‘Raising the Bar’ at Mormon Coffee

When Mormon Apostle M. Russell Ballard called on members of the LDS Church to defend their faith on the Internet, I immediately thought to myself that this will probably end up badly. It seems that I am not the only one who has noticed.

In December 2007, Ballard bemoaned what he saw as an abundance of outsiders defining what the LDS Church teaches. He called on members to no longer “stand on the sidelines” and urged them to join in the conversation by using what he called “the modern printing press,” the Internet. As faithful followers, many have done so, and in many cases it hasn’t been pretty.

Ballard’s marching orders came with a set of “things to avoid,” but sadly, many Latter-day Saints have ignored his counsel. Instead of utilizing the admonition of Proverbs 15:1, many Mormons have responded with personal attacks against those who question Mormonism’s truth claims.

In a commentary published in the February 27, 2009 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune, Ken Kuykendall writes how “Mormons have taken the mandate to new heights, commenting on every possible story. All too often, they forget Ballard’s advice about civility. At times, LDS commenters on sites such as The Salt Lake Tribune’s can be shrill, self-righteous, dismissive and downright insulting. They egg on the critics, rather than persuade them. Even with strong opinions on controversial topics, it doesn’t have to be that way.” I concur with Kuykendall’s assessment. You can be firm and passionate about your position and still convey it with a respectful tone.

I’ve seen Kuykendall’s example expressed too many times on Mormon Coffee. This site is meant to be a forum for an intellectual exchange of ideas around the subject of Mormonism. I am amazed at how many (certainly not all) Mormons respond when their faith is challenged. I personally view Mormon Coffee as a type of house where participants are invited guests. People who understand this concept should also appreciate the fact that there should be a certain level of decorum that demonstrates appreciation for the invitation. I am not at all against pithy comments or tongue-in-cheek remarks, but outright name calling and innuendo regarding a person’s intelligence level have no place here. We have tried to curtail this by implementing rules and even reproof to offenders, but it appears that some see no problem in being bad houseguests.

Please know that I am not defending or ignoring similar conduct by non-Mormons. This is certainly not a one-sided problem. I understand we are all human and prone to let our emotions get the best of us. Sadly, because blog responses are usually done in a rapid-fire manner, many participants don’t let their rebuttal cool off as they might with a regular letter or email.  I know I am not completely innocent of this. In fact, as I write this the Holy Spirit is reminding me of when I have been less than careful in how I express myself.

From now on we are going to “raise the bar,” an expression of which I am sure Mormons and non-Mormons are very familiar. We are going to continue to assume commenters are mature enough to police themselves; however, if someone wishes to disrespect their invitation by using ad-hominem on other participants, their entire comment will be removed and they will not be allowed to post for seven days. After three infractions your invitation will be revoked and you will no longer be welcome to participate at all. Now some will say, won’t this be rather subjective? Yes it will. So the best advice I can give is keep it as civil as possible, and you won’t notice a thing.

So please, come share your thoughts, but let us do so in a manner that honors what we claim to be.

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125 Responses to ‘Raising the Bar’ at Mormon Coffee

  1. Bill McKeever says:

    Stuart, I wish you could see yourself in the description given by Ken Kuykendall above, but apparently you cannot. I can’t think of one single LDS blog site that would tolerate the tone that we tolerated from you over the past several months, so your sarcasm about a “free exchange of ideas” rings hollow with me. The sad part is, in person you don’t seem to be at all like you are on a computer. However, Mormon Coffee will no longer be a place where can rant. Sorry to see you go, but you obviously have no desire to be a pleasant house guest.

  2. mantis mutu says:

    That’s an interesting take, Mr. McKeever. Though I’ve only read one of St. Crispin’s posts on this thread (before it vanished), I found it to be very objective, and balanced (in the sense of “Let’s all be honest here…”).

    While I’ve since read some of crispin’s posts in the highly charged blog on the musical lampooning (& spineless, senseless lambasting) of LDS General Authorities, & can see how some of his criticisms of Evangelical faith (particularly his references to the abominations and excesses of TV evangelists) may have crossed a line of decorum for some, nothing that he said in any way exceeded the lack of decorum that was plainly exhibited in the original blog. Nevermind the subsequent and typically ugly responces by the Evangelical community here.

    Which leads me to conclude that in your call for “pleasant house guests” you really are implying that only Mormon posters here are guests in YOUR house; an obviously Evangelical house. Which is absolutely your right.

    But a very pathetic right it is, really. Your blogs beg for rigorous responses from Mormon visitors. Your online community of responders further beg for rigorous responses from Mormon responders. Yet when you get just the type of rigor worthy of your clime you raise your uneven hand as lord of the “house.” That’s not being “subjective,” Sir, as you acknowledge in your post. That’s being cowardly.

    While I again acknowledge only being able to speak for one of St. Crispin’s responses to this blog, I put it forward as my strong opinion that his posts were deleted for either or both of two simple reasons: (1) the truth hurt; or (2) you perceived that the truth made you look bad.

    Sincerely, mutu.

  3. falcon says:

    For a church that prides itself on hearing from God, Mormons seem to value hearing from the Mormon church as some form of a blessing. Following an organization or men who claim to be hearing from God, instead of God is a dangerous thing. It was pointed out to me that the latest version of Gospel Principles says the the 12 Mormon apostles are witnesses of the “name of Jesus Christ”. My understanding is that it use to say witnesses “of Jesus Christ”. The comments I have read regarding this change indicated that Mormons used to be taught that the 12 apostles had each had some sort of special revelation of Jesus including, possibly, seeing him in some sort of appearance. Not being a Mormon, I have no direct knowledge about this. However the idea that these 12 men have some sort of special relationship or revelation with Jesus or God that the rank and file couldn’t have is a fallacy. Given the rather poor track record of the former prophets along with their willingness to bend to societal pressure and jettison their core beliefs, teachings and practices, I’d think each individual Mormon could do as well themselves.

  4. Andy Watson says:


    If you want to read more of Crispin’s posts you can read them under the name “merryjane” that he was posting under back in July. His bogus interchange and mock dialogue with Jason Rae was a good act for a while. The mistake Stuart Crispin made was that he posted his bogus email address:

    [email protected]

    Crispin was quite active on this blog until he got busted for playing double-identity. I told him in my last correspondence to that address that I would continue to expose his little game when I am around. He’s not the first one to do it. Others have in the past and now they aren’t here anymore.

    You seem to think Bill McKeever has a bias towards him in not allowing Mormons to post. Read the comments by Jason Rae. He was never stopped. Let’s be honest, I see very lengthy posts by you on here and they all seem to go through. The same goes for Ralph, Shematwater, Jim Olsen and others – no problem.

    I wish I could be treated half as nicely by Mormons on their blogs as the Mormons are here on this site. You can’t even imagine what I have been called and been accused of by Mormons on their blogs before I am booted off just for simply doing “copy and paste” of LDS prophets of the past.

    How about this: refer me to an LDS blog that I can go to where I can post and Mormons are willing to answer the questions and deal with the issues. Every question you have asked of me I have answered. The problem with Mormonism is that they don’t have any answers to “questions nobody could answer” (mock instant message LDS advertisement) despite claiming to in their new advertisements all over the web.

  5. Rick B says:

    Along with what Andy said, I posted on the FairLDS blog, Those guys are some serious haters. Then I have had LDS tell me they refuse to go the the FairLDS because it is so hate filled. I had on LDS member tell me it was the UnFairLDS board. Andy is correct, Some LDS boards are pretty evil. Rick b

  6. mantis mutu says:


    My sincere apologies if there is more to Crispin than first meets the eye. The post I read from him yesterday (now deleted) seemed civil, albeit rigorous, & struck right at the heart of the matter, at least as I see it: as long as this board is comprised of blogs tht are inherently & senselessly indecorous & deceitful in their treatment of Mormon faith, people, & leaders, then the administrators are in no position to play ethically majestic parent to the responders & the personal, ad hominen attacks that subsequently froth up among them–in both camps.

    I will quickly admit tht Jason Rae is clearly a hateful bird in his assessment & addressing of his Evangelical brothers & sisters (repent brother, really), but from my vantage he is not by any stretch in a league of his own. Not on this board. (Although I will admit tht I have not spent quality time here, & may again simply be uninformed.)

    Other LDS posters I’ve observed here (including unfortunately myself on 1 occasion) have become quarrelsome & indecorus only after the incessant mocking by their Protestant neighbors. (And believe it or not, that is how I view Hank, for the most part. Unlike many of his favorite opponents on this board, he has shown signs of remorse after he’s delivered his share of lambasting. In my mind, he knows better, & should probably just leave the forum. As will I shortly.)

    As for Crispin, I have to say tht I still find it strange tht he has a well-thought-out & uncomfortably candid post removed–that showed few signs of blatant incivility–yet his more openly discourteous posts from the previous blog remain. Why??

    I really hope there isn’t a spirit governing this forum that seeks to groom the prejudice latent to its participants. On both sides of the aisle.

    If so, please repent. The excesses taken by some Mormons & Mormon-run forums don’t excuse you. Personally, I’ve yet to witness a Mormon blog as bad as this one. Honestly.

    Sincerely, mutu.

  7. Andy Watson says:


    I didn’t read Crispin’s post from yesterday so I have no idea as to what he said. I haven’t been able to be involved as much as I have in the past with MC because of other ministry obligations here locally where I live and this will be a factor in the future as well at least for the time being.

    Issues such as these we are discussing are the most sensitive issues a person can talk about (spiritual) outside of personally addressing one’s spouse or children. The consequences for the spiritual are more severe because the end result is eternal: eternal life or eternal torment. The stakes are high and these issues are very serious. Mormonism has told its people that “contention is of the devil”. Christians view defending (contending) for the faith as a divine command (Jude 3), but it should be done with respect and gentleness (1 Pet 3:15). Heresy must be confronted. Arguing just to argue is a sin.

    I don’t excuse anyone’s behavior including my own if sometimes the line is crossed. I pray for discernment and guidance in everything that I say. I will read my post many times before I post it. Sometimes I will write and not put it up for hours or several days while I think over it. I will sit at the computer and pray before I type.

    KNOW THIS: the MRM staff, myself and the Christians that post here love the Mormons enough to come here and say something and not just “sit on their hands” like others in Christendom and let Mormons “double time” to outer darkness. I love the Mormons enough to tell them the truth even if it means being hated by them.

    The last LDS blog I was kicked off of was here:


    They were in denial about many LDS teachings. I supplied them with hard, LDS references and my posts were deleted and I was given the “boot”. Falcon can attest to it as well. Maybe you can reason with Clean Cut (Spence) and get him to come around. I’d like an LDS blog link where I can go. Thanks!

    [email protected]

  8. subgenius says:

    Considering the “true” meaning of our freedom of speech what is the real meaning and/or impact behind a censorship of passion? Afterall, this (the internet) may be one of the safer forums for such emotional outbursts. There is little impact by those comments which we all know to be “low-brow” and are quite often unintelligible. These type of posts are all to easy to disregard and soon fall into the abyss.
    Dont get me wrong, i appreciate a respectful and articulate debate or discussion. But sometimes the catharsis of, or perhaps the purging of, such intense emotion actually creates something in the mind and spirit of those involved.
    Censorship will inevitably lead to sanitation and an inevitable homogenization of the “opinions” allowed to be expressed.

  9. falcon says:

    So do the Christians here misrepresent Mormonism? I don’t think so. I could list easily ten to twenty facts about Mormonism and document them from Mormon sources and the Mormons here would deny them or say they are being misrepresented. I think Mormons have a religion that Walter Martin characterized as a “maze” because it’s easy to get lost in it. What I’ve found is that Mormons really don’t like Christians pointing things out from Mormon teachings and the proclamations and writings of former prophets. Let me give list a few things that Mormons don’t like to own:
    1. Joseph Smith was a convicted disorderly person for being involved in “treasure hunting” with his magic rock.
    2. Joseph Smith used this same magic rock to “interpret” golden plates that weren’t even present when he did his “interpretation”.
    3. Joseph Smith committed adultery with married women.
    4. Joseph Smith seduced at least one fourteen year old girl and convinced a total of thirty-three women to be his wives.
    5. There have been thousands of changes to the BoM including some dealing with basic doctrine.
    6. Mormonism is a polytheistic religion recognizing millions of other gods.
    7. Mormon men believe they will become gods.
    8. Mormons believe that there is a mother god and father god who procreate spiritual offspring in endless celestial sex.
    9. The BoA is a bogus text having supposedly been translated from an ancient text which proved to be a routine type Egyptian funeral text.
    10. DNA results have proven that the American Indians are not the ancestors of Jews.

    This list could go on and on. It’s typical boiler plate stuff but true none-the-less. Mormons don’t like the information but they can’t say it isn’t true so they have to come up with some fantastic explanations for why it isn’t really what it is. Now what happens is that Mormons that post here will get angry with me when I mention this stuff. Why? If it’s true embrace it. Why not? The early Mormons weren’t ashamed.

  10. falcon says:

    So we have Mormons here that get all angry and upset about the truth of their religion. I don’t know why. They will say we are attacking their religion, attacking them and then “I bear you my testimony.” I don’t see Christians here misrepresenting Mormonism. The people who post here are often exMormons, some of whom have been in positions of leadership. It’s rare to get a Christian posting here who hasn’t spent a lot of time studying the Mormon religion.
    Lastly, we must remember that the Mormons who post here are members of one particular sect of Mormonism. Other groups that claim the Mormon label are very closely aligned with traditional Christian doctrine much like the early Mormon church was. So the idea that Mormonism is the restoration of the original Gospel is pretty shallow since Mormonism has many different groups, any of which could claim that title.

  11. bfwjr says:

    Don’t give up!! I’m thrilled to report another convert to Christ. A friend I have been working with for a number of years has finally seen the light and decided that he needs to leave Mormonism. I never thought that he would. He was a lifelong hardcore LDS member (30 years). The glory is God’s.
    In my experience, the major sticking point always seems to be the poor treatment post-Mormons expect, and do in fact receive from other LDS members, especially family. I remind them of the power of Matthew 10:37 and John 8:32.
    Apologies all around for my caustic comments on the last topic. (Note to Aaron: I would think the polite thing to do would be not to draw attention to my comment rather than immortalize it at the end of the topic. LOL,it’s your board).
    I have never had any success with an intellectual approach to the conversion process. In the end it is about faith and faith is a choice. By virtue of my position in life I work with highly educated people. Riding the conveyor belt through the educational system does not confer intelligence, but a high degree of analytical skills are developed and paramount for success. A majority of my colleagues are LDS and they could care less about heavyweight intellectual arguments against their religion. What do they say? “it works for me” “it keeps my kids in line” and “the fallout would be to much for me and my family” I used to say the same sorts of things. To them it is a pragmatic decision. I was there once too.
    I have a great deal of respect for the LDS who show up on this board and defend their positions. Tip of the cap to them for caring enough to spend their valuable time carrying the water for those who can’t/won’t.
    In conversation and email exchanges with LDS friends I like to ask them: If you were “in charge of The Church (the Prophet)” what would you change? Christians, do you want an eyeopener? try asking that. They aren’t going to post it on a board. Most of the topics MC has addressed I have see

  12. bfwjr says:

    n listed by active faithful LDS. They have already planted the seeds themselves. Getting them to list them allows the LDS member to confront what they already know. It’s all in Hamlet “this above all to thine ownself be true…”

    A heartfelt Thanks to all, for their time, we could all be doing something else
    Yours in Christ, bfwmjr

  13. subgenius says:

    i appreciate your snide exercise of free speech, and though your bias commentary and false characterizations are entertaining, they are nevertheless without any real substance. Since you are baiting, which should be considered as “lowering” the bar, i will reciprocate and “bite”.
    You say Christains on here dont misrepresent Mormonism after you have done exactly that.
    1. Smith was convicted for “glasslooking”…you have made an incorrect statement.
    2. You make an ambiguous statement here….not sure if there is a meaningful point there.
    3. this sounds like you stating your opinion, right? DC 132 means it was not adultery, Furthermore since the Deut 25:5-6 shows God approves levirate marriages, yet God never condemmns the polygamy that was everywhere in the contemporary society of the Old Testament. Consider also that this point is irrelevant to modern Mormonism, as is the “mark of cain” amongst evangelicals.
    4. this statement assumes “facts not in evidence”, but is more of your opinion.
    5. King James version, New American, New International, Darby, etc…all revisions and translations….not uncommon….what is your point about the BoM?
    6.No it is not “polytheistic”, buy a dictionary. No proof, as usual more of your supposition.
    7.Not “will”…but have potential to be like god..with a little “g” not the big “G”.
    8.A simplified and slanted statement which displays more about you than me.
    9.teh BoA is not the BoM, and is no different than the apocrypha in some repsects. It being “bogus” is your opinion, not a fact.
    10.You are showing a shallow knowledge of genetics. You are claiming that there is a “Jewish” gene?, there is not.there are no DNA sequences common to all Jews and absent from all non-Jews. There is nothing in the human genome that makes or diagnoses a person as a Jew. Consider how many genotypes were lost during the holocaust alone.
    Falcon, as usual your attempt to be insightful is more like an attempt to be inciteful.

  14. Michael P says:

    Sub, do you want to go over the factual elements involved in Falcon’s list? Seriously and truly, do you want to do so or do you want to simply respond in a bland and vague fashion? I do not mean to turn the rhetoric up, but Falcon listed items that do have hostory to them. You can disagree on the conclusion (ie the adultery comment), but the fact is that he approached already married women to be his wife. This simply muddies the water, doesn’t it?

    Part of the criticism of Mormonism is the whitewashing of these things and a failure to head on address so many issues from your brief history.

  15. Mike R says:

    Falcon touched on a significant point i.e.
    how early LDS made no bones about how
    different their beliefs were from those of

    “the Christian world” etc. I remember reading
    somewhere that today,for some LDS, General
    Conference does’nt hold their attention as it
    once did.The reason was that it was to PC etc.
    It seems gone are LDS general Authorities like
    Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce McConkie who
    would not hesitate to declare how different
    LDS theology really was as they taught from
    the pulpit, reminiscent as they were of their
    famous predecessor, the “Lion of the Lord”,
    Brigham Young.
    Today when distinct LDS doctrines are brought
    up, all to many Mormons think you’re making
    it all up. It can be difficult to reason with
    them, yet they must be made aware that they
    are in peril [Matt.7:21-23]
    I always try and remember that my “marching
    orders”, have been clearly given to me by my
    ” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.
    Always be prepared to give an answer to every-
    one who asks you to give the reason for the
    hope that you have.But do this with gentleness
    and RESPECT….” [1 Pt.3:15 NIV ]

    thanks for the good report.

  16. subgenius says:

    it seems there are no actual factual elements in Falcon’s list…just opinion, supposition, and inciteful assumption…..
    but to answer your question, YES, i have a real desire to discuss “FACTS”…not commentary.
    i think my listed response to Falcon shows the fallacy of his statements, and there is in FACT, no facts in his list.
    Perhpas you should read DC 132 as well. Taking scripture and history out of context seems to be a popular Enangelical activity.

    perhaps it is you that should focus more on Matt 7:21-23, especially with your less than favorable use of the ESV translation, even amongst Evangelicans.
    I am often amazed at how Evangelicals have such stern confidence that they know the “true” doctrine of the LDS church better than the members of the LDS church. I often wonder if such an effort was made to learn and understand their own doctrine, how much different the babble might be.

  17. liv4jc says:

    Genius, I would like to respond to your less-than-informed position in regards to item #10 on Falcon’s list. Being a descendant of the Native American Choctaw tribe I can tell you that DNA was used to prove my ancestry. Whenever you have isolated breeding populations you can put them in “haplogroups” by tracking the Y chromosome passed down by fathers, because it does not mutate like the mother’s mitochondrial DNA does. In regards to “Jewish” genes, there is most definitely a genetic resemblence among Jewish populations throughout the world. A quick internet search will provide you with a wealth of information on this subject. So, you would not find evidence of a Native American haplogroup amongst a Jewish population, nor would you find Jewish DNA haplogroups among Native American populations.

  18. liv4jc says:

    Genius. From http://www.cohen-levi.org,

    “Despite their long-term residence in different countries and isolation from one another, most Jewish populations were not significantly different from one another at the genetic level. The results support the hypothesis that the paternal gene pools of Jewish communities from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East descended from a common Middle Eastern ancestral population, and suggest that most Jewish communities have remained relatively isolated from neighboring non-Jewish communities during and after the Diaspora.” (M.F. Hammer, Proc. Nat’l Academy of Science, June 9, 2000)

    Given the fact that God promised to preserve His chosen people throughout history, this should come as no surprise and I think it is a remarkeable testimony to the truth of the Bible. The Jewish population has largely maintained their cultural heritage and has a much lower incidence of mixing with other people groups because they believe God commanded them not to.

    Just for kicks, read D&C 3:18-20. The purpose for JS translating from the “other” plates, instead of the plates the translation Martin Harris’ wife destroyed, was to bear witness to the descendants of the Lamanites. This is expressly stated. God does not lie. JS does. Another failed prophecy.

  19. falcon says:

    Sorry Sub,
    Your response to my list is not sufficient to prove what I said isn’t accurate. As you usual do, you merely give a cursory response to what I wrote without providing any depth. What you wrote isn’t even the equivalent of a brush-back pitch in baseball. It’s more akin to Napoleon Dynamite shouting, “Hay Don why don’t you go home and tell your mother to shut-up.”
    I really laughed about your response to #1 where you say that he was convicted of “glass looking” and not being a “disorderly person”. I don’t think you even realize what you said but others will see the irony.
    #6 Let me help you out a little here. Orson Pratt said if you worship one of the gods you worship all of them. Mormons can’t wiggle there way out of this one. It’s the fundamental difference between Mormonism and Christianity.
    #5 Not even close dude when you start comparing the difference between different translations of the Bible and the changes in the BoM. Christianity has manuscripts to work from when translating the Bible; Mormonism has nothing, zippo. Changes are made in the BoM not based on a better understanding of the language of the people at the time but based on other rationale including a retro on the doctrines that where created after the BoM was written. #9 No, No, No friend, the BoA is part of your cannon. You’re stuck with it unless you drop out of the SLC sect and join the Community of Christ or Temple Lot. #10 please give me a break. Scientists you folks are not. Your response looks like something that came out of the imagination of someone at FAIR or FARMS.
    (Last comment of mine deleted by me in keeping with my new policy of not making personal remarks related to someone’s scholarship. I’m growing!)

  20. liv4jc says:

    Genius, the one consistent quality on this board is the level of Christian scholarship in regards to exegesis of literature, whether you agree with our position or not. This is the nature of Christians with an apologetic mindset. Do you think that we don’t disect our own scriptures the way we disect your scriptures and your statements?
    Students of the Bible start with the supposition that it is inerrant (not that it doesn’t have mistakes from textual transmission) and does not contradict itself. This causes us to read every verse within its context. If we find an apparent contradiction we know that it is our misunderstanding of the text, not the error of the bible. We then go to the clear verses on a particular subject and interpret the unclear verses in light of this knowledge.

    This clears up the problem with polygamy and also divorce(tolerated, not condoned), which is a clear violation of God’s commandment in Genesis 2:24, and reiterated by Jesus in Matt 19:1-10.

    If you make broad, sweeping generalities in your posts you will get called on it, and probably get an in-depth response. Hopefully you take this not as a personal assault, but as a challenge to do more in-depth studies of your faith.

    When I read LDS scriptures in comparison with the Bible I see the obvious work of a single individual with a 19th century outlook. I see broad platitudes, verses stolen from the KJV translation, and New Testament concepts and Greek words stuffed into a poor copy of the Old Testament. The LDS scriptures pale in comparison to the bible in depth and literary quality. I know those are broad statements, but it is my opinion. I can provide in-depth commentary if necessary. There is not enough room here to cover that much ground. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

  21. Michael P says:

    Sub, others have addressed your comments well, but I must add that Falcon’s take is just opinion but your’s is fact? Is that a correct way to state your position?

    As to 132, it is irrelevant if he took an already married woman. 132 is about plural marriage and about the importance of a sealed marriage. It is not about taking another’s wife. Do you wish to offer something different? If so, it is in a long line of different takes.

    Subgenius, I don’t want a war here. I just ask that you stop and consider what it is we are saying. Liv4jc gave some great thoughts on how we apply the standards we put to your texts to our own.

    I also hope you see that we take the information from the same places you take it from, and while you condemn us for giving our opinion, what is it you offer?

  22. Mike R says:


    Concerning Falcon’s points that you responded
    to,specifically #’s 7&8 .
    You stated that man not “will”, but only have
    the potential to be “like” god. The little “g”
    for god, not the capital “G”.
    Will worthy Mormon males become “like God”,
    or “as God”? There’s a good article on the
    home page of MRM on this question,have you
    read it?
    Also, your statement about the little “g” for
    god vrs the big “G” etc. This is at best a
    half-truth on your part.I find in LDS literature
    where a little “g” is used, but I also find that
    there are numerous references to man being
    called a God (capital “G”). A short list of
    LDS instructional/curriculum manuels which
    refer to man’s potential as a God:
    Teachings of the Presidents of the Church–
    John Taylor, p.2
    The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, p.257
    The Gospel through the Ages, p.106-107
    1985 Mel.priesthood manuel, p.157

    It should also be noted that according to
    Mormon doctrine man’s relation to God is one
    of “like begets like”.Just as Heavenly Father
    attained to the status of Almighty God, so
    will His Children, if worthy.[Gospel Principles
    Concerning point#8 I thought Falcon stated it
    fairly accurate.
    Apostle John Widtsoe taught, “Sex among the
    Gods…the relationship between men and women
    is eternal…Since we have a Father,who is our
    God,we must also have a Mother who possesses
    the attributes of Godhood…” [A Rational
    Theology” p.64]
    Lastly, I call your attention to an offical
    First Presidency message : “All men are in
    similitude of the universal Father and Mother
    and are LITERALLY the sons and daughters of
    Deity…” [ 1909 First Pres. message,”The
    Origin of Man” ]

    Let me close by emphasizing the bottom line
    here.The above LDS doctrines are not true,
    they are not “sound doctrine” [1 Tim.4:6]
    Because they concern who God is and because
    a correct view of God is essential for a
    right relaionship with Him,the stakes could’nt
    be higher.See Jn.17:3

  23. Michael P says:

    Enki, you’re right. No one likes hearing or reading that they are wrong. This should be a given. Its true in academics, politics, law, medicine, at home with your spouse/children, and faith.

    In the context I give, there is a huge endeavor to suppress that which is not positive to their faith. While admittedly this is a movie, I think it best expressed in the film “God’s Army.” But even in reality, everything contrary to what is espoused within the LDS faithful is dangerous, and anything criticizing the faith is a lie, misrepresentation, and anything not positive. It just really seems as though Mormons are much more sensitive to that which is critical than others.

    I also have to address the reaction to criticism of Christianity by Christians. I really don’t see much to talk about, since most react without much drama. Surely, we don’t like it, but I have never seen anyone react with the sentiments of many LDS when criticized. The most I have seen is in the release of the movie “The Davinci Code” and that was not so much that Brown was lying but that he was wrong. The criticism from Christians toward that book was that he is biased and has his facts wrong. What I saw was a reaffirmation of the basic history and doctrine of Christianity. I certainly don’t recall seeing a victim mentallity.

    I also see a lot of head on attacks to the likes of Brown and other atheists, and not an attempt to stifle debate.

    If you know of specific occurrences different from what I have said, please, let me know.

  24. Enki says:

    Liv4jc & Subgenius,
    Interesting points about ethnicity and genetics. There was someone on the christian channel advancing the idea that the ‘gods people’ genetic markers where recreated in gentile christians. I don’t know if this idea is valid. Some have suggested that there might be such a thing as an ‘ethnic mormon’, as there are some traits which are in common in mormons which have a long family history with the church.

    There are some practices which facilitate the formation of ethnicity. Small founding population, polygamy, restricting population from breeding with outsiders, and I think even monogamy can facilitate ethnicity.

  25. mantis mutu says:


    Thank you for your thoughtful response to me earlier today. I’m sorry I’ve been busy all day w/ friends (watching FSU kick BYU’s tail) & haven’t been around to respond, but the time you took to assure me of your good intentions, & the good intentions of the board have been much appreciated. Though we may not see eye to eye in many things, I very much honor good intentions, whatever their form. And your gracious civility was proof enough for me. Again, thankyou friend.

    And w/ that I admit that I personally have not been treated all too badly here. While I might not like the hostility & hatred I feel towards Mormon faith (& indirectly towards Mormon poeple), I have always been free to leave. I admit that it hasn’t been blatantly aimed at me, & I therefore haven’t felt my feathers ruffled–but once, and I take full responsibilty for that one time. My feelings are my own to control, & I am free to leave at any time, & certainly will before I make an attack on another human being. To debate ideas is one thing, but it certainly pains me to see it get so personal at times around here, & I can tolerate it only so much.

    Good luck in marshaling the blog. And thankyou again for your thoughtful remarks & graciousness.

    P.S. I’ll check out these LDS sites you’ve posted (been to neither) & perhaps give you an appraisal, if you’d like.

    Sincerely, mutu.

  26. Enki says:

    Michael P,
    “…everything contrary to what is espoused within the LDS faithful is dangerous, and anything criticizing the faith is a lie, misrepresentation, and anything not positive. It just really seems as though Mormons are much more sensitive to that which is critical than others.”

    There are several statements you make at once.
    1)”everything contrary to what is espoused within the LDS faithful is dangerous”. I am not so sure that the LDS church leadership would agree entirely with that. Maybe in a round about way they say it, by saying anything else is less than ‘the fullness of the gospel’.

    2)”anything criticizing the faith is a lie, misrepresentation, and anything not positive.” I wouldn’t go that far, some criticisms are right on, objective, and pretty fair. Others are just so emotionally charged, and over the top, those are usually just ignored by active LDS members. The criticisms that make sense to me and get my attention were ones which are more grounded, less emotionally charged, and impersonal. Impersonal to the character of J.S. or other church leaders, or any LDS church member, and keep focus on a few central teachings. Additionally the best criticisms limit characterizing the church as absolutely evil. These are perhaps the best suggestions I would give anyone at MC if they really want to gain respect and understanding of LDS members.

    3)”It just really seems as though Mormons are much more sensitive to that which is critical than others.” Sensitive in what sense? Its possibily a good thing if its sensitive to what is actually being said, and why, and if its keen to sources of information. Being sensitive is maybe not such a great thing if it means easily provoked to an irrational response.

    I have not seen “The Davinci Code” its never taken my interest other than it had Audrey Tautou. That wasn’t enough for me to see it however. I have not seen “God’s Army”, but the film review makes it sound real in dealing with questions of fr

  27. Ralph says:


    Geneticist I am not, but Biochemist I am and I do understand some genetics. Did you know that out of the full human genome there is only 1% that shows any difference between the different human races? Did you know that the last major mutation that is used to differentiate between the races was over 10,000 years ago? Did you also know that the last known major migration from the Asia to American also occurred over 10,000 years ago? These are cold hard scientific facts summarised in a Scientific American issue I read last year. I will try and find it again to give you the actual reference if you wish to do the research. But looking at these facts, we can see that this also put the time of all these events outside of the Biblical time from the fall of Adam and Eve when death came into the world (estimated approx 6,000 years ago). So to use the DNA as evidence against the BoM when it does not support the Bible is rather nonsensical to me.

    There has been a gene found specific to a ‘Cohen’ family. But if I remember correctly they are from the tribe of Levi, not Jews (please correct me if I am wrong), and according to the BoM, the Lamanites were from the tribe of Joseph through Mannasah. So of course there will be a difference.

  28. Enki says:

    So, what do you do with information which is contrary to the Bible and the BOM?

  29. liv4jc says:

    Ralph, whether it was the genes of the Levitical priests or the Kohanen from the line of Aaron is really neither here nor there. The research began because of the traditional Jewish understanding that the people with the surname Cohen, Kohanen, or other variations were descendants of Aaron, but since the fall of Jerusalem and other dispersions it all came down to claims of lineage. The genetic research proved that men making that claim had similar haplotypes, proving they descended from one common male ancestor. The Jewish population worldwide show the same kind of markers, setting them apart from the rest of the surrounding populations. As far as the 10k years goes I’m sure that there is a wide margin of error based upon mutations over estimated generational lifespans. We’re talking about secular scientists here. These are people that estimate geological timeframes with phrases like, “Give or take a few million years.” What’s a few thousand years on either side to someone who deals with humans evolving over several million years?

    What would really up the BoM wow factor is to study the DNA of Native American populations. With such a small number arriving from Jerusalem there would be a very small breeding population that would really concentrate the DNA. Next we have the final battle at the hill Cumorah leaving only Lamanite DNA. Surely there was very little mixing of the population with outside DNA over the course of the next 1500 years or so. It should be easy to determine that they share the haplotypes of modern Jews. And what’s this talk of migration from Mongolia? I know the church recently changed the BoM wording to say “among” the ancestors of the Native Americans, but come on man, don’t believe the hype. JS said that the Indians were the descendants of the Lamanites. Follow the Prophet. Don’t follow the tradtions of men. Mormons always tell me we can’t rely on lack of archaeological evidence to disprove the BoM. But now you trust science?

  30. falcon says:

    A scientist I am not so my questions tend to be pretty simple. For example, what is the opinion of credible scientists regarding the ancestry of those we call native people in North, Central and South America? It must be remembered that it was a common theory in JS time that the Indians might/were descendants from the Jews. In fact if I remember my history correctly, part of the charge that Thomas Jefferson gave to Lewis & Clark in their exploration was to consider this question.
    When it comes to the BoM, I think the SLC LDS would be better served to do as the Community of Christ Mormon sect has done and given its membership the option of believing either that the BoM is a spiritual book rather than an actual history. I’m reading between the lines here, but such an option really gets the Mormon off the hook in having to defend a book that is clearly a work of fiction and I might add plagiarism.
    The World Wide Church of God went through a real wake-up call after the passing of Herbert Armstrong. Part of his “theology” dealt with something called British Israleism. Without going into the theory it also deals with Jews coming to America.
    I think our Mormon friends would be better served if they just worked from a stand-point of “faith” and quit trying to justify or prove JS teachings, practices and behavior. The bar is way too high to get over and they don’t clear it on any of these matters.

  31. falcon says:

    Just for fun I did a google search on “Joseph Smith disorderly person”. It seems a warrant was issued identifying Joseph Smith as a “disorderly person and impostor” for his treasure hunting scam. It makes interesting reading. I think this description of Joseph Smith accurately portrays who Joseph Smith was. The tragedy of course is that he was able to pull off a religious scam and con that Mormon folks today continue to follow despite the evidence that he was exactly as described in the warrant. This isn’t “faith” in the Biblical sense. It’s something else, well described by Jesus and the writers of the NT.

  32. Kevin says:

    Ralph said, “But looking at these facts, we can see that this also put the time of all these events outside of the Biblical time from the fall of Adam and Eve when death came into the world (estimated approx 6,000 years ago)”

    This is a question to all, Do you think that Adam and Eve were ejected from the Garden in 4000 B.C.?

    Personally I don’t know enough about these time lines to know, but it wouldn’t bother me if it happened 20,000, 100,000, or 1,000,000 years ago.

  33. subgenius says:

    the words of a warrant are what you consider to be an accurate description of one person’s character? In other words, since this warrant is based only on one man’s testimony, anything a warrant states is true?
    Not only are you not a scientist, i believe you may be out of your league on a host of other topics.
    Nevertheless, i am fully aware of what “glasslooker” implies and what it meant in the context of that time.
    Bottom line is still that my assertion of your initial statement for item#1 is false, plain and simple you made an erroneous statement which also reveals your bias and inflammatory nature in commentary. When you decide to provide some substance with your style then perhaps a discussion can develop…otherwise dont trip over the low bar.

    p.s. everyone else should do some serious research on ethnic-genetics before they claim any real hard knowledge on the subject. A Jewish gene indeed.

  34. Ward says:

    Hey Kevin! Wow, you just expressed a flexibility with regards to origins that is a BIG thing elsewhere. There is a lot of disagreement regarding how to interpret Genesis – literally, figuratively, a little of both. Perhaps Ralph knew that this would come up with his comment. This discussion runs the gamut of atheists like Richard Dawkins, through a bunch of Evangelical dialogues, to Francis Collins (Past coordinator of the Human Genome project), to literalist standard bearers like http://www.answersingenesis.org. Also, evolution vs creationism… There is a lot of heat and dialogue in there.

    My point in saying anything about this, is that this dialogue over origins is healthy and appropriate. It is contending and iron sharpening iron. It runs through science, research, theology, and apologetics. I like that. I guess that is why I like MC.

  35. liv4jc says:

    Genius, no one ever made a claim to a “Jewish gene”, as if Judaism was some sort of inherited genetic defect. What is scientifically sound is that when you have isolated breeding groups among any population, whether they be finches, dogs, horses, or human beings you can track the mutations in those genetic groups and determine what line they are from. I related that DNA was used to prove that I had genes from a haplogroup common to the native inhabitants of this continent. But my Y chromosome profile is a real dog’s breakfast and shows that the majority of my traits come from a haplogroup common to northwestern Europe. So, like I said to Ralph, if the Nepho-Lamanites were an extremely small breeding population from Israel, and came to an uninhabited continent, which is the claim of the BoM, and interbred over the course of their history due to isolation from other world populations, then the genetic makeup of modern Lamanites should closely match that of modern Jews who have artificially isolated themselves due to religious tradition. But it doesn’t. This proves JS had no idea that the common theory of his day, that the Indians were descendant of the Jews, would later be proven false by science. On the other hand we have the common origin of the descendants of Aaron, in the Cohen line, proven by that same science. The men who claim Aaron as their common ancestor all have a common haplogroup transmitted through their Y chromosome, which doesn’t mutate the way the mitochondrial DNA of the mother’s X chromosome does. Among a mountain of other evidence against the BoM modern science has given us this little gem. Why doesn’t the LDS church do their own Lamanite study to prove JS trustworthy? Oh, that’s right, they actually changed the intro to the BoM to account for this scientific evidence against the Jewish origin of the Lamanites. Dodge, deny, and attack. Let the quotes from FAIRLDS begin.

  36. Michael P says:

    Enki, I can’t disagree with much of what you write on the individual points. But I can still conclude the way I do that LDS are much more sensitive and quick to dismiss anything against their faith than other groups in their reaction to criticisms. This conclusion comes from a totallity of the circumstances where the entire picture points to this idea, even if each point individually has another side to it.

    Sub, maybe you missed it, but you dismiss Falcon’s points because they are his opinion– but what do you offer besides opinion?

    The existence of the warrant and the claim against him I would not say is everything, but it is evidence of something, isn’t it? It could be evidence of how people were out to get him, right? But it could also be evidence that he was indeed a charlatan. Is not this also right?

  37. falcon says:

    You’re struggling buddy. You’re not only on shaky ground, you have no ground underneath you at all. That’s what the warrant said. Joseph Smith was called what he was called. This is a legal document. Your childish claim that it was only one man’s opinion is really pathetic.
    Joseph Smith was convicted right? If a warrant is sworn out accusing someone of something and they’re tried and convicted, I think it reflects something regarding the person’s character. Joseph Smith was a convicted con man. He went from defrauding people through his treasure hunting schemes to defrauding women of their chastity, not to mention his banking scheme. If he were around today you’d kick him out of your own church and he’d be in jail. He’d be kicked out of your church for all sorts of behavioral including the fact that he drank alcohol and used tobacco. You need to get beyond the sanitized version of Mormon history put out by the SLC LDS and confront what really was going on.

  38. falcon says:

    I get a kick out of some of our Mormon friends regarding the facts I’ve listed regarding Mormonism and Joseph Smith. I begin to wonder if they think I sat down at my computer and concocted a bunch of lies out of thin air. Everything that I list is well known. Mormon Research Ministry, which is the sponsor of this blog, can verify what’s being presented. If not, go and take a look at Sandra Tanner’s Lighthouse Ministries website or any number of legitimate websites that have all of this information along with the documentation. Former Mormons are often the best source of information regarding Mormonism because they have lived it and have thoroughly researched the religion. Now I can understand some Mormons not liking what they read because it exposes Joseph Smith as a corrupt fraud but it also challenges the history and doctrine of Mormonism. The evidence is so strong that only someone who is totally emotionally dependent on the church would be unable to conclude it’s a fraud.
    The purpose of those who labor in this field is to provide a pathway out for those caught in the Maze of Mormonism.

  39. liv4jc says:

    Falcon, it really is a strange phenomenon. Coming out of agnosto-atheism I looked to the proofs of the bible after my conversion. I was amazed at both the internal and external accuracy of the Bible. I can honestly say that my conversion was a supernatural work of God by His grace, but I can also honestly admit that if someone proved the Bible to be false, I would leave the faith. The problems with LDS scripture would be equal to someone proving to me that the people who call themselves Jews and Christians based those titles upon the “Bible”, a book that 
    1) Claims there was a nation of Israel, but no other middle eastern culture had ever heard of it, nor was there any record of their existence even though they claimed to be a prolific literary society.
    2) There was no such place as the Red Sea, the Sea of Galilee, The Jordan river, Jerusalem, or any of the other geographic places in the Bible nor was their location clearly defined so you could at least find where they may have been.
    3) There were no such people groups or nations such as the Canaanites, Hittites, Babylonians, or Assyrians, nor had there ever been any evidence of their existence found.
    4) The savior in the Bible had been borrowed from another religion that actually had a compilation of books written by people who actually existed as part of an actual nation in existence today, with a clearly documented history, in an   actual continually inhabited geographic location known today.
    4) The other more complete book had prophecy about the coming savior that was so accurate that it defied chance. The book also clearly defined the nature of God and the savior, and the true nature of salvation, but the Bible modified the nature of the god of that book and salvation to make it fit the theology of Jews and Christians.

    You know what I would do? Leave Christianity and go to the other faith.  

  40. Ralph says:


    So the Cohen gene is from descendants of Aaron – is that right? Well the BoM does not profess the Lamanite lineage to be from Aaron, nor Moses. So that does make a difference to the DNA claims to one extent. And as I said, they were not from the tribe of Jews, so again that would make a difference as well.

    The comments about the 10K years for the DNA mutation is putting it on the minus side – ie the minimum it could have been. Most papers I have read put it at between 15K and 28K years ago. As far as the migrations are concerned, I placed that in because many here use that as the answer to where the Amerindians came from. The last known migration to occur was over (again minimum side) 10K years ago. These times, like I said, put it outside of the scope of the Bible as well, if you believe that Adam and Eve’s fall and the ensuing of mortality in this world came about 6K years ago. So using this data is also proving the Bible to be wrong. Also, these days they are saying plus or minus a few thousand years, not millions.


    The scientists believe that the Amerindians come from Asiatic stock. But many also believe in evolution and believe that it has been proven. So what?


    Do you look at the Bible as literal or figurative? If Genesis is true, the fall of Adam and Eve has been calculated by the ages/times given (eg Adam lived for so long, had Seth at this age, he lived so long had his son at this age, etc) to be about 6K years ago. Because this is when mortality and death came into the world any fossil record (ie dead humans and animals) should not show anything older than this. But if Adam and Eve came out of the garden thousands of years earlier than that then at least Genesis in the Bible is wrong. This would mean that all of the NT authors that reference the fall are referencing incorrect material. Does this mean then that we need to disregard these authors because they believed in the wrong thing and taught it as doctrine?

  41. subgenius says:

    you read without comprehension…quit seraching Google for vague justifications for any ill-tempered opinion you attempt to shove in the face of the faithful.
    “Warrant issued upon written complaint upon oath of Peter G. Bridgeman, who informed that one Joseph Smith of Bainbridge was a disorderly person and an imposter. Prisoner brought before Court March 20, 1826.”
    Yes, a legal document, all warrants are, but just because someone (one person) swears out a warrant does not make it true. I am perfectly capable (and legally allowed) to go to my local police station and swear out a warrant for your arrest on whatever charge i am willing to “swear” upon.
    You claim i am on unstable ground, yet you dont even seem to have the ability to stand on any ground.
    Nevertheless, believe what you want about Joseph Smith, it has little bearing on the truth of the BoM.
    Your strategy of “if Joseph Smith was convicted is true, then BoM is false” is a fundamental flaw in logic and fails (miserably)to discredit the truth of the BoM. Thankfully, you are exposed.

    Interesting comments, thank you

  42. subgenius says:

    as a side note
    i notice so many evangelicals try to disprove the BoM by pointing out contrary notions put forth by the prophets over the years. McConkie, Young, or Hinkcley, etc….
    It seems that the major argument being relied upon is rather anecdotal. Again a flaw in reasoning.
    There is a quite open admission amongst the LDS faithful that we are all an imperfect creation, from saint up to prophet. A look at the long list of contradictions in the Old Teastatment and New Tetstament would certainly be just cause to claim those texts to be false as well?
    The obscure reference here and anecdotal event there are paraded up and down these boards in hopes of convincing me that your inconsistencies are better than mine?….please…doctor heal thyself.

  43. setfree says:

    Hi all,

    Last night I dreamed that I got to witness to my mother-in-law.

    I have made several attempts over the last 6-7 years to talk to her about Mormonism, about Christianity, and about the differences. I can’t see results yet, but I am not willing to give up on her.

    Anyway, in the dream, we were yelling at each other. That’s a difference between the dream, and what really happens, which is extremely polite dialogue, normally through letters.

    The other huge difference in my dream was that she was actually hearing what I was saying, and asking me to prove it, and getting mad because of what was being said.

    I have to tell you… the fact that she was finally getting so mad as to actually listen made me very hopeful (in my dream, of course). Even though I don’t want to argue with her, I could finally see that we were going to talk about the issues, get them out from underneath our politeness problem.

    The two things I was telling her in my dream were this: 1- JS’s writings sound like the Bible in a blender, and 2- her gospel is impossible.


    You probably know that the Christians out here think a lot of you. Now, to stop being too polite: You really dodge the big issues, and hammer away at the small ones. You do so with intelligence, but the problem is that you’re ignoring the stuff that really matters. I want to encourage you to STOP DOING THIS, and go back and try to answer some of the questions where you leave a blank because you can’t answer it. Go back and make a list of all those. See how big the list is, and try to figure out what to do with it.

    You know, don’t you, that I said that because I do care.

    As for the creation/evolution debate, I’d really like to encourage everyone to buy the book “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist”. And/or read it online. It’s terrific reading.

    God bless!

  44. subgenius says:

    so many questions yet so many unheard answers.
    We will never be able to convince you about the truth of the BoM because you are pre-disposed to always consider it wrong. Even if in the silence of your heart you saw truth, you would deny it and claim we had tricked you – just like you assume JS was some sort of 19th century grifter. Your mind is made up and it is a rock in front of the cave of your heart. We will never be able to pierce because of this bias. We have already accepted a correctly translated Old and New Tetstament, yet we are not so foolish as to think or believe that God is simply done talking to us……Can you honestly tell this board that God has revealed all he will reveal? That notion is not only hard to believe but it is also unreasonable…..unless of course you have reconciled that idea somehow, in that case please share.

  45. Michael P says:

    Sub, maybe you think my comments as worthless, or maybe you just haven’t seen my responses, or maybe you just don’t want to answer, but you speak of your opinion as truth. What we have is a fact that a warrant was issued against Mr. Smith. Does that prove he was a bad guy? Nope. But it gives evidence of it, doesn’t it? It certainly is not evidence of him being a nice guy. Like it or not, this is a possibility, you have to admit, right? It certainly is reasonable, right?

    So, subgenius, why should we buy your opinion over Falcon’s?

    And that’s where the rub comes in regarding your argument. You in pointing out a logical fallacy by another use that same fallacy. If you want to call out another for giving only their opinion, be sure to back up your opinion with something to prove it a fact.

  46. Michael P says:

    Oh, and sub, given the facts, which all of us know, certainly do lend themselves to the interpretation that he was a fraud. This warrant is just one part, and that part helps build the entire picture.

    Shall I go through some things that indicate this entire picture? I am sure you know that which I talk about, but let me, and all of us here, if you need reminding.

    For whatever it is worth, I recognize that none of these on their own necessarilly indicate his guilt, or even in their entirety. But given the breadth of all of them it makes a very strong case…

  47. Ralph says:


    Using science and archaeology, especially when it comes to DNA and carbon/phosphorus dating, to disprove the BoM, but not applying the same standard to the Bible is not a small issue. If these prove the Bible (or more correctly Genesis for those who are pedantic) wrong as well then you cannot use them for your argument. Otherwise you are shooting yourself in the foot.

    I have said this time and again, the Bible and the BoM are books of faith. One chooses to believe in them and then gain their evidence/proof/testimony that they are true. Yes there is some evidence proving the Bible to be factual in some accounts – but the same evidence is true for Forrest Gump and many other fictional books. So how can you really say that the Bible is what you claim it to be in the way of history instead of someone with local knowledge writing a ‘good story’ using local events, places and people as part of it?

    Then there is the question of why some Christians believe the OT, especially Genesis and Exodus, to be more anecdotal/figurative to make a doctrinal point rather than factual/historical. For instance look at Kevin’s comment earlier about the timing of Adam and Eve’s eviction from the Garden of Eden. I know of others who do not believe in the flood being world wide, and again others who think the Tower of Babel was just a good story to explain why there is a difference in languages.

    If the Bible is true and the word of God then it must be true, not anecdotal/figurative when it comes to major events that reference God and His workings, like the creation and the eviction of Adam and Eve, and the flood, etc. So if the beginning of the Bible is not true (which science says it isn’t) then how can you be sure the rest of it is? By spiritual witness is my answer – and that is how I know the BoM and the LDS church is true and why if I don’t have an answer I am willing to go on faith.

  48. Michael P says:

    Ralph, I think you are mistaken to state that every story in the Bible must be historically true for it to remain the word of God. Certainly, what it says must be true, but truth need not always be the recounting of a true story.

    I am not taking a position here, but your argument does not fully stand. This is because it is possible to state a truth without stating an historic event.

    What does that mean? It means that some stories in the Bible can be anecdotal or literary and still be true.

    You also make a mistake by assuming that science has it right. To muddy the water more, it is then possible that science has it wrong and the Bible has it right.

  49. Ralph says:


    As someone on this site keeps saying, if Jesus and His apostles refer to it then it must be true. Well there are plenty of references to the fall of Adam and Eve, there is also a reference to the flood being world wide. So these must have been events and history, not just stories – especially the creation and fall. But read carefully what I said – “If the Bible is true and the word of God then it must be true, not anecdotal/figurative when it comes to major events that reference God and His workings…” Yes I do agree that some stories are anecdotal/literary like the parables, but when the Bible says ‘God did something’, then He must have done it. That is what I am talking about. Sorry if it wasn’t clear.

    But I am not saying that science has it correct – I am saying that if you want to use science to disprove the BoM, then you must also put the Bible under the same scrutiny. In the case of DNA and carbon/phosphorus dating, the evidence does not match up. Meaning that the same evidence you use to disprove the BoM also disproves the Bible. So why use it?

    I know that science does not have it all correct. I have had discussions with my athiest collegues about this especially the theory of evolution – I usually emphasise that it is still called a theory and nothing has been proven. But they insist that it has – but that is their faith/doctrine/gospel/god so of course they will have their evidence for it to believe in it, just like we all do for our religions.

  50. Michael P says:

    Ralph, I mean what I say to apply to even the major events.

    I also mean to question the reliance on DNA/Carbon/phosphorous dating.

    As I stated, I am not taking a position on the timing of Eden. I don’t know enough about it and there are so many variables it is near impossible to give it an accurate time. I do however have full faith that we are created through Adam, and that we fell through Eve’s sin (and Adam’s allowing it). I am confident that the process was as outlined in Genesis accounts of the 7 days, but I am not sure if calling a day a literal day as we understand it today is true. It could be, does it change anything if a day means something different?

    The same scrutiny to the Bible that is put against the BoM? Are you sure you want to go there? I ask because you have to remember that there is more than enough in the Bible already proven to suggest the rest shows a true story, if not a literal historic event.

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