Eyes vs Heart

There may be those that attack a 14yr old boy prophet, the Book of Mor­mon prophets, liv­ing prophets, and a liv­ing Christ. There were those that accused, and today accuse, Jesus Christ of not being Chris­t­ian, of hav­ing, and being the dev­il. There are those that deny the exis­tence of Heav­en­ly Father, angels, and mir­a­cles. Do not…

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To peek behind the curtain: weighing the decision to investigate LDS truth-claims

Why not inves­ti­gate? From the per­spec­tive of a believ­ing mem­ber, there are many valid rea­sons to avoid crit­i­cal­ly1 inves­ti­gat­ing the truth-claims of the Church.2 Lack the time, ener­gy, inter­est, or capa­bil­i­ty To inves­ti­gate requires time and effort. Most mem­bers are busy rais­ing a fam­i­ly and have many demands on their time and focus. Maybe now…

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Five Key Facts

This is a very short sum­ma­ry of what I view as the 5 most impor­tant facts in under­stand­ing alter­na­tive mod­els for LDS truth claims. To the best of my knowl­edge, every point made in this doc­u­ment is accept­ed as fac­tu­al by both LDS and non-LDS schol­ars (please cor­rect me if I am mis­tak­en and I…

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The 1832 First Vision account was suppressed between 11 and ~30 years.

The 1832 First Vision account was sup­pressed between 11 and ~30 years The evi­dence LaMar Petersen, an ama­teur Mor­mon his­to­ri­an, met with Levi Young (senior Pres­i­dent of the First Coun­cil of the Sev­en­ty) on Feb­ru­ary 3, 1953, and took these notes: His curios­i­ty was excit­ed when read­ing in Roberts’ Doc. His­to­ry ref­er­ence to “doc­u­ments from which…

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The three-fold nature of the LDS Church: corporate, totalistic, and individual-growth

The three-fold nature of the church: cor­po­rate, total­is­tic, and indi­vid­ual-growth bwv549 last updat­ed 2016-06-06 Teach­ings and actions of the Church, its lead­ers, and its mem­bers may be cat­e­go­rized into three promi­nent mind­sets: cor­po­rate, total­is­tic, and indi­vid­ual-growth (aka “growth-mind­set”): There is cer­tain­ly over­lap and inter­play between these mind­sets, but many of the Church’s teach­ings and actions…

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Testimony, Spiritual Experiences, and Truth: A Careful Examination

1 Intro­duc­tion 2 Do spir­i­tu­al impres­sions teach truth? 3 What’s behind a spir­i­tu­al expe­ri­ence? 4 Tes­ti­mo­ny, bias, and pro­pa­gan­da 5 Cir­cu­lar­i­ties: pulling our­selves up by our boot­straps? 6 Con­clu­sions 7 Addi­tion­al read­ing (note: This arti­cle is an updat­ed ver­sion of my orig­i­nal Ratio­nal Faiths arti­cle) 1 Intro­duc­tion 1.1 Know the truth of all things The…

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Check Your Premises

The Shins will change your life. Spo­ken by a young Natal­ie Port­man in the cult indie clas­sic Gar­den State, The Shins real­ly have changed my life, pro­vid­ing a ther­a­peu­tic sound­track to my tran­si­tion out of the church. They have always been a favorite band of mine (cred­it the impec­ca­ble music taste of my wife) but it was­n’t…

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America, Chris Columbus, The Bundy’s, and Sorrow

I live in East­ern Wash­ing­ton. The Bundy’s mis­guid­ed and atro­cious take-over of a Fed­er­al vis­i­tor’s cen­ter in East­ern Ore­gon has got me think­ing on one of the most fun­da­men­tal issues of the Book of Mor­mon, that Native Amer­i­cans are some­how sup­posed to be con­nect­ed to the awful God of the Old Tes­ta­ment through Israelite blood­lines, were…

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Four Alternatives to Church Policy in Handbook 1, Section 16.13 with “Clarifications”

Over the last two weeks, the LDS church has had their new pol­i­cy on LGBT and LGBT chil­dren leaked, pro­vid­ed an expla­na­tion by Christof­fer­son, then final­ly “clar­i­fied” through a state­ment from the first pres­i­den­cy and com­men­tary from Church Pub­lic Affairs. The church stat­ed that the “ques­tions” regard­ing the pol­i­cy change was caused by “incom­plete news reports, tweets…

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Bogus Justifications Behind Church’s New Policies

The LDS Church released changes to its Hand­book on Novem­ber 5, 2015 in rela­tion to same-sex cou­ples and chil­dren raised by same-sex cou­ples. Specif­i­cal­ly, the Church now pro­hibits chil­dren of same-sex cou­ples from being bap­tized until they are 18 – and only if they move out of their par­ents’ homes, dis­avow all same-sex rela­tion­ships, and receive…

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