesus and given him the kiss of death, Jesus wouldn't have been crucified? LMAO!! Wow, that would have thrown a wrinkle into things and really screwed up God/Jesus' plan, right?

Furthermore, shouldn't everyone be praising the men that actually participated in Jesus' Crucifixion too? I mean, kudos to the guy that hammered the nails into his hands and feet, right? I'm being serious!! Without these amazing men, this whole great plan would have been royally foiled and it would have screwed things up big time.

So, that begs the question; will these men, that were so intricate in helping God/Jesus carry out his plan of suicide/murder, be punished to hell? They should be sitting on thrones and praised for their incredible participation. Of course God knows the beginning from the end and Jesus is God and God is Jesus. What a joke!!

I'm not trying to offend everyone, but come on people, just use logic and realize that none of it makes any sense. When the Christians throw in the whole Jesus was God BS, that's where it really gets screwed up.

Yeah, yeah, he prayed to himself, talked about his Father...err...himself...threw his voice from heaven, lied to, tricked and deceived everyone and finally, was the only begotten of himself. "Forgive them Father(I mean myself), for they know not what they do." "My God, my God(myself, myself), why has thou(me) forsaken me." Who was overlooking the galaxy when God/Jesus was just a baby? Did he just set it on cruise control for 33 years? Give me a break!! Yeah and I believe that ET really flew by the moon with Elliot on a bike that was flying too. LOL!!

I'm sorry, but you would have to be brain-dead, completely, to actually believe this BS(the 2 Gods in one) in my opinion. At least Mormons separate them into two people and not one super everywhere but no where, had a body, now he doesn't person, now you see me, now you don't freak.

I will get more into all of this very soon, as it has taken me the last year or so to realize what a joke it all is. I won't even get into the Adam and Eve and incest issues right now, but later. I also find it funny that these Christan fundamentalists can say, "well the ark story probably isn't literal", but then go on to pick and choose what is literal, based on the point that they are trying to make. Am I the only one that can see this so clearly? It's all or nothing folks, no picking and choosing.

Anyway, thanks Lori for inspiring me to write this comment and I also wanted to thank McKay for his well thought out and honest post and when I have more time, I'll respond to you McKay. McKay, you seem like a very sincere and good person and I salute you for that. In fact, you seem too good for the Mormon Church, as quite frankly, in my opinion, they don't deserve you. I admire those that stay in and want to try to change it from the inside out.

Sadly, until the Mormon Hierarchy feel the same way you do(which most likely will be never), it will never happen. That is precisely why so many people are bailing out, to the tune of about 125,000 just this last year.

Chau everyone!!

Samuel

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 7:11:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

Damnit! I just spent an hour typing in a comment and then accidentally closed the window! Now I have to type it all again! That Mormon god must hate me. LOL

Lori, I have had similar thoughts to yours. Why would Jesus, the most humble man on earth, build magnificent temples, skyscrapers, malls, & hotels? The true church of God sure is a worldly church. Every time I drive by the COB (church office building) I can't help but think of the great and spacious building as described by Nephi. It's the tallest building in SLC and those inside are in the attitude of pointing and mocking. Ironic.

And the sacrifice of god's only son? I always wondered why it was so hard for god since Jesus would go right to him as soon as he died.

I've also thought it strange the church teaches that worldly possessions are not important (which I do agree with) but then teach that your final reward will be mansions and riches.

I know you said you were serious, Sam, but all I could do is laugh when I read your last post. Not only Mormonism, but also Christianity is a joke. It's the lazy mans way to heaven. Seriously, most Christians believe they have to do NOTHING to get to heaven. In fact, they believe that they are mocking god if they try to do anything to earn it! At least the Mormons believe in actually putting in some effort to earn the reward. If I was god, would I want to be surrounded by a bunch of lazy, do-nothing people who expected me to do all their work for them? Of course not!!! That is purely ridiculous.

Well, this post is a lot shorter than my other one. I just don't feel like re-typing everything. Kudas to Judas!

I found this web page which talks about Did_Jesus_Really_Live? It is kind of long, but I found it to be very interesting.

 
At Friday, September 01, 2006 8:21:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

Sorry, McKay, I forgot to comment to you. Your entire post was beautiful and I found one phrase to be especially interesting. You said: "If all we do is present a story that is most believable to the weakest of the saints, do we not drive away the stronger?" Beautifully said.

If the church had just been honest with me, I might, just might have stayed. I am a person who is more than willing to serve. McKay, if you asked me to come help you paint your house, I would be there as quick as my car would bring me. Before my exodus, I was a ward clerk, which meant meetings before, during, and after church, and several times during the week. I gave a ton of service to the church. Fortunately, they gave it back to me. For a while we were on the church welfare program, which I am truly grateful for. We probably would have lost our home without them. The problem is that most people get onto the welfare system, and never get off! But my whole point is that I have/had a lot of talents to give to the church and they lost it because they weren't honest with me. If there is one thing I hate, it is being lied to.

I own a rental property and have had the privilege of dealing with the scummiest people on the planet! Those people will smile at your face while lying through their teeth. They will turn their home (my apartment) into a shithole. I should be used to it by now, but each time a POS moves out in the middle of the night, I am appalled at how filthy and trashy they are! They smoke in the house in spite of promises that they will smoke outside. They let their dogs do their business anywhere. They write on the walls with permanant markers, they cut up the carpet. Trash is everywhere except in the garbage can! Why am I sharing all this? Because they claim to be Christian! and yet they live in pure filth! They are liars and cheaters. They are dishonest and filthy. I will never comprehend why anyone would want to turn their place of residence into such a pig pen. I think it speaks volumes about their own self worth. Ah, the joys of being a landlord. They are not all like this, of course.

Good night, everyone. I think I'm going to take a trip over the weekend just to get away for a few days.

 
At Saturday, September 02, 2006 2:25:00 PM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

Well, this is what I get for not checking this site daily.... You guys have hit on about ten million heavy, deep doctrinal issues. It's difficult to address them all and impossible to do so properly, but I will do my best.

First off, McKay, I've found your insights innovative and refreshing. I've never crossed paths with a Mormon who expresses him/herself like you do. Your message is very Christ-like and very different to what I've been exposed to.

When you talk about people who leave the church as being lost sheep and Jesus' parable about the good shepard, it reminds me of the poetry of John Donne. Which I had never thought of in a Biblical sense before.

"Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."

The loss of one single individual diminishes us all. It's not a trivial matter.

Jesus said this time and time again -- the parable of the good shepard, the prodigal son and the reference you made to the sparrow who falls from the tree.

So those who scorn or dismiss those who leave the faith are not behaving in a Christ-like manner. I'm speaking of Mormons, Christians, and Catholics alike.

Okay, now moving on to Lori....

I've read your posts here and your writing on your web site. I am very, very sorry for the hardship you've undergone and I applaud you for getting out of a terrible environment and doing something positive for yourself. Your story is really inspirational.

One of my idols is Frederick Douglass. He was a slave who wasn't even allowed to learn how to read. His master was cruel and often sent Douglass to an even crueler man for "discipline" as punishment for his defiant attitude.

If you know American history, you know Frederick Douglass became a freeman, a statesman and one of the most influential individuals of his time. He work tirelessly for abolition.

Lori, your story reminds me of Frederick Douglass. Instead of bemoaning your situation, you took action and turned your life around.

Having said that, I don't agree with some of your conclusions and I'd like to help you with some questions you've asked.

You asked what the big sacrafice Jesus made? I often think of how he was God who humbled himself to become man.

Unlike the Mormons, as a Catholic I believe that God is a spirit who knows no begining and no end.

For Jesus to go from that kind of existence to the crude shell of flesh and blood of mankind takes an unknowable kind of humility.

To be a child... to have to grow up, go through puberty, obey parents....

To get sick, being too hot or too cold...

Getting hungry, going to the bathroom, getting dirty, tired, sleeping....

Then to suffer and undergo torture and a painful death as He did, the humility was unbelievable. He had the power at any moment to save Himself. To stop the soldiers, to heal Himself, to fly away, but He never did. He endured for us.

Jesus had to die a mortal death so that he could open the gates of heaven for us. I don't understand it all. Some people say he actually had to fight with the Devil.

Before Jesus died, there was no heaven. Everyone was in a sort of limbo. Even the Mormons teach this or something like it.

He opened heaven for us and it is a gift that anyone can receive. You don't have to earn it. You don't have to work for it. You just have to acknowledge it and accept it and it's yours.

No one could possibly be worthy of such a gift. That's beyond human capacity.

It's a gift. It's free. It's for all of us.

Now, Samuel, you ask what was wrong with Judas' betrayal.

You are not alone. That is a question Christians have been asking since the inception of the Church.

If you have been following the news, you may have heard of the discovery of the "Gospel of Judas". These are writings by early Christians that depict Judas as having secretly received instructions from Jesus to betray Him so that the crucifixion could take place.

While, we don't believe this version of the story to be true ("we" being Catholics), partly because a secret meeting or private conversation can not be corraborated, we do recognize the historical significance of it.

It shows that even in the earliest days of the Church, people asked the same question you just did and they argued about it, probably like we are now... except without computers. :D

In my opinion, the crucifixion would have eventually happened without the betrayal. The authorities were looking for Jesus. He couldn't be on the lam forever. Knowing His destiny, He may have chosen to turn Himself in.

Secondly, Judas himself did realize the wrong that he had done. Sadly, instead of letting the teachings of Jesus really sink in and asking for forgiveness as Peter did, Judas killed himself, betraying yet another teaching -- the sanctity of life.

When Peter betrayed Jesus (three times), he felt ashamed for what he had done and asked God for forgiveness. The forgiveness of sins, that second chance, is the founding tenet of Christianity.

Poet William Blake wrote: "What truth did Christ bring to light that Plato or Cicero did not write?"

Blake later concluded that the forgiveness of sins was the new truth that Jesus taught that was so important.

We can only hope that in those last seconds, Judas repented for betraying his friend and teacher and for throwing away his own life.

And who knows? God's compassion and generosity are endless. Maybe there is atonement for Judas in the afterlife as well.

Now, very briefly, regarding Adam and Eve, Catholics don't believe in that part of the Bible. Or at least, we don't believe these stories literally.

We believe in an allegorical translation of the Bible. That is, the Bible is a collection of stories told to teach a lesson.

So we don't believe in Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, Noah's Ark and stories like that. They're just stories. What's important is the spiritual message and the lesson that these stories teach us.

Yes, you're right when you say Christian Fundamentalists believe these things. That's when they start believing in weird stuff like the earth is only 10,000 years old (actually, they believe the ENTIRE UNIVERSE is 10,000 years old, not just the earth).

And Finally, Finally, Ray, in response to your comment about the lazy-man's approach to heaven....

This is NOT what Christians believe. I know there are many who do. They simply do not understand. At the very least, I can tell you this is NOT what Catholics believe.

Yes, as I said earlier, we believe that by grace, that is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are saved. We don't have to do any work to earn our way into Heaven. It's a gift. You don't have to work off a gift.

That does not mean we have a "license to sin" as some people put it.

If I give you a great gift, you feel ingratiated. You want to do something nice for me.

It's the same with the gift of Heaven. Jesus tells what we can do for Him. "Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me."

He asks us to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, visit the imprisoned, care for the sick....

Now, if I think I have a license to sin and go do whatever I want and cheat on my wife, and get drunk all the time, and rob banks, etc, etc., obviously, I haven't accepted this gift and I don't appreciate it.

If you took me in off the street, gave me a place to stay and found me a good job and in return, I slept with your wife and blew up your car, I didn't appreciate your gift, now did I?

So this lazy-man's way into heaven is simply a misunderstanding of our faith.

And actually, a lot of the contention many of you have is a misunderstanding.

Certainly, absolutely you have the right to disagree. However, I think we can all agree that we all want to disagree with the truth and not a misconception, right?

So do Catholics believe that the dinosaurs died in the great flood? That the earth is 10,000 years old? That we have a "license to sin"? That we have "cheap faith"?

No, we don't believe in any of these things. If this is what you have a problem with, then you have a problem with some other faith or with someone who doesn't understand their faith.

Now please, if you have any questions, I'll do the best I can to answer them. Regardless of our points of view, I do respect you all. If at the end of the day we disagree, let's at least be clear about what we disagree on.

 
At Saturday, September 02, 2006 3:25:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

Dear Cernovog,

Even though I no longer believe in Christianity, I suppose there is a part of it that will always be fundamentally within me. Like I said, (or meant to say but it must have been in the post that I accidentally deleted) I don't know a whole lot about other religions and even Christian religions other than Mormonism. If I have misrepresented what they believe, I apologize. Please, keep in mind, though, that I was not specifically referring to Catholics. With most talks or debates I have ever had with a Christian of a different sect, I was given the impression that they do not believe in works at all. Your explanation was one of the best I have ever heard.

Just to make sure I understand you correctly, I will paraphrase what you said. Jesus' gift is free to everyone; all they have to do is accept it. In order to accept it, they must do good deeds and treat their fellowmen with kindness and charity. They are not earning heaven; they are accepting the gift. Those who think they have been saved but do not accept the gift, by being criminals, abusers, etc., aren't really saved because they really haven't accepted the gift.

If I have understood you correctly, and I hope I have, I now understand general Christianity better. I was always under the impression that they say their little prayer to Jesus and then sit back and enjoy the ride to heaven. That's why I referred to it as "lazy man". Thank you for clarifying.

As far as Christianity in any form, it is all still too bizare for me to continue believing it. If you've read any of the comments I have made recently, you should know my feelings on that; that it is a myth.

For some reason, man has this desire to create gods to worship. Man finds great pleasure in creating a god and then defying him. Life could be so much less painful if people could just realize that god is nature. You are nature. Therefore, you are god. If you have faith that something will happen, then it will because you made it happen with your mind.

No one has any control over me, except what I allow them to have. I have been trying to teach my son that when someone teases him, they do it because they get a rise out of his reaction. His reaction is giving permission to be teased again. If you stop reacting, the bully will stop teasing.

This is such a simple way of life and most people would be surprised at how well it works. I believe there is no such thing as sin, except perhaps one: Any act against another living creature. If I murder, the murder itself is not the sin. The sin is that I have taken away the life from a living creature. If I steal, the sin is not stealing itself but that I have wronged another living creature. If I lie, the sin is not the lie but that I have deceived another living creature. If I cheat on my wife, the sin is not adultry, but that I have betrayed her. In essence, the only sin that really exists is breaking the Golden Rule. If you have respect for all life, you are perfect. I'm not only talking about human life, but all life. An ant has every bit as much right to live as I do. If I stomp on the ant just because I can, I am a murderer.

I know my views are different, but they make so much sense to me. Actually, I believe they are similar to Buddahism, which I am going to learn more about very soon. Really, if I respect all life, am I not a Christlike person?

I don't expect anyone to agree with me, so you're right, we'll have to agree to disagree. But I appreciate the beautiful and non-condecening way in which you presented yourself.

 
At Saturday, September 02, 2006 11:39:00 PM, Anonymous Adrienne said...

I was searching around for some good info on the LDS church, and unhappily stumbled onto your ridiculous little website. I, myself, am struggling with my own Mormon beliefs, but I have never been so insulted than by the outrageous things you claim in your blog. How can someone waste his life devoting precious time to spreading this garbage? (And by garbage, I mean your twisted opinions, not the beliefs of this church - don't try to twist my words around, buddy). I am very offended by the things you say about the leaders of this church, and the way you mercilessly deface their pictures. I can't keep you from expressing your opinion, but I think you should know you're an asshole. Yes, that's not really up to the high Mormon standards, now, is it? But I can't understand how someone can be so hard-hearted and bitter towards something you once held dear. Shame on you for creating this trashy blog, and for spreading your disgusting and disturbing opinions and false "facts" to the public. Reading just a few passages from select posts of your's sickens me. I know you don't care about anything I've just said, but I feel someone needs to say it, probably not for the first time. That's fine if you don't agree with LDS beliefs, but how dare you devote your precious time trying to convince everyone that this church is evil and wrong? But this is coming from a 22-year-old girl, and you are much older and "wiser" than me, right? Oh, plus you're a male, so that means I'm oppressed and unhappy, right, because I'm a female LDS member? You put the "dick" in ridiculous. I feel sorry for you, and anyone else who stumbles onto this website.

 
At Sunday, September 03, 2006 4:46:00 AM, Blogger mckay said...

Adrienne,

Your so amazing! You sure just boosted my testimony in the LDS faith. You speak with the spirit... such conviction, such truth, such valor. How anyone cannot read the sincerity of your words and see how well you reflect the Gospel of Jesus Christ is beyond me. How anyone can listen to you speak with such conviction .. and still not repent and join the faith so that they can be more like you and the Gospel you represent... I... I just dont know.

I am inspried! so deeply!

You heard her Sam! How can you not see it. Repent Sam.. Repent and become more like adrienne!!


OK... Now with sincerity.

Adrienne... All your comments have done is pounded one more nail into the coffin. You have brought even more conviction to everyone on this site that they were correct to leave the church. You have probably given more motivation to continue to post negative things about the church to help others leave. You have become a great force to help build the opposition of the church. Congratulations!

If all your membership in the church has done is to bring you to this obnoxious state of conciencness that you have thus obtained... Why would they want to follow you or believe you. Give me one sentance in the above statement that would make anyone want to believe as you believe.

You posting here with your language and hate is much more offensive to me than any other on this site because you are supposedly representing the LDS faith. You have just exercised your freedom to speak openly and offensively against these people while condemning them for doing the exact same thing.

Within one papragraph you have proven yourself to be hypocritical, mean spirited, self righcoues, ignorant, foul, arrogant, assuming, and....... I.... I don't even know what to think about that last comment "dick" in rediculous? I mean WOW! so original, so creative.. obviously the sign of an inspired and noble mind! let me go write that down....

D I C K I N R I D I C U L O U S.

OK... Got it.


Ok serious again...

I am sorry, but this just makes me sad. You represent MY FAITH to these people!! I am ashamed and embarrassed. I am coming down hard because your life is a walking contradiction! If you want to say what you will fine. Go ahead. But at least think about the consequences of your words.

Sometimes I wonder if God is up there shaking is head in disbelief... absolutely embarrassed at what it done by those "righteous" ones.

So now. Let me say. I don't agree with Sam. I think his opinions are clouded, And quite honestly Sam, I think you are wrong on many many issues. But I do understand it, and I can understand why you would think the way you do...

So why do Sam's words not offend me? Because he is representing his own belief, his own ideas, he is clearly acknowledging that the influence of the church is not part of his life anymore. If Sam was pretending to be a member of the church and doing this? Well then.. that might make me a smidgen upset ( OK I would fill with rage!), because his motive is purely to deceive. But it isn't, he is speaking to his current convictions. In other words he is not showing me a Lexus and giving me a Pinto. He is clearly showing me an ugly old Pinto. He is what he is. So I see integrity in purpose at the very least.

But honestly, I think I would feel more comfortable hanging out with Sam that Adrienne. He seems like the kind of guy that I would want as a friend. Actually MANY of you seem like those I would want as a friend!

Do I think it is destructive to the Church? Obsoletely Yes, It is damaging, and destroys faith. But how should we respond?... Hmmm should I go set fire to the web-server his site is on? ( I know what your thinking Sam about Joseph Smith destroying the printing press.. I am aware of the facts). Should I threaten his family? Should I call him re"DICK"ulous? Should I threaten with the authority of God eternal damnation to his soul? hmmmmm, Well? Let me think.

Well, we believe Joseph Smith is a prophet, and he clearly taught

"I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way." wether or not he exercised the principal diligently is another topic that I will debate another time.

So if we believe this...(and I do), We should not be afraid! If we have the truth, let us debate! Although a tit-for tat dialog isnt always constructive. A policy that better educates our people just might be. Let us take the issues, this histroy, the controversy, and ponder them, study them, pray about them, work out our perspectives. In so doing, make sure we do not offend logic, reason, and intellect by clinging to dogma ( btw I define Dogma as a doctrine that is either made up or used out of context or purpose of it original intent to justify or condone acts that are wrong.) And if you were to ask if Dogma has existed in our own church I would say...absolutely yes.

Then let us share our ideas and philosophies to the world! Then the hearer can listen to both sides and decide for themselves. I place ultimate trust in the person to decide and live for themselves. If we have done all we can do to reflect and teach our faith with integrity, then let truth cut its own way, and accept the outcome, whatever it may be.

Actually i'm thinking about starting a website to that very purpose. Would all of you join me? Would you post your ideas and comments in an open forum with believers and non believers alike?

Could you stand being around this TBM?

Would any logic or philosophy of mine be considered "apologist"

Is there any room in your hearts to believe that though we may differ in opinion, that my faith, reasoning, and intellect can be respected and have validity?

Just a thought.

Oh, and thank you to everyone that responded to me so graciously! I just wish we could like go hang out somewhere and just talk, laugh, cry, scream, yell, argue, smile, WHATEVER! And go home at the end of the day knowing their is an unconditional friendship!

Group hug "sniff sniff"

Gotta go.. Gotta be up early tomarrow for church and join all of my cult buddies so we can reminise about the good old days when we could descriminate against blacks and have lots of wives!!!! Dare to dream!


Take Care,

Mckay

 
At Sunday, September 03, 2006 9:44:00 AM, Anonymous ray said...

Adrienne,

You mentioned that you are questioning your faith. Maybe, then, there is something here for you to benefit from. Sure, Samuel the Utahnite expresses himself stronger than most, but look at the message, not the messenger.

Of course, never hearing the problems with the church and then stumbling onto all of them all at once can be overwhelming, so your reaction is understandable. Back in my TBM days, I would have probably written something very similar myself. The fact is, the issues that Samuel addresses are not lies. If you care to do any open minded research, you will find that Samuel is right on the money.

Our friend McKay is TBM (in case you didn't notice) but we have a ton of mutual respect for each other. He was a little sarcastic in his post to you, but seriously, you could learn a ton from this guy.

I honestly don't expect you to ever come back here or even read this comment, but if you would like to come back and lose the personal attacks, you will find that we are a group of people who are very sincere. If you have problems with your faith, McKay can most likely help you through it. If you eventually leave the church, there are plenty of people here to support you through the very difficult process.

Please keep in mind that Samuel was not attacking you or the general members of the church. He is exposing the lies that come from the leadership, how they change doctrine and hide their history, all while pretending to be men of god and lining their pockets with your tithing dollars.

McKay and I have been very easy on you, but I can guarantee that Samuel isn't about to take any personal insults. So brace yourself and hang on coz you're about ready to be blasted into oblivian!

 
At Sunday, September 03, 2006 12:22:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Well McKay, not sure what to say about the poem...but I've never had anyone write me a poem, especially with the help of Dr. Seuss. Thank Dr. Seuss for me, okay? I think it's interesting and a little strange perhaps, along with a little humorous.

I hope that you had fun writing it as it must have taken you a little time. Oh yeah, and that last part of fantasy, at the end(I do so like Mormonis-am!); it isn't gonna ever happen, but you already know that I'm sure.....

Anyway, thanks for the laugh McKay and I just wanted to say thanks!!

I just noticed that you deleted it? Why? You should be very proud of your hard work...LOL!!

Please allow me to re-post your poem, so that everyone knows just what the hell I'm talking about.
===================================

Hi Sam,

I have somthing for you.. You are such a special person... I wrote a poem just for you. I hope you like it!

Mormonism - By McKay (and Dr. Seuss)

I am Sam

Sam I am

That Sam-I-am!
That Sam-I-am!
I do not like
that Sam-I-am!

Will you believe Mormanis-am?

I will not believe it, Sam-I-am.
I will not believe Mormanis-am.

Would you believe it here or there?

I will not believe it here or there.
I will not believe it anywhere.
I will not believe in Mormonis-am.
I will not believe it, Sam-I-am.

Would you believe the first vision?
Would you if we sing a hymn?

I will not believe the first vision.
I will not believe it with a hymn.
I will not believe it here or there.
I will not believe it anywhere.
I will not believe Mormanis-am.
I will not believe it, Sam-I-am.

Would you for some golden plates?
Then we could discriminate!

I will not believe in golden plates.
I will not discriminate.
Not with the first vision.
Not with a hymn.
I will not believe it here or there.
I will not believe it anywhere.
I will not believe Mormanis-am.
I will not believe it, Sam-I-am.

Would you? Could you?
In a land afar?
Join us! Join us!
Here we are.

I would not, could not, in a land afar.

You may like it.
You will see.
You may like polygamy!

I will not like polygamy!
Not from afar! So let me be.
I will not believe in golden plates.
I will not discriminate.
I will not believe the first vision.
I will not believe it with a hymn.
I will not believe it here or there.
I will not believe it anywhere.
I will not believe Mormanis-am.
I will not believe it, Sam-I-am.

A prayer! A prayer!
A prayer! A prayer!
Can you believe it with a prayer?

Not with a prayer! not with polygamy!
Not from afar! Sam! Let me be!
I will not believe with golden plates
I could not descriminate.
I will not believe the first vision.
I will not believe it with a hymn.
I will not believe it here or there.
I will not believe it anywhere.
I will not believe Mormanis-am.
I will not believe it, Sam-I-am.

Repent! Repent!
would you if you could repent?

I won't, I won't, I won't repent!

Would you let the wine ferment?

I would let the wine ferment.
I wont, I wont, I wont repent!
Not with a prayer!
not with polygamy!
Not from afar!
Sam let me be!
I will not believe in golden plates.
I will not discriminate.
I will not believe the first vision.
I will not believe it with a hymn.
I will not believe it here or there.
I will not believe it anywhere!

I will not believe in Mormonis-am.

I will not believe it, Sam-I-am.

Would you make a covenent?

I will not make a covenent!

would you give me just ten cents?

I will not give you just ten cents.
I will not make a covenent.
I wont, I won't, I won't repent!
I will let the wine ferment.
I will not believe it with a prayer.
I will not believe polygamy!
not from afar.
Sam let me be!
I will not believe in gold plates.
I will not discriminate.
I will not believe the first vision.
I will not believe it with a hymn.
I will not believe it here or there.
I will not believe it ANYWHERE!
I will not believe Mormanis-am!
I will not believe it Sam-I-am.

You do not believe it
So you say.
But read this book.
And then just pray.

Try it and you may, I say.

Sam!
If you will let me be, I will read it.
You will see.

- at which point in our story, the heretofore tormented hero cautiously
reads the Book of Mormon and prays....

Say!
I really like mormanis-am!
I do! I like it Sam-I-am!
Lets go make a covenent!
Let me give you just ten cents!
I will, I will, I will repent!
I will not let my wine ferment!
I do believe in prayer you see!
I do believe polygamy!
I will believe in a land afar!
Let us go without a car!
I do believe in the gold plates!
Let us all discriminate!
I do believe in the first vision!
It makes me want to sing a hymn!
I will believe it here or there!
I will believe it ANYWHERE!
I will believe Mormanis-am!
I believe! I believe it Sam-I-am!

I do so like
Mormonis-am!
Thank you!
Thank you,
Sam-I-am!

--
Posted by mckay to Mormon Truth!! at 9/02/2006 04:22:05 AM
===================================

I just hated to see all of your hard work go into the recycle bin of cyberspace. Anyway, I had already started this comment, so now I'll continue on dealing with the latest comments.

Oh yeah, and I'm glad to see the hypocritical TBMS coming out of the woodwork to reveal their true selves. Looks like they have learned a lot from Mormonism, especially about tolerance, love, patience, acceptance...etc...LOL!!

Are we sure that the supposed 22 year old girl isn't really 12? Even worse, she's probably a BYU graduate..LOL!! Awe..the wonderful fruits of Mormonism!! It's also good to know that they think they have the Celestial Kingdom all wrapped up(while being able to say whatever they want to anybody), while my sorry ass is going to hell. I have a lot more to say, but I'll save it for my other comments, which will directly respond to these TBMS.

Take care everyone,

Samuel

 
At Sunday, September 03, 2006 1:12:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

Sorry Sam... I was going to re-post that poem when I made a few edits, but you have taken the innitative.

It is totally a joke, but I thought you might like it! I did have time.. a slow day at work, and I needed something to lighten my mood. I was going to say it in reference to a missionary technique you might have used in your TBM days!

Just messin.

In regard to the whole... "ugly pinto" I am not refering to you personally. When I read that back it sounded bad. Sorry.

But I will say your animosity and bitterness do seem apparent, and they are not traits I would want in myself, and if adopting your position created such, I would tend to avoid it.

I also stated you are wrong on the issues. That is a mistatement as well. Again I am sorry. You are right on many issues, and I agree. But I think your conlusions... though justifiable, are wrong.

Sometimes I dont articulate myself as well as I would like.

Actually I am sorry even to Adrienne. I have cooled down a bit.

I just cant stand hypocrasy... I really really cant stand it. I guess I need to work on that and develop more patiece toward hypocritical behavior.

I do think that you have done more harm than good with your post. But I should not be so harsh on you for defending our faith. I just think there is a MUCH better way to do it.

I get very passionate at times, and mask my frustration in sarcasm. But I have no problem admitting when I am wrong.

McKay

 
At Sunday, September 03, 2006 11:38:00 PM, Anonymous Bonnie said...

Samuel, I have been reading some of these comments. The TBM's that come here to bear their testimony of the mormon cult are being sincere.

I know that you have dealt with many cult members for a long time. In fact you and I used to be cult members, so we know the type of venom they feel for people who have left--and want to expose the cult.

I read their words and think "yep, I have been there before". McKay and Adrienne, I know it seems like Samuel is a demon or as you say, Adrienne, an asshole.

I realize some of what Samuel says may seem extreme. When a person finally realizes that the church they believed in is not a church but a cult, there is a lot of anger.

Samuel is expressing his feelings about the LDS cult. He has every right to do that.

I hear you say it is important to you. Well, good. But to Samuel, me, Ray and others, we have BEEN where you are, defended it like you are doing, angry at non-believers like you are now, yep, we know how you are feeling.

Go ahead, get mad at Samuel, Call him whatever you want. Feel self-righteous. That is OK. But do this: Read YOUR OWN history. REALLY look at the history of YOUR own church. It you REALLY look at it, you will find the truth.

But I know you think I am a liar or a loser or whatever. I do not care what you think of me. I just hope that you will do yourself a favor and after you are done feeling pissed at Samuel, take time to THINK why so many people are leaving the Momon Church.

We are reading the real history, finding out that we have been fed a bunch of beautifully wrapped lies. If you want to tell Samuel, me, Ray whomever to go to hell, OK. That's fine. But one day, you too may begin to learn what we have learned. If that day ever comes for you, you will be shocked at the anger and frustration you will feel at finding out the REAL truth about Mormonism.

Best wishes to you whether you stay or leave the LDS faith.

 
At Monday, September 04, 2006 2:39:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

McKay, I know that you were "just messin." I had just started the comment and then realized that you had deleted the very poem that I was writing about, so I re-posted it.

I appreciate you saying that you could see yourself being friends or hanging with me or Ray....that's cool. Honestly, most of my responses to these losers, is a response to their attack on me. You will not find anywhere here on my blog, where I have sought out and attacked a TBM, who didn't first lash out at me spewing complete absurdities.

Now, I have responded to comments of TBM apologists on other sites like Mormon Discussions and John Dehlin's, but these were the apologetic type that can make chocolate pudding out of dog shit and look up to DCP as their Mormon idol and the King of double talk. They were speaking nonsense, ignoring every single fact that showed their view to be extremely convoluted and in some cases, flat out lying about the facts and truth, while trashing me, which I will not tolerate and it was an open forum after all.

They would accuse me of writing so much that they couldn't even respond properly and that that was my goal, etc. Yeah, they were just looking for a way out of answering my tough, logical, truth and fact based questions. These folks also don't want to deal with the horrific, train wreck history of Mormonism. If they don't want to address my remarks because they are too long and over their head, then so be it.

I clearly state how I feel and I don't hold back and that's just me. If people don't like it, then they shouldn't personally attack me or read my blogs, right? I don't force one single person to read my blogs or listen to my podcasts...they have their own free will. They say what they want and I respond accordingly.

Also, they are free to call me every name in the book, which they have freely done...the latest being asshole and dick...but they should expect a not very kind response back from me. I mean, hell, even Jesus turned over the tables in the temple, right? Brigham Young ordered blood atonement on innocent men, women and children, in the name of God. At least I don't order mass executions because I'm pissed off, like God does in the Bible. What I do doesn't even compare to the 3 examples that I just listed.

Now, I also don't feel that you owe Adrienne an apology, rather she owes me one and anyone that is a good, active, honest Mormon, like yourself. I won't hold my "son of perdition" breath, waiting for that apology.

Now, McKay, you state:

I also stated you are wrong on the issues. That is a mistatement as well. Again I am sorry. You are right on many issues, and I agree. But I think your conlusions... though justifiable, are wrong.

Wow, I need some serious Cog Dis to understand what you just said. So, let me see if I understand. It was a misstatement that I was wrong on issues, I'm right on many issues that you agree with me on and that even though my conclusions are justifiable, they are wrong.

I mean seriously...you contradict yourself quite a bit in what you are trying to say, so maybe you could expound further and in a clearer way. If my conclusions are justifiable, and you agree with me so much, then how are they wrong. That's like saying....yeah, I love what he says, he makes great points that are true and that I agree with, has conclusions that are justifiable, but in the end, he's wrong. WTF?

I'm not trying to be an ass, just pointing out that what you are saying makes no sense. Would I say that about Daniel C. Peterson? Hell no....the guy has no clue what the hell he's talking about and his conclusions are not justifiable, therefore he is wrong. Now, I think that you normally articulate yourself pretty well, but this time you were very confusing. Were you trying to say that some things I say, you agree with completely and other things you disagree with completely? That would make much more sense. Maybe you could begin listing these things in detail, so that I know what you are talking about.

Now, you also said:

I just cant stand hypocrasy... I really really cant stand it. I guess I need to work on that and develop more patiece toward hypocritical behavior.


Now, I strongly disagree with you on this statement, that you need "to work on developing more patience toward hypocritical behavior." I believe a no tolerance for hypocritical behavior is a much better way to go, thus helping you to not be a hypocrite. I too hate hypocrites and like I always say, "if you are gonna call me out and demand that I'm perfect, you'd better be perfect yourself."

Hypocrites disgust me in every way, just another reason that I can't stand the hypocritical cult hierarchy of Mormonism, namely the ol' Hinckster.

McKay, you then state:

I do think that you have done more harm than good with your post. But I should not be so harsh on you for defending our faith. I just think there is a MUCH better way to do it.

You know what McKay, even back in the day, when I would stand up to people, die-hard anti-Mormons in fact, that thought I was going to hell for being Mormon, I never, EVER, called them assholes or dicks. You call that defending your faith and possibly acceptable? I'm sure that you really don't, because that would be absurd. My goal was to be "Christlike" and set a good example, so that one day, somehow, through the softening of their heart and the direct intervention of God, they would get baptized and realize that Mormonism was true.

After all, it was "the one and only true and living Church on the planet earth" and the only way they could have eternal families and return to live with God, in the highest degree of Celestial Glory, right?

I was flat out attacked on numerous occasions and I tried to respond with facts, or what I thought were the facts, not ad hominem attacks on them using foul language, that had no basis on anything. I went to Deseret Book and bought every pamphlet from FARMS that I could get my hands on, if there was something that I myself couldn't answer.

Besides, using the term asshole and dick to respond to someone, is against every single teaching there is in Mormonism, isn't it? Does it bother me or offend me personally? No...but it sure does show that someone isn't living their perfect little religion that they are trying to defend, doesn't it?

I guess it goes back to Boyd K. Packer saying that he would rather that the missionary strike his companion, for making what he considered advances toward him, then Boyd K. Packer doing it, because it wouldn't look good for a GA to do it.

So, they probably love people like Adrienne, for calling me a dick and an asshole, because, after all, it certainly wouldn't look good for them, a GA, to do it, even though they want to. In other words, they love the peons to do their dirty work for them, so that they don't have to get their hands dirty, kind of like Briggy and the Mountain Meadows Massacre, right?

At least you McKay, even come back apologizing and say, hey, I was a little emotional and too passionate, or whatever(when you don't even need to in my opinion), but nothing from this supposed TBM Adrienne character.

I think sometimes the belief that you will one day become a God or a God's sidekick/Priestess, has something to do with the extreme arrogance that permeates Mormonism. The feeling that we have the only truth and you don't and you will be a Son of perdition someday, while I rule over worlds without number as a God or mother in heaven, was all over Adrienne's post.

Think about it everyone, how easy it is to become arrogant when you know that you will one day become a literal God or Priestess, of worlds without number. Joseph Smith himself proclaimed that he was better than and more important than Jesus Christ.I guess it didn't go to his head, did it? LOL!!

Anyway, I appreciate your participation here McKay and I believe that you are being sincere and being honest in who you are and what your goals are. If you are not, then hey, at least you are pretending well, but I think that you are really being honest, as there have to be TBM Mormons out there that act and express themselves like you do. I haven't lost all faith yet I guess.

Anyway, thanks everyone for your comments, yes, even Adrienne and her great example of some of the fruits of Mormonism and what it's like to be in a cult.

Samuel

 
At Monday, September 04, 2006 2:52:00 PM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

Hey Samuel,

I just want to point out that Adrienne doesn't really seem to be TBM. She's on the fence, looking around. Her feet seemed to still be planted on the Mormon side, but she's taking a look at what the other side has to offer.

Sadly enough, your posts are so angry and bitter they seem to be turning her off.

Plus there's the culture shock of being immersed in a society where Gordon Hinckley is revered as the mouthpiece of God to coming over to your point of view where he is mocked and villified.

I hope she finds the answers she is looking for.

Adrienne, if you're still reading this, I suggest you check out the Catholic Mormon Podcast http://www.catholicmormon.com

It offers alternative information about Mormonism, info about Catholicism and it's not nasty or mean-spirited.

I don't know if it's your cup of tea or not, Samuel. I hope you don't mind me plugging them on your blog.

 
At Monday, September 04, 2006 4:25:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Before I address Adrienne, which I look forward to when I have more time...I wanted to address Cernovog regarding his comments about What Catholics actually believe regarding being saved, grace, etc. I find this to be a fascinating subject and I could discuss it all day long.

Cernovog, you said:

This is NOT what Christians believe. I know there are many who do. They simply do not understand. At the very least, I can tell you this is NOT what Catholics believe.

Yes, as I said earlier, we believe that by grace, that is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are saved. We don't have to do any work to earn our way into Heaven. It's a gift. You don't have to work off a gift.

That does not mean we have a "license to sin" as some people put it.

If I give you a great gift, you feel ingratiated. You want to do something nice for me.

It's the same with the gift of Heaven. Jesus tells what we can do for Him. "Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me."

He asks us to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, visit the imprisoned, care for the sick....

Now, if I think I have a license to sin and go do whatever I want and cheat on my wife, and get drunk all the time, and rob banks, etc, etc., obviously, I haven't accepted this gift and I don't appreciate it.

If you took me in off the street, gave me a place to stay and found me a good job and in return, I slept with your wife and blew up your car, I didn't appreciate your gift, now did I?

So this lazy-man's way into heaven is simply a misunderstanding of our faith.


Okay, let me quote the part that I find to be so interesting and what makes me believe that not only Catholics, but all Christian faiths or religions that believe in grace, are in complete denial:

We don't have to do any work to earn our way into Heaven. It's a gift. You don't have to work off a gift.

So, right here, you categorically stated that "we don't have to do any work to earn our way into heaven." What does that mean? It means that you don't have to do anything(any work) to get into heaven; exactly what you said. I believe that said what you meant and meant what you said. You then go on to call what Jesus did "a gift" and that you don't have to "work off a gift."

Then you say that since Jesus did something nice for you and the world, that we should now want to do something nice for Jesus. At this point, the Cog Dis has to be kicking in for you and anyone that truly believes this and can separate "doing something nice for Jesus" and "works." You can split hairs all day long, but it is what it is. It is works, no matter how you want to argue about it. To deny that "doing something nice for Jesus, in return for his FREE GIFT, is works, is well...ridiclous!!

So taking this "we should want to do something nice for Jesus", that isn't works, it also means that we are under no obligation to accept the gift or "do something nice for Jesus", because like you originally said, "We don't have to do any work to earn our way into Heaven. It's a gift." So, there is no obligation whatsoever and it is purely personal choice and an "option", as to whether we decide to do it or not, right?

So either it is a completely free gift for EVERYONE or it is a conditional gift which requires works or in other words, "doing something nice for Jesus" in return for his FREE, no strings attached gift.(that actually has strings attached) It has to be one or the other, but it can't be both, as the cancel each other out.

Now, I also know that Catholics believe in the whole "deathbed confession" thing, which I also believe is ridiculous and as absurd as it gets. So a person can be evil, kill, rape, and do whatever the hell they want for their entire life and then accept Jesus right before they die? What the hell? I guess it's that free grace again, rearing its ugly head. Now I know that you believe this too Cernovog, because you made the following comment regarding Judas:

We can only hope that in those last seconds, Judas repented for betraying his friend and teacher and for throwing away his own life.

And who knows? God's compassion and generosity are endless. Maybe there is atonement for Judas in the afterlife as well.


Also the part where you just said that "maybe there is atonement for Judas in the afterlife as well, due to God's/Jesus' compassion and generosity are endless", would lead me to believe that you are talking about how God may forgive Judas, even if he didn't do a "deathbed confession" or wasn't sorry for what he had done.

Also, I believe in your Church and most of the Christian world, Judas' betrayal of Jesus is one of the greatest sins and betrayals of all time, right? And for you to say that he could have repented in the last few seconds, of such a deep and awful betrayal, is again ridiculous in my opinion. Like I said, if Judas can so easily be forgiven in the last seconds of his life, then so could a rapist, murderer and a serial killer or terrorist, right?

The bottom line is that Judas betraying Jesus had to happen, was part of the plan and even you admit that the "In my opinion, the crucifixion would have eventually happened without the betrayal." So, again, Judas just helped to speed up something that had to happen anyway, no ifs ands or butts about it. He should be praised and made a Catholic Saint, that you can bow down to and pray to.

Also, yes, I know all about the "Gospel of Judas" and it makes sense to me, much more sense than the current Biblical version of how things went down. The version of Judas in the Bible has led to literally millions of deaths and was one of the inspirations for Hitler, that led to the extermination of millions of Jews, just to mention one example. Hitler was obsessed with Judas and he looked up to him for what he had done and went to plays that depicted the betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus, as he was grateful for it.

So, if this free gift of Jesus is really free and really just optional, as to whether we want to do something to reciprocate, then what's the point? If someone can live a life of sin and terror and then in their last seconds, say, "I love you Jesus, please forgive me", it has absolutely no point at all, since all receive it, no matter how they act or behave. Based on this thought process, there is no reason to have any motivation to do anything good, since all receive this free gift.

It is indeed, as Ray so perfectly stated, "the lazy man's way to heaven." As Ray stated, at least Mormons do believe that where you go after this life depends on what kind of person you are for your entire life as a whole, not just what you mumble in the last 2 seconds of your life.

Now, do I believe that Mormons take this "works without faith are dead" way too far? You bet...they are extremists and they have created 1,000 things you must do perfectly or be forever separated from your loved ones. However, at least they are on the right track and their teachings do encourage that one should be cognizant of who they are and how they treat others on a daily basis. I've had it with this whole grace thing, as it would defeat the entire point of a Christ based religion.

I look forward to your response Cernovog and the dialogue that ensues.

Cernovog, I just noticed your latest comments and I love that you defend Adrienne and attack me. Did she or did she not call me an asshole and a dick? You okay with that? Do I really care what you or Adrienne think about my style? No, I don't. It's just funny....I'm the asshole and the dick, but we can all overlook what Adrienne said, because after all, my posts are all too bitter and filled with anger, which apparently justifies anyone saying whatever they want to me...but I can't respond accordingly....LMAO!! Talk about hypocrites!!

You said:

Sadly enough, your posts are so angry and bitter they seem to be turning her off.

That's your opinion Cernovog and you are entitled to it. I allow everyone here to say whatever the hell they want, including you. I allow you to plug your die-hard pro-Catholic views, so don't bitch too much, okay? I state the truth with passion and I am pissed off that I was deceived for over 30 years, along with my friends and family. Is that okay? Am I allowed to express myself the way that I want on my own personal blog? Am I going to change, just because a few people are offended? What do you think?

Like I've said ad-nausiem, if someone doesn't like my blog, doesn't like my style, passion, responses and anger....they can click that little X in the upper right hand corner and get the hell out of here, ASAP!! They most certainly don't need to be leaving comments and then bitching about my response being too angry or too passionate....get a life people!!

At least I don't go and hand out pamphlets at Mormon temple open houses or dedications or yell at the people going to Mormon General conference. At least I don't boot people out of here, erase their comments and go to a "moderator only approved message" board. At least I don't allow other people to do the moderating and reject people that want to debate.

Those of you that have so many issues with how I write and my passion, can just leave. I'm frankly getting sick of your bitching, but once again, you are free to do it all day long and I'm sure you will. Just go to the places where you can find comfort and stay away from places like Mormon Truth, that cause you so damn much agony and frustration.

I'm sick of saying, over and over, for the brain dead or intellectually challenged, that I am who I am and I started this blog as a way to vent and get out my anger, be able to express myself my way and help those that wanted to know the truth or know that someone else felt their pain. If you don't fit into these categories....I don't know what the hell you are doing here.

Despite those that bitch and moan all the time, I receive 10 to 1 email from those that thank me for my blog and love how I do things here, both on my blogs and on my podcasts. If you, the 10 to 1 minority, think that I'm gonna change to make you happy and that I'll ignore the 90%+ that love what I do and say....you are smoking something pretty strong.

So, my advice to the small minority, once again, for the 50th time, is to either get used to it or get out, for your own good. Again, you are welcome to stick around and whine like a baby, call me dick and asshole, but expect that I will always respond accordingly and then you'll respond with a comment like, "your too offensive, too angry, too bitter, etc. How about we stop this "groundhog day routine", eh?

Also, for those that haven't seen it the other 100 times I've stated it....this place isn't for TBMS or barely on the fence type of people. I've also had many of these people that were initially offended and then 3 months later, returned, and sent me an Email thanking me, because now they understood my anger and were glad that someone else felt like they did and could understand where they were coming from.

It's getting ridiculous and I know that you Cernovog are always pissed off at how I do things here, yet you keep coming back. I'm sure it must be hell for you to read my comments and blogs, listen to my podcasts, etc, but you keep doing it. Why?

Cernovog, I'll say it again....you are welcome here, as is everybody and you can even shove your pro-Catholic views down our throats if you want(which I don't think you have done too much)....but anybody here can respond to you by saying whatever they want.

Like I said Cernovog, I look forward to your responses and maybe we can try really hard to deal with the actual issues instead of throwing personal insults and re-hashing for the 1,000th time how offensive and angry I am. Are you up for it?

Also, It might help if you quit defending TBMS(or almost TBMS) that have a license to say anything while trashing me for the 50th time, okay? If you can do those things, we might just get along, but then again, if you just want to go at it, I can do that too. You decide which course of action we should take, okay?

Let's also keep in mind that there are many pathetic Mormon apologists out there that come onto message boards like this and pretend to be a member that is offended, etc. They just want to stir shit up and then sit back and laugh. Sure I'll respond to them, but I'm not gonna be alarmed, saying, "oh no, I offended this person so much, what am I gonna do?" It's 50/50, as to whether they are even real or sincere in the first place. Now, if they want to come on a podcast with me, that's great and we can figure out quickly if they are legit or not.

Oh, by the way, I have a former mission friend that converted to Catholicism....and guess what...we get along fantastically. Imagine that? I didn't think that was possible.....LOL!! Why do we get along so well? He doesn't attack me personally and I don't attack him personally. I also haven't called him a dick or an asshole lately and that also helps. We argue religion all the time, but with respect for each other from the start, which most cannot do. I will debate any TBM with respect, if they start off showing me respect. If they choose the other way, I'll go that way too, as it's really up to them. Did anyone ever listen to my podcast with Jared, the Mormon apologist? That podcast was full of mutual respect and many disagreements.

Now, when it comes to the Mormon Hierarchy, that's another story...as I have no respect for the men that knowingly lied to me, my family and loved ones and continue doing it on a daily basis to the world, while robbing from the poorest of poor. They are despicable human beings and will never get any respect from this guy. I feel free to say whatever I want about these scumbags since I was a former member of their damn cult!!

After being told what to say, think and do for my entire life, by these dumb-asses/cult leaders...I will never again allow anyone to tell me how I should talk or express myself. So, those of you that do that, can keep trying, but you will keep failing!!

Thanks for reminding me once again, how precious and important freedom of speech is, especially when you spent your entire life in a cult that suppressed you at every turn.

Samuel

 
At Monday, September 04, 2006 4:56:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Hey, one more thing, speaking of "it's not nasty or mean-spirited."

Yeah, Cernovogy, what would you consider the Mormons teachings to be on "better off dead than immoral", "blood atonement", "no interracial marriages", "excommunication for homosexuals that act on their urges", "sexual sin or masturbation as next to murder", "all other Churches are abominations with corrupt preachers", "paying tithing instead of feeding your family", "families can't be together for marriages, if they aren't all active temple goers", "promised and guaranteed separation for every Mormon that isn't a TBM upon death", "funerals are not for those that have died, rather to convert people", "we don't care if more missionaries die or get sick", etc, etc, etc!!

Need I go on?!! Good hell, if this isn't mean spirited or nasty, then what the hell is? What, you expect me to respond like we are playing tiddlywinks here? Get a clue Cernovog and realize that offensive and awful teachings like I just listed, deserve ONLY a strong response. To think that they don't, tells me that you are off in la la land....please come back to reality!! Do you not understand or comprehend that these teachings and the overall control and expectancy of perfection, in Mormonism, has destroyed families and lives and caused many deaths.

Mormonism is a cult and many tragedies have come from this cult, which is led by horrific cult leaders, like Gordon B. Hinckley. This is the truth and if you can't deal with it, then look elsewhere, because these are the things that I'll be discussing here with great passion. I will not apologize to anyone for dealing with very offensive teachings, that destroy lives, in a very strong way. For those that prefer the kid gloves treatment, I highly recommend the FAIR board for you.

Samuel

 
At Monday, September 04, 2006 5:24:00 PM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

Samuel,

Dude, slow down here. I'm not angry with you. I'm sorry if you've gotten that impression.

It was never my intention to attack you. Again, I apologize.

I'm also not trying to "push" my views. I'm here to meet people, talk about Mormonism and issues of faith. It's difficult for me to talk about faith without talking about my own.

I'll try to be more reserved in the future.

I want to clear something up. It really wasn't my intent to defend Adrienne and attack you. It just sort of came out that way. I only wanted to point out something that seems to have gotten lost and that was the fact that she didn't seem to be TBM, but rather someone who was questioning Mormonism.

I guess I wasn't clear on what your full intent is with this site. I know that a big part of it is sort of a catharsis for you, but I also thought that you were hopeful it would help Mormons investigate their faith and discover some ugly truths about it.

I just thought it was unfortunate that Adrienne stumbled onto your site, but missed your message, that's all. I hope there are no hard feelings over this matter.

Also, I wanted to let you know I read over an old response you wrote about handing out pamphlets at temples. I didn't have all the facts when I said that was borderline activity. I didn't know they were on temple property. That's definitely taking advantage. I don't think there's anything wrong with being available with information, but it sounds like you were right when you said they were going too far. I probably shouldn't have said anything since I was so poorly informed.

I apologize if I upset you. I will definitely make an effort to stop talking about how angry and charged your writing is. It never occurred to me that this is something you've heard a million times and are sick to death of by now.

In the future, I will just stick to the issues. Speaking of which....

You got just about everything right in your interpretations of my beliefs.

I do totally believe in the "deathbed confession thing".

There is one parable in the Bible in particular that illustrates this point. It's the story of the workers in the vineyard.

I'll sum it up quickly for those unfamiliar with the story. Basically, the owner of a vineyard goes out at dawn and hires workers. Then he goes out at noon and hires more. Then again in the evening and yet again at close to closing time.

At the end of the day, everybody gets the same wage. Now the guys who were working since dawn were pissed off! Why should they get paid the same as the guy who came in at seven o'clock and worked for an hour?

But the master of the vineyard said it's his vineyard, he can do what he wants. (Kind of like Samuel with his blog.) :)

The morale of the story is, the workers who came in at dawn were angry because God is generous. And that's the way it is with the Kingdom of God. He's generous.

As human beings, we want things to be fair. We have a strong sense of justice. We want that scumbag child abuser to rot in hell and we want the sweet little old lady to go to heaven.

But the Kingdom of God isn't fair. God is generous. If it is sincere, if you are truly remorseful, then yes, a deathbed confession will get you into Heaven. This is what I believe.

Like I said, you want that child abuser to rot in hell. I'm sure we all do. But that brings me to another parable: the story of the servant who owed a great debt.

He owed his master a huge amount of money that he couldn't possibly pay. Instead of having him flogged and sent to prison, his master forgave the debt. Later that day the servant came across another man who owed him a miniscule amount of money. The servant was merciless and had the man beaten and thrown into debtor's prison.

When the master found out about this, he was angry and punished the servant severely.

It's the same with the Kingdom of God. God is generous and compassionate. He is willing to forgive any sin if we are truly remorseful. By the same token, he expects us to also be generous and forgive each other.

It's difficult. Sometimes, impossible. There are people in my life who have done terrible things to me and to this day I still struggle with forgiving them.

There's a man who killed my dog with rat poison. I saw and watched her choke on her own blood. It took her all night to die. That must've been ten years ago. I try and I try, but I still have yet to be able to fully forgive him. It doesn't help that he hasn't sought forgiveness. He never thought he was doing anything wrong. What kind of sick person throws rat poison around his property? What ever... that's another story.

The point is, faith is not a smorgassboard. We can't just pick and choose what we like and discard what we don't like. We have to take the whole package or leave it.

That's my faith. Believe me, I understand if you find it difficult to accept. For me personally, I don't see anything wrong with forgiveness and generosity, even at the expense of fairness. "Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord." It is not for us to seek revenge for the bad things in the world. Rather, it is our place to make the world better, to make life better.

As for Judas, I don't know if there was any atonement or forgivenss for him. I like to think there is for everyone, but that's something I just don't know. And none of can know it until after we die, I suppose.

I don't know if the betrayal was the greatest sin ever. I don't make it a habit of cataloging and ranking sins. :) But unlike Brigham Young, I certainly believe there is forgiveness for every sin, no matter how greivous.

The catch is, the sinner has to be truly remorseful. That's the tricky part. Can someone truly be remorseful for a lifetime of rape and murder in the last two seconds of life? Maybe for one terrible thing you've done... maybe. But a whole lifetime? I don't know. Probably not, but who knows? There's no way to really know for sure.

Now, I've got a question for you Samuel. Please forgive me my ignorance. What does "Cog Dis" mean?

Again, Samuel, I apologize for any inappropriate behavior on my part. I'm sure that, in the future, you won't hesitate to call me on it if I mess up again. :)

 
At Monday, September 04, 2006 6:39:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

Hey Sam,

You make an awesome statesman. What do you do for a living? Have you ever considered journalism? You seem well read, passionate, and honest. I totally understand your logic.

So far you must be mystified at my comments. How can someone read through all that is on your website, agree with you on most issues, and then say... yup.. I understand you, I believe you, I respect you, but you are wrong.

I have not even begun to explain my perspectives. So I can understand your confusion. Even when I do explain them, I doubt you would believe as I do. And in all honesty. I don't blame you.

Here is the thing. You and I have similar personalities I think. But our lives have been very different. While you have spent your life mostly as a TBM and have recently learned more about your history and decited to leave it and speak out against it. I on the other hand have lived the exact oppisite. I grew up in a highly destructive and contradictory environment. My moms side, has a passionate TBM heritage back to the pioneer days. There are even links to Josepth Smith from what I understand. My dads side, Although mormon, is completely discfunctional with many who have left the church or been ex'd.. Every single day of my life was a walking contradiction between what I was taught by my faith, and the events that were taking place. And all the while there was an extreem amound of disfunction, darkness, disodencse, abuse etc. my mom desperately tried to save face within the LDS church social structure. The way I like to put it. She was continually slapping green paint on a dead plant to make it look alive. And I was compelled to do the same and pretend everything was great. Once I was able to get out of that environment and live on my own, I swore I would NEVER pretend to live or believe a certain way. I became hyper-sensitive to it, which is why I am so quick to speak our against hypocrisy within the church.

You know what... I could go on and on. but instead, let me just say... If you understood what I have seen, dealt with, and expereinced within the confines of family and faith, your jaw would hit the floor. Even if there was not one single schred of negative history within the LDS faith, strictly based on my personal expereinces with it, I doubt anyone could understand why I still believed it.... All I can say is that it wasn't easy, and I dealt with YEARS of struggle. And if you knew one schred of my personality, you would know.... I will not, cannot, live and sustain what I dont believe. And I have at times passionaeley spoke out againt the problems in the church. Some of this you have seen on this own site.

So I as compared to you, spent years and years believing more as you do now. My testimony was built in spite of the facts, with full awareness of the difficulties of our history. So I have come from where you are now to where I am at. I have never known the jack and jill version as many LDS people do, either in history or personal experience. And you can be fully assured, my testimony was not forced on me by anyone (although my mom tried). And it is not built on what a member, a leader, a missionary, or the current prophet has told me about what I should believe, how I should think, what I should accept, or anything of the sort. My testimony is built upon my own personal study, faith, prayer, and desire to know truth.

Please, all of you. Do not think I am trying to convert you, condemn you, manipulate you or anything of the likes. I am only trying to share my personal convictions . I respect everyone here, I have no desire for conflict or judgement. All I would ever ask of anyone, is that you may understand, and may even respect that while I agree with so many of your concerns, that someone can stay in the LDS faith with a full knowledge of the facts, and still have a degree of credibility for living as much within the confines of logic, reason, and intellect, as I would emotional, spiritual or social motives. I hope that you can understand that I do cary a strong degree of integrity in my faith, and I will not support that which is clearly wrong.

So for now, let me just say... Rather than debate every issue you have addressed as that would take a book to explain. And I am willing to discuss the issues one by one. I will give you a fundamental principal upon which my faith is built. It is as much based in logic, intellect, and reason as it is my conversion experience. Although without that experience I would not have been able to understand the things I do. IN sharing this experience, I will put myself at risk of my discrediting my own integrity in your eyes. It is hard for me to talk about this. And were it not for some degree of anonymity, I might not be able to do it, as some of it is quite embarrassing.

So you know me to some level based upon my writings on this blog. You can judge for yourself what kind of person I am. But let me say, while I could tell you all the accomplishments, successes, and strengths that I might posses and look back on with some degree of accomplishment. One could just as easily describe me in the following way and be 100% accurate.


I would stay away from McKay. He is not the most educated person. He is no scriptorian, He did not go to church or seminary, He grew up in a highly dysfunctional inaactive/semi active mormon family, His father was abusive, withdrawn and severely depressed. He did not serve a mission. He was exposed to hard-core pornography and abused at the age of 4 which led to a pornography dependency and horriblle psychological issues for many years. He was a pathological liar for most of his teenage years. He shoplifted many times as a teen. He had an illegitimate child at 17 years old for which he was dis-fellowshipped, He flunked out of high-school, he currently takes amphetamines and caffeine for ADHD as prescribed by a Dr.. He was baptized at 14 due to social pressure by his Brother who has since been excommunicated twice from the church. He used to sneak his parents sport cars our in the middle of the night to go have sex with his Mormon girlfriend. He has had over 60 speeding tickets in his life, for one of which, he spent two days in Jail. He has been through a bankruptcy and two foreclosures....

I could go on, but you get the idea. Why on earth would you ever give me one ounce of respect after hearing an introduction like this? Yet it is all true! Now if you were to look at my life currently, you would never believe that is the case. And you could just as easy explain me the following way.

McKay has led a very successful life. He has immense artistic and technical talents, and the ability to work very well with people. Upon entering his field he went from entry level to journeyman status within 2 years (this had never been done before). By the age of 27 he was married with 4 children and was making well over 100k a year and well on his way to being a millionaire. He has achieved legendary status within some of the most demanding advertising agencies in the world. You may recognize his work for Apple Computer, Gap clothing, Loral, Vogue, Mercedes, Porsche, Saturn, Warner Brothers and many more. On a personal level, he has 4 beautiful children and a loving marriage. He has recently come through serious health issues, for himself (cancer) that involved serious illness for 2 years as will as 5 surgeries. His wife was diagnosed with a severe mental illness (bi-polar) which while currently under control, involved horrific trials with his wife being placed in the hospital 8 separate times for more than a month at a time leaving McKay to fed for the 4 children alone. Through these trials he has come through with a stronger faith, greater conviction, and managed to keep his family intact. In addition Mckay has the ability to bond with his children and their is a great mutual respect. There home is a place of peace, laughter, and love.

Again I could go on... but you get the idea...

These two events describe the exact same person. And neither is a complete story unto itself. To acknowledge only the negative and dismiss me for it, you would simply miss out on a great friendship with someone who is compassionate, caring, insightful, honest, and fun. To acknowledge only the positive, I am placed in an unrealistic realm, and many would tend to think TOO highly of me for the wrong reasons, and probably be disappointed and let down when they see how flawed I might be.

Also to dismiss the negative as conclusively wrong and and example of my lack of redeeming qualities. Then you would deny that it is these very trials, problems, and heartaches were the fundamental building blocks to me becoming a man of compassion, insight, faith, wisdom, intellect, and principal. These "negatives" are what made me the man I am today. And I believe who I am know, though far from perfect, is pretty darn good. I look at what I have come through, and am amazed myself that I am who I am.

So let me just say as a final note to this post. What I have come to understand and know of God. I do not believe Him to be interested in the politics, social structure, wealth, ego, or position of man. He is interested in his heart, his motives, and development of his personal character, as it is only these qualities that can truly redeem.

An example. Humility is a virtue required by God. Hence "the greatest among you shall be your servant". So in order to prove and test humility, he may use a political structure that is evil and wrong, to prove the humility of a man. Hence causing one of his most gifted children not to be a king, but to be a servant of a servant of a servant of a king, even a slave (think joseph of Egypt) Is slavery right? Absolutely NO! It is horrible and wrong and God knows it. But through Gods wisdom, it can work to develop a redeeming quality such as humility, which is what God requires for those in his kingdom. God does not create evil, man does. But he uses it to bring about good purposes and to build us in areas that REALLY matter.

This is proven OVER and OVER in the Scriptures, the things that man would recognize as gifts from God, or as being desirable (wealth, ease, comfort, influence, stature, freedom, power, peacebring about the worst of human characteristics). And the things that are considered the worst (poverty, war, oppression, discomfort, trial , captivity) sometimes bring out, or help develop the best .

So it no longer surprises me that evil exists within the confines of the true gospel. I have come to expect it. And I have come to know every single member of the church as someone who is flawed, who might make mistakes. I think God knows our hearts, he knows what we need. And he might bring what may be considered horrible thing upon his people to both expose faults, and help heal and strengthen them. This belief is not solely based in scripture, it is through personal experience and the healing of my own heart.

So please don't say I don't have logic, reason and intellect. I just base those qualities on the state of the human soul... deep into the spiritual characteristics of a person, instead of what things look like on the surface.

So for me, and the abuse, misery tragedy, and contradiction that polluted my adolescence was almost impossible for me to forgive and understand. Even after the spiritual confirmation I received, I could not accept the gospel fully. There was too much pain. And for years I was much more like you are now than a believing and defending member of the gospel. If you think what I am telling you now is easy. Think again. forgiveness, and most of all humbling myself to the dust, and accepting that these trials may have been necessary for me, they may have been the only way God could help me overcome some deeply rooted flaws. Accepting that all this pain has actually been for my good has been indescribably difficult. But once I realized this is true.... I cannot explained the healing that has taken place in my heart. But I am immensely grateful for every trial, every struggle, every bit of pain I have been through as I can look in the mirror today with some degree of integrity as to who I am, and knowing God helped me become the person I have for so long wanted to be

So for me. it wasn't about learning to pick apart and point ever single flaw of every single person of the church or its history. I have done that for most my life. For me it was learning to embrace my testimony, the gift I cannot deny I received, in spite of the imperfections of the church. To overcome and forgive my anger, hatred, animosity and scorn. For me, humility was the key. And I have only have room for love for these people anymore, no matter what they might do or say.


Hope this helps.


McKay

 
At Tuesday, September 05, 2006 12:48:00 AM, Blogger mckay said...

I forgot... I wanted to respond to "Cernovog".

first. Cog dis means - Cognitive dissonance - defined as; the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, which can be defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior (in lay men's terms, the uncomfortable tension that comes from holding two conflicting thoughts at the same time).

Second. Death bed repentance. I do not claim to know how exactly God will judge. But common sense and rational tells me that death bed repentance is.... um. hmmmmmm..... Highly unlikely. I think it might help, but ultimately ones charicter would have to change. That change does not come ultimately from sincerely being sorry. Feeling really sorry does not just mean feeling bad. It means feeling bad enough to change your behavior and do whatever possible to make the situation right. How do you do that when you are dead? What if you have left behind a legacy of murder,tyranny, opression, abuse, torture, rape, and the likes. Even after this the person dies this legacy of corruption will continue to corrupt further generations and destroy more lives.

I could care less if I spent my entire life working for salvation and another gets it in 10 mins. I am only worried about my personal character, not how much harder it was for me than another. But I would say personal charicter is built througout a life, not in a deathbead.

Whatever the case, even if it were possible, I think teaching it is wrong. It clearly gives people an excuse. IM SORRY JESUS. I mean really sorry. I confess you are the Christ, now give me my key to heaven. Im sorry, it just doesnt ring true. The parable seems to be taken out of context and the principal of the story is insulting to even the most compassionate form of intellect.

However i will say there is a differense between ignorant, reactive sin and cognitive, proactive sin. One is the result of uncontrollable circumstanse, the other the result of personal will and agency.

Peace-

M-

 
At Tuesday, September 05, 2006 2:02:00 AM, Blogger mckay said...

sorry to keep posting. But again to "Cernovog"

You seem like a great person. Dont take my comments wrong. I am just debating a philosophy, not mocking you. I enjoy all your comments and your perspectives. This issue of deathbed repentance has always been an issue with me. I would never deny anyone the opportunity to make things right. But like I said... deathbed? It just doesnt ring true. I could apply the parable of the ten virgins and the oil for their lamps. the just of it is, the oil stands for works and preperatioin. Those who dont have it at the coming of the Bridegroom are shut out. They put things off too long.

If I were to put the parable you used in perspective I would say. If.... lets say, Sam has been a believing christian his entire life, doing good works and living honestly. Then someone else, when they are 60 years old or whatever, has a conversion experiencse and becomes a christian. They may have done many things in their life ignorantly.. or through poor example, and then when presented with the appropriate circumstances, become converted and change their ways out of free will and a desire to make things right. Not fear of death and God compelling them to be sorry. They are as entitled to the same blessings as Sam is so long as they continue in their good works. And if Sam has a problem with that... that is his problem, not the others.

Just my perspective anyway. Ill shut up now.
Mckay

 
At Tuesday, September 05, 2006 4:59:00 AM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

You're absolutely right McKay. You understand the concepts just fine.

The problems you have with a deathbed confession are perfectly valid.

Certainly you are right, it is not proper or feasible or justifiable to think a deathbed confession is something someone can plan on. A last-second, half-hearted "time to accept Jesus" plea certainly won't cut it.

I believe it is possible to be saved by a deathbed confession, that God's mercy is infinite, but to say that true repentence happens often would be inaccurate. Who knows how often this actually happens? Once in a million? Less often than that?

The parable of the ten virgins fits in this discussion perfectly and, in fact, I was thinking about it as I wrote my response. You are again, absolutely correct. The parable of the ten virgins clearly illustrates that only a fool would plan on using a last second confession to save his soul and chances are it won't work.

As you said, God is our judge and he truly knows what is in our hearts.

So, Samuel, it seems that the problems you have aren't really problems at all. Just a misunderstanding. Maybe I just have a different concept of God's mercy and generosity. That's all and I think it's a minor point.

Just to clear something up, McKay, I don't know that we really teach people to use a deathbed confession as a philosophy for living their lives. Certainly that would be wrong in many ways. Not only would it make life miserable for everyone, but it would involve someone risking their soul over a dubious gamble.

If this is what someone gets out of this idea, then they are sorely misguided.

In the end, I believe a deathbed confession is possible, but even I would say it requires true repentence. How often does that happen? Especially with horrible crimes or lifelong sins? Not often, maybe even not ever. There's no way for anyone to know.

Possible but not likely.

I think it's a minor point of contention between us, and I'm cool with that.

 
At Tuesday, September 05, 2006 1:57:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

I can easily see both point of view and they both make valid arguments. I am relieved to hear Cernovog say that the idea of a deathbed confession is not emphasized, as one should devote their life to god the moment they are converted. This is how the parable of the servants can be applied; one servent being hired in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. And they all receive equal pay. I think we can all agree that this parable shows that it doesn't matter when you give you life to god, as long as it is genuinely given.

The parable of the virgins teaches that those who put off this conversion are most likely going to lose the chance altogether. So this is why I understand and even agree with both arguments. A true death bed confession, while rare, is like the servant hired in the evening. The problem, as McKay stated, is that once a person is dead or dying, there isn't much time for them to make ammends and correct the wrongs in their life.

This is why I am glad I am not the judge. Only god knows the intentions in each heart and he will decide which confession, deathbed or not, is sincere, as I am sure that there are many who say the little prayer or whatever and then never give it another thought. This, in my opinion, is not a true conversion at all!

I no longer believe in a Christian god, but I definitely believe in the existance of a higher power and the ability to call upon that power.

I am currently listening to Wayne Dyer, a spiritual teacher. He talks about god being the source. It doesn't matter what you call it, God, Allah, Ra, Great Spirit, etc., but it has great power if you can learn to connect to it. His approach is definitely god centered, but not to any specific religion. His books and CD's should be available in most public libraries if anyone want's to check them out. So far, I have really enjoyed what I've heard from him.

I still have much to learn and a lot of personal progression to make. I don't think god even cares what name you call him or what church you worship him in. I think god cares about all living things and we are judged based upon how we treat them. Remember what you have done to the least, you have done to god. Therefore my personal belief is respect for all livings things. I don't think the "least" is necessarially referring to a poor or humble person, but perhaps to an insect or a bird. "Least" to "greatest" includes everything from plants to bugs to people and everything in between.

I strive to live by the Golden Rule. And if you really think about it, if one wisely follows this rule, does he need any other guidance? There is no other rule or commandment that can not be somehow linked back to this one. After all, when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, he replied, Love God and love your neighbor. Golden Rule = Love Your Neighbor.

 
At Tuesday, September 05, 2006 2:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the diamond platnium rule, that superseeds the "golden rule" should be...

Love yourself first above anything else even if you can't love your neighbor because if you don't, you'll never be able to love anything and all you'll do is control your neighbor.

Lori


www.steppinupmusic.com

 
At Tuesday, September 05, 2006 3:24:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

When I read the comments of people on this site, it becomes so clear to me that many are seeking truth and integrety of purpouse as much or more than any TBM. You are all confirming what I stated I believed earlier. You are good, honest, people who seek understanding, truth and sincerity in beliefs.

I was thinking a good example of death bed repentance is the thief who was killed next to Christ at His crucifixion. Christs comments suggested a paradise awated the theif when he died. Could be any better example of sincere deathbed repentance than this?

So what was Christ trying to tell us here? Could he not look at the theif and be able to tell that though a thief, maybe the man was compelled to steal to provide for basic needs for self or family. Maybe the political system through corruption created unnessary poverty and suffering that denied these people of the most basic needs, making theivery the only means by which one could sustain the life of himself or his family. Then that same system that causes the behavior, punishes the same with death. Or maybe the man was abused, beaten, or had horrible examples that created deep problems within his charicter. And maybe at the very hour he was to die, he could see with compassion the injustice that was taking place at Christs crusafixion and felt remorse beyond measure for his own sins. Maybe that man was more filled with compassion at the death of Christ than anyone else at the sceen. Maybe Christ in looking at this mans heart could tell what kind of man he would be had the circumstances been better, and at the very hour he was suffering for everyones sins, looked with love and mercy on the thief and said. I know you, I love you, and tonight when we die, you will be with me and I will teach you the principals of heaven and eternity giving the "thief" a chance to accept it and live it.



Just a thought.

 
At Tuesday, September 05, 2006 5:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mckay,


I respect your thoughts and feelings about Christianity, and I know you are on your own journey through your life etc, but I want to say that I find Christianity as repulsive as Mormonism. I find it infantilizing (is that even a word!!:-) my head, degrades me as a woman, condemns me for existing, insists that I accept a man who may or may not have lived 2000 years ago as not just a deluded, self-indulgent, man, but a god nonetheless, and then demonizes me and threatens me if I don't do things his way!! He then further requires me to be as co-dependent with him as he is with his father, be willing to sever all my family ties if one of us decides not to follow an invisible superstition and after all that wants my total submission. Then at last after his murder/suicide, he wants me praise him for leaving this Earth at supposedly 33 years old when there are people who are much older than that who have sufferred horribly. Why would I do this? I didn't ask anyone to save me. I don't need to be saved and I refuse to put my soul through the torture of judging myself every step I make in my life and worrying about being judged again after I die!! Judging is the first step to hatred.

So there you have it. Christianity to me is a parasite that seeks to destroy the "self" in all of us and make us totally dependent once again on a religion that wants to suck us dry of our money, our minds and our very lives.

No thanks, I'll go it alone, I'm much happier that way.

I'm good enough.

Thanks,

Lori


www.myspace.com/steppinupmusic

 
At Tuesday, September 05, 2006 7:00:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Tuesday, September 05, 2006 7:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, someone asked me privately what I do believe in. After I typed out the email, I decided it was worth posting here.

I do want to say that I don't want to debate my feelings. I already did that for years and have now come to the point through life experience that this is now how I feel after all the evidence has been weighed. No one needs to feel sorry for me. That is still an "I am right and you are wrong and I have the truth and you don't" sort of mentality. Be grateful I'm still alive, that I found my way out that I'm finally my own person and I've cut the bonds that held me.

My beliefs-

I'm not religious at all. I even find the term "Atheist" not to my liking because it denotes that I don't believe in "god", therefore it still ties into religion. I believe all religion is harmful because it forces us to disconnect from ourselves. I believe we are all connected to a something wonderful within us and it is only when we follow our hearts an dlive our lives being true to our inner self that we are happy and things become clear. I think the only person we need to worry about pleasing is ourselves. I dislike religion because it all says at it's base that we are worthless and "need" some sort of god to make us "ok". I totally disagree. I think that thinking cripples us. I believe in taking in the sunshine, working hard, eating well, watching sports and good movies, empowering the world, and being the strongest me I can be. When I do that, everyone around me is at peace and not worrying that I'm going to judge them. I let everyone else have their lives and I have mine. I just refuse to buy the dogma that I'm worthless and in need of a savior. I'm past that point in my life, and I'm certainly past the point of paying a religion 10% of my income just to be told I'm worthless, but if I keep paying them, Christ will forgive me for being worthless. To me it's all a sham to make money.

I've come a long way and these beliefs have been hard earned and now I'm loving being in my own skin. I love my humanity and I love my ability to finally live and let live. I will whole heartedly reject any organization that attempts to take that away from me.

Thanks!! Have a good day!

Lori



www.myspace.com/steppinupmusic

 
At Wednesday, September 06, 2006 2:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, one other thing...I want to say that I realize that something, or someone, or a whole group of someone's, or even us created this planet and the trillions of others around it, but I don't know what that/they are. And it is quite refreshing to NOT know the answers. I don't have to admit to something that I know nothing about such as god living on Kolob, men walking on the sun and the moon etc. I simply do not know the answers, however as I learn about the Earth and myself, I think we are all pretty fantastic. That is the difference.
I want to spend my time focusing on the wonder that is within us and our planet rather than give an ounce of time berating myself because "my natural man is an enemy to god".

By the way, for those that don't know, I had a huge NDE a few years ago and that is how all my beliefs changed. Well, that is how they started to change, since I've been back and seen the difference, I changed the rest. I definately believe the only one who judges us, is...US.

Have as splendid day!!!!!

Lori



www.myspace.com/steppinupmusic

 
At Wednesday, September 06, 2006 3:23:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

I first want to thank McKay for sharing his life experiences with all of us here and I honestly feel very honored to have him here with us and that he feels he can share what he believes with a bunch of mostly ex-Mormons, without being condemned, like the TBMS condemn us.(My next comment will be for you Cernovog and it's all good brother-no worries-I appreciate your support) McKay is not your typical person or Mormon, rather he is very unique in many ways and I have the most respect for him and for what he has gone through to arrive at where he is today. Thank you Mckay for letting us into your life and for letting us know who you are and where you are coming from and why.

I want to state again, that I have no problem with anyone being any religion, as it is their personal choice to decide what works best for them and their family, not me. The problem I usually have is that 99% of TBM Mormons that I come across, are not respectful of my right to do the same thing and express my views, that are contrary to what they believe.

They truly consider me to be Satan or the anti-Christ with 666 tattooed on my head, just under my hairline (I guess we can feel safe around bald people then?), because that is basically what they have been taught by their Mormon leaders who preach that I’m filled with darkness and that I’m a disease germ. They are supposed to run in fear from people like me, because truth is terrifying I guess. It’s like the 14 year old girl that just sent me a message, saying that I’m pure evil and that after reading my site, she began to have flu-like symptoms and vomit very badly and couldn’t sleep all night. Wow!!

She then prayed to heavenly Father that this evil spirit of Satan(which came to her from looking at and reading my site-then wouldn’t leave), would go away, in the name of Jesus Christ and it did and then she slept fine the rest of the night. This is the type of bullshit that Mormon leaders are putting in the youth’s minds.....that people like me are next to Satan. Isn’t it wonderful, isn’t it glorious?

I must also include the die-hard Christians in this equation of intolerance, as many of them are less respectful than the TBMS I speak of and outright condemn me and all Mormons, in fact the whole world, to everlasting nothingness, unless we follow them. Even most die-hard Mormons aren't that ruthless and merciless!! Even on my mission, we didn’t just walk up to people and start shouting condemnation at them....it’s a very ineffective and offensive way to handle things.....but hey, what do I know....I’m just a Son of Perdition in embryo anyway.....LOL!! Oh yeah and they have the only truth on earth and we can only hope to be like them, right? What hypocrites!!

I even have many ex-Mormons that are deeply offended by my anger, passion and way of expressing myself. It's funny that some of these people, that are completely passive regarding the Mormon teachings and the fraud, get furious with me. I always tell them that maybe they should re-direct their anger and passion where it belongs, against the Mormon Hierarchy and their teachings, not me.

I ask them why they appear to not give a damn and act so passively and then they get even more angry and lash out. I find it to be a fascinating thing, that I'm the issue, not the Mormon teachings that they no longer believe in or what the Mormon Church has done to their family. To be honest, it’s just bizarre and there is something really wrong with these individuals that see me as a worse threat than the Mormon Hierarchy that they no longer even believe in.

I'm completely tolerant until individuals cross the line of not respecting me and my choices and decisions and ways of expressing myself and dealing with my pain. It is then that I go into full "I can't stand hypocrites" mode, as many of you are familiar with.

There are a few people out there that I've met over the last year that do this(respect my right to believe and express myself however I want), even being TBMS. The 3 that immediately come to mind are Mckay, John Dehlin and Jared from my podcast interview. John and Jared are more of the apologetic type, but not cut from the Daniel C. Peterson cloth, because unlike him, they can actually admit the faults of the church, which I commend them for. Now, they may then dismiss these faults, which I don’t understand at all, but at least admitting them is a great start and something that most TBMS will not do. I give credit where credit is due.

All 3 hold their Mormon beliefs very dear and close to their heart, which I highly respect and they search for solutions to the problems or as John Dehlin often says; they put their problems on the shelf. Some people can do what they do and I'm clearly not one of them. I may not understand you guys or the method to your madness(I say madness in jest), but I respect you a ton for what you are trying to do and give you huge kudos for trying so hard to work things out. The only thing I can do with people like you guys, is just agree to disagree. As long as we both respect each other and where we are coming from...we shouldn’t have any problems.

Mormon Apologists like Van Hale and Wade Englund(both of which I’ve debated), just to name a couple more....are extremely arrogant and don’t respect any ex-Mormons, think we are lunatics and if you're Wade Englund, everything that everyone says is bigotry and everyone that challenges Mormonism’s truthfulness is a huge bigot. It’s hard to have a dialogue with individuals like this that think they are so superior to everyone else on the planet earth. Oh yeah, and after saying something, they deny they ever said it, even if you have the audio to prove it. It’s a waste of time to even engage these fools.

As I stated on one of my podcasts, my shelf got so heavy, that it crashed right through the floor and is sitting in the basement now. I guess I could add that the cement in the basement was wet when the shelf fell and then the cement dried, keeping the shelf there forever. I could tear up floor and then re-cement it....but I don’t have the time nor the money or desire to even go to all that trouble, only to have the shelf fall through the floor again and stick in the new cement. In other words, for me, it can never be fixed and the damage is permanent.

It is so hard to judge others because none of us have been through what they have. Nobody has walked in my shoes and experienced what I have. I have a friend from High School, that was very successful in everything he did but then had problems on his mission with depression and had to come home early. When on a mission, even the thought of having to come home early is devastating to say the very least.

The shame of coming home early, heaped upon his battle with depression, was so great for him, that he sadly and tragically killed himself. To say that the shame of coming home early from his mission was the only problem, would be unfair and inaccurate, nevertheless, it was a big part of what happened and the main focus of his life at that time. I was shocked to hear of his death, soon after returning from my mission, because he was such a dynamic human being, with such a great future. Again, things like this never felt like they should be part of the “one and only true and living church on earth.” He should have come home to loving and open arms, but this is rarely the case for a Mormon missionary that comes home early.

He was labeled a failure and on top of his depression problems, it was more than he could bear. It is my opinion that being a member of the Mormon Church, cost him his life and it is tragic and not the only story like this. Too bad Mormons don't teach and practice love, compassion and understanding, instead of preaching it, but then treating people with disdain, and like they are failures and that they've thrown their whole life away, if they ever make a single mistake. In his case, he didn’t even “screw up”, he was just battling depression and was still judged as if he was a failure. I’m sure the rumors flew that he had had sex or done something really bad, as there are no better places for rumors than a Mormon ward or stake.

We had a time in my neighborhood, when I was growing up, where there were about 4 or 5 suicides within a year. Some were linked, like the Mother after her Son, etc. All were in my ward, all were “active” and went to Church every Sunday. In the one case, he had indeed committed a sexual sin and felt like his life was over, because he already had a date for his mission and then couldn’t go. Imagine having to tell all of your friends and family, that you now wouldn’t be going on the mission that you had planned for all of your life.

Everyone would and I’m sure did assume the worst...so he just killed himself, because it was easier than dealing with the fallout. I took note of all of this growing up, but haven’t understood it until the last year, when I learned the truth of Mormonism. Even if you have to postpone your mission, EVERYONE knows why and it can be only for one reason.....YOU SCREWED UP!!

The Mormon community loves you and embraces you when things are up and you are living right and will then literally try to destroy you and throw you away, if you ever step out of line and sin, like on a mission for example. This should be the true test of any religion and whether it is worth a damn. Mormons can be the most loving or the most hateful, judgmental people that I’ve ever encountered. In this regard, they are complete hypocrites of their religion, but again, this is what most of them are taught from youth, by their leaders that they obey without question. They are cult members in a cult and this is typical cult behavior.

I have another friend that was raised to be the perfect Mormon boy. Almost everyone of his brothers and sisters, except one, went and served honorable missions. His parents, due to their Mormon beliefs and upbringing, expected perfection. They never ever told my friend "good job, way to go", etc, rather, the Mormon approach of, "you didn't do this, you didn't do that, you don't have what it takes, you blew it, etc."

This led to very low self-esteem for him and deep depression growing up. He went on his mission...barely...served honorably...but barely, and then came home, made some common mistakes(serious transgressions for a Mormon though) and felt like he had thrown it all away with the full support of his parents, of course, that he had indeed pissed his life away.

At 21, because of his common mistakes and I say common outside of Mormonism, he felt like his life was already over. His problems or common mistakes, wouldn't have even been problems or mistakes, or a big deal to any normal young man or his family, who was just living his life in the "real world", doing the best he could. But, in Mormonism, the simplest and most common things, become huge, massive sins, that put their soul in jeopardy of not having that eternal family on Kolob and cause the greatest of shame.

Meanwhile, the unqualified Bishop awaits your visit to confess all of the naughty and horrific things you’ve done, so that he can punish you accordingly and make you feel even worse and lower than you already do. After all, humility and true remorse can only be felt through severe punishment in the Mormon culture and teachings.(At least they don't still kill you with blood atonement like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young believed and taught as official doctrine from God.)

But, the Bishop will restrict your participation in the ward(making it obvious that you’ve been naughty), so that you can’t give talks, can’t pray, can’t bear your testimony, can’t take the sacrament, etc. Of course everyone always looks around to see who is and isn’t taking the sacrament, to know who the sinners are. It’s like some type of pathetic game or something.

Once, during a time of probation or disfellowshipment for him, he hadn’t been told that he couldn’t bear his testimony. So, during testimony meeting, he went up to bear his testimony. As he was almost to the pulpit, the Bishop, in front of the entire ward, whispered for him to please come over. He then informed him that he wasn’t allowed to bear his testimony due to his current status in the church.

Now, this was in front of everyone and there was no one else up there.....so the entire ward was watching this play out, wondering what was going on. So, there they stood, going back and forth, my friend wanting to know why, the Bishop not having a good reason.....and everybody wondering what hell was going on. To my friends credit, he just finally left the Bishop and bore his testimony anyway, against what the Bishop had said. The Bishop was furious and as he walked off the podium, he told him to come to his office after Church. He had broken the golden rule of “NEVER, EVER QUESTION THE AUTHORITY OF ANY MORMON LEADER, EVEN A BISHOP!!” Let’s just say that that meeting didn’t go very well.

He met with Bishops and Stake Presidents that did indeed only make him feel worse than he already did. He then, through his deep depression and shame focused on the fact the he was a failure and began to drink(which he had never done before) and became a full blown alcoholic. He drank to escape the life that he had thrown away and his shame and embarrassment, if even for one night. He then, through the booze, became addicted to many common hard drugs. He then had sex with complete strangers whose names he didn't even know and that he barely even remembered after the fact. He hung out at drug parties and bars every chance he got.

On many occasions, he would call me with the gun to his head, saying that he wanted to kill himself, because he had nothing left to live for...etc, etc. I was always there for him and helped him and thankfully, he never pulled that trigger. He wanted to stop drinking, because it too was a sin(against the word of wisdom), but kept drinking so that he would escape his pain and depression, but to then only be more depressed, because he got drunk again, broke the word of wisdom again and so it went, in a vicious cycle, repeating, over and over.

How he survived this time in his life, I'll never know, but I know that I did help him a lot, as his Mom, Dad, Brothers and Sisters, all turned their back on him. Those that he would refer to as friends, were his drug and drinking buddies..who were never really his friends at all.

It was always amazing to me that he would talk about the reasons he felt so bad, were because he wasn’t living up to the standards of Mormonism and his family. It wasn’t that he felt bad for himself, or that he wanted to overcome it all for himself, rather it was always for the Church. His problems all started because he wasn’t a good Mormon, not because he wasn’t a good human being. Sadly, those two terms are synonymous with each other for many Mormons. Who they are in life and their self-esteem, is purely based on what type of Mormon they are. When they screw up and aren’t a good Mormon anymore, they now become a horrible person too, in their own eyes and the eyes of most of their loved ones, friends and ward members. This is what cults are all about.

Oh and then you have the leadership of the cult confirming every step of the way that you aren’t a good person, until you are back in good standing with the CHURCH. What a horrible scenario!!

Well, in any case, this is now one of my friends that will no longer even speak to me, because of my loss of belief in Mormonism. These are some of my personal experiences with Mormonism and the negative impact it can have on individuals, families and relationships. The strictness of Mormonism, the "you'd better be perfect" attitude is one of the biggest downfalls of the youth in the Mormon Church. They grow up feeling that if they screw-up one time, it's over, they can't go on a mission, are now a horrible human being, not worth anything, etc.

These type of dangerous, fanatical teachings lead to despair, depression and low self-esteem in the very impressionable youth in the Church. Sadly, many of the parents, who support all of their leaders blindly....only reinforce these things and their children are left to feel inadequate, alone and empty, with no where to go. This is God's plan of happiness?!!

The social stigma that permeates the mostly Mormon community of Utah(like Utah County is still hovering around 90% +), for a young man that commits a sexual sin and is not allowed to go on a mission is horrible. Without even telling anyone....everyone assumes that he must have had sex and therefore can't go and is a failure. Sex is such a dirty, filthy and forbidden thing in Mormonism, especially before marriage, that people treat those that get involved with such loathsome activities, like they are contagious and diseased. They spread the rumors and basically throw the person into outer darkness on earth and blackball them in the ward.

They then treat him like an outcast of society. God forbid he/she goes on his mission and then has sex and screws up in the mission field.....his/her life is basically in the shit can for good, at least in Utah or in their local Mormon community. Girls at BYU and around Utah(you know, the ones that feel for garment lines at regional and stake dances), won't even touch a returned missionary that came home early....especially for a sexual sin.

He might as well wear a scarlet letter on his chest, so that everyone knows he had sex on his mission...as everyone will find out anyway. It truly is a tragedy and just one of the very complex, dysfunctional social issues that compile this religion called Mormonism, especially in the Utah Mormon community, which I like to call “The Village” or “The Island.”

Sadly, attitudes like this lead to the very high suicide rate among Mormons, specifically in Utah. Let's also not forget the high use of anti-depressants either, as Utah routinely ranks at or near the top in both categories. A BYU professor recently disputed this number by pointing out that the suicides were the less active members and that when compared to the active ones, you could see the positive influence from the Mormon church.

So, in other words, these inactive or less active Mormons, as they like to call them, killed themselves because they didn't have the influence of the Mormon Gospel...ah okay, now it's all clear...yeah, they were missing the influence of the Holy Ghost...okay...I've got it now...thanks so much for clearing that up Professor!!

How about turning that around and saying that they were influenced to commit suicide due to the overwhelming influence of Mormonism from birth in many cases and that they weren't perfect and not living up to the lofty expectations of becoming a literal God one day? The sad thing is, that the Mormon leadership and Hierarchy, couldn't care less about these things and just go on without missing a beat, as if nothing is happening.

The story of Kip Eliason, who basically committed suicide over not being able to stop masturbating, is a tragic tale of what Mormonism can do to a young, intelligent man, that had his whole entire life ahead of him. He was popular, got straight A's, was a great athlete, but then killed himself because he couldn't stop doing something that is completely normal and natural for anybody. Mormons teach that you are “better off dead than immoral” and Kip felt that way and I'm sure the Mormon leadership didn't give a damn.

I’m sure President Kimball and many other sick Mormon leaders, were glad that Kip had decided to kill himself, rather than remain on earth masturbating.(blood atonement baby) “Better off dead than immoral, right?” Like Kimball says, better for a woman to die being raped, then to be raped and live, right? In other words, any woman that is raped and lived through it, didn’t fight hard enough, because she isn’t dead!! I can’t even make this shit up and I don’t need to, as it is so sick and twisted!! How can anyone believe these awful, horrific teachings or even worse, justify them?!!

President Kimball wrote one of the most evil and horrific books of all time and it sits enthroned in the Mormon Church's museum of history, right across from temple square. Accompanying the book under glass is some saying about how many hundreds of thousands or millions of youth it has inspired or some BS like that. These men just don't get it and I don't believe they ever will, nor do they want to. They will never admit their faults and screw-ups and therefore, can never move forward and improve things.

I've said before, many times, how ironic it is that these very men, who refuse to admit faults, apologize for their errors and mistakes, want the membership to be held to this very high standard of living and repentance, for every little sin(both of omission and commission), that even they won't follow. It is disgraceful and one of the biggest displays of open hypocrisy that I have ever seen in my entire life!!

These men literally answer to nobody but their invisible God and yet we are accountable to them and must go see them to confess our sins, many times in great voyeuristic details, depending on who our Bishop is and whether or not he is a complete pervert. The Mormon Hierarchy is not accountable to the membership in any way shape or form, never has been and never will be.

We have grown men, in their 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's and beyond, asking little 12 year old boys and even girls, behind closed doors and in a private office, if they masturbate and look at porno. Holy shit people, wake up and realize how wrong and what an outrage this is!! Only the parents of these children should be discussing/teaching or asking about the sex lives of their little kids, not some sick, perverted Bishop behind closed doors.

Another interesting thing is that they never even ask permission to do so or tell the parents what they are going to ask their children. They don’t even want the parents in the room for these so called interviews. It is repulsive and one of the things that to me, makes Mormonism evil and very dangerous!! Oh yeah and what about the cases of pedophile Bishops, who abuse and molest these poor kids.....it happens more often than we think.

And then we wonder why Mormons are so sexually dysfunctional and think it is a dirty, filthy and gross thing from the devil. It's not hard to figure out now, is it? When I was first asked if I masturbated, around 11 or 12, I had to go home and look the word up, once I figured out how to even spell it...sick, pathetic, sex obsessed asses!! They are dirty old men, just like Joseph Smith was.

I could go on and on about this, but I won't, because I already have on several occasions. It's just sick and very, very wrong. These men should be locked up, because we would be if we tried to pull that shit with the boys and girls in our neighborhoods. Can you even imagine?

It may be 176 years later, but the church is still being run by horny sex freaks, who carry on Joe's wonderful legacy of perversion. Once again, it's okay to be a complete pervert, as long as you have the authority to do so and God commands it. The tradition of ministerial abuse is still running strong and Joe would be very proud of his legacy. I think Warren Jeffs though, would make him even prouder, I really do!! At least he didn’t cave into social pressures and obey the law by banning polygamy like the phonies in Salt Lake did, right? Now that Warren Jeffs is a real Prophet after Joseph’s heart, not that “polygamy has nothing to do with us” fraud of a Prophet Hinckley.

I’ve said before on many occasions; if Joseph Smith or Brigham Young came back today and had to Choose which Church was their original Church, they would most undoubtedly choose the fundamentalists. Yeah, the same fundamentalists that Jeffs leads(now from the purgatory jail, where he belongs) and that Hinckley claims has absolutely nothing to do with the Mormon Church of today. Now, that should tell us something, shouldn’t it?

On a different topic, I issue a challenge to any TBM reading this, to tell me when the last time was that you got a statement, telling you where exactly and precisely, your tithing and fast offering money went and who or what it helped. Yeah, let's not hold our breath, because it doesn't even happen for the church members on a collective scale, let alone a personal one and never will. Have we seen actual statements of where the 1.5 billion came from, that they are spending on their mall purchase and reconstruction program?

Meanwhile, the presiding Bishop of the church, who is supposed to be looking after the welfare of the members, is the man in charge and running a 1.5 billion dollar mall purchase and reconstruction project. Yeah whatever dude....hope the alcohol in your restaurants helps to create the vibrant nightlife that you are seeking and I’m glad that “your goal to serve wine”, worked out for you. How much was it again that you got for each piece of land you sold to the individual restaurants within Jesus’ malls?

Explain this BS to the poor people over in South/Central America, Africa or even here, that are paying their tithing with gold fillings and geese eggs. Tell that to my friend who the church wouldn't help in his recent crisis....it's so clear!!

They are destroying lives and couldn't even care less. They are only focused on their filthy lucre and robbing the poor every chance they get. "The work must go forward" is their drum beat, regardless of what the collateral damage is from the wrongness of their pathetic teachings and practices, that have been proven wrong and damaging, time and time again and even cost human lives.

Again, McKay, if it works for you great and you've made your passionate case and I highly respect you....but it will never be for me or anyone in my immediate family ever again. In fact, they will be taught to stay as far away from this evil cult as humanly possible.

I respect you McKay and thanks for the kind words about my writing. I've always loved to write, but over the last year....it has really become a true passion and something that I love and enjoy a ton. Maybe I will get into journalism, but probably sports journalism, as I'm an avid sports fan, which is another deep passion of mine. Thanks again for your participation and for sharing with us your story and I only hope the best for you and your family in the future.

I look forward to our future dialogs and breaking down the issues one by one....that will be thoroughly enjoyable with someone from the TBM side, that respects my points of view and can actually see where I'm coming from and have a “real discussion”, without calling me every name in the book and a "son of perdition."

Take care everyone and thanks a ton, once again, for your participation.

Samuel

 
At Wednesday, September 06, 2006 3:37:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Lori,

I love your comments as always and it was good to see you commenting again, as we hadn't heard from you for a little while. I rarely ever disagree with what you are saying and I believe that we pretty much have the same perspectives on Mormonism, God, Jesus, this earth, us, etc.

I just wanted to thank you again for your participation and that I love your comments and way of expressing yourself. Please stay around and keep sharing your thoughts with us, as I love your perspectives, as I'm sure many others do. I'm glad that "Mormon Truth", is a place where you feel you can come and express your true feelings about Mormonism along with your experiences.

Best wishes,

Samuel

 
At Wednesday, September 06, 2006 5:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why thank you Samuel! That was very kind.

Living here in New Zealand has so opened my eyes to things that just took for granted growing up in the States.

The country is so dependant on the dole and the tax rate is so high to pay for everyone to site home watching "Home and Away", that it is one of the most expensive places I've ever lived on this planet. I'll be going home to Idaho next month for a visit and may make some new choices for my life as to where I live.

What living here has shown me that I had never known with my adult female eyes, is the level of disdain and discrimination against women. I'd heard about this time and time again growing up, but growing up in the church and being discriminated against there was "normal" as I didn't have anything else to reference it to. However, now that I'm older, I've left the church, I've become aware of human issues, I'm agast at the feeling I'm experiencing here. I feel like if you are a woman here, you are nothing. I know, this is beautiful NZ right? I've been just emotionally bashed here for being an American, female, and using my brain. It even happend last night at work.

My reason for posting this is because living this in my 30's has totally opened my eyes to what living it as a Mormon for 27 years did to me. I've stepped out from behind that preverbial curtain and really looked at the wisard pulling all the strings and ringing the bells and whistles. Man, the Mormon church with it's patricary mumbo jumbo is absolutely nuts and does nothing but really make the men perpetuating such nonsense look like weak little boys. It has taken me coming here to finally see it all for what it always was/is.

I want to say a few things about the US if I may. Growing up there you cannot have a sense of why people say it is so great. Although I don't do the whole arrogance about the US any more than I do about the Mormon church being the greatest of all blah, blah, blah, I do now have sense of what it must have meant for the inital immigrants arriving in America and what their ambitions were. I think I now know why America is the land of opportunity, simply because the people that initially created the county knew what it was like to be oppressed and without hope, so it was important to create a country that allowed their souls to breath again, to hope, to have purpose and even a future. Having lived without it would have been a huge push to create it.

I so know the immediate judgement from people who look at you like you have no business being here taking way from jobs that were meant for "them". I so know wanting to start your life over away from what you knew that hurt you so badly and wanting to make a fresh start in freedom.

I want to say how much I appreciate what being an American has afforded me. It gave me an absolutely fantastic education, (again, I just took that for granted. I thought everyone got to go to school from Kindergarten to 12th grade at least, NOT SO), it gave me years of affordable, healthy food, it instilled in me an attitude of "never say die". Growing up in Boise, Idaho it gave me an attitude of "you make your own life, don't ever think the Gov't owes you a dime, you make your own dimes", so becoming addicted to welfare was never an option. I also had access to excellent health and dental care. I TOOK ALL OF THIS FOR GRANTED. Well no more. Never again. Gas prices here are almost double what they are in the States, food is at least double and clothes are double again.

I guess the reason I'm writing this is because somehow growing up in the church I though that everyone was basically the same and if they only heard the gospel the world would all be happy Mormons etc. Well, the world is NOT the same. People were not raised with the same opportunities whatsoever. There is some suffering on this planet that I had never, ever known. There is no way a stupid "golden bible" is/or was going to change any of that. Even if it were true, what on earth does Christ visiting the "Americas" have anything remotely to do with anyone living anywhere else on the planet? For a New Zealander,...who cares? So, this Christ loved people in the America's more than the loved me because he couldn't be bothered appearing here? What the...?

I hate to say it, but in the rest of the world people are not born equal at all. We may be born with the same abilities to become something given the right opportunities, but man, those opportunities are just not equal whatsoever everywhere in the world. I'm glad I was somehow given a shot of ambition growing up where I did, because that frankly at the end of the day is what has kept me alive through out my own journey.

I'm now more aware of what being a woman means to me more than I ever have been and I guard that now more that I ever have and revere that about myself and will always put myself in positions to have that be respected. I'll never take for granted again that in the US there is a thing called "equal opportunity". I revere the women in history that fought for that so that I could enjoy the benefits. I think because EO happened, I know the day is coming for discrimination of gays to be abolished as well. It is only a matter of time before we blow up so many people that we grow weary of that and decide to look at different routes in learning to get along with each other on this planet. I hope to see that during my years on this planet. It is so heart breaking for me to see such violence being played out in the world. So much of it comes from religion and it just breaks my heart.

I'm really grateful to have found a few men who have left the Mormon church, who have left the arrogance of the priesthood behind and who can now simply be equal friends on our journeys through life instead of some horrid "authority" that thinks they have power over anyone other than themselves. I never had any real male friends growing up because of this priesthood separation and it is only now in my 30's that I'm finally finding friends in men. It is refreshing.

I wish for freedom in the world and that everyone can have an education, food, shelter, meaningful employment, happiness and self awareness.

Lori


www.myspace.com/steppinupmusic

 
At Wednesday, September 06, 2006 5:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to put a little dislaimer in what I just said. Obviously not all of NZ is like what I mentioned. Obviously there are some fantastic people here. As a tourist I was treated like gold. My experience is coming from having lived and worked here for 4 1/2 years in the think of things and have seen a bit more of the dynamics. My experience isn't everyone's obviously, but from where I've walked and am walking currently, there are some real serious social issues. I saw the same thing on my mission in Scotland. When you can literally go down and give the govt your power bill and ask them to pay it nd they do, and then you ask them to pay your rent...and they do, and then you ask them to pay your food bill...and they do, that totally destroys your sense of responsibility and over time, can become corrosive to your soul. It is this issue that I'm talking about, not all New Zealanders.

I just wanted to clarify that.

Thanks,

Lori


www.myspace.com/steppinupmusic

 
At Wednesday, September 06, 2006 7:19:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

Thanks again Sam for your awesome comments. The last one should be on the Blog as its own seperate post! As I said, I personally believe you to be following the true conviction of your heart. You are facing the severe judgement by those you know and love simply for standing up for the wrongs you have seen. Your heart is good, and I believe your motives are noble and right. I sincerely thank you for the compasion you have shown for those who have suffered so greatly at the hand of the unrightcoues treatment of the church or its members. I thank you for not judging with such cruelty and self rightouesness those within the church who have struggled with heartaches, abuse, and sin. I sincerely believe with every ounce of conviction in my heart, that you have more reason to stand before God with some degree of integrety than MANY MANY members within our own faith.

I, for one would say, post away, speak out as loud as you can and continue to give voice to your concience. Continue to follow with intergrety the convictions of your own heart, as doing anything less can create the self loathing, insecurity, cog dis, and ultimately result in the tortured concience that has caused those dear friends you have mentioned to take their own lives. God has givin you your mind, your logic, your ability to understand right and wrong, your freedom, and your agency. Supression of anyone of those qualities denies the divine nature and rights inherent to us all. If the church suffers as a result of your voice, then they suffer as a result of their own behaviors and policies, and the suffering it has caused. And if the members are not strong enough to hear it and continue in their faith, then they have never really come to know the Gospel they claim to believe.

I look forward to sharing our perspectives and stories. I look forward to getting to know you better and understanding further about your life and experiences. I also look forward to sharing my own. Weather or not you agree with my insights and oppinions, at the very least they will be unique and somthing to give thought to.

Here are a few areas I would gladly discuss just to name a few.

Mountain meadows massacre.
Polygamy.
Blacks and racism in church history.
Tithing and the finacial management within the church.
Temples, covenants, symbolism and their ties to masonry.
The abusive and flawed policies toward gay men.
The heavy emphasis placed upon Joseph Smith within the church.
The watering down of church history.
The true healing and recovery from abuse and sin.
The book "Miracle of Forgiveness".
Sex as "The sin next to murder" and why it is defined as such.
How the church is governed.
The role of the Prophet and apostles and the nature of their testimonies.
The inability of the church to admit flawed proceedures and mistakes.

These seem to be the "Biggies" but I am open to any subject.

Take Care,

McKay

 
At Wednesday, September 06, 2006 7:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear McKay,

Those are excellent topics. To clear up my thinking, are you going to be debating "for" these events from a TBM view, or are you wanting just to know the truth behind these events?

Thanks,

Lori


www.myspace.com/steppinupmusic

 
At Wednesday, September 06, 2006 8:23:00 PM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

Sex as "The sin next to murder" and why it is defined as such.

This one just seems so bizarre to me.

How can a church that condones polygamy, whose founder had 49 wives and claimed god promised he could have 10 virgins, who asked church members for their daughters, how can they have such Victorian attitudes toward sex???

Isn't this just a huge, huge contradiction?

I'm still learning about the LDS church, especially its early history, but I can't seem to study church history without coming across some reference to Joseph Smith's sexual appetites.

I'd like to know more about this aspect of Mormonism.

 
At Wednesday, September 06, 2006 9:17:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

Lori,

In response to your comment about loving yourself before you can love others...

Jesus' full reply to the question of the greatest commandment was "Love God and love your neighbor." Notice how god is first. As we have discussed in our email exchanges, god is within each of us. In fact, I am the god of myself because only I can take true control of me. Therefore, I agree with you perfectly that it is absolutely necessary to learn how to love yourself first.

Cernovog,

If you go visit www.thechurchisnottrue.com, you can listen to a podcast by Mike and Hyrum. There is a two part show where they talk with Bob McCue all about sex and power and politics. It is titled, "Was Smith Trustworthy?" McCue has some very interesting insights into early Mormon sexuality which you have expressed an interest in learning more about. I was completely spellbound when I heard it. In fact, I need to listen to it again.

McKay,

You forgot one of the most important topics (in my opinion anyway) and that is the problems with the Book of Abraham. This was the issue for me that ultimately caused my Mormon world to shatter.

Sam,

I told my wife that she needed to read your last post, and she actually did! At first when I told her it was all about how Mormonism ruins lives, she kind of sneered, (Mormonism can't possibly ruin lives!!!) but I told her it was very true and very worth reading. I think she understood it because she made a comment about how "God's one and only true state" should have the lowest depression and suicide rates, rather than the highest! Truly, if Mormonism makes people so happy why is this the case? It reminds me of that song with the lyrics, "If it makes you happy, then why are you so sad?"

 
At Wednesday, September 06, 2006 11:43:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

Hi again,

Lori, I am only seeking truth and the sharing of perspectives. Keep in mind this is not a one way conversation. I want to listen as well, and I will let everyone freely draw their own conclusionis and hold to their own beliefs without judgement or ridicule.

Ray,.... the Book of Abraham, Book of Mormon, Archaeoligy, whatever...I will discuss them all, though my studies and insights are more detailed in some areas than others.

Cernovog.. In dicussing sex as the sin next to murder. I will not discredit the basic human desires for sex, affection, and physical attraction as evil. Nor will I justify making anyone to feel guilty or wrong for having our God given passions and desires. Heck! I love sex just like any other guy... So you dont have to worry about me coming off as "holier than though". Such is not in my demeaner.

 
At Thursday, September 07, 2006 3:10:00 AM, Blogger mckay said...

If anyone wants to put a face to the name you can visit www.hawkesfamilytimes.blogspot.com. This is a site my bro and I have been messing with. The top 8 posts are mine. I am building my own site but it still wont be up for a couple months.

TC

McKay

 
At Thursday, September 07, 2006 6:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi McKay,

I just saw your site, your fishing trip looked fun. Sorry about your leg, that looks painful.

You are truly a very rare (at least for me) Mormon. I've never met a fellow like you so willing to talk without the arrogance. This is going to take some getting used to. I need to let the sheilds down a bit.

Thanks!

Lori


www.steppinupmusic.com

 
At Thursday, September 07, 2006 3:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ray, the problem I have with your statement is the "Thou Shalt" in front of that "commandment" and every other one. "Thou Shalt" is a command, a command that has consequences if not adhered to. No one can force someone to love someone no more than they can force you to do your home teaching and visiting teaching. You can't force love, not to a friend and certainly not to an invisable god and not to yourself. It takes time and work on both ends for that. And heck, loving yourself sometimes takes years. It's all about time and care and when you are ready, not when you are commanded to.

Thanks!

Lori


www.steppinupmusic.com

 
At Thursday, September 07, 2006 3:38:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

Thanks Lori,

You have no need to put yor gaurd up around me.. thats for sure. It would be arrogant for me to have my gaurd up as well and assume I have all truth as then I would not be open to learning more from your beliefs, studies, perspectives etc. I think truth has nothing to be afraid of, and only an honest and objective stance will reveal truth. I believe many of your statements, and I totally understand why you believe as you do.

Also I wanted to note. I stated I have 4 kids. This is kind of a bad habit. I have been recenly reunited with my daughter I had at 17. Its a long story, but I had not seen her since she was 6 mo. old due to a falling our with her mother and I. Ultimatly she was adopted by her new husband (my old best friend in HS) and since then I have had no idea where she was, where she went or what happened. Recenly we have been reunited for which I am greatful beyond measure. We are like two peas in a pod and our minds work the same. We all get along very well. It has been so increadibly heeling and fulfilling to have her back in my life. A happy ending to a tramatic series of events. So I have to say I really have 5 kids. She is the one in the pics with some pink in her hair. Tell me their is not a resemblance with the other kids... Awesome!

Thanks again

I hope you dont mind... I often look for ways to express myself. This song is one of my favorite and could not echo my concience much better.

Black eyed peas. Where is the Love?

What's wrong with the world, mama
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma
Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin'
In the USA, the big CIA
The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK
But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah
Madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send us some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love

Where is the love
Where is the love
Where is the love
The love, the love

It just ain't the same, all ways have changed
New days are strange, is the world insane
If love and peace is so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don't belong
Nations droppin' bombs
Chemical gasses fillin' lungs of little ones
With ongoin' sufferin' as the youth die young
So ask yourself is the lovin' really gone
So I could ask myself really what is goin' wrong
In this world that we livin' in people keep on givin'
in
Makin' wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends
Not respectin' each other, deny thy brother
A war is goin' on but the reason's undercover
The truth is kept secret, it's swept under the rug
If you never know truth then you never know love
Where's the love, y'all, come on
Where's the truth, y'all, come on
Where's the love, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send us some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love

Where is the love
Where is the love
Where is the love
The love, the love

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' in the wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema
Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Instead in spreading love we spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found

so ask yourself

Where is the love
Where is the love
Where is the love


Father, Father, Father help us
Send us some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love

Where is the love
Where is the love
Where is the love

Where is the love
Where is the love
Where is the love

If you dont have it, check it out on Itunes... its awesome.

Peace,

McKay

 
At Thursday, September 07, 2006 6:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful song McKay,

I was going to tell you, I was adopted at birth and my mother was around 17 or 18, was reunited with her about 8 years or so ago, it did not go well at all, however it was shocking to see the biological resemblence in all of us. Freaky, yet sad. It's taken me some time to seperate the "self" from looking in the mirror and seeing a huge resemblence to my bio dad who didn't even know I exsisted. I think it was from all of this that the whole "happy family" stuff the church teaches was nonsense. I started from very unhappy circumstances and I know that practicing old folk lore such as prayer and rituals to change events or the future such as temple attendance, priesthood ordinances etc changes absolutely nothing.

I'm reading a totally facinating book on the origons of Mormonism by Dr Quinn called "Early Mormonism and the Magic World View". Holy Cow that book has opened my eyes to the practice of folk lore magic, occult practices of the early church and early America. Just the act of prayer is attributed to folk lore magic. I never ever knew that, I only knew it never worked, but I never knew where it came from. I am feeling more educated reading about the realities of Mormonism that I EVER did in all my years as a church member hearing regurgitated lessons over and over and over.

I'm glad your relationship with your first child is going so well. That has got to feel fantastic.

Samuel, I'm still digesting your last post. Losing so many friends to low self esteem because of the church is absolutely horrible beyond words. Thank you for sharing. Amazing what we all have been through.

Lori


www.steppinupmusic.com

 
At Thursday, September 07, 2006 7:29:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Cernovog,

I first want to say that everything is perfectly fine between us and I'm very grateful that you feel you can come here and not be spit on, condemned for your beliefs or talked down to by me or anyone else; or have your freedom of speech limited, edited or deleted, because it doesn't fit my agenda. If someone does rip you, at least here you have the freedom to say whatever you want back to them in defense of yourself. I strongly encourage debate and passion here, as most of you know.

There is a very good chance that I won't change your mind, you won't change my mind or Ray's mind, we won't change McKay's mind and that Lori isn't going to become a TBM again or convert to Catholicism...right? Maybe Ray will end up converting all of us to Buddhism some day...who knows...LOL!! However, it doesn't hurt to try to understand where each of us is coming from, why we believe what we believe and how it makes us happy, without having to personally condemn each other.

We've exchanged emails in the past and I know that you are very passionate about what you believe, just as I am and I know that we respect each other and I thank you for that sincerely. Guys like you and McKay, are a rare find in this religion business and I'm just glad that you are both here to share your perspectives, even though we may strongly disagree on most things in the end.

I guess that sometimes I may get a little overworked when people say I'm too angry, too bitter, etc, etc. Most of them(TBMS) have read one post and don't know or care how I arrived at where I am, just that I'm evil and the spawn of Satan and the Mormon church is true. Please allow me to list for everyone, some of things I've either been called over the last year, or described as or accused of being, through either Emails, voice-mails or comments:

I've been called a "son of perdition", "the spawn of Satan", "the devil", "one of Satan's angels", "a rapist", "demonic", "worse than a murderer", "pure evil", "Satan", "Satan's Helper", "I punch a time clock for Satan every morning", "I'm too angry", "weak", “highly offensive”, “I use pornographic pictures on my sites”, “I use F-bombs everywhere on my blog and in my podcasts”, "pathetic", "a liar", "a homosexual", "a fag", "a bastard", "SOB", "drug addict", "piece of f'n shit" "covering up big sins", "wanting to sin", "an alcoholic", and most recently, along with dick and asshole, that "I should check into pedophilia as an alternative lifestyle", because of my willingness to defend and stand up for homosexuals and their rights; and many more other, even more offensive terms, all starting with the F bomb. So, when people say that I'm overreacting...I'm like..."do you even know me pal?!!"

I have several people that are advocating my death or look forward to the day I die. One warned me of my impending death, "which would come soon." People wonder why I have to remain anonymous?!! These are the type of people that Mormonism(and in some cases, Christianity) create. It’s sad but true!! These people actually consider themselves to be disciples of Jesus Christ.....really?!! Now, that’s laughable, isn’t it?

I'm guessing that most of these people, that write these offensive things, are RMs, go to their Church every Sunday, take the Sacrament, have temple recommends and go to the temple regularly, shout to the world that they are Christians, have given their lives to Christ, have been born again, etc. I will not put my family and friends at risk anymore than I already have, especially with these freak shows walking around.

Mormonism is an evil cult that destroys families and individuals, every single day, one by one and family by family. I'm not sure that Christianity isn't far behind it. The activist, fanatical, Evangelical Christians are among the worst human beings I've encountered in my life and in my opinion, are a disgrace to themselves and all humanity.

They openly, boldly and loudly condemn good innocent people(who are just trying to be happy and live their lives), just because they don’t believe in their one and only explicit concept of God/Jesus. Apparently they've become Gods right before our eyes and can now even judge people's souls, which I find to be truly amazing. Amazingly arrogant and despicable that is!!

Now, Cernovog, I Googled my name last night and found your latest comment regarding me over on "One Living Truth" and then his pathetic response in return. I first want to say thanks again for standing up for me and defending me along with my personal freedoms and then I want to breakdown the response, which I find to be unbelievable and to support fully, every word I've ever said about the intolerant attitudes of these die-hard Evangelical Christians who preach hate and condemnation in the name of their God and love.

Now, I want to clarify that I'm not trying to re-start anything with this EH dude from "One Living Truth", rather I'm just commenting on his remarks that directly dealt with me and his hypocrisy. I'm also supporting Cernovog(I’ve got your back brother) for having the guts and courage to back me up, to someone that detests me, calls me demonic and condemns me to "lose my soul forever", along with most of you reading this, especially you McKay, since you are still Mormon. Eric is an equal opportunity condemner in the name of his God and huge heart full of love!! Apparently he now has license over your soul and you didn't even know it....imagine that? God sure does work in mysterious ways, doesn't he? LMAO!!

Also, I need to respond here, in my forum, since I'm not welcome there in that place to defend myself, because critics that want to debate are not allowed (and their motives are questioned over and over), only skeptics that will bow down to Eric and his preacher buddy, TheoJoe, who moderates and controls every aspect of his life and site, especially the forums. If you don't kiss their ass up one side and down the other, you aren't welcome!! So, either bow down to them or get the hell out!! Wow, what love, compassion and understanding......makes you all warm and fuzzy inside now doesn’t it?

As TheoJoe, the local preacher man from American Fork and a complete fraud to boot, has stated on several occasions, unequivocally, either concede every word I've said, or get out and this discussion is over!! If you don't leave, they will ban you and boot you themselves.

Also, I might throw in a...gasp....shit, ass or damn and that would get me immediately removed from the pristine celestial kingdom of Christian forums...LOL!!

Eric did actually leave me a public comment, after more than 2 months of silence and I then left him a response, ending by saying that "the floor was his." Of course, he cowered out and never responded, once again, which is no surprise for those of us that know him. He's all talk, with absolutely not one shred of walk in his body. He wants no part of an unsafe environment, with no TheoJoe, where many people would jump all over his ass and tell him the way it is and where I’m free to express myself the way that I want to. I declined his invitation to do another podcast with him for obvious reasons.

For those that want to read his last comment and my response, just click here. Just scroll down and they are right at the bottom of the comments. Also, thanks Bonnie for your last comment, I really appreciate it!!

Anyway, onto Cernovog's comments and his response.

Cernovog, you said the following:

"My investigation into Mormonism in no way weakens my faith. When I attend other services, Christian or otherwise, I have no fear. Jesus Christ is the foundation of my faith and it can withstand anything.

I can see why the Samuel the Utahnite is so venomous in his attacks on the Living Truth podcast.This refusal to see even the tiniest bit of good in the LDS church and this outright fear on learning, on knowledge on understanding -- I say that is just as bad as anything the LDS church does.

The LDS church is the one that bans knowledge and information. That tells its people and its missionaries not to expose themselves to "anti-Mormon" literature. They know their faith can not withstand rebuke. But my faith can. I am not afraid.

If you want to wallow in ignorance, then by all means, continue with your arm chair evangelism. See how far it gets you.

This conversation is over."

The response from Eric Hoffman, about me, to Cernovog was:

"First off Cernovog....Samuels attacks on me are purely based on my intolerant views for sin and my love for God. LDS are living in sin. How can one be forgiven for their sins if they have not turned to God for forgiveness. Remember Cernovog....No one is good(Romans 3:11...which would bring me to your catholic beliefs of Mary being sinless....another day) Some people say I am narrow minded...good! Praise God!!(LMAO!!) Read Matthew 7:13. My heart is open but my beliefs are carved in stone. They do not sway in any direction.

Cernovog I am still awaiting your answer concerning the Word Of God...

By the way Cernovog, I hope in no way you think I am condemning you. You just have a responsibility as a believer in Christ to represent His heart in a that also worships Him."

For those that would like to read the entire text of the comments.....you can just click here

Wow, where do I begin? First kudos to you Cernovog for saying it like it is and once again, I appreciate you defending the things I've said regarding the ridiculous things he has been spewing and doing. I'm glad that you can understand where I'm coming from and why I felt it was important to say what I have.

Now, he makes some startling comments, that I'm sure represent many religious, die-hard zealots, like him and many die-hard TBMS that call me every name in the book.

He says that I'm attacking him because of his "intolerant views for sin and his love for God" Wow!! Actually, it's his intolerant views toward all mankind, specifically Mormons or anyone that doesn't believe as he does or believe in his God. He claims that final judgment is up to God, but then renders his judgment by saying that all of us, that don't follow him and believe what he believes and his personal interpretation of things, "will lose our souls forever."

His comical and hilarious statement of “Some people say I am narrow minded...good! Praise God!!” is truly amazing and says everything we need to know, doesn’t it? He Praises God that people say he is narrow minded? LOL!! What is it he accuses Mormons of again, all the time, as he condemns them to Eternal nothingness? Also, I find it to be astonishing, when he says, “LDS are living in sin. How can one be forgiven for their sins if they have not turned to God for forgiveness.” I mean, I’m flabbergasted and disgusted!!

Just who the hell is this Eric “God/JESUS CHRIST” Hoffman, to be saying that “ALL LDS ARE LIVING IN SIN AND CAN’T BE FORGIVEN FOR THEIR SINS IF THEY HAVE NOT TURNED TO GOD FOR FORGIVENESS?” So, now he is the sole judge as to whether all Mormons are living in sin and what God they can turn to in order to be forgiven?(and it must be his version of God) Everybody, I’d like you to meet Eric Hoffman, who believes that he is the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.....wow....and how were we to know that the Jesus Christ would return to earth so quietly and just be kicking it in Lehi, Utah, as a member of the Calvary Church.....amazing, isn’t it? I guess I should feel blessed to have once been his friend.....but now I’m screwed, because Eric “Jesus” Hoffman calls me demonic.....DAMN IT!!

Everyone here reading this, unless they are a disciple of Eric Hoffman, should be highly offended by him and his words of true hate for all innocent people living around the world. There is nothing good that can ever come from his blanket hate and condemnation of EVERYONE!! I wish this coward would drag his ass in here to deal with all of us and see what happens, but let’s not hold our breath. I’d love to see what you have to say about him McKay, as I know you could easily handle yourself in dealing with him, just like Cernovog and I have.

Now Cernovog, just to back up my argument of what he says all the time; he says that he hopes that in no way you think that he is condemning you and earlier on in the comments, on page one of that topic, he insults you over and over and then says that he "isn't trying to fight you." However, the most insulting thing he said was the following:

".....I do not play church on the weekends. God is important. F2K...you called us brothers. Is Cernovog a brother in Christ? Or a brother by the blood of Adam? Cernovog, I mean you no disrespect. I have a compassion for God and I am not trying to witness something to you....I am a witness. Jesus lives and I want you to know that. Whats your idea on the Word of God? Cernovog I await your answer...."

So now, my blood really begins to boil, on your behalf Cernovog, because now this cocky man-God character, doesn't even consider you to be a "brother in Christ?" Maybe through the blood of Adam you are brothers, because everyone qualifies for that, but certainly not Christ, because you don't believe in Christ exactly as he does. Oh, please don't get the wrong idea, brother in Adam's blood only, because he means you no disrespect....is this guy freaking kidding us? He is more ill in the head, brainwashed and lost, than any Mormon that I’ve ever known in my life, on a personal level. I think that he really needs some professional help at this point and some type of intervention.

Does he even realize what an embarrassment he is to himself and that he is a walking contradiction with no human decency whatsoever? Extreme, fanatical people like this, make the Mormon Hierarchy look like some of the most normal, loving, compassionate people on earth and that's a sad statement, as I think of them as nothing more the power/money hungry cult leaders that don’t care how many lives they and their teachings destroy on the way to the bank vault.

For someone like you Cernovog, that believes strongly in Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, to say that you don't, or that your belief doesn't qualify, because it isn't identical to his.....is the ultimate kick in the ass...but no offense man....it's just religion and I don't play church on the weekends buddy, this is serious business....Good holy Mormon God above...I really detest this guy more and more and anyone that believes like he does. We just don’t need this type of blanket condemnation of anyone that doesn’t believe as we do. How does he think that he is helping Mormons with love? Is he playing some type of virtual reality game or what?

He then says that he's not trying to witness to you because he is a witness? WTF?!! Does he even know what the hell he is saying? Is he even on this earth any longer? It sounds like he took a one way trip to Kolob and ain’t coming back any time soon!!

Anyway Cernovog, thanks again for the defense and understanding of my point of view and I'm sorry that Eric had to disrespect your freedom and right to believe in whatever you want. Unfortunately, we are in the same boat, as he doesn't respect me or anyone for that matter and I'm even demonic. For those that can’t stomach me saying one bad word about Eric Hoffman for some strange reason.....I sincerely apologize. I was basically just coming to the defense of Cernovog, who came to the defense of me.

Also, everything that I just wrote about Eric, applies equally to anyone that is like him, that preaches nothing but condemnation of anyone that doesn’t believe as they do and he's just my personal poster child, since I know him pretty well. I condemn the Mormon Hierarchy and leadership that perpetuate the lies and fraud, but I don’t go after the good, loving, caring, normal Mormons or anyone of any other faith, who are people just living their life, trying to be happy and doing the best they can.

Now, if your name is Hitler, Mussolini or Stalin, etc...well, that's a different story. If they end up where I'm going, then something is very, very wrong in my opinion.

I don’t care if you are Catholic, JW, SDA, Mormon, Evangelical Christian, Moonie or whatever.....who am I to tell you that you will not exist after this life, because you don’t believe exactly as a I do. These people need some serious, serious help with their brain.

I believed for 30 + years that I had the only truth and that many of the great and noble ones were going to be below me, including family members and friends that I loved. Now, I realize how arrogant, disgusting and horrible that view was and I will call out anybody very loudly, that believes that and I don’t care who it offends. It’s amazing how the guy calling out somebody for openly condemning innocent people ends up being the bad guy, isn’t it?

Like Lori has said numerous times in her comments.....nobody can judge us as human beings.....nobody has walked in our shoes and NOBODY on this earth, can or has the right to say where our soul is going or what will happen to us in the next life. When somebody thinks that they have that authority.....they have certifiably lost their mind and have allowed their arrogance to override their love, compassion, tolerance and human decency and acceptance toward others. They are cult members and I can only hope that one day they can escape as I and many of you reading this have. I was skeptical at first McKay, due to my personal experiences over the last year with TBM phonies, just trying to provoke me or act as a wolf in sheep's clothing.....but you have made me a true believer in you as a person and human being.....huge thanks for that!!

Sorry that I haven’t been able to respond to everyone and I’ll keep trying.....but thanks again for the awesome comments, as I read them all and I love the participation level that we have. Also, one more time....McKay, you are a class act man and thanks for being so open with us and understanding of where us ex-Mormons are coming from. There is nothing wrong with good, honest, passionate debating and being able to disagree with each other; but when it gets to the point of someone condemning all of us with their blanket and God, because we won’t believe as they do....well, I’ll always take huge issue with that BS and I’ll call them out every single time. I appreciate those of you that have the courage and strength to do the same thing and fight against injustice, as it is always easier to just remain quiet on the sidelines...which is something that I just can’t do and have never been very good at.

Take care everyone, keep up the great comments and I'll be back soon,

Samuel

 
At Thursday, September 07, 2006 9:07:00 PM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

Hey Samuel,

Thanks so much for your comments. I got a real hoot reading them.

That Eric is really something else, isn't he? I was just as flabbergasted at his level of intolerance as you were.

I mean, you can kind of understand why he is so dead-set against Mormonism. And you might not agree with it, but you can sort of understand why he would attack non-Christians.

But I was shocked when he started coming after me. First of all, I'm another Christian.

In spite of that, you could actually see him starting to dust off Martin Luther's 95 Theses and start nitpicking the little differences between Catholicism and whatever denomination he belongs to.

First of all, I believe Jesus knows no denomination. That being said, how can Eric claim to have the only truth? Not only does he seem to think his is the only true religion in the world, he also lays claim to the only denomination? What the...???

Has he tried them all?

Eric needs to examine himself. I don't see how expects to evangelize or proseletyze when he doesn't seem to understand basic tenets of the scriptures. Love one another. How hard is that? Judge not, lest ye be judged. Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.

Blanket condemnation, intolerance, outright hatred... where is Eric getting this from? Did Jesus go from town to town calling out people and telling them they're going to Hell?

For those of you who didn't read the post in the One Living Truth forum, we were discussing Mormon services. Eric went to ONE SACRAMENT MEETING -- just one -- and he came back with his usual blanket condemnation of all things Mormon.

Apparently, he didn't stay for Gospel Principles, he didn't stay for priesthood. He didn't go back next week. He went to one meeting.

So I shared my experiences with him and compared and contrasted my experience with his. I agreed with him on many points and offered an alternative point of view.

Then he lamb bastes me for going to Mormon services!!!! Unbelievable!

You'd figure, if you're going to do a podcast about Mormonism, shouldn't you get some first hand knowledge???

Isn't it always best to get first-hand information instead of just relying on what other people say and write?

Eric is an armchair Evangelist. He can't be bothered to go out and be among the people he claims he's so concerned for.

Instead, he sits around in his sterile forum and filters out anyone who doesn't meet his standard of perfection. In the end, he's left with a forum full of sycophants who do nothing but pat him on the back.

They drove out the TBMs. They drove out the atheists. Finally, they got so bored they picked on the Catholic guy.

When I said "This conversation is over." I meant it. I left that forum and never came back. (Okay, I came back once to see if I could actually delete my signon.... You can't, so I'm still listed as a member.)

I never saw Eric's response and I'm glad I didn't. It was even more hateful and intolerant than his earlier posts.

Another thing about that guy, he is NOSY. Just plain NOSY. He just needs to stick his nose in everyone's spiritual business.

"Do you believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord God and without him we are nothing?"

Eric, get out of my face.

And here's the straw that broke the camel's back (from his buddy F2K):

"I would like you to be honest at least with yourself and admit why your attending a service"

What the???

They are so arrogant and conceited over there in "One Living Truth" land. It's like they think they have a microscope that sees into our souls.

All of this, all of it, was a huge fight because I go to Mormon sacrament meetings to learn more about them. I don't go because I'm gonna join the Church. I don't go because I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. I'm not even going because I get something out of it! I don't go to the Mormon service instead of Catholic Mass. I either attend my church or I go to both.

What business is it of theirs if I want to go to two different church services over the weekend? Isn't it still MY weekend? If I'm wasting time, isn't it my time to waste?

Unbelievable! The level of intolerance over there is just unbelievable.

Eric, I know you're a regular visitor over here at Mormon Truth, especially since you PM'd me about Samuel's September 4 post. So I know you're hanging on our every word. I just hope SOMETHING sinks in.

Jesus didn't attack people. He taught with sympathy and compassion. He walked among sinners. "Healthy people don't need a doctor."

Eric, you need to keep an open mind. Explore other faiths and learn from them. You want to be a Christian? Maybe you should learn about other Christian denominations too and understand their differences as well as their similarities.

I explore different faiths all the time. I've been to Baptist churches, non-denominational churches, Mormon churches, I've even been to many, many Bhuddist temples and rituals. I've even been to a Catholic Mass in a Bhuddist country! :D

Never has my own faith ever been weakened. In fact, it grows stronger each time I question and evaluate it. I look forward to re-evaluating my beliefs and learning new things.

"One Living Truth" Even the name is arrogant. I'm glad I'm out of there.

 
At Thursday, September 07, 2006 9:49:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

Interesting list of names that you have been called, Samuel. Maybe you should put them on your blog so the whole world can see how most Mormons defend their faith!

And Wow! Now Eric J. Hoffman is the expert on who is living in sin and who is saved! Now that is arrogance. And what is this about being a witness? Did he actually see Jesus? If not, then he is as big a liar as the big Mormon 15 who also claim to be witnesses (funny this should come up as it is the topic of the blog we are currently commenting in).

This is yet another reason why I can no longer believe in Christianity; it is full, in fact overflowing, of hypocrites.
While they are all so busy arguing over who is right, they forget that Jesus just wants men to show an increase of love. Since Eric is so good at quoting scriptures and is so familiar with the Bible, its funny how he so clearly missed the passage that says, "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

I just went over to lds.org to look up a scripture and something occured to me. At the very top of the home page is an idol! Exodus 20:4 says "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth" It doesn't say "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, unless it looks like me." Jesus is supposedly in heaven and this verse specifically forbids a graven image of "any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above..." Now that's interesting, huh?

I know very little about Buddhism. I do know that it is not a religion but a way to know the self and reach enlightenment. Cernovog, you mentioned that you have been to Buddhist temples. How do you find them? I wonder if there's any in SLC. Do you know of any easy reading books? Thanks

 
At Thursday, September 07, 2006 9:53:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

I should clarify. When I say "not a religion" I mean not a religion of being saved or damned. Buddah was a great teacher but, unlike Jesus, he never claimed he was a saviour or god, at least not that I am aware of.

 
At Thursday, September 07, 2006 11:06:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

You know, when I read all your comments I just shake my head in disbelief. I dont blame anyone here for not believing in ANY religion and I am sorry. It seems trivial and useless to debate the issues as I cannot take on and defend every Member or Christian when I see such ludicrous behavior. Honestly I dont know how these people come to be who they are, when every teaching I have come to know condems their own behavior.

Again I am sorry. Just know, that I try to live my faith with integrety, and if the person I am today is in any way commendable, I owe it in large part to my faith, my testimony, and my own study and pondering of the scriptures.

Best of luck to you all. And just know any one of you would be welcome in my home so long as you respect my beliefs as I do yours.

McKay

 
At Friday, September 08, 2006 9:37:00 AM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Mckay,

You aren't leaving us are you? I may not believe what you believe, in fact it's probably the opposite, but please stick around. I do want to debate the issues with you and I'm sure others do too...but the difference is, we will be able to do it with respect, because you aren't some right-wing, hate-filled, fanatical, Christian nutjob, like the one we've been discussing here today. You won't be throwing hellfire at us and condemning us all to hell if we don't follow you.

I don't know about the others, but I would truly like to know how you have worked your way through all of the problems that destroyed our testimonies and remained an active true believing Mormon. I just want to know what your perspectives are and why these things don't affect the truthfulness of the church for you.

You are just a good, normal guy, and a father, that has been to hell and back, probably more than once, who just happens to be Mormon. I don't see you as a die-hard Mormon, who is also a man, if you can understand what I'm saying. It is my opinion, due to your experiences throughout your life, you have become more loving, understanding and compassionate toward others, which is who you are as a person, not what your religion is.

In other words....you are your religion, but your religion isn't you. You believe in truth and honesty, which is the opposite of the men that lead the Mormon Church. They could learn a lot from you, they really could. I believe that you said McKay, that they should embrace their history, if the Church is true, instead of running and hiding from it.

I believe that the Mormon church is better for having you, far more than you are better for having Mormonism. I'm just saying that that is my opinion and I could be wrong and I apologize if you feel that I'm taking liberties in my assumptions. I just hope that your leaders truly appreciate what they've got in you, that's all.

This reminds me of a man that was in one of my best friends mission, who had been excommunicated 3 times for adultry....yes 3 times. The last time he got baptized, and it may have been the last 2 times...he had to get the "special approval", from Salt Lake and The First Presidency. They granted it and he was re-baptized again.

So, shortly after he was baptized for the 3rd time, a missionary in the mission, in his Stake in fact, had sex with a girl and was sent home. This man, who had been exed and forgiven 3 times for adultery, then commented to my friend, "how is it possible for a missionary of The Lord, to make such a horrible mistake?" He commented that, "the missionary was a disgrace and should be embarrassed for his behavior."

Now, this is a man who learned absolutely nothing from his life experience. Here is a man that was forgiven 3 times......3 TIMES and then condemned a missionary for fornication, when he was a 3 time adulterer. My point is McKay, you have learned from your life and experiences and aren't like this man that I just described. If we can't learn from our life experiences and mistakes and be better for them, then we are missing out completely.

I too shake my head in disbelief, that a person who supposedly loves God so much and now claims to be a "special witness" of Jesus Christ, can be so hateful and condemning of all others that don't believe what they do. I also wonder how they've arrived at where they are. Everything they do and say is a direct contradiction of the Jesus they pretend to be following. Can't they see it?

I know that I say very harsh things against Mormonism, but these are my feelings and what I really and truly believe, not just from my studies, but also from personal experience.

I also respect your right to be Mormon, believe that the Church is true, for Cernovog to be Catholic, etc. However, I can't hold back on what I truly believe, just because I have a mixed crowd and I hope that I haven't scared you away with my honesty or personally offended you, as that is not my goal.

I just speak bluntly and say what I feel and feel what I say and as I've said, it isn't for the faint of heart or anyone that doesn't have a strong backbone, especially if you are an active LDS person. We may debate you, not understand why you believe what you do, why you can't see what we see, or understand what we understand, but we still respect your rights and I'm sure that you probably wonder why we can't see and understand what you do and feel many of the same things we do.

Despite all of these differences, we can still respect each other as human beings with the right to believe whatever is best for each of us individually and our families. Just know that you are always welcome here and I will never delete your comments and I highly respect you and where you've come from and how respectful you have been with us.

You are setting a great example and showing us ex-Mormons, that there are actually some good guys out there, that will actually speak to us, without the personal insults and no attempt to understand where we are coming from and then automatically condemning us to hell.

As I've said; "who am I to get in your face and tell you that you aren't happy as a Mormon?" If it works for you, fantastic and carry on. As I've said, this site isn't for the happy ones that love being a Mormon, but thanks for not trying to force us to believe what you believe and for being willing to have open discussions with those of us that are now on the other side of the fence.

Thanks Cernovog and Ray, for your comments and support, as I'm just truly disturbed that someone can actually feel, that all other human beings on the planet earth, are condemned to "lose their soul forever", if they don't follow them. Unless they are truly Jesus Christ himself at the 2nd coming, they need some serious mental help and are in grave danger from their cult. Since when did blanket condemnation of everyone who doesn't believe what you do, become love? Did I miss something?

We can say what we want about Mormonism, but at least they don't condemn everyone to HELL and losing their soul for all eternity. Even though I don't agree with it, the 3 kingdoms set up, is much kinder, loving and compassionate, then the "my road or the highway to hell" approach being used by these Evangelical crazies!! Do they actually think that Mormons will find their version to be a better, more loving approach?

The Mormons will save almost everyone in one kingdom or other, while the die-hard Christians will only save those that follow them. Why would you swap a 1 out of 3 shot for some salvation, for a 1 or your toast approach? It's sad that they don't even understand what they are doing or preaching, isn't it? Nobody in their right mind, would want to swap 1 in 3 for one or done.

Anyway Eric, since we know that you are still an avid Mormon Truth reader(thanks for that tidbit Cernovog), even though you consider me to be demonic and my Mormon Truth Uncensored blog to have a pornographic picture; we hope that you have enjoyed our conversation and have maybe even learned something, since you really know next to nothing regarding Mormonism. Good thing we are around to teach you, isn't it? Hopefully you aren't putting your soul in jeopardy, by hanging out in such a filthy, dirty, unworthy, demonic, pornographic place!! You may need to go to confession my boy...TheoJoe is waiting for you!!

Too bad none of us are welcome over in your fantasy land, isn't it? Of course you are welcome to jump in here whenever you feel like it...so once again my ex-friend....the floor is yours....and we'll all be awaiting your words of wisdom, if you have the courage to defend yourself and your condemnation of everyone that doesn't believe what you do. Then again, maybe you should just continue on the "high road" and being so "Christlike", because you love us all so much, so much that you condemn us, right?

Talk to everyone soon,

Samuel

 
At Friday, September 08, 2006 11:02:00 AM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Hey guys, just a quick update...after months of saying, defending and re-stating that all Mormons, that believe in Joseph Smith's teachings, "would lose their souls forever and have no heaven", he now says that that statement "is not Biblical" and that it will actually be much worse than that and that "he doesn't want to sound like a JW." Hmmm...maybe TheoJoe had a little sit down with him...ya think?

Eric Hoffman now says:

Posted: Sep 06, 2006 18:23

Just to let everyone know....It was not Biblical for to say that Mormons believing Joe Smiths lies is enough to cost you your soul forever.....

It's much worse. There is judgment and torture in hell to your soul for all eternity. Nashing of Teeth and eternal burning.

Just thought I would clear that up.....I dont want to sound like a Jehovah's Witness. They believe in the idea of losing souls.


Wow, thanks Eric, once again, digging your hole a little deeper each time you open your mouth. I'm just a little baffled that this so called, self-proclaimed "witness of Jesus Christ", didn't know until September 6th, that his teaching of "losing souls forever", was a JW teaching and not a Calvary Chapel/Evangelical teaching? I wonder what else he says isn't actually Biblical? I guess he's a false preacher, isn't he? How could he make such a mistake?

Also, now he claims the very teaching that he defended and was adamant and downright arrogant about, gave examples to prove it was true, etc, wasn't even Biblical to begin with and was false. Is this someone that any Christian or Mormon would want to be learning from? He doesn't even know what he's talking about when it comes to Christianity, let alone Mormonism.

The bad news is, his beliefs are now much worse than just an easy "losing of one's soul." As he states, "It's much worse. There is judgment and torture in hell to your soul for all eternity. Nashing of Teeth and eternal burning."

It's good to see him stepping it up a few notches and not giving the Mormon people that he loves so much, with such a big heart, the easy way out. Now these people that he loves and wants to help so much, can look forward to their soul being tortured in hell for all Eternity, while they gnash their teeth eternally....fun, fun...get out the popcorn..can't wait!! I'm sure that they'll come running now to join his cult!! Nothing like threats to convince and coerce people to join your cult, right?

The part that should be the most fun though, is the eternal burning....sweet...hook me up bro!! Will we be able to make smores down there....I sure hope that Satan will provide us with the marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers....what a hoot eh?!! Boy, that Satan character is one tricky fellow, isn't he? I just hope that he has a sweet tooth...LOL!!

Imagine, all this eternal suffering, burning and gnashing of teeth, just because good, honest people believe in Joseph Smith. Now, extend this version of hell, that he believes in to be literal, for everyone that doesn't believe as he does. I believe that there are something like 200,000 Calvary Chapel Network members.....or maybe a few more, maybe a few less.....so imagine...everyone in the world will rot in hell, except for these very few lucky souls...Wow...joy to the world everyone!!

Don't tell me that they don't believe that they have the "only true church." Wouldn't it defeat their purpose to say otherwise...Just ask Chucky, their founder...I wonder what he'd say?!!

I just wanted to share Eric's latest message of love, peace and understanding for the Mormon people, that he has such a huge heart for and as a follow up to what was said yesterday. Thanks Eric for clearing all that up, and for finally admitting your false teachings....I'm sure that TBM Mormons will be greatly relieved at your message of love, tolerance and acceptance.

Thanks everyone,

Samuel

 
At Friday, September 08, 2006 9:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, things got charged up, didn't they? Samuel, I want you to know I know EXACTLY how you feel in being called those names have having death threats against you. I've been there, and of course it has changed me completely. I no longer have this innocent feeling of "I'm a really nice person and no one would want to harm me". I know darn good and well that there are those that would indeed like to hurt me, and that makes me very grounded and very aware as I would imagine it does you too.

McKay, please don't leave. You are a breath of fresh air, but I respect your decision to do what you have to do.

I've come to the point that I'm not going to change for anyone any more. I've decided that I'm done living with that pain and I'm willing to live the rest of my life following my heart and ambition regardless of the losses I might instill in my personal life. I've discovered if people can't support me in me being honest with myself, then they really wouldn't be happy in my life anyway. I've also decided that if living my truth causes my death someday, then so be it. I'd rather live the rest of my life with mental peace and die quicker, than live my life a total lie, live with depression, have my body fall apart and live to be 100. No, I'll live happy now and take what comes.

Peace to you all!!!!!!

Lori


www.steppinupmusic.com

 
At Friday, September 08, 2006 10:06:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

McKay,

I echo what Sam and Lori said. It is a pleasure having you here with us. If you feel you must leave, then best wishes to you. Yes, our views are certainly not consistant with the majority, and as you stated yourself, "When I read the comments of people on this site, it becomes so clear to me that many are seeking truth and integrety of purpouse..." I respect you very much for that statement because it is so true. Contrary to popular belief, people don't usually leave the church because of a sin. It is because our whole identity was shattered. And now we are here trying to pick up the pieces and reconstruct them into some type of a belief system. If you must go, please go as a friend and I think I speak for everyone when I say that I have upmost respect for you and your beliefs. I would never, ever try to force you to quit believing. Thank you for returning that respect to us and for seeing us as real people, with real feelings. If the Mormon faith produces people like you, then it can't possibly be all bad.

 
At Friday, September 08, 2006 10:50:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

Sam (and everyone)

Your words are very kind, and I am hardly deserving. But thank you. I mean really..... thank you. I honestly don't know what to think at times. I am just left to mourn what has happened in your life, to your friends, your loved ones, and in your family. My only intentions in posting to this site, was to let you know that someone can truly believe the gospel in spite of any flaws it may have and that their are answers. But when I read your words, all of you... I don't know.. what started as a simple comment has resulted in me being drawn into your lives on some level. This has all been weighing very heavily on my conscience.

All I can say is that... I am just so deeply sorry, I don't even know you... but am left to sorrow with you for the pains you have suffered within the church. If I could do anything... I would. I just feel so.... helpless, powerless, like there is nothing I can do or say to help. And I know for every story you tell me of tragety within the church, especially for those who have has such a tortured conscience that they have taken their own lives... there are hundreds or thousands more just like it. This weighs me down deeply, and I just need time to gather my senses....

I know there are answers, no matter the degree of tragedy, heartache, sin, or pain. Everyone needs validation of their own conscience and potential worth. Many of these people have taken their own lives or continue to live in a state of self hate and loathing when there is simply no need for this. For people committing "sexual" sins... Is their not more than one reason for doing so? Can not it be for a feeling of connection, affection, and acceptance in the eyes of another as much as it is lust? Can not there be an acknowledgment that many who fall into "sin" are simply trying to fill a void in their souls that may have come from abuse or neglect in their lives? If someone is gay or lesbian, cannot this be deeply rooted in abuse, or affections toward a role model of the same sex that may have been the only source of love and acceptance in their life? Can not people whose lives are "deeply rooted in sin" have started out solely as a way to fill an unfilled need for love, happiness, connectedness, acceptance, and intimacy that is inherent to every human being on the face of the earth? Then to condemn such behaviors strictly as lust or evil and especially to do so in the name of God... all that does is contribute more self hatred and loathing in the individual who more than anything needs love, validation, acceptance, and counseling.

My point is simply this.... These people may be accepting and embracing a counterfeit of sin as a way to fulfill their needs and this can cause great devastation and pain, but if they are never shown the real thing.... how do they know the difference? Are we to think that just because a child has grown up "Mormon" that they have been taught the Gospel with kindness, meekness, example, and love unfeigned. I would say many if not all have had a degree of abuse, neglect, or unrighteous dominion in their lives and are deserving of great love, understanding and mercy. I mean.... would we condemn and punish a child for drinking poisoned kool-aid from a glass when all they know is they are thirsty and want something to drink? Didn't think so.

I don't mean to be rambling, but again. I just get sad when I think about the suffering that has needlessly taken place, especially within my own faith.

Again.... I wish I could help. But I have no idea how I could even begin. To try to teach or discuss any of my religious views seems stupid and counter productive to me. In order for any belief in ANY God to take place, their must be heeling, validation, counsel, and time. So I don't condemn you even in the slightest. All of your words, all of your venting, and frustration. I see it as a way of vocalizing you pain, sorrow, and anger at the tragedy that has taken place in your life. I don't think you are shouting and against God and religion, you are shouting against the injustice you have seen take place within religion in the name of God. There is a very clear difference. That is why I think you are justified in your cause.

As for the whole Eric Hoffman thing. I have listened to his opinions as well. I have two questions for him

First... If obedience to God's word and our works in life are solely the result of our love and gratitude we may feel for Jesus as you state... Then why would you try too force a conversion through threatening of damnation and hell?

Basically you are stating... Either accept Christ's loving gift as Eric Hoffman understands it... or die and go to Hell you evil sinner!

If a person is being manipulated, forced and coerced into a belief system, then any acceptance, works, or obedience are performed out of fear, not love. Your own teaching disproves your own teaching.

My personal understanding is thus. Out of love, God made a huge sacrifice for us SO THAT WE COULD LEARN that it is through sacrifice of self that we learn and grow in love for others. In other words, true love involves sacrifice for others, not just the acceptance of a sacrifice for us. True love is actually Charity. Charity involves work, patience, sacrifice, and the ability to put another's welfare above your own.

I do not think acceptance of the atonement as just a tingly feel good, "Thanks Jesus buddy... I sure am glad you learned all the lessons so I don't have to" type of thing. Would you tell your child that since you had worked hard, sacrificed, and put forth great effort to get an education, that he has no need for one himself. Since of course... you already have one, so he can just "borrow" yours. Would telling him such not render him ignorant and uneducated and deny him the privilege, satisfaction and joy that can come through WORKING to attain his potential? Sorry dude... it just does not make sense. The way I understand it, Christ set the example so that we could see the potential within ourselves, and through our personal effort, sacrifice, and faith we can attain Christlike attributes in our own character and thus know true joy as He does.

I am not denying that conversion will not bring about a great love for Christ and that can be a great motivational force for us to bring good works. But I am saying we should also learn to do right just because it is right, and we believe it to be God's will, in spite of our personal feelings.


Second...

Why would you try to promote your own faith and teaching SOLEY by tearing down another single denomination within that faith?

Such seems cowardice, juvenile and transparent. If one seeks solely to destroy a particular faith, all it does is scream that the person has some personal problem or issue, and that they are solely acting out on a desire to confirm and justify their own distain. You IMMEDIATELY discredit yourself of objectivity and credibility even if you have valid points.

If you have the truth. Then debate upon principals of your position and its value in and of itself. And if you are seeking to discredit another view. Do so with fairness and equity, not censorship and manipulation.

I could so easily dismiss your conclusions strictly within references to Biblical scripture.

Im sorry, but I think you are blinded by your own arrogance... Your understanding of the Gospel just seems juvenile to me. But who am I to say?


One final note

Sam and everyone Again, I thank you. I will stick around if you would like.. but I really don't know what more to say. But I just want you to know, that although you say I am just a good person that just so happens to be Mormon. Well, I would absolutely deny the notion. True, I was born with a rather sensitive and caring disposition. But the man I am today is almost solely based upon my faith, my conversion experience, and the Gospel of Christ. It is my foundation. And a year from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, you will know a better man than you do today... because of my faith and the LDS Gospel.


Take Care,

McKay

 
At Friday, September 08, 2006 11:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

McKay, oh how rare you are. You are pearl indeed.

When I read your last sentence a thought struck me, it seems that for you your faith in Christ for the reason of loving humanity seems to be much stronger than your belief that Joseph Smith used occult rituals in his daily life to coherse people into believing him and paying him his salary.

Actually, I would very much be interested in knowing what it is about the LDS faith that gives you this desire to love Christ? Honestly and truely and fairly I would. Many of us have studied church history extensively and I would honestly love to understand where you are gaining your love of humanity from the LDS faith.

For me, when I found out that JS lied about the first vison, the BY ordered the death of one man as an example over the MMM, about the B of A being abolutely discredited as an abosolute load of rubbish with not one shred of proof that JS could actually translate anything whatsoever (actually I doubt he ever thought anyone would ever be able to prove him wrong back in the 1800's so he thought he got away with it), the way the "self" is destroyed in the church to forcibly promote absolute dependence on the church thereby filling their never ending coffers, the way women are treated as nothing but brood mares, the fact that no one knows exactly "when, where or how" the supposed "holy melchezidek priesthood was restored", but people sure tend to use it with such dominion and hate over people that it destroys lives, the fact that people act like narrcissists because they follow blindly anything that comes out of the "authorities" mouths without question, the DNA evidence, the Spaulding-View of the Hebrews-Ridgon connection with the Book of Mormon, the personal characters of all the early saints....I could go on and on and on of the lies, the falsehoods and the dangerous behavior of these people, but none so bad as this...the separation inflicted on its members. What I mean by that is this......

Say you were born into a specific ward and you lived there for several years and made close friends, and then one day someone reads over the pulpit, "the boundaries are changing", that means that some of your closest friends will no longer be worshipping with you. You and your friend have absolutely no voice in this decision and you are told you have to go to your own ward...separation.

You go to school and seminary and get told you are not to hang out with anyone that isn't Mormon and not to develop any romantic interests with anyone that isn't Mormon...separation.

Then, your dad gets called to be a bishop or stk president, or your mom gets called to RS president (all for free, no wages btw), and you don't see them for HOURS during the week...separation.

Then, your son or daughter goes on a mission. You don't get to call, talk to or correspond with your child except through a weekly letter, and maybe one call a YEAR and sometimes not even that...separation.

Then, you child gets married, but no family, sibling, friend who isn't a fully paid up tithing member can go. There is no young sister loving looking up to her beautiful older sister wanting to emulate her example because...she doesn't get to even go, despite the family forking over thousands of dollars for a wedding dress that will be covered with ugly white and green robes...separation.

Finally, you die and your family gets told that if they don't live up to the Mormon god's rules and pay, pray and obey that they won't be with you when they die...the final...seperation.

The church preys on the the most fundemental need we have, to be loved, accepted, to belong to a community. They try to destroy every ounce of safety, comfort and love we have and threaten us if we don't tow the line. Incidentally, they have absolutely no control of what happens to us after we die and I've always found it humorous that they use that last resort to control people.

Thanks for sticking around!

Lori


www.steppinupmusic.com

 
At Saturday, September 09, 2006 12:44:00 AM, Anonymous 123 said...

Congratulations everyone, you've all contributed excellent insights! I mean that very sincerely. I don't think I've ever encountered a better thread on Mormon Truth. :-)

Sam: Your post on Sept. 6th was great. Why don't you show that side of yourself more often? And please, let's not get into the whole "Eric sucks" rut again. (I know you don't put it that way, but that's the gist of things.) Some people just aren't worth your time, and discussing his intolerance definitely doesn't merit your attention. You possess the ability to draw people in and engage them in ferverous discussion. I'd like to see Mormon Truth host more discussions in the (mostly) level-headed tone of that post. ;)

Lori: Your last post is excellent as well. The church provides a fantastic community for people without and retains its power by threatening to take that community away. I disagree with the majority of things you've written, but that goes for others as well so I'll go over that below.

McKay: I've come across several Mormons like you and I've appreciated each that I've had the privilege of knowing. It seems to me that many anti/ex/questioning-Mormons undervalue your sort by failing to recognize you for anything other than your criticisms of Mormonism, or at the least, see that as your greatest quality. I see that as only one small insight into your character and mind. You try to be intellectually honest and try to minimize your biases so that you can understand things more clearly.

Cernovog: I enjoy your presence. I've never been a Catholic, but I'm fascinated by the Church. It has such a rich history. The Church's influence is much further reaching in Western culture than most of us realize (I come upon new discoveries often). I think you've done an okay job of defending your beliefs, but you could solidify your position more. Unless you weren't really trying to justify your faith, in which case, disregard this.




Now, I offer these as critiques, not criticisms. I feel that each of us has a great deal to contribute, and I'd like to channel that ability in a way that benefits all most.

1) I understand that each of us naturally assumes that he knows all the answers, or if he doesn't, then the answer must be unknown to everyone. (Yes, I understand this may not be a 100% accurate assesment, but the general idea is correct, so let this assertion rest for expediency's sake.) Let's try to suspend that inclinination in our discussions.

2) There are many illogical arguments in this thread with regard to concepts of religious belief. Much of this stems from sheer ignorance. I'm not going to advocate any single idea or theory as correct (or specifically show who was wrong and why) in this comment, but we need to properly understand the religions we discuss before we start questioning their accuracy, benefits, or plausibility. This goes for Buddhism, Catholicism, Christianity, Mormonism, or whatever else comes up.

3) I've found that by analyzing controversial issues like politics or religion as a detached, disinterested third-party might, I tend to learn more and enjoy a more meaningful experience. This (hopefully) prevents bigotry from taking hold, which I've regrettably noticed on this site. I've noticed as much bigotry among Mormons as I have among ex-Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, atheists, and so on; none seem free of it. Remember, holding more liberal viewpoints does not necessarily mean you are more tolerant or open-minded.


That's about it for now. Now I feel like starting my own blog where I can have people like you come to me with a question and we can learn about and debate religious issues!! I feel quite comfortable talking about a large number of religions. Christianity in its various forms or perversions, (joke)....(sort of) :-) I find most interesting, but I also feel comfortable discussing many other faiths, like atheism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and various forms of (neo)/paganism, to name a few. I like discussing scripture as well. I feel most informed in the Bible, but the LDS scriptures and the Qur'an I've studied as well.

If anyone would be interested in something like that or has some suggestions, let me know. I'd love to host that sort of thing, or co-host it if anyone else wanted to lead discussions or make more frequent contributions.

 
At Saturday, September 09, 2006 1:54:00 AM, Blogger mckay said...

Ray

You posted while I was writing my response so I just wanted to respond to you as well. I read your posts and see you are very level headed. I appreciate your comments. Not only do I see you as "real people with real feelings", but as some of the most honest and sincere seekers of truth. And I know many people dont leave because of "sin". This is a stereotype from people who like to use cliché quotes that are out of context rather than think for themselves and evaluate the person based upon thier true intentions.

What I see many times are the MOST sincere and honest people in our faith that leave because they sense the lack of integrety in the ones who stay in for less noble reasons, see wrong behavior, and cant get answers to their questions. And when you ask questions, its like you are an unbeliever... That is part of the social culture of the church, and is by no means justified in doctrine. Sometimes its hard to seperate the two. If people like you stayed in the church, the social structure would change for the better im sure!

So I personally think that the people who leave the church, .. that if they truly believed and were converted would be the MOST valiant defenders and live the faith with the greatest integrety and sincerity. I see it as a tragic loss that people like you have left, and the church is left to be represented by... well, ummmm.... hmmmmmm... those who may not reflect the faith properly... hows that?

Lori,

Wooooooooooooooo.... hold on there.... slow down! This is why I dont even know where to start, this is too much too soon. Questions like these can take a long time to sort out... But I have a few comments and questions if you dont mind.

123,

Are you new here? I enjoy your comments and your unbiased approach to debate. Any background so we can see where you are coming from?

McKay

 
At Saturday, September 09, 2006 7:59:00 AM, Anonymous ray said...

McKay,

The only thing you have said that I disagree with is that you don't have any more insights for us (If I understood correctly). Each time you make a comment it is inspiring. The last one about the phychological reason why people "sin" was perfect and I am sure you are dead on.

I also think that you could be a great help to people on the fence. When one loses their faith, it is probably the most difficult thing that they have ever gone through. Personally, I feel that if you were to help someone return to full faith and fellowship in spite of their doubts and the issues with the church, then that's wonderful! The church would be a little better because of it. For most of us here it is already too late. But there is no need to feel bad for us. In fact I think most of us are happier than we have ever been. I no longer feel suppressed and under constant pressure to do more, and more, and more. Leaving was the right thing for me. I could never again pay my 10% knowing how it is used (shopping malls, hotels, and businesses), especially since that money is given by people who choose to pay rather than eat! If I ever donate money to the church again, it will be 100% into the fast offering fund where it belongs. I also find it sad that the church only uses fast offerings to help the needy. This money is all donated by the members. How much does the church give out of it's own pockets? Unless I am misinformed the answer is NOTHING!! ZERO. Not a penny.

Sorry to go off like that. But it is the issues like this that make me shake my head and say to myself, "I could never again be associated with such a hypocritical organization." Jesus taught, in the parable of the widow and the rich man, that we should be charitable and give all we can for the benefit of others, because we are pure in heart, not for the respect of men. I do not see the church doing this. Their charitable donations are PR and that is against what Jesus taught. As Jesus put it, "They have their reward." I refuse to be a part of that.

Hi 123, welcome. I am looking forward to what you have to share. It sounds like you've been following our discussion so you're probably aware of my interest in Buddhism. I would greatly appreciate anything you care to tell me about it. polomolok@yahoo.com

Any comments made here out of "pure ignorace" should be corrected in my opinion. I, for one, am interested to know what they are, especially if the comment was my own. I will be the first to admit that I do not know everything. If I am wrong, mis-informed, or just ignorant, I am willing to be corrected.

 
At Saturday, September 09, 2006 2:53:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

OK Lori, I have to respond to you. ONE issue at a time

Your comment.

"it seems that for your faith in Christ for the reason of loving humanity seems to be much stronger than your belief that Joseph Smith used occult rituals in his daily life to coherse people into believing him and paying him his salary."

Have you ever heard of "leading the witness". In the above statement you imply that I have the same understanding of Joseph Smith's Charicter that you do. If I believed Joseph smith was a man of this charicter and motive, I simply would never condone it. Do I believe he had his flaws... absolutely I do. Do I believe his motive was what you stated above? absolutely not. Am I open to discuss the events and charicterstics of his life openly and with integrity? Yes I am.

If there is going to be a fair evaluation, we must put aside our conclusions and debate the facts with integrety . If you have made your conclusions, there is simply no use in argueing the point.

Do you remember in a previous post when I stated that someone could easily describe me based upon my "negatives" which are pretty serious, and not give me an ounce of credibilty? Then you could listen to the "positives" and that would not be a complete picture either? Based on what you know about me... would you agree that if someone describes me by my "negatives" that this properly represents the charicter of the person speaking to you now? I would certainly hope not. Now if I had offended you in some way, would not your bias lean toward my "negatives" and present a distorted picture of the facts based on your emotions and feelings? If I were dead... could I defend myself? Would you ever get to know me and quickly realize that someone has presented a distorted picture of me due to their own personal feelings, motives and objectives?

If you looked into your own life, could you not find things you have done that could give me reason to discredit your character as well? I mean honestly... things you have done, said, or thought that I could use against you should I have the motive to do so? I think ever human being if asked this question honestly would agree this to be the case. Would seeking strictly to expose your faults due to personal offense not deny me the priveledge of getting to know Lori the person, and her true charicter and motives?

Do you not think that should someone I may have had a conflict or disagreement with write a book about me, that they would seek at all expense to discredit my name should it be in their benefit to do so? And should you have a reason to not like me either, for either a just or unjust cause... Would you not gravitate toward the literature that is looking to discredit my name?

My point is simply... What good does it do to argue the point? If your mind is fixed, and your conclusions set, then such is trivial and meaningless. I would prefer to consider you a friend, and try to understand your point of view than argue the issue and create feelings of contempt that might deprive either of us from knowing eachothers more redeeming qualities.

Like I said Lori, I can understand why you feel the way you do. I dont blame you, and I am glad you are finding a degree on personal contentment, self respect and validation in you life. I think this is important and a very important step in realizing your potential as a person. Only a person so rooted can really come to live with any degree of integrety.

It is very clear to me however, that you have suffered from a degree of abuse at the hand of the church. Like I said, I am sincerely sorry. To force you in anyway to accept a belief and deny or supressthe suffering you have endured at the hand of those who share that belief is what creates the "cog dis" you have suffered from. Such would deny you your integrety and validation of self.

However, I think it obvious that in order to validate yourself, and the injustices that have taken place, It becomes necessary to point out the flaws in those that have commited the wrong against you. I have no problem with this as it is a necessary step in recovering. However I will state, that accepting such and allowing yourself to feel the anger you feel can have a side effect. We tend to view all in the faith that was so poorly represented in the same light in order to further validate ourselves and our anger. This is where truth can become clouded and the picture distorted as we will gravitate toward the negative qualities of any individual that represents the faith.

If one is to seek truth, we must simply accept that while our feelings are necessary for validation and acceptence of self, that if we are not careful these feelings can cloud our judgements and the way we look at life. What "lenses" we are seeing through so to speak.

This is what I believe Christ is refering to when he states "open you eyes that they might see, and your ears that we might here". In order to recognize truth, we must become the master of our emotions and be willing and humble enough to accept truth as it is, without the clouding of our personal offenses or oppinions. Only then can the picture become clear and we can start to recognize truth.

Hope this makes sense. Again this is why I say... There I simply dont know much more to say. Not because I dont have insights and persectives. But I see your hearts are set in your beliefs, so what good would it do. And when I see such contention and animousity among our own members. I understand it just deepens your beliefs and creates more contention. My intention is not to defend that which is wrong. My intent is only to help people see truth. This however, is impossible if our hatred and animousity are fixed... even if it is so fixed for a just cause.

The exact same reason I dont discredit you or anyone else on this site, is the reason I don't discredit Joseph Smith.

Peace,

McKay

 
At Saturday, September 09, 2006 5:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm,McKay,

While I totally believe your intentions are noble, the difference is imo, that I'm not...well wait a minute. I was going to say that I'm not trying to start a new church and force people to believe me and force condemnation down their throats if they don't. That is exactly what I believe JS did.

It is true, I should not suppose to think that I know where you are in your thoughts and study of JS. I used to be ultra TBM. But after studying about JS's life, he own words, his belief that he was a king, his absolute abuse of women and his destroying bone fide marriages so he could sleep with these women under penalty that their very families would face eternal damnation, well, to me that is spiritual, sexual abuse to the extreme.

I don't see JS as just a regular guy who we just shouldn't judge. He certainly didn't see himself as just a regular guy with a simple opinion of himself. As I said earlier, he thought of himself as a king, a prophet who had done more for this earth save Jesus only and then he recounted that because he felt like he had kept a church together longer than even Jesus did. JS saw himself above the law in every step of the way. He swindled his own people out of thousands of dollars during his banking scheme in Kirtland, he had no interest in a real job, but just inventing a religion, because as we all know, Christ sells. I don't mean to be blasphamous to your beliefs McKay, but it is true. I know plenty Clergy here in NZ that do it for the big bucks.

Our opinions of JS are very different and that is going to have to be ok. But when the day comes when you wake up and you realize you have absolutely no identity, have no clue where you are going, feel a horrible darkness over you and you don't know why because you paid your tithing, you went to the temple, you did your visiting teaching so everything was supposed to be ok. So, why was I so miserable? Well, when things get to that point, you start digging deep and fast into the inner workings of the organization who sought to stifle you and almost literally destroy you.

Where you and I differ is that I don't believe the people are just portraying bad behavior every so often, I believe the organization itself is corrupt which in turn corrupts the people. I believe JS and BY were absolute blood thirsty con men who had no trouble whatsoever in killing a man or women or child if it suited their needs for absolute power and control over their members. I've spent thousands of dollars travelling back to every Mormon history site in the US. I tell you, after being at Independence MO, and seeing that JS called that the Promised Land, it was obvious he was no prophet or seer as there are places on this planet that are far more beautiful that that mosquito infested humid as H E douple tootpics. JS imo existed within his very own realm of experience. He had no idea of the joys and wonder of anywhere else but where he physically travelled and saw with his own eyes. All he wanted was a place to practice polygamy, masonic rituals, the United Order and rule over his kingdom where he thought he wouldn't get any flack from the US govt. Period.

You may not agree, but from my own research, this is definately the conclusion that I have come up with.

Peace.

Lori

 
At Saturday, September 09, 2006 6:09:00 PM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

Actually, Lori, your characterization of Brigham Young remdinds me of something....

I've been reading about early LDS history and I came across a reference I had never seen before.

There were allegations that Joseph Smith's brother (Samuel, I think) was murdered by Brigham Young.

Hyrum was supposed to succeed Joseph Smith as President of the Church, but he and Joseph died together. It had been established that if that happened, Samuel was to be next.

But after Joseph and Hyrum died, Samuel got sick, he was bedridden for about a month and then just died. TBMs say that he was just heartbroken by the death of his brothers, but there were early allegations that he was poisoned.

Samuel's wife accused Brigham Young of poisoning Samuel so he could seize power. I think one of the attending doctors also made this accusation.

I'll have to look up the event in more detail.

Has anyone else heard this story?

 
At Saturday, September 09, 2006 7:00:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

Well there you have it. You seem to have all the answers so whats the point?

Have fun everyone. Its been a pleasure.

Bye

 
At Saturday, September 09, 2006 8:17:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

Yes, I have heard that story of Samuel being poisoned. It was set up so that if Joseph and Hyrum both died, Saumel was to become the next president. What are the chances that he would just die out of the blue only weeks after his two older brothers? It seems that whoever became the next president (I wonder who that could be) wanted the position bad enough that he was willing to kill for it (god probably told him to do it). Obviously there was a big struggle for leadership of the church and this is the time when Emma broke away and started the Reorganized church, of which her son became the prophet. Knowing BY's views on killing people, I have no doubt he was behind the death of Samuel Smith, although there is not direct proof of it. I too would like to learn more about this. Let's not forget the MMM and the fact that BY taught the Blood Atonement doctrine and had it carried out in some cases. He taught members that it was okay to kill non members (sorry I don't know the reference). He even admitted that he would murder his own wife with clean hands if he ever caught her in the act of adultry. This man obviously had no problem ending the life of anyone who got in his way or who didn't obey him. The history of BY is full of little gems like this.

How about his prophesy that the civil war would not end slavery? How about his prophesy that god would NEVER allow the black race to have the priesthood? He stated that the black race was created to serve the white race. If a black man was given his freedom, he would be too stupid to know what to do with it! I am paraphrasing of course but you get the idea. On occasion, black men were donated to the church in the form of tithing!

In short, Brigham Young was a prejudice murderer and dictator. Not to mention his love for sex and beer. He built a brewery in SLC. The man had no regard for the Word of Wisdom.

There was one woman who came to Zion and was immediately called in to meet with Joseph and Brigham. She was told that she was to be the polygamous wife of Joseph. If she didn't like Joe, she could try Brigham. She immediately left the church and published her story. Right away the church published any kind of slander so as to discredit her claim against them. She is one of the few who had the guts to speak out.

I am just glad the govt intervened. Just imagine what Utah would be like if there was no damn government to regulate them. SLC would be a concentration camp! Everyone would be forced to obey the commandments and those who refused would be put to death.

That brings me to my next point. Why is Warren Jeffs a criminal? Because he practices Joseph Smith Mormonism! Joseph Smith was a criminal, Warren Jeffs is a criminal! I hope the members of LDS Inc are smart enough to open their eyes and see that Warren Jeffs, the man they despise, is doing exactly what Joseph Smith did! But that cog dis will probably keep the blinders on most of them.

---------------------------

McKay, if you're still here, I would like to comment on Joseph Smith. We obviously don't know everything that went on in his head. He is dead and everyone who knew him is dead, so our only way to get to know him is by reading what he wrote and what was written about him. So there is no way we will ever be able to understand everything about him. I have no doubt he had good qualities; everyone does. But when the evidence exists that strongly shows that he outright lied about many things, does this mean we should just ignore his lies because of the good things about him? If you had a neighbor who was a very talented singer but who you knew was a child molester, would you ever ask him to babysit for you? In some cases, the good can not cancel out the bad, no matter how much we would like it to. Can a convicted murder say a simple sorry to the victims family and expect to not have his sentence carried out? In the case of Joseph Smith, the negative and positive do not cancel each other out.

If he saw god and Jesus like he claimed, why do the following statements exist?

"The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven ... but He did send his angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong..." Brigham Young - Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 171 (1855)

"The same organization and Gospel that Christ died for ... is again established in this generation. How did it come? By the ministering of an holy angel from God, out of heaven, who held converse with man, and revealed unto him the darkness that enveloped the world ... He told him the Gospel was not among men, and that there was not a true organization of His kingdom in the world" Wilford Woodruff - Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 196 (1855)

"Some one may say, 'If this work of the last days be true, why did not the Saviour come himself to communicate this intelligence to the world?' Because to the angels was committed the power of reaping the earth, and it was committed to none else." Orson Hyde - Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 335 (1854)

"...he [Joseph Smith] went humbly before the Lord and inquired of Him, and the Lord answered his prayer, and revealed to Joseph, by the ministration of angels , the true condition of the religious world. When the holy angel appeared , Joseph inquired which of all these denominations was right and which he should join, and was told they were all wrong" George A. Smith - Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, p. 334 (1863)

"[Joseph] was enlightened by the vision of an holy angel. When this personage appeared to him, one of the first inquiries was 'Which of the denominations of Christians in the vicinity was right?' " George A. Smith - Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 78 (1869)

"None of them was right, just as it was when the Prophet Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right that he might join it. The answer was that none of them are right." John Taylor - Journal of Discourses, vol. 20, p. 167 (1879)

"But suppose that the statement that Joseph Smith says the angel made to him should be true-that there was no church upon the face of the earth whom God recognized as His, and whose acts He acknowledged-suppose this were true..." George Q. Cannon - Journal of Discourses, vol. 24, pg. 135 (1889)

"He accordingly went out into the woods and falling upon his knees called for a long time upon the Lord for wisdom and knowledge. While engaged in prayer a light appeared in the heavens, and descended until it rested upon the trees where he was. It appeared like fire. But to his great astonishment, did not burn the trees. An angel then appeared to him and conversed with him upon many things. He told him that none of the sects were right..." William Smith On Mormonism , By William Smith, Joseph Smith's brother. pg. 5 (1883)

"The angel again forbade Joseph to join any of these churches, and he promised that the true and everlasting Gospel should be revealed to him at some future time. Joseph continues: 'Many other things did he (the angel) say unto me which I cannot write at this time' " Church Historical Record, Vol. 7, January, 1888 (It should be noted here that in this quote the first reference to "the angel" was later changed to "the Holy Being" and the second reference to "the angel" was changed to "the Christ")

"...I received the first visitation of Angels when I was about 14 years old..." Joseph Smith, Nov. 1835 - Personal writings of Joseph Smith, pg. 84 (It should be noted that this entry has been changed in the History of the Church, Vol. 2, pg. 312. It now reads "my first vision" instead of "visitation of Angels")

"Do we believe that the Lord sent his messengers to Joseph Smith, and commanded him to refrain from joining any Christian church, and to refrain from the wickedness he saw in the churches, and finally delivered to him a message informing him that the Lord was about to establish his kingdom on the earth..." Brigham Young - Journal of Discourses, Vol. 18, pg. 239

Isn't it odd that over 40 years after Joseph's alleged "first vision", Church leaders and prominant characters in the early church like Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, George Q. Cannon, and William Smith were all unaware of Joseph Smith's claim of seeing God the Father and Jesus Christ? This is because the "first vision" story was a consistently changing story that was virtually unknown to early Latter-day Saints. Most importantly, even the heavenly visitor(s) that he saw were constantly changing. Depending on the account Joseph gave, it was either a spirit, an angel, two angels, many angels, Jesus, and finally, the Father and the Son.

So the evidence is very strong that the story of Joseph Smith seeing god and Jesus is a lie. This, on top of the fact that the church tries to hide and cover the real truth, is a very strong indication of a very huge fraud. And this is why we left: to keep our integrity intact!

 
At Saturday, September 09, 2006 8:39:00 PM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

It's funny you bring that up Ray.

I had that exact same conversation with my missionaries the other day. We sat down and looked at all the different versions of the first vision and I said, "How can you reconcile this?"

They couldn't. They didn't even try to. All they kept saying was "I know this is true." ... God revealed it to them ... they prayed and got an answer... blah, blah, blah.

Well, guess what? I prayed too and I got an answer and it was completely different from theirs. Before I knew anything about Joseph Smith or View of Hebrews or Samuel Spaulding, or the Book of Abraham, I really thought Mormonism could actually be true. I prayed with an open mind and an open heart and I believe I got an answer and it was the exact opposite answer the missionaries were getting.

So, that same day I told them, I prayed too and I got a completely different answer.

Their response? I pray wrong.

How messed up is that?

Without getting angry or insulted, I went into great detail about how Catholics pray, about how I pray, and that my prayers aren't broken or something.

I'm praying wrong... give me a break.

I know you guys don't believe in prayer, but it works for me.

Hopefully, my 1830 BOM will arrive soon. The missionaries and I are going to comb through it and see if there are any changes... Hmm.... They insist the only changes are punctuation ... commas and periods ... and anyone that says different has obviously been tricked by Satan.

So, this should be fun.

 
At Saturday, September 09, 2006 10:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

McKay,

I used to feel as frightened as you by reading these things, but it was only when I couldn't take the "Betty Crocker" cookie cutter faces at church anymore that I had to look at the meat.

If you have to lurk, then lurk, but don't shut your eyes.

Lori

 
At Saturday, September 09, 2006 11:15:00 PM, Anonymous Bonnie said...

It has been so interesting to follow the comments from McKay, Ray and others. As devoted Mormons, we defended Joseph Smith, the church, and the entire history even in the face of the facts showing that the church, JS, BY and so on were not what they claimed to be.

So now it boils down to which side is right? We simply cannot stay on the fence on the JS story--as so many LDS prophets state--he either was telling the truth or he was not. Pure and simple. there is no gray area here. If one buys the story, then they must buy the church. If not, they find that while the LDS church may have much good in it, it is based on the lies of a conman.

i fall completely in the camp that JS was a conman, a scheister, a liar. i cannot believe one word the man says. He lied about everything of importance in the history of the LDS church.
For those who continue to believe, I flat out say this YOU ARE DECEIVED.

I cannot debate, conduct open and mutually respectful debate. I cannot understand how, when presented with the facts, that anybody can continue to believe in the lie.

I may be able to respect you as kind human beings, but philosophically, I simply cannot respect your ideas. I find them morally repugnant. Once a person, presented with the facts which conclusively show that JS was a liar, once they know these facts --NOT OPINIONS--FACTS!!!--they continue to perpetuate the lie, I just cannot respect that.

But as people, fellow workers, neighbors, men and women, fellow human beings, I can appreciate your value, sense of humor, and kinship.

I do not hate Mormon people, but I do find Mormonism profoundly repugnant.

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 3:07:00 AM, Blogger mckay said...

OK.. Fine.

I feel I must respond.

Lori,

You stated in a previous post.

"Actually, I would very much be interested in knowing what it is about the LDS faith that gives you this desire to love Christ? Honestly and truely and fairly I would. "

Then when I give even the first inkling of what is necessary, you come at me with bitterness, acusation, and distain. What do I do with that? If you are comfortable with that state of mind and think that is your form of validation, truth, and enlightenment, then that is where you are at. Fine, whatever. O.K. You are set in your ways.

I don't want to convert or force a belief system on anyone. I just want to let you know the we can fully know the facts and are aware of the negative literature that is available and simply have a completely different understanding, and are completely happy with their faith, even if there has been great pain because of it. I would only hope to let you know that seeking to destroy faith, can ultimately have nothing but negative consequences and their may be more noble paths to take.

Just try to understand a single undeniable principal.. How easy is it to destroy? How much work to create? How long to build a finely crafted sculpture, and how easy to take a sledge hammer to it? If you have seen destruction in your life within the mormon faith, then find a way to be constructive in your own right and draw people out because you have something better to offer. If your words such as "just live for yourself to be happy, and never rely on anyone else" (i'm paraphrasing) are your source of enlightenment as to how to live life. Im sorry, but that seems to be an incredibly weak foundation to me.

If you want me to come to "Lori's" side, then I must see some example in your personal character and belief system that I would want in my own life. The life and words of Christ inspire me to no end, and your words just seem hollow in comparison. The LDS Gospel has greatly helped me come to know Christ.

Also, I am not frightened in the LEAST. I dont know the 'betty crocker" version and never will. and my eyes are WIDE open. So please do NOT assume I do not know what you do. I am leaving the blog because I dont want to offend, raise conflict, or find fault. But I can imagine what would be said about me if I left without responding.

Go ahead and find your validation how you will. Use your voice as loud as you want, it is your right and privilege at the hand of those who have made HUGE sacrifices to do so. But I hope you realize, your using your freedom only to destroy, as you simply have no answers or anything better to offer that I can see.

Yes, there are problems in the church, and I personally will do all I can to teach, help, and inspire us to grow and become better. The church is still yet in its infancy and will continue to grow, not only in numbers, but in strength, conviction and integrety. Just as a child is born and must learn to crawl, walk, run, drive, etc. So the church in its infancy has seen many bumps and bruises, and must learn how to walk and grow as a great unified body. It is a process, and we are learning, and just as I would not punish a child for falling when attempting to walk for the first time, so I will not punish the church in its errors as it continues to grow and learn many important lessons that help inspire me today. I believe there are many lessons to learn and their are huge, great and undeniable works to come.

Since you seem to be increadibly hung up on the money and tithing issue, let me say;

I believe with all sincerity, that the money that is being invested and saved in "shopping malls" when the time comes will be used to benefit millions upon millions of people (both LDS and non LDS). We believe what we have seen is yet the tiniest fraction of what is to come. Just as Joseph of Egypt saw his nation through seven years of famine and destruction, so our sacrifice, consecration, tithes, and preperation will help see us through horrible tragety and devistation the likes of which the world has never known. We are simply preparing for the future, and we believe we must be very conservative and wise with our finances as we will be well prepared for the great devistation that lies ahead, we will then be able to help millions upon millions with that we have attained through tithing, consecration, sacrifice, faith, and obedience, the very principals that you mock openly. And at some point not only we all happily give 10%, we will give ALL that we have for the benefit of everyone.. There will be no rich or poor among us. The principals of the Gospel when lived in its fullness will see the boundless riches of eternity unfold before our eyes, not because of money or greed, but because of adherence to eternal and endless laws of creation, unity, and joy.

It seems just too funny how criticts have varied in their approach over the years. First we are too poor, then too rich, too weak, to powerful, too harsh, too mericiful, too demanding, too accomidating, Our prophets are too young, to old, too conservative, too liberal.. Then you arent true because bad things happen, You arent true because good things happen, you arent true because people are leaving the church, you arent true because people are joining the church. The list goes on and on and on an on.


We are growing, learning, and gaining stregnth and there are many many far more enlightened people yet to come into the Gospel to teach us further how to overcome, live better lives, and overcome our errors. To hundreds of millions if not Billions, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be an enormous blessing that offers great wisdom, joy, fullfillment and potentially exhalation. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg. To those who have seen pain and destruction unrighteously within our faith, Christ is there in mercy and great charity to offer perfect healing to all that will simply accept him as their God, their example, and their teacher, and their suffering will only help them grow in compassion, empathy, and charity to others. The love of Christ is a power, an undeniable power that can heal even the deepest pains and sorrows in complete perfection. I have felt it, I know it, and I desire to no end that everyone could know what I know, I want nothing but the greatest joy and happiness for everyone.

Even if you don't believe this, you must believe that we do in all sincerity, so we are acting with integrety according to our beliefs.

I wish the best of luck to you all, and I hope you find the happiness you seek.

If anyone wants to contact me, I stated my email in a previous post.

McKay

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 5:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow McKay,

"your using your freedom only to destroy, as you simply have no answers or anything better to offer that I can see."

Well, I guess perhaps you aren't as loving and as compassionate as you want people to think you are because you have absolutely no idea who I am or what I'm about and what I've created via my music has helped more people than I ever thought possible. We may not be on the same rung of the ladder yet, but please, don't treat me like shit. I deserve much more respect than blanket acusations. If I wanted that I only have to call my TBM family.

"Lori's Side"

Man, what did I do to deserve that? We don't see eye to eye, but I really don't think that was called for. We obviously have not had the same experiences in life, and we have not come to the same conclusions, but bud, your criticism only tells me that you yourself are hurting and you are scratching back because right now that is all you know how to do because someone has threatened your beliefs. Scratch away, it won't change anything. What I've said, Ray, Bonnie and Samuel said aren't "my way" or "their way". Unlike Mormons, we have no desire for anyone to come to our "side" that is a personal journey. I don't want your money, your soul, your time, your talents or anything you have except just your friendship when or if you are willing to share it. I can live without it, but my life is more enriched with it. I don't want you to join anything, to make any promises to me, I don't want you to leave your family or friends.

I refuse to condemn you and frankly be really rude as you have done to me. Why? Because I've been where you are. I was there. However, your words really hurt me McKay. They were really uncalled for. I need you to know that.

Have a good day.

Lori

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 8:39:00 AM, Anonymous ray said...

http://www.mormoninformation.com/changes.htm

Here's another link that I think will help you, Cernovog. Now that I'm typing this, I think I already sent it to you, but I'll send it again just in case. It shows all the changes made to the BoM. It's not complete yet but has enough done that you will find it very helpful.

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 3:02:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

Lori,

I do not mean to offend, im glad you have found some contentment. Your music is strong, and passionate and VERY creative and you are very talented. As a person I am sure you have much to offer. In many ways I am sure you are reflecting principals I strongly believe in in terms of acceptance, fellowship, and kindness to people better than any member in the church. I am truly sorry.

This is why I dont want to debate anymore. I would rather resepecfylly agree to disagree as your mind is set. My only point is if you and I were great friends and had a "falling out" I could either spend my time trying to destroy you, or just move on. Why do you need a constant borage of morman hate to find fulfillment? Does the hurt run that deep? I have NO idea what has gone on in your life. I dont want to be assumptuos. But whatever it is, again I am sorry.

I have been a great majority of my life where you are. I have learn to overcome my anger. I am not trying to force my belief, but I have learned a principal that I have learned that has helped me greatly. That is. Just turn away, and move on with integrity, rather than seeking to destroy our faith. In doing so it seems you are seeking to destroy me and everything I stand for.

It is a very sensitive subject when we attach eachothers beliefs, as it can seem like a personal attack. There is simply too much to like about all of you for me to spend my time personally atacking your beliefs. And outside of this context their is much that I might admire about you as a person. So this simply might not be the most constructive environment to get to know eachothers stregnths.

I am very sorry, to you, sam, ray, or anyone. But I think in this context we may be asking for trouble.

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 3:12:00 PM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

I can see where you are coming from McKay.

To be perfectly blunt, it hurts me too when I hear Samuel or Lori say that not only do they reject Mormonism, but they also reject Jesus and the Bible, and sometimes, even the possibility that there is a God.

You'll drive yourself crazy trying to get them to fully understand your faith. And actually, I don't fully understand your faith either, but that's okay. :)

That's why Jesus said to wipe the dust from your sandals and move on. You can't spread the Good News to people who aren't open to hear it.

Samuel doesn't want me preaching the Gospel to him. Neither does Lori, so you won't catch me trying to force feed them.

Now to clarify, if I find them in contention with something that is blatantly in error, I will step in and try to explain things.

Say for example, if someone said "I don't like Catholics because they worship the Pope." Of course, I would step in and say, no that's not accurate. That's not what we believe.

All you can do McKay, is be there for them. If you feel personally uncomfortable with a particular question, I'm sure they will respect your choice not to respond.

I'm sure, by the same token, if I were becoming disillusioned with my faith, but I had questions like "How do you define morality without God?" Samuel, or Lori, or Ray or someone would be happy to step in and explain to me how they filled that void in their life.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 4:17:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

McKay,

(I wrote this before your last comments, which I noticed after having written this comment. I'll respond to you further McKay if needed, but I think that I've said what I need to say in this comment.

This was also before the last comments by Ray, Cernovog, Lori and Bonnie. Thanks everyone for your comments and for taking the time to care.

I just noticed that there are more comments and I was working on this comment off and on since last night. I'll try to get to all of you tomorrow sometime. Sorry Lori for how McKay has treated you...I really am. I guess it's just those familiar cult fruits of Mormonism, rearing their ugly head again. Isn't it good to be out?

Some people like McKay, are happy being in a cult and quite frankly, they couldn't survive without it. I guess that Mormonism may not be working out so good for him after all or maybe what we are saying makes too much sense, for him to respond to you the way he did. Keep up the great writing Lori.)
=================================

Now, here is my comment:

I feel the need to come to the defense of Lori, myself and any ex-Mormon, that no longer believes the church is true mainly because of Joseph Smith being a fraud, a liar, a pedophile, dishonest, a fake treasure hunter and just loathsome in pretty much every way. But especially for Lori, as you've been pretty rude in your arrogance that it's okay for you to know the church is true, but not for her to know it isn't.

Also, let's be honest McKay about your intentions, (which I now feel you maybe haven't been honest about, due to your last comment to Lori-"Well there you have it. You seem to have all the answers so whats the point? Have fun everyone. Its been a pleasure.Bye").

You already have your mind made up just like we do, but you have a problem with us having our mind made up? Duh!! Wasn't that obvious from the 160 + posts on my blog? Did you think I'm still on the fence, with an open mind, along with Lori, Ray, Bonnie and others that read and listen to Mormon Truth?

Nobody could tell you anything that would make you leave the church, just like nobody could tell us anything to make us want to get back in. We have done honest, intense research and learned the truth and facts that you appear to not want to see, which is typical of most TBMS, which I didn't think you necessarily were.

However, it doesn't hurt to try to understand why each of us feel the way we do, right? I thought that was what we are doing here, but apparently not...my bad!! I think it would be dishonest for any us to claim some type of "open mindedness", because we all know that isn't the case at all, including you McKay.

If you think your mind is open, then you are deceiving yourself and us. Like I say McKay, I'm just a straight shooter and I'm just saying it like it is, take it or leave it. It would be like me going to FAIR or some of these die-hard TBM or Apologist sites and expecting them to have an open mind...plllleeeease!! It ain't gonna happen, as they are convinced the church is true, no matter what, just like you.

I've left several comments on Jeff Lindsay's site in the past and he has deleted many of them that questioned the church or were harsh in their tone. He's a moron and can't handle anyone saying anything bad about his beloved cult. It didn't matter that what I was saying was true, just that I was speaking negatively of the Lord's anointed and Mormonism.

He would delete my comment and then make strong statements condemning me and my comments and apologizing to everyone. Yeah, what a tough guy....he deletes my comments and then slams me and I can't respond. At least I haven't done that to you McKay.

You stated yourself McKay, confirming that you could never see what we see, or not believe in the church, because of your intense, personal, spiritual experience.

What that means is, that no evidence, no matter what it is, would ever matter to you or convince you that Mormonism was false and a cult. Congrats....you believe exactly what the Mormon hierarchy want you to believe...that facts and evidence or truth, have no value especially over your burning bosom.

I think that most of us here have had special spiritual experiences and burning bosoms that confirmed Mormonism was "the only true church on earth", but guess what? Those burning bosom experiences were only based on lies, half-truths and outright fraud, therefore not valid.

Hell, I get emotional watching a Hallmark commercial or any touching commercial or show where human emotions are felt. I feel emotional listening to certain music, but I don't then feel that Hallmark is true, or Josh Groban is true, etc and that I should follow them, dedicate my life to them, pay them 10% of my money and give them all of my time, talents and life, for free.

To me, my last example is just as ridiculous as the Mormon Hierarchy saying that truth doesn't matter, evidence doesn't matter and that it's all about FEELINGS and infernos in our bosoms. That to me sounds like a group of men, that know the Mormon church is a complete fraud and that have a lot to hide.

To me, it's kind of like a car that runs like shit, is missing, needs a new engine or an overhaul, but I just plug my ears and say, "hey, it sounds great, doesn't it?" Everyone that plugs their ears, agrees with me and everyone else, in the "real world", thinks we are crazy to not hear how bad it sounds. Some people want to know the truth and some people don't. Believe me, I certainly didn't want to know it, but truth is truth and it does set you free.

Also, it's like Scientology, when they make you go like 8 hours, looking into someones eyes without blinking, as a part of their conversion and to progress to the next level. They are just breaking you down, making you dependent on them, so that they can control your every action, life, money and everything else.

It was like in the MTC, when my teacher looked me right in my eyes and said over and over that the Book of Mormon was true...about 10 times, really intensily....in Spanish. I suddenly burst into tears, because I FELT that it was really true and he told me that I would and that he felt the spirit so strong too and just smiled, etc. It's called brainwashing through manipulation, power of suggestion, mind-control, coercion, etc.

I was cut off from my family, very vulnerable(which is the whole point of the isolation), missed my friends and my life, was already very emotional, felt that I was truly a servant of Jesus Christ...and above all, I was desperately seeking that one moment, that everyone talked about, where I knew without a doubt that it was all true.

I was set up perfectly and then it happened and someone lit a torch to my bosom. It took me about 15 minutes to recover, as I was so emotional and crying, to finally know it was all true and I then used that experience as a crutch, anytime I had a question, was getting screwed over on my mission, teaching a convert, etc, which is exactly what these cult leaders want to happen.

For you to act as if you are offended, because Lori has her mind made up, makes me think we were all punked by you. You have helped me to understand, once again, why I'm so skeptical of any TBM, that comes into "Mormon Truth", seeking peace and understanding. It's like me going into FAIR or a Q&A at a Mormon church, pretending to seek understanding...yeah right!!

Maybe the truth is, that you don't understand what your true purpose here was and you actually thought you could help us see what you see or something?

You know, it's not like Joe was a scumbag, sinned like crazy, committed adultery behind Emma's back and then suddenly overcame his problems and suddenly became a good man and a TRUE Prophet of God, to never return to his past sins.

Most of his most devious, hideous and heinous acts, were after he was a Prophet or had supposedly seen/not seen(depending on the version), the first vision. The very worst things that he did, started in the last few years of his life, especially with the whole polygamy issue and marrying little girls as young as 14, other men's wives, some even pregnant, sending guys on missions and then marrying their wives, saying that the parents would get Celestial glory if they gave him their daughter; that an angel with a flaming sword would slay him, etc.

I didn't even mention the "dirty, nasty, filthy affair", that he had with Fanny Alger, his maid, once again, behind Emma's back. This was back in I think 1832 or 1833. Oliver Cowdery even called him out for this one(which is documented in the Newsweek article, which the Mormon church endorsed and still endorses) and so his good buddy Joe, excommunicated him. Yeah, Joe sounds like he was an outstanding man with great morals and character, especially for a supposed Prophet of God, right?

I don't use just my opinions or what I think....I use facts, reality and exactly the way it was, straight out of official Mormon history books or personal journals of those involved. I don't know how anyone can dispute the truth, I really don't. I would call any other interpretation of the facts, other than the first, most obvious conclusion...to be skewed in such a way that the church can still be true.

Maybe, just maybe the things we are saying are too disturbing for you to stomach, which I would understand, because they were for me too when I first heard and read them. All of us here, that no longer believe in Mormonism, have gone through a traumatic experience in finding the truth and most of us have also lost friends and loved ones, as you know, due to our disbelief.

I'm going to try really hard to keep this as brief as I can and to the point, using official canonized scripture, and exact quotes from the supposed Prophets and Apostles of Jesus Christ, to show why these men should be held to the highest standard possible. Even Joseph Smith claimed that he was greater than and had done greater things than Jesus Christ and that is right out of the "official church history books."

Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, NOR JESUS ever did it. I BOAST THAT NO MAN EVER DID SUCH A WORK AS I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. You know my daily walk and conversation. I am in the bosom of a virtuous and good people.How I do love to hear the wolves howl! When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go.

What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one.

I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers. I labored with these apostates myself until I was out of all manner of patience
(History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408-412).


Now, if you want to dispute the words of "official church history", that is sold in Deseret book, which I call Jesus' one and only true bookstore....then we have a problem and have no need to even continue debating anything, which is apparently what you have decided to do, which is fine. Also, notice the lie about "I'm not a polygamist and an adulterer"...now that's classic!! Yeah, what a thing to be accused of 33 + wives, when you can only find 33+ wives, right? LOL!!

The guy was a sick, fraudulent, perverted, lying, cunning man, doing everything he did for power, sex and money/greed. These are facts and reality, not conjecture McKay. Warren Jeffs today is the modern day Joseph Smith and if Joe came back today, they'd have to throw his ass in jail too, maybe next to Jeffs.

It must be exhausting having to know these things and then defend them, day in and day out, as if they are insignificant and don't really matter in the big scheme of things, because you begin with the premise that the church is true and can never be proven false.

The bottom line is these words are written, the church approves of them, and sells them in their bookstore, makes money off of them, quotes from these books in General Conference....case closed. For God's sake, they still sell the Grant Palmer book at the BYU Bookstore and he was disfellowshipped for writing it. Would you like to explain that one McKay? Not to mention that prior to his "court of love" and disfellowshipment, they had sold the book for 2 years at Jesus' bookstore.

But, if those official words aren't really official in your eyes....then nothing is and the church can just be whatever anyone wants it to be and anything can be discarded if it doesn't fit the proverbial puzzle of what you've been taught. That would make you an official Mormon apologist, so I hope that isn't the case.

You seemed very reasonable when you first arrived here and acted so afraid to hurt our feelings, etc, so I'm sincerely hoping that we won't go down that road of Mormon Apologetics, which it appears we already are.

Now, I want to point out to you McKay, that comparing your life, how you live and your level of honesty and integrity, to that of Joseph Smith, is not even close to being in the same ballpark and a ridiculous comparison.

Do you claim to be a Prophet or Apostle of God? Do you demand that we obey you? Do you demand all of our time, talents and money? Do you demand that we pay you 10% a month of our income? Do you demand that we wear your certain type of underwear?(that we can only buy from you of course) Did you once commit us to take our own life, rather than reveal the secrets of the temple, by slitting our throat, chest and stomach open? I think you can clearly see where I'm going with this.

These men stand before the world and claim to be flawless and that they cannot lead us astray, ever, because it isn't in the program and God would remove them if they did and would never allow it. They say that when they do the speaking, the thinking is done. And you accuse us of having a closed mind....what about the Mormon Hierarchy? I don't see much openness there either, do you?

Now, if you claimed that you couldn't lead us astray and that you were some type of Prophet or Apostle and "special witness of Jesus Christ", and then listed all of the negatives and sins in your daily life, that you were still committing.....I wouldn't follow you any longer, because you would be a fraud and a liar. Why would anyone want to follow you? Of course back in Joseph and Briggies day, they would actually kill you with "BLOOD ATONEMENT." Yeah, that was sure an inspired teaching, wasn't it?

Now, to support my above comments, please allow me to list these exact quotes, basically claiming perfection, by these very men that call themselves Prophets and Apostles. These comments are straightforward and very easy to understand and there is no other way to interpret them other than exactly what they are.

First, when you have some extra time, here is a great post that I wrote about a year ago, that you can go read, which is just chuck full of wonderful quotes by these inspired men, all the way back to Joe himself.

Wilford Woodruff taught:

"The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty."

Also, once again, current Apostle M. Russell Ballard taught, "We will not lead you astray. We cannot."

Then Ezra Taft Benson also taught, "The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet, the Prophet will never lead the church astray and The prophet and the presidency—the living prophet and the First Presidency—follow them and be blessed—reject them and suffer.

And, oh yeah, I found one more new one(there are many more):

"Follow your leaders who have been duly ordained and have been publicly sustained, and you will not be led astray."

“To Be Learned Is Good If...”Boyd K. Packer (General Conference, Sunday Afternoon Session
4 October 1992; Ensign, Nov. 1992)

So, there you have it. These men are infallible and CANNOT lead the members astray in any way shape or form. What this means McKay, is that they can't teach things like Adam-God that is later rebuked as false doctrine by another Prophet, President Kimball and the Apostle Bruce R. McConkie. They can't teach that blacks are the seed of Cain and an inferior race since the pre-existence, that there should be "death on the spot", if they mix their seed with the white person; and then do a turnabout, after repressing them for 148 years and say that "god changed his mind" and decided they could have the Priesthood.

You do realize that even though Elijah Abel, a black man who was given the Priesthood in Joseph's day, still couldn't receive temple blessings? He was good enough to serve on missions and in fact, die right after his mission, due to the conditions he suffered through, but he wasn't good enough for temple blessings.

They can't be fooled and tricked to buy forged documents by Mark Hofmann, without sensing he was evil and about to brutally kill and blow up two people. They led so far astray on this occasion, that 2 people actually died.

Hinckley taught, just in the last general conference Priesthood session:

"I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ, nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ. How can any man, holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, arrogantly assume that he is eligible for the Priesthood while another who lives a righteous life but whose skin is of a different color is ineligible."

So, what this means, is that people like the Prophet Brigham Young and Apostles like Bruce R. McConkie and a slew of others, were not "true disciples of Christ", nor can they consider themselves "to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ" and that they were "arrogant" and "not eligible" for the Priesthood. Wow!!

So, if Briggy wasn't "eligible" for the Priesthood, on top of being arrogant, not a true disciple of Christ and not in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ; what exactly was he, because he certainly wasn't a Prophet of God; therefore the succession from Joe to Briggy is toast and now you have a huge, massive problem on your hands.

Are my conclusions ridiculous or out of line? Not at all....they are entirely fact based, using exact words of the beloved Mormon Prophet of God, with all the keys...Gordon B. Hinckley. Keep in mind that he can't lead you astray McKay, but neither could Briggy or any other Prophet or Apostle, right? Seems that there is a big problem then, isn't there? Then again, Ezra Taft Benson, another Prophet of God, said that "The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works" and that "The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet."

Well, I've made my case, entirely based on facts and current and Past Prophets and Apostles words; which are all men that can't lead the Saints astray, even if they contradict each other apparently, which is hard to understand, isn't it?

I guess that there is no point going on with logic, truth and facts, because they could never cancel out your spiritual feelings or conversion, right?

So, McKay, when you say to Lori, "Well there you have it. You seem to have all the answers so whats the point?", we could say the same thing back to you and ask you what your point is. Remember that you came in here, to an ex-Mormon place, not us going to some pro-Mormon cheering site.

I'm glad that you had fun McKay, because in the end, I don't think many of us ex-Mormons had too much fun, thinking that you were being sincere and honest with us, when in the end, you ended up just like any other apologist. It's unfortunate, but hey, that's life, especially when trying to deal with TBMS, as an ex-Mormon.

Just think Lori, today McKay probably went to church, took the sacrament and felt good about everything he said to you. I think that I've said everything I need to say and we wish you the best McKay and hope that one day you will exchange fantasy and fiction for truth and reality.

However, if you are happy in your fantasy-land, that ignores all evidence and truth, then so be it. Have fun in TOONTOWN and tell Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, that we all said hi.

Honestly McKay, I couldn't care less what you believe, or what you do with your life, because I don't even know you; but, you came in here on your own, into strong anti/ex-Mormon territory and engaged all of us for some unknown reason, only known to yourself. You want to respond strongly to Lori or any of us and I'll respond strongly back, as will most people here.

Thanks again everyone for your participation and it was great to see you Bonnie, weighing in again on this post and the comments of McKay.

Well, time to go watch some NFL football baby, which is my new religion and much more enjoyable then listening to the same ol BS every Sunday, trying not to doze off, which I spent 30+ years doing.

Talk to you all soon,

Samuel

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 4:24:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

Thank you Cernovog,

As an example of what I was stating above about becoming better and stronger with time, we have a new apostle in the quarum of the 12. Deiter F. Uchtdorf. If you listen to him, he has a strong focus on how many good, strong, and sincere people are in many other faiths. And that we should never be so arragount to assume we are better than another. We should respect truth wherever we hear it and respect that much good can come from other faiths. He then goes on to quietly reprimand those in OUR faith that have any degree of arrogance in assuming we, as individuals, are better than another, and says those who do so simply do not understand their faith fully.

This is what I mean. We are gaining people with greater insight, compassion and wisdom as the people are more ready to hear it and accept it. His words have been very consoling and validating for me and gives me much hope for the integrety of our faith.

It does hurt when I hear people mock Christ so openly. No matter how much compassion I may have for their point of view. From my perspective it just hurts deeply, as I hold His name in great reverence. This creates a conundrum between respecting peoples beliefs, perspectives, and faiths.. and defending my own that means so much to me.

It is a difficult line to walk.

McKay

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 5:02:00 PM, Anonymous 123 said...

McKay: I'm kinda-sorta new. I haven't been around the Mormon Truth blog for a very long time. Thanks for your compliment. It sounds like you're not coming back, but if you want to know more about me, please feel free to ask questions. I don't really know where to start, so let your curiosity run free. I'll do my best to explain myself. :)

Ray: As I'm sure you're fully aware, there are dozens of variations of Buddhism, the most general divisions of which are the Mahayana and Hinayana practices. Given the proper interpretation and education of both religions, you may find the similarities between Buddhism and Christianity unnerving. Let me know what your favored path is and I'll be happy to talk to you about it.

Ray and Cernovog: As much as it wouldn't surprise me if Brigham Young were involved in some sort of plot like that, I'd like to see some fact to supplement that conjecture, because to be honest, that's all it is at this point: conjecture. In any case, I don't find that story very compelling. The church was already in disarray, and there was no clear leader after Joseph and Hyrum were martyred. I think it requires a great stretch of the imagination to believe that Young poisioned Samuel Smith out of fear that he would inherit the presidency. Young didn't even assume the presidency until 1847. In between the years of Smith's death and Young's assumption, the administrative work of the church was carried out by the Twelve. It was unclear at that point if there would be another presidency or if the church would be led by a quorum. Also, despite the terrible things attributed to Young, I doubt that siezing power was on his mind. He and Smith had a very unique friendship, and the trauma of losing such a friend coupled with the intense fear he and the other church leaders must have felt for their lives leaves me skeptical of the claim that he poisoned Samuel. The only place I have ever heard of this conspiracy is on the uncited Wikipedia article, which if accurate, leads me to believe another LDS leader may have been the culprit in this alleged plot. Assuming the scant "evidence" we have is true, I find it highly more compelling to believe that Samuel died of natural causes and that William Smith (who supposedly made the claim about the poisoning) exploited the tragedy in a vain attempt to bolster up support behind his own desires for the presidency.

Lori: McKay wasn't being rude, so I fail to see how you construed that opinion. You, on the other hand, have repeatedly ridiculed his beliefs as well as every other theist's (especially Christian theists) who may participate on this blog. Until now, you've treated your beliefs as absolute, and yet still exhibit a tendency to take personal offense at anyone else's dissent? Perhaps you don't feel this way, but your behavior would suggest that you feel that because you have been wronged in the past, you're entitled to voice whatever opinion you want in whatever fashion you want, but God help the poor soul that dare think of doing the same to you! Heck, they don't even have to hurl personal, emotional attacks, they just have to disagree and you'll jump on their back.

All others: If there is one thing we should have all learned from our experiences in the church, it's that honest and free communication is one of the most highly valued treasures of the human experience. Let's not abuse this important right. By using coercive, intolerant, offensive language we're only harming ourselves. I'm not saying that we all need to make political correctness our solitary mantra--quite the contrary--I'm advocating the idea that objective and leveled communication is preferable. It sickens me to think that we, as ex-Mormons, should think ourselves an exception to this principle. Why should McKay feel uncomfortable among us? Is not alienating him with single-sided propaganda and intolerance a violation of our individual commitments to fact-seeking? Is inquiry not what led us out of the LDS Church? Then why should we hold ourselves superior to him? What rationale is there for our doing so? Clearly there will be a difference of opinion on matters of LDS history and doctrine, and religious truth in general. I imagine that my understanding of life's purpose is quite different from every other poster's on this blog. It is only natural to believe that each has his own unique understanding, although there may be stronger similiarities between some of our beliefs than others. Why, then, do we lambast McKay for yet another understanding? That perplexes me.

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 5:06:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 5:12:00 PM, Anonymous 123 said...

Oh, and one other thing: Lori, I think your characterization of Joseph Smith as some bloodthirsty murderer with no morals who tried to shove his religion down others' throats is unfair. Certainly Smith wasn't perfect. He's not someone I would want my children to emulate, that's even more of a certainty. But to say that he was bloodthirsty? Eh, you're going to have to convince me on that one. Sex-addict, perhaps, but not a cold-blooded killer. And I don't see any credibility in the claim that Smith tried to force religion on others. I think he invited people to question his religious authority and whenever they questioned a little too much, he whipped up a new revelation to solidify his authority--a different attitude entirely. If you disagree, I'd love to hear why. And please make your defense substantive. I think that Smith is an interesting enough character that we don't need to exaggerate his qualities, don't you? :)

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 5:22:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 5:27:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

Sam,

Wow! thanks for being so understanding.

You simply dont understand me in ANY degree whatsoever if you think my intent was to decieve in any way. I am sorry you believe such.

I was never comparing myself to JS in anyway. I was illustrating a point that we simply tend to look for the qualities or faults in an individual that supports our feelings no matter if it be Sam, Lori, Mckay Joseph Smith or Jesus Chirst. It is just human nature. And these traits can create judgement in either direction and lead us to the literature that will support our position weather it is true or not. I believe the only way to recognize things as they are is to distance ourselves from emotions and let the persons life speak for itself. When I look at the CHARACTER of Joseph smith I see someone who suffored huge trials, pains and ridicule for his belief. And I recognize no matter what his flaws, his charecter reflects that he truly believed what he taught. Many people were extreemly upset at his words and actions and much false witness has been created to support their distain. I can only take on the facts as they are within our own records, not every accusation of everyone who hates or disagrees with him.
This trait in its fullest form is what leads to wars, or fanatical beliefs that will sustain evil.

You are illustrating my point perfectly in how quickly you came down on me with such judgement and hate for making one single mistake. Should anyone read your last blog and assume your were representing me correctly, this would simply be an untrue representation of my life, beliefs, and intents. Just as should anyone read my posts about Lori, assume me to be fully correct in her intentions would deny her true charicter. But someone seeking to discredit me or her would gravitate to it the negative posts. If you were to look at my life and works, you would realize such is simply a poor charicterzation of who I am. The same as my comment did not properly reflect Lori.

The church does not hide our history, as Journal of Discources and other records are widely available. Though I wish we had some active teaching in our curriculum that put our history in context as it seems to be left for every member to figure out for themselves. What I have come to understand is when you understand the nature of the anotement, its purpous, and the principals that govern the gospel and the church, everything becomes VERY VERY clear, and the confusion completely vanishes. Just as a key can unlock a door, so and understanding of the true nature of the gospel and its purpous, and how it is governed can put everything in a proper perspective. I would never force your perspectives, I would only hope to teach these principals and let you consider them for yourselfs, and let you work the conclusions in your own mind. This is all I could EVER hope to do. Just as I would never force nutritious food down your throught, only teach you what is nutritious and good for you, and the benefits of eating such. Then you govern your own actions and what you will eat.

I hope everyone can read what Ive written and simply understand that their is NO way to create peace within a contest of hate and ridicule. As soon as I defend my beliefs in any way, it becomes a disaster that creates more hate. I am sorry Sam if you think such of me. I really am. I have apologized sincerely. There is simple nothing I could say in defense of my faith that would not invite your ridicule. It is clear to me how easy it is to cross the line for anyone. I do not condone my passions or beliefs when my actions get out of line. But I do ask that you understand that sometimes it is hard to suffer and listen to mockery of those I believe to be just.

I would ask that you understand how easy it is to cross the line even in your own behavior. You stated previously, that you would do whatever you could keep your child as far away from the Mormon cult as possible... would not such deny your child the ability to evaluate and choose for himself based upon facts and example? You are exercising unrightous dominion the very second you seek to compel or manipulate, while you condemn mormons for doing the same thing. It can be VERY difficult to see when we are right and wrong and it is very easy to cross the line. I have much to learn in this area.

Again I am sorry, but I can say that the very principal I have stated on this blog has come from my heart, and I have no intent to decieve in any way. I will let those who read decide in and of themselves.

Again I am sorry Lori. I just dont know how to debate. I dont know what to say. I am completely at a loss and feel that sometimes silence is the best option.

Take care,

McKay

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 5:33:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

BTW sorry I kept deleting my post, I accidently posted my drafts and wanted to add to them

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 6:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, McKay, 123, etc.

I like this site because personally I feel I can indeed say it how it is according to me. I will never ever back down from saying exactly what I feel JS was. I will never think he isn't anything but a murderer. He killed me. (That is a story for another time).

Like Samuel said. My feelings about the church aren't from feelings or opinions, or anything other than absolute fact. You can read the biographies of the people that were with him from years ago. You can read historical archives from the State of Ohio and Illinois. There is so much information out there that there doesn't even need to be an opinion on this stuff.

You guys may not be where I am, that fine. I had my own journey to go through to pluck up the courage to even read the realities of what Mormonism is, but I'll tell you this, give yourself at least 3 hours and just look at the very least the issues Samuel just brought up or even the list you McKay brought up. Don't go into it trying to defend the church...wait, who am I to tell you what to do, defend if you want, but just read it! Look!! Conquer that fear that was instilled in us from the beginning of our lives, challenge this dreadful god that is supposed to destroy your life if you apostacize and LOOK!

I'm never going to take kindly to rude remarks. I'm not a punching bag, but deep down, again, I remember where you are now. I'm not there anymore and that's why I'm here on an ex-Mo site. And I have to believe that somewhere in you there must be a twinkle of curiosity because why would you come back here?

I have nothing against you. I remember the turmoil myself.

Lori

P.S. Thanks Samuel. I forgot what it meant to have a friend.

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 6:16:00 PM, Anonymous 123 said...

McKay: (If you're still here) I just remembered that you said I have an "unbiased approach to debate". While I appreciate that you think so, I forgot to correct you. I try to be unbiased, but I certainly am not. The very fact that I hold any opinions on any matter proves that I am not. I don't want people to come off believing that I think myself a gold standard in open-mindedness or impartiality. The compliment is still noted, though.

I appreciated your post (Sunday, September 10, 2006 4:07:15 AM). I have to say that I am swayed by your argument that the Church's commercial ventures will one day benefit the world. I don't believe, as you appear to, that the "Joseph in Egypt" analogy adequately explains the Church's interest in for-profit endeavors, but I do agree that it is not unlikely that one day, several years (perhaps decades) from now, the Church will have gotten things right, or at least more right than they are at the present. And in that day, the Church's monetary wealth may very well be used for what it should have been in the first place: to carry out the spirit of Christ's message of love, caring, empathy, etc., to those in need. My reasons for believing that that will be the case are surely very different than your own, but it's nice to have some sort of consensus among people who would ordinarily disagree.

--------------

Sam: In one sense I admire your protective stance toward others as one of your redeeming qualities. In another, I see it as a fault. From my point of view, McKay hasn't said a single thing to attack Lori, you, or anyone else on Mormon Truth. If anything, he appears to assume his own faults exceed those of anyone else's. And from what we've seen shared on this blog, we can only assume he's right!

Now, I'm not condoning any wrongdoing. I just don't see it as having occured. If it did, then let's make restitution and get over it. Holding grudges is absurd. Why should you, I, or anyone else continually reenact the (self-inflicted) horrible feelings of rejection and resentment when we have the choice not to?

Next, I wanted to comment on your characterization of McKay as a "TBM." In the literal sense, yes, I think we can all safely agree that McKay is a "true, beliving Mormon." He was very forthright about that and never pretended otherwise. However, the notion that being a TBM implies a sort of ignorance or weakness of character in the person who is wise to the facts, I find quite disagreeable. McKay quite likely won't agree with this, but here it is:

The Church has a damning history, a suspect leadership, a problematic financial record, and questionable (arguably, unethical) recruitment and retainment strategies. However, the Church also has a vibrant and successful community of caring individuals who are by-and-large quite friendly to one another. They share a common heritage, common worldview, and common interests. They happily offer some of the basic human needs to each other that would otherwise have to be sought out elsewhere. Now, might we assume that it is this aspect of the Church that has people like McKay hooked? I think that we can only assume that. And who can blame him? Despite all their negative characteristics, I loved my "ward family", and I'm sure most of us on Mormon Truth will admit (however grudgingly) to the same. I think it's only natural to assume that there are some, like McKay, who value the cultural experience of Mormonism more than they value the temptation to say, "My God! I'm in a cult?! Show me the exit!!!" Also, Mormonism can be an intensely spiritual path for some people. Some value the "higher truths" learned by following that path than they value the "lower truths". They might hold a very metaphorical view of Joseph Smith's religion and find it quite invigorating. I'm not saying that this is necessarily McKay's experience, because I know next to nothing about the man. And I've known only very few Mormons that do this, because most that try end up realizing that they can be benefited even greater by an alternative path, but there it is.

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 6:32:00 PM, Anonymous 123 said...

Lori: I get the impression that you think I'm some sort of Mormon apologist. I can assure that nothing could be further from the truth. I'm only trying to be objective as I learn more about Mormon history and relate to other ex- and current Mormons who have insights to share. If I in someway failed in that pursuit, please show me how. I'm not saying that as a challenge; I'm speaking as someone who sincerely values your assessment of me as a participant on Mormon Truth.

I understand that you may feel that Joseph Smith "murdered" you. I can relate, very strongly, to that feeling. But in reality, did he *kill* you (or me)? Back in the 19th century was Joseph Smith plotting to "kill" millions of his followers a hundred or more years after his ministry? Undeniably, no. Like I said earlier, the leaders of the Church have/had some terrible qualities. Why exaggerate their faults? Is it necessary to justify our conclusions? I think not.

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 8:58:00 PM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

I'm still learning about Mormonism. I still meet with missionaries and I'm very curious about the early days of the church.

Samuel, I was eager to read that Newsweek article, but I found it disapointing. Oh well.

One of the things I'm researching is what happened to the 11 witnesses? If we are to take them at their word that the golden plates were real, then I need to know about them. Who were they? What happened to them.

Well, I discovered that, with the exception of Joseph Smith's father and two brothers, every single one of them was excommunicated. (Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris were later re-baptized.)

However, I thought Oliver Cowdery was excommunicated for denying Joseph Smith's later revelations. I read a reference to his denial in his belief in angels as being an issue at his re-baptism.

Cowdery explained, in a very lawyer-like manner that he didn't "believe" in angels as a matter of faith, because he "knew" they existed as a matter of fact since he has seen them. Talk about waffling!

I'm continuing my research and investigation. I find it very interesting that he may have been excommunicated for exposing Joseph's amorous misadventures....

123, I'll bring home that book from the library where I read the accusations against Brigham Young. You're right when you say it's speculation. Who knows what really happened? It's still intriguing.

BTW, Joseph Smith had 30 wives? I read an account that claimed the number was 49.

McKay: Just to let you know, I often find Lori's strong opinions against Christ to be hurtful too, but it would be foolish to think she is the only person in the world with such an opinion. You're probably more sensitive to it than I am.

I try not to let it bother me. I know, certainly, that she's just expressing what she truly feels and she's not doing it specifically to take a jab at you or me.

If it bothers you that much, perhaps you should simply take a little break and rejoin us when you feel fresh and renewed. :)

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 9:31:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

McKay and Cernovog,

You have both expressed how it hurts when we state we no longer believe in the Bible, Christianity, or the existance of Jesus and/or a god. When we took an objective look at the church, we saw enough evidence to convince us that it was not true. If we did not look at Christianity with the same objective view, we would just end up in another cult somewhere. My studies have brought me to a firm conclusion: that all religion is man made. The majority of the population of Earth is not Christian. Does that mean all those people will never get a chance to be saved? If so, the god of Christianity is pretty cruel and heartless. McKay, you talk about things being so clear to you, and I don't doubt that you feel that way. It's funny you should say that though, because when I discovered that the church is not true, I felt exactly the same way. It was crystal clear to me that there is so such character as Jesus. I believe in a god of some sort; how can I not? We live in a fascinating world! But the only person who can save me, is me! There is no such thing as sin. You have probably heard me say this before, if pre-marital sex is a sin, why do the animals do it? I need to research the origins of marriage but I believe it is a pagan ritual. It is not necessary for sex or salvation. In fact, marriage is bad for our species. Genetic variation increases the strength of an individual and marriage reduces that genetic variation. We all know that inbreeding causes many problems. I'm not saying that marriage causes inbreeding; I am just showing that when genetics are not mixed, the species is weaker.

So once I realized that the purpose of life is just to live and be myself, I found complete and total redemption. There is absolutely no guilt for past "sins", because I know for myself that there is no god hovering over me just waiting for me to die so he can boot my ass to hell forever. If there is a god, it is a god of complete and total unconditional love. Why would god put us here on Earth, make us forget everything (Cernovog, I don't think Catholics believe in a pre-existance, but Mormons do), and then punish us because we screwed up? Why would he give us a Bible that no one understands and can never agree on what it means? God's word should be clear, but the fact that 1 Bible = 10,000 Christian religions is proof enough for me that it is not of god. It is man made. Christianity also has several fundamental flaws which we have not discussed in this thread. I won't bring them up because my objective is not to tear down your faith.

If you choose to continue to believe it, that is your choice and your life. I respect everyone regardless of their beliefs. I believe that no matter what a persons religion, their soul is not in jeopardy. You won't be damned or saved by being Mormon or Catholic or anything. If there is such a thing as being "saved" or "damned" it will be based upon your personal life, not your religion.

================================

Lori,

I would be very interested to read up on your claims of Joseph Smith being a murderer. I am thoroughly convinced that is true of Brigham Young, and I know Jospeh Smith taught the blood atonement. But I am not aware of him actually killing anybody (except in Carthage Jail when he shot some of the men who were trying to enter his cell. That, imo, was self defense). What is your basis for this belief?

===============================

123,
I was aware that there are various forms of Buddhism and I suspect they are all very similar. And, yes, I am also aware of the very similar teachings between Buddah and Jesus. Amazingly similar! I wouldn't be surprised if Christianity is a very distant form of very watered down Buddhism, since Buddhism is many thousands of years older than Christianity. I wouldn't be surprised at all. I have no idea of the differences between Mahayana and Hinayana. For now, I just want to find a simple yet detailed account of Buddah and his teachings. I want to learn how to properly meditate and reach the enlightenment that he did; that point when your soul connects to pure knowledge (call it god if you want) and you are completely aware of every aspect of your environment. If Buddhism can truly provide this, I definitely want to learn how it is done.

Thanks everyone!

Ray

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 11:49:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

OK. I want to post a concept to illustrate a point. I know that there is nothing I would say to Sam or Lori (or possibly anyone) that would be considered a legitimate or valid defense. But to anyone else reading, maybe.. just maybe it could give a reason to pause and think about the LDS faith.

I would like to say that a key to understanding the restoration of the Gospel is that it is a process... and NOT an event. A process that will involve great trials and errors, that while painful at times, will ultimately help teach us and help us to gain strength in character and integrity.

One of the most fundamental flaws people make both in and out of the church is to assume that every action of every member or every leader is "revelation" or directed by the spirit, and thus will be perfectly understood and implemented. This is a juvenile understanding and is not validated in scripture. Even if many people think they are receiving revelation from God, they simply are not. It takes a very mature perspective to really understand the nature of revelation and inspiration of the spirit. And to assume every thought within oneself is a revelation from God just because they are "morally clean" or for any other reason is a dangerous ground to be on. As soon as one assumes they have authority from God it can be as if all barriers of right and wrong break down and anyones actions can seem justified because they are acting in accordance with the will of God. This is simply not true, Every single prophet, leader, and individual in the church must learn this for him or herself, and also learn to detect the voice of the spirit. And that process can be a very painful one indeed.

A study and pondering of the scriptures tells us that it is only after MUCH intense pondering, study, prayer, meditation, trial, error, etc. that answers may come from God in the form of revelation. They are the exception and not the rule. Leaders are realizing more and more this to be the case and are more conservative than ever in preaching in the name of revelation or doctrine. Inspiration is something different entirely than revelation, as we may be inspired to different degrees in any specific situation. In other words we could be inspired to do a certain thing in a given situation without the direct revelation of Gods knowledge on the subject having been revealed.

The simple fact is that while Joseph Smith had many and frequent revelations from God. If you believe in the restoration we must understand that a HUGE work was being brought forth from ONE man. Many would assume that because they become members that they will be just as Joseph Smith and have the same talents that he does. Many envied his position and stature in the church and wanted it for themselves. But the nature of the church and its government changes every time a new member joins our church, and authority is distributed as the church grows. Just because the quorum of the 12 can dictate policy, does not mean they cannot learn lessons from even "the least of these" as God will give gifts to those whom he choses. To assume that all answers will come from the quorum of the 12 or the prophet is, quite frankly.... Ignorant. All are worthy members are equal before God in their positions within the church no matter what their status. And to assume many important answers will not come even from an average member of the church is again.... ignorant. Such denies that every member has their worth and value and denies them the privilege of contributing in many important ways. Neither is the leg without the foot or the arm without the hand or whatever that scripture says. (Yes I am too lazy to look it up now. Im to lazy to even run a spell check right now.)

We clearly teach that every single member of the church has our unique gifts, and a cumulation of these gifts makes up the whole. To one it is given faith, to another wisdom, to another healing, to another, revelation etc etc. And while in the beginning the church was represented by one man. It is now represented by MILLIONS of men, women, and children. The statement "once the prophet has spoken the thinking has been done" is simply erroneous, and is probably made by someone who needs to learn to think for himself a little more.

Once Joseph smith delegated the authority to the quorum of the 12 apostles, the nature of the authority changed. Now the church policy and revelation was to be governed at the hand of 12 people and not 1. I find it ironic that our courts use a Jury of 12 to determine truth as well. God has decreed that by the mouth of a few, that he will reveal his word. This is done because he knows of our tendency to error in and of ourselves, and understands the weaknesses of men, indeed we have these very weaknesses so that we may learn from them, and implement the lessons into our own character through experience.

So while awaiting a new revelation on any given issue, the greater the revelation, the greater the sacrifice, error, and tribulation that will come before it. And when it does come, it will be validated by the quorum of the 12, and will ultimately be validated in the minds of every worthy sincere seeker in the gospel. I personally believe that before the sealed plates will come forth, HUGE sacrifices will be required, and grievous errors in judgement and policy will be made. Then and only then after we have learned that our ways are flawed and erroneous no matter how great our learning and intent, we will then be humble enough to accept what is written at the hand of God. I believe the sealed portion of the gold plates will reveal some of the most controversial doctrines the world has known, and would be rejected by every single scientist, scholar, and religious leader and possibly members of the church as ignorant, erroneous and blasphemous. As did the BOM when it was published.

Thus Brigham Young for example, in and of his own right could not dictate church policy or doctrine. It must be approved and sanctioned by the quorum of the 12. And if it is Gods will, they will all have the same understanding and revelation and their will no longer be debates or contentions. This way even if Brigham Young was in error, it would not be made into official policy or doctrine. If God did not allow even the prophets to make mistakes, he would deny them the privilege of learning from their own mistakes. Even Brigham young must have needed to learn this principal for himself.

Now in making error, are we to assume that everyone has been lead astray? Not at all. In making errors we learn things that are necessary for our development. By suffering at the dictates of our own administrational practices and seeing the results the lessons are built into our very characters, and only after much error and tribulation may Gods will be finally revealed and accepted. Think of Lamen Lemuel and Nephi in the brass plates for an example. The law of the Old testament is very different from the Laws of the New Testament for the simple reason that laws are given to help people in accordance to the state of consciousness they are in. Weather it be primitive and low or noble and high. We all still have much to learn, and the laws will be in accordance with our current state. If I tried to teach a 5 year old in Physics, or calculous, I might have a hard time.

So we will always make mistakes for the simple reason that we are to learn from them. Indeed sometimes we may even be LED at the hand of the Lord to the most intense and extreme trials that we may much rather avoid. If we are humble then this is done for the benefit of our learning and character, and it does not necessarily indicate error.

As I stated the key to my testimony is in the understanding that God is only worried about our personal character, integrity, and hearts. All this disaster that surrounds us, even that which we have brought on ourselves can actually work to perfect the character of the people. This can be VERY difficult to understand that the will of God may actually be to put us through extreme trials. It takes an intense amount of faith and humility to accept.

When it comes to the financial management of the church, We have seen extreme poverty and disaster and extreme wealth. Maybe the wealth is now coming because we have learned the principals of wealth through suffering, rebeillion and experience.

I am sure you have heard of the term "Endowment" in the temple. But do you know what it means? It is a gift that is endless and eternal, but has conditions applied. For example. An endowment in the temporal sense may be a gift of money. But it is a gift that continually gives and never relinquishes. For example, lets say I give you $100,000.00 as a gift. You spend it, and then its gone. But now lets say I give you an endowment of $1,000,000 earning 10% annual interest. and set the condition that you can not withdrawal principal, only interest. This gives you $100,000.00 a year FOREVER! It never relinquishes, nut it tool much more time and sacrifice to accumulate. Which would you rather receive as a gift?

Now apply that to the church and its finances. If we dictated a much more liberal policy we may be as the U.S. government is now. In debt paying billions of dollars annually in interest. interest that could be used instead to help the citizens instead of bond investors. We are paying over and over for the generosity in our policies of yesterday, which no matter how noble the intent, today It is now denying us the privilege of helping those in need and costing every single american thousands of tax dollars, money that could be distributed into the economy through spending or charity. So what was intended to help the poor, is now only benefiting the rich bond investors who understand the principals of wise financial management.

The church on the other-hand has implemented a conservative approach that it has LEARNED to adapt from experience.. not necessarily from revelation, although I believe we are confirmed in our decisions that what we are doing is right from inspiration and I am not denying revelation may be involved. The man who handles these church finances has consecrated his talents to the church, and we are benefiting GREATLY at the hand of his gifts and talents in investing.

Now we are becoming an incredibly wealthy people, we are gaining strength at the hand of our policies, and this wealth will continue to increase. And we will continue to be very conservative with our finances. Maybe we are making sacrifices now so that we can give a gift of endowment... or a gift that keeps giving and giving without reducing our principal. Again, ultimately which can do more good? So while critic's first condemn our policies as example of our ignorance, now they are condemning the wealth we have obtained at the hand of that policy...

So you can either learn from us, or condemn us. But we will continue to be conservative and ask for a tithe from our people. Even a tithe is the LESSER law. Ultimately all who accept the laws and government of God will consecrate all that they have, and they will do so because their hearts are pure and noble and they desire to build up the community, not self. Ownership, pride, poverty, envy, and strife will become a thing of the past.

In my example of Joseph of Egypt, I am merely using this as an example that we do believe that much trial and devastation will come, and we simply must prepare. Someday the money will give us huge abilities to help others the likes of which could never have been known if we adopted a more liberal policy through these many years. This would leave us weak and powerless to help anyone in the time of greatest need, and would be totally ignorant when we have been counseled to prepare for almost two hundred years.

Again, this is a very BASIC principal , but many members, and especially ex-members seem hung up on it. This is the TINNIEST fraction the principals I have learned and am grateful for.

Now one last thing. A fundamental principal that Plato and Aristotle both theorized. The greater the potential of the benefit, the greater damage can be caused if error is made. An example: when we learn to crawl, if we fall, we fall on our stomaches... no injuries, no problem. When we learn to walk, the stakes are higher, and the results of error more severe. When we learn to climb stairs, When we learn to run, when we learn to ride a bike..To Drive, to fly, etc. etc. etc. The greater the responsibility and benefit the more disastrous the consequences when we make errors.

So it is the same as authority or privilege within any principal of life. Including authority within the church. Ultimately God has all authority and power, and he is not allowed to make mistakes. If God made mistakes, entire Galaxies may unravel before our eyes. Justice an mercy would cease, right and wrong would unravel, and destruction and devastation would be monumental. So it is, if Prophets make mistakes, many disastrous consequences could result. But those mistakes will be at the hand of errors within our character, not the Gospel. And ultimately, if we are repentant and forgiving, having accepted Christ's atonement, he will pay for those mistakes and any suffering that has taken place as a result. And those who have endured trial, and heartache at the hand of those errors, when healed by the power of the atonement and the love of Christ, will be given a perfect healing. And any suffering will be for their good and development of personal character and knowledge.

We will not be led astray ultimately, although we may veer of course at times, and we must repent and correct our own behavior. In this sense that we are revealed new truths, and greater knowledge, the new prophets and leaders do have administration and authority over the old. Or the reverse, in the event that truths are taken away because of our rebellion and inability to live it. Policies and laws may change and adapted to the "lesser" law and implemented by the new presidency.

So how is the church sanctioned and governed by God? Simply because he stated it as such, but he clearly expects us to use our conscience, experience and reasoning in our decisions as well as prayer and seeking guidance. It is this way people are called in the Church, more often than not it is NOT direct revelation, but our own reasoning, experience, and maybe some inspiration but God sanctions it and has paid the price for any errors made. And at times... Yes direct revelation to the will and mind of God will be made known concerning callings, policies, and directives.

If you are unwilling to accept that God will give you anything but ease, affluence, and perfection, either in members, leaders, or policies. And if you are unable to accept the restoration as a process that involves error in judgement and policy then you will never be able to accept the LDS Gospel. It's as simple as that. Also, if you are not willing to accept that God is smarter than we are, then as things are revealed, we will be totally unwilling to believe them due to our pride. This is what lead to all of the original 11 witness leaving. They readily admitted of their miraculous visions, even after leaving the church. But even after receiving such, they were not willing to accept the will of God, or they wanted the power and authority of others in and of themselves.

Should God send down an angel from heaven, RIGHT THIS SECOND to tell you the word was true and the gold plates are real. While you would know that these things are true. Your personality would not change in the slightest. You would still have envy, strife, or any weakness within your personal character, and ultimately may very well leave it. God works from the inside out. This can be a painfully slow and difficult process, but it is ultimately for our good.

But while there are many mistakes within our faith. I believe there is one simple difference between the LDS church and the much of the world. We will continually grow in knowledge, faith, and obedience and after MUCH trial, error and tribulation, we will see great works that give us more stature, prominence, and privilege even as much of the world degenerates. And I suppose we will probably be hated for it.

If you dont have a testimony, and humility before God, these principals will never be acceptable. And every mistake we make of every member will be mocked, and ridiculed and used as an example of our falsity.

I believe God requires only ONE characteristic in a man to build him into someone worthy of exaltation. Meekness. Thats it, no matter what your faults, if you are meek and humble to the will of God he can make you great. It may take a VERY long time and many heartaches, but it will happen.

I dont expect you to accept this. As a matter of fact I expect you to openly revile it. I even understand it. But I certainly dont agree with it.

Just remember when you criticize me, I have been where you are. I did not publicly denounce or try to destroy the church, But I would tear apart every single member and leader and try to use it as a reason to discredit the church as a way of validating the pain, devastation, and suffering I experienced within it.

So why dont I just give you a head start.

Come on Mckay this is a total cop-out, just read the history, you are so ignorant. You just gave yourself and your faith privilege to do everything wrong and be right. You are just another pathetic mormon apologist who has no logic... OK, take it from there

Peace,

Mckay

 
At Sunday, September 10, 2006 11:52:00 PM, Anonymous 123 said...

Cernovog: Yes, please do find the book. I'd be interested to know what sources it cites and how that theory developed. On a personal note: don't be offended by the strongly voiced opinions of Lori, Ray, or Sam. They don't have a very mature understanding of your religion, that's all. You should be aware of how damaging the LDS experience can be to people trying to find their way out. Part of that makes us intensely skeptical of religion, particularly the Judeo-Christian tradition, a perverted version of which we believed in and caused unspeakable damage to us. You haven't experienced what we've experienced so you cannot fully understand our predicament. Some of us quickly find our way past the twisted view of religion that we were pushed into on our way out of Mormonism, some slowly find our way past it, and some may never find the way past. The most important thing is that we be respectful and compassionate to those who move past it more quickly or slowly than we are ready for them to, whatever the case may be.

Ray: The ignorance that I spoke of earlier is present in your most recent post. Your understanding of Jesus and his message is grossly inaccurate. I briefly explained where that misunderstanding could be coming from to Cernovog. If you'd like, I can take the time to discuss more with you later via email or IM and explain how I got past that, however difficult the process was. I'm not suggesting that you need accept the claims of Christianity as valid, but I do think that you should at least understand those claims properly before you begin disregarding them, or making positive statements "refuting" it, or any other religion.

I had a bit of a chuckle over your understanding of sin, sex, marriage, etc. You remind me of myself not too long ago. Unfortunately, if you are truly committed to those beliefs, I don't think you'll find yourself cut out for Buddhism. There is far more to it than the meditation that most people seem to focus on. Understanding sin is definitely a major aspect of Buddhism.

I would agree with you that Buddhism and Christianity (when both are understood accurately) are similar. But I don't think it's really fair to call Christianity a watered-down version of Buddhism, for a variety of reasons. First, Buddhism is not thousands of years older than Christianity. Try a couple hundred years. And secondly, Christianity has some very unique elements and practices not found in Buddhism, and vice-versa. Thirdly, as we see the evolution of Buddhism into its various forms, I think it would be more fair to say that Christianity is a perfected form of Buddhism, although I wouldn't actually say that, as the origins of each religion can be traced to entirely different traditions. Christianity has its roots in Judaism, and Buddhism traces back to Hinduism. I can go into further detail elsewhere if you like, but I think it suffices to say that you're getting the point.

Hinayana is the practice that the Buddha himself followed. The word, hinayana, means"little raft." The simplest explanation of the understanding of those who follow this path is that enlightenment cannot be given to an individual through a group effort. Enlightenment can only come through great effort on the part of the individual. Once the individual finds his enlightenment, he cannot share it with others, as they too must seek their own enlightenment.

Mahayana, as you might guess means "big raft." As the term implies, it is practiced with others. While truth-seeking is an individual effort, groups can (in some traditions, must) help each other on their spiritual paths. This is the form that is favored in the West, for obvious reasons. Zen Buddhism is found under the Mahayana umbrella of Buddhist sects. My personal preference is a hybrid version of Zen and Tantric, or Tibetan, mixed in with some other things. That may not necessarily be the best thing for you. Each person should, in my opinion, customize their path to suit their specific needs.

I would be hard-pressed to teach you how to meditate over Mormon Truth. Although I might try, I am sure I would not be very successful. The most important part of meditation is diligence, in my opinion. You could have the best instructor in the world, but as long as you lack diligence, you aren't going to move anywhere. I suggest finding books or tapes on meditation and being familiar with them. There are many good books on these practices written specifically for Buddhism, but there are some extremely good ones created by psychiatrists as well.

As for how Siddartha Guatama received his enlightenment? I don't recommend duplicating his experiment, although I would certainly commend you if you did. The Buddha sat underneath a Bodhi tree for a reported 7 weeks (if I remember correctly) without eating. He had vowed to himself that he would not move until he received his enlightenment, which of course, he did. Now, I'm sure that if I were to fast underneath a tree for several weeks, I would experience enlightenment as well, but I don't think that's necessarily the best course of action. :-)

Anyway, that's a very brief, and very incomplete, overview of Buddhism. I know that Buddhism is a path that can help you enlighten yourself, but be aware that it is not an easy path by any means. It requires intense d evotion, concentration, and patience. You'll definitely find benefits in practing Buddhism, but it could be months or years before you start experiencing any sort of enlightenment, just to give you a heads up. If all you're trying to do is find your place in the universe and you don't have any particular need or desire to follow a specific path to accomplish that, I advise you to keep your mind open to other alternatives, which you may find more desirable when properly educated. Let me know if you want to discuss anything further :) Best of luck!

---------

Sam: Don't you just love having such a popular blog? I would start my own, but I would probably be the only person who visited it, heh.

 
At Monday, September 11, 2006 12:37:00 AM, Anonymous 123 said...

McKay: Thank you for your contribution. I enjoyed reading it, and your vision is inspiring. I can't say that I understand why you believe some of the things you do, but I have to admit you make a strong case for your faith. There are some major difficulties though:

1) You still depend on the golden plates as having existed. We already know that other than plagiarizations from other texts or stories being passed around in the Smith family, the Book of Mormon is not based in reality. Mahonri Moriancumr and his family never existed. Lehi and Ishmael and their descendants never existed. The events describe in the Book of Mormon are either plagiarized from other texts or are fabrications. There are mounds of irrefutable evidence to support this belief. On the other hand, there is no credible evidence to oppose it. So, even if the golden plates did exist, you're right to say that none of us would be converted to Mormonism. There are dozens of reasons why not, but the simplest one is that the golden plates, if existent, have absolutely nothing to do with the Book of Mormon, except perhaps to have served as a prop. This is one reason many exMormons say that the most compelling evidence that led them out of the Church was the realization that the Egyptian funerary papyri, while real, had absolutely nothing to do with the Book of Abraham, other than to serve as a prop.

2) I have always held to the belief, and you affirmed it, that the restoration could not possibly be an event, but is indeed a process. However, the alleged global apostasy has never been sustained by careful research, and in order for Smith's claims to be taken at all seriously, that apostasy must have taken place. The Catholics can accurately claim apostolic succession back to Saint Peter. That much is undeniable. The next question that must be asked is whether the apostolic succession is even relevant. Most Protestants have determined that it is not. They are more inclined to belive in the "apostolic tradition." Mormons cannot side with the Protestants, because that throws out their necessity from the outset. And to my knowledge, no Mormon can persuade any credible historian that the Catholics have not maintained the apostolic succession since Peter's days. This leaves the LDS Church with one final claim: the priesthood leaders were at times corrupt and so their priesthood authority was taken off Earth. Now, supposing that all this were the case, and the priesthood were restored to Joseph Smith, there is still not reason for anyone to be converted to Mormonism. Why? Because there have been corrupt leaders in the church. If corruption led to a loss of the priesthood in the ancient church, then it surely must have caused the loss of authority in the restored church. This is one of those points at which an inspiring vision cannot adequately explain the difficulties in Mormonism.

McKay, believe me when I say that I am not ridiculing your beliefs. But I cannot in good conscience agree with them. There is much at fault in the Church, as we all know. I'm not demanding perfection, but I am demanding truth. To be honest, the single greatest reason I cannot believe in the Church is what I describe in point 2: the Church's existence rests on its authority, but it has no authentic claim to the priesthood today, not exclusively, not at all.

If you have a different opinion, I'd love to hear it. I'm a truth seeker just like you, so don't shy away.

Thanks again for your edifying insights!

 
At Monday, September 11, 2006 2:11:00 AM, Blogger mckay said...

OK 123,

obviously you have a rational mind and can discuss issues with some integrety. So I will happily debate with you. Acutally I am tired of debate, debate implies intent to convert to a way of thinking. I just want to discuss things openly. If you want, I will co-host a blog with you as I am working to start my own and am building a website for that purpouse. I would like an environment that is rational and focused on balanced research and study. I do not think I will be here much longer as I do not think hate, blame, accusation, and emotional unrestraint are ways to find truth and share perspectives. I would rather be in an environment that respects beliefs of all religions and would agree there is something to be learned from everyone. I prefer to gravitate to the stregnths of peoples faiths, not weaknesses, and will seek truth wherever I can find it. I would like to share with a Muddhist, Muslim, Catholic, Methodist or anyone in a calm, respectful environment without intent to convert or wrongly discredit.


So now.. You say.

"The events described in the Book of Mormon are either plagiarized from other texts or are fabrications. There are mounds of irrefutable evidence to support this belief."

Give me the sources of fabrications first. I have heard and read of some. But please provide me with them all so I study them for myself and do a personal evaluation.

Thank you for your calming influence and reasoning. I simply cannot debate every accusation toward every member, with such hate and ridcule... and I refuse to do it anymore, its getting exhausting.

But yours are issues we can discuss and review with integrety.

So again, I too believe there is much to be learned from researching the doctrines and history of ANY religion and am totally open to an honest and fair discussion and look into all of them.


Thanks

McKay

 
At Monday, September 11, 2006 2:28:00 AM, Blogger mckay said...

Muddhist? wow, typo of the century... Buddhist of course. Sorry by the way for all my typo's. I am already dedicating more time than I should to this, and am simply not up for editing my posts as that would take... yet more time.

 
At Monday, September 11, 2006 11:46:00 AM, Anonymous ray said...

I hope my last comment was not offensive to anyone! It was certainly not meant to be. 123, I would definitely like you to expound. I have been Christian all my life until about a year ago so I would be very interested to hear why you claim my views on Jesus and his message are "grossly inaccurate." I am coming from the paradigm of believing the LDS version of Jesus to a non-belief in Jesus. No where have I claimed to be an expert in any area; in fact I have said that I don't know much about other religions. I just pointed out my current personal views so that hopefully Cernovog and McKay could understand a little better where myself, Sam, and Lori are coming from, since we all are ex-Mormon and have formed a very similar belief pattern thus far. I sincerely apologize now if anyone was offended.

I believe I have already explained my views on sin. When I say there is no sin, I mean it in terms of saved or damned. If I murder someone, the sin is not the murder, but the fact that I took the life of another living being. Therefore, I believe that when the time comes to pay for that sin, it will be to the individual whom I sinned against, not to god. I am not nearly far enough in my new beliefs to even begin to explain what and how the justice system works in the next life. For now, it is just something that I assume I will find out when I get there. In the meantime, I honestly try to not sin against anyone, and if you saw me in action it would probably look very much like a Christian way. Even though I do not believe in marriage, I still honor my marriage vows because I made a commitment and I intend to honor that until one of us dies or we get officially divorced. So hopefully you can see that just because I have rejected the Jesus idea, it does not mean that I have become a wild child who sleeps around and does anything he wants because it feels good. I can honestly say that I am still almost temple worthy except that I no longer have a testimony of the church, believe in Jesus, sustain the current leaders, pay tithing, or wear garments. Oh, and associate with people or groups who's views are contrary to the church. I have never cheated on my wife. I tasted wine once and didn't even like it. I have no desire whatsoever to smoke or do drugs. So while I believe there is no sin, I have exercised enough self control and common sense to continue living a moral life. Why did I take the time to explain all this again? Because I feel that I could very much be comfortable with Buddhism and its concepts of sin etc. Another thing that attracts me to Buddhism is the fact that it does not require you to abandon or change your beliefs. Anyone can be Buddhist and still have their own personal beliefs.

If you want to email me please direct it to polomolok@yahoo.com. It's not a huge deal to me to continue the discussion. I believe for myself that Christianity is not true, but I do not deny or criticize anyone who does believe it. So, honestly, if you think my views are distorted, that's okay with me. Maybe they are. If they are, I will discover that for myself in due time. But if you wish to send me an email and explain, perhaps something you say will open my eyes and help me see things differently. You mentioned that my views sounded like yours used to, so I figure that it can't hurt to listen to someone who has been where I am now.

 
At Monday, September 11, 2006 3:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not just king, he proclaimed himself King of the World. He set up leadership positions for the world during the Millenium. He would be king and each member of the Quorum would be a prince under King Joseph ruling a designated region.

 
At Monday, September 11, 2006 4:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Precisely. If he was just a "prophet" of Christ, then, um...why would he have proclaimed HIMSELF king, isn't that spot supposed to be held for Christ?

Methinks that the gradiosity of having a huge following waiting with baited breath for every single word that came out of your mouth really blew up his ego to a very dangerous degree.

Lori

 
At Monday, September 11, 2006 6:39:00 PM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

Waitaminute.....

IF the Book of Mormon is a lie, and IF Joseph Smith made it all up for his own purposes....

Then, why would he secretly have himself proclaimed King of the World during the Millenium???

Isn't the Millenium just something he made up?

Does this imply that he himself believed the BoM to be true???

This is weird....

 
At Monday, September 11, 2006 7:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I remember right, the Millenium was a Christian concept that existed long before JS.

IMO, he had to keep the "King" part seperate from the masses just as he did polygamy. I think the first Mormons were gullible, but they weren't stupid. By the time JS declared himself king, many of his followers had left him. They diehards that stayed had lost all their money at the Kirtland banking fraud, all or most of their property either from having to leave it in Kirtland and/or Independence and still believed him to be a prophet, although the more you read the journals, the more you see that even these people had been pushed to their limits and were doubting. However, I think over the pulpit they were still fed mostly soggy milk. Had they been openly taught about polygamy or his wanting to be king or even to overthrow the US govt, I think that for many of them, this would be the last straw.

IMO, further, my hypothesis is that JS, and Sidney Ridgon along with Oliver Cowdrey knew full well that the BofM was a fraud. I think they did it to make money and to control the masses. I futher think that they never imagined that it would meet such scrutiny as it has today, and if it did, they had the die hard "it was translated by the gift and power of god, and who are we to challenge that?". Many people back then were prone to folk lore, the Occult, and magic, so to have someone say they had seen a vision of whatever, wasn't too big of a stretch. I personally don't think JS ever wanted to work an honest days work and as we all know religion is great money.

What exactly is "Reformed Egyptian" anyway?

My 2 cents.

Lori


www.steppinupmusic.com

 
At Monday, September 11, 2006 9:39:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

Back in my TBM days, a definition or example that satisified me about reformed Egyptian was one that is used today. We all know Japanese has it's own writing system. However, a way to make the language easier to learn or read by foreigners is to use roman letters to spell Japanese words. Ex: Konnichi-wa, Ikimasho, Ichi, Ni, San, Shi, etc. This is an example of reformed Japanese. So basically, the Book of Mormon was written in Egyptian using Hebrew characters. This is the explanation that I have heard, and to a TBM, it is buyable.

 
At Monday, September 11, 2006 9:45:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

Another thing that seems odd to me about the Kinderhook plates...

I will briefly relate the story in case any readers might not be familiar with it. After J.S. had published the BoM, some men brought some brass plates to J.S. claiming that they had found them buried in the ground along with human remains. J.S. took an immediate interest in the plates claiming that the markings on them were similar to those on the gold plates from which he had translated the BoM. He immediately went to work translating the plates. He soon produced a story from the plates. It all turned out to be a hoax when the men who had found the plates admitted that they had made the plates themselves and scratched the engravings onto them. They admitted that they had done so in order to test J.S. to see whether or not he could indeed translate ancient documents. Of course, J.S. failed the test by translating bogus plates, proving to the world that he was no more a prophet than anyone else.

Now I have a question about this... Let's put ourselves in J.S. shoes for a moment. Let's imagine that we had produced the BoM and we knew that the gold plates were BS and there was no such thing as an angel "Moroni" or "Nephi" or whoever it was. Knowing this, why would J.S. so easily fall for this gag? Now think about it for a second. If J.S. knew that there were no gold plates, why would he so anxiously jump at this opportunity to prove the BoM true when he knew he had made up the whole "plates" story?

I am not trying to defend J.S. but I am trying to look at this problem objectively. I don't know the answer to this question but it appears to me that J.S. really did believe what he was saying. He honestly and truthfully believed that he had gold plates and was visited by angels. Otherwise, he would have seen through this trap right away. Was he delusional? Was he deceived by dark angels? Whatever it was, it appears obvious to me that he believed it all. Thoughts anyone?

 
At Monday, September 11, 2006 10:38:00 PM, Blogger mckay said...

mckay said...
Lori,

I read the book online Wife No. 19". It's Very interesting, and sad. The concept of Blood atonement and mountain meadows seriously makes me sick to my stomach. I just dont get it, and their is simply no way to reconsiliate this is my head and I will never defend it. Quite frankly, there is no defense for it. Some of what was preached and the way women were treated and people repressed seriously discusts me.

Ray,

Thats one of the most difficult aspect of JS life to explain. It seems all but totally conclusive that at the very least, JS believed everything he was teaching. Was he completely delusional? A liar so brilliant that he convinced himself? or telling the truth? At the very least he never denied it, nor did the 11 witnesses, even after they would have every right and reason to discredit JS.

This has to be disconcerting even to the non believer. No?

From what I have come to know, taking one side or the other involves the dismissing of many fact that are simply hard to dismiss.


Although most of the evidence "for" JS has to do with peoples charicter and human nature. Most of the evidence "against" has to do with the facts surrounding the events. Does this sound reasonable?

 
At Tuesday, September 12, 2006 4:10:00 AM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

Ray,

You mean the BoM was written in Hebrew using Egyptian characters. ;)

Going back to the Japanese analogy, the Japanese stole their alphabet from China. Every couple of years, they'd go raid China and come back with a few extra letters.

Today, there are three alphabets in Japan, and the letters don't all mesh perfectly with the sounds they need to make.

I personally have no problem understanding the concept of reformed Egyptian.

Now, Ray, to answer your question, remember that Joseph Smith may have made up the BoM, but that doesn't mean that golden plates, ancient writing and other such artifacts didn't exist.

When an archaeological find that seems to validate his hoax conveniently appears, he simply took advantage of it, just as he did with the Book of Abraham.

Now, I always wondered why he didn't tell the people of Kirtland "I can't translate these scrolls. Translation is a gift given to me by God only for divine purposes." Instead, he makes up this wild account that later would be easily disputed with the discovery of the Rosetta Stone (discovered in 1799; and ancient Egyptian was translated in 1822).

But, I listened to that podcast you reccomended and they explained it well. At the time, Joseph's leadership was falling apart, people were losing confidence in him over some bad real estate deals and false prophecies.

When the scrolls showed up, a convenient little miracle was exactly what he needed to quell dissent and get people excited about him again.

The scrolls and the excitment over his "power" of translation was fodder for many exciting stories and a good distraction from his failings.

I don't know what was going on at the time of the kinderhook plates, but again, maybe they showed up at a convenient time -- a time when he needed to perform another miracle to cement his position as God's prophet.

Going back to being declared King... what good does it do you to be secretly declared King of a world and time that you personally don't believe in (and if you were wrong and it does exist, you'd know you'd never actually be King)?

Secret polygamy I can understand. The benefit of that is obvious.

But being a secret King? Maybe it just illustrates his tremendous ego.

 
At Tuesday, September 12, 2006 6:02:00 AM, Anonymous ray said...

If my understanding of the Lehi family is correct, they were originally from Egypt and immigrated to Jerusalem. So I would assume they spoke Egyptian in the home. I am pretty sure I meant written in Egyptian with Hebrew characters. However, this is a detail that doesn't really matter. My point, that I think you understood, is that it was written in one language using the writing system of another language. I believe there have been discoveries of this type, where professionals could recognize the characters but could not make heads or tails of what it said. Before I say much more, I need to find more information about it as it could be something that was made up by church defenders. Has anyone ever heard this before?

McKay, as you put it, yes it is disconcerting. There is evidence for both sides. However, they can't both be true. Like you, I am willing to admit it when the evidence points away from my argument. A judge has to look at all the information and evidence presented by both sides and make a decision. Sometimes the judge is wrong in his decision. Innocent men have paid for crimes that they didn't commit. The only way to wade through the evidence and come to a conclusion is by human reasoning, which is not always right.

As most of you know, the Book of Abraham was my testimony breaker. Now, if the church would come out and say something like, "There is proof that the BoA was made up by Joseph Smith. However, he did it to help the members keep their faith in him...." They would have to admit he lied, but at least they would be doing the right thing by being honest about it. If I was still TBM I probably would have bought that story and still been an active member today. Instead they say, "Well, part of the scroll was never found so that must be the part that JS translated." or "There was a deeper hidden message that regular translators couldn't see." or "JS didn't need to have the actual scroll in order to translate it." etc... These are all pathetic and desperate excuses. The more the church lies about this and many things, the more I am turned off by it.

 
At Tuesday, September 12, 2006 1:47:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

This was Lori's comment from yesterday. Sorry Lori that I had to delete your other one and move it down...one of the links that you gave, was too long and made my sidebar(when you have up the post with all the comments) get pushed down to the bottom.

It's all good now. I didn't want to just delete your comment, so I just reposted it here, but with the original time and date of course.

For those that wonder how to make your links live, so that we can just click on them, here is a link to the page that explains it and it's right at the top top(sorry, I couldn't put the link to show it, because it became a link itself):

What to use for links

You can insert it anywhere you want in your paragraph, just blending it in if you want, using a few keywords where it says text . If you have any long links especially, this will work great. Blogger is picky on this crap and if anything goes too far over, it pushes the damn sidebar to the very bottom. I've had plenty of issues over the last year, with my blogs and links, before I understood this.

Thanks everyone, you guys are awesome and your comments are great...LOL!!

Samuel


=================================

Anonymous said...
Ok, about my assertions that JS was a murderer. Below are only part of the links that I have, I'm still looking for the others. Whether or not he literally killed someone himself or ordered it, it means the same to me btw. This is only a partial list.

Several people were either attacked or killed by Mormons during Smith's life time. So the question arises, did these things happen as a direct result of Smith's orders?

Someone tried to assassinate Missouri Gov. Boggs in 1842 --was it Orrin Porter Rockwell, under the direction of Joseph Smith? I think so, but opinions vary.

Answer Bag

Then there was the Mormon attack on the state militia at Crooked River. I think Smith, as the head of the church, must bear the responsibility for this, even if he didn't directly order the man shot. See this link.

Then you have the whole problem of the .Danites

Also, the book "Wife No. 19" is fabulous on this subject as well as life as a polygamous wife of BY. Her book is available to read at polygamyinfo.com/wife19

These sources have been more than enough for me to see more of Smith's character. You also must read of his time in Nauvoo when he proclaimed himself king, organized the Mormon Army, and ordered the pillaging of farms, people and communities of the people that fought against him from Illinois to Missouri.

Have you ever asked yourself why it was that so many people were angry with the Mormons during that time?

Lori

steppin up music


Monday, September 11, 2006 4:36:59 PM

 
At Tuesday, September 12, 2006 4:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's really cool Samuel. Thanks for that.

Btw, any podcasts coming anytime soon? hint...hint...hint...:-)

Lori

 
At Wednesday, September 13, 2006 8:10:00 AM, Anonymous 123 said...

Hey guys, I haven't been around since Sunday because I've been working so hard on this year's election. Last night was the primary and my candidate, who was predicted to carry only 24% of the vote compared to another (terrible) candidate who was supposed to win over 60% of the vote. The only thing the other guy had going for him was sharing the name of a famous politician (now dead) and his appeal to racist voters. Thanks to the massive grassroots efforts of me and dozens of other people, we were able to mobilize tens of thousands of voters and sway them to our side, and won a landslide victory! Now we just have to work on kicking out the incumbent, but that'll be the easier part :) I was shaking with excitement last night, so I just had to share.

--------

McKay: Yeah, sure. I have no problem co-hosting a blog with you. That should be fun. We can talk about some of the inspirations for the Book of Mormon once that gets set up.

--------

Ray: You haven't offended me, don't worry about it. It's not very often that I get offended. Neither you nor anyone else has the power to force me to feel a certain way, and I'm certainly not going to bother making myself feel bad. I think everyone else should be aware of that part of me, since I treat people the same way. I don't hold back my comments or opinions for fear that someone might be offended because I recognize the fact that we choose to interpret and feel things in whichever way we choose. I assume that since we're all capable of adult emotional maturity, we should all take responsibilities for our thoughts and feelings and recognize the fact that most people in life are going to disagree with their opinions and leave things at that.

I'll send you an email and we can discuss some of those other things in more depth if you like.

 
At Wednesday, September 13, 2006 10:41:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

123,

Hey that's great about your election! Congratulations!

And I totally respect and agree with you on choosing whether or not to be offended. If you say something and I am offended and angered by it, then have I not given control of myself over to you?

I am curious as to your background, religious/spiritual beliefs, etc. You haven't really told us much about yourself.

I'll be watching for your email. I probably won't be around for a few days as I have several exams coming up soon.

This blog has surely attracted some very intelligent people. All of you are much better writers and better at explaining yourselves than I am. Thus far, it has been a true pleasure to interact and share ideas will ALL of you! I admire your respect, honesty, & integrity. I admire all of you! And I really mean that.

 
At Wednesday, September 13, 2006 11:05:00 PM, Anonymous 123 said...

Ray: Thanks for the compliments, encouragement, and so forth. We're lucky to have you as well.

I know this may seem petty, but I've always resented the belief that if something I've said offends someone and they become upset over it, that I'm controlling them. That's absolutely untrue. We're still in control of ourselves, even when we aren't functioning as the most rational person in the world. That person is still choosing to be upset. And they definitely aren't under my control, because if they were, I sure wouldn't go through the bothersome task of having them be angry with me, requiring me to invest even more of my energy to overcoming the poor communication and hurt feelings, etc.

It seems like everyday I hear someone say that and it's a bold lie. Most people won't listen to my explanation in person, though. They're too busy resenting the fact that "I" am controlling them, which leads them to resent me further, and on and on.

This is obviously one of my pet peeves. Heh, anyway, I wish you the best of luck on your exams.

 
At Friday, September 15, 2006 8:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ray, why don't you believe in marriage? I don't either and wanted to know your take on it.

Thanks,

Lori

 
At Sunday, September 17, 2006 4:11:00 AM, Blogger Sterling Knight said...

Just wanted everyone to know that I get here whenever I can, and I'm glad we can leave comments now.
Perhaps I'll leave some deeper stuff later.
Thanks.

 
At Monday, September 18, 2006 12:39:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

Sorry everyone. I've been busy with school plus went on a much needed vacation over the weekend.

123,
After giving your last comment some thought, I realize that you are absolutely correct. We are all in control of ourselves and we each choose how we will react to another person or circumstance. I wouldn't classify it as a lie, however. What I said was incorrect but it was said out of ignorace, not with the intent to deceive.

I did very well on one exam and not so well on the other!

Lori,

I gave some of my thoughts about it already, including the necessity for genetic variation, etc. Also, I have noticed that when people get married they are in the "twiterpated" or "fairytale" stage. They both do and say the perfect things to each other. When they get married, they think the other is perfect. When this relationship starts out with such high expectations, disaster is going to come when they start seeing the flaws in each other. How many married people do you know who are actually and truly happy? In my experience, which could be inaccurate, there are very few. I think marriage is a major cause of depression and stress.

When two people start seeing the flaws in each other, they immediately begin to judge and accuse the other person of being "fake" and "insincere" when they were dating. They become depressed when their spouse won't act a certain way. This adds to the stress and a huge snowball effect occurs.

I think this is especially true of Mormon marriages since so much emphasis is put on being perfect and worthy. When the priesthood holder slips a cuss word, he is immediately unworthy of his priesthood. When they begin to see each other flaws, the twiterpated stage fades and real life with the person begins.

Then they become so familiar with each other that all the excitement is gone. When you touch, it is no longer exciting like it used to be. You know what your spouse is going to say. With this familiarity comes the desire for that excitement they once had. I'll speak for men because I am a man. Men naturally want variety (is this a wicked thing or could it be the natural instinct to mix genetics?). All married men I have ever known will check out a hot girl walking by; this is mans desire or instinct. It is normal and does not mean the man is a pervert. In any marriage, when a man begins to express his desire for variety, he is immediately labeled as untrue and unfaithful. This is a great source of stress and depression in the marriage. The sex life is gone and man begins to look elsewhere for love and acceptance (back to the twiterpated stage when your girl thinks you're perfect). This is where porn and affairs enter the equasion.

I don't know if other men see it this way, but I certainly do. Lori, I would love to hear your thoughts, from a woman's perspective.

 
At Monday, September 18, 2006 12:57:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

Religion teaches that men are wicked and unworthy for having this natural desire. Why would god make my body, give it this desire, and then damn me to hell for it? This is another reason I can no longer believe in religion; it supresses man's basic instincts and makes him feel worthless and awful for just being what he is.

How about those ads for LDS Family Services? They totally pressure unwed mothers to give away their baby. Their theme is "I didn't give her up. I gave her more." I feel sorry for these poor brainwashed girls. What the church is really telling them is that because they are unwed, they are unworthy to be a mother. This is a lie! I think most women have that natural desire and instinct to care for and nurture a child. This doesn't come only with marriage! The church just wants these children to end up in a "good" Mormon home. If an unwed mother keeps her baby, that baby has a lower chance of being raised good and faithful to Mormonism. After all, the mother is slightly less wicked than a murderer and the church just won't allow that if they can help it.

I have said this many times. I look to nature for my answers and I do not see animals getting married and divorced. I do not see animals getting baptized and paying tithing. What I DO see is animals being what they are, reproducing, and not worrying about being saved or damned. They just live their lives and do what they do. Nature created me and "In Nature I Trust".

 
At Monday, September 18, 2006 8:02:00 PM, Anonymous Cernovog said...

"They that deny God destroy man's nobility: For certainly man is of kin to the beasts by this body; and if he is not kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature."
-- Sir Francis Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon says it more harshly, certainly, than I would have in my own words. Although this is a matter of faith and personal belief, I tend to subscribe to this philosophy.

Denying carnality is not some sadistic punishment God inflicts on us as a cruel joke. Rather, it is a means to seperate our spirit from our body.

Our bodies will decay and die, but our spirit will live on.

Supressing the desires of our bodies gives the spirit power over the body. This is not an exclusively Christian practice. Many belief systems incorporate fasting and meditation into their regimen as a means of empowering the spirit.

Although I don't believe in it, I like the Mormon imagery of a pre-existence and I think Mormons (and perhaps ex-Mormons too) have an easier time understanding this concept using this metaphor.

When we exert dominance over our bodies, by fasting or abstaining from sex, it is like we are lifting the veil that was placed over us and getting a glimpse of our spiritual selves.

Again, I don't believe in a pre-existence, but I like the metaphor.

It seems just silly to allow our bodies to rule us, to tell us when to eat, when to go to the bathroom, when to have sex. We, as human beings, should exert our will over our bodies. *I* decide when its time to eat. *I* decide when it's appropriate to have sex.

Ray, when you look at animals for your guidance, you are setting an unacceptably low standard for yourself and for mankind.

You don't see animals farming, vaccinating themselves, or creating art, music or literature either. A man is more than the sum of his parts. You are more than a mere biological machine, certainly.

Animals merely exist. Men live.

 
At Tuesday, September 19, 2006 12:28:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Ray, you stated:

Now I have a question about this... Let's put ourselves in J.S. shoes for a moment. Let's imagine that we had produced the BOM and we knew that the gold plates were BS and there was no such thing as an angel "Moroni" or "Nephi" or whoever it was. Knowing this, why would J.S. so easily fall for this gag? Now think about it for a second. If J.S. knew that there were no gold plates, why would he so anxiously jump at this opportunity to prove the BOM true when he knew he had made up the whole "plates" story?

I am not trying to defend J.S. but I am trying to look at this problem objectively. I don't know the answer to this question but it appears to me that J.S. really did believe what he was saying. He honestly and truthfully believed that he had gold plates and was visited by angels. Otherwise, he would have seen through this trap right away. Was he delusional? Was he deceived by dark angels? Whatever it was, it appears obvious to me that he believed it all. Thoughts anyone?


Ray, I'm so glad you asked and I apologize for taking so long to respond, as I've been on run, leaving town in the middle of the night(after defrauding pretty much the whole town where I live, in my massive bank failure/fraud/scam) to avoid mob violence. Sound familiar?!!

But Ray, I think sometimes the answers are so obvious, that we can't see them, because we are looking too deeply for them. In reality, I don't think on this one we have to look past the surface.

It is my opinion, that he knew everything was a scam, was not delusional in the sense that he actually believed that the things he was fabricating actually happened.(plates, angels, first vision, etc) I think as time went on, maybe he felt justified in what he had done and his fraud, because it was for the “greater good”(mostly for his greater good) and he may have even felt that he was called of God, to lie and fabricate, if that was what it took to bring people to his God. It was the beginning of "lying for the Lord", which the GAs today are so good at today, especially Gordon B Hinckley.

I believe, just like Joseph Smith, that the big 15 and most of the Seventies today, know, without a doubt, that the Mormon Church is lying and a fraud. Their silence is basically bought, through their so called "living allowance" and expense account. I think that going into these positions, initially, when they are first called, they probably still believe the church is true, but then put it all together once they are on the inside and just decide to remain quiet.

Maybe one day, we'll get lucky and one of them will break ranks and spill the beans. I met several Seventies while on my mission and trust me, these men know that they aren't working for God, rather a corporation.

However, with Joseph Smith, I believe it was the more simple answer of money, power, greed and sex, of which he received a ton of all 4. Now, think about it for a second; he knew the Book of Mormon was BS, even tried to sell the copyright right off the bat after it was done, because he wanted the filthy lucre. When that didn't happen, because he supposedly had a vision of some dude in Canada....he decided to start a church, which was plan B. Everyone either doesn't know this or seems to forget that his first and foremost desire, was to sell and unload the BOM ASAP.

Does that sound like someone who planned on starting a church, using the BOM as the "cornerstone" and "most correct book on earth?" So, what would he have done if they had found some idiot in Canada to actually buy the plagiarized, bogus BOM copyright? I guess all we can do is speculate on that one, but I'm sure he would have just taken all the money and lived it up until his next scam, or just gone back to his bogus treasure hunting, of which he had already been convicted of more than once.

I'm sure that Joseph Smith, along with Porter Rockwell(his bartender and much needed bodyguard), and many others, had many good laughs, as they were kicking it and laying down the booze, in the bar located right in the living room of Joe's house, which he built with the members money of course. Gee, kind of sounds like the GAs of today, buying and renovating malls for 1.5 billion dollars and then selling the land in the malls to individual restaurants, so that they can sell booze. It may be 170+ years later, but nothing has changed.

Now, back to selling the copyright of the BOM; he had been specifically warned not to do this(trying to gain financially from the plates), but then did it anyway? Would he directly disobey Jesus Christ? You would also think after Martin Harris'(dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb dumb-Lucy Harris, smart, smart, smart, smart, smart!!)"losing the 116 pages", Joseph Smith might have learned something, right?

Apparently, the man may have been smart in some ways, but very stupid in the common sense arena. He also had no vision of what he was saying or doing and what repercussions it would have in the immediate or distant future, as he lived for the moment. Then again, maybe he just didn't give a rip!! I think he told and fabricated so many things, told so many lies, told one group one thing and then the next group another thing....that he just couldn't keep it all straight.

I mean after all, after the Martin Harris fiasco, God did supposedly "strip him" of his miraculous translating power, to look into a hat with a stone in it(which he found in some ladies well) and then translate out of thin air, the history of ancient America. In reality, he was trying to figure out what the hell to do, because that was a lot of work that just went right down the toilet and he knew that he couldn't repeat it all word for word, because it was bogus anyway and just made up as he went along, using a little of this, and a little of that. The Mormon South Park episode portrays this perfectly by the way. Joseph Smith needed that time to put together a new story and was basically writing his new manuscript and explanation of why he couldn't re-translate those 116 pages.

So, Plan A was to just make a shit-load of money and get out. I don’t believe that it ever, in the beginning, had anything to do with any God at all, or that he even believed in God or some calling of God. I think he believed in himself and wanted to make a ton of money and then hey, why not, have people fear him and worship him, as if he was a God, by claiming that he talked to God face to face, all the time and got revelations directly from God, etc. That was what people wanted to hear and what worked, so he did it.

That would also explain, very clearly, why none of the accounts of the first vision, or the supposed visions of John the Baptist or Peter, James and John(who is still roaming the earth, doing good deeds along with the 3 Nephites, according to Mormon doctrine, but still descended from heaven), were known by anybody at the time the church was organized on April 6, 1830.

You would think(and call me crazy), that if you were going to organize the “one and only true and living church of Jesus Christ on the earth”, that you just might want to share the most important, critical visions that had given you the authority to do so, such as meeting God and Jesus face to face, right?

I mean to leave Jesus Christ, God the Father, Peter, James, John and John the Baptist out of the equation and to basically keep it a secret, is one of the biggest red herrings there is, in proving that Mormonism was a fraud from its very beginnings and based on nothing but lies. The information about these supposed visions didn’t leak out until many years later, until the whole church was about to collapse.(Grant Palmer covers this wonderfully!!)

Now, the Mormon Hierarchy tell the whole story in a much different order from how it really happened, to make everything fall into place and it's all BS and a complete lie. If they told the truth and the correct order of events, most everyone would figure it out and that it was all fabricated. I was shocked to find out what I had been taught my whole life, about the order of things, in that neat little story they've created, or discussion 1 for missionaries and investigators.....wasn't even close to reality.

So, as time went on and he found that sucker born every minute to add to his collection of suckers and business partners, his power and arrogance just kept growing and growing, but so also did his need to continue to prophesy and receive revelations, in order to keep convincing everyone that he was the "real deal" and a "real Prophet of God." He knew that people feared God and so he played that emotion and that fear, to be able to control people in every way that I mentioned above.

So, like I just mentioned, when the church was about to collapse around him in about 1837; that was when he whipped all of these miraculous visions out of his ass and anything that had already been said or taught, was greatly enhanced, because people loved that magical, mystical shit and still do. I know I did, when I was a Mormon cult member.

I mean, how cool, that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ face to face, and they talked to him, right? How awesome that Book of Mormon characters like Moroni, Nephi and others, along with the old and new testament Prophets and Apostles, came to life and visited him as angels...wow!! How awesome was it that he was actually tutored and taught directly by angels of God, right? WOW!!

As Lori has mentioned, back then, they were all into the mystical, magical BS and he used that greatly to his advantage to manipulate and control them. It was one thing for people to question him, but to then have to question Jesus Christ himself, who chose Joseph Smith to be the Prophet(according to Joseph Smith)....well, people didn’t want to question Jesus or God and didn’t want to question divine visitations, for fear of going against God and then being punished accordingly.

So, when presented with the Kinderhook plates(he was already very arrogant at this point), he still felt the need to prove to everyone that he was indeed a Prophet, so he began to translate them. I believe that he thought that someone had actually found some "real plates" and never for a second thought that they were fake. Just because there were no BOM plates, didn't mean that there weren't other plates out there, hidden, that could be discovered.

He probably even thought the discovery of actual plates was ironic, but also very convenient to help support his bogus account of the Book of Mormon translation and plates and that it would help corroborate his story and convert people even more deeply.

Since no one else had his so called "gift" or "the power of God", he figured that no one would have a clue about the translation anyway or be able to tell if what he wrote was real or not.(he did the same damn thing with the Book of Abraham) He knew the whole time, both with the book of Abraham and the Kinderhook plates, that he was just making shit up.

He also figured if he pulled off the book of Mormon with no plates, then he could pull this off even better, with the physical plates. Again, we have to remember, he was a very power hungry and arrogant man, talked down to everyone, thought everyone else was an idiot, stupid and far below him and therefore he couldn't even imagine that someone would come up with some fake plates. I mean this man had himself crowned King of the world and claimed he was greater than and had done more than Jesus Christ himself....so who was gonna question him or better yet, who would dare?

Let's also keep in mind that Joseph Smith was never planning for the future, rather living for the day and getting rich and powerful and having lots and lots of sex with little girls and married women. He was just caught up in what he had made himself into and the fantasy world that he had created.....this great man that could do no wrong and would always come out on top. Using a quote from something I'm going to post on my blog tonight; he "hypnotized himself as well as others."

So, maybe in that sense, he was indeed delusional, but not in the sense that he actually believed there were BOM plates, angels floating around him all the time, etc. Then again, maybe he was just a drunk, as I've read accounts about how they would break a 3 day fast in the temple with wine and then have great and miraculous visions of angels flying all over the place, in and out of the windows and that would explain a lot, wouldn't it?

I believe that he was a very arrogant, condescending man, much like the General Authorities today, in that they feel everyone else is stupid, dumb as a box of rocks, way below them and that the members will just bow their heads and say yes. Sadly many do, and I used to be a part of that group. Thankfully, I no longer bow my head in disgrace, under their control and fear mongering, as I used to, even agreeing to slice myself open in 3 places and dying before giving up the secrets of Joe's house of horrors.

Joseph Smith was a very typical cult leader, in the sense that he controlled everyone, offered the "only truth", sought power, money and sex from his members. He even predicted the end of the world and the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, as most cult leaders do. He also advocated the death of any member that would leave his cult or stopped believing in him, through the blood atonement, which Brigham Young gladly carried on.

Let's see, David Koresh, Jim Jones, Heaven's Gate....Joe's Mormons....other than the year and the name, there isn't much difference, is there? How many Mormons died in the name of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, due to persecution that resulted from the teachings of said leaders or by following their orders, which were supposedly received by direct, divine inspiration from God?

So, the bottom line Ray, is that he thought translating actual plates, that had actually been discovered, would amaze and wow everyone and convince them even more, that he was an actual Prophet of God. I mean this is the same man that would look at a skeleton on the ground and have an instantaneous vision that the bones were the remains of "Zelph, the great, white Lamanite warrior."

Joe had a great imagination, I'll give him that, but I think he thoroughly enjoyed playing everyone for a complete fool and probably went home and laughed his drunk ass off. There is a distinct pattern of Joe just making things up, as I've covered pretty well here. From Zelph, to the BOM, to the book of Abraham, to the Doctrine and covenants, to his visions and beyond, he was always lying and making up things as he went along, as needed.

He also never thought we'd be discussing "the Kinderhook Plates" and his fraud, in the year 2006, on the internet....LOL!! Of course, if he been a real visionary or Prophet, he would have known this, right? Joseph Smith lived for the moment and didn't give a damn what happened to the church after he died, because he knew it was all a big pile of lies and deceit anyway.

Everything he did and said, was designed specifically to benefit him and no one else.....but then with the whole polygamy thing, stealing ceremonies from the Masons and the bank failure, things got out of control and they tracked his ass down and killed him. That, he hadn't planned on, since he was "greater than Jesus and King of the world"...oops!! Like he ironically said, basically comparing himself to Satan, "When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go."

I'm sure for the many people, specifically women, that he had repeatedly victimized, it was indeed as if the Devil was finally gone and they were now free to live their lives, and to try to pick up the pieces of what Joe had destroyed, in the name of God of course.

Thanks Ray and everyone for your great comments and I still have many of you to respond to. My next comment will be for you Cernovog, as I owe you one.

Take care everyone,

Samuel

 
At Tuesday, September 19, 2006 6:14:00 PM, Anonymous ray said...

Cernovog,

I know my views that I have shared here are not the norm and I don't expect anyone to agree with me. Thanks for your comment.

I certainly agree with you that mankind is more advanced. We don't see animals farming, vaccinating, etc. However, I must clarify that I did not say I look only to animals; I look to nature. This includes many aspects.

There is a fine line that is difficult to see when talking about these things. Most of the time I don't even know where it is. When I say I look to nature, I don't mean that I go around acting like an animal. I am a human and have been given the higher intellect that we all have... the ability to ask "why?"; the ability to think and reason. In many ways this is an advantage in the ways you mentioned; in some ways it is a disadvantage.

I say disadvantage because we use it to complicate our lives with unnecessary things, religion being one of the bigger ones. Here we all are, right now, having a long discussion on our various ideas about religion and god, etc. The religions we create suppress our natural instincts. Our society suppresses mans natural instinct to fight and kill. Not only religion, but the very society in which we live is designed to put us under control and tell us what we can and cannot do. Complete and total anarchy exists everywhere in nature, except the kingdom of man, and yet it somehow maintains that perfect balance. In fact, it is mankind and his superior mind which destroys that balance.

Yes, if man went back to anarchy, there would be chaos. The strong would survive and the weak would die. It would be very hard. But that is how life is supposed to be. We humans are breeding ourselves to be weaker and weaker. If an animal is born with blurry vision, he will die very quickly. Humans correct that problem with glasses or surgery, and this allows that genetic weakness of poor eyesight to be passed on to the next generation. We all live in comfortable, warm houses that have heat in the winter and cool in the summer. Man is no longer prepared to survive in the elements. The time will come when our heaters will no longer work because of no fuel or no power to run them. Man is making himself weaker and weaker with each generation. My point is that our technology and quick fixes are going to be the downfall of the human species. In another million years, man will not be the dominant species, if man even exists at all. Weapons of mass destruction are built for only one purpose: mass destruction. There are enough nuclear bombs right now to kill every living person on the planet! There will come a time when our technology will be our undoing.

So this is what I mean why I say that our intellect is a disadvantage. When man is long gone, life on earth will continue to thrive without technology.

You believe that god created man. You also believe that god created the animals. The Bible says that god notices when a single sparrow is hungry or dies or something like that. This shows that man is not superior to animals in gods eyes. If god loves all creations the same, why does only one species need to be baptized and saved? They don't. Only man's invented religion and gods teach this.

Like I said, I don't expect most people will agree with me. I appreciate your comments and if I have missed something please point it out to me. Mankind was not meant to know all the answers and yet he was given the ability to ask and think. Seems like someone played a pretty good joke on us!

I am not a human having a spiritual experience; I am a spirit having a human experience.

I'm pretty sure that most of you are shaking your heads at me and just thinking how crazy I am. Most people do not understand me and the way I think. I've even been laughed at for sharing these ideas. It doesn't matter to me. I could by WAY wrong! But since I didn't come with an instruction manual, I don't think god (whatever god is) will be too harsh on me! It will take some very good arguments and strong evidence to convince me that god actually gives a damn if I am baptized or not. It is a man-made superstition and has nothing to do with my salvation or eternal progression whatsoever.

I guess it is the Mormon background in me that continues to believe in a pre-existance. If I live forever, that must include a pre-existance since forever can't be forever unless it is in both directions.

Thanks for your comment, Samuel. That was exactly why I asked the question and you answered it very nicely. I guess it never occured to him that someone would test him and see what he would do. He just figured that so many people believed him that they would continue to believe him. Truly, what an imagination!

 
At Wednesday, September 20, 2006 12:23:00 AM, Anonymous 123 said...

Ray:

Some religions teach that men because of their natural desires, but not all. I'm going to assume that you're referring to Christianity (since you've already told us that you're "over" it) and tell you that that construction is not consistent with Jesus' teachings. Jesus himself was human and susceptible to the same temptations and desires as every other human, and yet he did not fall from grace. That says that Christianity believes that it is behavior that is sinful, not the soul. If you read Paul's letters, you find very strong language that describes "the flesh" or "natural desires" as death and "the spirit" or "spiritual desires" as life. It's true that Jesus taught that life is not about our physical plane of existence; he taught that we are of a divine nature and that it is that spiritual component of man that is important. Taking Paul and Jesus' teachings together, you will see that in Christianity, bringing natural desires under your control cannot possibly make you feel "worthless and awful." If one does feel that way , I can only assume that he has misconstrued Christ's teachings, which are designed to edify the follower and encompass him in a spirit of love.
**You've expressed an interest in Buddhism, so in the interest of saving you time, you should either come to a new understanding about man's falliblility or find a different spiritual path to follow, because the Buddha's understanding of human corruption and suppression of natural instincts, etc., is very similar to Jesus'.**

I went to LDS Family Services years ago. At the time I was 15 and the psychologist asked me about where I wanted to go on a mission. [Nowhere.] Then, like a complete religious fanatic he became aggressive about me being an "anti-Mormon", even thought all I had said was that I didn't want to go on a mission because I didn't believe the church's claims. Absolutely arrogant and self-righteous toward me after that, he would make references to my alleged atheism and soullessness and I stopped going back shortly after... I always thought the ads were not in good taste. I'm glad someone agrees with me (I'm not crazy!!) They had them in the seminary buildings too, for some reason. :-/

Looking to animals as your moral authority is absolutely absurd. I don't feel the need to go into excruciating detail as to why because Cernovog did a pretty good job at that. (By the way, Cernovog, did you deliberately choose a controversial quote from a Rennaissance-era statesmen because of the little mess your pope is in right now with the Islamic right? Whether intentional or coincidental, it gave me a good laugh) But I would like to add that the "nature created me, so in 'nature I trust'" doctrine is problematic for a few reasons. First, nature doesn't create. If it did, it would cease to be natural--nature being governed by predetermined laws without provisions for obedience or rebellion, and creation requiring an intelligence to carry it out. Second, because there was a creation, there must have been a creator (for simplicity's sake: God) who defined those natural laws. Because of the unique nature of man, it stands to follow that it is to Him whom we must look to be the guiding force behind our moral laws as well.

>>If you have a different opinion, I'd love to hear from you. I'll get back to answering some of the other comments later, but I'm pressed for time at the moment.

 
At Wednesday, September 20, 2006 6:14:00 AM, Anonymous ray said...

I think most of you have misunderstood what I am trying to say. I believe that nature is god. In my last comment I said that I look to nature, not just to animals. I also said it has many aspects.

One aspect is definitely the animal kingdom. Another is the fundamental laws you mentioned. Another is our study and understanding of nature via biology, chemistry, archeology, etc. All of these (and probably others) compose what I would call nature.

I have to respectfully disagree with you. Nature does indeed create. Remember that, IMO, nature is not only the physical world, but also the force that governs the laws and gives life. Nature is very much intelligent. When I was conceived, nature did it's little miracle and I am the product. Nature designed my body and gave me life, and that is why I believe that nature is god. My concept of god is really not that much different than yours, other than the name. I believe nature created me and gave me life. You believe god created you and gave you life. Really, the only difference is the name.

It's not like I left Christianity and resorted to a "Lord of the Flies" type of situation. :) Maybe we had better change the subject. The only reason I said all this was because Lori asked me about my views on marriage.

 
At Wednesday, September 20, 2006 5:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ray,

I get what you are saying. No worries from this island at the bottom of the world.

I have my misgivings about marriage too. Certainly the marriage of most women before the year 2000 or so where women were owned, broodmares, helpmeets, slaves, and had to literally relinquish her identity at the alter and take on someone else's name. How cruel is that?

Thanks,

Lori


www.steppinupmusic.com

 
At Wednesday, September 20, 2006 7:06:00 PM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Ray,

Thanks again for your great comments. I was writing a response to your comments about God and it turned into a post, so I'm just gonna post it on my blog tonight and then we can all go at it with all of the Christians and God lovers out there, that fail to use any logic in what they believe.

There are just too many unanswered questions for anyone to think that they have God all figured out and then have the power and authority to dictate to the world, how it is or we go to hell. So, we may not have the answers, but we can ask the questions, no matter how offensive they may be, right?

If these people out there(that are so damn educated and know so much more than we could ever hope to about God), are so intelligent in all things God, then they should be able to answer every single question, right? I mean if they know enough to have the authority to condemn our souls to burn in hell forever, then answering our questions should be a breeze.

I agree with you Ray, that this God that everyone praises and loves so much, the God that makes only good things happen, sure didn't give us much to go on, but mass confusion. Anyone that relies on the Bible as the ultimate authority of God, has their head so far buried in the sand, that they don't know which way is up.

I think the Lord of the Rings books or anything from Shakespeare are more amazing and much better written , than the Bible, which is just plentiful with errors, mistakes and contradictions. Yet that is our supposed life guide? Give me a break people and start using some basic logic to break this down.

I'm beginning to think that all religions, not just Mormonism, are only about burning bosoms that reject any reasoning, facts or evidence that prove them wrong. I also think that most anyone that becomes born again, becomes a complete fanatic, far worse than the average Mormons I've known or anyone from any other religion for that matter.

Once converted, they feel as if now, it is their duty and calling from God, to convert the whole damn planet to their brand new belief system and if they don't...well everyone's going to burn in hell for eternity.

I watched a piece on Stephen Baldwin last night(you know guys, one of the Baldwin brothers, actor-done mostly skin flicks/b rated movies) and he is now a born again Christian and is starting up his ministry next year. The funny thing is that he is going to create an "extreme sport ministry" and put on extreme sport shows, invite everyone out to them and then try to convert everyone. WTF?

I mean he is die-hard now and is afraid that everyone is going to hell if they don't become "born again." It's just complete and total lunacy!! I think he's going to do this full time now and nothing else, because "Jesus" called him to do it. The truth is, he met a die-hard fanatical Christian woman, who convinced him to come to Jesus and that some guy told her that she'd meet this man that would have his own ministry....BINGO, I guess he fulfilled the prophecy, didn't he? Wow, that man must have been inspired!!

I mean is it just me, or are too many people hearing voices in their heads these days? Maybe some good meds can help solve these folks problems and help them go back to living a normal life again, in the "real world."

I think religions really create, encourage and promote schizophrenia, don't you? I mean is it healthy to hear voices in our head saying, "do this", "don't do that" and think that it's some invisible God or even better Satan, telling us what to do?

I'm just glad that I saw the light of the Mormon fraud and took back my life, my emotions, my right to think and believe what I want and to live my life how I see fit, not in fear of some blood thirsty, damning invisible creature that appears to do nothing for anyone, but yet loves us all so much.

Oh yeah and being able to pick out what underwear I want to wear, without fear of it not being holy enough, was nice too. I hate to say it folks, but I was the Mormon Hierarchy's bitch for 30+ years and I even wore their underwear that they commanded I wear, to be worthy to enter the Lord's house.

How pathetic is that?!! I know many of you out there understand exactly what I'm saying and have done the same thing. Just what the holy hell was I thinking...SHIT!! I guess that's what being in a cult is all about. I'm just curious guys, are there any other religions out there that actually control what underwear you are allowed to use? And, can you only buy it from them, because it's holy and blessed in some special ways? I don't know of any offhand, except the damn Mormon cult!!

Take care everyone and I'm gonna get back on schedule now, as my life seems to be going back to normal, for real this time. I appreciate everyone's patience, as my actual personal life, will always take precedence over what I'm doing here and I know that upsets some of you, but you'll get over it someday, I hope.

Samuel

 
At Wednesday, September 20, 2006 10:21:00 PM, Blogger Bishop Rick said...

All I can say is WOW. I like the site and the topics, but the posts are so long, especially when there are 120 to read thru to get caught up. Good grief.

Anyway, interesting commentary, and that's coming from an active mormon.

 
At Thursday, September 21, 2006 1:17:00 AM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Well, hey everyone, having been so busy the past few weeks, I realized that I never responded to Adrienne, who felt the need to call me a DICK and ASSHOLE. Man, those were fun times, weren’t they, as the comments went crazy? Let’s see if we can fire things up again with this response. Maybe we’ll even get some more TBM lurkers to climb out of their holes and actually comment, instead of hiding in the shadows like they normally do.

So, I thought that I'd better take a few minutes, as promised, which is all she's worth, and respond.

As a reminder, for those that don't want to search through 120 comments to find it, this is what he/she said:

Adrienne said... I was searching around for some good info on the LDS church, and unhappily stumbled onto your ridiculous little website. I, myself, am struggling with my own Mormon beliefs, but I have never been so insulted than by the outrageous things you claim in your blog. How can someone waste his life devoting precious time to spreading this garbage? (And by garbage, I mean your twisted opinions, not the beliefs of this church - don't try to twist my words around, buddy). I am very offended by the things you say about the leaders of this church, and the way you mercilessly deface their pictures. I can't keep you from expressing your opinion, but I think you should know you're an asshole. Yes, that's not really up to the high Mormon standards, now, is it? But I can't understand how someone can be so hard-hearted and bitter towards something you once held dear. Shame on you for creating this trashy blog, and for spreading your disgusting and disturbing opinions and false "facts" to the public. Reading just a few passages from select posts of your's sickens me. I know you don't care about anything I've just said, but I feel someone needs to say it, probably not for the first time. That's fine if you don't agree with LDS beliefs, but how dare you devote your precious time trying to convince everyone that this church is evil and wrong? But this is coming from a 22-year-old girl, and you are much older and "wiser" than me, right? Oh, plus you're a male, so that means I'm oppressed and unhappy, right, because I'm a female LDS member? You put the "dick" in ridiculous. I feel sorry for you, and anyone else who stumbles onto this website.

Sunday, September 03, 2006 12:39:29 AM


==============================================
I was searching around for some good info on the LDS church, and unhappily stumbled onto your ridiculous little website.

Okay, that's fine, you are looking for some "good info" on the LDS Church, are unhappy that you stumbled onto my site and you think it's ridiculous. That's fine, it's your opinion and your entitled to it and nobody is forcing you to read my ridiculous site that makes you so unhappy.(see the X in the upper right hand corner...use it!!) Also, it’s not so little anymore, as I have about 165 posts and hundreds of comments, so get your facts straight!!;)

I, myself, am struggling with my own Mormon beliefs, but I have never been so insulted than by the outrageous things you claim in your blog.

Okay, here we go, an accusation that I'm deeply insulting you by claiming OUTRAGEOUS things in my blog. Can you give me one example, or should the accusation you just made be enough for all of us?

Should we just trust that your right and my thousands of hours of research, don't stand up to whatever you think you know about Mormonism? Wasn't it you that was searching for "good info" about Mormonism, maybe somewhat admitting that you don't know much to begin with?

So, you are "struggling" with your own beliefs, but aren't even sure what you believe in the first place? I'm just asking. I was there once too, as were many of us and so maybe you can be a little clearer on what exactly you were trying to find on these LDS sites you were looking on for "good info.”

How can someone waste his life devoting precious time to spreading this garbage? (And by garbage, I mean your twisted opinions, not the beliefs of this church - don't try to twist my words around, buddy).

This is where the whole comment starts to sound contrived, bogus and just created by some TBM lurker, who is a complete coward and doesn't want to debate the issues, just attack, cut and run. I mean, if you are doing research on Mormonism, you wouldn't even know what was and wasn't garbage, because apparently you don't even know what the hell you believe in the first place.

I just find it laughable that you think my opinions are "twisted" and not the beliefs of the LDS Church. I love the "don't try to twist my words around, buddy." Yeah, okay, I'll try not to, BUDDY!!

Again, tell me which words of mine and opinions are so twisted and out in left field. Again, you accuse, and feel so strongly about it, but give me nothing at all to go on, to even know what the hell you are talking about or referring to.

So, you haven't found polygamy, polyandry, pedophilia, child rape,(all practiced in the name and commanded by God), homicidal angels with flaming swords, Adam is God, blood atonement, pantomiming slitting your neck, chest and stomach(before revealing the temple SECRETS), along with naked touching in the temple, to be TWISTED?

I could go on all night long with that list, but I'm not gonna wast my time on someone that thinks my opinions are twisted, while that stuff I just mentioned(if you even knew anything about it), is perfectly normal and fine. If you do indeed think that stuff is great and okay, then you are the twisted one Adrienne, not me or my opinions, let’s get that straight!!

I am very offended by the things you say about the leaders of this church, and the way you mercilessly deface their pictures.

Wow, okay, sorry that I say the TRUTH about your precious cult leaders and that you can’t handle it.(Remind anyone of a movie..LOL) I have no respect for lying, corrupt scum and that is what they are.

They absolutely prey on the poor and rob them of their money and food, while threatening them with losing their eternal life if they don't comply. They tell the poor that if they have to choose between paying their tithing or feeding their family, they should always pay their tithing. WTHF? These men are beyond despicable.

This type of stealing from the poor, in the name of the Mormon God or Jesus, is sick and twisted and you Adrienne need to wake the hell up and smell reality; even a little bit would help. You said that you are "very offended at the way you mercilessly deface their pictures."

Well, they get what they deserve and those merciless defacings, are actually telling the "REAL TRUTH", about these scumbag cult leaders, that sit on their thrones, laughing all the way to the bank, or their new malls, to have a cold one on the rocks.(don’t worry, the land where the alcohol is being served, in Jesus’ mall, doesn’t actually belong to Jesus and his church, because he sold it for millions of dollars to each restaurant.) I really hope the alcohol helps create that vibrant nightlife they are dreaming of, because, “it was their goal to serve wine” there. Is this insane or what? I speak the truth and I challenge anyone to show me where I’ve misconstrued or misquoted anything to do with what I just said.

Hey Adrienne, did you ever hear the one about James E. Faust, bragging to the Saints in Brazil, at a temple groundbreaking, how the Saints in Argentina sold their gold fillings to help build I think it was the Sao Paulo temple? Is that twisted or just my twisted opinion? The best part is that he said he carries the gold fillings around with him to show the other Saints, "the nature of their sacrifice" and then says that other Saints should "follow their example." I'm twisted?!! Wake up Adrienne, PLEASE!! But I'm glad that you are down with all this stuff....good for you!! At least you know what’s twisted and what’s not, right?

I can't keep you from expressing your opinion, but I think you should know you're an asshole.

Ahh..here we go, I'm an ASSHOLE!! Cool, you can't keep me from expressing my opinion about the Mormon cult and I can't stop you from expressing your opinion about me either. As you noticed, I didn't delete your comment and left it up for all to see, as I”m sure you are very proud of it.

I could have been a real ASSHOLE and called you a STUPID BITCH or some other colorful term, to get back at you, but I didn't do that, did I? You know, it's just not my nature to start calling good people bad names and I’m hoping that you are a good person deep down, despite calling me an ASSHOLE, when you don’t even know me at all and speak in complete ignorance.

Notice that I don't go around calling average Mormon members ASSHOLES and if you think calling EX-MORMONS ASSHOLES is going to make us all warm and fuzzy, and want to follow you back to your Mormon cult, you’re wrong and you might need a new approach for starting a dialogue with us that is a little more subtle.

Yes, that's not really up to the high Mormon standards, now, is it?

Nope, is sure isn’t Adrienne. In fact, you may need to repent for that, so that you are once again worthy to enter the Lord’s house of handshakes. Do I really care if a Mormon, or Evangelical or JW or Atheist call me an asshole...no I don’t, as everybody has to live their life doing and saying what makes them comfortable and if you are comfortable calling me an asshole.....fantastic and good for you!! Cary on my friend and call me every single name that makes you feel good, okay? Just get it all out and clear your conscience, as I will not edit you in any way. Tell us how you really feel!! I’ve called Hinckley and his other cronies in charge, many colorful names throughout my blogs and it feels damn good, doesn’t it, to just be able to express yourself freely? After all, that’s something you aren’t allowed to do in your cult, is it?

But I can't understand how someone can be so hard-hearted and bitter towards something you once held dear.

Adrienne, let me make this very easy for you.....I discovered the truth about Mormonism. I found out that I’d been lied to and deceived for my entire life, along with my family and friends, to the point that I even went on a 2 year mission and spewed the BS and lies that they had taught me since birth, to innocent and unsuspecting people, so that I could baptize them into the Mormon cult. That is why I’m so damn bitter, pissed off, angry and hard-hearted. Of course you can’t understand that, because you haven’t been there.

You haven’t seen how stopping to believe in Mormonism has ripped apart my family, relationships with loved ones and best friends that I’ve had my entire life. You’d be pretty pissed off too if you were me and these people I speak of, don’t even know anything about my blogs or podcasts. Can you imagine if they did? Relationships have ended just over me asking them if they new that horny Joe was a polygamist, as that’s all it took.

Shame on you for creating this trashy blog, and for spreading your disgusting and disturbing opinions and false "facts" to the public. Reading just a few passages from select posts of your's sickens me.

Shame on you Adrienne for not having a clue as to what the hell you are talking about and making false accusations against me and to say that I’m “spreading disgusting and disturbing opinions and false 'facts' to the public.” Well, it is just your opinion that my blog is trashy, disgusting and disturbing; but to say that the “facts” are false, when you don’t have a freaking clue what the facts are, is FALSER!!

Oh and for that upset stomach of yours.....since you are sickened; I would suggest Mylanta extra strength tablets, as they work pretty well. Also, as told to me on my mission, after I puked up black shit for 5 days(probably near death), just drink some 7-up and eat some Saltines and you’ll be good to go. Trust me, that advice came straight from Jesus to my mission presidents wife, so it has to work and you shouldn’t question God’s authority!!

I know you don't care about anything I've just said, but I feel someone needs to say it, probably not for the first time.

Well, hey, finally, we agree on something. You are 100% correct that I don’t give a damn about one word you’ve said, other than to correct your blatantly false accusations, that are coming from someone completely ignorant of the truth and reality. You are a dime a dozen and I have a lot of people that hate me, from people like you, to ex-Mormons, to the LDS hierarchy and those that they have assigned to read my blogs and listen to my podcasts on a regular basis. They are so stupid, that they don’t even block their IP numbers. Like I won’t know when someone from the Church office building is on my blog.....damn, I knew they were dumb, but I didn’t know they were that dumb. Hey, that reminds me of another movie.....LOL!!

That's fine if you don't agree with LDS beliefs, but how dare you devote your precious time trying to convince everyone that this church is evil and wrong?

Now, this is classic!! “How dare you devote your precious time trying to convince everyone that this church is evil and wrong?” How dare you Adrienne, try to tell me what I should do with my time...LOL!! Just who the hell are you....my God, my master? The Mormon church is evil and wrong and a cult. The innocent missionaries, who are brainwashed, many by birth, to go out and preach this utter destructive bullshit and bring more people into the cult, are the ones that I have to deal with and counter in my blogs and podcasts.

There are 50,000 + missionaries and just 1 of me and you are worried about me? Well, you should be, because I feel that I have had quite an impact and will continue to do so, with the help of my friends and supporters of what I’m doing. Also, it is just more than me in the large picture, as the ex-Mormon community is continuing to grow rapidly and so are the ex-Mormon bloggers and podcasters. I get Emails every week from people thanking me for how much I’ve helped them see the light and deal with the pain of leaving Mormonism. I have weeks where I receive over 100 Emails and 10-1 are positive.

2 prominent people that just left Mormonism in fact, are the ex-temple President of the Oklahoma temple and his wife. Hopefully when or if they decide to go public themselves and tell their whole story, it will have a domino effect and cause even more people to discover the Mormon fraud and leave this dreadful cult. Ask yourself Adrienne, why 2 prominent people(and he had been the temple President, a Stake President and Bishop twice), would leave the Mormon Church. WHY? Could it be that they too discovered the fraud or are you just gonna default to the “they must have committed a great sin and didn’t want to confess to their Bishop bullshit?”

But this is coming from a 22-year-old girl, and you are much older and "wiser" than me, right?

Apparently, that does seem to be the case, doesn’t it, because I am indeed older and by what I’ve seen, I am indeed much “wiser”, as far as what Mormonism actually teaches and believes, going all the way back to good ol’ Joey boy himself. I did serve a 2 year mission and spent 2 months in the MTC(where the most intense brainwashing in Mormonism takes place), and I kept all my notes in my day planner and wrote over 1,200 pages in my mission journals, documenting what went on....so yeah, I’d say I’m wiser.

Oh, plus you're a male, so that means I'm oppressed and unhappy, right, because I'm a female LDS member? You put the "dick" in ridiculous. I feel sorry for you, and anyone else who stumbles onto this website.

Well, I guess if you are happy, being told to be barefoot, pregnant and making donuts, while the men are at the General Priesthood session(where women aren’t allowed), who am I to argue the point, right? Some people like oppression and enjoy being controlled and told what to do, so have it Adrienne and have a great time. I could now say something witty, to match your “’dick’ in ridiculous” comment, like you put the “itch” in bitch, but I’ll refrain and take the high road.....LOL!! Sorry Adrienne, I couldn’t resist, as I was trying to match your ridiculousness and point out how utterly stupid that comment of yours was. NO offense, okay?

In closing, I feel sorry for you and anyone else that is Mormon, that doesn’t stumble onto this blog and learn the truth and have to continue on living in a brainwashing cult. However, like I said, if they are happy, what the hell? I guess cults aren’t all bad and are a fine place to live and raise a family, just like the movie, “The Village.” Yeah, what the hell do I know, I was only in the Mormon cult for 30+ years, right?

Anyway, don’t be a stranger Adrienne or whoever the hell you really are. I mean, I allow anon people like you, to leave comments, so you could be a guy, you could be 123, Mckay or about 10 other ex-Mormons or TBM apologists that hate my guts and everything I do and stand for, while trolling around on my blogs and leaving nasty comments here and over on iTunes. I frankly don’t give a damn who you really are, because I had fun writing this response to you, so please come again and entertain us all some more.

Take care everyone,

Samuel

 
At Thursday, September 21, 2006 9:35:00 AM, Blogger Samuel the Utahnite said...

Bishop Rick,

Welcome to "Mormon Truth" my friend and thanks for the input. I'm glad that you like what you found here. I just checked out your blog and was excited to find that you hit on so many things that I've been saying, thinking and believing for a very long time or since my journey began, just a little over a year ago. Isn't common sense and logic a wonderful thing?

I'm sure that it took you a while to get caught up on this post, but I'm glad that you found the commentary to be interesting and hopefully you'll stick around and add your 2 cents when you find a topic that interests you. I only recently added the option of leaving comments a couple of months ago, so they are coming in now, pretty much all over my blog.

I also have 2 podcasts and 2 other blogs that were created for the podcasts that you can check out if you haven't already.

I Hope to hear more from you soon as I think you have great insights and will be able to provide all of us some great thought provoking comments. Also, I really hope you keep writing your blog as well, as you have a great thing going.

Take care,

Samuel

 
At Thursday, September 21, 2006 3:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bishop Rick,

I totally echo Samuel's comments. Your blog asks some really good questions. Your latest one is something I've wondered all my life.

Thanks,

Lori


www.steppiupmusic.com

 
At Thursday, September 21, 2006 8:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Samuel,

Still patiently waiting for a new podcast...wink...wink...nudge...nudge.

While we are waiting, if you'd like you can feel free to go vote for me over at the US Army's www.1800goguard.com/bands I'm competing with folks from all over the country.

Thanks in advance if you choose to vote!

Lori Crandall

www.steppinupmusic.com

 
At Friday, September 22, 2006 9:08:00 AM, Anonymous 123 said...

I think, Sam, that you misinterpreted what I was saying. I wonder if you were implying that I'm a "die-hard" Christian, just because I'm arguing in its defense? If the same question were raised about Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism, I would still argue in defense of those religions since the goal was to educate those having difficulty understanding their doctrines and purposes.

I'm looking forward to your post tonight. I would like to see the way you interpret things. There is a comment I was about to leave about religious types who think they know so much, but I'll wait until your next post since that would seem to be a more appropriate place to start that discussion. I also want to take issue up with your assertions about religion. I think that because we all grew up in a self-destructive cult, there is a tendency to have a very cynical and naive sense of what religion is and what it tries to accomplish. It should be interesting to discuss that as well.

Glad to hear things are settling down, and again, I'm excited to read your next post!

 
At Friday, September 22, 2006 12:18:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

First of all, I think this comment section gets too long :-)
It took minutes for my ISDN to download it.
Maybe there should be a new posting by you, Sam?

Second I wanted to post an interesting link of a book I read recently.
It is called "Beyond belief - a buddhist critique of fundamentalist christianity".

The book is very interesting and analyzes how absurd christian fundamentalists, such as Eric "Bikini" Hoffman are.
Of course, in its own agenda, the author contrasts the unhealthy attitude of these fundamentalists with the teachings of the Buddha.

Here are two links, one html, one pdf:
http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node=Beyond%20Belief%3A%20a%20Buddhist%20Critique%20of%20Christianity
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/beyond-belief02.pdf

Spoiler warning: The book also points out many contradictions within the bible, so for all TBMs: be careful, or you might lose your soul forever.

Anyway, I found this book very informative and interesting, especially because of the contrast between Christianity and Buddhism.
Chris

 
At Friday, September 22, 2006 1:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, it is time for a new posting and a new comments list imo.

Thanks in advance Samuel should you choose to do it! :-)

Lori

 
At Tuesday, September 26, 2006 5:59:00 AM, Blogger Sterling Knight said...

http://www.macabremenace.com/entropyblurb.pdf

It's all there, folks, my mission and and that crap.

 
At Monday, September 06, 2010 12:42:00 AM, OpenID amultiverse said...

great article! i have written 2 similar articles about lds apostles and prophets and the "special witness" rhetoric:
http://amultiverse.blogspot.com/search/label/apostle

 

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