If there is anything that can be done to help us return it is addressing my questions. I want to give this a sincere effort. Below are my list of questions that would need resolved or at least discussed out in the open. Can you think of any important questions that I am forgetting? I want these questions to be data driven and to require a reconciliation. Thoughts??? List is below
1.) Lucy Walker Conundrum – If Joseph Smith lied to Lucy about God commanding him to take her as a plural wife than I absolutely can not trust Joseph Smith. If God in fact did command Joseph then I absolutely can not place trust or love in a God who imposes that a daughter father relationship be made into a husband wife relationship. – http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/23-LucyWalker.htm
2.) We now know that the Book of Mormon, Book of Moses, Book of Abraham, JST, and Kinder hook plates (all 5 of Joseph Smith translation productions) include plagiarism from contemporary sources from Joseph Smith’s environment or sources long after when these productions were written (Ex: Book of Moses borrows heavily from Mathew Ch. 4). In light of such what space is there to abandon a historical approach to Joseph Smith”s translations and the Church as having literal authority and keys if we agree that to some extent these all are modern productions to at least some degree?
3.) Why do we neglect to tell people and avoid conversation at all costs of John Taylor’s 1886 revelation Where Jesus tells him directly that polygamy must never be ended?
4.) How do we reconcile Joseph Smith breaking all the rules of section 133 and polygamy?
– He does not get permission from Emma on most if not all of his plural marriages
– he does not only marry only virgins
he does not only marry women who are unmarried
5.) When history was not collectively observable and recordable and reportable, God flooded the whole earth, parted seas, restored limbs, sent balls of fire down at the pleading of his prophet, people turned to pillars of salt, talking donkeys, and healings instantaneously of severe diseases that no scientific explanation to date exists (leprosy, blindness, etc..) Once history became collectively observable, recordable, and shareable, these miracles have essentially ceased. What is more likely that God has withdrawn such things in the modern age or that such tales were fictional or incredibly embellished myth stories to begin with.
6.) 2000 stripling warriors battle against a larger more experienced army and not one soldier is killed. Many faint from blood loss but in an age of infection, not one gets gangrene and each of them without blood transfusions reports back to duty and a short while. In light of modern understanding and what is even in the realm of plausible, such a story is absurd. Other than imposing irrational thinking that “with God anything is possible” how do you reconcile such?
7.) Why does Elder Holland lie about Church growth?
8.) Why is the Church always 30 to 50 years behind the corrupt and fallen world on essentially every social issue? (birth control, women working outside the home, women’s rights such as voting, race, cremation, and now LGBT issues) In light of having men who talk directly to God, should we not be leading in the progress of social issues and treatment of human beings?
9.) If past leaders knew certain doctrines by the divine influence to be true (adam God, blood atonement, doctrines around the why of the Race Ban) only to have future leaders declare by the same divine influence that past said teachings were false, how can trust modern leaders who claim to get their info from the same source?
10.) Why do modern Prophets and apostles never perform a miracle, never prophesy, never perform as a seer, never get a unique revelation that shares new insights from God?
11.) Are you aware of how Brigham Young took control of the Church? The 12 clearly based on the D&C and Joseph Smith’s own words did not have sole authority upon the death of Joseph but Brigham clearly imposed his will and worked to diminish and distance any person or group who were equal or had more authority and took control of the Church in ways that were abusive and threatening to others. Are you aware of this? How do I reconcile that?
12.) Emma Smith and Oliver Cowdery believed that Joseph Smith’s intimate relationship with Smith housemaid Fanny Alger was an affair and inappropriate. Knowing this and knowing that Joseph had intimate relationships with other young girls who worked in his home (The partridge sisters and Lucy Walker), how do I reconcile the data that Joseph seems to pressure young girls into intimate relationships with him and imposes that they keep such secret. In any other walk of our life we would be appalled. Here – we make justifications. How do I reconcile such?
13.) Are you aware of the enormous extent at which Joseph Smith was a scrying treasure digger? Do you grasp what that term means? Joseph told others who could know where made up fictional treasure was buried in the ground via his seer stone, and he knew the spells that could be used to wrest the buried treasure away from guardian spirits who watched over the treasure. He did this over and over again taking people money and then never producing any treasure. Now fast forward, The gold plates are also a treasure buried in a hill, protected by Guardian Spirits and a seer stone is still the tool utilized. How am I to reconcile and take seriously the man’s story when his gold plates are the same basic story as the umpteen times he knowingly scammed people out of their money?
14.) We utilize the 1838 account of the First Vision and completely ignore the 1832 account which has him already knowing all the churches are false, he goes at the age of 15, more concerned with his own forgiveness, and says he saw the LORD and not two heavenly beings. Then knowing that past leaders were so uncomfortable with the 1832 account that Joseph Fielding Smith or someone he authorized cut the 1832 account out of Joseph Smith’s own journal and stored it away for 30 to 40 years with JFS referring to it as a “peculiar account”. We now have since taped it back in, but spend little time speaking about it and act as if it compliments the official account which if the two are read side by side the contradictions are glaring.
15.) In the, end after the 2000 problems that exist if we make special pleading that none of such matters as we have had spiritual experiences that confirm such. But this pleading ignores all the other believers of different religions who also have had deep and profound experiences testifying that they too received a witness that their faith was true. How can I know that the experiences Mormons have are true and all other people with a religious experience are deceived?
16.) Will you work to rid us within our ward and stake all the false stories in our manuals especially false stories about those who leave (Thomas Marsh, Symonds Ryder, Oliver Cowdery, Emma Smith)?
17.) Will you provide a safe space for those who have read more and who understand the history to in their effort to correct the historically demonstrable false beliefs in our history and culture?
18.) Will you make a safe space for a member who holds a non-historical view of our sacred myth stories who is careful to share his views as only his views?
19.) Will you work to provide a safe space to rid our local culture of homophobia and inappropriate comments and teachings on LGBT folks that are hurtful and potentially lead to self loathing and abuse?
20.) Will you work to diminish my perspective or will it be fully welcome in your ward/stake? Will I be considered for all callings including leadership and teaching positions so long as I promise to be truthful about our history and to respect differences of opinion while also being clear when false non-doctrinal things are taught that they are pointed out as inaccurate?
21.) Can you explain what the plan of salvation and equal opportunity to receive exaltation is for Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Intersex, Asexual or Queer people is with the partially acknowledged understanding that having this sexual orientation and or gender identity is not generally a choice but is a natural component of the person’s fundamental being as eye color or handedness, or skin tone is and the gospel teaching that God allowed them to be born with or to have these innate characteristics?
22.) Furthermore will you show in LDS scripture any clear revelation directly applicable to the issue of committed same gender relationships or gender identity and justify how the Church distinguishes direction that comes from the divine versus social cultural prejudices that have been the source of discrimination against LGBTQ+ people thru history?
23.) Can you justify how children who have the permission of their gay parents to participate in the church and it’s ordinances can be justified to be prohibited against the will of their parents to be denied the “saving ordinances” and gift of the Holy Ghost in direct opposition to the articles of faith and scriptural injunctions on the duty of parents?
24.) Further, how these children have to pass a test for membership and that no other potential member must pass namely to live apart from parents and to denounce their parents relationship before being allowed to be baptized as and adult?
Very few Latter-day saints are truly willing to explore these issues. Many find weak apologetic answers and go wheeeew and move one, not really wanting to know if those apologetic answers are solid and if they hold up. I always wanted the truth no matter the cost. Perhaps you do not. But in the case that you do, I would suggest you start here. If it isn’t true, would you really want to know?
To be fair, I can see why they don’t bother answering you given they have access to your past articles and podcasts, and pretty much know your position is unshakable. Your problem goes deeper than with Mormonism. You are pretty much an atheist. You do not believe Christ was/is the son of God. You do not believe in a God who can perform miracles, and, you cannot reconcile a perfect God who has to work through imperfect men. My biggest concern with your questions though is this: it is easy to read the Bible (or BOM) or whatever, and conclude that God was performing miracles constantly. However, chapters of the Bible often span hundreds upon hundreds of years with no recorded miracles. Take Exodus – some big stuff happens – the plagues of Egypt, the red sea parting, the fire on the mountain etc – but, then we have decades of nothing happening. Plus, it was not like all the world could witness this. Reading the Bible as a whole, we get thousands of years of history, with actually few miracles by comparison, and not everyone witnesses them. We do get a concentration of them when Christ first comes and in the decades thereafter, and during the first few decades of the Restoration. Who are you to know miracles are not happening today?? It’s not like someone is ready with a cell phone filming a blessing and subsequent healing. Bill. “Magical” “supernatural” stuff has happened, and continues to happen, but I venture to say it is infrequent because faith on earth is weak, even among Christians and members of the LDS church. We don’t just have the 1st vision to account for, but multiple visions, dreams, revelations etc, often experienced and shared by multiple witnesses. Many of them are not even recorded in the canon. They are recorded in journals, like those of Wilford Woodruff. And they are not limited to our church. The catholic church has a plethora of accounts. What about the hundreds who saw Our Lady of Fatima? Are we seriously going to explain each and every one of these accounts, including the shared multiple witness ones, as lies, conspiracies, or the results of a frenzied or drug-induced mind? If you really really want to know if there is a world beyond ours, you can find out in a way which requires less faith in God. Have you tried the alternative, for example, seances, boards, sorcery etc ie. the dark stuff? If not, given where you are in life, maybe take a look at that. I did. And I regret it. But I for sure know there are dark spiritual forces in our world.
Time to go nuclear!!
On Question 4, you wrote D&C 133 instead of 132.
Other than that, I think these questions are great! I was hoping to see certain ones, and they were there already!
1. There have been over 1000 gods throughout history. Most everyone is an atheist for 999 of these gods. What is the liklihood that one of these is THE one true god?
2. Of the 10,000 religions over time who all claimed to be THE true one, what is the liklihood that one of them is true versus none of them is true? Would any father only share the full truth with only 0.1% of his children?
3. What motivates church leaders to allow the myth that they talk directly to Jesus and have seen him face to face? During a senate hearing JFS said he did not receive revelation or anything like it.
4. Why don’t current church leaders stand in defense of truth like Abinidi versus avoid any situation where they have to answer tough questions? When they do get into the situation (Holland, Hinckley, JF Smith) they either lie, claim ignorance or obvuscate their belief.
5. How can Jeff Holland as an apostle not know the mechanism by which the PofGP was produced?
6. Why don’t the leaders know where the BofM happened? They have spent millions trying to find archeological evidence, tout it when anything seems to prove the BofM narrative, yet and when it is proven to be false then they claim it isn’t important.
8. Why did the church teach for decades that it has no paid clergy? This is false Some leaders who only worked for the church as their source of income for most or all of their careers were likely millionares. Brigham Young, Joseph Feilding Smith, TSM, GBH. Boyd Packer.
I could go on and on.
Please enable this page so that the hyperlinks you provide will actually link to the page. It is frustrating to select a hyperlink that does not automatically to me to the page.
You clear believe Mormonism is a fraud, so why the show of concern of being excommunicated? Why the feigned outrage and sadness if you think it’s all a lie and a scam.
I believe all religion is myth and Mormonism is demonstrably myth. your putting me into a binary framing and I don’t fit well there. Can I suggest you listen to such from an outside perspective https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/tova-mirvis/ and when your ready to discuss again after let me know.
Hello. Re: Lucy Walker being married to Joseph.
Lucy gave an affidavit in the temple lot case. You can read it here: http://josephsmithspolygamy.org/common-questions/plural-marriages-sexual/lucy-walker-evidence-of-sexuality/
From her affidavit, she does not actually admit to having children or sleeping in the same bed as Joseph. In fact she stonewalls the questions about 10 times. She seems to admit to a marriage or sealing. Dynastic sealing is my take. The same sort that BY was doing when he sealed men to himself.
My last point is this: it is amazing to me that you and so many others who allow themselves to slip down the “Joseph was a lecherous polygamist slide” are so quick to blindly trust 100% at face value these late 19th century affidavits coming from a coerced and brow beaten corner.
Utah was under intense scrutiny. Assets were being seized. Brigham had to produce evidence that polygamy was all Joseph’s doing quickly or else the saints were going to lose pretty much everything.
You are so very quick to place all trust in this charade of desperation affidavits… yet you will not place one ounce of trust, per your admission above, in the good word of Joseph, Hyrum and Emma. Joseph declared there was no polygamy many times. He excommunicated people for practicing polygamy. Why can’t you trust that. I wonder. Not really though as I have been in your shoes.
You will throw Joseph under the bus. That is your choice. But as you do so, please remember we have plenty of evidence pointing to Brigham and others as being the Genesis of polygamy. Please recall that the affidavits you love to use against the prophet are coerced desperation attempts to save what the saints had spent decades building up. Lucy Walker never admitted to sex with Joseph because the affidavit was a forced charade and she knew it! She was supporting BY as her rank and file leader. In those days if you stepped out of line under BY’s theocracy you faced destitution.
Polygamy is not God’s law. Read Jacob 2. D&C 132 was inserted a decade after Joseph Died. D&C 101 was removed and replaced with some other document in the 1859’s…why? Because the original section 101 spoke in support of monogamy.
There is more to the story. Joseph really was who he said he was
Sources please!! You make a lot of claims here, but provide no sources for your claims. At least Bill provides sources, even if they aren’t the best. Links would be preferred.
Stop using the word “imposed”