Jacob Hansen is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In this conversation Marti and Jacob discuss Jacob’s online vs. in person interactions. They discuss epistemology and whether the leaders of his church should be using language like, “I know”. They also discuss what it means to have a fundamental belief. You can find Jacob Hansen at Thoughtful-Faith.com.
Jacob’s Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-3WFOCWkUFQcX_1W3NjqAQ/videos
Jordan Peterson interview that Marti referred to with timestamp referring to dogmatic belief discussion: https://youtu.be/LbZ9OxrLTVM?t=2624
Elder Oaks: None of the Brethren have seen God, Christ or Angels: https://youtu.be/GrMJ2YZD62M
Special Witnesses of the Name of Christ: Bednar Interviewed by Religious Educator: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://rsc.byu.edu/sites/default/files/pub_content/pdf/S%25E2%2580%258Bpecial_Witnesses_of_the_Name_of_Christ.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwi1u4vErKLyAhWN4J4KHUmdDsAQFnoECBQQAg&usg=AOvVaw1aoptLMWp7S1IXexnXOA23&cshid=1628457424402
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Saturday morning, (March 11th) I stumbled upon Pastor Jeff McCullough’s Hello Saints YouTube channel. I sat and watched three or four hours of his content in one sitting. At first, I was excited that an Evangelical wanted to reach across the aisle and extend a brotherly arm to his “Mormon” friends.
However, the more episodes I watched, the more uneasy I began to feel. When I finally watched his YouTube interview with Steven Pynakker (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ylb0-B16ivI), I soon understood why my discernment radar was buzzing. A couple of minutes into the interview, Steven Pynakker explained that John Dehlin had told Jeff McCullough to reach out to him. Here is the description found beneath this particular podcast episode:
On the latest episode of Mormon Book Reviews, I am excited to introduce a new Evangelical YouTuber Pastor Jeff McCullough! Jeff just recently started a channel called “Hello Saints”. It is a channel geared toward fostering dialogue between Evangalicals and the Restoration. Jeff reached out to me via a recommendation by John Dehlin. After a couple of conversations we both realized we shared very similar views and approaches regarding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Restoration in general. Jeff didn’t know anything about Mormonism when he visited Utah a couple of years ago. That trip ended up “planting a seed” in him that changed the trajectory of his life. In this fascinating conversation we discuss Jeff’s faith background, having a major faith crisis, becoming a pastor, experiencing spritual abuse, learning about Mormonism, and what made him want to start his channel. I believe what Jeff and I are doing is very unique and is in stark contrast of how many Christian apologist groups approach this subject. Please free to post comments after watching. I am very interested in hearing what you have to say!
The trajectory of Jeff McCullough’s life seems to be a mission to proselytize and convert members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Evangelism. I am sure you are familiar with John Dehlin, but on the very slim chance you do not know who John Dehlin is, Wikipedia describes him as:
“ . . . An American podcast host and excommunicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He holds a PhD in psychology. Dehlin founded the Mormon Stories Podcast, as well as several other Mormon-themed podcasts, blogs, and web sites.”
As I’m sure you are already aware, John Dehlin’s personal mission is to create a faith crisis in every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints he can, and to draw as many away from the Church as possible. He is truly the embodiment of 3 Nephi 14 and Matt 7, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
Knowing that Jeff McCullough has been meeting with and communicating with John Dehlin, was all the warning I needed to stay away from his Hello Saints channel. It became very clear at that point, that Jeff McCullough is very carefully and subtly laying a snare for Church members whose testimonies may not be solid and who he believes he can sway.
His ploy to proselytize to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through a façade of warmth and friendly curiosity, is a much better tactic for developing a following than the strident voices of those who loudly and unapologetically criticize the Church. With his good looks, charismatic personality, and well-spoken manner, his whole strategy is really, quite brilliant. His YouTube channel following is exploding with LDS Church members. He embodies just what we read about in the Book of Mormon with people like Sherem, Nehor, and Korihor. My husband and I just love the temple film with the Satan who is young, attractive, and convincing in his portrayal to Adam as a friend–at least at first. We have always felt a Satan like that would have much more appeal and influence over the average person than one who comes across as harsh or evil.
I believe Jeff McCullough is very carefully and methodically laying the groundwork for a vast social media following of Church members that he can then sway away from their testimonies. He has now begun teaching the Church’s “Come Follow Me” program from an Evangelical’s perspective, and I noted there were many, many comments, all of which were positive from Church members and only negative when it came to disaffected LDS members speaking derogatorily about the Church, its leaders, and the doctrine.
I love learning and I think it is wonderful for us as members of the Church to learn all we can about other faiths and religions so that we are informed. I live in Southern California and have good friends of all different faiths as well as several who are agnostic and atheist. As Joseph Smith taught, “Let all men worship, how, where or what they may.” The older I get, the more I realize just how many good and wonderful people there are in this world. However, when the person we are learning from is less than forthcoming about their true purpose, and have aligned themselves with a known apostate who is actively trying to tear down the faith and testimonies of LDS members, then I believe we should move on to a better source for that information.
I am writing this because my heart has felt so troubled ever since viewing his YouTube channel and especially after finding out his connection with John Dehlin. I saw your appearance on Hello Saints and I was not sure if you were aware of that, and just wanted to make sure you knew. I appreciate you reading this and appreciate all you do to defend the gospel and to help bolster the testimonies of Church members and of those seeking for the truth.