Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

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Mormon Think
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Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

Post by Mormon Think »

What do you all think of this modern-day LDS Martin Luther?

http://mormonreformation.blogspot.com/

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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

Post by Quasimodo »

I think it's great that someone compiled all these points in a single web page. I've bookmarked it and will send it around.

The internet strikes again. The hierarchy should be shaking in their boots.
This, or any other post that I have made or will make in the future, is strictly my own opinion and consequently of little or no value.

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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

Post by cwald »

I like the idea. But, I have no hope. The Mormon people are beyond feeling.

They are not ready for change and reformation.
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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

Post by KevinSim »

Mormon Think wrote:What do you all think of this modern-day LDS Martin Luther?

Martin Luther might have had more success if instead of posting 95 theses he had concentrated on five or six. It couldn't hurt for this appeal for reformation of the LDS Church too. I started reading the 95 theses listed and I thought, do I really have time to read all 95 of these? Frankly I don't.

Although I find it amusing that people are thinking of reforming the LDS Church. Either God established the LDS Church as an organization that would never need reformation or He didn't. If He did, then the 95 theses are pointless. If He didn't, then the LDS Church is still not an organization that needs reforming; in such a case it would be an organization that needed abandoning. The whole appeal of the LDS Church is that it is led by men who God has chosen to lead His own personal organization. If they are as completely out of touch with what is good and right as the 95 theses would have us believe, why be a part of the LDS Church at all? I can tell you right now that if I knew the LDS Church was as out of touch with God's will as they imply I wouldn't be a part of it.
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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

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cwald wrote:I like the idea. But, I have no hope. The Mormon people are beyond feeling.

They are not ready for change and reformation.

I think the LDS Church is plenty ready for change. It underwent significant change just last October in the aftermath of General Conference. Reformation, on the other hand, not so much.
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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

Post by wayfarer »

I don't like the idea, I think it is counterproductive and silly. It simply won't work.

How is posting theses any different than being simply exmo? The church will never be changed by protest, but rather, but by active participants who can show a more reasonable way than the intransigence of one extreme or the antithesis. I believe the church will be changed by the Bishop Bill Reels and Bishop Kloostermans who are willing to stand up and be faithful while being inclusive of those who struggle with faith or who are vilified by the church. The church will be changed by the Joanna Brooks of the world who can articulate an inclusive path of being faithful to both a Mormon and jewish tradition in a mixed home. the Church will be changed by the Dieter Uchtdorfs of the world, who weren't raised in a Utah bubble, but rather have seen the world and can understand that inclusiveness and harmony forge a middle way between fundamentalist belief and atheism. And yes, the church will be changed by each and every cwald and wayfarer who stays to love and serve while obviously not being true-blue believers -- if we can withstand the pricks we have to kick against. Not an easy path.

I don't hold out much hope, but I don't see another way that gets us there. The church truly is at a crossroads -- a tipping point. non-biological growth is zero, and the internet makes it impossible to continue to lie and deceive about the flaws of history and the ridiculousness of commandments of flawed men parlayed as doctrine. It can fall back to the defensive posture it has taken for the past fifty years, in which case it will shrink and be the fringe religion to the believers. or it can offer a viable alternative model -- one based upon a fearless embracing of all truth, including that of its own history, in an effort to redeeming itself from itself. To paraphrase and apply what Lincoln once said, "we must disenthrall ourselves, and then we will save our church."

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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

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I'm thinking the list on the blog isn't going to cut it.

TBMs are programmed to have a zero-tolerance for reading anti-lit. The first point about the rock in the hat is all right, but the next several points about the Book of Mormon having no evidence just reveal the paper as "anti-lit", prime the TBM brain to throw the paper away, and tells the TBM nothing new. TBMs know anti-Mormons believe there is no evidence for the Book of Mormon, but TBMs know there is evidence for the Book of Mormon, so off to the trash and no effect.

The first few points need to go for the throat. They need to sum up Joseph Smith's relations with girls or explain the temple-masonic robe connection. TBMs will assume it's all lies, but it will be new, shocking, and specific information. They will instinctively know that they can learn more about it online, and this knowledge will eat at them as they refuse to give Satan center stage. "Get behind me, Satan", they will say. They will likely assume that the Church has a good response to whatever the problem is. But some of these problems are so shocking for the average generational member, that the mere accusation will unsettle for years to come.

It would be similar to being told specific information about a spouse cheating. From there, the question is, do you really want to know? Sure, you can assume there is a good explanation, and maybe there really is a good explanation. But, it's more than just taking say, a 10% chance that you're wrong to get the relief that you know you're right. It's the fear of the context from whence the accusation comes. Jane from the office with hubby? Even if no cheating happened, there might be a long history of lunches with Jane, late nights at the office with Jane, and while the explanations may ultimately prove "innocence," there's no turning back. Reality is much different than it was prior to getting the tip.
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"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

Post by Gadianton »

Martin Luther might have had more success if instead of posting 95 theses he had concentrated on five or six


I think Martin Luther had one theses and 95 sentences.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/95_Theses

The authors of the Mormon version may end up taking some crap for that...
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

Post by MsJack »

The purpose of this event is two-fold:

1. Educate the membership on hidden and revised aspects of Church doctrine and history.

2. Influence Church leaders to officially address topics that have long been dodged and dismissed.

So the purpose of this event isn't to call for Mormonism to reform into something else?

And what exactly would this reformed Mormonism look like? This list posits problems, but contains no suggestion of solutions.

I don't see that this approach has anything to do with Martin Luther other than vaguely mimicking his 95 theses on an extremely superficial level, and I don't think it will have much effect. Even if this gets posted on ward doors, Mormons will just look at it as "anti-Mormon" material (and honestly, they wouldn't be wrong) and disregard it.
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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

Post by Equality »

I came up with 96 Theses in October 2006 (when I was a "New Order Mormon" and thought such a thing might make a difference).
http://equalitysblog.typepad.com/equality_time/2006/10/the_96_theses_c.html

And here is my explanation for why I thought (at the time) the exercise worthwhile:
http://equalitysblog.typepad.com/equality_time/2006/10/martin_luther_n.html

When I did my 96 Theses, I had no intention of posting them on ward buildings or at church HQ (though people offered to do that for me). I think the Internet itself serves the purpose that nailing something on a church door served in the 16th century.
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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

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Last edited by Mktavish on Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

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I agree with others that this is a futile attempt. The church never changes due to protests of members or the general public. The church only changes when it has absolutely painted itself into a corner and must change for the sake of survival. Examples include: dropping polygamy because the church's assets could be seized due to the Edmonds Tucker Act, or giving blacks the priesthood because of NCAA boycotting of BYU and its athletic program.

The church has set itself up as an organization run by Jesus who is the same yesterday, today, and, tomorrow. Revelation to one man, the prophet, is how the church is run. If they changed policy due to complaints or protests, it would weaken the Profit's position and show its not actually Jesus who is steering the ship, but the members. The tail can't wag the dog. This would destroy the member's attention on the wizard and reveal the man behind the curtain, thus putting a kibosh on the scam. Those with power do not willingly give up power.

Posting the 96 items won't invoke thought. Active members won't be catalysts for reform. Active members think and believe what the prophet tells them to think and believe.

An outside threat that would jeopardize cash flow will be what causes the church to have a reforming "revelation".
Tapirs... Yeah... That's the ticket!

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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

Post by ldsfaqs »

Just another anti-mormon tomb....

Why do anti-mormons think that "their" version of the facts and truth are the actual facts and truth?

If their version of things was the actual truth, those of us very familiar with the issues, who do in fact have honor and character, wouldn't be Mormons.

So, why don't Anti-Mormons move on and have their OWN lives? We agree to disagree!
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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

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Last edited by Mktavish on Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

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#28 is actually wrong, as Joseph Smith attempted to join the Methodist church, but was denied for being a practicing necromancer.

http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/jos ... hodist.htm
I, with Joshua McKune, a local preacher at that time, I think in June, 1828, heard on Saturday, that Joe Smith had joined the church on Wednesday afternoon, (as it was customary in those days to have circuit preaching at my father's house on week-day). We thought it was a disgrace to the church to have a practicing necromancer, a dealer in enchantments and bleeding ghosts, in it. So on Sunday we went to father's, the place of meeting that day, and got there in season to see Smith and talked with him some time in father's shop before the meeting. Told him that his occupation, habits, and moral character were at variance with the discipline, that his name would be a disgrace to the church, that there should have been recantation, confession and at least promised reformation-. That he could that day publicly ask that his name be stricken from the class book, or stand an investigation. He chose the former, and did that very day make the request that his name be taken off the class book. (The Amboy Journal, June 11, 1879, p.1).


http://mormonreformation.blogspot.com/2 ... mment-form
28. In defiance of God's command to not join any churches, Joseph Smith joined the Methodist Church.
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2 Tim 4:4 They will turn their ears away from the truth & turn aside to myths

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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

Post by Gadianton »

Why do anti-mormons think that "their" version of the facts and truth are the actual facts and truth?

If their version of things was the actual truth, those of us very familiar with the issues, who do in fact have honor and character, wouldn't be Mormons.


Why do you think your interpretation of the facts and truth are the actual facts and truth? If your version was the actual truth -- in this case, that the anti-Mormon version is just an opinion and not fact -- then those of us very familiar with the issues, such as myself, who are mightily infused with honor and character, wouldn't be anti-Mormons anymore. So why don't Mopologists move on and go back to Sunday School? We agree to disagree!
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

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Mormon Think wrote:What do you all think of this modern-day LDS Martin Luther?

http://mormonreformation.blogspot.com/


I think it is an ok list that summarises a lot of problem areas, and links to an explanation of the problematic viewpoints, but I think it is overstating some of the less verifiable negative aspects.
Nothing cuts crap better than pure truth and undeniable facts, but overdoing it and including negative interpretations of unverifiable matters, somewhat stains the overall image.

I don not believe that leadership in the LDS church will reply, or even spend energy on this. They live in a different bubble on a different planet. If there were to be a response to this I would expect one from FAIR et al.

On the other hand, as a Facebook campaign, in the wake of many other LDS relater Facebook campaigns, it might end up in front of a few new people that haven't been exposed to these problems, and send them off on a journey to "red pill land".
About Joseph Smith.. How do you think his persona was influenced by being the storyteller since childhood? Mastering the art of going pale, changing his voice, and mesmerizing his audience.. How do you think he was influenced by keeping secrets and lying for his wife and the church members for decades?

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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

Post by Uther »

Equality wrote:I came up with 96 Theses in October 2006 (when I was a "New Order Mormon" and thought such a thing might make a difference).
http://equalitysblog.typepad.com/equality_time/2006/10/the_96_theses_c.html

And here is my explanation for why I thought (at the time) the exercise worthwhile:
http://equalitysblog.typepad.com/equality_time/2006/10/martin_luther_n.html

When I did my 96 Theses, I had no intention of posting them on ward buildings or at church HQ (though people offered to do that for me). I think the Internet itself serves the purpose that nailing something on a church door served in the 16th century.



Nice site Equality, many good resources, and well written theses.
About Joseph Smith.. How do you think his persona was influenced by being the storyteller since childhood? Mastering the art of going pale, changing his voice, and mesmerizing his audience.. How do you think he was influenced by keeping secrets and lying for his wife and the church members for decades?

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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

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Gadianton wrote:The first few points need to go for the throat. They need to sum up Joseph Smith's relations with girls or explain the temple-masonic robe connection. TBMs will assume it's all lies, but it will be new, shocking, and specific information. They will instinctively know that they can learn more about it online, and this knowledge will eat at them as they refuse to give Satan center stage.

I agree. It's kind of like when I'm talking to Biblical Christians. I'm sure there are a lot of ways I could criticize their theology, but after thinking a lot the way Gadianton is suggesting, I instead focus in on the idea that the Biblical Christian God, while capable of causing souls to cease to exist, nonetheless chooses not to cause to cease to exist, the souls of the unsaved, who will suffer unbearable agony for the rest of eternity. That, I think, is going for the throat the way Gadianton recommends. If you look at all the things a good God wouldn't do, I can't think of anything worse than letting the unsaved suffer like that forever.
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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

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Racer wrote:The church only changes when it has absolutely painted itself into a corner and must change for the sake of survival.

I disagree. Back in 2005 I had an experience with my eleven-year-old daughter that got me really thinking about what the role of women (and young women) should be in the LDS Church. That culminated about eighteen months ago in my idea to write a novel about the future of the LDS Church, after a moderate prophet makes significant changes to those roles. I put them into three groups, each spoken on by a member of the First Presidency in three consecutive general conferences. These changes weren't extreme; we're not talking about giving women the priesthood here; but they were substantial, in that they'd really change the way the Church functions. I'm still in the planning stages of this novel.

One of the changes was to let women go on missions at age 20, instead of 21; in other words it would reduce the intrinsic age gap between male and female missionaries to just one year. Last general conference that's exactly what happened; that age gap was reduced to one year. This was not the case of the LDS Church painting itself into a corner; this was just a great idea that Thomas Monson probably believes God inspired him to do. So to say that changes only happen when the Church is forced into them is simply not true.

Racer wrote:Active members think and believe what the prophet tells them to think and believe.

This may be true for a lot of Latter-day Saints, but it's not true for all of them. I've been for a while now entertaining the idea that there may be some things that happen in the future that God doesn't actually know about. For one thing, I think there are a lot of people about which God simply doesn't know whether or not they will accept His plan and repent. It became important enough to me that I actually set up an interview with my bishop to find out what he thought about it. He told me pointblank that God does know ahead of time everything that will ever happen.

I struggled with that for a while. I highly respect this man, so I honestly tried to align my thinking to what he had told me, but it was hard. Over the next three months if anyone had actually come out and asked me what I thought about the omniscience of God, I probably would have mentioned that my bishop had told me God was literally omniscient, and that I was trying to get myself to believe in literal omniscience, but that I was struggling with it.

Then the Deseret News published a sort of philosophical article by Orson Scott Card in which Card declared that the LDS Church did teach that God didn't know every single thing that was going to happen in the future. I referred my bishop to this article, and my bishop responded by asserting that we just plain don't know whether God has total, literal omniscience, or whether His knowledge of the future is incomplete. It probably won't surprise you that I personally have gone back to thinking what I originally thought, that God doesn't literally know everything that's going to happin in the future. But I think this illustrates that at least some Latter-day Saints (namely, me) don't always have the knee-jerk attitude you described--the leader declares it, the member automatically embraces it. At least that's not the way it happened for me.
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Re: Posting 95 LDS Theses on the Church Doors

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Gadianton wrote:
Why do anti-mormons think that "their" version of the facts and truth are the actual facts and truth?

If their version of things was the actual truth, those of us very familiar with the issues, who do in fact have honor and character, wouldn't be Mormons.


Why do you think your interpretation of the facts and truth are the actual facts and truth? If your version was the actual truth -- in this case, that the anti-Mormon version is just an opinion and not fact -- then those of us very familiar with the issues, such as myself, who are mightily infused with honor and character, wouldn't be anti-Mormons anymore. So why don't Mopologists move on and go back to Sunday School? We agree to disagree!

All I can gather from this exchange is that Ldsfaqs is convinced that he knows the relevant facts on the issues, while Gadianton is convinced that instead he knows them. How in the world does someone like me determine which is right?

If a policeman suspects someone of committing a crime, the powers that be in this nation respect this suspect's rights so much that it puts on a formal trial, where the suspect has the opportunity to have a competent expert defend him in a court against the charges of the prosecutor. This system may not be perfect, but it seems to me that those powers have gone way out of their way to do as much as they can to insure that the suspect gets a fair trial.

If conscientious society is really committed to getting to the bottom of which of Ldsfaqs' facts or Gadianton's facts are closer to the truth, that society will work just as hard to give those competing viewpoints just the same kind of fair trial. Some posters have said that this Terrestrial forum is precisely that, an opportunity for the competing viewpoints to get a fair trial. But there's not enough at stake here to attract the heavy hitters from either side, either the serious LDS apologists or the serious critics. If instead of the, somewhat limited, membership who reads this forum, we could get a group two or three orders of magnitude larger, that serves perhaps as the jury of such a trial, then that would significantly raise the probability that those heavey hitters would weigh in, and we could really get the fair trial this dispute needs.
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