Final Thoughts — Potential Harm

Sev­er­al years back, I was dis­cussing some of these mat­ters with one of my daugh­ters, and she posed this ques­tion to me: Let’s just say you’re right, and that the Church’s claims aren’t true. What is the harm in stay­ing in it, and being involved with it? We’re hap­py, we’re liv­ing good lives. What is…

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Examination Summary

My intent here was to approach the Church’s claims about itself, its his­to­ry, and its mis­sion, from sev­er­al dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives, rather than rely­ing on a sin­gle dimen­sion. The con­clu­sion seems inescapable: the Church is not what it claims to be, and the claims that it makes are demon­stra­bly false. And while there is a won­der­ful…

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Examining the Fruits of the Church in Practice

I first need to make a cru­cial dis­tinc­tion here, between the Cor­po­rate and Insti­tu­tion­al Church, and the Church that exists in the lives of the indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies that com­prise the var­i­ous Wards and Branch­es of the Church. Even though I was a con­vert to the Church, I raised my fam­i­ly in it, and was…

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Epistemological Considerations

(or how do we know what we think we know) I am by no means a Philoso­pher, but I think it is cru­cial to address this top­ic here. It can get quite com­pli­cat­ed, and peo­ple have spent life­times, writ­ten dis­ser­ta­tions and count­less books on this sub­ject. But basi­cal­ly, what is need­ed is a reli­able method…

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Factual Claims

The Church makes many spe­cif­ic claims about mat­ters of his­to­ry (both its own, and that of oth­er peo­ples), the migra­tion of peo­ple from one con­ti­nent to anoth­er, the trans­la­tion of ancient doc­u­ments, etc. These are per­fect­ly legit­i­mate sub­jects to be exam­ined using the tools and log­ic of Sci­ence. I do rec­og­nize that some claims the…

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Introduction to Examining Church Claims

The Church was orga­nized in Man­ches­ter, New York, on April 6, 1830. The orig­i­nal name used on that date was actu­al­ly the “Church of Christ.” This was changed in 1834 to “The Church of the Lat­ter Day Saints,” and then changed again in 1838 to “The Church of Jesus Christ of Lat­ter Day Saints” (see…

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Conclusion to Why I No Longer Believe

I’ve focused most­ly on the Book of Mor­mon, since I accept that it is the key­stone of the reli­gion, just as Joseph Smith, Jr stat­ed. The Book of Abra­ham and his oth­er trans­la­tions are close behind. Some of the oth­er top­ics that have affect­ed my tes­ti­mo­ny: Polyg­a­mous mar­riages of Joseph Smith, use of coer­cion, sev­er­al…

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Other translations by Joseph Smith, Jr

I had pre­vi­ous­ly been able to con­vince myself that the rea­son we don’t have the gold plates is because Joseph Smith, Jr would have been hunt­ed to an even ear­li­er death if he had kept them. Still, I, and I think every mem­ber, has a secret wish that the Lord would decide it was time…

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Book of Abraham: Facsimile 3

Fac­sim­i­le 3 is described by Joseph Smith as “Abra­ham sit­ting upon Pharaoh’s throne, by the polite­ness of the king, with a crown upon his head, rep­re­sent­ing the Priest­hood, as emblem­at­i­cal of the grand Pres­i­den­cy in Heav­en; with the scepter of jus­tice and judg­ment in his hand.” Once again, this is not about Abra­ham at all,…

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Book of Abraham: Facsimile 2

Fac­sim­i­le 2 is actu­al­ly a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a “hypocephalus”. Egyp­tians would put these under the head of mum­mies, like a pil­low. Here are lots of real hypocephali as they are in abun­dance: You’ll notice that I’ve cir­cled cer­tain sec­tions. Go back and study what’s inside the red cir­cle first. Four ram heads, right? Now go…

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