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Gas lighting The Membership — Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
December 3, 2019 9:50 pm

Gas lighting The Membership — Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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.1 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.

I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM were continuing our look at an article titled the gas lighting within Mormonism must stop.

It's the online addition that was found on the opinion page and Salt Lake Tribune was written by Ryan McKnight and Ethan Dodge. These two men are the cofounders of the truth and transparency foundation, which operates Mormon leaks.I owe and faith and basically what they're saying is that the church needs to change the way it handles the information about Mormonism's past. They begin the piece by talking about a meeting. It was called a face-to-face event with a group of single adults with Dell in Oaks Mormon apostle and M.

Russell Ballard, members of the church's quorum of the 12 apostles, a question that was asked of these two leaders was how do you talk to friends who are struggling with their faith due to doubts and questions of church history and the two authors cited Ballard's response and in this response. They cited the part where he talks about summer saying that the church is been hiding the fact that there's more than one version of the first vision, which is just not true.

The facts are we don't study we don't go back and search what is been said on the subject, but then he gives the example he says Dr. James B. Allen of Brigham Young University in 1970 produce an article for the church magazines explaining all about the different versions of the first vision that's interesting I could take it the Wrong Way, Eric, but when it says the facts are. We don't study. Is he referring to leaders in the church such as himself or is he talking about members who just don't study and don't go back and search what is been set on the subject. Sometimes I have to think it's the leaders you don't study because some of these things that the leaders of said over the years. It wouldn't be that difficult to show them from their own sources where they're getting it wrong, but that's a whole another show. They went on in their piece to cite the fact that the leadership expects the membership to just trust them. In fact they cited Ballard is saying just trust us wherever you are in the world and you share this message with anyone else that raises the question about the church, not being transparent and the fact is, is, even though the Mormon churches come out with these gospel topics essays since 2013. We have found in our study that even there. They're not totally transparent that there is a lot of information that is left out. That would help you better understand what is going on. Had it been a part of the essay but it wasn't in it. And so the church is not being as transparent as they could be. In discussing this idea of withholding information or not emphasizing certain information to the membership. They cite Stephen snow what are they say about that. Even former member of the first quorum of the 70 and current Executive Director of the church history department. Stephen snow knows this in a 2013 interview published in religious educator and official LDS publication. Snow said the following quote. My view is that being open about our history solves a whole lot more problems and it creates we might not have all the answers but if we are open and we now have pretty remarkable transparency, then I think in the long run that will serve us well. I think in the past there was a tendency to keep a lot of the records closed, or at least not give access to information, but the world has changed in the last generation with the access to information on the Internet. We can't continue that pattern.

I think we need to continue to be more open. Now let's compare with with with historian Stephen snow says in that paragraph with what Ballard said in the other. Paragraph earlier on in this article sounds to me like a contradiction because Della Noakes and Russell Ballard are making it sound like we don't hide anything yet. Here Stephen snow saying well. We do have a tendency to keep a lot of the records closed, or at least not give access to information that not sound like they're hiding information. Of course it does. But there's something else that Stephen snow says here that I think is worthy of note when he says we might not have all the answers but if we are open and we now have pretty remarkable transparency, then I think in the long run that will serve us well. It was that phrase in the long run that caught my attention because we're noticing in the short run. It's not serving the Mormon church well know, no, not at all how many times are we hearing testimonies of people leaving the Mormon church because they find out that the history that they learn by the missionaries in the history that they listen to. In general conference is not really the history that is been produced in the gospel topics essays that are supposed to be more more transparent so in the short run. This is not helping the Mormon church. There are a lot of people who'd been led to believe a certain aspect about their faith that they come to learn is not true. And because they feel like they were deceived.

They are leaving the church and unfortunately in many cases they are leaving all religious faith any and all religious faith they want nothing to do with it whatsoever and it starts their journey off into agnosticism or even atheism. Now the Mormons might say will see that your fault bill that your fault Eric, if you hadn't brought a lot of this information now you wouldn't of cause such a confusion for these poor people and they could've just lived happily in the Mormon church for the rest of their lives is not really our fault. Just because were trying to press things that are supposed to be true. And that's the point I made what we try to do is lay out what the leaders of sad. What has been taught on the first vision in the other controversial issues in the church and the leaders seem to want to make good people better, but they're not wanting them to know everything.

Well, if they're going to make these people better. They should be able to have access to all the facts and let the truth land were well if Mormonism is true, then we all ought to join and if it's not true, it ought to be avoided at all costs, but the Mormon leaders don't see it that way, they have this empire with power and money and there's a lot of things involved here that they're trying to protect and they don't want people to be able to know this because they know they don't want to be boondoggle and that's what's happened here what you just described.

Eric sounds to me a lot like the scenario we read in the New Testament with the Pharisees and the Sadducees, they had the religious power and they saw Jesus as a threat.

Jesus being the way the truth and the life they saw his truth being a threat to their position, prestige and power.

I see a lot of similarities with what's going on with the Mormon leadership. They definitely do have a lot of things to protect here and to have that all unraveled because of truth is really a threat to them so I can understand where they are coming from but at the same time as Christians. And even if your Latter Day Saints. If you claim to be a Christian truth should matter to you absolutely doesn't matter to you, I would seriously question your claim to Christianity. Just in that area, much less a whole lot of other areas. The authors go on and write when a member is taught from childhood that Joseph Smith translated the book of Mormon from plates behind the curtain. The sense of betrayal should not be surprising. Upon discovering the true source of the book is a faintly glowing rock.

It is manipulative to suggest that the member should have studied church history more thoroughly when the leadership incessantly obfuscates the source materials that's not how honesty and transparency work in the real world. Of course, when they mention this faintly glowing rock they're talking about the seer stone now Mormon could argue in it, and perhaps a Mormon historian might argue, wait a minute Russell M.

Nelson back and I think it was the 1990s did an article where he does mention the seer stone. But again, look how far back you have to go to find an article written by a general authority discussing an issue that is certainly controversy deal. In today's culture. Mormonism you have to go back quite a few years and you and I have both experienced, talking with Mormons when we mentioned the seer stone. Most Mormons were not even aware of it.

I remember when Daniel Peterson mentioned the seer stone in that series that PBS put out several years ago called Mormons and I know of at least one case were a Mormon thought that Daniel Peterson was an anti-Mormon for mentioning such a lie, but no Peterson was informed he knew that was a part of Mormon history ability. Remember the & magazine article from the turn-of-the-century where Joseph Smith was with the gold plates and he has his finger going across the go place as if he were to read them. So that was the image that the Latter Day Saints church seem to want to give that Joseph Smith actually use the plates but in recent years.

Now they admit that a seer stone has been years and in the December 2017 addition of & magazine on pages 58 and 59 there is a painting of Joseph Smith and he is translating it looks like is possibly all of her calories sitting across from him at the table. He's writing down what Joseph Smith is telling him according to what this painting implies and then he has the gold plates and it looks like they're covered in a sack and just barely you can see a hat. Now he's not looking into the hat but built.

This is the first time I have ever seen a hat used in a picture or a portrayal of Joseph Smith translating the plates okay so what is that you're supposed to do about these two authors give some suggestions and they admit that it is unrealistic to expect Mormon missionaries to air all the dirty laundry to investigators or for the men who speak for Jesus to address these issues in general conference every six months and then admit. Perhaps that's true, the ditches been dug so deep they say there is no way to simply jump out of it, but the church can climb its way out. It starts with admitting mistakes were made, not Stephen snow admitting it down Oaks needs to admit it. Russell Ballard needs to admit it every single man who wants the world to believe that they speak for God needs to look their followers in the eye and say that mistakes were made. This removes the ability for members of the church to dismiss the issue and claim that those who doubt have no valid reason to do so let me go a step further.

Eric because they use the word mistake mistakes were made. I sorry I would have to go further than that and say it's not a mistake when you lie yeah a sin was perpetrated these leaders have sinned willfully to give their membership an idea of their history that does not comport to reality. So it's not just a mistake, a mistake can be understood is something that you didn't mean to do it, okay it was stupid but it was a mistake. Nonetheless, I should've gone in a different direction, but this is much more serious than I think a simple mistake would be. They have sinned, they have sinned willfully. They have lied to the membership and they need to do what they expect the membership to do when they sin and that is they need to repent and because the sin was made public.

They need to repent publicly. A simple admitting although we made a mistake like a dork did several years ago, remembered Peter F. Dorff talked about leaders have made mistakes he didn't mention who the leaders were there were probably local leaders. For all we know, we don't even know what mistakes he was talking about. This is much more serious than a mere mistake.

They need to repent of the willful lies they have told their membership then you let the chips fall where they may go to Stephen snow in the long run. He thinks that this is going to be better to be open, but as we can see in the short run. There been many negative consequences, thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is

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