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Anti-Mormon Claims Backfiring

Discussion in 'Latter-day Saints DIR' started by Apex, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I know that that was absolutely the case with respect to both of my adult kids. Fortunately, they did not become anti-Mormon, but with my daughter especially, I saw this happen. Throughout most of her teenage years, she was planning on a mission and a temple marriage. Then she started dating a guy who she ended up getting intimate with. It all went downhill from there. (In her case, I think the bishop handled the situation extremely poorly when she confessed to him. I can't blame him for her behavior, but I think that had he used better judgment, things might have turned out entirely differently.) My son started hanging out with a bunch of kids back in junior high school. They were into drinking and smoking pot. At least he had the integrity that some of them lacked. A few of them served missions, partying right up until the night before they went into the MTC.
     
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  2. tomato1236

    tomato1236 Ninja Master

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    My big brother didn't leave the church because he disbelieved, he left to pursue homosexuality, only to leave the church about two years later. At first he was just going to kiss boys with no intention of violating any commandments. He said he still believed and held his values. Now he lives with a guy, drinks occasionally, and had his name removed from the records.
     
  3. madhatter85

    madhatter85 Transhumanist

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    my comments toward the video may have sounded terse, or judgmental, But I have been down that road.

    No man can serve two masters. You either have to forsake sin or forsake the gospel. The two are not compatible. Due to the nature of her other videos I really felt like she was one of those people who are addicted to sex and don't want to give up what they are doing so they make excuses to shun what they, at one time, knew to be true.
     
  4. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I can agree with a lot of what you have said, but I don't think that most of these people ever "knew" the Church was true. They were raised in the Church but probably never had firm testimonies.
     
  5. DavyCrocket2003

    DavyCrocket2003 Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys! Mind if I join you?

    I think there are a lot of false beliefs passed around in the church. There is a lot of superficiality, almost hollowness. There are many "cultural Mormons." I think a lot of it comes down to why we do what we do. I am afraid that there are many members of our church, as well as many others that do what they do for the wrong reasons. How many people are LDS to make their families happy? How many people go to church to appear "normal." How many of us are believers in Church welfare, or the LDS "lifestyle" or some other peripheral thing? How many of us are missing the point entirely? The answers are quite simple and straightforward, if not necessarily easy. Life basically boils down to this: Are you going to act? Or are you going to be acted upon? Are you going to be an agent unto yourself? Or are you going to be a product of your environment and circumstances? Are you going to follow your heart, your morals, and your deepest desires and seek them and achieve them? Or are you going to let the world decide your life for you?

    If you want peace, if you want joy, if you want to be alive, if you want to grow, you just have to live in harmony with what you believe, and do your best to ensure that those beliefs are as correct as possible.

    I guess that's the real trick isn't it? It takes an incredible strength of will. It also requires the ability to question assumptions, assess your believes, and reevaluate your reasoning. That is something that is often unsettling and uncomfortable. It means constant change. It means being willing to forsake the things we like and wish to continue doing, when a better way is made manifest. It means that we have to be willing to forsake our way of thinking, when a better, truer one comes along. But it also means excitement. It means that we can learn and grow and evolve and change. It means that nothing is beyond our grasp. It means that as we continue from grace to grace and line upon line, light to greater light, we will one day inevitably arrive at our final destination: the perfect day. That is the beauty of the Gospel, or one of them at least. There is always as much for us to learn as we are willing to.
    There are a bunch more passages that I would like to quote, but I will spare you all.

    I'll just finish with this:
    It seems kind of silly to me how many of us in the church get worried about this or that and begin making this or that demand or offended by what this or that person said. Sure, no one in the church is perfect. Sure there are some crazy things taught and believed. Sure, it could just be a bunch of old men who really want power and so they dedicate their entire lives to service in an effort to deceive people and gain converts to their church. The truth is, all you have to do, all any of us have to do, is live the Gospel, and you will gain a testimony, you will gain a witness. You will taste of the fruit and see that it is "desirable to make one happy... ...sweet above all that is sweet."
     
    #25 DavyCrocket2003, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  6. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    DavyCrocket, I still don't believe you're just in your twenties. You are so wise beyond your years, it's not even funny.
     
  7. tomato1236

    tomato1236 Ninja Master

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    My bro did. It's not hard to intellectualize or rationalize your way out of a testimony, no matter how awesome your experiences have been.
     
  8. DavyCrocket2003

    DavyCrocket2003 Well-Known Member

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    Haha. Well thanks. I appreciate it. I'm really quite a rebellious young tween. Honestly, I don't think I live up to the knowledge that I have been given. I know that I don't. I would be incredibly happy if I could just live up to my own clear, straightforward expectations. I know it's possible because I have done it for stretches at a time and it feels wonderful! There's nothing like the feeling that you know you are doing everything for the Lord and that he knows you would do anything for him. There is no sweeter peace, no sweeter love than that knowledge, that appreciation that is shared between father and son (or daughter). One day I will choose to live my life that way. :)
     
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  9. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Out of curiosity, where do you think her view comes from?

    Do you think that she was actually taught what she's saying? Do you think she got taught the "right" things but missed the point somehow? Is she just lying?
     
  10. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I think she pretty much put her own spin on a lot of these points. I'll address them individually:

    Point 1: People are taught from a young age not to think for themselves.
    Point 8: Anti Progress, anti thinking.

    I'll cover these two at the same time. Both statements are absolutely false. Here are statements from four different LDS leaders, speaking on the subject over a period of nearly 150 years:

    Joseph F. Smith: “We talk of obedience, but do we require any man or woman to ignorantly obey the counsels that are given? Do the First Presidency require it? No, never.”

    Brigham Young: “I do not wish any Latter-day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied...Suppose that the people were heedless, that they manifested no concern with regard to the things of the kingdom of God, but threw the whole burden upon the leaders of the people, saying, 'If the brethren who take charge of matters are satisfied, we are,' this is not pleasing in the sight of the Lord.

    George Albert Smith: “Even to imply that members of the Church are not to do their own thinking is grossly to misrepresent the true ideal of the Church…”

    Boyd K. Packer: “Because God wants his children to grow spiritually, he neither requires nor desires unwilling or begrudged compliance, nor "blind obedience." Every person has the right, and even the responsibility, to learn whether a commandment, prompting, or teaching comes from God.

    We are strongly encouraged to get all of the education we conceivably can. The Church even has a program called the Perpetual Education Fund that gives low-interest loans to our young men and women in third-world countries. Statistically, Latter-day Saints are among the best-educated people around. The University of Utah (originally the University of Deseret) was founded by Brigham Young less than three years after the Mormon pioneers settled the Salt Lake Valley. With the commencement of the second semester, it was official a co-educational university. Many pioneer women took advantage of the opportunity to get a higher education.


    Point 2: The church is sexist. Expects women to bear a lot of childrens.

    Again, that's nonsense. My parents had only two children. I had only two children. The Church has never told me how many children to have. Mormons do have larger than average families, but it's by choice, not commandment.

    Point 3: The church is too white.

    If she is referring strictly to the Black to White ratio, she's right that there are a disproportionate number of White Mormons in the Church. Currently, however, one in ever ten new converts is African-American. And for years, the growth of the Church in Mexico, Central and South America has been phenomenal. There are millions of Hispanic people in the 14-million member Church.

    Point 4: The church hides its actual beliefs, which are weird. Earth is Adam's planet.

    We hide them from whom? We don't hide our beliefs, and in 62 years of attending LDS worship services almost weekly, I have never heard anybody say anything remotely like, "Earth is Adam's planet." That's positively laughable. Anybody who wants to know anything at all about our teachings can find the information quite easily. We almost go out of our way to make it readily available. The only thing we do not discuss openly is the ordinances performed in the temple. That doesn't actually encompass all that much new material, and even most of it is contained within our scriptures, which anybody can go out and buy. Of course, if you want to search the internet, you can also find a ton of information about what we "supposedly" believe but really don't. :rolleyes:

    Point 5: No gay marriage.

    I'll be damned. She got one right.

    Point 6: The temple is very cultish.

    That's a great word to throw out there. She said she has participated in baptisms for the dead. I don't know what she would consider "cultish" about them. It's almost exactly the same wording that is used when she was baptized herself at the age of eight. It would just include the words, "I baptize you for and in behalf of [so and so] who is dead." When she was sealed to her parents, they would have kneeled together around a velvet-topped, lace-covered alter and the officiator would have said some words "sealing" them to gether as a family throughout eternity. I'm not getting what is "cultish" about these things.

    Point 7: People who aren't mormon can't go to weddings.

    They can't attend temple weddings, that's true. LDS couples are strongly encouraged to be married in the temple, but if they choose not to, their marriage is regarded as legally binding by the Church and they are in no way "shunned" for their decision. They are simply encouraged to have their marriage "sealed" as soon as possible (after a one-year wait). Once they do that, the effect is the same as if they were originally married there.
     
  11. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I understand that her position doesn't mesh up with the official LDS position, but do you necessarily put the "fault" for that on her, or do you leave room for the possibility that she's honestly recounting her impression based on a "flawed" Mormon upbringing?

    As an example, even if the LDS Church doesn't teach people not to think for themselves, an individual set of parents might, and if those parents are Mormon, the children might base their opinion of the LDS Church on that experience.

    She purports to be speaking from experience, so do you think that she's misrepresenting that experience, or do you think that she actually did have as bad an experience as she describes... even if there's a disconnect between what she describes and the official position of the Church?

    I guess what I mean is, I know that her position didn't come from official church teaching, but where do you think it did come from? Poor teaching by others? Honest misunderstanding on her part? Or is she deliberately lying?
     
  12. AfterGlow

    AfterGlow Invisible Puffle

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    I wondered about that too while watching the video, I thought she was going to cry at one point. Perhaps she is angry and upset for various reasons and the LDS Church simply become a convenient focus for that anger?
     
  13. Clear

    Clear Well-Known Member
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    I am not one that has any definitive answers as to how testimonies work. I can't even say they are always given to someone who is deserving (since I obtained one and was not "deserving").

    I have views on testimonies and have viewed modeled them as a living thing which is changing constantly. A living thing is “alive” and imbues that characteristic of ‘changability” onto all aspects of it’s existence; it’s knowledge; it’s emotions; it’s thought’s process, etc. In the same way that all characteristics that make up living things form a part of the changeable living thing itself, I have wondered if emotions and thoughts and experiences and all other principles which contribute to a “testimony” is not similarly “alive” and capable of endless variety and change whether for progression or for regresssion (.." my spirit shall not always strive with man").

    Perhaps it is because of my background that I tend to model moral states, including a testimony, as an integral principle within individuals, like an organ of our body, not only capable of a healthy existence, but also capable of disease and capable of causing detriment to the whole. If, a testimony can be viewed as a muscle, and thus either “strong” through development or “weak” through non- development or non-usage, can one view it as an organ, capable of responding to foul and toxic actions and thoughts which to the detriment of the soul?

    In the same way that food poisoning can cause temporary but significant illness though contaminated food; I think a strong testimony can be temporarily weakened by contaminated data or illogic or a poorly handled frustration. Given a bit of time, I do not think many such experiences themselves, do lasting damage to testimonies.

    However, the attempt to justify that which is morally wrong, seems, in my estimation, to do a lot of damage to “used to be” christians (be they LDS or not). If one is doing a moral wrong, then knowledge that they are doing a thing they believe is morally wrong causes a moral dissonance, a strong disharmony within their soul, which is uncomfortable. The light within us tells us that something is amiss. If such a condition continues, the unrelenting, underlying self-blame and guilt becomes so very uncomfortable that one seeks to rid one’s self of the cumbersome guilt that prevents unimpeded joy or the constant reminder and intrusions into our consciousness that our lives contain important moral inconsistencies.

    To attempt to rectify this moral disharmony and uncomfortable dissonance, one may either attempt to re-conform their discomforting moral actions to their moral beliefs or they may attempt to re-conform their moral beliefs to their moral actions. It is an attempt to Justify (or “make just”) what they are doing. This does not always mean that they are choosing to do what they think is wrong, there may be unusual situations. For example, a new Converts’ spouse may threaten to “leave and take the kids with me if you don’t leave the Mormon church” you just joined. Either choice that is made in this instance may cause moral discomfort.

    I could be wrong, but the specific discomfort associated with the making of either choice is similar to the situation I see the LDS poster Dallas1125 describing. There may be some testimony, but it is not strong enough to support the commitment of a mission that others desire he make. If he goes without desire, this will cause discomfort to him. It he stays, this will cause discomfort to him. Either decision has different discomforts.

    I believe that the moral discomfort experienced by many “prior mormons” (“new age mormon”, “was a mormon but not now”, “almost stayed mormon”, “am having difficulty leaving mormon”) forms a large part of their motive to justify leaving the gospel to a “non-gospel”. Those having a comfortable “exit” from mormonism to another religion they believe in, do not seem to have the same moral discomfort and are able to simply “leave mormonism alone”. They don’t feel the same moral tension and need to justify the change since the new faith itself justifies the change.

    BUT, those who desire to simply abandon faith without sufficient moral justification have need to FIND some way to FEEL adequate moral justification to no longer believe in a prior testimony. This is difficult. One may initially flirt with an attempt to convince themselves that they never really HAD a testimony; or their testimony is faulty; or that the gospel itself is faulty is some important way.

    The difficulty is that, unless they can find a real and authentic fault with a core salvational doctrine, they will be left to find fault with petty issues that do not form sufficient reason to then reject the core doctrines. For example, the core doctrines remain intact even if I find hypocrisies in some of the LDS. Thus, a relative amount of “hypocrisy” doesn’t really help one justify rejection of the restoration of a “profound salvific doctrine” (which is what they want to be ABLE to do). They can find petty potential defects such as early members wanting God to “avenge” a prophets martyrdom (“good people” shouldn’t want “bad things”...), but this also, doesn’t satisfy the justification of rejection of any other profound doctrine.

    It is a very, very difficult position to be in; wanting to leave; and trying to find justification; REAL justification; to do so. Thus, they still “congregate” with the saints and try to chip at the paint of the gospel without accomplishing their goal. This is not a new phenomenon, Enoch speaks of those who try to “deny the name of the Lord of the Spirits. Yet they like to congregate in his houses and (with) the faithful ones who cling to the Lord of the Spirits”. The nature of the gospel does not allow us a “soft choice” when it comes to rejecting moral truths. Once we have experienced and understood moral knowledge, one cannot return to prior ignorance in any simple and easy and morally comfortable fashion. It was partly this discomfort which caused individuals attempting to “exit the gospel” to continue “carrying about the name while doing other things unworthy of God” (Ign to Ephes). I think this is true today and is reflected by those wanting to representing themselves as some sort of “LDS”, but who are trying to find and convince themselves of sufficient fault in the restoration so as to allow them adequate justification to finally let go of the Gospel and be free of guilt in doing so.

    Clear
     
    #33 Clear, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  14. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    It's hard to say with any real degree of accuracy. Based strictly on her wording, she does seem to be spouting off a lot of the typical "anti-Mormon" stuff you see on the web. If I were to just venture I guess, I'd say her own upbringing might be responsible for statements #1 and #2 and #8. Some LDS parents probably do encourage their kids not to think for themselves, and some young LDS women may feel under pressure to have more kids than they actually want. My parents were so much the opposite in their approach to raising me that I'm admittedly biased the opposite direction. I was always encouraged to think for myself and to question anything I heard in Church or Church-sponsored classes that didn't ring true to me. My husband and I purposely remained childless for over nine years and never once in all that time did my parents even hint that it might be time for us to give them grandchildren. Maybe her parents told her that the primary purpose for her life was to be barefoot and pregnant.

    Points #4 and #6 are typical anti-Mormon rhetoric. It's clear to me that this is a gal who has got a bone to pick with the Church. For whatever reason, she feels compelled to try to find fault with the Church. Neither of these two statements is factually verifiable.

    Point #3 is just flat out silly. "Too white"? According to whom and by what standard?

    Point #7 is an attempt to misrepresent a policy by not telling the whole truth and the poster could not help but know it.
     
    #34 Katzpur, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
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  15. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Sounds like a pretty reasonable assumption to me.
     
  16. Arkholt

    Arkholt Non-vessel

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    Points 1 and 8 are actually very interesting when you think about them. As a church, we are one of the most open to critical thinking and analysis of any Christian church. On the other end, individual members, from my experience at least, can be some of the most repressive of thinking of any members of church. I can certainly understand where that's coming from, and it is quite sad really.
     
  17. imbobbbb

    imbobbbb Member

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    Well I know i'm a 'little late to the party' on this thread but since there isn't much activity on this board i guess i'll chime in anyway.I too think watchmen makes a good point.After attending a fundamentalist baptist school in my youth I found myself unable to accept several common christian beliefs,[the trinity,eternal hellfire for 95% of humans who ever lived,etc.],and pretty much lived without religion although I never really considered myself atheist or agnostic.It wasn't until I was in my late 30's/early 40's and learned what lds beliefs 'actually were' that I felt there was a place I could go where the basic theology made sense to me within the umbrella of christianity.If I were to leave the lds church I can't imagine going anywhere else....i'd just go back to sleeping in on sunday.I'm sure i'd be able to 'leave it alone 'however.While some baptist beliefs make my head want to spin in circles i've never felt compelled to attack them as a group....its much easier to ignore them unless they are making silly attacks on my church and even then I am content to point out the logical holes in their attacks on the lds rather than attack their beliefs.While i'm sometimes perhaps a little left of center in some regards to some church issues I can't imagine ever being a member of any other church.
     
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