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April 28, 2021 9:42 am


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April 28, 2021 9:42 am

From Mormon to Jesus!  Real, authentic conversations among former members of The Church Of Latter-Day Saints.


Your answering and and and fireplaces are just talking to Michael about an article he wrote called Israel yes conversions a primer for the befuddled Michael welcome again to brightness podcast visiting again as a resident author.

Thank you very much, so tell me about the subtitle to this article, a primer for the befuddled who's the audience is going to be Christians. People who have an engaged Latter Day Saints very much and don't really understand what their dealing with as I know it can be really frustrating sometimes and this is just a way to kinda get into the LDS mindset a little bit better in and see where they're coming from. Critics of this article was first published on bigger spread tells about bigger spread bread is a website run by Fred Anson and he basically stood up a place to put articles on all things having to do with Mormon studies, so there's a lot of just a lot of different guest authors that go on there and Fred's been nice enough to let me post several articles on that website. It's actually he's actually when it first gave me my voice and I think I started blogging there originally because I came out of the church and I thought I'm never really got a blog because I just don't have anything to say really you know I came out of the church and I was like I'm pretty late to the party. I have nothing to add nothing to say that's gonna really matter and so he let me write a few articles and then it started picking up steam, and I was start writing more and eventually got to the point where I've written my own or I created my own blog so this this article is now found on my so that we do here is have you read through the first section of the article and then take off the mayor with comments and questions sounded and sounds great.

So I'll start reading it here for section.

There are three conversions in Mormonism, social, doctrinal and spiritual doctrinal conversion is to believe that the tenets of Mormonism are true, along with the book of Mormon doctrine and covenants in the post-great price.

Social conversion is to believe that the LDS church is a godly institution, its leaders are inspired and its founder Joseph Smith had an upright moral character. Spiritual conversion is any experience that validates the Mormons beliefs. The most common of these is spiritual conversion. It typically occurs after reading the book of Mormon which challenges the reader to ask God if it's true, it promises that God will reveal the truthfulness to through the power of the Holy Ghost, rather than testing the book of Mormon against the Bible. Latter Day Saints resort to subjective feelings and often equate a burning in the bosom to an answer from the spirit. The exact wording in the book of Mormon is as follows.

This is in run a 10 four and when he shall receive these things I would exhort you that you would ask God the eternal father in the name of Christ.

If these things are not true and if you shall ask. With a sincere heart, with real intent. Having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. These conversions serve as a three legged stool to keep Mormons tethered to the LDS gospel.

If one leg is kicked out, they can keep going on two legs.

Will the damaged one is repaired. Thus, in order to bring them out of the church.

At least two of the three conversions must be targeted however Latter Day Saints are unlikely to divulge details about their spiritual conversion because those experiences are considered sacred to them talking about their experiences with Christians is casting their pearls before swine. That leaves the social and doctrinal conversions to target most Mormons either leading to the doctrinal or the social side of their faith. Rarely, if ever, do you find a Mormon who was on fire about the doctrine and the culture of the church. If they don't lead either way. They are probably less active. So I was a ward mission leader right before leaving and it was often said that a new convert. Mormonism needed three things a friend which is social conversion calling also social conversion and be nourished by the good word of God. Doctrinal conversion of the two types of Latter Day Saints. The vast majority are socially converted cultural Mormons. They do not participate in online debates and their testimonies are not founded on logic. I have been in several wards over the years and typically I've only found one or two individuals per congregation that really knew their stuff. These doctrinal Mormons are to some degree or another outcast in the face. I heard a talk over the pulpit. Once where a man was comparing his parents, one of whom was doctrinal while the other was a cultural Mormon. She said my father knew the book of Mormon, backward and forward.

He had much of it memorized and he could explain why each passage was important, but my mom knew it was true. She implied that because of her blind faith. His mother was the more righteous so your frameworks are. Michael kinda reminds the somewhat of a classic article by Richard Depaul that was published in dialogue. Journal of Mormon thought and an article which is called the church news to people like me.

Richard pull positive that metaphorically there are two types of Mormons iron rod Mormons and Leona Mormons are either of you familiar with the article.

So I only read the article today because you you mentioned it to us so I can as I can. I skimmed over it today and looked at it is pretty interesting. Now I had never heard an article that I can remember as it was in the this the very first episode of dialogue, but it was in one of their very early episodes of dialogue back in the late 1960s, ugly, and it was really a lightning rod Mormon cultural discourse. Not that I was alive then, but I I haven't gone through conversion that the included kind of a trip through that more liberal Mormon space. I was I became well aware of how much this article meant to Canada because subset of of questioning. Mormons were or post Mormons who were probably fall more on the cultural size of this kind of interesting to do a little pleasure between your article and then Richard pulls it is was is was a really caught the attention of leadership in 1971 general conference LDS apostle, Harold Lee actually quoted from from Richard pulls article without naming Richard pull and denounced his ideas so the way he says there about iron rod Mormon in the in the Leona Mormons is this, he says the iron mob same does not look for questions but for answers and in the gospel he finds or is confident that he can find the answer to every important question the Leona St. on the other hand, is preoccupied with questions and skeptical of answers he finds in the gospel answers to enough important questions so that she could function purposefully without answers to the rest so what would you think Michael Leona Mormon iron rod Mormon. How how would those kind of interplay with your your categories and article well acted. Admit that as I was skimming to the article there a couple of times.

My thought, oh yeah, I fall right in line with the iron rod Mormon and then there were times lifecycle not really because I didn't care about answers to all the little things which she seemed to imply that they did in saws, wanting maybe a little bit more of your understanding of what it means to be one of those two categories of Latter Day Saints.

Before I answer that question. Yeah, I mean definitely good. What Kim and him as criticism is that in and read his articles read. Instead, it's been a while. Actually since I looked at it said I don't remember exactly how he sets it up, but I can. I do remember how it was perceived and that is that no iron rod Mormon is someone who is very fastidiously watching and listening to what the brethren are saying the obvious leadership and have high fidelity to to them in obedience to them whereas a Leona Mormon is someone who questions and thinks about things and maybe would even include some points that they disagree with the obvious leadership to kinda describes the difference in them in the is metaphor you know between like in the book of Mormon.

Of the people holding fast to the iron rod like the Scriptures. In the end, and what the brethren are saying in Iraq. I guess I would see Leica and iron rod Mormon being more of a doctrinal Mormon in your in your framework and a Leona Mormon which is still for those who may not be aware, Leona, in the book of Mormon is is a device that functions like a compass and leads some characters across the ocean to land in America and so you Leona Mormon would be someone who follows the spirit and follows their conscience more so than holding fast to exactly what the church is saying or what the Scripture says yes so I was actually looking through the article and I think at first when I was reading in Isaac men. There are a lot of similarities to a non-iron rod Mormon to a doctrinal Mormons because you just talked about him. What thinking that the answers for all they are somewhere and you can find a definitive answer. I think that is something that a doctrinal Mormon would think. But then I also found similarities with the Leona because I was definitely in that category, where I came to a point where I had limited distrust towards the leaders of the church as I was like okay but as long as it's in the standard works.

It's true, and so there was a little bit of attention because it was like sometimes I can speak as men.

And so it's it's only doctrine when it's being spoken by the spirit and so I think it doctrinal Mormon really has no issue with that. So I do think that a doctrinal or social Mormon could actually fall on either of those sides so I don't think it's complete a complete parallel here, but I do think that there are some some aspects that are definitely get any right on//EXT think that a social Mormon is far more likely to be the one that just holds to everything that the leader say and refuses to deviate is social so limited, limited, limited friend.

My question in my mind's method did you have something yeah I did I lost a separate yeah because I reread the article as a medic under the assumption that you could be at a not think back to my experience and I felt like I was a doctrinal Mormon, but I also felt like part of the doctrine was the fact that you have to accept that the leaders are inspired do not any that you that you do that parcel and I think it really depends on how far along you are in your progression to an easel of faith crisis in there and things start to change a little bit so yes for 90 and it is think you I was a social Mormon at first and a list I was a converted to being a doctrinal Mormon on my mission because my beliefs were challenged by evangelical Christians and I started wanting to find the answers in actually changed course and I started to think like a doctrinal Mormon at that point, whereas before I just going to church out of culture and because my friends were there and they were pretty girls and etc. etc. and so I change my mind and I did view everything that the prophet said as being Scripture as being 100% true. And then what change that was later on finding some of the quotes that the leaders and said that I knew were demonstratably false.

You know, especially a lot of the things that like Brigham Young said about Blacks and in all that polygamy you know saying that if if you are not in a polygamous marriage will not enter the celestial kingdom of Michael that's obviously not true. And so then you start you start to say like okay well it's only true as long as they were speaking as profits think you get into the complication of having enough they were actually speaking as profits or not is a dentist legacy will we know that you use the standard works yet to have something to judge it by and so that's what I used to judge it by so I think that Dr. Mormon can get to a point where they are skeptical of some things that the leader say but there still get a hold them in very high regard legacy as long as it doesn't contradict something that I know is true through another source that I'm okay with what you're saying is interesting to notice that the site is so the fidelity to the leadership on the part of doctrinal Mormons because II would I would argue that will do the folks that we encounter on Facebook groups were we talk about Mormonism and an individual various aspects of it. I would argue that the majority of them are doctrinal Mormons. Would you agree with that. Michael hundred percent agree with that. Everybody that we are talking up to online you can kind of tell sometimes there are social Mormons trickling in there, but they usually are the ones that that leave pretty quickly and they tell us about how how horrible we are, for you know why can't we just leave them alone because they're happy and they believe in Jesus and they usually don't stick around for very long or if if they do, it's just a despairing testimony or they're not really using logic to argue a lot of them say hey it's the spirit of contention, I don't want anything to do with that.

So is just bear my testimony. Or, here's a video for you to watch but to stay out of the fight. And so the ones were actually discussing theology with those are your doctrinal Mormons for sure. What I find interesting about that is the like I was saying about the fidelity to the leadership and what they say, a lot of time seems to go out the window in the midst of discussion. You have where more leader might have said spider embarrassing or no longer considered relevant because of newer leaders.

More recent leaders and so the fidelity is kind of having name only right as the skylight we have this doctrinal point is Latter Day Saints that we have also passed profits.

Is this kind of unitary and that's important for supporting the need for the existence of the illness. Over and over against evangelical Christianity, which does not have a type of authority structure and that authority structure due to the biblical and so it's important to have them open when you cut it down to brass tacks and discussion. They're willing to throw out what the leader say pretty easily. Yeah, and here's this bombshell on you but this is actually a spot where they aligned far more with the Leona Mormons where it's like that of the Leonidas points you in the general direction, but you've got some leeway.

You know once you get there and you're right.

Doctrinal Mormons are far more likely to be like you know what like I don't like what they said it must not be true because you know these other sources that I consider to be true or going against that you know and that's something where I would find something another leader said they like what this other prophet contradicted him so they go. That's all I need is one other leader say something different that what happens with the cultural Mormons is it's actually more of a cultural thing in the church to have this unquestioning fidelity to the leaders and so when you're a social Mormon. It's a lot harder to squirm under that, if somebody's pointing out a quote that one of the past leaders of said they're far more likely to get offended by it than a Dr. Mormon is and just say I don't want to talk about it anymore. I think you cannot talk a lot about that later on in your article, right wrist, like if one of these. If you think about three legs on it on a chair Clemens being attacked the kind of resort to one of the other two are both of the other two to kind of hold it up to the extent yes, but here is the thing like a lot of doctrinal Mormons are really and I will talk about this later in the article to but a lot of doctrinal Mormons are suspicious of the culture and vice versa of the cultural Mormons are not suspicious of the doctrine, but there little suspicious of people that are just really into the doctrine and they're not.

They're not there for the spiritual reasons so much and so try to think where I was going with what you just asked me Matthew or what would you just say before I think I remember reading how he said that if one of the three legs is if you like. It's under attack or they feel like they're in that position is weakening the kind of resort to one of the other two legs, so that so it remains upright, so, so just speaking from a of doctrinal Mormon perspective.

I was not likely to use social lag to defend myself at all because I already was wary of that wags myself because I was Artie going to stuff the church because I didn't fit in culturally all the time like I didn't have a bunch of kids and so I just was kind of an outcast at church and there's a lot of things like you and I didn't have an education in size, look down on him for that. So I wasn't the perfect Mormon and it's like okay the coach I look at the culture noisily cultures kind of rotten in a lot of ways because you know when when somebody doesn't think the sacrament instead of saying like all we need to pray for this person. It's like, but if they do you know and so sides, so that the culture is not perfect, but the doctrine is that you never would've seen me defend myself or use the social lag at all. In fact, I would've thrown that leg under the bus any day and then like you.

You can't get me with this because I agree with you that it's not perfect so someone whom I say the church is perfect, but the people aren't where they fall.

That sounds like a doctrinal Mormon to me. Probably wouldn't put it that way because that's actually kind of like it.

It's tailored to be said by by social Mormon is a social Mormons still get to say like hey you know that the church is perfect if I might have to change my answer right now I just say that the social Mormon things they say the doctrine is is perfect. The doctrine is what matters that you're looking at a doctrinal Mormon faith save the church is perfect, but the people want them there probably get a B is a social Mormon who acknowledges that there's a couple people that are rotten apples in the church, but most of us are great. You know 95% of us are fantastic and you know you can't judge us because of brother so-and-so that yet. He's a jerk but he's like the only person in the whole church. That's that way about somebody who say that the church is imperfect but the people are. Has anybody ever said on page 45 of biblical defense of Mormonism is the black male snobs. Should I said that I didn't actually say that, but I don't have the copies I can prove you wrong can I now know I do want to dig in the one more thing in section 1 of your article before going to go on to talking about section 2 you say rarely, if ever you find a Mormon who is on fire about the doctrine and the culture of the church. Why do you think that what you think that is just getting a lot of experience but usually one of those conversions is to take hold so strongly that it could goes with that scripture in Matthew. No man can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other, us. He will despise hold despise the one and hold the other E so is Kelly. You can't you just can't functionally love both of those conversions as much like there's any one of them. This is the more meaningful for you. That's more of just an observation that I've made in retrospect I guess I can see, there'd be a place where you might actually find a couple of people there like that that love, the social aspect and the doctrinal but I think even with them. They're going to have a favored lag that can hurt them more. If you attack that lag to section 2 of your article. You gonna going to talk about your conversions into Mormonism summarizes open already. You summarize again for us and them, ask your question, yes, sure. So the first conversions that happen for me was when I was about 15 years old and I've been dragged to church by my parents every single Sunday didn't really want to be there but about that time. I finally started to make friends. I started going to a lot of the youth activities and they were a lot of fun and so that was really my spiritual conversion just feeling like I had a family at church that it was some I wanted to be was gonna enjoy going there and seeing my people, and then talk about this in my story episode going to especially for use that weeklong retreat and then out on the Thursday night the shortest of the about Christ and I really felt like the spirit was revealing to me that he was my Savior and it was just an overwhelming experience for me, never just crying for hours into the night and that was definitely the moment of my spiritual conversions. That said, the spiritual conversion continued to two. I think the strongest conversions for most latter-day Saints continue to deepen as I went on my mission and had more experiences for sure, and then I talked about the doctrinal conversion already. How is deftly more of a social Mormon, but that I had to defend my face against evangelical Christians and so started to read the Bible and I started to find some answers and to me being able to find these answers was really invigorating. It was exciting is like a treasure hunt like I really like this I'm gonna keep doing this and so it kind of became to cut him became my saying at that point. So that's how I was converted into the church so social conversion. Initially spiritual conversion via PS FYI and then as you want on your mission transition, more to a doctrinal conversion and would you say that you landed ultimately as is a doctrinally converted Mormon and stayed there through when you left yeah I was definitely more doctrinal than anything.

There were spiritual experiences that forms the bedrock of my belief but when it came to my discussions. I didn't really pull out the spiritual experiences because I was afraid that some existing well you know you can't trust your feelings or what if you just ate some you know too much Taco Bell the day before and it was just heartburn or I don't know I just didn't really want somebody downplaying my experiences so I would talk about the doctrinal aspects hundred percent of the time with people online.

I think Paul you can attest to that.

You never really saw me talking about anything else besides just doctrine. So that's definitely what I landed Do you not I was at the time that we first started interacting. I was knocked by letter did not C anymore and I would say that only noting that literally limited limited permethrin here because we don't just want to hear your voice my voice this episode.

So Matthew if you were to become a writer you were.

Section 2 to Michael's article which of those would you say the strongest for you and your Titans the obvious faith was adultery at different times, just as it was for for Michael or was it more one over the other predominantly something about this and so initially I wasn't really into the social aspect of the church and I was baptized a 10 is kind of more I felt like I was the right thing to do and I felt like it was pleasing my parents and enough I go just right. Even I didn't really believe I'm not really sure how strong I really believe back then when I was 10. A knife only goes right thing to do and I wanted to please God. So I did. I generally connect to the social aspect. So I kind of became an active or in high school and then convicted by my sin and I felt like I needed some kind of redemption some kind of reconciliation or some kind of wholesaler word I'm looking for the other theological term assets. This is getting a Mr. want to determine for my sins enough for different I just like a bad person so wanted to become a better person, but I think would ultimately convert me to Mormonism was was a doctrinal conversion just because I mentioned that one of the things that I read was trying to study us out think it out logically was I thought well you know if Christianity is true, then based on the story that's included in the marvelous work and a wonder how it how they describe a Roman Catholic priest came to select city and he said you Mormons are bunch of ignoramuses and you don't realize the strength your position you are. The Roman Catholic Church is true or the Latter Day Saints church is true because you really want to have a valid claim to the priesthood so I kind of caught onto that and it kind of made sense to me. Logically, that you needed some kind of firm connection to Christ through laying on of hands and authority so I think I would say that probably doctrinally a first and then I it was difficult to describe because I feel like I doctrinally agreed. I lodging on my rationally agreed with the doctrines of the church, but I told myself why want to have a spiritual conversion first before I go on a mission because I don't want to go out there and say well I don't really, I've never really felt the spirit make sure I don't and never really felt or had a spiritual conversion.

So I really thought that before my mission so that I would say probably that the spiritual conversion came next and I'm not sure if what I will experience will qualify as a social conversion Deuteronomy because I think you and I believe that the prophets and apostles were inspired, but that was based on the doctrine do not mean I didn't I didn't feel like first that all these are great men and what they're saying is inspiring and you know it's something that I mean my whole life was more like I understood and believed the doctrine and I and so because doctrinally it says that while Christchurch is led by apostles and prophets buddy since believe that that's a continuing office in the church that that's why there inspired leaders. I should listen to them so do not. I mean, I'm not quite sure if that really qualifies as a social conversion EU that completely resonates with me. Matthew and I wouldn't I would really count that as the social conversion, and I think everybody has a social conversion. I do think the church pushes people to have that social conversion as quickly as possible and just the way that they treat new converts where suddenly the most popular person in the ward and everybody's trying to get to know them and elitist.

Treat them like their rockstar and I think that that social conversion is really pushed when somebody's first coming to the church so that's is typically the first one, but I think you know people like like me, you know, I kind of came into that doctrinal position to because I wasn't having a lot of spiritual experiences and I wasn't having a lot of social connections and church either. And so it's like well I need to have some kind of connection and so doctrinal was just the easiest place first for me to go. Thanks, Matthew. I would say that during my upbringing. I was probably apparently had a social conversion, though I didn't really feel great fidelity to local church activity but in terms of growing up within the Mormon culture in Utah. I would say probably had a social conversion will you will you define it here Michael that you know I believe that the LDS church as a godly institution's leaders are inspired as founder Joseph Smith on the prime moral character that was all part of what I what I believed I had questions. Of course I remember you were my friends. Thus, they were sitting together and in psychology classes in high school and he was grilling me about why I why I believe the Mormonism kind of thought it was silly and inelegant a candidate in the. The answer that it's the kind of you did as to know what the LDS church was teaching me how to live and treat others was good and therefore even if it wasn't true. It was like I can imagine that you know that in my life I was that I was judged by God, I would be judged somebody you had done good with in their life because of the church was teaching me to do good things and so definitely was not doctrinally converted in my adolescence in high school. As I prepared for my mission. Even then, I wouldn't say that I was doctrinally converted.

I'd I was have probably never really was doctrinally converted to the LDS Church of wanted to believe all of the tenants of of the LDS church and probably did but I did I wouldn't say I was ever a doctrinal Mormon and waited kind of have described doctrinal Mormons so spiritual conversion came as is, when into my mission and had some experience on my mission came home from my mission very very much committed to my social conversion to the LDS faith and then you know when when I started to have people asked me questions that kinda knocked up at that leg right that Joseph Smith was heading upright moral character of the leaders are inspired when we met leg was gone it was gone for me and I didn't I didn't retreat.

One of the other legs I just kind of stuck around. As someone who wasn't fully believing yeah that's what I'm saying about my experience. So would you say your kind like me and that your your allegiance to the leadership is based on the doctrine so once what you disagree to the doctrine that is can like the allegiance to the leadership went with it this evening. Yeah, or or the other side of it was your allegiance to the leaders based on on character and the good that the church did in the fruits of the leaders, yes, that Michael K social yeah so like when when I was in the MTC method viewpoint. I know I read a lot of Talmage and you know for methodological perspective reading through his works, and LeGrand Richards female marvelous work and wonder the doctrine I think I viewed it as mostly coherent from within, from within that context. But I wouldn't say that I wouldn't say that I was a doctrinal.

I had a doctrinal conversion. I think somebody like with a doctrinal conversion is like a Bruce McConkie right and though she his works were important to me. I used to use his works as a reference all throughout my mission. I don't feel like I was I was ever truly a doctrinal Mormon, and that we had the didn't have. I didn't have that that level of and in few people do have that level know that these are McConkie level of of doctrinal attention, but I didn't have the know one of the bill in my ward who wanted to be Bruce are McConkie level of attention to doctrine you noted, I think I was very much a social social convert to the LDS church and and so when when questions arise about the righteousness of the, the founder righteousness of the leaders, then, that light was gone and and my guess I just kind of stuck around and I didn't retreat any of the others, and in other legs catching really interesting is actually for some reason we are talking politics but just remember this article that I actually response to a couple years back but I just found it on its third and it's called 21 reasons. It doesn't matter if the church is true is written by a member is a leaky list off all these reasons.

One, it takes care of their own to does good in the community. Three. Does good around the world in a one of the reasons is it has highly efficient volunteerism responds well to criticism in it.

Just you, has moral courage. And I'm like I can just tell by looking at this article that this is a social Mormon who wrote this because as a somebody was doctrinal. I would've looked at that title and just said this is ridiculous. There's no reason to stay in the church. If it's not true. The reason to be in the church is because it's true. Nothing else matters between social Mormon a lot of other things really do matter.

Yeah, you know, you're right amendment that's a good point. I do want the church to be true and and I went on my mission in hopes that it would be that it was true, and I came home from my mission believing that it was true of my conversion after after after there were cracks in and in my ability to believe that it was true.

Towards the end of my mission after my mission by conversion was social. That's where I was able to land. This is kind of what you're describing from that article writers the church is a good institution and and it's led to good things for my family and for me and so I stuck around. But the doctrine doctrinal thing doctrinal conversion (information works to help. I think that's interesting justice. Michael already or maybe maybe my brain just right but where did you come up with this. You know this trichotomous this this three-way view of of conversions is just something he just came up with her did something kind of inspire you with this idea. I really do not remember how this came to me. I think it's just it just came to me one day and the more I thought about it the more I realize that it made perfect sense. You notice, looking back at my life and the construction of how I how I came into Mormonism, how I came out of it and even the three things that they say the convert needs like in which something about it right now they say you need a friend. So that's your social conversion you need to be socially converted Unita calling that's that's kind of a spiritual conversion to because you think about it like like you need to believe that God is personally like calling you to do this job in the church and that there's a spiritual connection and then 30 need to beef be fed with the word of God is what they say. So you need that that doctrinal conversion as well.

So there's definitely a push for all three of those things just with that statement and I think having been a ward mission leader right before I left that that quote was just fresh in my mind and so just thinking about that and why some latter-day Saints are so eager to debate online and why others are so against it and that's how it all came together for me. It's interesting the way you do we define a social conversion here because I think a lot of people will think about that would think more along the lines of of the culture would from your use of of the term social but I think you're right in your definition here because so from the even even when I started to have major doubts about the truth claims of of the founding of Mormonism, right, whether or not the first vision actually took place. Whether or not the book of Mormon was produced in the way that the just and said it was, or whether other other things that came into play when when the history really started to come into play in causing doubts.

Even then I had this fidelity to Joseph Smith is a person I was able to look at his story and see someone who was a seeker and relate to that myself as a seeker trying to find the truth and so even when I had major doubts doctrinally and at about the truth claims of Mormonism there was still like this fidelity to Joseph Smith as is this person that should be important to my life and I think that that does come from a culture but that was interesting because I when I first read your article a while ago when he first published, I would notice a kind of a social conversion was different than what you described what I think about how it actually plays out and played out in my life. I think you're right autoresponder that it's interesting to look at, because if I had a problem with that with Joseph Smith, for instance, if I heard somebody say something about him. I would think about the doctrine and I would say okay will if he wasn't inspired of God. How did he come up with the Godhead, which seems to fit so beautifully. Install of Scripture you know you can't tell me that this guy was not inspired by God and so I would look at the doctrine and I would bolster him with that line of thinking just never crossed my mind. That's interesting, always figured I must latter-day Saints had a little bit of each. You and I think they do.

I think a lot of that he Saints to have some of each. In a like Paul said he still had a hope that the doctrine was true in us is not that it wasn't there at all. He just he just leaned one way a little bit further and and for me I still I still wanted to believe that the church was a was a good organization as well that it was wholly the people were living upright, holy lives, but I couldn't. I couldn't really believe that all the time and so I held the doctrine a lot more than the social beliefs differently had an aspiration to be a doctrinal Mormon. I like my mission. I found a website I can remember the name of the guy asked asked Gramps that I've seen Dalia way back when he and he had a list of top 25 books that all latter-day Saints should have or something like that related to doctrine and it know it. Of those, I think it hundred profits urban in the LDS church now, but I think at the time it was like 14 or something like that and so 14 of the books were collected right collected writings of each of the profits of the LDS church, and so I started to buy those books, one by one by one with the intent of really studying them poring over them in becoming a doctrinal Mormon and I did read them and I did highlight them and study them that I still don't think I have a doctrinal conversion was still very much social Mormon and I do think you can change between the two of them are one leg could be stronger at certain parts of your life. I think that most people kinda just stay wherever the one is the strongest and I don't think they change stuff after going to talk about this all night NASA section 3. Michael gets into more of his current D conversion assist his conversions out of Mormonism I think is how you determined that Michael summarize a second force yes is a little bit harder to summarize, but so yeah is starting about 2015, God was waging war on all three of my conversion. So I decided to study grace to become a more effective weapon and started to have trouble with my doctrinal conversion because I was reading about you know heaven unlikely with her sisters like three levels of heaven.

There are six definitions of salvation so Mike is having a hard time fitting the book of Mormon and the Bible into the Mormon. I guess the more money. The Mormon kingdoms of heaven and everything it and making it all fit really nicely and did as a doctoral Mormon. I really wanted to fit perfectly, so it didn't.

It was really frustrating for me and I was jealous of my Christian friends because they all kind of had the same answer and looking around at other latter-day Saints. They did not have the same answer for how grace work.

There were a lot of differences in opinion and at the same time that that was going on. The church came out of the policy. The children of gay parents could be baptize and I had a really big problem with that because I believe that that went against the second article of faith that will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression so I can understand why we wouldn't baptize somebody for something there. Her parents had done or were dealing so it's good having issues with with both of those and then you know it's crazy that was also learned about imputed righteousness, and you about that a lot in my story, but I came to realize that that was a doctrine that I hundred percent believed in. It was supported by the Bible, the book of Mormon and even the symbolism of the temple and so I feel like I felt like there was a lot of signs pointing to it being true then I realized it didn't jive with Mormonism at all.

In fact, it was probably the most anti-Mormon doctrine that I'd ever encountered. And so end up being forced to leave my spiritual conversion stayed intact after my other two fellows, and it took a lot of time for that one. I think it was my strongest leg and I think that's probably the case for a lot of latter-day Saints, but it can survive without the other two to prop it up. And so it eventually just with some time and some reflection and some time away from the church is able to look at those experiences and Tennessee where the holes in them were and where they were really supporting the church at all and so eventually yeah all three of them broke down started asking muscle from you so yeah very interesting Michael, I think. I think it's kinda fascinating. Your approach to the 2015 policy and it struck me as interesting at the time because you and I were friends and then moderating evangelicals in Latter Day Saints. Together the time, watching you go through that and thinking thinking through the way you were approaching that as different than the way I approached kind of the same issue, but earlier on when the whole property thing was going on in California as a social socially converted Mormon. I approached it more from the perspective of what will last's wrong because we should treat people with love and so the church leaders wrong on this and even if we might have disagreements about about things I thought I viewed it as you can. You can treat people with love and respect and yes I was. I was more of like that. That's kind of a wrong approach to it and you do definitely thought about 2015 policy policy doctrinally went to a place where I I didn't go you into place for this. This is contradicting the. The LDS Scriptures and so adjusting to note those kind differences in how the different conversions, played out on the same topic is interesting yeah effectiveness is to the point where so really social issues in the church just annoyances to me. So what I wanted see somebody I remember I saw somebody get on a form and say like hey I don't have a problem with the new policy but even if I did I would just pray about it until I didn't anymore and it irks me to the point where I shot back and I said you know that's not a cult mindset than I don't know what is and is just I think he was just a jab at the culture of the church. You know it's like no you don't just blindly accept whatever the leaders say you know you don't pray with the intent of like you have to give me the answer I want so it was kind of a jab at the culture and in my family all kind is that hey you can't yet be careful what you say online and all of that. It just irks me but it wasn't enough to make me question the church. What finally hit a boiling point was when Elder Nelson at the time got on TV in and said that it was a revelation from God because that took it from the realm of social to the realm of doctrine really deal with. I really had to deal with that at that point it became real and it's like I can't dodge this.

This is this is something that is now like affecting my my conversion I doctrinal conversion directly. Nothing thousand donors are not part of your experience because I was wondering is it just because I was wondering as latter-day St. of you know if a virus I was Artie questioning him at that point.

So when I saw that it was his collect for the questioning out those thinking about.

Try to imagine myself and Michael's position so serious. Michael, you know, why did you not go the route of thinking well you know they're just fallible man. They claimed it was revelation, but it wasn't really revelation maybe they're just mistaken and I'm just curious.

Could you maybe expel a bit on why you can that that was such a huge blow to your and onto your face. What I think what it was that he said because I wanted to go that route. Believe me, I wanted to sweep it under the rug and say Jesus speaking as a man.

This is just a policy but he said that all 15 of them had had prayed about it and agreed unanimously that this was a revelation from God.

That's when I said okay Dave all unanimously received this incorrect revelation because you are the article of faith.

The Scriptures and the Holy Spirit are all telling me that this is wrong and so how can they be receiving something all of them might not one of them is receiving revelation as well as I am right now.

So why do I even need them or how can I trust them and it was such a battle for me because I wanted to believe that they were divinely inspired, you know, and that I and of having this nightmare when I was giving a presentation at church and somebody asked me if the prophet could supersede Scripture and I said no you know we have to use Scripture to test with the prophet say because they can be speaking like men and they all stood up and started calling me a heretic. You know, and so that's just it was really weighing on my mind but yeah I beat him to the point where I felt I couldn't trust them anymore at all. And it's interesting because I was thinking how I would've reacted if I were still not keep a true blue Mormon.

When that when that announcement came to measure how I would've reacted to see her question was if I kind of felt like I was an iron rod Mormon.

They are questionable yeah wanted to go back to the interplay between Richard Paul's article and Michael's so one of the hallmarks of an iron iron rod Mormon is unquestioning fidelity to the current LDS leaders, somewhat like Michael describe the social, Mormon, and she experienced some tension there is described do you think that you are never read you ever were an iron rod Mormon in that regard. Matthew really described. I think I mentioned earlier that it was beat that I might fidelity to the leaders was, not like a spiritual one in the sense of like you know even if I find problems with the doctor notice and that'll still follow the leaders like life, I felt like my fidelity to them was because of my doctrinal understanding of the church and their authority is derived from Christ and since I felt it at a spiritual conversion to the book of Mormon.

That's what I should. My allegiance to them so I am guessing maybe not because yeah like I said I wouldn't do or die for the LDS leadership if I felt like they were doing something contrary to what it been taught before what was taught in Scripture etc. etc. so yeah, his answer is that Touching on what you're hoping yeah yeah you know what I thought they came to me to say really really greedy.

I was kind of both. So because I was more of a lienholder Mormon when it came to like they said something that I felt like was wrong. I would not of followed in those footsteps, but when it came to you of the doctrinal belief that they held the keys of the priesthood and my priesthood was they were necessary for me to have priesthood and use it then absolutely I was 100% had represent fidelity to the leader of the leaders of the church in that regard, but not necessarily in what they said but in the office. Yes, that is interesting. I think I think I kind of held a similar idea because in an and throughout this discussion, I been thinking about some of my Roman Catholic friends I talked to in an the things a lot Roman Catholic traditional Roman Catholics having to deal with Francis because he said a lot of things that they really don't agree with. And so they're trying to wrestle with okay do I do a is my allegiance to the church is it to the doctrines or is it to the leader in so it's got a lot of things that we would struggle with. And yeah, I think you're right, like I think you can't deny me to whether you know I think most neurologic Latter Day Saints. I knew that that would outright admit that Brigham Young was a racist right but whether in a lot of them would say. Well, everybody was a suspect an area etc. etc. but they couldn't deny that he was a prophet because so many people's priesthood ordination. Their lines go through Brigham Young right so they could just toss them completely under the bus that it gives some respect to them even if they didn't agree with necessary with everything he taught. So that is so weak they still had to hold respect for the office. Even if they didn't always respect the person or what they taught.

Yeah, that's it.

That's a good point and inside of that.

So Michael, you mentioned earlier today that you thought you might want to add 1/4 conversion when what is that foster will.

So when I wrote the article, I really was just saying this to two kinds of Mormons. I originally said that there is doctrinal another social site is a that there's a spiritual conversion but I assumed at the time that it was always getting it covered up by either doctrine or social aspects of the church and that the member would definitely have one of those things strong enough to kinda shield their spiritual conversion.

But as you talk about 1/3 type, and that's a spiritual Mormon. You know the more I thought about it I think that there are people who do not hide their spiritual conversion and that is kind of what they lead. With all the time. Alligators, as many of them because the other spiritual conversion enough if you play chess mechanic compared to the king in the chess game where if you lose the king you lose it's game over.

At that point, so most Latter Day Saints. I think instinctively will try to shield that with the other pieces on the board but I think that there is a spiritual Mormon is just have so many experiences that that is the one and only bedrock to their faith and there's a lot of people like that on my mom's side of the family actually interesting. Interesting to someone who leaves without do you think that they has not been challenged in a way that would maybe make them retreat and hide behind some of the other legs think someone like that is either not been challenged or will not listen to a challenge is actually a quote from Lynn right now are that I used to like when I was LDS but he basically he said a man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument, and as I call yeah that's so good you know. But now looking back.

Mike that's totally but you I think that's the kind of view that is like a lot of these spiritual conversions you view it as it's coming from the highest possible source of what a lot of Latter Day Saints will think that no argument on earth.

No scientific evidence can stand against this because because God is. He knows everything he's smarter than we are and as much as it might look like it's false to my finite human eyes because of the experiences I've had them because God is told me that it's true it must be true no matter what and so I think people like that might have either not been challenged or they're just so confident in these experiences that they are unafraid to to lead with that because you they feel like you can't really counter it.

The problem with that is an add-on addressed in this this article but you know you should give somebody like me who came out of the church and there were some spiritual experiences. When I left, and so I can share those in the problem is that my spiritual experiences can't beat out somebody else's. And it turns into a stalemate, but for them. A stalemate is actually a loss. Interesting. Do you think that a person who leaves their spiritual conversion, keeping maybe they haven't experienced the other two conversions.

The talk about.

I think they could have. I just think that this one is just for whatever reason been so strong in their lives that the others to what really matters much to them is what you what you much that is interesting because II go into the group that most most Christians don't go in the LDS and non-LDS group, which is basically like unmoderated so you can post whatever you want pretty much and yeah you'll see a lot of people were it's like you try to connect with them a logical level and like it doesn't even compute you know it's like I'm speaking English and are speaking Russian. In a sense, it's like speaking totally different languages so it's like you bring up in a proposed contradiction in the doctrine nor something that the leadership says that that doesn't seem right as I get it doesn't phase in and although I go into what is that mean you know I don't really care about that and it in its it's almost like what were planning an episode in the future about kind of the more spiritual aspects of of in the church and on More Christian you know, mysticism and a sense of like were becoming more in having a spiritual connection union with God and and I feel like that's kind what they feel they feel like to have such a union. You know, spiritually or experientially that there like whoa your contradiction is make sense you know enough.

God told Mr. it's true so yarmulke question it, and it's almost like anything you throw at them doesn't it doesn't matter. It also yeah I don't what you're describing that account. All economic sense, yet scuttling like that, you know those fights used to have like it recess in elementary school with like well like you know I can do this better than you will like you do it like times to like times 10 times infinity think I can't beat you nice if you still like go infinity plus Tanner, whatever that feels like talking to the Latter Day Saints sometimes online but yes she did a great lead into to my final section of the reason that I wrote this article in the first places I think there is value for for Chris Christians were trying to witness to Latter Day Saints to to kind of realize as fast as they can.

What kind of Mormon you're talking to, because it doesn't matter because depending on the kind of Mormon that you're discussing with you to use different arguments. So for instance, and I'll talk about this in the final section of my article but social problems would not of work on me at all you care so for for certain Latter Day Saints. You stated the first step is finding out what kind of conversion they have and you can usually tell based on how they are interacting.

What kind of things they say it must future conduct converted Mormon our spiritual Mormon. Probably the easiest because they're the one saying stuff like he just said Matthew like why you know, I know what I know, I know a goddess told me or starting with the testimony first instead of last like that study spiritual conversion for sure is a good, since the police were good segue into the final section for listeners, we just kinda summarized the two middle sections because Michael's talk so extensively about his story, both on the podcast and on and on last week's episode so that said, getting to the last section of your article kicking out the legs of conversion with the skin on the spiritual conversion is the toughest to target since Mormons are so protective of it. X Mormons might have a shot at it though by talking about the spiritual experiences they had. While active and why they failed the test of time.

Most Christians will need to go after social and doctrinal conversion instead. First find out what kind of Mormon you're talking to do she believe her leaders words are always inspired. Does she blur the lines between culture and doctrine is the LDS because of the great programs in family values.

Does she think people leave the church because they intellectualize their way out. If so, she's probably a cultural Mormon.

Does he believe the prophets and apostles sometimes because man is he wary of the culture but protective of the beliefs does this testimony of the LDS Scriptures have some basis in logic. Does he think people leave the church over cultural issues. If so, he's probably doctrinal Mormon conventional wisdom says to strike where the Mormon is weak, but that may not be the right strategy. Since my social conversion was weak. I double down on the doctrine to overcompensate.

I overlooked the prophets mistakes because they were men when faced with Joseph Smith's misdeeds. It never dented my view that he was a prophet.

I just thought he was abusing authority.

God had actually given him all the social problems in the world could not have relinquished my grip on the Mormon church got attacked my doctrinal conversion. First, that may be vulnerable to social problems in the church and set the stage for the avalanche to come. So if you're talking to doctrinal Mormons talk about doctrinal issues. First, like contradictions between LDS Scriptures and the Bible.

If you're witnessing to cultural Mormons talk primarily about social problems like Joseph Smith's polyandry I would caution against coming off too aggressive with Latter Day Saints. Above all else, be a friend first.

Mormons are wary of Christians, who constantly attack their beliefs don't have to tell her LDS friends there in occult every time we see them. They already know what we think, I promise. Bold fiery preaching Mayo Road there doctrinal conversion, but if it is not coming from a relationship of trust it will simultaneously bolster their social conversion navigating someone pass the three conversions is ultimately the work of God, and it's a long drawn out process. Sometimes all we can do is plant seeds pray for the LDS and love them. Romans are unlikely to ever choose Christianity if all they remember from us is attack attack attack. I am forever grateful to the many Christians who befriended me while I was LDS who respected me despite my beliefs we saw past my religion insult me who prayed for me.

Who built me up who let the light of Jesus shine through them and who treated me like a brother. Before I was one. I don't know where I'd be without you.

I really like where you can learn in writing to your intended target audience of Christians who are her wanting to be effective in human witness to Latter Day Saints. I think that several of the articles not just this one, you've written are kind and giving the type of advice to those who have never been Mormon and I think you done a really good job of helping provide some insights to then an end and you know that's borne out in the comments that you received in response to this article and others so that I think it's interesting and I'm thinking about earlier is you talk about you talk about knowing didn't know pretty quickly the type of Mormon that you're talking with you. My first math. I didn't know that you were so heavily doctrinally converted. I learned it pretty quickly, but my experience, it just wasn't my experience and so when I initially tried to have conversations with you. I kind of went the route of trying to kick out a social leg. You know, talking about doing, when you retire earlier with talk about my own spiritual experiences in trying to get you to question and that when it was just interesting that I didn't really get anywhere until I Took off back that social Mormon hat and put on the hat of someone who was going through a Christian seminary at the time and really studying the biblical doctrine and started to have doctrinal conversations with you that you know are our relationship kind of blossomed from that point I would say and we were able to talk more on the same level.

I think then in early on because I was early on I was trying to hammer away at no Mormons not true.

Historically it doesn't add up archaeology in most types of arguments in the distant land at all with you because like he said he didn't care. You are you are thinking doctrine not history, not social and so that was interesting to think about the yeah it really is even really even now I have a really hard time if I'm talking to a thing I can talk to doctrinal Mormon all day long and I feel right my element. It's what I was used to when I was in the church, but if I'm talking to a social Mormon. I feel lost a lot of times just like I don't know what to do in this conversation and it's funny because we we had the elders over a while back and actually befriended one of them is Ames Elder Johnston and he would write his family sing about all the things that he been learning. He was a total doctrinal Mormon and so me and him hit it off and he would write his family and they were just like, well, you know, you really need to like focus more on on the missionary work in an avoid, you know, looking too deeply into the doctrine and so I was there to kinda console him and be like like I totally get it.

A lot of people don't appreciate this kind of thing and actually he went home and I got to talk to him recently in it was just funny because that that bond is still there and I'm like you know it's kind of funny but you probably relate more to me because your doctrinal Mormon and I was to did you do to a lot of people who are in the church with you right now just Matthew thoughts on this last section.

Yeah, I mean, I feel the same way as Michael does like like a priority.

Describe how it's difficult for me to know how to connect. I mean like I said, I think at some point, I did have a spiritual conversion so I know what it's like to have this very personal experience to feel like you know that God had actually spoken to you in the note to tell you whatever that you know the book of Mormon is true, whatever. It's like trying to witness to them is very difficult. You know like I can, I can sympathize with them and like Michael, like you said you could sympathize with that missionary because you both connected at that level. It's like going from sympathy to trying to invite them to think about things differently or critically in Ottoman because I'm on the way to like. I go back to the doctrinal view of an eye. I try to go back to showing well scriptures, the Bible says that God is this the Gospels this in the book of Mormon and the doctrine comes. This is something else you know, so I try to show doctrinally and when people don't connect with that. I'm left wondering okay what now do I just pray for them and move on.

Or, it's very it's very interesting but I really like how you said it might've been in the first section, but you said typically when you're thinking about a plan of attack, you attack the weakest point and said you said to to kinda address the strongest point, I think that was something that I really I was interesting because it seems counterintuitive, but once you explain any kind of think about it and make sense because yeah the arguments for the other aspects, the social or spiritual. They would really have done anything to me. You know I was already at the point rows like in my and at a certain point in my de-conversion I was like well me know.

Maybe the apostles are inspired, but I think you know doctrinally the church is true you have these priesthood keys and maybe even some of my spiritual experiences were manufactured but still feel like this is the most logical nothing so so yeah I think I think that's a really good idea to to kind of try to address them but also to do in love and not something that I recognize that I need to work on because sometimes when you're witnessing to Latter Day Saints.

You just get so bogged down and sing the same arguments over and over again like I sees constantly accusations the Christians are motor lists, you know that we believe that the father is the same person as the son is the same person as Holy Spirit is like you just get run down over time trying to address the same arguments over and over again and they just keep popping back up like a lack of mold enough so it and in it, it wears you down emotionally. I think you know where it's like sometimes I'm less patient with people unless gracious than I should be in so I have to step back and think, okay, I really gotta remember why am I doing this why my witnessing letter to Latter Day Saints. Is it because I think I'm going to get a higher level of heaven or something will obviously know this because I want to win Internet arguments, you know, do I want to put another checkmark on the wall while no agenda dental care about that. So I my getting worked up by my getting frustrated you know if they don't accept that that's that's between them and God. I can't force in the change of mind so I think we as apologists to Latter Day Saints. We have to always keep that center you always keep reminder cells who is actually performing the conversion work here.

It's not us, as Christ and why are we doing it is to glorify Christ, or is it to glorify ourselves and so yeah that some the greatest conversations I've had of Latter Day Saints are those I had some kind of friendly conversation with you know, a lot of times we will connect all and you know the last of my comments and it goes nowhere. But then there are ones that are really thoughtful note, consider my arguments. I try to consider. There's and if you like. Even though we disagree at the end of the day. We had some kind of connection there.

So TL DR basically I agree with what you said and I really I really like the article I would problem if I were to write out I would've been right. It I wouldn't have been able to write it as articulately as you did. So I thought you had a lot of really interesting insight there that I think a lot of Christians who witness Latter Day Saints should read and should think about because sometimes we just say okay what we've got this list of doctrines which show to Latter Day Saints. Given the Bible verses and boom there to become Christians but it's not. It's not like that. It's hard.

It's a long, it's a slow process.

Yeah, I mean a big thing to consider is that social conversion to and even if were talking to a doctrinal Mormon distilled unit E that social conversion in the background, even if it's not very strong. That says, hey, if this person comes at me aggressively. Some very Christlike behavior and you know I minute McKenna shone with her saying a little bit and so I think it's very important to try to connect to a latter-day St. You know, in some way. Having just find something that you can connect with them as it is so much harder online because you don't feel the tone of somebody's voice and you could be arguing with with multiple people at the same time on these forms and so it is definitely far more challenging than it is in real life for somebody to recognize like that you love them, and that's why you're talking to them for sure.

So Ross Anderson, listener, and someone has a ministry to people coming out of the othercalled Pham faith after Mormonism check it out if you want take a look. She is been good about submitting system questions and I'm going to hit one of his questions. Now admin will save one for the very end. So she asked, could you add 1/4 leg cultural conversion which is similar to the slightly different from social conversion, we think about Michael so for me and it's hard to to quantify it that way is what I think of culture and social aspect. I think that they are the same as I actually think that's a better question for me as well.] You Paul because you were action socially converted, so you may actually mail to see the difference better than I can. From my perspective what you think. I think there is a difference. So I talked about how I had a hope. Doctrinal Mormon, but I was ultimately, I was a social Mormon and when my belief in the leadership started to fail that event like what you talk about was my strongest leg and it was gone and I stuck around. So the question becomes, why invest across the ground for family reasons. Right stuck around because it was comfortable with what I knew and all kinds of reasons like that you don't desire not to step outside of the comfort my comfort zone and experience something different than what I had experienced religiously for my entire life. I think all of those are cultural but they don't go to the same points that your definition of a social conversion does is possible for someone to be cultural convert to Mormonism. Okay, that's really interesting because a yes you just got to the forefront of my mind a couple that I'm friends with and they've come to a point where they no longer believe that the church is true and they are atheist but they are still active members and I think they are active for the cultural reasons for family and and for all that, but they certainly do not believe that the church is a good, virtuous institution, so would you say there's a guy call them shadow Mormons, but would you say that that would be a cultural a cultural Mormon I think so. So is there sticking around because they think that you know ultimately the church is been good for them in their lives. It's a good culture for them to raise children in even if they don't believe the truth claims in a state all have high fidelity to leaders, but there sticking around for some of the other cultural aspects. I think that would demonstrate cultural conversion. Okay, he had an epidemic set.

See, I just hadn't thought of them as actually being Mormon and I think that's debatable. A little bit bad but yet I think I could see where that that leg could come in, but for ministry purposes.

I just don't see the purpose with necessarily be of going after that leg because they've already left the church. You know in their hearts and in their minds they they know that it's not true pragmatist approach to Mormonism right sticking around because it works in a lot of ways and were setting aside truth claims are setting aside all of the other trappings that come with it were sitting around because it works and I think you you alluded to it in terms of when when you talked about how good the church is an organization and giving given people as they need in their lives and I think you're right about that, but I think that those kinds of things lead to a cultural conversion to where somebody doesn't feel fidelity leaders or or believe in the truth claims they can. They can stay because it works. In general, you can go after that leg unity to point out that there may be ways that it doesn't work that are harmful right and in talking about that you do kinda have to get into some kind of hacking away some of the other legs that they might not care as much about its approach I've taken with with cultural Mormons to say no. Okay let's let's talk about grace in terms of what it does for a person psychologically difference.

The difference in belief because leaks have consequences.

The difference in belief between I have to do all of these things to make myself worthy of the love of God versus she gave to the world the greatest gift that anyone could ever give in terms of offering his son in our place and offering us forgiveness.

Those those beliefs. Those teachings have consequences. So even if you are sitting around of this church because you think it works. There are subsidiary detriments that your children or you may be experiencing as a result of sticking around. I think RFM reference that one talk about going to church me up so we had with him yet. It's interesting so I guess he would be a cultural Mormon which, when she say I want to ask and that yeah most reform yeah Debian it's a question asking that's interesting you mention it because I have my desk and read through it all, but it's very interesting that recovering agency by Luna Lindsay Luna Lindsay and Michael reference it every once in a while and I member when I was leaving the church. A lot of it made sense to know, like the comic. Some of the manipulation or some of the mental and cultural tactics.

He used to to make sure people stay active in the church are to keep them loyal and I've never really gone that route just because I'm not very versed and then ask you not to like us more like a psychology kind of area that I could see where that would be a very useful realm are very interesting route to go down you know it's just it's very difficult because you want to show them is to like you want to mix want to help the see the victim that that we want to have them realize their being cited, but that's very difficult to do right.

It's catlike when you're helping a friend who's in a very toxic relationship is being manipulated by their significant other to try to get their mind the right way again. You know they been so twisted over time, slowly and bit by bit to believe that their loved one is actually doing what's best for them kind of thing you're trying to undo that you're trying to untwist the pretzel to try to get them to see all the damaging things that they're doing to them and so it's it's a very it's a good tiptoeing act where you would have to very carefully. Take each step to make sure you don't cross boundaries too far upset them because in that the notice double down on well.

This is why answers this is this is my identity that's I would. Ross was talking about people identify with Mormonism as their identity and their people and I think about when you mentioned that it reminds me to a like cultural Catholics or cultural Jews like this is my people. We've been here for thousands of years. You know they they might not ever go to church except for maybe on Easter and Christmas, but they identify as Catholic or Jewish.

Of course, Jews don't go to church on Christmas economy, but you not in the right course with cradle Catholics us, you know like with with cultural Catholics.

There date you attacked the church at all. And they just go the elites get very defensive about it because that's who they are. I'm Catholic even though they're not spiritually line up at the church teaches that's what they are, as I see that with Mormonism to like they have this pain or heritage. They have this history. They've got this culture is people they always point to times when latter-day Saints were persecuted and so they say. You know I'd I'd identify myself with this people and even if I'm not active.

Even if I'm not worthy or temple where the river that's that's the group that I'd I associate with.

So I think it's I think it's definitely up to be considered 1/4 leg. Just because how many times you talk to someone and I'll say well my great great great grandpa was on the was on the pioneer trail. You know, he pulled his handcart and all that I had no connection to that because you know I think my great great grandpa was Swedish and you know like me to meet. It really only pioneers in the family so that was really a factor for me but I know it is for a lot of people. Yet, as he has convinced me that there should be 1/4 leg may start something I'd considered until Ross made that comment on my article.

I actually think too that I may still have a little bit of that conversion. Cultural conversion because I tend to still think of Latter Day Saints is my family.

I even wrote this in my book that I think of them as the family that I was born into an illegible Christianity is the family I married into site still view them as as being my tribe, in a sense I think that may be why I felt inspired to write an article like this where it kinda mediates between the two religions really good discussion on the thanks Russ for the question. So Mike we talked earlier about the playground fights in elementary school and speaking of fights you got your article critiqued by an LDS blogger named Robert Boylan while in his article he identifies himself as a doctrinal Mormon per your framework which I think is interesting in arguments that later. She immediately turns to suggesting that you're an apostate person Hebrews 64646 and Hebrews 1026 29 and he also claims that you are son of perdition production and covenants 76, 30 to 44 and finally you've embraced the perverse gospel of Protestantism, which he suggests is the reference of Galatians 1639 how do you respond to his critiques.

First of all, let's look at this one and Hebrews 6 verses four through 600 read those from the King James version, because this is what he would've been referring to says, for it is impossible for those who were once enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away to renew them again unto repentance seeing they crucify to themselves the son of God afresh and put him to an open shame. So the first thing I would say is that I was never made a partaker of a heavenly gift because there was no gift when it came to Mormonism. I never received anything from God unless I was obedient to doctrine and covenants says that there is a lot you revocably to create in heaven and that if we receive any blessing from God.

It is through obedience to that blessing. And so anything that I received in Mormonism was a way and not a gift so he cannot say that I was that I tasted of a heavenly gift, and then fell away. Furthermore, it says that the crucify to themselves the son of God afresh and one of the thoughts that came to me recently is that the Romans tried to pin Christ to the cross with nails and similarly Mormons attempt to bind God through their obedience and force him to grant them salvation, and so if anybody's crucifying the Lord afresh. It is the Mormon church and I want to look at the verses in the duff and counted here remind me that reference, all you have stuck and covenants 76, 30 to 44.

And while you're doing that I dislike is one of the point out that I think it's interesting that she sets out to critique your article and go straight to an ad hominem attack on you when you're an apostate person bruised the nurse on the condition and doesn't address you said in your article, though he does mention that per your framework should be a doctrinal Mormon so you did read your article.

At least the first three definitions in the first three lines of the article company didn't address any of the rest of that which I think is interesting that she goes to trying to make the case that on spiritual conversion on spiritual conversion basis, you would be an apostate and a son of perdition. As he says I'm doctrinal. It's interesting that he did Beatrice ask him about his spiritual conversion if he has one to Mormonism. He strictly doctrinal think they'll be interesting to know that he could've written about in this article, but instead he went straight ad hominem on your you got the document covenants really yes. So let's see it starts in inverse Pegasus or verse 3031 says, thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power and of been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves to the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and define my power. They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born for. They are vessels of wrath doomed to suffer the wrath of God with the devil and his angels in eternity concerning whom I've said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come home and then he goes into the crucifying Christ to themselves and bring them to an open shame. Again I think one of the things that stuck out just cannot read rereading this was to deny the truth and define my power and I was posting about an and if anything like I haven't denied the power of God in and if anything I've attributed more power to God than when I was a latter-day St. because when I was a latter-day St. I said that God wasn't powerful enough to create unless he was using pre-existing materials and another Protestant. I believe God has the power to save me. Despite my sins, I didn't believe that when I was a latter-day St. Furthermore, I didn't believe God could create spirits without the help of a female goddess in the same way that we cannot create offspring on earth. And so there were so many things that God needed to be able to fulfill his work and ultimately, it all relied on man and what we did and so I really do feel like the LDS church is really the one that is deny God's power and denying the truth and I think these these verses really condemn the LDS church, far more than they condemn those who leave and become Protestant and I just the last thing I'll say about that is if embracing Christ alone and acknowledging that his power alone is what saves me in his grace and his love, then, if that makes me a son of perdition, then so be it. Asarco is a because because what matters to me is exalting him, not myself, and not, I'll just say you did a great job defending yourself that you can be a son of perdition, because if you were you end up in our darkest urinary brightness, so maybe talk about presenting the king right Mike drop God. I do want to make a substantive statement on his article of GP links existing in his article he talks about Hebrews 6. She links not to the best Scripture, but to another article that you wrote think it's interesting that within an article you're linking to a Scripture supposedly peninsula clicks on and takes you to another article he wrote rather than to the Scripture, but I just want to make a critique of of what he's doing there in terms of asking who the original audience of Hebrews was that the context seems to indicate that it's Jewish either converts or Jews who were interested in the Christian message but had not converted, maybe they were in the process of studying and learning who were then enticed by the prospect of returning to the faith of their of their forebears in terms of returning back to Judaism so to try to apply that to you and say and make make as if the rejection and Hebrews is rejecting Joseph Smith and the Mormon church is one answer greatly to its exegesis. It doesn't address the.

The context of what's going on there thoughts on that. I think that's really get really good solid point. Matthew thoughts on on the blogger. Yeah, great. If I like it's it's easy for us to take passages out of context from Scripture, and I'll be the first admit that I do that occasionally night and I know I need to do better at that but am and sometimes is not, is not wrong to quote a passage as long as you know that you're using it in the proper context.

So yeah, like you said and Hebrews 6 and 10. It's more talking about the redemptive historical progressive revelation that it advancing. Over time these the writer to the Hebrews is saying don't go back out to you. You have a better covenant. Everything is better in the new covenant and the old covenant. Why would you go back, so it's it's kind of warning them to stay to his stay true to the faith and to not turn to be tempted by the old ways are to be temped by trying to keep the law to to receive righteousness so to try to apply that to say to Michael I don't really understand because, in particular in Hebrews 10 element that I read the article but just based on the comments you said all a comment on that. And in verse 29 of Hebrews 10 it says how much worse punishment, do you think will be deserved by the one is trampled underfoot the son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace, so first of all, if you want to say this is Michael you have to show when did he trampled underfoot the son of God.

When did he never deny Christ, and second of all, when is he ever profaned the blood of the covenant by which while getting to that you went whenever you profaned the blood of the covenant, and when have you outraged the Spirit of grace. I mean, if anything, Marty Dr. does not teach a spirit of grace teaches a spirit of obedience and growing, becoming more like God and submitting yourself to ordinances, etc., etc., rather than being saved by grace took so to turn from that to the gospel where it's completely by grace. I don't see how that outrage is the spirit of grace.

It just seems contradictory and going back to doctrine, 76, starting in verse 35 it says haven't denied the Holy Spirit after having received it and having denied. The only begotten son.

The father having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.

But again I don't know of any place where Michael would've done that we would been guilty of that note, he has not deny Christ, he is not deny the Holy Spirit is not sin against the Holy Spirit and a lot of biblical scholars think that the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit is to say that the works of God are attributed to the devil, that's one view of what the unforgivable sin is in and he hasn't done that either so to me it seems like condemning someone who could possibly mean for all he knows you could return to the LDS church right Michael.

So to all rights cast you in utter darkness without having real solid evidence for for your being an actual son of perdition just seems like I just seems strange because it seems like is already saying I believe that anybody could be brought back from whatever state there and you know like I felt like there was no sin there was too great that somebody could come back to the church. I think latter-day St. leaders are evidencing a lot recently, another trying to urge people to come back to the church come back to the fold etc. etc. so to have such strong words against you, and just to basically dust off his feet and say well almost anything this guy has to say because he's an apostate and he's going to hell while outer darkness. It's just very strange to me because you don't I don't I don't really hear latter-day Saints talk that way very often. Yeah, I mean, I remember hearing quote seducing that you know we built a count on one hand, the amount of people that would go to outer darkness. If he has ever heard that quote was Brigham Young had no idea I'd be one of the five but that's that's crazy thing is, that's me. You guys came and Judy as soon as we can make a really awesome like metal band. You know the Sons of perdition but you missed some really good points that really made the case for refuting the underlying premise behind Boylan's article, which is that LDS concept of the new and everlasting covenant is the same as the new covenant that's been discussed in the book of Hebrews and I think that from a historical standpoint as well as from a doctrinal standpoint in terms of what occlusions the LDS new and everlasting covenant has that are not present in the New Testament.

I think it's just demonstrable that that that the premise of the same thing and therefore Michael has rejected what Hebrews is talking about is just as demonstrably false. I mean it's just interesting to hear such strong language because you don't really hear latter-day Saints talk about like I could hear some event articles refer to reprobate in terms of like you know people have committed so much send it there so far gone that there's no hope for them. Same as will just give up on them. I never really heard latter-day Saints talk like that you know always be hopeful that always going well, you know God Camille God loves everyone the gospel to everyone and anyone can can come back to the faulty money. I mean, I cannot imagine that but just just I do not let seems very strange to me, and I think what strikes me the most about all of Robert's articles that he's written about me there.

Several of them is just how quickly he he does jump into ad hominem's and all of them and it just like unison latter-day St. it would put me off because you have the book of Mormon says that the spirit of contention is of the devil, and you know and when I read an article and he doesn't even address the topic of the article that he is responding to and it just immediately goes into attacking me and saying that I'm going to outer darkness, son of perdition, etc. etc. it's hard to say that that's not just the spirit of contention talking pressure so as we been gone for about three hours we had about 15 minutes left in the in the meeting. I know numbered in the point of the of the night where prions can start menu sending out her feline for towels after us so we better move on to Ross Anderson's question and this will be the final question of of the episode, but I think he asks a good one. She says yes, what would it look like to rebuild this three-legged stool for someone who's left Mormonism and that is such a good question and I deftly want you guys his opinion on this as well. So maybe let's just take one month stool at time or one leg.

I think the first one to talk about is social social conversion.

I think one of the hardest things for me coming out of Mormonism and going to church was that I was all alone. I left all my friends and I was going to church tonight is felt is felt dominant and like I was young. The only person that I know it church instead of sitting there by myself so that was supposedly hard for me and I think what would really help just when I introduced myself to the pastor and he just went so far out of his way to just yell look for me every Sunday and come and talk to me and make a point of making me feel important and loved church so I think just having that having that framework yet it is so important just those first few friends I made it church made all the difference in the world that I agree. I think I think most latter-day Saints only when they are positioning out of the church. It's a very lonely process to me and I don't have anybody to connect to because I was in New York and in all. I didn't really know anybody here to begin with and looking back, I really wish I had at least one or two friends who were Christian.

We were just solid Christians that I can ask questions to you that I can now share my experiences with and bounce ideas off of them.

But I didn't so is mostly just spending my time reading books.

I think it really think that having at least one solid friend that can kind of help you out with questions or help you to transition into a Christian church is really important and not only that is to find a church that is solid that you can connect with. You know, and in a fellowship sense because I think all three aspects of these legs need to be focused on Christ you know and in the latter-day St. churches, like I think they do focus lately. Say a lot about focusing on Jesus but I think in a sense and it's kind of it doesn't always end up that way you know a lot of ends up being tied to the leadership or are other things we discussed so when you're focusing on Christianity, and in your transition into the Christian faith. You really need to have all things focused on Jesus, owner time of the social aspect fellow shipping with others, not just to make friends are not just to feel like you belong somewhere but to to feel like you're all focusing on the cross where you're all focusing on Jesus and that's where your you're really going to feel like okay I'm with others were all struggling. We all have different ideas. We have different struggles of difference problems in our lives but were all coming here about the cross and when my favorite quotes from things just in Peter's he says that the ground at the foot of the cross is even meaning there is no one better than the other were all reliance entirely on the mercy of Christ, and so having a social aspect to talk to people and fellowship in get support. That way that's that's vitally important to the life of a Christian and I I wish I had found a solid church earlier because I said I'd I feel like leaving the church was a divorce. You know like I was being divorced and I didn't want to jump into another church too soon, which I think was still an okay idea, but I waited a little too long awaited like a year of just studying the Bible, by myself and try to figure out okay. You know doctrinally which church lines up with how I understand Scripture but in that time it was really hard enough. I was like just going to my lab at school coming home. Just reading all day so I really and then when I started going to church and I felt that connection is a man. This is what I been missing this whole time. Like I wish I just on the earlier so you it's very important for sure.

So I met Islam try to debrief you guys know that that's probably impossible, but sitting for C Mormons kind of struggle leave and try to embrace Christianity kind of struggle with the feeling that they may be argued by Christians as reliable in terms of canopy and candidates for ministry your candidates for teaching within the church and and I understand that attention because there are such large doctrinal differences. So what I was stressing that in the situations for the latter-day St. news making the transition is to be patient and understanding that there is attention there by the bidders can be an expectation that if you want to jump into teaching. There's going to be the expectation that you are teaching solid biblical doctrine and not mixing in the Mormonism and so there's that attention. What I would also stress to Christians is that you know the history of the church shows many people who have made transitions from face that would be considered heretical if you know for example, Augustine coming from Manichaeism into Christianity and and how important he is to the history of the church itself. It's important that on both sides of the patients and so for me personally when I made the transition one. I died, met some really good friends like the church that we went to was very open and welcoming. And remember going and I haven't been there very long and and of course the knob 6 to 7. Some people get to know me pretty quickly. Like I can't hide in the crowd so they just know who I am, pretty quickly, but I remember the doctor just a few weeks getting to know God and Jason and man every week that I would go. He was just so excited to see me and Tina would come over and talk to new and in the just really excited to see him and your friendship and relationship as is continued replace altogether over the years and I just texted me this morning somebody listen to my episodes of the podcasts and that the guys are sending you good friend and that's that's the next day or so on but also limited transition and I started going to Bible study and initially I just sat and listened. That's important for for latter-day Saints together some some cautionary tales in terms of people who try to rush into ministry and user do harm because they're still really angry or do harm because their teaching false doctrine, and so I think there there has to be patience and understanding that they are good. There is a period of time where you learn and you grow as a Christian before you can jump in and I know that convection sounds offputting to some Latter Day Saints because they might think have not been Christian my whole life and I believe that I get that I get that but I do think it's important to get grounded in biblical doctrine and understanding because there there are major differences and if you think you understand the probably you probably dull as that was my experience and so death from a social leg step or the sunset. I think that baptizing also with the doctrinal aspect just been grounded in the word because like you said, I think I think like you said, you grow up with the Gospels and all I for the parables over this I know, but when you really when you really get into a really solid Bible study session with Christians open Christians our lives in another study from solid preachers. It's it's like night and day. You know I'd I never heard of expository preaching or expository studying Ricoh verse by verse through a book or a chapter whatever and you read a commentary with it are your preacher go through it and they just open up things from the original languages and it's just like your learning all kinds of things you never knew before what it's like in as a Sunday school attendance or teacher the manual and say well read. If you pass just here asking what they think MoveOn you know, go to chapters later read this verse and it's like I could be a totally different context or a communal retirement something totally else different. And when you're jumping around like that you can't, you're not insecure you're sitting at the found not drinking deeply or just taking a little little tiny sips of it so you think that's really important. Doctrinally, to just realize to be humble and ever and is in it's hard because you'd like you said you feel this passion your you want to witness to Mormons you want to show them the gospel of grace. It's it's you know with Calvinists, cage stage, Calvinism you that basically it's the idea that you just need to keep them in the cage at the beginning because it can get very you know very outspoken, they can almost turn violent.

Sometimes efficacy to relax and just be grounded in your beliefs and not you know immediately jump at the gate and attack and I don't think that the energy is necessarily bad, you know that that vigor and that enthusiasm I think you can keep that, but it needs to be grounded and needs to be humble and that something that we always have to work on. And like I said earlier I struggle in gracious sometimes and I really need help at that in gracious time when this Latter Day Saints and I think that's a that's a doctrinal thing a social thing that I'm still working through in these pains could take years and can take years to get through.

So going too fast is is not a good idea. Jan and you mentioned cage stage Calvinism because a lot of honesty said a couple times to people that I believe that cage stage X Mormonism is a real thing.

You have people come out and in the just deceased feelings of bitterness and anger that almost everybody experiences at least first. Sometimes when they come out your feelings of betrayal: and so they just this is hard for them to interact in a productive, positive way with other Latter Day Saints and I agree with Paul, you're saying that there's it's a mistake to rush in the ministry too soon and even I think back on a lot of the interactions I have my family just trying to explain to them what I why I had left it.

It just, you know it. None of it really was, was that positive. And there's a party that wishes I'd waited until I really hope you will take a long time to deconstruct and to build, articulate it to the point where you don't like compared to now. You know I I wish I could've had that first chance now, knowing what I do at this point. So I think this is a common mistake, but I was good to say to China going back to the social aspect you know if if you're Christian and you ever come across someone who's left the Mormon church in your congregation. You need to view that person is somebody who needs to be discipled immediately because there's there's a lot of dignity friend Cigna he did know how the culture works at your church and in the end, yet doctrinal issues are so important for X Mormons because you know not only do we need to learn Christian doctrine, but we need to unlearn Mormonism and it has been a thing that I continually struggled with words like him I'll think of some concept like weight, is this is this real or is is this from Mormonism and so it's just an ongoing thing for a long time and so is just so important to to stay in the Bible, but I think groups groups online are also to be a real a real big source of strength. You know like the group X Mormon Christians. I see that is an opportunity for people to talk about some of the problems that are still going on in their lives and get some counselor or learn about some doctrinal you get some doctrinal instruction so yeah Facebook can be a real strength as well. If somebody hasn't found a church yet and I've said in the past, over and over again. If you're trying to find a relationship with Jesus. Stay away from X Mormons have read it because I place is very toxic.

I would say with regards to reverse the spiritual conversion.

I rebuild that for someone who's left field,but I would say the word, not not necessarily from a doctrinal standpoint, but just from allowing the word to line would wash over you allowing word to convict you allowing yourself to really do Dennis, as is Matthew were talking about before the whole books of Scripture in the Bible you may have done that. Like I did on my mission where I decided I was gonna read straight through right when you have that kind of goal ahead of yourself. Maybe you're like me and you just kind of refocused on page count each day or the chapter count that you were trying to accomplish the could to get through the whole thing in a certain amount of time and you were as focused on what do you know what is what is the messenger of God is conveying through the Scriptures and so I would Cigna dig into the word for the word to for the Holy Spirit to get into your life and ends in convict you of some of sin. The minute remaining in her life and also just be able to teach you and enlighten you on things that you didn't see before didn't understand before. And along with that is prayer we just we just always counseling a prayer and relying on God to help us understand because try to get rid of those LDS gospels start this glasses in our review we reviewed Scripture from all this passage is talking about patches of the dead. This once talking about Jesus or any apostles both spoke about just takes time to just deconstruct everything, but it really it really is difficult. It's I remember just buying book after book after book after commentary left and right as I just was like trying to figure it all out like okay I can keep this throw this away take this modified a little bit we get. It's just it's really difficult. Answers can take a lot of patience and in prayer and trust in the Lord is going to get you through it. Yeah, I really have anything to add to that of when you guys agree with everything you said.

I think the only cherry on top. It might throw on. There is just too to trust God completely.

You know when when sin comes creeping into your life, which it inevitably will make it a point not to think all know I'm I'm unworthily now what do I need to get back into God's graces, but instead think God's grace is stronger than this. You know God's got recovered. I think they can just be another way to glorify God in your eyes and understand the strength of his love and his grace in men and men are as a rental medicine bridge on this is some really good content tonight and really enjoyed that episode was a lot of fun thinking into this number seven of the outer ring. We love to hear from you. Please visit the other brain is not free to send us a message than with comments or send a message every time the pain appreciated the page aligned.

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