How “official” is the Mormon First Presidency?

In 1973, five years before the Mormon Church lifted its ban on Blacks holding the LDS priesthood and participating in Mormon temple ordinances, Wendell J. Ashton, the Mormon Church’s director of Public Affairs, appeared on “1973 Special News Report: When the Latter-day Saints Go Marching In.”

Using an official statement on the matter issued by the First Presidency of the Church in 1969, Mr. Ashton explained that only God knew why the priesthood was denied to people of African descent at that time. The First Presidency Statement of which Mr. Ashton quoted a small part also says,

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owes its origin, its existence, and its hope for the future to the principle of continuous revelation…

Our living prophet, President David O. McKay, has said, “The seeming discrimination by the Church toward the Negro is not something which originated with man; but goes back into the beginning with God…Revelation assures us that this plan antedates man’s mortal existence, extending back to man’s pre-existent state.”

And, according to Mr. Ashton, revelation “from the Lord” would be required for any change to “the seeming discrimination by the Church toward the Negro.”

Pre-dating the 1969 First Presidency Statement was a similar statement issued twenty years earlier. But the 1949 First Presidency Statement took a stronger stance on the reason for the priesthood ban. In addition to being in agreement with the 1969 statement regarding the fact that the ban was a consequence of revelation (“The attitude of the Church with reference to the Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization…”), the 1949 First Presidency explained,

The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: “Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to.”

President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: “The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have.”

The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.

Somehow, “the attitude of the Church…as it has always been” changed by December 2013. Though not as authoritative as a First Presidency Statement, the Mormon Church published an essay that was meant to explain and clear up misconceptions surrounding this aspect of Mormon history.

The essay says,

“There is no reliable evidence that any black men were denied the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s lifetime.”

But if the priesthood ban “goes back into the beginning with God,” “antedates man’s mortal existence,” and was a “direct commandment from the Lord,” did Joseph Smith disobey God if he did not deny the priesthood to black men?

The essay says,

“Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church.”

Since the Church’s First Presidency issued an official statement explaining the priesthood and temple restrictions were “in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God” and somehow a result of “the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence,” does the Mormon Church now reject the official First Presidency Statement?

The essay says,

“…the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life;…”

So does this mean that the Church today demotes an earlier official First Presidency Statement to the level of a “theory,” and washes its hands of the official proclamations of early Church prophets, seers and revelators?

What are we to make of this? Current LDS doctrine, as outlined in the Teachings of the Living Prophets Student Manual, Religion 333, is this:

“What the First Presidency Says Is Scripture

“President Marion G. Romney (1897-1988) of the First Presidency taught that the First Presidency speaks the words Jesus Christ would declare if He were here in person:

“ ‘…what the presidency say as a presidency is what the Lord would say if he were here, and it is scripture. It should be studied, understood, and followed, even as the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants and other scriptures. Those who follow this course will not interpret what they say as being inspired by political bias or selfishness; neither will they say that the brethren are uninformed as to the circumstances of those affected by their counsel; or that their counsels cannot be accepted because they are not prefaced by the quotation, “Thus saith the Lord.”’” (Teachings of the Living Prophets Student Manual, Religion 333, 2010, 52-53)

Sadly, Mormons don’t seem to be troubled by their leaders’ contradictory teachings. In fact, Mormons have been fond of misappropriating and quoting 1 Corinthians 14:33 in an effort to disparage Christianity: “For God is not a God of confusion.” Yet Mormonism is so confusing and contradictory that Latter-day Saints can’t know who or what they are supposed to believe. Do prophets speak for God – or not? Is what the First Presidency say Scripture – or not? Is the Church safe from being led astray – or not?

I implore everyone everywhere: do not listen to false prophets who claim to speak for God, yet who demonstrate through their contradictions and confusing messages that they “follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!” (Ezekiel 13:1-4). Instead, look to God Himself – “the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17). His written Word — available to all — His Word is truth (John 17:17).

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.

This entry was posted in Authority and Doctrine, LDS Church, Mormon History, Mormon Leaders, Mormon Scripture and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to How “official” is the Mormon First Presidency?

  1. Ironman1995 says:

    Sharon this is the area that caused me to question and receive no answers to my questions and leave the church back in 2011 after 36 years. Starting with the Stapley letter. The Elijah Abel being ordained by Joesph Smith and having a church book called Story Of The Latter Day Saints say on page 620 blacks never held the priesthood. And from that point it was one thing and another and another . Proving to me totally man made . Thanks again Sharon .

  2. historybuff says:

    When told that the LDS Church issues false revelations, most Mormons will immediately respond, “Show me!” Sharon has provided us with one of the most demonstrably false revelations issued by the Church. Of course, we also have others like the false revelation on polygamy and the entire Book of Abraham, but this “scripture” is short and sweet and demonstrably false.

    The 1949 Statement of the First Presidency prophesied that African Americans would never be able to hold the Priesthood until all white people had the opportunity to receive it:

    “And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to.” http://bycommonconsent.com/2004/04/21/a-statement-from-the-first-presidency/

    Wrong — and demonstrably wrong to boot. All white people had not received the opportunity to receive the Priesthood by 1973, and there are more white people being born every minute. While it was commendable for the Mormons to change their racist doctrine, it nevertheless demonstrated to the world that Mormonism is constructed on a base of false scripture and false doctrine.

  3. Mike R says:

    Sharon,
    Another great thread . It’s really sad how decent sincere people can be detoured from the truth about Jesus and His word.

    Mormon leaders have claimed to be guides in giving LDS reliable trustworthy guidance in spiritual truths . LDS have believed them , and sadly the result is : the Mormon people are victims of a broken trust .

    Following false prophets , trusting spiritual guides who are not sent by God , pays very bad dividends : Isa 9:16 ; Matt 15: 14 . The Mormon people follow such prophets .That’s the bad news.
    The good news is summed up well by Sharon at the end of her above article .

  4. MJP says:

    Its only upheld when it fits with current thought and is not embarrassing. I think it is really that simple. They will bend over backwards to show it is something else, but it boils down to what feels right today.

  5. falcon says:

    Mormonism is built on the twin foundations of false premises and emotions masquerading as the “spirit”. The latter is the fuel that drives Mormonism. The former consists of such false testimonies as the disappearance of the gospel after the death of the apostles and the corrupted Biblical text tale. Now we mix in a whole bunch of stories dealing with the appearance of various spirit beings and the gullible have themselves a fine dose of false religion.
    There’s a reason why Mormons just speed right past such things as false prophesies. It makes them feel bad. And if they feel bad, then no time can be given to examining the implication of these false prophecies. Anything that proves Mormonism to be suspect, is to be suspect in-and-of-itself.
    It’s the emotional buzz that allows Mormons to look right past the obvious; the prophet is false, the gospel of the restoration is false and the whole deal is simply one gigantic con.
    There is a reason why Mormons will say things like, “I don’t think people ought to be criticizing other people’s religion.” There’s a great big “DUH” there because if Mormonism is “criticized” it will fall apart. If people are alerted to the obvious flaws in the religion, they won’t give it a second look. It will be dismissed out-of-hand. The whole program gets shut down. So when the MM go traipsing up and down the streets looking for the gullible, they also want to shut down anyone who would blow the whistle on their false narrative.

  6. historybuff says:

    Most Mormons don’t really mean to be deceptive. It’s just that their entire lives are invested in their church. They’re paying at least 10% of their income to the church; every spare minute of their time is filled with meetings, activities, temple work, genealogy, and missionary work; often their entire world consists of other Mormons; and often their families and friends are all Mormons.

    To even think about leaving the Mormon Church is frightening to them. It is far more comfortable for them to cast away all doubt and conform. They aren’t evil. They’re just weak and afraid of the truth.

  7. Mike R says:

    historybuff said , ” Most Mormons don’t really mean to be deceptive .”

    I agree . I’ve always made it a point to emphasize the difference between rank and file members of the Mormon church compared to the leaders . Mormon leaders are false prophets , they create doctrines out of whole cloth ( no doubt by experiencing feelings interpreted as being from the Holy Ghost ) , thus they are without excuse . Sadly , the sincere people who submit to their ” authority” are in very , very , serious trouble if they continue to follow these men . Jesus’ warning about latter days false prophets is serious business , and out of love and concern for the Mormon people we seek to remind them about Jesus’ warning .

  8. falcon says:

    Not to get argumentative here but…………………….
    So are we saying that Mormons are deceptive, but they don’t mean to be deceptive? There’s a technique they use called “love bombing”. They make the prospect feel like they are the total center of attention. I’d say that’s a deceptive technique to seduce prospects and it’s dishonest. If information is with held, that’s deceptive. And of course there’s the technique of “milk before meat” regarding basic facts of Mormon doctrine. I’d say to with hold from someone the fact that Mormons intend to become gods is rather significant.
    While Mormons may be pleasant people generally and for-the-most-part morally upright, the fact of the matter is that the religion was founded on deception and (deception) is the basic feature of the sect.

  9. MistakenTestimony says:

    I would agree with Falcon here. If the leadership are false prophets then that makes the members false disciples. By merely proclaiming a false Christ as a witness to their neighbors is deception. False prophets create false prophets, and the road to hell was paved with best intentions. And we know that every time an article hits the internet that’s not faith promoting for Mormonism they will flood the article with comments saying such things as “I’m not a Mormon, but…” and then give a very strong testimony of Mormonism. That’s deception. Then members go around proclaiming “I know the BoM is true” when they don’t really know that, they simply believe it. Then these members teach this deception to their children, and those children to their children and so on. The average member goes around saying to Christians “we both serve the same Jesus” when they know for a fact that they most certainly do not. That’s deception. But that’s just my take, I wonder what Vax thinks of this because he seems to be pretty knowledgeable of these types of things.

  10. Vax says:

    MistakenTestimony,

    That is a really tough question. In my heart of hearts I think people are people and based on different life history and circumstnace most behavior can be explained. I honestly believe Mormons are doing the best that they can do. But due to the coercive nature of the religion and social constructs being so tight, it’s very difficult for members to question and much, much more difficult to leave. It’s one thing if someone has doubts and pretends he knows something. It’s another to be expressing religious beliefs as you know them or have been led to believe them.

    I think of the Spanish Fathers that settled Baja and Alta California. At first glance they were extremely coercive, promising great blessings and trinkets and food, but once the natives were baptized they were tortured and whipped and beaten or even killed if they strayed from the teachings or the mission. Were the priests all sadistic? Maybe. But maybe they actually believed it was better for the natives to be beaten into submission than to die heathens. I realize the point could be debated. Did all the Nazis believe they were evil or were they justified by their upbringing and patriotism and excitement of something new and progressive?

    I think most Mormons are doing the very best they know how to do, even when the results are negative and maladaptive, for example the punishing practice of Disfellowship and Excommunication and shunning. I truly believe they think they are helping people “repent”. They live in a bubble not unlike Hitler’s Germans or the California Catholic Priests. Nobody is checking the behavior and calling them on it due to their isolation. Some are, and some do change, but I can tell you the change is painful. Waking up is painful. Acting on it is worse. But most just live it day by day without questions. It doesn’t make them evil or agents of Satan unless you define evil as simply being deceived. But then you have to condemn most people on earth and I’m not into that.

  11. MJP says:

    Do Mormons intentionally distort? I’d say no, they don’t. I think most sincerely believe what it is they say and don’t really see any problem in an evolving theology and doctrine. That’s why the history does not really bother many– they either deny it or avoid it. Times change and there’s no need to focus on whether past leaders said, or did, this or that. Its part of the nature of ongoing revelation. When an authority speaks as if Jesus was here, its as if Jesus was here at this moment and time, and what he said years ago or if he speaks in years to come, he was speaking to that time and in the time to come, not now.

  12. Mike R says:

    The more I think about this whole issue , which Sharon brings up , the more I pity the Mormon people this is truly a case of how false prophets/ teachers fool people into submitting to them . It’s hard to realize that men ( Mormon leaders ) 1800 years after Jesus established His church and sent out His apostles to preach the gospel of salvation to all peoples , could introduce such a belief about Blacks and then create teachings designed to prove to their flock that it was part of the true gospel .

    The doctrine of the Mormon church was that those who were born with black skin ( a sign of a curse ) was because in their pre mortal life they had been less valiant than others was taught far and wide by Mormons leaders and influential Mormons for a long time . LDS believed this teaching based on their submission and trust in these men . Mormon hierarchy is the one source for ” pure unpolluted guidance ” [ Oct 1998 Conference ” Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice ” , by Virginia Jensen ]

    “Pure unpolluted guidance ?” Really ?

    What was once called ” the doctrine of the Church ” [ 1949 F.P. Statement ] is now admitted to be only ” theories ” . This is to serious . LDS can’t afford to trust these men .

    This whole issue is a great example of why the Mormon people have been fooled into following the kind of prophets Jesus warned would come in the latter days — Matt 24:11 .

    The Mormon people seem to be unable to grasp the fact that not all latter days false prophets act and look like a Brian David Mitchell ( the prophet who kidnapped Elizebeth Smart ) . False prophets can be well dressed , act polite , and talk about living gospel principles .

    Our hearts break for the Mormon people . They deserve better than to be tossed to and fro by their leaders — Eph 4:14 . Freedom from such religious leaders is available for Mormons who trust God to direct their lives after dismissing these men as authorities over them .

  13. historybuff says:

    From my perspective, those are excellent observations on how honest LDS can be attracted to the religion, convert and live its principles, and then learn (or suspect) that not all those things taught by their prophets were correct.

    It might be helpful if some active Mormons reading this blog would respond to the question of how and why a thoughtful Mormon — even a Mormon leader — deals with the issues of abandoned doctrines, renounced scriptures like the Book of Abraham and Joseph Smith’s revelation denouncing and denying polygamy, and Joseph Smith’s multiple wives.

    Faithful LDS — Can you help these Evangelical Christians understand the decisions you’ve made?

  14. falcon says:

    OK folks, are the rank-and-file Mormons willing to let it all hang-out, let the chips fall where they may, pick a metaphor, or do they hold back information? I would agree, first they have to know something before they can withhold it. When it comes to the history and doctrines of Mormonism, most LDS couldn’t spell “cat” if they were spotted the “c-t”. And many do believe in the LDS church, love the LDS church, serve the LDS church without complaint and have put all of their hopes, dreams and aspirations in the LDS religious system. I suppose they just can’t imagine not being LDS and can’t phantom why folks wouldn’t hop on the band wagon.
    Now having said that, aren’t these LDS folks big on the concept of “agency”; another way of saying “free will”. God is sending them messages and once they get their brains flipped, thinking straightened out, what they’re into becomes clear. We’ve got a whole cast of former Mormons who post here and they can testify to their journey out of the LDS sect. I remember a poster from way back when named Arthur Sido. He said that when he went down on his knees he was a Mormon and when he got up…………….he was a Christian. Jim Spencer, author of “Beyond Mormonism” says that when he entered the Sugar City curve (an “s” shaped curve in the road) he was a Mormon and went he came out the other side, he was a Christian.
    So there are those who have integrity and a whole lot of grace extended to them, who respond to God’s call. It’s not easy to follow Jesus; to go outside a personal comfort zone, to risk everything.
    Once God reveals to a Mormon, via the Holy Spirit, that the god they worship isn’t “God”, they have a responsibility to follow the lead. What sort of excuse do they think they can bring to God on the Day of Judgement? Ignorance? If there’s an LDS member who is reading this, you need to follow God’s promptings.

  15. MJP says:

    Yes, I agree it is a big deal, however, I think the Mormon would say that obedience to the current prophet is also a big deal, bigger than any contradictions in present and past teachings. This allows them to put a stamp of authority on something, and the consistency is that the current prophet is always right, he can never lead anyone astray, even if later revelation shows the current guy was wrong. Of course, by then, it was right when it was said. God, after all, is not a god of confusion…

    But with the ever changing guard the consistency of authority gives them a way to change with the guard and not be hypocritical. The past leaders become flawed men with flawed characters and opinions, but the guy now may not be perfect, but he’s smart enough and endowed with enough authority from God so that he can be trusted…

    I think they tread on dangerous ground with it, but that appears to be consistent with reasoning I have heard from Mormons on this issue.

  16. Vax says:

    I always get uncomfortable when people talk about judgment day regarding another human being. I don’t like it when Mormons do it and I don’t like it when others do it. Only Christ knows whats inside each of our hearts, our true intents and motives, mitigating circumstances, including past abuses which may forever cloud or color our judgement, and personal travail. We’re all on this planet to learn and figure things out. I beleive Christ has patience for all of us.

    Peace.

  17. Mike R says:

    Vax , I agree with you because I think I understand what you meant . But let’s be clear about the fact that there are false prophets today . They may be sneaky and devious or they may be simply self deluded individuals who “feel” they’ve heard from God to introduce new truths . False prophets can cause spiritual damage to those who follow them , and emotional carnage as well . The Bible is not silent on this issue , and that’s why we seek to help people ( LDS ) . Mormon LEADERS are false prophets , and to submit to them places LDS in a situation of being judged by God , that’s the verdict of scripture . Now perhaps you are still working through some things relative to all this and can’t reason it out enough yet . That’s fine .
    But the fact remains we are here to tell the Mormon people about Jesus’ personal letter to them —
    Matt 24: 11 . Jesus did not have to much patience towards the religious leaders of His day , or today who mislead people into accepting egregious teachings — especially since they do so in His name like Mormon leaders have done .
    Scriptures to consider about this issue : Acts 20:29-31 ; 2 Cor 11:13-15 ; 2Pt 2:1-3 ; 1Jn 4:1-6 .

  18. falcon says:

    Vax,
    Is the Final Judgement a fact? Yes it is. Jesus talked about what people would say to Him in That Day. I’m not doing the judging. I’m stating a fact. What will Mormons say when confronted by Jesus and learn that He’s not the spirit off-spring of a god who use to be a man and one of his many goddess wives?
    Again, I’m not judging what they will say. I’m wondering what they will say. So will it be enough that they believed in some sort of Jesus? Will it be enough that they were sincere in what they believed? Will they be able to claim having been deceived?
    This is serious business. We don’t do these Mormons any good by not pointing out what it is we know. Don’t we bear responsibility to tell them? God is giving us an opportunity to present the Gospel message to Mormons. He’s providing us a forum to testify to who He is, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is.
    I’m not a fire-and-brimstone guy or one who likes to shake a boney finger at someone and scream “Repent! The end is near.”
    God brought me here for a reason. I was doing a search and found one of my posts from seven years ago on MC. I hadn’t realized I’ve been at it that long; probably longer. I saw the names of LDS folks who came here to defend Mormonism but have long ago left. I hope I had some sort of impact in at least presenting the gospel to those folks who were mega-hardcore.
    The reality is that we will all stand before the Lord to give an account of ourselves. I’m depending solely on Jesus, my faith in Him and what He did for me at the cross. What are the LDS folks depending on?

  19. MistakenTestimony says:

    I appreciate the perspectives from Vax and HistoryBuff.

  20. MistakenTestimony says:

    (the last one was submitted prematurely)

    I appreciate the perspectives from Vax and HistoryBuff. But I’ve got to say that the LDS doctrine of Testimony necessitates deception. Anybody who has debated with Mormons know this to be true. They hide behind their subjective “testimony” when confronted with anything objective or imperical. What they do is take advantage of the conversation at hand and grab hold of any argument for plausibility that becomes visible at the time. Even if they know that their argument is a ridiculous stretch they will still run with it, because Testimony only needs the possibility that what they are saying might be true even if the odds are one-in-a-hundred-billion. And when they know that their arguments would never hold up in a court of law or in peer reviewed academia they are deceiving themselves more and more. And whey they argue that they know that the BoM and the LDS church are true they are lying to others and they know it, because they know beyond a doubt that they have no knowledge of the truthfulness of what they speak of. LDS Testimony is only a self-deception and a complete obfuscation of all human logic and reason. LDS Testimony is deception inwards to oneself and outwards to others. Nobody needs to convince Mormons that they are deceptive because they already know they are.

  21. Vax says:

    I don’t feel that what eminates from Mormonism is good. There is good in it. But it is also destructive spiritually due to relying on works and feeling you are in charge to some degree of your own salvation. And then add in wonderous promises to the obedient and horrible pain and suffering to the disobedient. This leads to action based on fear, not love. I find it interesting that even with the lowest degree of Mormon “glory” being unimaginably “better” than this mortality, it still scares the crap out of people to feel they will be separated from God and their families for eternity (only in the Celestial Kingdom can you live with your spouse and extended family and God forever). So not going to the Celestial Kingdom is going to hell, in a sense. The worst damage of Mormonism is it’s over-relaince on works and obedience which leads to stunting development. It’s kind of a Stepford Wives in reality. Mormons live in fear, whether they are “good” because of their fear or “bad” and develop even worse self esteem. Grace is a bastardized principal in Mormonism, “after all you can do” or “better to never have sinned” are doctrines of salvation through self reliance and personal fortitude. I never believed that and I was still Mormon for 53 years!

    I do believe I will meet Jesus one day. In my head I envision Him putting His arm around my shoulder and we”ll have a laugh and a cry, but mostly I feel he will be my advocate. He’s the only one who could possibly get me, to the core. I don’t think Christ cares how we come to Him. But I think he’d be disappointed to find we obeyed someone our entire life trying never to make a mistake and count each and every good work we did feeling we achieved something. That’s the problem he had with the Scribes and Pharisees. And I believe it is a huge problem for Mormons just as it was in Biblical times. They all got caught up in the rules which stunted their capacity and spiritual and emotional growth. Overreliance on rules and obedience cheapens the atonement!

    I think Mormons will be shocked some day to see how things pan out in the afterlife. But I think we may all be shocked to a degree. Our main purpose on earth is to love Jesus Christ and love each other. When we place ourselves as better than someone else or live with enmity towards others I think we are missing the boat. Nobody changes from someone banging on them. They change when they figure things out and decide to change and turn to Christ. And it’s far more likely in an atmosphere of love and aceeptance than one of argument and frustration. Let Christ sort out the final judgment. There are a lot of us here on earth. I have faith in a loving God. There are a lot of His children here on earth. I can’t imaginne he wants to punish almost all of them. I know life is too complex for me to worry about anyone else but me and how I respond to my brother, sister and neighbor. That’s all I can do.

    I get a good feeling from this blog but I don’t like fighting. It never solves anything, it just entrenches behaviors and beliefs. As long as information is presented in a non-threatening manner and with respect then it can be a very good thing. The information age is very young. I believe the Mormon Church is at a big cross-road. It is going to have to adapt and leave its past behind and become mainstream, or else retrench into fundamentalism which I think would lead to a slow death. or thirdly, it could go on walking a tight rope and misrepresenting itself (lying) but eventually people are going to learn the truth and many (more) will leave. That is already happening.

    Thanks to all here for your perspectives. Plus I should confess I LOVE coffee. I love coffee. So now that I can drink it guilt free. but I found this sight partially because I thought it was a funny name. Thank you all. I’ll be around.

  22. Mike R says:

    Vax,
    You like coffee ? No wonder you were never a good Mormon , you were a slacker !!! 🙂
    Seriously though , I can imagine many Mormons using that as a reason to not take you seriously now . Glad you’re free from a false prophet led organization . Hopefully multitudes will be also soon .

  23. Vax says:

    I was never a slacker. I was a worker bee with multiple callings at ward and stake leadership levels. I always loved the smell of coffee, I just never partook. Now I do. It’s delicious.

  24. falcon says:

    Vax,
    Not trying to be funny or provocative, but was it difficult for you to take off the LDS undergarment? Did you ever look into what the symbols on the garment are?

  25. falcon says:

    LDS leaders jerk their heads to the right and to the left and exclaim, “How did that get in here?”, when confronted by the ban on blacks in the priesthood. It’s right up there with former LDS prophet GBH exclaiming on Larry King Live that he didn’t know how that stuff about men becoming gods surfaced. “I don’t know that we ever taught that”, wasn’t that the line?
    Fact is, the everyday Mormon just goes with it. They got a feeling when reading the BoM and therefore everything that comes out of the LDS church and its leadership is true; even when it’s not!
    “When the leaders speak, the thinking has been done.”
    “Follow the leaders, they will never lead you astray.”

    These are very bad sentiments to live by. It’s called “out-sourcing” your decision making to others and not maintaining responsibility for yourself. This is how women get talked into marrying the prophet even though the (women) are married to someone else. And therefore, “That was a long time ago. We don’t do that any more.” All better now. Besides, those women probably had been given to the prophet by God in the pre-existence. Just keep believing, serve the (LDS) church and pay your tithe.

  26. falcon says:

    Have you ever wondered why the leadership of the LDS church and the LDS apologists at sites like FARMS/FAIR put forth such ridiculous explanations regarding the huge holes in the Mormon narrative? And why do the LDS rank-and-file accept these preposterous tales? Should we make a list? It just seems to be part of the Mormon culture to be deceptive. This deceptiveness becomes “truth” in the Mormon world. It’s cult thinking.
    That’s one of the first things I noticed when we’d have Mormons post here on MC. These people, I surmised, think differently than I do. They process information in a very peculiar manner. But it’s “normal” to them.
    There are all kinds of mental devices that Mormons use to support their fantasy. One of the big ones is the “Mormon shelf”. That’s where all of the things are placed that can’t be rationalized away. Lynn Wilder talks about the shelf getting so loaded down that eventually it collapses. Others have likened it to a house of cards.
    Let’s face it. When it comes to their religion, Mormons think differently than they do in other aspects of their lives. We see it as deceptive and blatant lying. It’s normal to them. It takes a long time for the dedicated Mormon, once the cracks appear, to begin to think in a normal fashion about the religion in which they’ve invested so much.

  27. historybuff says:

    Read carefully the last few posts by Vax and Falcon, above. They’ve captured very accurately what’s going through the minds of active Mormons. Mormons don’t believe they’re lying; they believe they’re “lying for the Lord.” There’s a big difference. Lying for the lord is very much like teaching your children about Santa Claus. You know it’s not true but it makes you and your children feel really good and act kindly toward others, and that’s what’s important to Mormons.

    Remember what President Ezra Taft Benson and others have said: If you follow the Prophet even when he’s wrong and even though you know he’s wrong, you’ll be blessed, because what he’s told you will somehow work to everyone’s advantage and for a better world. Mormons take it on faith, relying on that warm feeling they take to be a spiritual confirmation. (Of course, in a mature and mentally healthy Mormon, that warm feeling will be balanced with reason.)

    So, when we point out to Mormons that their doctrines are self-contradicting and internally inconsistent, they usually flip that “denial” switch and tell themselves that any mistakes are insignificant in the big picture and only create bad feelings within them. So they bear their testimony at you (to reassure themselves, not really for your benefit) and walk away. Someday they may, hopefully, think twice about it and realize they’ve been making a serious mistake and deluding themselves, but right now their commitment (to family, friends, etc.) is driving their denial.

    Stay with them, be kind, be firm, and reassure them that Christ’s love will help them deal with the consequences of seeking truth. After all, the truth will set them free. John 8:32.

  28. stpatty says:

    I am an active LDS member who has lurked here for over a year. I like the positivity of the comments. Two Christmases ago I was at Church and I needed a sign that God knew me. I had begun to cry due to being chastised over the pulpit for asking to be released from visiting teaching duties. I was also without my daughter due to divorce (gasp), so I was missing her on this Christmas Sabbath. I got up to leave…I was leaving for good, and my purse spilled all over the gym floor. I picked all the contents up, sobbing by this point. I walked into the foyer and as I reached for the door, I caught myself and sat in a lovely flowered chair. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I counted as 24 ward members came out of sacrament meeting and walked past me. No one saying anything. Finally, a lady who I would consider my only genuine friend in the ward, came and put her hand on my shoulder. I just said, Christmas is hard. A lady, I had never met, passed by me and said, I feel we need to connect… and connect we did! We went into a small classroom and talked for two hours! She was my answer. God did know me and sent me an angel. She is a healer and has helped me see God outside of Mormonism. It is delightful!

  29. Mike R says:

    stpatty,
    Welcome . I’m glad someone was able to help you see that God loves you . Mormonism is not God’s exclusive spokesman nor is the Mormon priesthood the appointed channel through which God makes known His mind and will to the world . May you come to discover that the fullest expression of God’s love for you personally is described in Jn 3:16-18 . In vr 16 see where it says ” world ” ? Do this : put your name in there instead of the word ” world ” . That will help you understand how much God loves you personally . The New Testament is God’s love letter to us . No need for any latter day prophets like those who run the Mormon church .

  30. falcon says:

    stpatty,
    WOW! Thanks for sharing.
    I often wonder if anyone out there is reading what is written here with the exception of those of us who post regularly. And man, am I pleased that you sense a positive spirit in what is being written. I for one get a little intense sometimes and wonder if I might be over-the-top for LDS folks who stop by (and read).
    I liked what you said “……I needed a sign that God knew me”. May I just testify to the fact that God indeed knows you. Not to get too preachy, but the sign that God knows you is what He did for you through Jesus Christ Our Lord. We Christians, of a certain flavor, talk about having a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. I recently delivered the sermon at the funeral of a woman who died at the age of 101. Long story, but years ago she played piano in the church I preached in on a regular basis. I remember her playing those old time hymns with her eyes shut and head back singing “………..and He walks with me and He talks with me. And He tells me I am His own. And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other, has ever known.”
    I pointed out that a hymn like that couldn’t be sung the way she sang it without knowing who the Lord is and what He had done for her. You can have the assurance of eternal life by claiming the gift that God is offering you through faith in Jesus. Religion can be cold and cruel. God is not. He won’t leave you or forsake you.
    Please stick around here and if there’s any support we can offer you, we are more than willing to do so.

  31. Mike R says:

    This issue ( Blacks denied the Priesthood) is one of the greatest examples of why Mormon leaders can not be trusted . Their claims of authority are simply claims , nothing more . They’ve fooled people into believing that they have been sent by Jesus to preach His gospel of salvation , that the gospel they preach is the exact same one Jesus’ apostles preached after being sent out by Him –Acts 1:8 .
    Yet astonishingly 1900 years later men ( Mormons ) who claimed to be the modern day counterparts of Jesus apostles taught that black people were not equal to whites concerning the benefits and full blessings of the gospel ! Finally in 1978 Mormon leaders saw the handwriting on the wall and changed their man made doctrine .

    Comparing Jesus’ call to His apostles to preach the gospel to all , with what various Mormons said to LDS :

    ” The Gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them ….” [ Mormon Gen Authority Bruce McConkie , Mormon Doctrine , p 477 ]

    ” ….no direct efforts have been made to proselyte among them .” [ BYU official , William Berrett ]

    “…. the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , has no call to carry the gospel to the Negro, and it does not do so .” [ Mormon author , ” That Ye May Be Not Deceived ” p 13 ] .

    ” no call ” to carry the gospel to Negros ? That call went out nearly 2000 years before he said this !
    The call by Jesus in action : Acts 10: 28-48 ; 13: 46-47 ; Col 1: 21-23 .

    Paul’s warning in Gal 1:8-9 is as relevant today as it was when he penned it to keep his flock safe from counterfeit gospels .
    Mormonism is not the answer .

  32. Mike R says:

    What’s going on here?

    – in 1931 Mormon leader Joseph Fielding Smith claimed that Negroes were of a ” inferior race ”
    [ The Way To Perfection , p. 101,102 ] .
    Yet 30 years later he stated that Mormons have not described Negroes as belonging to a inferior race
    [ Deseret News , Church Section June 14 1962 ] .

    also,

    In the new official response to their Negro controversy , Mormon hierarchy stated :
    ” There is no evidence that any black men were denied the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s
    lifetime.” [ Gospel Topics , Church Essay on ” Race and the Priesthood ” , Official Church website] .

    Yet , the 1949 First Presidency Statement says something different than this :
    ” The attitude of the Church with reference to the Negroes remains as it has always stood .”

    That implies that it dates to Joseph Smith’s time . Then Mormon authors , John J. Stewart and William Berrett , in their popular book , ” Mormonism and the Negro ” ( p 46-47 ) where they use a First Presidency letter of 1947 which said :
    ” From the days of the Prophet Joseph even until now , it has been the doctrine of the church , never questioned by any of the church leaders , that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the gospel .” [ cited in Mormonism — Shadow or Reality , p 262 ] .

    There’s so much that could be said about this doctrine introduced by Mormon leaders and taught for over 100 years . Bottom line : it was a mess , and they are the reason why . Mormon leaders have been tested and found wanting — they join exclusive company — Rev 2: 2

  33. FreedomSurfer says:

    I never heard of the “lying for the Lord” idea, but it makes sense. Although I am technically still a Mormon I always ended up having to drop a conversation when faced with questions that even I couldn’t fathom. Someone here said the “rank and file” Mormons are good people, and they are. But like me, they have been told not to worry about explaining the weird doctrinal and historical twists and turns and simply “have faith”. And so they go on with their day and live the best lives they can.

    This I blame on the higher-ups in the church; they know exactly what they are doing and the game is manipulation. It’s a control issue. If you don’t exhibit “faith” and instead argue doctrine and history, you get into trouble.

    Just my thoughts.
    Lynn

  34. Mike R says:

    Freedom Surfer , welcome . You mentioned that you are still technically a Mormon , but you admit that Mormon leaders are manipulating rank and file members like yourself . So why are you still a Mormon ? Sounds like you’ve figured out that your leaders are self appointed prophets who run a man made religious organization . Am I reading you right ? If so I hope you can dismiss them from your life as authority figures .
    Life’s to short to follow false prophets .

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