Questions to Ask

Intro­duc­tion These ques­tions are designed to probe var­i­ous aspects of the LDS Church’s his­to­ry and truth-claims.1 The list was made for 1) inves­ti­ga­tors to ask the mis­sion­ar­ies, 2) active mem­bers to ask them­selves, or 3) those expe­ri­enc­ing a faith tran­si­tion to ask their par­ents or eccle­si­as­ti­cal lead­ers. The major­i­ty of links pro­vid­ed are to LDS…

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Problem Summaries: resources discussing LDS-truth claims

Prob­lems with LDS truth-claims Before read­ing about the prob­lems, you may want to first con­sid­er the pros and cons of inves­ti­gat­ing the truth-claim data. Very short sum­maries Five Key Facts (~ 1 page) 50 Prob­lems with the Mor­mon Church (~10 minute youtube video) More sig­nif­i­cant sum­maries Mor­mon Primer (mul­ti­ple per­spec­tives: main­stream, crit­i­cal, apolo­getic, and pro­gres­sive)…

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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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Leaving the Church, Part 2 — Book of Abraham

1. Back­ground Per­haps the most prob­lem­at­ic issue under­min­ing the Church is the Book of Abra­ham. In July of 1835, a trav­el­ing show­man named Michael Chan­dler brought an exhib­it con­sist­ing of four Egypt­ian mum­mies and papyri to Kirt­land, Ohio, then the home of the Lat­ter-day Saints. The papyri con­tained Egypt­ian hiero­glyph­ics, which intrigued Joseph Smith. Joseph…

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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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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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Book of Abraham: Facsimile 1

This is Fac­sim­i­le 1, locat­ed at the front of the Book of Abra­ham in the Pearl of Great Price. Joseph Smith described this scene as “The idol­a­trous priest of Elke­nah attempt­ing to offer up Abra­ham as a sac­ri­fice,” mean­ing, the man with the knife is a priest of Elke­nah and the man on the altar…

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Book of Abraham

The major­i­ty of mem­bers don’t know where the Book of Abra­ham (found in the Pearl of Great Price) comes from. Here is a brief his­to­ry from Wikipedia: Sev­er­al papyri and eleven mum­mies were dis­cov­ered in Thebes by Anto­nio Lebo­lo between 1818 and 1822. Some­time between 1822 and his death on Feb­ru­ary 19, 1830, Lebo­lo arranged…

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