Columns Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

High-profile excommunications may harm Mormon retention rates in the long run

By Benjamin Knoll with Jana Riess

Gina Colvin

Podcaster and blogger Gina Colvin recently announced that she is facing a disciplinary council from the leadership of her local congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is because she recently received a baptism and confirmation in the Anglican Communion and participates regularly in her local Anglican congregation in New Zealand. This is an issue to LDS leaders, however, because the current LDS Handbook of Instructions defines “apostasy” as including members who “formally join another church and advocate its teachings.”

Colvin’s disciplinary hearing comes shortly on the heels of the excommunication of Mormon activist Sam Young, who drew public attention to the issue of sexually explicit questioning during clergy interviews with adolescents.

Elsewhere, podcaster Bill Reel is currently undergoing a disciplinary procedure for his aggressive criticism of the LDS Church and its leadership.

Colvin, Young, and Reel are among several high-profile Mormon activists to face disciplinary action and (potential) excommunication in recent years. From the perspective of LDS leadership, excommunications are necessary to protect other members of the church from whatever “spiritual threat” is being posed by the ideas, words, and actions of those being disciplined. It is an exercise in boundary maintenance.

Are rank-and-file Mormons grateful for this protection? Do they support their leaders disciplining and excommunicating those who are guilty of what the Church defines as “apostasy”?

The 2016 Next Mormons Survey specifically asked self-identified American Mormons how “troubled” they are by the excommunications of “feminists, intellectuals, and activists.” (See here for survey information and methodology.) The survey found that:

  • Nearly three in five Mormons (57%) say that they are very troubled (26%) or somewhat troubled (31%) by these excommunications.
  • Among those who are active and attend church at least weekly, 50% are troubled.
  • Among those who say that they believe all or most of LDS Church teachings wholeheartedly, 53% are troubled.
  • Among those who are current temple recommend holders, 43% say they are troubled.
  • Among Millennials, the numbers are higher: 66% say they are troubled.

By almost any measure, these high-profile excommunications appear to be worrisome to roughly half of faithful and active Latter-day Saints, and two-thirds of younger members.

These excommunications should be worrisome to LDS church leaders as well. We asked Latter-day Saints in our survey to report, on a scale of 0-10, how confident they are that they will remain committed members of the Church for the rest of their lives. Not surprisingly, this was a high number on average (8.3). For those who said they were very troubled by the excommunications of activists, intellectuals, and feminists, however, this average dropped by 10%.

This may seem like a small figure, but a 10% drop in the confidence of long-term commitment to the Church due to feelings on a single issue is significant. (Among those who say they attend church somewhat or less regularly, this average dropped by nearly 20%.)

Based on this information, it’s important to gauge how effective and worthwhile excommunication is as a tool for Mormon boundary maintenance. It’s not just that excommunication ostracizes the individual who is being disciplined (and often their spouses, children, and immediate circle of friends). It’s that it may also negatively affect other members in the pews.

Do those who leave the LDS Church because they are troubled by high-profile excommunications outnumber those who are leaving because they have actually fallen prey to whatever is being written or said by these accused “apostates”?

Excommunication appears to be successful in deterring some members from behaviors the Church is aiming to curb, whether it’s publicly criticizing religious leaders or becoming a member of another denomination while remaining a Latter-day Saint. But it may also have the unfortunate side effect of chilling the enthusiasm and commitment of other Church members, particularly younger ones.

Is it worth it, in the long run?

 

Benjamin Knoll is the John Marshall Harlan Associate Professor of Politics at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. He specializes in American public opinion and voting behavior, specifically in the fields of religion and politics and race/ethnicity and politics. Along with Jana Riess, he is the co-director of the Next Mormons Survey and is the co-author of She Preached the Word: Women’s Ordination in Modern America, Oxford University Press (2018). 

 


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About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

234 Comments

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  • While I appreciate the ongoing, thoughtful reporting here, I am not worried about the vengeful, petty machinations of the 15 old men or their local pastoral minions. I expect the worst from them and am seldom disappointed.

  • Why would anyone threatened with excommunication want to stay in a church where they obviously aren’t welcomed? It is time for them to move on.

  • It wouldn’t surprise me if she resides in Christchurch.

    Good on the local church leaders who are/have convened a bishop’s council to excommunicate her from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    I feel sorry for her husband but then again he chose her and he knew what he was getting into when they married. She lacks some really basic reasoning skills and seems more interested in sensationalism.

    Hmm, sounds like Jana has been a driving force in spurring Colvin on toward the course.of excommunication.

    # Jana, are you too involved in another church? If you are, please do let us know about how you participate therein.

  • This world is so much bigger than the lens that the Mormon Church can see through. There is deep spirituality and grace and connection to God everywhere. Sure some/many/few are held sway to harmful doctrine and practises, but on the whole, the individual journey of faith is beautiful thing that betters the world, and enables a better fit for the individual as they seek community.

    Thats what I believe. As I flitter through the statistics supplied by OP, I can’t but think I am not alone in that view. For me, the publically shared spiritual journey Gina Colvin is an inspiring, grace filled path. That she found a way to reconcile and connect with her religious and cultural heritage and her own spiritual path, is a journey to be honoured… Not tarred with the brush of excommunication.

    The Mormon Church is preparing to remove one of its lights of passionate spiritual
    enquiry, and a truth seeker. As it does so, other lights leave with the darkening of rigid religious rule, and the view inside the church becomes dim indeed.

  • Answers to Gospel Questions Vol. 3 pp 98-99 under Counsel given by President Charles W. Penrose

    Now, some of our brethren have taken up quite a discussion as to the fulness of the everlasting gospel. We are told that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel, that those who like to get up a dispute, say that the Book of Mormon does not contain any reference to the work of salvation for the dead, and that there are many other things pertaining to the gospel that are not developed in that book, and yet we are told that the book contains “the fulness of the everlasting gospel.” well what is the fulnesspel? You read carefully the revelation in regard to the three glories, section 76, in the Doctrine and Covanants, and you find there defined what the gospel is, There God the Eternal Father, and Jesus Christ, his son, and the Holy Ghost, are held up as the three persons in the Trinity-the one God the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, all three being one God. When people believe in that doctrine and obey the ordinances which are spoken of in the same list of principals, you get the fulness of the gospel for this reason:

    General Conference Report, April 1922, pp 27-28.

  • Maybe it is some “basis reasoning skills” that forced her to her current position. Many folks are troubled with the Book of Abraham issue and it seems no scholars in BYUs’s Religion Department seem to present a convincing argument for some folks. I think Jana is what you would call a liberal Mormon. She has some some interesting work. She put every chapter of the Bible in the form of a tweet. Very interesting.

  • Most Saints aren’t troubled with the Book of Abraham. Those who are need to decide and then leave if they wish to join another church with different beliefs.

  • 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

    61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?

    66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

    Behold, let not the chapel door hit your butt on the way out.

  • Gina Colvin joined another church, which is her right and privilege, and I wish her well therein, but she can’t reasonably then expect to maintain communion (in an ecclesiastical sense) simultaneously with two seriously different denominations that are not in communion with each other. Most people understand that it is unreasonable to try to be, for example, a Baptist and a Catholic at the same time.

    As for poll-driven church policies, Rod Dreher gets it in today’s post:

    “A church that tries to be all things to all people, so as to lose as few as possible, will end by being nothing much to anybody.”

    Or as someone else put it, a church with no boundaries will in the long run find itself with no center.

    As for other arguments on this page, I refer open-minded readers to https://www.fairmormon.org/.

  • That’s excellent.

    John 6:60

    Jana and her coterie of dissenters need to contemplate why they are following/listening when they dislike what is being said.

  • Do we know each other? And do you know my husband? Because it sounds like you have expertise and I’m not sure that we’ve ever had you at our home for a meal? Have we?

  • Faith and membership are two different things and you know that.

    You can have faith in an alien invasion if you so wish but when that faith sees you proclaim yourself a priestess in the Alien church, that means you lose your membership in Christ’s only church.

  • Nope.

    But I know most of the trouble makers in the church in NZ hail from the South Island. In the North Island members sin but they rarely seek for media attention as do those in the South for some strange reason. That’s just an observation btw.

  • Gina,

    You absolutely have every right to expect to be able to construct your faith life as you wish. You just don’t have the right to expect everyone to go along with it. In this case, your former co-religionists didn’t. They, too, have the right to construct their faith life, do they not?

    As i said, I wish you well in your new denomination.

  • Speaking of individual lights, truth seekers, and journeys of faith, schism is happening right now in Anglican New Zealand. Which side you see as grace filled and holy depends on your individual faith. Each side is passionate and sees itself as on the side of light, deep spirituality, inspiration, beauty, holiness, and God and His angels and the other side as wrong.

    https://www.virtueonline.org/new-zealand-anglican-church-leaders-resign-over-anglican-decision-same-sex-blessings

    https://www.virtueonline.org/otago-nz-anglican-parish-leave-national-church

    https://www.virtueonline.org/new-zealand-church-leaders-rejects-sydney-proposal-overlapping-anglican-jurisdiction

  • 18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.

    Do you know what it means Minjae?

    See, I KNOW what the light is and as such, I can DISCERN because the light reveals what is hidden in darkness.

  • You need to fix your snark detector. I was being snarky since Jana wrote an piece about how judgmental “Mormons” are. Get a grip, I’m on your side.

  • Yeah, don’t read me as calling you out, I have no worries about what you write as it isn’t anti-gospel or subtle undermining of the faith that others possess.

    Hey, I lived in the ROK for 7 years- I used to act on lousy K TV shows and movies about a decade ago and I used to be able to speak about 120 words of Korean. Where’s your family from?

  • Yes, but you’re not the only party with rights. And under the principle of freedom of association, churches have the right to define the terms under which they will associate themselves with people.

    You’ve chosen to become a member of the Church of England. Congratulations, and all the best. You are ipso facto no longer a Latter-day Saint.

    Every choice necessarily precludes its alternatives. You cannot simultaneously travel to Dunedin and Picton.

  • Now Noel, if you want to know about basic reasoning skills, I can recommend some books for you to read. To get a start on the subject, try to wrap your head around the fact that not everyone is obsessed with the same one-note symphony you are; consequently, not every entry on an allegedly Mormon blog is about the Book of Abraham.

  • Ms Colvin’s Church disciplinary Council is neither vengeful nor petty – you are clearly projecting your own character flaws there – and it is the result of no “machinations,” despite what you’d like to believe. She’s been a consistent and actively proselytizing anti-Mormon for years now. Of course you know that, which is why you are so firmly on her side. Not only that, but she has absolutely and unequivocally joined another Church now. Even a “liberal” scholar ought to be able to figure out something that obvious. So all that remains is to formalize what is already real.

  • Historically, my family line runs to the area around Pyongyang. I was born and raised in Seoul, Seongbug-dong.

  • The church has a long history of intolerance and being judgmental. Judge not Jesus said, but that does not matter to the brethren because like the Sadducees,and Pharisees, they are looking to protect the institution over the people.It is no wonder members find these high profile cases troubling because it creates cognitive dissonance in folks. Good going leaders. Very inspired work on your part.

  • What would breach these schism’s then? They are a human thing, happening in all, very human, communal endeavours.

  • NO they are people with a conscience that know that sometimes the “party line”, the “religious leaders”, can be wrong.

  • NO.

    People with a conscience that believe religious leaders are wrong should have the integrity to leave.

  • Hmmm. When I joined the COJCOLDS as an adult, the Episcopal Church in which I was raised did not excommunicate me. I now realize that it (the Episcopal Church) was much more Christ-like than I ever appreciated.

  • I do not see these schisms in NZ being ended for the foreseeable future given freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

  • As I said earlier, a church that tries to be all things to all people, so as to lose as few as possible, will end by being nothing much to anybody. Google up the statistics of the striking decline of the Episcopal Church and the Church of England. The “Mainline Denominations” are in serious decline in New Zealand. See http://knoxcentre.ac.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Ward-Toward-2015-2006.pdf And now they have schism. Would you say, “good going leaders”, to them?

    Go to VirtueOnLine (e.g. https://www.virtueonline.org/derby-cathedral-shows-erotic-films-bans-evangelical-preacher) or Anglican Mainstream (https://ashenden.org/2018/11/29/the-abuse-of-sex-money-and-power-in-the-c-of-e-radical-inclusion-played-out-in-derby-cathedral/) to see Neuhaus’s Law in action: Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed.

  • Neuhaus’ Law is Gresham Law applied to another subject.

    In economics, Gresham’s law (1860) is a monetary principle stating that “bad money drives out good”. For example, if there are two forms of commodity money in circulation, which are accepted by law as having similar face value, the more valuable commodity will gradually disappear from circulation.

    Thus, silver coins disappear while paper money circulates.

  • Do note that it was Jesus Christ who took on the Sadducees and Pharisees, not the other way around.

  • You are missing the point entirely. The church does not have to be “all things to all people” to all for discussion on points. Groups that walk a very tight narrow band create inflexible thinkers who see things in literal black and white. They are sometimes called cults. Jesus railed against those types of organizations that the church has fallen into.

  • Jana might more fairly be called a “discontented Mormon”.

    A convert, she is apparently finding out that in a teaching church you actually are taught, and that drawing lines outside that teaching which contradict it may result in consequences.

  • Jana, good article. These numbers should be very alarming the the Brethren as they look to the future and how they plan on dealing with the increasing numbers of LDS connecting the dots on very troubling social and truth claim issues. I believe if the church doesn’t change, it will turn into a shell of what it is.

  • No, Jesus did not rail against those types of organizations.

    What he railed at was people who claim to be “A” but in fact are “B”.

  • The statement that ” I believe if the church doesn’t change, it will turn into a shell of what it is.” has been made by every dissident group in every denomination from the beginning of the church.

  • We are not just talking about little discussions on little points. Joining another denomination whose ecclesiastical authority and sacraments your previous church does not recognize is a very serious breach of communion, if you take communion, ecclesiastical authority, and sacraments seriously.

    If you think all churches that take communion, ecclesiastical authority, and sacraments seriously are cults, that is your opinion, but most small-o orthodox churches would disagree with you and might not take kindly to being called cults.

    The practice of church discipline can be traced to the New Testament and was historically considered one the marks of the true church in Reformed theology. See the Belgic Confession.

    Mark Connelly, please correct me if I am wrong, but it is my understanding that the Catholic church practices closed communion and that under cannon law apostates, heretics, and schismatics can be excommunicated.

    Of course, in the 1st century AD, the followers of Jesus would have been considered a cult by both the Roman authorities and the Jewish authorities. Maybe being called a cult should be a badge of honor in a secular culture increasingly hostile to religion.

  • The interesting thing is that the charge is typically and repeatedly made from the religious left, yet conservative churches have rather consistently outperformed liberal churches in terms of numbers, and it is the liberal churches that are left a shell of their former selves.

  • Yes.

    One commenter mentioned the Episcopal Church.

    The Episcopal Church is one-half the size it was forty years ago, is heading for bankruptcy, and is locked in series of expensive legal battles with former co-Episcopalians who escaped their innovations.

  • You need to learn you’re not the Alpha and Omega, that your opinions are just opinions, and that the use of religious people as punching bags by you is getting tiresome.

  • Hey, I know that area in Seoul as I used to live in seodamun-gu, I think it was, right on the side of the hill where the monastery is behind Yonsei.

    I used to walk all over Seoul and that area Seonbug has some nice modern house designs- that was the wealth area before the socio-cultural move to Gangnam happened. Seonbug is a still a wealthy neighborhood but the big crazy money for real estate area is all South of the river now which means Seonbug has a quieter pace.

    Seonbug also still has some lovely old Korean houses and I lived in a rental for a few months before fleeing to something modern (warmer) before the Winter truly arrived. The older toilets in the trad houses are not something I could live with so when renting, I would walk down to a little hotel to use their sit down toilets, which wasn’t very practical for day to day living.

    Anyway, really glad to hear of K members, wherever they may be now as the ROK has the dubious tag of being one of the only nations on earth where the church is going backwards- more people go inactive than stay. I recall attending one of our purpose built chapels for a few months in Cheongju and seeing maybe 6-7 people attend every Sunday.
    Modern Korean culture in the ROK at least, is so tied up with alcohol- alcohol with lunch, after work, when out with friends, alcohol at the noribang, yeah, just alcohol everywhere and most Koreans won’t give up their drinking. It’s really sad.

    Hmm, if you’re interested, go to the Korean animation page of wiki and then down to references and click the first reference there. It’s for the site I used to have about Korean animation, but that site is now only in the wayback machine.

    Glad to hear from you Minjae. Hope we talk some more.

    You have a good one.

    Alex

  • I grew up Mormon, but I eventually decided that the misogyny and racism baked into Mormon doctrine just wasn’t for me. It’s great not feeling compelled to defend the bad ideas contained within the religion.

  • Membership in the church in not a right, its a privilege. Its actually one of the more difficult churches to join. Missionary discussions, actually give up bad habits, attend church, commit to tithe, visit with the Bishop first, sometimes change some friends/environment, chastity etc.

    As Elder Packer said in April 2011 Gen Conf, “If someone is looking for a church that requires very little, this is not the one.” We’ve been warned…if you don’t like what it is and will become as lead by President Nelson via direct revelation from God, don’t join or leave if you must. But to stay and “raise he–” as Kate Kelly suggested upon her ousting, is bad advice.

    Even the scriptures warn about wolves in sheep’s clothing among the flocks in our day. Once one is identified, you follow a process and if justified, you remove them lest they kill the sheep. This is not a difficult principle.

    If the spirit of the Lord bids you to stay, then stay, joyfully, happily, obediently. God will force no man/woman to heaven. Mortality is an space for the exercise of agency. We can choose the path but not consequence.

  • But the church is changing very rapidly, not necessarily in the way that you’re suggesting. If you think that the pressures of society and the outside world will be the driver for that change, you’re betting on the wrong horse. The notion that the church needs to change to accommodate the views of the millennials is backwards. The rising generation needs to get themselves aligned with God and hand on with both hands.

  • Everyone knows their version of god is THE only correct way.

    Whereas, in actuality, what and how you worship is largely determined by geography and parentage.

  • Did they have your name on the records? Did anyone there actually know you?

    And did you start loudly, publicly, repeatedly and consistently attacking the Episcopal Church after you joined the Church of Jesus Christ, while still identifying yourself as an Episcopalian?

    Didn’t think so.

  • Boundary maintenance is a nice way to say purity maintenance, which is a nice way to say “authority is threatened”, which is a soft way to say “circle the wagons”.

    Unfortunately, it might be the way to say “circle the firing squad.”

  • What, the Episcopal Church maintains a membership roll including the names of individual members? I’m surprised (and impressed) to hear that.

    Why is it “arrogant” to point out that the situations are not parallel?

    The fact is that Ms. Colvin has been an energetically proselytizing anti-Mormon for years now. How many blog pages of anti-Episcopal rants did you rack up after you joined the Church of Jesus Christ?

  • 1. Marrying a girl in her mid teens is not what a pedophile does. Pedophiles go after pre-pubescent children. And the marriage (actually a betrothal) to Helen Mar Kimball was never consummated. That filthy label was a lie intended to demonize Joseph, and you know it.

    2. Yes, we’ve had race relations issues. Do you know of any major institution that hasn’t? We have black or brown bishops presiding over largely-white congregations; in the meantime, on Sunday mornings all over America, people drive past churches of their own denomination in order to worship with those of their own colour. And do you know what all those people have in common?

    I’ll tell you: None of them are Latter-day Saints.

    3. You desperately need to read those passages in context. But first, I suggest you look up the word “plagiarize” and figure out what it means. If someone says “this is what Isaiah said” and then quotes Isaiah, only an anti-Mormon would be ignorant enough to call that “plagiarism.”

  • Not to diminish the hard work and expense dedicated in administering your survey, but I think it is vitally important to point out an issue that undermines the thrust of your article. It is that the wording used specifically on the question of are you “troubled” by those excommunications is a fatally flawed question that can easily be misinterpreted from the way you intended.

    An active Mormon may consider that as being troubled that there are members that don’t actually believe in their faith, have “sinned” and they’re concerned for them, or other “trouble” outside what you were trying to put across.

    I believe the better question would have been “Does the excommunication of activists, intellectuals and feminists…

    a) diminish your faith
    b) strengthen your faith
    c) has no effect on my faith

    There, I believe, your data could carry a much stronger case for the point you’re trying to get across.

  • 1. So how exactly does any of that change the reality that he was a perverted grown man lusting after a 14-year-old little kid?

    2. Was Christ racist?

    3. Smith never gives credit to any Bible amanuenses when he’s passing off their writings as his own. Try again.

  • 1. That’s not a “reality.” It’s an assumption that demonstrates the content of your own generous mind. The marriage was arranged at the behest of her parents. A ceremony was performed and then she went back home – with her parents.

    Demagogues like your good self have no concept of religious principles. Joseph, being a better man than you are, actually had principles; and lived by them and and died for them.

    2. If you actually read the New Testament, instead of merely assuming that Jesus was a “nice guy,” a 1st century hippie or a SNAG, you will find that He told His disciples to only go to Jews, and at one point, even called non-Israelites “dogs.” You can call that “racist” if you like. Or, if you prefer, you can resort to special pleading.

    3. An “amanuensis” is a scribe, not a version. Apart from that, who in the 19th century ever specifies which Bible version they are using?

    The New Testament (something you should really read) quotes the OT in a number of places. It never “gives credit” to the 72 scholars of Alexandria, even though it is quoting the Septuagint.

  • The Mormon church WILL end up on the wrong side of history. It’s just too bad so many active, believing Mormons are finding out the real truth the hard way. It’s separating families, destroying LGBQT lives, and not facing up to the facts that it is SO easy now to prove Joseph Smith was a fraud. All that is required to become enlightened to the facts of the church is an open mind.

  • 1. There is no evidence that Joseph had sex with any “little girls.” That is yet another product of your own mind.

    I realise that you cannot begin to understand Joseph’s life and work; that’s why you try to fill in the gaps by assuming that he was like you.

    Well, it just so happens that he wasn’t. The UVP crowd invariably project their own failings upon those they hate; and they hate plenty. But they also get it wrong.

    2. You asked “Was Christ racist?” I answered by citing His recorded teachings and actions. You may draw your own conclusions about what they mean.

    3. Who wrote Isaiah 2:2-4? Who wrote Micah 4:1-3?

    You really don’t know much about the Bible, do you?

  • Manipulation is evil.

    Race-baiting is manipulative.

    You are a race-baiter.
    You are a manipulator.

    Bigotry is evil.

    Anti-Mormons are bigots.

    Anti-Mormonism is bigoted.
    Anti-Mormonism is evil.

  • That, of course, is a lie. But you knew that, didn’t you?

    Thomas C. Sharp and the Carthage Greys weren’t his “political opponents.” Joseph was murdered by bigoted anti-Mormons.

    Higbee and the Law brothers weren’t his “political opponents.” They were opportunists who sought to exploit plural marriage in order to drum up a lynch mob of anti-Mormon bigots.

    Yes, Joseph was murdered in a jail. There are people vile enough to rejoice at that; but actual Christians remember that Jesus was also put in prison, and then was executed like a common criminal.

    You really don’t know much about Christianity in any form, do you?

    Well, here’s a hint for you: the so called “Mormonism research ministry” is an anti-Mormon propaganda mill. It has no credibility.

    And neither do those who rely upon it.

  • BiO: “Unfortunately, it might be the way to say ‘circle the firing squad.'”

    I don’t know where you’ve been for the last 150 years or so, but the old anti-Mormon “blood atonement” libel has been discarded even by the most virulent haters.

  • Gina, good luck to you in the future. I am a frequent critic of the Mormon church, for many varied and documented issues. But you must have understood joining another church, including a baptism ritual, would subject you to church discipline. This cannot come as a surprise. I’m not criticizing you whatever nor trying to be patronizing. Just saying.

    Having said that, I try not to become so jaded that I no longer perceive the hostility and ugliness of many of these comments. There’s no use pointing out the hypocrisy of these so-called stalwarts who on one hand profess their discipleship of Christ, and then utterly fail to manifest it online. I’m sorry you are witnessing such vilification. But then none of these people, including me, are important in your life. As soon as their petty arguments end here, they will be done with you and waiting for the next Jana blog.

    If you haven’t figured out already, you will soon know who your real friends are. I suspect very few in your congregation, if any, will reach out to you in your post-Mormon life. My experience was that the love professed for me and my family at church ended the moment I left the church. And for you haters out there, I am friendly and easy-going in real life. I did nothing to alienate anybody other than to say I no longer believed the church’s truth claims. For too many so-called believers, that was all it took.

  • Yeah, too many of our strongest members have emigrated to the US. It is very difficult socially to be a good member in that society. It used to be because of the poverty and everyone had to work so much. Now it is because of the wealth – so many in the society are filled with pride and materialistic greed. Ironic.

  • 1. Are you daft? He married them. You do know what married people do, right?

    2. “No, Christ wasn’t racist,” you say? You’d be right because he cared for lots of people of different races during his ministry, dark-skinned included. Middle Easterners aren’t white either, btw. (Read the Gospels)

    Bottom line-

    Racism is evil.

    The Book of Mormon is racist.

    Mormonism is racist.
    Mormonism is evil.

    3. Can you hear yourself? You’re being irrational. https://www.additudemag.com/screener-autism-spectrum-disorder-symptoms-test-adults/ How does any of that answer my simple query?

  • I have no idea what that is, or is it what I meant.

    I’ll put it in this contex: from everything I heard and read, the anti gay Mormon campaign around Prop. H8 cost the church a lot of members.

  • The claim that Prop 8 had anything to do with “hate” is, ironically but not surprisingly, hateful.

    It is also a lie.

  • It all depends on whether you were on the giving end or the receiving end of people calling your marriage a threat to everything good and holy, something that had to be stopped for the good of society, underserving of the sacrament of civil marriage and so on.

    My guess is that you were on the giving end.

    I was active in the fight. And personally Encountered groups of Mormons from the temple near me saying the most horrific things. I know because I both saw them leaving the temple, and also I asked them. I’d call them lies.

    If you want to call the truth hate, I really don’t care. I was there.

  • 1. As I already pointed out: The marriage to Helen Mar Kimball was arranged at the behest of her parents. A ceremony was performed and then she went back home – with her parents. She and Joseph never lived together as husband and wife.

    2. And Latter-day Saints care for lots of people of different races, dark-skinned included. Your point?

    The fact is that you are engaged in special pleading. How do you explain away Jesus calling non-Israelites “dogs?”

    Manipulation is evil.

    Race-baiting is manipulative.

    You are a race-baiter.
    You are a manipulator.
    You are evil.

    Bigotry is evil.

    Anti-Mormons are bigots.

    Anti-Mormonism is bigoted.
    Anti-Mormonism is evil.

    3. If you’re too lazy to look up the references I gave you, that’s not my problem. The fact is that they demonstrate that you are simply wrong. As well as being rather outstandingly (and loudly and boorishly) ignorant.

  • Oh, so you were one of the actual haters.

    Got it.

    The thing is, to someone with a sense of entitlement, principled actions look like “hate.”

  • There is no such thing as “the wrong side of history” because history has no “sides.” Only those who are ignorant of history assume that it does.

    Yes, all you have to do is privilege current ideas of LGBTQ+ “entitlement,” and it then becomes trivially easy to convince yourself that anything in opposition to that must be “a fraud.”

    The inconvenient fact, however, is that Joseph demonstrated his sincerity far more convincingly than you have, or ever could.

    Sorry.

  • Principled actions? Calling my marriage a threat when it certainly was not, calling me a threat because I demand equality before the law, calling equality before the law evil, demanding that the law ignore the religious freedom not only of gay people, but of the many Christians, Jews, and others who have on issue with gay people?
    A sense of entitlement? Like the Mormon view of things should have dominion over the lives of others?
    I guess there is a principle involved. But you hate it when I use the words religious bigots, so I won’t.

  • Yes. We took a stand for conjugal marriage, the only authentic and valid kind.

    That was principled.

    You used the words “equality before the law,” but what you were really demanding was special treatment.

    I realise that your own sense of entitlement makes it impossible for you to recognise principles when you see them; but they are real, just the same.

    For every “religious bigot” in that fight, there were several dozen “bathhouse bigots.”

    Speaking of lies: Proposition 8 ignored the religious freedom of absolutely nobody. That claim is an outright lie. Prop 8 was about state sanction, not religious practice. Anyone who wanted to have something as oxymoronic as a “same sex marriage” would have been entirely free to enact one.

  • 1. You never presented evidence for your claim but, what’s even more damning, she wasn’t his only child bride. Remember Nancy Mariah Winchester and all the rest? (Google is your friend)

    2. You’re being mendacious. Jesus never said that.

    You must not think, from what I say, that I am opposed to slavery. No! The negro is, and is to serve his master till God chooses to remove the curse of Ham.

    -Prophet Brigham Young, New York Herald, May 4, 1855, as cited in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1973, p. 56

    http://www.mormonthink.com/QUOTES/blacks.htm

    It is extremely significant, nevertheless, that you really do recognize
    that the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and his elite henchmen were racist
    against peoples of colour just as Spencer W. Kimball was also forced to
    admit.

    3. I see that you can’t answer direct questions. I’ll stop embarrassing you with them, then . . .

  • Sorry. To say “Here is the good and wonderful thing. And only people like me can be allowed to have it.” is hateful and bigoted in the extreme. That you hide behind God to make your intolerance ‘true’ is pathetic.

  • Pardon me, but to whom do you attribute the words you put in quotes? Nobody I know said anything like them. We never even thought it.

    OTOH, there were those on your side of the argument who announced that they were working towards a “post-marriage society.” But hey – how could that possibly pose a threat to traditional marriage?

  • JM: “The Mormon Church is preparing to remove one of its lights of passionate spiritual enquiry, and a truth seeker.”

    Really? Who?

  • One of the most dismaying things I’ve seen in recent years is the way the Anglican Communion seems to be cannibalizing itself. It’s virtually imploding in all its traditional bastions. Perhaps ironically (although maybe not surprisingly) it is in Africa where it is both holding true to its best traditions, and still showing some vitality and resilience. I wish the “liberal” Protestant churches would take a lesson from that.

  • 1. For Nancy Winchester, see here: http://josephsmithspolygamy.org/plural-wives-overview/nancy-maria-winchester/

    So, another non-sexual sealing.

    At this point, honest people are questioning your scummy accusation. Don’t you think it’s time to withdraw it?

    2. Your ignorance is showing. Yes he did. Matthew 15:21-28.

    And no, I do not “recognize” any such thing. As Hypocrites like you always do, you are relying upon a brazen double standard. You want to ignore Jesus’ words and only notice His deeds, and you want to ignore the deeds of Joseph and the Restored Church, and focus upon your mendaciously hostile interpretations of some cherry-picked words.

    That is dishonest. I suggest you adopt one standard or the other. I’m quite happy to stick with deeds. But if you insist on words, please note that, in any honest discussion between people of different faiths, each gets to speak for their own faith. So you will stop being so insufferably arrogant as to presume to tell me! what my! scriptures mean. Instead, I will tell you.

    3. Your ignorance is showing yet again.

    Micah 4:
    1. In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.

    2 Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

    3 He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

    Isaiah 2:

    2 In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.

    3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

    4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

    Now, what was it you were saying?

    Oh yes, here it is:

    Maxximiliann (previously): “3. And which of the Bible amanuenses attempted to pass off another’s prophecy as theirs?”

    So, which is the original? Isaiah, or Micah? Which one of them, by your standard, was “plagiarizing?”

  • Some of the constituent churches of the Anglican Communion hold fast their faith.

    The sources of the apostasy of the others are:

    – treatment of the rank and file voting at conventions as equivalent to the order of bishops, which heads the enterprise to the lowest common denominator

    – the 1930 Lambeth Conference, which kicked the pins out from under Anglican sexual morality

    – the failure to excommunicate folks like Bishop Pike in the ’60s, which led to an “anything goes” doctrinal approach

    – the failure of a series of Archbishops of Canterbury to proclaim the Gospel as written and sever communion with national churches that did not

    The Communion no longer has a doctrinal center, and its structures lack any internal coherence.

    The traditional Anglican churches are forming international structures which will eventually make Canterbury irrelevant.

  • Pardon me, but to whom do you attribute the words you put in quotes? Nobody I know said anything like them. We never even thought it.

    Of course you did. Nearly every Mormon and evangelical I know has said them and continues to say them.

    “Marriage is only between a man and a woman.” Translation: “I can have marriage. And people like me can have marriage. But people like you can’t.”

    Or, another way of putting it: “Here is a good and wonderful thing. And only people like me can be allowed to have it.” The wording you objected to.

    In the comment I was responding to you said:

    We took a stand for conjugal marriage, the only authentic and valid kind.

    Translation: “Here is a good and wonderful thing. And only people like me can be allowed to have it.”

    This is hateful and bigoted.

    And as we’ve seen around the world, marriage equality in no way harms ‘traditional marriage.’ I know my traditional marriage hasn’t been affected in the least.

    To find someone you love who loves you back and to make a go of a life together is the single most wonderful thing I have experienced in this life. To deny that opportunity to anyone, for any reason, is monstrous in the extreme. I really can’t imagine hating anyone that much. Yet, so called Christians did it wholesale to a large swath of their fellow citizens.

    And here’s the deal: If there were a large scale movement out there to take marriage rights away from Mormons, I would be right back in the thick of it to defend their rights. Sadly, the Mormon mantra is “rights for me and mine but none for thee and thine.”

  • Someone once said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Treat people the way you want to be treated.

    The Mormon church, and the Mormons that make it up, failed that test once again.

  • 1. Prove it.

    2. Yes, yes, I see what you mean given the fact that John 3 :17 clearly declares that Christ was sent to give his life exclusively for the “white and exceedingly fair” . . . oh . . . wait . . .

    Everything Christ did screams so hard no one can hear what you say . . .

    Smith and Co.’s racism, on the other hand, screams so hard no one can hear what you say . . .

    Mormonism defames itself. Your opinions are insignificant; you’re fighting a lost battle …

    3. Small problem. Neither Isaiah’s nor Micah’s words were their own. Truth be told, absolutely nothing captured within the pages of the Holy Bible came from their penmen.

    Nothing like the BOM’s make-believe, the Bible’s forty amanuenses “spoke from God as they were moved by holy spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20, 21)

    -Yeah, this http://disq.us/p/1xtylwf was a set-up 🙂

  • The Church has sent a very clear message through these excommunications and it’s either you’re with us or you’re against us. Do you have questions? Do you disagree with some policy or practice? Are you something other than a content, straight, married person with a couple children? Well, if you’re not then there’s not place for you in the Mormon Church. So if you don’t quietly leave by yourself we’ll kick you out in the most damaging way possible. Because if you’re not with us you’re with Satan, obviously.This is a serious issue that should be addressed, or at the very least considered by the priesthood hierarchy. But I don’t have much faith that it will be.

  • Bathhouse bigots? Please. You just confirmed that one more time, it was about bigotry.

    And you also undermined your own argument: if it was about civil marriage, you had nothing to say about it, except to try to impose your religious beliefs on people who don’t share them through civil law.

    You have a nice day. This conversation is over.

  • “Are you something other than a content, straight, married person with a couple children? Well, if you’re not then there’s not place for you in the Mormon Church. ”

    I invite you to visit your local congregation (“ward”) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and discover that (1) singles are welcome. In fact, there are whole wards composed of singles. And of course, there are childless couples, widows, etc. (2) People attend churches they are happy with. That is why they go there. Malcontents can be found in every denomination, but they usually don’t attend services or expect the church to bend to their will. In fact, they are perfectly free to join other churches,

  • When you join another church, you are a believer in that church, assuming you take church membership seriously.

  • Hahahahaha aren’t you’re cute in your assumption that I have not already visited my local congregation (“ward”). You’ve certainly jumped to a lot of conclusions about me based on me one (1) comment.Also, your comment is a great example of the “with us or against us” mentality that I mentioned. What I should have made more clear in my original comment is that I think it’s important for the Church to utilize a little more nuance in its decisions going forward.

  • Or, maybe you are a believer in *part* of that church, too. I am a partial believer of Mormonism, a partial believer of Buddhism, a partial believer of Christianity, a partial believer of Hinduism, a partial believer of Native American spirituality, and more. Actually the more world religions I learn about, the more I become a partial believer of many. Which ones exclude me as an “all or nothing” adherent? And how does exclusion of anyone make sense in any religion claiming unity is a pillar belief?

  • “The Communion no longer has a doctrinal center, and its structures lack any internal coherence.”

    Yes, as I said earlier, a church with no boundaries will find itself with no center. Church discipline, which was practiced in the New Testament, was historically considered one of the marks of the true
    church in Reformed theology.

    From a Publishers Weekly review of Kenda Creasy Dean’s book, Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church, “…a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, opens this absorbing portrait of teenage religiosity by throwing down a gauntlet: the faith of America’s teens is ‘not durable enough to survive long after they graduate from high school. One more thing: we’re responsible.’ Dean, who worked on the National Study of Youth and Religion with sociologist Christian Smith, says that American Christians’ emphasis on ‘a do-good, feel-good spirituality’ at the expense of deep discipleship may cost them the rising generation, which is (with the exception of Mormon teens, the subject of an admiring chapter-long case study) largely apathetic about Christian faith.”

    As Dean puts it “The problem does not seem to be that churches are teaching young people badly, but that we are doing an exceedingly good job of teaching youth what we really believe, namely, that Christianity is not a big deal, that God requires little, and the church is a helpful social institution filled with nice people…”

  • 1. Nice try. You are the accuser (Greek diabolos, devil) so it is you who has the burden of proof. Attempting to shift it shows that you can’t meet it.

    2. You are trying to shift the goal posts. Thus, your second accusation fails.

    And as I said before: we have black or brown bishops presiding over largely-white congregations; in the meantime, on Sunday mornings all over America, people drive past churches of their own denomination in order to worship with those of their own colour. And do you know what all those people have in common?

    I’ll tell you: None of them are Latter-day Saints.

    In fact, they are mostly Bible-worshipping idolaters, just like you.

    3. This is called “special pleading.” It’s a logical fallacy. It’s also a form of intellectual hypocrisy. Jesus was rather severe upon that.

    Here’s a suggestion: instead of worshipping the Bible, maybe you should read it.

    Your “set-up,” also known as “trolling,” has failed.

  • we have black or brown bishops presiding over largely-white congregations

    1 Nephi 11:13 (Mary) “she was exceedingly fair and white.”

    1 Nephi 12:23 (prophecy of the Lamanites) ” became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.”

    1 Nephi 13:15 (Gentiles) “they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people [Nephites] before they were slain.”

    2 Nephi 5:21 “a sore cursing . . . as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.”

    2 Nephi 30:6 (prophecy to the Lamanites if they repented) “scales of darkness shall begin to fall. . . . they shall be a white and delightsome people” (“white and delightsome” was changed to “pure and delightsome” in 1981).

    Jacob 3:5 (Lamanites cursed) “whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins. . . .”

    Jacob 3:8-9 “their skins will be whiter than yours… revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins. . . .”

    Alma 3:6 “And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion.”

    Alma 3:9 “whosoever did mingle his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his seed.”

    Alma 3:14 (Lamanites cursed) “set a mark on them that they and their seed may be separated from thee and thy seed. . . .”

    Alma 23:18 “[Lamanites] did open a correspondence with them [Nephites] and the curse of God did no more follow them.”

    3 Nephi 2:14-16 “Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites; And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites and . . . became exceedingly fair. . . . ”

    3 Nephi 19:25, 30 (Disciples) “they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness. . . . nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof… and behold they were white, even as Jesus.”

    Mormon 5:15 (prophecy about the Lamanites) “for this people shall be scattered, and shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us. . . .”

    Why do you LDS go against thsoe BOM passages?

  • False charge of fallacy. Every one of the forty anointed Bible penmen were Jehovah God’s amanuenses. Your try to “tapar el sol con el dedo” has failed once again . . .

    Hang on, you don’t actually feel anyone buys your rubbish that Jehovah God could ever use a white supremacist, paraphilic in Joseph Smith as his amanuensis, do you?

  • Kiwi reading your arguments here I could easily conclude that you do have some problems with racism and with bigotry in general. I grew up in the same church as you, and yes you probably learned a lot of it on sunday.

    One interesting note on the issue of gay marriage. By calling gay marriage “apostate” behavior doesn’t the church inadvertently give gay marriage a higher level of validity that it gives no other religious or civil marriage.

    The church didn’t get mad at me when after our temple ceremony, my spouse and I had a religious ceremony done by a non christian, religious leader from the culture and people my spouse belonged to. Incidentally quite a few years out I feel more connected to my spouse and family through that ceremony, than the temple ceremony.

  • Koseighty: “Of course you did. Nearly every Mormon and evangelical I know has said them and continues to say them.”

    Really? Then please provide a source.

    Because I say you are making it up.

    Koseighty: “‘Marriage is only between a man and a woman.’ Translation: ‘I can have marriage. And people like me can have marriage. But people like you can’t.'”

    “Translation” is an unusual way to spell “deliberate misrepresentation,” isn’t it?

    You know how you proudly “refrain from saying I’ll think for you?” How about you just refrain from speaking for anyone else?

    Or do you have to control both sides of the discussion?

    K: “Or, another way of putting it: ‘Here is a good and wonderful thing. And only people like me can be allowed to have it.’ The wording you objected to.”

    No, that’s not “another way of putting it.” It’s another way of consciously misrepresenting it.

    Here’s an honest way to put it: Marriage is a union of a man and a woman. That’s what it is, and what it has always been. Nobody is going to ask you what your “sexual orientation” is; if you can find a person of the opposite sex who is legally eligible and willing to marry you, you can get married. Anyone who tells you that you have to be “people like me” has brazenly lied to you.

    But a pair of shoes is a left shoe and a right shoe, not two left shoes. A pair of scissors is a left blade and a right blade, not two right blade. And a marriage is a man and a woman, not two of either. It’s just what it is.

    K: “And as we’ve seen around the world, marriage equality in no way harms ‘traditional marriage.’ I know my traditional marriage hasn’t been affected in the least.”

    Yes, that’s the silly counter-argument. It’s an example of the fallacy of composition, the assumption that the whole is like its parts. You cannot demolish a brick building then pick up an undamaged brick and triumphantly exclaim that no damage has been done. Marriage is a social institution that is designed to keep families together so that children can grow up with their own (preferably biological) parents; and if they can’t have their own, then a plausible replacement pair, i.e. one of each.

    K: “And here’s the deal: If there were a large scale movement out there to take marriage rights away from Mormons, I would be right back in the thick of it to defend their rights. Sadly, the Mormon mantra is ‘rights for me and mine but none for thee and thine.'”

    No. It is not.

    And I regret that you have no good faith basis to believe what you assert.

  • Yes, you made an accusation (actually three accusations) without evidence.

    Accordingly, consider your malicious lies dismissed.

  • Ah. Sound-bite polemics. How expectedly dishonest.

    We don’t go against those passages, or any part of the Book of Mormon.

    We understand that honest people read them in their context. They don’t rip them out of context, like unprincipled liars do.

  • Alex you said,

    “In the North Island members sin but they rarely seek for media attention as do those in the South for some strange reason. That’s just an observation btw.’

    Yep we aren’t racist are we. The north is where those sinning LDS Marois live right Alex?

    So where in NZ do the smug religious hypocrites live?

  • Well we have some modern day Sadducees and Pharisees in the LDS church. So maybe Jesus needs to come down and take them on there.

  • Eh?

    The North has a majority of Maoris, yes, but the South has people from all over the world and I wouldn’t know what ethnic or racial group is the majority in the South.

    What I’m saying is that people sin everywhere but for some reason the ‘Look at me, I’m going to force the church to change’ crowd are usually from the South Island.

  • What do you think “missionary work” is supposed to accomplish and to whom is it aimed?

    By your reasoning the church should be a constant din of arguing.

  • velhoburrinho: “Kiwi reading your arguments here I could easily conclude that you do have some problems with racism and with bigotry in general.”

    Really?

    Support that accusation, please.

    What have I said that any reasonable person could construe as “racist?”

    V: “I grew up in the same church as you, and yes you probably learned a lot of it on sunday.”

    If you grew up in the same Church as me, then you know perfectly well that that assertion is false.

    V: “One interesting note on the issue of gay marriage. By calling gay marriage ‘apostate’ behavior doesn’t the church inadvertently give gay marriage a higher level of validity that it gives no other religious or civil marriage.”

    No. That makes no sense at all. Sorry.

  • Right, that’s why Porter Rockwell flouted being above the rules and norms of ordinary Mormons by riding nude on a bicycle around Temple Square during the annual 24th of July, “This is the Place” celebration in front of Brigham Young and other General Authorities. Rockwell was known as the infamous “Mormon Angel of Death” for calling out church critics to “fair” gun flights that they had no chance of winning against him.

  • “Blood Atonement” was the notion that the atoning blood of Christ did not apply to “traitors” to Mormonism. Only the shedding of their blood would allow them to be “forgiven” for betraying “God’s Only True Church.” The group, also known as “Danites” after avengers in the biblical Israelite tribe of Dan, was never officially recognized by the LDS leadership, but some people believe that they were responsible for the infamous “Mountain Meadow Massacre” and that John D. Lee, the organizer of the massacre was the last leader of the secretive group.

  • If he had mentioned the Danites, I would have understood.
    The Danite Band figures prominently in sherlock holmes– sign of the four, I think.

  • Wrong again. I was coerced into “supporting” it as a California Mormon back in 2008. I was among the 30% of California Mormons who were so offended by the strong-arm tactics of the Church that we stopped attending and contributing to the Church. Every pyramid-scheme sales tactic ever known or tried was used to soak members in California for time and money to support that initiative of pure, vengeful evil.

  • Mormons in the United Kingdom have had a lurid, imaginative history. Mormon missionaries have been in the UK since the early 1830s and the UK was the first “foreign” mission of the LDS Church. As someone who is 82% British, my ancestors mostly came to America before 1700 as it was first colonized by the British, with about 25% of them arriving in America in the 1800s due to Mormon missionary work in the UK. Holmes had good reason to show them as nefarious characters.

  • Considering that my first Mormon ancestor, joining in 1836 and ordained an elder by Joseph Smith, had a total of six wives, 3 of them assigned by the Church following the tragedy of the Willy-Martin handcart disaster of 1857, your long-winded nonsense about Mormon “marriage tradition” is laughable. My great-grandfather was married in the old Endowment House and yet never got involved in polygamy because of what it did to his father to “obey” the polygamy “commandment” of the Church.

  • The Bible plagiarizes the Bible. Matthew and Luke heavily “borrow” from the older narrative of Mark and then add their own spin and flavor to the Jesus myth. Mormons are no more or less racist, sexist or homophobic than any other group of holy hypocrites, including your own. It’s the hallmark of Circus Tent “Christians” to point fingers at the Mormons and cry, “false religion,” so no one looks too close at all the fake miracles and bottles of magic potions that they peddle like religious gypsies.

  • Smith never did anything “blindly.” He was just as good of a preacher as preached under any of your circus tents.

  • Once again, Mormons are no more “evil” for their misguided beliefs than you holy hypocrites are. Evangelical “Christians” are just as “phony” in their own way as the Mormons are. The whole anti-Mormon con game is a dodge to hide the nasty, pyramid scheme nature of their own “churches.”

  • Smith was murdered by the official conspiracy of the Illinois state government, most of whom were Masons in that era. The Masonic Lodge of that era believed that Smith, also a member of the Masons, betrayed their “temple rites” with his own Mormon temple rites. His bloody murder was payback by the Masons. The Mormon “Danites” did their best to hunt down everyone who bragged about murdering Smith and made the murderers pay in full in their own blood.

  • Nice dodge. But we don’t even have solid historical evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was an actual historical figure. There are no contemporary secular histories that make any mention of him. The only secular histories that mention Christ were written 50+ years after his life and death. So, let’s keep your “examples” and “comparisons” to real, documentable history, shall we?

  • Where’s yours? Family Research Council propaganda doesn’t really count. Your hatred of the LGBTQ community is not cancelled out of by your hatred of the Mormons.

  • Actually it was “A Study In Scarlet.”

    And anti-Mormons have been relying upon fantasy fiction to support their conspiracy theories ever since.

  • 1. FACT: the Bible brags about far more sex crimes approved by God than any of the Mormons ever tried in real life.

  • No one needs to prove anything to a holy hypocrite. Your whole anti-Mormon tirade is a dodge so that no one takes too close of a look at your own pyramid-scheme version of selling Jeezus for profit. Folks like you are human parasites, always looking for someone else’s blood to suck.

  • As a “recovering” or “Jack” Mormon who cares about real history, I have even less patience for BS-peddling anti-Mormons than I do for Mormon apologists. I see both as two sides of the same counterfeit coin.

  • I jumped to no conclusions about you. I only invited you to church, a very innocuous thing to do. I am sorry if you feel offended because I invited you to visit our church, an invitation I would be happy to extend to anyone. Did you find that all unmarried, widowed, or childless couples etc. in your ward visit felt they had no place in the Church? You certainly would have to jump to a lot a conclusions that they all felt out of place. Did you interview them all? I certainly felt there was a place for me before I was married and before I had children, and I know lots of people who feel the same way now, including some of the strongest members of our ward. Your comment struck me as an absolutist generalization and not at all nuanced. Sounds like you are decidedly against something or someone. Sounds like your comments are designed to be damaging.

    Sister Sharon Eubank (https://www.lds.org/church/leader/sharon-eubank?lang=eng) certainly feels she has a place in the Church as a single woman. See also https://www.fairmormon.org/conference/august-2014/womans-church

  • Nope. Even by today’s standards the term “pedophile” does not apply. Sadly, even to this day, “mommy notes” to marry trump local “age of consent” laws. Smith had “mommy and daddy notes” to wed all 3 of his young teenage brides (ages 14 and 15). He would have only be in jeopardy of bigamy laws.

  • Any seeker of truth should follow two maxims: believe all truths and reject all falsehoods. One can maximize the first by believing everything, and the second by rejecting everything. In practice we all make decisions and try to find balance as best we can. A unified body of true adherents must likewise decide if it wishes to have any boundaries. If it has no boundaries, it will find it will have no true unity. It will be a club that everyone can belong to regardless of belief. This does not fit the model of the New Testament church.

  • Trust those who seek the truth and be wary of those who say they’ve found it. Even more critically I’ve found, be VERY wary of those who say you will be excommunicated if you don’t unilaterally adopt their truth as your own.

  • Does it bother you that the New Testament has numerous examples of and exhortations to boundary maintenance?

  • That’s too bad so many people don’t think it’s necessary to observe those boundaries. They seem to be fundamentalist questions. The only time the new testament bothers me is when it is used as a weapon against other people.

  • No.

    But Ms Colvin is not a “partial believer.” She’s an aggressively active non-believer who attacks the Church at every opportunity, and who has now joined another church altogether – and by so doing, has left the Church of Jesus Christ.

    There’s nothing “threatening” about this; but it’s not really compatible with continuing membership in a covenant community of believers.

  • Jesus Christ is public domain. Just sayin’. His story (myth or fact) is free for anyone to claim in any way they like, interpretted any way they want.

  • So I must be tolerant of your intolerance toward people who don’t CHOOSE their sexuality? Did I get that straight?

    Let’s say I claimed that people left the Mormon church because of their “one-drop” policy. Do you think that policy also had nothing to do with racism or hate? Does that make me a hateful person to point out institutionalized racism?

    If I say the church’s claim that:
    Black people were less valiant in the preexistence and thus cursed with dark skin so as to be identified and prevented from the priesthood should they have even ONE drop of African blood…is a hateful policy, does that make me hateful?

  • So your God, until recently, said that homosexuality is a choice, but then changed his mind again and said “no, actually, people are born that way”. Explain this omnipotent God you have to everyone.

  • losangelesute: “So I must be tolerant of your intolerance toward people who don’t CHOOSE their sexuality? Did I get that straight?”

    No.

    Our principled stand on conjugal marriage was not based on “intolerance,” and it is both intolerant and ignorant to presume that it was.

    It was entirely, and only, about what a valid marriage is, not about who should participate.

    (As an aside, I’ve been highly entertained watching alleged “liberals” tying themselves in knots as they throw their allegedly “liberal” principles under the bus in order to justify being intolerant of alternative viewpoints, which they call “intolerance.”)

    lau: “Let’s say I claimed that people left the Mormon church because of their ‘one-drop’ policy. Do you think that policy also had nothing to do with racism or hate?”

    Whether it was “racism” is largely a question of definition. But it had nothing to do with “hate.”

    If you are going to argue that it was “racism” by definition because it imposed a racial criterion, then strictly speaking, as a matter of definitions, you may be right. But if you are then going to claim that “racism” always equals “hate,” then you are simply pulling a bait-and-switch.

    lau: “Does that make me a hateful person to point out institutionalized racism?”

    Are you merely trying to “point out” something?

    Or are you actually trying to use that as a club with which to beat the Church of Jesus Christ? If so, then yes, that would appear to be pretty hateful.

    The Priesthood ban was ended forty (40) years ago. The overwhelming majority of living Latter-day Saints did not live under it, and almost nobody now living ever had to deal with it on a personal basis. So when some hater comes gnashing and foaming at us about it, we have a right to push back.

    If you want to say that we, like almost every other large institution in the world, have historically had our race relations issues, then you would be right. But if you are trying to play the race card, and paint us as some kind of uniquely “racist” organisation that maintained that policy out of “hate,” then you would, yourself, be engaging in a hate-based polemic.

    And that would, among other things, be quite startlingly hypocritical.

    Not surprisingly. But startlingly.

  • “Blood atonement” was always a theoretical notion that had to do with the administration of the death penalty in a theocratic state.

    No actual historians think they were responsible for the MMM. John D. Lee was called a “danite” only to improve the sales of his posthumously published – and heavily embellished – autobiography.

  • RTL “Holmes had good reason to show them as nefarious characters.”

    I think you mean Conan Doyle.

    And no, he didn’t. He was relying upon sectarian propaganda.

  • BF: “Jesus Christ is public domain. Just sayin’. His story (myth or fact) is free for anyone to claim in any way they like, interpretted any way they want.”

    In a way, you’re right. But membership in a church isn’t just about “His story.” It’s a lot about the life of the community.

  • 1. Alex is wrong.

    2. All the same, you are misunderstanding (or misrepresenting) him. Your assumption of “racism” is stupid at best. It looks like a rather over-eagerness to find “racism” everywhere. His claim wasn’t that all the sinners were in the North. It was that there are sinners both in the North and in the South, but the troublemakers are all in the South.

    And on the last point, he’s simply wrong.

    Most Church members in New Zealand live in the North Island. Including most of the troublemakers.

    velhoburrinho: “So where in NZ do the smug religious hypocrites live?”

    Smug religious hypocrites are found everywhere. They mostly hang out on the internet.

    And many of them smugly strut their “dissent” or apostasy. Some of them even give themselves Portuguese screen names.

  • Maxxxx: “Then why aren’t you Christian?”

    I am.

    There are no objective criteria under which the Church of Jesus Christ is not a Christian church.

    Sorry.

  • With the code of conduct he supplied his loyal ones, Christ drew a bright line and then announced that absolutely everyone on the other side is not a Christian.

    So wholly devoted to this code would these be that all non-Christian worldviews/conduct would be effortlessly recognized. (Malachi 3:18 cf. Titus 1:16)

    These preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words.

    So, just as we are able to distinguish genuine legal tender apart from Monopoly money, any sincere person can make a distinction between a Christian and an AntiChristian (Satanist).

    IOW, if Mormons are sedulous disciples of Christ then Mohammad was Jewish . . .

  • Imitation is supposed to be the most sincere form of flattery but in your case, it just makes you a parrot as well as discussion thread stalker.

  • Kiwi57. Your comment reflects the majority of those you’ve made in this space….as someone who doesn’t want to listen. You don’t have to agree with me, but there is no need to be obtuse.

  • Well, if one uses the Bible as a weapon, one should buy the heaviest version one can afford.

    Gluing all the pages together and putting on a handle on it helps.

  • And apparently about rejecting people who aren’t “all in,” which…is kind of a sad Jesus interpretation if you ask me.

  • Also there was a made for TNT movie in the mid 90’s starring Tom Berenger featuring them. “Avenging Angel”.

    It has a plot reminiscent of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. Where the villain’s evil scheme follows how history really went.

  • 1. There are states where with a judge’s permission kids as young as 13 can marry without parental consent. In all 50 states, kids that young can marry with parental consent. Smith had parental consent in every case in which he married an under age girl, so other than the crime of bigamy, no crimes were committed. Your language of “perverted” and “lusting’ are efforts on your part to hype your own bad arguments.

    2. Christ talked to the woman at the well about Samaritans as being a lesser people than the Jews. Christ did not personally minister to anyone who was not Jewish, except to heal the gay lover the Roman Centurion. His apparent lack of concern for non-Jews could be seen as “racist.”

    3. Smith stated that when he was translating the direct teachings of Christ to the ancient peoples of America, if Bible language was better than his own efforts, he used that. The Bible is considered “public domain,” so no copyright laws were broken whether or not Smith’s “translation” was real or fictitious.

    None of my remarks should be construed as an endorsement of Mormonism; I am just pointing out that Anti-Mormons are themselves con artists looking to make money off other people’s problems.

  • The reference to Porter Rockwell being nude in public on a bicycle is based on a photograph that ended up in the newspapers of that era (that discretely showed that Rockwell was only wearing the bike itself). I never mentioned Zane Grey as a reference. That’s your own apologetics at work.

  • Thanks for using a lot of words to say nothing of importance. I grew up Mormon and studied carefully everything possible on the issue because my parents were liberal Democrats and the racism of the Church toward Blacks was at odds with my socially liberal upbringing. So, the effort nowadays to pretend that General Authorities in the 1950s through mid 1970s were not officially racist is nonsense. The fact is that Joseph Smith ordained black men to the Mormon Priesthood and that it was Brigham Young who changed the policy due to his Southern States sympathies prior to the Civil War. Official Mormon racism, sexism and homophobia all entered Mormon theology after Joseph Smith as Young and company had their own “revelations.” The now infamous 1978 “Priesthood Revelation” amounts to God telling Spencer Kimball to undo the racism of Brigham Young and nothing more. Now you have Rusty Nelson claiming that God wants you to be happy haters of gay people, putting him in the Brigham Young camp, not the Joseph Smith/Spencer Kimball camp of Mormonism.

  • And a historic review concludes that Mormonism or whatever they call these days is still basically a business cult based on the following business model:

    Charge your Mormon employees/stock holders a fee/tithe and invest it in
    ranches, insurance companies, canneries, gaudy temples, a great choir and
    mission-matured BYU football and basketball teams.

    And all going back to one of the great cons of all times i.e. the Moroni
    revelations to Joseph Smith analogous to mythical Gabriel’s revelations to the
    hallucinating Mohammed !!!

  • Sadly, I did not make note of the reference when I saw mention of it and the photo said to be that of Rockwell on Main Street during the Pioneer Day Parade. So, discount it, if you prefer. It doesn’t lessen the case against Rockwell as the rule-flaunting Mormon Angel of Death.

  • Who’s being “obtuse?”

    By “listen,” did you perhaps mean in the Senator Hirono sense of “shut up and do as you are told?” If that’s the case, then I suppose I’m not.

    But I don’t see “one of its lights of passionate spiritual enquiry, and a truth seeker.” Nobody in view resembles that description.

    I have seen Ms Colvin in action for years. She is a 3rd-wave feminist and radical socialist. This is her political philosophy. It is a rigid procrustean bed that defines the boundaries of her world view. Her “truth seeking” starts and ends with rejecting, unconsidered, anything that does not fit that paradigm.

    Including, but not limited to, major portions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    That doesn’t match my idea of either “passionate spiritual enquiry” or “a truth seeker.”

    Sorry.

  • Rockwell wasn’t “the Mormon angel of death.” He was an early Utah lawman who had to deal with some pretty rough characters. He was also rather hard to kill.

    He also had a drinking problem, so he might well have done stupid things when he was drunk.

    But I do find it unlikely that newspapers in those rather strait-laced times would be publishing nude photos.

    I mentioned Zane Grey because there are an awful lot of tall tales that seem to have found their way into popular notions of “the way things were.” These include, but are not limited to, stories of “danites” anywhere outside of Missouri, or any time after 1838.

  • Stories about the “Danites” continued through the entire Brigham Young era of Mormonism. Danites sort of faded along with the six-hour temple endowment sessions under Young, not that one excess is directly related to the other.

  • Incidentally, notwithstanding the wishful thinking of D. Michael Quinn, Joseph Smith’s time was no kind of early Mormon “gaytopia.” Sorry.

    I don’t know why you think the 1978 revelation (no scare quotes required) is “infamous.” I’m not aware of anyone at all who thinks there’s anything wrong with it, except a few anti-Mormons who are angry that it’s taken away one of their angles of attack against the Church of Jesus Christ.

    And, like all of the Lord’s anointed servants, President Nelson is a better person than his critics.

  • Nice. But the Joseph Smith “story” is also just that. You don’t really get to dictate which “stories” about the Mormons are the “true” ones.

  • Thanks for bringing up D. Michael Quinn, who was lavishly praised by the Church for his historical accuracy until that same accuracy of research led him to conclusions contrary to modern spins by the Church on its own history. Quinn has better sources and conclusions on the history of LGBTQ in the Mormon Church than current GAs do.

  • “Stories” about “danites” in Utah are bogus.

    The danites were abolished in Missouri.

    That’s a fact, not a story.

  • I am “troubled” by not really knowing from this survey what “troubled” actually means. I am pretty sure plenty of people are troubled by excommunications who believe in it, like myself. So, count me in–troubled. Few excommunications are for apostasy. Most are for adultery/fornication, felonies, or abuse. You have to work pretty hard at it to be excommunicated for apostasy (I have had differences with leaders or policies at times and locked horns more than once and come away with little more than tongue-lashing or an apology, but I do recognize their authority and recognize the 15 apostles as the high court of spiritual law on earth whose decisions and officers should have right to be obeyed and respected). My experience with dozens of people excommunicated is that most believe it was to their benefit, find that they were reached out to and supported, they like the fresh start it permits, and they found significant spiritual growth and peace from it. Not all would agree, but most. Apostasy is a different category. It is like practicing spiritual law or medicine without a license, and denying that authority or license is even needed because you claim to be your own authority, or have some special permission of God himself, and you belittle or disregard the authority of those who are duly authorized. It is like contempt of court–openly disrespecting the judge, his or her rulings, and the law in his/her courtroom (you are going to get booted out if not arrested and jailed). It is like mutiny against a captain of a ship going through perilous waters–perilous spiritual waters. Whether or not the captain is guiding the ship as perfectly as you think he should (even though you have never commanded a spiritual ship yourself), you don’t get to tell other crew members to disregard his orders–for what should be, but apparently is not, obvious reasons. The Church is not a debating society. Every member has a chance for input and there is room for differing views, but the core principles, leaders, and ordinances (the spiritual law) has to be obeyed and respected, or you should expect to end up out.

  • Well, I will trust my sources on the internet over your word on it. I am just glad that I couldn’t find anything linking my LDS ancestors to either the Danites or their alleged acts of vengeance.

  • Yes, he was praised when he got things right, and not praised when he didn’t. When it came to finding people who shared his particular sexual peccadilloes, he saw them everywhere, whether they were there or not.

    This appears to be a common human behaviour. I rather suspect that that’s why you think his sources are “better” – because you like them better.

    But the fact is that he outrageously misinterpreted his sources. When Joseph Smith spoke of “lying down” and “getting up” together, Quinn assumed he was talking about same sex activity, while Joseph seemed to think he was talking about lying down in the grave and getting up at the Resurrection. Quinn assumed that Evan Stevens never married because he was “gay,” when in fact he didn’t marry because the woman he loved wouldn’t have him. Quinn assumed that references to the clearly asexual friendship of David and Jonathan meant the same to believing Latter-day Saints as it does in erotic homosexual fantasies. (News flash: it doesn’t, and never has.) And he assumed that every household with two adults of the same sex in it – like two old maid house-mates – was “really” an open gay or lesbian relationship.

    And if all that conclusion-leaping wasn’t bad enough, the cover of his sex book is illustrated with a period photograph of two men. He didn’t tell you, did he, that he cropped the photograph to remove a woman, who was the wife of one of the men?

  • Are they the same sources that told you about Rockwell’s bicycle? Bicycles only started being manufactured in the US in 1878, the year Rockwell died – and the year after Brigham Young died.

  • Thanks for using a lot of words to provide a lot of distortions and half truths.

    I see that you, much like Gina, decided to use your political philosophy as the unyielding yardstick against which everything else gets measured.

    The “nonsense” is your claim that Brigham had “Southern States sympathies prior to the Civil War.” That’s simply rubbish. Early in the Civil War, Confederate envoys approached Brigham Young to negotiate bringing Utah into the Confederacy, with statehood as the bargaining chip. Brigham listened politely, but turned them down, saying that Utah would stick by the Union.

    The origin of the Priesthood ban does indeed trace back to Brigham, but not to any imaginary “sympathies.” There were other factors at play.

    And, as I already mentioned: I have nothing but the highest respect for President Nelson. The contumely of profane people does nothing to diminish that respect.

  • The Huffington Post and some other sources did the analysis of the the big numbers. And no one died making you hall monitor.

  • Early homemade bicycles go much further back. Thanks for reaching to mass produced stuff. The term “bicycle” dates to 1860s and the typical style of the era was the high front wheel style, made in Europe and available for sale in the US. There goes your latest “gotcha.”

    But since you mentioned the time frame of their deaths, you do know that both men came under intense Federal scrutiny due the fact that President US Grant blamed Young and the Mormons’ Utah War for the later Civil War.

  • I wish people would think things through once in a while. Of course there are conditions to the invitation. All invitations have conditions. Every invitation you’ve ever received had conditions, and every invitation you’ve ever extended to anyone else has conditions. And that’s not a criticism of you; it simply could not be otherwise.

    And it’s not about being “all in.” It’s about not being “all against.”

  • Kiwi, I have thought this through more than you can possible know. Yes, there are conditions for all communities, but the LDS community’s condition that someone be ALL IN or they are ALL OUT is over the top exclusionary. I predict this will change over time, just like it has with other tight religious cults who eventually wanted to retain quantity of adherents vs. “quality” if you will. That’s why we have Cafeteria Catholics and Athiest Jews. One day, if the LDS penchant for organizational survival stays true, there will be Moderate Mormons, too.

  • Yes, high-wheeled bicycles (penny-farthings) were developed in England in the 1870’s, started being imported to the US in 1877 and manufactured in 1878.

    They had a very high centre of gravity and were difficult enough for a young man to ride while sober. If an old man managed to ride one while drunk, it would have been an achievement indeed.

    I’m not really interested in dying on this hill, but it’s such an obvious “tall tale” that I have to wonder why you are so attached to it.

    RTL: “But since you mentioned the time frame of their deaths, you do know that both men came under intense Federal scrutiny due the fact that President US Grant blamed Young and the Mormons’ Utah War for the later Civil War.

    Is there a source for that claim, or should I just add it to the growing catalogue of stuff you really just make up?

  • BF: “the LDS community’s condition that someone be ALL IN or they are ALL OUT is over the top exclusionary.”

    There’s no such condition. That’s BS, BF.

    BF: “One day, if the LDS penchant for organizational survival stays true, there will be Moderate Mormons, too.”

    There are already large numbers of “moderate” Mormons, fringe Mormons, less-active Mormons and generally uncommitted Mormons.

    We do our best to reach out to them.

    But Ms Colvin has, for as long as I’ve been aware of her activities, been none of those things. She’s been an actively hostile adversary to the Church of Jesus Christ. She’s been “all against.”

    And the word “cult” is pretty much a meaningless pejorative. Just so you know.

  • Why am I blessed with your drivel? No one else wants to read your personal worship of Russell Nelson?

  • I doubt anyone wants to read your gratuitous personal slams against him either, so I guess we’re even.

    Besides, saying that he’s better than his critics is hardly “worship.” It’s not exactly a high bar that he has to clear.

  • It’s not BS. It’s an ALL IN or ALL OUT faith. I know it and so does anyone else who’s ever vigorously participated.

    And cult is what religions are. Like it or not. Whether it’s a pejorative statement is a matter of perspective.

    Excommunication is a nasty, ancient social treatment meant to intimidate the community into compliance by fear. That is why high profile critics are excommunicated while low profile inactives are either stalked or ignored.

  • BF: “It’s not BS. It’s an ALL IN or ALL OUT faith. I know it and so does anyone else who’s ever vigorously participated.”

    I’ve “vigorously participated” – still do, in fact – and that claim is pure unadulterated rubbish.

    It is so completely false that it can only be genuinely believed by someone who knows nothing at all about the Church of Jesus Christ.

    Furthermore, you know quite well that what I am saying is true. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t need to provide a qualifier such as “vigorously” in this context. Because it means nothing at all to say that someone has “vigorously participated” unless there are others whose participation is not so “vigorous.”

    There are different degrees of participation in the Church of Jesus Christ, just as there are in every other voluntary association of people. Whoever told you “It’s an ALL IN or ALL OUT faith” has simply lied to you. Brazenly. And shamelessly.

    You should never believe anything they tell you again.

    BF: “And cult is what religions are. Like it or not. Whether it’s a pejorative statement is a matter of perspective.”

    Mine is a non-bigoted perspective, which perhaps explains why we differ on this point.

    BF: “Excommunication is a nasty, ancient social treatment meant to intimidate the community into compliance by fear.”

    No. It is not. The overwhelming majority of excommunications are never publicised by anyone. The few that are publicised are almost always done by the former member trying to get sympathy from the ignorant. Anyone not merely knee-jerking would realise that you don’t intimidate a community by keeping disciplinary matters confidential.

    BF: “That is why high profile critics are excommunicated while low profile inactives are either stalked or ignored.”

    Thank you for demonstrating how, in your totally hostile mind, we are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. If we make contact with “low profile inactives” then we are “stalking” them, and if we don’t, we’re “ignoring” them, and both courses of action show us to be terrible people.

    “Vigorously” proselytizing anti-Mormons, like Ms Colvin, don’t belong in the Church of Jesus Christ. Just like “vigorously” proselytizing free-marked advocates don’t belong in socialist political groups, or “vigorously” proselytizing MRA’s don’t belong in feminist organizations.

  • Oh stop it. You’re not being persecuted here. Leave people alone. If they want to quit Mormonism, let them quit. If they want to slip away without formally quitting, let them. If they want to criticize and stay, deal with it. Faith is a personal choice that resides with the individual, not the group.

  • BF: “Oh stop it. You’re not being persecuted here. Leave people alone.”

    Let’s see. How many blog posts have I racked up attacking people?

    Oh, that’s right: none. Ms Colvin, on the other hand…

    BF: “If they want to quit Mormonism, let them quit.”

    Cool.

    But what about if “Mormonism” wants to quit them?

    Again, you clearly haven’t thought this through. Why should individuals be allowed to choose whom they associate with, while groups cannot?

    BF: “If they want to slip away without formally quitting, let them.”

    Okay.

    BF: “If they want to criticize and stay, deal with it.”

    She has been.

    BF: “Faith is a personal choice that resides with the individual, not the group.”

    We’re talking about affiliation, not faith. And affiliation is an agreement between the individual and the group.

    Don’t you think it might be just a little bit narcissistic to expect the group to kòutóu to the wishes of the individual?

  • Why is it “obnoxious?” Because the group isn’t kowtowing, as you seem to presume that it should?

  • Perhaps it’s because I’ve never seen an argument from the calendar that even approaches coherence.

    Your own position is extraordinarily incoherent. A member should be able to leave the group whenever she wants, but the group should be allowed to leave the member – never. So every group should be subject to the whims of every individual member thereof, and should never have any standards or requirements for membership.

    How could any group function like that?

    The notion that only one party to an agreement has any rights to withdraw therefrom is obviously pleasing to that one party, but it really won’t wash.

    Sorry.

    Given Gina’s known ideology, I suspect that you sympathise with significant portions of it. Am I right in guessing that you think a wife should be allowed to divorce her husband whenever she pleases, and that’s an expression of her courageous independence which no-one should ever question, while a husband who tries to divorce his wife is being callous, brutal and controlling?

  • No group is subject to the whims of a member by simply tolerating affiliation. That is silly. And we’re done here because you appear unable and/or unwilling to have a coherent discussion, but all to happy to point the finger at others. Nah. Not for me. Good day, have the last word if you like.

  • Hmm, I could back my assertions up here but it won’t be taken in the manner I intended it. I’ll just say that my observations are what I have observed and if others don’t wish to look where I am looking, that isn’t my problem.

  • Taking Zane Grey as a historian makes as much sense as doing the same with Conan Doyle.
    I’ve read both; enjoy Doyle but not Grey. Too florid.

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