Mormons Rock

October 3, 2007

Conversations continued

Filed under: Mormons — by steffielynn @ 1:52 am

So I have been on the Mormons Talk blog for about a month now.  Jay is an awesome guy who has sincere questions about the LDS church.  I comment on his blog a lot (probably too much).  I feel we are taking over his blog and his main focus of the blog so I would like to continue the conversations here.  I would like to respond to a recent reply. 

To fill those of you in who were not in on the conversation here is the link  and here is my last comment :

Not only am I curious as to which church you find to be closest to the truth, but I am also curious to know if you realize all christian churches have “warts” in their history. Especially the Catholic church. You are so against the LDS church because of the history, how can you accept all the horrible things the Catholic church has done????


check out this blog, they are conversing about how many ex mormons turn atheist.

I just hope that whatever it is that ya’ll find makes you happy, and that you have happy marriages and happy kids, etc…… )

CoventryRM responded with this comment

“You clearly do not understand Mormonism if you truly believe you can make the statement you just did. I do think my definition of Delusion is accurate. It seems any real evidence or reason presented you sidestep. You argue both sides of the fence. You seem to the position of “I am right – what I want to be so is so,” The Church makes claims of having a Prophet and modern revelation an active mouth piece to God. The whole purpose of the Restoration was because of ALL the other Churches sordid history. It makes absolutely no sense to use that argument in defense of Mormonism in fact you have just basically admitted it is just what we are saying it is “A Church created and run by Men” then the history along with all the other churches makes complete sense.

Your last paragraph is what I call Mormon smugness and the fake nicey nice. It is very condescending and very transparent, you are learning well.”

I would like to first respond to this by saying , I am infact a very genuine person and I really did mean what I said.  I do hope that all will find happiness.  I felt this was a very unfair comment and quite rude.  It is almost impossible to tell someones personality over a computer.  I hope this CoventryRM realizes that there are truly nice people who really do care!


So The next comment was from EJ.  He said



I don’t accept that all the horrible things Catholicism have done is from God … The Mormon church however believe and masquerade Joseph Smiths and Brigham Youngs polygamous behaviour as sanctioned of God with his divine approval and is still around as doctrine , but I believe it will go eventually and monogomy become the celestial order and not polygamy .. Which women can accept polygamy in the church today … NON I’ve talked with ..Its an injustice and needless fear on them and it needs consigning to the rubbish bin …

Any faith can look good in comparison to Catholicisms past but The Mormon one should not have a bad history because it was being Run by Jesus Christ himself from the start while the others were of Satan according to Mormon Leaders ..

The Mormon church is just a good religious social club in my view if you can accept it for that ! If people are seriously worrying that they aren’t doing enough then its not going to be that good a place for them .I could go along with it as a fraternitity but not take the lessons seriously anymore … in fact on occasion I cause a flap in Elders Quorom when I remind them exactly what they really believe lest they try skirt around some issues )

If I’d been a TBM and discovered what I have , then maybe I couldn’t handle it the same ….”

EJ the church is true the people are not.  People are human and make mistakes.  I don’t understand how you can be so hard on the LDS faith and you give the Catholic church a pass!  also I think it is good that you bring up difficult stuff in Elders quorom, there are things that need to be clarified and discussed!  It’s not a bad thing! 



  1. Steff,
    I think its great that you have started your own blog! Now you can do the hard work and I can just leave comments:) Good luck!!

    Comment by Jay — October 3, 2007 @ 2:11 am |Reply

  2. HAHA!!! Thanks! I felt bad leaving so many comments on your blog! I just read your last post, and I’m sad you are closing it down. I hope you keep in touch, either through the blog world or through email. You are really such an amazing person! I really hope that you find the truth that you are seeking and that you will have peace in your heart!

    Comment by steffielynn — October 3, 2007 @ 2:18 am |Reply

  3. Jay, It’s really weird because I decided to start blog a few days ago but needed to wait til my husband left so I could spend all my time with him. So as I was creating it I clicked on yours and you were no longer accepting comments. It kinda tripped me out, like we were thinking the same thing…weird 🙂

    Comment by steffielynn — October 3, 2007 @ 2:23 am |Reply

  4. I will be starting another blog (I’m not sure when). Right now I’m crazy busy. I’m giving a talk out it San Diego this December, so most of my time right now is going toward preparing for it. I also have a full class load, am referee for my kids soccer league and of course a primary teacher.

    My new blog will be run by invitation only. Unfortunately, Mormons talk has become very one-sided. It was never my intention to beat up on the Church. I just wanted to get some frustrations out and try to come to terms with some more difficult subject matter. I think few people were effective at turning my blog into a Mormon hate forum. I regret that. I’m hoping for more of a Sunstone tone where questioning, faithful, and respectful non-believers can come voice their opinion and share information. That’s my dream anyway:-)

    Comment by Jay — October 3, 2007 @ 12:24 pm |Reply

  5. Steff

    cheers , you didn’t take the opportunity to desert me… I do feel a bit ‘antogonistic’ to mormonism , but what can I do ?

    you said

    “EJ the church is true the people are not. People are human and make mistakes.”

    But you need to understand that to me the Polygamy was one big tragic mistake ….. I can accept mistakes of men in the normal sense but not turning Polygamy into something ‘honorable’ and commanded of God…..

    and then hiding it from church DVD’s Books and from Investigators..

    I look forward to your topics ! 🙂 I’ll also send you a pic via email so you can see who the AntiMo EJ is ! lol


    I can understand your decision to stay with the church ..I would do the same in your circumstance , but I do believe that you will find it harder to sit through some lessons knowing that some things may be being misrepresented and slightly ‘whitewashed’….. and any attempts by you to be more open could get frowned upon…..

    I decided not to join some time ago and now also to stop attending soon as possible…. It will be a big dissappointment for myself and all my ward and I will do my best to help anyone I think is trapped in the church through lack of full information ……

    My dream is to be a part of returning my missionary friend back to her Catholic family’s religion …….If after she’s seen the true history she stays then fair enough but I believe that if she had been counteracted early enough with the real history then she wouldn’t have perhaps joined in the first place …

    Comment by Elder Joseph — October 3, 2007 @ 2:34 pm |Reply

  6. I can accept that my last posting was rude and maybe to strongly stated. However people of religious faith, this is not just found among Mormons but that is mainly where my experience is, do not realize the condescending nature of making statements like “I hope you find the answers your looking for” or “I hope what you find makes you happy”, especially when information has just been presented and questions asked, like for your opinion on the Nephi story etc. Instead of answering you it dismiss it all with “I hope you are happy” has nothing to do with judging your personality or meaning being lost over the computer. In my experience it is just something Mormon’s tend to do when they either don’t want to look at the information or the information actually causes them to doubt or question for a moment. You do need to realize that I do come from 30+ years of experience of living in the culture, left and have seen just how genuine the majority of the members are. As a member of presidencies and having had leadership positions, being a temple worker etc. I am aware and am very familiar with how members talk among themselves regarding non-members, inactives and such.

    My whole purpose for participating in this blog was to perhaps but some information forward post some talks and doctrines many members and especially newer converts are not aware of. Maybe even discuss some of these issues. Share with people the things and information I have spent a fair amount of time researching. Like I said earlier in the blog I only use Church authorized and published information. I have no tolerance for people that lie and invent facts to serve the purpose of their agenda’s.

    I do know there are plenty of people out there that truly care; I don’t doubt that about you either. I believe in fact that most people are good by nature and would never knowingly take a path in life that would cause pain or hurt to others. I like and think the following dialogue as a very valid point.

    “When religious people do bad things, we can’t assume it’s because of their religion, anymore than we can assume that when atheists do bad things it’s because of their atheism. At least as likely a candidate is a person’s nature: in general, good people do good things and bad people bad things.

    Here, though, we come to the heart of the matter. Dawkins quotes what Steven Weinberg adds: “But for good people to do bad things that takes religion.”

    (I think I would add Power, Money and Greed to that as well)

    After the last postings and knowing more about your situation and how Jay seemed to be taking things to be hateful I was inclined not to respond and leave well enough alone. Part of what I am doing here is just to work on my skills and knowledge in regards to these types of discussions. When I first left the Church I just kept to myself and felt that if it worked for you then great so be it. I guess 10 years later and I see how much effort I have put into keeping quiet while being the one in my family to reach out while at the same time watching the divisiveness it has caused. I am now compelled to be more vocal about my beliefs and personal story. Figured some blogs would be a good place to start. I do not mean to offend just challenge and encourage rational thinking. (Meaning looking at and discussing the facts and evidences presented) It is already assumed that the TBM’s have their spiritual witness which is unverifiable and irrelevant. When that is used as a point for dicussion I believe that it becomes almost impossible to have a non-offensive dialogue or one that will not be taken as being hateful.

    So from here on out if I do post it will just be regarding data or information and discussing that information.

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 4, 2007 @ 3:25 pm |Reply

  7. Coventry,

    Thanks for commenting. I realize that there are many people out there in the world that are not LDS. My comment was intended to say…

    “hey we may not agree on what truth is, so whatever it is you are seeking whatever it is that you find, I hope that it brings you happiness.”

    The Mormon church makes me happy. It may not make you happy. I understand that. I can agree to disagree.

    So you asked about Nephi, being a terrorist. I see your point. Hero or terrorist. I don’t know if I would call him either. I’m not trying to skirt around an issue. There are things I don’t know, and I’m not afraid to say it.

    I’m down to talk about anything in church history. I have an open mind and I am willing to listen to different points of views.

    I have a question about atheism, Does being an atheist mean you do not believe in a higher power/creator? When you die what happens?

    Comment by steffielynn — October 4, 2007 @ 5:16 pm |Reply

  8. I will answer the last question first. What happens when we die? Well as far as I know no one really knows the answer to that question there are a lot of different beliefs on the subject. The only thing any of us know is that some day all of us will die.

    For me, being an Atheist means that I don’t believe that any of the current or past God myths holds up under scientific fact. That is not to say that some day we may uncover some information or obtain some knowledge that explains or gives us some more concrete evidence that explain some of the unknown or supernatural phenomena we currently do not understand. I just don’t choose to explain the unknown with a 2000 year old God myth. That based on all the information we have on its origin and subsequent history thereof is highly improbable and unlikely to actually have happened as it has been told. Same as you don’t choose to explain it with the thousands of other myths besides the one you have chosen. This is a very simplistic answer to a complex subject.

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 4, 2007 @ 6:13 pm |Reply

  9. So you are not totally against the theory of a higher power? I always thought atheists believed there is nothing, no creator. Sorry if I keep asking the same basic question. I’m just trying to understand.

    Comment by steffielynn — October 4, 2007 @ 6:37 pm |Reply

  10. What about Christ. There is historical record of Him, even those who do not believe He is the Son of God still believed He existed. What is your feeling on that?

    Comment by steffielynn — October 4, 2007 @ 6:40 pm |Reply

  11. “So you are not totally against the theory of a higher power? I always thought atheists believed there is nothing, no creator. Sorry if I keep asking the same basic question. I’m just trying to understand.”

    No problem, ask as much as you want. Having studied the way our earth and universe came to be and how it all operates I think it is highly unlikely that there is a creator. There is still a lot of we have not explained or totally understand. I think it is dangerous for us as a species to simply fill in those blanks by saying God did it, end of story. To say Atheists believe that there is “Nothing” is more a Theist concept that the alternative of not believing in God is in believing in nothing. You would have to ask each person what they actually believe since there is no “Atheist Doctrine” I personally like the following quote

    “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” – Douglas Adams

    What about Christ. There is historical record of Him, even those who do not believe He is the Son of God still believed He existed. What is your feeling on that?
    This would take pages and pages to address. You are not entirely correct that this History of existence can’t and isn’t being argued for example.

    Former evangelical minister Dan Barker points out in his book, Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist, “[T]here is not a single contemporary historical mention of Jesus, not by Romans or by Jews, not by believers or by unbelievers, not during his entire lifetime. This does not disprove his existence, but it certainly casts great doubt on the historicity of a man who was supposedly widely known to have made a great impact on the world. Someone should have noticed.” (Barker, p. 360)

    I don’t have a strong opinion either way regarding his actual existence. I do not believe in the myth of a virgin birth or resurrection or that he was the Son of God. I think that many of the evidences that make his existence debatable for certainly show that the story didn’t happen as claimed in the Bible.


    –the Apostle Paul, by his own admission, never knew the person Jesus but, instead, based his entire faith on a vision he claimed came to him about Jesus’ resurrection;

    –the Gospels do not provide any physical description of Jesus;

    –the year of Jesus’ birth is unknown and, based on available evidence, indeterminable;

    –there is no historical validation of King Herod’s supposed slaughter of Jewish children at the time of Jesus’s alleged birth;

    –Jesus’ ancestry is illogically tied back to King David through Jesus’ father Joseph;

    –the author of Matthew was clearly not Jewish, as evidenced by his mistranslation of Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah’s virgin birth;

    –the overall credibility of the Matthew and Luke nativity stories are seriously in doubt;

    –there is no reliable evidence for the alleged crucifixion of Jesus;

    –the writings of Roman historian Tacitus concerning the alleged historicity of Jesus are neither clear or specific;

    –the observations of the Roman governor of Bithynia, Plithy the Younger, do not provide reliable evidence of Jesus’ actual existence; and even

    –the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus on the allegedly historic Jesus have undeniably been adulterated by others with a pro-Christian spin. (Wilson, pp. 51, 54-56, 58-60)

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 4, 2007 @ 8:42 pm |Reply

  12. Somehow that last post sent off before I was done with all my edits, but I think it works the way it was sent anyway.

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 4, 2007 @ 8:46 pm |Reply

  13. hey I’ve been missing out ! lol

    I was with my missionaries this evening .We were reading chapter 14 of lucy Mack Smiths biography of her son Joseph Smith where she recalls her ”husbands” dreams and visions , one about a tree , Spacious building , White delightsome fruit , rope running along the bank of the stream and His desire that all his family partakes ! lol

    1Nephi 11
    1 For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen,

    Makes you wonder who is really talking here Nephi or Joseph Smith ?

    Well they loved it ……

    I was thinking about CoventryRm’s higher power belief …

    I actually thought some time ago that God may have not communicated with us yet ? as the only rational explanation for the thousands of different beliefs and crazy things done in the name of God ! lol

    But I do hope and pray that Jesus Christ really is/was who we think he is ………

    I have been listening to Bart Ehrman on the internet about the origin of the bible New Testament and how it evolved ….Its amazing ..

    Mormons can use his research to cast doubt on the bible New Testament’s reliability which some apologists have done before , but the same research shows Joseph Smiths scriptures to be taken from errors and additions to the New Testament …. so a stale mate on that one ! lol

    Comment by Elder Joseph — October 4, 2007 @ 10:54 pm |Reply

  14. EJ i’m with you on that one (I hope He is what and who we think He is) I just can’t even fathom what life would be like without knowledge of the gospel.

    But you see EJ you can’t prove anything. You just have to have faith that what you believe in your heart to be true is infact true. That’s what faith is. Believing in something and someone you have never even seen! My favorite book in the book of mormon is Enos. He speaks of this very thing! His experience reminds me of my own!

    CoventryRM I want to ask some somewhat personal questions and if you don’t want to answer that’s ok.

    How do your kids and your wife feel about your beliefs? Are they upset or are they ok with it? Do you still attend church?

    EJ will you be watching conference this weekend??? How often do you talk to the missionaries? Where are they from? Utah?? 🙂

    Comment by steffielynn — October 5, 2007 @ 2:45 am |Reply

  15. “But you see EJ you can’t prove anything”

    This is simply and untrue statement there are plenty of things you can prove. The basic principles of Darwinian evolution by natural selection are considered to be as solidly proven today as the fact the earth goes around the sun and not the other way around. I can prove that my house is in Beaverton, Oregon. What is impossible to do is to prove a negative. You can’t prove big foot doesn’t exist, but you can’t prove he exists either. You can’t prove there isn’t a teapot orbitiing the sun and on and on, but yes you can prove things and test theories. Rational thinking says here is what I believe and why and here is the evidence that supports it. My theory or belief can be proven false if you can show me evidence or proof of ABC. As in the theory of evolution any scientist would tell you if you found evidence or proof that dinosaurs and humans occupied the earth at the same time you have just disproved the theory.

    What evidence would you have to see to convince you the Mormon Church is not true?

    The Church claims that it all rests on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith actually being a Prophet. Those are both things that have insurmountable proof against them. So therefore you would have to define Faith is what you have when the presence or absence of empirical evidence doesn’t matter.

    If you disagree with this then give me an answer to the above question what would prove to you that the Mormon church is not true?

    In answer to your questions – After leaving the Church, my marriage didn’t survive and there was a divorce. The Church was not the main reason as it was a very dysfunctional unhealthy relationship the Church was just the final piece. I am remarried and have been for over 4 years. My two oldest are active my two youngest are not. I have a great relationship with my oldest Daughter who is getting married in Dec in a LDS temple. My son that is on a mission accepts me the best he can considering the circumstances. I have had my named removed from the records and have no desire to step foot inside a Mormon Church again. The Children’s Mother is still a Member at record but has not been active for several years dabbles in just about every type of belief and has turned rather hippyish < not an actual word..has openly had overnight male guests is not remarried, My oldest daughter thinks she is a big hypocrite as she now plans to start paying tithing and going to Church so she can go to the LDS temple marriage ceremony.

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 5, 2007 @ 4:46 am |Reply

  16. When I say you can’t prove anything, by anything I mean things that can not be proven, things that you either believe or do not believe, things based on faith.

    You ask me what would prove (to me) that the mormon church isn’t true.

    Well since it was confirmed true by a prayer, it would have to be confirmed false the same way. The Lord answered, when I asked if the church was His church and if I should join. He confirmes that answer daily for me. There really is nothing you give me as proof to turn me away. He would have to do that.

    I have faith. I have the kind of faith that can move mountains. My life has changed so much because of the gospel.

    Comment by steffielynn — October 5, 2007 @ 2:04 pm |Reply

  17. Okay then will you move Mt Bachelor a little closer to Portland for me so I don’t have quite as far to drive to ski?

    You should not then be offended when I call your belief delusional because I don’t think you could really move a mountain and what you just described does fit the definition of delusional you at least have to consider that possibility. I think what you are really saying is that it feels good and you don’t care if it is delusional or not. What is confusing then is why you are on these websites most members that I know that claim a testimony such as you just described would have no interest in any forum such as these. Why seek out information at all from anything else other than prayer and communicating with God since he speaks to you so clearly and believing and hanging on every word of the Prophets and Apostles.

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 5, 2007 @ 3:03 pm |Reply

  18. steffie

    I do believe your experience , I just haven’t had the same feeling ( maybe because I’ve always been around christianity from young with my close family) … Church wasn’t really any different from my day to day life .It was learning what I kind of knew anyway and lived more or less . Maybe thats why I haven’t felt a conversion ?

    LDS conference ? err ….I’m actually going to avoid it if i can .I’ve seen the last 4 in a row and decided that they are a bit boring .I find Elders Quorom more exciting and meaningful .The church Apostles are a bit bland for me 🙂

    I read Ensign , I have a subscription … i thinkI’ve got a bit bored with it now that I’ve learnt all about it and especially because of the History … and the lack of belief in it ..

    Faith ? I know what you mean about faith ,I have some faith but the difficulty I’m having is with the Book Of Mormon as a real history .All the evidence suggests its been made up by Joseph Smith and its overwhelming . No Nephite or Lamenite civilisations so no visitation by a literal Jesus Christ .I wish it was different but the evidence is against it …..

    The other worry is the polygamy .It just pains me and distresses me and I can’t justify accepting it was from God and that it will return in the millenium 😦 The older Men in my ward think they will be called to be polygamists … its barmy lol

    I think we will only really know whats happening after death …………and or if/when Jesus Christ returns ?

    What I’m trying to say is I don’t believe in Joseph Smith as a reresentative of God .. I really do think he made it up and was mixing his criminal activity with religion.He put an answer to all the biblical questions of the time ,Infant Baptism , Father and Son – Same God or not ?what happens at death , curse of cain , authority , miracles , does God communicate still with man , etc etc

    But I’ll take a look at Enos and see if I can see what you are feeling in there ….

    I think CoventryRm’s rationalising is more realistic even though it may sound uncomfortable and I still want to believe …..

    In our ward no one could really move a pebble let alone a mountain .They talk about priesthood Power but its only ever used for superficial Illnesses like coughs and colds and womens depressions …… My bishop is a nice lad . I’ve liked him from the first day I came , since he was made bishop I think authority and power and keys has kind of gone to his head a bit ! lol He sounds like a great leader now ….. I suppose thats his roll for the ward 🙂


    You will have given many blessings in your time and I wonder now how you feel about them ? Did you really think you had Gods Power at the time ? The power to ressurrect the dead and create worlds ! Must be an awsome scary feeling especially if you feel you had sinned prior ? lol

    You must have thought perhaps these Priesthood blessings are a bit dubious even as a TBM perhaps ?

    Comment by Elder Joseph — October 5, 2007 @ 3:55 pm |Reply

  19. EJ,
    Maybe you haven’t been converted because you have not let your gaurd down. Polygamy doesn’t sound real fun, but I do not understand it, and I won’t worry about it until I am faced with it, IF i’m ever faced with it. I talked to my missionaries in my area, (girls) and asked them what they thought about it. They said they don’t think about it, so I asked them what they thought about having to live it if it was commanded, They said Heavenly Father will only give us what we can handle. If in the next life we are asked to live it we will understand why. BUT that is IF we are asked to live it. I mean it does make sence though. I think there are more rightous women then men, sorry…

    Coventry Rm

    Im here because of the change I had in my life and my desire to share it with the world. What better place then the internet. You are right there are a lot of LDS who will not come here. But you are. So I discuss things with you. I really do like to know what other people believe. I like to know what an atheist believes, and a catholic, and a buddist and a muslim. I find it EXTREMLY interesting. I admire people who have a belief. I was raised in a Lutheran home. My parents sheltered me and told me everyone else (especially Mormons) were all going to hell. So now I am an adult and I can choose for myself who I talk to. I did not understand other beliefs and I was not tolerant of any but mine because of my early teachings. Now I have an open mind, and it’s from becomming a member of the LDS church and the intolerence and rejection that I experienced when I joined. It was not a good feeling and I realized that is who I used to be.

    Like I said, the gospel has changed my life. In so many ways I could not even begin to count my blessings. I am forever grateful to the missionaries who knocked on the door.

    My eyes have been opened, my heart has been healed, you call it delusional, I call it miraculous!

    Comment by steffielynn — October 5, 2007 @ 4:21 pm |Reply

  20. Just a quick thought ..

    Recently Our ward baptised a new member ? he hasn’t a clue what he has joined and has only been twice before !!

    However he has been living a life of drugs and other less desirable activities .

    I won’t try to dissuade him from his new found association even though I know he’s being ‘processed’ by the ward with assigned friends and what have you ….

    His life if he does change will be better this way and associating with the church is much better than with his former associations ….

    I think for many this church has literally saved them .This explains why I haven’t had an overwhelming desire to baptise myself ….. With me they usually say we can make good men better , of course I like the compliment but I am blessed with good associations already .The church has little to offer me in that respect ….


    When Jesus said if ye have faith as small as a mustard sed you can move a mountain .. I think he was saying that no one has faith really like they think …. Its natural to doubt ….

    Comment by Elder Joseph — October 5, 2007 @ 4:28 pm |Reply

  21. steffie

    Do you really believe that LDS men are more righteous ?

    I’ve heard some awful stories of some LDS men ( Temple Recommends ) and how they deceived their wives and things … or mistreated them .. So I don’t accept that myth the church perpetrates …. Its a trap to keep girls in the church and limit their choice ….

    What is a righteous man in your eyes ? Someone who attends your church ?

    Comment by Elder Joseph — October 5, 2007 @ 4:33 pm |Reply

  22. “Now I have an open mind, and it’s from becomming a member of the LDS church and the intolerence and rejection that I experienced when I joined. It was not a good feeling and I realized that is who I used to be. ”

    Interesting as I experienced that same rejection when I left Mormonism. Maybe it is you that makes you who you are.

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 5, 2007 @ 4:50 pm |Reply

  23. EJ

    I totally understand still wanting to believe. When I first found myself without a church and was having some struggles with the relationship I was in at that time I checked out a variety of churches and philosophies. Before leaving the Church I was fond of Taoism and felt that since it was more philosophy than a religion a person could be both. The unity church seemed to make the most sense to me as it was more about your personal spirituality rather than any doctrines or beliefs but a place to go and be with other people for worship.

    The more I started reading about human history some stuff would be religious histories but not all and learning more about science and evolution, the cosmos etc. I soon found the world looked much better to me without in faith in any religion. I soon realized that in fact religious faith is actually something I feared as I learned more about what is going on in the world and started to really pay attention. Something as a Mormon I never really felt the need I was more concerned about things like gay rights and legalized abortion then really paying attention to the state of our world. During the first Iraq invasion I was more into the wow see the Biblical prophesies are come true I better stay straight and fly right so I am ready since the end is near. Never took it any further than that. As one not from the US it has to scare the crap out of you to see the US becoming the most powerful Theocracy in world history. I would suggest reading Sam Harris “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason” and “A letter to a Christian Nation” perhaps you already have.

    In regards to giving blessing and such, yes I would feel the spirit and words would come to my head. Sure there were times that you would wonder am I worthy to receive inspiration but if you try hard enough words will come. That is the beauty of the still small voice being your own voice in your own head. When I was a TBM I actually didn’t think them dubious but very real. Steffielynn could have been quoting me 15 years ago in her last posting, I have pretty much said that word for word many times as most Mormons have it is very common Mormon speak when baring testimony to non-members or doubters.

    Interesting story for you, I will try and keep it as brief as possible. When I first left the Church my closest friend and now business partner was still active but had many doubts as well. I was sort of his test project. He wanted to see what would happen to me as I left the Church. When he saw how accelerated my personal growth was after leaving the church it gave him the courage to do the same. On his way out however he did some experiments for example when he gave blessings or prayers is he used more of a Patriarchal blessings format and used a more assertive tone people would come up to him and comment on how much they felt the spirit or how inspired he must have been something that didn’t happen when he just used his normal tone and way of speaking, Interesting that peoples spiritual witness can be manipulated in this way.

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 5, 2007 @ 4:50 pm |Reply

  24. Coventry

    I dislikethe whole Priesthood aspect of the church .. To see women asking for blessings instead of having their own confidence to help themselves is not healthy mentally in my view ..

    I have a friend who I mentioned .She seem totally dependant on this priesthood nonsense and thinks God is speaking through them to her ..she is fixated on her Patriarchal Blessing which is just anothe trap to keep people held in though fear …. it says she will marry a temple Recommend Priesthood Holder etc etc .. that exludes me which hurts ..

    I’m glad to have met her through her missionary work but equally disturbed at her misfortune within the church .she thinks strife and misfortune is a test from god or maybe a lack of worthiness rather than attributing it to bad and irrational decisions …. I wish she would trust her mind and not her heart and feelings …

    She sounds brainwashed to me , maybe thats unfair but she doesn’t seem rational . At least she does investigate my concerns so its a good sign ….. many TBM’s prefer to say ‘Hope you are happy with something else or find something better ‘ !! when i show them shaky info which interrupts their Eutopian World of ” I know its True ” ” I have a Testimony “…

    If they really KNOW its ture then where does faith come in ? lol

    Sorry steffie if I appear harsh again 😦

    I had one of my Bishopric once trying to tell me Joseph Smiths polygamy was looking after widows only !! he really thought this .. it’s unbelievable hearing that from a member of over 40 years .. and scary ..

    I’ve heard simliar nonsenese from other members .How can they be so ‘lost’ lol …I’m not surprised they have Testimonies .. if they knew the real truth how would that testimony bare up ?

    Steffie have you really studied the Anti ? whatever that means ..

    My books are from Mormon Scholars …

    Have you heard of BH Roberts and his later works called Studies Of The Book Of Mormon ….check him out on the internet or …… or heard of Grant Palmer ?

    Comment by Elder Joseph — October 5, 2007 @ 11:15 pm |Reply

  25. I think a person can just stick to Journal of Discourses, Church History and conference talks and you don’t even have to go back that far there is plenty in just 50 years. Take this one for example.

    They have since changed this scripture to pure and delightsome but it seems the white part was actual doctrine, and they say the Church doesn’t change it’s doctrine to conform to social pressures hmmmmmm.

    The Day of the Lamanites
    Elder Spencer W. Kimball
    Of the Council of the Twelve Apostles
    Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report October 1960, pp.32-37

    “The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised ( 2 Ne. 30:6). In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos; five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.

    At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl—sixteen—sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents—on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather. There was the doctor in a Utah city who for two years had had an Indian boy in his home who stated that he was some shades lighter than the younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation. These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated”

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 6, 2007 @ 1:09 am |Reply

  26. EJ

    So much to write and I don’t know where to start.

    To me a righteous man is someone who
    1. Puts God first in his life.
    2. loves and adores his wife.
    3. loves and adores his children.
    4. has a good, kind, humble, loving, sincere heart.
    5. a man who cares for his friends and neighbors.
    6. a man who strives to be Christ like.

    These, to me, are righteous qualities. Now I will not say that ONLY LDS men possess these qualities. I have met men who were not LDS who I would consider to be righteous. And of course not ALL LDS men possess these qualities. But in my experiences I have never met so many rightous men in one place.

    I want to tell you about my life a little so maybe it will help you understand why it is so amazing and so important to me.

    My real father left when I was 2. He abused my mom and my sisters and I have probably only seen him a handful of times my entire life.

    My stepdad is a control freak, and he was mean to my sisters and I. We were not good enough, pretty enough etc. He was mentally abusive and a total hypocrite. (he called himself a “christian”, if only the church we attended knew…. (we’ll just leave it at that)

    I had my daughter right out of highschool. Her Father was a loser. He didn’t care about me or her. He still has little to do with her.

    So you see I KNOW what an UNrighteous man looks like. I know you think I am “vulnerable” because of this. That is NOT the case. I am strong and I am smart. I know what is out in the world.

    Luckily as I got s bit older I changed who I was, and the company I kept. I met my husband when I was 22. I knew when we met that he was my soul mate, He must have felt the same because 3 weeks after we met we married. Even before we joined the church he was a good man. After we joined he made a HUGE change. He put God and then us at the top of his list. He stopped hanging out with bad company. He stopped drinking, smoking, and chewing. He now has all the qualities I listed above. I am so happy for him and I am so happy for our children. They will have the father neither of us had. He had no good examples in his life either. He came from the slums and he took himself out.

    We are strong and we are informed. We know the world and we are no longer a part of it. I especially admire good faithful righteous men. I have been on both sides. I much prefer this side.

    Also I have read LOTS of books against the church (“anti”) I have read ‘Kingdom of the Cults’ by Walter Martin. It all has the same stuff, nothing new.

    I can say I have probably heard 95% of the craziest stuff in the world about mormons, for example, they have horns, tails, birthmarks of beehives etc. Silly stuff. it just gets old.

    I love the gospel I love the church and my family is better and stronger because of it!

    Comment by steffielynn — October 6, 2007 @ 1:38 am |Reply

  27. I am not talking about the crazy stuff well not the made up crazy stuff, people actually turning a lighter skin color from living the gospel is pretty crazy

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 6, 2007 @ 10:38 am |Reply

  28. That is what the apologetics do, they group the legit and valid facts right in there with the crazy ones and Members like you bite and dismiss it all as such. Nothing I have presented falls into the crazy category it is directly from the Church itself.

    Adam from another planet – Brigham Young – J of D
    Skin turning Lighter – Spencer Kimball – Conference talk
    Noah building the Arch on the American Continent – J of D as well as other places.
    Inter racial marriage – punishable by death – Brigham Young – Journal of Discoures.
    You have to be multiple married to reach the highest level of Heaven – Brigham Young – J of D
    Literal belief in a global flood – Actual doctrine
    Native Americans being from Israel – Actual Doctrine
    The list goes on and on
    Oh and Joseph Smith’s affair with Fanny Alger – Undisputed by any apologetic and widely accepted as fact as evidence in Church Histories

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 6, 2007 @ 4:59 pm |Reply

  29. I wasn’t reffering to your comments, I was answering EJ’s question on anti.

    I agree there are some things in church history that are a little far fetched, but I also know that many of these things are NOT considered doctrine and are only considered opinions.

    If in Christ’s time there had been the internet can you imagine all the things people would be saying about Him and His apostles???? There would be all kinds of rumors and such. This is the age of “information”. There is good and there is bad. There is false and there is true.

    All I can say is that I believe Joseph Smith was a Prophet. The scriptures tell us “By their fruits ye shall know them.” I see the fruits of the Church, they are GOOD. I am a fruit of the church and I can tell you that this fruit is good! I went from a moldy, smelly, fly infested raisin, to a lively, beautiful grape 🙂

    Comment by steffielynn — October 6, 2007 @ 5:34 pm |Reply

  30. Maybe you don’t give yourself enough credit.

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 6, 2007 @ 5:39 pm |Reply

  31. Awww that’s nice of you! But I have been on this earth for 28 years, I joined the church at 26. So for 26 years If I could have done it on my own I would have. I needed direction. I needed to learn how to be a good wife and a good mother and a better person. You would think that stuff would just take common sence, but it’s more then that. I wasn’t HORRIBLE by any means but I was not good and I was not happy.

    I look at the world today and I am horrified at how awful people can be, and how they should have sence enough not to hurt there kids or hurt themselves. But I don’t think common sence is all that “common”. They are lacking in other areas. Well I found what I was lacking. I would not have changed if it were not for the gospel. I would take the credit if it were due to me 🙂

    You know you sound a lot like Bishop Rick, EJ where is he? Do you have his email? Anyways, I think you two share some common views….

    Comment by steffielynn — October 6, 2007 @ 5:51 pm |Reply

  32. Steffie,

    Now I understand why you joined the church or at least a big influence for you to join …I’ve heard similar conversion stories from Jehovahs Witnesses …. and from other LDS converts ..

    My backround is just about a perfect role model Mormon family except for my Father smoking cigarettes when younger …… So there wasn’t too much to be impressed by the church in the same way as yourself .. If anything I felt I was around people like myself with a similar mindset ..

    When I met Mormons , I was living like they were with all the commandments except Alcohol (not drunkard just moderate ) and Coffee and Tea ..

    I didn’t consider either that harmful but still gave WOW a go and i’m happy to stick with it , although i don’t believe it will stop anyone being approved of God and being ‘saved’? ..

    I think this is a big factor why you felt the desire to convert and I haven’t …. Our backrounds ! I don’t believe I was a more valiant spirit either to warrant being born to good parents , like the church believes

    I can understand how its benefitted you . I would have felt the same . They seem to be the catalyst for you to become what you wanted to be ….

    I have changed also being around the Mormon culture , but I feel the opposite could happen as I start to believe that I need to be ‘worthy’ and need to be a temple recommend and need to redeem my ancestors etc ..

    I agree with CoventryRM . I too have heard and experienced how the church really thinks about its inactives … there is a warning in D&C of their fate for being inactive …I just don’t know where it is off hand , but it was really just Josephs way of controlling and threatening his members at the time ..I reckon ..

    I’ll find Bishop Rick … I have his blog book marked ..

    The church has been a good life changing influence for you , but is that enough to warrant it as the Only True Church On The Face of The Earth ? I sense alot of arrogance during our sacrament meeting talks with this mindset in the speakers … Catholicism and other churches are routinely sneered at by some members and it makes me uncomfortable …. I would pull them up on these things outside of the church if i came across them .

    Comment by Elder Joseph — October 6, 2007 @ 7:00 pm |Reply

  33. If members are acting like that then they are in the wrong! the church teaches humility not arrogance!

    You have GOT to admit though that there are some REALLY great LDS people! I’ve been to a lot of churches and although most have good lessons, that’s all there is. You arent held accountable, you can do as you wish and then come to church with a smile on Sunday. I personally like being held accountable. I like holding a calling and visit teaching. I really like that I know most of the members of my ward and that I feel like I’m home when I am there. I have had issues, and when I have them I ask questions and my questions are always addressed.

    I have never felt like I was being judged or felt looked down upon. Other churches I have been to I have felt this way. I think a lot of members have a hard time with other religions because of the way the LDS are treated by them. I live in the south and I have experienced SO much hate from “christians” just because i’m mormon. Most the time people don’t know i’m a convert and that I know what they are talking about. (because my parents were like them). Oh well, what can you do. (sigh)

    EJ you are in England is that right? The LDS church is not very big there is it?

    Oh to answer your question, I do actually believe it is the true church. BUT I think there are a lot of wonderful churches out there that are doing good things.

    Comment by steffielynn — October 6, 2007 @ 7:20 pm |Reply

  34. Now once again we have come full circle. The only argument you really have is “I want it to be so, so therefore it is so” I think it is great if the Mormon church worked as some sort of catalyst to change your life for the better. I just hope that I have at least planted a few seeds the will take root and grow. The someday you will out grow Mormonism similar to how you outgrew Santa Claus and then can believe in a higher power that is actually real, which is a solid sense of self. That is when you can truly love yourself and truly love, appreciate and accept others. People of religious faith use the word “Tolerance” as if it is something noble because that is what their thinking is limited to, but think about that word for a minute, how does it actually feel to have someone say they tolerate you.

    You constantly bare your testimony which seems to be based on I was bad now I am good. That still doesn’t make things true. It seems that you are trying to convince yourself as much as you are trying to convince others that you made the right choice. At that time in your life it probably was the right choice. It is however within you to rise to levels that go far beyond what you can even imagine so don’t sell yourself short or limit yourself. It is within you.

    This will be my last post here as I said we have come full circle and like I stated in an earlier posting the assumption is already made that you have your spiritual witness and when you don’t have a good answer to evidence presented you default to baring your testimony which almost makes it impossible for the dialogue to not get offensive or personal.

    Take care,

    EJ feel free to continue to email as I enjoy the dialoque.

    Comment by CoventryRM — October 6, 2007 @ 7:25 pm |Reply

  35. Steffie

    you said

    “I do actually believe it is the true church”

    What does that actually mean ? to say this is the true church automatically discounts the others as being untrue churches ! 🙂

    Maybe all religions are guilty of that to some extent were suposed to say ” I KNOW it is the true church ” ! lol
    hahaha If you had said that I’d have pulled you up anyway … this is what they say in my ward ” I KNOW” lol


    I agree with your observation ….The church is true because they want it to be true … The BofM archeology and placing in a real Historical context has been impossible for me …
    I can see the Roman empire in our history , The greek empire, The israelite nation , The Persians but not Nephites or Lamanites , there is no trace of these extensive civilisations ..It doesn’t make sense ..

    For me The bible was difficult enough to accept as reliable but the BofM is too farfetched .. it would have been a great book had it not been the cause of the tragedies of the early saints and the polygamy disaster and has some philosophical value i guess ( not sure about skin turning black then white again part though lol ) , but thats all I can accept it as ….. just a work of fiction …

    The whole LDS church is based on the words of one man ……Joseph Smith ? Who can trust him ? Steffie perhaps 🙂

    Comment by Elder Joseph — October 6, 2007 @ 7:49 pm |Reply

  36. CoventryRM

    Thank you for comming back here and continuing the conversation! I do agree that it has come full circle. I joined the LDS church because I prayed and I recieved an actual spiritual witness and this is why I keep going back to it. If I had not had that witness I would not have joined the church. I’m sorry if that is too simple and that I don’t know all the answers. My experience is extremly special to me and I love to share it and talk about it. I’m not trying to convice myself or anyone else.

    I really do wish you the best, thank you for being respectful, and for saying goodbye!

    EJ I think we have come full circle too, but I have fun going back and forth with you so you better not leave! 🙂 I’ll allow you to take an occasional break now and then 🙂

    Comment by steffielynn — October 6, 2007 @ 7:49 pm |Reply

  37. Steffie ,

    I’m not going anywhere , you are stuck with me and I like going round in circles …..

    I want to try and understand what this spiritual witness is and why I don’t get it .

    Also how you can deal with the history of polygamy especially because for me it brings anger because I see the injustice against women in it , the way women were called/commanded , they didn’t like it …. The arrogance of the early Mormon Leaders claiming they were righteous ….
    it pains me as much as the other injustices in the world today against vulnerable people ….

    I take comfort in Nancy Rigdon and Jane Law who spurned Joseph Smiths advances and I believe it will be accredited to them as righteous and that they will not be damned by God for doing the right thing ……

    I know that you can understand this , the church is still a polygamous church allowing marriage sealings of more than one wife to a mormon man ( widowed prior) despite trying to distant itself from it at the same time ….

    Its all contradictory ……

    Comment by Elder Joseph — October 7, 2007 @ 1:37 pm |Reply

  38. Sorry for barging in on your conversations here. I’m just passing through and saw this quote on your post:

    “EJ the church is true the people are not.”

    I’ve heard this expression used a lot in my years in the church, but I’m not sure where it comes from, when it started, or even what it means. My understanding of the word “church” is that it means the Lord’s people. I know that the expression “the only true and living church” is written in D&C 1: 30-33, but in the context of that sentence it is apparent that the meaning of the term “church” means people, as in the people of the Lord, since only people can repent, which the Lord explains in those verses.

    I’ve heard members say that the term “church” in the expression “the church is true but the people are not” means everything from “the organization of the church,” “the scriptures,” “the doctrines of the gospel,” “the priesthood,” “the ordinances,” “the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve,” etc. What does this expression mean to you and where does the definition you give it come from? I mean, is there a scriptural source for the definition? I so, where? If not, is there a GA source? I’m curious, is all.

    Comment by LDS Anarchist — October 9, 2007 @ 2:38 am |Reply

  39. The first time I heard it was form the missionary who taught me. He said to me, “always remember the church is true, the people are not.” What he meant was that the GOSPEL is true, LDS people are not perfect. He explained that people may offend or teach a personal opinion rather then doctrine, and to remember they are just people, they are only human and not to get upset or offended. I’m so glad he said this to me. I have had a few encounters where I would have been offended, had I not thought back on those words!~

    So basically, the gospel is true the people are only human and make mistakes, don’t confuse one for the other.

    Comment by steffielynn — October 9, 2007 @ 2:51 am |Reply

  40. P.S what exactly is an LDS Anarchist?????

    Comment by steffielynn — October 9, 2007 @ 2:54 am |Reply

  41. I think people might be confusing the phrase “the church is perfect, the people are not.” At any rate, I think it is important to understand that the term “the Church” has more than one meaning.

    1) The Church as the body of Christ, the body of believers. This means the Church is all the members as people with Christ as the head of the Church. Note the metaphor of the body and the head.

    2) The church as a building. This is simply the place people go to attend “church.”

    3) The Church as the organization that Christ established and restored to the earth in the latter-days. This is sometimes the sense that LDS use the term. It is also important to understand that when LDS say they are thankful for the Church, one should understand that as “thankful for Christ establishing his Church on the earth.”

    For some LDS the phrases “the church is true” and “the gospel is true” are often used synonymously. What they mean to say, is that the restored Gospel is true and the Restored Church is true. Often the “restored” part is implied. I think it is important to remember that often these sayings are repeated by LDS to other LDS and so when these same sayings are said outside the church, people understandably don’t know what this is supposed to mean. I think therefore it is important for LDS to remember that they need to take some time and explain what it means, so I’m glad people are taking time to do this.

    Comment by aquinas — October 9, 2007 @ 3:58 am |Reply

  42. Yeah, that’s probably where I first heard the term, too, from the missionaries who taught me. Or at least from the first ward I attended when I was baptized. Missionaries are highly influential in their converts and in each other. I wouldn’t be surprised if this expression started with one missionary and then spread to other missionaries, and then on to their converts.

    As to your question, I’m a latter-day saint and also an anarchist.

    Here are some definitions pulled from Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1913 (a very big tome!):

    Anarchist: one who advocates anarchy or believes in anarchism; one who attempts to establish anarchy.

    Anarchy: absence of government

    Anarchism: The principles underlying anarchy. At its best it stands for a society made orderly by good manners rather than by law, in which each person produces according to his powers and receives according to his needs.

    Anarch: [Etymology] Gr. avopxos without head or chief; av not + aoxon beginning, first place, magistracy, government.

    Now for my definition. Anarchy means no rulers, no government, no state. It means private rule, not government rule or the rule of a king, etc. Anarchy is what exists in all private spheres, outside of the jurisdiction of the state apparatus, where individual interactions develop their own private rules or standards of politeness and law. It means private law, not public law. It is not coercive, but voluntary and polite.

    Anarchy and free agency go hand in hand, as they both are representative of freedom of choice and the doctrine of self-determination, with the attendant results of those choices. Statism and coercion go hand in hand, as they both are representative of forcing people into doing what they might not do if they weren’t being forced though threat of violence, imprisonment or some other punishment.

    I hope I’ve sufficiently anwered your question.

    Comment by LDS Anarchist — October 9, 2007 @ 6:22 am |Reply

  43. Elder Joseph in #37 said, “…the church is still a polygamous church allowing marriage sealings of more than one wife to a mormon man ( widowed prior) despite trying to distant itself from it at the same time…”

    This is a true statement. My grandfather, who baptized me, was sealed to two wives. He was a widower and sealed to his first wife, my grandmother, and then he married a second time in the temple and was sealed to her, also. So, the prohibition on plural marriage currently only applies to marrying two or more living wives, so as not to come under the jurisdiction of the anti-polygamy laws of man.

    Comment by LDS Anarchist — October 9, 2007 @ 6:30 am |Reply

  44. aquinas, Thanks for your input!

    LDS A,, I hope you don’t mind if I shorten your name, So I think it’s a great concept. BUT I also think there are too many wicked people in the world, people who would not be polite. In a world of anarchy how would we defend ourselves, and what would keep bad people from taking over? It’s interesting though, can you break it down and tell me how society would work?

    Also You are right I have heard of men who have been widowed and have more then one woman sealed to them. Thanks!

    Comment by steffielynn — October 9, 2007 @ 12:19 pm |Reply

  45. Your first question: “In a world of anarchy how would we defend ourselves, and what would keep bad people from taking over?”

    Most people learn of anarchy through statists and as anarchy and statism are diametrically opposed, statists vilify anarchy as being chaos. However, this is not so. Anarchy always establishes a natural order.

    We already have examples of anarchy in the scriptures, both biblical anarchy (see the Biblical Anarchism post on my blog) and Book of Mormon anarchy (see 3 Nephi chapter 7.) Even though the BoM people were exceedingly wicked, stoning the prophets and all, they still had a degree of peace among themselves while living in anarchy. (See 3 Nephi 7: 14.) Each tribe was wicked, but ordered, as anarchy always establishes a natural order. Nevertheless, the super wicked group, the secret combination, established a king, or a state, among themselves. This is what really wicked people always do, as states use force, whereas anarchy does not, and really wicked people always want to rule over others.

    When a government is removed, family ties become naturally strengthened, so, people group into families, clans and tribes and these are all very strong ties with ordered private rules among themselves and ordered rules on how to interact with other individuals, families, clans and tribes. The tribal system in anarchy is actually biblical, as we are all one of 12 tribes. There is, of course, a reason for this, and it has to do with anarchy.

    Anarchy has existed in this country, too, at various times, but it is always put down by the state the minute it shows its head. The British Colonies had instances of anarchic communities from time to time. (Google “The Origins of Individualist Anarchism in America” for a good article on this topic.) Also, the so-called lawless west (the wild, wild west) before any governments were set up, lived in peaceful anarchy. Despite the false propoganda shown in Hollywood western films, the anarchic western frontier was ordered under private law and was less chaotic and dangerous than towns and cities under government rule. (See the book “The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History” by Thomas E. Woods Jr.)

    Anarchy in Somalia is likewise not explained in truthful terms. Just Google “The Rule of Law without the State – Mises Institute” to learn about that form of anarchy.

    So, anarchy doesn’t allow bad people to take over, as there are “no rulers” in anarchy. And anarchy tends to extinguish violence and promote compromise, whereas the existence of a state does just the opposite. This is not, of course, what you will learn from a statist talking about anarchy.

    Finally, your second question: “It’s interesting though, can you break it down and tell me how society would work?”

    No, I cannot. No one can. A society in anarchy establishes their own private order. No one knows how future anarchies will work, as that depends upon the people living in anarchy and the common, private rules they decide upon.

    Comment by LDS Anarchist — October 9, 2007 @ 8:47 pm |Reply

  46. Anarchy sounds good on the surface, but it sets the anarchist tribes up for takeover by a statist groups. Statist groups are more organised and can come together in greater numbers and crush the anarchist groups. This is why Anarchy cannot work in today’s society.

    The world would have to be changed on a grand scale by some catastrophic event for Anarchy to have a chance, and even then it would be short lived.

    Anarchism sounds like the Law of Consecration, which didn’t even work in the utopian LDS society.

    Comment by Bishop Rick — October 9, 2007 @ 9:49 pm |Reply

  47. Steffie you once asked me about Atheist and what they believe, here is an article that may help. Hope all is well.

    10 myths—and 10 Truths—About Atheism
    By Sam Harris

    December 24, 2006
    The Los Angeles Times

    SEVERAL POLLS indicate that the term “atheism” has acquired such an extraordinary stigma in the United States that being an atheist is now a perfect impediment to a career in politics (in a way that being black, Muslim or homosexual is not). According to a recent Newsweek poll, only 37% of Americans would vote for an otherwise qualified atheist for president.

    Atheists are often imagined to be intolerant, immoral, depressed, blind to the beauty of nature and dogmatically closed to evidence of the supernatural.

    Even John Locke, one of the great patriarchs of the Enlightenment, believed that atheism was “not at all to be tolerated” because, he said, “promises, covenants and oaths, which are the bonds of human societies, can have no hold upon an atheist.”

    That was more than 300 years ago. But in the United States today, little seems to have changed. A remarkable 87% of the population claims “never to doubt” the existence of God; fewer than 10% identify themselves as atheists — and their reputation appears to be deteriorating.

    Given that we know that atheists are often among the most intelligent and scientifically literate people in any society, it seems important to deflate the myths that prevent them from playing a larger role in our national discourse.

    1) Atheists believe that life is meaningless.

    On the contrary, religious people often worry that life is meaningless and imagine that it can only be redeemed by the promise of eternal happiness beyond the grave. Atheists tend to be quite sure that life is precious. Life is imbued with meaning by being really and fully lived. Our relationships with those we love are meaningful now; they need not last forever to be made so. Atheists tend to find this fear of meaninglessness … well … meaningless.

    2) Atheism is responsible for the greatest crimes in human history.

    People of faith often claim that the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were the inevitable product of unbelief. The problem with fascism and communism, however, is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. Such regimes are dogmatic to the core and generally give rise to personality cults that are indistinguishable from cults of religious hero worship. Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields were not examples of what happens when human beings reject religious dogma; they are examples of political, racial and nationalistic dogma run amok. There is no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.

    3) Atheism is dogmatic.

    Jews, Christians and Muslims claim that their scriptures are so prescient of humanity’s needs that they could only have been written under the direction of an omniscient deity. An atheist is simply a person who has considered this claim, read the books and found the claim to be ridiculous. One doesn’t have to take anything on faith, or be otherwise dogmatic, to reject unjustified religious beliefs. As the historian Stephen Henry Roberts (1901-71) once said: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

    4) Atheists think everything in the universe arose by chance.

    No one knows why the universe came into being. In fact, it is not entirely clear that we can coherently speak about the “beginning” or “creation” of the universe at all, as these ideas invoke the concept of time, and here we are talking about the origin of space-time itself.

    The notion that atheists believe that everything was created by chance is also regularly thrown up as a criticism of Darwinian evolution. As Richard Dawkins explains in his marvelous book, “The God Delusion,” this represents an utter misunderstanding of evolutionary theory. Although we don’t know precisely how the Earth’s early chemistry begat biology, we know that the diversity and complexity we see in the living world is not a product of mere chance. Evolution is a combination of chance mutation and natural selection. Darwin arrived at the phrase “natural selection” by analogy to the “artificial selection” performed by breeders of livestock. In both cases, selection exerts a highly non-random effect on the development of any species.

    5) Atheism has no connection to science.

    Although it is possible to be a scientist and still believe in God — as some scientists seem to manage it — there is no question that an engagement with scientific thinking tends to erode, rather than support, religious faith. Taking the U.S. population as an example: Most polls show that about 90% of the general public believes in a personal God; yet 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences do not. This suggests that there are few modes of thinking less congenial to religious faith than science is.

    6) Atheists are arrogant.

    When scientists don’t know something — like why the universe came into being or how the first self-replicating molecules formed — they admit it. Pretending to know things one doesn’t know is a profound liability in science. And yet it is the life-blood of faith-based religion. One of the monumental ironies of religious discourse can be found in the frequency with which people of faith praise themselves for their humility, while claiming to know facts about cosmology, chemistry and biology that no scientist knows. When considering questions about the nature of the cosmos and our place within it, atheists tend to draw their opinions from science. This isn’t arrogance; it is intellectual honesty.

    7) Atheists are closed to spiritual experience.

    There is nothing that prevents an atheist from experiencing love, ecstasy, rapture and awe; atheists can value these experiences and seek them regularly. What atheists don’t tend to do is make unjustified (and unjustifiable) claims about the nature of reality on the basis of such experiences. There is no question that some Christians have transformed their lives for the better by reading the Bible and praying to Jesus. What does this prove? It proves that certain disciplines of attention and codes of conduct can have a profound effect upon the human mind. Do the positive experiences of Christians suggest that Jesus is the sole savior of humanity? Not even remotely — because Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and even atheists regularly have similar experiences.

    There is, in fact, not a Christian on this Earth who can be certain that Jesus even wore a beard, much less that he was born of a virgin or rose from the dead. These are just not the sort of claims that spiritual experience can authenticate.

    8) Atheists believe that there is nothing beyond human life and human understanding.

    Atheists are free to admit the limits of human understanding in a way that religious people are not. It is obvious that we do not fully understand the universe; but it is even more obvious that neither the Bible nor the Koran reflects our best understanding of it. We do not know whether there is complex life elsewhere in the cosmos, but there might be. If there is, such beings could have developed an understanding of nature’s laws that vastly exceeds our own. Atheists can freely entertain such possibilities. They also can admit that if brilliant extraterrestrials exist, the contents of the Bible and the Koran will be even less impressive to them than they are to human atheists.

    From the atheist point of view, the world’s religions utterly trivialize the real beauty and immensity of the universe. One doesn’t have to accept anything on insufficient evidence to make such an observation.

    9) Atheists ignore the fact that religion is extremely beneficial to society.

    Those who emphasize the good effects of religion never seem to realize that such effects fail to demonstrate the truth of any religious doctrine. This is why we have terms such as “wishful thinking” and “self-deception.” There is a profound distinction between a consoling delusion and the truth.

    In any case, the good effects of religion can surely be disputed. In most cases, it seems that religion gives people bad reasons to behave well, when good reasons are actually available. Ask yourself, which is more moral, helping the poor out of concern for their suffering, or doing so because you think the creator of the universe wants you to do it, will reward you for doing it or will punish you for not doing it?

    10) Atheism provides no basis for morality.

    If a person doesn’t already understand that cruelty is wrong, he won’t discover this by reading the Bible or the Koran — as these books are bursting with celebrations of cruelty, both human and divine. We do not get our morality from religion. We decide what is good in our good books by recourse to moral intuitions that are (at some level) hard-wired in us and that have been refined by thousands of years of thinking about the causes and possibilities of human happiness.

    We have made considerable moral progress over the years, and we didn’t make this progress by reading the Bible or the Koran more closely. Both books condone the practice of slavery — and yet every civilized human being now recognizes that slavery is an abomination. Whatever is good in scripture — like the golden rule — can be valued for its ethical wisdom without our believing that it was handed down to us by the creator of the universe.

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    Comment by CoventryRM — October 14, 2007 @ 3:43 pm |Reply

  48. CoventryRM

    Thank you for the article! I understand your belief a little bit more now! I have run into a few atheists in my life, some were ok, some were not. I understand that there are good atheists with good morals.

    I agree with the statement that people fear the unknown, and I certainly am not claiming to know it all but…You, have just inspired my next post! thanks 🙂 …………………………….

    Comment by steffielynn — October 15, 2007 @ 4:09 am |Reply

  49. There is a great book you should read called the “Denial of Death” by Ernest Becker it recieved a Pulitzer prize.

    Comment by conventryRM — October 15, 2007 @ 3:56 pm |Reply

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