The Robust Growth of Mormonism

Mormon TempleAfter the Mormon Church released its membership statistics in April (2013), Mike at, a self-proclaimed “stats geek,” analyzed the church’s self-reported membership data from 1970 to the present. Replete with charts and graphs, it is a fascinating look at Mormon Church growth over these 40-plus years. Please take the time to read Mike’s report if you can. For those who choose not to, here is a brief summary of what his report includes.

Mike first graphed total membership, noting that there has been strong growth over the years. “The LDS Church grew from about 3 million members in 1970 to about 15 million in 2012, which means it grew five times larger in a little more than 40 years,” Mike wrote.

Next Mike graphed the year-over-year change in membership. This is the number of members added each year. The graph shows that Mormon Church is adding an increasing number of new members every year (i.e., each year the number of new members is higher than the number of new members recorded the previous year). Mike wrote, “There’s still an upward trend in year-over-year change in membership since 1970, but there’s also a notable downward trend since the peak in the early 1990s.”

Next Mike graphed “the percentage of year-over-year change in membership compared to the total number of members, which is effectively the church rate of growth.” While the growth rate has been slowing, Mike noted, “at the current growth rate, each year a (slightly) larger percentage of the world’s population belongs to the LDS Church.”

The next graph is total yearly convert baptisms (without considering retention information). “Since 1990 the trend has generally tapered downward with an obvious low spot in the mid-2000s.  It has somewhat recovered in the past few years, but the current number of annual baptisms still falls short of the rates seen during the 1990s,” Mike explained.

A graph showing the annual convert baptisms as a percentage of the total demonstrates a “definite downward trend.” This means that each year a smaller percentage of Mormons are recent converts. Mike wrote, “Over time, new converts are becoming rarer in the Mormon church.  In 1980 nearly 1/5 of all members had been baptized within the previous five years.  By 1990 the number had fallen to about 1/6, and in 2012 fewer than 1/10 of members had been baptized within the past five years.  The opposite is true too; more than 90% of all current LDS church members have been Mormon for over five years (92.3%).”

Mike included a couple of graphs dealing with children of record and 8-year-old baptisms, but the church’s reporting of those statistics has been inconsistent so it’s hard to understand what the numbers mean.

Finally, Mike graphed “Statistical Anomalies” he found in the data. He found that many years had significant discrepancies between the reported sub-totals as compared to the reported totals in church growth.  “To break down this yearly 100% [i.e., total church membership growth], we’ll take the percentage of the growth that’s due to convert baptisms, 8-year-olds baptized, and the total of the two.  Together each year, the two statistics should add up to about 100%, allowing some wiggle room for members who have died or left.  However, these totals shouldn’t be too far from 100% because, well, you can’t convert more than 100% of the members added and you can’t add members that you don’t baptize.” Some years tens of thousands of members were unaccounted for as in 1973 when the church reported an increase of 87,750 members while also reporting 80,128 new converts and 52,789 children baptized. Some years the discrepancy went the other way, as in 1989, “when the total number of baptisms falls short of the Mormon church membership increase for that year.  The LDS church shows a membership increase of 587,234 in 1989, but there were only 318,940 convert baptisms and 75,000 8-year-old baptisms, meaning that 193,294 members were added to the membership total that weren’t baptized.”

Mike wrote, “It’s anyone’s guess as to what’s going on.” But one thing is clear: though the trend is slowing, the Mormon Church continues to experience “robust” growth according to its self-reported statistics (which do not differentiate between active and inactive members). This doesn’t mean, as many Mormons like to think, that the Mormon Church is “the only true and living church upon the face to the whole earth” with which God is “well-pleased” (D&C 1:30). Rather, it is a call for those who belong to Jesus to continue to “fight the good fight of faith,” “guard the deposit entrusted to you,” and patiently correct those in opposition to God’s truth (1 Timothy 6:12, 20; 2 Timothy 2: 24-25). It is a call for us to stay on our knees, pleading with God for His mercy toward the Mormon people, that 2 Timothy 2:25-26 may become their story.

May it be so, Lord Jesus.

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 Friendship, Interaction, and Evangelism, LDS Church and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to The Robust Growth of Mormonism

  1. falcon says:

    What I’m always curious about is the level of activity within the Mormon church. For example, are LDS folks in third world countries,

  2. falcon says:

    OOPS! I’m using my tablet and it decided to post an unfinished thought. I’ll try again.

    What’s the over all involvement in the LDS church among members. Are they super into the temple program? I would think that those in third world countries would have difficulty coming up with the ten percent entry fee into the temple. What’s ten percent of very little?
    The LDS membership is a hierarchy. To get to the top of the pyramid, a person is going to have to be hyper-involved and committed. I just can’t believe that there are many people who really want to do the god maker program.

  3. grindael says:

    It was a lot easier for the Mormon Church to grow in the late Eighties/early Nineties because of the limited access of historical data to those who were investigating the Church. The Mormon Church also hired a slick Advertising Firm to convey their message.

    They are still trying to do damage control today, for example with this new heading to the 1978 statement of Spencer Kimball,

    The Book of Mormon teaches that “all are alike unto God,” including “black and white, bond and free, male and female” (2 Nephi 26:33). Throughout the history of the Church, people of every race and ethnicity in many countries have been baptized and have lived as faithful members of the Church. During Joseph Smith’s lifetime, a few black male members of the Church were ordained to the priesthood. Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent. Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice. Church leaders believed that a revelation from God was needed to alter this practice and prayerfully sought guidance. The revelation came to Church President Spencer W. Kimball and was affirmed to other Church leaders in the Salt Lake Temple on June 1, 1978. The revelation removed all restrictions with regard to race that once applied to the priesthood.

    They are, of course perpetuating a lie in this heading by saying that “Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice”. This is clearly a lie. We know exactly how this practice originated and why.

    If there were no records that indicated the origins of the practice, then why would it take a “revelation” to change something that just mysteriously appeared and was enforced for over a hundred years? This excuse is appalling.

    This is an example of the tactics the church has been using since they were forced to change this racist “Commandment of God” in the late Seventies.

    Since the rise of the internet and the free flow and easy access to historical data the Church has seen a steady decline in Membership compared to the Eighties and Nineties.

    Hopefully, technology will become more widespread in countries where the Church thinks it can get away with lying to investigators about its past.

  4. spartacus says:


    We’re a bit off topic, but I wanted to give my wording on a point we both seem to hold in regards this new position of the LDS church. The whole “we don’t know where it came from” thing isn’t just appalling, its suicidal!

    grindael, you mentioned the inconsistency of needing a revelation to overturn an origin-unknown belief and policy.

    What I see is the LDS church confessing that they had a major policy, backed by major beliefs, and widely disseminated and oft-repeated teachings for decades upon decades, that they admit not having any idea if it was of God or not. Think about it, everyone else believes that Mormons believe this was commanded by God. But the leadership doesn’t want to say that for some reason. So they are explicitly going against the tide and are, thus, implicitly denying that it came from God. That is, they are admitting that a major aspect of their church came from somewhere other than God.

    In a way I am glad they aren’t explicitly putting the blame on God for once, like when they implied that it was God’s fault for waiting until the 70’s to get the message to them – that the members and leadership really wanted to change it sooner, but couldn’t until God spoke.

    But, then, the leadership doesn’t want to take the blame either.

    How was this not leading the church astray? I’ve heard that “leading astray” means away from salvation. Well, that is what happened to a lot of African-heritage members – they were kept from the Temple and thus from full-salvation, aka exaltation. Actually, there is another way to view this same thing from the Bible. Jesus said that any person who teaches a “little one” to do wrong would have been better off putting a stone around their neck and jump in the sea (paraphrase obviously). Well what was this, but teaching black-heritage LDS to not pursue the Temple and the benefits thereof. It is a common principle, even of the LDS church, that to not do a good that we know we ought to do is a sin. So, by teaching them that they should not do something, presumably good, like seeking exaltation and full restoration with Heavenly Father, the LDS church was effectively teaching LDS members to sin.

    I know, we don’t know what the origin was. So, we’ll forget the facts that this is supposed to be the only church upon the earth that’s directly God led through a prophet like unto Moses, which all seems to indicate that there should not only be God-only given doctrines and policies (or else what is the point?) but even that there should be recorded proof of the revelations (Given all the teachings about record-keeping), and take their claims:

    1) This was a policy of unknown origin.
    [a policy with lots of prophets and apostles teaching and indoctrinating reasons for it]
    2) God (finally) spoke on it at the request of leadership but only said that all worthy members are eligible.

    All they do know is that they finally heard from God that it was not to be so. I wonder why God did not explain the origin then, with the revelation to lift it? I wonder why we have never seen a first-person revelation in God’s own words. I suppose that would go under the “no real revelations for over a century” excuse. Whatever that is. So LDS Heavenly Father has left us in a situation that looks a lot like false prophets but isn’t? The LDS god is not a god of confusion?

    So, to review:

    1) At the very least, the LDS church is admitting that a massive part of its teachings and policies led a major portion of its membership… somewhere… without knowing where those initiatives/teachings/doctrines/policies came from.

    2)Previously everyone believed, I would say mormon and non-mormon, that this doctrine and policy came from God.

    3) The LDS leadership, for whatever reason, does not want to go along with that long history.

    4) Nor does LDS leadership want to admit the only other authority able to bring about such – themselves.

    5) So we have the LDS leadership implicitly admitting that they led millions to believe, and hundreds, if not thousands, to live in a way that may have come from anything else besides God.

    Lesson: There’s all kinds of ways to say it, but …

    The LDS church may never lead you astray, but they are sure willing to lead you blindly, for over a century.

    Final comment: LDS better be awfully sure that it is God behind all this, because this century plus of leadership, in this regard, gives no proof of it. In fact, it would seem to be proof against God’s participation. Oh, but that’s right – we cannot understand everything in this life – we must simply believe and continue the good work and in the end all will be understood. For now, make your leap of faith blindly from the platform of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and hope God is there to catch you.

    But is He?

  5. spartacus says:

    As to the topic,

    if I correctly understand, “While the growth rate has been slowing, Mike noted, ‘at the current growth rate, each year a (slightly) larger percentage of the world’s population belongs to the LDS Church.'” as meaning that the LDS church claims to be growing at a greater rate than world population, then that is a sobering thought.

    And before LDS here at least think, if not explicitly claim, that I am sobered because I “fear the LDS church’s competition”, think again. If I think that Mormonism is wrong (and only rarely and accidentally precipitates a saving relationship with God in some members), then that isn’t too much different that the fact that the world’s new population each year (the World’s growth) is also made up of mostly unsaved people. So, if that was all there was to it, then I would not have cause to be any more sobered or dismayed with the LDS church growth than by the World’s unsaved growth.

    Nay, rather, I am sobered by the thought of a greater portion of that World population being “scorched” by the LDS church, making it that more likely they will remain in an unsaved relationship but be turned even further from God either by the LDS teachings or by the truth they eventually learn that makes them leave the LDS church and distrust all claims to truth and distrust in any God so completely. A once-LDS atheist is a special kind of atheist. Formidable and sobering.

    In the end, all religions and denominations lacking in humility greatly risk adding to the population growth of atheists and agnostics, whether they are part of Christianity or Mormonism or any other. The LDS church, the ONLY True Church on the face of the earth, is just especially well setup to do so – if it is false.

    What if the LDS church is false?

  6. falcon says:

    What if the LDS church is false?
    Then there are a whole lot of religious people with no hope. Think of it, the LDS church has its own version of god. Is that god anything like the God who reveals himself in His Holy Scriptures? No! Is the Mormon gospel anything like the gospel revealed in the NT? No again! Is the LDS church, with its current doctrines and practices, reflective of the first century Church? No resemblance what so ever.

    So the LDS church is pretty much flying solo with no resemblance to orthodox, historic Christianity.

    I just don’t think that there will be any sustained growth in the LDS church since they really have to work hard to make up for the inactive members and those who officially resign.

  7. jardim says:

    Two things: if I remember correctly, my former ward had about 600 people living in its few block boundaries but only about 60% showed up to any given sacrament meeting, and our leadership was proud that our ward, with one of the highest membership turnover rates in Utah Valley, was so active.

    Second, when I discovered the church was lying about so much, I seriously doubted in God. It really shook me. I can really see how former members turn into atheists.

  8. 2bowdown says:

    New to this site. I’m a Mormon and I like seeing the latest criticisms of my church since they tend to help me learn about all aspects of the gospel. This is the first post I’ve read, but I don’t really see this as a criticism, but rather an analysis of LDS church growth. In my own opinion, I agree with most of the analysis in that the church continues to grow but more slowly then in times past. I also agree with some of the posts that there are many inactive members in the church as well. It is tough to really nail down the number of active church members.

  9. jaxi says:


    I agree. This isn’t really a criticism that proves anything about the truthfulness of the LDS Church. If the LDS Church wasn’t growing the Church could say, “See we are true because Satan is trying to stop us,” or something to that effect. If they are growing, they would say, “See how true we are, because look how fast we are growing.” Which, as I was raised LDS, I did hear much of. I think the LDS Church was really proud of their explosion of growth awhile ago and I think right now they really are “bleeding” members. I don’t think they want to be upfront about how many people are actually leaving, because if they did people might decide to look into reasons, other than “they were offended, they couldn’t hack it, or they sinned”, which usually is NOT the reason. The biggest reason for LDS leaving, me being one of them, is that they discover the real Church history. The stuff that’s not taught at seminary, BYU, or Sunday School (I know, I actively did all those things.) Many LDS today still think the LDS Church is growing like it used to, and it is sometimes a shocker for members to find out that it is not. It surprised me. It also surprises me that the LDS Church can’t pin down it’s active members. When I was in the Primary Presidency, I would go to meetings and there was a list that included all the people that were not coming to Church. They had the names all sorted in piles of who they can contact and by what means. Counts are done at sacrament, roll is kept, you have barcoded cards to get into the temple. I think the LDS Church if pressed could provide accurate data on how many temple worthy members they have. I also think they could provide a close estimation on how many people are actually fulfilling callings and attending Church regularly. This is a Church that is obsessed with records. After all, they won’t even remove my information from the main Church database because they want to keep such good records.

    I think it is commendable that you are not afraid to look at the criticisms of your faith. I did, and was shocked to find out that the “anti” literature that I was told was lies, was actually true. At the time I wouldn’t look at anything that wasn’t from an LDS source. I looked at old journals, conference talks… Once I had decided I had been lied to my whole life I wasn’t afraid to look at the “anti” stuff, to discover I had found almost all of it on my own and drew many of the same conclusions. People are surprised when I say that discovering the Church’s history helped me to discover it wasn’t what it claimed, however, that is not why I left. I would have been a cultural Mormon. The problems that have arisen with my extended family have been awful. I would not have gone through them for anything other than truth, namely truth about God. Building a relationship with the True God, raising my children truth, knowing the Word of God, Jesus Christ, for who he really was and is, is the most important thing in the world to me. Looking at the criticisms and evaluating the history isn’t the hard part. Finding out the truth isn’t really that hard, if you open up your heart and mind up enough to accept conclusions that may be contrary to preconceived assumptions. I still remember trying to hold onto my LDS faith with everything that I had when I finally asked myself “What if it’s not true?” It was a question I’m not sure I ever genuinely asked myself. But when I did, the feeling of relief and peace was so immense. But none of that was the hard part. The hard part was putting the pieces of my faith back together and then acting on the truth that I found in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “Do what is right, let the consequences follow,” that was the hard part.

  10. falcon says:

    Yup, that’s a number I’d like to see. The number of Mormons who attend the temple on any sort of regular basis. There would be a lot of reasons for people to be “social” or “cultural” Mormons. It’s just a lot easier not to rock the boat especially if familial and employment issues are involved. So, how many of the members are really into the godmaker program? I’m guessing it’s not 25% of the reported membership overall.
    A person has to really be into Mormonism to try to hit the top level of performance. The words, “you have to earn it” from that one Mormon blog writer, keep echoing in my ears. The orientation of the Mormon believer is totally different from that of a Christian. Christians don’t talk about earning anything. The motivation for godly living, for example, comes as a result of a person’s relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It appears to me that a Mormon’s motivation for godly living comes as a result of having to go through an interview with the bishop regarding the Word of Wisdom and if it is being followed faithfully. The result of that plus the entry fee of 10% of a person’s income, allows the member into the temple to do more work in order to “earn” the Celestial Kingdom.
    This is not Christianity in any era.

  11. spartacus says:

    Welcome 2bowdown.

    We’re glad you are here. And I think it is safe for me to speak for others and tell you that we are even more glad to hear that you want to learn all you can about what you hold dear.

    If we hold truth dear, and God is good, then we have nothing to fear from seeking. It is not accepting lies that we should fear but resting in them. If we seek truth, and God is Good, then we have nothing to fear but to cease seeking.

  12. 2bowdown says:

    Thanks Jaxi and Spartacus for your welcome. Jaxi, I was also anti-Mormonism and got a whole lot of that sort of literature from my friends when my parents started investigating the church. I used it to go at it with the missionaries and honestly left them without an answer most of the times. It was one of those missionaries who really helped me by admitting that he didn’t have an answer for me and told me that If I believe in Christ then take it up with Him. He told me that if I pray sincerely and follow the promptings of the spirit then I would be well with Christ whether in the church or not. I took his advice and found myself converted still without answers to the many criticisms I had previously argued. The answers started coming after my conversion with lots of searching and studying. I don’t have all the answers, but most of the things that really hung me up were taken care of. I’m grateful that it was my faith in Christ that led to my conversion and the logic later to reinforce my faith.

  13. 2bowdown says:

    Falcon: I think there is a lot of assumption in your last post concerning the motivation for “‘Godly living”. But like I said before, everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion.

  14. Silkworm says:

    I have read a lot of stuff critical of the church (like from the Tanner’s, sites like this one, etc.) I have read a lot of stuff from the LDS church and other LDS sources, read a lot of stuff from non-LDS sources, and so forth. I did all this reading (still do when I have time) because I wanted to know information about many things concerning the LDS church from different angles. I am still a dedicated and faithful member of the LDS church. Every person looks at experiences and information differently. A glass can be filled half-way with a liquid and some will say the glass is half-empty and others will say the glass if half-full. It is all about perspective.

  15. fifth monarchy man says:

    2bowdown says,
    everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion
    silkworm says,
    It is all about perspective.

    I say,

    I see this sort of attitude all the time with Mormons I talk to. It is as if ones own personal opinion matters as to whether something is true or not. Postmodernism rules the day.

    I agree that everyone has an opinion but in the end God’s opinion is the only one that matters. I want to agree with him.

    I agree that it’s all about perspective but in the end the only perspective that matters is Christ’s I want my perspective to reflect his.


    [Jesus said]For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37b-38a)

    end quote:

    Pilate summed up the modern Mormon mind set perfectly


  16. Bloom says:

    Welcome, 2bowdown. Wondering if you could elaborate a bit more on the “answers” and “logic” that came after your conversion? Former members who contribute to this blog have said they were encouraged as active Mormons to be content without answers and to just learn to live with contradictions of faith and logic. Do you feel like you have obtained answers to the questions you posed to the LDS missionaries?

  17. falcon says:

    “Guided by the Spirit”. A very interesting concept. Isn’t interesting how you and silkworm have done all of this study and praying and have found Mormonism to be true. Now, this is while we have all of these former Mormons who write regularly on this blog, who were as into Mormonism as you are now, believed it, felt it, embraced it as true, and they were led out of Mormonism “by the Spirit” and by in depth study.

    Isn’t that “led by the Spirit” an interesting concept? That is how the Spirit can lead some people to one truth and other people to an exact opposite truth?
    Because what we are dealing, with in comparing and contrasting the form of Mormonism you believe in, the Mormonism other Mormons sects embrace as truth, and orthodox Biblical Christianity are miles apart. Now I will admit there are a couple of Mormon sects that do come close to the Christian gospel namely the Community of Christ for one.
    As an LDS Mormon, you acknowledge an entirely different god. Your god was once a man, like perhaps millions or billions of sinful men before him, who, by following the Mormon system on another planet, became a god. He then, along with his many wives, on or near the planet Kolob, procreates spirit children who then end up on planet earth.
    Now your hope is to “earn” your place also within the pantheon of Mormon gods.

    Believing something doesn’t make it true regardless of how it makes you feel. If you get it wrong you’re lost for eternity.

  18. MJP says:

    Silkworm, have you ever learned about Christianity just to learn about Christianity?

  19. fifth monarchy man says:

    falcon says,

    Isn’t that “led by the Spirit” an interesting concept? That is how the Spirit can lead some people to one truth and other people to an exact opposite truth?

    I say,

    That is an interesting point what about all those folks who are “led by the spirit” to accept the book of Mormon as scripture but at the same they were “led” to believe that the gospel presented by LDS organization was whacked out nonsense.

    Would that be “just a matter of perspective” or would they be objectively wrong in the eyes of our Mormon friends ?


  20. falcon says:

    Here’s the only question worth pursuing, in my opinion. That question is: “Who is Jesus?” That’s the question that the primitive Christian Church spent four hundred years battling over. The heretics would come along with a theory as to who they believed Jesus to be and the Church Fathers would push back. We have documentation regarding the battles with the writings of both the orthodox and the heresies that challenged (orthodoxy).
    Even within Mormonism, the battle over who Jesus is and what is meant by salvation through Him, is not agreed upon. So who has the “restoration” if even such a fundamental basic question regarding the person and work of Our Lord and Savior is contested. Further more, is there any evidence available, that what the Salt Lake City sect of Mormonism teaches and believes about Jesus and salvation is reflective of the first century Christian Church.

    Here are a couple of interesting articles that don’t directly address “Who is Jesus?” but they do get at this idea of who has the “restoration”. My guess is that each of these Mormon sects are feeling “the spirit” and therefore that makes what they believe true.
    While I’m very much into the leading of the Holy Spirit, I’d much rather depend on some facts and evidence that support the leading rather than some feeling that is associated with thoughts that are moving through my mind.

    Before I hopped on board SLC Mormonism or any of the various sects, I’d want to make real sure that there is some evidence that what they believe and teach about Jesus is something that was lost and then restored. Personally, I can’t find any evidence of it.

    “Who is Jesus?” and does it really matter what I believe about Him as long as I am sincere and it makes me feel good?

  21. 2bowdown says:

    Fifth Monarch: I agree with you that only God’s opinion matters, but my words were everyone is entitled to an opinion and not everyone’s opinion is true….. big difference.

    Bloom: I received answers to most of the questions I had, but more then anything realized that both sides could argue their point from a logical stance. For instance, I read the Mormon Doctrine of Deity where BH Roberts debated a Reverend from the Catholic Faith (Vanderdonk if I remember correctly). Each chapter was a reply to the others input and what struck me as I read was that as I finished a chapter I thought to my self, case closed, there is no way that Roberts or the Reverend (depending on the chapter I was reading) will have response for this. It was a lesson learned for me. We as Humans can be swayed by the learning and cunning words of other humans, so how do we come to that truth??? Go to the source. Ask a loving Heavenly Father and He will lead you where you need to be at the proper time. Reminds me of what Jesus said to Peter. ” And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

  22. 2bowdown says:

    Falcon: I do think the “Guided by the Spirit” phenomena is interesting. The problem is that you can not see in my soul and heart to know how I have been guided by the spirit nor can I see in your heart and soul. For this reason, God is the ultimate Judge. As to your comment about the LDS church being far from orthodox Christianity I would only say our own Church leaders have said that we do not follow Creedal Christianity. But many of our teachings do correlate with the Bible! Can you nit pick certain things not found in the Bible yes, but you must remember that we believe in modern revelation which is also found in the Bible. This makes this a circular argument. Lastly, you said that you would much rather depend on facts and evidence. Well, this may have placed you in a peculiar position if you lived in the time of Noah or Christ. Not everyone was able to witness the Miracles!

  23. Kenneth says:


    Welcome to this blog! I’m glad that you have decided to dialogue with us. I care about you deeply and am convinced that all of the other regular posters do, too.

    If you don’t mind, then I’d like to respond to the following statement:

    “We as Humans can be swayed by the learning and cunning words of other humans, so how do we come to that truth??? Go to the source. Ask a loving Heavenly Father and He will lead you where you need to be at the proper time.”

    I agree with this principle. However, when we pray for guidance, we need to evaluate whether the answer we receive is coming from Heavenly Father or another source (1 John 4:1). I believe that reason and writings previously established as scripture are also valuable tools for evaluating new revelation (Matthew 4:1-11; Acts 17:1-3; Acts 17:10-12; Acts 17:17; Acts 19:8). Official LDS Church sources concur with the doctrinal test (see the quotes below).

    “And if we hear someone teaching something that is contrary to what is in the scriptures, each of us may know whether the things spoken are false—it is as simple as that.”

    Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee (2000), “The Scriptures, ‘Great Reservoirs of Spiritual Water’”, page 64

    “The Lord has given us in the standard works the means by which we should measure truth and untruth.”

    Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee (2000), “The Scriptures, ‘Great Reservoirs of Spiritual Water’”, page 64

    “All that we teach in this Church ought to be couched in the scriptures. . . . We ought to choose our texts from the scriptures, and wherever you have an illustration in the scriptures or a revelation in the Book of Mormon, use it, and do not draw from other sources where you can find it here in these books. We call these the standard Church works because they are standard. If you want to measure truth, measure it by the four standard Church works. . . . If it is not in the standard works, you may well assume that it is speculation. It is man’s own personal opinion, to put it another way; and if it contradicts what is in the scriptures, you may know by that same token that it is not true. This is the standard by which you measure all truth. But if you do not know the standards, you have no adequate measure of truth.”

    Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee (2000), “The Scriptures, ‘Great Reservoirs of Spiritual Water’”, page 66

    “If we truly have the gift of prophecy, we will not receive any revelation that does not agree with what the Lord has said in the scriptures.”

    Gospel Principles (2009), “The Gifts of the Spirit”, page 129

    “As you pray for inspiration, you should also confirm your feelings. For example, compare your decisions with the scriptures and the teachings of the living prophets.”

    Preach My Gospel (2004), “How Do I Recognize and Understand the Spirit?”, page 98

    On the reason side of things, a solid system of truth claims shouldn’t contain logical contradictions. For the most part, it shouldn’t fly in the face of science or history, either (I realize that some will disagree with me there).

    I’m interested in any thoughts that you have on this. Specifically, do you feel that those approaches are worthwhile?

    Thanks for listening, and welcome once again! 🙂

  24. falcon says:

    Thank you for your response but can you tell me who Jesus is?
    LDS are liking that quote referring to Peter’s revelation. That revelation was of Jesus Christ. Paul also had a revelation of Jesus Christ. I have a revelation of Jesus Christ. The revelation I have of Jesus matches that of Peter and Paul.
    What is your revelation of Jesus Christ?
    I can tell you what your sect teaches about the Lord Jesus Christ and it doesn’t match the Bible, the writings of the Church Fathers or even the heretics of that time. In fact what the LDS SLC sect teaches about Jesus doesn’t even match the BoM.
    Continuous revelation doesn’t do a person a lot of good if the revelation is wrong. To-that-end I can provide for you a list of “continuous revelation” from your particular sect of Mormonism that contradicts “revelation” given in previous generations and totally changes what your sect believes and teaches.
    There is a reason there are so many sects of Mormonism and that is because they all have continuous revelation.

    So here I am back to my basic question for you. Who is Jesus? Is He the favored offspring of one of the Mormon gods and one of his many wives that live on or near the planet Kolob or is Jesus the Living God; God incarnate?
    BTW, I love the term “creedal Christianity” that Mormons use as a derisive term. I doubt if you really understand the history and purpose of the creeds.
    Who is Jesus?

  25. falcon says:


    Regarding this continuous revelation. I find it a very interest double edged sword of Mormonism. It’s entertaining (best word I can think of) to observe the various sects of Mormonism and what they have to say related to the restoration and who has the truth. Here’s an example with a link to this particular group who have the truth and the real restoration:

    Church members began gathering to the land of Zion, but their interests centered on their personal goals instead of the Lord’s purposes. In September 1832, another revelation warned, “You have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief hath brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all; and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written, that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion” (D&C 83:8a-c).
    The Lord issued another warning to the saints in Jackson County. In a revelation received August 6, 1833, the Lord told the saints to begin building the temple on the consecrated spot or He would “visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire” (D&C 94:5f).
    On November 4, mobs began forcibly driving all church members out of Jackson County, burning the homes and crops and scattering them into surrounding counties with nothing more than items they could carry in their hurried escape. Parley P. Pratt, leader of the Missouri church at that time, admitted, “This revelation [cited above] was not complied with” (Autobiography, p 96).
    The Lord issued another warning to the saints in Jackson County. In a revelation received August 6, 1833, the Lord told the saints to begin building the temple on the consecrated spot or He would “visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire” (D&C 94:5f).
    On November 4, mobs began forcibly driving all church members out of Jackson County, burning the homes and crops and scattering them into surrounding counties with nothing more than items they could carry in their hurried escape. Parley P. Pratt, leader of the Missouri church at that time, admitted, “This revelation [cited above] was not complied with” (Autobiography, p 96).
    The Lord issued another warning to the saints in Jackson County. In a revelation received August 6, 1833, the Lord told the saints to begin building the temple on the consecrated spot or He would “visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire” (D&C 94:5f).
    Numerous changes entered the church after the expulsion of the saints from Jackson County. Perhaps, it remained under condemnation because it failed to “repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments” (D&C 83:8a). On June 27, 1844, a mob killed Joseph Smith and the church soon thereafter splintered into over 20 factions. Brigham Young led the majority of church members living in and around Nauvoo, Illinois to Utah, while many who remained scattered elsewhere joined the Reorganization, eventually returning their church’s headquarters to Independence, MO. The Church of Christ, Temple Lot (Hedrickites) is also headquartered in Independence, MO and owns the land on which Joseph Smith dedicated the temple site. The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonites) is headquartered in Monongahela, PA.

    The Utah church continued the changes that developed after its expulsion from Missouri, but the Reorganization accepted the organization as it existed in Kirtland when Joseph said, “I had now completed the organization of the Church.” It maintained original Mormonism, while the LDS Church instituted the changes made at Nauvoo.

  26. falcon says:

    I would say for anyone who would be considering joining the SLC LDS sect, the most important questions to ask would be:
    1. Who does this group say that God is, that is, His nature?
    2. Who does this group say that Jesus is, that is, His nature and the meaning of His death on the cross?
    3. What does this group say about the nature of man?

    I would also ask where the SLC LDS sect gets it’s information about the above?

    Let me say this personally. I received a revelation of Jesus Christ from the Father through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. A prophetic Word testified to who Jesus is and the written Word of God confirmed it. How I ‘felt” about any of this was immaterial. The truth doesn’t have to produce an emotional or physical response to be the truth.

  27. 2bowdown says:

    Kenneth: I appreciate your welcome, and I find your comment to be very valid. The scriptures are indeed a very useful tool. I guess part of my point was that the Scriptures as we have them today were not always around. Anyways, your point is clear and true.

    You asked me to comment on this: ” On the reason side of things, a solid system of truth claims shouldn’t contain logical contradictions. For the most part, it shouldn’t fly in the face of science or history, either (I realize that some will disagree with me there)”. To this I agree only to the extent that the science and history is correct. This is tricky, for as you know, mortal men have been in error concerning both history and the sciences on many occasions. I guess it depends on the topic at hand.

  28. 2bowdown says:

    Falcon: You posted a lot of stuff, please (for my sake) try to stay on one topic. There is no way I can reply to all of your topics and to other posters. I will start with this one, as it seems to be most important. You said, “So here I am back to my basic question for you. Who is Jesus? Is He the favored offspring of one of the Mormon gods and one of his many wives that live on or near the planet Kolob or is Jesus the Living God; God incarnate?
    BTW, I love the term “creedal Christianity” that Mormons use as a derisive term. I doubt if you really understand the history and purpose of the creeds.”

    Jesus Christ is the Son of God our Heavenly Father. This is easily found in the Bible. Now about the whole God with many wives issue…. Simply, not a part of our doctrine. Have there been presumptions wandering around about this….yes, but there has been no revelation about Our Heavenly Father’s Wife other then the well known hymn about a Heavenly Mother. This also may have Biblical ties if you have been keeping up with the latest Biblical research on Asherah.. and yes, this is Non-Mormon Scholarly research….

    Now on to Kolob! Just a place, if you prefer Heaven then so be it. Frankly, so do I. Now is Jesus God incarnate? Yes, clearly in the Bible, but does it contradict what we believe? and how so?

    Next, Creedal Christianity. You doubt that I know anything about it? Why? Have I seemed ignorant in my previous posts or is that your general outlook on Mormons??? Anyways, I will answer by saying, if being ignorant means that I am not a scholar on Christian Creeds then you are right. However, I do like history and have read up on the various meetings and creeds which were produced from such. I do know about the many debates that popped up at Nicene and Anasthasia, as they seem to be more widely accepted and attended then Nicea and Chalcedon. Yet, I may not be the scholar, as you seem to be. What I do know, is that most of modern Christianity has derived their beliefs based on the former creeds mentioned. I also have the understanding that none of those in attendance claimed to be a Prophet, Apostle, or to have any divine revelation or inspiration given them concerning the formation of those creeds. If I am wrong on this, please provide the source. I am open to correction. Like I said, I am no scholar.


  29. Mike R says:

    2bowdown , I’m going to comment something you said to Falcon about God having a
    wife . You stated that there has been no revelation about this other than a well known
    poem about a Heavenly Mother . Are you saying that the Mormon belief in a Heavenly
    Mother is not an official doctrine or a basic truth in the Mormon gospel plan of salvation
    ( exaltation) ? Is this your testimony ? Am I understanding you right ?
    I’ve got some comments on the link about Asherah that you posted , but it would be
    more important to hear your reply to my questions above first .

  30. falcon says:

    So the purpose of being sealed to a woman in the temple is what? And what of all of the women that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and the others were sealed to? What was the purpose for that? Are they still sealed to them in the Celestial Kingdom and what exactly are they doing there? I think you need to study your brand of Mormonism a little more.
    You’re answer regarding Jesus was a typical generic typical Mormon answer. If that’s all you know, I can see why you are willing to buy into your brand of Mormonism so easily. Other Mormon sects wouldn’t agree with what you say and they believe they have the restoration.
    Finally, how do you know that the attendees at the various councils weren’t prophets and apostles? Those are offices outlined for the NT church in the Book of Ephesians.

  31. falcon says:

    The discussion of polygamy is very important to who your brand of Mormonism declares Jesus to be. Jesus is a created being in the LDS SLC doctrine. Now I believe this is where the typical Mormon apologist will tell us that anything embarrassing or just plain stupid that their apostles and prophets have declared is “folk doctrine”.
    The Mormon god created Jesus not only spiritually with one of his wives but Brigham Young declared that the Mormon heavenly father had actual physical sex with the Virgin Mary. This is the manner in which Jesus was physically conceived.
    So, “Who is Jesus?”
    “When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family; and when he (Christ) took a tabernacle, it was begotten by his Father in Heaven, after the same manner as the tabernacles of Cain, Abel, and the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven.”
    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:50 (

    “Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken ‑ He is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non‑professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later!”
    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:51 (

    Yea, it’s really apparent that the Mormon church, SLC LDS sect, has some really top notch prophets. Especially when it comes to the concept of the nature of God generally and Jesus particularly.

  32. falcon says:

    …….and again. Who is Jesus? It seems that the early prophet Brigham Young had a lot to say about the nature of God and Jesus. He also makes reference to the Mormon god bringing one of his wives along with him. That would clearly indicate that the Mormon god was a polygamist. Is it any wonder why the FLDS sect considers the LDS sect apostates. The SLC bunch can’t throw the crazy uncle in the attic Brigham Young under the bus fast enough. Now the Mormon sects who didn’t follow Brigham Young have a totally different picture of who God and Jesus are from either the LDS or FLDS. Some restoration!

    Consider the following:

    “Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven. Now, let all who may hear these doctrines, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, for they will prove their salvation or damnation.”
    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:51 (
    Brigham Young
    “I believe the Father came down from heaven, as the Apostles said he did, and begat the Saviour of the world; for he is the ONLY‑begotten of the Father, which could not be if the Father did not actually beget him in person…. I believe the Father came down in His tabernacle and begat Jesus Christ.”
    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:238 (
    Brigham Young
    “Our Father begot all the spirits that were before any tabernacle was made. When our Father came into the Garden He came with his Celestial body and brought one of his wives with him and ate of the fruit of the Garden until He could beget a Tabernacle. And Adam is Michael God and all the God that we have anything to do with. They ate of this fruit and formed the first Tabernacle that was formed. And when the Virgin Mary was begotten with Child it was by the Father and in no other way only as we were begotten. I will tell you the truth as it is in God. The world don’t know that Jesus Christ our Elder Brother was begotten by our Father in Heaven. Handle it as you please, it will either seal the damnation or salvation of man. He was begotten by the Father and not by the Holy Ghost.”
    “[During] Conference President Brigham Young said that our spirits ware begotten before that Adam came to the Earth and that Adam helped to make the Earth, that he had a Celestial boddy when he came to the Earth and that he brought his wife or one of his wives with him, and that Eave was allso a Celestial being, that they eat of the fruit of the ground until they begat children from the Earth, he said that Adam was the onley God that we would have, and that Christ was not begotten of the Holy Gost, but of the Father Adam, that Christ, was our elder brother. The argument that he used to shoe that Christ was not begotten by the holy gost, was a caution to the Elders that when they should go to preach the Gospel, to be careful how they laid their hands on the sisters, for the reseption of the holy Gost, lest the holy Gost should get them with Child and that it would be laid to them.”
    Samuel H. Rodgers, Journal of Samuel H. Rodgers, v. 1, p. 179; BYU Special Collections

  33. Kenneth says:


    Thanks for your thoughtful response to my concerns.

    “I guess part of my point was that the Scriptures as we have them today were not always around.” Could you explain in further detail what you meant by this?

    “[…] as you know, mortal men have been in error concerning both history and the sciences on many occasions.” Granted. However, mortal men have been in doctrinal error, too. (For example, consider the Roman Catholic Church’s initial rejection of the heliocentric worldview.) If science and/or history disagree with our religious sentiments, then should we assume by default that science and/or history are mistaken rather than our religious sentiments?

  34. 2bowdown says:

    Mike R and Falcon:

    No, I am not saying that. We definitely believe that we have a Mother in heaven, What I was referring to was Falcon’s comment about Heavenly Father’s wives (plural). We just don’t know anything about this. I sometimes think that people not of my faith have this belief that we know all the details of how the creation went down or how God’s mysteries work. Truth be known, we have only what has been revealed. Falcon has quoted various texts in which Brigham Young states the he believes such and such, but at the same time there were many Church authorities who disagreed with him. Brigham Young was very outspoken and spoke his mind quite often. This doesn’t mean that it was divinely revealed to him as Prophet. Just look at the writings and journal of Parley Pratt, Orson, F Whitney, Brigham Young. Joseph Fielding Smith, etc, etc…. These people were thinkers and had opinions on many different things. They even changed their minds on many topics as time went on. Doctrine, on the other hand, has to be approved by not only the President of the Church, but also by the Twelve. It is a slow process, but it has proven to be wise. It is b/c of this that Books like “Doctrines of Salvation” by Joseph Fielding Smith, “The Truth, the Way, and the Life” by BH Roberts, and “Mormon Doctrine” by Bruce R. McConkie (all General authorities) are not official doctrine of the LDS church. Robert’s book was actually suppose to be used for official church teachings, but since Robert’s refused to change certain things in the book requested by the First Presidency and the Twelve it was not made official. The books are still published and read by members of the Church, but are held as mainly the opinion of the Author. This is important to understand.

  35. falcon says:

    Not to be confrontational or rude but this idea of “opinion” of the prophet is just not going to cut it.
    The people at the time that Brigham Young spoke these words, believed it was doctrine; that it was a message from the Mormon god. The FLDS believes what Brigham Young taught so there is a legacy of this being inspired prophetic word for Mormons.
    In the years that I’ve been doing this, the constant refrain from Mormons such as you is that such and such isn’t official. It isn’t doctrine. It’s folk doctrine. It’s opinion. You know, kind of a think piece. Fact of the matter is that Mormons won’t allow themselves to be pinned down on anything. It’s a continually game of rope a dope.
    There is no steadfast established method by which Mormons claim as the “procedure” for something to be official doctrine. We’ve had Mormons come on this site and give us the criteria and then when we show how something that’s off-the-wall has met the criteria, suddenly it’s not the criteria any more.
    Believe me, if you had been a live at the time of Brigham Young, you’d have believed what he said and declared it as true.
    Bottom line? You can’t trust you’re prophets. They’re a bunch of loose cannons.
    And it’s amazing how Mormons run around with their hair on fire at the notion of “councils” and “creeds” and yet they give a big wave of the hand at the truly inane pronouncements of the men they consider prophets.
    I would suggest you read what the Church Fathers wrote concerning the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    And please don’t give me that nonsense about “we just don’t know that much about heavenly mother”. Hog wash! These polygamists were racking up the babes so they could have all of these women sealed to them for use in the Celestial Kingdom.
    Mormons such as yourself create a form of Mormonism with which they can be comfortable. The whole religion has nothing to do with the Spirit. It’s just a bunch of religious amateurs playing “let’s start a religion”.

  36. falcon says:

    So who is Jesus?
    We have Brigham Young speaking very plainly regarding who God is and who Jesus is. You respond with a “it was his opinion” sort of answer.
    Other Mormon sects who claim to be the restoration have their own “doctrine” concerning Our Lord and it doesn’t match that of your sect. Who has the truth within Mormonism?
    Joseph Smith gave at least nine different accounts of his first vision. I suppose each one was what, an unfurling of his thought process?
    Mormons had as doctrine that blacks could not receive the priesthood. It was doctrine. When it became embarrassing they all looked around at each other with a quizzical look on their faces and a “Where did that come from?” response……and it was doctrine.

    The problem that Mormons face, at the end of the day, is that the men they claim as prophets speak out of their own imaginations. They are inconsistent, nonsensical, and void of any sort of spiritual gravitas.
    The excuse making, mind snapping and reality shaping that Mormons such as yourself go through is a wonder to behold. It’s a desire to believe rather than truth that motivates Mormons.

  37. Silkworm says:

    @MJP: Yes! I have studied, and continue to study, Christianity just to learn about Christianity. From many sources. I prefer to get the majority of my information from books, when possible.

  38. falcon says:

    Wait a minute. Aren’t you depending on the spirit to reveal to you whether or not what you are studying is true? In-other-words, you pray about what you are studying and then if you get a good feeling it’s true and if you get a bad feeling it’s false? It’s the Mormon approach to determining truth isn’t it?

    ……and so what good are Mormon prophets any way? Not much I’d say. What they have proclaimed in one generation, and accepted by truth in that generation, is easily dismissed by the next generation of Mormons. Brigham Young is a treasure trove of stupidity. He very plainly proclaimed who God and Jesus are. What he said as a Mormon prophet was to be accepted as the truth. Why do you think there is a brand of Mormonism called “fundamentalism”. They follow Brigham Young.
    Quite frankly I tire of you Mormons who proclaim loud and proud that you have the truth because you have modern day prophets and then you dismiss in your era what was spoken prophetically in the past.
    You have no prophets. They are men who have no special special gifts or talents. You allow so many escape clauses, excuses and alibis that anyone could qualify.
    “If a prophet or someone who has dreams arises among you and proclaims a sign or wonder to you, 2 and that sign or wonder he has promised you comes about, but he says, ‘Let us follow other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us worship them,’ 3 do not listen to that prophet’s words or to that dreamer. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul. 4 You must follow the Lord your God and fear Him. You must keep His commands and listen to His voice; you must worship Him and remain faithful[a] to Him. 5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he has urged rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the place of slavery, to turn you from the way the Lord your God has commanded you to walk. You must purge the evil from you.”

    Oh oops, my bad! That’s the Bible. We all know that the Bible can’t be trusted because the text has been corrupted. What should be done is to listen to modern day prophets who have proclaimed a bunch of stuff, but you can dismiss it because it was all their opinion any way. It doesn’t count.

    So who is Jesus? If you can’t depend on the Mormon prophets to tell you, who or what will you turn to?

  39. falcon says:

    So in the minds of Mormons, the Bible can’t be trusted. It has been corrupted. The early Christian councils and proclamations in the form of creeds can’t be trusted to reveal the truth.
    What a person really needs is a “prophet”. But wait! These modern day prophets can’t be trusted either because they are basically speaking out of their own imaginations.
    Here’s what the Mormon can trust. Their feelings! That’s it. Trust your feelings to reveal what is the truth because a person’s feelings reflect God’s true meaning of the truth. Now don’t trust evidence.
    BUT follow the LDS leaders. They will never lead you astray. That is of course unless they are just speaking their opinion.
    Mormonism? No thank you!

    “The Lord has designated the President of the Church as the only one entitled to receive revelations and directions for the Church as a whole.[2] He is the man chosen by God to say the things God Himself would say if He were speaking directly to man.[3] The modern prophet’s words can be found in the General Conference reports or in Church magazines.”
    2. Aaronic Priesthood Lesson Manual, Lesson 24.
    3. Gospel Fundamentals Manual, Chapter 9.
    4. Official Declaration 1, by Wilford Woodrfuff. Doctrine & Covenants.

    “Although the LDS church claims that president of the Church speaks directly for God himself, there have been numerous instances throughout the history of the Church where the prophet has made incorrect prophesies, or where he has taught things as eternal principles which were later changed or voided. For example, many teachings given by the prophet Brigham Young, often in General Conference, are now specifically denied by the LDS church.[5] If prophesies can be false, and doctrines given by one prophet can be invalidated by another, what good is a prophet? If the prophet is only speaking as a prophet sometimes, and as a man at other times (over the pulpit in General Conference), how is a member of the church to tell the difference?”

  40. falcon says:

    You know, I couldn’t say it better myself. It neatly summarizes how the Mormon hierarchy with it’s prophetic word functions these days. Mormons have to come up with their own modern brand of Mormonism because the old time Mormonism just isn’t working.

    ‘Mormon prophets have come up with pretty wacky ideas and practices. The list is long: Polyamory, polygamy, polyandry, banking scandals, institutional racism, the Mountain Meadows Massacre. The exposure of the much vaunted Book of Abraham – “written by [Abraham’s] own hand” according to Joseph Smith – as an Egyptian Book of Breathings circa 50BC to 50AD. The infamous forgery scandals that hoodwinked Gordon B Hinckley and led to the tragic Salt Lake City bombings of 1985.’

    ‘Mormon prophets have increasingly proved a liability and it has been the church’s practice to bury their dead prophets’ ideas along with them. Mormons are used to explaining away the embarrassing statements and practices of past leaders, from the sexually predacious Joseph Smith and the monomaniacal Brigham Young, through the rabid dogmatism of Bruce R McConkie, the bogus claims of Paul H Dunn and his “Early Life and War Experiences,” to the inability of Gordon B Hinckley to stay away from TV cameras, opening his mouth only to change feet.’

    So what’s a good example of Mormon prophecy and practice gone haywire?

    “Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent. Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice.”
    “…..gone is the confidence in prophets as the church openly “admits” it has no idea why this teaching held sway for almost 150 years of its 180 year history. Where once any Aaronic priesthood holder (age 12-17) might have explained it now even prophets cannot.”


    “What is significant is the unqualified admission that prophets at the head of God’s only true church cannot understand or explain Mormon doctrine. Further, Mormon Church history, which has always been in the hands of a fastidiously “record-keeping” Mormonism, can shed no light on the matter. It comes to something when feigning such ignorance is better than owning your own church’s history and teaching.”

    “Mormons, it seems, cannot look to their prophets, nor can they rely on their own historical records to help them understand their own church and doctrine. Where, then, are they to look for guidance? If not to prophets, past or present, where are Mormons to look for revelation?”

    Well said. Couldn’t have done better myself. So who, where are these modern day Mormons to turn to in order to satisfy their need for direction and guidance?
    Might it be Mormon academia?

  41. falcon says:

    My observation is that there is a form of Mormonism out there to satisfy the intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs of just about anyone who kind of digs Mormonism.
    More importantly, for those who have figured out that Mormonism is bogus but they have some sort of need for a connection, fear not. There’s a Mormon group for you.
    Mormonism used to be dogmatic. Now days, not so much so depending on which group you belong to.
    We have Mormon posters who show-up here, more frequently I think, who are trying to find a whole lot of wiggle room in reconciling Mormonism’s past with Mormonism’s present.
    A great way to do that is to declare past proclamations of Mormon prophets and apostles as folk doctrine or opinion. There you go! All better now! A person can remain a Mormon and ignore Mormon history along with its practices and beliefs.
    I recently spoke with a member of the Community of Christ who informed me that the individual congregations are free to use or ignore the BoM. His congregation ignores it. To my way of thinking they’ve just sort of thrown up their hands and walked away. They recognize their history but they’ve created their own comfort zone with Mormonism. They even have their own break-away group who now have their own approach to Mormonism.
    What does a Mormon do when they so desperately want Mormonism to be true and yet the evidence is over-whelming that it isn’t?
    Here’s a thought. Try Jesus! Revolutionary I know but it’s amazing how Our Lord and Savior is a better choice than Mormonism. The added bonus, besides having God’s Holy Spirit reside within a believer, is that a person obtains eternal life.
    Gone are the rules, regulations and ordinances of a religious system and its place is the Lord God.
    I chose Jesus. I chose life!

  42. MJP says:

    Since Falcon already responded on the books v. spirit point, its also important to ask which books. There are a lot of books out there, and I am sure there are a number of books you would say are not a good source for us to learn about Mormonism…

  43. Silkworm says:

    I never said I pray about everything I study and read to know if it is true. In every fild of study there are differing opinions. In every field of study not everyone agrees with everyone else. For example I like to read Biblical Archaeology Review. There is always an archaeologist who does not agree with some of their peers. Sometimes there are all out wars of words about some dig or find.

    There are so many books. It is amazing. I can’t buy a lot of books. I go to the library. I read what I can, time permitting. I do not look for any specific author. I read what looks interesting to me first, then I move on to other books.
    I would say there are books that would not be a good source to learn about Mormonism, just as there are books which would not be a good source to learn about Christianity, or other specific religions. Bias is always present. It takes a disciplined author/writer not to put in their biases, or very little bias. It is hard to stay away from ones biases. All of us are biased, and opinionated, some more than others.

    “fifth monarchy man says:
    July 3, 2013 at 5:41 am

    2bowdown says,
    everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion
    silkworm says,
    It is all about perspective.

    I say,

    I see this sort of attitude all the time with Mormons I talk to. It is as if ones own personal opinion matters as to whether something is true or not. Postmodernism rules the day.”

    People of other religions have their own opinions about religon (among other subjects, like politics). If it were not so then there would not be so many different religious denominations.

  44. falcon says:

    ……..and here it is ladies and gentleman, the Mormon “everybody does it defense”.

    ‘People of other religions have their own opinions about religon (among other subjects, like politics). If it were not so then there would not be so many different religious denominations.”


    What’s happening in Mormonism today is what could be called the “Mormon Buffet of Belief”.
    The Mormon steps up to the table of Mormon food and picks what they like and avoids what they don’t like.
    Brigham Young gets avoided at all costs although previous generations feasted on this prophet’s every word. However the FLDS still chows down on the prophet Young.
    We are talking about bedrock principles and doctrines of the Mormon religion that get to the nature of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. If a Mormon prophet doesn’t know who God and Jesus are, and if he’s just giving an opinion, what good are any of these guys? Not much I’d say.
    Even past president Gordon B. Hinckley lied on Larry King Live regarding the Mormon doctrine that Mormon men will become gods. To paraphrase old GBH, “I don’t know that we’ve ever taught that!” He was even lying or he was about as much a prophet as he was a donkey.

    One BYU professor said, “In Mormonism you can believe whatever you want. You just can’t teach it.”
    There is a wide spectrum of beliefs within the over all Mormon brand of religious sects. They all have a prophet and they all have the restoration. Most would claim that they are the one true church. Some even call their Mormon X brand relatives “apostates”.

    I’ll get back to my original question. “Who is Jesus?” According to our Mormon contributors here, even Brigham Young didn’t know who Jesus is.

    I know who Jesus is. He is God incarnate.

  45. fifth monarchy man says:

    Silkworm said,

    People of other religions have their own opinions about religon (among other subjects, like politics). If it were not so then there would not be so many different religious denominations.

    I say,

    Yes people in the world believe all sorts of crazy things It is what we would expect in a fallen world that reject God but that is just an observation not an argument.

    However God has made it clear that we should conform our thinking to his by carefully testing the “spirits”.


    Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
    (Romans 12:2)


    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
    (1 John 4:1)

    end quote:

    God tells us to test to see if our beliefs correspond to reality (1st john 4:2)and that they are in accord with the testimony of the Jesus genuine original apostles (1st john 4:6).

    We are never told to rely on our own feelings desires or emotions when evaluating the truth of something. When we ignore God’s instruction and instead rely on those things like the world does we end up with denominations and sects and cults.

    That is exactly what was prophesied would happen


    For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
    (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

    end quote


  46. falcon says:

    Mormons wonder why Christians won’t accept their prophets as men who are hearing from God.

    Brigham Young is exhibit B and Joseph Smith is exhibit A as to why Mormon prophets and apostles are rejected by Christians. Here are a couple of guys who had no idea of who God and Jesus are. In the case of Young, even Mormons reject his ideas of the nature of God and Jesus.
    Do we get the irony here? A prophet of God who even Mormons reject when it comes to his proclamations of the nature of God.
    How can someone be considered a prophet when he doesn’t even know who God is? Isn’t that pretty much basic information?
    The apostle Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus. He said that no man taught him the gospel. He said he received it as a revelation as he did his knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:11-12; Galatians 1:15-17). What Paul had revealed to him in regards to the gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ is not what Mormons claim.
    Brigham Young was a total dolt. The fact that the LDS church rejects what he taught regarding God and Jesus speaks volumes about the confidence that is placed in these prophets.
    What did Joseph Smith teach about God? That God is an exalted man and that Mormon men can become gods if they follow the plan.
    This is not a restored gospel. It is the mental meanderings of a megalomaniac.

    There is one God. He is eternal. He had no beginning and He had no end. There are no other gods. God reveals Himself plainly in Isaiah 43:10.

  47. falcon says:

    Think about it.
    Mormons have living prophets past and present who speak to the people from the Mormon god.
    Now wouldn’t you think that a basic requirement of one of these prophets would be that he would know who God is? Brigham Young had all sorts of things to say about who God and Jesus are. He even went so far to say that Adam was God. He also said that “one” of his wives was Eve. He also said that the Mormon Heavenly Father impregnated the Virgin Mary by having actual physical sex with her.

    Mormons can’t use the “it was his opinion” escape clause in this matter. BY was the second prophet of the LDS church if you accept the sustaining of the leadership as it occurred in Council Bluffs, Iowa after the Mormons left Nauvoo. Imagine it. BY, according to modern day Mormons, did not know who God and Jesus are. That blows my mind.
    And to take it one step further, polygamy was suppose to be an eternal principle one that would get a Mormon man to the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom. But the Mormon prophet in 1890 dumped it as a practice. Blacks weren’t allowed into the priesthood for decades and then, bang, sorry about that.
    The fact of the matter is, is this is what happens when people don’t know God and promote men as prophets who are total Looney Tunes. Even Daffy Duck could do a better job.

  48. Mike R says:

    2Bowdown, to Falcon’s comment that the Mormon Heavenly Father ( HF ) is a polygamist
    you responded by saying , ” we just don’t know anything about this.” By saying “we” perhaps
    you should have “I” because you may not be informed about some of the teachings of your
    prophets like Brigham Young and those in leadership with him . It seems that you have merely
    resorted to a rationale that many Mormons do nowadays , i.e. either downplay , or deny what
    Mormon leaders have taught their flock about God/Jesus etc. One thing about B.Y. that I give
    him credit for and that is his promise to see that only correct doctrine was given to his flock , he
    said that was his duty . In fact he challenged his people to detect false teachings in his preaching
    because he was adamant that they be not confused as what was accurate doctrinely . He strictly
    advised those officers under him that any new teaching by them must meet with his approval
    because he did not wish any unsound doctrine to be introduced to his flock and their posterity.
    I remind you of this to let you know that when he decided to tell the world about his church’s
    involvement in polygamy ( 1852) that he authorized some apostles , and others , to defend the
    practice of polygamy by teaching that Jesus was a polygamist , as well as His Father (HF) .
    That was the ultimate defense of this practice among the Saints ! Even one of B.Y.’s wives
    chimed in : ” the principle of plural marriage is honorable. It is a principle of the gods ,
    it is heaven born . God revealed it to us as a saving principle ….”
    Polygamy was also called the ” popular religion ” in heaven . Even recent Mormon leaders like
    Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, Russell M. Ballard have taken the steps to be polygamist
    Heavenly father’s themselves by being sealed to additional women after the death of the first
    wives . Mormon leaders have testified that Joseph Smith AND his successors are the revealers
    of the knowledge of Christ and of salvation for our day . We have this alleged ” revealed ”
    information about Jesus Christ and also about God from Mormon leaders available to read ,
    and because of this we can do the wise thing and test these prophets/apostles of our day —the
    latter days —to see if they truly are supervised by Jesus to teach—Matt 24:11 ; Rev 2:2 .
    Caution is imperative these days —2 Tim 4 : 3-4 .
    This teaching by Mormon leaders that HF is a polygamist is a classic example of why we are all
    warned about false prophets , men who may be polite, , courteous and well dressed but who
    succumb to teaching the ” precepts of men ” [ 2Nephi 28:14 ] as new insight about God or
    Jesus Christ .
    May you return to and anchor your beliefs about God and Jesus to what Jesus’ true apostles
    taught , and dismiss the latter days apostles of Mormonism .
    We’re praying for you to make that vital decision .
    [ if you want references to what I have said , just ask ] .

  49. MJP says:

    Silkworm, you didn’t answer my question with any sort of useable precision. You actually prove my point in doing so. Reading anything without knowing what it is is not a very good way to learn.

    I am happy to provide a list of books that describe well our faith. Don’t, also, underestimate the power of actually talking to people.

    I’d also encourage you to think about the very basis of your faith: is it based on the burning in your bosom, or something else? This question is why we bring up the feelings issue.

  50. falcon says:

    Good post!
    Yes indeed, the burning in the bosom. Now where does a modern Mormon go from that. They got the tingles so therefore the BoM is true and therefore the whole Mormon program is true. And then, whoops, we examine what the Mormon prophets have taught and proclaimed and it’s just plain nuts.
    So the modern Mormon is left to try and come-up with a narrative that will match their burning in the bosom. For those who have left Mormonism, they figured out that the “burning in the bosom” was an emotional reaction that had nothing to do with truth or God speaking to them. That must be, for some, a pretty high hurdle to clear since many of them actually like Mormonism and what it appears to offer them. For those who don’t dig the Mormon program any more, the trip out is quite a bit easier to make.
    So what does a Mormon do when they think that God has spoken to them through their emotions. Do what we’ve suggested here. Go find the truth and don’t be too concerned about how it makes you feel.

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