Ninety-Five_Theses_WDL7497

95 Questions

The following are ninety-five questions that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will not honestly address or rectify. These questions demonstrate why people are leaving the Church in droves. If answers can be provided for these questions that are consistent with what we are taught in the Church, it will be means of rescuing many lost souls. If these questions cannot be answered, the thought must be considered that the Church is not what it claims to be. Just as any good Mormon should, we only care for truth, wherever it might lead.

  1. Why did Joseph Smith write four First Vision accounts with significantly different details about why he prayed, who he saw, and what was told to him?
  2. Why did Joseph never mention the First Vision until 12 years after it happened?
  3. Why do we use the account of the First Vision in the Pearl of Great Price, even though it was recorded nearly 20 years after the fact and is not the record that was written closest to the actual event?
  4. Why were we taught that Joseph Smith used the Urim and Thummim attached to a breastplate to translate the gold plates when most historians agree that he actually used a stone in a hat, often without ever looking at the plates?
  5. How trustworthy was Joseph’s seer stone if it had proven unsuccessful in treasure digging ventures?
  6. Why was Joseph Smith brought to trial for fraudulent glass-looking?
  7. Emma Smith said that when Joseph looked into the seer stone, God would show him “word for word” what he should write when translating the Book of Mormon. If he was shown word for word what to write, why did the Book of Mormon have significant doctrinal changes in the 1837 edition from the 1830 edition?
  8. Why did the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants forbid polygamy and teach that monogamy was the law of God, while Joseph was practicing polygamy in secret?
  9. Why did Joseph marry a 16 year old in secret? (Especially when D&C 132 says that you must have the first wife’s permission to marry a plural wife.)
  10. Why did Oliver Cowdery call Joseph’s “transaction” in the barn with Fanny Alger a “dirty, nasty, filthy affair?”
  11. Why did Joseph tell a 14 year old girl that his life and her family’s salvation depended on her marrying him?
  12. Why did Joseph Smith marry other men’s wives?
  13. Why did Joseph send men on missions, then marry their wives while they were gone?
  14. Why did Joseph Smith and Brigham Young break each of the rules laid out for polygamy in D&C 132, that a man should only espouse a virgin, and that he should ask the permission of his first wife before marrying another?
  15. Why did Joseph have over 30 of his close friends sign an affidavit that said he was not practicing polygamy then publish it in the Church’s Times and Seasons newspaper despite the fact that he and several of those friends knew that this was a lie?
  16. Why did Joseph destroy the Nauvoo Expositor and set in motion the chain of events that took him to Carthage when the paper told the truth about Joseph’s polygamy?
  17. Why did Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery say nothing about the restoration of the priesthood until 5 years after the supposed event, right in the middle of a credibility crisis in 1834?
  18. Why did Joseph Smith begin to translate the Kinderhook plates and claim they contained the record of a descendant of Ham when the plates were actually a forgery?
  19. Why did Joseph receive a revelation to sell the Canadian copyright of the Book of Mormon and then fail to do so?
  20. Why did Joseph Smith have himself anointed king of the world, as well as run for president of the United States when Jesus taught that his kingdom was not of this world?
  21. Why are we taught that Joseph went like “a lamb to the slaughter” to Carthage jail when in actuality he managed to sneak in a pistol, with which he shot three members of the mob?
  22. Why were Joseph’s last words a Masonic cry for help?
  23. Joseph Smith claimed that a body that was found during Zion’s Camp was the body of Zelph, a mighty white Lamanite warrior who was allied with the Nephites. In light of scientific evidence showing that Nephites and Lamanites did not exist there or anywhere near Missouri, should we believe Joseph was receiving revelation?
  24. Why did Joseph first say in official Church accounts that he was visited by the angel Nephi, then later change his story to the angel Moroni? (This also goes along with edits to the Book of Mormon re: Nephi and Moroni.)
  25. If the Word of Wisdom was not given “by way of commandment,” why is it now a requirement for members of the church, despite no revelation making it such?
  26. Why is beer prohibited when the Word of Wisdom prescribes its use (mild barley drinks)?
  27. Why are members punished for drinking beer, but aren’t punished for eating meat excessively?
  28. Why does the church use water for the sacrament when Christ specifically instituted the ordinance with wine?
  29. Why did Joseph ask that those that accompanied him to Carthage jail remove their garments, when we are told that they are meant to be a protection?
  30. Why is there no archaeological evidence of chariots, steel, brass, iron, or coinage during the Book of Mormon time period?
  31. Why is there no archeological evidence of horses, elephants, goats, honey bees, cattle, silk, in the New World during the Book of Mormon timeframe?
  32. Why is there no archaeological evidence of wars, including swords, cimeters, millions of dead bodies (including those that should be around the Hill Cumorah) that took place during the Book of Mormon time period?
  33. Why is there no genetic trace of a group of Israelites undertaking a transoceanic migration to the Americas circa 600 BC?
  34. Why did Church change the introduction of the Book of Mormon to say that its characters “were destroyed, except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians” to “are among the ancestors of the American Indians”?
  35. Why does the Book of Mormon quote passages from Isaiah that Bible scholars agree did not exist until after Lehi arrived in the New World?
  36. Why do The Late War, published in 1816, and The Book of Mormon, published in 1830, share extremely unique phraseology?
  37. Why does View of the Hebrews, published in 1823 by Oliver Cowdery’s religious minister, have almost the same plotline as the Book of Mormon?
  38. Why is the Vision of the Tree of Life in 1 Nephi almost the same vision that Joseph Smith Sr. had in 1811?
  39. Why does the Book of Mormon quote incorrectly translated passages of the King James Bible?
  40. Why are passages in the Bible corrected by the Joseph Smith Translation, but left incorrect in the Book of Mormon, the most correct book on earth?
  41. Why does the Book of Mormon include the story of languages changing at the tower of Babel when linguistics and anthropology do not support such a narrative?
  42. Why does the Book of Mormon talk about windows being dashed to pieces in the Jaredite barges when such windows were not invented until thousands of years later?
  43. Why did the Church in 1981 change the Book of Mormon, the most correct book on earth, to say (referring to the appearance of the Lamanites) “they shall be a white and a delightsome people” to “they shall be a pure and a delightsome people”?
  44. Why were the blacks not allowed the priesthood, despite teachings in the Book of Mormon and Bible that all men are equal before God (2nd Nephi 26:33)?
  45. Why do missionaries teach that the Book of Mormon proves the LDS church is true when there are many latter-day sects that also believe in the Book of Mormon and trace their authority to Joseph Smith?
  46. Why does every non-LDS Egyptologist affirm that Joseph’s translations of the Book of Abraham facsimiles are absolutely incorrect?
  47. Why does the Book of Mormon teach that there was no death before the Fall when we know that dinosaurs died out long before the first humans existed?
  48. Why couldn’t Joseph retranslate the lost 116 pages? Wouldn’t that have proved he really translated the Book of Mormon?
  49. Why did Martin Harris say that the Book of Mormon was as true as any Quaker book?
  50. Why did most of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon say they didn’t see the plates or angel with physical eyes, but spiritual ones?
  51. Why were blacks not allowed to go to the temple and be sealed as families?
  52. Why were interracial marriages banned?
  53. Why did Brigham Young and other leaders teach the doctrine of Blood Atonement, that some sins were so serious that only the shedding of one’s own blood could bring forgiveness?
  54. Why did Brigham Young teach that the creation of mixed race children was a sin serious enough to require death?
  55. How did the priesthood continue in the church after Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff prophesied that the church would lose the priesthood if it ever abandoned polygamy?
  56. Church leaders taught polygamy was essential to enter the celestial kingdom and receive exaltation. Why did God, whose doctrine is eternal and unchanging, change His mind?
  57. Why does the temple endowment involve signs, tokens, and penalties IDENTICAL to Masonic rites?
  58. How did the priesthood continue in the church when Heber J. Grant stopped conferring it for 20 years?
  59. Why did Joseph F. Smith testify in court that there hadn’t been a revelation in the church for over 20 years after the Manifesto?
  60. If Joseph Smith said that the ordinances were not supposed to change, why were certain elements of the temple endowment changed after the Church conducted a survey about how people felt about it, including penalties and vengeance oaths?
  61. Why has the garment changed so much after church leaders taught that it could not be changed?
  62. Satan told Cain to swear by his throat, and that if he revealed his oath he would die. Why did the Church require members to do the same thing in the temple endowment until 1990?
  63. Why does the Church currently not allow historians access to historical documents in the First Presidency’s vault and Granite Mountain Records Vault?
  64. Why does the Church keep its financial records hidden, despite President Hinckley implying members have a right to that information?
  65. Why does the Church have a secret group that monitors what members of the Church say online called the Strengthening Church Members Committee?
  66. Why has tithing changed from being based on surplus to being on increase?
  67. Why did tithing change from being only required of members with means to being required of every member, no matter how poor?
  68. Why are Church leaders given large stipends and housing (plus “expenses” paid for like gardeners and cooks and gifts for spouses if you’re a mission president) while poor members receive limited and strict help from the Church?
  69. Why do Church leaders not follow the example of King Benjamin and live off their own work and income, not money and housing provided by the Church?
  70. Why did the requirement for apostles to be eyewitnesses of Christ change to simply being witnesses of the name of Christ?
  71. Why do prophets, seers, and revelators depend on apologists to provide answers for difficult questions rather than obtaining answers directly from God?
  72. Where does the money from the sales of books written by General Authorities go?
  73. Did the Savior really ask the President of the Church to build the 1.5 billion dollar City Creek Mall?
  74. Did the Savior really ask the President of the Church to build a 500,000 home community in Florida? How is this not serving God and Mammon?
  75. How are the church councils that determine doctrine and policy any different than the Catholic councils of Nicea, Worms, etc?
  76. Why are members of the church excommunicated for being rebaptized like the early Saints when the practice has never been formally discontinued by the church?
  77. Why are members excommunicated for publicly disagreeing with the brethren with the scriptures teach to not “trust in the arm of the flesh”?
  78. Why do we claim that Brigham Young was the second prophet of the church when he denied being a prophet or Joseph Smith’s successor?
  79. Why did Brigham Young and other leaders teach that Adam is God the Father and even incorporate that doctrine into the temple endowment?
  80. Why can Joseph Fielding Smith falsely prophesy that “we will never get a man into space. This earth is man’s sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it” but still be considered a prophet?
  81. Why do Muslims, Hindus, other Christians, and polygamous FLDS members all receive the same spiritual witness that their faith is true that we receive?
  82. Uranium-lead dating demonstrates that the earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. Why does the Doctrine and Covenants teach that it is only a few thousand years old?
  83. Why do we learn that Brigham Young was transfigured to look and sound like Joseph Smith when no contemporary records give such an account?
  84. Why are the brethren sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators when they don’t prophesy or give any other revelations directly from God?
  85. Why does the Church heavily edit conference talks (which are considered scripture) after the fact, like President Packer’s talk in 2010 or Elder Poelman’s talk in 1984?
  86. Why does the Church push political agendas, like Prop 8 or opposing the ERA, when D&C 134 teaches “do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government”?
  87. The Book of Mormon teaches that the Church of Christ should carry his name. Why did Joseph change the name of the Church in 1834 to “The Church of the Latter-day Saints?”
  88. Why do we learn that Joseph prophesied that the Saints would come to the Rocky Mountains when that prophecy was added after the Saints arrived in Utah?
  89. Why did the brethren believe the forgeries of Mark Hoffman, purchase them, and then seek to conceal them from the church membership?
  90. Why is the Quorum of the Twelve apostles so influential when the revelations declare that it does not have jurisdiction except in the missions of the church?
  91. Why does the Church continue to do polygamous sealings for members of the Church whose spouse has died (including two current Apostles), even though President Hinckley said polygamy is not doctrinal?
  92. Why did Gordon B. Hinckley say in a television interview that “we don’t need a lot of continuing revelation?”
  93. Why are marriages and temple sealings paired together in the temple when it was originally taught that these were to be separate with marriages public?
  94. Why did Joseph Smith and his contemporaries teach women should/will receive the priesthood but current Church leadership will excommunicate members for supporting such a belief?
  95. Many of those who have left the Church have doubted their doubts before they have doubted their faith. At what point should one consider that what they have been taught may be false?

Further Reading and Sources:

  1. https://www.lds.org/topics/first-vision-accounts?lang=eng
  2. https://www.lds.org/topics/first-vision-accounts?lang=eng
  3. https://www.lds.org/topics/first-vision-accounts?lang=eng
  4. https://www.lds.org/ensign/2015/10/joseph-the-seer?lang=eng
  5. http://mormonstories.org/top10toughissues/peepstones.html
  6. http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith/Legal_issues/Trials/1826_court_appearance_for_glasslooking
  7. https://www.lds.org/ensign/1993/07/a-treasured-testament?lang=eng
  8. http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_polygamy/1835_Doctrine_and_Covenants_denies_polygamy
  9. http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/02-FannyAlger.htm
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Alger
  11. http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/26-HelenMarKimball.htm
  12. https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-in-kirtland-and-nauvoo?lang=eng
  13. http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith/Polygamy/Sent_husbands_on_missions_to_steal_wives
  14. http://mormonverse.com/2015/02/02/dc-132-a-revelation-of-men-not-god/
  15. http://mormonthink.com/joseph-smith-polygamy.htm#lied
  16. http://www.solomonspalding.com/docs/exposit1.htm
  17. http://www.mormonthink.com/priesthood.htm
  18. http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/history-1838-1856-volume-d-1-1-august-1842-1-july-1843?p=185&highlight=kinderhook
  19. http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/revelation-book-1?p=15
  20. http://mormonthink.com/grant8.htm
  21. http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith/Martyrdom/Joseph_fired_a_gun
  22. http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith/Martyrdom/Masonic_cry_of_distress
  23. http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Geography/Statements/Nineteenth_century/Joseph_Smith’s_lifetime_1829-1840/Joseph_Smith/Zelph
  24. http://en.fairmormon.org/Moroni’s_visit/Nephi_or_Moroni
  25. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/89
  26. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/89
  27. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/89
  28. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/18
  29. http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith/Martyrdom/Removed_garments
  30. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon
  31. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon
  32. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon
  33. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetics_and_the_Book_of_Mormon
  34. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/695226008/Debate-renewed-with-change-in-Book-of-Mormon-introduction.html?pg=all
  35. http://www.examiner.com/article/the-book-of-mormon-s-deutero-isaiah-problem
  36. https://wordtreefoundation.github.io/thelatewar/
  37. http://www.mormonhandbook.com/home/view-of-the-hebrews.html
  38. https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/pdf/064-22-29.pdf
  39. http://infidels.org/library/modern/curt_heuvel/bom_kjv.html
  40. http://www.mormonthink.com/jst.htm
  41. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2007/07/do-you-really-believe-that-ii/
  42. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window
  43. http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/3913intro.htm
  44. https://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng
  45. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sects_in_the_Latter_Day_Saint_movement
  46. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Abraham#Defense_of_the_book
  47. http://ndbf.blogspot.com/2014/04/fairmormon.html
  48. http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Translation/The_lost_116_pages
  49. http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Mormon/Witnesses/Martin_Harris_and_the_Shakers
  50. http://mormonthink.com/witnessesweb.htm
  51. https://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng
  52. http://www.connellodonovan.com/black_white_marriage.html
  53. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_atonement
  54. http://www.connellodonovan.com/black_white_marriage.html
  55. http://www.mormonquotes.com/Polygamy
  56. http://www.mormonquotes.com/Polygamy
  57. http://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V34N0102_87.pdf
  58. http://www.mormonfundamentalism.com/Conferral7-test.htm
  59. https://archive.org/details/testimonyOfImportantWitnessesFromTheSmootHearing
  60. http://www.i4m.com/think/temples/temple_changes.htm
  61. http://www.i4m.com/think/temples/mormon-garments.htm
  62. http://mormonthink.com/temple.htm#whychanged
  63. http://www.salamandersociety.com/museum/vault/
  64. http://thoughtsonthingsandstuff.com/lds-tithing-accountability/
  65. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strengthening_Church_Members_Committee
  66. http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2012/12/are-we-paying-too-much-tithing.html
  67. http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2012/12/are-we-paying-too-much-tithing.html
  68. http://www.mormonthink.com/tithing.htm#salary
  69. http://www.mormonthink.com/tithing.htm#salary
  70. http://scottwoodward.org/specialwitnesses_eyeearwitnesses.html
  71. http://www.fairmormon.org/about-fairmormon
  72. http://exmormon.org/d6/drupal/How-Mormon-General-Authorities-are-Paid
  73. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Creek_Center
  74. http://ldssmile.com/2015/07/10/the-church-looks-to-build-500000-resident-metropolis-in-florida/
  75. http://rationalfaiths.com/is-the-lds-church-in-apostasy/
  76. https://ojs.lib.byu.edu/spc/index.php/BYUStudies/article/viewFile/5015/4665
  77. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/john-dehlin-popular-mormon-podcaster-excommunicated-church-n303656
  78. http://bycommonconsent.com/2008/01/14/prophet-seer-and-revelator/
  79. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam%E2%80%93God_doctrine
  80. http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_science/Joseph_Fielding_Smith_claimed_that_man_would_never_walk_on_the_Moon
  81. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycUvC9s4VYA
  82. http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_science/Age_of_the_Earth
  83. https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V34N0102_171.pdf
  84. http://rationalfaiths.com/is-the-lds-church-in-apostasy/
  85. http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2010/02/best-conference-talk-you-never-read_13.html
  86. http://www.mormonthink.com/politics.htm
  87. http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_church_organization/Changes_in_the_name_of_the_Church
  88. http://www.mrm.org/rocky-mountain-prophecy
  89. http://www.mormoninformation.com/hofmann.htm
  90. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/107?lang=eng
  91. http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_and_polygamy/Did_President_Gordon_B._Hinckley_state_that_polygamy_was_not_doctrinal
  92. http://mormonthink.com/QUOTES/contrevelation.htm
  93. http://puremormonism.blogspot.com/2011/02/go-ahead-and-skip-that-temple-wedding.html
  94. http://ordainwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/34WomenandPriesthoodQuotes.pdf
  95. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias


Albert Carrington
Albert Carrington
Albert Carrington served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until he was excommunicated for adultery. During his disciplinary court, Elder Carrington tried to argue that he had only committed "a little folly in Israel!", but the current brethren couldn't be bothered to give him a break. Learn more about Elder Carrington here.

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