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As someone who loves talking about Mormonism with both believers and non-believers and also runs a website devoted to the subject, I get to hear a lot of arguments from Mormons who think what I believe and do is wrong. I love engaging in healthy debate, and I think all Mormons should be able to discuss their beliefs with ex-Mormons (and vice versa), but too often, those conversations are laced with bitterness and fallacies (from both sides – I don’t hold ex-Mormons blameless!)

In the interest of saving time for Mormons and ex-Mormons alike, here are 14 things that I hear FAR too often that really don’t work in a constructive debate about the church.

 

1. “You were offended/wanted to sin.”

This isn’t usually something that is explicitly said from believer to non-believer, but rather, about the non-believer. (Though I’ve also heard it just outright stated to me, usually from strangers on our Facebook page. People who know us are kinder!)
It’s a common misconception that people leave the LDS church because they were offended or want to sin (though of course, it happens). A study conducted by Dr. John Dehlin showed that “wanting to sin” and “being offended” are the two most common reasons Mormons believe people leave the church, but in reality, they’re some of the least common reasons people leave.
Every ex-Mormon I know personally left after a long and painful journey studying church history and the doctrines/practices of the church.

 

2. “History isn’t what’s important.”

I’ve seen the notion that it’s “by their fruits, not their roots” that you should view the LDS church. Even if that were the case, I still wouldn’t want to be a part of it. But let’s be perfectly clear—the doctrines of the LDS church rely on history. Either Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God or he didn’t. Either he saw God and Jesus Christ in a grove or he didn’t. Either God commanded him to start practicing polygamy or he didn’t. While it could certainly be the case that Joseph had a form of psychosis that blurred the lines between fantasy and reality for him, it doesn’t change the fact that the church is either true or it’s a fraud.
My father-in-law once said to me, “How do you have time for all that negative history? I’m too busy raising my family for that!” While it is certainly true that he is busier than me, as I am childless and have a pretty easy life compared to him and his job and 5 children, I don’t think belittling someone’s interest in LDS history is constructive. His comment was laced with judgment that I would “mess with” church history by—gasp—reading it!
The church makes a lot of bold claims, and there’s nothing wrong with investigating those claims more thoroughly than simply “praying about it”.

 

3. “I’ve heard every anti-Mormon argument there is.”

No one has read every “anti-Mormon” (read: historical/current church-practices-based) resource out there. I, for example, only found out about the Reed Smoot hearings a few weeks ago, and I spent literally thousands of hours researching the church. (Research that consisted mostly of church-approved resources and apologetics like FAIR Mormon.) I’m constantly amazed at how much information is out there, and how much there is to learn.
I highly doubt there is a person alive who has read everything there is to read about Mormonism. And unless you’ve read every page of the Joseph Smith Papers, the Journal of Discourses, Rough Stone Rolling, all biographies of church presidents and early members, the research of all LDS historians, including Grant Palmer and Michael Quinn, and so on, you shouldn’t even begin to consider yourself as having “read it all”! (The things I just listed are still just a drop in the ocean. Crazy, huh?)

PS. Arguing with evangelicals on your mission DEFINITELY doesn’t count as having “heard it all”. 😉

 

4. “These arguments are nothing new.”

I’ve always found this comment particularly bizarre, but it’s one that I hear a lot from Mormons trying to convince me that I’m wrong. Given that the truthfulness of the church rests on whether or not something happened 200 years ago, are we really surprised that there’s no “new” arguments for the church’s falsity?!
This is a comment that really shows a person’s bias. If you’re operating under the assumption that the church is true and every negative claim about it is essentially made up or exaggerated, then sure—you might expect there to constantly be “new” arguments for why the church is false. But if you recognize that there are a finite number of claims from the church, and many resources through which they can be investigated, you see it differently.
Time has definitely given us new evidence and information about the LDS church, generating some new concerns about its validity that might not previously have been considered, but essentially, it all boils down to a few key things.

 

5. “God’s ways are higher than our ways. We can’t understand why he does what he does.”

If you are a moral relativist—which as I understand it, Mormons aren’t (though don’t get me started on that)—then this might be a legitimate argument. However, if you believe in a God who gave you a brain and a moral conscience to use, then you can probably understand why people have an issue with things like Joseph marrying 14-year-olds and other men’s wives.

You can use this argument to justify your beliefs up to a certain point. I used to apply it to polygamy back when I hadn’t researched the subject much. But once you’ve done the research, you have to ask yourself—did joseph Smith marry over 20 women, some of whom were 14 and others who were already married, contrary to scriptural mandate? Yes or no? Why did God go against what He himself said in the scriptures? Does he expect us to abandon His words at times? Do I need to be ok with all these accounts from women who claim polygamy was an awful, miserable practice and the words of Oliver Cowdery who called Joseph’s marriage to 16-year-old Fanny Alger a “dirty, filthy affair”?
At what point does the evidence of Joseph being coercive and fraudulent become stronger than the argument that “God’s ways are higher than our ways”?

 

6. “You should have talked to your bishop about your doubts.”

In many cases, ex-Mormons DID try talking to their bishop/other leaders about their doubts, but were met with confusion and/or unsatisfactory answers. My bishop hadn’t read any of the LDS.org essays on controversial issues like multiple first vision accounts, polygamy, The Book of Abraham problems, and race and the priesthood. How could I expect him to answer questions based on my even more in-depth research?

 

7. “At the end of the day, I can’t doubt the experiences I’ve had.”

We respect that you have had those experiences, as have most of us, but they are not a suitable trump card once you get into the problems with the church. Feelings are not a reliable method of determining truth, as spiritual confirmations people receive in many different religions can tell us. Heck, people are literally killing people right now because they think God told them to.
Confirmation bias is also a thing. Again, people in all religions have “miraculous” experiences that confirm the “truthfulness” of their beliefs to them.
Telling us to simply “trust in our experiences” feels quite belittling of our extensive research and desire for answers/truth.

 

8. “There’s evidence on both sides, so I choose to believe.”

We understand choosing to believe. I’ve done that too. I respect Mormons who understand the issues and accept that perhaps the church is false but choose to believe anyway, more than those who refuse to research whatsoever. But let’s not pretend that the evidence is equally weighted on both sides. A whitewashed (often outright false) narrative of church history from LDS.org is not comparable to legitimate contemporary sources and the work of unbiased historians. When a church excommunicates historians who say too much, there’s clearly a problem.
My advice: check out the evidence available, and then see what you think. There’s a LOT more than the majority of Mormons think. When the cigarette industry first found out it smoking was bad for people, they did anything they could to generate doubt about the evidence—finding any possible holes in it to convince people that there was evidence on both sides. As we all now know, the evidence that smoking isn’t bad for you turned out to be very weak.

 

9. “Have you read [insert faith-promoting apologetic book or article]?”

I appreciate people wanting to reach out to me because they care, so I have no problem with Mormons sending me conference talks etc. that they think might help me. But I will say that if there’s a talk about doubts, I’ve almost definitely read it. “Safety for the Soul” is almost offensive to me at this point. (Not because of the person sending it to me, but because of Elder Holland’s painfully false statements that I’m almost certain he knows are weak, because—have you heard of Tom Phillips?)
I’m sure Rosemary Wixom is a lovely lady, but her general conference platitudes are like nursery teachings to me at this point. They might sound comforting, and she’s definitely got the “woman talking in conference” cadence down, but she doesn’t exactly address polyandry or DNA problems with The Book of Mormon, and platitudes aren’t a good answer to legitimate problems with the church’s claims.

 

10. “Plenty of people/[really intelligent person] have/has tackled these issues and still concluded that the church is true.”

Cool story. Considerably MORE intelligent people have determined that the church is not true. A handful of Richard Bushmans don’t stand strong against all non-LDS Egyptologists, archeologists, and historians.
There are intelligent people in all religions. Don’t use an appeal to authority fallacy on me and think it will fly. 😉

 

11. “Read this FAIR Mormon article!”

Once again, I want to point out that I respect Mormons’ efforts to answer my questions, and for that reason, I respect someone sending me an apologetic article that at least attempts to resolve my issues than just dismissing them altogether.
The thing is, I’ve read a heck of a lot of FAIR Mormon, and have repeatedly found them to be intellectually dishonest. Their arguments, to put it simply, suck. Not to mention the fact that most of the time, people sending me their articles haven’t even read them fully themselves—they’re just satisfied knowing that they exist.
I’ll gladly take a look at an article you send me if you’re willing to discuss it, but please don’t just fling it at me without giving it any real consideration yourself.

 

12. “You/they’re just bitter.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I was extremely bitter when I left the church! The church was my life—I was completely devoted to it. Finding out that the narrative given by the church about Joseph Smith, among other things, was totally wrong was heartbreaking to me. I studied for literally thousands of hours trying to see how the church could be true in spite of the extensive evidence that it’s not. (In church-approved resources, I might add!)

It would be psychologically abnormal for someone to find out they’ve been lied to to such a large extent and not feel angry or bitter for at least the time it takes them to heal. (Healing is a thing when you leave a high-demand religion.) Remember, ex-Mormons are human, and they have just as many feelings as you. Most of us really really wanted the church to be true, and now that we know it’s not, we don’t want others to go through the pain we went through. We don’t want lies perpetuated—because the church we were raised in taught us to speak up for truth.

 

13. “You/they/that has an anti-Mormon agenda.”

I do have an anti-Mormon agenda. I talked about why I’m proud to say that here. It’s definitely important to be aware of people’s biases and agendas when doing research, but, as I’ve said, most ex-Mormon did their research with a bias toward the church being true. Remember that whole “we wanted it to be true so please don’t hate us” thing? Take note of people’s biases, sure, but don’t dismiss legitimate points just because someone hopes they will yield a certain result. Truth is truth regardless of any agenda someone attaches to it.

It’s also hilarious to me when people claim that scientists, archeologists, Egyptologists, and historians have an “anti-Mormon agenda”. As I recently said to a stranger who messaged me about this—most scientists don’t give a damn about Mormonism. It’s not even on their radar. It’s a niche, ethnocentric, Utah-based religion that people know next to nothing about, most of the time. Who is more likely to be biased—a scientist who doesn’t even care about Mormonism, or people who have devoted their lives to the religion and whose social circles almost entirely depend on it?

Science is a method of testing validity, not a belief system. It’s not a case of “putting your trust in science”, but putting your trust in significantly more reliable methods for determining truth than the LDS church offers. (Oh, and PS—that National Geographic article Mormons keep sharing to back up The Book of Mormon? It says the opposite of what you think it’s saying!)

If you think a point I’m making is wrong, tell me why. Don’t just fling ad hominem attacks me as if they invalidate the evidence I’m presenting. If someone had an “anti-smoking agenda”, would you dismiss anything they said about the damaging effects of smoking?

My agenda is truth.

 

14. “You can leave the church but you can’t leave it alone.”

First of all, the majority of people who leave the LDS church do so silently. Just go to the exMormon subreddit and you’ll read hundreds of stories of people trying to slowly fade away and not draw attention to themselves because they don’t want to deal with the social consequences or the judgment. I get several messages a week from people who no longer believe the LDS church is true, but are too afraid to say anything to anyone in their lives. So let’s bust the myth that everyone who leaves the church can’t leave it alone.

However, there are those of us, like myself, who do not wish to leave it alone. I’ve explained why here.

When you belong to a high-demand religion that requires a huge chunk of your time, energy, and emotions—a church that is your entire world, your entire social circle, and your entire reason for doing what you do everyday—it’s not as simple as just “leaving it alone”. When you’re a victim of financial fraud, it’s ok to press charges. If you’re a rape victim, it’s ok to press charges. Talking about your experiences can be incredibly healing, and while it’s not for everyone, speaking up is an important part of making things better for others. I am not ok with people being lied to or living a sub-par life because they haven’t even been given the OPTION of deciding whether or not they want to remain a part of a church that has such a cruel, awful history. (Because they don’t even know that that stuff happened.) Disaffected members of any cult or high-demand religion are the most effective way to help people “wake up”, so to speak. Have you ever watched Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief? I highly recommend it.

Truth is important, and the church taught me to stand up for it whatever the cost.

 

15. “Nothing will convince me that Joseph Smith wasn’t a prophet/the church isn’t true.”

It’s strange to me how members often declare this proudly. Warren Jeffs is currently in prison for raping children and FLDS members still believe he’s a prophet. Do you really want to boast that your mindset is the same as theirs? No one ever became more enlightened by closing themselves off to new information.

 


 

I hope any Mormons reading this know that I don’t take offense when these things are said to me, it’s just that I’ve heard them a LOT and it’s kind of tiring repeating myself so often. I always appreciate people wanting to be there for me, and I understand that your worldview encourages you to do so in a certain way. I can respect that, and I hope you’ll respect my beliefs too.



Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young would have been a millennial blogger, but she died in 1901. The wife of Brigham Young, and prior to that Joseph Smith, and prior to that Henry Jacobs, who was sent on a mission by Brigham before he married her, Zina loves writing, long walks on the beach, and playing the field.
  • Swagavad Gita

    Great post. The fact that a sincerely Mormon has to take a curriculum in history to squash a faith crisis should be the first big alarm.

  • gilbert gripe

    I think I’ve progressed from a “bitter” apostate to a “cranky” apostate.

  • therealjeaniebeanie

    Nice job!

  • fecklessderek

    Are the post the last three days a representation of the cutting edge of millennial exmormon thinking?

    • Mike

      I don’t see your rebuttals cutting the darkness asunder. But I still appreciate them.

    • How We do

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      • fecklessderek

        Let’s have a red herring that i’m trolling as opposed to providing obviously overwhelmingly thoughtful, topical, responses. Also, think about this, if it was obvious to everybody else then it wouldn’t be really necessary to point it out, would it?

        • How We do

          Obvious to me. You sarcastically insulted millennial Mormons and got the level of response that you put into it.

          • fecklessderek

            Fair enough. I’ll avoid a LCD approach

        • Samantha Snyder

          This was also an opinion piece, and one that the ex-Mormon community, on the whole agrees with.
          If you’d like to point out any intellectual errors in our other posts, we’re always open to feedback!

    • Samantha Snyder

      I guess you could call it, “Millennial ex-Mormons being tuned in enough to recognize what format people best digest information these days, which often includes listicles.”
      The information on our site is, I think you’ll find, accurate, because we are intellectual at heart. We simply produce content that is accessible to the average human, something that other (considerably more intelligent!) ex-Mormons haven’t done in the same way before.
      There are multiple ways to be smart, and we like to think we’re pretty smart about our approach. Understanding people is important if you want to speak to them.

      • fecklessderek

        I’m curious if you’re going to respond to my original post above “Things i’m tired of hearing from exmormons” I’ll come up with some more specific feedback to your 14 points though.

  • fecklessderek

    I’m pretty sure point 10. is (ironically?) an appeal to authority fallacy.

    • How We do

      1. How about the prophet…?

      “Well, it’s either true or false. If it’s false, we’re engaged in a great fraud. If it’s true, it’s the most important thing in the world. Now, that’s the whole picture. It is either right or wrong, true or false, fraudulent or true. And that’s exactly where we stand, with a conviction in our hearts that it is true: that Joseph went into the Grove; that he saw the Father and the Son; that he talked with them; that Moroni came; that the Book of Mormon was translated from the plates; that the priesthood was restored by those who held it anciently. That’s our claim. That’s where we stand, and that’s where we fall, if we fall. But we don’t. We just stand secure in that faith.”

      – Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, Interview “The Mormons”; PBS Documentary, April 2007

      2. I agree but I want to narrow down the issue to gay teens. They are young, impressionable, and coming to terms with their sexuality during a time of intense emotional instability. The church is partially responsible because they aren’t making any effort to curb this. I get it, their hands are tied. To them it is a grievous sin, one that they cannot condone and one that they think is impossible to lead to happiness. They are wrong about that though. There are plenty of perfectly happy gay people and they just refuse to see them.

      Ultimately they could just reveal that the whole thing is fraudulent (which they most certainly are aware of) and save lives.

      3. “That once people have studied church history there’s only one outcome for those with integrity.” Strawman.

      4. Agree. It not different its just on the severe end of this problem. Islam is miles further down this crazy road. I’m glad I don’t see Mormons killing each other over leaving the church.

      • fecklessderek

        1. Wow yes i’m familiar with that. I guess I should have been even more clear. Ironically i think statements like that undermine your second argument. If the church wants to maintain it’s revenue in the long run, it shouldn’t encourage and pay for people to go to college and then simultaneously take stands on issues it knows are going to go south on them, should they?

        2. You cant prove that they know it’s fraudulent. Also, your mormon solution is such a wildly incomplete one and narrow one. It’s a problem yes – but easier to perhaps find satisfaction than other “philosophical problems of evil” Like Prop 8 seems to have caused more people to lose their testimonies than the Holocaust.

        3. I’m not certain how it’s a strawman. Zelph’s pinned tweet is that the church is provably false. Isn’t that another way of saying that anybody who studies it will discover it’s false

        4. So on your spectrum you have who on the “non severe” end of the spectrum? But mormon “severe ” and islam “crazy” on the spectrum? Write off 1.6 billion people + (and whataever small amount of mormons you choose to write off?)

        • How We do

          1. Your assumption is that the leaders are competent in which they clearly are not. Just look at every PR blunder the church has been a part of starting with the very interview I referenced from Gordon B. Hinkley where he lies about Joseph Smith’s polygamy.

          They want you to get an education so you can make money which they can then leech off of. They also insert themselves at every step of your education from a child (primary), to seminary, and then even potentially college to control the dialogue. There are plenty of really intelligent people who are members of the LDS church. They just aren’t intelligent when it comes to reasoning regarding their religion.

          Another thing is that they don’t want you asking questions – you can do all the thinking that you want, all the learning you desire but as soon as you start asking questions you are now in apostasy.

          2. Well… I can’t prove anything outside of mathematics but I can make it plainly obvious that they probably don’t think its true. Its obvious they don’t think its true for multiple reasons.

          For one, they don’t do anything. They don’t prophecy, they don’t seer anything, they don’t heal anyone. Most importantly they don’t act anything like the BoM prophets who traveled into the heart of their political, military, and moral enemies to preach the gospel and call people to repentance with the protection of the lord. If anything they act more like the gadianton robbers who worked from the shadows vying for power. They don’t even have the power of discernment. From Joseph Smith’s time they have fallen for frauds over and over again (kinderhook plates, Hoffman forgeries, Paul H. Dunn, etc).

          Another thing they do is rewrite history. A prophets words are only as valuable as their alignment to the modern paradigm. Just look at the teachings of everyone from Brigham Young to Bruce R. McConkie. Flushed down the memory hole. They even changed the Book of Mormon. Why would they do these things if they believed everyone before them was an inspired prophet enacting orders from the same god to spread the gospel to the whole world or at least let everyone hear it? Its absurd for Jospeh F. Smith to deny the use of occult tools, like the seer stone, in the making of the Book of Mormon only to have Monson confirm that it was indeed the case. Its absurd for 100 years of prophets to teach it as doctrine that blacks would not get the priesthood until everyone else had only for Heber C. Kimball to overturn it and then everyone following him write it off as not doctrine. Even themes from as recent as Boyd. K Packer’s ‘Little Factories’ have been renounced. There just isn’t any direction in the church.

          Finally, they are rarely honest. Just read the essays. You don’t even have to start fact checking to know they are being dishonest through the wording, format, circulation, and availability. They aren’t honest about membership. They aren’t honest about tithing. I think its harder to find things they are honest about.

          3. Its a strawman because it doesn’t absolutely have to be the case but most people that entrench in the defense of the gospel do so dishonestly or for profet (there are some on the church critical side doing the same). Maybe it is the case though, the book is essentially closed on the Book of Abraham; you can either accept that or dishonestly rationalize it in some way but it isn’t what it claims to be — that is a fact. Maybe we can start gathering data right here with you. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Book of Abraham.

          4. Yes. it is crazy to kill people who disagree with you. Yes, it is crazy to disfellowship people who disagree with you — but less crazy than it is to kill them. I’ll write off Islam and its 1.6 billion followers all day. I’ll write off Christians and Buddhists as well as anyone who believes in a higher power equally because they all share the same level of evidence and supernatural power. None.

          • fecklessderek

            3. I guess you missed the word “integrity ” in my original post.

            4. Very, very ignorant to think killing is Islamic.

            Anyway yours is a well trod argument and you may voices out there saying what you think.

            Doesn’t change that these original 4 things thay bother me:

            1. False dichotomy
            2. One utilitarianst note
            3. Lack of intellectual humility
            4. Ridicule

            I see it frequently

    • I’m curious how Mormonism in particular can exist on a continuum of truth? Wasn’t the whole point of the restoration that Christ’s church had lost it’s way and living prophets needed to be re-established to keep that from happening again? If the church has once again reached a point where there’s a continuum of truth, wouldn’t that mean that the restoration failed and/or it’s time for yet another restoration?

      • fecklessderek

        Because while the “restoration” may possibly have brought some truths that are additive and even beneficial, i don’t think anybody would say that it ever became the sole source of truth.

        • I’m not sure I’m following your logic. For one, I think even if the LDS church doesn’t claim to be the source of all truth, it does claim that what it does have is all true. When something a prophet says is shown to be provably false, it undermines their claim that they are the mouthpiece of god. If a prophet can be wrong about something that we know is wrong, why should we believe them about things we can’t prove? The credibility of all prophets crumbles when they make huge errors that a direct line to god isn’t able to catch.

          Secondly, I think there are plenty of people who would say that the the church is the sole source of truth. I’ve had Bishops and a GA tell me that everything we need to know about anything can be found through scripture study and prayer. That doesn’t sound like a continuum of truth to me.

          • fecklessderek

            To your first point – the church explicitly does not believe in infallibility even though it does often seem to imply it (which the latter is too bad in my opinion.) My stake patriarch here whom i respect as an intellectual says all we have to do is sustain church leaders – and i like that; that corresponds with temple recommend questions. We don’t have to believe everything they say.

            To your second point – about your leaders who are telling you that anything we need to know can be found in the scriptures – what do you think they mean? I think it’s pretty obvious and requires only a bit of nuance.

          • If the prophets are fallible, and their revelations are just as prone to error as anyone else, or we get to pick and choose what things we believe, what then is the point of having prophets? And how do you decide which of their teachings to believe?

            Also you still haven’t connected the dots as to how any of this leads to the church being on some sort of truth continuum. Are you saying that we should accept the teaching of the church at face value until they’re proven wrong? Please explain.

          • fecklessderek

            So for example I guess to you LGBT LDS activists who are praying for the church to change while still believing in the church in some capacity like a Carol Lynn Pearson are not rational?

            I decide what to believe based on reason, experience, and faith. Same as anybody.

          • I’m not sure where you got all of that, or why you’re trying to put those words in my mouth. I’m asking for an explanation of how you you see the LDS church as existing on a continuum of truth. It seems like an interesting theory, and from what I can glean from your comments it sounds like there might be more to it. But instead of actually elaborating on that, you seem more intent on attacking rather than explaining the idea any further.

          • fecklessderek

            I’m just really surprised that what i’ve written didn’t convey the idea and tried to give an example of people who clearly see a third way (from people who otherwise appear logical.)

            Anyway sorry if i seem to snarky – i do hate snarky.

            thanks

          • I can provide numerous sources form Apostles and Prophets that state unequivocally that either the church is completely true, or it is completely fraud. Some have even stated in no uncertain terms, that there is no middle ground. Based on their criteria, if they are partially wrong, they are all wrong. So, it’s going to take more than one example of a someone that thinks the church is mostly true, but a little bit wrong to explain it. How do you reconcile that with the teaching of the prophets and apostles who say either it’s right or it’s wrong? How can a prophet, who is said to be the mouthpiece of god, who talks to him daily, get important things wrong? Wouldn’t god point out that they messed up?

            You asked before if I thought somebody like Carol Lynn Pearson wasn’t rational. I wouldn’t say that, because there are perfectly rational reasons for hanging on to traditions that bind you to a community. From a theological basis, I think there’s quite a lot of cognitive dissonance working.

          • fecklessderek

            It all depends how define you defined “true.” If true means perfect then it’s not true.

            At the other end even if it’s a complete fraud it doesn’t mean it’s false. Carol Lynn Pearson wouldn’t call the church “false.”

            The church oversimplifies things and to me that could be just a bad marketing decision and a mistake. Nothing in life is simple and nothing is without “cognitive dissonance”

            Yet the people in authority with the most direct line with the members are open to teaching a more nuanced version of the gospel.

            Do you think affirmation.org generally believes the church is either “true” or “false?” These are examples of people who’s religions thinking i respect who wouldn’t say either or.

          • You keep citing examples of people who seem to think that there is a continuum of truth within the church, without giving any solid evidence from church leaders that support such a view. Based on the “marketing” of the church, there is no middle ground. I’ve been told by my church leaders one of whom is a GA, that if the answer to my prayer was different than the official position of the church, then I needed to keep praying until my answer was the same as that of the brethren. So, I’m going to need some evidence from official sources, that give a solid foundation for this sliding scale of truthfulness of the church, before I’ll even consider something other than the dichotomous view they are marketing. As it stands now, they fall on the wrong side of the dichotomy.

          • fecklessderek

            You are arguing on the premise that leaders are the only source of truth in the church.

          • No, I’m arguing they are the ones who get to determine what the official policy of the church is, and they are the ones who have established the dichotomy. I’m merely making my decision about them based on official teachings. I fully accept that there’s another source of truth other than church leaders. I just happen to believe that this alternate source is actually a better source of truth than anything the church has to offer.

          • fecklessderek

            That seems reasonable to judge the church based on the current, official teachings.

            I’m just asking people to consider that it could also be reasonable for others to judge the church based on a different set of criteria. (historical, actual practice, buffet style) Under different criteria the church is neither true nor false.

          • NoLongerASheeple

            If the church is neither “true nor false” based on other criteria, then what use is being a member? I can understand having a community, and the importance in being involved in a community, but honesty and facts have meaning for me. Having delved into the history of Mormonism, and looking at the origins and character of the original players, I’m unable to consider Mormonism anything more than a con which has existed for too long.

            If God is going to keep me out of “Heaven” for being unable to trust the words of Mormon leaders due to even “implied” dishonesty (knowing the history and knowing the whitewashed history used to convert members to the church and the enormous differences between the two, is to me a blatant demonstration of dishonesty) then that’s on God, not me.

          • fecklessderek

            here was a quote i was looking for

            “But while one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He views them as His offspring, and without any of those contracted feelings that influence the children of men, causes “His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” He holds the reins of judgment in His hands; He is a wise Lawgiver, and will judge all men, not according to the narrow, contracted notions of men, but, “according to the deeds done in the body whether they be good or evil,” or whether these deeds were done in England, America, Spain, Turkey, or India. He will judge them, “not according to what they have not, but according to what they have,” those who have lived without law, will be judged without law, and those who have a law, will be judged by that law. We need not doubt the wisdom and intelligence of the Great Jehovah; He will award judgment or mercy to all nations according to their several deserts, their means of obtaining intelligence, the laws by which they are governed, the facilities afforded them of obtaining correct information, and His inscrutable designs in relation to the human family; and when the designs of God shall be made manifest, and the curtain of futurity be withdrawn, we shall all of us eventually have to confess that the Judge of all the earth has done right.”

          • This is from the teachings of Joseph Smith and is essentially part of a much longer passage discussing ordinances by proxy for the dead. In the context of our discussion, it seems to fit the dichotomous view of the church (either it’s right or it’s wrong) more than it does a truth continuum. If the church isn’t completely true, why would you still need LDS ordinances to get in to heaven? Also, if someone who has been taught these things and falls away because of the parts that aren’t true, why is the penalty eternal damnation to out darkness? This all sounds pretty black and white to me.

          • fecklessderek

            it could be merely symbolic of universal salvation at a time when most people thought most people on were going to hell.

            The truth of universal salvation could be much more important than whether or not LDS ordinances are actually essential.

            Or the more orthodox view could be correct too.

            There are dozens of possible explanations i can think of in between perfect and godless fraud

          • According to LDS doctrine, you still need those ordinances to get into heaven. Why would the church emphasize that, if universal salvation is the more important doctrine? If they’re making this mistake, why should I believe the leaders are prophets and not just imperfect men making wild guesses?

          • fecklessderek

            First, i’m not in a position to actually judge the leaders – i’m taking the patient view.

            But I have a lot less problem with God allowing prophets to make mistakes than i do with God allowing small kids to have disease and hunger. Another way of saying that any religious person on earth has a much greater challenge explaining why God allows legitimately awful things to happen than I do having to explain why God allows prophets to make mistakes.

            Obviously it would be appealing if the church was as straightforward a proposition as it is often taught.

          • You are judging the leaders though. Every time you decide you disagree with them, you are judging them to be in error.

            As for why god lets bad things happen, I think there’s a very simple explanation, but it’s completely incompatible with the teachings of the church.

          • Skylerium Smarter

            Firstly, your sentence has a fatal flaw: Disagreement does not equal judgement.
            According to the dictionary, disagreement means: the lack of consensus, approval, or correspondence. Judgment means: the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions. These words have nothing to do with each other. Judgement is something you do when you view or validate a disagreement, which is a statement that something doesn’t align with your standpoint or mentality. Besides, nowhere in the church’s code does it say that you have to agree with them on a political or temporal basis. You can be a slightly liberal, centralist, or conservative latter day saint, and it doesn’t add or detract from church on a grand scale perspective.

            Secondly, everyone makes mistakes. Even the prophets and general authorities. No logical person would conclude that everything a spiritually-oriented person would do or say is perfect in nature. And I don’t believe that the explanation is incompatible with the church.

          • fecklessderek

            As to why you should believe what leaders and prophets say – just believe them when you agree with them. That’s how every person i know handles it.

          • ET

            I would argue your point about the church not believing in infallibility. Wilford Woodruff taught: “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray.”

            More recently M. Russell Ballard echoed similar sentiments when he said: “We don’t have to question anything in the Church. Don’t get off into that. Just stay in the Book of Mormon. Just stay in the Doctrine and Covenants. Just listen to the prophets. Just listen to the apostles. We won’t lead you astray. We cannot lead you astray.”

            N. Eldon Tanner said: “When the prophet speaks, the debate is over.”

            It is difficult for me to interpret these teachings as anything but blatant claims of infallibility.

  • Pink-lead

    Point 5. Just search moral relativism on lds.org. It’s very clear that ‘shifting values’ are worldly etc. Really a problem when you also read the polygamy essays and the MR described therein. Under the guise of whatever God wills is right.

  • Dr_Doctorstein

    “History isn’t what’s important.” Except, of course, during Pioneer Days.

  • Loren Evans

    As a gay man I always get a chuckle out of point 14…“You can leave the church but you can’t leave it alone.” Seven years ago I left the church same time as I divorced and came out. I left in order to honorably be a whole person without dishonoring the church. Basically, I wanted to be left alone to peacefully pursue my own life. Instead, I have the Mormon church hounding me and my kind spending millions of dollars and 1000’s of hours to sponsor legislation to take away my rights. Leave the church alone??? Hell, I wish the church would leave us alone. I find it beyond disgusting that the church is on this righteous mission to project and force it’s dogma on every living being. That is immoral and certainly falls outside of the tenets and teachings of Christ’s love.

    • fecklessderek

      What do you think about pro gay marriage churchs? Do you think they should be allowed to voice their opinions? I’m for free speech for all in public society.

      • Loren Evans

        Absolutely, this country is about freedom of expression. That is always welcome. However, there is a marked difference between expressing an opinion and the line crossed with the Mormon church spending literally 10’s of millions, lobbying legislators, crusading, creating phone banks, etc. against equal rights.

        • fecklessderek

          So do you have a problem with that political process universally? I think it’s been used for both good and bad.

          • Loren Evans

            Political process no, religious process inserting itself into the political process, yes, particularly when attempting to limit or eradicate rights of others not of their faith. In this case, bad that the Mormons are working at legislating their dogma on others who are not members. If Mormons want to torture their gay members, that is a constitutional right. The immorality of the Mormons is pushing their dogma on others who are not members politically and legislatively. So do you have a problem with the religious process universally? I think it’s been used for both good and bad.

          • fecklessderek

            I don’t think we should exclude religions from stating their opinion. They only have as much power as their adherenants give them to then actually act. So no, when churchs spoke to support gay marriage I had no problem with it.

          • Samantha Snyder

            Except they’re tax-exempt. That’s the part I take issue with.

          • fecklessderek

            So is the ACLU (some donations are even tax deductible) and the Hillary Clinton Campaign (both of which I support.) It’s harder to find an organization that isn’t tax exempt than is.

            Again, if it’s a church that’s for gay marriage or a church that’s against it i’m for they’re right to speech.

          • Viacolvento

            But the Mormon church (or any religion) can do whatever it pleases from its own pulpit but when it interferes with the Government or State affairs, especially when they enjoy a tax exempt status, then no, they cannot. There is a separation between church and state, neither party can legiferate about the other. The Government is not telling the Mormon Church how to conduct its own private business and by the same token the Mormon Church (or ANY church) should NOT be telling the Government what to do. When a religious organization spends million of dollars in trying to deny people their civil rights then I take exception. And neither the ACLU nor the Hillary Clinton Campaign religious organizations, see the difference?

          • fecklessderek

            you’re mixing two different things.

            my first question is why people only invoke separation of church and state concerns when it’s a church they disagree with but do not invoke when they agree with a church?

            My second question is why people think churches should have to pay tax when most other organizations (even political in nature) do not?

          • Viacolvento

            I was not mixing anything but thank you for clarifying it for me, I was referring to what I read. In this specific case, however I agree with Loren. More generally and referring to your clarification, I personally do not invoke separation of church and state only when it pleases me even if I might agree or not with a stance a specific church might make and as for your second issue. You’re however right a lot of people do what you say. As far as the second issue, I’d imagine it is because churches had a free ride since the longest time and people of tired? The political process is a public one where a church is a private one? Don’t sure, just asking questions..I know I know nothing 🙂

          • NoLongerASheeple

            It is not “free speech” that I have a problem with, it is a church that is actively seeking to take rights away from people based on “who they are” when “who they are” happens to be considered sinful and apostate *as a matter of belief.*. It is an attempt to use legal means to coerce behavior for religious beliefs…in an area that is just about as personal and private as it can possibly be.

            Churches, as a rule are forbidden from encroaching on things politic in exchange for the tax exempt status churches enjoy, and it is specific to churches. It is part of that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” When you enshrine beliefs into law, then you are “making laws respecting an establishment of religion.”

            The fact is, those of us who are heterosexual enjoy a great many legal benefits by virtue of the state contract of marriage. In denying those same rights to those who are gay, then people are no longer equal under the law.

            One of the other constitutional rights guaranteed us is the “right to the pursuit of happiness.” When the churches are using the government to legislate behavior and strip rights between *consenting adults* in their pursuit of happiness, particularly in an area which is just about the single most personal and private act of all…sexual relations, then churches and government are both abrogating the rules which define the tax exempt status specifically governing Churches.

          • VillageViking

            Are sexual relations between a father and adult daughter okay?
            Are sexual relations between a man and a sheep okay? FYI, sheep are considered adult at 18 months.

    • VillageViking

      Sounds like you’re terribly self-absorbed and suffer from acute paranoia…

  • fecklessderek

    1. “You were offended/wanted to sin.”

    Certainly a problem. Leadership being trained differently, but it’s still a problem I see from members.

    2. “History isn’t what’s important.”

    Never heard anybody says this but actions have spoken louder than words.Certainly the trend is away from this though as well.

    3. “I’ve heard every anti-Mormon argument there is.”

    A naïve, legalistic rebuttal. What they actually mean is that they’re familiar with the “big ones” e.g. every single point that’s in the CES Letter. And that at some point you realize that there’s a body of evidence against and that you wouldn’t be surprised to hear more disturbing things.

    4. “These arguments are nothing new.”

    You’re saying the same thing back to them – not certain why this one is so fatiguing. There’s a patriarch I work with our here in the Bay Area who had an institute class in the 1960s at Utah where the teacher brought his collection of peep stones and talked about how they were similar to Joseph’s. You can imagine that when peepstone 2015 happened he might have said that?

    5. “God’s ways are higher than our ways. We can’t understand why he does what he does.”

    This is a way to deal with the problem of evil. Certainly that’s not a sophisticated way to say it. But if somebody believes in God while God lets babies get microcephaly, they will at least have considered this concept. Nothing wrong with a good old fashion discussion of moral relativism and moral absolutism. Only thing annoying to me is when either person isn’t intellectually humble and isn’t willing to listen to the other side.

    6. “You should have talked to your bishop about your doubts.”

    I guess it depends on the persons motivation for suggesting this.

    7. “At the end of the day, I can’t doubt the experiences I’ve had.”

    I’m not certain it’s up to you to decide if feelings are or are not a reliable method for determining truth. It does seem dangerous – but if you’re open to religion you’re generally open to spirituality. If you a hard materialist then of course this isn’t going to fly. But nothing wrong with a pluralist approach to this.

    8. “There’s evidence on both sides, so I choose to believe.”

    I’m not certain what’s wrong with this. Again it’s just a pluralistic approach. If both people agreed to disagree and respected the other persons belief it would be a good thing know? You want people to acknowledge you are right and they are wrong?

    9. “Have you read [insert faith-promoting apologetic book or article]?”

    Even if I get a gift I actually dislike from my kids it really doesn’t bother me.

    10. “Plenty of people/[really intelligent person] have/has tackled these issues and still concluded that the church is true.”

    It’s not an appeal to authority fallacy to appeal to an authority in religious thinking or religious history to support your religious thinking and understanding of religious history arguments.

    An appeal to authority fallacy would be for example to assume that because Richard Dawkins or Neil Degrasse Tyson are expert scientists they are automatically an expert on everything they want to be.

    If you want to weigh the experts against each other that’s fine. That’s a fair response. Just make sure you are in the right fields. Not too many religious philosophers I’m aware of have the distain and zeal that exmormons have.

    11. “Read this FAIR Mormon article!”

    Mostly repeat of 9. I could say the same things about a lot of things I disagree with and with things I do agree with (the arguments suck)

    12. “You/they’re just bitter.”

    I don’t see anything wrong with being bitter if you determine that you were lied to – particularly if you retain a moral absolutism.

    If you don’t live in Utah it’s very easy to move on though.

    13. “You/they/that has an anti-Mormon agenda.”

    Anybody who would accuse an uninterested party of having an anti-Mormon agenda is being naïve. Anybody who thinks that every scientist, writer thinker etc doesn’t have an agenda is also being naïve.

    “My agenda is truth” is a strawman basically restated as my agenda is truth and yours is not.

    14. “You can leave the church but you can’t leave it alone.”

    Similar to 12.

  • caringincanada

    This writing is superb I think you covered every item and with wit too.You have a fan of your writing.The great thing .I liked the whole idea of going by facts and common sense instead of being purely driven by feeling.

  • Debra

    I have to thank you for these articles; they’ve enlightened and helped so much. When the church passed their edict last year regarding same sex couples, I felt I had to take a stand. Years ago, their involvement with California’s Prop 8 had me raising my eyebrows. I never thought it was ever a good idea for churches to involve themselves in politics, just my personal opinion. I’m a heterosexual woman, but an ally of the LGBTQ. What happened to “Families are Forever”, “Love One Another”, “Judge Not, lest Ye be Judged, “Do Unto Others as You would have Done”, etc. in all of this? Where was the family eternal in any of this? Everything we were taught growing up in the church now seemed to be tossed to the wayside.

    So, I submitted my resignation to the church, (still waiting on the status). You are correct about walking away from the church being a healing process. While waiting for official paper, (5 months now), I began reading different articles, as I vacillated back and forth if I had taken the correct action. Then I stumbled across the CES letter. Wow, it was very eye opening. I hate to say it, but there was always been an internal sense of personal satisfaction in KNOWING in my heart of hearts that what I thought we had where the church was concerned was true and correct.

    I didn’t think leaving the church would bother me, seriously I didn’t. But, it all came crashing down, (I was LDS since I was a child, and most of my family is LDS). I felt betrayed, I felt let down, my foundation had crumbled, and more importantly, I felt lied to. Lied to by those I trusted with so much. I ended up in a bit of a blue funk as I allowed everything to digest and sink in. I didn’t feel like an individual, I was just one of the sheeple who drank the Kool-Aid offered to me. I’ve told very few about my decision, but it’s one I knew I had to take. Healing does come, a little at a time.

  • BATman

    I read “About Zelph on the Shelf” and your Ten Things ExMormons are Tired of Hearing article.

    I appreciate your candor and desire to avoid ad hominem attacks.

    I am an active LDS member and have no problem with your activities from the standpoint of your exercising your prerogatives in this free country.

    Since you seem to set yourself up as some kind of pundit, I do have some questions and hope you will address them as I am curious to better understand your views on the questions I pose, and some basic questions about your take on the Lord separate from any LDS church doctrines.

    But first, how will I know which Zelph on the Shelf (ZOTS) I am addressing since you wish to remain anonymous and you mentioned that three of you manage this website, or perhaps you feel that since you are “one in purpose” that it therefore doesn’t matter which one addresses my questions? I’m just curious since you will allow, I suppose, that being imperfect mortals that you have some differences amongst yourselves. Shall I call you ZOTS1, or 2, or 3? For this reason I think it’s fortunate that you didn’t call yourselves Zelph IN the Shelf…(ZITS).

    Your stated motives for using a pseudonym make me wonder if you simply want to have your cake and eat it too by avoiding accountability for your actions while you attack the LDS church. Which you are certainly within your rights to do…but perhaps you should consider modifying your name to “Snipers on the shelf.”

    After all, isn’t that what snipers do; attempt to injure their targets without exposing themselves more than necessary? Why not be more precise in your pseudonym?

    While you are free to pursue your “mission”, even while you do your best to minimize your exposure to personal risk doesn’t that make your claims of seeking the truth a little disingenuous? Isn’t sharing your identity part of showing your commitment to the truth?

    At least prophets, even false prophets, put themselves out there and risk their own skin….in fact some show their sincerity by sealing their testimonies with their martyrdom. Compared to these sacrifices, what’ a little blow back from local Mormons if they know your true identities?

    Aren’t you interested in showing your sincerity by risking something on your part?

    It is so-o-o-o-o-o easy to criticize, but to actually build something positive and own it without shame or reservation, to be willing to sacrifice for your beliefs, isn’t that more noble than hiding behind a pseudonym? It’s not like some Mormon Mafia is going to come after you….

    So what if you lose a few customers in the process…isn’t your “mission” worthy of some risk?

    Wouldn’t being open about your identity show you’re the depth of your conviction?

    Isn’t that part of the strength of the Book of Mormon witnesses, their willingness to undergo ridicule throughout their whole lives, even at the expense of their secular pursuits?

    Aren’t you more like “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (WISC’s) the way you are doing this now?

    Now mind you, I’m not CALLING you WISC’s I’m merely posing the question.

    I don’t doubt your sincerity either. The motives you claim seem reasonable enough.

    But I’m sure Saul was at least as sincere as you three, as were Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah before their surprising 180* turnabout.

    Aren’t you the least bit concerned that you are fulfilling prophecy to your own detriments?

    Perhaps you are counting on a similar experience as Saul and Alma the Younger, but that would be SUCH a gamble…I wouldn’t count on that kind of intervention to save your souls…it seems to be even more rare than God’s approval of plural marriage in the history of the world.

    Your statement that “Ex-Mormonism life is exhilarating and beautiful” sounds to me like whistling in the dark. But I wish you well.

    I am not sure if the article originally titled Ten Things….was written by one of you Zelphs or another pseudonym writer using the deceased Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young, so I addressed it to a Zelph, but it could just as well be addressed to whomever “Zina” is:

    Why do you believe the church has “lied”?

    Don’t’ you run the risk of being called a liar—though I wouldn’t go that far—even though your original post was titled Ten Things ExMormons are Tired of Hearing and you listed Fifteen, LOL. I see you’ve corrected that since I first read it.

    I figured you just thought of more since the title and forgot to change it…an honest mistake! (I’m willing to give Brother Zelph a break; but I don’t see you doing the same for Brother Joseph.)

    Or, perhaps you liked the title so well that you took artistic license….it doesn’t really matter why, it’s just an observation.

    By saying the church has “lied” are you referring to Joseph Smith’s denying polygamy as explained by Richard Bushman in Rough Stone Rolling?

    If so, why are you not satisfied with Bushman’s explanation that Joseph didn’t see his denying polygamy as differentiating between “authorized celestial marriage” and John C. Bennett’s unauthorized version of “bigamy or the radical ideology of spiritual wives”?

    Why did Congress pass the Edmunds-Tucker Act if it was already illegal to have more than one wife in the USA?

    Why do you claim there is a “scriptural mandate” against plural marriage when the scripture indicates that God may make exceptions ostensibly according to His foreknowledge and wisdom and through His prophet, “For if I will…raise up seen unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things (Jacob 2:30), and Joseph claims God DID say otherwise? How do you know God didn’t command plural marriage?

    How is this exception to a general rule different from God commanding the Prophet Samuel to kill King Agag in the face of His general commandment not to kill?

    What are your feelings regarding Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob having more than one wife?

    Do you think that they were ungodly men?

    I’m sure that to some the sacrifice asked and offered by Abraham to kill his son Isaac was completely unethical as well.

    Why do you state that the LDS church “has such a cruel, awful history”?

    Are you thinking of polygamy only or something(s) else?

    You quote Oliver Cowdery about the Fanny Alger affair, but how do you account for Oliver Cowdery’s becoming re-associated with the church after his estrangement in the face of the church’s continued practice of plural marriage?

    Or, how do you account for Fanny Alger remaining silent about the details of her relationship with Joseph Smith all her life, long after Joseph was dead, and the Mormons had moved on?

    How do you account for, as Bushman states, “The point of the narratives was that spiritual confirmation alone persuaded them to comply.”

    How do you know that Fanny wasn’t told that if she would consent to plural marriage she could marry whom she pleased in this life? Or that she too received a convincing spiritual witness?

    My point is that these relationships all seemed consensual even as Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac was consensual, if unusual by our standards.

    Lucinda Pendleton Morgan Harris was sealed to Joseph Smith with her husband’s consent, indeed, George Harris stood in Joseph’s stead in the Nauvoo Temple ceremony after Joseph’s death so he clearly consented to the marriage.

    How do you explain that after Joseph’s death that Emma remained true to her testimony of the divine origin of the Book of Mormon’s origin and Joseph’s prophetic call to translate it?

    How do you account for the fierce loyalty of the three witnesses to their testimonies of the Book of Mormon in the face of their being excommunicated; and the return of two of the three witnesses to the church?

    But I am admittedly new to your website, and may have missed any positive message you may have shared. Since you seem to reject the LDS church’s doctrine, IS there something positive that you offer others with respect to how they can get the answers to their deep questions about life, and their future after death?

    Or, are you just content with the negative?

    What are your thoughts about Jesus Christ?

    Do you believe He is the Savior of the world?

    I’m just curious what you believe now that you clearly no longer believe the LDS church is the kingdom of God on earth…

    Thanks for your kind response.

    I’m not making any specific claims here, I’m just asking some honest questions that have occurred to me since reading this article. Hence I will follow the socially established norm with a pseudonym of my own for now.

    • tweedmeister

      I object. See here, Zelph is not “some kind of a pundit.” He IS a pundit. And he, and I, and thousands of other ex-Mormons and back-sliding Mormons and dissenters as individuals know much more about the LDS church than most or even all leaders. Just speaking of myself, for instance, I know volumes more than my wife’s bishop and stake president–together. That’s not uncommon. It is because we study and learn, and it is the learning that has led us out of the dark world of Mormonism and into the world of light. Now go, and do likewise.

      • NoLongerASheeple

        Hilarious! BATman spends a number of paragraphs calling the author of this opinion article out for hiding behind a pseudonym…and then posts it under the name BATman. Hypocrisy much?

  • tweedmeister

    I like to argue about so-called “anti-Mormon” publications. The most anti-Mormon publication I can possibly think of is The Book of Mormon. If the church were to ditch that and keep proselyting, they’d gain more members. The Book of Mormon makes most people run like hell.

  • VillageViking

    Frankly, I don’t really care if someone exercises their agency and leaves the Church…just take your self-indulged misery somewhere else!

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  • Rui Belo

    So if they don’t go quietly, you’ve already got their act psychoanalysed and labeled. How convenient.How about we throw it right back at you with, just take your self-indulged arrogance somewhere else!

  • Rui Belo

    So if they exercise “their agency” to not go quietly, you’ve already got their act psychoanalysed and neatly categorized and labeled.
    How convenient.
    How about we throw that right back at you with, ‘just take your self-indulged arrogance somewhere else!’

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  • Skylerium Smarter

    At the end of the day, though, can we not argue about this pointless bullcrap about the Mormon church arguement/controversy? This problem I have this article from a secular standpoint is it doesn’t provide solutions, so at the end of the day you guys are all losers.

    • Rui Belo

      Most of us want solutions but sometimes those don’t come until after bit of debate or argument. Even in science and philosophy things can get messy before there’s a consensus. “Pointless bullcrap” can also be implying you’re looking for some none specified solutions while blindly broad-brush labelling others as “all losers” in the same sentence.
      Makes good sense.


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