LDS Church Announces New Theological Project

In what comes as a surprise to many of us, the Salt Lake Tribune is running an article on a new Church leadership project geared at openly engaging theological issues. Starting this General Conference, many of the apostles will engage long-standing theological questions that have bothered both insiders and outsiders. Talks are scheduled on the nature of repentance, the past of God, and exaltation.

Throughout the year, the apostles will also be holding open forums for discussing Mormon theology. The public will have the opportunity to directly ask the prophet and apostles theological questions. CES teachers, BYU professors, and laymen will all have equal opportunity to present questions. Answers will be given from an apostolic panel, and the leadership has committed to being open about important internal disagreements.

Some of the condescending excuses Mormon apologists and BYU professors have given for Mormon leadership not being more direct and active in engaging outstanding theological issues is that they are too busy doing administrative work and not thoughtful enough to navigate the terrain of scripture and historical Mormon theology. The Church apparently aims to reverse this patronizing attitude. Part of the impetus for the project was a desire on the part of Church leadership to not let non-official groups do important theological work for them. In the press conference Boyd K. Packer said, “We simply have no good excuse to let other groups do our theology for us. The Brethren are led by the Spirit of the Lord and with His help are fully capable. The time is now to stop depending on groups with which we enjoy plausible deniability. Before the Lord, we need to own our theology.”

President Monson also made it clear that First Presidency statements will be soon forthcoming, and that they will be specifically focused on clarifying Mormon doctrine. Monson explained, “If we can spend the time to specify that ‘one-tenth of all their interest annually’ in D&C 119 refers to income [First Presidency letter, Mar. 19, 1970], then surely we can take the time to issue statements on far more important issues.”

I asked some of my committed Mormon friends what they thought of the new project, and they were excited. Mormon author Peter Presthud (for various Cedar Fort publications) beamed, “Thank the Lord for continuing revelation!”

But when I asked the Mormon intellectual crowd what they thought of this new initiative, and the opinion was mixed. In private some told me were relieved that they wouldn’t have to keep making so many excuses for the Mormon Church. One Mormon intellectual told me,

“Theology matters. But ever since I learned what kind of mess the Church has created, I’ve had to focus on the idea that theology doesn’t matter much at all. I’ve also had to work hard at helping people take Mormon scholars more seriously than the poor old prophets and apostles. From time to time when a speaker at one of our conferences quotes our leaders as though anything they say is authoritative, we wince and and feel sorry for him. One of the ways one can most discredit themselves in our line of Mormon intellectual work is to assume anything the LDS Church or its leaders say is definitive. Hopefully this new initiative will change the entire mindset of our field.”

Mormon apologist Bruce Gordon Peterson expressed pessimism, explaining that whenever Mormon prophets have tried to speak authoritatively and definitively on controversial matters of theology, the results have been embarrassing. He pointed me to a 2006 statement by Blake Ostler, who said,

“I personally believe that [Brigham Young’s] theology was a disaster for the most part — tho I like his emphasis on God as a person and not merely a title or essence as the basis of our worship.” (>>)

We’ll keep you posted on any developments. April 1, 2010 will go down in the books as an important milestone in Mormon history.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to LDS Church Announces New Theological Project

  1. grindael says:

    The Cut and Paste ‘chuckler’ is making what point? Hasn’t made one yet. Keep up the good work Falcon!

  2. Janet says:

    Chuckle 🙂


  3. falcon says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I don’t know what it is but I seem to have a special talent for getting under the skin of TBMs. The chuckler isn’t the first Mormon to stalk me out here.
    I was thinking that for Mormons every day is a form of April Fools. For those who really are seeking after the truth, it seems to take about a year for the intense search and study to pay off and the light to go on. That doesn’t mean they jump off the sinking Mormon ship because they are several stops along the emotional trail where information needs to be processed and some conclusions drawn.
    I think one of the biggest things to come to grips with for the Mormon is the whole concept of personal revelation. Mormonism has a bit of Evangelical Christian revialism in it where folks are impressed by messages they “know” are coming from God. I have a good friend who lives a good ten hours away from me so I don’t see him often but he checks in by phone. He called me Friday night from an airport and in the course of our discussions I get several “the Lord told me” or “the Lord revealed to me”. Now here’s the deal with this guy. He’s pretty reliable because in the same breath he’ll say, “If you look in such and such book of the Bible verses thus and thus it says…..” and then he’ll tell me what he’s learned and how he’s applied it to his life.
    Well just recently I got his on-line newsletter and he references a verse in the Bible that when applied dealt with the idea that we “perfect those things we practice”. His example was gossip. If we practice it, we’ll perfect it. It’s the same thing with positive behaviors. Anyway, his revelations, words from the Lord, dreams (which he’s written a book on) all have a basis in the Word of God.
    Now in the case of a false prophet like Joseph Smith, (he) merely changed the Bible to his “inspired” version to fit what he wanted to believe and practice. The Bible was not normative in his life.
    Step one for Mormons, and it’s huge, is coming to grips with revelation. With Mormons the initial “ah ha” is understanding that every religion claims revelation with accompanying positive feelings. The second is to recognize the source of the revelation. In the case of Mormons, God is a perfected man. The prophet is a guy with a magic rock. The spiritual manifestations reflect spirits out of the world of the occult. April Fools is an innocent thing. Mormonism is darkness dressed as light. It’s end is spiritual destruction.

  4. mobaby says:

    Brigham Young – with his “prophecies” and teachings you can sometimes see how he was outdoing Joseph Smith. I think the people on the sun is one such case. He was building on Joseph Smith and expanding to include other places where men live, otherwise why did God create them?

    Another instance – Adam God. Joseph said God was once a man. Brigham Young expanded on this and said not only was God a man, he was Adam!

    Joseph Smith had 30 plus wives, Brigham Young had 40 plus wives.

    Brigham Young really believed the things Joseph Smith said and expanded upon them and put them into practice. I think Brigham Young is truly the one responsible for the LDS Salt Lake Church. If you look at the other Churches started by Joseph Smith that took a different direction – “Community of Christ” etc., their character and beliefs diverge greatly. Brigham Young – the founder of LDS Salt Lake and Fundamentalist Mormons? Maybe so.

  5. Rick B says:

    Janet here is the evidence you forgot to give to your fake little court judge.

    For many years after Joseph Smith’s death the Mormons continued to teach that the moon was inhabited. On July 24, 1870, Brigham Young, the second president of the Mormon church, stated: “Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon?… when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the ignorant of their fellows. So it is in regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain” (Journal of Discourses, vol.13, p.271).

    [Photo of Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, pages 270-271]

    As late as 1892 the teaching that the moon was inhabited appeared in a church publication. In an article published in the Young Woman’s Journal, O. B. Huntington stated:

    Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half century have, in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a Prophet.

    As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do, that they live generally to near the age of a 1000 years.

    He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.

    In my Patriarchal blessing, given by the father of Joseph the Prophet, in Kirtland, 1837, I was told that I should preach the gospel before I was 21 years of age; that I should preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and—to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes (The Young Woman’s Journal, published by the Young Ladies’ Mutual Improvement Associations of Zion, 1892, vol.3, pp.263-64).
    Rick b

  6. Janet says:

    Thanks Rick, I guess you first of all would have to actually produce the Patriarchal Blessing that is found in the archives to see who the blessing was given by. He claims JS’s father but those who have seen it, state it was his own father that gave the blessings. Since the young man was only ten years old, and never wrote or recorded this event nor do we have anything by JS in writing regarding the supposed statement, then we must solely rely on the memory of a ten year old repeating it for an article published in the Young Woman’s Journal some 50 plus years later. One person, one witness, one publication. Amazing.

    Since the first misrepresentation was posted here by Falcon, and boastfully used as a criticism of JS, yet the facts and evidence apparently show he knows little to nothing of that which he speaks of. Some what embarrassing that this ridiculous criticism is even still be used as ammo when more meaty issues seem never to be discussed. I guess that when mocking or ridiculing become norm, then one can find it easy to post misrepresentation without fear of being questioned or to show proof. When confronted we get the following: ” I don’t know what it is but I seem to have a special talent for getting under the skin of TBMs.” That’s all folks, nothing more. Just posting garbage to get under our skin, seems like a good way of helping the cause or agenda of hate. Chuckle.


  7. grindael says:


    You might find this interesting, and this shows your remarks are right on…from Wilford Woodruff’s diary Jan. 1860 …

    “I will now tell you all and you may write it down that all my preaching by the Holy Ghost is revelation. I told Brother Joseph that he had given us revelation enough to last us 20 years. When that time is out, I can give as good revelation as there is in the Doctrine and Covenants. Elder Taylor said in one of his sermons that, “If we walk in the light of the Lord, we should have revelations all the time.” It is the light that is within you. No man can live his religion without living in revelation, but I would never tell a revelation to the Church unless Joseph told it first. Joseph once told me to go to his own house to attend a meeting with him. He said that he would not go without me. I went and Hyrum preached upon the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants, and said we must take them as our guide alone. He preached very lengthy until he nearly wearied the people out. When he closed, Joseph told me to get up. I did so. I took the books and piled them all up on top ofeach other. I then said that I would not give the ashes of a rye straw for all those books for my salvation without the living oracles. I should follow and obey the living oracles for my salvation instead of anything else. When I got through, Hyrum got up and made a confession for not including the living oracles.”

    Young also once made a comment lamenting the fact that the Church had such a hard time with his adam-god doctrine, and that if he [Young] had been the one to reveal Baptism for the Dead instead of Smith…they never would have accepted that either.

    I think the above diary entry is Young doing just what you said, trying to assert his ‘authority’, claiming that he could give revelations ‘just as good as Smith’… but his adam-god flopped, and they rejected it as false doctrine, but still hail Young as a great prophet…go figure. Notice his stress on ‘living oracles?’ Mormons now don’t stress that, just the standard works.. go figure.

  8. grindael says:

    I was 10 when I saw the moon landing in 1969. I remember it like it was yesterday. I think if someone had told me then that there were men living on the moon, and the man was revered by me as a ‘great prophet’ I KNOW I NEVER WOULD HAVE FORGOTTEN IT.

    The ‘chuckler’s’ opinion holds no water, and again comes up short of adding anything useful to the thread. Of course it is just a ‘little’ issue that Smith said there were men living on the moon. It was so important to mormons that Joseph Fielding Smith once said this:

    “As an example of Apostle Smith’s rejection of science, he instructed a stake conference in 1961: ‘We will never get a man into space. This earth is man’s sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it. The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen.’ (See E, 848, entry for 14 May 1961, with commentary a few days later in George S. Tanner diary, JWML [J.Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah]).

    Smith wanted this view to be taught to ‘the boys and girls in the Seminary System.’ However, U.S. astronauts walked on the moon six months before he became president of the church in January 1970.”

    Now why would Fielding Smith have this view? He knew & believed what his great-grand uncle taught: there were men on the moon! Yeah, these guys were prophets!

    Chuckle on that.

  9. falcon says:

    Forgive me folks, but the Smith men inhabited moon and Young men inhabited sun riffs are just creative loony tunes. It’s just Wile Coyote and the Road Runner on steroids as far as these two Junior G Men are concerned. And these are the guys that Mormons go gaga over? Help me!
    What in the world causes people to believe in and follow “prophets” like this? Yea, I know; “I prayed about it, I felt a really good feeling about it, so therefore it’s true…..all of it. God spoke to me.” I don’t think so! Let me rephrase that, “I know so.”
    Well the good news is that an overwhelming majority of Mormons are nonactive. In-other-words, more are out of the program or on the edges than are in it.
    Therefore the church is not true!

  10. Janet says:

    Hallelujah, all this posting is causing member in droves to leave the LDS Church, the agenda of misrepresentation is active and alive, and yet only but a few are prey to the workings of such a profound and respected Forum we find here and other places.

    Does this change the truth? nope, but bragging rights seem less relevant when compared to proving the BOOK of Mormon is nothing more than what it claims to be, a second witness that Jesus is the Christ.

    Thank goodness that posters like the above do more good for Mormonism then damage, since he shows such little knowledge of any intellectual thought process regarding what we actually teach and preach. His only claim to fame is the peripheral and less meaty issues he finds easily while scanning his ever present anti-books.


  11. grindael says:

    Let’s just get to a couple of ‘important’ matters here. One is this: from the Woodruff diary:

    “We then visited the upper rooms & there viewed four Egyptian Mumies & also the Book of Abram written by his own hand & not ownly the hieroglyphicks but also many figures that this precious treasure contains are calculated to make a lasting impression upon the mind which is not to be erased many other important views I was Privileged with in the upper story the school rooms. [This was in 1836 (Nov. 25th) when Woodruff was touring the Temple & Kirtland for the first time]

    Notice Woodruff was told by Smith the BOA was WRITTEN BY HIS OWN HAND! Even the drawings! This alone proves the BOA a phony.

    Chuckle on that.

  12. Janet says:

    Joseph Fielding Smith,
    It was his personal opinion and he was wrong about it. Big deal.

    Apparently Woodruff was wrong, big deal.

    Does that prove or disprove the Book of Abraham? that is for many, and I mean many more investigators to decide for themselves.

    Many, more that half the wold disbelieves the Bible.


  13. grindael says:

    This blessing was given to Woodruff by Z. Coltrin in 1837, BY PROPHECY & REVELATION (who was a Pres. of the 70’s & then Church Patriarch):

    “President Z. Coltrin ordained me as a member of the first Seventy & pronounced great blessings upon my head by the spirit of Prophecy & Revelation Some of them I will mention which are as follows.

    THAT my enemies may confine me in Prisions & chains & that I would rend the prisions & chains in twain in the name of JESUS CHRIST & that the
    Lord would give me great Power, Knowledg, & wisdom & faith so that I should heal the sick caus the Blind to see the lame to leap as an heart the Deaf to hear stop the mouths of Lions & rase the dead to life & waft myself (as did Philip)37 from River to river from Sea to sea & from Continant to Continant for the Purpose of Preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ & that I should stand before Kings & Princes & that they would send for me to receive wisdom knowledge & instruction at my mouth because they considered me wiser than themselves in like manner as the Egyptians sought wisdom at the hand of JOSEPH. And that God would give me a multiplicity of Blessings that I should Preach to the nations of the earth & to the inhabitants upon the Islands of the sea & that I should then return & stand upon Mount Zion in the flesh even in Jackson County Missouri at the cumming of Christ & that I should be cought up to meet him in the Clouds of heaven for he said this was the word of God unto me & Also that I should visit COLUB [Kolob] & I should Preach to the spirits in Prision &; that I should bring all of my friends or relatives forth from the Terrestrial Kingdom (who had died) by the Power of the gospel These &; many other Blessings were Pronounced upon my head. & further said that I should be annointed & my life sealed unto me & that their would be still greater blessing Pronounced upon my head. I felt much of the Power of God rest upon me in this ordinance & Bear witness of the truth of the above.”

    Yeah, this all came true. Chuckle on that.

  14. grindael says:

    Woodruff was TOLD BY SMITH the writings were in the HAND OF ABRAHAM. It was NOT his OPINION. He kept long & accurate diaries. Smith was a fraud, patriarchal blessings are a fraud, & Mormonism is a fraud.

    Chuckle on that.

  15. Janet says:

    Did JS have intent to deceive, and did JS gain in any monetary gain.
    If not and you can not show or prove your claim, then I suggest you most likely are only voicing a opinion.

    So far, I have read most of your shorter posts, the longer ones I skipped over for lack of interest. You have failed to prove our doctrine is false, your peripheral issues have little to know merit regarding Mormon claims of a restored Gospel.


  16. Janet dismissed the “men on the moon” revelation with

    One person, one witness, one publication. Amazing.

    …and yet the whole LDS enterprise, from the First Vision, to the translation of the BoM, to the Angels with Swords threatening to kill the prophets if they don’t bed a large collection of wives, is built on one person and one witness (technically more than one publication, but they all come from the same author – Joseph Smith.

    Yup, truly amazing!

    Seriously, I never figured out how LDS can dismiss the men on the moon revelation, but they accept the (heretical) one about God having a wife.

    I guess that the one can be easily dismissed as obvious lunacy (pun intended), but the other can be more easily hidden behind a quasi-Christian facade.

    Why do LDS consider one revelation authoritative, and the other not?

  17. grindael says:

    No Monetary Gain?? Woodruff’s take on the Bank:

    6th I visited the office of the Kirtland Safety Society & saw the first money that was issued by the Treasurer or Society it was given to Brother Bump (in exchange for other notes) who was the first to Circulate it I also herd President Joseph Smith jr declare in the presence of F Williams. D Whitmer. S. Smith. W. Parrish. & others in the Deposit Office that he had received that morning the Word of the Lord upon the subject of the Kirtland Safety Society he was alone in a room by himself & he had not ownly the voice of the spirit upon the subject but even an audable voice He did not tell us at that time what the LORD said upon the subject but remarked that if we would give heed to the commandments the Lord had given this morning all would be well. May the Lord bless Brother Joseph with all the Saints & support the above named institution & Protect it so that every weapon formed against it may be broaken & come to nought whie the Kirtland Safety Society shall become the greatest of all institutions on EARTH.”

    It was a miserable failure. I guess the mormon god lied to Smith. But Smith still made out.

    “Thirteen suits were brought against him between June 1837 and April 1839, to collect sums totaling nearly $25,000. The damages asked amounted to almost $35,000. He was arrested seven times in four months, and his followers managed heroically to raise the $38,428 required for bail. Of the thirteen suits only six were settled out of court-about $12,000 out of the $25,000. In the other seven the creditors either were awarded damages or won them by default.

    Joseph had many additional debts that never resulted in court action. Some years later he compiled a list of still outstanding Kirtland loans, which amounted to more than $33,000. If one adds to these the two great loans of $30,000 and $60,000 borrowed in New York and Buffalo in 1836, it would seem that the Mormon leaders owed to non-Mormon individuals and firms well over $150,000.” (No Man Knows My History, 199)

    Swindle others to do the mormon god’s work.

  18. Janet also referred to

    Mormon claims of a restored Gospel.


    For the Mormon movement to have “restored” the Gospel, we would expect it to have existed in the first place, and then to have been lost.

    The great problem with the Mormon position is that the “restored Gospel” of Joseph Smith looks nothing like the Gospel of the first Christians (i.e. the kinds of guys who wrote the New Testament, and who were known to the extra-Biblical sources, such as Josephus, Tacitus).

    Furthermore the “restored Gospel” of Joseph Smith is radically different from the Gospel that your movement currently promotes. What happened to the “Gospel” of exaltation by polygamy, that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young insisted upon?

  19. grindael says:

    When Smith & friends applied for a state bank charter, they were turned down. Smith had already had bank note printing plates made which read “Kirtland Safety Society.”

    After their charter was rejected, Smith ordered the notes to be issued anyway, but they were stamped to read “Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Co.”, so as to skirt the lack of bank charter.

    After the bank and the Kirtland community failed, several former bank executives (all Mormons) testified that Smith and Rigdon had placed a chest filled with junk in their bank’s vault, with a thin layer of silver coins on top, to serve as the bank’s “capital.”

    The Messenger and Advocate published an appeal for investors which said:

    “…we invite the brethren from abroad, to call on us, and take stock in our Safety Society; and we would remind them also of the sayings of Isaiah…’Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold (not their bank notes) with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God.'” (The parenthetical expression is part of the original text, reprinted in History of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 473)

    According to several individuals that left the church, the bank was established on fraudulent claims of capital security. They related that the bank vault was lined with many boxes, each marked $1,000. These boxes were actually filled with “sand, lead, old iron, stone, and combustibles,” but each had a top layer of bright fifty-cent silver coins. Anyone suspicious of the bank’s stability was permitted to lift and count the boxes.

    According to C. G. Webb:

    “The effect of those boxes was like magic. They created general confidence in the solidity of the bank and that beautiful paper money went like hot cakes. For about a month it was the best money in the country.” (Interview by W. Wyl. See Mormon Portraits, p. 36; also Oliver Olney: Absurdities of Mormonism Portrayed, p. 4; the letter of Cyrus Smalling in E. G. Lee, The Mormons)

  20. grindael says:

    William Parrish, secretary for Joseph and cashier of the bank for a short time, wrote in 1838:

    “I have been astonished to hear him declare that we had $60,000 in specie in our vaults and $600,000 at our command, when we had not to exceed $6,000 and could not command any more; also that we had but about ten thousand dollars of our bills in circulation when he, as cashier of that institution, knew that there was at least $150,000.” (Letter to Zion’s Watchman, published March 24, 1838. Cyrus Smalling also wrote that Joseph had collected only $6,000 in specie. See E. G. Lee, The Mormons, or Knavery Exposed, p. 14)

    It should be noted that Parrish left the church following this fiasco and began openly to describe Joseph’s banking methods. He was later accused of absconding with $25,000, probably in bank notes which ultimately proved worthless.

    Half of the original twelve apostles, and more than half of the total church membership, left the church because of the Kirtland failure.

    In the midst of the troubles, Smith sought to escape them by going on a five-week “mission trip” to Canada. Upon his return, he found that half of his church members had “rallied around a young girl who claimed to be a seeress by virtue of a black stone in which she could read the future. David Whitmer, Martin Harris, and Oliver Cowdery, whose faith in seer stones had not diminished when Joseph stopped using them, pledged her their loyalty, and F.G. Williams, Joseph’s First Counselor, became her scribe.” (No Man Knows My History, p. 205.) (This tells us a lot about the mental states of the “witnesses” to the alleged golden plates.)

    Upon being charged with bank fraud, Smith and Rigdon were forced to flee Kirtland on horseback at night to escape mobs who wanted to avenge their financial losses.

  21. grindael,

    Every time I read your posts with extensive quotes from extant sources about the adventures that Joseph Smith and his cronies got up to, I shake my head in disbelief.

    Being a post-Charismatic, I have seen this myself, though on a far, far smaller scale. People who have declared that they have some word from God to go on some venture or other. But it turns out they were just acting on some instinctive impulse, which then went wrong at some stage or other. Sadly, the original impulse often arose from a sense of vanity. However, I still draw a distinction between an honest mistake (people trying to do the right thing, but getting it wrong), and fraud (people who masquerade sin as if it were the right thing). Joseph Smith Jr lies so far over to the “fraud” end of the scale, its not funny.

    I refuse to capitulate to cynicism, however. The Word of God is a living, continuing experience for God’s people (Heb 4:12, 1 Peter 1:23). I despair that the (actual) history of Joseph Smith and Mormonism continues to bring it into disrepute.

  22. P.S.

    In responding to Janet’s comment…

    Did JS have intent to deceive, and did JS gain in any monetary gain.

    …we might note that Joseph Smith Jnr did try to sell the copyright to the BoM. He wasn’t successful, but it begs the question; why he would want to do it?

    The most obvious answer is that he saw the BoM as a source of income. When the sale of its copyright was unsuccessful (c.f. the Canadian prophecy), he changed tack and sought to make his fortune by creating a religion from the legend of the BoM.

    Joseph Smith jnr started out as a money-digger. It seems he just exploited his talent in different arenas.

  23. grindael says:


    I find it fascinating that Smith could leave money-digging, but money-digging never really left Smith. This quote here, that I posted on another thread, is truly revealing of Smith’s true nature:

    Smith always eyed the Indian mounds with longings of finding that elusive treasure, and when digging up a mound in Missouri in 1834 found a skeleton who he named ‘Zelph’. In 1838 Smith again visited some Indian mounds in Missouri which he believed “were probably erected by the aborigines of the land, to secrete treasures.”A few days later, Joseph wrote his brother Hyrum to come and obtain “grate [great] treasure in the earth.” (Dean C. Jessee, Writings of Joseph Smith, 358.)

    The quote by Jessee about the letter to Hyrum to come to Missouri and ‘obtain great treasure in the earth’, gets to the heart of where Smith’s true interests lay, and how his fascination with the mounds & the speculation about the AmerIndians being remnants of the lost 10 tribes (and the success of the View of the Hebrews) got the con-artist in Smith thinking he could REALLY get rich with a TRUE historical record …. and Smith had years of practice as a magician to pull it off. But his BOM failed to find interest & Smith then turned from con-man to preacher [how many times has THAT happened?]LOL, but still eyed those mounds with his old money-digger, greedy eyes…Just connect the dots …that is what I do with these historical moments … and if you see the WHOLE picture … you come to your conclusion …it’s NOT funny.

  24. falcon says:

    Joseph Smith was a religious charlatan. I’m wondering if those who follow and promote him should be classified as the same? This isn’t secret information, surely to the Mormons who frequent this blog. The “ability” of Mormons to overlook all of the information that is available inditing Smith as a common crook speaks volumes to their willingness to be deceived.
    Having never been caught in a web of religious deceit like Mormonism, I don’t know what the psychological mind-set feels like. Observing it however tells me that Mormonism is a spiritual delusion that I can liken only to a woman (for example) who keeps faith in a man who is no good. He lies, runs around on her, drinks, stays out all night gambling, doing drugs and she always has an excuse for him. There’s an emotional hook with Smith that is a real psychological trap for Mormons. It’s not about Smith. It’s about the individual Mormon whose desire to believe in him and his fantasy isn’t faith but but rather an unhealthy obsession.

  25. Janet says:

    I wouldn’t know, I don’t have a husband that runs around, drinks, and stays away from family to drink and do drugs. Have you had experience knowing such people, are they good old mormons mingled in with plenty of Christian hypocrites? So can we liken Christianity to these same bad traits and if so suffering from Spiritual Delusion. So tell us what is so healthy about laying claim to Christian Creeds, Triune Trinity, (still unexplainable), ex nihilo, six day of creation, and Chosen of God or predestined to be saved.


  26. Janet wrote

    I wouldn’t know, I don’t have a husband that runs around, drinks, and stays away from family to drink and do drugs.

    …good! And no-one is suggesting that you find one.

    Unless you want to follow Hosea’s example (see Hosea 1:2 etc).

    (BTW, off topic, but have you ever considered why God would command Hosea to take an adulterous wife? How does that fit in with LDS expectations of celestial marriage?)

    Anyhow, you might not have a licentious husband, but your prophet, Joseph Smith, easily qualifies.

    The solution is as simple as it is hard; jettison Smith and all his bastard creations from your life. You might think that this will mortally wound your Christian faith, but you’ll find that it actually begins to grow in a real and meaningful way (which is the core of the message that many have posted here).

  27. falcon says:

    Thank you for doing the clarification for the Mormon poster. I must admit that I’m constantly amazed at how Mormons consistently miss the point of the posts that the Christians make here. I vacillate between concluding that it’s done on purpose to wondering if Mormonism does something to its members ability to process information.
    How can people be so clouded in their understanding? Is there a certain naive perception that accompanies the seduction into Smith’s cult? Who Smith was is evident, clear and without question. He was a religious charlatan who drew his inspiration from the dark side of the spirit world. To break loose is a spiritual, intellectual and emotional challenge.
    There is a cycle of motivation that folks go through in the process of change. It’s predictable in its steps:
    1. A felt need. (something doesn’t seem right)
    2. A build-up of tension. (inner turmoil)
    3. Behavior activities to accomplish the goal. (intense research and searching; in the case of Mormonism)
    4. Attainment of the goal. (exit from the cult)
    5. Satisfaction and tension reduction. (resolution and inner peace)

    Christ is the answer to the delimea of not having the peace that comes once someone knows for sure that He has paid the price for our sins and that our eternal destiny is secure in Him. Not through any worthless works that we think we can do to qualify ourselves before a holy and just God. He did for us what we can’t do for ourselves, that is pay the price for our sins and declare us righteous before Him. It’s the gift of eternal life that God is offering to all who would come to Him in faith seeking his love, mercy and forgiveness. This is not a complicated process but one, because it is so simple, that some have difficulty accepting.
    To know God and His Christ and to accept through faith the finished work of the cross is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It saves us from our sins and provides us the security that won’t come through our own vain efforts.

  28. Janet says:

    My poster friend and his stated simplicity: ” He did for us what we can’t do for ourselves, that is pay the price for our sins and declare us righteous before Him. It’s the gift of eternal life that God is offering to all who would come to Him in faith seeking his love, mercy and forgiveness. This is not a complicated process but one, because it is so simple, that some have difficulty accepting.”

    Well finally, simplifying the Scriptures to it’s core principles and doctrine. Our Lord and Saviour, He who forgives the repentant. Now if that was taught on a regular basis instead of confusing the patrons with mumble jumbo one in three, three as one, invisible, creating the eternities out of nothing, and doing all this in six days, wow, you might keep them from switching over to Mormonism.

    Janet 🙂

  29. I’d like to respond to janet’s indirect response to falcon

    Well finally, simplifying the Scriptures to it’s core principles and doctrine. Our Lord and Saviour, He who forgives the repentant.

    janet’s got this part right. Only, I’d like janet to consider what gives Jesus the right to forgive. I’ve got a further concern about “simplifying” scripture, but its a concern about reductionism and making the Christian Gospel too small.

    Now if that was taught on a regular basis instead of confusing the patrons with mumble jumbo one in three, three as one, invisible, creating the eternities out of nothing, and doing all this in six days, wow, you might keep them from switching over to Mormonism.

    janet’s got this part wrong. In reverse order…

    Concerning 6 day creation – my present view on Gen 1 is that it is a story that we are invited to live in, rather than a “scientific” account. I’m not saying that God could not have created the cosmos in 6 days, but if He did, why did He leave around a whole stack of evidence that suggests the contrary? There’s a bigger debate here, and some Christians might be offended at my approach, which I’m prepared to live with.

    What is non-negotiable is that God was there before everything else; ex-nihilo.

    Concerning the Trinity, its not my fault that our western cultural conditioning makes it hard for us to accept it. It is, however, the only conclusion one can come to from a serious engagement with scripture, unless you believe that its authors were hopelessly confused.

    The earliest Christians, including the authors of the NT worshiped Jesus as if He were God, and they believed in only One God. They held the same attitude to the Holy Ghost. The Nicene formula of three persons in One God is the best way to reconcile these observations.

    So, we might consider it mumble-jumbo, but if you believe the Bible to be the Word of God, then we ought to consider it to be a revelation

  30. Janet says:

    Oh gosh yes, the Bible is the Word of God, and not the confused precepts of MAN, (Nicene Creed).

    I would love your observations about the six day of creation. Why would some Christians be offended, after all it’s God Word found int he Bible, are you now going to contradict this Doctrine, yet still accept a invisible God, and Ex Nihilo. Are you bringing in science to prove both can be accepted as factual.

    The earliest Christian were correct, there is only ONE GOD, and we all worship HIM. Mormons only worship one God, the same God Christ spoke of in the Bible that He Worshiped.


  31. Enki says:

    There is this excellent documentary on PBS last week, ‘The mormons’. (for those not in the USA its Public television) It was perhaps the most balanced presentation on the topic. I wish that I saw the whole thing. I recommend anyone to watch it, if anyone is interested in LDS things.

    It interviewed several LDS leaders from the quorum of the 12, 70’s, regular members, excommunicated members. Members of the jewish community, evangelical christians. Fascinating stuff.

    This was the first time I ever thought that works for the dead could actually be emotionally hurtful. Members of the Jewish community found it offensive having victims of the holocaust being baptized for the dead in LDS temples. They wished everyone to recognize their jewish identity, and not have rituals done which didn’t respect that. I remember hearing that years ago, but I didn’t think that was anything to get upset about. Its definately progress that I can see that now.

    The other part I found interesting was about the importance of AUTHORITY in the LDS church. One LDS member of the 12 said that it wasn’t right to criticize lds leadership, even if it was correct. That really struck a nerve for me. It interviewed various scholars that were doing serious work, trying to understand the history of their own religion. Its very strange to me that people quickly find themselves in trouble if they examine history a little too closely. There is actually a list of “trouble makers” kept somewhere in Salt Lake. They actually keep a list? Is this something like a no fly list?

    One thing that was asked is what is the mental health of an organization which is above any type of criticism? Or not subject to checks of some type? Another thing asked is if the LDS religion will continue…..

  32. RikkiJ says:

    I hope you don’t mind me jumping in. Jesus said:
    “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.” (Luke 11:20KJV;cf Matt.12:28). Daniel prophesied, “…his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”(Dan.7:14). Paul further said: “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace.”(Heb.12:26-28) If the kingdom of Jesus Christ cannot be removed, or shaken, then where is the need for the restoration?

Leave a Reply