MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

The catch-all forum for general topics and debates. Minimal moderation. Rated PG to PG-13.
Post Reply
User avatar
Trevor
God
Posts: 7213
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:28 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Trevor »

beastie wrote:I suspected that you did want to see more discussion regarding the book's actual content.


I should hope so. After all, I took the time to post about its actual content.

beastie wrote:The problem is that most of us haven't read the book yet, so can't engage in that discussion with you. My book isn't due for delivery till August 29, and then it will take some time to complete it. Since these authors had access to material previous authors did not, I don't want to engage in that sort of detailed conversation until I have read the book. Trust me, once I complete the book, I will start a thread discussing details of content.


So many people have not read it. Those few who have do not want to discuss my reading. I am not particularly upset that you haven't read it yet. I am bewildered that there has been almost no discussion of the content of the book on MormonDiscussions.com from anyone. And I do agree that conflict of interest is a fair point to bring up. What is truly interesting, however, is testing to see how this actually affected the work. I'll be looking to see what you have to say in that regard, since you are homed in on this issue.
“I was hooked from the start,” Snoop Dogg said. “We talked about the purpose of life, played Mousetrap, and ate brownies. The kids thought it was off the hook, for real.”

User avatar
beastie
God
Posts: 14216
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:26 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by beastie »

So many people have not read it. Those few who have do not want to discuss my reading. I am not particularly upset that you haven't read it yet. I am bewildered that there has been almost no discussion of the content of the book on MormonDiscussions.com from anyone. And I do agree that conflict of interest is a fair point to bring up. What is truly interesting, however, is testing to see how this actually affected the work. I'll be looking to see what you have to say in that regard, since you are homed in on this issue.


IIRC, four people have read it - you, James Miller, DCP and LoaP. James posted a couple of times on this thread but hasn't returned in a while. DCP and LoaP have continued participating. I have no idea why they are not interested in discussing the content.

The most we can do, as far as judging whether or not the conflict of interest affected the work, is to compare this book's assertions to other texts, mostly Bagley's. I'll be interested in seeing if this book omits certain information that Bagley included (vice versa doesn't work because Bagley would obviously omit information he didn't have access to). That's something, but it obviously is not going to fully answer the question, since Bagley did not have access to the same materials. One example is the possible Eleanor Pratt connection. Bagley claims that on July 26, there was an evening prayer meeting in Young's "upper room", and Eleanor Pratt's letter about Parley's murder was read aloud. He connects the reading of that letter to BY writing, in his journal, "we prayed for our enemies." (p 81) On Aug 1 Woodruff visited Eleanor and obtained an account of the murder, and "Years later Charles Wandell, an embittered Mormon apostate, reported that when the Fancher train passed through Salt Lake, the widow Pratt 'recognized one or more of the party as having been present at the death of Pratt'.'" (from a newspaper report) (p 98) In addition, in a newspaper interview years later, Eleanor Pratt claimed that, while McLean went unpunished for the murder, Pratt's death still "has been fearfully avenged upon the nation that has permitted the blood of the Prophets to be split without punishing the murderers." (p 266) How was it avenged?

Now, I'm not saying that these authors were required to accept the accuracy of these reports (obviously they're going to be skeptical of a claim from an "embittered apostate", several years later), but it does seem incumbent to actually discuss these claims - even if just to debunk them. If these authors simply ignored these claims, I think that's problematic.

The reason I think this issue must be addressed is due to the known fact that BY, years later when ordering the dismantling of the altar at the site, connected Mountain Meadows Massacre to the Lord's vengeance. I think this means that the possible vengeance connection must be fully explored. Vengeance for what? Is that a puzzle piece the authors even attempted to address? I know that, chronologically speaking, this event occurred outside the time frame they set for the book, but it speaks strongly to BY's perspective of the event.
We hate to seem like we don’t trust every nut with a story, but there’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com

User avatar
antishock8
God
Posts: 2425
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by antishock8 »

Beastie nailed it on the head. I know I don't read any of of DCP's responses any more because the meat of the response is buried within layers of useless yammering. I'll usually jump to the respondee's post because he or she will parse out the relevant information, and then respond accordingly.

The bottom line is Mormons HAVE to resort to endless red herrings and ad homs because that's the only defense they have to defend something as nonsensical as Mormonism. They derail threads that unwittingly snare critics by offering ridiculous non sequiturs about amorphous doctrines and ideas in response to very pointed observations. The Nehor is probably the best example of this kind of thinking.
You can’t trust adults to tell you the truth.

Scream the lie, whisper the retraction.- The Left

User avatar
Doctor Steuss
God
Posts: 4594
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:57 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Doctor Steuss »

Slight amendments to my previous comments regarding Haight and Lee. Haight is now (to me) being painted as being the “king pin” of sorts for the initiation of the massacre (going against orders received from his commanding officer, etc.). I’m still not sure why there was a preemptive coloring of Lee’s character so early on, but the authors (IMO) have begun to illustrate the blame that belongs to Haight (which may be the lion’s share).

Reading on...
"Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead." ~Charles Bukowski

User avatar
Daniel Peterson
Seething Cauldron of Hate
Posts: 7173
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:56 pm

Re:

Post by Daniel Peterson »

antishock8 wrote:I know I don't read any of of DCP's responses any more because the meat of the response is buried within layers of useless yammering. I'll usually jump to the respondee's post because he or she will parse out the relevant information, and then respond accordingly.

On the first day of the thread, twenty days ago: Beastie may still not have seen the book even today; she had definitely not seen it back then.

beastie wrote:I'm stating an obvious fact. If the LDS church funds a book about Mountain Meadows Massacre, it is obviously going to be apologetic in nature.

Boaz & Lidia wrote:Bushman and this new Mountain Meadows Massacre book are cattle prod in the hands of the bishops, used to scare the wondering sheep back into the corral. . . . Why would I read this book? I have no need to believe in Mormonism. Besides, I already know who did it.

User avatar
beastie
God
Posts: 14216
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:26 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by beastie »

beastie, way back on page 8

I have refrained from judging the book, other than to say it is logical to assume that it will present the church's side of the story, and will be as friendly as possible to the LDS church given the topic. I do believe it would not be unfair to call the work apologetic, but if that is not quite accurate I'm happy to use this summary instead. I have quite explicitly stated more than once that my referring to the book as apologetic was not meant as a pejorative term nor to imply it was inaccurate.

Let's turn this around a bit. Let's say that an evangelical group that was not only associated with printing "anti Mormon" literature in the past, but actually had several of its leaders state that not all truth is useful, and if any individual prints information that could help a Mormon retain faith in Mormonism, that individual will be accountable to the LORD, funded a book on Mountain Meadows Massacre. Having funded the research and writing of the book, it is fair to call them the employers of the authors, in a fashion.

Would it be unfair for people to assume that the book was going to be quite critical of the LDS church in its analysis, and would probably be an "anti Mormon" book?

This would not mean that the book was necessarily inaccurate, but rather, that the facts would be presented in a hostile manner to the church. Is this an unfair conclusion to reach?
We hate to seem like we don’t trust every nut with a story, but there’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com

User avatar
Wheat
Sunbeam
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:19 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Wheat »

Trevor wrote:
harmony wrote:Funnily enough, I've not seen anyone say that we shouldn't expect anything valuable out of it. Exaggeration is Daniel's forte, not yours. Try to avoid it; it does your point no good.


I was not attacking beastie. I was stating a simple fact. Look at how the thread began. Then tell me why any faithful Mormon would expect it to inspire a fair reading of the book from people around here. I am not saying Daniel is right. I am not saying beastie is wrong. I am saying, "let's look beyond that and try to understand each other as more than sparring partners in an interminable pissing contest."

Your willingness to express yourself in this fashion is admriable in a certain sense. However, I think it is extremly naïve as well _ especially when spoken within the context of this message board. From what I have observed, there is little or no hope of diminishing the level of antipathy between the two parties. Sure, it's one thing to see Millet (and others of like mind) attempting to find *common ground* between Mormons and Evangelicals _ a situation where the differences are mostly at the doctrinal level. But the stakes of the contest between Mormonism and traditional Christianity pale in comparison to that between believing LDS and apostates. In the eyes of believers, apostates are mostly despicable traitors who will stoop at nothing to discredit their former faith _ even using conciliatory language and tones as they systematically seek to undermine the faith of their former brethren. In the eyes of apostates, believers are deluded fools whose willingness to blind themselves to the *truth* is both worthy of denigration as well as probably threatening to societal progress in general. They are a cancer on the body politic. They must be eradicated. Almost without exception, that is the underlying attitude of most apostates who participate here.

So it is a battle to the death, as it were.

I personally wouldn't have it any other way. In the long run _ for believers _ there is no way to accommodate the apostate in the Kingdom of God. And for apostates, there is no way to accommodate the Kingdom of God in their world.
I want to express my sincere thanks to the Mormon Discussions message board for helping me to see and understand the true nature of apostasy.

User avatar
Dr. Shades
Founder & Visionary
Posts: 14130
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:07 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Dr. Shades »

Wheat wrote:They must be eradicated. Almost without exception, that is the underlying attitude of most apostates who participate here.


Holy cow. You have got to be kidding.

I personally wouldn't have it any other way. In the long run _ for believers _ there is no way to accommodate the apostate in the Kingdom of God. And for apostates, there is no way to accommodate the Kingdom of God in their world.


Since the truth is usually somewhere in the middle, what's your view of the way things really are once the above two stereotypes are stripped away?
"Finally, for your rather strange idea that miracles are somehow linked to the amount of gay sexual gratification that is taking place would require that primitive Christianity was launched by gay sex, would it not?"

--Louis Midgley

User avatar
Daniel Peterson
Seething Cauldron of Hate
Posts: 7173
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:56 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Daniel Peterson »

There's no question, beastie, that you began to moderate your formulations a bit, and that the more extreme posters here -- frightened of even the prospect of substance ("read the book????") and, in any event, arguably incapable of substantive discussion -- dropped out.

Have we reached 30 pages yet? This post may do it.

Has your copy of the book arrived yet?

User avatar
The Nehor
God
Posts: 11832
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:05 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by The Nehor »

Wheat wrote:
So it is a battle to the death, as it were.

I personally wouldn't have it any other way. In the long run _ for believers _ there is no way to accommodate the apostate in the Kingdom of God. And for apostates, there is no way to accommodate the Kingdom of God in their world.


Two sides enter, NO ONE LEAVES!!!!
Two sides enter, NO ONE LEAVES!!!!
Two sides enter, NO ONE LEAVES!!!!
Two sides enter, NO ONE LEAVES!!!!
Two sides enter, NO ONE LEAVES!!!!
Two sides enter, NO ONE LEAVES!!!!
Two sides enter, NO ONE LEAVES!!!!
"Surely he knows that DCP, The Nehor, Lamanite, and other key apologists..." -Scratch clarifying my status in apologetics
"I admit it; I'm a petty, petty man." -Some Schmo

User avatar
beastie
God
Posts: 14216
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:26 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by beastie »

Your willingness to express yourself in this fashion is admriable in a certain sense. However, I think it is extremly naïve as well _ especially when spoken within the context of this message board. From what I have observed, there is little or no hope of diminishing the level of antipathy between the two parties. Sure, it's one thing to see Millet (and others of like mind) attempting to find *common ground* between Mormons and Evangelicals _ a situation where the differences are mostly at the doctrinal level. But the stakes of the contest between Mormonism and traditional Christianity pale in comparison to that between believing LDS and apostates. In the eyes of believers, apostates are mostly despicable traitors who will stoop at nothing to discredit their former faith _ even using conciliatory language and tones as they systematically seek to undermine the faith of their former brethren. In the eyes of apostates, believers are deluded fools whose willingness to blind themselves to the *truth* is both worthy of denigration as well as probably threatening to societal progress in general. They are a cancer on the body politic. They must be eradicated. Almost without exception, that is the underlying attitude of most apostates who participate here.

So it is a battle to the death, as it were.

I personally wouldn't have it any other way. In the long run _ for believers _ there is no way to accommodate the apostate in the Kingdom of God. And for apostates, there is no way to accommodate the Kingdom of God in their world.


This is exactly why I think that unless and until the LDS church changes its teachings about apostates, there is little hope of genuine dialog (in general, it can occur between specific individuals).

Holy cow. You have got to be kidding.


Shades, you have to remember that this idea of what apostates "really want" is part of the "evil apostate" meme that the LDS church encourages in the first place. It doesn't matter that it has little to do with reality at all.
We hate to seem like we don’t trust every nut with a story, but there’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com

User avatar
The Nehor
God
Posts: 11832
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:05 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by The Nehor »

beastie wrote:This is exactly why I think that unless and until the LDS church changes its teachings about apostates, there is little hope of genuine dialog (in general, it can occur between specific individuals).


The Church doesn't want genuine dialog. That would be like saying that any of the stupid apostate's grievances are legitimate issues that need to be addressed when the truth is they're all sinners that need to repent or be condemned to the eternal flame....the sooner....the better...hehehehehe
"Surely he knows that DCP, The Nehor, Lamanite, and other key apologists..." -Scratch clarifying my status in apologetics
"I admit it; I'm a petty, petty man." -Some Schmo

User avatar
Daniel Peterson
Seething Cauldron of Hate
Posts: 7173
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:56 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Daniel Peterson »

beastie wrote:This is exactly why I think that unless and until the LDS church changes its teachings about apostates, there is little hope of genuine dialog (in general, it can occur between specific individuals).

Wheat mentions two sides. Beastie, claiming full agreement, notices only one side.

Not surprising.

beastie wrote:Shades, you have to remember that this idea of what apostates "really want" is part of the "evil apostate" meme that the LDS church encourages in the first place. It doesn't matter that it has little to do with reality at all.

Wheat alleges some attitudes. Beastie declares that there is an attitude, and that the Church is responsible.

Par for the course.

User avatar
beastie
God
Posts: 14216
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:26 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by beastie »

Oh well, so much for my decision not to engage DCP anymore on this thread.

I know very well there are two sides to this story, DCP. The problem is that all apostates begin as believers who hear the "apostate meme" within the LDS church. It is a teaching that began in the Book of Mormon itself, before there was even an organized church, and it continues to be taught by its leaders at the highest level. When these same people leave the fold, they are automatically "on defense" because of their acute awareness of the "apostate meme" that predominates within the LDS culture and teachings. The new apostates know that their family and friends have also been exposed to this meme, and likely view their apostasy within that framework. The apostate, in turn, is defensive and seeks to explain why/how they lost faith, and how that loss of faith does not fit within the "apostate meme". These explanations often entail damaging information about LDS history or truth claims. The believers now feel personally attacked and react defensively. Apostates get frustrated and angry, and create their own "sheep meme" about believers. It's a vicious cycle.

The cycle has to stop where it begins, and it begins with LDS teachings. If LDS members were not taught the "apostate meme" to begin with, and just reacted to the exodus of members in the same nonjudgmental fashion that many other religions do, it wouldn't be creating these angry, defensive apostates in the first place. My family switched to different denominations within the protestant faith as I was growing up, and none of these churches taught that there was something inherently wrong, or even evil, about people who left their fold. It is normally "one true" religions that create angry, defensive apostates who, in turn, create their own "sheep meme", ensuring the cycle continues. People leave other religions all the time without this all this subsequent drama. It's not that the people are different somehow - it's the teachings of the religion about "apostates" that creates the drama.
We hate to seem like we don’t trust every nut with a story, but there’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com

User avatar
LifeOnaPlate
God
Posts: 2799
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:50 am

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by LifeOnaPlate »

beastie wrote:Bagley claims that on July 26, there was an evening prayer meeting in Young's "upper room", and Eleanor Pratt's letter about Parley's murder was read aloud. He connects the reading of that letter to BY writing, in his journal, "we prayed for our enemies." (p 81)


And, in true Bagley fashion,praying for enemies means plotting and ordering a mass killing.

I expect vol. 2 to delve much further into Young's role.
One moment in annihilation's waste,
one moment, of the well of life to taste-
The stars are setting and the caravan
starts for the dawn of nothing; Oh, make haste!

-Omar Khayaam

*Be on the lookout for the forthcoming album from Jiminy Finn and the Moneydiggers.*

User avatar
beastie
God
Posts: 14216
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:26 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by beastie »

And, in true Bagley fashion,praying for enemies means plotting and ordering a mass killing.

I expect vol. 2 to delve much further into Young's role.


BY apparently thought the mass killing was part of the Lord's taking vengeance.
We hate to seem like we don’t trust every nut with a story, but there’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com

User avatar
LifeOnaPlate
God
Posts: 2799
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:50 am

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by LifeOnaPlate »

beastie wrote:
And, in true Bagley fashion,praying for enemies means plotting and ordering a mass killing.

I expect vol. 2 to delve much further into Young's role.


BY apparently thought the mass killing was part of the Lord's taking vengeance.


Even if it is granted that BY saw the massacre as part of the Lord's taking vengeance it does not follow that thus Brigham ordered the massacre, or that given what he knew at the time he wasn't making a statement based on what he believed happened and why, but was wrong. I suspect that is something with which you agree.
One moment in annihilation's waste,
one moment, of the well of life to taste-
The stars are setting and the caravan
starts for the dawn of nothing; Oh, make haste!

-Omar Khayaam

*Be on the lookout for the forthcoming album from Jiminy Finn and the Moneydiggers.*

User avatar
beastie
God
Posts: 14216
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:26 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by beastie »

Even if it is granted that BY saw the massacre as part of the Lord's taking vengeance it does not follow that thus Brigham ordered the massacre, or that given what he knew at the time he wasn't making a statement based on what he believed happened and why, but was wrong. I suspect that is something with which you agree.


Yes, I agree it does not necessarily mean that he ordered the massacre, but the fact that he somehow saw the hand of God in it means that praying for one's enemies is not incompatible with involvement with the massacre.

Does the new book discuss BY's statement about the Lord taking a little vengeance with the massacre? I understand that, chronologically speaking, it ends with the massacre itself, but it seems a serious omission to not address this when dealing with BY's possible involvement.
We hate to seem like we don’t trust every nut with a story, but there’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com

User avatar
Daniel Peterson
Seething Cauldron of Hate
Posts: 7173
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:56 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Daniel Peterson »

Thirty whole pages of nothing!

beastie wrote:The problem is that all apostates begin as believers who hear the "apostate meme" within the LDS church.

Just so you know, I think Dawkins's concept of "memes" is silly and without merit.

beastie wrote:When these same people leave the fold, they are automatically "on defense" because of their acute awareness of the "apostate meme" that predominates within the LDS culture and teachings.

Just as commonly, in my experience, apostates are "on the offense."

That's a very common phenomenon with apostates from any group, and it certainly occurs in the case of Mormon apostates. (I submit much on this board, and very much on the so-called "Recovery" board, as Exhibits A and B.)

beastie wrote:It's a vicious cycle.

The cycle has to stop where it begins, and it begins with LDS teachings.

I think it's simply ridiculous and patently false to suggest that "it all begins with LDS teachings."

It begins with human nature, and I cheerfully admit that apostate Mormons are at least as human as believing Latter-day Saints are.

beastie wrote:It's not that the people are different somehow - it's the teachings of the religion about "apostates" that creates the drama.

It's the nature of the religious commitment that creates the drama. Leaving Methodism for Presbyterianism isn't a very consequential step. But leaving orthodox Judaism for Presbyterianism is. And so is leaving Presbyterianism for orthodox Judaism. It isn't that the religion necessarily passes on some sort of silly "meme." It's that consequential life-changing steps -- religious or not -- invariably create drama (at least, for humans).

Mister Scratch
Master Mahan
Posts: 5604
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:13 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by Mister Scratch »

Daniel Peterson wrote:
beastie wrote:It's a vicious cycle.

The cycle has to stop where it begins, and it begins with LDS teachings.

I think it's simply ridiculous and patently false to suggest that "it all begins with LDS teachings."

[Snip!]

It's not that the people are different somehow - it's the teachings of the religion about "apostates" that creates the drama.

It's the nature of the religious commitment that creates the drama. Leaving Methodism for Presbyterianism isn't a very consequential step. But leaving orthodox Judaism for Presbyterianism is. And so is leaving Presbyterianism for orthodox Judaism. It isn't that the religion necessarily passes on some sort of silly "meme." It's that consequential life-changing steps -- religious or not -- invariably create drama (at least, for humans).[/quote]

I agree with both DCP and Beastie here, actually. I'm sure that some here will recall juliann's old favorite sociology-of-religion source, a book penned by a fellow named Bromley. In it, Bromley basically re-asserted what DCP is saying---i.e., the "nature of the commitment" is what results in the believer/apostate divide. Thus, the reason there is an awful lot of acrimony between apostates and believers has to do with the nature of the LDS Church itself. DCP can try and claim that this is "human nature," and I guess to a certain extent that is true. But, as is obvious from his post, this "split" happens more often within really hardcore, authoritarian religions such as Mormonism. If the LDS Church were less absolutist in nature, I think we would see less problems between believers and "ex-Mos".

User avatar
beastie
God
Posts: 14216
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:26 pm

Re: MILLIONS spent by LDS Inc on new Mountain Meadows Massacre book

Post by beastie »

Just so you know, I think Dawkins's concept of "memes" is silly and without merit.


I don’t care what term you use, the idea is sound, which is that there are some ideas that become very entrenched and popular in certain groups of people.

Just as commonly, in my experience, apostates are "on the offense."

That's a very common phenomenon with apostates from any group, and it certainly occurs in the case of Mormon apostates. (I submit much on this board, and very much on the so-called "Recovery" board, as Exhibits A and B.)

I think it's simply ridiculous and patently false to suggest that "it all begins with LDS teachings."

It begins with human nature, and I cheerfully admit that apostate Mormons are at least as human as believing Latter-day Saints are.

It's the nature of the religious commitment that creates the drama. Leaving Methodism for Presbyterianism isn't a very consequential step. But leaving orthodox Judaism for Presbyterianism is. And so is leaving Presbyterianism for orthodox Judaism. It isn't that the religion necessarily passes on some sort of silly "meme." It's that consequential life-changing steps -- religious or not -- invariably create drama (at least, for humans).


You misunderstood my use of the word “defense”. They are defensive as to why they lost faith, and often seek aggressively to explain that process, and how it differs from the entrenched and popular idea about apostates in the LDS faith, which originated in the Book of Mormon. So yes, they go “on the offense”, but the reason they’re going on the offense in the first place is to explain and justify their loss of faith. The logical question is why the need to explain and justify their loss of faith exists in the first place. It certainly is not, as you later suggest, simply “human nature” that exists outside any reaction to any particular teaching of the group. I grew up in various protestant sects, and, along with some other siblings, completely disassociated from our last faith - the Methodist church – and declared ourselves agnostic and/or atheist. I would think that would constitute as drastic a change as converting to Judaism, and yet there was no severe reaction, in my family or our larger community of faith. In fact, my family is a great example, because we all converted to Mormonism later and I eventually lost faith in that religion as well. My parents’ reaction was completely different as Mormons than it was when they were Methodists. I don’t remember any sort of particular reaction to our loss of Methodist faith at all. Yet, when I left Mormonism, you’d think the world ended by their reaction. It took us years to get to a peaceful relationship over that, and it largely requires completely ignoring the religious question altogether. We’re all the same human beings, and atheism is quite different than Methodism. It wasn’t my humanity, or my parents’ humanity, that resulted in such a vastly different reaction to the loss of faith. It was Mormonism that changed their reaction.

This is just common sense. If you have a religion that teaches it is the ONE TRUE religion, and that only by its authority and faithfulness to its teachings will we return to our Heavenly Father and be united as a family again, if someone rejects that faith it will have entirely different repercussions than it will in the Methodist faith, which doesn’t teach such exclusivity. Add to that the teaching that apostates are sinful, proud, lazy (insert pejorative adjective here), and of course it’s a time bomb. Churches that do not teach “one true” and “evil apostate” paradigms normally do not have to deal with angry, combative exmembers. What do they have to be angry about? No one is teaching anything insulting about them or their loss of faith in particular, even if they’d rather it had not occurred.
We hate to seem like we don’t trust every nut with a story, but there’s evidence we can point to, and dance while shouting taunting phrases.

Penn & Teller

http://www.mormonmesoamerica.com

Post Reply