Tuesday, December 31, 2013

From Mormonism's own Mouth

Why do people leave the Mormon church? From those who are generational Mormons, as I once was, this question is being asked a lot. The leaders of the Mormon community have ready answers; we are lazy, we want to sin, we were offended.

Yet, none of those answers are correct. We leave because we can no longer stay. Our integrity dictates that we leave. We found out that the Mormon church has been dishonest with us. They have not told the truth about their real history, they are not forthright about how much money they bring in on tithing and how they spend that money (they just bought 2% of Florida and built a multi-billion dollar mall, and are one of the largest land owners in Hawaii). We discover that the leaders are human and do not make decisions based on infallibility, as they say they do. We stopped believing in a church that is misogynistic and bigoted.  We were raised to have integrity, and we can no longer be a part of an organization that has none.

Recently the Mormon church has decided to be more forthright about its history. They are publishing articles on LDS.org to address some of these issues. They are not, however, addressing all the issues, they are also making excuses for the failed history, they are not making these changes in the gospel doctrine classes, or in Seminary classes. I am going to publish only church sources. I will edit this page on a regular basis and give my commentary on these articles.

I have found it interesting how the mormon church has decided to throw Brigham Young under the bus on many of these issues. In the image above, it represents the mormon church. It has built its doctrines on sand, and with time, those doctrines have shifted with the whims of men. The church, however, has put at its base, the assumption that it is built on truth.

"The Gospel can not possibly be changed.... the saving principles must ever be the same. They can never change.... the Gospel must always be the same in all of its parts.... no one can change the Gospel... if they attempt to do so, they only set up a man-made system which is not the Gospel, but is merely a reflection of their own views.... if we substitute 'any other Gospel,' there is no salvation in it.... the Lord and His Gospel remain the same--always." - The Prophet's Message, Church News, June 5, 1965 

"...build a house to my name, for the Most High to dwell therein. For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fullness of the priesthood.... And verily I say unto you, let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal mine ordinances therein... For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fullness of times. And I will show unto my servant Joseph all things pertaining to this house, and the priesthood thereof, and the place whereon it shall be built." - Jesus Christ Himself, Doctrine and Covenants 124:27-28, 40-42 

There is an assumption of truth, yet with the shifting of sands, that truth is also shifting.  With the shifting of sands comes the crumbling of the walls. The church is now doing all they can to repair the walls, but they aren't letting the inspectors in to see...rather, they are just putting up wallpaper to cover up the damage done. They are hoping the members don't look too close. They hope the dead bodies in the attic aren't discovered (Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, etc), the wallpaper doesn't peel to reveal the damage, and that the veneer is sufficient to the unsuspecting masses.

Why People are leaving; contradictions and problems with Mormon history:

1. Joseph Smith's varying accounts of the first vision:
     first-vision-accounts/Ensign 2013
In the first written account from Joseph Smith, Joseph writes about the Lord only appearing to him. He does not write about two personages and he does not write about discussing this with his Mother, nor does he mention a powerful force that tried to prevent him from praying. Very important details left out.  Also, this account is first written about 12 years after it allegedly happened. That's a long time to wait to write about a life changing event, and to leave out so many important details.

Does it matter that there are more that this one account? Not really, I think it would be natural to have accounts that vary. The mormon church would have us believe that the details vary because of the audience and memory.

 Let's see, my wedding day was about 20 years ago and significant, can I remember the details? My parents and in-laws were there as were most my brothers and sisters and their spouses, but not all of my siblings. My in-laws had to wait in the temple lobby. It was raining, in SLC at the temple. I had two former mission comps show up, one was invited and one was not. the temple workers had us down for a time-only wedding and that had to be changed. I was told to wear a piece of cloth in the front of my wedding dress so the temple sealer didn't look down my dress and see my cleavage. This was ridiculous because I had to wear the temple coverings over my dress anyway and my dress was entirely covered, including my non-existent cleavage.  My in- laws weren't allowed to see the marriage because they weren't active. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were the only ones from my husband's side who witnessed the marriage.

Are there details that I've forgotten? Yes, I can't remember one thing the officiator said. Is it important? No, since I've been to enough weddings to know he just said, 'blah, blah, blah'. I do remember the patriarchal grip, not being able to exchange rings over the altar and giving myself to him and him not giving himself to me in return, rather he took me to him.  The most important things I remember. Even 20 years later, I remember. If angels appeared, a dark force was present, I would remember.  I'm not going to come forward in ten years and recall there were angels, or that god and Jesus were there, or that a dark force was present. All these things would be significant to tell to any audience, don't you think? I think so.

Also, if I'm discussing an important event with people and I leave out an important detail, the other people around me who are familiar with the event remind me of the details, so it can be discussed or even debated if the details aren't agreed upon. This is what is missing from the churches account. They are not interested in allowing the varying accounts to be discussed in Sunday School and Seminary classes. They want only one version, the official version  discussed. This is of greatest concern. If memory is imperfect, as the church claims (and I agree), and there are several accounts, then why not let the members have access to these accounts and let them discuss them in an open and honest manner? Why not let them decide for themselves what is and isn't important about the details? Even in these articles, the church is deciding and excusing away the details. Why not let the members come to their own conclusions? Can't they be trusted to think critically? Can't they be trusted to use the spirit to help them come to their own conclusions? Why hide the fact that there are several accounts then several years later, the members find out there are several accounts. This leads the members to only distrust the church. The church talks about honesty, but the church itself isn't honest and often is dishonest by omission.

2. The varying accounts of the Book of Mormon:
     ensign/1993/Rock in hat used to translate
     book-of-mormon-translation/2013/seer stones
     joseph-smiths-arrest-records-found/using seer stones to find treasure also used to translate BoM
     the Book of Mormon and DNA

How many lessons in Sunday school told you about Joseph Smith using a rock in a hat to translate the Book of Mormon? None? That's too bad because that is how he did it.
How many of you grew up with this image of Joseph Smith translating the plates:

The problem with this image is that nobody saw him with the plates or using the plates to translate.

How about the image with his head in the hat? Did you ever see this image in Sunday school? No? This is how Joseph Smith actually translated the Book of Mormon. Only now, after many people are leaving the Mormon church after finding out the truth, is the church coming clean. Well, sort of. In these articles they are telling people. They are still not changing the photos of how they present the image of how they show him translating. If told the truth, would you believe that god gives a translation from a rock in a hat? Can you imagine publishing the photo of Joseph with his face in the hat in primary and explaining that to 8 year olds? I won't...who would believe it?

Also, I was repeatedly told that Joseph Smith's honor was above reproach. Joseph was actually arrested and convicted of treasure seeking. Remember the stories in the Book of Mormon about how treasures disappear? This is eerily familiar to Joseph's actual life of how he would use his stones to look for treasure on people's land and then tell people that  it mysteriously disappeared.

Now, this is my epiphany. If the translation of the Book of Mormon could have taken place simply through a rock in a hat, then Mormon did not need to go through all that trouble abridging the records down to the golden plates in the first place and carry them to the hill Cumorah under pain of death.

If Joseph Smith could translate the plates simply by putting a rock in a hat, then Nephi could have done the same thing and didn't need to go to the trouble of returning to the city of Jerusalem. Nephi could have simply done the same thing Joseph Smith did when he got to the new world and put a stone in a hat and translated the Brass Plates for his people. Nephi didn't need to cut off Laban's head and in essence commit murder, getting blood all over the clothes, hiding a headless body, walking through the city with blood on his clothes and pretending to be a dead man, committing theft by stealing the brass plates that belonged to Laban, then committing kidnapping and extortion by forcing Zoram to go with him. But then, the Book of Mormon wouldn't play like a modern R- rated movie, would it?

Okay, I'm going to try and stop laughing long enough to do a decent commentary on the Book of Mormon and DNA. The Bible has archaeological and historical evidence to support places such as Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jericho.  There is physical and DNA evidence all over the place. Yet, the Mormon church claims a people came to the Americas, populated it, built temples, homes, roads, weapons,had horrid battles where millions were killed, had money and chariots, yet there is no evidence to support this. Why?

I just love this quote from the Ensign article:
Although the primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is more spiritual than historical,
Lets look at some historical quotes to compare this to:
A. In the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah, at the time the Jews were carried away captive into Babylon, another remant were brought out of Jerusalem, some of whom were descendants of Judah. They landed in North America, soon after which they emigrated into the northern parts of South America, at which place they were discovered by the remnant of Joseph, something like four hundred years after.
From these ancient records, we learn that this remnant of Joseph, soon after they landed, separated themselves into two distinct nations. This division was caused by certain portion of them being greatly persecuted because of their righteousness, by the remainder. The persecuted nation emigrated towards the north parts of South America, leaving the wicked nation in possession of the middle and southern parts of the same.
The former were called Nephites, being led by a prophet whose name was Nephi. The latter were called Lamanites, being led by a very wicked man whose name was Laman. The Nephites had in their possession a copy of the Hold Scriptures, viz. the five books of Moses, and the prophecies of the holypage 17prophets down to Jeremiah Journal of Discourses
So, is this to be taken spiritually or literally?
B. Have you heard of Zelph? If you have heard of Zion's Camp, you should have. Here is the story, right out of the Ensign:  On 2 June 1834 the army crossed the Illinois River at Phillips Ferry. The Prophet and a few others walked along the bluffs and found a huge mound with human bones scattered about and what appeared to be the remains of three ancient altars. A hole was dug and a large human skeleton was discovered with a stone arrowhead between its ribs. As the brethren left the hill, the Prophet inquired of the Lord and learned in an open vision that the remains were those of a man named Zelph, a former Lamanite warrior chieftain who was killed “during the last great struggle of the Lamanites and Nephites.”19  Zelph
C. The original Books of Mormon have this introduction in them: "Wherefore it is an abridgement of the Record of the People of Nephi; and also of the People of the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the house of Israel"  Joseph Smith Papers  Well, that doesn't sound like they come from Asia.
D. "One reason it is difficult to use DNA evidence to draw definite conclusions about Book of Mormon peoples is that nothing is known about the DNA that Lehi, Sariah, Ishmael, and others brought to the Americas."
Ha, I just can't stop laughing when I read this. We don't know the DNA of fairies, unicorns or aliens, either.  Scientists are able to extract DNA from tree sap, from neanderthals, and bacteria...yet the Mormon leaders are claiming the reason Jewish DNA can't be found in the America's is because the sample size is too small?
I remember people in the church saying that god would hide the evidence of the Lamanites to test people's faith. yet as I pondered this, even back when I believed, I thought this was ridiculous. Why would god test people's faith over the Lamanites, but not over the Hebrews? Why is god a trickster?  Is god so unsure of himself that he has to trick people into believing in him?
E. All their quotes about DNA aren't even close to accurate, and anyone who knows even a little bit about DNA can easily see through this. Anyone who wants to believe, will continue to believe, therefore, I'm not going to try and be a scientist, and neither should the Mormon church. The DNA stands for itself and clearly states there is no Near Eastern DNA in the American Indians; that is all.

F. When I was in the worst part of my cognitive dissonance, I knew that the DNA didn't fit the belief system of the Book of Mormon. I was trying my hardest to help the members prepare for the onslaught that was ahead of them. I was teaching a class on 2 Nephi and actually read a scripture to the class that stated that if the Nephites weren't righteous, god would bring other people to the America's. 

2 Nephi 1:8-9 "And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance. Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.11 Yea, he will bring aother nations unto them, and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be bscattered and smitten."

A former bishop who knew where I was going with this scripture stopped me and told me I could not teach that because it was not part of the lesson. I was shocked, since it was a scripture in the lesson we were reading. He argued with me during class and after class, he turned me into the bishop. I was reprimanded and told I would never teach again.

(The Mormon church would have us believe that other people came to the Americas 15,000 years ago, 9,000 years before Adam and Eve were even on the earth, when the scripture in 2 Nephi clearly states the Americas would be empty until Lehi and his family were to inhabit it.)

I walked away and never returned. Funny thing, the very thing I was attempting to do was provide a middle ground for the Mormons and was kicked out of Sunday school for, and here is the church, ten years later, trying to take that middle ground. It didn't work then, it doesn't work now. Why? Because the Book of Mormon states it is a historical record.  Joseph Smith stated it is a historical record. Here is the words of Joseph Smith himself, stating such a thing:
      I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of His purposes in this glorious dispensation.
I was also informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country [America] and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people, was [also] made known unto me; I was also told where were deposited some plates on which were engraven an abridgment of the records of the ancient prophets that had existed on this continent...In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded, Wentworth Letter-Ensign
It seems the current church and Joseph Smith are at odds with each other.                                                       
G. How can anyone believe a church who can't even quote their own scriptures correctly? This is what is quoted in the Ensign article, and what everyone in the church quotes:  Their promise to all who study the book “with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ,” is that God “will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”28  Ensign article
This is the actual quote: And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; Moroni 10:4
The Book of Mormon promise asks that you pray if it is NOT true. Maybe next time, you will pray for the the correct thing... (hehe...still laughing).
H. Go ahead and believe the Book of Mormon is not literal, but stop telling your members and prospective members it is literal, you can't have it both ways. Stop pretending it is real, it is no more real than Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

I. If the Mormons state the BoM is spiritual, I want to know how endless chapters of wars and 'It came to 'passes' is spiritual. Can anyone explain this to me? Please?
3. Problems with the Book of Abraham
When I left the Mormon church, I thought I would one day go back. Then I started researching the Book of Abraham...that was the end for me. Seriously; this article doesn't even begin to show how wrong Joseph had it.  Here is one quote from the churches arti
cle, ' [Facsimile 1]. It is said to represent Abraham being sacrificed on an altar by the priest of Elkenah. This picture can be connected with several of the other papyri fragments that relate to the text of an ancient Egyptian religious document known as the “Book of Sensen” or “Book of Breathings.” 

The rest of the article just tries to defend how wrong the Book of Abraham is. If you really want to know the truth, just google Book of Abraham. Joseph, Joseph, Joseph.

4. Polygamy/Polyandry
     familysearch/Joseph Smith's many wives
     familysearch/Zina Huntington/one of several women married to other men at time married to JS
     Swedish_Rescue_Transcript/Church admits polyndry
     plural-marriage-polygamy/ensign 2013
I'm tired; it is emotionally exhausting writing about all of this. I think I'm over it and then I have to write about it and I dredge it all up again and the anger of how I've been deceived by the church and all the time and tithing/money I've given to them comes back to me and I get angry all over again. I get angry about my family that is deceived.  Reading about Joseph and polyandry. Did the church tell us about that? NO! Did the church tell us how he seduced young girls? NO!

Only when the church is caught with its pants down is it willing to come clean, but not entirely. In the article on LDS.org it does not tell the members about polyandry, but you can read about it on family search. They have conveniently changed the ages of the young girls. Fanny Alger and Helen Mar Kimball were very young, about 14 years old. You can find their stories on the internet. The church has changed their ages on Family Search.

Was it typical for girls that young to get married? No. Girls that young hadn't even gone through puberty. Were girls or women getting married because men were martyred? No. There were actually more men than women. Look it up. Can one man and three women have more children that one man and one woman and one man and one woman and one man and one woman? No. That doesn't even make sense.

Then there is D&C 132: 61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse aanother, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.
 62 And if he have aten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.
 63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to amultiply and replenish the earth
How many women that Joseph, Brigham and the others married where not virgins? Also, Zina and about 11 other women were currently married to other men at the time that they married Joseph. Their husbands were still alive and the women were married to both men. According to this scripture, this is a violation. Many mormons claim these marriages were spiritual marriages only. This was a violation of the law of the New and Everlasting Law as well, as it clearly states that the reason for polygamy is to multiply and replenish the earth.

Today, the church teaches that marriage is only between one man and one woman. However, Brigham taught this:  Journal of Discourses, Vol.11, p.268 - p.269,
"The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy."

The there is the Book of Mormon:  Ether 10:5
‘And it came to pass that Riplakish did not do that which was right in the sight of the Lord, for he did have many wives and concubines…’  
Jacob 24
‘Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.’
Jacob 3:5
‘Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom you hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father – that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none…’

There used to be this in the D&C, but it has since been removed: D&C Sec. 101
‘Insomuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy: we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again…’ (1835 edition, since removed).
 The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessings offered unto them, and they refused to accept them.
The Lord gave a revelation through Joseph Smith, His servant; and we have believed and practiced it. Now, then, it is said that this must be done away before we are permitted to receive our place as a State in the Union.I heard the revelation on polygamy, and I believed it with all my heart, and I know it is from God—I know that he revealed it from heaven; I know that it is true, and understand the bearings of it and why it is. “Do you think that we shall ever be admitted as a State into the Union without denying the principle of polygamy?” If we are not admitted until then, we shall never be admitted.  Journal of Discourses

5. Church had a hit squad- the Danites
     misunderstandings between Mormons and Missourians were bound to occur. Not all the Jackson County residents were rough frontiersmen who had come to this new state to escape religion, government, and education; many were sensitive to social order and sufficiently educated to direct commerce and government in the area. ... Worried about these disaffected leaders, Sidney Rigdon tried to weaken any attempt they might make to undermine Joseph Smith’s influence by making a fiery oratation at Far West on June 9. Known as the “salt sermon,” it compared the excommunicated men to salt that had lost its savor; Sampson Avard, an elder in Far West, may have taken license from the address to organize a covert society called the Danites which engaged in activities that did much damage to the Church’s reputation.

Why don't we read about the Danites in Gospel doctrine? Because of this quote by Boyd K. Packard,

“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.”   1981, BYU Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 259-271

Also, the Mormons couldn't possibly be seen as poor victims if they also were perpetrators. How would the leaders of poor Mormondom do if they actually, say attacked wagon trains travelling through Utah? Or if they subjugated women by blocking the doors of the tabernacle with a garbage truck to prevent entrance during priesthood session, or spend $20 million dollars in California to prevent marriage equality?

This is what anyone who is able to see both sides of any relationship is able to understand; no relationship is one sided. The mormons are not so innocent. They are not victims like they try to portray themselves to be. They often come off as arrogant, perpetrators or more. They are certainly not innocent. 

6. Joseph Smith incorrectly translated the Kinder hook Plates
     ensign/1981/08/kinderhook plates a hoax

Have you ever heard of the Kinderhook plates? Likely not, since you won't find anything said of them in Gospel doctrine or seminary lessons. Yet they are part of Joseph Smith's history. They are written about on LDS.org and in the Ensign.  In May, 1843 The Times and Season reported the the alleged discovery of 6 brass plates in an mound near Nauvoo, Il.  The plates were taken to Joseph Smith for him to translate. “I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth.” (Then followed a reprint of material from the Times and Seasons article.)

The Plates were ultimately found to be a fraud. Why would the church not want to add this into the history of the church? There are several correct historical tellings of the Kinderhook Plates in books and on the internet. It is a fascinating part of Mormon history.

7. Brigham Young; not the fine, upstanding leader purported to be:
     Journal of Discourses  (want to find out about racism, men living on the moon and sun, etc, read these:)
     ensign/2007/Mtn. Meadows
     Race and the Priesthood
The church did a good job discussing the Mountain Meadows Massacre. I do wish that mormons would just look at outside sources. They are not going to go to hell if they do. It is so frustrating to watch the church shoot themselves in the foot as they make mistakes then scream *persecution* when they are correctly criticized for their mistakes. There are great books written on the Mountain Meadows Massacre and it would be good for Mormons to read them, but I promised to only use Mormon resources on this article.

I've got to hand it the church, they have done a fabulous job throwing Brigham Young under the bus in protecting Joseph Smith in these articles.  I have to wonder if in future articles if Monson, Hinckley and other current leaders will also be thrown under the bus for their current leaders.  Also, whatever happened to the idea that the gospel never changes? That idea has been usurped and replaced with whatever is said by the current leaders replaces what was said by the past leaders.

Brigham Young, you have universities named after you and I have to wonder why? Maybe because of quotes like this one from the Journal of Discourses:

     "Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed “the man in the moon,” and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the
inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized." JD 7:290 − p.291, Brigham Young, October 9, 1859

What did Brigham Young have to say about race?

You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, un‑comely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:290 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)

We are now going to the Lamanites, to whom we intend to be messengers of instruction... We will show them that in consequence of their transgressions a curse has been inflicted upon them ‑ in the darkness of their skins.
Brigham Young, The Abominations of Mormonism Exposed, pp. 58‑59  http://mormonquotes.com/Racism

How long is that race
to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the
Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the
blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam's children are
brought up to that favourable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the
Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be
removed.  JD 7:291, Brigham Young, October 9, 1859

I like this last quote because the mormon church quotes only part of it to justify their reinstatement of priesthood rites to black males in 1978. They did not quote the entire quote. (Church leaders pondered promises made by prophets such as Brigham Young that black members would one day receive priesthood and temple blessings.-- Race and the Priesthood) The mormon church only states that Brigham Young said that one day the blacks would one day receive the priesthood, they fail to state that he said that day would not happen until AFTER all the residue of Adam's children would first receive the priesthood; which we all know that did not happen.

In this church article on race, as in the church article on polygamy, the church fails to recognize that they do not make changes until forced to do so by pressure from the outside forces them to do so. As in the case of polygamy, they could not get statehood until they abandoned polygamy. In the case of racism, they were under the threat to lose NCAA sanctions at BYU and were ready to lose federal money at the university unless they allowed blacks to receive the priesthood.

As in so many of these articles, it also isn't what they admit, but what they fail to acknowledge, that is also important. Yes, there was rampant racism throughout the USA and other churches did in fact segregate, but the Mormon church was the ONLY church that refused to give its black male members the priesthood. Other christian churches ordained blacks to the priesthood without question.

Yes, the mormon church was a product of its time, but many men were able to overcome the racist beliefs of its times. One such man was Abraham Lincoln. Rather than succome to the beliefs of the day, he freed the slaves. You would think Brigham Young, who was supposed to be inspired by god, would be able to overcome the attitudes and beliefs of his day.

Was Joseph Smith less racist than Brigham Young? You decide: [Are the Mormons abolitionists?] No, unless delivering the people from priestcraft, and the priests from the power of Satan, should be considered abolition. But we do not believe in setting the negroes free.
Joseph SmithHistory of the Church, Vol 3, Ch 3, p 28‑30

Having learned with extreme regret, that an article entitled, 'Free People of Color,' in the last number of the Star has been misunderstood, we feel in duty bound to state, in this Extra, that our intention was not only to stop free people of color from emigrating to this state, but to prevent them from being admitted as member of the Church.
Joseph SmithHistory of the Church, 1:378‑379

What about later church leaders?

From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel.
George Albert SmithStatement of The First Presidency on the Negro Question, July 17 1947, quoted in Mormonism and the Negro, pp.46‑7

Ham, through Egyptus, continued the curse which was placed upon the seed of Cain. Because of that curse this dark race was separated and isolated from all the rest of Adam's posterity before the flood, and since that time the same condition has continued, and they have been 'despised among all people.' This doctrine did not originate with President Brigham Young but was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith .... we all know it is due to his teachings that the negro today is barred from the Priesthood.
Joseph Fielding SmithThe Way to Perfection, pages 110‑111

At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen‑year‑old daughter were present, the little member girl‑sixteen sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents on the same reservation, in the same Hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather. There was the doctor in a Utah city who for two years had had an Indian boy in his home who stated that he was some shades lighter than the younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation. These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and delightsomeness.
Spencer W. KimballGeneral Conference, Oct. 1960

What do you know about the dangerous civil rights agitation in Mississippi! do you fear the destruction of all vestiges of state government?
Ezra Taft Benson135th Annual Conference

In a broad general sense, caste systems have their origin in the gospel itself, and when they operate according to the divine decree, the resultant restrictions and segregation are right and proper and have the approval of the lord. To illustrate: Cain, Ham, and the whole negro race have been cursed with a black skin, the mark of Cain, so they can be identified as a caste apart, a people with whom the other descendants of Adam should not intermarry.
Bruce R. McConkieMormon Doctrine, 1958 edition, pages 107‑108

God has commanded Israel not to intermarry. To go against this commandment of God would be in sin. Those who willfully sin with their eyes open to this wrong will not be surprised to find that they will be separated from the presence of God in the world to come. This is spiritual death.
Mark E. PetersenRace Problems ‑ As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954


Again, if other people who are contemporaries can be so inspired to change their views, then why can't men who are supposed to be inspired of god not  be so inspired to change their views? Are we going to see the same changes in years to come toward gays and women as society pressures the church to change?

If change is possible, then how is god unchangeable?

Wow, the church sure does have a lot of 'splaning to do. I will continue these articles on a second thread since this is getting too long...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Victim; I hate being called that, yet I am one. I am a victim of domestic violence. I am middle class. I was in a relationship with a very wealthy man. I have a college degree. I work to support myself.  How did I end up as a victim? I suppose my story is very similar to so many others.

As I do when confronted with a new problem, I research the hell out of it. I discovered that it is a secret problem all over the globe. Domestic violence happens in the privacy of homes, secrecy is their weapon. 60% of the time, an act of domestic violence is precipitated by an accusation of infidelity (as it did in my case, are they looking for an excuse for the violence they are going to perpetuate?). Women and children remain silent. Why? There are over 50 reasons why; shame, fear, guilt, blaming the victim is just a few of the reasons why.

The following are true stories of three different women spanning time and the globe. The names have been changed to protect them. Their stories are like so many others. I hope that in telling their stories, it will inspire women who are caught in the spiral of domestic violence to seek help to get out. There is hope of a better life, as these two stories show.

Childhood; Spain, 1975~ Leisel

It is very difficult to say when this story begins, because all those who have suffered child abuse know that there is no beginning and no end; it accompanies you throughout life.
But I do remember the first day that I realized that something wasn't going well in my family. I was about 4 or 5 years old, and saw my mother crying in the kitchen. I heard her conversation with my grandmother and I knew that my father had stuck her. The truth is that until that day my father had been that; my father.  He told me stories, playing with my brother and me...But that day everything changed. My father went on to become an abuser and had already abandoned that role in my mind. I went to the bathroom, where he was shaving and reproached him that it had made my mother cry. He turned and slapped me. It was the first of many times more, so many I would lose count; for the most unexpected reasons, or no reason... apparently because he was in a bad mood, because we made noise... for so many things...

In addition, my father was not working or working little, and his earnings were so slim. So my mother, who was a seamstress, was responsible for the livelihood of the family. Sometimes my father and she discussed money; He hit her, my grandmother shouted, he would break things... my mother was crying, my grandmother hated him, my brother and I were frightened... and so over and over again. Ever, he also abused my mother sexually, especially when he had drunk much; unfortunately I witnessed several episodes, or heard them... At one point, my mother sought relieve from the police. The police office just told my mother, ‘Ma’am this is a private matter, go home as resolve it.”

Sometimes there was nothing you could do to escape. If you played along it was better to accept it with resignation rather than to run away or resist, because then it was even worse. It hurt physically, but more in the soul, but at that time I didn't know it, was too focused on hating him and praying that he died...The psychological damage that I suffered I wouldn’t discover until years later.

We were poor and we received help from the social services, the (Catholic) Church, and old mama friends who always came to our aid... so I never went hungry... but yes, much sadness; material and emotional. I was wondering what I had done, why it could not  be happy  like other children, including having  a loving family. To be honest, what I most wanted in the world was+ to have parents who were+= down the street,

To finish completing the landscape of my childhood, by 7 years I had the misfortune of falling into the circle of attracting a pedophile. So the physical and psychological mistreatment at home was joined by sexual abuse at the school. Abuses of all kinds, a primary school teacher, taught me everything that a child of 8 years must not know about sex at such an early age. Kay, the truth is that this episode of my life, know you very few people (live); my brother, my husband, and a friend from childhood who witnessed abuses at school... because I was not myself. That sick, pedophile, abused more children... Although I was his "favorite" so I took the best of attentions.

He used a rod of almond tree that was on the table. Fear was omnipresent and, in addition, we were in the countryside, in a small village, in the middle of the 1970's, in a country that had just emerged from a dictatorship, and with a very conservative Catholic morality. All played against so that son of a bitch was unfazed. As well it was; although there were suspicions and reviews between the parents of the school, the truth is that it could never prove anything, or are unwilling to try...Finally, the following year he left never to return.  I didn’t know no a man could did so much damage.

A few years ago, when I told my husband and he knew in detail what had happened, we went to the police to report it. But crime had expired. We tried to find his current address but could not locate it (in Spain the law of data protection is much more restrictive than in the United States)... There is nothing that can be done, and while those who suffer abuse have had to bear the consequences of life, he has lived freely.

Adulthood; USA, 2012~Kay

I thought we had a good day. I had taken the day off work because it had been a very long week. I had been working two jobs and taking an on-line course for work.  I had to finish a four page test that week as well as study for a quiz the night before. My boyfriend’s daughter was staying with us, and I had my daughter. I cooked the meals…I was exhausted. I had gone to bed early the night before and I knew the boyfriend was miffed at me, but he wasn’t working as hard as I was, so what did he care?

That morning, he had accused me of having an affair, something he’d been doing a lot of lately, and no matter how many times I’d asked him to stop, he continued, so I just threw my hands up in disgust and walked away and refused to get in an argument with him. He didn’t bring that up or my going to bed early the night before, so I figured the two subjects were dead and I was glad. We spent the morning putting our outfits together for the Halloween party we were going to that night. Our kids came home from school. James began to drink. I ignored that (he had a drinking problem, something he was refusing to acknowledge).

We went to the party, where we had a great time.  We danced, we ate, and we mingled with friends. We drank. I drank socially; he drank heavily, as usual. It was late and we went out to the car, there was no point in asking if I could drive, he would refuse. The music was playing softly and he pointed out this beautiful owl sitting on a sign on the side of the road. It seemed magical, if not for the next thing that happened. 

He began to accuse me of offending his daughter by going to bed early the night before, that I was not being a good mother to her…(what? Red flags, bells and whistles going off in my head…you know how fast your thoughts go the speed of light? I’m not her mother…no 12 year old is offended by someone going to bed early….she wasn’t offended, James was…he wasn’t offended, don't argue with a drunk person, he just wants to control me…he wants to pick a fight with me, but why???) I just say back, ‘We aren’t going to discuss this tonight, I’m not going there.’

He pulls into the garage, turns off the engine and I open my car door and begin to step out, (my back is turned toward him so I can’t see him) and suddenly, I feel his hands around my neck and he is strangling me, pulling me back into the car, pulling me on top of him, telling me that I WILL listen to him! I just repeat over and over, ‘This is assault, you’re hurting me, let me go! This is assault, you’re hurting me, let me go!”

I don’t know how much time passed; I had no concept of time. I know he was hurting me, but all I could think of is how to survive. I realize that I don’t have my cell phone on me and I can’t call for help, and that our children are inside and I must remain calm so I don’t bring harm to them. He finally lets me go, but even before I can get out of the car, he is out of the car and runs over to my side and before I can get past him, he grabs me.

I then yell that I must call the police. He releases me. I am able to calm him down.  I do call the police and he is arrested. Strangulation is a felony. He pled down to a misdemeanor.  Yet, James got no jail time. He does have two years of probation and has to take a yearlong course of domestic violence classes and be evaluated for drug abuse.

Why is strangulation a felony? Because it kills, it can even kill a person days after. It cuts off the air supply. The symptoms include: dizziness, nausea, sore throat, breathing and swallowing difficulties, redness and bruising on the neck and around the eyes, changes in vision, loss of consciousness, loss of memory, eyelid drooping, brain injury, PTSD, suicide ideation, insomnia and depression. strangulation

The next morning, I showed the bruises to James and he just turned over and said, ‘It’s not 100% my fault. I started to cry and asked him back, ‘then whose fault is it?’ He wouldn’t respond. He then started to touch me, wanting sex. I told him no, that I was too upset with him and I pushed him away. He continued to touch me.  I relinquished because I was afraid of waking the kids and I didn’t want any more problems.

The day that James was arrested, I received a call from his Dad. He told me to drop the charges and he would make sure he got into a rehab program.  I called the prosecutor’s office and was reassured that I didn’t have to cave to pressure. Once charges are filed, the state is in charge and the victims can no longer drop charges.

When James was sentenced, I had a victims impact statement to read before the court, but I was too emotional to read it. I was assured the male judge would read it out loud, so that James would hear the impact his actions had on me. This didn't happen, however, the judge only briefly read it over to himself and tucked it away. I felt I was robbed of the perpetrator hearing of the terrible things he had done to me and how it had affected my life.  

Also, the day James was arrested, he yelled at me that he was going to financially ruin my life for having him arrested. He carried through with his threat. He canceled my car insurance, doubled the cable bill, and refused to pay me several thousand dollars he owed me. We owned our house together, and he immediately refused to assist with the house payments, knowing I could not afford to pay them on my own. The mortgage fell into default. By the time James was sentenced, I begged the judge to compel James to assist with the payments, since he already had a legal responsibility to do so. The judge refused, even though it was in the judge's power and authority to do so.

I have since lost my home to foreclosure, along with my downpayment. The judicial system is patriarchal and stacked against women. I see no end in sight.

It is reassuring to know that there is more support for the victims of domestic and sexual abuse than there once was. Yet, there is so much that needs to change.

India, 2012

In December, 2012, there was a brutal rape and murder of a young woman in New Delhi, India. The details are horrific. Only now am I able to read the details of what happened. Since it took place so soon after my strangulation, I was too traumatized to read about it at the time…even now, it is traumatizing to read about it.

A young woman and her male companion were riding a chartered bus home after watching the movie, ‘The Life of Pi’. There were six other men on the bus. The men attacked the male companion with a rusted rod, beating him and knocking him unconscious.  They then dragged the woman to the back of the bus, where they each raped her, brutally beat her and raped her with the rod, tearing out part of her intestine in the process. They then threw them off the bus and the bus driver attempted to run over them, but the male companion was able to pull them to safety.

A passerby found them and called for help. The young woman received several surgeries, but they did not save her life. With the testimony of the woman and her male companion, along with the recovery of his cell phone and cameras along the highway, the bus driver and the perpetrators were arrested.

The rape and death of this woman led to national and international protests. This also led to awareness of an epidemic of rapes and gang rapes in India and the persistent problem of little justice for the women there.   Gang rape in India

We have a long way to go, before women will have equality. It worries me greatly, then when I hear other women say things like this:

“Young women you will be the ones who will provide the example of virtuous womanhood and motherhood. … You will understand your roles and your responsibilities and thus will see no need to lobby for rights.” ~ Elaine S Dalton, Jan 15, 2013

*The names have been changed to protect the innocent people of domestic violence.
*Silence is the weapon of the abuser…take their weapon away by speaking out.

If you or someone you know may be a victim of abuse please seek help:

For any victims of abuse who would like their impact statements published, go to this blog and leave a comment and the owner of the blog will get it published:  http://impactprojec.blogspot.com/