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Since the LDS church’s new handbook for bishops was secretly leaked online yesterday, the internet has gone crazy. Ex-Mormons, kinda-Mormons, and Mormons alike have been taking to social media in droves to express their opinion on the fact that the children of gay parents can no longer be baptized until they are 18 and denounce their parents.

Reminiscent of the madness of prop 8, this incident, to me, is shocking but not that shocking. It’s true that the church has always had a policy requiring parental permission for a child to get baptized before 18, but it’s also true that they’ve pushed the baptisms of youths without parental consent before. Anecdotal evidence you’re free to dismiss alert: One of my friends served a mission in Africa, where missionaries (taking the advice of their mission president) would often encourage kids whose parents didn’t want them to be baptized to move in with an older sibling so they could be baptized with their permission. This, naturally, didn’t have a positive effect on the unity of families.

Personally, I feel that if this had occurred while I was still a devout member of the church, it wouldn’t have bothered me. I would have been able to rationalize it just fine, because you can make a pretty reasonable argument that the church just doesn’t want to create dissonance in the kids of gay parents. (Until you realize that the church doesn’t ban any other children from joining the church. Be they the children murderers, rapists, Catholics, Scientologists or even dare I say… atheists.)

“The rationale that gays are the only ones that will have a dissonance of beliefs while I spent two years baptizing the children of alcoholic Catholics in the slums of Chile in droves so the church could boost their membership numbers holds about as much water as apparently a baptismal font at a gay Mormon baptism.” – My friend 

While I doubt the church’s primary motivation is “keeping families united” (family shunning is incredibly common when someone leaves the church, and it’s not exactly been condemned in any general conference talks), I think most members create God in their own image to varying degrees and can make the assumption that this new policy came straight from a loving and all-knowing God.

So don’t worry, Mormons — I validate your ideas! I would probably have had some very similar ones a year ago. And to those of you who DON’T feel like this, and who oppose this policy change, good for you for standing up for what you think is right, even in the face of opposition.  I have made a few observations about this situation, while I will now offer.

Social issues are more important to members than the validity of the church’s original claims.

I don’t believe this applies to everyone, because as a member of the church, I certainly cared less about social issues than, say, whether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet (I always thought he was until I studied church history intensely). But typically, church members seem to get more hyped up about the latest development in the “Does the church hate gays or not?” saga than they do things like the incredible reveal of Joseph Smith’s seer stone. (Used to “translate” the Book of Mormon AND make him money not finding buried treasure!)

When the church revealed pictures of the seer stone in August of this year, I excitedly waited to see the reaction from members. This was a huge deal — there are people who were excommunicated for talking about this stuff in the past! In fact, Joseph Fielding Smith, 10th president of the church and former historian, said this:

“While the statement has been made by some writers that the Prophet Joseph Smith used a seer stone part of the time in his translating of the record, and information points to the fact that he did have in his possession such a stone, there is no authentic statement in the history of the Church which states that the use of such a stone was made in that translation. The information is all hearsay, and personally, I do not believe that this stone was used for this purpose. The reason I give for this conclusion is found in the statement of the Lord to the Brother of Jared as recorded in Ether 3:22-24.”

To my dismay, there wasn’t much of a reaction from members. I saw none of them posting about it on Facebook, though I’d seen about a hundred people posting about the church donating like 12 cents to an LGBT organization a few months before. Only my ex-Mormon or “anti-Mormon” friends shared the news articles from the church or other sites that discussed it, recognizing what a big deal it was that a story told by South Park before the church was finally being admitted. But when it came to Mormons themselves, either people simply did not care, or they were embarrassed. I’m guessing it was a mix of both.

Cognitive dissonance caused members to react in some pretty interesting ways with both the seer stone and the new gay handbook policy:

They denied it.

I remember when people started posting about the seer stone and Mormons were flat-out denying it because it seemed so incredible. I saw a similar reaction from members last night. Here are some of the many comments I read:

“This can’t be legit. No way.”

“This is false, and makes me sad that whoever wrote it is causing people to believe this claim is true.”

“This is false information.”

Apparently, their moral compasses work well enough to know that this is wrong, because they don’t believe the church they worship and believe is good could have done it. 

One person even accused John Dehlin of inventing the information in order to further his lying gay agenda. (I’d love to see their cognitive dissonance when they read the Deseret News today.)

Anyway, it’s interesting that denial has proven to be a pretty typical first response, because of what happened next…

They claimed they’d known it all along/that it makes total sense

Once Mormons began realizing that the pictures of the brown stone were, indeed, the instrument Joseph Smith used to “translate” The Book of Mormon without using the golden plates that were so vital for him to obtain, they began the rationalization process. Blog posts started cropping up, blaming members who didn’t know about it for not studying enough. Never mind that many seminary teachers and bishops alike had been denying it for years, labeling it an “anti-Mormon lie”. Never mind that people had been excommunicated for talking about it. Never mind that church artwork, conference talks, lesson manuals, and pretty much anything that contributed to the overall narrative of the church completely failed to mention it for years. No — in typical church style, if you have a problem, YOU are the problem.

With the new gay marriage policy, I saw members suddenly offering their explanation for it, even claiming that it was “nothing new”. They likened it to the policy stating that children of polygamists can’t be baptized (BRIGHAM YOUNG IS ROLLING IN HIS FREAKING GRAVE), and gave their opinion on why it was a totally justified change that really wasn’t a change at all because isn’t it so obvious why we should be punishing kids for the sins of their parents?!

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:14

Some Mormons even went so far as to condemn anyone who doesn’t agree with the new policy change, with one blogger going on a multi-post rampage against “silly anti-Mormons” who are obviously being super hateful by showing so much compassion to this marginalized group of people, right?

Sigh.

Cognitive dissonance is a bitch. I was extremely grateful to rest my head on my pillow without it last night, confident in the knowledge that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a fraudulent organization, that Joseph Smith wasn’t a prophet of God, and that I don’t have to worry about what bizarre or hateful or illogical things the church says or does next. And to any Mormons reading, I know this is slightly off topic, but if you have to hide yourself from negative information about your church in order to continue believing it, or if you have to rationalize things that seem wrong to you, or justify why your church’s policies make others feel hurt and further marginalized,  it might be time to spot the red flags. I recommend the CES Letter.

PS. To the children of gay parents — this is nothing but a blessing for you.



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.
  • csteve

    …with one blogger going on a multi-post rampage against “silly anti-Mormons”

    just say it, we all know who it is, BO over at MM…

    • Zelph on the Shelf

      Hahaha. Of course. His rampage against us never ends. Poor guy.

    • charles rivera

      Agreed. MMM does not allow dissent in his blog, never approved my comment arguing against his silly FB-harvested statistic to minimize yesterday’s mass resignation, where he used the words “dishonest” and “disingenuous” to characterize the news. Pot calling kettle black indeed.

  • frgough

    Hasty Generalization. Look it up.

  • J.T.

    “Never mind that people had been excommunicated for talking about it.” Who are you referring to there?

    • k_space

      Things like this are plausible, or likely, but difficult to prove because the church does not publish the details of disciplinary councils. When they do say something publicly, they usually have another reason they will cite besides the one that will cause trouble. John Dehlin’s ex-communication is a good example of how that works.

      • Samantha Shelley

        Some people have recorded their excommunication hearings.

  • Arwen Undomiel

    I liked your story about missionaries baptizing children in Africa without their parents approval. The same happens in South America. I remember missionaries would baptize children in Peru without their parents approval, the would take them to church when the parents were gone working. The parents would prohibit the full time missionaries to get close to their kids and then the full time missionaries would send the stake missionaries to take the kids. The stake missionaries would look just like anybody else and didn’t look as threatening to the parents. This seemed wrong to do but the stake missionaries were told they were just helping these children to live the true gospel.

    Yeah, rules and policies are created by those who want to benefit from them the most. At least int this church.

  • Arwen Undomiel

    I just wanted to clarify from my previous post that stake missionaries were ward missionaries. These are regular members called to help the full time missionaries teach new converts. Most of them are locals, so people trust them better.

  • Malcolm McLean

    “the children of gay parents can no longer be baptized until they are 18 and **denounce their parents**”.

    Please try to avoid using that expression, as it allows people to say that you are misquoting the policy.

    I understand that it seems like disavowal of the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage feels like denouncing your parents who are or have been in a same-sex relationship, but the actual difference may be enough to cause people to disregard the rest of what you have to say.

    • Random Enigma

      Denounce: publicly declare to be wrong or evil.
      Isn’t that what the church is actually saying children of gay parents have to do if they want to be baptized at 18? They want them to publicly declare that their parents’ same sex relationship is wrong since it goes against the church’s teachings and beliefs?

      • Malcolm McLean

        Yes, exactly.

        I was just pointing out that “denounce their parents” and “denounce their parents’ relationship” are two different things.

        And, to be clear, I do not agree with either denouncing their parents or denounce their parents’ relationship. But if you are going to criticise something, then criticise that thing, not something that sounds like it.

        • Christopher Peterson

          That is incredibly stupid. Just think for a second, and stop splitting hairs. It follows that denouncing a parent’s sexuality as inherently evil is as good as denouncing them altogether. This is the point we have been trying to drill into Mormon’s deceived heads, that sexuality is inherent and vital to a person’s identity and expression. To condemn it, is to condemn them. What a waste of our time it is to argue meaningless distinctions just so we can throw a meaningless bone to some deluded apologist. It’s just bullshit.

          • Malcolm McLean

            I’m sorry that you think that pointing out a difference in wording is “incredibly stupid”.

            I agree with most of what you say (minus the invective), but disagree that directly addressing your opponent’s point, rather than an implication of that point, is in any way throwing a bone – it is, in fact, how to go about honestly debating something.

            Failing to address your opponent’s point by rewording it allows them to say that you are disagreeing with something that they are not saying.

            There is nothing at all to say that you cannot disagree about something **because of** its implications.

          • charles rivera

            “…”denounc[ing] their parents” and “denounc[ing] their parents’ relationship” are two different things.” — You might enjoy making the distinction, split hairs if you like. But the implication is still the same. No same sex attraction, no relationship. How do you separate these facets?

          • Malcolm McLean

            If you don’t already understand from what I said previously, and why I think that it’s important, then I’m out of ideas about how to explain it.

            But let me repeat that I am totally against the whole idea – I think that the LDS church is completely in the wrong here, and that it is an unreasonable thing to ask, especially when we are told that, as members, we have the right to openly support same-sex marriage.

          • charles rivera

            Oh, I understand the words you are typing over there completely. I strongly disagree with those words, though. Can you seriously make a distinction between denouncing your own parents, for whatever reason, and then expecting them to maintain their dignity or their person, to say nothing of your relationship?

          • Malcolm McLean

            If you understand what I’m saying, then you will see that I am not saying that I can make that distinction, nor am I saying that it is a distinction worth making EXCEPT for the fact that not making it weakens your argument, perhaps fatally.

            I’m saying that one of these things is required by the policy, so that if you argue against the other (except as a consequence of the policy requirement) you are likely to be accused of making a strawman argument. That does not help your case.

            Anyway, Charles, I believe that you and I are on the same side here, and I’m reluctant to go on arguing the same point which, for you, is a distinction not worth making.

            We clearly have different ideas about what constitutes an argument, but I believe that we agree completely that the church policy is repugnant. I’ll be happy if we both continue to oppose this policy, each in our own way, and hope that we might be able to soften some people’s stances on the issue.

    • Zelph on the Shelf

      Wouldn’t you consider denouncing your parents right to be parents denouncing your parents in a pretty big way?

      • Malcolm McLean

        Zelph, my sole point is that if you start your disagreement with something other than the expression that you are disagreeing with, you leave your opponent with the opportunity to say that you are not addressing the issue, and thus to immediately dismiss your argument.

        What is wrong with expressing your disagreement with disavowal of the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage, and explaining that this feels to you exactly like denouncing your parents?

        Why shoot your argument in the foot right away, so that the rest of what you have to say can easily be ignored?

  • jpmart1

    No offense, but you mentioned John Dehlin had nothing to do with pushing the Handbook issue. You need to do your homework and research before you cast stoes and hate against the Church you once supported. See: http://www.scribd.com/doc/288685756/Changes-to-LDS-Handbook-1-Document-2-Revised-11-3-15-28003-29# Do you see the words published by John Dehlin? Naughy boy you like John trying to stir the pot of contention.

  • jpmart1

    You need to do some homework and research things a touch more before you post saying something is not true, when it is. Like excommunicated Dehlin such actions are just another Ex-LDS trying to stir the pot of contention against the church they once supported. Clearly, now folks can see you make up lots of things. You stated John had nothing to do with the push and posting of the hand book issue, so we know that is false with a half minute search you can tie John Dehlin into pushing and posting the e handbook issue about SS marriages. Will you leave this page on your site and attack me now? Or simply admit you lied to your readers? http://www.scribd.com/doc/288685756/Changes-to-LDS-Handbook-1-Document-2-Revised-11-3-15-28003-29#

    • charles rivera

      Tsk, tsk, tsk. Such righteous indignation from a supporter of a business pretending to be a church, whose very existence is based on fraudulent claims of a con man. Pot-kettle-black much?
      This “new” [and everlasting?] policy was supposed to be kept a SECRET from the world, dontcha know? To be quietly included in the CHI with a knowing wink and a nod among your leaders. It is possible that NO ONE knew who leaked this SECRET from the start, not even the owner of this blog. It is quite possible that the reveal came much, much later.
      So, put on your big boy pants and bow your head and say “Yasss!” to your SECRET COMBINATION masters. Just follow along now.

      • jpmart1

        Charles, the point is that this site stated that Dehln had nothing to do with it…so erroneous information this site is spreading. John Dehln did it for his “public figure” image. So, don’t be so hypocritical when you were once an LDS…Tsk…tsk…task And Charles your incorrect logic is no logic at all saying the policy “was supposed to be kept SECRET.” Dah, Clarles..It’s a policy handbook where members look to stick to the policy. Dah. Then you say “It is possible that NO ONE knew who leaked the SECRET from the start.” Wow! Again, Didn’t you see the page from John Dehlin with the page from the handbook? Really, nothing factual is coming from you….you are left in a confused combinations of the Almighty Pot Stirrer. Such hypocritical lack of righteous there….and these anti-Mormon ex-LDS a business out of their prior membership. Hypocrites.

        • charles rivera

          First of all, it’s “Doh!”, “Da” means “Yes” in Russian. Next, are you unable to make the distinction between the blog author NOT knowing initially that Dehlin first published the secret policy vs LYING about it? These are two mutually exclusive statements. Next, you do not get to say I’m “illogical” about the Church Handbook of Instructions containing many secret policies, this current hot topic included, because I’m either right or wrong, not illogical.

          Lastly, you DO NOT get to second guess Dehlin’s intentions, as you do not know him personally nor have you spoken to him, about publishing LD$, In¢’s controversial policy on his page. That, jpmart1, is mere speculation. hearsay, plus shooting the messenger.

          I DO get to say you are in DENIAL about the “gay children” policy being initially hush-hush. They, meaning the fussy old white men who control what you eat, what you wear, how much to pay them, and who you can love, were caught with their proverbial pants down (just like Emma Smith catching Joseph boinking a young ‘un in a barn) when their secret sin was shouted from the rooftops.

          I DO get you say you are in error about the CHI. Until recently, only a few people were in the know as to what it exactly contains. My father, may he rest in peace, was a bishop and told me that the policies are on a need to know basis.

          • jpmart1

            First, because your pappy was a bishop means nothing. I think I used the word “dah” RIGHT. “The definition of DAH, which is a slang word, acronym or abbreviation, means dumb as hell.” But, in my neck of the woods use to use it for a person who gives non-factual questions you come back with “dah”. You also need to study up on LDS history and know the source of your nonfactual delusions about Emma Smith seeing Joseph — before you try to portray an expert, or trying to demean another person. The guy who reported that story robbed the Smiths earlier, and was a bully type person, and of course had contention with Joseph Smith. He then jumped around from church to church. Dah. And you don’t know me and I’m clearly not in denial about knowing church policy…since that Handbook is available to leadership in the wards and churches. I also have knowledge of biblical scriptures and at peace with knowing the church stand on the G&L has been that way all along…..and the church does not want to step in between families now they can marry. It is left up to the individual when they are older to make the decision of a religion for themselves. Plus, I have see no earlier post on that LDS Handbook until John Dehln’s posted it on his website about the same time the issue came up in the media. Oh, sorry so late in responding…people do have a life.

          • charles rivera

            Ooooo, Mormon monster so skeery! Ad.Hominem. That’s all ya got.

            Show your sources re:
            1. guy who reported the story is a thief [you mean like ol’ Joe Smith who, in court records, was found to be a scamming gold digger?]

            2. was a “bully” [you mean like ol’ Briggy Young?]

            3. that “created a story” [you mean like ol’ Joe Smith finding golden plates or that an angel with a flaming sword commanded him to boink other women?]

            4. that it was revenge [you mean like old timey Mormon temple Oath of Vengeance vs the US government for the death of Smith?]

            5. that he jumped around from church to church [you mean like ol’ Joe Smith who, after his multiple First Visions, joined the Methodist church and then demanded membership amongst Masons from which he stole traditions and made them Mormon temple “ordinances” ?]

            You have knowledge of Biblical scripture? So does the devil, according to Christ. So, how are you special?

            You don’t care about my pappy being bishop and swearing, on a stack of temple garments, that the CHI is on need to know basis? That’s the problem, YOU DON’T CARE at all that your church is spawned from polygamous marriages, has committed egregious murders, stole from its own people, and is still stealing you blind. You don’t care at all because you ARE blind and maybe even dumb (by dumb I mean unable to speak, *wink, wink).

          • jpmart1

            Charles Rivera – Show your sources re:

            1. guy who reported the story is a thief [you mean like ol’ Joe Smith who, in court records, was found to be a scamming gold digger?]

            Reply: You really have to do a touch more research. Wowie! digging for gold. FYI, it was common in those days. Many Indian mounds in the East have been destroyed by people looking for gold in burial mounds. Likewise, Joseph Smith was asked by towns people to look for gold before he actually obtained the plates and began translations. Please show me a crime that looking for gold or as the records state: “glass looking” is a serious crime—-especially when being hired to do so. Simply, more 1st grade anti-Mormon prejudice and erroneous claims.

            2. was a “bully” [you mean like ol’ Briggy Young?]

            Reply: You constantly say things and do not support it with even how, or source, or a story. Brigham Young was not a bully…the leader of the Quorum of the 12 was agreed would become the next prophet. Numerous others came up with false claims and evidence that they were the prophet. Is that what you mean. Brigham Young simply verified his authority. I don’t know what you mean and I cannot read minds. Express yourself….besides thinking your insults by itself prove your point. But, I do know when you belittle a person who cannot defend themselves…does not say much about the person. Especially, Charlie, when you were once a member…even when on a mission didn’t you. And you accepted these Brigham Young as a prophet. Now, isn’t that kinda’ of hypocritical….or what I call ex-Mormons ” puddle- jumpers” jumping here and there. And it is amazing that they always claim to be more knowledgeable about the LDS church.

            3. that “created a story” [you mean like ol’ Joe Smith finding golden plates or that an angel with a flaming sword commanded him to boink other women?]

            Reply: You seem to use such childish words. What not say :”sexual intercourse.” OK….Charliekins, say “sexual intercourse.” Come on you can do it! Then please provide me with the woman’s name, when they had sexual intercourse or in your mentality and verbiage … boinked her. And an actually person watching them having “sexual intercourse.” If not it is simply a fallacy, a hasty generalization, and misrepresentation. Plus, Charliekins, you jumped totally away from my last reply providing fact that a robber and unethical man who robbed the Smith’s created the story that Emma saw her husband with another woman having “sexual intercourse.” Wowie! Charliekins— why didn’t Emma take a pitchfork to them? Why isn’t it documented in any of her own words? Why was she supported of her husband then and after his death? Your erroneous story of Emma is that….a false and fabricated story made from a person who robbed the Smiths, got caught and was a “puddle-jumper” like you-sir.

            4. that it was revenge [you mean like old timey Mormon temple Oath of Vengeance vs the US government for the death of Smith?]

            Reply: It is odd Charlie– that you were a member and you use such disproven and inaccurate information. Come now — you need to do your homework and check the facts .. and simply not put so much FAITH, OBEDIANCE and TRUST in your anti-LDS trash. Where in the Temple did it say the LDS were going to get revenge on the United States government? A. Why didn’t the supposed Bully you claim is Brigham Young…if the church wanted revenge…especially right after the murder of Joseph Smith— why did he allow 500 men that were about to depart across the plains forming the Mormon Battalion leave, especially leaving their families alone to make the trip by themselves? B. The in the supposed Mormon Wars, Oh Ye! supposed EXPERT of Mormonism — why did Brigham Young clear Salt Lake City out….and have the Saints leave it empty — if the LDS are so revengeful against our government as you erroneously claim—-why instead didn’t he place a trap and kill Johnson’s Army when they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. They had more men to set such a trap — and a good opportunity him Ye Supposed Expert on Mormonism? But, the facts are the Army walked into an empty city….and in fact, the Mormons made money off the military buying things from their stores and establishing Fort Douglas in the foothills near Red Butte Canyon. Of course…you know this don’t you . . . C. Revenge could mean many things Charlie. When you look at the Governors life — it was not to good after that. Natural things could be the revenge—but you will not accept anything I say will you— cause you are praising your god of anti-Mormonism. Bow down to the Tanners! To Granny Smith! To Pastor John Smith! Why they sit back and made a good living off of calling the LDS church wrong. But, they come and they go…

            D. If the Mormon Saints hate the government and wanted revenge Charlie as you erroneously claim — they why did the Saints want to join the Union and become a State? E. Are you sure you understand the temple covenants or has your mind been warped by your new FAITH and Religion of anti-Mormonism…..a church of man creating hate, stirring the pot of contention. Wow! I have stepped away from the church a few times in my life when I was younger…and never wasted my time attacking the church I did not attend. In fact, when people look at someone casting stones at a church …. I’m sure they wonder why were you a member? Why didn’t you leave sooner? And why do you have so much hate in your heart …. and I can tell it is more than just hate for the church…. hmmmm? E. I can go on and on to answer your question. What about the huge flag that was placed on the Salt Lake Temple after it was complete and ready for dedication? Why would the LDS place the U.S. flag on the temple if they wanted to take revenge on the government as you erroneously claim…and provide no fact or evidence? F. What about the Article of Faith. Come Charlie…you were a member. Think…now think…. What Article of Faith is it Charlie? Come on! You can think what it is. What does it say? To follow the leaders of our countries and to obey the laws. If we wanted “revenge” Charlie..now put that thinking cap on…and you were a member…so answer me. Why does the Church have that Article that states to follow our President, and law of the land if we wanted revenge…wouldn’t it say DESTROY and take REVENGE against the Death of Joseph Smith? You are not making much sense….and clearly are scoring ZERO on providing me with any solid evidence. G. Charlie….you clearly must have been in an LDS sacrament meeting in your life? Were you? Well, then I am sure you sang songs about America at least once in your life…and I know as a member we have sang such songs numerous times? Why would LDS sing those songs IF we wanted REVENGE or HATED our government? Charlie, you are not making sense. H. As a member…Charlie…..I’m sure you went to General Conference, read the Ensign Magazine, participated in meetings where the forming of America was talked about, and BoM scriptures, D&C, and other LDS talks and evidence used supporting that the Church loves, in facts, states our Nation was put in place by God, and that our Constitution is inspired from God. Wow! Charlie….does that sound like the LDS hate our country and want revenge? I. Charlie….for being a member of the church —- if that is actually TRUE — what you state clearly is opposite to what I know of the church and being an active member. What did Spence W. Kimball write a book about — since you are so expert on the Mormon Church? The Miracle of Forgiveness? What does “forgiveness” mean…Charlie? So, maybe that is why there was no REVENGE — HMMM? How about verses in the Bible that Christ teach to turn the other cheek, to love your neighbor as thyself, and so forth? Maybe, that is why there was no REVENGE. Do you need more?

            5. that he jumped around from church to church [you mean like ol’ Joe Smith who, after his multiple First Visions, joined the Methodist church and then demanded membership amongst Masons from which he stole traditions and made them Mormon temple “ordinances” ?]

            Reply: Charlie, that is an idiotic statement, since that is EXACTLY what you have done — jumped in and out of a church. In fact, knowing the many anti-LDS and ex-LDS I have communicated with over the years…many of them do not even go to “a church” and/or have created their own profession to make a profit out of preaching negativism about a church they once proclaimed was TRUE.

            A). True, the Smith family was attending a few churches — but did not join one immediately. So, that destroys your thesis on this issue. However, a majority of the family members did fall in line with one, and even Joseph had closer ties to a church.

            B). If you were really an active member of the church, and especially a missionary — Charlie you should know the history behind the First Vision. What you are saying are totally incorrect. Come now Charlie…if you were that “ol’ Joe Smith” (but actually was a 14 year old lad … and took a few years before he was the prophet — but you know that but…..intentionally left it out hmmm?) and were being persecuted because the word got around that you witnessed the Father and the Son……wouldn’t you tell your story differently to different people? To friends? To a family member? To a preacher of another faith? To known people who you knew were REVENGFUL against what you heard and saw in that grove of trees? Thus, there are different accounts.

            C). Stating different accounts does not prove the First Vision is invalid, no more than a piece of a skull in what was said to be the missing link — turned out to be a pig’s jaw changes the mind of evolutionists. Yet, they still have FAITH in their religion called the Church of Evolution worshiping a theory of a simple form of life or creature crawled out of a swamp and miraculously turned into man over the centuries. That takes FAITH hmmm? Well, a touch off the subject.

            D). Being an ex-Mormon, and thought again you said a missionary. You should know the history around the time of the First Vision. What was taking place? Come on Charlie! You heard it in your Sunday School Classes, and it is supported in the history books of New York and the upper eastern States. What was taking place? Religious Camp Meetings! In fact, you surely know it was called the Burned-over area — don’t you Charlie? Why? Because, various religious were in those camp meetings teaching their faith to bring in new believers into their congregations. See you say those things, and I as a member of the church, or even someone with a knowledge of history of that area….how can they believe you Charlie? The Smith family as well as most people of upstate New York were attending those camp meetings and revivals.

            EVERYONE WAS JUMPING AROUND LISTENING TO ONE PREACHER THEN ANOTHER. LEAVING ONES LIFE-TIME FAITH AND BEING BAPTIZED INTO ANTOHER. So, the fallacy you have created of this question to attack a Church you were once a member — you fell flat on your face. Of course, I can refer you to many books on this history of Upstate New York and the various religious moments during the time of the First Vision. In fact, there are known meetings near where the Smith family lived. Thus, they were out listening to the different preachers, and members did join with one of them. But, clearly….they did NOT jump around as you try to make or exaggerated your opinion.,

            E). Indeed, the Mason group was a popular movement. In fact, were not some of our Founding Fathers — Masons? Are there not symbols of the Masons on some of our money? In fact, isn’t Washington DC set up like a Mason concept? Did our Founding Fathers STEAL those ideas in the formation of our Nation’s capitols…hmmm Charlie? In fact, when the Church was established, many people in communities through the States were Masons.

            F). Charlie…come now — you once LDS you! Ol’ Charlie…come on …. you know that many things in life has truths within their basic foundation…such as the Masons. Because, Joseph Smith used principles that were “good” in the Masons, does not mean the LDS Church is wrong, no more than our Founding Father’s used a few things of the Masons in the formation of our Government. In fact, the LDS church you know teaches that all church have “truth” within their teachings. Come Charlie…why didn’t you mention that? However, the LDS feel that we have the Truth of Christ and the Restoration of the FULL TRUTH. Now, I can get into that…but I’m trying to stick with your questions. I do answer them.

            You have knowledge of Biblical scripture? So does the devil, according to Christ. So, how are you special?

            Reply: Again, this statement also does not make sense.

            A). Yes, I have “knowledge of Biblical scriptures…..but I am not they expert. However, I know where to look for answers.

            B). Here is where you are totally illogical. Because, Satan knows about the scripture…and I know about the scripture…..how does that make me special? Charlie, I never stated I was “special.” However, to answer your question. I guess I am “special” in away…because I can discern what is truth and what is false. Then, I do not allow the theories of man that constantly change — overpower my “special” understanding of the scriptures. Charlie, and I believe Satan only KNOWS or uses what scriptures he wants to twist the minds of man…as you are trying to do with your questions to me.

            C) Satan tried to temp Christ by using the scriptures to trap him. It did not work…because Christ is “special” and knew the ways of Satan….and voided out his contention and strive.

            D) I am also “special” because I am a child of God, our Eternal Father. I am not the follower of man, and do not believe I evolved from the swamp up to a monkey and then to a man. I believe that CHRIST is the “missing link” but man will never believe that will they. And Satan will never allow you too, hmm? Charlie?

            E) I am also “special” because I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I KNOW the Church is true? Charlie…do you REALLY KNOW there is no God? Then if so …. prove it!

            You don’t care about my pappy being bishop and swearing, on a stack of temple garments, that the CHI is on need to know basis? That’s the problem, YOU DON’T CARE at all that your church is spawned from polygamous marriages ….

            Reply: Again, Charlie — you are trying to speak for me.

            A) I never met your father or pappy. I call my dad pappy—so I called yours such. I am POSITIVE he is a wonderful man. Do you agree?

            B) IMHO, it is great that he is a bishop, and you are his son, and that he attends(ed) the temple.

            C). Have you been through the temple, you had to if you were a missionary. Swearing on a stack of temple garments…you need to return to your normal thoughts now, Charlie. Need to take those Meds now….you are way off base with your thinking. And you were an active LDS?

            D) How do you know what I CARE about? Have you ever met me? You don’t know what kind of person am except what you can draw off my replies to you. I guess you can tell I am a person who defenses the truth and/or my beliefs.

            E) Please provide me FACTS “that your church is spawned from polygamous marriages.” Charlie, come on is that all you can do is try to slam my faith, and the church you said you once were a member?

            1). It is not MY church, but as mentioned it is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Thus, whose church is it Charlie? It is CHRIST Church.

            2) Please provide me with fact that every member of the church are from polygamous relationships. Odd, my wife is a convert and her family has no plural marriage in her family. What about the people who have joined the church after the Proclamation to stop plural marriage within the church…you do know that that is? So, from after 1890s —- you really think all members are from plural marriages. Charlie…..who are you trying to fake out here? You don’t know Mormon History, nor much about plural marriage.

            a). Plural marriage is commanded by God. Polygamy is a man taking on more than one wife…on his own.

            b) In the Bible there is clearly both “unapproved” and “approved” practices of marriage to more than one wife.

            c) Within the Church a man did not just go out and marry as he pleased, people were called to the position.

            d) And if you were once a member, you should KNOW also that there was not a high percent of members ask to partake of that calling. There was no 100% membership practicing plural marriage.

            e) the fact you call it “polygamous marriages” and not “plural marriage” shows that you are trying to make it evil, draw contention out of the issue, when in fact, it was “approved” at times in the Bible, and back in the mid-1800 in the LDS faith.

            f) I draw from your questions, that you are not only anti-Mormon, but anti-Christian and do not accept God —- since you are questioning doctrine that is also contained within the Christian Bible. Just a question…don’t jump out of your socks.

            For example, prophets, apostles, revelation, temples, garments, marriage to more than one wife, etc. are all found in the Bible. So, that makes one come to the conclusion you are anti-God.

            Continuing you said:

            , has committed egregious murders, stole from its own people, and is still stealing you blind. You don’t care at all because you ARE blind and maybe even dumb (by dumb I mean unable to speak, *wink, wink).

            Reply:

            A) Egregious murders? Like the death of one of Joseph Smith’s children who died from the cold nights air when he was dragged out of his home by supposed Christians — mob who tarred-and-feathered him? Or do you mean the time they tried to make him swallow poison? You are not clear. (wink wink).

            Egregious murders? Like the mob that came into Haun’s Mill and killed how many people?

            Egregious murders? Like the mob with their faces painted black who rushed up the stairs in a jail was Joseph and some of the leaders of the early LDS church, and Joseph and his brother were murdered, and other members wounded?

            You mean egregious like how many times the Saints were driven out of their homes, thier property stolen, and again the Saints moved even father to the West, and still the horde of fleas of anti-Mormons followed upon their heels biting with contention … Hmm? That remains me of you….don’t you think (wink wink).

            B) “Stole from its own people,” you mean like in the scriptures when it states to give to the poor, to give back to God? Tithing is that what you are talking about? Again, you don’t make your statements clear in your follow of trying to demean me and my faith…of which you were once a member. A Hypocrite hmmm? (wink wink) I like to use your context and text. (wink wink). So, please Charlie, you need to take a class on putting your ideas down clearly.

            Like, ” still stealing you blind. ” Again, are you referring to tithing or something else. Speak up…..communicate. You are attacking me….but are simply saying demeaning statements with no facts, no evidence, no documentation, or similarities on fact what actually the LDS teaches and does — and from what you write. Sorry, I have to question you because I don’t see you as being active with your statements and name-calling. You need to be clear before one calls you off as a scam-artist, troller’ and a fake. (wink wink).

            ” You don’t care at all because you ARE blind and maybe even dumb (by dumb I mean unable to speak, *wink, wink)”

            Reply: Again, Charlie ol’ boy. You cannot speak for me. I am not blind, I simply do NOT agree with your contentious and erroneously interpretations of MY faith, and the LDS Church. I’ve met many ex-LDS and they talk scriptures and doctrine..all you do is use First Grade Anti-Mormon tactics that have been disproven when you get down to the facts…of which you have not provided me any. (wink wink).

            As mentioned, I have not always been active. I have been into the world and studied many faiths. However, I have always believed in my faith, and do researched EVERY issue I come up against. Thus, I am not blind, and have an OPENED mind — and that’s why I am even talking to you through this Internet application. I’ve researched, attended non-LDS higher education religious courses, and been out to ex-Mormons for Jesus rallies, so I try to walk what I talk and belief system. But, If you cannot support your statement facts…I no longer want to waste my time. (winkie winkie)

            Oh, and Charlie…we are not “speaking” — we are:”writing.” And clearly, I am “communicating” in the SAME language that you are sending me….so you can understand, hmmmm? You seem to spout much negativism that is clearly not what the LDS Church teaches, and is your own misunderstanding of my faith’s doctrine. I can go to my own library and pull out this same ol’ anti-LDs bull-crap; you are demeaning me with. Get some originally out of it Charlie! Since you spout this nonsense out against me and my faith, clearly you believe the nonsense you write. I’ve seen no facts, again….so all I can say it is basic anti-LDS bookstore fallacies, from dishearten ex-Mormons who were hurt, could not liver the doctrine, or believe in the faith that was right before their eyes. Yet, you believe the nonsense you tell me of bonkie bonkie. Really, grow up.

            You want to debate my faith. Then bring it on with fact. if not, go trolling somewhere else.

          • charles rivera

            Soooo….you can’t cite one reliable source? Poor TBM. Bye, Felicia!

          • jpmart1

            Charles…I cited all types of effub’ sources….did you? Where is your effin’ documentation Emma saw her husband with another woman? Boink! Dah? And since you cannot handle effin’ comments back from your effin’ unsupported hodgepodge of erroneous effin’ nonesense, you effin’ better get on your effin’ horsey before it skips out of town. Hi-de-Hi Ho Charles….effin’ away. Bye bye.,

          • Samantha Shelley

            A list of sources re: the barn incident and other sexual allegations: http://www.mormonthink.com/grant6.htm

          • charles rivera

            Oh, you’ll be back. You can’t resist my boyish charm. Don’t worry it’s okay to be gay now. Ohhh, and the TBM learned how to swear improperly. Good job.

    • Samantha Shelley

      I never stated that John wasn’t involved in the leak.

      I simply mentioned that people claim he invented the whole thing as a lie to destroy the church, which we (obviously) know wasn’t the case. You seem to have worked yourself up over a point I didn’t make.

      – Zina

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