The Mormon Church is trying to inoculate the members from their history through new essays covering their multitude of sins. It may be causing some members like the one who wrote the essay linked below to further question their beliefs:
I believe one of Texan’s many criticisms of my church is that the leaders hide from the seedier parts of its history. The claim is that once members hear about this stuff, they do like Texan did, experience a crisis of faith, can’t reconcile hearing the truth against what they were taught, and the honest ones are forced to leave.
Well, with every essay like this coming directly from the church, “your leaders hide the truth” gets harder and harder to justify. But yes indeed, it does look like this information is causing some struggles with folks who haven’t encountered it before.
For me, I’m glad to see my church openly responding to this stuff. I’m glad to see members obtaining a fuller view of history, warts and all. It’ll be interesting to see if trends like this continue:
I’m one of those who left after seeing all the problems with Mormon history. I wonder if the move to younger missionaries, especially sister missionaries, was used as a way to solidify these young people at the same time the LDS Church knew the internet was forcing it to become more honest about its history. Maybe they hope the missionary graduated young women will keep the missionary graduated young men in line. My experience is that men are more likely to leave because of the problems with Mormonism than women are. Get the Mormon young women more committed through missionary service and maybe they can keep the brethren from apostatizing.
So glad I left so long ago. The Olypmic size mental hoop jumping required of today’s faithful would have never made it past my sense of what honesty and integrity is before God.
I read the link to the “race and the priesthood” essay and thought "you can face God with that clear lie of it’s teachings by it’s former leaders?
What a lack of historical integrity. :shrug:
Interesting, The TRUTH will set you free. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. God Bless, Memaw
I thought one of the comments in the “Comments” section of the article was particularly insightful into the Mormon ethos about him/her self.
I won’t repeat it here, because it could have been someone hostile to the Mormon religion POSING as a current Mormon Bishop (this commenter alleges to be a current Mormon Bishop).
If you want, you can look it up yourself and decide for yourself. He alleges:
“For the record, I am a current Bishop.”
If that’s true, then he is echoing what I am hearing not just from the author of the article, but more and more of the Mormon people as a whole.
"I think in the past there was a tendency [by the Mormon Church] to keep a lot of the records closed or at least not give access to information. But the world has changed in the last generation–with the access to information on the Internet, we can’t continue that pattern; I think we need to continue to be more open.” – Elder Steven Snow
The church did hide aspects of its history, and these essays are nothing more than regurgitated whitewashed versions that don’t do anything to provide clarification or explanation. And I wouldn’t say that the church is openly responding - most don’t even know they exist and the church chose to bury them in some obscure region of lds.org. The only reason they were ever published was because of the internet. Wasted effort.
Here is my problem with this:
When I was in the Army, I was, for a time, stationed in Central America. I worked extensively with the Embassy. Because of that, I worked, on occasion, with people who were very secretive. One of their tactics that worked surprising well, was to be secretive…be secretive…be secretive…then come to you with an apologetic look and tell you the thing they had been hiding. Only…they didn’t. They gave you just enough with a little embellishment to make it seem like they gave you everything. Most of the time, everyone was satisfied…“they FINALLY told us”. Only, they hadn’t. Not really.
That is what I see here. They are saying just enough to make it seem like a “mea culpa”, but not really being totally open.
Take the First Vision Essay. It acts like it is finally coming clean…but does it really discuss all the versions and all the differences? No.
Look at the one about blacks holding the priesthood. Does it really discuss the lds position back then? The horribly racist comments AND PROPHESIES from the lds “prophets”? No.
So, the lds church finds itself in a quandary. When the js story and b of m was fabricated, no one knew that, within 250 years, science and technology would expose the fraud. People started discovering the truth. I, too, saw the artwork, for example, of js struggling by candlelight, no hat or stones around, to translate the b of m. Only to find out later that he did no such thing. So, what does the lds do to counter the problem? Act like they come clean. That shows an alleged integrity that will, hopefully, fool and appease.
But, the truly intelligent and knowledgeable will not not be fooled. They will see this for what it is.
If the lds church really wants to “come clean”, open the vaults for journalists…let us see ALL of it. And, oh, by the way…in case I have not mentioned it…excavate Cumorah.
I think it’s causing some struggles with folks who have encountered this information before just as much. I know this has been the case for me, and that seems to be the point of the linked blog post by the LDS author. These issues have been here for decades, and for just as long the Church has seemed to have apologetic answers for them. The problem arises in how the prior responses, often given to us by the mouths of the Oracles of God are now being dismissed as wrong.
I’m ashamed to say that for decades I taught that the reason the priesthood ban existed is due to some innate quality of Black people which necessarily precluded them from being ordained. I taught this because the Church told me it was the reason! Apostles, seers, and revelators of the Lord in no uncertain terms, and from the pulpits of General Conferences stated categorically that the Mark of Cain was real, and was revealed by God to be the reason Blacks could not (yet) be ordained. For this to be now repudiated in its entirety leaves us with some very profound questions:
How could prophets err on such an important matter of faith? More importantly, how can we trust anything a prophet solemnly proclaims if the solemn proclamations of prior prophets are now being repudiated?
How can the LDS Church not be said to have undergone its own apostasy if at some point in its history (and for a very long amount of its history I might add) it taught doctrines which are today repudiated?
More importantly, if the LDS Church can at some time teach doctrines which are, were, and will always be untrue, and yet not be deemed apostate, on what basis can the LDS Church claim that any historical Christian Church apostatized?
These are very important questions which demand answers given the unique ecclesiology of Mormonism. I don’t believe they can so easily be swept away with appeals to the history of other churches, or the behavior of other clerics. These “warts” you speak of are more like ginormous tumors in my opinion.
Thank you Taylor, Texan and Brandon.
I whole-heartedly agree. The essays are a continuation of the whitewashing. Maybe it’s more like off-whitewashing since the LDS church is officially addressing these topics themselves rather than rely on FAIR and FARMS/Maxwell Institute. There are so many damaging historical facts left out of the essays it’s not even funny.
It is great to get insight from you, once a Mormon. I agree with you. I believe the LDS church knows if they come “out” clean-they might lose members? They say enough to basically get people off their backs and hope it just goes away. Guess what LDS church? It will not!
Spot on, TK.