Friday, February 28, 2014

From Mormonisms own Mouth, Part II

Becoming a God

What?! I don't get my own planet? WTF?

 When I was going through my faith crisis, I never believed I had to do secret handshakes to get into heaven, I certainly never believed I had to promise to submit to a man to get into heaven. I stopped believing that the leaders in the Mormon church had special access to speak to god.

The one thing, the only thing keeping me in the Mormon church, was the concept that IF I walked away from the Mormon church, I would lose my family, my eternal family...FOREVER!

Now, everything I was taught from the time I was born about that eternal family view; the Mormon church just retracted. We don't get our own planet to inhabit after all, women aren't going to have millions of babies and share her husband with hundreds of women, damn it :::snark:::

What is the draw of being Mormon anymore?

Here is the latest and, well, mediocre article put out by the Mormon church, where they are once again attempting to clarify and at the same time change doctrine that we all grew up with:

Becoming like god

Where the church is now teaching we become LIKE god, it used to teach we BECAME god.

Here are a few scriptures and prophets the failed to quote:
1.  The Pearl of Great Price, which the Mormons hold as a sacred book of scripture:
Abraham 3:2-3 And I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it; And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me,

2. Or this: Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God.

Book of Abraham, Facsimile 2, Figure 1 

3. They forgot to include what Joseph Smith said about Kolob:  
Kolob… signifies the first great grand governing fixed star which is the farthest that ever has been discovered by the fathers which was discovered by Methusela and also by Abraham.  Joseph Smith - Mormon prophet
Book of Abraham translation working papers
Kirtland Egyptian Papers, Grammar p.34

4. Is Joseph Smith already a God? Brigham Young thought so:
Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the vail in the great work of the last days. I can tell our beloved brother Christians who have slain the Prophets and butchered and otherwise caused the death of thousands of Latter-day Saints, the priests who have thanked God in their prayers and thanksgiving from the pulpit that we have been plundered, driven, and slain, and the deacons under the pulpit, and their brethren and sisters in their closets, who have thanked God, thinking that the Latter-day Saints were wasted away, something that no doubt will mortify them—something that, to say the least, is a matter of deep regret to them—namely, that no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith
 Joseph Smith's approval to enter heaven

Does the Mormon church teach we will become Gods, just as God is?
This article at does not seem to say so, but what about past prophets?
Joseph Smith:
" I want you to pay particular attention to what I am saying. Jesus said that the Father wrought precisely in the same way as His Father had done before Him. As the Father had done before. He laid down His life, and took it up the same as His Father had done before. He did as He was sent, to lay down His life and take it up again; and then was committed unto Him the keys, &c. I know it is good reasoning." 
 History of the Church

Joseph was clear in the King Follett discourses that God was once a man then became god:
 God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make himself visible,—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another.
    In order to understand the subject of the dead, for consolation of those who mourn for the loss of their friends, it is necessary we should understand the character and being of God and how He came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see.
    These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did; and I will show it from the Bible.King Follett Discourse

Does the Mormon church believe in plurality of Gods? According to Joseph Smith, there is no denying it:
  I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the New Testament, lo and behold! we have three Gods anyhow, and they are plural: and who can contradict it!  Plurality of gods

According to, :
 "Latter-day Saints also believe strongly in the fundamental unity of the divine. "

"The fundamental unity of the divine" or in other words:
* A black hole is at one with a star
* A child is at one with their parent
* The earth is at one with the Milky Way

It is vague enough to mean nothing and if someone wanted it to, it could mean whatever they wanted.

Were we taught that the Divine Nature of humans was to become a God?
According to the article in, we were taught this:
 “As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.”43

Yet, the same article also says that a current prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley taught this:
  President Gordon B. Hinckley told a reporter in 1997, “That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don’t know very much about.”

The article doesn't give the entire quote, so I thought I'd provide it for you:

Quoted from Time Magazine, August 4, 1997, “On whether his church still holds that God the Father was once a man, [Hinckley] sounded uncertain, ‘I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it… I understand the philosophical background behind it, but I don’t know a lot about it, and I don’t think others know a lot about it.’”

What does the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of holy scriptures, according to Mormons, have to say about this?
D&C 132:
 19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man amarry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the bnew and everlasting covenant, and it is csealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of dpromise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and theekeys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit fthrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s gBook of Life, that he shall commit no hmurder whereby to shed innocent iblood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their jexaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the kseeds forever and ever.
 20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from aeverlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be bgods, because they have call power, and the angels are subject unto them.  Becoming a God (emphasis added)
In conclusion:
All human beings are children of loving heavenly parents and possess seeds of divinity within 

There is this one sentence that I can get behind:
* If all human beings possess seeds of divinity and have a loving god/parent, would that god put a plan together that only saved .01% of his children?
* Would a loving god/parent require the females to submit to the fallible males?
* Would a loving god/parent require them to perform secret handshakes to gain entry into his presence, when only loving them should be enough?
* Would a loving god/parent require paying money (tithing) to gain entrance into his presence? 

When the Mormon church teaches that in order for families to be together in heaven, they must be Mormon. I ask this:
What is going to keep the rest of us apart?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Legalized Discrimination

Freedom of Religion....the freedom to practice religion; not the freedom to discriminate against others.

In Idaho, Lynn Luker, a Mormon, has proposed a state bill that would allow anyone to discriminate against single Moms and the LGBT community:

House bill 427-FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION - Amends existing law to provide that a person whose exercise of religion is burdened in violation of specified law may obtain appropriate relief against any person relying upon any government action, enactment or law that burdens a person's exercise of religion.

This is a letter to him and anyone who supports the bill,
I have been a single Mom for seven years. I have raised three daughters. I have worked two jobs in that time, one full time and one part time. Contrary to the myth of what a single Mom looks like, I have never received public assistance of food stamps or Medicaid during this time. I have money in savings and money in retirement programs. I take care of myself.  My car is paid off, I pay my bills on time, and I have raised my daughters to be independent members of society. My youngest just received a $50,000 scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America in New York.  My oldest just graduated with her Masters in Economics and has landed a job in Seattle. My middle child is working on her bachelor’s degree at Portland State University. 

I have many friends who are gay, straight, married and single. I love all people equally, regardless of their economic status, their sexual status, or their religious beliefs. I do not support your bill, H-427 on many levels. 

I have read the Bible many times, and I've read nothing in it that says single Mom’s are evil and should not be allowed to receive services in restaurants, healthcare, law enforcement services, etc. If I am the victim of domestic violence and I call the police, will it be okay for them to not arrest the perpetrator? If I am strangled, is it okay for the paramedics to not give me treatment? What if I die because of my injuries due to my inability to receive services? You are okay with that? Why is it now okay for men to kill me simply because I am female and single?  The state penitentiary is full of single men. The government spends money to take care of them, therefore they are now of more value to the state simply because they have a penis. Even though I work and support myself and my children, I am of no value simply because I am female and a single Mom. I am currently dating a single Dad and there are no potential laws to discriminate against him; why?

Gay men and women also work, support themselves, go about their business and do no harm to you or others in any way. Yet, you are enacting a law that would allow people to publicly discriminate against them when they have done no harm to society.

There are a lot of misunderstandings about what the Bible teaches about gays. Take the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, for example. They were not destroyed because of their sexual sins. According to Ezekiel 16:49  Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.  Also, in genesis 19, this is about gang rape, not about consensual gay sex. I don’t know anyone who would admit that gang rape is accepted or approved. In Matthew 10 and Luke 10, Jesus also associates the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah with not aiding the poor or being hospitable.

Leviticus 18 and 20: Both these scriptures condemn homosexuality. There is no doubt about this. Yet, the book of Leviticus condemns eating shell fish, pork, combining two types of threads in any given garment (think of a cotton/poly blend, for example) cutting men’s hair at the side or the head, making a fire on the Sabbath (which begins on Friday at Sunset and continues to Saturday at Sunset) walking too far on the Sabbath, having sex with a woman who is menstruating, and over 600 laws. Today, Christians and most Jews do not follow these very restrictive laws.

In 49 AD, there was a counsel held to determine how to accommodate gentiles who were joining into the new faith but not living the kosher laws as described in Leviticus, as well as circumcision.  The decision was made that none of the 600 kosher laws of culture and identity contained in the book of Leviticus would be applied to the Christian/gentile converts. This can be found in Galatians 6. There is no reason to believe that only two verses of scripture would apply today while the rest would be discarded. Paul speaks of the old law as one of slavery and to not be burdened by it. In Colossians 2:13-14, it states that God says that the Old Law has been cancelled. In Romans 10:4 Paul says that Jesus is the end of the Law and in Hebrews 8:13 it states that the old covenant is obsolete, freeing Christians from the old Law. For Christians, then, the book of Leviticus cannot be used to justify prejudice against gays.

In 1 Corinthians 11:13-15 It states that it is unnatural for a woman to pray with her face unveiled, or for a man to grow his hair long.  In order to understand this scripture, we need to understand the Greek and Roman meaning of the words, ‘natural and unnatural, disgrace, and shameful’.  The Greeks interpreted the word ‘natural’ as ‘custom’. So the proper meaning of this scripture is this, ‘do not the customs of our day dictate that it is shameful for a man to have long hair.’ This makes more sense than believing that men naturally will have short hair.

 What makes this scripture and meaning so important is that it is so similar to Romans 1:26-27 Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.  The proper interpretation, then would be, 'Even their women exchanged customary sexual relations for uncustomary ones.'  The Greeks and Romans considered a man’s natural sexual role to be active, a woman’s natural sexual role to be passive. If these roles were reversed, this would be unnatural and shameful. The term ‘nature’ refers to social custom, not to biological order. Therefore, the New Testament cannot be used to justify prejudice against gays.

I look forward to the day when all people will be accepted as equal.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


I work with children with disabilities and one of the skills we teach them is how to generalize. Most children learn this concept naturally, but not all people, on all skills in all areas, over all environments. For example, we can teach a child in a controlled setting how to identify his colors, but that doesn't mean they can identify their colors out of that controlled environment. They need to then be taken out of that controlled environment and taught their colors in other ways. They need to be taught to match color cards to objects of the same color. They need to be taken around the room and in the real world and asked what color certain objects are. They need to be asked what color their clothes are, the walls are, etc. In this way, they are able to generalize the concept of learning colors.

When I was on my mission, we tracted out a young man who was so excited to show us what he had found in the back of a magazine.  He had found a handkerchief that was personally blessed by a popular televangelist and if you paid $49.99, you could be the proud owner of the handkerchief and untold blessings would come to you.

My companion and I walked away and were confounded how people could be taken in by half truths and lies by something that was so obviously a religious charlatan. Today, I watched this video:
Inside Edition on Televangelists

As I watched it, I was reminded of Jim Jones and how he was able to fool so many people and they couldn't see through his half truths and lies at the cost of their lives, not just at the cost of their money. When the story of Jim Jones broke on the news, I remember hearing about the points that make up a cult. As I read them in the news, I remember thinking that they were just like the Mormon church. Yet, with nobody to discuss my concerns with, I quickly dismissed them.

Today, as I watched the video, I am once again taken back in time and marvel how I was not able to generalize the knowledge I had of cults or of charlatans to my own experience within the Mormon church. I could see it in other churches and other church leaders, but not my own. I could see how other church leaders used their charisma  to get their members to hand over money, but I could not see it within the Mormon church leaders. I could see where the Mormon leaders would say, 'trust me', without actual facts or data to show trustworthiness, yet I could not see how handing over 10% of my income, without transparency within the Mormon church would be considered criminal in any other corporation. If I was told by any other organization to not compare what they told me about their history to what was available about their history from other sources, I would be suspicious and sceptical of that organization. Yet, when the Mormon church said to do that very thing, I just blindly accepted it.

As I speak to others who continue within the Mormon church who also have knowledge of how the leaders hide their history, are not transparent with their finances, who have knowledge of the leaders purchasing billion dollar malls, yet they cannot generalize this knowledge to other religious leaders who own million dollar jets or homes.

City Creek Mall

 city creek

This week, several members who have been able to generalize, filed a criminal fraud suit against the Mormon church for similar practices that are so often seen in other churches and other corporations, yet so hard for Mormon members to see within its own ranks.

 It will take Mormon members to get out of their controlled environment, and compare what is happening within the top leadership to see what is happening before they can generalize.
An Open Letter to Mormon Leadership

I learned to generalize once I stepped out of the controlled environment the church set up and stepped out into the real world. What a beautiful world it is.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Bait and Switch no more?

JOINT STATEMENT concerning summonses served on Thomas Spencer Monson:

This present case is Tom Phillips’ initiative. However, we were invited by him last December to submit to the District Judge letters outlining our own situations. Perhaps, in view of the many ideas which have been flying about since the news of the summonses broke, we could first state what this legal action, in our view, is NOT about:

It is NOT an attack on ordinary faithful Mormons. We have been long enough in those ranks to understand their outlook, and their need to believe in something to which they are committing their lives, and we also know only too well the pain of discovering, before we were ready to, the harsh realities of Mormon history.

It is NOT per se an attack on Mormonism as a belief system. We believe that as long as people are first made aware of all of the relevant historical facts which ought to inform their decision making, it becomes solely their choice and their business if they wish to hand over their money, time and efforts to the LDS church. When comprehensive disclosure becomes the normal practice, we will find no fault. We accept that some will choose to believe whatever they will, despite mountains of contrary evidence, and that is their inalienable right.

NOR, as far as we are concerned, is this a personal vendetta against Thomas Monson. We do not know him, and he has never met us. Unfortunately, he happens to be the man at this point who occupies the Church President’s office, and so the summonses have been served upon him. On a personal basis we feel compassion for a man of his advanced years, allegedly not in the best of health, who has recently lost his wife. He has been part of our Mormon culture. We always enjoyed seeing him wiggle his ears to entertain the children. It is a rare gift. We feel no personal animosity towards him.

This is NOT being done out of anger, but out of concern for the many who otherwise, will perhaps one day feel hurt and betrayed, as we presently do.

This action is being taken over what we consider to be unethical and fraudulent practices. Our view is based upon our own experiences, and also those of others within the Mormon community. These practices are approved and implemented by the church hierarchy. Our argument is therefore with that system and whoever is ultimately responsible for implementing such practices.

When members of the church are formally taught from childhood that they will only be with their families in the next life if they pay a minimum of 10% of their income to the church, (tithing being a requirement of entering the temple, where the eternal sealing of families occurs), a pattern of lifelong financial sacrifice is established. We have been taught that all hope of remaining with our loved ones in the next life, is contingent upon a lifelong monetary commitment to the church, and we have been led to believe that the keys to this eternal sealing are vested in the President of the church, currently Thomas Monson, who has authority to grant or dissolve such unions. We have been repeatedly instructed by those in church authority that God requires us to pay tithing before attending to any other household expenditure, such as rent, food, fuel or clothing.

It follows that those who default on payments, start to fear that they will lose their loved ones in the eternities. In certain cases known to us, defaulting tithe-payers descend into a state of despondency, feeling utterly worthless, sometimes losing the respect and confidence of their family members who depend upon them to be obedient to the law of tithing. In many cases obedience is accomplished only through fear and coercion, and the fear is induced by constant reference to and emphasis upon the LDS scriptures. Yet those scriptures themselves fail the tests of historical authenticity. A growing body of evidence, (not disclosed at present to the average tithe-payer), clearly points to them as being the work of Joseph Smith, and his contemporaries, rather than texts of ancient origin. 

We contend that anyone faced with making a demanding financial commitment to the LDS church, deserves first to be presented with the full evidence concerning LDS truth claims, so that they may make up their minds without being misled. In the UK, such onerous financial commitments are usually undertaken with appropriate warnings and additional information, otherwise they are deemed “mis-sold”. We believe that any person seeking to join the LDS church in Britain, and all British members wishing to place their trust in the family sealing powers claimed for the LDS temple, first ought to be told, at the very least, why The Book of Abraham is not accepted by the rest of the world as an authentic translation, and why The Book of Mormon has much more in common with a 19th century novel than it has with 1600 year old Native American artefacts; they should also be informed of the real reasons which led to the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, including the shocking details of Joseph Smith’s polygamous and polyandrous extra-marital unions, in the name of God, with women and girls, some as young as 14.

If, knowing these details, candidates choose to proceed with their baptisms or temple ordinances, none will later be able to claim, as we now do, that they have been deceived. At present however, that is very much not the situation, for most tithe-paying temple-attending members have little or no idea about the true history of their religion, or the profound lack of evidence supporting many of their tenets.

We would like to see the church admit that it has erred grossly for many years in neglecting to address these matters openly and honestly as a matter of routine. We feel it should repent of its failings, apologising for misleading its members in the past, encouraging them in turn to mislead others in their missionary and teaching assignments. We would like to see the church taking steps to educate its members and prospective members fully in accordance with the historical record. We would also like to see full openness and accountability in terms of financial accounting and LDS archival holdings. We would like it to provide sensitive counselling and care for those who lose their faith when they discover the uncomfortable realities. There should be no more labelling of such members as “faithless”, “dissidents” or “apostates” - as though there was something wrong with people having a desire to seek out the truth. Possibly the church leaders could work in combination with those of us who have already trodden this difficult path, so that rehabilitation into the wider world of belief choices would become smoother and less traumatic for spiritual victims of the system.

We are also anxious to see the church offer assurances about the position with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs of members and former members who now feel, as we do, that our tithing and other offerings were obtained by the church under false pretenses. For every pound paid to the church by LDS members in the UK who, (following leadership counsel), have availed themselves of Deeds of Covenant and Gift Aid, £0.20 has been added by the British Taxpayer to the church’s bank accounts. The sum paid out by HMRC in this connection must now amount to tens of millions of pounds. It is understood that in most cases the resulting tax rebates made to individuals, were handed over to the church at its request. We seek an assurance from the church therefore, that in the event that at some future time these payments made by HMRC will be deemed to have been fraudulently obtained, the LDS church will offer immunity to those individuals, and ensure that such sums as were rebated will be returned with the due interest to HMRC.

Finally we hope one day to see a more compassionate church, in which those of us who still retain through habit something of a Mormon identity, may find acceptance within the LDS community, no matter what our perceived deficiencies or peculiarities or orientations might be, being valued simply because we place a high value on objective truth.

Steve Bloor
Chris Ralph
7th February 2014