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Thursday, August 7, 2008

What Do I Believe?

This blog has helped me organize my thoughts, but it is exhausting. I think it is time for me to take a break for a while, maybe indefinitely as I am exiting the LDS community and am dedicating my time to other things in my life. This blog has helped me organize and express my thoughts and journey of disillusionment. It has been a painful process, but I have found this to be therapeutic but I will not be posting regularly.

I still have many issues about the LDS church that I wanted to talk about, but it is time for me to move on. My wife has started accepting my disillusionment, but this blog has an adverse effect on the relationship. I am still a member on record, but only attend sacrament meetings once or twice a month.

I am sure what I don't believe, but I find myself wondering what I do believe. That will be my next journey.

I do not think the LDS church is necessarily 'evil' or 'bad'. I believe that like most large institutions, the leadership has made mistakes in the past and I believe that the current leadership is doing the best they can. I believe that the church leaders genuinely believe in the message. I do not believe the church is purposefully trying to defraud anyone, I just do not believe in the doctrines.

I have given up on organized religion. It is apparent to me that all religions are man-made institutions. If there is a God, I don't think he cares which man-made church we associate ourselves with.

I do cherish some things that I learned growing up in the church. I do hold animosity over some things as well. However, what is important that I take this experience and move forward in my life.

A butterfly might appreciate the cocoon for making it the way it is, but that doesn't mean the butterfly has to carry the cocoon on his back for the rest of his life. Maybe he can look back and see that the cocoon has flaws and imperfections and understand that it is o.k. I feel the same way about the church.

Disillusioned Mormon

50 comments:

Bishop Rick said...

I also believe that all religions are man-made. I also believe that the leaders of the LDS church believe this as well.

They must wonder why they NEVER have visitations like JS claimed to have had. They must wonder why the "prophet" of the church is not called as in the old days of the church. They must wonder about all the problems with the historicity of the church. They must wonder why the BofM was even needed for the restoration when all things contained in it, that are related to the church, could be summed up with a few paragraphs better suited for the D&C.

Or maybe they don't wonder about these things because they already know its not true and are just living the life trying to carry a message.

Mormon Heretic said...

I don't know where you live, but have you considered attending Sunstone? there is a conference august 6-9 in SLC, and they schedule conferences throughout the country.

Greg said...

I commend you for your courage and your decision. Best of luck to you! I've enjoyed reading this blog and I think it benefits many.

Brother Zelph said...

BR- I often wonder what goes on in the minds of the church leadership. I believe they deal with the same cognitive dissonance and deal with it in the same way.

MH- I live in the Southern CA area. I have looked into Sunstone and find it fascinating, but I feel like it is a "Utah" thing.

Greg- Thanks for your good words. DW does not like the blog and she cringes every time she sees me on it. I feel like I have gotten a lot of things off my chest, and it has been several years and a process, but I am ready to move on.

Mormon Heretic said...

Brother Zelph,

I know they had a conference in Southern California earlier this year, and they've had some in Seattle and Boston, so it's not just a Utah thing. (There are more conferences outside of Utah than in.)

As I mentioned in another comment, I have an acquaintance who is vocally agnostic in his ward, but teaches in elder's quorum. He credits Sunstone with helping him remain active in his ward. I don't know if this is your aim, but I think it might help you stay active if that is your desire. My friend's wife is also a TBM (like yours), and it seems to have smoothed out some rough edges in his marriage, so I think you might find it helpful, if you have a desire to "remain in the fold" even if you no longer believe.

If this is not your desire, then I wish you luck in your spiritual journey.

Andreas said...

Watch this.. God bless you

Cr@ig said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cr@ig said...

Zelph, although I understand the need to move on (many times in my recovery from Mormonism I’ve tried to move on) I want you to know that I have LOVED your blog. I hope that you will keep it open so that we might return to it often if for only nostalgic reasons.

Regarding what Mormon GA’s know and believe, I believe that they are fully aware of Mormon history, that they are fully aware of the fact that they do not receive spectacular heavenly revelation in any form and yet somehow they are so invested in the church that they rely on their human emotions to support their “knowledge”. They really do believe that Thomas Monson is a prophet of God, but they can’t believe it in the same sense that the general membership believe him to be a prophet. They know just how human he really is.
Back a few years ago I met with a Mormon General Authority to discuss my disintegrating faith. He was my former mission president. I served as one of his Assistants during my mission. I still have high regard and love for this man. If anyone is interested in reading the story of my visit you can do so Here. You’ll have to scroll down to my “April Post”. At the conclusion of my meeting…having not addressed any of my concerns or questions, he merely bore his testimony that the church was true. His words seemed very hollow at the time.
Bottom line: So many of the things that the church asks its members to believe in are just plain and simply unbelievable. The leap of faith necessary to jump across the chasm of doubt is too vast. Mormonism requires us to suspend disbelief in order to believe…and the mental gymnastics required are just too painful. The funny thing is that the church I knew and loved never really existed, it was just a myth in my mind.

Brother Zelph said...

andreas, Thank you for the video.

Cr@ig, feel free to email me anytime. I have no plans on removing the blog, I just won't be posting regularly.

tatabug said...

The leap of faith necessary to jump across the chasm of doubt is too vast.

The chasm is only as vast as we make it out to be, or misunderstand it to be, IMO.

And who says that the leaders of the church don't have the kind of visitations that Joseph Smith had? Maybe they do, but choose to keep those things sacred, and not open for public ridicule, as they no doubt would be.

Also, I don't think that IF there are leaders of the church who know the church isn't true, most, if not all of them, wouldn't go around living and promoting a belief and lifestyle that they know to be wrong. The church asks too much of its members for anyone to live it and promote it while maintaining a belief that it isn't true.

And finally, the Book of Mormon IS a necessary part of the restoration, because it is not only a SECOND WITNESS for Christ, but it goes a long way to clearing up Biblical doctrines that became lost or obscured. But I suspect that only someone who has an appreciation for the Book of Mormon can understand why it is necessary.

Zelph,

I wouldn't advocate continuing any activity that creates marital problems, particularly if the activity isn't a hugely important one. However, have you told your wife how there are some TBM's here, particularly one tenacious one named tatabug, that is trying really hard to argue in favor of the truthfulness of the church? Maybe then she might be more tolerant.

I get it though. My husband hates my internet activity, thinking that its useless, that I'm for sure going to lose my testimony, or that I'm just picking up computer viruses in my internet "exploring." So I feel like I have to be closeted about it.

Anyway, you know what's best for you. I will miss the discussions, though I'm sure EJ will keep me busy elsewhere. Best wishes for whatever your path has in store for you. I certainly hope you will find your way back to the faith, but whatever you choose, I hope you find answers and happiness. I look forward to any possible future sporadic posts you may possibly decide to post.

Bishop Rick said...

tata,

GBH said that prophets (at least he) did not receive heavenly visitations but merely felt inspired on topics of inquiry. He did so in an interview that cr@ig linked to from his blog. So either he was lying to protect the sacredness of his experiences, or he was telling the truth and never had these experiences.

Of course I have to respectfully disagree with you on the necessity of the BofM for the reason I have already stated. In addition, a second witness to Jesus Christ is not a necessity to restoring a fallen church. I also beg to differ with you on how the BofM clears up Biblical doctrine. Please give a critical piece of biblical doctrine that has been cleared up by the BofM.

Anonymous said...

I will miss your blog. I am a Christian married 36 years to a Mormon...lots of pain there, due to the LDS Church. Just remember it's all about a relation, not a religion. Jesus Christ is ALL you need. Seek Him...seek truth. My prayers are with you.

Joe said...

Jesus is a myth. It's all about being true to yourself and in being the best person you can be, not out of fear of damnation, but because it makes a better world for everyone.

tatabug said...

Anonymous,

I love how you say it was the LDS church that has caused so much pain in your marriage. I'm sure you and your beliefs or your church or whatever had nothing to do with it, right? Because of course, your beliefs are the correct beliefs, right?

BR,

President Hinckley did not say that he didn't receive heavenly visions as you say. Here is exactly what he said:

"KING: How do you receive it?

HINCKLEY: Well, various ways. It isn't necessarily a voice heard. Impressions come. The building of this very building I think is an evidence of that." (emphasis mine)

He said "various ways." He chose to focus on the fact that he received impressions (which in all likelihood is the primary way that revelation is received), but he did say that revelation came in various ways, which would naturally imply that impressions are not the only way. It's possible that he has visions or that he hears the voice of the Lord on occasion for different revelations. Now I don't know if he has received visitations, but I do know that it is possible, and that it could happen without our knowledge.

Regarding doctrine which has been made clearer through the Book of Mormon, I can name two off the top of my head. One is the Fall of Adam, and two is the grace vs. works debate. A couple more that I can think of is regarding the mode and method of baptism and the sacramental prayers. Infant baptism is another. I could probably go on if I took more time, but the fact is, you could say that the Bible is also unnecessary because the D&C could cover that as well.

The scriptures are about more than purely doctrine or administration. They teach and testify. They give history through which we can learn from the mistakes of the past. They help us better understand the nature of prophets, and help us learn that even the most seemingly lost among us are capable of being redeemed. We learn different things from different prophets. Some of the prophets were given different pieces of information regarding the events of the last days. When those of us in our day put together everything that's been revealed regarding the last days, a bigger picture emerges. This will help us to better follow and identify the signs so that when those events unfold, we will recognize them, and our faith and knowledge will be added upon.

It's about so much more than just what we need to get by. Everything together gives us a bigger picture and adds to our understanding of the Lord and his dealings with man. I'm just sorry you are unable to see that.

Brother Zelph said...

Tata- Thank you for your comments and I have appreciated the discussions and I believe you do have some valid points.

I don't have any answers and I feel like a blank slate, that is why I say I know what I don't believe, but now I will begin a journey of what I do believe.

I do not see the world as black and white as I did when I was a TBM.

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

You can cling to the possibility that "various ways" includes heavenly visitations if you wish, but for me, that doesn't wash. All the ancient prophets testified of their heavenly encounters (in the scriptures). Why does the LDS church keep these things secret? I have a pretty good idea.

These folks are not stupid. GBH knew exactly why that question was asked and purposely avoided a complete answer. He got the questions in advance and knew how to answer them (correlation).

The bottom line is there are no heavenly visitations or anything like unto it. By avoiding a complete answer, GBH leaves it open for LDS to fill in the gaps how they wish. That way he is not technically lying (though I think whenever you say or not say something with the intent to mislead, it is a lie).

Regarding the necessity of the BofM, you have only listed a couple of debatable things that I already allowed for. I said the things in the BofM that could apply to a restoration would only amount to a few paragraphs. What you mention fits that bill. The fact is that 99.9% of the BofM has nothing to do with a restoration. It simply is not needed, and there is certainly no need for all the "Golden" plates and angels taking them away when the "translation" is complete. They weren't even needed for that.

And, you can't compare the Bible to the BofM in regards to the D&C. The Bible already existed. It wasn't made up by JS.

I just don't believe you have anything here.

tatabug said...

BR,

Consider this:

...it must be noted that many of the modern-day apostles have spoken of these special experiences [heavenly visitations], as special witnesses, although very carefully. That the apostles exercise great care in proclaiming these experiences is not surprising, when one considers that these must be held as most sacred as pearls of their testimonies. We are all familiar with the command from the Master not to cast our pearls before the swine (Matthew 7:6).

So, it is no surprise to me that modern day apostles do not shout from the rooftops or speak to reporters or even in General Conferences about such experiences. Of course, this doesn't mean that they don't share them at all. They simply choose to do so in a more private setting, in regional or stake conferences or in other more private situations.

For example, Allen Wyatt, of FAIR, shares this entry in his personal journal from February 3, 1990,

"Today is the first day of our stake conference. I am the executive secretary of our stake. Elder James E. Faust is here to replace our stake presidency. I was sitting in the priesthood leadership session, and Elder Faust was bearing his testimony. It is, without a doubt, the strongest testimony I have ever heard. He said (paraphrasing) 'I have always believed in the Church; I come from good blood. But through thousands of spiritual experiences, so many now that I have at least one a day--we had one earlier today (referring to meeting with the new stake presidency)--I have gained a testimony to the point I can say, as did the brother of Jared, "I saw the finger of the Lord and the veil could not withhold Him from me, therefore I no longer believed, for I had knowledge." As the brother of Jared stated, so say I--I know that Jesus is the Christ.'"


I can certainly understand the need to use discretion when sharing such a sacred experience. As I consider what I would do if I had such an experience, I can honestly say that I would want to keep such an experience sacred also. As much as I might want to share my experience with everyone, hoping that it might be a means of convincing others of the reality of Christ and strengthening the testimonies of others, I have no doubt that some, perhaps even many, would reject it, and treat it lightly, perhaps even making fun of it, and slandering me and my family because of it. That is certainly what happened to Joseph Smith. I know that if such an experience happened to me, I would feel so humble and grateful, that I would protect and guard that experience, only sharing it when I felt prompted to do so, and I know that I would not feel comfortable sharing such an experience that I know would be broadcasted worldwide and made public for believers and critics alike. However, I would certainly feel more secure sharing it with certain members of my family and friends whom I could trust to keep it sacred also.

I personally feel that if every church leader (assuming that many have had heavenly visitations), as a matter of course, shared those experiences with anyone and everyone frequently, those experiences would begin to lose their significance. The leaders themselves might come across as boastful, and it might appear as though those experiences were not as sacred as they are made out to be.

Anyway, I've been taught throughout my life in the church, that sacred things are to be kept sacred and sacred things and experiences should be guarded carefully and not be treated lightly or shared unless prompted to do so. This counsel, I believe, is for a very wise purpose.

Regarding the Book of Mormon, you said, "...the things in the BofM that could apply to a restoration would only amount to a few paragraphs."

My question is, couldn't the Bible be reduced significantly as well? Isn't it very superfluous in many instances? We could just reduce down the necessary parts to a book about the size of the four Gospels combined, and even then, that might be larger than necessary, but that would reduce the Bible by about 87%. We certainly don't need most of the Old Testament because it deals primarily with the Law of Moses, which certainly doesn't apply to us today. I get what you're saying regarding the fact that the Bible was here first, but even if the necessary portions of the restoration could be reduced down to a few paragraphs, then if the information contained in those few paragraphs is information that is essential to our salvation, then it is still needed. The method of restoring that information is for the Lord, not us, to decide.

However, your attitude is very reflective of the scriptures in 2 Nephi 29 which says, "And because my words shall hiss forth--many of the gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible...But thus saith the Lord God...Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto the other? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever. Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written."

Cr@ig said...

Tata Said: Quoting Faust, “I have gained a testimony to the point I can say, as did the brother of Jared, "I saw the finger of the Lord and the veil could not withhold Him from me, therefore I no longer believed, for I had knowledge." As the brother of Jared stated, so say I--I know that Jesus is the Christ.'"

Cr@ig’s Reply: Well if recorded correctly…I applaud Faust for his frankness. This removes all doubt of what he believes to be true. Faust at least believes that he has seen Christ in the flesh. Did this take place in a dream? Was it during a temple endowment marathon induced trance? Was it after a board of directors lunch involving Mexican food?

I now no longer have any doubt that Faust believes that he has seen Jesus Christ in the flesh. It is a very amazing claim.

But for his claim to be true, the following events must also be true.

01. There would have had to have been a literal Adam and a literal Fall of Adam, 6000 years ago thus necessitating an atonement… and thus a Christ.

02. The Fall introduced both spiritual and physical death…so for Faust’s claim to be true there could NOT have been any death prior to 6,000 years ago.

03. The earth would have to be only 6,000 years old as set in scriptural stone in D&C 77.

04. The Mormon Church would have to be all that it claims to be…namely true.

05. The Book of Mormon would have to also be “all” it claims to be...primarily a book describing a bronze aged people living in a sea of stone aged Amerindians…with NO trans-pollination of technology.

06. Horses would need to have existed in pre-Columbian America…not to mention camels, cow, sheep, pigs, figs, grapes, wheat, oats, etc etc etc

07. Both the biblical myths of Babel and Noah would have to be actual historical facts.

08. The Book of Abraham would need to be the writings of an actual Abraham.

I could go on but you get the drift. For Faust’s amazing claim of an actual Christ sighting to have been an actual physical event in “this” dimension; all of the preceding events must have also taken place and a whole lot more that I won’t take the time to mention.

So you be the judge, did Faust really see what he claimed? Or was it just a bad taco?

Bishop Rick said...

Cr@ig,

Very well said. I couldn't agree more.

Tata,

You realize that nothing remotely resembling a Bible existed at the time 2nd Nephi was written, right?

This episode of post-fact foretelling smacks of JS prophesying that JS will bring forth the BofM.

tatabug said...

Cr@ig and BR (since Cr@ig said it so well for you),

Okay, first it was the church can't be true because the leaders "NEVER" have visitations, and now the church can't be true because of science.

Why is it not possible for God to appear to man? Because you haven't seen him? Why aren't spiritual experiences possible? And why is it that I never have spiritual experiences when I eat Mexican food? I just had some very spicy red beans last night, and for lunch this afternoon, and I have yet to have anything spectacular occur.

01. There would have had to have been a literal Adam and a literal Fall of Adam, 6000 years ago thus necessitating an atonement… and thus a Christ.

Can you prove that there wasn't?

02. The Fall introduced both spiritual and physical death…so for Faust’s claim to be true there could NOT have been any death prior to 6,000 years ago.

"Dated 5 April 1931 and addressed to the Council of the Twelve, the First Council of the Seventy, and the Presiding Bishopric, the report stated: "Neither side of the controversy has been accepted as doctrine at all." Thus, the First Presidency made it clear that the Church has no official stand concerning the existence of pre-Adamites and death among plants and animals before the fall.

"Soon after this the First Presidency invited Elder James E. Talmage (who was a geologist by profession) to give a talk on the issue. He gave this talk, entitled "The Earth and Man," in the Tabernacle on 9 August 1931 and stated that the earth was extremely ancient. He also confirmed that life and death occurred on the earth long before the coming of man:

"But this we know, for both revealed and discovered truth, that is to say, both scripture and science, so affirm—that plant life antedated animal existence, and that animals preceded man on earth. . . . These [plants and animals] lived and died, age after age, while the earth was yet unfit for human habitation.

"In November of that same year, 1931, the First Presidency approved the publication of this speech with slight changes, and it appeared in the church section of the Deseret News on 17 November. It was subsequently made available as a church pamphlet and was republished in The Instructor. While this does not constitute official church approval, it does show that there was no disapproval.

"It is important here to stress that although there may have been death among plants and animals before the fall, this does not apply to Adam and Eve. The scriptures and the teaching of the Brethren make it absolutely clear that before the fall Adam and Eve were not yet subject to death, and it was only by partaking of the forbidden fruit that they became mortal." --Astronomy and the Creation in the Book of Abraham
J. Ward Moody, and Michael D. Rhodes, Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute.

What I believe may have happened is that during the creation process, plants and animals died in the normal course, as a necessary element of the creation itself, but then before Adam and Eve were created, the earth and its inhabitants were transformed to an immortal state as a preparation for Adam and Eve's creation.

03. The earth would have to be only 6,000 years old as set in scriptural stone in D&C 77.

Actually, the scripture you refer to sets forth the earth's temporal "continuance" at 7,000 years. You have misinterpreted the meaning to state that the earth was created 6,000 years ago.

Here is the scripture:

"6 What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?
A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence."

A theological definition of economy is, "A method of divine management of human affairs, or a system of laws and regulations, rites, and ceremonies; the holy scheme of creation and redemption; specif., and particular method of divine government, as the Mosaic economy."

Sterling Talmage suggests that "economy" may refer to God's dealings with men on earth rather than with the earth itself, and the hidden things in this regard refer to things that have been revealed or yet to be revealed.

The word "continuance" is used in other scriptures (Ps. 139:16, Is. 64:5, and Rom. 2:7) and does not indicate totality of duration, but progress in advance of an earlier stage. The first volume of a magazine is not a continuance, for example, but later volumes can be. "Continuance" refers to the current time period with an unspecified time period preceding it.

The final term which is troublesome is "temporal." The dictionary allows "temporal" to have the same connotation as "temporary" or "current," but there evidence that it should be synonymous with "physical" or "material." Its most usual or appropriate meaning pertains to affairs of the present life.

In other words, the scripture pertains to the book which basically contains the "history" of the earth from the time of Adam to the end of the millenium. That is essentially when time has any significance, because with God, there is really no such thing as time. Time pertains only to mortality.

04. The Mormon Church would have to be all that it claims to be…namely true.

Well...it is, IMO.

05. The Book of Mormon would have to also be “all” it claims to be...primarily a book describing a bronze aged people living in a sea of stone aged Amerindians…with NO trans-pollination of technology.

First of all, it wasn't intended to be a history or science text. Its intended purpose is as a religious text. However, there is evidence to support the things which you cite.

06. Horses would need to have existed in pre-Columbian America…not to mention camels, cow, sheep, pigs, figs, grapes, wheat, oats, etc etc etc

It was well known that the Huns had so many horses that estimates conclude that each warrior may have had up to ten horses. According to written records, the Huns must have had hundreds of thousands of horses, yet horse remains are virtually non-existent.

However, I would disagree that there is no evidence at all for these things.

07. Both the biblical myths of Babel and Noah would have to be actual historical facts.

Do you doubt that if there is a God, he is incapable of such things?

08. The Book of Abraham would need to be the writings of an actual Abraham.

I believe that they are.

I'm content to stick with Faust on this one. You haven't given me any evidence to support your beliefs, nor is there any evidence that bad tacos produce supernatural or spiritual phenomenon.

BR,

I realize that a Bible didn't exist then, but that's what's amazing about prophecy.

Bishop Rick said...

Personally, I think that Faust carefully worded his testimony as to lead one to think he had heavenly visitations, when in fact he had none. A careful re-reading of the account bears this out. Another case of lying via misleading omission.

Red Beans don't count. Clearly only Bad Tacos render the visionary effect...please feel free to try again.

Regarding D&C 77, here is the actual scripture:

Q. What are we to understand by the sounding of the trumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelation?
A. We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming.


Not sure where you copied your version of D&C 77: 12 from. I copied my version from LDS.ORG and it sure sounds like the earth is 6000 years old to me. No mention of continuance.

Must be the Red Beans.

Bishop Rick said...

Why is it that only prophecies produced by JS implicate or redeem the producer of said prophecies?

Red Flag...or is it Red Bean?

tatabug said...

BR,

I quoted verse 6, while you quoted verse 12. That's why they're different, duh :)

Looking at the verse you quoted, however, it still is not saying that the earth is 6000 years old. First of all, the accounts of the earth being created in 6 days does not mean 6 of our days. Each day represents a time period of significant duration. We don't know how long, but each time period could've been years--hundreds, thousands, millions, or billions. Each time period didn't necessarily occur independent of the other either, nor were they necessarily the same in terms of duration. It is quite possible that there was some overlap. Even Peter knew that a day with the Lord was as a thousand years. Is this an accurate figure, or is it just figurative to mean a long period of time? I'm inclined to believe that it is figurative.

Interestingly, if you look in Abraham 4, in the creation account there, the term "day" is not used, but the word "time" is used in its place. The Hebrew word YOM, often translated "day," can also mean "time" or "period." Also, the term day is used in scripture to indicate the "period wherein the labor of God is performed." Day in this sense is usually contrasted with the night or darkness wherein the labor is ceased. The Savior used the term in this light when He said, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." (John 9:4; see also John 11:9–10.) The Book of Mormon carried over this ancient usage also. The warning is issued in Alma that "the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed." (Alma 34:32–33.) These ideas suggest that each "day" may not even be the same length.

Also of interest, William W. Phelps, who worked as a scribe for Joseph Smith in his translation of the Book of Abraham, made this interesting statement in a letter to William Smith, the Prophet's brother (which was later published in the Times and Seasons): "Eternity, agreeably to the records found in the catacombs of Egypt, has been going on in this system, (not this world) almost two thousand five hundred and fifty five millions of years." An age of 2,555,000,000 years is within an order of magnitude of present scientific estimates of the age of the solar system (around 4.6 billion years). Not too shabby, IMO, for not being as scientifically advanced as we are presently.

Anyway, back to the scripture. When it states "in the beginning of the seventh thousand years," this means six thousand years from the time of the Fall of Adam. This is the point, as I explained earlier, from which time as we know it upon the earth was recorded. Since we know that a "day," according to the scriptural account in Genesis, does not necessarily mean a day as we know it, but refers to a period of time which could've been thousands of years long, then it could not possibly mean that from the beginning of creation until now there's only been 6000 years.

You said: "Why is it that only prophecies produced by JS implicate or redeem the producer of said prophecies?"

Not sure I'm getting the larger point you are trying to make here.

Cr@ig said...

Tata Said: Why is it not possible for God to appear to man? Because you haven't seen him?

Cr@ig’s Reply: Ummm pretty much yeah… but actually it’s much easier than that…because basically EVERYTHING that mankind has attributed to a god can be explained away through science and human emotions. Take the creation myth as an example. Mormon’s claim that their god created man out of the dust of the earth in his own likeness…but I’ve yet to hear an explanation why chimpanzees share 98.7% of the same DNA with their human cousins or an explanation for the millions of years of actual fossil records that actually validate evolution NOT the creation myth…its interesting that NOTHING has ever been brought forward by creationist to support their version of reality other than faith promoting stories and flawed theories. Just because you can’t accept reality doesn’t make it less real.

Tata Said aren't spiritual experiences possible?

Cr@ig’s Reply: Only in the recesses of your human mind…isn’t the human mind a wonderful place.

Tata Said 01. There would have had to have been a literal Adam and a literal Fall of Adam, 6000 years ago thus necessitating an atonement… and thus a Christ.

Can you prove that there wasn't?

Cr@ig’s Reply: Ummm…obviously NOT to you…but fortunately the vast majority of the educated world has come to accept this reality.



Tata Said 02. The Fall introduced both spiritual and physical death…so for Faust’s claim to be true there could NOT have been any death prior to 6,000 years ago.

"Dated 5 April 1931 and addressed to the Council of the Twelve, the First Council of the Seventy, and the Presiding Bishopric, the report stated: "Neither side of the controversy has been accepted as doctrine at all." Thus, the First Presidency made it clear that the Church has no official stand concerning the existence of pre-Adamites and death among plants and animals before the fall.

And a whole lot more of her cut and paste (see above for full details)

Cr@ig’s Reply: You’ve gotta love a church that claims to have a direct line to god that takes “NO stand” on what they refer to as pre-Adamites and the reality that there has been both life and death on earth for literally billions of years.

Either the fall introduced physical death or it didn’t. Once again we see the squishy nature of Mormon doctrine. When backed into a reality corner, it just takes the position we don’t know that…we don’t teach that…we don’t know…have faith. But the reality is that we do know. Death has been a part of earthly existence for billions of years…it’s a fact.

Now Tata, you pulled out your big gun Mormon apostle Talmage so I’ll pull one out of my bag of tricks. Interestingly enough they are in complete conflict with each other (as one would expect in a manmade church)

"If death has always prevailed in the world,[then] there was no fall of Adam which brought death to all forms of life. If Adam did not fall, there is no need for an atonement. If there was no atonement, there is no salvation, no resurrection, no eternal life, nothing in all of the glorious promises that the Lord has given us. If there is no salvation, there is no God. The fall affects man, all forms of life, and the earth itself". - Bruce R. McConkie

So on one hand we have Mormon apostle Talmage stating that there was death before the fictional Adam…and then we have McConkie stating that if there was death prior to Adam…then Mormonisn is a fraud.

Hold on while I check to see if there was anything that died before the mormon timeline for Adams existence…………. YUP, there was death before 6,000 years ago…so I guess that makes Mormonism a fraud according to super duper mormon apostle Bruce McConkie

So yeah Tata…you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink…I can give you facts all day long that death has always existed on earth (think humans fossils, dinosaurs, etc etc) but I can’t make you believe reality.

Tata Said What I believe may have happened is that during the creation process, plants and animals died in the normal course, as a necessary element of the creation itself, but then before Adam and Eve were created, the earth and its inhabitants were transformed to an immortal state as a preparation for Adam and Eve's creation.

Cr@ig’s Reply: I’ll give you a 9 out of 10 for your Mental Gymnastic routine. However there is NOTHING to support your premius.


Tata Said 03. The earth would have to be only 6,000 years old as set in scriptural stone in D&C 77.

Actually, the scripture you refer to sets forth the earth's temporal "continuance" at 7,000 years. You have misinterpreted the meaning to state that the earth was created 6,000 years ago.

Here is the scripture:

More cut and past crap…blah blah blah

Cr@ig’s Reply: Ummm…let’s do the math Tata…Adam emerged from the Missourian Eden, according to your Mormon scriptures timeline, in the year 4,000 BC. We are now in the year 2008 AD…so 4,000 + 2,008 = 6,008 plus your mythical 1,000 year millennium = 7,000 years (rounded down of course since your millennium is a little over due)

Editorial Note {No one alive today will ever see any Millennium…nor anyone who is ever born into this earth…come on people it’s a myth}


Tata Said 04. The Mormon Church would have to be all that it claims to be…namely true.

Well...it is, IMO.

Cr@ig’s Reply: Well IMO, it’s NOT…naner, naner, naner


Tata Said 05. The Book of Mormon would have to also be “all” it claims to be...primarily a book describing a bronze aged people living in a sea of stone aged Amerindians…with NO trans-pollination of technology.

First of all, it wasn't intended to be a history or science text. Its intended purpose is as a religious text. However, there is evidence to support the things which you cite.

Cr@ig’s Reply: You must think I’m stupid. There is NOT ONE single piece of evidence in existence anywhere in the world to support the fictional Nephite civilization…namely because they did not exist. If you have evidence to support this amazing claim….damn girl, I’d love to see it, we could make billions.


Tata Said 06. Horses would need to have existed in pre-Columbian America…not to mention camels, cow, sheep, pigs, figs, grapes, wheat, oats, etc etc etc

It was well known that the Huns had so many horses that estimates conclude that each warrior may have had up to ten horses. According to written records, the Huns must have had hundreds of thousands of horses, yet horse remains are virtually non-existent.

However, I would disagree that there is no evidence at all for these things.

Cr@ig’s Reply: REALLY? Assuming your premise is correct (and it’s NOT)……virtually non-existent does NOT equal NON-existent as IS the case in the America's


Tata Said 07. Both the biblical myths of Babel and Noah would have to be actual historical facts.

Do you doubt that if there is a God, he is incapable of such things?

Cr@ig’s Reply: Yes and I guess that he is also capable of removing all evidence of a universal flood and turning air into water and then back to air…and giving Noah wind to move his ark about the earth to place each of his animals species around the world so that animal population diversification and selection could only be rationally explained by the evil Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection…oh your god is a funny guy. But hey…yeah he could do ANYTHING…if he was in fact Mormon & God.

Tata Said 08. The Book of Abraham would need to be the writings of an actual Abraham.

I believe that they are.

Cr@ig’s Reply: come on Tata, not even your super duper Mormon apologist at FARMS believe that any more… may I suggest you get out more…

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

You quoted verse 6...well you should have kept reading. Even LDS.ORG states that these verses determine the existence of the earth to be 7,000 years (including the millennium, which hasn't happened yet) so the earth must be 6,000 or less years old.

Hmmm, not only does this not jive with the math pointed out by cr@ig (<6000 does not equal 6008) but it doesn't jive with the geological record...something is amiss.

The larger point I was trying to make about JS prophesies is that JS produces a book that prophesied that JS would produce a book that prophesied that...well you get the picture.

He also produced a book that prophesies about something that JS already knew about, but was unknown at the time of the prophecy (Bible)...very fishy. I can just see the Nephites talking among themselves saying that old Nephi has lost his limnahs, but we know that is not true. He just hid them next to all the horse bones.

Anonymous said...

Tata,
How quickly you attack my church and/or my beliefs. Just because I said I was a Christian you assumed I was not LDS. Hmmm...how telling. Actually the pain I have experienced is watching my husband go through much the same journey as Brother Zelph and many others are going through. It is heart-wrenching to see them go through this journey out of mormonism. Learning the Truth about the religion they grew up believing was the "only true church"; it is devastating...but I cannot expect you to understand any of that. You defend a religion you do not really understand, or you refuse to see the truth about. It is evident in the lengthy defenses you write. It's all spin. I can only pray for you, Tata, that you come to know the Truth. Seek Jesus. He's ALL you need.

tatabug said...

Anonymous,

So let me get this straight. It's okay to attack Mormonism, but your brand of Christianity, or perhaps even all of mainstream Christianity is off-limits. Is that about the sum of it?

Whatever religion you were previously is irrelevant with regard to my previous comment to you. Your current belief holds an animosity towards Mormonism, and whatever your current beliefs may be, they've shaped your perception that it's all the Mormon church's fault. I'm really sick and tired of people whining about how the big bad meanie Mormon church is to blame for everything bad and evil in the lives of the people who decide to leave it. Funny how it is a source of so much good in the lives of the majority of believers. I just have to say, "grow up and take responsibility for the problems in your life instead of looking for someone or something to blame it on." People in such circumstances would be a lot happier and the process would be much easier if they would just do that. Get on with your life and stop dwelling on it. Dwelling on anything bad only makes matters worse, and that is a fact! One could have a valid reason to be angry if the church forced people to join, believe, and obey, but everyone is free to join or leave, believe or not believe, obey or not obey. But even then, dwelling on the source of one's anger is not productive.

I know I sound harsh, and I certainly can't relate to such experiences, but I really hate whiners, no matter what they are whining about. The only time I can really sympathize is when someone has left over genuinely wrong treatment, but even then, the sooner you can move on and stop dwelling on it, the better.

How quickly you assume that just because you understand Mormonism and have taken a view that is different than mine, it must automatically mean that I don't understand Mormonism. I could argue that I understand it better than you, which is why I am still a member. I don't maintain a fundamentalist view of the church(which is what most disillusioned members have/had) which says that prophets are perfect and infallible, or that every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of a prophet is inspired, etc.

And yes, Jesus is all one needs. We need to believe in him and follow the pattern he set forth. But I'm sure that no matter what I say, you will probably say that I worship a different Jesus than you. There I go, making assumptions again. Oh well, even a blind squirrel gets a nut every now and then.

tatabug said...

Cr@ig,

I was almost through with my response to you, when I decided it was just a waste of my time, so I just trashed it. Let me word this another way: YOU are a waste of my time. I could be doing something much more productive like clearing the jam out of my toes, or the wax out of my ears, maybe even scrubbing the crap out of my toilets. Reading your comments, which are rhetoric-full but lacking in substance almost make me wish someone would just shove bamboo under my fingernails, and then responding to those comments is like trying to lead an ass to water. The thing is that it is virtually impossible to do, so you kindly and patiently bring the water to the dumb ass. But then you can't even make the ass drink because he's not only stupid, but too stubborn and to know what's good for him. Then when you turn around, he kicks YOU in the...rear end.

Anyway, I'm through with you, you arrogant, ignorant, hypocritical excuse for a human being.

tatabug said...

BR,

Why would you link me to the home page of lds.org? If you have specific information from lds.org that unequivocably states that the AGE of the earth itself is 6000 years, please direct me to that specific information. D&C 77 verses 6 and 12 don't count for the reasons I've already explained.

In addition, verse 12 doesn't give any information regarding the age of the earth that isn't already explained in verse 6, so I have no idea why you say I need to read further. It talks about the 7 days of creation and how on the 7th day the Lord blessed and sanctified his work, and will similarly bless and sanctify the earth in the beginning of the 7th thousand years of the earth's "CONTINUANCE," which is talked about in verse 6. In any event, verse 12 needs to be read in the context of verse 6.

For the earth to have a 7000 year CONTINUANCE, it would have to have had something preceeding it. I'm very impressed with Cr@ig's math skills...quite the prodigy there, but how does that change the fact that the beginning of those +/-6000 years started after the Fall of Adam? Thousands or billions of years of creation; Adam and Eve created; Adam Fell; 7000 years, give or take a few, of earth's history to follow. How is that so difficult to comprehend?

Phew!

Now, about Joseph prophesying about Joseph. You originally said that the Bible didn't exist at the time the Book of Mormon took place. I said that is what is so great about prophecy. You don't have to accept the reality of prophecy, but for those who do, the nature of prophecy itself allows for the presence of the term before it came to be used. The same would apply to the name of Jesus Christ being revealed to Nephi long before he was born and notwithstanding that his name doesn't appear to have been revealed to Biblical prophets.

Anonymous said...

I will pray for you, Tata.

Anonymous said...

I will pray for you, Tata.

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

When I have mentioned lds.org in this thread, I'm simply stating that the chapter heading (on lds.org - Gospel Library - Scriptures - D&C 77) states the temporal existence of the earth to be 7000 years. You can actually find this in your own scriptures.

When I said "you should have read further" I was attempting to make a joke...obviously not a very funny one.

But none of this is needed because the verse you quoted makes my argument for me.

It states:

"...during the seven thousand years of its continuance, OR its temporal existence."

You, my dear (along with other apologists) have been taking this verse out of context. It is clear that continuance, in this verse, is referring to existence. It does not imply there was anything before it. You see, there are only two states for the earth: Temporal and Celestial (or eternal). There is no Pre-Temporal. You are simply wrong on this one.

Back to JS Prophecies. The false prophesies that you mention (Bible, name of Jesus) these are things that were known before JS produced the BofM. That is why they are suspect. If the BofM was produced prior to those things being known and still had those prophesies, then you would have an argument.

Here is an example: I found a piece of paper that was written 100 years ago that states Michael Phelps would win the 100 meter Fly by 1/100th of a second for his 7th Gold of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Oh and you can't see to test the paper because I translated it from reformed Cherokee then burned the original paper per instructions from an angel. I did copy some of the symbols though: &^%@+$~
The Smithsonian has confirmed in a letter that these are indeed Reformed Cherokee characters.

Do you believe me?

Of course not. That is not prophecy. That is merely taking knowledge that I have today and applying it to a fake document supposedly dating back 100 years that I can't produce for proof. No one that truly understands prophecy would consider the Bible and Jesus name statements in the BofM to be prophecy.

tatabug said...

BR,

I've already defined temporal for you, but I will define it once more. According to the freedictionary.com, temporal is desfined in this way:

tem·po·ral 1. Of, relating to, or limited by time: a temporal dimension; temporal and spatial boundaries.
2. Of or relating to the material world; worldly: the temporal possessions of the Church.
3. Lasting only for a time; not eternal; passing: our temporal existence.
4. Secular or lay; civil: lords temporal and spiritual.
5. Grammar Expressing time: a temporal adverb.

In most of the definitions, temporal relates to temporary. It also relates to time. As I stated before, time has no meaning for God and so time was not counted until after the Fall of Adam.

We already discussed the fact that the "days" referred to in the creation accounts can also be translated as time or period. But day is a sufficient translation, and if you take into account that Peter said that a day unto the Lord is like a thousand years to man. Generally large numbers in the Bible are not meant to be exact and can actually mean a long, long time, perhaps much longer than a thousand years and it could certainly be that the different creation periods which were referred to as days could've each been of different lengths.

In any event, there is a great deal of evidence that could support a much lengthier creation period than what it appears to be on the surface.

Also, don't forget the quote from William W. Phelps which stated that this solar system was created over 2.5 million years ago. The solar system was a part of the creation and if it was created that long ago, then we can be certain that the creation period lasted much much longer than one week.

Regarding prophecy in the Book of Mormon, I didn't mean to say that the prophecy came from Joseph, but rather Nephi, just in case that wasn't clear. I certainly wouldn't consider it a prophecy if it contained information that was already well known.

Cr@ig said...

Tata Said: Funny how it is a source of so much good in the lives of the majority of believers.

Cr@ig's Reply: Majority? Kinda loose with the facts there girlie girl. World wide Mormonism activity rates hover below 50%...in fact in many nations its below 10%. In reality its probably less than 30% worldwide...so...the majority of mormon's have actually "rejected" Mormonism as having any real value in thier lives.

Just keeping it real...

Cr@ig said...

Zelph,

Could you please delete the last remarks I posted in this thread directed to tatabug. They do not represent who I am....I allowed myself to strike out...I regret doing so.

tata, sorry if in some way I have crossed the line in my attempts to expose Mormonism. Much of what we say and do here often is done to the extreme in our attempt to make a point. I menant you no offence.

Now having said that...I do not believe Mormonism is what it claims to be...but for some it does add value to their life. I really wanted the church to be everything it claims...but for me, it just is not. But I respect your right to defend and practice your faith.

I regret posting what I did.

I wish you nothing but the best in your Mormon faith...may you be as happy in it as you claim.

Laterz

Cr@ig

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

I didn't overlook your previous definition of Temporal. I just know that it does not jive with LDS teachings. It only jives with revisionist apologetic teachings which seem to carry more weight than actual LDS teachings.

Regarding the 7000 years (which includes the millennium), that is a current LDS statement. No confusion on how many years the current church is talking about. The apologetic spin doesn't work here.

Every single prophecy or foreshadowing found in the BofM was known at the time of Joseph Smith. Why doesn't this send up a red flag for you?

People in the BofM calling themselves Christians before the term was even applied (BY THE ROMANS)

Stating that people will say they already have a Bible

Prophesying that Joseph Smith will bring forth the book that Joseph Smith brought forth

This stuff is comical if not eye opening.

tatabug said...

BR,

You said: Regarding the 7000 years (which includes the millennium), that is a current LDS statement. No confusion on how many years the current church is talking about.

References please. I just haven't read or heard anything which would lead me to the same conclusion you seem to think is so clear. Everything I've seen in the scriptures has the word temporal attached to it, which is related to time. Alma 40:8 says, "...all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men."

But if you want to say that the references to the temporal existence of the earth refer to the earth from its creation, then I have a question for you. If the earth was in the process of being created, which would by definition mean that it was incomplete, then why would we count that as part of its temporal existence if it was still "under construction?" When we talk about how long a building has been around, do we go back all the way to the date that the ground was broken, or do we generally just go back to the date of completion? When we talk about how old a person is, do we go back to conception or do we only go back to the date of birth. Technically, we could say that we are nine months older than we really are, but we are not complete or fully functioning until we are born. Similarly, if the earth wasn't complete or fully functioning, why would we consider the 7,000 years of its temporal existence as beginning with the first little particle of its material make-up. In reality, it wouldn't truly exist in its "fullness" until the creation was complete. At that point, it would seem logical to begin a record of its "temporal existence."

Anyway, here is a quote from Bruce R. McConkie regarding the length of creation, since it seems that only apologists reject the "young earth" creation:

As the work goes forward we see the fulfillment of that which God spake to Moses in the Ten Commandments: “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.” (Ex. 20:11.) It is of the creative events that took place on each of these “days” that we shall now speak.

But first, what is a day? It is a specified time period; it is an age, an eon, a division of eternity; it is the time between two identifiable events. And each day, of whatever length, has the duration needed for its purposes. One measuring rod is the time required for a celestial body to turn once on its axis. For instance, Abraham says that according to “the Lord’s time” a day is “one thousand years” long. This is “one revolution … of Kolob,” he says, and it is after the Lord’s “manner of reckoning.” (Abr. 3:4.)

There is no revealed recitation specifying that each of the “six days” involved in the Creation was of the same duration. Our three accounts of the Creation are the Mosaic, the Abrahamic, and the one presented in the temples. ... It seems clear that the “six days” are one continuing period and that there is no one place where the dividing lines between the successive events must of necessity be placed.
(Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, June 1982.)

You said: Every single prophecy or foreshadowing found in the BofM was known at the time of Joseph Smith. Why doesn't this send up a red flag for you?

Because I have a testimony that is not based on physical evidence or proof. The things of God cannot be effectively "discovered" through physical means, but through spiritual. You know this. We've been over it many times.

The fact that "every single" prophecy in the Book of Mormon, as you say, was known at the time of Joseph Smith is something that I would disagree with, but more importantly, for those who have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, the prophecies, and their fulfillment point to the fact that the prophets in the Book of Mormon were true prophets. If we want to put Joseph to the test, then we must look to his prophecies which are not in the Book of Mormon, but in the D&C.

Cr@ig said...

Argggg…. I know that I know longer exist in Tata’s world…but I cannot sit back and allow her to spew forth her drivel without comment.

This thread has morphed into a discussion of D&C 77 and its claim that the earth will have a temporal life of 7,000 years, why is this such a difficult doctrine for you to accept Tata?

It’s clearly spelled out…there are dozens of Prophetic pronouncements from your so-called prophets on the subject…clearly Mormon doctrine is firm in its claim that Earth will have a temporal existence of 6,000 years followed by a 1,000 year millennium.

Your Mormon Church tries to make this easy for you to understand … it has clearly spelled this doctrine out in its scripture quad and online in its chronological table shown Here on its own web site. Why all the confusion Tata?

Clearly, according to your church, the fictional Adam immerged from his Missourian Eden in the year 4,000 BCE. It is now the year 2008, clearly according to your church, earth has already existed in a temporal state for 6,008 years. With the always around the next corner millennium, we add 1,000 additional years before earth is transformed into one huge crystal seer stone according to your so-called prophets.

So what exactly are you disputing? Mormon doctrine is very, dare I say “Crystal clear” Earth is to have a temporal existence of 6,000 years.

My dispute with this claim is that it is false. Earth has NOT temporally existed for 6,000 years but for 4,500,000,000 years…a gap of 4,499,994,000 years between what Mormon’s claim and reality. Death has been a part of earth’s existence long before your supposed Mormon timeline, hell all you have to do is open your eyes and look…the fossil record is so freaking clear on this reality. And if death has always existed as a consequence of life for literally billions of years then according to Bruce McConkie…this reality negates the myth of the Fall and the need for a Christ…

Hell I don’t need what you might refer to as anti Mormon material to falsify Mormonism…when you hold up the mirror of reality to Mormon claims…its so called reality simply falls apart

But hey, continue to follow the inspired words of your leader Boyd Packer: "When confronted by evidence in the rocks below, rely on the witness of the heavens above” In other words…ignore reality… You gotta love this screwed up church if only for its ability to mess up so many people’s ability to THINK.

And you wonder why so many refer to it as a cult!

tatabug said...

You're right Cr@ig, you don't exist in my world, so please don't talk to me as if you do because I will not reply.

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

I gave references. I will give them again:

Look at the chapter heading for D&C 77 in your scriptures or go to LDS.ORG and click on GOSPEL LIBRARY - SCRIPTURES - DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS - 77 (CAPS are clarity, not shouting)

The current discussion is about the difference between LDS doctrine and reality in regards to the age of the earth. You are not defending LDS doctrine but are trying to prove it wrong with yet a 3rd unsubstantiated, non-canonized opinion shared by only you and 3 apologists. I'm trying to be nice here but I don't know how else to say it. You are off base on this one.

vballrh said...

I just wanted to say that I really liked Brother Zelph's butterfly analogy and that I am glad he is leaving the blog up for others like myself to stumble upon!

I also wanted to comment on this from Anon.:

"I will miss your blog. I am a Christian married 36 years to a Mormon...lots of pain there, due to the LDS Church. Just remember it's all about a relation, not a religion. Jesus Christ is ALL you need. Seek Him...seek truth. My prayers are with you."

and, what I think was, the subsequent overreaction from tatabug. Although I don't know the author, I felt they were just offering a simple statement that was blown way out of proportion by tata. When they said "due to the LDS church" I don't think they were blaming everything wrong in their life on the church or whining about it. I just took it to mean, as I think it does, that religion can be a tough thing in a marriage if you don't believe the same things. I don't think anyone would deny that, especially people who are LDS who became disillusioned or lost faith and their spouse didn't or still believes. It can be a very painful thing to go through. Should we fault Anon. for making that statement? I really don't think by making that short statement they were trying to absolve themselves of any resposibility in their marriage or trying to blame the LDS church for all the ills in the world. I definitely don't think it deserved the reaction it got from tata.

tatabug said...

vballrh,

I may have over-stated things in my comment to anon., but I do get very fed up with people blaming the church for their problems.

I don't believe however, that I was wrong in my assessment that anon. was placing the blame for pain solely on the church. That was pretty much black and white, and anon. didn't do anything to clear that up if it was a misinterpretation.

Anon. was not saying that religious differences are hard on a marriage. Of course I believe this to be a true statement, but anon. was saying that her husband's disillusionment caused him pain, which she of course blamed on the church.

Even IF she was saying that religious differences were hard on their marriage, she only gave credit to the LDS church for the pain, rather than the fact that one or both of them couldn't learn to get past their differences, which is pretty much always the case. She didn't place blame on either of the two individuals in the marriage, but rather, the church. She was avoiding taking responsibility for the pain.

Bishop Rick said...

I agree with Tata that ultimately the stress on an LDS marriage, when one becomes disillusioned, is due to the unwillingness of one or both parties to adjust.

But

To think that this reaction is not rooted in the LDS church is simply unrealistic. I have experienced it first hand. I was the one that had to adjust, because my wife was not going to. It was my adjustment that saved our marriage. My wife's attitude, viewpoint, and reaction to my disillusionment are all byproducts of the LDS church. This is fact whether people are sick of hearing it or not, and also explains why a lot of exmos are bitter.

vballrh said...

Bishop Rick,

That is the point I was trying to get across, but you said it so much better.

tatabug said...

I mostly agree with you BR, but I don't get how it is the church's fault. It seems to me that the blame rests with one or both individuals, TBM or not, rather than the church itself. You might be able to make a case that the church is responsible for one's disillusionment, but not for disharmony in the marriage as a result of the disillusionment. That is simply a result of one's views and their willingness to be understanding and tolerant.

vballrh said...

tatabug,

maybe if I explain a little bit about what happened to me it will help you understand. When my husband first told me he no longer thought the church was true I was devastated, my whole world crumbled. My entire future and salvation were gone. I'm sorry to admit it now but some of my first thoughts were, "I'll never be a bishop's wife, we'll never get to serve a mission together, I'll be the one sitting alone on the bench" and then eventually to heaven, if I chose to remain with him I would have to forsake the Celestial kingdom, or I would be "reassigned" to a worthy priesthood holder and just lose him for eternity. All of the issues we had were related to church doctrine. Happily, we adjusted. I started doing my own research and changed some of my thinking. I became more flexible in how I see the church. I realized that my husband was still the man I fell in love with and he was/is still a good person. Without the church we wouldn't have had those issues. Yes, it does depend on the people's views and their tolerance, but without those doctrines in place and how I was raised, I wouldn't have been so devastated and distraught with how his belief affected my salvation and whether or not I would be able to spend eternity with my husband. The same doctrines that were so comforting growing up became more and more hurtful, because of what the church teaches.

Bishop Rick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tatabug said...

Damn that LDS church for making you have beliefs!

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

I know you meant that tongue-in-cheek, but it really does. You can't get a temple recommend if you don't believe. The excludes you from many family events. Does this seem fair? Where is the sin?

Jake said...

What do I believe??!! I BELIEVE GOD LIVES!!!