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Part 3: Post-Foundational Problems
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Gentle Awakening PART 3 OF 5: POST-FOUNDATIONAL PROBLEMS Post-Foundational Problems Prophets Speak in God’s Name Lost Leader Syndrome “Many managers inevitably will respond to these symptoms by simply denying that they are confused. Others will hide their confusion—their search for sense—because they see it as a liability, telling themselves, ‘I’ll lose authority if I acknowledge that I can’t provide direction—I’m supposed to know the answers!’ Acting as if they are in control while really not knowing what to do, these managers reflexively and unilaterally attempt to impose quick fixes to restore their equilibrium. Sometimes, these managerial responses may even succeed in making the immediate symptoms of problems go away, but they rarely address underlying causes. More often, they lead to bad decision making, undermine crucial communication with colleagues and subordinates, and make managers seem distant and out of touch. In the long run, managers who hide their confusion also damage their organizations’ ability to learn from experience and grow. Yet, despite these drawbacks, few managers can resist hiding their confusion. We have observed this dysfunctional pattern hundreds of times in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors—in government agencies, corporations, universities, and foundations—and believe that it is becoming more common as the pace of change accelerates.” Barry C. Jentz, Jerome T. Murphy, “Embracing Confusion: What Leaders Do When They Don’t Know What to Do.” Summary of Brigham Young Problems Blood Atonement Racism God=Adam Polygamy The Savior had Mary, Martha, and several others as wives. Journal of Discourses 2:75-87 Said Brigham Young, “I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture.” (Journal of Discourses, 13:95.) If there is any doubt that Joseph Smith was not a prophet, Brigham Young introduces considerable doubt that he was the rightful successor. Brigham Young’s Hit Man Brigham Young taught: “There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins; and the smoking incense would atone for their sins … I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it is strong doctrine, but it is to save them.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, pp. 53-54) William (“Bill”) Hickman became known as Brigham Young’s “Destroying Angel” after killing many people who opposed Brigham Young According to his autobiography, Hickman's excommunication immediately followed his refusal to commit another assassination at Brigham Young's request. Racist Statements by Brigham Young Racist Statements by Brigham Young Racist Statements by Brigham Young Brigham Young Declares that Adam Is Our God Brigham Young Teaches “Blood Atonement” Racist Statements by John Taylor “The descendants of Ham, besides a black skin which has ever been a curse that has followed an apostate of the holy priesthood, as well as a black heart, have been servants to both Shem and Jepheth, and the abolitionists are trying to make void the curse of God, but it will require more power than man possesses to counteract the decrees of eternal wisdom.” (John Taylor, Times and Seasons, April 1, 1845, 6:857). “And after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham’s wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God” (John Taylor, August 28th, 1881, Journal of Discourses 22:304. See also Latter-day Prophets Speak: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Church Presidents, p. 157, Daniel H. Ludlow, ed.). “Why is it, in fact, that we should have a devil? Why did not the Lord kill him long ago? Because he could not do without him. He needed the devil and a great many of those who do his bidding just to keep men straight, that we may learn to place our dependence upon God, and trust in Him, and to observe his laws and keep his commandments. When he destroyed the inhabitants of the antediluvian world, he suffered a descendant of Cain to come through the flood in order that he [the devil] might be properly represented upon the earth” (John Taylor, October 29, 1882, Journal of Discourses 23:336). 1947 First Presidency Letter 1949 First Presidency Letter August 17, 1949 The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: “Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to.” … The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes. The First Presidency 1961 Joseph Fielding Smith “We will never get a man into space. This earth is man’s sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it. The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen.” “When man was placed on this earth, it became his probationary—or mortal—home. Here he is destined to stay until his earth-life is completed. … Here we are, and here we should be content to stay. All this talk about space travel and the visiting of other worlds brings to mind vividly an attempt long ago made by foolish men who tried to build to heaven. … The Lord will permit men to go just so far and no farther.” Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 2, Ch. 43. Harold B. Lee “To impress the grave consequences and the seriousness of intermarriage as between those of different races and particularly with reference to intermarriage with the seed of Cain, President Brigham Young made this remark in an address before the legislature: ‘... Any man having one drop of the seed of Cain in him cannot receive the priesthood... .’ Surely no one of you who is an heir to a body of more favored lineage would knowingly intermarry with a race that would condemn your posterity to penalties that have been placed upon the seed of Cain by the judgments of God. (Harold B. Lee, Decisions for Successful Living, p. 168.) 1960s Pressure Mounting for Equal Rights Donald I. French: “As an elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it has long seemed incredible to me that a church … can be so backward in its outlook on a segment of the human race that is also supposed to be among our brothers. . . . The revelation … should have been [received] 50 years ago—not now when we are forced into looking for one. Even if a ‘revelation’ should come now, we have compromised our position because it looks as if we have been forced into seeking it, which will be true.” (Time, Nov. 1, 1963) “The church has no intention of changing its doctrine on the Negro,” N. Eldon Tanner, counselor to the First President told Seattle during his recent visit here. “Throughout the history of the original Christian church, the Negro never held the priesthood. There’s really nothing we can do to change this. It's a law of God.” (Seattle Magazine, December 1967, p, 60) President Joseph Fielding Smith: “Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fullness of the blessings of the Gospel. . . . they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning.” (The Way To Perfection, 1935, page 101) 1960s The Church Will Never “Give In” on Racism Because It Is God’s Will Elder Bruce R. McConkie: “Negroes in this life are denied the Priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. (Abraham 1:20-27.) The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them . . . negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow therefrom, but this inequality is not of man's origin. It is the Lord’s doing, is based an his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate.” Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 527-528. Elder John L. Lund: “Those who believe that the Church ‘gave in’ on the polygamy issue and subsequently should give in on the Negro question are not only misinformed about Church History, but are apparently unaware of Church doctrine. . . . Therefore, those who hope that pressure will bring about a revelation need to take a closer look at Mormon history and the order of heaven. … Those who would try to pressure the Prophet to give the Negroes the Priesthood do not understand the plan of God nor the order of heaven. … All the social, political, and governmental pressure in the world is not going to change what God has decreed to be. The Church and the Negro, 1967, pp. 104-5, 109. 1968-1969 NCAA Boycotts BYU African-American athletes protested against LDS policies by boycotting several sporting events with Brigham Young University. In 1968, black members of the UTEP track team approached their coach and expressed their desire not to compete against BYU in an upcoming meet. When the coach disregarded the athletes' complaint, the athletes boycotted the meet. In 1969, 14 members of the University of Wyoming football team were removed from the team for planning to protest the policies of the LDS church. In November 1969, Stanford University President Kenneth Pitzer suspended athletic relations with BYU. 1969 First Presidency Letter In view of confusion that has arisen, it was decided at a meeting of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve to restate the position of the Church with regard to the Negro both in society and in the Church. … matters of faith, conscience, and theology are not within the purview of the civil law. The first amendment to the Constitution specifically provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints affecting those of the Negro race who choose to join the Church falls wholly within the category of religion. It has no bearing upon matters of civil rights. … Our living prophet, President David O. McKay, has said, “The seeming discrimination by the Church toward the Negro is not something which originated with man; but goes back into the beginning with God…. Revelation assures us that this plan antedates man’s mortal existence, extending back to man’s pre-existent state.” … Priesthood, when it is conferred on any man comes as a blessing from God, not of men. Meanwhile we must strive harder to emulate His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose new commandment it was that we should love one another. … Faithfully your brethren, The First Presidency 1970s Problems in Brazil Besides all the problems the Church was having with dissidents, it was faced with an impossible situation in Brazil. Even the Church's own Deseret News admitted that: “A major problem the church has faced with its policy regarding blacks was in Brazil, where the church is building a temple. Many people there are miied [mixed?] racially, and it is often impossible to determine whether church members have black ancestry.” (Deseret News, June 10, 1978) “The growth of the international Church was clearly bringing new problems. Brazil was particularly difficult. Later that year J. Ruben Clark, First Counselor to George Albert Smith, reported that the Church was entering "into a situation in doing missionary work . . . where it is very difficult if not impossible to tell who has negro blood and who has not. He said that if we are baptizing Brazilians, we are almost certainly baptizing people of negro blood, and that if the Priesthood is conferred upon them, which it no doubt is, we are facing a very serious problem.” (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1973, p. 41.) 1974 Black Boy Scout Incident In 1974 the Mormon doctrine of discrimination against blacks brought the Boy Scouts into a serious confrontation with the NAACP. The Boy Scouts of America do not discriminate because of religion or race, but Mormon-sponsored troops did have a policy of discrimination. On July 18, 1974, the Salt Lake Tribune reported: A 12-year-old boy scout has been denied a senior patrol leadership in his troop because he is black, Don L. Cope, black ombudsman for the state, said Wednesday. . . . The ombudsman said Mormon "troop policy is that in order for a scout to become a patrol leader, he must be a deacon's quorum president in the LDS Church. Since the boy cannot hold the priesthood, he cannot become a patrol leader." The NAACP filed a federal lawsuit in 1974 challenging this practice, and soon thereafter the LDS church reversed its policy. Spencer W. Kimball: “Intolerance by Church members is despicable. … It is for us to extend our love to all.” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 237.) 1977 First Presidency “Strongly Opposes” Equal Rights Amendment “We firmly believe that the Equal Rights Amendment is not the answer. … ERA as a blanket attempt to help women could indeed bring them far more restraints and repressions. We fear it will even stifle many God-given feminine instincts.” President Packer: The effort to cure a threat of chicken pox may once again see us exposed, dangerously exposed, to a virulent and deadly smallpox. I am for protecting the rights of a woman to be a woman, a feminine, female woman; a wife and a mother. I am for protecting the rights of children to be babies and children and youth. I am for recognizing the inherent God-given differences between men and women. Potential Consequences of Equal Rights for the Church: The Church would look bad for its discrimination against blacks The Church would look bad for not allowing women to pray or speak in Sacrament Meetings or General Conference The Church would look bad for not allowing women to hold the priesthood The Church would look bad for not allowing women to hold priesthood leadership positions The Church would look bad for its discrimination against gays 1978 “Revelation” on Priesthood It is now illegal Jimmy Carter’s IRS threatening to revoke the Church’s tax-exempt status Stanford and other universities boycotting BYU athletics We can’t figure out who’s black or not in Brazil Post-Civil Rights societal trends were against the Church’s racism Christ’s true Church should have been the one leading the Civil Rights movement, not be the last major Church on the planet in 1978 to adopt it 1978 Women Can Now Pray & Speak “The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve have determined that there is no scriptural prohibition against sisters offering prayers in sacrament meetings. It was therefore decided that it is permissible for sisters to offer prayers in any meetings they attend, including sacrament meetings, Sunday School meetings, and stake conferences. Relief Society visiting teachers may offer prayers in homes that they enter in fulfilling visiting teaching assignments.” (Marvin K. Gardner, “News of the Church,” Ensign, Nov. 1978, 100) 1980s Mark Hoffman Forgeries The Church paid close to $900,000 in antiquities and cash to Mark Hofmann – a conman and soon-to-be serial killer – to purchase and suppress bizarre and embarrassing documents into the Church vaults that undermined and threatened the Church’s story of its origins. The documents were later proven to be forgeries. Lack of discernment by the Brethren on such a grave threat to the Church Apologetic talks given by President Hinckley and Elder Oaks 2012 “Swedish Rescue” Wave of apostasy in Sweden after church members are discussing church issues openly November 2010, an emergency fireside was held in Stockholm Sweden by Elder Marlin Jensen (Church historian) and Elder Richard Turley (assistant Church historian) to address the faith crisis that ensued among an entire group of members and leaders in Stockholm Sweden including a stake president and a member of the Quorum of the Seventy (General Authority) Questions unanswered People leave “in droves” Elder Packer Defensive Statements “The mantle is far, far greater than the intellect.” “If not properly written or properly taught, [church history] may be a faith destroyer. There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful.” “[Such] will not be among the faithful in the eternities.” “The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect,” 1981, BYU Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 259-271. “The dangers I speak of come from … the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals.” Address given to the All-Church Coordinating Council, 18 May 1993. Elder Oaks Defensive Statements Machiavellian concept: the end justifies the means “My duty as a member of the Council of the Twelve is to protect what is most unique about the LDS church … Everything may be sacrificed in order to maintain the integrity of those essential facts. Thus, if Mormon Enigma reveals information that is detrimental to the reputation of Joseph Smith, then it is necessary to try to limit its influence and that of its authors.” Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith, footnote 28, p. xliii. Elder Nelson Defensive Statements Characterized by authoritative threatening “Any who are tempted to rake through the annals of history, to use truth unrighteously, or to dig up facts … should hearken to this warning: … The wrath of God is against [you].” “Truth—and More,” Ensign, Jan. 1986, p. 69. Elder Holland’s “Fairy Tale” Motif “I haven’t come halfway around the world to tell you a fairy tale. I haven’t given my life and my time and my energy.” “Have Solid Gospel Foundation, Mongolian Saints Told,” June 2011. “I did not give my life for a fairy tale!” Provo MTC Address, 2009. “I have better things to do with my time and my life than to give it all for a fairy tale.” University of Utah Institute Address, 2008. “I’m giving my life to this. You’re giving two years. I’m giving my life! Everything I own, everything I possess is on the line. I would not come to São Paulo to tell you a fairy tale. I wouldn’t wear myself into the ground … ! Give me a little more credit than that! I’m not an absolutely stupid man.” Brazil MTC Address, 2001. “This is real, I'm not giving my life to a fairy tale.” Brazil MTC Address, 2013. Elder Holland Interviewed by BBC Homosexuality 2014 Church Instructs Leaders on Same-Sex Marriage January 2014—Following recent court actions bearing on same-sex marriage, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles today sent the following instructions and guidance to congregational leaders throughout the United States. Leaders were asked to share this information with their members. Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established. God expects us to uphold and keep His commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society. His law of chastity is clear: sexual relations are proper only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully wedded as husband and wife. We urge you to review and teach Church members the doctrine contained in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility. Authoritative Statements Regarding Gays “Some suppose that they were pre-set, and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, he is our Father.” Boyd K. Packer, “Cleansing the Inner Vessel,” October 2010 General Conference (red later removed) “There is a falsehood that some are born with an attraction to their own kind, with nothing they can do about it. They are just ‘that way’ and can only yield to those desires. That is a malicious and destructive lie. While it is a convincing idea to some, it is of the devil. No one is locked into that kind of life.” Boyd K. Packer, 1976 General Conference “While I was in a mission on one occasion, a missionary said he had something to confess. … ‘I hit my companion,’ [he said.] After learning [that his companion was gay], my response was ‘Well, thanks. Somebody had to do it, and it wouldn't have been well for a General Authority to solve the problem that way.’ I am not recommending that course to you, but I am not omitting it. You must protect yourself.” Boyd K. Packer, To Young Men Only, October 1976 General Conference Authoritative Statements Regarding Gays “There is some widely accepted theory extant that homosexuality is inherited. How can this be? … if it were so, it would frustrate the whole plan of mortal happiness. … The false belief of inborn homosexual orientation denies to repentant souls the opportunity to change and will ultimately lead to discouragement, disappointment, and despair. … I am sure this is pleasing to the devil.” James E. Faust, “Serving the Lord and Resisting the Devil,” April 1995 General Conference “God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.” “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” Compare to Authoritative Statements Denouncing Monogamy “It is a fact worthy of note that the shortest lived nations of which we have record have been monogamic. Rome...was a monogamic nation … that system early laid the foundation for that ruin which eventually overtook her.” George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 202 “...the one-wife system not only degenerates the human family, both physically and intellectually, but it is entirely incompatible with philosophical notions of immortality; it is a lure to temptation, and has always proved a curse to a people.” John Taylor, Millennial Star, Vol. 15, p. 227 “Monogamy, or restrictions by law to one wife, is no part of the economy of heaven among men. Such a system was commenced by the founders of the Roman empire… Thus this monogamic order of marriage, so esteemed by modern Christians as a holy sacrament and divine institution, is nothing but a system established by a set of robbers… Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the Lord's servants have always practiced it. ‘And is that religion popular in heaven?' it is the only popular religion there.” Brigham Young, The Deseret News, August 6, 1862 “We breathe the free air, we have the best looking men and handsomest women, and if they (Non-Mormons) envy us our position, well they may, for they are a poor, narrow-minded, pinch-backed race of men, who chain themselves down to the law of monogamy, and live all their days under the dominion of one wife. They ought to be ashamed of such conduct, and the still fouler channel which flows from their practices; and it is not to be wondered at that they should envy those who so much better understand the social relations.” George A Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, page 291 "I have noticed that a man who has but one wife, and is inclined to that doctrine, soon begins to wither and dry up, while a man who goes into plurality [of wives] looks fresh, young, and sprightly. Why is this? Because God loves that man, and because he honors his word. Some of you may not believe this, but I not only believe it but I also know it. For a man of God to be confined to one woman is small business. I do not know what we would do if we had only one wife apiece.” Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses Vol 5, p. 22 “The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy.” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 11:269 The Church Will Never Stop the Practice of Polygamy I heard the revelation on polygamy, and I believed it with all my heart, and I know it is from God—I know that he revealed it from heaven; I know that it is true, and understand the bearings of it and why it is. “Do you think that we shall ever be admitted as a State into the Union without denying the principle of polygamy?” If we are not admitted until then, we shall never be admitted. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 11:269 TED Talk: The Ally Within Prophets Will Never Lead You Astray “I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of the Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God.” The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pp. 212–13.) When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan–it is God’s plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy. God works in no other way. Improvement Era, June 1945 The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything. … The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or diplomas to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time. Ezra Taft Benson, 1981 “I remember years ago when I was a bishop I had President Heber J. Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting I drove him home … Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: ‘My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.’ Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, ‘But you don’t need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.’” Marion G. Romney, Conference Report, October 1960, p. 78. Examples of Prophetic Denunciations God Is Unchanging from Eternity to Eternity What kind of God commands someone to take other men’s wives behind their backs and behind their own wife’s back? What kind of God commands that people should kill themselves if they do not keep covenants to give their whole lives to an institution? What kind of God dictates that blacks should not receive the same blessings as whites? What kind of God opposes equal rights laws? What kind of God gives prophecies that never happen? What kind of God would expect people to follow prophets whose major commandments are ever changing? Does this really sound like the loving Christ? False Prophecies: How Many Does It Take? Book of Mormon Book of Abraham D&C Racism Monogamy Age of Earth Location of Garden of Eden No Death Before Adam Space Travel “How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously. A prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded … is to be put to death.” Deuteronomy 18:21-22 Puzzle Pieces O The Burdens We Carry Current Perpetuation of Doctrinal Problems Perpetuation of Racism from the Book of Mormon & Pearl of Great Price Tithing: A Requirement for Eternal Life? April 2005 General Conference: “If a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing.” (Elder Robbins) December 2012 Ensign: “If paying tithing means that you can’t pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can’t pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don’t have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing.” A full 10% tithe is requirement for entrance to the temple, thus considered essential for eternal life and exaltation Those who tithe will not be burned Mormon Corporate Empire The Church collects around $8B per year in tithes. The Church will not disclose its expenditure of these funds (other churches do). Only about 0.7% of the Church’s annual income goes to charity (the United Method Church donates 29%). This average of $52M per year is less than the Polynesian Cultural Center alone makes each year. The church owns around 1M acres in continental U.S. alone. “Tithes for the Poor” “When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes [for] the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled.” (Deuteronomy 26:12) “And he lifted up his voice, and he blessed Abram, being the high priest, and the keeper of the storehouse of God; Him whom God had appointed to receive tithes for the poor.” (Genesis 14:37-38) Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses, which included the Law of Tithing. He now asks that we give from our hearts, with no rigid amounts attached to our own heartfelt generosity. In fact, this goes beyond money and includes all that we have and are in serving the poor and downcast with our love and attention: “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38) Why Doesn’t the Church Disclose Its Use of the Money? City Creek Mall $2B of a $5B total downtown business project, including apartments and business buildings Total church contributions to charity from 1985-2010 (25 years) = $1.3B Summary of Church Response to Problems The Brethren do not provide any viable answers “Pay, Pray, and Obey” type advice “Doubt your doubts” “Don’t be deceived by the devil” Villainization of apostates Apologists hired to answer problems also cannot provide viable answers Circular, confusing, contradictory logic Fall back on “pray to know” Ad hominem attacks on critics Lives Based on Truth Instead of Myth Deprogramming Drinking tea is not a sin. Growing scruff is not a sin. Mowing the lawn without garments on is not a sin. Women wearing pants to church is not a sin. Not serving a mission is not a sin. It is not a sin to have questions. These are examples of completely ridiculous notions and poor measures of character. Pioneers of Truth Awakening “a person who is among the first to explore or settle a new area” “one who goes before, showing the way to follow” Elder Hans Mattsson of the Seventy Hans H. Mattsson is a 3rd generation LDS church member from Sweden who served as a bishop and stake president in Sweden before serving in the Seventy from 2000-2005 in the Europe Central area. Members began asking Mattsson about criticisms that they had read on the Internet, including the many wives of Mormon founder Joseph Smith, the authenticity of the Book of Abraham, and the exclusion of black people from the priesthood until 1978. Mattsson was dissatisfied with the answers that he in turn received from the church's highest authorities in 2010, and in 2013 he stated that "I don’t want to hurt the church … I just want the truth.” Bishop Steve Bloor It is with great pain and torment of mind and body that I am forced to write to you. I deeply and truly would rather not have to write this letter. But, honesty drives my motives. I have come to believe over the last month that there are so many inconsistencies and problems with the historicity of the Book of Mormon, as well as the divinity of Joseph Smith’s calling as prophet, that I can no longer, in good faith, fulfill my calling as Bishop of Helston Ward. When faith in the unseen is replaced with indisputable evidence to the contrary, faith becomes redundant and, in fact, becomes a pleasant, if fanciful, myth. I have not come to this decision lightly. For me it is more important to believe in an uncomfortable truth than a comforting fantasy. February 2014 British Court Summons Issued by Tom Phillips, former stake president in England and Area Controller for the British Isles and Africa as well as the Financial Director for the Church’s U.K. corporate entities. Phillips has had his “calling and election made sure.” Each of the items included in the court summons are questions that could possibly be verified in a court of law to be either true or false. These include the Church’s claims that: The Book of Abraham is a literal translation of Egyptian papyri by Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon was translated from ancient gold plates by Joseph Smith, is the most correct book on earth, and is an ancient historical record. Native Americans are descended from an Israelite family which left Jerusalem in 600 B.C. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed as martyrs in 1844 because they would not deny their testimony of the Book of Mormon. The Illinois newspaper called the Nauvoo Expositor had to be destroyed because it printed lies about Joseph Smith. There was no death on this planet prior to 6,000 years ago. All humans alive today are descended from just two people who lived approximately 6,000 years ago. Comments from Readers Regarding Court Summons “The underlying premise for Tom Phillips' complaint is basically this: Young salespeople are being carefully groomed and trained to go out and spread demonstrable untruths among the British public in order to persuade them to pay over significant sums of money to a corporation. The transactions depend upon acceptance by individuals of certain "truth claims" which must be received on the basis of partial information presented. If members of the public were to be told the whole truth and still decided they would join up and pay up, that of course would be entirely legitimate. However, when the whole truth is deliberately concealed in order to project a false impression, and money exchanges hands, that is fraud... according to the 2006 Fraud Act, which is the relevant piece of legislation in this case.” Continue to Part 4…