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May 2, 2021 12:01 am
In this episode, two of the scions (Matthew & Paul) get together to discuss the 13th LDS Article of Faith and discuss the question: "What about morality?"
Your answering and and and fireflies to this upset about the brightness this week will be talking about the 13 W's article of faith, and the question what about morality 13 W's article of faith states quote we believe in being honest true chaste benevolent virtuous and doing good to all men.
Indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul. We believe all things we hope all things.
We've endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things. If there's anything virtuous, lovely or good report or praiseworthy we seek after these things here.
Joseph Smith paraphrased first Corinthians 13 seven and Philippians 48.
There are several topics that we can unpack out of this article of faith from honesty to sexual ethics endurance to morality were not going to dig into the topic of conscience, though that is a discussion that could also fly out of this article of faith. After that topic I recommend season three episode eight of our friend Jeremy Howard Stu theology podcast.
He and his cohost can discuss the seared cleansed and wounded conscience. It's an in-depth look at the conscience of the concept of conscience from a biblical perspective and I highly recommend that episode I asked for us that we're going to dig into this, the last in our series of the LDS articles of faith and talk about how it relates to our journeys from Mormon to Jesus. We might even talk about the recent Netflix documentary murder among Mormons related to the Mark Hoffman scandal. So let's get into it tonight. It's just Matthew and I there may be some episodes going forward where it's one or two of us are three of us, rather than all four of us and that's just to give each of us a chance to have a break occasionally from our recording schedule and so for tonight. It's just Matthew nine. So Matthew in the intro. We talked little bit about the 13th article of faith was that important to you as latter-day St., how did you view it if it was important.
Why was it important, if it wasn't, how did you view it yes so this article of faith wasn't summing. I was on my mind constantly, but I think for myself and most latter-day Saints. We saw that is kind of the end goal of what we should be as latter-day St. We should be able to point to all of these adjectives and Sam either seeking after this or that's what I am and reminds me. Is there something like that in Boy Scouts rain.
You say like a mantra or something that says something to that effect.
No just really true, kind, loyal, obedient, 50 brave, something that Boy Scout is honest, trustworthy back. That was my Gestalt rewrite is something the boys got yeah so that's, it always reminds me of business can go hand-in-hand. There were just supposed to be basically good people and so that was kind of the driving force for how we should live in and be around other people as latter-day Saints so that you yeah yeah same. I was that I didn't think about a con constantly like you said it wasn't one of the kind of hard-core doctrinal articles of faith that really set latter-day St. teachings and beliefs apart from Christianity, but that he said it was really like the ethics I would say article of faith right trying to try to be honest, true, chaste and and and all of that. So let's unpack and that the five adjectives that Joseph Smith used in the first clause. Those were going back to it. If those were honest true chaste benevolent virtuous. So Matthew is a as latter-day St., how did you understand what it meant to be an honest person a true person a chaste person the benevolent person virtuous person I wanted to tackle those each in turn, turn broadly, I would say that those kind of just filled out what it means to love your neighbor, so if you love your neighbor, you're gonna do all those so for for an honest person at somebody who not only tells the truth when they're asked but it's it's their whole lifestyle. So they are going to try to cheat their employers are not going to try to cheat their neighbors everything they do in their life is going to be in accordance with what God is revealed. And as far as a true person that's kinda more. I guess I would've probably interpreted that more specifically to be someone who tells the truth, or who seeks after truth say no true principles true doctrines, correct ideas, chaste person is someone who keeps his thoughts and actions clean is probably what I would've said a benevolent person. Some is kind and and selfless, thinking about others and virtue. I just kind of saw. Virtue is just everything else related to being good or to being Christlike or being yeah. Following Christ's example.
I guess that good.
Would you would you agree that while many Christians would disagree with Latter Day Saints on on doctrinal points that a lot of Christians would probably view Latter Day Saints as decent people now fresher every time I've heard apologist talk about Latter Day Saints Del Valle Taco Bell talk about their theology highly disagree that the denial say they make the nicest neighbors. They're just they're just great people, very moral and upright. So yeah, I think they have a lot to say about the moral character latter-day same members into death when I was my finding as well. I recall is the time when I went on a business trip from God lives just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, and when on a road trip for business up to Cleveland, Ohio, and on the way back I I wrote back with a couple of my colleagues the gentleman who was in our labor and trust sales department and a lady who was in our case management provider quality kind area and I work for an insurance company and on the drive back that the lady was a pretty devout Christian and she was putting to me when she found out that I was Latter Day Saints. She was put into me a lot of pretty difficult questions and I was at that time. This would been around like the 2007, 2008 timeframe.
I was at that time pretty close to getting ready to leave the Latter Day Saints faith that I didn't believe the core truth claims of Latter Day Saints restoration movement anymore, but I was still kind of trying to hold on so heard her pretty pointed doctrinal questioning to me was it was kind of putting me on the spot because I really didn't hold to the doctrines anymore, so I wasn't really up for an argument or even a strident discussion of doctrine per se because I wasn't trying to defend it and did the guy who was driving. He was from our our labor and trust sales department. You know he just kinda made the comment to to the woman you know. Hey, you know, Latter Day Saints.
All I can say about them is that there that they're the best people I've worked with several Latter Day Saints over the years and and they've been the best colleagues and most trustworthy colleagues and so yeah I would say people who are Latter Day Saints that do have that perception that Latter Day Saints or target honest people and I think that's the eye as a former latter-day say I think that's true in many many cases so and definitely I write. Let me ask you this, then, as a former latter-day St., who is now a Christian, having learned what you have about LDS Church history. What you think about this article of faith. Now I think it's mean I think in terms of the morality in terms of how we should approach things. I think a lot of transfers over from when as latter-day St. to Christian. It is telling the truth seeking after what's right and virtuous and good and clinging to that instinct away from what is not true or virtuous or good. So a lot of it still still applies. I would probably know, I guess. I guess since we viewed differently what the commandments are, in certain cases that that might be applied differently but I think in terms of the principles of how we should live our lives. I think that's the immune esteem and Mikey mentioned in the in the introduction. It's basically a summary of first contains chapters 13 and Philippians 4. So those are in the Bible so we would agree with those but just how that without actually flush itself out in her in our daily lives would be different. You think you do think you learned anything in. Sorry about that I had to plug in my laptop. I was in the battery low notification. Do you think is has a former latter-day St. does anything that you learn about LDS Church history that made you kinda question whether past leaders are current leaders of the LDS church really live out this article of faith yeah as is.
I started diving to church history. Around 2014 2015 is finally kinda started that dive you.
You see an hour and already knew that the church leaders are perfect and that heard of things in the past that of kind of left now Distasteful view of the church and there was always there.
That lingering thought of polygamy in my mind, but when you really start to dive down deep and see what happened. A lot of church history, and particularly the very early church history with Joseph Smith in the early latter-day St. movement BC, like a very least, I saw a very different picture week we weren't.
We always in the only search we always focus on saying telling the truth and that's one of the temple recommend questions if you want to attend the LDS Temple was for those who don't know is not the same thing as LDS church house LDS temples where you go after your certain age and you asked several interview questions with your ecclesiastical years and are proven worthy to go there you receive extra ordinances and you also perform ordinances for the day like baptism and confirmation.
So one of the questions I ask is are you honest in your dealings with men or with others. Something on his lines so just being an honest person is one of the questions and so you assume well all of my leaders there temple worthy.
They their high priests a perform ordinances in the temple. They officiate weddings and etc. they must be honest to write and I'm not saying that I know left is a case for current LDS leaders. But when you look back in history.
See Joseph Smith. A lot of his dealings in particular with polygamy that that was very disturbing to me in particular where you found out that he was that he was marrying his secret.
When you compare that to doctrine and covenants chapter 132 and it basically says that the first wife has to get permission to that person before they can marry them. So you're not supposed to marry in secret, but Joseph Smith was marrying in secret is first. Supposedly his first wife, Fanny Alger was its it's doubted, it's doubtful whether they actually did get married. It's possible that they were caught in an affair, as was Oliver Cowdrey that said it was a nasty filthy affair and when you read and you understand it and you think all well they just had a break known as a truly Mormon.
I believe I thought all the counterstatement was just he's just, you know he's is sour grapes. He's just upset you know he had a falling out Joseph Smith and he is doing that. His face, but then the more I thought about it and read her church history. I thought you know those two are like inseparable. You know they were like there like Bonnie and Clyde are enough think they would've had to been something really serious to break them up and you know I think catching the person you consider to be a prophet of God you know in an illicit affair with someone else that would that would qualify. So the more I thought about them. I thought, you know, maybe he was right. Maybe it was.
Not really marriage, but the fair and that later LDS historians of kinda retrofitted out disabled.
That was his first political weakness, wife, we don't. I don't think we even really have a record of there ever being married by anybody or stating that they were married and when later. I think later when people interviewed Fanny Alger and asked her about that relationship. She didn't want to talk about it so she don't want to divulge any details, so we really don't know much about it but earliest historians will say yes. She was his first wife but we don't. We can prove that so went. That's just one example, one of many that really made me start to have doubts about an particulars of the Smith and other early district leaders that the way that they lead their lives versus the way that were taught to lead our lives as latter-day Saints that I agree with you on that on the that the point about Fanny Alger and you one of the count. One of the final nails in the in the coffin for my kind of ability to view Joseph Smith is an honest person was when I read the statement that he made a general conference and love you and it it was, you know, kind of. Around the time when he was practicing polygamy behind the scenes. It wasn't known openly within the latter-day St. movement that he was doing so. There were several other leadership or leaders within his close circle that were also involved in that at the time it was beginning to leak out. There were some other leaders of the church. William Law was cut marks something marks was the stake president of the Navi stake at the time my family marks to but William Law was involved in the publication of the novel expositor marks was also involved in exposing and banana leaking out the fact that Joseph Smith was living this this polygamist lifestyle and you Joseph Smith stood up and in general conference, which for latter-day Saints is supposed to be no the leaders of the church, the prophet of the church. Speaking as he's moved upon by the Holy Spirit, and so he stands up and in general conference is this is beginning to come out of starting to cause a controversy in the in the in the community.
I don't believe the novel expositor had yet been published, but it was word was beginning to leak out verbally and and she think he could feel the heat and ice to the general conference and said what a thing it is to be accused of having seven wives when I can only find one in my armor when I read that he is said that an end and then I knew from having studied that he was at the time practicing polygamy and here he was in general conference, making it a really bald-faced lie to the church. It it destroyed my ability to view him as honest as an honest person and that's that's really a challenge when it comes to this article of faith because he wrote it right right up right before this time and he wrote it as part of the Wentworth letter to Chicago newspaperman to describe what the beliefs of the latter-day St. movement were and has this dude really is a challenge to to think about him as it is an honest person and I know it's it's it's challenging for Latter Day Saints. It was challenging for me to look at that and say okay he was willing to lie about polygamy to his wife to the church.
Is it a stretch to believe that he would've been willing to lie about the book of Mormon and how it can forswear the book of Abraham, and what it actually was no other state Latter Day Saints when I've talked to them about this and challenged me not to take that leap. Know the part a person can lie in one aspect of their lives and not another, but I think for Latter Day Saints and makes it challenging she would have to you have to almost view him as a fallen prophet. By the time he starts living polygamy. But then, as you noted, Fanny Alger was 1836 were before. Right.
I think I am the earlier thing is I thought is like 1834, 35-ish okay, it's pretty early in yeah so minutes.
It's yeah it's really early and you have things like the book of Abraham come after that you have things parts of the document covenants come after that is supposed revelation. So if you can view him as a fallen prophet. As a result of polygamy.
Then you have to throw away a lot of love what he did in his later career yeah and and like you were saying Matthew to about Temple recommend questions you know are you honest in your dealings with your fellow man right. There's been a lot of revelations come out by revelations. I don't mean from God, but kind of information that is coming out, come out the recently that wasn't known previously. You know the very very large monetary holdings, but latter-day St. church has the stipends that are given to church leaders, one for many many decades. It was claimed that one of the reasons the latter-day St. faith was better than Christianity was because they have a lay leadership.
I met that had been extended for many decades to the upper leadership of the church has come out recently that I think about stake president level they receive a stipend, so you things like that where one thing is told to the membership and another is actually practice behind-the-scenes really makes it challenge for this enough as a for me as a former Latter Day Saints for this article of faith we think about what I said nothing had a lot of thoughts I forgot the NIA.
A lot of great things that you brought up in yeah that there was another another sticking issue with me when I was transitioning is it bothered me to learn that it seems like most Latter Day Saints think that that the prophets and apostles anyone paid it all, like they're just doing it for free and then that's kind of surprising to me that still pervasive idea and I think it stems from the fact that Stratton defined in the book of Mormon think it was. I had chapter 2 maybe think this is with King Benjamin yeah King Benjamin verse 14 of chapter 2 Mosiah two. Was at 214.
Even I myself of labor with my own hands and I might serve you and that you should not be laden with taxes.
There should nothing come upon you which is greatest be born in of all these things which have spoken you yourselves are witnesses, this day is also another passage almost 33 there really quickly not know us. We do not glut ourselves upon the labors of this people, this is Alma speaking for behold, I labored even from the commencement of the reign of the judges until now, with my own hands for my support.
Notwithstanding my many travels write about the land to declare the word of God unto my people.
Verse 34. Now if we do not receive anything for labors in the church. What doth it profit us to labor in the church.
They were to declare the truth that we may have rejoicing's and the joy of our brethren is I think a lot Latter Day Saints think this is how the props and apostles are there just laboring because they love the truth. They love and all serving in the church and that's how our callings in every latter-day scene has a calling, and they're not paid for either so it's kind of shopping shocking to me to to see just how much they are recompensed for their there callings you know, free BYU education for their kids and grandkids and Aladdin it's it's not that they're being paid.
That bothered me is the fact that Latter Day Saints believe that they're not being paid in the book of Mormon says you're not supposed to be paid for your ministry, and yet they are being paid. That's what bothered me. That's what because Christian pastors are paid in Latter Day Saints bring that up with us and they say well your you're being prayed paid, they are your passes are paid. So what's the big deal now and I say well because of out-of-state are not supposed to be paid at the book of Mormon does say that they're not supposed be paid and if they are being paid. So there's a contradiction there so that the effort is really bothering yeah me too that's a good place for me to jump in and and and kind, and the segment severe further discussion of this topic.
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The name of our podcast out of brightness six, John 19 calls Jesus, the true light which gives light to everyone you found life in the on Mormonism to be brighter than we were told in the light, we have is not our own. Thus, out of brightness, our purpose is to share our journeys of faith what God has done in drawing us to his son to have conversations about all aspects of the transition years challenges, joys, and everything in between.
Glad you found us and we hope you'll stick around. So kinda continuing on. We just jumping up with the thought here is another thing that that the kind of bothered me when I was serving as a as a missionary Gordon B. Hinckley was the president and prophet of the church. The obvious church at the time and he went on.
I can remember if it was the Larry King interview, or if it was the Mike Wallace an object I want to say is the Mike Wallace interview where he was pressed about what Latter Day Saints believe with regards to the Godhead. Did God was God.
Once he was asked about the Lorenzo Snow cup couplet because of such a such a distinctive doctrine that Latter Day Saints have that is kind of a dividing line between latter-day St. beliefs about who God is and Christian beliefs about who God is and so he was asked about that.
You know, do you believe that that God was once a mortal man, a sinner. You know I'm and she kinda played it off. I don't know that we teach it out of notably talk about it you know you know the quote.
I'm talking about from him. And as as missionaries we were allowed to watch a VHS tape. Michael is not here, but he'll make fun of me for my age. We were allowed to watch a VHS tape of that interview and I remember sitting around him on the P day we went over to the branch house in the city where I was serving in Hungary with the VHS tape into the VCR to play and watch the interview and I remember just having a kind of a sinking feeling in my in my gut because I knew for a fact that not only do Latter Day Saints believe that teaching as as God is now her asthma as man is now God wants. Was this God is now amended become the couplet.
Not only is that taught very often in official LDS manuals so as not, I don't know that we teach Donald. We believe it is taught and they do believe it. And it's important LDS doctrine. And so it had a kind of a sinking feeling that why is he packing away from something that's so distinctive to our faith. And then I remember after I came home from my mission was married was a few years later, I was thinking about that experience and I was kinda going back through some & articles. General conference talks, and reading through old old general conference ox, for they were several years old and I saw Vic talk that he gave that Pres. Hinckley gave shortly not the next general conference. Given that interview Mike Wallace and in general conference, he kinda with a wink and a nod said you know I don't need you none of you need worry that I don't understand what our doctrine is you know and it was just, like you hit me again, kinda what so she didn't tell the truth to the public about what we believe and then just kinda gave a wink and a nod to the membership. Like yeah we know what we believe but that they don't need to know all the details you know in a kind of bothered me.
He has exiting about that material when he said that we are talking about is interview. I do remember that after arteries, like yeah you know like the vibe I got was like well you know milk before meat can or think. But it did also. But it it seemed to me a little bit of debt court control two is a lot of members probably asked about it.
Why didn't want to go. Why did you just say yes as we believe right there that confuse damage control as well.
So next question and address at Brigham Young University in 1981 at a time when the LDS church was facing the fallout from candidates first attempt of transparency about history both history so there was this these years that were kind of you is that the quote on quote Camelot years in an LDS Church history where Leonard Arrington professionally trained historian was called to be the church historian where up until that time I had always been a general authority of the church.
He was in was the serving in the calling us church historians of this was the first time that a university trained historian who was not a general authority was called to be the church historian Amick noted planned this multivolume church history, all written by professional scholars and that the kibosh was put on that after the first couple of volumes were published and there was constant fallout from that because they were attempting to be pretty honest about LDS Church history. For the first time in and during that time again in 19 wanted at Brigham Young University. Boyd K. Packer, who was a member of the LDS quorum of the 12 apostles was speaking to LDS church educators so these would be the seminary teachers for high school students and Institute teachers for college students and he said, quote there is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not.
Some things that are true are not very useful when you think about the concept of quote "lying for the Lord. Matthew so you mean like how I view now, or maybe as a latter-day St. are both both death Though I didn't really is already seen. I don't really know about this concept of lying for the Lord. I had kind of heard of that, mostly from non-Mormons are no critics of the church as a lower know or like look at our articles of faith look at our baptismal questions. Look at our temple recommend interview questions they'll ask is are you are you chased are you honest with your dealings with men so no were not told he can live for the Lord but then as you kinda dig into LDS history and as I was transitioning latter-day St. now is a form letter to St. you do see a lot of that in history where as we discussed polygamy was a very big issue. You also even have things like the Council 50 where there is a secret counsel that was basically the word where Joseph Smith was kind of crowned King and he is going to be the ecclesia are that the governmental leader of the world. When Jesus returned but that did never happen. So it is kind of get the secret and we also see with just the changes to the church at ordinances like that of the temple endowment. You know how that came to be in the beginning it was his.
Within weeks of Joseph Smith becoming a Master Mason and having all the ceremonies basically taking the same signs and tokens from the Mason rituals and using that in the temple ordinance ordinances. So you see a lot of instances in the past where it seems like these are cases of lying for the Lord and some people appointed to the book of Abraham where it takes the instance where he lied about his wife being his sister in the book of Genesis and kind of recontextualize it slightly in the book of Abraham to make it seem like kind of God wanted them to do that.
Is that correct on Castro going to remember every all the details but it seemed like when he wrote the book of Abraham that seem like this is what God wanted him to do and it was allowable to accomplish God's purposes, and so some people of kind of scene that is the beginning. Zora may be the outflowing of Joseph Smith's thoughts on that issue of lying for the Lord that if it's for the purpose of the greater good than the ends kinda justify the means a little bit and so that's that's potentially the case. I don't know for sure but it it it kind of fits in with his pattern of keeping all these marriages secret keeping all the ceremony secret for having secret councils for having for introducing new concepts and ideas to a select group of people, like a seeker group and then over time, adding more people to that group and then I think that's probably accurate member who was I been Michael D.
Michael Quinn. He said that Brigham Young kind of a kind of Serena looking for not coming eyes that, but immunity me the same ordinances available to everybody. Basically, you know, like the endowment was still kind of a secret ordinance, not for every member but he gave the name and so the priest was able to everybody.
Everybody can receive the endowment and temple marriage but in the beginning is a very small percentage of people that were practicing polygamy there even allowed in the temple and temple marriage itself was tied to polygamy. You know, like celestial marriage and polygamist marriage were kind of hand-in-hand.
I don't I don't know if there really was a lot of celestial marriage in a monogamous celestial marriage is being performed back then. I don't know exactly but seem like celestial marriage and polygamy are very much intertwined, so he asked long answer but basically need. In retrospect, looking at the history does seem like there is a pattern of his concept of lying for the Lord is on his suit the purposes of the church yeah yeah for sure you think about the.
The episode of of like Joseph Fielding Smith when he was serving his church historian, removing pages from from a record book that contained a version of Joseph Smith's first vision that didn't comport with some of the later versions of that that vision so that it had him seeing only one person is rather than to wares.
Later versions of the first vision claim that he saw the father and the son is a 14-year-old boy and nurse some other key differences between that version and in the one that Joseph Fielding Smith removed and put in his desk drawer she think about no instances like that that that only came out because folks like Sandra and Gerald Tanner did the research and and and found that and heard that there was this missing version and wrote to church headquarters to find out and then you know what I guess a clerk in the historian's office went looking for it and was able to confirm that there were missing pages and then it only comes out later that he had kind of hidden it away out of sight for historians not to see and so you think about instances like that for someone like me, you know, when I came home from my mission. I think I mentioned when we had our conversation on the three LDS conversions that I'd I didn't start out a doctrinal Mormon, but I aspire to be one after my mission especially. I came home and I bought started I didn't get all of them but I started to buy up the collected teachings and sermons of each of the presidents and prophets of the LDS church that because I wanted to read them. Like I viewed those men as profits and so I wanted to understand the things that they had taught in the things they have said to the church in their sermons and dive. I bought up the collected writings and sermons of Joseph Fielding Smith are called doctrines of salvation is the book and I about that is a very thick book like 600 almost 700 pages. It was originally 33 volumes and I got the one volume addition and I read through that like crazy because I thought you know he she did a really good job of of explaining LDS doctrine and and kind of a he was kind of precursor to Bruce R.
McConkie, who was a son-in-law in terms of attempting to systematize latter-day St. belief in an and approach all of Latter Day Saints. Scripture in a systematic, systematically theological way.
So I really devoured his book and then when I found out which was very shortly after I had read through the book when I found out that he had you read through. Leonard Arrington's memoirs about being church historian and I found out that whole episode of the that the missing version of the first vision and it just deflated me in terms of my my respect for him and revere reverence for Joseph Fielding Smith because on the one hand, he was someone trying to doctrinally make everything work and I appreciate the appreciate about about them. But on the other hand, he was somebody who was willing to hide something that was not useful as Boyd K.
Packer would say for keeping people in the Phaeton and so those kind of those kind of episodes and learning about them bothered me. I didn't I didn't like the concept of lying for the Lord them and what once I kind of became aware of it and that that like you were saying you there may have been this concept began with Joseph Smith in his revision of the Abraham story work where Joseph Smith presents Abraham's being commanded to lie to Pharaoh about about his wife, rather than Abraham kind of doing that on his own. Once I learned about that Bennett admitted maybe there really uncomfortable as someone who was trying to be. You know I was a young man and my wife and I were going to Lamaze classes might my son was my wife. My son he you know I told my wife one time I on the drive back from Lamaze class that I wanted to be an apologist for the LDS church now and the that was what I aspire to them and so would you learn learning about this concept of lying for the Lord in really uncomfortable when I would be challenged with things from LDS doctrine or history. The difficult to deal with and I was pressed to try to come up with an answer is, there are some things for which it becomes very difficult to answer in a way that would bolster faith in somebody without kind of straying into that area of lying and that became really challenging for me. See the thing with the slab sound that any thoughts on that before going to want nothing.
Yeah I was at a lot of thoughts going through my head be out your document just for Fielding Smith Ray not Joseph F. Smith that makes confusing when he when he had that those those pages from Joseph Smith's Journal. I was also watching the other day. The interview on Mormon stories with the center Tanner when their talk about the Hoffman documents and I don't know if there is a McClellan can collection offers another document but they had something to do that would that might be or might have been the blessing that the fake blessing the Joseph Smith gave to Joe's with the third that I think the church bought it up and then going "instead of taking it to the historians he can hit it all. He also put in a vault somewhere and why would that be so for for listeners who might not know Mark Hoffman was a forger. He was a Mormon and she served a mission in Great Britain and when he later came home from his mission and got married. He started forging not only documents related to the LDS church, but documents related to US history, literary history, he was a very skilled forger and fooled a lot of people for a number of years, but she forged a purported letter or blessing of Joseph Smith to his son Joseph Smith third which purportedly named Joseph Smith. The third is his successor as prophecy or an regulator of the of the LDS church so for those listeners who might not know Matthew why is why would that be problematic for the Utah Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has so this leads into the historic advance or period of the church where there was a crisis of succession so to boil it down into layman's terms. Basically he would.
Joseph Smith was assassinated when he was murdered in liberty jail there was not a clear line of succession. There is not a clear path as to who is supposed to lead the church after he died, and there were potential options. Some people say that it's not clear that it was clear and that you know the LDS church is supposed to be one true church. But really, there was not a clear set of rules or succession that Joseph Smith laid down. There was actually a precedent for possibly having his son take over so we see all throughout the book of Mormon that a lot of times the prophet hood went from father to son. How much Alma the younger is an example and so the leader of the church was without supposed to go from father to son. So that's why a lot of Latter Day Saints. They decided to stay in the now, who at the time.
I believe their independence I can member it was loving and some were still in Missouri right so they some decided that they thought that Joseph Smith third should be prophet, but I think he was 11 or 12 when his father Joseph Smith Junior was killed so he can take over the mantle, so they kind of are the called them protectorates or guardians or something like that.
There were several apostles that stayed and kind of were guardians of the church until just with the third was old enough to take that position again. There also some that thought that the president of the total apostles of the most senior apostle should be the next one to become prophet and that's eventually the position that the mainline LDS church and in Utah took him but there are also others like James straying he he had a decline down experience someone to Joseph Smith where the day that Joseph died he claimed it a visitation from an angelic visitor that came to him and revealed to him that he was supposed be the new prophet, and he also claimed to receive new Scripture, the book of the law of the Lord which he dug up in plates that were supposedly written by Moses, so there was not a clear line of our path forward for the church and so if this document were correct. Going back to the mark often document if you're correct in and in that it was a document claiming to be a blessing from Joseph Smith Junior such as the Smith, the leader, the you know the first prophet of Mormonism.
If he really did give a blessing to son Joseph Smith. Third, that he was was be the next prophet than that would be pretty conclusive evidence that he was must be the prophet and when he grew up just with the third. He did, he was ordained to be the prophet of the reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which was still in Illinois so and now today there called committee of Christ, so that would basically be vanilla coffee to say well okay LDS church in Utah is a schismatic church.
It's not the one true church so yeah that there they have a lot of vested interest in, and then making sure that wasn't that wasn't you know, released or words escaping at the moment but you know that this bill out to the media. Basically that you did a great job explaining why that would be problematic for for them. So yeah that that document was either bought by Hinckley or bought by someone else because what the LDS church reduces good wealthy LDS church member to buy Hoffman's documents and donate and donate them to the church and they would be squirreled away to the first presidency vault never to be seen again. So I just like I do that, that's another kind of not necessarily lying for the Lord. You see the other search of the leadership they have a lot of businessmen and lawyers, and they've got a large legal team on by the church, so they kind of try to do that to buy these documents are to have a member by these documents and then donated to the church.
It's technically what happened but then that so that the church leadership could have deniability to say no. We never purchased anything from Hoffman directly to kind of, you know that is intermediary. This intermediate party to do so disabled in our hands are clean. We didn't buy anything from them. But when you dig into it. It's like, well, okay, but I mean nobody bought it and he received it down the succession crisis is interesting because and then that forgery by by Hoffman is interesting because as you said when when Joseph Smith was assassinated several several people, step forward in a succession conference. So speaking and not view claiming to have the authority to be the successor to Joseph Smith of one of them was Brigham Young as the senior apostle right one of them was Sidney Rigdon who was at the time Joseph Smith's first counselor in the first presidency of the LDS church, but they were estranged from one another. Cindy McDermott I believe was living in Pennsylvania at the time were. He then lived for the rest of his life but he returns to Nauvoo upon Joseph Smith's death and she was actually the one who made the claim that he would be, you know that that although he didn't have the authority us first counselor to lead the church that he would oversee the church until Joe Smith third was old enough and so there's there's kind of that true historical nugget that somebody had made that claim that Joseph Smith had named his son that you know that the reorganized Church held onto and that Hoffman was able to manipulate it with his forgery. See kinda kind of fascinating really challenging historical situation with with half with the Hoffman forgeries. I thing just just kind of an aside on on that is been interesting to see the reaction from other LDS bloggers and pod casters talking about the series on Netflix. You know what what. Sometimes I think gets lost and I don't I don't think it gets lost in the Netflix series but sometimes I think what gets lost when we when we discussed Hoffman is that people died. Steve Christiansen was one of the LDS church members who bought documents on behalf of the church.
Kathy Sheetz was connected to Steve Christiansen through her husband, and those two people died as a result of the bombs that Mark Hoffman created and I lived in Salt Lake City at the time that that was going on in 1985 I was seven years old and I remember my mom used to do a lot of research because she studied library sciences at Brigham Young University and went into doing family history and genealogy research for for people both Latter Day Saints who were interested in taking the names of their deceased relatives into the LDS temples to do temple ordinances on their behalf in band as well as research for people who were not Latter Day Saints were just interested in their family history, and so she spent a lot of time downtown Salt Lake City at the genealogical library that the church has there with vast stores of microfilm records of census records and everything. The genealogical research would need to to search/search also leaves family history and a member of go sometimes during the summers when I was on school with her and I would hang out there were going to Temple Square go to one of the museums down there but a lot of times we would walk back to where our stake center was a couple of blocks away from the genealogical library and my mom would park their at our stake center and we would walk back there and on the corner of the hill that leads up past where the Desiree Jim used to be and where the conference center is now. That's where Mark Hoffman's car was parked when his when the bomb that he was handling in his car went off and nearly killed him, so I member walking you to pass that corner in crossing the street over to our stake center parking lot a lot with my mom and she would almost always comment in appointing up the hill.
You know that's where that Mark Hoffman nearly blew himself up in a and so this is a historical episode in in in LDS history that that I also, lived through, firsthand, and I remember around that time I was.
I started playing basketball at the at the YMCA and Selleck city and I was playing basketball there with a couple of friends of mine who lived nearby. Remember one Saturday.
Excuse me, my, my dad dropped us off at practice and their dad was supposed to pick us up at practice after practice and my friends thought it would be a good idea for us to go check out Crossroads Mall which is used was where city Creek Center is now so we we walked to the think it's like eight or nine blocks from the YMCA to the crossroads Mall and without telling either her What we were doing so when when their dad went to pick us up and we were there at the YMCA.
Everybody was all up in arms. And I remember my mom being really really upset about that and it was it was around the time that the bombings were happening in and I think she was probably really concerned that you know who knows what's going on in the city with these bombings and enough your your walking around is a seven-year-old unit with with an eight-year-old and a nine-year-old unaccompanied. You know, so she was concerned that the yeah all of all of the surrounding that and and like you are saying that the the distance that the church leaders put between themselves and the and the documents to give themselves some deniability. No were not were not buying these to hide them. This church member bought it and gave it to us. We just happened to put it in the ball so nobody could see it yeah really challenges that credulity when it comes to the 13th article of faith and then talk about honesty and being true and that kind of thing is low again and we don't really want to say that you know were not when a Chris criticizing the church for the sins of Mark Hoffman, and I know of no one was listening and thinking that you know what were trying to put the blame of what he did on the church or anything like that. Where were kind of trying to more talk about the circumstances surrounding that in night and I'm originally kind of brought out this idea of talking about that of the Hoffman situation in that series because it just came out on Netflix recently for the past couple months because you look at his life and a lot of it mirrors Joseph Smith's life. You know, he started making forgeries when he was around 13, 14, which was when Joseph Smith started you know when he claimed that he was seeing visions and things like that but you also see Joseph Smith doing participating in class looking you know the treasure seeking at that age, and he would make the other as part of that was making stories saying that you would look into a stone and when he would see treasure and so they make you get paid to go find a treasure and dig it up and when he got there they would find the treasure, and there would be some kind of excuse saying well. The treasure sunk deep into the earth, or the guardian spirit was protecting this. This is not just on the making up this is this is you know document by D.
Michael Quinn news Pro LDL you know he's no longer Latter Day Saints. But he is. He considers himself an apologist for the church in his book Joseph Smith very early Mormonism and the magical worldview.
He talks about this where you know this is a common view at the time that people thought there were guardian spirit starting treasure that articles could sink into the earth.
There is one scene, he would also build up confidence of people by saying that there is you know a box and above it was a feather and above was dirt. No claim to see this through the stone and so they would go there digging they find a feather on the box.
Well, you put that he put the feather there to gain their confidence and so we see a lot of these kind of activities in Joseph Smith's class looking his treasure seeking days that mimic kind of what Mark Hoffman was doing his slowly getting better and better at making forgeries gaining confidence in others.
Gaining notoriety in and you know you would start a little in any he was trying to get bigger and bigger and bigger with the forgeries he is making and and you could kind of see that he thought this was for her.
He had grandiose ideas about why he was doing these things, he what he eventually was not is not trying to further the cause of the church. He had his own ideas in mind, but you kind of see similar parallel views of him in Joseph Smith Joseph Smith start out with little doctrines, little bit by little bit and started you wanted to build temples and then polygamy and you know I just got greater and greater and even his first vision grew over time. You know it.
Like we said in his first account in his journal. Very simple. The kindest, Jesus appeared to him it already decided all the churches were wrong. He didn't go to ask what your adjuster. He Artie decided for himself and that he was just asking for forgiveness of sins and these claim Jesus appeared to him and forgive him of his sins and later the village account showed not only Jesus but the father with him and then later on, not even other counselors, a choir of angels that were accompanying them and then later on, Satan appeared and tried to bind him and you know I just got greater and greater every single time in Latter Day Saints will try to say that these agree with each other but I mean if I saw God the father standing next to Jesus. That's not a detail that I would come up with no almost 20 years later after the fact. You know it doesn't show up until like at least 1832, 34-ish that that detail and so 34 to 32 is the account where was just Jesus. So we see a lot of these parallels and you can kinda say will maybe Mark Hoffman good because he knew church history. Maybe you had this idea of lying for the Lord from instances in church history. He would take something was true and then slightly twisted and like you said you'd make a forgery based off of actual church history make it convincing enough that it was asked the fooling historians into thinking that a legitimate sorry sorry to bring side of it. That's kind of why we went. I wanted to talk about Mark Hoffman, is because you can see parallels in this concept of lying for the Lord is possibly there in Mark Hoffman's mine as he is making forgeries and then the parallel that really is striking to me when when thinking about Joseph Smith is this idea of of treasure, slipping away beneath the earth and him using that as an excuse for why they never actually found treasure in the days that he was involved in even though he claims to be able to see where the treasure was located through his stone through seer stone. They never actually found treasure and that was excuses slipped away to the earth. The guardian spirit took away my and then you think about how that parallels the plates from which the book of Mormon was translated they were taken away by a guardian spirit Moron I was the protector of the plates you know you read about Joseph Smith trying to take the plates to early in one of his yearly visits to help more and he is shocked by the guardian spirit.
He's not able to do it so there's a lot of parallels in what he was doing with this treasure grading prior to his career as a quote on quote profit and then after as well, and that a lot of that detail it ties into the Hoffman scandal because you know it is we can talk about the other districts kind of taking these documents. The Hoffman was providing which kind of gave truth to the to what before had been kind of rumor that you know about until really like the 1970s I think the church really is first denied that he was the Smith was involved in treasure today at all. So some of the documents that Hoffman brought forward. You know how to I want to say that any of it was positive but it did. It kinda force the church. The other church leaders hands to come clean on some things and a lot of you during that time. A lot of that was being discussed in your groups like the Sunstone Sunstone is a is a publication by his Latter Day Saints not the church publication.
It's a an independent publication, but it's by and for Latter Day Saints and a lot of the kind of controversial and difficult information that was coming out at about church history was being published and talked about and Sunstone and also dialogue at that time, the dialogue is another journal from Journal of Mormon thought and not I'm I'm old enough to remember, you hearing my parents talk to people wondering when Diane are in our ward in particular was kind of been on the ground floor of Sunstone is a got up and running and normal not to remember my parents having conversations about him and his loss of faith. As a result of being involved in Sunstone old enough to remember when the LDS church leadership sent a letter to all the steaks and wards in the church to be read out in sacrament meeting warning about participating in groups like Sunstone and dialogue so that there definitely was an effort to keep as much is possible that information under wraps and then you know with the with the advent of the Internet which happened when I was in high school and then even more so when I came home from my mission.
I was able to access a lot of information that there wasn't available previously, so readily and in a lot of this information no now there's the church, the other searched gospel topics essays I heard on a podcast with fingers build build real and RFM just recently that they published one on the Hoffman forgeries so you know that trying to tackle some of these tougher issues and and and for younger Latter Day Saints. You know it's it's out there right now it's it's kind of ubiquitous. Where is it wasn't before and and so you know when you're for people like like me and like Matthew learned this stuff after having served missions after you know, having dedicated to years of our lives to go and and and preach Mormon teachings in Europe for the two of us knows its challenge to deal with that.
So I would just yeah I know some lettered, some younger Latter Day Saints that we discussed with online know that the kinda the caramels off of their backs like water off a ducks back Ray but it is what is not so easy for those of us who who learn the stuff after after the fact so I get that there's like a inoculation quote on quote going on right now with with A. St. leaders are doing man I would just challenge them to be honest though. Seriously there's there's so much that that they could do. To be honest, and it I just think it would be better for Latter Day Saints in the long run for them to be honest. And I know they're they're probably worried about leading membership but that's happening anyway you know and second brings us to know. We talked a lot about this LAT. This article of faith in regards to LDS church history, and leadership and how they've handled thorny historical issues.
Let's talk about the result of that.
So one of the things that that I've said quite often both here on on outer brightness and an online in my discussions with people in it and I think it comes across as a kind of strong statement, a challenging statement is. I said that you know when I when I lost my faith in the LDS church when it when everything crumbled and it was gone and I was left with nothing that I asked the question of myself and in my and my studies is is Christianity just an older lie and I think that comes across as is as blunt but that's where I was. I needed to know if if I was going to maintain faith in Christianity is a just an older myth is a just older lie and so you know often when when Latter Day Saints reject the beliefs and religion of their youth. They become atheist or agnostic without the prior beliefs they have to rebuild their worldview and moral framework. And so, the question I have for you Matthews. I know you went through this as I did. Did the moral argument for God's existence play a role in your thought processes you evaluated Christianity you know the other.
Someone I was kind of deconstructing trying to figure out what I believed or whether I even believed in God, there was a there's probably like a week or two. Where is like considering atheism. I didn't really go through the classical arguments and go to the classical arguments like the what some words are to the T not celestial teleological yeah rare it teleological what it celestial. Keep up in my headman DEQ take the boy to Mormonism he can't take Mormonism more significant effort goes away permanently at teleological argument right that's like the argument for the our purpose rate her as I come. It is like that in the end purpose of something took lettered philosophy in college, but it's been 20 years now, but the others that there is a cosmological argument there is the moral argument there's there's a lot of different arguments philosophical arguments for God's existence, but not like that and really play a major role me is strange because now I thinking back on it. What really I was when I was really struggling and thinking maybe there was my God, I just thought back to all the times I got my mission like there was a time where this is one example. I was my companion were just walking on the street doing street contacting where they scare the guy turn among us and sounds pretty weird and were quite sure what to do but just at that exact moment. There's a sky that would we meet around town and he knew us, and we try talking to him, but he was never interested but he would always just to walk around town with his dog musical guy and said that moment when we are to be mugged by those duties. I try to take our stuff, this guy comes over this dog and she's the guy off and I was like that's crazy you know like he was always outside walking his dog is is once in a while the fact that the guy was there at that exact moment where you're getting mugged by this dude. The return to share the gospel with a funny that that was like one instance of really stuck in my mind is like how can I how can I believe that there is no purpose are there's no reason or that there's no no designer watching over us are planning things out. You know like there just to me instances like that of my mission and and other times I felt like it was just crazy to think that everything is just an accident in a and plus, like there is a summary passages in will both the book of Mormon and the Bible. I didn't know what I felt about the book of Mormon. At that point but there are just so many points are just more so they just spoke to like the core of my being that I was just unable to just say while cattle believe the Bible anymore. You know it's like it was is just indescribably connected to my identity that I just said well I mean if I'm gonna leave Mormonism you know. At least I have the Bible that I can fall back on. So that was kind of that's kind of why, oh why, how I started to reshape my views on God it wasn't really a moral argument but it sounds like from the way he asked his question that it was for you is that the case yeah yeah it was II listens student as I came out of the LDS fit. I listen to a lot of William Ln., Craig pretty famous Christian apologist and know the way he lays out the that the argument from God forgot the morality of that was was pretty convincing to me in and basically you know for our listeners that the young not a philosopher either and do my best to kinda put this in.
In layman's terms, the way I understand of the argument for God. God's existence for morality basically says you know there's there's there's normative morality, right and because there's normative normative reality or normative morality.
Therefore, God exists because you can't ground ethics and morality in anything other than the existence of a perfect being perfectly moral being and so that's how that that's how that can classical argument for God's existence works and is laid out. I seen it kind of pilloried by by critics I've seen you know what one of my friends that I grew up with, who is an atheist, former Mormon atheist and and and on and honestly, he was probably an atheist lumber friends as teenagers, but he definitely is now, and you know he I saw him once post on Facebook something like you know if if a Christian needs a God to tell them that murder is wrong, then I can't trust that person and I see what he's saying but that's a that's a misunderstanding. I think of the. The argument for God's existence for morality right it's not that we need a God to tell us that murder is wrong. Of course we do and we wouldn't be out murdering everyone if there was no God but no, that's not what were saying Ray dressing the existence of God keeps us from from murdering Messerli below were saying it with the argument is that if you're going to say that X is wrong, morally more than what is your grounds for saying that it as an atheist. What would what would you give us is grounds for claiming that something is wrong.
There are various ways that that atheists try to argue to morality without the existence of God right. Well, we've evolved these societal norms so as the societal norms will not every society has held the same norms throughout history there have been some societies and cultures who have been very cool and have murdered many people, many of their own people. Many other people so try to argue that that morality can be grounded in societal norms become somewhat problematic which society which which culture that kind of thing so I think is something that the latter-day Saints have to wrestle with. I bring it up in relation to this article of faith because know that I think about listening to questioning Latter Day Saints former Latter Day Saints talk on podcasts. A lot of times they'll reference this article of faith is something that kind of hold onto as a as a touchstone within their beliefs, even if they don't don't believe in God are not sure if they do, this idea that we should love one another and love our neighbor as you were good. You kinda summed up this this article of faith.
Matthew this is something that they they hold to you and you know I would.
I would argue that that's the law are written on their hearts as the Bible says you know and there's this there's this innate recognition of right and wrong. The people have it's it's not the it comes from God, writing it on our hearts in the comes from the existence of a of a perfectly moral being so good, that argument was convincing.
It was compelling to me as a former Latter Day Saints working through these things.
We what you think method you think it's possible to ground ethics and morality in anything other than God's existence. I mean you can you can base your ethics on whatever you want and I can write your own book of ethics and be like, well, here's my morality but I think if are going to be consistent with reality.
Of course, were both Christian deists so we believe that the only God is the Christian God is so if you want your ethics to be based on reality than they should be based on what God is revealed in Scripture. But it also I can save they can base their morality whatever they want, but ultimately it's going to be flawed. It's going to be incorrect to some degree of what you think the I don't think it's possible to ground morality anything other than God's existence because it you're left with you.
Just as Latter Day Saints are left with an unending succession of God's right back into it.
If you try to ground your ethics in something other than the existence of of a perfect being, then you're left with an unending succession of questions and no grounds right what I mean to say by that is that at some point, you can have a system of ethics but it's going to be inconsistent. It's gonna fall apart at some point that so they could cover just about everything unless there's anything else related. This article of faith that you want touch on Matthew. There is a thought that I had other was so would you solid did you see the documentary mark off document or yes so there is one, there's one part where they had forget who was as if think is a general authority where they kind of responded and asked why these forgeries are allowed to be sold or given to the church and why you know nobody stopped Amber and nobody knew what was going on in the background.
Any kind of said, well, that wouldn't that would in and penned on his moral agency. Essentially, you know like God is no please come down and stop us from sinning gives us a choice allows us to do his work as we like, I was wondering if you think that that's an honest answer he think that's kind of you know, trying to pass the buck a little bit on why the LDS leadership who claim to be prophets ears and regulators didn't see this coming.
If I if I'm remembering correctly on the part of the documentary referring to it. I think it was Richard Turley who is an LDS church historian and not I respect Richard Turley in some ways because you there's a there's a there's an episode in LDS Church history and read. I don't want to go deep into it here, but it's the Mountain Meadows massacre and Richard Turley was involved several years back.
Now maybe a decade ago, almost in writing, and definitely more than a decade ago that's recently but he wrote a book about the non-Meadows massacre and it was kind of the first first book connected this closely with the LDS church about that episode that it was pretty went pretty in depth about what took place there and Pull no punches in holding those who are responsible accountable for for that awful episode and so I respect him for that, but he was also involved in the Swedish rescue if you've heard of that where he went over to Sweden Hans Matt Hans Matson was a LDS regional general authority for the LDS church at the time in Sweden and they were having a lot of people leave the church forget the time frame it. I want to say. Maybe 2009 2010 somewhere in there. Maybe, maybe a little after that but they were having a lot of people leave the church in Sweden and she and another member who out with them. Richard Turley and somebody else went over there and they did a fireside and try to answer some tough questions from food. The LDS church church members there in Sweden and Univest.
Maybe not. His most shining moment when it when it comes to honesty, but in regards to your question in the part of the documentary where he speaking there. He's he's asked like you said, why, why weren't the LDS church leaders able to foresee if there if there is a prophets ears and revelers where they will enable foresee that Mark often was deceiving them and also know that she was who he was a murderer. You know in his heart and he he answers an affair member correctly. He says will be apologetic would be and then he just kind of the answer that you were talking about the death know that that if if God were to let them know that that you know will be human. God would be impeding on the agency of of the prophets in the stem the apostles and in God wouldn't do that which you know on the one hand that's a that's a view, the Latter Day Saints take right God will never abrogate our agency does not hold a meeting if you think about Joseph Smith's claim that an angel with a drawn sword forced him to accept and start practicing polygamy is not abrogating his agency so as to point you know that there is an LDS Church history at least some some indication that that God would abrogate agency. In some instances, so I don't know that it's very good apologetic that the Richard Turley gave there, and it wasn't clear to me watching the documentary whether he actually buys that apologetic himself or he was just presenting well this is what the apologetic could be in a yeah yeah find it curious when he gave that that defense because it reminded me of the book of Mormon and human animal member which Nephi was because there's like 50 Nephi's but one of the prophet Nephi's. He gave a testimonial.
He was testifying to the people.
He said you're all sinners. You know you you're looking down on the poor people you're not doing justice and righteousness and I guy you know who cares who cares about this guy would only stock about but then they go through the whole story, which I think is a mic doctrine and covenants, seminary, video or something where they depict this whole thing where he says well I'm you prove to you that I'm a prophet, and he goes and says that the Chief Judge was murdered and his brother was the murderer. I believe and he says if you go to him. You'll find blood on his on his cloak and ask them what is his blood from and you look in shock at you and they said have you murdered your brother, and he won't know what to say and then you'll know that everything I've said is true that I'm a prophet of God. So it seems like you know like it seems a great like as D since believe they believe that God talks to them as he reveals to them that they see things as proof of their of their prophet hood, but then you have this apologetic givenness as well.
They don't really know God is a reveal everything God talking to stop every wrong thing that happens in it just sounds like the and as we talk literally about how craft of the book Warren said specifically. Don't be paid by the by the people you preach amongst you know work be paid by the work of your own hands. You see this growing divide between LDS prophets and the prophets of the book of Mormon there just yell completely different so that's that's the thought that cannot mind when he said that on on the documentary like you said at face size like okay I guess make sensing a Latter Day Saints, a God and stop your agency but sometimes agreement but there plenty of times in the book of Mormon where God revealed things to the prophets as proof that there prophets and is happy for years and years and it wasn't until literally a NL all it had been blip in Mark often space with the with the bombs is that the start setting off. I started getting everybody looking into him as a potential is the one who is potentially sitting on these bombs off was until then anybody even really suspected him in a except for Gerald and Sandra there like a Unum and we should check this out. You know that we should just accept these at face value and is funny that critics of the LDS church were the first ones to really start to doubt his credibility and an end and they were vindicated when it was discovered that he really was magic, making these forgeries so it's it's what I want to learn all about data really my previous views of the tanners was drastically changed in all her money about this.
Decades later, but I'm like you know they really had the integrity to say look, let's take the time was not just automatically assume these are legitimate. Let's check these out. Let's make sure that were not trying to push these just because it suits her narrative doesn't mean we should push and know we we got a really make sure that this is historical and legitimate. So yeah, I denied so I thought about that noses cares what you thought about that quote because it seemed a cation to this episode and that good and I basically just that I'm curious about something wind when you were growing up and in Utah. Were you aware of the tanners I heard about them and I had run across the website you tail and.org when I was preparing for a mission and I kind of looked Aaron, I read some of their articles. But as I can only find is convincing and less as I think I did.
That's when fair was still around like fair. I think they had their website up at that point so I found sufficient to answers to some the questions it has brought up so I didn't really know but then years later in OSF Québec my mind and I was more willing to take back into it, but damn did know much, but the tanners know right it's kind of funny that I didn't mention my walking with my mom and her, pointing up the hill and segments were know that Mark Hoffman almost blow himself up. I remember her telling me that but I didn't know anything about Mark Hoffman, right, and I didn't until I was an adult home from my mission and married and started encountering it more and more in my discussions online and so then finally went and got the book salamander and read through it to to educate myself what what was this all about, you know, it seems to attribute the tanners for me. I remember driving bit there Utah lighthouse ministry building is a by the Utah capital. The just the capital and the member driving pass there with my mom and know what was that all about Utah lighthouse and all those darn tanners youshould make some comment you know about it. It was like this ubiquitous name those darn tanners but had no idea who they were, until like you I started encountering their UT LM.org website and fair answers to them and you know the kind of thing is to get it. I find it interesting to that that it was Gerald and Sandra and Gerald in particular, the kinda looked closely at I think I think it was salamander Q looked really close. That was like wait a minute, this doesn't really start a new nothing in on him in the newsletter.
He actually published his concerns about whether or not that was actually true. LDS history that was being presented there and in the salamander letter and the and, yes, interesting that that it was coming from critics not the LDS church itself suggests it's an important part of the whole story that was completely removed from the documentary that can can understand why they they wanted it be more dramatic, rather than you know it in the formative immunity was informative, but is mostly dramatic and there also limited in what they could share because they is Kevin a partnership with church. I've heard you know the kind of agreed to make it is unbiased as possible and probably putting too much of the story on the Tanner side might make it look unbiased or biased. But – so he had written it in one of the wants no more to watch the interview with the on the Moran stories podcast with with the Sandra Tanner she she she has is the article they were talking about the Gerald Ray just as the salamander letter. She's again I got a copyright here she shows as a I was its need to hear her side of the story and how she saw these events and how they all fit in. Yeah never Gerald's test on on their I never got to make me either them in person yet. I hope to meet Sandra sometime someday in person and thank her because they went through a lot in the 1970s and the 1980s publishing. What they didn't know they were kinda making mimeographed of their articles and getting them out the newsletter email can underground there in Utah and it really they really helps bring some of this to light or a lot of it was hidden in a secured for Latter Day Saints and I know they've gotten you know really bad reputation in mind Latter Day Saints. But the I think they really tried to be honest and upright people made their both former Latter Day Saints as well. But you know I dislike comment quickly before close on on the why why a kind attack of morality as the core of this article of faith, and I don't want to know tear down Latter Day Saints Flats. Why kinda brought out earlier that you know Latter Day Saints.
A lot of them. Many of them that I know that I grew up with to care for me when I was a young child are good, upright, honest people, and I mentioned earlier that you know when I when I started to learn some of these challenging and thorny issues with LDS Church history that that LDS church leaders have tried to keep hidden in challenged me as someone who wanted to be an apologist for the LDS church because when you're asked about something like this then you have a choice.
You can be honest about what you know or you cannot speak about what you know and there's a dishonesty in remaining reticent about things that you know and where that really where the rubber really hits the road or did hit the road for me was in two places, one where I was a teacher in the LDS church both to other adults and two children, teenagers, mostly young men in the priest organizations and when difficult questions would be asked about an inconsistency that was seen and I knew something about it from my deeper studies into no sources that weren't approved by the LDS church should I say something about it. Should I should I try to give it a gloss. Should I try to put in a context that would help this young man to maintain faith or should I say nothing about what I know very challenging questions for someone. Given the mantle so to speak to teach young men. The other place where comes into play is within your own family. My wife, as I've mentioned on my story episodes was a convert to the LDS church and as a priesthood holder in the LDS church. I felt very very heavyweight to not harm her faith, particularly as I was learning these things that were challenging to my own faith and you know I talked about when my First faith crisis with the LDS church really hit me that I confess in tears soon to Angela that I wasn't sure. I believe in God anymore and from from that point on I had to wrestle with the same types of questions I was talking about with with regard snowmen. I was teaching, how honest do I be with my wife when she comes to me with a tough question when she finds the book in sacred loneliness that I'd kind of hidden away under the sink in the bathroom where I was reading it and not wanting her to see what that book had to say about polygamy, you face questions of honesty as though someone who is transitioning or someone who struggling with with the LDS faith. So my my encouragement and my recommendation to anyone who struggling would be to be honest with your spouse with your children as it's appropriate and you know just take take the approach of honesty as you as you walk this journey. It makes it from my from my experience, it makes it so much easier as I shared openly with Angela.
We were able to walk the journey together. I know that's not possible for everyone.
I know sometimes, this transition ends marriages but I think you'll have a much higher percentage of opportunity to maintain your marriage if you if you take that approach of honesty with your spouse and and that they can see that your you not being not sharing with them.
Difficult things to harm them, but you sharing your journey with them in an authentic and an authentic way that that has integrity so that will be my recommendation and then illustrate advice right fireflies. That's a wrap for this topic. Feel free to share your thoughts in the other brightness group on Facebook. Is there an aspect of this topic that we missed something you'd like to see us discuss in the future. Let us know next week we are going to be recording some interviews with Michael Wilder and hopefully Matt Wilder. He's confirming that the day will work for him, but were planning to have both of them on to talk about some projects that they've been working on.
Micah has a book coming out that will talk about called passport to heaven, and Matt Wilder has been working on a project called Adams Road piano so excited to talk about them about this projects.
Until then, shine right fireflies.
Thank you for tuning into this in pursuit of the outer ring is not as we love to hear from you. Please visit the other brightness podcast Facebook free to send us a message than with comments or questions, send a message every time the pain appreciated the page aligned. We also have an out of brightness and in others. As we discussed on the pursuit can also send this out of brightness on hear from you soon and subscribe to the other brightness podcast on podcasts cast box Google cast cast the modify institution. Also you can check out our new YouTube channel. If you like it shortly right here is a great also connect with Michael just wind up blogs and sometimes Poland Matthew will music for the other brightness podcast is graciously provided by the talented Breanna Flournoy and by Adams Road. Learn more about Adams Road.
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It Adams Road ministry.com state right fireflies to show and leave the kind so that you and a and and and and we the he you and may and and and and and and see you in a will that and being an in