Mormons’ Divided Sense of Self

According to Boyd J. Peterson, author of Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life, many Mormons suffer from a divided sense of self. Mormon Times reported,

“…members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints live with contradictory public images.

“‘They are both revered and reviled, feared and revered,’ Petersen said. Outmigrants, those Mormons who have left Utah, ‘have this divided sense of ourselves.’

“Mormons have their own sense of themselves and their church. They also look closely at what others think about Mormons and Mormonism.

“This divided self, or ‘double consciousness,’ is common with minorities, Petersen said….

The Mormon Times article noted that one “coping mechanism” used by minorities, including Mormons, is “special coded language.”

“It allows them to speak to two different audiences at once. It is a form of doublespeak, and Mormons use it to both give information and to hide information, according to Petersen.”

This really rings true. There are many examples of this behavior in Mormonism that could be put forth; I’ll name a few.

Remember when, in late 2007, Mike Huckabee suggested that Mormonism teaches Jesus and the devil are brothers? The Associated Press reported,

“A spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Huckabee’s question is usually raised by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith rather than clarify doctrine.

“‘We believe, as other Christians believe and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all,’ said the spokeswoman, Kim Farah. ‘That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for.'”

Ms. Farah engaged in doublespeak. She did not clarify doctrine, but instead used coded language to appease two different audiences. She satisfied the non-Mormon audience with something that sounded orthodox, yet Mormons understood that she was only telling part of the truth (see The Relationship Between Jesus and Lucifer in a Mormon Context by Bill McKeever for more information on this example).

How about Gordon B. Hinckley’s response to a doctrinal question in 1997? Richard Ostling, writing for TIME Magazine, asked President Hinckley if the LDS Church held to the idea that God the Father was once a man. His reply:

“I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it … I understand the philosophical background behind it, but I don’t know a lot about it, and I don’t think others know a lot about it” (“Mormons, Inc.,” TIME Magazine, August 4, 1997, page 56).

Mr. Hinckley artfully deflected the question. Non-Mormons hearing his answer were placated and believed Mr. Hinckley had just denied the heretical teaching that God was once a man, while Mormons understood that this core LDS doctrine, though a mystery on some levels, was nevertheless affirmed by their prophet.

FOX News asked the LDS Church 21 questions about Mormon beliefs. Among the many good examples of doublespeak evident in the Church’s answers we find this:

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe that God and Mary had physical sex to conceive Jesus?
A: The Church does not claim to know how Jesus was conceived but believes the Bible and Book of Mormon references to Jesus being born of the Virgin Mary.

In an older Mormon Coffee post, Aaron pointed out the way the Church used doublespeak to answer:

“Mormonism has a long-standing unrepudiated teaching on the literal nature of Christ’s conception which redefines the term ‘virgin’ to allow for having had sex with an immortal.

“By saying that the Church ‘does not claim to know how Jesus was conceived’ they gave an ‘out’ for all the Mormons who redefine ‘virgin’ as ‘not having had sex with a mortal man’, and by saying ‘the Bible and Book of Mormon references to Jesus being born of the Virgin Mary’ they gave the impression to the masses that they positively affirm the traditional notion of ‘virgin’.”

People who engage in faith conversations with Mormons encounter Mormonism’s coded language and doublespeak all the time. It really is used to “both give information and to hide information.” It’s an interesting (though frustrating) phenomenon. What has been your experience with Mormonism’s coded language?


Comments within the parameters of 1 Peter 3:15 are invited.


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 Mormon Culture, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

94 Responses to Mormons’ Divided Sense of Self

  1. Enki says:

    I am sure the New World translation of the Bible probably places all those other passages in a different light, based on how they translated John 1:1. Doesn’t the understanding of a translator make a difference of how something gets translated? Somehow, the JWes as an organization find their translation acceptible enough that its a continuing organization. There may not be a correct translation, but by your definition there could be translations which are less accurate than others.

    Reguarding the issue of “literal fidelity with dynamic equivalence” I was thinking of that phenomona in general, in more broad terms. I have seen a bible ‘translated’ into street language. That was such a poor translation,it didn’t do justice to what I thought was the christian message. On an even more ridiculous level there is a bible translation into pig-latin, and ubie dubie. I am sure that christians would have some tolerance, and perhaps even some fun. Especially with children who might not otherwise be interested in the text.

  2. Enki says:

    There are about 837 million hindus in the world, and around 1.57 billion muslims. If you take the figure of 2 billion christians, you could divide that into catholics, liberal christians, etc…

  3. Ralph says:


    On August 25th in the blog “Do you really want to become a god?” you wrote –

    ” If I were God…
    …I definitely would NOT set things up so that I would, at some point, enter into the world I made and get myself crucified, so that those who crucified me might have life…
    ..thank God that I am not God.”

    Looking at that, I believe I have interpreted it correctly in that you are saying that the LDS God (Heavenly Father) came down and was crucified, not Jesus. In essence you are putting a Trinitarian view into an LDS doctrine.


    I do understand my own religion to a certain extent. I do not understand all of it, though. I don’t think anyone fully understands their own religion. Yes, Jesus is a God, but He is not The God – ie Heavenly Father. Martin was referring to Heavenly Father when he made the comment (see above).


    I am just showing the definition of double-speak given above (” The Mormon Times article noted that one “coping mechanism” used by minorities, including Mormons, is “special coded language.”

    It allows them to speak to two different audiences at once. It is a form of doublespeak, and Mormons use it to both give information and to hide information, according to Petersen.”)

    Why did Jesus talk in parables? So that He could talk to 2 different audiences at once – ie those who had the Spirit and could understand; those who did not have the Spirit and would not understand. That, by the above definition, is double-speak.

  4. Ralph says:


    I forgot one thing. I mentioned this to you a while ago. We LDS use ‘God’ as a title not a being as you Evs use it. This can also be seen in the Bible when it talks about the ‘gods’ of the Jews (ie – ‘Ye are gods’ found in Psalms 82:6 and John 10:34), which many here interpret it as the Jewish judges. Then there is Satan being titled ‘the god of this world’.

    When it comes to the person of The God we call Him Heavenly Father. Whereas you Evs use this as a title. This is why I said on that blog I first mentioned this to you – if you don’t use this to interpret things, then you will not understand the LDS way of thinking.


    I don’t know if we emphasise this. I don’t know if we teach this. 😛

    Seriously, we teach that we too will create worlds and populate them just as Heavenly Father did here. We do not, however, focus on the glorification that you are emphasising here. In fact I don’t remember ever hearing anyone going down that path of having countless minions worshiping them. I do know that many of my friends and I joke now and then about how we are going to create certain things. For example, my mum loves black berries so she is going to create a bush without thorns to make it easier to pick them. My dad loves mangoes so he is going to create them to grow as large as watermelons. And so on and so forth. I would love to create a planet with a nice 6 foot swell and endless beaches and blue sky just to take the board out. Fun fun fun in the sun sun sun.

    But since we do not understand fully what the whole thing is about, many voice their opinions like this. But as I said, no one I know of has ever said or thought anything about receiving praise. That does not mean others have or have not.

  5. Mike R says:


    How sad it is to see how blinded you are in
    believing such heresy.First,(last month) you
    admit that you’ll be an Almighty God one day.
    Then here you admit that you’ll create worlds
    and populate them as your God has done here,yet
    then you back-peddle and deny that you’ll be
    worshipped by those very children that you have
    populated the world with! Is’nt this what you are
    doing right today? i.e. you and milions are
    worshipping your HF, the one you hope to be like.
    God help you Ralph. Just because you do’nt “focus”
    on this heresy does’nt negate it.

    You may try and make light of all this, you may
    even as you say “joke” about some of it, but I
    must tell you that one day if you don’t repent
    and turn to worshipping the One True and Living
    God, it is’nt going to be a “joke”.It’s a life
    and death situation for you. Also, its not “fun,
    fun,fun,in the sun,sun,sun” for anyone to reject
    the truth of God and believe a lie [Rom.1:21-23],
    rather, its darkness forever[2Pt.2:1-4].

    You said that you do not understand this fully.
    That is’nt the point.You believe it because your
    Apostles and Prophets have taught you.They will
    be judged for teaching false doctrine and you’ll
    be right with them [Matt.15:14; Isa.9:16].

    My prayer for you is that you’ll come to experience a relationship with the One true
    God Almighty who loved you enough to send His
    Son to die in your place that you could receive
    a full pardon from your sins and live with Him
    forever. He is so Majestic! He is so Unique!

  6. Ralph says:


    I didn’t deny that I would be worshipped, I just said that no one I know has ever mentioned/discussed that nor to my understanding thought about that aspect, including me. Sorry if it seems that that is what I wrote. I did fail high school English and have difficulties writing my thoughts coherently.

    Am I blinded by heresy? No, I don’t believe so. I believe that I am in the correct path towards living with Heavenly Father through the eternities. It is you I believe that has faith in an heretical and false doctrine. But that’s a different argument all in itself of which neither of us can ‘win’ at this point in time. We both have our evidences and can quote scripture to ‘prove’ our point. So I find it amusing that the Evs on this site keep pushing this agendum and calling us LDS to join the dark side of the force… oops sorry – convert to Evangelical Christianity.

  7. grindael says:


    Was a mormon. I quite well understand how mormons distinguish their gods. Unfortunately, your former prophets did not use this double-speak term as mormons of today do.

    “Now, the word create came from the word baurau, which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos…” smith, teachings 151

    “Motherhood lies at the foundation of happiness in the home…God has laid upon men and women very sacred obligations with respect to motherhood…” JFsmith, gospel doctrine..

    “Salvation is attainable only through compliance with the laws and ordinances of the Gospel; and all who are thus saved become sons and daughters unto God in a distinctive sense.” talmage, articles of faith

    “God is in the still small voice.” smith, DHC

    “In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it.” smith, DHC

    There’s plenty more, but you get my drift. Which God is which? They did not always distinguish, tho the official stance is that mormons pray to the Father thru Christ, (mcConkie). They also title God The Father Elohim, Michael, Adam, & God. Anyone reading mormon history from the beginning to the present would be confused, unless of course you studied it for years (like I have) and have a grasp on EXACTLY what they are saying. Again like I told YOU previously, you can’t tell me I don’t understand mormonism, I understand and comprehend it perfectly. Try the double-speak elsewhere, thank you.

  8. grindael says:


    The Bible in both Old and New Testaments explicitly and repeatedly affirms that there is only one God (e.g.,Deut. 4:35-39; Isa. 43:10; 44:6-8; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; 1 Tim. 2:5; James 2:19). Therefore, the Bible most definitely rejects any sort of polytheism, including henotheism.

    The Scriptures also very clearly teach that God is an absolutely unique being who is distinct from the world as its Creator (e.g.,Gen. 1:1; John 1:3; Rom. 1:25; Heb. 11:3). This teaching rules out pantheism and panentheism, according to which the world is either identical to God or an essential aspect of God. Since He is eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, God is totally unique, so that there is none even like God (e.g.,Ps. 102:25-27; Isa. 40-46; Acts 17:24-28). The Bible, then, unmistakably teaches a monotheistic world view.

    As far as Psalm 82 goes:

    Psalm 82 refers to Israelite judges by virtue of their position as judges representing God; it is, therefore, a figurative usage which applies only to those judges and does not apply to men or even believers in general. If this interpretation is correct, Psalm 82:6 is also irrelevant to any doctrine of Christian deification.

    In John 10:34-35 Jesus is understood to mean that if God called wicked judges “gods” how much more appropriate is it for Him, Jesus, to be called God, or even the Son of God. If the ironic interpretation of Psalm 82:6 is correct, then in John 10:34-35 Jesus’ point would still be basically the same. It is also possible that Jesus was implying that the Old Testament application of the term “gods” to wicked judges was fulfilled (taking “not to be broken” to mean “not to be unfulfilled,” cf. John 7:23) in Himself as the true Judge (cf. John 5:22,27-30; 9:39).[18] Those wicked men were, then, at best called “gods” and “sons of the Most High” in a special and figurative sense; and at worst they were pseudo-gods and pseudo-sons of God. Jesus, on the other hand, is truly God (cf. John 1:1,18; 20:28; 1 John 5:20

  9. grindael says:


    Your point about being worshipped as a God: that it is not taught, etc. Could be answered easily. Just ask any member of the quorum of the 12 or the first presidency. One of the requirements of their calling is to know the mysteries of the kingdom because they have seen Jesus (having received the second comforter).

    This would be the easy way out for any question, but…unfortunately you have the modern GA’s relegating former prophets statements to “interpretation” and modern prophets are strangely silent on any doctrinal issue contested in the church.

    For a church having so many who claim to have seen God and conversed with him, they sure don’t seem to know or be able to verify much of anything.

  10. Ralph,

    Thanks for the reminder (I’m flattered that someone has actually taken the trouble to read and remember what I wrote).

    I was musing on the kinds of choices we make, when we have freedom of choice. God, who is constrained by absolutely nothing (because He is not a created being like me), has absolute freedom of choice. So, I find it absolutely remarkable that His choices lead Him to the suffering of the cross.

    Like I said, if it were up to me (and no-one could blame me for doing what I wanted), I’d choose an easier route. I defy anyone of us to say otherwise.

    That’s part of the difference between God and me. He is love because that’s what He is, and He answers to no-one but Himself. I can know love because I am made in His image. However it is something that I need to learn and acquire, and I am answerable to Him for it.

    Maybe one day I will learn to be loving like Him, but I will never love independently from Him. How could I? Whatever love I have, I have because of the presence of His Holy Spirit in my life. If He is not there, love is not there either.

    God is love. No God, no love.

  11. Mike R says:


    May you one day realize that no one here is
    asking you to convert to Evangelical Christ-
    ianity.We are pleading with you to leave the
    false prophet you’re following and convert
    TO JESUS.It’s Jesus,not a church; it’s JESUS
    not an organization. in HIM alone is eternal
    life [ Heb.7:25 ].

    I wish Pres.Monson would publically proclaim
    as you have done, that he will one day be
    worshipped as Almighty God.This is textbook
    Mormonism.The world needs to hear him admit

  12. Ralph says:

    Grindael and Mike R,

    If I remember correctly, at least one of the earlier prophets did make a comment or two about learning to receiving glory or praise. Maybe Aaron or Sharon could help here (or someone else). But I could be wrong.


    It was Heavenly Father who is our one and only God who planned and executed the creation of this world. It was Jesus who went with the authority of Heavenly Father and came here to create the world. And it was Jesus who died on the cross, not Heavenly Father. What you have written is Heavenly Father coming down and dying which is why I said you are putting a Trinitarian ides into an LDS doctrine. It does not work.

    If you became a god you would be the Heavenly Father for your world and you would not go down and die. You would send your son. That is LDS doctrine.

  13. grindael says:

    Back Up. Re-read BY statements on Adam-God. He said God the Father was Adam, took one of his wives to the Garden of Eden to start this world. If Adam was God the Father, who was He talking in the garden to? Jesus? Or some OTHER God? If God the Father took on human form again to become the mortal Adam to start up this earth, did he not sacrifice himself, (becoming human to die again)? That, according to one of your prophets, is LDS doctrine. And THAT is what I was talking about. Your other point, (well known by all mormons or x-m’s, is that the Father, Adam? Michael? Elohim? God? chose Jesus (I guess before he took a memory wipe and went into the Garden) to be the saviour of the world, but his brother Lucifer did not like it and rebelled. Of course, since prophets like hinkley have basically said all former prophets just “interpreted” the scriptures, it all could be just speculation. But Young sure acted like he knew what he was talking about, he changed the temple rituals… Im not putting anything into LDS doctrine. This mess was thought up by none other than your own prophets. Good luck defending it.

  14. liv4jc says:

    Ralph said, “I would love to create a planet with a nice 6 foot swell and endless beaches and blue sky just to take the board out. Fun fun fun in the sun sun sun.

    But since we do not understand fully what the whole thing is about, many voice their opinions like this. But as I said, no one I know of has ever said or thought anything about receiving praise. That does not mean others have or have not.

    This is the heart of the matter, Ralph. In your mind it’s all about you and what you want to create for your enjoyment. What if your spirit children don’t like surfing, or mangoes, or berries? There is a lack of worship of God in the LDS mind. God has been reduced to a former man, therefore you anthropomorphize who Heavenly Father is, or what he may have been in the past by looking at his creation. You do not worship Him as a being unlike any other who has ever existed. He is One of a kind. Athenagoras, one of the first Christian apologists, wrote in about 165 a.d. “..we acknowledge one God, uncreated, eternal, invisible, impassible, incomprehensible, illimitable, who is apprehended by the understanding only of the reason…” Look at Isaiah 40:18 and 46:5. Who will you compare God with, yourself Ralph? Your father?

    Christians worship God as the One unique God. The angels in heaven do his bidding immediately and those in his presence cry Holy, Holy, Holy, continuously. Those in His presence and those in the presence of the Lamb (Jesus in Revelation 5) bow down and worship, offerine praise. God raised up Pharaoh for His glory (Romans 9:17). God saved us for His glory as evidenced throughout Ephesians 1.

    How can you imagine being a god, yet not think about receiving praise for your glory? Because you don’t praise the One True God and glorify Him for who He declares Himself to be in the Bible, Ralph. Instead of worshipping God and praising Him, which was the purpose for which you were created, you have set your sights on becoming like Him; becoming Him.

  15. Ralph says:


    You asked “How can you imagine being a god, yet not think about receiving praise for your glory?”

    It’s easy. It’s exactly the same when I joined the surf life saving club. I did it so I could do surfing for sport at school. Then as I got older it was because I knew it was an important part of community service – helping others. I never once thought about what praise I would get if I saved someone (BTW never had to rescue anyone in 3 or 4 seasons, boy was I lucky). Most of my friends that are still in the club are there because they want to be for their own fun and helping in the community, not for the praise. When they do rescue someone they don’t actually accept the praise but brush it off as doing their job and what they were trained to do – nothing else.

    If I remember correctly you are a police officer. Did you join for the praise of doing a job that kept the community safe? Or for the praise of your actions when you run into a life threatening situation and rescue someone? Did you have in your mind any type of praise at all when you joined, or even now? Or did you join because that is what you wanted to do?

    So yes, I can go through life without thinking of that aspect.

  16. falcon says:

    See fellas, I’ve been dealing with Ralph for a couple of years. I use to think he was just yanking my chain for his own entertainment and didn’t really buy into the Mormon program to the degree he professes. But then he’s gone on record with so many of his goof-ball beliefs and motivation(s) that I’ve concluded he’s not just a source of comic relief. The guy actually believes this Mormon clap trap.
    I don’t think most of you were around when Ralph went on record as saying that he would kill or steal if directed to by the prophet. Now just process that thought for a second (take a minute). We’re not dealing here with your average run of the mill Mormon pew sitter in Ralph. He’s a bonafide Kool Aide drinker. In my opinion his thinking is so skewed and his conscious so seared that to me it’s almost pathological.
    But Ralph, despite his convictions for murder and theft is probably pretty harmless. At least he’s not running up and down the street on a bicycle proclaiming the wonders of Joseph Smith and his devotion to the Mormon prophet. And as long as the prophet doesn’t order him to kill me, I feel fairly safe with Ralph wandering the streets.
    But Christian friends, think about the mental processes of someone who is that devoted to a cult and cult leader. Nine hundred or so of those folks killed themselves for Jim Jones. A bunch also went up into flames for David Koresh. Seven or eight killed for Charles Manson. And a bevy drank poison to grab the back of the Comet Kahotek. Never underestimate the power of belief.

  17. liv4jc says:

    You missed my point entirely Ralph. The question I asked of you was so that I could answer it. Your response however was great and proves my point: you equate God with us. God is not like us at all. He is worthy of our praise because of His nature, not just for what He does. I don’t do things for praise, but I used to before I understood that all things are to be done for God’s praise and glory. You on the other hand only serve God so that one day you can be like Him. You could care less about thanking Him for creating you, giving you air to breath, allowing you the ability to do all things you do, and ultimately for dying for your sins. In your world God exists merely as a means for you to become Him by following His rules. One day you hope to exist merely to help your children to become like you by following your rules. I appreciate your honesty, but unless you repent Ralph and praise God for dying for your sins, you will not inherit anything from God.

  18. Ralph says:

    Yes Falcon,

    And Israel committed genocide (ie men, women, children and babies) when following Moses and Samuel. And 450 priests of Baal were slaughtered by command of Elijah. What else do we find in the Bible about people following prophets like this?

    I have my witness that I am following the living prophet. You can take it or leave it. But my belief in following the prophet in matters like those mentioned does have a Biblical basis, does it not?

    Unfortunately there are people out there that do follow a false prophet and have their witness and convictions for it too. And because of this bad things happen. But the Bible warns of this so we must be vigilant in our faith and test what we believe to be sure we are in the right path. This I have done and so far for me, the LDS church passes and I believe it is the truth.

  19. falcon says:

    I’m not one bit surprised that you would go to the OT to try and find justification for your willingness to kill, steal (and can we add lie) for the Mormon prophet. Ladies and gentleman welcome to the mind of a cultist! These folks can justify and rationalize anything in the service of their “prophet”. Why do we have Joseph Smith seducing married women and at least one child and those like Ralph justifying and perhaps even celebrating such behavior. So what’s the problem with lying? It’s nothing!
    Ralph says that he has tested Mormonism. Now what might we ask is that test? He prayed and Mormonism made him feel good, so it’s true. From that point on, anything that Mormonism does is good, righteous and true. No Ralph doesn’t know God. He knows a former sinful man who he calls god. Ralph has bought the program because he is intoxicated by the thought of himself being a god. Though he denies that he wants to be worshiped and adored, I’m sure he’ll warm to the idea in time.

  20. falcon says:

    So maybe our exMormon posters can chime in here and tell us if Ralph practices a particular brand of Mormonism or perhaps he’s just a more zealous member of the clan. He went to the OT to find justification for all kinds of murder and mayhem so I’d like to know is he a typical or atypical Mormon? I mean we don’t have to worry about the boys on bicycles suddenly strapping bombs to their bodies and blowing up unbelievers do we? Ralph seems to want to be recognized as a super duper dedicated to the faith Mormon; the most zealous of the zealots. Is this a game of Mormon poker. You know, “I’ll see your lying and raise you two denials.” And on and on the game could go until we find ourselves the most dedicated true believer.
    Doesn’t it make you wonder what kind of test one does to convince themselves that something is so true that they would be willing to lie, steal and kill to prove they’re at the top of the rung of true believers.
    I’m really hoping that Ralph is an anomaly and that the average Mormon will only lie and partake in double speak to hide the truth about the faith.

  21. Andy Watson says:

    Hi Ralph,

    It’s been a long time…hope all is well for you “down under”. I’m coming in a little late here, but I was glancing over your posts and read about you “testing” your faith and your saying “I have my witness”. I have a few questions I’d like to ask you.

    Did you follow the mandate by Brigham Young?

    “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will not stand the test.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, page 126)

    Or the current instruction by the LDS GA’s:

    “If you will follow the doctrines, and be guided by the precepts of that book [the Bible], it will direct you where you may see as you are seen, where you may converse with Jesus Christ, have the visitation of angels, have dreams, visions, and revelations, and understand and know God for yourselves” (Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, page 5)

    If so, was that testing done BEFORE or AFTER you became a member of the LDS Church? How much investigating and testing (1 Thes 5:21) was done by you before joining the LDS Church? Is your witness of the prophet Joseph Smith based on D&C 9 (burning in the bosom) or did you follow the instructions in the Bible for properly testing a prophet (Deut 18:18-22)?

    Finally, this past July we discussed the origins of the doctrine of the Trinity by the early Church Fathers and you read two works I supplied you with. You found out that the LDS Church HAS NOT been telling the truth when it comes to what they tell their people about the Council of Nicea. You stated:

    “I agree that the Trinity was not a creation of the Councils in Nicea or other but that they were taught before then. And as you have pointed out, these writings were less than 100 years after the last of the apostles.”

    Did the LDS Church fail the test or were you engaging in “double speak”?

    Take Care,
    [email protected]

  22. Ralph says:


    I was born into the church. My parents were originally Anglican and joined about 2 or 3 years before I was born. I went through seminary from 14 – 18 years old, as per usual LDS upbringing. I went on a mission to Finland, came home and studied at university. I got married about 2 years after my mission and now I have 3 beautiful daughters. I also have a son who was still born about 11 years ago. Now you probably know most of this, but I am putting it in for a reason.

    Through all of this time I have done some Bible study – seminary and Sunday school programmes. When my son died (and even a little bit before then) I went on line and did a lot of research into the LDS church including sites like MRM, ULM, Word for the Weary, Saints Alive and Mormon Outreach Ministry plus many others. While going through these sites I found many different interpretations of the Bible from LDS to Lutheran to Evangelical, etc. So I can say I do know a little about the Bible and its various interpretations but I am in no way a serious student or scholar. I can also say that I have had a serious look into the LDS church and its history, teachings, etc.

    I have weighed these findings up with my own life experiences and have come to the conclusion that I am in the correct path. I have some ‘stories’ very similar to the ones that you wrote out a couple of days ago, including being on my mission and dedicating myself to God and receiving a witness (non-spiritual Falcon) that it had been accepted, because I was allowed to continue with my mission. I had a medical problem come up that would take months or even years to go away. I prayed and asked God that if He wanted me to continue my mission, if I was in the right place He wanted me in, then to take it away and allow me to finish. It went away that night and I completed my mission.

    But that is only one small example of many other non-spiritual witnesses I have. But I do also have a spiritual witness.

  23. Ralph says:

    As far as the Trinity goes, just because the people who teach me about it got the history wrong does not make the church false. Most books/articles I have read regarding the Trinity indicate that the Councils in Nicea initialised the formalisation of the Trinity as how it is worshipped today. Before the councils, there were many different views of God and Jesus and their ‘make-up’, including the idea of the Trinity we have today. So yes, while the idea of the Trinity was around for years before the Councils in Nicea, it was only there at the councils that it was formalised as a doctrine.

    So many see this as where it was created, which is misunderstanding of events and ideas. Even in Wikipedia it states “Some deny that the doctrine that developed in the fourth century was based on Christian ideas, and hold instead that it was a deviation from Early Christian teaching on the nature of God or even that it was borrowed from a pre-Christian conception of a divine trinity held by Plato. … By the end of the 4th century, under the leadership of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus (the Cappadocian Fathers), the doctrine had reached substantially its current form. … The most significant developments in articulating the doctrine of the Trinity took place in the 4th century, with a group of men known as the Church Fathers.”

    So its not just the LDS church that teaches the Trinity was created in the Councils in Nicea, but many others as well. The creed and formalisation of the doctrine was created then, but the idea came about earlier.

  24. falcon says:

    What God did you pray to when you wanted your medical problem resolved? You prayed to a god that used to be a man. You prayed to a god that is one of many gods. That’s not the God of the Bible. You need to think very carefully about the god you prayed to, what he provided and what it’s going to cost you in eternity.
    Jesus talked about how many people will make claims that even miracles were done in His name and that He will say, “get away, I know you not.” Why is that? People who cast out demons in His name and they are not acceptable to Him. It’s not because they weren’t “righteous” enough. He never “knew” them. Ralph, you’ve chosen a god and a jesus that can’t save you. In the heavenlies there are all kinds of spirits that can provide for you all the signs and wonders that you are looking for when you acknowledge them as your god. This is not good Ralph. But I have my doubts that someone who is willing to kill, steal or lie for a false prophet with a false promise of becoming a god will ever accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ as presented in the Bible.
    The degree that Mormons have to go to rationalize away the fact that Mormonism isn’t in the Bible out to be enough to demonstrate to you that you’re following a false gospel.

  25. Andy Watson says:


    Thanks for sharing the above. I was familiar with your personal bio since we have talked in great detail on spiritual matters offline. It never hurts to get a refresher. As I expected, you were born into Mormonism and it’s Mormons like yourself and others in this situation that I have the greatest understanding and burden for. I was born into an evangelical Christian family in Mississippi. I was raised in the Assemblies of God Church (Pentecostal) in Louisiana and Georgia – the South. I could have easily been born into a Mormon family in Utah and I have no doubt would have been busting my butt to become a member of the Quorum of the Twelve if it had not have been for the grace of God otherwise.

    I had never heard or seen a Mormon where I lived until the early 80’s when an old woman dressed up like a pioneer came to our church and gave a presentation later followed by the movie “The Godmakers”. She said she was one of Brigham Young’s descendents. I was a teenager at the time and it meant nothing to me. I only knew one kid at school who was LDS and all I was told when I went to his birthday party was that he didn’t drink Coke. When they built the LDS temple in Atlanta I was driving by then. My brother and I with others were told that there were armed guards with machine guns standing at the entrance. Well, you know what we had to do, right? We had to drive there from time to time to take a look. I never saw any machine guns, but it made for great superstition and gave us a reason to go joy riding.

    Many years and circumstances later, I am now living in Mormon country. Over the years I have gotten to know many Mormons and my study of the religion has only increased as the years have gone by. I have put Mormonism and its claimed doctrines to the biblical test (Acts 17:10-11; 1 Thes 5:21). I have also taken the advice of Brigham Young in the above stated quote. Result: Mormonism and its prophet, Joseph Smith, have failed God’s biblical test.

  26. Andy Watson says:


    I am thankful that whatever had you ill on your mission left you. My father was nearly killed in an automobile accident before he married my mother. He was severely injured when part of his skull cracked open and part of his brain spilled out. His family was told that he would be a “vegetable” the rest of his life and would never walk again. The family prayed round the clock and very soon he was back at work at IBM where he retired after 33 years.

    I could give you more from me directly on how God has radically delivered me from many ailments and perilous situations over the years and ask you for an explanation as to the source of my divine help and how you account for it.

    Maybe you could help me give an explanation to the middle-aged Jehovah’s Witness man that I have gotten to know the past several months. I went with him to the Kingdom Hall for one of their meetings with a promise of him showing me the Watchtower library that they had there. He kept his promise and there in the library I asked him, “Henry, tell me how it all happened. How and what made you become a Witness?”

    He stated that he had been in a Christian rock band earlier in life. The group gave concerts and spoke of Christ, but after the concert the band all did hard drugs. He didn’t want to participate and thought this was hypocrisy (which it is!). He was given a plane ticket home and found himself back in Cleveland in complete despair right in one of the worst winter storms that city had ever seen. Holed up in his little place I guess about to end it all came a knock on the door. It was 80 below 0 (-80 F) outside. He opened up the door and there were 5 JW’s standing there and the rest was history – unfortunately. He said to me, “Andy, this is it (Watchtower religion). Nobody can tell me otherwise.”

    I said nothing. What would you have said? How do you explain his deliverance at his moment of despair and desperation? He is spiritually lost, but he acts & lives like a Mormon.

  27. Andy Watson says:


    Whatever was the core reasons that drove you to search out the inner-workings of Mormonism is of interest to me whether it was your own personal struggles or the death of your son or both. Your objective and how you looked at that information is also curious to me. Only you know and that is fine for you to keep that to yourself. Based on your LDS background my concern would be that it would be impossible for you to look at it without the “LDS lenses” on. To approach the Bible you have to remove the “LDS lenses” (beliefs) and see what the Bible has to say about a subject first. I asked this of a man I know here in town who is a ward bishop and the son of one of the LDS Apostles. I asked him to show me from the Bible the doctrine that God is an exalted man who at one point was not a god but later became a god. He said he would remove his “lens” and go through the Scriptures and find that. That was last March and I’m still waiting on him to get back to me.

    I don’t doubt sincerity. There are millions of people who are sincere and devout in what they believe. Some are so sincere enough to make them crash airplanes into buildings in New York or open fire on US soldiers at an army base in Texas all in the name of God (Allah). JW’s have the Mormons beat when it comes to work/duty. They run circles run around the young LDS missionaries on their bikes. JW’s have time sheets to fill out and turn in to Bethel (Brooklyn, NY). Failure to get out there and get after it means the possibility of being vaporized at Armageddon with the rest of the world and for them that includes the Mormons and Evangelical Christians.

    You know the saying: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. One can be very sincere and SINCERELY WRONG. For every burning of the bosom story that you have I can give you two more from ex-Mormons who said they had a burning at one time of the LDS gospel and Joseph Smith and it was just heartburn and they were deceived.

  28. Andy Watson says:


    You have the freedom/agency to believe whatever you want. I have prayed that your “LDS lens” would be removed from your eyes. You have seen the research and examined the evidence. You’ve been on this blog a long time. We’ve talked at great length offline on all matters spiritual and biblical. You’ve seen the historical evidence that destroys the claims of Mormonism. You’ve seen the evidence against Joseph Smith and have chosen to believe otherwise for whatever reasons.

    I’ve had the JW’s here at my house and have gone to their Kingdom Hall the past 6 months. We’ve talked for hours every week. I have a very large library of Watchtower books and have shown them their written false prophecies going back to 1874. They’ve looked at it, held it in their hands and yes, have even lifted the books to their noses to smell how old these books really are. They have chosen to remain in despite the evidence.

    The similarity here is that when the Mormons and JW’s see this, know it and reject it, you have seared your conscience and hardened your heart (1 Tim 4:2). You have rejected the truth that God has given in His Word and are thus now given a spirit of delusion to further believe a lie (2 Thes 2:10-11).

    This is not a Trinity discussion, but you are back-peddling on what you said a few months ago. I know you have to. The LDS Church has it wrong and what they tell their people is a lie. I don’t care what Monson says. I care about what the Ante-Nicene Fathers said long before the Council in 325. You’ve read it. Wikipedia means even less to me. Believe me, Wikipedia is no friend of Mormonism and neither are most encyclopedias. Google Wikipedia and request documentation for manuscript evidence for the Book of Mormon prior to 1827 or early Church Fathers talking about Mormonism and see what you get: NOTHING. There is nothing historical in manuscript evidence (textual criticism) or otherwise for the claims of Mormonism. Please remove your lens!

  29. falcon says:

    Thank you Andy for the excellent posts.

    All we have to ask someone who is claiming a miracle is, “Who do you recognize as the one who provided that miracle?” In-other-words, who was the source? We know that the god that Ralph and other Mormons worship and adore is a former human who progressed to godhood and lives with his goddess wives on a planet near the star Kolob. This god is one of many, perhaps millions or billions, of other gods. These are also former men who progressed to become gods and have created their own planets and solar systems. These gods procreate spiritual beings with their countless wives; which by the way they had to have, according to the prophet Joseph Smith, in order to reach the highest level of Mormon heaven.
    This god is the one who provided former Mormon prophet Willford Woodruff with an appearance by the dead signers of the Declaration of Independence urging that temple work be done for them. This same Mormon god has been known to provide other manifestations to faithful Mormons including those of dead relatives. This Mormon god provided Joseph Smith with the power of a magic rock to translate long hidden golden plates which were buried. This was the same magic rock that the occultist Smith used to hunt for buried treasure. Smith was led by a spirit being provided by the Mormon god.
    So our Mormon friends have attached themselves to a god that is not the god of the Bible. It’s a different god with a different gospel which promises to morph men into gods if they will be faithful to him.
    This is the god of Mormonism and this god opposes the God of the Bible, His Christ and His plan of salvation.

  30. Ralph says:




    Yes I know others claim miracles and blessings. So what makes a faith true? I have many miracles and blessings in my life and have seen and heard from friends and family about things in their lives. So what separates the true miracles from the false? This can only be determined spiritually. That is why I say that I have a spiritual witness besides all the other evidences I have of my faith.

    Yes there are some problems and inconsistencies that can be nitpicked but we are dealing with humans that are imperfect. Only Heavenly Father and Jesus are perfect so they have to use imperfect men to do their work. Thus we teach that the doctrine and gospel is true and perfect, but the people and hence the practice is imperfect. So it does not bother me.

  31. Ralph says:


    I did not back-pedal about the Trinity. I said both times that the doctrine of the Trinity was not created at the Councils in Nicea, but that it was in ideology and belief before. I did say that the doctrine was fully formalated at the Councils in Nicea and officially made doctrine then. Before Nicea there was a group of Christians believing in the Trinity, possibly the majority because of how it became accepted as the mainstream doctrine about God. But there were many other groups that believed differently to the Trinity as well. That was the whole purpose of the Councils in Nicea – to consolidate a doctrine that all could agree to worship and then remove those who did not believe in it.

    So while the doctrine of the Trinity was around before the Councils, it was officially formalised and accepted then. That is what the majority of the literature I have read says. That is what I agree on. As far as it being the ONLY and OFFICIAL doctrine of the Christian church, that happened after the Councila in Nicea because that was the purpose of those councils.

    My other point was that because of the way this is worded in most books, it appears that this was when the Trinity doctrine was created. This is most likely why people get it wrong.

  32. Mike R says:


    God’s mercy to us, His creation, is evident. Ralph, He has blessed you in certain ways, you’ve experienced that. In God’s economy it’s all for a reason, He wants you to know Him and the truth about Him. It may just be a word or a phrase that someone utters that strikes you different, or it may be a significate episode, where someone talkes to you about Jesus in a way that is somehow different than you expected. This is all designed by God to woo you to Himself.

    Janis Hutchinson, for 35 years a dedicated Latter Day Saint had many experiences similar to yours. This is part of her story:

    “If God had’nt answered my prayers as a Mormon I wouldn’t be where I am today. He was mindful of me when He began to reveal Himself in quite remarkable ways, the first being that Jesus is indeed the Christ(sometime I’ll have to share that story). He also healed me of tuberculosis….helped me during difficult times,as a widow raising my three children…heard me when I prayed to be led to more truth. He was with me when I was held captive in a small room for nine months by the cult leader of a Mormon offshoot group–and even though I did’nt pray and ask God to help me escape, He spoke audible words to me anyway, saying ‘I shall deliver you’. Then He helped me do just that and brought me into a small Christian church in southern Utah…God’s presence in my life is a living reality to me. Even though many Mormons may not have yet been led out to become full-fledged Christians, God is still mindful of them–especially when they ask for help and guidance.”

    So you see Ralph, God is wooing you. He has a plan for you to recognize His grace in your life and by that lead you to Him{1 Jn.5:20]. The danger of not recognizing this is to slowly become what Andy referenced in the two scriptures above[1 Tim 4:2; 2 Thess 2:10,11].

    Keep seeking , Ralph, our eyes need to be off of denominations and individuals, They need to be on Jesus. He’ll reveal God to you.

  33. Andy Watson says:


    Great post, my brother!


    It will soon be Thanksgiving Day here in America. I’m not sure if this is recognized in Australia or not, but I’m sure you are familiar with our holiday. I’ve sure got many things to be thankful for as I believe you do too. I could use many posts citing all the things I am thankful for, but I will only state a few.

    I am thankful for the gift of life here on this planet so I can fulfill the only reason for me being here: serving Jesus of Nazareth…the one who died for me, paid a sin debt in full that I could not pay by His grace and then gave me the gift of eternal life NOW. After all, the least I can do for all of that out of gratitude is serve, worship and bring glory and honor to the One who deserves it all – Jesus Christ: Alpha & Omega.

    I’m not sure about your life experiences, but I’ve stared death “in the face” a few times in my life. After several years in the Army I’m just happy to be here in this country and to be able to wake up and eat breakfast in the morning instead of gunfire/explosions and wondering when or what I am going to eat that day. Life gets real simple. My worst day as a civilian pales in comparison to those days. It’s all a matter of perspective as you know. God was merciful to allow me to live and serve Him in this life and I am thankful for that.

    Ralph, I talked with my father today who lives far away. I mentioned him in my post yesterday. I am very thankful for him. After that accident he was in it amazes me how God miraculously restored him and has given him a full life. My Dad was playing games with God up until that point. That event was a turning point in his life and it brought him to the Savior. If he didn’t have the large scars on his skull I wouldn’t have believed the accident ever happened. At 72 he is still brilliant and mentally very sharp. He is a godly man and gives me great counsel when I request or need it. God is good – all the time.

  34. Andy Watson says:


    I couldn’t help but to think of your personal situation with the death of your still-born son as I reflected on our own family. I am the oldest of four siblings, but it hasn’t always been that way. There was a daughter before me, but she died very young – an infant. That was 1965 and it is still clear to my folks today as it was back then. I didn’t know her, but I’ve seen her grave at the family cemetery where the marker is. My folks were devastated and it really shook them up in many ways – even spiritually for a brief moment. They trusted God and He did provide and they had four healthy children thereafter. You have suffered that loss as well, but you have been given the gifts of your children now and you are blessed by that. My oldest sister and your son are in heaven with Almighty God. There is strong biblical support for this and that is one thing Joseph Smith did get right was that belief. I think we can agree on that generally speaking, would you agree?

    Lastly, I’m thankful that you are here on this blog: Mormon Coffee. I am thankful every time I have the opportunity to discuss spiritual matters with members of the LDS Church. Many will not speak with me nor want to discuss any of these issues. By virtue of you being here and your drawing breath another day, which is a daily gift from God for both of us, we have more time being given to us to dialog. God is longsuffering and patient. It is my prayer that you will be drawn to the Father (John 6:44) and it is also my prayer that He will allow me to be a continued vessel to be used by Him for His purposes in discussing these eternally important issues with people that He loves and wants to come to Him for salvation which is my desire too: the Mormons.

    Happy Thanksgiving,
    [email protected]

  35. GRCluff says:

    As a Mormon I never use double speak to hide what I believe.

    For example, on the topic of the virgin birth of Christ, I have accepted the version that James Talmage put in the notes in “Jesus the Christ”.

    I paraphrase here what I remember:
    Mary did not have sex with God, but became pregnant through a higher manifestation of natural law. That is how all miracles work. Christ was the genetic son of God, but God never had a physical relationship with Mary.

    Now, if you don’t understand the concept, or happen to disagree with my point of view, you will call that statement double speak. If you understand and agree you have no such problem.

  36. Mike R says:


    Considering the emotional impact of this doctrine
    as coming from Mormon leaders,Brigham Young wisely
    opted to not connect all the dots, so to speak.
    He left the saints to do that, which was’nt all
    that difficult considering how it fits in with
    the teaching that God the Father is a man etc.
    Those of Young’s inner circle knew what he meant
    (Apostle Orson Pratt refered to God being the
    “husband” of mary).
    I believe it was Talmage who, in the 1890’s, was
    used by the First presidency to re-define the
    term “celestial marriage”(dropping polygamy from
    the definition). No doubt they also welcomed his
    take on the Virgin Birth since the Church was
    changing and trying to adapt a new image,having
    given up polygamy etc.

    I guess it comes down to what authority are we
    going to trust.Either Mormon prophet Brigham
    Young, or holy scripture.
    Brigham taught that Jesus was NOT begotten by the
    Holy Ghost.
    Matthew and Luke taught Jesus was begotten by the
    Holy Ghost.

    I’ll take Matthew and Luke.


  37. jackg says:

    Great post, Mike! From a Wesleyan perspective, I call that prevenient grace–the grace that comes before saving grace. It is the wooing stage as God seeks relationship with sinners.

    What should bother Mormons but doesn’t is the fact that the teachings and doctrines they adhere to are not true. It has nothing to do with people or practices, but with teachings. I think Ralph is merely trying to rationalize the fact that he believes in nonbiblical teachings, and then accounts for it by saying that people and practices are imperfect. That’s pretty shaky ground to be standing on.

    I like Ralph’s question: what makes a faith true? Let’s see: it must be grounded in Truth. How do we test whether a faith is grounded in Truth? Our personal “spiritual” experiences? No. We test it against God’s inerrant Word–the Bible.

    No matter how we dice things up intellectually, the argument will always come down to the authority of the Bible. Does one have a high view of God’s Word or not? We just can’t get around it. Feelings, emotions, experiences, are subjective and can’t be trusted. There are false spirits masquerading as angels of Light. I followed such false spirits when I was a Mormon. I am now able to recognize them, and the way I do that is by clinging to the Word of God.

    As a Mormon, I used to believe in this “higher law” teaching. It boiled down to God basically commanding us to disobey lower laws to achieve higher laws. This virgin birth debate boils down to that line of thinking. If one reads the comments by the Mormons, it’s easy to see that this is the guiding force of what they post.

    “Mary did not have sex with God, but became pregnant through a higher manifestation of natural law. That is how all miracles work. Christ was the genetic son of God, but God never had a physical relationship with Mary.” I think this qualifies as double talk.


  38. grindael says:

    Smith’s church HAS changed. It is not longer a church where members believe in their prophets, unless they agree with what they have said. It seems no different than any other man-made religion, for the membership now picks and chooses whatever seems suitable for the individual or the times they live in. This was not the basis for smith’s restoration, it was to be a millennium movement, (over before 1891} and smith once said that Noah was the prophet before the water, he was the prophet before the fire.

    Take GRCluff’s comment. He would rather believe James Talmage over Brigham Young. Nothing wrong with that, but Talmage was not a prophet of the church, (and the official spokesman) hence Young’s statements (by smiths own definition) should carry much more weight. After all, the calling of the 12 and the apostles have a pre-requisite to their office, the second comforter, and hence (according to smith) have the mysteries of the kingdom revealed to them because Jesus is supposed to be their constant companion. In Young’s time, he had members of his own quorum of the 12 disagreeing with him, and now you have modern prophets such as Hinckley saying that certain beliefs and statements (like the blacks not holding the priesthood) were only former prophets “interpretation” of scripture. Did not the same Jesus talk to smith, young &and all the way down the line to monson?

    Where has the continuing revelation gone then? Seems like it never existed in the first place. Why would the church need to hire PR firms, when they have the constant companionship of God himself to direct them? What does that say about where these men get their revelations from? Maybe their God is too busy to answer their questions, or they had a revelation from God to consult a PR firm.

    With smith’s church, almost anything makes sense at this point.

  39. grindael says:

    What is the point then, of any mormon going to a general conference of the church? Anything said there is not really scripture, because anything to be accepted as scripture must be voted in by the whole church (the authorities) and bound up in the standard works.

    All other comments by all other prophets are pared down to “believe at your own risk”. Since the more modern prophets have discredited many of the former prophets teachings, will future prophets do the same thing to these prophets living now? Since Young changed the Temple Ritual to include his Adam-God Revelation, we can assume from this (and other statements) that it was a Revelation from God. (like his virgin birth teachings) Yet it is not believed by any mormon today (as far as I know). What is the point of a mormon prophet then? Are they just glorified corporation heads?

    smith apparently could and would answer any question about anything and knew the answer to everything because God was HIS right-hand man? If modern prophets have been ordained in the same way and have the same keys, powers and calling, why are they strangely silent on doctrinal issues? Why do they lie to the public? smith was proud he was different. so was young. It seems that modern prophets want to cower behind PR firms and use lies and obfuscation to move the church along.

  40. Mike R says:

    As we gather to give thanks tomorrow I’ll take a moment today to give thanks to God for my Christian brothers and sisters who reach out to our precious LDS friends here on Mormon Coffee. I thank the Lord also for Bill, Aaron, and Sharon for their labor of love. HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

  41. Grindael,

    I fully agree with your analysis; the consummate inability of the LDS leadership to explain itself, or even to come to some sort of internal consistency voids any claim it has to be the True Representatives of God.

    I mean, if it is their job to convey divine revelation, and they say things like “I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it …” (1), then, surely, its the church’s job to sack them and get someone who does know.

    This is a double-standard and double-speak of the highest order, and it goes all the way to the top. I don’t have a problem with the possibility that God sends prophets today; however, I’m not going to even consider starting to believe in the LDS prophets until I see the LDS movement believing them and following them.

    Do Mormons promote Joseph Smith as God’s anointed prophet, seer and revelator? Yes.

    Do Mormons actually believe their prophet, seer and revelator? No.

    Or, rather, they want to believe him, but only as far as he affirms their preconceptions and predispositions. Heaven forbid that he would call them to do something radical and distinctive like, for example, get married to at least four wives as a precondition on their exaltation.

    Its odd; The God of the Bible calls Abraham out of Ur, but the god(s) of Mormonism call people to stay exactly where they are. The God of the Bible humbles Himself to serve the Church, but the god(s) of Mormonism are subjugated by the “church’s” domination.

    (1)Gordon B Hinkley, responding to Richard Ostling’s question, asking if Mormons believe that God was once a man, TIME Magazine, August 4, 1997, page 56.

  42. Enki says:

    Is ‘intelligent design’ double speak for ‘creationism’? Some christians attempted to use that terminology to get creationism into textbooks.

  43. Unfortunatelty (IMO) the two terms have become synonymous.

    As I understand it, Professor (?) Behe’s original thesis (referring to microbiology) was something like “if it looks like it has been designed, then it probably is”.

    But, you can’t leave the thesis there. You have to then ask “who or what designed it?”, which is the point where you enter the “religious” domain. This is where you get everyone and his dog, including the 6 day creationists, claiming that territory as his own.

    So, you go very quickly from a valid, but profound (IMO) question, to issues like “why don’t you believe the bible/why don’t you support my church/how can you support gay marriage”.

    The “scientific community”, with some justification, considers that these issues should not be on the agenda when it comes to exploring the origins of life.

    Personally, I have some sympathy for “both” sides (if there are sides). On the one hand, the scientific community does not want to be drawn on issues that it considers to do with personal faith issues and preferences. It would rather narrow its focus on verifiable data, from which we build this thing called knowledge. There’s merit in adopting the view of a “neutral observer”.

    On the other hand, the “faith community” rightly points out that we tend to shape our “knowledge” to suit our personal preferences.

    So, what happens when some verifiable data is presented that destroys the scientists’ illusion of neutrality? At least the “faith community” does not pretend to be neutral and, in the case of ID, the “scientific community” has exhibited some very un-neutral behavior.

    Which is a long way of saying that I’m fairly undecided on this particular issue, but the dynamics between these two communities follows a fairly predictable path. Both communities believe that their positions are self-evident, but both are also influenced, to greater and lesser degrees, by the promotion of self-interest.

  44. HankSaint says:


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