Mormon Faith Crisis Toolkit

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Mormon Faith Crisis Toolkit by Mind Map: Mormon Faith Crisis Toolkit

1. Acronyms

1.1. BKP

1.1.1. Boyd K. Packer

1.2. BoA

1.2.1. Book of Abraham

1.3. BoM

1.3.1. Book of Mormon

1.4. BY

1.4.1. Brigham Young

1.5. CES

1.5.1. Church Educational System

1.6. CHD

1.6.1. Church History Department

1.7. COB

1.7.1. Church Office Building

1.8. DHO

1.8.1. Dallin H. Oaks

1.9. FAIR

1.9.1. Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research

1.10. FARMS

1.10.1. Foundation for Ancient Research & Mormon Studies

1.11. FIRM

1.11.1. Foundation for Indigenous Research and Mormonism

1.12. FSM

1.12.1. Flying Spaghetti Monster

1.13. HGT

1.13.1. Hemispheric Geography Theory

1.14. JS

1.14.1. Joseph Smith

1.15. LGBT

1.15.1. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender

1.16. LGT

1.16.1. Limited Geography Theory

1.17. MT

1.17.1. MormonThink

1.18. NOM

1.18.1. New Order Mormon

1.19. PoGP

1.19.1. Pearl of Great Price

1.20. TBM

1.20.1. True Believing Member/Mormon

1.20.2. True Blue Member/Mormon

1.21. TCOJCOLDS

1.21.1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

1.22. TSCC

1.22.1. The So-Called Church

2. Apologetics

2.1. Critical response to LDS apologetics

2.2. FairMormon

2.2.1. Formerly known as FAIR.

2.3. Maxwell Institute

2.3.1. Formerly known as FARMS.

2.4. The FIRM Foundation

2.4.1. Also known as FIRM or the Foundation for Indigenous Reasearch and Mormonism.

3. Apostate/Antichrist

3.1. When one goes through a faith crisis, there is often misunderstanding from well-intentioned believers. Members are taught that those who "fall away" have been influenced by the adversary in some way. This helps the believers avoid any cognitive dissonance they might experience if there were other legitimate reasons for disaffection. There are typically 3 main reasons associated with disaffection from the believer's perspective, the person has (1) a desire to sin, (2) is being lazy, (3) and/or has been offended. Unfortunately, there is a darker, more sinister connotation associated with those who have experienced a faith crisis and come out a non-believer. This label is one of an apostate, or even worse, an antichrist. There are stories in the scriptures that reenforce this way of thinking, and fear is the main driver behind it. See the examples of Korihor and Nehor.

3.1.1. Examples in the BoM

3.1.1.1. Korihor

3.1.1.2. Nehor

3.1.2. Typical TBM Reasons

3.1.2.1. Sin

3.1.2.2. Lazy

3.1.2.3. Offended

4. Arguments

4.1. If BoM is true, then JS is a prophet. If JS is a prophet, the church must be true. JS, the prophet, brought forth the BoM and founded the church.

4.2. The church continues to grow, so the church must be true.

4.3. There are over 15M members, so the church must be true.

4.4. The brethren are so successful, so they must be true prophets and apostles.

4.5. There are many things that God just hasn't revealed yet.

4.6. If you would just pray/fast/read your scriptures/go to the temple/etc. enough, you would get the answer that the church is true.

4.7. Victim card.

4.8. That will be revealed in the afterlife.

4.9. You agreed to these trials in the preexistence.

4.10. I prayed and asked God to help me find my car keys. I found my car keys. Therefore, there is a God and he answers prayers. I love God.

4.11. I prayed and asked God to help me find my car keys. I never found my car keys. However, there is a God and he is testing me, or I didn't have enough faith. It is my fault. I need God now more than ever.

4.12. If you already received an answer that the church is true, God is not going to give you another answer.

4.13. I know the church is true.

4.14. I have received an answer that the church is true.

4.15. The burden of proof is on the one making the claim, not the one arguing against the claim.

4.16. God will reveal "that" is his own time.

4.17. I was born Mormon, so I will stay a Mormon.

4.18. Apostates have been deceived by Satan. Satan is evil; therefore, the apostates are evil.

4.19. ?

5. Blogs

5.1. Sic et Non

5.2. The Church of the Fridge

5.3. Mormanity

5.4. Mormon Disclosures

6. Books

6.1. LDS

6.1.1. Conservative

6.1.1.1. People of Paradox

6.1.1.2. The God Who Weeps

6.1.2. Moderate

6.1.2.1. Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

6.1.2.2. In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith

6.1.2.3. Studies of the Book of Mormon

6.2. Non-LDS

6.2.1. Don't Believe Everything You Think

6.2.2. God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

6.2.3. Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)

6.2.4. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

6.2.5. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

6.2.6. The God Dillusion

7. Brainwashing/Indoctrination

7.1. BITE Model

7.1.1. Behavior Control

7.1.2. Information Control

7.1.3. Thought Control

7.1.4. Emotional Control

7.2. Primary Songs

7.2.1. Follow the Prophet

7.2.2. I Hope They Call Me on a Mission

7.2.3. I Love to See the Temple

7.2.4. I Want to Give the Lord My Tenth

7.2.5. I'm Glad to Pay a Tithing

7.3. Missionary Age

7.3.1. With the lowering of the age for male missionaries to 18, it is more likely that the male would not start his higher education until after the mission. There would be less of a chance that the male would stray away while learning to critically think as is encouraged by institutions at that level.

7.4. The Testimony Glove

7.4.1. Commercial

7.4.2. Book

7.5. The Not Even Once Club

8. Counseling

8.1. The White Fields Educational Foundation

9. Facebook Communities

9.1. Religion

9.1.1. Apologetic

9.1.2. Moderate

9.1.2.1. Mormon Stories Podcast Community

9.1.2.2. The Mormon Hub

9.1.3. Critical

9.1.3.1. Mormon VIP Lounge

9.1.4. Anti

9.1.4.1. Ex-Mormon Atheists and Agnostics

9.2. Logic & Reason

10. God's Highlights

10.1. 0. God loses 1/3 of his spirit children to Satan in a war in the pre-existence.

10.2. 1. God expels Adam and Eve from of the Garden of Eden (in Daviess County, Missouri) for eating fruit that would give them knowledge.

10.3. 2. God curses Cain with a black skin for killing his brother, Abel.

10.4. 3. God translates Enoch and the city of Zion is taken up to heaven.

10.5. 4. God spares Noah and 7 others from the Great Flood that destroys every living substance upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven.

10.6. 5. God confounds the language of all the earth as punishment for His children building a tower in Babel to get closer to Him.

10.7. 6. God decides not to confound the language of the Jaredites and sends them to set sail to America in submarine barges with holes on the top and bottom.

10.8. 7. God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, but it was just a test in the end.

10.9. 8. God introduces male circumcision, the surgical removal of the foreskin (prepuce) from the human penis.

10.10. 9. God sends 10 plagues to the Egyptians through Moses, including the slaying of first-born male children.

10.11. 10. God has Moses lead the children of Israel out of bondage but doesn't let him ever see the promised land after a 40 year exodus.

10.12. 11. God commands Mulek to travel to America and establish a new civilization there after escaping Judah.

10.13. 12. God commands Lehi to travel to America and establish a new civilization there after fleeing Jerusalem.

10.14. 13. God curses the Lamanites with a black skin for rebelling against him.

10.15. 14. God begets his son, Jesus Christ, with Mary and sends him to suffer for the sins of the world where he is also crucified on a cross.

10.16. 15. God sends a great apostasy starting shortly after the death of the apostles and lasts until 1820.

10.17. 16. God finally ends the great apostasy by visiting Joseph Smith and restores the fullness of the gospel.

10.18. 17. In summary, God currently has 16,000,000 members out of 7,400,000,000 inhabitants, which = 0.22%. Out of the 16,000,000 members, let us assume half of those members are active, which = 8,000,000 (being generous), and then let us assume that half of those active members are current temple recommend holders (also generous), which would = 4,000,000. This means that God has successfully had his plan resonate with 0.05% of the world population to buy into it. The millennium will truly be a busy time.

11. Humor

11.1. Bengt Washburn

11.2. Brother Jake

11.3. Cal Grondahl

11.4. Elder Franklin

11.5. How General Authorities Eat Their Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

11.6. Mormon Infographics

11.7. Mr. Deity

11.8. The Skeptic's Annoted

11.8.1. Bible

11.8.2. Book of Mormon

11.8.3. Quran

12. Issues

12.1. Book of Abraham

12.2. Book of Mormon

12.2.1. King James Errors

12.2.1.1. Satyr

12.2.2. Anachronisms

12.2.2.1. Historical

12.2.2.1.1. Quoting Isaiah

12.2.2.1.2. Baptism

12.2.2.2. Flora & Fauna

12.2.2.2.1. Horses

12.2.2.2.2. Elephants

12.2.2.2.3. Cattle & Cows

12.2.2.2.4. Goats

12.2.2.2.5. Swine

12.2.2.2.6. Barley & Wheat

12.2.2.2.7. Honey Bees

12.2.2.3. Technology

12.2.2.3.1. Chariots & Wheeled Vehicles

12.2.2.3.2. Silk

12.2.2.3.3. Compass

12.2.2.3.4. Windows

12.2.2.3.5. Metallurgy

12.2.2.4. Linguistic

12.2.2.4.1. Hebrew & Egyptian

12.2.2.4.2. Christ & Messiah

12.2.2.4.3. Greek Names

12.2.2.4.4. Church & Synogogue

12.2.2.5. Other

12.2.2.5.1. "Sam"

12.2.2.5.2. "Adieu"

12.2.3. Archeology

12.2.4. Geography

12.2.4.1. Limited Geography Theory

12.2.4.1.1. Mesoamerica

12.2.4.1.2. Heartland (in North America)

12.2.4.2. Hemispheric Geography Theory

12.2.4.2.1. North and South America

12.2.5. Translation

12.2.6. Witnesses

12.2.7. DNA

12.2.8. Curse/Skin

12.3. First Vision

12.4. Kinderhook Plates

12.5. Polygamy/Polyandry

12.5.1. A Tale of Two Marriage Systems

12.5.2. Joseph Smith's Polygamy

12.6. Priesthood Restoration

12.7. Prophets/Revelation

12.8. Science

12.8.1. The Great Flood

12.8.1.1. Full baptism of the earth; could not be local.

12.8.2. Tower of Babel

12.8.3. The Flood and the Tower of Babel

12.8.4. Age of the Earth

12.8.4.1. JS was given a revelation found in D&C 77 that the earth has a temporal existence of 7,000 years. The issue around this timeframe is that we have been taught that there was no death of any kind prior to the fall of Adam. There have been numerous statements made in the past to support the 7,000 years including the view of the gospel dispensations starting with Adam although apologists take a more symbolic or figurative interpretation that the 1,000-year dispensations are figurative in the sense of "large spans of time." It is funny how some parts in scripture are taken literal when confirmed by what we know and are taken more symbolic or figurative when easily proven wrong. How does one explain what science has discovered about the age of the earth including death prior to 6,000 years ago? There is overwhelming converging evidence to support a much older earth from various fields of science that leaves young earth arguments nonsensical. What are we to make of the numerous statements made by prophets, seers, and revelators all confirming a recent creation. Disavow like statements made about race and priesthood?

12.8.4.1.1. Evidence against a recent creation

12.8.4.1.2. A great in depth post on the 6,000 years

12.9. Scriptures

12.10. Temple/Freemasonry

12.10.1. Blood Oaths

12.11. Testimony/Spiritual Witness

12.12. Godhead

12.13. Martyrdom

12.14. Key Changes

12.14.1. BoA Intro

12.15. Failed Prophesies

12.16. Adam/God

12.16.1. The issue here is whether a Prophet of God, Brigham Young, taught that God is Adam, and if so, was this generally known at the time among the members. Rodney Turner wrote his master thesis on this very subject and provides ample historical evidence to conclude that this doctrine was taught and was well known among the general membership for better or for worse. Bruce R. McConkie gave a speech at BYU addressing 7 heresies prevalent during his time in 1980, and the Adam/God doctrine was one of them. He states as heresy #6, "There are those who believe or say they believe that Adam is our father and our god, that he is the father of our spirits and our bodies, and that he is the one we worship. The devil keeps this heresy alive as a means of obtaining converts to cultism. It is contrary to the whole plan of salvation set forth in the scriptures, and anyone who has read the Book of Moses, and anyone who has received the temple endowment, has no excuse whatever for being led astray by it. Those who are so ensnared reject the living prophet and close their ears to the apostles of their day. "We will follow those who went before," they say. And having so determined, they soon are ready to enter polygamous relationships that destroy their souls. We worship the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Holy Ghost; and Adam is their foremost servant, by whom the peopling of our planet was commenced." It's a heresy now but it was taught by Brigham Young. A definite contradiction.

12.16.1.1. The Position of Adam in Latter-Day Scripture and Theology

12.16.1.2. The Seven Deadly Heresies

12.17. Forgeries

12.17.1. Mark Hofmann

13. LDS Gospel Topics Essays

13.1. Are Mormon's Christian?

13.2. Becoming Like God

13.3. Book of Mormon and DNA Studies

13.4. Book of Mormon Translation

13.5. First Vision Accounts

13.6. Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women

13.7. Mother in Heaven

13.8. Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints

13.9. Plural Marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

13.9.1. Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo

13.9.2. Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah

13.9.3. The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage

13.10. Race and the Priesthood

13.10.1. While it is good that "church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form," the church also "disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else." The issue is two-fold. First, it is clear that past statements were not theories rather generally accepted doctrine. Second, there were past prophets who made many of these statements, and now the church disavows what they said. It warrants the question why anyone should take the statements from leaders today as doctrine, since they could also be disavowed theories in the future.

13.11. Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham

14. Logical Fallacies

14.1. Logical fallacies are often committed by believers and unbelievers alike. Becoming aware of what an argument comprises of with its premises and conclusion will help you determine if the argument, claim or assertion is fallacious or not. There are two types of logical fallacies - formal and informal. Formal fallacies are structural arguments that can be valid or invalid, and a valid argument may also be sound or unsound. You should be looking to see if your argument or the argument you are presented has a structure that is both sound and valid. Informal fallacies are arguments that require examination of the content itself to determine how the stated premises fail to support the proposed conclusion. I have noticed that the more open I have become since my disaffection with my worldview, the easier it is to identify fallacious arguments. Confirmation bias can also easily blind the best debaters trapping them in fallacious logic.

14.1.1. False Dichotomy/Dilemma

14.1.1.1. Involves a situation in which limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option. It is often referred to as black/white.

14.1.2. Special Pleading/Moving the Goalposts

14.1.3. Appeal to Authority

14.1.4. Appeal to Popularity

14.1.5. Ad Hominem

14.1.6. Appeal to Antiquity/Tradition (argumentum ad antiquitam)

14.1.7. Straw Man

14.1.8. Appeal to Hypocrisy (tu quoque)

14.1.9. Appeal to Wealth (argumentum ad crumenam)

14.1.10. Circular Reasoning (circulus in demonstrando)

14.1.11. Appeal to Emotion

14.1.12. No True Scotsman

14.1.12.1. Involves a situation (you must not have had a "true" testimony because no "true" member could lose it)

14.1.13. Appeal to Ignorance

14.1.14. Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

14.1.15. Appeal to Belief

14.1.15.1. Involves a situation where just because you believe in something it does not make it a true claim.

14.1.16. Appeal to Fear

14.1.17. Appeal to Consequences of a Belief/Wishful Thinking

15. Loss & Grief

15.1. Kübler-Ross Model

15.1.1. Stages

15.1.1.1. 1. Denial: Often creates a new, false reality.

15.1.1.2. 2. Anger:

15.1.1.3. 3. Bargaining

15.1.1.4. 4. Depression

15.1.1.5. 5. Acceptance

15.1.2. It is important to remember that this model can serve as a framework to both the one experiencing the loss of faith as well the family members who may be experiencing the loss of their loved one in the context of the church and eternal blessings. If you can do this, you will recognize what stage you are in and why you are experiencing certain emotions, and, at the same time, you can have more awareness and understanding of what stage your believing family members might be in. This can result in better dialogue until acceptance is (hopefully) reached by all involved. You should also remember that the model is not linear. It can happen that you find yourself going back to a stage you thought you moved on from. Take your time and try to embrace the stage you find yourself in. Emotions should not be suppressed.

15.2. Faith Loss Model

15.2.1. Simple Belief: A naive, black and white, childlike faith.

15.2.2. Nuanced Belief: Many rationalizations cover inconsistencies.

15.2.3. Honest Truth Seeking: Asking awkward questions, reading books.

15.2.4. Crisis: Emotional turmoil caused by loss of faith.

16. Movies

16.1. Kumaré

16.2. The Matrix

16.3. Sound of My Voice

17. Origin of Life/Universe

17.1. Evolution

17.2. Creationism

18. Papers

18.1. Letter to a Doubter

18.2. A Glimpse into the Mormon Apologetic Mind

18.3. Do Smart Mormons Make Mormonism True?

18.4. How Denial Works

19. People

19.1. Apologists

19.1.1. Daniel Peterson

19.1.2. Jeff Lindsay

19.1.3. Brian Hales

19.1.4. Kerry Muhlestein

19.2. Non-Apologists

19.2.1. Bob McCue

19.2.2. Christopher Hitchens

19.2.3. D. William Johnson

19.2.4. Dan Wotherspoon

19.2.5. David Twede

19.2.6. Dennert

19.2.7. Grant Palmer

19.2.8. Jeremy Runnels

19.2.9. John Dehlin

19.2.10. John Larsen

19.2.11. Richard Dawkins

19.2.12. Richard Packman

19.2.13. Sam Harris

19.2.14. Simon Southerton

19.2.15. Tom Phillips

19.2.16. Hans Mattsson

19.3. Scholars

19.3.1. B.H. Roberts

19.3.2. D. Michael Quinn

19.3.3. Terryl Givens

19.3.4. Richard Lyman Bushman

19.3.5. Todd M. Compton

19.3.6. Eugene England

19.3.7. Fawn M. Brodie

20. Podcasts

20.1. Religion

20.1.1. Apologetic

20.1.1.1. Mormon Voices

20.1.2. Moderate

20.1.2.1. Mormon Matter

20.1.2.2. Mormon Stories

20.1.2.3. Mormon Expositor

20.1.3. Critical

20.1.3.1. Mormon Expression

20.1.3.2. Infants on Thrones

20.1.4. Anti

20.1.4.1. The Church is NOT True

20.2. Logic & Reason

20.2.1. Irreligiosophy

20.2.2. Atheist Experience

21. Quotes

21.1. Best Worst Quotes

21.1.1. Boyd K. Packer

21.1.1.1. "It is not unusual to have a missionary say, 'How can I bear testimony until I get one? How can I testify that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that the gospel is true? If I do not have such a testimony, would that not be dishonest?’ Oh, if I could teach you this one principle: a testimony is to be found in the bearing of it!”

21.1.1.2. "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."

21.1.2. Brigham Young

21.1.2.1. Adam/God

21.1.2.1.1. "When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! about whom holy men have written and spoken—He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do."

21.1.2.2. Blood Atonement

21.1.2.2.1. "There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it; and the judgments of the Almighty will come, sooner or later, and every man and woman will have to atone for breaking their covenants."

21.1.2.2.2. "There are sins that can be atoned for by an offering upon an altar, as in ancient days; and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, of a calf, or of turtle doves, cannot remit, but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man. That is the reason why men talk to you as they do from this stand; they understand the doctrine and throw out a few words about it. You have been taught that doctrine, but you do not understand it."

21.1.2.3. God/Mary

21.1.2.3.1. "The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood—was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers."

21.1.2.3.2. "When the time came that His firstborn, the Savior, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favored that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it. The Savior was begotten by the Father of His spirit, by the same Being who is the Father of our spirits, and that is all the organic difference between Jesus Christ and you and me."

21.1.2.3.3. "Now, remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost."

21.1.2.4. Polygamy

21.1.2.4.1. "Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned; and I will go still further and say, take this revelation, or any other revelation that the Lord has given, and deny it in your feelings, and I promise that you will be damned."

21.1.2.4.2. "The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessings offered unto them, and they refused to accept them."

21.1.2.5. Race

21.1.2.5.1. "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so."

21.1.2.5.2. "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of anyone of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the "servant of servants;" and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam's children are brought up to that favorable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion."

21.1.2.6. Scripture

21.1.2.6.1. "I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture."

21.1.2.7. Sun/Moon

21.1.2.7.1. "Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed "the man in the moon," and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized."

21.1.3. Dallin H. Oaks

21.1.3.1. Testimony

21.1.3.1.1. "It's wrong to criticize the leaders of the church, even if the criticism is true."

21.1.3.1.2. "Another way to seek a testimony seems astonishing when compared with the methods of obtaining other knowledge. We gain or strengthen a testimony by bearing it. Someone even suggested that some testimonies are better gained on the feet bearing them than on the knees praying for them."

21.1.4. Ezra T. Benson

21.1.5. Glen L. Pace

21.1.5.1. "It seems that history continues to teach us: You can leave the Church, but you can’t leave it alone. The basic reason for this is simple. Once someone has received a witness of the Spirit and accepted it, he leaves neutral ground. One loses his testimony only by listening to the promptings of the evil one, and Satan’s goal is not complete when a person leaves the Church, but when he comes out in open rebellion against it."

21.1.6. Gordon B. Hinckley

21.1.7. Joseph F. Smith

21.1.8. Quentin L. Cook

21.1.8.1. "Some have immersed themselves in Internet materials that magnify, exaggerate, and, in some cases, invent shortcomings of early Church leaders. Then they draw incorrect conclusions that can affect testimony. Any who have made these choices can repent and be spiritually renewed."

21.1.9. Wilford Woodruff

21.1.9.1. Second Coming

21.1.9.1.1. "I believe there are many children now living in the mountains of Israel who will never taste of death, that is, they will dwell on the earth at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. I will acknowledge that there is a great deal to be done, and the Lord has not revealed to man the day or the hour, but he has revealed the generation; and the fig trees are now putting forth their leaves in the eyes of all the nations, indicating the near approach of the second coming of the Son of Man. It is my faith that hundreds and thousands of the children that have been given to us will be alive in the flesh when Christ comes in the clouds of heaven in power and great glory. The Lord will not disappoint the inhabitants of the earth in these last days in regard to his second coming, any more than he has with regard to other great events and dispensations." June 27, 1875

21.1.9.1.2. "We live in the generation itself when Jesus Christ will come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." June 6th, 1880

21.1.10. Bruce R. McConkie

21.1.10.1. The Lord placed on Cain a mark of a dark skin, and he became the ancestor of the black race. (Moses 5; Gen. 4; Teachings, p. 169.)

21.1.11. Age of the earth quotes

21.1.12. N. Eldon Tanner

21.1.12.1. "The Church has no intention of changing its doctrine on the Negro. 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, page 60

21.2. Best Best Quotes

21.2.1. J. Reuben Clark

21.2.1.1. "If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.”

21.2.2. Marvin J. Ashton

21.2.2.1. "A lie can be effectively communicated without words ever being spoken. Sometimes a nod of the head or silence can deceive. Recommending a questionable business investment, making a false entry in a ledger, devious use of flattery, or failure to divulge all pertinent facts are a few other ways to communicate the lie."

21.2.3. Marlin K. Jensen

21.2.3.1. "Maybe since Kirtland, we've never had a period of - I'll call it apostasy, like we're having now."

21.2.4. Gospel Principles

21.2.4.1. "When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest."

21.2.5. Christopher Hitchens

21.2.5.1. "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."

22. Scientific Method

22.1. Make an Observation 1.

22.2. Ask a Question 2.

22.3. Form a Hypothesis 3.

22.4. Conduct an Experiment 4.

22.4.1. Accept Hypothesis 5.a

22.4.2. Reject Hypothesis 5.b

23. Shame & Tame Model

23.1. The LDS system demands conformity to excessive rules and regulations. 1.

23.2. The member inevitably falls short of meeting the standard as a fallible human being. 2.

23.3. The LDS system shames the member for failure to live up to the pristine LDS image. 3.

23.4. The member suffers a lowered self-esteem as a result. 4.

23.5. The member seeks to rebuild his/her self-esteem by stricter conformity to LDS system. 5.

24. Stages of Faith

24.1. "Primal or Undifferentiated" faith (birth to 2 years) 0.

24.2. "Intuitive-Projective" faith (ages three to seven) 1.

24.3. "Mythic-Literal" faith (mostly in school children) 2.

24.4. "Synthetic-Conventional" faith (arising in adolescence; ages 12 to adulthood) 3.

24.5. "Individuative-Reflective" faith (usually mid-twenties to late thirties) 4.

24.6. "Conjunctive" faith (mid-life crisis) 5.

24.7. "Universalizing" faith or "enlightenment" 6.

25. Strange & Bizarre

25.1. Angel Moroni or Nephi?

25.1.1. FairMormon

25.1.2. MormonThink

25.2. Balaam

25.2.1. A talking ass in the Bible?

25.3. Zelph

25.3.1. On June 3, while passing through west-central Illinois near Griggsville, some bones were unearthed from a mound. These bones were identified by JS as belonging to a Lamanite chieftain-warrior named Zelph.

25.3.1.1. The issue this claim raises is around the geography of the BoM. There are two prevailing theories among the apologists - the hemispheric geography theory and the limited geography theory. The hemispheric geography theory posits that the BoM people inhabited both North and South America. This theory is supported by the narrative of the BoM that the entire land was given to these people specifically and was hidden to the rest of the world. Current DNA studies reveal that Native Americans are descended from Asian ancestors, so apologists are now postulating a limited geography theory meaning the BoM people inhabited a limited geographical area. There are two opposing apologetic camps regarding this theory - Mesoamerica and the Heartland (in North America). The bones of Zelph obviously support the Heartland camp since they were located in Illinois and would not be as far of a distance to the Hill Cumorah in NY where the plates were allegedly buried. What do we do with all of those church tours to Mesoamerica then? Summary: BoM people inhabited both North and South America = hemispheric geography theory -> DNA studies = Native Americans are of Asian descent -> BoM people inhabited a limited a small area = limited geography theory -> location either in Mesoamerica or the Heartland (in North America)

26. Swedish Rescue

26.1. Untitled

27. Terms

27.1. A posteriori

27.1.1. A type of knowledge that is independent of experience. "All bachelors are unmarried."

27.2. A priori

27.2.1. A type of knowledge that is dependent on experience or empirical evidence. "Some bachelors I have met are very happy."

27.3. Anachronism

27.3.1. The representation of an event, person, or thing in a historical context in which it could not have occurred or existed.

27.4. Apologetics

27.4.1. The branch of theology concerned with the defence and rational justification of Mormonism in this case.

27.5. Cognitive Dissonance

27.5.1. The excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time.

27.6. Confirmation Bias

27.6.1. The tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.

27.7. Corporation Sole

27.7.1. A legal entity consisting of a single ("sole") incorporated office, occupied by a single ("sole") person. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) also uses the corporation sole form for its president, which is legally listed as "The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints".

27.8. Critical Thinking

27.8.1. Disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence.

27.9. Epistemology

27.9.1. A branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge.

27.10. Ex Nihilo

27.10.1. Out of nothing; from nothing. Often referenced as it relates to the creation of the universe.

27.11. Faith

27.11.1. Belief without evidence.

27.11.2. Pretending to know things you don't know.

27.12. Flying Spaghetti Monster

27.12.1. The deity of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Pastafarianism, a movement that promotes a light-hearted view of religion and opposes the teaching of intelligent design and creationism in public schools.

27.13. HeartSell

27.13.1. An advertising technique from Bonneville Communications (owned by the church) aimed to touch the hearts and minds of their audiences, evoking first feeling, then thought and, finally, action. Also known as strategic emotional advertising that stimulates response. The page where HeartSell was explained has been removed, but a screenshot still exists.

27.14. Logical Fallacy

27.14.1. A misleading or unsound argument.

27.15. Lying for the Lord

27.15.1. The concept that lies are justified if they

27.16. Milk Before Meat

27.16.1. The process of concealing doctrine from outsiders and new inductees.

27.17. Occam's Razor

27.17.1. States that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove correct, but - in the absence of certainty - the fewer assumptions that are made, the better.

27.18. Pascal's Wager

27.18.1. Posits that humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or does not exist. Given the possibility that God actually does exist and assuming the infinite gain or loss associated with belief in God or with unbelief, a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.).

27.18.1.1. This argument is an example of a false dichotomy. It assumes you have picked the right God to begin with, and it assumes that God rewards those who believe in him. Assuming there is a God, what if you have the wrong God? What if the right God rewards those who don't believe in him?

27.19. Polyandry

27.19.1. The practice or condition of having more than one husband at one time.

27.20. Self-justification

27.20.1. The act or fact of justifying oneself, especially of offering excessive reasons, explanations, excuses, etc., for an act, thought, or the like.

27.21. September Six

27.21.1. Six members who were excommunicated or disfellowshipped in September 1993, allegedly for publishing scholarly work against Mormon doctrine or criticizing church doctrine or leadership.

28. Videos

28.1. Why I left Mormonism

28.2. The Mormon Candidate (BBC)

28.3. The Mormons (PBS)

28.4. FlackerMan

28.4.1. FlackerMan nicely and thoroughly analyzes various aspects of the truth claims by the church. I particularly like his response to Kerry Muhlestein's apologetic defense of the Book of Abraham.

28.5. Thinker of Thoughts

29. Websites

29.1. Critical

29.1.1. Letter to a CES Director

29.1.2. I am an Ex Mormon

29.2. MormonThink

29.3. Sunstone

30. Atheism/Agnosticism

30.1. The Atheist Experience

30.1.1. Matt Dillahunty

30.2. DarkMatter2525

30.2.1. Do You Know God?

30.2.1.1. This one is my personal favorite.