There’s an interesting video out there that does a good job of quickly summarizing the most recent apologetic arguments surrounding the Kinderhook plates. Here’s my response.
Mormon believers and apologists often imply that no plausible explanation exists for the Three Witnesses’ experience other than the traditional narrative. But, there are other explanations that are much more likely. Here’s what I think happened.
At first glance, the account of the Testimony of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon seems extraordinary. In truth, experiences like theirs were common for the time.
The message used to be use the brain God gave you, then seek spiritual guidance. That message has changed. Today, you are more likely to hear something like ask God first; if you get an answer then what else do you need?
Scholars at BYU’s college of religion were recently told by a Mormon apostle that their loyalty to their church trumps everything — facts that don’t favor Mormonism are not allowed, and “mistakes” that do favor Mormonism won’t be corrected. He told them that they are no longer scholars but disciples.
Mormon apostles continue to say that they are being completely transparent about their Church’s history and that critics are misrepresenting the facts. This message isn’t doing their cause any favors.
The Mormon Church continues to grow but its growth rate has been declining for more than 20 years. If the trend continues, the Mormon Church will actually start shrinking by the mid-2030s. I predict that the decline will actually begin at around 2030.
Does the Mormon Church know that its version of history is frequently at odds with truth? Do they know why people are leaving? What are they planning to do to fix this problem? An internal, confidential report from 2013 was released a few days ago that addresses all of these questions. It’s fascinating.
A Conference talk by Elder Callister bothered me from the first time I’d heard it in 2011. One day, after hearing a ward member refer to it frequently from the pulpit, I decided to write this letter and mail it to Elder Callister. He called me back about a month later. We had an interesting conversation that lasted about 70 minutes.
My faith transition began with fundamental issues with the purpose of the Mormon Church. This is the end of that transition story. I tell it to you in the hope that understanding might bridge the gap between me and my believing Mormon friends and family.
For years I called my Mormon mission the “best two years of my life”. Today, my perspective has changed. For sure, a lot of good came out of my mission but in all, I think that it has had an overwhelmingly negative impact on my life. Here’s why.
I’ve met a few former Mormons who seem to have thrown the good out with the bad when it comes to their former religion. Don’t do that. Just because the church itself isn’t what it claims to be, doesn’t mean that there isn’t good there, or that there isn’t danger and unhappiness in rebelling against a lot that we were taught to believe.
As a Mormon, I sought to always have God’s Spirit with me, to seek its guidance and to trust it implicitly. Today, while emotion still plays a big part in my life, I try not to allow any emotion to trump reason.
There’s a myth out there that people only leave Mormonism because they can’t cut it — they’re sinning, they’ve been offended, they’ve neglected their testimony etc. In other words, they’re taking the easy way out. But the truth is that if you live in Utah, deciding to leave Mormonism in Utah is definitely not the easy way out.
I was born and raised in a wonderful Mormon family. I had a happy childhood and I have a happy life now. But I can no longer call myself a believer. This is how it happened.
Leaders of Mormon Scout Troops aren’t as dedicated, or as well-trained as leaders of other troops. Both leaders and parents in Mormon Scout Troops are more interested that scouts attend meetings and receive awards than they are in any impact that scouting is actually making.
The metrics that a group uses to measure individual success and failure largely determine the actions of the people in that group. How does the LDS Church measure success and failure?
Mormons have a duty to share the gospel with the world. Sometimes this causes problems.