Five reasons not to “shut down”

Five reasons not to “shut down” when someone wants to show you evidence that purportedly contradicts what/who you believe:

1. Curiosity. Curiosity is virtuous and healthy, and the only faith worth having is a curious faith. Faith seeks understanding. Faith should increase curiosity, not squelch it.

2. Humility. Humility implies a posture of, “I don’t know all of what I don’t know, I don’t know all of what I need to know, and I should be open to learning things people think I need to know.”

3. Faith that honors. To honor something as trustworthy, you don’t endlessly protect it in the dark — you let it demonstrate its trustworthiness in the light of scrutiny. Honor what/who you trust by letting it “come outside” and endure the examination.

4. Love for neighbor. The love-ethic of Jesus (“love your neighbor as yourself”) requires that we be interested in understanding and knowing and empathizing with our neighbor, even when — especially when — our neighbor disagrees with us.

5. Love for the one you trust. “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” (C.S. Lewis)

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8 Responses to Five reasons not to “shut down”

  1. falcon says:

    Can someone tell me what Joseph Smith “restored”?
    That would be a good question for a sincere, humble and curious Mormon to ask. Was it the priesthood? Is that the big deal that Smith claimed that was lost and needed restoration. Was it plural marriage? Was it the concept that all of the gods in the universe, with the exception of Jesus I guess, were once men who had gone through the Mormon system?
    I’ve asked repeatedly for a Mormon to prove to me that what they believe in and practice was normative first century Christianity. They can’t do it. The best that they come up with is some mutterings about a supposed great apostasy and an incredible conspiracy that left Mormonism out of the Bible. All unproven of course but if a person is willing to accept the word of someone who claims to be a prophet, just about any thing could be offered.
    I enjoy examining the beliefs, practices and history of the various Mormon sects and it appears to me that there are some significant differences in what is believed to be the “restoration”. Why any of them in particular think that their guy had it right is beyond me.
    I’d suggest that a Mormon under take a study of the history of Christianity up to, say, AD 400. See if you can find any Mormonism any where even in the writings of the heretics.

  2. Mike R says:


    Mormons can get quite creative in order to sell their distinctive claim of authority to those
    interested in their religion . Their teaching of a alleged ” universal /complete apostasy ”
    which necessitated a “restoration” of the church and gospel of salvation is a clever attempt
    to try and convince people of their need for the latter day apostles of the Mormon church
    in order to gain God’s favor for forgiveness and receive eternal life .

    What was restored ? According to Mormon leaders their church is the one true church of
    Jesus restored to the earth in exactly the same form as it existed when Christ established
    it twenty centuries ago .
    That’s the claim . Unfortunately many sincere people don’t ask enough questions , or the right
    questions , and end up being fooled by Mormon missionaries .
    Thank goodness their are ministries like MRM available to provide information that gives
    people much needed information about the tactics of Mormon missionaries , or the clever
    advertising of the Mormon P.R. Dept.

    2014 is going to see multitudes of LDS choose to dismiss Joseph and the church he created ,
    and exchange that for Jesus alone . Rom 10: 9 ,10 .

  3. falcon says:

    Why would people who are content in what they believe ever question it? They probably wouldn’t. However there will come the day when something just doesn’t fit the narrative that the true believer has accepted as fact. What to do then? Well with Mormons there are all sorts of little slogans that can be applied which, in effect, satisfies the dis-equilibrium the true believer is feeling and get them back to normal.
    The other thing that will keep the true believer from questioning is fear. Who wants to go to Mormon hell, other wise known as “outer darkness”? There’s nothing worse in the eyes of a true believer than an apostate Mormon. Who’d want to have that label applied to them especially if they were living in a heavily Mormon area? Choice of friends is limited to those who are in the club.
    But there are people for whom integrity actually means something. For those folks, something more than a cursory examination of Mormonism, will yield information in conflict with what they believe. Interestingly enough, all of the information can be found right within Mormon writings. No need to even visit the anti sites.
    So it does take courage to question and not just swallow whole the fodder put out by the controlling agency, the LDS church.

  4. Mike R says:

    I try to remind Mormons to a step back and take time to consider Jesus’ warning about
    being on guard for prophets in the latter days who claim to be sent by Him to preach but who
    are only counterfeits , and though most may be well meaning individuals , still they are
    ultimately imitations and thus must be not followed —-Matt 24:11 .

    Aaron listed 5 points to consider on this thread . Number 3 mentions examining who we trust .
    This is pertinent for Mormons to consider in light of Jesus’ warning and the fact that they follow
    a latter days prophet . Therefore it is crucial for the Mormon people to take time to heed Jesus’
    warning by examining /testing their leaders . This was the wise and prudent thing to do
    according to Jesus’ apostles like John —1 Jn 4:1-6 , and it is especially wise to do in our day —
    2Tim 4:3-4 . Mormon leaders have claimed to be reliable guides who teach gospel truths
    having been personally supervised by Jesus to restore His gospel ( Rom 1:16 ) and His church .
    Thus type of claim must be examined by Mormons , as well as those considering Mormonism .

    This won’t be easy for those Mormons who sense that something might be amiss with their
    leaders and who actually begin think that the men who head the organization are wrong about
    important issues/doctrines . For the rank and file members who maintain such thoughts , they
    are told that to do so is to play Satan’s favorite game , and to criticize the leadership is to show
    signs of a spiritual disease ! No wonder why many Mormons are afraid to take the time to test
    their leaders properly as the Bible counsels .
    Mormon leadership have left a teaching track record since 1830 that must be examined . So
    the Mormon people should take Jesus’ warning seriously , because He gave it seriously . He
    wishes that no one who has a desire to follow Him be led into false doctrine through following
    men in the latter days who come on the scene and attempt to convince people they’ve been
    sent by Him to preach the gospel of salvation .
    Not all false prophets are like a Brian David Mitchell , some can be well dressed , polite , who
    preach a lot about living a moral lifestyle that pleases God and being law abiding citizens ; and
    that is great . But prophets are teachers , therefore test them as Jesus’ apostles counseled .
    What does the latter days prophet say about God , Jesus , and how can a person be forgiven by
    God and receive eternal life ?

    Test the prophets .

  5. spartacus says:

    “President Wilford Woodruff is a man of wisdom and experience, and we respect him, but we do not believe his personal views or utterances are revelations from God; and when ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ comes from him, the saints investigate it: they do not shut their eyes and take it down like a pill.”

    – Apostle Charles W. Penrose, Millennial Star, v. 54, p. 191


    “The Lord Almighty leads this Church, and he will never suffer you to be led astray if you are found doing your duty. You may go home and sleep as sweetly as a babe in its mother’s arms, as to any danger of your leaders leading you astray, for if they should try to do so the Lord would quickly sweep them from the earth.”

    – Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 9, p. 289


    “What a pity it would be, if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blink self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken the influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.”

    – Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 9, p. 150


    “We have heard men who hold the Priesthood remark, that they would do any thing they were told to do by those who presided over them, if they knew it was wrong: but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself, should not claim a rank among intelligent beings, unless he turns from his folly. “When the Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme notions of obedience, as to teach them to the people, it is generally because they have it in their hearts to do wrong themselves, and wish to pave the way to accomplish that wrong; or else because they have done wrong, and wish to use the cloak of their authority to cover it.”

    – Millennial Star, “Priesthood,” 1852


    “My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he tells you to do something wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.”

    – Prophet Heber J. Grant, as quoted by Apostle Marion G. Romney in “The Covenant of the Priesthood,” Ensign, July 1972, p. 98

  6. falcon says:

    My life is centered on Jesus Christ, who He is and what He did for me.
    A Mormon’s life is centered on the LDS church, what they believe it is and what it claims it can do for them.
    I am free in Christ! I have zero religious requirements to adhere to or follow in order to gain my eternal reward. If I am to boast about anything, it is the cross of Christ. That was the conclusion of the apostle Paul especially when he talked about his former religious life and how much he could point to as accomplishment. He also concluded that all of his religious observances gained him nothing in comparison to what Christ had done for him.
    This is something for a Mormon to consider. Actually it’s the only thing to consider.
    Belonging to a religious organization that claims to have the system by which its adherents can become gods is not Christianity. It’s not even devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s putting faith and confidence in a religious system that has no power to save but serves more to keep people from the saving grace of God.

  7. falcon says:

    I think one of the things that Mormons/LDS sect have a tough time wrapping their heads around, is that Christians believe they don’t have to do anything to merit eternal life. In the SLC sect’s version of Mormonism, it’s all about “earning” your way into the Celestial Kingdom and being rewarded with deity status. That makes perfect sense in the context of Mormonism.
    The problem is it’s a false notion. I would challenge Mormons to do a study of the Bible and then also the first 400 years of Church history. They will not find any Mormonism there. And there-in lies the problem for Mormons. Mormonism didn’t exist until Joseph Smith invented it. His “restoration” took several different phases including his idea of who God is. One would think that a guy claiming to be a prophet would at least get that right, at the start.
    But no, the invention of “continuous revelation” opened up all sorts of possibilities and covered the “prophet” for any dubious notions and pronouncements made previously.
    I say, again, dump the Mormon prophets, pick up the NT and read it. What seems more plausible; the message there or the continuously changing clap-trap of such spiritual nitwits like Smith and Young?

  8. grindael says:

    Adding a few more quotes to ponder…

    I know that every Latter-day Saint that lives upon the face of the earth who is keeping the commandments of God realizes and knows that the Prophet of God stands at the head of the work of God. I know that every Latter-day Saint who is keeping the commandments of God knows that these men (the leaders of the Church) are not designing, that they are not wicked, that they are not trying to fetter the Latter-day Saints. And I bear witness to you here today that the Latter-day Saint who stands up and raises his voice and declares that the servants of God are trying to fetter the Latter-day Saints must repent of that or he will be damned! Mark it down, ye Latter-day Saints, and repent of your sins, if there be any of you within the sound of my voice who have been guilty of this. I tell you that Wilford Woodruff is a Prophet of God. I tell you that his counselors are Prophets of God. I tell you that the Apostles are the Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. And I tell you, Latter-day Saints, if you lift your hand against them you will wither in the faith of the Gospel. May God guide us by His Spirit, I ask it in the name of Jesus. Amen. ~Heber J. Grant, Brain Stuy, Collected Discourses Vol. 5, p.256.

    It’s ok to question them, but to speak it aloud, that’s a no-no.

    Some quietly listen to those who speak against the Lord’s servants, against his anointed, against the plurality of wives, and against almost every principle that God has revealed. Such persons have half-a-dozen devils with them all the time. You might as well deny “Mormonism,” and turn away from it, as to oppose the plurality of wives. Let the Presidency of this Church, and the Twelve Apostles, and all the authorities unite and say with one voice that they will oppose that doctrine, and the whole of them would be damned. What are you opposing [p.204] it for? It is a principle that God has revealed for the salvation of the human family. He revealed it to Joseph the Prophet in this our dispensation; and that which he revealed he designs to have carried out by his people. ~Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p.203

    Bother the Mormons and the U.S. will be “shivered to pieces”…. I’m still waiting…

    There is a great difference between persecuting this people and the people of other sects. God will make persecutors pay every debt they contract with this people. This is the Priesthood of the Almighty. God has set his hand the second time [p.205] to gather the people. It will not do to trifle with this people. “Touch not mine anointed,” saith the Lord. O ye inhabitants of the earth, be careful how you infringe upon the Latter-day Saints. They are the anointed of the Lord, and are like the apple of his eye, and he will bring you into judgment for every act and move you make against them. This nation will be shivered to pieces. There is no cohesion in the particles that compose it. If you touch it, it will fall to pieces, for it is shattered from its centre to its circumference. They think it so strange that the “harmonious democracy” can divide. You might as well try to put out the sun as to make them united. God is working with them; he is taking his Spirit from them. They are like water spilled upon the ground; there is no soundness nor stability left in them; they are devoid of good sense. God has called away the intelligence he bestowed upon them, and every move they make will sink them. deeper and deeper in the mire, until they are lost and gone for ever. We wish them no evil; we heap no coals of fire on their heads, only by doing them good and exhorting them to refrain from meddling with this people. The time is nigh when every man that will not take up his sword against his neighbour must needs flee to Zion. Where is Zion? Where the organization of the Church of God is. And may it dwell spiritually in every heart; and may we so live as to always enjoy the Spirit of Zion! Amen. ~Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses Vol. 8, p.204 (1860)

    What happened to the U.S. when they made the Mormons submit to the laws of the land? Why, nothing. What did the Mormons do? Everything they were told, all the while with it’s “prophets” proclaiming that the U.S. would be “destroyed”. This is the Mormon “anointed”. Wrong all the time. Why worry about speaking against them? Their “curses” carry no weight. Their God doesn’t support them with action. Their words are simply empty phrases and vain posturings. Take this next quote…

    Whoever will look upon the history of the Saints and see the providences of the Almighty that have attended them, must see that these Divine interpositions speak in evidence too powerful to be resisted. I confess that these are arguments more potent than I am capable of adducing at the present time, Now he that will look at these things and run them over in his mind, will readily see that these are evidences of divinity in our religion. Where is there another people over whom Heaven has exercised these peculiar providences? Why is the world at war with us? It is because we are not like them. If we would go to work and establish about forty tipling shops, as many gambling houses, and as many houses of ill-fame, bless you we could get into the Union without any trouble; the track would be clear, the wheels greased, and we would go right in; but, because we are not so inclined there is a good deal of friction about it, they fear that we are going to do something dreadful. Now, I can tell you that we are not going to do anything very wonderful nor very shocking, but if we are faithful and keep ourselves unspotted from the world, our God is going to astonish the nations; he is going to do something both wonderful and mighty, and it will be dreadful to the wicked; he will show this and every other nation that lift their hands against his anointed that they will henceforth cease to be a nation. He has commenced his work already, but he is only giving the alphabet now, we shall be getting into the pictures by-and-bye. When I was a boy and went to school we studied Webster’s spelling book, and when we got along a piece with our lessons, we used to say I have got over to the pictures now, and the time is near at hand when we shall see such pictures exhibited by the hand of the Almighty as were never before witnessed by mortal eye; that will be a trying time. ~Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses Vol. 10, p.82, (1863.)

    Well, that didn’t come to pass, did it? In fact, the Mormons then INVESTED in the very nation they said their God was going to destroy! They DESPERATELY petitioned for admittance to the Union! Why? If their God was going to destroy it? If every single place except “Zion” was to be “unsafe”? Yet the Mormons got rich off of investments in the very country that they disparaged over and over again! Who can believe these “anointed”?

    You sit in judgement on your neighbors, when you are guilty of [p.189] more tricks than they are, and when there is more evil in you than in them. Jesus said, “thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor,” and the commandments say, “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” and the commandments are binding upon us. Jesus said also, “thou shalt not commit adultery.” Now some persons look upon adultery as an awful thing, which it is; but they pay no attention to the other command, which is equally binding, forbidding them to speak evil of their neighbor. It is said thou shalt not speak against the anointed; yet you do speak against them, and justify yourselves in doing evil. It is difficult for many here even to hold my name sacred; and when I have heard of what some men here would do, I have asked myself what manner of men they were. In doing the things that I have been speaking of you commit sin and violate your covenants. Do you doubt that I am one of the Lord’s anointed? Do you not know that I am? This then will affect you unless you make restitution. Shall I tell you how? I wish I could refer you to the revelation. I have had men lie to me, and I have known this by the spirit of revelation, yet I could not prove it. Now these are not men of God. Some of you would like me to present the truth clothed in a fine dress and with hoops rather than that I should present it stark naked; but I speak this for your good, and why then do you wish to run away from Or injure your friends? ~Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses Vol. 12, p.189, (1869)

    Brigham Young duped by the phony “Spiritualists” of his day which “spirits” were all proven to be frauds, (especially by Harry Houdini), but don’t speak against “the Lord’s Anointed”,

    Can I not use my judgment in doing well just as much as in doing evil? Am I not just as independent in performing a deed of charity as a deed of cruelty? I contend that I am, what do you say? Have I not got my liberty just as much, and exercise it just as freely, in feeding the poor and clothing the naked as I have in turning them out of doors, or in lifting myself up against God and his anointed? Has a man got to apostatize from this kingdom, from the faith of Christ, to be independent? Am I not as independent in believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as I am in denying him? Am I not as independent in believing the Gospel as I am in believing in the whisperings [p.7] and mutterings of these spirits that are floating through the air, rapping at everybody’s door, sometimes tearing the clothes off their beds, rapping, thundering and telling this, that and the other? You hearken to that still small voice that whispers eternal truth, that opens the visions of eternity to you that you can discern, understand and follow, and the foul spirits that throng the air, and that fill our houses if we let them in, will not have power over you. ~Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses Vol. 15, p.6, 1872

    What is the matter, you High Priests, you Seventies, you Bishops and others? You are not doing the will of God, and you do not know of the doctrine, that is the matter; and yet we are living in the blaze of Gospel day, surrounded by Prophets, Apostles, Patriarchs, and men of God. Is it not time that we humbled ourselves? Is it not time that we repented of our sins? Is it not time that we forsook our iniquities? Is it not time that we went back to the first principles, and began to consider our ways, and to walk in the light of truth? That is the way that I understand it, and hence the necessity of the Elders of Israel, the President of the Church, of the Twelve, and of all men who are inspired by the light of truth and the light of revelation, to stir up the members of the Church generally to good works. They see Israel wandering away after strange gods, forsaking the fountain of living water, and “hewing out to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water;” and hence the necessity of Apostles and Prophets for the perfecting [p.143] of the Saints and the work of the ministry, and the edifying of the body of Christ. How is it among many of our quorums? Perfectly dead, dumb, and lifeless, without the light, and life, and power of the living God among them; and Elders of Israel, clothed upon with the Holy Priesthood, expect when they get through, to associate with the Gods in the eternal worlds. How is it? It is time for us to reflect and to think upon our situation, and to consider our ways and be wise. What do you want to do? Do you want to get up some excitement? No, we want to bring you back to the first principles of the Gospel of Christ. Do you want us to be baptized? Not particularly, unless, as stated by President Young, you repent of your sins and your iniquities and your lying, and your deceiving and your Sabbath-breaking, and your covetousness and your hypocrisy, and repent of your speaking against the anointed of God; not unless you are willing to be governed by the Holy Priesthood in all things pertaining to this world and the next, pertaining to time and eternity. If you can’t do this, don’t be baptized; it will be better for you not to be.~John Taylor, Journal of Discourses Vol. 18, p.142, (1875)

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