Friday, May 30, 2008

Is the Mormon God the same as the Christian God?
In spite of the opposition of the sects, in the face of direct charges of blasphemy, the Church proclaims the
eternal truth: “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be.” (The Articles of Faith, James E. Talmage,
1982, page 430, emphasis in original)
Three separate personages — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost — comprise the Godhead. As each of these
persons is a God, it is evident, from this standpoint alone, that a plurality of Gods exists. To us, speaking in
the proper finite sense, these three are the only Gods we worship. But in addition there is an infinite number of
holy personages, drawn from worlds without number, who have passed on to exaltation and are thus gods …
there is “a god above the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…. (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd Edition, Bruce R.
McConkie, 1966, pages 576-577, emphasis in original)
There is no end to this development: it will go on forever. We will become gods and have jurisdiction over
worlds, and these worlds will be peopled by our own offspring … our Father in heaven was once a man as we
are now, capable of physical death. By obedience to eternal gospel principles, he progressed from one stage of
life to another until he attained the state that we call exaltation or godhood. In such a condition, he and our
mother in heaven were empowered to give birth to spirit children whose potential was equal to that of their
heavenly parents. We are those spirit children. (Achieving A Celestial Marriage, student manual, 1976, page
132, emphasis in original)
Christ Performed His Atonement so That We Could Become Gods (Achieving A Celestial Marriage,
student manual, 1976, page 136, emphasis in original) —~Truth Seeker~

Is the Baptist God the same as the Lutheran God? There are no two churches that teach all the same things about God. If there were, they'd be the same church. I would think this was obvious. If you're going to copy/paste your comments instead of thinking for yourself, at least delete all the line breaks so it's not obvious.
Most Damaging Evidence —alis

What is the most damaging evidence that TSCC is not true?

I'm have moments every day where my mind keeps going back to thinking that maybe TSCC is true and I'm just wrong. So then I try to think logically and put things into perspective. I tell my self about the polygamy or about how JS was a pedophile. But I just need something that is the MOST damaging so that I can tell myself that when I'm having these feelings.
I appreciate all the responses too, it's nice to get a refresher on all the nonsensical things I used to keep balanced on the shelf somehow. Alis, it's a stage in the process really. I used to read voraciously about all of the above topics, and I'm glad I did. But now I find the BofA no more "damaging" than the story of a resurrected white Native American floating in Joseph's room. It just takes time. You're going to be OK.
Tithing reimbursement —Wendy

A friend of mine told me she knows someone who's sole job is to write tithing reimbursement checks to those who "want their money back." Have any of you heard of this? I'm just wondering what I need to do to get my money back!
As I understand it, there's no way they could do that and maintain their tax-exempt status. I'd be very cynical of this friend's claim.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Where did the Book of Mormon take place? —Nipivy

There are three theories that I know of...The Traditional Geography Theory, with the Book of Mormon encompassing all of the Americas, the Mesoamerican Limited Geography Theory, and the Great Lakes Geography Theory. What makes one more plausible than the other? I know FARMS puts a lot of effort into excavations in Mesoamerica, but I would think that the Great Lakes Theory has value, too. Most notably, there's not the problem of multiple Hill Cumorahs (I KNOW a suggestion by the Mesoamerican group is that Moroni wandered up to Western New York in his decades of wandering after the events of the Book of Mormon took place). And there seems several scriptures in the Book of Mormon back up the Book of Mormon happening in North America exclusively. Should there be more of an effort there, also?

Anyways, where do you believe the Book of Mormon took place? If you have a good link, please send it my way :-)
This is not really an answer to your question (is there any way to answer this one?), but just an amplification: if you're going to move away from the Hemispheric model, you also have to deal with a guy named Zelph.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The word is out… —Audit

The woman calling is a sweetie but one of the first things she said to me was 'We miss you.' Which really means, we know you're inactive and we want you to come back.'
I cringe to think of how many times I must have used that line as EQP without ever realizing how divisive it is. How come it's never "I miss seeing you," but rather "we miss you"? Note that the person you're saying it to is suddenly not one of "us."
Oh no! They’re on to me! Help! —amusick

It's a tough call. Eventually you're going to have to get to a point where you are comfortable just saying no to things like this. (I have no problem with the email idea, if you're ready to make that step.) The challenge is if you agree to do this you may be making it harder on yourself to leave later. Members might remember that amusick just bore her testimony a few weeks ago and think that you were being two-faced.

All I'm suggesting is that you weigh that possibility in your decision. While I'd lean toward just saying no, I don't think there's anything wrong with playing along until you're ready. And for your own sake, may I suggest that you try to stop framing this as you "hurting" them. You can't own that; it's the church's dysfunctional system that makes someone else's disbelief somehow hurtful to them.

Best of luck,
My seminary teaching nephew is getting married. Should I give him a copy of Rough Stone Rolling? —Laman and Lemon

I want to respect my siblings and their adult children AND be respectful of MY "SELF". I have a nephew getting married. He is going to be a "seminal-ary" teacher. I want to give him a copy of Rough Stone Rolling. I would hate to be embarrased when some young kid, fresh off the internet asks him about Kinderhook, and he has to say he has never heard of it. How embarrasing is THAT!! Yet, I don't want to burn any bridges by giving him "anti" material (yes, I know it is distributed by DBook and is not "anti").

How do you deal with this?
I fear the book might be an unwelcome gift, and a wedding isn't the occasion for that. I do like the bookshelf idea though, sans RSR.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Although excommunicated, not one of them went back on their testimony (the problem of the initial 3 witnesses) —Frank

It would at least be interesting to have the witnesses' own firsthand accounts, instead of their signatures affixed to a prepared statement written by ... well who do you think wrote it?

Friday, May 23, 2008

How many wives did Joseph Smith have?
I had a Mormon history discussion at work —jonathan t

The best research on the subject has been done by an LDS member named Todd Compton in the book linked below. But the page is a good start. Another well-researched book that talks tangentially about Joseph's polygamous wives is "Mormon Enigma," also linked below.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is it true that every non-Mormon teenager is a pervert (I don't agree with this)?
Because I was arguing with an online friend of mine about stuff of that subject and he is kind of a pervert and he says all teenagers are, but I disagreed saying that that is a big stereotype. Then he said that I am the only one who is not a pervert because I am a Mormon.

Who is right in this situation? —Nijg the Moron I mean Mormon

pervert, n.: one who has turned away from what is generally done or accepted

Not to get all pedantic on you, but by definition all teenagers cannot be "perverts." My guess is you're talking here not about a preoccupation with sex (that's normal), but with an especially crude way of speaking about it. The Mormon religion tends to produce kids who are very image-conscious; some people describe Mormon culture as judgmental or overly focused on surface "righteousness" like not swearing or smoking cigarettes. I guess how you view it depends on whether or not you're Mormon.

Anyway, the point is I can see why your friend might feel Mormons are the exception when it comes to crass language. And maybe that's a good thing. But you could also argue that a kid who is comfortable in his own skin and not guilted from birth about his own sexuality might end up more well-adjusted in that regard. The big antithesis of the clean-cut Mormon youth image in the internet age is that Utah is tops for many soft-core erotic searches on Google. They may be human after all.

Try it yourself, Utah comes up tops for "bikini," "playmate," "topless," "thong," "tease," nearly every term you can think of that's not too hard-core.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mormon.What is title and/or lyrics to childrens song that has the phrase"follow the prophet,he knows the way"?
Also, what is the approximate age of children when they are first taught this song? —hanging in there

The "Follow the Prophet" song is a recent addition. We didn't sing it when I was a kid, we sang "Give Said the Little Stream" and "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree." Oh, and we sang "Book of Mormon Stories" a lot, complete with the hand motions and Indian feathers behind our heads when we'd sing "... are about the Lamanites." But that was back when we knew who the Lamanites were. ;)

I hope it's obvious why as a nonbeliever "Follow the Prophet" gives me the willies. The only reason the Mormons here are comfortable with that message is because they know Mormonism is true; if it were any other organization or church they'd raise their eyebrows too.

Doc wrote: "I'm not convinced that Qman does believe the things he says."
Thanks, Doc, that's my favorite thought-killer and it just doesn't get used enough.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Do you still wear temple garments? —Flat Lander

Several people have mentioned that they stopped wearing their temple garments. Some seemed to indicate that they stopped wearing them at about the same time as when they stopped believing the LDS was the True Church.

I haven't believed for a few years now. I still wear temple garments every day. In fact, I think I've ordered new ones at least once while a non-believer. (I have not yet done a name removal, and haven't been excommunicated.) I have been wearing temple garments as my underwear for 20 years now, and am used to the knee-length briefs. I guess a T-shirt is a T-shirt, so there isn't necessarily a reason to buy garment tops, but I don't like the way traditional briefs or boxers feel.

If they were physically uncomfortable, I wouldn't wear them. But they are comfortable.

Am I crazy? Are there others who do this?
Have you tried boxer briefs? They're a little shorter than your garmies, but won't ride up and get all bunched up on your thighs. You could even get daring and try them in gray or blue.

What can I say to my boyfriend who has started reading anti-mormon websites?
At first he was happy I had found a new church but now he's been reading anti-mormon websites and he told me to NEVER mention my faith ever again. A lot of people have told me to dump him, but I love him and I won't do that. He's so supportive of my mental health problems and I want us to be together. What can I do?

hibby76, I wasn't brought up in the church. I've only recently got in touch with my local chapel. —LanPingPug. A Wannabe Duck!

Is your boyfriend a Christian? A lot of the more vitriolic stuff about Mormons tends to come from other Christian faiths who are convinced that their brand of Christianity is better. If so, I'd tell him to spend equal time with sites that are critical of his own faith, like That might help him see how deep-seated your beliefs are and how difficult it can be to accept negative things that outsiders might say.

While I'm no longer Mormon myself, I understand that people adopt faiths for other than intellectual reasons, so intellectual arguments tend to not be very convincing for some. I think the love you have for each other is worth fighting for, but you need to be clear with him about boundaries and what is open to debate.

I suggest you ask yourself two questions, and share your honest responses with your boyfriend. First, if Mormonism is not all that it claims to be, would you want to know? That's a big one, and I'm not suggesting there's a right or wrong answer. You just need to be clear about where you stand.

Next, if you decide that you really would want to know, ask yourself: if Mormonism is not what it claims to be, how would I know? (Hint, you wouldn't know this from feelings alone, because that's what convinced you it was true to begin with.)

I think if you're open with each other about why you choose to believe what you do and set appropriate boundaries about what's open to debate, you have a great chance of succeeding in your relationship.

Good luck,

Arianna R wrote: "Put God before everything and you will be okay."
Arianna, there's a word for people who take that advice to heart, they're called suicide bombers. Telling her to dump her boyfriend whom she loves and cares for over beliefs about what happens when we're dead? I'm sorry, that's really bad advice.

slcbtf wrote: "It is truly and uneducated person who approaches any subject with biased opinions. There are plenty of sites that provide resources to the junk that is out there."
Slcbtf, I'm speechless. Here's a little poem for your enjoyment:

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!
--Robert Burns

Oh boy, one more ...
hibby76 wrote: "Christ was either a common criminal or the savior of the world, depending on who you ask. Let him know that he's reading a lot of lies and a lot of heavily slanted information that's written for the sole purpose of slandering Mormons."
I've seen you write more thoughtful responses than this, hibby. Your "Christ was either ..." is a false dilemma. And your persecution complex is showing. Just like slcbtf did, you're casting aspersions on people who don't buy into Mormonism rather than engaging them. I bet Scientologists also warn adherents away from "liars who hate Scientologists." I don't hate you, dude, I just think you're wrong.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

How can I talk my Mormon friend out of talking to my college class?
It's a class on Mormonism, but the history of it. Certainly there is a discussion of theology, but we try to remain impartial as possible. My friend, however, is a new convert--and seems easily crushed if people don't agree with her. I am afraid my classmates will ask her skeptical questions, and she will be upset. She already knows I love her and my Mormon friends, but I don't believe in their theology, so I will be no real help. I'll of course tell anyone off if they are being mean to her; what I worry about is that she'll be wounded by genuine intellectual interest. I have other Mormon friends...former missionaries...who would be great if they could come to my class, because nothing bothers them! And they are very wise about things, but this too, I worry about. She's so new to the faith, she won't be able to answer even softball questions.

If I can't talk her out of coming to my class, how can I make the whole thing easier for her? —Nipivy

If she's a new convert, just tell the class that. She's not going to be a great resource on historical subjects, but it's still a great chance to see the religion from a sociological perspective, i.e. why did you join? what needs did it fill for you? and so on. If they want to ask about stuff she's never heard of, tell her to get comfortable saying "I don't know." The worst she could do is try to defend or deny things she knows nothing about, only to find out later she was wrong.
The meaning of ‘NEPHI’ - is it an old occult term? —StormWalker

White Rabbit:
I've been reading the info-packed 'Early Mormonism and the Magic World View' by D. Michael Quinn. Quinn proposes and gives evidence of how and where many ideas and names in Mormonism came from. Most are of occult origin.

As far as Nephi here are some possible sources Quinn lists these and others:

* It is a geographic name in the Apocrypha
* Part of two names in the King James Bible: Nephish, Nephishesim
* Nephilim "was a term of the offspring of intercourse between angels and humans." p. 198
*Nephiomaoth "was one of the magic names of God in early Christian Gnosticism." p. 198
*Nephes is a Cabalistic (Jewish magic) term for the third part of the soul, an image or shadow that wanders around sepulchers. p. 199.
I'm glad I'm late to this thread because it's much more interesting to see everyone's speculations. But I think the first point above is most likely the source of the name, even if it's the most boring explanation. The name Nephi appears in 2 Maccabees, which is an apocryphal book but was included in the Smith family bible if I am not mistaken. The phrase in the verse is "but many men call it Nephi." I could see that being memorable to a kid whose only text was the Bible.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mormon. Do you think there is going to be more men or women in Gods "Celestial" kingdom ? Why? —hanging in there

If you're hearing this from believers, it's usually in the context of talking about polygamy in the after life, as some responders have already pointed out. Of course some members are better informed than others about how polygamy worked in the early church, but there are some widely held misconceptions among members that seem to help them make sense of it.

More righteous women than men is the most plausible I think, at least when judged according to Mormon standards. But one also commonly hears polygamy justified as a means of "taking care of widows"--could be true in some cases but hardly describes what was happening. Also it is said that they needed to raise up seed to expand their numbers, but I don't see how that one is any harder to do with one wife to one husband. And finally some plural marriages were purely dynastic, a means of sealing families together. Many women had themselves sealed posthumously to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Again, that happened, but doesn't begin to explain Joseph's 33 wives or Brigham's 50 or whatever estimate you happen to believe.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Was The Book Of Mormon produced by occult means?
1. Did Joseph Smith Use crystals or another mean to produce the book of mormon.
2. Why isn't the Archangel Moroni not in the bible.
3. Are there contradictions between the book of mormon and the Doctrines and Covenants.
4. Is Mormonism a christain religion

1. What everyone's saying about the Urim and Thummim is part of the story. I don't think that was an occult practice. But while there are accounts of others having seen this translating device, that apparently was not the primary method Joseph used. He owned a seer stone which he put in a hat, then put his face in the hat and dictated the translation. Elder Russell M. Nelson has quoted this account in the Ensign, in case any Mormons are still unaware and think I'm making it up.

So that's a long way of saying yes, I suppose you could call that "occult means," but you're really stretching the definition there. Seer stones were not uncommon, and mysticism was a part of the culture in upstate New York at the time. Most scholars who aren't trying to sensationalize would maybe call it "folk magic."

2. The Archangel Moroni? Sorry, this question makes no sense. Mormons never claimed that about Moroni.

3. Maybe you should make this its own question and point out what you feel the contradictions are. Mormon doctrine was certainly evolving and growing in its early years.

4. No offense, but I wish mainstream Christians would stop being so petty about sharing the name "Christian" with Mormons. Mormons do consider themselves Christian. Let. it. go.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Question For Ex mormons or fellow atheists?
I've tried to get my name removed from their lists,but they refuse to do so,and the local bishop wants to talk to me.He's tried sending over missionaires. I just know how manipulative they are.They have the nerve to tell me that i've been influenced by evil (science)

And how do i get my mormon friends to leave me alone,they insult me and I can tell by the way they compose themselves around me they think i am somehow inferior to them,they poke fun at me to the point i want to get violent.

Is there ways to deal with this.I don't want to offend them,but i am sure tempted to at times to speak up.Since i have to respect their religion,but it sure seems like they don't have to respect me at all.

i accidently insulted them by saying the FLDS sects are just doing exactly what joseph smith and brigham young instructed them to do.

Then he gets angry and says i am being disrespectful.How do i deal with them do i just avoide them all together or do i get defensive?
Lastworkerbee is right, the best online resource is They even have a sample letter you can modify and send. I did exactly that, and there are hundreds of others who've done the same on and other online forums.

I disagree with the others who've suggested you should move away or find new friends. There's no need for that if you can just state clearly your position and if necessary create some personal boundaries. Nor do I think you need to tiptoe around their religious talk if they're directing it at you. You say you "have to respect their religion," but I don't think that's quite right. You have to respect *them* and their *right* to believe what they want, otherwise your friendship is toast. But there's no reason you can't say what you think about it, especially if they're bringing it up.

The missionaries came to my door a few weeks ago and asked why I didn't believe in the church. So I told them. I said I didn't think Joseph Smith was credible, that I didn't believe the Book of Mormon was an actual history of actual ancient Americans, and that I didn't like many aspects of Mormon teachings and culture. We teach people how to treat us, and once you start standing up for yourself you'll find your Mormon friends will stop bringing it up, or they'll stop being friends--in which case they probably never were to begin with.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I am a Mormon what do ya'll think of that? —Jacob is better that Edward

OK. Well, I'm guessing you're young. Lots of life decisions still in front of you? Not yet a parent? All I can say is I hope that, however comfortable you now feel in your world, you do yourself and your posterity a favor and take a rational look at what you've been taught all your life.

Our parents didn't have the resources we have, and their community was largely limited to people who shared their beliefs. But a great deal of quality research has been done in the past forty years on the beginnings of Mormonism. The original Book of Abraham papyrus has been recovered and translated. (Did you know that?) We know far more about the cultures of ancient America and their technology, language, domesticated plants and animals, and so on. And it's all accessible online, complete with forums and communities of people to talk with about what you've learned. You can google stuff, or ask questions here even. My point is it's understandable why our parents might have believed and taught us what they did. Don't hate them for it when you find out the truth.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What is a mormon testimony?
I have heard and read a lot about the concept of a 'testimony'. What is a testimony? —lin lin

The first Sunday of each month is Fast Sunday, and Mormons devote their main worship meeting to the "bearing of testimonies." It's sort of open-mic church, where anyone who wants to get up from the congregation may do so. They talk about what they're thankful, and they tell the audience the things they know. (It's always "know," not "believe.") Even little kids do it; sometimes they take half the meeting. The kids tend to give the same rote lines, something like:

"I'd like to bear my testimony that I know this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that President Monson is our prophet today. I love my mom and dad and my brothers and sisters. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

But it's not just for kids. You'll hear the grown-ups use these same lines, interspersed with their recent experiences and often prefaced with, "I would be very ungrateful if I didn't stand before you today ..." I always get a kick out of that line, by the way, because didn't they just tell all of us we're being ungrateful? But I digress. :)

Anyway, the short answer is that testimony bearing is an integral part of LDS meetings, and it's roughly equivalent to what Christians call "witnessing." It does get a little weird, with Mormons talking about "gaining a testimony" and having a "strong testimony" or an "unshakable testimony" as though it's a tangible object. To an outsider like me, I find if I substitute the word "closed-mindedness" for "testimony" it works just as well. But to each their own I guess.
In a contemplative mood —howdimissthat


I didn't know which would make this harder to deal with, knowing the truth from the start or hearing it after believing I had a promise of an eternal family.

I definitely think death is harder to deal with after believing in eternal life and then losing that belief. It feels like something precious has been taken away, even if it was never there to begin with. It's one of my biggest regrets that this cruel joke has been extended to my kids now.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Do you participate in threads (on other non religious forums) where people are asking questions about mormonism? —Lamanot

I can totally relate to this, Lamanot. One of my online hangouts is, as in the card game. I'm the closest thing to a Mormon on the discussion board there, and more often than not I find I'm defending them to the Christians. I find most of the Christian arguments against Mormonism just silly.

But I also like Yahoo! Answers, as I know a few others from this site do. There are plenty of naive Mormon defenders there, so I let them speak for themselves.

Letter from Stake Patriarch —bighand

My TBM MIL gave my wife a letter my BIL rec'd from his stake patriarch when we left the church. My BIL could not believe anyone would leave the church and wanted to understand what could cause someone to leave the church so he asked his stake patriarch (instead of asking either my wife or I). My MIL told me wife we should read this letter because what he says makes sense. Here are a few excerpts.

"Over my life I have had some experience with those who have requested to leave the church. I think I know most of the reasons. When someone requests to leave the church it is usually because one of the following.

One reason can be that their lives are not in harmony with the teachings and will of the Savior. This can be pornography, drugs, immorality, dishonesty, or any one of the several things the Savior commands us to repent of....Those persons who don't want to change their lifestyle to be in accord with what the Savior would want them to do, soon find themselves uncomfortable with the church.

Another big reason is fault-finding....Sometimes they find faults in a doctrine they don't understand...Sometimes they believe the 'stories' that abound about the leaders of the church from Joseph Smith to Thomas Monson. Some of these stories are true however most of them are false or 'wrested' from the original circumstances or situations that occurred. The decision of fault-finders is always made intellectually. Therefore, the decision they act upon comes only from the facts or perceived facts which they believe. Seldom do they have the whole story."
I am so pissed off!!! Those are his only two reasons for someone leaving the church. We have tried to explain to my MIL that we are leaving the church because we believe JS was a fraud and as the church leaders have said forever...the church rises and falls based on the divinity of JS. We have hesitated to tell my MIL the exact issues that bother us because we know she is unaware of all of them and don't want to force the issue on her. But we have stressed we have legitimate issues with church history. She seemed to buy that until she read this letter now she is convinced that we only wanted to sin and couldn't handle the requirements of being members of the church. (even though my wife and I are both 30, were married in the temple 10 years ago and have always been active and tried to live the standards of the church). This a**holes patriarch doesn't know me, my wife, our situation, or the issues that are causing us problems but does not hesitate to tell by BIL that the only reason he can see for someone to leave the church would be because we are sinners or we are deceived because we are so focused on fault-finding. It's people like him who give TSCC a bad name.

He goes on to give my BIL some advice on how to deal with the situation and what to say when he talks to us. This post is getting pretty long so I'll post it later. It's funny because my BIL rec'd this letter 5 or 6 weeks ago and we've seen him 4 or five times during that time and he hasn't said one word to either my wife or I. When we walk into a room he conveniently needs to leave the room and do something else. So much for following his patriarch's advice and talking to us, it's much easier to just avoid us.

Then the patriarch finished the litter by bearing his testimony that the church is true because "As a patriarch, I know how this position was given in the restoration of the gospel. It is amazing. No other churches have it! If Joseph had wanted to make up a religion, he would not have needed to include this office."

What??!!! I would like to know what offices would need to be included if had wanted to make up a religion.

What a jackass.
Well this letter isn't worth responding to, but it's your family so I guess you ought to say something. My short response would be something like, "OK, if that helps him keep believing." My long response would be to tear this apart line by line, from the stupid assertion that people would leave a church that they still believe in to somehow soothe their guilty conscience to the absurd proof of Joseph's inspiration in authorizing his dad to charge people to have their fortune told.


El Guapo; did J Smith Sr CHARGE for patriarchal blessings? Is there evidence?

I think so, at least I thought I remembered that, but now that you mention it I'm having a heck of a time tracking down a source. The places I thought I would have seen it (Rough Stone Rolling/Origins of Power) aren't turning anything up. I did just ask over at, and I'm surprised more people haven't heard of this. So far one person has responded saying he thinks it was implied in Quinn's Extensions of Power, but I've never read that book. Another poster over there says they charged for blessings in Utah, but they didn't give a source. Maybe someone here knows more.

From Quinn's "Origins of Power":

1835 14 Sept

The First Presidency and stake high council vote a salary for the Presiding Patriarch. By 1841, this would include a fee of $1 per blessing; fifty years later it would be $2 per blessing.
Well, just to tie up loose ends on the topic of patriarchs being paid for services, it seems that this was indeed the case and some interesting sources have come up (including the one from WBF above, thanks!). The topic is being discussed over at if you're interested in reading further. Here's the thread: but note their site disallows linking, so you have to copy that URL and paste it in the address bar. Oh and if you do visit please don't go in guns blazing like "Verdad" did in this thread.
Feel nervous asking this.. —waverlyplc

I have thought a lot about writing this specific post but always felt nervous saying it here. Like somehow I am weak.

So a tiny back history first..
My Dh and I stopped going to church (for the 2nd time) 5 yrs ago. We walked out and it was no big deal. 3 months ago we moved back to Utah and I began to think more and more about my choice. Not regretting it in any way but thinking about coming to terms with the validity of it all. Even when I left it 5 yrs ago I still told people I believed it was true but could not live in a church that was racist, homophobic and sexist. When I moved here to Utah I felt very lonely and to be quite honest a bit of a freak (the nose piercing and the ensuing stares probably didn't help).

I began to read and read and read. One night til 3 in the morning. Everything sort of came crashing down then. It wasn't true. I cried and cried. It felt so weird to me to go through this 5 yrs after leaving.
My point, and I do have one, is why do I still have these moments were I freeze and think "but what if." Immediately the rational brain kicks in and says hello???
I just hate that I can't control this. I guess it is weird to to look around and see all the TBM and wonder why I could grasp this knowledge and they don't. There are some amazingly intelligent TBMs out there. I am definitely not smarter than many of them. But yet here I sit with the knowledge.

Am I the only one that has these instances when all the mormon brainwashing takes over and my chest constricts and I have a moment of panic?
I think you just have to remember that religions evolved to their current state because they work so well on humans. We're chimps with vocabularies after all. Whatever evolution our minds have gone through to evaluate the relative truth and validity of abstract concepts has probably been recent and incomplete, whereas the desire to belong and be embraced by our social group is a deep-seated need for most people. But none of that is to suggest that religions are benign or ought to be acceded to, particularly not 's.
Utah Jazz —rusty...

Mike Tirico gave an elaborate explanation on ABC for Larry's absence at yesterday's game. And it was mentioned again in today's DesNews, with the added point that Utah hasn't hosted a home game on Sunday since like 2001 or something. Tirico said Larry was going for a long drive. I don't get it, honestly.

Oh, and did anyone else hear this? I'm listening to KSL while driving to the Panda Express today, and the big news was this: David Archuleta did more than sing the national anthem at Friday's game. While he was sitting in his suite watching the game, he and his family were asked if they would come visit the suite five over from them. Who was in it? Thomas S. Monson. The news blurb just said they were given some advice, and something about how wonderful it all was. I still think it's hilarious that none of the Jazz players or their coach for the past twenty years had a clue who Tommy was when he broke their huddle earlier this year.

Can a non Mormon attend a Mormon wedding?
My husband's sister wants us to come out for her wedding ceremony in the Mormon tabernacle. It is my understanding we would not be allowed into the actual ceremony. Is this correct? —Mrs. Steven

Mrs. Steven, I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. It's the most cultish part of modern-day Mormonism if you ask me. Members of course will defend the practice because the LDS culture does not really allow for speaking out against current policies. So your husband's sister probably doesn't see how incredibly rude it is to invite you to travel to a wedding but not actually *witness* it.

My free advice (worth every penny) would be to decline and tell them why. It's their day and they can do what they want, but you don't owe it to anyone to let their church dictate whether you're "worthy" to see their services. This church is very image conscious; if enough people stand up for themselves and speak out about this, they'll change the policy some day--hopefully before my kids reach marrying age.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The EQ Presidency Just Stopped By —Mayhem


What is with the morg tonight ?

The Primary president stopped by our house. My wife answered, and she lamented on how she missed seeing my kids in Church. Blah, Blah, Blah . . . then she asked my wife if she was going to bring them to Church - DW said "ahhh, NO"

So, believe it or not . . . she looks right at my son who came to the door and asks "Would you like me to pick you up and take you to Church ? You want to go to Church don't you ? "

I would have come unglued. I'm not the type to fly off the handle, but I could see myself looking her in the eye and asking, "What's wrong with you?" Some seriously messed up thinking right there.

what should I ask? —abel to cain

I have a meeting with a high church official (long time general authority) next week to ask questions about the church, particularly church history. What should I ask him?
I would ask why the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham are pasted incorrectly, redrawn incorrectly, and translated incorrectly. Ask how it would be different if Joseph had pulled his translation out of his ass.

I would show him 3 Nephi 3:22, for example, and ask how it fits into his understanding of ancient Mesoamerica: "... and they had taken their horses, and their chariots, and their cattle, and all their flocks, and their herds, and their grain, and all their substance, and did march forth by thousands and by tens of thousands ..."

And I would ask if he believes that homicidal sword-wielding angels were behind the polygamy thing.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Relations with TBM In Laws —bighand

I’ll post my exit story later and go into more details but my question today deals with my mother in law.

My wife was talking to her mom yesterday and her mom said that ever since we left TSCC (I hope that is right, I’m very new to using these clever shortcuts for phrases) we always try to bring up issues that make TSCC look bad. Just to give a little more background, when we told everyone we were stepping back from the church we told them that we didn’t want to go into a lot of detail with people in order to avoid arguments and debates. So we have not talked specifically about our issues with anyone in the family but if conversation turns to any subject related to TSCC my wife and I usually add our two cents.

For example, when we were at my in laws for breakfast on conference weekend my SIL was asking how President Monson provided for his family when he was an apostle at such a young age. I told her that the GA’s are paid a stipend. My other ultra TBM SIL started arguing with me and told me no church authorities are paid. I responded that I was certain that the GA’s are paid a stipend and told her she might want to look into it further if she didn’t believe me. It’s situations like this that my MIL was referring to in her complaint.
So you can't talk about the stipend because it makes the church look bad? It's nuts, isn't it? Welcome to the board, bighand, congrats on moving out of "lurker" status. FWIW, my approach is to just leave the room when the conversation turns to GA worship or the latest LDS fiction or whatever. I don't make a scene, I just excuse myself from participating in the insanity. Of course if they ever asked my opinion they'd surely get it, but that would never happen. Believers don't want information, they want reassurance.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Catholic church refuses to release parish information to LDS —helemon

I was really sad to see this. Genealogy has become a recent obsession for me, since I was preparing for a trip to Ireland and England where my father's family originated. Just got back yesterday actually. Parish records are just about the only source for family history once you get back to before civil registration began (1837 in England). I hope they work out their little tiff.