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Need for Mormon Dissenters Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
October 4, 2021 9:29 pm

Need for Mormon Dissenters Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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October 4, 2021 9:29 pm

A 2018 article written by Mormon blogger Jana Riess is the topic of discussion.


Answering questions by Bill McKeever and Yuri Johnson deals with 36 commonly asked questions by your LDS friends and neighbors. It's a great resource for Christians want to share their faith with friends and loved ones. We should pick up your copy today at your favorite Christian bookstore viewpoint on Mormonism program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect.

And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism so glad to be with us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson.

My colleague at MRM yesterday. We began looking at an article that was written by Mormon blogger Janet Reese. It was titled why we need more than dissenters, and as I mentioned yesterday, this was a piece that was posted in April 2018 and so if there's any Mormons out there wondering why she uses the word Mormon. This would be of course before Russell and Nelson the 17th president of the church came out with this mandate that you are no longer supposed to describe members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as Mormon so don't falter on that that would be silly. As I mentioned yesterday, I think she's making a good point, but I think you run into the danger of hypocrisy on both sides of this issue. She starts off her piece by talking about how she bought a product called an instant pot that my wife has one of those are great products but she said along with this, she bought a cookbook to help her understand how to use it in to these cookbook she says were terrific, and the third was well awful and the reason why she bought this particular cookbook.

She says this because on Amazon. It had a thousand five-star reviews in naturally the reviews were very positive about this cookbook and she says the statement. She says I figured all those people couldn't possibly be wrong right right. She says right twice and then she says wrong. She mentions Elinor Hayes to purchase the cookbook amidst an overwhelming number of choices she ignored some potential red flags and that she gives a couple of reasons for these red flags. The book was self published and the author had no prior experience writing cookbooks were particular expertise in you know she says actually cooking and I brought out the point yesterday that when I read that paragraph. The first thing I thought about was what about the book of Mormon. It was self published and it was put together by an author who had no real prior experience in theology, except maybe a backwoods theology of 19th-century backwoods theology, which of course is in many areas can be very questionable and yet many Mormons have just bought into what he says about his quote" cookbook a.k.a. the book of Mormon and when red flags were raised by Christians at the time this book comes forth. Of course a lot of latter-day Saints ignored those red flags that were being voiced by Christian critics of the LDS faith and are still being voiced today.

Even by see you and me, Eric, we are still throwing out a lot of these red flags regarding the book of Mormon and Mormons.

Many of them don't seem to care and she raises this whole issue of what the majority has to be right will think about it. She's trying to say that the majority could be wrong, and of course many Mormons look at us being in the majority would say with when it comes to the evangelical view of the Christian faith. Certainly we do outnumber the membership of the Mormon church which is certainly large, but certainly is not comparable to how many claim to be evangelical Christians, the majority is not always wrong though and I think she's trying to bring out a point. I understand her point that the majority can be wrong, but in many cases, would you say the majority is always wrong and I don't think even Janet Reese would go that far.

But let's take a case in point, the great majority of people would argue that the earth is round but yet you have an ever-growing number of people who think the earth is flat. Now, would we take those flat Earth's seriously. I personally don't because I don't think the review answers a lot of questions about how our earth operates in, but still would we argue that will just because most people think the earth is round. That's gotta be questioned no and I would say the reason why it shouldn't be question is because there's evidence to support that position.

There's evidence. The bottom line should be for all of us is what is true what is truth and it goes back to that question that I've asked many Latter Day Saints over the years doesn't honor God to believe something that is falls and I find my experience it. Even most LDS people would say no it doesn't honor God to believe something that's false that there's really big the goalposts that we are shooting for what is actually true.

What conforms with reality. Though I mention the fact that there are many more evangelicals than there are Latter Day Saints and you brought up as we were discussing this show. What about Muslims.

There's a lot of Muslims out there who think their right and their ever-growing number but that does that make Islam correct. Would you say yes, that no absolutely not tend that infected Jesus says in Matthew chapter 7 verse 13 through 14.

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Though I think many people, including many people who call themselves Latter Day Saints are affected by the culture we live in and the way that this culture works is I mean, what you believed 30 years ago what you believe today what you believe 30 years from now might not be the same in your own lifetime just because of what people around you are saying. I think we have to be very careful that we don't allow what other people think or what the majority of people think to somehow make that into truth. Truth is very narrow and the band. Jesus said that there any many people who are not going to be able to go to heaven because the road to destruction is wide and I think the secular people out there, the media, everybody else will want you to believe a certain way and they could very well be leading you in a wrong way and so what is the basis for truth. Yesterday we said that the Christian holds to the Bible, we believe the Bible tells us the very clear foundational truths of what of how this will help came to be of how we can be saved from our sins today and how we can go to heaven but a lot of people are going to disagree with us.

They're free to disagree with us but we have reasons for why we believe the way we do in that same foundational truth claim really holds for the Mormons. As we mentioned to they have the standard works and that supposed to be the basics for their rule of faith, of course, as I also mentioned they also have modern-day revelation which certainly muddies the waters.

But here's the here's the problem that I see Janet Reese in reading a lot of her pieces. I think she goes off into a direction, especially when it comes to some of the cultural social norms. Okay, that are being challenged in our society today, but I would raise the same question for her as I was right raise for any young Mormon who is criticizing their church because there holding onto these old-fashioned views and they need to modernize. My question is how are you getting this unless you are doing it by ignoring the foundational truths upon which your church was founded, which is the standard works and I asked the same question of professing Christians who are wanting to go off in these directions to I don't find them using their own written scriptures to support their positions. Unless you're taking some verses and ripping them from their pages and taking them.

Of course, out of context. I think Janet Reese is a bit guilty of that. I think a lot of young Mormons who were not agreeing with some of the things that their church has taught traditionally since the beginning, and again these are in the social areas.

Our culture is having a very strong pull, not only in the Mormon church, but also I would say within the evangelical Christian community as well, and I would challenge our own in the same way, is what you were saying defended by the Scriptures that are the foundation of your faith.

If you have to twist the Scriptures in order to give it a reading that it was not meant by the author then you were just as guilty as the young Mormon whose wanting to get away from the social norms that their church is been putting upon them, and I would say that to Janet Reese as well. She talks about this book that was written by a Berkeley psychology professor, and I saw Berkeley immediately I thought, oh boy, that sounds like problems to begin with.

His name was Charlene Namath I think is perhaps this person pronounces their name. The book is titled in defense of troublemakers.

The power of dissent in life and business and of course that's weird. Janet Reese gets the title of her peace Mormon dissenters. She gets it from this subtitle of this book she mentions how quick we are to disbelieve or even attack dissenters who express a different point of view and Reese says I see this a lot at church to be candid okay I can understand that but should some beliefs of these dissenters are the beliefs of some of these dissenters to be exempt from criticism or in this case a.k.a. attack that's a good word to know that I think is an included a little bit of hyperbole because sometimes these views need to be critiqued and I don't see a problem with that and I do see a problem if we are to invoke logical fallacies in order to go after some of these positions that we may not agree with.

She says in the Not that Mormons are unusual in this way, people are generally very open to changing our beliefs and will go out of our way to only expose ourselves to perspectives that confirm those beliefs.

I would agree with her on that statement and I think that does happen in both of our traditions, whether it be that the Mormon tradition or the evangelical tradition. Yes, you can find that happening and she adds on to what you just read disparate parenthetical statement. This is what Mormons would call seeking out only faith promoting materials.

Now it's interesting because what we do here is considered to be a negative by many Latter Day Saints and when I go out to a Temple open house, and I try to hand out newspapers or talk to people about Mormonism as people come for the only time any of them will ever get to visit Temple when they have this open houses at two, three or four weeks invitation to the public to be able to come and see the inside of the building before they close it for only those who have temple recommends and I bend over 20 of these often times the Latter Day Saints authorities will call the police on us and will try to harass us and try to not allow us to be where we can be on public property. In fact will sometimes even have well-meaning Mormons who come up and want to shake our hands and thank us for being there that what I'm so glad that you are here, as if somehow allowing us to be on public property is going to make Mormonism more or less true. I mean what we are trying to do is do what Janet Reese is saying here we might be outsiders, but were dissenting.

What Mormonism is all about. As far as his truthfulness and his truth claims we disagree with them, and so we would agree with her in the sense that we listen to all sides and may the best idea when what I understand when she says that many Mormons would call seeking out only faith promoting materials. I think it's important for Mormons to consider these other sources, including what we do here at MRM. She has a lot of other good things to say in here that I think are worthy of discussion. So what I'd like to do is to continue this conversation. Looking at Janet Reese's article titled why we need Mormon dissenters that was posted in April 2018. Again, I think there are some things that can kinda go both ways and this and she tends to be very critical of majority, thinking, and that's organ to continue our show tomorrow. Looking at that particular paragraph, but at the same time let me leave you with that. Sometimes there's a reason why the majority thinks a certain way and that can't be ignored just because we want to have a different point of view. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry.

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