Share This Episode
Viewpoint on Mormonism Bill McKeever  Logo

Gas lighting The Membership — Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
December 2, 2019 9:24 am

Gas lighting The Membership — Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 662 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

Answering questions by doing what you were doing. 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. Be sure to 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 on 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. What is gas lighting and is the Mormon church guilty of practicing that. Welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at M.

R. M. There's an article in the Salt Lake Tribune and we are going to be looking at the online article that was posted on November 26, 2017, titled the gas lighting within Mormonism must stop.

It was written by two gentlemen, Ryan McKnight and Ethan Dodds.

Both of these men are cofounders of the truth and transparency foundation, which operates Mormon leaks.I/O and faith and they make some pretty strong accusations against the church and we thought we would go through some of the comments that they make and just give our opinion on some of things that they say why does this article start off Eric.

It says on November 19 the Mormon church conducted a face-to-face event with a group of single adults that was broadcast worldwide Dallen Oaks and Russell Ballard, members of the church's quorum of the 12 apostles headline the event and solicited questions for them to answer when asked what advice the two men had for members of the church with friends who are struggling with their faith due to doubting questions of church history Mr. Ballard claimed the church has never hid quote anything from anybody." Before you go on with what Russell Ballard said notice that one of the questions that comes up has to deal with questions about church history and we know from experience that Mormonism's dubious historical past, does cause a lot of Latter Day Saints to start questioning their faith. Unfortunately, in a witnessing situation. It's sometimes difficult to go that route because in order to have your arguments be effective.

You almost have to have the photocopies with you because Mormons tend to disbelieve anything that goes against the faith promoting understanding of Mormon history that many of them have. I do find it fascinating, though, that that is the issue that's being discussed here another way. Russell Ballard answers the question is going to be also just as fascinating.

He candidly said, quote, some are 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 has been set on the subject. For example, Dr. James B.

Allen of the BYU in 1970 he produced an article for the church magazines explaining all about the different versions of the first vision. It's this idea that the church is hiding something which we would have to say as to apostles who have covered the world and know the history of the church and know the integrity of the first presidency and the quorum of the 12. From the beginning of time there has been no attempt on the part in any way that the church leaders trying to hide anything from anybody. Now let's dissect what he says there if that's really the case, then why are so many members leaving the church over these very issues that they think have been hidden from them now Ballard might argue will were not really doing that, but that's not what the members who are doubting and leaving the church are thinking they think they have been like to. They think that this stuff has been hidden from them and why is that because many times when they find out about these issues. It's not from the church itself. It's usually from someone outside of the church either an X Mormon who's gone through that situation themselves, or perhaps through someone like us that Mormonism research ministry or another Christian ministry that spends you might say an inordinate amount of time looking into the history of the LDS church so we need to ask the question why did the church wait until 2013 to begin publishing these gospel topics essays on their website which actually are very hard to find. If you just want to go find that you have to actually hit three different buttons to get there. But why did they wait until then when members have had these kinds of questions for many many years. We saw in 2010, the sweetest rescue. It was called a group of Swedish saints who called in the church history department to find out why they were being told about just dismiss polygamist marriages and some other issues. And so it seems like to me and to many other observers that this is more damage control than anything else. I think you're absolutely correct in the fact is, as you said you mentioned the sweetest rescue.

A lot of the questions that the Swedish members were having about their history with the same exact questions that we've heard for years over here in the states, so there's no difference. These issues have been going around circulating among the more rewards if you will for many many years and you're right. And it wasn't until 2013 that the Mormon church decided to make a concerted effort to respond to a lot of the doubts and questions that many members were having and how many former Mormons have we met who had their faith jolted by these gospel topics, essays and other things like Joseph Smith, for instance looking into a hat with a seer stone that was never something that was obvious to the average Latter Day Saints and when they're finding these things out there leaving in droves. We see that especially in the last few years mentions this article by Dr. James B. Allen of Brigham Young University back in 1970. Interesting example for him to bring up something that was 47 years old at this time. If Mormon even knew what to look for where would they look for that article by James B.

Allen will think about it to remain in 1970. If you are 40 years of age you'd be 87 now and so many of these people have died. I want to say probably the majority of Mormons who were Latter Day Saints adults back in 1970 are no longer here so you have several different generations following who have probably no access to get to this, let alone know anything about this article and how would you even look it up. Normally if you have the title of an article that helps you narrow it down doing an Internet search, but many times Latter Day Saints don't have the title of the article. They just know something about the subject matter in many times that can be very big and you can get a lot of various hits with that big keyword that you have entered that it could take you hours and hours to search it and I would think many people would probably give up, but I just found it fascinating that he would bring up it as his example, an article written by the BYU historian way back in 1970, Ballard goes on what is he say he said just trust us wherever you are the world and you share this message with anyone else that raises the question about the church, not being transparent, whereas transparent, as we know how to be in telling the truth. That last sentence bothers me were as transparent as we know how to be in telling the truth. We shouldn't you be as transparent as absolutely possible. Right now it's as we know how to be will if you do have something to hide that tells me that there still is not going to be a whole lot of transparency even though you might be using that word. I'm thinking about the Mark Hoffman issue back in the 1980s and he was using counterfeits to sell to the church of documents that the church wanted to buy so they could hide them. Why would the church want to do that. It turned out that he was shown to be a fraud, but there were some very interesting things that Hoffman had including the salamander letter showing how Joseph Smith was involved in occultism. Why doesn't the church want people to know because it's negative anything negative against Joseph Smith or the LDS church is considered to be bad publicity, you're right. The Mormon church did not buy these documents as bogus as they were from Mark Hoffman in immediately put them in the next issue of inside magazine. They went right into the archives know who has access to those archives very few people maybe some trusted historians and some others, perhaps, but you and I just can't walk down there and get anything we want out of the archives that we have used the archives in the past, there are some things differently.

You can look at you breeze a very good example that was back in 1985 with they say about these two quotes, the authors, they say, this quote shows the narcissistic gas lighting tactics routinely employed by the leaders of the Mormon church and this goes back to the question that I asked at the beginning of the show. What is gas lighting. If you were to go on the web and you were to and type the word gaslight in their one of the definitions definition number four is to cause a person to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation. The word it's the heavens like goes back to a movie that came out in 1944 title gaslight it start Ingrid Bergman and Charles boy a and Joseph cotton and I've seen this movie. I thought years ago and it is the story about a husband who tries to make his wife think that she's going crazy by dimming the gas lamps in the house and then denying that anything is happening while she's noticing those lights going higher and lower. It's a fascinating movie want to check out a synonym for gas lighting would be manipulation. The manipulation tactics we see that being used all the time by politicians by husbands over their wives and all kinds of different situations and what is being claimed here is these are gas lighting tactics and I think they are absolutely correct will goes on in this article the author say when the missionary is teaching an investigator as they recite the prescribed verbiage verbatim. There is no hint at all that they are only referring to one of the versions of the first vision how interesting it was the first vision account that M. Russell Ballard uses as an example, but Mormon historians have try and I think they fail, but they've tried to somehow harmonize the various first vision accounts as if they have no contradictions at all. And that's just not true.

And I think a person who takes the time to study very carefully.

The various first vision accounts as they were told by Joseph Smith. You see that he is embellishing he is changing some things important things.

For instance, what is the whole reason why he goes to pray to God in the first place. In his 1832 account in his diary he says it was merely to know if his sins were forgiven while in the 1838 account. The account that most Mormons are familiar with. It was because he did not know which church was true. There's no mention of any need of forgiveness or assurance of forgiveness.

If not that that issue doesn't come up in his testimony, but it doesn't come up until three years later when he is praying. Just before the angel Moron I allegedly appears to Joseph Smith but yet we find articles where they do tend to conflate these stories as if it's one smooth narrative and we know that that just is not the case.

Even though Mormon historians keep insisting that it is.

If you've read the accounts by themselves, you would see that there is in fact a propensity I believe on Joseph Smith's part to make things or to embellish some parts of the story to make it much more than it was, at least originally. As we understand it, you might say in his 1832 account as you center the word that stands out in the definition is a manipulation it's a psychological manipulation and certainly these two gentlemen feel that that's exactly what the Mormon church is doing to its membership tomorrow to talk a little bit more about how these two authors feel that the Mormon church is gas lighting, its membership. Thank you for listening.

If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime