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Mormonism LIVE: 065: Mormonism & The 30,000 Foot View

What happens when rather than get in close to the sticky issues of Mormonism you step back? In fact step back so far as to see the 30,000 foot view and look at what Mormonism has standing in the way of its truth claims. And how such speaks to just how reasonable and rational it is to release one’s belief in the faith and to step away having allowed oneself to be a rational logical critical thinking human being. (Slide Show – )

  1. Scriptural Issues
    1. Book of Mormon 19th Century Material
    2. Book of Mormon Anachronisms
    3. Plagiarism from New Testament
    4. Book of Abraham issues
    5. Bible Translation plagiarized from Adam Clarke’s commentary
    6. Theological changes in canon over time
    7. 2nd and 3rd Isaiah
  2. Spiritual Manifestation Issue
    1. Moroni vs Nephi
    2. First Vision Discrepancies
    3. Seeing the Cumorah Cave in Palmyra New York in spite of being a clean hill
    4. Peter James and John PH restoration added late
    5. Moroni blessing Manti
    6. Brigham Young Transfiguration
  3. Issues with Joseph Smith’s Character
    1. Lying about polygamy to Emma and others
    2. Manipulating Lucy Walker 
    3. Pattern of approaching girls or young women in his home for intimate relationships (Lucy Walker, Fanny Alger, Partridge Sisters, Lawrence Sisters) 
    4. Polyandry 
    5. Nancy Rigdon & The Happiness Letter 
    6. Underage girls (two 14 year olds, two 16 year olds, two 17 year olds) 
    7. Treasure Digging
    8. Other financial frauds: Kirtland anti-bank, land issues, bad loans
  4. Science and Critical Thinking
    1. Great Flood 
    2. Tower of Babel 
    3. Shiz rises after head cut off 
    4. 2000 stripling warriors in a battle with a more experienced larger military force and not a single soul was lost not to the battle and not to infection afterwards inspite of many fainting from bloodloss 
    5. Battles in the Millions around Cumorah and what it takes to have military engagement that large 
    6. Moroni blessing Manti 
    7. Trans Oceanic Voyage 
    8. Lamanite DNA 
    9. Age of the earth & Evolution
  5. Church Administration
    1. Second Anointings 
    2. 100’s of Billions of dollars saved in investments rather than solving world problems 
    3. Nepotism 
    4. Leaders are insulated and promote yes men 
    5. Well paid Leaders 
    6. SCMC
  6. Past Prophetic Deception 
    1. Adam God Doctrine 
    2. Racial Curse and Racial Valiancy 
    3. Joseph Smith mock wedding with Partridge Sisters 
    4. Treasure Digging 
    5. Mountain Meadows (Brigham’s destruction of the marker and lying about it and blaming the Native Americans) 
    6. 1890, 1904 Manifesto
    7. 1933 lying about the 1886 John Taylor Revelation
  7. Modern Prophetic Deception
    1. Elder Holland (BBC Interview, Story about missionary meeting his brother, Double Digit Stake Creation every week of our lives) 
    2. Paul Dunn 
    3. President Nelson (Flight of Death, Zimbabwe, Lady in the hat)
    4. Bruce R McConkie lying about Brigham teaching Adam God 
    5. Elder Oaks lying about Electroshock Therapy at BYU under his presidency 
    6. Whitewashing and carefully worded denials of the Gospel Topic Essays
    7. Tom Monson Jr
    8. Quinton Cook – Hospital
    9. Gordon B Hinkley “I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it”
    10. Ronald Poelman and the re-do of his conference talk
  8. False or embellished Faith Promoting stories
    1. Seagulls and Crickets 
    2. Sweetwater Crossing 
    3. Holland, Nelson yarn stretchers 
    4. Brigham Young Transfiguration
    5. Whale of a tale
    6. Wilfor Woodruff Founding Fathers
    7. Lorenzo Snow’s Jesus Visitation
  9. Trauma Placed On Members
    1. Temple (Sexism, Objectifying Women, Penalties) 
    2. One on One interviews with children and others by an untrained clergy 
    3. “Worthiness” interviews 
    4. Toxic Perfectionism 
    5. Patriarchy Marginalizing women
    6. Marginalization of people of color
    7. Destruction of idiginous people’s identity  
    8. “Indian Placement Program” 
    9. Diminishing those who lose faith with labels (chaff, lazy, sinful) 
    10. Not having a single good story about those who leave 
    11. Gaslighting people continuously regarding their history 
    12. All the harm with polygamy 
    13. Claiming Tithing will get you out of Poverty
  10. Social Issues
    1. Women have lesser place in mortality and in heaven 
    2. Church still currently maintains that God actually sorted people via their skin color (Be One Celebration)
    3. Church imposes significant harm on LGBT members 
    4. Civil Rights was Communism 
    5. Not Proactive or reactive on Sexual Abuse 
    6. People who stop believing are less than and believers should stay at distance
    7. Always 30-40 years late on almost every social issue in spite of being led by Prophets, Seers, and Revelators
    8. Global/government influences: Defeating ERA, Prop 8, LDS Senator votes for Iraqi War “where boots go, missionaries follow,” the two LDS men (one a Bishop) part of US Govt torture program, cultural appropriation/erasure among Native Americans, Polynesians etc, lobbying against church clergy being mandatory reporters, attempt to make Utah a two-party recording consent state, etc
  • Stop here and discuss how every facet of Mormonism’s truth claims when dealt with logically are in favor of the critic.  That when understood collectively, the only fall back Mormonism has is Spiritual Testimony.   That in spite of all the issues, I still believe because I know by the Holy Ghost that it is true.  Except the Holy Ghost doesn’t get a free pass

  1. Ineffectiveness of the Holy Ghost as a tool to convey truth
    1. Elevation Emotion 
    2. Illusory Truth Effect 
    3. Taking Seriously the Spiritual experiences of those outside your faith 
    4. How completely wrong past leaders were in spite of their “Knowing” 
    5. How wrong members have been at past times holding views with certainty when such views have been abandoned or disavowed 
    6. Holy Ghost can be tested and it does no better than no Holy Ghost 
    7. Leaders have been deceived
    8. members have been deceived
  • And as if that isn’t enough if you apply the same critical thinking to Jesus of Nazareth you end up having another pillar of challenges that hits at the truth of Mormonism (Though I admit also all of Christianity)
  1. Historical Jesus
    1. Dating of New Testament Authors 
    2. Wrestling with New Testament gospel contradictions 
    3. Understanding the prevalent views of Biblical Criticism
    4. How myths are created (Sapiens) 
    5. How stories easily get embellished (compare with Mormonism) 
    6. How much easier in an age of unverifiable history When supernatural happens and when it doesn’t Issues with the nativity narrative

BONUS ROUND (Not Covered In Episode)

  1. Immoral, harmful beliefs taught as moral and good.
    1. Problems with the concept of “fallen” man (unnecessary guilt and/or lack of personal accountability)
    2. Idolizing parricide as act of “love” and “loyalty” (God + Abraham) 
    3. Justifying God’s abusive and narcissistic behaviors as “love”
    4. Forgiveness expected for misbehaving leaders “give Brother Joseph a break”
    5. Lack of empathy/blame for victims
      1. Theological: the Flood, Hell for non-believers, misfortune as punishment (LGBTQ, apostates, etc)
      2. Local/current: blaming SA victims, clergy abuse victims, etc
    6. Internal morality given to God or those perceived to speak for him
      1. Biblical atrocities excused, even genocide
      2. Gives space for modern atrocities to be committed/accepted (even victims sometimes)
        1. Early and modern polygamy/underage rape/trafficking
        2. Modern spouse/child abuse
        3. Murder, theft, imprisonment of apostates/defectors/outsiders (Oliver Cowdery, Danites, Lori Vallow/Chad Daybell)
      3. Obligations to support systems that harm self/others (sexism, Prop 8, etc)
      4. Personal choices/freedoms overridden in favor of the group ideals

2 thoughts on “Mormonism LIVE: 065: Mormonism & The 30,000 Foot View”

  1. The last caller (James) requested a Mormonism Live episode comparing how the LDS church controlling thought/learning/behavior was similar to communist countries doing the same.

    If James hasn’t listened to it already, I’d recommend Mormon Expression podcast’s Episode 221: Top Ten Ways the Church is Like North Korea.

    In addition, I’d recommend Steve Hassan’s “Combating Cult Mind Control” which describes, among other things, the BITE model of mind control that is used by cults of all sorts, including political cults or religious cults.

  2. Pingback: Mormonism and the 30,000-foot view – TOYBOM: The One Year Book of Mormon

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